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Old 01-23-12, 04:44 AM   #1
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Rudge Whitworth

Hi all

I posted about this yesterday in the introduction section as I'd just joined the site. Someone suggested that I should repost here.
I'm trying to find out the age and some information on an early Rudge Whitworth bike that I've had for many years. It's a communter type bike with 26" wheels and a 28inch frame ( measured from the crank to the saddle post ). It has a very unusual chain with links 3/4 inch long. The gear/brake hub has Sturmy Archer Tricoaster Nottingham England stamped on it with the serial number KC69342. This is controlled by a two speed shift lever on the cross member. I've tried researching on several sites including the Sheldon site for Sturmy Archer gear hubs without success. I'm guessing the bike dates back to the 1920's or 30's it's even been suggested that it maybe an old British Police bike. I'm hopping that someone on this site may be able to identify it for me. I know a photo would be handy but having just joined the site I don't know how to include one with a post.

Thank's Jon
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Old 01-23-12, 06:17 AM   #2
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Hey Jon, welcome to the bike junkie enablers forum. I sent you a PM and will be happy to help you get some pictures posted.
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Old 01-23-12, 09:29 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum! That's cool that you have the entire bike, lot's of people to drool over photos and even offer some help from the pool of knowledge. I've only got the frame and fork of a '23 R.W., the rest is going to have to be cobbled together sad to say, but it's a 24" frame so I'm hoping to build something of the order of a Priest Bike out of it.
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Old 01-23-12, 05:53 PM   #4
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Really looking forward to seeing this one.
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Old 01-23-12, 07:40 PM   #5
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This might be a little bit useful for approximate dating. http://genetics.mgh.harvard.edu/hanc...gersjuly06.pdf
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Old 01-23-12, 07:42 PM   #6
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Raleigh Rudge diagrams with model numbers ... is yours pre-Raleigh?

http://oldroads.com/ra_exp.html
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Old 01-23-12, 10:43 PM   #7
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The Quadrant shifter would make it pre 1935ish and pre Raleigh, but still we need pictures.
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Old 01-24-12, 04:00 AM   #8
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This sounds really interesting. !

Photos would be great!
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Old 01-24-12, 05:40 AM   #9
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Photo's

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Originally Posted by photogravity View Post
Hey Jon, welcome to the bike junkie enablers forum. I sent you a PM and will be happy to help you get some pictures posted.
Thank's for that, unfortunately my pc security wouldn't let me open your PM. If you could briefly explain the procedure here, I'll give it a try.

Jon
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Old 01-24-12, 07:28 AM   #10
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Hi, Jon. In the post a quick reply; on the above tool bar, right click on the 3rd icon from the right "lil square picture" It will open a window for you browse for photo's you have hosted on-line or on your computer. Select a photo by double clicking, there are some size limitations. Good luck.
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Old 01-25-12, 10:49 PM   #11
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I've just sent photogravity some pictures that he's going to post on the forum for me.

Jon
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Old 01-26-12, 05:37 AM   #12
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We Have Pictures!!

Late last evening after I had gone to sleep happy traveller posted me a number of pictures which follow. This bike is going to get a LOT of buzz here as it is beautiful!


Rudge-Whitworth - 1 by Sallad Rialb, on Flickr


Rudge-Whitworth - 2 by Sallad Rialb, on Flickr


Rudge-Whitworth - 3 by Sallad Rialb, on Flickr


Rudge-Whitworth - 4 by Sallad Rialb, on Flickr


Rudge-Whitworth - 5 by Sallad Rialb, on Flickr


Rudge-Whitworth - 6 by Sallad Rialb, on Flickr


Rudge-Whitworth - 7 by Sallad Rialb, on Flickr


Rudge-Whitworth - 8 by Sallad Rialb, on Flickr


Rudge-Whitworth - 9 by Sallad Rialb, on Flickr


Rudge-Whitworth - 10 by Sallad Rialb, on Flickr
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Old 01-26-12, 05:41 AM   #13
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We Have More Pictures!


Rudge-Whitworth - 11 by Sallad Rialb, on Flickr


Rudge-Whitworth - 12 by Sallad Rialb, on Flickr


Rudge-Whitworth - 13 by Sallad Rialb, on Flickr


Rudge-Whitworth - 14 by Sallad Rialb, on Flickr
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Old 01-26-12, 07:10 AM   #14
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happy traveller, now we have some pictures I think we can narrow the dates of the bicycle from the early 1920s to the mid 1930s. I'm basing part of that statement on the supposition that the KC in the serial number on the hub as indicative of the Sturmey-Archer KC Tri-Coaster hub which was manufactured between 1922 and 1936. In your email message you mentioned the hub is not shifting properly, but only seems to want to shift in 2 of the 3 gears it has. That issue could be as simple as being out of adjustment or there may be damage. I'm not familiar with the intricacies of adjusting quadrant shifters but someone here surely will chime in to help out.

Given the age of this machine, it is in wonderful condition atmo.
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Old 01-26-12, 07:24 AM   #15
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Just a stunning bike. The bars and brakes setup is cool beyond words.

The crankset is also really interesting. It looks to be cotterless, not unlike the early CCM cranks with the triangular spindle and the threaded axle bolts.

Last edited by clubman; 01-26-12 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 01-26-12, 08:18 AM   #16
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Wow, I dont usually go crazy about english 3 speeds, but the more i see them, the more i realize that these early ones are pretty badass. Awsome color and great overall feel of coolness.
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Old 01-26-12, 09:06 AM   #17
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Just a stunning bike. The bars and brakes setup is cool beyond words.

The crankset is also really interesting. It looks to be cotterless, not unlike the early CCM cranks with the triangular spindle and the threaded axle bolts.
clubman, you are spot on. This bicycle is incredibly cool and beyond what I expected. When I opened happy traveller's email with the pictures attached, I literally gasped. Something this well preserved is a rarity.

I'm glad you pointed out the unique chainset as I hadn't noticed it until you mentioned it. Do you know what that style crank was called or at least have a web page you can send me to that has additional information on the mechanics of this style chainset?
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Old 01-26-12, 09:10 AM   #18
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Intersting, yours shares the same round headbadge as my '23 but yours appears to be a fillet brazed or internal lugged frame where mine is constructed with external straight cut lugs

Also I noticed your fork crown appears a bit different


Not sure what this means , I'd guess that yours is from a different period of manufacture, perhaps later as the Tri-coaster hub suggests. I'd be interested to learn when Rudge produced the fillet brazed or internal lugged frames and on which models?
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Old 01-26-12, 09:12 AM   #19
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Wow, I dont usually go crazy about english 3 speeds, but the more i see them, the more i realize that these early ones are pretty badass. Awsome color and great overall feel of coolness.
eric, I'm with you! The go-fast crowd underestimates the coolness of these machines and are largely dismissive of them. That's ok to me though, because it artificially suppresses the value of these wonderful bicycles thereby making them more accessible to collectors like me who see them for what they truly are: bicycles that are elegant in their simplicity.
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Old 01-26-12, 09:22 AM   #20
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Cool bike, and in a larger size no less.
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Old 01-26-12, 12:03 PM   #21
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Wow. - That is really some bike - so many exotic appointments. The brazed or internally brazed frame, the brakes, the unusual non-cottered crank, and most of all that wonderful color! (I have a hard time imagining that a British Police bike came in any other color than black, but perhaps we have a Brit member who could confirm or refute that. )

I thought the two-speed quadrant shifter might narrow the date range some but it seems SA offered a two-speed hub into the 1930's.
Possibly that 3/4" chain could be more telling: There are a lot of knowledgeable folks here, so I'd expect someone to weigh-in on that.
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Old 01-26-12, 12:13 PM   #22
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Wow. - That is really some bike - so many exotic appointments. The brazed or internally brazed frame, the brakes, the unusual non-cottered crank, and most of all that wonderful color! (I have a hard time imagining that a British Police bike came in any other color than black, but perhaps we have a Brit member who could confirm or refute that. )

I thought the two-speed quadrant shifter might narrow the date range some but it seems SA offered a two-speed hub into the 1930's.
Possibly that 3/4" chain could be more telling: There are a lot of knowledgeable folks here, so I'd expect someone to weigh-in on that.
Indeed a very special machine, isn't it? One small correction, though: it is a Tri-Coaster, which indicitates it is a three speed hub.
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Old 01-26-12, 12:21 PM   #23
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Indeed a very special machine, isn't it? One small correction, though: it is a Tri-Coaster, which indicitates it is a three speed hub.
Thanks Photogravity - I am sure you are correct about the Tri-coaster hub.

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....This is controlled by a two speed shift lever on the cross member. ....
Do you know if or when SA made a two-notched quadrant shifter?
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Old 01-26-12, 12:23 PM   #24
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Does anyone know what that little knob is for at the right front of the top tube?

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Old 01-26-12, 05:50 PM   #25
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Does anyone know what that little knob is for at the right front of the top tube?
I was wondering the same thing myself. One other thing I'm trying to figure out is whether those are handlebar grips or the shape of the bar. I'm guessing they're grips.
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