This is an archive of Vintage Bicycle Information.
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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:   Western Flyer/Schwinn posted by: cindy on 3/5/2004 at 7:11:54 AM
i have a western flyer regent seriel #D6049497 and a Schwinn Le Tour #L329411, both are red in color. Does anyone have any information on these bikes?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Western Flyer/Schwinn posted by Rod on 4/29/2005 at 7:27:55 PM
I'm not much on Western Flyers but the serial # of the LeTour dates back to November 1963.

BALLOON:   columbia newsboy special posted by: daddy goose on 3/2/2004 at 1:26:56 AM
hello, does anyone have any info on these bikes? i have one that i am considering restoring if enough parts can be found. items i'm most concerned about are the decals and front head tube badge as well as pictures of the original paint job. thanks in advance for any help that you might provide.

   RE:BALLOON:   columbia newsboy special posted by Joel on 3/2/2004 at 3:10:49 PM
There was a very nice one on Ebay recently, the photos may still be there. Try Memory Lane Classics for decals, and the badge should be an easy one.

   RE:RE:BALLOON:   columbia newsboy special posted by JC on 3/10/2004 at 8:54:22 PM
There are pictures of a Newsboy bicycle in the Picture Database on this site.

AGE / VALUE:   f/s 1956 schwinn hornet middweight posted by: adam c. on 2/28/2004 at 12:06:40 AM
hey guys looking to sell my 1956 schwinn hornet. paint is excellent and very shinny, mostly correct with a few inccorect parts such as seat, grips, neck, and headbadge. pics are avalible, e-mail at paxjguy@yahoo.com i am looking to get at least $130 for it OBO. this is the early middweight with the white and green and truss rods. thanks!!!

MISC:   strange SA hub posted by: Niels on 2/27/2004 at 4:04:20 AM
Got a bit of a puzzler today. Second occurance now, so I'd like your guys input. My buddy just got a NOS 1969 AW hub,and the month is "16", no doubt about it. Any ideas/input,etc? Thanks

AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Heavy Duty posted by: Robert on 2/25/2004 at 2:25:55 PM
I found a older Scwhinn (mens) for sale $50 thats black with white trim, crome fenders, Schwinn grips, Schwinn tires are rotton, rims are clean and it says Heavy-Duty on the chain guard. The paint is all there except a few minor scratches and has a nice sturdy basket on the front handle bars. Sorry I have no serial number or mfg. date but I`d guess a 60s bike? I wanted to buy it to ride with my young boys around the street or sidewalks and it looks to be a nice smooth rider. $50 plus $40 for new tires and tubes or wait for the Schwinn Panther to go on sale early this spring at Target for a little more $, which is the better bike. Any input from the pros on this? Or is this bike worth more than $50 and should I sell it? Thank you.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Heavy Duty posted by joel on 2/25/2004 at 7:27:12 PM
Quality wise, there's no comparison. That old Schwinn is much better made. If it is in good condition (undamaged frame, nice wheels,...) then it would be a very good choice. You will need tires to fit Schwinn rims.

The heavy duty wheels make it a good bit heavier than other models. The new bike may also be geared for an easier ride. Value-wise they are about the same but moving in oposite directions.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Schwinn Heavy Duty posted by Rod on 4/28/2005 at 8:41:55 PM
If the serial # is stamped in the back at the dropout of the frame starting with double letters followed by five digits, it falls in the 1965-69 era; however if the serial # is stamped on the front head tube with double letters followed by six digits, it's in the post-1970 era. Once you gather the serial #, you can click onto the serial # charts on this site.

MISC:   Wartime Columbia lightweight? posted by: Joe on 2/25/2004 at 9:35:30 AM
In my search for parts this afternoon, I came acrossed another odd bike. It's a Columbia 'lightweight' (by style only). It has 26 x 1.375 tires, early Bendix rear hub, narrow tubular forks, integral kickstand (which mounts to a tube and plate which is welded through the tube behind the bottom bracket), and an a narrow Troxel type seat with a hairpin springer base. Fenders if it ever had them, are missing, the handle bars and stem are non plated, and look to be just painted black, as is the hubs and all else which is normally chrome. It does have it's share of surface rust, and will need a full restoration, but nothing major. The worst part is the fact that the kickstand is broke off near the top. The frame and fork paint may even be salvagable. It uses an early style Columbia headbadge which I haven't seen before, and is quite heavy, about on par with a Schwinn of that same era.
Has anyone here ever run acrossed one of these with the integral kickstand?
(I also posted this in the Vintage lightweight forum)

   RE:MISC:   Wartime Columbia lightweight? posted by Gordon on 2/25/2004 at 1:39:28 PM
I had a girls model exactly as you describe but sold it sometime ago. I currently have a boys balloon tire with the same kickstand. I think I also have a good 26 x 1.375 tire if you should need one.

   RE:RE:MISC:   Wartime Columbia lightweight? posted by Joe on 2/28/2004 at 7:47:23 AM
The tires on it are almost mint, but the rims are rusted inside, bad enough to definitely warrant replacement. The hardest thing I'll need to find is the kickstand, and a set of original rims. The rims are painted to match the frame, sort of a brown/burgundy color.
I started to clean it up a little and I see the badge says Sterling, and the model is Sports Tourer. It's a nice large frame with nice paint, (no serious scratches). Teh front hub is a very small flange Bendix, it has 1" pitch chain, and the saddle resembles the hairpin saddle listed for sale here at oldroads, but with black springs. There is one fender brace still on the front, it's the flat steel type with a riveted end. The handlebars look like those found on a balloon tire bike, but with a long reach forged stem. The stem sort of looks like a road bike stem with out the drop angle, it goes forward about 3 inches with the pinch bolt vertical out front.
I did find the serial number and going by the chart listed here, it's a 1948, (m5xxxxx). Is it posible they were still using leftover wartime pieces by 1948? Or did someone do some parts swapping over the years?

   RE:RE:RE:MISC:   Wartime Columbia lightweight? posted by Gordon on 2/28/2004 at 2:09:54 PM
I may have the kickstand you need. I'll try and get out to the warehouse today and check.

WANTED:   New Departure axle nuts? Drop Center rims? posted by: Joe on 2/25/2004 at 9:08:14 AM
I am looking for 2 sets of original New Departure rear axle nuts, these appear to be regular 3/8" x 24 tpi but are a just a bit oversized. I am in the process of restoring a 1936 Western Flyer.
Also, has anyone had any recent experience with the various reproduction drop center rims? I see them available from several suppliers. I have one set, but the weld area is poorly finished. Is there any one particular source for a better quality set?
The originals are probably not salvagable, and so far even after looking at dozens of used wheels and rims, I have found no good rims. The originals were painted, but I'll probably have to settle for repro chrome ones.

   RE:WANTED:   New Departure axle nuts? Drop Center rims? posted by Ken on 2/26/2004 at 7:11:05 PM
Joe, if you find a source for these axle nuts, _please_ let me know. Maybe 2 years ago I got some help on this site with understanding why nothing else fits - I think it might have been Mark Smith (bunchobikes.com) who posted the explanation - but never did come across anyone who had spares.

   RE:RE:WANTED:   New Departure axle nuts? Drop Center rims? posted by Chris on 2/28/2004 at 8:50:20 PM
I need somebody to give me a smack and hold up a picture of these New Departure Axle nuts and scream at me like I was deaf and ask:
"Do you have any of these?"

I'd be saying. "Oh yeah, I have those!" or perhaps I would remember where I saw a set for sale!

In the mean time I sit with a pile of various bicycle related axle nuts and I do not know what they are or to what they fit.

These parts are out there, but nobody knows what they go to and because of this these get thrown away! Unless you are like us and save this stuff anyways.

I guess if I get ahould of an New Departure hub and sit and try to thread nuts on all day but I have beter tings to do.

Pictures! I need pictures!

   RE:RE:RE:WANTED:   New Departure axle nuts? Drop Center rims? posted by Joe on 2/29/2004 at 10:32:07 AM
I am not sure a picture would do much good, the ND nuts don't look much different than any other 3/8" x24 tpi axle nut. The difference is in the oversized threading.
I'll dig one up and email you a pic if you like.
The only real way to be sure that they are correct is to trial fit one on a New Departure rear axle. A standard 3/8"-24 won't go past the first thread or so.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:WANTED:   New Departure axle nuts? Drop Center rims? posted by Chris on 3/1/2004 at 4:34:48 PM
Thanks! In the mean time, I'll just try to swallow up every bicycle -related axle nut of every size, description, color, and thread pitch,that I find. I'll just keep pulling out the whole drawers full and either take the drawer itself or have them put it all in a plastic bag.

Sure, I'm still consumed with trying to rescue this stuff from landfil and still wanting to see it get matched up with the stuff that it goes to either for my own use or into the hands of folks who are a- looking for it for themselves but the problems are:
I do not have a way to measure thread pitch on these hubs.
The parts like the axle nuts are not marked even with initals of a manufactuer and if I find these parts in a metal drawer that is not marked or if some long defunct distributor from years past had put this stuff in bags with their mysterious code numbers on the bag and it's something I cannot decipher then I'm out of luck. I ask about the company and he looks at me like Im crazy and he says....
Chris, They folded in 1969!
The old dude that I picked it up from does not like to be questioned up , down, back and forth and sideways. Also, If I get him even more so cantankerous than he already is I'll get the cabinet shut on me and it'll go to landfil for sure and then nobody will get it and we'll all be on bikes without axle nuts and well, that's not good!
Plus if you discuss this too much, and ask too many questions, all of a sudden he can up and say something like... ( And this has happened to me before!)

"I don't want to sell this." (or) "I'll take it to the show." (NOT THE SHOW! Nooo!) (or) "If you don't know what it is to, you don't need it."
(Or) "This is collectable." or ..... well, you just don't want to be a -dwelling on it with the seller! I continue to save things that really are obsolete and that there is no call out there for but you know what?
You never know what will sell and what will not! Just don't be like me and be a- picking up the lesser goodies after the real old bike vulture pros have already been there and "cherry picked" I recently heard about this "young kid" that was "So glad to find a 20 inch rear colored slick tire that I had and so I let him have it for 50 cents!"
I bit my tongue. Yes.... That is why I'm trying to buy it up before the show in the first place! Gee, maybee it's because that tire was to a Krate or something and that young kid wants to turn it on e- bay or get a N.O.S. tire for next to nothing! Imagine the "young kid" who really is a Schwinn collector cheering at the good find at the bike show. These are the same folks who would tell me to: Go away and let the man bring it to the show" and that: "I need to mind my own business!"
No need to tell him what that tire is worth...... because they are all gone! Yup! That's one sharp kid! Where was I by the way? By the way, the best parts, the definite not for sale to anybody stuff is in the ..... refridgerator! Who wouldda guessed!
Cell phones are awesome but your bike buddy has to be there to take your call and he (or she) has to be willing to impart their secret old bike advice to you and lots of times I just get asked: "Where are you?" ( Never tell locations!) (or) What do you want that for? (Or) they act all disinterested and blah! and uninspired or I cannot get ahold of the dude! I'm wispering
"Listen! Just tell me what you think it's worth! and what do I offer him?"
He does not offer a suggestion and them I'm asked to help him find some part he wants and then I'm off on a tangent forgetting what I came there for in the first place.
Oh and another thing. A cell phone can backfire on you big time so be sure to call alone and away from the seller. Go use the restroom or something because this has also happened to me: They do this to you if you are not careful and smart!
"Here, let me talk to him. Hello? Yes, I know him, Yes I think I have that. Um Humm. Yes, yes, Well, He's not into that, (or) it's too good to sell it to Chris. Yes, I'll save it for you or send it to you. I'll get your address from Chris. Meanwhile my bike buddy has out bid me or poisoned the old bicycle well for me and all of a sudden nothing is for sale because my buddy bought it all up on his word promise or the choice bits like Campagnolo goodies or what not is suddenly out of reach because my buddy told the seller dude who stands before me what all I'm into and not into and of course, I'm not into anything good just junk Huffy bikes from the 80's! I'm there saying, "He's wrong, I've been into old Vintage lightweight stuff for years!" Instead it's: Nope! I gave him my word!
Meanwhile, I was the one who: Smoked out this lead, hung around forever, ran their errands, and discovered this place, this guy with his stash of unbelievable bikes and parts and I:
drove, invested time and money and energy and here this "bike buddy" and I were never all that tight anyways and now this has happened.
Do I get a cut or some goodies thrown to me as an "old bike bone?" Nope!
Barely a thank you!
This is why I work alone and only call for advice by myself. If you wait, it's gone. Too many other bike dudes on the prowl and well, one has to walk the fine line. The bike pal of mine hangs up with the seller before me, does not even talk to me to say goodbye and then he calls up somebody and tells him that: "I have your parts that you were looking for" Oh, I get asked "What else does he have?"
Intermittent memory loss does not help either. I got lost in his neighborhood again and when I did get to the house I forgot more stuff again! Boxes of hubs to be brought home.
I gave myself three hours and in the beginning I told him I would have an appointment to keep with somebody waiting so I could not go over time and yet... I ended up saying: "I have to go soon. I have to get going. It's time for me to head out. Traffic. Can't be late, They'll be waiting. Have to go. See you next time. I told him I had to go and he told me "I don't care." Jimminney! 3 hours! I'm dirty, dizzy and lookin at my clock in the car.
Whatever you do don't ever mention your bike buddy because your bike buddy.... " Was here last night and he bought it all" or: Was given it all.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:WANTED:   New Departure axle nuts? Drop Center rims? posted by Chris on 3/1/2004 at 4:48:05 PM
Instead of going into a panic sticken state of pre- caridiac arrest over just hearing the words : "Scrap man"
I need to be the scrap man! The only scrap man.
The best scrap man in town!

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:WANTED:   New Departure axle nuts? Drop Center rims? posted by Chris on 3/1/2004 at 4:56:56 PM
Drop center rims are another thing to go crazy over.
I have rims, strange, old, mysterious rims that I have no idea what they are off of. I went crazy, it was not easy, but I have wheels and rims and as long as I don't look at them it does not bother me that I have no clue what they are to. They are old, man. Old. He has a set of these eye glasses. He wore them as a kid and he's old now. So they glasses are over 60 plus years old. Red lenses with silver frames with the side lenses. Very cool, very collectable, he looked like Rockefeller in them. We grinned at each other. Yes, they're awesome. I have a set (not as nice) in green glass. He called them: Threshing Glasses
So the hay or whatever does not get in your eyes.

FOR SALE:   1937 Elgin Boys Ballooner posted by: Matt on 2/25/2004 at 4:21:15 AM
Nice prewar bike ready for YOU to restore. No time for me, looking to sell it outright or trade it for a nice Fastback. Nice straight frame, tank, truss rods, chainguard, etc...some bends in braces/fenders that can be fixed. Nice Mesinger seat, somewhat dry with some wear on one edge, but very serviceable. BW Carlisle Lightning Darts, rear NOS, front nice used. Repop Elgin grips. Frontloader light still has glass lense!!! and the switch still moves!!!, not sure if it works, but it is very firmly mounted on fender and appears to have no acid damage like some lights. Missing one spoke on front wheel. Dropcenter rims are pretty straight with a very slight wobble in the front. Rear hub is Elgin air cooled, front is New Departure, however, I'll send a front Elgin air cooled along in the box. Nice art deco Torrington stem and handlebars. Dogleg crank. Rear dropstand and clip, super straight rack. Like I said, no time for me. I'll take $450 plus shipping or we can talk trades for Fastbacks. I've got a 1937 girls Elgin with dropstand & truss rods, same style chainguard and same style rear rack that can go with this boy's for another $75 plus shipping.

Pics can be seen at:


   RE:FOR SALE:   1937 Elgin Boys Ballooner posted by gnarfleuall on 2/25/2004 at 4:57:12 PM
and the crowd roars with laughter..

   RE:FOR SALE:   1937 Elgin Boys Ballooner posted by Fred on 2/25/2004 at 8:11:58 PM
Uh........did you mean $4.50?

BALLOON:   perry rear coaster brake hub posted by: Paul on 2/24/2004 at 8:55:25 PM
I just picked up a 1953 schwinn ladies bike today and found out it has a perry england 36 13 rear coaster brake hub installed. Did schwinn install these and if not, is it worth anything?

BALLOON:   perry rear coaster brake hub posted by: Paul on 2/24/2004 at 8:55:25 PM
I just picked up a 1953 schwinn ladies bike today and found out it has a perry england 36 13 rear coaster brake hub installed. Did schwinn install these and if not, is it worth anything?

   RE:BALLOON:   perry rear coaster brake hub posted by wes on 2/26/2004 at 12:34:12 AM
yes schwinn did use that hub ive got several laced to
S2 tubular rims and mine are painted white and sell well on ebay wes

MIDDLEWEIGHT:   Need information posted by: Lori on 2/22/2004 at 10:35:04 PM
I just picked up a Western Flyer/Galaxy Flyer at a yard sale and I don't know what year it is or any information about it. I found the serial number, but I'm really lost on where to find out about the bike. I've been all over this website, and I can't seem to find one like it. Please help.

   RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:   Need information posted by Ken on 2/23/2004 at 10:31:16 PM
Here's some more pictures you can look at- and you should be watching for manufacturer similarities to identify, because Western Flyer is a distributor, not a manufacturer. For example, see if you can find a Murray that has matching components; if so, you can look at other brands that were made by Murray, such as Sears. Have fun-

MIDDLEWEIGHT:   roadmaster pleasure liner posted by: michael on 2/19/2004 at 5:45:47 AM
i have i believe a late 50s pleasure liner, it was painted
over black but i carefully removed paint over the decals.
it says it was made by the cleveland welding co. can anyone
give me info on this type of bike. its a mens frame 28' inch or a website that would be of interest.

   RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:   roadmaster pleasure liner posted by Jeff on 2/20/2004 at 11:18:18 PM
Excuse the numb-skull reply above.Us collectors aren't all A-holes.I've got a female version of your bike.I'm not real familiar with the ballon tire bikes but someone on here should hook you up with the info you need shortly.Once again welcome to the addiction!!

   RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:   roadmaster pleasure liner posted by Bobby on 2/21/2004 at 12:36:30 AM
I've seen good original's with all their parts sell for
between 250-350 dollars. As far as one that has been painted I couldn't tell you the value, what I can tell you is I personally would not spend more than $100.00 a rattle can bike. They were made by AMF Roadmaster, which owned Cleveland Welding. Oh yeah ignore the response by "dude".

   RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:   roadmaster pleasure liner posted by Joe on 2/25/2004 at 9:05:00 AM
Try nostalgic.net: http://www.nostalgic.net/index.asp?K=Roadmaster&A=search
I believe there's a brochure from 1956 there fron AMF.

AGE / VALUE:   FLEET WING posted by: Vicky on 2/17/2004 at 3:27:25 PM
I picked up a bike at a junk sale and need any info I can get on it. It is a "Fleet Wing" w/a decal on the main frame that says "Made in Western Germany". Under the handlebars is a emblem that says "HEIDEMANN-WORKS" (HANOVER). It is a childs bike with about 16" wheels. I think the original paint was maroone and white but it is pretty faded. Could someone tell me if I have anything worth a flip or if I should just throw it in the dumpster?

AGE / VALUE:   schwinn packard posted by: Perry Greco on 2/16/2004 at 11:21:16 PM
I just picked up a nice mens bicycle.A schwinn packard ser#e03056.
My records tell me this is a 1948.I have never heard of a
schwinn packard,do I have something of great value or is this
just another nice bike.Any info would be helpful.Thankyou.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   schwinn packard posted by wes on 2/21/2004 at 2:25:56 AM
some of the packards are collectable bikes does it have tanks or truss rods some go pretty high check out ebay
or this site has a price guide that they sell
happy bikeing wes

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   schwinn packard posted by Ken on 2/23/2004 at 10:43:23 PM
There's a Schwinn Packard badge on Jim Langley's wonderful site: http://www.jimlangley.net/brake/usplatesrightdetail10.html
value depends on condition- a nice postwar women's 'tank bike' in clean original shape was up around $500 the other day on ebay...
Hey Wes, long time no see-

WANTED:   vintage tires posted by: jim on 2/15/2004 at 7:24:10 PM
I am restoring my grandfather's teen/20's era bicycle. At this point the only tires that fit the rims are 27 x 1 1/4". The original tires seemed to wrap around the tube. The tires had to be sawed off the very rusty wheels. I need a 27" tire that would be proper for an early balloon era bicycle (2.00-2.75" or whatever is correct). This bicycle also has skip-a-link chain and sprockets and has a Stockton, California manufacturers badge. Also who can restore the leather seat, a stamp can barely be seen, it was like paper mache and through judicious use of neet's foot oil, it's pliable now though it needs replacing. It has what looks like a plywood base and two hairpin springs in the front and two each compression and rebound springs at the rear. Also where may I get 7/8" id coke bottle type handgrips. Thank you very much, Jim

   RE:WANTED:   vintage tires posted by Ken on 2/15/2004 at 10:42:00 PM
Jim, what you want are known as 28" singletube tires. Memory Lane might have them. Coker Tire used to make them but I don't have a link or current info.

   RE:WANTED:   vintage tires posted by sam on 2/18/2004 at 1:35:39 PM
Jim,the tires are made by Harper Machine & Manufacturing --Dunbar Ave--Dunbar West Va. Phone is 304-768-1147.You have to call as they are not on the web.These tires cost about $90 each--hope that didn't scare you.But you will only need two for a lifetime as this bike surely will not see as much ridding as it once did.I'll get back to you on the seat---sam