What bike would have cost £200 in 1960?

My octogenarian neighbour was telling me that in his day, he was a keen cyclist. He said his first bike cost him £20, but when he got serious, he spent £200. He said it was "55 years ago" so it would place it around 1960. He didn't say what make it was, so could anyone give me an idea of what bikes were around in that price range at the time?
 

byegad

Legendary Member
Location
NE England
Back then my Dad bought a fully equipped 'Ride to work' bike, with mudguards dynamo lighting and saddle bag for £19 19s 11d. I can't remember the make but it was a fairly decent lake, he never bought cheap and nasty.

£200 seems a lot back then, when the weekly wage for a working man was around £20/week. The modern equivalent would be a top of the range factory look-a-like.
 

biggs682

Smile a mile bike provider
Location
Northamptonshire
wow £200 is still a lot of money to most of us now

my father tells me the tale how he bought a Claud Butler back in the late 50's and hand painted it black so as not to attract attention and it still got nicked , when he reported it to the Police the bobby couldnt believe how much he was still paying back to the shop he got it from in Coventry . Will have to ask him how much it was as i cant remember
 

vernon

Harder than Ronnie Pickering
Location
Meanwood, Leeds
My octogenarian neighbour was telling me that in his day, he was a keen cyclist. He said his first bike cost him £20, but when he got serious, he spent £200. He said it was "55 years ago" so it would place it around 1960. He didn't say what make it was, so could anyone give me an idea of what bikes were around in that price range at the time?
Could it be a case of 'The older he gets the more expensive it was?'
 

Arrowfoot

Veteran
I looked at it and i don't think any bike would even exceed £100 if it was custom made. New cars would be that price. I think he might have been mistaken.
 
Yeah, I thought £200 was an incredible amount to pay... a quick Google check reckoned that the equivalent current value would be £4,100. There are lots of bikes around at that price today, but I was sceptical as to whether bikes then would have been seen in the same light. As you say, a hand made Reynolds tubed bike would have been state of the art, and that would have been only a few dozens of £'s. I expect it gets more and more expensive every time he tells the tale.... thanks guys
 
in 1968 a Ford mkII Cortina was something over £600. I'd be gobsmacked if even Eddy Mercks spent a third of that kn his bije
 

byegad

Legendary Member
Location
NE England
LOL Dad had a Cortina MkII and I drove it, with L plates. Great car for the time, and much better than the rubbish MkI Cortina he traded in for it.
 

Debade

Senior Member
Location
Connecticut, USA
I remembered as a kid thinking about the cost of the Schwinn Paramount as being incredibly expensive. In comparison to other bikes. It was. I do not know if that was the MOST expensive bike but it appears to be very expensive at suggested retail $175. Unfortunately, I could not find the pound/dollar exchange rate for that time.That compares to the Schwinn Continental ($87) and Varsity ($72) that some of my friends owned. Those were expensive from my financial situation at that time. I had a Schwinn with a big shock absorber on front. Can't remember the name. Kind of like a cargo bike. This is a fun catalogue for what I believe was the biggest selling bike brand in the USA at the 60s. http://www.schwinnbikeforum.com/SLDB/Details/dtail_6064.htm
 
LOL Dad had a Cortina MkII and I drove it, with L plates. Great car for the time, and much better than the rubbish MkI Cortina he traded in for it.
And far far better than the Mk3 which followed it too..
'twas my first car - first had get it to run, then fix the gearbox which is why my Dad had abandoned it 6 years previously. Some years later the high point of my mechanical tinkering was an engine swap, on my own, in the rain in an hour and a half. It would take you that long to even find the engine under the plastic covers on some modern cars. Well, when I say "high point of mechanical tinkering" I should admit it was swapping the 1300 engine back after failing to get the 1600 replacement to start
 

byegad

Legendary Member
Location
NE England
Well the MIII Cortina wasn't too bad. Dad had a 1600 XL (IIRC) which would be useful today as an auxiliary airfield. The bonnet really did seem that long. He had no issues with it and rather liked it, talking fondly about it after it was swapped for the next car.
 

Pumpman

Well-Known Member
I can remember a few prices from just after 1960.
In about '62 or '63, a lad at our school (or more likely his parents) bought a Cinelli. It was well equipped, mostly Campag) and was the envy of the school. The price was either £53 or £54.
At about that time I had a Pennine Richmond. It was a hand-me-down, probably 4th or 5th hand - but, out of interest, I got hold of a Pennine price list from a local shop. I remember the Richmond frame price as being £14-10s. This was at the lower end of the Pennine range, but still a decent bike. A new complete Raleigh tourer was in the £20-£25 range.
Based on the above, I think £200 seems a high price at that time.
 
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