01 January 2013

A New Bike For The New Year

On my first foray outside my apartment this year, I saw a bike I'd never before seen:

On first glance, it seems like a typical European city bike.  But a few interesting details caught my eye.

The "strings" of the skirt guard are in a color meant, I think, to match the frame, which is a fairly muted shade of chartreuse.  However, the color brightened, almost to the point of being a neon shade, in those strands.

Could it be that this green bike is solar?  

The hub is a three-speed coaster brake model from, I believe, Sachs.  That company's coaster brake hub is now, of course, manufactured by Velosteel in the Czech Republic.  

Now, I'm going to test your knowledge of old European city bikes.  Can you guess what this is?

Here's a hint:

On the fork is a light or generator bracket commonly found on European city bikes as well as some of the old English three-speeds.  The hole with the black plug on the down tube is a conduit for a wire.  I'm guessing that a generator mounted on the fork bracket and the wire ran inside the frame to a taillight.   Said generator and tail light are absent:  The bike's owner had a modern " blinky" attached to the rear and a modern battery-powered headlight attached to the handlebar.

According to the head badge and a label on the seat tube, this bike was manufactured in West Germany--which, of course, automatically makes it at least two decades old.  I wonder, though, whether "Air Wing" was a bike brand intended for the German market, or whether it was meant for English-speaking countries.  If the latter were the case, it would be very interesting, as few bikes like it found their way to the US--or, I imagine, England or Australia.


  1. At this point. It matters less as even my oldest road bike was built after Germany was reunited.

  2. Steve--You like the sweet young things, eh? ;-) Happy New Year!

  3. My goodness... that's my bicycle!

    Alas, I know very little about its history, though based on its style I believe the frame dates from the 70's (West Germany, of course!). I bought it from Greenpoint Bicycles - pretty much as-is, though I've filled in the stripes along the fenders since last New Years Day - and have shipped it on to London to come live with me... delightful machine!

  4. Geogia--Lucky you! How's life in London?

    When I saw the bike, it was parked in front of Bakeway cafe, which is right around the corner from my apartment.

  5. Bakeway on Broadway in Astoria? Ooh, I miss those cannolis... sounds about right!

    London is fabulous, though I'm feeling a bit resentful having hit a pothole and taken a tumble. Give Queens my love!

  6. I have the same logo but it says made in Taiwan. Knock off?

  7. Phil--Hmm. Could be. Could you send a photo?