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Did Slingshot make a road bike?

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Did Slingshot make a road bike?

Old 07-14-22, 07:18 PM
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hhk25
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Did Slingshot make a road bike?

Remember those crazy Slingshot mountain bikes from the 90s? They had the two piece, flexible top tube and a steel cable instead of a down tube.

Well today, I swear I saw one with drop bars and a roadie groupset. I was on my bike so didnít get photos but Iím pretty sure i wasnít hallucinating.

Got home and Googled like mad but I only see the mountain bikes and no road bikes. Did this guy put drop bars on a mountain bike or did Slingshot make a road bike that Iím not aware of.
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Old 07-14-22, 07:42 PM
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That took like ten seconds!

I was always interested in these bikes. Supposedly they were very fast.

I remember that another company started making a version that folded or came apart for easy traveling. Maybe they're still in business.


They are still in business. (Or at least they still have a website.)



Last edited by Headpost; 07-14-22 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 07-14-22, 08:07 PM
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There's a young woman in my town who rides a road model with 650c wheels.

As a Clyde, I wouldn't go near one.
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Old 07-14-22, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by hhk25 View Post
Remember those crazy Slingshot mountain bikes from the 90s? They had the two piece, flexible top tube and a steel cable instead of a down tube.

Well today, I swear I saw one with drop bars and a roadie groupset. I was on my bike so didnít get photos but Iím pretty sure i wasnít hallucinating.

Got home and Googled like mad but I only see the mountain bikes and no road bikes. Did this guy put drop bars on a mountain bike or did Slingshot make a road bike that Iím not aware of.
Originally Posted by Headpost View Post
That took like ten seconds!

I was always interested in these bikes. Supposedly they were very fast.

I remember that another company started making a version that folded or came apart for easy traveling. Maybe they're still in business.

Slingshot first hit the scene as a BMX bike in the 80s. They followed up with mtb, road, tri, and CX models, possibly but not necessarily in that order.
I wasn't into the road race scene at all, but I raced triathlon throughout the 90s against guys who used the road and tri models successfully in local, regional, and national races.
Chuckie V (Veylupek) and Craig Walton were national/world class triathletes who won big races on Slingshots.
A feared Michigan competitor, Jeff Beagle, dominated short course Michigan triathlons on his Slingshot in the early 90s.
Martin Stenger won national mtb races on his.
Of course, those guys were fast on just about anything they rode.
The mtb had good reviews early during the early wild-west days of suspension designs, but popularity faded over time.
I am a Slingshot collector of sorts (somewhat knowledgeable, but not an expert) and have at least one of every model except the BMX.

As for the green Slingshot above, that's a "foldable" frame (seat tube collar comes off near the top via the QR). As for the frame model, I think I see brake caliper studs on the seat stays, so I'm thinking a CX model with a cross fork. I don't see the usual braze on cable stops along the boom tube as is the case with the mtb frame. The double gussets on the boom tube might also be used to differentiate between CX and mtb, but I don't know off the top of my head. I'll see what I can dig up unless someone who knows posts first.

I've been meaning to start a thread (working title "The Slingshot Love Shack") about this line of bikes this year, but just haven't gotten around to it.
Maybe it's time.
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Old 07-14-22, 09:01 PM
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Bicycling Magazine reviewed the road model in 1993
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Old 07-15-22, 03:50 AM
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SpeedofLite , do you still ride them or are your bikes wall hangers? I always thought the flex plate in the top tube looked like a catastrophic failure waiting to happen. How do the bikes hood up long term?
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Old 07-15-22, 06:00 AM
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I had a SlingShot road in yellow. My thoughts:

1. The fold was crazy. Having to maneuver a cable at high tension is not for the faint hearted!

2. The ride quality was strange, almost disconnected in a way. It was like riding a bike without a down tube, because that's exactly what it was.

3. The cable was supposed to store tension like a spring and release it during the power stroke, but I'm not sure it worked out that way. I never felt more efficient on this bike than any other.

4. In the end, I sold it as a curiosity. The fold was too difficult, the ride quality too disconnected, and I moved on.

Oh, and by the way, the company with a similar design is Puma:

https://www.campfirecycling.com/blog...the-glow-rider
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Old 07-15-22, 08:19 AM
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Somebody correct me if Iím wrong but I donít think Slingshot intended for those bikes to be folders. I mean you *can* separate them but the top tube flex plate isnít designed for repeated fastening and unfastening. And like you say, the tension in the cable probably shouldnít be messed with on a regular basis.
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Old 07-15-22, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by bargainguy View Post
I had a SlingShot road in yellow. My thoughts:

1. The fold was crazy. Having to maneuver a cable at high tension is not for the faint hearted!

2. The ride quality was strange, almost disconnected in a way. It was like riding a bike without a down tube, because that's exactly what it was.

3. The cable was supposed to store tension like a spring and release it during the power stroke, but I'm not sure it worked out that way. I never felt more efficient on this bike than any other.

4. In the end, I sold it as a curiosity. The fold was too difficult, the ride quality too disconnected, and I moved on.

Oh, and by the way, the company with a similar design is Puma:

https://www.campfirecycling.com/blog...the-glow-rider
So the Slingshot was intended to have a sort of "planing" behavior!

I could certainly see the hinged/spring frame main triangle providing shock absorption, but I'm not sure about beneficial energy return to the task of pulling the chain.

Last edited by Road Fan; 07-15-22 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 07-15-22, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by bargainguy View Post
I had a SlingShot road in yellow. My thoughts:

1. The fold was crazy. Having to maneuver a cable at high tension is not for the faint hearted!

2. The ride quality was strange, almost disconnected in a way. It was like riding a bike without a down tube, because that's exactly what it was.

3. The cable was supposed to store tension like a spring and release it during the power stroke, but I'm not sure it worked out that way. I never felt more efficient on this bike than any other.

4. In the end, I sold it as a curiosity. The fold was too difficult, the ride quality too disconnected, and I moved on.

Oh, and by the way, the company with a similar design is Puma:

https://www.campfirecycling.com/blog...the-glow-rider
Yes! I saw one of these Pumas in real life once. The owner didn't have much to say about it beyond "It rides great!" as I remember--I don't think he was really a bicycle person. It's interesting that the basic concept lives on in folders, though. I know Dahon has a few models that use "stay" cables too.


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Old 07-17-22, 07:22 PM
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I'm not sure if anyone is really interested, but by coincidence I came across a Craigslist ad for one of these and remembered the craziest thing about it, or at least some of them: The cable was also supposed to function as a lock--wait, it gets better--part of the idea being that, if the thief cut the relatively thin strand of metal, it would render the bike unrideable, so why would he do it?

You can turn the logic of this concept over in your mind and find so many flaws that it almost makes you giddy, but all I can say is that I'm willing to bet it wasn't designed by an American.


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