The Green Bike...

Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking

The Green Bike...

Postby WyvernRH » Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:02 pm

A bit of background. My mate Henry found this at the Cessnock tip back in the early 90's. It was found as a frame with a set of Westwood roadster wheels and some bent bars. Henry stripped and resprayed it and ran it around the area as a hack with the wheels and whatever components came to hand. When the family moved to Sydney I was gifted the bike and it went to hang on my wall 'until Henry came back'. Well he isn't coming back so I thought I should look at what we could do with this bike. When it was stripped back in the 90's we found Reynolds HM stamps on the tubing but it obviously predated 531 with the high quality bolted up rear end and snail cam type rear dropouts. On weighing the frameset I was amazed to find it weighed LESS than the wheels and tyres! I couldn't cope with lading up this lightweight with anchors as wheels so I fitted a set of 60's 27" fixed wheels with 27x1 1/4" World Tour tyres and a few odd period bits I had in the shed. I swapped in a 'snail cam' axle and cams at the back and an old 'shouldered' front axle at the front to cope with the keyhole type front dropouts. Interestingly,the 27" wheels and tyres did not have a great deal of clearance (for the period) especially at the back.
I am wondering if it may have been meant for bamboo rims and tubular tyres? Would these have been 622mm in those days? 700C was the 'fat' tyre size after all. I am estimating mid 20's as a date but would be interested if anyone has any better guesses, especially for the original components and wheels.

Image

I took it around the town a few times and even given my rusty fixed riding technique it went very well, the handling especially was pretty tight, no barge rudder steering like on a lot of the roadsters of the day :) Quite a high bottom bracket too, pedaling around corners at speed was easily possible (important on fixed especially for me!)
It does have a frame number stamped on the left side of the seat lug (which I will edit in here later) Normal large font same as used a lot by Speedwell/Malvern Star etc etc.

All and any suggestions as to date, manufacturer, components etc appreciated. Oh yes, ignore the vertical drilling in the curved rear bridge for a mudguard, This is a blatant non-original bogan bodge. The fork has no drilling at the back for a mudguard. Also the Williams chainset is my addition so no dating of that sadly.
Meanwhile I'm going to ride it around town and hope Henry approves.
Cheers
Richard
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by BNA » Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:47 am

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Re: The Green Bike...

Postby Torana68 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:47 am

Richard,
Have you tried a set of 28 x 1 3/8 in there? can we get a close up of the head tube pls?
Roger

ok found some other picks, no idea as to maker, date? '25 to '28, HM stamping started in '24 , doubt we would have had any so stamped before 1925. General look of the frame would have been a bit dated by '30 so I think its earlier than that by a little.
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Re: The Green Bike...

Postby WyvernRH » Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:18 am

Thanks Roger,
Here is a picture of the headtube:
Image

Now It did have a set of 28x1 3/8 in there when Henry rode it but the clearances were very close, too close I thought for the period. Then I found this photo.
Image
The two bikes at the front are pretty much identical in construction to my green bike and look how close the clearances are! Using 28" Westwoods I would say
I'm told this was the start of a race in the late 20's but did that style of toeclip exist then?
So, looks like I maybe should hunt up some lightweight (sic) 28" Westwoods....
Cheers
Richard
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Re: The Green Bike...

Postby LG » Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:00 pm

I don't have anything to add about the bike itself, but it I do like the look of it and it certainly looks like quality.
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Re: The Green Bike...

Postby Torana68 » Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:13 pm

WyvernRH wrote:Thanks Roger, Here is a picture of the headtube:
I'm told this was the start of a race in the late 20's but did that style of toeclip exist then?
Cheers Richard


Im onto another bike with similar lugs will let you know if I get any replys from the owner, I believe the toeclips are probably ok, I have a mid 20's racer on the roof of my car,will post a pickie of the pedals etc when I get it down , its very original but I have to empty the car of campy/duraace crap first :)
Roger
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Re: The Green Bike...

Postby dayne » Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:22 pm

I would have thought it was 1928 and on,
The bikes in the photo look 1915ish, They have bsa tube rear stays and fork set's.
Your bike has a flat top fork crown and im guessing probably around 1930?
I could be way off but regardless it would be built for westwood 28"s i would think
I may be way off though
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Re: The Green Bike...

Postby Johnj » Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:33 pm

dayne wrote:I would have thought it was 1928 and on,
The bikes in the photo look 1915ish, They have bsa tube rear stays and fork set's.
Your bike has a flat top fork crown and im guessing probably around 1930?
I could be way off but regardless it would be built for westwood 28"s i would think


This is a Sam Hood photo taken at the start of the Goulburn Sydney race. I believe it is probably 1932. Definitely not 1915ish, Hood only started photographing sports events in the early 1920s. One of the other photos in the set shows these same riders departing Goulburn in the pouring rain (rain was a feature of the 1932 race). I think these are probably amateur riders, perhaps accounting for their rudimentary equipment.
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Re: The Green Bike...

Postby Torana68 » Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:05 am

Johnj
This is a Sam Hood photo taken at the start of the Goulburn Sydney race. I believe it is probably 1932. Definitely not 1915ish, Hood only started photographing sports events in the early 1920s. One of the other photos in the set shows these same riders departing Goulburn in the pouring rain (rain was a feature of the 1932 race). I think these are probably amateur riders, perhaps accounting for their rudimentary equipment.[/quote]

cant blow it up much, would love a big copy :) cant see any wingnuts , they appeared here on production bikes post '25 ish so Id bet racers would have been quick to fit them, especially as they are expecting punctures, looks like the bike in front is newer that some in the background, it has tapered chainstays so that could be newer than ''25 (assuming the photo is somewhere around that date) don't look like pro's do they :) that may mean they are on older bikes and the photo is more towards the late twenties?

Below is the latest find, most probably a Speedwell Special Racer c 1924 ish (haven't really looked at it much yet) , it was all nickel plated and all bits show the same amount of deterioration, when they added straps to toeclips I dunno but it was before the 20's
Image
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Re: The Green Bike...

Postby Torana68 » Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:13 am

[quote"]Johnj
This is a Sam Hood photo taken at the start of the Goulburn Sydney race. I believe it is probably 1932. Definitely not 1915ish, Hood only started photographing sports events in the early 1920s. One of the other photos in the set shows these same riders departing Goulburn in the pouring rain (rain was a feature of the 1932 race). I think these are probably amateur riders, perhaps accounting for their rudimentary equipment.[/quote]

cant blow it up much, would love a big copy :)

ok found a better copy , blew it up and as Johnj has pointed out before the first two guys are Speedwell (in team jerseys?) riders so they would be on the latest bikes or close to it. Front one blown up, looks like it may well be straight chainstays, not later tapered, with cast BSA "Track" type lug, its similar spec to the bike I retreived from Sydney . If its straight stays the photo is probably somewhere around 1924/5. The clothing on the spectators seems to suggest twenties as well. There are some older bikes in there if you look :D . (PM sent to Richard).
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Re: The Green Bike...

Postby WyvernRH » Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:24 pm

Roger, great research - thank you. The head lugs are uncannily similar tho the bike is obviously earlier than my bike. I will now have to do some more digging on the web to see if other BSA's of the period had cutouts lie that.
I will also have to go look in the 'reserve' stash of frames that were put in the 'too hard basket' due to damage etc under the house as I am sure I have something very simular under there.
Cheers
Richard
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Re: The Green Bike...

Postby Johnj » Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:25 pm

Torana68 wrote:Front one blown up, looks like it may well be straight chainstays, not later tapered, with cast BSA "Track" type lug, its similar spec to the bike I retreived from Sydney . If its straight stays the photo is probably somewhere around 1924/5. The clothing on the spectators seems to suggest twenties as well. There are some older bikes in there if you look :D . (PM sent to Richard).


Further pondering suggests that you're right Roger. Almost all the bikes have Ducks roller brakes and no-one has a handlebar mounted bidon. The Goulburn Sydney race photos dated 1932 or later show Philco or other caliper brakes, with bidons on the handlebars. The riders in those later photos also tend to be wearing cycling caps, compared to the rather eccentric headgear on show here.

I found a series of photos of these blokes on the road, including Madden, Cameron and Hofman (Hoffman?) at feeding stations, Hofman pictured below:
Image

Madden and Cameron both started the Goulburn to Sydney in 1923 and 1924, but I haven't found Hofman yet. However, 1923-1926 is probably about right. Here's another view of that wacky start lineup, with Hofman (I think) second from left. Full size image here.

Image
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Re: The Green Bike...

Postby Kid_Carbine » Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:02 am

If I remember rightly, the 27" tyre [& rim] were not 'invented' untill about the mid/early 1930's
I seem to remember being told bt Jack Hepher [RIP] that Dunlop made the first high pressure 27's in 1935 or '36
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Re: The Green Bike...

Postby silverlight » Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:48 am

Hi,
I had someone tell me a while back that 27" Tyre [& rim] came in the mid 1930's also and it does seem correct with the bike finds i come across as those post war do have the 27"
I also believe that Malvern Star first introduced them into their star range in 1939
I've always remembered it as that but honestly not sure.

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Re: The Green Bike...

Postby WyvernRH » Sun Sep 29, 2013 4:24 pm

Yes, 27" = mid-thirties is my understanding as well. I should point out that I am now quite sure that this bike was built for 28" wheels with a close clearance as in the racing pictures above. I only put the 27's in as it offended my sensibilities to lumber this very light frame with the boat anchor wheels that it arrived with - clearly not the originals....That is why I was interested if the original wheels may have been wood and if so what size.
Were there such things as 'lightweight' Westwood rims? I have a pair of narrow steel Westwoods on my Speedwell but those are the only 'light' (sic) version I have seen of the Westwood rim.
This has turned out to be a fun bike to ride with the 1960's alloy wheels fitted, I have now added a 1935 Phillips 'Agrippa' clamp-on front brake with an ALPS Guidonnet lever to add confidence (and legality) when riding around the area. Mind you, even with modern pads fitted the brake screams like a stuck pig under any sort of braking load - sets off every dog for miles around :wink:
Image

Cheers
Richard
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Re: The Green Bike...

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Sep 29, 2013 5:46 pm

WyvernRH wrote: Mind you, even with modern pads fitted the brake screams like a stuck pig under any sort of braking load - sets off every dog for miles around :wink:


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