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Archived: Vintage Lightweights

AGE / VALUE:   Trek 400 F-F free posted by: Mike Slater on 5/4/2003 at 12:26:13 AM
Free to good home:

Dark Blue Trek 400 frame and fork, 56 C-C. Looks to be in really good shape.

Just cover the shipping costs.

AGE / VALUE:   Senator ? posted by: DannyJoe on 5/3/2003 at 3:35:10 AM
I'm trying to find info on a frame I was given called a "Senator" made in Austria. It's a drop bar model ten-speed with a plastic bodied Simplex rear derailleur, I have only the frame, rear derailleur and drop-bar's. Has anyone heard of this make of bicycle?

    Senator ? posted by John E on 5/5/2003 at 5:40:50 PM
I do not know who marketed that particular brand, but the frame manufacturer was almost undoubtedly Steyr-Daimler-Puch. I would guess early 1970s vintage.

   RE: Senator ? posted by DannyJoe on 5/6/2003 at 1:51:27 AM
Thank's, a Yahoo search of the name only led me to Senator's in Gov't who dealt with bicycle related issue's.

AGE / VALUE:   GARAGE SALES posted by: Kevin K on 5/3/2003 at 12:50:57 AM
Hi all. A small town near where I live held it's annual community garage sale today. It's runs through Saturday. Some started on Thursday. Today I picked up a nice FUJI SAGRES. Nothing special just liked the look of the decal package. Very clean bike with new 27x1 1/8 tires. The lady selling the bike had the owners manual from new. She said $25. I felt sorta bad but I ask her if she would take $20. She was very pleased with the $20 offer. So now with a Fuji I've broken my Schwinn only collection. I've stripped it down to the frame and started to clean it up. This bike is a 1985 model yet it has aero levers on it. Did it come this way or did the owner have it updated? It looks ok but I've got a nice set of Gran Compe levers here that'll look alot better on it. I missed a really nice PUCH. Before I could get turned about someone grabbed it and bought it. Full Shimano 600 group. $20. RATS! So tomorrow is the big day. Saturday. We will see. Kevin

   Aero brake levers posted by John E on 5/3/2003 at 8:42:04 PM
Nice score, Kevin. I think the aero brake handles may be original. One would not expect them on a 1982 bicycle, but they were almost ubiquitous by 1988. By the way, I converted both the 1980 Peugeot and the 1982 Bianchi to aero levers, because they provide about 10 percent more leverage than earlier models, and my Campag. sidepulls need all the help they can get.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   GARAGE SALES posted by JONathan on 5/3/2003 at 9:42:41 PM
Nice one. If you had shelled out $25 right off, she may have starting thinking (afterward) that it was a mistake. The $20 offer established the idea $25 being a good price. Anyway, they won't worry about it. So I think you did a service by offering $20. Fujis are GREAT bikes. Any and all. I have one that is a pure racer for it's day (1986, "Team"). I put a Campy front wheel and hub on it which makes for a decent high speed bike. Absolutely zero shimmy on the downhills. My brother has the one like yours (blue) with great ride characteristics and he is not a regular road bike rider. I think he is now, since I fixed him up with that one. I look for any Fuji bicycles, because I think they are the best for the buck. Tange1 is good stuff. JONathan

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   GARAGE SALES posted by Kevin K on 5/3/2003 at 10:26:45 PM
Hi guys. Thanks for the compliments. Today I picked up a clean 1986 Schwinn Traveller. $20.I bought both these bikes as parts bikes but they are simply too clean and original to mess with. So....................the collection grows. Cool! Thanks, Kevin

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   GARAGE SALES posted by JONathan on 5/3/2003 at 11:28:08 PM
Keven, is the "Traveler" made in Japan? I have one that's made in Japan...about that vintage. Panasonic did the branded bikes for Schwinn, along with Giant in Taiwan. 4130 main tubes; Sugino cranks; Sunshine hubs and Araya alloy rims; Weinmann 610 cp's round it out. Got the bike free after the owner crashed twice because the rear wheel climbed out of the dropout due to that clumsy der. tab. The Raer wheel was trashed and the der. was mangled. He gave me the bike! I put a "Cyclone" on, changed the wheel and ground that phony "ear" witha dremel to allow for proper seating of the axle. Rode it all winter on rain soaked days without a glitch. I'd rate it about 3X as good as any "entry" level bike out there in the LBS's. That's how good the older stuff is. The steel handlebars make it oversteer a bit, but it is an easy fix...or just live with it. Last of a breed of low priced, high quality rides. Enjoy. JONathan
Note: I don't know anyone who needs a 25" frame or I'd find it a home...JONathan

   RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   GARAGE SALES posted by Kevin K on 5/4/2003 at 1:10:08 AM
Hi JONathan. My Traveler has Weinmann 27x1 1/4 aluminum rims with Maillard low flange hubs. Schwinn Super Record 100lb.tires. Suntour shifters and derailleurs. San Marco seat. Micro seat post and black alloy stem. Dia Compe side pulls and hooded levers. The frame is of True Temper butted 4130. Decals says under True Temper USA. Head badge also says Schinn Chicago but.... So now the tricky part. I'm 5'10" tall. I should ride no larger than a 23" frame I've been told but I love the fell of the 24"-25" frames that most of my bikes are. This frame is tall. The head tube is over 10" long. Probally a 27" frame. It's way too big but this bike is way to nice to part out, no matter who made it for Schwinn. So into the collection it'll go. What year is your Traveler. Kevin

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   GARAGE SALES posted by DannyJoe on 5/4/2003 at 2:28:12 AM
Our town(pop. 12,000) had it's Annual Garage Sale Day today where I found the overly abundant Dept. store bike's, a couple of '70's vintage girl's Varsities(I have my share) a Columbia Century 10 spd., Western Flyer 10 spd., a '70's Sears men's 3spd in nice condition an '80's Schwinn World Sport 10 speed( Have one just like it only nicer) all of these I passed on hoping I would find that nice high-end vintage lightweight in the next yard, then it hit me I live in the biggest town in the County in the middle of the BIGGEST cornfield in the state, how would it get here.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   GARAGE SALES posted by JONathan on 5/4/2003 at 5:21:23 AM
No definitive date, kevin. I give up trying to access dates on round-badge Schwinns past 1979. I don't know that it's Panasonic except that's what I've read. This whole "branded" thing is a either a hoax or a bad joke. Giant has a "G" and then two digits for year. I guess it was too much trouble to stamp the date under the serial number. The Schwinn "world" that I have is a heavy bike and it's 1984, with steel wheels, etc. The "Traveler" is something I would ride. To speculate, I'd say 1979 or 1980 solely on the cp brakes. The Schwinns were not yet going cheapo, which might explain the 4130 chromoly frame. I will check the stacks at the library for bicycle magazines from the late '70's and early '80's to see if my "Traveler" is shown anywhere. All the sites that access seem to want $$ to buy the catalogs. I love those Weinmann "vanquerre"(sp.?) 999, 610's. They can lock it up. THe "world" has junk Weinmann sp's. How did so many lousy components end up on bikes, when a consumer would gladly pay $2 more for worthwhile components if they could see the difference. I agree with you about keeping a pristine condition bike intact. How much is a brake cable? As for Danny Joe. Cornfield country is a great place for old car parts. I know a guy who takes vacations to search for Model "A" parts. I live where there's 3 million people in a 60 mile radius and I can't find many LW's. It's a numbers thing. You may have 1 vintage LW in the whole place. OK, 2...jONathan

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   GARAGE SALES posted by Kevin K on 5/4/2003 at 12:46:16 PM
Hi JONathan. Maillard always dated it's items for Schwinn. These hubs are dated 1986. The head badge on the bike carries the number 827 which indicates it is a 1987. Beyond that the serial number on the bottom bracket housing is all numbers, no letters. With the combo of French and Japanese components it's hard to tell. Thanks for the info on the Traveler. Kevin K

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   GARAGE SALES posted by Ron on 5/4/2003 at 12:49:38 PM
I bought a Traveller last summer at an estate sale for $2. The head badge date is 1988. It has Shimano SIS, Weinmann rims, DiaCompe brakes, Tru Temper tubes, 12 speed. It is a smaller girls bike, 19in, I think. I bought it for my daughter, but she didn't like it, so I put flat bars and a gel seat on it, and now my wife thinks it is the greatest. She was riding a Collegete that weighed about 50lbs.

   correction posted by JONathan on 5/5/2003 at 2:42:52 AM
I just checked the paddock where my Schwinn collection resides. Found the "Traveler" is really a Taiwan bike. There was no serial number on the dropout, so I had assumed it was not Giant. That left Panasonic as the maker...I thought. Seems that a third company, Merida (also Taiwan) made Schwinns and these are not in the databook. I looked closer and saw a sticker that states; "Made in Taiwan" for Schwinn, etc. So it has to be a Merida built Schwinn. The 1984 Giant built Schwinn "World" next to it in the shed is really a big step down in quality from the "Traveler". The SunTour AR re. derailer was out about 1979, so I would still say it's 1979 or 1980. The strange thing is the Shimano stem shift levers. The front der. is also SunTour. The frame on the "Traveler" is very nicely finished, esp. fork crown and forged dropouts. I think Merida has just started marketing under their own name in USA for first time with EV bikes. Now, that I hauled that "Traveler" out of the shed, I thinks I'll go for a spin before dark sets in, although it has a generator light that I put on for the winter riding for which it was used. The frame would be a good as a touring bike. I don't know what to do with the "World". I sure ain't going to ride it seriously. I don't even think they are going to have any collector value either. It is not junk, but it's not great.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   GARAGE SALES posted by Gralyn on 5/5/2003 at 3:58:53 PM
I have 2 of those ....well, actually 3. I have one blue one...it's all the same as you describe...made in USA. It's in beautiful original condition. It's very light - and a very nice ride. I also have one in a celeste green - it's the same also - but has a lot of scratches and dings. I always take it with me camping - when I'm going to be doing some road riding. I also have a ladies in celeste green. Those USA Travelers....around 1985 - 1987 are one of my favorites.

   Weinmann Vainqueur 999 posted by John E on 5/5/2003 at 6:08:16 PM
Hi JONathan,

The model name was "Vainqueur," and the 610s were indeed great brakes, although the longer 750s provided noticeably less leverage. (Most early 1970s Raleighs and Nishikis used 610s in front and 750s in back.) Sheldon's right: keep the calipers, and replace the pads and cables.


John E

   RE:Weinmann Vainqueur 999 posted by JONathan on 5/5/2003 at 9:35:43 PM
Thanks twice, John E. The above post on criteria for dating LW's is very useful to use in the "field" so to speak. Secondly, the "Vainqueur" spelling correction will at least establish that I can correctly spell what I talk about; it's bad enough to "sound" like an quasi-itiot without further embarassing myself by butching the words. A not on chromium lugs. My exposure to coastal living demonstrated to me that chrome plating is attacked readily (corroded) by chloride salts..such as NaCl in sea breezes. A solid color scheme on your Capo sounds GREAT anyway. Personally, the contrast of chrome with paint breaks up the continuity of design. Just a personal preference and from some time spent in Fine Arts. I agree that painting is best left to the guy who specializes in it. I need no further reminders of my blundering incompentence with painting frames. I can handle a touch-up near the BB or under the DT..that's it!...JONathan

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Repainting my lightweight posted by: brent on 5/2/2003 at 2:46:44 PM
I'm getting ready to repaint/refinish my World Voyageur and I'm trying to decide what color to paint it and/or what color of panels. The frame is fully chromed under the Schwinn orange paint, so I'm thinking about polishing the bottom bracket and seat cluster to match the head lugs. I'm thinking black with white panels and chrome rear triangle. Anyone else have any ideas for another paint scheme.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Repainting my lightweight posted by brent on 5/2/2003 at 7:12:54 PM
Here's a pic of the bike so far. Set up with moustache bar and 7-spd STI.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Repainting my lightweight posted by brent on 5/2/2003 at 7:15:02 PM
Here's a pic of the bike so far. Set up with moustache bar and 7-spd STI.


   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Repainting my lightweight posted by Warren on 5/3/2003 at 3:16:42 AM
Don't take this personally but you gotta lose the STI and go with bar con shifters. Save the STI gear for something more modern...just my 2 cents...

BTW the tilde gets transposed into an apostrophe for those that can't get the link to work.

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Repainting my lightweight posted by Oscar on 5/3/2003 at 7:00:22 PM
I've never seen polished chrome on the seat and bottom bracket lugs. I've only seen the chrome on the head and fork lugs. It's a cool idea, but I cannot imagine how the seat stay junction to the seat lug would look in chrome. Perhaps too complex.

   Repainting my lightweight posted by John E on 5/3/2003 at 8:49:00 PM
I am about ready to take the plunge and disassemble my Capo and hand the frame and fork to the CyclArtists. Since the first owner removed all of the chrome on the lugs, forks, and stays, and since I live less than a km downwind of the ocean, I am going for a monochromatic metallic orange finish, which closely approximates one of the original factory color options. I am also asking Jim to make up two dark blue block letter "CAPO" decals, again matching the originals. I am going to pass on the Gitane-style lightweight foil top tube and seat tube decals, but I probably will splurge on a replacement "diagonal" Reynolds 531 decal (in English, since they never made a German version).

   RE:Repainting my lightweight posted by Dave on 5/5/2003 at 2:16:34 PM
I've just had a mid-70's Coppi 12 speed repainted/decaled.It cost almost as much as the bike did but was worth it.It is champange gold with most Campy NR components,(NR Gran Sport cranks)and look great.I plan on racing it @Friday evening velodrome event,( amature night ).

AGE / VALUE:   Flying Scot Tandem posted by: Tim on 5/2/2003 at 12:16:45 AM
Hi to whomever. The latest item to catch my eye in the local classifieds is a Flying Scot tandem. I called (haven't seen it yet), and the owner says it's 60's, and in great condition. He is asking Cdn$400, about US$280. I know Flying Scot's are an interesting collector bike, but I can't find out much. The link I could find to a page on Flying Scots didn't work.

Anyone know a good web page to find out about Flying Scots, or have any thoughts on what this bike may be, or what value? I won't be able to go see it until some time next week, but am fascinated about the bike!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Flying Scot Tandem posted by Rob on 5/2/2003 at 12:59:59 AM
Yes, the Flying Scot...I remember reading something about them a year or so ago...They apparently had quite a good reputation

Here's the link from the ClassicRendezvous site...

This link works...and now that you have brought it up I think I'll look through the site too...it looks like an interesting site.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Flying Scot Tandem posted by Tom on 5/2/2003 at 12:28:00 PM
Tim, do not pass up this opportunity! That's a once in a lifetime find! However, if there are extenuating circumstances that prevent you from purchasing it (i.e the wife threatens to file the divorce papers)please let me know. I would definitely be interested.

Your posting reminded me of a tandem incident I had back in the 70's. Unfortunately, I don't have time to post it now. I have to steam all the carpets to-day, before we visit the in-laws for the weekend. I'll post my little yarn on Monday. To all the regulars, have a great weekend!

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Flying Scot Tandem posted by Tim on 5/2/2003 at 5:07:53 PM
Hi Tom and Rob, thanks for the info. The website is awesome! And I am thinking along Tom's lines about not passing up the opportunity, but ... at what price? The website doesn't seem to mention value, besides a Tandem is an unusual creature. Anyone have thoughts on value?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Flying Scot Tandem posted by David on 5/2/2003 at 7:54:49 PM
A decent lightweight tandem that's reasonably complete is a bargain at this price. Since it's local, you don't have the difficult and very expensive shipping problem at all. Go for it.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Flying Scot Tandem posted by Tim on 5/3/2003 at 5:10:46 AM
Tom. I was re-reading your message, and I want to clarify. If my wife threatens divorce, you said you were interested. My wife wants to know if you mean you're interested in her. I though you meant the bike, but ???

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Flying Scot Tandem posted by David on 5/3/2003 at 12:04:19 PM
After you've made this "loose fish" fast, post a picture of it so we can drool enviously at your great find.

   Value posted by Walter on 5/3/2003 at 1:09:23 PM
Defintly a bargain at under $300US. A friend with a Schwinn 10 speed tandem has researched and figures he can get $450US for it fairly easy. No tandem is real common but that Schwinn is as close as it gets in the US. OTOH Flying Scots are a rarely seen marque and I'd never seen reference to their tandems before. Check out http://sheldonbrown.com/vrbn-a-f.html#flyingscot no info there but a link to another page that might be helpful.

Whether it's for you and your wife or for resale you'll be happy with that tandem at that price.

MISC:   Brake Squeeeeeeeel posted by: Ray on 5/1/2003 at 2:52:55 PM
Saw the postings below that seems to point at Mafac brakes being prone to squeel. Not so sure about that. I have ridden many bikes with many different braking systems and at any given time they will squeel. I find that you can reduce the squeel by toeing in the brakes so the front of the shoe hits the rim first then the back once pressure is applied. Then sanding the pads to remove glazing helps. Old hardended shoes will still squeel and the only remedy is to replace the shoes with newer more supple pads. Some squeel if it is too dry outside while others squeel in the rain. Bottom line, brakes of all types squeel and I have Weinmann, Campy's, Mafac's, Dia Comps, Suntour & Shimano's to prove it. A textured rim helps also like the Rigida's on Peugeots.

   RE:MISC:   Brake Squeeeeeeeel posted by Tom on 5/1/2003 at 4:34:37 PM
Ray, everything you say is true. All brakes can squeel, for the various reasons you stated and more. All your suggestions are valid cures. But MAFACS always seemed more prone to it than others. No matter what you did to them, the improvement was either only partially effective or temporary. With other brakes you could cure the squeel, but with MAFACs you could only treat it, for it always seemed to come back. To most people, this implied some inherent weakness in the design.

Then again, maybe this is all a sort of "rose coloured glasses effect", but in reverse. Maybe we are all remembering things as being much worse than they actually were. I know that I haven't tackled a set of MAFACS in well over a decade. Someone out there must be still regularly riding and working on them. Is it actually as bad as most of us recall? Is so, is there a sure, permanent fix?

   RE:RE:MISC:   Brake Squeeeeeeeel posted by JONathan on 5/1/2003 at 5:11:36 PM
I crashed from some wierd harmonic that developed from that chatter. The whole bike frame started oscillating much like a dog shakes water off; starting at the front end and working back. I don't remember much about it, but I take very, very serious interest in ANY chirps, squeals or chatter from the brakes. I agree that they all can be problematic, yet all quality units can also work admirably if set up properly. First rule on brakes for this crashee? Get KoolStops or comparable compound pads. Takes some time out to tweek the brakes and true up the wheels. I figure you're going to stop one way or another, but it's much better if you have control of the specifics. To me, braking involve considerably more complex dynamics than any other moving component on the bike, yet I see horribly adjusted and maintained brakes all the time. Wonder that there aren't more crashes. Get new pads...my 2c's...JONathan

   RE:RE:RE:MISC:   Brake Squeeeeeeeel posted by Dave on 5/1/2003 at 5:36:18 PM
My Mercier and Peugeot,(my 2 French machines) both got pad replacements on the Mafac's and both still squeal some,even after toe in adjustments and sandpaper.I'll still go with their superior stopping power anytime,(I've read that the 1st canteliever brakes were Mafac Racers mounted onto fork/stay bosses on Cyclocross bikes).They don't really go out of adjustment either.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:MISC:   Brake Squeeeeeeeel posted by Oscar on 5/2/2003 at 2:35:47 AM
I must just be lucky. I have Mafacs on two bikes and neither squeal. I have discarded the original brakes and use modern mtb brakes.

By the way, is it Mafac or MAFAC. And if all capitals, what would it stand for?

   Mafac or MAFAC posted by John E on 5/2/2003 at 2:07:25 PM
MAFAC is a recognized acronym: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/mafac.htm :)

All seriousness aside, both Frank Berto ("The Dancing Chain") and Sheldon spell it, "Mafac," indicating a name, rather than an acronym. Note also that Sheldon recommends keeping your old centerpull calipers and replacing just the cables, brake pads, and possibly levers (switching to aeros typically increases your leverage by about 10 percent). The original Weinmann centerpulls on my 1959 Capo still work superbly.

   RE:MISC:   Brake Squeeeeeeeel posted by John P on 5/5/2003 at 11:10:15 AM
I may have found a cure for most squealing, so far so good anyway.

Try using a red (fine) scotchbrite pad - available at most automobile paint supply stores - on your rim sidewalls.

Try to produce a uniform, dull matte finish all the way around using moderate pressure and turning/replacing the piece of scotchbrite often to keep fresh material working on the rim. Also lightly sand your pads parallel to their long dimension with 80 grit sand paper.

I tried this out of desperation on a set of rims/brakes that nobody could fix. Not a chirp for weeks now. A very slight amount of toe-in probably helps too although I'm running mine flat to the rim.

I actually experimented with different pad settings to try to make them squeal again and have been unable to get the slightest sound out of them!

Hang in there and good luck.

   RE:MISC:   Brake Squeeeeeeeel posted by Paul on 5/6/2003 at 7:49:11 PM
Mafac and cantilever brakes did seem to be prone to squeal. I think it is the play in the pivots and the pivots being outside the rim. Under gentle braking the pads rotate and loose the toe-out (touch leading end first) or something like that. If you always brake really hard then it wears the brake blocks back into the toe-out shape !

Also it is MAFAC (I've just looked at one)and from the haziest of memories I remember someone suggesting something about Manufact.... Freins..... Clermont (Ferrand)but that doesn't really make sense as in French it wouldn't be manufactur... even with a different ending ?

Was the brake that looked like a "Racer" on brazed bosses called "Driver" ? or was that something else ?

One of my books describes Raphael Geminiani in the 1952 Tour de France. "A second stage win came at Bagneres-de-Bigorre after a tumultuous descent, in which he experimented with a new type of brake called Mafac. Made in Clermont-Ferrand, the brake was an unqualified success, and became the prototype of many similar brakes".

AGE / VALUE:   Helium posted by: red on 5/1/2003 at 7:02:31 AM
I have a French lightweight touring bike called a “Helium” which I am guessing is a mid 60s Peugeot UO8 knock off. It came with a narrow width moustache handlebar that drops slightly from the center point. It also comes with lights mounted on the aluminum fenders and a brazed on generator mount which is on the wrong side of the seat stay (although it has a generator that pivots backwards to compensate). It was in bad shape when I bought it (for $1.00). It needed paint and new wheels. I’ve guessed its value to be from $75 to $150 depending on the buyer’s interest. However, before I give the bike away as a birthday present, I want to make sure I haven’t underestimated the bike’s value. Does anyone have knowledge of the “Helium” or its accessories that could help determine its value based on this information? By the way, it has cottered cranks, if that makes a difference.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bianchi "sport sx" posted by: andym on 5/1/2003 at 1:54:14 AM
I picked up a Bianchi "sport sx" today at a thrift store. I paid $59.95,which is alot more than I would normally pay for a bike,but sometimes you just cant pass up a good deal.This bike is equipped with six speed indexed "exage sport" derailleurs and shimano 105 hubs with araya 700c rims. The frame is built with Tange "B" double butted tubing and is painted celeste green. I dont think I've heard of this type of tange tubing before,is it decent stuff?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bianchi posted by JONathan on 5/1/2003 at 6:08:33 AM
That's...that is flabergasting to me. Where are these thrift stores and sidewalks with Biancis? There is absolutely nothing like that here in N. California. Seeing a FreeSpirit that's not been crashed is cause for excitement. They have $60 tags on Huffy bikes at thrift "marts". It makes some sense, when I recall that hardly anyone had Italian bikes around here, so that might explain why they aren't in the thrift store. Now, the biking community is affluent to drop 3K on a Trek carbon fiber bike. Maybe those will show up in the thrifts and on the sidewalk pick-ups. I know I won't be all that excited about those bikes. The vintage Lightweights are supernatural. Nice going on that Bianchi. It's all location, location and...location. JONathan

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bianchi posted by Tom on 5/1/2003 at 12:07:38 PM
Here are a couple of possibilities. Mind you, these are strictly out of left field.

I seem to recall that the Tange plain gauge tubing was available in #3 & #5 series. Could a 3 have been misread as a B, due partial damage of the tubing label?

Another possibility is that it is Tange MTB tubing, with the MT not legible due to some form of label damage. Tange MTB was available in the late '80s in four different gauges. Most gauges were pretty heavy relative to road sets, but one set was comparable to their #2 tubing. It's possible that Bianchi mixed Tange MTB tubesets to obtain a frame with the characteristics they wanted. Probable substitutions would have been stiffer fork blades, a thicker down tube for a stiffer bottom bracket, or beefier stays. A custom mix normally would be reserved for a more expensive frame, but with a company the size of Bianchi, it is possible.

Again, the above is pure speculation and that can be dangerous!

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bianchi posted by andym on 5/1/2003 at 12:28:56 PM
Hey JONathan,I think all your old California bikes are leaving the state.I moved here to Colorado from New Mexico about a year ago.I started "collecting" older lightweights in NM several years ago.I noticed about half of them had California dealer decals on them.Now here in CO I'm seeing the same thing.

It seems like everyone here rides $3,000.00 + titanium,carbon fiber,aluminum,gaudy,brightly colored brand new bicycles with matching clothing.When I go for a ride on one of my old road bikes,I'm practically invisible to these people.

Years ago,when I was a dedicated 500 miles a week kind of rider,It seemed that the Hard core cyclist rode older hand-me-down equipment. But then,maybe thats because we only held part-time jobs so we could ride,and could'nt afford the new,high-tech stuff.

Hey,do you think we'll be seeing the new stuff we see on the roads today,in thrift stores ten or fifteen years from now,for $29.95? crazy!

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bianchi posted by andym on 5/1/2003 at 12:45:19 PM
Tom, the label is perfect,it reads:Tange chrome mo double butted tubes,in a circular pattern with the letter B in the center.The bike is still in the car,but I dont think there are any other tubing decals on the frame. The paint on this bike is near perfect,with maybe a couple of nicks. Its still in the car because I now sneak the bikes in. My girlfriend thinks I'm crazy.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bianchi posted by Keith on 5/1/2003 at 1:04:04 PM
Sheldon Brown sez:
"While Bianchi is best known as an Italian brand, they were having bicycles built in Japan to their specifications for several years in the late 1980s. These were particularly nice bikes, with better workmanship than the Italian models."

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bianchi posted by Gralyn on 5/1/2003 at 1:21:43 PM
I would like to buy myself a new lightweight - but at the prices for them these days - there's just no way I can swing it. Heck, I can pick up a decent used car for what a new bike would cost! So, I have also considered.....will these new bikes be in the thrift stores 15 years from now....for around $30? I guess we will wait and see.
Most lightweights I have seen have been from the early 70's up to around mid 80's. I haven't really seen any lightweights from in the 90's.....I guess most bikes during that time were Mountain Bikes. I did see a Bianchi in a thrift store once....it was a girls 24" ...looked like a mountian bike...or it could have been a cross bike...yes, I think maybe it was a cross bike....and it was $150! Other than that...the majority of what I have seen: Free Spirit, Huffy, Murray, Schwinn, Motobecane, Nishiki, Lotus, and some Japanese Nishiki-type clones. Like, I saw one the other day....something I didn't have...I can't even remember...but the head badge was three initials...and I don't even remember what they were....but, the bike had 1020 tubing, the crank set was the old steel cottered - just like on some of the older Japanese - and there was nothing on it that seemed to be of any value...so, I passed on it.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bianchi posted by Dave on 5/1/2003 at 1:48:24 PM
The Thrift stores are so picked over here in Chicago I don't go there anymore.Nice find,I had a celeste Bianchi w/Columbus tubing several years back,it had a nice ride but was kind of rusty.Garage and Church sales are the best bet here,just need to get one in my size!

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bianchi posted by Tom on 5/1/2003 at 2:41:56 PM
If the label is perfect, then as Keith suggests, it is probably a Bianchi spec'd tubeset. The "B" probably just represents Bianchi. I think this makes more sense than my left field suggestions.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bianchi posted by Rob on 5/1/2003 at 5:08:27 PM

Are the three initials, "BRC" in a kind of heraldic shield? If so I see fair number of them, but I ignore them...I may be wrong but I think they might be from Taiwan...

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bianchi posted by Gralyn on 5/1/2003 at 5:50:11 PM
Yes, that was it! And yes, it looked like one from Taiwan. I'm glad I passed on it. It didn't really have anything I needed - and I didn't need the bike. I could have re-built it, put new tires on it, cleaned and polished everything...and maybe sold it for at least a $15 loss - not counting the time I put into it. I'm trying to become more knowledgeable - so that I don't pass up something that may have value - and pass on the one's that don't

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bianchi posted by andym on 5/1/2003 at 6:11:24 PM
Of course,"B" for Bianchi,Makes perfect sense. It seems obvious now,thanks Tom.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bianchi posted by Rob on 5/2/2003 at 1:55:50 AM
For what it's worth a few months ago, I took apart a crunched mid '80's Bianchi and noticed the tubing (stamped into the steerer tube) was Ishiwata. I found another Bianchi, frame and most components, not rear der. though, during this year's spring clean up...it has tubing I have never heard of "Oji"...the label says "Hi-Mn P.G. Oji Original Tubing"...I assume P.G. means plain gauge and Oji must be a Japanese name...I think it's the name of a city. I also have a good Canadian made bike, Gardin, with Sakae 4130 tubing, obviously Japanese. It would seem there are a lot of different tubing types out there and I guess Bianchi, at least with their Japanese made stuff may have been experimenting or whatever.

Also..a note to JONathan...just to drive you crazy..;)...early last December I found an Austro-Daimler SLE frame and forks, 531 decal still fairly clearly readable on the recycle pile at a second hand bike shop in Victoria, BC. The dealer sticker...Dublin Cyclery, Dublin, CA. Price to me...$0...what can I say...I guess people in CA are too smart to throw away the good old stuff!!! Or out-of-staters grab it all!!

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bianchi posted by Rob on 5/2/2003 at 4:07:12 AM
Sorry...I messed up the description of the Gardin tubing...I checked when I got home. What the decal says is:

"Guaranteed built with SAE 4130 SANKO Cr-Mo"

I assume SAE means Society of American Engineers and I know 4130 is a steel designation... I think the 1 is for the nominal % of chromium and the 3 for molybdenum; the 0...I don't know.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bianchi posted by JONathan on 5/2/2003 at 7:43:13 PM
Aye, lads. My kingdom for a bike! That's "0" as in zero bucks for a 531 frame? Another saved from conversion into a Huffy. I can't complain. I have representative samples of each top steel frame tubing. Reynolds 531=Dawes "galaxy"; Columbus=Maino; Tange 1="team" Fuji. The rest are knucklebusters. My "premier" bikes, as I call them, are nothing but museum pieces in my house or garage. Riding them is fun for about 10 miles. I guess that 215# was not the intended power plant. When was the last time anybody saw a 215# horse jockey at the track? I can't even rent a stable horse! There was one, but he's no longer there. The Dawes is the exception, since it was at least not portended as a road racer, I have a decent ride. As for the disappearance of premium LW's from the thrifts? Your conjectures are probably valid. The only thing I know for sure is the reality of it. Now, I must head to Pizza Hut on my Uo-8 and contemplate my evening stop at the thrift on the way home...forever hopeful of that Bianchi leaning against the bevy of Huffs and kiddie bikes...JONathan

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bianchi posted by JONathan on 5/2/2003 at 9:51:25 PM
Ah forgot my Bottecchia. It has no sticker for tubing specifications. I suspect regular steel, but it is a remarkable bike in its construction. Very stiff ride. Definite some handworking in the brazing. It's a touring bike much like the lighter Dawes "galaxy", but it would run the lighter "galaxy" right into the ground, I think. An there's my Vitus=Roold (French). That makes all four groups covered. Not bad for a duffer? JONathan

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bianchi posted by Rob on 5/2/2003 at 9:51:53 PM
For those of you who are still following this thread and in the intrest of being totally accurate I copied this from the web site "The Low Down on Bicycle Steel Tubing"


"For example, Tange Champion No. 2 is an AISI 4130 steel with the 4 indicating it's a chromium-molybdenum steel and the I indicating it contains a total of about one percent chromium and molybdenum. The second pair gives the average carbon content in hundredths of one percent. So the "30" in 4130 means that it contains an average of 0.30 percent carbon. With this chemistry, a steel is given the catchy phrase "Cr-Mo," or "Chrome Moly.""

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bianchi posted by JONathan on 5/3/2003 at 5:00:52 AM
Rob, if you check the home at that site there is a section; "bicycle frames and forks" that takes you to a CAD (Computer Aided Design) program that lets you design frames. Did you read the section on how tubes are butted? Pretty interesting.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bianchi posted by Jimbo Jones on 5/3/2003 at 8:41:33 AM
This might be a decent bike but just in case someone decides to snatch up everything that says Bianchi on it it should be noted that they did put out some department store type stuff in the 80s. Not Huffy crappy but 35 pound " lightweight" type crappy. In other words, Cresent wrench bikes.

MISC:   88 tbs fork posted by: josh on 4/30/2003 at 11:40:45 PM
does anyone know if this chromoly fork. it says 88 tbs and is all chrome. It came of a nishiki olympic 12. thanks

   RE:MISC:   88 tbs fork posted by Tom on 5/1/2003 at 2:18:53 AM
Going on the assumption that 88 is the model year, I went to a 1988 Buyer's Guide. The Nishiki Olympic for that year is listed as having a double butted chro-moly frame & fork. The bike is listed as a 12 speed, so that metches too. However, all chrome forks are common replacement items, so it may not be original.

A rule of thumb I often apply to forks (and rules of thumb must be taken with a grain of salt)is that it is probably a good quality fork, if the dropouts are forged. Stamped dropouts usually indicate an inexpensive steel fork. A manufacturer usually won't waste an expensive dropout on a cheap fork blade and vice-versa. Reinforcing tangs brazed to the inside of the fork legs, below the crown, are also a good indicator of a premium fork and quality framebuilder.

   RE:MISC:   88 tbs fork posted by josh on 5/1/2003 at 3:00:53 AM
how can you tell a forged drop out from a stamped

   RE:RE:MISC:   88 tbs fork posted by JONathan on 5/1/2003 at 4:27:13 AM
Hello, Josh. A forged dropout edges have a more rounded appearance than a stamped unit, which looks sharper on the edges. While stamped dropouts can be tough, forged steel is a lot stronger if its done correctly for the application. Forged dropouts may have a raised center as well which makes for a more complex topology. Stamped dropouts are ususally flat surfaced. Forged dropouts are both strong and tough. Stamped dropouts are cut from a die, like a cookie-cutter would cut cookie dough. Forged drops have to be heat treated (annealed) to take away some brittleness due to higher carbon content. This is a time consuming and costly process. A stamped dropout will bend quite easily, whereas a forged dropout resists bending very well, yet it's not brittle if it's been made correctly.

   RE:MISC:   88 tbs fork posted by Tom on 5/1/2003 at 2:47:29 PM
JONathan, thanks for explaining the difference between a forged and stamped dropout, which I forgot to do in my original reply. Perhaps it was just as well though, for your explanation was better than what I probably would have posted.

   RE:RE:MISC:   88 tbs fork posted by JONathan on 5/1/2003 at 4:07:32 PM
Hi, Tom. Thanks for the cool diagnostic on forks. Your "forged" vs. "stamped" diagnostic as an overall (first look) quality determinant has been universally true in personal experience. The "tangs" you mention that serve to bolster the blades is a more subtle determinant of which I was unaware in my viewing of a bike's worthiness. Thanks. As a reverse note. I have wondered about how cheap, bike-boom (def. in post) bikes sometimes have higher quality running componentry than expected. My guess, based on experience in other fields, is that the bike-boom taxed the inventories of components and expressed locally by shops placing what they had onto the bikes to move the product, even if it meant that they were using higher grade parts than would normally be fitted to the bikes.
I have a question about Aluminum alloy fork blades. I see quite a few attached to carbon fiber bikes (Trek 1000 for a recent one). How do these forks measure up against higher quality steel alloys? The infamous Viscount forks come to mind whenever I see an Al forks. Just wondering, because I see the riders of modern bikes flying down steep winding roads which are full of surface irregularities. I hit a couple of spots that jammed my wrists into the hanflebars yesterday on my 37-622's Giant "nutra" (cross bike). I was passed by quite a number of riders. I see some of the same riders everytime I make my excursionary route home through that steep terrain. Occasionally we have discussed bikes, which is why I am asking about the AL forks. Thanks...JONathan

   correction posted by JONathan on 5/1/2003 at 4:57:20 PM
40-622 on 7000-38c rims, not 37-622's as I had stated. BTW, off the topic of forks, may I recommend the $15 Kenda tires as a best buy. I keep them at 70 psi which is OK for roads. Drop pressure to 60 psi for dirt roads. Very comfortable ride and the compound wears very well. I wonder what it must be like to have the 110 psi 20-622's at 40+ mph. Your body must take an horrific beating even if you ride "light"...JONathan

   RE:correction posted by Dave on 5/1/2003 at 5:50:31 PM
Johnathan, I have a 1999 Raleigh Super Course for long distance riding.It is a Aluminum/Cromoly composite frame,with the 3 main tubes of Aluminum and the rest glued to cromoly tubes.Anyway, I bought just the frame/fork,BB and seatpost,and to shave some weight bought a aluminum fork to replace the original cromoly.I rode it 125 miles last Saturday,(PBP Brevet), and w/130 lbs in the tires,(700x23 Specialized).It was very smooth ride,much superior to the Klein I used to ride.Without the carrying rack on the bike the Supercourse weighs in @20.5 lbs.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Gitane Tour de France posted by: Rob on 4/30/2003 at 5:14:58 PM
My white, mid '70's Gitane TdF (531 double butted)...found it during the 2002 spring clean-up...needed a bit of fixing up...resote handlebars, brake levers and shifters, but basically in pretty good shape. Finally had it roadworthy last fall, but through the winter and early spring I used my wet weather Nishiki.

Anyway, the weather has finally dried up and on Tuesday, I decided to use the TdF on my 18 mile roundtrip daily commute...well...was I impressed!!! What a nice ride...I immediately knocked just under 10% off my commute time...and that while still having minor adjustment issues...seat height and slope...high gear limit screw not quite right. It really is a nice ride...smooth and very responsive. Quite a contrast to the Nishiki (model Royale ...plain gauge Tange #5 Tubing. The Nishiki is pretty darn good, too...the TdF is just better...)

I was also surprised at how effective the brakes are...original MAFAC 'Competition' center pulls. The first quick stop I had to make, pulling mainly on the front brake as I usually do, put the back wheel several inches into the air...and on a steep hill, a hard pull on the rear brake locked up the back wheel...is the 'Competition' that much better than the 'Racer'? The brake performance seemed almost what I expect on an MTB, not a 25+ year old road bike!!!

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Gitane Tour de France posted by Chris on 4/30/2003 at 5:39:50 PM
"Competition" is sought after on e- bay far more that what you'll get for the "Racer" brakes. Still I save the "Racer" stuff anyways.The exact hierchy of Mafac I don't know.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Gitane Tour de France posted by Rob on 4/30/2003 at 5:57:39 PM
I mean, "...restore handlebars..."...darn typos!!!

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Gitane Tour de France posted by JONathan on 4/30/2003 at 6:04:13 PM
Man, that's some reclamation. All I see around here is pounded lowenders. I'm beginning to think that most bikes were bought at department stores. That was no "toy" heaped on the pile. Nice find. Junk, junk, junk, is all I see.

   Mafac brakes posted by John E on 4/30/2003 at 6:21:13 PM
Mafac centerpulls were great brakes, and can still hold their own against modern competition. I am guessing that the Competition model had a shorter reach, for PR-10s and PX-10s, whereas the Racer had a longer reach, for the UO-8 and UO-18. A shorter-reach brake will afford the user greater braking leverage than its longer-reach equivalent.

Another nice feature of Mafac centerpulls is the adjustable-length straddle cable. Shortening the straddle cable will likewise increase one's braking leverage.

Finally, Mafac brakes accommodate simple adjustment of the contact angle between the brake pad and the side of the rim.

Slip in a set of KoolStop pads and enjoy your Mafacs!

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Gitane Tour de France posted by Dave on 4/30/2003 at 6:25:42 PM
Can't beat the price,either.Greg LeMond fist rode Gitanes for his first European Racing Team;www.classicrendevous.com has a photo of it in the France section.Very Nice!

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Gitane Tour de France posted by Tom on 4/30/2003 at 6:46:03 PM
In my opinion, MAFAC brakes were very under-rated. I rode a 1974 Jeunet Professional with the 2000 brakes. They stopped well and were reasonably light. Part of the reason for the stopping power was the over-size (for the period)brake pad. In addition, you could adjust the angle the shoe struck the rim. However, this extra adjustment was also the achilles heel, as the extra parts permitted nore movement and made it hard to eliminate the characteristic squeal while braking, without constant re-tigtening and lubing. This is probably the major reason for the poor reputation.

As for hierarchy, the Competition was a development of the Racer model. It had new arms, bridge and drilled brake levers. The 2000 model, appears very similar to the Competition and may have been just a name change.

Given how old the bike is, I'm surpised at the braking performance. Usually, old shoes harden and don't perform well. A light sanding will improve performance considerably. Replacement with some current cantilever brake pads and a set of teflon lined cables should bring performance just about up to par with current brakes.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Gitane Tour de France posted by andym on 5/1/2003 at 1:42:27 AM
Both, the racer and the competition were excellent brakes.The competition brakes were a little better,quality-wise. The comps used bronze pivot bushings instead of the red plastic ones on the racers.

   RE:  Gitane Tour de France posted by Eric Amlie on 5/1/2003 at 12:27:33 PM
Have to chime in here. I have an early seventies TdF and of the thirty some bikes I own(including two Paramounts) it is my favorite bike. It is just a really sweet ride. Must be something about those French bikes. I used to have a circa 1980 Peugeot that rode very nicely also. It had to go away though as it was far to big for me. My bike also has the Mafac Competition brakes on it and I concur with how well they work. I can't get that darn squeel out of them though. Mathauser brake pads helped a lot but didn't completely get rid of it. I'm seriously contemplating replacing the Mafacs with period correct Campagnolo Nouvo Record brakes. The Campys probably won't work as well though.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Gitane Tour de France posted by Keith on 5/1/2003 at 12:58:10 PM
I remember in the early to mid-70s centerpulls were still standard on a lot of otherwise top-end bikes. Campy brakes were often an expensive option. I recall many "upgraded" to Campy, but I agree with the above descriptions that as far as stopping power goes, centerpulls have the clear mechanical advantage. Although Campy sidepulls may save a few grams over centerpulls, and work smoothly after many years, I think the preference was, and is, mostly a "coolness" or "mojo" factor. And and I say this even though I currently have four bikes set up with Campy sidepulls.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Gitane Tour de France posted by Keith on 5/1/2003 at 1:00:27 PM
P.S. I have a pre-Racer/Competition on set of Mafac centerpulls from a 60s Peugeot. The front one has a built in rack to support a front bag. Could I sell these on eBay along with my Simplex quick release skewers for $$$$$$$$$?

AGE / VALUE:   26" Columbia 10 Speed on E-bay posted by: Dave on 4/30/2003 at 2:31:58 PM
Check out EBay Item #3605328919.It recently sold for $39 and had 11 bidders.With shipping your looking at probably another $35 dollars or so,(unless they picked up bike locally).I used to commute on a early '70's Columbia 10 speed but the headset would never adjust properly and the tubing would flex in stong cross-winds,so I donated the bike to a Salvation Army store.Amazing!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   26 posted by JONathan on 4/30/2003 at 4:12:04 PM
Probably had some sentimental value. There were two bikes at Salv. Army, yesterday. One was a shiny Huffy with a LCD readout built into the handlebar "assembly", including a zipper-fob compass embedded in the plastic "gameboy" setup. Cheapest bike, but shiny. Next to it was a '80's Taiwan (Giant?) Free Spirit 10 speed with positron rear (FH) der. and decent sugino steel cotterless cranks. It was brand new! Not a scratch. A person saw me inspecting the bikes and asked if I was up on bikes. I tried to point out that the FreeSpirit was a much better ride. They got the Huffy! Amazing that they couldn't see the difference in quality even when it was pointed out "side-by-side". I hope ythe brake levers don't snap the first time they have to lean on them. BTW, I was/am interested in the FreeSpirit because it is brand new and the fenders are full dress. It has Shimano 26x1 3/8 " wheels. The price is $34.99 (Huffy was $54.99!). Anyone know who made the frame for those FreeSpirits from Asia. It has a sticker reading "Made in Taiwan" on the seat tube. The head was slightly loose, which may be the shop or department store adjustments weren't done properly. It has lugged frame and a nice steel rack, too. I must admit, I think it's a decent bike. Any opinions about it. The chainring is like none I've ever seen. The chainguard is stamped out of the chainring itself! Wonders never cease. JONathan

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   26 posted by JONathan on 4/30/2003 at 4:21:51 PM
The FreeSpirit is a men's frame, 23 inch. with roadster handlebars. If you give a 2-cents, today, that'd be cool. I value all of your opinions to the extent that I decide on bikes after a post, here. Thanks, JONathan

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   26 posted by steve on 4/30/2003 at 4:43:49 PM
Back in '73, I used a comparable no-namer for a summer. The only marking was a "BMA/6" sticker that apparently affirmed that it in fact had two wheels! One day, while climbing one of the long Traverse City (MI) hills, I had the down tube separate from the bottom bracket; some years later I saw a comparable frame in which the head tube had separated from the top and down tube. Hope the rider survived. . .
On the other hand, some of the components deserved a better frame. The steel Shimano "Eagle" rear derailleur both looked and worked better than the equivalent Huret, and the Altenburger brakes were interesting - sidepull calipers on offset pivots like centerpulls.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   26 posted by steve on 4/30/2003 at 4:46:14 PM
Oops; meant to say the seat tube separated! The memory sometimes gets hazy. . .

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   26 posted by JONathan on 4/30/2003 at 5:14:59 PM
hi, Steve. What happens when the down-tube splits from the BB? I come in at 215, crunch hard on steep hills here on the Ca. coast, and chains, pedals and brakes have snapped on me. I've bent seat-stays and stems on washboards. Wheels have pretzled, spokes snapped, but never had a separation of the frame tubes! Lately, the idea of a crank-arm snapping off has dominated what little thought I pay toward the inevitable....given enough time and circumstance. I have a pretty good ifea what happens when a crank goes. I have no idea about a tube separation. Good thing I raely focus on any of those aspects of riding. Oh, I've bent doen-tubes to where the paint was crackled. That doesn't count. In any way one looks at it, tubes coming apart will grind things to a halt pretty fast. If I walked away, I'd just find another bike...JONathan

   frame failure posted by John E on 4/30/2003 at 6:26:18 PM
Jonathan, frame failures in the BB area or the downtube are almost always completely benign. I have broken three frames while cycling: a downtube just behind the butting at the headtube end; a BB shell's seat tube lug; and a right chainstay, between the clearance dimples. In each case, I was able to ride home (gently) safely and uneventfully.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   26 posted by Dave on 4/30/2003 at 6:41:46 PM
Jonathan, My friend Ed. K. had a seat tube seperate on his 25 year old Huffy.He rode it another 10/12 miles like that but he's 6'3" and 150lbs so he doesn't stress a frames like my 6' 220lbs do.I had a Roadmaster Mountain bike snap @the left rear dropout,right @the weld.I only had to go 1 mile home so that wasn't so bad.From what I understand there were only two main makers of bikes in Taiwan in the '80s & 90's,Giant and Merida,with maybe a 60/40% split.For many years Taiwan was unbeatable in the price of building Tig welded, mostly Mountainbike frames.As I like to say,my wife Rebecca was "Made in Taiwan" too,(she's from Taipei)!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   26 posted by Tom on 4/30/2003 at 8:30:54 PM
I had a seat tube break at the bottom bracket. It's no big deal. My butt started to sway around a little bit, as if saddle rails had loosened from the seatpost clamps. The painful part was that it was my favourite Scapin, with Columbus SL tubing. I had about 150,000 k on the bike. My friend Roger, who was with me a the time, said I looked like I had just got a "dear John" letter from my fiancee (i.e. combined shock & grief).

Sorry, I didn't mean to traumatize you my mentioning the crankarm failure. That was pretty mild too. I was out of the saddle, cranking up a small hill. The left foot just went down a little farther on the next stroke and bounced off the pavement. No crash, or anything. I thought I had snapped the pedal spindle, but when I looked down, I saw part of a Nuovo Record crankarm hanging off the pedal. The hard part was single foot pedaling the 10 km home, with a couple major hills on the route. Not a single driver stopped to offer me assistance, even though they must have seen my left leg just hanging straight down as I pedaled along. Campagnolo offered to exchange the complete crankset for free, with C-Record no-less, but I decided to buy an old NR replacement instead. I keep the broken arm hanging on the wall as a conversation piece.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   26 posted by Dave on 4/30/2003 at 8:57:52 PM
I also had a Campy NR Left arm break on my old commuter bike last year,about 2" above the pedal hole.It started to weaken about 2 miles from home but snapped about 1/4 mile away.I went over the handlebars but just bruised myself.The most upsetting thing was the woman driver who saw the whole thing but didn't even stop to ask if I was OK.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   26 posted by JONathan on 4/30/2003 at 10:00:52 PM
Thanks, John E., Steve, Tom and Dave. First decent day for riding, today. I'm diverting to an alternate route, today, to take in some hilly terrain before making it home. I will check the frame, too. Something that I need to implement in my ridership on a regular basis is a good visual of the frame. I typically just get on a bust. I'm glad to hear that frame tubes and connections failure is not as severe an event as I thought. I have crashed on every busted chain and pedal because it's always been at a moment of maximum strain on the component. Now that I buy only higher spec. chains, I have yet to pull one apart. Checking the pedal spindles while servicing the pedals helps. I've tossed many. What about axles? I have straightened axles (hollow and solid) and run them. Is straightening them a bad idea? Thanks, JONathan

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   26 posted by Oscar on 5/1/2003 at 3:45:33 AM
Not that $39 bucks is bad for a complete bicycle. It's just that you can find a 531 Gitane, Peugeot, Raleigh, Puch, or Fuji for the same price with a little luck.

By the way, I love pick up only deals. It cuts out 90% of the competition on the bike you want.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   26 posted by Tom on 5/1/2003 at 3:39:23 PM
JONathan, back in the 70's and early 80's I used to have to straighten rear axles regularly and never had one fail. However, it was such a constant chore that I had the rear wheel on my favourite wheelset converted to a Campagnolo track axle. Of course, I had to carry a box end, 15mm wrench, so I could fix flats on the road.

I assume we're talking freewheel equipped bicycles, because I've never had to straighten an axle on a freehub equipped bicycle. In my opinion, the freehub/cassette concept is Shimano's major contribution to cycling, even better than SIS/STI.

The hard part was always to straighten the axle at the precise point it bent, which was inevitably adjacent to the cone, on the freewheel side. If you introduced a new bend, between the cones, it caused uneven and increased cone wear, along with increased rolling resistance. Fortunately, some smart person invented the axle vice, which made it easy to grip the axle at the right spot, without marring the axle threads. Yeah, I know you can do the same thing with some old cones or nuts, but the axle vice makes it so much easier and quicker. It's one of my favourite tools and a real puzzlement to many so-called mechanics who visit my basement workshop.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   26 posted by JONathan on 5/1/2003 at 6:03:51 PM
Good to know that it's OK. I have straightened several over the years that have performed well afterward, excpet one. It somehow managed to loosen the bearing cone on the drive side after a 100 miles or so. Got tired of resetting the tension so I broke down and bought a new axle at a LBS and paid about 1/2 the price I had paid for the bike. I acquired a big slab of granite that was part of a kitchen counter installation. I use it to test the trueness of any round spindles, including axles. I have refined my methods of straightening as well, although the "axle vise" is best. My antique Reed Mfg. machinists vise works very well with soft brass attachable jaws. The control of pressure is way better than my neighbors brand new 5 inch vise that has a lot of play in the closing of the jaws. The older stuff really is better. BTW, that granite slab is amazingly flat and polished. The machine shops building laser frames use the same method; low tech solutions for a high tech problem. I figure the axle thats not real bent can be brought back close enough. There is usually plenty of slop in the train that who knows, there may be compensating errors!...JONathan

   breakage posted by John E on 5/1/2003 at 7:47:26 PM
I have snapped two rear axles, one hollow/QR, the other solid, at the expected spot, i.e., the inside edge of the drive-side bearing cone.

I have also snapped two left cranks, a 1960 Agrati steel (original equipment on my first Capo) at the cotter eye and a 1971 Sugino Mighty Compe at the pedal eye. The Sugino failure was arguably my fault, in the sense that I had salvaged the crankset from my Nishiki when the frame broke after about 40K miles / 65k km.

   RE:breakage posted by JONathan on 5/1/2003 at 11:29:19 PM
I am interested to know more, John E., about what happens when the axle breaks at the location specified. I have not snapped any bicycle axles and my interest has been academic to this point. It would seem that a skewer would keep things somewhat intact, whereas a solid breaking might have greater effect on rotation of the wheel. My old Land Rover has fully floating axles which means that the axle can snap (it has ) and the wheel rotates just fine, although there is no power transmitted to it. A bicycle wheel is similar to a fully floating axle in that the dropouts hold the bearings in place on one side and the hub the other. So what's the worst case scenario? Or do I not want to know? THanks, JONathan.

   RE:RE:breakage posted by JONathan on 5/1/2003 at 11:37:14 PM
How ignominious it must be to take the wheel off and have both pieces of the once intact axle fall onto the floor...JONathan

   RE:RE:RE:breakage posted by Dave on 5/2/2003 at 1:40:55 PM
I've had 2 snap;one solid and a older Dura Ace hollow. Both broke at the same spot, the solid one that broke stayed fairly intact but the Dura Ace did fall to the floor,(I didn't know it was broken until then).Fortunatly,this happened in my basement and not on the road.I pitched the Dura Ace,(the rim was not in good shape) but I rebuilt the solid one,the replacement axel was noticeably stronger in construction.

   rear axle breakage posted by John E on 5/2/2003 at 2:00:15 PM
I discovered the broken solid axle when the rear hub bearings suddenly developed excess side-to-side play. I do not know how long I rode with the broken hollow axle -- when I removed the wheel to patch a puncture, I noticed that the two ends of the axle turned independently.

   RE:RE:breakage posted by steve on 5/2/2003 at 3:20:24 PM
I've broken two rear axles in my time, one a cheapie, the other a middle-grade. Neither was subjected to any obvious overload; it looked like metal fatigue that proceeded from the sharp corner of the threads. (A Campy rear hub only suffered a bent axle from the landing when an unexpected bump sent me airborne at speed.)
Both broken axles had the same immediate result: The wheel began to wobble around, with the tire rubbing against the chainstays if I tried to put on any power. The brake also rubbed a little, reduced by opening the brake QR. The wheel QR skewer does seem to help in holding the broken axle together.
At least you can still more-or-less ride; a far worse situation ensues when a nut-fastened hub shifts in the dropout, bringing the tire hard up against the chainstay. If you don't have a wrench, you can't even walk the bike - you have to pick it up and carry it!

   RE:RE:RE:breakage posted by JONathan on 5/2/2003 at 8:09:29 PM
Thanks, gents. My poor relationship with pedals has greater cause for concern than a broken axle, it would seem. I'll feel easier about tweaking an axle. The pedal failures that I've experienced all showed a prior lesion (oxidized surface) adjacent to the shiny, crystalized clean break area. There was one exception. A cheap pedal sheared off clean across the spindle while coasting with all my weight on the pedal and hitting a bump. It ain't that hard to do. Sprained ankle (#3) was all I suffered aside from the humility of my entertaining dismount. I think the heavy cushioned, skateboarder style "Vans" tennis shoes saved my foot from worse happenings. Axles that are hollow and bent are asier to straighten. I'm rigging a mandrel to try on the next one I get. If it's a snug fit, it's likely that it can be driven through carefully with WD-40 lubbing the way. Sound good? Heretofor, I just play around with the vise (brass jaw bumpers) until it rolls smoothly on the granite slab...JONathan

   RE:RE:RE:RE:breakage posted by JONathan on 5/2/2003 at 8:37:38 PM
Another method? How about heating the hollow axle to about 1200 deg. F. Insert the mandrel which will slide easy due to the increased I.D. from heating. Quench in water to prevent further annealing. Heat again to withdraw the mandrel from the now straightened axle and then quench in water as the final phase...Just a thought. JONathan

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Cirque du Cyclisme - Greensboro, NC posted by: Gralyn on 4/30/2003 at 1:14:40 PM
Anyone going to the Cirque du Cyclisme in Greensboro, NC this weekend?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Cirque du Cyclisme - Greensboro, NC posted by Steven on 5/1/2003 at 12:36:13 AM
I will be going there loaded down with Italian bikes, components and collectibles from the 30's through 60's. I count on bringing quite a bit of 'neat' rarely seen parts for sale. I'll have a Cinelli from the late 50's, a few Bianchis from before that and many 50's Campagnolo parts. I also will be bringing a number of Campagnolo posters.

AGE / VALUE:   Falcon Harrier posted by: lynn on 4/29/2003 at 9:39:59 PM
Hello My husband was given this bike it is a falcon harrier lightweight. It has never been put together the bike is brand new. We know it's old and we would like to know if it has any value we can not find anything on this bike could someone please help us? It is a Falcon of England Harrier it also has a sticker that says reynolds 453 what ever that means. Thanks for your Help.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Falcon Harrier posted by Ian on 4/30/2003 at 10:10:50 AM
Take a look at http://www.classicrendezvous.com/British/Falcon.htm and see if you can identify it from the pictures there. Also try a web search under Elswick Falcon bicycles. Falcons were at one time the bike of choice for the British Olympic team. I cannot comment on value except to say that any new old lightweight has to have some value. Hope this helps, Regards, Ian.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Falcon Harrier posted by Skip Echert on 5/1/2003 at 12:18:06 AM
Hello Lynn -
A Reynolds 453 sticker and brief description are shown here:
. It was apparently not commonly used and was not used by Reynolds very long. I don't know where it was in the Reynolds line-up.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Falcon Harrier posted by lynn on 5/1/2003 at 2:36:20 AM
Hello Ian,
I tryed those web sights and still came up with nothing on this Bike. the tag on the bike reads batch no. 328 model 720/23 B RED 12 sd the bike it's self reads falcon of england harrier and it has an olympic sticker on it. maybe this is a little more info. Thanks for your help.

AGE / VALUE:    posted by: Michael T. on 4/29/2003 at 5:02:33 AM
I bought an old Fuji Road bike at a bikes shop a couple of years ago. It is a "Royale II" It is twelve speed, with SunTour components. Above the Fuji label it says "Val-Lite Quad Butted Steel Tubing 1769"

The bottom of the frame is imprinted with the what i think is a serial number that reads: FJ209449

Crank set is Sugino, all the derailers and shifters are SunTour. Derailers are labeled "SunTour ARX"

I'd like to know how nice this bike was when it was new, what year it is, and perhaps how much it cost when it was new, basically, I just want to know anything that can be told about my bike!

I use it as a commuter and it works and looks great.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by Michael T. on 4/30/2003 at 1:43:36 AM
I am actually in the process of turning this Fuji into a touring bike. I'm going to service it, get slightly wider wheels, stronger tires, a triple crank, bar end shifters and racks. I've already picked up some nice used REI panniers off of Ebay.

I figure this old steel frame can hold some weight...
I'm not doing any super heavey touring. Should be interesting.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by JONathan on 4/29/2003 at 6:39:59 AM
I'd guess about 1979. Any Fuji is going to be a good bike. The craftsmanship is superb. I have a Team Fuji from 1986 that is a fine road bike. I have no trouble riding with the Bianchi "velocis" and Treks...$1000+ more. It isn't what I'd like to commute with, but it's not designed to be a commute bike. The Arx was SunTours "index" shift rear, but it's really a "detent" shift, rather than a truw index shift. I like the way it works. The shift levers are finely constructed. I don't know what you gave for it, but it's probably worth every nickel. Ride and enjoy. Jonathan
Note: I can't believe they are not higer rated on the "food chain" as is often referred to. Probably because they were so under-priced. That can be a problem.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by Tom on 4/29/2003 at 12:44:12 PM
I have a 1983 buyer's guide with this model. The specs match your tubing and components. MSR was $350.00 US, which would make it mid-line. If you suspect some of the other parts may have been replaced and you want to restore it, please let me know and I'll e-mail you all the original specs.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by Dave on 4/29/2003 at 3:08:54 PM
Check out the Fuji Touring bike for sale @www.cycleart.com in the Cycle Market Section.Its chrome plated and has a Campy triple crank.Sweet!

AGE / VALUE:    posted by: Michael T. on 4/29/2003 at 5:02:33 AM
I bought an old Fuji Road bike at a bikes shop a couple of years ago. It is a "Royale II" It is twelve speed, with SunTour components. Above the Fuji label it says "Val-Lite Quad Butted Steel Tubing 1769"

The bottom of the frame is imprinted with the what i think is a serial number that reads: FJ209449

Crank set is Sugino, all the derailers and shifters are SunTour. Derailers are labeled "SunTour ARX"

I'd like to know how nice this bike was when it was new, what year it is, and perhaps how much it cost when it was new.

I use it as a commuter and it works and looks great.