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Archived: Vintage Lightweights

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   weekend find, mexican windsor posted by: Jon in Desmoines on 7/27/2004 at 5:23:32 AM
I hit a local church rummage sale sat,saw a older 10 speed
reddish/orange with some fancy chrome work around the steering head,all japanese components,alloy wheels, then I saw the made in mexico city,mexico decal on the seat tube, and passed it up,went home and looked up the name windsor on internet search found some info and hightailed it back up there and payed the 10 bucks for a really clean Windsor
Carrera sport,I had never heard of this name before,and not sure of age but it is a pretty nice looking old ride.
there is some info out there, and some stories,an Italian bike builder made bikes in Mexico, any input from the gang here at vintage lightweights, thanks, jon in desmoines

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   weekend find, mexican windsor posted by JONathan on 7/27/2004 at 6:54:15 AM
The Windsor "professional" was real nice. Some had Campy; othres with SunTour components. I have sen one parked in front of the custom builder's shop nearby. I checked the frame and it looked Italian, but what do I know.
I think it was getting some brazing work...check the frame. The "International" was a fine touring model from the '70's. For $10....that's a great find! It is definitely a VLW. Any steel frame VLW with chromed lugwork at thrift store prices won't stay on the floor for long. Your hasty return probably iced you the bike.
I would sure have picked that one up. The only bike from Mexico that I know about and it has some interesting historical speculation. Very interesting.
I believe the tubing was Columbus (good stuff), but which one...SP, perhaps. I would check the bottom bracket and all stays just to be sure it is sound enough to bust out onto the open blacktop.
Good luck,

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   weekend find, mexican windsor posted by T-Mar on 7/27/2004 at 4:00:33 PM
The Windsor Carrera, also known as model AM3, was Windsor's best selling model during the mid-70s. As Jon states, the frame was nicely appointed with chromed head lugs. It also had nice forged dropouts with adjusters. Unfortunately, the frame is basic, high carbon steel. To get a CrMo, double butted frame, you had to step up to the Super Carrera. Strangely, the Carrarea frame was competion oriented, with a short wheelbase, relatively steep angles and little fork rake which caused toe clip overlap. Quite strange for a bicycle that weighed around 28lb and came equipped with 32T large cog. Depending on the year, components varied, but generally they were all aluminum (including rims) and of the Sugino/SunTour/Dia-Compe mix. It was one of those bicycles that sat on the cusp between entry and mid range.

In general, Windsors were favourable priced compered to their competition and the component selection was above average, though they were known to suffer from quality laspes. The Ariake saddle used on the Carrera and many Windsor models was prone to bending rails.

As for the lineage, the Windsor line was manufactured by the Acer-Mex facility, which produced about 500,000 bicycles in the mid-70s. The top line Profesional and Pro 2 frames were manufactured in a separate department, headed by Remo Vecchi, and ex-Cinelli employee, which probably accounts for the Cinelliesque seat cluster and lugs holes on the Profesional.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   weekend find, mexican windsor posted by TimW on 7/27/2004 at 11:48:19 PM
The major Italian name in Mexican bikes is Bennotto. I have both a beautiful Italian-built Bennotto (Campy components), and what I'm pretty sure is a Mexican-made (decent - for export) Bennotto (first generation Shimano 600 components).

On the streets in Mexico are many low-end bikes with the Bennotto logo (gas-pipe frames bolted together at the drop-outs, etc). I'm pretty sure that there was a Campy Nuovo Record version of the Mexican Benotto. So there are at least two Mexican VLW companies to keep your eyes open for.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   weekend find, mexican windsor posted by RobA on 7/29/2004 at 6:02:16 PM
I have two Benottos in ridable shape...an early 80s Modello 850 with a Campy drive train...980 rear der....Cinelli bars and stem, Modolo brakes...wheels and hubs are original, but I forget the make at the moment...Miche/Nisi, maybe??... The other bike is an unknown model, pale bronze color, 'aero' tubing, looks to be early 80s and it looks like it started out with a Shimano 600 set up...I got it with a SunTour rear der... Superb Pro hubs, aero rims (make unknown), nice criterium bars (Duralumin...brand?) ...Shimano Adamas cranks with Campy platform pedals, Dura-Ace six cog freewheel....nice fast bike, but rather twitchy, unless you're moving pretty fast...and that OK with me...:)

I like both of these bikes...they seem to be pretty well made...I'm assuming they are both 'hecho in Mexico'... but maybe not...anyone have any ideas?


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   weekend find, mexican windsor posted by sam on 7/29/2004 at 10:53:26 PM
I always though Acer-Mex and Bennotto-Mex were the same company? Bennotto's web site is
www.benotto.com.mx has very interesting bikes including the super touristor that had british size alum. rims in 28x1&1/2". Other Mexican bike sites are
www.bicicletasmercurio.com.mx and www.huskybicycles.com

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   weekend find, mexican windsor posted by T-Mar on 7/31/2004 at 2:59:27 PM
Another vintage lighweight brand produced by Acer-mex was Carabela. The examples I've seen tend to be a little more ornate than the Windsors of the same period.

Does anyone know if Windsor and Carabela were brand names owned by Acer-Mex, or was Acer-Mex just a contract manufacturer for other companies? I've seen writing pointing in conflicting directions.

As to Acer-Mex and Benotto being the same company, I don't think so, though it is possible. When Benotto was producing in Mexico, Windsor bicycles were still available but had a different distributor. If they were brands from the same factory, I would think they would have a common distributor, unless Acer-mex was only acting as a contract manufacturer. More likely, though this is just conjecture, Benotto may have bought an Acer-Mex factory. I know Acer-Mex had five factories in the mid-70s. They produced motorcycles and automotive parts, as well as bicycles. maybe they sold a factory to Benotto?

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   MY FIRST BIANCHI posted by: JOHNNY on 7/27/2004 at 3:16:23 AM

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   MY FIRST BIANCHI posted by JONathan on 7/27/2004 at 7:10:09 AM
Bianchi is a premier builder. I would guess late 80's on that one. KEEPER! They ride real nice and the workmanship is superb in most cases. My Bianchi "limited" is not TOL, but the workmanship is exquisite. I rarely ride it as the paint is nearly perfect. Strictly a bikepath bike for this putzer. You will appreciate the superb handling and quick takeoff once you get it going.
I would get some nice thinwall tires for it, too.
Good luck,

      MY FIRST BIANCHI posted by John E on 7/27/2004 at 1:52:43 PM
With a JSxxxx serial number on the BB shell and Japanese components, it is probably one of the many Japanese-built, Italian-designed Bianchis. The clincher would be the BB threading (English/ISO 1.37x24 vs. Italian 36x24). Either way, it is a keeper, assuming it fits you properly.

MISC:   Old Racing Bike posted by: Nick on 7/27/2004 at 12:54:47 AM
I recently bought an old racing bike from a local thrift store. The problem is, none of the decals remain and I don't know what type of bike it is. All I know is that it has Sekai Deluxe tires, Shimano 333 Shifter, and various Sun Tour parts. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

   :   Old Racing Bike posted by John E on 7/27/2004 at 1:58:19 PM
Where is the serial number? What is the serial number? For example, Kawamura stamped its BB shells "KSxxxxx."

Where is the Shimano 333 shifter located? Shimano used the "333" designation in the early 1970s, when SunTour used "Maeda 888." What is the crankset? Is the derailleur hung from a tab on the frame, or from a bolt-on adaptor claw? Are the brakes centerpull or sidepull? Where is the shift lever mounted? (For example, stem shifters were only rarely seen on high-end bikes, such as the TwinStik option on the Schwinn Paramount.)

   RE:MISC:   Old Racing Bike posted by T-Mar on 7/27/2004 at 4:15:55 PM
With Sekai branded tires, it's probably a Sekai bicycle, which was a well respected Japanese brand. Most likely, it's a model 500 or model 2400, which were the two most popular models. With a little more info on the component models, we may be able to tie down the bicycle model. As John E. suggests, it sounds early '70s based on the limited info.


   RE:MISC:   Old Racing Bike posted by Nick on 7/27/2004 at 4:55:00 PM
The 333 shifter is a thumb shifter on the center of the handle bars. Oh, the handle bars and brakes are dia compe. And the brakes are centerpull. The serial number is under the cank. However, the bike was repainted and the number is difficult to read. I get K 10 120. The derailluer is hung from a Suntour adaptor claw.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Jubilee Sport posted by: Gralyn on 7/26/2004 at 8:09:46 PM
I have almost everything ready to re-assemble the Motobecane Jubilee Sport. The only thing I lack - is a chain and a saddle. While cleaning and polishing all the components - I have concluded that it is an 83 model.

My question is: Should I use the Wolber rims / Maillard Helicomatic hub........I do have another set of Wolbers....with a regular threaded hub - also, 27" - just like the originals - which would allow me to use a better cogset?

    Jubilee Sport posted by John E on 7/27/2004 at 2:03:48 PM
If you want something reliable and versatile, use a conventional threaded hub. The Helicomatic hub was a great concept, but poorly executed, and replacement parts are extremely rare.

   RE: Jubilee Sport posted by JONathan on 7/28/2004 at 4:58:36 AM
Hey Gralyn, I have three sets of helicomatics. The "700" series are 6-sp. freehubs with Rigida heavy duty alloy rims. These are very dense grain alloy, quite heavy, but they are perfect for dirt road cruising. They are excellent, iMHO, but, as John E. said, finding any replacement parts is going to be hard. There is a site that has parts...I can't find it, now. Spoke adjustment is job #1. And, spoke adjustment is job #2. If I keep the wheels tensioned and trued up, they run great. Wolbers are very good rims, too.
I would run those 'till they start coming apart, which will be quite awhile down the road, IMHO. Just my 2.
Nice find!

   RE:RE: Jubilee Sport posted by Gralyn on 7/28/2004 at 11:45:50 AM
I put the 6-speed helicomatic maillard hub / Wolber rim on it. I had to do some spoke tightening / trueing. I'll just have to try it and see how it does. It will probably be Thursday until I can take it for a spin. I have it completely assembled now - and ready to roll.

It weighs a "hefty" 23 lbs. Yes, in today's terms - 23 lbs is "hefty". I'm old enough that a 23 lb bike feels very lightweight. (Just compare with a 40 lb Varsity).

One thing about the bike, though: It just doesn't look right. I had to put a black saddle on it - the original would have to be repaired - as the cover has come loose on one side....and besides, it's scuffed-up a bit. The rubber, or vinyl slip-on grips with integrated brake hoods must be faded somewhat. It looks more gray than blue. It just looks to me that the bike needs royal blue bar tape, aero brake levers.....probably with black hoods, and a royal blue saddle. This would probably look good with the silvery blue / royal blue frame. Right now, there's this shiny silvery-blue frame with royal blue head tube, royal blue cable housings.......but with black saddle and some shade of gray bar grip. It just doesn't look as beautiful as it could.

I wonder if I can find some royal blue bar tape?....and a saddle for that matter?

   RE:RE:RE: Jubilee Sport posted by JONathan on 7/28/2004 at 8:51:26 PM
You could always go with black plastic wrap. One feature from the VLW era that is superior for my style of ride is tha plastic bar tapes. The cork padded mushy stuff (not to even comment on the cosmetic schemes) is on one of my road bikes. As pointed out earlier, the gloves can take care of fatigue. I prefer to smooth plastic tape in conjunction with real grippy padded goves. I just like the action. My c'c, only.
If the blue comes up blank, the black goes with any color...and it maintains a clean look after a few KM's.
Black tends to tone down the saturated colors, yet it handles the farout hues equally well, IMHO. Post up how that moto cranks out.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Jubilee Sport posted by T-Mar on 7/29/2004 at 3:33:54 AM
The solution to the saddle colour co-ordination is a Lycra seat cover. These were popular to the mid-80s and were available in a wide variety of colours and designs. In the event that your LBS no longer stocks them, them are relatively simple to sew, using the appropriate colour of Lycra/Spandex fabric from your local fabric shop.

AGE / VALUE:   Motobecane Le Champion posted by: Bryant on 7/26/2004 at 6:23:31 PM
I have a 1976 Motobecane Le Champion. It has mostly Campi equipment on it with some other Italian made components also. This bike isnt perfect but still very much rideable. I was really just curious what it could be worth to a collector. My father purchased it in 1976 took very good care of it and gave it to me in 1993. I have since put maybe 300 miles on it. I do know that the original purchase price was $576 in 1976.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Motobecane Le Champion posted by Walter on 7/28/2004 at 1:44:20 AM
Clean Moto Grand Records of that vintage draw $350-400 on eBay. I'd expect a clean LeChampion to start at $400 and go up. How far up depends on condition. If yours has cosmetic issues the price will be at the lower end.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   MS Bike Tour posted by: Wayne on 7/26/2004 at 2:58:27 PM
This last weekend the MS Biketour was held in this part of the world (Western Ontario Canada) and my riding buddy and I decided to run in it on our vintage bikes. We both have mid 80's Canadian built Raleighs with upgrades as needed.
I have written about mine here before. It is the one with the Sturmey Archer 7 speed hub.
On Saturday we covered 93 K. in 3 hours and 30 minutes and on Sunday 77 K in 2 hours and 50 minutes.
They do not keep track of finishing positions, but based on who we saw at the finish we figure we probably finished about 30th out of over 700 entrants.
One other important thing to mention here is that we are both well over 50 year of age and MOST of the riders were no older than about 35.
Of all the riders there were about 200 on road bikes and we held our own with them very well.
Can vintage steel still do the job? You'd better believe it!
My buddy and I ride about 3000 K per year together and we finished exactly where I would have expected to.
There was a thread about people wanting to ride their vintage bikes with groups, and wondering about the reactions. It is easy to blame the machinery, but the same laws of physics apply to both. There is a very small difference in the new stuff, but unless you are Lance I don't believe you will feel it.
If there is anyone reading this who lives in Western Ontario who would like to ride with a couple of VLW fanatics email me.


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   MS Bike Tour posted by Pat Lavery on 7/26/2004 at 11:15:39 PM
Last fall, I rode the local MS150 Bike to the Bay on
my vintage 1970's 10 speed Gitane. Everyone else were riding newer Cannondales, Treks, and Giants. I prefer it
to my 2002 Trek 1000 for longer rides. I since added Sakae
randonneur bars which makes it enven more confortable for the long haul.

MISC:   Boston Bike swap posted by: Linda on 7/26/2004 at 1:41:46 PM
Sorry for short notice but it took a long time to find a place. There will be a swap on August 7th from 10-2 at the Hibernian Hall in Watertown MA. 151 Watertown Street. Contact me for more info. Be there or be square.


MISC:   TREK road bike posted by: JONathan on 7/26/2004 at 7:09:06 AM
Just when I finished grousing about how hard it is to find VLW's nowadays, I stumble onto one....when I was not looking, when else?
This guy lives around the corner from moi and I was heading out for a newspaper down at the mom&pop store when I see a bunch of stuff in a driveway with a "Free" sign posted on the tallest object. I spin a 180 and head back for a closer look. There was a Trek road bike in excellent shape except for tire being frayed a bit. The tubeset is Ishiwata .022, real nice stuff, man.
After a brief introduction, the owner gladly turned over this nice bike to the beggar that I am; noting that he sees me ride by all the time. The bike is very light for a '70's 10 speed. SunTour, Sakae and Dia-Compe components. Forged dropouts and intergral hanger professed good qaulity, too. The rims are Rigida alloy 19mm. This is all good, too. I thought Trek was a US maker...at that time period. Does anyone know if Ishiwata was imported and used in the US for Treks? There is no model designation on the tubes. Most Treks seem to have numbers for models. This bike exhibits fine workmanship...like the Fuji's appear to exhibit from that era. Steel rules!
Give me those big 'ol 54T rings and 13T cogs and I can "keep up" (in reference to the previous posts on "club" rides. Particular interest to me is the frame on this Trek appears to have been fitted with components that are below par for it's quality. I have seen a lot of the reverse condition where the frame of a decent VLW has been festooned with high end components; usually due to "upgrades". This Trek would be OK with Dura Ace, IMHO.
It was a great bit of luck, but I keep thinking there is something more to it.

   RE:MISC:   TREK road bike posted by Gralyn on 7/26/2004 at 3:18:18 PM
My last "free" enounter was an older Raleigh Pursuit and a Specialized Hard Rock mtn. bike - leaning beside a dumpster. I still asked, though....and they said I could take it. ....well, that's probably the only "free" bikes I have.

It sounds pretty good. Maybe you can put some better grade components on it.

   RE:MISC:   TREK road bike posted by John S on 7/27/2004 at 4:29:12 AM
My best free bike is a 1950's Claud Butler, beautifully made, left out as garbage. Only wish is was my size...

Trek did use the Ishiwata tubing in the early years, 22 is good stuff. Model numbers on the early ones were on a black stick-on chain guard on the chain stay. Since they also built with Reynolds 531, the Ishiwata probably was outfitted with the lower-end stuff, still fine though.

Check the vintage trek website to help ID. It's a good reference site.

   RE:RE:MISC:   TREK road bike posted by JONathan on 7/27/2004 at 7:56:06 PM
Yes, Gralyn, I have given the upgrade idea some consideration. Some frames are not worth the expense, but this one is not one of those. Problem is all my higher grade components are currently on bikes, except for a stronglight vrankset and some Campy GS derailers. I'll keep the setup as the person hardly road the bike so the components are still near the beginning of their service life. The SunTour "V" shifts surprisingly well, but they wear out sooner than Dura Ace...but look at the pricing difference. WOW!
I can burn 5 "V"'s and still be ahead. Thanks, John S. for the web site. I'll have to check the stay for model. I have not had a chance to even look at the bike. Maybe, this evening I can get it out for a looksee. Thanks,

   RE:MISC: TREK road bike posted by Warren on 7/28/2004 at 4:35:06 AM
My favourite tubeset...light and lively.

Go to http://www.vintage-trek.com/TrekBrochures.htm and it's likely you can find your bike. Trek used 022 throught the late 70's to very early 80's?

   RE:RE:MISC: TREK road bike posted by JONathan on 7/28/2004 at 9:02:03 PM
Could not find any model designation anywhere on the Trek 12 sp.
Maybe they had a generic Trek 12 speed road bike. No problem "keeping up" with this road machine. Despite the regular componentry, the frame is superbly crafted. I can't wait to get it out on the open blacktop.
I'll try to get a pic posted.

   RE:RE:RE:MISC: TREK road bike posted by JONathan on 7/29/2004 at 9:47:58 PM
Thanks, again, for the Trek site. This bike was '82 by serial number. Interesting they made about 30000 bikes in '82 (using serial number progression) +/- a few dozen. In '83 the number jumps to 70000! What happened?
This frame is smaller than I thought. It measured 19 1/2 inches from seat-tube top to crank center. The chain is going on it this evening for a ride. Although it's way small for me, the general ride characteristics will be apparent.
I'll get it going and then hang it from the rafters. Good thing I like working on bikes. I sure don't NEED anymore.
BTW that site has a ton of useful info on components, too.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   PX10 bar tape posted by: P.C. Kohler on 7/26/2004 at 2:51:44 AM
OK, I got my AVA stem! Now.... we all know PX-10s had black plastic bar tape. But.. I have seen a 1968-69 US market catalogue showing white bar tape. Very elegant. Anyone out there have a 1968-69 PX-10 (white racing livery) with white tape? Or have a catalogue showing this? Photos of PX-10s in their glory in the TdF shows a mix of black tape and white, although it looks like cloth and doubtless this was due to rider preference etc.

P.C. Kohler

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   PX10 bar tape posted by Gralyn on 7/26/2004 at 12:12:31 PM
I have some white cloth bar tape......NIB
I may even have some of the thin white vinyl-type

You can still find it out there.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   PX10 bar tape posted by P.C. Kohler on 7/26/2004 at 1:50:31 PM
I have the tape: Benotto. eBay seems to have this stuff a lot and it's about the last source for plastic tape in colours including hard to get ones like silver (ideal for you Raleigh Pro guys). I guess I may make too big a thing about bar tape, the right period "type" and colour but to me nothing looks worse than a classic lightweight with that god awful thick, chunky "cork" tape.. eeccchh! It's just about the only thing most cycle shops seem to stock nowadays. Even finding Velox black cloth bar tape is a chore. Oh, you can get on line from some shops... $3.00 for the tape and $6.75 for "shipping & handling"!!

It looks like the lads on the Peugeot team in the TdF found the stock plastic tape on PX-10s to be just as slippery and "non tactile" as most riders. Most of the pix show they retaped the bars with traditional white cloth tape.

P.C. Kohler

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   PX10 bar tape posted by Gralyn on 7/26/2004 at 2:12:28 PM
I like the thick cork tape - for the comfort. But, for the VLW's - I've been trying to get more original, or period-correct. All you need is a pair of those cycling gloves with the padded palms.

I've seen some of the cloth tape on e-bay - like for around $3 per roll......but then the shipping kills you! It's not really the shipping - it's just the padding of the price.

AGE / VALUE:   Mercier Le Tour posted by: Matt on 7/25/2004 at 2:22:48 AM
Does anyone have any info on a Mercier Le Tour? Aluminum bike, all Campy (hubs, brakes, lever, shifters, derailleurs, seatpost, pedals, clips, headset, cranks, sprockets, etc...)Fuscia color, shifters on lower tube, rear brake run through top tube of frame, Mavic rims. This bike is very, very nice. The Campy components are unbelievably nice. Just checking to see if anyone might have an idea of the year and a possible value.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Mercier Le Tour posted by John E on 7/26/2004 at 2:25:13 AM
Please check the insides of the crankarms and the top of the rear derailleur for date codes and report back. I have seen very few Merciers in Southern California; one of my three partners on the 1972 Los Angeles Wheelmen Double Century rode a white Mercier which appeared to be essentially a PX-10 clone, with Stronglight, Simplex, and Normandy components.

AGE / VALUE:   decal over clearcoat or clearcoat over decal posted by: sam on 7/24/2004 at 2:41:51 PM
What's the best way to go?Should I put the decals on and shoot the clear coat over them,or shoot the clear then put on the decals?---sam

    decal over clearcoat or clearcoat over decal posted by John E on 7/26/2004 at 2:30:49 AM
I believe it depends on the decal. Clearcoat can provide a modicum of protection for thin-film decals, but thicker decals should go over all paint layers.

When CyclArt repainted my Capo last year, Susan made me some drop-shadowed thin-film decals, which she applied just before the clearcoat.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Schwinn 1975 Sprint...curved seat tube! posted by: Fred A on 7/24/2004 at 2:55:22 AM
Well, much to my wife's dismay, another bike has found its way into my "Museum". This time it's a 1975 Schwinn Sprint purchased from the original owner. The only curved seat tube one I've seen, and it's the 24'' frame (27'' wheels) which is OK for me (if not a little short). He even had the Schwinn rack on the back installed by the dealer when he got the bike as a gift from his father. Paint and decals are in beautiful condition and the clean-up/detailing should be a cake-walk (not like the Bianchi I bought a couple of weeks ago that I'm still playing with).

My question is this...I know that this model was only made in '74 and '75 because I have those Schwinn catalogs and the years prior and after. Were there many of these made? Or did I latch onto a low volume collectible for $50? Bike is all original, right down to the tires in what will be beautiful condition.

Fred A

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Schwinn 1975 Sprint...curved seat tube! posted by Gralyn on 7/24/2004 at 2:12:25 PM
I have seen a Schwinn Sprint, both mens and ladies models at this thrift store. Neither one really looked impressive enough to me to pick them up.....I suspect they are still there - despite the low price.....but...I'm pretty sure the mens model didn't have a curved seat tube. I think that if it had a curved seat tube - I would have picked it up in a heartbeat....just because I've never seen one like that.

I'll bet there weren't very many of those made. If you got it for $50.....and the cleaning up is going to be a cake walk - then I think you did pretty good.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Schwinn 1975 Sprint...curved seat tube! posted by Fred A on 7/24/2004 at 4:50:10 PM
Hi Gralyn. Yes, the Schwinn Sprint most people think of are the Taiwan made low end bikes of I believe the early 80's. Ebay is full of them if you check.
Mine is the Chicago made Schwinn Sprint...the good stuff, if you will. It falls in between the Varsity and Continental, but there was also a curved seat tube Schwinn Paramount. It's in my '75 catalog, but of course the frame material was the good stuff with chrome lugs, et.

The catalog touted the better handling qualities with this tube, but the bike still weighs quite a bit. It will turn heads because of its shape, though.I'll see when the bike is all cleaned up and ready for its "maiden" voyage. Hey, its almost 30 years old!

Fred A

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Schwinn 1975 Sprint...curved seat tube! posted by Patrick on 9/1/2004 at 3:43:31 AM
Does your '75 Sprint have a round or oval headbadge? Does it have a round gold "chrome molybdenum" on the seat tube down by the crank? Brooks Saddle? If so, you have a pretty good bike. You can see a good picture of a similar one on page 64 in book "Schwinn" by Lou Dzierzak published by Motor Books International (MBI)

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   F. W. Evans London Touring Deluxe posted by: Gary on 7/24/2004 at 2:48:36 AM
My first post here. I've collected vintage cycles for 6 years and have been cycling for 21 years. I was travelling on my usual city ride (a beat Raleigh Technium 440) when in a local (Austin, Texas ) Goodwill a week ago ran into an F.W. Evans touring bike, ca. 1993 and apparently one of the last handmade Evans touring cycles built by Bob Arnold, who besides being an expert framebuilder also built expedition wheels, among them those used by the Crane Team, who cycled on donated Raleighs from Bangladesh to the Centre of the Earth.

Yah, a great find for $25.00. Reynolds 531, cherry metalflake red, probably less than 500 miles on the bike as I found it, all as ordered : Campy low-flange hubs 36-spoked to 700c chrome Super Champion 58's (no rust), full-name Jim Blackburn white racks front and rear, period Shimano Deore rear derailleur, ESGE fenders, period Holdsworthy ALLEZ! pump, etc., etc. A few nicks, but nothing to worry about. Walked 6 miles home holding the Raleigh at left and the Evans right, exercising muscles I hadn't even heard of.

This bike fits me like a glove, and it rides like a warm knife slicing through butter.

I pumped up the Nutrac Presta clinchers, still tight, a bit of discoloration but no cracking. Washed the frame, polished the metals, adjusted the adjustments. A brief disassembly and cleaning of the drive chain. The rear Shimano Deore dated the bike to ca. 1993. The seat was trashed, so I replaced it with a white Selle Italia that I was comfortable with. The high-end wedgie pedals went into storage in lieu of my trusty low-end strappers (stolen from the Technium), as I ride in socks and sandals. These have been my only substitutions to date.

Cheesy parts include Suntour shifters and Suntour front derailleur. Frankly these are the only parts I intend to switch except for the front bars as shown, and this is my question to you keen observors of the things that matter :

If I discard the original owner's dubious choice of the wide bars and riser stem as shown and go to drops, what on the front top end would be most appropriate for this bike? Or does the brand of my switch to Maes or Randonneurs even matter on a good 90's custom touring frame? I'd like a pair of nice-fitting drops wrapped in red. The question is, which ones?

Thanks for your time. I always enjoy the posts here, and hope you enjoy the photos of my latest cheapo ride.

-- Gary


   :   F. W. Evans London Touring Deluxe posted by John E on 7/26/2004 at 2:48:15 AM
Congrats on a fabulous find, Gary. I would vote for Randonneur bars for a touring bike, TTT, perhaps?

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   American Arrow? posted by: Lincoln on 7/23/2004 at 3:03:08 PM
Anyone ever hear of American Arrow? A non bike person has put one up for sale. Only thing found in internet search was a picture of dropouts from the 20s. Is this likely to be junk or treasure?

BTW, is there a search function for this list someplace?


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   American Arrow? posted by Ken on 7/23/2004 at 4:46:15 PM
search access is

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS: American Arrow? posted by Lincoln on 7/23/2004 at 6:25:04 PM
Thanks for info about search. I couldn't find the search before. Unfortunately, no one seems to have discussed American Arrow here.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   American Arrow? posted by sam on 7/23/2004 at 9:43:55 PM
If I were you I'd go check this one out---if a ballooner bike called Arrow(by Shelby) if worth big$$$---might just be an off brand dept.store bike---never can tell where these trails will lead----sam

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS: American Arrow? posted by JS on 9/13/2005 at 11:54:04 PM
Yes, I have an American Arrow. I bought it in 1975. I believe it was assembled in Europe (Belgium) and it has Campy componennts, a leather seat, light alum. frame, and great wheels.... Istill ride it... everything is original except the tubes, of course. I paid $225 in 1975....


AGE / VALUE:   BB height posted by: TimW on 7/22/2004 at 8:44:18 PM
Okay - let's say for conjecture this is about a vintage road bike (actually, it's about a semi-vintage mtn bike, but that message board isn't well subscribed, good answers come on this board). I just built up a Tange Infinity frame for a friend, which after I got together I realized has a BB that is actually higher than the wheel axles (higher than a straight line between the two axles).

Now, I never seem to be able to comprehend the effects of frame geometry. The main thing I notice is that when I mash down on a pedal out of seat, the frame wants to tip over. I don't particularly like the effect. Other than high clearance (for this supposed road bike), what would be the benefits of such a high BB. Anything?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   BB height posted by JONathan on 7/23/2004 at 5:26:30 AM
I am trying to imagine how that rides. When I have gone up steep hills on dirt, the front end wants to lift off on some bikes (all MTB's). The best climber was a Trek 820 that I fixed up and gave away, but I needed to give it a good shakedown. The front end on this rig kept on the dirt, which was quite nice. This was not a traverse, but rather straight up the side of a flood berm. I just figured it was the tight rear triangle, but I never checked the BB drop. Hmmm. Now I am wondering about that.
Wish I had more to add, but if the bike spooks you, I would get another bike.
Just my 2.
Note: I donnot need much of an excuse to hunt for bikes.

    BB height posted by John E on 7/23/2004 at 2:21:00 PM
Mountain bikes tend to have higher BBs than road bikes, but your frame seems extreme. Can you stabilize the bike during out-of-saddle climbs and sprints by holding your torso as steady as possible and rocking the bike beneath you? This strategy works extremely well for me, particularly with my mountain bike.

   RE: BB height posted by TimQ on 7/23/2004 at 4:25:12 PM
I find that if I don't hammer, I can keep the bike steady, and its okay. But if I do an out of the seat hammer, I really need to rock the bike side to side to counteract its tippy tendencies. When I first saw the bike,I thought it was a typical, compact, sloping top tube design. But, to my surprise, along with the high BB, it has a nearly horizontal top tube, but is still very compact in height, though it will fit a long torso. The effect of this is the need for a long seatpost and high stem (done). Strange bike.

The bike is, my guess, about a 1990 Tech (Japanese), very nicely made frame but with a number of idiosyncracies. Another strangeness is that the seat tube water bottle braze-ons are so high, you have to have just the right length seat post because theere's little room for adjustment.

I have put a lot of work and great parts on the bike, so as with most bikes I build, I figure its just a matter of learning to love it (that's why I want to know what's good about a high BB - anyone have more thoughts about that?). I have built it for a fairly athletic friend as a tough city commuter (big, wide, sticky slicks). I'm betting he'll be happy with it, as it is a great quality bike, if somewhat unusual. It does require skill to navigate, it's no cruiser.

   RE:AGE / VALUE: BB height posted by Warren on 7/24/2004 at 3:51:25 AM
High clearance is the only answer...on mountain and cyclocross and fixed gear road and track bicks...especially track bikes. You don't want to clip the pedals on the slanted velodrome surface.

Or on fixed road...I've done it...ouch.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   BB height posted by T-Mar on 7/25/2004 at 1:42:02 AM
I suspect what you have is a "trials" frame. Trials are a little known mountain biking discipline wherein the competitors ride individually on several short "sections", which are narrow, cordoned off routes over extremely difficult obstacles (natural or man-made). The object is to ride the sections without having to touch the ground with one's foot, which is know as a "dab". Points are scored for each dab and the competitor with the least points is the winner.

Basically, it's an obstacle course competition on bicycles and the riders are magnificent bicycle handlers. These are guys whom you may have seen bunny-hopping their bicycles onto car hoods and hopping up and down flights of flights on just the rear wheel.

The bicycles are specially constructed for this purpose, with two of the attributes being the extremely high bracket and short seat tube which you mention. The high bottom bracket is for clearance over the obstacles and the short seat tube is to faciltate rider movement in the cockpit.