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Archived: Balloon Tire and Middleweights

FOR SALE:   motorized bicycles and motor kits posted by: Jeremy on 7/10/2003 at 4:35:31 PM
Check out www.CaliCruzer.com for cool custom motorized bikes and motor kits.
48cc gas 2-stroke motor makes 2 horsepower and can reach speeds of 30+ mph in stock form.
Chain driven with a manual clutch for a real motorcycle feel.
Motor kit can be adapted to almost any bicycle.

AGE / VALUE:   marshall wells zenith posted by: tom on 7/10/2003 at 11:13:12 AM
I need some info on a zenith balloon tire bike I just got. It has a metal tag on the neck that reads marshall wells zenith model #10. I know marshall wells was a big hardware store but was wondering who made the bike and an approximate year. the previous owner thought it was a 1940-41. It has a tank that extends past the seat frame tube about 1-2 inches and has a rack and front fender light and horn button on tank. thanks.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   marshall wells zenith posted by sam on 7/10/2003 at 10:22:15 PM
I have a Zenith,same frame as hawthorn zap(cleveland welding I think on mine) yours could also be a dayton with the lone banana tank,i'd check both types.--sam

AGE / VALUE:   girls schwinn posted by: Sarah on 7/10/2003 at 3:50:06 AM
I am trying to identify an old girls Schwinn bicycle. Found serial #M 50696 or 59696 on the left rear drop-out(?). It is White with pink trim, has a chrome light on the front fender, tank w/horn... Thought it might be a "63 Fiesta. Any help would be appreciated.

WANTED:   Columbia Apache Fire Arrow posted by: JA Collins on 7/10/2003 at 12:52:42 AM
I am looking for about a 1959 - 1962 or so boy's 26" Columbia Apache Fire Arrow and the closest I have come is an ad in EBay. Anybody know of a source?

   RE:WANTED:   Columbia Apache Fire Arrow posted by Bob on 7/10/2003 at 1:56:42 AM
I have a 62 Apache that is original except tires. Let me know if you would like pic.

AGE / VALUE:   Shelby Flying Cloud posted by: susan on 7/9/2003 at 1:30:26 AM
Hello! I am trying to date a 'shelby flying cloud', and so far have had no luck, been to numerous web sites, looked at every picture, but no luck. Perhaps one of you experts out there can help me....
When did Shelby use the LOBDELL seat?
Did they use painted rims during specific years?
It has a daisy-like sproket (very distinctive)
Serial number appears to be hand stamped into the bottom of the crank, 'G 1 1 6 00 5' I am not sure if that is 2 '0's' or 1 '0', it almost looks like the stamp jumped when hit and imprinted twice.
The reflector on the rear fender is red, with a 'bumpy' surface.
The fender braces are rounded, not flat, and are not crome, as a matter of fact, the only crome on this bike is the handlebars, and they are steerhorn shape.
One tire is a 'western flyer', the other is a 'U S Chain', I was told the latter tire is original, too bad neither hold air.
The head badge is very nice, a picture of a clipper ship on it.
Ladies frame style, 26", no tank, and doesnt appear ever to have had one.
Does not appear to ever have had a rear deck.
The headlight is missing, it has a sharp blue/red/white paint job, which i was told was almost their signature colors.
It does need either preserved/restored, there is rust, on rims, frame, braces. Missing peddals, headlight.
This is what I have been told: They definitely used LOBDELL seats in 1939, but dont know about other years.
Lack of chrome makes it pre-war? Painted rims make it pre-war? They started using the year in the serial number starting in 1949, before that there were letters in the serial number, but you cant tell much about that if it was stamped on, and not on a plate.
Like Ive said, i have looked at many pictures, and have not yet come up with one exactly like mine. A 'Hiawatha' (looked just like mine only a mens) was on ebay, its colors were the exact opposite of mine,(red where mine is blue...) had red painted rims, same sproket, but they didnt know the year......I do know that shelby made some of the hiawathas.....
SOOOOO......If any one out there can help me date this bike, I would just love it! I am going to the Shelby Days festival on saturday, maybe i will be lucky......
Thanks, Susan

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Shelby Flying Cloud posted by susan on 7/9/2003 at 12:19:06 PM
Just a note to add on......I read somewhere that early on Shelby had some frame problems, and it almost put them out of business. My frame appears to have a crack at the weld where the bottom drop tube of the ladies frame meets the crank. (it is about 1" away from the crank) I was told that it is repairable, we will know more when the bike is taken apart and stripped. Could this be the flaw that I read about?
Thanks, Susan

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Shelby Flying Cloud posted by sam on 7/9/2003 at 7:53:08 PM
When you say no chrome do you mean that the hubs , sprocket,cranks etc are painted(black)If so it would be what I call a war bike(or victory model)--Just before or just after WW2--could have been made during but unlikely.Around 1941 or42 the war dept. restricted the use of chrome , then in 43 they restricted the sale of bicycles.In 1946 the bicycle companys started up with what supplies they had on hand.I'm also told that Huffman and shelby were told by the war dept. to build interchangable parts for their bikes so these bikes look alike--sam

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Shelby Flying Cloud posted by goob on 7/9/2003 at 8:27:14 PM
shelby used the G prefix in 1923 and again in 1945, Don't know if used after these dates

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Shelby Flying Cloud posted by susan on 7/10/2003 at 5:37:00 AM
The sprocket, hubs and crank are not painted black, but they are not chrome, either. They appear to be some sort of silver paint, the same on the fender braces. Definitly not shiney, like a chrome or glossy paint, but like a flat silver paint. (Thats good, it will save me money on chrome replating!)
I thought that i read somewhere that fender braces that were flat were prewar and rounded fender braces were after, is this true?
On most pictures i see some sort of curved 'truss' that goes from the top of the tube just below the handlebars to the front hub. My bike doesnt have these.
Is there any other telltale details that might give more clues?
I am in Northeastern Ohio, and like I said, there is a Shelby Bicycle Days Festival in Shelby, Ohio on Friday and Saturday this weekend, you can bet i am going and will take lots of pictures! I read that 'Mr. Shelby' himself will be there! Hopefully i can find other bikes just like mine!
Thanks for all of your help, if anyone out there knows anything else, please reply!
Thanks, Susan

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Shelby Flying Cloud posted by susan on 7/10/2003 at 5:42:09 AM
P.S. I only paid $10.00 for this bike, I think i got one heck of a deal!

AGE / VALUE:    posted by: shazz on 7/7/2003 at 9:18:46 PM
I just bought a 1960's monark , i believe it is a silver king, all chrome body, perfect condition no rust,missing the tank. where can i found out more information on the value and anything else in general about this bike .

FOR SALE:   cant find ser.# y6111314/schwinn5sp posted by: Rob Valentin on 7/7/2003 at 7:54:32 AM
I own a 26in schwinn 5speed with "lowrider springerforks",
the serial #'s (bottom of p-crank & left rear wheel axle
slot, both the same,do not show anywhere i've searched.
please help!!! plus, e-mail will changing, but I'm home
mon.-fri./7am-6pm- phone me at 408)261-2018 ask 4 rob.

BALLOON:   1950's Schwinn Spitfire posted by: John Herold on 7/7/2003 at 6:47:02 AM
I have a beautiful 24" men's Spitfire, "original owner". He was born in 1947, this was his bike as a child. It's black and cream, westwind tires, all original, really nice. I was going to list it on EBay, but thought I'd check here first.
It's a beauty, almost flawless, with only spider-like scratches on one side of one fender(like it was laid down), and two small parallel dents on top of the front fender. Is anyone interested in purchasing, or could you help me find the approximate value? Thanks, John

   RE:BALLOON:   1950's Schwinn Spitfire posted by John Herold on 7/7/2003 at 3:21:24 PM
The serial number is L825663, does that make it 1958 model?

   RE:RE:BALLOON:   1950's Schwinn Spitfire posted by Ken on 7/8/2003 at 5:57:02 PM
yup, on the dropout, 58.

BALLOON:   Witte flyer posted by: Jason on 7/6/2003 at 3:06:29 PM
I have an old ballooner bike, sold as a "Witte Flyer" from Witte Hardware in St. Louis, MO. It is a Schwinn built bike and I was wanting to try to date this bike. The serial # is: B27042 and the cranks have H501 on them. Any help would greatly be appreciated. Thanks, Jason

AGE / VALUE:   1953 Schwinn Debutante posted by: Donna on 7/6/2003 at 2:14:45 PM
Several years ago, I picked up a 1953 Schwinn Debutante.
I spend all summer that year taking each piece apart and
cleaning it. It was a rust bucket. To my suprise the bike, after cleaning, is in execellent shape. Got the serial number off the bike and called Schwinn and they told me the bike was made in June of 1953. The sticker from the place of purchase is still on the bike's fork. One of the tornado lights is missing a cover and I could only get the tank horn to work when when pushed in a certain position. The bike is pink and white. I believe it has the original tires but I am not sure. They are white wall schwinn westwinds. The bike has a front and back carrier. There was an old long neck lock on the bike and I went to a locksmith and was able to get the combination to unlock the lock.

I was wondering, what the value of the bike might be. Not that I want to sell it at this time, but sure would like to know.

Once I finished the bike, I rode it around as proud as punch.

Any info I can get about this bike would be appreciated.



   RE:AGE / VALUE:   1953 Schwinn Debutante posted by schwinnderella on 7/7/2003 at 8:57:05 PM
Donna,I do not believe they made the Debutante in 1953.I believe your bike dates to the earlly 1960's.I believe they made the pink and white in 61 and probably other years.Schwinn called the pink color Rose.The tires are likely original which makes this a middleweight bicycle.These are fun, nice riding bikes but do not have a lot of value.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   1953 Schwinn Debutante posted by Donna on 7/8/2003 at 3:17:19 PM

Your response prompted me to the the bike down from its hangers. Your RIGHT! The serial number is K248847 and
looking at the serial number charts, the bike was made in
October of 1962. Last time I call Schwinn for information.
I have learned so much from looking at this web site. I have determined that the bike is all original parts and the only thing that is missing is one lense cover and the streamers from the bike grips.

I paid $25 dollars for the bike and spent probably 40 hours cleaning all the chrome. A labor of love.


AGE / VALUE:   tires /wheels posted by: bob on 7/5/2003 at 3:54:50 PM
need info on any place i can get a 24 x 2.125 tire and wheel set front and back need for custum bike project thanx for any help

BALLOON:   bike posted by: mark on 7/5/2003 at 4:42:07 AM
i have a girls firestone bicycle that is complete and perfect condition and has a metal liscence plate on it that says 1945 thats orange and white was wordering if the bike is worth anything and what year. thank you

BALLOON:   Pre-War Schwinn Age? posted by: Joe on 7/4/2003 at 5:39:52 AM
Does anyone know how to read or date a Pre-War Schwinn serial number? Mine is a 6 digit number that begins with an 'F'. I figure it to be very late 30's or very early 40's but I would like to know for sure.

   RE:BALLOON:   Pre-War Schwinn Age? posted by Bobby on 7/5/2003 at 11:47:22 PM
Most Schwinn's are traceable but, there was a office fire in 1948 that destroyed the records prior to that. The best way is pull the crank out of the bottom bracket, there will be a two digit code on the crank, for instance the number 41 stands for 1941. Hope this helps

BALLOON:   Panther posted by: Bob on 7/3/2003 at 11:31:42 AM
Does anybody know the first & last year for the balloon tire Panther. Any info greatly appreciated.
Thanks; Bob

BALLOON:   Frame of mind posted by: DannyJoe on 7/3/2003 at 1:34:47 AM
I cleaned out an old farm house of it's two -wheeled occupant's this past week. It was an abandoned old homestead which the owner said was to be coming down soon and to take out whatever I wanted. It had been used for storage for the past thirty year's. I took a '49 Schwinn less wheel's but with a springer front-end, a '64 cantilever Schwinn frame & fork only, a complete '65 Columbia cantilever framed bike minus chaingaurd, a '30's Ladies Hawthorne frame/seat/post, an Engish made Western Flyer frame/fork/seat/post/crank & pedal's from the 50's-'60's. There are two frame's which I can't identify, the one I would guess is from the '40's has a single curve bar under the top-tube a chaingaurd which is chrome, fat and feather-like similar to one I've seen on a '40's Schwinn Henderson, this frame has a serial number tag riveted to the bottom bracket but the number's are faded, any guess to who may have put thier serial no.s on this way? The last frame is a single bar under the top-tube frame from the '30's, horizontal rear drop-out's which look to be punch-pressed into the stay's without alignment screw's serial no. L230765, no clue to what this frame is from, after stripping, a large amount of brass work was revealed on the frame which was roughly finished. This 26in. frame seemed lighter than most, this frame only bike I am building up as a custom. I am returning to the farmhouse tomorrow for more part's, I'll be doing a debris search, this has been like Christmas in July.

   RE:BALLOON:   Frame of mind posted by SchwinnDog on 7/3/2003 at 11:13:02 PM
Merry X-Mas DJ,
Of all the luck, sounds like a dream come true. Interested in parting with any of the parts? Wish there were barns in Southern California, only pretty girls, oh well.

   RE:RE:BALLOON:   Frame of mind posted by DannyJoe on 7/4/2003 at 4:39:32 AM
No plan's to let go of any of it yet SD, it's all sitting in a pile on the floor of my barn and every so often I'll walk up and give it all a big hug. Along with the frame's there are some item's I'll salvage like hand grip's, seat's & post's. I went back tonight and retrieved some rim's & tire's and a couple of muscle bike's, one 26in. rim had a nice hub shiner with a jewel reflector on it, neat. I'm not so much into muscle bike's but there was a John Deere girl's muscle bike I left behind which was a little ratty, living here in farm country I thought I would take it and trade it to a farmboy for a country ballooner. Anything John Deere sell's big around here. I may have to make one last visit.

   RE:RE:RE:BALLOON:   Frame of mind posted by DannyJoe on 7/4/2003 at 4:50:58 AM
Gee SchwinnDog, I almost forgot about "pretty girl's"...sigh!

   RE:BALLOON:   Frame of mind posted by rd on 7/4/2003 at 3:05:10 PM
Some Elgins had a number plate on the hanger. I would get the JD. Those 20" have been selling pretty good. Higher than the 26".

   RE:BALLOON:   Frame of mind posted by sam on 7/4/2003 at 4:26:50 PM
The "no Alignment bolt" frame would have used banjo bolts.Only rived on serial # tag I've seen was on a Monark sold tru sears,tag would say sears.---sam

   RE:RE:BALLOON:   Frame of mind posted by DannyJoe on 7/5/2003 at 3:24:21 AM
I will go back for the 20in. John Deere, although it looked complete it had been touched up with a rattle can and the seat was all ripped up so I passed on it at first. Does a rear facing dropout alway'place the date of a frame as pre-1940 ? The one frame I have with the serial no. tag suggested as possibly a Monark does have a monostay seat-stay like that of a '57 Monark I own, but the '57 has no serial tag, did Elgin use a monostay seat-stay on their frame's ?