BIKE Identfication Help.

Discussion in 'BIKE I.D. & VALUATION QUESTIONS' started by cman, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. cman

    cman Moderator

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    Starting this to help ID bikes. This post will contain links to serial number datatbases, pictures and anything else that will help to ID your old bike. This will be a work in progress so PM me any info you have that may help. Most links will be for outside sites.

    1. Find the serial number on the bike. Locations- under BB, dropouts, headtube, seatpost clamp.
    Serial Number Databases

    2. Look for a brand name on headbadge or chainguard. The brand name is not always the manufacture.
    Manufacture/Brands

    3. Sometime looking at pictures or catalogs may help.
    Catalog and Picture Databases

    4. Or look for characteristic on the bike to help find manufacture. Pics of dropouts, forks, badges, seat cluster
    Bike frame characteristics
     
  2. cman

    cman Moderator

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  3. cman

    cman Moderator

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    Re: BIKE Identfication Help.- Who Made It?

    Manufactures like Shelby, CWC and Murray made bikes for Sears, Montgomery Wards, etc.... Look for Brand names on chainguards and headbadges then find the manufacture below.

    Shelby
    - Hiawatha (years)


    CWC
    -Hiawatha (years)

    Murray
    -Sears
    -Elgin
    -Hiawatha

    Westfield
    -Columbia
    -Elgin
     
  4. cman

    cman Moderator

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  5. cman

    cman Moderator

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    Re: BIKE Identfication Help.- Bike Characteristics

    Pictures of tell-tale signs of manufacture- I need detailed pictures of dropouts, seat cluster, forks, headbadge etc...

    Example Murray dropouts are pointy. {PIC}
     
  6. deorman

    deorman

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    Here's typical 50's-early 60's Columbia dropouts, kickstand bracket, and continuous top tube, courtesy of Maddogrider's rrbo4 entry.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. NLCTVWguy

    NLCTVWguy Rollin' on 20's Moderator

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    So many bikes of the types we are interested in have lost identifying marks. It does become necessary to do this kind of cross-referencing to identify what it is that you have found.

    Once these basics are complete, hopefully we can get into some specifics within brands that will help identify years of manufacture more closely. For example, nearly all manufacturers changed their metal headbadges to foil stickers at some point in the later years of American production or as Taiwan or Chinese production begins. My own pile of Columbia frames shows a few different styles of headbadges as well as frame construction.

    Some little bits of knowledge I've picked up over the years:

    Schwinn was unique in their "Electro-forged" frame construction that produced the smooth curves of the tubes meeting the head tube.
    Other joints made on the bike may be rough, but the frame head is always smooth and rounded. Some of the 10-speed bikes of the classic era, however used Japanese frames (Panasonic built) and these would be lugged frames (typically LeTour and some World or Traveler models).

    Columbia made bicycles other than lightweights often feature that distinct rear hoop behind the seat post, as shown in the above picture. The only other example I know of for this arched top chainstay design is on the Vista bicycles. You can see that design on a Vista Torino 500 20" bike on my site: http://www.bareiss.net/bikesale.html

    Ross bicycles (Chain Bicycle Co. of NY) often use a twin top tube design. Most of the boys 20" models used this, except the chopper-style Apollos. This design extends the top chainstays all the way to the headtube, and a second pair of cantilever bars runs parallel below these. Multi speed models up to '73 may have a shifter bracket welded under the top tubes. Ross Barracudas are an example of this style.

    Columbia used different brand hubs on the same model bikes. I have had several ladies Columbia Sports 3's, mostly with Sturmey Archer AW hubs, but 1 had a Shimano coaster 3 hub. All these bikes appeared to be 100% original.

    Huffy built bikes for the Grants department stores. I have examples of identical components and frame designs on Huffy-badged and Grants-badged bicycles. Huffy at one time also sold "The Wheel" and other "rail" type 20" chopper bicycles to Sears. These and the more common Murray bikes may be badged as Free Spirits.

    Murray built many bikes that ended up with other brand names. A friend owns a totally original 1959 26" men's cruiser badged as a "Fleetwing" with Murray "M" decals on the seat post and Cleveland Welding marks on the bike in various places.

    Coaster hubs: this is better documented in other places, but a quick summary of the common Bendix hubs is always helpful. By 1982, the Bendix hubs seem to have been replaced with Shimano coasters. Bendix 76 hubs are used from late 76 on (1977 up models). Bendix 70 hubs appear in late 1970 for 1971 to 76 models. Prior to that, there are different versions of the Red Band hub. The RB2 model was in use from 1966 or 67 to 1970. There is also a RB "Junior" hub made concurrently to these for children's bikes, but I do not have firm production dates on these.

    When dealing with any "unknown" bike, it's always helpful to take apart major assemblies and search for casting info or engraved dates or manufacturer codes. For example, a Schwinn one-piece crank will have a date code forged right into it. Early models (mid 50's or earlier) may only say "AS&CO". Later ones, like the crank on my workshop table right now give the date code this way: SA 6 69 , a June 1969 crank. The SA as I understand it means "Schwinn Ashtabula", Ashtabula being the company that actually did the forgings for Schwinn for their cranks, forks, and stems. Likewise, with many components, date codes can be found or decoded to narrow down the build date of the bicycle. Handlebars, cranks, forks, pedals, tires, hubs, stems, rims, and sometimes even bearings can give up date codes to help determine what it is you have found.

    This looks like it will be a valuable tool to the forum. Hope lots of good info lands here. We're off to a good start.

    --Rob
     
  8. memonster89

    memonster89

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    so i just scored this bike for 45 bux
    i think its a 1971 Schwinn Varsity. it still has the original Schwinn Tubular rims, the inscribed hubs and the whole shabang.
    i just need someone to confirm it is a 1971 or older/newer[​IMG]
     
  9. deorman

    deorman

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  10. Outlaw90

    Outlaw90

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    Okay so heres a challenge that my wife and i have been trying to figure out for about 2 months and we are stumped. its a sweet bike we just wish we knew what it was. the only readable thing on the headbadge says MTD products in very small print on the very top of the badge. Heres a picture of it. The forks also have a hole maybe for a front brake?
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Rustinkerer

    Rustinkerer

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    ROLLFAST/SNYDER BIKES

    Rollfast was a brand name, owned by the D.P. harris Hardware co. They made ball bearings, and roller skates. Somewhere around 1930, they started selling bikes, but contracted the Snyder co. to build them. Snyder also built a lot of Hawthornes for Ward's, as well as Amrican Flyer, Keystone, Yale, Peerless, and several other badges. Classic Bicycle News has published a Rollfast book, covering these bikes from 1932-1958. So, there's some information, and catalog pages that help narrow down the year. There's no serial # list for any of these, though our Intrepid ID Guru, Phil/rms37 has found that late prewar bikes have the year stamped in reverse on the BB, ie 04-1940. The twin bar frame came out in late 1958 or early 59. They phased out their 5 spoke chainring and started using one similar to Murray's, except it had triangular cutouts in the center. The series started out with the round bullseye badge, and transitioned to the big R badge, likely in the early 60s. Sometime in the mid 60s, they changed the chainguard style from the JC Higgins-esque style to a smaller, angular guard. And in the later 60s, they went to a white badge decal, and a three spoke chainring with holes in the spokes. The company closed down in 1976. -Adam

    This is an early 70s model, with the later style chainguard, chainring, and decal badge.
    [​IMG]
     
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  12. kngtmat

    kngtmat

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    Dang, I was going to ask to finally find out what year my Rollfast was that has a Murray type sprocket.
     
  13. viejitos48

    viejitos48

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    i have a texas rangerette bike with the id on the bottom "R011908"
    im trying to find out what year it is but i cant could anybody help thanks... :D
     
  14. mos6502

    mos6502

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    Start a new thread and post a picture. It may be an AMF product, but maybe not, the model name was in use for a long time.
     
  15. Old Marin

    Old Marin

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    I have an old Marin Mountain bike and would like to figure out what year it was manufactured. Any clues? It has the "SHORT REACH " shifters coupled with the brake lever. Also in need of the left hand or the high end shifter assembly.
     
  16. letthemusicflow

    letthemusicflow

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    Spent the past hour browsing over this forum and other sites trying to find the model year for my Huffy cruiser. I'm thinking it's 1990's or 2000s. Number begins with KK and I haven't found any info on such a serial number anywhere. Bike was stripped and repainted so no markings. No model number. Serial is KK23C14484.
    Thanks

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mdphotogra ... 254796997/
     
  17. 80sbikedude

    80sbikedude

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    Still trying to figure out what year the Flyer is I have.........really wanting to know. :) Narrowed it to late 60's or early 70's........have a thread in the Bike ID forum. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance. 80s
     
  18. deorman

    deorman

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    1984
     
  19. mgcustombikes

    mgcustombikes

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    i got a sears roebuck spyder mark 7 but i am not sure of the year i think it is a 67 but i am not totaly sure the serial number is 507-477221 please help! i also found 9H147590
     
  20. mgcustombikes

    mgcustombikes

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    i have a sears roebuck spyder mark 7 there were two numbers on it 507-477221 and 9h147590
     

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