Old 3-speed JC Higgins help


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rexrogers

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Oct 13, 2018
10
7
49
San Angelo
#1
Picked up this old 3-speed JC Higgins today for $25. From checking the forum I'm guessing it's late 50's early 60's and maybe an Austria made bike.

Any info on the bike would be great.

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It's dirty and used but actually seems like with some new tubes, some oil, and some adjustments it'll be totally usable.

I'm not really a bike guy so all new to me. What size tubes does this bike use? If I have to get tires any recommendations? Thanks for help.

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juvela

Finally riding a big boys bike
Aug 2, 2014
334
411
Playa del Rey, United States
#2
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Congratulations!

Your research spot on. ;)

Made by Steyr/Styria who also proudced bicycles under the Puch and Austro-Daimler badges.

Torpedo IGH by Sachs.

Tip - these frames have one unique dimension: the steerer has an OD of 26.0mm which means the headsets are special. This is sometimes referred to as "Austrian size."

Tip #2 - the number 503 46 100 in the bottom bracket shell is not a serial but rather a lot number for use by manufacturer and Sears. Do not permit a licensing agency to record it as there may have been thousands of bikes in this lot, all with the same number. Makes for record keeping confusion as false positives when checking numbers against stolen lists.

Chainstay bridge is ESGE brand.

Wheel/tyre/tube size is 26" X 1 3/8"

Have good fun with this new arrival. These are solid and honest machines.

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juvela

Finally riding a big boys bike
Aug 2, 2014
334
411
Playa del Rey, United States
#6
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Dating -

There are two spots you can check for a marking:

a) shell of rear hub

b) back side of Weinmann brake calipers

o58ej9.jpg


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Likes: bikerbluz

SKPC

Finally riding a big boys bike
Feb 2, 2018
475
2,078
61
Utah - United States
#7
I think the rear hub is not Sachs, but a sturmey clone 3-spd with a lot of oil in it.(good thing)...clean it off with a brush and mineral spirits and ride it!
 

Oilit

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 30, 2015
530
353
Concord NC
#9

SirMike1983

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 27, 2008
2,941
2,371
United States
#10
These are reasonably well-made bikes with a lot of character to them. It's sort of a little different alternative to the more common Raleigh Sports bike.
 
Likes: SKPC

dweenk

Look Ma, No Hands!
Nov 13, 2014
78
68
Maryland
#11
That chain wheel is nice. It should clean up well in an OA bath. The chain guard is typical of Steyr built bikes at that time. Nice find.
 
Likes: SKPC

rexrogers

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Oct 13, 2018
10
7
49
San Angelo
#13
UPDATE: Got some new tubes off amazon installed and did a little test ride on the bike. Everything works fine! I had hoped the old tires would be reusable but looks like they are cracking pretty quick. So now that I've had a chance to try the bike out a bit I'm gonna commit. Get new tires, service it real good, clean it up. It was missing the head badge when I got it but I found one right away for super cheap on eBay so snagged it. Missing the front fender and will try to hunt one of those down. Pretty happy. Wasn't looking for a bike. This one found me. I'm in.
 

bikerbluz

Look Ma, No Hands!
Oct 15, 2016
83
59
62
Richmond, IN
#14
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your find. Cool bike, love the chain ring. I have a couple JC Higgins 10 speeds that are Austrian made, I really enjoy. I know that 1963 was the last year for the JC Higgins name brand. In 64 they were badged as Sears. Great group of people on this forum, with a wealth of cycling information. Enjoy your ride!
 
Likes: Oilit

rexrogers

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Oct 13, 2018
10
7
49
San Angelo
#15
Went for first ride today. Awesome.

One of the pedals is bent. They are mismatched it looks like as well. I'd like to replace them. Pretty much just want some functional pedals that look right on the bike. Suggestions?
 

juvela

Finally riding a big boys bike
Aug 2, 2014
334
411
Playa del Rey, United States
#16
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Originals would have been either Union or WECO black rubber from Germany.

Union model nr. 685 -

25f7xgw.jpg


WECO model nr. K10479 -

3354chx.jpg


[both manufacturers offer several models]
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rexrogers

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Oct 13, 2018
10
7
49
San Angelo
#17
Got new rubber on the bike finally! Tires, tubes, rim liners, brake pads. Took for a very quick spin. Man what a difference in ride compared to the original old tires that were on it haha. I had planned to replace the pedals as one was bent. I found some like the ones in the comment above. Went to do it and realized the pedal wasn't bent it was the crank (I think). Will have to see what I can do with that one. Oh! got a front badge on it now too! found a slightly jacked up one on eBay for 9.99 shipped. Condition fit the bike so was perfect.
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juvela

Finally riding a big boys bike
Aug 2, 2014
334
411
Playa del Rey, United States
#18
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Thanks for the update.

Great to read the good news.

Yes, the photo clearly shows a bent arm.

It would be straightenable by locking the arm in a beefy bench vise and going at it with a big crescent or pipe wrench.

VAR makes a tool for this (big surprise :wink:). It is Nr. 373. Perhaps a bike shop or co-op near you will have it.

2a5zr50.jpg


I have the early type, looks like this -

2s00efk.jpg


Work can be checked with a straightedge.

Possible that impact great enough to bend arm may have bent spindle as well.

So you might wish to check that also.

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Puch of 1903 -

2gxeljq.jpg

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Last edited:
Likes: Oilit

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