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Late 50s Hercules

Old 01-20-09, 12:22 PM
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Late 50s Hercules

Late 50s Hercules, condition described as decent paint, rusty chrome. SA 3-speed, caliper brakes (not rod brakes). I met the original owner. If I bought it, I may want to flip it, so based on that, how much is a fair offer?
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 01-20-09, 12:41 PM
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pics?
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Old 01-20-09, 01:03 PM
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None available. I have to decide whether it's worth driving out to see.
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Old 01-20-09, 02:21 PM
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I think the value depends a good deal between mens and womens frames. I flipped a 1958 Norman probably very similar to the one you are describing. I sold it for 100.00 and it took a while to get that, I might have gotten 150.00 in the summer or if I had waited longer. My bike was probably a 7 as far as condidtion, all original parts, super clean, nice paint and totally rebuilt. I think Hercules rebranded the SA hub as Hercamatic, but being late 50's check to see if it is the SW (springless pawl "silent" model). I had the SW hub, not only was it touchy it was unreliable.

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Old 01-20-09, 03:44 PM
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Thanks for the writeup, mkeller.

That gives me an idea. Without seeing it, I can probably get about $100 if I flip it. That reinforces my thought of offering him $30 and see if he takes it.

What I know about the bike and its owner- I met the guy at work. I got his name and number. He's not actively selling the bike, but his wife wants him to clear out some stuff out of the shed, so when he heard I was a bike enthusiast he asked if I'd be interested in his bike. He's got several classic cars and a Harley or two, so to him a bicycle is not significant.

He bought the bike new in 1957 (he thinks) with money from his paper route. He had another bike but it wasn't suited to newspaper delivery. He said he could easily ride the Hercules no-handed (not surprising to me; English roadsters seem pretty stable with the long wheelbase), so he could pull one paper out of his bag while throwing another one! Once he got his first car he kind of put the bike aside and never rode it again. It's been in a garage/shed ever since.

He said the paint is pretty good, the chrome is rusty, but the wheels were intact and true. I didn't aske whether it had any accessories.

He said he also had a late 70s-early 80s 3-speed girls' bike that his daughter used to ride; he couldn't remember too much about that.

I may offer him $40 for both bikes and see if he bites.
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Old 01-20-09, 11:32 PM
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It sounds like it's a mens frame then, which is obviously good for the value. I think 30-40 sounds like a good starting point. If it turns out to have all or most of it's original parts then I would say you did pretty well, if it's missing fenders and such, those parts may be difficult to find and probably not cheap. I think SA started using the SW hub in 56, so take a good look to see if you are getting an AW or SW hub. I believe the internals of the SW hub can be replaced with an AW if it comes to that. I hope it turns out for you, It should have a really coold chain ring with the word "Hercules" in it. Let us know how it goes.

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Old 01-21-09, 08:36 AM
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I think I'm going to look at it tomorrow evening. I may or may not buy it, but either way I'll see if I can take some pics.

It sounds like a cool bike if it's any kind of decent shape, but since I already have a similar bike, I can only justify N+1 to the wife if I can either flip this one, or decide it's the keeper and flip the Raleigh.
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Old 01-21-09, 09:41 AM
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I wonder if he still has that non suitable for paper delivery bike as well hidden away in the rafters or shed or hiding in the bushes out back.

The easy bargaining chips are tire condition, seat condition, chain and cable condition. All are easy to see and easy to estimate replacement costs for.

I'm no expert of the 50's cruisers even though I had several of them as a kid, but I have seen some with rim chrome so bad you could flake off the chrome and use the pieces for fishing lures.
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Old 01-21-09, 10:52 AM
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This is Texas. I expect surface rust, but hopefully nothing worse. I've already been thinking of the bargaining chip list, knowing what I had to do on my Raleigh.
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Old 01-21-09, 11:12 AM
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I forgot to mention, all of the bolts on this bike are probably whitworth instead of standard or metric. An adjustable wrench will be may become your close friend.
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Old 01-21-09, 10:47 PM
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I've already noticed that on my Raleigh DL-1, my friend.
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Old 01-23-09, 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
I may offer him $40 for both bikes and see if he bites.
I paid $20 total for both bikes.

The Herc was in rougher shape than I thought, was a small (20") frame, and was missing its chain. I bought it anyway. The SA hub date was 60 4, but built in Birmingham, so just before (or maybe during) the Raleigh takeover.



The other bike was far more interesting. The headbadge was missing, but on the seat tube it said SEARS. The drive train was funky, a Shimano Lark 5-speed derailleur (dating to about 1969-70), plus, as far as I can tell, a 2-speed internal hub activated by centrifugal force, with an adjustment that controls how fast you have to go before it shifts (I think).









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Old 01-23-09, 05:34 AM
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I don't know if you have tried oxalic acid yet, but that Herc would be a great candidate.
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Old 01-23-09, 10:04 AM
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Where do you get the stuff?
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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