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BCA bike?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I wish they had a vintage post here, so I've got a question and I'm posting it here.

 

 

I saw a touring bike on Craigslist (no pic though) made by a now defunct American company out of PA called a BCA, Bicycle Company of America. I did some internet searching but couldn't find much other then it may have been made by Ross.  It's a steel frame bike with AL components and wheels, and most if not all Ross bikes used steel wheels.  The owner bought it from another person for his son some years back to take to college but it didn't fit him and the son decided he wanted a car instead.  The owner thinks it was built in the early 80's but he's not sure.
 
I'm going to go look at it and see what it's all about, but I thought if anyone by some slim chance had some heads up info on those bikes it would be great.
 
Thanks
post #2 of 9

Small manufacturer out of Allentown, PA. They only lasted for about 3 years before they went bankrupt in the late 1980s. They tried to sell their bikes as "Made in the USA",  but they couldn't compete with the bikes coming out of Japan. The only real affiliation with Ross is that Ross also made their bikes in Allentown so there was probably some movement of ideas and personel between the two companies. Ross sold out to the Rand Corp about a year before BCA filed for Chapter 11. It is common when talking about BCA to be "corrected" by those who don't know telling you that it is BSA, a subsidiary of the old British Raleigh company.

 

BCA made some good bikes and some not so good, and a lot of in-betweens. Their better steel bikes had good lugged frames. Their best bike frames were made of Reynolds 531 tubing. I don't think that they made any aluminum bikes. You are right though, there is not much info out there. They were pretty much a flash in the pan. The older brother of one of my best friends worked for Ross up to when it was sold. He might have more info on BCA. I'll ask him about them next time that I see him.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

This particular BCA was a piece of junk, in fact it was junk when it was new!  Heavy frame, cheap components, steel wheels originally but the front was replaced with an AL wheel.  It was pure yuk, and the guy tried to tell me it was a high end bike!  Needless to say I passed on buying it.

post #4 of 9

BCA bicycles are worth a fortune if it happens to be a vintage mountain bike.  Anybody that has one should hang on to it or sell it on ebay.  One of the original mountain bikes, not neccessarily built very well, but then again, no mountain bikes were built well until aroud 1985.  Gary Fisher converted cruisers in California to invent the mountain bike, and they werent mass produced until around 82 or 83.  BCA is a rare collectors item.  Regardless of quality or condition if it is a vintage mountain bike. 

post #5 of 9

Any questions call the bike museum in Pittsburgh PA at 412-734-4034.  We were actually around when mountain bikes got started as opposed to other peoples guesses.  Brian Schaffer

post #6 of 9

I was around when mountain bikes were new but I don't remember BCA being a player in the early days. I owed a BCA touring bike in the late eighties. It was an OK bike but the frame cracked after about a year of messenger use.

post #7 of 9

I do have a BCA. I bought it as a second hand in March 1992. I have been riding it pretty steadily ever since, and I may add - it is tremendously durable bike /I am fairly large guy/.  

post #8 of 9

Being a former employee of BCA, they were located in Allentown, PA.  Yes they were made in USA (assembled) but all parts came from overseas.  They also produced bikes for Sears, Montgomery Wards, Hess Department Store.  They were family owned an had no connection to Ross or any other bicycle manufacturer.  

 

They relied on the Retail contracts for the bigger part of their business.  The BCA name standing alone never took off on its own.

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdelong View Post

Small manufacturer out of Allentown, PA. They only lasted for about 3 years before they went bankrupt in the late 1980s. They tried to sell their bikes as "Made in the USA",  but they couldn't compete with the bikes coming out of Japan. The only real affiliation with Ross is that Ross also made their bikes in Allentown so there was probably some movement of ideas and personel between the two companies. Ross sold out to the Rand Corp about a year before BCA filed for Chapter 11. It is common when talking about BCA to be "corrected" by those who don't know telling you that it is BSA, a subsidiary of the old British Raleigh company.

BCA made some good bikes and some not so good, and a lot of in-betweens. Their better steel bikes had good lugged frames. Their best bike frames were made of Reynolds 531 tubing. I don't think that they made any aluminum bikes. You are right though, there is not much info out there. They were pretty much a flash in the pan. The older brother of one of my best friends worked for Ross up to when it was sold. He might have more info on BCA. I'll ask him about them next time that I see him.
That's bullsh**! BCA was in business a lot longer then the 80's...... I had a full suspension all aluminum BCA bike that was BAD ASS, till some butthead stole it in the late 90's........ and I only had it for 2years
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