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Old 12-18-13, 06:28 PM   #1
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Zeus

I picked up this Zeus a couple weeks ago. From what I have gathered so far I believe it's ~late 60's-early 70's.

I originally started a thread in the C&V appraisal-inqury section which can be seen here..... http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/925377-Zeus

Much thanks to juvela for sharing quite a few details about early Zeus bicycles and also much thanks to afilado for hooking me up with a very nice Super Alfa brakeset.

Still searching for Zeus specific (French threading) top tube cable clamps, cable guides, 5 speed freewheel, 165/170mm crankset and BB.

There does not seem to be a lot of info available on these bicycles and I welcome anything you may have to share.............
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Old 12-18-13, 06:28 PM   #2
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Old 12-18-13, 06:29 PM   #3
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Old 12-18-13, 06:30 PM   #4
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Old 12-18-13, 06:57 PM   #5
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wrt f/w:

afaik there was no zeus branded f/w at the time your machine was produced. the 2000 f/w launched some years later. it is a costly little item with its alloy cogs.

for a metric thread contemporaneous one you might go with something from atom/maillard.

one possible spanish badge f/w and chain might be iris.
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Old 12-18-13, 07:03 PM   #6
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I came up with a 5 speed Simplex last night......... spins onto the hub very easily.
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Old 12-18-13, 07:31 PM   #7
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A zeus should really be built up with Zeus parts, that's how they came. They turn up on ebay, but have gotten pricey. I have 3 bikes.

cyclomondo has 2 versions of the decals on ebay.
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File Type: jpg yellowZEUS.jpg (19.9 KB, 27 views)
File Type: jpg redZEUS1.jpg (49.0 KB, 26 views)
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Old 12-18-13, 08:08 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by r0ckh0und View Post
I came up with a 5 speed Simplex last night......... spins onto the hub very easily.
"spins on easily" is not necessarily a good sign. metric f/w thread has a pitch diameter of 34.7mm which is smaller than BSC or Italian so a BSC or Italian thread f/w body will thread on very easily indeed. alas there is a possibility of stripping the thread. not even a good "class b" fit.

one must measure...
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Old 12-19-13, 09:12 AM   #9
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"spins on easily" is not necessarily a good sign. metric f/w thread has a pitch diameter of 34.7mm which is smaller than BSC or Italian so a BSC or Italian thread f/w body will thread on very easily indeed. alas there is a possibility of stripping the thread. not even a good "class b" fit.

one must measure...
okay......checked the hub profile using a known ISO/rt BB cup. They clearly do not match up telling me this is a French threaded hub. Then I threaded the BB cup into my Simplex freewheel..........goes all the way in...........clearly not French. Tried the BB cup into an Atom 66 fw.......only goes in a couple of threads then tightens up.......clearly French. I did this per Sheldon Brown.......

....."A bottom-bracket cup can serve as a thread gauge for a freewheel: Dimensions are usually marked on cups. Hold the threads of the bottom-bracket cup against those of the hub, and look in between, against the light. If the threads engage tightly all the way across, the thread pitch is the same. If they rock across each other, it is different. You may check the thread pitch of a freewheel by threading an ISO left bottom-bracket cup into it (not a right cup, which is left-threaded). The cup will go in easily if the thread pitch is the same -- but do have a freewheel extractor tool handy so you can unscrew the cup."
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Old 12-19-13, 09:23 AM   #10
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A zeus should really be built up with Zeus parts, that's how they came. They turn up on ebay, but have gotten pricey. I have 3 bikes.

cyclomondo has 2 versions of the decals on ebay.
It's my intention to use all Zeus parts if I can manage to acquire them.

Are you running a 5 speed fw on any of your bikes? I have not come across one yet.

Are yours repaints and did they have chrome socks?

Do you know how old these are?
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Old 12-19-13, 09:30 AM   #11
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I repacked the hubs yesterday and found it interesting that both sides of both hubs use 8 bearings each. If you don't put enough grease in there it makes quite a racket.

The hubs also have "dingle rings" (for lack of a proper term) on them.......ie; a piece of leather about the size of a shoelace, wrapped around the hub and banded together with a small thin piece of wire.
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Old 12-19-13, 10:01 AM   #12
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Hub shiners...
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Old 12-19-13, 10:08 AM   #13
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LOL @ "dingle rings"!!!

that Zeus has had a hard life. i hope you restore it to its shining glory! i've always been a fan of everything Zeus.
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Old 12-19-13, 10:44 AM   #14
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f/w threading: good to hear you have it sorted. just wanted to make sure you did not create a mismatch.

hub repacking: "eight balls per side front and rear" did not sound at all correct. but since it has been many years since repacking a zeus hub checked the Sutherland manual. for the front it gives 9 7/32" balls per side and for the rear it gives 9 1/4" balls per side. no wonder it clatters a bit! someone has been in there previously...

the bicycle's hubs will be a model called gran sport. the machine's road ensemble is called criterium but there are no criterium hubs. hub models went from gran sport to 2000 and then on to other models such as new racer, etc.
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Old 12-19-13, 12:09 PM   #15
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......hub shiner/dingle ring..........

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Old 12-19-13, 03:56 PM   #16
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....."A bottom-bracket cup can serve as a thread gauge for a freewheel...
I never knew that. Good info.
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Old 12-19-13, 04:08 PM   #17
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The yellow one was a repaint, had chrome, got as a frame in about the same condition as yours. Had some of the parts and still looking for a set of brakes. The silver one was repainted by someone else, had few of the Zeus parts left, but it was cheap and I found a guy with a complete set of Zeus parts he sold at a fair price. I added the decals to it. The red one is original and complete and found on ebay. The red one is early 70s I believe, the other 2 later 70s. I had a copper one I sold that had a metal headbadge, I'd guess those even earlier. In the late 70s they came out with a more highly developed line of parts, but I know nothing of those. I'd guess ones with chrome were the higher end models. You didn't see them around much in the 70s, but there sure seem to be a lot around now! I think they're pretty cool and different.

Almost all my bikes are 5-speed, maybe a couple of 6-speed. I typically use 14/28 Suntours from ebay, though the red Zeus would only run a 24 for some reason.
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File Type: jpg Zeus_palmares.jpg (63.0 KB, 11 views)

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Old 12-19-13, 05:06 PM   #18
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I guess here I should insert a pic of my restored zeus with mostly zeus parts...it can be done!
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Old 12-19-13, 06:55 PM   #19
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The yellow one was a repaint, had chrome, got as a frame in about the same condition as yours. Had some of the parts and still looking for a set of brakes. The silver one was repainted by someone else, had few of the Zeus parts left, but it was cheap and I found a guy with a complete set of Zeus parts he sold at a fair price. I added the decals to it. The red one is original and complete and found on ebay. The red one is early 70s I believe, the other 2 later 70s. I had a copper one I sold that had a metal headbadge, I'd guess those even earlier. In the late 70s they came out with a more highly developed line of parts, but I know nothing of those. I'd guess ones with chrome were the higher end models. You didn't see them around much in the 70s, but there sure seem to be a lot around now! I think they're pretty cool and different.

Almost all my bikes are 5-speed, maybe a couple of 6-speed. I typically use 14/28 Suntours from ebay, though the red Zeus would only run a 24 for some reason.
All great looking bikes dbakl....................I was going to suggest that the dark red one was the eldest, maybe it's the patina, brake levers and HF hubs.

Catalog scans? Where on earth did you find those?
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Old 12-19-13, 07:01 PM   #20
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I guess here I should insert a pic of my restored zeus with mostly zeus parts...it can be done!
A beautiful bike norskagent................these restorations are a tough act to follow
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Old 12-19-13, 07:52 PM   #21
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Thanks, mine was a proper road bike but I made it more upright / urbanish. I believe all the threading on it is french. I'm considering putting an ideale saddle I have on it but that would require using a non-zeus seat pillar.
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Old 12-19-13, 11:36 PM   #22
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I see in dbakl's cat scans they actually list a Zeus leather saddles. Mine is an Ideale...........an 80TB I believe

I was cleaning the RD this afternoon, not the one I have pictured but a replacement, and even the jockey wheels are Zeus labeled.

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Old 12-20-13, 08:00 AM   #23
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I like Zeus bikes 'cuz they're weird.
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