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Archived: Vintage Lightweights

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   My find of the year so far posted by: marc on 2/1/2004 at 1:25:11 AM
Well I wasn't going to leave the house today because it was -4 degrees today but I'm glad I did. For 35.00 I got myself a nice Raleigh Super Course. It's a little rusty but the rust comes right off. Even had a brooks saddle on it, which may need to be laced together. Also has some nice carlton brake covers. Here are some pics:


Here's my question about this bike. The only serial number I was able to find was on the left rear drop out: 0038530
I checked retroraleighs.com and this number doesn't seem to fit into there lists. Can anyone help me date this. Also, anyone know where I can find a new reynolds 531 decal?
Similar dilema to my moto, do I restore or update? Again, opinions are very welcome.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   My find of the year so far posted by T-Mar on 2/1/2004 at 4:24:04 AM
The graphics and lugwork match a 1973 model. The 1972 had the script style downtube logo and Nervex lugs. In 1974 they went to white panels on the seat and downtubes and "Super Course Mk II" on the top tube.

Offhand it would appear some parts have been changed out. I don't ever recall seeing MAFAC Racer brakes on a Super Course. Also the Criterium rear derailleur would normally be a Prestige. However, I do recall some cases of Criteriums being substituted for Prestiges.

The one thing you are lucky to have is the original, colour matched handlebar tape. It's quite rare for the bicycles to survive with this intact. I'd go for a restoration, as this is a very desirable model. I picked up an all orginal (except tires?)1972 Super Course late last year for about $10-$12 US. Due to lack of space, I sold it early this year - for just over $300 US.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   My find of the year so far posted by marc on 2/1/2004 at 3:02:58 PM
Well I started to take the bike apart and to my surprise the rear derailleur is a prestige, says on the bike. The only prestiges I've seen have come with red simplex labels. I guess its one less part i have to buy if i want to keep it original.

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   My find of the year so far posted by marc on 2/1/2004 at 6:02:36 PM
Everything came off the bike just fine except... the stem. Yes damn it, I have a stuck wedge! Anyone have any ideas? I know I should soak it in wd40, but should I do it from the top or flip the bike over and put in from the bottom?

   RE:RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   My find of the year so far posted by workingbikes on 2/1/2004 at 11:24:39 PM
Marc - The white prestige derailleur is the original equipment, as well the white carlton hoods. I didn't note the Mafacs in your pictures. Weinmann 999 centerpulls would have been original.

Nice bike. I can't help to think I've seen it somewhere before...

   RE:RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   My find of the year so far posted by workingbikes on 2/1/2004 at 11:26:28 PM
Also, for a stuck stem, try turning the bike upside-down and squirting the WD40 from the bottom. You can get more down there. You can also try other penetrants from the autoparts store. I like PB Blaster catalyst.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   My find of the year so far posted by Gralyn on 2/2/2004 at 2:00:43 AM
I'm not sure if WD-40 is a penetrant. I think liquid wrench might work. I've even used Marvel Mystery Oil before. But whatever you use - be patient - soak it for a couple days.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   My find of the year so far posted by JONathan on 2/2/2004 at 3:06:55 AM
I take the forks off the head-tube. Use Liquid Wrench as it dissolves the corrosion a bit.
I thread a spare stem bolt from the bottom, through the fork crown opening. Tap the wedge back out through the top of the steerer.
Problem: Wedge will want to (if it hasn't already) plow into the inside of the steerer. That is why you need to take it easy. I have ised a chaser to tap on the long side of the wedge to free it from the steerer.
Just don't get it cocked inside. Wear goggles, of course and don't use a carpenter's hammer! They shatter. If you haven't got a ball-peen hammer...you need one for this type of work. Tap, don't pound...let the weight of the hammer do the work.
Good luck, welcome to VLW revival school.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   My find of the year so far posted by T-Mar on 2/2/2004 at 3:08:32 AM
In my experience, stuck wedges are usually not due to corrosion. It is usually due to the wedge falling down the steering tube and becoming tilted at an angle, which causes it to jam. Or it may have been driven or fallen down and jammed into the butted section that is present at the bottom of many steerer tubes. If you insert the binder bolt from the bottom of the fork crown and thread it into the wedge you can tell which way the wedge is angled. Sometimes tapping the side of the head of the binder bolt will cause it to break free, but usually it doesn't. Instead, insert a 1/4" steel rod up through the fork crown and place it against the side of the wedge which is closet to the fork crown. Tapping the end of the rod with a hammer should break the wedge free. Resist the urge to use the expander bolt in place of a steel rod, as you may damage the threads.

If impacts on the bottom of the wedge do not break it free and the wedge is not angled, then apply a penetrant, per the previous posts. When you try to remove a wedge, always drive it up the steerer, from the bottom.

   Raleigh SuperCourse posted by John E on 2/2/2004 at 7:13:47 PM
I recall seeing a ca. 1970 Raleigh SuperCourse with original Huret derailleurs and unusually long Huret downtube shift levers. I suppose the Simplex came later -- sort of the reverse of the Schwinn Varsinental history and the famous Keith Kingbay / brothers Huret 3-martini dinner.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   My find of the year so far posted by Rob on 2/3/2004 at 1:34:47 AM
I have a coffee-color, ca. 1971 Super Course (with the anniversary headbadge) with the long steel Huret dt shifters...but both derailleurs had been replaced...both SunTour, I think...at least the rear is a slant parallelogram SunTour...I forget the model..something in the early 1980's...maybe AR or ARX...

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   My find of the year so far posted by JONathan on 2/3/2004 at 2:25:52 AM
Hey, I have a '70 "record" with the long-handled Huret DT shifters.
The rear derailer is SunTour "V"; front der. is Huret, as are the downtube shifters.
Leather Wright's saddle is in good shape, too. I can't tell from the 1970 pic. of the yellow "record" at Retro-Raleighs, but mine looks exactly like that one from all I can see.
The catalog for 1970 shows the "Super Course" with the long huret shifters on the downtube.
This "record" rides real nice and it's near the bottom!
You done good!

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   My find of the year so far posted by marc on 2/5/2004 at 2:12:00 AM
well thanks for all the advice. I gave up and took it to a lbs. They're soaking it but it looks like I might have to chop it off. I found a replacement fork, but its not the same color. I'm thinking about stripping the paint off and leaving it all chrome, unless I can find a decent matching color to paint it.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   My find of the year so far posted by workingbikes on 2/5/2004 at 5:06:11 AM
Repaint might be tough, but here's a hint. The color is "bronze green". You might go to a hobby shop and buy a bottle of bronze and light green paint and mix to your satisfaction.

Wasn't there a lot of rust on the forks? Did that come off?

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   My find of the year so far posted by marc on 2/5/2004 at 8:14:26 AM
I haven't finished cleaning them up yet, but that's the thing about quality chrome, the rust usually comes right off. WD40 and superfine steel wool usually does the trick. I've cleaned alot of cruiser fenders that way.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS: My find of the year so far posted by jack on 2/5/2004 at 10:19:40 AM
Hi everybody, I haven't posted for a couple of months due to being too busy rebuilding new bikes. I envy some of your finds during the winter. Due to year-round riding climate here in Calif, its almost impossble to find quality bikes at the prices some of you are seeing.

My recent acquisitions are: late-60's french Stella w/Campy $40; '81 early centerpull Trek 720 $275; '74 Paramount $225. All in need of CLA but otherwise nice shape.

Upon taking the Paramount apart, stem was stuck. Found wedge sideways and managed to tap it out the bottom after sawing-off the 3T stem but stem still stuck. I've tried everything except heat to no avail. I'll take to local frame builder tomorrow.

AGE / VALUE:   QUALITY OF FRAME posted by: Kevin K on 1/31/2004 at 8:20:53 PM
Hi all. Looking for a basic idea of the quality of this Giant frame. No decals. Peg for frame pump( on head tube ), twin water bottle placements, forged dropouts, braze on down tube shifter bosses. What type tubing? Any ideas appreciated. Thanks, Kevin

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   QUALITY OF FRAME posted by JONathan on 2/2/2004 at 6:23:17 AM
Could use some more data. Is it lugged? Check main tubes with a magnet to determine if you have steel or aluminum (non-magnetic).
Look on the left dropout for a "G" and following two numbers indicating date; like "G84xxx" would be 1984. General quality of Giant is excellent.
What is wheelbase and fork angle? Guess is chro-moly steel, touring bike of good quality construction. Is it just the frame with no forks?
If the dropout has an integral derailer hanger, I'd guess a very good quality bike. Might be worth fixing up if you have some spare parts.
Good luck,

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   QUALITY OF FRAME posted by Kevin K on 2/2/2004 at 6:58:13 PM
Hi. The frame is pretty much as you have described. Steel, lugged..............Serial #GB217608 on the bottom bracket housing. A second number UBB(?)2004 also. The fork is almost straight. Recessed bolt for the brake calipers on fork and bridge. This thing looks too new for mid 80's. Possibly 1994? with numbers given? It had 700c's on it with STI shifting. The dropouts look to be stamped but aren't. They are forged. Could you please tell me what type of tubing might have been used. Tange? Columbus? It is a very nice looking frame with a 105 headset. Thanks, Kevin

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   QUALITY OF FRAME posted by Kevin K on 2/2/2004 at 6:59:45 PM
Hi. The frame is pretty much as you have described. Steel, lugged..............Serial #GB217608 on the bottom bracket housing. A second number UBB(?)2004 also. The fork is almost straight. Recessed bolt for the brake calipers on fork and bridge. This thing looks too new for mid 80's. Possibly 1994? with numbers given? It had 700c's on it with STI shifting. The dropouts look to be stamped but aren't. They are forged. Could you please tell me what type of tubing might have been used. Tange? Columbus? It is a very nice looking frame with a 105 headset. Thanks, Kevin

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   QUALITY OF FRAME posted by Kevin K on 2/2/2004 at 6:59:46 PM
Hi. The frame is pretty much as you have described. Steel, lugged..............Serial #GB217608 on the bottom bracket housing. A second number UBB(?)2004 also. The fork is almost straight. Recessed bolt for the brake calipers on fork and bridge. This thing looks too new for mid 80's. Possibly 1994? with numbers given? It had 700c's on it with STI shifting. The dropouts look to be stamped but aren't. They are forged. Could you please tell me what type of tubing might have been used. Tange? Columbus? It is a very nice looking frame with a 105 headset. Thanks, Kevin

MISC:   Bicycle Identification Project posted by: VVVintage Vintage Bicycles, Inc. at OldRoads.com on 1/31/2004 at 6:37:13 PM
We've just finished the first month of the Bicycle Identification Project.
The initial reference tables have been identified and populated, and around 600 cycles have been entered.

The next phase is to pump in as many bicycles as possible.
Click on the "Bicycle Identification Project" notice above and check it out, and add your cycles!

Vin - VVVintage Vintage Bicycles, Inc. at OldRoads.com

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Raleigh Reg Harris posted by: David on 1/31/2004 at 1:45:12 PM
I wish this were larger!


MISC:   A long time ago posted by: JONathan on 1/29/2004 at 5:17:14 PM
A stark reality is these wonderful vintage lightweights (yes, reference to the "entry-level" units) have not cruising the pathways in numbers indicative of their worth.
A long stretch of bikepath along the bay provides great insight to me as the "sprite" pushes along seemingly without any effort. A distant yellow slicker appears ahead on the near horizon.
Soon, after much gazing about the vast waterfowl assemblages, those bellweathers of atmospheric conditions, I realize suddenly that the "sprite" is about to block the wind in passing the MTB that's whirring in a constant
grind. A brief salute and signal back to the right. Ah, open water, once again. The 27 inch touring tires whisper along the trail.
Home is too short of a haul, it seems. I have seen more riders, commuters to a large degree, with newer MTB FS rigs...many look like the $150 units. I smile to acknowledge the crossing paths. Then, I notice another VLW rider.
There is a just a slight head bob to acknowledge the crossing of paths...the knowing understatement of a seasoned road vet. I realize that time has let the VLW slip into the unknowing state...how is someone to know? The bikes
are "old". Enlightenment comes from education, IMHO. My contribution, however slight, is to demonstrate that the vintage bikes are really fantastic rides when set up correctly.
VLW's are quiet; comfortable; dependable and, above all, fast. Nothing against MTB's. They are the right choice for many, but it's nicer to have at least a chance to explore other choices.
Keep up the great work.

   RE:MISC:   A long time ago posted by Gralyn on 1/30/2004 at 3:28:04 AM
I certainly hope to see a few old VLW's out early this Spring. Most of the commuters I see around the towns are on the mountain bikes. Yes, commuters - getting from one place to the other - the best way they can. And then, I see the serious cyclists. They are always on $2000 bikes, helmets, jerseys, clipless, etc. ....and so many of them don't appear to be enjoying themselves (my guess is that they probably are enjoying it). But then, you have me. ...and what is that? Maybe something left over from the bike boom. Still gets out and rides just like he did when he was a kid. Sometimes - no helmet. Most of the time - t-shirt and shorts. Just out enjoying the ride. Could be on a 20's Hercules, 50's Hercules, 60's Atala, 70's and 80's - just about anything....all the way up to a '91 or '92 RB-1
....I hope see others out there on some interesting old lightweights....perhaps even stop and introduce our bikes, discuss their history, etc.

   RE:MISC:   A long time ago posted by Don/ollo_ollo on 1/30/2004 at 5:43:14 AM
I was commuting home a few days ago on my Specialized Expedition Touring bike. Grinding up a fairly steep hill. My speedo showed 12mph. I was lost in thought when a commotion next to me snapped me to attention. It was a kid on a mountain bike, maybe 20 y.o. standing on the pedals giving it everything he had to catch then pass me. I just went 1 gear higher & slowly pulled away from him. Best part was he stayed with me long enough to see I was just an old geezer. He's probably familiar with the current Specialized Expediton (mountain bike) but my 20 year old tourer showed some stuff. Smooth, comfortable & fast. Don

   that's the brakes posted by John E on 1/30/2004 at 4:05:19 PM
I have been having a debate with a fellow San Diego County Bicycle Coalition member, who claims that old road bikes are unsafe because their brakes are inadequate. He is aware of the usual tricks (aero handles, Matthauser or KoolStop pads, new cables and housings), but still contends that a modern "bike shop quality" mountain bike (not a $150 *-Mart special) with street tyres is a better mount for the average transportation or recreational rider or commuter. I still prefer my old Peugeot road bikes for this application, but I do have at least one set of old brakes I would not wish on anyone: my first-generation Campag sidepulls.

   RE:that's the brakes posted by Chuck Schmidt on 1/30/2004 at 5:27:42 PM
John, maybe your not aware of my company, Velo-Retro? We are a recycler of those pathetic, useless Campagnolo sidepulls that you "would not wish on anyone." Our truck just happens to be in your area this afternoon and if you want to leave the brakeset out by the curb we will see that it is disposed of properly as unsafe industrial waste. Thank you for your time.

   RE:that's the brakes posted by JONathan on 1/30/2004 at 5:36:46 PM
I say; "Friction is friction"; that's the bottom line for stopping.
I agree that a MTB (shop quality) is probably a better choice for beginners or for
riders who have tentative skills. As for "old road bike brakes"; there are so many brakes and the quality ranges from disasterous to superb that one needs specificity.
A little math scares me, when I consider that with low front tire pressure and a "grabby" or power assist-type brake hangs that the forks could get bent! I have come close to going over the bars at 10 mph with a MTB brakes that act up.
The simple design of the Weinmann "Vainqueurs", Universals and DiaComps; their adjustability and durability are excellent, IMHO, of course. I like the control being myself. Also, for off-road use, the MTB designs are superior, IMHO.
So again, there is the "specificity factor" entering the equation. I must admit, the vintage lightweights can be a bit idiosyncratic. Bottom line...bigger tires, bigger brakes and lower center of gravity are nice, but I agree with you about the Peugeot
UO-8's, they are superb...speaking with experienced rider perspective, they are hard to resist. I sure dig their performance parameters. So, another specificity factor enters the equation...experience and individual preferences. I guess I agree with everyone!
Happy rides,

   RE:MISC:   A long time ago posted by T-Mar on 1/30/2004 at 8:38:46 PM
Amen, JONathan! Ride whatever works for yourself!

Don't get me wrong, I am a BIG fan of vintage lightweights, but for most recreational and commuting cyclists they just don't make sense. A hybrid or ATB is far more practical. Most paople find the upright riding position to be more comfortable. Both the brakes and gears are at the fingertips which is more practical in traffic. Indexed shifting requires less dexterity and concentration. Wide range gearing allows them to tackle any terrain without having to be in great physical condition. The frames and wheels are more robust for pothole ridden city streets. Most have eyelets to accommodate racks for saddle bags, briefcases or lunch pails. Wider, all weather tires, allow them to extend the riding season. They don't need another bike if they decide to do some light off road riding around the picnic grounds. Finally, the bicycles are not high maintenance.

I can hear the gasps over the last comment, but let's face it, the vintage bicycles are labour intensive. That's fine if you're mechancially inclined, but most people aren't, and don't care to be. With the cartridge bearings and seals on to-day's bicycles, they are relatively maintenance free outside of putting air in the tires and oiling the chain. You can't say that about a vintage lightweight.

The first thing to do when you pick up a vintage lightweight is to overhaul it completely. Then there are the replacement parts to buy. Tires and tubes probably. Maybe cables and pads. Let's hope you don't need anything major, because getting replacement parts may be a problem, especially if it's French. All this costs money. For most of you, the cost would be prohibitive, if you didn't do your own labour. Most people don't even make their own morning coffee, let alone fix their own bikes, so why would they bother bother with an old, labour intensive model? Yes, hybrids and ATBs are the most sensible choice for most people. I'm just happy they are riding, rather than driving their cars.

As for brake performance, I have to come out emphatically on the side of the modern brakesets. I have several vintage bicycles with various brakesets (Weinmann 650, Universal 61 & 68, MAFAC Racer & Competition, 1st generation Dura Ace, Campagnolo NR, etc), but they are vastly inferior to my 2003 Camapagnolo Chorus brakest. Granted, a good set of cables and pads will transform a vintage brakeset, but it still can't approach a modern set. As for the modern ATBs, they stop even better, due to V-brakes with high mechanical leverage and oversize pads. The extra road rubber doesn't hurt either! I don't know if I would call a vintage bicycle brakes "unsafe", but I will concede that modern brakesets provide a much bigger safety margin.

One closing point. Cycling is far too cliquey, ad nauseum. It disturbing to see all the various factions (roadies, dirts, Tri-geeks, BMXers, commuters, etc.) all showing disdain for the others. Next time you see a fellow cyclist smile and wave. If they catch you or you catch them, compliment them & their bike, strike up a conversation and ride together for a while. If you are a more experienced cyclist, teach them something. If they are more experienced, learn something from them. Either way, you'll probably make a new friend, and you'll both be better cyclists for it.

   RE:MISC:   A long time ago posted by steve on 1/30/2004 at 9:40:41 PM
While we're musing about old vs. new technology, can someone explain to me the logic behind the modern 18-plus-speed gearings. About 12 years ago I bought a mountain bike to see what all the fuss was about (didn't like it) and noted that the gearing had entirely too many duplications for my liking. Back in 1980, I came up with a 15-speed arrangement that served for a couple of transcontinental trips and a number of Washington tours. The 9 usable gears gave a spread from 31" to 83", with no duplications and about 6" steps between gears except for the last one. It worked so well that it survives to this day, with a slightly lower low in deference to advancing years and Seattle grades, and a less elegant spacing due to the end of Sun Tour freewheels.
Then: 32 42 46 Now: 28 42 46

28 31 xx xx 28 27 xx xx
23 38 49 xx 24 32 47 xx
20 43 57 62 20 38 57 62
17 xx 67 73 17 xx 67 73
15 xx xx 83 14 xx xx 89

   RE:RE:MISC:   A long time ago posted by steve on 1/30/2004 at 9:42:33 PM
Hmmm. . .it didn't look like that on the screen!

   RE:RE:RE:MISC:   A long time ago posted by marc on 1/30/2004 at 11:18:24 PM
I do agree that that cycling has transformed into several different cliques and it has become somewhat detremental. I myself enjoy all sorts of riding and have several different types bicycles in my collection. And in actuality it was working on my specialized hard rock that got me into bicycle repair and then vintage bicycles. I also agree that lightweights may not be the best option for the average person but I don't think hybrids or mountain bikes are the answer either. Personally I think 3 speed internally geard bicycles are a better option. Same upright position, but simple shifting and low maintenance.
Now to the brake issue, I think the person who said vlw's are unsafe doesn't know much. Were bicycles pre 1990 death traps? Were people dying by the thousands because of brake failures? I think not, yes modern brakes do have more stoping power but too much of a good thing can be bad. I've heard of some brakes actually bending rims.

Well, I don't mind that the general public isn't buying vintage bicycles, that just means theres more out there for us.

just my two cents.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:MISC:   A long time ago posted by luke on 1/31/2004 at 12:10:06 AM
Alot of talk about great bikes going on here.How is it that these bikes have lived 20 or 30 years and are still in fine shape for the ages they,ve endured.
History and steel,respect to the old wheel,
Me,you and the whole speel,
Bring it back to that old wheel,
The one we ride,the one we hide,in our garage until this spring.
Look out treke,s,,

   RE:RE:MISC:   A long time ago posted by Corey on 1/31/2004 at 3:34:13 AM
Hi Steve,

The logic behind the "modern 18-plus-speed gearings" isn't the extra overlapping ratios, rather it is, to my mind at least, to make an indexed shift work properly. The decreased size difference between each cog means the Shimano (or for that matter, Campagnolo) shifter and chain makes a much smaller jump between cogs. It requires a much shorter swing of the shift lever. It's difficult to make indexed shifting cover a long jump between, say, a 26 to a 32 tooth cog. To see that, custom make a Hyperglide cog stack that jumps from a 21t to a 25t cog; it generally doesn't work very well. The more cogs crammed into the stack, the better the indexing hops up to the lowest ranges.

Whether you want or like indexed shifting is another matter, of course.


   RE:MISC:   A long time ago posted by T-Mar on 1/31/2004 at 4:05:17 AM
Why do we have more gears to-day than 30 years ago?

The optimist would say that more gears provide greater flexibility. It allows the size of the gear steps to be reduced, permitting the cyclist to remain closer to the optimum heart rate. It also, allows a wider range of gearing to be used, permitting the cyclist to handle a wider variety of terrain. Planned intelligently, it will provide a greater number of useful gears.

The pessimist would argue that it is solely a marketing ploy by the bicycle industry to outdate our old bikes and sell new product. They make the contracted professional riders use it and then the amateur racers will want it and then it filters all the down the to recreational cyclist. This "planned obsolescence" and "keeping up with the Jones" ploys are used on everything from running shoes to automobiles. The pessimists will also argue it increases drivetrain wear through narrower chains and cogs, increases the weight, decreases rear wheel strength through increased dishing and requires more complex and therefore less accurate shifting.

Comparing the gearing on my 2003 and 1974 racing bicycles, I have to say that the answer is a combination of the two. The 2003 has 20 gears that provide wider gearing and smaller steps. It has twice as many usable gears as the old 10 speed, but percentage wise, it's about the same. And yes, I bought the new bicycle primarily to keep up with the Jones and to compensate for the decreasing physical ability brought on by increasing age (though it's also a painful reminder of how much ability I have lost). Drivetrain wear does seem to be higher, though material developments have keot it within acceptable limits. Regarding wheel reliability, I'd have to say that developments have outpaced the dishing problems and to-day's wheels are stronger. Overall, the weight has decreased. And Ergopower and STI have virtually eliminated the shifting problems.

So does that make me a pessimistic optimist, or an optimistic pessimist? I don't know, but I do know I have the best of both worlds. A modern, state of the art, racing bicycle and a beautiful, handmade classic from the golden era of the lightweight bicycle. And for that, I consider myself to be most fortunate.

   gear ratio range and progression posted by John E on 1/31/2004 at 10:59:27 PM
Typical 1970 Tour de France gearing covered about 50 to 100 gear-inches in 8 or 9 unable ratios. Typical 2000 Tour de France gearing covered about 50 to 130 gear-inches in 13 or 14 usable ratios, which represents only slightly closer ratios than before.

Since I want 6 percent spacing from the low 40s to the high 90s, I do need more than 10 gears, but can get by nicely on 14 or 18 (i.e., 12 to 15 usable, non-crossed gears). My old-technology 18-speed rig is a 3x6 half-step-plus-grannie, 48-45-34 / 13-15-17-19-21-23. My other Peugeot now has a straight 12-speed half-step, 45-42 / 13-15-17-20-23-26, which works out very well for commuting and general transportation. The Bianchi is geared a bit higher, 50-42/ 13-15-17-19-21-23-26. My mountain bike is geared similarly, but adds a grannie ring for offroad use: 48-40-24 / 13-15-17-19-22-24-26.

   that's the brakes posted by John E on 1/31/2004 at 11:06:36 PM
Hi Chuck -- I have met you a couple of times and ridden with you on a Hetchins' Heaven Tour de Fallbrook. (I used my 1959 Capo for that particular ride.) Yes, I am aware of the demand for my Campag. sidepulls, but they simply do not stop as well as my old Weinmann and Mafac centerpulls. I'll let you know when (not if) I decide to sell them.

   gear redundancy posted by JONathan on 2/1/2004 at 3:25:12 AM
Redundancy is a good thing, IMHO. Take two gears that are the same; that is the chain velocity is the same. One has larger/larger, the other has smaller/smaller (chainring/rear cog). They are mathematically equal, yet that's not everything to look at when the rubber is on pavement.
Sometimes I work a narrow range of gears that progress from lower to higher; sometimes from higher to lower. The larger/larger setup can go up in gears; progression to smaller rear cogs. The smaller/smaller setup can progress to lower gears (to larger cogs). Personally, I find shifting the rear derailer is easiler than fiddling with the front...except for the older SunTours that
have it "right", IMHO. When you pull back on the lever, the chain switches to the smaller chainring(s). The other advantages to redundancy; gears longevity (unintentional, I'm sure) and operational backup...nice on a long tour. I'm not advocating redundancy as something great, just a way to look at it with a positive spin....
Hey, I'm not a salesman!
Happy rides,
BTW, I always wanted to try sales.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   the long awaited pictures posted by: marc on 1/28/2004 at 10:18:43 PM
I know I've been promising to put up pics of the long talked about moto mirage, so here they are. Thanks to a ton of spyware on my computer and my ineffective attempts to get rid of it I had to use the restore disk and I've had to reinstall a ton of software. But alas, here they are:


just cut and paste the link. I'm going to start working on the mixte today. I should post pics of some of my other bikes.

I took a pic of the huret rear der. Anyone care to take a guess at the model?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   the long awaited pictures posted by T-Mar on 1/28/2004 at 10:39:04 PM
It's definitely a Huret Challenger derailleur, as I originally posted. Also, the bicycle is definitely a late 70's model, as I orginally surmised. However, seeing the components and graphics, I can narrow things down to 1976 to 1978.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   the long awaited pictures posted by marc on 1/28/2004 at 10:55:10 PM
thanks for the info. I figured it was from the 70's. Once the snow melts a bit out here I'm going to take it for a nice long ride and see if I really like the huret components.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   the long awaited pictures posted by Rob on 1/29/2004 at 1:57:17 AM
The Huret looks interesting...I haven't run into one of those yet...I guess they may not be all that common...T-Mar?? Looks like you have it mated with a 6 speed freewheel and I guess it'll have the capacity for that... I tend to snag that Huret stuff if the price is right...hard to resist. Shifting the topic a bit...I guess this should go to another discussion groups... I just picked up...on an impulse, a Sachs 5-speed Pentasport hub...laced to a high end alloy touring rim...and, amazingly, I found within a few hours of searching the web, all kinds of pictures and schematics and even a complete 1999 SRAM parts list...(derailleurs, hubs and all sorts of of bits and pieces...Sachs is now part of SRAM)... in German, English and French, no less...It has the ld phone no. for the North American distributor...based in Chicago...It's a German websitee...it's amazing the info you can find if your patient enough to search for a bit... Now I need to find the shifter set...which might be a bit of a hunt...

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   the long awaited pictures posted by T-Mar on 1/29/2004 at 4:28:21 AM
Rob, the Challenger series is a relatively rare derailleur, along with the lower ECO (one step down) and the higher Success. Huret seems to have gone through a relatively difficult period, starting in the late 1970s.

The pantograph derailleurs of Shimano and Suntour were rapidly gaining in popularity and had pretty much sewn up most most of the low and mid range market. Huret's market seems to have been restricted to almost exclusively to European brands. Despite, the influx of the Japanese, most European manufacturers tried to maintain at a couple models with European equipment. However, this means that Huret had to compete with Campagnolo, Simplex and Zeus for constantly decreasing market share.

Huret's two jewels at this time were the Jubilee racing model and the Duopar touring model. The Jubilee had the distinction of being the lighest available derailleur, but was pitted against Campagnolo's venerable Nuovo Record model. Fortunately the Duopar was clearly the best avialable touring derailleur. The end result was that any available allotment the European manufacturers would give to Huret, was likely to go to the Jubilee and/or Duopar.

The Challenger was generally found on bicycle in the $150.00 US price range. The Japanese provided stiff competion in this range with the Suntour V series and Shimano's 600 series. Of the European manufacturers, the French brands were most loyal to the French components, but Peugeot was allied with Simplex and Gitane had gone to Suntour in this price range. This made for very slim pickings for the Challenger.

On paper, the Challenger looked competitive. It was lighter than the 600 and V series derailleurs and had capacity comparable to the 600 and the Vx (and was 6 speed compatible). However, in performance its parallelogram would have been hard pressed to match the Japanese pantographs. In addition, there was probably a marketing problem. Even though it was lighter, the fact that used a substantial amount of steel and had rather crude looking, formed, upper and lower pivot brackets would not have helped sales. Regardless, I think it is an interesting derailleur. Huret's approach to producing an inexpensive and light derailleur, is very novel, even if it leaves something to be desired in the department of aesthetics.

Of course, the above are my own personal observations, based on what I recall of the market at that time. I wonder how closely it matches "The Dancing Chain"?

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   the long awaited pictures posted by JONathan on 1/29/2004 at 5:55:36 AM
Man, that's a great bike! Thanks for posting the pics. Those bars look cool, too. nice setup.
The Huret looks like one I have. I'll have a look. You're set to ride.

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   the long awaited pictures posted by marc on 1/29/2004 at 7:34:27 AM
once again you guys amaze me. Thanks a ton for all of the info and opinions. Even though the mirage originally had the suntour group, the more I think about it the more I like the huret components on this bike. A bit of a homage to france I guess. I'm still a bit torn though, it's a bit tempting to keep the mixte all original, even though I haven't ridden it yet. Maybe I'll put the suntour stuff that was on the mirage onto the mixte, it will be easy to keep track of whats on what that way at least. Although I have to admit that the suntour shifters I have seem to work better than the huret. Can anyone suggest a better model of huret shifters?

I have to agree with you jonathan, the alloy wheels really do make a difference. I think I might try and put the weinmann alloy wheels I have onto my raleigh record ltd and just save the rigida chromix wheels on the side to keep the original stuff together.

I think I found some of those specialized tires that were mentioned in the thread on tires. They looked pretty sweet, not bad for 20 bucks a pop at the LBS. Harris Cyclery has some nice looking tires online as well. Maybe I'll buy a set of each and see which I like more.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   the long awaited pictures posted by JONathan on 1/29/2004 at 8:57:18 AM
Well, marc, whatever Huret shifts the best is not the one on my "sprite". One good feature about mine, when I downshift to make a pass, it growls loud enough to hear for 50 meters on a cool, dark evening. Hey, I'm having fun dialing it.
The one like in your pictured Moto, looks like a decent tranny. I've got one on something...maybe my Jeunet...or Roold (both French). Yours looks great on the MOTO, even though the OEM was SunTour, the same as on my "Super Mirage". The Specialized tires
that are on my "sprite" are called "Tri-Sport" (100psi), but I run at 80psi becuase the rims are not hooked-bead. BTW, that's another reason to swap out the steel for hooked-bead alloy rims.
REMEMBER, those steel rims won't handle the high pressure...they'll blow. I've experienced that rapid decompression (blowout)...it ain't pretty. The whole tire was displaced off the rim. Fortunately, it was sitting on my porch...spilled coffee all over myself.
Motos rock!

   RE: Traveler posted by Eric Amlie on 1/29/2004 at 10:29:36 PM
Boy, you guys can have the Moto(no slight to Moto, I have a Grand Record myself). I like that old Schwinn Traveler in the backround. It looks like it's in pretty nice condition. I have one very similar(the downtube decal reads "Schwinn" instead of "World")but in as nice condition as this one. Cool bike!

   RE: Traveler posted by Eric Amlie on 1/29/2004 at 10:32:23 PM
Meant to say that mine is NOT in as nice condition as the one in the photo. Is there a way to edit our posts here?

   RE:RE: Traveler posted by marc on 1/30/2004 at 3:33:40 AM
hey there, thanks. I love that traveler, it was dirty and rusty when I got her and now she's shiny and pretty. I was amazed how well it cleaned up. What year is yours? Mine is a 51. Does yours have a generator set on it? If it does do you know if its original and what brand is it? Mine is melas from germany, I don't know if its original or not. I just found a great touring bag for it at a thrift store, all i had to do was fix one buckle, can't wait to put it on.

   RE:RE: Traveler posted by Gralyn on 1/30/2004 at 3:40:58 AM
I still have my Mirage. Silver - like the one in the pics - but mine is 25" frame. I don't even remember how it is equipped. .....OK I made up a data sheet of all my bikes, and list out all the componentry....I had printed off a copy....and....my Mirage has Pivo stem, Rigidas, Lyotard pedals, Nervar cranks, and Sun Tour everything else.

I had tried to sell it in a local sale paper - cheap! - but never had any takers. I may even list it on e-bay. It's just too big for me. If anyone would need a large frame Moto - I would sell it pretty cheap.

   RE:RE: Traveler posted by Eric Amlie on 1/30/2004 at 1:44:45 PM
Dang, I forgot to look at the bike this morning to see if it has a generator on it. It's 13 below zero here this morning and I had my mind on other things(like getting my truck started). I've recently picked up a vintage NOS Miller generator light set on ebay that I might use on the bike if there isn't one already(I have about 40 bikes so it's hard to remember what has what, and what needs what). The NOS light set will look funny on the semi-ratty old bike though. Anyway, the serial number of the bike is N77179 which according to the s/n lists means it was made between 11/11/54 and 11/14/54. Bike is the same color as yours and looks pretty much identical except as I mentioned before, the downtube decal says "Schwinn" same as the top tube decal.

   RE:RE:RE: Traveler posted by marc on 1/30/2004 at 2:57:05 PM
dont worry about it.I know what you mean about the cold. I'm in chicago and its around the same temp here. And to my displeasure I woke up to a frozen pipe leading to my kitchen sink. Luckily it didn't take much to thaw it out.

I just a mailer/flyer from schwinn about the 1952 traveler model on ebay. I can't wait to get that in, hopefully it will offer some insight into the details.

AGE / VALUE:   Dating Columbus SLX Tubing posted by: John S on 1/28/2004 at 6:52:18 PM
No, I don't have wierd dating desires... Does anybody have records that show when Columbus SLX tubing was introduced?

Trying to put correct period parts on an early or mid-80's Paletti that has an SLX tubing decal. Be grateful to understand the Columbus SL date-range as well.


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Dating Columbus SLX Tubing posted by T-Mar on 1/28/2004 at 9:36:35 PM
I was wondering that too, not very long along. As a result I went back through my old catalogues and magazines, in an effort to try and establish introduction dates for various tubesets.

The earliest date I could find for SLX was 1984. The earliest reference I found to SL was 1981. Previous to this, the catalogs and magazines refer to Columbus double butted tubing, without specific reference to grade or name of tubeset. Of course, this method is deductive and there is the possibility that the particular tubesets were produced earlier.

Establishing end of production dates is even harder. If a builder is particularly fond of a particular tubeset, he may place a large LTB (last time buy) order with the tube manufacturer, immediately prior to its being discontinued. Depending on the size of the order and the demand, his stock could last several years beyond the date the tubes were last produced.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Eulogy for Friend posted by: Brian L. on 1/28/2004 at 5:02:38 PM
Yesterday I was witness to the end of an era for me and a real loss for the Seattle cycle community. Bikesmith has come to the end of the line. For years now, Val and his motley crew have run my hands-down favorite hole-in-the-wall bike store. With his trademark handlebar mustache and ponytail and free gingersnaps for customers, I loved edging past the clutter and customers to scan the counter for vintage parts and see what the latest consignment frames and bikes for sale were. Val wasn't long on social graces, but he could fix ANYTHING and often fabricated parts where none were available. He was the reigning Sturmey repairman and crafted all manner of goofy and enteraining projects including choppers and stunt bikes as well as resurrecting roadsters and path cruisers. Time and rising rents forced yet another small bike shop out of business and I was there for the last day, pawing through heaps of old derailleurs and buying up a couple of tires. I gave him a few extra $$ for the retro sandwich board that stood outside the front entrance to clean up and hang on my wall as folk art and a reminder of an important part of my life. Val had just built up an Sturmey 4-speed alloy hub that I had mated with a NOS Phillips chrome rim that he laced to spiffy new 700c clinchers for my Freddie Grubb project. Sigh ... Where have all the heros gone?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Eulogy for Friend posted by JONathan on 1/28/2004 at 6:33:10 PM
Sorry to hear that. A similar thing happened. THe owner of a hole-in-the-wall shop that specialized in Raleigh "sports", among others. He has prodigous mechanical skill and was always willing to figure out what my "nickel" project would require...and at great length.
Stores like his, gave a sense of community to the area. There were never more than 1 dozen new bikes; no sensory overload walking in the store. There was afternoon sunlight beaming in through the back workshop area; a nice view of the Coast Range, too. He's a perfectionist, too.
I remember he took on a bent wheel I had brought for truing and he didn't charge me, because he said that he couldn't get it right. I could barely see anything off on the rotation. I wish, now, that I'd bought more parts at his shop. Now, the old shop is a fish-tank store...I walk in and look around, just for nostalgia.
I know how you feel. Good luck finding another fun shop...the ones where a terrior is chasing a tennis ball on the floor. Them's the best.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Eulogy for Friend posted by Rob on 1/29/2004 at 1:00:35 AM
Yeah...I like those one-man (...woman) shops where you can talk to the owner and develop some rapport...even when they're cranky from years of overwork...:) A lot of those guys are so good-hearted they would give you the shirt off their back as the old saying goes...except that someone probably ripped it off years ago... As I get older I realize how precious some of these small businesses are and I try not to take them for granted. I regularly frequent a non-profit bike shop and though I haggle a bit over prices, I don't mind paying their asking prices, even for stuff I might only be marginally interested in...doing my part to help make sure they can pay the overheads...

Of course, I don't view what I'm doing as charity work, as I have found some fascinating stuff and have gotten some excellent deals...If these shops weren't around, it would be much tougher to find this stuff...it would lie dormant in someone's basement, or moulder in an landfill somewhere...

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Eulogy for Friend posted by Steve on 1/29/2004 at 5:17:18 PM
Oh no. . .I was last in there early this month, with no hint of impending disaster! In December, Val overhauled an S5 hub for me, fixing a mysterious outbreak of rust. Now it and its mates (another S5, an FW, and an AM) are very alone in the world. . .me, too.

AGE / VALUE:   Campy HF hub posted by: Smitty on 1/28/2004 at 3:56:48 AM
Hey check out this auction 3657724793 what is the deal with the extra holes. I heard this was something Schwinn did or had done maybe for large spokes or something (tandem)I can not remember

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Long Serial Number on Varsity posted by: desertcommuter on 1/28/2004 at 2:35:10 AM
Just picked up a Schwinn Varsity in nice shape from my neighbor. Checking the s/n I became confused. The number is CG003538. From everything I read, that's one too many digits. I'm pretty sure that it's a real Schwinn. The details of the bike are right and my neighbor has had the bike in his garage for decades. From what I read, the Varsity was an eight speed. What year did they upgrade it to a 10 speed.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Long Serial Number on Varsity posted by Dick in FL on 1/28/2004 at 5:22:24 AM
1961. In 1962 they went to a downtube-mounted shift lever for the front derailleur. Varsities have to be the most common old multi-speed bicycles here in Florida, but I have yet to spot an 8-speed. (Notice that I couldn't bring myself to refer to them as "lightweights".)

    Varsity posted by John E on 1/28/2004 at 3:15:11 PM
One of my junior high school pals had an 8-speed Varsity. At the time, I looked down on it, since my bottom-of-the-line Bianchi Corsa had 10 speeds and a cable-controlled front derailleur and weighed 4 kilos less. Today, an original first-year Varsity is worth about as much as a top-of-the-line Bianchi Specialissima of comparable vintage.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Long Serial Number on Varsity posted by desertcommuter on 2/2/2004 at 9:22:50 PM
Well, I was hoping for a little response about the serial number. The 8 speed bit was just a bit of a comment.

Was Schwinn quality control really that bad that the serial number would have an extra digit? Or is there something I'm missing.

WANTED:   Decals for a Schwinn Voyageur 11.8 posted by: MC on 1/28/2004 at 1:03:26 AM
The title says it all. Mid 80s variety.

   RE:WANTED:   Decals for a Schwinn Voyageur 11.8 posted by Kevin K on 1/28/2004 at 7:09:54 PM
Hey MC. What do you need, new decals? I know where at least the top tube decals can be found. Send me a photo and I'll see if they match. Send to kbcurvin@aol.com. Kevin

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Lucky Day posted by: marc on 1/27/2004 at 8:05:51 PM
Well, yesterday was definately a lucky day. I went to a lbs looking for a set of moustache handlebars, after the clerk went diggin in the back he pulled out a beautiful set of alloy bars that he said must have been sitting on the shelf for a while, the best part, they were marked 14.95! I gladly paid the man and smiled knowing I didn't have to pay 60 bucks on rivendel.com. Even though I wasn't sure if the diameter was right I still figured it was a great buy. I can't read the mark too well, can't quite tell who made them although they had schwinn end caps.
Then I went to the thrift store to rummage around on half price monday where I found a canadian peugeot ladies bicycle. It's in practically new condition, even came with a matching water bottle. What really caught my eye were the alloy rigida wheels with alloy mallard hubs that were nice and true. It was marked 40.00 bucks and since it was monday that was cut in half. I walked the bike up to the counter and right past another guy who eyeing it and said, "nice bike" as I walked by.

When I got home the handlebars went right onto the moto mirage and the best part, they fit! Good gamble. Unfortunately the brake levers didn't quite fit but then I remembered the peugeot. And... the alloy star levers fit right onto the bars. The weinmans are going into the box marked "mirage original." Then the chromix rigidas came of the mirage and on went the alloy rigidas which still had a dusty but practically new pair of IRC tires on them. I adjusted the brakes and it was set for my ride today. I could hardly sleep from my anticipation.

When I woke up this morning it had snowed 3 inches!!! Karma? Fate? Was God mocking me? Well luckily I live in chicago, a town where a mayor once lost an election because his snow plows didn't keep the streets cleared during a snow storm. Once the streets were plowed I took the mirage out for its maiden voyage. It was great! It's an amazing ride. The bike feels light yet secure, not soft. Its nimble and quick. It felt like I could coast forever. It just doesn't ride or feel like the frame is just 1020 tubes. I put the huret deraileurs on they shifted pretty well. I'm sure the suntours would do better, but I'll ride it a bit more and then make up my mind. This is my first set of moustache bars and I have to say I like them alot. I'll take some pics later tonight and post them online.
I haven't put the mixte back together yet but I will sometime this week.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Lucky Day posted by JONathan on 1/27/2004 at 9:41:53 PM
Well done, maestro! I think a lot of the ride is cue to construction, geometry and fit. I have the 3040 steel and maybe...I don't have a comparison bike, there is a bit more spring to the ride than the 1020 tubes would exhibit,
Slightly less mass, but unless there are long hills...the extra mass, by itself, is just a big breakfast to me. So the ride was excellent? I found the alloy wheels make a big improvement in ride. Rogidas are great alloy rims, IMHO.
My Moto "granTour" is a very smooth sailin'. They did it right...and now you have a great ride, too. I have sen only a couple bikes worth a second look. You done good!
Happy ridin',

   French bikes posted by John E on 1/27/2004 at 11:22:12 PM
Anyone who has not yet done so should read Sheldon Brown's comments regarding French bike framesets. Yes, there is indeed something special about them. My 1981 Bianchi and 1959 Capo are superior in performance and workmanship, respectively, but I would hate to be without my two old Peugeots, which provide a nice all-round balance of fun, style, class, stability, comfort, practicality, and performance.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Lucky Day posted by T-Mar on 1/28/2004 at 11:07:34 PM
JONathan, could you do me a favour and doublecheck the tubing sticker on your Motobecane? Ever since you first posted the "3040" tubeset, it has been gnawing away at me. The late 70's, entry level bicycles from Motobecane that I've seen were 2040 tubing. I'm interested to know if your bicycle has something different.

I agree with John E., that the French bicycle of the 70's bicyle boom were something special, apart form the different threads and component sizing. I never much liked the entry level bicycles and thought the general public was better served by the more rugged Japanese brands. And at the high end, French cosmetics and craftmanship was not on par with the Italians. However, to me, the French were particularly adept at providing a well performing, light, racing bicycle in the middle price range. They were a bit on the fragile side, but at this price point the owners took better care of the bicycles and it was not a great concern, given the good value you got for your money. It was hard to fault a Vitus or Reynolds DB frameset, outfitted with decent tubulars, Simplex Delrin derailleurs, MAFAC centre-pull brakes and a nice Stronglight or TA cotterless crankset, particularly when you get get it for for only $225-$250 (circa 1973).

I fondly recall the Jeunet Pro which I used to have. Over the years, I've been slowly accumulating the correct parts to re-build one. About the only item left to acquire is the frameset, however I do have a 1977 St. Etienne with Reynolds 531 DB, which will make do, until I find a Jeunet.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Lucky Day posted by JONathan on 1/29/2004 at 3:41:26 AM
Tom, I checked the "Super Mirage", the sticker is "2040 hi-resiliency tubing".
The Mixte "granTour" has a Vitus tubeset and the regular frame GT is probably 2040 as I recall.
Both those are a bit hard to reach at this hour, I remember the other GT at the rummage sale had Vitus's tubing and the one that fit me has the 2040 stuff. The forks slightly bent, as was the front derailer; it was smashed. I thought it was strange, considering the rest of the bike is fine, even the paint is new looking. I will check tomorrow, if I can get out there while it's still light. I'm pretty sure it's 2040.
The "Super Mirage" rides a bit "lighter" than the GT, but it may be the alloy wheels are a step up from the GT.
Better wheels always ride lighter, IMHO.
Sorry about any consternation I may have caused you.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Lucky Day posted by T-Mar on 1/29/2004 at 3:36:54 PM
Thank-you JONathan. I was curious because I had not come across a 3040 tubeset and I am always intested gaining knowledge about the unique approaches that the cycling companies used to solve a particular issue. I guess it's just a manifestation of my own idiosyncrasy!

AGE / VALUE:   SWEET HOME CHICAGO? posted by: Kevin K on 1/27/2004 at 2:09:43 AM
Hi all. Well, my family and I are looking for advice on where to vacation and enjoy riding our bikes. I wanted to drive to Boulder but the wife says the Volvo with 260,000 on it won't make the grade. Uh! Anyway we are looking at the Chicago area ( or within even 100 miles north/south or west )as a compromise. 20 plus years of being a painter has left my lungs in bad shape so I need an area that would be both fun for the family and clean air as to not put me in the ER. I was checking several on line sites and though I might as well ask here also. So if you guys or gals have been close to the areas described please let me know either here or at kbcurvin@aol.com. Thank you very much. Kevin

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   SWEET HOME CHICAGO? posted by Ken on 1/27/2004 at 6:43:45 PM
Four to six inches of new snow, current temp 14F with winds from the NW at 20+ mph- you may want to wait a day or two for recreational cycling in Chicagoland. That said, the city itself is recognized as bike-friendly but requires a hardnosed urban mindset. There are plenty of great trails both in and out of town; if you want to get out in the country and go a few miles check out the Great Western, the Virgil Gilman or the Illinois and Michigan canal trail. Here's the League of Illinois Bicyclists, trail web page to get you started.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   SWEET HOME CHICAGO? posted by sam on 1/28/2004 at 2:22:23 AM
George Wyman said in 1903 that Chicago was dirty and the streets were filled with drunkin women.Made me want to go too!---On the other hand San Antonio is a great town to vacation in.Has a lot to see for free/cheap or a lot to spend money on--Great bike trail to the missions --sam

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   SWEET HOME CHICAGO? posted by marc on 1/28/2004 at 4:36:49 AM
I have to say the ride down the lake shore drive path is pretty amazing. You get amazing views of the city and skyline, lake michigan, the beach, museums, and all with minimal interaction with auto traffic. Alot of other great trails in and outside of the city. I forget the exact name but I believe its in skokie, minutes from chicago, a path that takes you through some preserves and quite often you can see deer and other critters along the path. Chicago is a great mix of urban life and the midwestern experience.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   SWEET HOME CHICAGO? posted by Kevin K on 1/28/2004 at 7:23:18 PM
Hi all. Marc, thanks much for the response. Sounds fun. Sam, Texas. I'm in O Hi O. I like long drives but........and Ken I'm check this route out also. Now to find somewhere safe to lodge for a guy with severe asthma. Thank you all, Kevin

AGE / VALUE:   SWEET HOME CHICAGO? posted by: Kevin K on 1/27/2004 at 2:09:43 AM
Hi all. Well, my family and I are looking for advice on where to vacation and enjoy riding our bikes. I wanted to drive to Boulder but the wife says the Volvo with 260,000 on it won't make the grade. Uh! Anyway we are looking at the Chicago area ( or within even 100 miles north/south or west )as a compromise. 20 plus years of being a painter has left my lungs in bad shape so I need an area that would be both fun for the family and clean air as to not put me in the ER. I was checking several on line sites and though I might as well ask here also. So if you guys or gals have been close to the areas described please let me know either here or at kbcurvin@aol.com. Thank you very much. Kevin

AGE / VALUE:   Rusty Torpado posted by: John S on 1/26/2004 at 9:37:42 PM
No, Rusty Torpado is not some guy I met at a seaside pub...

Picked up a fun mid-80's Torpado SL this weekend, has tons of frame engravings/cutouts, I counted 15! Also fun mix of components including Campy record steel rear derailleur, TTT Record stem and old Campy high flange front hub. Most of remaining parts are Campy Super Record, which I believe is appropriate for the bike.

Wierd pattern of corrosion, however. Chrome on fork and right chainstay was excellent. Paint elsewhere, especially on top-tube, was very scratched, and rusted. Usually I find chrome rusty while paint is ok, kind of reverse process.

My theory is bike only recently sat outside, long enough to rust the exposed carbon, but not enough to attack the chrome. Hmmm...