A Velocipede Miscellany

Yeah that headline is a bit florid. Then again, this isn’t Junior-College-Style.com. If it were, it would be about what I wore for my freshman and sophomore years.

Back in 2011 Ivy Style ran a series of posts we called Bicycle Week. Here’s a revisit of one of the posts that should inspire you to get out this weekend (if you can), get some fresh air and clear your mind. Cycling is a bit like dancing, a life-affirming activity that, merely by doing it, puts you in a positive frame of mind. — CC

From Schwinn’s 1967 catalog:

A Japanese company:

Knox Overstreet from “Dead Poets Society,” racing to see his cheerleader crush:

11 Comments on "A Velocipede Miscellany"

  1. I’d love to have a nice cruiser, but refuse to buy some Chinese-made piece of junk. I’ll have to try to find a vintage Schwinn or Raleigh, I guess.

  2. I bought a Coffee last summer after my mountain bike was stolen, and I love it. Of course I’d rather it be made in the USA, but for a new bike under $300 it’s fantastic. It’s surprising how few options there are for proper city bikes short of the artisan bikebuilder price-point; after all some of us do have families and employment in the not-for-profit world…

  3. Michael Mattis | April 29, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Reply

    I love this series on so many levels. When I knew Chenners in L.A., he was a dedicated motorist and I the adamant cyclist who refused to buy a car — not an easy thing down in the Big Nowhere. Then he moved to New York and I back home to San Francisco. Chenners sold his cherished roadster and took up the bike. Today I’m a passionate walker and only an occasional cyclist.

    So was it out of need or for the love of a woman that you settled on the cycle? Have you found a fixie pixie?

  4. @ Henry: You might want to check out Alternative Needs Transportation. They’re built just outside of Boston, and while more expensive than an old Schwinn, they are undoubtedly better constructed.

  5. Thanks, M2. Actually got a bike last year in order to get to the tennis courts. As for fixie pixie, I’ll be be out for a ride tomorrow and not flying solo.

  6. These are great for small towns, in the city I prefer something a little larger. Like My Rosebud. She is a Schwinn Point Beach Cruiser.

  7. Custom Cruiser | July 6, 2017 at 8:51 pm | Reply

    I love classic and classic style bikes. I love customizing them or just doing nice but mild restorations. I have a little of everything you have shown on this page myself. From the classics to the “like classic” stylings of the older generations. Everything from Bone stock, to mild custom and one complete over haul, what can only be explained best as a Retro Rod rebuild.

    1973 Schwinn Collegiate 5 Sp.

    Mild custom/Restoration. Fresh coat of red paint (frame), Flat Black fenders and Gloss Black to the crown of the chain guard along with replacing the bent front rim in with a matching rim same as came on the bike brand new. Handle bars have been replaced with close to the same as original Butterfly Bars but a little lower and slicked back at the grips than the originals. Still has and will be remaining the original drive train from 1973. Unless some thing goes seriously wrong, that will not be changed. If it does go wrong, who knows?

    Next and final improvement will be better Brake Levers and Calipers.

    I have this bike 15 years and this season I decided it was time to get it out, fix it up and make it more of a style I really wanted to ride. The Chrome was shot, I didn’t like the Cardinal red it came in and the front wheel was bent and just everything needed a freshening up. I do believe I have pretty much reached the goal of how I feel this bike should have been made in the first place.

    1994 Custom conversion road cruiser; (Huffy Cranbrook)

    Staring off life as a normal single gear, coaster brake, metallic green Huffy Cranbrook it has now a mongoose front end and rims, a 10 speed front road sprocket, 21 speed rear gears making it 13 speeds (I call “stroker gearing”), custom paint (Black with red axe handle stripes along the cross bar; unfortunately have been removed since photo was taken, 10 years old and just couldn’t be salvaged anymore), Trek fenders that cost more than the bike brand new and a full custom chrome package and spike fender restraints, 1/4 inch front and half inch rear and the rear ones will bite.

    I got the bike from a friend when I needed some thing to ride around on and the only problem it had was the chain had a broken link in it. I figured if it needs that and I have parts around why stop at a chain? Since then it has gone several different conversions until I finally got to this and now I do believe this is the way this bike was meant to be built and this is the way it will stay.

    1964 Chrome Spaceliner.

    Pretty much a rat rod and the tanks are missing but it’s a great cruiser just to roll around the town streets on and has a great looking frame. Still in the works to figure out exactly what I want to do to it if I want to get tanks and do it a little more original or just get stupid and make it into a drag bike. Time will tell.

    And a early to mid 1970’s Holdsworth Royal

    100% original all the way to the paint. It is so cool in it’s current state I can’t see doing any kind of rodding or customization to it.

    (All photos can be found on my Facebook page here… https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1378806048869696&set=a.1357358191014482.1073741834.100002209424597&type=3&theater)

  8. Old School Tie | March 13, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Reply

    Now, do we go for the vintage Rapha or De Marchi gear in merino wool when mounting our steeds or madras shorts and a polo?

  9. At one time an avid amateur road cyclist — along with my wife who was a racer in college — we’ve largely been grounded since our son came along in 2009. She still manages to get out on the tandem with him in warm weather, while The Young Master and I ride lazily around our neighborhood during summer evenings. But scheduling all three of us to ride at the same time remains a challenge, and it just ain’t the same thing as a 25-30 mile ride at a fair clip. Sigh. Were routine cycling ever able to overtake constant snacking as the national pastime, we’d be much trimmer as a nation. Various acceptance movements will never let that happen. Parenthetically, it is always surprising how trim people look in the various older photographs from 30 or more years ago that are shared in posts here. Today, even undergrads often lug around an extra 20-40+ pounds judging by the way their clothes hand on them and don’t cover certain features around their middles/posteriors. What the hell happened to us? A rhetorical question of course.

    Best Regards,

    Heinz-Ulrich

  10. 1970′ vintage Colnago steel touring frame with full Campagnolo Chorus. Great for riding the neighborhood with my girls. Cannondale for serious training rides.

    Cheers,

    Will

  11. It’s -21°C (-5°F) in my neck of the woods today, and both the roads and trails are covered in a layer of rutted, hardpacked snow and ice. Last week it was above zero, which meant lakes of dirty, salty slush. As an avid cyclist, March is my least favorite month of the year.

    I’m always puzzled about people who gripe about the price of a decent bike – it seems to be a blind spot when considering the effects of inflation. The price of a 1967 Schwinn Varsity Sport was listed as $72.95, which is about $565 in today’s dollars. That will get you a decent bike from the brands actually built and sold by proper bike shops – and one that won’t cost more to repair than it does to purchase.

    For retro-inspired city bikes that are actually decent and use modern standards, Linus and Simcoe are two brands worth looking into.

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