This is an archive of Vintage Bicycle Information.
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which details bicycle features, wheel sizes, etc., as well as showing a price estimate for your vintage bicycle.

Archived: Balloon Tire and Middleweights

AGE / VALUE:   OLd 30's Schwinn posted by: George on 6/1/2001 at 8:55:11 AM
I need help getting exact date and est.value of this beauty.
can be seen at


AGE / VALUE:    posted by: Jim on 5/31/2001 at 10:21:34 PM
I have an Elgin that is the same as the red/white boys in the picture database, Around 1940. ( the exceptions being an all too heavy duty kick stand and a front fender that goes over the fork)
The tank it came with fits both of the top tubes perfectly but the seat tube cutout is about an inch too far back. My question is should I break out the dremel tool and go to town on this simular tank or go find a support group for concidering such a thing?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by JOEL on 6/1/2001 at 8:20:40 AM
Jim, it sounds like you have the frame with the straight seat tube and your tank is the long one that fits the frame with the bent seat tube. Maybe easier and best to find the other frame.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by JOEL on 6/1/2001 at 8:22:54 AM
BTW: I may have the right tank for your frame and would consider trading.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by Jim on 6/3/2001 at 5:28:45 PM
Thank you very much for the offer. I have the curved bar model so the straight bar must kicked back at a steeper angle. I think I am going to just hold on to it and assemble the bike without it at this time. Thanks again.

AGE / VALUE:   Another neat old bike has fallen into my mitts posted by: Gary M on 5/31/2001 at 6:11:38 PM
Was perched on my usual roost at the local flea market, and saw a mom and pop come in to set up. So i walked over and for $25 purchased the cleanest DA Schwinn Hollywood i have ever laid eyes upon. And it had a 2sp installed. after i paid them i asked her about it. She told me she had it for over 25 years. Then i asked her if the hub worked and she told me she never knew it had a 2 speed. Another ThankYouVeryMuch!! as expected it glides like Fred Astaire, typical slick operation. So its off to the paint shop for that 65 Male Typhoon frame!!

AGE / VALUE:   Torrington Spokes posted by: ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 5/31/2001 at 3:49:19 PM
How much are a box of 105 gauge Torrington spokes worth? These are heavy duty rustless spokes and nipples in the origonal box.
Thank You!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Torrington Spokes posted by rrrrguy@concentric.net on 5/31/2001 at 6:41:18 PM
Depends on what length. 10 5/8" ( 26" cruiser ), 7 5/8" ( Cycletruck front wheel ), or the length for the Schwinn S-7 Tandem wheel ( I forget the size at the moment. ) The Cycletruck front wheel spokes might be worth more because they are harder to find. Although I could be wrong!

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Torrington Spokes posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 6/1/2001 at 1:54:52 PM
these are 10 5/8ths and I was wondering what a box of 100 spokes goes for these days?

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Torrington Spokes posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 6/3/2001 at 11:13:15 AM
Sold! The triple nikel plated spoke nipples gleamed wonderfully in the red and yellow boxes!

AGE / VALUE:   Unknown - HELP posted by: Ron on 5/30/2001 at 8:13:52 AM
I have an old bike with no identifing marks. The tires are Pharis Tire and Rubber Co.,Newark, Ohio. It has a skip tooth sprocket and the number 3J2300 stamped on the frame.The handlebar has an extra brace(?) across it. Any imformation helping me identify this bike would be highly appreciated. Thanks, Ron

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Unknown - HELP posted by sam on 5/30/2001 at 2:59:26 PM
Ron that brace on the bars sounds like a pre-war bike from the motorbike era.Try and match the front sprocket with others in the photo data base--sam

AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Fiesta posted by: L. Tebbetts on 5/29/2001 at 8:45:07 AM
Have a Schwinn Fiesta, pretty good condition, but am having a hard time getting rust off of white rims and blue body. I'm looking to buy matching paint for restoration. Also want to fix the horn. Are these hard tasks to tackle? Suggestions on either of the above or a way I could find out its value would be welcome! Thx.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Fiesta posted by Doug on 5/29/2001 at 4:28:07 PM
You might want to try a auto rubbing compound not a real abrasive one and lots of elbow grease Patients Patients!! and Ive
also had some luck with the color match scratch cover type of car polishes this will only be a temporary fix because rust never sleeps (Neil Young) quote but true.as for the horn depends how far gone it is whats wrong? Also try some of the mixture they sell here for the clean up work.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Fiesta posted by sam on 5/29/2001 at 6:16:09 PM
For the horn first I'd try cleaning the contacts with verry fine wet/dry sand paper(use it dry)If that doesn't work,try a little thump with it on ,if still no sound use wd-40 . spray it real good!!shake it hard!! and try the battery again.WD-40 will not hirt elec. parts but keep it off the paint or wipe over spray off paint,it will not eat paint but wan't do it any good either.if the horn works, clean off all excess wd-40 so it will not atract dirt---sam

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Fiesta posted by MNSmith on 5/29/2001 at 6:33:28 PM
I have a horn repair tip on my web page. Stop by for a visit! http://www.concentric.net/%7Errrrguy/bike.html Bunch "O" Bikes

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Fiesta posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 5/31/2001 at 4:34:20 PM
It was interesting, we sat there and he eventually freed it up and soon it was blowing and loudly too. It is possible to resurrect these horns.

AGE / VALUE:   JC HIGGINS posted by: KEN on 5/28/2001 at 4:55:48 PM

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   JC HIGGINS posted by Cal on 5/29/2001 at 5:04:00 AM
The picture database shows JC Higgins bicycles from 1953 to 1966. Is there anything close in the picture database?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   JC HIGGINS posted by sam on 5/29/2001 at 6:20:00 PM
also check out the murray bicycles(if it has the murray style sprocket)

AGE / VALUE:   Dancing on Cliud 9!! posted by: Gary M on 5/28/2001 at 3:46:41 PM
Just returned from the local flea market. got in early, bought all the cool bikes i saw, and then resold them all for a nice profit. Was too cool, BUT i got a mid-30s??? Elgin ladies bike. Has Chain-tread tires, rear stand, rear dropouts. Elgin ladies Skirt gaurds. Couldnt sell that one.
has a Sears sticker below the seat. This is an awesome, all original, Elgin. has a Rectangle Badge. Multi-convoluted rear hub. Skip-tooth chain. Got it from the original owners son. only thing this bike needs is oil and new paint. i will replate the chrome and try to find the right color.
Any ideas on the year of this beauty?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Dancing on Cliud 9!! posted by Cal on 5/29/2001 at 5:06:44 AM
There are a bunch of Elgins in the picture database. Could it be an Elgin Skylark? At any rate, the features you describe make it a pre-war bike.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Dancing on Cliud 9!! posted by Gary M on 5/29/2001 at 7:14:05 AM
Well it has features in common with most of them, but no real match up. its 30s for sure. ser number is MOS 79575
seat post is straight, no evidence of ever having a light, possible tank marks on frame. has the Elgin Slotted sprocket. seat is just awesome. both Chain treads are fine.
considered leaving it as it is until i found a sort of yellow color on the bottom bracket. this old gal isnt rusted at all. the chrome is shot, but every nut and bolt looks like it will come off.

BALLOON:   Murray Sabre Flite posted by: Pam on 5/28/2001 at 12:12:20 PM
helping neighbor clean out house and shed... He gave me his daughter's old Murray Sabre Flite..Looks as though it's all original, blue-ish green .Serial #: (I think) is 55278. Firestone balloon tires. Any info?

   RE:BALLOON:   Murray Sabre Flite posted by sam on 5/29/2001 at 6:32:07 PM
Pam,murray made some of the best bikes made.Not as collectable as schwinn but every bit as rideable.A lot of there bikes used the "flite" in the name.If the tires are 2 1/4" its a balloon if 1&3/4 it's a middle/weight.A tank or springer fork will add to the value.You can have a great summer ahead on that bike--sam

AGE / VALUE:   wheel lacing posted by: doug on 5/27/2001 at 6:49:44 AM
Have 2 S-7 Schwinn wheels which I am going to have re-chromed I have never re-laced a wheel does anyone know wher I can find a book on how to is it woth it or should I just let a bike shop do it most shops around here only want to sell new cant get them interested in any re-store parts or anything Thank god for e-bay and sites like this one.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   wheel lacing posted by Gary M on 5/27/2001 at 8:01:44 AM
Its SO easy to do, just find a scrapper with the same amount of spokes and copy the pattern when you assemble it.
the left offset holes are for the left side of the hub. if you also look there is a simple pattern to the lacing. every 4th hole. once you get a few done and in your going to be fine. however if you spin the caps on too far you will end up with an egg. try 1 full turn on the first spoke install, then 1/2 turn all the way around till they contact the rim evenly. at this point it should be fairly straight. here is when you make your perfect circle. make sure its got no up and down to it. loosen lows, and tighten highs, 1/4 turn at a time till its round. then go around again 1/4 turn at a time drawing the spokes into full strength. should be only minor left to right, fix that by letting tight side down 1/4, and up 1/4 opposite. I usually move groups of 3 spokes per side, so its a smooth move. To "change" a rim, lay the new one on top of the old one, line up the valve stem holes ,ensure the holes are on the right side, and tape it together in 4 places. then one at a time swap the epokes into the new rim. Time Consuming, boring work, but the end result is worth it, i dont know very many people that can take a rim that is unuseable and turn it into a rider. I do a LOT of them. its my main income in the summer, and i get them as far as 50 miles away.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   wheel lacing posted by Doug on 5/27/2001 at 10:39:26 AM
Thanks a bunch Gary I will print out your info and follow it I hope I can help you with a ? sometime Thanks again Doug Old Schwinns never die!!!!

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   wheel lacing posted by Cal on 5/29/2001 at 5:15:16 AM
There is also a long discussion on wheel lacing under the English Roadster topic at:


   RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   wheel lacing posted by Doug on 5/29/2001 at 4:20:43 PM
Thanks for the info Cal. Doug

AGE / VALUE:   Sears 20in Balloon frame, Ancient!! posted by: Gary M on 5/26/2001 at 8:38:18 PM
Just got an old Sears 20 in balloon frame. its an exact scale down of my 36 cleveland welding frame, except for the forward dropouts. there is a sears data tag riveted to the bottom bracket that reads model# 505 281F.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Sears 20in Balloon frame, Ancient!! posted by sam on 5/27/2001 at 9:15:18 AM
Sears used elgin then murray.If it has a sprocket that might tell what brand it is(murray used the man hole style)

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Sears 20in Balloon frame, Ancient!! posted by GaryM on 5/27/2001 at 1:40:01 PM
this has 5 silver dollar sized holes, and 6 3/8 holes around the rim. The crank tapers fatter at the sprocket similar to Schwinn stuff.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Sears 20in Balloon frame, Ancient!! posted by sam on 5/27/2001 at 6:40:20 PM
That sounds like the schwinn sprocket.Check on the nuts that hold the crank in(the one that goes against the barings) might have the schwinn name on it

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Sears 20in Balloon frame, Ancient!! posted by Gary M on 5/29/2001 at 7:18:03 AM
no writing on the nuts seat bolt is a replacement. Does anyone have any sears Info, so i could look up these from their data numbers?

BALLOON:   Two Bicycles posted by: Art Morris on 5/26/2001 at 3:27:43 PM
I have a bicycle I got as a child about 50 years ago. The only brand on it is Mercury - Chicago on the handle-bar stem. Almost all of it is original - rims are starting to rust out. I would like to know something about this. It is red and white has a tank between the bars - part of the light is still on the front fender - had a carrier - gone now. The other bike is a Schwinn girls bike that says "Debbie" on the chain guard. Don't know about age. Obtained from the Police Dept where I work. Thanks for any info.

   RE:BALLOON:   Two Bicycles posted by sam on 5/27/2001 at 9:24:36 AM
The Debbie sounds late 50s or early 60s(Debbie Reynolds was the hot star at that time,just my guess )later changed to the Barbie

BALLOON:   Schwinn age, 1956 or '57? posted by: Matthew on 5/26/2001 at 2:45:15 PM
I have a Schwinn middle weight, ser. #7D47574. According to my serial number chart, this #7D falls under both 1956 and 1957! Does anyone know which year my frame is? -thanks Matthew

   RE:BALLOON:   Schwinn age, 1956 or '57? posted by Gordon on 5/26/2001 at 8:20:22 PM
According to my chart, the "7" serials numbers were only in 1957. There were some serial numbers beginning with "8" in 1958, but all other years began with letters.

MIDDLEWEIGHT:   Mag sprokets posted by: Doug on 5/25/2001 at 2:50:22 PM
I see a lot of bikes on ebay middleweights being advertised from the 50,s and 60,s with mag sprokets correct me if I am wrong the mag sproket did not come out on the middleweights till the 70,s I beleive some of the Krates had them earlier though comments welcome.

   RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:   Mag sprokets posted by Drew on 5/26/2001 at 3:57:27 AM
I've seen Schwinn Typhoons starting in 1969 with the mag sprocket, they were first used on '66 Stingray Fastbacks and all stingrays by'69 Plus, midweight models by this time. -Drew

   RE:RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:   Mag sprokets posted by doug on 5/26/2001 at 4:46:33 AM
Thanks for your input have a good one!

AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Autocycle posted by: Georgia Wolfe on 5/25/2001 at 10:51:24 AM
I am looking for information on a schwinn Autocycle. It's in great shape, and have pictures if needed. The number on it is H44609, I couldn't find this number in the serial database. What I wanted to know is it's age and value, and any other info anyone could give me! Thanks!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Autocycle posted by goob on 5/26/2001 at 8:24:16 AM
According to my list it will e afeb 1953 model. Value is in the hands of the buyer. Depends on condition and location.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Autocycle posted by Georgia on 5/29/2001 at 8:40:05 AM
According to the person I got the bike from, it was prewar. Are you sure on the date? I couldn't find it in the data base.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Autocycle posted by ken on 5/29/2001 at 11:07:23 AM
Schwinn advertised the built-in kickstand as a new postwar design. If your bike has a bolt-on kickstand it's prewar.