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  1. #1
    Senior Member markk900's Avatar
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    Excitement plus: new acquisition - 1955 Standard

    Oh boy oh boy....just picked up a new for me bike: a 1955 Standard K (from Birmingham), in what appears to be pretty complete and mostly original condition.

    Here are a couple of shots:






    I'm looking for any and all advice around this bike - I have no experience whatsoever with English roadsters like this so I am also looking for "what not to do".

    I've had it out for a brief ride and it sure is sweet!

    Mark

  2. #2
    "Purgatory Central" Wino Ryder's Avatar
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    DAMN !!


    My advice?

    Get it operational. Full tune-up, new cables, tires, tubes, brake pads, etc. Whatever it needs to make it ride safe and smooth.

    Good score
    ~ "I like the way the brake cables come out of the top of the levers and loop around to the brake calipers!...I like those downtube shifters too!...No no no, don't take 'em off, don't take 'em off,...leave 'em on, leave 'em on! - Thats right baby!!

    ~BF - Steel Club Member #00051

  3. #3
    Wood David Newton's Avatar
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    Wow Mark, it looks great.
    I'm in awe of you guys who find this stuff, I live in a vintage desert.
    "Bonderized" is a patent rust preventative process, looks like it worked.
    Are the wheels 26? or 28? Looks like you can ride it just the way it is. I know you'll be doing some restorative work, but don't go overboard, it is a sweet bike.

    Since you asked, I would shoot it all over with WD-40 or other thin lubricant, and take each fastener off, clean off the rust, oil, and refasten. Free the stem and seat post if you can.

    You can just run 20 or 30 wt oil into the SA hub, and the front hub too, bottom bracket bearings and pedals. Brake pivots too, and the cables. Wipe the whole bike down, cleaning off the dirt, with a oily rag and then with a dry rag. Same with the drive chain.

    Then ride it a while. Enjoy it. After a while you will want to take the bottom bracket apart and re-grease, front hubs too. If the rear hub is working good, just give it some drips of oil every month or two.

    Read some here about the breed and you'll learn how to make it last and last.
    http://davidnewtonguitars.squarespace.com/

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    I've got a couple of those Wrights saddles - bar none the most comfy saddle ever.

  5. #5
    Senior Member markk900's Avatar
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    Wino: That's the plan!

    David: thanks - I agree with the comments....already discovered neither the stem nor the seat post are stuck , so I will be spending the next while cleaning and de-rusting as much as possible.

    Dilemma #1 - frame has nice patina and looks like it will come up nicely with Meguires and some elbow grease, but fenders and chain guard really need a repaint....how do the rest of you balance "new" vs. old (ie. if I paint the fenders they will look really new compared to frame, but I don't want to repaint the frame.....)

    Mark

  6. #6
    Wood David Newton's Avatar
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    Mark, I think you'll be going down the wrong road with mequires or paint. You really should give it a good wiping down with oil, and see how it looks. It is only going to be original once, and it looks original now. How old is it? and it hasn't rusted away yet, and YOU aren't going to leave it outside, are you?

    Of course it is yours, and if you want to strip it and repaint it completely, it would be a great project and great fun too. But if you don't want to repaint the frame, don't repaint anything. Once you get the rust off the shiny parts and oil the whole bike, you'll see it in all it's glory.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member markk900's Avatar
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    Thanks David! Seeing the thread on the 36 Raleigh, and the pictures of success with an oil wipedown, I will indeed try that first. I am not interested in doing anything that can't be reversed!

    Still, I suspect the fenders will need painting - you can't see it well in the photos but someone has sanded or scratched off a ton of the original paint, and partly repainted them....chainguard has clearly been overpainted.....so while I'll try the oil first I don't hold out much hope of those pieces coming up as they are probably not original and in some cases there is no paint left!

    The frame and forks on the other hand are still in pretty decent shape, with nice pinstriping etc....so I will not be messing with them.

    Mark

  8. #8
    26 tpi nut. sailorbenjamin's Avatar
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    Peruse this http://sheldonbrown.com/english-3.html and all the links at the bottom too.
    You can sometimes get nice fenders off of Ebay. They'll cost at least $50 once you've paid shipping and they might have a Raleigh or Phillips sticker on them.
    Lat time I was there this place http://www.oldroads.com/ had a really nice set of fenders at a reasonable price. That was a while ago.
    I have spoken.

  9. #9
    rhm
    rhm is online now
    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
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    That's great. Best thing about it: it's not a Raleigh! I mean, Raleigh's are great, but the other English bicycle manufacturers, who all got bought out by Raleigh by the early 60's, used standard threading on BB and headset, and often --as here-- more interesting fender and chain guard designs. Keep your eyes open and you'll see this chainguard on other bikes --Sun, Sunbeam, Hercules, I don't know what. Not Norman, Norman had a slightly different one.

    I wouldn't sweat the paint on the fenders. The original fender paint is already ruined, so if you're planning on stripping the old paint and rust off and properly applying primer etc., and then doing the appropriate pinstriping / boxlining.... well, why not? You can even have them powdercoated.

    I'm guessing "Standard" is the model, "K" the maker. Any indication what it might stand for?

  10. #10
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    Nice bike. Is this one old enough to have whitworth bolts?
    |^^^^^^^^^^^^^^| ||
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  11. #11
    Wood David Newton's Avatar
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    Man you are right RHM about it not being a Raleigh.

    We had a raleigh dealer in my town, so it was all I ever saw except for the R-clones (Robin Hood) and American brands, and I did own an International, so I was raleigh-centric until just lately I've been buying Hercules before '60. They were down market from Raleigh on most of their bikes, but a few were up market, and they have a vibe of their own.

    For the Sports (type) elitists, the Rudge is the top of the heap, too bad you don't see many.
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  12. #12
    Wood David Newton's Avatar
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    Here's a Rudge that someone posted earlier. I'd love to have one like that.
    http://davidnewtonguitars.squarespace.com/

  13. #13
    Senior Member markk900's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhm View Post
    I'm guessing "Standard" is the model, "K" the maker. Any indication what it might stand for?
    Actually, the decal says "The Standard Cycle Co, Birmingham" so I think the model is "K". And thanks for the insight into the chainguard

  14. #14
    Senior Member markk900's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkeller234 View Post
    Nice bike. Is this one old enough to have whitworth bolts?
    I am not sure - first bolt I tried was not SAE or Whitworth, but a 14mm! (Seat bolt). Stem nut was Whitworth....(I have a small collection of WW tools from my BSA motorcycle days).

    Front wheel is not stock - it is from a CCM (rim/hub labelled Made in Canada, tire from Canadian Tire).

    So far everything else seems stock.

    Mark

  15. #15
    Senior Member markk900's Avatar
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    Confirmed chain guard, front and rear fenders are original - under a light spray of black aerosol I can see the original pinstripe and the outline of the original "K" decal.....

    Has anyone every heard of the Standard Cycle Company of Birmingham? I can find nothing on the net so far!

    Mark
    Last edited by markk900; 10-26-09 at 04:34 PM. Reason: spelling

  16. #16
    26 tpi nut. sailorbenjamin's Avatar
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    Oh, I should have looked more closely at the pics. Those are different fenders. I had a pair like that on a 1958 Phillips that I posted on recent finds this spring. Now I've seen 2 sets. I don't think you'll find a shiny set on Ebay.
    This is the kind of bike that gets more interesting the more you look at it.
    I have spoken.

  17. #17
    Senior Member markk900's Avatar
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    sailorbenjamin: had a look at your 58 Phillips - I agree - fenders look very similar! I also tried the goof off trick from the other thread and managed to get the chain guard cleaned up enough so you can see the pinstripes and decal!! Yes there is paint missing but the guard is not going to get repainted now....it adds to the patina so nicely...

    Mark

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