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Firenze--old bike, is it authentic?

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Firenze--old bike, is it authentic?

Old 07-10-04, 08:51 PM
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knkennedy
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Firenze--old bike, is it authentic?

Hello out there. I'm new to Bike Forums... and I hope I'm not soon the laughing stock. I bought a very used bike from a Goodwill and was checking it out and discovered that it bears emblems that say 'Firenze,' has an Italian flag, and the model number is ML5000. Does anyone know anything about this bike? It's history? Value? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

I apologize for not including much information; I will provide more when I survery the bike a little closer.

Thanks so much!
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Old 07-10-04, 09:20 PM
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PatLuc
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Telling us what components are on the bike will say a lot. I think I've seen one before, and it looks like a decent bike. Nothing really super, but not bad either. I think a guy at work rides one in every day.

Pat
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Old 07-11-04, 01:52 AM
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mike
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Do you live in Wisconsin? The reason I ask is because TV Lenny in Madison was responsible for a lot of the Firenze in the USA.

Jeesh, when was it? 1970's or more probably in the 1980's a bunch of made-in-Taiwan Firenze were imported to the USA HOWEVER, they did not meet USA safety codes and could not be sold. Bummer for the company that imported them. Shoulda checked the safety codes first, I guess.

Some clever person found that although they could not be sold, they could be given away - and that is what happened. The Taiwanese Firenze were given away as promotional gifts for customers who bought appliances, stereos, etc.

Like most Taiwanese made things, the Firenze is "OK", nothing to get excited about. It is rather heavy and clunky. The components are of marginal quality. It was a cheap bike that looked like a good bike at the time. It might not have been a great bike, but for the money, it was appealing.
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Old 07-11-04, 03:39 PM
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No, I do not live in Wisconsin. I'm actually from Kentucky. Thanks for the information about the bike; I was beginning to get intruiged because I thought I had stumbled upon something that was pretty cool. I didn't pay much for it, and now I simply view it as a fixer-up project just so I can have something to ride around the neighborhood. Do you have any idea how many were imported? Was it a limited number?

Thanks again!
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Old 07-11-04, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by knkennedy
Hello out there. I'm new to Bike Forums... and I hope I'm not soon the laughing stock. I bought a very used bike from a Goodwill and was checking it out and discovered that it bears emblems that say 'Firenze,' has an Italian flag, and the model number is ML5000. Does anyone know anything about this bike? It's history? Value? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

I apologize for not including much information; I will provide more when I survery the bike a little closer.

Thanks so much!
I remember the Firenze (Florence). It's not Italian, basically a very inexpensive road bike that was given away in Southern Cal (and perhaps some other areas) as part of promotions by stereo stores (buy $300 Soundmaster and you get this bike free!). Hope you paid very little for it!
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Old 07-11-04, 10:09 PM
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mike
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Originally Posted by knkennedy
No, I do not live in Wisconsin. I'm actually from Kentucky. Thanks for the information about the bike; I was beginning to get intruiged because I thought I had stumbled upon something that was pretty cool. I didn't pay much for it, and now I simply view it as a fixer-up project just so I can have something to ride around the neighborhood. Do you have any idea how many were imported? Was it a limited number?

Thanks again!
I do not know how many were imported, but they are not hard to find around here. My guess is that several loads of bikes came over and were a financial loss. Those loads were likely the only ones that came over.
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Old 07-12-04, 11:47 AM
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Didn't know about the safety problem with Firenzes, only about the TV Lenny giveaway. Yeah, the water table here in Madison has an elevated iron content on account of the number of rusting, dumped Firenzes in our lakes, woodlots, wetlands, etc. Apparently some had semi-horizontal, and fairly long, dropouts, so you occasionally see one reborn as a fixie.
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Old 07-13-04, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by knkennedy
Hello out there. I'm new to Bike Forums... and I hope I'm not soon the laughing stock. I bought a very used bike from a Goodwill and was checking it out and discovered that it bears emblems that say 'Firenze,' has an Italian flag, and the model number is ML5000. Does anyone know anything about this bike? It's history? Value? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

I apologize for not including much information; I will provide more when I survery the bike a little closer.

Thanks so much!
I saw some Firenze bikes in the 1980's. I don't know if the ones I saw were represnetitive of all of them but the ones I saw were absolute junk! Dropouts would sometimes pull out of the frame and the parts were plastic or stamped steel. No amount of adjusting could keep the stamped steel brake calipers from squealing every stop. When students brought these bikes into my shop I made them sign a waiver saying that they understand that their bikes were dangerous to ride even after we repaired them.
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Old 07-17-04, 04:32 PM
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Thanks all for the help. I truly appreciate it.

Kenneth K.
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