I've had this for about a year. The former owner said he thought it's German (possibly former DDR). Looks 1950s era to me, but hard to say. Only identifier is the brand 'Elite'. I can post more pics if anyone thinks they could ID it.

I can find no information about this marque, other than that there was a former East German bicycle concern called Elite-Diamant-Werke AG. However, all their bikes were branded 'Diamant' and I can find no evidence that they branded any 'Elite'.

Any insight appreciated.

Elite Fahrrad

Here are a couple more photos:


The bottom bracket has a grease nipple, a practice which I believe ended in the early 1960s. The bearing itself is marked 'BSA' (Birmingham Small Arms), but is possibly not original.

BSA bottom bracket

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    Sadly the word "elite" occurs an awful lot in the cycling world, and in many contexts. I'd have expected a German bike be branded with a German word, but google translates suggests elite is a word in both languages. The three Crowns might indicate something as well, but that's more of a Heraldry question. If you could add one clear and well-lit photo from the Right-hand side of the bike then that would help.
    – Criggie
    Dec 16, 2016 at 10:59
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    It looks like a fairly classic European street bike. Assuming the crankset is original it would be after 1975 or so, as the crank is "modern" and not cottered. It's in really good condition, so it's either newer (say 1990) or has been preserved inside for decades. Dec 18, 2016 at 20:28
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    And if the twist shifter is original then that would indicate a fairly recent manufacturing date -- after 1990 or so. Dec 19, 2016 at 2:14
  • Thanks for your comments, and many apologies for not following forum protocol. I would say everything except frame and mudguards ('fenders' in american english) are not original. It is -- as you say -- without doubt a standard European city bicycle, but I was hoping someone might be familiar with the brand. Thanks for looking anyway. Dec 19, 2016 at 8:26

2 Answers 2


the BSA 1.37" on the BB lockring is for British Standard (association?) more commonly noted as BSC, for British Standard Cycle. I know these can be swapped out, but looking at the grip shifter and Nexus rear hub, those were early 80's-current, the crank is made to look like a cottered crank, but it's cotterless. I'm going to say this is more modern than it's pretending to be, grease nipple notwithstanding. I don't personally know the last time Brooks made that "hat pin" seat... Just some reference points to look at.

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    The British national Standards body is the British Standards Institute; BSA is the Birmingham Small Arms Company, as stated in the question. May 8, 2017 at 22:20

I was just look at the seat design and it look remarkable similar to an old army bike design... It could be a version of one of the early folding bikes used in the war.. Just a little idea that could also explain the crowns on the sign. Also might explain the German reference. Hope this helps

  • The saddle is common sprung leather design. It looks like a brand new Brooks B190 to me. But might also be a well-stored old one.
    – ojs
    Feb 16, 2017 at 21:00
  • It's clearly no more than about 45 years old. And it's not a folder. Jun 7, 2017 at 22:20

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