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Archived: Vintage Lightweights

WANTED:   Dunlop 40 hole 26 X 1 1/4 rim posted by: Ward Davis on 9/4/2004 at 2:02:57 PM
I am interested in purchasing the above mentioned rim. Please email me at wdavis54@aol.com if you happen to have one for sale.Thanks!

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Cyclo-Benelux derailleur posted by: paul on 9/4/2004 at 3:31:59 AM
My first experience with derailleurs was a few years ago on a Royce Union mixte with dual cable positron der' which shifted beautifully but the bicycle was boring and I sold it. My present derailleur bicycle is a 1958 Lenton Grand Prix Reg Harris model with Reynolds 531 main tubes, with newly installed period correct Cyclo Benelux single cable der' replacing a 70's era Titlist. The bicycle is now all original and shifts beautifully. The drive train is Sturmey Archer FM 4 speed close ratio with a triple cluster using standard 3 speed chain and a single chainwheel by Williams up front. Any comments pro or con about Cyclo- Benelux ders' from you reader/ riders? paul

    Cyclo-Benelux derailleur posted by John E on 9/4/2004 at 8:58:07 PM
Sorry to throw cold water on your enthusiasm, Paul, but as one who has "been there ... done that," I cannot recommend any of the old bandspring derailleurs. I had a somewhat similar 12-speed hybrid, with a standard wide-ratio (4/3; 1/1; 3/4) 3-speed S/A hub and a 14-16-18-20 cog cluster, with 1/8" chain and a 40T chainring, which gave me 12 reasonably spaced ratios covering a very practical range of 40 to 100 gear-inches. I finally got reliable, crisp shifting and full use of all 4 cogs by replacing the Cyclo with an equally period-correct first-generation Campag. Gran Sport.

My other two objections to normal-low bandspring derailleurs are the lack of a minimum-tension position and, much more seriously, the chance that breaking the gear cable will cause the cage to jump into the spokes.

   RE: Cyclo-Benelux derailleur posted by paul on 9/4/2004 at 10:50:06 PM
point well taken as the derailleur could collide with the spokes! This happened to me with a Chinese Forever with a 3 speed derailleur when I shifted too enthusiastically into low gear. I had the spokes replaced and a spoke protector installed for insurance. paul

   RE:RE: Cyclo-Benelux derailleur posted by Derek Coghill on 9/4/2004 at 11:37:48 PM
I have a 50's Claud Butler with one of these....perhaps I ought to change it then!

   RE:RE: Cyclo-Benelux derailleur posted by JONathan on 9/5/2004 at 12:06:45 AM
Certainly qualifies as a vintage "classic" derailer. There were two models that I know of; the "Mark 7" was for racing, the "Mark 8" was the touring model. I presume the touring model provided for greater gear range. What happened to the other "Marks"? The Cyclo Gear Co. Ltd. was at Aston, Birmingham 6, England.
In it's day, the setup provided a decent chain-wrap due to closeness of the mechanism to the cogs. Your setup has great appeal as a museum show piece which has the particular distinction in being a good working model. Sounds like a great find to me, but I always fall sucker to those beautifully made English bikes of that period (pre-bikeboom).
Of course you could always have the best of both modern and classic by running a SunTour for evryday stuff and then have the Cyclo Benelux swapped when you want to have the pure vintage look and ride or to keep the vintage correct setup as a purist tiding. Whatever you do, you have a real find! Nice going.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Cyclo-Benelux derailleur posted by sam on 9/6/2004 at 12:16:30 AM
The instructions for cyclo gears says to be mindful of chainging gears.In other words don't shift too often.Take yourself back to a time when single speed bikes ruled.The cyclo gears were suppose to give you 3(or 4) single speed bikes in one.Modern gears will surely out preform cyclos,but if shifted slowly and with care your cyclo should be a fun and different ride--building one too--sam

   Cyclo-Benelux derailleur posted by John E on 9/6/2004 at 6:59:50 PM
A significant implication of Sam's cautionary post is that most of today's cyclists do not know how to be "mindful of changing gears," i.e., they simply click rapidly to a new index point whilst applying full torque on the crank. We vintage riders can handle any bicycle gear system, but most folks raised on contemporary systems would find friction gear changers, particularly the older ones, bewildering and frustrating.

   RE:Cyclo-Benelux derailleur posted by P.C. Kohler on 9/7/2004 at 4:56:44 PM
Good point, John. All the more reason for we collectors to enjoy riding with the original components even more... the urge to "update" original machines with contemporary components completely escaping me. Just buy a new bike!

Then again, I've never ridden a Cyclo-Benelux equiped bike, my '61 Lenton Grand Prix project (she has a Mark 7-speed) having stalled. Given the limitations of the bandspring system, I've always wondered about the attraction of this especially when only a 4-speed vs. the Sturmey-Archer 4-speed FC and FM hub gears. Slightly lighter weight and cost I guess. But I am not going to start that old argument here!

P.C. Kohler

   RE:RE:Cyclo-Benelux derailleur posted by JONathan on 9/8/2004 at 6:42:05 AM
My guess, P.C., is for hills the FW is better. I had painful reminders of this fact while heaving my S/A 3-speed up steep hills. Weused to tighten the adjusting srew so it was in low-gear, and it still would pop loose on occasion. The FW quipped bikes were very stable as long as the lever was nubbed down so as not to slip due to frame flex...yes, we have some steep climbs here in the Pacific Coast Range of Ca. Sometimes I hate to look back, as it is so steep I get vertigo.
Just my 2,

AGE / VALUE:   Sante Pogliaghi chrom fork...value? posted by: Steve on 9/1/2004 at 6:13:58 PM
Would anyone happen to know what a columbus steel chromed Sante Poliaghi fork is worth? I have one with Campy fork tabs and the crown lugs are painted in a light yellow. I'd rate the fork about a 7/10. You can find pictures at http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=13603

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   How about a 1987 Trek 520 "Cirrus" ? posted by: JONathan on 9/1/2004 at 8:18:01 AM
Never fails. Bikes seem to jump out at me when I am least looking. Today, I took the truck in order to drop off a set of speakers at the Sal. Army Shop. I swung in there around noon. The guy wouldn't take the speakers at the trailer drop, but the store is right there so in I go. A Trek 520 "Cirrus" (1987) had just come in. No, not another bike! This one is different being without a scratch. Beautiful burgundy fade to slate paint. Definite old school with Biopace triple. 28T small ring is nice for loaded touring. They did outstanding on this one. Reynolds 531 butted with unique lugs. The rear dropouts are forged with adjusters (that worked by hand) with lugged chain-stay and seat-stay jointes. No gaps there. Interesting seat lug with intergarl seat-stays and recessed allen bolt anchor. As I unhooked it from the rack where a couple of tiny bikes had entangled somehow in the short time it had been hoisted, the sharks started approaching. Never fails, either. I yelled out to the lady up front; "I am buying this one"; and even then, I felt if I let go of it while pushing it to the counter that might be taken as relinquishing possession. $65 was the deal. I took it tonight for a 15-miler. What a stiff pounder, this one. Again, I thought about its designed purpose; which was heavy touring all day long. 42 1/2 inch wheelbase, 32-630 tire on a rear Matrix "Titan" rim, MTB brakes front and rear makes it all real. Bosses for front rack on the forks. There is a Blackburn rack in place on the rear. The three-support model is great for 30 pounds of camping gear. This bike may not be as strong as my Miyata "Terra Runner" MTB for off-blacktop touring, but it comes close and it sails past any MTB's on blacktop. The CatEye computer that was on the bike actually worked; with 356 miles on the odometer. I am breaking in this bike, it would appear. Anyone come up with a better "off-the-shelf" long distance tourer? A little later during fly season, I'll get a chance to run this one in the Sierra. So far everything looks good. I have to run it with full packs before the final decision, but based on the rigid ride unloaded, it is a "go". Shimano "Deore" is basically a wide-range MTB setup, too. The friction front derailer is a good thing, too. Down-tube shifters are fine, but bar-cons might be better...maybe. I like the short cable you get with down-tube mounted and there is no stuff to get bumped while pumping around aharp turns. Also, without bar-cons, there is one more grip position. If you find a 520, snap it up if you want a strong heavy touring bike...this guy weighs about 24 pounds on empty. Pretty haevy dog by today's standards, but they still make these steel bikes!
Good ridin',

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   tallest bike ever!!!!!!! posted by: johnny on 9/1/2004 at 3:50:35 AM

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   tallest bike ever!!!!!!! posted by JONathan on 9/1/2004 at 8:14:17 AM
My vote is for Alex Singer for the tallest bike...I suppose a custom builder would make any size frame. My tallest is a Schwinn 1980 "Sports Tourer" which looks strange even with 27 inch wheels. It was made by Giabt Bicycles out of Taiwan.
Measures about 27 inches c-c.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   tallest bike ever!!!!!!! posted by JONathan on 9/1/2004 at 8:16:43 AM
I meant; "Giant". This keyboard!

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   tallest bike ever!!!!!!! posted by Kurt K on 9/5/2004 at 1:15:04 PM
Well, I'd say the tallest one I've seen was a custom job: Two Schwinn World Sports welded above each other. The top crank was geared to the bottom crank. For those of you who can't figure this out: the bottom crank was from a 10 speed, hence the two sprockets for the dual chain.

A disgusting waste of a classic cycle!


AGE / VALUE:   '72 Schwinn Sports Tourer posted by: Patrick on 8/31/2004 at 7:42:40 PM
I recently picked up a very beat up 72 Schwinn Sports Tourer. It is in terrible shape, but I knew the frame was worthwhile. The seat was a Brooks B15, but was also junk. While trying to remove the parts to strip and paint the frame, I destroyed my crank removal tool and the TA crank, spindle and non drive bearing cup. Also still seiezed into the frame is the seatpost. I can try to find the matching TA crank, but I am unsure if it is French or English thread. If French I may have a harder time finding the replacement pieces to fit. I also need a new crank removal tool. Mine was a Schwinn approved with one style of remover on one head and another (I assume French thread?) on the other. Can anyone out there help me with the replacement tool, parts and tips on how to drill out what remains of the seatpost or tell me if there is still a way to get it out? Original Campy Gran Tourismo deraileur also had been replaced with a Suntour. Better deraileur, but not period correct.

Thanks in advance for all of your help.


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   '72 Schwinn Sports Tourer posted by Lenny on 8/31/2004 at 11:24:23 PM
Hi Patrick,

Sorry to hear about your difficulties. I have overhauled both '72 and '74 Sports Tourers (with Nervar and TA cranks respectively). Both bottom brackets had standard 24 TPI ISO threading, with left hand threads on the fixed-cup side. Harris cylery sells the TA crank pullers (look for the entry "Old style TA crank puller for 23 mm extractor threads"). If you are going to replace the crank with a differnt brand, you might want to just use a wheel puller tool (if you have one) to remove the old crank and save yourself the cost of the crank puller.

Please see Sheldon Brown's article on "15 ways to Unstick a Seatpost" for help:

Be very careful if you attempt to thread a different freewheel on the rear hub of your ST, because it may have the metric 34.7 x 1 mm threading, not the standard ISO threading (1.375 x 24 TPI). My '72 ST uses the former.

Good luck. You will be rewarded with a very comfortable and enjoyable bike when you are done. Will shift nicely with the Sun Tour derailleur also. If you can't salvage the headset, e-mail me. I might have something useable to send you.

      '72 Schwinn Sports Tourer posted by John E on 9/1/2004 at 12:40:57 AM
I suspect the cranks and pedals were 9/16 x 20 TPI English/ISO threaded, given the Schwinn brand name and the English BB. French pedals are threaded 14 x 1.25 mm, which is just close enough to cause problems.

Yes, as you discovered, TA used a different crank puller than everyone else. If you get desperate, pop me an email; I think I still have my TA puller, which I bought when I put TA Professional cranks on my wife's Peugeot.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   '72 Schwinn Sports Tourer posted by JONathan on 9/1/2004 at 1:33:09 AM
Thanks for the headsup about the "TA" crank being threaded different. As for the seat-post extraction; I have a last resort method that has worked everytime that I invoked the procedure; which is a bit drastic. First off, I soak the post with "Liquid Wrench" ( or WD-40). A little, I mean very little, prying with a screw driver in the seat-tube slot helps get the penetrant down the post. I use a 3/8" slotted screwdriver that just clears the space in the groove. II rotate the screwdriver axially just enough to see the juice slide down the poat into the tube. After a few minutes, I get my large pipe wrench out from the bottom of the toolbox. This thing is about 18" of pure pipe hungry steel. Of course, by this time, the seat-post will only maintain historical significance. I position the jaws of this monster around the seat-post with upper jaw (fixed) doing the pulling which means the moveable jaw is pressing in tighter on the post as pressure is applied. The poat will move, but so what. The trick is to pull up simultaneously while rotating the post. THe post will have an interesting zig-zag scratch pattern...like a sawtooth pattern. THe kicker is that the monster wrench has to be reversed for each direction, at least for the first four or five pulls. Although this is a rather brute force method it avoids the unrecoverable mistake that could happen trying to cut the post out. I am not good with a hacksaw, either. One time I put the post in my bench vice and use the bike as a wrench, twisting and pulling. You need a big vice that's bolted dwon toa heavy table to do this stunt with any satisfaction. My "Sports Tourer" is 1980, made in Taiwan with chro-moly tubes with lugs. Yours is the fillet-brazed version, which is quite a find.
Good luck,

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   '72 Schwinn Sports Tourer posted by Patrick on 9/1/2004 at 3:15:10 AM
Thanks for the tip to Sheldon Brown's site. I have referred to him before, but never noticed the seatpost solutions. Unfortunately, I am at his last resort approach where I already broke off the top of the post trying to clamp it in a vise and twist back and forth. I have now cut off the top and am trying (in vain) to cut slots in the inside of the tube to roll it up inside itself. Very time consuming. Does anyone know what size this seatpost is? I could possible just drive it in further, use a new post above it and just accept the additional extra few ounces of weight. By the way, the pedals are Atom, so is it possible they are French thread also?

Thanks one and all for your help and responses.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   '72 Schwinn Sports Tourer posted by John S on 9/1/2004 at 5:15:57 AM
I've had two Sports Tourers, one with TA other with Nervar cranks. Both ISO standard pedal threads. I think post diamater is 26.4. I chucked the GT rear derailleur on the keeper, heavy and shifted terribly.

Nice riding bike, if heavy.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   '72 Schwinn Sports Tourer posted by JONathan on 9/1/2004 at 5:35:59 AM
You got a tough one, for sure. You may have hit on something with driving the post inide the tube, BUT...I think a fraction of a mm would break the corrosive weld just enough to allow extraction. The pipe wrench always works, but it ain't pretty. Some clever individual thought it good to drive a larger sized seat-post. THe locking bolt was a superfluous entity. The adjustment was only in one direction, too. I pounded on the stub to free it up, which cost a couple mm of extraction distance, but it free it. You could insert a bolt to prevent the collapse of the hollow post while yorquing it. Whatever the correct size is, it is probably not the one that is in there. Butted tubes have the distinction of being uniform in outside diameter with differeences in the inside dimensions! THis could be a problem that could gamage the tubes...you want to avoid that.Maybe the tubes are plain gage.
I assume the seat-post amchor bolt is a clamp and not a wedge anchor as were on some Bridgestones and Peugeots. I have used a heavy duty brake hone for thinning a steerer tube a tad so that I could drive the wedge out. The effort was unsuccessful, but it widened the diameter. Alloy will grind off real fast with a honer...not the sandpaper ones. One thing is certain, the post got in there, so it has to come out. I still say the pipe wrench would do it...try a flea market in a farm area for one made 50 years ago. They actually work when the going gets tough. Good luck,

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   '72 Schwinn Sports Tourer posted by Lenny on 9/1/2004 at 4:46:46 PM
Hi Patrick,

I think John S. is correct about seatpost diameter for your ST being 26.4 mm. I'll measure the one on my '72 ST with calipers this evening and post here. I like JONathan's idea of reducing the seatpost diameter with a brake hone...might be worth a try.

In my experience, the original [steel] seat posts on these fileted-brazed Schwinn frames fit rather loosely, requiring pretty firm tightening of the collar clamp bolt to keep them in place. A mechanically-challenged person likely got to your frame before you and is now providing you (and the rest of us indirectly) with a new learning opportunity. Let us know how this turns out!

Regards, Lenny

   RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   '72 Schwinn Sports Tourer posted by Lenny on 9/2/2004 at 2:14:48 AM
Hi Patrick:

I measured the seatpost on my '72 Sports Tourer. It is 26.8 mm. I compared it to the post on a '76 Raleigh Super Course Mk II (plain gauge Reynolds tubes), which is 26.4; the post diameter on the Sports Tourer is definitely larger. Regards, Lenny

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   '72 Schwinn Sports Tourer posted by Edward in Vancouver on 9/3/2004 at 2:11:54 AM
In regards to your stuck seat post: When you've exersized every intelligent option and are ready to walk away from the bike or worse...the last ditch option is micro-surgery. Fit a jig-saw with a fine tooth metal blade and try to slice the seatpost. When the cut is wide enough to get a screwdriver in, see if you can pry enough seat-post material to get a good purchase on with some needle-nose vise-grips and try to pull the seatpost inside-out.
I've done this operation once, and was fortunate enough to save the frame, a 18"wheel Dawes compact.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   '72 Schwinn Sports Tourer posted by Derek Coghill on 9/4/2004 at 11:43:52 PM
If the cut-in-the-tube fails, try gentle oxy-acetylene; works for me. Not always terribly good for paint, though.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   '72 Schwinn Sports Tourer posted by JONathan on 9/5/2004 at 12:20:44 AM
Adding to the jigsaw approach, I have fitted my jigsaw with a abrasive blade that works great on steel...even stainless! I would prefer the abrasive method over the cutting blade because of the control features of the former. If you ground ALMOST through at two points 180 degrees apart then a good cold chisel could be used to roll the post inboard just enough. This grinding would reduce the chance of frame cutting and if one used patience, the chances of thermal weakening of the tube would be unlikely.
Remember; "You ALWAYS win"! :)

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Hurret Derailleurs posted by: Gralyn on 8/30/2004 at 8:19:47 PM
I was thinking of giving away my Motobecane Le Velo. It's a nice-looking bike, great paint job, decent components. But, I was trying to make some adjustments on it.....getting it reall road-worthy.....but those Hurret Derailleurs.....I suppose there are some higher-end ones that are good....but this one looked very cheap....and it operated like crap...and there was just no adjusting I could do to make it any better. I just gave up on it and replaced it with a Shimano 3000 EX.....or something like that. After that - it worked great!.

does anyone else have similar experiences with these Hurret Ders.?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Hurret Derailleurs posted by JONathan on 8/30/2004 at 11:18:55 PM
The one that looks like a mini scissorsjack in operation is very crude, IMHO. That is on my Raleigh ('79) 10 sp. "Sprite" and shifting is always a new experience for me. The bike is a superbly built utility/sport runner, but the derailer is out of place. I guess it saved a couple nickels in the overall cost, but that part must be a focus point, IMHO, for sales. I mean a test ride where the bike shifts goofy, must not help. I keep the thing on there as a challenge and to keep the look OEM, but if I ever sell it, I'll make sure a SunTour or Shimano slant parallelogram type is swapped in there. I a few other Hurets that are fine derailers, but they were designed and built for bikes above rank entry-level. I would have thought the "Sprite" deserved a Simplex or, as was typical for the "Gran Prix" and "Record" of that same period, a SunTour branded "V".
What is interesting is how Huret came up with this model, when there others seems to be excellent. Everyone can make a mistake, I suppose. They are a venerable company with a long history of fine componentry. But, maybe these models with the clunky action and "star" stamped into the arm will be collectible, so I am not throwing anything out. You know how that goes...as soon as you dump it, then it suddenly becomes collectible.
Good luck with the "600". That's a goody.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Hurret Derailleurs posted by Edward in Vancouver on 8/31/2004 at 1:37:03 AM
Although I've always had a kind work for Shimano road gruppos, the Huret, and particularily the ALLVIT are something of a pack-mule for me. Yep, the cheap Huret's are cheap, and ugly as sin, but they work well for the older style 5 spd clusters, up to, I think a 28 tooth for the largest cog. My favorite function for Hurets is in my "modified" 6 speeds. They work great on Sturmey archer 3 speed hubs with two cogs, in effect- a 6 spd. Other attributes are: Cheap like Borscht; and easy to obtain. Other than that, give me a Suntour any day...

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Hurret Derailleurs posted by T-Mar on 8/31/2004 at 3:57:55 AM
My first lightweight had a Huret Allvit derailleur. Not knowing what else was available at the time, I thought they were pretty good. Time and experience has modified my opinion, but given the entry level bicycles they came on, they weren't really bad and just maybe they were the best choice for a European manufactured bicycle. Remember, these were used on bottom end bicycles, at a time when derailleurs were new to most people and Japanese components were rarely available on anything but Japanese bicycles. The Allvit's long lever travel and slow shifts gave newbies some room for error. And I don't know how many broken Prestiges our shop replaced when kids repeatedly dropped the bicycles on the derailleur. The steel outer housing on the Allvit would take that abuse. The nut and bolt construction was a blessing and curse. It loosened up frequently, but at least it could be rebuilt, unlike the riveted construction of most other derailleurs. The parallelogram linkage also produced a diagonal travel, similar to SunTour's slant parallelogram designs. Yes, maybe they leave a lot to be desired for a more experienced cyclist, but given the era and a market of primarily novice, teenage riders, I don't think they deserve the reputation most people place on them. Like Edward, I think they had their place and purpose.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Hurret Derailleurs posted by JONathan on 8/31/2004 at 6:17:13 AM
As you have put forth in previous posting, T-Mar, quality is a function of design parameters. Applied to the derailer in question, this seems to hold. However...an interesting question has been raised, here. Is a "tricky" component a good introductory unit for a beginner. Personally, I find the Huret more trouble to control than a SunTour "seven" or Shimano "lark", which probably were in the same price range. How many would be riders gave up because of tricky, tempermental components? The Ral;eigh "sprite" is not, IMHO, a low-end machine in quality of construction. Some derailer brands had heavy steel bumpers, which probably encouraged the riders to dump it on the derailer side...in addition to being a tad risky for catching while coursing through a tight spot. A better derailer would have increased sales, despite the slight increase in production outlay, IMHO. The word would get around pretty fast. However, it is a relative thing. I ran 3-speeds exclusively, so it was academic for me. My first derailer equipped bike was Campy rigged, so that became my benchmark. I decided right away that I wanted to go 10-speeds from there on. Interesting to me is that 3-speed makes are all good. It is the derailer bikes that have the wide range of quality. Another good thing about 3-speeds is they are much less trouble to keep going for a long time. I think that is why pops got the 3-speeds. He used to say we'd get in good shape running those. I have to agree, looking back. The guy down the street with a 10-speed (even Huret rigged) had bragging rights.
Just a couple,

     Hurret Derailleurs posted by John E on 8/31/2004 at 2:19:05 PM
Put the Huret Allvit, which graced my first road bike (1962 bottom-of-the-line Bianchi Corsa), in its historical context. When it was introduced in 1960, the only significant competitors were the Campag. Gran Sport and those horrible reverse-shift bandspring pullchain things from Simplex and Cyclo. The Gran Sport, though the best of the bunch, sported a lofty $35 price tag, a 26-tooth cog limit, and just enough chain wrap for half-step gearing. The Huret Allvit could handle the 52-40(39)/14-28 step-and-a-half "Alpine" touring gearing which became ubiquitous on low-end 10-speeds later in that decade. It shifted better than the Simplex Tour de France in every way, and shifted more precisely than the Simplex Prestige which followed. To me, the biggest drawback of the Allvit was its high cable tension; although I rarely snap a gear cable now, I did so very frequently on my first Bianchi.

The first revolution in rear derailleur engineering was the parallelogram, exemplified by the 1951 Campag. Gran Sport. The second revolution came circa 1968, with the SunTour slant planograph, which has since been almost universally copied.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Hurret Derailleurs posted by T-Mar on 8/31/2004 at 4:58:24 PM
JONathan, I agree that a Shimano Lark or SunTour Honor would have been a better choice on a boom era, entry level bicycle, but this was not an option for most European manufacturers and lets face it, the European bicycles ruled the roost during the boom.

The Japanese component manufacturers did not really start looking outside their dosmestic market until late in the 1960s. Their first successes were with the low end US manufacturers like AMF, Columbia and Murray and then it was primarily with the stick shift set-ups of the the muscle bike market, which the Europeans ignored. Widespread European distribution of Japanese components did not materialize until the late 1970s.

The are several possible reasons for this. First and foremost, the general public still considered Japanese product to be second rate. The Europeans ruled bicycle racing and most first time buyers identified with the established European bicycles. Secondly, the European manufacturers would probably be getting better pricing from Campagnolo, Huret and Simplex due to tariffs and high shipping costs for the Japanese components. Lastly, European pride would surely have delayed Japanese penetration of the European manufacturers. Regardless of the reasons, this penetration did not really happen until the late 1970s when widespread distribution of Japanese components was available in Europe.

Penetration of US manufacturers happened somewhat earlier, because the European component manufacturers ran out capacity during the peak years of the early 1970s. There was enough to supply the European market, but not the US market too. Consequently, US manufacturers were forced to turn to the Japanese for at least some of their components. Even then, a company like Schwinn realized the European brands ruled with the consumer and would put a Lark on the lower Varsity Sports and reserve its supply of Allvits for the more expensive Continental.

Most entry level buyers in the early 1970s simply weren't educated enough to appreciate the differences and opted for established and trendy European bicycles with their European components. For those who actually took a test ride, the more resilient ride of the European frames often overshadowed other shortcomings. Finally, many people simply equated higher price with better product and bypassed the less expensive US and Japanese bicycles with their Japanese components. In the end, most people bought a European, entry level bicycle and that's why there are so many Prestige and Allvit derailleurs around, regardless of their merits relative to other derailleurs.

One last thing that I should mention in the Allvit's favour was a half decent front derailleur. It was leagues ahead of the push rod units you got with a Simplex Prestige or Campagnolo Valentino. While SunTour's reverse action front derailleurs were even better, many people had trouble adapting to them. When you consider the Allvit as a front/rear system, it fairs better aginst the competition.

   east meets west posted by John E on 9/1/2004 at 12:47:26 AM
I concur with T-Mar's history discussion. Having grown up seeing purely European and purely Japanese bikes, I was really surprised when SunTour-equipped Motobecanes began to appear in the mid-to-late 1970s. For many years now, I have enjoyed the best of both worlds, by putting SunTour rear derailleurs and either Shimano or SunTour fronts on European bikes. I have, however, kept my 1981 Bianchi all-Italian, except for German tyres and Japanese aero brake handles, which fit my grip much better than either Campags. or Modolos.

   RE:east meets west posted by JONathan on 9/1/2004 at 2:02:24 AM
Very thoughtful analysis, T-Mar. Thanks. Since collecting VLW's has reached saturation in my case...or near saturation; see the above post on the TREK, I have directed my energy toward understanding the interesting history of their development. Spending less time hunting and more time working on and learning about them. And, I have focused more on riding these great bikes.
The "510" derailers used on some Schwinns are much better than I thought. The workmanship was real nice and so was the price, IMHO. Interesting that the attitude was that the Japanese bikes were considered lessor quality than the pricier European brands. But, the latter road the wave a bit too far, as the buying public was not averse to learning about discerning good values in componentry, IMHO.
It is a fascinating look at what makes a market.
Thanks, I learned a lot,

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Hurret Derailleurs posted by paul on 9/4/2004 at 3:31:05 AM
My first experience with derailleurs was a few years ago on a Royce Union mixte with dual cable positron der' which shifted beautifully but the bicycle was boring and I sold it. My present derailleur bicycle is a 1958 Lenton Grand Prix Reg Harris model with Reynolds 531 main tubes, with newly installed period correct Cyclo Benelux single cable der' replacing a 70's era Titlist. The bicycle is now all original and shifts beautifully. The drive train is Sturmey Archer FM 4 speed close ratio with a triple cluster using standard 3 speed chain and a single chainwheel by Williams up front. Any comments pro or con about Cyclo- Benelux ders' from you reader/ riders? paul

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:c1970 Itoh - wore restoring? posted by: Kate on 8/30/2004 at 3:02:12 PM
I have a 1969 or 1970 C.Itoh Road bike I bought it brand new in about 1970 and have been riding it ever since. Funny thing when I bought it, the bike store was going to return it to the salesman. They couldn't sell it, none of his clientele was interested in a buying 10 speed road bike (except me). I finally bought a new bike this year and was wondering if it was worth having the frame on this bike stripped down, sanded and repainted. It is almost original. I had to replace the rear wheel this year after years of replacing only spokes. It had a Suntour VGT RD, a Suntour FD, Maxy cotterless cranks, dura ace center pull brakes, rear cluster is 14-38 and front is 40-50. It has a steel frame with some rust where componenets were attached and at the top of the top tube and some of the chrome is pitted. It has chrome on a lot of the fittings and on the front forks. The worst chrome pitting are the fittings at the bottom of the headset where the fork is attached. but otherwise it seems to be fairly sound, serial number 110626. Sheldon Brown says these bikes are junk, but I have had many years and miles of trouble free use from this bike. Any thoughts?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:c1970 Itoh - wore restoring? posted by Douglas on 8/30/2004 at 4:03:59 PM
If you want to restore this bicycle for sentimental reasons and can afford it, do so. Do not expect to get anywhere near the money you spend back when you sell it.
You mention Sheldon Brown, perhaps the foremost authority on bicycles available online, refering to this particular make of bike as junk. I have great respect for his learned opinions.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:c1970 Itoh - wore restoring? posted by David on 8/30/2004 at 4:13:07 PM
It all depends on why you restore it. It's no investment, that's for sure. But if it pleases you to have your faithful old bike rejuvenated, why not? (I believe Sheldon calls it "pretty crummy," not "junk" BTW.)

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:c1970 Itoh - wore restoring? posted by T-Mar on 8/30/2004 at 7:52:43 PM
Personally, I take exception to Sheldon's opinion of this brand. While low-end Itoh could be found in department stores, they produced a full range, including some very nice models with double butted, CrMo framesets and top line Japanese components.

Your bicycle sounds like the 271/273-HSP, which was 3rd in a line-up of 6 models in the early 1970s. A lower mid-range model, the frame on this model was single-butted, high tensile steel. So it is slightly better than your typical bike boom frame, as are the components. You don't give details on the wheels, but my specs indicate aluminum rims, and large flange, alloy, QR hubs. This, plus the Maxi and VGT were certainly superior to what you were getting on the popular Peugeot U08 and Raleigh Grand Prix at the time.

Itoh/C.Itoh was the Kabuki/Bridgestone importer during this era and some people feel that the Itoh brand may have been manufactured by Bridgestone, which was a well respected company.

However, in the end only you can decide whether it is worth a repaint. It's not a "crummy" bicycle and definitely better than the typical bike boom fare. The most important thing is that you have enjoyed it and it has served you well. I call that a "quality" bicycle.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:c1970 Itoh - wore restoring? posted by JONathan on 8/30/2004 at 10:47:41 PM
Good bikes usually had good componentry, is my maxim. Dura-Ace is hard to beat, IMHO. That is top-of-the-line stuff. The SunTour "V" was a very good derailer. Cotterless cranks made by "SR" are very good, too. Because of these components, I assume that your bike is worth fixing up for riding. Take your time, as you have a new bike, and do the mechanical stuff that needs doing. But, first, I would check inside the BB shell, head-tube and seat-tube for any rust. If you have taken good care of the bike (sounds like you have done that) there is probably nothing to worry about, but it is 35 years in the running. I would not repaint as the vintage quality will be diminished. My favorite bike is my Bottecchia tourer from about that era, which has some fade in paint, some chrome etching, etc., but it looks great showing some character. Wax keeps the rust away and preserves the paint. I use a rotary tool (Black & Decker, RTx) with a rubberized wheel to clean off surface oxidation and corrosive desposits. This works better than sanding, which really messes up the surrounding area. A tiny wire brush wheel will get the headset cleaned up real nicely. I use slow speed (#2) for both wheels. I presume your new bike is not steel framed, which is interesting, because the vintage steel frames of the better built bikes are very comfortable riding machines. This aspect is an inherent feature of the medium. Obviously you must have liked the C-ITOh, but the components were getting run down a bit, maybe. A little slop is OK for me, but if things are working loose, that's different. KoolStop (salmon color) brake pads, new cables and shrouds on all the control elements is a good idea. Any other moving parts that are worn out need to be changed out. You can get real nice used parts for Japanese built bikes. Many bikes were hadly run and a thrift store or garage sale is a good option. You have a new bike, so take your time working the CITOh back up. It is a good thing also to have a second bike on deck. As a loaner for a guest or as a beater bike and backup to the new one, which acn be saved for longer rides. Good luck,

MISC:   atom hub 1957 schwinn-twinn posted by: rod on 8/29/2004 at 3:08:51 AM
I've been handed down a schwinn-twinn my grandparents bought new in 1957,and recently my rear hub (atom drum brake)craked. Can I replace it? Is there something better? Any suggestions will help ,please. This bike has been peddled on in 31 different states by my grandparents and parents, six states by my brother and his wife, and four by my wife and I. I leave for Alaska in April and I need the bike to make it 42 states, and I'll leave the last eight for my kids. PLEASE HELP !!!

   RE:MISC:   atom hub 1957 schwinn-twinn posted by Kurt K on 8/29/2004 at 2:39:58 PM
Dear Rod,

First: I can't stress this enough when I say it - BEFORE you decide to buy a hub, make 100% SURE that it has the same amount of spoke holes as the Atom rim on your Twinn, or it won't fit without a different wheel. Your local bike shop should be able to lace the new hub into your Twinn's Schwinn S-7 rim. You might want to have both your rims re-spoked with brand new stainless-steel spokes too

You have 3 options to replace your cracked Atom:

1. Purchase a new SRAM drum brake (costly - around $140) - you can see them compared with the Atom hubs here - I'm NOT sure if this place stocks the rear Atom hub:


2. You can get an original Atom on eBay, possibly laced into another wheel or possibly not. The only one on eBay now is a 5 speed Atom hub with the rim laced in, but it might be just what you need. I highly suggest that if you DO purchase it, that you do NOT use the whole rim with spokes included with it - that's not cross-country material. BETTER HURRY - 8 HOURS FOR THE AUCTION TO END!


2. Your last option is to buy a Sturmey-Archer AW 3 speed with drum brake only if your bike is a singlespeed. If it is a 5 speed external derailur, however, I suggest getting a Sturmey-Archer FRONT drum brake, lace it into the front wheel, and put a new Shimano 5 speed freewheel hub in back. I only suggest this as a last resort! All these parts should be available on www.ebay.com as well.

Take care!


   RE:MISC:   atom hub 1957 schwinn-twinn posted by sam on 8/31/2004 at 12:39:36 PM
The Arai drum is also avalible on-line at Tandem sites.--sam

   RE:MISC:   atom hub 1957 schwinn-twinn posted by Joel on 8/31/2004 at 4:52:37 PM
Hey Rod,
The Twinn was not made in the 50s. Are you sure it's not a Town and Country?

I have an Atom drum brake 5 speed wheel for a Twinn that I would sell. You can also try the Schwinn forums.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Chain slips on smallest cog posted by: Gralyn on 8/28/2004 at 1:40:01 PM
I have noticed on a couple of my bikes - that when I'm in high gear (smallest cog on the rear), the chain will slip. Could it be derailler adjustment needed? Maybe the chain isn't falling all the way down onto the cog? Or could it be that there isn't enough loop of chain coming back around the cog.....maybe the der. is set back too far?

Any ideas before I start tinkering with it?

Oh, the cogs show no noticeable signs of wear.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Chain slips on smallest cog posted by T-Mar on 8/28/2004 at 2:35:23 PM
This is a common problem, particularly on used bicycles. Many riders get frustrated by gear selection and simply leave the bicycle in the small chainring/small cog combination. This causes excessive wear in the small cog. When a chain replaced, it will mesh properly with the other cogs, which are relatively unworn, but slip on the worn small cog.

Another possibility is a stiff chain link. Since the smallest cog has the tightest curve, it requires more bending about the chain pivot than for a larger cog, and is more likely to exhibit skipping. A twisted link from chain suck is another possibility and exhibits the same symptoms.

Used bicyles often have heavy gunk build-up between the cogs. Sine there is relatively little space for this build-up behind a small cog, it cause a cahin to unseat. A simple freewhell cleaning may solve the problem.

Lastly, it could be simple derailleur adjustment, as you state.

Observe which link the chain skips on and mark it with a piece of tape or paint. If it always skips at the same spot, it is a stiff or twisted link. If it skips at random links proceed from freewheel cleaning, to derailleur adjustment to worn cog, in that order. Good luck.

   Chain slips on smallest cog posted by John E on 8/28/2004 at 8:02:59 PM
Because, as T-Mar so aptly notes, so many cyclists ride around in small-small (by far the best gear for long-term storage, but one of the worst for riding), excessive cog wear is unfortunately the most likely culprit in your case. You may be able to get a bit more use out of your current cogset by downshifting instead of loading your top gear. (This is better for your knees, slightly better for your safety and ability to accelerate out of trouble or to prevent motorists from underestimating your speed, and much better for your drivetrain.)

   RE:Chain slips on smallest cog posted by JONathan on 8/29/2004 at 5:11:15 AM
Check the chain link pins, too. I had one catch on the pulley cage and nearly tore out the derailer. Fortunately, I was going very slow and I stopped pushing as soon as it caught. You could easily thread in a replacement cog since it is the outside cog. If you are like me, I have a bunch of good FW's from the steel Rigida wheels that tend to build up over time...never throwing any out unless they are rusted up real bad on the inner surface. That build up of road crude between the cogs is no joke. I use a bamboo teriaki skewer broken off at the tip which makes a great cleaner. Finish off with a 1/2 inch wide piece of cloth jammed between the cogs. Worn cogs will have teeth that are more pointed the back side being warn away. The jockey-pully could be too far from the cog, which is a derailer adjustment correction, or it may be jammed a bit at the pivot. I have spent way too much time fiddling with adjustments and the problem seems to pop back anyway soon after it seems to be running correctly. I just swap it out with a good used FW and, if necessary a good used chain. One more easy check is the chainline. The axle and crank spindle need to be running parallel. I get lots of hickups in the chain when the axle is off even a slight amount.
Good luck,

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Chain slips on smallest cog posted by RobA on 8/30/2004 at 5:58:20 PM
Good info, guys...I, too, have spend more time fiddling with derailleurs/ freewheels/ chainlines than... I don't know what... In my experience, if you are prepared to spend the time, you can experiment all you want...if you're in a hurry, try to respect the basic design set-up of the drive train on the particular bike... spindle length/ crank set compatibility, chainline issues, freewheel cog sizes and spacings, and rear derailleur suitability and adjustments. I've never had too much trouble with front ders., but you have to be a bit careful there, as well...usually I've just encountered bent cage plates...

I'm really careful about inner limit adjustment on the rear der.... a problem there can be dramatic... Spoke protectors help, but on my good bikes, I usually seem to travel without them... Just this weekend, I saw an old, low-end road bike, leaning against the wall of a bank building on a busy suburban street...a closer look revealed the rear derailleur cage twisted and jammed into the spokes, several broken and bent spokes...no doubt, the next stop for that bike will be the landfill....:)

   spoke protectors posted by John E on 8/30/2004 at 11:30:18 PM
Although I do not believe in spoke protectors, I also do not believe in shifting into the inner cog except at relatively low speeds, and then only gently from the second cog. Too many of today's cyclists power-shift, slam across the cogset, or otherwise abuse their drivetrains. One benefit of a classic pinless, rampless friction shift system is that it unforgivingly teaches the rider proper shift technique.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS: Chain slips on smallest cog posted by Warren on 9/7/2004 at 12:31:07 AM
My two cents...when this happens to me I start from scratch and replace the chain and freewheel. When the chain wraps around a 13 tooth cog, it only makes firm contact with about 4 or 5 teeth. These teeth wear quickly. When the chain wraps around a 23 tooth cog you will get upwards of 9 teeth engaging the chain...the torque is distributed over a more teeth which causes less wear. Freewheels are great when you can replace just one cog but which cog do you replace. When you buy a used bike you don't know what (bad or good) riding habits the PO had. If he was a masher and lived on the big ring you may find your 14 or 15 cog worn. As mentioned above, an inexperienced rider will ride with bad chainlines and sawtooth both chainrings and cogs. Get a fresh drivetrain and avoid the headaches and possible accidents.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   s/a Fm left hand ball cup removal posted by: leigh on 8/28/2004 at 10:32:24 AM
Has anybody any ideas how to remove the left hand ball cup from a s/a fm 4 speed rear hub according to my master catalogue a special tool(DD11182) is inserted from the right hand side which engages the splines inside the cup to remove it from the shell
Is there any other way of removing the ball cup other than this? there are no flats on the outside of the cup to grip in a vice and i feel the chances of finding a 50 year old tool remote
Any help would be gratefully receIved


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   s/a Fm left hand ball cup removal posted by Edward in Vancouver on 8/28/2004 at 11:14:09 PM
Check out the authority on S/A, Tony Hadland. I think its (W3)hadland.net. This guy is pretty amazing, writes about everything from Led Zepplin to R.C. churches in England... Anyway he's got a 1956 S/A shop manual ready and free to download on his site, so you'll find the FM, and all the other 4 speeds there. Most importantly, the manual has explicit factory dismantle and put-together instructions (like timing the pinion gears before re-assembly). Don't know about the tool though, Peter Paine might have one (W3 oldcyclebits) or you could check out one of the "qualified" S/A specialists given on Hadland's site.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   '79 Raleigh "sports";..."Made in England"; "Assembled in United States" posted by: JONathan on 8/28/2004 at 7:28:02 AM
I am above my cap for this month's bike budget, but it does not stop me from looking! I almost bought a '79 Raleigh "Sports", men's frame, for $75 (that was 1/2 price!!). The bike was showroom condition, but the stickers pushed me off. Not that it was not a good deal by absolute standards. There has been a surge of inflation in prices, or is it "correction", I do not know. My wife was definitely proud of my restraint. However, I stopped in the store, today, and someone had bought it for $105 (30% off). Quite a hefty price by thrift store standards, IMHO. I noticed the bike had a sticker that stated; "Made in England" and another one stated; "Assembled in the US". Raleigh made the frame and put the parts in a box and shipped to the US?
Would the bike store assemble the bike, or were there specific assemby point(s), here and then shipped to retail stores? Unless labor was cheaper, here, I would think the bike would have been more profiyable to sell as a complete bike. Is a frame considered to be a bike "part", too? The bike looked a lot like my '79 "Sprite", which had been dropped off at the store in near new condition, except a plethora of maladjustments existed in all components. After a reassembly effort, I got a fantastic bike on the road. The Huret derailer (the one with a star stamped on the housing) is the absolte worst derailer I have ever used. Maaybe tomorrow will be a good garage sale day, with a 5 or 10 buck bike. I suppose it is a bit paranoid to wonder about the '79 "sports" being a lessor bike than the '60's hayday renditions of the model that were all Nottingham start-to-finish.
I guess I need to have some excuse for not picking that one up, even at $75. I guess what I am asking in particular, is at what point is a bike considered from it's place of origin?
Good finds for all!

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   '79 Raleigh posted by T-Mar on 8/28/2004 at 2:15:32 PM
Domestic assembly of foreign manufactured frames was a very common practice. Most foreign manufactured cycles were subject to very high tariffs, to protect domestic manufacturers like Schwinn from inexpensive imports due to the cheap foreign labour. However, tariff exemption or lower tariff rates could be obtained depending on the amount of domestic content. Lower tariffs meant lower costs to the distributor, which he could then use to increase his profit margin and/or lower the selling price to increase his market share.

The easiest way to increase domestic content was to import the frame and components to assemble the bicycle. This required relatively unskilled labour and litte investmnent in tooling and hardware. Some distributors went further and performed some of the more skilled tasks such as wheel-building, frame prep, painting and decal application, however these processes called for more expensive labour and greater investment in tooling and machinery.

Usually, assembly would be done by the distributor. To achieve the tariff reductions he had to prove the domestic content. Frames and components shipped to shops would have been considered after market items and been subject to normal import tariffs.

While I don't have any examples of US tarrifs, I can give examples of tariff rates the Canadian importers were being subjected to. Prior to 1975 the tarif was 25%. In 1975 it lowered to 15%. However, if you had more than 20% Canadian content, you were exempt from duties.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   '79 Raleigh posted by JONathan on 8/29/2004 at 5:29:25 AM
Thanks, T-Mar. Very interesting. I had no idea of how complicated things got trying to get a bike to market. Giving up some supervision of the finished product, especially where it is at the rubber-to-blacktop phase.JONathan


AGE / VALUE:   Austrian -made Sears posted by: Dick in FL on 8/28/2004 at 3:48:02 AM
This bike isn't properly a VLW but the expertise for my question probably resides in this forum. This bike has a 5-speed derailleur (Shimano Lark 333) with the shift control on the top tube and an unusual disk where one usually finds the pie-plate spoke protector. Inscribed along the outer periphery is "MOVE THIS DISK & SELECT THE SPEED CHANGING POINT". Under these instruction a window is cut out exposing a fixed pointer behind it. The periphery of the window is labeled "1 2 3 4 5" and the ends are labeled "L" and "H". What is this? The bike itself is many cuts above what one would expect from Sears and appears never to have been used. I suspect it was made for them by Steyr-Daimler-Puch, but it is very "Americanized" with chromed steel fenders and chain guard and a two-tone saddle. The tires are Austrian Semperits on 26" rims with knurled braking surfaces. Not your everyday Free Spirit. Decals are intact but do not specify a model name.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Austrian -made Sears posted by Ken on 8/31/2004 at 5:21:53 PM
Dick, can I have a picture of the gadget in question? Have you taken it apart? I can't help but wonder if it was an early "automatic" deal. It's bound to be a Puch, with the Sears connection.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Lejeune 10 speed......... posted by: Fred A on 8/28/2004 at 1:19:51 AM
Well, another garage sale and another bike. This time it's a yellow Lejeune 10 speed sporting a cottered crank, Simplex components, Rigida chromed QR wheels and Weinman brakes. Everything on it is original, including the slightly dried out tires, plastic saddle. The original owner got the bike at 16 and is now in his 40's and decided to part with it...for $20. All decals are present, mostly foil, but I haven't really had a chance to go over it with a fine tooth comb to determine frame composition(I'm still cleaning that 60's Bianchi I bought a few weeks ago when time allows).

Question is...is this a common French road bike? I own quite a few different Peugeot models and a Motobecane, but this French marque is new to me. I'm sure it's a lower end bike given my description, but it's something different at any rate. I checked this site for examples, but no luck. So once again I'm asking for any info should one of you out there happen to own one or can gine some info'

Thanks once again!
Fred A

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Lejeune 10 speed......... posted by JONathan on 8/28/2004 at 8:28:36 AM
Great find! They were a well respected bike, at least in track and TDF races, which would be top of the line mounts, of course. I would feel lucky to find one, even their modest, consumer-type versions would be cool to round out the collection. My French bikes are; Peugeot (of course); Jeunet; Motobecane; Mercier and Roold. I have not even seen a LeJeune around here, N. Ca..
How does it ride? Compared to a UO-8, forinstance.
Good luck, JONathan

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Lejeune 10 speed......... posted by Fred A on 8/28/2004 at 12:11:02 PM
Hi JONathan. Thanks for the positive reaction. Believe it or not, I still haven't ridden it yet! It's the first I've seen here on Long Island in NY, so I grabbed it up on that point alone. I heven't even seen one on ebay, so maybe I really did get lucky. This is the third brand of French of French bike I have, as I had forgotten about the Mercier I have that's still waiting for me to have the fork straightened out (that was a curbside find in beautiful, 100% condition with the exception of the fork!)

Well, off to more garage sales on my CILO 105 SPORT!
Fred A

   Lejeune 10 speed......... posted by John E on 8/28/2004 at 8:09:41 PM
We sold one Lejeune model at Bikecology in the early 1970s. It was a decent $250 machine with Reynolds 531 db frame, TA Professional (3-bolt) cotterless crank, Simplex gear, 52-42/14-22 10-speed gearing, Brooks saddle, and Mafac brakes. It was essentially a PX-10 alternative, although the latter had the somewhat stronger Stronglight 5-bolt crank.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Lejeune 10 speed......... posted by T-Mar on 8/28/2004 at 9:20:22 PM
It sounds like you have a model 5F from the '70s bicycle boom. I recall them having MAFAC Racer brakes, but the Weinmanns may be a factory substitution due to shortages. The 5F was roughly equivalent to the Peugeot U08 or Gitane Gran Sport.

The LeJeunes were on par with the other well known French bicycles, they were just not as widely distributed and therefore are not as well know. Peugeot, Gitane and Motobecane and Mercier were probably the big four French margues in terms of North American sales, due to good nation wide distribution and marketing. I would place LeJeune one tier down, with brands like Bertin and Jeunet, which tended to have regional availability and marketing campaigns.


   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Lejeune 10 speed......... posted by Kevin on 9/12/2004 at 5:43:54 AM
Great find on the LeJeune...They ride quite well. I am restoring one almost exactly like the red one you see at Classic Rendezvous..Finding many parts on E-bay that I would never have found 20 years ago when I bought this bike. Does anyone know the best route to get decals/transfers made. If you are going to restore it don't waste your time finding decals..they don't seem to exist anywhere. There really is very little info. on the LeJeune except for Harris Cyclery on the Web. I found a LeJeune mountainbike on E-bay today "NEW". Does anyone know about this? Has the LeJeune brand been ressurected?

AGE / VALUE:   Suntour Question posted by: Pat Lavery on 8/27/2004 at 11:07:35 PM
Where in the Suntour product line does the "Pro-Compe"
series of freewheels fall ? Compared to the "New Winner "
and "Perfect " designations ? Is there any difference in
quality or is it just marketing ?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Suntour Question posted by RobA on 8/28/2004 at 12:32:07 AM
My understanding of the order of line up for late 70s through to mid/late 80s SunTour freewheels is as follows:

1. Perfect
2. Pro-Compe
3. New Winner
4. Winner
5. WInner Pro

New Winner, Winner, and Winner Pro are, in my opinion, more finessed (I don't like to use the term, "better", as how the freewheel is being used is an important factor).

New Winner(at least the later ones), Winner and Winner Pro allow a smaller, small cog...12T. Interchangeability, in a rather complicated manner, is also possible with, at least the Winner and Winner Pro. The New Winner has a 'unique' adjusting process for the freewheel body, similar to cone adjustment on a hub, rather than they more typical shims...however, I find it rather frustrating, as it always seems almost impossible to loosen the well-used freewheels. ...The Winner Pro has a rather intricate and apparently very effective sealing system, which pretty well keeps the dirt and water out.... Cog sizes for the Winner and Winner Pro go up to 32t, I believe, on the others, at least, the Perfect and the Pro-Compe I think you can get up to 38t...hoepfully you'll have a derailleur that can handle that!!!

I've very quickly written this down...any errors or mistakes, anyone, please jump in an correct me... I find these freewheels quite fascinating ...the New Winner, Winner and Winner Pro, which I tend to focus on were designed to have the same body used on 120mm, 126.5mm and 130mm(I think I'm right on the last one)...the spacer widths and numbers of cogs allow this flexibility...



   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Suntour Question posted by T-Mar on 8/28/2004 at 10:24:21 PM
As Rob states, there is not a signifigant difference in the performance or reliability of the freewheels mentioned, at least not enough that you would notice. The difference is primarily in the flexibility of building the cogset and ease of maintenance.

The only change I would make to Rob's list, is that I would interchange his rankings of the Winner and New Winner. Like the Winner Pro, the New Winner could build standard 5 or 6 speeds, or narrow 6 or 7 speeds using the same freewheel body.

In addition to the excellent labrinyth seals, the Winner Pro had a oiler hole for lubricating the body, though the freewheel had to be removed to perform this operation. It also requires a unique remover for the four notch body.

SunTour also had a Microlite freewheel which used heat treated, aluminum cogs. It also used a four notch body, but I'm not sure if it was the standard Winner Pro body, or used special,lighter materials.

While the Winner, New Winner and Winner Pro could function with 130mm locknut spacing, they were designed to function with 120mm to 126mm spacing, depending on how the cogset was built up. I don't believe SunTour had a freewheel requiring 130mm spacing, until 8 speed Accushift debuted in the early '90s. The exception may have been some ATB hubs with wider flange spacing, that required it for 7 speeds.


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Suntour Question posted by Pat Lavery on 8/29/2004 at 3:48:41 PM
Thanks for the info ! I asked the question because I'm
considering replacing the existing freewheel on my Gitane
and saw a Pro-Compte listed on E-Bay.
I did a century ride yesterday and was dismayed that there
weren't other vintage bikes being ridden. Just a myriad of
clipless pedaled index shifted aluminum bikes.