Elgin Bicycle - Can you tell me what I have?

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rwilder

On Training Wheels
May 19, 2020
4
55
Saint Leonard, MD
Hello - I am a first time poster so please be kind if I mess up. I have had this Elgin bike in my basement for over 20 years and in my parents for long before that. People who see it think it is pretty interesting and definitely old. I could use help on the following:

- Can anyone tell me what model and age the bike is?
- Is it worth restoring or keep it as is?

It is a complete bile with the exception of missing the headlamp. I really appreciate it.

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IMG_2055.JPG


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Rivnut

I live for the CABE
Nov 24, 2012
1,597
Shawnee, United States
Looks like a Murray built for Sears. Turn it over and look at the Bottom Bracket (the big round thing in which the pedals turn) and see if there is not some sort of Alpha-numeric code stamped into the BB. Take a picture and post it. Based on the style of head badge, it's got to be a 36 or later.
 
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Archie Sturmer

I live for the CABE
Jun 13, 2018
1,535
Los Angeles, CA, USA
I would recommend giving it a wash and wax, new tires and tubes, etc. The curved seat tube mast may reflect 1939 to 1941.
[I believe that Murray, started producing bicycles in 1936; but only started supplying to Sears in 1937].
 
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Krakatoa

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Oct 12, 2016
4,494
Bellows Falls VT
Looks like a Murray built for Sears. Turn it over and look at the Bottom Bracket (the big round thing in which the pedals turn) and see if there is not some sort of Alpha-numeric code stamped into the BB. Take a picture and post it. Based on the style of head badge, it's got to be a 36 or later.
Actually that's a Westfield Columbia built version.
 

Brian R.

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Oct 16, 2015
509
Toronto, Canada
No need to restore! The paint just needs a good cleaning. If you want to ride it, the bearings in the hubs and crank could be cleaned and regreased, new inner tubes, some lube on the chain. You could have the handlebar rechromed but many people like the "patina" look, and if it's all shiny it may look out of place with the rest of the bike. Nice bike, welcome to the hobby!
 

Barto

I live for the CABE
Mar 13, 2015
1,931
Somers, United States
This is a great find and a very cool bike....I bet anyone on this site would enjoy having it. Straighten the rack, Service it, give it a Bath and Wax, Tires, Tubes and then it's off for a ride! In my opinion, as complete as this original bike is, this bike is a keeper!

BART
 

jpromo

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
May 26, 2011
3,890
Plymouth, Michigan
Westfield built so a serial number would confirm but I would guess this is a late 1941. They started enameling the truss rods in the late prewar period. Also painted rims. More deluxe bikes like this one would have typically come with chrome rims, but during the ramp-up to WWII, painted parts started becoming more commonplace as metal materials were being conserved for the war effort.

Definitely leave as is with just a solid cleanup and grease.
 

rustjunkie

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 11, 2012
13,834
Monrovia, CA 91016
www.rustjunkies.com
leave it be

 

gkeep

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jun 11, 2014
805
Alameda, CA
You have a really nice bike and with some gentle cleaning and polish that paint will pop right back. Check out some of the preservations in the before and after thread. You'll be amazed at how dingy old paint can be revived. Good luck and enjoy riding that wonderful piece of history! This old thread has a nice example of restored paint. https://thecabe.com/forum/threads/o...c-make-old-orange-turn-red.60814/#post-370597.
 
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piercer_99

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Dec 27, 2015
2,359
59
Sanger, TX
new tires, service, wash and wax and ride it until the tires fall off, then repeat.

A photo of the serial number on the bottom would be helpful for dating it.

Your camera will see more than you will, no need to scratch off the paint or anything. (by the way, that old Elgin enamel cleans up really nicely.)
1198074


1198075
 

Kato

I live for the CABE
Dec 10, 2011
1,067
54
Cincinnati, OH
I'm thinking between 1939 and 1941-2
Like you said - looks all original or very close.
My pennies worth - simple wash and wax, new tires tubes - grease it up or have a bike shop do it if needed.
Sounds like it's been in your family for a while..............keep it that way !!!
 

Rivnut

I live for the CABE
Nov 24, 2012
1,597
Shawnee, United States
Is that an F on the very left of the stamped numbers?
 

Euphman06

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Aug 17, 2011
3,214
18064
Don't restore, it would look lovely after a nice bath, or after I give it a nice bath...Any plans on moving it along?
 

vincev

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Nov 2, 2008
13,825
crown point<indiana
Would like to give that one an Oxy bath.
 

crazyhawk

Riding an Americolor Shelby
Oct 17, 2009
195
Lakeside Ohio, United States
All my parents ever kept in their basement was a washer and dryer. I'm jealous..
 
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rwilder

On Training Wheels
May 19, 2020
4
55
Saint Leonard, MD
Thank you all for the notes and I will go try to get a picture of the serial number. It is clear that it is better to leave the bike as is. If I was interested in parting with it, is this the best site for that (vs. ebay, etc.)? I would like for it to go to a good owner. What is the best way to determine a value? Thank you all again.
 

BLWNMNY

I live for the CABE
May 10, 2013
1,700
Stockton, Ca.
That thing should clean up fairly easy.......... Preserve it.
 

Rivnut

I live for the CABE
Nov 24, 2012
1,597
Shawnee, United States
Thank you all for the notes and I will go try to get a picture of the serial number. It is clear that it is better to leave the bike as is. If I was interested in parting with it, is this the best site for that (vs. ebay, etc.)? I would like for it to go to a good owner. What is the best way to determine a value? Thank you all again.
For what the general public thinks it's worth, put it on an Ebay auction with a reserve of what you think it's worth. If you want it to go to a good home, advertise it here. But be cautious, it might go to someone who just wants to make a buck by parting it out. If I were you, I would give it a good cleaning, grease all ofvthe bearings and ride it like you stole it.
 
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