Fleetwing questions.

Discussion in 'BIKE I.D. & VALUATION QUESTIONS' started by Retro Flutter, Aug 2, 2019.

  1. Retro Flutter

    Retro Flutter

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2018
    Messages:
    8
    I'm wondering what kind of Fleetwing I got....The bike has no headtube badge and no holes or spots where it looked like there was one riveted or tacked on...or even remnants of one that was peeled off. I'm also in Canada, which may or may not make a difference. I search Fleetwing I get a few results, but nothing matching my bike, really.

    I first thought it was a JC Higgins Fleetwing...as I found a picture of a women's variant of my bike, in the exact same gold/bronze colour, same frame gussets, same seat stay bolted to seatpost collar, same shape chainguard same cranks and chainring, same fenders, heck it even had the same handlebars and white grips mine had when I first got it. Though, mine came with a white/brown Made in Poland Flyte Saddle.

    The only real difference was that my chain guard, doesn't have JC Higgins on it, it just has "SS Fleetwing" the front of my seat tube also has "SS Deluxe" going down it.

    I'm wondering if SS are the brand initials? or if it just means "Single Speed" as that's what this bike originally was.

    As I'd really like to get a headtube badge for this bike, but I wanna know what one I'd need.


    Womens bike vs my bike.


    JCHigginsFleetwing-1.jpg

    P_20190801_144435.jpg

    Close up of badging on seattube and chainguard.

    P_20190801_144929.jpg
     
    Grant, RustyGold and Chad T like this.
  2. RustyGold

    RustyGold

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2015
    Messages:
    2,625
    Location:
    Mid-Willamette Valley, Oregon
    Here is my theory. Cottered ranks and lugged frame points to European...but, it doesn't look Raleigh (although it is definitely Raleigh-inspired :grin:). Fleetwing, was a model name used by Sears...usually a Murray, usually lower end. In ~'56-'57 due to labor issues or bad contract negotiations, or some such stuff...Sears contracted through Stelber (NY company) for W.German built bikes that they would sell under their J.C. Higgins brand (such as the women's bike above). So, I think you have a Stelber built Higgins imported from Germany. You might try looking for the bicycle section in late '50s Sears catalogs for your bike...some are online, but it is hit or miss.
     
  3. Rustinkerer

    Rustinkerer

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Messages:
    3,916
    Location:
    Newton, North Carolina
    Fleetwing was a dept. store brand, going back to the '40s, they sourced bikes from different co.'s. By the mid '60s, they were using mostly imports. They weren't affiliated with Sears, I think the ladies' bike above was customized. Murray's similar sounding model was Fleetline, JCH's was Flightliner. Stelber was a NY Import co, and probably assembled imported parts into bikes. -Adam
     

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