Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Elswick Bicycles : Serial number - v - Year of manufacture


Elswick catalogue published in 1949

I love things with serial numbers, especially old bicycles, where the serial number stamped into the frame can identify the year of manufacture, the factory of production, or even the model and/or type of bicycle.

In years gone by Raleigh were particularly good at this, as were Sturmey Archer, where a simple number readily located on the item can help you determine its age.


Here we have a Sturmey Archer ASC model 3 speed hub manufactured in 1950.

This dating system can add alot of sentimental value to an item, especially when the item was manufactured on a date close to your heart.

The manufacture date could be your year of birth, your father's or mother's year of birth.......or maybe the item was manufactured just prior to WWII in the late 1930's, or during the Queens Coronation in 1953, anyway you get my drift - an item manufactured on a date significant to you for whatever reason, can add alot of sentimental value to it! 

During a recent bicycle restoration I spent many hours trawling the net looking for information to help me identify the year of manufacture of the Elswick bicycle I was restoring.

My wife couldn't see the point.... "It's an old bike, it's rusty, why bother wasting your time when there's  plenty of jobs around the house that need doing!" I'd like a dollar for every time she......!!! 

So in the face of much resistance I kept trawling and sure enough, my toil was finally rewarded at http://www.oldbike.eu/ - the online vintage bike museum.

I spent hours on this site, it contains alot of detailed information and great images, and there on the 1951 Elswick Hopper 'Model W' Butcher's Bike page I located the below chart referring to Elswick bicycle serial number dating. 

In my experience, the Elswick bicycle frames I have located here in Australia contain a five digit number followed by a single letter, the letter being the identifying feature that indicates the year of manufacture of the frame.

I can't confirm the accuracy of the above chart, but when I apply the information to the Elswick frame serial numbers I have seen here, the dating is consistent with the styling and period of the accessories fitted to the bike....so I assume its accurate. 

As time passes and frames are left to rust, of course, the stamped serial number often deteriorates and can become difficult to read, so at times its easy to mistake a number for a letter, or vice versa.....sometimes you may have to apply a little bit of guess work.

So if you are attempting to date your old Elswick please consider the information contained in the above chart to date your cycle. Good luck!


Front and rear covers of Elswick catalogue published in 1948.







9 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi I just got this bike and trying to find out what it is a how old it is the serial number is v9805177 it said on the bike it's a spectrum then in big writing it says blade can u help

    ReplyDelete
  3. It is my first visit to your blog, and I am very impressed with the articles that you serve. Give adequate knowledge for me. Thank you for sharing useful material. I will be back for the more great post. mosfet replacement

    ReplyDelete
  4. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything similar to this just before. So nice to uncover somebody by original applying for grants this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this amazing site is one area that is required on the internet, someone after some originality. useful work for bringing a new challenge for the web! Meteran Air Amico

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi I have just got an old Elswick gents town bike hub says 75 but the brakes are rod brakes so wandering if it’s an older model also wanted to ask if you know where in the frame the serial number is?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Fat-dissolvable vitamins are put away in the stores of greasy body tissues and can accordingly be drawn upon when they are not acquired every day from the eating regimen. tadalafil powder

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi there! Nice post! Please tell us when I will see a follow up! 토토커뮤니티

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am glad you take pride in what you write. This makes you stand way out from many other writers that push poorly written content. website

    ReplyDelete