25 January 2011

Soo '70's

Seeing it snow again made me think of The Ice Storm.  I liked it, but I also remember thinking how the clothes, hairstyles and the things people did (Wife-swapping.  Key parties.  EST.) were sooo '70's.  I know: That decade included my puberty, adolescence and undergraduate years.

Now this is sooo '70's:

Not only is it from the '70's; it's English.  No one in the USA today would get away with making an ad like that.

And nobody would get away with making a bike like the Lambert.  Or, I should say, nobody would stay in business for even as long as Lambert did (just over a decade).  

Not only did they try to mass-produce high-performance bikes in England, they tried to keep their prices reasonable, perhaps a bit low--even for that time.  During the company's first few years, they made most of the components, as well as the brazed lugless cro-mo frame, in-house.  The components were the bike's undoing:  Most of them didn't hold up very well.  Worst of all was the so-called "Death Fork," which was one of the first production forks to be made of aluminum.  That piece was indicative of much else on the bike:  It was a possibly-good idea that wasn't executed very well, mainly because no one knew how it needed to be executed.

They offered a 21-pound road bike, which was about as light as you could get at that time, for $149.  They offered that same bike, plated with 24-karat gold for $279.

A price like that for gold?  Now that's soo '70's.

1 comment:

  1. When I had my hand built Holdsworth nicked I was short of cash and in need of transport and a trip to the bike shop had me hypnotised by a Viscount bike in pearlescent blue with the first all welded aerospace tubing frame. This was made by the Lambert company after its financial failure, thankfully I could not afford the model with the aluminium "death fork"! That bike has been through countless incarnations mostly as a winter bike using five speed hub, horrible and unreliable, and a three speed hub with three speed block to give nine gears in the rear at a time when a six speed block was as much as you ever saw. The rear hub even had a drum brake! It is still in the garage, my bikes of my past are mostly also my bikes of the present unless they were stolen or given away by my father...