The Simplicity of Vintage Cycles

Vintage Bicycles Done Proper :: Portland, Oregon

Cycling in Print: Schwinn All Terrain Bicycles, 1985

On the heels of a Schwinn High Sierra refresh, an unearthed catalog highlights Schwinn’s finest All Terrain Bicycles for 1985, “providing vehicles to take you where a four-wheel drive can’t.”

Schwinn All Terrain Bicycles, 1985

Ahh, the All Terrain Bicycle (ATB). The marketing buzzword that just didn’t quite catch on. Unfortunately for you, ATB, the word “Mountain Bike” (MTB) stole your spotlight and it never quite came back around to you. But, in 1985, the promise of whatever you want to call mixed terrain bikes became clear and Schwinn quickly opened up their line to accommodate. This stand-alone, multi-page printed piece demonstrated the robust investment Schwinn had made to the market and was distributed throughout bike shops nationwide to promote their exciting new wares.

On the top of the food chain was the Cimarron. The only model to feature a Tange unicrown fork and SunTour dropouts, along with a sexy two-page, fold-out spread. It was clearly the pack leader and proudly sported a full Shimano groupset, sans a SunTour Superbe seat post. The Cimarron was not significantly lighter or with geometry vastly different from the High Sierra but it was clear who the alpha, and ultimate ATB was, even with the embarrassing handlebar setup found in the image above. To this day, the Cimarron is still the most coveted, and valuable, from this lineup.

Now, if riding through fields of golden wheat or bombing down some singletrack was your idea of a good time, and you were paying attention to the awards (hello “Bicycling! Magazine’s ‘Good Buy’ pick in 1984”), then the Sierra line was your bag. This was a budget Cimarron and although not the top-tier components, they were still respectable and carved a place between trail and pavement. But, fear not, marketing dictated it was clearly more trail than pavement.

Lest we forget this catalog also highlights two other models, the Mirada and the Mesa Runner, but both quite “lightweight” and more akin to dropping off curbs as an urban assault vehicle than hitting more technical terrain. But, a dirt path here and there—no problem! Build quality was hi-tensile steel frames and forks here but the catalog made it clear these models were still dressed in modest, yet classic, groupsets.

This obscure and forgotten Schwinn ATB showcase piece is offered here for download as a PDF.

Schwinn All Terrain Bicycles Catalog; 1985

© Josh Capps and The Simplicity of Vintage Cycles. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Josh Capps and The Simplicity of Vintage Cycles with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Advertisements

2 comments on “Cycling in Print: Schwinn All Terrain Bicycles, 1985

  1. ryansubike
    March 10, 2018

    Cool marketing spread, I know when I see the term ATB we are talking early days for Mountain bikes. I have actually rehabbed a Step through Mesa Runner (free on the side of the road) but I’ve never seen a Cimarron in person.

    • Josh C.
      March 10, 2018

      It’s a pretty fun promo piece, isn’t it? It’s clear that Schwinn saw the market shift and decided to go all in, appealing to the masses but certainly not the bleeding edge or group that would consider them selves extreme.

      Before I picked up my High Sierra, I was actually on the hunt more for a Cimarron. But, sometimes I deal comes up you just can’t pass by. Something tells me you know what that’s like. 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Simplicity on Twitter

Advertisements

Enter your email address to follow Simplicity and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 509 other followers

Simplicity on Flickr

%d bloggers like this: