My Lovely Old Speedwell

Here are photos of my ladies Speedwell loop frame bike. I picked it up from Bargo Lifeline shop several years ago.

It looks similar to a 1930’s Ladies Healing in the “Bicycle Frame Timeline” on the Australian Bicycle History Centre Website

The frame is in excellent condition with the number 43247 imprinted near a dropout. I can find no other number on it.

The chrome has only minor rust. (A little bit of pitting), I’ve cleaned it up quite well using aluminium foil, although it is still a little rough in places.

It has back-pedal Sachs Komet Super brakes that are very heavy and slow to use, and I am told that is quite normal for the brake type.

I don’t know if the wheels are contemporary with the frame.

If anyone can tell me more about it, I would be grateful.

I’d like to get mudguards and a chain guard for it. I can make a skirt guard.

My Ladies Speedwell

My Ladies Speedwell



Speedwell Logo

Speedwell Logo







Sachs Komet Super

Sachs Komet Super

Back Cog

Back Cog

Brake Drum

Brake Drum

About BargoSal

Keen cyclist, my aim is to get bums on seats, work with council to improve cycling infrastructure and driver awareness. I am also a website designer.
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17 Responses to My Lovely Old Speedwell

  1. pat richardson says:

    hi did you repaint that or was it like that when you got it????

  2. BargoSal says:

    It was black when I got it, but there is blue paint underneath. I’ve been told that the Speedo logo has been put on at a later date. I don’t have a clue, I’d just like to do it up to something like it would have looked like originally.

  3. Martin Hartley says:

    I have been told that Speedwell used to manufacture a lot of bicycles without a head badge. Either a logo was painted on, or it was re-badged under another name. I have a speedwell that proclaims itself as a “UNIVERSE CYCLES”. Your Speedwell probably requires mudguards, a leather saddle and a rear carry rack to bring it back to something resembling original condition.

  4. BargoSal says:

    Thanks for commenting
    I have been told that the Speedwell badge is not original. All the running gear + handlebars and badge are probably 70’s upgrade.
    I would love to put original stuff back on the frame, but don’t know where to start.

  5. Dee Hinton says:

    Firstly I would just like to say that I am not sure of the correct terminology for some of the bike bits. I just collect old Speedwells. From what I can see of the rims, it looks as though they have been a later addition. Generally a bike from that era had rims that had a raised area in the middle of the rim that was painted to match the bike. The frame may also have originally had handpainted pinstriping.

  6. BargoSal says:

    The rims are not smooth, they have a rough pattern. Not like rims for calliper brakes. I have been told they are not contemporary with the frame. Thanks for your interest.

  7. Martin Hartley says:

    You may find rims that have a diamond pattern on the side-walls. They were a late 1960’s thing. Apparently Araya stopped making them in 1971. A 30’s speedwell should have 28″ x 1-1/2″ wheels. My old one had a 28″ x 1-3/8″ on the front and a 27″ x 1-1/4″ on the rear. The rear wheel is not original, as it has a 5-speed derailer cassette. That wheels is due to be replaced with one fitted with a 3-speed hub. Unfortunately the one I have coming is Shimano and not Sturmey-Archer. I’d like to put 28″ wheels back into it, but at the moment it has been too difficult to obtain a matched pair, particularly one with a 3-speed hub! I may leave it with 27″ x 1-1/4″ wheels and tyres as it is far easier to get spares for those than 28″ wheels these days. Surprisingly, it handles beautifully on the road with the 27″ wheels in it. 1930’s era bicycles tended to have painted rims and only had a coaster (back-pedal) brake on the rear wheel. They would have almost certainly also had mudguards, and chances are that they would have had a leather saddle, made by either Bell or Brooks (although there were several manufacturers of leather saddles at the time).

  8. BargoSal says:

    Thank you for the info. I’ll have to get on to looking for parts asap.

  9. Ryan Holmes says:


    I have just found what I think is a Speedwell ladies cruiser in a council clean up. It doesn’t have too much rust and I am thinking of doing it up. Can anyone help me with some info about the bike?

    It has a leather saddle made by Bell and has the number 80 on the Bell logo. It has back peddle brakes and has original paint work. Blue with gold pin stripes. What year would this bike have been made?

    Thanks for your help

  10. BargoSal says:

    Hi Ryan
    Sorry to take so long to reply
    I advise you to check out ozpushies, a Canberra based online group into bike restoration. There are several members that will be happy to help you.

  11. Greg Bamber says:

    Hello BargoSal. The black paint on your bike doesn’t look very thick.To get rid of the black paint get some very fine grade wet and dry sandpaper (use it wet) and rub very carefully until you get rid of the black paint. This way you will hopefully have most of the original paint and transfers but I stress rub very carefully.Hope this helps.Greg.

  12. BargoSal says:

    Thanks for your comment Greg. The poor bike is sitting on the bench in pieces waiting for me to put back together, however it needs so much TLC that I find the job quite daunting.

  13. Brad Butler says:

    Hi Bargo Sal I just bought the same bike (No. 158),$150 I dont know much about it but the frame is the same as yours and the wheels on mine definately match the frames colour and pinstiping, I have attached a photo so you can perhaps get an idea of what it would have looked like. Even though it is extremely aged, I plan to leave it exactly as is Best Regards,, Brad /Users/bradbutler/Desktop/DSCN0146.JPG

  14. BargoSal says:

    Hi Brad
    Your bike sounds very interesting, I’ve been told mine probably had the speedwell logo added during a later incarnation. I would love to see your photo, you can attach it to an email: I will put it up on the blog.
    BTW Is it possible to have a banner (approx 3x1m) with a .jpg graphic? I have a client who needs one.

  15. ewhitelaw says:

    Hello! sorry to post so long after this was written but I have one of the old 1930s Healings and they’re IDENTICAL! Literally identical. I was so confused when I came across a clearly labelled Speedwell that was the twin of my bike! I’m also in Canberra – would love to chat more and exchange photos etc :) my email is Cheers.

  16. Monique says:

    Hullo, been searching g to find out how to dismantle and clean bike I found on verge. Looks exactly like your Speedwell, original Australian flag blue with white pinstripe scroll painting, also decals with “Aussie”, pedal brake, wheel arches with perforations on rear arch for skirt guard, original handlebars, but these are dented and very rusty. Does anyone know how to remove pedal bracket whatever that’s called?

  17. steve says:

    hi luv the pics… would anyone know where I can find information on identifying my speedwell.. I have the frame numbers but cant find any information on the net… thanks any information would b great

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