Ca. 1896 Crawford Racer from Butler


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Jesse McCauley

McCauley Cycle Works
Mar 5, 2013
2,012
4,115
Richmond, Virginia
#1
Some of you saw me wheel this bike around Butler, bought pre-show-

Ca. 1896 Crawford “racer” of Hagerstown, MD.

Note the signature Crawford left hand drive and bang on adjustable bars.

Very nice original specimen, in this instance I did not have to rebuild a bike seeking out patina parts, I just purchased, cleaned and adjusted this beauty.

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Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

DENNYO

On Training Wheels
Dec 26, 2017
5
4
69
Akron
#3
A friend of mine who is now deceased owned a 1917 Crawford automobile and I remember him saying it was built in Hagerstown Md. They must have built cars as well as bikes. I believe his nephew inherited the car.
 

Balloonoob

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jan 24, 2019
845
1,788
35
Longmont Colorado
#4
What an awesome head badge. Glad to see it was never removed. Do bikes this old typically just get displayed or have work done to be used as riders? What is in store for this one? I would imagine it depends on condition. As original parts are likely not available do people sometimes use temporary parts like rims and tires for riding then put original back on for display? Even doing this with solid frame could be dangerous with 100 year old metal ex. Stripped original nuts or making the steel adjust slightly?
 

Jesse McCauley

McCauley Cycle Works
Mar 5, 2013
2,012
4,115
Richmond, Virginia
#5
What an awesome head badge. Glad to see it was never removed. Do bikes this old typically just get displayed or have work done to be used as riders? What is in store for this one? I would imagine it depends on condition. As original parts are likely not available do people sometimes use temporary parts like rims and tires for riding then put original back on for display? Even doing this with solid frame could be dangerous with 100 year old metal ex. Stripped original nuts or making the steel adjust slightly?
That is a point of contention between collectors in this field. I rebuild my bikes with an eye for period and patina correctness so you cannot ride them in that state. Even the very best 1890's single tube tires are not safe to be ridden on for any amount of time if you value their condition.

I have had some restored bicycles, there are plenty of candidates certainly that are roached out enough that why not completely restore it? Unfortunately a lot of time the ones that get full restore treatments are the best condition bikes as they require minimal prep work. At least that is the tradition of the last generation of collectors.

In my opinion, this is the way to build and display an 1890's bicycle and that is the best use for such a bike.
 

Balloonoob

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jan 24, 2019
845
1,788
35
Longmont Colorado
#7
Yeah display makes sense. Hate to see a frame crack. You likely never see these in rideable original condition. Thanks for the response.
 

GiovanniLiCalsi

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 29, 2012
3,780
2,230
Alameda, California
#8
That is a point of contention between collectors in this field. I rebuild my bikes with an eye for period and patina correctness so you cannot ride them in that state. Even the very best 1890's single tube tires are not safe to be ridden on for any amount of time if you value their condition.

I have had some restored bicycles, there are plenty of candidates certainly that are roached out enough that why not completely restore it? Unfortunately a lot of time the ones that get full restore treatments are the best condition bikes as they require minimal prep work. At least that is the tradition of the last generation of collectors.

In my opinion, this is the way to build and display an 1890's bicycle and that is the best use for such a bike.
See Jesse! It’s not safe at any speed and should be crushed, like all Covairs were!
 

dnc1

I live for the CABE
Apr 1, 2016
1,987
5,944
53
Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK
#11
Really nice!
Are you going to do any work on that saddle?
I would love to see some details of the shape of the saddle pan if you do get it re-covered.
As Jesse said @Balloonoob, display is probably the best option for something so original.
However, there are people out there who'll swap the wheels and saddle for something more rideable, this gives you the best of both worlds. Me too @GiovanniLiCalsi!
 

Jesse McCauley

McCauley Cycle Works
Mar 5, 2013
2,012
4,115
Richmond, Virginia
#12
I'm working on re-fitting a Columbia chainless right now that I put up for sale in my "static display" fashion and realized maybe I should have gone the other way with it.

Added a re-covered original saddle and a set of Harper tires and I'll be re-listing shortly for just that kind of rider.

I'm all for it and don't mean to be dismissive, I'm impressed by the number of miles modern riders put on their century old machines.

This one likely won't see the road again but I'm working on a Snell Special 30" wheel that with new Stutzman hoops I don't see why I shouldn't take it for a lap once things thaw here in Detroit.
 

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