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

AGE / VALUE:   Takara posted by: Gralyn on 12/19/2003 at 3:06:28 AM
I stopped by the same store today....and there was this Takara. It has dia-compe center pull brakes, those ever-abundant levers with the safety lever - except that the levers were drilled. Super Maxy cranks, an alloy seat post (it has some stamped symbol on it - but I haven't looked close enough to see what it is). It has a dia-compe stem (first one I've seen). A nice set of alloy rims with QR front and rear. Surprisingly, it has no stem shifters - but down-tube ones. No braze ons except for the one at the rear of the chain stay for the rear der.. It has the bolt-on clamps for the rear brake cable. High tensile steel frame, though. I believe it is a Grand Tour model. 6-speed rear. Saddle with the diamond pattern vinyl on top - with "Takara" written across the back. No kick stand - never had it. Not sure of the bars - maybe champion or something. It has that foam grip covering them.

My first Takara!

Now I have several projects to carry me through the winter. I had just finished up the Ross Gran Tour. Had started on the other Gran Tour. Interrupted it with the Peugeot. Now I have the Takara also.

...then I have some back-burner projects: Schwinn Varsity, Azuki, a Panasonic.....then some really, really back burner projects: an Iverson, AMF, and another - I just can't remember the name of it right now.

   Takara posted by John E on 12/19/2003 at 3:15:35 PM
I have heard about Takara plenty of times, but have never seen one up close. Yours sounds like a mid-to-late 1970s edition and a good solid choice for commuting, recreation, or general-purpose cycling. I wonder whether that 6-speed has traditional/"standard" (5-speed, for a 126mm OLD) or "ultra" (7-speed, for a 120mm OLD) spacing between the cogs. Functionally, downtube shifters and suicide brake lever extensions are a curious mix, but my 1971 Nishiki Semi Pro was originally equipped that way, as well. Lose the extensions, get some rubber brake hoods at CyclArt, and you're in business.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Takara posted by Birddog on 12/22/2003 at 2:50:18 AM
I bought a Takara in late Sept, and posted questions about it here at that time. The serial number on mine appeared to be a date code, but not sure if all are like that. Check the archives.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Peugeot ......something? posted by: Gralyn on 12/19/2003 at 2:56:28 AM
I made a stop the other day.....most all of my stops have turned up completely dry. But, there was this Peugeot. It didn't have a particular model name anywhere on it. It was a black-blue color - really different finish from most bike I have seen. I just grabbed it. But even as I stood in line to pay for it - I was thinking that a year or so ago I would have just passed on this one. ...and the more I looked at it - the worse it looked to me. The chainring was stamped steel, stem shifters, the brake levers looked nice, drilled - but they had those safety levers on them. Weinmann side-pulls. I even thought of putting it back. But, then I thought of the nice set of Rigida chrome wheels it had - and how I could certainly use a nice set of shiny chrome wheels....so I went ahead and got it. I stripped it down last night and cleaned and waxed the frame. It looks pretty good. I may build it up and re-sell it. The headbadge is just a decal which consists of an outline of the Peugeot Lion. Oh, and the cranks are alloy and very light.....but they are paired up with that heavy stamped chainring!) Any idea what particular model of bike this would be?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Peugeot ......something? posted by T-Mar on 12/19/2003 at 1:42:12 PM
Your info, is a little scant, but it sounds like an early eighties P6. More info info on component brand/model would help. I assume the frame is Carbolite 103?

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Peugeot ......something? posted by JONathan on 12/20/2003 at 4:53:33 AM
Chromelux rims? Those are real good rims. I clean them up and use chrome polish to shine them to s specular brilliance. Storage is made easier by removing the quick-releases; axles; cones and bearings which go into a ziplock and marked. The wheels stack up without spokes getting bent. The rusty ones are often equipped with nice Normandy alloy HF hubs and the axles and parts are usually in excellent condition.
Even the rusty ones clean up fairly well. A little WD-40 and hang them high for use later on a marsh levee road beater. Why use good rims on the salt flats? Takes a long time for those rims to rust out.
I was wondering about making some into custom latex painted wheels. Nice find!
They are getting hard to find...27's in general are becoming scarce.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Peugeot ......something? posted by Derek Coghill on 12/20/2003 at 10:35:55 PM
Gralyn, there's a web address a couple of threads up, it's a Dutch Peugeot brochure site; might help.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Peugeot ......something? posted by JONathan on 12/21/2003 at 12:31:34 AM
Yes, Derek. It is....
I have been teaching myself some Dutch.
I wonder about UE-8, if it is US export.
That's not on the Dutch site, unless I overlooked it.

AGE / VALUE:   Nishiki Modus! posted by: Elvis on 12/18/2003 at 11:29:32 PM
Just pciked it up!
Frame marked "Nishiki Modulus Performance Equipe" "Double butted" tubes. Dual water bottle mountings on inside of down and seat tube; downtube click shifters and Shimano Exage aero brake levers. Exage 400EX derialieur and 7 speed rear wheel; biopace 2-ring cranks. 700c rims with Continental tires and schreader tubes. Forged [not stamped] dropouts with built-in chain tensioners. Paint is still shiny and only rust is surface area on the washers and things of the EXAGE ACTION brakes and the chainring bolts. Only needed a roade bike seat. The cushy Saerfas cruiser style seat it incongruously had on it will go great on a mountain bike for one of my older relatives. As to the bike: Light a heck! It better not snow this weekend cause I wanna ride!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Nishiki Modus! posted by JONathan on 12/19/2003 at 1:52:44 AM
How much? You get that running right and it'll stay that way for a while. I have the 300Ex series, which is trouble free riding. Those "Conti's" are my favorite tire for hard pounding on the blacktop. That serfas seat is for easy riding, which means the mileage might be very low.
Those are the best bikes to get...ones having had tentative ridership. Right before the MTB craze hit, the road-bikes were king, and it was hard to find anything else decent. When the MTB's came on the scene, a lot of road-bikes were hung up in the garage. I look for any vintage LW's from the early to mid '80's.
Ironic to me that just when the road-bikes reach a peak in development, they drop off the radar for the clunky MTB's. Well, I'm not complaining, becuase there are some mighty fine LW's from that era that have little wear and tear and that come up for sale real cheap...like their lesser, worn down predesessors.
Keep up the good work! Post how it rides.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Nishiki Modus! posted by JONathan on 12/19/2003 at 1:57:27 AM
I meant mid to late '80's...anything after 1982...post-Schwinn "sidewinder" and Univega "Alpina".

    Nishiki Modus! posted by Elvis on 12/20/2003 at 9:07:17 PM
It rides nice! I cleaned the rust spots off the trimmings like the chainring bolts and the brake pad bolts. Paint is shiny deep blue with a metalic quality to it. Put on a road bike seat and a vintage bottle cage and I was set to ride. The bike IS 400EX, found that out when I cleaned off the derailiuer. Just did 30 miles today. Sadly, the coffee shop I frequented for eight years was closed up when I rode in -- out of business sign on the door.
How much? I get most of my bikes from salvage i find in the rubbish, and as far as purchases, I usually balk at anything over $40. In this case it was like 80, but I was dealing with a shop not a person so there wasn't much leeway. Plus, after it was traded in, the shop put new Continental 700x23 tires and a new chain. And it was in seemingly great shape. Although if the frame was any taller it'd be too big. I got just the right size bike.

   RE: Nishiki Modus! posted by JONathan on 12/21/2003 at 3:16:00 AM
That was a good deal, if the tubes, tires and chain are new. The 400 is a step above the 300Ex and the 300Ex works great for me.
Anything better would certainly be a wasted effort on me, but it depends on what you're doing and what you are used to. I've ridden a lot of junky stuff, so a clean running #00Ex is like TDF for me. I don't know what happened to the 400Ex. The 300Ex stayed around until this century.
I have not seen any 400Ex componentry. Your Nishiki DB frame is worth the bucks, IMHO. They'll last a long time.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   schwinn posted by: mark on 12/18/2003 at 10:38:47 PM
i just got 2 scwinn world sports that are black there both identical to each other, might anybody might have value and year of these! thank you

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   schwinn posted by JONathan on 12/19/2003 at 1:22:31 AM
Check the Schwinn serial # charts above. Check the BB shell, head-tube and rear dropouts for the #.

AGE / VALUE:   Centurion Signet? posted by: Bryant on 12/18/2003 at 12:43:04 PM
Hi all. The LW's have been rather scarce here, so I went to a Goodwill I normally don't visit. They were closed but had their bikes close enough to the window that I could check them out. Only interesting one had Signet written on the top tube. Couldn't make out the downtube writing, but it may have been Centurion (that was also the only Signet bike I could find in a Google search). I'm going to check it out later today. Didn't seem too special, looked like it had steel wheels, but I'll take a look at the components. Has anyone heard of a Centurion Signet?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Centurion Signet? posted by T-Mar on 12/19/2003 at 1:21:01 PM
The Centurion Signet appears to have been an entry level model. Circa was 1980s (I have references and catalog data between 1984 & 1987). The frame was basic, hi-tensile steel. Typical components were also very basic; Shimano Skylark derailleurs, Dia-Compe 500 brakes, Sakae CTC crankset, CMC steel rims etc.. MSL was $150-$180 US, depending on the year.

MISC:   Campy Hub posted by: Rob on 12/17/2003 at 11:53:27 PM
Just some stray thoughts...about a week ago in the bleak half light of our northern winter, I found a discarded rear wheel with freewheel...the rim was steel, and had the characteristic dimpling found on the Peugeot UO/AO-8 Rigida rims...galvanized spokes, no tire... I figured with the freewheel in place, (I assumed it might be an 5-speed Atom or Maillard), I could quickly throw it on to a low-end project..ie, Grand Prix, or Peugeot. When I got home I found the freewheel was a Regina (I forget the model, but the fairly common one you usually see...GS, I think...and in good shape)...I checked the hub, a low-flange, it seemed good, but I didn't look too close, assuming it would be a Normandy or Maillard...what else on such a wheel??? Several days later I found to my surprise, it was Campagnolo...I assume lower end...but through the dirt it does have a look of quality...and it's a smooth as silk, as they say...A nice little plus...and a reminder that one should keep one's eyes open...You never know what you'll find...

   RE:MISC:   Campy Hub posted by ollo_ollo on 12/18/2003 at 1:46:04 AM
Indeed, it pays to look closely. I stopped by the local Goodwill today, there had been nothing but junk bikes for months but I spotted a Schwinn Traveler, very dirty & scratched. At $18.99 I was ready to pass when the toe straps on the pedals caught my eye. Pinarello leather straps! with buttons & Campy toeclips. They were on Campagnolo Gran Sport track pedals & the rims turned out to be Rigida 700c with Normandy competition hubs. Very narrow rims, didn't see the size right off but a well worn Specialized 700 x 18 tire was mounted. I bought it & stashed it in the back of my garage for later. Don

   RE:RE:MISC:   Campy Hub posted by JONathan on 12/18/2003 at 2:32:45 AM
That has me stoked! There's a new GW store openning (or has openned?) nearby, but not on my usual track. I raely stop at the GW near my route as the bikes have been worse than junk...at least with junk, there are parts. Travelers are great commuters. ZYou got a great, workhorse frame to top off the deal. That's one souped up Traveler! I can see it, as they are pretty fast rides. I love how mine rides. I got it after my brother crashed it twice inside of 2 minutes, due to the frame being too big. He didn't want to look at it after that. The helmut saved him...that and his paratrooper skills. So I figured that I would tame it and make it a commuter/everyday rider.
Very responsive frame and with 120 psi "continentals" (28-622's), my favorite tire for the bike gauntlets around here; Vainqueur "999" (610/610) brakes and SunTour "Ar" derailers I don't get passed by anybody on the flats. I still have the brake extension levers which has caused problems when I ride other bikes that don't have them. I keep reaching! What size frame is the Trav?
Nice going.

   RE:MISC:   Campy Hub posted by ollo_ollo on 12/18/2003 at 5:27:06 AM
Its a 22" c to c frame & I prefer 21" or 21 1/2" but still rideable, also it had Weinmann 605 sidepull brakes worked by diacompe levers with new black hoods, SunTour ARx Derailleurs. Only real drawback is the steel dropbars but I can swap those, it has promise & if I find time to paint it up, could be another great rider if it doesn't end up as a "donor" bike.

   Traveler posted by JONathan on 12/18/2003 at 6:22:49 AM
I know what you mean. Mine is a gray color, which provides for a rather austere appearance. Something not too out of character, considering its place.
I have yet to find a bike that's as comfortable and that also rocks a bit when called upon. Maybe they got lucky with the design or they really tested the prototypes
with pro riders. Mine is a 25" frame, with a 40 inch WB. I can ride a 23" as it fits well, but the 25" has the longer top-tube which provides for a nice aero-position.
I run the steel drops, because of the handlebar pack. The damped steering effect feels more comfortable. I have a swapout alloy SR with Weinmann levers attached with cables.
The tight rear triangle is what gives the shorter WB. I can't say if Merida or Giant or some other Taiwan maker built the bike around '79/80 (based on components). It may be a year later.

   RE:RE:MISC:   Campy Hub posted by Edward in Vancouver on 12/23/2003 at 5:28:50 AM
Hey Rob, I think I've got the mate to your rear hub. Found it about two weeks ago behind the O.C.B. Campy low flange front hub with q/r, steel 27 x 11/4 rims. Wonder what kind of frame it came off of?

   RE:Traveler posted by David on 12/24/2003 at 5:03:39 PM
Schwinn got Taiwanese bikes only from Giant. If the date code on the right r.dropout has a "G" in it, it indicates Giant. If no number on right dropout, than still Japanese (Panasonic/Bridgestone) production.
David Dopey Doepel

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Dunelt with a Difference posted by: P.C. Kohler on 12/17/2003 at 10:22:14 PM
[this was also posted to the Classic Rendezvous site]

Does anyone have any background information on “high end” Dunelt lightweights c. 1962-65?

“High End” and Dunelt is a bit of misnomer to be sure; we all associate the name with the mid-market 3-speeds.

This machine is rather different:

Dunelt badged (raised metal headbadge)
Livery: Polychromatic Amber (that gold colour we associate mid-range Hercules 3-speeds with!) with white and blue seat tube transfers and a white peak head, chromed rear triangle and fork ends. Very nice lugs (Nervex? but not ornate) which are chromed on the head. White cables and brake hoods. Lugs are picked out in white. Braze-ons: mudguard eyes, top tube brake cable eyes.
Frame size: 22 1/2 ” centre to top
Material: Reynolds 531 double-butted throughout incl. stays and forks.
Gears/Cranks/Seat Post: Campagnolo Nouvo Record.
Pedals: Campagnolo 1037.
Brakes: Weinmann Vanquier 999 with red dot levers.
Stem and Bars: Cinelli, 1A stem 100mm.
Wheels: Fiamme red label 27” x 1 1/4” with Nouvo Record high flange hubs.
Tyres: sew-ups.
Saddle: looks like a Brooks B-15.

So not your boyhood Dunelt! Everything seems quite original. But still a puzzle…. There appears to be no markings indicating Carlton-built as were the later Raleighs but the frame geometry, chromed head lugs and components is almost a prototype of the Raleigh “International” introduced, I think, in 1966. This Dunelt is believed to date to c. 1964 when Raleigh were making Dunelts. Raleigh were famous for test marketing new machines under their “lesser” brands… even the first “Chopper” was Rudge-badged. Was this mystery Dunelt one of these toes-in-the-water models?

P.C. Kohler

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Dunelt with a Difference posted by T-Mar on 12/18/2003 at 2:35:49 PM
The components suggest a later date, as many of the Campagnolo components listed were not yet introduced. I suggest you check the date codes on the components. There should be patent date on the rear derailleur, two-diigt year codes on the back of the hub locknuts and a symbol on the back of the crankarms with a single digit year code in the centre.

Of course there is always the possibility that the components were later upgrades. However, most upgrades are done over a period of time and one would expect to find several different different codes. If all the codes match (or are within a year of each other), then it is likely that the components are original and match the date of the frame. Of course, there is no guarantee with this approach, but it can increase your confidence level as to the frame's vintage.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Dunelt with a Difference posted by P.C. Kohler on 12/18/2003 at 2:52:37 PM
Thanks... after posting this I did the obvious thing and check on the web re. when the Nuovo Record derailleur was introduced. Depending on the source, it's listed as 1966 or 1967 so this fits with what you surmised. I don't think anything on this machine is a later "retrofit"; all of the "patina" etc. suggests she's original through and through.

I don't own the bike (yet!) but will see if the serial number and date codes of components can be found.

The more I think of this, the more I am certain this was a product "test" of the Raleigh "International" offered under the Dunelt name. It sure has to be the best spec'd Dunelt ever!

P.C. Kohler

FOR SALE:   Regina Alloy Freewheel posted by: Ray on 12/17/2003 at 9:15:57 PM
I just re-posted my Regina alloy freewheel with a renewed description. I initially claimed it to be NOS but further inspection makes me believe otherwise. I think it is used but not a lot. You can check out other lightweight stuff on my sellers page, Regina on page 2

AGE / VALUE:   Price/Model Guides posted by: jack on 12/16/2003 at 9:07:14 AM
Does anyone know of a source for a price guide, or better yet a "Bluebook" of vintage bike prices? I know VVVintage has a guide but I want something more comprehensive and I'm not interested in mass produced bikes like Schwinn, Raleigh, Nishiki, etc.

Similarly, are there any good picture books, reference quality, of vintage lightweights? I suppose there are some British publications but where do you go to get these?

I'm running in Bridgestone Picnica (folder), Blousen, '72 Moulton, and other rare birds and I'm going crazy surfing the web for info and trying to figure what they are worth.

      Price/Model Guides posted by John E on 12/16/2003 at 3:36:02 PM
The only vintage lightweight pricing guide I have seen is under Sheldon's website, but by now it is probably out of date. From time to time I find eBay comparables to my Bianchi, Schwinn KOM-10, and Peugeots, so I have know roughly what each of them is worth. Since I have seen only one ca. 1960 Capo Modell Campagnolo (a very rusty stripped frameset with crank) on eBay, I do not have a good estimate of my Capo's worth, but it is currently not for sale, anyway.

   RE:   Price/Model Guides posted by Gralyn on 12/16/2003 at 4:57:12 PM
You can hardly tell by e-bay, what a bike is worth. Some of the models that are in abundance - and show up on e-bay quite frequently - you can get an idea, or an overall average of what they generally go for. But, for the rare birds - and especially if a couple folks get in a bid war - you can't really say.

   RE:RE:   Price/Model Guides posted by JONathan on 12/16/2003 at 5:59:37 PM
A good reason there is not a "price guide" is that the term bears little meaning to reality.
There are different buyers with different agendas. Some are pros, others are hobbyists, some are looking for cheap transportation that is reliable and the list continues with your imagination running wild. Right off, you have to consider the price-guide within a buyer's context.
E-bay, and other sites, provide a broad sampling base for rough estimates. Then, there is the bike's overall condition and component attributes that vary over a broad range. Then, there is the over-riding variable of specific interest of the potential buyer.
There is the economics question. Everything adds up to a complicated (inherent differences), unpredictable (relative value) and somewhat random (sampling rate) state. This is my humble opinion, of course. One thing is certain to me and it is cummulative. Superior craftsmanship AND uniqueness AND vintage AND superior conditon produces exponential value...and I'm back to the beginning question.
Personally, (although I have great respect and interest in high-end quality bikes) my interest is focused on the lightweight, dependable and comfortable riding machines. Simple repair problems and low cost componentry, with high value relative to cost, instills high enthusiasm creating a bit of "living" history. I think the "value" can only go one direction...up.
Just my 2 c's.
Thanks, JONathan

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Price/Model Guides posted by Rob on 12/16/2003 at 7:14:28 PM
Well stated JONathan...and I agree...once these bikes are 25 or 30 years old they all seem to be unique, with their own condition and state of repair. Why the buyer of the 1960's PX-10 paid some $7,400 last year, is hard to guess at...he just had to have that bike, or he figured he could even sell it at a profit to a collector in Japan...???... But it seems clear that little insight can be gained from that sale about other PX-10's, whatever their condition. Someone with a pristine PX-10 might think they can hold out for $7,400 or higher, but it might be a long wait...It seems it's a bit like the art world...for the 'great masters' it's a pretty thin market and it seems when one sells maybe every 20 or 30 years or so (must be a generational shift) the price goes up...likely these things only sell when someone comes along with a large inheritance or some other windfall and must have a particular painting or sculpture. And, the current owner will only sell if the price is higher than the last sale price...and who's to say what a unique piece of art is worth??

But it's all for fun anyway...vintage bikes or works of art...isn't it???

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Price/Model Guides posted by Derek Coghill on 12/16/2003 at 7:50:18 PM
What something is worth doesn't always correspond to what it'll sell for. My Peugeot cost me £3 and my black 1920's bike £1; the black bike is one of only two of its kind known to the bicycle curator at the Museum of Scotland. Haven't a clue what it's worth, but the average punter would probably baulk at a price over £50.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Price/Model Guides posted by JONathan on 12/16/2003 at 9:33:19 PM
Aye, Derek...and a wise man you be, with a sharp eye. Kind of like buried treasure, only without all that diggin'.
Then, of course, there is the provinance issue. My guess is the PX-10 referenced above had a unique provinance attached to its history.
I look around and ask myself; "Where'd they all go"...the builders of these lightweights we have. Oh, yeah, there is the guy who builds a custom mount, but I mean the mass of the craftsman workforce has retired. I'll be riding a Raleigh "record", nothin' special, and an awareness of how someone actually built this bike using skilled craftsmanship and care.
Got respect. If a robotic assembly produces a superior product in terms of materials used and performance precision, so be it, but that doesn't detract from the significance of handmade construction of even low-end bikes.
That, and that alone, to me is why the vintage LW's have appeal. But what makes things more interesting, unlike with so many types of "collectibles", the vintage LW's are still very much a viable entity...not without a place in a modern world.
That is cool and it makes them unique. Let's find some more treasures.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Price/Model Guides posted by Derek Coghill on 12/16/2003 at 11:52:41 PM
Where'd they all go? In sheds, mostly. In the car and motorbike world some of the machines that were "discovered" in the late 70s/early 80s are being re-discovered as their owners (who bought them then) retire or pass on having done nothing with them.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Price/Model Guides posted by T-Mar on 12/17/2003 at 2:05:06 AM
The most interesting thing about the vintage bicycle market is that rarity and quality doesn't necessarily equate to increased value, unlike other products. Commonality seems to be the big driver of price. It's the Schwinns, Peugeots and Raleighs of the world that the people are interested in. If it's a top model, in good condition, then the price will be high.

Conversely, the little known and small volume manufactuers don't sell well and usually fetch prices based only on their components. To get a good price for such a bike, you'd have to find collector familiar with it, or preferably two who are willing to get into a bidding war.

For instance, lets take the case of two bicyles up for auction. Both are in similar condition and have an identical components mix. But one is a Peugeot PX-10 and the other is a Capo. Now the Capo is a very fine frame, much nicer than the Peugeot PX-10, but it is little known. Most people would hardly glance at the Capo and make a bee-line for the PX-10. A few would the Capo a guick once-over, out of curiosity's sake. Even fewer would be educated enough to apprecaite the craftsmanship. The person who can identify the qualities of the Capo will get a bargain, while the the others are fighting over the inferior PX-10 and driving the price through the roof. (I use John E.'s Capo as an example, because very few would ever have heard about one except for John's eloquent description of their qualities. There are probably more people on this site that know of Capo, than in the rest of North America, thanks soley to John E.)

Now there is a good reason for this bias. Schwinn, Peugeot, Raleigh and a handful of others had probably 90% of the market in the seventies. Most of the owners of these brands have rose coloured memories of their bicycles and would long to own another one, preferably the top model, which they likely couldn't have afforded thirty years ago. Consequently, the Paramounts, PX-10s and Pros will always bring good prices. In addition, there were some small volume bicycles that were of such high regard that many casual cylists were aware of them. These makes (i.e Cinelli, Masi, etc) also bring very good prices.

Dabbling in the lesser known brands has it's advantages. You can get a very good bike for a relatively inexpensive price. For instance, I recently sold my 1972 Raleigh Super Course for $305 US. That sale allowed me to purchase a St. Etienne and pocket almost $200.00 US dollars. While being of comparable vintage, the St. Etienne was in better condition, had a Reynolds 531DB frame, Simplex SLJ alloy derailleurs and TA Pro cotterless cranks. People remembered the Super Course and were willing to pay for one in very good condition, but I seemed to be the only one who appreciated the St. Etienne. Of course, the drawback is that when it's time to rid of the St. Etienne, I probably won't make money like I did with the Raleigh.

   RE:AGE / VALUE: Price/Model Guides posted by jack on 12/17/2003 at 2:21:29 AM
Thank you all for your excellent insights as to why a BlueBook of bike values may not be feasible. I guess I'll concentrate on relative value to me and hope I'm knowledgeable enough to know a good deal when I see one.

I'd still like to see a good picture book. If the bicycle is a work of art as many of us consider some of them to be, then bicycle art books are needed. Ideally it would be a multi-volume set based on country of origin.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: Price/Model Guides posted by JONathan on 12/17/2003 at 4:11:57 AM
A used bookstore that is my nightly stopover...after a nice espresso at the local micro-roaster's shop, has been a treasure trove for me. I just bought a book that's just what you want, I think.
Title: "Bicycle Around the World" by Linda Swendsen, 2002...a 1st edition, too. This book has just pictures of bicycles...that's it.
The photography was not trivial snapshots, rather a technically proficient effort (I'm guessing Leica or Hasselblad) because the detail is sufficient to really see the bikes' finer details. The artistic composition, both form and content, makes up for text...which is lacking, except for city and country.
A welcome and unusually fine addition to our bicycle library. As a note, a bicycle has an architectural aspect, too. Very interesting stuff in the book.
New, the book is $19.95 US, but a new condition used book, it was $11.95 US.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Price/Model Guides posted by harris g on 12/17/2003 at 4:26:43 AM
Actually, unless directly between collectors, ebay is the blue book. If you want pricing, list the bike. If you are just fishing for a price set a high reserve. I sold a mint 4 speed moulton direct, pre ebay for $600. I consider that top dollar. A couple of others for $200-$300. You could probably make a living buying them for a song in england and selling in the US. Without going overboard, if you have a few interesting obscure bikes, list them here and see what these guys say they are worth.The answer most of the time is very little. The ones that stand out...we will give you a heads up.Half the threads on this board concern pretty generic low end bikes. If you have bikes that you consider special...thats what Im here to hear about.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Price/Model Guides posted by JONathan on 12/17/2003 at 8:42:58 AM
Oops. The author's name is "Svendsen", not "Swendsen". Sorry 'bout that one.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Price/Model Guides posted by Derek Coghill on 12/17/2003 at 4:45:24 PM
Moultons are odd as regards value; some of them seem to be forever cheap, and some expensive (spaceframe ones). Unless you were lucky enough to find a minter for next to nothing, I don't think there'd be any mileage in exporting them from Britain. Unless, that is, they're all expensive in the US?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Price/Model Guides posted by Rob on 12/17/2003 at 7:19:01 PM
Yeah…I guess that’s what trade is all about…profiting from the differences in either the perception of value, or the costs of production, from one human group to another… Remember that famous old adage that all you really need to know about business is …”buy low, sell high…” Although the world is currently homogenizing at a rather rapid pace, historically different cultures have often placed different perceptions of value on the same item or commodity. As I understand, in ancient days, in China, jade was considered more precious than gold, and among the Mayans, or was it the Aztecs?, onyx was the prized item…the production and marketing of diamonds provides an excellent modern case study in the psychology of value. And, then there’s the purchase of Manhattan for $24 worth of ‘trinkets’…who got the better deal?, what did the parties actually think they were transacting?…it’s only in the context of subsequent events, which certainly would have been inconceivable to the people of the day, that it seems like a ‘steal’…without that transaction, maybe New York would be somewhere else…Hoboken?…:) Trade in luxury goods is a great place to be…if you know what you are doing… Now as to vintage lightweights…which I think is a very thin market…probably fueled largely, as Tom suggests, by memories of childhood and early adulthood…how many people could there be worldwide, who are seriously interested in vintage lightweights? Can’t be more than 5,000 to 10,000...could it?? …and, most would be in NA (and other English speaking countries), Europe and to some extent in Japan.

I think it’s really tough to predict prices for these old bikes…as ‘harris g’ suggests, E-bay is the bluebook… And a lot of the vendors don't even want to ship whole bikes outside the US (for good reasons, no doubt to do with shipping issues)...further limiting the market. I think if you want to buy and sell old bikes, you have to develop a pretty good feel for what will sell and the general price ranges, then try to keep all you input costs in line. If you’re buying to own, then you probably want to be interested and knowledgeable about the particular model, and get the best price you can…then, forget about it, and enjoy the bike…

An interesting thread…Just my humble 2c’s worth…Always interested to hear others views on these subjects…

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Price/Model Guides posted by JONathan on 12/17/2003 at 8:44:41 PM
Interesting surmise, supported by references to a global condition.
I think the "market", so to speak, is somewhat rarified as you aptly stated.
The question of "blue-books" has me stumped if both conditions exist...as was implicated as I understand it so far.
I guess my angle is more toward the intrinsic value, which to my knowledge (which isn't very much) has not been fathomed. It sems like "collectors" are buying from
non-collectors...not so much the reverse. But what about the VLW's as riding machines?
I'm a believer. Rather than looking at them as a pure entity, with a smart approach, these "low-end" bikes have remarkable potential in a workingmans' market, IMHO.
I think they have been cast aside, in many cases, out of perceived obsolescense, which is quite the opposite to their potential.
One outfit is fixing these rock-solid frames with modern componets and selling them, with warrantee (I think) for more than entry level; new bikes. Education is the key...and in many cases it only takes one ride to make it real.
Tremendous skill went into making these frames...some, like the fillet-brazed Schwinns, although somewhat ubiquitous, may never go into large scale production, IMHO.
The bottom line for me is nothing is really happening right now, but...
I'm still looking for those cheap VLW's!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Price/Model Guides posted by Rob on 12/17/2003 at 11:47:39 PM
Boy...this thread just keeps going!!! Anyway, I see you point and I must say that for most of my "herd", it is, as you say, the 'intrinsic value' that is the motivating factor. Initially, a few years ago and, I guess to some degree even today, I was amazed at what you could get for low dollars, and in some cases, for nothing!!! Wonderful old frames with lots of utility left, and with excellent quality components (I thinking SunTour/Sugino/Dia Compe and high-end Shimano mainly, though I've got lots of Campy bits and pieces...Cinelli, Weinmann, Mavic, MAFAC, some Ofmega, some Modolo, some good Huret, and, of course, lots of basic Simplex...I even have a few Zeus pieces).

I think when I was composing the above piece, I was thinking in terms of the "collectibles"...Raleigh Professional, Masi, DeRosa, Colnago, Rene Herse, etc. There is a great mass of excellent rideable bikes between these high-end jewels and the junky low-end stuff...and it is, as you say, eduction... and exposure, that turns people around. Which is exactly what happened in my case, several years ago...I could not believe what one could get for $25CDN...that was the 1972 (or thereabouts) Super Course (needed very little work; a bit scratched up) which my younger brother bought and eventually traded to me...an incredible value for money. And,as I say above, this is where most of my 'herd' would fit...good quality rideables....if I had a pristine collectible, I'm sure I would hang it on a wall, gaze fondly at it, and never get it dirty...:)

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Price/Model Guides posted by Derek Coghill on 12/18/2003 at 12:03:12 AM
A "blue book" could be quite interesting, but more as a model/manufacturer guide than a price guide. But where do you find an "original" bike from an Italian frame maker who sold bare frames?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Price/Model Guides posted by TimW on 12/18/2003 at 12:35:33 AM
Ooh, ooh - I have a Bridgestone Picnica. This is where I blithely disregard the 'Vintage Lightweight' classification, and talk about the funky old folder. I've never seen another. It folds like a lawnchair, by squeezing the seat stays together, and it has a belt instead of a chain. Now, if only I could get new 12.5" tires to seat properly on the plastic rims, I'd be out riding the beauty. Jack - If you read this, let me know what condition your picnica is in, and if you have successfully replaced the tires.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: Price/Model Guides posted by jack on 12/18/2003 at 2:54:21 AM
Tim, I didn't/have not bought the Picnica because the guy wants $75. As I said starting this Price Thread, when it comes to rare birds like this I can't tell if its a good deal or not and Lord knows I don't NEED another garage queen. I already have a Birdy folder and wasn't planning on another folder. I had also mentioned a nice Blousen which is really far-out and may be collectible someday but at $200 what am I going to do with it, store it for 20yrs?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Price/Model Guides posted by JB on 12/18/2003 at 4:47:05 AM
Solid comments on relative values of vintage rides...nice to hear about T-Mar's St. Etienne....rode one for 20+ yrs..only parked it to ride a older Bottecchia...not one of the top models, but well-built....that's the key..find it, fix it, and ride it...let the collectors that park 'em drive up the prices of the high-end bikes

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: Price/Model Guides posted by TimW on 12/18/2003 at 7:27:42 PM
I got my Picnica for $5 at a garage sale, and couldn't pass it by for sheer novelty value. At $75 (US?), it would be a toss-up. I agree, hard to figure 'blue book' on such a bike. In Vancouver, there's a hot trade in cruiser, hot rod bikes, and other bikes with good 'curb appeal'. So, anything funky here grabs a good dollar. But, in other cities, that sub-culture may not exist, hence the value of such bikes is nominal.

    Price/Model Guides posted by Elvis on 12/18/2003 at 11:48:31 PM
Sometimes a bike just looks cool leaning against a wall. Older road bikes, especially. 27 inch alumunim rims, lugges steel frames, square-capped forks and chromes fork ends. The polished aluminum shift levers clinging to the downtube. Drop bars with peeling tape. Sometimes they jump out at me. I just have to see how they ride. Other times I pass them up. I just picked up a Nishiki for a good deal more than normal -- but I have seen other rides I wouldn't get for $5. I bought a 1950's Rudge from a guy who had it propped up by a tree across from my girlfriend's house, for $50 in 1999 -- he traded a fishing pole for it back in the 1960's.
The girl hasn't spoke to me in years but I still have the Rudge.
A list of prices and guides would be useful, but remember:
Sometimes a good bike is its own value.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Ross Gran Tour posted by: Gralyn on 12/15/2003 at 5:20:24 PM
I've been working on the Ross Gran Tour I picked up a couple weeks ago. I had stripped the frame, cleaned and waxed it, etc. I was stumped for a long time - because I couldn't decide what to do with it. I couldn't decide between making it a fixed-gear, or building it back original. There wasn't a single braze-on, and the finish was almost perfect - I thought it would make a really great fixie. I ended up building it back original, though - probably because I had run out of track cogs. It's re-assembled now - the only thing I have left to do is the chain and the bar tape. It looks practically new.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Ross Gran Tour posted by JONathan on 12/15/2003 at 7:23:04 PM
A neighbor sold a "Firenze" 10 sp. for $5. It was new looking. The low end bikes are often ridden very little and can be in amazingly pristine shape. I passed on the bike, but I got it set aside for a friend who wanted an extra bike.
Right now, it's hanging up in his garage...probably for another 25 years. I think that with good wheels and brakes, these low-ends have potential. As you say, a fixed gear retrofit is a good turn. I think the components are what separated the
line-ups in many cases. Still, they are better than what your money gets for what is under $150, new. Great values, IMHO. Eventually, there won't be many left to get for a song. Most "baby boomer" lightweights have been flushed out as their aging parents
move to smaller quarters. Charity thrift stores have been well supplied, but the numbers are dwindling, IMHO.
Outside of a couple of tuneups, I'm hungry for a deal like that. Today, I may get a Raleigh "twenty" ('70's) if it's still available. $50 seemed like a lot, but they are fun bikes to remake and I can actually ride it due to the robust design.

AGE / VALUE:   NOS early 80's Univegas posted by: andym on 12/15/2003 at 1:01:24 PM
Seller on ebay is selling brand new,never out of the box,Univegas.Seller states that they are "new" and she's not kidding.Last week I purchased a new "Gran Rally" From this seller- Bicycle321, no relation to this seller,I just want to let you guys know about some great deals.
I paid $160.00 and was the only bidder for this bicycle. Since then,I've noticed her pricing has dropped. When I un boxed this bike, I was like a kid at christmas,I could'nt believe it.According to dates on parts this is a 1980-81 model,with Tange Champion tubes,full Shimano 600 groupo,Araya 27x1 alloy rims w/presta valves,fairly tight racing/sport geometry and no rack eyelets.Anyway, its just cool to know that I'm the first owner of a new bicycle that has'nt seen the light of day in over twenty years.
I've been sorta watching these auctions and they are not getting many bids,if any.

     NOS early 80's Univegas posted by John E on 12/15/2003 at 4:48:09 PM
Your experience reminds me of the NOS PX-10 which showed up on eBay awhile back. There are not many such opportunities out there!

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   vista posted by: mark on 12/14/2003 at 5:56:33 PM
i have a vista 10-speed bicycle it has 27 inch rims on it does anybody have any info on this bike thank you!

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   vista posted by T-Mar on 12/14/2003 at 9:19:50 PM
I have no first hand knowledge of Vista, but the brand first started appearing in the cycling magazines about 1978 with their last appearance about 1983. The later ads state that they were imported by Service Cycle Supply Company of Commack, NY. While I don't know the country of origin, given the era it was probably Taiwan.

The late seventies ads pushed a model called the Silver Shadow, which appears to be a nice, middle range bicycle, along the lines of a Nishiki International. It featured a double-butted frame, Shimano 600 derailleurs/QR hubs/brakes, alloy rims and bar end shifters. The gearing appears to be wider than normal, though it is only a double crankset. Like some Windsor bicycles, it had the model name on the downtube, where the brand name is normally found.

The later ads pushed entry level models which were Suntour/Sugino/Dia-Compe equipped. The two model names I was able to pick out were the Carrera-7 (cottered crankset) and the Espada (cotterless crankset).

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   les Ephgrave posted by: shaun on 12/13/2003 at 6:39:45 PM
Hello, I am looking for a Les Ephgrave enthusiast who can tell me about my frame and forks. My father bought the bike approx 45years ago with his hard earned paper round money from a shop in Newcastle Upon TYNE. It was love at first sight for him and he spent at least one year saving for the bike which he is sure cost £120 (a lot of dosh in the 50s).As he remembers, the bike was made up with a touring campagnalo groupset and weinmann? centre pull breaks. It is finished in gunmetal grey with black highlights around some pretty special lugwork. Only the frame and forks have survived the test of time and apart from surface deteriation there is no damage or alterations to the frame. All the original transfers (although well worn) and head badge are present. Everyone who sees this bike seems to fall for it, and having asked around quite a bit lately, I believe it may be a one off. The frame number is LE3134 present on the frame and the forks tube. I have some good allround pics of the bike for anyone who is interested. I have tried posting them on this site but they are just over 100 kbs and I dont know how to make them smaller. It is not an F1 or F2. So maybe the mastercraftsman was trying to broaden his market or just trying something different before he sadly passed away. I would love to hear some Les Ephgrave tales as he seems very mysterious to me.ttfn

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   les Ephgrave posted by T-Mar on 12/13/2003 at 10:53:46 PM
The Classic Rendevous site has a small page on Ephgrave ( http://www.classicrendezvous.com/British/Ephgrave/Ephgrave_main.htm ), including a short article with some history.

     les Ephgrave posted by John E on 12/14/2003 at 1:44:05 AM
Wow, wow, and WOW! You have a genuine collectible, one of England's best. Based on the various 1959-1961 Capos and Paramounts I have seen, I can say that typical high-end bikes of that era were equipped with Campag. Gran Sport derailleurs, Campag. high-flange hubs, Weinmann Vainqueur 999 centerpulls, and tensioned leather saddles. Although TA and Stronglight had been making cotterless aluminum cranks for several years, Campag. had just started, and they were still very expensive and rare.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   les Ephgrave posted by Derek Coghill on 12/18/2003 at 12:06:09 AM
Shaun, have you tried the CTC? They may not know, but may know of someone who does.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   les Ephgrave posted by shuan on 12/18/2003 at 9:48:07 AM
As no one has offered me a ridiculousely huge amount of money for my ephgrave, my new years resolution is to restore it. This will include a new paint job and new transfers which I know will reduce any perceived value but I am no longer in it for value, its all about pride of ownership now. Cycle art seems to be the favoured place for paint jobs, its just the thought of the shipping that puts me off. As for components I will need to get hold of Mafac centrepull breaks system(not weinman as originally thought)Campag chainset cranks and pedals with toe straps, a seat pin and handle bars, break hoods, stem and all the widdly shiney bits to stear the old devil. My dad still has the original mudguards and brooks saddle but I may treat it to a new brooks saddle for comfort reasons. I wish to use the bike single speed so the gear system can come later, and as my dad removed it when in his touring club because he would cycle everywhere without actually changing gear (cos hes tough)he dosnt remember what the gears where though is sure they were pretty much state of art for the time(possibly campag?). Is my goal achievable and at what sort of prices for the components which should all originate pre 1961. Where do I start, and why is the most comprehensive cycling site ever, so damned far away. Merry xmas one and all, shaun

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   les Ephgrave posted by Derek Coghill on 12/19/2003 at 11:49:37 PM
Shaun, are you around about Newcastle somewhere? I've seen a couple of older frames (refurbished) for sale on UK ebay by people in the north of England and can only assume that the paintwork was done locally. If you can renovate/touch up the existing paintwork I think that would be better; original machines with a history seem to be better regarded than repaints (applies to motorcycles too).

   RE:RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   les Ephgrave posted by shaun on 12/20/2003 at 1:02:53 PM
yes,Iam from chester le street (8 miles from Newcastle). My dad bought the bike from a shop on Westgate Road in Newcastle in 1960.Anyone know how the bike may have ended up in shop? I was lead to believe that Les Ephgrave sold his frames from his car boot at races.I am now comitted to restoring the bike to as near as possible original but am struggling to find mafac centre pull breaks and the headset stuff in the uk, any advice on sites that may help would be appreciated.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   les Ephgrave posted by Derek Coghill on 12/20/2003 at 10:33:55 PM
The Bike Station (a charity in Edinburgh) have a lot of odd stuff that is donated to them, might be worth a try. I know Chester-le-Street, have friends in Stanley.


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   les Ephgrave posted by Justin Belcher on 2/24/2004 at 1:31:18 PM
Peter Holland ( 01892 510153) is theVeteran-Cycle Club's marque enthusiast for Ephgrave and would welcome any information relating to Ephgrave from current or past owners who have not already been in touch with him.

AGE / VALUE:   Dating Shimano components posted by: Warren on 12/13/2003 at 2:20:50 PM
With repect to the dating of the Shimano crankset, look for two letters stamped on the arms. Then follow this chart...

> A 1976 A JAN
> B 1977 B FEB
> C 1978 C MAR
> D 1979 D APR
> E 1980 E MAY
> F 1981 F JUN
> G 1982 G JUL
> H 1983 H AUG
> I 1984 I SEP
> J 1985 J OCT
> K 1986 K NOV
> L 1987 L DEC
> M 1988
> N 1989
> O 1990
> P 1991
> Q 1992
> R 1993
> S 1994
> T 1995
> U 1996
> V 1997
> W 1998
> X 1999
> Y 2000
> Z 2001
> A 2002
> B 2003

Don't forget that Shimao made huge overstocks of those Biopace cranks and they were found on new frames years after their date of manufacture. You can look for the date codes on many Shimano components...brakes, levers derailleurs etc.

   RE:AGE / VALUE: Dating Shimano components posted by Warren on 12/13/2003 at 2:27:33 PM
The month code should be a distinct second column here...anyway , AA is January 76...a BA is January 77...a CL is December of 78.... etc

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Dating Shimano components posted by T-Mar on 12/13/2003 at 10:44:30 PM
I have seen some isolated cases of pre-1976, Shimano components with what appears to be a single letter, year code. For instance, I have a set of mid-seventies hubs with a "Y" code, which I've assumed to be 1974. However other 1974 Shimano equipment, such as my 2 pair of Dura Ace brakes do not have any apparent date codes.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Dating Shimano components posted by JONathan on 12/15/2003 at 7:27:33 PM
Thanks, Warren. That info is very useful to me.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Dating Shimano components posted by Rob on 12/16/2003 at 12:08:50 AM
Thanks Wrren,

I've copied and pasted your list already...:)...I've got a pretty good handle on the SunTour coding....A=1984, then backward and forward in sequence...And, as you say one has to keep in mind that some of the components could have been used on new bikes for a few years after the date of manufacture...I try to use several points of reference if I can find them, including the 'look' of the frame and whether the components give the general impression of having been original...ie, if I find a Shimano derailleur on an otherwise SunTour/Sugino/Dia Compe setup, I tend to assume the Shimano was not original...

AGE / VALUE:   Nishiki Modulus Steel frame posted by: Elvis on 12/13/2003 at 5:31:14 AM
Hi all. haven't posted in a while... I need to find out about a Nishiki. Just came across a Nishiki I'll be picking up next week. Nice frame size, good paint, no rust. Frame is drilled for mounting two botle cages and the downtube shifters are Shimano index shifting. Bike is Nishiki Modulus steel frame, but seems real light for steel. Weird little screw in the seatpost which seems to hold the seat clamp on... cable braze-ones are three on the top tube but off to the left side a little, not in the middle. Forged, not stamped dropouts, with chain tensioners. Aero brake levers, but odly enough it had schraeder rather than presta valves.

DOES Anyone know how old it might be, or where it sat in the Nishiki line? Someone at the local bike shop suggested early 1990's but no one knows it's value, though in the past forged dropouts with built in chain tensioners have always been found on the better find's I've gotten... But since I don't have it yet I can't very well ask them to look at it, and I thought by the early '90s downtube shifters were out... The cranks are biopace if it helps. Any info on age/placement within the Nishiki line is greatly appreciated!
Thanks to all who respond, and happy holidays! --Elvis.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Nishiki Modulus Steel frame posted by JONathan on 12/13/2003 at 6:39:58 AM
Hey, Elvis. The bio-pace was short duration in the mid-80's. Personally, I like them a lot on MTB's and road-bikes with a nearly symmetrical large chainring.
They are different. A lot depends, I think, upon style of riding. A mashing type, such as myself, may find the eccentric small ring(s) to their liking. The spinners, that's where I think the controversy arises.
When I take the expressway and come up on a spinner-type, I sometimes shift down to match cadence and after a short distance, I start to huff n' puff a bit. When I maintain parity in the higher gear, I can go for miles.
Part of that has to do with mass of the rider's legs, IMHO. Anyway, that's a side line topic. I'm guessing, 1986. How's that sound. Check the stem for a date stamp. Checking the stem and steerer is a good idea, anyway. I think some Japanese stems had date stamps.
I rank Fuji, Miyata and Nishiki as premium bicycles at any production tier. I'm always on the lookout. I have not seen Fuji's except on the road. Nishikis crop up occasionally, but mostly the "olympics". There are posts on the Nishiki line in the archives.
As I recall, the Nishiki developed a superior product in the '80's. The earlier bikes, of which I have two, are lumbering trucks of bikedome...IMHO, of course.
I have an American Eagle and an Olympic which are well made, but not sporty by any standard. I think of a UO-8 as a "sporty" bike, too. Sounds like you got one that was dialed for performance. The lightness you notice could be from the butted tubes. A 1984 Team Fuji (my bike) has quad-butted tubes!
For a steelie, it's hefts like aluminum.
Good luck, you done good, I think. Wish I had one just like it.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Nishiki Modulus Steel frame posted by Bryant on 12/13/2003 at 12:50:20 PM
Hi Elvis. Nice find. I'm suspecting your bike has Dia-Compe brakes. maybe with suicide levers. I always find the Date stamp on either the siucide levers or brake calipers themselves a god indicator of when the bike was built. That is assuming they weren't swapped. BioPace rings are a real good indicator, I believe Trek used them on some 1986-1988 models (I have a 1987 Trek 560 with them). I also just picked up a 1989 Schwinn High Plains MTB with Bio-Pace. I think 1989 was pretty much the last year you would see that type chainring. Hope that helps

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Nishiki Modulus Steel frame posted by Elvis on 12/13/2003 at 1:02:01 PM
Thanks all! Actually, I have seen biopace before. Good on mountainbikes, esp. the old rigid [shockless] ones when riding in snow. I just never seen em on a road bike, though I have seen it on hybrids...
As to the brakes, the are all Shimano, a grey color and marked 400 [or 4000?] something. Why the term suicide levers? are they unsafe? I'm not too familiar with aero levers exceot I think they were first used on a Lotus; most of my bikes are from before the Aero lever era and have exposed brake cables old school style. Should I replace the levers?
P.S. thanks again!

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Nishiki Modulus Steel frame posted by andym on 12/13/2003 at 3:01:21 PM
Hey Elvis, I've owned a "modulus" at one time,picked it up at a thrift store for about ten bucks as I remember.I believe it was a late eighties model with shimano "exage" components.It also had biopace chainrings,which I promptly replaced with regular ones.I personally don't like ovalized chainrings,Ive never felt any benefit from them. I believe the frame tubing was triple butted but I could be wrong.I would'nt worry about the "suicide" levers,it should'nt have any. Suicide levers are attached to the brake lever pivots so that a person can actuate the brakes from the flats or tops of the bars. They're called "suicide" because they never really worked well and they put the rider in an awkward position for hard panic braking,possibly sending the rider over the bars.
Anyway its a decent bike,kinda upper-middle of the Nishiki line up at the time.

    Nishiki Modulus Steel frame posted by Elvis on 12/13/2003 at 3:55:04 PM
Thanks! Okay, so suicide levers and safety levers are the same things? no problem there then; the bike has those newer style levers with hidded brake cables, definately not safety levers! NOTE: On bikes that do have safety levers, the first thing I do is remove them or change the brake levers entirely -- you are right, they stink at stopping and make riding with your hands positioned on the brake hoods impossible [plus they look nasty].
I am looking forwards to picking up the bike, will post an update when I test it.
Thanks to all who responded and ride safe during the storm tomorrow.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Nishiki Modulus Steel frame posted by T-Mar on 12/13/2003 at 10:36:33 PM
That sounds like an Exage 400EX group, which was produced from 1990-1992. Preevious to this, the Exage groups went by names (i.e. Sport, Mountain, Trail, Country). Looking back at my Nishiki data for this period, the Modulus appears to have been available only in 1990. It retailed for $389.00 and was second from the bottom of the road line. However, for a more accurate date, I advocate Warren's suggestion of check the components for date codes.

Regarding downtube shifters, they survived well into the 1990s. Shimano's first road STI levers (combined brake and shift levers) did not appear until 1991 on the Dura Ace group. Thereafter, STI was introduced on a yearly basis for the next lower group (i.e. Ultegra - 1992, 105 - 1993, RX100 - 1994. RSX - 1995). The only Shimano road which survived to 1999 and didn't receive the STI treatment was Exage 300EX. Campagnolo's introduction of their Ergo brake/shift levers typically lagged behind Shimano.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Nishiki Modulus Steel frame posted by andym on 12/14/2003 at 3:29:45 PM
Well, I stand corrected.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Nishiki Modulus Steel frame posted by Skip E. on 12/15/2003 at 5:41:24 AM
Hello Elvis -
My Daughter has Nishiki modulus, red in color, top tube braze-ons are on the bottom of the tube (a bit offset from center bottom). It has Shimano Exage Sport components. According to "The Dancing Chain" it was introduced in 88. It is a 19" frame, 700C rear wheel, 24" front. Tange 900 double butted tubing, SR seatpost is marked H-87, (Aug 87). Shimano brakes are marked LH, (Aug 87). From this (I believe) it is a likely a 1988 model.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Nishiki Modulus Steel frame posted by T-Mar on 12/15/2003 at 5:49:10 PM
Gentleman, I would like to take this opportuntiy to clarify some points in my previous post and respond to Andy, whose Modulus probably was a late eighties model, and may well have been a middle of the line bicycle.

Most models of bicycles are produced for several years and in some cases decades. During the manufacturing run, particulars such as tubing and components can vary from year to year. In Elvis' particular sample, the only component clue provided is the Shimano "400 (or 4000?) something" on the brakes. This would appear to match a Shimano Exage 400EX group, which was introduced in 1990. Looking at my Nishiki data from 1990, there was a Modulus with Exage 400EX, which would be an exact match for Elvis. In 1991, a Modulus was not listed. Previous to 1990, any Modulus would have had Exage Sport, similar to the sample owned by Skip's daughter and this does not appear to match with Elvis' components. So it appears that Elvis' particular sample is a 1990 model, though the Modulus model certainly did exist earlier.

While component dating has its own blind roads, it is probably the best way to date a bicycle. If, as in Skip's case, the years on several components match, then you have a high degree of confidence for the bicyle's model year, within one year. In Skip's case the bicycle could be either late 1987 or 1988. More probably, it is 1988 as he suggests, because the August component dates are rather late for 1987 bicycle models and are more likely to be early component production runs for the 1988 bicycles.

As to the position in the line-up, this is a period when when manufacturers were down-sizing their road bike line-up in favour of mountain bikes. In general, the bottom ends of most road bike lines were harder hit than the upper ends. The avid road cyclist still wanted a good, dedicated road bicyle, but the recreational cyclist who bought the low end bike was lured by the versatility and comfort of the mountain bikes. So, a road bicyle which may have stood several steps from the bottom on the rung only a couple of years earlier, may have been demoted a rung or two, or even eliminated. Looking at the Nishiki road line-up in 1990, the Modulus was the 2nd lowest road bike in the USA line-up. It may well have been a couple steps higher only a year or two earlier.

While it is usually not always adivisable or practcal to compare road and mountain bikes, in this particuar case, I have the USA MSL prices and this can be be used to establish a place in the overall USA line-up. Of the 12 Nishiki models for 1990, the Modulus at $389.00, had one road bike and two mountain bikes priced below it. A third mountain bike, the Backroads, had the same pricing as the Modulus.

Some of you may have been wondering why I qualified my statements with "USA line-up". While I am not sure of the exact relationship between the Nishiki brand name and the distributors, catalogs indicate that Canadian and USA disributors did not necessarily have the same line-ups for a particular year. I suspect that the Nishiki brand name may have been franchised to distributors who could name models and spec bikes as they wished. I know for a fact that at least some late seventies Canadian models were being assembled in Canada from imported frames and components.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Nishiki Modulus Steel frame posted by Elvis on 12/16/2003 at 12:36:59 AM
Wow, that is a lot of info... Truth be told, I believe it was Exage 400 [not sure about the EX though, the derailieur was kinda dusty and the last digets covered...] I am definitely looking forwards to this one.
In the meantime, I am waiting for the ice patches to melt so I don't kill myself on my fixed gear Centurion! I just took the 16 tooth off the back and put an 18 on, hills are so much faster now...!