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Archived: Vintage Lightweights

FOR SALE:   Jack Taylor Tandem posted by: Tom on 2/1/2002 at 2:58:33 AM
Hi All -

I have a Jack Taylor tandem which is about 30 years old (I need to check the serial number records to better date it) that I bought a few years back with the intention of refurbishing and riding. So go the best laid plans of mice and men. I think it's time I face reality - I'm never going to get this thing together, nor will I have a riding partner for it. The wife just doesn't do that sort of thing.

The bike is in somewhat rough condition. There is a bit of rust and wear on the paint. One rear cantilever boss is off the frame and needs to be brazed back on. Some genius sawed the derailleur hanger off. Dunno why. I have all the running gear for the bike, most of itm original. Campy rear derailleur, Williams cottered cranks, TTT stem, etc. I think the front derailleur was an Suntour unit, so obviously not original. Dunno why. Rear wheel is complete with Atom drum brake, front wheel was in bad shape, but the Campy hub survives. The handle bars were nondescript, but had Mafac levers, double cable on one side to operate the rear canti and the drum brake. I have the front and rear cantis. What I DON'T have is a pair of saddles for it, and the stoker's stem may be misplaced (though I must have it, what the heck else could I use it for?), and the downtube shifters. The DPO had put Campy barcons on it. Dunno why.

Anyway, if any of you is interested please e-mail me and I can provide more details, pictures, answer questions, etc. I'm located in Los Angeles.

Thanks for your time,


MISC:   Restoration how-to posted by: DBean on 2/1/2002 at 2:45:45 AM
http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1801686301 has some great restoration tips, even if you're not interested in the old Raleigh GP.

   RE:MISC:   Restoration how-to posted by Dick on 2/2/2002 at 2:25:54 AM
Did I miss something? All I see at this address is a piece-of-crap Raleigh-America frame. Where are the "great restoration tips"?

   RE:MISC:   Restoration how-to posted by Dick on 2/2/2002 at 2:26:17 AM
Did I miss something? All I see at this address is a piece-of-crap Raleigh frame. Where are the "great restoration tips"?

   RE:RE:MISC:   Restoration how-to posted by Oscar on 2/3/2002 at 12:47:49 AM
The seller describes a very unscientific method of widening the dropout spacing for a 7 speed. Hmm...foot on the bottom drop...pull...pull...130mm! Got it!

   Drop-out spreading posted by Steven on 2/3/2002 at 3:29:10 AM
You shouldn't be shocked by the seemingly crude way setting up the rear frame spacing. This is how virtually every famed builder used to do it (undoubtedly some continue to do it this way even today.) I have a frame that I built for myself without any jig, it was aligned using nothing more than the lines of a hardwood floor. It tracks perfectly straight and would put to shame any of the much vaunted Peugeots and Raleighs that many contributors on this site are so keen on. After having assembled many hundreds of Raleighs and Peugeots, it is my honest opinion that about the only 'name' brands that were more poorly built in the factory were the Schwinns.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Fixed Gear Conversion posted by: Gralyn on 2/1/2002 at 1:46:41 AM
More information to add to my post below (actually, way down below....several messages down). My hub is Shimano....old....probably early 80's...or earlier than that. I took my wheel to a bike shop. To get the gears off - we had to secure the 4 bigger gears...and with a chain whip - screw off the small gear on the end. Once the small gear was off...the other 4 gears came off as a cluster. But, to get the ratchet part of the hub off...it requires a tool with 2 splines, 180 degrees apart. The guy at the bike shop looked and looked...through lots of tools. He found on tool, which looked to be the one we needed....but alas...it was too small. He finally concluded that he didn't think he had one. He also said that it was an old one -which they only made for a very short while...then quickly went to something else.

If I get that ratchet part of the hub off....then fixed gear equipment will go in it's place?

   freewheel removal posted by John E on 2/1/2002 at 2:57:35 AM
Yes, the new cog will thread directly onto the hub, as the ratchet assembly does now. You can avoid alot of grief by making sure whoever removes your freewheel body has the proper tool and knows how to use it. A freewheel tool such as you require must fit properly and must be secured hand-snugly by a nut or QR quill, before one puts it in a bench vise and jerks the rim anticlockwise.

   RE:freewheel removal posted by Wings on 2/1/2002 at 7:39:52 AM
Sounds like maybe you need a Park FR-2 freewheel remover. Keep checking shops as -- especially older shops! Yes, make sure the remover fits and is secured with a axle nut as John E indicated! Otherwise the remover will break and could do damage to the freewheel also. I do not like the vice method. I keep a tire on the rim and use a large crescent wrench -- sometimes with some added leverage. I hug the wheel with my legs and chest and one hand and turn (contrary to the normal pull of a chain) the wrench. Just start it moving and then loosen the axle nut!
Patience makes Perfect here. Right tool, and right method!

   RE:freewheel removal posted by Gralyn on 2/1/2002 at 2:34:57 PM
Thanks for the information. The guy at the bike shop...he was maybe up in his 50's - didn't charge my anyhting to remove the gears...he said he enjoyed working with that old stuff. I will have to find one of those tools - I will keep checking....hmmm...I just thought of one place that may have it....
I could buy a wheel already set-up for the fixed gear thing - for about $20....but these wheels I have aren't anyhting all that special...I have an old Hercules....that someone used to have set-up as a fixed gear....when I got it - it had a coaster brake...I want to fix it back up with fixed gear. I found a set of old wheels....Rigida rims - chrome plated....Shimano hubs - and I thought they would go well on the old Hercules.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Fixed Gear Conversion posted by Keith on 2/4/2002 at 2:35:27 PM
It's possible that he has an early Shimano freehub (they came out in the late '70s, I believe)? I can't tell from the description. The early ones required only two chainwhips to remove -- the small sprocket served as the lockring. If it's a freehub, for all practical purposes, you're out of luck. If not, as the others suggest, you simply thread the fixed gear onto the standard threads of the hub.

FOR SALE:   1960 First Year Schwinn Continental w/suicide shifter posted by: Ray on 2/1/2002 at 12:33:18 AM
Shameless self plug. I have a first year 1960 Schwinn Continental up on ebay right now. It is a fantastic classic lightweight bike with the Simplex TDF rear derailleur and the Simplex suicide front. Great decals on this old beauty. Made for one year with the frame that has the shifter mount brazed on. Check it out.

   1960 Schwinn Continental posted by John E on 2/1/2002 at 3:05:04 AM
Thanks for posting! It should generate alot of interest. Curious (strange?) minds want to know: what is the serial number? What is the gearing, 52-49 / 15-25? Are the wheels 27"?

   RE:1960 Schwinn Continental posted by Wings on 2/1/2002 at 7:50:21 AM
The derailers look just like what is on the 8 speed Varsity. I notice there are no bids. Hmmm. I am also curious about the wheels. Would Rigida be original? 26 by 1 3/8 wheels?

   Rigida posted by John E on 2/1/2002 at 2:59:47 PM
I believe the Rigida rims could be original, because in 1960 Schwinn did not produce enough 27"-wheeled bikes to justify tooling up for the S-7 rims which grace(?) the later Varsinentals. According to Kingbay's story, Frank Schwinn regarded the 1960 Varsinentals as a risky experiment, and obviously did not want to commit too heavily until they proved themselves in the marketplace. All of the imported parts are French, and Rigida was the biggest-volume French manufacturer of steel rims (e.g., for the Peugeot AO-8, UO-8, UE-8, and UO-18, and UE-18).

Yes, the 1960 Varsity and Continental used the same Simplex derailleurs. As far as I can reconstruct (comments and counterpoint invited!), Schwinn switched the Conti. to Huret in 1961, the Varsity in 1962.

   RE:FOR SALE:   1960 First Year Schwinn Continental w/suicide shifter posted by Ray on 2/3/2002 at 4:58:32 PM
Frame size is 20 c to c seat tube and 22 c to c top tube and serial # is J015668. The gearing is front 50-47 and the range on the rear is 15-25. The Rigida is original 27 inch to this bike. I have not seen a TDF derailleur on any 61 or older Schwinn bike so cannot tell if they ever existed beyond this first year.

FOR SALE:   Super Grand Tour by Ross ca 1980 posted by: paul on 1/31/2002 at 11:24:43 PM
10 speed with less than 10 miles road champ bars have never been taped, beautiful drilled Shimano levers w/ neoprenehoods, Shimano group 600 components all around, steel 1020 frame metallic blue, SR stem, Araya rims Shimano hubs 27 by one + 1/8 clinchers $120 obo see you in Monson 17 Feb 2002 Thank you! Paul

AGE / VALUE:   Lemond posted by: Oscar on 1/31/2002 at 10:47:54 PM
Those racing types get younger every year


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Lemond posted by Warren on 2/1/2002 at 2:12:41 PM
I REALLY hope that seller is good with Photoshop. I can't even consider the possibility that it's real...

AGE / VALUE:   what is it? posted by: Greg on 1/31/2002 at 2:16:39 AM
Rino road bike. Columbus tubes. Anyone care to take a stab at this one? Thanks Greg. Have pictures

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   what is it? posted by Steven on 1/31/2002 at 4:29:19 AM
Rino bicycles were produced by Cambio Rino in the suburbs of Toronto in late 70's early 80's. The company was owned by Joe Gardin who made his money with fork lifts. The main builder was an Italian who was brought over to run the production. They were discreet bikes and offered great value for the money. They tended to use generic Italian components including the Rino derailleurs (hence the name Cambio Rino) I'm not sure of exactly the reason of the demise of the company but I seem to remember hearing stories of possible financial improprieties; Joe always treated me well, so I would however be the last person to want to believe this to be true.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   what is it? posted by jeff on 3/1/2002 at 5:51:51 PM
Hi, I own a black Cambio Rino Road Racing Bike. I've heard the same about being built or distributed by Gardin in Toronto. 58cm frame, Columbus Tubing, 38" tight wheelbase...I've got photos if you'd like me to email them to you. Jeff

FOR SALE:   Raleigh Pro and International for sale posted by: Mark Webb on 1/31/2002 at 2:05:41 AM
I bought 3 bikes last week - don't ask me how. I am only keeping the one that will fit me the best. I am selling the Raleigh Pro and the Raleigh International. I want $539 for the Pro and $599 for the International. The Pro was painted, or else I would ask a lot more. The Pro has a first year of production 1966 serial number. These are the prices I paid for them last week. Really. The International appears to be really sweet. The consigner I bought it from said it was excellent. He did say the crank is scratched, with typical crank micro-cracks (typical for these 30 year old Campy NR parts). Also a few normal scratches and scruffs on the full Reynolds 531 butted frame as expected on a 30 year old bike. The hubs are Campy high flange, but wheels were changed to clinchers instead of sew-ups.

I have them with pics on ebay items Items # 1801888008 and #1801871303.

AGE / VALUE:   Mafac brakes on e- bay posted by: ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 1/30/2002 at 8:29:25 PM
Mafac Criterium cantilevers on e- bay! I sit and look at the picture and it all comes back to me now. Dumping the whole drawer on the floor, getting a bag full and buying a ton of it for eight dollars. Putting the empty drawer back. Later hearing about "so and so, "Who wants to strangle you, Chris" who was unhappy that I bought it all and left nothing but dust.
Oh the memories! Bang/Zoom today I see these sell for 30.00 and counting for a set.
The quiet, rainy afternoons spent in the bike shop. I love them.

MISC:   What is the value of a Girls 1950 Huffy Mainliner posted by: Sarah on 1/30/2002 at 2:21:51 PM
My stepmother asked me if I could find out the value of her 1950's Huffy mainliner. Can anyone help me with this.

Thank you

WANTED:   waynes wants list... posted by: wayne davidson on 1/30/2002 at 8:33:55 AM
Hi all, here is my wants list, I managed to get a complete Modolo speedy brakeset,
so that ended up being the doner for lever hood as fresh as the day they were made, I have heaps of stuff I can trade, email me...regards wayne...

Would like items NOS, but if unable in VG/EX condition, LMK if you are
able to supply a jpg.

Galli Criterium strada 170mm. NOS ONLY PLEASE.

Gian Roberts to suit a RIGI.

3ttt Record competizione? from the 80's. The bigger the better, size
wise. These are the bars that have the flattened section on the top.

Galli taper roller bearing, italian threaded.

Campagnolo/Galli, anything italian with a black alloy cage, even track.
Campagnolo SL Pista/track LH only.

Cinelli/Ale black large alloy.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Last Chance posted by: Dick on 1/29/2002 at 9:48:26 PM
So the 1925 Automo ebay auction has ended and no one met the reserve. http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1067932028&r=0&t=0&showTutorial=0&ed=1012630968&indexURL=0&rd=1 You guys still have a chance to pick up that Rene Herse for a song. http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1067261389
Happy Bidding

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Last Chance posted by Oscar on 1/29/2002 at 10:03:33 PM
I like (love) the Herse, but you gotta be singing better songs than I!

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Last Chance posted by Dick on 1/29/2002 at 10:43:11 PM
Oscar, I just love spending other peoples money. And if I can talk someone into buying it, maybe I can also talk him into letting me ride it.

   VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Last Chance posted by John E on 1/30/2002 at 2:53:47 AM
Fortunately, that Herse is too tall for me. It's at $5K and counting -- still has a ways to go to top that $7200 PX-10.

   Herse posted by John E on 1/30/2002 at 11:31:17 PM
Prounced "erz" (short e), I think. Translates to "harrow." Interesting ...

AGE / VALUE:   Motobecane Grand Sprint posted by: Schwinnderella on 1/29/2002 at 7:14:09 PM
Hope all chicago bicyclists got out last weekend for a long ride. I took a ride ,picked up two bikes off the curb, a Fuji Royale and a Motobecane Grand Sprint. The Fuji looks to be an inexspensive bike however the Motobecane looks better. I would appreciate any info on the Moto. The bike has Mavic rims,Shimano QR 600 hubs,Shimano Altus shifters and derail., Weinmann brakes,nice Blackburn cage and vetta rack, nice molded rubber handlebar wrap(can you still buy this?),Vitus 888 tubing. The bike has a 1986 sticker on it so I assume it is earlier than this. The bike is a 12 speed,color orange. It rides very nicely,probably nicer once I go over it a bit. I really like the molded rubber handlebar tape. Happy collecting!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Motobecane Grand Sprint posted by Gralyn on 1/29/2002 at 8:47:21 PM
....and you just picked them up off the curb? Lucky you!There aren't any curbs like that where I live.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Motobecane Grand Sprint posted by Keith on 1/30/2002 at 6:57:30 PM
Classic Rendesvous (link to it from www.cyclesdeoro.com) has bit on Motobecane. I roughly equate it with Peugeot. The Shimano 600 hubs suggest this is a nice mid-range bike. Motobecane still makes bikes under the name MBK, and, like Peugeot, their bikes still appear in the pro peloton in Europe.

   Motobecane posted by John E on 1/30/2002 at 9:19:14 PM
Although I have owned several Peugeots and no Motobecanes, I freely admit that Motobecane's fit and finish are generally superior to Peugeot's. In ride quality, weight, component mix, etc., comparably-priced Peugeots and Motobecanes are indeed quite similar. For future acquisitions, I am leaning towards British, Italian, American, and Japanese bikes, because of parts availability.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Motobecane Grand Sprint posted by Rob on 1/31/2002 at 1:14:37 AM
I have a chance at a Motobecane Grand Sprint frame...in a used bike store...it's been there a couple of months...saw it last a couple of weeks ago...price, I think, was around $35CDN ($22US). Includes the forks, and a few other bits and pieces. Looks to be 20+ years old...brownish yellow color. Can anyone provide more details on the good and bad points of this bike? What were the typical components? Tubing? Etc. (I guess at $22 the only issue is whether I want more junk cluttering up the basement...)


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Motobecane Grand Sprint posted by Oscar on 1/31/2002 at 5:16:23 AM
Schwinnderella - I remember you posted about a Bianchi Record (almost a year ago). Are you still in love with it. I'm sure I saw it at the Milwaukee swap with a $25 tag on it (next to the sold tag). My buddy and I were drooling. Was that yours?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Motobecane Grand Sprint posted by Steve B on 1/31/2002 at 11:55:23 PM
The bike I've ridden mostly for the last 20 years is a Grand Sprint, bought new in 81. It was third or fourth from the top of the line then, mine is Vitus 777, so yours is probably newer. This was the entry level bike for racing, with the more expensive models having Campy parts. The parts in 81 were not equivalent to shimano 600, so yours may have been upgraded.


VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Quick question posted by: Oscar on 1/29/2002 at 7:10:42 PM
Does anyone know if an old Pletscher mousetrap rack is suitable for panniers? They look a little different from modern racks. Whaddyathink?

   Pletscher mousetrap w/ panniers posted by John E on 1/29/2002 at 9:24:33 PM
In the good old days, when men were men and bikes had friction shifters and lugged steel frames, lots of people mounted panniers onto Pletscher racks. I do not know why this would not still work with modern panniers, but I have not tried it.

   RE:Pletscher mousetrap w/ panniers posted by Oscar on 1/29/2002 at 10:00:12 PM
Well, %$&#-it, I'm a real man too. Drink whole milk everyday. Don't shave on weekends. Don't take fools for anything better. Cycle in cotton. Shift friction. Non-aero brake levers.

The reason I asked, though, is that I noticed that other racks have Y-shaped rear supports, where the Pletscher only has that one rod going from the rear to the dropout eyelet. So, nothing gets sucked into the wheel?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Quick question posted by DBean on 1/29/2002 at 10:02:29 PM
Pletscher makes a stronger, much superior version (with the clip) called "Athlete" now. You can get brake bolt or braze-on mounting. I'm not sure there's a US importer anymore; used to be an outfit called Provelo in Chicago area. In Switzerland you can get these great shopping baskets that engage the rack and are held on by the clip; the best thing for ordinary bags, groceries, etc. Try their website; www.pletscher.ch

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Quick question posted by Dick on 1/29/2002 at 10:59:25 PM
Oscar, there is nothing that looks worse than a bike with seat stays that have had the paint scrubbed off just above the rear brake from a Pletscher clamping device slipping down until it hits the brake. There used to be a little triangle-shaped bracket available that had 1 hole on the bottom that went on the brake bolt and the 2 at the top that matched the 2-hole pattern of the Pletscher. You still use all of the clamping feature of the the rack but there is that little extra support to keep it from sliding. I've made these little brackets myself in the past from fairly light aluminum sheet. If you've ever seen one, you'd know exactly what I'm talking about.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Quick question posted by Jonathan on 1/30/2002 at 12:29:59 AM
Well. if you want my 2 cents, the pletsher is strictly for quick runs. Any kind of load to speak of will noodle around to and fro such as to drive you nuts. Then, you have mentioned the sliding around on the seat stays, which will sometimes apply your rear brake after any kind of a blip in the road. I say, get a more rigid rack if you want a trouble-free ride.
I put the pletsher-type racks in the same category as the kickstand...a big fat pain. But, they are chaep and they are at least useful, which distinguishes them from kickstands. I have a Schwinn-approved rack that looks like a pletsher on steroids and it is not shabby. It is mounted with a wooden yoke that spans the stays. The yoke is homemade (drillpress/bandsaw) job that seems to grip better than the steel plate. I use the one part of the steel plate to mate the yoke to the rack.

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Quick question posted by Dick on 1/30/2002 at 2:01:30 AM
Whoa Jonathan! Now you've got me started! I do agree that the Pletsher is marginal by today's standards. And really nice Blackburn types are around for about $20. But then you implied that kickstands were uesless? Anyone who has spent any time at all on Schwinn 10 speeds of any model less than a Paramount can testify about the usefulness of a good kickstand. I certainly wouldn't have a kickstand on a full zoot road racer, but anything less than that can afford the additional 16 ounces or so of kickstand weight. Our refusal to equip our bikes with these devices has led to scuffed sides to our beloved Brooks saddles and gum rubber brake levers and pedal end bearing caps. Not to mention the scrapes down the sides of the seat stays and top tubes caused by the bike sliding along the brick wall or tree or post or whatever we've leaned it against. Unfortunatley the manufacturers have been more than happy to accomodate us by not making any provision for mounting a decent stand without crushing the chainstays just behind the bottom bracket. I once had a nice low-end Stella that the factory had actually brazed a small plate under the chainstays in that same location that so many stands have been installed with that destructive crushing results. Only, the stand was located in the same place on the Stella but the top plate was thrown away and the bolt went through a large lockwasher and through a hole in the center of that brazed on plate and into the stand. And I could tighten the hell out of it and not hurt the bike. If I ever get around to doing a complete repaint on a nice street bike, I'll have that little plate brazed on before the paint is applied. I will mention that kickstands of the type I am speaking of here are perfectly placed for good balance while on the stand. That balance is severely disrupted with even a modest amount of uneven weight (i.e. a load on the rear rack with no load on a front rack). The bike will roll off on the stand and/or tip over when unbalanced so. But a simple solution is a parking brake to keep the bike from rolling. It's a little wire thing that mounts on, and pivots from, the seat tube and binds against the rear wheel. Another oz. of weight. There now. All that said, I feel much better thank you.

   Quick question revisited posted by Jonathan on 1/30/2002 at 8:22:44 AM
Couldn't agree with you more about the Schwinns. My Varsity, both Suburbans and "racer" (?) have
intelligently implemented kickstands. I speak for the myriad of bikes that have been damaged by the
60 pounds of torque required to secure the kickstand as most of us know it...that rediculous appendage
crushed onto the chainstays. I unceremoniously remove them from any of my bikes, and I do it with a smile when they are loose, because the damage is usually only to the paint on the stays.
I still can't believe that the bulk of the bikes sold had that type of stand. Preposterous, I say, albeit Schwinn's design and your proposed
application of the brazed on anchor plate. IMHO, a light bicycle such as my Team Fuji road racer is better off without
a stand as they rest easily on the handlebar and rear wheel. Another good way of parking is to "lock" a pedal on the curb by backing up the bike; with a little practice it's easy to get a very stable
position. I can load my rear pack while it's parked in this manner. MTB's are better off without extra hardware to grab branches and mud. Nothing strikes me funnier than to see a rough and tumble MTB with a kickstand!
I think it's a feature for dealers to help display the bikes on the showroom. My beaters and various "mutts" are not precious enough to worry about slight paint scuffing in the event of a slide-down.
I've had more bikes fall WITH kickstands, and usually it's after staring at it for 10 seconds to make sure it's holding and have walked just out of arms reach. My vote is still for no kickstands. My Varsity hasn't fallen while on stand, I must admit
that with all its faults, that the kickstand is great. Do you need a kickstand?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Quick question posted by Keith on 1/30/2002 at 7:00:00 PM
I've used old Pletscher racks with small panniers without any problem. I wrap pieces of inner tube around the seat stays -- it prevents scratches and seems to help keep them from rattling loose. Use a drop of Loctite on the bolts.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Quick question posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 1/30/2002 at 8:21:38 PM
Ah Ha! Why do you think I go to such crazy lengths to find the real thing? Bicycle racks as God intended, please! Bought the whole bike just to get my itchy hands on the rear rack. I hold it and I say "OOHH"!! Steel Ashby Princip model with the drop down stand! Yes! Visions of the scratched stays, the electrical tape or tubes. The way they weather and don't stay nice/new looking for long. Been there, done that. Paint the Pletcher rack and I'll run off screaming. "Sure, I have that part you need! Just don't make me look at that again!" Overload it and they wobble and stuff can slide into the wheel if you have not added a piece of plastic in there. I met a lady cyclist who used tape to secure her packages. It was packaging tape! As I studied this crazed bag lady, I thought " Why don't they make cycle racks that are worth a damn?" I have haunted swap meets and the hidden recesses of ancient shops muttering about "real, nice bicycle racks" I plop the book down on the desk and I point and say "Cut to the chase!" and he leans in and smiles and asks where I got the book. "So you want that, huh?"
The Pletcher rack with the mousetrap style clip is good for a newspaper and short trips. I have four trailers, with hoped up disc wheels and I move along pretty well. I might want to pick something up, nothing bites like not being able to take something home when the oportunity comes up. "Take it now, or forget it! she says, expecting me to conjure up a truck! I say to total strangers, Dude! You have a truck, I say "Hey!" I shake their hand and 20 minutes later everythings cool! Met more people that way. Carrying "mad money" is just the first step. Next, you gotta get it home! This one homeless dude had a trail- a- bike with things hanging off it and swaying, like he ran a chuck wagon in the old west. He was sight to see.
Many people use and like the Pletcher rack.I did too, until I dropped the bag and nineteen oranges rolled in the street and then the light had changed. It's a good rack but like with everything else it has it's limitations.Thank God for Rivendell!! They offer real, usable, practical racks for cyclists. I flip thru the book and drool at the Nitto brand racks and boxy bags. Rivendell is on the web, take a look at their offerings.Our pal Sheldon is interviewed in the current Rivendell Reader, so now is a good time to suscribe, if you don't already. My crazy pal is having a bike made in a tall frame size, he's all excited about it, telling me about 29 inch tires and wheels. What exactly he's cooking up I dunno, but it's gonna be cool.
Stop me and ask about the black steel Ashby rack on my Rudge, and I'll start saying "No, No, No"( Like Tippi Hedren did before thay carry her off to hospital in the movie "The Birds") Army/ Navy surplus stores sometimes carry cool bicycle bags, but what they offer never comes close to what Rivendell sells.
This is why I had to have that Phillips delivery bike with the huge basket 19 years ago.A shop friend said "Chris, Look what I found for you!" He hands me this origonal Dunlop tire, new and origonal. I tell you it was wonderful! I pulled the paper tag off the delivery bike, they held the door open for me and I rode home bouncing along on the Dunlop rubber saddle.
Why I ever let go of that mini Japaneese shopping bike with the differental in the rear end I'll never know.

   Proper alternative to kickstand posted by Steven on 1/31/2002 at 5:03:33 AM
The Italians know how to do it best. They realized that kickstands have no business on any bicycle. I have seen more bicycles sent to the trash heap after a kickstand loosened than you could ever imagine. In Italy to this day you can still find bicycle stands that attach to the seatpost: they are a straight rod that folds down parallel to the seatpost when not in use and when you want to lean your bicycle against a building, you simply fold it out, locking it perpendiculr to the seatpost. They even have a nice rubber pad to prevent slipping. It weighs less than any kickstand around, does not do any damage and looks good to boot. I have one on a 1934 Bianchi that I inherited from my father in law. Another even more simplistic solution is a soft rubber pad that gets applied to upright handlebars at a strategic position allowing you to lean the from tire and handlebars against a wall. Again, simple, lightweight and functional. For carrying the newspaper as described above, the Pletscher is easily beaten by a neat handlebar binder bolt (anything that is not sunken) mounted double sprung 'newspaper' holder. As for the Pletscher for touring, I would recommend staying away from it. I have circumnavigated the US (over 8500 miles) with camping gear and all with no rear carrier whatsoever (just two small low-rider front bags, a handlebar bag and a saddle bag) After the first 20 miles of mastering the heavy front end, you become unstoppable and never again willing to put up with the deficits inherent with rear panniers. With the same set-up I have also comfortably undertaken some Austrian alpine descents at speeds at times exceeding 60 mph. Oh to be young and fit!!!

   RE:Proper alternative to kickstand posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 1/31/2002 at 7:56:02 PM
One of my old Raleigh's has a circular disc with a straight rod that snaps into two places, folded up and out to hold up the bike. I think that it was made by Terry's. It is a kickstand as he describes. I like it. Never seen one since though.

   RE:Proper alternative to kickstand posted by smg on 1/31/2002 at 9:07:40 PM
Just for kicks: To be honest, I've never felt any need for one. They work best on a hard surface (i.e. pavement), but if I'm leaving the bike parked, by definition I'm looking for something to lock it to, and in practice that means something to lean it against. And on soft ground, I found that a kickstand simply spears itself into the dirt and drops the bike anyway.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   what am I ,lightweight or not posted by: Rob on 1/29/2002 at 6:37:16 PM
Please help me figure out history of schwinn sierra from 1964. any pics would help. thanx Rob

   Schwinn Sierra posted by John E on 1/29/2002 at 9:26:56 PM
The early specimens were (help me, Eric) 15-speed Contis(?), but the mid-1980s Sierra were mountain bikes [www.firstflightbikes.com, Schwinn mountain bike history chart].

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   what am I ,lightweight or not posted by Eric Amlie on 1/30/2002 at 4:08:07 PM
I am a little confused about the question. Do you want to know about a '64 Sierra or all bikes bearing the Sierra name from '64 forward?