Help identify this old bike

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by silverbear, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Went shopping at the landfill the other day and pulled this out because it looked old. I realized that the upper cross tube went nice and low like the old Schwinn step through bikes. I've been thinking about doing a build on a 24" bike for a smaller person, maybe a lady so I'm thinking maybe this one. It has been painted along the way so there are no decals to help identify it. The chain guard is distinctive if anybody recognizes it. Front fork is like the one on my 34 Elgin. Rim width is 1.175. The bike is heavy and appears to be well made. Serial # is 5H237115 and was located next to the rear axle on the left hand side... on the dropout I think it's called. Can anybody help?
    Silverbear
     

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  2. Bikeguy Joe

    Bikeguy Joe Godfather of Motorized Bicycles

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    My guess is "Roadmaster".
     
  3. Kevlarr

    Kevlarr New Member

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    Yea, looks like an older version Schwinn I got my fenders from.
     

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  4. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    it's definitely not a schwinn. you can tell by the welds. from the rear triangle, it looks like a Hawthorne, but it could be a number of different brands, all made by Cleveland Welding. i don't think the chainguard belongs, but i dunno, i can't recall seeing one like that before. front chainrings are usually a good way to figure out bikes, but yours is just a standard Wald sprocket, that were found on tons of bikes back then.

    date-wise, i'd say maayyybe, late 50's, early 60's.

    what kind of coaster brake does it have? any other brand names on the rims, or anywhere else?
     
  5. Kevlarr

    Kevlarr New Member

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  6. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    I agree that it isn't a Schwinn. I don't recall seeing a front fork like that on any Schwinn I've seen. I don't recognize the chain guard either and until I start stripping the paint (if I choose to work with this bike) I won't know if it belongs or not. I'm guessing there were three major brands of bicycle in this area in times past. Schwinn and the offerings of Sears and Wards. The front fork looks like some I've seen on JC Higgins and even older Elgin bikes. I'm less familiar with the Hawthorne models, but I think you could well be right. I'm sure there was a Wards mail order catalog store around here. Lots of bikes were sold by mail order back when in rural areas. Wards and Sears catalogs were the great wish books.
    I've been cruising eBay to see if anything looks the same. It's that chain guard thats bugging me. The coaster brake is Bendix. I'll look tomorrow to see if there's anything on the wheels. I kind of like it and can see a HT motor sitting down low on that frame. I was thinking the same thing... 50's to early 60's.
    SB
     
  7. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    i'm curious as to how those women's... i mean "step-through," bikes hold up with an engine on them. i've had a few old girl's... i mean "drop bar," bikes like that before, and they would wobble like crazy just pedaling them around. riding standing up, i could shake the handlebars back and forth, and the whole bike would shimmy like a wave going through it.

    definitely wouldn't hold up to the abuse i put on my bikes.
     
  8. DonnnN

    DonnnN New Member

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    They hold up quite well actually.. i built one..
     
  9. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    So far my only experience is with 63 Schwinn Americans and both have been solid bikes. On the other hand I just ride them on either paved or logging roads and watch what I'm doing. Mine are not mountain bikes so I try to be fairly careful. I don't know, I suppose I'm pretty easy on a bike. I'll be doing a build on a 39 Elgin step through this winter so my 'research' will continue. Part of my interest in step through models is that being an elder I would like to do builds for kids my own age. Most will not be doing jumps or trying to go as fast as possible. Mounting the bike is an issue for elders. I also want it be be comfortable to ride, good brakes, easy to start.
    SB
     
  10. scabz24

    scabz24 New Member

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    do to the shadow left by the headtube badge I would say its a jc higgans,although most of the unidentifyable bikes I get from the trash I tend to brand as a crappymccraperton ltd.
     
  11. Bikeguy Joe

    Bikeguy Joe Godfather of Motorized Bicycles

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    I have three of those here!
     
  12. Zev0

    Zev0 New Member

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    It is definatly a Hawthorne. I have a 1951 mans and everything looks the same except for the stepthrough of course. Even the shadow where the label used to be is the same shape. Yepper, it's a Hawthorne. Made by Cleveland Welding Company, for Montgomery Wards.
     
  13. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Excellent! Do you have a picture of yours by chance? Now I can look for a Hawthorne data base and see if I can trace the serial number and come up with a year. Thanks.
    SB
     
  14. solomon503

    solomon503 New Member

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    western flyer??
     
  15. dag_29307

    dag_29307 New Member

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    here's an old ad I found online for Wards.If you look at the top two bikes you will see the "ladies" bike in the inset pic. looks a lot like what you have there The only difference is the chain guard. Front forks, dual down tube even the fenders look the same.

    Sorry had to crop pic to fit here's link for original......1939 ss wards pg624a
     

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    #15 dag_29307, May 21, 2010
    Last edited: May 21, 2010

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