This month's featured bike is a 1977 Austro Daimler (AD) restored by another master mechanic named John, but this time it's John G.
The bike was donated by the original owner, Michael W., an acquaintance of John. Michael purchased the bike in a small town near Boston just after graduating from MIT. Michael, an experienced cyclist, subsequently put thousands of commute and recreational miles on the bike while living in Massachusetts and elsewhere.
Over the years, with job and family priorities mounting, Michael rode less and less, but always kept the bike inside and took very good care of it. When John got the bike from Michael it hadn't been ridden in a long time and in need of a full rebuild. John began to work on the bike and he was struck by the quality and workmanship. The bike frame is Reynolds 531, has aluminum rims with stainless steel spokes, cotterless crankset, and Suntour Luxe Group, which are all remarkable for the time. In the highly competitive 1970s US bike market, this was a no-nonsense, high-grade machine.
The rebuild involved a complete disassembly down to the bare frame. All bearings in the wheels, bottom bracket, head tube, and freewheel were washed in solvent and re-greased. The frame was cleaned and waxed. Additionally, cables, housing, handlebar tape, and other cosmetic accessories were replaced. John also changed the tubes to Presta valves. At 45 years old, the bike has a whole new life ahead and plenty of miles left for a discerning buyer.
About the Brand:
The Austrian conglomerate Styer-Daimler-Puch, in the wake of the declining moped sales, wanted to introduce bicycles in the exploding 1970s US market. Puch already made high-end road bikes for the European market, but for the US market, they dusted off the Austro Daimler name. Austro Daimler sponsored several racing teams in America. With mounting competition from top US brands like Trek and Specialized as well as well-known Italian and Japanese brands, AD retired the Marquee in 1987. Now Fred Thomas, an entrepreneur in Maine has resurrected the name for Asian-built carbon fiber frames.
Interested in restoring bikes at home, at your own pace, while supporting our bike donations? Book an appointment to become a "homework hero."