3 Speed Balloon tire Rollfast?

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mrg

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
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I curious if all SA 3 spd hubs were aluminum in 53, both of my 53/4 Jags have the same?, I'm also curious why of the 4 companies that made 3 spd balloons only Colson went full dress with tank, springer, rack etc.? , did they already have the Firebird coming out and just quickly added a 3 spd.?
 

Oilit

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
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I curious if all SA 3 spd hubs were aluminum in 53, both of my 53/4 Jags have the same?, I'm also curious why of the 4 companies that made 3 spd balloons only Colson went full dress with tank, springer, rack etc.? , did they already have the Firebird coming out and just quickly added a 3 spd.?
You may be right about the hubs, off hand I don't think I've ever seen a steel AW hub from 1953. As for the Colson, your guess is as good as mine. Old ads are some of the best guides, but Colson doesn't seem to have spent the money on advertising some others did. But there's got to be some ads somewhere, if you find them.
 
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partsguy

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
A few more detail shots of this bike. The serial number starts with "A", but getting a good shot of it is beyond me so far. The stamp under the bottom bracket looks like "45EH" but the 4 is so faint it may be my imagination. The rims look galvanized, and @partsguy posted that the mid-'50's Huffys used polished zinc-plated rims, did Rollfast do that as well? There was a nickel shortage in the mid-50's, and chrome plating at the time used a layer of nickel under the chrome, so maybe they had to find an alternative? The original owner said the handlebars were never chromed, just some kind of silverish paint.

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This bike has the same type of aging that the clear-zinc rims on mid 50’s Huffman-built bikes have. I think these are the same finish.
 

Oilit

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
This bike has the same type of aging that the clear-zinc rims on mid 50’s Huffman-built bikes have. I think these are the same finish.
It looks the same to me as well, but until I read your post I never realized polished zinc was ever used. This is a new wrinkle.
 

partsguy

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
It looks the same to me as well, but until I read your post I never realized polished zinc was ever used. This is a new wrinkle.
Yes, it ages differently than chrome. Chrome as you know peels off, pits, and turns deep brown if not maintained. A polished metal with a simple single plating like clear zinc will show a tarnish, like old silverware, before it begins to rust. Yet, to the untrained eye, fresh clear zinc or fresh chrome will look similar to the untrained eye. My blue Radiobike has an NOS rim, and if it weren’t for one tiny little dark spot, you’d swear I was sporting chrome!
 

GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Clear zinc is not just a single plating of zinc. We use this plating on our brass grommets and we call it bright zinc.
Clear Zinc plating refers to a colorless chromate conversion coating that is applied over zinc as part of the post plating process. Clear chromate or passivate protects the zinc layer and offers additional protection against corrosion.
 
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