Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

27 November 2012

A Very Tall Vintage Bike

This might well be the biggest mass-produced bike ever made:


During the late 1970's and early 1980's, Panasonic built the model shown here, the DX-2000.  It was a step up from their entry-level bikes in terms of performance.  Panasonic offered the bike in perhaps a greater range of sizes than any other bike maker at the time.

This bike is a 71 cm.  To put it in persepctive, I, at 5'10'' (177cm) with a 32" (81 cm) inseam, generally ride 55 or 56 cm (depending on the geometry of the bike) road frame.

In a way, it's ironic that Panasonic made such a tall bike:  The Japanese, at the time, were some of the most diminutive people in the world.  Very few, if any, Japanese people could ride such a frame.  So, it's safe to say that the bike was made for export.

And, for a time, it worked out really well for Panasonic:  Their bikes, which combined meticulous workmanship with conservative but sound design, became very popular with in-the-know cyclists.  (Several riders in the club to which I belonged when I was at Rutgers rode Panasonics).  


It would have been interesting to see Panasonic become the official bicycle of the NBA!

5 comments:

  1. Steve: I actually saw one. It belonged, not surprisingly, to a basketball player in the college I attended. If I recall correctly, the guy was around 6'9".

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  2. I just found a bike like this on the curb with two flat tires. I cant wait to fix it!

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  3. Anon: What a find! Do you want to send a photo?

    Dan: It's even more impressive in person than it is in the photo.

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