MISC:obscure grade-B lightweight road bikes posted by: peter on 5/11/2008 at 8:09:42 PM
I'm doing a survey on what kind of bikes people see being used for affordable, second-tier lightweight road bikes, bikes that you'd use for running around town or everyday commuting. (I was tempted to call them "road beaters" but some people have suggested that "beater" is too demeaning for these rather excellent bikes.)

Sure, on Sundays keen riders trot out their pride and joys -- the very high end Treks, Specializeds, Rossins, de Rosas, Masis, Cinellis, Colnagos, Cannondales, etc. but
there is a fairly limited set of names you see on every day road bike frames, the ones that are locked to lamp posts outside the grocery store or are often converted into single speeds.

I suspect that certain brands are chosen because they are lightweight, good quality, but -- due to whatever quirk of marketing or whatever-- are not so sought after as to be expensive or appealing to thieves. They are also, I suspect, never considered so precious that they can't take the occasional scratches and dings that come from heavy regular urban street riding or be "frankensteined" with mix-and-match components.

And it seems to be quite regional. In this area (Toronto in Canada) the Grade B brands I most often see include: Concorde, Miele, Fugi, Fiori, Miyata, Nishiki. There is an Apollo brand that shows up on bikes originally sold in the Vancouver area but which I don't think
was ever available around here.

What brands/makes/models do you see in your area? What are your
thoughts on what makes a great beater?

I look forward to hearing your ideas.


   RE:MISC:���obscure grade-B lightweight road bikes posted by Gralyn on 5/13/2008 at 7:58:20 PM
I'm in the Hickory, North Carolina area. I just don't see enough of anything. Sadly, I see very few bikes at all. I know there are many folks around this area who ride - and most all of them are on pretty new bikes.....but even still, there seem to be just a few riders - compared with what I would expect to see. I hardly ever see an old bike. Once in a while I will spot one - but it's usually on the go and I can't even tell what brand it is.

One thing that I have tried to do.....(instead of riding the same bike - but wearing a different jersey each time, I have been riding a different bike each time - but wearing the same jersey. I don't know if anyone ever figures it out - that the same guy is on a different bike every time you see him.

I'll ride Bridgestone, Cannondale, Bianchi, Torpado - kind of my nicer older racing steeds.....and Schwinn, Bottecchia, Motobecane, Viscount, Miyata, ......and I have several other older sport touring type bikes from the 70's.

   RE:MISC:obscure grade-B lightweight road bikes posted by ken on 5/15/2008 at 11:17:05 AM
My rain bike is an early 80s, I think, Japanese Schwinn-approved frame, might have been a World Traveler, perhaps from Panasonic? Gralyn would know- Chrome 4130 frame with the X-tra Lite sticker. Plastic mail order fenders, mostly Suntour from other sources from the bottom bracket up- and it's a great steel ride. I also commute on a much-modified Fuji Del Rey that I like.

   RE:MISC: obscure grade-B lightweight road bikes posted by Warren on 5/15/2008 at 11:49:25 AM
The great thing about those B brands you mention is the fact that all of those manufacturers (except fiori) made some very high end bikes as well and you can find them occasionally for a song. I saw a nice Miele the other day in downtown Halifax with Ishiwata 022 tubes. I went to Miele's first "bankruptcy" sale back in the mid eighties and they were dumping dozens of campag double-butted bikes for $100 to $400. If only I knew then, what I know now.

I saw many Apollos in Toronto during my 48 years there. Not so high end but good utilitarian bikes.

   RE:MISC:obscure grade-B lightweight road bikes posted by Dave on 5/16/2008 at 3:45:42 PM
I'm a big fan of the Japanese steel of the late 70's and 80's (many already mentioned), Takara, Lotus, Fuji, Miyata, Schwinn, Nishiki, Azuki...

   RE:MISC:obscure grade-B lightweight road bikes posted by jason on 5/16/2008 at 9:16:06 PM
there are a couple old raleighs and a cannondale that I see around, but mostly just good weather warriors around here.
all I own are "beaters". I also have a bike like kens, the Xtra Lite Schwinn, a really nice ride, but with stock metal fenders and a SA three speed.
a Fuji special road racer with a goofy long top tube, single speed.
a Fuji team from the early 90s, all suntour, my fast errand bike
some sort of japanese bianchi frame with a shimano three speed, messenger bars, fenders and big metal baskets fore and aft, and a ooga horn
a wierd frame with beefeater guy and the word SENTRY on the headbadge, french threading, and I put campy valentino stuff on it, those rigida knurled steel rims with campy hubs, and my favorite Rando style bars. this bike rides fantasticly well.

there are others that get rotated into the mix, mostly french, and one or two that most would consider crap that are very dear to me.

of course the bike that I ride with the local weight weenie dentist on madones set is the Schwinn 974 I got for a buck last year, so who am I to say whats a beater.

   RE:MISC:obscure grade-B lightweight road bikes posted by Bruce on 5/18/2008 at 5:58:01 AM
I found a 74 Nishiki International with the chromed forks & a nice noticeable orange color (24"). I had it converted into a 72 gear inch single freewheel. I have a brooks saddle, Nitto bars level with the seat and blue tape. I have used it on a few 100k rides that have few hills. I don't get it out that often, but when I do I wonder why I don't ride it more often. I have 30mm Gran Bois tires on it so it rides pretty plush too. The bike has plenty of places where the bike was chipped or scraped, so it comfortable like a pair of old shoes.

MISC:Need Mercier Data posted by: Bob Segraves on 5/11/2008 at 1:28:30 PM
Seeking information and photographs of 60s era Mercier double butted 531 road bike frameset. I have on that is in need of restoration and would like to make it as close to original as possible.

   RE:MISC:Need Mercier Data posted by Geoff Rogers on 5/12/2008 at 11:13:04 AM
I am a big fan of Mercier bicycles. I have an electric chartreuse one which sounds a lot like yours. It has butted 531 tubing, chrome Simplex dropouts, half chrome Reynolds front fork. Mine was found as a frameset in the dump, so I put it together with a Stronglight crankset from a Peugeot, Campy hubs, Super Champion wheels, Simplex rear and Campy Gran Sport front derailleurs, Dia-Cope sidepulls and Brooks B17 saddle, alloy Lyotard pedals. An eclectic assortment of period stuff, to be sure, but it's what I had lying around. I think most of these 531 Merciers came with Mafac centerpull brakes (I have a set for mine--some day), Simplex Prestige derailleurs, probably Normandy high-flange alloy hubs, Ideale leather saddles and no-name or Pivo alloy bars and stem, or similar. Most stuff would have been French, of course. French threads are unique, so that limits your choices somewhat, and the rear dropouts on these bikes had a built-in hangar for the Simplex derailleur. Many have been sawn off to accept more normal derailleurs. These cycles are a delight to ride. I collect British bikes, but the Mercier is the nicest riding machine I own: light, responsive, and apart from the chartreuse paint, nice to look at. Enjoy it!

AGE / VALUE:Can't find another bike like mine!! posted by: Megan on 5/7/2008 at 9:08:24 PM
I have a bike that I am trying to get answers on. I have looked it up every where with no luck, hopefully someone here can help me. It is an English, Dayton Consort. The hub dates it at 1954. ANY info would be great. I have had it for 10 yrs now. It was left by the people who lived in my house before me. I was going to take it to the dump but my husband wanted me to research it first. It was definetly older than I thought, but like I said I can't find anything on the Consort. Thanks in advance!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:Can't find another bike like mine!! posted by megan on 5/7/2008 at 10:48:45 PM
I forgot to mention it's a 3 speed.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:Can't find another bike like mine!! posted by Chris on 5/8/2008 at 6:46:38 PM
Please keep it. It's rare and a national treasure.

Tell your husband he should not throw it out that it should be kept and that there are people the world over who would love to own it because it is collectable and a nice little bike as well.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:Can't find another bike like mine!! posted by Chris on 5/8/2008 at 6:51:19 PM
It's old enough to be worth enough to keep. 1954 was a good year for bicycles. it would fetch at least 100.00 at a swap meet and that people drive a long way to bring home something like this.

These are collected and appreciated and restored and ridden and when you try to get some gal to sell it she tightens her grip and tells you it's not for sale.

Please take pictures of the bike and up load them here so I can answer your question.

My guess, is it could be a Phillips made bicycle. Phillips famous and great the world over.

Please keep it, be patient. we need pictures. Britain made a lot of bicycles they supplied the world.

Throwing this away would be wrong, and a sin. it has value believe me.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:Can't find another bike like mine!! posted by megan on 5/10/2008 at 9:03:56 PM
Hi this is to Chris that replied to my original post. I will take pictures of it and post them probably within the next week. The badge says DAYTON CYCLE CO ltd LONDON. Whats odd is the handle bar grips say Schwinn approved!? I hate to say this but the bike is in pretty rough condition. The previous owners left it out in the field behind our house and it had definetly been there for a long while. I will get pics posted in a few days.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:Can't find another bike like mine!! posted by ken on 5/15/2008 at 11:19:17 AM
Grips get changed. Ignore them.

MISC:Western Flyer 20in "Astro" model posted by: carl on 5/7/2008 at 9:12:47 AM
I have all the pieces to a rusted vintage Astro model bicycle and would like to know any info on this or if anyone is interested in purchasing any or all. Thanks.

AGE / VALUE:value posted by: rich on 5/6/2008 at 1:57:35 PM
i bought a hercules featherweight at a yard sale. the previous owner said it was a 1953. it has a hand stitched leather seat and a large headlight with a generator. can anyone tell me the approx. value? fair to good cond. thank you

   RE:AGE / VALUE:value posted by David on 5/6/2008 at 2:43:17 PM
Ebay is about the only guide to value for most of this stuff. See if you can find a bike like yours on it; don't forget the completed auctions. It's unlikely to be worth more than a couple hundred unless it's made of 531 tubing and has interesting components. Post pictures.