WW1 Columbia military bike resto questions.


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redline1968

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Oct 16, 2008
5,144
4,232
Seattle, United States
#1
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well I just discovered that I had purchased a military bike by accident. Yep I really thought it was just a double bar.. to my surprise it’s not. So now I’m reasearchng the historic info by reading blogs on this bike. It seams that they are kinda rare and there is not many original color pics of these bikes.. so I.. there are a few questions that I have. Should I resto it in military colors or not.. does it make a difference.. I’ve seen a USA xxx serial numbers with the military color. I don’t think it’s a color indicator... I found that they sent some to Europe during the war..could this USA prefix mean they were exports and not a indicator for color? What are your thoughts? Here are a few pics of mine I put heavy duty spokes and saddle on it since it’s military... I got the crank and chain ring on its way..yes badge is gone but not forgotten...

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hoofhearted

Saint Lactose The Tolerant
Jan 20, 2010
4,102
6,796
Fairborn, Ohio
#2
redline1968 ......

Type the following in, in the CABE search feature ...

''World War One Era --- OLIVE DRAB''

Read everything ... but especially ENTRY #7
by rustjunkie.

..... patric

 

Mercian

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jul 1, 2016
460
731
52
France
#4
Hi Redline,

I have a 1917 one that I'm working on. Posts 3 and 4 below will give you a comparison that I made of colours found on the unexposed head of the fork.

https://thecabe.com/forum/threads/ww1-westfield-columbia-military-model.109845/

That said, I think that yours is one of the ones made from and sold after the war using surplus frames, and it may be that it was always black. A good place to check for original colour would be inside the bb, or inside the headtube.

Hope this helps.,

Adrian
 

redline1968

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Oct 16, 2008
5,144
4,232
Seattle, United States
#5
Yep black it is.. but I think since it needs resto I'm going with the alternative after all its military even if it was assembled later. And who's to say there wasn't any olive drab bikes made after..lol. . This one Just never saw bullets ... And it will look cooler ...thanks for the info
 
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Likes: Boris

Mercian

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jul 1, 2016
460
731
52
France
#7
That does look better. Is this the crank and ring from Hoofhearted? If so, it turned up at the right time for you, they are not easy to find.

Is that the WW2 toolbag on the back? I'm still looking for the WW1 one which is somewhat less egg shaped (-:

For the bars on mine, I used rechromed WW2 military bars, these are the same pattern as the WW1 bars, and easily available on Ebay. I discuss it on some posts here:

http://hmvf.co.uk/topic/37408-us-1917-westfield-columbia-quotmilitary-modelquot-bicycle/

The correct pattern grips I got from here:

http://www.vintageccm.com/content/corrugated-rubber-grips

Best Regards,

Adrian
 

redline1968

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Oct 16, 2008
5,144
4,232
Seattle, United States
#9
Thank you the info and yes that’s the chain ring.. the too bag was one I had laying around. It will be addressed when I find one lol.. believe it or not I had the bars in the past I know what to look for for them. I’ll bet the military color will make this thing pop hard! But as with everything projects it will have to wait it’s turn. I’m going into gas operated mode and start working on my Pontiac and a ww2 paratrooper military simplex bike and possibly my flying merkel bicycle etc etc etc.... :0

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Likes: Mercian

Mercian

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jul 1, 2016
460
731
52
France
#11
Hi sam,

I've found that the description you've posted is a good start point for details of the bicycle (and, as far as I'm aware, there is no known official Military specification surviving), but it is for the postwar bike, and certain items have been changed.

I think the biggest is the wheels/tyres. The spec. above gives "Steel cement rims. Morrow coaster brake. Pope concave front hub". As discussed in post s 44-46 here:

https://thecabe.com/forum/threads/1918-dayton-military-bicycle.57698/page-3

the military wheels are single tube clinchers. The coaster brake is a Morrow, but I have only seen 'straight' front hubs on the military wheels, and so far been unable to identify them (does anyone here know? Pope? Eclipse?):

1918-Columbia-Military-Model-WW1-61 A.jpg

http://www.oldbike.eu/museum/world-war-one/1918-ww1-columbia-military-model-u-s-army-issue-usa748/

There may be other changes too. Has anyone confirmed the White pedal rubbers, for example?

Also, there may have been variations in the WW1 Military Model as prewar civilian parts were used up and replaced by wartime parts.

Happy new year. (-:

Adrian

1918-Columbia-Military-Model-WW1-88 A.jpg
 

redline1968

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Oct 16, 2008
5,144
4,232
Seattle, United States
#12
I have both types of hubs one is concaved and the other is straight. I never checked to see if there is a stamped name on them. I can supply pics of them and check for the name if any.. the concaved is slightly larger in the shaft size then the straight. the spokes are the same size. As far as the pedals not sure. It seems that black seems to be the norm not sure also the pedal shafts for the bike are slightly larger in diam.
 
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Mercian

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jul 1, 2016
460
731
52
France
#13
Hi Redline,

Thanks for your thoughts and the offer of checking. There is absolutely no urgency, but if you ever do get the chance to check the hubs, then I'd be interested to know your conclusions.

Best Regards,

Adrian
 

redline1968

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Oct 16, 2008
5,144
4,232
Seattle, United States
#14
Here’s what your have none are marked.. two looked like it was originally painted and one nickeled. The hour glass hubs you could park a truck on them. The other is thinner but has the same gauge spokes.
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Mercian

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jul 1, 2016
460
731
52
France
#15
Hi Redline,

Thanks for the photos. Interesting that none of them resemble the one from Oldbikes in my post, though I have no doubt all are original.

I have also just privately received photos of another mostly complete Columbia Military Model which turned up in France late last year. This too has a straight front hub. The photo is not too clear, but seems similar to Redline's. I will see if I can get a clearer picture.

The Hourglass ones I imagine are the 'Pope Concave' mentioned in the advert Post 10. The straight ones, I have no idea, but get the feeling they may be earlier, if, as we know, the advert is circa 1920. At least I need not be so prescriptive in my search for a 'correct' front axle.

As an aside, what's with the front fork design that only has holes for the axle, not slots? Why did it take so long for them to figure this was a duff idea? It's not as if the rear wheel wasn't located in slots. I really don't like prising apart 100 year old forks to put the wheel on... (-:

Have a Good Weekend,

Adrian
 
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redline1968

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Oct 16, 2008
5,144
4,232
Seattle, United States
#16
The hour glass is easier to remove its self contained and the shaft just pulls through the fork hole. Yep removal is a pain if you don’t have the right axle shaft. There is a trick to them. Seems like the Indian was earliest to use the standard forks slots we use today. As far as the dates They are close.
I’m betting m the straight hub that’s what I’m going with.
 

Mercian

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jul 1, 2016
460
731
52
France
#19
Hi Catfish,

Interesting, and Thanks for the very informative photo, the first one I've seen of a white Columbia pedal block. Forgive me for asking, is yours a WW1 or postwar Military Model? (I tried searching, but I'm too short of time this morning to read all the conversations on CABE, I really should start listing the Military Models).

Best Regards,

Adrian
 

sam

I live for the CABE
May 24, 2006
1,465
470
San Antonio, United States
#20
I think something that should be talked about is the handle bars---don't the WW1 differ from the WW2 bars at the center----I'm under the impression the WW1 bars used a sleeve and the WW2 bars used a budge.
 

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