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High wheeler circus bike?

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High wheeler circus bike?

Old 03-15-12, 12:42 PM
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Yo Spiff
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High wheeler circus bike?

I've had this bike since about '85 when I bought it at an antique shop near Dallas. I've never been able to find out much about it and was hoping some folks here might have seen something like this before.

My best guess is that it is a circus bike, such as clowns often use. Italian made, with a Bianchi branded caliper brake in the back and plastic bits all over. The construction suggests to me that it is probably 50's or 60's vintage. It stands about 2 1/2 fee high.

Also has an odd valve on the front wheel. Never seen anything like this and haven't ever been able to get air into it.

Any information would be appreciated.










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Old 03-15-12, 12:46 PM
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I've seen a few high-wheelers like this one. Don't think it was made for the circus, but as a novelty. Be fun to try. The valve is a standard Presta valve. Presta valves are used exclusively for bicycles.
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Old 03-15-12, 01:09 PM
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Doesn't look like a presta to me... or were presta's not always like the "modern" presta's?

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Old 03-15-12, 01:11 PM
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Thanks. It really doesn't seem to be a presta valve, however, and my presta pump does not fit it.
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Old 03-15-12, 01:18 PM
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Long time since I've seen Hood (Wood?) valve, recall they looked a bit like this, with the little collaspible sleeve inside. Eh, probably not.

EDIT: Would this help?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunlop_valve
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Old 03-15-12, 01:25 PM
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Woods
https://www.google.com/imgres?q=woods...1t:429,r:9,s:0

https://www.google.com/imgres?q=woods...1t:429,r:0,s:0
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Old 03-15-12, 01:32 PM
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I had those valves on a 60's Gazzelle.Never did figure them out and changed out the tubes.

Sweet little bike!
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Old 03-15-12, 01:34 PM
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Now I now what to search for, thanks Tiger & 10Wheels!
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Old 03-15-12, 02:11 PM
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Could be a chimp bike......The red stubs must help them climb on to the bike.
But chimps cannot operate brakes, could they?? So maybe it's a bicycle acrobat's bike then....for kids?
Certainly an oddity you have there.....
Oh, look! A Unicrown fork it has!!

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Old 03-15-12, 07:29 PM
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Despite the weathering, it's very possibly something from the Bike Boom era. There were lots of ordinaries of questionable quality and usefulness turned out during that period. It was all part of the bicycle craziness that was going on then.
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Old 03-16-12, 01:33 AM
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Only two and a half feet in height? Similar bikes are still made in India for children. I'll hunt for a link.
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Old 03-19-12, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Yo Spiff View Post
Now I now what to search for, thanks Tiger & 10Wheels!
Glad to help, I work working from memory and the last time I encountered those valves I was a bike mechanic in college, at a time when the president's name was Jerry.

Actually, every "penny farthing" bike I recall seeing -- and the one I rode once -- all had that little assist step, I cannot imagine getting (a normal-sized) one without it.
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