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Rudge-Whitworth - looking for a date

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Rudge-Whitworth - looking for a date

Old 12-18-17, 06:21 PM
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thetrader
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Rudge-Whitworth - looking for a date

I recently bought an old Rudge-Whitworth and would like to see how I can date the thing and if its worth anything.

Pictures are here: imgur.com/a/PIIVG

Many thanks in advance!
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Old 12-18-17, 06:39 PM
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Your pictures do not work. Just use jpgs fron your desk top. Roger
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Old 12-19-17, 05:39 AM
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Judging by the saddle, the headclip headset, the derailleur mount on the chain stay, and the Hans Ohrt bike shop sticker, the bike was probably built in the 30's or 40's. The seat post and stem are probably be original, but I have my doubts about the rest. The crank is a Rudge crank, but appears to belong to a lower end model of bike.The brakes are certainly much later. Apparently it once had a dropout-mounted derailleur as well.

The fork looks like a Rudge fork, but with round blades, which is unusual. The tabs on the seat stays are for a rear mudguard, so it is odd that the fork doesn't have them; perhaps it is not the original fork.

You can find a 1939 Rudge catalog here:

https://threespeedhub.com/wp-content/...og_1939_UK.pdf

I see there was a model called the "Olympic Road" (no 92) which would match the seat tube decal.
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Last edited by rhm; 12-19-17 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 12-19-17, 08:43 AM
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That's a special bike. As noted, there's no braze ons for mudguards or lamp bracket and yet it looks like the right fork crown. Special order? Not likely in '39.

Have a close look at the bar ends near the plugs. A Renolds bar would have a date code, usually on the right side.
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Old 12-19-17, 09:27 AM
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Pic assist:





Note to @RMH: the closing "img" tag uses a regular slash, not a backslash.
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Old 12-19-17, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Note to @RMH: the closing "img" tag uses a regular slash, not a backslash.
He is @rhm, not RMH.
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Old 12-19-17, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Note to @RMH: the closing "img" tag uses a regular slash, not a backslash.
Doh! Thanks!

Please note that OP's link provides more photos than I pasted. I only pasted the ones that support the observations I offered.
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Last edited by rhm; 12-19-17 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 12-19-17, 02:32 PM
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Whoa, thanks guys!

Have a close look at the bar ends near the plugs
How big or small would it typically be? I looked and doesn't look like theres anything.

Any insight into the inscriptions below the bottom bracket?
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Old 12-19-17, 04:39 PM
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It's usually quite legible so it could easily be a different bar. Serial numbers for Raleigh made marques are often incomplete or inaccurate but give up anything you've got.

edit. This is likely a pre Raleigh bike if it's before '43, which it appears to be.

Last edited by clubman; 12-19-17 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 12-20-17, 10:54 AM
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The handlebar looks to me like a GB Randonneur bar from the 70's. It's a nice enough handlebar; but I don't believe it's original to the bike.

I would take a close look at the rectangular decal or sticker at the top of the seat tube. Is it a Reynolds 531 decal?



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Last edited by rhm; 12-20-17 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 12-20-17, 09:49 PM
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Thanks, the sticker looks most like the 531BT37-48. See attached.
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IMG_9515.jpg (1.35 MB, 57 views)
File Type: jpg
IMG_9516.jpg (1.28 MB, 58 views)
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Old 12-21-17, 05:49 AM
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Yup, that looks correct to me. So your frame is all 531 tubing, with butted tubes for the main triangle. That's a top notch bike frame.

Note also the American flag has 48 stars; so definitely before Hawaii and Alaska became states. No surprise there, but nice confirmation.
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Old 12-21-17, 09:37 AM
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This is a 1939 Rudge-Whitworth Model 92 Olympic Road model.

The fork is quite correct and original, not sure why the mudguard eyelets are missing, though. The brakes are not original, they should be Rudge pattern sidepulls. Not sure of the 'bars

I would be happy to attach the catalogue page for this but I cannot as this forum has this "if we don't know you, you can't attach stuff" rule.

But.. uncanny.. I was just thinking of writing an article on these exceptional Rudge lightweights that suddenly came out in 1938-39 just in time to be done in by the War. They were among the finest factory made British lightweights of their era.

I've never seen one "in the flesh" before; this is an exceptional example one that deserves and demands the most sympathetic and careful preservation and.. use. Must absolutely fly, the catalogue weight is but 24 lbs.. remarkable for the era.

And if you ever want to sell this....

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Last edited by kohl57; 12-21-17 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 12-21-17, 10:55 AM
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Peter, many thanks for that! I suspected it was an Olympic Road, and posted a link to the catalog in post #3 above.

Rudi
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Old 12-21-17, 11:25 AM
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Odd that this has the conventional, if lovely, Rudge "hand" chainwheel.... it should have a three-pin detachable Williams. Love to see more photos of this bicycle from all angles especially the downtube decal.

The stem looks quite original and correct but no, the 'bars are not. They should be steel but there was a choice available including something vaguely called a "Rudge" bend.

Just a wonderful "survivor" and enough to get me inspired to tackle this article over the holidays, too!

Peter Kohler
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