1915 Commercial Bike Restoration Complete

After a year’s worth of research and work, we recently delivered the bicycle below, a 1915 Delivery bicycle built by the Commercial Cycle Manufacturing Company of Chicago, to the Bicycle Museum of America.

Here's the finished product.

Here's the finished product.

And here it is when we received it.

Is that basket even made of metal?  Looks like dental floss!

Is that basket even made of metal? Looks like dental floss!

As you can see, we had our work cut out for us.  The easiest part was the frame.  We sent it out to our friends at American Metal Cleaning for powder coating.  After that, things got more involved…Wald Sports built us a new basket and handlebars.  They are not only beautiful to look at, but much stronger than the originals.  Granted, the bike won’t be making deliveries anymore, but it’s good to know it could if it had to!  The bright metal parts were in bad shape, so they were all re-plated in nickel by Blakley Polishing to keep the bike as authentic-looking as possible.  The wooden rims were shot, so Tom Hinkle provided some New old stock  rims which Jim painted black and laced up to the original hubs.  The saddle was a little trickier.  We basically cut up an old Brooks B-72 and fit it to the frame of the original saddle.  Not as authentic as everything else, but it looked cool!  

If you’re on your way up north on 75, be sure to stop by the museum (www.bicyclemuseum.com) to check it out along with tons of other fascinating bicycles.

CO-MOTION TANDEM

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Here is our latest custom Co-motion Roadster Tandem.  The tandem was painted to look like a holstein cow in the front and sunflowers in the back.  This tandem goes to show you that we can go the extra mile to get you whatever you want!

The Raleigh One Way…initial thoughts

We’ve been building up a lot of really neat 2009 bikes in the last couple of weeks, but so far my favorite is the Raleigh One Way.  Out of the box the One Way is one of the most practical, and stylish single speed/fixed gear road bikes out there. 

 The practicality starts with a Reynolds 520 cro-mo frame and a nice sloping- crown 4130 cro-mo fork.  From there it just gets better.  The sturdy wheels feature high flange flip-flop hubs with smooth, sealed cartridge bearings.  Stock gearing comes from a 42 tooth chain ring and a 15 tooth fixed cog and a 16 tooth freewheel.  With this combination, you have the choice of 76 gear inches fixed, or 71 free.  76 inches is a little high for some of the hills in Cincinnati, so you may find going to a 16 tooth fixed cog there will help you up the climbs.  Horizontal dropouts allow you to tailor your gearing because adding a bigger or smaller ring or cog might mean having to move the wheel forward or backward.  It’s nice to have so many choices on a $770 bike!  

 

 Because the bike comes stock with 700x35c Vittoria Randonneur tires, there is plenty of clearance between the chain stays and fork blades for fat tires.  The Tektro cantilevers perform flawlessly and aid in tire clearance as well.  The One Way comes standard with SKS fenders and there are braze-ons for a rear rack as well.  You may not want the fenders now, but riding in the rain is a lot more bearable with them…plus they help keep water and grime off the frame and away from vulnerable botom bracket and headset bearings.  Rounding out the practical aspects of the bike are a nifty bell and a beautiful polished aluminum micro pump.  The pump looks great, but more importantly, it actually works very well!  I tested it on the rear tire and I have to say it worked as well as my trusty Zefal HPX.

 

 The One Way has a classic, understated British style about it.  It doesn’t scream at you to notice it, but it drips with class like a ’65 Jaguar at a Chevy dealership.  First up is the Brooks B-17 aged saddle.  Like tweed in an English gent’s wardrobe, this saddle just belongs on this bike.  It also comes pre-drilled and laced so you can tighten it up if it should start to sag.  A steel top tube protector will keep the glossy navy blue paint from chipping should you accidentally swing the bars around too forcefully.  With the previously mentioned bell and pump, all you need to be ready for anything is a Brooks saddle bag to hold your steak and kidney pie and you’re ready for a jaunt in the Cotswolds. 

If you absolutely need gears, check out the next review of the One Way’s sibling called The Clubman…a simply smashing update of the classic British touring bike.

 

 

–Jay

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