Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking
The Healing that I bought some weeks ago arrived. I said on Vanbree's Hard Rubbish Pick Up thread that I'd post some pics. The serial No. is 63267A, suggesting it is slightly younger than the bikes of Vanbree and sixx.
I thought I'd paid too much, but was in for a nice surprise when I opened the box. It is so pretty I have decided to give this one a thread of its own.
The Williams cranks are stamped "AP" and according to Hilary Stone that translates to 1952. The bike is very original, if you discount the brakes, saddle, handgrips and pedals, all of which are cheap Taiwanese items. The bike obviously had a do over in the 1970s, but I don't think was ridden much either before or after the refurb. Front tyre is a Dunlop Speed, back is an Olympic Speedster, both 27x1 1/4 whitewall, conceivably one could be an original. The hubs are French Maxim Lux (rear is a flip-flop), identical to another bike I own that I had tentatively dated to the early 1950s. Freewheel is a Villiers, again pointing to early 1950s. The stem and bars are chrome steel (unbranded as far as I can tell) and I believe are original. The chrome, paint, decals, box lining and pin striping have a few scratches, but are pretty good for a bike over 50 years old.
Anyway, a few pics:
I've saved the best to last:
Yes, the BTM (British Tube Mills) Reynolds 531 sticker, for Reynolds tubing manufactured in Kilburn, SA. The only other sample I'm aware of is on a Cecil Walker posted on this thread.
Any advice on correct pedals, saddle and brakes would be greatly appreciated. I have more pics if any are needed (couldn't help myself).
Last edited by Johnj on Sun Oct 31, 2010 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
That is very, very nice. What amazingly good condition. You are a lucky man. How come none of my finds ever look that good ?
The Reynolds sticker is amazing, I've never seen one like that before.
More pictures or Flickr links please!
Actually, the chrome brakes aren't too different to what it might have had fitted in the early 50's (but not the levers tho')
NOS Brampton levers, a Brooks saddle and some cloth bar tape only on the bottom half of the bars and it will look super smart!
That's a beauty. I would mount something like some GB Sport Hiduminium brake calipers. That's what my '53 Dawes came with. Saw a set on Ebay passed in at around $50 recently...
I am also very impressed by that 531 sticker. It's pretty good proof that the paint is original.
Your wish is my command, more images here. I uploaded 3mp pics, so they'll chew some bandwidth but should show the detail. There is pinstriping at the front and back of the top tube and on the forks. The bike has an undercoat of gold, with the blue over that (Elk pointed out that using a metallic undercoat was a common technique in the 50s and 60s). The green and red have been airbrushed (?) over the gold to give the banded effect. Then the box lining and pinstriping in white with the lug-lining in gold. Tricolour decals were used to cover the junction between the blue and the gold and then they put on the decals. It is incredibly elaborate. Pity they didn't put some of that effort into saving some weight. Steel rims, steel bars, steel cranks etc etc. 5*Rolf is currently selling an identical Williams crankset on eBay if you're interested.
Thanks for all the nice comments and suggestions for replacement parts. It is possible that the "Monarch" front brake is original (though not the lever obviously). The rear brake cable is held on with cable ties, maybe it didn't have a rear brake originally? GB Hiduminium sounds nice, but I guess the suicide levers will stay for the time being. I took the handgrips off and discovered a cork in each side. Obviously these originally secured the bar tape, so some Cateye bartape (red maybe?) with champagne corks will be the go (good excuse to buy some champagne). I've got some black Cateye on there temporarily.
The 531 sticker (and 1952 date) really set the seal on this bike for me. I don't think the BTM sticker has ever been reproduced, so it is a very good indication of originality.
I raced a Healing in the late fifties and the paintwork was more faded than yours! Everything was steel then, though as a track bike mine did have alloy hubs (I think) and rims. Does it have any model name? I seem to remember that mine had a model name starting with M but have never been able to find any reference to model names on Healings.
Darryl, I find it interesting that track bikes were mostly steel in the late 1950s. I wonder how that compares to overseas? My bike doesn't have a model name and is obviously a road bike (40/32 spoke wheels, plenty of clearance for mudguards etc) and the flip-flop hub and Reynolds steel suggest some sporting pretensions. Might be a club racer? I'm going to have to find some Healing literature to work this out. I'm not knocking the bike, I'm absolutely delighted with it and went for a little ride yesterday. It is just that I have another Australian road bike, almost the same age (with the same hubs) that has alloy bars, alloy rims and alloy seat frame. The Healing is very flashy, but could be a bit lighter. Nice nonetheless.
You don't happen to have any photos of yourself racing do you?
Thanks sixx. Best of luck with yours. You might have to persuade Mr Cyclemondo to do the BTM sticker. He's got some Healing ones and they're pretty close to what you need.
cheap Asian brakes dont have that sort of cable adjuster, is anything written on them? post up a pickie of the calipers?
Hope this works!!
This was the 1957 QLD C/ships juvenile 1/2 mile scratch race and I am 3rd in the white helmet. Of interest the winner is one R(Ross) McEwen from my club. I could usually beat him but a bad fall during the week stuffed that up. He was on a brand new Malvern Star road bike with the brakes removed but on singles. My bike was second hand and I suspect was from the early 50's, and was a track bike. I don't recall seeing any alloy parts apart from track wheels in the 50's also no gears. I had bought the latest stem and cranks for my bike and steel was the only choice. Perhaps alloy was available to the pros in Melb/Syd.
Last edited by DarrylH on Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:49 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Thanks for the picture Darryl, it is a lovely period shot with everybody pushing hard (and I love the ladies in the hats). Good to know you're still riding too.
Thanks for your perspective on racing in the 50s, looks like there just wasn't much alloy componentry around.
The front brake is a Monarch Speedster (I think). That might mean something to you (means nothing to me). The levers and rear brake are all Taiwanese. Will post a picture when I get the bike back from my sister's house.
the same in country NSW in the 60's NO alloy or unobtanium stuff , in fact it was looked down on.
The front brake is a Monarch Speedster (I think). That might mean something to you (means nothing to me). The levers and rear brake are all Taiwanese. Will post a picture when I get the bike back from my sister's house.[/quote]
Id guess thats the original one
Id guess thats the original one
I raced as a sub junior on the track and road in the early to late 60's , we were banned from having alloy cranks and pedals, rims and hubs were ok, I think the reason was to keep the cost at a minimum to allow new kids into the sport, I do remember seeing bikes with alloy
brakes etc. and drooling.
I still have my last track bike and it has steel cranks and pedals.
A few updates on this bike. I've swapped the Taiwanese pedals for a pair of NOS Phillips Apollos (thanks Col). The Olympic Speedster tyre gave up the ghost, so the bike now has two Dunlop Speed tyres. I've replaced the saddle with a Mansfield Eclipse, but I think a chrome-railed Brooks might look a bit nicer. I finally worked out that the front caliper is a Monitor Speedster. I've obtained a complete set of Monitor Speedsters, but they need a rechrome before I can fit the levers and matching rear caliper. The suicide levers will be staying for a while, but I replaced the cable ties with some metal clips (I might spray these blue to match the paint). The bar-tape is held on with a pair of corks I found inside the bars. Anyway, a few pics.
The Monitor Speedster brake calipers were used on production Malvern Stars in the 1937/38/39 years. They appeared on other brands as well in that period. Judging by the numbers that have survived, they were very common. As far as I know, they were not produced after WW2, but have no proof of this. I suspect that the front caliper on this bike is a ring in. The crankset, stem, handlebars, hubs and rims are certainly consistant with the early 1950's colour scheme. Some semi racers in this period came with only one brake as standard equipment, the rear one. A bike at this level in the Healing range probably would have had simple steel brake levers with no provision for hoods.
I have monitor speedsters on a number of bikes. Advance, Malvern Star Speedwell. I also have a pair in black. There was another monitor one that went by a different name to speedster but I cannot think of it offhand.
Nice bike too John.
Malvern Star were still specifying Monitor Speedsters for Three Stars in 1951, check this ad for details. I suspect they went out of production not long after this, replaced (I think) by the Monitor Ventura.
I'm reasonably sure this bike only had a front brake originally. However, I feel the need for a second if I'm going to ride it on the road. Certainly the Monitor levers are rudimentary, though they do have a second pivot point for mounting on drop bars.
Thanks Karen, my sister thinks this is the "prettiest" bike I own.
Thanks for the reference to the Monitor Speedster brakes in the 1951 malvern Star ad. An important piece of dating information. As far as I know, the Monitor Ventura brakes appeared before 1951, so maybe the Speedsters and venrura's ran parrellel for a while? Anyone have a dated reference to them?
I would be interested to hear from members about bikes that were sold with one brake only. Once again, as far as I know, if a bike was sold with only one hand brake the convention was to have it on the back. Even though experienced riders would have known that one brake on the front was the way to go for braking efficiency. I am talking about production bikes here, not bikes built up for racing or to the customers specifications.
As to the serial number with the 'A' at the end, does anyone else have a Healing with a letter in the sequence? Is there someone out there who would like to volunteer to compile a register of Healing frame numbers?
I can recall in the late fifties many Speedwell sports bikes were being sold with a rear Monitor Ventura hand brake only. The matching front brake could be bought as an extra.
I have a frame which I suspect is a Healing as it looks almost the same as Johns. Mine has been repainted and there is no H on the head tube. My frame has the Serial Number 76253 X stamped upside down on the seat post clamp.
Cludence you may be thinking of Monitor sheerline which is what i have, they look close to the speedster design and almost same script on the caliper.
I have them on a few bikes dating 1940's
Speedster brakes are very slick and look great on high end road bikes of the period, a roadster i have came with the ventura model.
Nice bike John, nicely setup.
I've got an identical frame (no paint) with the serial number 63053A
Perhaps we can just start a thread about Healing serial numbers and see what turns up.
My Healing has Williams cranks with the code â€œAWâ€ which makes them a 1956 manufacture. The bike has a frame number of 75719. No letters in the number.
It would not be at all strange if history came to the conclusion that the perfection of the bicycle was the greatest achievement of the nineteenth century.
I have just started a new topic for the Healing frame numbers. If we get enough numbers coming in, particularly with known purchase dates and other identifying features, we may be able to put the jigsaw together.
Really interested in 1952 Healing. I purchased a green painted one that same year for the sum of Â£28.15.0 from a bike shop in Haberfield, Sydney. I was just 14 at the time and for me, the day I rode it home was fantastic. For many years it was my means of transport both to my workplace as an apprentice at Cockatoo Dockyard (well, to the wharf at Drummoyne), and also to Tech. College at Ultimo. At the age of 14, I rode the Healing from Fivedock to Penrith and return one Saturday. Unfortunately, I didn't take a photo of that bike, so many thanks for the one you included - it brought back some memories.
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