Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hump Bike-A Silver Ghost

About 15 years ago Aluminum became ubiquitous in bicycle frames. Road frames, mountain frames, tri frames, even bmx frames started featuring exotic alloys and manipulated shapes.  Much of this shift was due to the increasing availability of 7000 series aluminum alloys in bicycle dimensioned tube lengths and butts. Easton, Kinesis and Specialized all developed alloys which dropped practical frame weights by about a pound.  But, there were pre-war (world old are you folks) bikes made by a few manufactures that featured this, at the time, very exotic, metal. Welding, bonding and attaching the frame together all presented problems as compared to steel.  Buck Rogers had the answer:

A: Bulbous, filleted, buttressed connections, oh yeah let's make it look like it flies underwater.  Which brings us to this:

Sure there are a few problem/opportunities: missing pedal & fenders, 24 in wheels, those tires.  But look at this, cause if you were riding it you'd be lookin' at this:

Pierced (so you could make sure the tube is fully inserted?), cast lugged headtube and aluminum fork! You'll also appreciate looking down at this:

Pinned saddle attachment on the demi-seatstay....techy terms ala Dave Weagle.  Sure looks cool. Skiptooth chain. Side view:

Bolt on seatstays, downward, rear-facing drops (with tensioners), pierced bb lug on for top tube, very creative and elegant. Oh yeah what kind of bike is this?

Why Montgomery Ward, of course. Montgomery Ward is/was sort of a cross between JC Penny and Linen an Things...I can smell the stench of my age and that of these retailers. Of course you could get anything for your bike by Ward's catalog:

The bikes were made by Hawthorne who, at the time, was employing famous industrial designer Walter Dorwin TeagueOther bikes of this type were made by Monark and are highly collectible.  New Departure hub:

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