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1970 Creme White Royce Union 10 Speed
Features:


  • Manufacturer: Royce Union
  • Weight: 1/4 ton
  • Frame Material: Melted down Datsun's (youngsters, that's what they used to call Nissans).
  • Shifters: Shimano Friction, Steerer Mounted, in line with the handle bar axis.
  • Derraileurs: Front, Rust Pitted Chrome Plated Shimano: Rear, Same.
  • Brakes: Shimano Tourney center pull
  • Paint: thick and heavy Lead based white enamel (also rust pitted)
Bike Salute

click image for larger view

  • Wheels: Generic Steel with Steel knitting needle spokes, cone-race and ball bearing, Nut adjustable and nut removeable (whazza quick release?)
  • Pedals: Used to be clipless Metal cage with nifty yellow reflectors on the pedal faces. Now I don't mean clipless like, you know, clipless that you clip into (I still haven't figured out how the etiology of this word works) I mean you just pushed down on 'em cause if you lifted, your feet came off the pedals. (Ok so I replaced the pedals last winter with clipless pedals you clip into but I did my first AIDS Ride with the old ones and old sneakers that looked about as shopworn as the rusty pedals)
  • Saddle: Used to be a medievil torture device designed to emasculate any male who sat upon it, but this I also replaced with a Specialized Body Geometry Comfort Plus. (I wonder why?)
  • Speeds: 10 (Ten) (dieci) (dies) (zein) 2 in front, five in back, reliably even!
  • Purchase Price: $97.00 from Time Square Stores
  • So except for the Saddle, tubes, tires and now the pedals, this bike is Original!
Reviewed by garuch

Rating out of 10: 9.5
Price: $97.00 - New!
Purchased at
Time Square Stores in Hempstead in 1970

Whenever I rode my old Schwinn Cruiser as a kid, I always thought it was like sailing along on a cloud. Directional control was somewhat marginal as it had loose spokes, probably low tire pressure and worn bearings I am sure, but it was smooth! Now that was many long years and half a continent away from where I live now, but the memory is as strong as if it were yesterday. Tooling down Illinois street, racing around the sidewalks of a deserted and never built developement which, for what ever reason, had installed the sidewalks first. We rode the maze of concrete through the waist high prarie grass like it was a trail ride, swooping and swooshing around turns as though the bikes rode upon air instead of rubber and concrete. Well that is very much the same feeling I get when I take out my Old Royce Union for a casual spin.

A what? Yeah, an old steel frame Royce Union 10 Speed. How old, you ask? Well I used to ride my thirty-three year old daughter around in the child seat when she was three! Helmets? Who had even heard of them back then? We just strapped the kids into the molded plastic seat with a skinny nylon strap and off we went, and ya know, we survived. OK so now you wouldn't catch me riding myself around without a brain bucket, but that's another review, so let's get down to it!

So why'd I start this review with a story about a bike I owned 48 years ago? Because after I got my nifty Cannondale R700SI, and after I finally understood what they meant by "aluminum rides harsher than steel," that that is precisely what my Old Royce Union reminds me of. Comfort and a youth gone by. The truth is that I probably still have more saddle time in on the old Royce every year than I do on the Cannondale, If it's crummy weather, if there's sand left on the streets from winter storms, I take my Royce. Although it qualifies, I refuse to call it my beater, so it makes the short hops to the store, afterall, who'd steal it? It is my winter indoor ride bolted into my Nashbar Fluid trainer. And every now and again the loyal BBC members have seen me ride out on a particularly pleasant morn with Old Royce even now!

That being said, what's it like? Well you can ride it no hands without needing a death wish, it takes bumps in it's stride, you can hop curbs and not mash your chuckles on the landing even if you stay in the seat! But you do have to lean into and anticipate turns as she can take a while to come around. When you're doing 55 miles an hour down hill it is most definately thrilling and as I started out by alluding to, the directional stability and control is fluid at best. But, you can make it! Alright, climbing hills can be challanging and, usually, you run out of gears long before you runout of hill, but you know what, it's great training. It's you and the pavement. There's none of the "High Tech" add ons that turn average roadies into road rockets. You pedal you go, you pedal faster, you might just even go a little faster. It stops reliablyand for the most part it gets you where you're going. Old Royce got lubed with whatever oil was laying around and until last year, it never had it's bottom bracket even looked at much less relubed. But it still works. I wonder if my Cannondale will match it's record and still be going strong 30 years from now?

1970 Creme White Royce Union 10 Speed
Features:


  • Manufacturer: Royce Union
  • Weight: 1/4 ton
  • Frame Material: Melted down Datsun's (youngsters, that's what they used to call Nissans).
  • Shifters: Shimano Friction, Steerer Mounted, in line with the handle bar axis.
  • Derraileurs: Front, Rust Pitted Chrome Plated Shimano: Rear, Same.
  • Brakes: Shimano Tourney center pull
  • Paint: thick and heavy Lead based white enamel (also rust pitted)
Bike Salute

click image for larger view

  • Wheels: Generic Steel with Steel knitting needle spokes, cone-race and ball bearing, Nut adjustable and nut removeable (whazza quick release?)
  • Pedals: Used to be clipless Metal cage with nifty yellow reflectors on the pedal faces. Now I don't mean clipless like, you know, clipless that you clip into (I still haven't figured out how the etiology of this word works) I mean you just pushed down on 'em cause if you lifted, your feet came off the pedals. (Ok so I replaced the pedals last winter with clipless pedals you clip into but I did my first AIDS Ride with the old ones and old sneakers that looked about as shopworn as the rusty pedals)
  • Saddle: Used to be a medievil torture device designed to emasculate any male who sat upon it, but this I also replaced with a Specialized Body Geometry Comfort Plus. (I wonder why?)
  • Speeds: 10 (Ten) (dieci) (dies) (zein) 2 in front, five in back, reliably even!
  • Purchase Price: $97.00 from Time Square Stores
  • So except for the Saddle, tubes, tires and now the pedals, this bike is Original!
Reviewed by garuch

Rating out of 10: 9.5
Price: $97.00 - New!
Purchased at
Time Square Stores in Hempstead in 1970

Whenever I rode my old Schwinn Cruiser as a kid, I always thought it was like sailing along on a cloud. Directional control was somewhat marginal as it had loose spokes, probably low tire pressure and worn bearings I am sure, but it was smooth! Now that was many long years and half a continent away from where I live now, but the memory is as strong as if it were yesterday. Tooling down Illinois street, racing around the sidewalks of a deserted and never built developement which, for what ever reason, had installed the sidewalks first. We rode the maze of concrete through the waist high prarie grass like it was a trail ride, swooping and swooshing around turns as though the bikes rode upon air instead of rubber and concrete. Well that is very much the same feeling I get when I take out my Old Royce Union for a casual spin.

A what? Yeah, an old steel frame Royce Union 10 Speed. How old, you ask? Well I used to ride my thirty-three year old daughter around in the child seat when she was three! Helmets? Who had even heard of them back then? We just strapped the kids into the molded plastic seat with a skinny nylon strap and off we went, and ya know, we survived. OK so now you wouldn't catch me riding myself around without a brain bucket, but that's another review, so let's get down to it!

So why'd I start this review with a story about a bike I owned 48 years ago? Because after I got my nifty Cannondale R700SI, and after I finally understood what they meant by "aluminum rides harsher than steel," that that is precisely what my Old Royce Union reminds me of. Comfort and a youth gone by. The truth is that I probably still have more saddle time in on the old Royce every year than I do on the Cannondale, If it's crummy weather, if there's sand left on the streets from winter storms, I take my Royce. Although it qualifies, I refuse to call it my beater, so it makes the short hops to the store, afterall, who'd steal it? It is my winter indoor ride bolted into my Nashbar Fluid trainer. And every now and again the loyal BBC members have seen me ride out on a particularly pleasant morn with Old Royce even now!

That being said, what's it like? Well you can ride it no hands without needing a death wish, it takes bumps in it's stride, you can hop curbs and not mash your chuckles on the landing even if you stay in the seat! But you do have to lean into and anticipate turns as she can take a while to come around. When you're doing 55 miles an hour down hill it is most definately thrilling and as I started out by alluding to, the directional stability and control is fluid at best. But, you can make it! Alright, climbing hills can be challanging and, usually, you run out of gears long before you runout of hill, but you know what, it's great training. It's you and the pavement. There's none of the "High Tech" add ons that turn average roadies into road rockets. You pedal you go, you pedal faster, you might just even go a little faster. It stops reliablyand for the most part it gets you where you're going. Old Royce got lubed with whatever oil was laying around and until last year, it never had it's bottom bracket even looked at much less relubed. But it still works. I wonder if my Cannondale will match it's record and still be going strong 30 years from now?

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