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Archived: Vintage Lightweights

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Ride QUALITY??? of Schwinn fillet brazed frame compared to Varsity posted by: Robert on 7/1/2004 at 1:10:35 PM
I am considering getting in the hunt for one of the fillet brazed chro-mo framed bikes that Schwinn built during the bike boom. Probably a Super Sport, since it seems there a a few around.
I am looking for someone that has ridden these fillet brazed frames and would give a review of the ride. Other than weight, do they have a better ride?? If you were to go from a Varsity to one of these would there be a readily apparent difference in the feel and ride of the bike?
I have several Varisty's and could use "Schwinn Approved" alloy parts to build up a lighter bike, but does the frame on the fillet brazed chrom-mo bikes really set them apart ?

Again , I am looking for folks that have some time in saddle on one of these nicer frames, not just someone talking theory.

Your comments appreciated.


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Ride QUALITY??? of Schwinn fillet brazed frame compared to Varsity posted by Lenny on 7/1/2004 at 6:27:34 PM
Hi Robert,

I frequently ride both a '72 Sports Tourer (fillet-brazed frame) and a '74 Varsity. The Varsity is great fun to ride but the frame feels "dead" compared with the Sports Tourer, which has a moderately "lively" feel to it. The Sports Tourer also accelerates faster (due to alloy wheel rims vs. steel), handles more responsively (though still with a compfortable longish wheelbase), and is much more useable as a hill climber compared with the Varsity.

As much as I enjoy these filleted brazed frames (and I ride my Sports Tourer nearly every day), in my subjective experience they are still not quite as "lively" feeling as the plain gauge Reynolds 531 frames such as the early and mid '70s Raleigh Super Course (and SC MK II). However, they have a very unique feel.

Enjoy the hunt.


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Ride QUALITY??? of Schwinn fillet brazed frame compared to Varsity posted by John S on 7/1/2004 at 6:40:06 PM
I have a 1971 Sports Tourer. It's heavy compared to comparable lugged lightweights, but I find the ride comfortable and smooth. Handling is stable but not quick, but it does turn easily, feels balanced. Lenny is right that the alloy rims make a huge difference in performance, acceleration, rolling ease, and braking. I like it for leasurly riding, commuting, but not if I want to go fast.

I like the Sports Tourer compared to the Super Sport due to alloy cotterless cranks. I switched the stem shifters to Schwinn Approved SunTour bar-end shifters and the rear derailleur to a Schwinn Approved LeTour (Shimano Crane). This greatly improved shifting performance.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Ride QUALITY??? of Schwinn fillet brazed frame compared to Varsity posted by Eric Amlie on 7/1/2004 at 8:21:09 PM
I'm glad a couple others with more experience weighed in on this before me. I have both sixies Varsities and a Super Sport. I don't ride them much though so my experience is limited. My visceral reaction is about like Lenny's. Although the Super Sport is a definite step up from the Varsity it is still a heavy bike(even though I have lightened it a few pounds with an alloy cotterless crank set) and lacks the lively and responsive feel of my better bikes with Reynolds 531 lugged frames. My Super Sport doesn't hold a candle to my Gitane Tour de France(but then I also prefer the TdF to my '71 P15 Paramount tourer).

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS: Ride QUALITY??? of Schwinn fillet brazed frame compared to Varsity posted by jack on 7/2/2004 at 2:54:27 AM
I became aware of the uniqueness of SS and ST and recently found one of each for 10 and $50 respectively. I'm not finished putting them together so I can't give an opinion on ride. As far as Schwinn from that era, they were pretty nice bikes in both design and execution, certainly not cheap. However, most of the decent VLWts we run across are superior in almost every respect except perhaps frame strength and maybe panache.

I don't see that many either, esp STs, on ebay or thru local sources. I don't think they made that many of them (in comparison to Varsinentals or even Paramounts!) and now that they are 30 yo or so, many probably landed in a chinese blast furnace since it took an educated eye to distinguish them from the lesser models. See this site for info: www.sheldonbrown.com/schwinn-braze.htm

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS: Ride QUALITY??? of Schwinn fillet brazed frame compared to Varsity posted by schwinnderella on 7/2/2004 at 6:21:23 AM
Perhaps I am wrong but it seems implied in Roberts post is the question... Would there be a noticable difference in ride between a Varsity and a super sport if they were built with the same parts? In other words does the Super sport frame have a better ride quality than a varsity frame.
I think there would be little difference if any,although i do not belieive I have ever ridden a varsity with lighter parts.

    Ride QUALITY??? of Schwinn fillet brazed frame compared to Varsity posted by John E on 7/2/2004 at 2:04:45 PM
For several months, I commuted on a 1974 Varsity with the original Ashtabula crank, but with decent aluminum rims. I replaced it with a Peugeot UO-8 on which I had installed aluminum rims and aluminum cranks, and the difference was pretty dramatic. (Of course, the 12 percent climb from the commuter rail station to my office might have affected my outlook.)

To me, the Varsity's worst features, starting with the worst, are: 1) extremely heavy steel rims; 2) flat-bladed fork; 3) Ashtabula crank with 1/2" pedals; and 4) dead-feeling gaspipe frame. (I also removed the padded vinyl saddle, stem shifters, suicide levers, pie plate spoke protector, and chainguard.)

   Varsity versus Continental versus SuperSport posted by John E on 7/2/2004 at 2:06:49 PM
It would be interesting to compare the ride quality of a Varsity, a Conti, and a SuperSport. I suspect the flat-bladed fork makes a more preceptible difference than the CrMo, meaning that a Conti with aluminum rims should feel very similar to a SuperSport.

   RE:Varsity versus Continental versus SuperSport posted by Robert on 7/2/2004 at 2:21:08 PM
Thanks for all the feedback. Gives me a good deal to consider.

   RE:RE:Varsity versus Continental versus SuperSport posted by JONathan on 7/2/2004 at 10:01:51 PM
I fixed up a '72 Super Sport (cool lemon) and rode it long enough to get a sense for the ride characteristics. My biased opinuon, based on my relatively larger mass and somewhat greater expectations for how a ride is supposed to be, the Super Sport was very stable, yet not very nimble...like a UO-8, fotr comparison.
The partially converted '77 Varsity that is running with original forged, one-peice forks and ashtabula crank, is much different on the road than my '71 Super Sport. The Varsity is stable, not nimble and it is much haeder to keep moving. The Super Sport is very comfortable with a lot more springiness in the ride. Quite frankly, the '70 Raleigh "record" (also yellow) rides circles around either Schwinn.
Now, when I get up in the line up to the '80 Traveler (branded, chromoly), the ride swings back in favor of the Schwinns. I suppose with all kinds of swapping, say almost everything, on the Super Sport, the ride would vaguely approach that if my Traveler. My "Xtra-Lite" regular steel '77 Le Tour II rides better than the Super Sport, but that is most likely due to the alloy cranks and more flexible BB on the former.
I got spoiled on the Raleigh "record" and Peugeot "UO-8" frames. The Nishiki "Olympic" is twice as good as any of those, but it is mid-80's, where the craft was reflecting great design improvements in steel constructed frames. Bottom line for me; if I saw a Raleigh "record", Peugeot "UO-8" and a "Super Sport" and if I had to choose one to RIDE (not collect) the order of selection would be just as given.
The funk factor of the full chrome look with nostalgic appeal of heavy-duty components, is very high. If I had to choose a bike from those three that needed to last 5K miles without any service or repairs, then the Super Sport would be my first choice without reservation. They are built to outlast their riders, IMHO.
This is academic, to be sure, and a bit off topic, but I needed to express my respect for the Super Sports.
That Super Sport will definitely tone up your riding muscles.
Just my 2 c's.

   RE:RE:RE:Varsity versus Continental versus SuperSport posted by JONathan on 7/2/2004 at 10:09:26 PM
Oops! I meant to have the selection be; "UO-8", "Record", "Super Sport".
My Motobecane "Gran Tourer" would be above the "UO-8", but it is a mid-level bicycle, not targeted to compete with the others, IMHO.

   Nishiki db CrMo vs. UO-8 posted by John E on 7/2/2004 at 10:15:17 PM
When my 1971 Nishiki Competition double-butted Ishiwata CrMo frame broke after 20 years and 40K miles, I moved many of the components to a UO-8, which ended up weighing a few ounces less, and which was noticeably more resilient on the road. I know Sheldon says "steel is steel," but early Japanese frames tended to have a Varsity-like spongy, dead, nonresponsive feel. My 1959 Capo frame, designed for Tour de France riding on the cobblestones of its day, also has a very soft, comfortable ride, but it somehow feels lively, not leaden.

The only problem with a stock UO-8 frameset is its very slow steering, which I attribute to the long fork rake. My current UO-8, with a shorter-raked Japanese replacement fork, is more nimble, although it would not pass muster with the faint-hearted Consumer Product Safety Commission, which will not accept any toe-to-front-tyre overlap.

   RE:Nishiki db CrMo vs. UO-8 posted by JONathan on 7/3/2004 at 1:59:36 AM
Those "UO" series had something very interesting going on in their construction. I wonder if the frames were somehow preloaded so as to provide that quite apparent resiliency mentioned. I have noticed that, too. Whatver it is, they definitely have something going on there. My early bikeboom Nishiki "Olympic" is very much a truck-like ride, although it can be attributed to the heavy plain gage steel tubes, I think. Later on, they got it right. Ishiwata .022/.024 is real good stuff. Their .019 was used for forks. Steel IS steel, yet the physical parameters (as opposed to molecular) seem to offer considerable room for differences in how they perform.
Here's a way that I see working to produce the best bikes. Get expert riders to ride the various prototype frames and come up with something that works the best. Like with the "Team Fuji", just as one example. There were many others, but I have direct experience with this particular frame. Now, they really got it all together on that one (1986), but it seems that the craft was considerable evolved from what we had around in the bikeboom early years. So I guess it is not fair to face them off. The French bikes (bikeboom, mass produced genre) seem to have the best rides from a performance angle. That was a brief period, until the Japanese bikes started to get dialed in the mid to late '70's, IMHO and experience.
Meanwhile, the Raleigh "records" and "Sprites" maintained a very high level of comfort and stable ride characteristics for less sporty applications. 40K miles is a good runtime for a bike! Aewsome, in fact.
Well, I got to hit the road right now for a 20 mile joust on my Nishiki "olympic".
Just a couple of c's.

AGE / VALUE:   MADE IN FRANCE??? posted by: JOHNNY on 7/1/2004 at 5:03:28 AM

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   MADE IN FRANCE??? posted by Shaun on 7/1/2004 at 7:37:03 AM
I have a mixte style frame of this brand. Entry level boom bike with the standard French fare of the era. Mine is certainly nothing to write home about. Aside from that, I know nothing about the marque. Anyone else have more info?

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Campy Nuovo Record Hub, 6 to 5 Spd posted by: Milanomike on 7/1/2004 at 2:03:45 AM
Hi Guys,

I've got some Campy NR hubs, currently set up for a 6 speed (126 mm spacing) on clincher Mavics. I want to covert it to a standard 5 speed for my vintage Allegro. The Allegro currently has a tubular setup on Campy Tip hubs. The NR hubs are clearly better, and the 30 buck minimum tubular price is getting old, so I plan to use the clincher Mavics I have built up on the NR hubs and save the tubulars for special rides. Simple question, can I just get a 5 speed axle for the rear hub, re-dish and be on my way? Thanks for any help.


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Campy Nuovo Record Hub, 6 to 5 Spd posted by Skip Echert on 7/1/2004 at 7:13:53 AM
Hello Milanomike -
Yes, what you propose will work. However, you will probably will need to mix and match spacers to get to 120mm. Instead of just an axle, an axle set, with the proper spacers, will make life easier.

    Campy Nuovo Record Hub, 6 to 5 Spd posted by John E on 7/1/2004 at 4:15:57 PM
I believe the only change needed, other than to the axle itself, is to the wide axle spacer under the freewheel. If you have enough threads, you might even been able to cut 6mm off of the axle. The spacer, being aluminum, is easily cut down by 6mm, as well, for a zero-cost conversion (my kind of Scotsman's budget!). Otherwise, Campag. hubs with 120mm axle sets are not hard to find. You could swap axle sets and resell one hub with a 126mm setup.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Campy Nuovo Record Hub, 6 to 5 Spd posted by Walter on 7/2/2004 at 3:18:04 AM
WWCyclery has an eBay store and sells Campy 5 speed axles. I bought one awhile back for an Irish 531 frame I resored/rebuilt for my wife. Don't remember price but not too much.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Gitane TdF posted by: RobA on 6/30/2004 at 5:14:48 PM
Well...that was a fun commute to work...on my Gitane TdF...fastest time since last summer ...37min 13sec... Of course, being on the city streets there is always a element of luck...I caught all the slow traffic lights on the "green", and I 'pushed' a few other lights a bit... I think the combination of a relatively light bike (around 21.5#) with excellent brakes...MAFAC Competition... gives you that extra bit of confidence to go for it... I'm still not real happy with the shifting... some of the changes, particularly on the down shifts just don't go in smoothly...
I have it set up with SunTour 'PowerShift' dt levers, a Cyclone II front der and an early 80s Shimano 600 rear der. The wheelset is a nice low flange Sansin with nice narrow rims (I forget the brand...they kind of look like Ukais..700x 23 tires...the freewheel may have something to do with the less than ideal shifts...a 6-cog, but I can't remember the brand...I think it might be a Regina...(its not Shimano and I don't think it's a SunTour)... The crankset is an early 80s Stronglight 52/42... I think I also need to improve the chainline a bit...the crank seems to sit out just a bit too far...

ANy suggestions on a good crank/freewheel combination...I think I would need at least 40 inches for the minimum...just to save my knees on the few short steep hill I encounter...other than that I'm wide open to any good suggestions...How about 53/40 and a 6-cog 13 through 21 plus a 26...or is that too big a jump on a road bike for a 'bail-out' gear???

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Gitane TdF posted by Eric Amlie on 6/30/2004 at 9:13:49 PM
Rob, I just want to let you know that there is a Yahoo group for vintage Gitanes. I just joined it myself a few weeks ago.

John E. is good on gears and will probably be along soon with some suggestions for you. I'm using a 42/52 Stronglight 93 with a 14-28 Regina Extra on my TdF with the original Simplex Criterium derailleurs. I think it shifts pretty well although I sometimes downshift two cogs by mistake when in the 17t? going for the 20t. I must admit that I rarely use the 28t on this bike though I want to keep for a bailout to preserve my old knees.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Gitane TdF posted by Eric Amlie on 6/30/2004 at 9:15:26 PM
Correction - My Stronglight 93 is 40/52.

   gears and gear ratios posted by John E on 6/30/2004 at 9:39:25 PM
1) You will probably get faster downshifts with a SunTour or Shimano freewheel than with an old Regina, because of the profile of the teeth. Viewed edge-on, the teeth on my klunky-shifting early 1980s Regina America are VERY square. The teeth of most other freewheels are bevel cut, to grab the chain more quickly and pull it inward to complete the shift.
2) The classic 5-speed freewheel for 52-42 is 14-16-18-21-24, which yields a very nice step-and-a-half pattern from 47 to 100 gear-inches. (I copied the Nishiki Road Compe stock 54-44 / 14-24 gearing for the 1972 LA Wheelmen Double Century, and it served me well.) If your derailleur is up to it, get a 14-16-18-21-24-28, which will take you from 40 to 100 with a reasonably smooth ratio progression. This was one of the popular standard cogsets on early mountain bikes, and should be pretty easy to locate. Better still, see if you can build up a nonstandard 7-speed 14-15-16-18-21-24-28, to fill in the gap in the low 90s. If you really need a top end above 100 and can live with a 43.6 low, try either 13-15-17-20-23-26 or 13-14-15-17-20-23-26.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Gitane TdF posted by Pat Lavery on 7/1/2004 at 12:20:19 AM
I can vouch for Sun Tour freewheels. You can find them on Ebayat fairly reasonable prices and in new old stock condition
That's how I picked up a replacement for my Gitane
The Sun Tour power shifters are a quality component also

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Gitane TdF posted by shaun on 7/1/2004 at 7:45:54 AM
No real input on the gearing topic, but am glad to see so many Gitane Tdf owners and fans. I purchased two (his and hers) one owner 1971's last summer that are 100% original right down to the bar tape. I had the wheels relaced on the "his" using clinchers in place of the tubulars but retained the Campy hubs. This is my favorite ride!

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Gitane TdF posted by Eric Amlie on 7/1/2004 at 12:40:58 PM
Hey Shaun, how did you determing the date of your bikes? I have wanted to date my bikes as precisely as possible but haven't found much info other than decal style to do it. Early seventies is as close as I've been able to determine.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Gitane TdF posted by JONathan on 7/1/2004 at 7:29:21 PM
I like the 14-28 6 sp., although I've got several different setups that I thread on for whatever best suits the conditions. Thos eSunTour "Perfect; 14-34) are a good "alpine" setup. The everyday run on level surface...the 14-28 with the 52/40(42;44) gives nice results, especially if you're having to "close haul" it in the headwinds.
John E., that last combo is nice. I have to work that one up.
Good luck,

   gears posted by John E on 7/2/2004 at 2:25:54 PM
52-40 / 14-17-20-24-28 yields a fairly smooth ratio progression, albeit with a gap at the top, and was extremely popular on basic bike boom 10-speeds. (Schwinn and a few others manufacturers substituted a 39 for the 40.) This gear progression interleaves nicely because the ratio between the chainrings, i.e., 52/40, is roughly 1.5 times the average ratio between adjacent rear cogs (17/14, 20/17, etc.). This is also the reasoning behind 52-42 / 14-16-18-21-24 or my favorite from that era, 50-42 / 14-16-18-20-23, which makes a superb 12-speed with the addition of a 26-tooth cog, and which can be converted into a tight half-step by replacing the 42 with a 47, on days one does not anticipate conquering any hills.

AGE / VALUE:   Royal Enfield tricycle posted by: Ken Merrill on 6/30/2004 at 2:01:33 AM
I recently bought a old R E tricycle. Its blue, one speed, one hand brake, and has a Lucas headlight. Tehe guy I bought it from said it was an old mail trike. Does anyone know how old it may be, or anything about it?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Royal Enfield tricycle posted by sam on 7/1/2004 at 2:44:28 AM
I know from a man in Scotland that Royal Enfields were building bikes in the teens.He was raceing on his 1910 model,at the same track that bike had been raced at in the teens!How old your's is????---sam

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Royal Enfield tricycle posted by JONathan on 7/1/2004 at 7:18:22 PM
Absolutely fantastic find! We used to hear stories about their MC's. Pretty stout following. The trike is a rare one, IMHO. Fix it up as original as possible. The parts are probably distributed all over the world. Good luck on that one.
That would be my "shopper", instead of the bike trailer-MTB setup. The stigma, at least in my perception, is that trike indicates a guy can't ride a regular bike and the trailer (unless it's pulling tots) conjures up street-person images.
Not that it bothers me. I am somewhat amused by the reactions. I'd dig it if more trikes were running the roads, but they are risky in traffic and one slopes. I had a Sears trike for a while, after it was given to me. Fun to ride. Wish I had it, right now.
They are expensive, even used and that's if you can find one. Another MC company that made cool bikes was Hercules of Birmingham, England.
Great find!

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   VINTAGE RALEIGH HEADLIGHT ON E-BAY posted by: jon on 6/30/2004 at 12:37:26 AM

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Raleigh Grand Prix - Update posted by: Gralyn on 6/29/2004 at 6:37:12 PM
I'm still working on the Raleigh Grand Prix. I can't believe it's taking so long. The main problem is that I just don't have the time availabel. I couldn't decide about those Sturmey-Archer wheels....whether to just use alloy's instead.....I finally decided to go ahead and clean them up. It took a long time - but finally, I got them looking halfway decent.

Now, I go to put tires on them.......big problem! I can't get the tires on. They're 27" tires - but I can't get them on. I work and work at it. Finally, I get them on. I then inflate them......but they immediately go flat! I have pinched the tubes in the process of getting the tires on - and now - all that work for nothing!

Frustrated, I go dig around the garage and find an old set of Michelins. They're old - but don't look too bad. They go on quite easily.

I have been re-assembling the bike - and all I have left is the der. cables, bar tape, and chain.

For bar tape, I will use black. The frame is white, with black, the saddle is black, the brake levers have white Carlton hoods. I can use black cloth, thin black ribbon tape (like what was original - but very uncomfortable), or black padded vinyl. Which should I use? I leaning toward the black cloth.

I should be able to finish it up tonight.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Raleigh Grand Prix - Update posted by T-Mar on 6/29/2004 at 8:31:05 PM
Another alternative is to wrap the ribbon tape over cloth tape. It still retains the original look while increasing the comfort level a little. If cost is a concern, use the white cloth medical tape or cloth electrical tape as an underlay. Last time I checked, both were much cheaper than proper, cloth, handlebar tape.

I find that hand comfort is as much a function of the diameter of the handlebar and wrap, as the tape material. A couple layers of electrical tape under the regular wrap increases the diameter enough to make a noticeable difference in the comfort.

The other big factor, is a good pair of cycling gloves, with padded palms. This will make more difference in comfort than the tape, and you only have to buy one pair, regardless of how many bicycles you have. It also protects you from skinning your palms in the event of a crash, as instinct prompts most people to put their hands out this situation. Three things I never cyle without are my helmet, eye protection and gloves, even if it's just to run an errand to the corner store.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Raleigh Grand Prix - Update posted by JONathan on 6/30/2004 at 5:39:24 AM
I am unimpressed with most of the "stock" tapes. Gloves make up for the bulk of the deficiency. You are right on, T-Mar. Tonight, I was trying to beat the darkness home and got a big "splat" on the eye shield from something bigger than the usual meteorite-field gnats along the creek.
I looked at clear glasses and decided that a wrap around polycarbonate plastic safety glasses are real nice...cheap, too. Riding in daylight is no problem with a good pair of sunglasses, but that dusk/dark riding is where you need maximum transmission. I started using these safety glasses about two months ago, mostly to eliminate picking gnats out of my eyes, but this one, tonight, would have put me on the deck. I'm a believer in all three of your tenets.
Gralyn, how about gold tape on the blue GP? My '77 has white tape. The '70 has gold...may not be OEM. I think darker blue frame with gold tape with black cable shrouds would look boss enough. As for those S-A wheels, interesting choice. The headache with your tire mounting effort would only add to my uneasiness about using them. Just my 2 c's, of course. The Rigida "chromluxe" wheels are another option. The textured rims look cool. I would only run with alloy rims, but I get spooked real easy when it comes to inferior (unsafe) braking.
Ride long and prosper,

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Raleigh Grand Prix - Update posted by Gralyn on 6/30/2004 at 11:41:33 AM
The white GP originally had black vinyl bar tape. I'm pretty sure the tape that was on it was the original. Actually, it wasn't in bad condition - I could have cleaned it and put it back on. The blue GP had blue vinyl bar tape....again, the same situation.

In the past - I leaned more toward putting cork tape, or padded tape, etc. for comfort......but then, when I was working on the Bottecchia - I certainly wanted to go for something more original-looking - and so I used cloth bar tape. I got me a pair of cycling cloves, with padded palms - and now - comfort is no issue.

   tyre diameters posted by John E on 6/30/2004 at 1:42:52 PM
Gralyn -- I, too, have seen some incompatibilities among 27" rims and tyres, and also among 700C rims and tyres. For example, 700x23 Continental Ultra 2000s are a VERY tight fit on my Campagnolo Omega rims; I actually need tyre levers to get even the FIRST bead over the rim flange. As much as I like the tyres, I need to change brands next time, to ensure that I can effect a roadside repair, if necessary. I originally bought the Contis for a set of mid-to-high-end Japanese rims, and they fit well, i.e., I needed tyre levers only to start removing them, rarely to install them.

   RE:tyre diameters posted by Gralyn on 6/30/2004 at 5:09:40 PM
Yes, I had to use the tire irons just to get the first bead over the rim. That should have been warning enough right there to just stop and try to find another brand of tire that would fit better. I bet I wasted 2 hrs and 2 tubes. I'll know next time!

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Raleigh Grand Prix - Update posted by paul on 7/6/2004 at 1:08:57 AM
Graylyn: My son and I both ran into difficulty with 27inch tires. It turned out that his 27 by 1 and 1/8 fit my rims better than my 27 and 1 1/4 tires so we swapped both sets and he had no trouble installing my tires on his rims and I got rid of the 'thumping" sound telling me the beads would not seat. paul

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Chains compatible with Shimano 600 ex drivetrain posted by: Stuart on 6/29/2004 at 4:43:21 AM
I have a beautiful mid eighties Univega with a 6 speed Shimano 600 ex drivetrain (Uniglide freewheel, not cassette). Does anyone know which Simano chains will work with this drivetrain? I am told that a Shimano UG 50 will - is this correct? What other Shimano chains will work?


   Chains compatible with Shimano 600 ex drivetrain posted by John E on 6/29/2004 at 1:49:50 PM
I would think any "8-speed" chain, irrespective of manufacturer, would work. Personally, I use SRAM PC-58s on all of my bikes.

   RE:Chains compatible with Shimano 600 ex drivetrain posted by JONathan on 6/30/2004 at 8:15:22 PM
There is one type of Shimano chain that has a bulge in the outer side of the side plates. These require care in removing the links to avoid damaging the plates. There is a special chain break for these...although I just use the standard Park tool. Maybe that is one reason my luck is bad with chains. According to F. Berto's book; "Upgrading Your Bicycle", even the cheaper chains are well strong enough (c. 1600# break strength) so there must be other factors. The "UG" designates the "UniGlide" series of FW's, which have thicker cogs, so the chain will probably work fine on either "HyperGlide" or "UniGlide" FW's. The indexed Shimano (STI) 600's may be different, but the "UG50" sounds like a good fit for yours.
The main thing that I look at is the pitch and width of the links. If the chain fits nicely between ALL the cogs spacing, then you have a good chance; assuming the chainline is setup correctly. I keep away from Small chainring/Small cog gears, so the chain fit is not such a big deal. The 5-6-7 sp. FW's are forgiving enough. Have you looked at the Sedisport chains? They are cheap and strong enough for racing...although they were changed out after each race, I would guess.
Nice going on that Univega. They ride exceptionally good and they are not so heavy that a few hills can't be taken in stride. When I swap over to the "Team Fuji", the road disappears fast under the front wheel. Get a good seat on that Uni and ride all day long. Real nice.
Post up how it all turns out. I am VERY curious as I am working up a "Supra Sport" as we speak. Same setup as yourun.
Good rides,

AGE / VALUE:   Moser posted by: Derek Coghill on 6/28/2004 at 10:52:22 PM
Happy boy....I finally got the Moser frame and forks. Very light, lugged steel frame but no number; there's a flat under the BB that I'd assume would normally have this but has a Moser logo instead. As it is, apparently, one of Francesco Moser's own race bikes it may not have been given an ID number. The detail is great; brazed-on, impossibly thin cable guides under the BB, sort of pointy-oval shaped chainstays (which need replaced,must find a good framebuilder), the lugs aren't particularly ornate but have "Moser" inscribed wherever possible! I'm at the sitting and looking at it stage just now.

   chainstay replacement posted by John E on 6/29/2004 at 1:52:04 PM
Nice find, Derek. I forget where you are located, but I have seen some of CyclArt's brazing and frame tube replacement work, and it looks as good as their paint and decal work.

   RE:chainstay replacement posted by Derek Coghill on 6/29/2004 at 10:08:12 PM
I'm in Scotland. There's a few around here so I need to do some phoning! I just picked up two sets of tubular-rim wheels for it; one with high-flange Normandy hubs (36h) and one with low-flange blue anodised ones (24h) - the latter came with a 13 - 18 Maillard freewheel attached. Mavic rims on both, but the ones on the blue hubs are narrower. Rims aren't an issue as there are probably 40 of them at my work (old stock and they don't know what to do with them).

   Scotland posted by John E on 6/30/2004 at 1:52:13 PM
Ah -- my ancestral homeland (clans MacIntosh, Chisholm, MacDonald, and MacPherson). I recently attended the San Diego Scottish Highland Games, complete with authentic Scottish weather (heavy drizzle, even though we were well into our May-through-October dry season).

Good luck with your project, Derek -- sounds like fun.

   RE:Scotland posted by JONathan on 6/30/2004 at 8:35:26 PM
And will you be going up against any Schwinn "varsities" there in bonney Scotland?
Derek, how do you tell if the chain-stays need replacing? Were there cracks or big dents?
A provenance such as your Moser entails, would be exciting. I am always looking for the aged European
stuff, but without much luck, here in sunny Ca. I'm dreading the time when all the carbon fiber composite stuff starts hitting the thrift stores.
I have an interesting Mondia frame that is in the works along with an aged Dawes "Galaxy" to work on when the time comes. Right place at the right time, you were.
Great job!

   RE:RE:Scotland posted by Derek Coghill on 6/30/2004 at 9:34:40 PM
The chainstays.....the guy that I got it from was going to have it repainted; he took it to be blasted and half-a-dozen pinholes appeared just behind the BB lug. That's why it was gathering dust in his attic.

The shop that I work for still sells Dawes Galaxies...and Super Galaxies, Ultra Galaxies etc.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Frame with single down-tube braze-on? posted by: Laurent Charbonneau on 6/28/2004 at 12:20:00 AM
Hi there,

I just bought on eBay a Cougar frame (mid 80s UK handmade 531 Pro) and it is setup with only one vertical shifter braze-on on down tube and I'm wondering what kind of shifter that can go on this?

I plan to build it with friction 6 speed Super/Nuovo Record parts. I check in the old Campy brochures on the Web and cannot find. Somebody at LBS told me old Suntour unit but didn't knew the exact model.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you,

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Frame with single down-tube braze-on? posted by mike patterson on 6/28/2004 at 1:57:56 AM
I recently parted a peugeot with one shifter boss on the right side of the bike-it had a two downtube shifter setup which had a band around the downtube and mounted to the one boss-simplex derailers, I'll check the shifter type tomorrow.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Frame with single down-tube braze-on? posted by Laurent Charbonneau on 6/28/2004 at 3:07:35 AM
Hi Mike,

I know this kind of Simplex, I worked on an old Peugeot too and it was exactly like you said.

But my bike is different: Instead of having one braze-on to the right side of the down tube, it has the braze-on in the vertical plane on the top of the tube and the single threaded hole that point to the sky (not exactly but 90 degre perpendicular to the down tube. So the Simplex thing didn't work here.

With a picture maybe it will be easier to figure:

Thank you for your help,

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Frame with single down-tube braze-on? posted by JONathan on 6/28/2004 at 3:17:16 AM
I have a Nishiki "Olympic 12" from late '80's with a single post shifter mount on the down-tube.
I can double check, but I think it is Shimano rigged. The shifters sit slightly elevayed on the bracket that anchors down on the brazed-on piller.
I can get the exact model for you.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Frame with single down-tube braze-on? posted by Ron on 6/28/2004 at 3:22:41 AM
My Miyata has such a setup. It has Shimano 105 levers that are mounted to a small casting that attaches to the single brazed-on boss. The casting is about 3/4 inch square, with a hole on top and normal lever bosses on the sides. a single allen bolt holds it in place. I don't know if this setup was part of the normal 105 system. The levers are slightly above the downtube, so the cables run down the sides instead of below. This places the cables at a better angle to run through the guides above the bottom bracket.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Frame with single down-tube braze-on? posted by Steven on 6/28/2004 at 4:29:16 AM
All the majors made this style of 'aero' levers in the early to mid 80's. They were known as top-mount downtube levers. Many were designed to also be used in conjunction with internal gear cables. I've seen quite a few Suntour ones come up on ebay, but there are also Shimano and other brands (my favorite are Cambio Rino). Many or perhaps most of these used a single waterbottle boss mount and the two levers got mounted as one single unit to the frame. Others had a raised mount that would accept Campagnolo style levers (or more commonly Modolo carbon fibre ones because of their curved lever design, which made them more readily usable)

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Frame with single down-tube braze-on? posted by JONathan on 6/28/2004 at 5:06:40 AM
They sure make sense to me. I can shift across with the same hand as the sifters are close together and above the down-tube. Works for me, as I can shift just right handed, keeping left on the bars for both shifts. Not that it matters a whole lot for a duffer like me, but a racer might really benefit from that setup, IMHO.
Thanks for the info.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Frame with single down-tube braze-on? posted by RobA on 6/28/2004 at 4:57:42 PM
Hey...this thread is the first reference I've seen to Cambio Rino...not much on the 'net... Sorry to shift the subject a bit, but I'd like to find out more about this brand. Some time ago I picked up a NOS rear derailleur with Cambio Rino on the jockey wheels...the model is apparently called, "Excel" and it says "Made in Italy"....alloy hanger bolt. Steven, or anyone else, what can you tell me about this brand/marque??? ...I saw a reference on the 'net to a Cambio Rino track bike... apparently the company is HQ'd in Ossona, Italy...

Back on topic...I have a few of those downtube shifters... the SunTour version..."Symmetric" they call it...at least I'm pretty sure it mounts to a boss and isn't a band..the mounting bolt is right on top...my main commuter bike has this setup and it's nice, ...interesting how you can look at something for months and not quite remember all the details...:) ...(I'd go and check, but today for the first time since last summer, I rode in on my Gitane TdF.... What a beautiful ride!!! ...need to tweak the derailleurs a bit, though...)


   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Frame with single down-tube braze-on? posted by Steven on 6/28/2004 at 9:39:00 PM
The Suntour symmetric lever set was designed in such a way as to automatically 'trim' the front derailleur when you shifted the rear derailleur. It works by way of a cam design. Ingenious way of solving a problem that probably wasn't really a problem.

As far as the Rino parts go, the brand reached its highest distribution when Joe Gardin in Canada took it upon himself to make it into a viable component brand. He invested considerable time and energy doing this. He started producing Cambio Rino branded bikes and sponsored many Canadian national team members. Shortly thereafter he had a falling out with his Italian partner and switched over to producing Gardin branded bikes. The whole company apparently went bust under rather suspicious circumstances.The components were never considered to be top of the line and could best be comapred to Miche or perhaps the original Ofmega parts.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Frame with single down-tube braze-on? posted by T-Mar on 6/29/2004 at 9:12:02 PM
Rob, does it just say "RINO" on the outer parallelogram plate? "Cambio RINO" in curved lettering on the tensioner pulley end of a solid, aerodynamic cage? Slant paralleogram design, like SunTour? If so, this sounds like a mid 80's Excel 2005, which was one sweet derailleur. In fact, I'd say it was the best shifting Italian derailleur of the period, far better than Campagnolo's NR/SR models, which were getting very long in the tooth, and even better than the era's C-Record. The aero styling and slant parallelogram may not have appealed to everybody at the time, but it certainly got the job done nicely. Some of the other Excel components left a bit to be desired, but I always held that rear derailleur in high regard.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Frame with single down-tube braze-on? posted by RobA on 6/30/2004 at 5:04:22 PM
Thanks Tom...I suspect I have one of the more prosaic models....the one I have seems inspired by the mid 70s SunTour Vx...slant parallelogram...limit screws on the back, a "B" tab, but no adjustment screw. The cage is two piece. The front plate of the parallelogram is black with the word "excel"...lower case,with an italic "l". On the back plate are the words, "Made in Italy Forged" and on the pulley wheels the words, "Rino" and "Italy". On the orward edge of the parallelogram in the same position as the "V" on the SunTour Vx, is the initial, "R"... The hanger bolt and the pivot bolt are aluminum alloy...the pivot bolt is offset from the top pulley wheel alignment. The derailleur has a nice light feel relative to its overall size...

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Frame with single down-tube braze-on? posted by Angus on 3/17/2005 at 12:17:36 AM
I have an early 1970s Rossi ten-speed with the Cambio Rino gruppo. (This is not a spelling mistake, not Rossin or Rossignoli, I did type Rossi).

Rossi is hand-made in Povolaro, Italy. It has Mavic, Columbus, and Campagnolo.

The main gruppo is Cambio Rino. Like any bicycle part that is not Campy or Shimano, well, it just makes people a little nervous, but that can be fun. Most people have never heard of Rossi,either, but they still make the same frames they have for generations. Cambio Rino works just fine, and looks better than my Campy stuff.

Hope this reply reaches you folks, as this is an old thread.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   what is it posted by: JD on 6/27/2004 at 7:03:58 PM
Ventura Custom. I can't find any reference to this bike. Anyone ever heard of Ventura? Could be 20-30 years old.

WANTED:   WTB 64 Varsities and NOS 63-65 Varsity Parts posted by: Matt on 6/27/2004 at 4:48:12 PM
Could use NOS sprint parts for 63-65 varsities and very nice complete 1964 bikes or frame/fork combos (No Coppertone please, already have a couple in that color). Must be very nice original paint and decals though.

Could use the following:

- Front Derailleurs
- Rear Derailleurs
- Shifter Levers
- Stems
- Toe Clips
- Hubs/Gear Clusters/Complete 27" Wheelsets (S-6s)
- Seat? (Not sure on this one, maybe just the "Schwinn Approved Variety)
- Chainring Sets

NOS Schwinn "Made in USA" 27X1 1/4 Blackwall or Whitewall Tires

NOS White Vinyl Bar Tape

MISC:   Raleigh Space Rider posted by: Marty Mullins on 6/27/2004 at 5:09:47 AM
I just found a barn fresh Raleigh 24" Space Rider.It looks to be original,SA coaster marked 74.
Anyone have any information on this bike.
Thanks Marty Mullins

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   vagabond by firestone posted by: Raul Martinez on 6/27/2004 at 4:26:38 AM
I recently accuired a vagabond in mint cond. I need some input on age and current value, any input will be helpful Thank you RAUL martinez

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   vagabond by firestone posted by: Raul Martinez on 6/27/2004 at 4:26:38 AM
I recently accuired a vagabond in mint cond. I need some input on age and current value, any input will be helpful