AGE / VALUE:   Nonpareil Bicycle Works St. Louis posted by: Keith on 12/12/2005 at 4:07:59 PM
I have come into possession of a 1936 Nonpareil bike and I would like to know anything about the Nonpareil Company and the bike. I have no photos yet as some previous owner painted it with house paint and I am in the process of removing the blue paint to expose the original red and cream paint job. My original thought is that it was a schwinn DX frame; however after pursuing the schwinn catalog reprints I can not find a frame that has the lower bar mounted like the one I have. I found a Manton & Smith on your site from the thirties that is very similar; unlike the DX, the bar is welded about 3" down the seat tube and curved not straight. It has a dogleg crank and flat fender brackets as well as front torsion bars, the seat post is the thin 'l' shaped post and the handle bars are the more of the 'longhorn' type verses the swept back type.
It is missing the original seat. The original paint scheme is a deep red on cream very similar to '36' schwinns with the double diamond pattern, the kickstand is missing though and the rear finder has two holes in it where the catch would go for rear stand. It has a skip tooth gear and chain with the crank gear being a wagon spoke design, which I have never seen. It has chrome drop wheels/hubs, red rubber tires. Both fenders have holes drilled in them but all accessories are missing, there is some wear rings on the handle bar indicative of bar mounted accessories as well. It may have had a frame tank. The badge has engraved on it; Nonpareil Bicycle Works, St. Louis,
Missouri. I removed the badge to look under it as it is my understanding that sometimes things are etched there but there is nothing and no frame serial number. I have been searching all types of vintage bicycle books and literature to no-avail. I would like to restore it to its original condition. I did find a Nonpareil Toy Catalog for that era, but no bikes listed. Someone at a bike show told me that they were sold through hardware stores. That's all I know, can you help? Thanks.


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Nonpareil Bicycle Works St. Louis posted by Keith on 12/12/2005 at 4:34:00 PM
I did get a reply from another email, as follows:
Nonpareil bikes were usually built by Manton & Smith, Chicago. Do some searches for that and you will probably find a similar bike to yours.
Hope this helps in getting info.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Nonpareil Bicycle Works St. Louis posted by Jean on 12/14/2005 at 4:12:09 PM
The 1935 St. Louis city directory gives the following information:

"Nonpareil Mfg. Co. (Alvin E. Sandberg), sporting goods, rear 218 Chestnut."

The entry for Nonpareil was the same in the 1927 and 1933 directories. It was not listed in the 1937 and 1938 directories.

You may also want to contact the Missouri Historical Society (email address It's possible that they may have information on this St. Louis business.

Best regards,

Jean E. Meeh Gosebrink
Special Collections Specialist
St. Louis Public Library
1301 Olive St.
St. Louis, MO 63103
T: 314/539-0399

Know Better


   I had one of those posted by Gary M on 12/17/2005 at 7:30:44 PM
but mine i am positive was simply a cleveland welding, i had 4 or 5 CW frames in a row next to this one, it was a dead ringer. dogleg crank, etc. was rusty internally, so i scrapped it.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Nonpareil Bicycle Works St. Louis posted by David on 8/27/2006 at 3:36:47 PM
I have a Nonpareil sounding alot like the one you've described. Serial # D1454. Any more resources for info on this bike would be appreciated. Thanks D.

WANTED:   1934-36 Schwinn Aerocycle Parts Needed! posted by: Dave on 12/11/2005 at 9:59:42 PM
Looking for 1934-36 Schwinn Aerocycle parts in any condition, top dollar paid, trying to finish project. Also looking for 1936 & 1937 Schwinn motorbike black and cream original paint parts, nice or rough. Email me at , thanks for the help.

MIDDLEWEIGHT:   Help with year Ross with pics posted by: Mike on 12/11/2005 at 5:19:13 PM
I found this Ross and do not have a clue what year it is.
Any help would be appreciated.
Head badge says Ross Allentown PA.
Serial number is 0979756492
It has a Shimano 3 speed coaster brake cartridge style hub.
Here are links to pics as well.'michael.burk/wsb/html/view.cgi-photo.html--SiteID-1681639.html'michael.burk/wsb/html/view.cgi-photo.html--SiteID-1681641.html


   RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:   Help with year Ross with pics posted by Mike on 12/11/2005 at 5:27:41 PM
Ok that did not work try this.


   RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:   Help with year Ross with pics posted by Joe on 12/12/2005 at 11:49:53 AM
That's a Ross Compact, in Pastel Blue, model 121-553 with a Shimano 3 speed coaster brake, 26 x 1 3/8" tires and a 17 1/2" frame. It was also available as a middleweight, with 26 x 1.75 tires, model # 21-551.

Your serial number says it was made in Sept. of 1979
Month - 09 year - 79 #756492
Ross was located in Allentown, PA, and sold out in bankrupcy in 1989.
To view your pics, you have to change the apostrophe
to a tilde, this page apparently has a problem displaying a tilde (the wavy line, on the far upper left of your keyboard).

   RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:   Help with year Ross with pics posted by Mike on 12/12/2005 at 12:02:26 PM
Wow thanks for the information.
You really know your bikes.


   help posted by chip on 1/23/2006 at 5:02:19 AM
i have a ross custom vin# R66210870 if you can please tell me about it,what year it was made and where i can get parts, the front wheel barings are bad,thanks hope to hear from you,chip

MIDDLEWEIGHT:   Definition posted by: Rick on 12/9/2005 at 12:04:25 AM
How do I know if I have a Schwinn middleweight frame or a heaveyweight? Is there a difference? I have three cruiser type bikes, but look different in the back. one is a 1967 the other 1980. thanks, Rick

   RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT:   Definition posted by Ken on 12/9/2005 at 3:27:35 PM
By convention, a middleweight has tires 1 3/4 inches in nominal width. If it has 26x2.125, it's a heavyweight.

   RE:MIDDLEWEIGHT: Definition posted by scott on 12/10/2005 at 6:53:56 PM
if you don't have the wheels the difference is easily spotted by looking at the area behind the seat where the rear fender attaches. the middleweight will be quite a bit narrower, also most three speeds were middle weights look for a brake mount there instead of the standard fender mount. hope this helps.

   rule of thumb posted by Gary M on 12/17/2005 at 7:33:44 PM
put your thumb into the openeing behind the seat post on top, as per above if it fits close its a mid weight. If you can move it a ways its a heavyweight.

MIDDLEWEIGHT:   1960s Kent Diplomat posted by: Shelly on 12/1/2005 at 9:04:37 PM
I have an unrestored men's/boy's Kent Diplomat middleweight bicycle I picked up at flea market. It says made in Germany. I have been unsucessful at finding out any information about it. Has anyone ever heard of this brand or know what it might be worth? It looks alot like the JC Higgins, Sears Flightliner (early 60s).