AGE / VALUE:   frejus track bike age? posted by: joel on 12/16/2007 at 4:35:29 AM
I have a chrome frejus track bike with # 86005. Would anyone know how old it is and what it is worth? My guess:1960s? Thanks folks for your help!-joel

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   frejus track bike age? posted by joel on 12/16/2007 at 5:07:29 AM
Sorry I forgot to say the frejus track bike is the frame only.(For value) thanks,joel (look at my message below)

   RE:AGE / VALUE: frejus track bike age? posted by Warren on 12/16/2007 at 7:24:08 AM
Couldn't help you with age but I think it could be worth a grand or more. If you mean frame AND fork and it's in good condition. It's a desireable marque.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   frejus track bike age? posted by joel on 12/16/2007 at 7:39:26 AM
Thanks for the information warren. It is the frame and fork only-joel

MISC:   Fixed gear and single speed posted by: k-pop on 12/12/2007 at 7:51:40 AM
I have a lot of 10 and 20 year old road bikes, and I have trouble getting more than 50 -70 dollars for them in my area (a college town in a small city). I tune them up, put new tires on them, etc.

I see local shops and sellers on cragslist and the school bulletin boards getting 100 to 150+ dollars for the same darn bikes, but after they convert them to single speeds or fixed gear bikes.
That is the opposite of what I'd expect. More gears seems to me to be better!!!

Anyway, I'm getting ready to try a couple conversions. I've read articles by Sheldon and others on doing the conversion.

Is it very difficult? Will I need special tools? Do any of your Old Roads readers do these conversions?


   RE:MISC:   Fixed gear and single speed posted by Gralyn on 12/12/2007 at 11:03:11 AM
The thing about the price for the fixed gear bikes - it's the and demand.....because it has become a more popular item - and more people are getting into it.

I currently have about 8 or so fixed gear conversions that I ride. I haven't tried to sell any of them - I just ride them.
There are all sorts of ways to do the conversions: and the articles you read probably will tell you everything you need to know.

My personal experience: I like to use the wheels with the threaded hubs (for the free hub cassette) from the 70's and 80's - as they are the most abundant. But to remove the old free-hub body - you will need the proper tools. You will just about have to get you some of these tools (the cassette removal tools.....there are also Sheldon Brown articles for these and how to use them, etc.)

Then you will need to get yourself a track cog. You can see these on eBay all the time.....and the prices can average between $10 - $30 easily.

Plus, you will have to get a chain. The derailler chain will be too narrow for the track cog - you will need to get a chain for 3-speed, or coaster brake bike. You can usually pick these up for $7 - $10.

You will need to get the chain aligned properly: You will have to re-position the spacers on the axle to move the wheel over closer to the right (but this leaves your wheel positioned to the right - and it just doesn't look right. To remedy this - you could re-dish the wheel to put it back in the center. There are articles on this, too. But, you don't have to do it. Up front, you need to remove one of your chain rings. You can use the large one, or the small one - whatever you like. There is a variety of tooth count chain rings out there. I like to use 46 - 50 range when I can find them. Sometimes to attach just a single chain ring - will require using spacers, or washers - otherwise, the original chain ring bolts will tighten - but the chain ring is very loose - because the chainring bolts spacer portion is too long after you have removed 1 chainring. (Usually, an allen wrench is all you need for this)

Another trick is to reverse your bottom bracket spindle. Most of those older 10-speed bikes have a longer spindle length on the chain ring side than they do on the other side. If this is the case, you can remove it (you will need a crank arm puller tool for this - another important tool to have), then reverse it - so that the shorter end is to the chain ring side. This will pull your chain ring in closer to the frame - to help get your chain in line with your rear cog.
And the last thing is to put on a front brake.
Read the articles, do more research, look at some of the bikes on (I have at least 3 of mine posted there)

   RE:MISC:   Fixed gear and single speed posted by k-pop on 12/12/2007 at 2:14:24 PM
Gralyn, Thanks very much for the info.
I picked up a freewheel removal tool, removed the freewheel, put on a single speed freewheel
and ran into a problem. The only way to get the chain to line up straight on the front and rear sprokets is to move the hub over on the axle (did this) and swap around the BB spindle (did that, too). But now the wheel is too far to the right in the frame.
Does that mean I need to try to re-dish the rear wheel? Is there another way around this?
Thanks very much for your help.


   RE:MISC:   Fixed gear and single speed posted by David on 12/12/2007 at 2:37:57 PM
Don't mistake the optimistic prices that people ask on CL for those single-speed conversions for the amount they actually get. If you watch, you'll see the same bikes appearing over and over again as the seller waits for someone foolish enough to pay.

   RE:MISC: Fixed gear and single speed posted by Warren on 12/12/2007 at 9:13:55 PM
It's OK to setup up a fixed, freewheel hub for your own use (not a flip-flop but one akin to Gralyns examples). I would never build up such a wheel for sale. It is too easy for a cog to spin off. BTDT. A proper track hub with the reverse thread lock ring is the only way to go from a safety & liability perspective. It's just wrong to sell a bodged wheel to someone else.

A decent vintage road frame with alloy parts, horizontal drops, well-built/dished track wheels, 1/8" drivetrain, correct axle with Q factor, shorter cranks for clearance will routinely get $250 and up in cities where urban cyclists know what they are buying.

I don't know if any of you have been to Halifax but it's like a mini San Fran with extraordinary steep hills in the downtown area. we're talking "Hors Categorie" I met a courier riding a fixie setup with 100 gear inch drivetrain and no brakes.

Oh to be young, strong and insane again.

   RE:RE:MISC: Fixed gear and single speed posted by Gralyn on 12/13/2007 at 2:27:13 PM
Yes, I had forgot to mention about the shorter cranks.....I generally do that, too.

And.....the fact that I have 8 or so fixies - and haven't sold any of them - is because they are the old free wheel hub - converted - with no lock ring. I don't want to deal with liability issues when someone spins off the cog.

   RE:RE:RE:MISC: Fixed gear and single speed posted by jj on 12/14/2007 at 6:59:25 AM
Reading this, I'm getting confused.
Does the lock ring (and danger of a cog coming off) apply to single speeds, or just fixed?

Also, I think the draw of the single and fixed gear bikes is the fact that they are kind of stripped-down, light, bare bones machines. Is that right?
Otherwise, I agree with the original poster, aren't more gears better?


   RE:RE:RE:RE:MISC: Fixed gear and single speed posted by Gralyn on 12/14/2007 at 10:21:02 AM
Yes, the lock ring only applies to the fixed gear set-up. You can do a single speed free wheel - but to me, there isn't much benefit. I would think in that case, that more gears would be better. I expect the fixed gear single speed bike bring more $ than a single speed free wheel bike

   RE:MISC:   Fixed gear and single speed posted by David on 12/14/2007 at 10:22:11 AM
The common on-the-cheap fixed gear conversion uses a track cog threaded on to the hub where the freewheel used to be. Then it's "locked" with bottom bracket lockring that's also right-hand threaded like the cog. Unless this is really tight it can loosen when slowing down by slowing the pedals. A real track hub has a slightly smaller left-hand threaded end for a slightly smaller left-hand threaded lockring. Since the RH cog and LH lockring are jammed together, any loosening torque on the cog only tightens the lockring and it won't come loose. Any multi or single-speed freewheel doesn't have this problem because it freewheels in the loosening direction.

   RE:RE:MISC: Fixed gear and single speed posted by John E on 12/14/2007 at 11:37:11 AM
If you do a conversion, save the components you remove and do not cut off the derailleur hanger that almost any mid-to-high end frame will have. This whole fixed gear / single speed fad will pass as people get hooked on SERIOUS bicycling and appreciate what tourists and racers have known for decades -- gears are good, the more the better. Do not do anything irreversible, particularly if you have a desirable classic frame.

   RE:RE:RE:MISC: Fixed gear and single speed posted by jj on 12/14/2007 at 12:51:26 PM
That is good advice to not do any irreversable damage to a bike. Although when people do that, it makes all the other bikes of that make and model a little bit more valuable.. ;^)

Not to get away from the fixed/single conversation, but what exactly is 'SERIOUS' bicycling?


   RE:RE:RE:RE:MISC: Fixed gear and single speed posted by Warren on 12/14/2007 at 4:35:16 PM
Ahhh...John has opened the Pandoras box with that statement.

What do Henri Desgrange, Fausto Coppi, Jacques Anquetil, Miguel Indurain, Eddie Merckx, Franceso Moser and Tony Rominger have in common?

Not only the Tour de France. They all set world hour records on fixed track bikes.

If you haven't ridden a fixed bike yet, do it. Be one with the bike. It's by far the most personal experience you can have with two wheels.

This doesn't make it the bike for all occasions but it certainly deserves respect as a serious ride. I currently have 3 fixed bikes. I'm no longer a "serious" rider after two meniscus tears in my right knee (and a 50th B-day approaching) but I still love the effortless spin of a fixed gear.

Track bikes receded into the background for the last 5 or 6 decades but I feel confident that won't happen again.

A single speed freewheel pales in comparison.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:MISC: Fixed gear and single speed posted by Warren on 12/14/2007 at 5:04:10 PM
One more thing. Those same riders wouldn't even come close to matching those speeds, in the exact same environment, on a geared bike. The current track world record is 56 kph. The best TdF time trial averages occasionally reach up to 55 kph but they are only around 20 kms in length.

Now the hpv hour record is around 86 kph but lets not go there.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:MISC: Fixed gear and single speed posted by k-pop on 12/17/2007 at 7:45:59 AM
I'm the guy that started this thread.
I've built my first single speed using an old Fuji frame.
The gearing is 42 teeth in front and 18 in the rear.
With everything stripped down, this thing is fun to ride.
It feels very quick and light and it's got to be a lot safer than a fixed gear bike.
I think I'll keep this one and use it as my own rider!

   RE:MISC:   Fixed gear and single speed posted by k-pop on 12/17/2007 at 8:05:03 AM
I also wonder if this is just a fad, or a new trend?
People are intimidated by today's bikes. Maybe a return to simpler machines will get more people riding?

   RE:RE:MISC: Fixed gear and single speed posted by Warren on 12/17/2007 at 7:14:38 PM
It's the original form of cycling that's been reborn because it's simple, inexpensive, low maintenance and efficient. Courier culture grabbed it by the ears and has been mostly responsible for the renaissance in fixed gear riding.

Pro riders always use fixed gears for spring training rides but that has always been out of sight and on the fringe, away from the mainstream.

   RE:RE:RE:MISC: Fixed gear and single speed posted by John E on 12/18/2007 at 1:58:53 PM
Fixed gear is admittedly not my thing, but I can perhaps understand it, particularly something like a Sturmey Archer 3-speed fixed gear ACS hub. However, single speed freewheeling is just plain silly, because good old friction shift gears are already remarkably efficient, reliable, and low-maintenance. If you want single speed, just pick your favorite ratio and leave the levers there. As soon as you discover that you really want a different ratio for awhile, you always have the option to shift or to hold your chosen gear.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:MISC: Fixed gear and single speed posted by Warren on 12/19/2007 at 5:04:41 PM
Oddly enough John, many fixed gear riders consider the ASC an expensive and poor second choice to a fixed gear. The problem is that the drivetrain slack between gears removes the forward impetus, the very thing that gives a fixed gear it's sense of power, unity, fluidness or whatever adjective you find appropriate. The same symptom happens when your fixed gear has a loose chain.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:MISC: Fixed gear and single speed posted by John E on 12/20/2007 at 9:16:57 AM
I think a low backlash fixed gear continuously variable transmission, possibly with a hand-controlled clutch to permit on-demand coasting or backpedaling, would be an interesting "invention wanted."

FOR SALE:   Lots of Vintage Road bike stuff on Ebay posted by: Peter Naiman on 12/11/2007 at 12:11:54 PM
I'm forwarding this information from a vintage cycling group I'm a member of, but I've no relation to the seller, and thought folks that visit might be interested. Larry Black, is putting up lots of vintage road bike equipment on Ebay. Below is the original email I recieved today from the CR List. Larry has only the best, and some of the rarest parts around !!

Peter Naiman
Milwaukee, WI

Dear CR List,
I received an email from former CR list member,and
local bicycle shop
owner here in the BALTIMORE/WASHINGTON area,MR. LARRY
Larry requested that I inform the CR list that the
open for sales on ebay.
Please search under EBAY SELLER: BIKE123COM (NO
Larry's bicycle shop's website has the DOT GO TO:
www.BIKE123.COM If
you want to see stuff being sold thru the BRICKS AND
MORTAR bicycle shop
Here's a quote of a note I received from Larry
Black,a.k.a. "THE BLACK
HOLE",on starting to sell bicycle items on ebay.

"hey, the guys finally corralled me and got me to
start putting some
things on eBay
please take a look at seller bike123com (no 'dot') and
see if there is
anything you need".

With all the bicycle stuff "Brother Black" has, he
could be busy for
five hundred years,or more.
I guess his wife will be happy to see him finally
selling off some of
his STASH!

I generally do not like to out items on ebay,with
auctions going on,but
I'm making an exception to my rule.There is lots of
vintage stuff coming
out of "mothballs".
I guess that Concor saddle may be going higher than I
wanted to pay.....
Larry hopes to be a sponsor of the upcoming Cirque
Event here in the
WASHINGTON/BALTIMORE corridor,in JUNE 2008,so please
check out the
auction(s) under "EBAY SELLER": BIKE123COM
Lot's of neat vintage goodies,some items with
reserve,some without.


MISC:   Claude butler bike posted by: david Van Wormer on 12/10/2007 at 10:44:11 AM
Help. I've been given a 1962 claude butler bike. Ser. # 5031441. It has simplex deralliers and weinmann brakes,and rims with airlite? hubs. I'm looking for any info i can get on this bike. thanks

   RE:MISC: Claude butler bike posted by John E on 12/10/2007 at 1:39:45 PM
Is this any help?

   RE:MISC:   Claude butler bike posted by David on 12/11/2007 at 8:42:17 PM
Lucky you. Join the CR list at the site John E gave and ask Qs. Lotta knowledge there.

AGE / VALUE:   Falcon San Remo or Eddie Merckx Competition? posted by: evan on 12/10/2007 at 1:39:49 AM
I have an early sixties falcon I just bought. The frame is full chrome with nice long point filed lugs, small plain gauge reynolds 531 sticker, long cast dropouts with no tab. The paint is molteni orange with a black head tube, a very handsome combo, the lugs, stays tips and a band of seat tube are left chromed. The decals, only just visible say ernie clements. I have only ever seen the san remo with chrome lugs and have never seen one of the nicer merckx models. This does not match the description of the competition in the catalogue nor of any of the other models. I have read only the higher end models had the larger ernie clements decal. The frame is quite light and well crafted. To make matters worse it has what is apparently a replacement touring fork with threads all the way down and french style headset spacer key. If there are any of you out there with pics of the upper end merckx models or early san remo's i'd love to see um. Any info would be appreciated, thanks. I'll try and get some pictures online.