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

AGE / VALUE:   1934-1935 Aluminum Montgomery Wards Bicycle posted by: Dick on 5/20/2003 at 12:36:12 AM
Hello All
I have montgomery wards 1934-1935 aluminum "Hawthorne possibly" or Zep....The frame is double bar ...on the top the serial number is under the crankshaft and is only 1304
The rest of the bike was rusted beyond repair except for the neck which was aluminum and broke during disasembly..
Tires were stell belted unfortunately the fenders werent on it.....Anyways I was wondering the worth of this frame fork set???? Aluminum was a rarety in those days to be used on a bicycle.....

BALLOON:   springer fork lock panther posted by: BOB on 5/19/2003 at 5:44:09 PM
Did a 52 Schwinn Panther come with locking forks, also a cantilever frame&

Thanks; BOB

   RE:BALLOON:   springer fork lock panther posted by Ken on 5/21/2003 at 9:14:04 PM
Bob, there's some Panthers in the Oldroads picture database and a bushel more on nostalgic.net - check it out! Here's a pic of the key in the lock:

BALLOON:   j.c.pennys ''foremost'' 1955 posted by: luke on 5/18/2003 at 10:44:30 PM
we'll i figured out my own question!!! i paid $40 bucks for
a 1955 pennys ''foremost'' from a guy that had a trailer
full of treasure[junk] on friday.he had several bikes from
the 1950's.this bike is in fair condition.
it has the original pennys tires on it that couldent have
been riden for more than 30 miles!!!!
today i replaced both tubes.the old tubes were schwinn and
so rotton that both stems had fallen off.
paint is red but needs total new color.
i't has a cool gas tank with working headlights to which
will need work as i can see inside the batterys are rusted
and they are stored in the tank[under]w/switch.
all in all i could ride tonight.
well what do you think and anyone else own one?????
p.s. fenders shined up like brand new using
turtlewax chrome polish.
thank you freinds,keep waxing;restoring,and rideing.
luke pate

AGE / VALUE:   Balloon tire fenders posted by: Chris on 5/17/2003 at 8:56:24 PM
I look up, I spot them sitting there.Yes, I moved heaven and earth to get them bought and pried away from the pack rat and I done dragged, removed and carried them back home where they sit with me. Darned if I know what they are to!

One of these days!

AGE / VALUE:   Skip tooth chain tool? Where are you......? posted by: humberchristopher28@hotmail.com on 5/17/2003 at 8:48:03 PM
Why is it there is no chain tool for repairing( removing and adding) skip tooth chain links. Park tool Co. does not make any tool that works on this old style skip tooth chain. The current chain tool barely works with the new stuff let alone accomadating the old. Fustrated by the "chain issues" this ship tooth Schwinn bike project has been giving me.

One bike pal tells me I ain't getting anymore new in the box skip tooth chain from him. Lucky for me I already have enough. Still, I'll keep asking and hopefully he'll relent.

I'll take the whole cursed thing in and fustrate the cycle mechaincs. What the heck!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Skip tooth chain tool? Where are you......? posted by sam on 5/18/2003 at 3:05:54 AM
I was wondering---why don't you write Diamond chain and ask them how to brake their double roller chain? That would be useful info for us all---sam

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Skip tooth chain tool? Where are you......? posted by doug on 5/21/2003 at 9:05:30 PM
also try precision industries in Omaha NE.(402) 593-7000 they sell every kind of chain imaginable.maybe they have just what you need......Have helped me in past find tough to find things a worldwide company with a small town additude.PS no I dont work for them or know them personally

BALLOON:    formost ????? posted by: luke on 5/16/2003 at 10:35:53 PM
hey balloners!!!! '
ran into a 50's foremost. any one else know of one? good shape for a dino.i'll restore.

   RE:BALLOON:    formost ????? posted by shirl on 5/20/2003 at 10:03:49 PM
tryin to find a hollywood girl bike dont know the make canyou help i think its in the 50's scrappee@madisontelco.com shirl florek

AGE / VALUE:   WESTFIELD CLIPPER BIKE posted by: RICH on 5/16/2003 at 7:52:56 PM

MIDDLEWEIGHT:   COLUMBIA BIKE..... posted by: Fred A on 5/15/2003 at 3:07:43 PM
I bought a men's Columbia bike a couple of months ago and I'm looking for some info. It's a blue 26'' middleweight model with the name JET RIDER on the chainguard. Bike is a straightbar and all original, with a rear rack (missing the tail light), springer fork, chrome fenders and chrome wheels. The serial number indicates that it's from the 40's, but the seat (same color as the bike and original) is a 2-tone vinyl indicating from the 50's. Also, I don't think Columbia made middleweights in the 40's. There also appears to be that a tank was on it, due to nicer paint in that area. So........anyone know anything about this model?

   RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:   COLUMBIA BIKE..... posted by Gordon on 5/16/2003 at 12:28:10 PM
I have no definate info, but a couple observations. Most if not all bike companies introduced the middleweights after 1954. Also, most companies in the late 50's and early 60's jumped on the space exploration bandwagon and had models like Jetliner, Starliner, Sonic Flyer, Thunder Jet, Cosmic Flyer, etc. etc.

   RE:RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:   COLUMBIA BIKE..... posted by Fred A on 5/16/2003 at 3:22:07 PM
Hi Gordon.....

Well, the frame is the same as a 1951 Columbia I have, but this one has the springer fork. Who knows....maybe by jumping on the "Space Bandwagon", they used up old inventory of forks & frames. I guess they figured balloon bikes had seen their day in the sun and it was time to move on.

MISC:   Pre-War 20" Question posted by: Mike on 5/14/2003 at 12:30:33 AM
Came across a nice Cleveland Welding Co. 'Road Master' frame and fork for the young 'un. Does anyone know where I can get a kid's size saddle for a '7'-type seatpost, or should I just fabricate a post for a modern saddle? Also, when comparing the one-piece crank and BB with new production, it appears that the important dimensions are identical-are they? If so, I would save the original skiptooth stuff, and just use modern (cheap, clean, already shiny) equipment for the road. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot.

   RE:MISC:   Pre-War 20 posted by Ken on 5/14/2003 at 5:56:09 PM
Mike, if you're fixing it up to ride you have options. Keep an eye out for '60s-70s juvenile- $5 at the church rummage sale or free at the curb. Most of those posts were the same dimensions as the ones found on every Chicago Schwinn right up through the Varsity, and the small-diameter seat clamp (3/4?) from an older bike will fit either post. Contrariwise, neither a new post nor a new seat clamp will help you. In all probability you can swap in any Ashtabula crank you have up your sleeve, although you wouldn't necessarily be able to mix&match parts from more than one. I think you're on the right track to make your kid the coolest on the block.

   RE:RE:MISC:   Pre-War 20 posted by Mike on 5/15/2003 at 3:14:30 AM
Thanks for the help, Ken. Found the new saddle I'm going to use, and it has a clamp for a 7/8" post top, while the (thick-walled!) frame has a 5/8" hole for the old-style post. On the shelf is a 1" dia bar of 'scrap' stainless, so with a little simple lathe and drill work at a friend's shop, will make a custom-turned post to unite the two. Piece of cake, and nothing vintage is harmed. Thanks again.

FOR SALE:   Shelby Speedway Special Balloon bike & a Pre war Colson posted by: JOE on 5/13/2003 at 12:15:25 PM
I have a boys 26" balloon with very clean original
paint, nice Torrington #10's, Nice headbadge with
Train, rims need plating, rear carrier & top of fender
light have surface rust, the bike will need tires. The
rest of the bike is very clean $850. or trade for
clean orig early model Schwinn DX.. I also have a
complete clean, orig paint, late 1930s Ladies Colson
with ribbed tank, curved carrier, chrome Delta
Torpedo, white Coke bottle grips...this bike will need
a set of rims

AGE / VALUE:   Western Flyer Rocket? posted by: jack on 5/13/2003 at 7:23:43 AM
HELP! I found a Wstrn Flyer for a C note. It has a tank w/dual headlights & horn. Fr&R racks, chrome frame w/twin top tubes, fenders, coaster brk. The whole thing is a space-age/rocket motif, practically all chrome 'cept blk on tank & Rr rack. Chrome plastic hub cover over the spocket/crank area. 26" wheels, middleweight. Any idea what this is would be appreciated. Jack fr Sacramento

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Western Flyer Rocket? posted by Tom Findley on 5/13/2003 at 11:34:43 AM
The frame and hubcap identify it as being made by the Murray Bicycle Co. of Cleveland, Ohio. It was designed by Viktor Schreckengost, along with some other bikes sold by Murray, Sears, and Firestone.

The Model name may be Sonic Flyer, but I can only find pics of a Schwinn-style cantilever frame with that name.

Your bike was made between 1964 and about 1968. It was sold at Western Auto Supply stores. The important parts to have are the tank, headlight housing, and HEADLIGHT LENS. They are very hard to find by themselves.

Compare your frame to this:


or this:


BALLOON:   Probably a stupid question posted by: Kelly Standridge on 5/13/2003 at 1:54:49 AM
There was an old bike in the rafters of our garage when we bought our house, and after 6 years I finally talked my husband into hauling it down. It is an old Western Flyer; don't know the year but it has a metal nameplate riveted on the front. Anyway, what are the metal rods running from the handlebars toward the front and then down to the middle of the front wheel? Are they just for stablization or what? Thanks, Kelly

   RE:BALLOON:   Probably a stupid question posted by Richard on 5/13/2003 at 9:28:38 PM
Those are stabalizers. Sounds like you have yourself a unique ride.

   RE:BALLOON:   Probably a stupid question posted by Joel on 5/13/2003 at 10:01:29 PM
Those are called truss rods. THey do provide extra strength for the front fork. That was probably necessary in the early days cycling when the roads were dirt with wagon ruts and such. Later the truss rods were more of an accessory item, more for looks than anything.

   RE:RE:BALLOON:   Probably a stupid question posted by Chris on 5/17/2003 at 8:56:17 PM
Yes, truss rods. Chrome is shot, too good to toss out. Not good enough to mount on the bike. Yup! I have them.

AGE / VALUE:   schwinn jaguar mark 4 posted by: randy fritze on 5/12/2003 at 1:30:07 AM
just bought a jaguar mark 4 at auction. has headlight/tail light and appears to be all original. any ideas about approx. age/value. thank you in advance for all replies

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   schwinn jaguar mark 4 posted by Humma Hah on 5/14/2003 at 10:58:02 PM
The Mark IV Jag was available in 1959, according to Pridemore and Hurd's Schwinn Bicycles. I owned one purchased around 1962, and it was a sweetheart. Keithsbikes.com had one about 2 years ago in good shape that sold for around $700, which I thought was actually kinda cheap.

   RE:AGE ... posted by Humma Hah on 5/14/2003 at 11:00:44 PM
By the way, there are a number of websites with charts of Schwinn serial numbers versus age, one of them can be found at keithsbikes.com. The Mk IV will probably have the SN on one of the dropouts by the rear wheel. You will probably be able to tell the year and month the bike was built.

MISC:   Jaguar age posted by: BOB on 5/9/2003 at 12:03:18 PM
Does anybody know the first year for Schwinn Jaguar,
Thanks; BOB

   RE:MISC:   Jaguar age posted by Gordon on 5/9/2003 at 12:41:53 PM
1954 according to my old reprints. Says it was a Deluxe balloon tire model with 3-speed rear hub and caliper brakes. Only available in mens frame. Model number was D17. This bike was discontinued in 1956 and in 1957 they introduced the Mark II Jaguar which of course was a middleweight.

FOR SALE:   1949 SCHWINN HENDERSON posted by: Fred A on 5/7/2003 at 6:34:00 PM
Hi all......

I have a girls 1949 24'' Schwinn Henderson that I would like to sell. Bike needs a total restoration, bit it's all there. Email me for photos. Price is $75 plus shipping, or come pick it up on Long Island in NY.