SPEEDWELL lightweight

Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking

SPEEDWELL lightweight

Postby rollin » Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:38 am

found this at the local tip, had quite a few old speedwells over the years but not like this
what years were they doing the painted headtube?
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by BNA » Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:22 am

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Re: SPEEDWELL lightweight

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:22 am

My knowledge of bikes that age is very limited but it certainly looks very interesting. Some of the vintage experts should be along shortly to advise.

What make is the rear derailleur? And is it just the angle of the photo or are the front forks slightly bent?
When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments- Elizabeth West.
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Re: SPEEDWELL lightweight

Postby Johnj » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:17 pm

This is a repaint. An original Speedwell paintjob would have normally included a Bennett & Wood sticker on the seat tube. Like this (late 1950s) example:
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Earlier Speedwells used a sticker that included a depiction of the factory in Pitt St (sorry no examples immediately to hand).

The "S" on the headtube looks suspiciously like the one in this thread. Examine the sprayed logo on the seat tube. It may say "Reno By" (or something similar) with the name of the shop that refurbished it. Serial number anywhere?

Nice bike, probably late-1940s early 1950s. It has Osgear dropouts, brazed mudguard fittings, brazed cable guides (or cable stops?), twin-plate fork crown. Forks do look a little bent however.
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Re: SPEEDWELL lightweight

Postby Clydesdale Scot » Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:39 pm

Johnj wrote:...
The "S" on the headtube looks suspiciously like the one in this thread. Examine the sprayed logo on the seat tube. It may say "Reno By" (or something similar) with the name of the shop that refurbished it. Serial number anywhere?
Nice bike, probably late-1940s early 1950s.
....


The painted "S" in the link was to a Spearman. Spearman Cycles (shop at Wollongong) sold both Spearman and Speedwell branded cycles and had "Reconditioned Cycles" (source: South Coast Times 24 July 1958 p32). Might be a possible explanation.
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Re: SPEEDWELL lightweight

Postby WyvernRH » Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:46 pm

Like JohnJ says it has been repainted professionally by somebody at some point. Interestingly it has the 'high' braze-ons for mudguards which are very uncommon on Australian bikes (in my experience anyway) but very common on British bikes from the 30's to the late 50's. It has a 'continental' style headset so I would say it dates from the early 50's at the earliest.
I would disagree with JohnJ over the rear dropouts. I don't think they are actual Osgear dropouts as they do not have the 'front' position, they look more like Cyclo or early Huret dropouts with the tang being there preventing the wheel hitting the forward mounted gear when taking the wheel out. Could still be used for Osgear of course! I would be interested to know if there is any evidence of a braze-on to hold a gear being removed from the r/h seat stay just in front of the dropout? If not, given there is a single cable guide on the down tube near the bottom bracket John might well be right about it being fitted with Osgear (or simular) originally as Osgears were rarely brazed on but Cyclo's especially tended to more often have the mount brazed on. But then, maybe the owner just didn't want to limit his choice of gear and used a clamp on mount. Cyclo, Huret Super Champion to name a few all had clamp-on models that mounted in front of the dropout.
In the UK riders very often preferred not to tie there new frame into a specific manufacturer's gear requirements by fitting gear specific braze-ons and dropouts when clamp-on models were available.
Are there any frame numbers visible anywhere? What model is the headset?
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Re: SPEEDWELL lightweight

Postby Johnj » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:46 pm

WyvernRH wrote:It has a 'continental' style headset so I would say it dates from the early 50's at the earliest.
I would disagree with JohnJ over the rear dropouts. I don't think they are actual Osgear dropouts as they do not have the 'front' position, they look more like Cyclo or early Huret dropouts with the tang being there preventing the wheel hitting the forward mounted gear when taking the wheel out. Could still be used for Osgear of course! I would be interested to know if there is any evidence of a braze-on to hold a gear being removed from the r/h seat stay just in front of the dropout? If not, given there is a single cable guide on the down tube near the bottom bracket John might well be right about it being fitted with Osgear (or simular) originally as Osgears were rarely brazed on but Cyclo's especially tended to more often have the mount brazed on.


Mmm, I didn't mean to suggest it had an Osgear fitted, I was just using "Osgear dropouts" in a generic sense. I presume the single cable guides are original, so this bike has been built to accommodate a wide range of derailleurs from new eg Cyclo Benelux, Huret, Simplex, Osgear etc. Folks with more money in Australia started using Campagnolo dropouts by the mid-late 50s.

The mudguard fittings are identical to a "Clem Eagle" (repainted frame) I've got. I'll have to look to see if the lugs match.
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Re: SPEEDWELL lightweight

Postby rollin » Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:57 am

Thanks for the imput, the seat tube paint has been done after your right,
No serial I could find, and it has had a front ender, so will hang her up in the shed..
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