DISRAELI DOCUMENTS

Boy’s Life 1960 - Schwinn advert

Boys Life 1960 - Schwinn advert main image

This is the first of five Schwinn adverts in Boy’s Life magazine that capture a historic point in the history of the derailleur - the point at which derailleur bikes became mainstream mass-market products sold to ordinary folk rather than to cycling enthusiasts. I find it interesting, or even revolutionary, that Schwinn actively sold ten-speeds as bikes for kids from as early as 1960.

For the 1960 model year Schwinn offered the 10-speed Continental, the 8-speed Varsity and the 3-speed Racer, all supposedly using Simplex pull-chain derailleurs. The picture of the Schwinn Racer, although indistinct, does not appear to show the chain fed through the derailleur in the idiosyncratic Simplex Tour de France way, which is confusing.

The combination of an Ashtabula-type one-piece crank, a lever operated ‘suicide’ front derailleur and a target market composed of fresh-faced, corn-fed, over-enthusiastic teenagers is particularly enticing - particularly if you are a low-life, ambulance-chasing, attorney specialising in personal injury cases.

Finally, the ‘Schwinn Bike Thrills’ book advertised in the bottom right hand corner appears to show a cyclist wearing a full face American-football-style helmet.


Boys Life 1960 - Schwinn advert main image
Boys Life 1960 - Schwinn advert additional image 01
Boys Life 1960 - Schwinn advert additional image 02
Boys Life 1960 - Schwinn advert additional image 03
Share this page