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Old 06-14-12, 06:41 AM   #1
filterlessjoe
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1963 Hercules frame

I found a 1963 Hercules frame and fork on Craigslist. The guy wants 40 for it. I don't know anything about the bike, or hercules brand for that matter, but I like retro steel frames.

Is the frame worth making a fixie or a single speed project with? Is that ok money?
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Old 06-14-12, 07:18 AM   #2
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Is $40 too much for anything really?

Hercules was a British bicycle manufacturer based in Birmingham. You may see AMF Hercules or Hawthorne Hercules from time to time, they were produced by Hercules for AMF and Montgomery Ward. In 1960 they were bought out by Raleigh, though the brand name continued on for several years. Most of the Hercules bikes I've seen from that era were the classic English 3-speed. Chance are the frame is very heavy gas-pipe stuff. If you want retro cred, you can't do much better.
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Old 06-14-12, 07:24 AM   #3
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1963 Hercules frame

The Hercules are charming old bikes. I have at least 12 in my collection, most dating to before the Raleigh/TI merger. I prefer the Birmingham Hercules, but a frameset for $40 sounds pretty fair, though you could probably buy an entire bike for not much more in many parts of the country. I'd still try to talk the guy down a bit, were it me.
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Old 06-14-12, 08:42 AM   #4
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To tell you the truth, this is quite a bit of work, it's easier to start with a mostly complete bike, and start to swap things here and there. A complete three speed can be found for 150 USD. The three speed hub can be cheerfully left in singlespeed mode, and if you are looking for a fixed gear, Sturmey Archer currently makes a fixed gear three speed hub, the S3X (pick the 120mm version).

If you insist with the frame, make sure that the seller includes the Bottom Bracket (and ideally also the cranks) as well as the headset. Since it is a frame made after Raleigh bought Hercules, it is threaded with Raleigh (26TPI) threads, which only Raleigh made. This affects two areas, the fork, and the bottom bracket.

To my knowledge, only the Hindus make Raleigh threaded headsets, and these can be found on Yellow Jersey. In order to use modern cranks, there are threadless bottom brackets available from Velo Orange. The dropouts are spaced for 5/16" axles, and you'll be stuck with that unless you decide to file the dropouts. It is a fine frame for a singlespeed, but they were designed to take a three-speed hub without modification.
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Old 06-14-12, 04:44 PM   #5
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If it's your size and it's shiny and you like the color then it's a good deal, but it would be nice to get that bottom bracket.
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Old 06-14-12, 05:50 PM   #6
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Yes, yep and you betcha. My son loves his Hercules
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Old 06-18-12, 04:17 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the advice. I think Ill pass on this one, because I might have over bought frames for project bikes already. Its good to know though.
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Old 06-18-12, 05:58 PM   #8
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Well, this was like fishin' without a hook.
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