1951 NSU Ladies Tourenrad Model 55

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1938_NSU

 

 

1951 nsu

1951 NSU Ladies Tourenrad

Model 55

21″ Frame

26″ Wheels

Frame No 472449

 

 

I migrated to NSU bicycles from NSU motorcycles and the NSU Quickly moped, which took the world by storm when it hit the market in 1954.

This bicycle has a number of decorative features in common with the NSU Quickly moped.

The company was renowned for quality manufacture.

Although NSU made modern bicycles too postwar, this example is one of the company’s ‘nostalgic’ models, designed to appeal to older riders.

The front brake is a ‘plunger’ type, pressing down onto the front tyre. British bicycles updated their front brakes soon after the turn of the century, but Germany retained this feature: it was cheaper to manufacture and supplemented the rear coaster brake.

 

1951_NSU_Model_55 copy

 

 

 

 

 

I like the extra badges fitted to the front mudguards of most German bicycles. The ‘fender ornament’ on NSU is similar to that used on the range of NSU mopeds that quickly dominated the cyclemotor market from 1954 until the Honda Cubs took over in the early sixties. Compare the badge below (on the 1958 Quickly Model L).

 

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1951 nsu

1951 NSU PROSPEKT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1951 nsu

TORPEDO COASTER HUB


In the close up photo below you’ll see the number ’49’ which shows the hub’s year of manufacture as 1949.

 

1951 nsu

 

 

 

1951 nsu

NSU HISTORY

6222_kids_on_nsu.jpg

The company was started in 1873 in Riedlingen an der Donau, Germany. In its early years, its founders Heinrich Stoll and Christian Schmidt produced knitting machines. They soon moved to Neckarsulm, and adopted the name NSU from NeckarSUlm.

When the bicycle market started to boom, NSU joined many other bike manufacturers and their cycles proved very popular.

Developed from a bicycle, their first motorcycle was introduced in 1901; it was fitted with a 1.5hp Swiss Zedel engine.

The picture below shows their factory in 1904. By then, there was already a choice of 6 different models.

1904.jpg

In due course, they added cars, taxis and trucks to their comprehensive motorcycle range (in 1909 they even made a 990cc V-twin motorcycle). The car division was sold to Fiat in 1928. However, NSU did build a car a few years later: in 1933, they were commissioned by Ferdinand Porsche to build 3 prototypes ‘Type 32’s’ – this was in effect the first Volkswagen Beetle. One of these original cars is in the VW museum, and you can see below how similar the NSU Type 32 is to the eventual Beetle design.

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NSU built many fine bicycles motorcycles throughout their history, and to my mind their name is synonymous with quality German engineering.

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This is from the Online Cyclemaster Museum.

To read more

PLEASE CLICK HERE

 

1951 nsu

VERIFYING THE AGE OF NSU BICYCLES

(translated from German)

There’s no definite official information about part numbers and corresponding registration years. This data is approximate. With an accuracy of + / – one years, but they are assumed to be relatively safe.

1900 ~ 7000
1910 ~ 18,000
1925 ~ 550,000
1929 ~ 675,000
1930 ~ 685,000
1931 ~ 692,000
1932 ~ 700,000
1933 ~ 720,000
1934 ~ 770,000
1935 ~ 920,000
1936 ~ 1,000,000

1937 ~ 1.200.000

1938 ~ 1,300,000

1939 ~ 1,450,000
1940 ~ 1,550,000
1941 ~ 1,650,000
1942 ~ 1,700,000
1943 ~ 1,750,000
1944 ~ 1,800,000

1945 ~ 1,806,000

1946 Renumbered: Prewar numbers re-used. For example, 800,000 might be 1935 or 1956.
1947 ~ 55,000
1948 ~ 100,000
1949 ~ 175,000
1950 ~ 320,000
1951 ~ 420,000
1952 ~ 570,000
1953 ~ 650,000
1954 ~ 700,000
1955 ~ 750,000
1956 ~ 800,000
1957   ~ 900.000 to about 990.000

From 1957 / 990,000 Onwards: NSU used the same numbers as prewar again, so it’s confusing.

DATING FROM TORPEDO REAR HUBS

The best bet on post-1957 machines is to check the Torpedo rear wheel hubs. Since around 1920 they used a production stamp, with which they can be dated:

“36”, therefore stands for example for the production date in 1936; later, there were also some 1-digit numbers:
“5” or “55”, built in 1955
“6” or “56”, Built in 1956
“7”, built 1957
In 1958 there were also letters:
“A”, built in 1958
“B”, built in 1959
“C”, built in 1960
“D”, built in 1961

“E”, built in 1962

(Front hubs do not have date indicators)

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Catalogue pics and info thanks to the excellent NSU enthusiast website http://www.fahrrad.nsu24.de