Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 23 of 23
  1. #1
    Cycle-noob woody86's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Wauconda, IL
    My Bikes
    1975 Viscount Gran Touring, Trek 4300, Huffy Tremor
    Posts
    15
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    What to look for/replace on a 1975 Viscount Gran Touring??

    Well, I have received my father's old '75 Viscount Gran Touring, and I am truly excited to get it up and running strong again. Please don't tell me to buy a newer bike as I am restoring this one for sentimental reasons, not financial ones. The bike has been sitting in a shed/garage/basement for the past 25 years or so, and it has gotten banged up quite a bit in that time. I have some concerns about the bike I was looking for some help with.

    First, I don't know anything about the maintenance or history of repairs on the bike, so assuming everything is original from '75, what would I automatically have to replace?

    The shifters/derailurs/cables are pretty rusty - would it be easier to replace these completely, or would it be better to just clean and lube everything and replace the cables?

    The wheels are far from true - would this usually be cheaper to have a shop bend/retrue the rims, or would it be cheaper to buy new ones at this point?

    Also, if anyone has any other tips/advice on what to check the bike for at this point, I would be greatly appreciative. Thanks to all in advance!

  2. #2
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    The NC Mountains
    My Bikes
    Too many to list, all vintage
    Posts
    19,369
    Mentioned
    54 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Work depends on your finances. A lot of rusty parts will clean up (do a search on rust and oxalic acid). No one keeps a bicycle maintenance history, don't worry about that.

    Inspect inside of frame for rust, if it is crusty, you are going to need to treat the entire frame (after totally disassembling the bike).

    Replace all consumables: tires, tubes, cables, bearings, grease.

    The bike will probably require a complete overhaul. If you take it to a shop, that will cost $200, maybe more. If you have the time, you can certainly do it all yourself.

    I pulled my 1975 U08 which had been stored for over 30 years in a similar fashion. It cleaned up great. Somehow, the frame (internally) did not have any rust.

    Are the rims steel? If so, find some alloy replacements. I am assuming they are 27 inch rims, which you can find used cheap. If they are alloy, have the shop inspect them first.

    The cheapest option is to start looking for a "donor" bike, a cheap bike with similar to better components. The donor could provide derailleurs, wheels, and other miscellaneous parts.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    My Bikes
    '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!
    Posts
    25,463
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    At the very least completely overhaul and relube all bearings (hubs, bottom bracket, headset). After all this time the old grease will be completely dried out and attempting to ride the bike will distroy the bearings.

    I once got an old Bridgestone from my brother that hadn'd been ridden in about 15 years. The factory grease had dried to the point that it resembled dry rubber cement and riding the bike would have been very damaging. A cleaning and regreasing made the bearings act like new.

  4. #4
    Cycle-noob woody86's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Wauconda, IL
    My Bikes
    1975 Viscount Gran Touring, Trek 4300, Huffy Tremor
    Posts
    15
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    Inspect inside of frame for rust, if it is crusty, you are going to need to treat the entire frame (after totally disassembling the bike)...

    Are the rims steel? If so, find some alloy replacements. I am assuming they are 27 inch rims, which you can find used cheap.
    Is it enough to check inside the seat post/ steering post or would I have to check some other way/spots?

    I do have 27"x1 1/4" Rims. A magnet will stick to the rims, so they are steel, correct?

    Thanks for the advice so far guys! Keep it coming

  5. #5
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Appleton WI
    My Bikes
    Several, mostly not name brands.
    Posts
    12,485
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by woody86 View Post
    Well, I have received my father's old '75 Viscount Gran Touring, and I am truly excited to get it up and running strong again. Please don't tell me to buy a newer bike as I am restoring this one for sentimental reasons, not financial ones. The bike has been sitting in a shed/garage/basement for the past 25 years or so, and it has gotten banged up quite a bit in that time. I have some concerns about the bike I was looking for some help with.

    First, I don't know anything about the maintenance or history of repairs on the bike, so assuming everything is original from '75, what would I automatically have to replace?

    The shifters/derailurs/cables are pretty rusty - would it be easier to replace these completely, or would it be better to just clean and lube everything and replace the cables?

    The wheels are far from true - would this usually be cheaper to have a shop bend/retrue the rims, or would it be cheaper to buy new ones at this point?

    Also, if anyone has any other tips/advice on what to check the bike for at this point, I would be greatly appreciative. Thanks to all in advance!
    First of all, if your Viscount has the infamous "Death Fork", you need to replace it before you do anything else. This fork is prone to fail without warning; serious injury or death is possible. Cables and housings should be replaced, but chances are the derailleurs are ok. You could replace them with indexed derailleurs if you want. Your LBS can assess your wheels and fix or replace them as needed.

  6. #6
    Cycle-noob woody86's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Wauconda, IL
    My Bikes
    1975 Viscount Gran Touring, Trek 4300, Huffy Tremor
    Posts
    15
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
    First of all, if your Viscount has the infamous "Death Fork", you need to replace it before you do anything else. This fork is prone to fail without warning; serious injury or death is possible. Cables and housings should be replaced, but chances are the derailleurs are ok. You could replace them with indexed derailleurs if you want. Your LBS can assess your wheels and fix or replace them as needed.
    I checked the fork already, and it's a steel fork, not the aluminum one Thanks for the advice!

  7. #7
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Dante's Third Ring
    Posts
    7,481
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Replace the cable-housing* as well as the cables. Apply oil (not grease) to the cables and into the housing before assembling. The bicycle really should have a full-on overhaul. All bearing races cleaned and re-packed with new ball-bearings and good quality grease. Check the wheels for true and round (lateral & vertical true) - and true as needed. New tires/tubes. And clean and polish all.

    Voila! A new bike!

    * choose a color you like
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  8. #8
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    The NC Mountains
    My Bikes
    Too many to list, all vintage
    Posts
    19,369
    Mentioned
    54 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Steel rims are junk for a lot of different reasons. I might use them temporarily until I could find some good alloy replacements. Decent 27 inch wheels with alloy rims are cheap.

    +1 Don't just regrease 35 year old bearings, replace them. I buy the ball bearings in bulk for about 2 cents each. Buy them at a dealer, and they will probably be 10 cents each or less, still very cheap.
    Last edited by wrk101; 01-27-09 at 02:39 PM. Reason: typo

  9. #9
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    The NC Mountains
    My Bikes
    Too many to list, all vintage
    Posts
    19,369
    Mentioned
    54 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by woody86 View Post
    Is it enough to check inside the seat post/ steering post or would I have to check some other way/spots?

    I do have 27"x1 1/4" Rims. A magnet will stick to the rims, so they are steel, correct?

    Thanks for the advice so far guys! Keep it coming
    When you pull the bottom bracket, which you will need to do to replace the bearings and grease, you will find the first area for rust. Water/condensation tends to collect in this area, so if it is rust free, that is great news. And do not assume the bike is rust free just because the outside of it is rust free. I have had two bikes built in the mid 90s that externally appeared rust free. But internally, they had some serious issues. On the other hand, my 35 year old bike that sat neglected for 32 years, had no internal rust. So you never know until you get there.

    Last edited by wrk101; 01-27-09 at 02:52 PM. Reason: clarification

  10. #10
    Cycle-noob woody86's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Wauconda, IL
    My Bikes
    1975 Viscount Gran Touring, Trek 4300, Huffy Tremor
    Posts
    15
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hey, thanks a lot guys So after all that, is there anything else I should do, or keep an eye out for? If anyone has more to add, please feel free

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    3,192
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Seriously consider new wheels. Upgrade to sealed bearing hubs and forget about cup & cones. You'll be glad you did and you'll be on your way to having a nice bike. All this assumes the bike is a good fit in the first place. bk

  12. #12
    biked well well biked's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    6,796
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bkaapcke View Post
    Seriously consider new wheels. Upgrade to sealed bearing hubs and forget about cup & cones. You'll be glad you did and you'll be on your way to having a nice bike. All this assumes the bike is a good fit in the first place. bk
    Shimano makes nice hubs, and almost all of them are cup and cone. They're sealed, some (mtb) a little better than others. You're talking about cartridge bearing hubs, which are indeed much more popular than they used to be. But there are definitely nice cup and cone hubs out there.

  13. #13
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Dante's Third Ring
    Posts
    7,481
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Just two words: Complete Overhaul.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  14. #14
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Appleton WI
    My Bikes
    Several, mostly not name brands.
    Posts
    12,485
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    Don't just regrease 35 year old bearings, replace them. I buy the ball bearings in bulk for about 2 cents each. Buy them at a dealer, and they will probably be 10 cents each or less, still very cheap.
    The Trusty-built Viscounts used sealed cartridge bearings in the hubs and bottom bracket. These can be replaced if necessary but the process different from a conventional cup and cone bearing.

  15. #15
    Cycle-noob woody86's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Wauconda, IL
    My Bikes
    1975 Viscount Gran Touring, Trek 4300, Huffy Tremor
    Posts
    15
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
    The Trusty-built Viscounts used sealed cartridge bearings in the hubs and bottom bracket. These can be replaced if necessary but the process different from a conventional cup and cone bearing.
    Could you go into detail about how they are replaced? Would be nice to know what I'm doing when I get to that point. Thanks again

  16. #16
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Dante's Third Ring
    Posts
    7,481
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Some of us don't like the sealed hubs. I, for one, find having loose ball-bearings in the hubs - like Shimano Ultegra - makes them easy to service. And these tend to be smoother than the sealed models. At least that's one opinion. But if you don't like working on bicycles, the sealed hubs are probably made for you.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  17. #17
    Cycle-noob woody86's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Wauconda, IL
    My Bikes
    1975 Viscount Gran Touring, Trek 4300, Huffy Tremor
    Posts
    15
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well I would like to work on this bike as little as possible, but I don't mind putting in the wrench time. However, as long as everything is mechanically sound, I'd rather keep as much of the original parts on the bike as I can.

  18. #18
    biked well well biked's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    6,796
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Panthers007 View Post
    Some of us don't like the sealed hubs. I, for one, find having loose ball-bearings in the hubs - like Shimano Ultegra - makes them easy to service. And these tend to be smoother than the sealed models. At least that's one opinion. But if you don't like working on bicycles, the sealed hubs are probably made for you.
    It's best to refer to the sealed hubs you're talking about as cartridge bearing hubs. As I mentioned earlier, the better cup and cone hubs are sealed also. I had some old Suzue hubs that had "sealed bearings" labels on them, and they were cup and cone hubs with rubber dust seals. I've got Suntour hubs from the same era, with "sealed bearings" labels on them, and they're cartridge bearing hubs.

  19. #19
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Dante's Third Ring
    Posts
    7,481
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Point taken. I love my 1982 Campy Records.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    3,192
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You might want to check out the prices of parts and outside work before you go ahead with this project. It probably will run more than a new bike will cost by quite a bit. Cost-benefit analysis, and all that. bk

  21. #21
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    The NC Mountains
    My Bikes
    Too many to list, all vintage
    Posts
    19,369
    Mentioned
    54 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Paying a shop to completely overhaul a low end old bike rarely/never makes sense financially. This does not mean not to do it. Just realize you will be upside down on the bike.

    The best way around that is to do the work yourself, and if possible, find a donor bike to supply odds and ends. When I rebuilt my 1975 U08 last year, I also had a 1974 UJ that I picked up for $5. The donor supplied an original seat, rear derailleur, cotterless alloy crankset, and a couple of brake parts. I did all the work myself, so the rebuild cost me next to nothing.

  22. #22
    Cycle-noob woody86's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Wauconda, IL
    My Bikes
    1975 Viscount Gran Touring, Trek 4300, Huffy Tremor
    Posts
    15
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bkaapcke View Post
    You might want to check out the prices of parts and outside work before you go ahead with this project. It probably will run more than a new bike will cost by quite a bit. Cost-benefit analysis, and all that. bk
    Thanks for reading
    Quote Originally Posted by woody86 View Post
    Well, I have received my father's old '75 Viscount Gran Touring, and I am truly excited to get it up and running strong again. Please don't tell me to buy a newer bike as I am restoring this one for sentimental reasons, not financial ones. The bike has been sitting in a shed/garage/basement for the past 25 years or so, and it has gotten banged up quite a bit in that time. I have some concerns about the bike I was looking for some help with...

    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    Paying a shop to completely overhaul a low end old bike rarely/never makes sense financially. This does not mean not to do it. Just realize you will be upside down on the bike.

    The best way around that is to do the work yourself, and if possible, find a donor bike to supply odds and ends. When I rebuilt my 1975 U08 last year, I also had a 1974 UJ that I picked up for $5. The donor supplied an original seat, rear derailleur, cotterless alloy crankset, and a couple of brake parts. I did all the work myself, so the rebuild cost me next to nothing.
    Thanks for the advice. I'm planning on doing as much of the work as I can myself. The only things I'd have done at a shop would be having the rims trued/respoked, and running new cables. Just about everything else, I am comfortable doing.

    Also everything seems to be ok mechanically, it's just that the bike hasn't been greased/lubed in forever, so everything's a little stiff. I'm hoping after a complete cleaning, new bearings, new cables, and truing the wheels that I should be all set. I have all the original parts on the bike, so I don't think I'll need a donor (knock on wood) but that's good advice for my future re-builds
    Last edited by woody86; 01-28-09 at 07:32 PM.

  23. #23
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Dante's Third Ring
    Posts
    7,481
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If a person has found they like restoring/rebuilding older bike - a REAL LOT - it would make sense to seriously learn how to. I can recommend the United Bicycle Institute (UBI) in Ashland, Oregon. Sure it costs money, but they really do teach you. Building wheels, etc. Perhaps do it as a summer vacation. That's what I did in 1984. Lovely country!

    Since they've been around since 1982, one would think they know how to do this. As an added benefit/enticement - with a UBI diploma, you would be ahead of many to get a job in a bike shop. And you'd also know how a bike shop works. You could open your own.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •