January 6, 2010

Rydjor's Bike Collection

Rydjor Bike Shop in Austin MN sports a fantastic collection of vintage bicycles, collected by owner Dan Ulwelling. Dan sadly passed a few years back but he left behind a stunning legacy. My good friend Chad Burma currently manages the shop and a few years back he undertook the duty of photographing the bikes.

Here are a few of the "scorcher" type bikes that I think are super rad. In the coming month I will post more bikes from the collection. If you're ever in southern Minnesota, make it a point to check out Rydjor.

Bike descriptions from Rydjor's website

1896 Imperial
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This model 86 bicycle was built in Chicago by the Ames & Frost company. At that time , Chicago was a hot bed for bicycle manufacturers. Over 300 companies produced approximately three million bicycles in the U.S in 1896. These bikes were originally called safety bikes because the chain drive with sprockets facilitated both wheels being about the same size, so no more fear of going over the handlebars. Pneumatic tires also added the much needed cushion for the roads of those days.

1898 Andrae
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This bicycle is similar to the Imperial. It was built in Milwaukee by the Julius Andrae & Sons' company. At this time bikes didn't use standardized components like they do today. Most companies machined their own parts so lots of different ideas were utilized in cranks, hubs, headset.

1903 Tribune shaft drive

*this is my favorite. my Capricorn was influenced heavily by this bike

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This bicycle has quite a few unique details. First off, the color is quite unusual for its day. It also has a two speed rear hub with a coaster brake. Instead of the normal chain, this bike has a shaft driven rear wheel. The drive shaft runs through the right side chain stay. Also notice the front fork has a small shock absorber on each fork blade. Major Taylor, one of the biggest sports figures of the times, raced a Tribune shaft drive for awhile.