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

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

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

Archived: Vintage Lightweights

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Simplex prestige derailleurs posted by: Randy on 8/26/2003 at 12:00:44 AM
HI I am working on a Simplex prestige rear derailleur that mounts to a Simplex rear dropout the derailleur has to have tension on the upper pivot bolt and I can't figure out what to do here, most prestige derailleurs had a allen key fitting in the pivot bolt that used hangers so you could tension then tighten the back nut but this one has a red plastic looking cap inside where the allen key hole would be I think I am already in enough trouble here so any advice on how to work on such a derailleur and get the tesnion on the spring to mount to a forged dropout would be appreaciated thanks.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Simplex prestige derailleurs posted by JONathan on 8/26/2003 at 3:54:27 AM
Is it just possible that the plastic is a cap of some sort? If not, I would look for a some kind of lockring on the inside (toward dropout) end of the cylinder that jouses the spring mechanism. Of course, ANYTHING with spring mechanisms is best explored with goggles. The third possibility that comes to mind...planned obsolescence. Maybe it was never intended to bve serviced as the replacement cost may have been less than the labor costs to "fix" it; or that it can't be repaired anyway. Luike the cheap pedals; I can bend the bracket and get the spindle off for replacing the bearings, but I'm such a cheapskate. Imagine how much they saved by crimping the cage instead of fastening with a threaded nut on two rods. I thnk I have a Simplex that is like that one...I'll look....Good luck...JONathan

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Simplex prestige derailleurs posted by Dave on 8/26/2003 at 2:25:29 PM
Randy , There is a shop in Chicago , Roberts Cycle ,( my LBS) @773-274-9281 the main mechanic Chris still can replace the return spring on these, if it's worth the expense for you,(FYI).

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Simplex prestige derailleurs posted by Titlist on 8/26/2003 at 3:16:59 PM
Last night I pulled out two R. Derailleurs I have by Simplex; in spite of my liking the Derailleurs; I must confess last Winter, the upper adjustment screw snapped off. I didn't think, I was to blaim for the first one, the second one just snapped off. It was the plastic encasing that snapped. I did not discard either. Somehow, one gentleman told me, that maybe in ways, one can make it work, jury-rigged, I believe is an adequate term, using one. Something to think about.

About Simplex, without being expert in the field, Blue is the Prime make of the Prestige, Red being lower. These are both long cages. I have a sort of Silver one as well. Short Cage. The Silver and the Red are the ones that snapped. One may need those Derailleur wheels. I save the whole things still.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Simplex prestige derailleurs posted by Rob on 8/27/2003 at 1:08:29 AM
Sounds like something might be missing...I had a similar problem recently...and I found that not all Simplex Prestige derailleurs are the same...some have a tensioning spring built into to the rear pivot assembly...I opted to use that derailleur instead of the design you mentioned. But it wasn't totally compatible with the Huret wing nut axle bolts...a wing needed a bit of judicious persuasion with a neoprene hammer...

You need that chain wrap back tension...maybe you have a compatiblity issue with the dropout...I had such an issue when I tried to change derailleurs on my Gitane TdF...only non B-screw (that is, non-SunTour)were compatible with the derailleur hanger dropout.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Simplex prestige derailleurs posted by Randy on 8/28/2003 at 7:07:13 AM
Hi all thank you for the replies, well after not worrying anymore I found that the upper pivot bolt the red plastic was a cap that is pressed in the pivot hole which I tapped out from the backside revealing a allen key hole so that I could put a allen key in and tension the bolt, I paid good money for the derailleur as it was hard to find one that mounts to a old simplex dropout that is not threaded most prestige derailleurs I have seen already have that hanger to mount to less expensive frames, I am kind of let down by the plastic prestige derailleur not in the fact of the way it shifts but I still cannot beleive they made these derilleurs from delrin I think that is what they are anyway this older French stuff has become a learning expirience for me I appreaciate this forum very much as it shure brings bike people together here.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Simplex prestige derailleurs posted by JONathan on 8/29/2003 at 12:19:31 AM
Ron, those "delrin" derailers are nice. THe problem is that uv-light makes them brittle.
Also. they don't fare well in a crash. You know, I am amazed how well mine have held up. You know a spider's web is stronger than steel of the same diameter, I have read.
The "organic' stuff can be tough...just that uv-light gets em. I use a shield for uv-light. Good luck. They shift real good....JONathan

AGE / VALUE:   fuji Gran Tourer posted by: Eric on 8/25/2003 at 11:04:19 PM
I was given a fuji Gran Tourer and started riding and im hooked! I am up to around 20 miles a day. I think i would like to go touring with bags tent ect. is this bike suitable
for this kind of riding? what other older bikes would be?
Thanks!!! Eric

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   fuji Gran Tourer posted by Tom on 8/26/2003 at 1:14:01 AM
The main feature of real "touring" bike is wide range gearing. The gearing has to sufficiently low to enable you to pedal up the hills with the extra weight of all your camping gear. For most people that means a triple crankset with a granny chainring somewhere in 35T range and a large rear cog of around 32T. Of course, this all depends on the terrain you are likely to encounter. It's conceivable to loaded tour with a 42/28T low gear, if the terrain is flat.

Probably the second most notable touring bike feature is bar end shifters. With the extra weight of loaded panniers on the steering, it's handy (and safer) not to have to take your hands off the handlebars to shift gears!

The third most desirable feature is a complete set of eyelets for attaching racks and fenders, so that the you don't have to use clamps. Clamps may slip under the load of filled panniers. This sudden shift in weight may cause loss of control under certain conditions and will certain mar the paint.

Most clincher tired bicyles during the 70's boom were marketed as "touring" bikes, though they are what we would refer to-day as "sports" bikes. The gearing was good general purpose gearing, though not wide enough for loaded touring. Shifting was generally on the down tube and eyelets were sufficient for fenders only.

Of the 70's bikes, those most suited for touring were the Gitane Gran Tourismo, Gitane Alpine and the Peugeot UO-18 (with triple crankset option). All had wide range gearing and racks, but only the Alpine had bar end shifting.

Alternately, many modern mountain bikes and hybrids make excellent touring bikes, once you add bar end extensions to provide an extra hand location. Thumb shifters are very convenient with loaded panniers and they already have wide gearing and generally, eyelets. The only other consideration might be to lower rolling resistance by replacing the wide, knobby tires with narrow, high pressure, slick tires such as Specialized fat Boys.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   fuji Gran Tourer posted by JONathan on 8/26/2003 at 7:40:35 AM
Fuji is a top brand bike, despite the lower cost. They used Tange steel with triple-butted tubes. Splendid workmanship and bikes that ride real nice...I can see why you enjoy the 20 miler. I have Fuji Team road-racer which has a different geometry than what you have, I would guess. Generally, a longer wheelbase (41-43 inches) and double sets of eyes for attaching fenders and racks at both ends. I want a frame that's stiff when "empty" and flexible when loaded up. For this to be, the tubes need to be thicker, which are making it heavier, but with high quality tubing, that's not a big deal. I want heavy, HEAVY-duty alloy wheels with excellent braking. They make a big difference as you get loaded down and run some rough blacktop. Who needs snapped spokes on the road between nothing and nowhere? Next is the tires. Get yourself a good set of heavy duty touring tires. They won't disappoint. My mistake was judging handling of my tour bikes empty. When you go to a LBS and ask for a tour bike, do they set you up with a test ride on a loaded down bike? I would guess not, because "no bike", IMHO is going to ride great loaded down...it's work. What I look for is; "Can the bike take it and still handle pretty good"? As you stated, Tom, the MTB's with "fat-boys" or similar street tires can make for a good handling, load-busting ride. If you go with a standard double chainring, I think a 34 rear is what I would try for in a low. The longer caged derailers are needed. I use a Shimano "Crane", which gobbles chain. The cheap Altus 20 is tougher than it looks, if you want to spend money on the wheels. I would get the panniers and racks, since you need those regardless. Set up the ol Fuj and load it up...see how she runs. I would say they built the bike to do what the name states, cause they did things right, IMHO, of course.
FWIW, I am focused on the trailer approach to touring. We can haul everything on the trailer; no more rafts roped to the rack for me. Cheers, JONathan

   Touring posted by Steven on 8/26/2003 at 3:29:26 PM
I have circumnavigated the US (8500 miles), toured extensively in Europe and ridden numerous centuries and double centuries. The first thing you need to do in preparation for touring is to know yourself and how to handle a bike. Second, you must learn to limit your gear to the absolute minimum. It has been my experience that not knowing your limits and the common error of bringing far too much gear with you will do more to kill your enthusiasm than any equipment choice.

Back in the 80's, I completed a 3-week 2500 mile tour from Amsterdam to Yugoslavia and back on a 40 inch wheelbase bike with a low gear of 42/23. The fully loaded bike weighed in at under 45 pounds, with nothing more than low-rider front panniers, a handlebar bag and a saddle pack. I carried a waterproof goretex bivouac sac and lightweight sleeping bag for outdoor overnights (I only used them three times.) The rest of the time, I was always able to make it into a youth hostel. A credit card can also usually save you in the worst cases. Before worrying about gear lever placement and gear choices, you should learn to set up the bike properly with a low center of gravity. You should also never consider touring without mudguards

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   fuji Gran Tourer posted by Ken on 8/26/2003 at 6:23:29 PM
Sheldon Brown goes into the halcyon days of Japanese tourers at http://www.sheldonbrown.com/japan.html
Besides wheelbase, eyelets, etc., one quick indicator of your bike's qualification for loaded touring, based on his insight, might be a 40-spoke rear wheel...

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   fuji Gran Tourer posted by Titlist on 8/26/2003 at 11:49:26 PM
Fuji Light, I think, is a mid 80s, steel they had, thought it was pretty good ; probably at the height of the Japanese Bike Boom, Road Bikes. Maybe someone remembers that sticker

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   fuji Gran Tourer posted by Keith on 8/27/2003 at 2:11:04 PM
Lots of companies made loaded-touring specific bikes back in the mid-80s. A notable example of a nice, vintage lugged steel touring bike is the Trek 720, as well as the 620 and 520 models. Trek still makes the 520, but it's no longer lugged. Three features these bikes tend to have in common are: (1) triple chainrings for low climbing gear (Steven, despite his experience, is the exception and not the rule on choice of gearing); (2) cantilever brakes, which allow clearance for mudguards and better stopping power for a loaded bike; and (3) longer chainstays for better heel clearance with rear panniers, as well as lending to a more stable, longer wheelbase geometry. I've only done a little loaded touring, and would only echo the suggestion that less is more and lower is better -- keep your gear to an absolute minimum, and keep you center of gravity low. A good resource for bicycle touring in the U.S. is adventurecycling.com.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   fuji Gran Tourer posted by JONathan on 8/27/2003 at 3:52:13 PM
Good advice. The "knowing yourself" part is broadly applicable to a lot of things. Setting up and trying different combinations with specific "mock ups" of the real thing is almost as much fun as the actual ride. I keep thinking there's a better way, so the constant change-outs and testing continue. Then it gets to be crunch time, so I go with a gut instinct in picking the setup. Eventually, you'll discover what works for you, depending on all discernable specifics. The Sierra Nevada mountains offer little comfort for a standard double chainring, IMHO; whereas along the coast or in the Great Valley, the tight gearing works adequately enough, for a well conditioned rider. Zero hesitation for me to change-out the drivetrain for specific conditions. On unimproved roads into those great fishing areas, I have to go with MTB's. I made it into Mardis Creek (near Truckee, Ca.) on a Centurion 12-speed, but it wasn't fun because I kept trying to avoid breaking something. However, it was a spontaneous effort where I had the opportunity and only a road-bike at my immediate disposal. Think of it as fishing. You notice the guys who have all kinds of gear hanging off themselves. Then you see a guy with cut-offs and a old fiberglass rod with a Mitchell 300 looking in the shallows for "natural" bait. Who has the most fun and catches the trout? Weak point. Cheers...JONathan

AGE / VALUE:   Kent posted by: Gralyn on 8/25/2003 at 12:01:39 PM
I have seen these at thrift stores - but I have never heard of them otherwise. Yesterday, there was one....21" frame, 10-speed, for $2.99. It had newer (I'm guessing from within the past 10 years - toe clips and straps). The toe clips looked hardly used at all....so, I'm thinking....I could use those....and for $2.99....I can't go wrong. But then, what about the rest of the bike?
My guess is that Kent is a department store brand or something....maybe a brand sold in department stores years back. It has 26 X 1 3/8 rims. No head badge....just decals. No-name steel bars, No-name brakes, No-name stamped chainring. Steel cottered cranks, straight steel frame. No-name shifters, etc.

Anyone ever heard of Kent bicycles?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Kent posted by Tom on 8/25/2003 at 1:26:38 PM
Taiwanese make from the late 70's / early 80's, if I recall correctly.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Kent posted by Dave on 8/25/2003 at 1:52:33 PM
Avaialable at K-Mart & Venture stores in the late '80's/early 90's these were quite possibly more inexpensively made than Huffys & Murreys. A woman in our bike club once had one and tried to do a 65 mile ride on it but she had a very hard time. After that she only did 15 to 20 mile rides @10mph. We all told her almost any other non-department store bike would allow her to ride faster but I suspect she did not have much money to buy one.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Kent posted by Gralyn on 8/25/2003 at 3:18:49 PM
Judging from the look of the componentry.....for example, a hex bolt holding the stem - rather than an allen bolt.....and the rusty steel bars, and 26" X 1 3/8 wheels.....my guess would be department store brand from the early 70's. I doubt you could have found 26" wheels in the 80's.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Kent posted by Mark C. on 8/25/2003 at 4:38:00 PM
I had recently saw one at my favorite Goodwill outlet and did some quick research. I found a bicycle company located in the New England area and they have been producing (importing) mass market bikes for awhile. I even recall seeing some new ones at a dept. store recently but I can't remember where. I didn't see anything to impress me about the bike but parts are parts!

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Kent posted by Chris on 8/25/2003 at 7:59:27 PM
They are junk.
Pass over it. Go on to something else. Is not worth the oil you would put on it.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Kent posted by Gralyn on 8/25/2003 at 8:23:56 PM
Hey, I could take the toe clips off - then re-donate the bike....then maybe they can sell it again.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Kent posted by Billy on 8/25/2003 at 11:37:04 PM
Rotten Bike, But Great Cigarette

   RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Kent posted by John B on 8/26/2003 at 1:11:26 AM
Got a Free Spirit at a yard sale.....has cheap Falcon derailleurs,,,but the lugged frame is reminiscent of my fast French bike of the same vintage, so for the price, it rolls ok...Sears knock off (try cigars though...Kents kill)

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Kent posted by Titlist on 8/26/2003 at 4:26:39 AM
well, maybe I had seen one of these before, but cause of the discussion about it, one jumped out at me, at a haunt, woman's bike, how about that "Made In Thailand" on the head tube. Pink woman's bike. It might be available, , should anyone have a big deal about that, maybe contact me. The only thing, I could think of, is if someone had some sort of a collection of bicycles from all kinds of different countries.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Kent posted by Ralph on 8/26/2003 at 2:45:21 PM
Let me say I'm not a bike snob, and I always looked down on those mechanics I knew that were. I always thought that if the customer was bringing me business, I should shut my mouth about what he was riding and be glad that he was riding at all. Money is money. After all, Huffys and Murrays bring more business to the shop than raleigh Professionals or any other high end bike that had an owner who knew how to do his own work. That being said, I hate Kents with a passion. They're the worst kind of trash any bike manufacturer ever inflicted on the buying public. Nothing fits, nothing lasts, as soon as you get on one it lets you know you should ride it directly to the land fill. I never drive to work or any place unless I have to. If it came to a choice of riding a Kent for a week or drive for 6 month straight, pont me in the direction of the nearest gas station. I'd even smile while wasting $1.80 per gallon of my hard earned money before I'd ride one of those rolling piles of rusting scrap metal.

AGE / VALUE:   Sears Free Spirit posted by: Ron on 8/25/2003 at 2:43:15 AM
My mom has in her garage, a Sears Free Spirit "Brittany" ten-speed. It looks like it has never been ridden It has upright handlebars, stem shifters, fenders, 2 piece cottered crank, 26x1 3/8 steel wheels. The frame looks like the Austro-Damler AMF 3-speed that I have. The chainwheel and the pants protector are stamped from one piece of steel. Any idea when this bike may have been made? Is the bike worth keeping? I'm looking for something besides my vintage mountain bike to pull my son's Trail-a-bike.

     Sears Free Spirit posted by John E on 8/25/2003 at 2:07:23 PM
I suspect it was made in the early 1970s, before Sears changed over to Huffy/Murray boat anchors (been there; done that; worst bike I ever owned). If it fits you properly, it should be suitable for your intended mission, although you may wish to replace the handlebars and stem shifters. A good used cotterless crankset and BB spindle, if procured inexpensively, would be a reasonable upgrade. You almost definitely want new brake pads, as well.

   RE:  Sears Free Spirit posted by Titlist on 8/25/2003 at 3:06:37 PM
did not know, the bit of history of Sears switching to Huffy Murray; with some of the more vintage Free Spirits I have seen, consider it a Keeper; if your only bike is your vintage mountain bike and you are not interested in purchasing others.

I had one, gave to a charitable outfit I did volunteer work for, not to sell, for the home, where out of town visitors stayed, just for transportation or entertainment, if needed.

Racing Styled Seat was like a rock, that went. But the short chrome fenders, etc. made for a fairly good ride.

Sounds like it may be a women's bike, with the rise bars. IF in near mint condition, this could be some fun for you, for the purposes you mention, of hauling a child around.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Sears Free Spirit posted by David on 8/25/2003 at 3:10:17 PM
I got a rusty one out of the trash recently. I concur with John's comments. The upright bars and stem shifters seem ok, though, unless you've gotta have different bars.

   RE:RE:  Sears Free Spirit posted by Titlist on 8/25/2003 at 4:09:49 PM
Austrian made, this Sears bike, with Campy components, remember the days. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3623526989&indexURL=4#ebayphotohosting

   Austrian Sears posted by John E on 8/25/2003 at 5:33:22 PM
Thanks for the link. I strongly suspect this one is an early 1960s Steyr-Daimler-Puch offering. (The paint hue is almost a Puch Bergmeister orange, although this one looks flatter, not having been painted over a chrome base.) Note the use of chromed stays/lugs with cheesy looking attachment of the rear dropouts and bolt-on claw-type derailleur hanger. I have seen this with Bianchis and other bikes of this period -- bizarre blends of high-end and low-end features. (My 1959 Capo has 531 tubing and ornate lugs and dropouts with integral derailleur hanger, but the dropouts are stamped, and the head tube is seamed.) Also note the older-style Weinmann cable clamp in the front and the newer one in back. According to Berto, the Record derailleurs were introduced in 1963, so I am guessing 1963-65 for this specimen.

I don't know where Kalvin finds all this stuff to sell on eBay; he recently sold a rough, but all-original, 1960 Capo frameset to one of my friends.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Sears Free Spirit posted by Tom on 8/25/2003 at 6:02:45 PM
With the exception of the chrome, the frame is reminiscent of a department store bike. As John points out, the dropout attachment is poor, with the stay ends simply crimped and brazed onto the dropout. Even worse is the attachment of the seat stays to the seat lug. Again, the tube is simply crimped to give the appearance of fluted eye/cap. If you look closely at the top of the stay, you can see the unfinished end of the tube.

It was fairly common to see Italin bikes from the 60's and 70's with alaborate chroming, paint jobs and pin striping on even the lowest models. The reasoning was that many people (particularly during the boom) were uneducated on lighweights and bought the bikes primarily on cosmetics. Throw in a name brand derailleur like Camapgnolo and you've practically guaranteed a sale. The first time buyer doesn't know the characteristics of a well made frame and won't appreciate that there is a world of difference between a Campagnol Valentino and a Camapgnolo Record derailleur. However this example seems to have sunk to an even lower level. It's hard to believe that anyone would put Record derailleurs on that frame. Ugh!!!

    Sears Free Spirit posted by John E on 8/25/2003 at 7:26:01 PM
Thanks for posting, Tom. I was so distracted by the crummy rear dropout area that I missed the equally poor seat lug cluster! (Does anyone else see what appears to be a crack in the right dropout?) Kalvin hints that the frame MIGHT be Reynolds 531, but I doubt that any builder would treat 531 stays that way, and there is no conclusive evidence of a straight or butted 531 main triangle.

This bike could be a 1963 model; the Record had just come out to displace the Gran Sport, and the Valentino, named after Tullio's son (I wouldn't do that to one of my kids!), was not introduced until 1964.

I would not offer the $200 opening ante for this one, and no one else has either, to date.

   RE: Sears 10 speed 1964 posted by JONathan on 8/25/2003 at 9:01:35 PM
I remember crashing mine a couple times. They didn't handle all that well on steep downhills. The brakes were good, but the forks were kind of squirrelly after the brakes are put on hard. The old Sears 3-speed Austrians were a better built bike, having been the proud owner of two, you can't beat those.
The 10 speed was a novel source of riding for me ("Mr. 3-speed" in HS) while I appreciated it going uphills, I was never sure of what to expect coming downhill! Mine was a lighter orange color, but rigged the same. I wouldn't fork out more than $50 for that one. Steyr-Daimler-Puch could make 3-speeds, but if that was representative of thier 10-speeds, I would stick to building 3-speeds.
Pops came through with the 10-speed, but now, I wished he'd saved his bucks and let me keep pushing the 3-speed for four more years. I must admit, I was enthralled with a 10-speed bike, when the presence of them unusual here in N. Ca....JONathan
Note: Thanks for that listing, it was a bit of nostalgia. I almost wish, after seeing the pics, that I had kept my memories...as I recalled that the bike I had was a big deal for me. Now, I see that the quality was lacking. I thnk mine was gas-pipe steel, but still lighter than a Varsity.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Sears Free Spirit posted by Tom on 8/25/2003 at 9:24:45 PM
John E., I believe you are correct. There appears to be a crack just in front of the derailleur hanger.

The more I look at the photos, the more amazed I am. Personally, I think someone upgraded the derailleurs and added quick release to a low end bike. The front skewer sticks too far beyond the adjuster, leading me to believe that the hubs originally had wing or hex nuts. The Schraeder valved, clincher tires are also consistent with a low end model. The Weinmann brakes were available on some fairly inexpensive bikes, so it is possible they are original, though there is the inconsistant QR that john points out.

Why someone would upgrade components on this frame is beyond me.I could look longer and find even more evidence, but my stomach is starting to churn. Excuse me while I head to the bathroom....

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Sears Free Spirit posted by Ron on 8/26/2003 at 2:07:02 AM
It is a men's frame, and it already has a matress saddle. It also has full fenders. My other bikes are a '84 Miyata 310, and a '86 Schwinn Sierra, plus the '72 AMF three speed. The color is royal blue, with hardly a scratch on it. I'll have to see how it rides, compared to the mountain bike. The Miyata is too stiff for riding slow with the kids. I need comfort. If I could find another Traveller, like my wife has, I'd go with that. Where I live in Ohio, Huffys and Murrays are the rule, and the rich kids have Schwinns. True lightweights are rare as hen's teeth.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Sears Free Spirit posted by JONathan on 8/26/2003 at 4:17:20 AM
Ron, my pop has a "Free Spirit", twin-downtubes, Austrian. While he could still ride bikes, he used it every morning to exercise a 70# Norwegian Elkhound on a 10 ft. lead. He never dumped it, even though the dog would rip after anything that moved along the path. He originally bought the bike for my mom, whose terrified of bikes; so when he realized that it was just going to sit on the patio, he started riding it. He gave his own 3-speed away and kept using that Free-Spirit for 10 years. I tuned it up just so he can look at it...I even rode it around the block, handles real smooth, just like the two I had in HS. They were Austrian standard frame Sears mounts. One reason he liked the ladys' frame was that he could dismount across the bars if he had to...a feature not lost on a guy tethered to a large, four-legged, impulse driven mammal while riding! The ride is a bit spongey, compared to the regular frame, but that may be what you need. They are great bikes, just in case you want some feedback from a past rider....Enjoy...I hope the trail-a-bike is not a Kent!...JONathan

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Sears Free Spirit posted by Ron on 8/26/2003 at 9:38:02 AM
If it rides like the AMF 3spd, that would be good. I like the ride, but I need more gears, especially low, to haul the trail-a-bike uphill. The 3spd only has a 45 inch low gear.
I did some research on the Trail-a-bike, first, so we bought the Adams folder. It's kind of heavy, but solidly built.
Our dog is also 70lbs. When I take him on the bike, I keep the lead short so if he tries to cross in front, he gets a tire in the ribs. It only takes a few seconds riding for him to get the idea. He loves to run, so I get a free ride till he gets tired.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Sears Free Spirit posted by Dave on 8/26/2003 at 2:43:04 PM
In the early '80's I bought a lemon yellow Free Spirit used, (I'm fairly sure a Huffy/Murray) and although fairly heavy and spongy was a good commuter bike. It had 26x1 3/8" wheels and I traversed to schools and downtown for over a year on it. Then I ended up getting a Raleigh road bike that was too big for me and was stolen after 3/4 months. Should have kept the Free Spirit!

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Sears Free Spirit posted by Ralph on 8/26/2003 at 2:59:00 PM
Last summer I hauled a Greenbriar Free Spirit off a treelawn. The plan was to make it my winter commute bike and toss it in the spring. I changed the bars to mountain and replaced the fenders with black plastic. Naturally, I put one of my favorite Brooks seats on it. Got rid of the 1st generation Positron shifters in favor of old friction derailleurs. I have to say the thing's a blast to ride. It not only lasted the winter with flying colors, It's now my most frequent summer ride. Kind of humiliating, what with my stable full of 22 Raleighs & Treks, but what the heck.

      Sears Free Spirit posted by John E on 8/26/2003 at 3:11:28 PM
My bike boom era lemon yellow Huffy/Murray era Free Spirit, a $15 yard sale treasure, is one of only two bikes I have lost to theft. (The other was a low-end SR 10-speed, nothing great, but considerably nicer than the Free Spirit.)

Yard sale pricing is always amusing. Several years later, for only $5 more than the price of the Free Spirit, I picked up my 1959 Capo.

   RE:   Sears Free Spirit posted by freespirit on 8/26/2003 at 11:54:50 PM
At one of the web-sites (I think Mark Bulger) that has catalog scans there are Huffy or Murray bikes that were imported Carltons. Has anyone every seen one of these bikes. Also has anyone seen a Sears catalog with pictures of the imported Puch-AD bikes from Austria. Did any other department stores import any other bikes. I've seen some JC Penneys and Montgomery Wards bikes that are usually low end bikes.

   RE:RE:   Sears Free Spirit posted by JONathan on 8/27/2003 at 4:25:04 AM
The Sears main catalog had a section for bicycles. My pops would order catalog stuff wgen a big retail store was 5 miles from us, so he could save a few bucks, The bikes we got needed assembly, which turned out fine, I learned a lot about bikes putting them together and they were better than the store bikes that were assembled by employees. I mean, they didn't have to ride them, so what's the fuss? The parts fit well and the threaded components fastened really well. Wards had the "Open Road" bikes that were impossible to get running properly and they went out of adjustment faster than you could adjust them, it seemed. JC Penny bikes were lesser grade than the Sears Austrians. I listened to pops, he had a paper route all through a hilly part of San Francisco as a kid. He knew bikes! He'd say; "Get the Sears, but it's your call, you got 60 bucks to make it go". Later, I could have gotten a "Varsity", but I picked out another Sears Austrian 3-speed (JC Higgins) because I could fly past the varsities! Funny thing, I was burly enough to handle a varsity, but a lot of guys really were maxed out horsing them around and they would have been better off with a Sears 3-speed. I just wanted the best bike for the bucks and it was the Sears. Sometime later, the bikes got crummy. Too bad the market geniuses got involved. The brief time I had a trail-a-bike (Kent), I can say that the idea of going up or especially down hills with one is a terrifying thought. The Kent had a funny list while on level terrain....JONathan

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   '84 Bianchi for sale today at show posted by: Ray A. on 8/25/2003 at 12:10:49 AM
Today at the swap meet/show there was a guy with a beautiful '84 Bianchi for sale. Did anyone buy it, or is it still for sale?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   '84 Bianchi for sale today at show posted by Gralyn on 8/25/2003 at 12:01:21 PM
I have an '84 Bianchi. What model was this one for sale? I like mine and like riding it too much to sell it.

   VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   '84 Bianchi posted by John E on 8/25/2003 at 2:09:08 PM
My 1981 Bianchi Campione d'Italia is definitely not for sale! :)

MISC:   Disk brake 10spd posted by: DannyJoe on 8/24/2003 at 9:49:22 PM
Me and a buddy picked up several old drop-bar 10spd's today from someone wanting to get rid of his collection for free. There were mostly 10 spd's from the '70's/early '80's alot of Murray's, Huffy's, Free Spirit's and Columbia a Kent, Kia. What caught my eye on a Westpoint Century 10spd was it's rear disk brake, this is the first time I've ever seen a disk brake on a 10spd bicycle of this time period other than a Krate Musclebike. I know the bike's we picked up are low-end model's but the disk brake made this one unique.

   RE:MISC:   Disk brake 10spd posted by Tom on 8/24/2003 at 10:48:37 PM
Shimano brought out their first disc brake about 1974-1975. Bridgestone manufactured bicycles (Kabuki, Itoh, etc.)usually had one model in the line with the disc brake. This is not to imply that the Westpoint was manufactured by Bridgestone, though it is a possibility.

   RE:RE:MISC:   Disk brake 10spd posted by DannyJoe on 8/25/2003 at 1:35:28 AM
This Westpoint was built to be sold in True-Value hardware stores(TrueValue headbadge built by Westpoint}, it's a lugless frame with low-end componet's. It's a little rough but the disk make's it seem worthy enough to refurbish into a commuter with a conversation starter, maybe I'll chrome the caliper!

   RE:MISC:   Disk brake 10spd posted by gary m on 8/25/2003 at 4:27:35 AM
take 2 of those disk brake hubs, lace one onto a mt bike wheel and spin on a 7 sp freewheel. then lace one onto a similar rim dead center. spin it and file off the threads for the freewheel. mount it on the front end. people will pay tons for them.

   RE:RE:MISC:   Disk brake 10spd posted by Chris on 8/25/2003 at 8:02:57 PM
Gary you are one smart cookie! Thanks for the tip. As I sit and type, here my mind is scanning trying to remember where I put this stuff.
I have the Bridgestone brake unit, new.

   RE:RE:RE:MISC:   Disk brake 10spd posted by DannyJoe on 8/26/2003 at 1:21:34 AM
Very interesting!.. I was thinking about doing the hub switch today at work only with another roadbike or custom cruiser. A frame bracket for the caliper would have to be welded to the rear stay I believe.

   RE:MISC:   Disk brake 10spd posted by Jimbo Jones on 8/26/2003 at 8:28:22 AM
I doono Guys. I tryed to do the same and the freewheel was locktited on or something. ( each cog ratched on its own ) couldn't get it off even after dissasembly with huge and frightening ammouts of force. The disc on the otherhand is permenent as well. The hub was too wide for a front fork and god knows what else. Oh yeah. The whole assembly is so wide requireing the dropouts to be made miles apart effectively making it useless for any other bike. Basically you would have to build a bike around it. Let us know if you have better luck than me.

AGE / VALUE:   Clara Road Bike posted by: Jason Lindsay on 8/24/2003 at 6:08:49 AM
I found an old road bike today at a thrift store for twenty dollars it was the right size so I bought it the bike is called a Clara it’s white with chrome chain stays and and chrome on the fork blades and says made in Italy it has campagnolo shifter and derailluers the rear is a Valentino Extra, the hubs are Gnutti with quick releases, brakes and levers are Baillila, headset is ofmega and the stem a 3t that’s marked (ttt) I couldn’t find a serial number any idea how old it might be I figure it’s from the 70’s
Thanks in advance, Jason

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Clara Road Bike posted by John E on 8/24/2003 at 7:47:38 PM
Chrome stays often denote a frame of decent quality, but not always. What do the lugs look like? Are there any tubing pedigree stickers, such as Columbus or TreTubi? In the 1960s and 1970s, Valentino was Campag.'s bottom-end derailleur, but the Ofmega headset and TTT stem are consistent with an upper-midlevel bike. What cranks does it have, Ofmega? The Ballila brakes and Gnutti hubs are also reasonably decent, a step below Campag. Clara is a new one on me!

     Clara Road Bike posted by John E on 8/24/2003 at 7:53:25 PM
I almost forgot a key question -- what kind of dropouts does it have?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Clara Road Bike posted by Jason on 8/25/2003 at 12:47:14 AM
Thanks for the input the frame doesn't have any stickers for the tubing the drop outs our stamped, I can't find any markings on the cranks their held in place by cotter pins. I figure for twenty buck and a little time and labor I've got new toy
Thanks Jason

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Location of Serial #? posted by: Tom on 8/23/2003 at 7:04:02 PM
Where can I find the Serial # for my Raleigh Professional at?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Location of Serial #? posted by Mike on 8/24/2003 at 3:01:47 AM

I think it should be on the bottom of the bottom bracket shell/lug.

WANTED:   Gitane Fork needed posted by: Art on 8/23/2003 at 6:11:36 AM
I have a gold Gitane Mixte frame that is in need of a fork.In inches, it needs to have a 7 1/2 in steerer tube with at least 2 inches of thread....a compatable French chromed fork will also work. Wheel size is 27 in. I have cups, bearings, but I need an adjuster nut and locknut and spacer if you have them. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Just a note....last week a gasoline pipeline broke between Tucson and Phoenix. Although only 30% of the gas coming into Phoenix was shut off, on Tuesday, 70% of the city's gas stations were out of gas. Panic buying, mile long lines waiting for gas, some stations selling gas for $4 a gal, made travelling by car a mess for a lot of people. As I was pedalling to and from work, I was immune to the craziness that this "crisis" caused. Phoenix is not bicycle unfriendly per se, but it is most definitly an automobile city. Local media didn't help by running scenes from Mad Max driving the gas tanker while being attacked by crazies. (People actually would follow tankers off the freeway to stations and wait in line for the truck to unload its gas.) Riding home with temps above 110 was a challenge as a usually wait for the summer heat to break before I commute, but I got off not having to drive and deal with the gas issue. A city dealing with gas shortages is a weird scene. By Friday, things were much better but the papers warn of further shortages, although it appears that people can only top of their tanks so often (Reportedly, some guy spent $75 for 19 gal of gas)and everyone I know currently has gas. No what happens next, it's nice to know that as long as I can ride a bicycle, I'm above the fray. Art

      Gitane Fork needed posted by John E on 8/23/2003 at 6:16:58 PM
It's good to hear from you, Art. Your stories of cycling past gas lines reminded me of my carfree days during the 1973 gas "crisis." I actually did own a car in time for the 1979 gas shortage, but I was glad not to be too heavily dependent on it.

As for the fork, check Sheldon Brown's advice regarding converting French bikes to ISO-threaded forks.


   RE:   Gitane Fork needed posted by Dave on 8/25/2003 at 7:16:13 PM
Art , I just returned from France where gasoline is between $3 to $4 per gallon already. The cars are much smaller and every road has a parallel bike path either on sidewalk or street. Except for the truck drivers and numerous "roundabout" intersections it is one the best places to bicycle in the world,(plus no need to worry about French Threads). I also read that in NYC after 9/11 bicycle sales doubled in the vicinity of Manhatten because of the auto traffic being at a standstill. Cycling is definitely one the best forms of alternate transportation!

AGE / VALUE:   POWDER COATING VS PAINTING A FRAME posted by: Kevin K on 8/23/2003 at 12:13:01 AM
Hi all. I'm not sure if this has been discussed in the past but I'll ask anyway. Having been a painter I know of the effort and expense of having anything professionally painted. Cars. Bikes. Whatever. So what about powder coating? Have any of you done this on a frame? The frame is already stripped so an easy repaint isn't possible. Any thoughts/ideas on this. Also cost? Thanks, Kevin

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   POWDER COATING VS PAINTING A FRAME posted by Warren on 8/23/2003 at 2:41:50 AM
Powder coating is a very good durable finish that is bombproof. Great for motorcycle frames. It will even look great on your bikes if a plain gloss black/red/grey/green is your thing. Like an electrical breakerbox in your basement. It's an industrial coating for industrial purposes.

It's not elegant...period. You can't select from a variety of finishes, shades, nuances etc. A pro paint job, decals, pinstripes and clearcoats is very superior to powdercoats...and you will pay for it.

Last thing...you say your frame is already stripped. This is exactly what you want if you are to repaint. Sand every centimeter. A good automotive urethane based primer and quality two-part paint applied with a compressor and paint gun. It's not so easy to manage but that's what you'd like to do. See if you can get access to a spray booth and go at it.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   POWDER COATING VS PAINTING A FRAME posted by Corey on 8/23/2003 at 5:21:21 AM
Hey Kevin,

Powdercoating works well enough that Santa Cruz Bicycles
uses it, it looks as though exclusively, to paint their new
bikes. Going by my Colorado Cyclist catalog, they have ten
stock colors to choose from, from Scuba Yellow to Root Beer
to a "Trans Gold". And they have a "SantaCruz"
logo/transfer applied to the frame, and I haven't read in
the reviews of the bikes that the transfers are fragile. I
know that Yeti Bicycles used to use powdercoating in their
Colorado facility and I imagine they still do. I think with
modern formulations that it'll look quite good for not much


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   POWDER COATING VS PAINTING A FRAME posted by Ian on 8/23/2003 at 9:19:00 AM
Hi, it is not correct to say that powdercoating is limited to basic colours. I used to build go-kart frames and have them powdercoated in all sorts of shades including iridescents and also two-tones with one colour fading in to the other, you just need to find a good operator with experience and the full range of colours. HOWEVER not all colours are U V resistant if they are made for indoor use. In these cases the company that did them for me would put a clear coat over the top. In my opinion it is a great coating if you want hard wearing but because it is usually thicker than paint and fills in small crevices etc it does look different from original if you are trying to restore a frame to look as it used to. Your call! Cheers, Ian.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   POWDER COATING VS PAINTING A FRAME posted by Kevin K on 8/23/2003 at 2:06:35 PM
Hi all. Ian, that's what concerned me was the detail of the lugs would be lost. A bike such as a Super Sport/Sports Tourer might look cool done in this manner, but doubt I would be pleased with the look of the powder coating on this KHS frame. Thanks for the advice guys, Kevin

    POWDER COATING VS PAINTING A FRAME posted by John E on 8/23/2003 at 6:21:54 PM
I am glad Jim Cunningham talked me out of powder coating my 1959 Capo, because the intricate lugwork would have been somewhat obscured. (I posted two pictures, featuring the head tube and the seat cluster, on bikeforums.net.) I agree that an electroforged or fillet-brazed Schwinn would be a good candidate, however.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   POWDER COATING VS PAINTING A FRAME posted by sam on 8/23/2003 at 7:32:48 PM
Corey,check out the Eastwoods catalog for a larger selection of colors.

   RE:AGE / VALUE: POWDER COATING VS PAINTING A FRAME posted by Warren on 8/23/2003 at 10:35:01 PM
Whoops...sorry Kevin...I missed the part about your being a painter. Anyway, I'm glad to hear that there are different colour selections out there but I've gone down both roads. The powdercoated Raleigh roadster only cost $150 for frame/fork/2 fenders and chainguard and it was perfect for the job. The pro paint restoration cost 3 times that but the bike deserved it. That's the decision. No use trying to "polish a turd", if you'll excuse the vulgarity.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: POWDER COATING VS PAINTING A FRAME posted by Wings on 8/24/2003 at 7:14:37 AM
I have a powder coated black recumbent and it looks great!
Imron is an excellent two part paint and comes in as many colors as you want! Dries super fast. I have painted a couple of frames with Imron and it looked great. No need for a Clear Coat with Imron. Shoot several coats minutes apart and it is dry and hardens to the point where it can be put together in about 48 hours (summer). It is expensive as one must purchase the paint and the catalyst in the color you want and then you will have enough material to do a hundred bikes! :)

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: POWDER COATING VS PAINTING A FRAME posted by Titlist on 8/25/2003 at 3:38:01 AM
since this thread is here, interesting, restoration by CyclArt, who I first heard about at the Cycles De Oro web page; http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3623261036&category=7298

Good piece of restoration. Ever so often, I see some one mention their Capo.

Is there a photo of this somewhere? Or you could email it to me. Was it repainted? Just trying to follow the flow of conversation.

Humbly, Thanks!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   POWDER COATING VS PAINTING A FRAME posted by Bryant on 8/25/2003 at 11:16:37 AM
Hi Kevin,
I built up a bike for my wife and started with a bare frame. There aren't any bike frame painters near me so I was going to try a car body shop. My neighbor told me about a powder coater nearby in Baltimore. We brought the frame over and chose from hundreds of different colors and styles. We chose a candy-apple red hi gloss, the owner says it was the favorite for motorcyclists and Corvette owners. Since this was a side job for him, it cost me $125 cash. Got it back in a week and it looks great. Best thing is it is guaranteed to have 95% of the color and gloss in 20 years of regular use. We were very happy at how it turned out.

MISC:   Truing posted by: Dusty on 8/22/2003 at 7:59:39 PM
There must be a simpler way of truing, a small lateral wobble, than taking it to the store, if one has a number of bikes. I am always afraid, to make it a lot worst, than it already is. One bike manual urged one to use an experimental wheel to practice up on. That must be about the best solution.

   RE:MISC:   Truing posted by Tim W on 8/22/2003 at 9:20:26 PM
Yes, play with some old wheel that you don't otherwise want. After doing a hatchet job on a number of wheels, and taking incredibly long amounts of time for so-so results, I am now at the point where I can do a pretty reasonable truing job on the quick. Last weekend my buddy's rear wheel was wobbly and bugging him, so we pulled over to a park bench, and I trued it on the overturned bike. The result was fine, no need to take it to the bike shop at all.

   RE:MISC:   Truing posted by Lenny on 8/22/2003 at 10:22:01 PM
Hi Dusty,

Truing wheels takes practice, but it is time well-spent if you like old lightweights (you will have many chances to get better at it as most old bikes you find will need their wheels trued). Make sure you get a good spoke wrench and apply penetrating oil (e.g. "liquid wrench") to each spoke nipple (both sides is best) before you begin.

Get wobbles out gradually, by only tightening/loosening spokes 1/4 turn (at most 1/2 turn)at a time. If you tighten spokes on one side, loosen the opposing spokes by the same amount (otherwise you can get the wheel badly out of round). Take your time...it's much easier to gradually get the wobbles out than to try to undo overcorrection.

There are a lot of fine points to truing (correcting for high/low spots is more difficult), but don't let that discourage you. With a little practice you will be able to really improve a wheel, even if it is not "perfect"...you just have to decide for yourself the point at which you say "good enough for now".

    Truing posted by John E on 8/22/2003 at 11:18:57 PM
1) Use common sense. What what is happening and think about what your are doing.
2) Make sure your spoke wrench fits tightly over the flats of the nipples. The most common frustration for novice truers is torn-up nipples.
3) Yes, start with balanced quarter-turn adjustments to get a feel for how this works.
4) Be patient. Since it is YOUR wheel, you can afford to take the time to get it right, without watching the clock or your payroll budget while doing so.
5) The disadvantage of practicing on a beat-up old wheel is that its rim may be beyond reasonable salvage or may present a far greater challenge than a relative new wheel in decent shape.
6) Read about wheel truing, starting perhaps at sheldonbrown.com and following links from there. There is a fair amount of wheel truing information, mostly pretty reliable, on the Internet.
7) If you have a portable, lightweight, flimsy truing stand such as mine, clamp or bolt it to a firm workbench. For general wheel tunups, you may prefer to leave the wheel on the bike and use the brake shoes as your guides.
8) I often find it easiest to true wheels by "braille," feeling the high spots as I rotate the rim slowly. With my truing stand, I listen for the scrape of its guides (a bit like fingernails on a chalkboard, unfortunately).
9) If there is any radial variation, remove the tyre. If you are doing major lateral tuning, remove the tyre. This will let you really see what you are doing.
10) Enjoy. Truing a beat-up rim can be frustrating, as can learning this art the first few times, but tuning up a good one can be a very satisfying experience.

   RE:MISC:   Truing posted by Rob on 8/23/2003 at 12:02:57 AM
I agree with all of the preceding...it's all very well said...I would add the following:

1. If you have a rather beatup wheel...expect it to be furstrating...live with the minor wobbles, because they liekly won't come out without causing other problems.

2. Watch the overtensioning...tiny gradual inputs are the way to go...I've broken too many spokes...and usually just at the point you think you're almost finished...

3. Rusty galvanized spokes are likely going to twist and break or the nipples will round off. Don't expect too much in this case...

4. Unless you have good components...good rim and good stainless steel spokes...it might be better to settle for tweaking the wheel a bit, rather than striving for perfection. There are pretty good reasons most shops don't want to bother with used rims and spokes...and it's not really to try to boost sales.

My 2 cents worth...others can probably give you a few more tips...

   RE:RE:MISC:   Truing posted by Wings on 8/23/2003 at 2:39:35 AM
I don't think I would just "practice" on a wheel. I think I would do the best I could on the wheel I have! The worst situation could mean a trip to the bike shop with the wheel.

This process gets easier the more you do it. It is just plain common sense!!! The key is to have a truing stand or a fork that would act as a truing stand.

Check for loose spokes on the wheel.
Check to see if the wheel is centered.

If the wheel is not centered and spokes are genrerally loose tighten the spokes on one side a quarter to one-half turn. Check the wheel and you will see movement. Repeat? Now you may have to unscrew the nipple a quarter turn on one side and tighten a quarter turn on the other side! One has to make decisions considering: Getting the rim in the center and the tightness or looseness of the spokes.

Not only is it a left right movement but an up and down movement. If the spokes are tighter on half the circumference than the other half the wheel will bob up and down.

Get a good spoke wrench!!! Don't force spokes -- put some lubricant on them if they are frozen.

I consider it fun and I do it every week. However there is the occasional rim that is just not worth the effort. One finds that rim when great effort is used and it still will not true!

Good luck

   RE:RE:RE:MISC:   Truing posted by Wings on 8/23/2003 at 2:43:34 AM
I always remove the tire!
It feels better without the tire!!
I want to see if any spokes are protruding into the tube area!!!

   RE:RE:RE:RE:MISC:   Truing posted by JONathan on 8/23/2003 at 8:56:33 PM
I never understood just how I get loose spokes along a section of wheel.
The telltale sound is like a "clicky" noise which is like a cricket sound, only lower amplitude and frequency, but with similar duration. Lately, my MTB wheels have been acting up. They are often a little frozen by corrosion at the nipple/spoke threads. I picked up a very small "Vise-Grip" brand wrench that is ideal for use when the sides of the nipple are rounded off from trying to use a spoke wrench.
The trick is to not smash the sides in, yet with sufficient purchase to overcome the friction. I have a few extra spokes and I keep the fasteners from broken spokes as spares. The "Vise-Grip" is a great tool for the trail when all kinds of make-shift fixes may be required just to get things going. Use your imagination.
As a note about spoke adjustment: Tightening one spoke is going to exert a further tightening of a spoke on the 180 deg. position relative to that spoke. If that other spoke is already tight, then you could end up with a break or over-tightened spoke which is tough on your rims...getting into cost over-run territory not factored into the repair effort. A second observation: After adjusting the trueness, I ride a bit and readjust if necessary...or at least check your work closely after a ride. I hear little creaks and quacks which are signs off settling in the spoke crossings. A little tweak and the wheel is ready to go for a long time without any problems.
Biggest problem for me was "over-tightening"...take it EASY!...Good luck, too.

   RE:RE:MISC:   Truing posted by Dusty on 8/25/2003 at 5:42:37 PM
Thanks, this all helped immensely with my front wheel.

Funny thing, back wheel was out of true, but second time this year, one spoke, was just worn out, near the hub of the wheel. Not much one can do, but replace those spokes. I hate that and I am spraying some lubricant on spokes, I find laced to the flange. One might think, age, but it happened on a newer bike as well. I am not sure what causes this.

AGE / VALUE:   KHS FRAME posted by: Kevin K on 8/22/2003 at 2:12:21 AM
Hi. Today I was presented with a stripped ( to metal ) KHS frame. The frame is very light. Nice long pointed lugs. Excellent workmanship on the brazing. Suntour Superbe forged dropouts. No idea at all as to the frame metal. Any ideas anyone. Thanks,Kevin

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   KHS FRAME posted by Oscar on 8/22/2003 at 4:37:01 AM
It's real hard to tell without the tubing decal. I suppose that was stripped, too. I'm not aware of any cruddy KHS's, to you did all right.

Better primer up that frame, bud.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   KHS FRAME posted by Warren on 8/22/2003 at 12:37:28 PM
I believe the newer KHS's are made with True Temper...nice double butted tubing. Good frame.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   updating a 1969 schwinn continental posted by: David Pasquarello on 8/21/2003 at 8:36:11 PM
I purchased a continental, and have fallen in love with riding.I was considering purchasing a new lighter bicycle,with lower gears etc. and was wondering if I would be reasonable to upgrade the components on the continental to lower the weight and get the gearing I want. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

   updating a 1969 schwinn continental posted by John E on 8/21/2003 at 8:54:53 PM
The most cost-effective changes you can make are to replace those overweight steel rims with aluminum, to replace the 5-speed freewheel a 6-speed (you may be able to go to 30T with your Huret Allivit / Schwinn derailleur, but you will not get a much wider gear range than you currently have: 52-39 / 14-28, I believe), to replace the Weinmann brake pads with KoolStops, to install high-pressure 27 x 1-1/8" or even 27 x 1" tyres, to add toeclips to the pedals, and to replace the TwinStick shift levers with either clamp-on downtube levers (shim required) or barcons. I converted a Varsity in that manner and commuted on it for a few months; it wasn't bad.

   schwinn continental posted by John E on 8/21/2003 at 8:57:43 PM
If you REALLY like the bike, get a bottom bracket conversion kit from Sheldon Brown / Harris Cyclery and switch over to aluminum cotterless cranks, perhaps even a 50-40-30 triple. This would also permit you to install "real" pedals, perhaps even modern snap-in / clipless ones.

   RE:   updating a 1969 schwinn continental posted by Eric Amlie on 8/21/2003 at 9:04:48 PM
It can be done, but it's more difficult on these older Schwinns because of the large unthreaded bottom bracket shell used on the frame for the one piece steel Ashtabula crankset. My advice is to find a later model bike with a chrome-moly frame and equipped with three piece alloy cottlerless crank. These can often be bought at local thrift stores quite inexpensively. They are better bikes and much easier to upgrade. I bought a 1985 Schwinn Traveler(Asian import bike) in very nice condition for $20.00. I cleaned it up and went through the bearings and it is now a very nice, light, good riding bike. Be careful of the earlier French bikes though. They have some sizing and threading issues that can make it difficult to find replacement parts for them.

   Traveler made in Taiwan posted by JONathan on 8/22/2003 at 4:59:34 AM
Right on, Eric. I ran a '83 Traveler last year. Fantastic bike, beautiful lug-work and finish. Man, those guys (Merida or Giant Taiwan) could make bikes. Mine has a 40 in. WB with 16 in. chainstays (BB-->center of dropout) and fairly steep rake. On a 25 in. frame, this adds up to a pretty tight ride. The 4130 plain tubes are perfect as they are light, yet very rigid under a load. If I could keep one bike to commute, that woukd be my choice. I'm running Dia-Compe (610 clones) cp's front and rear. The narrow reach precludes any kind of fenders on the rear, but that puppy stops...right now! Heavy duty Araya alloy rims, 27x1 1/4 hp tires are light and stiff...no popped spokes all year! The train I'm running is SunTour Ar front and rear with 52/40 working off a 6 speed 14-28 with a big step from 2nd. to 1st. gear and a close range from 3rd. to 6th. Sugino forged alloy 170mm cranks with steel...yes, steel chainrings. They flex very little, with a little added spinning mass. Rebuildable rat-trap pedals...can't recall the make, but they last a year without service. SR alloy stem with steel drop bars; the steel bars don't snap like the alloy and damp the road shock better, IMHO. A generator front light and a battery rear light for night running.
This bike handles so well that I feel it is one reason that I've remained "crash free" for two years which twice as long as my average interval. No rack, just a Cannondale bar sack which serves as a great wind-screen on those cold mornings. For $30 US, that's a great buy. It'll bust out hard or take the slop, whatever you got going. Top ten bike for all-around, IMHO. JONathan

   RE:schwinn continental posted by Wings on 8/22/2003 at 5:47:20 AM
If you really like the bike you have I would go with the large bottom bracket conversion kit. YST has had some inexpensive kits ($29) in the past that I have used in Schwinn Cruisers. I then shopped the Thrift Stores until I found an inexpensive bike that had a nice alloy cotterless crank set -- 3 piece with the size rings I was after. The bonus is you also get the front derailer for free! The derailer should match the chainring size.

Barcons are excellent, especially for the front derailer!!! I like them! You could also install a downhill bar -- you actually could do a lot of things! It could go on and on and on, but it is fun!

Oh, on the BB conversion -- it is good to get some advice from a good bike shop if you are purchasing a BB conversion kit since the spindle would need to be a "proper length" whatever that is! You do have some room to fudge with here.

Enjoy your bike!

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   updating a 1969 schwinn continental posted by Keith on 8/22/2003 at 2:19:59 PM
Whether it's worth it to upgrade your Continental depends entirely on what kind of riding you see yourself doing. If you plan to go on 20 or so mile rides on the local bike path, or commute as John suggests, then I'd say the super Continental would be hard to beat. On the other hand, if you are interested in longer rides that would include some real hills (hilly rides have some of the best scenery, right?), then I'd save the money and put it toward a lighter, lugged steel lightweight -- there're lots of used ones out there. Check your local bike club newsletter or start cruising eBay. As Eric and JONathan suggest, the lugged steel Schwinns (Voyager, Traveler, LeTour) are fine bikes and real bargains if you find one at a garage sale or thrift store.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   updating a 1969 schwinn continental posted by Gralyn on 8/22/2003 at 6:06:33 PM
I would say that for a lot less than you could convert your old Schwinn - you could buy an old lightweight at a thrift store...with alloy wheels, alloy cranks, alloy frame, etc.. Keep your Continental original. It will be like an old classic car - you could take it out on rides and show it off. For your regular riding and commuting - use the more updated, significantly lighter bike.

AGE / VALUE:   Shimano 600 der range posted by: Tim W on 8/21/2003 at 4:06:41 PM
Hi all.

I have just built a spiffin' commuter and credit card touring bike from an old Steve Bauer frame. I want to put a triple crankset on it, and want to know what maximum range my early 80's (indexed) Shimano 600 derailleur will handle.

I currently have an 11-28 cogset, and wonder if the derailleur will handle that with 26 or 28 small and 52 large rings. I tour over mountain ranges with panniers here in BC, and appreciate the ability to spin up a long slope sometimes.

The range is not stamped into the cage of the 600. An old, unfortunately wrecked short-cage XT derailleur I have from about the same time is stamped 28 max tooth & 28 max range. What does the second 28 stand for - big ring size minus small ring size?

How do I find out if the 600 can handle the range I want (other than just going ahead and making the change, hoping for the best)? The 600 is like new, and I'd really like to use it. If the 600 can't handle the range I want, would it work to swap a long cage onto it (I have one from an old Deore mountain derailleur, and have successfully swapped cages before).

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Shimano 600 der range posted by Tim W on 8/21/2003 at 4:24:11 PM
I never notice mistakes until after I post. The 600 derailleur is early-mid 90's, not 80's.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Shimano 600 der range posted by Keith on 8/21/2003 at 4:38:07 PM
I have two 600 rear derailleurs and both have pretty short cages. I don't have the specs but I'd bet they were rated for something close to 13-26 with double chainrings like 39/52. It might handle a your cogset with a double chainring setup, but I seriously doubt it could do it with a triple. I'd look into buying a new Deore from your LBS or Nashbar, or finding a similar vintage mtb rear derailleur. The second number on your derailleur indicates chainwrap capacity. The large chainring minus the small chainring plus the large rear cog minus the small rear cog equals the chainwrap capacity.

    Shimano 600 der range posted by John E on 8/21/2003 at 4:58:35 PM
Since you have an 11T small cog, do you really need a 52T outer chainring? Consider something like 46-38-26 or 46-36-26 / 11-28. This requires 37T of chainwrap capacity, but you can cheat a bit if you promise not to cross-chain. You do not need a taut chain in small/small if you never use that combination.

   RE: Shimano 600 der range posted by Tim W on 8/21/2003 at 6:50:07 PM
The last point is one I had already thought of - if I'm the only rider of my bike and I know what gear combinations won't work, then I can compensate. I never use small & small or big & big anyway, even if the derailleur can handle it. Still, it sounds as though my der won't handle what I want it to do. It has no problem right now with an 11-28 cogset (= 17) and an old Sugino road triple of 34-46-52 (=18) ... for a total chain wrap of 35!

I'm confused how Bridgestone & other companies used XT short cage derailleurs on their mountain bikes with a max der chain wrap of only 28. If they had, say, a 12-28 cogset = 16, and a 28-38-48 crankset = 20, thats a total chainwrap of 36. I've set a short cage XT derailleur up on such a bike, and it worked okay. What gives?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Shimano 600 der range posted by Keith on 8/21/2003 at 7:51:07 PM
FWIW I used to have a mid-90s Shimano Ultegra 600-equiped bike. The bike came with an 11-23 cassette, and I was interested in something a little more foregiving. The LBS said the largest cog the 600 would handle was 26. Also, I have a 1999 QBP catelog -- it says the '99 Ultegra can reach a 27 tooth cog and has a chainwrap capacity of 29. I suspect yours is in that neighborhood.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Shimano 600 der range posted by Tim W on 8/21/2003 at 8:46:29 PM

I'm sure that's right, although I am experiencing no problems with it now with 28 tooth cog and something like 35 chainwrap.

I have too many good road der's, and no good mountain der's (they are always whacked out), so I'm going to be bold and try to swap a long cage onto my 600. I put a short cage on an old 400LX der once, and it worked great. I'll let you know what happens.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Shimano 600 der range posted by Edward in Vancouver on 8/24/2003 at 4:05:04 AM
If your ever in the Vancouver area, check out Our Community Bikes, a kind of bike Co-op. Milk-crates full of used parts and some new ones as well

AGE / VALUE:   Viscount Sebring's posted by: jason on 8/21/2003 at 3:33:21 PM
I recently acquired 2 Viscount Sebring's. Both in very good shape. I know that the last time they were licensed
was dec.31,1976. Shortly after, within A month or two, they were put away until I got them. They were bought new and only had 1 owner. They were hand crafted in
England, and I was also told they are made out of liteweight aerospace metal. I do not know A whole lot about these style of bike's so any info would be great. Age,value,A little history. I am curious about the knob on the left side of the handle bar's. It has extra cable attached to it, but I can not get it to come completely out. I did'nt want to pull to hard. Serial #'s are #K65769, and #K65771.
Interested in selling "pair". Will send picture's.

      Viscount Sebring's posted by John E on 8/21/2003 at 5:01:59 PM
That lightweight aerospace miracle metal is good old CrMo steel. Check out sheldonbrown.com and Berto et al.'s "The Dancing Chain" for further information on Viscount, including how to identify whether yours feature the infamous Fork of Death.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Viscount Sebring's posted by Jason on 8/21/2003 at 6:29:11 PM
Well I just went to sheldonbrown.com and it is A awsome site! Thankl's John. I also went out to the shop and gave the forks the trusty magnet test. The magnet stuck so they are not aluminum. They must have been replaced when recalled or the Sebring did not come stock with the aluminum fork's.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Viscount Sebring's posted by Gralyn on 8/21/2003 at 8:22:35 PM
I had spotted a Viscounta couple weeks ago. I had seen them before - but they didn't look all that special - so I just left them. Well, this one - I had a look at it. It looked just like regular bike boom stuff. Nothing fancy. No nice components, no nice alloy frame, it wasn't all that light. It looked to me like a discount viscount....well, it wasn't that bad. It was priced at $35. I came back the next day - thought I might check it out again....may even pick it up. Well, it was gone. Yes, I remember....I remember seeing that it had a CroMO frame....yet it felt too heavy.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Viscount Sebring's posted by jason on 8/21/2003 at 8:48:32 PM
I should have stated in my first post that these bikes are Shimaon equiped. both derailuers, tourney quick release center-pull brakes, and hubs.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Viscount Sebring's posted by freespirit on 8/22/2003 at 2:33:14 AM
Viscounts, were suppossively made from fillet brazed aerospace cro-moly. A bike shop owner compared them to Jack Taylors and said it took alot of a skill to weld the oversize tubing (one I had a 1 1/8 seat tube). He took a Viscount frame and using lightweight parts make a feather light bike. Some Viscounts have the TA-like crank, with the lanbert chainwheels and other lambert parts. Then there are others that are almost all japanese components. I have one of the later ones that has a luged frame with off all things a campy neuvo grand sport drive train with the three pin cranks!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Viscount Sebring's posted by Walter on 8/23/2003 at 2:11:23 AM
In the late 70s a friend I used to ride with was "into" Viscounts and over a year or 2 span worked his way up the Viscount lineup. Tops (at that time) was "Aerospace Pro" or something similar as I recall. Lugless (I assume fillet brazed) cro-moly and Asian components. I remember SunTour as well as Shimano. For about $500 he had a 22# bike that was more than comparable to Brit or Continental stuff that cost 2X as much. Truth be told the Asian derailleurs (particularly SunTour) shifted better than the Campy stuff, something we (who couldn't afford Campy) enjoyed telling the "snobs" on $1000 Euro rides.

Viscount brings back fond memories but there are glitches. You don't have to worry about the "Death Fork" but many (all?) Viscounts had a unique pressed in BB assembly and if it's munched there's no solution I know of. This was the case in the 1 Viscount I found a couple of years ago and Sheldon B. mentions it as well.