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Vintage Bike: possible BSA/Raleigh?

Old 06-13-11, 03:35 PM
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PeaceByJesus
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Vintage Bike: possible BSA/Raleigh?

Hi, I have an old bike, photos of which you should be able see here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/1482239...7626954721598/

I am not sure what make or year it is, but most likely it is a BSA/Raleigh, the latter having bought the former.

Part of the gold tag on the front is broken off, and is missing at least one letter of the brand, but what is left says AMES, and London & Birmingham underneath. If you zoom in the image of the front you should be able to see it.

The serial number is H05930, which according to what info on Raleigh bikes that i have found, would place its build date at 1973, but the same info says these were for high-end derailleur models built at the Carlton/Worksop facility, and are only supposed to have 4 number after the letter, and this one has 5.

The front brake looks almost identical to a BS5 seen here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/3064785...ool-594829@N23

The bike rides well, and i am impressed with the quality, esp. the heavy cable used for the brakes. It rides well, and fast, even though it is only one speed. But tires are worn.

The seat says Peacock and the name of the kickstand seems to be Shures\a.

Any info is welcome.
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Old 06-13-11, 05:01 PM
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Found video about the English rod brakes this has: https://www.ehow.com/video_4946659_en...od-brakes.html
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Old 06-14-11, 10:36 PM
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I was researching these the other day and I think what you have here is a James - and older than 1973 given the presence of an oil port on the bottom bracket shell.

Though I have not been able to find very much on them (as they are pretty uncommon), I am sure that the James Cycle Company Ltd was an independent concern.

What information I did find on old James's was found here on www.oldbike.eu


PS - you have a cool bike there.
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Old 06-15-11, 11:33 PM
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Thank you so much for that link. All i could find online was a picture of a badge, although i Googled James bicycle.

It seems to best match the 1958 James Comet Roadster Lady’s Model J12

And yes, it is a good rugged bike, thank God. My neighbor does metal recycling (no pun intended) and i was able to rescue it out of his truck for the neighborhood kids in this poor city who are always in need of bikes, to borrow or have. They like to ride this one but as the tube is ready to pop out of the weak sidewall in the rear tire (i wonder if regular tires will fit it), and as i may be able to sell it then i have not been letting it out.
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Old 06-16-11, 05:22 AM
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Yes, a Birmingham James, NOT built by Raleigh. This cycle was made before Raleigh went on their buying spree.
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Old 06-16-11, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by PeaceByJesus View Post
..... the tube is ready to pop out of the weak sidewall in the rear tire (i wonder if regular tires will fit it)....

Mostly these old English 3-speeds took 26x1-3/8 (590) tires - there were other 26 tires like the S-6 (597) though.

I find old tire sizing and descriptions very confusing - but they probably sell the correct one for your bike on the internet. You just need to know which one to order.

See what it says on the sidewall and if there is any doubt, pose your question in the three-speed thread HERE.
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Old 06-16-11, 12:07 PM
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Thanks. I looked and both the tire and the rim and it say 24x1+3/8. Nippon Riken is the make. The closest i have is 24x1+7/8. The tube is not as ready to pop as described, but has a bulge where the sidewall is weak. I think i may just put in Craigs list as is for maybe $75?
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Old 06-16-11, 09:58 PM
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More on history of James bicycles: https://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~pa...cc/arc0438.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Cycle_Co
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Old 06-17-11, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by PeaceByJesus View Post
Thanks. I looked and both the tire and the rim and it say 24x1+3/8. Nippon Riken is the make. The closest i have is 24x1+7/8. The tube is not as ready to pop as described, but has a bulge where the sidewall is weak. I think i may just put in Craigs list as is for maybe $75?
Are you saying those are 24" wheels? That must be one diminutively sized bike!
Regarding the tire, be advised that it will blow out when the side wall lets go. Not "if".
I don't know what it is worth but any bike is worth more in ridable (good tires) condition.

Also - the history page you presented is extremely cool, and having this adds interest (and value) for any prospective buyer.
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Old 06-18-11, 05:44 AM
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Thanks for the encouragement. I know from experience that a bulge will blow, but yet the kids (one over 100lbs) have ridden it a lot. I am not going to get new tires, but sell it as is. Got an email from Jim Langley, who thinks it was late 60's early 70s, but he has not seen the link, which indicates it could be earlier.
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