I just picked up an issue of Bicycle Spokesman (July 1973). Two items caught my immediate interest – a carbon-frame bike (the first?) that I never heard of, and a Shimano ad for their disc brake (scans attached). Although at least one ex-girlfriend has accused me of not “being in the moment”, I don’t remember becoming aware of carbon frames until the 1980s or of disc brakes until the 1990s. Any Forum members recall these products or had experience with them?
According to this article in Bicycle Spokeman, the Original Plastic Bike Co. of Garden City, NY “unveiled a revolutionary new 10-speed plastic bike weighing 16 pounds” at the International Cycle Show in NYC in Feb, 1973.
Original Plastic Bike Co. principals were John P. Marzullo, president; Roger A. Stark, exec. VP; and directors Charles Cadorette, Joseph Dorrity, and chief engineer William Thompson. Cadorette and Dorrity were credited for “conceiving the original idea to mold plastic bikes” as they were “confronted with a steep hill on their 28-pound bicycles”.
Credits the advanced technology of General Electric. GE introduced Lexan, a polycarbon material, to a structural foam process and created a resin exceeding the strength of steel (gram-for-gram).
Bikes are molded “without the need for weld joints, priming, brazing and sanding” and are of unibody construction. Further, “the color is impregnated throughout the thickness of the bike.”
Attached are scans of the first page of the article and of a photo of the bike. Check out the bladed fork.
Also attached is the Shimano advertisement for their disc brake.
Orig Plastic Bike Artic_1973.jpgOrig Plastic Bike Artic Photo_1973.jpgDisc Brake Shimano Ad_1973 (reduced).jpg