19 March 2013

Hawthorne Flyer Lands By Navy Yard

The other day, I saw this bike parked near the Brooklyn Navy Yard:

It's a Hawthorne Flyer from, I'm guessing, the 1930's or '40's.


Along with the head logo, it has some other interesting features:

The chainring was, for me, oddly reminiscent of one you'd find on a Specilaties TA "Cyclotouriste", or other cranksets patterned after it.  

Gotta love this fender:

And this rear reflector is, as far as I can tell, glass, like others from the period:

The seat, with its steel pan and springs, is the exact opposite of a Brooks Professional or B-17.  I'm guessing that the seat had padding, or at least a covering.  It may have been leather, or possibly cloth.  But I can't imagine riding that seat in its current state!

Not everything on the bike is original.  This front wheel looks like it came off a Raleigh three-speed.  And, of course, the chainguard is missing.

Still, it is quite a find.  I hope that it finds a good home!


  1. Indeed! I'd love to find a bike like that, the olden "utility" style bike of America's past, one that isn't really a "balloon tire" that is usually seen from this era. Out of curiosity, did they list a price?

  2. Adventure--They didn't list a price. However, there was a phone number. I still have the image on my camera. So, perhaps, I could enlarge it enough to get the number if you're interested.

    I agree what you say about the bike. It's clearly not meant as a toy: Someone probably used it to commute or make deliveries. If anything, it reminds me of the bikes that were made for the military during WWII. The only reason I don't think the Flyer is a military bike is that, to the best of my knowledge, only Columbia and Huffy made those bikes.

  3. Tempting, but I don't need to buy a project bike from the other side of the continent right now. Hopefully one will pop up locally.