Big ride (even though we haven’t been king sized since we were 13 colonies)

The biggest piece of advertising real estate on a bicycle frame before carbon fiber tubes was the Chicago Schwinn's chainguard.

The biggest piece of advertising real estate on a bicycle frame before carbon fiber tubes was this Chicago Schwinn’s chainguard.

John Ringham stopped by the shop with another bicycle from his stable: a 1965 Schwinn King-Size American. A year ago, he was showing me his Specialized Expedition from the early 1980s.

New, the King Size American was between $50 and $60 bucks. It still runs, still fits.

New, the King Size American was between $50 and $60 bucks. It still runs, still fits.

Given that Schwinn was fond of naming its bicycles after cars, including the Jaguar and the Corvette, one might be excused for thinking the company named this all-steel machine after the Rambler by the same name.

But no, Schwinn made its American from 1955 to 1965 and promoted it as 100-percent American made (presumably meaning in the United States, as opposed to other countries in the Americas, such as Chile or Canada).

John's a big fan of foam grips on upright and drop bars.

John’s a big fan of foam grips on upright and drop bars.

John, also American made, got the bicycle for his 12th birthday—about the same time he was approaching six feet tall.

There have been some changes to the King-Size American over the years–some wheel reflectors, the all-encompassing foam handlebar grips–but the bike is in remarkable near-stock condition.

As is John.

The hub shiner's been in place as long as the hub.

The hub shiner’s been in place as long as the hub.

 

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About 16incheswestofpeoria

Former bicycle mechanic, current peruser of books, feeder of birds.
This entry was posted in Bushwhacker, History, Other bicycles and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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