Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Reader Project: Pete's Mystery "Aircycle" Bike

Edit: Bernard of Cyclone Coaster has answered in the comments that this is a 1939 Roadmaster built by Cleveland Welding Co. (CWC), USA. Thanks Bernard!

Yeah, I'm still here. Just busy with non-blog and non-bike stuff lately and for the foreseeable future as well, but I'll try to get back to semi-regular blogging here. Thanks to my loyal readers and lurkers for being patient.

This first post after my hiatus is long overdue, I'm afraid. Thanks for your patience, Pete.

This bike was picked up at a garage sale, and could be a Dutch(?) version of a balloon tire cruiser. The tires, in fact, are of Dutch origin (Swift). Pete doesn't think the fenders, chainguard, or rear rim are original, and he knows the Schwinn saddle isn't, but otherwise, there's a lot of interesting stuff here that I don't know anything about. I'm posting most of the photos Pete sent me in the hope that someone out there will know what this is, where it came from, and roughly how old it is.


  1. Dutch? I am Dutch having been born there but the fiets is not Dutch looking to me. USA more likely. What is on the rear hub? thanks Eduard van Groningen

  2. What a lovely tank bicycle! My gut says it's a prewar one (mid-30s to mid-40s).
    This looks a LOT like a Cleveland Welding Company-built 1940s Hawthorne that's on eBay right now. That listing says CWC made bikes for several brands - so hunt down what those were, and talk to that enthusiast community, and you might find what you're looking for. Columbia Manufacturing and Elgin seem to have also made similar-looking frames, from what I saw poking around in a Google Image search for prewar tank bicycles.
    I hope this helps! Good luck!

  3. 1939 Roadmaster built by CWC Cleaveland Welding Company,USA.

  4. Hi I just stumbled by here. Nice bike and the first time I have seen those tank graphics and that badge. The bike was built by Cleveland Welding and is prewar but is later than 1939. That tank without the opening side door was introduced in 1940 and that frame was discontinued in early 1942 when CWC stopped bicycle production for the duration of WW2. The core of the bike is original but the fenders, seat, chainguard, and drive train are all 60’s updates. If you post the serial number (from the Bottom Bracket, here or on thecabe.com) the date can be pinned down further.

  5. I have this bicycle. it lost it's paint before I got it, and I repainted it- so I recognize the tank and the rear dropouts. I do have the correct fenders and seat, but not so sure about the chainguard. I think my downtube is curved, though.

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