Bicycle Mechanics - How reliable is old Shimano Z series components?
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07-14-04, 09:23 AM
I am looking at an old Raleigh Marathon cro-moly bike from a guy down the street who wants $50. He doesn't know the year and I can't find anything about it on the net.
The components are Shimano FD Z202, RD Z503 and shifters Z401 (on the top of steer tube). The cranks are bolt on Sakae SA with 52 & 40 chain rings. It is a 12 speed and says Sport Touring Geometry also on the bike.
The bike fits pretty well and rides / shifts smoothly. The brakes are dia-comp. No dents, a few paint chips and no rust that I can see.
How did these old Shimano Z series hold up? I found one site on the web that said the Z series came out in 1986 so that kind of places an age on the bike. Does the bike seem like it's worth $50? The bike seems to be of decent quality and in very good shape.
Any comments would be appreciated.
07-14-04, 07:28 PM
The key to older components is the materials they're made of. Check the rear derailleur. Is it 100% metal? Is it part steel and part aluminum? Z series components are OK. They were used on entry level to mid level bikes. If the bike has indexed shifting its OK stuff. Its much better than any indexing componentry Suntour or Campy had back in the mid eighties.
If the Raleigh has the shifters on the stem is definitley an entry level bike. Is it worth $50? I dont know. What else can you get for $50? To put the 50 into perspective, any bike you buy at a discount store for more money will not ride as well or work as well as the Raleigh.
07-14-04, 08:01 PM
If the bike has indexed shifting its OK stuff. Its much better than any indexing componentry Suntour or Campy had back in the mid eighties.
If the Raleigh has the shifters on the stem is definitley an entry level bike.
It is friction shifting with the shifters on the stem. But why does it make it an entry level bike? My wife has a Schwinn Traveler with Suntour which is a very nice bike but this Raleigh is even nicer. Isn't the fact that they put Shimano components on the bike mean it was one of their mid range bikes? Wouldn't they put cheaper components on an entry level bike?
I guess I don't see why having the shifters on the stem would make it an entry level bike. They are certainly more easy to reach than the type on the down tube.
Thanks for the info though.
07-14-04, 08:27 PM
Mark, I call it entry level because thats what entry level bikes had. If the bike is from '86 or later and doesnt have index shifting its, without a doubt, entry level. Not calling it entry level is like saying a bike with full Dura-Ace isnt high end.
As Far as putting Shimano on it with friction shifters, what else would they put on it? Suntour with friction shifters? Dont confuse entry level with 'cheap' or 'not nice' or 'bad quality'. Raleigh may have had bike below that model in their line.
To be honest with you Schwinns of the mid-eighties were nicer bikes than Raleighs of the mid-eighties of equal prices of course. If you look around I'm sure you can find a nice Peugeot with indexed shifting for under $100. Now that would be a nice bike!!
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