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Archived: Vintage Lightweights

MISC:   Front Derailleur posted by: Bob Perkins on 5/1/2004 at 3:16:09 AM
Aquired a 1986 Schwinn LeTour in darn good shape from the second hand store for $15.00. But curious about the front derailleur. Its a sachs huret and the rear is a Shimano 600. Does anybody know waht the original specs are for this bike???

   Sachs vs Shimano posted by John E on 5/1/2004 at 3:20:22 PM
What are the shift levers? If it has indexed shifting, I'll bet they are Shimano. If it has an integral derailleur hanger, what brand is the dropout? Look very closely at the paint for any evidence of removal-replacement of either the shifters, the front derailleur, or the rear derailleur. Also, if the hubs, cranks, and/or brakes are Shimano, you can bet the original derailleurs were, as well.

   RE:MISC:   Front Derailleur posted by Eric Amlie on 5/3/2004 at 2:41:15 PM
The '86 Schwinn catalog specs Huret "Rival" front and rear derailleurs with Rival brazed on shift levers for the LeTour.

FOR SALE:   vintage Trek posted by: Susan on 4/30/2004 at 6:40:50 PM
1978 vintage Trek, model TX 500, 19" frame. Well loved and maintained for sale by original owner. $180.00.

AGE / VALUE:   ...a Nice Find... posted by: RobA on 4/30/2004 at 5:22:46 PM
(It seems there are a few other "Robs" out there...from now on, I'll start using the moniker, "RobA")

well...a nice little find...and another reminder that you need to be tenacious and alert when looking for the vintage stuff...and, of course, timing and luck (however you define it) are critical... Yesterday I was back at my favorite second hand bike shop...I go about once a week...I check the parts bins... This time a pleasant sight...not really treasure, but nice nevertheless.

I won't go into detail, but I got a good assortment of used derailleurs and a few other items....3 Campy Gran Sport rear ders...well used, some of the pieces missing, but one was fully complete; 2 Crane rear ders and 1 Titlist, missing the pulley wheels; a mid 70s 600 rear der, complete; a nice looking late 70s Cyclone GT rear der...mounting bolts and cable clamps missing; several used Campy front ders; unused Favorit front and rear ders.(Czech Campy GS knockoffs from the Communist era--nothing much, but they are a bit novel, and they are pristine)...and some lengths of SIS cable housing and couple of good Shimano freehubs for a 1987 Ritchey MTB I'm tidying up...The 1987 model I have originally came with a Shimano 6-cog freewheel, but I'm playing with putting on a 6-cog freehub...hopefully spacing issues won't beat me down...:)

Also further to the discussion of a few days ago, the GS ders have '14 a 26 denti' on the back of the paralleogram and 'Caten 3/32' on the back of inside cage plate...I didn't 'Brev.' anywhere, but I did see 'Patent Campagnolo'..so I assume these are just basic Campy derailleurs... Also on one of them, the back plate of the parallelogram had been smoothly bent inward, with the effect of giving the whole derailleur more 'sweep' Was this a tactic the some people used to allow a greater range of freewheel cog sizes?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   ...a Nice Find... posted by RobA on 4/30/2004 at 5:48:30 PM
Oh...I wanted to add that all of the stuff cost me $CDN40 (about $US30)... and of course I meant to spell 'Caten' as 'Catena'... darn typos...or maybe it's just clumsy fingers... there are other typos too, but I guess the reader can figure them out easily enough...

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   ...a Nice Find... posted by T-Mar on 4/30/2004 at 7:10:22 PM
You're right, those are some nice finds and a real bargain to boot! Living in a small city, I don't see much of this kind of stuff, though the other day I spotted a Favorit bicycle with proprietary derailleur and brake (the other brakes had beem switched to Dia-Compe). It was pretty well beaten up, but still it was nice to spot something different.

I can't say that I've ever seen what you describe on the Gran Sport derailleur. Wouldn't that put the parallelogram out of alignment, so that the cage would angle in towards the wheel, or am I picturing this all wrong?

I know what you mean about posts popping up with your name. A couple of months after I started posting, several other "Toms" started appearing, so I switched to "Tom M", but even that started popping up on other posts. The switch to "T-Mar" appears to have resolved the problem. While it's less personal, it is unique, and all the regulars seem to know that my real name is Tom.

   back plate "sweep" posted by John E on 4/30/2004 at 8:26:20 PM
This distorton of the backplate might relax the effective inward travel limit, to accommodate 6-speed freewheels, which were rare ca. 1960. Without some compensating bend in either the dropout or the front plate, however, the cage pivot would no longer be parallel to the wheel axle.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   ...a Nice Find... posted by T-Mar on 5/1/2004 at 1:34:41 PM
John, thank-you for doing a better job of articulating my point. However, compensating with a bend in the derailleur hanger would only decrease the inwards travel. If the outer plate was not bent, the amount of travel would remain the same. To compensate for the (effectively) shorter back plate, the hanger would have to be bent outwards to correct the cage angle and this would shift both travel limits outwards.

Bending the the front plate a similar amount would work, but in doing so you would lose some maximum cog size capacitiy.

In order to shift the travel inwards by bending only one plate, you would have to make a convex bend to the front plate and compensate with an inwards bend on the hanger.

AGE / VALUE:   fiorelli posted by: toowheels on 4/30/2004 at 4:06:36 AM
Thanks to John E,T-Mar,and JONathan for their responses regarding my fiorelli post below.I am looking for a chainguard for this bike,need not be correct but at least should look similar.I do not know what the correct guard looks like but there is a tab on the right chainstay I assume for a chainguard.below is a link to a picture.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   fiorelli posted by JONathan on 4/30/2004 at 7:24:03 AM
Real nice ride. I am amazed at the numbers when it comes to vintage Italian lightweight makes. There were guys building bikes all over the place. A highly skilled labor force produced beautiful bikes with superior ride and, especially of interest to me, their individual characteristics. Your Fiorelli has that "look". My Bottechia is more like a horse than a mechanical contrivance. Very distinct personality sets it apart. My Maino is the same way. They are '60's bikes. My '89 Bianchi "limited" is too "modern" to impart that kind of reaction to me, although it is a better engineered bike, I'm sure. If a bike has a personality of sorts, it adds a new dimension to riding. It's hard to describe the phenomenon, but it has a positive effect.
Are you sure there is a chainguard? That bike looks to me like a chainguard would be out of character. Just my opinion, of course. Although I can't come up with any alternate explanation for the tab on the chain-stay. The bike looks to be in excellent condition; a wonderful find.

     fiorelli posted by John E on 4/30/2004 at 2:29:14 PM
To me, the paint, decals, chrome, lugwork, frame geometry, and centerpull brakes suggest early 1960s. In those days, even mid-level Italian bikes sported half-chromed stays. It looks to me as though Fiorelli (deliberately?) copied the look of the Bianchi Specialissima of the same era.

According to "The Dancing Chain," p. 323 [Berto et al.], the Sport came out in 1953 and was sold through the 1960s, so the derailleur does not help us pinpoint the vintage.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   fiorelli posted by T-Mar on 4/30/2004 at 2:46:21 PM
I've seen that type on seat clamp on what was reported to be an early '60s Olmo. It appears to have the cable stop for the rear brake built into it. If so, that would corroborate an early '60s (but post 1960) date.

I agree with JONathan. It does impart a lot of personality. For me, it has more appeal than the high end Gran Sport and Record equipped bicycles of the day, which are more common. The quirky Sport derailleur, four cogs, single chainring and separate seat clamp give it an understated charm. Congratulations on your very nice find.

   RE:AGE / VALUE: fiorelli posted by John on 5/16/2004 at 6:41:39 PM
Is the picture of your Fiorelli still available? I have a 10-speed Fiorelli I got in 1964(I traded a '41 Harley for it).It was not new, but not very old either. I've never seen another Fiorelli, but couldn't get your link to work.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: fiorelli posted by Scott Weseleskey on 5/23/2004 at 10:19:52 PM
I have owned a Fiorelli, Coppi Campanissimo for many years. Its frame was built by hand by the same man that built Coppis bikes in his hay day.... The lug work is unreal. They are chromed with wonderfull hand cut designs through out. The bottom bracket has windows on the bottom to help lighten it up........ Anybody know anything about this bike???? Would love to restore the paint..... The rest of the big is like new. With all the Campy record running gear.Any idea what its value might be??? Thanks Scott

MISC:   Faggin Marque posted by: James Mahon on 4/29/2004 at 7:32:01 PM
I was given a Faggin Campione del mondo from a friend who rode it in criteriums in the late '80s and garaged it since he went to college in '90. It is in great shape, lugged steel Columbus tubing (though the label has worn enough that I cannot discern anything other than Columbus) and very light. Component wise, it came with Campy GS brakes, Miche cranks, Neuvo Record derailleurs, Modolo Krono downtube shifters, Record 2 bolt Seatpost and Campy Tubular rims. The Seatpost, crank arms and chainrings are all pantographed with the script 'F' or 'Faggin' name. The Fork crown, Seatstay caps, dropouts and all the lug points are carved or cast with the script 'F'. Any other available space is decaled with 'Faggin'. I cannot find anything on the internet about the Faggin Marque. I have found some modern sales of Faggin but they are all in Denmark and Germany. I just want to know history about Faggin and, if available, any details about this particular model described. Thanks!

see it here:

AGE / VALUE:   FREEWHEEL PROBLEM ??????????? posted by: Kevin K on 4/29/2004 at 5:59:56 PM
Hi. I wish to swap Dura Ace freewheels with a guy, even up. He needs the gearing of mine, I prefere his though mine works for me. Problem is mine is glass smooth. His feels dry and doesn't spin as free as mine, sorts feels rough. Can this be fixed by lubing it up a bit, or should I pass on the swap? Thanks, Kevin ( the freewheels are late 70's vintage )

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   FREEWHEEL PROBLEM ??????????? posted by T-Mar on 4/29/2004 at 6:49:54 PM
If both freewheels have the same number of cogs and you're worried about the bearings, then why don't you just swap cogs and keep your own body? The cogs are easily removed with a couple of chain whips, or one chain whip and a freewheel holder. For both the 5 and 6 speed Dura Ace frewheels, the three largest cogs are spined while the remainder are right hand threads.

    FREEWHEEL PROBLEM posted by John E on 4/30/2004 at 2:11:22 AM
If you are unable to follow T-Mar's suggestion due to lack of tools or incompatible units, try dripping some oil into the top of your friend's freewheel while turning it. If it quiets down readily and begins to turn easily and smoothly, you are good to go!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   FREEWHEEL PROBLEM ??????????? posted by Kevin K on 4/30/2004 at 3:17:28 AM
Hi. Thanks much for the advice. If the oil trick fails I think I'll pass. Again, thanks.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   FREEWHEEL PROBLEM ??????????? posted by JONathan on 4/30/2004 at 4:03:27 AM
You could remove the bearing lockring using a spanner or a punch tapping with a hammer. Tip the body 180, holding the base and body together with one hand, dunping the top bearings into a suitable can ( plastic yogurt lids work great).
After those bearings are emptied out, place the base and body back 180 into a plastic lid of some sort. You can carefully lift the body up from the base which will release all the inside bearings and the two pawls with springs will be accessed free of the base. I use reel lube to hold the bearings in place while reassembling. The inside bearings are trick as the pawls need yo be held below the rim of the base to fit back inside. A rubber band can work to hold the pawls and then removed after the pawls clear and before the body is slid all the way on the base. The outside bearings are easy to get back. Garcia/Mitchell or Penn reel lube is very light grease that has just enough "hold".
I was wondering if magnetizing the base with a big woofer earth magnet (or one from an ancient MFM fixed disc drive) would hold the bearings. Just a thought. It doesn't sound like you are desperate for the trade, so this is a lot of work, but it does take the component down to the basic origin. Kind of cool to do at least once, just for fun...er...I think it was fun.
The first FW I took down was a looss with bearings scattered to the four directions.
Good luck,

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   FREEWHEEL PROBLEM ??????????? posted by JONathan on 4/30/2004 at 4:10:57 AM
I've never taken a Dura ace FW apart...never had anything that good to work on. The 30# oil soaking works 90% of the time for me, that's on FW's that are dried and stuck with grit. Just be wearing an old ahirt when spinning the wheel...the oil shoots all over the place as the cf sends it off the cogs. You get some interesting patterns.
God luck!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   FREEWHEEL PROBLEM ??????????? posted by Rob on 4/30/2004 at 5:05:39 PM
I've generally found that Shimano and SunTour freewheels almost seem to be "bullet-proof"...the cogs, of course, wear out and the teeth can break...I've stopped using a few for that reason, but the freewheel bodies seem to be able to go on and on. On a number of occasions I've had a supposedly broken freewheel instantly come back to life with a few shots of WD-40...I'm sure some of the old bikes I have have been abandoned for that reason...as well as a few wheels...recently I found a nice MTB wheel with an apparently seized freehub...I clamped it into a vise by the cassette body and started twisting the wheel rim...within a few turns it was as good as new... The only freewheels I have where the bodies seem to have worn out are a couple of ancient Reginas...and maybe they can be rebuilt...I haven't figured that out yet...

JONathan...I like your magnet idea...I generally just spread put an old dish towel, that way if those tiny balls fall, they won't run away...

AGE / VALUE:   As luck would have it...... posted by: Gralyn on 4/29/2004 at 2:52:14 AM
OK, here's the story: I have quite a variety of bikes - the bulk of them are from the bike boom. So, I'm always looking out for something I don't have, maybe something Italian, maybe something pre-bike boom, etc.

I had looked for an Atala.....never going to find one in a thrift store...I looked on the internet and found an early bike boom job...frame....bought it - and built it up.

So, I've also been looking for a Bottecchia. Of course, no such thing has turned up in a thrift store. I look on e-bay - and I spot one about a week ago...a frame....and it's not too much! Maybe it's like a 60's model - paint looks to be in great shape for it's age. I bid on it....but I don't win it. It went for just a couple $ more than my highest bid. Crap!

Today, I stop by a thrift store - one of my best sources for old lightweights - and to my shock and surprise - a Bottecchia! This is the first one I have ever spotted at a thrift store. I grabbed it up for $18.

I will need some help dating it and identifying the frame material, etc. I really don't know much about the Italian bikes. For all I know - this may be low-end bike boom job.

It has a red finish, with the Bottecchia decals on the seat tube and down tube. It has stickers with Champione del mondo, Champione de Italia, etc. ....something like that....with dates of 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967 on the stickers. It has 28" rims (can't remember the name...but it's Italian), the small presta valves, QR front and rear, Campy ders, Campy down tube shifters, Ofmega Cranks, Ofmega headset, an Italian saddle, an Italian pump, 1/2 chrome front fork. There was no frame sticker identifying the frame material. Fancy-looking lugs.

I will dis-assemble, clean, polish, ....and re-build. Perhaps when I dis-assemble - I will be able to date-code some of the components and tell how old it is.

If anyone has any information, links, etc. to help identify and date it....
....I just hope it's really from the 60's...and not up in the 70's.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   As luck would have it...... posted by marc on 4/29/2004 at 3:55:57 AM
what kind of campy derailleurs does it have? I think that will give you an idea of the quality of the bike, if they are original. I'm guessing mid level as I would expect a higher end frame with campy derailleurs to have more campy components rather than a mixed bag. What brand are the brakes and levers?

   RE:AGE / VALUE: As luck would have it...... posted by Warren on 4/29/2004 at 12:32:40 PM
Cast or forged lugs with an integral rear derailleur hanger will indicate a at least a decent quality bike. Stamped dropouts without a hanger usually indicates a cheaper bike boom era frame unless it is very early...50's/early 60's for instance. Foil decals also scream bike boom.

Yours sounds like a medium quality bike...the Ofmega parts make me think it's at least late 70's and that's good. Need all the info as marc says...name of derailleurs, rims, hubs, stem, bars etc.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   As luck would have it...... posted by T-Mar on 4/29/2004 at 1:19:43 PM
Based on the decals, you know it's post 1967! The 28" rims may be an indicator that it was a tubular tired racing model that the owner converted to clincher. Depending on the type of Camapgnolo derailleur, there may be a patent date code. If the hubs are Campagnolo, there should also be a date code on the back of the locknuts, but if these are replacement wheels, then the code may be newer than the bicycle. It just so happens that the other day I was going through my old files a couple of weeks ago and discovered a 1972 Bottechia catalogue that I had forgot I owned. If you can e-mail me some pictures, I can see if there is a match.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   As luck would have it...... posted by Rob on 4/29/2004 at 5:29:03 PM
Hey...I found a Bottechia in a thrift last year and around $CDN25 (which is around $US18...). I posted on it on April 17/03....her's part of what I said about: "The stem and, I assume, the bars are TTT; brakes, Universal, hoods missing; hubs, front QR skewer, and shifters, Campy; rims are Dolomiti 27x1 1/4, steel with galvanized spokes; crankset, looks like Nervar, and pedals, are steel, cottered; FW is Regina GS Corse(a) Mercate; derailleurs are not original...replaced with Suntour Honor and Spirt; seat post looks original, but not the saddle; rear QR skewer was replaced...

Here are a couple of sites that might be useful:

http://www.craigslist.org/eby/bik/29813688.html (This bike is currently for sale for $175)

In the end I decide after fedback etc. that my bike is a low-end bike boom product... In your case...what kind of brakes does it have? WHich model of Campy derailleurs? Does the rear der. had a "PAT." date? Crankset sounds good and I assume they must be alloy? Rims...steel or alloy?...Are they Dolomiti? As Warren says the Ofmega parts suggest above average...the model of the Campy derailleurs should be the give away...assuming they are original...

The history of Ottavio Bottechia is interesting...a two-time Tour de France winner...1924 and 1925...in 1927, he was found near death at the side of a road in southern France. Apparently a farmer took exception to something he was doing and threw a rock at him which hit him in the head...he died a few hours later...

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   As luck would have it...... posted by Gralyn on 4/29/2004 at 8:19:19 PM
After thinking it over.....mine probably is bike boom. It does however have Dolomiti 28 X 1 1/8 rims.....which look to be chrome. I think the rear der. is Campy Valentino.
The frame has braze-ons under the top tube - for the rear brake cable....and I think there is one for the rear der. cable....but that's all. The rear drop-outs are stamped - with no der. hanger (I'm pretty sure they are stamped). And yes, with the decals....and even a decal on the head tube - I would think bike boom.
Well, either way - it's a nice bike....it's Italian....and it's a name I didn't have. I do plan on riding it. I want to fix it up and make it look new again.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   As luck would have it...... posted by Gralyn on 4/30/2004 at 12:00:51 AM
Some more information:
I was digging back in the archives:

"JONathan, there are two different diameters of 28" rims, one with a 635mm bead seat diameter and the other with a 622 mm bead seat diameter. For comparison, rims with a 27" designation have a 630mm bead seat diameter and 700C rims hace a 622mm bead seat diameter. The 28" wheels with a 622mm diameter are interchangable with tubular wheels and 700C clincher wheels. They are what we used as commuting wheels on our racers, before 700C clinchers were introduced. The 28"/622mm bead seat diameter tires are easy to spot as they generally have a triple digit designation (i.e. 28 x 1-5/8 x 1-3/8). Depending on the age, in addition to the normal size markings, the tires and rims may have an ISO designation, format XX-YYY, where XX= tire section width (mm) or rim width between flanges (mm) and YYY = bead seat diameter (mm). Finding the ISO designation is the best way to ensure compatibility."

Yes, mine has the 28 X 1 5/8 X 1 1/8 size tires on it.....and 28" Dolomiti rims.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   As luck would have it...... posted by sam on 4/30/2004 at 12:17:23 AM
Keep lookin,you just gotta be there at the right time! Atala,Merican,Alpine each under $20 and a 66 stingray fastback too!

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   As luck would have it...... posted by JONathan on 4/30/2004 at 9:13:27 PM
Hi, Tom. I don't know if you are following still, but here's my question about the 28" wheels. What do the two numbers refer to after the "28"? Like; (1 5/8--1 1/2)? I think it has something to do with the range of width of tires that will go on the rim.
The wheels in question are Araya 700C hook-bead. Thanks, JONathan

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   As luck would have it...... posted by T-Mar on 5/1/2004 at 3:04:10 PM
JONathan, that's a very good question. It's also one where I'm not 100% clear on the answer, so take the following with a grain of salt. I'd be more than happy to hear from anyone who can clarify this matter.

To the best of my understanding, the 2nd and 3rd numbers are both tire widths. In most cases, the 2nd number is the "standard" width, while the 3rd is the "actual" width. Some tire manufacturers reverse the two numbers. The "actual" width will be the smaller of the two numbers.

My take on "standard" width is that it is the equivalent of "nominal" tire diameter. Very few tires measure the actual diameter, but are smaller, to various degrees. Making them smaller than normal makes them lighter and they would appear easier to pedal than a tire where the actual diameter is the same as nominal. You can get an even more pronounced effect by making a tire narrower than the marked width, as besides being lighter, it has a narrower contact patch and less rolling resistance. This approach can give a tire company a slight edge over the competition, when consumers are comparing tires of suspposedly the same size. The practice of undersizing the stated tire diameters and widths was such a trend in the '70s that it was virtually impossible to tell the true width and diameter of tires based on their markings.

In your example, the tire's standard width is 1-5/8" and 1-1/2" is the actual width. Basically, it saying that it is comparable to other tires with a marked 1-5/8" width, but that it's actually 1-1/2" wide. It's sort of a truth in advertising concept, without giving away any advantage to the competition.

I've seen explanations that the two numbers define the profile of the tire via the height and width. Some of these tires do exhibit a different profile, notably several brands of the 28" tires with the 622mm bead seat diameter. Initially, I subscribed to this viewpoint, but the standard versus actual width is the only thing I have seen in black and white in an actual text. Of course, that doesn't mean it's correct, but it falls in line with the practice of misleading diameters and therefore seems logical. Unfortunately, this appears to be one area that Sheldon has not covered in his article on tire/rim sizing.

What it doesn't explain is why the 28" tires with the 622mm bead seat diameter routinely have the triple number marking. When you see this type of marking on a 28" tire, it always seems to have the 622 bead seat diameter. Maybe the three number marking was originally used on this size and later adopted on others, or maybe the main manufacturers for this size are also the proponents for the triple number marking. I'm just not sure. Does anyone else know?

Regardless, this vagueness of the old rim/tire sizing system is just another reason to kill it off and use only the ISO/ETRTO system. Whenever I go into a bicycle store, I always use the ISO/ETRTO sizing nomenclature when requesting tires. If the staff understands you, then it's a good indicator of a knowledgable staff. I'm slowly educating the the staff in the LBS's, after their slack-jawed reactions to my intial inquiries. And if you're in need of a bit of a chuckle, you can always spring the ISO/ETRTO sizing on an associate at your local Wal-Mart.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   As luck would have it...... posted by Gralyn on 5/1/2004 at 4:28:04 PM
So, what size tires will fit on a rim marked 28"?

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   As luck would have it...... posted by T-Mar on 5/3/2004 at 2:00:23 AM
If I recall correctly, there are about four incompatible sizes of 28" rims/tires. To determine the correct tire, you need to know the bead seat diameter of the rim. The best way is to look for an ISO/ETRTO marking on the rim. If not, you can measure the rim. For most, but not all, lighweight clincher rims the bead seat diameter is 12mm less than the outside diameter of the rim. Once you have the determined the bead seat diameter, you buy a tire that has an ISO/ETRTO marking with the same bead seat diameter.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   As luck would have it...... posted by Ken on 5/3/2004 at 5:51:30 PM
As noted above, that 28xNxN' designation is a 622, which is a fat 700c rim. I've got a Peugeot mixte with wheels that size. There's a huge selection of touring tires that will work.
Isn't it ironic that 28s are smaller than 27s?

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   More good finds of the year... posted by: Warren on 4/28/2004 at 8:01:33 PM
My favourite thrift store had a lovely Faggin in the back room two days ago...I grabbed it and ran to the cash but on the way I moticed the telltale paint cracks on the toptube near the headtube. Yup...a serious front ender. I looked a little closer and bought it just for the parts. A lovely pair of Edco Competition hubs laced on Ambrosio Montreals tubulars, Modolo shifters and Galli derailleurs...SR copies...Rino crankset and seatpost and a beautiful early DuraAce stem with hidden binder bolt with Cinelli Criterium bars.

The hung frame was really quite beautiful...nice chrome and very light. Too bad but the parts were certainly worth $25.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   More good finds of the year... posted by TimW on 4/28/2004 at 10:56:49 PM
This posting has sparked a question for me. I have one great old Raleigh mixte frame I'd like to build, but there is minor paint crazing in just that spot that indicates a front-ender. Is everyone in agreement that such a frame should simply not be used?

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   More good finds of the year... posted by Oscar on 4/29/2004 at 3:13:28 AM
Paint cracks in that area are usually the result of a bent frame. Steel can bend, but paint does not. You can usually run your finger over the area and feel a ripple where the tube is bent.

This will cause a misalignment and your steering will be screwed up. Also, the fork will be moved toward the downtube, and your toe may overlap the front wheel.

Even if it's not dangerous, it going to be unpleasant to ride.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   More good finds of the year... posted by T-Mar on 4/29/2004 at 2:00:27 PM
A good bicycle shop should be able to straighten and re-align the front end. As to whether it is safe to do so, is another question. In general, if the steel tubing itself has not cracked or creased, then you can safely have it straightened. If the paint has crazed but not cracked, I would have no qualms about having it straightened, re-aligned and riding it again. I have used this approach on several damaged front ends, with no reported failures.

Oscar's comment about paint not bending raises an interesting point. While a bend will cause some damage at microsopic levels, it is possible to induce small, permanent bends without causing any noticeable damage to the paint. By noticeable, I mean for a person having normal, unaided sight and tactile sense. If not, mechanics would not be routinely re-aligning stays, forks and dropouts. These operations can be performed without any noticeable damage to the paint, provided the change is small. A careful read on Oscar's post states that paint ripples are indicative of bent tubes, not that any bend will result in rippled paint. Hopefully, this has clarified Oscar's point and not misconstrued it.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   More good finds of the year... posted by TimW on 4/29/2004 at 5:54:54 PM
I like T-Mar's response, because the frame is just too lovely to chuck. I will check the alignment, I suspect that it is little, if at all, misaligned. Good old mixte frames are hard to find, and the paint on this one has great "sidewalk appeal".

AGE / VALUE:   Panasoni dx? 1000 posted by: Elvis on 4/28/2004 at 3:08:28 PM
Hi all. Haven't posted in ages.

An acquaintence of mine just picked up a 1980's panasonic. It's white and aqua-blue-ish green, and marked dx (i think) 1000 on the front of the top tube. Shimano light action rear der., downtube shimano indexed shifters, aero brake levers, practically new grip tape, even a bottle mount on downtube. 6 speed rear wheel and 52/42 front chainrings. Any idea what it's worth?
I am thinking of buying it from him, never seen one is such good shape, all it needs is some cleaning, under the grime the paint is mint! Thanks for any info.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Panasoni dx? 1000 posted by T-Mar on 4/28/2004 at 5:55:28 PM
The Sport/DX 1000 (it went by both names, depending on the vintage) was an entry level, sport touring bicycle. The derailleurs indicate it is probably from 1987-1988. Based on comparable bicycles of the era, original price would have been in the range od $250-$300 US.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   1980's Schwinn Hierarchy posted by: Henry Scott on 4/28/2004 at 12:36:35 PM
Can anyone remember the hierarchy of the Schwinn line-up in the late 1980's? I'm pretty sure the Paramount was at the top, followed by the Circuit, then the Prelude and Tempo (not sure of the order there) and eventually bikes like the World Sport.

I'm particularly interested in the position of the Tempo, and if it was a step up, or a step down from the Prelude. I spontaneously bought a Tempo from eBay a few days ago, and since it has not yet arrived I've been trying to learn a little more about it on the internet but haven't found much.

Thanks for your help!

     1980's Schwinn Hierarchy posted by John E on 4/28/2004 at 2:10:08 PM
I have to plead ignorance on the Schwinn's road bikes of that era, but I found a good summary of their mountain bikes at:


The components listed do not match those on my 1988 Project KOM-10, but the frame was a warranty replacement and the first owner probably did some component swapping.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   1980's Schwinn Hierarchy posted by RobM. on 4/28/2004 at 11:57:13 PM
Here's a site with price guide and some other info from 1984...probably not a big change to the late 80's.


AGE / VALUE:   Best and worst find of the year so far posted by: marc on 4/28/2004 at 7:10:36 AM
I was on my way home from class this past night and I usually stop at a thrift store that's a bit out of the way to look for bikes. I wasn't going to go but I decided that the day I dont go is the day I'm going to miss something great. I walked to the bikes and there wasn't anything interesting. I looked over a pretty prestrine red ladies varsity that had a virtually unused schwinn vinyl saddlebag and perfect chrome fenders as well as a generator light set. I thought about picking it up but I thought 30.00 was a tad much for the accesories. I looked over a few department store bikes and was ready to leave when out of the corner of my eye, tucked behind a bookcase I saw a bianchi headbadge. I raced over and pulled it out of its hiding place and saw it was in pristine shape. It is very near mint. My mouth watered, at first I thought about the guy who must have hidden it there, but finders keepers right? I promptly walked it up to the register and realized I didn't have the 50.00 it was labeled at, so I begged the cashier to watch the bike for me while I ran to an ATM, which I literally did not knowing when the "bike hider" would return. I gladly paid the 50.00 and went home talking in an Italian accent.

It is a bianchi brava. The frame is tripple butted columbus tubing with columbus fork and gipiemme dropouts; Suntour Sprint friction derailleurs with suntour power ratchet brazed on downtube shifters; modolo america calipers and levers; ofmega headset, cranks (bianchi badged), and hubs (which are definately campy clones as they look it at first glance); ambrosia 19 extra elite rims 700C; regina bx? 6 speed freewheel made in italy; bianchi sella italia saddle; nice alloy post; ITM bars and unknown stem. The paint is a darker green and in near perfect shape as are the decals. The only decal that is damaged is the columbus down tube decal which is practically entirely gone. I used vintagetreks.com to date the suntour derailleurs and according to them they are dated 1985. This was a horrible find! You wonder why I say that? THIS GREAT BIKE IS TOO BIG FOR ME!!! I'm going to take it for a ride tomorrow and see if I can get comfortable on it. If not, I'll probably sell it.

I do have a few questions about this bike. The brava was an entry/mid level bike was it not? If so I'm surprised this frame is what it is, speaking of which, the columbus decal on the seat tube does not say whether or not the entire frame is columbus tubing. anyway I can tell? This is definately a decent bike, it seems to be set up more towards racing with its short wheelbase and racing freewheel.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Best and worst find of the year so far posted by T-Mar on 4/28/2004 at 1:08:50 PM
Your Brava would appear to be a 1986 model, equipped with components that were manufactured in late 1985. The Sprint group did not debut until 1986, though SunTour would have been ramping up production in late 1985 to supply the manufacturers for their 1986 models.

The 1986 Brava was a classified as a sport/touring touring bicycle and was lower mid range, selling for $399 US. The Sprint derailleurs are the highlight of the bicycle, as they were ranked above Cyclone, but below Superbe. Per my 1986 specs the freewheel is a Regina BX as you guessed. The other components match the spec sheet and would appear to be original. Sorry, but the spec sheet doesn't mention the stem's make or model.

Regarding the frame, Columbus manufactured a number of tubesets in various grades. Just a few years earlier, tubeset manufacturers had a major breakthrough in developing low cost butted tubesets capable of withstanding mass production processes and bringing butted frames to bicycles in the $250 US range. So a Columbus frame is not really a suprise. Bianchi often had their own tubing decals which did not mention the actual tubeset name, but for this period and price range it's probably a low end, seamed tubing. Unfortunately, Binchi/Columbus tubing decals will not say if a complete, matched tubeset was used, or if a lesser grade was substituted for the stays, to keep the cost down. Most times this is impossible to determine, especially on more modern frames where the frames have been treated to prevent rust, though in some cases, if you look instead the bottom bracket shell, you can see a difference in the sheen the main tubes and stays. The more rust resistant CrMo main tubes will retain some sheen, while the hi-tensile stays will tend be duller and maybe even show rust. Of course, they could be could be treated or be different grades of CrMo, in which case you would see no difference.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Best and worst find of the year so far posted by marc on 4/28/2004 at 9:40:37 PM
thanks for the info T-Mar. You wouldn't by any chance have that spec sheet scanned would you? I look over the bianchi today and it's condition is stupendous. It's like it just rolled off the showroom floor. I checked the bearings and the grease was fresh, even the cables look brand new. Either this bike was recently overhauled or the previous owner rode it 10 miles and then hung it up in the garage. It even has some great specialized tires on it. I took it for a ride, and it handled beautifully. Very nimble, very quick. I may keep it, I know its huge, 62 cm and I'm only 5'9 but it wasn't that bad. It's hard for me to find bikes in my exact size so I'm used to riding bikes that are big, but this is definately the biggest. The only problem was a minor one, the toe clips are too small and the left one in particular killed foot. I just couldn't get the foot in the right position and so there was some discomfort. I'm taking it down to Cirque and if I can possibly trade it for something my size why not.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Best and worst find of the year so far posted by marc on 4/28/2004 at 10:35:36 PM
here are some pics just in case anyone wanted to see the bike: http://f1.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/samadamsfavbrew98/album?.dir=/f555

   RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Best and worst find of the year so far posted by Oscar on 4/29/2004 at 3:20:26 AM
Nice find, Marc. It's a really tall frame, isn't it. Ever notice that tall bikes are either pristine or beat up?

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Best and worst find of the year so far posted by marc on 4/29/2004 at 3:50:46 AM
I have noticed that. I'm not quite sure what the reason is but it makes me wish I was taller sometimes. Maybe if I hang upside down by my ankles... just kidding.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Best and worst find of the year so far posted by T-Mar on 4/29/2004 at 2:15:05 PM
marc, sorry I don't have a scanner, but I'll type out all the specs and e-mail it to you later in the week, maybe early next week. If the toe clips are too small, it's may be possible to get some relief by placing washers between the pedal cage and toe clip mount. That will allow you to get the ball of the foot in the correct position on the pedal, but may problems with the strap by moving it too far forward.

Used, tall bicycles are also generally very inexpensive, because the market is relatively small. That's one of the disadvantages of my being a typical 5'10" male and riding a 56cm frame. There's lot of competition buying up the used bicycles in my size, and when you do find them the price is usually high.

MISC:   Shimano Nexus Conversion? posted by: Rob on 4/28/2004 at 5:37:24 AM
I have a late 70's Raleigh Sprite which I had bought for parts some time ago, I was browsing on eBay and spotted the following item,
I was wondering if anyone here had any ideas or thoughts on a Sprite/Nexus 7 speed conversion?

The bike already has a rear caliper, but the idea of a hub brake sort of reminds me of the early Sturmey Archer hubs with the drum brakes.

I probably would never put the Sprite back to original, and I have plenty of better derailleur bikes already, the Nexus 7 speed seems like an interesting conversion. I was also looking at Sheldon Brown's site and his Raleigh Competition with a similar conversion and I see he has used a Nexus rear hub and somehow eliminated the roller brake, has anyone tried this? Is the Roller Brake an external add on unit?

   RE:MISC:   Shimano Nexus Conversion? posted by Wayne on 4/28/2004 at 4:58:27 PM
As I mentioned in a previous post, I built something quite similar to that a couple of months ago. I now have 700 Km. on it and I am very pleased with it.
I used a raleigh vlw frame with a Sturmey Archer 7 speed hub from Harris Cyclery. I made my own rear wheel for it and it has turned out to be my favourite ride.
Since I am in Canada and it can be quite wet here at times, I really like the coaster brake in it. Now I can always stop.

   RE:MISC:   Shimano Nexus Conversion? posted by JONathan on 4/28/2004 at 5:13:29 PM
I've got a red "sprite" 10-speed that is all original, including those rubber block pedals. I'd guess it's '70's, as it looks a lot like a 3-sp. "sprite" with a '79 S-A hub. Both are made in England with European components.
Another '70's thing was the stem shifter craze. This bike was most likely poorly assembled, as the crank spider was loose and it was missing a clamp bolt. How they could ride it like that is beyond description. The brakes were all out of position, too. I got it cheap ($15) as the thrift/charity stores used to heavily mark down anything that needed serious repairs. I'd be real interested in converting the '79 3-sp. to the "nexus" rearend.
My attempt at "matched" rides would have another go. I failed bad with the "suburban"'s. The "sprite" is a lot like a "sports", except it isn't as heavy duty; less mass to push around with the "sprite". The red "sprite" 10-sp. and "coffee" colored lady frame "nexus" equipped bike would be worth a try. The internal 7-sp. hub is a great idea, IMHO. The derailer 10-sp. is my favorite setup, as it is very "hands on" riding with all the cables, levers and various moving contraptions to make it go.
The "sprite" 10 really gets out. Sure got me toughened up during the winter sloggy period. My guess is that someone bought the bike and had ridden it with the loose stuff plagueing their efforts; finally retired it to the rear of the garage concluding that biking wasn't a viable activity for them. After a few decades, it emerged in a charity store lot. Probably fewer than 10 miles on it. Wish there were more like it.
I placed a Miller alternator light set, which works great, but still maintains the retro look. It won't blind riders coming the opposite direction either.

AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Super Le Tour posted by: Derek Coghill on 4/27/2004 at 11:45:09 PM
I bought it (you saw that coming, didn't you?) for the princely sum of £1.50 ($2?); missing wheels, the rear derailleur (and the outer cage of the front one) and the smaller of the front rings. So I've had a bit of fun in the garage tonight and now have a 5-speed with flat 'bars. Very few new parts were harmed during the building of this bike and the wheels and gears came from a scrap Dawes (£1), the rest from the box of old bits. Second-hand chain and cables......total cost for a functioning bike will probably end up being £4 or so. Happy being creative.....

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Super Le Tour posted by Rob on 4/28/2004 at 12:45:15 AM
Dennis...you might find this website of some interest:


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Super Le Tour posted by Rob on 4/28/2004 at 12:46:34 AM
Sorry...I don't know where I got Dennis from...DEREK...

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Super Le Tour posted by Oscar on 4/28/2004 at 2:47:53 AM
Derek: I had a Le Tour for many years. There's more collectable bikes out there, but you'll love the smooth ride of this bike. The lugs are not fancy, but they have a beautiful simplicity. Thanks for saving a cool bike from the dump.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: Schwinn Super Le Tour posted by Kwik 66 on 5/30/2004 at 1:12:24 AM
I purchased a 1981 super le tour2 new for $400 in 1981,last week I purchased 1983 super le tour for $91 on e-bay

MISC:   Spoke source? posted by: David on 4/27/2004 at 2:35:26 PM
Can anyone suggest a good (i.e. cheap) source for spokes? I need to get spokes for several wheels with different rims and hubs with different counts. Brand name is not very important.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Peugeot Mixte posted by: marc on 4/27/2004 at 3:20:52 AM
I posted about a Peugeot Mixte I found in near mint condition a few weeks back. I forgot what model it was, U08C or something like that. I changed the cables, etc. As much as i liked the rigida chrome wheels with simplex QR levers I figured I'd put some alloy wheels on it. Without realizing it I put a rear wheel on it with a 6 speed freewheel on it. Well, turns out there's just enough spacing for it to work. It's now a 12 speed. I tried using a different wheel with another 6 speed freewheel to see if it would work but it didn't. I know about the suntour 6 speed freewheel that was narrow enough to convert 10 speeds to 12, did maillard make something similar or is were their freewheels just slightly more narrow than other brands?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Peugeot Mixte posted by JONathan on 4/27/2004 at 4:59:37 AM
I have a Peugeot UO-18 (mixte) with Maillard "helicomatic" 6-sp. FW cassette. I fitted "ape hangers" on it. Mixte frames are cool for dirt. The low cg and easy dismount feature are nice, coupled with a tight rear traingle that is more rigid than a regular rear triangle for quick starts. I call mine the "step machine", because that's what I look like I'm doing when riding out of the saddle most of the time. My two UO-18's that are lugged frames are 10-speeds. The cotterless cranked, internally lugged ones are 12 speeds. I think the late '70's and later, were 12's. Mixtes were easy to come by for a couple years. I picked up any I came across for parts, but some, similar to yours, were so under used that they looked new. Too nice to part out. Once I started riding them, I was impressed with how well they can rip. The short, tourist bars or flat bars work nest, IMHO. The drop bars feel a bit funny to me, and I prefer drop bars on regular frames. There is something about the longer wheelbases or something.
I have tried to extoll the virtues of mixte frames, to little avail. I guess it's not really a lady's frame, nor is it close to a regular. People like what ythey grew up with, I suppose.

   ultra-6 versus standard-6 posted by John E on 4/27/2004 at 3:51:08 PM
Welcome to the world of "ultra" versus standard spacing of freewheel cogs. (See SheldonBrown.com for more details.)

In the 1960s, most road bikes had 120mm rear axles (measured between the inside edges of the frame dropouts or outside edges of bearing locknuts) and 5-speed freewheels, but a few had 126mm rear axles and 6-speed freewheels, which gradually became the standard by the late 1970s. In the mid-1970s, SunTour (and Shimano?) got the bright idea of making 6-speed freewheels with narrow ("ultra") cog spacing, to work with legacy 120mm frames and axles. The later 7-speed freewheels preserve this narrow spacing, such that bikes with 120mm axles and 5-speed freewheels, such as your UO-18, can be trivially upgraded to 6 speeds with an ultra-6 freewheel, and most bikes with STANDARD-spaced 6-speed freewheels and 126mm axles can be similarly upgraded to 7 speeds.

I currently run a 13-26 6-speed SunTour ultra on my early 1970s UO-8 and a 13-26 7-speed Sachs on my 1981 Bianchi, which originally came with a 6-speed 13-23 Regina America.

   RE:ultra-6 versus standard-6 posted by marc on 4/27/2004 at 4:58:02 PM
I know all about the ultra freewheels, but did maillard ever make such a freewheel? This wheel set did come from an 80's peugeot 12 speed, perhaps this maillard freewheel just has more modern narrow spacing. Anyway, my girlfriend will be riding this bike down at cirque so we'll see how it handles.

   RE:RE:ultra-6 versus standard-6 posted by JONathan on 4/27/2004 at 9:09:50 PM
Hey, Marc. I measured the Maillard "helicomatic" 6-sp. axle. The nut-to-nut measure was 122mm. This would be the bearing cone locknuts. This set, I think, may have came off a Italvega my brother dumped (hee, hee) on me because he didn't like the ride, I guess. That Fuji "pulsar" is tough to beat.
I have a set of "helico's" on a Peugeot UO-18 12-sp., which is identical to another one, it appears from the decals and cotterless cranks, brakes, etc. The rear dropout of this one measured about 125/6 mm; so, it would conform to a standard 126mm 12-sp., as John E. posted. BTW, thanks for that information. Very useful. The question in my mind is; were the Maillard's in fact a narrow gauge 6-sp. (the Helicomatics only) that could retro on to a 120mm spaced dropout? OK, so I'm thinking...not saying a lot, but it would seem that 122mm might be close enough. As you observed, the FW you tried that worked had just enough clearance to make it.
A lot depends on the freeboard above the dropout before it hits the seat-stay. The helico hub has less shoulder on the drive side, it appears to me, and this might account for it being narrower than a standard 6-sp. My guess is that 1mm on each side is going to work, but what do I know. With these vinatge craft, I have to try it on the stand, first. If it works, move on. If it doesn't, get another plan. Pretty simple rubric. These bikes were made to be dinked withl which is why they are so much fun to restore or get fixed up to run. Good luck on that mixte. They are cool bikes.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Peugeot Mixte posted by T-Mar on 4/28/2004 at 2:29:55 AM
My understanding is that Maillard had two freewheel body widths. The 600 body was used for standard 5 speed or narrow 6 speed. Axles were available for 122mm or 126mm dropout spacing. The wider 700 body was designed to support only a narrow 6 & 7 speed and the axle came in the 126mm dropout spacing only. Both bodies used the same cogs for the first 4 or 5 positions with different thickness of spacers determining if the spacing was standard or narrow. The remaining cogs were threaded and had built-in flanges that determined the spacing and thus were dedicated to standard or narrow, though you could cheat and make a narrow cog into a standard cog by using a thin spacer available from Maillard.

It's not diffucult to cold set stays to a wider dropout spacing to accept wider hubs with more cogs on the frewwheels. The trick is to realign the dropouts to ensure they are parallel and do not put a bending stress on the axle that will lead to premature failure. I have created a Word file with imbedded pictures that describes the cold setting and alignment process, using home made tools, if anyone is interested. However, the file is huge at 9,106KB, so if you request it, make sure it can pass through any firewalls.

When using a freewheel with more cogs on a vintage bicycle like the UO8, it is tempting to use a wider range freewheel and you have to make sure that you do do exceed derailleur capacities which were often limited.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Peugeot Mixte posted by JONathan on 4/28/2004 at 5:47:10 AM
Thanks, Tom. I saw a Peugeot mixte (the lugless version from the '80's) going for $200 at a LBS. It was tuned and all, but it looked medium for paint and decals. It dawned on me that the wheels, gears, brakes, etc. for the vintage steel LW's are getting scarcer.
Eventually, the supply will run out, and fewer will be on the road, except as deftly restored and maintained units. I think that Freewheels will be around for a long time, as they must still be manufactured, based on their availability. Maybe not the likes of the Maillard "600" helicomatics, but the standard ones. It's great that the vinatge steel lightweights are still viable as a standup choice, not just some arcane artifact that is strictly for nostalgia. A local chap is building quality steel frames, but they are custom units.