Swansea 5 Swan (pic heavy)

Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking

Swansea 5 Swan (pic heavy)

Postby RobertFrith » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:15 am

So I bought this a while ago
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It has a hole in the top of the seat tube where someone tried to remove a stuck seatpost with heat. I've been in touch with Gripsport who seem unfazed by this repair.
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I was getting round to sending it off to them on the weekend which meant removing the RHS BB cup and front fork. It all came apart pretty easily but dismantling it has revealed a split down part of the back of the steerer and a possible mismatch of colours making me wonder if this was the original fork. There is a number on the steerer tube, either a 40 or 46 with an arc above (2nd pic)

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Frame and fork initially present as a dull dark green. Rubbing back the frame reveals dark blue, seemingly just one layer straight on the metal!
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Rubbing back the fork reveals light green. The steerer is predominantly light green, however the bottom end of it has some blue.
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Any clues or speculation as to what's going on here are welcome.
What should I do about the split in the steerer?
What colours should I be considering for the new paint?
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by BNA » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:28 am

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Re: Swansea 5 Swan (pic heavy)

Postby Saro28 » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:28 am

At a guess I'd say the forks aren't original. They look generic and Looking at >
http://www.fixed.org.au/forums/f8/1950s-swansea-5-swan-track-race-frame-6736/
Fight till the end n never give up. Cadel Evans 2012
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Re: Swansea 5 Swan (pic heavy)

Postby RobertFrith » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:02 pm

Yep, reckon you're right about the forks :( not sure what to do about them. While I figure it out you can still help me with colours though :D ... or help to figure out what to do about the forks..
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Re: Swansea 5 Swan (pic heavy)

Postby cotterpin » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:26 pm

Check this for info plus links
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=35209

Cheers
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Re: Swansea 5 Swan (pic heavy)

Postby jaseyjase » Tue May 01, 2012 9:57 am

the 5 swan swansea that passed through my hands had swans on the lugs as well, so +1 on probably non original forks.

we should see this bad boy revived in the near future :wink:

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Re: Swansea 5 Swan (pic heavy)

Postby hotfoot » Tue May 01, 2012 3:24 pm

We have one in almost ridable condition "saved" from the tip..though I suspect some of the fittings are not original
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Re: Swansea 5 Swan (pic heavy)

Postby metalrideroz » Fri May 11, 2012 11:49 am

I might have some forks if you need them Rob, what size wheels are you going to use?
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Re: Swansea 5 Swan (pic heavy)

Postby RobertFrith » Fri May 11, 2012 1:44 pm

I'm happy to go either 700c or 27"
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Re: Swansea 5 Swan

Postby RobertFrith » Wed May 16, 2012 11:57 pm

Options arising from the results of my forking research;

1. have sent 2 emails to Budget Bicycle parts about weight and shipping for these NOS 80's Trek forks, no reply. http://budgetbicyclectr.com/catalog/pro ... ew/id/463/
Whilst they are thirty years newer than the bike the crown is simple, and has a semi circle similar to the original in which one could somehow contrive to house a Swan. US$35 plus whatever post is. They don't have any with long enough steerers so it would have to modded, haven't approached Gripsort about cost for a new steerer, anyone know what that's worth?

2. wait for metalroideroz to get back to me about whatever it is he has ... hi Lloyd :D

3. Soma Classic curve road fork 49 or 57mm rake US$159 (57mm rake only available as threadless)

4. Mercian made to order fork with Romani crown (probably not going to look period and don't have a reference) GBP£130.00 plus post

5. Admit defeat and beg BNA Retro forum for better ideas. In particular whether I should go 27 or700 and also threaded or threadless

Thanks
Rob

pics;
Trek fork
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Soma
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Re: Swansea 5 Swan (pic heavy)

Postby metalrideroz » Thu May 17, 2012 1:25 pm

RobertFrith wrote:2. wait for metalroideroz to get back to me about whatever it is he has ... hi Lloyd :D

There's at least 13 pairs of forks to choose from, check your PM.
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Re: Swansea 5 Swan (pic heavy)

Postby RobertFrith » Sun May 20, 2012 11:28 pm

option 2 has worked out, picked up a nice double crown fork from metalrideroz this arvo. It isn't drilled for brakes but has a mudguard eyelets at the dropouts... scratches head... not original but they look more period than any of my other options
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Re: Swansea 5 Swan (pic heavy)

Postby ghostpoet » Mon May 21, 2012 12:38 am

Maybe one had concerns about steel rims and wet weather? So a back pedal brake so one can still stop if it is raining and guards to keep the sludge out of ones face? Hope Metalrideroz and your good self are attending the swapmeet.
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Re: Swansea 5 Swan (pic heavy)

Postby RobertFrith » Mon May 21, 2012 7:55 am

The top of the guards would have to attach to the brake bolt though. So it needs a brake drilling to complement the eyelets.

Metalrideroz is going to the swapmeet as a seller. I'll be going as an innocent bystander
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Re: Swansea 5 Swan (pic heavy)

Postby WyvernRH » Mon May 21, 2012 8:36 am

RobertFrith wrote:option 2 has worked out, picked up a nice double crown fork from metalrideroz this arvo. It isn't drilled for brakes but has a mudguard eyelets at the dropouts... scratches head... not original but they look more period than any of my other options

A lot of older road bikes were fitted with clamp-on' style brakes as original equipment (Resilion, Phillips etc) and so would not have been drilled.
See my Sun-Wasp in this thread http://bicycles.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=50994
Also, look at some pictures of racers in the 30's to 50's, often they only had a rear brake fitted so again no drillings in the fork. Other option is they came off a high quality roadster that relied on a rear hub back pedal brake. Very common in Europe.
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Re: Swansea 5 Swan (pic heavy)

Postby RobertFrith » Tue May 29, 2012 11:10 pm

I just have two challenges standing in the way of panel and paint on this frame and fork;

Colour. I've only seen three Swanseas with what might be original paint, two of them here on the retro forum and my own 2 Swan unit. Two blue and one red. Single colour, no fancy picking out the headtube in a contrasting colour, no lug lining. Some box lining and feathering, which is not really to my taste :?
I guess they could span 20 or 30 years. Anyone have any idea what the original colours might have been in the fifties? Metallic or plain?
I'm not completely wedded to originality so any other suggestions that would suit an older machine are welcome.

Decals. I'd like to get decals made. I've created this from 3 pics around the tube of the late 60's 2 Swan.
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But looking at this pic from asbestos which is a c1960 bike maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree?
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Anyone else have any references? Otherwise I guess I'm going to have to get myself out of my chair and off to the Historical Cycle Club of Western Australia
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Re: Swansea 5 Swan (pic heavy)

Postby ghostpoet » Wed May 30, 2012 12:18 am

Hey Rob, what year is the frame? I have some decent pics of Swansea decals if you wish and they prove to be period correct, gladly split costs if you get some printed as I need some for my 5 Swan. Met Metalrider at the Swapmeet, great guy. His bikes are sweet...
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Re: Swansea 5 Swan (pic heavy)

Postby RobertFrith » Wed May 30, 2012 9:08 am

I didn't make it to the swapmeet in the end - we moved office on the weekend and it end up absorbing the whole of Saturday and half of Sunday.

I've just re-read threads on here that touch on dating Swanseas. My summary is that using the frame numbers as a dating guide is pretty inconclusive. Lugs and decal styles (where the originals are preserved) would likely be a better bet.

Keen to see your pics, do you wanna post them up here? Otherwise PM me and I'll give you my email.

simon hughes mentions in this thread that the Historical Cycle Club is the best source of info and have "all decos" (decals?) so I'll chase that avenue up too.
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Re: Swansea 5 Swan (pic heavy)

Postby metalrideroz » Wed May 30, 2012 10:43 am

Theres two or three bikes with original paint at the Collie cycling museum. The two I remember just had the same simple script like in the blue photo, one written vertically on the seatube, can't remember what the others had. Might be worth a look if your down that way or up for a drive.
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Re: Swansea 5 Swan (pic heavy)

Postby RobertFrith » Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:43 pm

I'm making very slow progress with this bike.

I made contact with Peter Wells and went to his place in Thornlie. He's a lovely bloke with a great collection of WA made bikes. I bought a set of reproduction Swansea stickers that the WA Historical Cycle Club had made.

Moving to a more analogue system I traced the logo on my 2 Swan bike. In some parts I'm happier with my tracing than the WAHCC repro sticker. The top of the logo on my 2 Swan is badly faded though, so parts of my trace are rubbish, particularly the second "s".

The original looking Swansea hanging up at Mercers in Freo seems to have another style of script logo. I reckon I'm going to see if I can trace that one as well.

The block typeface used on the frame in asbestos' photo above is interesting too. On reflection I noticed that the lug type is the same as my frame so this style might be more appropriate (and easier to reproduce)

If anyone has a Swansea with original paint and logo I'd love to get a photo and a trace of it, reply here or PM me
Thanks
Rob

WAHCC repro sticker
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traced from the faded 2 Swan
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Re: Swansea 5 Swan (pic heavy)

Postby K_Man » Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:30 am

Hi Rob,

I am in the process of restoring a Swansea myself atm.

Have also chatted with Peter a few times and he has been fantastic.


I have been wondering about decals etc myself.

I also purchased some vinyl copies from Peter (different ones to you though).

I was thinking since the vinyl logos are not really going to let me achieve the look I had in mind, maybe another option is to have a few vinyls cut that could be stuck on the frame as templates to paint the logos on with an airbrush.
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Re: Swansea 5 Swan (pic heavy)

Postby RobertFrith » Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:18 am

K_Man wrote:I was thinking since the vinyl logos are not really going to let me achieve the look I had in mind, maybe another option is to have a few vinyls cut that could be stuck on the frame as templates to paint the logos on with an airbrush.
I've looked at another Swansea in the meantime that had a handpainted logotype so that sounds good, do you have any experience masking and airbrushing? Got any pics of your bike or the decals you got?
Rob
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Re: Swansea 5 Swan (pic heavy)

Postby K_Man » Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:45 pm

RobertFrith wrote:... do you have any experience masking and airbrushing?


Not much myself, but know a few people that might be able to help - will see what they come up with.

RobertFrith wrote:Got any pics of your bike or the decals you got?


Pics of decals and bike to come.
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Re: Swansea 5 Swan (pic heavy)

Postby K_Man » Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:14 am

WAHCC - Repro vinyl

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I only have close-up pics of the bike atm that were taken more for the purpose of recording the restoration process.

WIll have to take some better shots of the whole frame.

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Re: Swansea 5 Swan (pic heavy)

Postby RobertFrith » Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:07 am

According to this post your bike would predate the end of WWII (based on the bearing cup shape). I guess the graphics Peter sold you are consistent with the bike's age. He has a short register of Swanseas complete with their frame numbers and from bikes with known histories he triangulates to an approximate build date for frames of unknown provenance.
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Re: Swansea 5 Swan (pic heavy)

Postby K_Man » Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:51 pm

Frame number is 3404 which Peter can pin point to being a 1936 bike.

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So have you decided on how you are going to do your frame?

Paint or powdercoat?

I am worried that powdercoat might hide the sharpness of the swans but would prefer powdercoat for duarbility etc.
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