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Archived: Vintage Lightweights

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Zebrakenko posted by: tony on 5/24/2004 at 5:59:14 PM
I just bought a beautiful old burgundy road bike the other day from a local bike shop, but none of the guys there had ever heard of the maker. i've looked online, but can't find much.

It's a Zebrakenko-Goldensports (from the early 80's i think)- touring length, lugged steel frame, mix of dia compe and suntour components. I paid $85 for it and i think i'm in love. it's elegant looking, fast, and solid.

has anyone heard anything about this maker or model? I'd like to know something, anything, about her.


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Zebrakenko posted by Gralyn on 5/25/2004 at 2:33:41 AM
I had one of these. Mine was blue. It was beautiful and in excellent condition for it's age. Very classic-looking, very new-looking and shinny. I just didn't like the way it rode, or it didn't fit me all that well.....I just hardly ever rode it.....so I put it up for auction on e-bay. I boxed it up and shipped it off to NYC, as I recall. In a way, I hated to part with it.
Oh, once I saw a Zebra Kenko track bike on e-bay.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Zebrakenko posted by T-Mar on 5/25/2004 at 2:31:38 PM
Zebrakenko was a Japanese brand that was founded in 1901. North American distribution apparently started in 1974. The brand received several reviews in Bicycling magazine in the late '70s and early '80s, from which I've taken my facts. The reviews indicated thast they were typical Japanese product for the era, with sturdy, well manufactured and finished framesets, and good equipment selection.

If you review the component date codes using the information on the Vintage-Trek site, you should be able to estblish the model year.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bent Axles posted by: jack on 5/24/2004 at 5:31:02 AM
In the course of refurbishing several vintage lwts, I have noticed that almost every rear axle is bent (incl Campy). Considering my junkyard/thrift-shop sources of bikes it is not altogether surprising but I think it emphasizes a weak link in design (unsupported axle length). I can't help thinking that even if the axle is not permanently deformed its probably bending under load and this can't be good for bearing alignment and free-running. Of course we never see this since we adjust unloaded.

I also wonder if the fattening of America isn't putting our lightweights at risk. When the bikes were designed it was probably unusual for a rider to be over 175 lbs yet many of us are probably pushing 200 or more.

I have yet to find a Helicomatic axle bent although plenty have relatively rough races. This is one of several reasons why I like the Helicomatic. I guess the Shimano cassette solves this problem but it doesn't classify as vintage, or does it?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bent Axles posted by JONathan on 5/24/2004 at 7:17:49 AM
I'm upper end of the scale for hard riders and I have not bent many axles on blacktop. Off-road is different, but since we're talking VLW's, I assume smooth surface for most riding. I have a theory. I've converted a lot of bikes to hooked-bead alloy rims and HF hubs. THe high pressure tires really bang on the axles. I get "light" going over chuckholes, driveway birms and (my favorite) the cable coax road grooves that are always underfilled by 3/4". They are about 4 inches wide and really can knock a filling loose. The higer impules force due to hp tires, the deteriorated roads and incorrect spoke adjustment are the biggest factors, IMHO. Also, you have the statistical aspect of vintage bikes. They've had more hits. I really don't see where increased mass is a major factor, by itself. I think a lot has to do with the skill and awareness of the rider. I guess my position is biased, as I know I pack a wallop and some technique is required to keep the axles in the dropouts. Off=road, I expect to bust stuff, part of the price for the action. Maillard made tough axles, especially the 700's. Solid axles are stronger, it has been my experience. They can get nubbed in real tight. The QR's, aside from being hollow, also preload the axle in clamping. Suaue makes a tough unit, too.

   ERROR posted by JONathan on 5/24/2004 at 7:23:55 AM
That's "impulse", not "impules" and "Suzue", not "suaue". Sorry.

   rear axles posted by John E on 5/24/2004 at 2:09:14 PM
Although I weigh less than average, I have broken two 120mm O.L.D. (5-speed) rear axles, one hollow/QR, one solid, and I have bent a couple of others. (I admittedly do relish out-of-saddle hill climbs, and I have unintentionally hit my share of potholes.) The problem is even more acute with 7-speed freewheels and 128mm spacing, which places the drive side bearing cones even farther inboard. As my stash of threaded rear hubs and freewheels wears out, I shall update my vintage bikes with anachronistic freehubs, in the interest of reliability and parts availability.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bent Axles posted by P Lavery on 5/24/2004 at 10:47:31 PM
In my younger days,I've always ended bending a rim before getting to the axle.
Now I'm more careful about what I run over or into.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bent Axles posted by T-Mar on 5/25/2004 at 3:42:03 PM
You are correct, in stating that the unsupported axle end is a primary cause of bent axles. This arrangement does create a bending stress on the axle during normal riding, but it is not the sole source of the bending stress. The other big culprit is misalignment of the droputs, relative to one other. If the two dropouts are not parallel to each other, a bending stress will be placed on the axle the instant it is secured in the dropouts. Then, when a bump is encountered, it does not take as much force to introduce a parmanent bend to the axle. Properly aligning the dropouts is a simple chore and will greatly reduce the frequency of your bent axles.

While, heavier riders, potholes, bumps, high pressure tires, stiffer rims and hollow axles are contributing factors and may cause one to exceed the elastic limit, I still feel that the unsupported axle length and misaligned dropouts are the two primary causes of bending stress in axles. I used to bend lots of axles until I switched to Shimano's freehub and started aligning my dropouts. Since then, bent axles have virtually disappeared.

The early Shimano freehub/cassettes definitely classify as vintage. The original version was brought out in 1978. While I don't have an exact date for the introduction of Helicomatic, I believe Shimano's freehub pre-dated it. Shimano freehubs have numerous advantages over Maillard, including the standard sizes and quality of the cones/races. They also result in less wheel dish and spoke breakage than Helicomatic. Original cassettes can still be found without too much difficultly and if you have to, a modern Hyperglide cassette will work after you grind down the wide spine on the cogs. The only problem may be replacing the threaded, outer cog, which came in two thread standards and is not used on Hyperglide cassettes.

   dropout alignment posted by John E on 5/25/2004 at 4:05:46 PM
T-Mar's admonition regarding rear dropout alignment is spot-on. It applies to front/fork dropouts as well -- I have a bent Normandy Luxe Competition front axle, to prove it.

   RE:dropout alignment posted by JONathan on 5/25/2004 at 6:09:02 PM
Can't argue with that, T-Mar. I was wondering about the venerable D.N.B. "unit 4" freehub that I rebuilt from an early bikeboom (maybe before) "Easy Rider 500" Japanese 8-speed.
They really went to work on this one. I must say it appears very forward thinking. It spins right on a regular rear FW hub. I'm keeping it as a vintage relic, although it runs great. The bearings were supporting in 4 races...that's quite remarkable for the era.
Back to those dropouts, I appreciate the advice. Even a subtle difference would displace the force lines working the axle away from design elements that absorb and transmit the momentum to the frame tubes. Makes perfect sense. Thanks, again.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bent Axles posted by RobA on 5/25/2004 at 6:54:23 PM
...interesting thread...I, too, have noticed a lot of bent axles...almost always rear axles...and, although I usually weigh in at around 155 lb...I seem to get my share. The last incident, during the winter, was a broken solid rear axle...broken at the inboard edge of the right side cone...

I replaced it with another solid axle...a few weeks later I had a brief discussion with a knowledgable bike mechanic in a second hand bike shop. Essentially, he said that hollow axles are actually stronger that solid...which seemed counter-intuitive to me, and that axles vary considerably in quality...no surprise there... Judging from some the posts above, the view that hollow axles may be stronger does not seem to be the prevailing view... I bought a good (Bicycle Research??) hollow axle for $CDN20 ($US14.60), but haven't used it yet...

So...does anyone what to give me some insights???....

Intuitively, I find it difficult not to think that solid axles are stronger...though I realize that there may be other issues to consider than simple resistance to bending...such as maybe resiliency...

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bent Axles posted by T-Mar on 5/25/2004 at 7:40:28 PM
A quick release axle may well be stronger than a given solid axle, given that they are made out of the same material. The reason is that most, but not all, solid axles are smaller in diameter than a hollow axle. Most quick release axles are 10.0mm in diameter while most solid axles are smaller diameter at 9.0 or 9.5mm. While there are some exceptions, notably Camapagnolo, this was the general trend.

Most of you are familiar with the concept that a large diameter, thin walled Cannondale frame is stiffer than a smaller diameter Vitus frame with thicker tubes. This same concept applies to axles. A quick release axle may well be stiffer and stronger by virtue of its larger outer diameter, despite the hollow core. However, I'd have to run through some calcualtions just to make sure. Time to dig out the old engineering textbooks!

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bent Axles posted by JONathan on 5/25/2004 at 7:56:18 PM
The "moment of inertia" of the solid rod is greater than with the hollow tube (axle), IMHO.
But, here's the kicker; the solid axle, while resisting movement across the axis, it is likely to break as bend. The Hollow axle will bend before breaking, it would seem. This might explain it a bit. Now, we have to define breaking as opposed to bending. There is no doubt in my mind that the solid axle is stiffer. This might prove to it's detriment under extremes. The skewer helps the hollow axle from breaking, but it doesn't seem to me that it helps it from taking a bend...it might enhance the prospect somewhat, IMHO.
Now, there's the issue of materials quality. The solid axles can be very cheap grade or they can be higly refined products. The hollow axles may well be better steel in the general case. Just speculation on my part. To me, we are talking about two things (besides axle types); strength and toughness. It is a balancing act of trade offs, as usual with VLW's. Assume that the quality is the same, which design resists breaks? I would say the hollow, but which one handles heavier loads? I would say the solids. Just my subjective opinion, of course.
Why are track bikes fitted with nutted, solid axles? They are stronger, I presume. I know I can get nutted axles real tight, whereas with the hollows, it has a much lower locking pressure. If the axle doesn't move, it is less likely to bend or break, iMHO. This is a complex problem, to be sure. Although I've never broken a axle (on a bicycle) there have been many bent ones from strains placed on them with me as rider. I must admit, the solid axles have come up bent more frequently, yet they were subjected to extremes. I really think it is movement that causes the bends.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bent Axles posted by T-Mar on 5/25/2004 at 10:37:25 PM
I just finished calculating the section modulii for solid axles of 9.0mm and 9.5mm, and hollow axles of 10.0mm outer diameter and an inner diameter of 5.3mm (which was the average of 5 hollow axles that I measured). The section modulus is directly related to the cross sectional geometry of the axle and defines its ability to resist bending. My calculations indicate that the hollow axle is 7% more resistant to bending than a 9.5mm solid axle and 26% more resistant than a 9.0mm solid axle.

However, if a vertical, pure shearing force was put on the axles, the hollow axle is weaker by virtue of its smaller cross sectional area.

Of course this is a relatively simplistic approach, assuming simple loads, a simplified cross section (i.e. no accounting for threads) and assumes axles made of the same materials. As JONathan states it's relatively simple for manufacturers to increase an axle's resistance to pure shear and bending by using stronger materials. Given that quick release hubs are more expensive by nature of their more complex design, it is pretty easy to bury a few cents worth of stronger axle material, and therefore it's probable that hollow axles use better materials.

From a simplistic view, the hollow axle is less likely to bend, but more likely to break. In reality, it's probably better in both aspects.

JONathan has an interesting viewpoint in stating that axle movement may cause bending. Essentially, pulling an axle forward on the drive side due to improper tightening results in a bending stress in the horizontal plane. Misalignment of the dropouts in the horizontal plane will have the same effect. While worthy of consideration, I don't feel this is as significant as bending in the vertical plane, as there you also have to contend with the added impacts of bumps and the effects of rider weight. Also, an insufficiently tighented hub usually makes it's presence known quickly via tire rub on the stays.

JONathan, if you inscribe a directional arrow on the ends of known, straight, solid axles and align them in the horizontal plain, then when you notice the bend you can tell if the bending took place in the horizontal or vertical plane. This would validate or disprove your theory. It would be an interesting exercise.

I've never considered the relative clamping forces of a nut versus a quick release. I know that both are capable of adequately securing a wheel. However, it's probably easier to use insufficient force with a quick release lever. I know that most owners don't have any idea of proper adjustment of a quick release and are more prone to use insufficient force. I saw the same thing with wing nuts and believe it has something to do do with it being a manual, tooless operation. People seem to think that since a tool is not required, that not much force is required. However, give a person a box wrench and a nutted axle and they tend to overtighten.

I never considered nutted axles on track bicycles to be related to the clamping force. For me it more a function of keeping things, simple, light and safe. Quick releases are a necessity in road races to faciltate wheel changes while track races are generally so short that a wheel change is not viable and therefore the complexity and weight associated with a quick release are not warranted. By safe, I don't mean accidental loosening due to insufficient tightening, but overlapped wheels being caught between a dropout and quick release. I've seen this happen a number of times in road races, resulting in nasty accidents. Sometimes the entrapped rider just falls over, while other times he releases his competitor's wheel. This is the reason why the rear quick lever should always be pointed forward and the front quick release lever should always be pointed backwards. Just my 2 cent's worth

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bent Axles posted by JONathan on 5/26/2004 at 12:22:38 AM
Very unteresting data and, as Rob stated, a bit counter-intuitive it seems. Numbers don't lie, so I have to agree with your surmise. EXCEPT, there is one prickly consideration. The QR axles will effect bearing adjustment. The wheel bearings were perfect, until the QR was clamped (maybe a bit too far, I must admit was possible) the wheel dragged. Now, the nutted axles can be torqued down real good, so they won't go anuwhere unless the dropout goes with it and the bearings stay fine. The skewer must ne bending the hollow axle a slight degree. Would this be at odds with the surmise that the hollows are less likely to bend than are solids?
Was there an description in one of Sheldon Brown's articles about this adjustment issue? Seems there was yet another great read from his collection of works. I always wondered about it, as I tend to over=tighten the QR's. Also, I run with the raer QR tip facing down (perpendicular to the road surface). I see the advantage to your setting, as a colliding wheel could still catch the QR on the upswing. I'll have to change that from now on in deference to your racing expertise. I learn something everyday from the site. Thanks,

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Bent Axles posted by Derek Coghill on 5/27/2004 at 11:16:28 PM
As regards "the fattening of America"; don't worry, you're (as a country) not alone. A child aged 3 died in the UK recently (heart failure) weighing 6 stones (38kg) which is almost two thirds of what I weigh.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Newest curb find posted by: toowheels on 5/24/2004 at 2:21:42 AM
Here is a bike I have not seen before,Special C.N.C.. It is obviously french Lyotard pedals,mavic levers and centerpulls,Huret changers and levers,unmarked bars and stem,Stronglight crank arms with drilled stronglight rings,Rigida 700 rim with Mailard hub in the rear .The front wheel was missing and I have a 27" wheel in place for the picture.There is a tab on the left seatstay for a generator I assume.The racks and fenders look to be original.I found a bit on this brand at classic rendevous and a short thread here in the archives,but these pertain to a much better model.Foil decal on seattube refers to 10 world champions(chamionships) and 37 french champions .This bike reminds me of some of the peugeots I have seen on ebay.Below is a picture link.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS: Newest curb find posted by Warren on 5/24/2004 at 3:34:11 AM
Really nice with the customracks and fenders...better than your typical boom bike. Reminds me of one of the "middling" Jeunets or Gitanes.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Newest curb find posted by ollo_ollo (Don) on 5/25/2004 at 2:43:22 AM
That bike has "soul" potential. I have a Stronglight triple crank similar to that on my Motobecane Grand Touring.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Newest curb find posted by T-Mar on 5/25/2004 at 2:00:31 PM
While I don't have any personal experience with C.N.C. bicycles, there is a short chapter in Michael Kolin's and Denise de la Rosa's book, The Custom Bicycle. Accordinging to this source, the Fletcher-Ducret company built primarily children's and utilitarian bicycles under various names, while the custom frames and top line racing bicycles were marketed under the C.N.C. name. The frames were well respected throughout Europe and particularly popular with Eastern Bloc riders.

There is a statement, "At Fletcher-Ducret, frames are custom built to individual specifications". The implication is that all CNC frames are built to order, but I may be taking this out of context. There is only one small mention of touring frames, " A touring as well as a racing model may be ordered. But like most European builders, they believe that a touring frame requires fenders and clincher tires, so if either of these are dersired, it becomes essential to let the builder know".

The authors acknowledge the relative obscurity of CNC frames in the USA, and state that this is due to the language barrier and their emphasis on functionality over aesthetics.

There is one notable pargraph stating that the main shop and assembly operation were in Paris, while the frame manufacturing facility wass located outside Paris, in Vitry, due to regulations which forbid "industrial welding" within the paris city limits. This is in contradiction with the Classics Rendezvous recollection, which states that the frame "welding" took part in the back of the Paris shop. Perhaps the visits took place at different times, when the regulations were different.

It would appear that you have a highly regarded and rare bicycle. While CNC are uncommon in the USA, it would appear that touring models are far less common than the racing models, making it even more rare. The fact that they appear to have been custom built means that your particular model could be unique. You may not find another one like it, at least in the USA. Perhaps you should submit some pictures for posting on Classic Rendezvous?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Newest curb find posted by Shaun on 5/26/2004 at 5:05:51 PM
I have a Special CNC that I rescued from a thrift shop last year. It is classic French fare in white with a steel cottered crank, Mafac brakes (with the "promotion" levers), Simplex running gear, chromed steel wheels, etc. A boom bike to be sure, but even with the steel components, it weighs in less than similarly equipped Peugeots that I have at around 26 pounds (versus 30 to 32 pounds for a typical Peugeot). There is no indication that the tubing is anything special and the components are clearly entry level. Makes it a little curious.

Since mine does not appear to be custom built or high end, it makes me wonder if there wasn't an importer that had CNC build some boom bikes to their specs for a short time??? I too have only been able to locate the info referenced above and would appreciate any and all info the group may have.

AGE / VALUE:   mystery trek posted by: marc on 5/23/2004 at 9:19:38 PM
Yesterday I picked up a nice old trek road bike. I checked the vintage-trek.com serial number chart and the serial number located on the bottom bracket (083566) points to 1983 and the trek 500 model but my bike doesn't match up with the components.

Admittedly the trek I picked up seems to be a bit of a mish mash of parts but there are some confusing things about it. It's a reynolds 501 frame, but the seat tube also has two decals one which is a "shimano dura ace ex system components" and the other is modolo decal which I cannot read entirely. The bike has modolo international brakes, suntour cyclone rear derailleur, a shimano front derailleur which appears to be of high quality but it is not labeled dura ace and the shifter are shimano ratchet downtube shifters. It has a campy headset, which is totally out of place with the rest of the components. SR stem, bars, pedals, cranks. It also has a sloping fork crown and suntour drop outs. The rims are rigida laced to maillard hubs.

Did trek ever use modolo brakes with any of their bikes? Any help would be much appreciated.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   mystery trek posted by Walter on 5/24/2004 at 12:55:02 AM
In the early days Trek sold alot of framesets that the shop would then build for the buyer with buyer-specifioed componemts.

Trek was established by 83 but still sold framsets, I'm pretty sure. Decals may have come with components and applied by previous owner too.

Can't say that's the way it was for sure but it's possible.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   mystery trek posted by marc on 5/25/2004 at 12:39:13 AM
I was trying to decide what to do with the derailleurs on this bike. I couldn't find a cyclone front, but I did score a nice shimano crane for 12.00 and I've decided to use that. I was looking for a newer dura ace to match the front that's on it now but this will do for now. I just need to replace one of the adjusting screws. I wanted to put some bar end shifters on these but their suntour, maybe I'm being too picky. we'll see. I guess some dura ace will be closer to the original owners upgrades than none.

AGE / VALUE:   Old green Schwinn varsity found, cantilever style frame? posted by: Miguel on 5/23/2004 at 8:32:30 PM
I was rooting aroiund in a junk store, and found this very green varsity, with a canitlever looking frame. Meaning it had curved frame tubes, not the usual straight ones. Has the seams around the bottom bracket tube connections, which led me to believe it is a 60's. what year could this thing possibly be? I have searched all over the web, and have not seen another varsity like it in any gallery yet. Missing the back wheel, but otherwise intact. Is this worth anything?

    Old green Schwinn varsity found, cantilever style frame? posted by John E on 5/24/2004 at 1:09:43 AM
I recall reports from others regarding similar Varsities. I believe these were made for a couple of model years ca. 1970. Please post the serial number or decode the year of manufacture from it.

AGE / VALUE:   Lighthouse Bicycle posted by: D. C. Wilson on 5/22/2004 at 9:02:54 PM
Long time no post, but I keep reading.

I finally found the bike I've looked for for six years...a Lighthouse road bike. Not many were made and all were custom orders. They are no longer made. The fabricator, Tim Neenan, apparently designed the first Specialized Allez and some early mountain bikes before going off on his own. Maynard Hershon remains a huge fan of Neenan and his bikes. I am looking for someone who can fill in as much information on Lighthouse bikes as possible. And if you have one, when was your Lighthouse made? What was its original componentry? Does it have a serial number? Where? What unusual features does it have? Price new. Color. Are you the first or second owner? I would also like to know if anyone has organized an enthusiasts club for this brand. A description of the one I bought follows (no, I didn't get it for a song).

Brand: Lighthouse
Origin: Santa Ynez, CA
Type: Custom made road bike
Designer Name on Top Tube: Tim Neenan
Vintage: '80s 12-speed not indexed
Size: 60cm c2c seat tube
Tubing: Columbus steel
Groupo: Dura Ace
Stem: Appears custom made; beautiful red; hex nut at back corner of bend in stem; angled toward you forehead; cool.
Handlebars: Cinelli EXA
Steering Head: Specialized
Seat Post tightener: hex nut set in seat stay; unique.
Rims: MA 40 Mavics
Rubber: Old Continentals
Seat: Turbo
Seat Post: Dura Ace
Paint: Ferrari Red frame, fork, stem, hubs; thin black lettering; black chainwheel with red stripe around perimeter and black cranks.
Look: Xtremely lean, elegant.
Ride: Taut AND forgiving.

MISC:   Bottecchia posted by: JONathan on 5/22/2004 at 7:07:13 AM
On the topic. I found these models:
1. Professional
2.Giro D'italia
3. Special
4. Deluxe
All were listed in 1973 "Bicycle Digest".
Clayton-Willard Sales Corporation
Box 3291, 1732 Danese Street
Jacksonville, Florida
I can't say if they're still in business as 30 yrs. has elapsed, but it's a start.
The pictures don't show much and the spec. blurb is minimal. Mine might be earlier, as it is not like any of these.
These Italian mounts really ride great in the hills.

   RE:MISC:   Bottecchia posted by Gralyn on 5/23/2004 at 4:21:07 AM
My Bottecchia is almost finished. I have one side of the bars wrapped with old NOS cloth tape. I need to do the other side, then pop on the pedals - and I'm ready to roll. I hope to get to try it out tomorrow. It's been coming along slowly - and it's turning out to be a nice-looking bike. I hope to eventually identify exactly what year it was made - and which model it is.

I've been putting it back as original-looking as possible. However, the white cloth bar tape doesn't look as good as I would hope.....probably because it's my first shot at applying the cloth bar tape.
(anyone know any secrets to applying this cloth tape? Any special techniques? tricks of the trade?)
I put a used set (well, they're actually not a matched set) of 700C tires on the 28" rims. I hope to get a new set for it soon. I also found some gray brake cable housings ....so at least they match the original gear cable housings - in color only....but that's better than nothing.

   RE:RE:MISC:   Bottecchia posted by Gralyn on 5/25/2004 at 2:38:04 AM
I got the Bottecchia finished up Sunday afternoon - and took it outside to test it out.....it started raining. OK, so after a couple hours - I went out and tried again. Of course, I'm just riding around, making adjustments...riding, making adjustments. Finally, I get it just how I want it. It rides pretty good. The only problem is the front der. It doesn't seem to be very forgiving as you shift the rear der. I have to keep adjusting the front when I shift the rear to keep it from rubbing the chain. Other than that - it's great. First chance I get - I'll take it out for a long ride.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   De Rosa posted by: tod on 5/21/2004 at 7:57:25 PM
Today I went on a fairly normal thrift store jaunt.. hit one that i have not hit for quite awhile.. scanned the bikes ... nothing.. looked at some other things got blocked down a isle so i walked by the front of the bikes.. somehow missed the heart shaped head badge looking at me.. how did i miss it.. De Rosa full Duraace.. 19.99 was the price tag.. needless to say i am very happy.... appears to be 80's.. 8 speed cassette though.. trashed sew-ups.. appears to have been repainted by cycle art ... does anybody have any links that can provide me with that could help me date this bicycle.. ???


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   De Rosa posted by Walter on 5/21/2004 at 8:27:25 PM
Congratulations! THAT is a find, even if the purist in me thinks that bike should be Campy. Is the bike STI? That'll help with dating.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   De Rosa posted by tod kapke on 5/21/2004 at 9:24:15 PM
nope.. just duraace.. not STI. it has sew-ups on the bike.. and mavic look comp pedals on it.. but the nasty purple to white pearlescent fade on it.. i would guess maybe mid 80's.. :) I agree it needs to be returned to all campy.. I am going to use the duraace for something else or sell it.. I am pretty happy on this find.. This stuff is too much like drugs.. always looking for my next fix.. This would be my second this month.. I found a cilo but was beat to the punch by about 2 or 3 minutes.. this makes up for it though ...

      De Rosa posted by John E on 5/21/2004 at 10:02:30 PM
A de Rosa for $20? That has got to be one of the all-time oldroads forum finds! Nice score.

Pop an email to jim@cyclart.com. He may remember the bike or have a record of it in his logbook.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   De Rosa posted by RobA on 5/21/2004 at 10:03:16 PM
Terrific...you just never know when this stuff is going to show up...I generally go about my business in a easy, casual way, but I keep my eyes open, regularly check my favorite places and keep building my knowledge base. I've been rewarded often enough so that I don't get discouraged... My best find was just a couple of weeks ago...late 80s Cramerotti (made in Trento, Italy), Columbus SLX tubing, mostly Campy Athena/Chorus...there it was along with 4 wheels (3 Campy Record hubs and 1 Mavic hub) just laying at curb during the spring clean up week...

Keeping looking....they are out there!!! And, I guess it helps, though, to be in a larger centre...

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   De Rosa posted by JONathan on 5/22/2004 at 7:05:10 AM
Real nice. Try this one: http://www.classicrendezvous.com/Italy/derosa_70s_cat_illus.htm
Don't spot too many on the road. I passed one on "Bike-to-Work Day", which was the first I's seen in a while. Amazing how one could get filtered down to a thrifty shop. Like my RB-1, they probably thought the "1" indicated a low-end. They're too savvy around here. I rarely spot anything like that. Man, those DeRosa'a are nice bikes. Struck pay dirt, you did.
Dura Ace is pretty good stuff, I'd keep it on there unless you want the OEM look. Just my 2 c's. Is yours a road racer?

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   De Rosa posted by Fred A on 5/23/2004 at 12:42:02 PM
WOW! The find of a lifetime. That tends to spoil you when it comes time to part with serious cash for another bike when you keep remembering what you paid for the De Rosa.
A few years back I picked up (at a local garage sale) a 12 speed Motobecane Le Champion, all original, from 1980 in my size frame. Full Campy and in great condition. I bought it from the original owner who even included a Sefal tire pump! Price?....a mere $25!

Fred A

FOR SALE:   Raleigh Record 10 sp posted by: Gary Main on 5/21/2004 at 4:43:00 AM
I have one nice 10 sp left out of the hundreds of bikes i scrapped. Its a early 70s Raleigh Record 10 sp 100 percent original. cottered cranks qr front, White with red detail.
anyone interested? i may end up riding it myself, everything else is going or gone.

MISC:   Steel cotterLESS cranks; Shimano "positron" derailer posted by: JONathan on 5/20/2004 at 11:02:14 PM
I picked up a $5 bike last weekend. Seems the guy decided against pushing a 40# bike at 6000ft. elevations. I got it just for the pair of new Wald folding carriers attached to a busted Fletscher rat-trap rack noodling around on the back. I decided to make a one speed out of this thing. It's designated a Sears "Free Spirit" with "PhysioFit" decal on the downtube. As I tore into the cranks, I noticed they were steel cotterless. There is "JJS" and "Taiwan" stamped on the inside of the arms.
I have never run across steel cotterless cranks, until now. The rear derailer was Shimano's "positron, pre-select" which is very interesting. There are detents on the body that serve as indices; a prehistoric indexing system. Very crude, but effective. The shifter "cable" is steel rod with a sheath and no stops, just straps that hold the sheath onto the downtube and brazed tabs holding the sheth onto the rt. chainstay; these crimp the line in place. The bike is lugged, with MTB forks and loghorn handlebars. Clumsy to ride as a multispeed, but I'm thinking about a one-speed using the rear FW and foxed chain length for the mid-cog (about a 21T). Caliper BMX ("Star") brakes round out the setup. No wonder it hardly got any use, it was trying to be something it was not. The light alternator was putting out 1v. AC, so i junked it, except for the magnet. The light housings, lens and bulbs are fine.
I notice the bulbs are heavy-duty and vibration resistant. I'm guessing about 1979 based on the "positron", but it could be '80's. Anyone know when "positron" faded out? This did not have the front FW system, jsut the rear indexed. If they had used better materials and precision engineering, these would have been great, IMHO. This bike was a "price point" bike that appears low-end in most respects, except the frame is well crafted, just heavy. Interesting how one thing leads to another. I just wanted the Wald folders for my Raleigh "Sprite".
Compared to the opalescent paint work on new dept. store bikes, this one looks drab, but it certainly will last a long time. Anyone used a 5-sp. FW as a single speed setup? It will look a bit strange with no derailer, but it could run fine, IMHO.
Thanks, JONathan

   RE:MISC:   Steel cotterLESS cranks; Shimano posted by JONathan on 5/21/2004 at 12:47:37 AM
Sorry about typos. I meant; "Pletscher"; "fixed chain" and "longhorn bars".

   RE:MISC:   Steel cotterLESS cranks; Shimano posted by RobA on 5/21/2004 at 1:47:24 AM
JONathan...I haven't heard anyone say anything good about Positrons...I've got at least one bike with a fully operational "Positron" system (I'm thinking it's a Positron II)...a German touring bike called a Kalkoff 'Coupe de Monde'...I've only ridden it a bit, but I had no trouble with it...actually it was kind of pleasant to ride...lots of nice little details...

As to steel cotterless cranks...I think I have a least one low end bike with those..I'll try to find it tonight...as I recall, it wasn't much of a bike...and I guess the only reason for a steel crank would be to keep the price down...

I was taling to T-Mar offline about a circa 1989 Norco Monterey SL (Canadian bike)...which at first glance seemed like quite a prize...very dirty, but it cleaned up beautifully...then through a small tear in the bar tape I noticed the bars didn't seem to be alloy...they weren't...the magnet confirmed they were steel... then I noticed a very slight skiff of rust on the chain rings... nice Sugino alloy crank arms, but steel chain rings...

What they won't try to slide by you when your not looking??? T-Mar was saying that new in the late 80s the bike was around $CDN475 ($US350)...the rest of it seems fine...nice friction/index SunTour Accushift 3040 drive train, nice DiaCompe side pulls, 700c alloy rims (though entry level), nice seat, alloy Strong 'Laprade' post... a nice looking bike....

   RE:MISC:   Steel cotterLESS cranks; Shimano posted by RobA on 5/21/2004 at 1:54:06 AM
I meant..."...talking to T-Mar..." I should also add the Norco looks to be totally original..even the chain rings, and that it must of sat somewhere for many years. The tubing is fair good...Ishiwata EX 4130, Cro-Moly, Triple-butted ...

   RE:MISC:   Steel cotterLESS cranks; Shimano posted by RobA on 5/21/2004 at 1:58:37 AM
...Gee, more typos!!!...makes me feel kind of illiterate. "...must have sat somewhere.." and "...tubing is fairly good." Gotta slow down...and proof-read a little more...:)

   RE:MISC: Steel cotterLESS cranks; Shimano posted by jack on 5/21/2004 at 6:03:03 AM
Considering the amount of good to great quality bike-boom frames and bikes that can be had for cheap (<$50), I wouldn't spend time and money on this bike unless it has sentimental value. Of course living in a large CA city I have many sources that some may not have. If it has good parts keep them and make room for the good stuff.


   RE:RE:MISC: Steel cotterLESS cranks; Shimano posted by JONathan on 5/21/2004 at 7:58:10 AM
Yes, I concur. I'm in the S.F. Bay Area which is excellent for biking (and bikes) and that this brute would definitely draw disdain from bike enthusiasts, more likely for some guy who wants a simple rider to the train stop, where the thing sits all day chained to a pole as the bike lockers are all booked. More folks are looking for a cheap runner that is low maintenance, somewhat comfortable on short hauls and which attracts little attention. Bike-to-work day, today, produced some very interesting beaters. Maybe it'll catch on. The bike path section was teaming. Not the usual regular smooth cruisers who can hold a line, but it sure was great to see that it can work.
I take my ugliest cruiser to the train station. Everything is bolted on real tight (seat, wheels, pedals and bars); no quick anythings. Rob, this "positron" derailer looks to be pounded out of low grade steel. My "suburbans" have the "positron II" derailer, which is much better made. The diamond frame has the front FW, which is interesting. Thing that scares me a bit is if the chain locks, but I think there is a clutch mechanism...which may be why it would not be a good fixed gear.

   RE:MISC:   Steel cotterLESS cranks; Shimano posted by T-Mar on 5/21/2004 at 1:14:43 PM
The latest reference I have to Positron appearing on bicycles is 1983. Given that Shimano introduced the concept in 1975, this is a relatively long life span, especially for a product with such a notorious reputation. Depending on the source, the claimed introduction for SIS is 1884 or 1985. It would appear that Shimano probably kept Positron in the line-up until they had their new index system available.

It would seem to me that a lot of the reputation of Positron is probably unjustified. In hindsight, and knowing the perforamnce of SIS, it undoubtedly would seem archaic and wanting. However, taken for what it is meant to be, a low priced, indexing system, was it really a failure? It did survive, albeit in constantly evolving forms, for at least 8 years. If it was as bad as it's reputation, I would think that the feedback would have been so negative that the manufacturers would have refused to spec it. It seems to me that the trash talk is coming from the experienced cyclists who usually ride good equipment, and not from the cyclists for whom it was designed and whom actually used it.
While I didn't ride it myself, I don't recall anybody who bought it coming back into the shop and deamnding their money back, no do I recall droves of people coming in for constant repairs.

Steel, cotterless cranks have their place in the market. Making them from steel keeps the cost down, while the cotterless design provides a less problematic crank/spindle interface. Manufacturing costs should be only slightly more expensive than a cottered crank, which would be partially offset for the manufacturer by decreased assembly time. The concept did not last long on name brand bicycles, where there was a more educated and demanding consumer, but if you examine the department store bicycles, I think you'll find quite a few of them.

    Steel cotterLESS cranks posted by John E on 5/21/2004 at 3:25:46 PM
I once had a late 1970s Motobecane with cotterless steel Nervar cranks, which used the same 5-bolt 128mm BCD aluminum chainrings as my Nervar Star crankset. What gradually killed cottered and cotterless steel cranks was the growing availability of affordable aluminum cotterless cranks, some of which proved unreliable.

As for used bike prices, I paid only $20 for my 1959 Capo Modell Campagnolo about 7 years ago, but it admittedly had been repainted, and the classic Campag. high flange hubset had been replaced with a set of wheels from Nashbar. The one thing the original owner did right was to replace the cottered steel Agrati crankset with Nervar Star.

   RE: Steel cotterLESS cranks posted by Derek Coghill on 5/21/2004 at 6:43:59 PM
I have a pair of steel cotterless cranks somewhere in the box of old keech in the garage. They came off a cheap MTB and I have no inclination to use them.

   RE:RE: Steel cotterLESS cranks posted by Steven on 5/21/2004 at 11:58:25 PM
Campagnolo made some steel cotterless cranks (1st generation Gran Sport from the 1970's). These cranks left nothing to be desired from the other Campagnolo products in quality, the only true knock was they were simply heavy. They also used the traditional 3 arm BCD that had been used by almmost all European makers in the 50's and 60's so finding chainrings was even relatively easy.

As far as the Positron goes, I must say that I believe it to be one of the greatest engineering horrors ever inflicted on the bicycle industry. I had the unfortunate experience of working in a shop that all other shops sent their unreparable bikes to. I can therefore state with certainty that contrary to what T-Mar writes, they were the cause of incessant and almost universal break-downs. It got to a point where most shops that I know simply refused to work on any of the very rare bikes that came with it. There were problems with the solid cables, there were problems with the front freewheel system, there were problems problems with availability of replacement parts (Shimano made so many changes over such a short time to make it impossible for anybody to keep track of all the variations.) On top of thhis the shifting did not deliver what was promised. The sole positive thing to have been gained was that Shimano realized that it was senseless to try to launch a more complex and technical component that cost more money to produce on low end bikes. With the SIS, they started at the high end and moved down, which is the more logical way. As far as people speccing them on their bikes, they were only specced on those bikes that were built to a price rather than a quality level.

   RE:MISC:   Steel cotterLESS cranks; Shimano posted by T-Mar on 5/26/2004 at 12:53:47 PM
It's not unusual for people to have conflicting experiences with product. To that end, I am prepared to accept that my experience may at odds with the normal. However, I still don't understand why Shimano would market a product with poor sales for an extended period of 9 years! On top of that, according to Berto, SunTour responded to it as late as 1980 with Mighty Click, and that was after their early failure with indexing in 1969! Why would SunTour respond to product with poor sales, in a low profit margin market sector? Despite knowing the accpeted story of Positron these two facts continue to gnaw away at me. My intutition tells must that they must have been making a good profit on Positron to continue production for so long and for SunTour to bring out a competitive product.

I also disagree with the notion that Shimano marketed Positron incorrectly. The market in 1975 was completely different than 1985. In 1975 the market was still primarily entry level road bicycles and first time owners of derailleur equipped bicycles. Marketing a semi-automatic shifting system to this market segment was the correct move, at the time. The racers' egos would not have allowed them to accept friction. They were secure in their "skill" to manage the friction shifter.

By 1985, the entry level market was pretty much saturated and road bicycle sales were well down. In my experience, SIS gained its initial foothold in the new yuppie market. The racers held on to their friction Campag equipment and didn't convert in large numbers, until STI was introduced in 1991. It was the yuppies who put SIS over the top and drove the flow down, not the racers.

In most product markets, the entry level, consumer products emphasize ease of use. The high end, performance markets emphasize a skill necessary to use the product. Cars and their transmissions are a good analogy. Automatics are usually found on the family sedan while manuals are generally found in the perforamnce cars. It's the same with other markets such as audio video equipment. At least it was until the yuppie market emerged and blurred the issue, demanding easy to use, performance products. I honestly believe that it was timing the new approach with this emerging market sector that allowed SIS to succeed.

Of course this is personal experience and opinion, and I realize it is at odds with the normally accept version, but I just thought that some readers might be interested in an alternate opinion.

What I do take serious issue with is the notion that that quality increases with price. What increases with price are the requirments for performance, level of finish and other characteristics. Quality is simply a measure of whether the product met the requirements set by the design and engineering staff. If they did a good job of asessing the market place and building the product, then the customer will be satisfied and you have a quality product. A $99, department store store bicycle is still a good quality product if it performs to the designed and expected level . The quality of a product has nothing to do with it's price, but is related to it's ability to meet requirments and expectations.

AGE / VALUE:   Much cheapness posted by: Derek Coghill on 5/20/2004 at 11:13:08 PM
The Schwinn thing now works as a bike! Total cost £2.80. Single speed, although I could have made it a 10-speed. Compliments from other cyclists, too. £1.50 for the frame/forks, £1 for the wrecked Dawes that donated the wheels and stem, 30p for bits and bobs. I had to use a blowtorch to get the spoke nipples to move though.

Top tip; when the flame starts to go green, they'll turn.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Much cheapness posted by RobA on 5/21/2004 at 2:07:25 AM
Derek...so what model of Schwinn is it?...during the local spring clean up weeks, I picked up a mid 70's Schwinn Continental 10-speed...Huret equipped (Schwinn Approved, of course)...nice lemon yellow. Both rims, (at least one of which..the front I think, is not original), are pretty well wrecked, but that's a minor problem... I view it as a bit of prize... I live in Vancouver, BC...where old Schwinns aren't real common, though they're not exactly rare either... This one looks pretty solid and looks like it will clean up OK...

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Much cheapness posted by Derek Coghill on 5/21/2004 at 6:41:06 PM
Rob, it is/was a Super Le Tour. Made in Japan, black, red lettering with a white outline. I live in Scotland where I've never seen another one; a couple of MTBs and cruisers, but no road bikes. The single speed's quite fun but hard work sometimes.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Much cheapness posted by Shaun on 5/21/2004 at 11:15:14 PM
I have a Super Le Tour in the same color scheme you mention. It's not the most expensive bike I own, but oddly enough, it has turned out to be one of my favorites. If my research is correct, it was built by Panasonic in Japan as part of Schwinn's early production in Asia. Panasonic's quality was the selling point to management at Schwinn. Mine is 100% original with the exception of a new set of tires, brake lever hoods and bar wrap. It gets more looks on the bike paths than more exotic ones.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Much cheapness posted by JONathan on 5/24/2004 at 9:51:13 PM
When you say it is single speed, would that be a fixed-gear, single speed? Mine is '77 "Le Tour II", also of Panasonic origin. Converting it to a fixed-gear bike could work out well, I think. Color is "pearlescent orange", as they designate in the "data-book".
Does yours have "Extra-Lite" tubing decal on the seat-tube?
Mine came with narrow gauge steel 27x 1 1/4" wheels. Ride is very comfortable. Pretty heavy, as the 25" frames may have used plain gauge tube for the seat-tube.
Nice find.

AGE / VALUE:   shimano adamis ax pedals posted by: marc on 5/20/2004 at 5:59:20 PM
I put these pedals on the gran sport and they are great. With the wide platform I feel like the energy spent on the down movement is more focused and stronger as I can use more surface area of my foot to push.

I know these were short lived, were there special toe clips made for these pedals? Normal clips will not fit un less the bottom is bent straight. I haven't tried this yet and my concern is that this may shorten the length of clip causing problems. When I first saw them, they looked so odd to me I thought they were an early form of clipless pedals. Perhaps these weren't meant to be used with clips?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   shimano adamis ax pedals posted by T-Mar on 5/20/2004 at 11:45:41 PM
The Adamas AX line was Shimano's entry level group in their early '80s attempt to market aerodynamic components. The pedal is apparently not designed for a toe clip, as none appear in the catalogue.

The higher up 600AX and Dura Ace AX groups offered a similar wide design that accomodated proprietary toe clips. The pedals were not much more that a very shallow, triangular platform. Most unique was the abbreviated axle design allowing the plane of the shoe/pedal interface to co-incide with the axis of the pedal axle. Shimano called this concept Dyna-Drive. This however necessitated oversize bearings and a oversize pedal thread that was compatible only with a special Dura Ace or 600 crankarm crankarm. Having the bottom of the foot on the axis of rotation makes for an extremely stable platform. These were undoubtedly the most stable pedal I've ever used. There was a simiar design by one of the small US manufacturers, I belive Hi-E, that used standard pedal threads.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   shimano adamis ax pedals posted by marc on 5/21/2004 at 2:15:29 PM
Thanks for the info t-mar. You're always a wealth of information. There are two holes in the pedal where I may be able to attach toe clips to with a little bending,etc. I got these pedals off of that suteki mixte I mentioned a few posts ago. It was such a mish mash of parts, confusint and intriguing.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   shimano adamis ax pedals posted by Steven on 5/22/2004 at 12:02:59 AM
Sorry to contradict you twice in one day T-Mar, but the Adamas pedals were designed to accept toe clips that came standard on some bikes.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   shimano adamis ax pedals posted by T-Mar on 5/26/2004 at 1:06:39 PM
Steven, no need to apologize. It's great that you know Adamas accpeted toe clips. The important thing is to provide Marc with as much and as accurate information that we can.

Often it's hard to make definitive statemants on vintage bicycles, where information is limited. In a case such as this, a person could look at the Shimano catalogues and ten old bicycle catalogues and find no instances of toe clips. The logical assumption would be that they weren't used. However, it takes finding only one valid case to disprove the argument. You had knowledge of that specific case and that's great. That's why we have this forum. The more people we involve, the more likey we are to get the right answer. Good work and thank-you!

AGE / VALUE:   some break questions posted by: marc on 5/20/2004 at 4:41:52 PM
Well I took the gran sport out for a ride yesterday and the tourney brakes didn't perform as well as I would have hoped. Over the 30 mile ride they just felt sluggish and soft and really didn't stop well. I'm thinking about putting some sidepulls on this bike.

there's a giant 12 speed, I think the model was a quasar. It's a low end frame, I believe only the seat tube is cro mo, but it seems to have some upgraded parts on it. The brakes are dia compe DX side pulls. They're very modern looking, probably from at least the mid to late 80's but perhaps earlier as the levers are non-aero but both the levers and calipers have a beautiful silver satin finish. Anyone have any experience with these? They seem to work well but that's what I thought about the tourneys.

I have a second option. I have a line on a NOS set of dura ace center pulls, including levers. They're a bit pricey, $150. Does anyone think that this is a fair price? I do have that rear caliper already and I have been unable to find a front. these were only made in 1972, does that speak to their quality and performance or more to the trend of center pull brakes returning to higher end bikes? I should set up the one caliper I have and test before I think about purchasing the NOS set.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   some break questions posted by marc on 5/20/2004 at 4:50:27 PM
sorry, I just realized I used break instead of brake.

     some brake questions posted by John E on 5/20/2004 at 7:17:07 PM
Since Tourney was a relatively low-end product line, you can do better. Before scrapping them, however, try modern cable housings and KoolStop pads. Aero brake levers, which typically offer about 10% greater leverage than those with traditional cable routing, may help more than new calipers.

   RE:AGE / VALUE: some break questions posted by Warren on 5/20/2004 at 9:30:18 PM
IMHO...you have to have good reasons to spend $150 on an NOS set of brakes...usually an NOS or excellent period frame that was spec with those parts.

I think the early DA centre pulls were almost the same brake as the Tourneys. Not really high end yet. If you want a brake that will stop you quickly with less expense, there are many choices. Mafac and Diacompe centrepulls, Diacompe Grand Compe, NGC 400's (short), NGC 500's (med), Suntour Cyclones etc. Diacompe NGC's are my favourite for daily riders, coupled with John's suggested Aero levers and good pads, you can't beat them. Those DX sidepulls should set up well...I think they are late 80's.

Save the NOS brakes for bikes that merit them and put your money into quality frames first...good components will always be out there.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   some break questions posted by T-Mar on 5/20/2004 at 11:18:23 PM
I agree with John E, get some good housing and pads. But don't forget good, new, inner cables! Many vintage bicycles manufacturers skimped on the cables, resulting in mushy brakes. Even if the upgrades don't bring it up to your satisfaction, you'll have something good for whatever new brakes you decide on. So it's not money down the drain.

The Dura Ace centre-pull were essentially the Tourney centre-pull with a better grade of aluminum alloy for the forgings. I know they were short lived, but I'm sure they were made longer than just '72. I recall them coming on the Sekine bicyles at the LBS where I worked and we didn't start carrying Sekine until '74.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   some break questions posted by JONathan on 5/21/2004 at 1:02:09 AM
I have found that cable lengths can be tricky getting it to work right. I try to avoid binding due to too short and too much "play"due to too long. You'll get it right, just keep tweakin' the things. Brakes are the the hardest thing (maybe next to headset bearings) to get perfect. The Weinmann "999 Vainqueurs" work best for me on the vintage setups, especially when switching rim sizes. Those "high rise" side-pulls work better, IMHO. Problem is the vintage bikes don't have the preset holes for anchoring them.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   some break questions posted by RobA on 5/21/2004 at 2:18:35 AM
...I have tended to think, until recently, that cable housing (other than the indexing kind) were all pretty much the same....not so!!! I picked up a low end MTB/ATB because it had an interesting Huret front der. I hadn't seen before...called a "Classic", and nice looking alloy Weinmann rims... When I pulled on the brake levers after I got it home the plastic housing simply disintegrated....obviously UV damage...I've never seen that before...most of the cable deterioration seemed to be due to bending and stress-cracking... Another thing to watch out for, I guess...

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   some break questions posted by marc on 5/21/2004 at 2:22:18 PM
Well, it's a bit embarrassing but I figured out why the front brake was stopping so poorly. The right pad shifted and the top edge of it was rubbing against the tire. Thankfully the tire didn't blow, and the pad only rubbed off a little bit of rubber from the tire. Well it's stopping much better. The tourneys will stay for now. Remember to always do a safety check!

Part of my interest in the dura ace center pulls is their scarcity. But I may pass and just keep an eye out for a match to the one I have now.

AGE / VALUE:   Speedster posted by: James Bittel on 5/20/2004 at 8:19:24 AM
I am as ignorant as most i reading the charts, I guess. I just bought a speedster SS# MH527306. I guess it must be a 70's vintage from what I have read in here. Can anyone tell me for sure?? Please...

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Speedster posted by JC on 5/20/2004 at 12:35:10 PM
What's so hard? The 2nd letter is the year:

1965 = A
1966 = B
1967 = C
1968 = D
1969 = E
1970 = F
1971 = G
1972 = H

So your Speedster is a 1972


      Speedster posted by John E on 5/20/2004 at 1:56:05 PM
More specifically, December 1972. (First letter coding: A=Jan, H=Aug, J=Sep, M=Dec)

   RE:   Speedster posted by JONathan on 5/20/2004 at 5:35:44 PM
I ran across one with a 3-sp. Sturmey-Archer shifter and a Bendix 2-speed, coaster hub! Took me a while to get that sorted right. I can't recall ever seeing a 2-sp. shifter mechanism. This one was a '65, I think. Pretty hefty bike, but it rides well. They built those to take it.
If you have the Surmey-Archer rear hub, the date code is a two digit number on the drum. This can be another method, that's good to use...especially if you don't have the codes handy. Good luck,

   RE:RE:   Speedster posted by JONathan on 5/20/2004 at 5:45:54 PM
Oops! I meant "STURMEY-ARCHER", not "Surmey-Archer". You may need to wipe the hub shell clean to see the stamping on the drum. You will see the class of hub, too. Like "AW" or "SC", etc. What are you going to do with the bike?

   2-speed shift posted by John E on 5/20/2004 at 7:30:37 PM
My first bicycle was a mid-1950s balloon-tyred Schwinn middleweight with a Bendix 2-speed hub which predated "kickback." The handlebar-mounted gear selector closely resembled a hand brake lever of the same era. One squeezed it against the handlebar for direct drive and pushed on the end to make it snap away from the handlebar for (Sturmey-Archer-like 4:3 ???) reduction drive.

   RE:2-speed shift posted by Joel on 5/21/2004 at 2:45:08 PM
And for the truely obsessive bike geek...you can look up the day it was made from this printable list...


VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   rare beast? posted by: kenny wise on 5/19/2004 at 4:13:00 PM
hi i found a beautiful viscount bicycle in the trash last weekend it has a serial number of 580297 the 7 could be a 1 but looks more like a 7. it has suntour gear changers and a "SR MELT FORGING" cranks. bike had the original air in the tires i believe. i took it completly apart and polished all the aluminum, it is a jewel. i plan to ride the hell out of it. it doesnt have the death fork thank god!! or the clip style crank pin problem. bike is sky blue and has white cable covers. anybody with some info on the value of this bike or the year would be greatly appreciated. thanks

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   rare beast? posted by Gralyn on 5/20/2004 at 7:05:07 PM
Does it say "Aerospace" anywhere on the bike?