Re: [CR]Avocet Question + history lesson?

Example: Humor:John Pergolizzi

Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2002 14:42:05 -0800
From: Bill Bryant <>
To: Diane Lees <>
Cc: Christopher Oliver <>,
Subject: Re: [CR]Avocet Question + history lesson?
References: <> <>

Yes, indeed all true, but prior to introducing their cyclometer and saddles in about '84, the Hoffackers had a very active mail-order business atop the very successful Palo Alto Bike Shop store during the 1970s. Nicely done catalogs and a very good parts selection that many smaller LBSs could not offer their customers. Also had some Avocet-labeled cranks, hubs, etc as mentioned in a previous post, generally Ofmega stuff. Not always the best quality, but offered a useful alternative to Campi triples; had a smaller inner chainring, so that was appreciated by the touring crowd who didn't want to go with TA triples. They also tried some attempts at frames, both locally made and in Italy, but neither approach really caught on with buyers. I don't recall when the mail-order sales stopped, but would guess around 1980 or so. I think they found selling their own line of other products (tires, clothes, touring shoes, saddles, cyclometers, etc) on a wholesale/OEM basis more successful than competing in the tough mail-order retail arena--but as you write, that has not always been successful either.

Bill Bryant rainy Santa Cruz, CA

Diane Lees wrote:
> Here is what I remember and know.
> Avocet started out with their model 25 computer back in the mid-80's. We
> went to a special showing of this "revolutionary" computer at a hotel in
> New York during the NY Bike show (held at the old Convention Center in
> February)
> They then came out with their saddles and have been "adding on" since.
> The company was head quartered above the Palo Also bike Shop in California
> and has seen ups and downs continually.
> I think they were actually connected to Palo Alto at the beginning.
> Hope this shed a little light on them.
> And, may I ask why the interest? (Just a curiosity question)
> Regards,
> Diane
> HubBub Custom Bicycles
> At 11:40 AM 1/26/02 -0500, Christopher Oliver wrote:
> > > Can anyone fill me in as to who is behind the company, who designed and
> > > then made their stuff, and when and where they started.
> >
> > I ran across an ancient Palo Alto catalog when organizing my junk,
> >and this was in my mind. I recall Jobst saying something about Palo
> >doing domestic tire manufacture when European sew-ups were not being
> >reliably imported. Soooo.... Jobst Brandt, Palo Alto Bicycles, and
> >Avocet: what's the connection?
> >
> >Awaiting another lesson in left coast bicycle history,
> >
> >--
> >Christopher Oliver,
> > Sometimes it just pays to be a plastic bicycle.