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Is it really a hundred years old?

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Is it really a hundred years old?

Old 02-24-20, 12:15 PM
  #1  
wschellen
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Is it really a hundred years old?

This beautiful bike fell into my hands yesterday and I would love to know more about it. The previous owner, a man in his 70s said he remembers his father talking about courting his mother in the 20s and riding her around on it. It appears to be of very high quality. The tubing is light weight and many of the components are alloy. An interesting sticker on the seat tube indicates that maybe it was restored at some time in the distant past. I would love to know what is original and what is not. The rims are 27", but I imagine they have been replaced. Did it have wooden rims? The tires need to go as they are not the part, but what should I replace them with? Thanks and enjoy.






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Old 02-24-20, 01:07 PM
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Would love to see a full drive-side shot. 100 years ago it would have had wooden, or tin-clad wooden rims.

Edit: I see now your post has a full side shot. For some reason it didn't load the first (and second) time I opened your post. Very cool bike! I would guess 1930's? You may want to post it on The Cabe.
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Old 02-24-20, 01:22 PM
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I'm sure you've googled the postcode to double check! North London, can't find many details, nor on the brand. The lugs look later to me.
(a few mins later)
Just found a hint Bertrand may be Canadian?

Either way, enjoy it and it's provenance.
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Old 02-24-20, 01:48 PM
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Check this out, found after a quick google search:

https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?t=42229

Includes this reply:
"Your Enquire about C Bertrand And Co interests me as the company in its later days was owned by my Father, and mother in law Edgar R G Sage and Winifred Sage.
They purchased the company and property, 654-656a High Road Finghley N12, in, or around 1947. Edgar continued to manufacture cycles well in to the 1950's, but by this time was unable to make a living simply from Bertrand and Co,so he therefore found other employment continuing to make bicycles part time.
By the time I met my wife Carole ( their daughter ) in 1960, Edgar was again running C Bertrand and Co full time, but mainly selling and repairing Motor Cycles, and Scooters, pedal cycles by this time were a very small part of the business.
We still have a Bertrand cycle, and an experimental Tandem in our barn, both in need of serious referb' the cycle is complete, but the tandem is minus wheels.
Should any of this be of interest to you, or you want to clarify any points, please come back to me."

And this link:
https://pedal-trikes.blogspot.com/20...and-trike.html
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Old 02-24-20, 01:49 PM
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Listed on CR under British Isles. No details however.
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Old 02-24-20, 05:11 PM
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The bike in the photos is from the 30's or 40's. For some reason development and production of bicycle components fell off during the years 1939-45 so it is hard to distinguish bikes in that era.

Is the crank a Williams model 1200? Williams products had a date code.

What are the brakes?

The stem looks like a Reynolds girder stem from the late 40's. Perhaps as early as the 30's.

To my eye it's pretty beautiful.

Edit, I see the brake levers are Weinmann, maybe 1960's, so the calipers are probably that as well. The rims look like Dunlop Special Lightweight, which are earlier and I presume original. The hubs, too, look older than the brakes, so I think original.

Last edited by rhm; 02-24-20 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 02-24-20, 06:07 PM
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I agree with rhm. That frame is 30s or 40s and quite lovely. Looks like stem, bars, crank and hubs are original.
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Old 02-24-20, 07:14 PM
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Great find!
I have nothing to add except that I would love to see many more detailed photos; lugs, pedals, headset, wingnuts, etc.
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Old 02-24-20, 07:51 PM
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A few more photos.





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Old 02-24-20, 10:42 PM
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Now I'm really envious!
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Old 02-25-20, 01:05 AM
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One hundred is the new sixty, or so my great-great grandma tells me.

At any rate, that is a very cool bike. And not so common to find one that big, since people were generally shorter 80-90 years ago. Super nice original condition, on the frame at least. I'd love to find one just like it.
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Old 02-25-20, 08:31 AM
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Definately not a 100 year old bike. Frame might be but the clue on the frame at first glance is the seat post. TOC and later bikes had a different post. Anyways, good and knowledgeable comments that are better than mine. I’m guessing 80some years old and one fine bike. Very nice example of bicycle history.
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Old 02-25-20, 09:44 AM
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wschellen
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rhm The stem does say Reynolds on it, the rims are Dunlop Special Lightweight, the Hubs are BH Airlite and the Fenders say Durex RBN on them. I can not find any markings on the crankset and I am a little afraid to take it apart. What would be a good tire choice for these rims? I want something that looks more fitting than the 90s gum walls that are currently on it. Thanks.
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Old 02-25-20, 11:31 AM
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100 years isn't as long ago as it used to be, is it?
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Old 02-25-20, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by wschellen View Post
rhm The stem does say Reynolds on it, the rims are Dunlop Special Lightweight, the Hubs are BH Airlite and the Fenders say Durex RBN on them. I can not find any markings on the crankset and I am a little afraid to take it apart. What would be a good tire choice for these rims? I want something that looks more fitting than the 90s gum walls that are currently on it. Thanks.
Are the tires 27"?
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Old 02-25-20, 01:00 PM
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Chainstays look rapid taper to me, so I'd guess more 30's than 20's.
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Old 02-25-20, 06:04 PM
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This link with some great history of the British Holdsworth cycling brand, and other famous names in UK cycling, says the address of 69 Highbury Park was listed as a Holdsworth shop, managed by D.E.S Kirby, which was first listed in the free catalogue Aids to Happy Cycling of 1937 (printed late 1936).

Holdsworth

So unless Mr Kirby was doing his own cycling related activities on the premises before being associated with Holdsworth, it seems 1936 could well be the earliest date for the frame refurb. That's only my guess though, I'm not sure.

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Old 02-25-20, 06:14 PM
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Also:

Bertrand Finchley Cycles
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Old 02-25-20, 08:40 PM
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Hudson308 Yes the tires are 27". I would like to replace the existing ones with something more appropriate, what would you suggest?
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Old 02-26-20, 08:09 AM
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Super cool and rare prewar Airlite riveted hubs, clip style integrated headset, 30’s would be a good guess.
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Old 02-26-20, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by wschellen View Post
Hudson308 Yes the tires are 27". I would like to replace the existing ones with something more appropriate, what would you suggest?
Tough to find tires in any size that don't have rolling billboards on them these days. 27" limits your choices even more, but I understand your desire to use those Dunlop rims.
Continental TourRide has a nice chunky tread like they had back then, and they're not quite as shouty with the logos as many others. Solid black wouldn't look too out of place.
The Schwalbe HS159 also has a vintage-feeling tread. The whitewall variation would probably be my first tire choice for your bike. Whitewalls were coming into vogue in the 30's. My '29 Cyrus-Great Western likely had (28" tubular) white walls on it when new.
I wish someone made a decent all-white or all-cream 27" tire. Although solid white tires were out of favor by the 30's, they can have that look that screams "antique" to me. If only they made some 27 x 1-3/8" Continental Retro Rides in cream!
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Old 02-26-20, 10:09 AM
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Amazing find and thanks for sharing-

I wouldn't do much other than service / lube, swap to another old saddle but safer than this one and add some crusty toe clips.

Weinmann 500 brake caliper has the lettering embossing from 1950's. Style changed soon after.

As for 27" tires that give the vintage 'pop', not much to select from these days. If mine and wasn't planning to ride much but for some showey fun, I would consider all white CST, Duro or Kenda.

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Old 02-26-20, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by botty kayer View Post
Great find. I love seeing old information like this. The frame in question is gorgeous, at least to me.
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Old 02-26-20, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by wschellen View Post
The previous owner, a man in his 70s said he remembers his father talking about courting his mother in the 20s and riding her around on it
That is pretty special. Must have been very hard for him to let go.
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Old 02-26-20, 11:09 AM
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The 'Renovated by" sticker is interesting. I haven't seen one of those before. I guess that shop did a refresh on it at some point?

Anyway, is the fork OK? Maybe it's just a weird angle or something. Just looks straight but raked back. Again, maybe just the angle.
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