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Archived: Balloon Tire and Middleweights

AGE / VALUE:   Hiawatha posted by: Christa on 10/16/2002 at 9:47:32 PM
I just inherited a Hiawatha boy's bike in pretty good condition (no headlight, some paint fade). I'm guessing it comes out of the late 1950's, maybe early 1960s (it has a bike license on it from 1961). 26 inch wheels, tank, chain guard, fenders. I'm just looking for the basic story on this bike--who made them (Columbus Welding, and who else??), when, where were they sold...I know some of you have been through this before, sorry to reintroduce an old topic.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Hiawatha posted by goob on 10/16/2002 at 10:57:39 PM
i think cleveland welding made some and shelby made some.they are a department store bike sold by gambles department store. never caught on much to collectors.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Hiawatha posted by goob on 10/16/2002 at 10:58:29 PM
i think cleveland welding made some and shelby made some.they are a department store bike sold by gambles department store. never caught on much to collectors.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Hiawatha posted by G.M.R. on 10/21/2002 at 7:55:11 PM
I think your Hiawatha is older.I have a girls Hiawatha from 1948. The chain and sprocket will tell alot about the age of your bike. Cleveland Welding also made frames for Shelby and Roadmasters.

AGE / VALUE:   President Bicycle posted by: Meghan on 10/16/2002 at 7:59:56 PM
I have found a President Bicycle.The badge says PRESIDENT with a crest type lion above that. In small type underneath it says designed by Shauer. The bike is small to mid sized. blue. It has aluminum fenders? w/ blue indentation in them.I can't seem to find any info what so ever. Can anyone help me? Thank You

AGE / VALUE:   jc higgins info posted by: metlhed on 10/16/2002 at 2:33:14 PM
hey everybody! can someone please give me some info on the j.c. higgins bicycle company? who were they made by? i am having a dilema of restoring my new cruiser or not...it is from the 50's it has a license from 1959, but i have yet to see the bike, cause i just bought it on ebay. if i cant get any info i am makin it a lowrider and i really dont want to so please help!!!!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   jc higgins info posted by sam on 10/16/2002 at 2:59:03 PM
Simple,J.C.Higgins were Sears bikes.When Sears changed their bike line after WW2 they changed from the Elgin name to the J.C.Higgins name.Why? I don't know.Most J.C.Higgins were made by Murray of Ohio to sears standards.Very nice bikes.Some had tanks , springers,lights,All the good stuff.So there are lots of parts out there for these bikes.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   jc higgins info posted by Fred A on 10/16/2002 at 7:04:59 PM

If I remember the story correctly, J.C. Higgins was Sears first accountant. He must have been held in high esteem, though, because other items bore his name as well.

Anybody out there have better memory than I do?

Fred A

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   jc higgins info posted by a friend on 10/17/2002 at 5:24:26 PM
Metlhed, Wow! the other day you were interrested in flames, now that went up in smoke, well I don't blame you, the weather where I live isn't paint worthy neither. You sound a little desprate, now you want too consider lowriding with your J.C. Higgins; i'm sorry it justs sounds funny, at least that put a smile on my face. Your not alone when it comes to changing your mind, I caulk that up as creative juices running wild threw the o'l membrane. There is a book they sell by the title, "Collective ELGIN - J.C. HIGGINS - HAWTHORN BICYCLES. By JAMES HERD & T.A GORDON. I know Sam knows what book i'm talking about. Try Memory Lane, or any of the bicycle links here on Old Rodes. This book is a BIG HELP when it comes J.C HIGGINS. Good luck with your prodject. Remember, "slow down around the turns".

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   jc higgins info posted by randy on 11/11/2002 at 11:02:53 PM
40s jc higgins motor bike by sears small rear tire gas engine on back saganaw conversion sears model #258-6801 HELP '

WANTED:   Shelby Flying Cloud posted by: Bill Russell on 10/16/2002 at 5:21:57 AM
I would like to purchase a boys Shelby Flying Cloud.Must be complete bike.Thanks in advance.

AGE / VALUE:   Interesting Ebay bike posted by: JOEL on 10/15/2002 at 2:46:07 PM
Anyone seen one of these? It looks authentic. First one I've seen.

Star Trek Spaceliner

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Interesting Ebay bike posted by sam on 10/15/2002 at 3:43:42 PM
It has reflectors on the wheels.That would make it a 72 or later(if they are original)---sam

   Did someone get carried away with stick-on letters? posted by Tom Findley on 10/15/2002 at 5:12:28 PM
This is the first Star Trek bike I've seen since getting Internet access in 1997.

Having the headbadge on it means there was not a Spaceliner tank of either type on it, and there is no provision for a headlight.

It does have a taillight, which is an odd combination. The light does not look like the taillight I have from a parted out bike. I wouldn't dare put it on a bike after finding how poorly it fits.

I would want to see a Murray brochure with the bike in it before laying down $$$.

I think it has a "TM" (trademark) on the chain guard.

   Reflector Pedals posted by TF on 10/15/2002 at 5:17:33 PM
The pedals are original Spaceliner pedals. They had reflectors in 1964.

   RE:Reflector Pedals posted by Joel on 10/15/2002 at 5:52:42 PM
The top of the carrier is diferent from the Sears version as well. If it is real, it is probably an offbrand clone. The bidding is going pretty high.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Interesting Ebay bike posted by Jimbo Jones on 10/16/2002 at 6:40:35 AM
There were bikes made by the same company with the same chrome frame and hubcap on the chainwheel that wern't spaceliners. Same basic bike without the tank and sold by another department store. To me it appears that the graphics are recent vinyl stick ons that come as a whole alphebet set in craft stores.

Another questional bike on ebay is the yellow submarine bike.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Interesting Ebay bike posted by JimW. on 10/17/2002 at 4:38:23 AM
I agree, Jimbo. If it was an authentic, Paramount-licensed item, the chainguard lettering would have been a decal or sticker of the actual Star Trek logo. That lettering looks exactly like the vinyl lettering from stationery stores. I've used a lot of it.

On the other hand, the Yellow Submarine item is a handbill for a record store chain contest, from 1999 or 2000, based on the millenium reference.
I think it's safe to say that the bike is an actual Schwinn with official Yellow Submarine livery. Whether Schwinn itself did the paint and decoration of the bike is another matter; it may have been a custom job done specifically for this contest. Either way, it would be considered a legitimate promotional bike, and would be valued as such, if it were to be sold.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Interesting Ebay bike posted by Joel on 10/17/2002 at 3:00:08 PM
Hey Jim,
I think this is the bike Jimbo was talking about.


I believe this is the same one that sold a few months ago for an unbelievable price (for a Huffy).

   RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Interesting Ebay bike posted by JimW. on 10/19/2002 at 4:00:55 AM
Thanks Joel!
When I saw the original post above, to do with the bike, I ran an eBay search for Yellow Submarine Bicycle, and the only thing which popped up was the handbill showing the Schwinn. Just goes to show, when you mention something to do with an item on eBay, you should give the URL for the particular auction to which you're referring.

I agree with Jimbo, that is suspicious as hell. For one thing, if I were a cheesy bike company like Huffy, and I'd done a licensing agreement with the Beatles organization to
do a Yellow Submarine bike, I would probably be inclined to
have a decal on it which would call it that, rather than Sun and Sail, with what's probably a vinyl sticker on the seat. The images of the bike itself are of reasonable quality, how "unfortunate" that the image of the supposed page in that book is so indistinct that no details can be made out. It's very easy to print out a page of one's own and insert it into a book, then take a bad photo of it to obscure typographic inconsistencies. I'd really like to see someone else's copy of that book. If there is a Yellow Submarine bike on page 168, or whatever, it's probably that Schwinn shown on the handbill.

If the guy had found the thing at a garage sale and was selling it on the basis that it might be an official Beatles
tie-in, because of the sticker on the seat, that would be an honest mistake, combined with wishful thinking. However, if the guy has gone to the trouble to fake up a provenance for it, the law usually calls that "fraud". I'd really like to see that book!

AGE / VALUE:   Age & value posted by: Bob on 10/14/2002 at 5:49:26 PM
I got this bike in IL, it is red with yellow pin striping. the #'on it are 423 1493. If anyone knows the age of this bike I thank you!! and some idea what it might be woirth to sell it.

AGE / VALUE:   lots of bikes and parts for sale / trade posted by: robert on 10/13/2002 at 7:00:48 PM
hi, i am gonna liquidate alot of stuff from my shop. i will have many items new and vintage or old school too. huffy 3spd, huffy corvair, fuji 12spd,campania medalist,norco 12 spd,schwinn 12 spd,giant aluminum mtb,redline rl20 freestyle f/f, too much to list, i might be getting rid of some shop quality tools as well, if you are interested just email me for any certain interests, and i will get pics for you. i am looking for redline hotwheels, maybe we can trade? bikezshop@hotmail.com

BALLOON:   i am looking for some info on my schwinn posted by: Harry on 10/13/2002 at 6:50:26 PM
I just bought a schwinn and i need to know if it is a new or old schwinn.It looks like a classic phantom but the serial number starts with a J and it isnt on the bottom of the crank its on the part where the fork goes on at. and i checked through the serials on the data base and i couldnt find it. I hope someone can help me.

MISC:   Schwinn Date coding posted by: Kurt on 10/12/2002 at 1:50:40 PM
Does anyone know how to break down Schwinn serial numbers beyond month/year? I have a Nov. 1963 frame and am trying to determine the day, and any other info that can be figured out from the #.

   RE:MISC:   Schwinn Date coding posted by JimW. on 10/13/2002 at 4:17:31 AM
Guido, who normally hangs out at the musclebike list was laboriously posting some sort of Schwinn factory log, which, I think, gave exactly that information. Check that list. This was several months back, so you might need to go back beyond the current list to find the information as to URL for it. Or just find one of his other posts, and e-mail him directly.

   RE:MISC:   Schwinn Date coding posted by MNSmith on 10/15/2002 at 3:12:56 AM
Here you go. www.bunchobikes.com/serialnumber2.htm


BALLOON:   Triumph bicycle posted by: Phil Randler on 10/11/2002 at 2:58:40 AM
I have a mens 26in Triumph bicycle manufactured by Excelsior Mfg Co, of Michigan City, In. I have not been able to find any info on this bike, or much on the company that made it. Please send me in the right direction.

BALLOON:   Rolff Make.......D.P. Harris Co. New York posted by: Mike on 10/10/2002 at 11:59:45 PM
Picked up the above and looking for info on the make...year is approx...late 40's early 50's....Any info would be appreciated on value etc!!!

   RE:BALLOON:   Rolff Make.......D.P. Harris Co. New York posted by sam on 10/11/2002 at 1:11:57 AM
Try rollfast.D.P.Harris sold Rollfast bikes.Most were made be clevaland welding.

AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Women's Starlet 26" posted by: Hound on 10/10/2002 at 11:22:13 PM
My daughter is wanting an old tank bicycle as she is into old stuff. Anyway, today at an antique mall I came across a Womens Starlet 26" bike. It is all there including the headlight. A few dents in the fenders. Needs to be cleaned up. Has the tank with a horn button.
The asking price is $150.00. Do you think that is a good price? Should I offer less, or jump on it?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Women's Starlet 26 posted by Hound on 10/10/2002 at 11:39:22 PM
The headlight is not a fender mount. It looks to be a 50's bike.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Women's Starlet 26 posted by Ken on 10/11/2002 at 8:23:34 PM
I would shop a little. At that price you may find a women's bike in excellent condition; they don't command as much as men's. Or make your counteroffer while pointing at the dented fenders...

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Women's Starlet 26 posted by Hound on 10/12/2002 at 1:25:10 AM
Thanks. I also noticed that the wheels are in dire need of truing. Some of these people are hard to dicker down in west Michigan. I think I will look around some more.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Women's Starlet 26 posted by G Main on 10/12/2002 at 7:19:15 PM
have a fairly clean 62 Schwinn CoEd here for $100 its a good looker, rides fine, all original, you can find clean horn tanks on Ebay, And its right in Big Rapids Michigan, so you can look at others i have as well. been asking $100 for mine and its worth every penny.
903 Maple St Big Rapids Michigan

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Women's Starlet 26 posted by Hound on 10/15/2002 at 12:26:02 AM
G Main,
I just saw your post. Can you contact me @ Hounddog@workbench.net. I would like to see a few pictures of the bike. Thanks

BALLOON:   Anyone know what this is? posted by: Sherman on 10/10/2002 at 1:30:34 PM
I picked up a balloon tire cruiser & am trying to figure out who made it, how old it is, etc. I figure it is 50s/60s department store bike, but any more details would be welcome.

The headtube says "Tru Test" Chicago, IL
It has a fuel tank with an electric horn
A torpedo light
and struts

I think the front rim, which has been painted over, originally matched the frame -- blue and white.


BALLOON:   Schwinn Silent Drive? posted by: Bill Brink on 10/10/2002 at 3:39:04 AM
I am trying to determine exactly what this is. The bike is a belt drive with some fairly unique characteristics; The frame is apparently a variation on a Cruiser ss, but there are a pair of allen bolts on the rear seat-stay just above the gear side dropout. (obviously there to facilitate replacing a belt).
The serial number is TY70802428, and I have photos for any that want to see what i am talking about.

   RE:BALLOON:   Schwinn Silent Drive? posted by Jeff Bikeguy on 10/13/2002 at 12:45:35 AM
What you have is a Cruiser belt drive. These were in the 1999 catalog. I don't think they sold too well though. They were offered in single and three speed versions.

AGE / VALUE:   Cable brake improvement posted by: humberchristopher28@hotmail.com on 10/9/2002 at 3:14:21 PM
Regarding experrience with center pull brake levers.
In order to effect the change over, I had to replace my existing levers with 'tourist' pattern, and tried reversing the cable direction in the levers to achive a neater appearence.
But still it seemed illogical to me, as I had Mafac center pull brakes, to convert an upward pull on the lever to an outward pull and then have a curved cable to convert it back to an upward pull at the brake end.
So I purchased a pair of levers designed for mounting in the centre of the bars to opperate stirrup brakes, removed the down rod fitting on each, and substituted a simple U clip drilled to take the cable-- whereupon I had a front brake operated by bare wire throughout, and a rear brake which only needed a short length of outer cable at it's forward end, from a cable stop (fashioned from a sawn off head fitting lamp bracket.) to the brazed on cable stop beneath the top tube. Result?- a much more positive action on both brakes.
Disadvantages?-None, except that adjustment of handlebar height would affect brake adjustment.
The system could be improved still further by having a lug brazed on the underside of the handlebar bend as a fulcrum for each brake lever(the clips supplied with the levers are rather cumbersome), or by drilling the bend and screwing in 'eyebolts' made for roller levers,to fulfil the same purpose.
'Allegro Non Troppo'
The above is a quote from October/ November Cycletouring a C.T.C. magazine
The readers were following Reg Heath's "Technitip" which I do not have to share with you.
The article is without pictures. It seems that from time to time brillint readers shared well thought out improvement type revelations in the pages of these old magazines.