1927ish Iver Johnson 90b track racer


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anders1

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jun 18, 2018
857
891
44
Southern California, USA
#1
Waiting for this one in the mail! Very excited about the purchase from a fellow Caber! This is a 1927ish Iver Johnson 90b Chatter Lea 23” track racer. This is the real deal and has been confirmed by some of the best Iver authorities here on the CABE. It is not 100% original or complete. Also saying it needs work is putting it mialdly. It has some minor frame work to be done. It has an old repaint, and the list goes on. So needless to say it will require a full head to tail restoration. However, this bike is definitely worthy of such a feat. First will be to have some frame work done as I begin to collect parts. I already have a Major Taylor stem for it. I will keep you posted on the project though I plan to take my time and make sure it’s wright. I would love to hear your feedback and please keep me in mind for correct parts. Pedals, deep drop bars, wheels, and so on. Anthony
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anders1

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jun 18, 2018
857
891
44
Southern California, USA
#4
I’ll be picking the bike up today at the FedEx facility. I think the first thing I will do is to remove some of the red paint and find the original color. The 1928 catalog states that it came from the factory in Black, with optional colors Maroon, Green, or Bronze. All would have double pinstripes and full nickel head and fork. Really looking forward to seeing the original color. I’ve seen the black and the bronze 90b. Never seen the maroon or green. I may be inclined to repaint the same as it came regardless of what color it might have been. If anyone has pics of the different color options I would like to see them. If there is any interest then share your vote for the color!
 

locomotion

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jan 15, 2011
2,216
1,249
Quebec, Canada
#5
A lot of people seem to want to put a major taylor stem and adjustable handlebars on a "racer".
personally, most real racing bicycles in my collection from the 10's to the 30's with actual racing pedigree do not have either.
some even have a one piece stem/handlebars with the racer's preference in angles all fixed in one piece (all welded together, with no adjusting bolds)
the name of the game in racing is trying to reduce the weight of the machine, it's always been that way
so technically, by adding a major taylor stem and adjustable handlebars, you are only adding weight to the bike and therefore reducing your performance.
don't get me wrong, I love the look of a major taylor stem and adjustable handlebars, I have many sets in my collection. I think they are great pieces of machining work and are a great conversation piece as parts!!!

I see them more as a tool created for racers to test what angles/distances they prefer for different types and lenghts of races and than they could get fixed handlebars ready for a real race

*** disclamer. Only the writers opinion. Not meant to critique someone's preferences or choices.
 
Last edited:

anders1

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jun 18, 2018
857
891
44
Southern California, USA
#6
A lot of people seem to want to put a major taylor stem and adjustable handlebars on a "racer".
personally, most real racing bicycles in my collection from the 10's to the 30's with actual racing pedigree do not have either.
some even have a one piece stem/handlebars with the racer's preference in angles all fixed in one piece (all welded together, with no adjusting bolds)
the name of the game in racing is trying to reduce the weight of the machine, it's always been that way
so technically, by adding a major taylor stem and adjustable handlebars, you are only adding weight to the bike and therefore reducing your performance.
don't get me wrong, I love the look of a major taylor stem and adjustable handlebars, I have many sets in my collection. I think they are great pieces of machining work and are a great conversation piece as parts!!!

I see them more as a tool created for racers to test what angles/distances they prefer for different types and lenghts of races and than they could get fixed handlebars ready for a real race

*** disclamer. Only the writers opinion. Not meant to critique someone's preferences or choices.
Yeah I follow you on that one. Like the bars that are on the bike now are very nice. I really only like the MT stem because of the history he had with IJ. Having the MT stem brings it to life a little bit for me. Still though I’m unsure on the exact direction I will go. Thank you for your input, and I welcome any more that you might have! I have color decisions on my mind at the moment going by the 1928 catalog as I stated above. Appreciate your thoughts! Anthony
 

Handyman

I live for the CABE
Oct 23, 2009
1,194
1,258
Fitchburg, MA
#8
I know these are not very good pics to show the Iver Johnson "Bronze" color, but this is a 90B "Chater Lea" racer in bronze. I can get better pics at some point if needed. Follow the link below. Pete in Fitchburg

PS.............I also agree with Anthony (Anders) above concerning the Major Taylor stem. It kind of "connects" Major Taylor to the Iver racers and it simply looks incredible on the bike. I compare this to a 55 Chevy I once owned...............I had that thing dressed up with every optional exterior chrome accessory that was available at that time.................very few of these cars actually had all this "stuff" on them as sold, but I always thought they looked great all dressed up !

http://boulderartgallery.com/Iver_Johnson_Bicycle_Collection/IverJohnson_Page_8.html
 
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anders1

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jun 18, 2018
857
891
44
Southern California, USA
#11
I think I really like the Bronze as well! How about the Maroon or Green as stated in the ‘28 catalog, any pics of those anyone? Thanks for the pics Pete!
 
Likes: dnc1

locomotion

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jan 15, 2011
2,216
1,249
Quebec, Canada
#12
Yeah I follow you on that one. Like the bars that are on the bike now are very nice. I really only like the MT stem because of the history he had with IJ. Having the MT stem brings it to life a little bit for me. Still though I’m unsure on the exact direction I will go. Thank you for your input, and I welcome any more that you might have! I have color decisions on my mind at the moment going by the 1928 catalog as I stated above. Appreciate your thoughts! Anthony
I totally agree and you made a good point about MT and Iver, something that i didnt think about. It does also look very nice to dress up a bike with a MT stem and it's not like anyone will race the bike!!!! So weight is no issue.
Max
 

anders1

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jun 18, 2018
857
891
44
Southern California, USA
#15
Wow Pete that’s awesome, thanks for the pics! Anyone have a vote for the color of my build?? Yet to determine what it came with originally. Your opinion matters, thanks! Anthony
 

locomotion

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jan 15, 2011
2,216
1,249
Quebec, Canada
#17
On my free time today, I was Googleing pictures from the 1924, 1928 and 1932 Olympics (Cycling) to see how many racers had MT type stems and adjustable bars.
In the quick search that I did, barely any racing bikes in the time period pictures had MT type stems and I didn't see a single set of adjustable handlebars.
I don't know if the MT type stem was mostly used in the USA, but the USA did not earn a single cycling medal in all 3 Olympics.
I didn't do an exhaustive search, just a quick scan of the pictures, so I am sure there are more examples out there.
But then, when you see some of the racer's restored bicycles in museum pictures (through the same general search), they seem to all have a MT type stem added (I guess it's all for dressing up the bikes to look more "racing") Bling sells tickets!

Fun fact : The USA won all the cycling medals in the 1904 Olympics. The USA was the only country with racers in the cycling events for 1904 ;)
 
Last edited:

anders1

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jun 18, 2018
857
891
44
Southern California, USA
#18
Not all but most pics I’ve seen of MT he has an adjustable stem. Most other racers do not have the adjustable stem in this time period. I’m only guessing but maybe this is why the adjustable stem is most commonly referred to as a Major Taylor stem. I like that you are digging a little bit, I love to learn the history. Maybe I will do the same. Thanks for the post! Anthony
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Duchess

Finally riding a big boys bike
Feb 14, 2014
493
860
Beverly, MA
#19
Along with being a phenomenal athlete and by all accounts I've read, an exceptional human being, Major Taylor was also an inventor. It's quite possible that stem design is his own, which would also explain him using it.
 

anders1

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jun 18, 2018
857
891
44
Southern California, USA
#20
Along with being a phenomenal athlete and by all accounts I've read, an exceptional human being, Major Taylor was also an inventor. It's quite possible that stem design is his own, which would also explain him using it.
That is what I am wondering as well. It would sure be nice to find more information on this. Anthony
 

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