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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 10-24-23, 05:21 AM
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Here's anther shorter BBC episode from the factories, early 1950's....
youtube ''1952: Britains Bicycle industry'' BBC Newsreel.

If you like these, no doubt there are others to be found.
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Old 10-24-23, 06:36 AM
  #27427  
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Originally Posted by Road Fan
How about Finish Line Wet Bicycle Lube to be dripped into a Sturmey hub?
How about olive oil?
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Old 10-24-23, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan
Bendix 2 speed w. coaster brake? I had one of these around 1963, assembled by LBS into a 26" middleweight, frame unknown. I hated this bike because it felt slow and sluggish, and neither of the gears seemed to be able work with my young legs. I see they are quoted as having ratios of 1:1 and 1:0.67. Mine seemed to hae very long cranks, one-piece ashtabula-style. Frame had curved TTs, so perhaps it was 1950s. A used build from a decent bike shop, I'd not limit the hub to being a 1950s or any other year. We just don't know. Lost track of that bike 50 years ago, but were there any such hubs with different ratios?
There were several Bendix 2 speed hubs, the one in question here is the manual shift 2 speed that seemed to surface around 1955 or so.
In 1961, the Automatic (Kickback) 2 speed came about with the red band and yellow band models, and I believe there was a blue band as well.
The manual 2 speed had a good bit of drag, and it got worse with heavier grease.
Keep in mind that just because they didn't list it or that something may have gone out of production didn't mean they didn't build something using older components. Lesser models and shop built bikes often got what ever parts were on the shelf at the time. This was even more common with American manufacturers during the bike boom. I remember back in the day we'd all get put on bike assembly duty right before Christmas. It got to the point where you never knew what equipment any particular model may have, often models varied box to box off the same truck. You were lucky if both hubs were the same brand on some bikes. They used what they could get when parts production or supply didn't keep up with the demand. I remember having to pull a dozen or so bikes out of their boxes just to walk around and pair up wheels or switch tires around to make sure each new bike had at least two matching hubs and tires. You would open bikes up and find completely different components than the specs in the catalog ir worse yet, bikes with decals from two different models on opposite sides, or surprise paint colors. One instance that I remember well was a lower end 10 speed road bike which I pulled out the box with one 26x1 3/8" front wheel, ten speed stem shifters, a front and rear derailleur, and a 26x1 3/8" gumwall coaster brake rear wheel. all tied up and boxed from the factory. Either someone was having a good laugh or they were just that screwed up back then.
They would substitute any part that worked in a pinch, usually it was no big deal but sometimes they flat out missed the mark.
The best one's were when you opened a box and found a bike branded with two different brands. (Headbadge didn't match the chainguard or frame decals).
This happened a few times with manufacturers that fielded multiple brands.
Distributor or 'house' brands were worse then the big brands when it came to this.
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Old 10-24-23, 02:43 PM
  #27429  
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Not a three-speed. Not English.


Merry Sales has returned the Bendix yellow and blue two-speed auto-shifts to production as the Eagle Centrix hub.




https://www.somafabshop.com/shop/cat...ar-2sp-hub-251
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Old 10-24-23, 05:00 PM
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eBay / CraigsList finds - "Are you looking for one of these!?" Part II - cross posted @thumpism suggested this might be a better place

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Old 10-24-23, 08:33 PM
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Very clean Rudge. Ad has no photos. I got them from seller.

1965 Rudge. $150 firm. Crystal Lake


A very nice bike in very nice condition. Firm price. Glad to answer any questions.

CL IL Rudge




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Old 10-25-23, 03:49 AM
  #27432  
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Would you put a threed speed hub on a bike that only has a coaster brake and nothing else?

I have this cool Sturmey Archer Quadrant shifter but somehow I think that 3-speeds will make the bike faster than i would feel comfortable with riding with just a single brake.





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Old 10-25-23, 06:08 AM
  #27433  
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Originally Posted by 1989Pre
JaccoW: The way I would approach it is to install something period- and place-correct. I'd also need to know more about the frame construction. I really like the "well-back" geometry. Is it from the 1930's?
I have a thread about the 1965 Gazelle-A over here.

There's a 1950's example of the same Torpedo coaster brake hub on the way to build a new wheel. The GH-6 dynohub isn't original either but sort of fits the style of this bike IMHO. But I was looking more from a practical point of view. The modern LED light won't be period correct either.

For now I am just chemically removing rust, touching up the gold pinstriping and coating everything in a clearcoat.

These bikes are a dime a dozen around here but I enjoy giving this one a fancy new lease on life.

Last edited by JaccoW; 10-25-23 at 06:16 AM.
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Old 10-25-23, 10:41 AM
  #27434  
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Originally Posted by JaccoW
Would you put a threed speed hub on a bike that only has a coaster brake and nothing else?

I have this cool Sturmey Archer Quadrant shifter but somehow I think that 3-speeds will make the bike faster than i would feel comfortable with riding with just a single brake.





You're replacing a coaster brake single speed with a three speed hub? If you replace the hub with a 3 speed hub model without another coaster brake, you will have 0 brakes. I advise against this. You will want an S3C hub or AWC hub to expand your gearing and keep the coaster brake (because why not, they're dead simple to use and maintain).
If you're worried about speed, consider increasing the size of the drive sprocket to reduce your gearing. If your fork is drilled for a front brake, you can usually get a set of side-pulls for cheap enough. You won't need to add anything to the stem since the brake acts as the housing stop.
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Old 10-25-23, 12:08 PM
  #27435  
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Originally Posted by JaccoW
I have a thread about the 1965 Gazelle-A over here.

There's a 1950's example of the same Torpedo coaster brake hub on the way to build a new wheel. The GH-6 dynohub isn't original either but sort of fits the style of this bike IMHO. But I was looking more from a practical point of view. The modern LED light won't be period correct either.

For now I am just chemically removing rust, touching up the gold pinstriping and coating everything in a clearcoat.

These bikes are a dime a dozen around here but I enjoy giving this one a fancy new lease on life.
What kind of riding do you plan on doing with the bike? How would a 3-speed hub improve your experience?
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Old 10-25-23, 07:13 PM
  #27436  
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam
You're replacing a coaster brake single speed with a three speed hub? If you replace the hub with a 3 speed hub model without another coaster brake, you will have 0 brakes. I advise against this. You will want an S3C hub or AWC hub to expand your gearing and keep the coaster brake (because why not, they're dead simple to use and maintain).
If you're worried about speed, consider increasing the size of the drive sprocket to reduce your gearing. If your fork is drilled for a front brake, you can usually get a set of side-pulls for cheap enough. You won't need to add anything to the stem since the brake acts as the housing stop.
I would replace it with a 3-speed coaster brake model. No sense making a bike without any brakes on it is it?
Probably not one of the vintage Sturmey Archer models since they are based around the AW hub and can actually be shifted in between gears on the coaster brake as well. Meaning you can remove your brake entirely while shifting.
The most direct replacement would be a Fichtel & Sachs Torpedo 53 'Dreigang'. There are a couple of models available that are compatible with the Sturmey Archer shifters.
The modern Sturmey Archer AWC (ii) would also be an option but lacks the nice chrome of these old hubs of course.

The thing is, I will not put a front rim brake on a painted Westwood style rim. These types use a round edge and I don't want to destroy the paint. My main concern is if this would be safe enough in the city.

Originally Posted by 1989Pre
What kind of riding do you plan on doing with the bike? How would a 3-speed hub improve your experience?
The main thing would be an increase in speed for cruising on longer distances and some easier taking off from a traffic light.
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Old 10-25-23, 10:34 PM
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It's an ancient tall Fuji with a Sturmey 5-speed conversion.

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Old 10-26-23, 04:47 AM
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I'm curious ... apparently Raleigh never published frame geometry for their bikes.
There is a related thread on this forum, but to me it isn't very helpful, it being recommended to measure your own.

It would be interesting to see figures on the roadster models post WW2 to when production ceased around 1999?
There must have been changes.
Here's where you collectors out there could help record a definitive and important comparative resource.
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Old 10-26-23, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs
How about olive oil?
good idea, but my wife's olive oil is wicked expensive.
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Old 10-26-23, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by JaccoW
Would you put a three-speed hub on a bike that only has a coaster brake and nothing else?

I have this cool Sturmey Archer Quadrant shifter but somehow I think that 3-speeds will make the bike faster than i would feel comfortable with riding with just a single brake.
I like the cable-operated drum brake Sturmey 3 speeds, like the BRC or even the late version of the coaster TWC. They were both incredible stoppers. Once the TCW adjusted, it was difficult to even force the gear into a false neutral so no calamities.
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Old 10-27-23, 11:04 AM
  #27441  
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JaccoW , Without a front brake, you're losing over 50% of your ability to stop quickly in an emergency. I would be ok with that in a recreational bike, but not a bike I'd be mingling with traffic during a commute. I can't speak to how your commute looks in the Netherlands, but if I'm commuting in all weather with busses or cars, I don't want to be limited to skid distance for an emergency stop in adverse weather. Especially if you have to use modern recreational-grade tires.
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Old 10-27-23, 12:04 PM
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With all vehicles, the maximum deceleration possible is dictated by the ability of the tyre to retain reverse traction.
Not only is that compromised by whatever surface you may be on but also the sensitivity and skill of the operator.
Too much brake is worse than just enough.
A skidding wheel is no brake at all.

So far on my catch up on this thread (p201) I hear so much about changing to alloy rims and super blocks, like KoolStops.

Don't get me wrong, I accept such a change is beneficial, but I've checked out the cost of a pair of re-built wheels for my recently acquired, virtually new, steel rimmed Raleigh 'Chiltern' would be over 3 times my outlay on the bike alone.
So, unless I was having to replace worn/corroded rims, 'upgrading' isn't an option.

I won't be choosing to ride this (too nice) machine in the rain. I live in the UK, a notoriously wet country most of the time.
As a recreational cycle, I see no pleasure riding it in the wet.....but am quite happy to wait for and enjoy the rare dry opportunities that open up before me.

My wet weather back up is a very utilitarian 40 year old Tensor 'elite', a very close Raleigh roadster clone I was given 25 years ago. Though it was a low end bike when new and much derided, it remains totally reliable (including its S-A AW).
Not one item has been changed or replaced in its entire life.

Returning to the subject of chrome plated steel rims, has anyone experimented by periodically abrading the braking surfaces?
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Old 10-27-23, 12:28 PM
  #27443  
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Originally Posted by Cyclespanner
With all vehicles, the maximum deceleration possible is dictated by the ability of the tyre to retain reverse traction.
Not only is that compromised by whatever surface you may be on but also the sensitivity and skill of the operator.
Too much brake is worse than just enough.
A skidding wheel is no brake at all.

So far on my catch up on this thread (p201) I hear so much about changing to alloy rims and super blocks, like KoolStops.

Don't get me wrong, I accept such a change is beneficial, but I've checked out the cost of a pair of re-built wheels for my recently acquired, virtually new, steel rimmed Raleigh 'Chiltern' would be over 3 times my outlay on the bike alone.
So, unless I was having to replace worn/corroded rims, 'upgrading' isn't an option.

I won't be choosing to ride this (too nice) machine in the rain. I live in the UK, a notoriously wet country most of the time.
As a recreational cycle, I see no pleasure riding it in the wet.....but am quite happy to wait for and enjoy the rare dry opportunities that open up before me.

My wet weather back up is a very utilitarian 40 year old Tensor 'elite', a very close Raleigh roadster clone I was given 25 years ago. Though it was a low end bike when new and much derided, it remains totally reliable (including its S-A AW).
Not one item has been changed or replaced in its entire life.

Returning to the subject of chrome plated steel rims, has anyone experimented by periodically abrading the braking surfaces?
I agree. I don't ride much in the rain either, and run original steel rims on my bikes. With decent pads and properly adjusted brakes, the stopping power is adequate for my purposes.

Serrated Raleigh-type Westrick rims were offered for awhile, particularly in the 1970s. They appear under the name "Supraseal". The serrations do away with brake chatter/squeal to some degree, though the stopping power overall is not much better than regular steel rims. I have a 1974 Raleigh Sports with serrated rims. I would not take them off the bike, but neither would I go out of my way to look specifically for the serrated Supraseal rims.
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Old 10-27-23, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclespanner
With all vehicles, the maximum deceleration possible is dictated by the ability of the tyre to retain reverse traction.
Not only is that compromised by whatever surface you may be on but also the sensitivity and skill of the operator.
Too much brake is worse than just enough.
A skidding wheel is no brake at all.

So far on my catch up on this thread (p201) I hear so much about changing to alloy rims and super blocks, like KoolStops.

Don't get me wrong, I accept such a change is beneficial, but I've checked out the cost of a pair of re-built wheels for my recently acquired, virtually new, steel rimmed Raleigh 'Chiltern' would be over 3 times my outlay on the bike alone.
So, unless I was having to replace worn/corroded rims, 'upgrading' isn't an option.

I won't be choosing to ride this (too nice) machine in the rain. I live in the UK, a notoriously wet country most of the time.
As a recreational cycle, I see no pleasure riding it in the wet.....but am quite happy to wait for and enjoy the rare dry opportunities that open up before me.

My wet weather back up is a very utilitarian 40 year old Tensor 'elite', a very close Raleigh roadster clone I was given 25 years ago. Though it was a low end bike when new and much derided, it remains totally reliable (including its S-A AW).
Not one item has been changed or replaced in its entire life.

Returning to the subject of chrome plated steel rims, has anyone experimented by periodically abrading the braking surfaces?
The only 'abrading' I've done on chromed steel rims is to use aluminum foil and brine to polish rust specks off of the chrome. Roughing up the sidewall does improve braking; there are steel 27" rims that feature a serrated texture to the sidewall, but with cheap aluminum rims getting more common on entry level bikes, they fell out of favor. Roughing up a smooth rim only removes the chrome plate, and makes the steel susceptible to rust.
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Old 10-27-23, 01:00 PM
  #27445  
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Leather block pads seem to be the only ones that will slow a chrome rim bike down in the wet.
As to the initial outlay for the bike vs an upgraded set of wheels, this is an unfair comparison when the bike is a British 3 speed or similar Chicago Schwinn. The bikes are nearly free in many markets, but that doesnít mean they wonít benefit from some investment into a good set of wheels for the sake of ride ability and safety. I donít remember the paltry sum I paid for my 1956 Rudge, but it was totally worth it to grab a pair of old Sturmey hubs, and build up a set of wheels using the proper front hub and a similar aged AW. It was less than $150 for upgrades which give me the confidence to ride that bike in virtually any weather. I commuted on it for years and it has remained faithful all this time. Just because itís not a lightweight doesnít mean that a new set of rims isnít equally beneficial. One could probably get away with purchasing a set of Sun CR18s in 32/40 drilling, buying a bag of nipple washers, then doing a simple rim swap using a couple old toe straps to keep the rims together. Add the washers to make up the difference in ERD and Robert is your fatherís brother. Thatís not much money and a couple hours of time for a potentially lifesaving, and definitely ride enhancing upgrade.
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Old 10-27-23, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam
The only 'abrading' I've done on chromed steel rims is to use aluminum foil and brine to polish rust specks off of the chrome. Roughing up the sidewall does improve braking; there are steel 27" rims that feature a serrated texture to the sidewall, but with cheap aluminum rims getting more common on entry level bikes, they fell out of favor. Roughing up a smooth rim only removes the chrome plate, and makes the steel susceptible to rust.
I've been a motorcyclist for 55 years.
When the Japanese introduced disc brakes they were chrome plated steel which, to say the least, had the same 'delay' in the wet. Things have developed since then, but the Italians introduced us to cast iron discs which stopped convincingly, rain or shine. The iron surface rusted, even sitting in the garage, but that was regarded as acceptable in return for predictable stopping power.
Polished chrome has no 'grain', like a glass surface. No wonder it provides terrible wet performance.
Is bare steel any better?....if so I'd accept rust.
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Old 10-27-23, 01:17 PM
  #27447  
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Originally Posted by PhilFo
Leather block pads seem to be the only ones that will slow a chrome rim bike down in the wet.
As to the initial outlay for the bike vs an upgraded set of wheels, this is an unfair comparison when the bike is a British 3 speed or similar Chicago Schwinn. The bikes are nearly free in many markets, but that doesnít mean they wonít benefit from some investment into a good set of wheels for the sake of ride ability and safety. I donít remember the paltry sum I paid for my 1956 Rudge, but it was totally worth it to grab a pair of old Sturmey hubs, and build up a set of wheels using the proper front hub and a similar aged AW. It was less than $150 for upgrades which give me the confidence to ride that bike in virtually any weather. I commuted on it for years and it has remained faithful all this time. Just because itís not a lightweight doesnít mean that a new set of rims isnít equally beneficial. One could probably get away with purchasing a set of Sun CR18s in 32/40 drilling, buying a bag of nipple washers, then doing a simple rim swap using a couple old toe straps to keep the rims together. Add the washers to make up the difference in ERD and Robert is your fatherís brother. Thatís not much money and a couple hours of time for a potentially lifesaving, and definitely ride enhancing upgrade.
Phil, hi.
I agree the leather faced blocks had some advantages.
If you read what I wrote carefully, you'll find I agree with all you say.
However, I also mentioned I choose to ride in dry weather only on my Raleigh, so to me your suggestions are purely academic.
Can't imagine how millions of chrome rimmed cyclists survived for nearly 100 years before alloys came along.
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Old 10-27-23, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclespanner
I've been a motorcyclist for 55 years.
When the Japanese introduced disc brakes they were chrome plated steel which, to say the least, had the same 'delay' in the wet. Things have developed since then, but the Italians introduced us to cast iron discs which stopped convincingly, rain or shine. The iron surface rusted, even sitting in the garage, but that was regarded as acceptable in return for predictable stopping power.
Polished chrome has no 'grain', like a glass surface. No wonder it provides terrible wet performance.
Is bare steel any better?....if so I'd accept rust.
Several differences sabotage your point:
Disc rotors are not integral to the structure of the motorcycle wheel; your bicycle rim is the keystone to a functioning wheel.
Disc brake pads are not soft rubber, and generally have no issue quickly abrading loose rust from a rotor surface; a rusty bicycle rim will either abrade brake pads at a faster pace, or clog with the rust particles and suffer diminished performance. I'm not willing to experiment to see which result is more likely.
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Old 10-27-23, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclespanner
Phil, hi.
I agree the leather faced blocks had some advantages.
If you read what I wrote carefully, you'll find I agree with all you say.
However, I also mentioned I choose to ride in dry weather only on my Raleigh, so to me your suggestions are purely academic.
Can't imagine how millions of chrome rimmed cyclists survived for nearly 100 years before alloys came along.
I agree, I’m really just stressing that the initial cost of the bike vs upgrade of the wheels shouldn’t be a consideration since these rides are usually very inexpensive. As for how millions of chrome rim riders survived before alloys; automobiles were less prevalent, auto speeds were lower, and drivers weren’t glued to handheld, interactive devices which combine the addiction of gambling and the complexity of reading/typing in a few square inches.
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Old 10-27-23, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam
Several differences sabotage your point:
Disc rotors are not integral to the structure of the motorcycle wheel; your bicycle rim is the keystone to a functioning wheel.
Disc brake pads are not soft rubber, and generally have no issue quickly abrading loose rust from a rotor surface; a rusty bicycle rim will either abrade brake pads at a faster pace, or clog with the rust particles and suffer diminished performance. I'm not willing to experiment to see which result is more likely.
My analogy using motorcycle discs was merely to compare the different materials used and what that did to performance.
May I suggest a disc fitted to a wheel simply completes that wheels functionality.
My curiosity is not related to a flakey chrome rim, ripping the blocks to shreds; instead complete removal would be my aim. Of course the bare steel would rust, but if used regularly that rust wouldn't accumulate.
I'd be willing to try this on a rim 'past its best'....just to see.
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