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Old 06-18-09, 12:59 PM   #1
reverborama
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Lemond Signature Huffy -- the worst "classic" bike to pimp out?

I had a lot of fun tarting up my Schwinn Varsity with 600 and Dura-Ace components. Got several comments at the big Crit last week. And it got me thinking... There are lots of bikes worse than the Varsity, but what was THE worst? There are all kinds of department store, bike boom 10-speeds that were absolute garbage. But was ANY bike as pretentious as the Huffy sporting Greg Lemond's signature? It must just kill him to know they are out there. Somehow I picture the poor guy with a 2-day growth of beard and a vacant, haunted look in his eyes driving a rusty Dodge Caravan around from garage sale to garage sale buying them up and destroying them.

I saw one at a car swap meet a couple of years ago and you'd think the guy who was selling it believed it to be made of gold.

Over the spring I fixed up a Huffy mountain bike for a guy on my bowling team. It had that typical '80's paint job that looked like someone drank paint and puked it up onto a bike. I hoped I could make something good of it but, wow, was that ever poorly manufactured. The race for the headset "pressed" on to the fork was held on by gravity and made of mild steel. Wow. Really bad. I did the best I could and hope he rides it enough to want a better bike someday.

So I figure these Lemond Huffys are probably just as bad but with the Lemond name on it, it might be some fun to kit one out with a modern, high quality drive train. Just the sort of thing to get people upset.

All this assumes I can locate one with a 25-inch frame not all rusted to heck. Or am I presuming too much and there's an even worse bike out there in need of this treatment?

What's single most offensive bike, from the Classic & Vintage perspective, to fix up?

And I was thinking of going 9-speed Shimano? Should I really be thinking Campy for this adventure?
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Old 06-18-09, 01:06 PM   #2
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...What's single most offensive bike, from the Classic & Vintage perspective, to fix up?..
'70s era Sears Freespirit with disc brake?
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Old 06-18-09, 01:22 PM   #3
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I like your thinking. The Sears F/S just doesn't have that cache that the Huffy "LeMond" would.
What was the worst bike with Eddy's name attached? Any "worthy" gaspipe models?
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Old 06-18-09, 02:18 PM   #4
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But was ANY bike as pretentious as the Huffy sporting Greg Lemond's signature? It must just kill him to know they are out there. Somehow I picture the poor guy with a 2-day growth of beard and a vacant, haunted look in his eyes driving a rusty Dodge Caravan around from garage sale to garage sale buying them up and destroying them.
Actually, given his behavior as of late, that would probably be the most rational thing he's done in a while.
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Old 06-18-09, 03:19 PM   #5
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LeMond accepted sponsorship from Huffy, so I'm sure he had to know what he was getting himself into. Wonder if they also did an Andy Hampsten or Davis Phinney model.
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Old 06-18-09, 03:24 PM   #6
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I like your thinking. The Sears F/S just doesn't have that cache that the Huffy "LeMond" would.
What was the worst bike with Eddy's name attached? Any "worthy" gaspipe models?
Funny you should mention that. I am in the process of building a Falcon Merckx with a Shimano 9-speed drivetrain. These are widely considered to be the worst of the Merckx lot and not even "real" Merckxs. They may have had a low-end version with hi-ten steel but mine is full chrome-moly and rather light. Not a racing bike by any means but it should be a good rider when I am done.
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Old 06-18-09, 04:38 PM   #7
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This is grand! I just got a huffy 'the wind' at a garage sale that is sporting 15-speeds and a chrome fork. Someone got out the extra big can o turd polish the day they made those.
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Old 06-18-09, 05:46 PM   #8
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Actually, given his behavior as of late, that would probably be the most rational thing he's done in a while.
LOL, Sosa just went down, does anyone really think LeMond is wrong when he speaks about doping and cycling?
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Old 06-18-09, 07:26 PM   #9
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Sadly, Lemond is right. Logic is on his side.

I think the worst bike I ever saw prior to 1980 was an AMF. Huffy and other American brands were competing for being the worst, but I saw an AMF that could not have been intended to be ridden. My mind is blanking on some of those bikes, we would try to fix anything someone brought into the shop. Most of the American bikes of the C&V period were simply nightmares and incredibly heavy to boot.
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Old 06-18-09, 09:42 PM   #10
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Sadly, Lemond is right. Logic is on his side.

I think the worst bike I ever saw prior to 1980 was an AMF. Huffy and other American brands were competing for being the worst, but I saw an AMF that could not have been intended to be ridden. My mind is blanking on some of those bikes, we would try to fix anything someone brought into the shop. Most of the American bikes of the C&V period were simply nightmares and incredibly heavy to boot.
I heard the AMF Harleys were just as bad. But that's how I remember it too - which is why I'm always surprised when people dis entry level European bikes like the venerable UO8. Those bikes were worlds better than the true "gas pipe" crap bikes made in the US.
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Old 06-18-09, 10:48 PM   #11
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A high horse tall bike?
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Old 06-18-09, 11:04 PM   #12
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I got nothing to add but:
reverborama, that is a funny post and
I want to see pics!
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Old 06-18-09, 11:59 PM   #13
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I was eyeing one of the Lemond Huffy bikes a few weeks ago...just seemed so...interesting
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Old 06-19-09, 04:32 AM   #14
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I heard the AMF Harleys were just as bad. But that's how I remember it too - which is why I'm always surprised when people dis entry level European bikes like the venerable UO8. Those bikes were worlds better than the true "gas pipe" crap bikes made in the US.
"AMF" bikes were raced by George Mount and others. At least some of those pro-level AMF's were built by Marinoni.
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Old 06-19-09, 06:54 AM   #15
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"AMF" bikes were raced by George Mount and others. At least some of those pro-level AMF's were built by Marinoni.
What time frame? He was a hero of mine for his ride in the Olympics. Then he came to our club ride in Madison Wisconsin and dropped his water bottle right in front of me. Shattered the illusion.
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Old 06-19-09, 11:46 AM   #16
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Today I saw this poster hanging in my LBS. Thought it nicely fit in with this thread.

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Old 06-19-09, 12:21 PM   #17
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I've put out some feelers to the guys I know that find lots of bikes -- they all admit to having seeing them but ignoring them.

If I find one it will be built and it will be ridden.
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Old 06-23-09, 11:23 PM   #18
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I rode an AMF or Ross (they might actually have been the same, with different names [and others] on them--my sisters and I and my friends all had them, and they all seemed identical) 26" 10-speed, from age 10 or 11, until I managed to save enough money to buy a Fuji S10S when I was 15. After I got the Fuji, I turned the AMF into a mountain bike (sort of), and rode it around the fields, but it rattled to pieces, and ended up rusting behind the barn.

(My friend might still have the S10S, 30 years later. I guess I should ask him about it.)
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Old 06-24-09, 09:45 AM   #19
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A Varsity is a good, no-frills bike, not a piece of junk!

I have seen a three speed frame break from casual use. I picked up a three speed at a garage sale. I think it was a "JCPenney" branded model from the 80s with Shimano hub.

After a few months of riding it, I separated the seat tube from the bottom bracket! It was just "butt-brazed"; like a fillet braze without the fillet. The thing had been more or less new. I was able to ride it gently home but this game of pimping out a low end ride you guys speak of could be very dangerous.

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Old 06-24-09, 09:52 AM   #20
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I flipped a Ross Adventure 12 a while back and it was a pretty major POS. Mechanically it worked fine, it was just loaded with the crappiest crap components Ross could dig out of the crap pile and the quality on the low-end Ross frames is known to be pretty low...this was no exception

@ the OP: if you're considering Shimano 9 speed, why not just go whole hog and go with SRAM 10 speed and brifters any way you go brifters on a Huffy would be pretty hilarious....or some zipp aero wheels
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Old 06-24-09, 10:20 AM   #21
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How about those Eddy Merckx badged Falcons? Maybe not as bad as a huffy but pretty bad.
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Old 06-24-09, 11:11 AM   #22
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"AMF" bikes were raced by George Mount and others. At least some of those pro-level AMF's were built by Marinoni.
As were the Huffys ridden by team slurpy in the 80s were built by Serrota.
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Old 06-24-09, 07:13 PM   #23
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Great idea ! I had an old Huffy I used as a rain bike. I put a BMX bottom bracket adapter in it so I could use a Sugino crankset & real pedals. I should have kept it (or at least the BB and crank)

I like the idea of Campy on a gaspipe frame.

My girlfriend at the time wanted to try a race. I took her clunky Ross and managed to fit my Campy NR tubulars on them Probably brought it down to 30 lbs

I don't remember the brand, but working at a shop in my youth, we got in a department store bike for a tune-up and was new. The thing was so horrible that we did the best we could, but had to tell the owner that there was just no way to get it any better .....
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Old 06-24-09, 08:01 PM   #24
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The more I think about it I'd love to see a pimped out Huffy...

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Old 06-25-09, 12:56 PM   #25
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How about those Eddy Merckx badged Falcons? Maybe not as bad as a huffy but pretty bad.
Already pimped one out with full 9-speed. How bad was a bike that was designed by Ernie Clements, full Campy and with a Cro-mo frame? Not bad at all. The Huffy had none of those things going for it.
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