Reminds me of something I read in a bike book In The Day. The US bike manufacturers (I don't think Schwinn was a member) tried to get the Feds to require bikes to be shipped to the retailer with both wheels installed. It was a fragrant attempt to screw the European manufacturers by increasing container size and shipping cost. Of course it increased the US shipping cost as well, but not as much. The author commented, "What happens first time you have a flat?" It may have been that the US manufacturers (except Schwinn) were shipping that way already, because even then they were selling a lot of bikes through department stores, and not only were the customers clueless, but the department store employees often were as well.
Pretty amazing how many cyclists can't even change a flat tube. I've even seen this kind of thing on club rides with large bike clubs. I've been in a pack on such a ride where someone had an FD that wouldn't shift because the cable was slipping. I was the only one in that pack with a wrench and the knowledge of how to tension and secure the FD cable. The rider was going to "take it to the bike shop on Monday". On the bright side, I guess fixing flats and correcting bad assembly on WalMart bikes provides some revenue for bike shops, though some seem to dislike this work, perhaps because customers complain that the Walmart special is "brand new", never mind that they didn't buy it from the shop that they now expect to fix it cheap.
Big Spring, Texas, USA
> From: Andrew R Stewart <email@example.com>
> Subject: Re: [CR] The mid-70's front-wheel QR bike?
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org, "donald gillies" <email@example.com>
> Date: Saturday, December 12, 2009, 9:08 AM
> Don- Three points for the front only
> QR. First when on the typical display rack in the LBS it has
> been shown that the average consumer will only focus on the
> fork, bars and ft. wheel. So any component further back on
> the bike then the headset is lost during the shopping
> experience. This is why you'll see department store mountain
> bikes with a ft disk brake but rim rear brake. Second the ft
> QR makes it easier to transport home after the purchase. And
> third is that many first time buyers are intimidated by the
> chain and gears, if they get a flat the shop will fix it
> I've seen this over and over. It's sometimes surprising how
> many "cyclists" will bring a bike to the shop for a flat
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "donald gillies" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> To: <email@example.com>
> Sent: Saturday, December 12, 2009 1:17 AM
> Subject: [CR] The mid-70's front-wheel QR bike?
> > Does anyone have any insight into this crazy 1970's
> idea of how to
> > build a low-end bike? Around about 1974, Raleigh
> went to QR hubs
> > front and rear, even on the lowly $125 grand prix
> model. Meanwhile,
> > several japanese brands started to arrive at our
> shores with a quick
> > release hub ... only on the front! Please,
> pray-tell, how does this
> > help the buyer? You still have to carry an
> adjustable wrench in case
> > you get a flat, and now thieves can steal your front
> wheel or your
> > whole bike and so you need to lock the front wheel
> every time!
> > Worse that no QRs at all, imho !!
> > What were the bike designers thinking? If you
> worked in a shop back
> > then, what would you say to the customer to justify
> the bike ??
> > - Don Gillies
> > San Diego, CA, USA
> > _______________________________________________
> Andrew R Stewart
> Rochester, NY