Recently in Interesting/Vintage Stuff Category

Raleigh Professional

Never having been a huge enthusiast to British machinery it has occurred to me that having an interesting Raleigh road bike in the museum would be nice.  A week does not go by that I don't see a Grand Prix for premium money or some interesting looking Super Course or even, most recently, a very nice looking Gran Course for sale.   Then, this one came along and looked very interesting (on a lot of levels).  The Professional was described as Raleigh's nod to Italian bike design and the construction, group selection (Campagnolo Nuovo Record) and aesthetics reflect this.  Unlike it's Italian counter-parts, it is constructed using Reynolds 531 double butted tubing.  As with most things bicycle, Sheldon Brown compiled some excellent starter resources to learn about these bikes and they can be found here.   I like a good challenge, and contrary to the typical fare of bikes in this condition that float around waiting to be turned into recycled steel, this one looks like it may be worth the effort to bring back to life - and it's exactly my size!  For now, here it is in it's "as rescued" condition.  It appears to be complete less a few cables, hoods, for the brake levers (should it have hoods?), one cable fastener for the brakes and the front derailleur.  So, I guess that means I should add here that I'm looking for an early '70s Campagnolo Nuovo Record front derailleur and possibly some brake hardware for Campagnolo of the same vintage.  The serial number on the bike (stamped on the bottom of the bottom bracket) is F5598 and I am under the impression it is a 1970 model.


RP-campylogo.jpg  RP-headshot.jpg
RP-rear.jpg  RP-rear-der-NR.jpg
RP-saddle-from-top-front.jpg RP-saddle-from-rear.jpg

RP-front-lugs.jpg   RP-rear-lugs.jpg

Grandis Special

October 2010 UPDATE:  The Grandis has finally been (sort of) brought back to it's (mostly) Italian glory with a rebuild using late '80s Campy drivetrain and brakes and a somewhat nicer wheelset laced to Shimano 600 hubs.  Here are some photos taken right after a hilly 16 mile test ride where I decided I much prefer 39/53 chainring sets to the 42/53 that I have here.  Whatever the case, it is smooth, fits nicely and I believe will work it's way into my rotation of riders quite nicely.   For now, here are some pictures of how it sits at the moment:

grandis-newbuild-2.jpgBelow is the original post.  Since the frame is the same as below, check out the beautiful construction of this Grandis frame in the photos below....

grandis_driveside_lr.jpg This is the latest museum addition.  This is what i believe is an early 1980s Grandis road bike.  Grandis is an Italian bike maker who only imported to the US in relatively small numbers, apparently during the late '70s and early '80s.  The company is still alive and well, but is no longer importing to the US.  The bike was originally a completely Campagnolo-clad machine built on a highly detailed  (but tastefully done) lugged Columbus steel frame.  Almost all the Campy was gone by the time this fine machine was added.  Currently, it has it's fair share of scratches and general "patina"  - which is fine, but all the components except the seatpost have been replaced some time in the past with a Shimano Exage group.  The upshot is that the bike arrived in the condition shown, with new tires, new bar tape, and mechanically ready to ride.  I hope for this to be a slow, period-correct and tasteful (er, as opposed to some of my other works) restoration to the Italian glory this bike was built for.

grandis_seattube.jpg  grandis_crownfork.jpg

grandis_bottombracket_lugs.jpg grandis_brake_bridge.jpg

grandis_seatboltdetail.jpg grandis_seatlug.jpg

gandis_chainstay_nondriveside.jpg grandis_rear_dropout.jpg

grandis-chainstay_driveside.jpg grandis_campy_seatpost.jpg

Robin Hood, an English 3-Speed

I guess you can say that one has reached the full depths of bicycle-induced dementia when the idea of one of these clunky, heavy-looking, fendered, upright, and usually black painted bikes looks cool.  I mean, these things don't even have gears, right?   Well, actually they do, they just use internal gearing in the rear hub.  And, while the Robin Hood is certainly painted black, it's not nearly as heavy as it looks like it would be.  And, besides, fenders are kinda handy if you're trying to stay clean when you're riding.  So, rationalizations aside, one of the most recent additions to the museum is this 1965 Robin Hood.  Robin Hood was apparently a company bought and owned by Raleigh in the early 1960s and this bicycle is basically the classic English 3-Speed, featuring the well-revered Sturmey-Archer 3 speed freewheel hub.   The bike has been with it's mate, a step-over framed model of the same bike in the same color, but with a hub that indicates it is a 1966 model.  Both are as-found and in remarkably good, functional condition.  The only thing that does not work are the generator headlights, but I'm hopeful that some tinkering will get those 6 volt beauties to come to life. 

driveside_from_front_main.jpgThese have been interesting to learn about.  They use 26" x 1-3/8" wheels, so there's nothing exotic about that. The 3 speed hub is fairly indestructible and not terribly difficult to adjust.  At best the gearing on the bike (combined with the very upright riding position) is not ideal for east Tennessee, but I have read that changing the gearing is a very do-able prospect if desired.  This bike, like most British machinery produced up through the late 1960s uses Whitworth hardware, so there will be a few new wrenches added to my toolbox to keep these bikes healthy.   Here are some more pictures.

driveside_from_rear.jpg non_driveside_from_rear.jpg

rear_cable_routing.jpg  seat_lug.jpg   drivetrain.jpg   bottom_bracket.jpg   rear_frame.jpg

I think this is the most recent addition to the museum.   This is a 1981 (or so) Motobecane Grand Touring.  The bottom bracket to seat tube measures around 58cm, but it seems to fit more like a 56cm.  This bike belonged to a family member and until a couple months ago spent the previous 15 or 20 years sitting in a shed collecting dirt, dust and generally starting to look like a hunk of junk.   Luckily, it was complete, original, and actually still in mechanically (well, almost) functional condition.   Being the family member with the greatest love of old road bikes, I was gifted the bike.  So, this became a bit of a 'rescue' job.  I completely disassembled the bike and rebuilt it, replacing the lower headset bearings with some new, loose bearings but otherwise the original bearings were great.  The only 'new' mechanical parts on the bike are the tires, tubes and chain.  It took a good bit of time with varying grades of steel wools to get the bike to shine again, but now it's fully functional, sporting some new Velo-Orange fenders, some lights, some bags and new bar tape.  I've put about 65 miles on the bike so far and it's very nice to ride.  In fact, it's not necessarily slow either.   The gearing is interesting with a very small step between the middle and large chainring and a wide range of five gears on the rear freewheel.  

For now, this is the 2009 incarnation of the bike - enjoy!

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Sept2008_6_RD.jpg  Sept2008_7_Crank.jpg

Cannondale Touring Bike

This was a very nice surprise I stumbled onto via a Craigslist ad.  With this picture:cdale_touring_ad_photo.jpg...and the words Cannondale loaded touring bicycle.  It turns out the bike was not only my size, but in remarkably great condition with complete upgrades of all running components (Deore, etc.) and a full set of racks, panniers, a couple alternate-gearing rear gear sets, a 6-speed era shimano freewheel tool and a new chain.  I will update this with more information as I gather it, but I'm looking foward to putting this bike through its intended paces doing some light touring this fall. 

I believe this bike started out as a 1990 T400, but with virtually all the components being changed, it's hard to tell for certain.  As photographed, it's geared like a goat;  it was set up for some serious loaded touring in the Colorado Rockies and parts of Canada.


cdlae_touring_RD.jpg  cdale_touring_crank.jpg   cdale_touring_bars_front.jpg   cdale_touring_rack_spare_spokes.jpg   cdale_touring_bars_computer.jpg
cdale_touring_front_non_drive.jpgand, with bags and the front rack.....
old GPS....cdale_compass.jpg   new GPS...cdale_loaded_gps.jpg

The Faggin Retro-Modern Road Bike, 47cm

Finding a road bike for someone who is 5' or under is not necessarily a simple task.  The task is even further complicated when one doesn't really want to plop down $600 or whatever on one of the nice,new 24" wheel junior road bikes made by Trek, Felt and whoever else.   I was delighted when a 47cm classic, lugged steel Faggin frame showed up on the local Craigslist.  Well, to be fair, it was a frame, fork, seat post, brakes and bottom bracket.  Since the bottom bracket is Italian threaded, having a nice one there to simply rebuild was handy.  The fork had been replaced due to a mishap with the previous owner.  So, the fork it came with (which is the one on it now) is a little goofy since it's cut long for the headset.  It's also made for 27" wheels, so I figure for now I will leave it as it is and wait to find a nice chrome 700c fork that I can cut to fit properly if need be.  The fork does not accomodate recessed brake mounting nuts.   When I brought the bike home, I stuck the wheels it was going to use on it and it looked like this:

fagginframe.jpg After patiently waiting its turn in the project queue, the Faggin re-emerged looking like this:
driveside1.jpgI had a 1993 Specialized Allez with a full RSX100 group to donate the wheelset and running gear.  The appropriately narrow handlebar came from a 1976 Fuji (which was a 58cm bike, oddly enough).  The seat was my son's selection and, obviously I suppose, the fit is still "just barely" there and thus the low seatpost.  Here are some detail shots of the frame.  This is a really beautifully constructed frame and it is fully chromed beneath the paint.  I do not know what kind of steel tubing it has, but there is no doubting the quality.

bottom_bracket_Faggin.jpg  seat_lugs_faggin.jpg   rear_triangle.jpg   headset_stack_brake_faggin.jpg

1984 Motobecane Grand Touring


1984 Motobecane Grand Touring Vitus 888 tubing, 18 speed, 57cm.


Windsor Carrera Sport

Dsc_1265.jpgThis is an interesting mid-70s bike that I would like to learn more about.  The badges on the bike are all intact and generally it's in good shape for bike of it's's certainly fully operable, though due some tweaks, tunes, and a few small parts.   The name sounds Italian and the frame is labeled that it was made in Mexico.  Not only is it a fully lugged frame, it sports some really pretty chrome lugs at the head tube.  In fact, the chrome details on the bike are all nice touches.  It's also interesting in that it has (factory) bar end shifters and a range of gearing that ought to allow it to roll and climb pretty much anywhere you want to take it.   Weighing in as it's photographed at about 28lb, I suppose there are some places you would not want to take it, but on the other hand, I could see it being the platform for some interesting rough terrain touring....well, at least not limited to smooth crack-free asphalt.  Soon, it will have its turn at general clean-up and an over-all refreshing of parts, but I hope this one will be able to remain in it's original form and enjoyed for it's timeless utility and characteristic patina.   Or...something like that.  

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1987 (?) Peugeot Triathlon

A new addition to the museum here, this bike was bought new at a Interwheel, a local bike shop circa mid-1980s and evolved to be the single speed machine pictured here.  All of the original components (an early Shimano 105 group) came with the bike as dowry upon entry to the museum.   Here it as as it sits now.  Note the internal cable routing on the bars.  The frame is Reynolds 501 and (obviously) not lugged.
peugeot_triathlon_front.JPG peugeot_triathlon_tag.JPG peugeot_triathlon_bar_cable_routing.JPG

and, of course, the rest of the 105 group and the original saddle...

The Triathlon is now reborn sporting some inexpensive new road wheels, 2x9 Shimano 105 fairly new drivetrain and shifters, and a Salsa stem + bar.   I've only had a chance to give it one real good test ride and I was pleased to find the bike rides nicely, has a solid, but not too heavy feel and generally was much faster/quicker than I anticipated.  There is still some tweaking and adjusting to go.  Not sure what the cause is, but I was getting a lazy shifting resonse in the larger cogs on the rear.   Style-wise, I went with the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" philosophy with the purple-to-white fade paint and added bright red bar tape.   I guess the wheels are blingy looking too....maybe the road bike equivalent of a nice set of 22" spinners on a 1987 Honda, eh?   What the heck, I enjoy riding it!


An UPDATE: This bike has really become one of my favorite to ride. I had to replace the headset a month or so ago, but otherwise, it's been smooth, quick (well, fast at least), and a real pleasure to ride. Here is a picture of it in it's Winter 2009/2010 incarnation right before the first ride of 2010: driveside_ready_for_a_ride.jpg A set of full length Planet Bike fenders with rubber flaps were mounted on the bike to give it some all-weather utility.  Aero spokes with fenders is a goofy combination, but cleaner gears and a dry back when I have to ride through puddles isn't too bad at all.

ssshhhhhhh.....the Nishiki Olympic 12 Mixte bike

This is a time capsule bike to be carefully reformatted into a city bike with some upright bars and as much of the cool unmolested vintage detail as possible.  Here it is as brought home....

nishiki_olympic_headbadge.JPG nishiki_olympic_RD_dropout_www.jpg nishiki_olympic_mixte_front.JPG

1987 Schwinn Le Tour 12 Speed Road Bike - Reborn

I thought I'd put some photos up of the Le Tour.  This is a nice, simple US-made Schwinn that I am tempted to build a cool, "city bike" style bike out of.   The running gear is all good.  I have a feeling that some of this bike was grafted with a Peugeot at some point in time because it has Hueret detrailleurs (as opposed to SIS Shimano, which I believe would have been correct for '87), a Stronglight crankset and French Rigida 27" aluminum rims.  In it's current state, it's a few cm too small for me, but I am thinking with stem, bar and seatpost changes it could be a great upright greenway cruiser.

LT_crank-forweb.jpg   LT_rear_derailleur-forweb.jpg   LT_rear_triangle-forweb.jpg
LT_rim-forweb.jpg   LT_4130_label_FD-forweb.jpg

Like a lot of my bikes, this one has also been modified and reborn as something slightly different.   Today - October 2009 -  it looks more like this:

Dsc_0977.jpgThe original drivetrain remains on this bike.   I changed the handlebars for mustache style bars and installed Suntour ratcheting bar end shifters.  The seatpost was replaced for something longer and a new take-off seat gifted from a friend was installed on it.  I used a set of aero brake levers (circa late 80s) paired to a set of 105 dual pivot brake calipers also of a late '80s/early '90s vintage.  I added the rear rack and usually run some type of SPD pedals.   It got new cables, re-lubed bearings and the usual fare of "clean up" work you would expect.  It makes a very nice urban bike that isn't bad at all to log 30+ miles at a time.  I am hopeful the 27" Rigida wheels hold out.  I was lucky to find a pair of virtually new, good tires for the bike from the local Craigslist for $5 for the pair.  I am sure this bike will continue to evolve.  In fact, it has already evolved a little bit since these photos were taken!

The Peugeot P8, reborn - an Urban Commuter/Tourer

P8_1-forweb.jpgThis turned out to be a rather slow and randomly accessed (ie, done in bits & pieces here & there...with bits & pieces from here & there) project, but I have almost completed Phoenixing  the 1982 P8 Carbolite bike into a nice, sturdy urban commuter (or tourer) bike.  This was done using take-off parts mostly, along with some Ebay bargains.  The wheels migrated from the PSV10, since they were 700c, aluminum, 7 speed rear, and generally in alright condition.  The handlebar was swapped with an aluminum drop bar that came attached to a stem I needed for Elliot's bike and the Shimano 105 derailleurs and brakes were all random spares from Ebay.  Mounting modern brakes with recessed bolts required some minor drilling (one side) of the brake bridge and upper fork to accomodate post-1985 style road bike brakes.

P8_front_brake.JPG P8_rear_brake.JPG

This Carbolite 103 frame is not the finest piece of craftsmanship to ever leave Europe, but on the other hand the geometry is great and it's probably unbreakable to the same extent as you'd imagine a 1965 Schwinn!  The frame originally did not have a rear derailleur mounting tab, but rather incorporated an adaptor as part of the original derailleur.  I modified this adaptor by tapping it to fit the 105 derailleur and grinding/welding the metal to mate correctly to the tensioner mechanism.  Ultimately, this turned out nicely, though having to do such work may be the first clue to move to another frame for someone who doesn't have access to basic machining tools & a welder.

The brake levers are Shimano 105 and the bar end shifters are Shimano ultegra (currently set on friction).   I have not tried the light out in truly dark situations, but this is the Cree LED Lowe's Task Force flashlight that was recently highly acclaimed as the best bargain on a bright bike light. The saddle is a vintage suede Turbo saddle from the 1980s.

P8_4.JPG   P8_5.JPG
P8_handlebar_setup.JPG   P8_rear_der_hanger_detail.JPG P8_crank.JPG   P8_carbolite_label-forweb.jpg

Bertoni Nuovitalia

NI_head_badge.jpgNot sure the year model, but this is a Bertoni Nuovitalia, with Columbus Matrix tubing and a mix of Shimano 600 and Campy components.  It should be from some time between 1986-1988.  I'm still researching this marque and the models.  This is the same size as the Bertoni Professionale, but there are a number of subtle and not-so-subtle frame construction differences.  Still, to me it's a beautiful machine and it appears to be quite original in its current state.   Of course, the challenge will be for me to see if I can resist giving it a few modern amenities....well, or maybe which ones to give it....or....well, for now, it's almost a time capsule to the '80s.
NI_sideshot_1.jpg NI_crank_frame_center.jpg NI_brake_lever.jpg

NI_rear_frame_detail.jpg NI_rear_brake_bridge_detail.jpg NI_pedal.jpg NI_full_shot_perspective.jpg

I thought I should add an update to this section to show the current evolution of this bike.  For the purists who love ribbon tape and gum hoods, I'm sorry.  I love those things too, but I realized quickly that there were some things I wanted on the bike in order to really have it be one I reach for when I want to go for a ride.  So, here it is today...well, as of August 2009....

bert_nouva.jpgWhat's different on the bike is now it has the Cinelli bars original to my Bertoni Professionale (probably need to have a good angle shot to get a sense of these...not much flat area on top with these..made for hammering in the drops!), Tektro brake levers (very practical Campy hood copies, imho), new brake cables and housings, new Campy Veloce brake calipers.  Since the photo was taken, I have also replaced the Columbus stickers that has been scratched off when I got the bike.

The Redneck Fix

No, not talking about meth...this is an example of yet another fine fixed gear bike build.   This started out as the benign 24" wheel youth Raleigh Scout 18 speed mountain bike.  Bought for $25, we used it for a few years like that.  Then, the bike became a parts donor for other bikes around the house after its main rider outgrew it.  The front derailleur shifter, seat, tire, left brake lever, and a few cable guides were used on other bikes around the house....and then the frame sat looking rather forlorn.  Since my son had been itching to have a fixed gear bike so he could do all those cool fixed gear tricks, a brainstorm struck.  In probably a mere half hour, I had a 24" wheel from a JC Penney road bike welded securly to a fixed gear state, slapped an old Mongoose seat on & installed the stem & (chopped) handlebar leftover from the Cyclocross Hardrock project on it & here you have it!   In true Appalachian redneck glory, the redneck fixed gear (sorry, can't bring myself to say "fixie").  It works.  Hey, it still offers 12 gear ratio selections (the smallest cog was basically sacrificed in favor of a wide weld) & its rider is having great fun around the yard.  It doesn't have all the trappings (bright colors, pads, hip geometry, cards in the spokes) of the real urban machines, but it does offer cool mis-matched wheels, chopped rise bars and some cool vintage cages. 
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Peugeot Piste

Well, not really, but this is the Super Vitus 980-framed 1984 Peugeot in its new incarnation:  La Piste.   If Bianchi can have a Pista, why can't Peugeot have a Piste, right?  Well, seriously, this is just a fixed gear conversion of a nice classic road-framed bike that was in desperate need of "rescue" from its current state of being (see previous post).  The frame is untouched in its '84 glory, wheels are Vuelta with a Formula track hub in the rear.  None of the braze-ons will be removed.  The saddle is actually the original seat to my Bertoni.  The bars are the original Peugeot drop bars flipped and cut into bullhorn style bars.  For a front brake, I used a spare Shimano 105 front brake with a MTB style lever from our parts-o-plenty Raleigh Scout that used (now, only rear) cantilever brakes.  The chainring is the original Stronglight (BCD 122) 42t and the rear gear is 16t.  Overall, the bike still need some cleanup and detail, but rides very nicely.  Now, its the rider's turn for work...getting used to all the muscles fixed gear riding uses!  Jeez!

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1984 Peugeot PSV10-N

The components and condition if this bike are not remarkable.  The frame is remarkable.  This is the (Super) Vitus 980 Peugeot frame and it is noticeably light - for a steel frame, that is.  As best my research shows, this is a 1984 model and most of the equipment is original.  The previous owner installed the soft comfort seat, profile bars and a 7 speed rear gear set.
psv10-2.JPG Thumbnail image for psv10-3.JPG psv10-4.JPG psv10-5.JPG psv10-6.JPG psv10-7.JPG psv10-8.JPG psv10-9.JPG psv10-10.JPG

Peugeot 103 Carbolite Frame Road Bike


I'm still not sure the model and age of this bike.  From what I've found, it seems to be a 1982 PBN10...maybe.  It's really in great shape, though not particularly remarkable in build, componentry, etc.  There is a lug on the right side of the fork that I do not know the purpose of (a generator for a light?).  Seems like this could be a great commuter & utility bike and it would not be much trouble to outfit it with some more modern components if one chose to go that route.
peugeot_2.JPG peugeot_3.JPG peugeot_4.JPG peugeot_7.JPG
peugeot_5.JPG peugeot_8.JPG peugeot_9.JPG peugeot_10.JPG

Some folks asked for the ID info & some detail on the tag on the headset (not Peugeot...but maybe an indication of the origin of the bike because it may have originated in the Japanese market), so here they are:

p10_ID_1.JPG P10_id2.jpg