AGE / VALUE:   FRAME DAMAGE posted by: Kevin K on 3/1/2005 at 2:38:02 PM
Hi guys. I was given a very nice Nishiki frame. Someone had bolted a kickstand on sometime in the past and damaged the chain stays. They are not crushed too bad but..........Is the frame safe to use or is it junk? Thanks, Kevin

     FRAME DAMAGE posted by John E on 3/1/2005 at 4:00:36 PM
It should be fine. Check the chainstays periodically for cracks, but this is not likely to become a safety issue, even if one does crack. (Been there ... done that ... got the [Peugeot UO-8] tee shirt.) My Nishiki failed when the seat tube lug broke away from the rest of the bottom bracket shell, which is evidently one of the most common failure modes on these frames. A friend's Nishiki broke at the front end of the downtube, also a common failure point.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   FRAME DAMAGE posted by Douglas on 3/1/2005 at 6:56:02 PM
I despair that these clamp-on kickstands are still available, they should have long ago gone the way of lead based paint and lawn darts.

Looking at the cruel damage these devices cause, it's hard not to conclude that the prime design criterion was the mashing of chainstays, so adroit are they at destroying these frame members. The ability to prop up the now damaged bike was but an unexpected side effect.

I've cried myself to sleep many times after discovering what at first glance seems to be a nice bicycle in my size, configuration and favorite color has had one of these medieval monstrosities fastened to it, thus denying it a home in my stable. "Be gone",I hardheartedly snap, "no damaged goods for me".


   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   FRAME DAMAGE posted by JONathan on 3/2/2005 at 6:34:03 AM
Right. If one were to start out designing a "tool" with which crushing tubing was the primary purpose, it would look just like one of those. Ditto on the unfortunate discovery of smashed up stays on what was otherwise an excellent frame. Schwinn had a well thought out kickstand design which has a plate welded across the stays that serves to mount the stand. I have cans full of kickstands for which I have no reason to keep except in the event I think of some alternate uses. Handlebar stems were another boondoggle of design persistence in my opinion. MTB stems are a correct design to maximize strength, but the vintage lightweights never picked up on those...Bridgestone RB-1 was one exception. As for safety of those squashed stays, I look for any cracks in the tubing after I buff off the rust with a rubber dremel wheel. These would indicate stress failure and would shy me away from trusting the setup being required to deal with 220#'s of rider along with lots of heavy pounding on the cranks. But, if I had to ride a bike with squashed stays, a Nishiki would be a first choice. Personally, I would not run any bike with squashed stays, mainly because enough stuff seems to break on even a perfectly intact frame. Besides, usually there is a ton of rust damage from years of exposure where the clamp had managed to scrape off the paint and primer coats (usually from loose kick stands being continually jammed back and forth before it was finally cranked down with 50 ft.-pounds of torque out of frustration).

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   FRAME DAMAGE posted by Chris on 3/6/2005 at 6:46:21 AM
I use this as an excuse to knock down a sellers asking price for the bike and often, it works.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Paramounts & Campy Sidepulls posted by: Daniel Jefferson on 2/25/2005 at 2:56:53 PM
who knows? when were Campy sidepulls 1st offered as an option on the Paramount? and what model were they? pre NR I'm assuming

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Paramounts & Campy Sidepulls posted by Steven on 3/2/2005 at 2:10:58 AM
There were no pre-NR Campagnolo brakes.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Mercier info posted by: Geoff Rogers on 2/24/2005 at 8:06:27 PM
I have just put together a sort of Frankenstein's monster lightweight/ commuter cycle, made from a Mercier frame, low-end Campy high flange hubs with Italian alloy wheels (can't read the labels on the rims, but they are yellow and red with a dragon(?)), low-end Campy front derailleur and Simplex Prestige rear, alloy North Road SR bars and a Brooks B72 saddle, because I like to be able to walk after I go for a ride, and racing saddles cause me pain.
I think I paid $10 for the saddle, but the rest of the bike was found or scrounged from other machines from the local transfer station.
How can I date this frame? It is Reynolds 531 tubing, with Simple rear dropouts and chrome fork ends, and it's brilliant chartreuse. Yipes! It does ride nicely, however, despite the color. I am used to gas-pipe English 3-speeds, which are still my favorite bicycles, but I have to admit, the lightweight Mercier is a joy to ride. I cannot find serial numbers anywhere.
Anybody have any thoughts on what I should use for brakes? Currently I have Dia-Compe sidepulls, but I suspect they aren't right for the vintage, and besides, the arms are too long so I do not have good contact between the brake block and rim. I am also theoretically looking for a Campy rear derailleur to macth the front one.
Geoff Rogers

      Mercier info posted by John E on 2/24/2005 at 8:30:20 PM
You may be able to date your frame from numbers stamped into the crankset or the rear derailleur, assuming these are original. If you have a full Reynolds 531 frame (diagonal, rather than horizontal, "531" on the French-language decal), then your bike is comparable to a Peugeot PX-10. You obviously need shorter-reach brakes, which hints that your frame may be from the late 1970s or early 1980s, when tighter geometries became fashionable on high end bikes. Short reach single-pivot Weinmann, Campag., or Galli sidepulls would be great on your bike. (My Peugeot came with non-original Galli sidepulls, which may well be the best set of road caliper brakes I have ever used.)

   RE:   Mercier info posted by Geoff Rogers on 2/25/2005 at 6:12:09 PM
Thanks, John.
Yes, it's the diagonal "531" decal, double-butted main tubes and 531 forks and stays as well. It is really light, at least to me!
I cannot find numbers on the frame anyplace. When I got the frame, it was just frame and forks, no cranks, wheels, or anything, hence the assemblage of bits from other sources. I like it a lot, but would love to find out more about its age. I am guessing early 70's but I don't know why.
Do you really think it's in the PX-10 league?
It does seem to have tight geometry.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Mercier info posted by T-Mar on 2/25/2005 at 11:33:54 PM
Another rule of thumb indicator for early '70s, French bicycles are foil based decals, however Mercier and Motobecane were notable exceptions to this indicator. However, Mercier did use a foil based headbadge.

Other rule of thumbs indicators for early '70s models are brazed on pump pegs and fender eyelets on the dropouts. These features tended to disappear from this level of frame during the late '70s.

Brake and deraileur cable mounting may also offer a clue. In ther early '70s rear brakes would either use clips or cable stops on the lower half of the tube. The presence of tunnels on the top of the top tube, indicates something later. The derailleur cable routing at the bottom bracketcould be via clamped routing or tunnels brazed ON TOP of the bottom bracket shell. Outside on cable stops, derailleur cable tunnels and pump pegs, an ealry '70s frame would be normally devoid of fittings.

The one feature that is missing for an early '70s frame of this level is chrome on the rear dropouts and stays. maybe this was just an oversight on your part?

I do agree with John on his PX10 comparison. Other similar, popular models included the Gitane Tour de France, LeJeune Professional and Jeunet 630. All used Reynolds 531 butted tubing, Simplex derailleurs, MAFAC brakes, Stronglight cotterless cranksets and Normandy hubs hubs mated to tubular wheelsets. For the era, this was the standard French approach to a mid range, competition model. About the only major French manufacturer who deviated from this formula was Motobecane.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS: Mercier info posted by sam on 2/26/2005 at 1:00:53 AM
The rims are most likely Fiamme:

   RE:   Mercier info posted by Marvigno on 7/31/2006 at 12:20:52 AM
I just got a nice LeJeune... tour de France model, but it does not have the decals with reference to the Reynolds 531... they all semm to be, but mine does not show that. How can i figure it out??? Any help would be appreciated. thanks

   RE:   Mercier info posted by David Spick on 10/21/2007 at 7:22:11 PM
I have just found about 10 Mercier headbadges, several different models.

AGE / VALUE:   flightliner posted by: jim on 2/24/2005 at 5:40:48 PM
i recently bought a 1960 something girls flightliner for my wife.I can't find the serial# on it and i have looked the bike over,i might just being missing it but anybody know where to look?also i believe the bike came with a taillight i would like to replace it.I got a real good deal on it i think as the bike looks original.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   flightliner posted by Ken on 2/25/2005 at 6:51:00 PM
Jim, you're on the wrong page; this bike belongs with balloon/middleweights.
If you want to repost there or email me off list I'll talk Flightliners with you...

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   flightliner posted by jim on 3/1/2005 at 6:12:34 PM
thanks ken, i posted on the oter site. i will try to get a picture of the bike and send it to you.

FOR SALE:   Wooden Rims posted by: TJ on 2/22/2005 at 4:20:04 AM
Wooden rims: I have a pair of 25" (that's what the tape said) with a oval branded into the rim that says "E.J.LODELL ALMA, MICH" with a Morrow rear hub and I assume the same kind for the front rim. But the valve hole is too narrow and I have never had the gutz to drill them out for a standard valve.(a new set of red tires are just waiting for the drilling) Is there any use for them in this day and age with the small valve hole? I just can't get myself to cut these great rims. I may have to sell them since I can't do the modifications to ride them. Your thoughts are welcomed.
Is Ebay the best place to list?

   RE:FOR SALE:   Wooden Rims posted by Steven on 2/25/2005 at 2:08:08 PM
By small valve hole what do you mean? The wheel size that you measure would appear to be the very common 700C rim size used on racing bikes for close to 100 years. These would normally use a Presta valve which is narrower than the Schrader valve used on car tire valves. Perhaps you can post a photo ofthe shape of the rim so that we can comment.

   RE:FOR SALE:   Wooden Rims posted by sadie on 3/21/2005 at 3:31:35 PM
have u sold these rims yet?
are u still planning to if not?
i may be interested, depending on what yr asking for em