In addition to supplying some nice photos of his Raysport, Marcus also contributed some more information on this marque:

I thought you might be interested in the unabridged information I have on Ray Florman and the Raysport brand bike.

-- Marcus

About Ray Florman the Ray in Raysport.


St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO) April 4, 2001

Bicycling was Raymond J. "Ray" Florman's life, from the Missouri state championships and the 1948 Olympic trials to the Kirkwood bicycle shop he operated for several decades. Although he didn't make the Olympic squad in 1948, Mr. Florman had a cycling career that spanned 62 years.

"He had a really remarkable championship career," said Edward Ruesing, an amateur cyclist from University City who was mentored by Mr. Florman. "He was Missouri state champion in 1936 and again in 1937. He was then national champion in the 80-plus age group in 1998 at age 81."

A funeral Mass for Mr. Florman, former owner of A-1 Bicycle Sales & Service in Kirkwood, was celebrated Friday at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Kirkwood. Interment was private. Mr. Florman died March 26, 2001, apparently of complications from colon cancer at his home in Kirkwood. He was 84.

A native of Venice, Mr. Florman became interested in cycling as a teen-ager. Born with only one hand, he constructed a bike that allowed him to use both brakes with one hand control. Mr. Florman became the Missouri state champion for cycling in the senior men's division in 1936 and again in 1937. Then, in 1998, he won the national championship for his age group at a competition in Florida. During World War II, Mr. Florman worked at a war plant in Madison and rode his bike six miles from St. Louis, across the McKinley Bridge, to work everyday.

In 1953, Mr. Florman founded Normandy Cycle Co. in Normandy. He later changed the name to A-1 Bicycle Sales & Service and relocated the shop to the current site in Kirkwood. His son, Raymond E. Florman of Kirkwood, eventually took over the business, but Mr. Florman continued to help at the store until he was 83.

The shop sponsors the St. Louis Cycling Club. Mr. Florman also mentored many other cyclists, including John Howard, an Olympian who won the gold medal in the men's road race in the 1971 Pan-American Games.

Doug Morrell ST LOUIS MO

A posting by John Barron to the ClassicRendezvous e-mail list.

I had the good fortune of "discovering" A1 Bicycles in Kirkwood, (St. Louis) MO about 7 years ago. Starting in 1954, Ray Florman Sr. and his wife Marge opened Normandy Bicycle Shop and carried the best bicycles and parts that money could buy including Cinelli, Frejus, Girardengo, Campagnolo, Stronglight, etc. Several years later, the name was changed to A1 Bicycle Sales.

In 1974 he struck a deal with Ian Alsop, (a renowned British cycling champion) to build excellent quality "house brand" bike frames/forks in Mexico using custom drawn 531 double butted tubes, Prugnat lugs, Campagnolo dropouts, and crowns that either *were * made by Cinelli, or were extremely close copies.

There were several models, including a Cinelli SC copy, with fully-sloping crowns, and a Masi GC copy with, I believe, a semi-sloping crown. Some had long, horizontal, (1010) dropouts, and some had the vertical, (1060) dropouts.

These bikes were built with tighter geometries, and handsome chrome accents. I bought more than 20 of these several years ago, and have since sold them all. Now Greg Parker has purchased the remaining stock, and is offering them at really great prices. I have ridden these frames, and I can say they are very nice!

Ray was a very active racer, and race organizer. He gave John Howard and many other prominent athletes their start. He was a great competitor despite the fact that he had a congenital condition with one of his arms which led him to modify his bikes so that he could safely race them. Late in his life he was crowned USCF National champion in one of the time trial events, I can't remember which, but it was a longer event. Ray Sr. passed away a few years ago, but I'd like to think that these Raysport frames are a chance for each owner to remember this important man.

The store is now owned and operated by Raymond Florman Jr. Raymond is one of the nicest guys I know.

John Barron Minneapolis

From Bicycle Classics

These are essentially a quite nice Cinelli Super Corsa copy from Mexico from about 1975, but with a tighter wheelbase, and vertical Campy rear dropouts. Very responsive but comfortable frames (steel is real!), no eyelets on the dropouts, not for wide tires, fenders, or "touring."

(They make a great clubride bike, though. Just did 54 miles in 3:30 on mine recently, and I'm old!). 120 mm rear spacing, British threads, 27.2 post, regular-reach brakes with 700C wheels (27" won't fit). Figure about 25-28 mm max tire. Prugnat type "S" lugs, Cinelli internal-tang sloping fork crown, Cinelli-style seat cluster, one bottle braze-on pair, plus a right chainstay stop, and that's it. All clamp-on otherwise. Nice "R" cutout in BB shell. Forks & head tube are sized for a Nuovo/Super Record headset or equivalent.

Available in your choice of silver, with tasteful decals and small red highlights in several spots. Chromed fork crowns, fork tips, lugs (all three), and rear dropouts. These were hand-built by Ian Alsop, a British Cycling Champion. The quality is quite good - not $3000 American-hand-made-perfection good, but very nice for its era.

What I found on the Internet about Ian Alsop the frame builder:

Ian Alsop Gold 1966 Commonwealth Games 10 mile Scratch race sprinter Great Britain 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico Team Pursuit Great Britain 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico More recently representing Mexico several medals at Masters events and Huntsman World Seniors games, Hill Climbs and XC Mountainbike

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