Bike Review: A 1980’s Murray Monterey Magna

Murray Monterey Magna

(photo courtesy of

I don’t usually write much about inexpensive department store bikes (Kmart, Target, etc) since, besides the price, they don’t have a lot of features worth recommending – they’re not sturdy and generally don’t hold up to any sort of regular, daily riding. That being said, I do come across some interesting vintage bikes once in a while, including some ‘department-store’ bikes. This bike would be one of those. At the last Women Who Bike brunch in April, Ash – of the Tumblr blog One Less Minivan – rode up on her newly acquired Murray Monterey Magna 2-speed. That’s right, it’s a 2-speed bike. In fact, this particular bike has a 2-speed automatic hub – one of the Sachs “Torpedo Duomatic Hubs” I believe. Check out this post on that talks in detail about this hub.

Sachs Torpedo Duomatic Hub Chart

(courtesy of

The bike is a tank! And that’s coming from someone who rides a 50lb WorkCycles Oma every day! The automatic hub can be kicked into the other gear by slightly pedaling backward it has a coaster brake. Or, just start riding and as you pick up speed it will automatically shift to the next gear.

Murray Monterey Magna Sachs Hub

The Murray Ohio Manufacturing Company made these bikes in the 80s though by that time they were no longer located in Cleveland Ohio, but had moved their factory and assembly plant to Lawrenceburg Tennessee. They started selling their bicycles in Target, Kmart and Wal-mart at about the same time. They stopped producing US-made bikes altogether in 1999, and the brand was acquired by Pacific Cycles in 2000. I’m not sure if Ash is more interested in the hub or the bike, but I know she’s been sighted riding this beast around the city, so keep an eye out for her.

Murray Monterey Magna


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