1957 Huffy Radio bike

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partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,765
The Land of Oz
just picked up this radio bike in original paint-missing the pedals which I think will be hard to find.

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Can you please post the serial number of this bike?

I am VERY excited to see a '57 surface, as so little is known about the Radiobikes beyond 1955. It's remarkable to see this one complete, save the pedals. I note the different graphics on the tank, guard, fork, different seat upholstery, grips, and the different fenders. The notable differences on the fenders (to me) is they do not appear to be peaked in the middle, they appear to be rounded off at the ends, too. Seems this was also equipped with a front caliper brake for added safety.

I am curious though if the truss bars are stock, I do know that 1956 models got a spring-loaded carrier instead of the Delta fender light.
 

buck hughes

I live for the CABE
Jan 23, 2016
1,134
76
lima oh
serial #=OH679837-i have found no one who has much info on the Radio bikes- through the grape vine their was very few 1957 produced also, heard they all came with Goodyear wing foot tires-this is all hear say at this time- I will need a set of pedals which are going to be very hard to find.
 
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partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,765
The Land of Oz
serial #=OH679837-i have found no one who has much info on the Radio bikes- through the grape vine their was very few 1957 produced also, heard they all came with Goodyear wing foot tires-this is all hear say at this time- I will need a set of pedals which are going to be very hard to find.

Interesting! That is a 1960 serial number, if that is indeed a "0" at the beginning. I have uploaded the full catalog for 1959 and 1960, no Radiobikes are shown or even acknowledged.

8,500 were produced total. This comes from the founder of YSI, who passed away a few years ago. YSI (Yellow Springs Instrument Co) designed and built the radio itself for the bikes and they have a green NOS tank on display in their corporate museum. I was sent photos of it, courtesy of the company in my efforts to research it. According to my sources at the Yellow Springs Historical Society, the company was founded by college students. Back then, they built whatever project they could do. Today, they specialize in water testing equipment.

I was told, and this seems to make sense upon my observation, that 10% were painted blue, 30% painted green, and 60% painted red, and those are estimates, not broken down by year or single-speed vs two-speed. It may be a long shot, but perhaps a visit to the Huffy Corporate Headquarters in Centerville may yield more concrete info on production. Maybe. I only say that because Huffy Corporation still recognizes the significance of this bike on their history timeline on their website. It wasn't just a basic bike, it was a large investment. The Radiobike was to Huffman Corp. what the Hideaway Hardtop was to Ford Motor Company.
 

vincev

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Nov 2, 2008
12,991
crown point<indiana
Could the bike have been built using a newer frame ? Sweet lookin bike !
 
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partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,765
The Land of Oz
Could the bike have been built using a newer frame ?
That is entirely possible, however....

1955-56 are CONFIRMED model years for these bikes. I have heard 1957 was a model year by only a couple of people through the grapevine, with no concrete, credible sources to back it up. Not even a catalog ad, and I think I even started a thread on this very subject.

The problem is, 1956 models are remarkably scarce. I have yet to see one in person, only photographs. The different tank graphics, while original, could mean 1956 or later. ALL other graphics from 1955 carried over into 1956. 1956 models also were equipped with a spring-loaded carrier in the front and the headlight was moved from the fender to the handlebars.

Also, by 1960, Huffman had completely switched to cantilever frames. The tank for a Radiobike will not fit on those frames at all and it would be obvious if the tank was butchered. Unless the tanks changed to fit those cantilever frames and I am unaware of it. Bear in mind, the radio chassis would also be different because there would be much less space inside the tank if on a cantilever frame.

The only other thing I need is a photo of the mounting area for the rack, behind the seat post. That would definitely give it away. It should be a single bolt, through a small tube welded behind the seat tube. I have noticed the Radiobike rack is the only rack by Huffman during this period to mount right there. All others mounted with a bolt through two tabs against the seat post clamp.

The condition does not make me suspicious, nice Radiobikes have surfaced and those tank decals are not reproduced. The earlier ones are reproduced by MLC.
 

partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,765
The Land of Oz
I cannot tell with the hub caps on, does this have chain adjuster screws and rear-facing dropouts?

The mounting bracket for the rack, the tiny tube, should look like this, if original:

upload_2017-4-30_21-54-17-png.png
 
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partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,765
The Land of Oz
Well, that mount is way off center. I would have to see what it looks like under the tab. I am curious to know if the mounting tube was welded on after the fact, or during the original production. If it was part of the bike during production, it would be a clean weld and painted like the rest of the frame. If not, the bike could be a clone built with authentic 1956 parts.

Look at the paint wear marks above the top of the rack mounting tab. Notice the even wear that matches with the contour of the rack? That's ORIGINAL paint and I suspect maybe that rack was correctly mounted dead center at one point, the little tube broke off, and was repaired.

Personally...I wonder if this was what a I call a "straggler"...perhaps a bike built with leftover parts for whatever reason just to reduce old inventory. This is only my theory, and not fact. Huffman was certainly not advertising those frames at all in 1960. That's why I think this might be a leftover frame and parts.

EDIT: On my earlier reply, I stated that the Radiobike rack was the only rack by Huffman that mounted with a single bolt behind the seat post during this period. I may be mistaken. I have found the Dial-A-Ride and Customliner racks to mount this way also.
 
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buck hughes

I live for the CABE
Jan 23, 2016
1,134
76
lima oh
checked it over looks like factory weld-all paint in that area matches-a lot of questions that will never be answered
 
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partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,765
The Land of Oz
This is als
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o a 57 with a 0H serial #. Looking for a correct chain guard and headlight.
Looks like you have the guard! You just need to paint it. Headlight is a Delta, and you should be able to find it here or on eBay
 
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