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Archived: Vintage Lightweights

AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh International posted by: Jeff W. on 9/17/2003 at 12:13:50 AM
Just bought a 1974 Toyota pick-up plus contents of it's bed, all has been in storage for 20 years. among the contents is a Raleigh International from the 60s or 70s. It has a Raleigh badge like i've never seen, a colorful oval one? How can I determine it's year and how many were sold in the U.S.?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh International posted by Rob on 9/17/2003 at 5:09:51 PM
My guess is that that is the anniversary head badge, which I think was used only in 1971...That's my best guess, maybe someone else could confirm??? I have an early '70's Super Course...1971 is my assumption, with such a head badge. With old bikes there is always the unexpected...

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh International posted by Corey on 9/17/2003 at 2:39:54 AM
Jeff, maybe there was some cross pollination from that Toyota! ;')


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh International posted by Keith on 9/17/2003 at 7:01:04 PM
I think you'll find this site helpful:


I have no idea how many Raleigh Internationals were sold in the U.S., but I can say that they aren't rare. I still see one occassionally on a club ride or tour. I owned a '71 for a few years. Although the workmanship was not top notch, it was, in it's own way, a beautiful bike.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh International posted by Rob on 9/18/2003 at 1:07:52 AM
Thanks, Keith...

I see the Retro Raleighs site is now hosted by Harris Cyclery and Sheldon Brown...and more stuff has been added. Based on what I see there I now think my "1973" bronze green Super Course is probably 1972...so many years later, it can sometimes be quite difficult to nail this stuff down precisely...the one I have had been significantly upgraded, and I suspect this was done when the bike was no more than a few years old, long before I set eyes on it...

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bridgestone Lugs posted by: Hoss on 9/16/2003 at 7:12:19 PM
can't figure it out, I look at the tube joints on some bridgestones, it is like they are imitating lugs, say, you have the long pointed lugs, but then, about a half inch down, is the end of the lug. This is on the Kabuki. Maybe an illustration might help, maybe doable by typing.

Tube Lug __> ]<----- lug ends here, not at point___ then tube continues, this interested me, because on the bike seat post tube, Bridgestone states about how mechanically advanced they are.

For the top Japanese companies, I must think, Norco, a few others are the higher echelon.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bridgestone Lugs posted by JONathan on 9/17/2003 at 3:42:42 AM
My Kabuki has all aluminum botton bracketl one solid casting that extends back to meet the chain-stays. The aluminum seat lug has the bolt for what would be the tightener, but it only serves as a mounting bracket for the brake stop! Expander bolt can only be recahed after the seat is tilted forward, or taken off completely if one prefers.
The remaining head-tube lugs are aluminum as well. Thermal expansion, and subsequent contraction upon cooling may be part of the means to secure the steel tubes inside the aluminum lugging, just a guess. The joints are tight, no gaps like I see in some bike's lugwork, either from stresses during use or possibly sloppy workmanship. The lug you describe is hard for me to picture, but I kind of have an idea of what you are saying. The "pointed" part of the lug is actually the tube?
I looked at my Bridgestone "regulus" and the lugwork appears "normal". Very nice workmanship, I can add.
The "Spica" has regular lugwork, too. The "Carmel" I have to see. The Kabuki is as described.
The "regulus" and "spica" are superior to most of my European bikes with a few exceptions, of course, in the higher end mounts, but for equivalent price...the Bridgestones are way better, IMHO. These are Japanese, too, not the Bridegestone-USA bikes (Grant Peterson designed) which are fantastic rides. RB-1's are very hard to find and whoever has one probably is hangin on to it like a bulldog guards a hambone.
Cheers, JONathan

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bridgestone Lugs posted by Rob on 9/17/2003 at 6:36:30 AM
On second thought, the name of the Japanese bicycle maker might actually be Kawamura, not Kamamura...I can never keep it straight...does anyone know the correct spelling???

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bridgestone Lugs posted by Tom on 9/17/2003 at 12:09:04 PM
I can confirm Ron's statement that Bridgestone/Kabuki die cast the lugs around the tubes. There is no brazing or welding invovled. The process was first developed to permit the joining of dissimilar and hard to join metals, notably their stainless steel and aluminum frames. However, this process was also used on SOME of the plain gauge steel frames. It reportedly had the added advantage of not affecting tubing properties, as the the casting was done at a relatively low temperature. It should be noted that conventional lugs and brazing were used on some models, notably the top end models, having double butted tubesets.

The source for the above info, is the January 1975 of Bicycling magazine, which road tests the entire line of seven Kabuki bicycles.

Rob, the correct spelling is "Kawamura". My 1977 Nishiki International has a "Made by Kawamura" decal, on the right hand chainstay.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bridgestone Lugs posted by Rob on 9/17/2003 at 6:06:37 PM
Thanks Tom...I'll try to keep that name straight...Kawamura sounds more like a Japanese name than the version I had...They made some wonderful bikes in the 70's and 80's...I'm not sure in what form they may still exist...an internet search showed a Kawamura bicycle company that seemed to be based in China...maybe they moved there to reduce costs???

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bridgestone Lugs posted by Rob on 9/16/2003 at 9:35:51 PM
I'll let others more knowledgable about frame building talk in detail about the purposes and properties of lugs...my understanding is that they serve several purposes, ie. stiffening the tube ends, support during the brazing process, and, not least of all, appearance. There are a number of ways to effectively hold tubes together without lugs...such as electro-forging, a Schwinn specialty during the Chicago days, which I understand produces a virually indestructable bond; fillet brazing, where the tubes are brazed together without lugs; and so forth. I guess what I'm saying is that frames can be put together without lugs...but, darn, they sure are pretty...

Your reference to Norco caught my attention...the Norco I know is essentially a Canadian bike design, importing and marketing company...aren't most of them now-a-days!!! From the 1970's and early '80's, I have seen their name associated with French-made bikes...in my "herd" is a beat-up old French bike called a "Mirage", with the Norco name in small print on the head badge...essentially it's a Peugeot UO-8 knock-off. Norco also has had bikes built for them by the Japanese company, Kamamura...the same company who made Nishikis. The Norco branded bikes included a wide range of models...my current favorite rider, and it is, indeed, a lovely bike, is an early '80's Norco Triathlon, (SunTour Cyclone M-II, Sugino GT, Dia Compe setup)...In the US, it was likely imported as a high-end Nishiki, Professional maybe??

Norco currently markets road bikes, MTBs, and hybrids, etc. Their current top road bike is, as one would expect, an aluminum/carbon job with Dura Ace and Mavic wheel set...

www.norco.com (I have no connection with the company and don't know anyone who works there...)

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bridgestone Lugs posted by Ron on 9/17/2003 at 1:04:01 AM
Bridgestone used a different process than the traditional lug. Instead of having a preformed joint that the tube ends were placed into and soldered or brazed, the tube ends were placed into molds and molten aluminum was injected to form the joint. This is why Kabuki bikes have the seatpost that has an expander wedge. The joint at the top of the seat tube is solid aluminum, so a conventional pinch bolt would not work. These cast "lugs" are pretty strong, but also heavy. I am sure they were harder to manufacture than conventional lugs.

AGE / VALUE:   Lotus Short Series....24" wheels posted by: Gralyn on 9/16/2003 at 1:38:34 PM
My middle son has a small-frame (19") Bianchi - and my youngest son has a small Gitane, with 20" wheels, 3-speed der.. Well, I found a small Lotus 10-speed with 24" wheels. It's something like a "Short" ...something like that. Overall, it's in great condition. So, when my youngest outgrows the small Gitane - he will have another vintage LW waiting for him.
It seems I remember a post about these bikes once before - but I couldn't find anything in the archives. Does anyone have any information on these bikes? Are they worth anything?....Any information will be appreciated.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Lotus Short Series....24 posted by T-Mar on 9/16/2003 at 1:57:38 PM
Lotus was a Japanese brand from the 1980's. Most bicycles with 24" wheels are intended for young boys and girls. Consequently, they tend to use low end components and their re-sale value is limited.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Lotus Short Series....24 posted by Keith on 9/16/2003 at 2:19:06 PM
Here's a site devoted to the Japanese Lotus brand (as oopsed to the British Burrows-designed Lotus bikes):


I have a Lotus Competition: all Campy NR, Columbus tubes, chromed head lugs, pantogtraphed sloping fork crown, fork tips and drive side stays -- a Japanese bike that wishes it was Italian.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Lotus Short Series....24 posted by Gralyn on 9/16/2003 at 3:58:22 PM
I had a Lotus Excell - but I sold it on e-bay.
I still have my original Lotus Grand Prix from 1982.
I have a Lotus 3000R Racing bike.
But this short one...yes, it is certainly a bike built for young riders. The think is....you just don't see very many of them. Actually, I believe this is the first one I've seen since I started collecting. I remember seeing 20" wheel and 24" wheel racing bikes when I was a kid - like 30 years ago. But I haven't seen anything like those since.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Lotus Short Series....24 posted by Keith on 9/16/2003 at 4:16:44 PM
About 30 yeats ago I had a friend whose daughter went on longer club rides with a 24" bike. An old high school classmate once gave me her Gitane 24". It had obviously been left out in the rain for eons and was horribly rusted. I deemed it unsalvageable. I now have a 24" Polish-made racing style bike, but the brakes are so poor that I won't let my daughter ride it. I've seen 24" bikes on eBay from time to time, and every once in great a while one will come along that's really deluxe, with high quality frame material and components and tubular tires. I suppose you could say these are relatively rare, but that doesn't necessarily translate into valuable or desireable.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Lotus Short Series....24 posted by Titlist on 9/16/2003 at 10:42:59 PM
just for the record, I once had a decent Hiawatha, short. I have seen additionally, a Motobecane Nomad short, also, I perused the archives for the Stephen Bauer name, cause I know where one of those are, more or less. sort of a sky like blue, nice components, downtube shifters, oh, though a steel frame, brazed on water bottle mounts, okay, not that rare.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Lotus Short Series....24 posted by Ron on 9/17/2003 at 1:18:24 AM
I found a 24" Schwinn 10 speed at a flea market last summer for my daughter. It isn't in the same league as the Lotus, it's more like a small Varsity. I put flat bars on it for her, since she couldn't reach the drops very well. She wanted to ride longer rides, but she isn't big enough for a full size bike. The 24in. suits her fine. If she keeps her intrest, maybe I can find an old Terry for her.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Dawes on Ebay posted by: Tom M on 9/16/2003 at 1:30:44 PM
I saw this Dawes on Ebay and thought you guys might want to see it. I was wondering about the rear hub, Flip Flop? on a deraileur bike. Nice details on the fenders. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2192068658&category=420&rd=1

AGE / VALUE:   Pump maintenance posted by: John S on 9/16/2003 at 5:42:56 AM
Last posting was sad, tough...

Been wanting to ask how to maintain, overhaul a floor pump, and those plastic Silca's. What treatment does one use for the inside of the barrel? Do you need to clean it? How do you insure you don't damage the guage? What's a good source for a replacement rubber hose?

Sorry, lots of questions for lots of smart bikers...

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Pump maintenance posted by Keith on 9/16/2003 at 4:35:01 PM
I put a light coat of grease the plunger washer (leather or rubber cup-like part at the end of the plunger). You should be able to find the rubber head washers and other small parts for most pumps at your LBS. Some brands sell "rebuild kits."

AGE / VALUE:   Sad News posted by: Joel on 9/15/2003 at 9:13:46 PM
Sad News...cycling activist Ken Kifer was killed last weekend by a drunk driver. Some of you may have been to his website. If not, check it out http://www.kenkifer.com/

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Sad News posted by Titlist on 9/15/2003 at 10:24:27 PM
this would be a stunning & startling loss, the BOB Bridgestone newsletter, he participated in, I read articles on his net, years ago. All I know, is I read in the archives of that letter, is that he was not doing to much riding, about 2 mos. ago. A fine, friendly person too.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Sad News posted by Tom on 9/15/2003 at 10:55:27 PM
by the way, http://www.phred.org/mailman/listinfo/internet-bob ; one can access these archives and the story. Seems to have occurred in the south. Very sad.

added this short note, excuse me, not using my usual nickname,

    Sad News posted by John E on 9/16/2003 at 1:03:24 AM
Thank you for posting, Joel. I have just lost another valued friend I never met; I have always respected Mr. Kifer and have enjoyed reading his insightful writings. My memorial to Ken will be to increase my regular annual MADD membership contribution this year by $100, in his name, as I did the year Cece Krone was killed by a drunk driver.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Sad News posted by Rob on 9/16/2003 at 1:24:28 AM
Sad news...and frustrating that this still goes on...

Thanks for posting the URL...what an interesting and detailed site...it sounds like he was a very energetic and a very intelligent man...I read through portions of his detailed treatment on helmet laws...he covers a good part of the world!!!...I was surprised to see that the laws are still a mish-mash in most jurisdictions...apparently BC, my jurisdiction, was the first to have a state/province wide helmet law...in 1996, and I see WA is very close, almost statewide....apparently the University of NC has been doing a study on the BC situation and, naturally, has been finding the obvious....dealing with this stuff even in the face of heaps of evidence is a grind, isn't it!!!

A beautiful person...and a sad loss...

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Sad News posted by Joel on 9/16/2003 at 2:52:01 PM
I had visited his site several times, but never realized he lived nearby (north Alabama). We just don't have people like this here...
A group in Alabama has been working to form a statewide cycling advocacy organization. Ironically, the day before its first meeting, one of the organizers was seriously injured in a car accident, then this happened on the day of the third meeting. Hopefully this will motivate more people to get involved.


   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Sad News posted by Dave on 9/16/2003 at 3:15:21 PM
This is sad. I myself just found out yesterday a older friend I hadn't seen for a couple of years just died of cancer. He was 25 years my senior but finished the 1991 Paris-Brest race the same time I did. Both he and Ken will be very much missed.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Sad News posted by Titlist on 9/16/2003 at 3:26:56 PM
Jim Fix, I believe, was the big jogging advocate who was felled by a heart attack. Now, I read the helmet article, Rob was speaking about. Makes one think. This all makes me more likely to keep the helmet on. He quotes furthermore, British Cyclists have some of the lowest accident rates, something like 66 per million, adolescents 720 per million. My 3 speed, is all decked out in lights, mirrors, reflectors, rear lights, at least at night. Think, I will buy even more insurance that being more front lighting systems soon.

AGE / VALUE:   Motobecane Nomade II posted by: Cheryl on 9/15/2003 at 8:37:57 PM
I know nothing, repeat nothing about bikes. The last bike I rode had a banana seat and sissy bar. There you go, my age has been revealed. In the spirit of better health, I picked up a bike at the flea market for $20. It's a Motobecane Nomade II woman's bike. It appears everything is original. Now, if I sound stupid, please forgive. I am a blond afterall. Any idea as to age and did I spend too much on it? I rode it for the first time yesterday and aside from having an uncomfortable seat, it was effortless. It could use a good cleaning and new tires (they seem pretty original also). Any recommendations as far as cleaning goes?


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Motobecane Nomade II posted by john on 9/15/2003 at 10:57:46 PM
I buy bikes all the time at flea markets and most need little more than cleaning and repacking bearings with grease. First thing I would do is clean it....with a hose and soap. Shake it and dry it, then examine the frame/wheels carefully for any cracks or wrinkles in the metal. Next check for anything that's bent or doesn't look straight. If you find any of these things I would take it to a bike shop and have them examine it BEFORE riding it. In fact, if you don't know much about bikes, it might be a good idea just to take it to them for a safety check (brakes, etc.). I would also recommend purchase of a bicycle service manual. Even if you decide to use a bike shop for service, you'll at least know what they're talking about. I think Eugene Sloan's Complete Book of Bicycling has great info. It's been out many years in various editions and I've seen them at flea markets and book sales for as little as $1. Finally, I would get a helmet and stay off the highway until your bike's been throughly checked out and you feel comfortable riding it. Just my two cents worth. Have fun! john

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Motobecane Nomade II posted by JONathan on 9/15/2003 at 11:55:25 PM
$20 for a Moto "nomade"? Cheap. They are great riders. I have a Motobecane "Super Mirage" which is like a "nomade" except the components are a step up.
I spiffed up a Moto lady's frame, "nobly", which is now "the bike", although it is of little interest to me...rubber pedals, chrome wheels, cottered cranks and
Simplex derailers; but the coffee color paint job looks pretty cool. Motos have great paint jobs. I replaced the seat as it was a real dog. Cleaning? Take chain off if possible. If the bike is festooned with cobwebs, spiders and coccoons, etc., I use a wallpaper brush and knock all that off or, if you are revulsed by the whole thing, I use a garden hose to blast it all off (put dog in the house!). Then I get a bucket with very dilute biodegradeable dishwashing soap, warm water and a sponge.
Work the frame and rims with that setup. Hose it down to rinse it off. Let it dry. Then I take a soft rag and buff it a bit. I may use a high grade wax...like for cars with faded paint...that's it.
Now, you can regrease (Phil Woods or the bearings; replace the chain, unless you want to get your hands mucked up cleaning the old one, and swap tires, new brake pads...seat....maybe cables and shrouds, if they look worn out. Sometimes, I spend a lot of time in the mechanical end and let the bike's cosmetics suffer.
Here's an easy way to work on the shifters. I used a 2x4 c-clamped to a pic-nic table to suspend the bike a couple inches off the deck. Cut a v-shape notch across the board so the frame seats and won't spin around. If it's a lady's frame, you need to turn it upside down with a rag to protect the goodies on the handlebars and another rag to keep the seat from getting messed up. Make your adjustment on the rear derailer for high and low "stops". Same for the front. Oil the jockey wheel and tension wheel and pins on the housing.
THis is after the chain is put on, of course. What you need? A chainbreaker, small screwdriver, small "cresent" wrench and a cone wrench (there are four sizes, get right one). The bottom bracket is a bit tricky, so I would leave that alone if the cranks spin a few turns easily. What kind of cranks are on it? Cotterless or cottered?
Let the bike shop do that job, unless you really want to get into it.
Good luck.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Motobecane Nomade II posted by JONathan on 9/16/2003 at 12:10:39 AM
IMPORTANT. Check the headset. Stand to the side and grip the handlebars. Apply the front brake...you are not moving!...and push forward and backward. If you feel a lot of play, your headset is loose, or worse. Check for "AVA" stamping on the stem. If you have that stem, replace it. I repeat, replace it. Hold the front end up and see if the handlebars rotate easily from side to side. If they bind, you may have bad beerings, too tight adjustment or worse.
Vintage lightweoghts are cool, but to be safe and to enjoy the ride, due to the age of components, a thorough checkout is critical, especially when you really have no idea what the bike has been subjected to for 30 years. Sometimes they sit for a good part of that period and others have lived the life of five bikes!
Get alloy wheels if you can find a 27x1.1/4 in. size or, if it has 700C wheels, get those in alloy. You will stop a lot better and the ride will be much improved.
Just my 2 c's.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Motobecane Nomade II posted by Cheryl on 9/16/2003 at 12:16:39 AM
Yes, I love the paint job. It's a silvery blue. Spider webs don't bother me. I live in an old house. The spiders and I get along just fine. Taking a hose to it sounds like a grand idea. I've had the breaks and stuff checked and they're just fine. It's the right kind of bike for me. Simple and uncomplicated. If I can't have a 1950's bike (you know the kind - no gears, breaks at the peddles) this will do just fine for me. Any guesses as to how old? 1970's? 1980's? It doesn't have the curled handle bar which is another feature I like. Years of competitive roller skating has done a number on my back so riding all hunched over doesn't suit me. I just may get into the bike riding thing. Have a short trip planned for next month to Mohican in Ohio. Should be great riding in fall. Keep fingers crossed everyone that I stay ON the bike.


   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Motobecane Nomade II posted by Ron on 9/16/2003 at 12:51:36 AM
One of the wider Gel seats may suit your upright riding style. Don't go too wide, though. That could cause chafing on your legs. Haynes prints a very good manual for bike repair and maintenance. It covers a wide range of equipment, from old to new. I got one from Amazon for about $13.
Mohican in October should be nice. I love the hills down there.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Motobecane Nomade II posted by JONathan on 9/16/2003 at 6:16:29 AM
Dating of your "nomade"? This is kind of hard without knowing what components that are on it.
I find my French bikes hard to date through serial numbers. However, if you apply a differential
ID of componentry, a fuzzy date is possible. Steel, cottered cranks and Weinmann side-pull calipers combined with Simplex or Huret derailers, I would guess late '60's to early '70's.
Japanese components would be later, like late '70's to early '80's. Of course there is probably overlap during the bikeboom peak era, early to mid '70's. Describe more components...a good way to
learn about the bike, too. The steel, Normandy, chrome "luxe" wheels would push the date back. You have to look at all the components, as I have a late '70's Raleigh "grand prix" that has Normandy "luxe" wheels and Japanese components!
Those "nomades" are tough built frames, I know that much about the species.
Have a great tour.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Motobecane Nomade II posted by Tom on 9/16/2003 at 1:46:02 PM
Regarding the age (of your bike), documentation I have shows the original Nomade model was in the line-up until at least 1978. Given that you have a Nomade II, that would imply the bike is at least 1979, or later. The Nomade was still a 10 speed in 1978, so I suspect the Nomade II designation was for the 12 speed model.

By this time period, the model would have some Japanese components. Assuming they are original, these componets can be dated using the info on the following site;

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Motobecane Nomade II posted by Corey on 9/17/2003 at 3:21:17 AM
Hi Cheryl,
"...and aside from having an uncomfortable seat,".
Don't give up on that saddle right away. Remember you
haven't ridden a bike for a while, and you'll have to break
yourself back in. Make sure it's level from the front tip
to the rear, so that when you ride you don't slide forward.
If that happens things become more uncomfortable. Your sit
bones should be supported towards the rear on the wider
part of the seat and are the primary weight bearing
points. (Other than arms and hands.)

There are as many opinions about seats as there are seats,
but, (so to speak), the more in-shape (fitter) you are,
the firmer the seat you can ride. As long as the saddle
is not bent or torn up, ride and get used to it (of course
if it's torture, then another seat might work better).

Thats why I don't like gel seats, they don't allow you to
get "toughened up" and they just allow the butt to sink
down to the harder base.

The best advice I got when I was a younger adult and complaining about saddle soreness while returning to cycling
was, "keep riding".

Have fun!

AGE / VALUE:   Suntour Ultra Freewheel posted by: P Lavery on 9/15/2003 at 8:32:28 PM
Here's the dumb question of the day. If I go from a Suntour
5 speed freewheel to an Ultra six speed, can I still use the original chain ?

   :   Suntour Ultra Freewheel posted by John E on 9/15/2003 at 8:47:19 PM
You can use the same chain, unless it has elongated by more than 1/16" per 24 half-links, in which case it should be replaced before you damage your chainrings, cogset, or yourself (in case of chain breakage!). All cogsets from 5 to 8 speeds can use a modern "8-speed" chain.

   RE: But... posted by Eric Amlie on 9/15/2003 at 9:34:55 PM
If your original chain is for 5 speed it may be too wide to fit the cog spacing on the ultra six. It's easy to tell. Just lay the chain on the one of the center cogs and see if the sides of the chain touch the cogs on either side. If it does, as John says, go get yourself an 8 speed chain.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   dunelt posted by: chimmy on 9/15/2003 at 8:08:37 PM
does anyone know anything about old english Dunelt lightweights?? (not the 3-speed roadsters)
from sometime in the 60's ???

i can't find anything about them

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   dunelt posted by Chris on 9/16/2003 at 4:35:29 PM
Dunelt was a name stuck on a Raleigh made bike. Raleigh Industries from Nottingham, England. As some of the 531 lightweight frames made their way thru Raleigh as they were being assembled, some of them ended up wearing Dunelt badges and decals.

Is there a 531 Reynolds frame on the bike?
Pretty much the same as any other Raleigh 531 frame bike. Componets are another matter. What does this have on it.
Can you describe it better for us?

What kind of derailers, brakes, rims, does it have a name like Fleur De Liese or something.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   dunelt posted by chimmy on 9/17/2003 at 4:09:57 AM
it's just the frame, and there are no decals on it
so I don't know anything about components
it is made from reynolds 531
it has nice lugs, look like Nervex

i knew raleigh 3-speeds were badged as dunelts but i'd never heard of lightweights getting the same treatment...

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   dunelt posted by Max M. on 9/21/2003 at 4:49:46 AM
Dunelt was a brand that was swallowed up by Raleigh/ T.I. over the years. They made fine bicycles and probably offered a lightweight or "club bike."
The man to ask is P.C. Kohler
He posts in the English Roadster Area and runs a Yahoo group Roll Britannia.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Ideor posted by: michael on 9/15/2003 at 7:37:15 PM
Just came in to possesion of an Ideor ten speed ($10 at a thrift store!).Fork style and component mix suggests late fifties/early sixties. Is anybody familiar with this brand? As far as I can tell it is Italien but beyond that nothing.

     Ideor posted by John E on 9/15/2003 at 8:37:00 PM
Yes, I have seen a few Ideor specimens. You got either a good or an excellent deal, depending on where yours fits in the lineup. Please post more data regarding such things as dropouts, components, use of chrome, etc. Because of their frame geometry, even low-end Italian bikes can be surprisingly decent rides, and of course their high-end bikes are deservedly legendary.

MISC:   Schwinn Peloton posted by: Robby on 9/15/2003 at 6:23:45 PM
what came spec'ed on a Schwinn Peloton, not sure of the year, it's the one thats white with the black rear triangle, columbus tubing??


   1984 Peloton specs posted by Tom Findley on 9/16/2003 at 11:59:16 AM

AGE / VALUE:   My First Viscount posted by: Gralyn on 9/15/2003 at 5:28:19 PM
I had previously spotted a couple Viscounts: One over a year or so ago....and another one just about a month ago. I really checked the one out from about a month ago - and it didn't seem to be anything but ordinary. It seemed pretty heavy, had crappy components, so I just left it there. Well, today I spotted one: this one seemed a lot lighter, had better looking components on it. It was "aerospace" something-or-other. I believe it also had a "handcrafted in England" on it. It had 1/2 chrome fork.....I would think it had to be chrome - because it was so rusty (wouldn't be aluminum). The frame had no lugs. The saddle was trash. There was a couple bad rusty spots where a carrier rack had been mounted on the seat stays - but overall, it wasn't too bad. It had no brazings along the top tube - but rather had those bolt-on cable guides. Stem shifters (bummer). The crank looked to be alloy....kind of like an old maxy. The rims were chrome, but I couldn't see the ID on them. The hubs were high flange. I will be able to check it out more thoroughly tonight. It did feel amazingly light compared with the typical bikes I see from that time-frame

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   My First Viscount posted by Oscar on 9/16/2003 at 2:26:52 AM
I have a Viscount that was a "touring model" which looked like every sport-touring bike you see out there. I swapped out all the heavy stuff (steel wheels, SR weird crank, Suntour steel ders & stem shifters) and made it a single speed. It's as light a bike as any I've ridden.

It's kind of funny to think that they made the bike unsafe with a light aluminum fork, but put all the heavy components on it that they could find.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   My First Viscount posted by Gralyn on 9/16/2003 at 1:07:38 PM
I stripped the bike down to the frame last night. It has "Viscount" center pull brakes. It has single-levers - not the "safety levers" - but they also have a letter stamped on them for "F" and "R"...for front and rear. The stem is SR "New Alloy". The bars??? but they are light alloy. I believe the rear der. is an exage - but obviously a replacement. The front ....I can't even remember at the moment - but it was original. The seat post.....when I pulled it out....I didn't think it would ever stop coming out....for a moment - I thought I must be on an episode of Candid Camera - and somebody's playing a trick on me. It was a very long seat post. I tried a couple of other seat posts I had handy....none of them would fit. It's maybe a sky blue, with white cable guides. The 1/2 chrome forks - one side wasn't too bad - but the other side was rusted beyond being able to polish. The decals weren't too bad - Handcrafted, hand built, that sort of information....Trusty, England...something like that. The crank is SR. The crank arms are pretty light....but the side with the chain rings - seems a bit heavy. One hub is Shimano, one rim has a big "S" stamped into it. One rim is made in Germany. So, one of the rims isn't original. (Come to think of it.....I believe I have the matching rim with the big "S" on another bike....and I do believe one of them is the front and one is the rear....imagine that! Also, the other rim made in Germany.....I believe I have the mate to it also - on another bike which also had mis-matched wheels)
Since the bike doesn't have braze-ons on the top tube....I had thought of maybe making it a fixed-gear. I'll decide something after I get it cleaned up.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   My First Viscount posted by Dave on 9/16/2003 at 4:41:03 PM
Grayln , I have seen a couple of these bikes in bike racks . Seems to be 2 types, either low end ones with heavy parts or nicer lightweight ones . Sheldon Brown had a pretty good discourse on these bikes @harriscyclery.com. I think that Suntour or Shimano might have made the Lambert brand drivetrain parts like they did for Raleigh in the late '70's,(I replaced the Simplex deraillers & shifters with them on my '72 Grand Prix and they work very well). Looks like you got the nicer, possibly British built one. Good find!

   RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   My First Viscount posted by Dave on 9/16/2003 at 5:24:09 PM
PS - My '72 Grand Prix has Raleigh branded Suntour VX front and rear deraillers and Shimano downtube levers. I have seen the Lambert branded stuff for sale @classicrendevous.com and E-bay.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Trouble with alloy rims posted by: Mark C. on 9/15/2003 at 5:02:52 PM
I picked up a new bike with Wienamann alloy rims. After a quick check out I took it for a good spin and found that a firm, steady application of the front brake revealed a point in the rotation where the brake slipped as if there was grease on the rim. I cleaned the rim surface with degreaser and steel wool with no improvement. I tried different brake pads and still no change. I put a diffent front wheel on and the brake now works fine. So I checked the rim and the only thing I can find is the rim measures about .020" (less than a 1/32nd) thinner where the loss of brakes seemed to occur. Has anyone run into this before? Could only .020" make the brake feel like it hit a grease spot? What kind of tolerance would a rim manufacturer have? Do you think the rim is damaged? I come to the experts for thoughts of wisdom! Thank you all in advance!

    Trouble with alloy rims posted by John E on 9/15/2003 at 8:45:26 PM
Any rim with a defect which renders the brakes, particularly the front, jerky is potentially very unsafe and should probably be replaced. I wonder whether someone overcorrected a rim sidewall bulge by squeezing it too tightly. You also may want to try running your finger over the spot, to try to detect any change in smoothness, but I think you are on the right track with your width observation. I have frequently encountered rims which grab brakes at bulges, never the opposite, but I suppose it could happen!

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Trouble with alloy rims posted by Tom on 9/15/2003 at 9:58:13 PM
I think John E. is on the right track. However, I have also occasonally seen under or over width rims caused by poor finishing of the weld seam. This will cause grabbing and loss of brakes, respectively.

The other situation which will cause similar braking problems is an out-of-round rim. Since must rim sidewalls taper towards the bottom, the effective width for an out-of-round rim will vary. At the low/flat point of rotation, the brake pads will contact the wider, top section of the sidewalls, while at the high point, they will lose contact with the lower, narrower section of the sidewalls. However, in this situation the rim width does not actually vary.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   japanese componets posted by: eric on 9/15/2003 at 4:29:11 PM
I have a shimano dura ace/600 arabesque gruppo and looking for a frame where these might have been originally spec'ed.

Keith, you mentioned below in my other post that your Miyata Pro came with this or similar group. what year is your miyata? i also understand that the Fuji S-12 might have been spec'ed with these components. any other suggestions to properly hang these components on?

right now they are hanging on a Ruegger Spezial that is a bit too big for me and would like to find a smaller frame.


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   japanese componets posted by Keith on 9/15/2003 at 5:08:41 PM
I'm not certain of the year the Miyata Pro was made but I'd guess at 1979. If someone else would care to help with the date, it had an early 6-speed cassette hub which used the small cog as the lockring (i.e. no separate lockring), and the 600 shifters had the scrollwork as you describe. The handlebars and stem were Shimano 600 as well, and the stem had recessed allen bolts with a plastic allen nut cover. FWIW a few years ago there was still a cache of older Miyata frames being sold over the internet. I found it by typing "Miyata bicycle" or similar search terms into a search engine.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   japanese componets posted by Keith on 9/15/2003 at 5:15:34 PM
I just checked this and the only reference I found to the old Miyata USA site (which once featured frames, unicycles and a brief history of the company) was a dead link.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   japanese componets posted by Eric on 9/15/2003 at 9:23:34 PM
sounds like the same group of components I have except the stem and bar which are SR Sakae.

Looks like my search is renewed.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   japanese componets posted by Tom on 9/16/2003 at 2:42:43 AM
The Arabesque 600 EX group was first introduced in 1978. I believe it lasted until 1981.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Gitane Tour de France posted by: J. Carter on 9/15/2003 at 2:28:01 PM
I am looking for a good source for 70's Gitane info - I am trying to return a TdF to its proper paint scheme, components, etc. Does anyone know where I could find old Gitane literature, or any other help?

   RE:   Gitane Tour de France posted by Eric Amlie on 9/15/2003 at 5:57:09 PM
I have an early seventies TdF. I don't know how to date it exactly, but I believe it is '70 or '71. From what I've been able to gather, the components(at least the crankset) were somewhat variable on these. Usually you see a Stronglight 93 on them but the guy who I bought mine from who was the original owner swears that it came new with a Sugino Mighty Competition. I have since installed a Stronglight 93 on it. I have a Gitane catalog from the early seventies that I could scan the TdF page from and attach it to an email to you if you wish. Not sure how much info about the bike is there but it may be a place to start.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Gitane Tour de France posted by Rob on 9/15/2003 at 6:25:12 PM
Hi J.

In June, I asked these same questions of a buddy who had bought one new in the mid 70's...he's pretty knowledgable and I would assume what he said is quite accurate:

Stem: Pivo Professional
Bars: likely Pivo
Brakes: MAFAC Competition with half hoods
Shifters: Simplex Criterium (Steel with a black plastic cover)
Front and Rear Derailleurs: Simplex Criterium
Rims: Fiamme Red LAbel or Mavic Mothlery sp?)Pro or Super Champion Arc-en-Ciel
Freewheel: Atom, Maillard or Regina (All US and almost all CDN imports were English threaded)- if you have a hub threaded differently, suspect that someone brought it in from Europe...)
Hubs: Campagnolo Nuovo Tipo, or Campagnolo Record or Normandy Competition
Tires: they were Tubular...Brand?
Seat and post: Simplex with a Brooks Pro saddle

I forgot to ask him about the crankset, but on mine (mid '70's) it had a Sugino Mighty Competition with a 49T big ring...I have no reason to believe this was not original, but I'm suspicious of the low geared ring...though that could easily have been changed for a non athletic rider...:)...this would also jibe with the comments in Eric's post...I've since changed mine to an early 80's Stronglight with the usual 52/42 config...

I think this is pretty good info...if anyone has a catalog or knows something else, please jump in...

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Gitane Tour de France posted by Rob on 9/15/2003 at 7:10:20 PM
PS Here's a good site to see what some of these parts look like:


It's in Japanese, but the names associated with the photos are in English...an excellent site for Italian, French English and others...it's a work in progress...this guy should be given some kind of award...a terrific site...

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Gitane Tour de France posted by josh on 9/16/2003 at 2:23:12 AM
what size seat post does gitane tdf take?

   RE: seat post posted by Eric Amlie on 9/16/2003 at 12:28:04 PM
I think it's supposed to be 26.4 mm. My seat tube was pretty out of round at the top so I had it reamed to 26.6.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Gitane Tour de France posted by Tom on 9/16/2003 at 1:01:28 PM
I have the catalog specs for the 1973 Gitane, Tour de France. The specs match Rob's posting, with the following exceptions:
Handlebars - Pivo (confirming Rob's assumption)
Brakes: MAFAC Racer
Rims: MAVIC Monthlery (no options)
Tires: Dunlop tubular
Hubs: Normandy Competition (Campagnolo Record option)
Crankset: Stronglight Super Competition 42/52T
Colours: White, blue, red, black, orange, violet, green.

Early Tour de France models (the ones with Reynolds 531 DB frames)should use seatposts with 26.4 mm or 26.6 mm diameters.

Eric and Rob, I'm not suprised to hear of Japanese cranksets on the TDF. However, for them to be original, the bicycle probably dates from the late 70's. I recently found documented evidence that Gitane had shifted manufacture and assembly of their low and middle priced bikes to Japan by 1978, at the latest. These bikes used all Japanese components. Likely, the top line bicyles were still being manufactured and assembled in France, however, the volume buying power for the components on the low and middle priced would justify using some, if not all, Japanese components on the upper end models.

Regarding Rob's commment on freewheel threading, I have seen this before, notably on Sheldon Brown's site. Interstingly, this comment is at odds with my own experience. There are several possible explanations for this;

1. The use of English threaded freewheels depended on the manufacturer. Some may have used English, while others preferred French threading.

2. The use of English threads depended on the wheel size/type. The large volumes of 27 x 1-1/4" bicyles may have justified English threaded hubs and freewheels, while the smaller volumes of tubular tired models may not have justified a special run for English threads, especially if they used a different brand/model of hub.

3. The French threaded versions are the results of shortages caused by bike boom. The manufacturers simply ran out of English threaded hubs and freewheels and substitiuted what they had on hand.

4. My memory is totally shot and I'm remembering things incorrectly. In my defence, I have several French threaded freewheels in my bins and a set of Jeunet wheels.

Now, there is no doubt, that the French manufacturers eventually phased over to English threaded hubs and freewheels. The period I'm referring to is the early 70's bike boom. I just seem to recall a fair amount of French threading and ordering French threaded replacement freewheels. I'd been interested in hearing the experiences of others owning French bicycles from this era.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Gitane Tour de France posted by Tom on 9/17/2003 at 4:08:10 AM
Ha! Ha! Eric, I've had a few of those memory lapses myself! That's why I reference back to my old catalogs and magazines whenever possible.

For those who may not be aware, the Simplex derailleur date code that Eric is refering to, is usually stamped on the outside of the inner cage plate, near the centre.

The original component quandry is something we will probably never solve. We can rely on the original owner's story, but let's face it, he stands more chance of making the sale if he claims it's all original. In this case, credibility will come down to how well you know the person and/or his reputation.

The only truly objective evidence we have is old catalog specs, magazine ads and reviews, and these should be our prime source for authenticity. Even then, things must be taken with a grain of salt, particularly during the boom years of the early seventies. Manufacturers would routinely run out of parts and substitute whatever was available to make shipments on time. I remember getting Raleighs with atrocious Altenburger Syncron brakes in place of Weinmann and trying unsucessfully to steer customers to other bikes.

If we look at the logic of substitutions, the first choice for the maker would be to substitute another model of the same brand. On this basis, substituting Racers brakes for Competitons, or vice versa, makes perfect sense and there is little reason to suspect non-original parts, particularly for the boom era. In fact, it's entirely possible that Competitions were original spec, as it was not uncommon for specs to change model from year to year.

In the event that the manufacturer is forced to utilize another brand component, his first option would be a local supplier (read Europe in Gitane's case) to minimize delivery delays. For the cranks, the first logical choice would be another French brand (i.e. TA) followed by other European brands. Logically, a Japanese crank would probably be the last choice. However, stranger things have happened and it is posssible that a 1972 TDF had Sugino as original equipment. However, if we look at the catalogs, the evidence suggests that Stronglight was probably the spec'd crank.

In order for a manufacture to switch to a supplier on the other side of the world, it would make sense only if it was part of a larger or long term change. That is to say, a new crank manufacturer was used across the entire line-up or the they went all Japanese on one or two models. This approach was used in the late 70's when Gitane went Japanese on their low and mid range bikes. It was also evident in the early 80's when the TDF went Italian! (I kid you not, the 1983 specs show Italian Ofmega hubs, derailleurs and cranks. The only remaining French components were MAFAC brakes, Maillard freewheel & MAVIC rims).

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that there is a distinction between original spec'd equipment and original supplied equipment. Ideally, they should be the same, but they often are not. Try to apply some logic, where possible. Ultimately, it is impossible to prove that a component is not original equipment. We can only state that it does match original specifications and apply logic to establish a level of confidence regarding it's originality.

Regarding the decals I can't be of much help. Most of my Gitane literature is from the early and mid 70's. This shows a common logo style, from what I can see (the logos are pretty small or fuzzy in a lot of the pics) Unfortunately, I have no late 70's pictures to confirm or refute if this style remained in use. The few road tests from the late 70's, have no pictures associated with them.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Gitane Tour de France posted by Dave on 9/16/2003 at 5:20:19 PM
Tom , My '73 Puegeot U-08 had French threaded Normandy rear wheel but cotterless Sugino Maxy cranks. My feeling is they just installed whatever they could get their hands on and built these bikes with a very short timeframe like you theorized.

   RE: TdF vintage posted by Eric Amlie on 9/16/2003 at 6:14:46 PM
Tom, I bought my TdF from the original owner. He was a little unclear if it was 1970 or 1971, but it was one of those. He said the Sugino crank was on it when he bought it new. The bike also had Mafac Competition(as opposed to Racer) brakes on it.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Gitane Tour de France posted by Rob on 9/16/2003 at 6:26:55 PM
Tom, Thanks for all the info...first, I would like to take a friendly exception on the brakes...on my TdF (until now I've assumed it's from 1974/75...but maybe it's a bit later). The brakes are MAFAC Competition, and they definitely look like they have always been there...also logic sort of compels one to conclude that if a person were changing the brakes they wouldn't have upgraded with MAFAC...maybe the MAFAC Competition was an option at the time??? As to the crankset, what you are saying about Sugino makes sense to me...I've heard that Gitane in that era was quite dedicated to producing the best bikes they could (consistent, obviously, with their product line), and if that meant Japanese parts over French parts, so be it. On my TdF (before I changed over to an early '80's Stronglight), both the crankset and the spindle were Sugino (I had to change the spindle as the Stronglight crank sat too close in on the Sugino spindle). Again, logic would suggest that either the Sugino was an option earlier than '78 or the bike is likely a later model than I thought. Of course, someone could have changed the crankset set later, but the probability of a change from Stronglight to Sugino seems low to me...what would be the advantage?

As to the frame and decals...did TdF frames have the same basic look and decals all through the 1970's, and if so when would they have changed the appearance?

Thanks Tom...whatever insights you can provide would be appreciated...All in good fun!!! :)

   RE: Correction posted by Eric Amlie on 9/17/2003 at 1:24:05 AM
I just found the date on the original Simplex Criterium rear derailleur that was on the bike when I bought it...2/72. I guess my seller has a memory about as poor as my own :-(

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Gitane Tour de France posted by Rob on 9/17/2003 at 3:31:31 AM
Eric...I've seen that date a number of times on Simplex derailleurs...I'm not sure it's the date of manufacture...it might be some kind of patent date...My 2 cents worth...:)

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Gitane Tour de France posted by J. Carter on 9/17/2003 at 9:32:48 PM
Great info here, thanks 1. Decals: does anyone know where to get those shiny seat tube and/or the head tube decals? 2. Cranks: just to muddy the water I remember that my Gitane Interclub, bought new in 1972, had a Sugino crankset although spec'd for a Durax.