John Deere Bicycle Collection at Power of the Past

Allen Bohman complete John Deere bicycle collection on display at Greenville Power of the Past

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Allan Bohman with his complete set of John Deere bicycles at the Greenville Power of the Past. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

GREENVILLE – Osgood’s Allen Bohman has his complete set of John Deere bicycles on display at the 2023 Greenville Farm Power of the Past currently in progress at the Darke County Fairgrounds.

“We’re the northern Bohman’s in the county,” Bohman said. “I live in Osgood, my address is Yorkshire. My grandpa lived in the house and my dad lived in the house that I am now in. It’s been in the family for over 100 years.”

A 1970 graduate of Marian Local, Bohman explained kids living in Osgood go to Marion Local Schools.

Originally a collector of two cylinder tractors, Bohman made the move to John Deere bicycles for a very good reason.

“I used to have two cylinder tractors and this is a little easier than that,” Bohman said with a chuckle. “Carburetors don’t get plugged up and if a tire goes flat it’s not as serious as a tractor tire.”

Allen Bohman John Deere bicycle collection on display at 2023 Power of the Past. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

A US company with manufacturing in Taiwan built the bikes for John Deere that were only sold through John Deere dealers, a venture that lasted just three short years, 1973, 1974 and 1975.

“It just must have not went over like they had hoped because they did it for three years and they quit,” Bohman stated.

During the three year production period 10 John Deere bike models were produced.

“You can still find them, they’re out there,” Bohman said. “A lot of them are way beyond saving because they are 50 year old bikes now.”

Bohman’s collection is all original colors and accessories and surprisingly the bikes are not all just the standard John Deer green in color.

John Deere 20 inch banana seat bicycles on display at Greenville Power of the Past. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

“I don’t paint anything,” Bohman said. “These are just cleaned up to the best I can get them clean. It surprised me, there should have been more green and yellow ones.”

The most difficult bikes from the models produced is the 20-inch boys and girls bicycles.

“I guess they called them banana seat bikes back then,” he said. “They have that wide slick tire on the rear. The kids bikes are a little bit harder to find because the kids tore them up, they let them outside and they rusted away. Those are a little hard to find in decent shape.”

“The blue ones are tough to find because they started making the blue ones in 1975,” Bohman continued. “That’s the year the quit so they don’t even have a full year’s production on the blue ones, so they’re a little harder to find.”

Allen Bohman John Deere bicycles on display at 2023 Power of the Past. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

Bohman’s research reveals there were at least 2,000 boys and girls blue bicycles produced in part of 1975, the year to production stopped.

“According to serial numbers I have there’s at least right at 2,000 so 4,000 total blue ones,” Bohman said.

Bohman does get asked to display his bicycle collection especially when John Deere is the featured manufacturer at shows.

“We come back from Tennessee from the Classic Green Reunion three weeks ago and I got home Sunday night about 7 o’clock,” he said. “I was home Monday and Tuesday and left Wednesday and went to Wauseon, OH for the show up there.”

The John Deere Bicycle List Prices issued by John Deere in 1973: 20 inch Hi-Rise $49.95; 26 inch 3-speed $79.95; 27 inch universal 5-speed $99.95 and the 27 inch 10-speed $109.95.

John Deere Bicycle Production Numbers:

20 inch boys’ Hi-Rise 34,010; 20 inch girls’ Hi-Rise 32,397; 25 inch men’s green 3-speed 24,879; 26 inch ladies green 3-speed 21,502; 26 inch men’s blue 3-speed (unknown); 26 inch ladies ‘ blue 3-speed (unknown); 27 inch universal white 5-speed 36,274; 27 inch 10-speed 21 inch frame 54,598; 27 inch 10-speed 23 inch frame 7,466 – Total Built 211,126 plus one year of blue 3-speeds.

Bohman’s John Deere bicycle collection may be seen at the 2023 Greenville Farm Power of the Past now going on through Sunday at the Darke County Fairgrounds.