Carbine Resto - Not sure of year?

scooter1971
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Carbine Resto - Not sure of year?

Postby scooter1971 » Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:04 pm

HI Everyone

Great forum, I'm new here and to road bike resto's so am looking forward to finding out some info about my new project.
This one came from a dear friend who was injured and can't ride now and has lost the passion a bit.
He picked it up about 8yrs ago from a local 'biker seller' for $50 and was told it was Aussie made and in a museum somewhere...

We weren't sure what it could be as there are no decals and the only thing to go on was the head badge (which looked like a blob to me) and the lugs which are pretty distinctive 'batwing' looking.

It is pretty light (havn't weighed it yet coz od stuck stem and seat post) and has a few dents on TT reminiscent of dents i've seen on other chromoly tubing bikes. Geometry seems pretty tight so thought Track bike, but wheels are super heavy steel hoops, and seat and stem(SR alloy ) are wrong so has had a 70s update at some time but the steel wheels have me stumped. Cranks, chain whee, peds look original. Hubs are Bayliss and look good, everything's except the frame has been spray bombed silver.

I'm hoping it's full chrome finish is original, the BB stampings look pretty fresh as you can see, (a re-chrome would have filled some of these i think?) and the chrome is def good enough for saving if original, couple of flakes here and there and the previously mentioned small dents but pretty good considering.

Anyway, hunting around the usual place i saw similar lugwork on a bike on the powehouse museum, which was a Carbine, it has similar chain wheel, cranks and most importantly the head badge which (i thought was a 'blob') is a horses head!

Questions-
1. Is 1950's decade about right? ( F Walcott shut Sydney shop late 60's i read somewhere)
2. Would full chrome be right for the period?
3. When where ChroMoly frames being built?
4. Are my solid steel heavy-weights the correct wheels for the bike?

Photo's to follow!

scooter1971
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Re: Carbine Resto - Not sure of year?

Postby scooter1971 » Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:06 pm

Here are some photos-

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scooter1971
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Re: Carbine Resto - Not sure of year?

Postby scooter1971 » Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:11 pm

Have soaked seat post and stem in liquimoly to start the 'freeing up' process.
Looking forward to giving it a good polish.
BTW I mention that the wheels are 28's, they came separate to the frame so would be grateful to hear any ideas on replacement sizing.

bicyclepassion
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Re: Carbine Resto - Not sure of year?

Postby bicyclepassion » Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:25 pm

Great find. Check back of Chainwheel for Williams date code. What is the serial number? (The GR23 is a casting number)

Imwit
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Re: Carbine Resto - Not sure of year?

Postby Imwit » Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:57 pm

Beauty Scooter. Thanks for posting. Those horse heads are a bit rare around here.

Bit earlier than 50's.

scooter1971
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Re: Carbine Resto - Not sure of year?

Postby scooter1971 » Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:47 pm

bicyclepassion wrote:Great find. Check back of Chainwheel for Williams date code. What is the serial number? (The GR23 is a casting number)

will do!
was wondering why i couldnt see anything on there, so much spray bomb i thought but maybe theres something on the back.

scooter1971
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Re: Carbine Resto - Not sure of year?

Postby scooter1971 » Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:49 pm

Imwit wrote:Beauty Scooter. Thanks for posting. Those horse heads are a bit rare around here.

Bit earlier than 50's.


Thanks, I'll need to dig deeper then i guess.
Should probably call it 'Mr Ed' or something from now on too...

scooter1971
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Re: Carbine Resto - Not sure of year?

Postby scooter1971 » Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:08 pm

Amazing what you find when you take the grime off...
Apologies for crap photo, it says -

E&W
AM
46

Image

scooter1971
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Re: Carbine Resto - Not sure of year?

Postby scooter1971 » Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:16 pm

bicyclepassion wrote:Great find. Check back of Chainwheel for Williams date code. What is the serial number? (The GR23 is a casting number)


Serial on BB is 13294

cludence
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Re: Carbine Resto - Not sure of year?

Postby cludence » Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:29 pm

Nice frame. Kid Carbine (Chris Daly) would be able to shed some light on serial no. I notice the bmx frame in background so im guessing you may know him. He is also a bmx enthusiast. He is not often on the forums but ill send him a message to log on.

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Clydesdale Scot
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Re: Carbine Resto - Not sure of year?

Postby Clydesdale Scot » Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:10 pm

Williams date code AM = 1950
46 is the number of teeth.

and stamps on the crank arms?


thanks Karen.

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Kid_Carbine
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Re: Carbine Resto - Not sure of year?

Postby Kid_Carbine » Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:30 pm

Well, Cludence was as good as her word & did in fact contact me. Hopefully I can offer at least a snippet of information.
I can't believe just how many years have passed since I was last here.

OK, a little background as best I can recall.

The Carbine bicycle was named after one of the most famous race horses in Australian history. Carbine was the winner of the 1895 Melbourne cup & apparently, his bloodline was to appear in the Melbourne Cup winners circle for many decades after that.
The Carbine bicycle was first offered from the Sydney shop in 1898.
There was a Carbine bicycle offered in Melbourne in 1897 for one year only. Nobody seems to know if the business moved to Sydney or one shop closed & another opened
The Sydney shop was owned by a fellow named Henderson.
In 1928 Henderson sold the business to an employee named F.D. Woolcott
In 1932 Fred Woolcott started using the horsehead badge. There was usually enough space on the head tube for two badges & this is what was fitted.
Around 1937 a new "Feature Lug" was introduced & this left enough room for only one badge, so the two badges were phased out as stocks of the old lugs were exhausted. The single badge seems to have been used until the last bikes were sold by Jack Walsh in the 1960's
[My August 1937 Pacemaker road frame still has the two badges.]

Serial numbers serve as a very good guide to the date of manufacture, however some race frames remained in stock for much longer than the more popular models & the serials were not necessarily sold in a clear sequence, however this is, for the most part, the way it went.

My research material shows the date of retail sale from a dealer in Campbeltown [NSW] & this is all I have to offer. This research material ends in 1941 when the shop owner enlisted in the Army, so take it as a guide only.

Carbine Union Racer Serial 12057 17 June 1941
Carbine Utility Racer 12129, 17 June 1941

Carbine Utility Racer 11217, 18 May 1941
Carbine Utility Racer 10998, 23 April 1941

Carbine No1 Gents bicycle, 11033, 31 March 1941
Carbine Club Racer 12074, 18 March 1941

The last entries in my book are
Carbine Frame [no further description] 11607, 14 August 1941
After electroplating this frame was sold for 4 pounds 16 shillings

Your frame, numbered 13294 would seem to me to be a mid 50's built bike. Remember that FD Woolcott P/L was just one bike shop that made its own frames, then painted them & built them into bikes on the premises, so the rise of serial numbers would not be great in the space of a year.

By way of example, the earliest numbers that I have are .............
Carbine Club Racer 10104 [Green with Red tips] 22 Jan 1936
Carbine Utility Roadster 10109 [Green with Cream tips & 3 speed] 25 January 1936 [The three speed was probably a Sturmey Archer as chain gears were really a race item at that time.]

The shop was selling bikes in 1935 but the records for 1935 are likely lost forever.

Sorry that I am unable to offer more.
Carbine & SJH cycles, & Quicksilver BMX
Now that's AUSTRALIAN to the core.

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Kid_Carbine
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Re: Carbine Resto - Not sure of year?

Postby Kid_Carbine » Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:55 pm

Oh yeah, I had not picked up on the BMX in the background, but from what I can see the most likely candidates are 1979 to 1980 Mongoose Motomag or late 1979 to October 1981 Quicksilver [Type 1b]

If it's a Quickie then the serial number will identify the month & year of manufacture as well as the name of the frame welder that made it.
Carbine & SJH cycles, & Quicksilver BMX
Now that's AUSTRALIAN to the core.

scooter1971
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Re: Carbine Resto - Not sure of year?

Postby scooter1971 » Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:19 pm

Thanks everyone, I knew I'd get the right info here and in only a few hrs.

Cheers for the research Kid_Carbine, it's great getting the story behind brand makes you wonder about all those other bike companies that have come and gone and all their stories too, back then the art and craft of bicycle making was a part of the mainstream, how much has changed.

And yep, that's a Quickee behind the Carbine, another project with a stuck seat post!
Maybe i should do a 'Helium' Carbine. (I doubt many others here will get the joke...)

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Clydesdale Scot
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Re: Carbine Resto - Not sure of year?

Postby Clydesdale Scot » Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:32 am

Kid_Carbine wrote:I can't believe just how many years have passed since I was last here.

Almost five years.
You will notice the tone has changed. The shrill and urgent demands of those seeking ebay sales spiel have gone, and thoughtful and valuable projects such as this one now predominate.

Welcome back, and please call in occasionally. Your contributions are always valued.
Philip

cludence
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Re: Carbine Resto - Not sure of year?

Postby cludence » Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:02 am

I keep forgetting to check in too! This post was a good reminder

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Kid_Carbine
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Re: Carbine Resto - Not sure of year?

Postby Kid_Carbine » Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:54 am

Thanks everyone, it's good to see that the cycle restoration community is still active.

The FD Woolcott shop was the sole manufacturer & main sales outlet for their Carbine bicycle, however there was one known Carbine dealer outside of the Sydney shop & that was owned by Jack Hepher [pronounced Heefer] Jack raced in the Goulburn to Sydney Classic six times before WW2 & at least five of those times were on a Carbne. [I think the first time was on an Edworthy]

His last personal Carbine was delivered as a custom built Carbine 'Pacemaker' frame on the 6th of November 1937. [Ser. No.10979] The "Goulburn" was run in September so it missed that one & he decided to give the 1938 event a miss for that year. Unfortunately the Police stopped the 1939 & 1940 event on so-called safety grounds & Jack enlisted in 1941, so this frame was never raced in that event.

Reynolds 531 Double butted tubing became commercially available in Australia in 1937, but was expensive & all the frame makers listed a model that was made from it, but in '37 it was pretty much 'made to customers order' thing. I think the Speedwell version was the "Royal" & yes, Jack sold Speedwell bikes as well.

The Carbine version was the "Pacemaker" frame & of the five pre war examples that I have seen, three were track/ single speed frames, mine is a road frame & until I can recover the photos of Jack's bike I don't remember which his was.
This bike was restored by Jack in the 1970's & remained in his keeping until his passing.

He also recovered from relatives in Tasmania, the frame of the Carbine Ladies Sports model [No. K20048] that he bought for his future bride Lily, on the 23 of December 1938. This too was restored in the mid 1980's & remained with him till his passing.
Another Ladies Sport [K20047] was bought the same day & yet another the previous day [22/12/38] [11443] This one was Five shillings & ninepence dearer so presumably came with some extras. Note both the closeness & distance of these three serials that were bought only two days apart. I have no idea what the significance of the 'K' prefix is.

Finally, it is thought that there was a Carbine dealer in the Newcastle area, but that's as much as I know of that, so if anyone can shed some light on this I would be most grateful.

In other areas, Carbine bikes could be ordered through many local bike shops which accounts for several turning up in areas away from the big smoke. One of mine was bought new in 1949 through a bike shop in Goulburn.

Yeah yeah, I know, too much information. Sorry 'bout that.
Carbine & SJH cycles, & Quicksilver BMX
Now that's AUSTRALIAN to the core.

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Clydesdale Scot
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Re: Carbine Resto - Not sure of year?

Postby Clydesdale Scot » Tue Aug 28, 2018 9:49 am

Image

Gordon1
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Re: Carbine Resto - Not sure of year?

Postby Gordon1 » Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:22 am

Great thread this one and fantastic looking bike. While there is some "white noise" around here it is mostly good stuff.

I personally refrained from posting here until recently due to the tone previously but have found some members in particular very accommodating. Just a pity I didn't have more time at the last Tour Down Under to spend time with one member.

For what it's worth I have a Carbine that I received as frame only and don't know its history. I'm Melbourne based which means nothing because it could have come from anywhere but based on the frame number (G27196) on the fork l'm going to guess a different maker and maybe the Melbourne one. Based on the frame details I suggest a 30's build. No horse heads on frame.

If anyone wants photos (crappy ones on my phone) feel free to PM me and I will forward (I refuse to use a hosting provider for photos). I also think mine would take away from the beauty that is above, as it's fairly average although quite think rear stays so suggests reasonable quality.

scooter1971
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Re: Carbine Resto - Not sure of year?

Postby scooter1971 » Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:43 pm

Wow!
Thanks again Kid_Carbine this is all fabulous info.

However there's still some important issues to deal with so i need some more advice.

No.1 - Wheels
I've popped the wheels that came with the bike on (silver spray-bombed 28's in solid steel with Bayliss hubs) to get a look at the stance.
I'm not sure about these 28's, do they look a bit big for the frame or is this correct?

Frame dimensions = Seat tube is 21 inches - TT is 22-3/4, HT is 5 inches.

Is the next wheel size down 27 inch or 26 inch for a early-mid 1950's build and would either look better (subjective i know)

I understand from my limited reading that road wheel sizes can be tricky when comparing dif makes, markets etc...
Like the idea of period alloys with the existing hubs but am open to other ideas including '... leave as is...'

Image

scooter1971
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Re: Carbine Resto - Not sure of year?

Postby scooter1971 » Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:27 am

Stem came out pretty easy in the end, just a good soak with Liquimoly and a few taps with a rubber mallet.

Image

Same serial number on the fork as on the BB, to be expected i guess?

Image

Imwit
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Re: Carbine Resto - Not sure of year?

Postby Imwit » Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:46 am

Kid_Carbine wrote:Your frame, numbered 13294 would seem to me to be a mid 50's built bike.


So I got that wrong..
Imwit wrote:Bit earlier than 50's.


I reckon the square shouldered head lugs confused me.

Image

Aren't they normally 30's or sometimes 40's?

BTW good to see Kid Carbine and Cludence back and posting.

And I'm staying out of the question of wheels.

scooter1971
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Re: Carbine Resto - Not sure of year?

Postby scooter1971 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:45 pm

Maybe they had a stash of old lugs that they continued to use for a while?

Pedals are Lyotard PL64 LYOTARD 45ter on this page http://hilarystone.com/pedals%20Lyotard.html which are 50's, cranks/chain are 1950 date so maybe its a late 40's frame that sat a bit and was built up later?
I'll continue matching missing parts (stem/ bars/ saddle, etc...) to early 1950's British and see how we go.
Decided to keep current steel wheels (heavy as they are).
Hoping new rubber and hub rebuild will magically fix everything...

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Clydesdale Scot
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Re: Carbine Resto - Not sure of year?

Postby Clydesdale Scot » Thu Aug 30, 2018 5:21 pm

The link to Hilary Stone's site will disappear once those pedals are sold.
A link to the Velobase listing will be longer lasting
Lyotard 45ter

I would have expected the wheels to be 27" 32/40 hole.
What are you doing for brakes?
Did you want to list the components you are looking for?

scooter1971
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Re: Carbine Resto - Not sure of year?

Postby scooter1971 » Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:24 pm

Thanks for the tip re Hillary Stone!

Still getting my head around the parts possibilities but 1950's era seems right.
Something like this is a start-

GB Stem (Spearpoint? - 4-5 inches)
Carbine bars (I read somewhere about them existing...) or something else correct era
GB brakes - or similar
Bell 70 saddle to go with the Aust frame (theres a few on evilbay at the moment but they look a bit new) or if not Bell then a used Brooks 5 or 17.

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