This is an archive of Vintage Bicycle Information.
For current Discussions, go to our main site: OldRoads.com

If you are trying to determine the genealogy of your bicycle by it's features, go to our Vintage Bicycle Price Guide
which details bicycle features, wheel sizes, brake types, etc., as well as showing a price estimate for your old bicycle.

If you are trying to determine the make and model of your bicycle, go to our Vintage Bicycle Picture Database
which details bicycle features, wheel sizes, etc., as well as showing a price estimate for your vintage bicycle.

Archived: Vintage Lightweights

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Two Carbrio Corsa-equiped bikes posted by: Keith on 11/21/2003 at 2:44:38 PM
I'm facinated by the old Campy Cambrio Corsa derailleur systems. There are two on eBay right now. First, a 1940s Lygie:


Next, a Pino Moronni: Item No. 2203553963

      Two Cambio Corsa-equipped bikes posted by John E on 11/22/2003 at 2:20:42 AM
Thanks for posting. The Moronni is pretty strange, with its 1970s/1980s front shifter and crankset.

I wish we had a better picture of the Lygie's unusual period-correct front derailleur; I am still amazed anyone could shift a Cambio, even without the added complication of a direct-link front derailleur! However, I have seen as many Cambio rigs with half-step dual chainrings as with singles. (Actually, the 5-tooth chainring drop on this specimen suggests perhaps a cross-over 6-speed gear ratio development pattern, L1 L2 L3 H3 H4 H5, rather than a true 10-speed half-step L1 H1 L2 H2 ... L5 H5. With cross-over gearing, front derailleur shifts would be blessedly rarer than with half-step.)

I am also very interested by Lygie's direct ripoff of three classic Bianchi features: quasi-Celeste colour, integral headset, and rebranded Magistroni (now Ofmega) cranks.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Mini racer posted by: Keith on 11/21/2003 at 2:38:11 PM
Every once in a while we'll discuss these miniature, higher quality lightweights. Well, here's one with 22" wheels (tubulars no less):


VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Orange Varsity posted by: Robert on 11/21/2003 at 12:50:53 AM
I know they are as common as flies, but i could not pas up a very clean orange Varsity at the Goodwill store. Very good paint, handlebar tape perfect as is the seat. has the short alloy fenders and even has the orange plastic grips on the brake levers. Will only need minor cleaning and tires. It will be my $6.99 keep at work bike.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Orange Varsity posted by Gralyn on 11/21/2003 at 2:49:08 AM
I have a green one. It's pretty rough, though. But, should I ever spot one ....similar to the one you describe...and at that price....I certainly would not pass it up!

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Orange Varsity posted by Oscar on 11/21/2003 at 3:17:51 AM
Actually, orange Varsities aren't as common as flies. I believe orange was used for only a few years, and orange was one of Schwinn's coolest colors. Enjoy.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Orange Varsity posted by Lenny on 11/21/2003 at 5:41:28 PM
Hi Robert,

Enjoy your Varsity! As Oscar mentions, orange specimens are not all that common. There were at least (perhaps only?)two shades of orange used in the '70s, "Sunset Orange" and "Kool Orange". I've noticed over the past 5 years that Varsities are getting somewhat harder to find in my area, especially those with nice paint.

I would suggest cleaning the headset very thoroughly and regreasing it at your earliest convenience. While Schwinn headseats are durable and of very high quality, even here in the midwest I am having great difficulty in finding replacements of good quality. The replacement headsets made by Wald are useable, but their quality is far inferior to that of the original.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Orange Varsity posted by Bryant on 11/21/2003 at 6:59:13 PM
Nice find for $6.99. I think Varsities were made for loud colors. I have a 1972 Kool Lemon Varsity a that I use as a neighborhood bike. I swapped out the Bar tape but kept original tape in case I want to sell it. I've not seen another like it in my neck of the woods. I would love to have an Orange one. Keep it clean and greased, and it you will be able to give it to your grandkids.

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Orange Varsity posted by JONathan on 11/22/2003 at 2:13:54 AM
One reason they may be scarce around me is people are riding them! I have seen two one the road in the past week. I know that just could be coincidence, but then again...
I have a '71 "Conti" with "cool lemon"; kind of on the yellow end of the pigment spectrum. My '72 "Super Sport" is also that color. My '77 "Le Tour II" is "pearlescent orange", which is just a highly tinted orange color, but it is definitely "orange".
"68 "Vars" is "campus green", which is a dark green. "77 "vars", which is my runner, is very red. I see some tryrannosaurs using the one-piece crank. I pound mine like it is a BMX'er; lots of fun rides. Commute? No, but that isn't to say they can't make it.
Many riders have posted that it is their commuter. Stopping them is the big problem for me, with the Weimann side-pulls. Those little things work overtime with those steel rims and a 200+ pounder on the seat going downhill. Weinmann "Vainqueur" 999's can handle the heat, if you want good upgrades.
Great buy for that price of a burger and fries. I'm heading out to the month's end sale looking at a Schwinn middie (S-2 rims) for $25 at half price. Wish me luck. Lucky to find any Schwinn out there.

AGE / VALUE:   Peugeot seat post solution posted by: Derek Coghill on 11/21/2003 at 12:10:02 AM
This is for the "Triathlon" frame with no pinch bolt; a friend who owns an engineering shop made me one in alloy (lovely!) in exchange for fitting new suspension parts to his Ducati! I drew what I wanted on my drawing board....glad I didn't get rid of that. Looking forward to seeing what the bike's like now.

FOR SALE:   2 nice bikes for sale posted by: marc on 11/20/2003 at 8:59:59 PM
I've got two nice bikes up on ebay right now. A peugeot super sport. I think its more of a touring bike, it has fenders and lights and also a rear carrier. Also have a looker of a sekai bike. suntour deraillers, shimano crank, and a weinmann made in usa alluminum front rim. check them out. url for peugeot http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3639695620&category=7298&rd=1

and the sekai http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3639702205&category=7298&rd=1

I would keep them myself but I've got too many bikes already and they're too big for me.

AGE / VALUE:   Rims Anyone??? posted by: Joel on 11/20/2003 at 6:59:42 PM
Hi All,
I picked up a bunch of odd rims from a bike shop closing. These are all NOS, made in the last few years, nothing vintage but they might be good replacements. All are 32 or 40 hole. CHEAP !

12 Mavic 217 Sup aluminum (color) 40 hole, 26"

7 Sun PW600 Grey 32 spoke, 700c

1 Mavic (no number??) alum, 32h, 700c

1 Mavic CXP10, 700c, 32 H streamlined/tubular (black or grey??)

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Rims Anyone??? posted by John on 11/24/2003 at 2:15:39 AM
Do you have any of the Mavic 217 40 hole rims left? If so, how much?

AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh International posted by: Joe on 11/20/2003 at 3:31:19 AM
I have a 1973 Raleigh International in very good condition and would like to know what it is worth.

   RE:AGE / VALUE: Raleigh International posted by jack on 11/20/2003 at 4:15:04 AM
They are among my favorite frames and I have a '70. I find they are getting scarce and an original brings 3-8C's depending on condition. Also see Sheldon Brown's price guide on the web.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh International posted by Keith on 11/20/2003 at 5:52:53 PM
I sold one a few years ago that I considered to be in excellent condition (complete and original except tires, clean chrome, and paint was still nice and glossy). I think the buyer paid me about $600.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh International posted by Keith on 11/20/2003 at 5:56:11 PM
P.S. Mine was a 1971.

AGE / VALUE:    posted by: Joe on 11/20/2003 at 3:31:19 AM
I have a 1973 Raleigh International in very good condition and would like to know what it is worth.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Campy Nuevo Record Crankset posted by: Geoffrey on 11/19/2003 at 7:02:52 PM
Did Campagnolo sell the Nuevo Record Crankset in a 160mm size? If so, anyone got one for sale? I'm aware that the 165mm size was sold. Thanks for any leads and/or suggestions!

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Campagnolo Nuevo Record Cranksets posted by: Brian on 11/19/2003 at 6:57:43 PM
Did Campagnolo ever sell the Nuevo Record Crankset in a 160mm size? I'd love to find one if they did. I know the 165mm crankset ia available.

MISC:   Fuji "Espree" 12 sp. posted by: JONathan on 11/19/2003 at 5:36:16 PM
I have been following the course of bids on item# 3637001642, at e-bay auction site.
The final close was $56 US. That is a great bike for the bucks. It has Valite tubes, too.
I guess I'll keep looking. This bike looks like the "Pulsar", but with Valite replacing the high-tensile steel in the frame tubing.

   RE:MISC: Fuji posted by Warren on 11/19/2003 at 6:53:38 PM
Hey Jonathan...don't be fooled by the promise of special "triple butted tubes". There were some good ones (Miyata?) but I believe Valite is pedestrian tubing. Basic chromo...different name. I'd love to know the weight of the complete bike. That would tell the story.

   RE:RE:MISC: Fuji posted by JONathan on 11/20/2003 at 5:48:45 AM
Thanks for the heads-up, Warren. Actually, my interest is historical. Valite was the earliest chro-mo (vanadium?) steel tubing that I can trace down.
Fuji has been making bikes for over a hundred years, too. That they are strill going strong in the market is a testimony to their savvy about bikes. How many companies are still making their own bikes after a century.
The Japanese (early bike-boom) models are my main interest. My '84 Team Fuji (Tange) is quad-butted tubing. I guess I am most impressed with how well the company has met the challenge over the years. They have some pretty exciting stuff, now (Taiwan builds), but the vintage bikes are good to go for a long time.
They did it right, IMHO.
Good rides, JONathan
BTW, I need one to ride as my Team is so pristine, I just keep it waxed up and tuned up. I can't bring myself to get it dirty.

AGE / VALUE:   AVA death stem posted by: Phil from Nortonville on 11/19/2003 at 3:43:15 AM
On 11/8 Bryant posted some items for sale. He mentioned the AVA Death stem. I have an AVA stem on one of my bikes. A sears 10 speed I think made by Puch. It appears to be aluminum with a lugged look to it. So whats up with death stem comment. Is it dangerous to use? Thanks

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   AVA death stem posted by JONathan on 11/19/2003 at 7:16:42 AM
I have learned that they break! Although, I have several on various Peugeots, I have no desire to test the wisdom of the experts. The Japanese stem can replace the AVA, or French stems in general that have the 22mm diameters. Some sanding may be required. The design of road-bike stems has inherent (historical?) weakness, compared to MTB stems. On one Peugeot UO-8 that I have the AVA stem, I know that I could snap that stem just by yanking on it. Needless to say, that one is being restored as original as I can make it, but as a display bike, not a rider. Since I have the UO-8 handy, I took a look and I see this rediculous bar attachment with the bolt vertical and a tiny flap of alloy all that's holding the bars onto the stem! The way I climb, that would break for sure, as I pull hard left and right on the bars.
Stem shifters are dumb (IMHO, of course) for climbing too. One little tap of the knee and you get a big clunk as the gear shifts up and the bike stalls out. The Faux lug on the AVA may actually weaken the overall design even more! There must be a ton of those stems out there, too. Scares me to think. Final note, then I'll get off the box, riding a bike is a good test of risk management principles, I figure the stem is criticality-one...I'm going down if that goes, so that component has to good. That isn't to say other stems won't break. I guess we're all lucky.
Cheers, JONathan

      AVA death stem posted by John E on 11/19/2003 at 2:35:29 PM
Sheldon has a picture of the death stem, which I think is the AVA with the horizontal binder bolt, rather than the vertical. However, JONathan is correct that ANY old or well-used aluminum stem is potentially a stem of death, and that they (and bars, chains, and cranks) should be replaced periodically for safety. It is not too difficult to sand a standard 7/8" = 22.23mm stem to fit a 22.0mm French steerer tube. Interestingly, the French and the Swiss built the only purely metric framesets, with everyone else, even the Germans and Austrians, adopting some or all of the British threads and/or diameters.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Ross Profesional Gran Tour posted by: Phil on 11/19/2003 at 3:03:10 AM
I got a Ross Profesional Gran Tour today at the local Salvation Army store. $5.00 bought it. I got it mainly because it was a large frame. It is made of regular Hi Ten 1020 steel. My question is What Happened to the Ross company? This bike has a sticker saying that it was made in Allentown PA. It not a bad bike. Especially for 5 bucks. I am into fixed gears. So I will probably convert it. It has Suntour VX derailers and Dia Compe center pull brakes. Crank is 3 piece alu Japanese. Sakae Randeneur bars. Has Shimano shift levers. SR Stem. Alu Mailard hubs with steel rims.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Ross Profesional Gran Tour posted by Don on 11/19/2003 at 6:28:43 AM
You did well. Ross also sold the same frame/bars/stem except with the early, ornate Shimano 600 components and called it a Professional, Super Gran Tour. I bought 1 on e-bay new in the box about 2 years ago just to get the wheels & parts, stripped it down & put everything onto a freshly repainted 71 Raleigh Super Course frame. The result was a beautimous road bike and a leftover metallic blue Ross HiTen frame. Don

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Ross Profesional Gran Tour posted by Joe on 11/19/2003 at 7:19:07 AM
The original Ross company sold out or went bankrupt in the early 1980's. They briefly turned towards importing bikes themselves for a bit, but eventually sold out to Rand Bicycles who still manufactures them today. The Rand products are pretty much department store quality bikes. The early Ross bikes were much better quality. The original bikes are identified by the Allentown headbadge, the real early models came from NY. Before the Allentown, PA plant opened, they also imported some fair quality lightweights which carried the "Ross Import Division" headbadge.
The Suntour VX derailleurs on yours are probably replacements, I believe yours probably had Shimano 'Fingertip' ratchet/spring assist shift levers and a Shimano Titlist rear deralleur. I've seen several different front derailleurs though, most common was a Shimano Altus. These were decent quality bikes, but they had straight guage and quite heavy frames. The Gran Tour also had Ross produced steel wheels with either Normany or Shimano high flange hubs, with 27 x 1 1/8" tires. The Ross built rims look a little like the Schwinn s-6 design. The original crankset should be a Takagi Tourney cotterless crank. These stayed about the same from around the late 1970's to about 1982. They also used a unique looking gold anodized Shimano 14-28 Uniglide freewheel and chain.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Ross Profesional Gran Tour posted by JONathan on 11/19/2003 at 7:35:24 AM
You done good! I pased up a Ross 10sp. (black) that had Schwinn-like beefed construction.
I was thinking commuter, all-weather runner. They are still in the bike business...I saw an address on the east coast...northest, I think.
Give it a try. They made some nice bikes that I've seen in catalogs. I would like one as an addition to my American collection, which are Schwinns and Columbias (3-sp. and tandem) and a GT (BMX) and that's it!
I guess that's one less Ross out there to dig out. Nice score!
BTW, the headset on those look cool, all that chrome and beef.

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Ross Profesional Gran Tour posted by JONathan on 11/19/2003 at 7:43:43 AM
Ooops! I guess they aren't in the bike business...except maybe as a name.
I just read the post on the history of the company. I guess I've seen the name recently on bikes or exercise stuff.
Those Ross master bike builders had to go somewhere. Question is, where?

     Ross Profesional Gran Tour posted by John E on 11/19/2003 at 2:42:39 PM
My humble opinion is that the high-end racing machines, such as the Professional, were a brief (but most welcome!) aberration in the history of an otherwise mediocre marque which ranked below Schwinn but perhaps above Murray and Huffy in quality. My younger son's ca. 1990 Ross Rock Machine MT1600 mountain bike frame is not too bad, but the original components, which I have mostly replaced, were cr@p.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Ross Profesional Gran Tour posted by Gralyn on 11/19/2003 at 5:32:14 PM
I had one of those, too. It was a pretty good bike. It was just as you describe. It's the one I was riding when I dropped off the shoulder of the fresh pavement - wiped out flat in the middle of the street - with cars all around (traffic was slow enough - I wasn't worried about being in danger of getting run over.....I was mainly concerned for my embarrassment! So many people saw me wipe out in such a silly way!) My knee still bothers me some.
Well, I shouldn't have been riding it - it was really too big for me. So, I sold it.

It seems I saw some model of Ross bike mounted on a trailer - like where someone was moving or something - and had stuff loaded on a trailer...the bike was nicely mounted - I don't know what model it was - but it looked sharp and looked like it was something high-end.

I still have a Ross Gran Tour (I was able to find a 23" model that I could actually ride more safely). It's red color - I had converted it to fixed gear (it didn't have any braze-ons on the top tube - I like that when I'm converting a bike). Currently, the cranks, cog, and chain are off of it. I was thinking about whether to build it back as multi-speed - or maybe just go back as fixed gear.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Ross Profesional Gran Tour posted by Don on 11/20/2003 at 12:33:36 AM
If you want to build it up into a Super Gran Tour, here is what was on mine as it came new in the box: Sakae "Randnnr" bar, SR stem, black Ross Professional headset, earlyShimano 600 derailleurs/downtube shifters & brakeset, Shimano high flange hubs, Araya 27 x 1 1/4 alloy rims drilled for Shrader valves, Shimano "gold" chain & 5 speed freewheel, a really light 25.0 "strong" alloy seatpost & Japanese vinyl saddle. The model & brand name were not the usual decals but some kind of gold paint silkscreened onto a heavy translucent vinyl with adhesive backing slapped onto the top & down tubes which gave a really cheesy look to an otherwise reasonably attractive package.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Ross Profesional Gran Tour posted by Oscar on 11/21/2003 at 3:22:36 AM
My Ross Super Gran Tour has a neat Shimano 600 triple crank. It runs 52,45,39 for some tight combinations with a five speed freewheel. Too small for me, so soon it's my daughters. Oh yeah, a light cromoly frame, too.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Ross Profesional Gran Tour posted by Phil on 11/21/2003 at 3:48:08 AM
Thanks to all who responded. I found the information very interesting.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Japanese Raleigh, 1981or 1982 posted by: Brent on 11/18/2003 at 9:39:20 PM
Back in 1981 or 1982 I bought a Raleigh Superbe. Not the old 3 speed, this was a 12 speed racing bike with Suntour Superbe components and tubular (sew-up) tires. It was plated, not painted, a beautiful gold with a brown suede leather seat and brown handlebar tape. I'm pretty sure it was made in Japan. I sold it about 6 years ago for $120 and regretted it ever since. I've never seen another one like it. Does anyone know anything about this bike, how many were made, and if any are still around?

MISC:   Labor of love posted by: Keith on 11/18/2003 at 2:41:38 PM
Check this out -- it shows how far one modern builder is willing to go to make things the old-fashioned way (also the right way) when it comes to tandems:


      Labor of love posted by John E on 11/18/2003 at 3:54:54 PM
Wow! Thanks for posting, Keith.

   RE:MISC:   Labor of love posted by Rob on 11/18/2003 at 6:47:58 PM
Interesting stuff...thanks for the heads up, Keith...

   RE:MISC:   Labor of love posted by Rob on 11/18/2003 at 7:46:15 PM
I just read the section on "fatigue":


...and it got me thinking...Further to my post of a few weeks ago regarding my accident with the left-turning car, I've "repaired" the bike...mid-80s Nishiki...plain gauge Tange tubing. The damage consisted of bent forks (both tines were bent with a rightward offset, rim knocked out of alignment (I tweaked it back to a tolerable alignment), bent bars (write-off), wrecked stem (the stem was slightly twisted (I thought they would just snap...another thing to watch out for in used stems). On the frame, there is a crack through the paint on the left side of the top tube head lug. I would guess that means there will now be a point of weakness there...s stress riser.

I decided that I could make the bike reasonably roadworthy again...but only for myself. I would never sell it, or give it to someone else. My guess is the bike will probably hang together for quite a while, and will likely wear out as my winter beater after a couple of years. I scrounged, $0, a reasonable fork, and put on a bar/stem/brake lever assembly (already nicely taped), which I got for probably $5 or so ...can't remember for sure... from one of my bike buddies... With the different colored forks, the bike now definitely looks like a "frankenbike", or a someone in this forum described these types of bikes, a "Fred"...

Lots of fun!!! Any comments??? Am I taking this stress riser/crack thing too lightly???

   frame cracks posted by John E on 11/18/2003 at 8:12:17 PM
Go ahead and ride it, Rob, but do keep a close watch on that lug crack. You may even want to sand the paint around it, to look for concealed damage. If the lug crack begins to expand at all, it is time to replace the frame -- I would hate to see your head tube break away under hard front wheel braking!

I have ridden two bent-and-restraightened steel frames (including my 1960 Capo :( ) until the downtubes eventually began to crack, at which point I rode gently and safely home and retired them. I have also ridden a Nishiki with the seat tube lug cracked off the BB shell and a Peugeot UO-8 with a ruptured right chainstay, but these are pretty benign compared to losing the headtube.

   RE:frame cracks posted by Derek Coghill on 11/18/2003 at 9:19:42 PM
You could re-braze it fairly easily, or have a garage do it (I'm lucky, I have gas!).

   RE:RE:frame cracks posted by JONathan on 11/19/2003 at 8:00:11 AM
Rob, that Nishiki is almost as tough as you. Lesser bikes would be junk after that one.
I look at it as a great conversation piece...or maybe a sober reminder of battle in the trenches, so to sopeak. That commuting is getting scary.
This time of year, the traffic seems squirrely to me. I switch to the rat maze route to avoid as much as possible. One thing about steel, it gives you a little warning before it goes.
Hip, hip, for steel bikes!
Good rides,