[CR] popular French economy 60's Lightweights(was:[Astra maybe French maybe Bel

(Example: Humor)

From: <ABikie@aol.com>
Date: Fri, 3 Jan 2003 09:00:49 EST
To: vze4k5n6@verizon.net, rena.cutrufelli@comcast.net, R.Delmare@Charter.net, classicrendezvous@bikelist.org, morgan@hahaha.org
Subject: [CR] popular French economy 60's Lightweights(was:[Astra maybe French maybe Bel

In a message dated 1/2/2003 10:24:35 PM Eastern Standard Time, vze4k5n6@verizon.net writes:

> Mark: To this day, I still have good memories of the Astra. It was purchased
> in 1968 and road it full time until about 1985 when it was stolen from my
> Volvo wagon. I had repainted it, with spray bomb, and it actually looked
> good for bomb. Only after I started collecting about 10 years ago, did I
> realize that I should have purchased the Paramount. Not that the Schwinn
> would have been a better cycle, but as a Classic 34 years later, the
> Paramount is somewhat desirable, and who else knows about Astras? Hindsight
> is wonderful !!
> Hetchinspete
> Boston, Mass

My Astra was my first real lightweight. We sold them at Maryland cycle and Equipment co., where I was more the Equipment kid than bike boy. Mowers, chainsaws, haycarts, and tractors. Wandered into the 90 degree bike shop (from the 100-plus smoky mower repair shop) from time to time to cool off, and would see the guys with shaved legs come in and hang out. The lightweight lugged bikes on the early 60's intrigued me enough to spark the interest than brought me to today's level of immersion (insanity?)

We were primarily a Schwinn dealer, but some of the equipment suppliers carried bikes. Astra might have come from a bicycle and 'wheel goods' suppliers, though. Wheel goods included Radio flyer wagons, Union and other brand roller skates, Flexible Flyer and other brand sleds, trikes, strollers, and the like.

The distributor might have been Franklin Imports in Filly, possibly Keystone Haverford...? Franklin also got us the LeJeune Team that I have carried through the last 4 shops, and may have been the Peugeot distributor of the time as well.

The Astra was similar to a Motobecane, and there was another called Motoconfort as well. St Etienne was another that was an entry-level lightweight from France,named after a town that was as famous then for bikes in France as Taipei is today (or at least a few years ago before China came into such popularity)

Larry Black