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For the Love of Clubman Bikes

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For the Love of Clubman Bikes

Old 10-02-21, 10:17 AM
  #1  
macstuff
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For the Love of Clubman Bikes

I did a short search and didn't find a similar thread although there are a few for other types of vintage bikes. If there is one let me know and I'll delete or whatever it takes and I will post there.
I understand people having a fondness for types of bikes. I like a couple different kinds more than others and I see no useful reason for a couple more.
But my favorite is Club bikes from the 1930's through the 1950's.
Bikes that were a mix of all the things one might need for a trip across town or a weekend jaunt. Bikes that were fashioned after the racing bikes of the day but had enough character and panache' to hold your attention. They had fenders, tail bags and were ridden in bad weather.
Most club bikes have great frames and components and are at the higher end of their marque's offerings, others are stripped down versions of the Marque's racing bikes. Either way, they are the coolest to me because there is a sense of rarity and personalization on a club bike also. They started out as a gang of guys (a club) taking weekend jaunts together emulating the days best racers and tricks-of-the-week. No-one expects it to be a factory original and that fits right in with my over-all mindset.
I would invite people to post pics and descriptions of their Clubman Bikes and use this thread as a repository for those bikes pics.
I found an old English club bike not too long ago that had been neglected for decades. It was pretty much all original and considering its age, I will keep it that way. It has some really cool vintage componantry. All original except for the seat, pedals and grips.
It is completely disassembled right now and being rubbed back together. I will post finished pics here when Im done. Couple months maybe.

1938 Armstrong Moth - Velox Sport 3 Speed Derailleur. 26" EA1 Dunlop lightweight steel rims. Cyclo 3 speed drive system. OG Flip Flop Rear Hub.











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Old 10-02-21, 12:45 PM
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Nice find! What's that thing opposite the front tire valve?
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Old 10-02-21, 02:35 PM
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My 1949 Raleigh Clubman:


I actually have it set up with upright bars mostly and switched back after the ride this pic came from. It brakes much better with the leverage I can get with upright bars. I bought it from the son of the original owner, and it has a shop sticker from Milwaukee, WI.

At one point, I had a 1950 and a 1951 Raleigh Clubman, too. The 1951 was an eBay find. I discovered after taking possession that the fork steerer had a bit of a curve to it, but Andy Muzi of Yellow Jersey in Madison, WI (then, he's since moved) straightened it for me:



The 1950 was bought from the original owner, who was local to me and bought the bike new to commute to his job during a summer while in college. It lived a hard life near the sea, so finish was trashed, as were most of the chrome parts. It took a lot of oxalic acid and polishing to get it to look like this:

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Old 10-02-21, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
Nice find! What's that thing opposite the front tire valve?
I guess back then the tube stems were extra heavy. I know that some of the oldies I've seen are nutted to the rims.
Those are wheel weights, there is one front and back. The spoke is slid through it, it has a recess the nipple fits into and they were held in place by a couple turns of cloth tape around the spoke just below it.
I'm still up in the air as to if I will put those back on but they are a vintage reality on this bike.....

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Old 10-03-21, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
My 1949 Raleigh Clubman:


I actually have it set up with upright bars mostly and switched back after the ride this pic came from. It brakes much better with the leverage I can get with upright bars. I bought it from the son of the original owner, and it has a shop sticker from Milwaukee, WI.

At one point, I had a 1950 and a 1951 Raleigh Clubman, too. The 1951 was an eBay find. I discovered after taking possession that the fork steerer had a bit of a curve to it, but Andy Muzi of Yellow Jersey in Madison, WI (then, he's since moved) straightened it for me:



The 1950 was bought from the original owner, who was local to me and bought the bike new to commute to his job during a summer while in college. It lived a hard life near the sea, so finish was trashed, as were most of the chrome parts. It took a lot of oxalic acid and polishing to get it to look like this:

I Love the green one.... and the blue one. and Im sure I would get to like the other if I got to know her.....
I didn't realize the clip style stem was used into the 50's.
Those are all three nice bikes
Are the front hubs on the blue and grey one Sturmey Archer ?
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Old 10-03-21, 05:43 PM
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My commuter/beater through several of my college years was an Armstrong 3-speed converted to a 12-speed (Cyclo 14-18-20-22 sprocket cluster) with drop bars. It was not as nimble as my proper road bike, but it was damn near indestructible, practical, fun to ride, and a bit theft-resistant.
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Old 10-03-21, 08:23 PM
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These are lovely bikes, but I have to say that when I get done working on a bike it somehow comes out looking like these no matter what I do. Here is a picture of one I was working on the other day. The customer was very grateful.


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Old 10-03-21, 09:06 PM
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Frames and bikes, half not built.



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Old 10-03-21, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by macstuff View Post
I Love the green one.... and the blue one. and Im sure I would get to like the other if I got to know her.....
I didn't realize the clip style stem was used into the 50's.
Those are all three nice bikes
Are the front hubs on the blue and grey one Sturmey Archer ?
Those hubs are original to the bikes, and are Bayless Wiley according to Peter Kohler’s article: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/retrora...an-kohler.html
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Old 10-04-21, 03:34 PM
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Here's a snap of the 1949 Raleigh Clubman that the great and famous clubman (of post #8 fame) was willing to allow to pass to me.

Unable to find suitable original wheels, I decided to build my own (590's vs the original 597's). The size difference meant that I needed to use longer than original brake calipers also.

Some of the set-up is long-term temporary. I haven't ruled out imaginations of restoring the frame to it's original glory after having the mud guard attachment point repaired, but sorting out how to do justice to the original polychromatic green is a puzzle unto itself.
I was able to acquire an FW hub from the era and build a nice wheel from it, and another plausibly authentic hub, but adjusting it to engage all four gears has been beyond elusive.


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Old 10-04-21, 03:52 PM
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ouch
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Old 10-04-21, 03:55 PM
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I hate seeing threads like this because then I think I really need to find another bike to add to my collection,
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Old 10-04-21, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
ouch
Yeah. It's a difficult decision on potentially departing "original" to attempt to achieve "better than new". I'm quite torn on the matter, and can't justify the expense presently anyway.
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Old 10-05-21, 12:51 AM
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Does it have to be from that 1930-1950 era?
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Old 10-05-21, 03:27 AM
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nice frames!!!
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Old 10-05-21, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag View Post
Does it have to be from that 1930-1950 era?
That is the era that Club bikes are most commonly thought from, it was the innovation in bicycle mechanicals era, but club riding has always gone on and does to this day. The machinery has evolved quite a bit but the reasonings haven't.
I wouldn't want to be the one to put out a controversial definition of a Club Bike, but I think this 30' to 50's era is when it came into its own and the makers acknowledged the following with specially fitted bikes.
Considering we are already in the Vintage bike category, (who is defining vintage?) I'd say defining characteristics of a vintage club machine would be a Lightweight style steel frame, not necessarily panniers but a tail bag, mudguards / fenders, and less than 10 speeds, or some aftermarket contraption that creates 10 or more from the original 1-5 gears.
Consider that Schwinn did make a Continental Clubman model but many of their lightweight bikes were being fitted and used as Club bikes long before that model came out in the early 50's for a year or two. I'm sure half of the Club riders throughout the world had to make their own adequate machine to ride with the boys from town to burg on the weekends.
Oddly enough, I'm not a pack animal and don't really like regular outings like bike rides, motorcycle rides etc. with others, I prefer to ride alone or maybe with one other person. But I do like the Club Bikes and parts.
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Old 10-05-21, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
Here's a snap of the 1949 Raleigh Clubman that the great and famous clubman (of post #8 fame) was willing to allow to pass to me.

Unable to find suitable original wheels, I decided to build my own (590's vs the original 597's). The size difference meant that I needed to use longer than original brake calipers also.

Some of the set-up is long-term temporary. I haven't ruled out imaginations of restoring the frame to it's original glory after having the mud guard attachment point repaired, but sorting out how to do justice to the original polychromatic green is a puzzle unto itself.
I was able to acquire an FW hub from the era and build a nice wheel from it, and another plausibly authentic hub, but adjusting it to engage all four gears has been beyond elusive.


Nice job !
Especially with the FW hub.
Are you using a 4 speed thumb shifter, a 3-4 speed thumb shifter or a no detent thumb shifter? The draw on the 3-4 shifters is too short really, and the no detent shifters don't hold gear adjustment well. Many Sturmey shifters had an original application other than AW hubs. There is even a special shifter for the 3spd coaster hubs with a shorter draw.
I've found that placing the shifter in what would be 4th gear, then loosening the adjuster until the rod is pulled all the way into the hub is the best way to start the adjustment on those. With the rod all the way in and the rod adjuster chain slack, you just tighten the adjuster till the rod chain barely starts to move, then tighten it down. Thats it, if you have a shifter with the proper draw, the other gears should fall into place with only a micro adjustment needed if any, on the first ride.
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Old 10-05-21, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I hate seeing threads like this because then I think I really need to find another bike to add to my collection,
I've been Clubman-curious for a while, since reading the Peter Kohler article mentioned a few posts back. Rather than acquiring another bike, it makes me wonder if I'd ride my old Armstrong more if it had drop bars, or if the North Road bars were flipped to be racier...
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Old 10-05-21, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by macstuff View Post
Nice job !
Especially with the FW hub.
Are you using a 4 speed thumb shifter, a 3-4 speed thumb shifter or a no detent thumb shifter? The draw on the 3-4 shifters is too short really, and the no detent shifters don't hold gear adjustment well. Many Sturmey shifters had an original application other than AW hubs. There is even a special shifter for the 3spd coaster hubs with a shorter draw.
I've found that placing the shifter in what would be 4th gear, then loosening the adjuster until the rod is pulled all the way into the hub is the best way to start the adjustment on those. With the rod all the way in and the rod adjuster chain slack, you just tighten the adjuster till the rod chain barely starts to move, then tighten it down. Thats it, if you have a shifter with the proper draw, the other gears should fall into place with only a micro adjustment needed if any, on the first ride.
It's a 4 speed shifter. Thanks for the guidance. I will attempt it soon.
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Old 10-05-21, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
I've been Clubman-curious for a while, since reading the Peter Kohler article mentioned a few posts back. Rather than acquiring another bike, it makes me wonder if I'd ride my old Armstrong more if it had drop bars, or if the North Road bars were flipped to be racier...

When I first got that old Armstrong I thought someone had flipped the bars and painted them black... as people do. After researching these old sport bikes, it turns out the bars came on the bike that way. It is called Lauterwassen style I guess and they are indeed painted. But when new It was popular for them to be black celluloid covered. The 36' catalog states and depicts that they come this way. I imagine after the celluloid cracked off, they were painted. There were a couple different coats.
I tried them on upside down and they look just like north road. Maybe a little more forward and a shorter reach
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Old 10-05-21, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by macstuff View Post
When I first got that old Armstrong I thought someone had flipped the bars and painted them black... as people do. After researching these old sport bikes, it turns out the bars came on the bike that way. It is called Lauterwassen style I guess and they are indeed painted. But when new It was popular for them to be black celluloid covered. The 36' catalog states and depicts that they come this way. I imagine after the celluloid cracked off, they were painted. There were a couple different coats.
I tried them on upside down and they look just like north road. Maybe a little more forward and a shorter reach
I'm no historian or expert, but I wonder if the bars might be black because of the war.
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Old 10-05-21, 04:35 PM
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Ignorant questions here, about the distinctive fork crowns (as if containing a horizontal tube) of the Raleigh bikes shown above. Was this design thought to have any structural or other benefit, or was it merely a matter of style? Does it have a name? And was it specific to Raleigh (as manufacturer of various brands), or also produced by other companies?

(Just idle curiosity, I must confess.)
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Old 10-05-21, 04:58 PM
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Here's a few shots of bikes I don't own but like. We like pics.






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Old 10-06-21, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by microcord View Post
Ignorant questions here, about the distinctive fork crowns (as if containing a horizontal tube) of the Raleigh bikes shown above. Was this design thought to have any structural or other benefit, or was it merely a matter of style? Does it have a name? And was it specific to Raleigh (as manufacturer of various brands), or also produced by other companies?

(Just idle curiosity, I must confess.)
The Raleigh fork crown is indeed distinctive. I personally have only seen it on Raleigh bikes and Raleigh built bikes. I have seen locking versions.
I've also seen the fork on my English Armstrong bike above on several early English Marques. "D" taper round with solid tips seems to also be a standard of sorts.
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Old 10-06-21, 04:52 PM
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Here's a grail Clubman if ever I saw one.
Spokeless wheels never caught on.....



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