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Meet “Barney”, The 1898 Glenwood

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Meet “Barney”, The 1898 Glenwood

Old 02-16-20, 03:03 PM
  #51  
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No headbadge so I have no idea of maker. I’d guess the date to be around 1890’s. Mine still has beautiful scroll work. The fork stands were on it and I couldn’t figure out what they were for. The look like bmx platforms. I was told the were used when going downhill and the fixed rearend was moving to fast.











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Old 02-16-20, 03:29 PM
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^^^^ Grease zerks on the BB shell?
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Old 02-16-20, 03:45 PM
  #53  
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Those fork stands (foot pegs?) are cool, and would make a lot of sense, as you described. 🙂
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Old 02-16-20, 05:07 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by sloar View Post
No headbadge so I have no idea of maker. I’d guess the date to be around 1890’s. Mine still has beautiful scroll work. The fork stands were on it and I couldn’t figure out what they were for. The look like bmx platforms. I was told the were used when going downhill and the fixed rearend was moving to fast.










Yours looks to be 1890’s and one that never had the coaster brake upgrade, a truly untouched bike from the bike boom. Nice find. How did you find this?

I like the pegs. My son is a fixie rider and would like his feet up on descents. Definately makes sense to have them.
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Old 02-17-20, 05:10 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
And I didn’t need a Campy NR pat. 76 derailleur.
I'm sure the original "Barney" didn't, either!
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Old 02-17-20, 06:49 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
I'm sure the original "Barney" didn't, either!
Or cables or calipers or shifters or..... I’m not used to this level of simplicity.
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Old 02-17-20, 12:23 PM
  #57  
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I wouldn't be, either!
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Old 02-18-20, 07:50 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
Yours looks to be 1890’s and one that never had the coaster brake upgrade, a truly untouched bike from the bike boom. Nice find. How did you find this?

I like the pegs. My son is a fixie rider and would like his feet up on descents. Definately makes sense to have them.
I dunno, this kinda gives me the willies! If I'm screaming downhill, say in Northern Michigan or (much worse!) in the Rockies, with feet up and the pedals are spinning too fast to keep my feet up, then I have no braking available except for maybe foot-dragging. With the spinning toothed pedals I would get my shins and angles beat to heck trying to get my feet back on. If I can't get some part of my body in the way of the pedals I cannot slow down, and a high-quality light bike will keep accelerating ... you are out of control and will speed up until the grade reverses or you crash.

I'd rather have a front brake for road riding - also was there such a thing as a switchable freewheel? A fixed mode and a freewheel mode? I can see back-torquing for controlling speed, but not after it has greatly increased. Seems like fixed riders are responsible for controlling coasting speed, preventing the bike from getting out of control.

I presume "path racers" were somehow better suited for downhill riding - did they have special features for safer downhilling?

I see a new reason why in old photos of Major Taylor and other early racing greats, their hands had a very firm grip on the bars!

Or maybe I'm missing something about how to ride safely on a fixed-gear?

All of the above is even more so for a high-wheeler, with its disadvantageous weight distribution - no wonder Mark Twain closed his praise for the bicycle with "if you survive!"
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Old 02-18-20, 11:18 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
I dunno, this kinda gives me the willies! If I'm screaming downhill, say in Northern Michigan or (much worse!) in the Rockies, with feet up and the pedals are spinning too fast to keep my feet up, then I have no braking available except for maybe foot-dragging. With the spinning toothed pedals I would get my shins and angles beat to heck trying to get my feet back on. If I can't get some part of my body in the way of the pedals I cannot slow down, and a high-quality light bike will keep accelerating ... you are out of control and will speed up until the grade reverses or you crash.

I'd rather have a front brake for road riding - also was there such a thing as a switchable freewheel? A fixed mode and a freewheel mode? I can see back-torquing for controlling speed, but not after it has greatly increased. Seems like fixed riders are responsible for controlling coasting speed, preventing the bike from getting out of control.

I presume "path racers" were somehow better suited for downhill riding - did they have special features for safer downhilling?

I see a new reason why in old photos of Major Taylor and other early racing greats, their hands had a very firm grip on the bars!

Or maybe I'm missing something about how to ride safely on a fixed-gear?

All of the above is even more so for a high-wheeler, with its disadvantageous weight distribution - no wonder Mark Twain closed his praise for the bicycle with "if you survive!"
My son only unclipped on safe descents where it was all clear to wind ‘er up and let ‘er fly.
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Old 02-19-20, 08:28 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
My son only unclipped on safe descents where it was all clear to wind ‘er up and let ‘er fly.
My mind goes back to my motorcycling experiences riding in the Rocky Mountains west of Denver, back in the 1980s. The turns are tight and often blind. Until you are familiar with the road you can't see far enough ahead to verify that the path is safe, and even if you know "tight, blind turn ahead" you can't see around it so you don't know if the County road crews have cleaned the drains by dumping all the vegetation and pebble debris on the road surface. I managed never to fall off the motorcycle or to take it down, but some hard and creative braking ensued. I tried to slow down on such roads, but then was threatened by tailgating pickup drivers, seemingly playing "Dukes of Hazzard!" End result: no more motorcycles in my life!
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Old 02-19-20, 12:40 PM
  #61  
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Barney is awesome!

It is funny, but I agree to a casual observer this bike would look a lot like a thrift store special fixie, the kind a teenager would ride here in LA.

FWIW coaster brakes were a big advance from around the turn of the century. It really killed two birds with one stone. First, they provided coasting via a free wheel; secondly, it provided a reliable brake at the same time. At the time AFAIK a front brake would have typically been a spoon brake rubbing on the front tire.
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Old 02-19-20, 01:15 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
Barney is awesome!

It is funny, but I agree to a casual observer this bike would look a lot like a thrift store special fixie, the kind a teenager would ride here in LA.

FWIW coaster brakes were a big advance from around the turn of the century. It really killed two birds with one stone. First, they provided coasting via a free wheel; secondly, it provided a reliable brake at the same time. At the time AFAIK a front brake would have typically been a spoon brake rubbing on the front tire.
The irony of calling them “safety bikes” when they typically were fixies and didn’t see the coaster brake for quite some time. My 1898 didn’t get the upgrade until some 12-15 years later.
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Old 02-19-20, 01:22 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
My mind goes back to my motorcycling experiences riding in the Rocky Mountains west of Denver, back in the 1980s. The turns are tight and often blind. Until you are familiar with the road you can't see far enough ahead to verify that the path is safe, and even if you know "tight, blind turn ahead" you can't see around it so you don't know if the County road crews have cleaned the drains by dumping all the vegetation and pebble debris on the road surface. I managed never to fall off the motorcycle or to take it down, but some hard and creative braking ensued. I tried to slow down on such roads, but then was threatened by tailgating pickup drivers, seemingly playing "Dukes of Hazzard!" End result: no more motorcycles in my life!
This bike was found not far from Ann Arbor. Just a little northeast from what I’d heard.
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Old 02-19-20, 03:55 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
My 1898 didn’t get the upgrade until some 12-15 years later.
So with no Internet, did the nearby armchair purist pundit actually visit the owner's shop to heap scorn on him for not keeping it original, or did he just send an anonymous telegram?

Actually, it's kind of cool, seeing an over 100-year-old example of scratching the itch to modify, that we all know so well.
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Old 02-19-20, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
So with no Internet, did the nearby armchair purist pundit actually visit the owner's shop to heap scorn on him for not keeping it original, or did he just send an anonymous telegram?

Actually, it's kind of cool, seeing an over 100-year-old example of scratching the itch to modify, that we all know so well.
Someone at TheCabe listed the ads for rat trap pedals of the day. That was in my assessment a popular upgrade of the era. The Glenwood has Pirate brand rat traps that accepted toeclips and straps. When I got the bike there was a petrified toe strap wrapped around the bar stem, perhaps a spare. Bikes were all they had other than a horse. Races popping up everywhere, riding clothes etc etc. Not too different from today in some respects.
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Old 02-20-20, 02:53 PM
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High downhill speeds could happen back when. Limited by rough roads. Limited by tires. On a fixed gear it is possible, at least when young, to pedal at 200rpm. At that speed counter-pedaling doesn't happen, or at least I never did it, but you can counter-pedal at 150rpm. Using a fixed to control speed is heavy work. Very hard to sustain on anything longer than a hill. But not impossible.

I did query both Othon Ochsner, Sr and Jimmy Walthour about scorching (riding downhill with feet up). Othon said Swiss riders had too much sense for that. Jimmy said it was a bit before his time but he had heard old stories. Said it was a good way to get hurt. There is no way to find the pedals again if you take your feet off. Only possibility is to wait until the bike slows down.

Part of the genius of coaster hubs is they require no more bearings than a plain hub. Also they use large bearings rather than the little ones in a freewheel. Bearings were still quite expensive and relatively rough when the coaster came along.

The 'path' in path racer is Brit for track. It just means a track bike. Track races happened on running tracks and on grass so a path racer could look much like a road bike.

The only switchable fixed/free hub I ever heard of was the BSA Duomatic. Which was also a twospeed. Not sure when that was introduced. Pretty simple inside so an early hub could have happened, don't know that it did.
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Old 02-20-20, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
High downhill speeds could happen back when. Limited by rough roads. Limited by tires. On a fixed gear it is possible, at least when young, to pedal at 200rpm. At that speed counter-pedaling doesn't happen, or at least I never did it, but you can counter-pedal at 150rpm. Using a fixed to control speed is heavy work. Very hard to sustain on anything longer than a hill. But not impossible.

I did query both Othon Ochsner, Sr and Jimmy Walthour about scorching (riding downhill with feet up). Othon said Swiss riders had too much sense for that. Jimmy said it was a bit before his time but he had heard old stories. Said it was a good way to get hurt. There is no way to find the pedals again if you take your feet off. Only possibility is to wait until the bike slows down.

Part of the genius of coaster hubs is they require no more bearings than a plain hub. Also they use large bearings rather than the little ones in a freewheel. Bearings were still quite expensive and relatively rough when the coaster came along.

The 'path' in path racer is Brit for track. It just means a track bike. Track races happened on running tracks and on grass so a path racer could look much like a road bike.

The only switchable fixed/free hub I ever heard of was the BSA Duomatic. Which was also a twospeed. Not sure when that was introduced. Pretty simple inside so an early hub could have happened, don't know that it did.
The Atherton on this Glenwood was a welcome sight. No anchor arm, the hub is anchored in the fish tail drop out. This hub is pat. dated 1907, has 3 bearing races and an oil port on the nds end cap. Last summer when contemplating this endeavor, I was imagining the real possibility of a cosmetic preservation knowing full well I don’t care for a fixie in my fleet. If I find the scorcher article I’ll post it. It’s rather entertaining, especially the scorcher police patrol of the day.
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Old 02-20-20, 07:28 PM
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An entertaining article of the life and times of Chicago in the bike boom. Scorchers!!

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/...503-story.html
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Old 02-20-20, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
An entertaining article of the life and times of Chicago in the bike boom. Scorchers!!

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/...503-story.html
""The man or woman who rides a wheel and does not chew gum is now placed somewhat in the position of a freak."

The original Velominati rule?

Neat article. Thanks for posting.
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Old 02-20-20, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by BFisher View Post
""The man or woman who rides a wheel and does not chew gum is now placed somewhat in the position of a freak."

The original Velominati rule?

Neat article. Thanks for posting.
“The Rules” found a birthplace.
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Old 02-20-20, 07:50 PM
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Here is another, my favorite of the era:

https://www.vox.com/2014/7/8/5880931...-about-bicycle

“the condition was "characterized by a hard, clenched jaw and bulging eyes."
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Old 02-20-20, 11:10 PM
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My favorite is from the Trib article -- "I believe that physicians should advise their bachelor clients not to marry any girl who doesn't ride a bicycle." Worked for me; although the other deciding factor was that she drove a manual transmission.

Interesting that they threw out the dollar-a-year registration because it "overstepped its limited taxation powers." Doesn't stop a lot of municipalities from doing so today, although, adjusted for inflation, today it's a bargain by comparison (here, it's $10 / 4 years).

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