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Archived: Vintage Lightweights

AGE / VALUE:   Starliner-Royce Union 1960 3 speed (more information ) posted by: julie on 4/26/2003 at 12:46:34 AM
This is in response to my inquiry about the Starliner 1960 3 speed bike that was posted earlier today.
...Thank you JONathan for your reply and questions. Here is what i found upon the request to check for informtion on the wheel rim, handle bar and/or anything else that may have components.
It does not have ballon tires.

Nothing on the wheel rim
Handle Bar- WF is part of the black plastic handle bar "cap" that affixes at the end of the handle bars.
Brakes: Brake # 1- I found a picture of a fish with a dorsal fin that looks like rainbow. On the other side of the same brake a cirlce with what looks like the letter "d" below the letter "j", position so that the j rests atop the d and the numbers 374040. Brake # 2:Had on one side the name Weinmann Junior and on the other side the number 730.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Starliner-Royce Union 1960 3 speed (more information ) posted by JONathan on 4/26/2003 at 5:12:07 AM
Wow! Sounds like you have a very interesting bicycle. Most Royce Unions that I've seen are clunky 10 speeds from Japan. Read Sheldon Brown's article on Japanese bikes. Just type "Japanese bicycles" in Google. The Japanese bikes that I've seen from the early sixties had crude steel brakes. Yours seem to not fit the mold. The fish with rainbow logo dorsal fin reminds me of some carving tools made in Sweden or Germany? Companies often made a wide range of products to remain diverse. The rear brake may be a replacement alloy (not steel) component. Bikes of that vintage are likely to have some parts replaced...which raises the question of the rear wheel. It may have been a replacemnet wheel, so the bike itself may actually predate the hub. I'm assuming it's a Sturmey-Archer 3 speed hub. Maybe when it was run over, the wheel was damaged and replaced. I think it's a find. Take it to your friendly LBS and get it checked out. If the frame is OK, you can start reconstituting it into nice bike for riding. Or, just clean it up (no paint!) and have a great conversation piece. Nice find! JONathan

AGE / VALUE:   clb posted by: josh on 4/25/2003 at 11:07:08 PM
How much is a set clb brakes worth. the levers plastic bodies and drilled levers. it can be routed aero or non-aero. the brakes are marked on the back with gl 47-60.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   clb posted by Warren on 4/26/2003 at 12:19:18 AM
CLB made brakes as early as the 50's....subsequently some of these early examples have great value. I have some articulated CLB brakes from the 70's that as fine as anything campy, suntour, diacompe or universal ever put out. Yours are likely mid 80's with the combo routing...if they were mint they may be worth something but even then they wouldn't be more valuable of similar period SR or NR campy.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   clb posted by josh on 4/26/2003 at 1:56:22 AM
I was thinking of selling them for 15 dollars the levers are scratched and I do not think hoods are the wrong ones. Is this a fair price for the levers and brakes?

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   clb posted by josh on 4/26/2003 at 1:58:40 AM
sorry about that last post it should of said I think the hoods are wrong type for the levers

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   clb posted by Warren on 4/26/2003 at 2:07:32 AM
Used mid 80's brakes with mismatched lever hoods? $15 sounds fine...

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:clb posted by humberchristopher28@hotmail.com on 4/26/2003 at 4:31:25 PM
I have a set of CLB ENFANT brand brakes. The bolt is going up and down that holds the brake on.
I don't know much about these brakes and I don't think they are worth much but they are neat and I'm glad to have them. It's a thing I 'll never use.
The spring is flat and they will work wonderfully for whenever or whoever will ever use them.

AGE / VALUE:   Starliner-Royce Union 1960 3 speed posted by: julie on 4/25/2003 at 4:31:28 PM
I have no idea where to post this inquiry due to my ignorance as to what I have, so I appologize for the multiple postings...But, help, I have found a run over Royce Union 3 speed Starliner female bike (not in too bad of condition) The Sturmey/Archer hub has a date of may 1960. I want to fix it up but don't know the first thing about repairing/rebuilding bikes. I can't find any information on Royce Union. Is it British, Dutch, cheap American? There are some numbers stamped into the down tube 605398...0, as well as under the pedal holding part of the frame. Can anyone tell me what I may have in this bike as far as potential value and/or where I can find some information about it and how to rebuild it-I am looking forward to the project more than anything else.
Thanks- julie

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Starliner-Royce Union 1960 3 speed posted by JONathan on 4/25/2003 at 7:53:52 PM
First off, any bike that long bp is worth hanging onto. So if you want a rider, I would think real hard about a bike that's been run over. You may have a stressed frame. For a collector bike. I'd just clean it up, put a couple tires on it and that's it. Royce Union marketed bikes that were from everywhere. Japan, Holland, England and Germany...maybe Italy?
So you need to look at the wheels' rims near the stem for a maker. Look at the handlebars, brakes, any place that has a component. Then repost, and someone can probably zero it for you. Does it have balloon tires? A name like "Starliner", sounds like a middleweight. Try a posting on the middleweight section, here. There's a good chance someone can peg that model.
Good luck and be c-a-r-e-f-u-l checking that run over frame! JONathan
Note: I have discovered that bikes with low intrinsic value as machines may be the among the most sought by collectors. The converse holds as well, IMHO, of course.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Starliner-Royce Union 1960 3 speed posted by JONathan on 4/25/2003 at 9:37:59 PM
One more. Does it have a cottered crank or a one-piece crank and is there any definable pattern on the chainring? If all this sounds strange, may I suggest reading Sloane's "Complete Book of Bicycles" or another good book (Glenn) for the diagram descriptions of what all the parts are on a bike. Try Sheldon Brown website, it's extremely useful for restoration. He has a special section for 3-speed bikes. Good luck. JONathan

AGE / VALUE:   Ideale 59 Duralumin posted by: harry on 4/25/2003 at 4:51:02 AM
Picked up an Ideale 59 saddle today.It has wide duralumin rails. What is the age of this saddle and would this saddle been stock on any particular bike? Cool Seat! Happy Collecting

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   165's posted by: Oscar on 4/25/2003 at 3:08:55 AM
Who's looking for 165 length cranks for their fixed gear?


Not my auction, wouldn't dream of it.

      165mm Sugino Maxy cranks posted by John E on 4/25/2003 at 1:48:33 PM
I do not recommend Maxy cranks for a heavy and/or strong cyclist, because, as one can observe by close inspection of one of the photos, the spider is swaged to the crank. Also, be warned that at least the earlier Maxy cranks (the ones shown are actually Maxy IIs) are affixed to a solid spindle with nuts, rather than to a conventional hollow spindle with bolts. Thus, you may need a hard-to-find spindle and may be unable to use a sealed cartridge-style bottom bracket.

   RE:   165mm Sugino Maxy cranks posted by JONathan on 4/25/2003 at 3:41:17 PM
Thanks, John E. I have a Takagi "tourney" 165mm, 5 pt. spider. It appears to have a swaged spider. Would your advice apply to it? I haven't started to set up my fixed-gear on a Schwinn "Le Tour II" 25 inch frame. It's pretty low on the stack of projects, but it won't hurt to do some planning; such as finding a suitable 165mm crank. Ia there a recommended brand that's not $$?

   Sugino Maxy cranks posted by John E on 4/25/2003 at 6:02:49 PM
Hi Jonathan,

The SR Tourney crank is no better than the Sugino Maxy, as it suffers from the same fundamental design defects: Type II spindle and swaged spider. Look for a small-framed road bike at a yard sale and strip the crankset -- that's how I got a very nice 165mm Sugino Aero crankset, plus 6-speed freewheel, aero brake levers, short-reach stem, SunTour Cyclone derailleur set, and numerous other goodies, for $10. I then sold the (19" Fuji quad-butted CrMo) frameset and wheelset to a local bike shop for a $20 merchandise credit, reducing my net cost below 0. You can also find higher-quality Sugino cranks on eBay from time to time, although the fixie crowd has admittedly rendered 165s somewhat scarce.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   165's posted by Tom on 4/25/2003 at 7:00:05 PM
John E.is correct in cautioning about Maxy-type cotterless spindles. The taper width and length differs from most other cranks and can cause compatibility problems. The bearing race diameter is also smaller than most other spindles, so if you replace the cups, the bearings may ride too high or low on the spindle race. However, old Raleigh cups seem to work well.

Regarding spindle availability, it must be a local issue. I can find lots of NOS Maxy spindles around here. Unfortunately, I also have to pay original retail price!

While I agree that a swaged crankarm and spider is not ideal, my experience indicates that most swage failures are quality control issues and not inherent to the design. Consequently, failures will usuially show up early in the life cycle. I've broken one Campagnolo Nuovo Record arm, cracked one Shimano Deore DX arm and cracked one Shimano Deore LX arm, but I've never had a problem with any Maxy. The bottom line is that if you have a used Maxy and the swage hasn't failed, then it probably won't.

   RE:Sugino Maxy cranks posted by JONathan on 4/25/2003 at 8:23:43 PM
Man! That's a great move. Get what you can use and then pinball the rest back up into the market area where it can be recycled. Thanks a lot for the ideas. It's always nice to explore with some intelligence at least part of the time, no matter that the intelligence isn't mine.
Tom, the "burn in" theory is interesting. Once past the initial quality control failure you have the MTBF only to contend with assuming a visual inspection works. I think, however, in my case that I need to work with the plan for getting a solid spider since a) there is no immediate pressure to complete the project (especially now that I need to rethink the frame size) and b) I tend to break equipment due to my mass (215) and that I really clang on the cranks while pulling up on the bars. Fortunately, I have yet to snap a crankarm. Everything else has gone, but the thought of a crankarm demonstrating what the term "impluse" means is too graphic to ponder. Howver, I sure like the idea applied to non-criticality 1 components.
I saw a big guy riding a tiny tire the other day and he looked top-heavy on that tiny frame. I realized that's me. No wonder I like the bigger tires and robust frames. No problem keeping up in the bay headwinds on the level or going downhill! Thanks, JONathan

   RE:RE:Sugino Maxy cranks posted by Dave on 4/25/2003 at 8:54:23 PM
Thanks for the info;my '73 Peugeot U-08 has Maxy cotterless cranks,they look swaged also.I guess I'll have to keep an eye out for replacement spindles.

   RE:RE:RE:Sugino Maxy cranks posted by Warren on 4/25/2003 at 9:50:10 PM
A well adjusted BB will last decades so don't panic about the spindle.

I've used a Tourney crank on a fixed bike for over a year now and it's been fine. They look cool as well. However, I'm rebuiding the bike and I'm swapping in a mint 3 pin Williams C1000 with 6 1/2" arms...or 165 mm. This crank was the poor mans choice when he couldn't fund a Chater-lea or BSA. It's nice.

Heavier but indestructible and it will last indefinitely.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:Sugino Maxy cranks posted by JONathan on 4/26/2003 at 2:19:48 AM
Say Warren, is that Williams a cottered crank? I have one (used) in a rubbermaid with a bunch of steel sets from all the bikes I've crashed and trashed. I can't explain the "Depression Mentality" that would compel me to keep all that stuff for years, when I didn't see any uses for it...until now! The one I have is very strong as it barely flexes...is that good for a fixie? You could use it for a crank arm on a small locomotive. It's like tool steel that's been annealed. Maybe a used Williams is my answer until I find a decent solid crank as John E. suggests.
You know, I hadn't thought of steel. Thanks, JONathan

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Availability of Lightweights posted by: Gralyn on 4/24/2003 at 7:27:12 PM
A while back - I was in a bit of a panic - because I wasn't seeing any lightweights at the usual places. For a long time - they just were not to be found. Well, since then, they have become a little more available - but still not like before. Anyway, since then I have picked up an AMF, Motobecane, Schwinn World, Schwinn Traveler, Azuki, and a Technium. On e-bay, I got a Bianchi, Raleigh, and Atala. Well, I was concerned that I didn't have any projects to work on....well now - I have plenty to keep me busy.
Anyway, I have noticed that in the past - I would spot a bike-boom lightweight....and I had the luxury of waiting until it got marked down. If it got low enough - I might buy it. Now however, these bikes don't stick around. Like ones I wouldn't want to buy - no real value, average to below average components, etc. don't even last until the next day. I have seen many bikes - and passed on them - then stopped by the next day - and they were gone. They don't stick around long enough to get marked down anymore. At least many of these old bikes are getting rescued - and I will be looking to see them on the road this Summer.

   RE:   Availability of Lightweights posted by Eric Amlie on 4/24/2003 at 9:18:43 PM
I found the same thing with the bikes disappearing from my closest thrift store. I found out that the guy who has to wheel them in and out each day is sick of them and makes them "disappear"(into the dumpster). I have to go every day if I don't want to miss them. I certainly can't afford all that time. Makes wonder how many good ones I've missed that went to the shredder.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Availability of Lightweights posted by JONathan on 4/25/2003 at 3:57:09 AM
The feed I've gotten from various stores is that the bikes are not coming in like they were last year. Maybe with tight money, people are trying to sell the bikes in local papers. I've seen a lot of ads for bikes, lately. All around the $50 mark for bike boom bikes. I see more people on bikes going to work, not pleasure rides. More often, the bikes are older lightweights rather than flourescent paint, carbon fork, tiny tire type bikes. I suspect there are a few more guys poking around looking for the bikes in thrift stores, for whatever reasons. I didn't start collecting until a couple yeras ago, but I used to get a lot of bikes for riding. As they broke, disappeared or I gave away, I'd get another. Very low pressure on the supply. There was always a large supply. I think I got into the game a little late, because there really isn't a lot of really good stuff in the lots, and like you noted, it won't be there if you turn your head to sneeze. Today, I picked up a Univega "Supra Sport" with Sugino VP cranks, SunTour AR front and shifters, but a cheaper rear derailer (SunTour "honor"); leather, touring seat; Arriya 27's hp; sansin hubs; Shimano aero style sidepulls; triple butted 4130 main with "mangalloy" forks; SR custom stem and MKS peddles. Good Specialized tires and tubes. Price...$10. Pretty decent. I think it helped my cause that the handlebar was off center, the wheel was stuck and the paint is a little faded. Right down the row were shiny cheapo Murrays and a Schwinn "collegiate" (no college kid I know would ever ride that bike) for $50! Then there was this abominated gas station Columbia tandem with Derusto gray brushed paint job for $150. I mean, come on, they even painted over the headbadge and the cranks wouldn't turn. Good luck. My rides home have been pretty fast, now that the well is drying up. JONathan
Note: I know there are some places in bikedom that still have Italian LW's showing up on the junk heaps. Theres hope.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Availability of Lightweights posted by Dave on 4/25/2003 at 4:42:09 PM
Maybe there is a "hoarding" issue at work also.I bought a Huffy 10 speed,(w/alloy rims,stem,brakes) for my friend Ed K. on Ebay(he had one last 25 years before the seattube broke off of the BB shell).This Huffy even has a welded non-unicrown fork.He's very light so it'll probably go another 25 years.Anyway, I did a local pickup of the bike and I wasn't sure I was at the right place until I saw a Varsity and World Sport in the back of the house,w/10 to 20 wheels laying about.The Huffy was 2nd to last in the garage,which held at least 15/20 mostly older Schwinns,a 2.5 car garage with little room for the one car inside.I told his wife that at least he thinned the herd by one!I suppose the basement held even more!

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Availability of Lightweights posted by Rob on 4/25/2003 at 5:11:20 PM
Shiny sells!! In my view it's all part of our simian heritage...Never underestimate the power of the marketplace...it wants what it wants!!! Whether or not it makes sense to the 'intelligent' people!! A few years ago when I got back into the old lightwieghts I was amazed at how cheaply they were selling...to me, an incredible value for money. Sure, the new stuff has some nice technical refinements...A-headsets, better braking systems, index shifting (excellent, as long as you can keep it properly adjusted)...but the price difference, assuming one doesn't care too much about 'second-hand, makes no sense to me. I think an analogy would be the difference between a Ford and a BMW...everyone knows which is the superior car...but value for money?? Personally, having owned several BMW's, that wouldn't be my choice...of course then there's the mojo...

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Availability of Lightweights posted by Rob on 4/25/2003 at 5:22:45 PM
Rob, Another item that is heavily marketed are "mountain bikes",w/heavy wheels,friction robbing knobby tires,heavier frames and usually cranksets that limit your top speed dramatically.Despite inroads by "hybrids",(which my wife favors riding),they account for about 70% of new bike sold.

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Availability of Lightweights posted by Kevin K on 4/25/2003 at 6:05:23 PM
Hey Rob. I too have owned several BMW's. Nice but........... Now Volvo's. That's a car. Sorta like the Schwinn Varsity/Continental. Not all so sporty but you'll never break one. 300,000 on one, 250,000 on a second. Both my kids are in them also. Sorta makes me want to put Schwinn decals on them, ya know. All in fun, Kevin K

   RE:OT Vovos posted by Warren on 4/25/2003 at 9:56:16 PM
Ahhh...my 85 Volvo 245 Turbo wagon is the best car I've ever owned hands down....I'm trying to talk my wife into keeping it forever...or at least until they make fossil fuel cars illegal. Just about to turn 300,000 and it runs like a clock.

We shouldn't talk about it on a lightweight list however...I think it's around 3600 lbs. Keeps you safe.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Availability of Lightweights posted by Rob on 4/25/2003 at 10:50:36 PM
Yes, Volvos...I also had one of those, 1982 244GL I think it was, bought it when I was working in Ontario for a few years, back in the 1980's...excellent car, put lots of miles on it...but it virtually dissolved before my eyes...Canadian winters...even the roof rusted through!!!
...Gotta stop this...lightweight bikes!!!

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Availability of Lightweights posted by Kevin K on 4/26/2003 at 11:51:14 AM
OK OK Sorry guys. No more. Lightweight bikes it is. However, did you know...................ok. Speaking of bikes, I picked up a 1980 Peugeot Super Sport at Memory Lane for $10. Totally French inc. 700 Rigida wheelset and Michelin tires. Stronglight crankset too. I'm not sure what to do with it though. I hope someone wants the frame for a fix gear bike as all I really want is the wheelset and crank arms. Any takers????????????? Kevin K

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Raleigh Technium 440 posted by: Gralyn on 4/24/2003 at 7:20:39 PM
Months back I posted regarding a Raleigh Technium 440. Well, today, in the same thrift store where I found that Technium.....there was another. It was exactly the same....same size, same color, everything - exactly. The only thing is that the finish wasn't quite as good as the first one I found - which was practically flawless. This one has a few scratches - but still - isn't bad. I went ahead and got it - because the wheels were true - and the original wheels on my first Technium couldn't be straightened. I'm thinking of making it into a fixed-gear.

AGE / VALUE:   85 or 86 Vintage Raleigh Olympian posted by: Days on 4/24/2003 at 4:54:06 PM
I have this bike that I bought around 1985 or 1986 and used probably 5 to 9 times. It's a lightweight, 12 speed, women's bike. It has the 555 SL marking on it. If anyone has any idea how much it is worth now, please email me.

AGE / VALUE:   AAU bicycle posted by: Thom on 4/24/2003 at 12:14:44 PM
I am looking at a Wards bike that has head badge and stickers listing it as AAU of America its tan with Schwinn grips anyone have a history for it?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   AAU bicycle posted by JONathan on 4/24/2003 at 5:18:34 PM
I have a ten speed (frame only) that I have for scrap metal which has the AAU and Olympic rings on the headtube. It was used by a neice one summer who found it clunky. I didn't know diddly about what makes for a good bike or I wouldn't have had her ride it. It is/was about the cheapest bike made and very heavy. The pressed-on, stamped dropouts and one-piece crank were tipoffs. It got some miles on it that summer, but I was constantly trying to get everything to work right. I'd guess about '76 for age. I can't believe that Schwinn would have built that bike. I can check for any stamping and let you know. As a collectible, I can't say. As a bike for riding? If it's anything like the one that's sitting on the scrap metal table, forget it. There are many bikes at thrift stores that are cheap and are much better bikes.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   AAU bicycle posted by Thom on 4/24/2003 at 8:21:37 PM
Have no intention of collecting it. Someone just put it in front of me and I had never seen it before. Thanks your guess was about the same as mine.

AGE / VALUE:   bastide track bicycle posted by: Joel on 4/24/2003 at 9:40:37 AM
I have a Bastide track bicycle built around 1935-1936
in France. Its in fine condition. I was told only 700 were built and used for the 6 day races. Does anybody out there know what its worth ? I also would like more information on its history Thanks

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   bastide track bicycle posted by Jeff on 4/25/2003 at 8:24:25 PM
Joel, I too have a Bastide track bike from roughly the same era. I know a little bit...but just enough to sound semi-ignorant I think. My bike is missing it's badge and I am seeking one to buy or to reproduce from. Does your bike have a badge? I posted on this site back in February and did find one fellow who may be of help to us, but I have not heard back from him as yet.

AGE / VALUE:   Standard racing bicycle posted by: scott on 4/24/2003 at 1:54:36 AM
Iwould like to know if there is any info on a wooden rimmed racing bike made by the Watkins Cotrell co. from Richmond Virginia, possibly from 1918? Any info would help

WANTED:   Mixte Frame posted by: Art on 4/22/2003 at 11:04:52 PM
I'm looking for a 23" (or so) Mixte frame, if someone has one that they are willing to part with. Art

MISC:   Tubing Specs. posted by: Rob on 4/22/2003 at 9:18:04 PM
For those interested in tubing specifications I found this Japanese site...it's easy enough to figure out without being able to read Japanese:


included are: Ishiwata, Tange, Columbus, and Reynolds

   RE:MISC:   Tubing Specs. posted by JONathan on 4/23/2003 at 5:48:49 AM
That was a challenge for me, Rob. From my research, the most informative treatment on the topic appears at this site...http://www.desperadocycles.com/The_Lowdown_On_Tubing/About_Steel_Tubing_frameset.htm
Particularly interesting was the detailed descriptions of tube formation. The Ishiwata Magny-X and Magny-V are actually made from sheet steel! The process produces tubes that are seamless, but less expensively made than if from bar steel.
I'm not sure if Ishiwata is still making tubing. Does anyone know?

   RE:MISC:   Tubing Specs. posted by Tom on 4/23/2003 at 12:09:03 PM
According to Sheldon Brown's site, Ishiwata closed it's doors in the early 90's. However, due to leftover inventory, it would presumably be possibly to find some later bikes with Ishiwata tubing.

AGE / VALUE:   Lawee bicycles and Motobecane posted by: JONathan on 4/22/2003 at 4:05:38 PM
Interesting how looking up about one thing can lead to discovery of another. I have a Motobecane lady's frame "Nobly" which was determined to be the economy export. There is an ad for Lawee, Inc. (531 W. 15th St., Long Beach, Ca.) from the '70's which had the "Nobly" as a men's frame. It had the "all-arounder" bars and cheapo rubber pedals with reflectors. I know that it was a distinct model (men's and women's), instead of a women's version of the "Nomade". The interesting thing? As I read all the ads the whole Motobecane line was represented. "Mirage"; "Grand Touring" and "Grand Record". They were under the Lawee name. The "Grand Record" has dbReynolds 531 mains and 27x1 1/4 hp tires. So if you run across a Lawee "Grand Record" at the thrift store or wherever, you might want a second look. Happy huntin'. JONathan

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Lawee bicycles and Motobecane posted by JONathan on 4/22/2003 at 4:31:02 PM
FWIW, the "Nobly" is a decent ride. If you want to have some idea how good a company's bikes are, look at the bottom entries. Price wasn't specified in the ads, but these were lined up against the Huffy's and others at low end. Incredible that more aren't around. Location, location and location! JONathan

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Lawee bicycles and Motobecane posted by Keith on 4/22/2003 at 7:37:17 PM
I'm not sure if we're on the same page, but I once owned a Gitane Gran Sport Deluxe (the '72 Consumer Guide calls the model the "Tourist." It was a lower-end 10-speed that had pretty cool upright handlebars, with plastic-covered Mafac brake levers specifically for uprights. I think of this as a city bike, a category of bikes more commonly represented in the U.S. by bikes like the Schwinn Collegiate and Suburban and Raleigh 3-speeds. The Gitane was much lighter than the Schwinn's and even the Raleighs, and the 10-speeds made it more hilly-worthy than a 3-speed. Fun bike, but like so many others I enjoyed it for a while and then let it go.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Lawee bicycles and Motobecane posted by JONathan on 4/22/2003 at 9:04:04 PM
I presume so. For the most part, my collection of bikes are in the low end species. Bikes that with my limited expertise and wild enthusiasm, were deemed "better" than I suppose they really are in reality. A recent spectator was I at the aborted "Sea Otter Classic", wherein I was notified by a unknown observer that my Raleigh "Record Ace" was the bottom of the food chain of Raleighs. As if I hadn't found that out with my research! Still, I hadn't any trouble keeping pace with any but the most ardent (crazy?) spectator riders. The traffic was heavy enough that I chose to avoid unnecessary exuberances in my riding. The beauty of handmade, lugged bikes of highest quality tubing is of great interest to me, yet I am still impressed with how well some of the bike boom bikes perform and how well constructed they were for the most part. The Gitane you mention being one, I would say. And, whereas the marketing of higher end is expensive, the buck goes a long way in procuring decent bikes that are in the lower tiers. Especially for fitting a rider with something that'll be pleasurable to ride and mainatinable with minimal expense, I find these bikes (mid-range; defined below in post) to be ideal candidates for refurbishment. Quite frankly, I am beginning to ascertain that they may even be "better" rides than my two "high end" mounts. I surely put more miles on my two "runners". The well is getting a little dried up, at least so far this spring. I have a couple of bikes in the works, but nothing has come up to stack for future re-fits. JONathan

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Lawee bicycles and Motobecane posted by Keith on 4/23/2003 at 1:48:41 PM
I really enjoyed that Gitane. As for "lower-end" bikes, I never use that term disparagingly. Properly maintained and ajusted, most of them will perform quite well, and if the paint is good, they look great. Here's another way to look at it. Your basic higher-end bike will cost $300 - $1000+ on eBay. Your basic lower-end bike will cost $10 - $20 at a garage sale or thrift store. A higher-end bike may outperform a lower-end bike in some respects, and for certain purposes, but by no means is the increased performance a on a magnitude of 30 to 50 times greater than that of a properly adjusted and maintained lower-end bike. As you say, lower-end and mid-range bikes are an excellent value for riding, if not for collecting.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Lawee bicycles and Motobecane posted by Dave on 4/23/2003 at 1:58:46 PM
I good personal example is I purchased a early 90's Klein road bike several years ago for $850.This bike was in the 19/20 lb. range but I felt every pebble on the road and my upper body would ache on longer rides.I sold it to a Triathlete.A Mercier a friend gave me ,(w/latex house paint I added / decals in rough shape) has a wounderfully smooth and comfortable ride,last year I rode it 250 miles in one day and was no worse for wear,(except the Huret deraillers can't shift down far enough).

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Lawee bicycles and Motobecane posted by JONathan on 4/23/2003 at 4:18:06 PM
That's 25 x 10! Some run that must have been. I typically ride about 25 miles in a loop that includes 4 steep climbs and several moderate inclines. I can use my 1977 Raleigh RA as an "equalizer" to my friends who have Bianchi-type racers, but who pedal once a week. The everyday riding that I do that's 10 to 15 miles depending on route changes really makes a difference in how I do on the weekend "burns" with friends. I must admit, their bikes are wonderful machines, but the ridership isn't part of the sale at the local high-end bike shop.
The Record Ace had morphed from a 531 frame to 20/30 plain steel in about 3 years during the mid to late '70's. Why was that? Mine is the 20/30 frame. A second feature which spawns a lot of verve in my bike interests is that brazing is much more forgiving in the heavy tubing. I can practice a lot without disasterous results. I'd like to design and build a frame someday, and the practicing on the thrift "beaters" will come in handy when that day comes. Thre isn't much that compares to hands-on practice. Once I can make one successful bike, the prospects of more will be decidedly easier to achieve.
I know what you mean about vibration stress on those tempermental "lighties". I can hold a cup of java no sweat after ridin' the RA. Cheers. JONathan
BTW, the Merciers are incredibly well crafted for a production bike! Nice find.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Lawee bicycles and Motobecane posted by JONathan on 4/23/2003 at 4:46:15 PM
Dave, a note about gearing. My Raleigh RA (1977) works great with a triple chainring. I use a Shimano long reach der. (the one with the caribou head logo) which is very lazy shifting. When it's in the lowest gear and I stand on it, the crankarms flex more than I'd like. Camping rigged, the bike is bit teetery. I have a 1985 Miyata "terra runner" (one down from the top "ridge runner") with under-cahin U-brake and quad-butted 4130 with a whopping 43 inch WB is king. Loaded front and rear and pulling a trailer on washboard (howdy-do) roads is no problem, except for the occasional dust clouds from the indignant passing 4 wheelers. The SunTour "cyclone" is my best shifting der.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Lawee bicycles and Motobecane posted by Dave on 4/24/2003 at 4:14:19 PM
I'm mulling over a addition of a Shimano "Megarage" to one of my Vintage machines.A freind in the club did that to a late 70's Nishiki and he plans on using it for the "Hilly Hundred" ride this Fall in Bloomington,IN.This has a "bail-out" 34 tooth gear freewheel and larger jockeywheel rear derailler.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Lawee bicycles and Motobecane posted by Dave on 4/24/2003 at 4:16:16 PM
Sorry, make that "Megarange" my spelling stinks.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Lawee bicycles and Motobecane posted by JONathan on 4/24/2003 at 5:39:08 PM
When I added the third chainring I needed to dump the SunTour "V" which was doing a good job of shifting. The "crane" has the capacity, but it like a loose rudder when shifting. I have to micro back and forth with the shifter. It gobbles up the loose chain, so in that regard it solved the problem. In a racing environment, I don't know how it would do, although I'm not familiar with the "Megarange". The cage was sticking down so far that it caught on twigs and grass, too. My RA is a good tourer with light weekend loads, forget the extra sodapop! "Megarage"? Sounds like what I feel like when that derailer hangs! JONathan

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Lawee bicycles and Motobecane posted by Dave on 4/25/2003 at 4:30:54 PM
It does sound strange.Speaking of Shimano systems that sound stange, I stand corrected on a replacement part for the "Positron";www.bikepartsusa.com has PN#01-77988 a rear shifter cable for $10.49.FYI

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Lawee bicycles and Motobecane posted by JONathan on 4/25/2003 at 9:18:22 PM
Thanks for posting a source for that part, Dave.
I can't wait for the weather to go sunny here where it's supposed to be, so I can work on that Suburban rolling-stock on my outdoor bench. My big ole vise is starting to rust! My garage has two bikes in various stages. I think I'll order the part just to have available if I need it sometime in the future, when they may be impossible to find. JONathan

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bastide track bicycle posted by: joel on 4/22/2003 at 10:40:56 AM
I have a Bastide track .I hear only 700 were made in france. could anybody tell me what its worth and give me more information in its history. Thanks!

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bastide track bicycle posted by Gralyn on 4/22/2003 at 4:40:26 PM
I've never heard of it - but if you know that only about 700 were made - it sounds like it could be valuable. Do you know how old it is?