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Archived: Vintage Lightweights

AGE / VALUE:   Head Bearing Problem posted by: john on 2/10/2004 at 10:19:21 PM
I got myself into a problem with the head bearings on my LeTour III. It was a trash bike with good components but so many scratches in the paint it called for a frame strip down, new paint, and rebuild. The head bearing cups were rusted so I used a set from a LeTour II which seemed to be identical. Then I lost track of what I was doing and got bearings and cones mixed up to the point that I didn't know what went with what. I did match parts as best as I remembered, adusted the head bearings, and everything seemed ok. But I've had it out twice recently and after about 6 or 8 miles, it gets loose to the point where you can feel it in the fork. Not real bad, but there is definitely more play than I feel comfortable with. I crank the hold down nut a bit, everything feels ok, then 8 miles later the same thing? The hold down nut is always tight and the proper washers are in place. It this a problem with mismatched parts? Can I switch caps from LeTour II to III? Did LeTour III have caged or loose bearings? Are the cones interchangeable and is there a way to tell what goes with what? Or does the answer lie elsewhere? I'm really frustrated and would appreciate any advice other than being more careful when next time. Thanks john

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Head Bearing Problem posted by john on 2/10/2004 at 10:42:28 PM
I should have said, I loosen the hold down nut, turn the cone down a bit, then tighten up the hold down nut again.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Head Bearing Problem posted by john on 2/10/2004 at 10:43:08 PM
I should have said, I loosen the hold down nut, turn the cone down a bit, then tighten up the hold down nut again.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Head Bearing Problem posted by JONathan on 2/11/2004 at 12:26:41 AM
John, do you use two wrenches; one to hold the adjustable bearing race and the other to tighten down the locking nut? Maybe the threads are stripped a bit...or there may be some incompatibility at work.
My Le Tour II is a Panasonic bike, '77. I had a similar problem with a shimano "Deaore Lx" pedal. I would hold the bearing cone qith a small screw driver and then tighten with a socket. It woulkd do OK for a bit, then it would start to tighten itself! The pedal became useless as a result of this.
Bottom line is I couldn't get the locking nut to tighten hard enough on the cone. I know the frustration. You get it going for a short time and then it goes out. Check that the steerer tube is true. I had a rear axle that kept working loose which I think was due to a slightly bent axle. I'd take it to a LBS for their opinion. Safety is a big concern when dealing with headsets, especially when you have possible mismatches.
Headsets are very precision components of the bike, I find them to be tricky to even adjust to run right...and that's with the original components intact!
Good luck, post what you find out.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Head Bearing Problem posted by andym on 2/11/2004 at 1:15:29 PM
John,make sure the lock nut is'nt bottoming out onto the steerer tube.Just a suggestion,sometimes its a simple thing that can cause a big headache.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Head Bearing Problem posted by Rob on 2/11/2004 at 5:00:51 PM
...good point, andym...it's pretty easy for all the bits ( cp brake hardware hangers/shims/washers/reflector bracketts, etc.) not to make their way back on after a headset overhaul...

While we're on the subject is there a minimum distance that the locknut threads should cover on the steer tube?...on one of my bikes, I have an ever so slightly short tube...maybe 2mm at most, too short...

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Head Bearing Problem posted by Rob on 2/11/2004 at 5:07:05 PM
...good point, andym...it's pretty easy for all the bits ( cp brake hardware hangers/shims/washers/reflector bracketts, etc.) not to make their way back on after a headset overhaul...

While we're on the subject is there a minimum distance that the locknut threads should cover on the steer tube?...on one of my bikes, I have an ever so slightly short tube...maybe 2mm at most, too short...

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Head Bearing Problem posted by T-Mar on 2/11/2004 at 9:01:48 PM
Rob, the rule of thumb is that the locknut should engage at least 3 full turns.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Head Bearing Problem posted by john on 2/12/2004 at 12:36:23 AM
Thanks for the suggestions, especially making sure the steerer tube is straight. If it is, probably time for LBS to have a go at it. What really gets me is after adjustment it works smooth as silk....no binding or looseness....feels perfect. Nut,tube washer, and adjusting cones are tight are snug against each other and the nut has about 3.5 turns on the tube. Could this problem be the result of possibly using caged bearings with cups that should have had loose bearings. Thanks john

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Head Bearing Problem posted by JONathan on 2/12/2004 at 1:37:51 AM
You may need a lock-washer between the adjustable ring and the capper.
You might try tightening down on the adj. ring until it pushes on the nearings slightly, then rotate the capnut down to where it's almost in contact with the adjustable ring. Then Place a hammer handle in the forks and work the adjusting ring back into the cap nut to secure it. You only need one wrench!
Trail and error here. I really think you might need that washer in between to keep them from moving together. Just my 2 c/s.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Head Bearing Problem posted by JONathan on 2/12/2004 at 1:44:33 AM
I mean back the adj. ring untill it hit the lock-washer which is in contact with the cap nut.
The French steerers have the washer that is flat along part of the inside opening that slides over the steerer. Others have a groove in the steerer to acceot a keyed lock washer.
Good luck, JONathan

   RE:AGE / VALUE: Head Bearing Problem posted by jack on 2/12/2004 at 5:31:48 AM
The only method I trust to nail headset adjustment is to remove both front wheel and stem/bar assembly. This frees the fork to rotate 360deg on its own and the slightest looseness or binding can therefore be felt. With this method one can also detect tight and loose spots in the rotation which may indicate that something is out of alignment.


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Head Bearing Problem posted by Rob on 2/12/2004 at 10:02:37 PM
Following on jack's post...do the bearing races (or whatever the correct terminology is) actually go out of alignment very often? ...I tend to assume they are going to retain they're alignment...or am I being overly optimistic?

I tend to look for bent stuff...steerer tubes...head tubes, etc....but I guess a hard bump could easily knock the races out of alignment, too...

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: Head Bearing Problem posted by jack on 2/16/2004 at 5:28:05 AM
Rob, you are probably right that races seldom get out of alignment and look for bent tubes if adjustment changes thru rotation. However, the amount of misalignment in any of these areas which might cause a problem may not be visually detectable unless it is severe.

Also, some people lose a head bearing (if not caged) during regreasing and instead of running one short or replacing the whole set, pop in a spare from junk pile. This is the worst thing you can do since BBs are sized nominally and different lots may vary in the millionths. Not much difference but enough to cause problems.

AGE / VALUE:   Randor? posted by: Ned on 2/10/2004 at 1:02:12 PM
another question for the people in the know.I got a Randor badged lugged 3 speed bike from my local bike shop owner.it has shimano hub and a badge on the head tube"Randor w/an R then below that Par Excellence".by the bottom bracket it has the obligatorty "made in tiawan R.O.C."its condition is excellent.tires never touched the pavement,fenders reflectors french "ping" bell and sachs huret belt driven odometer.just wondering if anyone has any info on the lineage of this bike.seems to be a very studious copy of a raliegh or hercules from my past.any info would be greatly appreaciated.thanks Ned

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Randor? posted by AJ on 8/8/2006 at 2:24:55 AM
Randor has got to be one of the rarest bikes ever! I have a road bike made by randor and its all original (Except tires and tubes) and i absolutly love this bike, the only problem is, theres no more left! The bike has got to be at least 30-40 years old...

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Randor? posted by Dave on 8/31/2006 at 4:23:51 AM
I have a Randor cruiser. It has a long, serrated Huffy seat. I bought it in San Diego and it came w/ a surf rack. Anyone know where to get info on randor 'par excellence' bikes?

FOR SALE:   FS '100 year old Buffalo Pierce Racer posted by: bike@antiquebikeparts.com on 2/10/2004 at 4:09:15 AM
Thanks for looking.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   RE: IDEOR SUPER posted by: Tom Grossman on 2/9/2004 at 8:19:13 PM
Dear People//I bought this bike during the late fifties from Bicycle Exchange in Cambridge MA. Light weight Italian w/large flange Camp hubs. I changed the crank years ago. Rode it/raced it for years. In fine structural condition, but needs a lean up. To update my info re: IDEOR SUPER//anyone know this bike, who can work on it, parts etc. what it might be worth, still tecnically current? etc etc.
Thanks for response.

    IDEOR SUPER posted by John E on 2/10/2004 at 3:06:10 PM
You should be able to find parts, since the headset, BB, and rear hub are Italian-threaded. To me, it sounds like a bike WELL worth cleaning up and riding, but, as many of you know, I am a sucker for ca. 1960 high-end European road bikes. :)

AGE / VALUE:   Mondia frame and forks posted by: JONathan on 2/9/2004 at 3:50:41 AM
I wasn't looking! I have a chance to get a Mondia frame and forks; Campy dropouts, headset and BB. No cranks or chainrings.
$40 gets it. Is this a good buy. Looks like Nervar lugs (ornate) and good paint. Frame is true, no dings.
Thanks, JONathan

   RE:   Mondia frame and forks posted by JONathan on 2/10/2004 at 5:19:19 PM
Thanks, John E. The Campagnola fixed BB cup has 36x1 stamped on the face. Would this indicate that the adjustable cup is 36x1?
Unfortunately, the adjustable cup could not be found. I was thinking about a Sugino s5s crank with Italian threaded cups...leaving the fixed Campy cup in place.
This makes for a Frankenbike of sorts, but nothing is unreversable and it is a cost effective fix. Classic Rendevous has a section on the Mondia, which will be useful.
I have a Campy "Gran Sport" rear derailer and a spare "Valentino" front (that still works well after 40 years!) to give some authenticity.
BTW, for wheels, I have a set of 700C Wolbers tuned and ready.

   36x1 ???? posted by John E on 2/10/2004 at 8:36:22 PM
Are you positive it says 36x1, which I have never heard of, rather than French/Swiss = 35x1? Italian BB threading is a weird metric-English hybrid of 36mm x 24 TPI(!), but then these are the same folks who brought you 9mm x 26 TPI derailleur hanger threads. If you can slide a 35mm or 1-3/8" cup into the left side of your BB shell without engaging the threads, then it is indeed Italian-threaded.

Since the traditional way to repair a stripped English, French, or Swiss BB shell is to bore and tap it out to 36x24 Italian threading, Italian cups do occasionally show up unexpectedly, and sometimes on only one side.

Clockwise-threaded fixed cups are admittedly self-loosening, but you can install adjustable cups on both sides of a French or Italian BB, to facilitate microadjustment of your chainline.

   RE:36x1 ???? posted by JONathan on 2/11/2004 at 5:06:40 AM
It is "35x1". Sorry about that. There was some grease on the face that made it look like a "36". There is also "con sfere 3/16" stamped into the face.
I tried a French adjustable cup on the left side and it threaded perfectly. The BB shell is 68mm.
The bike is a "Super Mondia", according to the headbadge. Very, very lightweight frame for steel. Beautiful mitered pipes inside the BB, too. I found a Campy 54 tooth large chainring and BB with cranks, but they are Italian.
I have an older Italvega in the back with a Campy 10 speed crank with a 54T mainring!!That'll do it. I'll still use the Gran Sport instead of a Nuovo Record, just to keep it more vintage. Thanks for your kindly assistance.
I can't wait to get this one running. Maybe a paint job is in the works, as it would really do it justice.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Mondia frame and forks posted by Steven on 2/9/2004 at 3:59:49 AM
This should be a Reynolds 531 frame. Well worth the price asked. ON Ebay, it would go for at very least $100.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Mondia frame and forks posted by John S on 2/9/2004 at 4:12:22 AM
Go get it right now. I have two, one set up as my town commuter, the other as a classic Campy/Mafac racer. Both give excellent rides, geometry a bit more touring on the racing-touring spectrum. Should be fine with 700c wheels, with room for 35c tyres.

If you don't want it, I'll be happy. I live in N. Calif.

     Mondia frame and forks posted by John E on 2/9/2004 at 4:07:20 PM
If the Mondia fits, ride it! The only downside of Mondia ownership is its full-metric threading and diameters, including the Swiss BB shell.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Mondia frame and forks posted by poguemahone on 2/9/2004 at 5:47:53 PM
Buy it nownownow. Oddly, some Modias have french thread BBs, slightly less hard to find than the swiss.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Mondia frame and forks posted by JONathan on 2/10/2004 at 2:04:01 AM
Thanks, all. I finally got away to go check on the Mondia. I got it!
Chromed head-tube and head-tube lugs. Definitely a touring type frame. Half-chromed front and rear.
The adjustable cup and locker are missing. He claims the fixed cup is RH thread and that it bent his special tool trying to remove it. I wonder if it is Swiss thgread, as John E. suggested it might be.
I'll see what gives. I'll try the trick with the washers, bolt and nut if necessary (see Sheldon Brown's description of how to do this). The race looks fine, so I'm thinking it best toleave it alone and find a match for the other side and go with it.
The rear brake cable braze-ons are on the right side with a middle eyelet guide to fend the cable from top-yube abrasion.
The rear derailer cable braze-on is on the stay along with a boss on the seat-tube that is threaded for a pulley. Interesting, I've not seen that before.
I fitted a 27" wheel and it looks natural...easily take a 700C as well. No rust inside the frame, some paint flaking off with some superficial oxidation where it has been exposed for a long, long time.
I would guess '60's on this one (5 digit serial number). The down-tube has shifter bosses, which threw me off. I wonder when those came into vogue. Thanks to your input, I was excited to get this frame to build up.
The forks, steerer and ornate crown are in excellent alignment and condition...no corrosion anywhere on those, except the chrome has a few little specks that will clean off easily.
This is a classic bike, indeed. Extremely light frame and the beautiful construction looks definitely hand built with pride in purpose.
Thanks, again.

      Mondia frame and forks posted by John E on 2/10/2004 at 3:12:06 PM
If that fixed cup puts up a fight, just leave it in place. I had the (English-threaded) fixed cup removed from the Capo when I had the frame repainted, but it put up a fight all the way, and Jim had to use his heavy-duty removal tool and stand-mounted vise.

The adjustable cup and lockring are almost definitely French=Swiss (35x1, RH thread), and therefore reasonably available.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Mondia frame and forks posted by Birddog on 2/13/2004 at 3:15:10 AM
I snatched a Mondia Super a few months back, and dated it to about 1973. A few ?'s for you. What is the serial #?
Does yours' have a gaudy tricolor paint job? (I've been told the paint is lacquer and that's why it is in usually poor condition) Does it have eyelets for fenders? The shifter boss braze-ons would make me think it is later than mine (mine does not have them)

Just FYI, my Mondia is equipped with N Record derailleurs and hubs, Strada cranks, and Mafac Racer center pull brakes. The shifter bosses are clamp on. It has Nervex lugs, and an ornate fork crown that sort of matches the Nervex lugs. The paint is tri-color red white and blue, and rather gaudy. The lugs are outlined in white. It is also about half chrome. I've not done much to mine yet, but I pumped up the tubies and I've ridden it around the parking lot where my workshop is a few times. It rides pretty nice, and like you said, it is more touring geo, that racing. A friend of mine who raced back in the 70's said they used to refer to a fellow racer's Mondia as "The Whore From Babylon", a reference to the paint job, that even when it was fashionable, was a little "over the top".

AGE / VALUE:   Have Sears 10 speed w/hydrulic brakes... posted by: David Aldridge on 2/8/2004 at 9:34:27 PM
Hi. I am curious as to the value of this bike. I believe it was made in 1969. It is a SEARS black framed 10 speed mans style with a hydraulic braking system. States "HYDRAULIC BRAKING SYSTEM" in large letters on tubing. I have the original owners manual as well. It is in very nice condition. Rides well too. Looking to see if this is a nice piece to continue keeping the kids off of, and also would ponder a interested buyer as well. Thankyou for reading.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Have Sears 10 speed w/hydrulic brakes... posted by Stacey on 2/9/2004 at 12:14:01 AM
IMHO David, this would fall well within the realm of Curio & Relic on the basis of its braking system. Probably not the lightest if lightweights. And its marque doesn't have that Franco-Italian snob appeal. So it's not a high priced spread, though collectable in it's own right.

My vote is to hang on to it, treat it with respect, and let the kids ride it with supervision (family Sunday afternoon jaunts down the bike path)... but not beat around the 'hood on it.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Have Sears 10 speed w/hydrulic brakes... posted by JONathan on 2/10/2004 at 3:32:44 AM
Check the headbadge for "made in Austria" stamping. If it is there, you have a "Steyr-Daimler-Puch" frame, which were quite nice.
I had a couple of Sears 3's, one was a J.C. Higgins, both were SDP's. I also had a 10 speed with Campy and also SDP frame. Just like their older Craftsman stuff, not too shabby.
Knocked down to bare bones, those bikes could get out. Nice find. I would fix it up.
Is it black? That paint polishes up real nice, too.
BTW, they are fairly high precision bikes that can be tuned up easily and run forever.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   up for trade posted by: marc on 2/8/2004 at 7:53:39 PM
I've got a pretty nice mavic alloy front wheel, quick release, its a sew up, 27 inches. I'll trade it for either another mavic or a quality weinmann alloy front wheel, quick release. I can post or send you pics if you're interested.

AGE / VALUE:   giant 890i posted by: Ned on 2/8/2004 at 7:43:29 PM
anyone know the history of this bike.i am finding nothing.not sure if its pure carbon or carbon w/alum. lugs any help out there?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   giant 890i posted by T-Mar on 2/8/2004 at 8:49:35 PM
The 890i was introduced in 1990 and was the first carbon fibre hybrid bicycle, though Giant referred to it as an AFS (All-terrain/Fitness/Sports). Constuction consisted of 8 carbon fibre tubes bonded to aluminum lugs. The headtube and lugs were cast as a single unit. The fork was steel. Rear dropouts were stainless steel. Component group was Shimano Deore LX. Original MSL was $769-$819 US.

The equivalent race model (980C - no haven't transposed the 8 & 9) used nude, black carbon fibre tubes with polished aluminum lugs that made the construction evident. Unfortunately, Giant decided to paint the hybrid frames, hiding evidence of the construction. For 1990 the only listed colour was white.

There was also a CRMo framed AFS called the Innova, which sported a Shimano 300EX group and sold for about 1/2 the price.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   giant 890i posted by Ned on 2/9/2004 at 4:53:05 AM
thanks, found nothing out here on this ride. it is a great one albeit a bit heavy.i set it up for the road and put slicks and drop handlebars.it is fast for what it is!

WANTED:   WTB Nice Tall Frame Continental or Traveller in excellent shape posted by: Matt on 2/8/2004 at 5:20:33 PM
Looking for a nice tall frame lightweight for a friend, all colors okay. Must have nice paint, tire condition not important as they will be replaced to ride.

   RE:WANTED:   WTB Nice Tall Frame Continental or Traveller in excellent shape posted by l.p. on 2/8/2004 at 8:32:37 PM
I have a 1978 continental 2. It,s a mettalic red,tall frame in great shape.Rides like a charm.Even has a original milege pedometer on the front wheel.Im in texas .Where are you?

   RE:WANTED:   WTB Nice Tall Frame Continental or Traveller in excellent shape posted by Bryant on 2/9/2004 at 7:41:29 PM
Matt, I too have a 1978 Continental II, 24" frame Sky Blue paint in very good condition. I also have a 1980ish 25" Traveller frame and fork only, also very good condition. I'm in the Blatimore area and prefer pick up. These things are heavy and as soon as you add shipping......

   RE:WANTED:   WTB Nice Tall Frame Continental or Traveller in excellent shape posted by Tim on 2/13/2004 at 12:59:13 PM
Matt, I posted a Schwinn Traveller (mint, perfect, complete, cheap!)to the VLW list a while back - maybe November or December. Search for Traveller in the archives and see if you are interested.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   One I Lust For! posted by: Dick on 2/8/2004 at 3:55:16 PM
I can't afford to compete for this beautiful Raleigh tourer so I think I'm just going to duplicate it. Of course it won't be an exact copy but it will be faithful to the original design intent. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=420&item=2222540681&ssPageName=STRK:MEBWA:IT
I think I'll start with one of the Super Course frames I have hanging from the rafters in my bike shed. I won't be able to match the componentry though. The going price for a Jubilee deraileur is more than I'll have invested in my finished product. A nice Suntour will do me just fine. And I don't have a TA crankset laying around either. But I do have a Campy NR that I think I can polish the cracks out of. And I believe Weinmann centerpulls will actually be an improvement. And of course the obligatory Brooks saddle will have to come out of storage. I've also got a set of black black plastic mudguards looking for a ride. Strange that this style bike should grab my attention so. Another style that will eventually make it into my stable will be a Clubman. Drop bars on a high quality 3-speed frame using 700c wheels. I've already got the wheels with 3-speed hub and 3 cog freewheel adapdter and a dynohub laced into the front. Just waiting for the frame.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   One I Lust For! posted by John S on 2/8/2004 at 10:24:03 PM
I've seen a 10 speed version of this bike. The frame is very similar (if not exact with different model name) as the Competition model. Rear dropout is Huret, meaning you can't simply affix a campy or newer Suntour/Shimano. Still, a very nice city mount, outstanding looking. I might have to try to make too.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   One I Lust For! posted by T-Mar on 2/9/2004 at 2:01:31 AM
Huret dropouts use the same gear hanger thread as Shimano and Suntour dropouts (i.e. 10.0mm x 1.0mm), so there would be no problem using a Shimano or Suntour derailleur. I believe John was thinking about Simplex dropouts, which use a non-threaded 9.0 mm hole. Campagnolo uses a 10mm x 26TPI hole, which will accept Huret, Shimano and Suntour, though some minor thread damage will occur. Interesting, in that this is the one thread on the bicycle, where the French system prevailed.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   One I Lust For! posted by Rob on 2/9/2004 at 3:11:52 AM
,,,and, thank goodness for small mercies...the few times I've messed up with derailleur hangers, I wrecked the derailleur pivot bolt, not the dropout...Much easier to live with...Are the dropouts stronger steel, or was I just lucky?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   One I Lust For! posted by John S on 2/9/2004 at 4:09:15 AM
T-Mar, I wasn't thinking of Simplex. The threads weren't the compatibility issue in this case. The Huret dropouts had two variants I am aware of. On the Raleigh Competition, the drop looks a lot like the Campy with the exception that the derailleur stop tab is at 6 o-clock position instead the Campy's 8 o-clock. Mounting a Campy derailleur means it would swing too far forward, body almost parallel with the ground, giving insufficient clearance between jockey wheel and larger freewheel cogs.

The second variant is seen on Schwinn Sports Tourer of the early 70's. The hanger had two slots at 3 and 9 o-clock. Shimano crane (Schwinn labeled) or the massive Campy GT were mounted. Can't even mount a Campy NR on this drop.

I have Huret Jubilee derailleurs for both Campy and Huret dropouts.

   derailleur hangers posted by John E on 2/9/2004 at 4:22:32 PM
Over the years, I have had very good luck hanging wrong-brand (usually SunTour) derailleurs on various dropouts, including a SunTour Cyclone on a 1980 Simplex (Peugeot PKN-10). I simply use the hanger's (not the derailleur's) original bolt, and I can almost always make things work properly with a few well-placed shims and an occasional bit of judicious filing or grinding.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   One I Lust For! posted by T-Mar on 2/9/2004 at 6:42:49 PM
John S., thank-you for the clarification. I don't recall there being a 60 degree difference in the position of Camapgnolo and Huret dropout stops, but I got rid of Jeunet Pro with Huret dropouts, a few years back, so I'll defer to your expertise. I know that when I install a Jubilee on a Camapagnolo dropout that it only hangs about 10 degrees forward of Nuovo Record derailleurand works fine. However, variation from one manufacturer to another is to be expected and I guess that's one reason why servo derailleurs with B-angle adjustment became standard.

Huret did manufacture a special washer that provided a large shift in the derailleur position. My sample provides an 80 degree shift, just about right for the 6 to 9 o'clock variation that John S. mentions.

Like John E., I haven't had much problem with different derailleur-hanger combinations, until it comes to Simplex derailleurs or hangers in combination with another manufacturer. In this case, you can usually fabricate a shim as John E. suggests. I fabricate mine from front wheel washers with safety tabs, as found on the post 70's entry level bikes. The hole and outer diameter are the right size and they already have an extension. This minimizes my cutting, bending and filing.

Rob, that is an interesting question. I have yet to strip a dropout or bolt. Obviously, it all depends of the relative properties of the two metals. When a branch gets caught in an ATB derailleur and forces the derailleur past its natural travel, the upper pivot casting of the derailleur usually breaks first. This phenomenon led to the appearance of specially designed, aftermarket, upper pivot bolts that were designed to snap before the pivot casing. With the appearance of aluminum dropouts, the failures starting shifting to the dropout and the manufacturers responded with replaceable hangers. Obviously, an aluminum thread will give way before a steel thread and that's one combination you definitely what to grease to prevent seizure.

As for a vintage steel bolt hanger combination, I would like to think that your experiences are typical, as it's easier and cheaper to obtain a new bolt than to install a heli-coil in the hanger. However, my observations indicate that intalling a 10x1mm bolt into a 10x26TPI hanger, will result in the hanger threads conforming to the bolt. Maybe there's a lot of variation between the materials of different manufacturers and it all comes down to a particular combination. Another possible variable is that external/male threads can be rolled instead of cut, and rolled threads are inherently stronger than cut threads. Regardless of the reason, count your blessings that the bolt stripped instead of the hanger.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Surprise Surprise posted by: marc on 2/8/2004 at 12:45:13 AM
Well I finished cleaning up the supercourse this morning, actually I worked all night. I'm going to take advantage of the 34 degrees temp tomorrow to take it for a 10 miles or so spin. Well in the process of working on it I was met with a few surprises, some good, some bad.

I found the remenants of a reynolds decal on the fork, can't make it out, but it's definately the reynolds triangle decal. I remember reading somewhere that some super courses were actually made with reynolds forks, is this true? I'm not sure if the presence of the decal would make the fork a reynolds fork, or were these decals placed on some bikes with just reynolds frames?

One of the spider arms on the stronglight crank was bent but luckily it was easily and carefully bent back. Also, I clearly remember the mechanic telling me the bottom bearings were in a race/holder, well when I pulled the fork out I was shocked when bearings went rolling out all over the floor, luckily I was able to find all of them.

I picked up a pretty gitane today, had a nice mavic qr alloy front wheel. It's all french components (huret, mafac) so I'm guessing early 70's. It's white so I figured it wouldn't be too hard to touch up the paint. Decals are in great shape. It has a sticker on it that says its custom made, is this so? There's nothing on the frame that speaks to what it is made of, anyone know anything about the quality of gitane frames?
Also found a nice middlemore leather saddle, made in england. Anyone have any experience with these saddles? I've only ridden brooks and ideale, looks like its good quality. Its a nice dark brown color, nice petina.

Also I think I'm going to get rid of the moto mixte frame I have, too many bikes. Anyone interested, 40 bucks plus shipping. I'll send you pics if you're interested.

   RE:SuperCourse fork posted by WArren on 2/10/2004 at 8:39:46 PM
There's been a discussion going on the CR site about a small run of double butted Super Courses made in the early to mid 80's. These are rare as hen's teeth but they do exist.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Surprise Surprise posted by T-Mar on 2/8/2004 at 9:02:52 PM
Gitane was a good quality French bicycle. During the 70's, the better models were made of Reynolds 531. While these decals are not the most durable, there are usually some fragments left on the tubing. Lesser models were usually made with various grades of Vitus tubing. If it was a butted Vitus set, I would expect a decal, while there would be none for lower grade tubesets.

To the best of my knowledge, Gitane did not market custom frames during this period. Perhaps it's a reference to custom tubing (i.e common tubing materail tailored to Gitane specs). If you can describe the decals and components, or provide pics, I may be able to identify the model and narrow down the year, as Gitane went through several decal variations in the 70's and 80's.

   SuperCourse fork posted by John E on 2/9/2004 at 4:32:55 PM
A triangular Reynolds 531 decal on a fork blade does apply specifically to the fork itself. Since I had always thought the SuperCourse had straight-gauge Reynolds 531 main tubes only, your 531 fork is a surprise to me. Perhaps one of our Raleigh experts can jump in here.

I agree with T-Mar's observations regarding Gitane, which had a fit and finish comparable to Motobecane or Bertin, i.e., a cut above Peugeot.

MISC:   Roadside Repairs posted by: T-Mar on 2/7/2004 at 7:28:20 PM
In an earlier post, JONathan stated that siezed seatposts and stems are two of the toughest repairs for a mechanic.

While few would dipute this, personally I have found the unexpected roadside or trailside repairs to be the toughest, as I do not have the luxury of time or a fully equipped shop to deal with the situation. When you are out on a deserted road or trail with no phone for miles, your creativity comes into play.

I've filled tires with leaves and grass, so people could ride home when they had no spare tubes. Paper money prevents tubes from popping out of tears in damaged tire casings. Broken chains have been repaired using a couple rocks in place of a chain tool. Forks have been straightened using a couple 2 x 4 s or hockey sticks. Broken forks have been held together using linked toestraps. I could go on and on.

However, my most frustrating repair happened when a friend and myself were caught in a sudden rainstrom during a tour of the Hastings Highlands, about 25 years ago. We were miserable and cold, slogging through the rain when the cover plate of my friend's freewheel backed off. Now I had never seen a cover plate back off before, so of course it would have to happen in the pouring rain, 15 kilometres from nowhere. So there we were, on our hands and knees, in the middle of the road, in the pouring rain, with a cold wind blowing, trying to a find several dozen 1/16" ball bearings to repack the freewheel and make it to the nearest farmhouse. Let me tell you, repacking a freewheel with near frozen fingers and chattering teeth is no easy task. After what seemed like hours I tightened the cover plate in place using a large rock and the jeweler's screwdriver I carried for derailleur adjustments. It was a miserable experience (though not my most miserable, which is another story because it does not invovle a repair), but we survived it and it did create an even tighter bond with my friend. To-day, whenever we get togther we look back at the incident, shake our heads in disbelief, and laugh.

The one thing I have to learn, is to be more selective about the people I ride with, as they are always the ones who have the unexpected equipment failures!

   Roadside Repairs posted by John E on 2/7/2004 at 9:00:21 PM
The potential for component breakage is the only rational argument against riding a classic bicycle. Fortunately, I have been able to ride home with broken frames, spokes, rear axles, cables, and even a cottered crank. The one time a component failure forced me to catch a ride home was when I snapped a Sugino crank during an out-of-saddle climb.

   RE:MISC: Roadside Repairs posted by Warren on 2/7/2004 at 9:22:20 PM
I was touring in Denmark 10 years ago and hooked up with a swiss journalist for a few days. He lived in Sweden, freelanced for "The Politiken" and road all over Scandinavia, submitting features. I was on a C-dale 1000 high zoot tourer and he was on a no name columbus tubed road bike but he had added a long cage GS derailleur with a 34 tooth cog to help when the hills got big, Otherwise he was riding a race bike. I blew the sidewall out of my conti's about 20 kms from nowhere. He pulls about a kit with a big leather workers needle, high strength nylon and some precut boots. 30 minutes later, we were on the road again, tires fully inflated until we got to the next town and the LBS. I'll never forget old "what's his name". He lived an interesting life and knew how to tour.

   RE:RE:MISC: Roadside Repairs posted by JONathan on 2/7/2004 at 11:18:22 PM
Wow, Tom. That was something. What's the minumum number of bearings required to operate? Four? I like the VLW because in remote regions, a shade-tree mechanic in a two-dog town can always braze up whatever needs it. The bikes are tough and the simple design of the moving parts is a plus. Simple is better. The frames are over-designed and over-built, which explains why they last so long. I can cover a lot of ground on my RRA (2030 steel) pretty fast, too. My biggest worry is a crash that might effect the engine (me); the bike's easy to fix with whatever's within arms reach.
A brake goes out...that's why you have two. A spoke breaks...that's why you have so many. A tire blows...that's why you have scraps of nylon mesh and tape. A chain breaks...that's why you have so many links. A crank breaks, that's why you have two, or run it like a bone-shaker with the seat lowered. Steel bends back, too. What a fantastic invention, the VLW.

   RE:MISC:   Roadside Repairs posted by T-Mar on 2/8/2004 at 1:59:54 AM
John E., I can relate to the broken crank. I snapped a left, Campagnolo NR crankarm during an out of the saddle effort. The foot went down and bounced off the ground, without my losing control of the bicycle. My first thought was, "Crap, I broke a pedal spindle." But when I looked down there was a substantial piece of crankarm hanging from the pedal. So I single footed it home, which wasn't too bad, except for the uphills. No passerbys stopped to offer me a ride, even though my left leg was just dangling there as I rode along. Campagnolo offered a warranty replacement, even though the crankarm was about 15 years old at the time. I declined, because I would have had to turn the broken crankarm over to them. It's much more valuable as a conversation piece hanging on the wall and a reminder of the good old days, when Campagnolo offered more than their current 3 year warranty.

I only recall having to get driven homes 3 times, due to "engine" realted problems. The first was when I got rear ended by a car driver and got a ride to the hospital in an ambulance. The bike was relatively unscathed as I did not come out of the toe clips and was able to hold it up as I slid along the asphalt.

The second time was when I was riding with some friends in a paceline and touched a rear wheel and went down. My buddies knew I was in no condition to cycle home, when I asked how my bicycle was, and in doing so, referred to a brand I hadn't ridden in several years.

The last time was when an old buddy arrived back in town and wanted to go for a ride. I was hesitant, as the skies looked threatening, but he said we wouldn't melt in a little rain, and off we went. About 20 km from home, the skies opened up. Unfortunately, it wasn't rain, but hail! Lycra does not provide a lot of protection from 1/2 cm ice pellets. There was no shelter for about 500 metres. It was too painful to ride, but also too painful to stop. Anyways, the slush on the road quickly accumulated, preventing riding. Fortunately a car driver came along and offered us shelter in his car until the hail stopped. We then cycled to the nearest farmhouse and phoned home for a ride, as our bodies were extremely sore from beating. When I got home and looked in the mirror, my body was covered with hundreds of red welts.

Fortunately, I am an advocate of helmets and was wearing one in all three cases. The outcome of the two crashes could have been much more serious without one and it does offer some protection in hail.

   RE:MISC:   Roadside Repairs posted by Shannon Reynolds on 2/8/2004 at 3:46:44 AM
As kids me and my brother where out pretty far from home when he busted a bunch of his front spokes on a pothole. The wheel was unrideable so we yanked it off and hung it from his handlebar. We then forced his front fork onto the rear axl of my bike and was able to ride home. It was the oddest looking tandem bike the world's ever seen but it worked.

AGE / VALUE:   Heliocomatic & Trek 520 posted by: John S on 2/7/2004 at 6:25:47 PM
Thanks to Skip and Jonathan for suggestions on the stuck Heliocomatic freewheel. I was fortunate and found a complete wheel with Helio in the junk pile of a local used bike non-profit. Now I can use the found freewheel, but will also try to fix the stuck one.

The Trek 520 was so original, so despite advise to junk the wheel (people have low opinions on the durability and design of this Mallard hub), I remained determined to keep it original if possible. I think that's a good thing for a nice bike, even if not a total top of the line bike.

   RE:AGE / VALUE: Heliocomatic & Trek 520 posted by jack on 2/7/2004 at 10:47:05 PM
John, I have a couple of Helicomatic-equipped Trek 720s. I'm always on the lookout for hubs but since there were two distinct variations (small and large balls) it can be confusing. Almost every one I run into has slightly rough races and I think this is the main reason they are derided. However, in the interest of originality plus the cool factor, they are worth keeping IMO. In fact, the design is superior for loaded touring to what was available back then although I suspect either heat-treatment or metallurgy was a weak spot.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Heliocomatic & Trek 520 posted by John S on 2/8/2004 at 4:39:26 AM
Jack, the negative feedback I received was on the small balls on the drive side, where you have greater stress. And the tendency of the bearing surfaces to pit too easily. I didn't know there were two variants.

You are welcome to my extra hub, sans freewheel. Just email me.

A friend has an early 80's 720, one of the all-time best production touring bikes made IMO. Very thoughtful design for fully loaded touring. I feel the '84 520 I acquired exhibits many of the same design qualities at a more affordable price point. A nice rig.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Stuck stem posted by: Darryl on 2/7/2004 at 1:13:09 AM
Recently purchased a Guerciotti 12 sp road bike and stem is quite stuck. Poured liquid wrench up the fork and let sit overnight. Also have tapped the stem bolt, but don"t want to damage the Campy Record headset. The frame is alum. and the stem is steel. I have put quite a bit of torque on the stem bolt but don't want to strip the hex bolt. Any ideas.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Stuck stem posted by Tom on 2/7/2004 at 2:43:44 AM
Please refer to "It's A Miracle", a few posts back, where we went over a similar problem.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Stuck stem posted by JONathan on 2/7/2004 at 3:49:46 AM
I would try the Liquid Wrench from both ends; top down and bottom up. The steerer is probably steel...I would hope! You may have rust along the whole stem inside, forming a large surface area bond with the inside of the steerer. I would get the forks off to isolate the extraction effort, thus negating the chance of frame damage. I agree about saving the headset...if something has to go...the stem is a fairly inexpensive component; also you certainly want to avoid bending the head-tube off centerline. Ouch!
I used to think that BB fixed cups were the tough guys, now it's jammed seat-posts #1 and stems #2. Remember, you always win.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Stuck stem posted by Darryl on 2/7/2004 at 1:45:27 PM
JONathan; Fork is alum, steerer is alum and stem is steel. The stem will not release from the steerer. How can I remove the forks and steerer without breaking the bond between the stem and steerer? I have loosened the headset and am applying L. wrench to top also. The stem inserts into the steerer tube only about 2 1/4" so I am hopefull that L. wrench and a little more force will free it. The bonding between alum and steel is unbelievely strong!!! I read "Its a Miracle" a few posts back, and that will help also. Thanks, Darryl

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Stuck stem posted by JONathan on 2/7/2004 at 6:43:12 PM
Have you determined if the stem and steerer and forks are standard? Sounds to me that you may have a different type of setup than what we're talking about for the VLW's, as they are normally configured.
STOP, take a good look and make sure you don't have some exotic setup. You might have a simple solution with the LBS who has a manual for higher-end, newer bikes. Take it easy. I wouldn't go pounding, just yet.
Drop a post how it turns out.
Good luck,

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Stuck stem posted by andym on 2/7/2004 at 9:58:03 PM
I had read somewhere that ammonia works well to break the bond between aluminum and steel but I've never tried it.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Stuck stem posted by schwinnderella on 2/8/2004 at 1:17:12 AM
Several times when nothing else worked,I have had luck using ammonia.I used it for aluminum seatposts stuck in steel frames.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Stuck stem posted by Darryl on 2/9/2004 at 12:31:42 AM
The stem is free. Soaked with Liquid Wrench for two days. Even drilled a small hole in top side of stem to get L. Wrench on inside of stem. Finally the expander bolt loosened and the expander wedge was loose. The stem was still frozen to the steerer tube though. I put the fork crown in a vice and twisted the stem(140mm extension stem) and It came out. No damage to the Record headset or alloy fork and steerer tube. Stem wasn't worth saving but could still be used. Thanks for all the advice. Darryl

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Stuck stem posted by Darryl on 2/9/2004 at 12:32:55 AM
The stem is free. Soaked with Liquid Wrench for two days. Even drilled a small hole in top side of stem to get L. Wrench on inside of stem. Finally the expander bolt loosened and the expander wedge was loose. The stem was still frozen to the steerer tube though. I put the fork crown in a vice and twisted the stem(140mm extension stem) and It came out. No damage to the Record headset or alloy fork and steerer tube. Stem wasn't worth saving but could still be used. Thanks for all the advice. Darryl

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Stuck stem posted by JONathan on 2/9/2004 at 9:03:58 PM
Bravo, bravo! Patience paid off. I know that LW takes it's time, but usually gets the job done.
I figure these stems couldn't be worse than old farm equipment left to the elements. To protect the fork crown, I use two blocks of oak.
Even then, the paint can get rubbed off, so I use a piece of floor rug pad.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Information help? posted by: David on 2/6/2004 at 4:31:33 PM
I have acquired an old track bike. I collect bmx and am looking for any info on this find. 1" pitch drive, Universal on the hubs, butted spokes, Lobdell tubular wood rims, United States Special Racer tubular tires-valve stems there, 28", made by US Rubber CO, Bottom bracket says D&J Patented Jan 11 1898 Park City Mfg Co Chicago. Frameset id green with gold pin striping, post clamps from top like a stem, leather seat rotted, front wheel installs by spreading the fork-no slots, bottom bracket shell has pinch bolts underneath.Fixed rr dropouts. Everything moves and is not frozen. I can not find any trace of decals or head badge. Just looking for any info or a place to go for info. You can view the bike at this link:
Thanks, Dave david.cononetz@verizon.net

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Information help? posted by Gralyn on 2/6/2004 at 6:20:25 PM
Wow! Where do you find these old bikes?
I've been keeping my eyes open for something like that....but so far....nothing. I wish I could help with the identification....but I don't know enough.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Information help? posted by Chuck Schmidt on 2/6/2004 at 6:24:46 PM
Can't help you with IDing the bike other than to say it is a fixed gear road bike and not a track bike, despite not having brakes or a freewheel.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Information help? posted by Joel on 2/6/2004 at 8:38:47 PM
Hi David,
Nice bike. Track bikes of that style came along in the mid 90s and changed very little for decades. My experience with antiques of that era is that the most recent patent date is usually within a few years of the MFG date (not always). If the patent number is there, you can easily look it up on the Patient Office website.
You can probably find more info through the Wheelmen. Also, the book Collecting and Restoring Antique Bicycles has a list of manufacturers (if I remember correctly) through 1905. Most went under around 1900 so that may help to narrow down the year. HTH

My track bike...

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Information help? posted by Dave on 2/13/2004 at 2:13:22 AM
Thanks all for the replies. Any and all help is appreciated as this bike is very interesting but foreign to me. I bought it as part of a package deal with a bunch of vintage bmx stuff which is what I collect. Thanks again, Dave www.oldbmxdc.com