On this bitter cold snowy day in Portland, Oregon I took a nostalgia trip back to the 1970’s. Long ago, I had a copy of this 1976 Bicycling! magazine edition but it had somehow gone missing. I’ve been searching for another one since, and finally found a copy in good shape on eBay. So, since cycling today (or tomorrow or the next day) is likely out of the question due to record snowfall and below freezing temperatures, it was fun to spend time perusing this mag’s fascinating pages.
The ads in vintage cycling magazines are actually as interesting (or more so) than the articles themselves. Here’s Campagnolo making its case for the Super Record rear derailleur. Catching my eye immediately was the “removable stop for easy disassembly” so that the derailleur can be properly serviced. That’s a big contrast to today’s black box, unserviceable and throw away technology and one of the many reasons why I prefer vintage components.
Pricing is also interesting. This Masi could be had for $699 from beloved Bikecology (whose mail order catalogs were legendary). Likewise, framesets from well regarded builders were also on offer. In today’s prices, the Masi would go for $3,675.
Here’s some book reviews up top, plus an ad for Barelli Supreme pedals. I’ve got some of these pedals in my shop. They are amazingly smooth, but I’m not likely to use them since I no longer ride with toe clips.
Here are some new products featured at the 1976 Cologne Bicycle Show. Note the Shimano attempt at early indexing, as well as a strange saddle design from Sella Royal.
But the real reason I wanted this edition of Bicycling! magazine was the review of the 1976 Centurion Pro Tour – my touring bike for over 20 years. The review sings its well deserved praise, with only a few nit picks. I put over 40,000 miles on my model and the bike was a true friend.
Here’s my Pro Tour from an early 1980’s ride up in the San Juan Islands.
The magazine has an ad for the same front bag I used over those years, made by Eclipse. It worked well, and I liked the simple frame which looped under the stem and supported the bag without the need for a front rack. The map case, side pockets and easy front access were great features in the days before smart phones. I normally stored my camera plus snacks and extra gloves up front.
Here’s a few more pages featuring ads from Mathauser (maker of oddball “finned” brake pads), Zeus, and even Chuck Harris’ mirror company (I featured Chuck in the previous blog post).
I’m looking forward to being able to get back out on the road, but it was fun to take a trip down memory lane today. Vintage bicycles and components have a lot to offer and I’m glad to be able to share my enthusiasm. Happy cycling!
In a getting rid of clutter frenzy I recycled all my old Bicycling magazines about 20 years ago. Thank you for this wonderful trip down memory lane. PS don’t forget all those classic Bike Nashbar catalogs too 🙂
I bought all kinds of stuff for my bike from Bike Nashbar in those good old early days.
“But the real reason I wanted this edition of Bicycling! magazine was the review of the 1976 Centurion Pro Tour – my touring bike for over 20 years.”
And look who wrote the review!
Wonderful! Thanks for the read.
I love these old Bicycling magazines. I remember , in the seventies, not being able to afford the Campy stuff and looking at those ads . I was happy with my SunTour stuff but Campagnolo eluded my budget. Most of the components from that era are still around and have been serviced so as to “live on”. It is frustrating to have something that cannot be serviced easily.