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Old 29th January 2010, 20:29   #1
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Default WWII BSA Folding or Columbia or Huffman Bicycle

Sorry if this is not the right thread to post this but I don't think we have a thread dedicated to WWII Bicycles.


Would highly appreciate if anyone can provide me leads/info to these cycles. Not looking to spend huge sum on them. I am trying to acquire a WWII Bicycle and I am interested in any of the following:

1) Columbia Bicycle
2) Huffman Bicycle

Here is a picture of the above two bicycles. In terms of looks, the Columbia and Huffman are pretty much similar.

First Picture:

Left: Huffman Men's
1942
677
D 51 646

Right: Columbia Woman's
K 6
MG 140092



Second Picture:

Men's Columbia
MG138969


These two WWII Bicycles were produced during the war and even after the war.

The only way to distinguish a real military bicycle from a civilian model is by looking at the number located on the frame underneath the front crank set.... Frame numbers were hand stamped during WW2 and should not be aligned....
Columbia wartime military bicycles have Serial Numbers starting with either 'MF' or 'MG' and are not dated contrary to Huffman made bikes, which are dated and have a Serial Number starting with a letter ('D' and 'H' have been observed) followed by a number.





3) BSA (Birmingham Small Arms) Folding Paratrooper Bicycle

Where folded and used by the para troopers along with their parachute jump. This is a bike made using the frame and forks of a BSA Paratrooper bike. This folding bike was made during World War II. At the time, parachute drops were not terribly accurate and the men would be spread over a large area on landing. The idea of this bike was that the paratrooper carried it with him in the plane, threw it out first, then jumped out. The bike was tied to his harness by a few yards of line. On landing, the paras would unfold the bikes and ride to a rendezvous point to fight the Germans.

The bikes were never used operationally in this way, though there is a photograph of Canadian soldiers coming ashore after D-Day with the bikes to use them to get forward.

Curved tubes are never a good idea in the main frame of a bike. They cost money to bend and add weight. BSA used them to make the frame wider so that the hinges would work better. For bikes that weren't meant to fall from the skies, BSA stuck to the traditional frame design. Curved tubes might look elegant, but they compromise function.





Credit for picture and info goes to: Craig J, Liberator & Gee
Attached Thumbnails
WWII BSA Folding or Columbia or Huffman Bicycle-bsa_folding_paratrooper_bicycle_01_of_20.jpg  

WWII BSA Folding or Columbia or Huffman Bicycle-bsa_folding_paratrooper_bicycle_14_of_20.jpg  

WWII BSA Folding or Columbia or Huffman Bicycle-bsa_folding_paratrooper_bicycle_03_of_20.jpg  

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Old 29th January 2010, 21:23   #2
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Wow Mathew this is interesting. I've never had a WWII cycle. But 30 years ago I bought a maybe 10 year old German folding cycle from a friend. It had the dynamo and lights and also had the rear brakes in the rear hub. So as you pedal black the brake got actuated and it would slow down. Ptiy I didn't take care of it. It was realy tiny and light.
Where did you find the photos of the chassis numbers. Do you have these bikes?
Regards
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Old 29th January 2010, 22:37   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deutscheafrikar View Post
Where did you find the photos of the chassis numbers. Do you have these bikes?
Regards

No, I am not that fortunate yet to have any of these these bicycles. I got these pictures from the net. Do you have any picture of your German folding bicycle .

Cheers
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Old 29th January 2010, 23:11   #4
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Why not start a thread dedicated to vintage and classic bicycles in India? On one of my trips top AhmedNagar came across this lovely german cycle from the late 19th century. A bit of a odd ball. Will try to post a picture of it on Monday.
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Old 1st February 2010, 17:53   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the mole View Post
Why not start a thread dedicated to vintage and classic bicycles in India? On one of my trips top AhmedNagar came across this lovely german cycle from the late 19th century. A bit of a odd ball. Will try to post a picture of it on Monday.

You can start by posting a picture of the lovely german cycle from the late 19th century.
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Old 1st February 2010, 18:21   #6
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I have already started a thread for my 1948 Humber cycle in Pre-1950 forum. It is a good idea to start the thread as suggested. May be we can merge my thread and this thread under Vintage Cycles category

Here my humber link: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/pre-19...ish-cycle.html
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Old 1st February 2010, 20:29   #7
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Moderators please merge all Bicycle threads under Vintage and Classic Bicycles
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Old 4th February 2010, 19:14   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trammway View Post
I have already started a thread for my 1948 Humber cycle in Pre-1950 forum. It is a good idea to start the thread as suggested. May be we can merge my thread and this thread under Vintage Cycles category

Here my humber link: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/pre-19...ish-cycle.html

One thing that I really like is that you have decided not to repaint the cycle. Thats really cool and something not everyone would do.

Good work and nice looking cycle.
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Old 25th February 2014, 18:59   #9
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Default Re: WWII BSA Folding or Columbia or Huffman Bicycle

This is my BSA Folding Paratrooper Cycle, nearing restoration.
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