Author Topic: Bikecentennial build  (Read 428 times)

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Offline probablynotpossible

Bikecentennial build
« on: November 23, 2017, 12:51:40 pm »
I am in the processing of researching the bicycles, equipment, and gear used by riders of Bikecentennial in 1976. I am trying to put together a bike that captures the essence of the typical Bikecentennial rider. If you road Bikecentennial in 1976 or remember the bike or gear you had in the early/mid 70's I would love to hear it with whatever details you recall. Catalogues, brochures, and pictures only give me a vague representation on what was the most popular bike being ridden at the time, the gearing setup, the derailleur make, panniers, etc. I would love to hear first hand to help me finish my build.

My goal is to build, ride, and share my experience with how traveling by bicycle has changed in the past forty years. I plan to ride fully loaded on a bike with the same gearing, braking power, weight, etc on a trip. Some answers for these questions may seem obvious, but I do not wish to make assumptions.

Specific questions:
  • In your mind what bike best represented the typical bike of the era?
  • Did most travel on 27" wheels or 700c?
  • Did most use 10 speeds? or did many people use triple cranks?
  • What was the typical gearing combination? 28 max rear freewheel? Front chainrings?
  • What derailleurs did you have?
  • Center pull or sidepull brakes?
  • Make of your panniers?
  • Seemed most used down tube shifters compared to bar ends. Correct?

Offline TAWK520Randy

Re: Bikecentennial build
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2017, 09:16:43 pm »
Cool project.

I'm not sure how "typical" I was, but I showed up in Missoula in 1975 for a leadership training course with a bone stock orange Gitane Interclub. I had added a rear rack (don't remember the brand, but it was the kind with the cast Al top and riveted on supports that went down to the rear dropout). I added a Cool Gear "The Seat". I had made Frostline handlebar bag and panniers.  While there, Sam Braxton and one of his sons did a maintenance session. He got talking about how important good wheels were. Before I left Missoula, I had him build me a set using Super Champion rims, Phil Wood hubs and DT double butted spokes in 4x.

Before I left for Reedsport in May '76, I had added a Phil Wood bottom bracket and Phil Wood pedals. I changed the cheapy plastic Simplex derailleur for a Sountour long cage, the stock Sugino crank for a Stronglight with a 36 tooth small chain ring and gave up the Frostline handlebar bag for an Eclipse with its own support bracket. The only failure I had (beside flat tires) was the rear sheared the rivets which I replaced with machine screws and the Cool Gear seat broke one of the seat rails in SW Virginia - I repaired it with a beverage can pop-top. The bike performed flawlessly.

Thanks for the memories.  ;)

Group leader TAWK520

Offline probablynotpossible

Re: Bikecentennial build
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2017, 08:57:47 pm »
Randy thanks for your reply and sharing your story this really helps! I didn't know about Frostline till I started talking to alums like you. I researched Eclipse panniers before and happily found Eclipse operated out of my hometown of Ann Arbor, MI back in the day. Your rim and derailleur seem popular selections from what I can tell.

Thank you again.