And now for something completely different
I've never been overly cursed with good sense, especially when it comes to projects. If there is a lost cause, I'll find it. If there is a hopeless case, I'll take it on.
I should have learned my lesson from the Peugeot rebuild and found a nice easy project. I should watch my local market and pay attention to what sells and what doesn't.
Did I do either of those things? Nope. I got it into my head that I wanted a vintage folding bike.
Why? Beats me. I think I began to see old Italian Chiordas and Bianchi Nealeco's as a different sort of fun. I appreciate the cleverness of the rear stays forming a useful rack. Maybe I just wanted something to take camping.
Regardless, I read Sheldon Brown's love letter to the Raleigh Twenty, noticed it said the other european folding bikes of the era were generally much lower quality, and then I promptly went out and bought one of the lower quality examples: a Luxus Sportbike.
So what is a Luxus Sportbike? Who knows? It's labelled as being from West Germany, and per this page it may have been manufactured by any number of companies at the time. It may not even have been made in West Germany at all.
Here's what we do know, so far:
- It bears some resemblance to some better-known vintage folding bikes with the way the stays loop around to form a rack, but it also appears to differ from each of them in the details.
- Luxus did make other bikes, although details (at least in English) are sparse. I have managed to find examples of road bikes, utility bikes and an interesting motocross-inspired kid's bike.
- This particular one isn't technically a folding bike. There is no hinge at the middle, so it technically collapses into two parts.
- This thing is unbelievably heavy. Somehow, this little thing weighs in at 34 pounds, about the same as the Raleigh Sports I rehabbed last year.
- The particular example I bought is in miserable shape.
Since the market for used folding bikes is nearly non-existent, of course my plan is to throw parts and money at this one. I want to pick up a kids' bike with some 20" alloy wheels, try to lighten up the weight, and just generally see if I can make this thing decent to ride. No matter what, it'll be interesting.
So, with that in mind, I started tearing it down.
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See all the Luxus Sportbike posts.Tags: luxus folding-bike