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  1. #1
    Senior Member Oldpeddaller's Avatar
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    HELP - ID 1930's (?) English bike - PIC HEAVY

    I'd like to draw upon your collective expertise.

    A work colleague has sent me these pics of a bike he's just got and hopes to restore to use as a prop at the annual "War and Peace" military show. He thinks it dates from 1932 - I don't know why, probably the seller told him so. No badge holes in head tube, the number H120 is stamped under the BB and UU909 on one of the rear drop-outs (don't yet know which side).

    That wing nut stem bolt arrangement is new to me. It suggests military spec, so the bars could quickly be twisted in line with the frame and a whole bunch of bikes stacked together in the back of a truck?

    I've seen that style of front brake before but can't remember where. The hole in the left lower head lug looks to be a rod brake linkage pivot point but the Endrick rims wouldn't work with the old style stirrup rod brakes so the rear brake may be a factory upgrade.

    That Wright's mattress saddle looks to be beyond redemption. Box lining on the mudguards plus the white patch on the rear might suggest 1940's? The cranked seat post also suggests that era to me - but I know little!

    Any thoughts, ideas or info that might help tie down the make, model, age or anything else about this tired old machine? Any and all suggestions welcomed and appreciated! Loads of photos so may have to post several posts.











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  2. #2
    Senior Member Oldpeddaller's Avatar
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    More Photos:















    Oldpeddaller - The older I get, the better I used to be !!!" ***** If at first you don't succeed - hit it with a hammer.

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  3. #3
    PanGalacticGargleBlaster Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
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    Any branding on the hubs or brake calipers?
    --Don't Panic.

  4. #4
    Wood David Newton's Avatar
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    Guess?
    Hercules pattern fork crown, smashed ends.
    Herc also used that chain ring on lower end models.
    Is it a free wheel?
    The wing nut is a new one.
    http://davidnewtonguitars.squarespace.com/

  5. #5
    Senior Member Oldpeddaller's Avatar
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    More photo's



















    The dynamo is a Miller. I'm sure this is an English bike. Humber, Hercules, Raleigh (Kurt?) or what do you think? Any better ideas as to year of manufacture? There are no date codes visible so far, but did they use them back in the 30's and 40's?

    It's going to be a challenging restoration but an Oxalic Acid bath will be the first stage. I'd really appreciate any thoughts or information.
    Oldpeddaller - The older I get, the better I used to be !!!" ***** If at first you don't succeed - hit it with a hammer.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Oldpeddaller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
    Any branding on the hubs or brake calipers?
    He hasn't found any yet Zaphod, but he only got it today - I'll ask him and advise.
    Oldpeddaller - The older I get, the better I used to be !!!" ***** If at first you don't succeed - hit it with a hammer.

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  7. #7
    Senior Member Oldpeddaller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Newton View Post
    Guess?
    Hercules pattern fork crown, smashed ends.
    Herc also used that chain ring on lower end models.
    Is it a free wheel?
    The wing nut is a new one.
    David -Amazing! Hercules was my first thought when he described it to me on the phone! Something about the socket lugged head tube, forks and one piece bar & stem reminded me of my first bike - which was a Hercules. Yes, it's a single speed freewheel. No, I've never seen the wing nut before. I'd love to get to see this in the flesh to see how tight/loose that nut is and try to see how it works.
    Last edited by Oldpeddaller; 05-26-11 at 01:41 PM. Reason: spelling
    Oldpeddaller - The older I get, the better I used to be !!!" ***** If at first you don't succeed - hit it with a hammer.

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  8. #8
    rhm
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    Front brake appears to be a Reslion "Anchor" model.


    The saddle can be saved if you want to have someone recover the cover.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Oldpeddaller's Avatar
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    Does anybody else think it might be an older/lower range version of this 1939 3-speed shown on Classic Rendezvous?

    http://www.classicrendezvous.com/Bri...cules_1939.htm
    Oldpeddaller - The older I get, the better I used to be !!!" ***** If at first you don't succeed - hit it with a hammer.

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  10. #10
    Senior Member Oldpeddaller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhm View Post
    Front brake appears to be a Reslion "Anchor" model.


    The saddle can be saved if you want to have someone recover the cover.
    Fantastic RHM. I don't know why I thought of Resilion when I saw Craig's photo - I've never seen a Resilion brake in the flesh - but might have seen your photos before? Thanks for posting. Any idea what time period those brakes were produced?

    Guess you might be right about the saddle too - although there's a bit of rust to deal with first!

    Also, for general info - the serial number UU909 is stamped on the LEFT rear drop out - if that makes any difference to anyone who knows?
    Oldpeddaller - The older I get, the better I used to be !!!" ***** If at first you don't succeed - hit it with a hammer.

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  11. #11
    26 tpi nut. sailorbenjamin's Avatar
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    Exactly what size are those tires? Looks like 26"s on a 28" bike.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Looks like a Herc to me too. If that is a single speed freewheel it should be stamped. I have a mid 50's Hercules Skyliner that has the single speed freewheel with rod brakes. It also runs the 26"x1-3/8" Westwood pattern rims.

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  13. #13
    Senior Member Oldpeddaller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sailorbenjamin View Post
    Exactly what size are those tires? Looks like 26"s on a 28" bike.
    Good point Sailorbenjamin - I'd forgotten that from my phone conversation with Craig. when he described the bike I expected him to say the wheels were 28" - and he told me the tyres were Dunlop Roadmaster 26". Makes me think the wheels are probably NOT original since if it is from the 1930's the de facto standard for 'roadster' style British bikes was 28". Racing bikes were 26", 27" or 'tubs' - tubulars were described as 27" but were actually what we now know as 700C. Lightweight touring bikes generally used 26" rims back then. Good call!
    Oldpeddaller - The older I get, the better I used to be !!!" ***** If at first you don't succeed - hit it with a hammer.

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  14. #14
    PanGalacticGargleBlaster Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
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    Could be EA1 or EA3. They are very close to 26".
    --Don't Panic.

  15. #15
    Get off my lawn! Velognome's Avatar
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    Looks to be a 30's Hercules Popular which as been pieced together. It looks be originaly a rod brake bicycle, note the hole in the downtube lug for the rod guide and the mounts on the rear stays. The chain ring style was used throughout the Herc. line from the Popular to the Harrier at different times. I'd venture not to many original parts.

  16. #16
    rhm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velognome View Post
    Looks to be a 30's Hercules Popular which as been pieced together. It looks be originaly a rod brake bicycle, note the hole in the downtube lug for the rod guide and the mounts on the rear stays. The chain ring style was used throughout the Herc. line from the Popular to the Harrier at different times. I'd venture not to many original parts.
    I'm not convinced by the Hercules ID. Hercules, Phillips, Armstrong (all in Birmingham) and Norman (far from Birmingham) all used similar lugs, fork crowns, dropouts, etc., the chief distinguishing feature of this stuff being that it's clearly not Raleigh stuff. 50's Hercules lugs and 50's Norman lugs look almost exactly the same, the only difference being an elliptical hole in the side of the Hercules lug, as opposed to a triangular hole in the Norman lug. I imagine these frame components were all made in the same factory, and sold to the smaller makers. Whether that factory was Hercules or Phillips or some other, I won't speculate. So... I'm perfectly willing to believe the lugs are from the same factory as Hercules lugs. Does that make it a Hercules, rather than an Armstrong, a Sun, a Sunbeam, or...? I have no idea.

    Note that this bike has a headlight bracket attached to the headset. This is a classic place for branding. Raleigh had a heron, Phillips had a P, Hercules had an H, Norman had a little Norman soldier, and so on. This bike has a generic one. What that means... I don't know. Were it an H, I would definitely endorse the Hercules ID, but in its absence I remain unconvinced.

    Velognome, what mounts (noting the plural) do you see on the rear stays? On the right seat stay I see a braze-on for a tail light, just below the rear caliper brake; I don't see any others. Rod brakes are typically mounted under the chain stays. I agree the hole in the lower head lug was put there for a rod brake bell crank, but whether that's a feature of the lug or of the frame, I won't speculate. I see no other signs of rod brakes.

    Oldpeddaller, the brake photo is not mine. I borrowed the link off this site:

    http://www.blackbirdsf.org/brake_obscura/road.html

    According to this web page, the Anchor brake was introduced in 1935. The advertisement touts it as an improvement over caliper brakes, so possibly someone would have upgraded a caliper to an Anchor, in which case your friend's new old bike could be older. Yes, I speculate (again).

    Just for the heck of it, here's one photo of my Alvin track bike from the 30's. Made here in NYC, it was the cheapest bike offered by the Velox Cycle Company (=Alvin Drysdale) and was made --as far as I can tell-- entirely from English parts including, presumably, the lugs &c. These head lugs and fork crown are basic generic frame components. Some makers would file them into distinctive shapes; on cheap bikes, they would not bother. I know these are not the same as on the bike discussed here; I can point out several differences. My point is only that both were made from generic lugs that give little or no clue to who made the frame.

    Last edited by rhm; 05-27-11 at 07:22 AM.

  17. #17
    Wood David Newton's Avatar
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    The seat stay caps are 30's Hercules pattern. See this link:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/permpon...ol-878553@N25/
    Hercules was not a small maker, in fact the largest maker, at the time of this bike. They most likely made their own lugs, and sold them to the smaller shops.
    The missing "H" on the bracket is one problem, but it could be a replacement, though unlikely.
    http://davidnewtonguitars.squarespace.com/

  18. #18
    rhm
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    David, I agree with all of that. To which I'll add: we know Hercules made and used chain rings with an H on them, or with the word Hercules on them; but they also used plain generic chain rings. On the same coin they made/used lamp brackets with an H; but they may very well have used generic ones sometimes. So while the missing H on the lamp bracket fails to identify the bike as a Hercules, it does nothing to reject that identification. The absence of a head badge is, I think, a bit more troublesome for the Hercules ID.

    My argument remains: Hercules seat stay caps, Hercules lugs, Hercules fork crown, &c. notwithstanding, we don't know who made this frame. Maybe Hercules.

  19. #19
    waverley610 waverley610's Avatar
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    1937 Hercules Sports Tourist (F) ?

    I spy your chainring, brazed on reflector eye, correct pump pegs, front and rear Hercules caliper brakes, 26" wheels ..and what looks very like your lamp bracket on one other model in the '37 Hercules Catalogue.

  20. #20
    rhm
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    Waverley, do you have scans of that catalog? I'd love to take a peek!

  21. #21
    Get off my lawn! Velognome's Avatar
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    Velognome, what mounts (noting the plural) do you see on the rear stays?........... I see a braze-on for a tail light,
    It is a tail light bracket

    When did Hercules start with the cut away oval lugs?

  22. #22
    waverley610 waverley610's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhm View Post
    Waverley, do you have scans of that catalog? I'd love to take a peek!
    rhm, As the file is protected, I can't do much with it, drop me your email via pm and will try to send by return.

  23. #23
    Senior Member auchencrow's Avatar
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    I am proposing that the change the title of this thread to "For the "Love-Hate" of English 3-speeds".

    I don't know about you, but it seems to me that rehabilitating these old relics is a LOT more difficult than your run-of-the-mill 10-speed. Unlike many bike boom 10-speeds, it seems that these older bikes were ridden a LOT, and with minimal or NO maintenance.

    Eg;
    My '38 Golden Arrow (which I bought for a song) has already cost me more than any other bike I own, and I'm not half done with it.

    The '53 Raleigh Sports I just tore down is no picnic either, with its half-inch thick gobs of black grease caked on everywhere, and a bottom bracket that had been run completely dry.

    The adjustable cup is cracked clear through, and the spindle is not much better. (Just removing the oil bath chain guard was a real test!)


    I am finding that I am spending more time on e-Bay looking for old replacement parts, than I am riding (or even wrenching) on all my other bikes! - Maybe it's just my luck, but these old 3-speeds make working on old French bikes look like a cakewalk.

    ...Still, I have the sense that it will be worth it in the end: I AM enjoying my '51 Armstrong 3-speed rehab immensely, and I know that if I live to see the Raleighs completed, they will be worth all the grief as well.
    - Auchen

  24. #24
    rhm
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    Auchen, send me dimensions on that spindle. I might have a suitable replacement. I don't have a Raleigh adjustable cup, but someone will.

  25. #25
    Get off my lawn! Velognome's Avatar
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    I am proposing that the change the title of this thread to "For the "Love-Hate" of English 3-speeds".
    Wrong thread but that's ok. Kinda makes ya think though, are you sure yor working on the Raleigh? Maybe ya think the Peugeot is the Raleigh which would explain the difficulties your having?

    Just having some fun Auchencrow. I agree with you, but once you get them repaired you have a friend for life.

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