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Archived: Vintage Lightweights

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Tange Champion tubing trivia question posted by: Alan on 7/3/2002 at 4:08:02 AM
Can any experts refresh our failing memory about the difference between the various Tange Champion tubing sets from the '70s? I seem to remember somebody straightening out my mistaken belief that Champion #1 was the best, #2 second best...etc., and that the real deal was that the numbers referred to sizes of frames that could be built from a given set...or was it weight...any help appreciated!

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Tange Champion tubing trivia question posted by Warren on 7/3/2002 at 1:15:22 PM
My understanding is the same as yours. I just built up a Sakai with Champion #2 tubes and it really is a nice bike. It is not as light and well made as my Ishwata 022 tubed "Bianchi" but it is still worthy of some nice componentry.

AGE / VALUE:   Le Tour starts this weekend posted by: Tom Findley on 7/2/2002 at 11:47:35 AM
Official Site:

Pic of America's Hero:

In other International news, Dutch Cyclists are ready to celebrate July 4:


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Le Tour starts this weekend posted by Steven on 7/2/2002 at 1:46:02 PM

The comment in Dutch at the top of the last webpage noted is: What do these people have in common with US cars? The American flag!

It therefore has little to do with bicycles, even if worth visiting.

AGE / VALUE:   Sears Roebuck Inc. Bicycle posted by: Adrienne on 7/1/2002 at 5:19:29 PM
Hi, I have been trying for weeks to find information on my bicycle. It's a Sears Roebuck, and is bright green with red and offwhite stripe/racing-type decals on it, and says "Sears Roebuck, Inc" on an offwhite/red/green sticker (front badge). I want to know what year this bike was made but I can't find any information on it as it is too new to be a "valuable" sears model. The serial # is 503 47 3661. Does anyone know anything about this?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Sears Roebuck Inc. Bicycle posted by wes on 7/2/2002 at 3:20:08 AM
is yours a 20 inch ive a 20 inch sears spider its a candy purple with white raceing strips and ape handle bars with a metalflake and white banana seat is that anything like yours wes

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Sears Roebuck Inc. Bicycle posted by Adrienne on 7/2/2002 at 1:24:43 PM
No. Mine is a 23" mens' roadbike with green paint and white/red striped and triangular decals and a "sears roebuck" sticker badge (red and offwhite) on the front. It is not a kids' bike and does not have a banana seat or any special characteristics like that. I was wrong about the serial number too: some shmoe had his SSN stamped over it on the bike. I scraped that off and found that it's 4364093. Can anyone help?

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Sears Roebuck Inc. Bicycle posted by Wings on 7/3/2002 at 6:19:39 AM
Where did you get the 23 inch measurement from? I think the previous post was asking about tire sizes. Please read the size from the tires or perhaps the rim or let us know if you actually measured the rim diameter. There are no 23 inch tires that I know of. It could be a 24 inch rim (maybe) if there are no tires on it.
Is it a three speed (internal geared rear hub)?
Is it a ten speed?
Sears bikes were usually not too exciting. I have seen some that were perhaps made by Raleigh as the chain rings are similar.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Sears Roebuck Inc. Bicycle posted by Adrienne on 7/3/2002 at 2:33:40 PM
I thought wes was refering to the frame size, which is 22.5 or 23 inches. That post was a little confusing due to lack of punctuation... Anyway, the tires are 90 psi 27"x1.25". It is a 5 speed. I know it's not an exciting bike, I just am hoping to find out what year it was made.

AGE / VALUE:   Fuji Special Road Racer posted by: Gralyn on 7/1/2002 at 4:02:48 PM
The Fuji "Special Road Racer"....I have completely dis-assembled it, painted it, and have started building it back. I'm building it fixed-gear. Everything's on except the chain and pedals....it's turning out to be lighter than I expected. I hated to re-paint...but it was rusted so badly - no way to make it look decent. The script on the tube where it read "Special Road Racer" was very nice...it wasn't a plastic decal stuck on. The rims were way too badly rusted to salvage (except for the QR...I salvaged that). I had a set of Japanese alloy wheels I was going to put on it...but I sold that bike....The only thing I had left was a set of French rims. So far, it's going to be a Japanese bike with French wheels. I will be looking for a parts bike with some good Japanese alloy wheels.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Fuji Special Road Racer posted by David on 7/1/2002 at 7:56:50 PM
Its new designation should be "S1-S."

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Fuji Special Road Racer posted by Chris on 7/2/2002 at 5:15:25 PM
I have rescued a Special Road Racer from trash pickup. Used some automotive paint cleaner to take the layer of oxidation off the white paint, looks like new! Did maintenance, added new Suntour barcons. Went for a 40 mile ride recently, very comfortable though a bit heavy. Maybe convert to fixed sometime. Also considering going to 700c wheels / brake calipers.

Anyone know how to determine the year of manufacture? Emailed Fuji, they said they didn't have records back that far.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Fuji Special Road Racer posted by Gralyn on 7/2/2002 at 8:51:56 PM
I wish I could determine the age of mine...sometime during the 70's is all I can guess...but even if Fuji didn't have any indication.....Well, maybe there's somebody out there who may know.
I got it together enough last night to take a little test ride. It rides great...and it's amazingly light. Most likely because it's fixed gear...but, the cranks, stems, etc. were all very light. Those old French wheels were pretty light, too. But, I could get some lighter wheels on it. Also, I need to replace the seat post...it's pretty heavy. I'm going to try and re-furbish the original leather ("Belt" brand)saddle. It looks a little cruddy right now.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Fuji Special Road Racer posted by Chris on 7/3/2002 at 3:57:27 AM
I have the original Belt saddle in good condition. Used some Lexol leather cleaner and leather conditioner to clean it up. Very comfortable, compared to the stock saddle on my 2001 Trek MTB.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Freewheel disassembly posted by: Oscar on 7/1/2002 at 2:34:58 AM
I know this came up in the past, but due to a short memory, I need help.

I have a very nice hub that I'm trying to free from a seized freewheel. The freewheel is worn, and skips. I've already soaked the non-budging freewheel in solvent, but the real problem is that the "keyhole" where the freewheel remover fits in was deformed by a bike mechanic's efforts. I think my only option left is to open up the hub, remove the sprokets and twist off the freewheel body.

Can you offer a tutorial on cracking off the freewheel?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Freewheel disassembly posted by Mark R. on 7/1/2002 at 3:38:10 PM
If you can unscrew the cone that holds the outer body on to the inner, you can pull the whole outter body off, and then you can use a spanner, or a pipe wrench to turn the inner body off the hub.The cone prbably will have a left hand thread, but not always, depends on the brand.

Good Luck!

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Freewheel disassembly posted by Gralyn on 7/1/2002 at 3:58:03 PM
I had to do the same thing. I had to remove the cassette assembly from off the free wheel - then, using a pipe wrench with a piece of pipe attached for leverage - then broke it loose. Actually, I did the very thing Saturday.

   Thanks posted by Oscar on 7/2/2002 at 12:05:54 AM
How do you unscrew the cone that holds the body?

   RE:Thanks posted by Gralyn on 7/2/2002 at 1:49:57 PM
Do it while the entire assembly is still on the wheel. Take something like a nail-set....put it to one of the 2 holes...tap it with a hammer in a clock-wise direction. It should come loose without too much effort.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Freewheel disassembly posted by Oscar on 7/3/2002 at 9:05:31 PM
All's well that ends well. Thanks again.

AGE / VALUE:   Researching swap acquisitions posted by: John S on 6/30/2002 at 9:53:33 PM
Picked up two very nice vintage bikes at a swap. If you can help with dating, etc. I'd be grateful.

Mercian: White with red pinstriping, Stronglight 49-D cranks, Campy NR 72 derailleurs. But the rear dropouts are stammped and take a curve downward from horizontal where the wheel enters. Also has very thin "pencil" seat & chain stays a friend says may indicate a 1960's frame. I'd like to put period-correct components on.

Woodrup: Nice touring frame made from Reynolds 531-ST tubing, some Campy, but mostly Japanese componentry, Suntour 5000 shifters, Sugino AT triple crank, Specialized hubs. Early 80's or solidly mid 70's???

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Researching swap acquisitions posted by Warren on 7/1/2002 at 12:24:00 PM
Mercian's are still being made...funky sounding dropouts. I'm sure you can contact them with a serial number.

The componentry on the Woodrup appears to be late 80's. Are the rear drops full or partial horizontals? What is the spacing for the rear hub?

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Researching swap acquisitions posted by John S on 7/1/2002 at 7:58:10 PM
Thanks for the tips, Warren. Checked CR website and Woodrup's are likely dated based on the first two digits of the serial number. Mine is 83, which is consistent with bikes posted on the site and with the componentry. Dropouts are horizontal, old Campy style.

I'll have to try the Mercian website. If someone else knows these bikes well, please help if you can!

FOR SALE:   1971 Full Chrome Paramount posted by: Mo on 6/30/2002 at 3:02:59 PM
Thought you guys would like to see this full chrome '71 Paramount P-15 for sale - don't see these very often with '72 being the final year "full chrome" was offered. I wonder what the cost would be to re-chrome one of these frames today? http://cgi6.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewBids&item=2115958261

FOR SALE:   64 cm Pinarello on ebay posted by: David on 6/30/2002 at 1:00:21 PM
NMA - http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1838860177
Auction ending about 2pm ET Sunday still very cheap. Too tall for me, unfortunately.

AGE / VALUE:   Women's step-thru frames posted by: David on 6/30/2002 at 12:42:31 PM
I have an old (27-inch wheels) cro-mo DB step-thru frame Schwinn w/lower end components. Should I just strip this for parts or try to give it away? Would I be wasting my time looking for a home for it?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Women's step-thru frames posted by Oscar on 6/30/2002 at 6:06:38 PM
The next nice mixtie that I see for sale/dumpsterdive, I'm grabbing it. Here's the (il)logic: As we age, we shrink. I intend to be riding well into my ninetys, and I'm going to need a nice step-thru. Better get it now before I'm to old to dumpsterdive.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Women's step-thru frames posted by David on 6/30/2002 at 8:55:36 PM
An interesting consideration. But do you think my legs will get about a foot shorter?

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Women's step-thru frames posted by Oscar on 7/1/2002 at 2:33:25 AM
Your legs should have one foot apiece.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Women's step-thru frames posted by Wings on 7/2/2002 at 6:03:45 AM
Oscar -- Right On!!!
I have seen older guys on bikes and they are on women's bikes! I remember talking to a guy and that is the bike he prefers anymore.

First I think there is a tendency to sit more erect by having a long goose neck with attached downhill bars or a BMX bar -- I am seeing this more and more with older (not real old!) guys on ten speeds and they are regular riders and move right along.
Second, I see the women's bike with similar equipment and maybe 1.5 tires (26 inch).
Third, I have noticed with shorter riders that get older that a BMX bike (Many times an old Schwinn Banana seat girls bike) is the bike of choice.
Fourth, on a personal point, as I get older I love to ride the Raleigh Folders and I want to turn one into a full mountain bike one of these days. They are fun!

So Oscar, I agreee!

AGE / VALUE:   Stronglight dust covers posted by: Mike Slater on 6/29/2002 at 10:50:37 PM
Anyone have a set of dust covers for a stronglight crankset that they ould part with???

This is the 22.5mm (maybe 23mm, larger than normal) older crankset.

Also looking for a Campy front skewer - curved style.

Willing to pay a reasonable price.

AGE / VALUE:   Columbia Tourist V posted by: Bryant on 6/29/2002 at 8:54:21 PM
What draws me to these bikes? I have a garage full of them and yet every Saturday, my wife and I go Yard Saling. I found a women's Columbia Tourist V - 5 speed for $5. It was in as fine a condition as I've ever seen of a bike made in the 60-70's. The dust was thick but there was little if any rust on the bike, even under the fenders, rust free. I normally stick to road bikes and the odd 3 speed but this Columbia was calling me. I've put it in my queue for fix up and was wondering if anyone could tell me more about the bike. It has an Allvit derailleur, older styled Dia-Compe brakes (with the little rocker that pushes the caliper arm), front and rear chrome fenders, Big springed comfort seat, and is a thing of beauty, Where do I find the serial number? Is it collectible?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Columbia Tourist V posted by David on 6/30/2002 at 3:07:50 AM
I think there's at least one collector now.

AGE / VALUE:   BEACON posted by: Kevin K on 6/29/2002 at 12:03:16 PM
Hi. I was presented with a perfect 70's bike yesterday called a Beacon. Typical entry Japanese pieces. Steel wheelset and stem. The frame is a nicely lugged and painted the prettiest candy tangerine metallic color. My 10 year old fell in love with it so I'll update it a bit for him to start riding. While doing so I was removing the nice black cotton handlebar tape. There is a light paper wrapped between the wraps of the bartape. I've never seen this before. Anyone ever had or heard of a Beacon before ? Enjoy, Kevin K

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   BEACON posted by Oscar on 6/29/2002 at 9:42:20 PM
I've seen an odd Beacon around here and there, and the ones I've seen are really low-endy. Were they made in Canada? Was the bartape waxy? Maybe a way to protect the bar if the wraps gets wet?

FOR SALE:   70s Raleigh Grand Prix 25" posted by: David on 6/29/2002 at 11:16:11 AM
I was going to keep this in Washington chez Dad, but I don't feel like doing the work it needs! All original I think; Wright's saddle, 10-speed Simplex, toe clips, Weinmann centerpulls, cheap new tires. Nothing's broken or missing, but it needs the bearings repacked before it's really ridable. Cheap and in Arlington, MA. (I'd be glad to press out the cotters for any interested party!)

AGE / VALUE:   Kabuki 10 speed posted by: Jonathan on 6/29/2002 at 7:32:17 AM
This bike is different. It has what appears to be Aluminum lugs! The BB lug IS the BB. The seatpost is locked into the seat tube just like a handlebar stem! What looks like the seatpost tightener is just a brake guide bracket! I almost busted the seattube, until I spotted the bolt under the seat which releases the wedge.
I put a set of tires on it and fixed the brakes and chain. I tuned the derailer and gave it away 15 years ago. Well, this guy brings the bike over and leaves it on my driveway witha note. He got a new bike and was returning the Kabuki to me. I would give it away, again (no returns allowed) except I now know more about bikes and was wondering if it is worth keeping as a "collector" bike.
Any comments welcome...it ride like a Varsity.

AGE / VALUE:   Help Dating Colnago's posted by: John S on 6/29/2002 at 12:15:27 AM
My quest! Purchased a Colnago track frame - it's been repainted so I'm not sure the age.

Help if you can...

Here are some details: Flat chromed fork crown with the club inside a "C" engraved in the crown, club cutout in the bottom bracket shell, campy track droupouts, seatstay attachment detail is that concave/scalloped design I'm familiar with on early 70's models, plain-point lugs. Only serial number like marking was "111" stamped into the right rear drop-out.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Help Dating Colnago's posted by Walter on 6/30/2002 at 1:29:57 AM
Can't help alot. Colnago started supplying bikes to competitors in 1968 according to a publication I own. The flat fork crown is probably 1970s. The cutouts are still on new steel Colnagos. They're a permanent fixture. Colnago steel roadies often have their own DOs but I don't know about trackends.

1970s sound good to me but I can't be any more precise.

Any 'nago is by definition a quality ride. You may have to switch the forks to fit a brake but it'd be a classy fixie.