Highwheeler

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Phattiremike

I live for the CABE
May 16, 2016
1,354
1,976
Dahlonega Ga.
#1
I picked up a bunch of goodies yesterday but this one is killer. Appears to be original for the most part. I'm told the tires were replaced 10-15 years ago for a parade and after that it sat on display, the seat seems to be a replaced. The name badge is worn and in a tough spot to get a good read on it, I can see lots of little #'s maybe they are patent dates? The serial # located just forward and under the seat appears to be 80 79 then 52, or 80 73 52.

Any help in identifying would be great. Front tire is 52" the rear is 18.5"

Thank you

Also got a shadow box w/ various Eagle badges, they look real old.

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Craig Allen

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jun 23, 2016
118
264
64
Millville NJ
#3
Yes a 1885 Columbia Expert. You will find a serial number stamped on top of the backbone neck along with the wheel size and also stamped underneath the front fork bridge on the backside. Nice bike and a potential nice rider.
 

Phattiremike

I live for the CABE
May 16, 2016
1,354
1,976
Dahlonega Ga.
#5
Thanks for the info guys. Is it possible when they re did the tires to ride in the parade the fork got turned around? Can’t understand why the head-badge would face the rider.

So what now? Clean or leave it as found, seems like I should rub it down with something and bring it inside. 1885 wow, any ads/advertising on this one Craig?
Btw these wheels spin true so I believe it to be a rider I just don’t have the nuts to attempt it, I’m no kid!

Mike
 
Likes: Kato

Craig Allen

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jun 23, 2016
118
264
64
Millville NJ
#6
I believe you can get a copy of the Columbia catalog from the Wheelmen library.
Waxoyl is a good rust preventative on your bike.
Also, the dust shield always faces the rider. The patent dates changed over the years and from model to model but probably reads as follows-
Expert Columbia
Made By
Pope Mf'g. Co.
Patented
Nov. 20 1877 July 3 1883
June 3 1879 Feb. 2 1885
Aug. 9 1881 Mar.17 1885
Nov. 8 1881 July 7 1885
Dec. 13 1881 July 28 1885
Jan. 10 1882 July 31 1885
 

TR6SC

I live for the CABE
Jun 12, 2016
1,019
2,671
66
Eureka, CA
#11
Hey Mike, Congrats. The headbadge is known as a patent plate. As Craig has stated, the purpose is as a dust shield. Good looking bike. You've even got the pedals. Lovely.
 

Sped Man

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Dec 5, 2012
2,376
1,666
Planet Gallifrey
#12
Congrats on the awesome find. IF it was mine I would treat the rust to slow it down or stop it. You could use some rust converter or just rub it down with grease. You could steel wool the spokes and then treat them with a light coat of grease to protect the finish. If you leave the spokes along they will eventually rust away making the High Wheel useless.
 

Phattiremike

I live for the CABE
May 16, 2016
1,354
1,976
Dahlonega Ga.
#14
Congrats on the awesome find. IF it was mine I would treat the rust to slow it down or stop it. You could use some rust converter or just rub it down with grease. You could steel wool the spokes and then treat them with a light coat of grease to protect the finish. If you leave the spokes along they will eventually rust away making the High Wheel useless.
Thanks for the heads up on treating the bike, I will definitely treat the bike and work othe the spokes. Also thanks for getting me directed to a source for the bike stand!

Mike
 

mike cates

Finally riding a big boys bike
Sep 13, 2014
131
57
Carlsbad, CA.
#16
If Craig i.d.'s the bike via the serial number as an 1885 it would be that year.
If it is an 1885, then it would have originally had a leather covered pan saddle mounted on a flat suspension spring that slid in a keeper bracket screwed onto the backbone frame at the tail end. You might look to see if you see other holes near or under the present rear seat spring clasp mount. The seat on your bike is similar to the first pattern Kirkpatrick saddle introduced on Columbia high wheel bicycles in 1886. Yours has a different front spring and loop arrangement whereas Kirkpatrick saddles used a round spring wire and not the flat type spring and riveted on loop to capture the leather at the front. It is possible yours is an early version of the 1st pattern Kirkpatrick saddle though.
As to wheel size i.d., look on the side of the front fork leg about 3" down from the crown and you will see the number 52 stamped into the side of the fork leg. This refers to your front wheel size. This fork leg side stamping process was done up to and including 1886 models. In 1887 it moved to the top of the steering head just in front of (or sometimes hidden underneath) the large hex lock nut on the newly improved duplex screw steering adjustment design also introduced in 1887.
Your bicycle has the domed top lock nut for the steering adjustment which is correct for 1885. In 1886 the domed lock nut gave way to a large hex lock nut.
Another thing not very well visible to me are your crank arms and I am wondering if they are ribbed or serrated on the backsides of the pedal axle slots? These ribs or serrations were implemented in 1885-1886 in conjunction with mating ribbed serrated washers so the pedals wouldn't slip in the crank slots once tightened down. In 1887 the crank slots gave way to three overlapping holes for setting different crank pedal throws and the pedals changed as well now using a small pin on the pedal axle to keep them from rotating in the holes and doing away with the previous smooth slotted crank arms with flatted pedal axles that mated within them to keep them from rotating.
Sometimes front hub flanges were stamped on the faces hidden by the front wheel bearing housings when assembled with two digit numbers referring to the number of spoke holes the hub had. Probably a reference in building the hub or for production workers to easily i.d. and pull hubs from a parts box to be ready for building the next bicycle being ordered as different wheel size bicycles had different spoke counts.
Mike Cates, CA.
 
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Phattiremike

I live for the CABE
May 16, 2016
1,354
1,976
Dahlonega Ga.
#17
Thank you for all that information Mike. This bikes serial number is just behind the dust cover it's a 3 digit then horizontally below that is the 52 stamped. I'm told it's a 1886. Yes there are 2 holes a few inches past the seat mount bracket. Crank arms are slotted or serrated.

Mike
 

Craig Allen

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jun 23, 2016
118
264
64
Millville NJ
#18
I understand the points above that were made but I will stick to my previous conclusion that this bike is 1885. I did not determine this date based on the serial number but rather on the obvious handlebars. 1885 was the last year the two part handlebars were offered with retaining nuts. The 1886 catalog reads in part as follows- "The cow-horn handle-bar, as first applied to the Expert this season...."
This is the type that has a retaining wedge.
The two small screw holes on the backbone really are of no help dating as they were also installed post 1885.
The 1885 Expert cranks were also serrated as I can see from one of the photos posted.
Yes it is true the '85 Experts had leaf spring saddles, (Columbia Adjustable Saddle or the Columbia Swing Spring) but trying to date a Columbia highwheel bike based on the saddle can be tricky as there is always the possibility the original owner may have updated the bike to a newer saddle. The saddle on this bike is the Shire, Veeder, and Kirkpatrick patents.
 

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