Roland serial number dating
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. The Raleigh Heron Head transfer was introduced in 1908.
To sift through information to try and find similar pictures to your unidentified bicycle would take me months, and I’m already doing similar research on my own bikes.
Not only do I have a full-time job (I run my own business restoring and selling vintage vehicles) and am a hands-on parent of a young child, but I spend a minimum 30 hours every week building, updating and maintaining these free websites to help you . Insomnia is my saving grace, otherwise there would be no time for any of this. In the ‘old days’ (a time which seems to have ended in the past twenty five years or so), a youngster became an apprentice in a chosen field and learned its history from the older employees.
This happened in particular in the 1890s when frame styles changed every few years.
Frames made by top companies with the old designs were sold off through the trade, so smaller companies then sold bicycles using the old frames with different parts years after!
If you can help in any way by contributing to this research, please get in touch. By recording and sharing this knowledge while it’s still as fresh as possible, our fabulous vintage hobbies will continue for centuries to come.
Luckily, I remembered an old Sufi saying, ‘Only explain things to people in a language they understand.’ So now I answer that such a service, which will obviously increase the value of their unidentified machine, will cost them £50 VAT.
They don’t usually use computers, so much of their knowledge is stored in their heads.
By the time we learn from them, it’s second-generation information.
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.