1972 CCM Formula 1


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Brian R.

Finally riding a big boys bike
Oct 16, 2015
393
770
Toronto, Canada
#1
I picked up this nice, like-new condition 1972 Formula 1 this past weekend. Originally I intended to stay away from 1970s ten-speeds, but have become more interested in road bikes after acquiring a few 1930s track and road racers. I understand the derision some people have expressed for bikes like this, as the 1970s is known as a period of decline for CCM (and other North American makes), sadly, but I picked up this bike for two reasons: its amazingly well-preserved condition, and the Reynolds 531 tubes in its frame (straight tubes, not butted). Except for a few new parts, I'd like to think this is the best-preserved Formula 1 in existence. The bar tape was originally white, and was replaced because it had become fragile. I think black looks better on this bike actually. The tires were also replaced. As for the rest of it I'll let the photos do the talking.

I believe this bike was made for only one year, 1972, and that it was second-highest in the pecking order below the Tour du Canada. Since it was the beginning of the 10-speed boom, I imagine it must have been a failure in the market place for some reason. It's possible that at the higher price points buyers gravitated towards more exotic choices available at the time, like Peugeot, and CCM decided to focus on its bread-and-butter entry-level bikes.

CCMFormula1pic1.jpg


CCMFormula1pic2.jpg


CCMFormula1pic3.jpg


CCMFormula1pic4.jpg


CCMFormula1pic5.jpg


CCMFormula1pic6.jpg


CCMFormula1pic7.jpg
 

juvela

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Aug 2, 2014
819
1,197
Playa del Rey, United States
#2
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Thanks very much for sharing this find with the forum. ;)

The bicycle is all so perfect it looks like it is ready for its catalogue photo!

Its fittings mix is unusual, combining components from several nations. Such were the conditions of "the boom."

Chainset is Takagi (Three Arrows).

Gear ensemble is mixed combining Huret mechs with Shimano shift levers, downtube cable guide, spoke disc and chainstay stop.

Cherry brand brakeset.

It is slightly unusual to see the Sanshin Matsumoto (Sunshine) hubs on a cycle with Shimano components as the two firms belonged to differing keiretsu (export groups) at this time.

Excellent find!

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bulldog1935

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jan 21, 2013
3,759
5,478
Bulverde, TX
#3
I think CCM were built in Canada. That bike is the answer to Raleigh Grand Prix - equipped essentially the same.
Even the name, Grand Prix - Formula 1
76-grand-prix.jpg
 
Likes: Sven

Brian R.

Finally riding a big boys bike
Oct 16, 2015
393
770
Toronto, Canada
#4
CCMFormula1cat.jpg


Thanks for the comments - very useful information! Yes, it is odd how the bike was assembled with a hodge podge of parts.
In a forum on a different site, members chuckled at how road bikes are shown with kick stands in the catalogue image.

CCM originally stood for Canada Cycle and Motor Company. Some people who know CCM only from hockey equipment are surprised to learn this.
 

juvela

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Aug 2, 2014
819
1,197
Playa del Rey, United States
#5
-----

Thanks very much for the response and sharing of the catalogue page! ;)

One fitting was unable to identify was the cycle's pedal set.

Found several models which are quite close but none which were an exact match. The closest was a Brampton (England) model.

Have you discovered any markings on the pedals?

Thanks for any information.

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MarkKBike

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Apr 17, 2017
781
1,850
Chicago Suburbs
#6
A few months ago there were two of these for sale in my area. I was tempted to bite on one of them, but procrastinated. It appears they have both since been sold.

How do you like the way it rides?
 

Brian R.

Finally riding a big boys bike
Oct 16, 2015
393
770
Toronto, Canada
#7
Juvela, I checked the pedals last night. They have "Mikashima Works" stamped in a circle on the end cap. When CCM was in its heyday (prewar), they manufactured several kinds of pedals in their own factory. I think the gradual downhill slide started after the war with competition from imported lightweight English bicycles in the '50s, followed by cheaper European rides in the '60s (Czech bikes imported by Majestic of Montreal for example) and then of course bikes made in Asia in the '70s. I think CCM's fate was paralleled by Schwinn in the U.S. (I've read the book "No Hands"). While I was looking at the pedals, I also had a really close look at the paint and welds, and saw evidence of what CCM experts have been talking about regarding poor quality issues at CCM in those days. There is some braze splatter on the frame, and the paint is speckley and thin, not evenly sprayed, like someone (or a machine?) was passing the spray gun over the frame too quickly.

There is a guy on another forum who used to be a CCM dealer in the '70s and is very knowledgeable on this topic. He has posted a lengthy reply about the Formula 1, which is very informative and interesting. I'll pasted it in this forum later today. One thing I learned is that the Formula 1 was second from the bottom, not second from the top (of four 10-speeds) in the model lines.

MarkKBike, I rode it only once and then put it in the garage. It's kinda cold here now and gets dark very early. It rode nicely, like a new bike, but I'm not fond of having to reach down to the downtube to change gears.
 
Likes: juvela

juvela

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Aug 2, 2014
819
1,197
Playa del Rey, United States
#8
-----

Thank you so much or all of this information Brian!

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juvela

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Aug 2, 2014
819
1,197
Playa del Rey, United States
#12
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Hello again Brian,

Had meant to post this earlier.

The bicycle's Takagi chainset comes from a manufacturer who was once indepenent and was subsequently acquired by Shimano who kept the name and product line going. Oftimes lower end road machines which are Shimano equipped will exhibit Takagi/Three Arrows chainsets. A wide assortment of steel and alloy sets were offered for both road and BMX applications.

Here is a company advert from a trade publication of 1971 -

20ubz1l.jpg


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Likes: Brian R.

systemBuilder

On Training Wheels
Feb 6, 2013
2
0
#13
I am 56 years old and remember seeing a CCM bike with 531 tubing like this when I was a kid, in the early-mid 1970's, although not in this color, maybe British Racing Green. At the time, I owned a Raleigh Grand Prix (1972) but I picked out a $150 Dawes Galaxy for my dad (= Raleigh Super Course, not the very high-end Dawes; Reynolds 531 unbutted main tubes only) in 1974.

I saw the CCM somewhere in Urbana Illinois or perhaps Toronto which is where my dad grew up. It was my favorite thing to "check out bikes" to see what mix of parts and features they had, after reading Eugene Sloan's fantastic book about bikes & bike parts. It was just so weird to see CCM use reynolds steel for the frameset, but then use heavy steel parts for absolutely everything else - especially the rims (= horrible braking) and the hubs. I concluded that CCM had no idea what they were doing and did not belong in the bike business. This came true a few years later when they went bankrupt.

That bike has Shimano shifters, which are a replacement; the original would have had Huret downtube shifters. Back then the only company mixing derailleur systems was Schwinn, with the Paramount ( suntour barcons instead of campy; Shimano Crane GS rear mech instead of Campy Rally or Gran Turismo ). The mongrel bike was not popularized until the early 1980's when TREK started doing it everywhere ...
 
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Brian R.

Finally riding a big boys bike
Oct 16, 2015
393
770
Toronto, Canada
#14
Recent posts have reminded me that back in post #7 here I had promised to paste an entry about this bike from a forum on a different website (vintageccm.com). His lengthy discussion includes an answer to the above question about the equipment and Shimano shifters. This was written by a fellow Canadian who was a CCM dealer back in the 1970s. He is very helpful and a fountain of bicycle knowledge. Here are his comments on my Formula 1 and the '70s ten-speed boom, in two parts. I don't think you need to be Canadian to find it an interesting read. Enjoy!:

PART ONE:

The Formula 1 was 1972 only. It was 3rd in CCM's lineup of four adult, lightweight, 10 speeds. It was replaced in 1973 by the Concorde and while I can't provide a definitive reason, I strongly suspect it was infringement upon the trademarked name used by the FIA for its automobile racing series. Still, this was only part of the reason, as CCM revamped most of their model line for 1973. Many 1973 bicycles were substantially the same as 1972 but most had new names and graphics. Most notably,1973 was the year that CCM introduced their new logo consisting of three boxes. My opinion has always been that CCM was hoping that an (inexpensive) cosmetic change would revitalize their image and sales for 1973.

The Formula 1 had replaced the Grand Prix, which had been in existence since 1966. Grand Prix was the name for races within the Formula 1 series, so the model name change maintained a degree of continuity while signifying a major change to the bicycle. That change was switching the main tubes from hi-tensile steel to the thinner, lighter and more resilient Reynolds 531, though in the lower plain gauge variety. Most of the other components were largely unchanged, though there was one other major change that went largely unnoticed, except by mechanics. In the European tradition, the 1972 line now used a small diameter bottom bracket shell with threaded cups.. CCM hadn't done this since the discontinuation of the Club Racers and Flyers in the 1950s. When they started building 10 speeds in the late 1960s, they had utilized the large diameter shells with press fit cups, which required a non-standard spindle having cotter flats and cone threads. Mechanics viewed the 1972 change as a positive sign and, in conjunction with the Reynolds 531, was viewed as evidence that CCM was trying to raise their game in the "10 speed" market.

Being 2nd from the bottom of the line. the Formula 1 was considered upper entry level and competed directly against models like the Peugeot U08 and Raleigh Grand Prix, which were arguably the two most successful bicycles in Canada in this market segment. The component specifications of the Formula 1 were typical for the era and level of the bicycle, so the presence of Reynolds 531 should have given it an advantage over the competition but most consumers preferred European brands.

The model between the Tour du Canada and Formula 1 was called the Citation. It was also a one year model and was CCM's first boom era attempt at a mid-range model. The big selling point was the wheelset, which had aluminum rims and hubs with quick release skewers. It was a dismal seller in my region, so they were a pretty rare bicycle, even back in their day. I can only recall seeing a couple in recent decades. Its successor, the Mistral, sold slightly better. I went back and dug out my shop sales records for 1972. The Turismo outsold the Formula 1 by a ratio of 10.2:1. Of course, this was only one shop but based on conversations I had with other dealers at time, it was probably typical, as they all reported the Turismo (and the later Targa) as being their best selling CCM 10 speed, by a large margin.

The early 1970s bicycle boom had seen a shift in industry sales from primarily children's bicycles to teenagers and young adults (i.e. 13-29 age range). At the time, there was a huge counter-culture movement by people in this age group wherein traditional, well established, domestic companies like CCM were not popular. Companies like Peugeot were just as old but, being foreign, the consumer wasn't familiar with them and they offered an exotic appeal.

Also, Europe was the home of the racing bicycle. The North American racing scene had been a shadow of its former self since the Second World War and CCM's limited forays into racing models in the 1950s were unknown to the youth market which viewed Europeans as the acknowledged experts. They wanted to buy what they thought was the "real thing", as opposed to some Canadian manufactured copy. This was not unfounded. During this era CCM employed a relatively conservative frame design on their 10 speeds that gave a comfortable and stable ride. However, it also resulted in the bicycles being relatively unresponsive, to both pedal and steering input.

There were also quality control issues. Brazing voids, braze splatter, poor paint, insufficient lubrication and poor assembly were fairly common occurrences. To be fair, even the European factories weren't immune. The least affected were the Japanese and this was evident to the consumer. Sometimes they couldn't explain why but the Japanese models gave the impression of being better and this was reflected in constantly increasing market share.

Most of the 13-29 crowd had their own money and could buy what they wanted. They didn't want to spend a lot of money, however nor did they want to be seen riding a bottom of the line model. Consequently, upper entry level (typically 2nd from the bottom of the line) became the hottest market segment. This should have made the Formula 1 a good seller but it wasn't. It was sunk primarily by anti-CCM sentiment, along with a conservative design and quality control issues.

The only CCM 10 speeds that sold in good quantity were the bottom of the line models, which was the Turismo in 1972. Most of these were purchased for teenagers, by their parents. Typically, the parents were suspicious about 10 speeds, which they viewed as being mechanically complex and the parents were old enough not be influenced by what they considered a fad. Consequently, parents tended to buy the least expensive model for their teenagers. However, they also remembered the war and were very patriotic, buying Canadian products. As a result, CCM's best selling 10 speed in 1972 was the bottom end Turismo and it outsold the Formula 1 by large margins.

The Formula 1's successor, the Concorde, fared no better, being eclipsed by the bottom of the line Targa. The only other good sales for CCM were children's bicycles and the upright handlebar, recreational bicycles, particularly those with 3-speed, internally geared hubs. The latter sold particularly well to the 30+ age group who often suffered from what I called DAS (Derailleur Anxiety Syndrome). All this only reinforced the notion that CCM's market was primarily inexpensive bicycles for children and the 30+ market.

So, while the Formula 1 was a poor seller and short lived, there was nothing specifically wrong with the model itself. Dismal sales were largely the result of CCM's poor corporate image with the 13-29 age group that constituted the majority of the target market for this model. The short life span was due (probably) to trademark infringement and CCM's attempt to stimulate sales though relatively inexpensive changes.

PART TWO:

Neither the component mix nor the workmanship is a surprise, when you put it in context with what was happening in the North American bicycle industry at the time. 1971 was the start of the bicycle boom. I don't have Canadian figures but in the USA, ten speed sales went from 0.8 million units in 1970, to 3.7 million in 1971 and then skyrocketed to 8.0 million in 1972. In other words, ten speed sales jumped tenfold in 2 years and 1972 sales of ten speeds alone were more than total bicycle sales in 1970.

Most manufacturers had under estimated the sudden increase in demand, resulting in a scramble for materials and parts. At the time, most ten speed components came from Europe. There were no North American suppliers of derailleurs, double chainring cranksets, etc. With demand outstripping supply, many of the European component manufacturers gave preference to the European bicycle manufacturers with which they had an established, long term relationship. Relatively new (and lower volume) customers, like CCM, received small allocations and were forced to seek alternate sources. As a result, there were lots of factory substitutions in 1971and 1972. This opened the door for smaller, less well known component brands, mainly from Japan,

The catalogue version of the Formula1 appears to have completely European sourced components and this fits with the early Formula 1 that I recall. However, later production runs used increasing amounts of Japanese sourced components. Weinmann brakes gave way to Cherry, who would become CCM's prime source for the subsequent Targa and Concorde. I'm not sure your crankset is a Takagi as there were some other Japanese clones, but crankset sourcing also switched to Japan. The Shimano levers are a bit strange, given that both derailleurs are Huret. You would think that Huret would supply these in equal quantities but I have seen other Formula 1 with Shimano shift levers, so they are undoubtedly factory installed. While I've seen Shimano hubs on Formula 1, in addition to French Normandy hubs, I've never seen Sunshine or a small flange hub. Still, given the era and the bicycle's condition, there's no reason to question it.

Similarly, the sudden increase in demand contributed to workmanship issues. With shops screaming for more bicycles, workers were undoubtedly being pushed hard, at frantic pace. New, inexperienced hires would also have been common place. To make orders on time, personnel probably looked the other way when defects were encountered, as long as they didn't affect function, reliability or safety. In such situations, things typically snowball. As stated previously, CCM wasn't alone in this. Many European brands suffered similar quality lapses and it cost them market share too. The nationality that came out the best after the boom was over was the Japanese and it was largely due to their Quality Control.
 

Eric Amlie

Finally riding a big boys bike
May 9, 2010
338
306
Madison, United States
#15
I have a '73 Concorde that was the same color as your Formula 1(repainted many years ago though).
I've never seen another Concorde in this color.
I'd love to see the catalog page for it. Anyone know an online source for viewing the catalogs?
 

bulldog1935

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jan 21, 2013
3,759
5,478
Bulverde, TX
#17
even the catalog page copies early 70s Raleigh - associate bike with apparently cooler people than the guy who's reading the catalog and doesn't own the bike
ccm_concorde_1973.jpg
1971raleighcarcat_us_03_lg.jpg
 

Brian R.

Finally riding a big boys bike
Oct 16, 2015
393
770
Toronto, Canada
#18
But doesn't that describe much of the advertising that's out there? I remember the beer commercials of my youth always left me feeling like a loser with no cottage, no dock, no babes on the dock in bikinis, and no friends in shiny shades on the dock laughing and passing me a bottle. ....The CCM ad above is just stupid. It only makes sense if it's aimed at female buyers - maybe seeing a hairy guy with an open shirt makes them want to buy a bicycle(?!) but it does nothing for me! The girl with the skimpy shirt doesn't make me want to buy a bike either.
 

bulldog1935

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jan 21, 2013
3,759
5,478
Bulverde, TX
#19
point being CCM aimed their bikes at Raleigh's market, pretty much model-by-model and emulated Raleigh, which was smart - they were the cool bikes of the 70s, and what most college kids wanted. Raleigh's market was the nut CCM had to crack, especially since Raleigh had a Canadian manufacturing plant for their entry-level bikes.
The Raleigh ads of those years were equally stupid, though they dressed their models to get the parent's approval.
The other point is the 70s-campy male model scored the equally 70s-campy girl, also implying the bike was a lifestyle choice.
1971raleighcarcat_us_01_lg.jpg


A very different market than, e.g., Marinoni in Canada - who would be aiming at serious racers - selling the bike not the lifestyle.
hIKghJB.jpg
 
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Likes: Brian R.

Brian R.

Finally riding a big boys bike
Oct 16, 2015
393
770
Toronto, Canada
#20
Thanks for posting. I love that Marinoni, love the colour. is it yours? Could it be for sale?
 

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