Swansea Track bike 6 swan

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Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby asbestos » Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:25 am

Hi,
Just left my dads house, where i was out the backshed and noticed his old track racer hanging up in very sad condition.
When i looked closer i noticed that there was six swans on the headset and his name inserted on the main top bar. Thinking that the top line had 5 swans I questioed my dad on this
He tells me that he was a employee at swanseas Freo (where Myers is now) and at the time he was track racing and was offered a custom
made frame and as he was good friends with someone in power his mate stuck an extra Swan on it making it a Six Swanned bike.
He proudly tells me that this is the only six swan bike ever made.
I forgot to ask him what year it was made, but i am guessing around 1956-60
I would love to restore this bike for him as a surprise, looking at a quick glance i will be needing a set of original swansea forks, and a inch pinch drive set
if anyone has any ideas where I might have a chance of locating items for this bike i would be sincerly thankfull
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by BNA » Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:31 pm

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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby metalrideroz » Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:31 pm

Photos? Why do the forks need replacing?
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby silverlight » Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:47 pm

hi
Would love to see pictures of this frame
I have a 4 swansea so i can show you what the forks would look like,
I believe the only difference from a 5 and 4 is that the 5 swan has 2 extra swans on the top tube so the riders name could be put in the middle of them.
Interested to see where the extra swan has been put on yours.

Great frames and superb detail,

cheers
SIlverlight
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby asbestos » Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:00 pm

Will be picking up the frame today wil get some pics up, forks are slightly bent
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby HappyHumber » Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:11 pm

I've seen a few old references to it around, but does anyone have any dealings with the WA Historical Bike Society? I couldn't but help think they'd be worth looking up.

Perhaps I have the wrong impression, but I was sort beginning to think they might have been an older generation of enthusiasts who either aren't particularly active (or plentiful in members) anymore and/or necessarily that internet savvy. I would not doubt some old boys probably wouldn't tolerate too much of the B.S. that flows around these forums to wait for the occasional gem that floats by.
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby HappyHumber » Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:19 pm

asbestos wrote:Will be picking up the frame today wil get some pics up, forks are slightly bent


Depending on the severity and point of the bend... they maybe salveagble as is.... this article just popped up since Xmas in my Feed reader :
davesbikeblog.squarespace.com/blog/2011/12/27/straightening-steel-forks.html

Alertnatively, a couple of local (assuming you're in Perth) framebuilders maybe able to help with repairs; Quantum in North Perth or Cycles Bespoke in Bayswater.

Looking forward to seeing photos. Awesome bit of local family history by the sounds of it.
- Kym
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby jaseyjase » Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:49 pm

+1 on getting it repaired if possible, finding an originlal replacement would be near impossible id suspect!
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby asbestos » Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:18 am

opps double post
Last edited by asbestos on Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby asbestos » Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:21 am

here are a few pics

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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby HappyHumber » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:02 am

Wow... I was enjoying a beautiful slideshow on photobucket of a very unique old bike... then a dirty great black HSV swerved into my field of vision! Bloody commodores are everywhere! ;)

In all seriousness, asbestos... that certainly is a beauty. It certainly deserves some TLC after all these years in the shed. That it's still in the family is fantastic.

Is that an old Cinelli stem?

I can't offer any really serious practical resto advice on a bike of such vintage due to my lack of that era experience. But if you're looking for some period pics of some track frames; if you're anywhere near the Riverton area pop into Georges Bike Shop a bit off of High Road on Augusta. Out they back they have a lovely old framed period picture of some Fremantle cycling club with 6 or so guys with their Swansea bikes back in the day. You'll have to sweet talk the staff and explain yourself I guess first before they'll let you out back. ;)
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby jaseyjase » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:58 am

i might be mistaken, but going by the headset, this swansea looks a little newer then 50s/60s?
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby HappyHumber » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:58 am

Going on asbestos' Dad's recollection - maybe cos it was a special build it was ahead of its time from the bulk of their production?

I have seen Gordonson stickered bikes with Swans on the lugs, with the seperate bearing cups like this, of what I guess more to be 60s like you're saying Jase. Those frames weren't as nice this though. I just assumed what was left of the Swansea stock was bought up by the Gordonson company around this time.
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby asbestos » Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:33 pm

Just spoke to the old boy, frame was completly custom made for him. He actually helped make it. definately no later then 1960 more likely 1959.

i am really not sure what parts have been changed, Dads memory is lacking a little these days

What he does recall is the handlebars would have been changed numerous times, although the stem would be original, not sure about headset

Forks are custom made to the frame..eeek heres hoping for a satisfactory repair

thanks for all the links guys

much appreciated
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby HappyHumber » Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:43 pm

However you progress, let us know..... pics along the way would be great!

Sniff around and see if you can find contacts for the WA Historical Bike Society as I mentioned - if you manage to get hold of someone in the club and you describe the extra special provenenace of the bike to them I reckon they might be a bit more enthusiastic than one of the more generic kids or roadster models I've generally only seen these days.

You're probably lucky with the headset external bearing cups. Probably easier to source something period correct?
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby silverlight » Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:25 pm

That is a really special bike you have there
Looks really good, The forks are different than those i have on my 4 swan, the head tube lugs look very similar to a 5 star malvern star i have.

Keep us posted
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby peachy » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:14 pm

Nice bike! It has lots of potential. As for the forks if the bend is not too severe you could rig up something like this;

Image
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby Torana68 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:05 pm

you wont find replacement forks for that one so I wouldnt try a hydraulic jack I'd go find a specalist frame builder and have them repaired professionally, even if you have to send them interstate.
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby WyvernRH » Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:34 pm

Torana68 wrote:you wont find replacement forks for that one so I wouldnt try a hydraulic jack I'd go find a specalist frame builder and have them repaired professionally, even if you have to send them interstate.


+1 to that.
If all else fails get a frame builder to make you some new period looking forks to match the bike and he can sweat those swans off the old forks and silver braze or solder them onto the new forks.
Cheers
Richard
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby asbestos » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:55 am

That is a really special bike you have there
Looks really good, The forks are different than those i have on my 4 swan, the head tube lugs look very similar to a 5 star malvern star i have.


Your right, I didnt realise it though
Pumped Dad for more info, Seems there were three frame builders working for Swansea at the time, together with a craftsman who hand filed the lugs and two painters. One of which painted (no stencils) the fine decals lines and Brand name etc on the top line bikes.
As for the frame dad could recall a builder named "Murphy" built it and used some specials bits he had aquired.
the differences he could recall from standard were
Fork-- lug used not Swansee, angle and length of forks custom made for him
Crankset-- BSA Double Flutted pre WW2 with 1" skip chain
Lugs-- Filed as seen in pics instead of Swansee standard
Frame Decal -- 6 Swans on headset , plus the top bar has an additional 2 Swans located 90 degrees from top dead and 180 apart from each other mid length.

As for rebuild forks are definately going out to a pro, good thing is i can not see any kinks or cracks.
Dads going to locate the few boxes of goodies he has stashed somewhere "hopefully"

The one thing Dad told me that I find interesting was that he was One of Two employees that were in the 2nd hand department.
He says that they would strip down old bikes any brand, totally rebuild them, stamp over the existing serial number with SSH xxxxx and then badge them as Swansea. The SSH being Swansea 2nd Hand.
Not sure if he was taking the Pi## as we had a few by then.
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby asbestos » Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:53 pm

Hi guys just updating this post.
Had a few dramas in my life and never got around to rebuilding the bike
Put it in the shed and totally forgot all about it.
Until one day out of the blue a very active member of this forum contacted me regarding the paint scheme.
One thing led to another and after talking to dad we sold the bike to this very persitant member :wink:
He assured me that the bike would be very well looked after.
Hopefully we may see this beauty up and running catching eyes on the road. :D

PS I have lost your phone number and for some reason can't seem to be able to send you a private message!
Dad has dropped off several front and rear sprockets, a set of original crank arms and a couple of rims
all a waiting your collection.

can you please post some pics when you make some progress on the rebuild it will make the old boy's day

cheers
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby RobertFrith » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:55 pm

OK all, it's me :D I still have your number asbestos so I'll give you a bell or drop you a text.

As asbestos mentioned I went to see him to photograph and trace the logo as reference for my 5 Swan. Called him a few days later on the off chance his dad might want to sell it. Very lucky to have this frame, was going to post about it in due course when I'd made a bit of progress. To date I've managed to get the stem out in one piece and veeerrry carefully cut the head of the frozen seatpost binder bolt into little pieces. The seatpost is predictably well and truly stuck. It's been soaking in WD40 for a couple of weeks now. I really don't fancy using the cut it down the inside method of removal. It seems super laborious and, from what I've read around the 'net, not always successful. In one post I read the writer had to make four cuts down the tube before stuck post would come out.
I've tried dry ice down the inside today to no avail. Theory is that it chills and shrinks the seatpost. I'll have another go tonight but if I can't budge it it's off to someone cleverer than me.

Very light frame with some nice details. It's only 16 numbers away from my 5 Swan. Original paint is still intact (well only just) and worth preserving. It includes asbestos' dad's name on the top tube. Biggest challenge will be the bent forks.
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby asbestos » Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:32 am

Hey Robert,
:!: a reamer will work nicely on the seat post have done similar work plenty of times just not on a bike. Another method as the stem is mild steel would be the same as removing seized cylinder liners from diesels, that is to grab a welder and run a quick bead up the length internally, guaranteed to work.Well it has worked on dozens of engines that I have done, dry ice works well when fitting, not so good for removal as both the stem and housing are effected and will both shrink negating what you are trying to achieve.
If you measure the ID of the post spindle (+/- 1mm) I should be able to get a adjustable reamer from a mate and will remove it for you.
With a generous amout of trefolex it shouldnt take too much effort.
I will shoot you a text tomorrow
PS with your S/N so close to Dad's it is a dead cert you now have two Swansea's that he has had his hands on during manufacture.
As there was only three frame builders and one painter at Swansea during that era I will get there names of Dad for your own records it may help you chase down some more info on your frame.
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby Rob74 » Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:19 am

=>> Would recommend Frame/Fork repairs by a skilled builder.

Paul Hillbrick - In NSW does a great job, from experience he will box & freight too suit.

Rob.
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby RobertFrith » Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:44 pm

I picked the other parts up off asbestos a few days ago.
It looks as though the original build was;

Inch pitch drivetrain
Cinelli 1 stem with Alps Industries Road bars
Airlite hubs laced to Fiamme tubular rims
(what are these cranks? - can't find them in velobase)

Image

Image

It's had a couple of updates along the way;
Mafac half hood brake levers to Diacompe brakes. It is only drilled for a front brake, rear was bolted to a jury rigged brake bridge made out of a couple of pieces of plate. The seat stay bridge remains undrilled.
70's looking vinyl covered seat made in Taiwan.

I have three inch pitch chains, one of which looks serviceable. (Do you seriously have to pay $300 for NOS inch pitch chains??)

I'm aiming to preserve the original paint which includes the original owner's name, just barely legible, on the top tube. The hardest thing to sort out will be the front forks. Not sure how feasible cold resetting will be. Anything else will destroy the paint of course, which will then be difficult if not impossible to match to the frame :(

I have a saddle and brake to suit. Bits I'll need to source are;
Airlite front hub
Fiamme front rim
27mm seatpost
Cotter bottom bracket

some pics;
Image

Image

Image

Image
Image
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby bicyclepassion » Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:53 am

The cranks are BSA fluted. Arguably the best cottered cranks ever.
Peter Campbell, 'cotterpin' on this forum, could fix the forks. He is very skilled, and sympathetic to this kind of repair.
If you are desperate to preserve the paint, you could re touch the paint on the repaired fork, and then rub it back, scratch it, do whatever, to re-establish the required amount of patina. I have done this a couple of times, and to the extent that you can see the touch ups, it becomes a part of 'the story' of that bike.
I am waiting for that elusive 7 star Malvern Star to turn up now!
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