Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ashtabula

One-piece cranks, like you commonly see on cheap American bikes and lower-end bmx bikes are "Ashtabula" cranks.  The flat-bladed forks found on the old Schwinns are known as "Ashtabula forks", too.

Why?  Well, for one thing, the older versions on the Schwinns were made in Ashtabula, Ohio, by the Ashtabula Bicycle parts Company.  Their parts were so prevalent, back in the day, that the name Ashtabula became the generic name for such parts, much like "Kleenex" became the generic for facial tissue.

An odd little footnote in bicycling history:  Ashtabula built one of the earliest (some say the first) complete bmx bikes available, in the mid-1970s.

While we now think of Ashtabula parts a cheap and heavy, but the actual "Ashtabula" parts were well-known for high quality and durability, back in the day.  Of course, they were also heavy like a boat anchor...

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1 comment:

  1. I don't care how heavy they are They are still my favorite. Simple and strong they don't break.
    Don't even try to talk me out of it I know what I like. Beside's they are artistic. Look at them they are beautiful.

    ReplyDelete

As always, sorry about the word verification. It's a necessary evil, unfortunately.