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Old 10-26-07, 10:28 AM   #1
pengyou
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banana seats?

Back in the late sixties and early seventies the banana seats were really popular. I never had one, though I desperately wanted one. Why did they die? Were they comfortable? ergonomically sound?
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Old 10-26-07, 10:43 AM   #2
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Back in the late sixties and early seventies the banana seats were really popular. I never had one, though I desperately wanted one. Why did they die? Were they comfortable? ergonomically sound?
Didn't die, just went into hiding...Maybe and no. A banana seat was okay for a quick cruise around the neighborhood and riding two up with your elementary school sweetie but for serious riding, like down to the DQ a single seat was a better choice. They are still available from places like Bucks County Choppers Also when I was in one of my LBSes the other day they were having a clearance sale on the various Schwinn repro choppers and they all have banana seats.

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Old 10-26-07, 11:01 AM   #3
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Back in the late sixties and early seventies the banana seats were really popular. I never had one, though I desperately wanted one. Why did they die? Were they comfortable? ergonomically sound?
'Cool'! You could put a lot of glitter on a banana seat . It seems to me that riding one was not very comfortable, and because it was vinyl, it was actually rather unpleasant riding one when it was hot (my bare legs would get stuck to the seat, just the way you'd get stuck to that vinyl car seat when it was hot ).

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Old 10-26-07, 11:05 AM   #4
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The other deal with these was, to get the "look" right, you had to have the ape-hanger handlebars too. That meant that the bike frame, crank length, wheelbase, etc. had to be too small for pedaling efficiency.

When you were 11 years old, though, and that's what all your friends were riding, who cared about efficiency?
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Old 10-26-07, 11:29 AM   #5
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I rode a banana seat bike for a number of years in the '60's, early '70's, and then I got another 20" wheeled bike called a Mossberg MX in 1973 (or maybe '72?), which was a forerunner to bikes that would later be called BMX bikes. Or maybe some bikes already were called BMX bikes by then, I don't know. But anyway, the Mossberg had a traditionally shaped seat, and did pretty much everything we had wanted our banana seat bikes to do, only much better. Well, everything except have room on the seat for a passenger. It was a bike ahead of its time, IMO. Kids wanted to be like Evel back then, and that of course meant jumps, jumps, and more jumps. Traditionally shaped seats, set way low and out of the way, became the norm because they were better for this. Within a few years, the term "BMX" was part of the mainstream, and that style of bike became the default 20" wheeled bike. That's my take on it, anyway.
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Old 10-26-07, 11:29 AM   #6
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Back in the late sixties and early seventies the banana seats were really popular. I never had one, though I desperately wanted one. Why did they die? Were they comfortable? ergonomically sound?
Banana Seats Anyone? Here is a rare stingray from my youthful era with almost all components/accessories on in including that rather unique seat (which I think is far more comfortable than those hard rock 10 speed seats/saddles ever were):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/world-of-folding-bicycles/265082469/in/set-72157594325178229/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/world-of-folding-bicycles/265082473/in/set-72157594325178229/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/world-of-folding-bicycles/265082480/in/set-72157594325178229/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/world-of-folding-bicycles/265082486/in/set-72157594325178229/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/world-of-folding-bicycles/265082489/in/set-72157594325178229/

Last edited by folder fanatic; 10-26-07 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 10-26-07, 11:47 AM   #7
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I can remember my old five-speed, red and silver with a red banana seat and sissy bar, ape-hangers, springer frontend, the whole nine yards... the only drawback was the shifter, it was modeled after a car style shifter and was mounted to the top tube.

Sudden stops in fifth gear created whole new levels of pain on more than one occasion.
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Old 10-26-07, 11:52 AM   #8
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I don't have it built yet, but I am recreating a bike similar to what I rode in the 70's while in high school.

It was a 26 inch wheeled 3 speed monster with ramshorn bars and a banana seat that I rode everywhere. All my friends rode 10 speeds, and I kept up with them everywhere, including when I rode with a friend from Tacoma to Kelso, and a few days later from there to Oysterville. I had to regularly slow down for him to catch up... His claim was that my bike was more aerodynamic. (Of course he also claimed to have raced bikes, and played bass in a professional band, and been in a street gang, and know karate, and a lot of other things I didn't believe )

I have everyhting I need to build a similar bike now (not identical, but similar) including a banana seat.

I will use it to cruise around the neighborhood, but I doubt that I will ever do another ride of over 50 miles on a bike like that...
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Old 10-26-07, 11:55 AM   #9
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I think banana seats came and went the same reason bell-bottom pants did...fashion.
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Old 10-26-07, 01:21 PM   #10
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When I was a kid I had a twenty inch stingray frame type bike, with a banana seat, a skinny front tire and a really wide slick on the rear… oh, yes… it had the ape hanger handle bars on it as well. The main thing about that bike was under hard power, and slid back on the seat… it was almost impossible to keep the front wheel on the pavement. It was a really fun bike to ride.

I also had a real Schwinn Stingray bike, with the five speed and all, but it got stolen off the front porch one night… The aforementioned bike was a replacement for the Stingray… it was all my parents could afford at the time. It probably held up better than the Schwinn Stingray would have anyway, with what I put it through…
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Old 10-26-07, 07:50 PM   #11
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I had a Schwinn Orange Crate with the 5 speed shifter, springer front, front drum brake, banana seat, small front wheel, etc. I loved that bike until it was no longer "cool." I then got my dad's 10 speed Schwinn Continental. That was when they still had real down tube shifters and a Brooks saddle. I think my parents sold the Orange Crate for about $30.00 at a garage sale. I see they're going for between $500.00 and $1000.00 these days. I sure wish I had it back!

Joe
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Old 10-26-07, 08:40 PM   #12
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My budget minded father bought me a western themed huffy with a banana seat when all of my friends were riding bmx bikes.

Maybe my cycling is an attempt to somehow overcome this childhood trauma.
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Old 10-26-07, 10:06 PM   #13
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A little dusty but if you can see it, It's still in decent condition - glitter and all!

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Old 10-27-07, 10:18 AM   #14
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A little dusty but if you can see it, It's still in decent condition - glitter and all!

Yup, all about the glitter!

Curious how no one else has mentioned that .

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Old 10-27-07, 10:33 AM   #15
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Glitter?

How about crushed red velvet? And the also long forgotten sissybar?

My 10th grade metal shop (also an out-of-fashion class in school these days) project.
It started life as an Apple Krate.
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Old 10-27-07, 11:07 AM   #16
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I built my own. Epoxy/Fiberglass over a foam core.
Seven layers of 'glass, so it supports my 250 pounds of weight.

There is fiberglass between the "seatpost" and the frame tubes, and there is more fiberglass wrapped under the toptube and seatstays, like the shape of the letter "U". So it stays permanently attached.

I find it comfortable, that I can move back on the seat to have more leg extension. And I also have my feet flat on the ground when I stop for a red light.
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Old 10-27-07, 11:27 AM   #17
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How about crushed red velvet?
Only good for places with little to no rain... .

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Old 10-29-07, 01:27 AM   #18
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Heres my Bananna seat bike;



I ride this around for fun, its a good time. The seat came off of a kids bike and is covered with a pair of my old cords. My 33rd birthday is next week, so bananna seat ain't just for kids at all.
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Old 10-29-07, 07:48 PM   #19
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Funny, I had one when I was a kid but I must have been quite young. I don't remember what brand it was but it was a single speed, metallic gold frame, knobby tires, ape hangers, and the banana seat was black on top and white on the sides. I was too young to even remember wanting one of those bikes. My first recollection is wanting a "10-speed" as they were called which must have been when I was around 8-9 years old.
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Old 10-29-07, 08:23 PM   #20
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Up till I was 11 years old, I had a single speed, 26" Murray with the fenders and chainguard removed. It had a banana seat with high rise handlebars, and I lived on that bike. Were they comfortable? And how! Picture an Electra Townie riding position... there ya go!
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Old 09-07-15, 07:02 PM   #21
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Rise necro post! Rise!

I'm sure the tolerance of my butt has changed over the years, but I do remember banana seats being very comfortable to ride and ride and ride on. What's wrong with them that they've fallen out of style?
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Old 09-08-15, 08:02 AM   #22
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Awesome collection of banana seat bicycles at Bicycle heaven in Pittsburgh. A warehouse that bills itself as the world's largest bicycle museum. The place is really incredible. Welcome to Bicycle Heaven
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Old 09-08-15, 10:13 AM   #23
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My old banana-seat Ross with D-shaped handlebars was my favorite bike ever! Single-speed; coaster brake; a beautiful green.....had more fun on that bike than any other bike I've ever owned... It as comfy; it offered multiple riding positions for your butt; you could carry friends.....
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Old 09-08-15, 11:02 AM   #24
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The CPSC banned them because inconsiderate riders tossed the peels on the road thinking they would decompose quickly.
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Old 09-08-15, 07:38 PM   #25
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The CPSC banned them because inconsiderate riders tossed the peels on the road thinking they would decompose quickly.
I don't think you're supposed to take the seat covers off, but I'm no expert.
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