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What is your quintessential Silver Era, USA bike boom bicycle (circa 1965-1975)

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What is your quintessential Silver Era, USA bike boom bicycle (circa 1965-1975)

Old 12-12-15, 01:32 PM
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uncle uncle
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What is your quintessential Silver Era, USA bike boom bicycle (circa 1965-1975)

quintessential= adj., of or relating to the most perfect embodiment of something. What bicycle available during this time do you see as the "quintessential" example? Just as a starter, and one that many have commented on before, would be the Peugeot U0-8. This bike seemed to be plentiful in numbers, and was available thru the whole boom period. It typifies, by being French, the boom period manufacturer/supplier, that being Europe; later in the period, Japan built bikes took a bigger share of the American market. It certainly represented a change in the American market, or, possibly, drove a change, from the bullet proof products of Schwinn, to the lighter bike of Europe.
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Old 12-12-15, 01:43 PM
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I would say the Peugeot PX-10. It was probably the most available and affordable "true" racing bike one could hope to buy.
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Old 12-12-15, 01:49 PM
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Old 12-12-15, 01:51 PM
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Lower-middle class: Sears Free Spirit. They sold a ton of those, and Schwinns were out of reach.

Folks who lived near a Schwinn dealer and had the money, perhaps the top 1% in my home town: Continental.

Urban dwellers with access to funds and information: Peugeot UO-8, the only foreign bike I saw until about 1981.

Top of the line: Cinelli Super Corsa 1972-on: For those that had the knowledge and the money, generally guided by bike shops.

I was simply not exposed to any market other than catalog sales and other people's Schwinns until I entered the service and got around a bit.
Heck, the largest TV/Electronics dealer around gave away 10-speed bikes during a huge promotion every year. Those were 2/3 of what I saw during the boom.
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Old 12-12-15, 02:52 PM
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Raleigh Sports--never out of style!
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Old 12-12-15, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
Heck, the largest TV/Electronics dealer around gave away 10-speed bikes during a huge promotion every year. Those were 2/3 of what I saw during the boom.
Crazy TV Lenny?
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Old 12-12-15, 04:44 PM
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I'd have to 2nd the vote for Free-Spirit.
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Old 12-12-15, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
Heck, the largest TV/Electronics dealer around gave away 10-speed bikes during a huge promotion every year. Those were 2/3 of what I saw during the boom.
"Get a bike. Get a bike. Get a bike"
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Old 12-12-15, 07:21 PM
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Here's what I was riding back then. It was an ultracool ride. (then)

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Old 12-12-15, 07:44 PM
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In my opinion, the single most important game-changer make and model was the 1970 American Eagle Semi-Pro (Nishiki Competition). OK, I admittedly rode a 1971 for 20 years and 40k miles, until the seat tube lug broke off of the bottom bracket. I assert that this was the first decent-quality mass-produced Japanese bicycle offered to the mass market in the US. Suddenly the image of poor quality bicycles from Japan was being challenged, even though I do not consider this world class, as its late 1970s successors were.
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Old 12-12-15, 07:58 PM
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I turned 18 in 1970. The bike I lusted after was the Cinelli Super Corsa in the Black Chrome finish at Spence Wolf's shop in Cupertino, Calif. The bike I could afford and bought was a Peugeot PX-10. But for me the Cinelli will always be the Quintessential.
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Old 12-12-15, 08:15 PM
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The one I remember is the Puch 'Clubman'. I had one back around 1970, great bicycle until it got stolen. After that I was back riding a Schwinn Suburban.
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Old 12-12-15, 08:27 PM
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Silver Era? That intrigues me more than the question.
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Old 12-12-15, 09:26 PM
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Peugeot UO-8. With a Pletscher rack on the back.
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Old 12-12-15, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
Crazy TV Lenny?
"Firenze" was TV Lenny's (Len Matioli) brand. One year he got dinged by the CPSC and had to "upgrade" the brakes on all his bikes with Mathauser pads. When I lived in Madison, I used to scavenge those pads from bikes left on the curb at the end of the semester. I still have a set on one of my bikes.
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Old 12-12-15, 09:39 PM
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Old 12-12-15, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Kactus View Post
I would say the Peugeot PX-10. It was probably the most available and affordable "true" racing bike one could hope to buy.
Yeah, except that at twice the price of my UO-8 when I bought it I wouldn't call the PX-10 affordable. "Bike-boom" implies lots of people buyin' 'em. Which they did of course, but not at the PX-10 level. Only people who bought them were people already in the bike-riding end of the gene pool. Real boomers didn't buy racing bikes, they bought "racing bikes".
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Old 12-12-15, 10:20 PM
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I had a Raleigh Record in the early 70s, but I'd say the Schwinn Varsity would have been the most common boom bike. Pug UO-8s were more common at the university.
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Old 12-12-15, 10:27 PM
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Old 12-12-15, 11:11 PM
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In the early to mid 70's I got one of those yellow Huffy Scouts from Santa. Rode it many a mile! It was a nice upgrade from walking. One day I was booking it across a golf course at high speed between tee shots when the left brake lever slipped off and went into the front spokes. It jammed in front of the fork. This tore all of the spokes out of the rim and they wrapped around the front hub like a spool of wire. It happened on a gravel/dirt cart path. Instead of a crash, I just came to a sudden stop as the fork/hub dug into the ground. Very similar looking to when a camel goes down on it's front knees first to let the rider dismount. I had to pick it all and walk about 2 miles home.
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Old 12-12-15, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
Silver Era? That intrigues me more than the question.
I consider the 1890's the golden age bike boom. During the decade, bikes became the "go to" mode of transportation, continously replacing animals and animal-drawn-vehicles for more-and-more of the general public. It was only later that the bike was matched and then surpassed by the internal combustion engine powered vehicle.
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Old 12-12-15, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
C Itoh
I think your kidding, but the bike shop I worked at... back in the seventies, way before I got their, they sold Kabuki's with those cast aluminum lugged frames. History probably views this design as "klunky" and "heavy", but the gentlemen who was working there at the time (and still does) said that they were on par with a lot of bikes sold at the time. For one thing, they used a lot of japan made components (that worked as well or better than euro ones) and they came more assembled than euro models (time = money) . And, most importantly, they were available... whereas Schwinn's (it was a Schwinn authorized dealership) were non-existent.
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Old 12-12-15, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
In the early to mid 70's I got one of those yellow Huffy Scouts from Santa. Rode it many a mile! It was a nice upgrade from walking. One day I was booking it across a golf course at high speed between tee shots when the left brake lever slipped off and went into the front spokes. It jammed in front of the fork. This tore all of the spokes out of the rim and they wrapped around the front hub like a spool of wire. It happened on a gravel/dirt cart path. Instead of a crash, I just came to a sudden stop as the fork/hub dug into the ground. Very similar looking to when a camel goes down on it's front knees first to let the rider dismount. I had to pick it all and walk about 2 miles home.
Thinking back now, that bike and I went through a lot together. That was the grade school/preteen years. Around that same time period I had another accident that could have been fatal but wasn't. I was coming home from a friends house when a driver didn't look back left again, rolled through a stop sign and hit me. Both me and the bike went under the car. Luckily, he was crawling and got stopped quickly. I turned my head around and the right front tire was not far behind my head. The driver and some bystanders got me and the bike out from under the car. I was okay, so again, I picked up the bike and walk about 2 blocks home. I had a studdering problem at the time. When I got home and walked in the house, I was shaking so bad that my parents knew something was wrong. I couldn't do anything but point and studder! We got in the car and went back to the scene and they got the story from the bystanders. This was before the time of ambulance chasers, so nothing became of it.

Another time my brother and I were coming home from baseball practice with my mom and younger brother behind us in a car. My brother was in front on his red and white 10 speed. He was looking around and didn't dodge a soda can. He doesn't do a front end over. It was more of a skid and barrel roll. We get his bike into the car and my mom takes him to the emergency room. He had to get some stitches in his head. I rode back to the house. How we made it through those years I will never know. It seems like someone was going to the hospital at least once a month. How my mom was able to keep her sanity is another mystery.

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Old 12-13-15, 12:58 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
Yeah, except that at twice the price of my UO-8 when I bought it I wouldn't call the PX-10 affordable. "Bike-boom" implies lots of people buyin' 'em. Which they did of course, but not at the PX-10 level. Only people who bought them were people already in the bike-riding end of the gene pool. Real boomers didn't buy racing bikes, they bought "racing bikes".
That's the beauty of these posts. What you consider quintessential may be totally different from what I or others consider it to mean.[h=2][/h]
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Old 12-13-15, 12:58 AM
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...at the U of Maryland and around D.C. in general when i was in college there from '71-'75, I'd venture a guess that the majority of drop barred bikes i saw were gaspipe Peugeot. I think I ran through three or four in those years and immediately after. But i was not buying new bikes. There were also a crappe tonne of 3 speed Raleighs and Raleigh products with lesser names on them that were going begging, because everyone and his uncle wanted a "10 speed bike". So I ended up riding around town on those a lot, because they didn't get stolen as much.

I didn't have a what would be considered a "decent" bike (in terms of the frame tubing and components) until I fished a middle of the line Stella out of a pile in a salvage yard in about 1983 or 84.


I now realize it was most probably stolen. Like some others, I remember thinking that the guys who could afford Schwinns must be trust funders.
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