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Archived: Vintage Lightweights

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Alloys posted by: Brian L. on 4/26/2001 at 8:44:52 AM
What are the scientific, marketing and perceptual differences/benefits between manganese and chrome-molybendum steel alloys?

   e.g. Reynolds vs. Columbus posted by John E on 4/26/2001 at 1:23:06 PM
Scientific difference: VERY little.

See, for example, http://www.ibike.org/bikeframe.htm

Perceptual difference [mine]: VERY little.

Yes, my 1982 Columbus Bianchi is "stiff" and my 1960 Reynolds 531 Capo is "whippy," but their wheelbases differ by 5cm, and they were engineered for completely different road surfaces. My 1980 Reynolds 531 Peugeot is intermediate in ride quality, but more like the Bianchi, because its frame geometry is closer to that of the Bianchi than that of the Capo. I worry about frame size, geometry, and workmanship, but not about whether a given frame is CrMo or MnMo. (Help me on this, metallurgists, but I believe that most moly steels contain both Cr and Mn, although the recipes do vary.)

Marketing difference: VERY little.

Plenty of races have been won on MnMo and on CrMo frames. Skip the hype -- either alloy will serve most of us nicely.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Alloys posted by Jon on 4/29/2001 at 1:23:33 PM
I have sought a plausible answer to the same query. What I read on the yield strengths of the common bicycle tubings indicates that there is about a 5X difference in strength between
high quality steel (2030) and the alloys. The alloys have about equal strength, but a different ride characteristic that boils down to a subjective perception. My bikes have columbus (I think because of the larger diam. of tubing
and the bike maker is Maino; Alessandria, It.); 2) 4130 (Bridgestone phica); tange (Team Fuji) and 2030 (Raleigh record ace). The Maino is definitely a stiff ride. The easiest to transfer power is the Bridgestone with 4130 and it rides smoother. The Tange bike
is the fastest but is too responsive a bike for a long run (for me 50 mi.). The Raleigh with 2030 is the most comfortable but that may be its design. I use it for touring long distance. When its loaded to the gills with 50 # of cargo, it handles like a dream.
They really know what they're doing when it comes to building bikes. I have a second identical frame that I brazed on a new dropout. It will be interesting to see if "my work" affects the way it rides. I suspect it will be less
than superb. In summation, my conclusion is that the bike construction, design and "fit" to the rider combines with the rider's skill makes greater difference than what alloy or material was used to make the frame; assuming that the you have at least a high grade 2030
tubing or better.

FOR SALE:   SEW UP RIMS posted by: Vinny on 4/25/2001 at 11:29:03 PM
Hey i have a big lot of n.o.s sew up rims all sizes and makes any one interested in buying some or all ? e mail me

MISC:   Stretching posted by: Wings on 4/25/2001 at 11:02:53 PM
As a lifelong runner I knew all the proper stretches. As a regular bike rider -- where could I find a chart on "Stretching"? Thanks

   RE:MISC:   Stretching posted by Rudge on 4/26/2001 at 6:33:41 AM

He rides bikes too.

   RE:RE:MISC:   Stretching posted by Oscar on 4/26/2001 at 7:10:41 AM
Or your friendly neighborhood chiropractor might have some.

AGE / VALUE:   team miyata posted by: matthew on 4/25/2001 at 12:37:28 PM
howdy! I recently picked up what I believe to be a 1984 Team Miyata Road Bike.
It is blue, with a gold head tube, lugged, double-butted, and ahas a beautiful selection of components. T
The read derailleur is a 1978 nuovo record in near perfect condition, and the rest
including headset stem stc. is Dura Ace AX...I think. Anyway, I haven't
been able to find any info on this bike. With Mavic tubulurs, the bike only weighs in at nineteen pounds.
Any suggestions on its value/demand? Thanks

   team miyata posted by John E on 4/25/2001 at 4:25:42 PM
My opinion:

1) Nice bike, beautifully made.

2) Undervalued in the open market, because it's Japanese.

3) If it fits you well, keep it and enjoy the ride!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   team miyata posted by Art on 4/25/2001 at 6:41:03 PM
AX components are highly siught after in some quarters, with the rear derailleur being, I think, one of the priciest pieces. Does it have an AX crank with the unusual pedal set up?

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   team miyata posted by Brian L. on 4/25/2001 at 8:23:35 PM
Score! Sweet! Was this the one recently on ebay? Mind sharing what you paid? Very nice bike, extremely well made.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   team miyata posted by Keith on 4/26/2001 at 7:13:41 AM
Old story -- my wife's Miyata Pro is stunning -- better workmanship than most classic European bikes. Excellent find! If you use a search engine you should find the Miyata USA site, which gives a brief history of Miyata.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   team miyata posted by matthew on 4/26/2001 at 2:01:01 PM
YES! it does have those wacky, original, AX pedals!

WANTED:   schwinn cro mo frameset posted by: danny bright on 4/25/2001 at 7:27:27 AM

anybody have a 70's schwinn cro mo frameset for sale? something on the large side 57-60ish cm, depending how you measure. it doesn't have to be pretty, just straight and true. this is for a special project not restoration. perhaps a super sport, superior or super tourer. drop me a line.



AGE / VALUE:   mid-range Bianchi posted by: dave on 4/25/2001 at 7:08:26 AM
I picked up a Bianchi yesterday ($20 ... bought it for the Blackburn rack and Mt Zefal pump) and assumed at first glance it was fairly cheap. Color is brown and the clear coat over the paint is peeling badly, but a closer look says this is not a bad bike.
Shimano 600 DRs, shifters, brakes and levers, Gippieme dropouts, Ofmega headset, Stelle San Marco saddle, Mavic rims, cranks say Bianchi -- had assumed these would have
someone elses name on the inside, but did not. Rear DR says Shimano 600 SIS, 3 TTT bars and long stem.
any guesses as to the year this bike was made? No tubing sticker visible.

   RE:AGE / VALUE: mid-range Bianchi posted by Warren on 4/25/2001 at 9:47:44 AM
Could be Italian but is more likely an early 80's Pacific rim model. The crank is probably Ofmega...look closely at the chainring bolts. If the frame and fork have braze-ons for fenders it's likely a mid grade tubing, maybe an Ishwata Magny or O24...still a fine bike at the price!

   BB threading? posted by John E on 4/25/2001 at 10:55:27 AM
The crankset is almost definitely an Ofmega,which is a respected Italian brand name, albeit less famous than Campy.

Italian BB (36mm x 24TPI, RH/RH): the frame was made in Italy;

British BB (1.37" x 24TPI, RH/LH): the frame was made in Taiwan;

Either way, the bike is definitely not a "tosser." Can you find a tubing pedigree sticker (Columbus, Ishiwata, Tange, CrMo, etc.) on the seat tube or downtube?

   RE:BB threading? posted by dave on 4/26/2001 at 6:47:10 AM
Did not have time to pull the cranks off the bike last night but can read "Made in Italy" on the BB ... crank bolts are Sugino and the inside says "Strada" (ie road), pedals are Ofmega.
Looked again in vain for a tubing sticker. There are two decals on the seat tube that have the spade symbol and say "Piaggio"

... so, Italian made? Any guesses as to the likely tubing? thanks!

   point of comparison posted by John E on 4/26/2001 at 7:24:26 AM
I cannot positively identify the country of origin until we know the BB threading, but it could be a mid-to-late 1980s mid-grade, Italian-made frame. My very Italian ca. 1982 Bianchi originally had Campy headset, dropouts, and NR derailleurs; Regina America freewheel; Ofmega cranks and hubs; Modolo "speedy" brakes; Bianchi-branded TTT stem; and a Columbus TreTubi ("3 tubes") rinforzati ("butted") main triangle. At that time, the top-of-the-line Italian steel Bianchi frames were full Columbus, the next down were TreTubi, and I think they still made plain carbon steel frames below that.

Sometime during the mid-1980s, Bianchi and other European manufacturers started using Shimano, SunTour, and Sugino components, particularly on models marketed in the U.S. They eventually started making their low-to-mid-level frames in Japan, as well.

Can you read us the serial number? I have never been able to find a historic Bianchi S/N chart, but we may be able to compare numbers with other Bianchi owners to learn more about your machine.

   RE:AGE / VALUE: mid-range Bianchi posted by Whats size is the seatpost? on 4/26/2001 at 11:36:36 AM
If your seatpost is 27.2, you've likely got some nice double butted tubing. A 26.8 seatpost indicates a lower grade...possibly seamed tubing. It could still be Columbus and not necessarily bad...just not as good as it could have been.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: mid-range Bianchi posted by dave on 4/26/2001 at 11:41:53 AM
... BB is Italian treaded. I will check the seatpost tonight Also, serial number(s) on the top of the seat post: right hand side says "3 A", left and side says "433".

I love this list. Too bad the bike is not my size (seattube is 58 cm c-c).

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: mid-range Bianchi posted by dave on 4/27/2001 at 6:23:03 AM
seatpost is 27.2 ... if only the bike were blue and a little bigger!

thanks again to all who helped with this.

   Bianchi colour posted by John E on 4/27/2001 at 7:41:58 AM
>seatpost is 27.2 ... if only the bike were blue and a little bigger!

... or a bit smaller, for me! Perhaps I, too, would choose Celeste #217 if I were selecting a new Bianchi, but my artist wife points out that my paint job looks like "Ralph Lauren brown."

FOR SALE:   parts for sale posted by: todjob on 4/24/2001 at 10:23:46 PM
I have (2 pair) of cycle 23 toeclips for sale they are NOS made in england both sets have white straps and bolt on to existing rat trap pedals very nice can send photos askig 10.00 shipped each set.ALSO I have a Rinder gen.forklite unit w/2"diam.headlight should clean up exellent works well can send photo as well fits on left fork asking $15.00 shipped,I'm negotiable on all, email me direct

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Schwinn 3 speed Racer posted by: Mark on 4/24/2001 at 8:30:46 PM
I was wondering how old my Schwinn Racer is. I think it's a 1964. The serial # is H486281. I've had this thing for 7 years and according to the serial number charts, it appears to be a '64. Am I right? If I am that would spook the heck out of me. I was never sure, but I always guessed it was a '64!

   consider yourself spooked! posted by John E on 4/25/2001 at 6:22:15 AM
Check the Schwinn S/N charts here on oldroads.com. The initial "H" denotes "August," and the first digit, "4," indeed denotes "1964."

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Schwinn 3 speed Racer posted by Wings on 4/25/2001 at 10:59:36 PM
August 26, 1964

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Schwinn 3 speed Racer posted by Oscar on 4/26/2001 at 7:13:30 AM
Where did you read the day from on the serial number?

FOR SALE:   1950 Schwinn Continental Frame Set posted by: Jim on 4/24/2001 at 7:21:58 PM
Nice 1950 Schwinn Continental Frame Set. This would be a perfect project or fixed gear. Yes this did has an adjustable neck on it at one time. Made of seamless tubing. Nice frame that is priced right. $80 shipped. Check out the molded connections. View it at http://www.coconutgirls.com/bikeyard/mvc-015f.jpg

AGE / VALUE:    posted by: Joel on 4/23/2001 at 2:27:23 PM
Scanning the thrift store yesterday, I saw a 10 speed with the name VolksCycle, West Germany. Haven't seen that one before. It seemed like a pretty ordinary bike-- boom era bike, aside from a nice Brookes saddle. I was wondering if it's a product of Volkswagon.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by Fred on 4/23/2001 at 7:45:01 PM
I have a Firestone bike with a Shimano 3 speed hub that has "Volkscycle" on a decal affixed to the chain guard. This is a typical 70's american bike. I know nothing about its origin.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by sam on 4/24/2001 at 2:14:02 AM
Joel,can't tell you about your bike but sram(usa)now owns Sachs(germany)and sachs made the ger.3-speeds and also starters for VW

   RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by Dave on 5/4/2001 at 8:42:29 AM
Volkscycle was a brand developed by former Schwinn distributors who needed a bike brand to sell when Schwinn began opening their own Distribution centers. The Volkscycle had no connection to Volkswagen. They came from three sources. Columbia Bicycle, Kalkoff in Germany and Brigestone in Japan. They were entry level products

AGE / VALUE:   Peugeot carbolite posted by: Keith on 4/23/2001 at 11:14:38 AM
This weekend a neighbor gave me a like new mid-80s Peugeot road bike (she couldn't get $20 for it at her garage sale). All European -- Sachs-Huret Eco derailluers, Stronglight cranks, Maillard Hubs (with dead-end Heliomatic freehub rear) Rigida 27" eyeletted rims, Weinmann 730s, etc. It's the lugless (or more likely internally lugged?) frame with the "Carbolite" frame tubing sticker. I've always thought Carbolite was plain carbon steel -- sort of like Raleigh 1020 or whatever -- but they use a sticker to make it sound special. Is this correct? I plan to give this to a friend interested in road riding -- I plan to tell him it's not worth upgrading or otherwise sinking money into -- do you concur?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Peugeot carbolite posted by Brian L. on 4/23/2001 at 12:00:52 PM
I always thought that "Carbolite" sounded like something off of the original StarTrek, and I concur with your assessment.

   both of you are right posted by John E on 4/23/2001 at 12:36:58 PM
Last year, I bought a small Carbolite at a yard sale for $3, scrapped the frame, kept the Swiss BB cups and a few other components, and gave everything else away. It could be a nice, worry-free beater for your friend. Yes, it's just plain old carbon steel, with a proprietary seat post diameter.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Get Your Brown Brothers CDs Here posted by: Bruce Robbins on 4/23/2001 at 8:41:27 AM
Many of you will know of the famous UK Brown Brothers cycle wholesalers whose annually produced catalogues now sell for up to $150.

I’ve spent some time photographing the contents of two catalogues–1939 and 1952–and written the images to CD.

These high-resolution pictures show the complete range of Brown Brothers cycling merchandise and cover thousands of parts. They’re guaranteed to keep your enthralled for weeks.

For fans of vintage lightweights, you’ll find a huge amount of information and detailed drawings about British components such as Brooks and Wrights saddles, Harden, Airlite, Chater Lea and Blumfield hubs, Conloy wheels, GB products, Williams, Chater Lea and BSA chainsets, and much more impossible to list here.

There’s also information about some continental products from the likes of Simplex and Durax.

I’ve produced one CD for each year and I’m offering them for sale at US$18 each plus postage at US$2, (US$36 plus US$3.50 postage for two). Obviously, I’m more than happy to take orders from other countries.

Please email me at brucerobbins@worldmailer.com for further details.

Thanks for your indulgence,

   Brown Brothers CDs Here posted by Martin Higgins on 4/27/2001 at 3:08:12 AM
Dear Bruce,
I saw with interest your article on the Brown Brothers catalogues on the Oldroads web site. What caught my eye was your mention of Blumfield hubs. I was given a pair of these attached to tubular tyre rims by a cycling club friend about 28 yrs ago when I was about 14, who inherited them from his late father (this father worked for the legendary, in Cardiff, Wales, UK at least, "Charlie" C.W. Alexander who ran his bike shop in the Tiger Bay, Docks area of Cardiff from the late 1920's until he literally died on his bike about 10 years ago while on a 60 mile ride with friends. Charlie was a frame builder of repute. Always using 531 tubing in his frame colours of egg shell blue and dark blue with chromed stays and forks and finished off with a stainless "A" on the head tube. His shop was arranged on 4 floors. As he never threw anything away each floor of his shop was titled after a particular decade though in no particular order. Sorry for this digression. Anyhow these Blumfield hubs are alloy I think spoked 36/40 and have grease nipples, the rear being being threaded both sides and the front having a partially hollow axle curiously not hollow right the way through. One of these days I'll get them rebuilt. I've never seen any other or seen references to them until I saw your entry. Coincidentally my Dad bought me a Brown Brothers bike when I was about 11. I loved that bike, it started my cycling passion. Despite being all steel and 26" wheels I used it for time trials and track racing, fitted with the statutory 76" fixed and rode it until the frame broke.
Best wishes, Martin

AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh Criterion posted by: Tom on 4/22/2001 at 7:31:31 PM
I was offered a bike today a Raleigh Criterion, lightweight racer about 20 or more years old the guy says. He didn't remember anything else about it. He said it was a top of the line model when he bought it. Could someone give me some info about them, years they were made, components that were offered, and what the values are. Also is there a site or sites where I can see vintage seats from 80's back to 20's.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh Criterion posted by Keith on 4/24/2001 at 10:56:54 AM
Are you sure it's not a "Competition"?

   Raleigh Criterion posted by John E on 4/24/2001 at 12:29:38 PM
... or "Criterium," perhaps?

   Retro-Raleigh website posted by John E on 4/24/2001 at 12:49:23 PM
Perhaps you can identify this bicycle by referring to the Retro-Raleigh website:


If it is indeed a Raleigh Competition, as Keith suspects, in your size and in good condition, grab it! It is a thoroughbred with full-531 frame, forks, and stays.

   Raleigh Criterion posted by John E on 4/23/2001 at 12:44:39 PM
I am unfamiliar with that model. The only Raleigh Criterion I know is a physical optics formula which determines whether two objects (such as two stars viewed through a telescope) can be resolved, or recognized as separate entities.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh Criterion posted by Ben on 4/27/2001 at 2:31:08 PM
There was a Criterion bike thatwas basically a triathalon type machine made in the 80's

FOR SALE:   1965 Hercules posted by: Chloe on 4/22/2001 at 6:17:35 PM

I have a 1965 Hercules, black with white just on the
tip of back fender. The label (sticker) says "Guaranteed
Genuine English Lightweight". The badge or plate on the
front post reads "H, Hercules, Nottingham England". I've had
it for a couple of years, had to put new rubber on it, but the rest is all original as far as I know. I've ridden it
for two summers, thinking that I would get the gumption to
restore it -- but finally admitted to myself that I will
never 'get around to it'.

I'm in the Buffalo, New York area, and will consider any serious offer from someone who will actually restore it.
The bike rides nice, has 3-speed shifter on the handlebar,
right handle. There is a photo of it on my AOL homepage,
under the screen name of Chloespad.


   a ride down memory lane posted by John E on 4/22/2001 at 8:04:29 PM
I put a cyclo 4-speed cogset (12-speed conversion), Campy GS derailleur, drop bars, and toe clips on an old Hercules 3-speed and commuted on it for a few years. The frame was heavy, but sturdy and well-made, and it could easily handle a rack full of books without squirming.

   RE:FOR SALE:   1965 Hercules posted by Jon on 4/22/2001 at 11:24:52 PM
I rode one almost 4 miles a day on a dirt/muddy road to exercise my malemute/shepherd. He loved to pull on the harness I'd made that tracks further back than a store-bought harness. Anyway, it was a tough bike. I was about 250 lbs. and there were ruts all along. Plus I'd get jerk into the rough occasional for some reason...crashed a lot.
The frame was so small that I could literally step off over the front bars. The stamped front badge also stated "motorcycle" along with "bicycle". I gave it away. I'd like to still have it, but don't have room for even one more thing. Mine had a shifter on the top-tube, (3 speed). They are pretty rare here in California. I have only run across that one bike.
It was $5 at a garage sale up the street. It had been sitting outside in the dirt for years because the rubber just flaked off the rims when I walked it home. Anyway, I think you have a novel, if not collectible, 2 wheeler.
I will ask at the bike shop that sells vintage craft and try to get back.

AGE / VALUE:   BROWNING BICYCLES posted by: Kevin on 4/22/2001 at 5:27:38 PM
Hi. I was looking through my bike literature tonight and found a 1973 Browning Bicycle Catalogue. The model " GRADE V " looks like a pretty nice bike. Nothing high dollar although sew ups were offered as an option. Has anyone seen one of these, or owned one to give me a personal opinion on them. Looks like a fun, affordable collector. Thank you, Kevin

   RE:AGE / VALUE: BROWNING BICYCLES posted by Warren on 4/22/2001 at 7:12:01 PM
I just donated one to a local bike store who sold me the CCM track Flyer from my earlier post. You're right...low dollar...Mafac, Simplex, Weinman rims but a nice aggresive geometry compared to a lot of early 70's mid range boom bikes. A decent ride! I don't know if this was Grade V or not.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: BROWNING BICYCLES posted by jimbo on 4/23/2001 at 11:27:44 PM

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: BROWNING BICYCLES posted by Kevin on 4/23/2001 at 6:05:08 AM
Hi. There were 3 models offered, Grade I, Grade III and the Grade V. The Grade V had forged dropouts, Pivo stem and bars, Nervar crank and chainwheel. Some nice pieces unlike the lower end models.