Bay City, MI - National Bicycle

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Aaron65

Look Ma, No Hands!
Hi everyone,

I saw this National bicycle at the local antique store in my hometown of Bay City, MI (where Nationals were made). I know very little about them, but I've always been intrigued by them since I like bikes and they were built here. They're asking $1500 for it, which seems like, well, more than I'd spend on a bicycle anyway, but just for my own education, can anyone point out what's wrong with it? A century is a long time for parts to be replaced, etc. I'm sorry the pictures are kind of bad, but they have it mounted way up on a display case.

Thanks!
Aaron
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Aaron65

Look Ma, No Hands!
I think it's going to be there awhile longer at that price.
Sean
Like most antique stores (I assume), there are items on the floor that have been sitting there so long that the price tags have faded. :)

On the plus side, based on Kansan's image, it looks like the bike has most of its original parts, which I didn't really expect.
 

Rambler

Wore out three sets of tires already!
@Aaron65 The image that @Kansan posted is from one of my National catalogs. Both 1915 & 1916 catalogs show the same information for the H-S bike (Heavy Service Model) which is exactly what is shown in your photograph. The H-S model was offered during the years of 1913-1916 however the first two years 1913-1914 the catalog shows the front fender terminating at the fork. The latter two years the front fender extended beyond the front fork. So based on the front fender length I would say the bike in question is either 1915 or 1916 same as the catalog image. If I could see the sprocket side of the bicycle I could narrow it down further by the number of bolts holding the crank sprocket on. 2-bolts would indicate 1915 and 3-bolts would indicate 1916. As others have suggested it is mostly complete and correct however has been amateurishly repainted. If you have further questions about the bike please let me know and will do my best to answer them. If you do purchase this bicycle please provide me with the serial number stamped on the underside of the crank housing and I will add it to my National bicycle dating serial number database research. Tyson
 

Aaron65

Look Ma, No Hands!
Thanks for the information, Tyson. How much would this bike be realistically worth? Do you know what its original color might be?
 

Rambler

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Thanks for the information, Tyson. How much would this bike be realistically worth? Do you know what its original color might be?

@Aaron65 As for value, I would guess somewhere in the ballpark of $800-$1,000 in present condition, just my opinion. Considering the value of the seat, pedals, wheels, tires, frame, and other components I expect it's worth at least $800 in parts alone though it would be a shame to see it parted out. All National bikes during these years typically came in a choice of 3 colors, National Blue was standard and optional were Red or Black and could be plain or decorated depending on the customer's choice. For example here is my 1916 National H-D bike in Black decorated with decals. At the time I took these photos it is wearing the incorrect rims because I had been riding it. Last photo shows the original rim color black with red stripe down the center. Tyson
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