Robert and Chas,
thank you very much for supplying this interesting info.
While I did not have a lot of Avocet components on the bikes I have ridden, some of their stuff was very nice and unique.
You indicate that Ofmega made some of their components. That was my recollection as well.
For whatever its worth, I often found the avocet versions to have a higher quality finish. The last component I ever bought from them (out of time line) was a sexy little celeste computer.
(talk about price inflation, the last one I saw on eekbay went for over $100).
thanks again you guys.
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
> Date: Mon, 18 May 2009 04:38:32 -0400
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: [CR] Avocet Question... 1976
> Thanks for the great information. I was thinking late 1976 too.
> Avocet was run by the people at Palo Alto Bike Shop. They published a
> great mail order catalog in the mid 70s. I seem to remember that they
> had Avocet saddles in their catalog way before the saddles were
> available for sale.
> It was a common practice for some bike component manufacturers to
> advertise products long before they were available (Suntour Cyclone
> derailluers for example). They measured the response to the ads to
> figure their initial production quantities.
> Avocet saddles were some of the first anatomically designed seats to
> come onto the US market. They were made in Italy so I assume that they
> were sold in Europe under a different name before they came to the US.
> Before Avocet saddles hit the US market there weren't a lot of choices
> for a comfortable seat: Brooks and Ideale leather saddles, Cinelli
> Unicanitor (and knockoffs) plus the Ideale 2000 series of plastic
> The some of the Avocet women's models were available before the men's
> versions. I rode one of the low end women's saddles on my offroad bike
> for quite some time before the men's Touring models were available.
> Jobst Brandt was involved with Avocet for a while and I think that he
> helped design the Avocet computers.
> Most of Avocet's metal components such as hubs and cranks were built in
> Italy by Ofmega but designed here in the US.
> A friend worked at Avocet's CNC model shop in Redwood City, CA. He
> still has some of the prototype samples that he made back in the early
> Chas. Colerich
> Oakland, CA USA
> << December of 1976 (...how's that for enough specificity)....
> As you likely already know, I have SLOWLY been digitizing all of the
> vintage cycling catalogs, brochures, and technical manuals I have on
> and posting same as time allows to WoolJersey. In addition to those
> particular types of literature, I also have a modest collection of
> magazines and newsletters including Bicycling, Bike World, Bicycle
> Bike Tech, Winning, American Bicyclist, Cycling, Shimano World, SunTour
> Flash News, and Campagnolo Record News. In the process of mining those
> resources for information, I have been dutifully digitizing much of the
> advertising content within those various issues for eventual inclusion
> within their appropriately respective WoolJersey sub-albums. This is
> because I am of the belief that there is much historical information to
> gleaned from said advertisements and that their appearance within a
> manufacturer specific collection of literature enhances the overall
> value of the informational grouping.
> With respect to magazine advertising, I have tried to take a somewhat
> "strict constructionist" approach to the type of materials being
> This is to say that I have only attempted to select durable bicycle
> componentry - no clothing, camping gear, handlebar bags, panniers, bike
> locks, indoor trainers, tools, lubricants, unicycles, etc.). As a
> rule of thumb, if the item in question is intended to mount directly
> onto a
> bicycle, then I digitize the material - otherwise, I do not.
> Therefore, I
> have seen fit to include references for items such as fenders, lighting
> (...mounted illumination only - no leg lights), racks (...but not packs
> - so
> Blackburn, yes - Kirtland, no), handlebar tape, frame pumps (...but not
> floor pumps - unless the company in question also manufactures frame
> like Silca or Zefal), tires, water bottle cages and the bottles
> etc. Of course, there always seem to be exceptions to any set of
> rules one might care to establish. For example, companies such as
> Cool Gear, Lambertini, Rhode Gear, and Weyless all marketed durable
> components as well as less durable goods in the form of jerseys, shorts,
> gloves, etc. In these instances, I have gone ahead and digitized ALL
> of advertising from those companies without regard to specific content.
> is important to realize that I have made no attempt to digitize EVERY
> instance of advertising that falls within the scope of the
> guidelines. Rather, I have tried to document only the FIRST OCCURRENCE
> each example (...a repeat is a repeat, is a repeat, etc.).
> So with all of that lengthy preamble having been stated, the very first
> occurrence of advertising I have been able to find for Avocet appeared
> the December 1976 issue of Bike World, and then again in January of 1977
> within the pages of Bicycling. In both instances, the ad copy itself
> no specific product - touting only a "revolutionary new concept" and
> that "...there is so much room for improvement in present cycling
> that AVOCET will develop the future" (...a pretty bold statement, I
> add). In April of 1977, Avocet began product specific forms of
> featuring first their seat post, and quickly followed that up with
> on their various saddles. Advertising for Avocet Models I, II, and III
> subsequently appeared in April of 1978, cycling shoes in May of 1978,
> bearing bottom bracket in May of 1979, first edition headset in June of
> 1979, Campy / Sugino compatible cranksets in June of 1980, and so on.
> I also have a few Avocet catalogs and brochures dating from 1977 through
> 1985. Taking a quick peek at those, I might mention that their April
> dealer catalog and price list itemizes various configurations of Racing
> Racing II, Racing III, Touring I, Touring II, and Touring III saddles
> (...both men's and women's versions available having either buffalo or
> smooth leather covering), their seat post, Model I high and low flange
> Model II sealed bearing high and low flange hubs, Model III magnesium
> standard or alloy quick release mechanisms, a standard steel or titanium
> bottom bracket assembly, Models I, II, and II toe straps, leather
> shoes, and an Avocet logo racing cap. The 1979 catalog includes an
> in the Model III hubset from magnesium to titanium, their new double and
> triple cranksets, two models of headsets, Model I chrome steel toe
> Model II Teflon coated toe clips, Model III alloy toe clips, saddle bag
> holders, an alloy water bottle cage, and an Avocet logo water bottle.
> was not until late 1979 for the 1980 model year that Avocet began
> an extensive line of BMX specific products as well (...and I will NOT
> anything further about those in this forum). By 1981, Avocet had added
> Model I traditional quill pedal, Model II quill pedal with detachable
> cage, and a Model III platform style racing pedal. It was between the
> 1981 and 1985 that Avocet truly proliferated their product offerings to
> include a complete line of tires, cyclometers, jerseys, tees, shorts,
> tights, gloves, yet more saddles and shoes, and various tools, in
> to iterative refinements to all of those aforementioned items as one
> well expect.
> Robert "long legged himself, just like the avian avocet" Broderick
> ..the "Frozen Flatlands" of South Dakota
> Sioux Falls, USA
> < When did the Avocet name first appear? Anyone remember exactly?
> Chuck Brooks
> Malta, NY NEUSA