Belknap Hardware was a large national distribution company headquartered in Louisville Kentucky from 1840 to its closing in 1985. The company was a leading Louisville firm from the 1880s to the 1970s as well as a principal supplier for the region south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Over the years several different bicycle manufacturers supplied bicycles to Belknap which branded with the bicycles with their own name.
the info above was gathered from a ratrod form posted by rms37 i'm not sure of all the mfg i can tell you that the belknap bike that i have was made by huffman i would say if you could post a picture of the bike might be able to i.d. the mfg you guys dont know when j c higgins pipe bikes were made do ya i have this question posted here on another form but seems no one can say for sure thanks.......
I believe that Huffman made a lot of these bikes. I had a women's "Bluegrass" I sold on eb a few years back. I am not positive who made all of them, but I am 95% sure that many were Huffman manufactured...
Hi! I was googling Belknap and this thread popped up. I realize it's an old thread but I can add one thing to it. I recently purchased a Belknap bicycle and PMed Phil Marshall (rms37) to get any information I could. My particular Belknap was built by Snyder as were a lot of "Zep" style frames from 1936 to 1940. He told me the "collet lock on the seat pillar is a 1936 only feature on these frames. Snyder sold a lot of these frames, the most popular badges being Hawthorne and Rollfast. 1936 is the first year for the frame but it was produced with a standard seat clamp in 1937/38/39 and 1940. Everyone calls these the "Zep" frames because they used a version of the frame on the top of the line steel Hawthorne in 1937 but it was probably less than .01 per cent of the frames that were originally sold as a Zep and they will have a locking fork."
While searching for Belknap info I copied all pics I came across of any bicycle w/ a Belknap Headbadge. Apparently they sold a little bit of everything - Ballooners, Light Weights, 10 Speeds, Muscle Bikes, Middleweights, Tandems, full size Trikes and Tricyles for kids. I also read that Schwinn was also thought to have produced some of the bikes that were badged Belknap and I did recognize a Schwinn "style" chain ring on a number of them. I haven't been able to find a source for the information that we are looking for yet, and may not. But it is another interesting source of bicycles to study.
I am overly satisfied with my purchase - it was on Craigs List at a very reasonable price. Looking at the pages from the Belknap 1940 100th Anniversary Catalog the one I have looks the same as the Model BX which does not have a chain guard, rear carrier or head light. From what I can see it is missing the drop stand, clip, reflector and grips. Mine is also the version that comes with the Steerhorn Bars instead of the Scout Handlebars also listed in the Catalog. From the pics I would guess about 75 - 80 per cent original paint is still intact - all in all a great find.
I hope the information I provided added at least a tidbit to what you already knew. Just knowing they opened for business in the 1800s leaves a lot to be discovered yet. Happy Hunting All! Robert
Here is my belknap built by snyder. I need to get a longer seattube to be able to ride it on long distances as my knees suffer from not being able to extend my leg completely while pedaling. I also installed a new departure triplspeed conversion unit and yes is not period correct but it looks real cool.