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Old 10-05-07, 08:56 PM   #1
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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.
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Old 10-05-07, 09:05 PM   #2
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I liked suicide levers on my Schwinn I had in the 70's as a kid. So sue me
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Old 10-05-07, 09:10 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 10-05-07, 09:15 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 10-05-07, 09:45 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 10-06-07, 03:44 AM   #6
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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.

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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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Old 10-06-07, 04:02 AM   #7
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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.
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Old 10-06-07, 02:00 PM   #8
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What are 'suicide levers'?
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Old 10-06-07, 02:42 PM   #9
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They are those funy little levers that operate the brakes from across the top of drop bars.
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Old 10-06-07, 02:57 PM   #10
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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.


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Old 10-06-07, 03:13 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 10-06-07, 03:13 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 10-06-07, 03:57 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 10-06-07, 05:36 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 10-06-07, 05:58 PM   #15
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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.
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Old 10-06-07, 07:06 PM   #16
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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.
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Old 10-07-07, 10:57 PM   #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.
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Old 10-08-07, 06:19 AM   #18
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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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Old 10-08-07, 06:42 AM   #19
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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.
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Old 10-08-07, 07:17 AM   #20
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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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Old 10-08-07, 09:26 AM   #21
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...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.

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Old 10-08-07, 11:32 PM   #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
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Old 10-09-07, 01:01 AM   #23
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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.
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Old 10-09-07, 06:09 AM   #24
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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.
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Old 10-09-07, 08:34 AM   #25
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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.


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