Far from home with a 1920ish (maybe not?) Veeno

Nieuw op dit forum? Stel je even voor!
Plaats reactie
Berichten: 2
Lid geworden op: 27 jun 2019, 20.14

Far from home with a 1920ish (maybe not?) Veeno

Bericht door Wolfgang »

Hello everyone!

I recently moved to California, and was looking for a cheap commuter bike (as in ' doesn't get stolen instantly'). A social community bike workshop nearby had this old black single-speed bike standing outside for a couple of weeks, and I thought it might be perfect for the job. Given the 28" frame size hardly anyone seemed to have considered buying it before me, although everyone working there thought it looked awesome.

Once I had it at home and started to fix things, I noticed the weird parts: a lubrication nipple on the front hub, a company that already went out of business decades before I had thought he bike was built, westwood rims and a few other oddities. So after a bit of googling, I got in touch with Herbert - and was very surprised when he told me that the bike probably had survived for close to 100 years.

Now my only experience with older bikes has been my Utopia London (form the 80ties) & a Honda motorbike that's closing in on 40 years, so I'm dealing with a bit of a learning curve here. First failure: front hub ate a ball bearing after a few hundred miles of use by me. Asking the local bike shop to repack the hub was funny - while they clearly loved the bike, they clearly don't love working on it. When I picked it up after two weeks, they made signs to ward off evil towards me, told me to never come back and at the same time charged me a ridiculously low price & told me to make sure I ride it. Clearly some mixed messages being sent here.

I'm currently figuring out a way to mount a not completely out of place looking front brake (rather hilly here), and perhaps a more 'age appropriate' rear wheel & handlebars. Herbert also suggested a proper chain guard - so if anybody has anything suitable in their garage, I might be interested. :)

Thanks a lot to Herbert!
All the best,
Laatst gewijzigd door Wolfgang op 3 sep 2019, 18.59, 1 keer totaal gewijzigd.

Berichten: 209
Lid geworden op: 8 sep 2017, 09.35

Re: Far from home with a 1920ish Veeno

Bericht door ReinvB »

Wow,thats a nice find. Nice high frame too. For brakes, you could fit a sturmey acrher drumbrake, but they werent in use before the 1930s. Historically dutch brakes have had either 2wheel rod operated stirrup or drumbrakes, no brakes at all (fixed gear uptil 1910) a freewheel with a plunger brake (1905-1940) or , most common, coasterbrakes like yours ( 1905-now) sometimes augmented with a plunger brake or a cable operated drumbrake in the front wheel. Other variations might occur,but these are most common. So, historically a plunger brake is most suited( but you have to drill a hole in the mudguard, I dont know if they are original ,it seems not) , while a drumbrake might be most useful, and not even that unappropriate, since they were introduced only ten tears after your bike was made. I see there are quite some unoriginal parts on the bike, which suggests it has been in use in the Netherlands up till recently (2000s or later).
I dont see anything wrong with the chainguard though, definetily the style that fits these bikes, even if it is 90 years younger then the frame, same goes wit the handlebars, and I would think it would be hard to find a more fitting replacement, especially in the US. (newer reproductions got the shape and curves all wrong), Good luck with your fiets . Rein

Berichten: 3372
Lid geworden op: 10 apr 2012, 19.39
Locatie: Tilburg

Re: Far from home with a 1920ish Veeno

Bericht door maartenB »

wonderful story and nice tall frame.

If you replace the grips, rear light and pedals it would already look a lot better.

take care,
Meer weten over een specifiek merk of model hoge bi of safety van voor 1895? http://www.antique-bicycles.net

Berichten: 2
Lid geworden op: 27 jun 2019, 20.14

Re: Far from home with a 1920ish Veeno

Bericht door Wolfgang »

Thanks for the pointers! If there is interest, I'm happy to post more pictures if it helps to spot interesting details. I've tried to figure out the history of the bike, but drew a complete blank. The bike was most likely donated to the workshop, and nothing is known beyond that. It's in very good shape, which makes we suspect that it has lived in California for quite a while (see the non-rusty front hub, for example). If the last repairs were indeed done in the 90ties, it might be consistent with somebody growing old with the bike, and it moving into storage for the last 25 years once it wasn't used any more - but that would just be blind guessing.

As for my plans:
  1. front brake
This is a fundamental safety issue around San Francisco - plenty of stop signs all around, and starting & stopping on steep hills is a nightmare with just a rear brake. The front fork is not drilled, so most brake options are off the table. Short term, I have put a Dia Compe clamp-on brake (normally for track bikes) on there. It works surprisingly well, but with the Westwood rims it eats brake pads on a monthly basis, and I had to take the front mudguards off to fit it (short-reach levers only). Functionally I'd consider this a success (mudguards are largely optional here), but obviously not in line with the rest of the bike.

A front drum brake would be ideal, but the front hub seems to match the frame and is in excellent condition, so I really don't want to swap it. Given the steep hills, a plunger is off the table too, leaving me with the idea of rigging up a stirrup front brake, as you mentioned. There are plenty of (new) kits available, if I can't find an 'older' version on ebay. I'm mainly struggling to find handlebars with suitable controls for the rods. Something like this, maybe: https://www.ebay.com/itm/113820372958
  • rear whee
According to Herbert, this is a Shimano coaster hub and fairly recent. Given that it doesn't work all that well, I'm looking around for a more historic coaster hub & rim. Perhaps an old Sturmey-Archer is not a bad idea, and least fixable.
  • other moving parts
Are there are documents on how often the front hub needs to be lubricated? The nipple would suggest regularly, but with what grease/oil & how often? Any preventative work that I can do on the bottom bracket to make sure it lasts as long as possible?
  • non-moving bits
The front light looks well-worn, but not ancient, the mudguards are solid metal, with a plastic rear light assembly. Handle bars & stem are very shiny, so probably newish.

Berichten: 233
Lid geworden op: 12 mei 2018, 07.35
Locatie: Zwolle

Re: Far from home with a 1920ish Veeno

Bericht door rowejon »

The problem with the bars on eBay is that the stem is much shorter than what you now have so they will sit much lower. The combination of a good coaster brake & a plunger brake works surprisingly well but can you get replacement brake pads in California?
Success Jon Rowe

Plaats reactie