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Old 10-05-09, 09:34 PM   #1
rdjohannes
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"American Arrow?"

Picked up this bike early this summer and have been enjoying it ever since. It's labeled "American Arrow made in Belgium" with a very cheap label. I posted it earlier on Old Ten Speed Gallery and someone replied that they had an American Arrow made in West Germany. It must be vintage early 70's, because it has a license from 1974. It is surprisingly light, marked "RC tubing," and has alloy wheels, stem and bars; with a steel, cottered crank. The frame is not especially tall, but it is long (almost 2 in longer than a taller Fuji that I own) and fits me well. When riding, it has the feel of a French bike (like a Motobecane I rode a few years ago). All in all, it has a generic look and intriguing features, which makes me so curious who made it, obviously no one "American." The only things I've changed are the bar tape and tires (just things I had in the garage). I know you all like a mystery--can you help me with this one? Thanks.
Bob Johannes
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Old 10-05-09, 09:45 PM   #2
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wish i could help, but i had one until it was stolen and looked for info about it all over the web and couldn't find anything.
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Old 04-09-12, 08:03 PM   #3
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Old thread but responding anyway. I have this same bike. So does my brother...

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Originally Posted by rdjohannes View Post
Picked up this bike early this summer and have been enjoying it ever since. It's labeled "American Arrow made in Belgium" with a very cheap label. I posted it earlier on Old Ten Speed Gallery and someone replied that they had an American Arrow made in West Germany. It must be vintage early 70's, because it has a license from 1974. It is surprisingly light, marked "RC tubing," and has alloy wheels, stem and bars; with a steel, cottered crank. The frame is not especially tall, but it is long (almost 2 in longer than a taller Fuji that I own) and fits me well. When riding, it has the feel of a French bike (like a Motobecane I rode a few years ago). All in all, it has a generic look and intriguing features, which makes me so curious who made it, obviously no one "American." The only things I've changed are the bar tape and tires (just things I had in the garage). I know you all like a mystery--can you help me with this one? Thanks.
Bob Johannes
I have this same bike in a greenish gold metalic color. My brother has royal blue. Unfortunately, I removed all the decals, etc. Converted to clinchers from original tubular tire/wheels, aero bar and other mistakes. Still have original nylon seat and handle bars, Simplex derailleurs. Perfect frame and perfect drop bars for me. Never found another bike that fit as well and extremely light when it had the sew-ups. Ever find any info on manufacturer? I would like to find out what bottom bracket, etc. would fit for a restoration/upgrade.
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Old 04-10-12, 05:17 AM   #4
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Made by Superia. All I know is they sponsored a racing team in Europe in the 60's. World Champion Rudi Altig rode a Superia. Nice bikes that you don't see much of in the States.
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Old 10-02-12, 09:58 AM   #5
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Hey there,


Any luck with the American Arrow bottom bracket ?


I have an old frame from my dad that I am wanting to convert to a single speed.


I am pretty sure it is and ENGLISH threaded 70mm bb shell.


But I am looking on the internet to find a cartridge bottom bracket and it would seem a 70mm English bb doesn't exist anywhere else, only Italian.


I went to the local shop and he said he could order me something, that Shimano makes one, but I am not 100 % certain the guy understood the threading. I am looking specifically for a 70x107mm for a single speed conversion. I have looked at many bottom brackets online, no 70x107mm English to be found, Shimano or otherwise.


Any luck with yours?
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Old 09-27-13, 04:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Picked up this bike early this summer and have been enjoying it ever since. It's labeled "American Arrow made in Belgium" with a very cheap label. I posted it earlier on Old Ten Speed Gallery and someone replied that they had an American Arrow made in West Germany. It must be vintage early 70's, because it has a license from 1974. It is surprisingly light, marked "RC tubing," and has alloy wheels, stem and bars; with a steel, cottered crank. The frame is not especially tall, but it is long (almost 2 in longer than a taller Fuji that I own) and fits me well. When riding, it has the feel of a French bike (like a Motobecane I rode a few years ago). All in all, it has a generic look and intriguing features, which makes me so curious who made it, obviously no one "American." The only things I've changed are the bar tape and tires (just things I had in the garage). I know you all like a mystery--can you help me with this one? Thanks.
Bob Johannes
I know this is a really late reply to this thread, but I've been searching for the make of an old ten speed I purchased at an estate sale, and I believe your American Arrow solved my mystery! Do you still have the bike? If you do, could you possibly post a pic or two of the rear dropouts? If you follow this link http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...7#post16086697
to the "Show us your Belgian bikes!" thread, you can get the entire run-down of my search. I hope you don't mind that I reposted some of your images that I had saved during my search. It occurred to me only after I posted them that I might have breeched some internet forum etiquette. If I did, I do apologize. I'm brand new to the forum world.

Thank you
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Old 09-30-13, 04:11 PM   #7
rdjohannes
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Sorry I can't help with more pictures. Moved to a different house last year and sold the American Arrow to lighten the load (along with 12 other bikes--C&V bike people are accumulators).
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Old 10-06-13, 02:03 PM   #8
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Yes, definitely accumulators!

No problem about the pics. I was wondering, though, if you might remember an unusual detail about the bike which would help me settle my query for the builder of my bike. My Belgian made Montgomery Wards Elite and a couple virtually identical Belgique Cross Rapidixes (or Rapidix Belgique Crosses?) have sort of stippled rear dropouts, with the serial number stamped into the non-drive side dropout. While I could tell that the shape of the dropouts on our bikes appeared to match, I couldn't quite make out that texture detail from your photos. Did the American Arrow have them as well? Of course, I completely understand if you don't remember that mundane detail especially since it seems that you've owned quite a number of bikes. But if you do remember, I could really sigh in relief.

My Montgomery Ward Elite:


Virtually identical Rapidix:


Another Rapidix:


Thanks again!
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File Type: jpg belgian04.jpg (36.6 KB, 149 views)
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File Type: jpg DSC01022.jpg (100.0 KB, 143 views)
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Old 10-07-13, 08:28 AM   #9
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Sorry, I don't remember that detail at all.
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Old 10-10-13, 12:24 PM   #10
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Ok, thanks anyway!
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Old 05-26-14, 12:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blitherbike View Post
No problem about the pics. I was wondering, though, if you might remember an unusual detail about the bike which would help me settle my query for the builder of my bike. My Belgian made Montgomery Wards Elite and a couple virtually identical Belgique Cross Rapidixes (or Rapidix Belgique Crosses?) have sort of stippled rear dropouts, with the serial number stamped into the non-drive side dropout. While I could tell that the shape of the dropouts on our bikes appeared to match, I couldn't quite make out that texture detail from your photos. Did the American Arrow have them as well? Of course, I completely understand if you don't remember that mundane detail especially since it seems that you've owned quite a number of bikes. But if you do remember, I could really sigh in relief.

My Montgomery Ward Elite:


Virtually identical Rapidix:


Another Rapidix:


Thanks again!
hello blitherbike,

in about 1976 i assembled a new Belgique tenspeed that i had purchased with a batch of merchandise from a shop which had closed. the bicycle dated from several years earlier, perhaps ~1972-73. it was the same colour as your Montgomery Wards Elite and the beige-gold Rapidix. it had the stipled dropouts you mention.

it was the first i had encountered of the name Belgique. did not know the actual manufacturer.
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Old 06-17-14, 06:34 PM   #12
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Want American Arrow Pics?

Quote:
Originally Posted by juvela View Post
hello blitherbike,

in about 1976 i assembled a new Belgique tenspeed that i had purchased with a batch of merchandise from a shop which had closed. the bicycle dated from several years earlier, perhaps ~1972-73. it was the same colour as your Montgomery Wards Elite and the beige-gold Rapidix. it had the stipled dropouts you mention.

it was the first i had encountered of the name Belgique. did not know the actual manufacturer.
I have an American Arrow that I've owned since 1973... it is serial #8063 , and has all the original decals etc on it. I've changed the wheels and seat, but everything else is original. Campagnella brakes and shifters, and a Campy crankset (I think). I paid about $400 for it that year... bought it instead of a car! If you guys would like photos of something specific, let me know.
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Old 06-17-14, 06:55 PM   #13
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Of course we would like to see pictures. These seem to be interesting bikes. Welcome to the forums as well.
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Old 08-25-14, 01:19 PM   #14
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I finally have regular access to a computer other than my phone!
I'm certain that Big Chainring was right about these bikes being made by Superia. I found a muscle bike on ebay that really helped to confirm that. I posted some pics in the thread Show Us Your Belgian Bikes here:
http://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...-bikes-11.html

Superia has an interesting story:
1956 - Family Feud
This version seems a bit slanted though, I read somewhere else that the brother who owned Superia eventually bought out financially struggling Flandria and dissolved the Superia name. But that's about all I could find out about the history except for a photo here and there of a pro wearing a Superia jersey.

So now it looks like we can add Belgique to the list- thanks Juvela
Pan World, American Arrow, Rapidix, Montgomery Ward Elite, Belgique...

And- Oberthecat- please post some pics!
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Old 08-25-14, 02:25 PM   #15
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thanks for the additional information and links. look forward to seeing PHXJoel's example.

the mystery just gets curiouser and curiouser...
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Old 09-24-14, 05:08 PM   #16
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I know these aren't the best, and I can take more if want to see something specific.

I bought this in 1972, new, from an independent bike dealer, for about $300 - 400. It had a leather Brooks seat, Weinman brakes (not Campy as I said before) , and a Campy derailleur and... I can't remember the wheel brand, but I had upgraded to the best they had available. This is the largest frame they had available - 27". Very light aluminum frame. I still have the original manual... as soon as I find it I can post some photos.

Made in Belgium, bu Superia....

This is the only multi-speed road bike I've ever owned.. I'm not sure if that makes me dumb or just content.
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Old 09-24-14, 05:31 PM   #17
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Hello PHXJoel,

thanks so much for posting these pictures.

readers may be able to contribute more information if you could also upload some images which show the bicycle's drive side from about knee height.

your model looks to have an odd mix of bits.

thanks again.
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Old 06-14-17, 12:22 PM   #18
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I have one what the going rate for these bikes
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Old 06-14-17, 01:39 PM   #19
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I have one what the going rate for these bikes
They are very basic bike boom machines. They are worth very little. If you are trying to sell it and it's in decent shape, clean it up and ask for $100. If you get lucky someone may give you that much for it, but be prepared to accept less.
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Old 06-14-17, 07:20 PM   #20
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I got all excited when I saw this pic, thinking someone else has a purple Superia of these many distributors.

Then I realized it was my bike.
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Old 06-15-17, 06:36 AM   #21
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@PXJoel - thanks for posting your pics. Odd mix of parts. Just to be clear, this is NOT and aluminum frame. First, Al frames were not very common if at all available in 1973 time frame. Al frames typically aren't lugged unless they are bonded and they have larger diameter tubes.
You paid a premium at that time. I recall lusting after a Motobecane Le Champion in 1973 while in college and it was $315 new. This was in eastern Washington in a small college town where the market was very limited. At the time, it was rated very high in the production offerings at the time. Custom frames were more expensive, $1500 - $3500, 1972 dollars.

Anyway, aside from those comments, it is important that you like the bike and most of all you enjoy riding it. Do it often!
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