Sounds a bit like the infamous department store brands sold in the U.S. during the early to mid-1970s "Bike Boom", although I recall those horrible spot-welded (e.g., Sears "Free Spirit") $80 "boat-anchors" with their one-piece steel cranks and heavy, basement grade (and often barely-functional) components to be vastly inferior the the fine, lugged frame Raleigh Records and Jeunet 610s being sold at the recently-opened Highroller Cyclery in Fayetteville, Arkansas at the time. Granted, the Records sold for about twice what the Free Spirits did, but they were certainly well worth the money. I recall Free Spirits and their ilk were largely purchased by the cycling-ignorant crowd. They were ridden a few times then consigned to the garage - and ultimately the garage sale. You NEVER saw a Free Spirit on a club ride, but Raleighs were quite common!
"The Ciocc Cat"
Prairieville, Louisiana USA
Website at http://ciocc-cat.angelfire.com/
----- Forwarded Message ---- From: barrie carter <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sent: Tue, 9 February, 2010 21:00:35 Subject: Re: [CR] Show me the daw(es)
Time to put this to bed guys, I think John Crump has said it all, Dawes Raliegh, Hercules and all the other big store bikes were made by peice workers, that means, men[and women] paid by the amount of products they produced and with the minimum of acceptable quality. I think Freek, from Holland summed it up when he took His Dawes back to the Dutch dealer who found one side shorter than the other,[ive found that in a very well =known Dutch firm now!] The team frames were made by an independant builder who would have been recognised as being the recognised best in THAT COUNTY. They carried the company name and the results sent Joe to his local bike shop to buy it. Team frames are often lost in the mists of time. What one generation deemed as a possible, the next stated as a fact, such is \history. In the lightweight and club world, these massed produced frames made by unskilled lowly paid peice workers with nopride in their work, and only the weekly pay packet to make them smil e,were unnaceptable to the cycling movment. The picketing of them was and probably still is, racist in bike terms. You all talk about pretty lugs and great paint jobs, but the lugs were seldom filed, the tubes never mitred in the BB and the frames were only centred by eye. These low priced Model Ts were built to a shop floor time of minutes, so quality didnt come into it. Big stores would place orders for hundreds, and you couldnt build quality with that pressure. As far as Im concerned,these cheap for all bikes were rubbish, never bought as sepperate frames, but onle as complete bikes. Those who suggest different wernt there and didnt experience the rejection that club cyclists gave these machines. I appreciate that the purchasers of such bikes were to the main, impeccunious, us Brits had just had a war and the money wasnt to be had, but dilligent surches could have found decent individualistccly built second hand bikes for the same money, as I did, whilst still at school. Big companies played on peoples ignorance by having pros racing under their banner and using the successes to back the products sales. Had they told the ttruth as to the origins of the frames, the sales would not have happened, and by the looks of some of the emails, this proganda is still strong/ In acceptable bike parlence in the UK these were the bike of the scrubber. a bad but descritive title for those who didnt and didnt want to understand. Im sorry if Ive rattled cages, destroyd myths, and upset our host. But I prefer the truth, and it seems, most of the emails do too. I love Italian frames, but because they have an IGGI or an ATTI at the end of thename, doesnt make them any better that the Ds. Only the specialist, highly motified frame built them, Massed produced products did not. Barrie Carter in a Dawes Free Zone. of Roundhm, Somedrset. UK