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Archived: Vintage Lightweights

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Jaguar posted by: Don on 2/26/2001 at 6:29:45 AM
I came across a bike and was wondering if anyone knows anything about these. It's a jaguar with a lugged frame and a sticker that says it was made in Western Germany. As I am just a guy who rides alot and occassionally acquires the old/odd bike I am just learning, so if this is the German Huffy please don't laugh me into exile. Thanks for your time.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Jaguar posted by Art on 2/26/2001 at 7:39:00 AM
What components? Wheel size? etc.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Jaguar posted by Don on 2/26/2001 at 3:09:57 PM
26" tires, not sure of the width. this one was just a single speed ladies frame model, but the bike was fairly nice. I was just wondering about the Jaguar brand, history, etc. I will go back and get a little more detail and based on what You guys say I may buy it. Thanks alot.

AGE / VALUE:   Mavic SSC rims posted by: Warren on 2/25/2001 at 7:25:01 PM
I just picked up a pair of 36 hole Mavic SSC rims...blue anodized "Speciale de Corsa" or something like that. The guy called them Paris-Roubaix's but I don't see a sticker saying that. I know "tub" rims are a dime a dozen but this wrench who gave them to me insists they are still special. They are used...the anodizing is pretty much gone on the sides but they came off a guys Bianchi who wanted clinchers and they were dead straight when they were cut off the hubs. Are they special...should I save them for a rainy day...are they still worth something or does anyone want them? So many questions...

   metal fatigue, rim sidewall wear posted by John E on 2/25/2001 at 8:20:31 PM
I have to harp on my favourite topic: component failure. If these rims have seen alot of miles, as the worn-off anodizing may indicate, check them very carefully for cracks and excessive sidewall wear. Most wheel builders will not touch used rims or spokes.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Mavic SSC rims posted by ron on 2/27/2001 at 5:51:32 PM
Warren, those SSC rims are indeed worth keeping. An old magazine I have shows that they sold for $100 per pair, when even the excellent Mavic GL-330 rims sold for $40 per pair. They were heat-treated and considered bullet-proof. I would keep them as they were somewhat rare even in the mid-eighties.

AGE / VALUE:   rene herse demontable posted by: david on 2/24/2001 at 5:51:03 PM
Hi I was wondering how much a rene Herse Demontable would be worth. Thanks.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   rene herse demontable posted by Art on 2/26/2001 at 6:11:05 AM
I have some info about this bike, but your email address came back as undeliverable. Art

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   rene herse demontable posted by desmo on 3/3/2001 at 4:56:01 PM
There is a Hearse demountable up currently on ebay. This will give you a good idea of what one will fetch:


AGE / VALUE:   Nishiki Olympic 12 posted by: Danny McCarty on 2/23/2001 at 6:52:08 PM
I picked up this bike at a Salvation Army thrift store today and could use some general info. I had to smuggle the bike into the garage as not to arouse the wifes gander about another bike. A man needs a little variety even if it means owning a fleet of bikes. The bike is outfitted with suntour components. Any information or search areas would be appreciated.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Nishiki Olympic 12 posted by Skip Echert on 2/23/2001 at 10:15:01 PM
Hello Danny -
Can you tell us more about the bike? What derailleurs, what crank? etc. Nishiki has been around a long time and has changed hands a few times. I recall an Olympic 12 in the late 70's at about their mid-level. Nice bike, should last a long time. In my view, sitting unused with moisture in the bearings is what does the old(er) ones in.

I can identify with your wife's lack of full support for additional bike acquisitions. I suggest shuffling them around so it is harder to keep track of them.



   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Nishiki Olympic 12 posted by Oscar on 2/24/2001 at 11:26:30 AM
Paint all your bikes the same color. That'll fool her.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Nishiki Olympic 12 posted by Wings on 2/24/2001 at 3:09:23 PM
I drive around with them in my Pickup.
The shell has dark tinted glass -- No one knows!

     Nishiki Olympic 12 posted by John E on 2/25/2001 at 7:04:43 AM
Yes, please post component inventory, weight, and serial number. When introduced in the early 1970s, the first-generation Olympic was an overweight 34-lb. klunker, but the marque improved significantly over the years. I think the Oly-12s came out in the late 1970s and had aluminum cranks and somewhat lighter frames than the originals. Check for a CrMo badge near the top of the seat tube.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Nishiki Olympic 12 posted by Danny McCarty on 2/26/2001 at 6:34:10 PM
A little more information on the Nishiki. The frame is Crmo
weighing 27 lbs with seamless PG tubes by Tange Industries L.T.D.,Hand crafted Kawamara. The brakes are dia comp side pulls with quick release. Suntour arx on the front and rear derailer. Serial number KC05091. The bike is in excellent shape as is the black paint with gold accents. The quality and feel remind me of my schwinn super letour. Thank you Skip and John for your interest.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Nishiki Olympic 12 posted by Danny McCarty on 2/26/2001 at 6:40:24 PM
The crank is Surgino GT and the rims are Araya.

   Nishiki Olympic 12 posted by John E on 2/27/2001 at 9:00:47 AM
The bike sounds like a keeper, assuming it fits your needs and your body. Kawamura was the American Eagle / Nishiki framebuilder during the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, and the KX##### serial number format (K, a second letter, five digits) is typical. My 1971 American Eagle SemiPro was KS78091. If the second letter denotes the year (just a guess on my part, based on Schwinn's system), and if they started over after reaching Z (=1978), then your bike would be an early 1981, which is also consistent with the 12 speeds and the sidepull brakes. (Actually, 1980 is a better guess. I bought my bike in March 1971, and its high serial number would logically denote a late-1970 production date. A massive dock strike on the west coast delayed alot of shipments. It took my LBS three weeks to scrounge my 23" Semi-Pro, and it needed a front wheel and a brazed-on brake cable stop.)

Tange is a well-regarded maker of bicycle tubes and headsets, and Araya is one of the big names in bike rims. My '71 had double-butted CrMo tubing from Ishiwata, a brand name I haven't heard for awhile.

Matsushita (Panasonic, Technics, National, etc.) built the LeTour frames for Schwinn. If you have not already done so, be sure to read Sheldon Brown's positive comments regarding Japanese frames of the 1980s and 1990s.

   RE:Nishiki Olympic 12 posted by Skip Echert on 2/28/2001 at 10:42:39 PM
Hello Danny and John -
John - your 1981 date is supported by the ARX derailleur. Frank Berto in his "Dancing Chain" book says the ARX first appeared in 1981.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   your favorite commuter posted by: Dennis McLean on 2/23/2001 at 9:43:03 AM
Forgive me if my story is long. Irode a heavyweight and middle weight until I got my drivers liscense for cars and motorcyles. then in the spring of 82 or autumn of the same year I had 4 days off from work. I rode my motorcycle to carbondale, IL. I noticed a dramatic increase in the number of coeds riding bicycles. So i took my motorcycle to the nearest dealer and took what they gave me to one of the bicycle shops in town and told them what i had to spend on a bicycle. They let me ride some. I bought a Trek 720. I have had it ever since. Just keep enjoying riding what is comfortable for youself.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   your favorite commuter posted by Keith on 2/26/2001 at 11:25:31 AM
Of all the things men do to impress women, at least cycling is healthy.

AGE / VALUE:   wood wheel womens bike value? posted by: richard like on 2/22/2001 at 8:21:40 AM
I have the opportunity to purchase an old girls bike, with leather covered spring seat, and wood wheels. I ahve never purchased a bike of this kind, and don't know how to value it. The frame is quite rusty, but in good shape. I can't see any writing on it, but there is gold scroll markings on the fork neck, the frame pipe from the seat to the pedals, and the inside frame pipe from the neck to the pedals. It has narrow tires (approximately 1 1/2") that are light red with white sidewalls. I thought they were hard rubber, but saw the bike again yesterday and see there is a valve stem coming through the rim. The frame appears to be a reddish brown or marroon color.
Can anyone help me determine what it's worth? I need to know before Sunday the 25th. Appreciate any help you can give.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   wood wheel womens bike value? posted by Keith on 2/22/2001 at 11:26:32 AM
You need to ask this question in the Hi-Wheeler, Boneshaker and Safety discussion area.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   wood wheel womens bike value? posted by Wings on 2/22/2001 at 10:21:41 PM
My first bike had wooden rimms!!!!
Is the head name badge missing? If it is can you at least see a faded section that could indicate the shape of the badge? Some badges were so unique that the paint discoloration could identify it!
No, I have never ridden a "Bone shaker!"

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   wood wheel womens bike value? posted by sam on 2/23/2001 at 5:48:12 AM
Sounds like a single tub tire bike.The tire and tub are one .These tires are still made but very expencive--about $125 each.I'd check out ebay for these type of bikes.The chain gard and front sproket might held ID the make.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   wood wheel womens bike value? posted by Art on 2/23/2001 at 6:25:51 AM
Some more thoughts. Does it have both fenders? metal or wood? Does it have pedals? Does it have any kind of braking system? Rear coaster brake? What kind? Metal or wooden handlebars? Cork grips? Chainguard? metal or wood strung with twine? Are the tires 26' or 28'? As far as value goes hundreds of small American bike makers put out lines of bikes around the turn of the century into the twenties. Some have more value than others, often based on maker (badge name) or condition and completeness. As an 'antigue'for yourself, value is what you want to pay for it, (or can get it for) and if you like the bike you'll be happy. I've seen generic bikes like this go from $50 a pop at a swap meet to sitting in an antigue store with a $500 price tag on it. That it is a girl's bike lessens its resale value. Also IMHO it seems that bikes of this generation, esp girls, and esp incomplete specimens aren't particular sought after by collectors. On the other hand complete, unigue originals seem, in the right venue, to hold their own. At what price is the bike being offered? What are you thinking of spending for it?

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Fun Ebay stuff posted by: Keith on 2/21/2001 at 10:02:02 AM
Two fun items, neither are mine: (1) NIB Simplex TDF rear derailleur -- with shifter, cable, and instructions -- looks truly mint. (2) And speaking of kid-sized lightweights -- Gitane with drop bars, 3-speed derailleur, and 22" (that's right, 22") wheels - never seen one of these before.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   What is your favorite commuter bike? posted by: Mike Stone on 2/19/2001 at 8:26:39 PM
What is your favorite commuter bike? I have about ten bikes that I commute with regularly depending on weather and how much stuff I have to carry.

All said, though, the Schwinn Varsity is probably the best.

It isn't as light as some of my other road bikes, but it sure takes the abuse. Best of all, it really dampens out the bumps. For a smooth ride good in wind and other rougher conditions, the Varsity (and probably the Continental) is really nice commuter bike.

Also, it doesn't have a super high street value, so you don't have to fret about the abuse it takes nor do you have to worry too much about it getting ripped off.

What is your favorite commuter machine?


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   What is your favorite commuter bike? posted by desmo on 2/20/2001 at 12:19:29 AM
With all due respect take it from someone who has owned and ridden them, those tank-like Schwinns are absolutely dreadful commuters. Heavy beyond any reason, unresponsive and eqipped with dreadful componentry. I do most of my commuing on a ten year old generic Taiwan mountain bike with an XT gruppo hung on a Columbus SL OR tigged frame. Ugly beyond words and thus practically worthless, unlikely as hell to be stolen, reasonable weight at '23lbs., bombproof reliability... In every way I can reckon massively superior to a Varsinental as a real world ride.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   What is your favorite commuter bike? posted by Brian L. on 2/20/2001 at 5:10:01 AM
I'm with you on that one. Why suffer through a ride, even, or especially a commute? My best all-weather bike is my swap-meet '68 Bob Jackson with a grab-bag of parts including some Zeus, some Deore stuff, triple front and clipless. Lately I've been enjoying the Mercier I got from Art in trade, and when the weather is good I'll start riding my cherry '76 Marinoni or my 70's Mercian.

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   What is your favorite commuter bike? posted by Cam on 2/20/2001 at 5:41:40 AM
An old Raleigh 3-speed.

If it ain't got fenders and lighting, it ain't a commuter bike...

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   What is your favorite commuter bike? posted by Keith on 2/20/2001 at 6:19:52 AM
For a couple of years I rode mostly English 3-speeds for commuting, and I'd have to say that all around a stock 26" wheel Raleigh Sports is the best city bike ever made -- best compromise in terms of weight, durability, ease of use, handling, comfort, upright position, comes with solid mudguards, etc. 3-speeds are also great because you can shift while stopped, the enclosed gears are weather proof, and totally reliable. Plus you can pick them up at garage sales for $20 or less. I've also enjoyed using a Raleigh DL-1 with 28" wheels, 46" wheelbase, 67 degree seat tube angle, sprung Brooks B-66, and rod brakes -- super comfy -- but the reduced stopping power of rod brakes and the less nimble handling makes this a better choice for quiet bike paths than busy city streets. All this being said, for about the past year I've been riding mostly lightweights to work -- I enjoy the greater responsiveness and the feel. My main commuter is a mid-1980s Trek 400 with Vista lights, 700 x 32 Avocet Cross tires, and a large Carradice saddlebag. But I switch back and forth, and that's one of the nice things about having several different commuter bikes.

   classy classic Capo commuter posted by John E on 2/20/2001 at 8:39:55 AM
I have tried them all, but my favorite is my 41"-wheelbased ca. 1960 full Reynolds 531 road bike, with 27 x 1-1/4" tyres, aluminum rims and cranks, 1.5-step 12-speed 40-100" gearing, traditional road quill pedals with clips, Weinmann centerpulls with KoolStop pads and levers that fit my hands, Brooks Professional saddle, Pletscher "mousetrap" rear rack, and full lightweight plastic mudguards. The spaghetti stays and soft main triangle get whippy if one overloads the rack or does not pedal smoothly, but the frame and 32mm tyres are very forgiving on bumps. This bike is always fun to ride.

I did commute on a mid-1970s Varsity for a couple of years. With my changes to aluminum rims, KoolStop pads, toe clips, downtube shifters, and a 6-speed freewheel, it was surprisingly competent, but I switched to a 10-pounds-lighter mid-70s Peugeot U0-8 after I got tired of being passed on my daily grind up a 12-percent grade. However, the Peugeot cracked a chainstay four years later, and I have never heard of a fatigue failure on a Varsinental frame or crank!

Another memorable commuter was my old 12-speed Hercules. Its "best of both worlds" 3-speed S-A hub, 40T chainring, and 14-16-18-20 cogset gave me both stationary downshifting and reasonably tight gear ratios over a 40-100" range.

   RE:Commuter posted by Art on 2/20/2001 at 12:22:31 PM
I've commuted using a straight road bike, a mid-range Bianchi, a retro road, a French Mercier, and an early Bridgestone mountain bike. Because of the terrain I have to naviagate, bike paths, dirt canal banks, potholed city streets and curb/sidewalk hopping, I prefer a mountain bike style bike. Currently I've been riding a late 90's aluminum Diamondback Zetec. I know a lot of riders hate aluminum, and it took some getting used to it for me, but I like it. It's a hardtail and I have a Blackburn rear rack with Jandd panniers. I'm not sure if I'll use the Hercules I'm working on to commute, I might, but my next big commuter project will be doing something different with an interesting frame and 26" wheels.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   What is your favorite commuter bike? posted by ron on 2/20/2001 at 5:08:12 PM
I have several favorites, all of them lightweights from the mid 1980's and all of them running a fixed gear drivetrain. Indeed, I prefer fixers for just about all my riding.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   What is your favorite commuter bike? posted by Brian L. on 2/20/2001 at 5:15:10 PM
You hard core, you.

   fixed gear posted by John E on 2/20/2001 at 6:59:02 PM
Various people ride, and praise, fixed-gear bikes. I owned an old Swedish track bike briefly, but did not keep it long enough to get comfortable with the concept. (Physically, I am an excruciatingly slow learner.) In traffic, on hills (my passion), and even just for cruising, I am a hard-core gearhead. I really like having at least a 2:1 range of ratios, spaced within about 7 percent of one another. Sometime I would like to try out one of those rare Sturmey-Archer 3-speed fixed-gear hubs, or the 2-speed fixed coversion Sheldon reprinted on his website.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   What is your favorite commuter bike? posted by Keith on 2/21/2001 at 6:32:43 AM
Fixed gear used to be standard for early season training. The old Cinelli Manual called for a progression of gears, starting the season in a gear in the low 60 inches. I did this for a couple of years when I was young. I had a track bike (Peugeot -- still have it) and built a separate fixed gear bike for training when I was about 14. Eventually I put a generator and fenders on the fixed gear bike and used it for -- what else? -- COMMUTING. I considered the foolproof dependability and simplicity a big plus -- the most reliable gear shifting mechanisim is no gear shifting mechanism. In recent years my pattern is to build a fixed gear bike, ride it for a couple of years, and then sell it to a friend who wants one. I've done club rides of 50-60 miles on them, but have never done a century on one. Aside from being fun, I think that like riding rollers, the dicipline of riding fixed gear is a basic skill that enhances good form. Like the 3-speeds and other bikes, they provide variety and fun. But when I'm tired at the end of the day, and I'm climbing out of the river valley to get home, it's nice to be able to shift to a lower gear.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   What is your favorite commuter bike? posted by Oscar on 2/21/2001 at 4:19:12 PM
I fried my Schwinn Speedster this winter just riding it through the salty slush. I'm not religious about wiping down a rider, and the chromed steel components took a beating. The paint was distressed, and the bare areas are now angry red with rust. (I've had this bike for 26 years. Its now apart for the repainting)

My other riders have done better with their alloy and aluminum components.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:What is your favorite commuter bike? posted by Mike Stone on 2/22/2001 at 5:33:32 AM
Yup, I know what a lot of you dudes are talking about when you say the Varsity is heavy. There is no question about that.

The thing is that my commute road is a collections of cracks, bumps, ice, and unavoidable poor road surface. Some of the other lightweights just couldn't handle the bumps (and neither could my lower back. The Varsity is just so damp - for a racing "style" bike, it sure sucks up the rough.

By the way, I agree that a commuter bike needs fenders and, amazingly, my Varsity does have 'em.

The really cool thing, though, is to see that a lot of the guys on this forum are bicycle commuters. It would be neat if we all lived in the same town and could make an impressive bicycling commuter trane.


   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:What is your favorite commuter bike? posted by Jason on 2/22/2001 at 5:52:22 AM
The beauty about the cyclists on this forum is they don't seem to be of the technospandexbigbux bent. Some guys I ride with are only into the latest stuff and have no knowledge or appreciation of bicycles other than seeing them as status symbols purchased with a credit card.

Ahh, I have vented!

   technospandexbigbux posted by John E on 2/22/2001 at 1:31:39 PM
Yes, the contributors to this website are a great bunch of human beings who really know, love, and practice all dimensions of our hobby/sport. Also, those of us who ride heavy commuting bikes every weekday usually pass a few technospandexbigbux folk on any given Sunday.

I disliked one local San Diego newspaper writer's classification of all cyclists as either technospandexbigbux or beach cruisers, which omits the broad middle ground occupied by "vintage lightweights," commuters, and others who simultaneously address their needs for transportation and recreation.

   RE:technospandexbigbux posted by Mike Stone on 2/22/2001 at 6:41:11 PM
You know, the guys that I see regularly on bikes, i.e. bicycle commuters, don't ride fancy schmancy bikes. They ride either older then speeds or newer low-end mountain bikes.

I used to wonder where all the expensive bikes were ending up until I went on an organized "eat while you ride" gourmet sponsored ride. Aha! There they were; weekend warriors who drove their bikes to "bicycle appropriate" trails for, yes Jeeves, the sport of bicycling.

Just as John E pointed out, I was passing up many of the technospandexbigbutts on my three speed Huffy commuter. Ya, I know I could have represented the retro crowd better with a different bike, but the Huffy has a BIG basket and I was with my young son.


   RE:RE:technospandexbigbux posted by Wings on 2/22/2001 at 10:28:51 PM
Well, it would have to be a Schwinn Varsity that I purchased used in 1963! I was a runner and that bike got me to where I would run. It got me through grad school in Eugene, Oregon when my wife had the car I just rode all over. The Varsity served me well! Everytime I had an injury that kept me from running, I was on the Varsity. It was built like a tank and went everywhere and I was into exercise not light weight. I don't commute by bike, but if I did, I would ride an old micky moused cross bike.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   What is your favorite commuter bike? posted by sam on 2/23/2001 at 5:47:03 PM
I was standing on the crub weating for the light to change when an old man (what 65 plus?)raced past me.Almost took my breath away,the chrome springer on that old monark gleeming in the hot Mexican sun.Though to myself how many years had that bike made that trip to town and back?the monark must have been over 50 years old,and he was leading the cars---that old varsity of mine ant so heavy after all---sam

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Raleigh Sports 3 speed posted by: Rans Freschen on 2/19/2001 at 8:06:54 PM
I am fairly new to the bicycle collection/repair world and I was wondering if someone could tell me about a bicycle I recently was given. It is a fairly old looking Raleigh bicycle in pretty good shape. It says "Raleigh Sports" on the frame and "Raleigh" on the chain guard. It has a leather saddle with a "Brooks" name plate on the back. It has a "Sturmey Archer" 3 speed shifter. There is a decal on the back fender which says "The Raleigh. Nottingham England" with a goose head and neck coming off the top of it. The front fender has a ridge/fin on it with a silver cap on the end of it and the back fender has a protruding reflector coming off of it. There are four gold bands around the seat tube and there are small "r" decals on the tops of the seat stay tubes. Hopefully this is enough info to tell me what year and bike this is? I appreciate any help. Thanks Rans

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:Raleigh Sports 3 speed posted by Mike Stone on 2/19/2001 at 8:50:43 PM
Assuming that your rear hub is the original hub, the easiest way to date your bike is to look on the Sturmey Archer rear hub itself. The date is stamped into it.

I guess you have a coaster brake on the hub as well - lucky fellow.

Ride with pleasure. You have a nice bike. Put some good three-speed hub oil in the hub. Pete's tenacious oil is good. Others can be had at a good bike store as well.

This would be a good time to clean and regrease your front hub and crank as well. The bike has free bearings, so take the hubs and crank apart over a blanket to catch the bearings.



   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:Raleigh Sports 3 speed posted by sam on 2/19/2001 at 11:26:12 PM
Singer sewing machine oil works good also--sam

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Raleigh Sports 3 speed posted by Keith on 2/20/2001 at 6:23:43 AM
Go to Sheldon Brown's site -- he has several really wonderful articles about these great utilitarian bikes. Also visit the English Roadster discussion here. BTW, collector value is nil unless it's 1950s or earlier and has enclosed chaincase and/or rod brakes. Nevertheless, enjoy!

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Raleigh Sports 3 speed posted by Keith on 2/20/2001 at 7:16:06 AM
P.S. If your hub indicates 1970s, and the "R" you describe is a stylized one about an inch or so tall, then it could be a "Rampar" Raleigh. Some time back in the English Roadster disscussion area someone gave a second hand account that Rampar Raleigh frames were actually made in China using old Raleigh tooling, then shipped to England for assembly, complete with the "Made in England" sticker. I cannot confirm this.

AGE / VALUE:   Bianchi record posted by: Schwinnderella on 2/17/2001 at 6:06:20 PM
Bought a Bianchi Record today ,would appreciate any info. Here is what I know... Late60's?, #66628 stamped at top of seat tube, Centerpull calipers universal 61,Weinman levers,Neat Ideal leather saddle copper rivets Ideal on each rivet,Huret Deraillers and levers, High flange hubs marked Bianche,San Remo steel wheels,Cottered cranks arms marked Bianchi,Rivetted headbadge,Bottom half of fork chrome,back halves of chain and seat stays chrome, Campy seatpost ( three positions to adjust seat front or back , this looks newer than the rest of the components),Unmarked alloy stem and bars, Wrong pedals, about half of the seat tube chrome middle of tube,Blue, Large funky chrome lugs at headtube which also seem to be the upper and lower headtube races(cups). I think this is a low end bike. Can you tell me more? I did not pay much and I would have paid as much for just the seat and post. Thanks Schwinnderella

   Bianchi record posted by John E on 2/18/2001 at 10:06:20 AM
Yes it is definitely a 1960s bike, probably more mid- than low-level. The bearing races integrated into the head tube lugs was a Bianchi trademark for many years. Half-chrome seat stays were *very* rare on low-end equipment, although lots of bikes had half-chrome forks. Are there any Columbus or TreTubi decals, which would indicate a good pedigree for the frame material? Does it have name-brand dropouts and an integrated derailleur hanger, also signs of higher-end frames?

For comparison, my bottom-of-the-line 1962 Bianchi Corsa had no derailleur hanger, no chrome on the stays or lugs, Huret Allvit derailleurs, Bianchi steel cranks, and Universal steel sidepulls. The top-of-the-line Specialissimas (great bikes!) were full Campy, with Universal center pull brakes. Yours definitely sounds somewhere in between.

   serial number posted by John E on 2/18/2001 at 12:08:54 PM
Actually, my Corsa was a 1963 model. My serial number (top of the seat tube, as on my 1982 Bianchi) was 2F51073. It retailed for $55 in December 1962, about $10-15 less than a Schwinn Varsity, which had the same Huret Allvit derailleurs and 10 pounds more weight. My Bianchi-labeled leather saddle looked suspiciously like an Ideale. My frame had a conventional Magistroni headset, rather than the integrated affair.

   RE:serial number posted by schwinnderella on 2/18/2001 at 1:21:42 PM
Hi john Thanks for your kind reply. My bike also has allvit derailleurs , no integrated hanger, no decal indicating material , no name brand dropouts. I am not too familiar with 10 speeds, my expreience is primarily with balloon tire bikes. I had considered parting this out if it was a low end bike,however as you seem to think it is better than that I think I will clean it up and ride it . Paint and chrome are still pretty good and it is a ok size for me. Did Bianchi use the integrated lug and headset deal on high end bikes. It seems to me to be a real low dollar approach. thanks

   Bianchi posted by John E on 2/18/2001 at 7:45:47 PM
Actually, the integrated lug/headset thing was devised to save weight and to eliminate a source of slop in the steering system. (I have trouble holding a good headset adjustment on my 40-year-old full Reynolds Austrian road bike, because the cups no longer press as snugly as they should into their respective head lugs.) I have seen the integrated lug/headset on Bianchis representing various quality levels -- it was not strictly a high-end or low-end item. (I also saw an old Bianchi frame with a crack in this high-stress area.)

My best guess is that you have an ordinary lightweight carbon steel frame, rather than double-butted CrMo (Columbus). However, since I have always liked the way even lower-end Italian steel frames ride and handle, I recommend keeping and riding the bike. When you work on the BB, remember that both sides unscrew anticlockwise, and therefore you may want to use Loctite on the fixed cup.

   RE:Bianchi posted by Schwinnderella on 2/20/2001 at 12:24:57 PM
Slapped on some old tires and brake shoes which were missing when i got this bike and took it for a ride . It rides well. Next step is to haul it down the basement and go through it. Although I have not counted the teeth the inner front sprocket looks smaller than on most lightweights I am familiar with. I have posted a pic if anyone wants to have a look. http://senac.com/forums/5939/bin/123.html

FOR SALE:   stripping a pile posted by: todjob on 2/17/2001 at 3:03:34 PM
Im parting out a pile of bike i aquired,i still have some schwinn stuff in ten speed (24"frames/1 is lime green/other dinklys and parts/sears disk setup) some higgens stuff (fender brace front/handle bars ect.) and im stripping some various 3/5sp. stuff,parts are cheap shipping is....well....soso depends on what-u-want every thing has sat outside so it will have rusty bits here and there email me your lists

AGE / VALUE:   english fans posted by: sam on 2/16/2001 at 7:10:46 PM
While we all trying to decide what Art should do,ALL you English fans check out ebay #11131033489.I may not know much on L/W but OOOOoooooo it looks SOOOOooooo good!!1

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   english fans posted by Art on 2/16/2001 at 9:33:09 PM
Sam you have an extra three in there! 1113103489 is correct. It's a Claud Butler and it's Peter's bike, the fellow I got the Hercules from. It's a beauty. Also Sam, your skewer is in the mail.

   parts availability posted by John E on 2/18/2001 at 12:15:36 PM
Wow! (... and it's just my size!) The beauty of English and Italian frames over French, Austrian, German, and Swiss is that one can readily find replacement bottom bracket, headset, stem, seat tube, and other parts.

MISC:   THIRD OPINION NEEDED! posted by: Art on 2/16/2001 at 6:01:51 AM
My long weekend project has run into a snag. I'm trying to fit a Campy record hub into the rear dropouts of a mid fifties Hercules road bike. I have to spread the rear triangle a good bit to accomodate the hub. I can get the axle part way into the dropouts, but as they narrow toward the back, the axle is too big to get it in very far. I solicited opinions and got two. One is to file the dropouts, not much, but enough to get it in. The other was to file the axle, both sides, on the top and the bottom. It seems like either would work, but it seems that I could screw either one up if I'm not careful. Any experience with this particular problem? Any other solutions that don't demand surgery? These are 27 in wheels, and I tried every wheel that I have (even 700's) and the only hub that I felt fit well enough was an old suntour coaster brake, but I don't want to use it on this frame.

   been there ... done that posted by John E on 2/16/2001 at 6:40:34 AM
I'll bet that Hercules frame was designed for a 3-speed S/A hub, whose axle is flat-sided to prevent rotation in 1st and 3rd gears. If you ever want to convert it back to 3-speed, you may be tempted to file the axle, but this will obviously damage the threads, and the Campy hub is probably worth more than the Hercules frame. I would just file the dropout slots to size.

   RE:MISC:   THIRD OPINION NEEDED! posted by Craig on 2/16/2001 at 7:00:17 AM
Quick-release axles are thicker than nutted axles, so this is a common problem. If you file the axle, then when replacing the wheel, you have to turn the axle just right to get the wheel back in the dropout. Whereas, if you file the dropout, the axle goes back in in any orientation. I'd do the dropouts, then any future quick-release axle will fit. BUT: File the *bottom* surface of the dropout, not the top; that way, you don't risk the wheel sitting crooked vertically. On the other hand, if your frame isn't perfect and the wheel alignment needs to be improved, you can do this by clever filing of the dropouts. Good luck. It's easy. -- Craig

   RE:RE:MISC:   THIRD OPINION NEEDED! posted by ChristopherRobin@starmail.com on 2/16/2001 at 1:35:12 PM
I would never file the drop outs on the frame. Never! But then again I love Hercules bikes and you have a road bike. I have art catalogs of Hercules bikes. E-mail me and we'll work out something. Some how. ChristopherRobin@starmail.com

   RE:MISC:   THIRD OPINION NEEDED! posted by sam on 2/16/2001 at 1:47:58 PM
Why not just use a hercules 5-speed wheel!!!they were made for your frame---let me go look at mine--I'll get back to you---sam

   RE:MISC:   THIRD OPINION NEEDED! posted by Peter on 2/16/2001 at 3:25:15 PM
I think some of the opinions are assuming that you have a roadster. What you have is a 531 lightweight that was definitely fitted originally with derailleurs , back and front. Measure your dropout spread and slot size, and I will check my various English hubs for you.

   RE:MISC:   THIRD OPINION NEEDED! posted by sam on 2/16/2001 at 5:06:13 PM
I have a 60s AMF hercules that has the sturmey/archer 5-speed rear derailer with top tube shifter.Seems the axle is a bit smaller on the S/A derailer hubs(solid) than on the internal gear hub(hollow)The Sturmey/Archer hub should work,what wheel size did your bike have originaly? And I do have a 36 hole S/A hub(derailer type) if needed--sam

   quite a debate here posted by John E on 2/16/2001 at 6:17:28 PM
We appear to have quite a dispute between the collectors, who cherish authenticity, and the pragmatic "daily drivers." What are *your* objectives and plans for the frame? Good luck, whatever you decide!

   RE:quite a debate here posted by Art on 2/16/2001 at 9:24:14 PM
My original idea was to take this pretty cool restored English road frame of a '55 Hercules Tour de France Equipe that Peter sent to me from England and turn in into a fun city bike/roust-a-bout. I had planned to put a Brooks saddle on it, Campy brakes, Campy 5 sp downtube shifter (there are no shifter braze-ons), several Stronglight and a Campy crankset to choose from (depending on which fits the geometry better), chopped down bull-horn handlebars(one piece stem, double support bars, and straight handlebars cut about 4 inches on each side), short-reach mt. bike brake levers, no front derailleur, Campy rear derailleur, and a set of Campy high flange record hubs laced to 27" weinmann rims with a five cog sprocket and knobby tires. Maybe black blumells to go with the black frame and black saddle. I had prototyped this idea on another bike and waited until I found a bigger frame as the first one was too small. It is a pretty quick, fast, bike that is good for city riding, but can also travel well on dirt canal banks. What I think I've realized is that my problem may be in going with the quick release hubs, which as Craig points out, are fatter. Bolt on, or better axles with spinners might work better. I didn't try any of my bolt on wheels yesterday because the Campys are really nice. I'll try them tomorrow. Unfortunatelty I don't have any extra wheel sets.The SA hub with derailleur that Sam has might work, but I didn't particularly want to lace a set of wheels for this bike. I don't know if they ever were matched with 27s.Thanks for your feedback gentlemen. I'm open to any more ideas. Art

   RE:MISC:   FOURTH OPINION NEEDED! posted by Warren on 2/16/2001 at 9:47:05 PM
Another option is to reduce the width of the hub by finding thinner locknuts AND/OR grinding (milling) the cones down by the required amount. Definitly file the axle if there is any probs sliding into the drops. Do not file the frame. It will likely fail at a time most inconvenient.

   RE:RE:MISC:   FOURTH OPINION NEEDED! posted by ChristopherRobin@starmail.com on 2/17/2001 at 10:49:36 AM
Yes, Im sure there are safety reasons for not filing a frame but my main thought is that this is a 531 Hercules bike and not a steel roadster so all the more reason to respect it a bit more. Where did you find this? A 531 Hercules? Cool. Don't be in too big of a hurry to find a set of wheels. think on it and listen to and talk with the gang here and mull it over. Is this a Kestrel Super club model? What color is this?

   RE:RE:RE:MISC:   FOURTH OPINION NEEDED! posted by Art on 2/17/2001 at 1:15:27 PM
Sam has found a set of S/A hubs on 27 " rims which ought to fit and will result in not having to file anything. Thanks Sam! The bike came from England from Peter, it has been repainted and has transfers on it that say Hercules on the seat tube and Tour de France Equipe on the down tube. It is black with white head tube and seat tube panel. It has fancy lugs. It has dropouts, one says Cyclo, the other Design Benelux. It has cable guides along the right side of the top tube, one at the back of the right chain stay for rear derailleur. It has two bottom bracket mounted cable guides for the front and rear derailleurs. Chrome tipped fork. Chrome top of fork. Original metal headbadge of a tiny H and Hercules (The common badge style I've seen on roadsters) at the top, a road bike and then four images of calipers and measuring tools and what looks like a vice. cyclesdeoro has a 55 but with a different paint scheme than mine. Your right, I'm in no hurry with this now.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Royal Regina? posted by: Craig on 2/15/2001 at 3:10:43 PM
Hi all. This is my first time here. Nice discussions and polite people. I would like to hear if anyone knows the Belgian brand "Royal Regina". I have one that's a 10-speed, lugged frame of "guaranteed Bonderized tubes" -whatever that means, Simplex derailleurs, Mafac centerpulls and levers, alloy downbars, alloy wheels with high-flange hubs (maybe upgraded?), 165mm SR cranks. It has a silver decal on the top tube that says "1964 World Champion and Belgian Champion" in French and Flemish. This is no fancy bike, bike I love it as my commuter in Chicago (poor thing).
Has anybody heard of this brand? Thanks! -- Craig

     Royal Regina posted by John E on 2/15/2001 at 9:10:17 PM
No, that's a new one on me, but it sounds pretty much like a Peugeot U0-8 with upgraded (aluminum) wheels and crank. Old mid-grade road bikes such as this do make great commuters -- I would still be riding my Peugeot if I had not cracked a chainstay. If a 1970s frame does not say "CrMo," "Columbus," "Reynolds 531," or "Vitus," then it is probably made of ordinary carbon steel. (See SheldonBrown.com for an excellent demythologizing explanation and comparison of frame materials.)

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Royal Regina? posted by Craig on 2/16/2001 at 7:07:13 AM
I rechecked the decals on this Royal Regina. I was mistaken in the first post about the construction. One says "Bonderized and Made in Belgium"; the other says "R.C. Tubes Construction Guarantee". "R.C." tubes anyone???
-- Craig

AGE / VALUE:   trade posted by: sam on 2/14/2001 at 5:55:48 AM
I have a Mavic G.L.330 rim laced to a campagnolo record rear hub with double butted ss spokes--will trade for Campagnolo scewer.rim is used-email me at samclingo@hotmail.com

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   trade posted by sam on 2/14/2001 at 7:05:38 PM
Art's passing along a scewer for free,What a guy!!!So I'm hanging the wheel up in the work shop---if it fits your project just holler---sam .....and thanks again Art.