The last day of the spring heatwave and I’m out early, spinning on the Shogun, before the worst of the furnace.
It’s still chuck out season here, but there’s slim pickings so far. Yet something made me double back, and in the last dead end of the last street, with council pickup trucks circling ominously, I spotted this bike.
Always a sucker for an old loop frame I did the time trial thing back to the van and, dripping with perspiration, returned to the scene.
It was still there !
Sadly, it has been repainted and covered with cheap looking “Belmont” decals, so I may never know what it was. It is a typical old Aussie bike with 28″ ( that’s the 642mm version } 700A wheels.
While the front wheel is 32H the rear is a 36H, rather than the typical 40H, and sports a Shimano coaster brake. The rims and other chrome have been silver over-painted.
The frame looks pre-1950s to me and I wondered if the wheels were updated later, yet the front hub sports an oil port, and the locking flanges match the fork perfectly.
I’m certain that both the hand brakes are late additions, and of course the plastic saddle and the chromed fenders are too.
In fact, I’m beginning to think that the old bike was refurbished around the mid 1970s and given a new back wheel.
The front hub is a Bayliss-Wiley – probably original – and there is paint on the rim underneath the silver that is not present on the rear.
Other interesting features include a patterned cut away aluminium ( ! ) chain guard, the unusual horizontal rear drop outs, the elegantly curved handlebars with their dainty short cut-off and stubby green Italian plastic grips. The seat stays are bolted to the drop-outs but fixed to the seat tube. I have seen similar drop-outs on 1930s bikes and I’m now thinking that this frame may be the oldest one in my collection.
As a project it will be a lot of hard work, but could make a great looking ride once I lose that horrid blue house-paint colour !
Already I’ve had to drill out the frozen cotter pins and the fixed bottom bracket cup ain’t goin’ nowhere either… but it does look to be in good shape at least.
Thinking, thinking …
See Ya !