Hello, In retrospect, I feel uncomfortable with my post in response to "What ws the worst bicycle component"? I should look at these "flawed" attempts as being part of the learning curve, or maybe some botched corporate merchandising attempt. After all there is enough negativity toward the bicycle, especially in America.
Instead, I prefer to offer my response to the earlier question, "What was the pinnacle of the vintage lightweight"?
I agree with Richard Sachs quite eloquent response. I agree that bicycles have lost "soul". The modern day mass produced bike illustrates this.
I believe that the pinnacle of the vintage lightweight, and what that is could be argued forever. I have always felt that the utilitarian use of the bicycle is its pinnacle, and has done the most to enhance its evolution and acceptance in society. Not that I do not regard some highly motivated athlete winning the "Tour Of Somewhere" as being unimportant, but in my mind, using the bicycle as transportation is by far the most exciting use.
I feel that the pinnacle of the vintage lightweight comes from England. More specifically, the pinnacle of the vintage lightweight, In my opinion was the Sturmey Archer equipped roadster or sport. These bicycles were produced by the "Bazillions", and were exported to every place on the globe where there was a English presence.
I know that this may seem like a strange outlook, but these bicycles were a work of art in their own way, allowing the masses to commute to work, they could be used to haul incredible amounts of cargo, or complete any other task one could imagine. On top of all this, these bicycles were exceptionally reliable, and could be properly maintained, with a minimum of knowledge or tools.
These bicycles are certainly not any thing like my Jack Taylor, but are a great example of art in another form. I will ride my sport on a rainy day.
Cape May, New Jersey