Ok, this might not be a bike that can be called "Classic", but I think that we can agree that it is "Vintage". Some time ago I posted a thread about identifiying an old Swede, see here. I hesitated for a while, knowing that it had already been repainted. Would there be some major problems? Around this part of the world old bikes surface very rarely, and I thought that I'll take a risk and make an offer. I'll need a project to keep myself busy during the long winter, and this one could be an adventure. My offer was accepted, and I got the bike today.
The bike is a Crescent, and said to be from the 1940's. So far I've not found any way to verify this. The serial number is 1997307. At least the drive-train is very old, a three-speed Simplex. The derailleur is slightly rusty, but seems to be functional. The chainring and cogs are in good shape, and the hubs don't seem too bad. I don't know if the wheels are original or not. The tubulars are a little cracked but hold air. The bottom bracket seems to be quite ok also. Brakes are Super Dural something with Weinmann levers.
The bad part is that it has been repainted rather badly. The color is close to the color that a racing Crescent should be, but the fork and rear triangle have been painted silver. There's something chrome-looking underneath the silver paint. Also the hubs, rims, handlebars etc have been painted. The fork has a couple of dents, which dents are ugly. I don't think that the structural damage is too bad.
Here are some pics. Larger pictures can be seen here.
Notice the funky way the rear derailleur cable has been attached.
No idea. Can anyone identify these wing-nuts?
I'm going to take a very slow approach with this bike. I think that I'll start by stripping off all the components and at least the silver paint, then I might send it to be painted. I hope to have it in a rideable condition before next summer.
Riding: 1960s Falcon commuter; Queued: 1977 Bob Jackson, 1983 Serotta Club Special, 1984 Motobécane Team Champion, 1983 Guerciotti SLX, 1974 Harding (like Holdsworth Pro), 1974 Peugeot PX10LE, 1970s Jeunet Franche-Comté, 1974 Raleigh International
Can't help with the wingnuts, but that sure is a funk-a-delic crank you have! Is it an Ashtabula (one-piece) type with large diameter BB casting? I know Crescent did build some bikes that way. You can fix the RD cable routing with clamp-on cable router (near the BB) and chain-stay cable stop, of course. Silver paint may be covering original cruddy chrome, or might just be a "chrome-alike" look.
Crescent wins the coolest headbadge sweepstakes, in my opinion.
The cranks are one-piece and the BB shell measures 50 mm. It's huge.
After a closer inspection the derailleur is not in as good condition as I initially thought. The lower of the small cogs on it is worn through and does not hold the chain at correct place. This makes it nearly unrideable in current condition. The springs are also quite soft. I know that there's one period-correct NOS Huret derailleur in a LBS. Buying that might be the easiest way forward with the gears.
I took a look underneath the silver paint, and there is chrome on the rear stays and fork.
The case is solved. I stumbled on a Swedish bicycle site and found this. I contacted the site owner, and he told me that it is indeed a Crescent Helracer 200, most likely from late 1930's. A fine example of a similar bike can be seen here. It'll take some time before mine is as beatiful...
It should either have no rear derailleur at all, or a Fichtel & Sachs derailleur. As those are virtually non-existent these days, I will build mine without any kind of rear mech.