Please help me date my Rollfast

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Imagine my surprise to see this outside the antique/junk shop. I managed to score this Rollfast for an exceptionally reasonable price (old bikes are rare as heck in Connecticut, for some reason).

Here's some pictures of it as she sits pre-restoration. If anyone can help me with the date and model, it would be much appreciated!

:D :D :D
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There is no serial number database for HP Snyder built bikes so no help there. Going off the forward facing dropouts I would say it is postwar. Need to search through old catalogs to try and nail down a year unless one of the other members can nail it down.

Great looking bike. Wash, wax, grease and ride!
 
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I love that huge Torrington aircraft aluminum neck. The aluminum can react with the steel and form a bond. I found an old bike once with one of those necks and did everything I could to save it but it was totally fused. Yours is probably okay since your bike doesn't look like it's been out in the rain ever. First thing, you need some FAT tires! 8) Gary
 
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Believe it or not, the "Tractor Grip tires" are not even rotted or bald. I think I'm just gonna clean them up. And yes, she's not getting repainted, because +1 for patina! She is being disassembled and thoroughly cleaned, then greased and then ridden.

The pants are my wife's pajamas, she's known for her awesome style.
 
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Great find. Interesting that someone has put a Shelby chain ring on it. I agree it is more than likely post war. I have heard that acetone will disolve the aluminum to steel bond, but have never had the opportunity to try it. Bike more than likely came with 2.125 tires originally.
 
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I'm pretty certain the rims and crank/ chainring and tires are not stock. Though, several Rollfast in the Rollfast gallery have that chainring. The pedals and stem are most certainly Torrington, unfortunately, the pedals are ruined.

I will be using fire to separate the stem from the fork tube, if it even needs it, this thing is pretty un-rusty. Don't worry, I've been restoring balloons since 1987, so trust me when I say fire is the best method.
 
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I'm not too big on big wide tires as you really notice the resistance when trucking down the path. Though, some 2.125 or 2.50 would be really sexy...
 
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"The pants are my wife's pajamas, she's known for her awesome style."
That's funny. I'd have to build a bike around them.
 
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Nice score! I'm pretty sure that stem is a Rollfast stem. Once you get it off it should have an R in a circle on the lower part of the stem. I've been looking for that stem for a while for my Rollie. Wanna sell it? :D
 
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HotRodRob said:
Nice score! I'm pretty sure that stem is a Rollfast stem. Once you get it off it should have an R in a circle on the lower part of the stem. I've been looking for that stem for a while for my Rollie. Wanna sell it? :D

I learn something new here every day. 8) Gary
 
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it is 50's, last ballon Rollfast was 1955,56, the crank's, chaingaurd, seat, and probly fenders not original, but still a cool find and I would clean and ride it, hope you enjoy
 
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Seat is original, just leafed through Evolution of the Bicycle Vol 2, and there are a bunch of 50s Rollfasts in there with the same seat. I also have a Snyder(builder of Rollfast) built Hawthorne with one. A theory I've been working on is that most 40s-50s Snyder frames have a stamping on the BB separate from the serial. There's two digits, which I believe is the year, reversed. I've seen an early 50s one stamped '05' (1950?) and a mid 50s stamped '55'. Phil has proven that late prewar frames were stamped this way, Hawthornes stamped 04 and 14 (1940-41), they had features only offered in those years. I think there are letters after the two digits. Take a look. -Adam
 
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I'm not really sure but around the end of 1950 or early 1951 rollfast changed the rear of the frame. The rear looks like a columbia or a monark. Yours is not like that, so going by the badge I say 1950 since most bikes still had the old style badge on 49.
 
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Strangely, there is no number on the bottom bracket, and there is also no evidence there has ever been one... there is a number on the seatube...
 
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Unfortunately, I have pneumonia Atm. So I have not been able to start the meticulous cleaning of the frame ( Doc says cleaner/compound fumes is a big no no). Currently, my pops who is retired is working on the chrome. Later today, I will have him send me the number.

Thanks my Ratty bros for all the help identifying this bike. It's a great scoot. You guys have really helped me out.

Also, after cleaning up a drop out, it seems she is purple, and not the brown it appears in the pictures.
 
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Okay, the only number anywhere on the frame is right above the ancient Rollfast decal on the seattube. There are no numbers anywhere else on the BB or the dropouts.

It reads: 495737, or possibly K495737, but I'm not certain if it's a "K", might just be a nick.
 
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After extensive cleaning of the remnants of paint, we found a two-digit number:

45

So if Rollfast used the same dating system as Snyder, I am thinking this makes it a 1954?

Also, stamped on the side of the stem is indeed an R in a circle, so I would say it is indeed a Rollfast stem.
 
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