Monday, September 1, 2014

Manton Smith Roadster Project

Just in time for fall... it's time to think about moving on to the next project. I'm down to working only very sporadically on bicycles, mainly when the weather is colder and the days shorter. I spend most of the late spring and summer riding and playing golf, while bad weather times are spent in the shop building and repairing bicycles. I still have a backlog of projects, and this is one of them.

I find it hard to pass up unique lightweight/roadster bikes. This particular bicycle has been identified as a Manton Smith roadster from the 1940s.

This is a straightforward bicycle with welded joints and a diamond frame. The rear drops appear to be inserts welded into place rather than stamped out of a single piece of tubing. The frame came without a badge.

Bottom bracket does not have a serial number on it, but the non-drive rear drop has "M&S Co." stamped on the side. The seat tube has a partially remaining decal with a shop in Brooklyn NY on it. Paint is obviously red with white spears and has blue accents around the spears.

Wheels are a mis matched set- Centrix rear hub with a generic, black out front hub. Rims are mis matched as well. The tires are 597 MM/schwinn sized, but I suspect one of the rims is an old-type 599 ISO size.

The bicycle appears to have received a professional quality repaint at a shop in Brooklyn New York at some point in the distant past. As one member of the CABE pointed out, the bottom bracket cups are painted red, which indicates a repaint.

Nevertheless, the quality of the paint is outstanding, and all the details, including the thin blue stripes around the white spears, are spot on. There is no crazing or deterioration characteristic of home job repaints. I think a pro in a shop did this one, using quality paints, masking, and professional methods.

This bike, along with my wife's modified New World will be my projects this fall and winter.

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