New Departure timelines.

Discussion in 'General Discussion About Old Bicycles' started by cyclingday, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. cyclingday

    cyclingday Cruisin' on my Bluebird

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    I'm working on a 1939 Firestone Twin Flex, and while servicing the wheelset, I noticed that the front hub is a New Departure model WL. Is that correct?
    I've always been under the impression, that those hubs were post war.

    When did the WL get introduced?

    I've also been wondering about the timeline of the brakearm script on the Model D hub.

    The first generation had a small arm with script> New Departure Model D
    The second had a small arm with script> New Departure Brake
    The third had a large arm with script> New Departure Brake
    The forth had a large arm with script> New Departure

    What years were each of these variations introduced?
     
  2. Obi-Wan Schwinnobi

    Obi-Wan Schwinnobi Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe

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    Ill take a look at the hub set I have in the morn, it came off a 39 dx
     
  3. dougfisk

    dougfisk I live for the CABE

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    I can say with certainty that the WL was introduced prewar. It seems about half of the 1940 & 1941 bikes that I find, of all makes, have one. I saw some written reference document that indicated a long overlap (like 15 years) of concurrent W & WL availability. I think in 39 the WL was a "hot new item", and I have not observed, at all, that it was limited to lightweights or inexpensive bikes.
     
  4. Obi-Wan Schwinnobi

    Obi-Wan Schwinnobi Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe

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    My 39 is a wl... Whats so special or different from.a standard w?
     
  5. Flat Tire

    Flat Tire I live for the CABE

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    I always thought WL was pre war but I think Doug is right about being pre and post war. My original 40 and 41 Huffmans have WL as does my 40 lightweight.
     
  6. dougfisk

    dougfisk I live for the CABE

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    Smaller hub diameter, lighter in weight, smaller bearings, smaller dust shield on the cones, same axle. I surmise the L probably stood for "light"
     
  7. cyclingday

    cyclingday Cruisin' on my Bluebird

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    Thanks, for the confirmation on the WL hub.
    The wheelset looks original to the bike, but I thought 39 to be too early for the WL.
    I guess we can establish 39 as the introductory year for that hub unless someone shows up with a og. fresh find 38 with one on it.