| I just picked up a boys 26" 1961 Columbia Firebolt. I am trying to find out more about it. It is in usable condition but the chrome and paint are in fair shape. It's red and white. I don't know if I should just fix it up or restore it or customize it. What is the value of this and is it rare? It's pretty complete- just one headlight lens is missing and the mouse trap part of the rack is gone-I think.|
| Not an expert and can't tell you much about that specific bike.I usually try to refurbish my bikes without painting or plating.I have had what I consider excellent results.I have a 41 Roadmaster I got for $8 because both the seller and myself thought it was basically all rusted.It cleaned up really well even the painted wheels.The cream trim is very thin or gone in some spots and the redish brown paint has come back to a hazy shine. But I feel it is a very respectable 60+ year old bike.I don't hesitate to use after market parts if they are close to original.And I like the looks of WW tires so I usually add them to dress things up.Purests probably are fainting away but I feel handle bars and tires etc. can be upgraded at anytime and I try to keep the main components cranks,wheels sprockets,fenders etc. original.|
I took an excellent 80s Huffy Good Vibrations that has an nice fat tire look and gaudied it up with a fenderlight,rearview mirrors,sparkle grips.mudflaps w reflectors to give it a pretty authentic retro back yard cruiser(?) look.Maybe I have too much time on my hands.
| Thanks for the response, Spike. Any idea what it could be worth? I'm not finding too much info on this model.|
| I was given a pile of bikes this week, two are late 50's Schwinn cantilever frames, and all are completely disassembled, and have no chainguards. The one I am guessing to be an early Jaguar or Corvette three speed, but the second one is the one that has me stumped, the closest pics I can find are of a '56 American, but my serial number is J810xxx, which looks to me to be '58. The question is what are the choices as far as which model this could have been. The paint is blue and it uses the older Schwinn script on the top tube, and has the checkered pattern decal on the seat post like the '56 American at:|
I have several later Typhoon frames here and the rear of this frame is much wider, and uses a strange stamped steel rear bridge, unlike the half moon type used on the Typhoon. The Rear bridge on this is stamped steel and is raised up above the seat stays, the fenders are off of this, and I'm not sure if the ones I have are even for this bike. Does anyone have any pics of an American or any other models that show the rear brake bridge? How can I tell if this is a middleweight of heavyweight frame? It has loads of clearance with a set of S7 rims and Westwind tires, but a 26x2.125" tire on the S2 rims clears with more than sufficient clearance too. With the 2.125" tires, there us about 3/16" on each side of the tire at the front of the chain stays. The bike in question has a set of what appears to be non schwinn springer forks installed, it appears that the whole pile of bikes has had all sorts of parts swapping going on between the lot of them, but in the group there is Schwinn S2 rims, one set of chrome S7 rims, and two Bendix 2 speed hubs, one New Departure 2 speed hub, and one New Departure model A hub, all of these look to be late 50's with the exeption of one very early Pre-War balloon tire bike which is definitely not Schwinn, and looks to be an early Roadmaster or similar.
| All the middleweight frames were the same.That flat rear brace is for the caliper brake used on several models. But the american didn't use the rear caliper brake but had the same bridge .It's a good bet with the checkered flag decal that it's an American.A bendix manuel 2 speed came on the American delux in 55&56.Also the american would have had a specal fork clamp on canti brake.|
The new departure model A is pre war---most likely pre WW1!!For a wood wheel bike.---sam
| I was thinking American as well, but there is no sign of it ever having a clamp on front brake, the paint on the forks is untouched. The red, white and blue checker board seat post decal says American though, I suspect that the forks are not original. The forks are identical to those on my '64 Typhoon, but the rear stays are about a 1/2" wider. The chain stays spread apart sooner than on the Typhoon as well, I doubt that the Typhoon frame would take a 2.125 tire, but there's plenty of room on this frame. |
Was there another model that used the checkered decal? Were there any Americans built without front brakes?
The S-7 rims I found have New Departure hubs. The one decent set of S-2 rims have a New Departure 2 speed, and Schwinn scripted front hub. The bendix hubs were loose in a box, except for one that I cut out of a badly rusted rim that looked to be an S-2. All of the hubs are quite clean, with the exception of the Model A, that one's a bit pitted, but complete and looks to be in working order.
I do realize that the Model A is much older than the rest of these parts, definitely pre-1930.
The other cantilever frame dates 1953, and has a three speed cable pulley, but the rear brake bidge is broken, and the kickstand tube is cracked loose, so that one will either need some work or end up as scrap. Both are the same width in the rear, and the only actual difference is the type of rear brake bridge.
| My 56 American had no cantilever brakes, and no sign of there ever being any, on rims, nor fork. it alone has the checkerboard sticker, as they have said. Mine had a 2 speed cable bendix coaster. fukk fenders, looks like mine either had no tank, or it was short lived, again no wear markings from either items. |
| I have a 1956 Chicago Girls Spitfire ballon tire bike p/n V698385, original color Hunter Green.On the crossbar is a riveted plate with UC 1009 stamped on it. Does anyone know what this stands for? Thanks for your help, Joe|
| I want information on a heavyweight I am going to restore. Head-badge says Majestic in large letters and above it says Arnold Schwinn & Co. and below Chicago USA. I couldn't find a serial number anywhere on the bike. I was told that the guy who had this bike had it all his life and bought it in or around 1935 new to deliver papers. The lady I bought the bike from acquired it from the old man's estate a few years ago. It has a skip tooth drive, morrow on the coaster brake, and the sprocket has 5 heart shaped holes in it, which make a star and, which, I have seen on other bikes. It has flat fender braces and the kick-stand is right behind the bottom bracket. It has the L-shaped seat post, leather covered seat with huge springs. It has top tube and middle tube frame. It is blue with white diamonds on tubes and white stripes on fenders. I would love to find pictures and/or info about it that would help me make it look authentic. I would like to know about what type of plating parts had back then, everything on the bike will need re-plating. My aim is not financial gain but to have a really cool authentic bike to ride and enjoy. If you can't ride it then what is the sense? If anyone would like pictures, feel free to e-mail me and I would glad to send them to you.|
maybe like one of these---more pics on www.nostalgic.net
| Hello John, can you send me some photos of your bike, I can help you out with the restoration aspects of it, I've tried to email you directly, but it doesn't go through so feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Thanks.|
| Thanks for to replies. Sam, the first one listed is real close (428), same head-badge, mine has no tank, rear rack, or truss rods on the forks (none looks missing, looks like it never had them). Also, kick-stand is behind bottom bracket like the more modern position. Handlebars have no cross bar and are longer, more swept-back. Same frame and paint scheme, but mine is blue and white. I really like the green one, though.|
Dave, I got your email and I am sending you pics.
Thanks Sam and Dave! ( I always liked your music!)
Does anyone know of a way to test/tell what type of plating is on a bike, if the plating is real corroded, maybe by how it reacts to chemicals? Since you will be stripping it off anyway. If no one has an answer for that, I will post if I figure it out/ find out. There is probably similar test for types of paint as well.
Well, we learn till we die.
| I would like to find any information that might be out there about my bike. The model number is 9A2619380 and the serial number is f025687. I was told it was an early 50's flyer. The bike is all original cream and lite orange I think it's a boy bike. I'm going to take a picture soon the only thing i've seen that looks close was a 1948 Firestone Pilot. Thanx!|
| pre war firestones were made by Colson, and Huffman. post war firestones of the fifties were made mostly by Monark. if yours looks like a Pilot it is probably made by Huffman between '38-'47. I have several of these bikes. I can send pictures to you or you can sen or post pictures to me. hope this helps.|
P.S. look at nostalgic.net. Dave there has quite a few Firestone ads on his site.