AGE / VALUE:   Free Dump Week Final posted by: Randy on 5/16/2006 at 11:34:21 PM
Well, I can honestly say that I was disappointed with the results of spending a week at the dump this year. My total score was a Peugeot PB19(?) with a Phil Wood flip flop hub, Campagnolo cranks, Mavic rims and an old logo Cinelli stem. Two Nishiki road bikes in excellent condition, one entry level and one much nicer, one very nice Raleigh "Superbe" a Columbia with tool tank(traded it for a Dawes "Galaxy" and a whole wack of entry level to higher end mountain bicycles complete the finds.

The poor weather was a contributing factor, to say the least(two trees fell on my summer cottage during a viscious wind storm one night). There were quite a few lesser road bicycles discarded but I did not bring any of them home(perhaps I should re-evaluate this position). Why???

I see a lot of vintage road bicycles being ridden on the streets these days. Five years ago, I could go almost th entire summer and see fewer vintage light weights than I could count on one hand. Now I see several every day, even when it is raining. These bicycles are being used as simple, cost effective transportation in an area that is pretty much unforgiving to bicycles sharing the road(I live in a mill town where 4x4 trucks rule). With this in mind, perhaps I should begin salvagine the department store specials and try to sell them locally.

Are the road bicycles coming back? Are new bicycles too cheap to bother with or too costly to afford? I am trying to figure this out.

Perhaps old timers, like myself, are simpley trying to stay fit as they approach and enter retirement years and attempt to do so by hauling out the old iron. Perhaps their grand children see these old rides as "cool" retro or whatever. Perhaps the bicycles are being dusted off and used again because of the rising, make that fluctuating, gas prices. Perhaps it is a combination of all of these things and more that I haven't thought of.

That said, I will keep looking for my vintage race and touring bicycles. If I find a good departmetn store bicycle, I will salvage it ans see if there is someone interested in owning and riding it. I will continue to use my most effective hunting technique(can you guess what that is?) and hope for the best.

Think I will take the Vitus out for another ride as soon as I finish the dishes...

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Free Dump Week Final posted by JONathan on 5/17/2006 at 2:08:12 AM
Canadian weather deserves some healthy respect. I got a real taste for cold a couple years back when I was in Buckhorn, Ont. I thought it was a joke to pack a full length "trappers' coat" until I found out why they make coats like that! Those bikes sound OK for a few days of happy hunting. I have seen a marked increase in VLW's here in Ca (bay area). I call it smart-money, when I see the VLW's out there. Most of all the difference can be made up for in rider's skill. However, one has to be handy, as most shops are not "vintage" minded, at least where I've been. There are a couple shops that have someone around who knows something about the VLW. Probably not worth their time, but as a novel experience, perhaps and one could always stock up on bits to make the cause seem justified to them. Those 25-28# lugged steel frames are frankly just plain hard to top IF they are running right. Most need a moderate to extensive refurbishing to make it all good and that's probably why they are passed over by a lot of would-be riders. They'll plop $$ down for a new steed without knowing what they are missing. Smooth running, comfortable and quite distinctive appearance and personality are what I nwould miss. Thanks for all the great posts on the dumps. I felt inspired to hunt, but no suitable dumps around here. Maybe someday.

    Free Dump Week Final posted by John E on 5/17/2006 at 2:10:09 PM
Thanks for the continuing coverage of your landfill adventures, Randy. I have alot of trouble getting enthused about any of the new bikes. Even the high-end stuff has hideous-looking TIG welds, and most of the better road bikes are designed for all-out racing, rather than for daily driver practicality. Nothing suits my needs as thoroughly and as artfully as a well-made lugged steel frame with a double-butted CrMo or MnMo main triangle.

   RE:AGE / VALUE: Free Dump Week Final posted by jack on 5/18/2006 at 5:32:08 AM
And they aren't making them (lwt lugged-steel) anymore...unless you want to pay a grand for a semi-custom frameset. What I find amazing is a 20-50 yo bike not only looks beautiful but rides comfy too. Unfortunately, relatively few people know the difference...or fortunately, for scavengers like us. Just in the past yr I've found an english Raleigh Team in 531, Jap Raleigh Superbe in 531SL, and a custom USA-made Diamond tourer, all 3 for less than $100! I get pleasure just looking at them and thinking of the shops and skilled craftsmen who built these epitomes of the most efficient vehicle ever devised by the mind of man.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: Free Dump Week Final posted by Gralyn on 5/18/2006 at 4:51:23 PM
Well, from all my scavenging - I have yet to find one bike with 531 tubing. I have some triple butted, and even a quadruple butted frame set....Ishiwhatta (sp.), Columbus, Tange, a Reynolds 501 or such..... - but no Reynolds 531. I just have never found one.

I haven't ridden any of the newer bikes (less then 5 years old - mid-to-high end stuff) - so I can't compare the old VLW frames and the ride - to the newer bikes.

But one thing I noticed: there is a difference in the ride of an aluminum frame compared with a steel frame. I have a mid-80's Miyata aluminum.....and I can feel the difference in the ride .......I can't decide whether it's better or worse.....I guess it's not either.....but it's "different"....and it feels different.

   frame tubing posted by John E on 5/23/2006 at 2:12:00 PM
Workmanship, lugwork, tubing gauge, and frame geometry are what count. It matters little whether the frame is made of Reynolds 531 (MnMo) or Tange, Ishiwata, or Columbus CrMo. By the late 1970s, Japanese CrMo tubing was world class.

MISC:   Nice Rudge club bike on ebay!!!!! posted by: Warren on 5/16/2006 at 2:00:35 AM

   RE:MISC:   Nice Rudge club bike on ebay!!!!! posted by David on 5/16/2006 at 5:15:22 PM
Interesting. Look at the brakes; they're center PUSH, not pull.

   : Nice Rudge club bike on ebay!!!!! posted by John E on 5/17/2006 at 2:15:38 PM
Thanks for posting. Those are probably among the first cantilever brakes ever made.

MISC:   Anyone able to ID a 1970s mystery lightweight? posted by: Judy Renee on 5/15/2006 at 8:19:15 PM
Been reading through this forum, and impressed with the general knowledge here. So, maybe someone here can help me...

I'm looking to ID the bike I loved as a teenager. It's been many years since I've seen it, I seem to have never taken a photo of it, and I never bothered to find out what it was (hey--things were harder before the internet!). This is everything, no matter how tiny, I can dredge up from my memory:

It was a classic early 1970s lightweight frame design. 12 speed (I recall this clearly because my best friend had a Schwinn Continental of the same vintage, and hers was 'only' a 10 speed in my snotty teenaged opinion). This one was white with black pinstripping on front forks (which were all white, not white and chrome), and around tube joins to head tube (these were not just welded one into the other, but appeared to fasten into welded brackety things with curved edges--much like on the supposed Campagnolo/Raleigh bike from eBay last month:, and most likely other joins as well.. With Campagnolo written large (in their signature script) along the top tube, or possibly the down tube. The other tube had another name, written along it in a slightly different script; it was a shorter name, but just as foreign, and also began with 'C'. Caliper brakes, both front and rear. Plugs for the ends of the handlebars with stamped in gold with "C" name around the center screw. Gear shift contols all metal, no plastic or rubber coating (and, boy, were they cold to the fingers on a below freezing morning!). Head tube sported a logo design involving a shield (I want to say quartered), in a primarily black, red, and yellow design. My memory says this was a separately attached plate, though I suppose it could have been a decal placed right below the round, yellow reflector. The seat top was in a diamond pattern, padded on the top. Nasty, bare foot eating metal toothed pedals, with set-in yellow reflectors (we had to learn to respect each other), and an equally bare kickstand. I can't say with precision what size anything was, but it was a little too big for me; with the seat at its lowest possible position, I could reach the ground with my tiptoes. I'm not tall--5' 21/2", with a leg length of slightly over 29". I was the same size then.

Bought new in the 1972-1974 timeframe from my local bicycle store in northeast Missouri. They were primarily a Sfcwinn dealer, and this (and a yellow one identical to it) had mysteriously come in with a lot of Schwinns from Chicago. They assumed that it was a foriegn brand that Schwinn was test marketing, or had a deal with, and priced it accordingly at $200 (I seem to recall the two oddball bikes didn't show up on the shipping manifest, and there was concern over what to sell them for).

This was absolutely the best bike I've ever ridden. Lightweight, fast, and as tough as possible. I crashed into buildings, high curbs, overgrown stumps, and rode it on every single surface a small midwestern town had to offer a bored teenager to do. Even tried it down railroads and across railroad ties, just to see if I could. The only non-cosmetic damage it ever suffered was the spectacular death of the front wheel when I somehow got my foot caught in it, and pulled loose some spokes. Unfortunately, afte college, I moved to Boulder Co, and took up with a roommate who wouldn't allow it in his house, so it sat in the backyard, exposed to the elements, and chewed on by his dog. I ended up selling it years later to aomeone who thought they could restore it. I hope they did.

I originally started looking on the web (and eBay) to see if I could ID it almost two years ago; so far I've found nothing that resembles it, aside from positively IDing the Campy script. Originally, I thought it'd be an easy thing to replace; I'm gradully realizing that maybe I'm wrong....


   RE:MISC:   Anyone able to ID a 1970s mystery lightweight? posted by David on 5/16/2006 at 2:40:50 PM
My guess is that your "Campagnolo" memory is unreliable. The padded seat top, nasty pedals with reflectors, and kickstand suggest not a top-of-the-line. I'd guess a Japanese bike (many inexpensive ones had quite nice lug and paint work and handled very well; e.g. Fuji, Nishiki, etc) since they were being imported in good numbers by the early 70s. BTW, I bought the "Raleigh Campagnolo" bike you mentioned. I'm pretty sure it's not a Raleigh, but I can't tell at all what it might be. The track hubs it came with more than paid for it, however!

   RE:RE:MISC:   Anyone able to ID a 1970s mystery lightweight? posted by Gralyn on 5/16/2006 at 5:07:47 PM
You could possibly be looking at the Japanese brand "Campania"......something like that. I have one. When I first spotted it - I thought it said "Campagnolo".....but closer look - it was Campania.....

I picked it up - because it was a decent quality Japanese bike - and it had no braze-ons for cable routing, etc. my plan was to make it a single speed fixed gear bike. I believe it has a kick stand, reflectors, and those pedals with the teeth and reflectors......and metal (aluminum alloy) shifters. I believe it has pin striping around the lug work....yes, it has lugged frame....and it has the saddle with the diamond pattern on top. I believe it also has steel (probably Araya) rims. From the riding you described above - I would think the wheels would have to be steel to hold up to that type of riding.

Hey, I still haven't done anything with my I would possibly sell it to you if you would be interested. (It's a dark brown finish.....probably a 21 inch frame.....Nitto alloy bars and stem (I believe they are alloy)...Sugino cranks).

   Campania posted by John E on 5/17/2006 at 2:17:37 PM
Yes, I recall the Japanese Campania line from the early 1970s. The higher-end Pro model was pretty decent, with double-butted CrMo (Tange or Ishiwata; I forget which).

   RE:RE:RE:MISC: Anyone able to ID a 1970s mystery lightweight? posted by Judy Renee on 5/19/2006 at 7:06:27 PM
Hah. You all may well be right about the Campania line; this all sounds correct. Thanks. :) I thought someone here could help me!

Gralyn, I might indeed be interested in buying your Campania. Drop me line privately if you like. I've been looking for a new bicycle for sometime, and it seems that nothing new out there will do...

   RE:RE:RE:MISC:   Anyone able to ID a 1970s mystery lightweight? posted by Gralyn on 5/25/2006 at 10:55:50 PM
I thought about fixing mine up kind of like this:

MISC:   541 or 540 rim size....? posted by: Elvis on 5/15/2006 at 7:02:50 PM
Trying to put modern wheels on a '73 Ralaigh "Racer" 5 spd road bike.

The stock rims are either 541 or 540 size -- the original tires were marked 541, and the replacement tires the LBS managed to dig up are marked 25-540. As the 25 denoted tire width (i.e., as in 25x700c on a modern bike) is the 540 or 541 a centimeter measurement?

If so will 24" rims fit? It is possible to get narrow tires for 26" mountainbike wheels so running 24"ers might be a practical solution. Has anyone else attempted to do this, and if so, what are the results?

Thanks for any info,

- Elvis

   RE:MISC:   541 or 540 rim size....? posted by David on 5/16/2006 at 2:53:08 PM
See Sheldon's article on tire sizes:
Is this a Raleigh Record 24; i.e. a kid's size racing-style bike? (That's listed in my 1976 catalog, but no tire size is specified) If so, I'd doubt that any rims called 26" will be small enough. See if you can borrow some wheels of diff sizes just to see if they'll fit into the frame. You can find out, at least, if common sizes will go at all.


VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   crank breakage posted by: John E on 5/15/2006 at 3:50:37 PM
I have posted something similar on, but I wanted to get some additional opinions. I just broke my third left crank (all occurrences were completely different and unrelated), this time a lightly-used Campag. Veloce. from the early to mid 1990s. Do these cranks have a history of unreliability? This one has developed a crack along the distal end (shoulder) of the spindle eye, parallel to the spindle.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   crank breakage posted by David on 5/15/2006 at 6:23:11 PM
Were you using a Campy spindle? Isn't the Campy taper slightly different from the taper of Japanese spindles?

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   crank breakage posted by JONathan on 5/15/2006 at 7:35:36 PM
That's a lot of crank breaks, John E., even with laws of small numbers applied. When you say "completely" different does that mean that each crank was a different make? One question that I have concerns crank reattachment. I place a bit of grease on the spindle, then wipe it off, but a slight amount remains. Of course, this can effect torque values (a suspect here, IMO). However, the chances of fretting are cut down so the UL (endurance limit) can be pushed up a few percents, I think. My own belief, without ANY quantitative data, of course. All speculation. Fretting occurs greater with dry contact. The surface cracking is consistent with fatigue data being greater where more bending (deflection) occurs. Campagnola parts are usually highly polished, which helps endurance considerably. David makes a good point to consider. I would review your procedure for fitting and torque of the crank. The left side is definitely the weaker, in my opinion, of the two cranks by virtue of load distribution being more focused at the spindle eye. So that much makes sense to me. Does the frame flex a lot? I have wondered how my flexible road bikes effect crank wear, especially on climbs. Bottom line for me? Check the fit (David's post) and procedures. I always look at procedures (methods) when I get failures. It gets me thinking, since I run a lot of cranks that are close to the UL.

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   crank breakage posted by JONathan on 5/15/2006 at 11:26:34 PM
Oops! That's "EL", not "UL" abbrev. for "endurance limit". Excuse typo, please.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   crank breakage posted by steve on 5/16/2006 at 11:20:01 PM
I grease the spindle taper too, for the same reason. Also note the crank-bolt socket tools that have a metal rod (ca: 5-6") running through a hole to serve as a handle. I've always taken that to be an indication of the maximum leverage you ought to have. On the final tightening of the bolt, I position the tool so that my hand is gripping both the crank arm and the tool handle, so the maximum force is limited to my hand grip strength. I've never had a crank arm break yet.

    crank breakage posted by John E on 5/17/2006 at 2:35:26 PM
Thanks to all respondents for making this a good thread. I said the three breakages are unrelated because the first was to a cottered steel crank, and the second involved a high-mileage Sugino crank at the pedal eye. Since both of these may have resulted from simple metal fatigue, it is only the third case, the Campagnolo Veloce, that I find interesting and troubling.

I wondered about the terminal width of the spindle (everyone evidently uses the same 2-degree taper, but there are two different standard cutoff sizes), but I am using a Campagnolo cartridge. The cranks do not seat as far as I would normally have expected, but according to the marks inside the spindle eye, they are seating at least 80 to 85%. However, the crack originates at the inside surface, which is consistent with a wedging action. I use a standard 3/8" drive socket wrench and apply just enough torque to bring the bolt up snug. I have a fair amount of experience with turning bolts and nuts on cars and bikes and have rarely broken any fitting from overtightening; if anything, I have on rare occasions erred on the side of slightly too loose.

I like the idea of VERY lightly greasing or oiling the crank spindle, and I often practice this, myself, even though some folks swear by dry assembly.

As for frame flex, all three cranks were used on long wheelbased, somewhat soft, whippy, flexy frames (1960 Capo, 1971 American Eagle Semi-Pro [Nishiki Competition], 1959 Capo), but since I put less than 500 miles on the Campag. crank before it broke, I cannot believe that either frame flex or my passion for hills was the culprit in that case.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   crank breakage posted by JONathan on 5/17/2006 at 6:36:14 PM
OK, I would consider that the "slightly used" crank may have been subjected to some damaging stress (from previous handling before you got it), such as fitting it on an unspecified spindle. The level of disparity among the crank-arms failures points to a run of bad luck. If you've broken three cranks, maybe the odds are building in your favor, as I have only snapped pedals, chains and spokes. All were beyond normal wear conditions. I dread a crank failure as it will happen when lots of power is applied...I tend to not think about it, but it is always in the back of my mind.
I was averaging one ditch/year, but I've been 4 years without any unexpected dismounts! What are my odds like?


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   crank breakage posted by Paul on 5/18/2006 at 3:35:58 AM
While it's true both Jap cranks and Campy share a 2 degree spindle taper, the diameter of the square end is just different enough to render the two designs incompatible.
I do not think cranks should be greased before installation. This allows the crank to pull too far onto the spindle. You say you love cranking up hills. Do you slog up hills in a too high gear? Or do you spin? It makes a big difference on your drivetrain parts. Also using used cranks is not the best idea in the world, considering your history of broken cranks.
I am 6-4, 240 LBS, and I ride thousands of miles each year, and I have never broke a crank. Perhaps you are using too high of a gear???