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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 01-21-24, 03:40 PM
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I was asked by a couple to revive this pair of 1971 (by SA hub date, serial numbers hard to decipher and partly missing) Raleigh Superbes for them. They traveled 50km to my home just to show them to me and with the hopes I could save them. Somehow they got my name from a bike shop in a different city! I actually tried to talk them out of the project because they were in much worse condition than the first photos showed. This was back in June of last year and I have just finished them a couple of weeks ago. They will never be show bikes but they are quite rideable and look good from 10 feet away. Large areas of paint on the tops of the mudguards, chainguards and racks required a lot of touch-up. After rust removal and treatment, I mixed a Ford green and gold, applied it with soft artists brushes and top coated it with a yellow clear acrylic for a near match to the Raleigh green. They had been stored in an old garage with a fallen in roof. I still want to test ride them both before turning them over. Its been way to cold and snowy to do that here. The handle bars were replaced with a virtually identical Zoom model for $14.99 at the lbs. Of course new tires were required. I think the Brooks saddles have been revived as well, a friend helped me with a kit he had for restoring and cleaning Porsche seats. The pictures aren't the best as its too cold to go outside!






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Old 01-21-24, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by browngw
I was asked by a couple to revive this pair of 1971 (by SA hub date, serial numbers hard to decipher and partly missing) Raleigh Superbes for them. They traveled 50km to my home just to show them to me and with the hopes I could save them. Somehow they got my name from a bike shop in a different city! I actually tried to talk them out of the project because they were in much worse condition than the first photos showed. This was back in June of last year and I have just finished them a couple of weeks ago. They will never be show bikes but they are quite rideable and look good from 10 feet away. Large areas of paint on the tops of the mudguards, chainguards and racks required a lot of touch-up. After rust removal and treatment, I mixed a Ford green and gold, applied it with soft artists brushes and top coated it with a yellow clear acrylic for a near match to the Raleigh green. They had been stored in an old garage with a fallen in roof. I still want to test ride them both before turning them over. Its been way to cold and snowy to do that here. The handle bars were replaced with a virtually identical Zoom model for $14.99 at the lbs. Of course new tires were required. I think the Brooks saddles have been revived as well, a friend helped me with a kit he had for restoring and cleaning Porsche seats. The pictures aren't the best as its too cold to go outside!






I think you've done quite a nice job on those.
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Old 01-22-24, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by browngw
I was asked by a couple to revive this pair of 1971 (by SA hub date, serial numbers hard to decipher and partly missing) Raleigh Superbes for them. They traveled 50km to my home just to show them to me and with the hopes I could save them. Somehow they got my name from a bike shop in a different city! I actually tried to talk them out of the project because they were in much worse condition than the first photos showed. This was back in June of last year and I have just finished them a couple of weeks ago. They will never be show bikes but they are quite rideable and look good from 10 feet away. Large areas of paint on the tops of the mudguards, chainguards and racks required a lot of touch-up. After rust removal and treatment, I mixed a Ford green and gold, applied it with soft artists brushes and top coated it with a yellow clear acrylic for a near match to the Raleigh green. They had been stored in an old garage with a fallen in roof. I still want to test ride them both before turning them over. Its been way to cold and snowy to do that here. The handle bars were replaced with a virtually identical Zoom model for $14.99 at the lbs. Of course new tires were required. I think the Brooks saddles have been revived as well, a friend helped me with a kit he had for restoring and cleaning Porsche seats. The pictures aren't the best as its too cold to go outside!
What is the reaction of the owners? I would think they would be pleased.
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Old 01-22-24, 09:55 AM
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Spent part of the weekend pulling cogs from threaded Sturmey drivers. There's no real way to tell how hard it will be to pull any particular cog from one of these drivers. One of the four drivers was very difficult to remove, two required a fair amount of force but nothing terrible, and one unscrewed fairly easily. I used heat and Kroil on all of them, and all of them needed it (even the "easier" one needed the help).

Even with heat, Kroil, and proper tools to service threaded drivers, the easiest solution still is to replace your threaded driver with the standard three-tab kind. The threaded driver does open up a few possibility for thread-on cogs or cog blocs (hybrid gearing set ups). But for most purposes, it's obvious they switched to the three tab type for good reason.





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Old 01-22-24, 10:12 AM
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Díoh! You know how you struggle with something then someone shows you the absolutely most simple way? SirMike1983 , I cannot fathom why I didnít think of using the handle of a big adjustable wrench for setting the driver prior to unscrewing! Itís just so obvious yet there you are! Thanks!!
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Old 01-22-24, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by 1989Pre
What is the reaction of the owners? I would think they would be pleased.
In mid December, I sent them a picture of the finished step through and told them that the diamond frame bike was going to require more time and money as the SA hub was rusty and may need replacement. I started soaking it in oil and ran WD40 through it. This is the text I received:
Wow! It looks great! Yes go ahead and fix what you need to do! Thank you for all your hard work Its greatly appreciated!
The oil cap on the hub had been missing and water had entered. I did finally clean and repair the hub.

The picture I sent the owner

Open hub

The innards.
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Old 01-25-24, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983
Spent part of the weekend pulling cogs from threaded Sturmey drivers. There's no real way to tell how hard it will be to pull any particular cog from one of these drivers. One of the four drivers was very difficult to remove, two required a fair amount of force but nothing terrible, and one unscrewed fairly easily. I used heat and Kroil on all of them, and all of them needed it (even the "easier" one needed the help).

Even with heat, Kroil, and proper tools to service threaded drivers, the easiest solution still is to replace your threaded driver with the standard three-tab kind. The threaded driver does open up a few possibility for thread-on cogs or cog blocs (hybrid gearing set ups). But for most purposes, it's obvious they switched to the three tab type for good reason.


......
.......
I've done the same thing many times but I found an old cheap 8" vise at an auction about 12 years ago that was made out of plate steel, its got a section of webbing behind the jaws that fits those drivers perfectly so my adjustable wrench got a break.

Back in the 70's there was an old bike shop that had been around for decades, the old guy there was machinist in his full time job and he sold bikes on the side.
He had built an addition on his garage and ran the bike shop out there. Half the garage was set up with machine equipment where he did custom work after he retired, and the bikes were on the other side. He worked by himself so he came up with a solution. Using the magnets from a magnetic milling table, he took a piece of I beam and boxed it in and attached the magnet to the base, he then welded it to one of the building columns
The end of the I beam fit various drivers perfectly and he made up an adjustable pin type wrench to engage the sprocket teeth, it had a 3ft long handle.
The magnets would hold any iron part rock solid with or without it being over the webbing. You could hold a one piece crank against the side of the magnet and use it to hold the cranks while you broke the right side race loose. I was a big kid then, close to 200lbs in my teens, and I could stand on a breaker bar to break look a bolt or nut held by that magnet and it would never move. It always amazed me how strong that magnet was. No amount of leverage would dislodge an iron part that was stuck to it.
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Old 01-26-24, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by oldspokes
I've done the same thing many times but I found an old cheap 8" vise at an auction about 12 years ago that was made out of plate steel, its got a section of webbing behind the jaws that fits those drivers perfectly so my adjustable wrench got a break.

Back in the 70's there was an old bike shop that had been around for decades, the old guy there was machinist in his full time job and he sold bikes on the side.
He had built an addition on his garage and ran the bike shop out there. Half the garage was set up with machine equipment where he did custom work after he retired, and the bikes were on the other side. He worked by himself so he came up with a solution. Using the magnets from a magnetic milling table, he took a piece of I beam and boxed it in and attached the magnet to the base, he then welded it to one of the building columns
The end of the I beam fit various drivers perfectly and he made up an adjustable pin type wrench to engage the sprocket teeth, it had a 3ft long handle.
The magnets would hold any iron part rock solid with or without it being over the webbing. You could hold a one piece crank against the side of the magnet and use it to hold the cranks while you broke the right side race loose. I was a big kid then, close to 200lbs in my teens, and I could stand on a breaker bar to break look a bolt or nut held by that magnet and it would never move. It always amazed me how strong that magnet was. No amount of leverage would dislodge an iron part that was stuck to it.
The set up I used is as light as I could go for pulling these cogs. It's a medium-duty bench vise bolted down to a very heavy, old wooden work bench that originally served a pipe organ maker sometime before 1900. The toughest of the cogs fought to the point that it was vibrating and pulling on the whole weight of that wooden bench. I like the idea of a direct mount on the vise because the wrench does introduce another flex point.

I've seen people try this is with a mobile work stand (like those little Black and Decker folding things) and one of those clamp-on hobby vises. That isn't going to cut it, and it's a frustrating thing to see in action. You need some way of really locking down the driver and a mount that is going to really stay put. Some of these cogs are REALLY on those threads. Heat and kroil helps, but some are really on there.
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Old 02-04-24, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983
The set up I used is as light as I could go for pulling these cogs. It's a medium-duty bench vise bolted down to a very heavy, old wooden work bench that originally served a pipe organ maker sometime before 1900. The toughest of the cogs fought to the point that it was vibrating and pulling on the whole weight of that wooden bench. I like the idea of a direct mount on the vise because the wrench does introduce another flex point.


I've seen people try this is with a mobile work stand (like those little Black and Decker folding things) and one of those clamp-on hobby vises. That isn't going to cut it, and it's a frustrating thing to see in action. You need some way of really locking down the driver and a mount that is going to really stay put. Some of these cogs are REALLY on those threads. Heat and kroil helps, but some are really on there.

I worked at a bike shop as a kid, in the 70's. They had a huge walnut tree right outside the back door of the store room. A long time before someone had hammered an old spud wrench into the tree with the open end wrench facing outward and vertical. The neck of that wrench was a perfect fit for those old threaded drivers. We also had a 30" long chain whip as well that the owner had made at his regular job as a tool and die maker. We also had a sprocket tool that he made that used a bar shaped end on the lever, and a swinging open pin between two arms that would engage the sprocket. Unlike a chain whip, that didn't slip because the harder you pulled, the harder it grabbed the sprocket. I remember a few sprockets on some old New Departure drivers that took a five foot extension bar and the use of a vise that was welded to a length of railroad track in the corner of the shop. One guy would heat the thing up, another would give all he had on the end of the bar to get them to break free. On occasion those drivers would just shatter, even with the factory holder. It made working on the SA hubs seem so much easier if a sprocket change was in order.

I've not been back there in years and the bike shop closed up in the 80's, I often wonder if that tree is still there with the wrench stuck in it, or if it got completely absorbed by the tree over the past 45-50 years. It was getting close back then, the bark was sort of forming around the stem of the wrench even then. If the tree grew over it, its gonna be one tough surprise to anyone cutting it up for firewood.

The open end was ground a bit so it fit the right side cone on most one piece cranks too. Somewhere around here I've got a twin to that wrench that the old guy gave me, for some reason its stayed with me all these years, through 5 moves. The one I've got is bent on the end so if it were stuck in a tree the open end would face up.

I've always had a work bench that was heavy enough not to move, no matter what. My current bench is built from a few old maple doors glued together to make the top, plus an inlaid piece of 1/2" plate at one end, and a frame welded together out sections of truck frame. I found if listed for free at a local machine shop when they closed down. It was a matter of "If you can move it, you can have it". The big job wasn't moving it, I just showed up with a forklift and a roll back. The real task was getting it into my basement here without collapsing my basement steps in the process. Not even my weight can budge that bench now that its in place, between the weight of the bench itself, to the two huge parts cabinets sitting on it, and a tool box at one end, plus the baskets of used freewheels, hubs, and cranks on the bottom shelf, its not likely to budge anytime soon. In fact, so as not to poke through the concrete in the basement, I jacked it up a few years ago and put four 10x20" pieces of 1" plate under each leg just to be safe, and to add a bit of height as well.
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Old 02-04-24, 10:18 AM
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A friend's neighbor put this Raleigh-built AMF Hercules on the curb on Tuesday. It was a perfect distraction from projects I actually need to finish. I was too eager to tear it down to take before pictures, but it was brown before I cleaned it. Seemed to have sat unridden in a not-too-damp garage for 55 years. I got it rolling again last night.

Stripped the frame, scrubbed it down with a scotch-brite pad and soapy water, and waxed it. The paint has a beautiful rat-rod look now. Scrapped the steel caliper brakes and built a new rear wheel with a 3-speed Nexus coaster hub. Rebuilt the headset and bottom bracket, new cotter pins for the cranks. I wanted to keep the original stem, but it had a 15/16ths clamp diameter. The new stem and bars came from a Breezer townie. Spread the rear triangle to 120mm, filed out the dropouts to accept a 10mm axle, and ground the tips off the anti-rotation washer so they wouldn't foul on the hub locknut, since the dropouts are only 2mm thick. New rubber and chain and it rides great. The adrenaline from the successful rebuild carried me through the fender installation on another bike that I'd been putting off, too.

My favorite part of the build is this chainstay housing guide from a shimano positron drivetrain. Finally out of the parts bin!
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Old 02-05-24, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by eeuuugh
A friend's neighbor put this Raleigh-built AMF Hercules on the curb on Tuesday.
That's a good call, installing a contemporary saddle. I found a 1965 AMF Hercules (near-mint) last year that had the original, unbranded saddle. There were no springs under the surface, only a metal plate. It might get a Serfas Gel, or a Lycett mattress-style with springs, I haven't decided. It'll probably sell more quickly with the new gel saddle.
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Old 02-09-24, 04:58 AM
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I never thought those Wright sprung saddles were all that bad. I've got several of them on various bikes here, including '72 AMF Hercules.
I've seen them badged as either Brooks, Wright, Crown (on a Raleigh built Roll Fast), Viscount, and I'm sure a few others.
Some have a bit of padding but most are just vinyl over tin, atop a dual spring frame.
I've seen them on all the side brand models from Raleigh over the years, Robin Hood, Dunelt, Hercules, Norman, Phillips, Sunbeam, etc.

What I find is that an overly padded or soft saddle causes friction while pedaling, a simple, smooth surface saddle works best.
Every gel saddle I've ever had has worn off the covering in short order on both sides, or just torn open. I don't think they were intended for a big rider.
They're even worse when built on a plastic base.
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Old 02-09-24, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by reelfishin
I never thought those Wright sprung saddles were all that bad.
I rode one from back in the early 90's that was nothing short of excellent. I gifted the Raleigh-made Supercycle to a friend who took it to Vancouver and it remains there, intact and ridden with the same vinyl saddle.


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Old 02-09-24, 11:47 AM
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Some of the older mattress saddles and horsehair saddles like the Brooks, Wrights, etc. are not bad. They fit fairly well and are reasonably comfortable. You don't need a brand new Brooks B66 on every bike... I will say I don't care for a smooth topped saddle because I find I slide around on them. I like the deep pebbling of some of the older saddle tops to help keep me in place. Unfortunately, many older mattress saddles have now become kind of dried out and deteriorated. I've shelved some beautiful, early horsehair mattress saddles over the years just because they're too dry and deteriorated to use anymore.
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Old 02-10-24, 01:55 PM
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I've got a Robin Hood, a Hercules, and a Raleigh LTD that all have the vinyl over metal black and white saddles, the Robin Hoods is tagged 'Wright', the Raleigh is badged 'Brooks', and the Hercules has no brand at all, it just reads 'Made in England'.

All are white tipped, slightly texured black cloth backed vinyl stretched over a stamped steel pan on a two spring frame.
They're not bad to ride, but a lot depends on the bike and the riding position.
On the 67 Sprite that I went through a few years ago, I used a Peugeot branded saddle that came from an upright bar UO18 mixte I parted out. Its made more like the older, lateral spring style Brooks mattress saddles, mostly because I had it on hand and it was clean. It looks the part and unless you look close, its hard to see the Peugeot script molded into the rear edge of the all black vinyl
Anything was better than the super sized Cloud 9 cruiser saddle that was on it when I found it. The lycra was worn threw on both sides of the horn of the saddle, and the exposed rubber on both sides of the too wide saddle was painful to ride.

I've tried a few newer saddles, but I've not found any so far that I liked, I do best on the old style saddles, all those super soft over sized or gel padded saddles just don't work for me.
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Old 02-12-24, 03:28 AM
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Brooks and Wrights merged in 1962. I' ve had several (leather-) Wrights saddles and they seem to be identical to the Brooks B66, so I assume other models were identical as well.
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Old 02-12-24, 06:55 AM
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I was at a fleamarket on Saturday and someone had a new, never ridden, 60's era Raleigh Sports for sale.
The bike was out of the box, partially disassembled and a mix of two bikes.
The frame was brown, the fenders, fork, and chainguard, both not installed, were black, no crankset but the bottom bracket was installed.Separate from the bike, on the table they also had a green Prestube rack marked $50 but the seller said it would go with the bike for $150 total.
Both wheels were mint, neither attached to the bike. The rear hub had no date, but the rims were typical Raleigh pattern with an unplated strip in the middle.
The tires were Raleigh scripted black walls, the frame pump was still in a corrugated cardboard tube and branded 'Dunlop'.
The pedals were wrapped the same way and were non-reflector type with Sir Raleigh on each rubber block.
The bars, stem were all there, but no grips. The saddle was an all black spring mattress type with some damage from where the vinyl has shrunk and split across the middle of the seat. So in short, it needs a complete set of cranks, two hand grips, and a saddle.
The bike had a bike shop hang tag on the stem with a $119.95 price on it
They were asking $150, and wouldn't budge on the price and no wanting another project i walked away.
I got to thinking about it a bit and figured the wheelset is likely worth having, an the Prestube rack would go well on my Robin Hood Sports, and having a new BB on hand and a new pump wouldn't hurt either. By around noon on Sunday I decided to take the ride to go see if it was still there.
I got there and the guy who was there on Sat is gone, there's an old gray haired woman there instead, and now there's a matching, but used ladies model, a few years newer sitting there. I asked how much and she stared at the bike in the box for a bit and tells me $75. I then asked if she had any more parts that would 'make it complete'. I then grabbed the Prestube rack, and a slide on headlamp that fit the stem bracket, plus a new in the box Huret Cyclometer, and she dug out two new Lucas Cyclometers and another set of reflectorized pedals, all new. I then asked how much for both bikes and the lot of parts, and she looked at me and says If I take it all, she'd do $80 cash.
There wasn't many people there because of the cold and the cloudy weather, so I didn't respond right away, sort of thinking about it. All while counting out four $20 bills in my coat pocket from the $140 I had put there thinking I'd get the one bike for that or less.
Then she chimes in "How 'bout $60 for it all?" I handed over $60 and started to gather it all up to lug back to my car. (I wasn't planning on buying a whole bike so I didn't take my truck), I slid the spare bits down into the bike box with the new bike, and drag it all back to the car in one trip. After 10 minutes removing the wheels and bars from the ladies bike, it fit into my trunk, and I manged to get the un-assembled bike in the back seat.
I decided that since I was there I'd take a walk around to see what else I could find and when passed by the same table again, she had put out an extra set of bars and stem, with grips. I asked her how much and she said $5. I asked if she had ANY other parts there and she said its probably all she had left, but 'you never know'. She then tells me that her father used to own a bike shop and all the bike stuff was his. I asked when he last had the shop and she said he retired in 1969, she was sure because she remembers helping him clean out the shop on the last day while watching the first moon landing. She said he passed away a few years later, but that he had opened the shop a few months after he came home from WW2 in 1945, just in time for Christmas that year selling auto parts and bicycles somewhere in PA. The woman looked to be in her late 70's or early 80's.now.
She said the guy I spoke to on Sat. was her nephew who's been helping her clear out the garage.

So, now I have either a project bike, or a pile of parts.
Once i got it all home, I see one complete ladies Raleigh Sports in fair to good condition that no doubt needs to be torn down and gone through.
The black parts and the wheels likely came from one bike, and the frame, saddle, and other parts are another bike. I'm thinking that the black parts are late 50's to early 60's and the brown bike is likely mid 60's or so.
The lack of a date on the rear hub is odd but its an early hub, with two threaded bearing races.
The extra set of bars match the ladies bike, but are new, and have their own hang tag on them with a $199.95 price on it.
The Huret cyclometer is newer, but the Lucas cyclometers are likely '50's era. The speedometer is branded Smiths and looks to be 50's or 60's era made in England too.

The question is now do I repaint the frame black to match the rest of the parts?
Do I repaint all the parts to match the frame? (Its likely easier to match the black paint then the dark brown on the frame).
Do I just hang it all in the garage and wait for a black frame and a batch of brown fenders, cg and fork?

Or put it all together as is with the three different color parts? (Brown frame, black fenders, black cg, black forks, and green Prestube rack).
The frame is 21", which is doable for me, although I can ride a 23". My current bikes are a mix, but most are 23" or larger frames.

I'd have to hunt down a crank set, preferably new, but the only new set I see online is $100 shipped. I could take the one from the ladies model, but that would be one used part among everything else that's brand new. its also a 44t chain ring, and I'd guess that the one that belongs on this frame is 48t, or maybe 46t.
(Its got a 22t rear cog)

The parts are a mix of years, but close enough where they 'match' other than color.

I wasn't looking for a bike, as I've got 9 now, but I couldn't leave it and having a spare wheelset don't hurt either.
At the very least I may swap out the wheelset with the one on my '59, which are newer from a 1970 model.
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Old 02-12-24, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by anotherbike
The frame was brown, the fenders, fork, and chainguard, both not installed, were black, no crankset but the bottom bracket was installed.Separate from the bike, on the table they also had a green Prestube rack marked $50 but the seller said it would go with the bike for $150 total.
Both wheels were mint, neither attached to the bike. The rear hub had no date, but the rims were typical Raleigh pattern with an unplated strip in the middle.
I'd love to see pics of the wheels and the rear hub. No date and the dull centre strip rim is unusual combo. No date is likely an 80's hub or a mistake. Or mid 1930's...
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Old 02-12-24, 09:19 AM
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Can't believe what can be found out there. I am on the lookout for good/great condition rims in 32/40 with the unplated section.....to replace the worn rims on my Humber. The guy in Greece wanted somewhere north of $100 USD plus shipping for just one rim (granted it was NOS)! So to find all those parts/bikes for that money is amazing.
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Old 02-12-24, 10:56 AM
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He said the rear hub had two threaded bearing races, that makes it pre-62 or so at best.

I've seen a few with no date marks, either missed or so lightly stamped they don't show. Most were older models from the late 50's era.

I always just chocked it up to maybe being a replacement hub put in there in place of a failed SW.

An 80's hub would likely have the elaborate newer logo with all the lines around it, plus the LS bearing race is fixed on those hubs.

I've found about half my bikes at flea markets, the rest at estate sales.

A story like this is a good reason to never let the wife do the selling either.
I bought a brand new 9" Metabo grinder and a box of 24 grinding wheels once at a flea market, I had asked how much in the morning, around 9am, the guy wanted $125 for the grinder, I happened to walk back that way five hours later and asked again, this time a woman was there and she told me $25 for it all. She said her husband had gone to the portapot, and left her in charge. I got the impression she just wanted the table empty so she could go home sooner. I hauled it to my car and left.

I price things that I have with price tags double or more what their worth, it keeps the old lady away from them and when I'm gone, maybe they'll thing twice about dumping it all for cheap..
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Old 02-13-24, 10:15 PM
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Did a test ride on the weekend of the Superbes. After a little tweeking , both working fine.


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Old 02-15-24, 10:34 AM
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Its amazing what a good thorough cleaning and some polish can do for a bike, and add in some strategic touch up and the results can be amazing.

When it comes to flea markets, yard sales, and CL here, I've bought at least a dozen bikes in the past couple years, all for near nothing.

I bought five coffee cans full of SW parts and an old wooden Canada Dry box full of SA and SW hubs for $3 at a flea market last week.
The guy said he does cleanouts. A few weeks ago I got a Park bike stand off him for $10. Its an old PR101L on a double stand with a 50lb steel plate at the bottom.
Not long before that I got an Eldi bottom bracket type stand off him for $10.
He seems to bring the stuff he knows he can sell, the rest he trashes. I made it clear to him that when he gets bike stuff, call me or bring it right to my house. He gets a lot of bike stuff. I just got a 1970 or so Sprite 10 off him for $5, its a bit rough but it rides, mostly it needs a fresh set of wheels built for it as the old SA pressed flange hubs are coming loose and the fenders have a lot of rust underneath.
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Old 02-15-24, 06:22 PM
  #27798  
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If I were to title this post, I'd call it "bike forensics and N+2? 3?" Or perhaps, "skip over this nattering rubbish, save yourselves."

If any here have perused the for sale subforum here in C&V, you may have seen my 1951 Rudge Aero Clubman up there last week or so. I wrote about this find/build in September of '23 in this thread. In a nutshell, I found the Rudge last summer, have wanted one since 2014 and have wanted a single-speed path racer as well. I thought I could make the Rudge work for me, but it's just too small for me to ride with drop bars. So, I set out to sell it and find something else to scratch the British 531 path racer / club itch. My friend Graham sent me a photo of a 1974 Raleigh Super Course frame (no fork) that I could have. I picked it up after work that night and found that it's straight, but the bottom bracket shell was hacked down to 66mm, so that needs to be dealt with using a spacer and some decent application of loctite. I found a perfect Carlton fork for it and began to do a bit of building by swapping over the parts from the Clubman (after I took the latter off the market). I found that the fork was an oddball in that it has a 26.4mm crown race seat but also a 26tpi steer tube threading; and no, the crown race was not turned down as it still has original paint overspray on it. So I ordered a new crown race (I was planning on using an old Stronglight A9 I have knocking around) and during some down time at work, I was perusing ebay for bits and somehow went down a rabbit hole on the UK site... This was bad for my pocketbook because all of a sudden, there were way too many path / club frames from some niche marques. I ride a 58cm (any smaller and I get irritation in my neck from an injury I got while in the Navy) and happened upon an R. O. Harrison with GORGEOUS lugs in my size. I threw out a lowball offer, thinking that I'd be shot down and maybe five minutes later got an "Offer Accepted! Pay Now." email.

So now I've got my dream curly lugged (Oscar Egg?), 531 path racer on the way, and I still have the Rudge Clubman AND a Super Course, both currently in project-status, as they are incomplete. Add five or six more bikes of my own, and the missus is beginning to question my use of space in the basement. She has her own flight of locomotion, including two trikes and a 1958 Rudge Sports. I'm not at all attached to the '74 Super Course, so that can leave, but it would also make a cool "beater" bike.

Anyway, last night I was a bit bored, looking for some tinkering to do, and took the Wald cruiser bar out of the flat-top stem, then set to do a bit of hillbilly repair on it before getting the frameset ready to sell again. (I'm from the high desert sticks of eastern New Mexico, so I feel I own the "hillbilly" moniker, in spite of living in Philadelphia.) A previous owner had stuck the wrong size bar in and drilled a hole in the top of the clamp and jammed in a machine screw to prevent the 7/8" bar from rotating in the 23.8mm clamp. I mixed up a gob of metal JB Weld and filled the hole, then let it cure overnight. Earlier this morning, the cured epoxy was Dremeled, leveled, wet-sanded and painted with a chrome pen. I was a bit beside myself how well this turned out. So the last thing I wanted to do was get the clamp done proper. I took a heavy chrome straight seatpost and stuck the narrow end in the clamp then gave it some gentle persuasion with a mallet; did this on both sides, then stuck in the original bar from my '56 Rudge Sports. I had a proper donor bolt with the key and wrenched down to really establish the correct clamp size. Now I'm impressed enough with the stem and a decent upright bar, I get to thinking of restoring this bike as an upright 3-speed.

Later in the afternoon, I went down a bit of a rabbit hole regarding the Rudge and original equipment, and I'm thinking the rear wheel which came with it may be original. To refresh, the bike was incomplete, but came with two mismatched wheels, the rear a steel shell 40 hole AW from 1951, laced to a Rigida Superchromix 27 x 1 1/4 rim. The front was an old 36 hole, alloy round-hole Normandy hub with wingnuts laced to a Rigida Chrolux rim. I'm thinking that the original front wheel was replaced with this one, some 60+ years ago and then it sat in a garage for the full duration of my life (47 years) before the previous owner acquired it as part of a cleanout lot.

Now my conundrum is, do I work to resto-mod the Clubman as a 3-speed upright, complete with correct Dynohub (though I would have lighting provided by a Busch & Muller OneFive)? I have a wonderful upright 3-speed in the 1956 Rudge Sports, which is the bike that I judge all others by, when it comes to comfort and reliability. It's seriously the bike for the end of the world as we know it / complete breakdown of civilization, as I'm confident it will keep working until we reach Star Trek era (23rd century?) I digress. If I fixed up the Clubman as a 3-speed, the chrome rims would go, and would be replaced with a set of something aluminum and polished, but finding new polished 700c or 27" rims in 40 hole drillings seems to be almost a fools errand. Perhaps a NOS set of Weinmanns could be sourced.

I'm rambling and need to make dinner. Would y'all sell the Clubman frameset or set about to make it into a new bike (which would probably eventually get sold at a loss, as wel)?
Any thoughts regarding my mental status, or the questions I pose are appreciated.

Phil

Last edited by PhilFo; 02-15-24 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 02-15-24, 07:14 PM
  #27799  
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Originally Posted by PhilFo
If I were to title this post, I'd call it "bike forensics and N+2? 3?" Or perhaps, "skip over this nattering rubbish, save yourselves."

If any here have perused the for sale subforum here in C&V, you may have seen my 1951 Rudge Aero Clubman up there last week or so. I wrote about this find/build in September of '23 in this thread. In a nutshell, I found the Rudge last summer, have wanted one since 2014 and have wanted a single-speed path racer as well. I thought I could make the Rudge work for me, but it's just too small for me to ride with drop bars. So, I set out to sell it and find something else to scratch the British 531 path racer / club itch. My friend Graham sent me a photo of a 1974 Raleigh Super Course frame (no fork) that I could have. I picked it up after work that night and found that it's straight, but the bottom bracket shell was hacked down to 66mm, so that needs to be dealt with using a spacer and some decent application of loctite. I found a perfect Carlton fork for it and began to do a bit of building by swapping over the parts from the Clubman (after I took the latter off the market). I found that the fork was an oddball in that it has a 26.4mm crown race seat but also a 26tpi steer tube threading; and no, the crown race was not turned down as it still has original paint overspray on it. So I ordered a new crown race (I was planning on using an old Stronglight A9 I have knocking around) and during some down time at work, I was perusing ebay for bits and somehow went down a rabbit hole on the UK site... This was bad for my pocketbook because all of a sudden, there were way too many path / club frames from some niche marques. I ride a 58cm (any smaller and I get irritation in my neck from an injury I got while in the Navy) and happened upon an R. O. Harrison with GORGEOUS lugs in my size. I threw out a lowball offer, thinking that I'd be shot down and maybe five minutes later got an "Offer Accepted! Pay Now." email.

So now I've got my dream curly lugged (Oscar Egg?), 531 path racer on the way, and I still have the Rudge Clubman AND a Super Course, both currently in project-status, as they are incomplete. Add five or six more bikes of my own, and the missus is beginning to question my use of space in the basement. She has her own flight of locomotion, including two trikes and a 1958 Rudge Sports. I'm not at all attached to the '74 Super Course, so that can leave, but it would also make a cool "beater" bike.

Anyway, last night I was a bit bored, looking for some tinkering to do, and took the Wald cruiser bar out of the flat-top stem, then set to do a bit of hillbilly repair on it before getting the frameset ready to sell again. (I'm from the high desert sticks of eastern New Mexico, so I feel I own the "hillbilly" moniker, in spite of living in Philadelphia.) A previous owner had stuck the wrong size bar in and drilled a hole in the top of the clamp and jammed in a machine screw to prevent the 7/8" bar from rotating in the 23.8mm clamp. I mixed up a gob of metal JB Weld and filled the hole, then let it cure overnight. Earlier this morning, the cured epoxy was Dremeled, leveled, wet-sanded and painted with a chrome pen. I was a bit beside myself how well this turned out. So the last thing I wanted to do was get the clamp done proper. I took a heavy chrome straight seatpost and stuck the narrow end in the clamp then gave it some gentle persuasion with a mallet; did this on both sides, then stuck in the original bar from my '56 Rudge Sports. I had a proper donor bolt with the key and wrenched down to really establish the correct clamp size. Now I'm impressed enough with the stem and a decent upright bar, I get to thinking of restoring this bike as an upright 3-speed.

Later in the afternoon, I went down a bit of a rabbit hole regarding the Rudge and original equipment, and I'm thinking the rear wheel which came with it may be original. To refresh, the bike was incomplete, but came with two mismatched wheels, the rear a steel shell 40 hole AW from 1951, laced to a Rigida Superchromix 27 x 1 1/4 rim. The front was an old 36 hole, alloy round-hole Normandy hub with wingnuts laced to a Rigida Chrolux rim. I'm thinking that the original front wheel was replaced with this one, some 60+ years ago and then it sat in a garage for the full duration of my life (47 years) before the previous owner acquired it as part of a cleanout lot.

Now my conundrum is, do I work to resto-mod the Clubman as a 3-speed upright, complete with correct Dynohub (though I would have lighting provided by a Busch & Muller OneFive)? I have a wonderful upright 3-speed in the 1956 Rudge Sports, which is the bike that I judge all others by, when it comes to comfort and reliability. It's seriously the bike for the end of the world as we now it / complete breakdown of civilization, as I'm confident it will keep working until we reach Star Trek era (23rd century?) I digress. If I fixed up the Clubman as a 3-speed, the chrome rims would go, and would be replaced with a set of something aluminum and polished, but finding new polished 700c or 27" rims in 40 hole drillings seems to be almost a fools errand. Perhaps a NOS set of Weinmanns could be sourced.

I'm rambling and need to make dinner. Would y'all sell the Clubman frameset or set about to make it into a new bike (which would probably eventually get sold at a loss, as wel)?
Any thoughts regarding my mental status, or the questions I pose are appreciated.

Phil
All I can say is I've been buying rusted heaps for the sturmey archer hardware lately. If it's 36 hole and has an aw I offer 25$. It's amazing how often I get these bikes. I now have three three speeds in various states. A super course, a gitane tour de france and a motobecane jubilee are sporting wheels built from aw hubs. It's a sickness. I have no answers except to say they make great rides.
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Old 02-16-24, 09:20 AM
  #27800  
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Originally Posted by PhilFo
If I were to title this post, I'd call it "bike forensics and N+2? 3?" Or perhaps, "skip over this nattering rubbish, save yourselves."

If any here have perused the for sale subforum here in C&V, you may have seen my 1951 Rudge Aero Clubman up there last week or so. I wrote about this find/build in September of '23 in this thread. In a nutshell, I found the Rudge last summer, have wanted one since 2014 and have wanted a single-speed path racer as well. I thought I could make the Rudge work for me, but it's just too small for me to ride with drop bars. So, I set out to sell it and find something else to scratch the British 531 path racer / club itch. My friend Graham sent me a photo of a 1974 Raleigh Super Course frame (no fork) that I could have. I picked it up after work that night and found that it's straight, but the bottom bracket shell was hacked down to 66mm, so that needs to be dealt with using a spacer and some decent application of loctite. I found a perfect Carlton fork for it and began to do a bit of building by swapping over the parts from the Clubman (after I took the latter off the market). I found that the fork was an oddball in that it has a 26.4mm crown race seat but also a 26tpi steer tube threading; and no, the crown race was not turned down as it still has original paint overspray on it. So I ordered a new crown race (I was planning on using an old Stronglight A9 I have knocking around) and during some down time at work, I was perusing ebay for bits and somehow went down a rabbit hole on the UK site... This was bad for my pocketbook because all of a sudden, there were way too many path / club frames from some niche marques. I ride a 58cm (any smaller and I get irritation in my neck from an injury I got while in the Navy) and happened upon an R. O. Harrison with GORGEOUS lugs in my size. I threw out a lowball offer, thinking that I'd be shot down and maybe five minutes later got an "Offer Accepted! Pay Now." email.

So now I've got my dream curly lugged (Oscar Egg?), 531 path racer on the way, and I still have the Rudge Clubman AND a Super Course, both currently in project-status, as they are incomplete. Add five or six more bikes of my own, and the missus is beginning to question my use of space in the basement. She has her own flight of locomotion, including two trikes and a 1958 Rudge Sports. I'm not at all attached to the '74 Super Course, so that can leave, but it would also make a cool "beater" bike.

Anyway, last night I was a bit bored, looking for some tinkering to do, and took the Wald cruiser bar out of the flat-top stem, then set to do a bit of hillbilly repair on it before getting the frameset ready to sell again. (I'm from the high desert sticks of eastern New Mexico, so I feel I own the "hillbilly" moniker, in spite of living in Philadelphia.) A previous owner had stuck the wrong size bar in and drilled a hole in the top of the clamp and jammed in a machine screw to prevent the 7/8" bar from rotating in the 23.8mm clamp. I mixed up a gob of metal JB Weld and filled the hole, then let it cure overnight. Earlier this morning, the cured epoxy was Dremeled, leveled, wet-sanded and painted with a chrome pen. I was a bit beside myself how well this turned out. So the last thing I wanted to do was get the clamp done proper. I took a heavy chrome straight seatpost and stuck the narrow end in the clamp then gave it some gentle persuasion with a mallet; did this on both sides, then stuck in the original bar from my '56 Rudge Sports. I had a proper donor bolt with the key and wrenched down to really establish the correct clamp size. Now I'm impressed enough with the stem and a decent upright bar, I get to thinking of restoring this bike as an upright 3-speed.

Later in the afternoon, I went down a bit of a rabbit hole regarding the Rudge and original equipment, and I'm thinking the rear wheel which came with it may be original. To refresh, the bike was incomplete, but came with two mismatched wheels, the rear a steel shell 40 hole AW from 1951, laced to a Rigida Superchromix 27 x 1 1/4 rim. The front was an old 36 hole, alloy round-hole Normandy hub with wingnuts laced to a Rigida Chrolux rim. I'm thinking that the original front wheel was replaced with this one, some 60+ years ago and then it sat in a garage for the full duration of my life (47 years) before the previous owner acquired it as part of a cleanout lot.

Now my conundrum is, do I work to resto-mod the Clubman as a 3-speed upright, complete with correct Dynohub (though I would have lighting provided by a Busch & Muller OneFive)? I have a wonderful upright 3-speed in the 1956 Rudge Sports, which is the bike that I judge all others by, when it comes to comfort and reliability. It's seriously the bike for the end of the world as we know it / complete breakdown of civilization, as I'm confident it will keep working until we reach Star Trek era (23rd century?) I digress. If I fixed up the Clubman as a 3-speed, the chrome rims would go, and would be replaced with a set of something aluminum and polished, but finding new polished 700c or 27" rims in 40 hole drillings seems to be almost a fools errand. Perhaps a NOS set of Weinmanns could be sourced.

I'm rambling and need to make dinner. Would y'all sell the Clubman frameset or set about to make it into a new bike (which would probably eventually get sold at a loss, as wel)?
Any thoughts regarding my mental status, or the questions I pose are appreciated.

Phil
The Rudge is basically a frame set. Rigida rims are probably from the 70s, front wheel replaced, rear hub might be original. Whatever fenders, lighting, and other peripherals are largely gone. So you're free to deal with it as a frameset rather than a complete original bike.

What you're thinking of is a Sports/light roadster type bike on that frame. You'll find the frame is tighter and lighter than a Sports frame (angles slightly different, 531 tubing, etc.). If you set it up ergonomically, it will work just fine. It will ride like a sportier, tighter version of the "Sports" light roadster bikes. I've got three old club bikes from that vintage set up as light roadsters right now and I think they're a great combination of comfort and sportiness.

It will still be a 22 inch frame rather than a 23 (many club bikes were that intermediate size between the 21 and the 23), so that part of the fit is still there. But if the frame size is a reasonable fit, you can make an upright version work with the right stem and bars. There's a fair amount of flexibility in getting it to fit with the right parts. There are limits, but you have more freedom than if this was still all original.

If you decide you still want to sell the frameset, feel free to PM me.
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