Dating your schwinn

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"I wanted to ride and get kids involved." His clubs have had riders as young as seven and as old as 70.

The Mercados ride his-and-hers Schwinn Black Phantoms from '54 and '53, respectively. "One of the most fun things is people making comments [about the bikes]," Luis says.

"I remember seeing them and thinking, 'I want to do that,'" he says.

He considered joining Just Cruising but didn't like the group's MO—it was more about hanging out and drinking than actually riding, Mercado says.

The saddles would be from Brooks, another Raleigh division, and the rims and tyres would be from Dunlop, a company closely related to Raleigh.

This level of integration has never been surpassed in the bicycle industry, though Schwinn came close in the same era.

Raleigh, in its glory years (up into the 1960's) was the absolute opposite.

In their enormous Nottingham factory covered 40 acres and employed nearly 7000 workers.

A Raleigh bicycle of this era would have a Raleigh frame, made of Raleigh Tubing conected with Raleigh lugs, with a Raleigh bottom bracket, Raleigh cranks, Raleigh pedals, Raleigh headset, Raleigh handlebars, Raleigh stem, Raleigh seatpost, Raleigh hubs (Sturmey-Archer was a Raleigh subsidiary) and even Raleigh spokes.

All of these parts would have been made in the same factory.


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