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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

1970s Royal Enfield bicycles were sold by U.S. company

Why are so many Royal Enfield bicycles available for sale in the United States, I asked — especially bikes that look too new to have been built in Britain before Royal Enfield stopped making them in Redditch at the end of the 1960s?

Robert Stack restores and sells bicycles though Zoshe, his one-man operation in New Jersey. He told me that the Royal Enfield bicycle he has up for sale looked to him to date from the 1970s and perhaps was made in Taiwan.

Robert was kind enough to check trademark records, and determined that the G. Joannou Cycle Co. held the trademark for Royal Enfield bicycles in the 1970s. The G. Joannou Cycle Co. has been around since 1937.

Since 1990, GJC has been the parent company of Jamis Bicycles, a New Jersey firm that builds a wide variety of high quality bikes for serious riders. We're talking categories like full suspension mountain bikes;  road-triathlon; street-commuting; fitness-touring; and cross training.

There are also "comfort" bikes (my speed) and you can even get a cute little pink "Ladybug" with training wheels for you daughter.

They know bicycles. I promised to let readers know what I learned from Jamis.

The answer came from Katie Mulvey, in administration at Jamis Bicycles, Northvale, N.J. She gathered the information from Carine Joannou, president and CEO, who took over leadership of GJC from her father in 1981.

"This is the most information she can gather without digging deeper in old files, which are difficult to locate," Katie wrote.

Here's what Carine said:
  1. G. Joannou Cycle had the Royal Enfield trademark from 1975 through 1977.
  2. Bikes that were manufactured at the time were as follows: three-speed bicycles (touring style); 10-speed bicycles (drop bar); 20-inch BMX style bicycles, boys and girls.
  3. Bikes were manufactured in Taiwan and imported into the USA
  4. Royal Enfield three-wheeler bicycles were manufactured as well, so those bikes were in fact manufactured during that time.
  5. The metal head-badge was in fact from us, as was the later versions of the decal RE badge that was used for BMX bicycles.
"I hope this is helpful," Katie concluded. "Carine was a teenager when her father had the RE trademark so this is what she could forward offhand."

It is helpful. I think it explains where at least the majority of these bicycles came from and why they are available in such variety.
Royal Enfield bicycles of the 1970s  for sale on eBay and Craigslist
with a package of Royal Enfield parts from  G. Joannou Cycle Co.

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