NOS Majestic Boys and Girls

I saw these bikes for sale, and knowing that Majestic was a Montreal company I bought them over the phone in the hope they were made-in-Canada. From what I can see I suspect they were made in Czechoslovakia. The tires say Barum, Made in Czechoslovakia, 24 x 1.75. The rear hub on the red one is stamped Favorit, a Czech company. The seat pan on the red one is metal and stamped Made in Japan. The seat on the blue one is the matress spring type.

They are the closest thing to NOS bikes I've ever seen. The story goes, a couple bought them at a bike shop auction in 2014 to use as props for their wedding. It is hard to believe they sat unsold in a bike store for decades but I have no other explanation. Perhaps someone here was at that bike auction and knows the whole story. The fact that they've never been ridden is evident by how clean the underside of the fenders are (see photo). They have no rust or scratches - I didn't even have to wash them. Unfortunately, they may have been stored outdoors for a period of time as the chrome suffers from pitting. The saddles have no signs of wear at all, nor do the tires, grips, or pedals.

I hope someone here can tell me what years these were made. TMar, you wrote about Majestic's history in another thread on this site and posted a page from a catalogue. Can you help? The serial number on the bb of the red one has 61, then a half donut shape, then a number. The blue one has a 62 before the half donut and number. The styling of the bikes seems in line with 1961 and '62, but with former communist block manufacturers, you never know. They could also be model numbers, 61 for boys and 62 for girls. The hub brake on the blue one is the same as the red one, but is not stamped Favorit and has Majestic Maple Leaf stamped on the brake arm instead of Favorit. The blue one also has Majestic decals added to the down tube. Perhaps Majestic wanted the bikes to look more like their own brand by '62.

I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do with these bikes. The blue one is a good size for my wife but the red one is a tad small for me. They are cute though, and the colours are great. Any help, info, or insight is appreciated.


Eastern block manufacturers were fairly popular with private label brand marketers in the 1960s. Locally, I saw Czechosloviakian bicyles under the Eska, Favorit and Rapido brands.  IIRC, they all used the same serial number format, except for the symbol after the first two numerals. Favorit typically used a lower case 'f' within a circle. Regardless, my understanding has always been the same of yours, that the first two numerals are an open format year indicator. A quick google search uncovered an Eska roadster model almost identical to yours. It appears to use the same frame, chainguard and chainring. The same chainring and chainguard also can be seen on Rapido hi-risers , which would be late 1960s to early 1970s, so it's entirely possible that this style was in use during 1961-1962. Pending further evidence, I'd be going with 1961 & 1962.



Thanks T-Mar. It's always nice to know the years our old bikes were made. The front hub of both bikes have Eska stamped in them. I Googled Eska and Favorit and from what I can see they were the same company, or Favorit was a brand name created by Es-ka. They're really nice bikes, I just wish they had 26 inch rims. If anyone reading this is interested in trading one Canadian-made vintage adult bike for these two kids' bike, let me know. They would make nice gifts for a brother and sister, or grandchildren! They could ride with you. Christmas is coming!

Yes, the three brands were entwined, though I wouldn't call Favorit an ES-KA brand. It's a complicated relationship but my understanding is that ES-KA was founded circa 1910 by two partners named Swetlika (the ES) and Kastrup (the KA). They were very successful, becoming one of the two major manufacturers in Czechoslovakia and manufactured bicycles under several brand namess including ES-KA, which eventually was simpilfed as Eska. 

Circa 1922, Swetlika and Kastrup found a new financial backer named Hering and the three partners opened up a new bicycle assembly plant under the name Tripol H. This company was independent of ES-KA but the bicycles were assembled using parts supplied by ES-KA.  When Swetlika and Kastrup died in the early 1930s, Hering bought their shares in Tripol H and took over the company.

After World War II, Czechoslovakia became a communist state and the bicycle industry was consolidated and put under state control. Favorit was created circa 1953, as a state controlled brand, with the bicycles being manufactured in the old Tripol H factory.