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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 02-24-24, 02:50 PM
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Pictures now, explanations later!








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Old 02-24-24, 04:27 PM
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Old 02-24-24, 07:18 PM
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Time for an explanation for what transpired in the photos above. ^

I must have been doing five things at once in between these pictures, including chatting with a few neighbors and fielding a call from the Ian Fleming Foundation when I did this. Put another way, I had no time to write up what I was doing in between shooting the bull.

First things first, I wanted to tack the stays while they were still on the bike to make sure I spotted them correctly. I had marked the correct locations with a red paint pen, but knew I also had to clean this off with a Dremel before welding.

As such, I dragged the bike out in its entirety, draped a fiberglass welding blanket over it, and then shoved a secondary welding blanket between the tire and the fender, along with a couple of pieces of copper. The fender was not happy with the recommended wire settings, even with the 75/25 Argon/CO2 mix, which I use for auto bodywork. Final settings were "1" on the voltage and 50 on the wire speed with .025 wire, and those results on the Hobart 140 were perfection. Perhaps a bit too much wire for a few of the tacks, but better more wire than blowing through the fender.

The finished welds didn't look pretty, but the strategy allowed me to fill the huge holes in the fender with some stacked tacks. It came out looking pretty decent on the inside too (forgot to snap a picture of that). The result ground down to a really good result, and I was able to use an air sander to get really accurate with the paint stripping in preparation for primer. I need to put a bit of body filler on the fender due to the low spots and a few pinholes, but otherwise it went a lot better than I had hoped. Let's be real: It could have been a lot nastier than this if the welds hadn't gone down well, or if the stays shifted.

The end result turned out amazing and no matter where we go from here, it's smooth sailing by comparison. And hey, it's only been 85 years that this bike has been waiting for this fix

-Kurt
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Old 02-25-24, 02:00 PM
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Hey Kurt, lovely work as usual! Couple of things, if you give give a measurement for that brake cable step-down ferrule, I'm sure I can find one, (not for this bike of course)

Second, pm me if you'd like this. Back corners are worn but overall, it's a 7.5 or 8.



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Old 02-25-24, 06:23 PM
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Just closed up - @clubman, will follow up on your kind offer later in the evening (the answer is yes!)

In the meantime:












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Old 02-25-24, 06:33 PM
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Paint looks really good. Was there a particular blend or color value you used? Getting aged white to look right is trickier than one would think at first.
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Old 02-25-24, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983
Paint looks really good. Was there a particular blend or color value you used? Getting aged white to look right is trickier than one would think at first.
I grabbed the first can of Universal White Dupli-Color I happened to have in my spray can bin, it's usually pretty good for ever so slightly aged white.

I am not confident in saying that the SprayMax iso-free 2K primer helped to cure it either, but it certainly cured a lot quicker than I'm accustomed to.

I did the Moulton racks at the same time, same process:





-Kurt

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Old 02-26-24, 09:07 PM
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Done.






-Kurt
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Old 02-27-24, 07:16 AM
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So, you accomplished all this work while "...fielding a call from the Ian Fleming Foundation...." Are they looking for a Humber for their collection? I can't say I recall Bond making an escape on an old rod-braked tourist! But who knows, any vehicle which gets the job done!
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Old 02-27-24, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh
So, you accomplished all this work while "...fielding a call from the Ian Fleming Foundation...." Are they looking for a Humber for their collection? I can't say I recall Bond making an escape on an old rod-braked tourist! But who knows, any vehicle which gets the job done!
Nope, it's some prior research I did with In Search of Mustangs on the Diamonds are Forever '71 Mach 1.

Not that many British cars pop up in the Bond franchise from the Dalton era back, coincidentally. Only recently have UK locations become more prominent. (There's a production-owned P6 in Octo-forum-censored though).

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Old 02-28-24, 07:03 AM
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I guessed it had something to do with the Mach 1 and not a Humber Tourist. But it was worth poking a little fun since you had mentioned the phone call.
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Old 02-29-24, 05:29 AM
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😁

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Old 03-01-24, 07:54 PM
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I just realized that I didn't really get a chance to explain how this went from the fender repair to a display:

Long story short, the collection and the Bike Share Museum was invited to be part of our tri-county Safe Streets Summit this year; that's why I was rushing to finish the Humber and tidy up the Moulton, along with the various small finishing touches on the '50 Superbe and '52 Sports.

But with the Bike Share Museum along, this meant that no less than 15 bikes were going to be on the move, so CitiBike Miami (not CitiBike NYC; two different companies w/the same sponsor), who happened to be a co-sponsor of the event, brought a little something to help with the transport.

I want one.



The rest of the display were the bike share bikes, but seeing as this is all IGH content...here they are. Both docked, dockless, and lock-to.

These four bikes charted the evolution of Social Bicycles, which became Jump (which is now Lime):



The best part about the exhibit is it allowed the dockless bikes to be viewed for their merits as bicycle workhorses. Or as heroic repairs - I pieced this minty Lime-B together from four wrecks donated by Miami-Dade Parks:



These Spins came from a lot of 600 (all of which were donated to local organizations and the County's bike program):



An Ofo from the ill-fated Dallas program; the sale of these bikes now benefit the Bikes for Tykes non-profit in Richland Hills, Texas:



Further evolution of Social Bicycles during the JUMP era; the 5.0 and 5.5:





CitiBike had a brand-new 5000-series on display. These are French-made by Arcade Bicycles and vary between shaft drive and chain drive depending on batch. The shaft drives are identical to the ones on the Social Bicycles 3.0 and 3.5's.



One more shot of the Humber with the '50 and '52 - and tagging @Ged117:




-Kurt
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Old 03-04-24, 12:32 PM
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The Humbers don't have the duplex fork. To my understanding Raleigh didn't drop the duplex fork until sometime in the 1960s. Did the forks on these bikes get replaced or is that a rod brake thing? All the rod brake machines with the duplex fork I've found so far on Google seem to be pre-war.
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Old 03-04-24, 12:58 PM
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Salubrious : scanning the catalogs I see in 1951 a number of models were equipped with “Humber taper round blades with solid ends”, but looking at the 1948, 1952 and 1956 they were back to duplex forks for most if not all models. Also in most of those post war catalogs the rod brake models also had duplex forks.
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Old 03-04-24, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Salubrious
The Humbers don't have the duplex fork. To my understanding Raleigh didn't drop the duplex fork until sometime in the 1960s. Did the forks on these bikes get replaced or is that a rod brake thing? All the rod brake machines with the duplex fork I've found so far on Google seem to be pre-war.
Originally Posted by markk900
Salubrious : scanning the catalogs I see in 1951 a number of models were equipped with “Humber taper round blades with solid ends”, but looking at the 1948, 1952 and 1956 they were back to duplex forks for most if not all models. Also in most of those post war catalogs the rod brake models also had duplex forks.
I haven't any explanation for this, other than the possibility that it was fitted with a more standard single-blade fork either in error as yet another production snafu on this bike. I have no reason to believe the one fitted right now is not the original to it - it's a perfect match in finish and patina.

The closest catalog available that I know of - the '36 (https://threespeedhub.com/wp-content...og-1936-UK.pdf) advertises the Duplex fork on the Cob Tourist (pages 17-20 by PDF; 16-19 by page number) and only the 24" Junior models run a solid blade fork.

-Kurt
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Old 03-05-24, 09:00 AM
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The V-CC library has the 1947-48 season British catalog for Humber, which shows duplex forks for the Cob line of bikes. Some of the bikes, such as the cable brake Elf line, do not appear to have duplex forks (looks like plain oval). Whether this one having a plain oval is a US market thing, I don't know. I would think it should at least have the old-style round-profile fork ends if it's a pre-1960s fork, or the older type pinched ends for an even older fork. If I am looking at the right photos from this thread, it looks like pinched fork ends. I think the fork is either original or a period replacement. Either way it looks fine to me.

The '47-48 catalog also shows the Cob line of bikes as being "entirely brazed up" frames, with the brazed seat stays. The frame reminds me most of the somewhat older Cob line from immediately before and after WWII, though the fork would be a duplex on that normally. Shifter would be 1939 to 48 or so, though based on the 47-48 season catalog, I think it's older than 1948. The undated hubs usually appear on bikes right before and after WWII. The innards are definitely pre-'51 Sturmey Archer from the look of it. Best that I can pin down is sometime between 1939 and 1947.

It's a really nice bike somewhat unusual for the US market.
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Old 03-08-24, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983
The V-CC library has the 1947-48 season British catalog for Humber, which shows duplex forks for the Cob line of bikes. Some of the bikes, such as the cable brake Elf line, do not appear to have duplex forks (looks like plain oval). Whether this one having a plain oval is a US market thing, I don't know. I would think it should at least have the old-style round-profile fork ends if it's a pre-1960s fork, or the older type pinched ends for an even older fork. If I am looking at the right photos from this thread, it looks like pinched fork ends. I think the fork is either original or a period replacement. Either way it looks fine to me.

The '47-48 catalog also shows the Cob line of bikes as being "entirely brazed up" frames, with the brazed seat stays. The frame reminds me most of the somewhat older Cob line from immediately before and after WWII, though the fork would be a duplex on that normally. Shifter would be 1939 to 48 or so, though based on the 47-48 season catalog, I think it's older than 1948. The undated hubs usually appear on bikes right before and after WWII. The innards are definitely pre-'51 Sturmey Archer from the look of it. Best that I can pin down is sometime between 1939 and 1947.

It's a really nice bike somewhat unusual for the US market.
Funny thing, the Elf in the 1940 catalog has duplex forks. The only ones that vary from this are the racing/club models and the Standard and Low Gravity Carriers.

Most notably, the Cob Safety Tourist, as it's listed in '40, has the duplex forks per the catalog. But that catalog also shows the '36 top tube quadrant shifter on everything, which makes one wonder if they re-used or airbrushed pictures of earlier-year models for the '40 catalog.

As for the fork off this particular bike, the blade ends are pressed (and not very well) just like any other slack-angle Raleigh; IIRC, the 1970's Tourists didn't get proper brazed-in dropouts either. The fork shown in the earlier pictures of the thread is the one it came with when I bought it - there was nothing on the bike to suggest it was a replacement, even period, just as there was nothing to indicate that the offset in the frame was from an impact or even a controlled application of pressure. The other interesting question is if it were a replacement, what did it come from?

Speaking of which, the only real marks on the paint are on the top tube, from the rod brake levers that hang too low. Curiously, according to the '40 catalog, the bars are supposed to sit higher than on this example, yet the bars its equipped with doesn't have a long enough quill or brake rods to extend further; only lower.

Given the numerous production issues with this bike (frame not straight and no evidence of crash damage, fender factory brazed off-center (in a manner that allowed it to sit correctly if the frame remained offset), the apparent lack of a fender reflector hole (there's no evidence one was paatched up), differing fork, and whatever else I'm forgetting - well, it's an oddball.

I almost want to say it's a UK model too, as - per the '40 catalog - the 8v Dynohub was an optional extra. Would one have been able to special-order a Humber in the US with the UK extras list at the time?

-Kurt
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Old 03-08-24, 08:52 AM
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Replacement forks were available in the buyer's pattern of choice out of the big spares book. The paint and condition are usually good indicators of a replacement fork. The issue usually is the fork is much later, doesn't match, and there's some kind of damage to the frame as well. The fork's condition on this one matches the bike well enough that it is a non-issue.

I'll look back at my pictures of post-war Raleigh roadsters I've owned. I know that my '78 has the cut-in type brazed fork ends. If I recall rightly, the '63 export model had the old-style plug braze-ins. Whatever the Humber fork is, it's an older style of fork than either of those.

I cannot find a bike exactly like this one in any catalog. Could be a UK model or an odd export model that someone brought in. Given the construction issues, weird features, and lack of a reflector, I do wonder if it was an export model to somewhere and someone brought it into the US as a one-off.
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Old 03-13-24, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983
Replacement forks were available in the buyer's pattern of choice out of the big spares book. The paint and condition are usually good indicators of a replacement fork. The issue usually is the fork is much later, doesn't match, and there's some kind of damage to the frame as well. The fork's condition on this one matches the bike well enough that it is a non-issue.

I'll look back at my pictures of post-war Raleigh roadsters I've owned. I know that my '78 has the cut-in type brazed fork ends. If I recall rightly, the '63 export model had the old-style plug braze-ins. Whatever the Humber fork is, it's an older style of fork than either of those.

I cannot find a bike exactly like this one in any catalog. Could be a UK model or an odd export model that someone brought in. Given the construction issues, weird features, and lack of a reflector, I do wonder if it was an export model to somewhere and someone brought it into the US as a one-off.
That lines up with my '79/80 Rudge, which also has them cut in. The '54 DL-5 has pressed ends.

The Humber fork is an odd duck to pin down as it's not Raleigh pattern, but it is pretty much the same as any Raleigh-built slack-angle rod brake fork with the typical "generic" crown not associated with any other brand.* It's a much wider and more impressive casting than the later (and narrower) variants of the same design from the 1960's, but it's essentially the 1930s/40s version of that "one size fits all except Rudge, Humber, and Raleigh" crown.

Speaking of which, which big spares book are you referencing? There's no such crown in the 1950-53 (anyone have an accurate date on this?) parts catalog - granted, it's a lot later than this bike, but the secondary-brand crown is strangely absent:



The 1949-or-54 parts catalog ("Spare Parts List for Raleigh Rudge and Humber Bicycles, Workshop Tools") also doesn't show the same Humber model numbers as either of the actual bike catalogs.

As for the bike itself, there isn't a single catalog that shows one of these minus reflector, with this fork, or most models of this period without the quadrant shifter - though I highly suspect the photos by which the airbrushed tracings were created from were not strictly redone year to year. There are some clear cases of this in the 1940's-1950's Raleigh catalogs; the base photo is the same and only the airbrushing differs. In other words, some attempts were made to create differentiation, but it wasn't always accurate.

At any rate, the closest match in two catalogs spanning the possible manufacture of this bike remains the Cob Tourist with the optional 8V Dynohub. If it wasn't for the fork, the shifter and reflector would be less of a head scratcher. It should be Nottingham production by virtue of the "Made in England" script, so I'd venture to say UK/CA/EU/US is probably the extent of the markets it could have been for. Keep in mind though, at this point in Raleigh's history time, very little differed between the Canadian and US models - the 1950 US export catalog and one Canadian export catalog I have here from a similar vintage indicate that the range was simply reduced for export during this era, rather than specific models made per region.

-Kurt

*Side note: The only time I've ever seen the reverse is on my Rudge. The crown is indisputably a Raleigh pattern locking crown on a non-Raleigh product, but differentiated with a solid cover where the recessed thimble would otherwise fit. A true odd duck, but I think Raleigh had simply consolidated all locking forks into the Raleigh pattern by the late-1970s. Cheaper, and nobody probably cared about fork crowns denoting brand differentiation by that point in time.
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Old 04-03-24, 03:30 PM
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I was going to call this project - and thread - "done" until a dormant project popped up that doesn't (yet) warrant a thread, but is closely related:

About a year (?) ago, I acquired a rough, incomplete 1936 Sports Tourist frameset from @nlerner - I think it was some sort of a trade on a whim. Don't recall. It's been sitting around in a lineup with a bunch of other old Raleighs in the shed.

Like the Humber Cob Tourist, this one has slack angles intended for flat-foot stops. This one differs, however, in that it is a brazed-stay frame, not a bolt-on stay design like the Humber - something that might trip up a casual enthusiast that hasn't seen one of these early beasts.



It so happened that a chaincase popped up on eBay that looked right... and - surprise - I won the thing. The following picture is a mock-up, as I was stupid enough to sell off the last chaincase hardware I had with the chaincase, but it looks promising.

The rear wheel is one of the two off the 1953 Superbe Sports Tourist parts bike. I might be on my way to piecing this '36 into something reasonably authentic-looking, if not strictly accurate.






The rims are not great, but they clean up a far sight better than one might guess. Can't do this with '70s Raleigh rims.



This frame has a weird black paint job over the original finish. Can't put my finger on it, but it peels off in an odd way. Should come off with enough elbow grease.



The whole reason to own a '36:




-Kurt
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Old 04-03-24, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
I was going to call this project - and thread - "done" until a dormant project popped up that doesn't (yet) warrant a thread, but is closely related:

About a year (?) ago, I acquired a rough, incomplete 1936 Sports Tourist frameset from @nlerner - I think it was some sort of a trade on a whim. Don't recall. It's been sitting around in a lineup with a bunch of other old Raleighs in the shed.

Like the Humber Cob Tourist, this one has slack angles intended for flat-foot stops. This one differs, however, in that it is a brazed-stay frame, not a bolt-on stay design like the Humber - something that might trip up a casual enthusiast that hasn't seen one of these early beasts.



It so happened that a chaincase popped up on eBay that looked right... and - surprise - I won the thing. The following picture is a mock-up, as I was stupid enough to sell off the last chaincase hardware I had with the chaincase, but it looks promising.

The rear wheel is one of the two off the 1953 Superbe Sports Tourist parts bike. I might be on my way to piecing this '36 into something reasonably authentic-looking, if not strictly accurate.






The rims are not great, but they clean up a far sight better than one might guess. Can't do this with '70s Raleigh rims.



This frame has a weird black paint job over the original finish. Can't put my finger on it, but it peels off in an odd way. Should come off with enough elbow grease.



The whole reason to own a '36:




-Kurt
That's the right headset! The tricky bits will be a proper type K hub and the stem. Actually the handlebars have a different bend to them as well. The brake levers will have the word 'Patent' engraved in them but newer brake levers will work well enough.
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Old 04-03-24, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
About a year (?) ago, I acquired a rough, incomplete 1936 Sports Tourist frameset from @nlerner - I think it was some sort of a trade on a whim. Don't recall. It's been sitting around in a lineup with a bunch of other old Raleighs in the shed.

-Kurt
Nice to see that one getting some new life! I bought it from a local seller who was cleaning out his parents' house, and this his/hers Raleigh set had evidently lived in their backyard out in the New England elements for pretty much the second half of the 20th century. I've never seen bikes in rougher shape, but that odd black overspray seems to have preserved some original finish. Maybe it was applied during WWII in an attempt at a "blackout" look!
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Old 04-04-24, 06:14 AM
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That 1936 is really handsome. Aren't you going to start a thread for it?
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Old 04-04-24, 11:18 AM
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My 1935 'Model Sports' roadster. It uses a type K barrel shifter on the handlebars. I've seen found the right 'fulcrum clip' for the shift cable. The rear hub is a KB with drum brake in the front also. Stainless rims and spokes, optional at the time as well as the drum brakes. The gold headset color is correct.
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