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

WANTED:   Buy or trade for Hiawatha Arrow posted by: Louis on 3/11/2003 at 9:22:55 PM

I am looking to buy or trade for Shelby Hiawatha Arrow I can send pics of 5 bikes 35 Shelby airflo, 37 Shelby airflo peanut stainls tank, Shelby nonose,38 egin twinn bar, 37 Monark silverking wing bar.
Cal. (805)643-1870

BALLOON:   Girl's Elgin bicycle age posted by: Mike on 3/11/2003 at 5:02:40 AM
I recently purchased a girl's Elgin Special and was wondering if someone could help me date it. The bottom bracket contains the numbers D9038. It has a swing-type kickstand, skiptooth chain, solid front sprocket and "L" shaped seat stem. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

   RE:BALLOON:   Girl's Elgin bicycle age posted by bob on 3/12/2003 at 9:01:52 PM
If it's a Columbia-built Elgin, the serial number chart would date it to 1939.

BALLOON:   Schwinn Aerocycle historical info needed... posted by: Brad on 3/11/2003 at 3:21:29 AM
Hello folks at Old Roads,

First off, let me say that I'm a balloon tire bicycle buff....am in the process of restoring my dad's childhood bike, a 1951 Western Flyer "Super"...2 tone green and red pinstriping. I love the bike and it has sentimental value like nothing else. I also have a Wards Hawthorne bicycle from the same time...very similar in design to my Super. My interest in these old classics has sparked the topic of my discussion here:

That being said, the reason I am posting a message here revolves around a topic I am doing my Masters degree thesis on. While researching the streamlining movement in American design starting in the early 1930's, I am investigating the role that the bicycle played in the styling/design of that era. Streamlining was introduced, at least initially, in the major forms of transportation...aircraft, steamliner trains, automobiles, etc....in these applications, streamlining was purposefully used to lessen wind resistance, minimizing aerodynamic drag, etc. In the early to mid 1930's following the great depression, America looked toward streamlining as a way of lifting public spirit...showing optimism through speed. Soon after the Chicago World's Fair of 1933-34, stationary objects began taking on designs reflecting speed...everyday items such as desk lamps, vacuum cleaners, furniture...anything and everything was given a makeover with rounded edges and smooth lines. It is my belief that the bicycle quite possibly played a major role in the introduction and continuation of streamlining/machine deco from major forms of transportation to the items of everyday use. The Schwinn Streamline Aerocycle was shown in the transportation display at the 1933-34 Worlds Fair in Chicago and so, was on the leading edge of this movement. The bicycle occupies a position in the market that makes it part of both the transportation industry and the objects of everyday use...objects which benefitted more from the "feel" and "look" ...the marketing of streamlining..and less to do with benefits of less wind resistance.

I am basically wondering if any of the Schwinn fanatics here can point me in the direction of any significant archives, possibly showing the timeline behind the Schwinn Aerocycle...how did the design come about, when was it first conceived, what were influences leading to the idea of revamping this bike to reflect a streamline design/styling. Where might I find Schwinn archives documenting the inception/creation of the Aerocycle? What I am trying to prove here would essentially show Schwinn as a leading pioneer in one of the biggest design movements in the past century...can anyone point me in the right direction?
Any info you can provide will be greatly appreciated!!!
Email me at "BD91@excite.com" Thanks much!

Brad Tierney
Graduate Student, Iowa State University

   RE:BALLOON:   Schwinn Aerocycle historical info needed... posted by Jimbo Jones on 3/11/2003 at 8:30:25 AM
The autocycle might have been the first american bicycle with this influence but to me it's just a standard bike with a goofy looking tank. The streamlined Elgins came in about the same time and were the style leaders IMHO. I think the Elgin " miss america" might have been introduced at the worlds fair.


Other nice ones were the silverking wingbar and the 37-8 roadmaster.

Other nice ones were th

   RE:BALLOON:   Schwinn Aerocycle historical info needed... posted by sam on 3/12/2003 at 3:12:06 AM
As I recall reading , Richard Schinn is given credit with the design.The Schwinn's had just sold the motorcycle part of the company and Richard was "down sized" to bicycles.This caused him to breath new life into bicycles.Anyway you can check this out in most schwinn bicycle books.

   RE:BALLOON:   Schwinn Aerocycle historical info needed... posted by Ken on 3/12/2003 at 7:19:42 PM
I return again and again to
to look at all the fabulous photos. Check them out. I'm with Jimbo: a look at the 1934 Aerocycle reveals much less in the way of curvaceous frame tubing than that of the Elgin and Hawthorne nameplates. To me it looks like the Schwinn designs are very good synthesis of other ideas; even the cantilever frame five years later (to me the pinnacle of the design) reflects earlier and more extreme designs: Elgin/Westfield, Hawthorne, Dayton, Shelby. Almost certainly, the industry as a whole drove the design movement, based as Sam suggests on the gradual parting of evolutionary ways between bikes and motorcycles. Leon Dixon, as well-informed a curmudgeon as you will ever find, has plenty to say on the design topic at
Let us know how your project progresses.

   RE:BALLOON:   Schwinn Aerocycle historical info needed... posted by Brad Tierney (writer of the initial posting) on 3/13/2003 at 12:32:36 AM
Thanks to all for your input/response thus far... I had corresponded once or twice with Leon Dixon at NBHAA prior to posting on this forum. Indeed, he offers the same opinion regarding which bicycle was the first and foremost to popularize streamlining in the industry. And like you all here and Leon, I agree that for the most part, today Schwinn is surrounded by a sort of urban legend status of being THE innovator of many developments in the field. Most of which are highly debatable and evidence would prove otherwise. Some of these issues are addressed in Leon Dixon's NBHAA website. Personally, I think the Schwinn Phantom line is credited with several firsts that were pre-existing. That being said however, and all biases aside though, my main objective in the thesis is to document bikes which contributed most to the popularization/usage of the streamline look/styling. The following is part of my email response to Mr. Dixon:

"I whole-heartedly agree with you about the Elgin Bluebird being perhaps the most glamourous of all the streamline bikes...theres nothing else like it. As you stated however, this bike came to market in 1935, a year after the Schwinn Aerocycle was introduced in Chicago in 1934 at the Worlds Fair. At least, this is what I have been led to believe so far in my readings. I do have copies of advertisements from 34-35 of other Elgin models which are being promoted and advertised as "the first streamline", etc. These models however, did not seem to encompass or embrace the concept as of then. The Elgins I am thinking of (Blackhawk & Falcon) resemble the motorcycles of 1933....and were advertised as being based on motorcycle designs. These bikes featured attributes of the familiar "motorbikes" of the time...tanks that are still fairly "squared off" in terms of shape...more flat sheet metal surfaces than "curved and flowing". The physical evidence that the Schwinn Streamline Aerocycle offers is the teardrop shape of the tank, the roundness...and the subtle fender flares, etc. Quotes such as the following are typical descriptions of the Aerocycle:

"First, it pioneered the balloon tire. Second, it proved that thoughtful styling would get buyers' attention. The Aerocycle helped revitalize the bicycle industry in the early 1930s."

I do not believe that, structurally, the Aerocycle frame is any farther ahead than the rest of the pack...in fact, the tank always looks to me like a secondary afterthought which was added on over an existing frame. Bicycles like the Bluebird had much more complete styling/design attributes as far as streamlining goes. My biggest concern is giving credit where credit is due...I want to know who did it first...which bike sparked the movement of streamlining in that industry. The evidence is physical with the bikes themselves, however, paperwork, corporate records could show that, (for instance and hypothetically) the concept/idea of the Elgin Bluebird actually came first, but due to the extravagence in design, perhaps lead time was longer in getting the actual product on the market.....whereas, like I mentioned earlier, perhaps lead time for the Aerocycle would have been less, assuming that the frame already existed in stock and the tank appendage was an "add-on" to that existing frame. So, far however, I've been led to believe that any official documentation from Schwinn would have been lost in a fire in Chicago. For reasons such as this, I have been relying on texts written on the matter. Were the Aerocycle and Bluebird introduced during the same time period? As you can see, I have many details to try to pin down. On a more general level, my thesis will show/describe what role the bicycle industry played in the perpetuation/introduction of the streamline movement into other product lines.

Since my thesis is, on many levels, a historical based text, any original documentation, advertisements, etc of the bicycles discussed will be needed to help prove my point(s). I have been faxed several ads featuring the Aerocycle from 1934...but any other bicycle related literature from the time in question, 1933-35, would be of great help."

I highly doubt that I have seen photos of all the available bicycles on the market in America in 1933-34, but of those that I have seen, the Streamline Aerocycle lends itself more to at least an introduction of streamline-like characteristics....moreso than do the Elgin Falcon/Blackhawk. I do not think I have seen any photos of the Elgin Miss America as referenced by Jimbo....perhaps that is a lead I should follow up on.

Thanks again for previous and future replies!!!

Brad Tierney

   RE:RE:BALLOON:   Schwinn Aerocycle historical info needed... posted by Greg on 3/14/2003 at 6:29:52 AM
If the focus of your thesis is "streamline look/styling" then I see little that the Aerocycle contributed to this. I have never viewed the Aerocycle as a "streamlined" bicycle. That is not to say that it didn't have a serious impact on bicycle styling, it most certainly did. The focus is streamline design and the bicycles that contributed the most to this style. That being said, then I would have to say that there are several bicycles of the mid to late 30's that were far more influential. The Elgin Bluebird, Shelby Air-Flo, Dayton Safety Streamline and Super Streamline, to mention a few. To me, streamline design was the ability to make something look like it was moving even when it was standing still. The Aerocycle fails in this area in my opinion. For that matter, I don't really feel that Schwinn really accomplished a truly streamlined design. They had some great designs without a doubt, but nothing as radical or streamlined in appearance as the bicycles I mentioned.
A little FYI. The patent for the Bluebird with the built tank was applied for on Jan 11, 1936. The patent for the Bluebird tank which was a seperate piece and a later design was applied for on Oct 8 1937. The patent for the Dayton Safety Streamline bicycle was applied for on Apr 1 1936. I do not currently have info on the Shelby design patent date.

Good luck, Greg www.classicriders.com

   RE:RE:BALLOON:   Schwinn Aerocycle historical info needed... posted by Jimbo Jones on 3/14/2003 at 7:58:21 AM
The "miss america" info I gave you was probably a dead end. Historically it was a leader at a worlds fair for the concept of futuristic streamlining but by looking at the bike I would have to say that it was no earlier than 1938.

The aerocycle probably deserves the title of being first reguardless if it was the best example.

Have to agree on the signifigance of bicycles in this matter though.

When it comes to streamlined tosters, vaccum cleaners , tea pots or even cars the esthetics arent going to hurt you too bad, but when it comes to these bikes they were to the extreme. My Elgin weighs 55 pounds.It looks fast but it certainly isn't. The Bluebird must have weighed in at close to 70. This is truely extreme. Walking may have been easier but never looked so good.

   RE:RE:BALLOON:   Schwinn Aerocycle historical info needed... posted by Jimbo Jones on 3/14/2003 at 7:58:29 AM
The "miss america" info I gave you was probably a dead end. Historically it was a leader at a worlds fair for the concept of futuristic streamlining but by looking at the bike I would have to say that it was no earlier than 1938.

The aerocycle probably deserves the title of being first reguardless if it was the best example.

Have to agree on the signifigance of bicycles in this matter though.

When it comes to streamlined tosters, vaccum cleaners , tea pots or even cars the esthetics arent going to hurt you too bad, but when it comes to these bikes they were to the extreme. My Elgin weighs 55 pounds.It looks fast but it certainly isn't. The Bluebird must have weighed in at close to 70. This is truely extreme. Walking may have been easier but never looked so good.

   RE:RE:RE:BALLOON:   Schwinn Aerocycle historical info needed... posted by Greg on 3/14/2003 at 4:31:51 PM
Actually, I have to check my resources, but I have seen an ad for a 1932 Hawthorne that mentions "Streamline" design. I can't remember enough details at this point to offer more info other than it is the earliest I have ever seen the term "streamline" mentioned in relation to bicycles. I will post more info and a posible link to a scan of this ad in the near future.

Greg www.classicriders.com

MIDDLEWEIGHT:    posted by: DannyJoe on 3/9/2003 at 3:35:41 AM
I picked up a Schwinn Typhoon which I believe is a '68, I can't really make out the first number of the serial stamp. Looks like a 3 which would make it a 1963, but the pedal's are block with reflector's and the seat is not an S seat but a black model with side rivets which reads on a back plate, "Deluxe Sport" made in Taiwan, would I find these item's (pedal/seat) on the 1968 Typhoon? It also has painted rim's with the Westwind tire's, were painted rim's still offered on the Typhoon in 1968?

   RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:    posted by Ken on 3/12/2003 at 7:41:03 PM
Rims, yes; saddle, no; pedals, maybe: check the outboard ends for a faint Schwinn Approved in the old circle/cross shape, and the ends near the pedal threads for Made in Germany.

   RE:RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:    posted by DannyJoe on 3/13/2003 at 12:59:12 AM
After viewing the serial no. with a magnifying glass(yes I'm an oldfart) it look's to be an F8----- sequence. I noticed the seat was exactly like one I have on a '74 Schwinn Suburban, the pedal outward ends were to scratched/rusted, no circle and cross was noticible, no Made in Germany only a stamped 701B on an outside flat of the pedal. Hopefully I'll run across another '68 Typhoon in photo's to compare with. Thank's Ken!

BALLOON:   Classicriders.com updates posted by: Greg on 3/8/2003 at 3:41:44 PM
Check out the Service Center at www.classicriders.com . New articles on rear hub service, chain service, crank service, pedal service, etc. Scanned articles illustrate step by step procedures and include exploded views of Bendix, Musselman, and New Departure rear hubs. Other articles include head badge removal, chrome cleaning, and more! Here is the link:


BALLOON:   phantom headset posted by: dave on 3/8/2003 at 4:01:03 AM
Hey guys, I'm looking for a schwinn reproduction phantom/B6 chrome headset(cups,bearings,bolt,etc.) for my locking forks,I know schwinn was repo'ing these a while back, I need a set if you have one, almost done with my bike, help if you can....thanks

FOR SALE:   SCHWINN BIKES AND MORE! posted by: KEN on 3/6/2003 at 7:53:25 PM
1) 1961 SCHWINN 24" MENS ,SWEET BIKE,$100.00


AGE / VALUE:   1954? Schwinn Girls Bike posted by: Sara on 3/6/2003 at 6:47:18 PM
I have an old girls Schwinn bicycle that am trying to identify. Found serial #M 50696 or 59696 on the left rear drop-out(?). It is White with pink trim, has a light, tank w/horn... Thought it might be a 54 Panther, but the light looks like one from a "63 Fiesta and it doesn't have the springer front fork. Have I got it right on either one, or am I way off? It is an all original fixer-upper that I want to sell but need more info to know what price to expect. Also, saw a mention of girls bikes being less desirable to collectors than boys....is that true???

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   1954? Schwinn Girls Bike posted by JimW. on 3/10/2003 at 12:12:37 AM
Yes, Sara, it's true. Girl's bikes don't command prices as high as comparable boy's bikes. The reason is that the typical collector wants the bike he had, or wanted to have in his youth. As most collectors are male, they want boy's bikes. Also, girls tend to not trash their bikes like boys, so the girl's models aren't as scarce for a given type. As the trend is to use a girl's model for cannibalizing parts to restore a boy's model, the imbalance will eventually work out, and girl's bikes will also be scarce. But probably still not bringing the same price.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   1954? Schwinn Girls Bike posted by Sarah on 3/16/2003 at 1:04:34 AM
Thanks for the info. Do you know anything about the model I have based on the serial number??

MIDDLEWEIGHT:   Getting ready to restore my first bike. posted by: John on 3/4/2003 at 6:27:36 PM
I'm getting ready to purchase and resotre my first bike. It is a Schwinn from the mid '60's to the late '70's. Do not know the model or the year it was manufactured yet.

I've done quite a bit of research using a book and the internet. But I still have some questions.

First, rather then repack the bearings for tbe crank why not just purcahse a new bottom bracket and intall that instead? That is if a correct size can be found. I know that most of not all of the bottom brackets these days are metric.

The same goes for the head set. would there be a problem with buying a sealed cartridge style head set and replacing the existing bearings?

Or does that take away form the true restoration process and have a affect on the value?

Thanks and any other advice anyone has would be greatly appreciated.

   RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:   Getting ready to restore my first bike. posted by Don on 3/4/2003 at 9:44:32 PM
Congrats on your new project! My thoughts are keep it original. Use all of the original parts you can. If i am understanding your bearing proposal, i do not think it will work. Once you have identified the make, you can find any part you want on e-bay, Schwinn Forums or Vin at VVVintage.
Good luck!

   RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:   Getting ready to restore my first bike. posted by Brian on 3/5/2003 at 4:37:01 AM
Original type ball and retainer bearings are cheap. It is easy to pack them with grease, a lot easier than trying to get new races to fit.

   RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:   Getting ready to restore my first bike. posted by sam on 3/6/2003 at 9:36:38 PM
I've never done this but saw in magazine sealed BB to replace american style BB & cranks cost over$100.On the other hand I've re-greased Schwinn BB (1920 to 1976) with out having to change parts--not always but I'd say 75% of the time the old parts are still good.If not replacements are cheep.PS--those from the 20s were the very best!

AGE / VALUE:   1940 Rollfast V-474 posted by: Peter on 3/4/2003 at 12:21:48 AM
Hello All,
I have come across what I consider a great find but do not know it's value or worth.
I need some help on this one guys; #174564X on the crank housing along with "D.P.Harris Mfg. Co., New York." I It's black with w white trim; chrome wheels; missing headlight; two flat tires; kick stand (original stand gone).
If anyone can help me with this I would appreciate it!
I have been given the title of executor of this bike from the original owner who got it as a child in 1942.
Thanks for everyone help and consideration!

AGE / VALUE:   unknown bicycles posted by: Chris on 3/3/2003 at 1:02:12 AM
Have a schwinn tandem(pictures avaliable) serial #ch124819 year and value unknown, mint condition, 5 speed, drum brake(back), yellow, deluxe model

serial # a30146 54cw c is big w is small and set inside of c no head badge, need name and year photo avaliable

MISC:   1958 Schwinn Traveler decal's posted by: DannyJoe on 3/2/2003 at 4:49:52 AM
My '58 3spd. Traveler had been repainted before I got it. What decal design(s) were used on the '58 Schwinn Traveler, is there a picture of the style of decal used on any picture database ? What are the chance's of finding replacement decal's for this model ? The bike is in nice condition aside from an old repaint which is scratched and faded.

   RE:MISC:   1958 Schwinn Traveler decal's posted by wes on 3/5/2003 at 1:44:37 AM
check ebay under schwinn ive found lots of new schwinn decals there and everyone has been really good

   RE:RE:MISC:   1958 Schwinn Traveler decal's posted by Danny Joe on 3/5/2003 at 2:30:55 AM
I've seen certain one's on ebay but they don't always specify a year to them, being a diamond style frame and not a cantilever frame I wondered if the same decal style was used for both frame's in 1958. I've noticed the decaling on the 1958 Schwinn's on this picture database, would it be the same on my Traveler ?

MISC:   Interesting find posted by: bacoes on 3/1/2003 at 5:25:13 PM
Pulled from the scrap heap. A middleweight, has beefy heavyweightish steel rims with a red stripe down the middle. It has a cottered crankset and a forged stem. The coaster brake has an oiler hole. I haven't finished cleaning the arm off yet, but it says something like "Komer...Super" on it. The seatstay bridge is only for fender mounting. It also has a crowned fork and a Garelli saddle. Unfortunately, it's been repainted. It doesn't sound american made and was wondering if anyone here has ever seen anything like it.

   RE:MISC:   Interesting find posted by JimW, on 3/3/2003 at 8:04:38 AM
When you clean the coaster arm and the stamping on it says "Komet", it's German.

AGE / VALUE:   Colson Flyer Tandem posted by: G. Redmond on 2/27/2003 at 6:16:54 PM
I have a mechanically sound Colson Tandem that I am trying to date so that I can restore it. The tandems head badge has the name Flyer in red across the front. The fenders do not have the curved braces that I have seen on other pictures. I would like to find a picture of what this bike was supposed to look like so that I can get the proper chain guard and fork brace. Everything else is there and in decent shape as far as I can tell.

Thanks for any info you can provide.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Colson Flyer Tandem posted by Joel on 2/27/2003 at 11:06:11 PM
There's a really nice early one listed on Ebay now. Good pix.

WANTED:   Chainguard and Fender parts posted by: Earl on 2/25/2003 at 5:47:21 PM


I need help in finding the following:

1. chainguard bolts and nuts for schwinn crusiers, balloons, etc......

2. a rear fender bracket for a cantilever frame.

THere was a guy selling repops new but, I can't seem to find his info. If you have those two items and or have a good lead to them please LMK!

   RE:WANTED:   Chainguard and Fender parts posted by Tom Findley on 2/25/2003 at 7:07:17 PM
These people have the nuts and bolts:


   RE:WANTED:   Chainguard and Fender parts posted by MNSmith on 2/26/2003 at 9:10:49 PM
I got them too! Send me a note.