I have the delightful compulsion of purchasing low-end vintage bicycles. The Iverson 3-Speed that I recently purchased was on its third run on Goodwill’s auction site, marked down to $4.99 from $9.99. I was the only bidder. I’ve got it all torn down now, and am cleaning, polishing and slowly putting it back together.
Reading through the bike forums about the Iverson is daunting. It only seems to have respect amongst the Stingray and rat rod crowds for the bikes it made in that category. Regarding their 3-speeds, I read the words “junk”, “boat anchor”, and “garbage” over and over.
Now that I’ve taken my lumps about how the cycling world views this bike, I’ve dusted myself off and would like to make a few comments in the bike’s defense.
This bike is “low end”. No debating that. But “low end” when? A low end Gary Fisher mountain bike ended up in my garage yesterday. It was made 10 years ago, and is completely falling apart. Plastic bits of broken shifters, a taco wheel, and tons of scrapes on the poorly-painted components look like Iron Man’s skinned-up knees. “Low end” in 1970-whatever is not in the same thing as low end today. My Iverson is rusty, dirty, and out of shape, but nothing on it is broken. Nothing is missing. Everything works as it should. When I get it together, it’s going to look a damn sight better than the 10-yr-old Gary Fisher–and the 333 Shimano 3-speed hub will still work. I don’t know why or how, but it will, because they almost always do. Harumph!
Furthermore, I have evidence that this Iverson is actually a Fuji. Nothing I found online confirms this, as most of what is written about this bike is to debate whether or not it is a bike. What a waste of time–reading the balderdash of the cycling elite! I have two bits of evidence that this bike is a Fuji. I received unlikely help from a depressed cycle guru online, who wrote that the Iversons were crummy Sears bikes, and blah blah blah…. He’s right, but he failed to look further. I was reading the Wikipedia entry for Fuji bikes the other day, when I found this: “Toshoku America sold private-label Fuji-made bicycles as house brands through U.S. retailers such as Sears & Roebuck and Montgomery Wards.” My other clue is more obvious. The seat clamp bolt on my Iverson, which has the same finish, patina and style as the other bits of hardware on the bike, has the Fuji logo stamped on it.
I believe it was Cartman from Southpark who put it so eloquently, “Screw you guys–I’m going home [with my Fuji 3-Speed that I stole for 5 bucks]!”