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What was your Gateway Bike?

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What was your Gateway Bike?

Old 05-02-20, 06:30 PM
Digger Goreman
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Only partial memory of childhood bike is something with a banana seat and sissy bar.... Didn't bike (sadly) between ages of 15-52. So my gateway is the one I've piloted for the past 7 years:

Ride, wash, re-cycle/re-use!
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Old 05-02-20, 07:13 PM
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I had a variety of new and used bikes as a kid and I can't really say that any of them were gateway bikes. The bike that led me to my love of bikes was a 1991 Giant ATX 760. I had graduated college and was walking everywhere when a friend of mine, who was still in school, got in trouble with his parents for buying the bike. He had it less than a month when he asked me if I wanted to buy it. Since then I have been through many but if I could find a 1991 ATX 760 in purple, I would be awfully tempted to buy it.
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Old 05-02-20, 08:59 PM
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For me it was this bike, which I just literally sold last week. 1992 Huffy Crosswinds featuring 26" wheels and, most importantly 12-speed with indexed GripShift. Bike I had before it was a single speed Huffy BMX style with 20" wheels and that thing wore me out riding it because there was no resting state for the pedals, so getting my first multi-speed was like a dream come true. Rode this bike all over the neighborhood and even on riding excursions beyond with my Dad and some of my friends. Outgrew this bike by 2000 and didn't buy another bicycle for about fifteen years.

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Old 05-02-20, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth View Post
Neighbors 80s red raleigh pursuit, nutted wheels and nothing much to speak of but I hated being trapped in the country and that bike could get me to the nearest towns to hit up the comic shop. Parents weren't around enough to realize I'd been riding 15-20miles away till I'd been doing it a while; did that every day it was warm enough and dry enough.
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Old 05-02-20, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
Don't know if your bars are original but I've yet to see a women's with a drop bar which the men's came with. That's the year, make and model though. I know from the bikes I've owned since that the bike was really nothing special but the years I rolled on that thing really helped to keep me sane. I've thought having a his and hers to cruise the neighborhood with would be fun but I doubt the wife would share my nostalgia.
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Old 05-02-20, 11:42 PM
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Not sure what my gateway was, my Dad took me for a ride on a neighbors new Harley when I was about 2, of course Mom was p****d, hook was set, bikes and motorcycles.

Normal trikes and kids bikes, Dad was a pretty good wrench so I watched, helped and learned some, always took things apart and sometimes got them back together.

When I was about 11-12 I had a Sears version of a Krate, got a flat and going back together the chain wouldn't go or stay on straight, crank was loose, Dad and Mom had divorced by now and he had given me a tool set so I was mostly on my own, got it sorted and away I went.

Stayed on bikes after that and I think sophomore year in high school year Dad bought me a Mizutani Super Seraph, it was pretty nice but a bit heavy. It had a Sugino Mighty Comprtition Crank, Dia-Compe centerpulls, and Suntour VGT derailleurs, can't remember the hubs. I replaced the RD with a Cyclone when they came out, got a Campy SP and Mafac 2000 brakes. These were a PNW brand that was backed up by a chain of shops called Life cycles, I think there were 5 in the PDX area.

So I guess the Mizutani was the gateway bike being a fairly good bike and my first all alloy component, square taper crank bicycle.

I don't think Dad was a cyclist but of course he could ride and always made sure I had a bike.
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Old 05-03-20, 06:11 AM
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Old 05-03-20, 07:07 AM
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I'd ridden alot in high school, doing a couple centuries when I was 17. I stopped riding in college and it wasn't for a few years later that I found a clean mid-80s low-end Gitane at a thrift shop in Indy. It was made of Vitus 999, which I haven't seen since and had a Sachs Rival groupset on it. I turned it into a fixed gear in 1999 and it infected me with multiple bugs. Bikes, thrift stores, and fixed gears.
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Old 05-03-20, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth View Post
Don't know if your bars are original but I've yet to see a women's with a drop bar which the men's came with. That's the year, make and model though. I know from the bikes I've owned since that the bike was really nothing special but the years I rolled on that thing really helped to keep me sane. I've thought having a his and hers to cruise the neighborhood with would be fun but I doubt the wife would share my nostalgia.
It had drop bars originally. I converted it to an upright rider. It's my wife's bike. She loves it. With 1" Pasela Panaracer tires it's light and fast. Don't have an original picture of it on this device. Maybe upload one soon. Be good. Have fun.
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Old 05-04-20, 05:32 AM
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While other bikes preceded this one, my 74 Raleigh Grand Prix got me into C&V.
As found
IMG_20130513_220301a by Bwilli88, on Flickr

The first few upgrades
IMG_20130518_091829 by Bwilli88, on Flickr

DSC00929 by Bwilli88, on Flickr

Last setup with Shimano 105 8 speed
DSC06588 by Bwilli88, on Flickr

Now as a single speed
IMG_20161021_144326186 by Bwilli88, on Flickr

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Old 05-04-20, 08:55 AM
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My tricycle was red. It had a small front wheel. That's all I remember. It probably had sleeve bearings in the wheels and headset.

Right around the time my parents separated, when I was about to turn four years old, I found a bike under the Christmas tree. I know my father bought it because when he was a kid, he lusted after a Schwinn bike. This Schwinn Pixie was my first two wheeler. It had non-pneumatic tires. My father came on weekends and gave me riding lessons. Because I loved him so much and wished for more time with him, those lessons are a vivid memory and might be the reason I love riding. He wasn't an avid rider, but he made me into one.

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Old 05-04-20, 09:13 AM
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1976 Fuji Sports 10

Bought it exclusively because of the color from a bike flipper in Columbus, OH my first year of grad school. I'd ridden mountain and BMX since I was a kid, but the very second I rode down the street for the first time on this I found a new passion for bikes. Rode it as the original cottered crank 10 speed for a couple years, then went single speed for several more, and just a couple weeks ago stripped it to hang on a wall in the house as the bike that started it all

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Old 05-04-20, 09:27 AM
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Aside from a trike when I was a toddler, it was a 1978 Schwinn Mag Scrambler. The chrome one on the right!

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Old 05-04-20, 12:23 PM
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I had a lot of fun mountain biking with the boy scouts when I was a kid, a few trail rides and one very memorable trip to Moab where I did the warm-up loop twice, got separated from everyone, and did most of the big loop solo. I used my dad's mtb during college, my first time using a bike to actually GO anywhere, and there picked up my first road bike - a too tall Motobecane (stolen), then a Panasonic DX-3000 (crashed). After college I went car-free for a couple of years, and had a lot of good rides on a Raleigh Capri that got a back porch re-spray, fixed conversion, and Pasellas in 35. I rode everywhere on that bike, but it was marginally too small, so I put all the gear from the DX-3000 on it and sold it for too little. I did like that white Turbo. I moved on to a late '90's Bianchi Volpe fixed gear that was my primary transportation for quite some time, which eventually transitioned into my IRO Rob Roy that I got in a Bike Forums related group buy back in 2007 or 2008 and hung in my garage until 2014. That one is still my primary first/last leg commute ride, and gets locked outside at the Metro in DC.

My C&V path started in about 2007 after I rescued a Soma Competition from a dumpster full of construction debris and household goods. Had that one for close to 10 years and had a lot of fun riding it, though it was pretty definitely too small at 56/57 cm.



I didn't know back then that drive side photos were of utmost importance to the internet!

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Old 05-04-20, 03:58 PM
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I have two gateway bikes, nearly 50 or so years apart in my addiction, but less than ten years apart in age. In 1964 as a junior racer, my parents got me a 1964 Legnano Roma Olympiad. It was my race bike, college commuter, later, my touring bike, and club ride bike, most recently, my ride for two Eroicas. I've had other bikes, but this is my first love. 50 years later, my brother-in-law dragged home a beat-up, unloved, trashed road frame. I had never built a bike before, but loved the nice lugs, and relatively light 531 steel frame. I decided to build it into another bike suitable for Eroica, with practical gears for 60 + year old legs, but add my own personal touches, rather than a faithful restoration. It turned out to be a 1973 Raleigh Super Course, and not only my first build, but one of my favorite rides.

My 1964 Legnano, new bike, young junior racer.

Same bike, same, old rider at last year's Eroica CA.

Still loving the ride.

Scrap pile find, 1973 Raleigh Super Course, as found.

First ever build, one of my favorite rides.
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Old 05-04-20, 04:54 PM
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In my early teens, all my friends had gotten "10 speeds" except me. I was usually last among my friends to get the latest thing. My dad took me to the local Schwinn dealer where we looked at 10 speeds. I did some research before going so I knew I wanted something European like a Peugeot, Motobecane, Atalia or Raleigh. Those were more pricey, but we could afford this French bike. It had the right type of components, was fairly light and had nice paint. My dad made a deal and we had a bike on order. It would be a week before we could pick it up. I couldn't wait. The week probably too forever for me.

We my dad drove me to the dealership to pick up the bike. I rode the bike home so that we didn't have to put it in the car. It was only a mile to home so it was an easy ride. My dad and I left the bike shop at the same time with my dad saying, "I'll meet you home". We went two different routes because my route included a pedestrian bridge. I started riding and having never ridden a 10 speed like this before. I couldn't believe how fast the bike was. So, I pushed a little harder so see how much faster I could go. It went faster. Then I started thinking that this bike is so fast that I could get home and be standing there in the driveway waiting for my father to pull in. He would he be shocked to see that i beat him home on a bicycle.

As I approached the pedestrian bridge I was flying. There was some dirt/grass that I had to ride over approaching the bridge and this was also the place I needed to turn to line up the approach to the bridge. By the time I realized that I was going too fast I was on the dirt and grass and hit the brakes. Up until now, I hadn't used the brakes yet. I probably did know the how much brake to apply. I went down. My minutes old bike got some scratches and so did I. Nothing too serious thought. I got up, checked the bike out, saw the scratches and felt bad that I had been so foolish. I rode home the rest of the way were my father was waiting for me. I couldn't tell him that I crashed already.

I rode this bike all over. I was amazed that places that we visited by car, I could now get to by bike. As a junior in high school we had a day were most of the kids would cut-out of school. I used this day to ride from the south shore of Long Island to the north shore and explore a little of this new, to me, territory. This bike got me freedom.

For a bicycle that Motobecane was too embarrassed to put there name on, it was a good bike for me. It rode great, had a fork with a big curve on it that you don't see anymore. It provided a great ride.

This is not my bike but one that I found listed for sale online. It is quite similar to mine. Huret derailleurs, wingnuts, leather saddle, steel handlebars, Weinermann center pull brakes, cottered crank and steel rims with texture on the braking surface.

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Old 05-04-20, 05:05 PM
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Each of my bikes has been a gateway bike, but if i had to narrow it down to on it would have been my second bike and the first bike I bought new. My first bike was a 24 in girls bike with big balloon tires. some one had thrown it into the irrigation drainage ditch near our house, my dad pulled it out fixed in up and gave is a snazzy red and white paint job....and it was great....but is was a little girls bike with fat tires and at 7 that makes a difference.

the second bike was a candy apple red coast king coast to coast hardware brand, clone of a Schwinn. 26 wheels, medium tires, single speed coaster brake and did i mention candy apple red. I rode that all over and around my hometown of Chinook Mt, went fishing, went chokecherry picking, did errands for mom, it lived on in the family for years after my little brother welded a hitch to it for a trailer for his lawnmower

looked like this

Looking for more time to ride what I have
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Old 05-04-20, 05:18 PM
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My first derailleur bike was a '69 Varsity. I thought it was a rocket. Made me want more. Next was a '71 Super Sport. WOW! Made me want more. Next was a '72 PX 10. WOW!!!!!!!!. I've had more expensive bikes after that and prettier ones too but I think from a riding standpoint (especially where it's flat) the feel the French bike gives me has the most "magic".
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Old 05-04-20, 05:40 PM
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My first was an '83 Miyata 912 that I no longer have any pictures of. I rode it around Davis before dropping out. I brought it home with me and eventually donated it to the local co-op. It didn't have the original fork or head badge so selling it wasn't the greatest option.

I replaced it with an '83 1200 that lacked all original parts, not even the fork. I will forever regret not buying the subsequent 1200 that appeared on Craigslist a couple years later with its complete kit (and fork) still attached for only $325... ah well, my mutt of a 1200 rides very well regardless and I would have never recouped the money put into it if I were to try and sell it.
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Old 05-05-20, 11:57 AM
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One answer would be the shiny blue Schwinn Varsity that I got in 1967 or so. However, I was maybe 11 at the time and it was 5 years later that a high school teacher offered a 2-week course in cycling technique and mechanics. After week one I badly wanted a better bike for long rides with long climbs. I nagged my parents into buying me A $100 a gaspipe department store Chiorda which was truly my gateway bike. I rode that bike year round through heavy upstate NY winters, and stripped and rebuilt it countless times. I knew I was in it for the long haul and saved the money I earned working in a textile mill the following summer to buy a Zeus Professional. This picture of 15 year old me may or may not be showing the Chiorda.
1987 Mercian Pro, 1971 Raleigh International, 1971 Peugeot PX-10E, 1970 Raleigh Professional Mk1, 1966 Raleigh Sports
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Old 05-05-20, 01:03 PM
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PBPeugeot, on Flickr
Bikes don't stand alone. They are two tired.
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Old 05-05-20, 06:32 PM
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My first "real" bike (ignoring the Target Magnas that ended up hammered after a year or two of jumping them off ramps, etc) would be a GT Performer that I bought second hand for $30. Looking back on it, my sketchy "friend" who I bought it from may have stolen it. I knocked out my front teeth on that bike after I was tinkering with it and forgot to tighten the front wheel nuts. I also was hit by a car which dented the frame. I held onto it for years and then donated it to Spokes for Folks in Dallas.

(stolen from google images)
My first adult bike I bought was an entry '00 or '99 GT XCR-5000 i-drive I bought for myself for high school graduation. I slowly upgraded it as parts broke and then had the fork replaced with a much better Rockshox Duke after it fell off my friend's CRX on I-35 somewhere in Lewisville, TX.

(stolen from google images)

Then I found a complete tomato colored Gitane Tour de France languishing in someone's front yard. I asked them if I could have it and they gladly handed it over. It had a seized seat post, crankset and the delrin components cracked after a few uses, but this bike ended up being my gateway into C&V. I rode it through college until I got my Peugeot Triathlon and saw light of brifters. I eventually converted it to fixed with a nice set of Superbe Pro track hubs. (actual pic from just before I sold it in Seattle)

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Old 05-05-20, 07:53 PM
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my fuji connoisseur. i bought it as a frameset on closeout from nashbar, a complete (less hubs) 105-1050 groupset off ebay, and a wheelset from (what became) my LBS and did all the assembly myself.
since then she has been torn down and rebuilt with a 105-5700 groupset and matching hubs laced to mavic open sport rims, then had then the fork and headset swapped (i let the LBS handle that job), then tore down the 105-5700 in exchange for ultegra-6800 with matching wheelset.
that bike taught me there is nothing difficult or complex* about working on bikes, and gave me the confidence to know that i can assemble a bike from the frame up that suits me far better, and likely cheaper, than anything i can buy off the floor. (out of 9 current bikes plus 4 that i have sold, only 4 were complete bike purchases. the rest were researched, spec'ed and assembled by myself).
funny thing is that when i bought the frameset from nashbar i was a complete idiot in terms of grades of steel, and even now get turned around easily trying to compare different manufacturers and grades, even sometimes grades within manufacturers. what i do know is that she is the most responsive bike i own, and the lightest one to boot.
* - derailleurs aren't complex, they're black arts. i let the LBS connect and dial those bastards in.
my fuji in it's current iteration (silver bar tape since replaced by a metallic blue that almost perfectly matches the frame color):
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Old 05-06-20, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster View Post
Funny, at work when i assemble a kid bike and bring it to the floor i call it a gateway bike.

My bike that i remember fondly was an english 3 speed with 24 inch wheels. I dont know the brand but my parents would have gotten it used. I was amazed by the gear selection.
Yeah, the first bike I ever rode, across the yard, after my dad let go of the seat, was my gateway bike. A single speed cruiser probably built in the late 40s to early 50s.
In the roadbike realm, it was the 87 Prelude, in Ice Pink. I never got used to the color, and sold it, but later found one in Midnight Mauve. I still have the frameset.

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Old 05-06-20, 07:31 AM
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I already told a out when i was a kid and the little 3 speed we had but what got me going later in life, my 50s, was getting a job where i could ride to work. The first day was scary but i also had the feeling i was having a secret joy that no one else got to have. It made me so happy. The prominent bike in that time for me was a masi rando. Modern 700c bike. I eventually migrated to others but the masi was trouble free and really got me back in.
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