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Archived: Vintage Lightweights

MISC:   The Bicycle Billboard posted by: christian on 8/26/2000 at 5:08:52 PM
Want to spread the word around to a few more bike sites?
Visit; http://www.angelfire.com/dbz/forum
and post it up.

AGE / VALUE:   What kind of Raleigh is this? posted by: Beau on 8/25/2000 at 4:50:54 PM
I have what I was told was a late 70s Raleigh Gran Sport (Reynolds 531 db) that was repainted. Im not sure what year it is; Ive checked the Retro raleigh web site but none of the images/stats quite resemble mine. The serial # is all numbers (261924), it has the rear brake cable running ON TOP of the top tube (not underneath like all pics of 70s Raleighs show), chRome Zeus dropouts with the serial stamped on the left rear, longish 17 inch chain stays. The lugs lack any ornate detail. THe bike is totally devoid of any of its original equipment and is instead fitted with all sorts of decent stuff:early phil hubs w/weinnmann concave wheels, Mafac cantis w/ custom welded bosses, Sugino TA triple, Shimano Crane GS derallieur etc. As I said, it has been repainted, and has no decals. THanks.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   What kind of Raleigh is this? posted by Keith on 8/28/2000 at 8:04:19 AM
Although I've seen some Gran Sports advertised as having 531 frames, my understanding and understanding was that, at least during most of the 70s, they were plain steel frames. Also, the early and mid-70s Gran Sports I've seen had wrap-around stays -- which wrapped around the seat lug. The Zeus droputs on yours do not match any Gran Sports I've seen. In fact, the only Raleigh I've ever seen Zeus droputs was a Professional (okay, there are probably others, and I just never saw them), but your long chainstays don't sound like a Pro. Does it have a metal Raleigh Nottingham headbadge? If the badge is gone, there sould be two rivit holes about 3/4 inch apart on the headtube. As you noted, the equipment is such a hodgepodge that it does not lend to an ID. Sounds like a nice hodgepodge, though.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   What kind of Raleigh is this? posted by Keith on 8/28/2000 at 11:20:55 AM
I went back to Retro Raleighs, and found out (1) unlike othr models, early 70s Gran Sports did not have a letter in the serial #; (2) early 70s GSs were 531 (hope the one I got free and pitched wasn't. Anyway, it was pretty rusty).

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   What kind of Raleigh is this? posted by Keith on 8/28/2000 at 12:07:43 PM
I'm really losing it -- I'm confusing Gran Sport and Gran Prix! Anyway, the number possibly indicates a '72 gran Sport. If it was repainted, maybe someone removed the shoulder-killing cable braze-ons (I would).

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   What kind of Raleigh is this? posted by beau on 8/28/2000 at 1:07:58 PM
Thanks Keith. Yeah, the headbadge is brass and says nottingham..made in england etc. The stays are not the wrap aound type though. Thanks for your responses.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   What kind of Raleigh is this? posted by beau on 8/28/2000 at 1:10:53 PM
cable braze-ons are still there, just along the top of the tube...

AGE / VALUE:   Sears Master? posted by: Nat on 8/25/2000 at 8:29:00 AM
I'm looking at this busted-up Sears Master on eBay for all of $3 :) It's from 1910, which is cool, but the problem is the one-piece crank has a broken arm. It's broken right at the pedal threading...is there anything that can be done with this, short of getting and adapter for the bottom bracket and replacing the crank? Like, a bit of spot-welding, perhaps? I'm not looking for a museum piece, but more a cool ride, very much like what Sheldon did with the Mead Ranger (thanks for the inspiration!).
Also, does anyone know the history of this bike?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Sears Master? posted by Art on 8/26/2000 at 1:24:59 PM
From my experience there are no hard and fast rules about what you want to do. Bikes of this vintage can be really fun to make into modern riders, they can also drive you nuts. Finding vintage parts that are correct can be expensive and time consuming. Sometimes you get lucky and find vintage parts that will work. I've had vintage bikes with cranks that I've replaced with balloon cranks, others I haven't even been able to get off the bike. My suggestion is get the bike, gee, you're really not going to lose a lot of money here, and go at it. If you need parts, ask us, someone may have something youy need.

MISC:   Bar or grip shifters for a 10 speed posted by: Tom Faust on 8/24/2000 at 8:10:11 PM
The problem: The GF loves her mixte frame Austro Daimler, but is addictd to the rapid fire shifters on her other bike. Does anyone make bar or grip shifters that will work properly with a 5 sprocket casette and dual chainwheel? Present equipmentis Simplex, I understand all known indexed systems require a Shimano rear derailer.

   how about barcons? posted by John E on 8/25/2000 at 7:53:48 AM
As a compromise, would she consider bar-end controls, such
as the wonderful old ratcheted SunTours, or perhaps mountain
bike style thumb shifters, in friction mode? With a little
practice, she would find that indexing has little, if any,
real benefit on the rear derailleur, and absolutely none
whatsoever on the front derailleur.

If she really has to have indexing, change over to either a
6-speed "ultra" (120mm rear dropout spacing required) or a
7-speed freewheel (126mm rear dropout spacing required), a
Shimano rear derailleur, and indexed Shimano shift lever.

   RE:MISC:   Bar or grip shifters for a 10 speed posted by Keith on 8/28/2000 at 6:14:40 AM
I think the best you'll be able to do is 6-speed index -- get a Rivendell catalog -- they carry old Suntour 6-speed ratchet bar cons, as well as freewheels. They also carry these weird do-hicky brackets (the technical term) that allow you to mount just about any shift levers next to the brake levers.

   RE:RE:MISC:   Bar or grip shifters for a 10 speed posted by Oscar on 8/28/2000 at 11:58:41 AM
They're Kelly Take-Offs. I say a home-made cyclocross bike using them.

AGE / VALUE:   raliegh record posted by: niCk on 8/24/2000 at 3:57:14 PM
reliegh record: white, girls frame/two top tubes going all the way to the rear lugs. steel rims with roughed braking surface. wienman brake set/centerpulls 610 front brake 750 rear brake. simplex plastic shift group. aluminum handle bars. serial # nk5071913 (i could'nt find the year at this website). made in nottingham england. can anyone tell me how much its worth--(ten bucks at goodwill).

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   raliegh record posted by Keith on 8/28/2000 at 6:36:31 AM
I have the same bike in blue. I hate to be a wet blanket, but my non-expert opinion is that a low-end model like the Record is not collectable and it's worth lies in the fact that with proper care and adjustment it can be a fun bike to ride on bike paths and short club rides (say 25 miles or so). In very good condition I'd say it's worth $30 or so. Fix it up and give it to a nice lady in need of a good retro machine.

MISC:   COMMUTE! posted by: Art on 8/24/2000 at 6:59:49 AM
Back to work teaching high school in Phoenix. First commute of the 'season.' Even though its hot...and really humid today..it felt (and feels) wonderful. Check in with oldroads as I change clothes. Kids already beating on my door, but I won't open it until I'm done. Keep my bike in my room. All this good feeling and I still have a ride home to look forward to that will carry me through the day. Life is great.

   RE:MISC:   COMMUTE! posted by Keith on 8/24/2000 at 7:25:42 AM
I'm right there with you Art -- commuting is how I keep my health and sanity! I feel invigorated when I get to work, and look forward to the ride home in the evening. It's where most of my miles come from these days.

   aerobic commuting & health posted by John E on 8/24/2000 at 1:18:03 PM
Since my undergrad days, I have almost always included some
combination of walking, jogging, and/or cycling in my daily

Some 30 years ago, I read a news story about a Norwegian
factory worker who made a miraculous recovery after being
badly burned in an industrial accident. His doctors credited
his high level of cardiovascular fitness, a byproduct of
several years of daily bicycle commuting.

FOR SALE:   Suntour Superbe Pro Brakeset posted by: Jim on 8/24/2000 at 6:16:00 AM
NOS Suntour Superbe Pro Calipers (hidden return spring) and Levers in the original bags. Early - mid '80's vintage $45

   RE:FOR SALE:   Suntour Superbe Pro Brakeset posted by Scott Smith on 8/27/2000 at 4:43:59 PM
Jim, I'm interested in the calipers, if they have the tan colored adjusting 'O'ring and the tan (reddish really) brake pads. Do the levers have the rubber hoods? Are they stamped Superbe?

   RE:FOR SALE:   Suntour Superbe Pro Brakeset posted by Mike on 8/27/2000 at 8:20:41 PM
I'm interested in the Superbe Pro brakes and levers.

   RE:RE:FOR SALE:   Suntour Superbe Pro Brakeset posted by Scott Smith on 8/27/2000 at 9:59:46 PM
Do you need the calipers as well or just the levers? I have a set of Superbe levers and am just searching for new calipers. Maybe we can work something out if all you need are levers

   RE:RE:RE:FOR SALE:   Suntour Superbe Pro Brakeset posted by Mike on 8/30/2000 at 10:36:33 AM
Scott, I need both. Although, I have a guy in Dallas who says he has calipers but they're missing the barrels. Not sure what he means by barrels. Any thoughts?

   RE:RE:RE:RE:FOR SALE:   Suntour Superbe Pro Brakeset posted by Scott Smith on 8/30/2000 at 5:46:49 PM
Mike, The barrels refer to the adjusting barrels. And I have two of those! Let me know what condition these are in and how much this guys wants for them. Thanks

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   1950s Peugeot Randonneur posted by: Keith on 8/24/2000 at 6:07:12 AM
Francophiles and Peugeot fans -- MUST SEE # 417338859 on Ebay (not mine). A real piece of history!

   outstanding! posted by John E on 8/24/2000 at 1:20:25 PM
Thank you for the heads-up. What a rare find!

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Campy 'O'ring pedal spindle posted by: Scott Smith on 8/23/2000 at 1:13:42 PM
O.K. guys here's a weird one. Picked up a pair of 1037 Campy pedals and upon disassembly to re-grease I discovered that the spindle doesn't have the usual counter rotating threads to expel dirt but instead has a rubber 'O' ring. The spindle is marked as usual with Brev Camp, S, 9/16X20, though the threads that go into the crank are shorter than the threads on my other pair of 1037's. Anybody ever come across these? They baffled Chuck Schmidt so I'm concerned. Anyone? Anyone?

AGE / VALUE:    posted by: Keith on 8/23/2000 at 10:32:51 AM
I think the quality of 27" tires is much better than it was in the 70s, although the selection is now limited. I've had good luck with Continental Super Sports, but I've heard they droped that line -- a rumor, so I'm not sure. I use Specialized Armadillos for my main commuting bike, and used with Tuffy tire lines they are invulerable, but they don't ride as well as the Contis. I've heard on this site that the Dutch brand Vredstien (sp?) 27" are great, but I have no personal experience with them. Sheldon Brown recommends a particular brand he carries at Harris -- his advice is always good -- check www.sheldonbrown.com. You do well the avoid the chunky, cheapo department store stuff -- the beads are not made to decent tolerences, are often sloppy and they ride terrible -- maybe okay for an erand bike but not a fine machine.

MISC:   what kind of tires??? suggestions please posted by: ken on 8/22/2000 at 4:48:51 PM
well, it's time to put new tires on my 70's Crescent. I ride
this thing so i don't want 27 x 1 1/4. It came with tubulars.
I had it changed to clincher rims back in 1982. "Super Competition
Champion" are the rims ?????? Anyway, the 2 of 3 LBS's here
tried to sell me cheap 27 x 1 1/4 tires. I want the good stuff.
Finally one guy fesses up and tells me 700c will work just fine.
Gee, that would open up a whole new range of tires. i like the
Continental with the blue stripe but color is certainly not
my primary concern. I am riding a few times per week, we have
some great hills here so speed and sticky are factors. Wear
is not too much of a concern. occasional wet (rain) use is
though. please let me know your recommendations. there is
simply too much for me to catch up to before i can make
an informed decision (i've been out of this for 25 years)
thanks guys/girls

   RE:MISC:   what kind of tires??? suggestions please posted by Oscar on 8/23/2000 at 9:57:06 AM
If you want to use 700c tires, you must get a pair of 700c wheels. Otherwise, a 700c tire will not fit on a 27" rim. Quality 27" tires are hard to find, but I've seen these tires in 1 1/4", 1 1/8", and 1" width from Performance Bicycles. These are pretty good quality tires at a reasonable price.

700c tires are more commonly available, and widen your choice of widths, tread, durabilty, and (yes) colors.

   RE:MISC:   what kind of tires??? suggestions please posted by Keith on 8/23/2000 at 10:46:47 AM
Oops! Look at the posting above, and the correct spelling is Vredestein.

   RE:MISC:   what kind of tires??? suggestions please posted by Brian L. on 8/23/2000 at 3:09:30 PM
I've had good success with IRC brand. I think that they are Taiwanese, if that matters. They come in a variety of tread patterns, in 1-3/8" and 1-1/4" x 27" sizes. Casings are pretty supple. All makes are wire beads, so they're a little heavier than kevlar, but any bike with 27" wheels isn't going to be some super-light, super-trick ride anyway.

   27" tyres @ Schwinn shops posted by john.eldon@nctimes.net on 8/23/2000 at 3:41:17 PM
Ken, if your rim really is 27"/ISO630 and not 700C, then you
do need a 27x1, 27x1-1/8, 27x1-1/4, or 27x1-3/8 tyre,
depending on the width of the rim (as always, see
SheldonBrown.com) and your own cycling needs. (I have a bike
or wheelset for each of these four widths!) I can still
almost always find the 27" tyre I want at my local Schwinn

   RE:27 posted by Tom Faust on 8/24/2000 at 5:40:49 PM
I just bought a small supply of NOS 30 year old Michelin 27X1 1/4. Is there any problem with tires this old. The appearance is perfect.

   old tyres posted by John E on 8/25/2000 at 1:31:59 PM
As you use the tyres, watch for rotting, cracks, bubbles,
etc., in the sidewalls, particularly near the bead. As long
as the sidewalls look good, you are probably safe. If the
rubber has stiffened with age (likely), the sidewalls will
probably develop cracks and other flaws before the tread
wears out. Of course, Michelins are good tyres, and if they
have been stored properly (away from sunlight, heat, and
smog), you may get pretty good use out of them.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Sekei vs. Sekai posted by: Brian L. on 8/22/2000 at 12:21:07 PM
I know that this topic has been discussed before, but I am curious about the Sekei bicycle company (not Sekai). I just saw a beautiful late 70's, early 80's model in a second hand store. Original components included 700c wheels with lf record hubs, Shimano 600 brakes/shifters. Derailleurs had been upgraded to early 105. Classic Italian geometry, no eyelets of any kind. Couldn't see any tubing sticker, but the lug work had been filed and was elegant and crisp. I know that this bike isn't "worth" much, as evidenced by the $150 price tag in near mint condition, but the quality seemed quite high. Can anyone tell me about this company and if it still exists?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Sekei vs. Sekai posted by Keith on 8/24/2000 at 6:11:42 AM
I don't know the brand, but there's an "SR" (Sekai or Sekei Royal?) on Ebay right now that sounds similar. It has the old Shimano 600 friction stuff with the wacky fancy scrollwork. #413695794

AGE / VALUE:   Fuji Newest circa 1976 posted by: Scott Smith on 8/22/2000 at 9:54:00 AM
Just picked up a used bike with obliterated headbadge and blue foil wrapped headtube and seat tube. It had enough going for it to interest me including a barely discernible "Newest" in faded script on the top tube. I knew this was a Fuji and as I recall was their second tier bike under the "Finest". I stripped away the foil and there is was: FUJI. The bike is silver with brown panels.Anyone have any ideas about other color options or catalogs? I seem to remember that this bike came in red/white panels as well. The frame is marked Fuju 331 Chro-Moly which I suspect is Isiwata DB. Anyone have any history with this bike? A test ride confirmed that it handles great (Similiar to my Bianchi Super). Thanks.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Fuji Newest circa 1976 posted by Keith on 8/22/2000 at 10:38:04 AM
The Cycles de Oro site (www.cyclesdeoro.com) has a Classic Japanese section which includes a Newest, which appear to be all silver with no contrasting panels or headtube. (While you're there, go read Frank Berto's article "Sunset for Suntour" linked to that site.) We've talked a fair amount about Japanese bikes lately -- scroll down. To sum up my thoughts on them, they are well-made, undervalued, and not very collectable (except maybe something really unusual, like 3Rensho, or top-end models, etc.) The Newest was a better-than-average model, and Michael Kone of Bicycle Classics actually goes so far as to say that one in great condition is worth $300 in his "Wild Guesses" list.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Mafac brakes posted by: Eric Amlie on 8/22/2000 at 8:44:20 AM
Does anyone know what the differences were between the Mafac "Racer" brakes and the Mafac "Competition" brakes? Also which are the "better" brakes? I see many "Racer" brakes but noticed that my '71 Gitane "Tour de France" has the "Competition" brakes on it. Thanks

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Mafac brakes posted by Brian L. on 8/22/2000 at 12:18:35 PM
I'm no Mafac expert, but I believe that there are few differences between the "Racer" and "Competition" models. I believe that the individual components of the calipers were rather cheaply formed - cast rather than forged. I have been happy with the performance however. These brakes have no provision to set toe-in, so I have found that the best method is just to carefully been the caliper arms. The early models with brass bushing, instead of the later, and more common red plastic kind, are more durable and accurate.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Mafac brakes posted by ChristopherRobin on 8/22/2000 at 12:45:33 PM
The Compettion brakes would sell before the racer ones would. These are good brakes, I love them, and am addicted to them.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Mafac brakes posted by Skip Echert on 8/31/2000 at 8:56:48 PM
A related Mafac brake caliper that looks like a "Racer" says simply "Dural Forge" on the calipers. I believe this version predates the Racer and Competition. Does anyone know for sure? and what dates this type covers? Thanks!

MISC:   Sachs 7spd in Dawes Galaxy posted by: Tom Faust on 8/21/2000 at 8:24:03 PM
I am installing a Sachs 7 speed hub in my Dawes. Unfortunately it didn't come with instructions. On the axle opposite the sprocket/drive side are two nuts. One seems to lock the other. I am having a hard time forcing it in. Is the second nut necessary?

   RE:MISC:   Sachs 7spd in Dawes Galaxy posted by Tom Faust on 8/21/2000 at 8:28:43 PM
To state a little more clearly, I am having trouble forcing it into the dropouts. It appears necessary to spread them.

   RE:MISC:   Sachs 7spd in Dawes Galaxy posted by Keith on 8/22/2000 at 6:02:47 AM
I have no experience with Sachs epicyclic hubs. I wonder, however, if the second nut is a "jam nut" or otherwise serves the purpose of an anti-rotation washer, by ensuring a very tight fit against the dropout. I'd go to the source of the hub, or ask Sheldon Brown. When you say you need to spread the droputs do you mean that you need to spread the syas farther apart, or that you need to open the dropout itself to accomodate the axle/nut? There are good instructions on cold-setting stays in the archives of the British Roadster section.

   RE:MISC:   Sachs 7spd in Dawes Galaxy posted by Hilary Stone on 8/22/2000 at 10:53:14 AM
I am not surprised you are having problems as the Sachs 7-speed hubs are 135mm over their locknuts. The second nut you describe is essential and is the locknut which prevents the cone moving. It is also essential to fit the anti-rotation washers. However it should be easy to get the chainstays spread and the the the dropouts aligned to accomodate the Sachs hub.

   Thank You Keith and Hilary posted by Tom Faust on 8/22/2000 at 4:50:35 PM
I appreciate your responses. I assumed that the second nut was a lock-nut. And, I do have the anti-rotation locking washers. As opposed to spreading the stays, I may substitute thinner nuts. The "failure to fit" is slight.