dating a BSA bike

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zephy
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dating a BSA bike

Postby zephy » Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:29 pm

Picked up a BSA bike today, wondering if anyone has any idea about dating it? post-war maybe late 60's early '70's??

unfortunately someone decided at some stage to give it a paint job.... anyway the serial numbers starts with a H best I can make out with 5? digits following, bit hard to accurately see with the paint job..... has BSA chainring (44 tooth), BSA badge on front and "made England" rims with a 40 spokers on the rear and 32 on the front.... back wheel is reversable with 16 and 18 tooth sprockets.... about all I can comment on... will head out to get some pics shortly....

as promised....

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Just an ol' man, riding an ol' bike.... every hill feels like Alpe d'Heuz....

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Saro28
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Re: dating a BSA bike

Postby Saro28 » Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:02 pm

you picked it up and now your dating :shock: that's some serious bike love their :lol: :lol: So a nice long roll along the beach followed by a lube and maybe a service :twisted:
Fight till the end n never give up. Cadel Evans 2012

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Clydesdale Scot
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Re: dating a BSA bike

Postby Clydesdale Scot » Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:30 pm

from the Classic Lightweights, Lightweights News 13 (Jan/Feb 2008)
BSA DATING by Steve Griffith
Frame numbers are a notoriously poor guide to BSA dating. They were not sequential and there are no
known company records. However, in the VCC BSA file are the ledgers from Astleys of Oldham (1934
to 70) who were a large volume seller (50 to 120 bikes a year). These provide a useful part of the
jigsaw but it is important to remember we are a long way from having a complete chronological frame
record. The information from Astley ledgers can be summarised as follows:
-Tandems from 1935 to 1940 begin with AD, AE, AT followed by a four or five digit number.
-For 1934 majority of numbers begin with the letter W then a 5-digit letter begins with a 3 or 4.
-For the period 1935 to 39 the letter is WE or WD or H with a 5 or 6-digit number
-For the period 1942 to 1950 there is no letter just a 5 or 6 digit number.
-Beginning in 1951 a letter prefix was re-introduced running A to E.
-Post 1959 the letter becomes a suffix usually 2 letters.
There is no correlation between models and frame number e.g. sequential number may be roadsters or
lightweights
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iprocrastinator
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Re: dating a BSA bike

Postby iprocrastinator » Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:20 pm

I have a tatty BSA that looks like it may be the mens version of this model. It has it's original SA 3/Spd rear hub and front dynohub and both are dated December 1954. The frame number is on the left rear dropout and starts with a 'K'. I'd guess yours could be early '50s.

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zephy
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Location: South Oz

Re: dating a BSA bike

Postby zephy » Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:06 pm

lol.... Saro28 is a funny person 8) (not sure if you're male or female so... person!) :lol:

Clydesdale Scot... cheers for the info, sounds like there is only a hit and miss system but enough for a basic idea I guess...

iprocrastinator... looks like they are both in similar condition, put some WD40 on everything last night and it is all movng freely just now, except one of the pedals.... and yes I have learnt about fixies and to watch out for the pedals once you let them go.... cause they come around again very quickly :evil: :evil: :evil:

will try and get a decent picture of the serial # today, located same place as it is on yours iprocrastinator... maybe further evidence of the similarity in age? do you plan to restore yours?

.
Just an ol' man, riding an ol' bike.... every hill feels like Alpe d'Heuz....

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zephy
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Re: dating a BSA bike

Postby zephy » Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:03 pm

ok the serial # to me looks like H61056.....

ImageImageImage

which would make it a 1930's bike? 8) I didn't think it was that old :?

BSA DATING by Steve Griffith
Frame numbers are a notoriously poor guide to BSA dating. They were not sequential and there are no
known company records. However, in the VCC BSA file are the ledgers from Astleys of Oldham (1934
to 70) who were a large volume seller (50 to 120 bikes a year). These provide a useful part of the
jigsaw but it is important to remember we are a long way from having a complete chronological frame
record. The information from Astley ledgers can be summarised as follows:
-Tandems from 1935 to 1940 begin with AD, AE, AT followed by a four or five digit number.
-For 1934 majority of numbers begin with the letter W then a 5-digit letter begins with a 3 or 4.
-For the period 1935 to 39 the letter is WE or WD or H with a 5 or 6-digit number
-For the period 1942 to 1950 there is no letter just a 5 or 6 digit number.
-Beginning in 1951 a letter prefix was re-introduced running A to E.
-Post 1959 the letter becomes a suffix usually 2 letters.
There is no correlation between models and frame number e.g. sequential number may be roadsters or
lightweights
Just an ol' man, riding an ol' bike.... every hill feels like Alpe d'Heuz....

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iprocrastinator
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Re: dating a BSA bike

Postby iprocrastinator » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:12 pm

Yep, looks like a H. They didn't change much over time and it could be a 30's example but I've just been comparing ours to this one listed as 30s on flickr and yours seems to have the same chevron shaped fork crown, head badge without obvious rivets and lower head lug in a wide U shape as my 50s one. The 30s one has a more square-ish fork crown, rivetted head badge and more of a V shape in it's lower head lug. There also doesn't seem to be true cutout in the rear dropout on the 30s model, just the impression of where it should be. Do your dropouts have a proper cutout?

That dating chart is handy but seems to be from info gathered from an English bicycle dealers sales records. According to it my 'K' serial shouldn't exist. Maybe along the way some export models used a few prefixes the English market wouldn't have seen or perhaps the 1951-60 models just went deeper into the alphabet than A-E.

Mine's sitting in the shed waiting for me to decide how to dispose of it. It was picked up for parts but they weren't needed in the end. It won't see a resto from me as I pretty much only build lazy framed ratbike roadsters on 28"s (considered worthless junk and a waste of time by many). :lol:

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zephy
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Location: South Oz

Re: dating a BSA bike

Postby zephy » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:11 pm

yeah, drop outs have a proper cut outs.... interesting to see the flickr one didn't look to be a fixie, though I guess it may not be the original hub setup?

same.... don't have any reall intention of restoring at the moment, had a quick look on the usual places and there aren't many BSA bikes on the market, tempting to put it up for sale to see what it would bring ..... but, may just wheel it into the shed for..... I dunno..... 20 or 30 years and work on it when I retire :mrgreen:


.
Just an ol' man, riding an ol' bike.... every hill feels like Alpe d'Heuz....

akq
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Re: dating a BSA bike

Postby akq » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:58 am

Any idea of how to date a BSA chainring,its got 24 teeth(might be 25,I have dodgy eyes!!) Thanks

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RonK
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Re: dating a BSA bike

Postby RonK » Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:27 am

I don't date bikes. You never know where they've been. :lol:
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Saro28
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Re: dating a BSA bike

Postby Saro28 » Mon Dec 15, 2014 5:43 pm

RonK wrote:I don't date bikes. You never know where they've been. :lol:


Zephy likes to date them though :? apparently :shock:
Fight till the end n never give up. Cadel Evans 2012

kathleen
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Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:48 am

Re: dating a BSA bike

Postby kathleen » Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:04 pm

Hi, I have an old BSA womens fixed gear bike. Wondering where I might find the frame or serial number? I found a 121 on the bottom, that's it. I'm trying to figure out how old it is. THANKS!!!

Imwit
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Location: Albury

Re: dating a BSA bike

Postby Imwit » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:42 pm

I would suggest that posting up photos would be the best way to get a date.

Torana68
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Re: dating a BSA bike

Postby Torana68 » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:41 pm

Imwit wrote:I would suggest that posting up photos would be the best way to get a date.



hahaha, oops, sorry...... I ....nope Im off......... :lol: :lol:
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Razzorbladz
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Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:00 am

Re: dating a BSA bike

Postby Razzorbladz » Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:46 pm

Picked up a bike today it looks like a bsa path race circa 1910 to 1930 but no bsa markings on the crank case only what looks like a 4 digit number on the seat tube clamp would be great to find out what it is as it's been respray some time in the last 80 years and could do with a restoration has the bolt off rear arms like a bsa speedy can't upload pictures yet but can text or email them has a real early drum break rear end and front breaks that clamp on as its a racer no provision for breaks or guards https://www.instagram.com/p/BZLTF2FhODl/
Last edited by Razzorbladz on Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Razzorbladz
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Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:00 am

Re: dating a BSA bike

Postby Razzorbladz » Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:18 pm

Here is a pic of her [/insta] https://www.instagram.com/p/BZLTF2FhODl/

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