Monday, July 9, 2012

Vintage Find- My Mango Single Speed

Vintage Find
Mango single speed cruiser

Picked up this baby for ten bucks at a yard sale- My first single speed cruiser.
Okay, since my last restoration, I've been riding the vintage cruiser bandwagon. I had never been attracted to these bikes until recently. I saw how cool cruisers were on my visit to Tybee Island in Georgia. I also saw how beautiful these machines looked and rode after a restoration. Once a mountain biker, and a road biker, and a snob of all things cruiser, my leanings have shifted in favor of this design. I'm not calling it practical by any means just yet. It's hard enough to get 3 inches off the ground doing a bunny hop on one of these. Also I would like to note that no hour speed records will be broken riding a cruiser. The selling point to me on having a cruiser is the fun, not the performance, that this bike can offer. I hadn't ridden anything that had a coaster brake on it since I was 11 or 12. This bike brought me right back to childhood and those days I wasn't allowed to ride outside my neighborhood. The simplicity of pedaling backwards to brake once again fascinates me. 

The Mango Parrot Logo

I found this bike at a yard sale a few days ago and bought it along with another rigid mountain bike that I will feature on this blog very soon. I bought both bikes for a total of 20 dollars. I noticed the inscription on the cruiser said "Mango" on it and I did a little research on the bike. I found out that this bike is designed in the Florida Keys and a brand new one costs about 350 dollars. This is no big box bike by any means. There are a few things which this bike is in dire need of, but nothing that is difficult to fix. In fact, it probably just needs new bearings and a new chain, and it will be ready to go. But, being into customizing bicycles, I have something different in mind all together. I can't say about the final design because it hasn't come to me yet, all I can say is that this cruiser will probably undergo a transformation of some sort.

There is a growing market for custom cruisers and manufacturers are making all sorts of cool accessories for these throwback bicycles. Compared to performance bikes like high end road and mountain bikes, the parts are inexpensive and the maintenance is minimal. One can now get tires in multiple color schemes as will as chains, handle bar grips, pedals and saddles. The sky is the limit on customizing cruisers. I like what custom cruiser designers like Villy's Customs have done to make their bikes in different colors. I also like the bikes that I have seen on Rat Rod Bikes. I can't decide. The point is, this is going to be a custom design, not a restoration.

Any suggestions? Leave a comment below the article.
Bunny hopping a manhole. I must have gotten, like, 3 inches of air that time!

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