Ask the Experts......... [bicycle history]

Discussion in 'Antique Motorized Bicycles' started by srdavo, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. srdavo

    srdavo Active Member

    Note: I high-jacked JE's thread with the following question....it wasn't my intention.....Sorry!
    then it struck me....we have Experts, among us. serious collectors. Historians!!
    So.... I started this thread. if anyone has questions or info, about our beloved Bicycles & their manufacturing History.....ask/post here. I trust our humble Experts will have answers and/or links to find the answers.

    I'll start it off.............

    tell me...what do ya know about this one....? Firestone..boy's..20 incher.
    the rear tire has been replaced.....the front tire is a Firestone!
    somebody has painted the rims gold.....?

    I'm guessing late 50's to early 60's, due to the lack of ape hangers & banana seat.

    do you know who manufactured bikes for Firestone? I've had several....thanks
     

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    Last edited: Dec 13, 2008

  2. KilroyCD

    KilroyCD Active Member

    Dave, a number of manufacturers made bikes for Firestone, notably Columbia / Westfield and Murray. That said, your Firestone is neither a Murray or a Columbia. The chainguard screams Huffy, yet the forks seem to indicate Roadmaster (Cleveland Welding). The peaked fenders are also a Roadmaster trait, so I'm inclined to think it's a Roadmaster. I'm not sure if Roadmaster was still technically CW by that time, as it looks new enough to be produced when Roadmaster was under the AMF umbrella.
     
  3. JE

    JE Guest

    Yea I'm thinking roadmaster. Monark also made Firstone Bikes.
     
  4. srdavo

    srdavo Active Member

    Thanks for the info, guys. I've spent the last couple hours googling AMF Roadmaster. found some cool stuff on Ebay, too.
    Looks like the "peaked" fenders went away, in the early 60's. So I mighta been close in guessing late 50's.

    thanks again.

    on a side note...looks like Schwinn was in bed with Roadmaster at some point:
    roadmasterby schwinn.JPG
    http://cgi.ebay.com/SCHWINN-ROADMAS...5|66:2|65:12|39:1|240:1318|301:0|293:1|294:50
     
  5. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    Okay. While we're at it, let's see if anyone knows anything about my bike. It's a Columbia ten speed. I replaced the fork with something more modern that would accept a mountain bike wheel. From the looks of it's construction and paint, decals, etc., I'd guess that it came out of the early to mid 70s. One thing about it that was curious is that the front derailleur worked opposite to most; you pulled the cable to shift into lower gears and "pushed" the cable to shift higher. Just like most rears. I can't give a brand name, I took it off and threw it away when I installed my engine.

    I'm wondering if this was really of Columbia manufacture or if it's a Taiwanese or Korean bike.
     
  6. JE

    JE Guest

    Schwinn built a double bar roadster in 1936.
     
  7. KilroyCD

    KilroyCD Active Member

    A photo would be nice, but if it's early to mid 70s, the chances are really good that it was US made.
     
  8. KilroyCD

    KilroyCD Active Member


    Dave, the Firestone is a neat bike, but the one that really piques my interest is the balloon tire bike with the blue and cream trim that there is just a tantalizing amount of showing in the first two photos.
     
  9. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    There is a photo of it in my "Picture Gallery" posting from last spring.

    But while we're at it, can anyone advise me how to place one of those links in my posts?

    I have no idea.

    but I have my answer, anyway. Probably US made. That's nice. Thanks, Kilroy.
    I suppose it's likely to be among the last true Columbias. They're not around anymore, are they?
     
  10. srdavo

    srdavo Active Member

    hah...I've posted it here a couple time...It's a 1952 BF Goodrich, Schwinn built

    bfg schwinn.JPG2.JPG bfg schw2.JPG1.JPG

    it's not mine.....yet!! hahaha

    the handgrips are Western Flyer..... :annoyed:
     
  11. KilroyCD

    KilroyCD Active Member

    Ah yes, I have seen a pic or two of that bike before. Classic early '50s woman's BFG by Schwinn. The hand grips are easy to replace, Memory Lane Classics (www.memorylane-classics.com) will have the Schwinn script grips.
     
  12. KilroyCD

    KilroyCD Active Member

    Believe it or not, Columbia is still around. They stopped making bikes here in the US a few years ago when the last of the 125th Anniversary Model F9T "Superb" reissues rolled off the production line. http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z21/KilroyCD/My Bikes/125thAnnivBike.jpg
    They still market bikes, though they are all made overseas now. Here's their current line up: http://www.columbiamfginc.com/models.html
     
  13. uncle_punk13

    uncle_punk13 Guest

    in the early sixties Huffy began manufacturing for firestone. in the late fifties and early sixties (middleweight bikes) huffy used peaked fenders. The c\haingaurd is amf/roadmaster. The forks could be any of those- Murray, Huffy, AMF. I know Huffy's because I collect them and have an affinity for them. Though I love any old bikes, My first bike was a huffy, and so I collect them and the company is very good and helpful with any questions, as well as sending catalog pics and info based on serial/model #'s.
    Sorry got off topic there. I'd say the bike in question is an AMF... :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2008
  14. KilroyCD

    KilroyCD Active Member

    I have three Huffmans (the company later became Huffy) in my collection, with this one soon to be restored and sold to a friend. http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z21/KilroyCD/My Bikes/100_0520.jpg
    I have one Huffy, a 20" girl's bike and it's my "Christmas Bike": http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z21/KilroyCD/My Bikes/100_0584.jpg
     
  15. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    My goodness, that "anniversary" model sure is a beauty........

    Mom.....I think I know what I want for Christmas........
     
  16. JE

    JE Guest

    I sure like those Huffmans. i'd like to find a prewar Huffman to add to the collecton.
     
  17. uncle_punk13

    uncle_punk13 Guest

    A while back I sold a ladies Huffman Thunderbolt... Cool bike. Yeah Huffy Went from Dayton, to Dayton-Huffman, to Huffman, To Huffy... I have a brief historic overview somewhere around here. Of course so does the company on their website.
    The holy grail of Huffman (for me anyway) is the model 90- A purpose built bike for the Whizzer. It featured a slightly modified frame for belt/sheave clearance, notched fender for belt clearance, and special crank to clear the crankcase and belt guard. Also included were heavy duty Morrow rear coaster brake, New Departure front brake, and .120 spokes. This was a post war bike made around 1948/1949.
    The company today is great with helping us vintage nuts. They will send color copies from their catalog archives of the model you may be working on, giving you the year, model, etc. Great company IMHO; and their frames are still higher quality than the other department store bikes.
    :cowboy2:
     
  18. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    It's nice to hear stuff like this about Huffy. I always had the notion that their stuff was not top-of-the-line, but I couldn't see any reason to despise them either. But there are folks who look down their noses at Huffy.

    It's nice to see that this company is deserving of some respect. I think that a Huffy Cranbrook is sounding better and better all the time.
     
  19. uncle_punk13

    uncle_punk13 Guest

    Let 'em be snobbish- keeps the prices down for guys like me... LOL!
    The cranbrook is not bad, as far as the frame, but the fenders cannot be used in motorizing!!! There have been many reported instances of the fender stays breaking loose and going into the spokes, fender into tire, etc. I recomend Wald replacements, as a structurally sound replacement fender. Make sure to use the stamped fender stays and not the rod type...
    My recomendation is also to modify the frame for strength- Braze gusset plate at the head tube, and braze the crimped stays to dropout connections. Also never drill holes in the tubing, as this severely weakens the structural integrity of ANY tubing... You prolly already knew all that but I felt need of stating it anyway. Huffy's are a higher end department store machine and I for one will always love 'em. Sure there were many bikes of higher quality, but more middle class and lower income kids had Huffy's and loved 'em to death.
     
  20. uncle_punk13

    uncle_punk13 Guest

    On another 'Dept. Store Bike' note...

    I just finished up a 1958 Ladies 'Foremost' Middleweight bike.
    This was a Murray built bike sold through JC Penny's department stores.
    I am amazed at how good this 50 year old bike looked once I got all the caked on, dried up grease and dirt off. Polished the chrome, new fenders and tires,tightened the spokes and trued the wheels- and, well, it's a real beauty queen! The original whitewall tires, though age cracked still held air. On the whitewall are the words' Foremost' and 'Penney's'.
    Anyone who has had much experience with vintage cycles will know well what I mean when I say that caked, dried, and varnished grease was a real bear to clean out of the hubs, and bottom bracket... *grins*
    But some carb cleaner and a soft brass bristle brush, along with a gentle (yet firm) touch, and it rides like a dream. 24 hours of hard labor feels so rewarding when at the end of it all you look upon this new lease on life, gleaming and glittering in the cold winter sun.
    Murray made darn good bikes too, I've had (and still have) a few. They built the J.C. Higgins line for Sears, amongst others including some Western Flyers, sold through Western Auto stores...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2008