Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking
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Hi All, Apologies in advance for another â€˜what is it?â€™ thread, but I picked up this bike this week and if anyone can shed some light on it that would be great.
Itâ€™s painted as a â€˜Port Kemblaâ€™ bike, the bloke I got it from said it was made at a shop thatâ€™s since closed in Wentworth street Port Kembla.
This is probably the case, but I suspect its something older remade and tidied up by them. What I notice is that there is some finer more detailed line work, then a brighter shade of purple with the â€˜kemblaâ€™ painting on the down tube and seat tube, and a â€˜Kâ€™ on the head tube and forks, that all appear newer and of a lesser quality, and also to be painted over the original line work.
Its got some very nice lugs (what attracted me to the bike) and Iâ€™m hoping that to someone who knows more about these things, they might be distinctive enough to identify the frame? Thereâ€™s a number stamped under the BB, R1733.
Its got a suntour skitter rear derailleur, with barely a scratch on it. I looked it up and it appears these were introduced in 1978, but this frame would older than that wouldnâ€™t it?
Its got 27â€ wheels, but there is a fair bit of clearance, and what may also be paint rub on the underside of the downtube at the point closest to the tyre (5th last pic), so Iâ€™m wondering if it may have been built for/had larger wheels originally?
As above, any light shed much appreciated.
Looks to be a ALCON made bike. Would have been made for the shop.
Ozpushies! for ALL Australian made bikes.
"It's only original once"
Alcon eh, can't too find much about them, but I'll keep looking.
Surely they wouldn't have 'made' it including paint and linework detail etc, only to be delivered to another shop and painted over?
I'm imagining there were several years between it first being made and the kembla paint being added?
why? no different to Speedwell, malvern Star, Bates etc making bikes by other names.... you wont find much on Alcon , only one shop sold them under their own name
edit : thats the original Alcon paint
Ok, well thanks for the info.
I quite like this bike, its now in the que for some new wheels, tyres, cabels etc and a general fix up.
whats it got on it now? 27's or 28's
How can you be certain it is an Alcon? I have seen those lugs before and they were not on an Alcon.
I also have a bike here that has the same reno decal on the seat tube and it was painted in Lidcombe by Reg Paton.
On the down tube appears to be what I can see of one of those generic decals that were often used by shops.
I'd say it was reno'd at Kembla. Who made or painted the frame originally is anyones guess.
Its on 27's now, but the crhome is peeling, and I suspect 28's will be a better fit.
Yes, it looks like on of those generic down tube decal patterns, but its all painted on. The emblem in the middle looks like a stencil was used, with the shape of a bird, five stars and 'Port Kembla' written by hand.
Can I ask what bike you have seen the same lugs on?
Last edited by amrjon on Sat May 15, 2010 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
the down tube mark is the same as those on ALCON made bikes and bikes ALCON painted, Its not generic, different painters used different ones, some are similar. I forget who the painter was at ALCON but I have is name here somewhere. I have a couple of ALCON made frames identified by an employee who also raced and sold them...the down tube mark and Kembla name are stenciles , sprayed on and hand detailed.
I cant comment in regards to the stencils, I would have to look at the ones I have here and compare to see if there are differences.
I dont know if Alcon had any specific marking or numbering system they used. I only know they were not around for a long period as the business closed when the owner passed away.
Amrjon, those lugs were used by numerous builders so it could be made by anyone. Bates, Healing, Alcon, Rogers, SJH, Tollis, Bundy, etc. -The list goes on and on.
I have two bikes with those lugs but the bikes are stored elsewhere so I am unable to get pics of them.
If I recall correctly, Bridgethegap (Sydney Vintage Bikes) has had bikes with those lugs in the past. I am sure they would have pictures of them.
Thanks All, I certainly know more now than I would ever have figured out any other way.
have a really really close look at the down tube shield thing it should say made for or ren by ? I cant see anything in the photos, if its "made for " its definately ALCON, not just the paint.
Funny you say look really really closely. If I do - look really really closely, it does say something in very faint letters that I hadn't noticed before in the top, middle and lower red areas of the crest/emblem.
I'm only going from the pics I took this morning, seems to say RADIO, SOMETHING(3/4 letters, last one R), SOMETHING. (4/5 letters),
Heres the full res pic. I'm sure it this were CSI it could be read somehow, blue lights and orange glasses or something. Too dark now, I'll take a closer look in the moring.
Radio? The volunteer coast guard have a radio station on Hill 60???
There is a frame in the Spearman Cycles shop in Wollongong that looks the same. I have some images which I can post later (after my Sunday morning bike ride). They are being uploaded to Ozpushies for long term access.
It has similar lugs (to my non-expert eyes). The current shop owners understand that the frame was built elsewhere around 1952 and painted by Jack Spearman.
I have a 1948 frame built by Jack for my father (at least that is what my father is very clear about). It has very different and simpler lugs.
If you take some more photos in a very even light (and no backlighting) with the camera in macro mode of that writing it then may be able to identify the writing. In Photoshop go to channels, and use the red channel and adjust the curves and the writing becomes clearer. Or you can upload the photos and I can play and then post the results for discussion.
This is an unknown painters mark, I have other different ones. have a peek here:
http://s83.photobucket.com/albums/j291/torana68/Canberra%20autofest%2007/ also a photo of an ALCON bb numbering
This is what I have been told, and hove no reason to doubt to be the mark as applied to Alcon bikes and repaints, this one being a "made for". I see that there are sligt differences between this one and others I have, Ill leave it to others to argue about it
I have now uploaded the photos to 'ozpushies' in the folder 'Spearman 1952' here are two
Last edited by Clydesdale Scot on Sun May 16, 2010 9:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Thanks CS, there's definatly a link between my bike and that one.
Same lugs, same colours/pattern/finish on the head tube, and looks like same style lining on the forks.
(Can you provide a link to the other pics?)
So based on your info, potentially my bike is from around 52 and painted by Jack Spearman too.
52 is somewhere around what I would have guessed re. age, so with a deralliur that came out in 78, looks like this bike has had had at least one rebirth?
After lots of squinting, the very faint words I couln't read appear to be RADIO STORE KEMBLA, and they are hard to read because they seem to be under the red crest/emblem.
Putting them in order with the KEMBLA and PORT that are not covered by the red crest its: KEMBLA RADIO STORE PORT KEMBLA.
Why the red crest/emblem is covering some of the words I don't know?
This one is very simialr, as are two of the others at your link.
What would the subtle differences reflect? different painters?
no idea and I dont know anyone who would know but certain parts of that design that are common to all of the similar ones was designed by the guy from ALCON
You can join Ozpushies, a Yahoo Group, Moderated by Torana68
I have posted a range in a Photobucket album here
Wow, almost identical, these bikes are definately brothers.
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