This Shelby Flyer had been on the “to-do” list for a couple of years and finally got into the workstand a week ago. Whenever possible we prefer to refurbish rather than restore which means dealing with the limitations of the original paint, parts and such. The Shelby is an excellent example of a bike that’s rough but still has much of its character intact. In other words, a bike worth preserving.
The Flyer received a complete tear down/overhaul and throughout the process every effort was made to get it looking as good as possible. What you see is the end-result after more than 12 hours invested in the bike. There may not be a dramatic difference from what it looked like when it arrived here, but that’s how it goes at times. You work with what’s left and smile when it’s done.
This ride has always been a favorite, in no small part because the halfway point is a great stop. Snowshoe Thompson built his home against a little stream which burbles through Diamond Valley near Woodfords, Ca. There are three (count ‘em, three) monuments to ol’ Snowshoe on the site, just so nobody ever forgets where he lived.
Fluff and I made the loop a couple weeks ago, riding a 30th Anniversary Della Santa and 1984 Fuji Touring III, respectively. It was an unfair match-up from the get-go, as the “3″ had 15 pounds on the DS.
This Rollfast, which until recently lived in Pennsylvania is fresh of the Buzz Bomb workstand. Apart from crusty tires and a little rust, the bike was in wonderful condition. After some buffing and shining the paint is as good as we’ve run across and the Troxel saddle looks virtually new.
Our favorite part of this streamlined beauty is the transition between the tank and the rear carrier. It’s about as seamless and slippery as any bike we’ve ever seen. We’re also quite fond of the twin headlights. …And the Persons reflectors. …And the tank itself. Lots of shiny metal to look at here.
The bike runs like a champ, which isn’t always the case with these old balloon-tire bikes. With all the mass and extra sheet metal they often creak, groan and rattle. Not this one, though; it’s quiet as a mouse.
A couple of acknowledgements: Thanks to Mark from Bike Line of Lancaster for such an amazing packing job. Also a thank you to Addison, Casey, Dan and Greg of the Reno Ramblers for escorting the Rollfast on its maiden voyage. Only, next time can we avoid the hills? 60+ pounds of bike climbs under much protest.
We ran across these photos the other day of the Elgin we restored with Ed Gresham. It was one of those bikes that nearly every balloon-tire collector in Reno had owned at one point or another, just one of those that seemed to float around but never got worked on.
Thankfully, Ed decided to dive into it in the late 1990′s and gave it a good going over. It’s a simple, yet stylish prewar ballooner.
Around the shop, fall is the time when bikes are always getting moved around to make room for winter storage. This old fixed gear was in transition from one garage to another so we took photos of it while it was out. It was originally found in a shed in Silver Springs, NV of all places, about as far away from a velodrome as it could ever get. It’s amazing that the Lobdell wood rims didn’t cook during the many summers it sat in storage. Thankfully they (and the rest of the bike) weathered pretty well.
As far as what it is, we’re not really sure about the manufacturer or year of the bike. It has New Departure hubs which were pretty standard on bikes in the 1930′s-1940′s so there’s a hint if they’re actually original to the bike. It also has reverse dropouts so it looks like it was a purpose-built track bike rather than a simple conversion. Hopefully some helpful reader will chime in with some information.
On its way from Pennsylvania is this nice old Rollfast. Among its many virtues are the various aftermarket headlights, the most we’ve seen mounted on a bike.
God and FedEx willing, it’ll arrive here safe and sound sometime in mid-October. Then it’s into the shop for an overhaul and cleaning. If all goes well it’ll be ready for a Thanksgiving Day ride (burgundy bikes being our favorites on “Turkey Day”. That whole cranberry sauce reference and all.) That gives us time to start stocking up on “D” batteries (the bike will need 8).
Bikes with Morrow rear hubs are always a pleasure to ride and this Schwinn-built Lincoln is certainly no exception. Initially there was a little hesitation due to its grease turning to ear wax, but a little Mobil-1 down the oil hole and all is well again…
The Lincoln is a recent arrival, one of the few Schwinns in the long-term collection. It was previously owned by a collector who redid most of the brightwork so it’s about as shiny as they come.