Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking
24 posts • Page 1 of 1
Hi guys and girls.
Any help appreciated.
I picked up this old bike, purchased as a B.S.A. Not that I really care, just wanted an old bike to restore and display with my classic cars (plus bikes don't take up as much space!)
Still, I would like to know more info, and approximate age.
Obviously it has B.S.A crank, but the frame has no distinguishing marks, no name or numbers on the bottom of the bike, the only number I have found so far is "26807" stamped on the left side of the seat stem and on the front fork.
It has solid fork ends, not slotted forthe front wheel
Eadie coaster hub (that seems to still work)
"Mansfield" made in england saddle (unknown age also - educated guess also appreciated)
Dunlop made in Australia 28"x1.3/8 wheels (that each feel like they weigh more than my whole usual carbon roadie!)
The bike weighs nearly as much as a B.S.A motorbike, its very solid, very old feeling.
The frame looks very much like a B.S.A, except there is no "scalloping" pattern in the front stem, its very short, and the fork crown is a dual plate/biplane style which I have only seen on a 1 very early (pre WW1) B.S.A path racer and no other B.S.A bikes on the internet, or any other brand bikes for that matter. As I said earlier, serial number of the frame and fork match, so definitely original.
Also its Blue, and looks like it always has been, everything from that era seems to be black or green.
My assumption so far is some strange australian made frame with B.S.A fittings, or a very early B.S.A
Thanks for any info you can give.
there are people here who will think you're just an ebay flipper looking for info to maximise your profit, and they won't speak up. Respect that if you can.
I will tell you it's old, very old, and perhaps the serial number indicates it was built first in 1926. Then again, maybe not.
I can appreciate that.
Untrue in my case however.
I normally restore old cars (have a 1960 Mercedes-Benz and a 1960 Morris Minor pick up) but due to a new house and a lack of space I've decided to downsize and restore an old bike.
I've been looking for about 12 months to find something I wanted.
And what I payed for the bike, I surely couldn't resell it for a profit. It was as close to what I wanted I've seen, so I bought it regardless of price.
My plan is to display it at shows with my car and ride it around.
Regardless of its make or age, the restoration is already underway. Would be nice to be able to answer the inevitable questions though.
before you start stripping paint try to clean it up and rub back to find the original coat, what colour, evidence of any names, pinstriping, brighter areas on headtube which may indicate she had a manufaturers badge...
once the evidence is obliterated it's gone forever
I will get some more detail photos either tonight or over the weekend.
The only paint I've removed so par is where there should be some engraving. It's either originally the blue that you see, or been reprinted very thoroughly.
It's bare metal, then red lead primer then blue. No other colours.
No signs of stickers, pin stripes or badges.
The closest I've found is this:
http://www.sterba-bike.cz/produkt/bsa-z ... 23?lang=EN
There are some minor differences like I don't have the little bit where the light bracket is attached to, and the 2 plate crown is slightly different (but its as close as I've seen) and I don't have the steering lock.
Other than that, seat stem, head, fork ends, rear drop out, pedals, chain gear, hubs, and the way the frame pieces are shaped and joined are identical.
closest I've found is this:
http://www.sterba-bike.cz/produkt/bsa-z ... 23?lang=EN
that's a very nice and real "path racer" I dont think its 1910 but it doesn't look newer than early teens, really nice bike I have one the same
There are some minor differences like I don't have the little bit where the light bracket is attached to, and the 2 plate crown is slightly different (but its as close as I've seen) and I don't have the steering lock.Other than that, seat stem, head, fork ends, rear drop out, pedals, chain gear, hubs, and the way the frame pieces are shaped and joined are identical.[/quote]
completely different beast, note the sloping top tube, yours is level, front fork ends, both squashed and drilled the early one should be just a hole, someone has slotted it, rear similar, look at your seat stay, round tube squashed ends and drilled, other cast fittings brased into D section tubing. Yours has the later type of upper bearing retainer the other the earlier cottered one, Yours is probably late 1920's to early 30's do both rims have the badge? it looks to be Australian, if you see another concrete Kangaroo up there in Bathurst let me know
Aware that its obviously not a "B.S.A path racer" I am not that lucky.
Just thats the closest i've found, not to say its that close lol.
Did a little more playing with it this arvo before it got too dark and cold. Each time I look at it i find something different.
Rear wheel does not have the dunlop badge
Front wheel has a bayliss Wiley hub.
So the only brand names on it that I know for sure is, BSA, Mansfield, Bayliss Wiley and Eadie - All Birmingham companies. And Dunlop Australia
After a bit more cleaning I found that i believe the ends of the forks were chrome or nickel plated.
From that I looked for nickel coated forks and discovered a few Australian bikes with much closer looking fork as mine
So i'm pretty convinced its an Aussie made bitsa, exact make i'll probably never know.
Doesn't matter. Guess it means i don't have to worry about originality as much.
P.S. I like that Kangaroo, I know its not going to jump infront of my car on the way to work in the morning!
My guess is 1915-1920,
Before I go into to much detail can I ask what you mean by full restoration?
Happy to talk you through a similar bike I have just done but if it Include's a dodgy resparay in rattle can I'm out.
I've seen it all ready looks like you have wire brushed its original paint off at the serial number,
What level of finish do you wish to achieve, and what's the budget on this, and do you want to be able to ride it.
If you can answer those three we can all help give you our opinion on it.
My plan is, most important is to make it ride-able. I don't see the point of having a bicycle if you can't ride it. If I wanted something pretty to look at, I'd paint a picture.
By full restoration I mean full and as period accurate as possible.
Seat I'm currently having conditioned by an old school leather worker I know. Just to preserve it. I like patina.
At first I was going to just clean the original paint and get the bike working, but its too far gone.
Not using modern super glossy 2K paint, will be as period semi-gloss as I can get it. Prefer an enamel if I can get the colour.
Budget - whatever it takes and as long as it takes to get what I want. I'm in no rush. I'm used to restoring cars that takes years.
My back ground is I'm a panel beater by trade, I own and have restored many multiple prize winning cars. But my main focus is originality, I don't like over restored.
The wire brush thing was a slight error, was much more course than the type I used to use that would basically polish the metal. Once realised, I stopped. Reverted back to hand sanding.
Currently sanding is being done lightly and slowly, looking for any trace of history. None so far though.
If I had a better idea of exactly what it was, how its restored will depend on that.
That depends on what he can do with it I suppose.
For short demo rides around shows I would like to use it. So if he can revive it enough to use, that's great. If not, make it look good for display and I'll buy a replica to use.
Don't want to risk damaging it.
Looks to me like the leather has passed its use-by date.
If your mate confirms this, you could have a third option and use a new cover, and get the frame cleaned up at the same time.
What is saddle width and the front to back measurement of the leather?
I may have a mould suitable.
And Stephen would welcome a few photos of the saddle at the Flickr Group page
Last edited by Clydesdale Scot on Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
Ok sounds like you are on the path.
I just hate spending a lot of time and energy on some one that is going to buy a new set of pink wheels for it off ebay haha.
First thing is the bars, It is a little hard to tell but i think they are drop bars that have been turned upside down and chopped.
What i would also like to see is a close up of the stem, It looks like a later style stem.
I would start by stripping the bike down completely,
If the parts are steel or chrome soak them in oxyalic acid over 24hrs and this cleans all the rust off.
Tyres can be had here
http://www.moruyabicycles.com.au/conten ... -tyre.html
along with tubes and rim tape and new cotter pins.
What spacing is it between the rear drop outs of the frame ?
I am happy to offer my opinion as to the date of the bike as this my collecting niche at the moment (!).
BSA rear fork ends, twin plate fork crown and badged rim/s suggest to me mid to late 20s. The bars are rippers - upturned race bars I reckon.
Over 80 - 90 years there were lots of opportunities to add later parts eg. The Eadie hub may be a later addition. Early models had a narrow torque arm, later were wider.
With regards preserving it - preserve it. If it's repainted and nickeled then its lost its originality and charm.
[quote="bd581"]Rear drop outs are 105mm apart. With a number - C1108, if that means anything???
that number looks like the numbers stamped by Speedwell for frames having a refinish at their factory, "looks like" cause I cant prove it other big companys probably did similar if they offered refinishing of your frame, I dont think its a Speedwell made frame though.
Fork thread is 24tpi (though only 20 of thread)
Crown is 80mm or so
Frame is 30mm (or close to)
Well I've all but given up on finding an exact make and build date.
At the moment its known as "probably an australian frame using BSA and other various English made in Birminham bits from the 1920's possibly earlier"
Best I can come up with at the moment.
The red in the pictures is obviously the lead primer, the Blue must be the original colour. Unless at some time of its life its had a very thorough repaint.
Its now completely stripped bar the wheels.
Bottom bracket is "Brampton" with loose bearings (not caged). May or may not be original to the bike, who knows???
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