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  1. #501
    Sister Annie Sianelle's Avatar
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    You might be surprised at just how nicely those old wheels will shine up if you take to them with brass wire wool and some metal polishing cream. Those old steel rims were very good quality and well made and it's difficult to find modern replacements that are as good.
    OMNIPOTENS aeterne Deus, qui nos secundum imaginem Tuam plasmasti, et omnia bona, vera, pulchra, praesertim in divina persona Unigeniti Filii Tui Domini nostri Iesu Christi, quaerere iussisti, praesta quaesumus ut, per intercessionem Sancti Isidori, Episcopi et Doctoris, in peregrinationibus per interrete factis et manus oculosque ad quae Tibi sunt placita intendamus et omnes quos convenimus cum caritate ac patientia accipiamus. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

  2. #502
    Peace, Love, Bikes
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    That may be a consideration. I may go spray down the bolts w/ WD40 here in a bit to facilitate wrenching. So what oil do others use for the hub and how do you apply? I have a local hardware store that might be getting a visit this week.
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  3. #503
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I use 10/30 semi synthetic oil in my 3 speeds.

    It goes in at the filler cap on the hub.

  4. #504
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    Thanks. I take it you use a syringe or oiler?

    I love the fact that normal, off the hardware store shelf, tools can be used on these kind of bikes. Nothing like a pile of tools and a cold beer to get through an evening.

    Need a chain tool to get the chain really clean, but got it scrubbed down as best as I could. Figured out how to get the back wheel off and on. Changed the tires and tubes (another plus is that front and rear tires and tubes were $30 something at the lbs), new brake shoes made a huge difference. My only issue is in reconnecting the hub to the shifter. 2nd and 3rd seemed OK, but 1st gear was having some issues. Slipping in and out. I'll check Harris out for some tips and go from there.

    I will probably pick up a 5 gallon bucket over the summer to toss the chrome parts in with the molasses solution. Replace the brake and shift cables and do something with the wheels. This is going to be a fun project.
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  5. #505
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I have a little oil can with a very small nozzle that fits in the oiler fittings (at the hubs and bb) perfectly and it minimizes any overflow... the synthetic oil also has the benefit of working well at very low temperatures.

    For cleaning chains I fill a gallon jug with a 50:50 mix of citrus degreaser and water, add the chain, do the shake and shimmy for about 4 minutes, and then rinse and wipe it off.

    I get the chain out with a long flexible magnet and the solution can be used many many times.

    When you set the shifter cable the lever needs to be in third and there should be just enough slack in the cable that the weight of your finger on the shifter (without actually shifting) takes up that little bit of slack.

  6. #506
    Peace, Love, Bikes
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    Thanks, I'll give that a shot in the morning.
    Andrew

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  7. #507
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    What sixtyfiver says. Only difference is I use whatever fresh oil is left over from the truck/tractor oil changes to put in my oil can. I tell people it is a custom blend Mostly Rotella 15w-40 with some 10w-30 mixed in. A bit heavy for hub use, but I live in the deep south where it gets HOT!

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

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  8. #508
    Cries on hills supton's Avatar
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    I like the notion of oil lubing--it seems like the newer SA's are meant to be through-away. I guess I don't see how grease would stay on the gears for very long, don't the teeth eventually wipe the grease off?
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  9. #509
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supton View Post
    I like the notion of oil lubing--it seems like the newer SA's are meant to be through-away. I guess I don't see how grease would stay on the gears for very long, don't the teeth eventually wipe the grease off?
    Some of the newer generation of lubes are pretty sticky. However I still prefer oil lubed hubs, there are tens of thousands of them still in use. I have one in particular that I know has over 15,000 miles on it, and it is still just as good as it has ever been. I did replace the pawl springs in it a while back, but that was more as a preventive measure than any thing else. I have seen several people add oiler's to their new hubs.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  10. #510
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    Really, really loving the fact that these bike don't require a lot of speciality tools. I was going to buy a chain tool today to get the chain cleaned and soaked in degreaser. Read that many single speed/IGH bikes, especially vintage, might have a master link that would pop off and seperate the chain. Sure enough!

    About the only tool I might have to buy is for the bottom bracket. Then again there is always the co-op...
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  11. #511
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    It goes in at the filler cap on the hub.
    If the IGH hub does not have an oil filler cap, oil can be added through the axle hole. Just lay wheel on its side, unscrew the indicator chain/rod, squirt some drops inside. Screw indicator chain back in, get on bike, ride and let centrifugal force finish the job.

  12. #512
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by politicalgeek View Post
    Really, really loving the fact that these bike don't require a lot of speciality tools. I was going to buy a chain tool today to get the chain cleaned and soaked in degreaser. Read that many single speed/IGH bikes, especially vintage, might have a master link that would pop off and seperate the chain. Sure enough!

    About the only tool I might have to buy is for the bottom bracket. Then again there is always the co-op...
    You still might want to get that chain tool. You will probably need it if you ever buy a new chain, or change sprocket size and have to alter the chain length to fit. Also you may find replacing chains is simpler and cleaner (and maybe cheaper) than thoroughly degreasing/regreasing a $5 chain. Chain tool costs less than $5 at WalMart.

  13. #513
    Peace, Love, Bikes
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    Chain tool is on my list of things to buy. I am thinking of getting a starter tool kit from nashbar or performance. That and a tool stand.

    Got the bike washed and waxed. Just realized I have an oil lubed bottom bracket. Found the oil hole while cleaning.
    Andrew

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  14. #514
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Good going!

    I would get a bit better chain tool than the one from xmart (however they will do in a pinch). IMHO it pays to spend money on tools for a better quality. I have broken a couple of the very inexpensive ones, the Park chain tool I have has yet to have any issues and it is over 15 years old and has taken off enough chains that the pin needed to be replaced.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  15. #515
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    I think it's really, really cool that this thread has gone on for as long as it has and generated so much interest. 3-speeds rock!
    Quote Originally Posted by Bikeforums
    Your rights end where another poster's feelings begin.

  16. #516
    Peace, Love, Bikes
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrisPistofferson View Post
    I think it's really, really cool that this thread has gone on for as long as it has and generated so much interest. 3-speeds rock!
    yes they do
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  17. #517
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrisPistofferson View Post
    I think it's really, really cool that this thread has gone on for as long as it has and generated so much interest. 3-speeds rock!

    I just took my 1972 Superbe for a spin down to the grocery store for 5# of sugar...even if it is "hot enough to make the devil cry" (BTW thermometer on the back porch is registering 98 degrees...and they say there isn't any global warming )

    Hopefully I will never be without a 3 speed. I have had one since 1982...now I have several

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  18. #518
    Sister Annie Sianelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by politicalgeek View Post
    Chain tool is on my list of things to buy. I am thinking of getting a starter tool kit from nashbar or performance. That and a tool stand.

    Got the bike washed and waxed. Just realized I have an oil lubed bottom bracket. Found the oil hole while cleaning.
    You're going well Nice that your bike is an 'oiler', - oiler bikes last forever and roll sooooooooooo smoothly
    OMNIPOTENS aeterne Deus, qui nos secundum imaginem Tuam plasmasti, et omnia bona, vera, pulchra, praesertim in divina persona Unigeniti Filii Tui Domini nostri Iesu Christi, quaerere iussisti, praesta quaesumus ut, per intercessionem Sancti Isidori, Episcopi et Doctoris, in peregrinationibus per interrete factis et manus oculosque ad quae Tibi sunt placita intendamus et omnes quos convenimus cum caritate ac patientia accipiamus. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

  19. #519
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sianelle View Post
    You're going well Nice that your bike is an 'oiler', - oiler bikes last forever and roll sooooooooooo smoothly

    Probably the reason that I was able to just hop on and ride. Finally got all the gears working, knock on wood. Had no 2nd for a while, started fiddling and got it back. Then it started skipping. Hopefully I have it dialed in now. Much better than trying to figure out derailers, though.

    Thinking this will make a great 3-season commuter. Probably start packing my clothes in once a week by car or my other bike, use this with a saddle bag for lunch, tools and rain gear.

    Next up is to work on polishing all the shiny bits and work off the slight rust. Cork grips, brooks saddle, new brake lines and shift cable. For now its rideable (and I think safe) as is. Still debating on a paint job. Wouldn't mind stripping it and getting the rust treated and some new life breathed into her. Don't want to lose the orginal paint work and the awesome designs.

    Figure this is a low-end raleigh rebadge. Looking at the pictures of the drop outs on Sheldon's site, it follows that logic. Sports a Wright's saddle at the moment, as well.
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  20. #520
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrisPistofferson View Post
    I think it's really, really cool that this thread has gone on for as long as it has and generated so much interest. 3-speeds rock!
    Oh I agree but I feel that this thread never should have been moved from the commuting forum since the greatest utility of the 3 speed is found world wide as a commuter bike. IMO this thread was cast out of the commuting forum to keep the discussion there focused on other types of less utilitarian, more "high tech gee whiz" bikes used for commuting, mostly racing style bikes sometimes modified with fenders and racks, with an occasional discussion about fixed gear.

  21. #521
    Sister Annie Sianelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by politicalgeek View Post
    Probably the reason that I was able to just hop on and ride. Finally got all the gears working, knock on wood. Had no 2nd for a while, started fiddling and got it back. Then it started skipping. Hopefully I have it dialed in now. Much better than trying to figure out derailers, though.

    Thinking this will make a great 3-season commuter. Probably start packing my clothes in once a week by car or my other bike, use this with a saddle bag for lunch, tools and rain gear.

    Next up is to work on polishing all the shiny bits and work off the slight rust. Cork grips, brooks saddle, new brake lines and shift cable. For now its rideable (and I think safe) as is. Still debating on a paint job. Wouldn't mind stripping it and getting the rust treated and some new life breathed into her. Don't want to lose the orginal paint work and the awesome designs.


    Figure this is a low-end raleigh rebadge. Looking at the pictures of the drop outs on Sheldon's site, it follows that logic. Sports a Wright's saddle at the moment, as well.
    My 1953 Hercules has a Wrights 'featherbed' saddle and my 1947 Raleigh Sports has a Terry three spring saddle. There were lots of British saddle makers and it can be fun to have an example of each in one's bicycle collection. Brooks is good, but don't cast away the others without a thought because they weren't that bad.
    OMNIPOTENS aeterne Deus, qui nos secundum imaginem Tuam plasmasti, et omnia bona, vera, pulchra, praesertim in divina persona Unigeniti Filii Tui Domini nostri Iesu Christi, quaerere iussisti, praesta quaesumus ut, per intercessionem Sancti Isidori, Episcopi et Doctoris, in peregrinationibus per interrete factis et manus oculosque ad quae Tibi sunt placita intendamus et omnes quos convenimus cum caritate ac patientia accipiamus. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

  22. #522
    Peace, Love, Bikes
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    It will go in the parts box. I would like to fit something on the bike that I can break in myself and be personalized.
    Andrew

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  23. #523
    Title-Les
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    Please allow me a moment of show-and-tell here with a [possibly] pre-war Birmingham Hercules.

    At the end of April I bought this bike from a gentleman who rescued it from his dead lifelong-bachelor uncle's shed when the nieces and nephews had to clean up the household for estate sale. According to the nephew, and this is "Story #1", uncle was a WWII sailor serving in North Atlantic convoy escort duty aboard a destroyer. On one of uncle's port-calls in Great Britain he somehow came into posession of this Hercules and smuggled it home to The States aboard his destroyer.

    "Story #2" came from nephew's wife who says that her mother in-law (uncle's sister) told her that sometime soon after the war when uncle had returned to civilian life, he had bought the bike direct from Hercules in England by mail order. Her "story" continues by mentioning MIL saying the whole extended family had to go visit the farm to watch uncle unpack and assemble his bike from England.

    Personally, I'd love to adopt story #1 but so far more knowledgable people than I are in disagreement about the era of the Herc.

    I only know two facts; the bike is without doubt a Birmingham and not a Nottingham, and the 1949 Hercules catalog (which for my own research I bought on e-bay) really does not include any bike resembling this one. I guess so-far I can thus only pin down the bike as being a 1948 or earlier.

    The rear hub is a Hercules and is marked with four lines of information:
    -----------------------
    A TYPE 9
    HERCULES
    --3 Speed--
    Made in England
    ------------------------

    The front hub and the bottom bracket shell have oiler cups, as does the Herc version of the AW rear hub.

    The saddle is very unique, made by DUNLOP RUBBER CO and is made of rubber like a tire with plies and cords in the rubber.

    The wheels in the photos are temporary loaners till I get the originals cleaned up. The Herc rear wheel is a serious mess with sticky decayed rubber and cotton cords glued to the rim beads and cleanup will have to wait till I get into the mood. The [maybe?] original, or at the least VERY OLD rear tire was decayed back to the rubber tree sap or so it seemed. I had to cut it from the rim with tin snips. Despite the rubber mess, the chrome rims are in surprisingly good condition with no real rust.

    Last Sunday I took him out for a shakedown cruise and learned the bike wants to turn right to the point of being uncomfortable. I'll have to do some surveying of the fork to figure that one out.

    Just think, if old Uncle Henry purloined or bought himself a used bike in some English or Scotch seaport during the war, this bike might well be a survivor of The Battle of Britain. I'd sure like to get a better handle on it's date.

    BTW, if anyone can offer some advice I'd appreciate it. The S/N is GU4939.
    alf
    Attached Images Attached Images

  24. #524
    Sister Annie Sianelle's Avatar
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    Oh my word you are the most fortunate of men That is a beautiful example of a totally original Hercules that you have there. I have a 1953 Hercules ladies roadster and it's one of my favourite bicycles in my small collection (fleet?). I also have a shabby and incomplete Birmingham Hercules ladies sports that I hauled out of the local rubbish tip and very much want to breath back into life.

    Hercules bicycles are magnificent bicycles and in a way I wish I'd spent more time looking for them instead of all those years I spent trying to find a perfect Rudge (the Holy Grail?).
    OMNIPOTENS aeterne Deus, qui nos secundum imaginem Tuam plasmasti, et omnia bona, vera, pulchra, praesertim in divina persona Unigeniti Filii Tui Domini nostri Iesu Christi, quaerere iussisti, praesta quaesumus ut, per intercessionem Sancti Isidori, Episcopi et Doctoris, in peregrinationibus per interrete factis et manus oculosque ad quae Tibi sunt placita intendamus et omnes quos convenimus cum caritate ac patientia accipiamus. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

  25. #525
    W A N T E D Juggler2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by old_alfie View Post
    Please allow me a moment of show-and-tell here with a [possibly] pre-war Birmingham Hercules. **snip**

    BTW, if anyone can offer some advice I'd appreciate it. The S/N is GU4939.
    alf
    I for one enjoyed your tale, and would very much enjoy reading about anything else you may discover about your Hercules! Thanks!

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