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British BSA folding "Parabike"

Article about: Speaking of para bikes...does anyone have any manuals or any information regarding how they Brits tested the folding bikes? Does anyone know of any bikes that were actually airdropped? Did t

  1. #11
    tylis2
    ?

    Default Re: British BSA folding "Parabike"

    Speaking of para bikes...does anyone have any manuals or any information regarding how they Brits tested the folding bikes? Does anyone know of any bikes that were actually airdropped? Did they make it down without damage? Love to see a post of the manuals....
    Thanks Steve T

  2. #12

    Default Re: British BSA folding "Parabike"

    Hi Steve, I do have all this info. However, it cost me a lot of time & money to research via several trips to London to visit the Public Record Office, now known as the National Archives. I am usually very free and easy with sharing info on the forum but in this case I don't wish to simply post this in public. So I won't be posting scans etc, plus that would also put me in trouble with copywrite issues as you have to sign for why you want this stuff. I hope you will understand? But I will help where I can.

    There is not a manual on the bikes to my knowledge. But extensive drop testing was done with different sized 'chutes, different ways of fitting them, etc. Damage to the bikes was usually in the form of buckled wheels and twisted handlebars. This was eventually why they decided on a drop crate. One day I would like to make one of these as I have the blueprints on how to build one.

    There was even early 1946 post war development of new replacement bikes. Several new prototypes were made. There was also some suggested improvments to the BSA's, such as new pedals, split pins to secure the wing nuts on the frame etc. But given that the bikes were not really that sucessful, I found it very interesting that new bikes were even being considered.

    Cheers, Ade.

  3. #13
    ?

    Default Re: British BSA folding "Parabike"

    The Poles used the "cradle frame" for air dropping the flying flea.
    (Ade remember the exhibition in Driel church 2004 ... the cradle had just been restored by the Hartenstein ... it was the cradle retrieved from DZ "K" in 2002.)

    Gary J.

  4. #14

    Default Re: British BSA folding "Parabike"

    Hi Gary, I do indeed remember seeing that I think that the steel drop frame may well have influenced the idea to make a drop crate for the Parabike.

    Cheers, Ade.

  5. #15
    tylis2
    ?

    Default Re: British BSA folding "Parabike"

    Hi Ade. The reason I ask is that I picked up a 1st model some 30 yrs ago in Connecticut. And it's damaged. Handlebars are bent over to one side a bit and front of the leather seat is broken. But it still works fine. I alwyas wondered if that was from being dropped. Do these types of damages correseponed with any info you have from the tests Thanks Steve

  6. #16

    Default Re: British BSA folding "Parabike"

    Hi Steve, bend handlebars are typical of drop damage. Of course, no one can say that is what has happened to your's but you never know! The front seat often goes in that place simply from wear and tear as it seems to be a weak point. The troops were advised to lower the handlebars and higher the seat, so that the seat took the brunt of the impact on landing.

    Cheers, Ade.

  7. #17
    ?

    Default Re: British BSA folding "Parabike"

    Here's a very rare shot of the "Flying Flea" rigged up for use in the "Polish Cradle".
    (Sorry for the poor image .... but it is a rare one !)

    Gary J.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #18
    Carl Chambers
    ?

    Default Re: British BSA folding "Parabike"

    Hi Ade

    I just joined the Forum this morning and was wondering if I could ask a question of your Para bike. A few months ago I purchased one on e-bay from a gentleman selling it in my town. It looked great but didn't have the war grade tires, or an original seat. A few weeks after that purchase as I was gathering information and looking for parts and I came across another bike for sale in Ottawa, at half the price, but in excellent condition. Needless to say I had two bikes for a while. I have sold the first bike again on e-bay and kept the second one. It has the original seat, both Original War Grade tires that look brand new, and all original hardware. The only down side looks to be a hurried paint job, because there is overspray on the grips, and I can just make out the original stickers under a thin paint layer. For all the goods I can handle one bad. I don't know if I will go the re-paint road or just leave it as is and get some replacement stickers. I'll cross that bridge later.

    My question to you is I noticed your bike has the tire pump and I was wondering if it was original, and if so are there any markings or makers names on it. There is a website called buy vintage and they have a BSA 1919 military bike for sale that has a pump mounted that has the BSA logo on the handle. Just wondering if yours might.

    Looks great though....
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #19

    Default Re: British BSA folding "Parabike"

    Hi Carl, welcome to the forum!

    The bike looks really nice. Well done!

    The pump on mine is just an old pump which came with the bike. They are usually BSA marked, made from black celluloid or so I am told.

    Cheers, Ade.

  10. #20

    Default Re: British BSA folding "Parabike"

    Beautiful bikes gentlemen! Ade, I have an opportunity to buy a stripped folding bike. It has no wheels or seat. I believe the handlebars are original but I don't know for sure. If I buy the remains is it possible to find the real bits to put it back together. And if that is the case is 500 too much or about right for the project?

    Cheers
    Gary

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