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Resurrected - 45 Years Original Owner
#1
Bought this Empire 10 speed road bike in 1974 for $285 as I recall.
Rode this thing everywhere, must have over a thousand kilometers on it in only three summers of riding. Circuits of the edges of Toronto and through Algonquin park, back and forth to Durham Region.
Dragged it with me moving twice in that time and resurrected it this week with new tires, tubes and brakes, repacked the crank hub and it runs like a charm.
I remember going through a radar trap in 1975 at 51 km/hr and today got to 43 km/hr using a GPS tracker.
The bike is a champ!! First time on a bike of any kind in 45 years since and brings back fantastic memories. I'm addicted all over again.
Now I know it goes, it needs a bath....LOL...
(Re-posted from reddit by request)

   
Original owner white 1974 Empire Royale 10 speed roadbike. Back on the road in 2020 after hanging on the garage wall for 45 years.
  Reply
#2
(06-26-2020, 04:39 PM)ckhay1 Wrote:  Bought this Empire 10 speed road bike in 1974 for $285 as I recall.
Rode this thing everywhere, must have over a thousand kilometers on it in only three summers of riding. Circuits of the edges of Toronto and through Algonquin park, back and forth to Durham Region.
Dragged it with me moving twice in that time and resurrected it this week with new tires, tubes and brakes, repacked the crank hub and it runs like a charm.
I remember going through a radar trap in 1975 at 51 km/hr and today got to 43 km/hr using a GPS tracker.
The bike is a champ!! First time on a bike of any kind in 45 years since and brings back fantastic memories. I'm addicted all over again.
Now I know it goes, it needs a bath....LOL...
(Re-posted from reddit by request)
Welcome and thank you for dusting off the cobwebs on an old bike boom ride.
I'm sure it's nice to get back out on the road after a long hiatus, just remember it is more of a "jungle" out there than it used to be. Get some safety gear if you don't have some already.
I'd like to see a drive side profile view if you get a chance as I'm curious of the components installed on an earlier Canadian bike. You were moving pretty fast out there!

Take care,
Jesper
"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#3
(06-27-2020, 12:50 AM)Jesper Wrote:  Welcome and thank you for dusting off the cobwebs on an old bike boom ride.
I'm sure it's nice to get back out on the road after a long hiatus, just remember it is more of a "jungle" out there than it used to be. Get some safety gear if you don't have some already.
I'd like to see a drive side profile view if you get a chance as I'm curious of the components installed on an earlier Canadian bike. You were moving pretty fast out there!

Take care,
Jesper

Pictures of the drive set.
All the hardware is Shimano if it's hard to read. Rear derailleur is marked 'Eagle', front is marked 'Thunderbird'.
Brakes are also Shimano 'Tourney'.
Not sure if I grew in to this gear set as my first 10 speed or I lucked out and all of the ratios just happen to suit me perfectly.
Seem to be using lowest gear more than I remember to get going. Tongue


   
   
   
   
Original owner white 1974 Empire Royale 10 speed roadbike. Back on the road in 2020 after hanging on the garage wall for 45 years.
  Reply
#4

Thank you for the photos!
Looks like first generation Eagle and T-bird derailleurs. The rear derailleur guard is a little bent out of wack, but if it's not interfering with anything l guess it doesn't matter much. I will say that $285 was a lot for a bike of that style back then, but those Shimano may have been some of their better parts in the day; l would have figured about $100 less. My first new bike l bought was a 1980 Peugeot at $200, l found the receipt at my parent's house a couple years ago; unfortunately that bike is no longer with me.
Don't worry about what gear you start at, at our age it saves the abuse on the body; if you can still cruise in high gear you're doing great!

Take care,
Jesper
"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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#5
I don't recall ever doing any damage to the derailleur but as I say, there's a ton of kilometres on the bike so anything is possible.
The rear changes like a fine watch. After the cable stretched it was a pain to adjust but once I had it dialed in I've never had to touch it again even now. It's beautifully smooth and trouble-free. Did some Googleing and it appears to be a DE-100 that came out in 1974 in the range of 'Eagle' models Shimano made over the years so it was current for the day the bike was built. Seems to get good reviews as a very reliable and smooth system if not heavy even for back then.
The front has always been and still is a pain. I had a rude reminder that if not changed with authority it has a tendency to jam the chain between the sprockets and bring the bike to a sudden halt. It has thrown me on my butt twice and now I remember the problem I am dealing with it, just need to move the shift lever with commitment.
Otherwise I continue to clean decades of crud off of it and hopefully that will make it lighter and easier to ride Wink
I forgot how much fun it was to ride this bike and I'm having a blast.
Discovered today a tiny bit of wobble in the front wheel hub bearing so I'll have to look in to that. The bike is still very safe to ride but I guess it figures with the distance it's gone and the abuse it's taken it is the only thing I can see that has any wear showing other than the million or so chips in the paint.
It's a utility road bike and it's been ridden like one.
And a still very ride-able survivor.
Original owner white 1974 Empire Royale 10 speed roadbike. Back on the road in 2020 after hanging on the garage wall for 45 years.
  Reply
#6
(06-28-2020, 02:26 AM)ckhay1 Wrote:  ... front has always been and still is a pain. I had a rude reminder that if not changed with authority it has a tendency to jam the chain between the sprockets and bring the bike to a sudden halt...

I replied to your message with some general chat.
Regarding the rear derailleur guard: it should "wrap" cleanly/tightly around the derailleur body. It possibly got caught on something during riding or transporting. You can just bend back into place, it does not affect the actual derailleur function. From your photo of the front derailleur (hard to be certain with the chain guard obstructing the view) it seems like it may be mounted too high off the sprockets. If you lowered it to where the cage is about 1/16", 2mm (1/8" max) above the large chainring and it does not make contact with the ring when transitioning to the smaller ring it should improve your shifting greatly. Make sure the front to back alignment is also proper. It is very likely that the height mounting was not set well enough during the initial assembly, not uncommon at all. Also, remove excess "slop" from the cable if there is any; you shouldn't be moving the lever much at all before the derailleur starts to move. I have all of my FDs set up as close as possible without making contact, probably about 1mm from the ring, and I have no problems whether on a high end racer or my commuter. Newer chains are also better engineered to facilitate shifting, but they have more of an effect with the rear cluster, especially on newer, narrower tolerance cassettes; but I just retro-fitted one to my early '70s Crescent 10 speed and it made a world of difference with the rear shifting (you have a much better RD than I do though). I would highly recommend cleaning, repacking, and adjusting all the bearings; especially the drive related ones (hubs, bottom bracket, pedals).

Take care,
Jesper
"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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