List of Vintage Bicycle Manufacturers and Brands

Here is a list of classic and vintage bicycle brands and manufacturers.  They are listed by the country of each individual company.  Some are manufacturers and others are importers. 

USA

Centurion – founded in 1969 in Newbury Park, CA. Started by importing bikes from Japan. Vintage brand ended in 1990, German company continues the brand now.

Coast to Coast – Coast King and Marquis brand.  Private labeled bikes for Coast to Coast hardware.  Generally budget bikes.  Ross made some of the early models.  Out of business.

Colson bicycles – Ohio company that began making bicycles in 1917.  Made Firestone and Goodyear branded bicycles most notably.  Stopped making bikes in 1962.

Hawthorne – this is a brand of bikes made for Montgomery Wards. Early bikes were made by Cleveland Welding Company, some were made in Austria likely by Steyr.  Not very collectible due to branding.

Huffy – founded at Dayton, OH in 1892.  Brand still active in big box stores.

Kent – founded at New York City in 1909.  Still active.

Lotus – founded in New York in 1980. Started by importing road bikes from Japan.

Lotus Head Badge

Monark Silver King – established in 1934 in Chicago. Bought by Huffy in 1956.

Murray – founded at Cleveland, OH.  Started making bikes in the 1930s.  Don’t believe they are still offered.

Nishiki – Japanese bikes imported by West Coast Cycle. Brand is currently owned by Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Roadmaster – founded at Cleveland, OH in 1936.  Brand still active in big box stores.

Ross – founded at Williamsburg, NY in 1946.  Brand still alive.

Sanwa – brand of bicycles owned by Wisconsin Cycle Supply starting in the late 70s through the 80s.  Most bikes seem to be made in Japan.  I believe these are all road bikes.

Sanwa Head Badge

Schwinn – founded at Chicago in 1895.  Was the largest of the USA manufacturers for most of the 20th century. Brand still survives for big box type stores.

Schwinn Head Badge

Sears/Free Spirit – this brand was use by Sears.  I see a lot of these bikes for sale in this area, many are considered nice bikes and are made in Austria by Steyr.  Later US made models not as nice.  Not very collectible due to branding.

Sears Head Badge

Shelby Cycle Company – found in Shelby, OH in 1925.  AMF purchased Shelby in 1953.

Takara – brand started in the early 1970s and imported bicycles from Japan. Original company went out of business in the late 1980s, but it appears Kent now owns the brand.

Univega – brand started in the early 1970s by Ben Lawee in southern California. Bikes were made by Miyata and imported from Japan. Brand is still going and making bikes in South Carolina.

Univega Head Badge

Western Flyer – private label brand of bicycles started in 1931.  Some of these were made by Huffy and Murray.  Old ones seem to have decent collectible value.

Westpoint – this brand was made for True Value Hardware.  Some of these were made by Murray.  Generally low-end bikes, not very collectible due to branding. 

Austria

Steyr-Daimler-Puch – was a large manufacturing company based in Steyr, Austria.  They began producing bicycles in 1894.  I see their name mostly associated with making the Sears made in Austria bicycles.

England

Raleigh – founded in Nottingham, England in 1887.  Brand still active.

Raleigh Head Badge

BSA – began making bicycles in Birmingham, England in 1880.  It appears a company in India is now making BSA bikes with the same logo.

Dawes – English company founded in 1926.  Currently owned by Tandem group.

Hercules – founded in Birmingham, England in 1910.  Company was bought by Tube Investments in 1946.  Tube investments would go on to buy Raleigh in 1960 and form TI Raleigh Industries.  Hercules name was used as a brand for Raleigh and produced through at least the 1970s.

Humber – Thomas Humber made his first bike in 1868 and went on to build his manufacturing business in Nottingham, England.  Brand sold to Raleigh in 1932 and they used it into the 1960s.

Robin Hood – not sure when they were founded, but Raleigh purchased them in 1906 and used the brand at least into the 1970s.

Rudge – in 1894 Rudge-Whitworth cycles was formed when Rudge Cycle and Whitworth Cycle merged.  Company went defunct in 1946.  Raleigh bought the name and used the brand for a number of years.

Triumph – founded in Coventry, England in 1894.  It appears you can buy a Triumph branded e-bike now.

Viscount –hard to find info, but seems to be an aerospace company that made bikes in England during the 1970s.  Many came with a fork which was prone to breaking…

France

Follis – founded in 1903 in France. Made some nice road bikes. Closed in 2007.

Jeunet – can’t find history on the company other than made in France, but often see them for sale.  Sounds like many are nice bikes.

Motobecane – this French company was founded in 1923 and became a large manufacturer of bicycles.  They went bankrupt in 1981.  Currently Motobecane USA is using the brand name.

Motobecane Head Badge

Peugeot cycles – founded in Beaulieu, a suburb of Mandeure, France in 1882.  Brand is still active in certain countries.

Italy

Bianchi – founded in 1885, in Milan Italy.  Oldest bicycle manufacturer in the world.  Still making bikes.

Bianchi Head Badge

Cinelli – founded in 1948 by Cino Cinelli. Based in Milan, Italy.

Colnago – founded in 1954 by Ernesto Colnago. Based in Italy. Still active.

Pinarello – founded in 1953 by Giovanni Pinarello in Treviso, Italy. Still making bikes.

Japan

Fuji – founded in 1899 in Japan as Nichibei Fuji. Started by importing US and English bikes. Began making their own bikes and were Japan’s most popular brand by the late 1920s.

Maruishi – hard to find info on this brand, but it may go back as far as 1884 in Japan. Made their own bikes and also produced some Nashbar bikes.

Miyata – founded in 1890. Exported lots of bikes to the US during the 70s and 80s. They made bikes for several other brands including Nishiki, Fuji, Centurion, Lotus, Univega, and Bridgestone. Panasonic became a large shareholder in Miyata in 1959. Brand is no longer sold in the USA, but still exists.

Miyata Head Badge

Panasonic/National – known as National in Japan, Panasonic became their exporting name. Company was founded in 1918 and started exporting bikes to the USA in 1971. Made bicycles for Schwinn, including the Le Tour. Pulled out of the US market in 1989. They still make bikes for the Asian market.

Shogun – founded in 1977 in Japan.

This list is a work in progress.  This will never be a complete list of all vintage bikes, but I hope to make it a complete list of those you may run into on the market.  Only counting brands/companies that had strong production by the 70s. 

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