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Archived: Vintage Lightweights

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Helicomatic and Atom posted by: Gralyn on 1/12/2004 at 6:59:02 PM
I had posted earlier about my Rigida and Wolber wheels. The Rigida has a Maillard Helicomatic set-up. I had posted that it was locked up....but as it turns out - it wasn't. It seems to be fine.

Now, on my Wolber wheel - it has a Hurret Atom set-up. It was locked up! I couldn't find a tool to remove the cluster (small splined removal tool....I had one but it wouldn't fit this one). So, I took 2 chainwhips and removed the cogs. Then I took a nail-set and un-screwed the retainer ring. I removed it - and all the bearings - then took a large pipe wrench and un-screwed the inside of the freewheel assembly.

I suppose it had been left out in the rain ....it was really, really rusted up pretty bad!

WANTED:   Information on Lenton Grand Prix posted by: P.C. Kohler on 1/11/2004 at 5:37:12 PM
Anyone out there have a copy of a Raleigh catalogue c. 1960-61??

I am keen to see a picture and specs for the Raleigh Lenton "Grand
Prix" offered that year ('61 was the last year for the Lenton in the
UK). In particular I need to ascertain which brakes were specified. I
think it was GB Sports but possibly GB "66" centre-pulls for the '61
model in question.

If you have a copy, I'd really appreciate a scan. Or if you don't have
a scanner, just a synopis of the specs would be MOST appreciated.

Many thanks

P.C. Kohler

MISC:   Raleigh Team Record vrs. the Continental posted by: dent on 1/11/2004 at 4:34:22 AM
JONathan, you were right on about my '76 Record's ride over the Conti, I also own a '74 Continental. I took the Raleigh out for the first time today, nice road bike feel, comfy.

   RE:MISC:   Raleigh Team Record vrs. the Continental posted by JONathan on 1/11/2004 at 7:48:52 AM
Glad it's up and running good. They glide right along. I rode my 1970 "record" last week for a derailer tune-up. I have a SunTour "V" set up on it. I kept the big Huret downtube shifters in place. They look cool, man.
The '71 "Conti" is in drydock...needs brakes and new pedals. The "record" is lighter tubing and lugged frames seem to ride better, IMHO experience. Face to face, the "conti" looks a bit clunky with the pie-plate chainguard and one-piece crank.
My '68 "record" is my next project, after the '69 Raleigh "Twenty" that's on the rack. I rode the '68 just for fun, but it's had a rough life. Paint is great, but it needs a lot of TLC. The cranks are good, derailer is the Simplex pantograph type.
I think the rigida wheels on a lady-frame '76 "Sprite" 3-speed with 27 in. tires are going on the '68 "record". The "Sprite" is in near new shape, but nobody wants to ride it. It rides better than the Motobecane "Nobly", but....I never try to tell someone else what THEY like.
I must admit, the Motos have great paint work and finish details for a mass produced bike. The "record" is a solid, good, honest riding bike, IMHO. Raleigh had a few decades to figure out what constitutes a good bike. Like the FUJI bikes, a hundred years making bikes helps.
Interesting is the "conti" and "Record" are both the same size (25) and color (yellow). I put Araya alloy wheels on a '77 RRA with TA triple cranks and what a great ride that turned out to be. Heavy touring is out, but I used it a lot for medium and light tours in hilly (steep!) terrain in the Sierra and the Coast Redwoods.
The downtube shifters are better than the stem mounts...just my 2.
I sure like my ol Raleighs.
You done good!

   RE:RE:MISC:   Raleigh Team Record vrs. the Continental posted by marc on 1/11/2004 at 8:18:51 AM
The first time I took my raleigh record ltd it was such a wonderful surprise. It was my first vintage road bike and I fell in love. I was only planning on doing 10 miles that day but wound up doubling that. It felt like it could coast forever and the best part was blowing past everyone on their new 500 dollar bikes while they were stuck in the wrong gear. It's a beauty and I turn heads when I ride. Paint is great and so are the decals. It's all original except the huret front derailuer that doesn't match the raleigh marked suntour in the back. Sometime soon I've got to get working on a moto I found. And you are right jonathon, moto's do have beautiful paint jobs.

AGE / VALUE:   SEATTLE OLD BIKE SWAP MEET posted by: Jon in DesMoines,Wa. on 1/11/2004 at 2:30:27 AM
one of Seattles largest gatherings of Bicycle collectors,

MISC:   Vitus steel heirarchy posted by: brent on 1/11/2004 at 1:48:51 AM
I finally got fed up with every frame that I own being too big for me and drug out the measuring tape to see what the smallest one was. It's this late eighties Gitane that is made of Vitus 999 chro-mo. Anyone have any idea where this fits in the heirarchy of vitus or against Reynolds or Columbus?

   RE:MISC: Vitus steel heirarchy posted by jack on 1/12/2004 at 1:40:45 AM
Brent, looking at an old chart shows Durifort, 172, then 971. If Vitus follows pattern then 999 would be top of line (thinnest) comparable to Tange #3, etc.


   RE:MISC:   Vitus steel heirarchy posted by T-Mar on 1/12/2004 at 4:06:03 PM
Vitus 999 was a plain gauge CR-Mo tubeset. It was basically the equivalent of Columbus Aelle and was second from bottom in the Vitus line. While it may have been been produced in the very late 80's, it is generally associated with the 90's. My 1988 Vitus data sheets do not mention it.

AGE / VALUE:   3spd coaster posted by: Tim on 1/10/2004 at 5:06:42 PM
OK guys I`ve tried adjusting till I`m blue in the face still no 1st gear on Dads old schwinn,next question is how complex is this hub to tear down (it is a Sturmey)?

      3spd coaster posted by John E on 1/10/2004 at 5:20:21 PM
My first bicycle, a mid-1950s Schwinn, had a Bendix 2-speed coaster hub, essentially a 3-speed without any provision for overdrive.

   RE:   3spd coaster posted by JONathan on 1/10/2004 at 6:19:19 PM
Look for a copy of Glenn's "Complete Bicycle Manual" by Clarence W. Coles and Harold T. Glenn. My copy is 1973.
On p. 130, there is a diagram of the Bendix internal-gear hubs. The text has a thorough "walk through" of teardown and rebuild.
As I posted below, I discovered that the hub was a 2 speed. With that as a working hypothesis, the whole thing made sense. My discovery of this book at a used books store
has made things even better. As for working on the hubs, just keep track of everything and take notes, so that when you reassemble the hodgepodge of parts the thing will work.
The only tricky feature is the coaster brake registration. Remember...keep the hammer at the other end of the garage!
Make sure you make note of the axle bearing cone position before taking it down. Good luck trying to find a retarded spring! I reused the original one. The book is great in the diagram showing which parts are not interchangeable
between the RB-2, RB and early single speed rear hub with coaster brake. WEAR GOGGLES taking the lockring off that holds the sprocket on the hub.
Good luck.
Note: What threw me, was the shifter had three speeds indicated on the housing. I've learned not to assume anything when working on these older craft. They run real good and the effort spent is worth it, IMHO.

   RE:RE:  Oops posted by JONathan on 1/10/2004 at 6:50:25 PM
I meant "retarder spring"; not "retarded spring". Look for "Bendix" stamped on the brake-arm and either yellow or blue bands around the shell.
A vise with inserts to prevent damage to the axle is nice. I use a couple strips of old oak flooring (3/8") as protectors. You only need to hold the wheel and axle in place while adjusting the cones.
You don't want the bearings too tight. After reading the chapter in Glenn's, I'm amazed that any of mine ever worked afterward. The book is a must, or something equivalent is advised, as it is not a trivial task.
I've rebuilt about 5 or 6 internal hubs before the manual came into my action. Other option: Pick up a thrift store bike with a 3 speed SA hub. There are lots of info on those and they are superb units.
Note: Low gear is indicated when the hub spins slower than the sprocket on one model. The other model has "normal and high" Normal uis where the hun rotates at speed of sprocket. Check to see which one you have.
There are two models: LOW-NORMAL and NORMAL-HIGH. Good luck.

   RE:RE:RE:  Oops posted by Edward in Vancouver on 1/11/2004 at 4:36:46 AM
For excellent instructions on almost any S/A hub, go to Tony Hadland's site, www.hadland.net, I think, and look at his list of stuff, it's impressive: Everything from Led Zep to R.Cath.churches in England, and a lot of bike stuff in between. But I digress, his site has factory instructions for tearing down and re-building S/A hubs as well as fault finding charts. Well worth the visit.

AGE / VALUE:   Robin Hood 3 wheeler? posted by: dent on 1/10/2004 at 3:49:41 AM
I just read a estate sale billing which listed a Robin Hood 3 wheeled bike. The Robin Hood appears to be a Raleigh built bike from looking at the picture database, would this be a Raleigh made 3 wheel bike? Or a totally different brand also using the Robin Hood name? If it's a Raleigh built 3 wheeled bike it might be worth looking into.

AGE / VALUE:   Hercules 10-speed posted by: Gralyn on 1/10/2004 at 1:30:52 AM
Any idea how to determine the age of an old Hercules 10-speed? Any ideas of date codes on some of the components? Sturmey-Archer wheels, Hurret Alvit der. Hurret shifters (those really long ones). I know the Sturmey-Archer 3-speed hubs had a date on them - but I don't know about the 10-speed wheels. I have no knowledge of frame serial numbers, and if there are any serial number charts anywhere. Does anyone know of any catalogs on-line?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Hercules 10-speed posted by T-Mar on 1/12/2004 at 5:01:01 PM
Gralyn, this sounds like a "keeper". My first first bicycle was a World War II vintage Hercules which I inherited from my grandfather when he passed away. It a was Sturmey-Archer 3 speed with the original flat black paint. Regrettably, I painted it metallic blue and added drop bars and a narrow saddle before I sold it to finance my first 10 speed. If I'd known then, what I know now, I would never have parted with it it or bastardized it.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Hercules 10-speed posted by Kevin K on 1/10/2004 at 2:44:41 PM
Hi Gralyn. While my main collection consists of Schwinn lightweights, I'm a real sucker for Huret/Sturmey-Archer pieces. I would add the bike simply as a conversation piece. Are the SA rims alloy or chrome steel? What type of freewheel. Sounds interesting. Kervin

MISC:   Bicycle Commuting posted by: Rob on 1/9/2004 at 6:46:13 PM
Well, I'm back commuting on my bike for the first time today since just before Christmas...and does it feel good!!! Part of the hiatus was because of a planned Christmas break, but we've had some pretty nasty weather in the Northwest over the last week and a half, very cold and a snow storm on Tuesday....this has been the first reasonable day to ride from my part of the city...only a few wet, icy spots where I had to walk...or more accurately stumble...wet ice is impossible stuff... I rode the transit system for the first four days of the week...yuk!!!...crammed in with 80+ 'friends'...coughing and wheezing...who needs it???

I highly recommend bicycle commuting..it's much easy than it seems...but you do have to play it safe...lots of lights in the northern winter, pick a good route, watch the icy days, be vigilant...and wear a helmet...

   RE:MISC:   Bicycle Commuting posted by Ken on 1/9/2004 at 8:55:28 PM
I'm also back on the bike today after too many days off, in northern Illinois where the side streets are still way slick. I put the knobbies on early this season. I'm always glad I rode, but today I was glad to arrive...

   RE:RE:MISC:   Bicycle Commuting posted by Gralyn on 1/9/2004 at 9:20:53 PM
My hat's (helmet) off to you folks who commute / ride in the cold. My idea of winter riding would be a setting in Florida. However, I had decided that I would going to do some riding in the cold - just so long as it wasn't raining. So, this past weekend - I was ready to do it. But, to my luck - we practically had record-breaking warm temperatures. So, it ended up like riding in the Springtime. But, I will be trying to do some riding in the cold....I'll just have to keep my ears warm and my hands warm....and I should be OK.

   RE:RE:MISC:   Bicycle Commuting posted by JONathan on 1/9/2004 at 9:59:09 PM
I've been running a '80's Raleigh "Seneca" (brown color which is good) here in N. Calif. where we get rain and mud impregnated with vegetation of all sorts. I hit a pile of what I thought were just leaves, when in fact, a chunk of a branch was buried under the mess. My front end swung hard enough for the handlebars to smash my thigh. I would have fone down if I had been running one of my road bikes, which are my preferred ride.
The handlebars are interesting. Steel with a wide radius, level across. The stem and bars are one unit with two struts coming up in a "V" pattern into the bars. There is a trianglular bridge welded to accept the brake cable stop. They are VERY stable bars with practically zero give laterally. Nothing beats a bike with lots of road grit, yet with the critical components clean and lubed to perfection. This is a good combination for me: Front and rear Araya 26x1.75 heavy duty alloy rims. Chen Shin 26x1.95, 45-60 psi, knobby tire on the front; 47-559 Specialized "hemisphere" rear tire (road pattern) with 80 psi, max.
If you get a look at this bike, check the fork crown. AA MC tire could fit in between the blades! This is what give the great stability through all the muck.
The triple ring has a 50 tooth large ring for a 93 high gear. The Shimano "crane" works the rear 6 sp. FW. The Sakae "CR" cranks are heavy, but that's all good.
I must look like a fishing trawler with the amount of lighting and reflectors glowing in the dark. Oh, and the big ol Schwinn bell (off a "suburban") round out the safety package.
This bike was a gimme, too. The sealed bearings on the axles and crankshaft is also a good setup. Quarters? Just a surplus army poncho under a tree. Vintahe? YES. Lightweight? NOOO.
50/50 ain't so bad.
Check out those "hemisphere" tires if you can.
Ride long, and prosper!

   RE:MISC:   Bicycle Commuting posted by T-Mar on 1/9/2004 at 10:57:06 PM
Sunny and cold (-21C / -8F) in my area to-day. However the streets were dry and clear, so I got in a short cycle to the store and a 5k training run. To-morrow's not going to be much better and I have a 4 mile race in the Upper New York State. That should be fun!

On the more positive side, I just finished building up a Pinarello Prince with Campagnolo Chorus 10 sp group and Proton wheelset. Yeah, I know it's not vintage, but I don't I deserve at least one road bike from the current century?

   RE:RE:MISC:   Bicycle Commuting posted by Gralyn on 1/10/2004 at 1:30:30 AM
I was down in FL over Thanksgiving....rode the Viscount Aerospace fixed gear while I was down there. It was great! I'm really envious of folks who cycle and live in those warmer climates. Seriously, 60 deg. F. is too cold for me. I hate the cold. I like it 70 and above. 90 doesn't bother me at all. Well, for the next couple months - it will probably be a mild 30 - 40 in the very early mornings. I will bundle up and give it a try.

   RE:MISC:   Bicycle Commuting posted by Don aka ollo_ollo on 1/10/2004 at 4:26:18 AM
I just rode again for the first time after the holidays & snowstorm here in Olympia, WA. Still lots of snow on the shoulders & in the bike lanes along with all the gravel & sanding accumulation. Temps were in the low 40F range so not bad at all. Its amazing how quickly one gets out of condition.

   RE:RE:MISC:   Bicycle Commuting posted by Oscar on 1/10/2004 at 5:01:15 AM
Man, I jealous as all git out. Business is so good that I've needed my car every day since Thanksgiving. Still, it would be great to ride...

    Bicycle Commuting posted by John E on 1/10/2004 at 5:18:14 PM
My biggest frustration in the San Diego area, where each day's weather is either "perfect" or "unusual," is that relatively few people commute by bicycle, despite horrendous (and steadily worsening) traffic jams. We are lucky to get 5000 cyclists to sign up for the annual Bike-to_Work day, in a greater metro area of 2 million people.

My current morning commute is either a 30-minute bike ride or a 10-minute bus ride plus a 45-minute jog. I almost never have to drive to work.

   RE: Bicycle Commuting posted by Derek Coghill on 1/11/2004 at 12:30:38 AM
I've been in France since the end of December (got back this morning) and rode a bike today for the first time in a fortnight; time to work off all that good food (and pastis...).

   RE:RE: Bicycle Commuting posted by l.p. on 1/11/2004 at 3:24:23 PM
hi all!our weather here in north texas cant be beat.reminds me of when we lived in southern california.it will warm to 64 degress today and now im going on a jaunt for a sunday paper [34] now!
take care,

AGE / VALUE:   Gianni Motta posted by: george on 1/9/2004 at 6:30:10 PM
I purchased a '87 (55cm) Gianni Motta (Personal 2001) off of eBay, but don't know to much about the history of these frames.I know that DeRosa made them for him in the '70's, I'm not sure of the head/seat tube angles,74 degrees? Just would like info. Also not really sure of the year. Has a bizzare paint job that probably wasn't popular past one year. It's a gold and black swirl patern. Thanks for any leads. George

AGE / VALUE:   Rigidas and Woblers posted by: Gralyn on 1/9/2004 at 2:22:44 PM
This kind of goes along with "worthwhile components" posted below.....

While making some of my routine stops....at one thrift store I gaze over to where the bikes are kept...as I get closer - a couple sets of drop bars catch my eye. That's the first thing my eye is trained to spot....those drop bars. As I get closer - I can read "Peugeot" along one of the top tubes. When I finally get to the bike (I had to control myself to keep from actually running to the bikes) I see that there are 2 very similar Peugeots. One is red, one is blue: both 23" frames, both are 103 steel, lugless. Both have alloy cranks, one has an alloy seat post, one has Sun Tour Seven, one has something french, Both appear to have Atax stems, Couldn't see a script on either bars, Both have Weinmann center pull brake (one has a "peugeot" front brake. Both have the safety levers with the drilled Weinmann levers. Both have stem mounted shifters. The finish looks to be pretty good on both. Both have 6-speed rear (one cluster takes the small splined tool for removal - but the other one is some kind of sealed thing - and I can't tell what would be required to remove it....but it will have to be removed because it is locked-up and will have to be re-built.

But the thing that sold me was the wheels:
One bike has 27" Rigida alloy wheels with QR front and rear
One has 27" Wobler alloy wheels with QR front and rear.

These are the first Wobler wheels I have owned and the first Rigida alloy set. Are these good wheelsets? Average wheelsets?

I know there is an abundance (well not really) of Araya's and Weinmanns, and many chrome Rigidas. But these are the first Woblers and ridida alloys I have ever spotted.

They appear to be in really good condition.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Rigidas and Woblers posted by T-Mar on 1/9/2004 at 3:25:02 PM
It all depends on the model of the rim and what you want them for. You said they were 27", as opposed to 700C, so the likely candidates for that time period are Rigida 1320 or 1622 and Wolber 58 or Gentleman 81. The Rigida 1622 & Wolber 58 are standard U-section rims, while the Rigida 1320 & Wolber Gemtleman 81 are box section rims. The latter are stronger, narrower and have hooked bead flanges to accepet narrow, high pressure tires. The former have traditional, bead flanges and can safely accept only medium pressure tires.

My personal reference would be for the box section rims as they are stronger and can be fitted with narrow, high pressure tires for lower rolling resistance. I'd be more concerned with cross section shape (U vs. box) than the brand name. Both Wolber & Rigida are good brands.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Rigidas and Woblers posted by JONathan on 1/9/2004 at 5:07:50 PM
The Wolbers can be premium quality...check for eyelets at the spoke insertion holes. I have a set of 700C hp rims on a Raleigh LTD "Sports". Needless to say, that's a huge improvement in ride.
Mine are the touring type, so they're heavy, but will hold a true for a long time, which is all I care about. Around here, going fast is risky biz. I like the 3sp. hub (SA/AW) for around town riding and the Wolbers are perfect. I know what to do with the SA hubs sans wheels, now.
I wonder if Wolber is still making wheel sets. They are pretty rare. If they're in good shape, you made a real wise buy...I'd buy the bike just for the Wolbers! Great find!!

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Rigidas and Woblers posted by Gralyn on 1/9/2004 at 5:46:48 PM
I must admit I pretty-much bought the bikes because of the wheels. They do have eyelets at the spoke insertion holes.

One interesting feature is that one of the bikes has the Maillard Helicomatic Freehub. It requires a special splined tool for removal. It will be an adventure finding one of those tools. The hub is locked up.....I read that they were prone to failure. I can't remember if it's on the Wolber set or the Rigida set.

.....OH, Wolbers "Woblers" I think when I first read about Wolbers a couple years ago.....It made me think of "wobble"...and like a wheel wobling....

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Rigidas and Woblers posted by Rob on 1/9/2004 at 6:39:51 PM
Glad to hear you bought the bikes...assuming the prices were reasonable. Although the helicomatic apparently doesn't have that great a rep., I've been watching for a bike or wheel with that set-up...something novel, I guess. Wolbers and Rigida (alloy) rims...if the price is right and they are in reasonable shape...I don't pass them up...I have a number of Wolbers...Gentleman 81 and 58...and a few Rigida alloy rims...they seem rarer...I have a nice Rigida rim, model I forget, with a nice Maillard 700 front hub...I found it one day in a junkpile in corner of my basement...along with a Campy shifter set and a beat-up Shimano 600 rear derailleur....oh, and an gold-anodized alloy motorcycle wheel...left behind by a tenant, I guess, when I had my house rented out about 15 years ago...my Canadian-made Peugeot UO-14 has alloy Rigida rims, but they look pretty basic. Wolber is apparently out of business...they apparently were an Italian company that at some point bought out a French rim maker...Champion as I recall...they made good stuff...Maybe T-Mar can confirm...

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Rigidas and Woblers posted by T-Mar on 1/9/2004 at 7:54:15 PM
Wolber was a French company, to best of my knowledge. They manufactured tires in addition to rims. As Rob states, they took over the manufacture of the Super Champion line of rims. Eventually, Wolber itself was taken over by Michelin, who operated the Wolber facility as a subsidary, until they closed it in 1999. I still see Wolber product occassionally, but I'm not sure if Michelin killed the brand name and what I'm seeing is old stock, or if Michelin is marketing new product under the Wolber brand name. Anybody else have further details?

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Rigidas and Woblers posted by JONathan on 1/9/2004 at 8:11:19 PM
Maillard "helicomatic" freewheels are interesting. The idea is good, IMHO.
I have a few sets, but only one with the Rigida alloy 27x1 1/4 inch wheels.
Lacking the special tool, I was successful with a #10 WR "vise-grip"...a must-have tool for working on these forgiving craft, IMHO. The collar that threads onto the splined pillar gets very little tension. I was able to carefully remove it with the vise-grips; counter-clockwise removal (right-hand threads).
Don't slip! I kept the jaws // to the plane of the collar. The first one came out a little eccentric looking, but it molded back OK. I'm not reccomending the vise-grips, but it worked for me.
The freewheel was not engaging, so I needed to remove it for an oil bath soaking. The pawl springs were jammed from dried lubricant. After a soak, the freewheel works great. I like the cluster ratio of
13-15-17-20-24-28. The Rigida rims cleaned up very well, too. Weinmann "Vainqueur" cp's and cotterless crankset were hardly used. All these goodies came from this light blue lugless "103" Peugeot for $10 US.
The cosmetic issues really determine the price at the charity stores. A lot of the ugliness stems from pure neglect, rather than wear and tear. It's amazing how nicely they clean up...good as new in many cases.
Getting back to thoae "helicomatics", the splined post requires a more radical dish to the drive side, which may be problematic...especially if the wheels are not trued regularly. Rigida wasn't taking any chances with those rims, they are built to last.
I'm ALWAYS lookin for those.
Good luck, you done good.
I have yet to pop a spoke on the one set that runs on a Peugeot mixte. Watch the axle bearings closely. I think each side is different!

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Rigidas and Woblers posted by Clyde on 1/11/2004 at 1:23:53 PM
After reading Sheldon's description of Heliomatic hubs where he noted the right side used thirteen 5/32 bearings, I tried to use ten 3/16s in the left side during a recent overhaul. However, there wasn't enough clearance, so I ended up using 5/32s in both sides. I had found both cones spalled and at least five of the bearings pitted which must have been source of roughness. After polishing out cones in my lathe, they run smooth now, but have I ground off the surface hardness? Future topic for a separate thread - since we may all be facing future replacement of obsolete cones and cups.

AGE / VALUE:   FIRENZE vintage track road bike?????? posted by: johnny c on 1/8/2004 at 11:39:25 AM

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Hetchins vs Bob Jackson posted by: Bob Sterry on 1/8/2004 at 5:37:00 AM
Would anyone care to compare the relative merits, technical & aesthetic of the current offerings of the two makers, Hetchins and Bob Jackson?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS: Hetchins vs Bob Jackson posted by Warren on 1/9/2004 at 1:57:03 PM
Like so many venerable marques, the older machines are generally held in higher esteem...the handcrafted mystique of the bikes are highly coveted and although framebuilders still build them by hand, they are perceived as somewhat less desireable. Even if the new frames are superlative...older is better? Of course this is often a myth.

With Hetchins there is a political aspect. Many collectors of the older Hetchins detest the newer models because of questions as to how the current owner of the Hetchins trademark acquired the rights. Some have also questioned the quality of the bikes. I know very few of these details.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Hetchins vs Bob Jackson posted by Ken on 1/9/2004 at 9:06:28 PM
Having no personal experience with either make, I surfed over to ClassicRendezvous
where there's plenty of info on both, and I love them all. The recent Bob Jackson on eBay would have been my bike if I were shopping in that range; the old Hetchinses are gorgeous indeed.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Hetchins vs Bob Jackson posted by John S on 1/12/2004 at 4:12:10 AM
I believe Jackson now makes Hetchins. Still hand crafted, Hetchins has a more illustrious history. If resale is important, will probably do more with the big H.

MISC:   worthwhile components posted by: marc on 1/7/2004 at 7:02:37 AM
I've just gotten into collecting lightweights a few months ago and I was wondering if some one could list some of the model names of worthwhile and higher end components from the different manufacturers from the 70's and 80's like shimano, suntour, campagnolo, etc. I know this is a tedious task but it would be greatly appreciated. I come across alot of bikes from this period and can pick brand names but I have no clue if the type of deraillers on them are crap or gold.

   RE:MISC:   worthwhile components posted by JONathan on 1/7/2004 at 8:22:40 AM
That's a tall order. Usually a bike worth riding will sport pretty good componentry. There are exceptions, of course, but if the frame is well made there's a good chance the components are too.
If you come across components sans bike, then you can determine quality, or lack thereof, by simple inspection. High quality parts are finished very nicely and they work smoothly.
The good ones are Campagnola, SunTour and Shimano. Simplex made some good plastic derailleurs. The condition of the part is also significant to it's value. I've thrown out some nice
Weinmann brakes that were bent and/or badly scratched up. Same for other parts, too, if they've reached the limit of usability; sloppy working derailleurs, for example. If you ride the bikes, the quality factors
become readily apparent...this is assuming that the bike has been made safe enough to test ride! Some of mine best finds were unfit for riding when I acquired them. The fun part for me is riding them after everything has been set straight.
To me, all bikes made with any pride, including mass produced units, are equipped with decent components, some are just a bit better than others.

   RE:RE:MISC:   worthwhile components posted by Kevin K on 1/7/2004 at 1:20:46 PM
Hi. Watch for Suntour Superbe, Cyclone and Cyclone II, Shimano Dura Ace in derailleurs. Brake items Royal and Gran Compe, Suntour Superbe and Shimano. I use a Suntour Blue group on one bike though I've yet to ride it as it's not complete. I also use a Shimano Altus LT on a LeTour IV. This group works ok for the bike. These are group I've used and they tend to work well. Good luch and have fun.

   RE:RE:RE:MISC:   worthwhile components posted by JONathan on 1/7/2004 at 6:43:25 PM
The buy-the-bike part for me is Weinmann "Vainqueur" center-pull brakes.
They are fantastic brakes and they are adaptable. These new brakes are fine, but if you fix up VLW's, these are handy to have lying around.
I buff them out and they look new. Sometimes the sun has faded the plastic embossing strip, but they work fine.
The derailers mentioned are nice. I look for the longer caged Shimano and SunTour derailers. The Shimano "crane" is a fine derailer fro a triple ring setup.
The SunTour 3000 is another long cage "goodie". I poke around the piles looking for those hardly used 27-inch aluminum alloy wheels. The 700C's are all over, but a primo "27" is a rare bird.
Snap those up, if you have vintage craft. Again, these are "buy-the-bike" parts...I'll buy the whole piece of junk as it rests (rusts?) just for these parts. Bar-con indexed shifters and any bar-con shifters are BTB parts for me.
Good luck.

   RE:MISC:   worthwhile components posted by Rob on 1/7/2004 at 6:58:00 PM
Lots of ground to cover...The Classic Rendezvous website is a good starting point:


... they have bikes and components organized by country of origin. My main area of interest is lightweights from the mid 60's, through to about 1985...SunTour (Maeda Industries) and Shimano dominated this market from about the mid 70's and on. If the price is right, I'll pick up any interesting item, but I seem to be most partial to SunTour...though I won't pass up high-end Shimano (Crane, Dura Ace,600EX, Ultegra, even Titlist). Campagnolo is the 'gold standard', though...and I've gotten some surprisingly good deals on high-end Campy items. I also tend to hoard Simplex and Huret, even the heavy steel stuff. Higher end Simplex and Huret are pretty rare, I've only found a few items.......Then there's rims and cranks and freewheels...gosh, I could go on and on..."The Dancing Chain" by Berto and others has a good derailleur timeline, and a couple of days ago, I stumbled onto this really interesting website:


...the website for a bike shop in Madison, WI....lots of interesting stuff...such as a Reynolds Tubing catalog with pictures of all the various Reynolds decals; a manual on Huret drive trains; a discussion on SUnTour; lots of other goodies...check out their site map:


AGE / VALUE:   Falcon let-down posted by: TimW on 1/6/2004 at 10:21:04 PM
A buddy of mine told me long ago of a Falcon racing bike sitting in his father's garage in a large city far, far away. The bike, my buddy remembers, was bought by his Dad in 1972 or so from a friend with a bike shop for whom a prospective purchaser pulled out after the bike was ordered. The price was something like Cdn $300-$400, and when the bike arrived, it was actually a higher level model than ordered (mistaken delivery).

So, when my buddy went to that large city for Christmas, he finally packed it in a box on a Greyhound to me. I was excited, expecting nice crafting and good components. Not so. While the bike is funky, I am pretty sure it's Falcon's entry level model (maybe a lie back in '72?).

I wonder if anyone can confirm that, and give any idea of the date:

* Falcon Special, gold-orange paint, "Made in Lincolnshire, England", cheap thick stick-on decals, 531 p.g. main tubes, no fork decals (worn off?), nice construction and details. Needs some TLC, significant rust in places paint was worn off. Lustre still in orig paint.

* Serial Number: X 37883

* The first thing I saw, raised my hopes, are Campy shifters with a finger-nut(?) for easy friction adjustment.

* Orig rear derailleur is Campy Velox, which I think I recognize as entry-level, not great equipment. It's in good shape and interesting. Front der is a very old Shimano.

* Cranks are cottered, and I can see any marking on the cranks, rings, or pedals.

* Brake Levers and brakes are Weinmann (centerpull).

* Rims are Sunshine large flange, steel rims.

* Rivo stem, unmarked bars.

I am thinking of disassembly, keeping the few intersting parts, having a go at cleaning up the frame and touching up the paint, and putting some newer retro parts on to make a city cruiser.

      Falcon posted by John E on 1/6/2004 at 11:08:45 PM
Your Falcon sounds very comparable to a Raleigh Super Course, which should make it eminently suitable for your intended application. If the frame had a 531 straight gauge main triangle, the forks were probably mundane carbon steel. Enjoy the ride; I think it will turn out better than you think!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Falcon let-down posted by T-Mar on 1/7/2004 at 5:00:57 PM
I used to work in a shop in the early 70's that had access to Falcon. Though we didn't stock them, we did bring some in on special order and I still have some of the literature.

Your model very closely matches the Model 92 (a.k.a. San Remo), which sold for about $200.00 - $225.00 CDN at that time. It also had a Reynolds 531 plain gauge frame, Camapgnolo Velox derailleurs, cottered crankset and Weinmann centre pull brakes. The original wheelset for a Model 92 were Campagnolo Valentino hubs laced to tubular rims. The saddle would have been a Brooks B17. My particular literature dates from 1973 & 1974, so I suspect yours may be the equivalent model from a year or two earlier.

The model 92 was actually a mid range model, with 3 models listed below it and one above it. The Velox rear derailleur and Reynolds 531 PG frame supports this. The bottom line Campagnolo derailleur at the time was the Valentino, which was spec's on the lower models. I suspect the wheels and front derailleurs are replacements, which is not susprising giving the that the original wheels were probably equipped with tubular tires and the front derailleur was a likely a Campagnolo Valentino pushrod.

Falcon was actually a very nice bicycle for the period, though their emphasis was on racing models. This approach led them to specify Campagnolo equipment on models. While there were better derailleurs available than the Campagnolo Valentino and Velox, they were durable and the Campagnolo name did attract customers. A friend of mine bought the top of the line San Remo Equipe frameset and fitted it with Shimano Dura Ace brakes, Simplex SLJ deraileurs and Campagnolo Nuovo Record for everything else. It was one of the prettiest and nicest performing machines of the 70's.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Falcon let-down posted by TimW on 1/7/2004 at 6:27:25 PM
The seat on the bike is some horrible hard plastic one, the orig leather seat is, I guess, long gone. Too bad about the wheels having been replaced too. Thanks for the info (and any more to come). I look forward to rendering it into a comfortable cruiser / commuter. And the Velox der will sit nicely up on the shelf with my other funky old components.

    Falcon posted by John E on 1/8/2004 at 4:37:00 PM
In the (ca. 1970) words of Charlie Harding, owner of the "C. Harding for Bikes" shop just south of UCLA, "A Falcon is a good English bike."