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Archived: Vintage Lightweights

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Strange Sturmey Archer hub on eBay? posted by: Rob on 3/29/2004 at 3:28:54 AM
I may have given a bad link, I pasted it as it was emailed to me. Try this one: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3669379716&category=7295

    Sturmey Archer hub on eBay posted by John E on 3/29/2004 at 5:19:46 PM
Thanks for posting. I used an identical 12-speed rear hub for several years, and if you peruse down through past postings in this forum, you can read all about it, including the gear ratios. That was one of the most fun bike transmissions I ever owned. I think I want this one for my Peugeot UO-8, assuming I can find a 40H rear rim, although I should be able to skip-lace one of my 32 Campagnolos, in a pinch. This would be slick with my current 45-42 chainrings, or perhaps 44-41 or 44-42. I can leave the SunTour ratchet barcons and tuck the S/A trigger inside and below one of the brake handles.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Strange Sturmey Archer hub on eBay? posted by: Rob on 3/29/2004 at 3:28:54 AM
Found this on eBay, I never seen one like this before?
What were they used on?

Looks like an aluminum 3 speed hub with a cluster to boot.
would you multiply the gears? A 12 speed hub in all?

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   columbus Forcello originale posted by: Clint on 3/29/2004 at 1:57:18 AM
I have just aquired a columbus frame, and the decal on the fork. Says.....Forcello originale. Can anyone give me any information on this bike. SL,SLX, are common topics for Columbus tubing. But can anyone help me with what I have?

thank you very much

please e-mail any help

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   columbus Forcello originale posted by Stefano on 3/29/2004 at 5:03:58 PM
Forcella (not forcello as you wrote) is the Italian translation for fork. It means that the fork was built with Columbus fork blades. If you bought the red frame that was recently on ebay, I can guarantee to you that it is not a Cinelli frame as it was orignally listed. It has a Cinelli BB shell and I believe a Cinelli fork crown (Cinelli and Columbus have both been owned by the same company for many years now.) It seems typical of the many small frame builders that you find all over Italy. Up until recently, the builder of the frame was far more important to the average Italian cyclist than the type of tubing.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Fixed Gear - Handlebars posted by: Gralyn on 3/29/2004 at 12:43:00 AM
I have a few fixed-gear (conversions) - mostly drop bars, a couple track bars....
But, I've seen pics of fixed-gear bikes with these bull-horn-looking bars. Upon closer examination - it looks to me like they are regular drop bars - which have been turned upside-down and the curved ends cut off. They look pretty neat. Does anyone know if this is what they actually are? I have some old bars and I could fabricate myself a set of these and try them out.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Fixed Gear - Handlebars posted by T-Mar on 3/29/2004 at 3:02:22 AM
While bullhorns or time trial bars look similar to drop bars that have had the ends lopped off and are mounted upside-down, they are not. If you do this with normal drop bars, will find that the bars splay outwards where you grip the bars. This puts extra strain on the wrists. Most aluminum bars cannot be safely rebent to adjust this angle.

Proper bullhorn or time trial handlebars are custom bent, so that the drops are parallel to each other and face directly forward. In addition, they usually drop a several inches upon leaving the leaving the stem so that the area where you grip the bar is at the same height as the "drops" on a traditional dropped bar.

The theory behind bullhorn/TT bars to make the rider stay in the lower, more aerodynamic postion by taking away any other hand position, other than the drops. The bar itself is also slightly more aerodynamic. Turning a dropped bar upside-down and lopping off the ends restricts you to riding in a more upright, non-aero position, as it is equivalent to riding on the "tops". So the do-it-yourself bullhoen defeats the main purpose of better aerodynamics.

There is one special bullhorn with no drop, that is made for triathletes, or cyclists who use aero bars. There is no drop because triathletes normally ride on the aero bars except when climbing, descending or braking. Thus the aero position is not sacrificed for most riding. The non-drop position of these bullhorns mimick using the "tops" during climbing, which is more efficient than dropped bullhorn bars. The non-aero position also provides an air-brake for the braking process.

The other thing you may have seen is a moustache bar, which look a little more like flattened out drop bars. They provide a variety of hand postions, without a severe "drop" and are popular with many riders. Since I have no personal experience riding them, I'll let others debate their relative merits.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Fixed Gear - Handlebars posted by Ken on 3/29/2004 at 6:49:06 PM
As it happens, cutting the ends off drop bars and turning them over is exactly what the east coast hipsters do, according to my Boston relation who's a messenger and fixie. Some leave the brake lever (just one) in its original position so it's upside down in the new configuration. I've tried it with a tube cutter with nice results. As far as the angles are concerned, that would depend on what bars you chose, but if they "splay outwards" when upside down, they would do likewise right side up, no?

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Fixed Gear - Handlebars posted by Gralyn on 3/29/2004 at 8:50:27 PM
I looked on a web site which has a gallery of hundreds of fixed-gear bikes (including a few of mine) - and I saw several different versions of these bars. Some of them looked like they were specially made, i.e., time trial bars. Some of them looked like regular drop bars turned upside-down and cut off. Some of those had a brake handle.

So, I thought I would give it a try. I took an alloy set I had which one end was bent (I thought it would be a good condidate for an experiment - because I couldn't really use them without cutting off the ends anyway). I cut them, flipped them up, put bar tape on them, plugs in the ends....It turned out great. I put them on an old Nishiki Olympic conversion. Really neat-looking, different, and a different hand position to experience.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Fixed Gear - Handlebars posted by T-Mar on 3/30/2004 at 9:44:27 PM
Ken, yes most drop bars do splay outwards on the top section, where they curve forward. The only bars I've seen that don't splay are the real cheapies. This is to facilate going from riding on the hoods, to riding on the drops. From a wrist perspective, riding on the splay is the worst of the five basic hand positions for dropped bars, but it does give you one more option.

I never said you couldn't cut and flop a set of drop bars, but that proper bullhorn/TT bars have the advantage of less wrist strain and a more areodynamic postion. When you're stuck with one, or maybe two hand positions, you want to make sure it's comfortable. The DYI bars are OK, if you want something real inexpensive, and aren't going to be riding them often or for long distances, IMHO.

AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Tires? posted by: john on 3/29/2004 at 12:26:06 AM
I have a few suburbans and varistys' that need tires. Rims say "schwinn tubular." Some have 27 1/4" non-schwinn tires with no indication that they are for schwinn. They show treadware so apparently they were used. Others have Schwinn tires(dry rotted,probably oe) with notation "27 1/4 for Schwinn K2". Is it safe to use a "non schwinn' 27 1/4" on these rims. thanks. john

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Tires? posted by Joe on 3/29/2004 at 3:28:23 AM
Schwinn 27" is a standard size 27" rim, any 27" tire should work fine. The original Schwinn 27" tires however were a tad on the wide side compared to other brands.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Tires? posted by john on 3/30/2004 at 1:17:17 AM
thanks for the post joe.....these lightweights(sic)are for casual rides and I wanted to keep the cost down. john

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   How to improving LW braking from hoods? posted by: Robert on 3/28/2004 at 9:55:49 PM
On most og the lightweights I have owned, I have never been happy with the brake performanve when applying the brakes while riding the hoods. From the drops , no problem, but from the hood only fair. Brakes pads are good, calipers properly centered, ect. but the braking power from the hoods is just not there. Front works pretty well, rears so so .
Am contemplating putting on the lined cable housings and "tefloned" cable wires in hopes that friction in the cable itself is the culprit.

Any suggestions appreciated.


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   How to improving LW braking from hoods? posted by Gralyn on 3/29/2004 at 12:54:55 AM
On my bikes with the aero brake levers - they are easy as pie to apply lots of pressure.....except for one set I have....which did not work well at all - and especially the rear - was very difficult to apply. Some of my older non-aero sets...the older ones....are more difficult to apply. Most of the newer (80's) non-aero with hoods - work very well. I think it's just due to excessive friction somewhere within the system. I think you just have to start at the lever and work your way down to the caliper and try to determine where the excessive friction is. Sometimes it's rust on the cable where it exits the cable housing. It could be a sharp bend, or kink, in the steel cable.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   How to improving LW braking from hoods? posted by Eric Amlie on 3/29/2004 at 5:52:34 PM
I've seen quite a few of these stems, but I've never seen one that is necked down the way this one is about an inch below the bend. You also mention that it was loose in the steerer tube at first. It makes me wonder if someone turned this down on a lathe for some reason. That would certainly weaken the stem. Was the stem a reasonably snug fit in the steerer tube before tightening the wedge bolt(i.e. was it a proper fit)?

   improving LW braking posted by John E on 3/29/2004 at 7:44:30 PM
Although riders with large, strong hands can use almost any set of brakes, the rest of us need: 1) modern high-quality pads, such as KoolStops; 2) modern low-friction, low-compression cable housings; 3) calipers with reasonable mechanical advantage (a drop bolt can help a bit here) and smooth pivot action; 4) aluminum rims; 5) brake handles which fit our hands; and 6) scrupulous brake system maintenance. I also find it helpful to remove the return springs from aero-style brake handles.

In the interest of safety, this rules out vintage brake pads, steel rims, and cable housings, as well as certain vintage calipers. I have traded emails with a fellow San Diego County Bicycle Coalition member, who considers all vintage bicycle braking systems inadequate and unsafe.

   RE:improving LW braking posted by JONathan on 3/30/2004 at 5:43:07 AM
Maybe I'm brake-shy, but I only use the "hoods" for casual braking, like coasting along on the wide open flats. I like the Weinmann "vainquers" as they will stop as fast as I dare; that's at 220# with full downhill head of steam, too. I wonder about the "power-assist brakes. What if the little springs and cams foul up? Brakes are very tricky to get dialed right on.
I spend an inordinate effort fiddling with the adjustment of mine. Way more time than say with the gearing apparatus. Brakes are all analog! The gears either shift or they don't. I would keep trying the options you suggest, but it may be that they are just not a good fit...speculation, here. I feel nervous with the control surface being ahead of the bars, just my 2. I am amazed at how some of my bikes were ever able to stop, the way they wree set up. I concluded that brakes, as infinitely important as they are, seem to get very little attention. Some bikes have pads that are worn almost to the metal and ride all cockeyed on the rims.
My Scwinn "traveler" brakes very well with the "vainqueurs", but I still get squaling on a damp morning until the brakes get warmed up. Don't know how to fix that! The position of the brake levers is critical. There are a lot of variables, such as hand size and strength mentioned, but also less tangible things. You'll get it right, just keep workin on it.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   AVA stem breakage posted by: Joe on 3/28/2004 at 3:55:09 AM
I remember some discussion here a while back as to the fact that not all AVA stems are prone to break. If I remember, the concern was with the model stem with the open rear tube which exposed the down bolt.

I happened opon a late 60's or early 70's Asto Daimler yesterday, the bike was whole and in fair condition, but not a very high end model. It had the closed end version of the famed AVA stem. I had replaced a tube and gave it a quick clean and lube and figured I would take it for a short test ride to be sure it was straight and worth fixing any further. Well, it didn't take but 50 yard before I noticed that there was some play in the stem area, I tightened the bolt some more and tried again, after another 50 yards, I was satisfyed that it handled OK and I would place it inline for a full going over and of course an new stem. So, I banked a 'U' turn and thats when the stem gave out, as I pulled the bike straight, the stem sapped, but not in the expected area, it broke off about an 1 1/8" below the headset locknut. The bolt save the bars from coming completely off, and it being an AVA stem I wasn't really putting much weight on the bars anyhow. The bars came loose enough to flop side to side with no ability to turn the fork in either direction. Luckily I just leaned back and was able to ride it "no hands" with out a spill. The worst part was trying to remove the broken piece of stem and the bolt. I ended up having to cut the top off of the bolt since the lower part that sheard off would just spin in the steertube. After removing the broken top half of the stem I saw what had happened. I was then able to drive the wedge out and free the other pieces.
There are no marks or signs of abuse on the stem, but it was a used bike that someone disgarded. I also can't say for sure if it wasn't already partly cracked or broken when I first got it.
Teh casting on this stem is extremely thin, and it sheared off at the point where the split ends in the steertube end of the stem. There was no excessive corrosion present, and everything looked to be all original.
It's just a case of who would figure one would actually break just on a short little test ride in front of the garage. Just imagine if someone was riding fast and leaning or pulling hard on the bars!
I've only seen one other AVA stem actully fail, but it broke off completely just ahead of the downbolt. That particular stem looked pretty roughed up and abused, this one was decent looking, with no nicks, dents, or hammer marks of any sort.
I guess this just goes to show how unreliable these can be, or maybe any old alloy stem for that matter.
Has anyone else had or seen one break in this location?
I posted pics of the broken stem at: http://bikepics.s5.com/photo.html

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   AVA stem breakage posted by ilikebikes on 3/28/2004 at 8:23:21 PM
I have an old Peugeot 10 speed that had a stem just like your picture, if my memory serves me well (which it doesn't allways). It was broke in the same place as yours, except only one half was brocken off. I actually rode it this way for years an lots of miles. Ignorance is bliss.

   old stem breakage posted by John E on 3/28/2004 at 8:23:43 PM
Having broken various components and frames over the years, when I bought my 1959 Capo, I immediately replaced its original GB stem for safety reasons. Both of my Peugeots (1973 and 1980) sport relatively new, period- and nationality-incorrect stems and cranks. The thought of breaking a stem scares the *!#@( out of me; the only older stems I trust are either steel or NOS aluminum.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   AVA stem breakage posted by T-Mar on 3/29/2004 at 4:10:05 AM
This is a fairly common point of failure on many older stems using the truncated cone expander bolt. To work, these stems require one or two sawcuts along the lower length of the stem that permits the stem quill to expand and engage the inside of the fork's steering tube. However, the sharp corners at the top of the sawcut are stress raisers, which can lead to cracks and failure. The stress can be markedly reduced by drilling a small hole at the top of the cut, which is about 50% larger than the width of the cut. This is done on high end stems and will prolong the life of the stem, from this particular failure. I have performed this simple operation on many inexpensive, vintage stems, notably GB. Presumably, the manufacturers did not do this themselves because it was an added operation and therefore extra cost for what was an inexpensive stem, in a very competitive market. I have seen at least one case of a TTT Record stem without the stress relief hole, but since all others samples had it, I assumed it was a missed operation at the factory.

Heed John E's warning about vintage stem failures, but if you insist on riding them, then ensuring that the sawcut has a stress relief hole will give you some added peace of mind.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   AVA stem breakage posted by JONathan on 3/29/2004 at 5:52:02 AM
Hey, Joe. I looked at those macro shots...quite good...it appears to me that the stem was previously cracked. I base this on the relative differences in texture of the cross-section. A shiny region is usually the the most recent snap. A darker, more oxidized or corroded region would indicate a crack that was there for a while. I've spun axle halfshafts (4x4's) and tractor spindles (not a good thing) that have the telltale oxidation indicating a pre-existing crack that most certainly weakened the part and compromised its integrity.
Your experience has increased my resolve to get any and all of those potmetal stems off my bikes. An "SR" stem for $20 is a nice replacement...that's NOS at the LBS. I'm thinking they are cheaper online. Something besides chance must be operating to explain my luck in never having busted one of those cheapos...I didn't even know there was a problem until I read about it here two years back. Thanks for posting the info and pics. Very interesting data.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Lejeune posted by: Joe on 3/28/2004 at 3:48:54 AM
Just a note to those interested in Lejeune lightweights, I have posted a copy of an early 70's dealers catalog page for Lejeune road bikes. This is a copy of a page from a ringed binder given to the dealers by the distributor.
I have no exact date. I will leave it up for a few weeks before posting other information, feel free to save a copy.


     Lejeune posted by John E on 3/28/2004 at 8:31:57 PM
That is a trip down memory lane! When I worked at Bikecology (now Supergo.com) in the early 1970s, a coworker bought a LeJeune which sounds very much like the Professional model in your catalogue, except that it came with the TA 3-bolt Professional crankset instead of Stronglight. He replaced the crank with a 5-bolt Sugino, because he kept bending chainrings, and he replaced the rear derailleur with a Campag. to impress his friends.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Lejeune posted by T-Mar on 3/29/2004 at 2:25:26 AM
John E., while it's possible that Lejeune spec'd TA cranks for a particular year or used them due to Stronglight shortages, I wonder if your friend's bicycle might not have been a Jeunet? The names are similar and people often confuse the two marques. I know that the second from top Jeunet Medaille d'Or from that era had identical specs to the Lejeune Pro with the exception of TA Pro in place of the Stronglight.

I had a top of the line Jeunet Professionel with Reynolds 531 DB, TA Pro, Huret Jubilee, MAFAC 2000 and the ultralight Mavic Or rims. I believe it was the lighest, production bicycle you could buy during the '70s boom. I can relate to the lack of stiffness in the chainrings, due to the small bolt circle. I still have a relatively large supply of NOS, TA chainrings. However, I never had to change the derailleurs to impress anybody. The Jubilee were lighter and better finished than anything else out there at the time. From a shifting stanpoint, they were far better than Campagnolo NR and almost on par with the upper end SunTour models and Simplex SLJ. They were one sweet little derailleur set. Those of you who malign Huret derailleurs have obviously never tried the Jubilee or Duopar, which were two of the best performing derailleurs of the '70s.

      Lejeune posted by John E on 3/29/2004 at 5:11:49 PM
No, it was definitely a LeJeune, a brand we carried briefly at Bikecology during a Peugeot shortage, not a Jeunet.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Lejeune posted by Steve. on 4/2/2004 at 6:13:16 PM
Re. TA chainrings: Do you have any 3-pin ones in smaller diameters? An old Ron Kitching catalog indicates that they went down to 36 teeth. I'm looking for something in the range of 36-40 teeth, ideally 1/8". Thanks, Steve.

MISC:   Columbus tubed Moto Grand Record posted by: brent on 3/27/2004 at 9:24:26 PM
Picked up a cool frame for my fixie project today. Probably a mid eighties Motobecane Grand Record. Fillet brazed Columbus(unknown model) with a matching chrome fork. I thought all the Grand Records that I've seen have been either 531 or Vitus tubing.

   RE:MISC:   Columbus tubed Moto Grand Record posted by T-Mar on 3/29/2004 at 2:05:30 AM
Brent, Motobecane started to phase Columbus tubing into their line-up in the early '80s, starting with the high end models. The Grand Record, which had been Vitus 172 in 1983, was switched to Columbus SL by 1985 (sorry I have no data on the 1984 Grand Record, so it may have switched over as early as 1984).

The fillet brazing you refer to is actually Motobecane's "inexternal" brazing process, which brazed the tubing internally and externally. Motobecane claimed that this provided a stronger and more rigid frame, with less weight than a traditional, lugged frame.

WANTED:   Old Shimano Deore or XT Part posted by: Stephen Harris on 3/25/2004 at 3:27:16 PM
TO all: I have a Jamis Dakar (1986) mountain bike. I no longer mountain bike on it but do you use it a transporation all the time. It is a gerat bike with a great tange prestige frame.

However, I need a new chain and therefore new cranks. I also will eventually need to replace the thumb shifters and deraileur.

Everyone tells me "can't get those parts, need to upgrade bikes". They totally dismiss the craftsmanship that went into the frame.

The problem is the bike is an 18 gear not 21. I cant get the six rings anymore.

Anyone know where I can score these parts? I do not have the model numbers for them but figured the age of my bike would determine what I need.

Thank you anyone who can help.


      Old Shimano Deore or XT Part posted by John E on 3/25/2004 at 4:59:24 PM
Assuming you have a traditional non-"ultra" 6-cog freewheel, consider replacing it with a 7-speed and putting your shifter in friction mode. On my 1981 Bianchi road bike, I found it very easy to replace the original 6-speed 13-23 Regina America freewheel with a 7-speed 13-26 Sachs Aris, which gave me a new grannie gear without sacrificing any of the original ratios.

   RE:WANTED: Old Shimano Deore or XT Part posted by Steve on 3/26/2004 at 1:30:15 AM
I'm not intimately familiar with those parts, but I can tell you this much. IF you sure you need new new chainrings, there are loads of aftermarket replacements. Even Nashbar sells them. You need to match the no. of cogs and bolt circle diameter of the rings, and of course the number of bolts. If you need to replace the freewheel, there are loads of 6-speed freewheels available on eBay. Most (if not all) Shimano freewheels of that era have the same sprocket spacing, so they should work with idexed shifting. (Someone will probably chime in here with the compatibility details--I use only friction on my old bikes.) As for the thumb shifters and derailleur, same story. Start poking around eBay, and you might find the exact ones you have.

By the way, be sure you really need to replace all this stuff. You might start with the chain, and if there is no slipping, the chainrings are OK. A little cleaning and lubrication of the shifters, along with new cables and sheaths, can do a lot to improve shifting.

   RE:WANTED: Old Shimano Deore or XT Part posted by Warren on 3/26/2004 at 3:53:03 AM
Since you commute with it, you don't really need wide gear ratios. You don't even need a triple on the front. Hell...go single speed and have fun.

Every part on that bike is replaceable...I had an "old school" Shimano 30/40/50 triple that would have worked nicely on that bike. I just sold it but there's more out there.

   RE:WANTED:   Old Shimano Deore or XT Part posted by T-Mar on 3/26/2004 at 2:53:30 PM
In the event that use a cassette instead of a freewheel, Nashbar still carries 6 speed Shimano cassettes. In a pinch you can also use the 7 speed Shimano cassette, providing it is the IG series, which Nashbar still carries. All you have to do is remove one cog and use the 6 speed spacers from the old cassette. Depending on the style of the old cassette you may also have to create a small shim to get the correct spacing on the smallest cog.

As Steve states, compatible chainrings and chains are still available from place like Nashbar.

Even in the event that your current derailleurs wear out, there is not need to buy a new bike. Good quality, used and sometimes NOS, vintage parts are always available on Ebay. In the event that you do decide to upgrade to a newer 24 or 27 speed system, you can still just swap out the necessary components, as Warren suggests, and have the stays cold set to the wider rear hub spacing. While it won't be cheap, it will be less expensive than a new bicycle.

   RE:WANTED: Old Shimano Deore or XT Part posted by commutebybike on 3/26/2004 at 8:32:49 PM
I stocked up on several New freewheels and chains for my primary commuter and tourer, a 1986 Shwinn Passage, so I have several years of leeway left before I have to consider drastic action like spreading the frame and building new wheels. 6 and 7 speed freewheels are available at Loosescrews.com; 14-28 Shimano HG for 20 bucks. Nashbar sells Taya chains in the closeout section for 6/7 speeds for $9. Ebay has been a place to get NOS Cyclo 5 speeds and Saris chains for my AO8. I also look at my more urban, hole in the wall bike shops. They have lots of leftovers in the back room, cheap and just for the asking. I have a local bike Co-op that has loads of lightly used parts for purchase.

My Local New Bicycle Dealership gave me the same speech - "can't get that stuff anymore..need to upgrade." Not true. Don't believe it, just keep looking for sources, they are there.

   RE:RE:WANTED:   Old Shimano Deore or XT Part posted by Ken on 3/26/2004 at 8:52:20 PM
I have found that six-speed indexing is well worth maintaining, and you can order the parts as indicated above. Check out http://www.yellowjersey.org/ for both the parts and a good tech background. Another cool thing that goes overlooked is that that Taya chain is the same one they still carry in the department stores- it's packaged with a different label but every link tells the tale- seven bucks or so.

   RE:RE:RE:WANTED:   Old Shimano Deore or XT Part posted by JONathan on 3/27/2004 at 3:24:57 AM
Thanks for the chain advice. A chain can really make problems go away, but it cab get expensive changeing them out every whipstitch. Keeping the chain well lubricated...and clean, helps make problems go away, too. I always try that, before thinking about new gearing. Those FW's are all over the place. There must be tons left from the bikeboom. Try the flea market "bike shop". Good luck,

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   New VS Old posted by: Gralyn on 3/25/2004 at 12:49:32 PM
Occasionally, I stop by an LBS (usually a big one) to look at new bikes. I'm usually tempted to try and buy one - but it's just not in the budget right now. I could sell some of my vintage lightweights to get the $1000 I would need for a new bike. But, the major differences I think I would experience:

clipping-in: I've never done that. It's either been just a pedal, or toe clips and straps. (all of my main riders have toe clips and straps). People I've talked to about it - say that using the clipless is much more comfortable and they like it better.

STI shifting: I think that's got to be great when it comes to shifting! And there are so many gears, too. Now when I think of the old lightweights I ride - there aren't as many gears - and I don't use that many.....but part of that has to do with the difficulty of shifting. If you can just click and be right in the next gear - then having lots of gears would be welcome. I wouldn't want too many gears with old friction down-tube or stem shifters now - because I just lose too much in the shifting process. The closest thing I have is a MTN bike with thumb, indexed shifting. I just click right into the gear - it's great! So, I think I would really enjoy the STI shifters.

Weight: The new ones just feel so much lighter. Now I did spot some new low-end Fuji's - that were a lot cheaper....but they did feel heavier.

Does anyone have a new bike? Do you go back and forth between the old and new when you ride? After riding a new one - does your old one feel crappy?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   New VS Old posted by marc on 3/25/2004 at 4:18:04 PM
I know your dilema. One of the shops I go to here locally is a bianchi dealer, I was just there last night picking up a new chain for my girlfriends trek and they have a rather beautiful looking bianchi pista, all chromed. Although at first glance it is stunning, I think it would be even better if it had lugs! It's on sale for 500 and it is very tempting but I don't think I would ever trade any of my prized rides for it, not even my super course. Yes, new bikes are lighter but I don't think they'll last 20 or 30 years like the bikes we all ride.

As for indexed shifting, yeah its nice but there's something to say about riding along on your vintage bike and making smooth perfect shifts on older friction derailleurs. It is as if you become an extension of the bike. You could upgrade your rides to better friction or even indexed deraileurs. Just a thought.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   New VS Old posted by T-Mar on 3/25/2004 at 4:46:58 PM
Gralyn, I have a 2001 Pinarello Prince with a 2003 Camapagnolo Ergopower group and Proton wheelset. The frame is oversize aluminum with carbon fibre stays and forks, so it's pretty typical of the high end bicycles out there right now. It weighs under 18 lbs. I also have a couple bicycles with Shimano STI, so I have experience with both of the combined brake lever/shift lever systems.

You do not state if you use cleated cycling shoes with your toe clips and straps. Toe clips and straps by themselves do not do much more than keep your foot on the pedal. The foot is still allowed to twist on the pedal and the peddling motion is still pretty much restricted to pushing down on the pedals. Adding cycling shoes with cleats, to toe clips and straps, fixes the foot in a set position on the pedal. The rigid sole of the cycling shoe transfers more power to the pedal and the lips on the cleats allow you to pull backwards on the pedal through the bottom of the stroke. You can also pull upwards, but most riders just unweight the upstroke, as opposed to actually pulling up. Basically cleats provide more efficient transfer of power and permit power to applied through a much greater percentage of the crank revolution.

Now, if you use cleated cycling shoes, there will be little problem in switching to a clipless system. They provide the same advantages, but most people find clipless more comfortable because you don't have the pressure of the strap. You also don't have to reach down to tighten and release the strap, though it will take a few rides to get used to the clicking in routine and twisting the foot to release. I suggest you practice in a traffic free area, preferably on soft surface, until you are confident. Windtrainers are also excellent for this, as you don't have to woory about falling over.

However, if you don't use cleats with your toe clips and straps, you will be in for a big surprise. Some people have problems with the foot being held rigidly in place. While most of the current clipless systems have some degree of float, to permit limited rotation of the foot, this is often insufficent for some people and excess foot rotation can trigger release from the pedal. Even worse, if the angle of the cleat is not set properly, holding the foot in the wrong position can result in knee problems. I suggest you consult the LBS or a knowledgible cyclist to assist you in establishing cleat postion. To work properly, the cycling shoe must be a snug fit and this often causes initial discomfort for people who are used to cycling in loose fitting shoes and who do not cinch the toe straps.

Finally, the greatest shock is normally sticker shock. Most mid and upper end bicycles these days do not come equipped with pedals. This is because of the proliferation of various styles of clipness pedal systems, which are incompatible with each other. Almost all cyclists purchasing this level of bicycle uses a clipless pedal system and rather than try and guess the cyclists' preferred system, the manufacturers simply decided to not offer pedals. It is assumed that the cyclist will transfer the pedals from his old bicycle. However, if you have to buy the pedals and shoes, it is expensive. $200 US is probably typical retail for a basic shoe and clipless pedal system. I do not suggest that you try and save some money by purchasing cycling shoes through mail order, as proper fit is paramount. You need to try them on to ensure you have a shoe that fits properly. You will also want the LBS' assistance in setting cleat postion.

While there is a lot to consider when choosing clipless pedals, they are a worthwhile addition for the serious cyclist, particular if you do not already have cycling shoes. They will take a little getting used to, and have to have the cleats set up properly, but the performance gains are signifigant.

The ability to shift from the brake levers is a tremendous advancement. Obviously, you always have control of the bicycle, as your hands do not leave the bars. This is a great advantage when travelling with heavy loads, climbing and in crosswinds. Since the shifting is more convenient, you will find yourself shifting more often and overspinning or bogging down will pretty much be eliminated. However, there are some drawbacks. With both systems you can shift to higher gears only one cog at a time, though with Ergopower you can dump the entire range, if you hold the lever down. The systems allow single or mulitple cog shifts to lower gears, but only by a few gears and not the entire range. Intially, some peole find themselves applying the brakes when trying to shift STI. Inadverently, they partially pull back on the brake instead of performing a strickly sideways motion to effect a shift. In general, you quickly overcome the latter and live with the former, for the convenience. The biggest drawback is the mechanical complexity of these systems. Since they are so complex, they are more prone to failure and you can forget about fixing them yourself. Shimano will not even provide parts. You have to replace the whole unit and they are not inexpensive! Parts are available for Campagnolo Ergopower, but most of the shops still send them to the distributor for repairs. Since they are incorporated into the brake lever, they are also more susceptible to damge in the event of a crash. While the majority of people experience trouble-free operation, several friends have experienced failures, including myself. While the replacement cost was painful, the convenience convinced me to pay the price.

The difference in performance from stepping from my 2001 Pinarello to my 1975 Scapin (Columbus SL, Camapgnolo Nuovo Record) is night and day. It's lighter, more comfortable, accelerates and brakes better, climbs easier, shifts better and has more gears (20), so I always see to have a correct gear. However, I'm getting older and the legs aren't quite what they used to be. I wonder if it's more bicycle than I need. From a competition standpoint, it's a must have, but for recreational cycling, maybe not.

Most my recreational cycling is done solo, on relatively flat terrain and the extra performance isn't required or noticeable. So most of my cycling is done on my 1991 Gianella. It's heavier steel (Columbus SL), but modern enough to have STI and clipless pedals. My commuting is done on a mountain bike equipped with slick tires, SIS thumbshifters and clipless SPD pedals, but using SPD mountain bike shoes with recessed cleats, so that walking is practical.

While I still have a passion for vintage lighweights, they do not get ridden very often. However, this May will be the 30th anniversary of the purchase of my first good lightweight. Hopefully I will have it fully restored in time for an anniversary ride. Any of you who will be in the 1000 Islands region of Eastern Ontario are welcome to join me.

   New VS Old posted by John E on 3/25/2004 at 4:55:40 PM
My personal viewpoint is:
1) Since I use 3 of my 5 bikes for general transportation, I plan to keep toe clips and staps on them, so that I can continue to ride in either street or bicycle touring shoes. I have been advised by many well-meaning folks to go clipless on the Bianchi, but I do not trust myself to remember to disengage differently on different bikes. (Unlike some of you, I am a total klutz, not a natural athlete.) Although my 1959 Capo sports updated cranks, seat post, and derailleurs, it still begs for non-aero brake cable routing, a Brooks Pro saddle, and toeclips.
2) I see no compelling benefit to indexed shifting of the rear derailleur, and see it as a fundamental engineering blunder on the front derailleur, because I like to be able to trim the cage position. Although I have a 7-speed SunTour indexed thumb shifter on my mountain bike, I prefer to use it in friction mode. Also, friction shifting is extremely reliable, and it graciously facilitates component substitutions and upgrades and emergency on-road repairs.
3) As for gear counts, I have a very satisfactory 40-100 inch 3x6 18-speed half-step-plus-granny setup on one Peugeot. The 2x7 14-speed gearing on my Bianchi gives me an adequate 44-104 inch range, with only one objectionable ratiometric gap (at the very top, from 90 to 104).
4) Everyone enjoys lifting a lightweight bike, but on the road, the tangible benefits of a kg or two of frame weight savings are inconsequential. If you want your "heavy" old bike to feel fast and responsive, invest in a set of wheels with lightweight rims and tyres (not these aerodynamic, unrepairable, unreliable, overpriced, inherently weak reduced-spoke contraptions with their necessarily heavy rims). Since I read daily about failures of relatively new components or framesets, I firmly believe that reliability, longevity, and arguably safety have been sacrificed on the altar of weight reduction. At 10kg, my 1981 Bianchi is light enough for anything short of all-out racing.
5) This is strictly subjective, but to me a classic lugged steel frame with traditional Campag. downtube shift levers, 32- or 36-spoked wheels, and toeclips looks great.
6) Finally, most (fortunately, not all) new road bikes are so tight, twitchy, and fragile that they are clearly oriented toward all-out racing, rather than touring, transportation, or fast club riding. For safety and practicality, I do not use tyres narrower than 23mm, and I need a frame which can accommodate them. (I use 28mm tyres, which barely fit my Peugeot PKN-10, and which are too wide for my Bianchi, for general transportation or for less-than-perfect road surface or weather conditions.)

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   New VS Old posted by Rob on 3/26/2004 at 1:41:00 AM
Good discussion guys...and well articulated views...I think it comes down to the type of riding you do...if it's competitive riding, then you're going to require the 'latest and greatest'...any other kind of riding and you've got lots of latitude. My views probably lean more towards those of John E....but not entirely...The best of my old lightweights are very smooth and very responsive, a pleasure to ride ...though I find I seem to prefer 6 or 7-speed cogs... a little more flexibility for the hills..., and I definitely prefer clipless pedals. I agree with T-Mar's remarks on pedals...I use SPD's (Ritchey Logic, second version, mainly, which I regularly find in good condition for around $CDN20-25). I find that, although I'll consciously try to pull up on the back swing, my natural motion is to pull back and lift the weight off the pedal, just as T-Mar says...I guess the pulling up is tough to get ingrained into the pedal action...maybe something to do with letting the leg relax a bit to get rid of the lactic acid..??? just guessing here.

I also find the simplicity and interchangeability of the parts a great advantage. The older bikes are much easier to maintain and to keep roadworthy...much like cars...with the older cars, I seldom had to call tow trucks; with the newer cars, if it won't start...and it's not the battery or out of gas..and, even though I usually can figure out what the problem is...it'll usually mean a tow truck, because I either can't "work around" the problem, or I'm reluctant to mess with something in case I fry some electronic part...but the performance of new cars when everything is working properly is, of course, superior...and the same applies to bikes...and, then, you have to decide if the trade off...complexity and excellent performance versus relative simplicity and really great performance...works for you...I, far and away, prefer simplicity and really great performance...both in cars and bikes!!!...but then maybe I'm just a classic old 'retro-grouch'...:)

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   New VS Old posted by JONathan on 3/26/2004 at 2:56:36 AM
My style of riding is hard on the bike. I know those high-dollar rigs would get tore up pretty fast, and then I'd have a lot of explaining to do when I tried to get another. My Raleigh "Technium" for example, has 14 speeds with indexed front and rear derailers. I have to keep saying; "Take it easy, don't take the cat-track shortcut, watch for the howdy-do...Oops, was that a driveway hump?"; but it is fast and fun. Gears are a waste of bone-density, which is one reason I mash along, stand up on climbs and otherwise tug and heave on the bike just for fun. That's what's great about the vintage LW's. They were over-designed and overbuilt for whatever reason that escapes me. No planned obsolescense in those bikes. Some were built crummy, so they don't count. Yes, I'm throwing out those data that don't fit my hypothesis!
They are CHEAP, too. Toe-clips are hard on my ankles, but easy on my knees. I haven't tried spuds, but they're like toe-clips with more efficient power transformation. So, what's a littl;e more work? Nothing, unless you race. I must admit. my Team Fuji is about 21 pounds and it can take it, so I know the light bikes don't have to be brittle units with weight giving way for performance. As noted, the little extra mass is inconsequential outside of "seconds count" and "ergs, not Newtons make a difference". Ah, and then the pleasure of maintaining smooth running machine...yourself, with the satisfaction that comes with it; if one likes to wrench things. A lot of my friends take their bikes for a $60-$100 "tune-up". I have lots of peanut cans with STI components in various levels of entropy, relics of aborted repair efforts.
My big red "sprite" inpires quite a lot of curious interest along my regular routes. They are unique, these vintage LW's. Their history is immensely interesting, as well.
I had to throw in my 2.
Good rides,

   RE:New VS Old posted by Warren on 3/26/2004 at 4:04:23 AM
I agree with John's overall philosophy but given unlimited funds, I would have a current Campy Record ergo bike in the stable.

Ergo shifting is easily trimmed for the front derailleur.

My 96 Chorus equipped Crammerotti went 4 years without missing a shift...honest. Much heavier shifting than Shimano out of the box but it's rock solid for a longer time. I sold it however...I too ride an SL Gianella with NR group. It's all I really want these days.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS: New VS Old posted by commutebybike on 3/26/2004 at 5:18:52 PM
I base my bike and component choices strictly on the type of riding I do. I cannot justify a new, lightweight road bike because they don't accomodate my type of riding - commuting and long distance touring. I need to place a pannier rack on the back, low riders on the front, headlight mounts etc. STI shifting bumps into my handlebar bag on long tours and, if I am in the middle of nowhere and index shifting fails, I want to know that I have the option to switch to friction. My VLWs all have rack bosses, fender eyelets and downtube shifters that don't get in the way of anything. This doesn't mean I don't like the new technology, (I loved the test ride I did of the shimano 10 speed group at the Shimano booth at the World Championships last Oct.) it just means there is no reason for me to have it.
I do use SPD pedals, though, on all my bikes for the ease of in/out and walkability of the recessed cleat and I can use the same shoe on all of them.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS: New VS Old posted by Gralyn on 3/26/2004 at 7:54:10 PM
Thanks for all the informative comments and information.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Star Cruiser posted by: Ginger on 3/24/2004 at 9:07:19 PM
I need help identifying a reproduction cruiser bicycle I bought at an estate sale last weekend. It has the name "Star Cruiser" on it with a decal of palm trees. On the front is a decal that has a logo with the letters LW on it. I guess that might mean lightweight, but it might be the logo of the manufacturer, I don't know. This bike looks like a copy of a vintage Schwinn that Schwinn has for sale now as a 2004 model. So my bike is a copy of a copy, I guess. It's a great bike, well made, cruises like a dream, I absolutely love it but I don't know who made it or how old it is. It's metallic blue in color. I paid fifty dollars for it and it's like new. Can anyone help me identify this bike? I'd really like to know who made it so I can estimate the value of it. It might just be a cheap bike made in China or somewhere, I don't know and don't really care, I'm sold on cruisers now and love the vintage look. THANKS FOR ANY HELP.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Star Cruiser posted by JONathan on 3/25/2004 at 4:42:39 AM
Might be a Giant. I would first check the rear "axle-slot" (dropout) for a "G" followed by some numbers. I have sen Giants that look like Schwinn cruisers that have nice 7-speed internal geared hubs. Is yours a one speed with coaster brake and front caliper brake? The ones that I have checked out at the LBS's are much lighter than my Schwinn 5-speed cruiser. The heavy wheels and thick tubes makes it rather slugish and brute-like. The new cruisers (Giants) are the result of superior metalurgy and alloy (light) wheel sets makes for a superior ride, IMHO. BTW, check to see if it is a Schwinn, just to be sure.
The serila number charts can help. You never know, you may have stumbled onto an original! That would be great. Also, check the ballon tire message board. Good luck.
Mine has chromed steel wheels (s-2) and it weighs over 40 pounds! It rides like a tank because it IS a tank.

AGE / VALUE:   Sumitomo Titanium frame posted by: T-Mar on 3/23/2004 at 3:16:32 PM
A while back, someone was looking for lineage and age info on a Sumitomo CP tiatnium frame. Based on his info, the frame was reportedly the same as the Panasonic titanium frame.

Well, I just happened to stumble across some old road tests of several titanium frames, including the Panasonic. The article implies that Panasonic was making their own titanium frames. The CP titanium frame was introduced in Japan in 1987, and to the USA in 1988. For 1989 they switched to the 3Al/2.5V titanium alloy.

I have several pictures of the Panasonic frame, so if the interested party would e-mail me some pictures of his frame, I can see if they match the Panasonic.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   sew ups posted by: marc on 3/21/2004 at 5:05:50 PM
well I'm not sure if it was the best thing to do but since the hole in my sew up was so small I decided to try FIX A FLAT BIKES ONLY since slime doesn't work with presta valves. Well the tire has been holding air for 2 days now with no leakage. I went for a ride this morning, I only did 10 miles because it was 30 degrees but the tire felt fine. The bianchi is great but I'm going to have to get longer reach brakes if I keep the sew up wheels on it. the balillas on there now are just the tiniest bit too short. only about 3/4 of the pad touches the rim. Off to the bike shop!

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   sew ups posted by Darryl on 3/21/2004 at 7:48:56 PM
What is "FIX A FLAT BIKES ONLY"? I've aquired quite a few vintage sew-up rims and wheel sets recently, so I will start to ride them more often. What is the "flat rate" on sew-ups vs clinchers in general? I guess most riders throw away the flat sew-up tire after puncture. My LBS said liability prevents him from trying to repair them. Also time involved. It seems a good quality sew-up thru mail order would cost $30 - $40 or more. Do you always carry a spare sew-up tire with you on rides of any length? Any comments? Thanks, Darryl

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   sew ups posted by Oscar on 3/22/2004 at 3:11:36 AM
I'm kind of a purist, and only keep air in my tires. I've punctured sew ups before, and let me tell ya, jack, you're up the creek if you don't have a spare sew up on you.

Still 'n' all, sew ups are light and responsive. I save them for racing.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   sew ups posted by T-Mar on 3/22/2004 at 4:01:29 AM
I road sew-up/tubular tires for approximately twelve years, when I was competing in the 70's and 80's. While tubulars give an amazing ride quality, their main advantage is less weight and less rolling resistance. However, like in most other cases where you decrease weight, it comes at the expense of reliability, both punctures and quicker wear out.

Fortunately, I never recall flatting during a competition, but had numerous cases in training. Back when I started there was no lightweight, high pressure, clincher equivalent to the tubular. You could eaily save a couple pounds by converting to tubulars. For most competitiors, that was an advantage they were not willing to throw away.

However, with the advent of 700C, narrow, high pressure clincher tires and rims, and constant improvement in the technology, you can now have clincher rims and tire combinations that approach the ride quality, rolling resistance and weight of tubulars, if you are willing to pay the price.

The higher flat rate for tubulars is primarily due to their light weight, which comes from a thin casing and tube. Clincher set ups which match the weight of tubulars also have thin casings and tubes and will suffer a comparable amount of flats. The ratio of flats you will have with tubulars, compared to clinchers will depend on the weight of your current tires, the conditions of the roads you frequent and your weight. Generally, the heavier your current tires, the thicker their casings and the less susceptible they will be to flats. Also riding on poor and littered road surfaces are more likely to cause punctures with lighweight tires like tubulars. Puncture rate also increases with increased rider rate. The one puncture situation where tubulars have an advantge over clinchers is pinch flats, because tubular rims do not have the raised raised flange and their circumferential casing retains its shape better. A tubular wheel is also stronger than its clincher cousin, due to the larger box section of the rim. The box height is the full length of the sidewall, whereas on a clincher it has be reduced to accommodate the flange for seating the tire bead.

On a clean, well paved road, a light rider may have a 1:1 ratio of flats compared to clinchers. However if you are heavy, and normally ride on broken, littered pavement with heavy tires, then a switch to tubulars will see the ratio skyrocket, somewhere into the double digits.

The other downside to tubulars is the repair process, which is lengthy compared to clinchers. Be prepared to spend a couple hours for your first repair. You may also have to re-do the repair a couple of times until you get the feel for the right tension on the threads when you sew the casing back togehter. Too loose and you'll have bulge, while too tight creates a waist. And of course, you'll probably create a real mess the first time you have to glue the tire onto the rim. However, after a while I was able to get the repair process down to about 45 minutes, wheras as clincher typically takes me 15 minutes (not including puncture location time).

I supect your LBS does not even know what is invovled in repairing a tubular and/or they just cannot be bothered. The whole bicycle repair business is a liability issue, and there's more liability to not torquing a stem expander bolt properly, or not fastening the front wheel's quick release properly, than doing a poor repair job on a tubular.

As for FIX A FLAT, it is a combination sealant and inflator, but it's only good for about 50 psi. Using such products only pumps a lot of heavy sealant into the tire and negates much of the weight advantge. You are better off carrying a spare tubular (or two) and a pump or CO2 cartidges. However, after changing a tubular on the road, you have only the residual tackiness of the rim glue holding the tire on. Do not ride quickly, especially around corners!

I guess the bottom line is that tubulars provide a weight advantge that is best appreciated by competive cyclists. For avid cyclists, you can approach their performance level without the inconvenience, by selecting the proper clincher. However, if you have the opportunity to try tubulars, you will experience the performance that your bicycle is capable of.

    sew ups posted by John E on 3/22/2004 at 4:34:16 PM
Thanks for your informative post, T-Mar. My experience parallels yours (although I never had the physical aptitude for racing), as do my toughts. With its new expensive paint job, the Capo will no longer be a transportation or commuting bike, making it an ideal candidate if I ever do decide to try sewups again.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   sew ups posted by Rob on 3/22/2004 at 6:17:07 PM
Thanks, T-Mar...an interesting post...I've accumulated a few good tubular wheelsets...but tend to use them only for casual near-home rides...not for commuting. Through the winter I've mainly been on fairly rugged 27x1 1/4s and have only have a few flats...during the spring, summer and fall (except for real wet days) I'll be on 700x20/23/25 clinchers and will expect more frequent "flat events"...I try to be philosophic about it...there is just so much crap all over the roads...pinch flats, though, are another issue and usually avoidable if one regular checks the tire pressure...I tend to view pinch flats as resulting from my own laziness...:)

   pinch flats posted by John E on 3/22/2004 at 8:20:03 PM
Given my relatively small size and relatively scrupulous maintenance habits, I have never experienced a pinch flat.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   sew ups posted by Darryl on 3/23/2004 at 2:57:09 AM
Thanks for the input on sew-ups. I recently acquired a set of Sun Mistral alloy 700mm rims. They say "Ultra Hard Anno", "Made in America" and "For Race Use Only". Anyone know anything about the quality of these rims?

AGE / VALUE:   Not too old of a bike posted by: sam on 3/19/2004 at 10:12:57 PM
Picked up an Alpine(?)Grand Sprint that's all it said. didn't have a sticker saying where it was built or by who.Japan my guess??? did have a sticker for infinity cr-mo tapered double butted Tange tubing.Had 700 rims and 14 speed with that weird bio space chainrings--any idea of age or what I have?---sam

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Not too old of a bike posted by JONathan on 3/19/2004 at 10:32:38 PM
Univega used biopace (Shimano) chainrings on some of their bikes. I have a Univega "Alpina Uno" MTB that has Bio-pace rings. I think Bio-pace was about '83/84-'87/88. Just a wild guess on the Univega, but the Gio-pace dates it...just like the U-grakes under the stays were mid-80's. I think.
I actually prefer the bio-pace for climbs under heavy torque (low-gears) low RPM. At higher rpm's they feel funny. If you look closely at the chainrings, you'll most likely see that they are irregular elipses. if you have 14 speed indexed shifting, I'd say late end of the biopace era...maybe '89?
This is only my guess based on what I know.

   1989 should be pretty close posted by John E on 3/21/2004 at 1:37:45 AM
I think JONathan has it pretty well pegged -- end of the BioPace era / dawn of the 14-speed era.