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

MIDDLEWEIGHT:   Columbia Racycle posted by: Tom on 2/9/2003 at 4:55:48 AM
I have a 1955 Columbia built Raycycle Speedliner. It is a middleweight bike with a Bendix 2 spd lever shifted hub. I am doing a restoration on the bike and is there a rack that was available for the bike. What would be correct if it did not come with one. Anyone have one. Also what are the correct rims for it. Are they like Schwinn middleweight rims. I have 2 26 x 1 3/4" rims but are like the Raleigh rod brake style rims. Any help would be appreciated. Anyone have a bike like this one, I have not seen them anywhere.

   RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:   Columbia Racycle posted by sam on 2/10/2003 at 3:01:29 AM
Yes Tom they would have looked like the schwinn rims.In that they would have been flat across the center not raised like the rod brake style.But Schwinn rims were a little larger than other m/w rims.You need the kind used on murray.Sears,or western flyer bikes

MISC:   String Skirt String posted by: Danny Joe on 2/7/2003 at 1:27:00 AM
I'm about to finish the restoration of a late '30's ladies Hawthorne, what string-like material can be purchased that would be close to the original string material?

I tried some plastic string (white)which worked and looked okay but was curious about the texture of the original string, was it cotton?

   RE:MISC:   String Skirt String posted by Jim on 2/9/2003 at 12:09:00 AM
I've only seen them made of wire

   RE:RE:MISC:   String Skirt String posted by Chris on 2/9/2003 at 7:35:43 PM
Wire? Never seen them made of wire. Thats not to say it was never done. No, I have seen it made out of cotton.

   RE:MISC:   String Skirt String posted by Darrell on 2/11/2003 at 7:16:01 AM
I may be nuts but I remember reading in an original ad that they used darning thread which would be cotton and come in a multitude of colors, to match a woman's ever changing mood of course. I plan to use a brightly colored nylon string to set off the guard on an old Rollfast girls bike.

   RE:RE:MISC:   String Skirt String posted by Jim on 2/11/2003 at 7:33:38 PM
Wire came on Columbias

   RE:RE:RE:MISC:String Skirt String posted by Chris on 2/11/2003 at 9:21:29 PM
This is great. I'm learning about skirt guard material. Darning thread, and wire.
I never knew Columbia's used wire guards. Neat.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:MISC:String Skirt String posted by Danny Joe on 2/13/2003 at 1:49:18 AM
I have spied the darning thread, found my bike's color too.
I think I'll try some out, and get another roll to match my eye's. Thank's everyone ;)

AGE / VALUE:   Columbia (nr: 50219) posted by: Lauri on 2/5/2003 at 9:14:27 PM
Hello! I have Columbia with wooden rims, skip-off chain, Garford saddle(with hole or gap). Serial number is 50219. What is made year and type?

AGE / VALUE:   YAMADA GO posted by: rickey on 2/5/2003 at 4:21:05 PM

AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn straight bar bike posted by: Gerald on 2/2/2003 at 10:36:56 PM
I have a Schwinn straight bar 26" balloon. Serial #30243 on left rear drop out. Does anyone know what year this bike was made? Thanks, Gerald

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn straight bar bike posted by Gerald on 2/2/2003 at 11:11:01 PM
CORRECTION: serial number is H30243. Am unable to locate this number with H and five numbers behind it on Schwinn serial number chart.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn straight bar bike posted by Gordon on 2/4/2003 at 2:45:06 AM
January 1953.

FOR SALE:   FS balloon tire Schwinn Camel or straightbar men's bike posted by: Ed on 2/1/2003 at 9:45:54 PM
This bike is a late 30s or early 40s Schwinn skip tooth sweetheart crank bike. It has original Carlisle Lightening Dart tires made in USA. It looks complete. The seat needs to be redone. It has long springs in the seat. Photos are available. Asking $130 plus shipping. The paint is red with red rims.

   SOLD:   FS balloon tire Schwinn Camel or straightbar men's bike posted by Ed on 2/4/2003 at 11:47:37 PM
Sorry it has been sold.

MIDDLEWEIGHT:   Schwinn Colors... posted by: Rachle on 1/31/2003 at 1:44:14 PM
Hi...I have a question and these postings have always proved helpful......Does anyone know about the violet, purple and coppertone colors of the old Schwinns? Seems to me that it's tough to find bikes in these shades...Also, there seem to be two colors of purple...I'm wondering if they are rare and specifically, if a Hollywood ever came in the coppertone hue...Thanks! :)

   RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:   Schwinn Colors... posted by Tom Findley on 2/3/2003 at 2:26:58 PM

BALLOON:   Chain Oil? posted by: Jeff on 1/31/2003 at 9:05:24 AM
So I just finished doing a major cleaning job on my bike, now I want to put some kind of oil that will lube and protect from rust, but not get all over the bike.

What's the best?

   RE:BALLOON:   Chain Oil? posted by Cal on 1/31/2003 at 3:06:00 PM
I just used regular motor oil - 30 or 40 weight.

   RE:BALLOON:   Chain Oil? posted by monarkman on 2/2/2003 at 9:46:32 PM
Go to a local bike shop and get the chain lube in a bottle. I put one drop at each link pivot and then do a couple of spins. Then I will wipe off what little excess with a rag. By putting only one drop per link pivot, you get no splatter or dripping, and after wiping with a rag, you are assured of no splatter on you beautiful paint job and rims. I have used this method for many years now, and have never had any problems with splatter, and ride my originals as well as restored bikes with confidence.

MIDDLEWEIGHT:   Hiawatha Gambles posted by: Pete on 1/29/2003 at 9:34:03 PM
I just bought this Hiawatha Gambles bike and I don't know how much it is worth. I payed $40 for it. Was it worth it?

   RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:   Hiawatha Gambles posted by Stephen Chininis on 1/30/2003 at 5:48:25 AM
If you like it then it's worth at least $40 . . . since you were willing to pay it! Send me (or post) a photo I might be able to help . . . also need wheel size to figure it out.

MIDDLEWEIGHT:   Need help identifying posted by: Dave Rhyner on 1/29/2003 at 12:22:32 AM

I need help identifying these bikes that I have. They are boys and girls Victoria Astral bikes. The boys bike is #V96E. The girls bike is #V196E Victoria Astral

And then I have an F.E.M. Brilliant

If anybody could help me, I will send you pictures.

Thanks for anybody that will help me.

MIDDLEWEIGHT:   JC Higgins lady's bicycle posted by: Richard Tooley on 1/28/2003 at 3:42:30 PM
I have a 1950's lady's JC Higgins bicycle. It looks like a colorflow. It has a tank with 4 jewels on each side (all there). It is missing the front headlight, lower front fender brace, and rear fender. The seat is in fairly good shape in that it is complete with a couple of places on the side where it looks like mice may have gnawed. Mechanically it is in reasonable shape, there is no appreciable rust but the chrome is coming off the handle bars. Is this bike worth restoring? Were there other Higgins bikes with the same tank/jewel configuration? Where do I look for good resource material on this bike? Any info/suggestions would be helpful


   RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:   JC Higgins lady's bicycle posted by Mike T on 2/5/2003 at 4:16:01 AM
A great source for J.C. Higgins info is a book named "Collectable Elgin, J.C. Higgins, Hawthorn Bicycles" by James Hurd. I got my copy a couple of years ago at www.bicyclebooks.com

AGE / VALUE:   Western Flyer model? posted by: Mike on 1/28/2003 at 1:46:01 AM
Hi all. I have an old Western Flyer that has been sitting in my shed for several years. I got it from a freind some time ago that recommended I "hang on to it". At the time he wasnt able to provide any good info about it...Could anyone offer some input?

Its a black (looks like original paint) Western Flyer, that has a springer fork on it, and a strange rear rack with attachment tubes that plug into the frame top tubes. It also has chrome fenders, and a tan colored sprung saddle. The tire size is 26x2.125, and as far as I can tell the serial number is 211350.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Western Flyer model? posted by Mike on 1/28/2003 at 2:18:30 AM
After further investigation....I think I found what model I have in the spec/search database. There is a WEstern Flyer X53 pictured that looks identical to mine..(except mine is missing the gas tank) Anyone know of a website where I could do some more research on this bike?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Western Flyer model? posted by Stephen Chininis on 1/29/2003 at 5:11:38 AM
I saw one of these on e-bay not too long ago. If you are in no rush just keep checking and when one shows up do a screen shot of the picture. Eventually you'll have enough clues to find plenty of info. Slow but it works.

BALLOON:   FS J.C Higgins springer fork for men's bike posted by: Ed on 1/27/2003 at 6:59:33 PM
The springer is on Ebay. It is a J.C. Higgins color flow springer fork for a men's bike.
Item # 2154854662

MIDDLEWEIGHT:   1963 Murray Astro Flite posted by: Stephen Chininis on 1/27/2003 at 2:59:20 PM
Just found a near perfect Astro Flite (Murray's house version of the Sears Spaceliner . . . and in some ways better). Both bikes were designed by Viktor Schreckengost . . . who I studied under. I can't wait to start restoring it! It's only missing 2 parts, the "Stimsonite Rear Reflector" that attaches to the rear fender and super cool "Electric 360 degree Flashing Dome Warning Signal" that fits into the rear rack . . . any body have a few parts I could trade/buy? I'm also looking for someone to talk to about some Murray and Mercury childrens tricycles I've been restoring. Anybody into trikes?

   RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:   1963 Murray Astro Flite posted by Tom Findley on 1/27/2003 at 4:29:40 PM
Try Memory Lane Classics


for the rear reflector.
The flashing dome light will be hard to find.

   RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:   1963 Murray Astro Flite posted by Stephen Chininis on 1/29/2003 at 5:04:38 AM
Memory Lane is looking . . . they have the reflector for sure. I'm feelin' lucky about the Rear Rack Dome light . . . it's bound to show up eventually!

AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Spitfire posted by: Ryan on 1/26/2003 at 12:44:02 AM
just wondering what the value of a complete original single speed Schwinn Spitfire is and if anyone is interested in one.



   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Spitfire posted by Ryan on 1/26/2003 at 1:33:45 AM
Seems to be a '79

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Spitfire posted by wes on 1/26/2003 at 12:57:13 PM
in october at the vintage bicycle of texas swap were priced at 35.oo to 65.00 i bought one there
thanks wes