This is an archive of Vintage Bicycle Information.
For current Discussions, go to our main site: OldRoads.com

If you are trying to determine the genealogy of your bicycle by it's features, go to our Vintage Bicycle Price Guide
which details bicycle features, wheel sizes, brake types, etc., as well as showing a price estimate for your old bicycle.

If you are trying to determine the make and model of your bicycle, go to our Vintage Bicycle Picture Database
which details bicycle features, wheel sizes, etc., as well as showing a price estimate for your vintage bicycle.

Archived: Balloon Tire and Middleweights

BALLOON:   Colson posted by: Rick West on 2/23/2002 at 11:13:08 PM
I'm looking for information on Colson bikes of mid to late thirties vintage, who manufactured them, estimated value of one with tank, truss rods, complete but needs resto.

   RE:BALLOON:   Colson posted by joel on 2/24/2002 at 2:30:49 PM
There are several on Ebay now. Check the selling prices.

   RE:RE:BALLOON:   Colson posted by Kenny G on 2/24/2002 at 6:04:23 PM
I have information on Colson I can send you. Email me

MISC:   Not-so-Old Columbia Seat Posts ?? posted by: Ron on 2/22/2002 at 3:38:35 AM
First time poster here so if I'm way off topic, shue me in the right direction.

I have a columbia tandem that I'm putting back together. The only item that is giving me any trouble, so far, are the seats. The bike obviously sat outside and the seats are weathered beyond repair. This is unfortunate because the bike really shows very little wear. I found no serial numbers so I'm assuming it is after, what, 1972?

Anyhow, who makes a new seat that fits the tiny tops of my old seat posts?

It's down to bare metal now and on its way back to functional. I'll try to post some pictures of the final product but they'll probably belong more in the custom zone than the resto zone.

Any help is appreciated.

   RE:MISC:   Not-so-Old Columbia Seat Posts ?? posted by Cal on 2/22/2002 at 1:49:40 PM
You can usually scavenge seat post binder parts from other old seats to make up for the smaller diameter on the seat post.

   RE:RE:MISC:   Not-so-Old Columbia Seat Posts ?? posted by Joel on 2/22/2002 at 4:03:07 PM
Memory Lane Classics and Maple Island Sales are good parts sources. You can find new saddles there. The original type saddles for your Columbia should be pretty easy to find too. Like Cal said, the seat clamp may be changed on any seat to fit your posts.

   RE:MISC:   Not-so-Old Columbia Seat Posts ?? posted by Brian on 2/24/2002 at 5:36:56 AM
Install your old seatposts with the small end down and you can use a seat with a large clamp.

   RE:MISC:   Not-so-Old Columbia Seat Posts ?? posted by Ron on 2/25/2002 at 7:21:59 PM
Thanks for the info. I checked a schwinn store thta had a lot of old stuff and they said about the same thing. Adapt the old mounting hardware to new seats or turn the old seatpost upside down. I can't mount the front seatpost upside down because the rear handlebar mount is brazed to it but I'm a lot more confident I can remedy this easily now. Thanks again.

AGE / VALUE:   what do I have? posted by: Freddie on 2/22/2002 at 1:19:22 AM
Just picked up a odd bike today. The headbadge says Plymouth with a picture of a old 3 masted sailing ship. Decals on the seat tube says touring and Plymouth on the down tube. 3 speed internal hub with a thumb shifter. Hand brakes. 26x1.3/8 tires. 3 piece cranks. The man i bought it from told his mother Was given this bike with a new car from the plymouth dealer in 1969. It has the same paint job as the car. It has never been ridden just placed in a shed for the last 30+years. Looks like new. Just a little dusty. Has full fenders with a ridge along the top and it is a mens frame. Any idea who made it? Any collecter value? If not I will just sell it for a small profit or use it to ride to work .Thanks for any info.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   what do I have? posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 2/22/2002 at 1:38:38 AM
My wild guess it was made by Raleigh in Nottingham. One of the more seldom seen names on a B grade Raleigh bicycle, there were many such names.
Perhaps I am wrong. See Sheldon Brown's site at http://www.Sheldonbrown.com Raleigh bicycles. He has a very large site and in it is a way to tell Raleigh made 3 speeds from others.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   what do I have? posted by sam on 2/22/2002 at 2:39:02 AM
If it hasn't been ridden and is in good shape I would not be in a hurry to sell or ride it.Take your time , ask on several sites.I was supprised to learn that a huffy bike "Chester Chetta" was worth $600 in new condition.Your might be too Ply.s are history now!Does your Mom have any papers with the bike?If so keep that with it.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   what do I have? posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 2/22/2002 at 4:32:23 PM
Very good advice, listen to Sam!

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   what do I have? posted by JimW. on 3/1/2002 at 7:41:26 AM
Truth is almost as strange as fiction dept. Check out the first image on the page: http://bikerodnkustom2.homestead.com/sketchbk.html
You can have a lot of fun building a fake promotional bike supposedly by other car companies. Base it on any old bike and amaze people. We're calling these "Ghost Restorations" now, to avoid confusion with Schwinn Phantoms.

BALLOON:   Schwinn Drum Brake posted by: Tom on 2/21/2002 at 11:58:44 PM
I have a rear drum brake hub shell that came with a Schwinn Huricane Tandem tire. 26x1 1/2 to fit S-4 rim. I also have the rim. Had 105 guage spokes. What do I have here? Is it a newer hub and rim? What did it come from? I never heard of a S-4 rim. It is a wide rim but no balloon tire fits on it. The hub has no markings at all. Large drum side and small oposite side for spokes to attach, like a Sturmey Archer hub. It also has a threaded driver forr a freewheel. I can send a picture if needed. Does anyone have the matching front. Could this be from an old tandem bike.

   It is from an old tandem bike. posted by MNSmith on 2/22/2002 at 2:48:44 AM
A Schwinn Town and Country. That is a hard to find tire if it is in good shape! The hub is also slightly different from the regular Schwinn forebrake if I remember correctly. A little beefier. The rim is for the Town and Country and is also hard to find. Late 40's to 50's?? Might be worth something to Schwinn Tandem guys. Good Luck with it!!

AGE / VALUE:   Foremost bike posted by: Ken Enger on 2/21/2002 at 1:26:05 AM

> I have a Foremost girls bike that is in really good condition. It has a
> in light, dual baskets and a orginal Nevada lic plate. I was told this bike
> has been in storage for 25 years. Can you tell anything about it. Thanks
> advance for your help. Ken

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Foremost bike posted by goob on 2/23/2002 at 1:26:44 AM
i have a coupleforemost bikes. they were sold by J c Pennys. I think made by murry. Some flying O's sold by OTASCO were they same. Not much value in them.

BALLOON:   Firestone Imperial Cruiser - All Chrome posted by: Steven on 2/20/2002 at 4:41:54 AM
I ran across a really neat mans bike with the Firestone name. It was totally complete and original. It was called the "Imperial Cruiser". The entire bike is chrome, even the frame. The luggage carrier still had the turn signal indicators with the L/R turn switch in the tanks. It appears to have the original front springer (one large spring), original Firestone pedals, and all accessories. Any idea as to the rarity of this bike or a decent market price?? I may try to pick it up.

Please email me with any information. THanks.

BALLOON:   Parts needed posted by: Michael on 2/19/2002 at 9:35:34 PM
I am interested in acquiring truss rods for a prewar )late 30s) Murray-Ohio (Mercury) bicycle.
Also needed are:
1) a taillight for the 12 slotted carrier,
2) a lense cap for the Delta headlight,
3) black coke bottle handlebar grips, and
4) a chainguard.

AGE / VALUE:   Huffmann Streamliner posted by: Kent L. on 2/19/2002 at 4:24:54 PM
Anyone know what a Huffmann Safety Streamliner circa 1936 is worth?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Huffmann Streamliner posted by xhtc@hotmail.com on 2/20/2002 at 9:54:26 PM
Please email me directly if you wish to sell thank you

FOR SALE:   bike collection for sale posted by: gary m on 2/19/2002 at 7:25:15 AM
guys i have to tell ya, i make more off one motorcycle then i have total playing with antique bicycles. its time for this stuff to leave. try to sell it and the stingray snobs all say its junk. locals dont understand. dont get me wrong i like them but i dont want to be an unpaid curator in a warehouse i am paying rent on. i just want to deal with modern bicycles i can sell to anyone. i already tossed a huge mountain in the dumpster, at a cost of $400 per load, i cant lose like this anymore. i am sure i will be bummed if it all goes but i cant do business this way. they suck up my floorspace, and repay me with nothing. got motorcycles stacked like cordwood, and they all will sell in the next 90 days. i frankly dont see any of these antiques selling in this time frame. looking at about 100 bikes or more. bring a Ryder and a checkbook, and lets be done with this.

   RE:FOR SALE:   bike collection for sale posted by BillG on 2/19/2002 at 2:28:11 PM
What state are you in?

   RE:FOR SALE:   bike collection for sale posted by Gary M on 2/19/2002 at 5:27:09 PM
almost dead center lower Michigan.

   RE:FOR SALE:   bike collection for sale posted by Sam on 2/19/2002 at 11:54:04 PM
rainin over Gary's house again i see. how bout even a general idea what you got for sale, and what you asking for it before we go renting that ryder? i dont see your antiques selling in any time frame if this is the most you want to work at it. and if your paying the dumpster boys to haul it away why we need to be bringing a checkbook? should be happy to watch us haul it for free.

   what do you care? take time to slander me on here, but wont email for particulars posted by Gary M on 2/20/2002 at 12:30:45 AM
will provide list to interested parties

BALLOON:   Western Flyer posted by: David on 2/19/2002 at 12:58:55 AM
Looking for info on a Western Flyer X53. Who made W F bikes, circa 1950?

   Cleavland Welding Company, n/t posted by steve on 2/19/2002 at 2:03:55 PM

   RE:Cleavland Welding Company, n/t posted by Joel on 2/19/2002 at 9:40:10 PM

AGE / VALUE:   Double Top ? posted by: Jason on 2/18/2002 at 6:50:03 PM
I have a red Schwinn cruiser that I picked up at a flea market and was curious about what model it might be and its value. From the serial number charts at old roads, it appears to be from 1963. What is unique about the bike (at least I havent seen too many like it) is that the top tube is actually two tubes. I vaguely remember someone seeing the bike and calling it something like "a double top racer". Any information about this style would be appreciated.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Double Top ? posted by Gary M on 2/18/2002 at 9:28:53 PM
Murray/sears twintube. cool bike but not a schwinn. send a pic somewhere so i can be found wrong again.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Double Top ? posted by Robert on 2/19/2002 at 12:32:42 AM
Sounds like the Sears bike I had in the early '60's. Twin tubes on the top and big chrome fenders. I would also like to see a picture. Bendix hub?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Double Top ? posted by Robert on 2/19/2002 at 4:20:51 AM
I recall seeing an early middleweight typhoon decaled bike like this, and another with a different name, but I can't recall now.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Double Top ? posted by Robert again on 2/19/2002 at 4:27:37 AM
Okay now, made a mistake here. What I was thinking of was the double straightbar middleweights. Hey, It happens!

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Double Top ? posted by Skip on 2/19/2002 at 3:27:03 PM
I have a Schwinn Tornado that has a curved single top tub, and double STRAIGHT bottom tubes.

Is this common? It is a 26" boy's middle weight.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Double Top ? posted by Gary M on 2/19/2002 at 5:29:46 PM
all the tornados are like that, its not a schwinn frame, its an import, but a nice bike.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Double Top ? posted by Skip on 2/20/2002 at 2:27:27 PM
An import? The serial number says it is 1960. They didn't import then, did they?

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Double Top ? posted by kmrodd@excite.com on 2/22/2002 at 9:05:30 PM
Gary's half right; the Tornado frame was made in Chicago, but the hubs, stem etc are German 'Schwinn Approved' from Wald.

MIDDLEWEIGHT:   1958 3 speed Schwinn Racer posted by: Maurice on 2/16/2002 at 6:35:24 PM
I have a '58 red Schwinn 3 speed Racer. The bike is beautiful with all original parts hat and ring decals large schwinn script grips, AS seatpost clamp, script front hub. The only question I have is did Schwinn use "Schwinn Approved" printed shifters and rear hubs on that year bike? All of the others I have seen have been Sturmey Archer. The shifter is round and flat(instead of square) with gear readings of Lo Med High with Schwinn in red. The hub reads Schwinn Approved AUSTRIA. Thanks for feedback.

   RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:   1958 3 speed Schwinn Racer posted by Robert on 2/17/2002 at 10:42:12 PM
Nostalgic.net has a '57 Jaguar with a three speed. I can't make out the details but it looks similar to what ou describe. Check it out.

   RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:   1958 3 speed Schwinn Racer posted by sam on 2/18/2002 at 2:37:28 AM
I have a 56 corvette with the same Schwinn approved rear hub.I could be wrong but I think Christopher said S/A had a plant in Austria for a while.

   RE:RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:Traipsing thru hub history, furniture trends, more rambling on. posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 2/21/2002 at 7:19:15 PM
From Tony Hadland's book the Sturmey-Archer Story: "out of patent A.W.( 3 speed hub) clones were Brampton (in England) and Steyr- Daimler Puch or Steryia from Graz, Austria.
It looks to me that the Austria plant belonged to Steyr and they copied the A.W. hub and made some parts and complete bikes. I have seen Brampton marked handlebar stems that say Made in India on them.
Sun Tour had Sturmey- Archer themselves make a A.W. hub that was labeled up as a Sun Tour hub. Someone said the inner ball ratchet had been changed/ modified and or improved with the Sun Tour hub. Certainly the shift trigger was improved with a soft rubber type cover on the trigger leaver and it was closer and a better unit all around. (A improved Sturmey-Archer trigger and improved A.W. hub with a Sun Tour stamping on the hub shell and trigger face basically still a Sturmey hub) This is interesting because many times the basic 1960's-1980's 3 speed trigger had been copied and some of these were labeled up very closely to look like a origonal Sturmey shifter but it said it diffrently and they were not as nice as the genuine article.
Another thing was the Brampton 3 speed hub and then the Hercules hubs which had threaded drivers which come in handy for hybrid gearing projects. Also these old hubs have machined steel innards. Solid! But I always find them all caked up with a inner layer of dried oily grease. After a good soaking and re- assembly these are a favorite of mine. Love those clutches!

What bugs me is with all the copying they only copied the basic, bread and butter 3 speed hub. The only one to offer a alloy hub shell was Sturmey- Archer and then only from 1948-1954. We didn't see an alloy shell hub again until years later(80's) and then it was by a diffrent process. By then, the cool A.S.C. A.R. A.C. F.M. F.C. had been discontinued. Less call for them, a need to thin and trim the company, the expense of such a wide variety, perhaps? Sturmey offered a alloy shelled 5 speed hub. There were a series of 5 speed hubs and some of those were not so hot. Also, nobody else copied the really cool, desirable, vintage goodies like the A.S.C. or the F.M. or the A.C. hubs. That would have been more costly and difficult to tool up and likely would not have been possible for a variety of reasons. Too bad though, as I would love to see other models copied and alloy shells on the copies.
B.S.A. offered an alloy shell version of the Hublite( G.H.6 dynohub copy) but none of the excellent and very smooth B.S.A. 3 speed hubs came in alloy shells. Split axles late in the game before it stoped all together in 1955 yes, but no alloy shell. No B.S.A. 4 speed hubs either. The B.S.A. 3 speed has a round axle as it is intended for a B.S.A.bicycle and not my Raleigh Tourist rod brake bike.
I try to take you all through it from what I have read, memory and experiences but the best thing for any of you to do is to delve into the books and various sources yourself. Look for vintage British derailers like what we see in Dancing Chain. I think those are cool. I would love a "Hercules Herrailler" which Dancing Chain author Frank Berto calls a "Rugged little pull- type derailer" When going through old 3 speed hubs remember this: Look for 28 hole drilling shells,(Schwinn Sting Ray, Moulton possibly Choppers too) alloy shells, diffrent models like the four speed versions, remember that a plain used Sturmey- Archer A.W. hub sells for like $10.00 on e- bay used, but clean. The Sturmey-Archer S.W.! Noisless,replacement for the A.W. that didn't last. Regarded as sometimes troublesome, many were heaved out, parts and all. Who would think that these sell (used, but clean) today for $28-34.00?? for one hub and that a select bunch or devotees would "keep the flame alive"? One fellow has a web site on the S.W. with moving graphics detailing the springless pawls!Cool!
The A.C. F.M. or F.C. Sturmey-Archer hubs go to like $170.00 and a bit higher sometimes and the king of them all is the A.S.C. 3 speed fixed. I see these go up to about $500.00 sometimes higher. Watch to see if my sage advice is what you see too.
What do they have where you are? Are you trying to completely see what all is there tucked away and hiding.The reason why I ask you to pull out every single old Brooks seat is because the French Ideale seats are likely mixed in there and these sell quite surprisingly high! Save origonal boxes! Even empty boxes! All the books, posts here, various web sites should help you to build a sifter of sorts and as you see stuff you put it in the sifter and you want to shake out all the unpopular, low selling junk and be left with the gold nuggets you want to ride, use or sell like vintage Simplex 531 derailers and Simplex skewers, Chopper consoles, Chopper parts e.t.c. I can't really tear into it and tell you what is hot and what ain't because this is so hugemongous and varied.All the diffrent names and makers of bikes! Much of it,Not heard of in years until unearthed. To learn it all would take years and years. Some of the information is lost or close to that as time really doesn't help us any. People pass away and whole towns have been re- done until not a trace of huge industries are left. Like a news magazine from 1927 that falls apart in my hands. Ads for vintage ink pens from 1928 crumble in my hands. I wonder who here was into ink pens? E- mail me as not all of it crumbled.Now, I want to learn how to slop up old furniture pieces with white paint and distress it and detail it to produce Shabby Chic pieces to sell for big bucks!Pick it up for 5.00 sell it for 30.00 see them dress it in white and sell it for 375.00? It's time I learn that myself! If Shabby Chic will ever go past furniture? I doubt it. So please don't heave white paint at me or my bikes. I don't think we would sell very well.
What does the furniture in old Gypsy wagons look like? Searching for ideas, inspiration,The Next crazy, idiotic but still hot- as- all -get- out, fad started by "yours truly"

   RE:RE:RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:Schwinn Approved= Downshift in quality,finish (and of course)it's imported! posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 2/21/2002 at 7:36:05 PM
Before Schwinn took to stamping "Schwinn Approved" on Foreign items they actaully made things themselves, right here. Feature that!
Neat-O hubs, brake leavers, all sorts of bits!

AGE / VALUE:    posted by: Brian on 2/15/2002 at 10:20:10 PM
I have been looking all around for some info on this old excelsior frame I picked up from my shop. I think it is a Schwinn but the Serial # is un familiar. I know there arn't any records pre 1948, but am hoping someone might have seen a bike with a serial # like this. The # is 46EH.
There is no badge on the bike and it is dripped horizontally, not vertically like most Schwinns.
Thanks! Any comments would help.


   RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by Joel on 2/16/2002 at 1:23:58 PM
That's not a prewar Schwinn number. Post a picture of the bike.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: Badges  posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 2/21/2002 at 7:27:37 PM
I always wonder in disgust, Who removed the badge? and Why! Drives me crazy. You would not believe all the diffrent badges made. Thousands of them!
Badge collecting all and in itself. Still that's no reason to remove them!
Swap meets and e- bay for badges. Good Luck!

AGE / VALUE:   1960 Schwinn Tiger Middleweight posted by: Robert on 2/15/2002 at 10:09:52 PM
Looked at a 1960 metallic blue, Sturmey 3 speed at a yard sale today. I would rate the bike a 7, as there is a little paint loss, and the decals were rubbed off about 20%. This middleweight has a crutch-tip rear rack, and a mousetrap front rack. Hand brakes too. The guy was asking $225.00, but I thought this to be high. What do you believe to be a more realistic value???


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   ROADMASTER CLEVELAND WELDING INFO PLEASE posted by sam on 2/18/2002 at 2:48:40 AM
If it says Roadmaster it a Roadmaster.With the tank in good condition you didn't pay too much but a 24" bike is not as valuable as a 26".I don't think the seral # helps.Do the rear drop out face forward or to the rear?Seat might say Troxel.Does it have an AMF decal? and how is the paint?

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   ROADMASTER CLEVELAND WELDING INFO PLEASE posted by Joe on 2/18/2002 at 7:51:41 PM
Thanks for the response Sam. the rear drop outs face to the rear w/ chain tensioners tapped into the frame. I can not find any AMF decals or names on the bike anywhere. it does have a decal on the seat tube from clevland welding Co. w/ a picture of a guy flexing his arm Paint is ok but not real bright. If a photo will help let me know I can email one.
thanks again