Pierce-Arrow Society Feature Article
Adventures with a Pierce Bicycle Restoration
Last year, I found a fairly complete, but completely dis-assembled Pierce Bicycle on eBay. A true “basket case”. I wanted to give restoring an antique bicycle a try. It is about a 1930 Angola built bike. Pierce bikes built prior to 1918 were built in Buffalo, NY.
The man had owned it for 20 years and said that he never really did anything with it and now needed the money out of it. The bike had been stripped of its original burgundy color and repainted an ugly dull white over the years and was now partially stripped off again. The plating was very tired and somewhat rusty and pitted. As it turned out, according to PAS Records, this bike was previously owned by past PAS President and long time member, Fred Tycher.
I thought that a bicycle might be an interesting diversion from working on a car. They are a much simpler project, much narrower in scope, but still present their own challenges. I am amazed at how many parts there are to a bike, when you have everything dis-assembled, even though it is such a simple machine. The best part is you can get one done in a matter of months, rather than a matter of years for a car. When you are done, you still have a rare item, you have a Pierce!
As with any restoration, you need to decide on what your goals are. Many enthusiasts are riding antique bicycles in original or “as found” condition, just made safe with good tires, brakes and bearing lubrication. Fixing up a “survivor” bike is a simpler, less expensive project yet. If you want a full restoration, there is obviously more work and more expense. If you get carried away and hire everything out, you can easily spend more money than the bike will ultimately be worth. But again, it’s not like restoring a dual cowl phaeton!
The Local Bike Store
I started looking for a local bicycle shop to help me with my new project. One thing that I had not counted on was that many modern “speed” or mountain bike type bicycle shops want nothing to do with an antique bicycle project. “Ooh, that’s old. Good luck with that, we don’t work on those!” was a typical response. Finally, I found a bike shop that was actually eager to see a true classic and they were very respectful when I brought the old parts to the shop. They handled my parts very carefully and the technician I was working with called the other techs in the shop over to “look at this!” Suffice to say, it was the only Pierce bike in the shop that day! Even though they deal with modern bikes, they have been of great assistance in getting spokes, bearings, lubricants, providing special tools and supplies. They kind of got a kick out of seeing the old bike. Don’t get discouraged; keep looking for that right bike shop. In the same way that not every auto repair shop is either qualified or interested in working on our old cars, the same is true with the old bicycles. Keep on looking, the good bike shops are out there.
Tires and What the Heck is Tufo Tape?
If you have taken a Pierce-Arrow automobile, to a car show, you have probably gotten the question, “How do you get tires for this car?” I have always chuckled to myself when people ask this because for many antique cars, new tires are just a 1-800 phone call, or an internet search away. (Granted, tires for some of the early Pierce cars and trucks can be very difficult to find, but a set of 6.50-19’s or 7.00 – 17’s is really pretty easy as antique car parts go.) Of all the parts in a Pierce-Arrow car to worry about, and folks ask about tires! Try to find a spare cylinder head!
Pierce bicycle tires are a whole other matter! It is a challenging question to find tires for them! There are very few choices available. Paul Jacobs provided me with some background information and leads for researching on the internet.
Over the years, several tire manufacturers have sporadically supplied tires for antique bikes. Lester made some years ago, but these were white tires, foam filled, and had quality issues. Universal has some non-inflatable neoprene tires, but they are solid rubber and heavy and mainly just for display. There are some grey rubber tires available on the internet at Memory Lane Classics, but “grey” may not be the look you are after. Memory Lane Classics also offers some Coker brand tires in red or white rubber. However, the tread patterns on their tires are not what you would expect to see on a classic Pierce bicycle, in my opinion. Coker used to have some tires shown in their catalog. Many people prefer Harper Tires. They had been making pneumatic tires for antique bicycles for years. However, right after I started work on my Pierce bike, Harper quit making antique bicycle tires. Just my luck! My bike had not seen tires in years, and I needed a pair.
However, all is not lost! One of the guys that worked for Harper, Robert Dean, split off from Harper and is now making his own line of “RD” Tires. The RD Tires say “For Display Only” on them, but they are a 4 ply black rubber pneumatic tire with an integral single tube, and if inflated to 40-50 PSI, the bike can be ridden for short distances. As RD clearly states, these are for display, so your mileage may vary if you do choose to ride on them.
The tires on my bike are 28 x 1-1/2 and are called “single tube tires”. The tube is integral in the tire, somewhat like a sew-up modern bicycle tire. The tire and the tube are one piece and do not come apart. However, this does not mean that they go on 28” diameter rims. Tire sizes on these old-style tires are different than modern bike tires. The “28” is really the OD (Outer Diameter) of the tire, rather than the diameter of the rim. The rims themselves are approximately 25” OD. The “1-1/2” indicates that the tires are nominally 1-1/2” wide. They have a simple straight line ribbed design for the tread and very plain sidewalls. They do say “Made in the USA”, as well as “For Display Only” on them. These tires cost $150 each and are very well made.
My bike had the wider steel clad wood rims. If you have thinner wood racing type rims, I am told that Tufo 700C D28 modern tires will fit 1-1/8” wide rims, but I have never tried this. I found this reference on the Classic and Antique Bicycle Exchange. “thecabe” is a Message Board that has a lot of useful advice and some vintage parts available from fellow antique bike enthusiasts.
Once you have your tires, they need to be secured to the rim. If you do not secure the tire to the rim, when the tire slips on the rim as you start pedaling, the valve stem will get damaged or sheared off and you will have a flat tire very quickly.
The traditional way is to use shellac as an adhesive between the tire and the rim. However, liquid adhesive, or contact cement can be applied to the inside surface of the rim and the tire. Once the adhesive dries to the “tacky” point, you can carefully stretch the tire around the rim, adhering short sections at a time. 3M Weather-strip cement also works pretty good. Then, with its integral inner tube, the tire is bonded to the wheel. But, the liquid adhesives can be kind of tricky and somewhat messy. There is a helpful video on the internet how to adhere a tire to a rim using adhesives:
Modern bikes with sew-up tires have the same problem. The tires need to be secured to the rims to avoid shearing the valve stem. However, the modern tires are often bonded to the rim with a special double stick tape. This is a lot less mess as there is no excess adhesive to squeeze out and get on your tires and rims. One of the modern tapes to look for at the bike store or the internet is called “Tufo” tape. Here is an informative video on the internet showing how to mount sew up tires using the special tape.
It is much easier than using contact cement, liquid adhesive, or shellac, and will serve the same purpose on our antique bike tires. The tape is a good solution and will not show so unless you insist on 100% authenticity, consider trying it. Some serious racing bike enthusiasts will tell you that the Tufo tape is too “slow” in high speed bicycling, preferring the traditional adhesives. Somehow, I don’t think that will be an issue on a restored Pierce bicycle. I like it because it installs easily, holds the tires in place, and doesn’t get glue all over the place. It worked great on my tires and the job was done in minutes.
The bicycle project was coming together pretty well and I was feeling pretty good about it. I just needed a few bits of hardware to complete the build. This was the oddest feeling, walking through the Ace Hardware Store, looking for new hex nuts. I had the front axle in my hand, and I tried to thread every hex nut onto the axle that looked like it would fit. Maybe that was a bad nut, try another. Then another. There was no way. Fine thread, coarse thread, metric thread, I could not find a nut that would fit this axle. What is up with that? Nuts!
The New Departure front axle, used on many of the Pierce bicycles over the years, is nominally 0.290” diameter material. I could see with my caliper that the major diameter of the threads was oversize at 0.310”. Obviously, these threads were not “cut” into the axle with a die, as the threads are larger in major diameter than the diameter of the axle. They are rolled threads where the material that forms the threads is actually upset with rolling dies to the larger diameter. This explained why there was no way I was going to get a 5/16”-24 nut out of the Ace bins to fit. Nuts!
The modern bike shop was no help on this problem. Their new stocks of parts did not fit, either. On to the internet! A little research revealed that New Departure had their own thread forming machines and made their own axles and nuts to their own specifications…..which do not conform to commonly available National Standards nuts. Nuts!
I also found instances on the internet where people had purchased antique bikes and could not understand why the axle threads were stripped and damaged...it was from people using the wrong nuts and forcing them on, mangling the threads. I also found where people would take a 5/16-24 thread cutting die and re-cut the threads onto the ends of the axles to get standard nuts to fit.
If you find a bike shop with old NOS New Departure parts, you can still get original type nuts that will thread on nicely. I bought a set off of eBay. The rear New Departure axle is one size larger, nominally 3/8” diameter, but again, New Departure made their own “special” nuts for the rear axles, too. So they will have the same non-standard nut problem. This is like working on a British car with Whitworth threads or something!
I wanted to include this information so you don’t go through the same confusing search for axle nuts that I did and understand the root cause of the problem!
The “Persons” brand seat for my bike was obviously very old. The leather was really dried out so that it felt stiff and brittle like an old leather work glove that had gotten wet too many times and put away to dry. It was also kind of a dirty brown, with only hints of the original black dye color.
There are specialists out there that can re-cover a seat frame/pan with new leather. You will have new looking leather, but any logo that is pressed into the old leather will be lost. Getting new logos pressed into a new seat cover is very rare as few people have the specialized dies to do it. From what I could see on the internet, a quality bicycle seat recovering job also cost around $100 - $300.
The Persons Company is actually still manufacturing new “old style” seats. Depending on the look you are trying to get, and the authenticity you are trying to achieve, it may be easiest to just buy a new seat. They are quite reasonable in the $50-$100 range, but again, they are new and are not necessarily authentic. They are just made “in the style of” the old classic bicycle seats.
If the leather of your seat is damaged, severely scuffed, or torn, you probably have no choice but to replace the whole seat or have new leather installed if the seat frame or pan is sound. The advantage here is that you would be able to really clean up or sand blast the seat frame or pan once the damaged leather is removed, and easily prime and repaint the metal.
My seat was discolored from age, usage, and unknown storage. It had minor scuffs and scratches in the leather. My first goal was to get back to consistent color. My next priority was to get some moisture back into the leather to re-hydrate it and try to resolve the dry, stiff, delicate look of the old leather.
The first thing that I did was to clean the top side and underside of the seat with mild soap and a little bit of water and a toothbrush and a cloth, removing the years of dirt accumulation. The bottom of a seat gets pretty dirty from road spray from the tire if the bike has no fenders. Getting the leather “wet” with water is NOT the solution to the dried out look of the leather. Use only slight dampness on the cloth or brush to remove the dirt and get the seat clean.
I wanted to try and save my leather covering and the logos embossed into the leather. I visited a few shoe repair stores in search of help and was bluntly told “if it’s not a shoe, I don’t work on it”. I kept looking. Kind of like the bike shop problem, keep looking until you find someone who is interested in preserving old leather things. People often need repair on leather purses, leather coats, leather luggage, etc. I found another shop that offered some good advice. He provided a leather dye product called “The Original Leather Refinish”. This is a black leather dye. I was told that “a little bit goes a long way”, and “don’t get it on anything that you don’t want to be black.” It is available from Wood-N-Stuff, PH.: 507-744-2206.
I put 2 coats over the outer surface of the leather seat and let it soak in. It made the color nice and black and consistent. The dye covered many of the minor blemishes. The seat looked much better, but it was still severely dried out and stiff.
Then, through some chat rooms on the internet, most of the opinions about restoring leather were to stay away from products with neat’s-foot oil and animal fats. Then I found the miracle of “Sno-Seal” brand leather protector. I bought a small 7 ounce tub of it through Amazon.com for about $7.
This is a waxy yellow-white paste that when applied to leather re-hydrates the leather. It is actually made with beeswax and does not contain oils or animal fats. I liberally applied a coating on both the underside and topside of the seat. The instructions talk about heating up the leather to drive the moisturizers deeper into the leather pores. I used a hair dryer to pre-heat the seat a little, applied the Sno-Seal, and then placed the seat near a window in the warm sunlight. I let it sit for a couple of days and buffed off the excess like polishing leather shoes. I was really impressed how well the Sno-Seal had worked. The seat had absorbed much of the Sno-Seal from both sides of the leather. The seat is not kid-glove soft (but you would not want it to be anyway) but it is pliable and it has come a long way back from the brittle, stiff, dried out and delicate antique that it was. It made the difference between useless and “pretty good”. Look at the before and after pictures and see for yourself.
To finish off the seat, I painted the wire frame of the seat with gloss black One-Shot sign painter’s paint. I like One-Shot because it does not show brush strokes. It is easily available on the internet or in art supply stores. Since I could not remove the leather from the seat, it was easiest to use a small brush to get access to the wire frame under the seat and not have overspray on the leather from spray painting.
Skip Tooth Chains
Old Skip tooth bicycle chains for these old bikes are unique and are still available in the bike stores with old NOS parts. They are also available on eBay, but they are kind of expensive at $60-$100. These often have a master link in them. Be sure and get the correct length if you buy one.
I was fortunate that my bike still had a workable chain. A quick cleaning with a solvent, and then I put it into a Zip-Loc bag and sprayed a good amount of solvent-degreaser onto the chain. I let it soak for days in the solvent. I then took it out and arranged the chain so it was 4 strands of chain, ¼ the length of the chain. Spraying it with more degreaser, I scrubbed the links with a bristle brush, loosening the old grease and gunk. Wipe it off and re-spray a few times with degreaser and wipe off again. The chain came out looking pretty good and went right back onto the bike after a final cleaning and lubrication. Unless you have no chain at all, or your chain is broken, severely worn, or rusted up, see if you can just clean and lubricate it. Otherwise, new ones are still available….for a price.
Long Threaded Nipples and Stainless Steel Spokes
The wheels were relatively straight and true. They just needed to be fine tuned when the spokes were replaced and tightened. I attribute this to the steel cladding protecting and holding the wood cores pretty straight. Wood wheels can be a whole other story. I know that Ralph McKittrick shared with me that he had quite a time using steam to soften and straighten his wood bike wheels and clamping them in fixtures and more steaming and more clamping. His persistence paid off because Ralph’s Pierce bicycle sure presents nicely. Perhaps you have seen it at the last few National Pierce Meets. It is hard to find replacement wheels, but a little patience and networking, you can still find workable antique rims around, if your rims are damaged or just too warped to pull back into line. The CABE, The Wheelmen, eBay, or the Hershey Swap Meet usually has antique bicycle vendors that have good used antique rims available.
The spokes on my wheels were fair, considering their age, but a couple of them were bent and the plating was old and dull. They were not going to look good with the new plating on the rest of the bike. Further, it is much easier to strip, repair, and re-paint the wheels if you remove all the spokes and threaded nipples.
The plating was also oxidized on the threaded nipples that pass through the rim and secure the threaded end of the spokes. The steel clad wood wheels are pretty thick, and they require a long threaded nipple, which can be hard to find. Paul Jacobs found some ¾” long ones on eBay for me, which I bought. It was a lot easier and cheaper to buy new NOS parts than it was to remove the old nipples, clean them up, and get them re-plated.
I just used paint stripper from Menard’s (Home & Lumber Center) on the wheels and got the steel cladding down to bare metal. Of course, the crème color paint hid a lot of problems. The wheels were still relatively straight, but the steel cladding had a lot of small dents and gouges in them from years of riding and being bounced around over the years.
The small dents were shallow and were 1/16” to 1/4” in diameter. I sanded the cladding to give it some “tooth” and just used some plastic body filler to fill the dents. Just be careful not to get filler into the spoke holes or valve hole in the rim. A little sanding and tacking off, and they were ready for a new coat of primer, followed by new crème colored paint. Again, this is much easier with the spokes and threaded nipples removed. My helpful local bike shop was able to find acceptable stainless steel spokes for me after a little research. Again, ask around and find a bike shop that is interested in your classic bike project and not in selling you the latest Compagnolo derailleur or carbon fiber seat post.
Painting or Powder Coating?
If your frame is still sporting original paint, maybe you just want to preserve it and enjoy it. They only have their factory paint once! My bike had already been repainted at least once, and poorly done at that. It was now kind of half on/half off with white filmy residue on the steel in areas where the white paint had been partially removed. It needed to be refinished again. I used the same paint stripper that I had used on the steel rims to remove the white paint. Depending on how thick your paint is, spray the watery stripper on, letting it do its work, then wiping off the wrinkly paint film with old cloths seemed to work pretty well. Then another application of stripper to get the last of the paint removed. Keep wiping off until the paint residue is gone. If you are going to re-prime and paint the frame, be certain that all of the stripper is removed or neutralized, or it will just attack your new primer coat. Sand the frame to give the primer something to adhere to. Use a tack rag or clean cloth to make sure to remove all the dust and residue. Always make sure the steel is clean before painting or priming.
If you are not familiar with the Powder Coating process, it is used in industry, outdoor equipment, hot rods, deck furniture, and on some modern car parts. It provides a tough, durable, scratch resistant surface. It is much more durable than enamel. This can be a real advantage on a bicycle, especially if you are going to ride the bike and want to keep it looking nice.
Powder Coating requires you to sandblast the frame to the bare steel to give it some “tooth” for the powder to adhere to. Then electrodes are temporarily fastened to the steel frame and an electrostatic charge is applied. Then the colored powder is sprayed onto the frame. The charge going through the frame attracts the powder and holds it on the frame. The frame is then placed in a large oven and the powder is then baked onto the frame.
If you go this route, you will find that you don’t have as many choices for color as you do for enamels. If you have settled on blue or green or maroon, traditional Pierce bike colors, you will find that there are not many shades to choose from. However, gloss black powder is easy, and readily available. Black was the color on many of the earlier Pierce bikes.
If you are not finding the color that you want or that matches what you think was the original color of your bike, work with your powder coater to try different suppliers for the colored powder. Then, have the powder coater run samples for you using the powder you selected on a piece of steel plate or steel tubing. If you are particular on color, this will save you time, money, and frustration.
Though my bike had been stripped and repainted an ugly white, I did find a patch of the original maroon paint on the back of the seat post tube. The initial powder that I selected from the color swatch catalog looked good in the catalog. But, as usual, when you are looking at a ½” square of color, it never looks the same as when you apply it to larger surfaces. When it was processed on a plate of steel, it was kind of “brick” red, rather than maroon. We tried to blend in some black powder with the brick red powder, but it darkened almost to black when processed on another sample plate. The lesson here is that you cannot treat the powder like tint base and easily add a little pigment here and there to dial in the color. You also should not use your frame as the “sample”, just cut 6” square plates of steel or sections of steel tubing. They work great and will give you a good indication of what your powder will look like when it is baked onto steel.
Maroon powder from a 2nd supplier came out kind of brownish on the steel plate. I am really glad that I held out for my preference because this brown was ugly, too! Maroon powder from a 3rd supplier thankfully looked great on the 4th sample.
You can also have the powder coater add a clear gloss powder over the top as a 2nd layer, not unlike clear coating in an enamel paint job.
Obviously, you can strip, prime, and spray paint, and even clear coat a bike frame and come out with beautiful results. I just wanted to illustrate the powder coating option if you wanted a more durable more scratch resistant option.
Paul Jacobs wrote a nice article in The Arrow, 00-1, page 20-21. It is interesting to note that there were 5 distinct and different nameplates used over the years of Pierce bicycle production. The first 4 types of nameplate cover the production of bicycles at the Buffalo plant. If you are working with an Angola bike, which were built from 1918 on, there is only the 5th style of nameplate. The 5th nameplate includes “Angola, NY” on the nameplate. The other 4 all say “Buffalo, NY”.
If your nameplate is gone on your bike, you can occasionally find original ones on eBay. Usually they go for $60 to $100. There is also a vendor, Nostalgic Reflections, who is reproducing 2 versions of the earlier Buffalo nameplates in gold and nickel finishes. These are very well made reproductions made by acid etching and a die with excellent detail. They also make reproduction “PIERCE” decals for the frame.
The nameplate is held onto the bike frame with two #1-72 Round Head machine screws. You won’t find these at the Ace Hardware Store. You can get these from a web search on the internet, like from Micro-Mark, or from a hobby store that specializes in model cars and model trains.
The nameplate is important as it gives your bike identity. As with early cars, there were many, many early bicycle manufacturers, some of which we probably have never heard of. To distinguish your Pierce bicycle from the many other competitive contemporary brands, it is nice to have a nameplate in place.
Bearings are Easy
If you have been successful in finding a modern bike shop that is interested in your Pierce bicycle project, they will easily be able to help you with new bearings for the fork, the crank, the pedals, the rear axle, and the front axle. For the most part, you can retain the existing bearing cages if you have them, and just install new ball bearings of the same size. Be sure and bring the old ball bearings in to verify that you get the same size. There are multiple sizes of ball bearings available. If you don’t have any of the bearings, maybe your bike was a “basket case” and purchased in boxes, bring your frame, fork, crank, and pedals to the bike shop and let them fit the dry-fit the bearings so you know that you have the right sizes. Bicycle bearings come either fixed into races, or as loose ball bearings.
Obviously all these sub-assemblies need to be cleaned, dis-assembled, taking pictures as you dis-assemble them, the components cleaned again, and then you can start re-assembly with new bearings and new grease. Do not underestimate the need to take pictures during dis-assembly. There are a surprising number of washers, plates, thrust washers, bearing carriers, nuts, bolts, and retainers in a bike. It is too hard to remember, so either take good notes, draw some sketches, or snap some digital pictures. By the time the parts come back from plating, it will be hard to remember how it all went together.
Fitting bearings on a bike is a little different than on a car, but it is the same principle. The crank bearings, fork bearings, hub bearings, and pedal bearings are all pretty similar. Get them installed and packed with grease. You need to tighten the fit to the point where the bearings feel like they are gritty when you turn the moving element, then back off to smooth out the bearing action. However, if you back off too much, you will feel end play or “slop” in the moving element. Keep dialing it in until it feels right to you. If they are too tight, you will put excess wear on the bearings and races. If they are too loose, you will feel the motion and slop in the system. Have patience, dial it in until it feels correct, then lock it down.
Here again, if you have parts missing, between the bike shop substituting modern parts, or securing NOS or good used parts off of the internet, eBay, The CABE, or The Wheelmen, you should be able to reasonably easily get your pivoting sub-assemblies re-built with new bearings.
Also, a modern bike shop will have the necessary spanners and specialty tools for fitting the bearing cups, nuts, and retainers, if you don’t already have access to them.
If you have New Departure hubs, like my bike does, you can get the exploded views of your hubs with an internet search. This is especially important if your rear hub has a coaster brake, like mine did. The coaster brake mechanism adds many more parts to the assembly. You can web search “New Departure Model A Hub” and you will find drawings, exploded views, and parts lists on the internet. These may be helpful in identifying parts and correctly re-assembling the hub.
Plating is the Biggest Expense
Just as in cars, if your bike is a “survivor” you can easily fit it with new tires and refresh the bearings, brakes, lubricate it, and enjoy it. After all, they are only painted with original paint once. Anything else is not as it was when it left the factory. If you enjoy the patina of age and the originality of your bike, this is a growing area among people that ride and enjoy antique bicycles.
If you are fully restoring your bike, you will find that re-plating the bright parts will easily be your single largest expense. Certainly not to the degree of restoring a car, but with the crank, the fork, the gear, the handlebars, the pedal frames, the seat post, seat clamp, the handlebar stem, hubs, brake arm, nuts, bolts, washers, etc, you can still accumulate quite a de-rusting, polishing and plating bill. You may also have to consider engraving, also as buffing and polishing of the front hub or brake arm may remove the original logos and maker’s mark. The “New Departure” coaster brake arm engraved details are particularly nice and add a nostalgic element to the bike.
Find a plater that you trust from past experience, or have good references on. Take pictures of your parts before you send them. Pack them carefully. As most of the parts are small, I like to put each small part into a Zip-Loc baggie and write on the bag with a Sharpie the bag number and what the part is. Print out pictures as a “packing list”, 3 or 4 pictures on a page. Enter the bag # for each part next to the picture of the corresponding part.
When dealing with small parts, it is very easy for them to get mingled in with the packing material and accidentally missed, lost, or accidentally thrown away. Don’t let those be your parts. Place the printed out pictures in the box, on top of your parts so that the plater sees it first thing when they open the box. It becomes a checklist so that they know what is included in the box and be sure that they find all the parts in the box. The plater may not say so, but they will appreciate it, and so will you when you get ALL of your parts back nice and shiny. A good plater will repeat back to you the parts that he received, maybe with his own pictures, along with a quote for the plating job.
Always insure your shipment of precious Pierce bicycle parts in both directions. It is rare, but don’t be the 1 in 1000 guy whose box was lost or damaged in shipment and had no insurance, and worse yet, virtually no way to replace the rare missing parts. Buying shipping insurance is cheap insurance.
Input for the Bike section of the Parts and Services Directory
We are starting a new “Bicycle” section of the PAS Parts and Services Directory to help out members who maintain or restore their Pierce bikes. If you have a suggestion for a source or what alternate or modern parts can be used (like the Tufo Tape suggestions above), know a good bike shop with old NOS parts, etc., please let me know and I will add it to the new special “Bicycle” area of the Directory. Then other members can benefit from our collective knowledge on parts and where to find them. This is another benefit of being a member of the Pierce-Arrow Society.
Consider joining The CABE (Classic and Antique Bicycle Exchange). Website offers advice, resources, and parts wanted or parts for sale for antique bicycles. A little research can find information that may answer your question.
Consider joining The Wheelmen. Website offers advice, resources, and parts wanted or parts for sale for antique bicycles. Another avenue for research where you can find information that can help.
Badges: Nostalgic Reflections makes nice reproduction bicycle badges and decals for Pierce bicycles.
Small Hardware: Micro-Mark. Good source for the ultrafine screws that hold the nameplate badge on the front of your bike.
Leather Dye: The Original Leather Refinisher. Wood-N-Stuff, PH.: 507-744-2206. Brings a consistent color back to your leather seat and is permanent.
Leather Protector and Re-hydrator: “Sno-Seal” brand leather protector from Amazon.com This stuff is great for reviving old stiff leather seats. Also good for protecting your boots in the snow!
New Persons Seats: Persons-Majestic Company. These are new seats, built in the style of the original seats, but they are new parts. They have the look of the period, but they are not 100% authentic in a full restoration.
Tires: RD Single Tube Tires, Robert Dean, 628 Jefferson St. West, St. Albans, WV 25177. PH: 304-722-3115. 28 x 1.5” width and 1.75” width.
Tires: Memory Lane Classics. Memory Lane stocks grey, red and white rubber tires that will fit, but they have an odd tread pattern.
Tufo Tape for Tires: TUFO. This is the double stick tape that adheres the tires to the rim. It replaces the old fashioned contact cement, liquid adhesive, or shellac compounds.
Threaded Nipples for Rims: Bill Warwood, 330-947-2744, 3037 Alliance Rd. Edinburg, OH 44272. Especially if you have steel clad wood rims, you need really long threaded spoke nipples that most bike stores just don’t stock anymore.