View Full Version : Firestone 500 (Bikes features don't match other 500 models)
05-04-2007, 09:11 AM
I need help. I got my hands on a vintage Firestone 500 boys bicycle. Here's the problem. NO ONE can seem to date this bike for me. Everyone I've talked to know all about the Firestone 500's from the 60's with the small tanks. However, my Firestone 500 has a very large tank running the length of the inner frame that favors the bicycles of the 50's and earlier. Anyone know of the Firestone 500 models with the large tanks:confused:
05-04-2007, 10:09 AM
What size are the tires? 26 x 2.125 or 26 x 1.75? I know they had a Firestone 200 and a Firestone 880 in 1959. The 880 was a middleweight with a full tank, rack, trusses, headlight, etc. I've seen full tank 500s, as well as the later half tank ones. A real generic guess would be 1959 if it has 26 x 1.75 tires, give or take a year. Do you have any pics?
- Kelly :)
05-04-2007, 10:32 AM
Yes I have a pic... how would I post it directly into this topic as I've seen others do..???
05-04-2007, 10:38 AM
Also, I did send this pic to another online site seeking info. They posted this pic on their webpage and listed it as a 1959 Firestone 500..., so the year of 59 has been thrown in there already. However, I was out of town visiting family and ran into a guy who collects and restores vintage bicycles. He along with several other's he knew questioned the year 59. He said that the most well known 500's were the models from the 60's with small tanks, and that my bicycle could possibly be a "first year" of the model.
05-04-2007, 01:39 PM
post photos :)
05-04-2007, 03:06 PM
Here's a link to the Photo of my Firestone 500
05-04-2007, 04:06 PM
Looks like an early 50's Monark Rocket.
05-05-2007, 06:47 AM
It looks like it's a Murray built bike. It has middleweight tires, so it couldn't be any earlier than late '53 - '54. It's a transition bike. The big heavy balloon tire bikes of the 1930s - 1950s were becoming passe. Bikes with half tanks, smaller fenders, etc started to make an appearance and would become the standard of the 1960s. To jump on the band wagon, some companies put middleweight tires on their bulkier bikes while they transitioned into middleweight bikes.
There's a Firestone 500 on eBay that looks just like it http://cgi.ebay.com/1959-1960-Vintage-Classic-Firestone-500-Bicycle_W0QQitemZ220109241572QQihZ012QQcategoryZ42 0QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
05-05-2007, 07:38 AM
WOW! Thanks for the info and the link to the Ebay sale. I'm excited because I haven't seen another Firestone 500 like mine anywhere. When I bought mine I did so much research, and constantly checked Ebay. I even contacted old Firestone stores that sold the bikes in the 50's. That Ebay ad is the first Firestone 500 model like mine I've seen ANYWHERE on the net. I wish I could just get the fender light off this seller:( My bike is almost complete. It's just missing the light.
This guys 500 however isn't selling with the original rims. I wonder if he still has them. The original rims are actually green (matching the bike) with 2 white pin stripes.
Again thanks for the info. Man I need that light off that bike....grrrrrrrrr
05-05-2007, 07:47 AM
Actually I just noticed something about the 500 being sold on Ebay. My model is 98% identical to the Ebay listing. However, my post running down from the seat (on the frame) has an elaborate Firestone graphic painted on. You can see it in my picture. I wonder if mine was a more expensive version of the 500 model, which may be why mine has rims matching the color of the frame.
05-05-2007, 08:49 AM
The headlight shouldn't be a problem. I've actually got an extra headlight laying around that kind of looks like that one, though it's hard to tell for sure. I'd contact the seller and see if you can get a close-up of the light. I'd sell it for cheap if it was the one you needed.
The downtube graphic just might be a difference in the model year, as I've even seen "plain jane" bikes have the downtube graphic while the higher end bikes in the very same Firestone ad have nothing at all. Usually the cheaper bikes had painted rims and the more expensive bikes had chrome rims.
Does it still have the Firestone tires on it?
- Kelly :)
05-05-2007, 10:22 AM
I could be wrong but I think the bike still has the original Firestone tires. Do you have a pic of the light your have? I can't imagine this guy on Ebay selling just the light when he can easily get the $180 he's asking for on the complete bike. I was told buy a guy that restores bikes tha I can buy an aftermarket light, or even one that closely resembles the original and not really hurt the value of the bike considering different bike lights were options.
If you got a pic of your light I'd love to see it. I'm going to start the restoration of mine in a week or two.
05-05-2007, 12:32 PM
I wouldn't expect him to sell you just the light, but if he sends you a pic of it then you'll know exactly what you need. I highly doubt he'll see $180 for it though.
Your bike looks like it's in pretty good shape, I would probably consider polishing up the chrome and paint, and just giving it a thorough cleaning. Restoration costs quickly add up, and often totals more than the bike will be worth when it's done.
Here's some pics of the light I have. It's a really clean light, and works well. The holes measure 1 3/8" from center to center.
top & bottom...
05-05-2007, 12:56 PM
Shutterbug, I sent you a private message.
05-05-2007, 01:02 PM
What's the best way to clean and polish the chrome on my bike? Until I get a decent restore I'll probably buy some cheaper after market chrome rims to get the bike on the road again :) Have my eye on some nice chrome duck tail flaired fenders.....
05-05-2007, 02:16 PM
On rusty chrome, we use a soapy SOS pad followed by chrome polish. If the chrome isn't that bad Chrome polish will make a world of difference. A lot of it just takes time, though it's worth it. When we restored our Twin-Flex, we wanted to reuse the original double-butted spokes which were a solid black from age. We spent hours polishing them, and now they look amazing. It's surprising how well old bikes will clean up.
- Kelly :)
05-05-2007, 03:04 PM
Does the "roughness" of the pad matter? I've used those old SOS pads in the past. I just want to make sure that what I use doesn't scratch it up. Oh.., shutterbug did you get my private message?
05-05-2007, 03:48 PM
Yup, I got your PM. I got busy watching the Kentucky Derby - my horse didn't win :(
We just use the regular SOS pads that you buy from the store for the rusty chrome.
- Kelly :)
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