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The mysterious Leopard bicycle



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 25th 05, 09:49 PM
Werehatrack
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Default The mysterious Leopard bicycle

On Mon, 25 Jul 2005 09:54:26 -0400, Strayhorn wrote:

This Saturday I picked up, for free (the owner was moving and didn't
want to take it to the landfill), a bike that has piqued my interest.
It's a standard diamond frame with upright (not drop) handlebars.
Apparently it was intended as a commuter or workaday bicycle.

[description snipped]

I've done the usual searches and come up empty (well, except for Leopard
cycles in California, which seems to be a maker of carbon racing bikes).
The previous owner had found it in the basement of the house when he
moved in - no tires or chain, and he had never been motivated to find
tires or a chain. I plan to make it roadworthy and keep it in my office
to ride around campus at lunch and etc.


It sounds absolutely typical of a common European commuter bike. I
have one of that ilk from Puch myself. They tend to collect around
major universities; that's where mine hails from as well.

(*) I have no idea what size tire to purchase. The diameter of the
wheels is approx 25.2" as best as I can tell.


Most likely 700C, then, assuming the measurement is edge-to-edge. I'd
haul the front wheel down to the lbs and check to see what fits.
There is a chance that it's a 27" but at that edge-to-edge dimension
it's much more likely to be a 700C than anything else if my experience
with similar finds is any guide. (If that measurement was the
diameter at the base of the flanges on the rim, then you're going to
have no fun at all finding tires for it, as it's probably a 700B, aka
28 x 1 1/2")

I'm assuming this is a
Swiss bike that was never imported in any number and probably brought
back by one of the number of international faculty we have in the
Triangle.


Probably brought over by the original owner, as you suggest, and
abandoned when they left. It happens all the time.

(**) Same with the chain. Any suggestion appreciated.


It will rake a standard derailleur chain; nothing exotic there.

And, in general, any information on Leopard bikes would be gladly
received. I have a feeling they are probably quite common in Europe but
no one from my local bike club who looked at it prior to Sunday's ride
(including two knowledgeable mechanics from the LBS) had ever seen one.


There is a strong chance that it's a Swiss store rebrand of some
common manufacturer's product. That's not an unusual practice, either
in Europe of the US.

Here's one of its probable relatives:

http://www.brocky.ch/velojuni171%20(125).JPG

That's pretty much an absolutely typical Euro everyday ride.
--
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  #2  
Old July 26th 05, 02:41 PM
Jasper Janssen
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Default The mysterious Leopard bicycle

On Mon, 25 Jul 2005 20:49:14 GMT, Werehatrack
wrote:

That's pretty much an absolutely typical Euro everyday ride.


Actually, my experience is that 3speed hubs or singlespeed w/ coaster
brake and a fully enclosed chain is more typical than derailleur for
commuters, although in some countries derailleurs did start appearing in
numbers in the seventies/eighties.

Jasper
  #3  
Old July 26th 05, 04:35 PM
Werehatrack
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Default The mysterious Leopard bicycle

On Tue, 26 Jul 2005 13:41:39 GMT, Jasper Janssen
wrote:

On Mon, 25 Jul 2005 20:49:14 GMT, Werehatrack
wrote:

That's pretty much an absolutely typical Euro everyday ride.


Actually, my experience is that 3speed hubs or singlespeed w/ coaster
brake and a fully enclosed chain is more typical than derailleur for
commuters, although in some countries derailleurs did start appearing in
numbers in the seventies/eighties.


Until the early '90s, from what I'm told, the 3-speeds still were the
most numerous in lots of places, but from what I hear now, the ders
have displaced the fully enclosed drive to a significant extent. I
think it's probably the deadly combination of lower cost and greater
gearing range that has turned the tide.

The half-length chain guards on the der-equipped bikes are still very
much a European thing.
--
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  #4  
Old July 27th 05, 08:17 PM
C.J.Patten
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Default The mysterious Leopard bicycle


"Strayhorn" wrote in message
...


Alas, the store decal covers the manufacturer stamp so all I can see is
"ade in USA" on the frame. But like that Raleigh Sports, it's obviously
intended to provide years of daily use.


Well take the decal off!


  #5  
Old July 27th 05, 11:14 PM
Jasper Janssen
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Default The mysterious Leopard bicycle

On Wed, 27 Jul 2005 14:45:18 -0400, Strayhorn wrote:

Recently I found another Goodwill Store beauty, a store-branded 3-speed
in full surburban mode: fenders, full chain guard, Bontrager tires (!)
and Sturmey-Archer hub, candy-apple red paint job with flawless gold
pinstripe, in perfect shape for $14. All it needed was dusting off and
air in the tires. Gave it to the GF for her birthday and she absolutely
loves it.


That'd go for (well) over $200 over here. My latest new ride, built in
1985 (according to the year stamp on the Sturmey Archer AB hub) with a
non-special paint job, a lot of rust, etc was 145 euros. Although I'm told
that in "the provinces" those things are 50-100 euros, even for a good
state. I live in the 4th largest town in .nl, with 200.000-odd inhabitants
and 10-20.000 students or so, so beater (aka student) bikes are in extra
demand here.


Jasper
 




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