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Poll: Which looks better? (Hercules resto options)

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View Poll Results: Which would look better on a restored bike?
Green fenders & chainguard, cage pedals
4
13.79%
Chrome fenders & chainguard, cage pedals
4
13.79%
Green fenders & chainguard, block pedals
14
48.28%
Chrome fenders & chainguard, block pedals
7
24.14%
Voters: 29. You may not vote on this poll

Poll: Which looks better? (Hercules resto options)

Old 09-11-09, 12:26 PM
  #1  
sekaijin
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Poll: Which looks better? (Hercules resto options)

People's choice time!

I'm planning a resto and I have two similar bikes to pick parts from. (a 1969 and a 1971 AMF/Hercules)

Just curious, take a look at the pics below and imagine a shiny clean resto.

Then vote in the poll above: which would look better on the restored bike?


1969 AMF/Hercules





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Old 09-11-09, 01:05 PM
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Also, if there aren't any cable stops at all I would suggest cable housing to match the paint cause all those lines are terrible. Or are there routing techniques to help with that?
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Old 09-11-09, 01:23 PM
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I don't really care about the pedals, but I've seen a lot of Herc's with chrome fenders, very few with paint. So I vote for painted fenders and chain guard, especially if you can preserve the box lining on the painted fenders. Assuming, of course, you can find a front fender in the right color....

Originally Posted by Samwiches View Post
Also, if there aren't any cable stops at all I would suggest cable housing to match the paint cause all those lines are terrible. Or are there routing techniques to help with that?
Good point. Silver cable housing would probably look okay. Also, reroute the shift cable with a fulcrum clip for the top tube, and a pulley wheel for the top of the seat tube (Harris Cyclery has 'em). It looks better and improves shifting considerably.

Last edited by rhm; 09-11-09 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 09-11-09, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Samwiches View Post
Also, if there aren't any cable stops at all I would suggest cable housing to match the paint cause all those lines are terrible. Or are there routing techniques to help with that?
Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Silver cable housing would probably look okay.
I agree that the cable housings look bad. I don't like all the white stuff in general - the housings, grips, saddle, tirewalls. I think gum/cork/honey brown would look better.

I'm thinking gumwall tires, these cork grips, a honey brown saddle, and cable housings that go better - not sure exactly what the right choice is, but not white.

Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Also, reroute the shift cable with a fulcrum clip for the top tube, and a pulley wheel for the top of the seat tube (Harris Cyclery has 'em). It looks better and improves shifting considerably.
Sounds intriguing and I found the parts page on the Harris site ... not sure how to do that, but maybe I'll look into it ...
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Old 09-11-09, 05:11 PM
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Voted for the green with block pedals.
Judging by the "kill" stickers on the chainguard, somebody hit a lot of farm animals with that bike.
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Old 09-11-09, 11:11 PM
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I have a little bit more than passing interest -- this summer, I bought and re-sold a black with white and silver trim '68 AMF Hercules, and now I have a very unusual (to me, anyway) burnt orange '64 AMF Hercules and a silver-gray '60 Hercules. I like the painted fenders, since that's what they came with. I tend to think Schwinn when I see chrome fenders, even though it's not exclusive to Schwinn.
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Old 09-11-09, 11:19 PM
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I always opt for matching fenders. Although original on many bikes, chrome fenders scream afterthought to me for some reason. Matched painted fenders have more class and consistency of design on a painted bike. Of course chromes look great with chrome frames.
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Old 09-12-09, 05:24 AM
  #8  
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I voted Chrome fenders and block pedals. The first AMF Herc I ever saw came with chrome fenders and was sharp looking. IMHO it sets them apart from the run of the mill Raleighs with painted fenders

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Old 09-12-09, 09:08 AM
  #9  
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My AMF made All-Pro looked good in chrome (although the chrome/polished parts/waxed paint may have had something to do with why it got stolen despite being a department store bike) and I find chrome fenders easier to care for since the finish is durable and its easy to hammer out occasional dents without having to worry about marring paint

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Old 09-14-09, 06:22 AM
  #10  
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The People have spoken. Thank you People.

Green fenders are preferred over chrome by a margin of 2 to 1 (which I agree with).

To my surprise, block pedals are preferred by an even wider margin. My instinct is to like the cage pedals, maybe because I'm used to road bikes with cage pedals, so they seem classier or something. But I will take the People's wisdom under consideration!
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Old 09-14-09, 06:41 AM
  #11  
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If you don't like the white cable housings, you could use a gold color housing to pick up the gold in the chain guard Hercules decal. Jagwire makes a housing called Switch L3 which would look good against the dark green paint and compliment the cork grips and a Brooks honey saddle. Here's a link:

https://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...e+Housing.aspx

If you decide to go this route, you need to consider buying a new universal shift cable kit such as this:

https://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEWAX:IT

You cut off the cable end, replace the white housing with the gold housing and install.

Last edited by gbalke; 09-14-09 at 07:01 AM.
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Old 09-14-09, 06:49 AM
  #12  
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I would leave the fenders as is, because the box striping is cool! The suggestion about cable housing above sounds great though.

I would also leave the stickers! They add to the character and life story of the bike. Without them, it's just like any 'ol AMF Hercules out there; run of the mill and boring IMHO.
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Old 09-14-09, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by sekaijin View Post
Originally Posted by rhm View Post
... reroute the shift cable with a fulcrum clip for the top tube, and a pulley wheel for the top of the seat tube (Harris Cyclery has 'em). It looks better and improves shifting considerably.
Sounds intriguing and I found the parts page on the Harris site ... not sure how to do that, but maybe I'll look into it ...
Here's a photo of my Norman, with the shift cable routed as described:

The fulcrum is on the top tube, just aft of the head lugs. The pulley wheel is near the top of the seat tube. You can buy a whole Sturmey Archer cable for this type of routing, but cheaper is to get an adapter, since you'll be ordering from Harris anyway:

To do this you'd have to get the fulcrum, pulley wheel, and adapter; cut the original barrel adjuster off your original cable; remove the old white cable housing and replace it with a shorter length of whatever floats your boat. For a really professional look, find some of that plastic tubing that covers exposed cable. Anyway, the housing ends at the fulcrum; the exposed cable runs from there over the pulley wheel and down to the hub, where that adapter connects it to the indicator chain. To get the cable length right, you'll have to play with the housing length and the exact location of the fulcrum and pulley; start by leaving the cable as long as possible, you can always cut it shorter. Pretty simple, and once you have it right, it'll be trouble free.

Oh, one more thing. If you're ordering from Harris anyway, consider getting a 21T or 22T sprocket for you hub, to replace the 18T sprocket that came on it originally, assuming it's never been changed. This will lower your gears considerably, making the bike feel much lighter. Best single improvement one can make to a three speed, IMHO. The bigger cog will pull your wheel forward a little (unless you add a link to the chain, which is no big deal), so do this before you do the cable thing. Moving the wheel will also require you to adjust the brake shoes (again, no big deal).

Good luck!
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Old 09-14-09, 08:22 AM
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Wow - gbalke and rhm, thanks a ton for the practical suggestions. I am taking it slow getting started on this - I see it as a winter project - but I will be revisiting your posts and links.

kevinsubaru - I've been planning on getting rid of the stickers. But the chainguard ducks in particular have drawn a lot of support. Maybe they'll get to stay, along with the pig and the heart. (Things the bike has run over?)
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Old 09-14-09, 08:35 AM
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sekaijin,

This response is from one of your posts regarding a fender for your Hercules.

"Since you're in Madison, have you tried contacting one of the three local shops that deal in vintage
3 speed bikes; ReBrit Cycling [Rebrit.com], Yellow Jersey [yellowjersey.org/] and Budget Bicycle Center [bbcbikes on e-Bay]?"

The three shops are all pretty close to each other. They may be able to help you get what you need, including a matching front fender.
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Old 09-14-09, 09:00 AM
  #16  
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I voted for the green fenders and block pedals. I like the pin stripping and white tail on the green fenders. When I see painted fenders I think deluxe 3 speed.
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Old 09-14-09, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by gbalke View Post
sekaijin,

This response is from one of your posts regarding a fender for your Hercules.

"Since you're in Madison, have you tried contacting one of the three local shops that deal in vintage
3 speed bikes; ReBrit Cycling [Rebrit.com], Yellow Jersey [yellowjersey.org/] and Budget Bicycle Center [bbcbikes on e-Bay]?"

The three shops are all pretty close to each other. They may be able to help you get what you need, including a matching front fender.
Sorry, did I miss that in the ISO/WTB thread? Thank you for calling it to my attention.

In my fender hunt I put emails out to my "usual suspects" in Madison which include YJ, Budget, CL, and a few individual C&V folks I know. In fact my Bride of Frankenstein bike in Kurt's recent Raleigh SN thread came from someone at Budget.

Kurt has kindly agreed to send me a green AMF/Herc front fender he has (but not before I'd found the Bride of Frankenstein ... so she will be a parts bike and/or maybe I'll fix her up for my daughter someday)

I was not aware of ReBrit and I'm glad to know there is someone passionate and expert about restoring English 3-speeds right here in Madison. I will need to get to know to him. Thanks for the referral!
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Old 09-14-09, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ottothecow View Post
My AMF made All-Pro looked good in chrome (although the chrome/polished parts/waxed paint may have had something to do with why it got stolen despite being a department store bike)
By the way, I meant to say earlier - I am sorry for your loss.

A vintage bike is priceless and irreplaceable, no matter how humble its origins.

Especially one you've lovingly restored yourself.
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