I would agree with Chuck that Schwinn probably "popularized" Campy in the US. But we are talking about two different markets. The American racers who bought or hoped to buy Campy were a tiny niche, and their world was all but invisible to the US mass market. It was only after Greg Lemonde won the Tour de France that any significant percentage of the American public became aware of bicycle racing. It was Raleigh which had more impact with the large market, first with their 3-speed "English racers" and later with lightweights like the Grand Prix. The average American consumer in 1970 wasn't about to take up cycling by buying a Paramount or Cinelli for the outlandish sum of $500. It was a Raleigh Grand Prix or Peugeot UO-8 at $100 or less that would induce him to give this sport a try. Most American bike boom buyers never owned a single piece of Campy equipment. Schwinn really didn't have an entry level bike to compete with the Grand Prix and UO-8. The Continental was too heavy, and a bit more expensive as I recall, and most Schwinn dealers focused on ballon tire models and children's bikes and really didn't push the lightweights that much.
> I'll side with Chuck. Mass awareness of Campagnolo components had be
> strongly influenced by Schwinn Paramounts and the millions of Paramount
> In the early 1960's racing was a very marginal sport in the US, at least
> here in the east coast. Small enclaves knew of Cinelli (Kopp's Cycles),
> Frejus (Tommy Avenia) and Alvin Drysdale. In the know racers went and
> plunked down their money for Campagnolo equipped bikes. Starting in 1972 I
> used to race with older guys who had Campagnolo equipped bikes like these
> from say 1962. But this was inside knowledge and even among racers a full
> Campagnolo equipped bike was mostly a goal- not just something you went out
> and bought.
> For the masses, the Schwinn catalog was on every dealers counter- and free!
> Raleigh really didn't have a lightweight presence or solid US marketing plan
> until after the Carlton purchase.
> Joe Bender-Zanoni
> Great Notch, NJ
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Chuck Schmidt" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> To: <email@example.com>
> Sent: Sunday, February 01, 2004 12:30 AM
> Subject: Re: [CR]..was Phillips True Temper..NOW Flying the Flag for Raleigh
> > jerrymoos wrote:
> > >
> > > (cut) Hundreds of thousands of
> > > Raleighs were bought by Americans who never heard of a Masi or Cinelli.
> > > Many of these are still in the garages of the now 50ish owners who still
> > > have never heard of a Masi. (cut)
> > (cut)
> > > I lusted after a mink blue and silver Raleigh Professional Mk IV with
> > > Brampton fastback stays for 30 years. After finally acquiring one from
> > > member John Pergolizzi shortly before Christmas, I wouldn't trade it for
> > > Masi or Cinelli on the planet.
> > >
> > > Regards,
> > >
> > > Jerry "We don't need no stinking Masis" Moos
> > > Houston, TX
> > Jerry, to state the obvious... Raleigh made hundreds of thousands of
> > bikes every year, and Masi made what a year... a few hundred??? And
> > Cinelli even less?
> > I'd say that you'd have to be pretty damned serious about bikes to know
> > about either Masi or Cinelli in the 60s or early 70s, right?
> > Peter's belief was that Raleigh introduced America to Campagnolo
> > equipment. It is my belief that Schwinn dealers had more to do with
> > this than Raleigh did. I don't understand where Masi and Cinelli fit
> > into this at all. Explanation?
> > Chuck Schmidt
> > South Pasadena, Southern California
> > .