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Volkscycle Mark XV

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I am looking for information about a bike I bought new around 1973/4. At the time I thought I remembered being told that it was a Peugeot, now that I dug it out of the basement I see that it is marked Volkscycle Mark XV with a steelight double butted frame JWB. Can anyone tell me what that means. I am having trouble finding any information about this bike. Thank you.
post #2 of 16

Re: Volkscycle Mark XV

Quote:
Originally Posted by mandalay_lady View Post
I am looking for information about a bike I bought new around 1973/4. At the time I thought I remembered being told that it was a Peugeot, now that I dug it out of the basement I see that it is marked Volkscycle Mark XV with a steelight double butted frame JWB. Can anyone tell me what that means. I am having trouble finding any information about this bike. Thank you.
Okay, you probably spent more time locating this Forum than you did looking for information on your Volkscycle bike!

A quick web search revealed that there is a lot of information about the bikes ... the following is regarding a MARK X:
Volkscycle sounds German, but the bike was made in Japan by Bridgestone and imported to the US.

The bikes are from the early 1970s. It came with Shimano Dura-ace centerpull brakes.
Bridgestone made pretty good bikes.

No doubt, different Volkscycle models probably came with different components.

Another blurb about someone else's Volkcycle XX states that the particular owner identified his frame as being:
Double-butted chrome molybdenum steel. Faux-Nervex lugs. Forged drop-outs.
So, your bike probably has a pretty nice frame & probably has good components.

There is a lot more information on the web if you just let-your-fingers-do-the-walking ...
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

Re: Volkscycle Mark XV

Quote:
Originally Posted by alfeng View Post
Okay, you probably spent more time locating this Forum than you did looking for information on your Volkscycle bike!

A quick web search revealed that there is a lot of information about the bikes ... the following is regarding a MARK X:
Volkscycle sounds German, but the bike was made in Japan by Bridgestone and imported to the US.

The bikes are from the early 1970s. It came with Shimano Dura-ace centerpull brakes.
Bridgestone made pretty good bikes.

No doubt, different Volkscycle models probably came with different components.

Another blurb about someone else's Volkcycle XX states that the particular owner identified his frame as being:
Double-butted chrome molybdenum steel. Faux-Nervex lugs. Forged drop-outs.
So, your bike probably has a pretty nice frame & probably has good components.

There is a lot more information on the web if you just let-your-fingers-do-the-walking ...
Thank you for your assistance, I have let my fingers do the walking (probably about 4-5 hours) but obviously not in the right places, however they led me to this site quite easily, which is funny as I usually do not have any trouble finding what I am looking for, in fact I am to go to person when co-workers, friends and family need to find something and are having trouble.
Thank you again, and I will continue to let my fingers do the walking.

You are probably not interested, but just in case you are since my original post I have taken the bike to a bike shop that did not know anything about it except that it was a good bike, was well made with a good frame and good components. We discussed making some changes and discovered that some of it's component connections are a standardized French size, maybe that is where the "Peugeot" name came into the equation. They did advise me that it is a very good bike of very good quality but the French sizing standard made it difficult and expensive to try to modify it in the manner that I wished. (They do not stock parts of that sizing.) Now I am considering selling it and buying a new 5 speed cruiser type bike. The shop insists that I will end up with a better bike spending the money on the conversion vs buying a new one. This bike was what I wanted and was considered an expensive one at the time I bought it, I just do not think I will be comfortable with it right now so I am having my old 1 sp 1960's Cruiser serviced and modified with new tires, tubes and a more comfortable seat. I do plan to take the volkscycle to to another shop and see what they have to say also.

Again, thank you for your help.
post #4 of 16

Re: Volkscycle Mark XV

Quote:
Originally Posted by mandalay_lady View Post
... a bike shop that did not know anything about it except that it was a good bike, was well made with a good frame and good components. We discussed making some changes and discovered that some of it's component connections are a standardized French size, maybe that is where the "Peugeot" name came into the equation. They did advise me that it is a very good bike of very good quality but the French sizing standard made it difficult and expensive to try to modify it in the manner that I wished. (They do not stock parts of that sizing.) Now I am considering selling it and buying a new 5 speed cruiser type bike. The shop insists that I will end up with a better bike spending the money on the conversion vs buying a new one. This bike was what I wanted and was considered an expensive one at the time I bought it, I just do not think I will be comfortable with it right now so I am having my old 1 sp 1960's Cruiser serviced and modified with new tires, tubes and a more comfortable seat. I do plan to take the volkscycle to to another shop and see what they have to say also.
I still have two vintage French frames, so I'm curious as to what changes you wanted to make that your LBS is unable to implement ...

I might be able to tell you what either YOU can do OR you can tell your LBS mechanic to do.

BTW. I would actually have thought that if the frame as built by Bridgestone that it would have an English threaded BB & English threaded fork ... but, neither a French threaded BB or steerer should-or-would be an obstacle to upgrading your Volkscycle.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

Re: Volkscycle Mark XV

Quote:
Originally Posted by alfeng View Post
I still have two vintage French frames, so I'm curious as to what changes you wanted to make that your LBS is unable to implement ...

I might be able to tell you what either YOU can do OR you can tell your LBS mechanic to do.

BTW. I would actually have thought that if the frame as built by Bridgestone that it would have an English threaded BB & English threaded fork ... but, neither a French threaded BB or steerer should-or-would be an obstacle to upgrading your Volkscycle.
It is NOT that they can't do it. At this time, being a 55 year old overweight woman I am not comfortable in the tucked over racing bike style position. When I was 20 years old this biking position was fine. Now it is not. So I was thinking of a new seat (no problem I can do that myself, I am fairly handy) and different handle bars allowing me to ride in a more upright position, therein lies the problem. The current gear shifting cables run through the underhand U shaped handles of the bike with the controls inset into the end of the handle tubing. That means a lot more time, work and money for the Bike tech in mounting new bars, in addition to the supposedly french standard tube sizing making things not fit quite right and having to switch out different parts to make everything fit. In addition the new bar would not accommodate my current braking handles. As I am currently unemployed due to our current economy after 16 years with the same corporation I am also not comfortable spending hundreds of dollars on modifications or a good new bike so for now it is on hold.

As previously mentioned I also have an old 1960's era cruiser 1sp bike which required new tires and tubes, new grips, and some brake work. I am having that done for approx. $100. That will give me something to ride here on the flatter local trails and to take to the beach to ride around the campground. I had wanted to take both bikes to the beach so that a friend and I could ride together, but she is to short for the Volkscycle, so my old cruiser will have to do and we can take turns tooling around the campground on the coaster just for the exercise and to see what is going on around camp. It will work for now, and I will make modifications to the volkscycle or purchase a new 5-10 speed coaster after the economy picks up and I am again employed.
post #6 of 16

Re: Volkscycle Mark XV

Quote:
Originally Posted by mandalay_lady View Post
It is NOT that they can't do it. At this time, being a 55 year old overweight woman I am not comfortable in the tucked over racing bike style position. When I was 20 years old this biking position was fine. Now it is not. So I was thinking of a new seat (no problem I can do that myself, I am fairly handy) and different handle bars allowing me to ride in a more upright position, therein lies the problem. The current gear shifting cables run through the underhand U shaped handles of the bike with the controls inset into the end of the handle tubing. That means a lot more time, work and money for the Bike tech in mounting new bars, in addition to the supposedly french standard tube sizing making things not fit quite right and having to switch out different parts to make everything fit. In addition the new bar would not accommodate my current braking handles. As I am currently unemployed due to our current economy after 16 years with the same corporation I am also not comfortable spending hundreds of dollars on modifications or a good new bike so for now it is on hold.

As previously mentioned I also have an old 1960's era cruiser 1sp bike which required new tires and tubes, new grips, and some brake work. I am having that done for approx. $100. That will give me something to ride here on the flatter local trails and to take to the beach to ride around the campground. I had wanted to take both bikes to the beach so that a friend and I could ride together, but she is to short for the Volkscycle, so my old cruiser will have to do and we can take turns tooling around the campground on the coaster just for the exercise and to see what is going on around camp. It will work for now, and I will make modifications to the volkscycle or purchase a new 5-10 speed coaster after the economy picks up and I am again employed.
Darn. This may be too late, but 'I' think that $100 is too much for you to pay to have your OTHER bike brought up to speed ... particularly, if you can do some of your own hands-on work.

Though not always the most economical place to buy things, tires, tube & grips shouldn't cost that much at a place like WalMart/KMart/wherever.

The REST mostly involves washing the bike off, removing rust from any "chrome" with a BRILLO pad, and adding some 3-in-1/("household") oil to the areas which need to be lubed.

It's not that you shouldn't service it and use it, but $100 is probably too much to pay ...

So, if you haven't brought your 1spd bike in yet, don't!

Particularly, since you can buy a 1spd "beach cruiser" from WalMart OR KMart for under $100.

---

As far as your Volkscycle ...

If you are more concerned with function than appearance at this point in time, then you can adjust your handlebars to what I used to refer to as "ghetto-style" ...

Rotate your handlebars 120º-to-180º UPWARD as you may-or-may-not have seen if you've ever driven through an "urban" area ... find the position which allows you to most easily use the brake levers and you're good to go! Time required == two to ten minutes.

As far as French parts, I think your shop is making too big a deal out of it ... 99% of the time, only the fork's headset threads, stem & BB threads are "peculiar" AND all other parts can be accessed from the pool of parts used on other bikes.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 

Re: Volkscycle Mark XV

Quote:
Originally Posted by alfeng View Post
Darn. This may be too late, but 'I' think that $100 is too much for you to pay to have your OTHER bike brought up to speed ... particularly, if you can do some of your own hands-on work.

Though not always the most economical place to buy things, tires, tube & grips shouldn't cost that much at a place like WalMart/KMart/wherever.

The REST mostly involves washing the bike off, removing rust from any "chrome" with a BRILLO pad, and adding some 3-in-1/("household") oil to the areas which need to be lubed.

It's not that you shouldn't service it and use it, but $100 is probably too much to pay ...

So, if you haven't brought your 1spd bike in yet, don't!

Particularly, since you can buy a 1spd "beach cruiser" from WalMart OR KMart for under $100.

---

As far as your Volkscycle ...

If you are more concerned with function than appearance at this point in time, then you can adjust your handlebars to what I used to refer to as "ghetto-style" ...

Rotate your handlebars 120º-to-180º UPWARD as you may-or-may-not have seen if you've ever driven through an "urban" area ... find the position which allows you to most easily use the brake levers and you're good to go! Time required == two to ten minutes.

As far as French parts, I think your shop is making too big a deal out of it ... 99% of the time, only the fork's headset threads, stem & BB threads are "peculiar" AND all other parts can be accessed from the pool of parts used on other bikes.
Thank you for the advice, I will look into the handle bar thing for the VC, I have never seen a bike that way but did wonder about the possibility just did not think that it would work and be comfortable. I will definitely look at it again and probably try it. Thank you again.

As for the cruiser, it is too late. I left it at the shop and it will be ready tomorrow. That is okay, it will be worth it for the beach trip and we will have fun with it. I just did not want to spend the money on both bikes while unemployed. If I was working I wouldn't have thought twice about it. I did the cruiser because it was a cheaper fix and my friend would not be able to ride the VC as the frame is just to big and high for her. We checked the frame of the cruiser and she can handle that. I can raise and lower the seat if necessary.

I was planning to do the cruiser rust removal myself, as there is not much, and polish it up. It was always stored inside and is in pretty good shape. It was hung up in the dry garage but was subject to moisture changes in the air (condensation) and heat in the summer. The tire rubber was cracking etc. The volkscycle is like new and does not need any body or trim work at all. It is silver and beautiful, it was hung in the cool dark basement with little temperature or moisture variation. I was worried about the tubes but the shop said that they were fine.

Thank you again for your help. I was totally out of my comfort zone last Thursday when I first started down this path and I feel much more comfortable with what I am doing now. If you ever need any information regarding forklifts, gardening, utility poles, quilting, fire-retardant treated door stiles and rails or beading, you know who to contact. LOL. And now I know just enough about bikes to be dangerous. Thank you.

PS Can I assume that WD40 is a good product to use to lube a bike and I have some 000 steel wool to remove the rust hopefully without scratching anything.
post #8 of 16

Re: Volkscycle Mark XV

pardon the intrusion but pics of both of your bikes would help here. especially that ole racer. the cruiser, not so much.

i really want to see that old dura ace. can you post pics?
post #9 of 16

Re: Volkscycle Mark XV

btw, i wouldn't be offended if you tossed in a pic of yourself at twenty years of age, either.
post #10 of 16

Re: Volkscycle Mark XV

Quote:
Originally Posted by mandalay_lady View Post
PS Can I assume that WD40 is a good product to use to lube a bike and I have some 000 steel wool to remove the rust hopefully without scratching anything.
Ah, the dreaded WD-40 ...

As long as you aren't a newbie using it AND understand that it is more solvent than lubricant AND don't spray it on your bike as if you were part of the Manson Family, you can use it.

Casually sprayed WD-40 will find its way onto your tires, and could degrade them prematurely.

WD-40 introduces the risk of washing/rinsing away the grease ... okay if that's what you want to do ... not okay if it isn't ... so, use it very sparingly.

You can drip a few drops of HOUSEHOLD OIL into places like your BB & axle bearings to help the old grease if the bearings are need of being repacked.

You can buy white lithium grease (available where automotive supplies are sold) for repacking your bearings ... some bike specific tools will probably be required.

BTW. I'm probably the only person who uses stuff like HOUSEHOLD OIL on my chain ... old habits die hard.

Paint thinner can be used for cleaning greasy parts, BTW.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

Re: Volkscycle Mark XV

Well obviously I am a newbie with regards to bikes. What do you consider a good HOUSEHOLD oil? Olive oil, crisco, misc vegetable oils, peanut oil, margarine, sewing machine oil, car oil, those and WD40 are about all I have around the house. LOL, Which one would you recommend?
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 

Re: Volkscycle Mark XV

I will take a couple of pictures of the Volkscycle. Sorry, no pictures of me with the bike available. Was not into photography yet then.
post #13 of 16

Re: Volkscycle Mark XV

Quote:
Originally Posted by mandalay_lady View Post
What do you consider a good HOUSEHOLD oil? Olive oil, crisco, misc vegetable oils, peanut oil, margarine, sewing machine oil, car oil, those and WD40 are about all I have around the house. LOL, Which one would you recommend?

"household oil" ==

3-in-1 ... comes in a can like sewing machine oil ... about twice as thick (which isn't that thick, of course) ... there are OTHER brands

"cooking oil" == corn oil, etc.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 

Re: Volkscycle Mark XV

Thank you, I believe I have heard of 3-in-1 now that you mention it. I will get some. Thank you very much. I am excited about getting my cruiser back tomorrow and starting on the chrome.
post #15 of 16

Re: Volkscycle Mark XV

Its been a nice read. Have fun with your cruiser and I also am looking forward to seeing the photo of the Volkscycle.
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