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Thread: 1970's Zeus

  1. #1
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    1970's Zeus

    I picked up a 1970's Zeus road bike at a yard sale mainly because I wanted the vintage Brooks saddle. When I got it home I realized that it fit me better than the old Lotus I'd been riding to work so I decided to swap out the parts and make it my commuter.

    Then I did a little research on Ebay and it seems it may actually be worth something. I don't want to trash a classic frame by commuting on it when it might be worth enough for me to sell for something like a Surly Cross Check that would meet my needs a bit better. It's got Zeus cranks, hubs, shifters and front derailleur with a Shimano 660? rear der. Any estimates on what a bike like this would be worth? I'll include a pic w/the commuter components.


    Thanks, J.W. Murrah
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1970's Zeus-100_2247b.jpg  
    Last edited by notMurray; 03-08-2006 at 10:51 PM.

  2. #2
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    Cool Nice find.

    If your going to post just one picture, make it the driveline (chain) side......

  3. #3
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    Can't tell much from that picture, but it doesn't look like one of the higher end Zeus bikes, based on the brakes and fork crown (e.g. the better frames often had a sloping Cinelli-style crown). What does that sticker say below the downtube cable holder (not original, BTW)? What does it say on the front of the brake calipers? You do realize that the components are almost certainly French threaded?

  4. #4
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    Reynolds 531

    It's a Reynolds 531 frame w/Super Alfa calipers and Alfa brake levers. The downtube cable holder says Zeus on it, it's just that I took the Zeus shifters off and added my old Ultegra STI shifters and had to use the remnants to hold the cables. This leaves me without barrel adjusters. I'm mostly a mountain biker so I'm new to the French thread concept. I assume this means I won't be able to get another bb in the shell if I were ever actually able to get the cranks off. I'm finding that my pedals won't fit in the cranks and I can't get the cranks off without buying a Zeus crank wrench and crank puller.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1970's Zeus-100_2254.jpg   1970's Zeus-100_2251.jpg   1970's Zeus-100_2266.jpg   1970's Zeus-100_2263.jpg   1970's Zeus-100_2256.jpg  

    1970's Zeus-100_2268.jpg   1970's Zeus-100_2258.jpg   1970's Zeus-100_2257.jpg  

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by notMurray
    It's a Reynolds 531 frame w/Super Alfa calipers and Alfa brake levers. The downtube cable holder says Zeus on it, it's just that I took the Zeus shifters off and added my old Ultegra STI shifters and had to use the remnants to hold the cables. This leaves me without barrel adjusters. I'm mostly a mountain biker so I'm new to the French thread concept. I assume this means I won't be able to get another bb in the shell if I were ever actually able to get the cranks off. I'm finding that my pedals won't fit in the cranks and I can't get the cranks off without buying a Zeus crank wrench and crank puller.
    Back in the early 70's, Zeus's were really common race bikes around here. Most of them had sew up tires, which may be why yours does not have the original wheels. One unique thing about them was that the crank bolts were 16 mm, like French cranks, but the crank threads were the same as Campy. You needed a really thin walled socket to get the crank bolt out, but once you did the crank came off with a standard Campy extractor. Most of us never put those 16 mm bolts back in if we ever got them out.
    If I had that bike, I'd put the friction shifters back, and then put it on EBay with an insanely high reserve. If that didn't work, I'd ride it with friction shifters or upgrade it to fixed.

    em

  6. #6
    Arrogant roadie.....
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    FWIW, that frame is DB 531 only on the main triangle, a sign of less-than-top-end status. Also, while Zeus components were rare, they really weren't that good. Back in the pre-EU days, the Spanish cycling industry did everything that the French and Italian industries did, just not as well.

    Hey, that "arabesque" Shimano 600 derailleur is worth a few bucks, if nothing else. Some people pay crazy $$ for those things!
    We are the 801
    We are the central shaft

  7. #7
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    I used to work in a shop that sold Zeus in the late '70s and still have a Zeus Criterium (?), purchase with the shop discount, which was my first "good" bike. Your bike looks to be somewhat earlier than mine, and because of the 531 main tubes is probably a mid-level bike. By the late '70s the frames had nicer lugs with heart-shaped cutouts and a sloping fork crown. Mine has Zeus 2000 centerpulls, which were also a step up from the Alfa's.

    As eddy points out, you will need a thin wall 16 mm socket to get out the crank bolts; we used to buy a cheap socket and grind it down on a grinder. Be careful not to ding the threads for the crank extractor. Most bikes now are "English" (BSC) threaded but in the '70s a French threading standard was common on French and some other bikes, notably Zeus. Do not attempt to interchange threaded components between the two, even if it looks close. As you might expect, French threaded components are now quite hard to find - there are some specialist merchants ($$) but eBay might be more useful.

    You should be able to find a proper cable stop that fits around your downtube; this seems like the sort of thing many shops might have in a junk bin.

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