Start V dating

V dating

My contemporaries and I are in a younger age group – forties to sixties – and we’re busy learning and recording what we can before it’s lost forever.

The key point here is that the elders who were around while our favourite vintage machines were still on the road are no longer with us, the last of them having passed on in the past twenty years or so.

Now we must depend on those who gleaned that first-hand knowledge from them; these chaps were the ‘youngsters’ then, but now they’re getting older themselves, most in their late sixties and seventies.

It’s possible to date Sturmey-Archer hubs, so if the rear hub is original to the bike that often helps.

Bear in mind that owners often updated their bicycles over the years; though we might like our bike to match its catalogue description, updated parts are also a valid part of its history and provenance.

Details of the following manufacturers have been published, so I hope this page can provide an easy reference point. RUDGE-WHITWORTH FRAME NUMBER DATING Production has been attributed as follows, with frame numbers as at 31 July each year: 1898, 70,000; 1900, 118,200; 1901, 140,754; 1902, 169,739; 1903, 210,950; 1904, 223,672; 1905, 272,991; 1906, 350,235; 1907, 427,114; 1908, 488,139; 1909, 538,390; 1910, 585,010; 1911, 626,400; 1912, 663,066; 1913, 697,524; 1914, 726,731; 1915, 740,862; 1916, 745,621; 1917, 749,192; 1918, 751,213; 1919, 755,622. The Raleigh Heron Head transfer was introduced in 1908.

In the same year, mudguards received a forward extension. Raleigh’s ‘R’ lamp bracket was superseded in September 1927 by the heron lamp bracket (see below).

It’s still not a service I actually offer – but at least they are less abusive. ’ Also, ‘I have a bicycle that looks like one of yours; if I send you pictures please can you identify it for me? The Veteran Cycle Club (V-CC) has a system of ‘marque enthusiasts’ – volunteers who compile what information they can about particular manufacturers.

By joining the V-CC you can access whatever information is available.

Thus, for example, an apprentice mechanic was handed down an invaluable unwritten guide to repairing vehicles that could not be learned at college nor from books, because, as well as specific information about various models, it helped a youngster understand the way they were designed and built.

Similarly, to learn about vintage bicycles, we ask questions of our elders in the hobby.

If that doesn’t help, if it is interesting enough, you might be able to send pictures of it to the the V-CC magazine, or take it to vintage shows and ask exhibitors, or keep an eye on ebay to see if something similar ever comes up. You may be lucky, but more than likely it will remain a mystery.