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No brifters: 1948 (or older) Humber Cob Tourist X joins the stables

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No brifters: 1948 (or older) Humber Cob Tourist X joins the stables

Old 08-01-21, 02:33 PM
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All these years, never ridden on, or worked on, a bike with rod brakes. Need to try one out some day.

Originally Posted by cudak888
I'm basing the Cob Tourist X name off the 1936 Humber catalog currently onlinet
Neat name. Needs a Commer Cob to haul it around in.
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Old 08-01-21, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by tiger1964
All these years, never ridden on, or worked on, a bike with rod brakes. Need to try one out some day.
I've done five, and the braking on all of them is a complete disappointment. This Humber has the straightest wheels of the lot too, but the rim flat spots cause pulsating nonetheless.

Originally Posted by tiger1964
Neat name. Needs a Commer Cob to haul it around in.
Haven't considered one of those, but I'm trying desperately to find local storage space for something up that alley - I've found a North American-market Rover P6 (2000) here. I figure anyone with as many British bikes as myself ought to have a suitably quirky British 4-door saloon to go with them.

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Old 01-25-22, 11:32 PM
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Finally started tearing apart this sucker to straighten it:



First things first though - I cut up a thick piece of very hard rubber to use in the jaws of the vise. I figured this was the safest way to clamp it and not risk chipping anything on the BB.







I put the frame alignment tool on it and wasn't surprised in the least to find it a whole inch out:





Here's where it got weird: After pulling the left triangle, the difference in dropout position per each side wasn't significantly different from when I started. I probably pulled it a good inch to the left, with virtually no result on the alignment gauge.



At this point, I decided that any more cold setting of the stays would be ill-advised without verifying that the main triangle is aligned to the bottom bracket.

I've torn it down to the frameset, and with any luck, I'll be able to drop by Mike Terraferma this weekend and plop it on his frame table. I expect a fair amount of cold setting to follow.



This thing truly is the frame built after the run to the pub. Methinks it got brazed together loosely on a jig and was never cold-set at the factory.

-Kurt
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Old 01-26-22, 06:05 AM
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It LOOKS good...
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Old 01-26-22, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by dmark
It LOOKS good...
This probably explains why it's remained so nice over the years. It "looked" new, but everyone found out it was unridable, so it sat around in an air-conditioned corner for 76 years, waiting for someone to straighten it.

-Kurt
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Old 08-22-22, 04:10 AM
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Hi cudak888,

I would say your bike is pre-1948. The reason being I have what i believe to be a 1948 Humber COB Tourist based on as usual several pieces of information strung together.

My bike is essentially identical to the Gents Model 312 in the 1951 catalogue - threespeedhub dotcom catalog-category humber

Before cleaning it up I was able to just about make out a date stamp on the dynohub three, the first being 4 and the second looking like either a 6 or an 8. With the dynohub three I believe coming out in 1947 I believe that mkes it more likely to be 1948.

My bike is significantly different to yours, however! and I would say yours looks somewhat older. I do brazed backstays and the same shifter as mitchito together with a front metal badge and duplex forks.

IIRC did Raleigh make bikes during 1940 to 1945? At least the catalogues refer to post-war bikes. I would assume your bike is pre-1940 if so but do not hold me to it. My thoughts are you were being very conservative with a 1948 estimate!

Regards,
Dean.
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Old 08-23-22, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by dac10

IIRC did Raleigh make bikes during 1940 to 1945? At least the catalogues refer to post-war bikes. I would assume your bike is pre-1940 if so but do not hold me to it. My thoughts are you were being very conservative with a 1948 estimate!

Regards,
Dean.
This looks pre-war. Look at the fulcrum stop, a single-piece unit which was discontinued after the war. Also SA hardware is usually all black in the pre-war era. Nice find!
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Old 08-23-22, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by dac10
Hi cudak888,

I would say your bike is pre-1948. The reason being I have what i believe to be a 1948 Humber COB Tourist based on as usual several pieces of information strung together.

My bike is essentially identical to the Gents Model 312 in the 1951 catalogue - threespeedhub dotcom catalog-category humber

Before cleaning it up I was able to just about make out a date stamp on the dynohub three, the first being 4 and the second looking like either a 6 or an 8. With the dynohub three I believe coming out in 1947 I believe that mkes it more likely to be 1948.

My bike is significantly different to yours, however! and I would say yours looks somewhat older. I do brazed backstays and the same shifter as mitchito together with a front metal badge and duplex forks.

IIRC did Raleigh make bikes during 1940 to 1945? At least the catalogues refer to post-war bikes. I would assume your bike is pre-1940 if so but do not hold me to it. My thoughts are you were being very conservative with a 1948 estimate!

Regards,
Dean.
Originally Posted by Salubrious
This looks pre-war. Look at the fulcrum stop, a single-piece unit which was discontinued after the war. Also SA hardware is usually all black in the pre-war era. Nice find!
Let me take stock again in the equipment on the bike itself:

- Shifter: 1938-48
- Rear hub: 1937+ (assumed, given that it is "Patent" and not "Patent Applied For")
- GH8: 1938

So, if anything, we're looking at 1938-45, as I mentioned earlier in the thread, given that the GH6 came out afterwards.

Good question regarding the '39-45 period though; Wikipedia points to bicycle production at 5% while the plant was repurposed for fuse production; the claim is linked to a Nottinghamshire City Council page which no longer exists. Technically then, production did continue, but I doubt this included an export to the States.

Perhaps it's reasonable to assume this is a '38-39?

Other than the shifter and rim vs. rod brakes, it's more or less spot on with the 1936 Cob X Tourist (Model 71X) on page 19 here: https://threespeedhub.com/wp-content/...og-1936-UK.pdf. Accounting for the rim brakes, this is the standard Cob Tourist No. 71 as notated below the 71X on page 20.

-Kurt

P.S.: Dean, it sounds as if you have a Sports-based model. Have a photo?

P.P.S.: The threespeedhub.com permalinks are broken and going to spam sites. The whole site appears to have been taken over by spambots, as there ar "online casino" type blog posts on it now. This site is Wordpress based, and I have a fair amount of experience fixing this stuff - I'd gladly clean it up and harden the security on the site if the owner is interested. Do we know who runs this site?

P.P.P.S.: I've forgotten to update this thread, but it turns out the chainstays were not jigged up correctly on this bike. They're pointing to the left and the chainstay bridge makes it next to impossible to straighten it out. It IS possible to get the rear triangle straight where the frame will angle correctly, but the bridge prevents the chainstays from being fully corrected - as such, they exit leftwards from the bottom bracket out. I've had the bike in pieces ever since it's been on the frame table. Will post pictures soon.
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Old 08-23-22, 02:14 PM
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Here's the Humber on the frame table back in January of this year. There wasn't a single tube that was straight on this thing, but the front triangle came out fine after some cold-setting.



Checked the headtube. In plane.



We did get the rear trianglealigned at this point, but only at the dropouts. Once I started reassembling everything, it was clear that the bolt-on stays weren't centered, and the shifted chainstays became obvious.

I think it's still possible to get everything straightish, enough that it's ridable, but I've been warned that there is no way to pull those chainstays to the right unless the bridge is cut and repositioned. The bridge is the one thing that prevents the tiny bit of longitudinal movement necessary to shift the entire stay at the nozzles on the bottom bracket, rather than from behind the bridge.

-Kurt
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Old 08-23-22, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
P.P.S.: The threespeedhub.com permalinks are broken and going to spam sites. The whole site appears to have been taken over by spambots, as there ar "online casino" type blog posts on it now. This site is Wordpress based, and I have a fair amount of experience fixing this stuff - I'd gladly clean it up and harden the security on the site if the owner is interested. Do we know who runs this site?
Yeah, it's a local friend. He also often sells on eBay under username FunThingsFound (though nothing listed at the moment). Fwiw, the catalog links seem to be working for me at the moment. I've pointed out to him in the past when things seem broken, but I don't think he has a lot of time to deal with it.
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Old 08-23-22, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
Yeah, it's a local friend. He also often sells on eBay under username FunThingsFound (though nothing listed at the moment). Fwiw, the catalog links seem to be working for me at the moment. I've pointed out to him in the past when things seem broken, but I don't think he has a lot of time to deal with it.
The links work for me too, but only the direct catalog links to the Wordpress file directory, e.g., https://threespeedhub.com/wp-content/...og_1951_UK.pdf. Access to any of of the quick links in the sidebar results in redirection to spam sites, as do most of the historical site permalinks.

Tell him that if he's willing to create a secondary administrator account on the site, I'm willing to go in, fix the permalinks, boot the bots, add a few security plugins to prevent it from happening again (with two-factor authentication if he's open to the idea), and hopefully preserve the site for many more years to come.

It doesn't seem to get indexed properly by Google anymore because the site's been hijacked.

-Kurt
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Old 08-23-22, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
Perhaps it's reasonable to assume this is a '38-39?

P.S.: Dean, it sounds as if you have a Sports-based model. Have a photo?

P.P.S.: The threespeedhub.com permalinks are broken and going to spam sites. The whole site appears to have been taken over by spambots, as there ar "online casino" type blog posts on it now. This site is Wordpress based, and I have a fair amount of experience fixing this stuff - I'd gladly clean it up and harden the security on the site if the owner is interested. Do we know who runs this site?
Hi cudak888,

I have had the bike since 2013, it was purchased from Manchester less than 100 miles from where it was originally built. It was in terrible condition, unfortunately the mudguards and chainguard were severely pinholed. I thought the frame would be the same however there was only a minor amount of pitting on the underside of the top tube. I have since began repurposing it into a more modern touring bike of sorts, which I do not feel bad about considering that the most likely destination of the bike was to be recycled. These pictures are from 2013 except the last one which is from yesterday. I do not know who owns the site but it is very useful for this very niche information it has to be said.

OK so i need to make 10 posts before i can add photos.
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Old 08-23-22, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
The links work for me too, but only the direct catalog links to the Wordpress file directory, e.g., https://threespeedhub.com/wp-content/...og_1951_UK.pdf. Access to any of of the quick links in the sidebar results in redirection to spam sites, as do most of the historical site permalinks.

Tell him that if he's willing to create a secondary administrator account on the site, I'm willing to go in, fix the permalinks, boot the bots, add a few security plugins to prevent it from happening again (with two-factor authentication if he's open to the idea), and hopefully preserve the site for many more years to come.

It doesn't seem to get indexed properly by Google anymore because the site's been hijacked.

-Kurt
I'll try. He can be somewhat hard to get a hold of!
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Old 08-23-22, 02:31 PM
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Old 08-23-22, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by dac10
Hi cudak888,

I have had the bike since 2013, it was purchased from Manchester less than 100 miles from where it was originally built. It was in terrible condition, unfortunately the mudguards and chainguard were severely pinholed. I thought the frame would be the same however there was only a minor amount of pitting on the underside of the top tube. I have since began repurposing it into a more modern touring bike of sorts, which I do not feel bad about considering that the most likely destination of the bike was to be recycled. These pictures are from 2013 except the last one which is from yesterday. I do not know who owns the site but it is very useful for this very niche information it has to be said.

OK so i need to make 10 posts before i can add photos.
I think you can post the photos to the BikeForums gallery even if you're under 10 posts: https://www.bikeforums.net/g/

Originally Posted by nlerner
I'll try. He can be somewhat hard to get a hold of!
No worries. If and when you can, just let him know the offer stands.

-Kurt
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Old 08-23-22, 02:32 PM
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You should see them there in an album called 'raleigh humber 1948'.

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Old 08-23-22, 02:42 PM
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Pic assist of the before and after:






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Old 11-07-22, 08:22 PM
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It's been a good long while since I've stuck my nose into this project, but apparently my nostrils have turned box lined black enamel, as I'm back on it.

Through some miracle, I was able to get this thing straightened on its second trip to the frame table. The chainstays don't even appear to be offset that much out of the BB shell as I described earlier - no more than you'd expect from typical Raleigh production. Maybe it was down to bad measurements during the first round...and maybe not. I'm chalking it up to one of the great mysteries of life and just thanking my lucky stars that it is straight now.

I was absolutely NOT going to accept any cold-setting on something that takes this long to reassemble the rear without testing it first though, so I threw together the world's most elegant balance bike just to verify that it tracks straight.



Indeed, it does track straight. Remarkably well too, considering how much wheel flop these slack-angle beasts have.

Before I could put this thing together, I had to sort out one other issue though: A forever-loose factory chainstay nutsert/rivnut which has resulted in rattling and an impossible-to-adjust rear clamp. I tried JB Weld in an attempt to avoid the inevitable and it immediately gave way upon torque.

So much for plan A.

Plan B: Put the quickest and lightest MIG weld tack on it as possible from the back, at the bottom of the rivnut where it'll be least visible.

This worked. It looks terrible, as the JB Weld had made a complete mess of everything (and worse to clean up), but I managed an ugly little tack with two quick squirts of the MIG gun. Pic shows it after I threw a bit of black paint on it to seal it up.



From the front. Looks uglier than it is, as I haven't polished this out.



Running a spare screw with a slot cut through it to chase any potentially problematic threads:



...and polished. Considering how bad this could have been, it came out pretty good. Will sand this a bit, build up some black enamel in this area and polish it into the original finish before mounting the case.

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Old 11-08-22, 06:15 AM
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Hallelujah!
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Old 11-09-22, 08:29 AM
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I gave the area a light scuffing on the bare metal and smoothed the areas of paint that had crinkled. Touchup paint was then dolloped on.

It is still fairly soft and there's one corner that's obviously tacky. I'll give it a few days before I polish it into the rest of the finish.






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Old 11-09-22, 08:09 PM
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I wet sanded the touchup as much as I dare and polished it. A bit rubbed off, but I'm not going to push my luck with success that blends this well.




I went ahead and began reassembling everything tonight. True to everything else that has happened with this bike, it's still living up to being a perfect nightmare.

I know the frame is straight now, but now the rear fender's issues are fully on display. I knew there was something going on here, but didn't really notice exactly what because of my fixation on the frame.




This isn't just a bit of cold-setting, this is literally a fender spot welded offset on its stays:





This wouldn't ordinarily be anything other than a cosmetic issue, but the Raleigh roadster-pattern fender is so stiff that it overcomes the strength of the stays, pulling the entire fender into the rim. Yes, I can bend the stays to an extent, but not enough. This was probably undetectable when the frame was previously offset:







I'm debating how to handle this, but I'm seriously considering undoing the spot welds and breaking out the MIG welder - again - to re-tack the stays to the fender.

Luckily, this stay is tack welded to the white-tail area of the frame, which happens to be the only thing that's been refinished - and not well either. It's the only unsightly mess of the entire bike, so it might be an opportune time to sand it down and repaint it properly after the MIG welder burns off whatever it burns off.

-Kurt
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Old 11-10-22, 11:10 AM
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Sheesh!
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Old 11-10-22, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Salubrious
Sheesh!
That'd be a great name for this bike.

-Kurt
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Old 02-23-24, 10:45 PM
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There is some progress on the aptly-named "Sheesh: The Nightmare!" happening this week, mainly as it is booked it for a show next week ("procrastinator!") and want it (finally) done.



First, the less painful stuff: Trying to create a proper replacement woven shifter cable housing. This is the first time I've tried the method documented on Myron's Mopeds at https://www.myronsmopeds.com/2014/07/cable-parts-2/, which was apparently provided by owners restoring BSA paratrooper bicycles. I'm following the instructions to the letter, but only time will tell whether this will work or not.

I stripped a brake cable of its vinyl housing and siliconed a pair of nails into the ends:



Dunked it and a tubular 1/2" shoelace into Plastidip:



Tensioned the living crap out of it:



And here it is; we'll see if this works. I'm presently two sprays through the "wait 45 minutes and then spray another coat" step.



Now for the painful stuff. The necessary surgery is happening on the rear fender.

First, a better look at the absolutely pizz-whizz job the factory did on the rear fender stays:



I checked, and there was no chance of prying the spot welds apart with cutters. Since someone had already made a complete mess of the rear white tail, I didn't feel bad about stripping paint here.

But be forewarned, the photos that follow are not for the faint of heart - since I wanted the stays in one piece, I chose to turn the fender into Swiss cheese with the rotabroach to get the spot welds off cleanly:




This is how the stays were installed; that's not bent from the removal. There was no way this was ever going to fit right if left alone.



I used a head stud tool as a buck to reshape it (not shown - the bodywork hammer I used to tap it back into shape). Did the trick.



...and here's the carnage you've all been waiting for - the kind of thing you really have to be confident about when farting around with an otherwise virtually new bike from 1939ish.

A couple of MIG welds tomorrow should make these rotabroach holes a distant memory, and a shot of iso-free 2K SprayMax primer will seal it up properly after I've cleaned up the welds.



-Kurt
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Old 02-23-24, 10:47 PM
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One more picture. Look at the witness marks vs. the fender's corrected position. It was off about 3/16 of an inch.



-Kurt
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