Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking
8 posts • Page 1 of 1
Hey guys, I was just wondering if anybody has heard of "madison" bikes before and could give me any information. Googling it either tells me about madison races or the american place madison.
My girlfriend bought me a bike recently and only knew that it was a "madison" as that is what she was told. I'm assuming it was not a Schwinn Madison as the frame did not appear to be chromed under, or did not have track dropouts from the back. I did find a few ebay results for old madison bikes but that was it, they were both in australia.
Does anybody have any info on these bikes? where it may have come from?
I don't know if you still have it, but I have a Madison too!
And it happened the same to me, IMPOSSIBLE to find something in Internet.
A friend of a friend told me that they were a Japanese Brand that imported a few of its bikes to Australia, there were 2 qualities of Madison Bikes, some of them were 'average' and some of them were 'Medium-High class'.
Yesterday I got mine from a Bike shop in Melbourne and the guy told me that It looks like mine was made handmade and there was only one or these bikes were produced in a small amount. (what I believe it as we cannot find anything in google). He also told me that the frame could last another 30 or 40 years If I want.
I bought this frameset from Fooch on here earlier in the year. Looks like a pretty standard mass produced Japanese frame with stamped dropouts etc. There's a sticker saying "distributed by Cycles Australia, Geebung Queensland" on it. Maybe they ordered a batch from a maker in Japan and branded them Madison...
I'm pretty sure my dad had a Madison 'Steed'*, which I ended up riding when I realised petrol was expensive. It was nothing special and eventually cracked at the downtube near the clamp-on gear levers. Interestingly it had vertical dropouts which was a bit odd for a low-end 80's bike...I thought.
I did see one parked in Melbourne CBD a while back, but that's the only other one I've ever seen. A popular search engine doesn't yield any helpful results.
*It was defenitely a Steed, but not 100% sure if it was a Madison.
Madison was one of the brands sold by the Cycles Australia group, the others being Local, Ashby, Swift, Sprite and Peugeot (yes the same Peugeot as the cars). Up until August 1977 the Stafford, Brisbane based company called Guthries sold bikes under their own name as well as the Local, Ashby and Swift brands. Guthries were sold and became Cycles Australia, and the Guthrie line of bikes was dropped in place of Madison. So it could suggest that the Madison brand may not have any history before that time but I can't be certain. Initially at least, all the bikes except the Peugeots were made in Brisbane, but as the 80s wore on I believe production gradually moved to Japan/Taiwan.
I had a Madison SR10 which was just a typical cheap 70s ten speed, stem shifters, steel rims, cottered cranks, but unfortunately it had a badly bent frame and went to the bike rack in the sky. Certainly the only Madisons I've seen were the same, just cheap entry level bikes, but then I thought the same thing of De Carlo until I saw a couple of really good quality ones so who knows. I'll say all Madisons were just cheap junkers, with any luck that will bring a nice one out of the woodwork to prove me wrong .
When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments- Elizabeth West.
8 posts • Page 1 of 1
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