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Archived: Balloon Tire and Middleweights

BALLOON:help ident. posted by: john on 1/1/2002 at 4:35:44 AM
I have a balloon tire bike that i need info on. Any tid bits would be very helpful. The badge has "sun racer," as well as "HSB&Co. Chicago." It has what I think is a Shockmaster fork. The tank is large and runs all the way to the seat post. SN is D025048. I was told that it is a 48 Hawthorn bike.

BALLOON:help to identify posted by: linda on 12/31/2001 at 3:43:28 AM
I have bought a ballon tire ladies bike, it appears to have been redone. There are Columbia stickers, Clipper, on the bike. The seial number is on the bottom of the bike and appears to be B083 0984, there are some more numbers 08571 on the bottom also. Would appreciate if someone could help me out.


MISC:Western Flyer Grips posted by: Fred on 12/31/2001 at 12:16:10 AM
I need some grips for a 60's snowmobile made in Canada that used simular grips found on a Western Flyer so I was told. I have pictures of the grips I am looking for. The color must a orange or green (perfer orange but may buy both) I don't really want sparkles if I can help it. Let me know if you can help.


BALLOON:Western Flyer Grips posted by: Fred on 12/31/2001 at 12:16:10 AM
I need some grips for a 60's snowmobile made in Canada that used simular grips found on a Western Flyer so I was told. I have pictures of the grips I am looking for. The color must a orange or green (perfer orange but may buy both) I don't really want sparkles if I can help it. Let me know if you can help.


   RE:BALLOON:Western Flyer Grips posted by sam on 12/31/2001 at 3:10:42 AM
I'd call Memory Lane their catalog has over 15 different grips including western flyer phone is 419-832-3040

AGE / VALUE:BF Goodrich badge posted by: Thomas on 12/30/2001 at 9:50:24 PM
I have discovered thru help that I have a BF Goodrich Challenger and need a picture of the front badge. If anybody could help I would be thrilled. thanxs, Thomas

   RE:AGE / VALUE:BF Goodrich badge posted by sam on 12/31/2001 at 3:06:11 AM
http://www.nostalgic.net this web site has a very large selection of photos( inc. Badges)has 3 bf goodrich badges

BALLOON:Schwinn/Military/Serial#? posted by: John on 12/30/2001 at 2:49:19 AM
I have a mystery Schwinn. Serial#C05997 shows up in 1952 AND 1953 AND 1957 listing? Can any body educate me why this serial # shows up in 3 or 4 different years! It looks like this bike was in the military because it has "USAF" and an identification # stenciled on it! It is green, boys 24" . The tires are "MICHIGAN SAFETY TREAD" 24 x 2.125 Made in West Germany. How can I define the year and does anyone know about schwinns in the military of these years. It is not the military schwinns he built in the 40's!

   RE:BALLOON:Schwinn/Military/Serial#? posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 12/30/2001 at 8:07:26 PM
Mention is made of, and a picture or two is shown in one of the Schwinn bicycle books found in the bookstore and possibly the libray.

BALLOON:Shelby posted by: e b abraham on 12/28/2001 at 3:23:14 AM
My first bike was a Shelby. I think it was around 1948. It was pretty top of the line at the time I think. I seem to remember $75 mentioned. If that was true that was a lot of money in 1948--must have been less. I haven't seen a Shelby for a long time. Are they collected?

   RE:BALLOON:Shelby posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 12/28/2001 at 5:03:03 PM
Yes, they are. and it's worth more than $75.00 today. Take a look at e- bay under Shelby Bicycle or under balloon tire bicycle and keep watching until you see one like yours.

   RE:RE:BALLOON:Shelby posted by Wings on 12/31/2001 at 7:43:26 AM
Shelbys are rare -- I have only seen a couple. There was a Shelby collector nearby and he had about 12 of them -- he is no longer in the area. "Evolution of the Bicycle, Vol 2" by L-W Book Sales has pictures of Shelbys and prices. Pages 178 -183. Maybe these names would help:
Shelby Supreme; Shelby Racer; Shelby Flyer; Shelby Deluxe Flying Cloud; Shelby Air Flow; Shelby Supreme Air Flow; Shelby Hiawatha Arrow; Shelby Air Flow Deluxe; Shelby Donald Duck.
Prices in of the above range from $650 to $3000 depending on the model. Nice color pictures in the book! I think the book can be purchased here at Old Roads???

MIDDLEWEIGHT:clear coat on chrome posted by: Mike Stone on 12/27/2001 at 9:24:05 PM
I have a 1963(?) Murray Meteor Flight that I use for winter commuting. It has a classic look and not enough value to worry about riding it in winter.

I am prepping if for the salty slushy roads. As many of you know, road salt just destroys bikes - and especially chrome.

Has anybody ever tried spraying clear coat on chrome to protect it? Does it work? Are there any drawbacks?

Looking forward to your feedback.


   RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:clear coat on chrome posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 12/27/2001 at 10:02:27 PM
I'll be the nitwit to say it. You might want to find something else to use for winter commuting. This is something going up in value isn't it? The older 60's off brand bikes?
I'm not sure what to do but please do something. The salt will destroy it.

   RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:clear coat on chrome posted by sam on 12/28/2001 at 3:47:37 AM
I get this picture in my head of blistered / peeling clear coat.Not a pretty picture.You might try spraying the under sides of the finders with a rubber undercoat , comes in a spray can from the auto parts store.It's black so it shouldn't look bad on undersides of finders.And a really good wax on the frame.And buy a Huffy to ride through the salt!(and spray the undercoat all over the Huffy!)

   RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:clear coat on chrome posted by steve on 12/28/2001 at 8:53:23 PM
I've always wondered if a good, heavy coat of oil on EVERYTHING would hold up to salt. Never tried it, just always rode a bike I didn't mind getting rusty in the winter.

   RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:clear coat on chrome posted by freddie on 12/28/2001 at 11:55:27 PM
Don't clear coat. It will soon look very bad and is a beast to get off. Maybe undercoating and petro jelly on top. It might work. Or just buy a cheap used huffy. I sold a very good mountian bike huffy for $20 just yesterday Wish you the best of luck.

   RE:RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:   clear coat on chrome posted by JimW. on 12/29/2001 at 6:39:45 AM
Clearcoat will look like hell very quickly. Clean it well, and apply Armor-All. Hose it off after a salt run. It will stay decent-looking that way. If it's some sort of E-bay treasure, sell it, to make room for a more utilitarian bike,
or keep it indoors.

The new BikeRod&Kustom is here. It's probably worth your consideration: http//bikerodnkustom.com

   RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:clear coat on chrome posted by it on 12/29/2001 at 5:06:58 PM
SOAK IT WITH SPRAY ON LEMON PLEDGE! although pastewax is best

   RE:RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:clear coat on chrome posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 12/29/2001 at 6:38:15 PM
Keep it indoors, NOOOOO!

   RE:RE:RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:clear coat on chrome posted by Wings on 12/31/2001 at 8:00:20 AM
I salvage and refurbish a lot of chrome BMX bikes. Much of the rust on the chrome happens near the bottom bracket or at the tube intersections -- especially the welds. I have sprayed those places with clear lacquer in the past. I have only seen one of these bikes come back -- one that I made for my grandson. It was a formula one Diamond Back Bmx frame and he had it in Northern Calfornia for about 6 years before I got it back and he got another bike. Those places were shiny new and had no rust!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From my experience over at least 30 years of refurbishing brass fittings after painting houses -- Brass did not tarnish when it was protected with a clear coat of lacquer. My porch light was lacquered when it was very new and looks brand new after many years.

I also have a chrome BMX frame that was clear coated or plastic coated in some process and it looks good except where it has been dinged or hit and the clear coat has been broken. It perhaps should have been cleaned off and spot recoated after the ding!

I would do it! Each summer, however I would inspect the frame and make sure that the stays were not chipped to the chome -- if they were, I would coat them again with clear lacquer. If it does not work and it looks like a horse shedding its coat -- go over it with paint remover -- that is no big deal!!! I think the lacquer clear coat ( I have just used "clear lacquer") would do the job.
Go for it! We should not be afraid of failure!!! Edison screwed up on something like 1000 light bulbs before he got it right! But look what he discovered!
How many bike frames do you have???? :)

   RE:RE:RE:RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:clear coat on chrome posted by Wings on 12/31/2001 at 9:12:04 AM
The older cars that had the white clear coats pealing off were found to be caused by not clear coating heavy enough -- at least that is what I have read. Now clear coating is done with a heavier coat. I guess the key is to seal the surface well. I would also think that sun damage causes the clear coat to thin if you remember the locations of the pealing on the older cars.

How would one keep lemon pledge from getting on the rider. Hosing the bike is needed at times but not an easy ritual in cold climates. Perhaps several good applications of paste wax (without clear coating) would also be an excellent protector. One could clear coat and also wax for extra protection. The wax would wear off with time.

With furniture -- years ago wax was the finish. Then varnish. Then lacquer. Now it is water base acrylics and lacquers -- hmmm.

Go for it!

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:clear coat on chrome posted by sam on 12/31/2001 at 2:26:29 PM
Wings hit on something here that we often forget,the sun is very hard on bikes.We tend to think only of water as causing damage but that's only half the picture.Sun fries the paint and opens the paint so the water can get at metal to start rust.If posible always park your bike out of the sun---sam

   MIDDLEWEIGHT: clear coat on chrome posted by Mike Stone on 12/31/2001 at 5:54:14 PM
I think Wings has a good point about protecting the chrome as the first priority.

I considered everybody's good suggestions and believe that many are correct in saying the clear-coat will look like hell soon. Of course, rust looks even worse than bad clear-coat and rust is damaging.

I want to use the bike because I like commuting on classic bikes. Still, I want to keep the bike in reasonable condition for future generations.

So... I clear coated the chrome rims, spokes, and fenders. By the way, I tested and found that clear coat is easily removed with a brass wire brush on a hand drill. Doesn't scratch the chrome either.


AGE / VALUE: INFO ON COLUMBIA SPORTS 3 posted by: TRAVIS on 12/27/2001 at 5:29:17 PM

WANTED:HEAD BADGE AND DECALS 1960 Columbia Torpedo Girl's Bicycle posted by: Robert Dotson on 12/27/2001 at 4:25:03 PM
I am looking for the head badge and decals for a 1960 Columbia Torpedo girl's bicycle. I am having my wife's childhood bicycle restored and the restorer is having a hard time finding these two items. HELP!!

   RE:WANTED:HEAD BADGE AND DECALS 1960 Columbia Torpedo Girl's Bicycle posted by Freddie on 12/29/2001 at 12:03:39 AM
Memory lane classics didnot have what you needed in ther lasted catalog but they do have a lot of small amounts that are not listed. Give them a call. I bet they have what you need. 419 832 3040. The prices are a bit high but you do get what you pay for and they are great to deal with. Best of luck.

   RE:RE:WANTED:HEAD BADGE AND DECALS 1960 Columbia Torpedo Girl's Bicycle posted by Art on 12/30/2001 at 11:31:57 PM
Not only is Memory Lane expensive, they CHARGE you for their catalogue!

MISC:Bendix two speed hubs posted by: mark anderson on 12/27/2001 at 3:17:56 AM
Can anybody tell when Bendix two speed hubs with the lever/cable shift were mnaufactured?. Also what is the difference between the red, yellow and blue band kick shift hubs and years?

   RE:MISC:Bendix two speed hubs posted by sam on 12/28/2001 at 3:52:45 AM
Manuel bendix 2-speeds were used on schwinns in 1955 &1956.I think other brands used them until about 1959.

   RE:MISC:Bendix two speed hubs posted by Ken A on 12/31/2001 at 5:33:33 AM
I've seen a 54 corvette with one

   RE:MISC:Bendix two speed hubs posted by Ken A on 12/31/2001 at 5:34:44 AM
I've seen a 54 corvette with one

   RE:MISC:Bendix two speed hubs posted by Ken A on 12/31/2001 at 5:34:54 AM
I've seen a 54 corvette with one

   RE:MISC:Bendix two speed hubs posted by Tom Findley on 1/2/2002 at 3:37:31 PM
Cable-operated hubs were made 1953-1961. Automatic (kickback) hubs were made 1962-1969, and were last shown in the 1970 Schwinn catalogue.

The red and yellow bands have different brake parts, and have a low gear and direct high gear. The blue band has a direct low gear and and overdrive high gear. The blue bands go on Stingray size bikes, the red and yellow bands go on bikes with 24 and 26 inch wheels.

BALLOON:The 'old' way hangs on posted by: Jack R. on 12/27/2001 at 1:02:09 AM
About ten miles from where I live there's a Schwinn bike shop that's been in buisiness since 1971 having moved it from it's original location first opened in 1950. The owner must be 75 or older, and when I first found this shop, I went in asking for old parts.....the owner said " oh no, there all gone". I kept stopping by for conversation about old bikes, and started asking for specific parts....finaly he said wait a minute, and returned with what I had asked for(24" NOS Typhoon tire, $5.00 !) It took a couple of years but the owner must have seen my passion for bikes and started letting me get the parts he had in the far corners of the back room. It's a rare sight to find a shop thats been selling Schwinn's for 50 years. I can't imagine he'll last much longer seeing where Schwinn stands today, A far cry from what was when this gentleman started in the era of Phantoms, Hornet's and Hollywood's. What history, he even told me about parents quarreling over the limited Stingrays on the showroom floor. When this man closes his shop, it will really be the end of an era and he will be missed.

   Be "THE MAN" posted by Gary M on 12/27/2001 at 8:32:17 PM
Buy the shop. toss all your headaches from your current gig.
its clean decent work, and fed him well for 50 yrs. its real cool being the guy that gives the kids the bikes. Most people only give a kid a bike 2-3 times. i do it all the time. I fix brakes so the local kids dont slide under trucks. I give ugly bikes to people with no money. I dont gouge people that want bikes, all my clean used bikes start at half of new. I prefer to deal in Treks, and higher end stuff, but Huffys, and Murrays pay the bills. As an added bonus i get an endless supply of antiques to pick and choose from. I dont make what i did at my old "Big Headache" job, but i dont want it back.

   RE:BALLOON:Not for long, it'll vanish for good someday posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 12/27/2001 at 9:31:52 PM
Tell him that there is growing interest in these old bikes. Tell him about the internet computer thing where people from all over the world are finding these and asking about these bikes. Ask him to sit down with you and you sit and take down on audio tape his recollections. Ask questions, all sorts of questions. Ask about the companies, the stories all kinds of them. Take it down. Get his permission to post it here.Tell him that when he eventually passes on it would be a terrible shame to have lost his contribution to the future of these bicycles. Tell him about the re- introduced Schwinn Black Phantom and the other replicas. Tell him about all the people at the swap meets and how it is growing with ever increasing numbers each year. Tell him about the growing number of hits on this site. Tell him that rabble-rouser folks like myself are wanting to expand interest and take down and get the history set up and told. Tell him about all that Sheldon and a whole host of others have done in years back and what is happening now.This fellow holds the answers we seek, stories we want to hear, ideas will spring from something he says that will touch off the next idea towards the next new thing.We have the net now,that opens doors sometimes. Ask to stay late one night, pay for dinner, get it delivered and sit and do an interview. Ask how he got started, ask about every obscure, early company, neat hairbrained bike stories, his opions about dealing with the company reps from years back(careful there) You want to have old catalogs in hand, things to ask questions about and make notes. If you have the money and you want to try your hand at it, I would offer to buy up these old parts when he closes shop one day. Whats in the basement, attic, shed, off site wharehouse. You'll be amazed, better bring funds! Let him know you will buy it and leave your card. Or else "Walter" will be there with his truck and his checkbook and it'll all be gone. Stashed away in the barn, will it'll never see the light of day for decades. Never give away a location because somebody will beat you to it! Unless it isn't your interest to buy up and possibly re- sell old parts. With some of the prices paid and with e- bay today we see some long time collectors cash it in.

We need a section here where people can send in their contributions to: Old Bike Lore, History Of Balloon tire, Lightweight, Muscle bikes, Tales from America's Bike Shops.
Theres a following and interest. However you don't get far if you lose your source material and places and situations like this are rare. If you do run across it, take a good look because it gets sold, property sold, it's razed and they put up a Walgreens or some off shoot of a mediacal complex or a parking lot before you can blink!
They have passed on, went out of business, sold out, some collector bought it up and they are already in Florida. Tell him you would like to record his experiences and put them here for readers to use for refrence when trying to lean about a bike they find. Tell him his stories will live on with future bike collectors.
Tony Hadland and another fellow, I think it is Hilary Stone (maybe) have been recording on video recollections from important figures in cyclings past. Go to Hadland.net. Now this shop owner may not be a "Jack Lauterwasser" but still what he has to tell is worth preserving. Something interesting, never told yet, some missing piece of a puzzle somebody else whom you never met will be revealed and then they can cross refrence and solve something! Be quick please, because this fellow is not as young as you and nothing bites as having been too slow or too late. I have missed out on things by 2 minutes. I went across town, and went to my rival collector friend who laughed with a grin and he marked it up and I bought it anyways just because I wanted it. This is not how to do it, ya gotta have good timing.Real time, accomplished, clever, business savy,swap meet hustlers are in these waters. Honorable, but business sharp. You don't want to pay retale, but wholesale. Remember this! All you will ever see is a flick of their tail and when you swim into their lair they will say "Move aside, Chris youre getting in my way! The trick is to be there first, and already gone! I have seen collections that are boggling and I look at this fellow and I wonder how I can do better. Problem is I don't think they hang around after the truck is filled to take down the interesting tales. If space isn't made here for contributions like hopefully yours, it'll be done someplace else sometime soon. Don't let this opportunity pass you by, and don't tell him about anybody else until after you have bought up inventory unless you want this fellow to ring somebody else up and sell it to them. Trust me,this happens. Tony Hadland is selling the video recollections at his site and there's nothing wrong with that. He went to the bother and expense and should get something. Point is, it isn't always free, like here for example.Have fun,it's an interesting oportunity for you and a contribution we would be glad to access in the future.Ask to see his old shop pictures, get permission to copy them at a kinkos and return his origonals. These can be scanned and pictures make a site better and more easily understood and navigated thru. The visitor is going "Oh, I see now" Good Luck!

   RE:RE:BALLOON:Not for long, it'll vanish for good someday posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 12/27/2001 at 10:05:18 PM
It's the 26 inch "Indian head" whitewall tires you want to find for 5.00.
24 inch is not that valuable, still you're on to something.
Some of these tires go up to like 150.00, What else is there?

   RE:RE:BALLOON:Not for long, it'll vanish for good someday posted by JimW. on 12/29/2001 at 7:21:31 AM
Chris, you are so effin' right. Please, everybody, suck all the information you can from these old-school guys. Otherwise, all that information will be lost.

My Mom's site: http://mywilson.homestead.com
is an excellent example of a memoir site. If you could only
get some of these guys to go for it, we would all be so happy to have such a resource available. There are still many free internet site providers available.

   RE:RE:BALLOON:Not for long, it'll vanish for good someday posted by Paul Hendrix on 2/11/2002 at 6:29:20 AM
Chistopher is so right I remember the old shops

AGE / VALUE:ACE Schwinn posted by: Frank on 12/26/2001 at 6:41:43 PM
I recently purchased an old Schwinn bicycle and was wondering about the age of it. The frame has a brass headbadge that says "ACE" at the top, then Arnold Schwinn followed by a picture of an airplane, then Chicago Illinois at the bottom, IIRC. The SN is F828515 or F328515, I can't be sure about the second digit due to several layers of paint. The wheels, handlebars and seat I don't think are original. The handlebars are pretty narrow with a "7" shaped stem, the seat is an old vinyl covered messinger and the wheels have an Excel hub in the front and a Mexican made Bendix coaster brake hub in the rear. Not original parts, correct? The front fender suggest that it had a truss rod fork at one time due to the indentations for the same in the sides of it. The fenders, one of the few original parts, have been trimmed down in length by a tinsnip wielding maniac. I also am assuming that as old as this bike is it probably had a skip tooth sprocket as well? It has a standard toothed sprocket now. It looks as if it had a tank on it at one time, but it's MIA as well. I mainly bought it because of the frame, which appears to be OK with the exception of some slopped on house paint. Any info on how old this bike is would be greatly appreciated. I checked the Schwinn serial number chart on this site, but couldn't really get anything out of it. Thanks in advance

   RE:AGE / VALUE:ACE Schwinn posted by Stacey on 12/26/2001 at 8:43:24 PM
Hi Frank,

Looking at the Schwinn s/n chart I came up with 1949 if the s/n is F328515.


BALLOON:Wheel Lacing posted by: Tom on 12/26/2001 at 7:44:12 AM
Does anyone know the spoke lengths for lacing a Sturmey Archer AB 3spd hub to an American Balloon Rim 26". The inside measurement of the rim is 21 1/4" or 540mm. I need the lengths for the front and rear hubs. These hubs are different than the Schwinn hubs. One side is large flange and the other is low flange. If anyone has done these could you give me the spoke lengths.

   RE:BALLOON:Wheel Lacing posted by guido on 12/26/2001 at 9:28:02 PM
Do them 4 cross and use a 270 mm spoke length for use with ANY hub, including hubs with different flange sizes like the Union Drum hub. I have an AB from 1950. They are a sweeet hub. Good luck.

BALLOON:CycleTruck(Schwinn) posted by: Jeff on 12/25/2001 at 2:13:33 PM
Does any one have a decent pic of a cycletruck basket bracket? I have a complete cycletruck minus this bracket.

   RE:BALLOON:CycleTruck(Schwinn) posted by Tom on 12/27/2001 at 5:21:51 AM
I saw a Cycle Truck on Ebay. It just came up for auction tonight. Maybe you can email the owner and ask for pictures of it.

   RE:RE:BALLOON:CycleTruck(Schwinn) posted by jeff on 12/27/2001 at 10:15:55 PM
Why didnt I think of that? Thanx Tom

   RE:RE:RE:BALLOON:CycleTruck(Schwinn) posted by MNSmith on 12/28/2001 at 1:54:52 AM
I have been meaning to post sooner, I've been busy. Do you need a picture or dimensions? Prewar or postwar? Just so happens that most of my Cycle Trucks are disassembled right now and I'm in the middle of restoring my 1955 Cycle Truck. Let me know what you need!