| Concerning my latest find, a late 70's (76?) Austro Daimler (Vent Noir I/II?), I have a tough question (I don't have the answer, anyhow...):|
The finish is a very unique smoked chrome sort, and one which I don't want to ruin during some light-medium restoration work. To be specific, there is rust, some of it too advanced to expect much more than cleaning it away (the bike-after all- is 30 yrs. old). For the most part, however, the frame is still a wonder to the eye; the rust spots are either of the for mentioned variety-and just in a couple isolated spots at that- or of the minescule, pitted kind, found here and there in various places. I have searched the net widely for advice on cleaning chrome, and found lots of general tips. However, I'm hesitant to just hit the bike with 00 grade steel wool and WD40, only to find my end result scratched and faded--UGGHHH! Maybe, this is the simple and, well, logical solution. Any informed advice would be appreciated!
Much Thanks, Henry
| If I were to use steel wool, it would be 0000 grade. However, a cheap alternative is aluminum foil. Crumple it up, add a little polish or lube and go. This works, really.|
| Hi Henry,|
I highly recommend "Quick Glo" chrome cleaner. I have used it for several years on many bike cleaning projects; it works great on steel rims and chromed fork crown caps (the latter which seem to be easily scratched with even 0000 steel wool). This is a paste-type material (appears to be some sort of clay formulation) that works extremely well and will absolutely not scratch chrome. Here in the US midwest, some bike shops carry it (and I think that Rivendell sells it in their catalog). Good luck with your project. Regards, Lenny
| I agree with Lenny, Quick-Glo is magical however it will be real tough finding it. I understand it is temporarily (hopefully) off the market and can't be found. I've checked numerous places without luck. If you find a place taht sells Quick-Glo and has a stock of it, please post it on this bulletin board. I sorely miss it.|
| How about Simichrome?|
| It sounds like there are some effective products out there- Can I find that Quick-Glow stuff? Thats the question there. Anyhow I'm concerned w/ 3 steps to my frame challenge: namely, for one, cleaning away the rougher spots-say- around the BB part of the frame; next up, hitting the smaller "markings" along with restoring the overall consistency of the finish; and finally maintaining a protective polish-some kind of a preventative, anyhow-to keep the bike from the future affects of moisture. Note: I suppose I should have posted this in the restoration discussion area--some great product suggestions folks. I'm all ears here! -henry|
| Hello Henry,|
If you can't find any Quick-Glo locally (some bike shops in my area have carried it on occasion), send me an e-mail off the list. Regards, Lenny
| I have a Pearl white peugeot, with orange and blue decals, the badge is stamped 1882-1982, the tubes have all been squeezed to reduce frontal area, no serial no, is found. small decal on seat tube with the following script ( tube special Carboprofil 103 ) Any info is appreciated, thanks for the help; jerry|
| You have a basic carbon steel Peugeot, successor to the venerable UO-8. Although it is nothing special, it is a decent ride.|
| I have had several of these Peogeots with Carbolite 103 frame. I "had" them - because I have sold every one I had. I have quite a few bikes of equal quality that I have tried to sell - but have been unsuccessful. For some reason, these Peogeots with the Carbolite 103 will sell. |
Just yesterday, I spotted another one. It was identical to 2 others I previously owned. I thought about getting it - knowing I could sell it if I wanted to. Or maybe I could get it and ride it some. The price was pretty good. But, I suppose it will be gone ....even if I stop by today - I really don't expect it will still be there. One's like that go pretty quickly!
| I rode a red ross bicycle with a banana seat and mini-ape-hanger handlebars in the early 80's. I would love to get my hands on one. If you know where one might be, can you send me a pic? Willing to pay $$$.|
| Try the muscle bikes forum on this web site.|
| One bike I am considering looking at is a Motobecame on E-bay. The seller is local (Portland, OR). but I haven't heard from him yet. He also has two other bikes and I think all three are mixties, which is my preferred frame style.|
Any input would be appreciated. I haven't bought a bike in years. My last two were Schwinns, because one was in beuatiful condition and always kept indoors. The other Schwinn, just because I'm from Chicago myself.
How do I evaluate a used bike, besides just riding it, and looking for obvious problems?
Or am I really better just biting the bullet and buying something new? (I can't afford to spend more than $300.00 tops.) How do I get the most bang for my buck?
| Here's a couple of cents worth. Motobecane mixtes are great bikes for comfortable ridng. The paint is excellent. My one Moto mixte frame is a "Gran Tourer" with very lightweight frame. The notch below the GT is the "super mirage"; then "mirage" (component difference only); the "Nomad" and the "Nobly". You want to have alloy cotterless cranks for ease of service and replacement when necessary. Look for Stronglite or Nervar brands of crank. Then, check for alloy rims which provide lighter ride and better braking in rain.|
Look for Japanese SunTour derailers, as these are better (IMO) shifting than most. Compared to the Schwinn, the moto is likely a lighter ride, unless you had a "Le Tour IV" or similar, which are comparable. Can't go wrong with a Motobecane...get a good lock, too. Main point to consider is the frame dimensions be suitable for safe riding and comfortable for you. Unfortunately as sight unseen, this requires either some knowledge of fit or actual test-ride to determine if it is a good choice for you. Don't get one with "AVA" stem (supports handlebars), unless you want additional expense for replacing it. I think Motos came with Japanese components beginning earlier in '70's than most European makes, which makes this less of an issue.
Set aside $100 for refit of tires, brake pads (KoolStops), new seat, bar tape, brake cables and housing, and shifter cables... unless these have already been replaced. Good luck.
| Mary, I took a look at that Portland ebay mixte. Not too bad if you could get it for 150 or less. You should add expense ($50?) for changing to upright bars and brake levers. I personally prefer vintage lugged over modern welded chinese but if you are unfamiliar with bikes and don't have knowledge, skill, and tools and time to deal with an older bike, it may be best to go new. I do see some new sweet city bikes that have 700C wheels, cantilever brakes, fenders, lighting systems and internal Nexus geared-hubs that are nice 'cept for the welded frames. Go to REI. Doubleheader: Your Schwinns are ok but if you aren't married to them I'd try and go with something better for YOUR type of riding.|
| Great advice from jack and JONathan. I won't own or ride anything other than a classic lugged steel frame, either European or high-end American or Japanese, but I enjoy doing all of my own mechanical work and own a pretty complete set of tools and a big junk parts bin.|
| I am, by no means an expert when it comes to owning and riding vintage road bicycles. I do like the ride I get from the lugged steel frames. I have owned and ridden an aluminum frame Cannondale. I put a lot of miles on the Cannondale and must say that the ride is very stiff when compared to my other bicycles. I have sold the Cannondale because of this. However...|
I recently acquired an early eighties Vitus and I really like the ride quality offered by that bicycle. Perhaps the ride is more acceptable to me because of the way the frame is constructed. The tubes are glued(bonded) to the lugs. The frame is quite flexible and the ride is smooth and positive at the same time. Before owning the Vitus, I would not have thought that an aluminum bike was for me. Now, I can honestly say that the Vitus(cracked left crank and all) is a keeper in my hard to manage collection. I recently purchased a Mavic crank set and look forward to getting the Vitus back on the road. However...
The best riding bicycle that I own is my 1971 Carlton Professional, followed closely by my 1972 Motobecane Grand Record. Another bicycle that seems to have got it just right.
Perhaps one day, I will give one of those new carbn fiber jobbies a try. Untill then, lugged steel does top the chart, challanged only by one aluminum contender.
| I would like to try a bike with a carbon frame. I've never been on one - so I have no idea how it would ride. |
I also would like to try out a recumbent. I've never been on one - so I have no idea how it would be.
I think much of the ride of a vintage lightweight - has to do with the geometry. A really short frame can give a rough ride. A steep seat tube, a straight fork - can make it rough. Tires also play an important role. I'm sure a fatter, taller tire can smooth out a tight frame......likewise, a really low profile, very high pressure small tire can make a 43 in. wheelbase tourer feel stiff.
| I don't know if its just an urban myth about the comfort of french bikes but there is no doubt they have a certain flair and ridability about them. If you read history of bikes you find the french among the first to fall in love with cycling. As such, they were/are not considered primarily "toys" but practical industrial art maybe. The vintage bike-boom ones that we run across AND can afford are quirky with their french threading and all...but if you can put up with all that, the results are nice looking and nice riding bikes indeed. |
| Missed out on that motobecame, because seller didn't contact me before the auction ended. Someone won with the first bid. GRRRR! He said he is listing more bikes, but neglected to tell me if I can veiw before buying. It seems really weird that he has so many mixte frames.|
One is a Peugeot mixte, but it seems rather new (12 speeds). I don't know if it was made in France. Would I want one made in Canada? Is it still a real Peugeot?
Anyway the link is
If someone would give give me their opinion.
The Omega he is selling is so CUTE with a pink frame, but I find no info for that manufacturer.
Anyway,he seems to try to describe the bikes in detail. I get a general impression of a trustworthy seller. I just don't want to buy a frame that doesn't fit.
| Mary -- another thought. How about looking for another Raleigh 3-speed? They do turn up occasionally. |
One of the guys on BikeForums.net has suggested that the current owners of Raleigh should consider introducing a new "retro" bike, styled like the old 3-speeds, but with good brakes, aluminum rims and cranks, and a 7-speed internal hub transmission. If they paint it traditional black or British racing green, I think they would have a winner.
| John E.,|
Yes, If I see another Raleigh three speed, I will snap it up. I would definitely pay $20 for one in poor condition, but no major problems, $50 for one in good shape, and if priced higher, well I guess it will just depend on my mood, and it's condition.
But that doesn't mean I wouldn't like other bikes, too.
| Good luck finding a 3-sp. Raleigh "sports" in good condition for $50. I found aluminum (Dunlop) rims for one that I am required to maintain on "deck", as it were, and it made a big difference. The rider can actually keep up with the ten/twelve speeds on short runs. VERY stable ride and the frame is incredibly robust. All I do is put a drop or two of 30# oil in the rear hub, a little tenacious-lube on chain, top off the air once a month and it's happy. That Peugeot mixte is a nice bike. Those Rigida rims are superb riding and strong as any out there. Japanese components make for ease of repair (if needed along the way) and that version of mixte is very nice. I dragged the pedals a lot on sharp turns, but I was really pushing it. Climbs really well with good power transfer to the rear traingle (extra supports). It would be under $200 with shipping assuming a $120 winning bid. The Raleigh "sports" has the advantage of wider tires, which smooths out the road at some expense in performance. |
| Can you tell me about a 1974 Sekine bike I own. It has a forged front axle and shimono rear axle with suntour gears and 27 inch tires a cro moly frame also what is its value and quality? thank you|
| Hi, I just found your board. I would like some input into whether my Schwinns are worth keeping as commuter bikes.|
I have a Schwinn LeTour mixtie frame. from the mid 70's.
I also have a Schwinn Traveller.
The LeTour is really getting to be beat up, scratches, rust. I have never known much about maintaining bikes, and it was always so expensive to go to the shop to get it done. (Heck, my bike cost $80 when bought used during the 80's.)
I found a non-profit where I spent two hours working on the LeTour, and they told me that the chain is so worn that I will need to replace the rear gears if I replace the chain.
I would like to have a "nice" bike. Something that feels good to ride. I used to have a Raleigh three speed that was stolen last year. It was comfortable to ride in traffic, because I wasn't bent like on my ten speeds.
I don't know what to say about the Traveler. It seemed like a nice bike when I boght it as a backup to the LeTour. I didn't even know I still owned it, until I found it last week.
Anyway, should I invest my time in these models, or go shopping? If I am shopping, what should I look for? Is there a list of brand names that I can watch for?
Or should I just go into a bike store and buy a new bike? I was told that my neck pain and difficulty in seeing in traffic is because women have shorter arms, and newer bikes compensate for this. But I have more time than money lately.
Also, I am 47, and starting to feel vintage myself. I am heavy. I am 5'7" and weigh 250.
Oh, is there a search feature on this forum? I don't see one.
| New bikes tend to turn into used ones anyway. Also, the older techs at my LBS tend to prefer the old bikes anyway to the new ones, although the LBS's bread and butter is the new bikes.|
Throwing out suggestions here. One is the handlebars...are they drop bars? Also, does the LeTour fit you? Does the Traveler look like something that might work for you? As you said, you got time to look into your issue.
| Both these bikes have drop bars. I boght a pump today, so I can test drive the Traveler tomorrow. It has CroMoly tubes, so it seems higher quality than the LeTour.|
I did find out that the LeTour is a 1981, from the headbadge number of 1551. I still don't know the birthday of the Traveller.
| I used my '81 "Traveler" for a couple years. Awesome ride with the short wheelbase (41") and chro-mo frame. Mine is a Taiwan (Merida, I think) build. The SunTour "AR" derailer shifts quite well for a fairly modest price tag component. Sugino cranks (52T large) and alloy wheels are nice. Right now, a pair of doves have made a nest on the front handlebar bag, so I can't ride it for a few weeks! Been using a Schwinn heavy beach cruiser with a 5-speed setup for everyday riding. That ol' traveler is going to be sweet after the doves move along.|