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Antique bicycles

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I don't restore them however I have a couple of early post war English ,hand built racing bikes . 1948 Gillott,, 1952 or so Cyril Wren. 5 speeds { probably 4 speeds and glue on tires when built, late 1950's/ early 1960's wheels with conventional clincher tires on them now}  , derailleur on the rear wheel, only one sprocket on the crank. Quite collectable but they are recreational riders for me. I like that they show their age, well worn original paint and chrome. To me they lose so much if people restore them to like new condition. Just make them function correctly, and use them. It helps that they are new enough that things like decent tires are still quite available and reasonably priced. If you go back to turn of the century-1920's bicycles the tires and wheels become very expensive. Wood rims, long obsolete tires that are limited production specialty items these days.

 

Greg in Canada

 

 

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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Not since I was a kid. I have a rusty prewar 24" mystery bike, possibly an Elgin, and a 26" 1939? Schwinn Packard with a spring fork. Both are balloon tire models. I rebuilt the Schwinn 3 times (and wore it out again) while growing up. It got a little bit more authentic with each rebuild, but still has issues.

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)

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Yes.......don’t do it........  they’re just as crazy as the car people !  And you can’t believe what a bicycle will cost.

 

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I met someone who collects antique bicycles. He had 3  for sale at his house, a Winton, a Pierce, and an 1890s Peerless. He wanted $5,000 for the Peerless.

 

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We got this bike out of my wife's Grandad's old "feed house" in Alabama.  It was given to her aunt for Christmas in 51 as best we can find out, and went through a bit of use through the years.  Her Grandad "touched up" the white paint years ago, we just cleaned it, took off the rather weary stock seat (saved it though), put on new tires with tubes, and the missing rubber hand-grips with new ones.  After a good cleaning, I spray'd the bike with a satin finish clear-coat to help preserve it.  Neat old thing.  We would be glad to receive any other "more correct" info about the bike.

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I don't have any bicycles that are antique, but I am the current caretaker of my great-uncle's wooden tricycle. He drowned at age 7 in 1890.

Earl Beattie (1882-1890) tricycle 001.JPG

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At the Woodie Show in Ogunquit, ME last year a gentleman had two antique bicycles that were completely made from wood. Very apropos!

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3 hours ago, J.H.Boland said:

I don't have any bicycles that are antique, but I am the current caretaker of my great-uncle's wooden tricycle. He drowned at age 7 in 1890.

Earl Beattie (1882-1890) tricycle 001.JPG

Wow, absolutely fabulous antique tricycle, JH. Boland! The tragic story behind it is so very sad though. I can't imagine losing a child that young. 

 

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Many years ago I had a few. Some from the '30s, '40s, & '50s. And a couple from the '10s and '20s, including a wood wheeled Iverson. My hope was to restore several of them to use with my cars. Then one day, a bicycle hobbyist came by (after talking with my brother) and offered me more money than I thought they were worth. Since I needed the money (one of the kids had run up a hospital bill), I let them go.

I do still have a couple items that I didn't have at the time I sold those ones. One, an old cast aluminum McClatchy (sp?) child's Tri-Bike. An interesting thing that can be assembled either as a two or three wheeler for a small child. 

The other, has some interesting history. My mother (who just celebrated her 89th birthday), was very sick as a child. When she started into high school, during the WWII, she needed to travel about a mile to meet the school bus to go to the nearest town (Modesto CA) that had a high school. So, her parents had to ask permission from the War Rations Board to buy a new bicycle for her. Now, they were farmers. Thousnds of those cans of peaches that soldiers got sick and tired of eating were from my grandfather's hundred acres (I laugh everytime I see a WWII movie and someone makes a snide remark about those "Canned peaches again!").  Therefore, they were generally allowed a bit more than some other people were because their farming supported the troops overseas and here. So my mother was granted a new bicylce, a genuine wartime super lightweight (had to conserve every ounce of steel for the needed war effort!), wheel rims and handlebars painted black, very plain, and very simple. I have had that one since my brother passed away a few years ago. I do need to try to restore it.

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I seem to have collected a few over the years.

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I bought this one, but my wife won't let me ride it, she says I'm too old! I thinks she's right!

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I built this one out of bits of scrap.

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This tricycle is possibly a Singer of around 1896

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The wife riding a ladies tricycle and a friend riding the one photographed above.

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Two streamlined tricycles we built in the early 1980's to attempt the human power land speed record. One man and two man machines.

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Another pre first world war tricycle that I seem to have collected!

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As Ed mentions, if your bicycle is in any kind of decent condition at all, DON"T restore it.  Bicycle collectors long ago knew that an original bike needed to be preserved, and values go down when restored.

 

I'm not a bicycle collector, but I do collect Pierce Bicycles, made by George N. Pierce before he started making motorcars, and a few after.  My interest is only in Buffalo made bikes, once they were sold and moved to Angola (in the mid 1910's) I have no interest.

 

Right now I have five Pierce bikes, all unrestored.  One is an excellent lady's bike from about 1898 (pictured, it still has the original netting on rear wheel to keep m'lady from entangling her dress!), one is a "Special Racer" (no coasting, direct drive) from the turn of the century (TOC to bike collectors), and one a shaft drive from around 1903.

 

I also have a Geo. N. Pierce bicycle light, a "Matchless", that has a flint so that you don't need a match to light it.  I'm sure there are others out there but it's the only one I've ever seen....I believe it was originally nickel plated.

 

 

 

Pierce lady's bike.JPG

Pierce bicycle light.jpg

Pierce matchless.jpg

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As kids during the WWII years, a friend and I had a bicycle business repairing and rebuilding bikes from cast off parts.   We even made it into the "Kids Page" of the long defunct Evening Star newspaper in Washington, D. C.
The emblems came from various donors.

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Join The Wheelmen. I am always looking for high wheel, hard- tired and other early safeties and since my wife has a 1925 Pierce Arrow, I would love to have a Pierce bike. Send me a message if you have anything for sale now or in the future.

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OK Bike Experts!  I have a all aluminum frame girls bike with stainless steel fenders.  No name plate.

A neighbor lady who always admires my old cars, gave it to me 25 years ago and said "she got it for

her 10th Birthday in 1935".   Neat old bike with a fancy headlight on the front fender, but the steel wheels

are all rusty and the stainless steel fenders have lots of character dents.  This lady must have been hell

on wheels at age 10+.

Anybody have a guess as to the brand?  I can post a picture after a trip don to the barn

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Throwing the morning Newark Star Ledger, and the afternoon Elizabeth Daily Journal while living in Linden, NJ in the early 1950s, I bought a used ROLLFAST "Springer" and installed a Newspaperboy basket. It was handy as I had three separate morning routes in three different areas of town. The Sunday issues were huge, and required that multiple sections be assembled - and this was generally accomplished around 3-4:00 AM when I returned from playing trumpet on Saturday nights with my 5, or 7-piece dance band.

 

The Rollfast had an unusual springer arrangement when compared to the more conventional Schwinn. As I recall, it was an exceptionally comfortable and dependable bicycle.

 

Years later I had, and too soon sold, a 1942 Schwinn Tandem.

 

 

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