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Archived: Vintage Lightweights

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   24 inch tires for Schwinn posted by: Ron on 6/8/2003 at 12:31:03 PM
Last summer I picked up a Schwinn Caliente girl's bike for my daughter. It had 24x1 1/4 tires on S5 rims. The tires were very narrow. All the LBS had were 24x1 3/8. Does anybody still make the narrower tires for S5 rims?
My daughter loves the bike since I put flat bars on it, and I am going to change the stem shifters to thumb shifters. She calls it her "mountain bike."

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   24 inch tires for Schwinn posted by Tom Findley on 6/9/2003 at 12:16:06 PM

AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh Racing USA posted by: JA Collins on 6/8/2003 at 5:05:03 AM
I ran across an unusual purple Raleigh Super Course -- with black forks. I found the Shelton Brown Retro Raleighs information on the Raleigh Racing USA frames -- this frame matches up exactly except for the color. I don't know the year, serial is 5100413M. While the color does not match, it has the Campy dropouts and tips shown in his illustrative pictures for the custom frames available to the general public as a frame/fork set. I bought the bike, and it needs cleaning,servicing, and polishing. Appears to be 60 cm frame with Royal Compe brakes, Sakae crank, Ukai 700 x 25C rims, Suntour Cyclone front and rear deraillers. It is too tall for me personally. Should I clean and restore as is, part it out, or hold it? Is there any special value to it, or did I find something nice, but not that rare? Any input valued -- my internet searches have not been successful, other than finding this wonderful website.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh Racing USA posted by Warren on 6/8/2003 at 12:50:03 PM
Sounds like a great bike...maybe sell the frame & fork and find something your size. How bg is it? Maybe someone here could buy or trade with you.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh Racing USA posted by JA Collins on 6/8/2003 at 2:48:46 PM
It measures 60 cm from the center of the crank to the top of the seat post.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh Racing USA posted by Walter on 6/9/2003 at 1:30:24 AM
Sometime around 1986 I remember seeing a very pretty Racing USA in a LBS in Orlando, FL. Red with a Shimano 600EX group. My girlfriend (now wife) rode it and we nearly bought it but she decided on a used Fuji Supreme for alot less money. Probably the right choice at the time but that Raleigh is still one of the nicer finished bikes I've seen.

AGE / VALUE:   CAMPANIA MEDALIST posted by: Kevin K on 6/8/2003 at 4:07:04 AM
Hi all. Today I bought a Campania Medalist. It has a cottered SR crankset. The SR crankset is alloy. I've seen plenty of steel cottered cranksets before but never an alloy one. Can someone please tell me a bit about these cranks. Are the a nice crank, or junk. Thanks, Kevin

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   CAMPANIA MEDALIST posted by Tom on 6/9/2003 at 12:36:53 PM
I've seen a few also. The problem is the wear that develops in the cotter pin hole, not the spindle hole. The combined pedalling torgue and cotter installation pressure seems to cause the aluminum hole to wear on one side. Alternately, the wear could have just been due to loose cotter pins. I haven't seen many and I'm hypothesising as to the root cause. Regardless, the pin becomes loose, you tighten it, and the wear quickens due to the previous distoration. Pretty soon, the cotter pin hole will go obround/oval and you'll have to trash the crankarms.

Theorectically, you could drill out the cotter pin holes and press fit a hardened steel shell. However, the removed material and extra pressure might lead to cracking the crankarm at the cotter hole. Even if this did work, it would probably only delay the inevitable.

      CAMPANIA MEDALIST posted by John E on 6/9/2003 at 1:18:03 AM
Cottered aluminum cranks? That's a new one on me, Kevin, and, I think, a stupendously dim-bulb idea -- it sounds like a crank just waiting to crack at the spindle eye!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   CAMPANIA MEDALIST posted by Walter on 6/9/2003 at 1:26:22 AM
I've seen them, one maybe 2 times. To back up John's analysis the one time I remember for sure seeing such cranks the crank arm had considerable play on the BB spindle and was just about shot. I don't remember if the play was due to a crack or the harder spindle wearing down the soft alloy.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   CAMPANIA MEDALIST posted by JONathan on 6/9/2003 at 7:38:21 PM
Unlike the under chainstay U-brake and even the Bio-Pace chainrings, which have something to offer that has them hanging on the evolutionary tree, the Al cranks with cottered steel spindle combination is the best candidate I can think of for the "evolutionary deadend" award. Maybe if you pedalled with your hands, the system wouldn't fly apart...just get irritatingly loose. Now, that professed, I am eagerly waiting for a proponent to step forward with a rational explanation and support for the concept; notwithstanding the claim that for it's day...No way, I say. It's like putting in all the wrong data and expecting to get the right answer to the problem of knocking weight off the system. Just my 2-c's....JONathan
BTW, I hope you aren't planning on using the setup.

AGE / VALUE:   Schwin ??? posted by: Mike Patterson on 6/7/2003 at 9:20:16 PM
A recent posting on Schwinns reminded me I have one in the shed. They are unusual here in Canada so when I aquired this one I stuck it away. Now I thought I would try to get more imfo on it.
It is a blue mixte frame with a headbadge reads 'Schwinn Chicago'. It has 27x1-1/8" tires on alloy rims with quick release hubs front and back, 'Sansin' skewers. Gearing is 2x6 with a Sugino 170mm crank, Shimano shifters mounted on the stem, Suntour front derailer and a bolt-on, not axle mount rear derailer with no name that looks like a Suntour.
It has little Dia Compe brake handles on aluminum moustache bars and centre-pull brakes marked 'Schwinn Approved'. There is the number 252 stamped on the BB but I could find no serial number.

Is it a mishmash of parts or is it a specific model? How old is it? Thanks for any imfo you can give me, Mike

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwin ??? posted by Ken on 6/8/2003 at 10:04:14 PM
1) the serial number should be on the headtube. Facing the headbadge, look below and to the left.
2) serial number charts are on this site
3) it won't be, but if it should be '79 or earlier look it up on http://www.geocities.com/sldatabook/cover.html - you can check these descriptions anyway for traces of what you have...
4) hard to imagine Schwinns being unusual anywhere.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwin ??? posted by Mike Patterson on 6/9/2003 at 12:21:08 AM
Ok went out and looked under a bright light (as opposed to a dull one) and there is no number on the headtube. However I will try the other site and see what they say. Thanks Mike
PS We in Canada have Free Spirit, Venture and Triumph instead of Schwinn.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwin ??? posted by JONathan on 6/9/2003 at 1:11:11 AM
When I read your description, the "Traveler" came to mind, as I have one that's a men's frame with very similar components. I'd guess a 1985, "traveler" and to back it up...try this looksee:

Even the color is the same! Most likely it's a Taiwan built (Giant or Merida) Schwinn. Merida always had a number on the round badge, I'm told by a guy who used to sell them at a LBS.
Good luck,...JONathan

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwin ??? posted by Rob on 6/9/2003 at 4:44:57 PM
Gee...I wouldn't compare Schwinn to junk like Free Spirit and Venture...I can't recall Triumph, maybe they did't sell them in Vancouver...Schwinn's from what I can tell, and what I've heard, were very well made bikes...I'm no expert, I've only seen a few...but the few I have seen seemed to be solid well-built bikes...they just weren't lightweights or paticularly nimble...

I think they are so ubiquitous in the US that people take them for granted...I've got it in mind that I want to add a good one, or two, to my collection...Varsity, Contintental...and, hey, if I'm real lucky maybe a Paramount...but I'll likely have to go to Seattle to find much in the way of a selection...

AGE / VALUE:   Colnago Late 70's early 80's posted by: Ed C. on 6/7/2003 at 6:54:46 PM
I've got an older unique Colnago bike that I purchased many years ago. It has unique oval shaped tubing, the cables are routed through the frame, a very small unusual seatpost, that I equipped with Campy record equipment.

It was my time trail bike. It's been to the top of Mt. Washington, the Kangamangus highway, and some other neat NE races.

How do I get a bike like this appraised.

AGE / VALUE:   Diamondback podium 2.0 posted by: Ned on 6/7/2003 at 12:26:11 PM
this is a mix of campy 8 speed veloce and mirage components the frame is listed as "diamondback special racing"7005 double butted aluminum tubing....is this a kenesis frame i wonder .of course diamondback has no info.also has intresting and fast 16 spoke campy zonda deep dish rims.got it in 1996 for 850$what is it worth?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Diamondback podium 2.0 posted by Keith on 6/9/2003 at 2:45:29 PM
This site discusses vintage lightweights and your bike is by no means vintage, Ned. But here's a stab. Campy has moved on to 9-speed and now 10-speed, so your equipment would not attract someone looking for compatability with contemporary gruppos. Mirage/Veloce is nice stuff, but it's 5th and 4th in the Campy line up. If I'm not mistaken, the Zonda wheels, though aerodynamic, are pretty heavy. Like cars, new bikes lose a lot of their resale value the moment they leave the shop. Taking all this into consideration, I'd value your bike at about $300-400.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Diamondback podium 2.0 posted by Keith on 6/9/2003 at 2:47:11 PM
P.S. Cruise eBay and look for auctions of similarly-equiped bikes.

MISC:   Continental Blue's posted by: DannyJoe on 6/7/2003 at 1:43:35 AM
I made my rounds of the early weekend yard sale's after work tonight and drove to a small town six mile's north which was having a town wide yard sale. I stopped at several yard's and found the usual bmx kid's bike's, I had time for one more stop when I noticed what I thought was just another Varsity for sale in a driveway. When I walked up to it I then noticed it was the Continental I needed to display between my very clean '74 Varsity and '73 Super Sport. This Conti was just as impressive, a very clean baby blue low mileage bike all original sporting a rear rack, I handed the seller a $10 bill and recieved change back. Now to find that '70's Paramount to complete the circle.

   RE:MISC:   Continental Blue's posted by Kevin K on 6/7/2003 at 3:26:41 AM
Hi Danny Joe. That color is called Opaque Blue. I've had several Schwinn bikes in that color. Presently I've a Panasonic built 1974 Schwinn Letour and a Chicago built 1974 Schwinn Sprint in Opaque Blue. You should find yourself a Sprint. It would really be a nice addition. Your collection sounds great! I'm glad I'm not the only one with a passion for Schwinn bikes. Enjoy, Kevin

   RE:MISC:   Continental Blue's posted by Eric Amlie on 6/7/2003 at 3:26:44 AM
Congrats on your find. Nice line-up. Do you have a Sports Tourer in there?

   RE:RE:MISC:   Continental Blue's posted by DannyJoe on 6/7/2003 at 12:59:06 PM
No Sport's Tourer yet,it's starting to be a nice circle of Schwinn's mostly from the early '70's all drop bar's 10 spd's, being a baby-boomer, a teen in the '70's these bike's have been my focus of late. Never owned any of these back in the day's of Sex,Drug's & Rock-n-Roll, I'm finding them only after the smoke has cleared.

Was the Sprint an '80's model Schwinn? My niece's owned a couple around 1990.

   RE:RE:RE:MISC:   Continental Blue's posted by DannyJoe on 6/7/2003 at 1:06:06 PM
Ah! LeTour, I think this will be the next ride I'll hunt.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:MISC:   Continental Blue's posted by Kevin K on 6/8/2003 at 5:38:22 PM
Hi Danny Joe. If you are interested in a 1974 Opaque Blue LeTour with nice paint and decals, give me a email at kbcurvin@aol.com. Kevin K

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:MISC:   Continental Blue's posted by DannyJoe on 6/9/2003 at 1:54:05 AM
Thank's Kevin, an old friend in town has a LeTour which he's set aside in favor of a more modern Cross-bike. He started cycling recently, picked up an older LeTour from an even older fellow, he kept getting flat tire's on the LeTour and decided to get a new wider tired bike. I want to check out his old LeTour first for purchase. What area of North America (I assume) are you located?

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Looking to spot those old lightweights on the road posted by: Gralyn on 6/7/2003 at 2:04:15 AM
I'm keeping my eyes out to spot some of the old lightweights on the road. I did see one - but I couldn't tell what kind it was - but it looked fairly vintage. Then yesterday, I come along-side a moving van, pulling a trailer with a car on it. Mounted on the trailer, right beside the car - and standing stately, was a really nice-looking Ross. I don't know which model it was - but it looked really nice - and was probably along the top of the line from the looks of it. Must be a proud owner.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Looking to spot those old lightweights on the road posted by Dave on 6/9/2003 at 2:48:16 PM
Grayln , I myself do notice more people are riding these.One evening after work I saw a Schwinn Suburban from the late '70's in absolute mint condition with the matching blue fenders.It's nice to see at least some people are not just buying the latest and greatest.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Looking to spot those old lightweights on the road posted by JONathan on 6/9/2003 at 4:36:06 PM
Well, I came off a weekend of riding my Specialized "allez" road racer ('80's) that was fun, but I sure liked getting back onto the Schwinn "traveler" when I got home. Unless I'm trying to go fast, the comfort and easy-ride of the vintage chro-mo LW's is unbeatable, IMHO.
Larger riders especially may find the more robust frames to their liking, not that the sub-20 pound bikes are not strong, it is a question of design focus. The frames on the serious road racer frames are built around the average size of a road racer cyclist, which isn't 220#.
Therefore, although the franme can withstand the beating of a more powerful rider, the behavior is way different. The unusual flexing takes some adjustment in handling. Frankly, I am somewhat bewildered at how they can even hold up. They are fast! The regular frames if made with care as were many vintage, non-professional bikes, (the ones we seem to take big interest in discussing) have what appears to be an increasing appearance on the roads. Their cost effective, dependability and downright funky retro appeal are cathing on, I say. Now, if the bike shops would only catch on and realize that repairs and service can be a source of income, rather than a bother, we'd see an even greater number on the road.
I can't count the times that an emplyee has gone rummaging around in the rear of the store looking for a part that he barely comprehends so that I can get a bike going. That's my main reason for buying bikes at thrift stores. They're the LBS for me. As for evidence of vintage LW's on the rise, I need only observe the mounts I pass and the curious fact that my nephew, as one case, would rather ride a one speed "breeze" with longhorns than his fs MTB! So, I conclude that the retro thing is part of it and that it is also becoming known the greatness of vintage machines for fun and transport....JONathan

AGE / VALUE:   Holdsworth posted by: Randy on 6/7/2003 at 1:39:11 AM
I found two bikes at the local landfill site today - a Norco Avanti and a Holdsworth. The Holdsworth is great. Campy derailleurs(rear is "Alentino" Extra??? and front is push rod style???) and controls, Weinman Center Pull 610 Vainqueur 999, Weinman brake levers, GB embossed stem and handlebars, short aluminium fenders, a strange brazed on bolt tab about half way up the right fork blade, Lyotard BTE SGDG 136R pedals, MM Atom Quick Release front and back, cotter crank, fork is made of Reynolds 531, can see where the frame tube decal has been removed(looks like the glue failed), Shimano high flange alloy hubs, and steel wheels, the derailler is attached via a bracket. The frame is quite large and the paint(orange with predominately blue decals and a nice headbage) is not bad but the decals have seen better days(again looks like the glue just gave up). I think that I would like to fully restore this one.
I would be interested to know more about this bike. One of the decals(might be a model) ends in "PE". The front Shimano hub is coded A A. Today was a lucky day.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Holdsworth posted by Ian on 6/7/2003 at 9:54:27 AM
Randy, the boss brazed on the outside of the fork is almost certainly for mounting a light bracket. My 1949 Knights of Harrow has one with bracket on and I have seen them on British lightweights made in the 60,s so it must have been a more popular way of mounting the front light than the stem bracket in this era. The bracket itself is just a chrome metal one bent 90 degrees and with cutouts in it similar to the stem mount ones. Regards, Ian.

      Holdsworth posted by John E on 6/7/2003 at 7:18:27 PM
The "Valentino," named after Tullio's son, was Campag.'s low-end derailleur of the mid-1960s. The push-rod front is probably a Gran Sport, and both could well have been original equipment on that Holdsworth. (I bought my Capo with its original Gran Sport derailleurs; the body of the front was worn out, and I never did care for the weight and response of the rear, but I still use the levers and the original Weinmann Vainqueur 999 brake calipers.)

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:UO-18s, UO-8s, etc. posted by: Slidemanic on 6/6/2003 at 10:55:23 PM
Amy posted about her UO-18. Just to clarify, when I got Campagnolo pedals for the PX-10 in 1975, the procedure was to TAP OUT THE THREADS in the pedal end of the crankarms to 9/16x20. Amy, I can picture you walking into a bike shop with people who'd seen that whole French era come and go. I guess I can't really blame them for recoiling in horror. Like their worst nightmare--It's BAACK! OTOH, Japanese derailleurs on a French bike I find to be totally nauseating (I'm OK with Dia-Compe brakes, however). Simplex stuff actually works better than Campy, at least the shift levers do. The trouble with it was that it would fracture without warning, leaving you stranded. I think leaving one's bike out in the cold may have had a lot to do with this. Dupont Delrin plastic...
You could throw away your B.B. & crankset and get TA triples for $300.00...Bicycle Classics has these, dot com.
I personally have all sorts of French parts that I don't use anymore, wheelsets, French threaded freewheels, Simplex derailleurs, AVA bars & stems (Noooooo!!!), etc.
Of course, there's always the all-aluminum Simplex derailleurs (late 70s/early 80s). I use these on the PX-10 with Simplex Retrofriction levers (best non-index lever ever made, many agree) and they are very fast on 42/52 with 13-23 Winner Pro Ultra-6 (the only other Japanese component I'd approve of on a French bike).

   SunTour derailleurs posted by John E on 6/7/2003 at 7:54:12 PM
Well, Slidemanic, I hate to nauseate anyone, but I have never regretted putting SunTour shift levers (1970s ratchet barcons and 1971 downtube-mount), SunTour Cyclone rear derailleurs, and Shimano front derailleurs (Titlist and 600) on my 1972 UO-8 and my 1980 "almost a PX-10" PKN-10, both of which are daily drivers, not collectibles. In the late 1960s, SunTour patented the now-univeral slant planograph design, which was as big an advance over the standard Campag. and Simplex parallelograms as the latter were over the earlier band-spring-and-pull-chain Cyclos and Simplexes. Campag., Shimano, and everyone else copied the design the moment the patent expired. East meet west as I simultaneously relish French ride quality and Japanese gear-change precision.

When I worked at Bikecology/Supergo (Nishiki and Peugeot dealership) in the early 1970s, most Peugeots needing either wider-range gears or a transmission repair received one or more SunTour gear transplants.

Why is it poitically acceptable to upgrade an all-French-but-the-saddle PX-10 with Italian, but not Japanese, gear?

   RE:SunTour derailleurs posted by JONathan on 6/7/2003 at 9:17:48 PM
Then, after the careful ride home, I can put the SunTours I have fitted the SunTour "power-shifters" onto the Simplex, metal bracket-clamp. I haven't tried it on the road, but it will be great if the setup works. The smaller downtube posed a problem for standard clamps. The SunTour "superbe" shift levers are my favorite, a close second is the Shimano "600" levers.
My 196? UE-8 is completely original, but it has a complete interchange of moving parts for any serious rides. I about went into a ditch trying to stop with the Rigida steel rims and original brakes. The "mixte" is very stiff in the rear triangle, which makes for superb hill climbing. They have a problem with PR stigma, INHO. As an objective rider, they perform above the double-triangle frames for non-racing environments. The stiffness isn't there in the front end, but it makes for a very comfortable ride.
Esthetics are an individual issue that may, or may not, have any bearing on how a person rides. It doesn't matter that the SunTour V looks better in my eyes, I want effortless shifting, durability and ease of service/adjustment. A couple extra ounces hanging off the rear stay is no trade-off, IMHO.
I have my Simplexes all Armoral treated as the uv and ozone really does a number on plastic. I'd like to say they look cool, but only the front derailer with logo looks cool to me. Good luck, just my 2c's...JONathan

   RE:RE:SunTour derailleurs posted by JONathan on 6/7/2003 at 9:27:17 PM
Oops! I meant "couple ounces less"...I presume that plastic weighs less than metal, although I haven't weighed the bigger Simplexes. The "prestige" on my Maino (It.) is very light! It actually shifts quite well, too. I just wonder if I need to carry an extra derailer or a chain-break on long trips where a cell-phoned rescue would be a large imposition.

   RE:SunTour derailleurs posted by Slidemanic on 6/8/2003 at 2:44:34 AM
Yes, I know it was common practice to substitute Sun Tour or whatever brand for Simplex. But for a typical "no bigger than 23-tooth" freewheel, Simplex can't be beat. The solution for a PX-10 Simplex dropout is: modify the dropout, or use Simplex. The all-alloy later model Simplex derailleurs are excellent. The plastic ones were, too, except that they break without warning! So I'd recommend the alloy Simplex for an upgrade, and recommend Simplex plastic for the display shelf (although 95% of them that you will see are actually metal-braced). I wouldn't even modify the dropout for Campagnolo! Suntour ratchet shifters work well with a friction system, and I had them on the PX-10 before I got the Simplex Retrofriction levers. As I mentioned above, the Sun Tour Ultra-6 freewheel can't be beat for a 120mm frame. Any perceived prejudice against Japanese parts on my part would only be because they sorta flooded the market, and, like having a Honda or Toyota, it becomes like this uniform everyone wears, which I find tiresome. Slant parallelogram...yeah, gotta admit, pretty good idea, my Campagnolo 10-speed rear derailleur borrows that feature (no Shimano on this bike!)
I worked in a bike shop when those PKN-10s were new. I used to take one off the floor and ride it to lunch. Good frame geometry with Vitus tubing of some sort, as I recall, and a nice ride.
My latest thing to get nauseated about is all-black tires. Whose idea was that!? They look like econo-bike tires of the '60s...

   RE: Mafac brakes posted by Eric Amlie on 6/8/2003 at 2:24:48 PM
I dunno, maybe I just don't know what good brakes feel like (I have Ultegras on my Y2K Schwinn Super Sport though). I have an circa 1971 Gitane Tour de France with Mafac Competition brakes with Matthauser pads that I think work very very well except that I can't get that Mafac screech out of them. They seem more effective than my other vintage bikes with Weinmann centerpulls(also with Matthauser pads).

   RE: Oops! posted by Eric Amlie on 6/8/2003 at 2:36:14 PM
Oops, this was supposed to go down under the Lightweights, Huh? post. Not enough coffee yet.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:UO-18s, UO-8s, etc. posted by Keith on 6/9/2003 at 2:09:42 PM
I agree that the Simplex delrin derailleurs work well -- when new. But they all work loose and get sloppy fairly quickly. Frank Berto and science/engineering notwithstanding, no friction shift derailleur has worked better for me than a perfectly dialed Campy Nouvo Record, and I've ridden and worked on lots of Suntour, Shimano, Simplex, Huret and Sachs-Huret. My prejudice carries over to my contemporary bikes, which are Campy 9-speed and 10-speed -- seems you may share some of that prejudice, at least for the modern stuff, Slidemaniac.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:"Varsinentals!" posted by: Slidemanic on 6/6/2003 at 10:55:23 PM
"Varsinentals!!!" What a great word coinage! When I first got into this racing bike thing in high school, before I got my PX-10, the school would rent you a Schwinn Varsity. By 1966, it was Continentals. I climbed Mt. Mansfield both ways on that blue (maybe'64) Varsity in 1965, and I swear it was short at least one rear wheel bearing. (Thump, thump, thump all the way down!)
First thing I'd had with derailleurs, though. When I got the PX-10 ($135.95) it seemed like God's own bicycle. Fast little mother, you bet! And no checkerboard yet...But so far away from home in the wilds of Northern Vermont, I had to phone in my orders for sew-ups to the big city..so frequently I was stuck with a brand new 1966 Continental (steel rims, good grief!) whenever I flatted on the road.
Ummm...I'm still gluing those tires on. You'll see me cruising bike shops, riffling through their selection of tubulars, hoping for something (a) lightweight and (b) inexpensive. Dream on!

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS: posted by Keith on 6/9/2003 at 3:01:09 PM
Sew ups are the one retro thing I've abandoned almost completely and without regret -- the only bike I still have them on is my Peugeot track bike. I think the very best today's 700c clinchers are so good that any perceived superiority of tubies simply isn't worth the trouble of hunting for that leak, cutting the threads, stitching it up, slopping around with that messy glue, trying to get the tire on straight, and, especially, hoping it won't roll off on a switchback.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:Huh? posted by: Slidemanic on 6/6/2003 at 10:55:23 PM
Wow! All this obsession with entry-level 10-speeds! Who would've imagined it? I was taught (back in the 1960s) to get the best frame possible and upgrade components, which I did with my '65 PX-10 (Campagnolo...) My Ken G. Rogers trike kit went onto a UO-8, but when got my dream Italian bike in 1998, the PX-10 suddenly became the Trike. (Three sew-ups!) Well, I guess I bought & sold a few 10-speeds and English 3-speeds (I miss my Dunelt!), but basically, all that iron is just too heavy and not lively enough (my current 3-speed, a 23" BSA, seems to weigh as much as 3 Cinellis!)
And those Mixte frames? What a short-lived trend that was! You can't give those away around here (Northeast USA). One thing for sure, no one has yet improved upon the MAES bend (whatever MAES means) handlebar (drop bar). I was recently given a mountain bike and rode 10 miles--great gearing, but those handlebars have ONE hand position. But what is worse is that they are too wide--can't get nicely through doorways, can't properly lean the bike on a wall, more steering control than you really want...just bloody awful. Expensive to change--I've got a 22.2 Cinelli stem--anyone have a 26.4 Cinelli bar? I didn't think so!
On this very forum, I saw a rough Peugeot PX-10 for $55.00. Now THAT'S a good place to start!

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:Huh? posted by Warren on 6/7/2003 at 3:29:41 AM
Words of wisdom...there has been a lot of time dedicated to the glory days of gaspipe lately. The frame is the heart of any bike and where you should spend the money.

OTOH I think the best way to make a AO-8 rideable is to upgrade everything but the Racers to Suntour! But even then...

I've got 4 Cinelli bars...unfortunately 3 of them are NOS 38's... one pista, one 66 and one 64. My one crit bar is a 40. The crit is my favourite bar for city riding. You never get too comfortable or complacent.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:Huh? posted by Slidemanic on 6/7/2003 at 11:29:21 AM
Yeah, love those Cinelli bars. I put a 100mm 1/A stem on the PX-10 in 1975 with the 42 cm mod.66 Campione Del Mondo bars--matches my shoulder width and has that deep drop. I use the same setup on the new bike with a 110mm XA stem to compensate for a shorter top tube (1989 Cinelli Supercorsa, which was new in 1998, and has the last of the 26.4 bars from when I had it built).
The thing about most of those old French bikes is the dimensional difference--22.0 steerer, 26.0 (for one) seat post, BB threads, Simplex rear derailleur hanger, hubs, freewheels, etc. Some of the metric stuff was more logical, but the Japanese didn't think so, so we're left with many orphans.

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:Huh? posted by Slidemanic on 6/7/2003 at 11:41:41 AM
Oh, and on those MAFAC Racer brakes--I used them until maybe 1990 on the old PX-10. My riding buddies laughed at them! So I got Dia-Compe sidepulls which just reached. They were vastly superior! (Since the PX-10 is now a trike, it only has one sidepull, in front, plus a Sachs hub brake on the front wheel).
Recently, my ex-wife asked me to look at her 1972 UO-8 so she could ride it again. After pumping up the tires, lowering the seat, and generally dusting it off, I rode it and was amazed at how terrible those MAFAC brakes really were!!! Good pads, set up correctly, and contacting Mavic MA-2 rims, but still...worse than mediocre stopping power, IMHO. MAFAC Cantilever brakes are probably better, from what I recall...

   Mafac brakes posted by John E on 6/7/2003 at 7:28:56 PM
The reason a stock UO-8 cannot stop safely is the combination of steel rims, Mafac brake pads, a flimsy front cable stop, an excessively long straddle cable, and (for those of us with small-to-average-sized hands) those long-reach Mafac brake levers. With aluminum rims, KoolStop pads, a Weinmann cable stop, a shortened straddle cable, and Weinmann or Shimano levers (preferably aero), Mafac centerpull calipers perform quite decently.

The brake calipers which really disappoint/scare me are my first-generation Campag. sidepulls.

   mountain bike handlebars posted by John E on 6/7/2003 at 8:02:42 PM
Slidemanic, I do agree with your two objections to mountain bike handlebars, which I have partly solved by keeping the older, shorter bars which came with my 1988 Schwinn KOM-10 and by attaching extension bars to the ends. I ended up sawing about 2cm off each end of my son's handlebars and mounting each extension an additional cm inboard from the end.

If I didn't have four road bikes, I would probably put drops on my mountain bike.

   RE:Mafac brakes posted by Slidemanic on 6/8/2003 at 2:54:55 AM
Hmmm, interesting. The PX-10 had the exact same brake setup as any UO-8, including the front and rear cable stops. Maybe that front one did flex a bit...the transverse cables are set up short when I do 'em. I've added modern mountain bike brake shoes, and no steel rims are involved (on the ex-wife's UO-8). Still not great. I guess I've gotten used to 1998 Chorus brakes on machined Reflex rims.

   RE: Mafac brakes posted by Eric Amlie on 6/8/2003 at 2:32:47 PM
I dunno, maybe I just don't know what good brakes feel like (I have Ultegras on my Y2K Schwinn Super Sport though). I have a circa 1971 Gitane Tour de France with Mafac Competition brakes and Matthauser pads that I think work very well except that I can't get that Mafac screech out of them. They seem more effective than my other vintage bikes with Weinmann centerpulls(also with Matthauser pads).

   RE:brakes posted by JONathan on 6/9/2003 at 7:21:23 AM
Yes, Van Clyburn would have had little trouble with the Mafac levers. I never figured out a reason for the size, unless it was for appearance sake.
I have the U-brake under the chainstays on my Miyata touring MTB, which really brings it when they're leaned on hard! I pull a trailer (converted Burley) and the brakes behave almost the same loaded as when it's running free of the trailer.
That's with full rear panniers, too! They dropped the brake in the '80's and it languished for a couple decades as an artifact until the extreme riders picked up on it. Mud is the problem and adjustments are tedious, but there is no problem fitting gear on the rack as the brake is out of the way. My best experience with side-pull technology has been the Shimano 600's.
I just came off a long ride in the valley running my Specialized "allez" (cro-mo) '80's road racer and I forgot how good the Shimano 600's were and almost went over the bars a couple times when I clamped a bit too hard at slow speed.

   RE:RE:brakes posted by JONathan on 6/9/2003 at 7:25:19 AM
What? The post came in the wrong place. Is there something I need to know about posting?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:Huh? posted by Keith on 6/9/2003 at 2:38:37 PM
I'd like to respond to Slidemaniac's original observation of this site's apparent interest in entry level lightweights. I mean, if you subscribe to the CR list, it's they're chatting about stuff like Masis. Here, a lot of the space is devited to Fujis, Peugoet UO-8s, Varsinentals and the like. I think there are several reasons: (1) they are readily available at garage sales, thrift shops, or even your neighbor's trash; (2) they are great learning tools for learning bike mechanics -- face it, if you screw up something on a $10 garage sale bike -- who cares?; and (3) they can be reliable, practical transportation. Aside from that, however, they only resemble high performance bikes -- they sure don't ride like them. But that difference only matters if you're racing, riding fairly long distance, or if you've developed a taste for only high performance bikes. But I enjoy them all -- a fast club ride on my 2001 Campy Ergo 10-speed titanium bike, a century on my 1972 Mercian Pro, a ride around the neighborhood on my 1970s Schwinn Collegiate or Raleigh DL-1. Still, I'm at a loss when folks seem to indicate they are going to a lot trouble to "restore" something that's entry level. It sounds to me like your entry into biking was the bike boom of the late 60s to early 70s -- which means your riding was (is?) long distance and/or racing. So it's natural for you to favor high performance bikes.

   RE:RE: Mafac brakes posted by JONathan on 6/8/2003 at 5:16:27 PM
Eric, I think I had a set of those Mafac "competition" on a bike...or was it "universals", I can't recall, but they are in a box of brakes I keep for whatever reason. The ones that I had were fitted with pads that had a type of cord material embedded in the composition. I have not seen any shoes with this particular construction. Perhaps they stopped making them. (too expensive?) The rubber was a tan color. I personally have never had a Weinmann "vainquer" 999 fail, whereas I can't asy that for any other brand. I am pretty brutal on brakes, esp. in the younger days while coursing the steep Truckee, Ca. Sierra Nevada region. You are 100% right. If the brake is a battle tested species and is setup correctly, you'll get good results. It's just after some unusually hard use, and things get kinda tweaked loose, that's when I evaluate the performance...an unfortunate method of evaluation in most cases, but definitley "real time"....Good luck, JONathan

   brakes posted by John E on 6/9/2003 at 1:31:32 AM
What puzzles me is that the Galli sidepulls on my 1980 PKN-10 are much more effective than the Campag. sidepulls on my 1982 Bianchi. Both have KoolStop pads and Shimano aero brake handles sans return springs (one needs Sergei Rachmaninov's hand span to grab Mafac, Campag., or Modolo handles effectively), and the Bianchi actually takes a shorter brake reach than the Peugeot. The original Weinmann Vainqueur 999 centerpulls calipers and handles (great for small hands!) on my 1959 Capo, also with KoolStops, work very well, as do the SunTour RollerCam front and chainstay-hung Shimano U-brake on my mountain bike, with those great motorcycle-style 4-finger Shimano handles.

MISC:   What is the "Treatment" posted by: Keith on 6/6/2003 at 2:33:31 PM
A couple of the recent posts bring up the subject what do you do with that bike you just found? I think the basic idea is to disassemble and clean everything, and repack/replace all bearings for starters. What else? Most of the time new stainless cables and cable housing are in order. I usually spray the inside of the frame with Boeshield or even WD-40, hoping it will help prevent rust. Jockey wheels are usually full of gritty crud so they always need cleaned, but I seldom disassemble the sprung pivits on a rear derailleur. I'm more concerned with roadworthiness than showworthiness, but I'll do the basic clean, touch up and wax (no polishing hubs though). How far are you going to get every speck of dirt and grit off the bike -- are you completely disassembling the brakes to get all of the nocks and crannies? Are you using a parts washer? Solvents? What other things are you doing -- what's your list?

   RE:MISC:   What is the posted by Tom on 6/6/2003 at 11:14:25 PM
For me, vintage lightweight collecting is like life. At first, all you are concerned about is functionality and the instant gratification that comes with it. Give it a quick tune-up and clean it up a bit, so that you can get on it and ride it.

As you mature, your knowledge increases and you want to apply what you've learned. The tune-ups become overhauls and the clean-ups become more thorough. Your tool box finds dedicated bicycle tools sitting next to the screwdrivers and box end wrenches.

Every success will bring a thirst for a new challenge. Soon, you'll start researching the latest acquisition. You'll become more sosphisticated in the bikes you collect. You'll find that you have unconsciously crossed into restoration and start searching out original equipment. You may start specializing in a brand, model or era.

Eventually, you'll find "the bike". Maybe it's something you had years ago, or something you yearned for but couldn't afford. Or maybe it's something of exquesite beauty. Something you couldn't appreciate when you first started out on this journey. Whatever it is, when you find it, you'll know that nothing but a proper restoration will suffice. You'll anguish over the repaint versus patina dilema. Sure, you may install a battleworn derailleur on it for now, but you'll be forever searching for that NOS version. And you'll be in no hurry, because you know the ultimate result will be worth the time, labour and expense.

I believe we all follow-up basically the same journey. Some may progress through it more quickly than others, but it will lead eventually to "the bike". Some of us may not find it before the journey ends, but we're all searching for it, some consciously and some sub-consciously. Some of us may find it before we're ready for it. But we will be aware of the fact and we'll wait patiently until we have the knowledge, skills and financial ability to do it justice.
Luckily, I've found "the bike" for myself, a 1960 Legnano, which I'm in the process of restoring. May you all find yours.

   RE:RE:RE:MISC:   What is the posted by Wings on 6/7/2003 at 6:12:45 AM
Simple Green! That is what I use on every bike to clean it and to degrease the areas where grease builds up. I even use it on chains that are not too bad. It is easy on the hands and smells good -- after one develops a smell for it.

There is also a Simple Green Automotive which is more concentrated and I have used a couple of times on old caked on grease.

   treatment posted by John E on 6/6/2003 at 2:49:45 PM
My traditional answer is the same as yours: functionality over form. However, ask me again when I get my Capo frame back from repainting ...

   RE:MISC:   What is the posted by Gralyn on 6/6/2003 at 3:43:01 PM
It's basically as you stated. But for me, it depends on the bike, the quality of the bike, how much I like the bike, the value of the bike, etc. Say for instance, it's a Schwinn World Sport - and it's really dirty - It will probably become a parts bike. If it's the same - but in excellent condition, and needs very little cleaning/polishing - I may do a light tune-up, ride it, keep it, or re-sell it. If it's something I think is somewhat valuable, or if I particularly like it - I will completely re-build.

   RE:RE:MISC:   What is the posted by Dave on 6/6/2003 at 5:31:16 PM
I did rebuild a World Sport,(sentimental value) but will not repaint it. However I found a great cleaner/degreaser is Simple Green,esp in tight places like the bottom bracket shell and dropouts/fork crown area.This bike I used parts off of a broken Schwinn World bike but had I to install a new headset & fork.

MISC:   How identify vintage Campy gruppo? posted by: Ben on 6/6/2003 at 4:12:26 AM
I’ve looked at some mid-‘80s Campagnolo road components that I may be interested in buying to outfit a bike frame. However, neither the seller nor I can tell which gruppo these are (Nuovo Record, Victory, …?). There’s no gruppo name inscribed anywhere. Is there any simple way of telling the 1980s gruppos apart? Does the absence of any name inscription mean anything? Many thanks.

   RE:MISC:   How identify vintage Campy gruppo? posted by Tom on 6/6/2003 at 5:42:02 PM
Unfortunately, the Campagnolo line was in great flux during the 1980’s. There were several groups available, with significant design variations within groups, depending on the year. Generally, the most distinguishable parts were the rear derailleur, crankset and brakes, so I’ll do my best to describe the groups relative to these parts, in their most common design variation Beware, it was not uncommon to mix parts parts from different groups.

Nuovo Record: Traditional, vertical parallelogram derailleur with "Campagnolo Nuovo Record" on front spring cover plate, in block letters. Crankset has fluted arms and spider. Chainrings have large oval cutouts between mounting holes. Traditional sidepull brakes with non-aero levers.

Super Record: Basically the same as the Nuovo record group, but with the following cosmetic changes. Rear derailleur has "Campagnolo" in script lettering, within a black panel, on the front spring cover plate. Chainrings have lower web removed between mounting holes and cutouts above mounting holes. Brake levers are drilled.

Victory & Triomphe: Very angular styled groups. Not positive on the exact differences between the groups, but price difference was only about $100, so it’s not significant. Standard five armed spider, with beveling on crankarm edges, but no fluting. Trapezoidal cutouts in chainrings, above mounting holes. Standard side-pull brakeset with aero levers. Traditional vertical parallelogram derailleurs. Early versions had embossed shield. Later versions had script Campagnolo.

C-Record: Campanolo’s initial foray into aero styling, with smooth, rounded surfaces. The most distinguishing factor is crankset, which utilized a four arm spider. The fifth mounting hole for the chainrings was built into the backside of the crankarm. Brakeset was the stylish Delta centre-pull design and aero levers. Initially the rear derailleur was a vertical paralleogram design with an embossed shield and a solid front cage plate. By the end of the 80’s it was a dropped, slant parallelogram, with script lettering and a cut-out cage.

Croced’Aune: A short lived group, with similar styling to C-Record. The most distinguishing factor was a stout, metal rod on the back of the derailleur that improved freewheel tracking. The crankset used a five armed spider. Delta brakeset, similar to C-Record.

Chorus: The most distinguishing factor was the "mono-planar" side-pull brakeset, where the cable clinching arm fed through a slot in the other arm. Crankset appeared similar to CroceD’Aune, while rear derailleur was similar to late 80’s C-Record.

Athena: Overall appearance was similar to Chorus, but the brakes were a standard side-pull design.

Campagnolo also had some low end 9XX series parts in the mid-80’s, but I"m not familiar with them, though styling was similar to Triomphe/Victory, if I recall correctly.

   RE:MISC:   How identify vintage Campy gruppo? posted by Chuck Schmidt on 6/6/2003 at 5:56:20 PM
I'd just add that I'm not the expert on Campagnolo just an ardent student. Actually there _is_ no "Campy Expert" because most of the obscure info is lost forever, unfortunately...

Just my opinion.

   RE:MISC:   How identify vintage Campy gruppo? posted by Rob on 6/6/2003 at 5:47:12 AM
It's tough...there's a fair learning curve...and I find it difficult to keep all straight. Some of the components seem to be used in different 'gruppos'. I have yet to figure out hubs...Try these sites:


    vintage Campy gruppo posted by John E on 6/6/2003 at 2:47:53 PM
Victory cranksets used a 116mm BCD. Personally, I would avoid these.

   RE:MISC:   How identify vintage Campy gruppo? posted by Keith on 6/6/2003 at 3:16:40 PM
The timeline says in 1986 Campy introduced the new Record, C-Record, Victory and Triomphe groups. Chorus was added in 1987.

Here's a picture of the Victory group: http://www.campyonly.com/images/history/1980s/victory_gruppo.jpg As you can see the rear derailleur is engraved with no name.

Here's Triomphe: http://www.campyonly.com/images/history/1980s/triomphe_gruppo.jpg

In contrast, the earlier Nouvo Record rear derailleur says Nouvo Record on it, and the Super Record has script Campagnolo on a black background, unless its an early model, in which case it will look basically like a Nouvo Record but say Super Record.

Chuck Schmidt, the real Campy expert, has all of the Campy catelogs and sells copies, I believe. He could also point out the many other differences between the gruppos.

   RE:MISC:   How identify vintage Campy gruppo? posted by Chuck Schmidt on 6/6/2003 at 4:02:24 PM
There's also Dave Finlayson's web site www.campybike.com with Campagnolo catalog scans to check. The Campagnolo Timeline is on my web site at www.velo-retro.com.

   RE:MISC:   How identify vintage Campy gruppo? posted by Rob on 6/6/2003 at 5:03:12 PM

Thanks for the heads up on www.campybike.com...I wasn't aware of that site...catalog 17 looks like it'll help my learning curve...and the 1972 Bottecchia catalog...I recently got an old low end Bottecchia for low dollars...couldn't pass it up...

AGE / VALUE:   American Eagle Semi Pro posted by: Dennis R. Jacobsen on 6/6/2003 at 1:12:24 AM
Hi, thanks for all the responses. I'll lose the other auxilliary brake lever, one is lost somewhere and upgrade the pads. I'm sure they are shot. I've found several sources for the 27 x 1 1/4" tire and tube so that is not a problem.

Have my eye on a Novara X-R from REI (comfort bike) (www.REI.com) as I am feeling my age leaning over the dropped bars.

Thanks again.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   American Eagle Semi Pro posted by Oscar on 6/6/2003 at 3:02:45 AM
You can have upright comfort without sacrificing the ride of a fine road bike. Try upright handlebars. You can find graceful, quality aluminum bars that would look nice with the frame and ride better than a 26" comfort bike.

      American Eagle Semi Pro posted by John E on 6/6/2003 at 3:44:45 AM
Before you give up on drop bars, try a tall stem with a short reach.