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

FOR SALE:   Lightening the Load posted by: John S on 1/6/2004 at 9:50:59 PM
Doing some year-beginning organizing and planning for this crazy and wonderful hobby. Decided to reduce the inventory of vintage Japanese components, among other things. Have filled a box with mostly SunTour, some Shimano, DiaCompe, etc. Most mid to upper end components from 70's and 80's. Shifters, derailleurs, brakes, clamps, freewheels, lots of misc. stuff mostly in good to very good condition, all functional.

Any suggestions welcome, I'd like to sell it all in one lot, never have done eBay, not sure local Craigslist online sales venue will work.

John S

   RE:FOR SALE:   Lightening the Load posted by TimW on 1/6/2004 at 10:52:07 PM
I am interested in more information about the old Japanese components. Please e-mail any info you have.

AGE / VALUE:   3spd w/coaster brake posted by: Tim on 1/5/2004 at 2:02:48 PM
I just picked up an old Schwinn Racer with a 3spd coaster brake for my dad (hes old school and won`t ride anything with hand brakes).The bike is in pretty good shape but I can`t seem to get 1st gear.I collect ballon tire single spd. bikes and have no clue on these hubs .any help e-mail me

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   3spd w/coaster brake posted by Ralph on 1/5/2004 at 4:01:51 PM
Assuming no broken pawls or springs, assuming Sturmey Archer, likely a cable adjustment. Shift the lever to 1st, take nearly all the slack from the cable. There should be just a SLIGHT amount of give in the cable with the selector in 1st. IF the indicator chain is the "correct" one, you can check the adjustment in 2nd gear. The shoulder of the rod should be flush with the end of the axle in 2nd. This only works with the "correct" indicator chain. The 1st method is more reliable. But with the right indicator, the 2nd is more accurate.

Shimano hubs have a bell crank with an indicator window. Shift to 2nd. The "N" should line up in the indicator window on top of the bell crank.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   3spd w/coaster brake posted by JONathan on 1/5/2004 at 7:04:10 PM
Reminds me of a "speedster" I fixed up. I reworked the bike and when I setup the tranny, I couldn't get 3 speeds!
The shifter has 3 positions, but the gearbox has only two speeds with a coaster brake. I believe it is a Bendix...which comes with a 3 sp. as well, but this one turned out to be a 2.
I must have hassled with it for 1/2 hr., the guy must have been questioning my mechanical competence by that point. I finally concluded that it was a 2-speed. Just a thought.
BTW, thanks Ralph. I can definitely use that info to good purpose.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   3spd w/coaster brake posted by Dick in FL on 1/5/2004 at 8:24:44 PM
Uh ... Ralph. Didn't you mean to say "high" gear for the SA cable adjustment? With the cable just going slack in 3rd, you are then assured that there will be sufficient cable excursion available to pull the transmission into low.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   3spd w/coaster brake posted by Ralph on 1/6/2004 at 3:58:57 AM
No Dick, I meant 1st gear. It's more accurate than the 3rd gear method, slack for me & you might mot be the same. If you shift to 1st and adjust to a slight amount of give in the cable you'll get better results. BTW, Sheldon Brown's 3 speed page says the same thing I do. I always preferred the "correct" indicator chain method, but when I was working as a mechanic the indicator chains were about a dime a piece and if the bike didn't have the right one I'd swear & go get one from the parts drawer. These days I often use the slight slack method. I have yet to tear up a hub. But in case I do, I inherited that old parts cabinet with about 600 pounds of NOS Raleigh stuff in it when that favorite old bike shop I used to work for went belly up in 1990. Since I'm a total sucker for Raleighs life is good.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: 3spd w/coaster brake posted by Ralph on 1/6/2004 at 4:26:35 AM
I'm confused as well...how can there be slack in the cable/indicator chain in 1st gear? This a semantics thing because every first gear I've shifted into has had a taut cable! I've always used 3rd gear as a starting point with rather consistant results.

I just took a moment to look at Sheldons page. Sorry to be a nitpicker but he really doesn't say "the same thing" you do. He refers to there being a "tiny bit of movement" left for the indicator chain to still move when in first gear but the adjective slack is only used to describe the cable in high gear. Yes?

I think we all get the drift regardless.

   Idiot posting too late at night posted by Warren on 1/6/2004 at 4:31:06 AM
Talk about confused...this last post was mine...not Ralphs! I guess I thought it was the "To:" header on an email...I'm calling it a night!

   3-speed friction shifting posted by John E on 1/6/2004 at 4:42:56 PM
... or just do as I always did, and friction-shift your 3-speed with a downtube lever or barcon. 1st and 3rd are trivial to find, 2nd is immediately beyond 1st, and neutral (VERY useful with a coaster brake!) is just beyond 3rd.

   clarification posted by John E on 1/6/2004 at 4:43:55 PM
To clarify my previous post, the shift pattern is 1-2-N-3.

   RE:3-speed friction shifting posted by Dick in FL on 1/7/2004 at 3:14:28 AM
Raleigh actually offered this scheme in the final days of their Sports model. It employed a five speed SA hub with a separate cable emerging from each axle end. The cables were controlled by a pair of friction levers mounted on the down tube .... just like a derailleur bike.

AGE / VALUE:   Carlton Clubman - Age? posted by: Tim Tarrant on 1/4/2004 at 11:05:40 AM
I have a Carlton Clubman with a frame number WS4003129. That suggests to me that it was a Worksop made frame - it has 531 tubing. As the Worksop factory closed in 1974 I assume it must have been made pre-1975. I suspect that it was made quite late but can anyone be more precise from the frame number. The Clubman is in its original finish and I can email photographs but it is a fairly traditional lightweight.
I also have a Carlton Cobra - fully chromed with an NH prefix to the frame number - suggesting it was made in the Raleigh Nottingham factory. Many thanks

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Carlton Clubman - Age? posted by P.C. Kohler on 1/5/2004 at 5:37:02 PM
Tim.... the way I understand it (and decyphering Raleigh serial numbers is a challenge!) the number after WS (for Worksop) is the date (year) of manufacture so it should indeed be 1974. But did Worksop close in that year? If so, it's odd that my Raleigh Competition GS has a WS9... serial number dating her to 1979. There is no doubt this is a '79 machine by other date codes on components.

By the way, was the Raleigh Competition GS (or indeed the earlier Huret Jubilee fitted model) ever sold in the UK? Most British friends are unfamiliar with the name. Or was this, perchance, sold as the Clubman in the UK?? The RetroRaleigh site has all the specs on the US market lightweights but not the UK market ones.

P.C. Kohler

AGE / VALUE:   Pinarello headbadge? posted by: Edward in Vancouver on 1/3/2004 at 5:06:32 AM
Although my only roadbike is on rollers in the laundry room for the rainy period, I'd like to do a thorough strip and clean, down to a new sealed B.B. before spring comes.
In '96 I applied "Frame saver" tape to strategic areas of the frame. This is a durable, clear tape which was also used for protecting skis. The tape is now tattered and dirty, and I am wondering if applied a little heat (via hairdryer) to the tape if it would be easier to remove.
As well the headbadge um, er.. headsticker is shot, too much cable rub, and I am wondering if I can replace it or even get a higher quality rivet-on type. The bike is a Pinarello "Gavia". Also, any idea what can I use to touch up the white lettering on the chainstays?
Thanks, Edward in Vancouver

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Pinarello headbadge? posted by Ron on 1/4/2004 at 8:21:40 AM
Heat is the best thing for removing tape, bumper stickers and the like. The hair dryer will probably work on the bike, since there isn't a lot of mass to warm up. Just start at one edge and work slowly. My wife has a heat embossing gun that has about the same heating element as a hair dryer, but the fan is smaller, so the air comes out much hotter. Ive pulled bumper stickers off my truck that were almost good enough to reuse.

AGE / VALUE:   Ross Gran Tour Professional Model posted by: Gralyn on 1/3/2004 at 3:11:59 AM
There was a string of posts a while back on the Ross Gran Tours. I had recently found a Gran Tour which cleaned up and looks brand new. Last night I eliminated the safety levers, and converted to down-tube shifters. I'm thinking it's circa 1980.

Well, to my surprise - today ....amid the desert of old lightweights..... I spot another Ross Gran Tour. This one is labeled "Professional Model". Well, it looks a lot less "professional" than my other one. This one has no QR on either wheel. Some of the welds on the frame look sloppy. The bridge for the rear brake caliper looks very cheap. One date code on the brake lever indicates 1978. It looks like the rear der. has been replaced with a more recent one. The shifters had been converted to down-tube. (the braze ons are still there for the cable housings which go up to the stem for stem shifters. The bike is chunked full of braze-ons for cables.

So, these bikes are maybe just a couple years apart.....one has not one braze-on and the other is covered with braze ons!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Ross Gran Tour Professional Model posted by JONathan on 1/3/2004 at 6:14:13 AM
Gralyn, I found a pic. of a Ross GT II at "index 2" from the Tunturi 500 post below.
Very unique looking geometry on the GT. Wheelbase and fork angle is amazing. Probably rides like a big 'ol Buick!

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Ross Gran Tour Professional Model posted by JONathan on 1/3/2004 at 6:21:02 AM
This is it...http://pages.zdnet.com/mlander24/id40.html
Index 1 has the "professional", which is hard to see details such as you mentioned.
A bigger pic./monitor may help. There's a Fuji "gran tourer" that's somewhere in the mix.
I'd sure like to run across one of those at a thrifty.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Ross Gran Tour Professional Model posted by Joe on 1/3/2004 at 7:20:05 AM
Ross bikes which were made in Allentown, PA had a date code stamped on a rear dropout, the code is the date of frame manufacture. Don't be surprised though to see a variety of date codes on these bikes, the frames were often built ahead of time and used as needed on several models. The Gran Tour was above the Gran Tour II and below the top of the line Super Gran Tour in the Professional series. These stayed the same from about late 1978 to 1981. Some where around the 1982 model year they began using an Asian source to manufacture there bikes as is the plant in PA was converted to build ammo boxes. Soon after that they sold out or went bankrupt and the Ross name was then adopted by Rand Bicycles and quality dropped to that of a department store bike. I believe the later bikes used a black headbadge decal with the letter "R" in place of the previous "ROSS" alloy plate which stated 'Allentown, PA".
Prior to the opening of the Allentown location, the bikes stated their original NY address on the headbadge, and I believe most of those road bikes were from either Japan or Taiwan. These were labeled "Ross Import Division".
The Super Gran Tour was equipped with full a Shimano 600 groupo, Araya alloy wheels, and Shimano high flange hubs. The Gran Tour was basically the same bike, with steel "Ross" rims (Ross built their own rims at Allentown, they look similar in design to a Schwinn S-6 rim), ussually Normandy high flange hubs, Titlist/Altus derailleurs, Takagi Tourney crankset, and Shimano 14-28t UG Freewheel in gold. Handlebars were Sakei Randonneurs, with Dia-Compe 610 calipers and safety levers. Shifters were the spring assist Shimano Finger Tip variety. and were stem mounted.
The GTII was nearly identical to the GT but usually used small flange steel hubs, Shimano Eagle derailleurs, and some that I have seen had steel handlebars.
These frames were straight guage steel and a bit heavy to say the least. These were well made bikes, but many did seem to have a rust problem due to poor painting procedures. The stamped Ross braze-ons were also common to both lower models, with the SGT lacking the two upper downtube guides. These guides often came loose and were serviced by Ross back then unpainted and with a rivet kit to replace those which fell off. Replacement frames also often came without any braze-ons, many frames were replaced due to rust showing though the paint. I grew up a few doors away from a Ross dealer and owned several of these bikes back then, I had a few frames replaced myself for just that reason. I spoke with a few shop owners who had taken a tour of the Allentown facility back then and they had told me that it was common to see piles of unpainted frames piled up outside awaiting finishing. Apparently, and quite often, rusty and unprepped frames got painted right over, without any prepwork. If the acid dip was not thorough and rinsed properly, the frame often showed either rust through the paint or rust bleeding from the tubing vent holes. It seems that only those who complained about it and persued the issue, got their frame replaced.
I myself currently have a 1980 Gran Tour in a 25" frame which I have had since new, I'm currently restoring it and have just recently collected all of the needed pieces to make it 100% original. These bikes probably have little to no collectable value, but an SGT is a good find simply for it's 600 components. I have '79, and '80 model catalogs here if you need any pics or info.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Ross Gran Tour Professional Model posted by Gralyn on 1/3/2004 at 1:14:01 PM
I had a brown Gran Tour II, 25" with the Ross steel rims - but I sold it. I have a Gran Tour, red color, with the head tube decal with the big "R" on it. It's currently dis-assembled - it came with Weinmann alloy rims. But, it had stem shifters, red cable housings, braze-ons.
The Gran Tour I recently re-built had those "finger tip" stem mounted shifters....and was equipped as you mentioned. It too had those Ross steel rims. I put the Weinmann rims on this one, and put a set of 600 down-tube shifters. Yes, this particular frame had no braze ons at all.....so maybe it was one of those replacement frames.

The Gran Tour I picked up yesterday has steel rims - but the profile looks like Rigidas - rather then old Schwinn's - like the other Gran Tour (oh, the Gran Tour II I had also had those Schwinn-looking steel rims).

........thanks for all the interesting information!

AGE / VALUE:   Tunturri 500R posted by: Bryant on 1/1/2004 at 8:29:29 PM
Went to my local GW and found a Tunturri 500R. It was in a pile with some Huffy's and Murrays. Would have missed it if I didn't pick out the Alloy wheels. It has a no-name CroMo frame with shifter bosses, sloping crown fork and forged front dropouts. The components are Suntour AC 2000 with Chang-Star Brakes. brake hoods, no safety levers. Paint is in very good shape, Alloy wheels, rear nutted, front QR. Amazingly it was marked for $10. They also had two Schwinn Varsities and a Traveler for $15 each. I guess no one (including me) heard of Tunturri, and so marked it less than the Schwinns. My question is when would it have been made? Star brakes have no year markings. The Suntour Accushift 2000 is an indexed system, My guess would be around 1986-88. That sound right? Also anyone ever here of Tunturri? Seems like a nicer entery level bike.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Tunturri 500R posted by JONathan on 1/2/2004 at 6:32:02 PM
Tunturi is a Finnish bicycle brand, I beleieve. They make high range training equipment. I would be happy to pick up a good deal like that one. The SunTour 2000 was an early indexed derailer.
Nice find. The "500" I would guess is maybe a notch below the top model. I would guess early '80's. Either way, you done great!
They are jacking up prices in the thrifts. I looked at a Univega "tandem Tour" for $450 at my local thrift store. A beat Dunelt 3sp. is set at $45US. This situation seems to represent a general trend, based on my recent observations.
It's gotten to where my visits are becoming less frequent and without much enthusiasm...are the "glory days" ending? If there were deals like yours around me, I would out there in the rain!

Nice find!!

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Tunturri 500R posted by JONathan on 1/2/2004 at 7:07:13 PM
Bryant, your figure is more likely correct. I read the "Sunset for SunTour" (Frank Berto) article which places the "2000" at 1988, but I'm not sure if this was when it emerged in the market.
Based on the condition you describe, I would say you got a real find. Give it a test ride. That's always a good diagnostic for quality. What's the WB?

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Tunturri 500R posted by JONathan on 1/2/2004 at 7:14:25 PM
"Traveler"? $15?! Give the "traveler" a second look...ride. They are great riding bikes for all-around.
I keep up with all but the core on blacktop. Is the "Trav." in good shape? Frame size? They were chro-mo tubes with short wheel base (39-40 inches).
I would have gotten all four!

   RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Tunturri 500R posted by Ken on 1/2/2004 at 7:55:41 PM
Careful, there's a Traveler in the Chicago lineup as well- I've got one with a Bendix automatic (3 band) and it ain't exactly cromo.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Tunturri 500R posted by JONathan on 1/2/2004 at 8:34:40 PM
Mine is the Taiwan version 12 speed by Giant or Merida from early '80's.
These dogs can hunt! Probably the best built bike that I own..and ride.
Being a fairly massive rider, the 25" frame with plain qauge chro-mo tubes is superb.
I kept the steel bars as the damped steering is welcome on long commutes with a bar bag.
Upgraded rims and Dia-Comp (Weinmann 999 clones?) cp 610's front and rear bring things to a halt...like right now.
I know of the bulky "Travelers" of which you mention. Probably they might be more collectible, IMHO.
Mine works off a SunTour "Ar" setup with beefy Sugino cranks. 120 psi "Continental" tires.
I hope it never wears out! The lugs are brazed up real clean and tight...especially at the stays.
The few that I've seen have been worked pretty hard, which is a good testament to their durabilty factor.
Last year I saw a gunmetal gray clone of mine for $35US at GW. When I got back with the bucks...it was gone!
Good rides. JONathan

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Tunturri 500R posted by Bryant on 1/2/2004 at 9:37:00 PM
Thanks for the info. I measured the wheelbase, Rear from center of dropout to center crank is 44cm. dropout to dropout os 105cm. Weird thing is the rear dropouts are the horizontal type without derailleur hanger. This makes me think it is an entry grade bike. I've got it back together except for the wheels, and I'm real pleased with the frame. No rust at all, very litle wear and tear. There is a rip on the bar tape on the left side, and some road rash on the brake handle. leads me to believe someone fell off and then parked the bike in the garage.
The Traveller at the GW was the early "Extra-Lite" series from Schwinn. 2040 tubing, Shimano 400 Rear Der, FE front der, Steel wheels both nutted. The Varisities were there awhile, I think the Traveller will stick around too. I'll check back in a week or so after I fix up this one

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Tunturri 500R posted by Gralyn on 1/3/2004 at 3:09:51 AM
I have a Tunturri 500R. It's white with green lettering, Chro-mo frame, C-Star brakes, with hoods - non-aero, alesa alloy wheels, the paint is excellent. I had it inside just last night - I was trying to get the alloy wheels to clean up a bit - they were oxidized pretty badly - I tried the tarnex, then the aluminum polish. They cleaned up OK - but not as good as I would have liked.

I found my Tunturri several months ago. At the time - there were 2 - practically identical - in the thrift store. I picked the one I thought was the better of the two.

Then, a couple days ago - I spotted one that had just been dropped off at a donation center. I'm pretty sure it was one - as the colors were the same - but I never saw it later in the store - someone had probably already got it before I came back to the store.

I'm glad to know there are other Tunturri's out there.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Tunturri 500R posted by JOathan on 1/3/2004 at 4:25:05 AM
Hey, Bryant. That Tunturi "500" is depicted at this location...http://pages.zdnet.com/mlander24/id41.html
My monitor is smallish, but there is a freeware viewer that can get larger pics. That's quite a bike, from all accounts that I can see.
The derailer looks set up wrong and the chainrings look unusual.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Tunturri 500R posted by Bryant on 1/3/2004 at 1:35:00 PM
That's the one. Sounds like I've got the same bike as Gralyn, White with Green lettering. The chainrings say PowerRing on them, but They aren't Biopace shape. I'm going to finish up the wheels today and see if I can't take advantage of this beautiful weather. Thanks guys.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Tunturri 500R posted by Gralyn on 1/4/2004 at 6:07:57 PM
Yes, same bike!
I had been thinking of possibly replacing the badly oxidized brake calipers with a Dia-Compe 500 set...something like that. I need to put some new tires on it.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! posted by: L.P. on 1/1/2004 at 5:08:42 PM

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! posted by: L.P. on 1/1/2004 at 5:08:42 PM

AGE / VALUE:   Italian 'ASSO' posted by: Gralyn on 1/1/2004 at 3:43:03 PM
Anyone ever heard of an Italian "ASSO"......no, I'm not trying to make a joke...like "Italian Assho...". No, but I was browsing around on e-bay and saw these NOS ....still in box....ASSO bikes for sale. Says it's a 3-speed.....deraillieur 3-speed....it looke pretty interesting. I had never heard of these before. Does anyone know of these bikes? Are they decent?

Here's the link:

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Italian 'ASSO' posted by Walter on 1/2/2004 at 2:02:58 AM
I'm familiar with that brand as a current (expensive) bicycle clothing line but not any "hardware" so to speak.

   Italian 'ASSO' posted by John E on 1/2/2004 at 11:04:47 PM
A friend had a mid-to-high-end Ideor Asso from the same period, and his was a world-class bike. The specimen on eBay is probably a lower-end European model (a U.S. export version would likely have had 10 speeds and no mudguards), presumably with plain carbon steel frame tubing. However, my experience with steel-framed Italian road bikes indicates that the ride quality and handling may be surprisingly good for the price.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Italian 'ASSO' posted by Corey on 1/3/2004 at 3:57:49 AM
Might "Asso" be Italian for "Ace"? My road bike is a Quattro -Assi-, or Italian for, "Four Aces". The tranfers have the four aces on the top tube and the card hand of four aces on the head tube.


VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Snapping Cranks? posted by: jack on 12/30/2003 at 8:33:32 PM
John E remarked in a recent post that old crank spindles may break or snap. Is this true? I've heard of older titanium axles that sometimes cracked but I've never heard of top quality spindles snapping. If so, was this limited to racers and strong/heavy riders or can it happen to anyone? I realize that all metal is subject to fatigue but I thought you had to put in a lot of miles (2 or 3 bearing changes) before having to worry about this. Also, was there any warning such as a bent or loose spindle or did it just snap while hammering?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Snapping Cranks? posted by JONathan on 12/30/2003 at 10:10:15 PM
Anything can break, IMHO, just some things lend themselves more due to design; construction; fatigue; loading and corrosive elements.
It wouldn't hurt to examine the spindle for any micro-fractures that can lead to catastrophic failure under loads that can be surprisingly high.
Personally, I worry about crankarms breaking more than a spindle being spun. I have a few "paperweights" that are spindles with heavy ptting at the bearing
surface. I just don't trust them, knowing how brutal I am on equipment. Besides, the bearing noise is a mild irritant to the auditory senses.
Besides, I have this weakness of "character" in always deferring to expert opinions. Although I must admit that I sometimes fail to abide, at least I have the advantage of greater awareness.
Good rides!

      Snapping Cranks? posted by John E on 12/31/2003 at 8:18:25 PM
I believe I wrote (or at least meant to write!) that aluminum cranks can snap. Spindles can snap, as well, but this is rare, and usually results from a stress riser, such as a scratch or groove cut by friction with the BB cup, the result of riding with loose bearings.

My other safety-related comment, regarding first-generation Campag. sidepull brake calipers, is that they seem to be less effective than most other high-quality units. The only way I can obtain marginally acceptable performance is with KoolStop pads and aero brake handles. I am about ready to debase my Bianchi with Shimano dual-pivot calipers, in the interest of safety.

AGE / VALUE:   Suggestion for Whomever: "Help! I Bought a Mystery Bike." Flowchart posted by: Pierre on 12/30/2003 at 12:56:20 PM
I was just sitting here thinking it would be nice if someone could put together a "Help! I bought a mystery bike." flowchart to help people identify their mystery bikes.

I personally am trying to identify a bike, and I know there are probably hundreds of others who are trying to do the same, so some sort of flowchart-type-thing would really come in handy. A lot of us would even be willing to shell out a few bucks to run it -- make a donation, etc.

Not only would it be useful for mystery bikes, but it would also be useful for someone who's considering purchasing a particular bike, but perhaps they have doubts about the bike's authenticity.

And the person or persons who put such a flowchart together could get input from several of the bike gurus around -- perhaps assemble a team of gurus and they could somehow share in the use of the flowchart, etc.

Or start off with a free service and ask for suggestions and input as you go along. And after a year of two, when the system works pretty well, and 95 percent of the bikes that are entered are identified, then start charging a fee or asking for donations.

You could start off with something like:

Is the bike a road bike or some other type? -if road then->

Is the bike steel or made from some other material (test with magnet)? -if steel then->

English or Italian bottom bracket? E, I, Not Sure -if English then->

English or French thread steerer? E, F, not sure -if English then->

Lugs or no lugs? ....

And so on.

Or perhaps start off with "Enter bicycle serial number:" or whatever. I'm not really sure how the flowchart should work exactly, but I think it would really be a boon for those of us trying to identify a mystery bike.

I don't know, just a suggestion.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Suggestion for Whomever: posted by JONathan on 12/30/2003 at 9:06:19 PM
Yes, like a taxonomic "key". Great idea. A tiny market for such a work may limit the profitability, but it would take a lot of the guesswork away.
An answer derived from a little data has to be better than one from no data. If VLW's take off, this is something else.

   RE:AGE / VALUE: Suggestion for Whomever: posted by jack on 12/31/2003 at 11:28:45 AM
I think the frame ID flowchart would be a great resource to list members. The problem is, how best to accomplish it? If the list members can come up with a number (10?, 20?) easily identifiable and unique markers, transcribe these to a table, then match the markers to frames we each have, we'd have quite a database to support the flowchart. I'm assuming that collectively, we probably own or have access to, close to 50 percent of all lightweight frame types made since 1950. Also, as we run into bikes that are not in the database, we could note the markers for later addition. Someone would probably have to volunteer to be a central repository for this data, that may be the weak link unless we can obtain server space and automate the process.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: Suggestion for Whomever: posted by Pierre on 12/31/2003 at 1:45:00 PM
Exactly, collectively we have access to hundreds of vintage bikes, and we could do this collectively, if we can figure out who can host it and/or manage it.

I was trying to figure out what sort of format the flowchart should have. At first, I thought we could do it in a spreadsheet type of thing, but then I did some experimenting with Microsoft Word, and I think that would be the way to go.

Microsoft Word documents are portable -- can be printed, emailed, and hosted and downloaded from a website. It's easy enough to create what they refer to as a "bookmark" on a certain page and then "hyperlink" to that bookmark from somewhere else in the document -- so you can automate the flow, so to speak.

People running pretty much any operating system have access to applications that will work with Word documents, so nobody is excluded from the process.

The project manager/host could maintain the document, and almost anybody could download the document, make additions or modifications, and then re-submit the revised document for approval by the project manager.

And Word documents can contain pictures, which is an interesting possibility. Too many pictures could make the document overly cumbersome to pass around, but certainly a few pictures would be in order -- like this is a "diamond-frame", this is a "lug", things like that.

Whadya think?

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: Suggestion for Whomever: posted by jack on 12/31/2003 at 8:21:34 PM
In thinking additionally on this matter, I think that although a flowchart and database to help in the identification of mystery frames is a laudable goal, it will not be cost effetive. How many mystery frames are out there, maybe 1%? Maybe we should scale back our goal to something that is more useful to more people and would be easier to accomplish.

This would be a database of serial numbers to help identify year of manufacture. This is already done for major makes, Schwinn, Raleigh, etc., but not for lessor ones. A side benefit would be that mystery frame owners would have another clue to help ID.

   Suggestion for Whomever: posted by John E on 1/1/2004 at 2:56:59 AM
Perhaps the way to start is to compile what we collectively know about various framesets -- serial numbers, lugwork, dropouts, distinguishing features (cutouts, seat clusters, braze-ons, centerpull brake bridges, etc.). If we standardize the descriptors, the owner of a mystery frame could then search for a keyword or phrase, such as "wrap-around seatstay" or "pointed lugs."

   RE:Suggestion for Whomever: posted by VVVintage Vintage Bicycles, Inc. at OldRoads.com on 1/2/2004 at 2:55:48 PM
If you come up with a design we can implement it here.
If you want a separate Discussion Area section to nail down a spec and not let the design discussions get lost in the Vintage Lightweight discussion area, we can create one.

It can be database driven and we have the in-house skills to make it web-enabled (data entry, data intergrity verification, data query, etc.). We have the server space and tools.

My only request would be that there be no charge and no registrations for people who want to use it.

Vin - VVVintage Vintage Bicycles, Inc.

   RE:RE:Suggestion for Whomever: posted by JONathan on 1/2/2004 at 6:47:51 PM
WOW! Thanks. The prospect of a key is exciting and it would be a boost to VLW enthusiasts, IMHO.
A roughed out initial version would lead to refinement (corrections, etc.) as the data increased from contributors.
Just my 2.

   database posted by John E on 1/2/2004 at 11:06:56 PM
Thanks much for the offer of support, Vin.

   RE:database posted by VVVintage Vintage Bicycles, Inc. at OldRoads.com on 1/3/2004 at 2:38:21 AM
I'm excited about the idea.
Our first stab at something like it was the "Stat and Feature Database" at this link:


The plan there was that a user could enter in the info they _did_ know about their cycle (tire size, number of speeds, etc.) and then narrow down the identification.

We wrote that about 4 years ago but it really didn't cut down on the "I found this bike at the dump, what is it?" emails.


   RE:RE:database posted by VVVintage Vintage Bicycles, Inc. at OldRoads.com on 1/3/2004 at 4:52:43 AM
We've added a new discussion area for this project. Please post your new comments there. We will create links to this new area from other sections of OldRoads.

I figure we'll keep it open for discussion for a couple weeks and set up a framework to build it.

The link to the new area is:


Vin - VVVintage Vintage Bicycles, Inc.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Stella Campy Dropouts posted by: jack on 12/30/2003 at 10:52:19 AM
Picked-up a very nice and funky french Stella today. Came with '73 NR full gruppo but I believe the frame is a least 5 years older. The owner said he upgraded the bike with the gruppo and I'm not sure whether to run the NR or go retro and closer to original with Stronglight, Simplex, etc.

The f&r dropouts are marked Campy but they appear stamped rather than forged which is a first for me. Can someone tell me what time period these dropouts are from and are they a downgrade from contemporaneous forged units? The frame and fork details look like B+ quality typical of the period so I can't see why the factory would skimp on the dropouts?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Stella Campy Dropouts posted by T-Mar on 12/30/2003 at 3:17:07 PM
The stamped Campagnolo dropouts are the Sport model. They were introduced in the early 1950's and were still available when your 1973 group was produced. A less expensive alternative to the forged, Gran Sport dropouts, they were generally found on middle range bicycles.

I question as to whether the original derailleurs would have been Simplex. If so, I would have thought that the manufacturer would have equipped it with a Simplex dropout, which uses a non-threaded, 9mm hole for the hanger versus the Campagnolo 10mm, threaded hole. Regardless, a Stella is a nice find.

   Campy Dropouts posted by John E on 12/30/2003 at 4:43:59 PM
Although the collectors will disagree with me, there is physically nothing wrong with stamped dropouts made by a reputable firm and brazed by a skilled frame builder. In fact, well-made stamped dropouts are arguably less subject to metal fatigue-induced cracking than their forged cousins.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS: Stella Campy Dropouts posted by jack on 12/30/2003 at 8:22:27 PM
Thanks T-Mar et al. I didn't know about the non-threaded dropout for Simplex. There are no tubing decals on this Stella so I don't know what type of tubing is used. There is a metallic sticker on one fork tube that reads "FOURREAUX COLUMBUS". I'm not sure what that means (Columbus Fork?) and its possible someone just stuck it on there.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Stella Campy Dropouts posted by T-Mar on 1/5/2004 at 4:10:52 PM
"Fourche" is the French term generally used for bicycle forks. "Fourreaux" is generally used for scabbards, though I believe it may also translate to blades. "Fourreaux" does appear on the Reynolds 531 fork decals and "fourreaux de fourche" appears on the tubeset decals, so either way, you are close.

The authenticity of the fork decal is easy to verify. If it is Columbus, there will be five spiral splines in the bottom of the fork's steering column. Each spline is about 3mm wide and 0.2mm thick. If you verify it is Columbus, the next decision is whether the fork is original. If the paint matches the frame and the frame has what appears to be orignal paint and decals, then in all probability, you have a Columbus frame.

Columbus tubesets on French bicyles during the late 60's and 70's were a rarity. Most manufacturers used French tubing on their entry level models. Intermediate models were generally French tubesets or Reynolds 531. The top models generally employed Reynolds 531. In fact, even some Italian builders during this period favoured Reynolds 531 over Columbus on their top models, with Cinelli, Legnano and Frejus coming immediately to mind.

If the fork and frame are Columbus, then there is a strong possibilty that the original components were also Campagnolo and that Stella used these dropouts purely as a cost saving measure. (NOTE: I agree with with John E. that that a properly designed, stamped dropout will function as well as a forged dropout, despite the theoretical advantages of the forging process. However, most manufacturers are looking for something to distinguish their better models from the mundane entry models and the forged dropout provides this opportunity.)

Checking through my archives, I did find a road test for an intermediate Stella model SX-73 from this time period. The frameset used double butted Durifort tubing with Huret dropouts (also 10mm, threaded hole). The major components were Huret Challenger derailleurs, Stronglight 49 crankset and Weinmann 610 brakes and wheels consisting of Mavic tubular rims laced to Normandy hubs. The article makes particular note of the fact that this model accounted for over 25% of all Stella sales.

AGE / VALUE:   Italian Mystery Bike posted by: Pierre on 12/29/2003 at 11:34:42 PM
I picked up a mystery road bike frame on eBay awhile back, and I believe it to be Italian -- at least the bottom bracket is Italian. It's been spray painted, so I'm clueless on the manufacturer, but perhaps someone here can offer some suggestions.

It's basically a classic steel frame, and perhaps the most unique feature of this particular model is the lugs, each of which has a small diamond-shaped cutout. You know how Colnago has club-shaped cutouts in their lugs, DeRosa has heart-shaped cutouts, somebody else has spade-shaped cutouts. Well mine has diamond-shaped cutouts.

There's no other distinguishing marks. The fork crown is unmarked and relatively plain, though the dropouts are Campagnolos -- rear dropouts have screw adjusters. But aside from the lugs, there's no real unique feature to this frame.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I've been looking at every picture I can find of different bikes, Italian and otherwise, but I can't find any with diamond-shaped cutouts in the lugs.

   RE:AGE / VALUE: Italian Mystery Bike posted by jack on 12/30/2003 at 10:22:45 AM
Pierre, I share your dilema in that I also have a high quality "mystery" frame but of Japanese extraction. List menbers have correctly stated that its very difficult to find make without distinguishing features. The only hints I can give you is to look how the brake and chainstay bridges are attached and how the seatstays are attached at the seatpost lug. Add these to the lugs and fork crown and if you run into the identical features on a bike that's known you may have found it.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Up-Grade vs. Original posted by: Paul on 12/29/2003 at 11:21:32 PM
Hello All,
I am just returning to cycling after a LONG absense and have purchased an extrdinary '73 Paramount on E-Bay. It appears to be completely stock. The chrome is shiny and unpitted. With the exception of several BAD scratches on the head tube the black paint is mint. I will touch-up the scratches with black shoe polish (thanks Stacy). Even the paint on the chain stays are unscratched. Of course it needs to be dismantled, cleaned, polished and lubed. When it's done it will probably look nearly new. I was lucky in my purchase.
Ok, enough bragging.
Here is my question.
This bike will be ridden. I am undecided on whether to keep the bike completely original or upgrade to components that I like. For example, I have a nice set of Delta brakes. To me they are way cool but they are atleast 8 years newer than the bike. I may go to low flange hubs with clinchers, these are the kinds on mods I am considering. I would never modify the frame, only do bolt-on kinds of things.
If I didn't already have the Delta brakes I'm sure that I would go original but they look so nice...
Any thoughts?

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Up-Grade vs. Original posted by Gralyn on 12/30/2003 at 12:51:17 AM
I'm glad to hear you plan to ride the bike! Personally, I would try to go all original....as it's a Paramount. I'm usually more likely to make modifications to bikes that aren't quite as collectable. For example, my English Viscount....I'm upgrading to lighter components that are a few years newer....mainly because things like the original crankset weighs a ton! But, as heavy as it is - it's packed back in a box should I or anyone else ever want to put it back original.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Up-Grade vs. Original posted by T-Mar on 12/30/2003 at 1:43:31 AM
I think you can go either way on this. Original is nice, but I think late eighties components will go OK with the Paramount graphics. If you are riding the bike, you'll appreciate the performance of the eighties components over their seventies predecessors. It's your choice.

However, the Delta brakes are relatively modern (1986-1992)and in order to do justice to the brakeset, you pretty much have to go with modern era components. You may be able to get away with some older equipment, but major components ( derailleurs and crankset) will stick out like a sore thumb if they do not match the clean styling on the brakes. And of course you will draw the ire of many cyclists if those other components are not Campagnolo, preferably matching C-Record or Croce D'Aune. Granted, the Delta brakes are extremely nice. I have a set on my mint, 1991 Marinoni, so I know how they can mesmerize you. But if you use them, I would go with all late eighties, or newer, Campagnolo equipment.

I don't think the graphics of the Paramount will look out of olace with late 1980's components, and if you ride the bike then you'll appreciate the performance of the these components over the 1970's versions. Of course there's nothing wrong with going original either.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Up-Grade vs. Original posted by Walter on 12/30/2003 at 3:34:53 AM
I like vintage and I like authentic but I really like mods that get more miles on the bike. As has been mentioned already top 1980s stuff, generally, is better than the 1970s. Box what you switch out and ride.

If you go with clinchers I'd suggest the "modern" but retro-looking Mavic Open Pro rims. Strong, light and durable. I don't mind sounding like an ad for them.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS: Up-Grade vs. Original posted by jack on 12/30/2003 at 10:47:38 AM
Paul, the only correct answer to your question is the reason most bike enthusiasts have more than one bike. Twenty years ago, before I knew better, I wouldn't hesitate upgrading my Paramount with the latest gizmos. Now that I have many bikes, I keep the vintage stuff vintage and modify lesser stock. As far as ridability, I've never had a problem with 30yo Campy. Now sew-ups are another thing unless your a masochist. If you want newer technology, I'd buy a 2 or 3yo used bike, they're cheap, cheaper than your vintage original Paramount. Also, if the newer bike gets swiped or goes down its replaceable, whereas the Paramount, cry, cry, cry.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Up-Grade vs. Original posted by Paul on 12/30/2003 at 1:35:15 PM
Thanks for your response on the paint.
I am concerned about rust but I am also very uneasy about doing something that cannot be undone. The exposed mental shows no sign of rust to this point as I believe the bike has been stored in a dry place. I am uncomfortable about painting the black as is currently is very glossy with a patina that makes is look slightly...well, old. I don't want to lose that look. I'd touch it up in heart beat if I could be assured that I wouldn't lose that "old" look and if I do go the paint route I'd want it "perfect". That's a tall order.
Do you believe that that can be done?
What do you think of the idea of using the black, wax, shoe polish? Seems to me that with maintance wax would protect the metal and somewhat hide that scars.
Ps. Just to show you how long I've been out of biking, what are 700's

   700C posted by Walter on 12/30/2003 at 2:58:22 PM
700C is the common tire-size for roadbikes. Throughout the 1970s and 80s 27"X1 1/4 was also a very common size but is nearly extinct today as OEM issue, though tires are still available.

If your Paramount has sew-ups you've got 700s as 27" sew-ups were extremely rare if not non-existent completely.

Kevin can answer your paint questions with more thoroughness but in my experience you should be able to match black pretty easily. If the scratch goes to bare metal I'd think something more durable and "thicker" for lack of a better word than shoe polish and wax would be needed.

     Up-Grade vs. Original posted by John E on 12/30/2003 at 4:25:07 PM
If the existing brakes are first generation Campag. sidepulls, then you may have a safety issue, although new cable housings and KoolStop brake pads can help immensely.

I see nothing wrong with installing anachronistic parts, assuming that you retain the originals for potential restoration or sale. My Capo is a 1959, and the cottered cranks and Campag. Gran Sport derailleurs of that day do not do justice to the frame, which I have equipped with early 1990s Campag. cranks and derailleurs.

My midgrade TreTubi 1981 Bianchi will probably never be a true collectible, so I did not hesitate to replace the nonaero brake handles with Shimano aeros which fit my hands properly. I also installed a prostate-friendly mid-1990s Serfas ARC saddle. When I became concerned about metal fatigue and safety, I also replaced the original 144mm BCD Ofmega CX crankset with a late ca. 1990 Ofmega set, with the added benefit of a modern 130mm BCD. (By the way, if you suspect that the original Campag. Record crankset has seen a fair bit of use over the year, you may want to consider new cranks, as snapping a crank on a sprint or climb is not fun. Been there ... done that ... ouch!)

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Up-Grade vs. Original posted by Kevin K on 12/29/2003 at 11:58:55 PM
Hi. Common sense says leave the bike alone. It's a Paramont. But, it's also a bike. On that note I say do your upgrades with caution and keep the original parts that are correct to the bike. Also having been a painter I would use some black lacquer touch up paint on those scratches. Black ia a very simple color to touch up. You need to keep moisture from the metal to prevent future rust from getting started. In your upgrade you might consider 700's also. Either way enjoy the Paramount. Kevin ( Fellow Schwinn Collector )

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Up-Grade vs. Original posted by JONathan on 12/30/2003 at 12:08:06 AM
Got yourself a real winner. Here's my take. The upgrades that I effect on any vintage bikes are performed with all the original components that are not going back on safely packed in a box with all the identifying information written up on a sheet of paper.
That way, if you ever sell the bike to a collector, the original stuff can go with it for resoration...or if you decide to go that route later, the parts are ready and waiting.
My Schwinn "varsity" ('77) was refitted for modern-day service with alloy componets, except for the cranks. All the OEM parts are stored away in a box for return fit, if desired.
Good luck.
BTW, the upgrades make a big difference with the heavy bikes...the Paramounts were fited with good stuff, albeit due to age and uncertain use, replacement is a good idea for one you are going to ride.
Just my 2.

   RE:  Up-Grade vs. Original posted by Paul on 12/31/2003 at 1:26:14 AM
First of all I'd like to thank all the people who offer advice or opinon. You have helped me immensely.

   RE:  Up-Grade vs. Original posted by Paul on 12/31/2003 at 1:26:16 AM
First of all I'd like to thank all the people who offer advice or opinon. You have helped me immensely.

   RE:  Up-Grade vs. Original posted by Paul on 12/31/2003 at 1:26:17 AM
First of all I'd like to thank all the people who offer advice or opinon. You have helped me immensely.

   RE:  Up-Grade vs. Original posted by Paul on 12/31/2003 at 1:26:19 AM
First of all I'd like to thank all the people who offer advice or opinon. You have helped me immensely.

   RE:  Up-Grade vs. Original posted by Paul on 12/31/2003 at 1:40:55 AM
First of all I'd like to thank everyone who offered advice or opinons. You have helped me immensely.
Man...What button did I hit, and hit, and hit again?
You got my attention when you said that there were safety issues with the early Campy side pulls. I believe that is what this bike is equiped with. Is there anyway that I can identify the type you describe with any certainty? If so your advise about how to minimize the proplem will be most helpful.
From listening to you all I believe that I'm going to go original for now while I compleete the needed parts for a c record upgrade. That will take a good bit of thime as they seem fairly scarce and in many cases overpriced. A little patience and I shoul be able to put the set together at a reasonable cost. We'll see...
I'd like to thank Kevin for his very helpful e-mails about paint. He has conviced me to try and touch-up the paint. Again a little patince and start on the small spots.
Again thanks to you all, I'll post a picture when I'm done.
It's gonna be pretty.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Brake Hoods - Non-aero posted by: Gralyn on 12/29/2003 at 3:18:27 PM
Does anyone know of a good source for brake hoods? I have lots of the Dia-Compes and Weinmanns ...mostly with those safety levers (however, over the past week I have experimented with removing the safety levers and shortening the bolt....it worked very well!) Now, I sure could use some brake hoods. From what I've seen on e-bay.....lots of those sets cost more than my whole bike! I don't want to pay $20 for a set of brake hoods - when my whole bike cost $15. Well, if anyone knows of a source for these - please let me know.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS: Brake Hoods - Non-aero posted by Gralyn on 12/30/2003 at 12:55:55 AM
Yes, that what I'm talking about. I just personally feel that's too much $ for brake hoods - considering their construction, etc. I guess it's a supply-demand thing.

      Brake Hoods - Non-aero posted by John E on 12/29/2003 at 8:50:09 PM
CyclArt has black DiaCompes for $12/pair.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS: Brake Hoods - Non-aero posted by Pierre on 12/29/2003 at 11:30:06 PM
Have you checked out eBay: