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  1. #1
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    1970s? Stella road bike

    Hello,
    I recently acquired a Stella road bike from what I'm guessing is the 1970's. It is a 10 speed with mostly campy components, and sun tour rear derailleur. It seems to be mostly original, but there were a few things I wanted to tune up without compromising the bike. I haven't been able to find much about the bike other than it was a French company which made everything from low end to performance race bikes. I'm guessing based on campy components this bike is somewhere in the middle in terms of quality.

    The rear brake sticks, is there any harm in replacing brake cable? Also, the tires leak a fair amount of air. They are quite old 700x32c tires white wall tire. I have been hesitant to pump up to recommended psi and blow out the side walls. Is there any harm in getting new tires and tubes? I would keep the ones on it, but i have no idea if they are original or near original as I don't know the history of this bike.

    Lastly, the grips are cracked and falling off. Was considering getting bar tape to re wrap? I've ridden mountain bikes for about 4 years, but have never ridden rode bikes much. I plan to use this bike to commute to school and run errands around town. The gears shift well, and I love the extra speed on pavement compared to mtn bikes

    Thank you for your thoughts and suggestions

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Do what you need to get it on the road.

    Post a pic sometime.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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  3. #3
    Senior Member DiegoFrogs's Avatar
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    All of the stuff you propose is quite normal. Also consider replacing the brake pads, the shifter cables and housings and repacking the bearings.

    All of this stuff is consumable, so most people don't consider these modifications harmful. We'd just like to see you back on the road.

  4. #4
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    The top end Stella bikes were very good ones, but whether your components represent that
    or a swap by someone trying to upgrade is problematic to discover.

    Post close up photos of the frame lug work and the rear dropouts, as well as any tubing stickers
    if there are remnants of them for a better analysis here. There were a boatload of the lower and
    middle end ones sold in the 70's.

    And clean off all the aged rubber, cable housings, etc. and start fresh.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cheshire Cat
    Only a few find the way, some don't recognize it when they do - some... don't ever want to.

  5. #5
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    http://i.imgur.com/lTHSgHY.jpg
    Sort of a test post to see if the pictures work. So after looking at the frame I was unable to find any mention of the type of tubing whether it's steel or alloy or 531. There bike has campy shifters, and front derailleur, campy hubs(or freewheels? Not sure of terminology but thing that holds spokes to rim, qr axles runs through their? center) and campy quick release mechanisms. Sun tour rear derailleur, and super champion (made in france) rims.

  6. #6
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    ...from what I can see of the dropouts and the cottered crank, not a top of the line Stella,
    but possibly not the bottom of the line either. By the time they were routing the rear brake cable
    like that, the best French bikes had Stronglight cotterless.

    Still might be butted tubing and a decent ride, though. Can't tell from here.


    The Campy is probably upgrade swaps by someone who loved it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cheshire Cat
    Only a few find the way, some don't recognize it when they do - some... don't ever want to.

  7. #7
    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    Pic is fuzzy, of course, but on first impression, looks like a mid level Stella. Campy Nuovo Tipo hubs. Maybe Valentino front derailleur.
    What does that chromed crank set say on it? Neat bike. Looks to be in very good condition.

  8. #8
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    The chromed crank set says aduprat universel. I apologize about photo quality, my phone takes terrible photos. I will link a few more photos closer up hopefully reveal more detail.

    Also 3 alarmer, you mention by the time French bikes ran rear brake cable like that, approx.. What year would you put this bike at?

    Front of bike
    http://i.imgur.com/8jbZk43.jpg
    Front derailleur
    http://i.imgur.com/PBY8fop.jpg
    Rear brake
    http://i.imgur.com/3wZjlXi.jpg
    Stella insignia on frame http://i.imgur.com/91mWPAd.jpg
    Campy shifters
    http://i.imgur.com/7klAQJz.jpg
    Rims etc.
    http://i.imgur.com/VZyfG3b.jpg
    Last edited by Badge; 02-16-14 at 04:55 PM. Reason: Adding pics

  9. #9
    car guy, recovering aixaix's Avatar
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    Probably Durifort tubing. The steerer tube might be stamped if it is. Mid-range bike for sure. Nothing wrong with that if you like to ride it. Tires, tubes, cables, bar tape & brake pads are all consumables and should be replaced as needed. New ones will do only good for your bike and you.
    Michael Shiffer
    EuroMeccanicany.com

  10. #10
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badge View Post
    What year would you put this bike at?
    ...in the early 70's, you saw mostly an extended housing and cable clamps:

    Peugeot PX 10 002.jpg


    By the mid to later 70's you were seeing a lot more exposed cable runs with stops,
    or the other popular method of brazed on cable guides:

    Pepe le Peugeot 001.jpgsaddle details 005.jpg

    Stella was one of the companies that did the exposed cables early on, like on the one
    above that I fished out of a bike junkyard in the early/mid 80's with no components.

    It's not exactly a foolproof way of dating. There's not a good documentation of the company on the internet, to my knowledge.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cheshire Cat
    Only a few find the way, some don't recognize it when they do - some... don't ever want to.

  11. #11
    Senior Member obrentharris's Avatar
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    Nice bike! That Suntour rear derailleur is a very nice upgrade (VGT Luxe I think from the photo.) Do the maintenance suggested above; and do yourself a big favor by replacing that quilted vinyl, squishy-foam saddle with something nicer. You will find yourself enjoying longer rides a lot more.
    Brent

  12. #12
    Lanterne Rouge cb400bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badge View Post
    Sort of a test post to see if the pictures work.
    Laterally stiff yet vertically compliant.

    Viscount Aerospace Pro Trek 770 Cannondale Synapse

  13. #13
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    I think the wheels are original, if so then the inside of the lock nuts on the hubs will give you a date, so it will be that or later, parts were not "just in time" back then.
    My personal guess from visiting bike shops back then, 1972-73.
    Nice shape for its age. It could probably use a thorough repack of the bearings. I would exchange the rear brake cable to front, get a new rear cable, maybe even lined housing which might require deft trimming to fit the cable ports.
    I too think it might ride above its pay grade.
    Very few shops sold Stella locally in Southern California, the brand did not have the visibility of Peugeot, Raleigh or Gitane.

    And I would feel free to change saddles as that was not original and probably not that comfortable... and be sure to check the insertion amount of the stem into the fork... at least 2.25" inside the steerer, while its out, grease it.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aixaix View Post
    .....Tires, tubes, cables, bar tape & brake pads are all consumables and should be replaced as needed. New ones will do only good for your bike and you.
    I would consider putting in/on new rim strips when replacing those tires. I'd measure that chain as well.... or maybe just replace it... they don't cost much for a 10spd.

    NICE looking bike!
    Last edited by Dave Cutter; 02-16-14 at 09:10 PM.

  15. #15
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by repechage View Post
    .
    I too think it might ride above its pay grade.
    ...that ugly paint one in the photo was my first decent riding road bike. I was ecstatic over it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cheshire Cat
    Only a few find the way, some don't recognize it when they do - some... don't ever want to.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the info, comments, and ideas!! I intend to get some new rubber on this bike, swap brake cables and housings, and clean/repack the bearings. I will probably upgrade the seat as I use this bike for longer rides when weather improves. Planning on replacing tires with same size (700x32), and will also check rim to see of its needs new tape inside. what type of grease is recommended for Repacking bearings? The back wheel definitely seems to have a little trouble with hub doesn't feel right when pedal long.

  17. #17
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    Woke up this morning to clean/repack bearings, and realized I need a cone wrench.. Also I had to use a vise grip to remove QR axle from front rim. Any advice on a rust buster? I have silikroil which I used and can now use QR axle by hand. The back wasn't as bad, but still rusty.
    Also, I took some better photos of joints/ rear dropouts.

    Rust remover?
    http://i.imgur.com/iQVVhf7.jpg

    Headset/toptube
    http://imgur.com/30gqBH9

    Seattube/toptube
    http://i.imgur.com/QVBeRuA.jpg

    Rear dropouts
    http://i.imgur.com/jq5OfBz.jpg

    And brent, yes good eye on fuzzy pic is is a vgt-luxe derailleur and I am pleased to hear it's is good quality!! I t seems to work well.
    Last edited by Badge; 02-17-14 at 07:47 AM. Reason: Adding pics

  18. #18
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheshire Cat
    Only a few find the way, some don't recognize it when they do - some... don't ever want to.

  19. #19
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    You had to remove the front axle from the rim (I assume you mean the hub) with vise grips? Do get the correct cone wrenches. Once you loosen the locking nut on the outside the rest should be easy.

    +1 on what they said about doing maintenance. Cables, housing, tires, brake pads, even chain and FW are consumables. I wouldn't be too concerned about keeping that bike "all original" anyway. In fact, that stuff is basic replace-when-necessary on any bike you intend to ride.

    Repack the hubs at least, and maybe the headset. Consider the BB too, but you'll want advice on how to deal with that cottered crank.

    That looks like a nice rider. I'm a bit surprised at what 3a says about the rear brake cable routing. I would have guessed the exposed cable meant early to mid-70's, but maybe Stella did things differently from some other manufacturers
    Real cyclists use toe clips.
    jimmuller

  20. #20
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    [Qand E=jimmuller;16502573]You had to remove the front axle from the rim (I assume you mean the hub) with vise grips? Do get the correct cone wrenches. Once you loosen the locking nut

    +1 on what they said about doing maintenance. Cables, housing, tires, brake pads, even chain and FW are consumables. I wouldn't be too concerned about keeping that bike "all original" anyway. In fact, that stuff is basic replace-when-necessary on any bike you intend to ride.

    Repack the hubs at least, and maybe the headset. Consider the BB too, but you'll want advice on how to deal with that cottered crank.
    [/QUOTE]

    I had to use vise grips to clamp onto round/cone side of QR skewer (opposite the lever side) , it was rusted in place on the skewer. However, I can now use fingers to loosen/tighten.. Thanks for rust products 3a. I found out my hometown doesn't sell cone wrenches, and I'm going to need a fr-2 from park tool anyways to remove regina freewheel.. So I called the bike shop where I live (and will return tomorrow) and ordered tool, and he said they have Falcon 14-28 freewheels for 17.99, would this be a good time to replace fw, and chain after cleaning /repacking bearings in back hub? I'm a little discouraged with my "cone wrench" I purchased a 12mm end wrench and ground it thin enough to fit before I realized I need a 13 or 14mm cone wrench. Will probably just buy proper tool tomorrow when I return to Missoula, and pack the bearings tomorrow.

  21. #21
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    and he said they have Falcon 14-28 freewheels for 17.99, would this be a good time to replace fw, and chain after cleaning /repacking bearings in back hub?
    ....every Falcon freewheel I've ever seen is a low end POS, so my advice would be to
    thoroughly clean and flush your old one (soak it in kerosene or some other solvent),
    and relubricate it with oil dribbled through the sems at the bearings.

    Looking at the condition of the bike, your freewheel is probably not worn enough to
    need replacement, and ought to be of a higher quality than anything made by Falcon.

    Someone will eventually tell you to replace the cottered crank with cotterless, too.

    IMO, also a mistake with this particular bicycle, and crank. You will never manage to
    service it by yourself. Those cotters have been in there a long time. A lot of the junior
    mechanics at LBS cannot do this procedure correctly either. Find someone who is old enough
    to have done it a few times, and is aware of the various methods for pressing them in and out.

    A lot of the threading (probably most) on your bike is French, so Google French threading before
    you **** anything up while taking it apart. It has not been serviced in a long time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cheshire Cat
    Only a few find the way, some don't recognize it when they do - some... don't ever want to.

  22. #22
    Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
    ....every Falcon freewheel I've ever seen is a low end POS, so my advice would be to
    thoroughly clean and flush your old one (soak it in kerosene or some other solvent),
    and relubricate it with oil dribbled through the sems at the bearings.

    Looking at the condition of the bike, your freewheel is probably not worn enough to
    need replacement, and ought to be of a higher quality than anything made by Falcon.

    Someone will eventually tell you to replace the cottered crank with cotterless, too.

    IMO, also a mistake with this particular bicycle, and crank. You will never manage to
    service it by yourself. Those cotters have been in there a long time. A lot of the junior
    mechanics at LBS cannot do this procedure correctly either. Find someone who is old enough
    to have done it a few times, and is aware of the various methods for pressing them in and out.

    A lot of the threading (probably most) on your bike is French, so Google French threading before
    you **** anything up while taking it apart. It has not been serviced in a long time.
    Thank you for quick reply. I am going to just give freewheel a thorough cleaning.

    http://i.imgur.com/Xm4GeOM.jpg
    Cleaning/repacking the bearings today. Lock nuts on campy hub are stamped 71. Are these the correct era to be the Nuovo Tipo as someone else mentioned?

    I don't have much intention of replacing cottered crank immediately, as the frame is a bit small for me. Been loving the bike with new rubber, and freshly packed bearings. Will look into repacking headset soon!!

    Also, any tips for removing leftover glue residue on bars, from old grip tape I tried to remove? I tried WD 40 and iso propyl alcohol as solvents and neither were too effective

  23. #23
    car guy, recovering aixaix's Avatar
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    Nuovo Tipos were being made in 1971. They are from the same era as your bike and may well be original.
    As for bar tape glue, there is no downside to leaving it on. As long as there is no powdery residue the new tape will stick just fine and cover up the old stuff.
    When you do the headset, see if anything is stamped into the steerer tube on the fork. Tubing makers sometimes mark it with a symbol (dove for Columbus, e.g.) or their brand.
    Michael Shiffer
    EuroMeccanicany.com

  24. #24
    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    Whenever I see one of these, I think of Brando yelling the name.

  25. #25
    As found... devinfan's Avatar
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    Lovely bike. I wouldn't change that crankset for worlds, it suits the bike perfectly, as do the pedals and straps. I think if it were mine I'd be tempted to change up the saddle for a nice ideale or brooks and give it some red or black cloth bar tape, but other than that it looks fantastic.
    My bike is cooler than me.

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