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  1. #1
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Bike Boom, the sequel

    I recently read that bike sales were down. The writer went on to say cycling was in decline. Which is not what I see at all.

    This last year especially it seems kids have discovered bikes; and they all seem to be riding Dad's bike. I don't think I saw that many suicide levers in the Seventies, in fact, I am sure I didn't.

    The bikes, most of them, look like they were ridden twice and hung in the garage for 30 years.

    But the kids are riding them all over.

    Cool.

  2. #2
    Banned. FXjohn's Avatar
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    I liked suicide levers on my Schwinn I had in the 70's as a kid. So sue me

  3. #3
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    I loved the suicide levers on my 1970 Schwinn Varsity so much I have inline levers
    on my Gunnar (owned and operated by the Schwinn kid).

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    The Gunnar is unreal, btw.

  4. #4
    Gorntastic! v1k1ng1001's Avatar
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    The urban hipster vintage bike thing started a while ago. Over the last 3-4 years it's somehow made its way to middle America. Whatever works.

  5. #5
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    I liked my to Schwinn Varsitys, especially with their suicide levers. I'm definitely not going to purchase one again for a daily work commuter(did that for the most part of the 70's), but I not ruling out the idea that I might put one in the collection for an occasional nostalgic ride.

  6. #6
    cs1
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    Quote Originally Posted by late View Post
    I recently read that bike sales were down. The writer went on to say cycling was in decline. Which is not what I see at all.
    Sales are down on road bikes. It's the Lance effect. He stopped racing and we stopped buying, end of story.

    Quote Originally Posted by late View Post
    This last year especially it seems kids have discovered bikes; and they all seem to be riding Dad's bike. I don't think I saw that many suicide levers in the Seventies, in fact, I am sure I didn't.

    The bikes, most of them, look like they were ridden twice and hung in the garage for 30 years.

    But the kids are riding them all over.

    Cool.
    I have no actual figures to substaniate your theory. I do agree though. I live in the Cleveland suburban area. My son goes to school right in the middle of downtown, well kind of close. The streets and all the local watering holes are literally full of seventies and early eighties Schwinns. Everytime I head to the Great Lakes Brewing Co for a beer, I see dozens of really cool vintage bikes locked in the racks.

    Tim
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  7. #7
    Senior Member rodrigaj's Avatar
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    I'm partial to the downtube friction campy levers on my '70s Bottechia. I never had the suicide levers, but I had one accident in '77, where if I had suicide levers, "enuch wanted" ads would have been my choice employment.

  8. #8
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    What are 'suicide levers'?

  9. #9
    Senior Member maddyfish's Avatar
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    They are those funy little levers that operate the brakes from across the top of drop bars.
    Not too much to say here

  10. #10
    Senior Member tpelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flameburns623 View Post
    What are 'suicide levers'?
    See the extra lever visible below the top part of the handlebar? There's one attached to both brake levers - hard to see the other one in the picture. Lots of folks don't like 'em because, if you don't keep the brake cables adjusted, the "suicide" lever can hit the bar upon application of the brakes, and inhibit brake operation - hence the name "suicide" lever.



  11. #11
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by late View Post
    I recently read that bike sales were down. The writer went on to say cycling was in decline.
    Actually, the Wall Street Journal recently had an article about baby boomers boosting high end bike sales. Maybe the market is just shifting.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tpelle View Post
    See the extra lever visible below the top part of the handlebar? There's one attached to both brake levers - hard to see the other one in the picture. Lots of folks don't like 'em because, if you don't keep the brake cables adjusted, the "suicide" lever can hit the bar upon application of the brakes, and inhibit brake operation - hence the name "suicide" lever.


    Oh! Brake 'safety' levers. I thought mebbe they were referring to shifting levers on the down-tube. I love safety levers. Wish they were mandatory on all bikes with hand brakes, at least on all bikes operated on streets and roadways. The finger triggers are almost impossible to reach if you are in the drops. You have to engage those things while holding on to the brake hoods. I'm always afraid I'm going to snap my brakes right off the handlebars--I don't think they're designed to hold a lot of weight.

  13. #13
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    Actually, the Wall Street Journal recently had an article about baby boomers boosting high end bike sales. Maybe the market is just shifting.
    Yeah,
    I read that, I liked Sycip's Java Joe. I have no problem with that, but the sport needs kids. Hopefully some of them will graduate and buy new bikes.

  14. #14
    procrastinating member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    Actually, the Wall Street Journal recently had an article about baby boomers boosting high end bike sales. Maybe the market is just shifting.
    I read it quickly, but what I came away with was that the number of riders is way down, but sales of the high end are up=more bikes being sold to the same people.

  15. #15
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikepoole View Post
    I read it quickly, but what I came away with was that the number of riders is way down, but sales of the high end are up=more bikes being sold to the same people.
    That's why I started the thread. I see tons of kids riding bikes around here, there has been steady growth since Bicycling dis a Biketown here a few years ago. But in the last year there has been this explosion of kids riding their Dad's old bike.

  16. #16
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by late View Post
    But in the last year there has been this explosion of kids riding their Dad's old bike.

    That's something I would like to see is younger kids on older road bikes, but that's not the case here in my area since the BMX bike is king with the kids.

  17. #17
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    In Houston, I see lots of guys in the age 18 to 30 age group riding bikes...single speeds seem to be the current "hot" bike for that age group.

    The market for $2,000 to $8,000 road bikes boomed during the Lance era, but that fad is over. The guys who got excited about those bikes in the Lance years now have one such bike (or two, or three...) and most of them are in the age 40 to age 60 bracket...a generation that has more wheelchairs in their future than bicycles.

  18. #18
    Cries on hills supton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flameburns623 View Post
    Oh! Brake 'safety' levers. I thought mebbe they were referring to shifting levers on the down-tube. I love safety levers. Wish they were mandatory on all bikes with hand brakes, at least on all bikes operated on streets and roadways. The finger triggers are almost impossible to reach if you are in the drops. You have to engage those things while holding on to the brake hoods. I'm always afraid I'm going to snap my brakes right off the handlebars--I don't think they're designed to hold a lot of weight.
    I dislike "safety" levers now. While I like being able to engage the brakes when from the tops, I've gotten "surprised" a couple of times by their weakness. I haven't pulled them off yet though, as I have the same problem--when on the drops (which is not often), the reach is a bit far. At least I've gotten used to them from the hoods, but even still, I don't think I can crank down on them good and hard.

    I did pull the suicide brake levers off a recent Schwinn, but those brakes are almost impossible to work from the hoods--the pull is just too stiff, can only really engage from the hoods. Which is not my current preferred position. [Still figuring out where to ride and what size bike, etc.]
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  19. #19
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supton View Post
    I dislike "safety" levers now. While I like being able to engage the brakes when from the tops, I've gotten "surprised" a couple of times by their weakness.
    You can replace them with inline levers, they work very well and are just like Mtn bike levers... no safety issues.

  20. #20
    Cries on hills supton's Avatar
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    Too much work (parts and effort). Plus, I should just get out of the habit of riding the tops. The interrupters are supposed to be nice though; if I go bike shopping I might try to get a set. But for an elcheapo bike that doesn't quite fit me, nope.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston View Post
    ...and most of them are in the age 40 to age 60 bracket...a generation that has more wheelchairs in their future than bicycles.

    That's a comforting thought, but I do have one in the shed left over from my father-in-law, and it's stored next to my other bikes. Better watch out, in many years hence, some old geezer might be zipping by you with one on some downhill stretch.
    Last edited by dynodonn; 10-09-07 at 08:24 AM.

  22. #22
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    Lately, I've been seiing some upgrading going on among the more serious riders. Some are moving onto the 3K range, after end of season discounts. Pretty serious equipment there. Also some of the more recent converts are getting rid of that 'it's what I had in the garage' ride and going out and getting something better that fits right. I've been upgrading components on my recumbent. A hard core cadre of the older guys still refuse to spend any money. I guess everybody is happy. bk

  23. #23
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston View Post
    and most of them are in the age 40 to age 60 bracket...a generation that has more wheelchairs in their future than bicycles.
    Oh no you did NOT say that. The punishment for age-ist remarks is that you are only permitted to read and post in the 50+ forum. For one week. Starting now.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    Actually, the Wall Street Journal recently had an article about baby boomers boosting high end bike sales. Maybe the market is just shifting.
    Or splitting. New bike shop bikes have gotten too high tech and too expensive for a large percentage of the population. At the other end of the market, vintage bikes offer a better value than the cheap x-mart bikes. Together they add up to lower new bike sales overall, imo.

  25. #25
    cs1
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    Quote Originally Posted by McDave View Post
    Or splitting. New bike shop bikes have gotten too high tech and too expensive for a large percentage of the population. At the other end of the market, vintage bikes offer a better value than the cheap x-mart bikes. Together they add up to lower new bike sales overall, imo.
    Not a bad observation actually.


    Tim
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
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    1984 Specialized Stumpjumper, 1986 Specialized Stumpjumper and just way too many projects to list.

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