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Archived: Vintage Lightweights

AGE / VALUE:   Vintage Royce Union Ladies bicycle posted by: Scott on 4/30/2001 at 7:30:36 PM
I pulled an old ladies bicycle out of the trash today that I would like some info about...it is a Royce Union (?) with a 3-speed shifter on the handle bars. How do I find out the age of this bike and is it worth keeping and/or restoring? I have looked on the net for info about this bike and come up empty.


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Vintage Royce Union Ladies bicycle posted by Guy B. Meredith on 4/30/2001 at 8:57:46 PM
Check out http://sheldonbrown.com/japan.html. Sheldon Brown may
have additional information if you contact him directly.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   eBay: '40s English Maclean Tourer posted by: desmo on 4/30/2001 at 7:10:49 PM
Nothing spectacular, but a cool old 8 speed clubman/tourer with old Simplex derilleurs and looking quite original.


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   eBay: '40s English Maclean Tourer posted by Tom on 4/30/2001 at 11:27:28 PM
Could this bike be original? Are the components period correct?

   '40s English Maclean Tourer posted by John E on 5/1/2001 at 7:46:15 AM
Although I cannot find those particular derailleurs in The Dancing Chain, the rear, with that long tension spring, looks distinctly pre-WWII, e.g. late 1930s, whereas the front looks post-WWII, perhaps early 1950s. I have seen the dual nested same-side shift levers used for shift + tension control (e.g. Simplex JUY543, mid 1950s), and less frequently for front and rear shifting. Simplex and Huret briefly made front derailleurs designed to be pulled with a right-side, instead of the standard left-side, cable routing. Particularly given the Simplex/Huret mix and the early British fashion of hand-shifting wide-range chainrings, my wild guess is that the rear derailleur and crankset are original, whereas the front derailleur was added later. Any other takers?

   RE:'40s English Maclean Tourer posted by Art on 5/1/2001 at 10:17:38 AM
The set up of the bike seems to be pretty traditional for 40-50's English bikes. I could use the parts from this bike, the flip flop wheelset, esp the 4 cog rear, the Williams crank, posts etc for the Hercules that I have. But it is a really nice original bike and I would never cannibalize it for parts. The lug work is really beautiful. The gear system is confusing to me. I can't read it correctly, but it seems that the cover on the shifter says Huret. I first thought it was a complete Simplex system, with just the front derailleur replaced (I agree with you John that the front derailleur looks too new.) But perhaps the owner added the right sided shift system later, perhaps it was a hybrid mix of parts from the get go and just the front derailleur was replaced. I don't know. A lot can happen to components in 50 years.

   English Maclean Tourer posted by John E on 5/1/2001 at 10:41:06 AM
Does anyone know the marque? Is it perhaps Scottish? or American [Pie]? (Sorry, I couldn't resist!)

Yes, I suspect it started out with a single Simplex downtube lever, the Simplex rear derailleur, and manual gear changing up front, with the small ring intended only for long or steep grades. Sometime in the early 1950s, someone probably added the Huret front derailleur and matching nested gear levers, perhaps as an upgrade kit. Does anyone know the production years of that particular Williams crankset?

   Re williams cranks posted by Warren on 5/1/2001 at 6:28:46 PM
I have a Wiliams five bolt crank arm with the "Y" code on it...I misplaced my date sheet but I believe that puts it in the late thirties.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   eBay: '40s English Maclean Tourer posted by peter on 5/1/2001 at 11:10:52 PM
For some more info on Maclean look at http://www.cyclesdeoro.com/Maclean_cycles.htm
Well respected London maker, probably best known for their "Featherweight" model. Gear set obviously added later, as no self respecting builder would cover their own name with shifters.

   '40s English Maclean Tourer posted by John E on 5/2/2001 at 7:51:44 AM
Peter raises an outstanding point regarding the shifters being mounted over the "n" in "Maclean." However, I still think the rear derailleur may be original, because it appears to bolt directly onto a special boss on the dropout. The original single Simplex shift lever would presumably have been mounted a bit farther forward, to clear the downtube decals. (This is more fun than reading Sherlock Holmes.)

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   eBay: '40s English Maclean Tourer posted by Dr. Watson on 5/2/2001 at 12:03:26 PM
More clues at http://freespace.virgin.net/bob.reid1/brownbros.htm

Illustration bottom left corner. Perhaps we had all better buy Bob's CDs. (and no, I am not Bob, nor do I know him).

   Elementary, my dear Watson! posted by John E on 5/2/2001 at 6:47:07 PM
Yes, Watson, that's our Simplex, in 3-speed form in 1937. I presume the 4-speed was introduced between then and WWII, making this a 1938 or 1939 bicycle. I really must get that CD.

   RE:'40s English Maclean Tourer posted by Mark Poore on 5/3/2001 at 11:40:37 AM
I had many questions regarding the Maclean so I sought info from the Classic Rendezvous web site. The following is information that Hilary Stone provided.

The rear derailleur is a Simplex touring derailleur with exactly the same type of mount that I have just sold from my latest sales list on CR. The front mech is a quite rare type of Huret. The chainrings are Cyclo Rosa on the Williams cranks. The lugwork is unlike any other I have seen on a Macleans's and looks to be really quite nice. Maclean's frame numbers are stamped normally on the left hand side of the seat lug and that together with the date codes would probably enable me to date this bike fairly
accurately. As of this moment I would guess this to be somewhere between 1948 and 1952. Maclean's were a highly respected builder originally founded about 1919. They continued in the same hands right through to the early 1960s when the name was bought by Holdsworthy Limited.
Hilary Stone

   RE:RE:'40s English Maclean Tourer posted by Art on 5/3/2001 at 12:14:49 PM
It will be interesting to see how high this goes, now that the big boys are involved with the bidding.

   '40s English Maclean Tourer posted by John E on 5/3/2001 at 1:18:26 PM
Given the frame size, I can see why Jim Cunningham wants it.

   new physical constant? posted by John E on 5/5/2001 at 7:08:36 PM
It finally sold for $523, which is remarkably close to the final price of the 1956 Peugeot randonneur of a few months ago and a couple of other old road bikes we have seen on eBay.

AGE / VALUE:   Swap Meet June 24, Boston, MA posted by: Joe on 4/30/2001 at 6:51:59 PM
Bicycle Swap meet, June 24, 2001. Under the Bridge, Boston, MA. Interstate 93 North or South. Approximately 1 mile North of Downtown Boston, Exit 28 Sullivan Square around the rotary "Under the Bridge" Rain or shine.. This show is free to everyone and vendors.. If you have any questions please email me.

Thank you.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Looking for information on Soma posted by: Guy B. Meredith on 4/30/2001 at 5:11:39 PM
I have been trying to track down the history of my American Flyer
Jewel Gran Sport. I recently saw a notice that the Soma bicycle
became American Flyer. Does anyone have information and history
of Soma?

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Peugeot PR-10(?) on eBay posted by: John E on 4/30/2001 at 7:26:11 AM
I think this is a ca. 1973 PR-10, which is a PX-10 "wanna-be," and probably comparable to my 1980 PKN-10E.

eBay item #1139771204

Note the horizontal, rather than diagonal, "531" on the Reynolds sticker, indicating main-triangle only. IT IS NOT A PX-10 (nor does the owner claim that it is).

MISC:   Frame sizing importance???? posted by: Robert on 4/30/2001 at 5:31:06 AM
I am wanting to get / build up a fair road bike for this summer. I have a Centurian that would not need a great amount of attention. It's frame size is 21" . According to the various frame mearsuring techniques I should need about a 23". Can the smaller frame be compensated for with longer stem taller seatpost ect??

   frame size posted by John E on 4/30/2001 at 7:06:04 AM
To me, frame size is VERY important, although it is far better to have a frame that is too small, rather than one that is too large. If the top tube is long enough to allow you to stretch out properly, without resorting to an absurdly long handlebar stem, then the 21-inch frame may be OK for you. By modern racing standards, the seat tube may not be too short for you, but the top tube may be a different (and more important) story.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Once more into the fray posted by: Fred on 4/29/2001 at 7:16:24 PM
I'm very excited about my latest acqisition, a beautiful Schwinn Promis 12 speed. I have acquired some very nice bikes lately but this one surpasses all of them in condition. I have found one small chip in the paint so far. I will describe the bike in detail at a later date right now we are packing for the annual return to the North country. It is painted in a white metal flake. Some of the components are powder coated in white. I found it at Bayshore Bikes in Bradenton FL the source of my Hercules racer and my Centurion Iron Man bikes. More later.

AGE / VALUE:   kickstands and dimpled chainstays posted by: jon on 4/28/2001 at 10:30:04 PM
I ceently took a kickstand off my bike and noticed that there was a slight dimple in the right chainstay while a chip of paint and slight nick
were left on the left chainstay. Being curious,I checked a couple of my other bikes and I noticed a similar
condition. My conclusion is that kickstands are not only a nuisance; they are destructive to the frame. I wonder if the problem is serious. I would think that with all the bikes that have kickstands
were severely effected, then there would be a hig incidence of collapsing frame
accidents, which doesn't seem to be the case. Seems like they don't even do the job. my bikes always seem ready to fall in a breeze or when something passes by. So why do you suppose we have had kickstands
on bikes? Most bikes seem to be designed as functional entities that don't accummulate useless appendages.
It's weird.

   kickstands and dimpled chainstays posted by John E on 4/29/2001 at 3:43:22 PM
Personal bias: I hate kickstands. In our family, only my younger son's hybrid has one. I even removed the "built-in" kickstand from the Varsity I had.

My Peugeot U0-8 frame did fail on the right chainstay, between the tyre and chainwheel clearance dimples, and the first owner had deformed it a bit with a kickstand clamp. Was this vertical dimpling a factor, or was it four years of commuting up a 12 percent grade?

The beautiful pencil-thin chainstays on my Capo are slightly deformed by an earlier owner's kickstand. So far, no cracks, but this bothers me as the only metallurgical flaw in this classic Reynolds frame.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   kickstands and dimpled chainstays posted by Fred on 4/29/2001 at 7:57:49 PM
Most good road bikes do not have much room for mounting a kick stand. I have managed to fit some of my light weights with Greenfield alloy stands. I take great care to prevent crushing of the stays. In the absence of a kick stand I have found that flic stands work well. A flic stand is a little gadget that mounts on the down tube and keeps the forks from turning when leaned up against a wall or some other fixed object. This prevents the wheel from turning and rolling away from whatever the bike is leaned against to end up on the ground.

   RE:kickstands and dimpled chainstays posted by Jon on 4/29/2001 at 9:21:41 PM
Now, I am concerned; hearing about your Peugeot U0-8 frame collapse. The frame
on a bike of such high quality materials and workmanship
is capable of withstanding any amount of riding punishment, short of a collision
event, and come back for more! With a yield strength of 60+ Kg/m^2 in the higher quality steel alloy
bikes seems like there's a lot of built-in margin for load forces in the frame. I had an old Bottechia that
I used for years as a beater and 70 mi. rides to the coast. It had beaucoup miles. The seatstays had been "cranked" by a previous owner, either by purpose or from some
big rack that scrunched them both. The defect caused me some anxiety for a few months; but after pounding around on dirt roads and numerous "howdy-do" bumps, my fears subsided.
It was intact when it was hauled away during curbside pick-up. However, the chainstays have to withstand tremendous
torque forces from the leverage on the crank and the lateral torque from pedal pressures; I would conclude from my minimal background in physics.
I have not had a frame collapse while ordinary riding; only in crashes have I ended up holding two bikes instead of one.
Without conducting a "fault-tolerant" test on a frame, I can only
guess what deleterious effects such dimples create.
Keep rollin'. Jon

   frame failure posted by John E on 4/30/2001 at 7:17:25 AM
Actually, the Peugeot U0-8 was made of plain carbon steel, with decent, but certainly not exceptional, workmanship. It was a typical $120 bike boom era (1973) 10-speed. I generally do not consider bottom bracket frame failures a safety issue -- I discovered the chainstay crack while I was performing routine cleanup and maintenance, and have no idea how long I had been riding around with a 2/3-ruptured stay. When the seat tube lug broke off the bottom bracket housing on my Nishiki, the only symptom was a loud creak with every pedal stroke. I gently completed the final few miles of the ride safely, although I certainly would not have attempted a sprint or a steep climb.

   RE:frame failure posted by Oscar on 4/30/2001 at 7:31:39 AM
I think the only dependable kickstand is the kind on Chicago Schwinns. I've never had them kick the chainstay, nor are they apt to buckle under. Other kick stands seem to get unsprung easily, and let the bikes fall. Others yet, come down while riding.

   RE:RE:frame failure posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 4/30/2001 at 3:42:44 PM
I do not like the extra weight the kickstand adds. Also I have seen some really nice bikes with damaged stays due to kickstands. It hurts to see it, I get up close and look and say Aw, No! It makes it harder to sell later on sometimes too. I mean, it is damaged now. I do like the drop stands on some bikes it is a better, more stable arrangement. A dragging kickstand is a real pain especially if you didn't bring your kickstand removal tool to the lake with you. I am not to keen about riding a bike that has a mashed stay from kickstand abuse. I think that this happens a lot and we don't hear about stay failure, but still.
Please don't mash the stay on my Raleigh's!

AGE / VALUE:   old bianchi lusso/milano posted by: Sam on 4/28/2001 at 9:22:02 PM
I just bought this bike at a garage sale, marked Edouardo Bianchi: Bianchi Lusso: Bianchi Milano: looks something like the 1938 model in the picture database. I can't find any other pictures or references. Is this a rare find or are there just so many floating around that nobody cares?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   old Bianchi lusso/milano posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 4/29/2001 at 11:09:35 AM
A very, very rare find. There are so few floating around that nobody knows.

AGE / VALUE:   Old 15-speed racer posted by: G.Williams on 4/28/2001 at 5:16:16 PM
I have recently come across a tired looking racer. The make is FREJUS. It has campagnola components on it. I would like to know of its age/value before contemplating restoration. It has a made in italy sticker on it as well as a tour of the world sticker.

   Frejus posted by John E on 4/28/2001 at 6:01:49 PM
Nice find! It's probably a Columbus frame. Sheldonbrown.com has some data; cyclesdeoro.com's classicsrendezvous may, as well.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Old 15-speed racer posted by Mark on 4/29/2001 at 5:47:57 AM
Frejus, as most bike companies do, had a whole line of bikes. I went into a shop, I forget the name of it at this time, back around '63 near Harlem. They were one of the chief importers of Frejus at that time. If it has Campagnolo equipment on it means it isn't their bottom of the line bike. That alone would put it in the top three of their line up. More than likely it would have Columbus tubing. Being that Frejus was a large manufacturer and having made a lot of bikes over a period of time you would have a good point to start from in dating the bike by the equipment that is has on it. If it is Campagnolo NR and Universal brakes then the bike more that likely is from the ’60. If it has NR with Campagnolo brakes then is would make it somewhat newer. If it has Campagnolo shifters and derailleurs and steel cranks my guess it would be late ’50 to early ’60. Of course it would help to have some close-up photos so folks could help you identify it.

Overall it sounds like you made a nice find.

AGE / VALUE:   IDEALE SADDLE posted by: HYMIE on 4/28/2001 at 10:53:00 AM

MISC:   Brown Brothers cycling catalogues on CD posted by: Bruce Robbins on 4/27/2001 at 12:36:45 PM
Hi folks,

Many thanks to those of you who have ordered Brown Brothers
CDs and helped make this a useful exercise.

For those others who have yet to see the light :), I've had a page made up so that you can sample the delights of these 1939 and 1952 catalogues.

It's at:


The sample page about Osgears actually enlarges in your browser to about A3 when you view it on the CD without breaking up so you can read all the detail.

If anyone has a particular interest or requires information about any specific bicycle part available in the UK during the catalogue years, please email me and I'll see if I can email you a jpeg to show what's available.

In the meantime, have a quick look at the web page.

Happy reading!


MISC:   Freewheel Bottom Bracket? posted by: Bruce Goosman on 4/27/2001 at 10:26:30 AM
I ran across this Schwinn bike (GQ Serial #). It has the freewheel in the bottom bracket. I've never seen anything like this. Is it unusual and of any value? It is a ladies frame in fair condition. ANY information would be helpful. Thanks!


   check the archives posted by John E on 4/27/2001 at 11:05:51 AM
Freewheel bottom brackets, which have been mentioned a few times on this forum, permit one to change gears while coasting. This short-lived evolutionary dead-end was definitely not one of Shimano's better products! They just might be rare enough to become a future collectible, but for now they are merely a mechanical curiosity.

   RE:MISC: Freewheel Bottom Bracket? posted by Bob on 4/27/2001 at 11:46:38 AM
I recently asked this same question. I have a Ross with one of these. Interestingly, the rear hub on the Ross is fixed. That means that while you are coasting the chain continues to move which apparently allows one to shift while coasting.

This Ross weighs a ton so I was looking for ways of lightening it up a bit for my wife who is riding it. I was thinking about changing out the wheels for some nice alloy hubs and rims that I have. There is no problem with the front (except I have to spread the forks a couple of mm) but I am wondering what will happen if I install a normal freewheel hub on the back. I suppose I could respoke the fixed axle to an alloy rim, but I can't help thinking that a pair of old Campy Record hubs would be much smoother than what came with this bike.

By the way, if anyone has an alloy "upright" handlebars they would like to sell I might be interested.

   RE:RE:MISC: Freewheel Bottom Bracket? posted by Keith on 4/27/2001 at 12:44:42 PM
Rivendell sells alloy upright bars -- they call them "Priest" bars. Go to rivendellbicycles.com and look in the catalog. The semi-upright mustache bars are populer too. The cog set on the back of the Ross should be sort of but not quite fixed -- the cogs should turn independently albeit not easily. I have no idea what puller you need to remove that one.

   double-Freewheel system posted by John E on 4/27/2001 at 1:46:24 PM
A standard rear freewheel will serve quite nicely, even with the BB freewheel up front, particularly if your wife shifts properly, i.e., while pedaling gently, rather than while coasting. If the chain gets snagged, you will definitely want a freewheel back there, anyway, to avoid jamming the rear wheel. Fixed-gear setups are safe only with very simple chainlines! Using a standard rear wheel will allow you to go to 12 (Ultra-6 with 120mm rear triangle spacing) or 14 (with 126mm) speeds, and a good, lightweight set of wheels will greatly improve the bike.

   RE:MISC:   Freewheel Bottom Bracket? posted by Bruce Goosman on 4/27/2001 at 9:01:17 PM
Thanks, all, for the information. It was as I figured, something not worth messing with. Keep the wheels spinning!


   RE:RE:MISC:   Freewheel Bottom Bracket? posted by Wings on 4/27/2001 at 10:46:55 PM
I have an old tandem and I was thinking of installing one of the freewheel cranks in one of the bottom brackets. What do you think???

   tandem Freewheel Bottom Bracket posted by John E on 4/28/2001 at 6:03:54 PM
Do you want to allow the stoker or the captain to goof off?

   RE:tandem Freewheel Bottom Bracket posted by Wings on 4/28/2001 at 11:44:53 PM
I think it would have to be the Pilot! It could give a more even chain pull if the pilot and stoker were at different points in their stroke. Both would start off at the same position. If the stoker is a woman who needs to rest a bit that would also work. Yes, it could be good exercise for the pilot. Has anybody done this? I have an old Huffy Tandem from the 50's and it has ape hanger bars on it. Just thought it would be something to try.

   :tandem Freewheel Bottom Bracket posted by John E on 4/29/2001 at 3:49:45 PM
If you have crossover drive, the freewheel will ratchet in the wrong direction. With the less-common same-side drive, then either crankset could have the freewheel. What really intrigues me about your concept is that the riders no longer have to commit to the default in-phase configuration or the smoother power output of 90-degree out-of-phase, but can dynamically choose any alignment they want. For cornering, each rider can independently achieve an inside pedal up position. Cool!

   RE:MISC:   Freewheel Bottom Bracket? posted by Fred on 4/29/2001 at 7:14:41 PM
I have 4 schwinns with Shimano's FFS (Front Freewheel System). 2 of them also have SIS derailers which all work very well. I don't see much advantage to the FFS although it does add a dimension to shifting. The SIS has a distinct possibility of advantage since the gear detent is as near as you can get to the cogs. The cable is removed as a possible cause of faulty shifting. Of course a lot of engineering has refined the standard SIS sytem to be quite reliable. At the very least, these mechanisms generates a lot of comments.

   RE:MISC: Freewheel Bottom Bracket? posted by Bob on 4/30/2001 at 1:53:18 PM
I replaced the "fixed" hub on my wife's Ross over the weekend with an alloy hub/rim combination. Aside from lightening the bike a bit everything seems to work quite well. Apparenty the friction is higher in the freecrank than the freewheel because it behaves "normally" now.
The freehub I have uses a one piece crank and the BB looks large even for a one piece crank (I haven't measured it). There might be some problem using one like mine in a tandem frame if the frame was designed for three-piece cranks. In addition, my particular freecrank has only one chainring--it would have to be a "front".

   RE:MISC:   Freewheel Bottom Bracket? posted by Gary on 4/30/2001 at 8:33:12 PM
i recall those things werent very strong, not suited for a mans bike. i have both a pair of Schwinn and one Ross with it, and i think its a nice idea, but the little flags are too weak for me to ride it. Or so i was told, i worked at a Fuji Dealer when those came out.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Campy brake drop bolt posted by: Eric Amlie on 4/27/2001 at 9:12:21 AM
I'm trying to fit some Campagnolo Grand Sport brake calipers on my '71 Paramount P15 tourer. The front caliper fits fine. The rear doesn't have enough reach. The caliper itself will clear the tire just fine if I can get it down far enough. Anybody know where I can get a drop bolt for this caliper? Thanks

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Campy brake drop bolt posted by Keith on 4/27/2001 at 9:37:23 AM
My 24" '76 has Gran Comps with a drop bolt on the back, and the rear JUST reaches with 27" wheels. I'm not sure a Campy brake will reach even with a drop bolt -- the Gran Comps are longer. Bicycle Classics may help, or look to other dealers listed on the links at the Classic Rendesvous site.

   Campy brake drop bolt posted by John E on 4/27/2001 at 11:14:34 AM
I think Sheldon has drop-bolts, too. Rear brake bridge height is one of the biggest hassles facing owners of classic road bikes; that's one reason I am keeping the original Weinmann centre-pulls on the Capo.

It would be easy to machine a wide groove into the top of a small block of aluminum. Drilling holes in the tabs on each side of the groove would allow one to bolt this adaptor to the old brake bridge, which would fit into the groove. Drilling a hold at the bottom would accommodate the brake bolt.

   RE:Campy brake drop bolt posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 4/27/2001 at 11:50:13 AM
Cyclart is making drop bolts. Chreck out their web page.
Cyclart bikes Vista, California

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Campy brake drop bolt posted by Keith on 4/27/2001 at 12:57:30 PM
You could definately get it to work with a home-made drop. I have a Campy drop bolt on my Mercian, and I don't think it would extend the reach enough for a normal reach NR brake caliper to reach on a P-15, if the dimensions are the same as on mine. Take some measurements and call Bicycle Classics or another vintage parts dealer.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Campy brake drop bolt posted by Eric Amlie on 4/27/2001 at 3:59:31 PM
Thanks for all the ideas guys. You've given me some new avenues to explore.

   RE:Campy brake drop bolt posted by Jim VanderLaan on 5/1/2001 at 6:55:08 PM
John E's comment led me to try an experiment: bolting the
rear Weinmann "Vainqueur 999" center-pull caliper from my
Capo (1960?) onto my 1961 Olmo "de Luxe" in place of the
Olmo's rear Campy Record side-pull with drop bolt. (I put
the Campy brakes on the Olmo in 1974.) On the Olmo, the
rear brake blocks are at the bottom of the slots in order
to line up with the wheel rim.

What I found was that if I wanted to use the Weinmann brake
on the Olmo, I would have to move its brake blocks from the
middle nearly to the top of the vertical slots. The Capo's
comparatively high bridge allows plenty of room for fenders,
a real benefit for winter commuting.

As I recall, the Weinmann brakes stop much better than the
Mafac center-pulls that I took off the Olmo in 1974.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Freewheels posted by: Oscar on 4/27/2001 at 6:45:06 AM
How do you lube a freewheel? I have a nos Regina freewheel that I've ridden for about a year. I remember the freewheel more of a "bright" ratcheting noise than I've heard on other new freewheels. It now seems louder on coasting.

If this involves disassembling the freewheel, I'm bummed.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Freewheels posted by Keith on 4/27/2001 at 7:28:29 AM
Different brands of freewheels have different sounds, so comparison probably doesn't help. I took apart one only once, long ago, but it was out of curiosity -- not at all necessary. Unless the pawls are completely rusted, the only thing a freewheel needs is a shot of decent oil now and then -- you can work it in by tipping the wheel at an angle and dripping oil into the tiny space as you turn it -- capilary action will carry it into the mechanism. Something like Tri-Flow is fine, but when I was a kid I used motor old and it worked too. WD-40 might be okay to loosen up one that's gummy, but as a lubricant it's too thin for just about anything on your bike. In my experience, the cogs on a freewheel will wear out long before the inards, especially with old European ones like Reginas. You'll know when this happens -- the chain will skip on the cogs when you pedal hard, and a new chain won't solve it.

   RE:  Lubing freewheels posted by Eric Amlie on 4/27/2001 at 9:11:26 AM
I dribble about half a teaspoon of heavy gear oil into the freewheel wherever I can find a joint that provides access to the innards. So far I have had good luck with this. It's much easier if you remove the freewheel from the wheel. After spinning the cogset to distribute the lube around the innards I let it drain for a day or two before reinstalling it on the wheel. The pawls really quiet down with this heavy oil. As Keith says though, it is probably not necessary. Sheldon Brown says the bearings in the freewheel are the least worked bearings on the bike.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Freewheels posted by Art on 4/27/2001 at 11:16:29 AM
When I was much younger and apparently not very smart, I cleaned a very dirty freewheel by spraying the heck out of it with WD-40. The next time I rode it, the freewheel made a loud and unpeasant grinding noise. I took it to a local bike shop and the owner asked me what I'd done. I told him and in his Swiss accent he started screaming at me about using WD-40 and that essentially it's better to have a grimy dirty freewheel than to use that stuff. He then sold me a new freewheel. I still am not sure what happened, but I keep away from spraying it near my bike unless I've got a good reason. I can still hear the guy yelling at me!

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Freewheels posted by Keith on 4/27/2001 at 12:54:09 PM
Maybe he just wanted to sell you a freewheel. I've done the WD-40 wash for freewheels as well as 3-speed Sturmey Archer hubs. I just spray a bunch in -- let it soak and drip out, and then after it's drained pretty well follow by a heavier oil. Bike shop guys can be mean to kids. I was hit from behind by a car when I was about 13, and needed a new rear wheel. I asked the LBS old mechanic to build me one with stainless spokes. He yelled, "Ha! There ain't no such thing as stainless steel spokes!" I knew he was wrong. In hindsight, he was probably just out of the size I needed. Soon afterward I started buying more tools and building my own wheels, etc., so I thank him for that!

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Freewheels posted by WIngs on 4/27/2001 at 10:55:37 PM
I found a heavy bearing oil that comes in a squeeze bottle with a long tube. I think this was for use on electri motors. After cleaning the freewheel with Simple Green and a rag while still on the wheel, I remove it and squeeze some of the heavier oil in (heavier than tri-flow). Never had a problem. Tri-flow also comes in a squeeze bottle with a long flexible tube and this is much better than using the spray can for lubrication!!!! One drop here and one drop there and so on rather than a flood of spray through the red tube. Warning: Lubricants in spray cans can splash back and get you in the eyes!!!
Click, click, click ... Yes, each freewheel has a different sound but the clearer the sound, I think the cleaner they are. Isn't that also the way with SA internal hubs?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Freewheels posted by John Hawrylak on 4/28/2001 at 6:07:03 PM
A while back, someone posted the following solution:
Remove the frewheel.
Put it in a shallow pan or dish.
Cover it with clean motor oil, SAE 20 will do.
Spin the freewheel.
Let it sit for a a while
Take the freewheel out
Let it drain over night
Install it.
Should be good to go.
The method should work and allow oil to get everwhere it wants to be (like a VISA card).