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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    What bikes have you had?

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    Hi there! I'm new to cycling and I've been trying out bikes at local shops. I've been using an old Raleigh from when I was a teenager (I'm 30 now!). I thought it would be fun to see what bikes you all have had from start to now and what you liked and didn't like about them. Anyone want to share?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Memphis, TN
    I wrote this for a club newsletter
    what was my first bike? I suspect like many of us, that the answer would depend on the context.

    My first memories of what could be called cycling were riding on the back of my brother’s tricycle. I can also recall a Sears bike with a leopard skin print banana seat. It was the 70’s after all. I grew up in a small town in Missouri, and we lived next to the town cemetery. My brother and I would ride there after school, as long as there was not a funeral.

    Then, like most of us, I “outgrew” bikes in high school. In 1993, I wound up in singles outdoors group in Saint Louis. During the summer months, they would go bicycling on the Katy trail (A rail-trail). Not knowing much, I bought a Magna “mountain bike” from Target. I remember that It had double chain rings, and friction shifting. I remember that the shifters would not stay in position. You had to hold the shifters in place to make it up hills.

    This, in turn, led me to the local bike shop. The owner of that shop convinced me to put a 1991 Schwinn Voyageur Touring bike that he still had sitting around in 1994. It was 48cm that Tony(the owner) refitted with a mountain bike seat post and the world’s longest stem. It had 27-inch rims and suntour 7-speed bar end shifters and was several sizes too small. This in turn, led me to the local chapter of American Youth Hostels. I was promptly adopted by group know as the “old farts”. So if you think I ride like your grandmother, that’s because I learned to ride from one!
    I've had a Couple of GT in the meantime, and have three bikes now: a Cannondale Road bike, A Cannondale Mountain Bike, and a Bike Friday

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    San Jose, CA
    Well, let's see....

    When I was six, I got a purple Huffy for Christmas -- complete with banana seat and gooseneck handlebars. I loved it and kept it until Jr. High, when it I started riding my mom's 3 speed to school.

    In college, I decided it would be great to have a bike to get around campus. I scoured the want ads and bought a Peugeot with a mixte frame for $100. It was my first 10 speed, and I enjoyed learning all about gearing and such.

    One day I brought it into the LBS for service, and the employee asked if I'd like to see a bike that fit me. You mean there's such a thing?!? (I'm 5'1" and a half, so having something that fit was really cool.) The bike was a Bianchi Limited, 18" frame. 12 speed! Suntour friction shifters mounted on the down tube, where they were supposed to be! (Hey, it was the '80's.) No chicken brakes up by the handlebars! I test rode it and was sold!

    I'm kind of a hot & cold cyclist. I'll get really into it, then take a couple of years off to pursue other interests or responsibilities. (I know, heresy!) The Bianchi stood by me through all that. Whenever I'd get the riding yen, all I had to do was dust her off, get her adjusted, buy cycling clothes that fit, and off we'd go. I broke my femur riding the Bianchi, or, rather falling off the Bianchi. I also completed a century on the Bianchi, and all the training leading up to it.

    A few years ago I decided I wanted a mountain bike, so I bought a Trek 6700 WSD. Hardtail. Love the bike. It's sitting outside my cube right now, and we're both broken hearted that I can't go trail riding tonight due to work responsibilities.

    A couple of years ago, I got back into road riding and wanted a triple chainring to help with the hills in the area. Converting the Bianchi was a slippery slope -- to get a triple, you've got to replace this part, then that part, then pretty soon you've spent a lot of money. So I spent more money and bought a Trek 5200 WSD. Carbon fiber! Shifters up on the brakes. Did a couple of metric centuries on it, and now I'm training for the Waves to Wine ride to benefit MS.

    And the Bianchi? Well, I'm thinking of dusting her off, and making her into the ultimate commute bike.

    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to me walk down memory lane!

    -- Melissa

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    First bike I rode real distance on was a red single speed Schwinn. Did 15 mile rides with hills on that.

    In 1972 I made my first real purchase with my own money and got a green Manufrance 10-speed with steel cottered crank, steel rims, weighed 27 lb. Cost $115.

    1974 I was working in the bike shop and the boss got a good deal on some Italian Mainos, so I bought one for $150. Had never heard of this brand and have never seen another to this day except the dozen or so that our shop got that year. Frame is Columbus straight gage tubing, so it's quite stiff and weighs 23-24 lb. Original componentry was a very odd mix of racing and touring gear: sew-up wheels (Campy Tipo high flange hubs, Nisi rims), wide-range (14-28) freewheel, Stronglight 49 crankset (see my avatar), Campy Grand Tourismo derailleurs (the rear one broke within a year). I swapped out a number of parts when I got it - needed a short stem and smaller bars, put on Universal 61 brakes, different saddle and seatpost. For derailleurs (after the Campy broke) I used Suntour-V with narrow-range freewheels and Suntour-VGT with wider range freewheels. Then I got a used Campy Record set from my boss that I still ride with today.

    1983 I bought a new frame, the Performance Blue Ridge, of Columbus double butted tubing and moved the good components of the Maino to it. The bike weighs 22 lb. It's got the sewup wheels on Campy Tipo hubs (changed the rear axle from 5 to 6 speed) and the Campy Record derailleurs, along with Modolo Speedy brakes and a Suntour Superbe Pro crankset. The Campy Record headset needs replacing (it got notched this spring). Tried Look pedals when clipless first came out. Went to Speedplay pedals 5 years ago. Over the years I've changed the rims at least twice and I couldn't begin to count the freewheel and chain replacements. Wore out that old Stronglight 49 crankset (couldn't get new chainrings anymore). The Campy Record derailleurs with downtube friction shifters are still going strong.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Hmmm, my first bike was this blue thing. I don't remember the brand, but it had an orange flag on a stick on the back. It got stolen when I was about 9 from the local pool by my grandma's house along with my friend's BMX bike.

    Then my parents got me and my brother these 10 speeds for christmas. My brother's is still hanging in their garage. Not sure what happened to mine. It says "Charger" on the cross tube and is a lovely shade of maroon. I rode mine for a long time, and it gave me my only long lasting cycling scar on the back of my leg when the pedal gashed my ankle. After that I had a Schwinn for a while.

    In college I had a Huffy mountain bike that weighed about 97 lbs. I sold it to someone for like $50 and upgraded to a Trek 850 mountain bike that was a hand me down from my then boyfriend. I still have that one. I decided to go "roadie" a few years after that and got my Trek 1200. I now use that one for my commuter bike to school/work. In 2005 I got my baby, a Lemond Zurich. I think I'm done bike shopping for a while.
    "Only the meek get pinched, the bold survive"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Traveling Nomad
    Oh my, let's see if I can remember them all:

    1. Blue Schwinn with upright handle bars and training wheels - my first "two-wheeler"!
    2. Sparkley pink "stingray" style with banana seat - way cool!
    3. Red/white/blue Sears 10 speed with drop bars in high school

    ....big gap....no riding in colloge...how stupid of me to miss that opportunity!

    4. Steel Nishiki (not sure of model) hubby bought for my birthday in the mid-80s (sold, too big)
    5. Centurian Dave Scott "Ironman" 12 speed (or 14 speed??) with 24" front wheel (copying Terry). Fit great but only a double chainring, too hard for me to climb with (sold).
    6. Santana Vision tandem (stoker) - great fun, rode with DH for several years incl. my first century, then sold.
    7. Ryan Double-Vision recumbent - fun but 10' long and pretty slow (sold when we moved onto a gravel road that we could not ride it on easily)
    8. Easy Racers Toureasy recumbent - again fun, but heavy (38 lbs!) and too slow a climber for me (sold)
    9. Terry Isis - first single road bike in many years, loved it, but only use it on the trainer now as I got bit by the upgrade-itis bug and had to have carbon. Rode my first solo century on this bike.
    10. Santana Team AL tandem - DH and I discovered we no longer enjoyed tandeming as much now that I was used to riding solo (control issues). Our quickest sale - we didn't even have it for a year. We got in on a trade-in of both our Toureasy recumbents. It sure was fast, though!
    11. Aegis Swift - fantastic carbon road bike - bought the frame on eBay and had it built up with my choice of components (still have).
    12. Bike Friday Pocket Crusoe with drop bars - bought for touring and utility rides - great bike (still have). Did a long self-supported tour riding it in fall 2004 with nary a problem.
    13. Novara Bonita hardtail mountain bike - cute ride but heavy (32 lbs) - introduced me to mountain biking, which I am now enjoying (still have)
    14. Titus Racer X full-suspension mountain bike - just bought used on ebay and should get next week. Excited!!!

    Wow....that's a lot of bikes.


    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Shelbyville, KY
    I do recall the three speed blue Schwinn I got when I was in the fourth or fifth grade. I think after that there was a Huffy which was followed by the Peugot (sp) my brother purchased in France after his bike disappeared on his trip. He sold me this bike for a big $12. I quickly discovered that I paid $12 too much for this orange bike for it was a piece of junk but I rode it until it fall apart on a ride. I then purchased my little blue bike (Univega) in 1986 for $230 and used it to commute from home to campus until I completed my degree work in 1989. Sadly, once I started teaching there seemed to be little time to ride so my bike was put into a state of hiberation of sorts. I pulled it out two years ago and rediscovered my love of cycling. As of this week I've added a new bike to my "stable" a Bacchetta Giro 20 and I'm in love with it to the max. Oh the joys of riding so many roads to ride so little time.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Unlike some of you, I cannot remember the make or model of my childhood bikes, i can only remember that after failing miserably at age 7 with the little pink candystriped bike with the training wheels removed, my father gave me a bike for my 9th birthday. It was blue and had big wheels like an adult sized bike (24"???)
    He demonstrated and took the bike on a short spin around the vacant field that we were in. He handed me the bike, i got on, and I flew! It was magical and simple.
    Every day i get on a bike, and I push the pedals and the wheels spin around really takes me back to that day in Newark, New Jersey in 1960!!!

    as an adult I have had
    a Pugh 3 speed way too big for me with 2 working speeds (white!)

    a beautiful trek Cross 650 about a 96' ? it was teal and purple. I mailed it to a cousin in New Jersey so she would have a better bike to ride.
    Then I got my Raleigh 700 as a mother's day gift
    and then last
    month i went crazy and bought a Bianchi Veloce on ebay. (and I just bought YELLOW FENDERS for it!!!)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Red trike (first I can remember)
    6-7 years old: dark green Schwinn banana seat bike with pink streamers
    8-10: White Jacques Anquetil children's bike from France (beautiful; still have it)
    12-14: Red Line BMX bike
    15-12: Univega Gran Tourismo (for my teenage bike trip across France)
    18: Fuji racing bike (stolen several months later)
    18: Specialized Stumpjumper Mountain Bike (still have that one, too)
    20-23: Centurion racing bike
    21: Bridgestone MB2 mountain bike that I still have
    21: Vitus 979 racing bike (21 was a good year, I guess!)

    no new bikes for a while, just rode the ones I had

    then I got the most recent ones, starting about 4 years ago:
    Jamis Coda Comp for commuting
    JC Higgins 1950s 3-speed for going to the local grocery store
    Dahon Matrix folding winter bike with studded tires for ice
    Luna Eclipse for wonderful long rides

    who knows what lies in the world of recumbents, cyclocross, and singlespeeds!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    The Red Stick
    **As a kid - standard pink bike with streamers and a big flowered basket
    **Teenager - 12 speed Huffy with drop bars - brakes squealed something awful by the time I stopped riding (knees went bad in a major way)
    **Adult (last year) - lots of years, 2 kids, and 3 degrees later) - Trek 7200FX hybrid
    ** This year - Trek Pilot 2.1 WSD - ooooh I love this bike! That ought to hold me for a while
    Elizabee (age 5) at the doctor's office: "I can smell sickness in here...I smell the germs"

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    First bike was blue Schwinn Girls frame then....
    Raleigh 3 speed then....
    Gitane 10 speed till I crashed into a car then...
    Mercier, light blue till it was taken then a long break till I got....
    Trek420 also now the property of a thief or sold for a hit of crack, she had Mavic Open sup Pro rims and full Ultegra if you see her and ....
    GT Outpost Trail which I still have and ...
    Mondonico Futura Legero and my ....
    Motobecan Mixte Frame (turning into a fixie)
    Last edited by Trek420; 06-28-2006 at 02:05 PM.
    Fancy Schmancy Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on side of the road bike ~ Motobecane Mixte
    Gravel bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Favorite bike ~ Soma Buena Vista mixte
    N+1 bike ~ Brompton

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Gee, I'd forgotten the trike I had as a child. It was red originally, I think. I ruined its back wheels one day running from something 'cause it was faster to run than to pedal.

    Skip forward to the (used) blue Schwinn my Dad bought me. Single speed, chain guard, big clunky head/tail/turn light combo we put on (I still long for something similar - smaller, but similar). You could hear me coming for blocks on that thing, it rattled so much. Still, it got me places like summer school Driver's Ed. (I only recently got the irony)

    After a tiff with my parents, I didn't end up driving after all. OK, it wasn't a tiff - it was a full-blown screaming fight. For some reason, I was off the bike, though. I'm not sure why.

    DH bought me a Raleigh Le Tour for our 1st anniversary. I used it to commute to college, etc., as I was still car free. I still have that bike, and occasionally ride it. I've never been quite happy with the fit, though.

    Most recently, I bought a Sun EZ Sport recumbent. The bike doesn't get a whole lot of respect in the 'bent world, but I could afford it, it makes me smile, and it gets me where I want to go, including one (the first of many) tour.

    As for the future, I don't know. Looking back, each of my bikes has been faster than the one before - maybe there's a high-racer in my future.
    Give big space to the festive dog that make sport in the roadway. Avoid entanglement with your wheel spoke.
    (Sign in Japan)

    1978 Raleigh Gran Prix
    2003 EZ Sport AX

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Thanks for sharing! It's fun to read about what you all have had over the years.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2006
    1st: 26" blue bike that was so big I had to stand up to pedal.
    2nd: White "stingray" type with banana seat
    3rd: 10 speed (AMF maybe?) for riding around college town
    4th: Nishiki Touring Bike... I never toured
    5th: Trek 1200 - triathlons, metric centuries, 1500 mile years
    6th and current: Trek 5000 - Am finally taking the tour I dreamed of when I had the Nishiki!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Sonoma County, CA
    1. Red kids bike with banana seat - not sure of the brand.
    2. Blue "Murray". My parents were struggling college students at the time, so I'm fairly certain it was the model being sold at the local Alpha Beta Grocery store!!
    3. A white road frame I bought used, can't remember the name but it was french and was stolen from a bus stop.
    4. A very cool vintage Western Flyer 1 Speed. Picked it up in almost new condition at the local Goodwill.
    5. A vintage Schwinn 2-speed kickback with a little fin on the front fender - very cool but HEAVY
    6. Specialized Rockhopper - back when turquoise & purple were standard colors. Road it around the Big Island of Hawaii. Sold to a family friend who is still using it.
    7. Some Hybrid I only had for a year then I sold to a friends daughter who was going to college.
    8. Specialized Globe--these were pretty cool looking city bikes: built in rack, fenders, lights, lock. The internal 5 speed gearing was a nightmare though.
    9. Specialized StumpJumper -- still have this "old" mountain bike. This is from the mid-90's when a bike with front shocks was new and top end (no back shocks yet!)
    10. Rebuilt Trek XXX (only three numbers in the name). This was a great commute bike for many years, even did some longish road rides on it.
    11. Trek 2200
    12. Breezer Villager - similar to the Globe, but with a better gear system
    13 Raleigh Competition

    Still have numbers 9, 12 & 13
    Last edited by Deanna; 06-28-2006 at 01:07 PM.
    "Bicycling is a big part of the future. It has to be. There's something wrong with a society that drives a car to workout in a gym." -- Bill Nye



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