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Cadillac Bikes

Old 05-08-10, 07:28 AM
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Niked
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Cadillac Bikes

I spotted one during my morning ride and wasn't aware they were on the market. It was a commuter-type ride, black with the Cadillac crest on the front.

Apparently, the Nuvinci shifting system is worth a look but the line which includes the nostalgic names "Fleetwood" and "El Dorado" has been reviewed as heavy and overpriced.

Still, as a cruiser, it might be kind of cool. My dad drove Cadillacs so the name has a warm spot in my heart.

http://www.cadillacbicycles.com/us_index.html

I wonder if curb feelers are an option?
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Old 05-08-10, 07:41 AM
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Cheap bikes with car names slapped on allure the suckers who think they are getting a bike made by that maker. Example: GMC Denali bikes.

Cadillac bikes are licensed to Kent bikes. http://www.kentbicycles.com/bikes.html

She probably wanted one with tinted glass and air. It's proves theres a sucker born every minute.
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Old 05-08-10, 07:55 AM
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Now, if it had OnStar...
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Old 05-08-10, 10:10 AM
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Cadillac El Dorado bike - I wonder if it comes with front wheel drive.
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Old 05-08-10, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Niked View Post
I spotted one during my morning ride and wasn't aware they were on the market. It was a commuter-type ride, black with the Cadillac crest on the front.

Apparently, the Nuvinci shifting system is worth a look but the line which includes the nostalgic names "Fleetwood" and "El Dorado" has been reviewed as heavy and overpriced.

Still, as a cruiser, it might be kind of cool. My dad drove Cadillacs so the name has a warm spot in my heart.

http://www.cadillacbicycles.com/us_index.html

I wonder if curb feelers are an option?

Best use for a Cadillac Bicycle, to put on the back of your Cadillac for when gas goes back up to $5/Gallon again

Considering that BP is going to end up paying a couple of gazillion dollars on cleanup, that may be sooner rather then later, don't think for a second that clean up costs on that kind of disaster would come out of an oil companies profits
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Old 05-08-10, 07:30 PM
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I was one of the first indepentent dealers in Canada to handle Cadillac bikes. They were generally reasonable quality at a reasonable price, but nothing special.
I dropped them when they started dumping bikes through Costco. I could have bought them cheaper through Costco than through the Canadian distributor, Stoneridge Sales.
3 years after I dropped the line, and a year and a half after closing my shop, the dealer page still shows me as a dealer.
The first dealer listed under Canada was my shop.
http://www.cadillacbicycles.com/dealers.html
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Old 05-09-10, 02:45 PM
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Over here in Europe there are quite a few Car manufacturers that have sold a bike under their name. My Brother in law used to be a BMW dealer and he asked me to look over the BMW bike that he was being offered. Nothing special- A mountain bike equipped with run of the mill parts but the price was good---Good for the dealer that is. Overpriced and nothing to write home about.

But the one my LBS carries is a "Land Rover" Bit basic- rugged and cheap. Not that Land Rovers are cheap- but the basic and rugged bit fits them to a "T".
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Old 05-09-10, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart View Post
3 years after I dropped the line, and a year and a half after closing my shop, the dealer page still shows me as a dealer.
The first dealer listed under Canada was my shop.
http://www.cadillacbicycles.com/dealers.html
So... is that the website of your shop that it links to (http://www.abikestore.com/)? Because if it is, you still show a Cadillac bicycle for sale at the shop... 3 years after you dropped the line, and a year and a half after closing your shop.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 05-09-10, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
So... is that the website of your shop that it links to (http://www.abikestore.com/)? Because if it is, you still show a Cadillac bicycle for sale at the shop... 3 years after you dropped the line, and a year and a half after closing your shop.
Where did you come up with that? My website is http://www.boomerbicycle.ca/ but it is no longer active.
Edit: Ah, I see, you were looking at the internet dealers.

Last edited by Dan Burkhart; 05-09-10 at 06:14 PM.
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Old 05-09-10, 06:29 PM
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Didn't Mercedes briefly enter the mountain bike business a few years back?
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Old 05-09-10, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by trackhub View Post
Didn't Mercedes briefly enter the mountain bike business a few years back?
Yeah they did. I think they are still in it. What I don't know is if it is actually a Mercedes Benz product or a licesed brand.
The Cadillac bike was licensed to Kent Bicycles. Cadillac's only involement was at the product approval stage, and they did sell them through the car dealerships.
I think they actually gave more of them away as promotions than they sold.
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Old 05-09-10, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart View Post
Where did you come up with that? My website is http://www.boomerbicycle.ca/ but it is no longer active.
Edit: Ah, I see, you were looking at the internet dealers.
Yeah... I get you now. I thought what that meant was internet dealers in Canada. I didn't pay enough attention to the whole site.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 05-11-10, 05:06 AM
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I once saw a "Corvette" bike but it was made by Schwinn and had nothing to do with the car.

http://www.nostalgic.net/bicycle294.htm
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Old 05-11-10, 11:35 PM
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This is the obvious marketing strategy of turning the Cadillac name, associated with high-priced luxury autos, into a designer name, anointing the associated product with the same aura. Fools some of the people all of the time. There's also been quite a decline in the quality of designer products, especially clothing, when it's contracted out to Chinese manufacturers. My gf complains that she used to really like clothing by a certain designer, but then they started outsourcing to China, and the quality took a real dive. What you're seeing with Cadillac bikes is the same. Most normal people do not look at bikes the way we on this list do.
L.
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Old 05-13-10, 03:42 PM
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One of my customers has a Maserati bike from the Late 50's. A road bike single speed and by modern day bikes it is a bit heavy. No double butted thin wall tubing in those days but at the time it was somewhere near the top of bikes made then. This one was made by Roberts cycles- a name for quality custom made frames to this day.

So the recent introduction of the motor trade having bikes with their name on is not a new idea.
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Old 05-13-10, 10:26 PM
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Cadillac, Jeep, Lamborghini, Denali are just names slapped on cheapo Chinese bikes. Car companies will lend their name to anything for $$.
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Old 05-14-10, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
Cadillac, Jeep, Lamborghini, Denali are just names slapped on cheapo Chinese bikes. Car companies will lend their name to anything for $$.
Really heavy and takes huge amounts of unnecessary energy - Cadillac, sounds about right.
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Old 07-09-10, 12:22 AM
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I got one for the NuVinci Hub. I couldn't pass up a deal like that, $400 with free shipping. I received my Cadillac Bike within a couple days of ordering it. Impressive. I slapped it together in my living room, in a jiffy, and took it out for a ride. Here is my story:

With every rotation of the cranks, there was a sound reminiscent of when a chain guard is rubbing on the chainwheel teeth. I've had that happen on numerous bicycles as a kid, that were equipped with such pant-leg protectors. I just pushed the sound away, as I wanted to ride a little longer, to get a feel of this new GM vehicle (It says General Motors on the box it shipped in). When I got home, turns out that that sound was actually not the chain guard. It was my new Nuvinci shifter cables being chewed away by the front chainwheel. Ouch. Didn't eat through the skin, and I plan on getting some longer cables anyway (if I can figure out how to remove and replace those cables in that shifter).

The way this Cadillac Fleetwood is designed, the cables will rub. The cable stops welded on the aluminum frame, are just in the wrong places. I had to zip-tie the cables taut against a chainstay, to keep the shifter cables safe. Strike one.

Strike two was a little harder to diagnose. My bike was creaking, like crazy as I rode it. Just echoing through the large diameter aluminum tubing, really amplifying the sound. The thing is, this is a (huge) $400 investment for me, and I really believed in this hub. I've been drooling over it for years now, and I really wanted this to work out. This bike didn't come with a Nuvinci Manual. Just some Pamphlet, about 7 pages, that didn't tell me anything I wanted to know, but I figured out how to remove the shifter cables from the axle, then I removed the wheel. My freewheel was the culprit. It has a lot of play, and as I turned it with my fingers, I could feel and hear it creak, popping, almost. Slipping. Being a piece of brand new junk. I didn't want to deal with shipping this bike back, and I don't know how to build wheels yet (though I'm mustering up the courage to try), so I got online, and ordered Nuvinci proprietary freewheel service kit, which arrived today.

Nice tools. Nuvinci branded, and the job took me like thirty seconds. I was almost disappointed I didn't get to use my new tools a little longer. Oh well, put them safely away, in my drawer, probably won't use it again for years. Anyway, I replaced it with the same count (17t) freewheel, but this time a Shimano Branded one, made in Japan. Another thing that prompted me to service my freewheel, was when I looked up Nuvinci Hubs online, they said they didn't come with a freewheel, so it made sense to me, that Cadillac would fit the cheapest freewheel in the world to their bike, which they did, at least on the one I got.

Buttoned her back up, and took her for a spin. No creaking! Wow, this is the first time I really got to feel this thing. Took a few tries, keeping faith through disappointments, but it paid off. I ended up riding a lot further than I thought on that test ride. Cool, but then that NuVinci started squeaking like a thousand hungry baby birds with nests in my hair. (I found the thread about the squeaks, and I plan to slather some tri-flow all over it, and I still have faith).

There were other creaks, not as loud - coming from that terrible adjustable stem. And there's no provisions for a front brake on that Cadillac Bike either. I'd swap out the fork, but that's set up rather strangely as well. It's a 1 and 1/8 inch threaded headset, but the lower bearing race is welded to / part of the fork. Not only that, the head tube is HUGE, like a Cannondale, (1 and 3/4 inch O.D.) with a reducer to fit the 1 and 1/8 inch adjustable stem. My conclusion is that the only way to have front brakes is to either weld (the fork is steel) some bosses on that fork, or just toss the frame completely which is what I was thinking when I ordered it.

The handlebar was ridiculous. I threw on a Surly Torsion 1x1 bar, and the ergonomics really improved considerably. Oh, and I really like the way it looks. I keep thinking, "my other bike's a Cadillac". The seat was terrible to pedal with, but I threw it on my electric cargo / chopper bike, and it's SUPER comfortable on that thing. WIDE saddle, built for some hefty American passengers, and not any good for pedaling, because it's too wide, but I got use out of it.

I switched out that disk with a Hayes hydraulic I had laying around, and noticed the rotor bolts look like galvanized allen head bolts, but they worked. The Hayes hydraulic lever didn't work with the NuVinci shifter, because the two bolt design was too bulky, and the lever would hit the shifter, inhibiting it's range of motion. I had to throw the Hayes lever on the left side of the bar, but this was doable, luckily the Hayes is symmetrical and reversible.

With the thin seat, and the flat bar, the bike looks completely different, and it's much more rideable. (by the way the seatpost on the Cadillac Fleetwood is 27.2mm, so I had an Easton laying around to swap it with, because the one it comes with only holds those saddles with that clanky 14mm steel thing that only holds wide saddles)

Oh, the rear wheel with the DaVinci hub is out of round. Isn't that just a bummer? Yes, it is. Darn it. I'll have to build a wheel sooner than I thought.

Conclusion. Yes, this is a "cheap" bike. Would I recommend it? No. Not unless it was someone who only wanted the hub, and wanted to spend the extra dough to get the special tools and a better freewheel. Someone who was prepared to add front brakes. Someone who has tools and a workstand, and all the extra parts needed to make the bike rideable. That being said, I don't want to ride the bike. I am getting a frameset, and building up something much better. I am not a big fan of aluminum for bicycle fans either. But I really dig that shape, and with the new set up, it rides like a mountain bike, instead of a "cruiser" - too bad it still sucks.

I should take some pictures before I tear this thing apart, and I might just do that later today. But it's a tough call. It might save you some pain, to just order the hub alone. At least you wouldn't need any special tools, because you'd start with a decent freewheel with your build. The build that I have to do anyway.

As far as the hub - first impression: really neat! Didn't notice the weight nearly as much as I thought I would, but it was harder to climb this hill than I wanted it to be. I think I'll notice a huge improvement once I get rid of the new squeaks, and fit it to a round wheel, on a decent steel frame. One more annoyance, is it sounds like a disc brake is rubbing as I rotate the NuVinci up in the workstand. I've removed all disk brakes while examining this. Noticeable drag, but as the wheel slows, once it starts rotating slow enough, it sounds clearly like a disk brake is dragging inside the hub. I'm just hoping this with go away on it's own - I've heard it takes a few miles to "break-in" these hubs, and that's just where I'm at with that dragging noise for now. I'm looking forward to a long future with my NuVinci Hub.

Here are some pictures:














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Old 07-09-10, 04:00 AM
  #19  
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Before you undo the rear wheel, make sure it's not just improper seating of the tire that's making it out of round. Kenda tires are particularly troublesome for this.
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