The 28" mystery bike (*Little advice please*)

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tacochris

Look Ma, No Hands!
So, even though its not correct in a handful of ways, this is still a bit of a dream bike for me because as many prewar balloon era bikes as Ive had, Ive never had and always dreamed of one day having a 28" wood-wheel bike. In walks this beauty on a misspelled random listing, for sale cheaper than you can buy braced handlebars and a seat for so a made the magic happen as quick as I could and landed it and got it home.
I knew looking at it that it was generally correct but I could tell some things were "off" so here is what Ive noticed so far:
Grips are Columbia script but do appear to be real
Tank is very fake, like hollow...Lol!
"Delta battery can" is super fake along with the brackets I believe
Chain ring (sprocket) is from the wrong era
Head-badge also appears to be wrong considering Lacks Hardware came out much later than the bike

One thing I can say is the tubular tires do not appear to be repop BUT I could be wrong because Im no expert in that area. They just don't have the makers mark that the known repops did. Wheels are 28" for sure because theyre much larger than a 26" wheel, but Ive read you could stretch a 26" tubular over a 28" wood wheel.

I need help seeing if we can determine anything about the bike, maybe a year range, maker (possibly Westfield), what tank it should have etc:
Its original paint and the serial number is B4735 (I thought the B was an R because its struck very shallow but it has to be a B because the lower leg curves inward.

Enough yacking, here are the pics of this beauty!

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tacochris

Look Ma, No Hands!
Doesnt look like anyone is gonna respond so maybe just let me know how to delete this thread.
 

SKPC

I live for the CABE
Interesting Moto Tacoman. :D Be patient, there will be many lookers.
My take it is a pieced together rider. Hmmmmmm....let me look closer...

Edit: Snyder made frame with the obvious Bottom Bracket seat/down tube connection. Fork might be original as are stem and bars..maybe rack. But, Snyder-built forks are not like that one. BUT, Snyder bought out Great Western and Excelsior in the 20's, and that fork could be from the old inventory or slapped on cause it matched the color...so maybe Snyder/DP Harris bones....... Wheels, crank, fenders, batt box, seat etc. most likely not original to this bike. Fork looks like a 28-er and frame looks like a 26-er. Need: Pics of serial number. Pics of rear axle fork. Pics with tank removed... Nice badge man.....
 
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barnyguey

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
So, even though its not correct in a handful of ways, this is still a bit of a dream bike for me because as many prewar balloon era bikes as Ive had, Ive never had and always dreamed of one day having a 28" wood-wheel bike. In walks this beauty on a misspelled random listing, for sale cheaper than you can buy braced handlebars and a seat for so a made the magic happen as quick as I could and landed it and got it home.
I knew looking at it that it was generally correct but I could tell some things were "off" so here is what Ive noticed so far:
Grips are Columbia script but do appear to be real
Tank is very fake, like hollow...Lol!
"Delta battery can" is super fake along with the brackets I believe
Chain ring (sprocket) is from the wrong era
Head-badge also appears to be wrong considering Lacks Hardware came out much later than the bike

One thing I can say is the tubular tires do not appear to be repop BUT I could be wrong because Im no expert in that area. They just don't have the makers mark that the known repops did. Wheels are 28" for sure because theyre much larger than a 26" wheel, but Ive read you could stretch a 26" tubular over a 28" wood wheel.

I need help seeing if we can determine anything about the bike, maybe a year range, maker (possibly Westfield), what tank it should have etc:
Its original paint and the serial number is B4735 (I thought the B was an R because its struck very shallow but it has to be a B because the lower leg curves inward.

Enough yacking, here are the pics of this beauty!

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Lacks Auto started in business in 1935. That must be one of the first bikes they sold. They sold several different brands of bikes including a Road Master I have that's made by the Cleveland Welding Company. Barry
 

bloo

Finally riding a big boys bike
26x2.12_ balooner size tires in single tube? Is that a normal thing?
 

SKPC

I live for the CABE
Looks like the wheels may be "balloon single tube" and not "Super Balloon" tubed that followed.
I believe they were transition wheels. Would need diameter of outside of rim measurement.
 

tacochris

Look Ma, No Hands!
Interesting Moto Tacoman. :D Be patient, there will be many lookers.
My take it is a pieced together rider. Hmmmmmm....let me look closer...

Edit: Snyder made frame with the obvious Bottom Bracket seat/down tube connection. Fork might be original as are stem and bars..maybe rack. But, Snyder-built forks are not like that one. BUT, Snyder bought out Great Western and Excelsior in the 20's, and that fork could be from the old inventory or slapped on cause it matched the color...so maybe Snyder/DP Harris bones....... Wheels, crank, fenders, batt box, seat etc. most likely not original to this bike. Fork looks like a 28-er and frame looks like a 26-er. Need: Pics of serial number. Pics of rear axle fork. Pics with tank removed... Nice badge man.....
Ok SKPC let me see if i can answer some questions and add some more pics to help:
First its definitely a full 28” bike frame and fork because ive added 28” wood wheels to a transition frame balloon bike and it was so tight it would barely fit the tire much less a full fender. This rim is 25 inches across when my 26” rims are all 22.5 inches across so pretty clear on that.
Ive added a pic of the serial number below as well which is super hard to photograph but its B4735. The rear hub per the pic is Morrow script, the front fork is the early style mounting setup and if you can see in the pic, the original white spears are style kinda there per the front neck photograph.
I can tell ya the tank, sprocket, battery can and grips are definitely not original. Hope this helps some...

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SKPC

I live for the CABE
Too many suspicious things going on with this bike. I am beginning to think the Lacks badge has been added to the frame. 1935 badge on a most likely pre-35 28-er frame with a fork not typical to a Snyder frame of that era. You never know who has added the parts from where or when right? These amalgam bikes as I call them will forever be a mystery. The Wheels are added I believe as the paint is not similar to the frame/fork. Those wheels seem to be 28-er single-tube ballooners made in either the late 20's or early 30's being that the diameter you measured is accurate. Spokes also look replaced on the front/back wheels and not done very well. Not sure, but the rims most likely could take 28-er single tube smaller tire as well.
I am suspect of the Lacks badge being original for sure. See the sandpaper marks above the badge disappearing under the badge? Clearly the badge has been OFF the frame at some point as the sanding marks continue under the badge with no badge damage so most likely added to the frame. So yea, my best guess is it is a full-on "amalgam" bike. Don't let this discourage you from getting it running with some nice wheels. It's a good-looking project so just have fun with it and do with it what you wish!:D
@Archie Sturmer ??
 
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Archie Sturmer

I live for the CABE
I was thinking 1933-B Snyder built motorbike frame from their then newly acquired Excelsior Michigan City Indiana plant. Yes, some odd parts, such as CWC crank set. The frame and fork look similar to a 1932-A Snyder built 28” Sears Elgin motorbike tank project that I have somewhere.
The head badge may be interesting, but I wonder if there are any other fastening holes underneath.
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And the ~2+7/8” holes spacing (like for CWC badges), might almost fit one of those reproduction Excelsior red “E” head badges(?).
 
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tacochris

Look Ma, No Hands!
I was thinking 1933-B Snyder built motorbike frame from their then newly acquired Excelsior Michigan City Indiana plant. Yes, some odd parts, such as CWC crank set. The frame and fork look similar to a 1932-A Snyder built 28” Sears Elgin motorbike tank project that I have somewhere.
The head badge may be interesting, but I wonder if there are any other fastening holes underneath. And the ~2+7/8” holes spacing (like for CWC badges), might almost fit one of those reproduction Excelsior red “E” head badges(?).
First off, thank you and SKPC for jumping in with info even if we’re all just speculating right now its nice to have any educated direction to go with it.
I will say that, giving the research ive done on Lacks Hardware and its origination story, the badge is the wrong era for the bike so i believe it to be incorrect and im gonna remove it this weekend and look for other holes.
I know SKPC speculated that the fork might be an added item but ive inspected it pretty darn good and the color/patina and wear all match so i would venture to say its correct based on that and the era.
My real knowledge base has always been the balloon-era bikes mainly 26” so i recognized the crank/sprocket were wrong right away.
Might seem lofty of me but i am going to try to remove and rebuild this bike to “what I believe” is correct once ive determined what it should/could’ve looked like. I plan on building a wheelset with Velocity blunts and another early Morrow hub set i have so the bike can be ridden safely.
Last thing to add onto SKPC saying the wheels appear relaced: thats possible because the wheels are wonky as hell.
Do you happen to have any pics of complete bikes that would give me more of an idea of the Elgin theory? If not i can always find some....
 

SKPC

I live for the CABE
Good job vetting this bike. The "Elgin" pics above are Excelsior built frames....yours is Snyder built. Remember Elgin's for Sears were built by different makers over time. Parts suppliers were many are not always consistent with these bikes typically, as you may see an ad for 1932 or 1933 bike, but the components were not always the same as in the ads. The cranksets in the pics could have been on your bike originally though.... This gives you some leeway as you put it back together more properly representing how it 1st came. You should use the seat, rack and perhaps fenders you have also....What I find interesting is the Excelsior fork on the Snyder frame. 1st one I have seen with a Snyder frame, and seems patina correct and original to this frame, which you don't see too often. This is a good thing!~~~ Typical Snyder forks (unlike this one) were used on almost all late 20's through 30's bikes.
New clincher 28-er Velocity B's laced to the era-correct hubs would look great. Be sure the races of the hubs you have are good before you invest anything more into a rideable set of wheels. Axle Cones can be replaced if worn, but not hub races. I would dis-assemble them and re-use the hubs if you can. I would also recommend NOS butted 14/15 spokes cad-plated or galvanized with 3/4" long two-flat nipples using your old hubs. The re-lace job on your wheels used straight-gage spokes and modern nips which is a big clue of a rebuild. Someone may want those single-tube 28-er rims for a restoration project, so when you take the wheels apart, set the rims aside.... @barnyguey I'm sure is on to you for the badge already if you don't use it.
So yea, you haven't too far to go with it. Search Hawthorne Flyer here and look at the late 20's and 30's Snyder moto versions posted to find more inspiration and a good look at what you may need to get it back! Keep us posted.
 
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barnyguey

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
So, even though its not correct in a handful of ways, this is still a bit of a dream bike for me because as many prewar balloon era bikes as Ive had, Ive never had and always dreamed of one day having a 28" wood-wheel bike. In walks this beauty on a misspelled random listing, for sale cheaper than you can buy braced handlebars and a seat for so a made the magic happen as quick as I could and landed it and got it home.
I knew looking at it that it was generally correct but I could tell some things were "off" so here is what Ive noticed so far:
Grips are Columbia script but do appear to be real
Tank is very fake, like hollow...Lol!
"Delta battery can" is super fake along with the brackets I believe
Chain ring (sprocket) is from the wrong era
Head-badge also appears to be wrong considering Lacks Hardware came out much later than the bike

One thing I can say is the tubular tires do not appear to be repop BUT I could be wrong because Im no expert in that area. They just don't have the makers mark that the known repops did. Wheels are 28" for sure because theyre much larger than a 26" wheel, but Ive read you could stretch a 26" tubular over a 28" wood wheel.

I need help seeing if we can determine anything about the bike, maybe a year range, maker (possibly Westfield), what tank it should have etc:
Its original paint and the serial number is B4735 (I thought the B was an R because its struck very shallow but it has to be a B because the lower leg curves inward.

Enough yacking, here are the pics of this beauty!

View attachment 1259665

View attachment 1259666

View attachment 1259667

View attachment 1259668

View attachment 1259669

View attachment 1259670

View attachment 1259671

View attachment 1259672
Hello, If you decide to sell the badge I'd sure like a shot at it. barneyguey53@gmail.com Cell phone 1-509-230-0613 or home phone 1-208-687-5319. Thank you. Barry
 

barnyguey

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Too many suspicious things going on with this bike. I am beginning to think the Lacks badge has been added to the frame. 1935 badge on a most likely pre-35 28-er frame with a fork not typical to a Snyder frame of that era. You never know who has added the parts from where or when right? These amalgam bikes as I call them will forever be a mystery. The Wheels are added I believe as the paint is not similar to the frame/fork. Those wheels seem to be 28-er single-tube ballooners made in either the late 20's or early 30's being that the diameter you measured is accurate. Spokes also look replaced on the front wheel and not done very well. Not sure, but the rims most likely could take 28-er single tube smaller tire as well.
I am suspect of the Lacks badge being original as well. See the sandpaper marks above the badge disappearing under the badge? Clearly the badge has been OFF the frame at some point as the sanding marks do not stop but continue under the badge with no badge damage....It may in fact be added to the frame. So yea, my best guess is it is a full-on "amalgam" bike. Don't let this discourage you from getting it running. It's a fun-looking project so just have fun with it and do with it what you wish!:D
@Archie Sturmer ??
A 1935 badge would be shaped like this one below. I think they started using your badge style in the 40's.

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Here's what your badge would look like with paint.

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Archie Sturmer

I live for the CABE
Do you happen to have any pics of complete bikes that would give me more of an idea of the Elgin theory? If not i can always find some....
Below are some ads showing short-frame Excelsior built Sears Elgin motorbikes. About this time manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers appeared to target the market of bicycles more as children's toys (small frames). Subsequent 1930's ads would later show Sears switching suppliers, such as with Westfield or Snyder (5-points star chain rings).
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In the 1930's Sears was also purchasing from Westfield, concurrently with other makes; (perhaps affecting the solvency of Excelsior?).
We don't often see ads with pictures of alternate suppliers, so finding an example of an actual complete bike is a better idea.
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Later, Snyder would acquire the Excelsior Michigan City Indiana plant, which began to produce bicycles of Snyder designs and methods.
And even later, Sears would start procuring bicycles from the Murray Ohio bicycle manufacturer.
 
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SKPC

I live for the CABE
Here is a Snyder frame with Excelsior fork badged Elgin on theBay... with a very different serial number & later than yours..
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