COLIN’S 2013/2014 WINTER CUSTOM PROJECT: 1939 MONARK SILVER KING 26X
I restore hundreds of vintage bicycles each year to their original specification. Each winter, as a recreational activity, I satisfy my creative urges by customising a bicycle: I use parts from the period, but not necessarily from the same model or manufacturer. My preference is American bikes from around WW2, because hot-rod and custom cars flourished in America before and after the war.
This winter, my project is this 26X. As you can see I’ve started with just the essential parts, i.e. frame and sprocket. The fork is bent and broken. And the headstock was badly damaged.
The 26X is the rarest of the Silver King Flocycle models. After the initial Flocycles were launched in 1936, the company decided to develop the model further. While the first models had 24″ wheels, in 1939 they made the 26X, so called because it has 26″ wheels. It was an interim experimental model, which culminated in a completely different style of Silver King (also with 26″ wheels) …the Hextube, introduced in 1946.
Below you can see pictures of a perfect original 26X, followed by my 26X project, a frame, fork (bent) and sprocket.
1939 Monark Silver King Flocycle 26X Custom
Here you can see the damage to the headstock. I assumed that, being an aluminium frame, the head is more of a stress point than with a conventional frame. However, as the forks are also damaged, it’s more likely that this damage has been caused by a front-end shunt.
As the frame is aluminium, it’s not something we can weld in our workshops.
When I require specialised work on my bicycles, I go to my friend Julian, in Uckfield. His company ‘Metalworks’ specialises in complex jobs, including aluminium welding.
You can see part of his workshop below, where they are building aluminium bodies for exclusive cars, a Voisin and a Bugatti. By comparison, aluminium welding a Silver King headstock is not difficult!
Here’s the frame after repair.
Once I knew it was repairable, I started to assemble parts. Below you can see the mudguards I found.
As I find more parts and start to build up the Flocycle, I’ll add photos and details to this page.
1937 SILVER KING FLOCYCLE BROCHURE
UPDATE MARCH 2014
I threw together various parts to see how they’d look. I was short of a front wheel so I put on a ‘spring wheel’ that I was just about to fit to the 1905 Victoria used in WW1
UPDATE JUNE 2015
It’s taken a lot longer than anticipated, as both Baz and I were sidetracked by other jobs. But it’s nearly finished…
Final fettling: front mudguard stay; ‘seven’ type seat post to mount the motorcycle saddle further back and lower; remount the ‘Arguile’ chainguard; fit the white Elgin grips; find pedals.