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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 06-06-21, 09:00 PM
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No brifters: 1948 (or older) Humber Cob Tourist X joins the stables

Well, not exactly yet, as it just got picked up by dmark for me (thank you!) from the seller in New Jersey. Bike is currently with him; these are his pics:





It's no newer than '48 given the shifter. I've yet to see the AW hub date (it might be unmarked based on what I saw in the seller's photos), or the date on the front hub, which I believe is the earlier GH8 8V AC Sturmey Dynohub.







I'm basing the Cob Tourist X name off the 1936 Humber catalog currently online, but it seems to check out - it's basically a 26 x 1-3/8" version of a rod brake Raleigh with bolt-on stays. It's essentially a direct equivalent to the 1936 Raleigh Dawn Tourist X. Unlike the later 1950's models, "Dawn Tourist" appears to refer to an EA3-wheeled version of the slack-angle roadster; while the X stands for rod brakes. Later on, rod brakes on a Sports frame would take on the "Dawn" moniker. Confused yet?

I paid quite a bit more than I should for this one, but decided to bite the bullet as it's in stupendous shape. The black enamel barely has a chip in it, and the pinstriping hasn't faded a bit. Someone bought this thing many years ago and parked it.





The dent in the rear fender (and the crease in the front fender at the crown) are about the only issues I have to deal with - fortunately, these can be massaged quite well with one's fingers, given due care:





If anything, the wheels are the only thing to let it down - spokes appear to be galvanized, and the rims, while nice, aren't perfect.

Interestingly, a lot of the bits are wartime blackout, but the handlebar isn't. It also doesn't have the bifurcated fork one would expect. Someone at the Nottingham factory was probably busy with some substitution funsies that day.

Looking forward to this one making its way here. More pics when that happens.

-Kurt
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Old 06-06-21, 09:53 PM
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Fabulous!! Ever since I picked my ‘65 Raleigh I’m really appreciating the British-ness of it. Simple, very durable and it rides lovely.
Cant wait to hear a more thorough evaluation of your fine machine!
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Old 06-07-21, 05:55 AM
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Kurt, what's on the non-generator side of the front hub? Some sort of disk to measure mileage?

With your fleet of "roddies" you can start a side hustle in Coral Gables: Cudak's Rod-Brake English Roadster Sight Seeing Tours. One of the included stops is the fabled Bike Share Museum (admission an extra charge).
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Old 06-07-21, 06:34 AM
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What a beauty. The sheen on the paint is amazing, just wait until you go at it with compound. That's spent most of it's 70 years inside.
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Old 06-07-21, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by RustyJames View Post
Fabulous!! Ever since I picked my ‘65 Raleigh I’m really appreciating the British-ness of it. Simple, very durable and it rides lovely.
Cant wait to hear a more thorough evaluation of your fine machine!
A 3-speed cable brake Raleigh is about as perfect as a city bike gets until one opens the wonderfull wide world of the Omafiets, but other than aluminum rims (always a good thing) and square taper cranks, nothing much has changed.

Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
Kurt, what's on the non-generator side of the front hub? Some sort of disk to measure mileage?

With your fleet of "roddies" you can start a side hustle in Coral Gables: Cudak's Rod-Brake English Roadster Sight Seeing Tours. One of the included stops is the fabled Bike Share Museum (admission an extra charge).
I'm certain it's the remains of an old analog cyclecomputer. The fleet of Raleighs is growing quite big now, and one just came in through the front door right now, making it:

- 194(8) Humber Cob Tourist X
- 1950 Raleigh Superbe (just arrived in kit form)
- 1951 Raleigh Sports ("C" Tourist homage)
- 1952 Raleigh Sports
- 1956 Raleigh Superbe Tourist (rough, in parts)
- 1979/80 Rudge (DL-1)
- 1980 Raleigh Sports (Restomod - "Stumpy")

That doesn't even include the three '70 Twenty models I have kicking about.

Originally Posted by clubman View Post
What a beauty. The sheen on the paint is amazing, just wait until you go at it with compound. That's spent most of it's 70 years inside.
I'm waiting to be blinded by black enamel! I'll probably go really light on this to make sure none of the pinstriping gets damaged.

-Kurt
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Old 06-07-21, 10:02 PM
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P.S.: The GH8 came out in '38, and so did that shifter. The GH6 presumably replaced the GH8 in '45. I'm going to throw out an educated guess that '38-45 is a workable window of potential production for this bike.

Date codes should answer this definitively though.

-Kurt
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Old 06-18-21, 01:09 PM
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Just got an update on the hub. No date, but it post-dates the "Patent Applied For" versions - this one says "Patent."

No date after the AW, which is a bit odd, given that the shifter and GH8 make this at least '38, and I've seen at least one '37 Sturmey hub marked "AW-7." Old stock hub?

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Old 06-18-21, 03:59 PM
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Kurt, next fall/winter, would you let me make an attempt to recover the Wright's saddle with new black leather?


I realize it might be some other type of material.
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Old 06-18-21, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
Kurt, next fall/winter, would you let me make an attempt to recover the Wright's saddle with new black leather?

I realize it might be some other type of material.
Would rather fit it with another original saddle in better shape. I get the feeling that any re-do of the vinyl will not quite match the fairly taut look of the original.

-Kurt
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Old 06-18-21, 05:28 PM
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-----



so where are the other two fork blades?




-----
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Old 06-18-21, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
Kurt, next fall/winter, would you let me make an attempt to recover the Wright's saddle with new black leather?


I realize it might be some other type of material.
"Genuine" synthetic on there.
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Old 06-18-21, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
-----



so where are the other two fork blades?




-----
I'll bet that it was a production line substitution to keep them coming down the line. Definitely not a replacement, seeing as the crown cap is wartime black as well.

-Kurt
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Old 06-19-21, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Would rather fit it with another original saddle in better shape.

-Kurt
When you locate one, don't toss this one. I'd like to make an attempt.

Originally Posted by dmark View Post
"Genuine" synthetic on there.
Figured as much, but I believe leather could make an acceptable substitute.
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Old 06-19-21, 07:35 AM
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That thing is going to look so hot with 7/8/9 speed brifters! But it won't belong here and I'll report it.


But that is really beautiful. Congratulations!
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Old 06-19-21, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
That thing is going to look so hot with 7/8/9 speed brifters! But it won't belong here and I'll report it.

But that is really beautiful. Congratulations!
Just wait until I hang that Dura-Ace 7900 from it!

Looking forward to it arriving - @dmark has been doing a phenomenal job of packing it and sending me photos to boot, and I'm indebted to him for all the effort he's putting into getting the packing puzzle sorted.

-Kurt
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Old 06-19-21, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Just wait until I hang that Dura-Ace 7900 from it!

-Kurt
That'll keep it C&V compliant as 7800 and 7900 are 10 speed- that belongs here- 7/8/9 speed do not.
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Old 06-28-21, 10:06 PM
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It has arrived! @dmark absolutely nailed it with his superb packing.

Was really tired today - I spent all of yesterday removing the bikes in the shed to replace a rotted rafter; nasty job - so I only assembled it enough so it can roll around on its two wheels.

Also, slight clarification - it's a Cob Tourist, not a Cob Tourist X, which would indicate rod operated drum brakes. This one is rim brake.



I had not polished anything for these pictures. This is literally as-bought:





I discovered - much to no surprise - that the left blade of the front fork isn't parallel with the right. Has there ever been a Raleigh made with a front fork that's not bent? Somehow, I doubt it.

Spokes are original, but galvanized (I believe). Either way, they pre-date Raleigh's stainless spokes. Rims are not pretty, but original and straight.

Incidentally, if anyone has a spare blackout rod brake shoe, I'd be interested. It's the only thing missing from the bike (other than the pump).

-Kurt
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Old 06-29-21, 05:54 AM
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I see it is living indoors for now, with its 1980 great grandnephew. Glad it arrived in good order despite the front fork (anticipated) issue.
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Old 06-29-21, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Just got an update on the hub. No date, but it post-dates the "Patent Applied For" versions - this one says "Patent."

No date after the AW, which is a bit odd, given that the shifter and GH8 make this at least '38, and I've seen at least one '37 Sturmey hub marked "AW-7." Old stock hub?

mid that an alloy hub shell?

overall a nice addition
Styling.
Not the big wheels suitable for running off curbs, over small dogs and wayward children but a worthy steed
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Old 06-29-21, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
mid that an alloy hub shell?

overall a nice addition
Styling.
Not the big wheels suitable for running off curbs, over small dogs and wayward children but a worthy steed
I believe it might be dirty rather than aluminum, but will check today.

This is my first EA3-wheeled rod braker. In comparison to the huge DL-1 and DL-5's that I'm accustomed to, it's tiny!

-Kurt
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Old 07-01-21, 03:38 PM
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Confirmed - the AW hub is steel. Just a perfect slurry of old dust.

I found a moment between meetings to get it into the stand. Front end is now town down and fork is ready to be dropped for straightening:









-Kurt
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Old 07-01-21, 11:14 PM
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Fork is out. Steerer tube looks as if it has never seen the light of day in 83 (?) years. Because it hasn't.



The crown has a pair of cast X-shaped plugs in it that both stiffen it and locate the steerer tube and fork blades. A far cry from the slightly downsized version of this crown used later in the 1960's.



Yep, she bent.



Notice how the front brake stirrup guides aren't straight and kinked to the left. Remember this, it'll be important in a minute.

I noticed both blades had a sort of French bend going on, with the back of the blade more or less parallel with the crown, rather than the center or the front. After eyeballing the fork crown, I decided to pull both of them forward. The end result looks better and I'd expect it of a Raleigh product.

And she's straight. Or at least, it looks that way:



Not really. Also note that it's kinked to the left.



I spent a fair amount of time checking and re-checking the blades from top to bottom to verify if either of them had been raked more or less than the other. They checked out. I also took a straightedge to the sides, which turned up nothing to suggest that either blade had lost length from getting curved or bent left or right.

The Park dropout alignment tools also verified the dropouts were parallel, but given the slotted design of these fork ends, it's not really possible to assume that one is perfectly centered in the hole when aligning them.

After checking and verifying the blades over and over, I finally decided to invoke close scrutiny of the dropout ends. Given how many factors affect where the dropouts wind up, I never assume that a fork is built with one blade a tad longer than the other until eliminating all possibilities.

...but this is a Raleigh.

Heavy-duty craftsmanship? Yes.
Excellent enamel finishes? Yes.
Precision framebuilding? Hell, no.







It's only about 1.5mm difference, but the small difference at the hub adds up to a huge difference at the rim edge. That explains why the brake stirrup receivers - which showed no evidence of ever having been repositioned or unfastened until I pulled them tonight - were angled to the left. They have probably been like that since this bike was new.

Put simply, the factory goofed and got the left fork blade lower than the right. It's minor, so someone in QC probably didn't catch it and file the thing before it went to paint.

I'm going to rectify this with some careful filing of the left dropout tomorrow. It took eighty three years to get this fixed.

-Kurt

P.S.: I never file dropouts unless I can prove without doubt that that the fork was built wrong and no other option exists.
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Old 07-02-21, 01:57 PM
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Old 07-02-21, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post





It's no newer than '48 given the shifter. I've yet to see the AW hub date (it might be unmarked based on what I saw in the seller's photos), or the date on the front hub, which I believe is the earlier GH8 8V AC Sturmey Dynohub.







I'm basing the Cob Tourist X name off the 1936 Humber catalog currently online, but it seems to check out - it's basically a 26 x 1-3/8" version of a rod brake Raleigh with bolt-on stays. It's essentially a direct equivalent to the 1936 Raleigh Dawn Tourist X. Unlike the later 1950's models, "Dawn Tourist" appears to refer to an EA3-wheeled version of the slack-angle roadster; while the X stands for rod brakes. Later on, rod brakes on a Sports frame would take on the "Dawn" moniker. Confused yet?

I paid quite a bit more than I should for this one, but decided to bite the bullet as it's in stupendous shape. The black enamel barely has a chip in it, and the pinstriping hasn't faded a bit. Someone bought this thing many years ago and parked it.
-Kurt
Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Just got an update on the hub. No date, but it post-dates the "Patent Applied For" versions - this one says "Patent."

No date after the AW, which is a bit odd, given that the shifter and GH8 make this at least '38, and I've seen at least one '37 Sturmey hub marked "AW-7." Old stock hub?
I suspect this bike is made up of bits some of which might be pre-war and still sitting around after production got going again- hence the blackout parts, which were common as early as the mid 1930s. If those are 26" wheels then the fenders are consistent with that. Seems to me the first of the AWs were actually prewar; the last year of the K was 1938 wasn't it? At any rate the date not stamped on the hub is one of the earliest ones. The drum brakes would seem to be why you don't have the Duplex fork.
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Old 07-02-21, 05:06 PM
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Location: Southern Florida
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Originally Posted by Salubrious View Post
I suspect this bike is made up of bits some of which might be pre-war and still sitting around after production got going again- hence the blackout parts, which were common as early as the mid 1930s. If those are 26" wheels then the fenders are consistent with that. Seems to me the first of the AWs were actually prewar; the last year of the K was 1938 wasn't it? At any rate the date not stamped on the hub is one of the earliest ones. The drum brakes would seem to be why you don't have the Duplex fork.
That's the best theory I've heard yet, and would explain the chrome rims and bar despite everything wartime. Perhaps '45/46?

The K ended in '38, and as you summarized, the AW did come out in '36, a few years prior. Earliest ones are "PATENT APPLIED FOR," then "PATENT" (as this one is), followed by "AW-7," "AW-8" and so-on. The GH8 on this was also introduced in '38, supposedly discontinued in '41, and the GH6 we know so well came out in '45.

Do tell about the connection between the 26" wheels and the fenders. Other than the fenders being downsized versions of the 28" version, both the Westwoods and the fenders are basically the same.

I made an error when I called it a Cob Tourist X - it's a Cob Tourist. No X, no drums. Standard rod brakes. The post-war parts-bin production would also possibly explain the standard fork instead of the duplex.

Anyone else in the room open to the idea of calling it a '45 or '46?

-Kurt
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Last edited by cudak888; 07-02-21 at 07:07 PM.
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