MISC:   Indexed shifter advice posted by: David on 5/4/2006 at 4:20:17 PM
My wife would like to have indexed shifting on her 70s 10-speed bike. Should a 6-speed freewheel together with a 6-speed indexed shifter be workable? Is it likely that I'll need to replace the derailer (Suntour VGT is on there now)? I'd like to avoid getting a new wheel, changing the rear spacing (120mm now) or buying lots of other new parts. Advice, please!

    Indexed shifter advice posted by John E on 5/4/2006 at 8:42:26 PM
1) Encourage her to learn proper friction shifting technique. It's very easy and shows how pointless indexed shifting really is.
2) You will need an "ultra" or narrow-width 6-speed freewheel.
3) If the freewheel and shifter are compatible with each other, your VGT may be fine. I gave my 1971 VGT to a friend after his daughter crashed her 7-speed indexed Shimano; it worked like a champ with her freewheel and indexed shifter.
4) You may be able to use 6 positions of a 7-speed indexed shift lever with a 6-speed "ultra" freewheel.

   RE:MISC:   Indexed shifter advice posted by Ken on 5/5/2006 at 7:40:17 PM
John E. and I have had different results with the compatibility issue, and we disagree on the usefulness of indexed shifting, I guess. It might be like advising Grandma to learn to drive a four on the floor. Something to be said for it, certainly... I have converted a few bikes to SunTour six speed indexed; your stumbling block is the rear spacing. The VGT will shift fine with the standard-spaced six-cog freewheel and a SunTour six speed shifter, if you can get the freewheel on a wheel that lines up and if you wedge said wheel into your frame. There is plenty of excellent advice from Sheldon Brown on hub spacing, frame spacing, axle length issues (he basically explains why not to worry about this), wheel dish, chainline, etc.
On the other hand John E's suggestion about the ultra 6 freewheel is perfect if you have an indexed lever to match, since it obviates the frame and hub issues. I never ran across any such in my explorations (standard spaced indexed SunTour six-speed levers run about ten buck on eBay) nor have I tried the six-of-seven Shimano clicks method, but if you find one I've got an extra ultra 6.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   One extreme to the other..... posted by: Gralyn on 5/4/2006 at 2:09:53 AM
Last weekend - I spent at the NC coast. I had 4 days of single speed fixed gear riding. NO HILLS!!!!!! It was great! And fixed gear was great with no hills. I remember riding along - thinking - as I pedalled along so effortlessly - that I was really going to pay for it on the trip back. But.....It was just as easy on the trip back.

Then, on the flip side: This past weekend - I spent in the NC mountains. Mountain bike riding in the hills. It was just too much. Too steep. I hate hills. I do enjoy mountain bike riding - when the hills aren't too bad. But where I was - it was just too much for me to enjoy.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   One extreme to the other..... posted by JONathan on 5/4/2006 at 4:17:58 AM
I know what you mean. I run the bay lands all the time where there is no grade, except for slight rises and depressions with sharp turns that are fun. Right behind us, are the coast range mountains, where there are the steepest hills I've ever seen. On these, I traverse a lot and I keep going knowing that I can either get off and walk or turn around and head down. Now, the problem with MTB's for me derives from the cumbersome downhill runs...really not worth the effort of the climb, IMO. However, the road bike works wonders for the spirit on the downhills, at the expense of slightly greater exertion (over a shorter time) on ascents. Try running a lightweight tourer with a triple. The up hill mass is greatly reduced over the MTB and the gears are there. I like the road tires, too. Offroad, has to be the MTB with aggressive tread due to all the gravel.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   One extreme to the other..... posted by Gralyn on 5/4/2006 at 4:50:01 PM
Yes, the problem with the hills for me - on the roads - on a road bike - is that you struggle up a hill - only to then fly down the other side of the hill - then climb the next hill. You get down the hill so fast - you don't even have time to rest up from the climb....then you have climb again.

Yes, when I go up into the mountains and do road bike riding - I always take a road bike with a triple. I can do OK around where I live, in the foothills, with a double. But I can't ride fixed gear - except in limited areas.

   another opinion posted by John E on 5/4/2006 at 8:47:19 PM
I love hills, except for anything extremely steep (e.g. 15 to 20 percent grade). The flip side is that I REALLY like my gears and don't care for either single-speed or fixed gear, although the late 1940s Sturmey-Archer fixed-gear 3-speed hub does intrigue me.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   One extreme to the other..... posted by Derek Coghill on 5/7/2006 at 3:58:08 PM
No such luck for me; I ride a fixed gear in a hilly city and the most popular local mountain biking trails are pretty hilly - some nice smooth downhill bits which are good on a rigid, but unfortunately lots of rocky climbs which aren't. However, the scenery's lovely if it's not raining (Scotland).

AGE / VALUE:   for sale posted by: paul on 5/2/2006 at 11:37:28 PM
1958 Lenton Grand Prix Reg Harris model, all original except tubes and tires: 531 frame, drop bars with original tape, B-16 Brooks, 22 inch frame, 27 inch steel dunlops X1 and 1/4, Cyclo Benelux with 3 cluster, single Williams chainwheel up front, Sturmey FM 4 speed close ratio steel hub, Brittania plastic fenders off white, greenish goldish paint, all original, great graphics and good decals. $350 cash or money order with shipping extra to CONUS only. Estimate $100 UPS to west coast from Boston area includes professional partial disassembly, packing in proper box, and insurance. Thanks for looking! paul


VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Tiny Cuevas road bike posted by: David on 5/2/2006 at 2:52:25 PM
There's a beautiful Francisco Cuevas kid's bike on ebay (item # 7238122740 ) that's a tad too small for me! I believe it has 600A wheels. Seller has some other nice stuff that goes with it; like tons of the same tires.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Brake hoods posted by: michael on 5/1/2006 at 6:44:57 PM
I have a 1981 Tommasini with campy grandsport components. I need a set of brake hoods. They don't have to be campy. Any suggestions on where to get them would help. Thanks! Cycle on.


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS: Brake hoods posted by Warren on 5/2/2006 at 12:10:27 AM
I suspect 1981 hoods would have been the white rubber. Watch campag parts on ebay...they show up on a regular basis for not too much money.