Hi, so this seems to be about the only place on the internets with any information on Vista bicycles. From what I've read here, they were manufactured by Columbia bicycles in America in the 1970s, and sold to a Taiwanese company and produced until the early 1980s. They had a range of low to mid-level bicycles, maybe some upper-mids?
I have a green Vista, the exact model I can't be sure of as the sticker is mostly worn away. My best guess is that it used to say "Super pacer". It's a 10-speed, with a Shimano Altus derailleur. The pedal shafts say "Idol" and also have a "S" emblem, made of aluminum. Shimano shifters, Koba japanese luggage rack, CC Viscount seat, the handlebar post emblem reads "SR". Front decal reads Visa, made in Taiwan.
I guess I have a few questions. It would be nice to know if there really was a "Super Pacer" or if I'm reading the sticker remnants wrong. I don't suppose it's too likely I'll be able to nail down the year or production (there is a serial #, but with so little record of this company, doubt it'll be useful). Would this be a low or mid range model? It's got a nice, classic styling, and might be worth some fixing up (mainly cleaning the aluminum and touching up the paint, though the rust on the front fork is a bit worrying). Is there a recommended source for a complete novice looking to spruce up a vintage bike?
As a owner of a couple of Vista's, I too wish there was more info out there on this marque. Though not a high end bike by any means, all the examples I have seen are sturdy, well put together with quality components. I wonder if your bike is a "Super Racer" but I guess we'll never know!
I recently acquired a low mileage Vista Elite which was definitely an attempt to go up market.
Butted Araya tubing with thin, long point lugs & forged SunTour dropouts. Build quality is such that I suspect they had Araya do the frame.
It came with a full 1st generation black Dura Ace gruppo and sew-ups. The buyer had the shop swap the wheels and derailleurs for something more practical. 1st gen. Cyclone GT derailleurs and BarCons to handle a 14-34 5 speed FW. Wheels are SanShin Pro-Am high flange hubs and the narrower of the Weinmann "Concave" rims. Frame is flat black, like the Austro-Diamler Vent Noir.
My Dad sold Vista bikes when a distributor, Service Cycle Supply, of Commack, Long Island, was importing them. During the mid to late 60's, they were made in Japan and, in my opinion, simply great bikes. As the years passed, Columbia of Westfield, Mass., made them, and , as you have stated, in the end they were made in Taiwan. Always nice bikes.
Jacksbike, do you have or know of any sources for catalogs or literature? It would be nice to be able to build a time line and model hierarchy on these bikes. It seems more and more Vista bikes are being found, saved and resurrected. Are Vistas becoming a minor niche in bike collecting?