WA Made 'Tweenage' Swansea model

Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking

WA Made 'Tweenage' Swansea model

Postby HappyHumber » Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:48 am

Hi guys,

Something I've been meaning to post for ages... but *POP* goes my extracted finger.. ;)

Here's a kerbside find of mine from about October last year. What little I know about it is that it's a Swansea Cycles boys bike - made locally by a Perth based company which apparently existed from the 1920s through the 1960s. (Google them.. then you'll know as much as me)

Image

The paintwork is pretty ratty, but enough remains to show it was fairly detailed when new. Perhaps my favourite feature is the Swans in the lugwork. It's a nice local touch. It might have been typical of makers of the period, but I've seen reference to a 4 or 5 'Swan' model track or road racing bikes they made - much like the Malvern Star models.

Image

The wheels are 26 x 1 3/8". If the old SA 3 Speed AW hub info is anything to go by, it's from the early 60s.

Image


I love the old pressed steel calipers to. They've been roughly attached at some point with a gutter bolt, so I doubt they're original - but they're the first I've seen of their type.

Image

I have a photo of a similar model in a larger size, in better condition and I suspect more original, but sans the lugged Swans I saw at a bike show in Freo last year I'll post when I can find the pics again

I really don't know what I am going to do mine with at this point; but it was too much of a curio to pass by when I saw it on the side of the road. I personally would love to find something more my own adult size (187cm/6'2") of similar vintage and lugwork (any chance to stick it to the Victorians) to restore and ride comfortably. My Mum wants it for her garden to hang a basket off of and let flowers grow through or some such rot. I'm sure there's much more detritus from the 80s amongst all the treadmills and ab-rollers kerbside next collection day that will suit her purposes just as well.

Would love to hear any thoughts or comments on my find. Hope the pics are sized OK..

Kymbo
- Kym
Please don't assume I'm on Facebook.
User avatar
HappyHumber
 
Posts: 4174
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 10:48 pm
Location: Perth, (S.o.R.) W.A.

by BNA » Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:24 am

BNA
 

Re: WA Made 'Tweenage' Swansea model

Postby kukamunga » Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:24 am

HappyHumber wrote:I love the old pressed steel calipers to. They've been roughly attached at some point with a gutter bolt, so I doubt they're original - but they're the first I've seen of their type. Kymbo

Here's the first I've ever come across. Off a 'Viceroy' "....I picked up the other day..." :roll:
Image
God save the ABC & SBS.....
User avatar
kukamunga
 
Posts: 3492
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 9:12 am
Location: SE Melburbs, on a bike, on a train......

Postby gsxrboy » Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:04 pm

That is really quite a lovely looking bike, I love the top bar bend flowing into the seat stays. It would make for a nice reno project and potter around on, wish I was driving around your area then :-P Never find anything cool in my area of Perth !
gsxrboy
 
Posts: 569
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2007 12:19 pm
Location: Perth

Postby HappyHumber » Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:54 pm

gsxrboy wrote:It would make for a nice reno project and potter around on


Yeah, unfortunately, I probably would've outgrown this bike myself by about the age of 13. So I don't know about restoring it for myself. I've got too many other projects on the back burners as it is.

The one other Swansea example I have seen (I will post pics later from home) was very much like this albeit a bigger frame, different colour and otherwise probably more original than mine. If I'd met the owner and they were only 5' tall I'd suggest a swap :D

gsxrboy wrote:I wish I was driving around your area then :-P Never find anything cool in my area of Perth !


Funnily enough, I find most of my bikes whilst out cycling - more often than not on my commutes through the backstreets of various 'burbs. This little example was found in Applecross. Commuting various ways between Ferndale & Booragoon I usually pedal home like mad, depending on my enthusiasm for the find and fang back later in my ute ;)

This bike was found with an 80s era ladies bike of average to low end quality They had a "Free to a good home" sign stuck on them both, together. The ladies bike was perfectly rideable as it was found, save for a loose bolt on the seat and flat tires. It was obviously stored well and used b_gger all through its life. I gave it a quick service and passed it onto a mates GF who now commutes on it between Palmyra & Freo. If the 1987 America's Cup sticker on the seattube was anything to go by - she's only about 2 years older than the bike - but she loves it :)


Kymbo
- Kym
Please don't assume I'm on Facebook.
User avatar
HappyHumber
 
Posts: 4174
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 10:48 pm
Location: Perth, (S.o.R.) W.A.

Postby feelthewheel » Fri Apr 25, 2008 6:51 am

Someone has one restored in Melbourne (and turned into a fixie) - it is painted dark green with the swans highlighted in yellow.

Saw it flash by last year along the bike path - looked very cool ... nice find HappyHumber!
feelthewheel
 
Posts: 179
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:20 am
Location: Anakie, Victoria

Postby HappyHumber » Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:37 am

Nice, Feelthewheel! Would love to see it myself. Do you recall if it had the rearward drop to the top bar like these two? I must admit, as much as I like Fixies - If I found the right Swansea example like this I'd have to restore it, or leave original depending on condition.

Anyway, here's the one other example I've seen & documented. This was at a bike show called 'Two Wheels Good' in the Fremantle Arts Centre Grounds late last year as well. Apologies for the almost camouflage green photos, but it wasn't my bike to manhandle and the owner wasn't around to talk to.


Image

Quite a nicely set up bike for its day. Can anyone enlighten me what the two bars are that come out from the headset and downto the fork dropouts are? I have seem them elsewhere on latter day custom dragsters. But seeing them here on this bike I wonder if they actually did have some original practical function. Are they some sort of mount or stabiliser thing?

Image

Some detail of the paintwork. The white pinstriping is very similar to mine, as is the logo and Swansea lettering on the downtube, only a lot more of both remains on this beastie. I lucked out with the Swan lugs at least :)

It was said on bikeforums.net by someone replying to a thread I started on the same subject there that the pressed steel brakes on mine are from a lot older bike, circa 1920s. Their comment was that mine was probably originally a coaster brake with a single speed rear hub. I don't really know now after seeing this example. It may be a conversion as well, who knows. But the calipers I think are a bit more contemporary.

Image

Anyway.. I got a lead on an Indi Hawk equipped with at least some Shimano 600 to follow up this weekend :D

Kym
- Kym
Please don't assume I'm on Facebook.
User avatar
HappyHumber
 
Posts: 4174
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 10:48 pm
Location: Perth, (S.o.R.) W.A.

Postby feelthewheel » Fri Apr 25, 2008 12:38 pm

Got to agree with you there on the "leave it original" or clean-up resto view HappyHumber; if a bike's been lucky enough to have survived relatively unmolested from new (and they are getting harder to find now) I think as enthusiastists we have a responsibility to keep it as original as possible (although being pragmatic some modernising can be useful in making something a daily runner).

Love the second Swansea too! Does anyone have an example of the 3 or 4-Swan versions you mention in their collections?

Unfortunately the fixie I saw did flash by quickly, so did'nt get the opportunity to take all the details in (it was the swans in yellow that caught my eye). I would guess that the dropouts would have opened out rearwards (if that's what you meant?) as that's usually (?) the way of the fixie bike anyway.
feelthewheel
 
Posts: 179
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:20 am
Location: Anakie, Victoria

Postby HappyHumber » Fri Apr 25, 2008 1:41 pm

Actually, in rifling through the pics on my HD, I came across some others from another thread some months back on here, Viz. this one which reveals the swans weren't just on bikes branded Swansea.

If you read my comment a little way down - Gordonson was another WA brand. I don't know how long ago they manufactured here; but most of the Gordonson branded bikes I have seen are pretty average, generic 80s cro-mo/hi-tensile 10 speed demons.

Mikesbytes links to the OP's webspaces with some more detailled pics here. The Swans aren't obvious on the headtube from the pics, but can be seen on the fork crown in one pic.

I did contact Whitty by PM if he was interesting in selling ;) even though the bike still possibly looks a little small for me, but he appears to have gone to ground.
User avatar
HappyHumber
 
Posts: 4174
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 10:48 pm
Location: Perth, (S.o.R.) W.A.

Postby GaryF » Fri Apr 25, 2008 3:32 pm

Such a great old bike. Very stylish.

I can just imagine the look on a young boy's face when he got that bike new in the 60's.
User avatar
GaryF
 
Posts: 798
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2006 12:38 am
Location: Hervey Bay, Queensland.

Postby gsxrboy » Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:47 pm

Did you decide what to do with this pushy? Would it suit a saaaaaay a 5'6" person or even too small for that height.
gsxrboy
 
Posts: 569
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2007 12:19 pm
Location: Perth

Postby HappyHumber » Thu Jul 17, 2008 6:02 pm

Wow, this thread crawled from beneath the compost heap :)

I haven't really decided what to do with it. Too good to give to Mum to let the lantana grow over. It's been sitting undercover since I picked it up.

Umm... look in all honesty, I couldn't say about who'd it'd fit. I tend to only think in terms of my own 6'2"/187cm ;) So it's mainly 57cm or thereabouts frames that capture my imagination.

If you're interested in taking a look... pm me...
- Kym
Please don't assume I'm on Facebook.
User avatar
HappyHumber
 
Posts: 4174
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 10:48 pm
Location: Perth, (S.o.R.) W.A.


Return to Retro biking

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Johnj



Popular Bike Shops
Torpedo 7 Torpedo7 AU
Ground Effect Ground Effect NZ
Chain Reaction Cycles CRC UK
Wiggle Wiggle UK
Ebay Ebay AU

“Bicycles BNA Twitter
“Bicycles BNA Facebook
“Google+ BNA Google+
“Bicycles BNA Newsletter

> FREE BNA Stickers
> BNA Cycling Kit