Massey 355

I am posting for an acquaintance that I met on another frorum and is awaiting approval on his Vintage CCM membership. This not my bicycle. I haven't seen it in person. All I've seen are the photos that I'm posting on his behalf. He's looking for age and any information. Reportedly, everything works well on it. Here's what I told him:

The bicycle has a Massey 355 head badge. Based on head tube wear and the screws, it looks like it has been removed and reattached. I know the model 355 is in the 1918 catalogue but am not sure how long it was produced. The serial number is five numerals and does not have an alpha character, so it should be pre-1921. I can't determine if it is a Weston or Toronto era head badge but someone else who seen the picture, thinks it says Weston. 

The crankset appears to be period correct. The rear hub also appears correct but it has the arm which I believe could be retrofit. The saddle, grips and chain guard are obvious replacements. The fenders also appear to be replacements based on the centre, ridge, amount of drop, white tail and lack of skirt guard holes on the rear. The handlebar appears to be a later chrome replacement, as opposed to the correct nickel. 

Any and all comments appreciated.

16 Comments

More pics

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I don't think I can improve upon your assessment Tmar. I will attach a photo showing the correct chain guard, pedals, and rear fender for a c.1918 Ladies bike like this Massey. You can tell your friend that these parts are very difficult to find. I bought this bike because I had never seen this chain guard anywhere else other than in the old catalogue illustrations. Also, he should know bikes of this era usually had wood rims.

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 I can't see the fork crown that great, but to me that does not look like a Massey fork crown.Should have 3 plates. To me it looks like a CCM cleveland bike. I take it it has been repainted.Just my take on it.

Thxs for the comments gentlemen. I'll see if I can get him to take a picture of the fork crown. It's diffcult to say for sure, but it does look like it may be the single plate crown used on the  Cleveland. I'll see if I can get a photo from him. I'll also try to get his location, as while steel rims were an option in Canada during this period, they do appear to have been standard in other markets, such as Australia. I've already directed him to the on-line 1918 catalogue. 

I got a -photo of the fork crown from the owner and it is a single plate, 'Cleveland' style crown. However, I can only see the two, stagered, head badge holes, on  opposite sides of the head tube, so it appears to have started life as a Massey and later rec'd a Cleveland fork. 

Tyres are replacement Million brand. This was a Japanese brand and they appear to be the Roadster model. 

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HI there, thanks going to T- Mar for all the effort he has put into my research and getting me in to be a member on this quality site.The chain guard picture looks like that is from a different era. Could the bike be newer than i was thinking originally or does it seem like soemone down the line has retrofitted a few newer parts to it?

I would say it has newer fenders and wheels  as i noticed the rear hub has a brake arm. Not sure when Hercules put a brake arm on but think around 1927 or early 30,s. I take it it has been repainted at sometime?

It would be quite rare to have a bicycle of this age that hasn't been significantly modified. Based on the frame characteristcs and particulalry the absence of an alpha character in the S/N, I have no reason to believe it is not pre-1921. Certainly, it fits with the known time frame for the model 355, based on the extant 1918 catalogue. Also,the crankset is era correct, having been discontinued for 1923. 

 

 

 

 

I am still doing a little more sprucing up on the Massey. I picked up this bike for a neighbours daughter who wanted a cool "old style" bike. So the question is what do you think this is worth? I'm not looking to make massive profits or anything but I wouldn't want to rip myself off either. I know the old adage is" it's worth whatever someone will give you for it". I'm just looking for some sort of ball park figure. Many thanks for all the helpful input to everyone.

On the plus side, it's a functioning, rideable bike. On the downside, it's what is sometimes referred to as a "Frankenbike", made up of different parts. With Ladies bikes being a harder sell than Mens, if it were my bike I'd be happy with something in the $100-160 range. Hope that helps.

$100-$160!?!?

the headbadge alone is probably worth $150

I agree on the head badge price . Massey Harris collectors will pay more than 150.00 for that bike. Even if it is a ladies bike.

That badge has a slice through the bottom section of the ribbon - have a look at the second photo above. In any case, that's only my opinion and others' opinions will differ of course.

That is the price I would pay for the badge in this condition, if I wanted a Massey headbadge. I believe we all saw that the badge was not in perfect condition otherwise I would of priced it higher.

So what do you think the bike is worth? That was the original question.

This bicycle is very hard to value. While it's regretable to see a century old bicycle that will not be lovingly rerstored, this one has little originality left beyind the frame and crankset. Proper restoration would be very expensive and when you're done you still have a less desirable female model. In order for this to be a worthwhile project, you would have to get it quite cheap and therefore I'm in agreement with Brian. Unfortunately, this a case were it would have a much higher value being parted out.