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What is your quintessential Silver Era, USA bike boom bicycle (circa 1965-1975)

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What is your quintessential Silver Era, USA bike boom bicycle (circa 1965-1975)

Old 12-17-15, 09:09 PM
  #51  
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I grew up around Raleighs. As much as I'd love to say it was a Competition, or an International, or a Professional, or even a Team Professional, I think a Grand Prix or Super Course would get the nod.

Most iconic... It would either be a PX-10, or a Raleigh Team Professional (as I stretch the end date of this window out to 1977)
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Old 12-18-15, 03:18 PM
  #52  
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While I've heard of the Golden Era, and of the Bike Boom, I'd never seen the label "Silver" applied to the Boom period.

The Golden era produced the first paved roads in America, too. They were because of the cyclists, not automobiles that came later.

Anyway, 1971 Gitane Tour de France.

I ordered the gaspipe InterClub, which was $123. The shipment arrived sans my bike and the shop owner took pity on my utter dejected state, and offered me the TdF for $169. I had to borrow $, but did it. It came with very fine silk sew-ups, to boot. I still have the bike and rode it today.
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1959 Hilton Wrigley Connoisseur (still my favorite!)
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1971 Gitane Tour de France (The War Horse) (1 owner)
* 1971 Gitane Super Corsa (The Garage Queen) (crashed out)
1971 Gitane Super Corsa #2 (sweet replacement frame)
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1984 Tom Ritchey Team Competition (NOS show bike)
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1985 ALAN Record (Glued & Screwed. A gift.)

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Old 12-23-15, 09:37 AM
  #53  
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I will throw a vote in for the Raleigh Grand Prix.

A guy I once worked with told me all about his Grand Prix he had when he was in his teens. "It was the best Raleigh you could buy" he told me. I explained to him about the other top end Raleighs, but he replied , "No, the Grand Prix was the top of the line at T.L. Fritts".

T.L. Fritts is a local sporting goods store, and along with many other sporting goods stores during the boom years, would stock the Raleigh Record for the budget conscious and "the top of the line" Grand Prix for the sports oriented rider. The Super Course and higher end bikes were for the bike shops to sell. But to many the Grand Prix was the best bike you could buy.
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Old 12-23-15, 09:54 AM
  #54  
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The Varsity.

I was born in '69 so my contribution to this thread can be discounted.

When I was growing up in Santa Barbara, California, we would ride our bikes through the college town (1978-83?), and the survivors were the Varsitys. They were dubbed "IV Cruisers" and most were relegated to single speed duty with the bars rotated backwards (bar ends facing forward).

The Free Spirit was also in abundance, but the Varsity was the king.
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Old 12-24-15, 08:04 PM
  #55  
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Another nod to the Grand Prix. Seemed to come out of nowhere. Through HS no bikes, college, bikes. I got a Record, think it was $96 , Grand Prix was $125 , minimum wage $1.40. That price difference was hard to ignore. One buddy who got a good job as a draftsman after graduating from voc hs got a Super Course. The difference was obvious. This was '70 or so. But I just remember seeing GP's everywhere.

The very first 10 speed I ever saw was in 1967. Friend's brother got a Dynamax for 8th grade graduation. His mom got it at the department store she worked at. Anyone ever heard of this brand?
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Old 12-24-15, 09:40 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by spiker View Post
The very first 10 speed I ever saw was in 1967. Friend's brother got a Dynamax for 8th grade graduation. His mom got it at the department store she worked at. Anyone ever heard of this brand?
https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...de-france.html

You saw this right?
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Old 12-24-15, 10:14 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
I grew up around Raleighs. As much as I'd love to say it was a Competition, or an International, or a Professional, or even a Team Professional, I think a Grand Prix or Super Course would get the nod.

Most iconic... It would either be a PX-10, or a Raleigh Team Professional (as I stretch the end date of this window out to 1977)
I borrowed this slide from USAZorro, not USA pedigree but as others have posted bikes from different countries I thought I would chime in with my candidate..... It is an allegro with smoke fade paint.
I remember seeing one at the local schwinn dealer,it had black veins on it and was so out of reach but such a piece of art...never rode it and never forgot it.
Light, limited numbers and very exotic.



Regards, Ben
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Last edited by xiaoman1; 12-24-15 at 10:28 PM. Reason: heard santa's sleigh
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Old 12-24-15, 11:17 PM
  #58  
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Most kids in my neighborhood wanted a Schwinn. A couple kids owned one. They were the richer kids. I had a $22 Wards Hawthorne. No where near as cool as a Schwinn. Once I got a job at 15 I bought a white Varsity. I didn't know there were truly nice bikes out there.
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Old 12-25-15, 09:42 AM
  #59  
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Fun thread. I missed this era of cycling, but I do remember being in a bike shop a bit later and aching over a black and white Peugeot. I didn’t know anything about road bikes, but somehow knew that one was lustworthy. The checkerboard motif was just so cool. I wonder now if it was a PX10.

I’ve since had the chance to ride a UO8 and found it to be a capable machine. I think I would’ve felt lucky to own one back then.

I’m guessing a lot of the Schwinn mystique during this era was due to the fact that 1) they weren’t making just department store bikes and 2) they were made in America.
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Old 12-25-15, 01:07 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
"Firenze" was TV Lenny's (Len Matioli) brand. One year he got dinged by the CPSC and had to "upgrade" the brakes on all his bikes with Mathauser pads. When I lived in Madison, I used to scavenge those pads from bikes left on the curb at the end of the semester. I still have a set on one of my bikes.
In the SF Bay Area, it was Matthew's, Top of the Hill, Daly City (the town that "Little Boxes" was written about, aka the theme song to Weeds). Buy a stereo, get a bike. Buy a tv, get a bike. They also gave away a Firenze. They were so bad that most bike shops refused to work on them for liability issues, also because it gave the impression that bikes were so cheap they should be given away.
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Old 12-25-15, 01:19 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by Shp4man View Post
Here's what I was riding back then. It was an ultracool ride. (then)

I'm well over 50, and would ride that, and think it was cool now!
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Old 12-25-15, 06:00 PM
  #62  
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I have Glenn's Bicycle manual and in it, they work on Peugeots so, not my favorite bicycle but that is what I'd vote for. Yes, Schwinns and others are in there too but that jumps out at me. Then, there was John Marino's bike manual and his wearing the checkered jersey along with his bicycle. That is probably cerca 1981, he won an early race across America (RAAM).

Honorable mention, I think if one is in Canada, CCM and some of their '70s offerings which in those days, probably looked even better. I happen to have a Reynolds "straight gauge" 531 on the 3 main tubes from then.

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Old 12-27-15, 08:20 PM
  #63  
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Uncle uncle, thanks for the link. Can't recall any details other than the color, brown, bronze? That bike was my introduction to derailer bikes. I was a sophomore in hs and it was no more than a passing curiosity.
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Old 12-27-15, 08:45 PM
  #64  
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Growing up in small town hell, Arizona, the Free Spirit was pretty much the only 10-speed game in town as far as I can remember, and I got one sometime around 8th or 9th grade. Mostly though, as I was a young'un in the 70s, it was about the BMX bikes for us. A couple of kids had Rampar (Raleigh?) BMXs and all I can remember of them are these super long cranks that'd grab the ground any time you tried pedalling through a turn. The rich kids had Schwinns, the cool kids had chrome Mongooses, and since I was neither I rode department store bikes throughout my youth.
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Old 12-28-15, 10:32 AM
  #65  
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boy, that smoke allegro....I was working at a shop in 1975 that offered the allegro for $415-tipo hubs and stronglight crank....an international was $385 back then.

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Old 12-28-15, 02:32 PM
  #66  
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Falcon San Remo. Central Ohio was awash in them where they competed with Schwinn, Raleigh, Peugeot, Gitane, and Nishiki. Falcon imports petered out and stopped in the early 1980's so nearly all of them you see today are Bike Boom bikes.

I saw a Falcon recently on a COTA bus rack so they're still being used to get people to work.

What sort of celebration will we have in 2021 to honor all the 50 year old bikes still on the road?
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Old 01-05-16, 10:57 AM
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Falcon Black Diamond is suppose to be a great bike. Falcon headbadge is tremendous as well. I know little about this bike but apparently, some are big fans of the marquee.



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Old 08-01-20, 06:55 AM
  #68  
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Cheetah bike

Originally Posted by Pompiere View Post
This was it for me too. I got an orange Huffy Cheetah Slick when I was about 7 and rode it until I got a Kabuki ten speed when I was 15. I remember waiting at Kmart in Ft. Wayne for them to bring it out, and thinking how strange it was for my parents to be buying me a new bike and it wasn't even Christmas or my birthday.
I found what I think is an old Cheetah stingray type bike pretty rough shape no name badge on it,Iím trying to decide if I want to restore it but canít find out what it looked like originally
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Old 08-01-20, 09:57 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by kantquit View Post
I found what I think is an old Cheetah stingray type bike pretty rough shape no name badge on it,Iím trying to decide if I want to restore it but canít find out what it looked like originally
I can't help you with the brand, but it looks pretty complete as is. During the 1960s, every maker had a version. Here is a site that specializes in that type of bike: https://thecabe.com/forum/index/schw...scle-bikes.10/
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Old 08-01-20, 10:42 AM
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My first 10 speed was a basic Nishiki with "rat trap" pedals and turkey levers. I rode that bike everywhere. Fast forward a few years (ahem) and I picked up a mid 70s Sekine SHS 271. The bike is my go to commuter. It's also definitely a silver era bike with chrome socks and lots of shiny aluminum bits. Most importantly it has a set of turkey levers which are almost required on a boom era bike, And it's a Canadian-Japanese import which was imported here during the bike boom era.

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Old 08-01-20, 03:04 PM
  #71  
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My 70s bikes, gifts from parents, were this Free-spirit followed by a crappy Huffy ten speed. If I could have chosen what I wanted it would have been a Schwinn. The red LeTour in the catalog was pretty awesome in my mind...Paramount wasnít even a realistic thought. I think Iíll ride one today!
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Old 08-02-20, 02:50 PM
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Since this thread has come back to life:

When this pic was taken the bike was 38 years old. Peugeot UO-8.


It has gone through several periods of upgrades and restorations. It is currently more upgraded than appears here.

I'd still be riding it if we didn't have covid-19 hanging around. In 2017 (I think it was) I rode it up Cadillac Mt in Acadia National Park.
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Old 08-02-20, 07:46 PM
  #73  
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I'll say my '74 Raleigh International.... chromed Nervex lugs, half chromed forks and stays, Campagnolo Record parts, and seriously shiny. Classic!



Steve in Peoria
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Old 08-02-20, 10:11 PM
  #74  
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Quintessence for me thru those years: 1966 Schwinn Continental; 1968 Schwinn Krates;
Richard Ballantine's Condor on the 1972 Edition of his bike book; 1975 P13-9 Paramount and Voyageur II.
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Old 08-03-20, 04:42 AM
  #75  
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^^^^^^ I cringe and my toes curl up when a self appointed "expert bicycle mechanic" decides to publish a photo, world wide, showing him/her working on a bicycle with an adjustable wrench. Oh, I forgot, metric wrenches and sockets were not invented until the '80s.

I really cringe when I witness such in real life. Adjustable wrenches are good for straightening soft steel DOs on BSOs though. Or for holding the fixed nut on a crank removal tool. Our local Giant grocery has happy photos displayed showing happy family life. One has Grandpa helping little Tommy fix his bicycle, with an adjustable wrench. Start em early, Pops!
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