Singer Challenge 1878

Some time ago this bike was for sale on Ebay. This is why the pictures are quite poor quality, but the bike has some interesting details. Look at the rear wheel roller brake and the large brass oilers on the plain bearings of the front hub.

Regrettably the bike has been covered in black paint and some parts are not original, like the saddle. Let's hope the new owner gave it an optical restoration to make it look better.
Until 1880 most bikes were delivered 'all bright', which means that they were polished until they shone like silver. If the owner did not oil it regularly (and who did, around 1890-1950?) the bike started to rust. Before 1879-1880 most factories did not use nickle and the paint was of such poor quality that it didn't really help preventing the bike from rust. This is one of the many reasons why I prefer a rusty bike above a shiny 'like new' restored one. 
Bikes after 1880 used far better paint and parts like hubs, brake and handlebars were nickled.