Seeking information on JC Higgins bicycle

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KristenL0522

On Training Wheels
Jun 16, 2019
2
29
South Carolina
Hello all! Hope you’re doing well today!!
We finally brought home my great grandfather’s bicycle and I am seeking any information I could get on it. It has a Sears sticker on the front and has frontline across the chain guard. It was purchased in Ohio in late 50’s-60’s but not sure where. I tried to look for a serial number but was unsuccessful. We pumped the tires up and cleaned it up and I rode it around and it still rides well!! Still has the front and back light bulbs although the back light is missing the cover for it. Can’t figure out how the front light works. The wiring is there but don’t see anywhere to put batteries in. Thanks in advance!!

C740E47D-2FB3-441A-822E-69A637C50894.jpeg
 
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Archie Sturmer

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jun 13, 2018
945
Los Angeles, CA, USA
1960’s space bike.
Check out the ‘ultimate Sears spaceliner’ reference thread, under the ‘middleweight bicycles’ category/forum. The serial number is typically on the bottom of the crank housing.
It usually consists of 3-4 parts: a place-date code, such as MOX; a manufacturer code Mod 502 for Murray; a model number such as 46,000; and a sequential number.
 
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Rivnut

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Nov 24, 2012
956
Shawnee, United States
It's labeled JC Higgins rather than Sears so it's middle 50's or older. Look for the serial number on the left rear drop out. MOD 502 will be Murray of Ohio's code for Sears. The last six digits make up the serial number. In order to read the entire number, I had to remove the axle nut. Picked up that idea in another post here on the CABE.
IMG_20190524_120307129.jpg


Mine is a Model 4617. There's a thread dedicated to the Spaceliner here on the CABE. I'm inclined to think yours is a Flightliner "Deluxe" (all chrome,) not a Frontline. I just picked mine up a couple of weeks ago and I'm still learning. Done nothing but try to decode it so far and read threads here on the CABE.
 
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Sven

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Dec 24, 2017
2,504
55
Mechanicsville, MD, United States
flightliner-edit (1).jpg

I am incline to agree with @Rivnut . You possess a Flightliner deluxe. Above is a page from the 1959 Sears Wishbook.
 
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Rivnut

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Nov 24, 2012
956
Shawnee, United States
If you look closley at the catalog ad that Sven posted, you will see a part number for the bike. The girl's 26 " bike is part number 6 N M4691. The last four in that part number will correspond with the stamped number on your bike. Sears used that number for sales as well as parts and service. Your task now is to find the catalog with your number so you can match the catalog date to your bike. You'll notice that your chain guard is different than the one on the bike in the catalog. That will help you narrow your search. The reference to the "Ultimate Spaceliner...." is a good lead for you to start with.
 

KristenL0522

On Training Wheels
Jun 16, 2019
2
29
South Carolina
Thanks everyone for all the information!! I meant to put flightline the first time. My apologies. I will look into all of that. Thanks so much!! Very interesting.
 

Rivnut

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Nov 24, 2012
956
Shawnee, United States
I've played with your bike's twin (mine) and figured out what you need to do to access the battery tray. Take out the two small screws on each side of the chrome headlight bezel. Slide the bezel off gently, wires run from the tank to the bulbs and you don'twant to break them. Grab each side of the tank and pull them away from each other. They pivot on a rivet that holds a tab at the back of and joining the two halves of the tank. At this point, you can remove the tank by pulling the tab at the back out of a slot in the crossmember that joins the two parts of the frame. The battery tray is attached to a bar that is screwed to one half of the tank. When you view the tank from the bottom, you may be tempted to remove the two screws along one half of the tank; not necessary. Hopefully you battery tray is not a bunch of corroded rust powder like mine was.
 
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AndyA

Finally riding a big boys bike
Nov 24, 2017
103
71
bergen county
Nice bike! What you have there, based on a reprinted catalog, is a 1961 Deluxe Flightliner. That springer fork is distinctive for that model year. Note the difference with the springer on the 1959 catalog cut above. According to the catalog the color is "metallic turquoise." The saddle and handgrips look like stock, but original equipment included whitewall 26 X 1.75 front and rear. Have fun!
 

Adamtinkerer

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Sep 8, 2008
3,712
Western North carolina
The Flightliner was new for '58, those and the '59s had a chain guard with a 'swept V' stamped in it as sen in the ad above. '60 - '63 models have the smooth guard as seen on the OP's bike, it was also used later on the Spaceliner, the new top model starting with '64 models.
 
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