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Specialized Crosstrail
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I believe the year was 1967... at the time I had a regular old 26" whatever bike that was completley uncool at the time. I massively lusted over some bikes my friends had... two in particular, Jimmy had a gold Schwinn 5 speed "Fastback" Stingray, and Louie had the Schwinn Orange Krate. The other guys had similar bikes, but all Stingray types with ape hanger bars and banana seats

I begged my parents to help me get with the program... and after weeks of bugging them, they finally shut me up. Thing is, they said if I was to get such a bike, it would have to be bigger than the 20" wheel variety because at 13/14 years old I was already 6' tall. Huh? They looked at the Sears catalog.. (Sears? no Schwinn!?!?) and showed me the picture of the bike they were willing to get me.

I looked long and hard at that picture that day. Actually, I looked looked long and hard at that picture every damn day... It actually looked ok, the frame was purple with purple glitter banana seat, matching purple glitter grips, 5 speed stick shift, (but not the very cool 10" long shifter like the Fastback had) and... oh yeah... those 24" tires. It just didn't seem right, those bigger tires on such a bike, but I had no choice in the matter. My little brother of course was allowed to get the 20" version.

It seemed like years before the delivery truck finally pulled into our driveway, the two big boxes were dropped off, and my old man and me started putting them together... it was a special day indeed.

I rode the HELL out of that bike. Growing up in the "Wonder Years" of the mid sixties, our bikes were basically the center of our Universe, all the kids had them and were constantly riding them from here to there, our bikes were a fundamental part of our lives.

Anyways, I found what may have been the very Sears catalog page I looked at way back then, it's the bike in the bottom right of the page for $58.95. It's funny, I also remember lusting for the 20" chrome bike at the upper left hand part of the page with the red flames on the seat. I saw that on display at Sears before getting my bike and thought it was totally bad ass.

 

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Mine wasn't anywhere near as cool as a Schwinn Stingray. It was a 20 inch with a banana seat and the butterfly handlebars as well. Mine had a coaster brake and we used to have contest to see who could lay down the most rubber. When I wore the tire out I asked my dad to pick up a new tire for me on the way home from work tomorrow. Without looking up from the paper he said, "I saw all the rubber you and the rest of the kids have been laying down on the street. I figure if you are going to abuse your tires like that, you can buy your next tire with your own money. I will see if your mom has the time to take you down to the store though if you think the tire has too much tread off it to be safe to get down there on your own." Never raised his voice and never even looked up, and I bought the new rear tire.
 

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What became of all the 24" bikes of the late 40s to 60s??? I was in "Long School" preping
for Nam when that bike came out!! To me the add looks better today than at that time!!
Thanks for for posting & keep the ball rolling.
 

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This brings back some memories. My parents bought me the one on the bottom right. I too wanted the 20 incher cause it looked cooler, but I think that the 24 inch bike was more comfortable and faster. It was my first bike with a derailleur.
 

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Specialized Crosstrail
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150 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
This brings back some memories. My parents bought me the one on the bottom right. I too wanted the 20 incher cause it looked cooler, but I think that the 24 inch bike was more comfortable and faster. It was my first bike with a derailleur.
Your parents bought you the same bike? That's pretty amazing... never thought I'd find this Sears add much less find someone who had the same bike! I mean it certainly wasn't as popular as the Schwinn's and other bigger brand names. Most of my friends thought the bike was pretty cool, but still didn't quite know what to make of it with the bigger wheels and being from Sears. Thing is, your right, and so was my dad technically speaking, it was more comforatable considering my height and it certainly had the potential to be faster than the 20" bikes. But I really appreciated my parents getting it for me. One thing I knew for sure, I knew it would be very unlikely I'd see anyone else with the same make/model... and I never ever did... it was my first derailleur as well.
 

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Specialized Crosstrail
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This is the EXACT bike my buddy Jimmy had in '66/'67. I think the color was called "Coppertone" but I'm not sure...

 

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Rat Biker
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Bikes like those are bringing in some serious cash today very cool rides.
 

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I had the 20 incher single speed with a big sissy bar on the back.

Also had one of these:


(picture shamelessly stolen from the internet)
Sears Tote Cycle, 3 speed, coaster brake. Used to ride that bike all the time, even doing up to 60 mile rides with friends.

Like someone said, bikes were the center of our universe back then.
 

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Rat Biker
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I had the 20 incher single speed with a big sissy bar on the back.

Also had one of these:


(picture shamelessly stolen from the internet)
Sears Tote Cycle, 3 speed, coaster brake. Used to ride that bike all the time, even doing up to 60 mile rides with friends.

Like someone said, bikes were(ARE) the center of our universe back then(NOW).
:D

Very cool bike never seen one of them before.
 

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Sears Catatlog pic of my old bike

Hi,
I was just looking for a sears catalog pic of my old bike and came across your thread. My story is similar to yours and I agree that our bikes were an integral part of our world in the sixties. That was a world where you left your house in the morning and your parents didn't see you until you came home for dinner and your world was your bike. I also lusted after the Sears Spyder bike and told my parents that they need not get me any other gift for Christmas that year. I wasn't sure if they bought, but when Christmas rolled around, sure enough the bike was there. It's not purple-it's magenta! Now fast forward to a Christmas 46 years later and I was again presented with the same Sears Spyder bike which I still own. My 26 year old son sneaked the old Spyder out of my basement about two months ago, took it to a local bike shop, and had it overhauled. No restoration, but all new cabling, new period tires, rust removed and there it was. It is the most comfortable bike I've ever ridden and the banana seat is still pristine after 46 years-no tears or cracks! The bike shop repair man had told my son that he had never seen anything like it and that when he test road it, he got questions from lots of local people on what it was. It's as beautiful as it was in 1967.
 
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