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Old 06-30-11, 11:43 PM   #1
Damon64
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1920's Hercules Club Racer

Hey all,

I've been meaning to post up pics of my bike for a while now and am finally gonna give it a go. The story of this bike began about 3-4 years ago. I read an ad about this bike on CL and the poster happened to also be a member of this forum. I didn't know that at the time.
I went down to Portland to pick it up (I live in a suburb south of Seattle) and drove home. The bike was in need of some restoration, which I was looking forward to doing. I actually found an old thread about this bike titled "Hercules!" -authored by Braingel, the person who sold it to me here on Bike Forums.
Anyways, I dismantled the bike and found that I was able to keep it pretty much original after cleaning, lubing and reassembling. I did have to replace the saddle using a Brooks B17 narrow. I also got hold of another brake lever and caliper for the other side. The rims were shot as well as the tires, so I had the hubs relaced to newer steel rims and wrapped them with new red rubber tires which was an option at the time for a Hercules racer.
I figured the bike needed some bling, so I added a bottle cage, alloy bottles, toolbag, a number plate that I distressed for that vintage look, a period correct pump, and some accessories such as the front petroleum lamp, rear taillight and bell all made by Jos. Lucas of Birmingham, England.
Hercules bicycles were made in Birmingham, so I fitted those extras from the era also made in Birmingham. I was able to date the bike from research in old catalogs and brochures that I have been able to get my hands on. I also was able to find some old paperwork from a dealer that dates from the late 20's that I made into a collage for display.
I have fun riding the bike and put together my own jersey for those vintage rides. I'll post more pics.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Hercules side two.jpg (61.0 KB, 142 views)
File Type: jpg Hercules side one.jpg (51.1 KB, 139 views)
File Type: jpg Chainring 1.jpg (54.7 KB, 107 views)
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Old 06-30-11, 11:49 PM   #2
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Here are some more pics:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Pump one.jpg (33.5 KB, 81 views)
File Type: jpg Hercules ride one.jpg (56.8 KB, 97 views)
File Type: jpg Jersey one.jpg (30.0 KB, 75 views)
File Type: jpg Poster one.jpg (36.7 KB, 80 views)
File Type: jpg Hercules ride two.jpg (55.0 KB, 85 views)
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Old 07-01-11, 01:48 AM   #3
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You're my hero.
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Old 07-01-11, 03:15 AM   #4
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+1 to that!
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Old 07-01-11, 03:20 AM   #5
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really nice man! excellent machine.
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Old 07-01-11, 03:45 AM   #6
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Stunning!!
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Old 07-01-11, 09:57 AM   #7
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Cool bike! Looks a bit small.
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Old 07-01-11, 11:28 AM   #8
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That bike is ultra cool !

I love the paperwork too - it really adds interest, and the even teh cow loves your outfit! (Better not ride too close to any bulls with that jersey though !)
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Old 07-01-11, 11:46 AM   #9
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Super cool but is it uncomfy as it looks? Looks like you'd put a lot weight down on your hands. I did a club/commuter clone with my rebadged Schwinn World Sport.
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Old 07-01-11, 11:52 AM   #10
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I want to see more! Is that original paint? What are the hubs?
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Old 07-01-11, 12:30 PM   #11
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Now that's C&V, great job on the bike and the various sundry items, Damon64.

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Old 07-01-11, 12:48 PM   #12
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Cool bike! Looks a bit small.

They rode small frames in the 20's, the R series club bike only came with a 20" frame and a low 10" BB!

Excellent job! Very cool bike!

So, Damon64, I'm very interested in learning about some of the particulars about your Hercules. What type of Hub, is there an oiler on the BB and headset? What size tires 3/8's or 1/4's and where did you find them in red?

Now for the million $ question. In you research, did you ever come across a Hercules called the Renown?

Last edited by Velognome; 07-01-11 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 07-01-11, 01:21 PM   #13
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man this is seriously cool.
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Old 07-01-11, 01:30 PM   #14
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That is a gorgeous bike, you did an amazing job on it!!
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Old 07-01-11, 04:01 PM   #15
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the tires go well with ideas cool bike
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Old 07-01-11, 05:50 PM   #16
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awesome! even that guernsey is impressed!
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Old 07-01-11, 06:17 PM   #17
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Thanks for all the nice compliments everyone! I'll try to answer some questions...Let's see, as far as comfort, I wouldn't want to ride a century on this thing since the bars are low. The bars are what Hercules called "Marsh Level grip" and unadjustable -maybe I could raise the height a bit.
Yes, it is original paint. I was able to use a bit of rubbing compound and wax cleaner to bring the old stovepipe black color back. The paint they used back in the day was quality! The hubs are both oilers and original with a "Hercules" branded rear freewheel with a flip-flop fixed on the other. The gearing is different on each rear sprocket, I can't recall the tooth count. The bottom bracket also has an oiler port. No oil port on the headset.

The original rims were 26 X 1 1/4", and they were hashed, so I relaced with rim size of 26 X 1 3/8" which made finding tires easier and the 1 1/4" size is hard to come by. I was able to find red tires in the size I went with on Ebay. Dunlop made the original tires in red or black, typically red for the racers.

Velognome, the "Renown" sounds familiar...I will have to look through some of my stuff. Have you looked on the "Hercules museum" website? That has some info there and some old brochures. I will get back to you if I find out anything on that for sure.
I will put up some more pics, I have some more close-ups I can post here soon.
Thanks again everyone, I appreciate the feedback!
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Old 07-01-11, 08:13 PM   #18
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Excellent! The red tires look great.
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Old 07-02-11, 11:07 AM   #19
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Wow, too cool!
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