Obligatory "I am new here what bike is this thread"


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vw_guy

Look Ma, No Hands!
May 18, 2019
56
35
Sparks, Nevada
#1
I purchased this Gambles Hiawatha Bicycle today at my community garage sale. I would love to know more about it. Through my research it lead me to here. I haven't decided whether to sell it or keep it yet. Side note I also bought his and hers Schwinn Racer and Breeze bikes for me and the wife today. They were bought from the original owners and rode great with just air in the tires. Anyway, back on to topic, I see the tires are not OG, in fact one blew up in my face while putting air in it today. My ears were ringing for a minute. The pedals dont look to be OG, neither does the seat or handlebars. The rest seems to be in order besides the missing fender light(reflector?). Anyway here are some of the pictures I got today, I can take more. I removed the grocery basket that was clamped onto the handle bars lol!

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Archie Sturmer

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jun 13, 2018
888
800
Los Angeles, CA, USA
#2
The "classic" Hiawatha bike was sold by Gambles stores, and made by Shelby Cycle Company.
The G serial number may indicate a 1945 bike according to 1 list, and perhaps an alternate West coast facility.
In 1953, Shelby Cycle was sold to Gambles, and then assumed into AMF-CWC.
So tires, pedals, grips, seats are the parts that wear out and are often replaced.
The reflectors may have been added for safety, or for compliance reasons.
And welcome to the CABE.
 

vw_guy

Look Ma, No Hands!
May 18, 2019
56
35
Sparks, Nevada
#4
The "classic" Hiawatha bike was sold by Gambles stores, and made by Shelby Cycle Company.
The G serial number may indicate a 1945 bike according to 1 list, and perhaps an alternate West coast facility.
In 1953, Shelby Cycle was sold to Gambles, and then assumed into AMF-CWC.
So tires, pedals, grips, seats are the parts that wear out and are often replaced.
The reflectors may have been added for safety, or for compliance reasons.
And welcome to the CABE.
Thanks for helping me narrow down a year. I'm pulling up older catalogs and will post them here for future searching reference. Maybe I can narrow down a model. I may try to make the bike originalish if there isnt to much to it.
 

stezell

I live for the CABE
May 8, 2014
1,670
1,838
Clarksville, TN, United States
#7
Those are truss rods and they were probably on there at one time with a bracket mounted to the steer tube.
 
Likes: piercer_99

vw_guy

Look Ma, No Hands!
May 18, 2019
56
35
Sparks, Nevada
#8
Those are truss rods and they were probably on there at one time with a bracket mounted to the steer tube.
Hmm I'll take a closer look and see if there are any marks that would indicate those were there. I'm sure those are easy to come by :rolleyes:
 
Likes: stezell

Archie Sturmer

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jun 13, 2018
888
800
Los Angeles, CA, USA
#9
Some of those ads might be for Gambles bikes built by the Cleveland Welding Company.
One telltale sign is the curved chain stays.
I believe that Shelby braces often had the open holes for the rods, (convenient).
brace closed 1.jpg
Lots of choices with black tires; I like the economy Duro colors; Shelby used blue accent with red bikes, so not sure if blue tires with (or without) whitewalls would be to busy looking, or the wrong blue. Also the rims are red, so there is color in that area already. If 2.35" will fit, I like the Schwalbe Fat Franks for the front, and the Big Apples for the rear. With Duro tires, I like the Goodyear diamond in the rear, and the brick-pattern in the front. Pick a color and a price range. There is a guy in San Diego who sells repro Chain Tread tires.
 
Last edited:

vw_guy

Look Ma, No Hands!
May 18, 2019
56
35
Sparks, Nevada
#12
Shelby Hiawatha? Chain ring design.

View attachment 1000489

Shelby Eagle

View attachment 1000609
Mine looks a lot like the top one (including the paint.) So I guess we can somewhat accurately say it's a 1945 Shelby made Gambles Hiawatha? I'm definitely interest in replacing those front truss rods and OG seat. I'd like to get it back closer to OG since its practically in riding condition... I also need to find some cool looking tires. Is there a forum favorite?
 

SKPC

I live for the CABE
Feb 2, 2018
1,038
5,871
62
Utah - United States
#13
Yea, GT58 above is showing what your bike is and what it needs..truss rods & 2 brackets, correct seat, and some Torrington 8 pedals. Then ditch those grips(the bars look ok.) Just post your bike on the "wanted" section with pics of the parts you need. Bike looks worth working on!
 

vw_guy

Look Ma, No Hands!
May 18, 2019
56
35
Sparks, Nevada
#14
Yea, GT58 above is showing what your bike is and what it needs..truss rods & 2 brackets, correct seat, and some Torrington 8 pedals. Then ditch those grips(the bars look ok.) Just post your bike on the "wanted" section with pics of the parts you need. Bike looks worth working on!
Good call on the wanted section. I'll do that thanks! Wish me luck.
 

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