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Rudge Attic Find All Original WWII Army Soldier Bike HELP ID Appreciated

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Rudge Attic Find All Original WWII Army Soldier Bike HELP ID Appreciated

Old 07-24-18, 08:38 PM
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King Romulus
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Rudge Attic Find All Original WWII Army Soldier Bike HELP ID Appreciated

Hi Everyone,

I am new to this and have just started getting into 3 speed English bikes after recently moving from Los Angeles to Pennsylvania. I picked this Rudge bicycle up today. All original time capsule from an older women's attic. It was given to her by her uncle who was an American Army soldier stationed in London during WWII and after. When he returned home with this bike, which looks to have original tubes, cables, tires, grips, everything. Need help dating it, and if anyone knows the model number. I am not selling it, and would love to know anything about the bike. Hub has "AW" stamped in it without any numbers. I tried to post photos but I couldn't. Maybe someone else can for me. Any help appreciated...Not For Sale
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Old 07-24-18, 08:45 PM
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The AW hub will have a date code on it. Month and year.

Edit

I think AW's without date codes are circa 36?

Post ten times and talk about yourself, your bikes or anything and then we'd love to see pics!

Last edited by clubman; 07-24-18 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 07-25-18, 03:47 AM
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The date code numbers on the early AW hubs look different from the later ones, and they can be hard to see. There's often just one digit, 9=1939, 0=1940, etc. They switched to two digit year codes by 1947.
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Old 07-25-18, 06:39 AM
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Thanks clubman and rhm, appreciate the info. I should note a couple of other details seeing as there is no photos yet. This bike has the red hand decals, as well as the completely concealed chain.
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Old 07-25-18, 04:26 PM
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Lucky bugger!
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Old 07-25-18, 11:52 PM
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Congratulations on the find. Keep posting, look forward to pics with anticipation. Don
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Old 07-26-18, 12:51 AM
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SA no date

Originally Posted by ollo_ollo View Post
Congratulations on the find. Keep posting, look forward to pics with anticipation. Don
1933 and 1934 SA hubs have no date on them. I have one of each - I'd like to photo the proof but.... Eh... there's no date. I narrowed it down to the frame number. I'm not aware of any other year wherein the date was omitted - but I doubt it unless it is pre-WW1, but the very early hubs have very stylish italic fonts on the inscriptions.
There are folks in the UK who are obsessed with SA et al and consider anything for a bicycle made after 1914 as cheap and nasty junk but they have amazing depth of knowledge regards old English bicycles up to 1945.
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Old 07-26-18, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Johno59 View Post
1933 and 1934 SA hubs have no date on them. I have one of each - I'd like to photo the proof but.... Eh... there's no date. I narrowed it down to the frame number. I'm not aware of any other year wherein the date was omitted - but I doubt it unless it is pre-WW1, but the very early hubs have very stylish italic fonts on the inscriptions.
There are folks in the UK who are obsessed with SA et al and consider anything for a bicycle made after 1914 as cheap and nasty junk but they have amazing depth of knowledge regards old English bicycles up to 1945.
Thanks John for the input. I am guessing it is from WWII late 1930’s. Very interesting Bates Drilastic seat. Will post photos soon.
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Old 07-26-18, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by ollo_ollo View Post
Congratulations on the find. Keep posting, look forward to pics with anticipation. Don
Thanks Don, looking forward to post photos for all to enjoy and learn from.
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Old 07-27-18, 07:49 AM
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Vintage catalog

Originally Posted by King Romulus View Post

https://veterancycleclublibrary.org.uk/library/index.php?action=asearch&searchtext=R&tpage=2&items=96
Thanks Don, looking forward to post photos for all to enjoy and learn from.
Try this site for starters. Eyeballing your exact bike in a series of drawings of very similar features in a given year helps identify trends from one year to the next.
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Old 07-29-18, 08:19 PM
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Here are the photos of the Rudge. What I know is the seat is a Bates Drilastic, Grips are John Bull, tires look replaced because an American brand Allstate Premium. Lastly as indicated before the Sturmey Archer is a “AW” with no number. Feeling it is a wartime bike. Any help narrowing the date down would be great. Thanks to all.








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Old 07-30-18, 03:42 AM
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Very nice!

My first reaction was to say it looks like late 1930's, but looking at the 1939 Rudge catalog online ( https://threespeedhub.com/wp-content/...og_1939_UK.pdf) I see the Rudge company was in Hayes, Middlesex, at that time; but your bike was made in Nottingham.

The Rudge bicycle business was sold to Raleigh in 1943 (see Peter Kohler, https://on-the-drops.blogspot.com/20...rds-rudge.html). I'm not sure when Raleigh actually started producing Rudge bikes; certainly by the late 40's.
The 1950 catalog, (https://threespeedhub.com/wp-content/...og-UK-1950.pdf) shows they were in Nottingham.

The trigger shifter on your bike was made 1948-50 (according to Martin Hanczyc: see https://genetics.mgh.harvard.edu/hanc...satriggers.pdf)

I'm not sure why your AW hub doesn't have a date code. By 1948 these hubs had the standard date forumula and a list of patent numbers stamped on the shell. Perhaps it's an older hub; but the date of the hub is probably not that important as the rest of the bike is certainly late 40's.

Last edited by rhm; 07-30-18 at 06:21 AM.
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Old 07-30-18, 05:44 AM
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Wartime Bikes - No Chrome

Originally Posted by King Romulus View Post
....Feeling it is a wartime bike. Any help narrowing the date down would be great. Thanks to all.
A wartime bike would have had NO chrome. Chrome was too critical of an alloy metal to be used for decorative uses. Most chrome ore in the UK came from southern Africa and with the U-boat war on allied shipping it was always in short supply.

It would have most likely been a single speed and wouldn't have a chain case either which was considered a luxury.

Here's WW2 BSA:




Link for the BSA and Military Bike Museum:

https://bsamuseum.wordpress.com/

Most of the British bike manufacturers converted to war time production. There were a number of types of folding bikes used by British paratroopers.

WW1 solution to flat tires:



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Old 07-30-18, 06:13 AM
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Not a Rudge expert but I do have a very old one as a garden ornament. The white paint on the mudguard (fender) was a blackout precaution, this doesn't make it a wartime bicycle though. Chrome was in short supply and used sparingly, and not on bicycles, and it was not seen for quite a few years postwar.

Bicycle looks like a post war Raleigh/Rudge.

John.

Last edited by hobbs1951; 07-30-18 at 06:16 AM.
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Old 07-30-18, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Very nice!

My first reaction was to say it looks like late 1930's, but looking at the 1939 Rudge catalog online ( https://threespeedhub.com/wp-content/...og_1939_UK.pdf) I see the Rudge company was in Hayes, Middlesex, at that time; but your bike was made in Nottingham.

The Rudge bicycle business was sold to Raleigh in 1943 (see Peter Kohler, https://on-the-drops.blogspot.com/20...rds-rudge.html). I'm not sure when Raleigh actually started producing Rudge bikes; certainly by the late 40's.
The 1950 catalog, (https://threespeedhub.com/wp-content/...og-UK-1950.pdf) shows they were in Nottingham.

The trigger shifter on your bike was made 1948-50 (according to Martin Hanczyc: see https://genetics.mgh.harvard.edu/hanc...satriggers.pdf)

I'm not sure why your AW hub doesn't have a date code. By 1948 these hubs had the standard date forumula and a list of patent numbers stamped on the shell. Perhaps it's an older hub; but the date of the hub is probably not that important as the rest of the bike is certainly late 40's.
A mid 1930s hub on a late 1940s bike - that would be a turn up for the books. That would be a unicorn moment for me.
Especially so if the GI who bought it home came back in 1945.!
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Old 07-31-18, 03:25 AM
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1956 catalog.
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Old 07-31-18, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Johno59 View Post


1956 catalog.
OPs bicycle lacks a steering lock - downtube/headtube junction. My garden ornament Rudge has this lock but rod brakes too.

John.
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Old 07-31-18, 06:28 AM
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The Rudge Deluxe (also in the 1950 catalog that I linked to before) seems to be equivalent to a Raleigh Superbe. In addition to the fork lock that @hobbs1951 mentioned, the catalogs show Raleigh pattern rims, rear dynohub and dynamo lights (including a battery). The handlebar looks different as well. And then there's OP's saddle, which is a weatherproof rubber top riveted to a steel frame in the manner of a leather saddle. We can speculate on any or all of these things, which could have been changed by the dealer, or changed later, or maybe they came on this bike 'stock,' I do not know. As it stands, OP's bike is pretty much perfect, and I would not be troubled by the fact that it is not a model listed in the catalog.
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Old 07-31-18, 07:57 AM
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That catalog picture is gorgeous.
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