I don’t usually write much about inexpensive department store bikes (Kmart, Target, etc) Â 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. Â That being said, Â I do come across some interesting vintage bikes once in a while, Â including some ‘department-store’ bikes. Â This bike would be one of those. Â At the last Women Who Bike brunch in April, Ash – of the tumblr blog One Less Minivan – Â rode up on her newlyÂ acquiredÂ Murray Monterey Magna 2-speed. Â That’s right, Â it’s a 2-speed bike. Â In fact, this particular bike has a 2-speed automatic hub Â – one of the Sachs “Torpedo Duomatic Hubs” I believe. Â Check out this post on powderblueorbit.com that talks in detail about this hub.
The bike is a tank! Â And that’s coming from someone who rides a 50lb WorkCycles Oma everyday! Â The automatic hub can be kicked into Â the other gear by slightly pedaling backwards – it has a coaster brake. Â Or, just start riding and as you pick up speed it will automatically shift to the next gear.
The Murray Ohio Manufacturing Company made these bikes in the Â 80s though by that time they were no longer located in Cleveland Ohio, but had moved their factory and assembly plant to LawrenceburgÂ Tennessee. Â They started selling their bicycles in Target, Kmart and Wal-mart at about the same time. Â They stopped producing US-made bikes altogether in 1999, and the brand wasÂ acquiredÂ by Pacific Cycles in 2000. Â 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.