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  1. #1
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    How old is this Hercules

    A guy on my local CL is selling this Hercules for $150. Way too much if you ask me. Anyway, I would like to know around when it was made. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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  2. #2
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    I can't tell from the pics if it's a pre-Raleigh(1960) or not but $150 seems awfully high.

    Don't worry; the experts should be here shortly.

    In the meantime, check out the rear hub. There should be a date stamped on it. I believe the older ones had it right below the name or maybe to the left. I don't see the Sturmey-Archer gear shifter on the handlebars. Is there a little chain attached to the right side of the rear hub, possibly a cable attached to that and running along the frame?

    Can you read Nottingham anywhere on the frame or below the Hercules on the headbadge or seattube? If so, then it's a Raleigh and definitely not worth $150.

    The bike is also missing the chainguard.


    Hercules
    A division of B.C.C. until merged with Raleigh as part of the TI takeover in 1960, Hercules was a major competitor of Raleigh, with a strong sporting image. They sponsored popular racers, most partiuclarly Ken Joy and Eileen Sheridan. Hercules made their own 3-speed hubs, which were pretty-much identical to the older Sturmey-Archer AW. Hercules hubs continued to use threaded drivers long after Stumrmey-Archer abandoned them.
    Raleigh-built "AMF-Hercules" models are fairly common. They were distributed by AMF (American Machine & Foundry.)

    Somebody restored their Hercules

    http://www.madeinbirmingham.org/hercules.htm

  3. #3
    Keeper of the SLDB BobHufford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbattle View Post
    The bike is also missing the chainguard.
    Maybe not ...

    http://home.mchsi.com/~bhufford4/40herc09b.jpg

    Bob

  4. #4
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobHufford View Post

    See, I knew the experts would show up. So, it could be that model "F" on the far right of the brochure?

    OP, is the chainring cutout with the name Hercules?

    Bob, what's the date of the brochure? Is the bike worth $150? If two trains are heading to Toledo, with one train going 25mph and the other.......

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    $10 tops as is. The guy's a nut bag. The bike is junk, and there are many missing parts.

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    Thanks for the help. It's tough finding info about Hercules bicycles on the web. The Science and Society Picture Library (http://www.scienceandsociety.co.uk/) has some photos of employees at the Hercules factory in the 1930s. My biggest problem with this bicycle is the head badge. If I knew what they looked like over the years, I might be able to date the bike.

    Here's a bit more info. The seller (apparently a retired bike shop owner) says it dates from around WWII and has a Sturmey Archer hub. Wasn't Hercules using their own Hercumatic hubs and shifters at that time? I haven't asked about the chainring or the date on the hub yet, but I will (I always forget to ask the obvious questions).

    The seller lives over an hour away, so I haven't seen it in person. Also, I don't really want to make the trip unless I'm pretty sure I want to buy it. I haven't tried to haggle over the price yet, but he's listed it at least twice before so he might sell it on the cheap.

    Bob - What is the URL to your homepage? Do you have any other vintage catalogs or brochures?

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    Older than the ones that I have seen, but in much worse condition.
    I'd try to really talk them down if you're interested, $75 tops.

  8. #8
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    Hercumatic was just rebadged Sturmey-Archer.

    Since it has a hub, ask for the serial numbers on the hub. That'll give you the date of the hub. But as I said earlier, I didn't see a shift cable or shifter.

    I bought a Raleigh Ltd.-3, a very similar bike, for $10 plus $50 in shipping, off eBay. Looked a whole lot better than that Hercules. I'd pass on this bike.

  9. #9
    I am the Eggman Mooo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbattle View Post
    Hercumatic was just rebadged Sturmey-Archer.

    Since it has a hub, ask for the serial numbers on the hub. That'll give you the date of the hub. But as I said earlier, I didn't see a shift cable or shifter.

    I bought a Raleigh Ltd.-3, a very similar bike, for $10 plus $50 in shipping, off eBay. Looked a whole lot better than that Hercules. I'd pass on this bike.
    I remember one Hercules hub that said something like "Hercules type B-4" or "B-6" or some such thing with essentially no other markings on it. I'm pretty sure I'd have remembered a serial number.

  10. #10
    hi YoKev's Avatar
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    That looks like a single speed, or perhaps a 3-speed with a missing shifter cable/shifter.

    I've never seen a Hercules head badge like that however...definitely older than 1965, and I can not make out the "HERCULES" in the chain ring.

  11. #11
    Keeper of the SLDB BobHufford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbattle View Post
    Bob, what's the date of the brochure? Is the bike worth $150?
    I think it's late '30s or early '40s. It came with a stack of others that were dated '38 to '41. I don't feel that bike is worth that much due to the shape it's in. Offer half ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Traquair View Post
    The seller (apparently a retired bike shop owner) says it dates from around WWII and has a Sturmey Archer hub. Wasn't Hercules using their own Hercumatic hubs and shifters at that time? I haven't asked about the chainring or the date on the hub yet, but I will (I always forget to ask the obvious questions).
    Bob - What is the URL to your homepage? Do you have any other vintage catalogs or brochures?
    I was recently inquiring about a similar vintage Hercules and the S/A hub didn't have a date code, but did have British and Swiss patent numbers that put it around 1942 or so.

    I don't have a web site. These brochures are here:

    http://www.geocities.com/lightweight...9/39rdlw1.html
    http://www.geocities.com/lightweight...9/39rdss1.html
    http://www.geocities.com/lightweight...0/40rdlw1.html
    http://www.geocities.com/lightweight...9/39lwlw1.html
    http://www.geocities.com/sldbconsumer/1939/39ps1.html
    http://www.geocities.com/sldbconsumer/1941/41nw1.html

    My Schwinn site is here:

    http://www.geocities.com/sldatabook/publications.html

    My Swing Bike site is here:

    http://www.geocities.com/bobhufford/swing.html

    Bob Hufford
    Springfield, MO

  12. #12
    juneeaa memba!
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    Bob! a man of many talents! I never knew you had a closet interest in Hercules...I gave the only one that I had away a few years ago...a 50's vintage. Do these things have a collector value?

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    Again, thanks for all the info. The seller emailed me back. He said he can't find a date stamped on the hub and that the chainring does not say Hercules. I had also asked him about the size and he said it measured 21 inches from the center of the BB spindle to the top of the seat tube. I haven't ridden many of these old three speeds, so I don't really know if that would fit me at 6'2" (it wouldn't if it were a typical road bike). Any opinions? If it won't fit I'll likely pass it up.

    Bob - It didn't connect that you run the Schwinn Lightweight Databook. That is a fantastic site. Just FYI, Geocities says a bunch of the pages in the Rudge (and others) catalog pages are down due to inactivity. Also, is there a main index page or contents page for the non-Schwinn info? I would love to be able to look at all the old catalogs you've scanned regardless of maker.

  14. #14
    Keeper of the SLDB BobHufford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luker View Post
    Bob! a man of many talents! I never knew you had a closet interest in Hercules. Do these things have a collector value?
    I'm sure they have some value to some collector.

    I didn't know I had an interest, really, until I received these catalogs along with some other Schwinn materials (factory service manuals, bulletins, etc.) from a long-time Schwinn dealer that was on his way to the dumpster with them when he remembered my SLDB site and thought I might have a use for them.

    It also included these:

    1937 BSA Motorcycle catalog:
    http://www.geocities.com/motorcyclec...7/37bsa01.html
    1939 Indian Motorcycle catalog:
    http://www.geocities.com/motorcyclec...39/39in01.html
    1940 Ariel Motorcycle catalog and flyer:
    http://www.geocities.com/bhufford3/index.html
    and a 1939 Triumph motorcycle catalog that I haven't scanned yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Traquair View Post
    Bob - It didn't connect that you run the Schwinn Lightweight Databook. That is a fantastic site. Just FYI, Geocities says a bunch of the pages in the Rudge (and others) catalog pages are down due to inactivity. Also, is there a main index page or contents page for the non-Schwinn info? I would love to be able to look at all the old catalogs you've scanned regardless of maker.
    Thanks for the heads up on the inactive pages. They should work now. I don't have a main page with links to these scans. I'll add them (bicycles) to the Links page on the SLDB. These just came about as I scanned them in prior to selling them ... (wanted to share them before they dissapeared into some dark drawer somewhere again).

    Bob

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    I had a Hercules as a kid in the early '50s. It had a Hercumatic gear shift and I believe was made in Birmingham. The Hercumatic was probably made by Sturmey Archer. Looked exactly the same and sounded the same.

  16. #16
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traquair View Post
    Again, thanks for all the info. The seller emailed me back. He said he can't find a date stamped on the hub and that the chainring does not say Hercules. I had also asked him about the size and he said it measured 21 inches from the center of the BB spindle to the top of the seat tube. I haven't ridden many of these old three speeds, so I don't really know if that would fit me at 6'2" (it wouldn't if it were a typical road bike). Any opinions? If it won't fit I'll likely pass it up.

    Bob - It didn't connect that you run the Schwinn Lightweight Databook. That is a fantastic site. Just FYI, Geocities says a bunch of the pages in the Rudge (and others) catalog pages are down due to inactivity. Also, is there a main index page or contents page for the non-Schwinn info? I would love to be able to look at all the old catalogs you've scanned regardless of maker.
    That frame is going to be a tad on the small side for you. I am 6'-2" I ride a 21" Raleigh Sports as my beater, but it has a looooong seat post on it.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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  17. #17
    . bbattle's Avatar
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  18. #18
    Keeper of the SLDB BobHufford's Avatar
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    More (possibly useless) info ...

    http://johnsvintagebikes.com/Hercules_parts/index.html

    Bob

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    Super Course fan redneckwes's Avatar
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    The one in the advert looks a lot like mine.

    http://bicyclenut.bravehost.com/Bicy...nt%20page.html

    The last two bikes on my list are a 50's Lenton Grand Prix and a '64 Raleigh Record.

  20. #20
    Queen Tonks
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    @ redneckwes

    what is the date on your herc?

  21. #21
    Senior Member DavidW56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobHufford View Post
    Mr. Hufford, thank you for posting this! I didn't know you had a Hercules catalog! What year is it? OK, I read the rest of the thread and have the answers.)

    I can't tell the year of the OP's Hercules in question, but may I post photos of the ones I have/had? It may help.

    1960 Hercules


    1964 AMF Hercules


    1968 AMF Hercules
    Last edited by DavidW56; 10-07-09 at 08:43 PM.
    Schwinn - World's Finest Bicycles.

  22. #22
    Wood David Newton's Avatar
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    I think pre-Raleigh Hercs have either the cutout Hercules or the "H" around the chain ring. The rebadged pre-raleigh Hercs and Raleigh Hercs were the spoke chain ring.
    $150 is too much for that one, for sure, but around $75 if I could pick it up would be ok.

    Here's a great Herc site: http://herculesmuseum.wordpress.com/

    These are great to turn into a Fixie!
    Last edited by David Newton; 10-07-09 at 09:31 PM.
    http://davidnewtonguitars.squarespace.com/

  23. #23
    Wood David Newton's Avatar
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    Here's my Hercules India, this bike is so great to ride for an old fat guy, look at that geometry!
    http://davidnewtonguitars.squarespace.com/

  24. #24
    rhm
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    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
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    Update on this old thread.... the bike in question is still on Central NJ Craigslist (see below). I'd be tempted if it still had its fenders and chainguard, but as is, well, $99 is still too much. But I am pretty sure it's an old one, probably early 50's. The lugs are definitely pre-Raleigh.



    world war 11 british bike, Hercules 26 X 1 1/4-1 3/8'' tires? - $99 (union n.j.)
    Date: 2009-09-21, 7:53PM EDT
    Reply to: sale-vtsbf-1385952107@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

    correction , looked like a 3 speed stermey archer hub. hard to see but it has hercules stamped on it. been told it was made in the 1940'ies . can't determine what other stamptings are . have to clean better and get better eyes . bike has fittings on hanger and hubs to oil them . [shifter parts missing]. [have parts if i can find them , cheap] . you restore. think all original . raised metal head tube emblem . unusual frame lugs and fork crown . this bike worth more , lot more in years to come. have a few other vintage bikes.---have reguler [not high teck stuff] ,new tires, tubes and acc's. all at inexpensive prices. i'm a retired bike shop owner , if you buy parts from me i'll tell you how to repair it . call me,at 908-687-3170 11am to 8pm or e-m me -- Ed ---. right now bike worth 150 --- come see it,if you want something old AND you restore it worth much more ! stored outdoors starting to rust. i will suggest how to clean up. thank you

    * Location: union n.j.
    * it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

    image 1385952107-0 image 1385952107-1

  25. #25
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Based on some observations of various Hercules (Herculi?) I think it is from the 40's, possibly the late 30's. I have a similar bike but it has a different head badge and the Hercules chain ring. It may be a lower priced model and thus not have the Herc chainring, or possibly it was switched out at some time?

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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