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).