Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bicycle Names Past & Present

Recently while browsing around an antique store in La Crosse I saw an old bicycle (see photo) dating from the late 1950s or early 1960s. It was called the "Roadmaster Skyrider" and its name got me to thinking how bicycle names in the "olden days" were generally more fun and catchy than most names given to bikes today. For example, a quick check of the Web found the following names for some current Trek bikes: Allant, Valencia, Soho and Lime; and also the following for some current Schwinn models: Willy, Jenny, Sierra and Collegiate. Compare those to these bicycle names from the 1950s-1960s: Fleetwing Cruiser, Flightliner, Skoot, Skybolt, Rambler 500, Eldorado and Breeze. I think the older names have more flare but I must admit it's funny how many of them are in reference to a sky vehicle . . . as if the bikes would be zooming around in the clouds. In some ways, sky related names seem more suited for small, private planes rather than land-hugging bicycles but such a name given to a bike increases its cool factor in my book. All I know is that I wish my current bicycle, a Redline R530 had been named a Redline Skyrider, Redline Skyliner, Redline Rambler or Redline Roadcruiser. Anything but R530. No class with that.


David Steinlicht said...

My first bike -- maybe a 1960 model -- was a Schwinn. I think the name was "Speedster." It was red one-speed with coaster brakes. One thing I remember is that shortly after I got my bike, Schwinn started putting chrome fenders on all colors of their bikes. I guess as a cost-cutting measure. I liked my red bike with its matching red fenders.

Brian said...

I still have my 1966/67 Roadmaster Skyrider. The boys bike came in "Flamboyant Red" with yellow and white pinstriping on the fenders. The original tires are still on it, although very worn down from miles of travel as a kid. My oldest brother took my seat for someone else's bike. I'm still looking for a replacement.