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A Visit To Billy Goat Bikes StL: Raysport Content

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A Visit To Billy Goat Bikes StL: Raysport Content

Old 06-17-22, 01:02 PM
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A Visit To Billy Goat Bikes StL: Raysport Content

Billy Goat Bikes in St Louis is the shop once known as A-1 Bicycles. A-1 was owned by Ray Florman, a remarkable person to say the least. He was born without a left hand but never let that stop him. As owner of A-1 he helped the local racing scene and provided support for more than a few racers. You might recognize the name John Howard. JH credits Ray with getting him started as Ray would supply John with top of the line equipment and take him to races. Ray Jr ran the shop for years and not long ago sold the shop to Dirk and Sven Sprogoe now own the shop. They bought their first bikes from Ray Sr.

Raysport was the shop brand for A-1. He contracted with Ian Alsop to have frames built in Mexico. Contrary to what some say, they were not built in the Windsor facilities. Four models were produced, being Super Corsa, Turismo, Strada, and Criterium. There are some claims that there was a Pista model but that is not the case. There is a pista Raysport frame floating about, but it was a converted frame. (Source Ray Jr) Ian Alsop produced a pista frame that looked very much like a Raysport, but it dates after Raysport. While writing this, I learned Ian Alsop passed away in May 2020.

Clark Allen (BF Member) is a fan of Raysport and told me he was considering selling a couple of his Raysport frames. He dropped them off at the shop for me to peruse. The Strada model was a Masi GC knockoff. Ray Jr (Raymond) happened to be at the shop and told me very few of these were made. This one is 56 x 57 If it were smaller or even 56 square, I would take it home. First time I have ever seen one.

Strada 1 by L Travers, on Flickr

Strada 8 by L Travers, on Flickr

Strada 6 by L Travers, on Flickr

Strada 9 by L Travers, on Flickr

Below is a Tursimo, which was one of Ray Sr. fixie frames that he rode. Raymond said it was one of several his dad rode. The frame design is not a knockoff of any other frame.

Turismo 2 by L Travers, on Flickr

Turismo 3 by L Travers, on Flickr

Turismo 8 by L Travers, on Flickr

And unrelated to Raysport is this lovely Paramount Tandem owned by Mike, the old school mechanic at the shop. He sold the bike to the original owner many years ago and acquired it upon the passing of said owner. Mike said the only thing not original was the stoker seat. It looks like the bike got taken home and hung up.

Paramount Tandem by L Travers, on Flickr
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Old 06-17-22, 01:11 PM
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This being a pro-Cardinal Cub-hating thread, I cannot oblige.

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Old 06-17-22, 01:30 PM
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-----

thanks so much for this post Lynn

have long been curious as to the Raysport marque; knew only of it & nothing about its history/background



-----
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Old 06-17-22, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
This being a pro-Cardinal Cub-hating thread, I cannot oblige.

We all have our flaws.
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Old 06-17-22, 02:37 PM
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There are a lot of great bikes at Billy Goat. I met Mike at CR a few years ago, and we both forgot each other.
The C&V section is always stocked with truly ACE bikes. The Crest Cannondale is one of my favorites.
They do appreciate C&V there, and if you went into the back room, which it looks like you did, you know what I mean.
For a while, I had six in there on display, but only 1 remains on display while my Exxon Graftex is being built for display.
I'd never seen so many Exxon Graftek "knowers," but after visiting Springfield a couple of hours away (John Howard country), I understand.

I hope to display a few more there by the end of the year. I get my disposables there, order tools, and they maintain my lady's bike(s).
(I learned not to step between a lady and her bike shop, no matter how good you are.)

St. Louis has quite a lot of C&V bikes just sitting in garages, basements, etc.
I went to buy some workout gear once and entered a basement with 5 Paramounts, a Ritchey, Tim Isaac, Hot tubes, 3Renshoe, and a Koga-Miyata.
I bought one of the Paramount frames and actually gave it to Mike at Billy Goat, and was gifted the Koga-Miyata, which was full DA AX.

Pretty hard NOT to find a bike shop in St. Louis and the metro area.
They are pretty much everywhere, and prices are competitive.
There is a prolific repair guy working out of his garage, and at least one mobile repair van that comes to you.

If you ride enough, you meet people here, and if you ride old steel, eventually they tell you what they have.
Last Sunday's ride, I rode a 1996 Litespeed, and there was another one with the identical Ritchey Carbon fork on the same ride.
My lady was riding a newer Colnago, which prompted another gentleman to ride over on his 1985 Colnago and let us look at it.

Maybe CV-6 didn't get a chance to see them, but Mike just got 7 or 8 (60's and 70's) Paramounts back from Waterford, all with OEM repaint.
I wanted to photo them the last time I was in there, but he hasn't decided on their future.

On that street (Manchester Rd), there are probably 4-5 bike shops in a 7-mile stretch.
Billy Goat and Maplewood are the two that have the steelies on display.

What we don't have, is a bike swap meet comparable to Brazen, and a few of us hope to change that, using Brazen as our template.

We'll invite Cubs fans because we know they can help us drink the craft beer that also is all over the place.

This morning, a client walked in and asked if I'd build this up. Of course.

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Old 06-30-22, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
This being a pro-Cardinal Cub-hating thread, I cannot oblige.

From my point of view it's not a Pro-Cardinal Cub-hating thread, it's a Cardinal hating thread!
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Old 06-30-22, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by CV-6 View Post
Billy Goat Bikes in St Louis is the shop once known as A-1 Bicycles. A-1 was owned by Ray Florman, a remarkable person to say the least. He was born without a left hand but never let that stop him. As owner of A-1 he helped the local racing scene and provided support for more than a few racers. You might recognize the name John Howard. JH credits Ray with getting him started as Ray would supply John with top of the line equipment and take him to races. Ray Jr ran the shop for years and not long ago sold the shop to Dirk and Sven Sprogoe now own the shop. They bought their first bikes from Ray Sr.

Raysport was the shop brand for A-1. He contracted with Ian Alsop to have frames built in Mexico. Contrary to what some say, they were not built in the Windsor facilities. Four models were produced, being Super Corsa, Turismo, Strada, and Criterium. There are some claims that there was a Pista model but that is not the case. There is a pista Raysport frame floating about, but it was a converted frame. (Source Ray Jr) Ian Alsop produced a pista frame that looked very much like a Raysport, but it dates after Raysport. While writing this, I learned Ian Alsop passed away in May 2020.

Clark Allen (BF Member) is a fan of Raysport and told me he was considering selling a couple of his Raysport frames. He dropped them off at the shop for me to peruse. The Strada model was a Masi GC knockoff. Ray Jr (Raymond) happened to be at the shop and told me very few of these were made. This one is 56 x 57 If it were smaller or even 56 square, I would take it home. First time I have ever seen one.

Strada 1 by L Travers, on Flickr

Strada 8 by L Travers, on Flickr

Strada 6 by L Travers, on Flickr

Strada 9 by L Travers, on Flickr

Below is a Tursimo, which was one of Ray Sr. fixie frames that he rode. Raymond said it was one of several his dad rode. The frame design is not a knockoff of any other frame.

Turismo 2 by L Travers, on Flickr

Turismo 3 by L Travers, on Flickr

Turismo 8 by L Travers, on Flickr

And unrelated to Raysport is this lovely Paramount Tandem owned by Mike, the old school mechanic at the shop. He sold the bike to the original owner many years ago and acquired it upon the passing of said owner. Mike said the only thing not original was the stoker seat. It looks like the bike got taken home and hung up.

Paramount Tandem by L Travers, on Flickr
Greg Parker of Bicycle Classics.com had a Turismo close to my size, which I am still kicking myself for passing.
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Old 06-30-22, 09:32 PM
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There’s a Raysport for sale near me for $150.00. I wish it were a size larger. Looks to have been repainted though.

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Old 06-30-22, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Pcampeau View Post
There’s a Raysport for sale near me for $150.00. I wish it were a size larger. Looks to have been repainted though.
I have seen that frame before. Owner had it set up as a three speed IIRC. That one is a Turismo.

Link to Raysport Strada post on BF
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Old 06-30-22, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by CV-6 View Post
I have seen that frame before. Owner had it set up as a three speed IIRC. That one is a Turismo.

Link to Raysport Strada post on BF
Wow, that was a good looking build DQRider put on this. Now I really wish it were larger.
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Old 07-02-22, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by bamboobike4 View Post
There are a lot of great bikes at Billy Goat.

Pretty hard NOT to find a bike shop in St. Louis and the metro area.
They are pretty much everywhere, and prices are competitive.

On that street (Manchester Rd), there are these bike shops in a 6-mile stretch.
Ballwin Cycles
Trek
The Bike Center
Billy Goat Bicycle Co.
Maplewood
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Old 07-02-22, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Pcampeau View Post
Wow, that was a good looking build DQRider put on this. Now I really wish it were larger.
it’s my size….

I was in Billy Goat yesterday, discussing these bikes.
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Old 07-02-22, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by bamboobike4 View Post
Ballwin Cycles
Trek
The Bike Center
Billy Goat Bicycle Co.
Maplewood
When I was living in the St. Louis era in the late 80's and early 90's, A-1 and Maplewood were my favorites, but I did stop in at the Touring Cyclist here and there.
I still pop into the shops to see what's new (and to review the water bottle collection at Maplewood), but am wondering if I'm missing anything particularly new and exciting.

Steve in Peoria

for those wondering, a quick glimpse of a small part of the bottle collection lined up on the ducts in Maplewood Bike Shop...

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