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Puch Bicycles

Puch Bikes was founded by Johann Puch in Austria in 1889 and soon turned to the more profitable motorcycle and auto manufacturing 1). By 1908 it had manufactured over 100,000 bicycles. Puch became a subsidiary of Austro-Daimler in 1928 and today now a part of Bianchi. It continues making cruisers and ebikes:

Much history is available about Puch. See this 400 page book, or Facebook page. Mountain Bikes, as usual, get very little mention, especially in early 80's European sources, so that almost nothing can be found about their first “Mountain Jet” bicycle. Puch did collaborate with Murray from 1979 → 1982 to produce motorcycles and cheap klunkers for the US market. The Murray Baja was marketed as a “Puch Murray,” so that Puch had early experience being financially invested in mountain bikes 2)

1981 Puch Murray
1981 Puch Murray facebook

1900 Puch
1900: When fixies were cool. facebook

Aphrodite: Blond goddess of fixies and crabapples.

1983 Mountain Jet

Double chainring crankset, 6 speed freewheel.

Mountain Jet
1983 Mountain Jet retrobike

1984 Puch 160

The date is a guess, as this 160 is equipped with a 5 speed freewheel, unlike later versions which had larger 3×6 speeds 3).

1984 160
1984 160 bicycleczar

1985 160

This pic is possibly a 1986 model, as it looks very much like the 1986 catalog. Until a 1983, 1984 or 1985 catalogs come to light, much of all this is guess work.

1986 Catalog
1986 Catalog bulgier

1985 160
1985 160 reddit

1986 Puch 160

Catalog scan. SunTour AG Tech GTL (1986-87)

1986 160
1986 160 1986 catalog

1988 Puch Durango

SunTour ST Alpha 3040GS (1988+). Pic matches 1988 catalog.

1988 Durango
1988 Durango bikeforums

1990 Puch Butterfly

Shimano Exage 400ex(1990-92).

1990 Butterfly
1990 Butterfly

1991 Puch Thomisus

By this point, Puch are selling rebadged Bianchis. Shimano 200GS (1991). A copy of the Mantis Valkyrie. Why does the Mantis look beautiful, while the Thomisus with its identical arresting structure, looks cheap and busy? Does the department store quality paint and components of the Puch really make that much of a difference? Yes, apparently…

Puch ceased to make bikes in 1991.

1991 Thomisus
1991 Thomisus shpock

A similar path was taken by Carl Benz, Armand Peueot, Opel Automobile, Škoda and most early auto manufacturers…
The Murray Baja looks to be entirely a US production item, aside from parts. Puch supplied components for their motorcycles while Murray made the frames, assembled the bikes, and marketed/sold them. It's hard to see what Puch donated to the Baja.
6 speed freewheels were standard on mountain bikes since the 1979 Ritchey, and even the 1983 Mountain Jet has a 6 speed. Why the regression? Rear derailleur capacity perhaps?
puch/start.txt · Last modified: 2022/05/02 12:29 by mtbtimeline