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"If that was my bike..." 1948? Monark Super Deluxe

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PLERR

Look Ma, No Hands!
Hi all, My first legit post here on The CABE (after my intro). Just picked this up today (my first balloon tire bike!!!) and I'm hoping for two things from this post. First, getting the most common questions out of the way: what would you say this is worth, what year is it, and is it all original? I paid $275 (and the seller threw in two 90s mountain bikes), I'm thinking it's a '48, and I think only the grips have been changed but don't know for sure.

Second is the meat of the post. "If this was your bike..." what would you do with it? Lots of room for discussion there and I'm hoping for a lively debate! I think it could be taken in a number of directions. My intent is to do a full tear down, clean, re-lube, polish - and ride it.

But therein lies the rub. Some parts have lost all of the chrome. the aluminum could probably be shined to a near chrome finish. I don't want an odd look with some parts trash and some parts like new. How far is too far? Not far enough? I don't want to to end up with a bike where folks look at it and say it's a shame he did... Over polished the spoke nipples, whatever. And I sure don't want to rub through any graphics. I was planning on using Meguiar's cleaner wax or a light polishing compound, but certainly not rubbing compound. I'm open to replacing parts, but I like the idea of it having the "original" original parts. I'm pretty sure I'll have to replace the rims, though. What's left of the chrome brushes off like glitter. The wheels and crank are nearly seized.

I'm happy to add more photos if requested, but I didn't want to bog things down initially with a ton pics.

Thanks to all in advance


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PLERR

Look Ma, No Hands!
Just found the recent post on Monark ID. S/N works out to be a '47, but horn button is on the right ('48-'50). But I would say S/N rules the day, so it's a '47. Yes?
 
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bike

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
unmolested bike!
 

bike

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
tires grease and ride!
 

OZ1972

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Love your bike , i really miss the one that I sold , congratulations nice bike !!!!!!!!
 

oldfart36

I live for the CABE
It's an early 48. Value depends on how it cleans up and how far you go while cleaning, be gentle! The marbled seat is a plus, not a lot are around. Survivors with a few stains a bumps are the true loved ones in this hobby/love that tell the story, and are more rare then the others.
This is my blue 48 survivor. Good find, and enjoy the bike.

1309433
 

SKPC

I live for the CABE
Not a Fake bike! Yes, you did well as mentioned because it was put away wet a long time ago and left to sit: Therein lies the true value as far as collectability and value. It is ALL there. As mentioned above, tear it all down 100% and carefully clean the original paint as well as the metal pieces. Use WD40 and fine steel wool on most all the metal pieces except the wheels. You should take the internals out of the hubs and soak the wheels in a Vinegar tub bath for a few hours while using some brass brushes to take the rust off: rust never sleeps. Once removed, seal the cleaned metal with Linseed oil. Some would disagree, but I would personally re-spoke the wheels using the old nipples and vinegar-bathed rims. Rusty and seized spokes are a nightmare if you want to actually ride it.
 

GeorgeK54

Finally riding a big boys bike
Not a Fake bike! Yes, you did well as mentioned because it was put away wet a long time ago and left to sit: Therein lies the true value as far as collectability and value. It is ALL there. As mentioned above, tear it all down 100% and carefully clean the original paint as well as the metal pieces. Use WD40 and fine steel wool on most all the metal pieces except the wheels. You should take the internals out of the hubs and soak the wheels in a Vinegar tub bath for a few hours while using some brass brushes to take the rust off: rust never sleeps. Once removed, seal the cleaned metal with Linseed oil. Some would disagree, but I would personally re-spoke the wheels using the old nipples and vinegar-bathed rims. Rusty and seized spokes are a nightmare if you want to actually ride it.
Excellent advice here!
 

PLERR

Look Ma, No Hands!
Thanks for all the feedback everyone. At the moment I'm still very concerned about how to proceed, so the Monark is going to stay just as it is for a while. So to answer the question - for me - what would I do if that was my bike? Leave it alone til I acquire some more experience.

Thankfully, I have the perfect crust-cycle that can serve as a guinea pig. It's a '59 Ross Super Deluxe. Nowhere near as super or deluxe as the Monark, but it still has nice lines. I think it will be an excellent candidate to learn on. I'll start a project thread to document the journey. Probably after the new year...

Finally, a heads up. I did not chose my username wisely. I'll be changing it soon and posting a thread to that effect in Birds of a Feather. I wanted to mention it here since folks associate me and the Monark with my current username.
 

Barto

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Thanks for all the feedback everyone. At the moment I'm still very concerned about how to proceed, so the Monark is going to stay just as it is for a while. So to answer the question - for me - what would I do if that was my bike? Leave it alone til I acquire some more experience.

Thankfully, I have the perfect crust-cycle that can serve as a guinea pig. It's a '59 Ross Super Deluxe. Nowhere near as super or deluxe as the Monark, but it still has nice lines. I think it will be an excellent candidate to learn on. I'll start a project thread to document the journey. Probably after the new year...

Finally, a heads up. I did not chose my username wisely. I'll be changing it soon and posting a thread to that effect in Birds of a Feather. I wanted to mention it here since folks associate me and the Monark with my current username.
Great Idea PLERR, I think you made a ton of people on The CABE very happy with your conservative decision!!!!
 

jimbo53

I live for the CABE
I'm surprised no one has said,"It's Only Original Once!" These are great riders, and I echo new tires/tubes and clean/repack all bearing surfaces. Pretty sure it has a New Departure model D hub, which are great hubs and easy to work on with lots of info here. I would invest $8-12 (you can find them on eBay) on a new D12 transfer spring while you're in there-that's really the only part that can give you trouble so nip it in the bud, like Barney Fife would say. I use a non-ammonia based window cleaner to wipe down all the painted parts to remove dirt and crud, but patina is revered here so careful as you go! I wish my first bike was as cool as yours. It's easily worth 3 times what you paid, maybe more. Enjoy and keep on the lookout for your second bike, then your third, then your fourth...
 

PLERR

Look Ma, No Hands!
Jackpot,Dont "restore" please.
No problem there, never intended to. From my initial post: "My intent is to do a full tear down, clean, re-lube, polish - and ride it." But I was genuinely curious to see what others would do. Still am, so keep posting your thoughts! Seems that we have a unanimous "do not restore" - at least so far.

I have an old Mustang. I spent two years in a 10x20 unheated storage unit (no elec, no water) performing a complete tear down and mechanical rebuild/refurbish. Every nut and bolt. It was mechanically sketchy and now runs and drives great. It's a mild resto-mod. It was my choice, both personally and financialy, not to paint it. It has a mild patina. The same patina it had when I bought it at 16. I was really proud of the work I did. Took it to all the cruises and shows. Now I don't go anymore because I'm tired of people telling me I'm a fool for not painting it when I had the chance. That hurts. It's all anyone wants to talk about. The car is solid as a rock (a NC car) and yet all the paint estimates I received were $20,000+. Pretty sure the foolish thing would have been to spend that much on paint.

Plus I'm a big fan of patina and the story it tells. There is no way I'll even swap a washer out on this bike. I typically even go so far as to make sure left goes back on left and right goes back on right. So no resto here.

But I will get it on the road again. I won't leave it as found. I promised the original owner's family that it would be ridden and loved, not parted or flipped, and that made them very happy. And the thought of me & my girl riding our ballooners down the rail trail in Ohiopyle State Park in the summer is my motivation. The only change will be tires & tubes and they're in the mail as I write this.
 
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