LOW KEY MOTORS
VINTAGE AMERICAN BICYCLES

glossary

Alan Bonds…responsible for assembling the most Tam bombers and clunkers in the 70’s, and repainting the frames as well, member of the MTB hall of fame

attitude…it better be a good one, all others need not apply

BCA or "bag carrying angle"...this is the angle of the elbow to forearm with a purse/large bag installed at the axis, used for shopping purposes and carrying who knows what…any upward tilt is a bad sign, and the more extreme the upward angle the more maintenance required, probably not a bike rider, do not engage, run/pedal fast in another direction

balloon tire or 26 x 2.125...introduced by Schwinn to the US marketplace in 1933, changed the US bicycle industry and it was game on for all brands from 1934

beer...goes hand in hand with cycling for many

beach cruiser...mostly refers to a copy of our vintage American coaster brake bicycles that once ruled the USA, now a rare species as ALL the "beach cruisers" are made in China and most have the geometry all messed up with the seat tube 4-5 inches behind the bottom bracket axle making people pedal out in front of themselves, very awkward and a terrible riding position if you are actually going to use the bike to ride more than a block, it is now the "industry" standard for the "comfort bikes"

biker…someone that rides a Harley-Davidson motorcycle or similar, usually with leathers, and a gang could be part of the mix, hells angels are bikers and they never pedal bicycles

biking…a word used by the inexperienced to describe riding a bike, “we are going biking”, anyone that has knowledge and/or is a cycling enthusiast would go for a “ride”

bomber...single speed American coaster brake balloon tire bicycle as used on Mt.Tam in the 70's before the advent of the modern day mountain bike

bottom bracket…no, this is not in reference to a sweet looking rear end on the opposite sex, but it is the area that houses the crank axle or spindle, and bearings for the crankset

bridge(s)…these are the small tubes that run between the “seat stays” and the “chain stays”, and on an old school bike where the fender fastens and/or rear brake would be mounted…on some early Murray, Monark, and other american built bikes they have a “Y” back design and no bridges, Trek used this design again in the 80’s

capitalism…a lifestyle commitment about money

chain stay…there are 2 and they are the tubes between the bottom bracket area and the rear axle dropouts

clunker...single speed American coaster brake balloon tire bicycle or first generation derailleur fitted early Schwinns or others, as used on Mt.Tam in the 70's before the advent of the modern day mountain bike

common sense...”where did it go? “

comfort...when this word is installed in front of just about anything, be very cautious, it is probably not all that good for you

comfort bikes...refers to the poor ergonomic design of most of the Chinese cruisers, and ALL the cheaper bicycles under about $2000.00 in the world are made in China today

comfort food...REALLY?! have we achieved Roman status here in the USA, pass the grapes please

cruiser...single speed American coaster brake balloon tire bicycle as used on Mt. Tam in the 70's before the advent of the modern day mountain bike and ridden around town for errands or as a bar-bike or cruising the beach if you are a southern california type

cycling…the sport of riding a bicycle, and to some, “the new golf”

DB...short for douchebag, please use it when it applies

derailleur..."that's a French word, I don’t do derailleurs", invented by the French company Simplex in 1938, popularized after World War II and introduced into the American bicycle market by Schwinn in june of 1960 with their Varsity 8 Speed bicycle, this bike had 26 x 1 3/8 wheels and was in fact, built with a 3 speed frame and fork they were using at that time, check gallery 1 for an example

door prize…the unfortunate result of riding too close to parked cars in the urban setting, if your handlebar end is closer then 2 feet from the side of parked cars, you will have no chance when the driver behaving badly flings open his or her door, hence the “door prize”

down tube…this tube runs from the headset to the bottom bracket

drama..."your drama is not my emergency"

eating…neither a hobby nor a sport

FAT TIRE FLYER...the world's first mountain bike magazine, written and produced by Marin’s own Charlie Kelly, and NOW a fantastic 260 page book

fixed gear bike...or track bike, relies on resisting on the backside up-stroke to stop/slow the bike

"fixie"...slang for all the cheap Chinese fixed gear or “track bikes” that the slackers ride around in the streets

head tube…this is the tube at the front of the bike, that houses the headset and steer tube for the fork

health care…take care of “your” own health, don’t wait until your health is all about someone else taking care of you, diet and exercise is “health care 101”, enroll today

Ignorant, “to be truly ignorant, man requires an education”, Plato 427 b.c.- 347 b.c.

inch pitch…this is old school chain that was used by some american bike makers as late as about 1952, also referred to as “skip tooth”, when you look at a chain ring or rear cog every other tooth is missing…horseshoe bob, a fresno ca. old schooler sez they called the chain “every other link”, in his day

Joe Breeze...built the first 10 "on purpose" working geared mountain bike frames, 1977-1978 in Mill Valley, California, Joe followed up with 25 series II “Breezers” and about 60 series III “Breezers”, the first 10 had no badging and no name on the nickel plated finish

klunker...single speed balloon tire coaster brake bicycle as used on Mt.Tam in the 70's before the advent of the modern day mountain bike

klunkerz...the definitive documentary film by billy savage about the advent of the mountain bike and what was going on in Marin County that made it happen in the 70's and early 80's (klunkerz.com for the uninitiated)

”lead, follow, or get out of the way”…Thomas Paine (1737-1809)

MAMIL… "middle age men in lycra", self-explanatory

mountain bike...it's origins began with the humble vintage American coaster brake balloon tire bike

mountain bike hall of fame...in Crested Butte, Colorado for years, now in Marin where it rightfully belongs, thanks to Crested Butte for starting it, growing it, and keeping it warm

Pete Barrett…the talented artist of all the early Marin appetite seminar/thanksgiving day, repack downhill posters, and Fat Tire Flyer art, as well as the vessel for the Low Key Motors “super-heros” t-shirt art created in 1989 and still popular today…pen names include : blast, chicago pete, petey b, PTB, peter full blast, PFB, and others

PC…politically correct, that sure didn’t work

QUESTION AUTHORITY...a bumper sticker/saying from decades ago, still applicable today

REPACK...the downhill mountain bike race that started it all

relax...more

range rover...used instead of a bicycle or other intelligent choices of transportation to shop locally, and makes no sense what so ever, other than as a statement of wealth or debt

seat stay…like the chain stays there are 2, and they are the tubes between the seat cluster area and the rear axle dropouts

seat tube…this is the tube from the seat cluster where the seat post slides in, to the bottom bracket below

sex and love...do not be confused, these are two very different things...most people need both, some more of one than the other

Schwinn...started in 1895 as Arnold and Schwinn, later just Schwinn, closed the north-side Chicago plant in 1982, effectively the end of Schwinn, out of buisness in 1992, they miscalculated the magnitude/importance of the lightweight derailleur bike boom in the US in the 1970's and missed being part of the development of the mountain bike in the early 1980's, now owned by conglomerate Dorel Industries of Montreal, Canada and the bicycles are made in China…Dorel owns Cannodale, GT, Mongoose, Caloi, Sugoi, and Schwinn brands as well as other brand names making furniture, bunk beds, futons, step stools, high chairs, and baby carriers to name a few products

skip tooth…this is old school chain that was used by some american bike makers until about 1952, also referred to as “inch pitch”, when you look at a chain ring or rear cog every other tooth is missing

steer tube…the treaded tube attached to the fork top or crown, that is not visible when the bike is assembled

style…you can buy fashion, you can’t buy style

”there is more to life than increasing its speed”…Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

thinking...”is over-rated”

tool...not just a wrench or a screwdriver, refers to many posers in all walks of life and sport

tool-bag...same as above, bigger tool

top tube…this tube runs from the head tube to the seat cluster area

town bike…a bike ridden for local errands like the grocery store, post office, or watering hole

"townie"...a model name of a crappy “flat-foot technology” Electra bicycle made in China with the seat tube about 5" behind the crank center, bad idea

track bike...this will have 1 gear that is fixed (no freewheeling) and no hand brakes, it can be pedaled in both directions, and is used on a banked track or velodrome, more recently they have become popular for riding on the road by the slackers…bike messingers have been using them for decades however in the larger cities

turkey...an older expression in cycling referring to a rider or poor skill level, and used when a rider has made a bad/dangerous move on his bike with others being affected

TURKEY DAY RIDE...an annual Marin thanksgiving day mountain bike ride started in the 1970's, also known as the “appetite seminar” in the beginning

vintage American bicycles...the koolest

Wende Cragg…”godmother” of the mountain bike

wheel sucker...a rider that seldom sees the front of any group ride and prefers to remain sheltered behind other riders to remain as fresh as possible, usually to win some fantasy hilltop prize or other, also known as a “pack leech”

white…”is not a color, it is a lifestyle commitment”

william shakespeare…”our bodies are our gardens, to which our wills are gardeners”

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