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This bike was given to me from a elderly lady who no longer wished to own it. Other than a columbia I have no idea what year or model. There seems to be no serial numbers from which I can see on the frame itself.

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  • That is a bizarre bike. The fork looks like it might be bent or it may be supposed to be that way. The general appearance of the frame suggests pre-1960, but I don't know what to make of that integral rack. (The sheet-metal rack is almost certainly not original equipment.) Jul 8, 2014 at 1:32
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    It's certainly not a "fine" bike -- the rear dropouts are simple sheet metal stampings, the front fork dropouts achieved by flattening and slotting the tubes. The frame is not lugged. But it's definitely interesting. Jul 8, 2014 at 1:35
  • I've been doing a lot of looking at pictures the past few hours and I have come to believe that the bike may be a Columbia Firebolt. The frame seems to match in every way possible.
    – user12884
    Jul 8, 2014 at 2:02
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    Yeah, definitely looks like a Firebolt. I'm somewhat surprised at the pictures, though, since I'd come to suspect that the frame at one time had some "streamlined" sheet metal attachments, maybe even tail-fins. But the pictures don't show those, other than the standard enclosed "gas tank" piece. Jul 8, 2014 at 2:18
  • I really wish to find out what type of bike this is as well. I have a frame just like it. Oddly enough my frame has seen similar fork damage and had a long hard road. If only they could tell their stories themselves. Cheers
    – user18702
    Mar 15, 2015 at 5:35

2 Answers 2

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Too bad the first picture is so backlit. I can't zoom in very well- amazed you have determined its a Columbia!

  • The chain guard is by Wald, purchased sometime in the distant past from an IBD.
  • The fork has most certainly been damaged from a frontal impact.
  • The pedals were most likely installed after 1973; the year the CPSC mandated pedal reflectors.
  • The frame itself is so weird- it looks as though the spot-welded dropout attachment had failed (common failure) and was repaired with bolts and nuts (common "field repair").
  • The rack, if "homegrown", it ingenious, if a little raw.
  • The surviving decals, if original, suggest an homage to the popular Schwinn American of the early 60's, but also remind me of the mass market Columbia 10 speed bikes marketed about 1975.

The more I look at it - the bizarre rear dropout, which stands incongruous to the rest of the bike and the way the rear rack braces were installed (one "out", one "in") - I suspect the bike was damaged and repaired "at home" by a good lay mechanic. They did the best they could with what they had, and kudos to them. I suspect the bike may have started life about 1973-1977 as a lifestyle model. Cool bike!

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  • Thanks for the very comprehensive analysis but could you try to polish the language a bit? As it is now, it's quite hard to read at some points. See also our help page on answering Jul 8, 2014 at 8:26
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1963-64 Columbia Firebolt. Middle Weight. Missing the round center bar for the rear rack, fenders, chain guard, & the horn tank with headlight housing.

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    Good one, though what makes you sure it's 1963-1964? a reference can be that much more reassuring. also, what is a Middle Weight?
    – Swifty
    Jan 23 at 9:31

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