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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 06-30-18, 12:56 PM
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So getting “inspired” these days with all of your posts. Went for a 10-15km ride on the 49 Humber the other day. To be honest it was wonderful - the panaracer tires were perfect; the ride was smooth; and the inevitable stopping to talk to folks was a pleasure. The the dilemma is: strip it down and repaint? Currently it wears 60+ years of patina with the original royal blue being mostly a reminder of the past...I am ok with it as is but as I see you all doing these gr at restorations I wonder if preservation of a story that starts and ends with me is enough - I have a full decal set ready to apply and a new head badge waiting in the wings... so tell me: how important is patina when you know nothing of the past history?
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Old 06-30-18, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Cute Boy Horse
The bike enthusiast mass neuroses about kickstands never ceases to amuse me. Enthusiastishly finding lamp posts and walls to lean it against every time you get off, and then looking back to make sure it's not going to roll slightly and tip over, all because you think you're definitely going to ruin the frame by screwing them on too tight. Meanwhile millions of bikes a year leave the factory with them and their owners never notice this terrible catastrophe has happened to them. Similarly Harley Davidson owners often believe the front brake should never be used, and a particular type of wealthy music fan will spend hundreds of dollars on mystery devices that claim to improve sound but are actually totally inert. It's all hokum. Some sort of collective delusion spread by internet.
Well said! The damage we see on vintage bikes is almost always much worse on bikes without stands. Paint and decals are chewed away by leaning on hard surfaces. I recently sold a 2010 Giant Cypress Hybrid. The new owner took the fenders and kickstand off. I'll never understand. I guess most people hop on for a half hour on sunny days and lean it back up against the junk in their garage when they return. Go figure.
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Old 06-30-18, 01:34 PM
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I don't know about the UK, but the Harley culture here in America is much more working class. Nice folks, most of em. One did say to me that my Bonneville was a good girl's bike. With a totally straight face I said that it was a light bike, but you do have to kick start that high compression engine. There's no "little button" to push.
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Old 06-30-18, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by markk900
So getting “inspired” these days with all of your posts. Went for a 10-15km ride on the 49 Humber the other day. To be honest it was wonderful - the panaracer tires were perfect; the ride was smooth; and the inevitable stopping to talk to folks was a pleasure. The the dilemma is: strip it down and repaint? Currently it wears 60+ years of patina with the original royal blue being mostly a reminder of the past...I am ok with it as is but as I see you all doing these gr at restorations I wonder if preservation of a story that starts and ends with me is enough - I have a full decal set ready to apply and a new head badge waiting in the wings... so tell me: how important is patina when you know nothing of the past history?
The "patina" word has come up again. In my opinion the word often describes degradation, not something the normal signs of wear on a carefully maintained object. For the past 25 years, I have been the custodian of a Triumph TR7 convertible. The motto of our club (Toronto Triumph Club) is "All to preserve and drive the Triumph" Basically I have done that with my TR and my bikes. I have done "restomods" on bikes and carefully restored and replaced parts, but never a factory restoration. In recent years, there a few "preserved" TRs either. Most have been treated to very expensive restorations that are not in line with their value or usage. Because I deem that the next generations may not take good care of an unsightly bike, I will continue to make them usable and attractive, hopefully without changing their essence. This recent '72 Holdsworth rebuild is an example of careful detailing and paint touch
up to that end. As the owner and custodian of your bikes, you get to decide.
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Old 06-30-18, 02:00 PM
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Found it! I knew I had one. I really need to organize my collection of bike stuff. I think I'll swap out the threaded driver with this straight leg splined one. For all I know a shouldered one would work also, but this is a sure thing. Nice to have cog options and it is a reversible mod. Right now, the hub won't engage low gear. Good chance it's tired pawl springs. I need new guitar strings anyway.

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Old 06-30-18, 02:28 PM
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@browngw - of course you are correct; and in the case of my Humber I think a repaint will be worth it! However, then I may be tempted to replace the rims too!
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Old 06-30-18, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by markk900
So getting “inspired” these days with all of your posts. Went for a 10-15km ride on the 49 Humber the other day. To be honest it was wonderful - the panaracer tires were perfect; the ride was smooth; and the inevitable stopping to talk to folks was a pleasure. The the dilemma is: strip it down and repaint? Currently it wears 60+ years of patina with the original royal blue being mostly a reminder of the past...I am ok with it as is but as I see you all doing these gr at restorations I wonder if preservation of a story that starts and ends with me is enough - I have a full decal set ready to apply and a new head badge waiting in the wings... so tell me: how important is patina when you know nothing of the past history?
Lloyds Decals in the UK reproduce faithfully most English-made bike decals going back to before WW1.

No business can afford to completely refurbish a rusty old bike for less than $1000. As we all know you'd be lucky to get a quarter of that back - no matter how faithful/exquisite the end product. For this reason they push the so-called exotica aspect of unrestored/original bikes.

I prefer to appeal to someone who will be still alive in 20, 30, 50 years who could still be riding the bike. A vinegar, beeswax, lemon juiced 'sympathetic restoration' won't last for more than a few years if the bike is used as a means of transport instead of something wheeled out once a year at Thanksgiving..

No kid ever wanted a dull rusty old bike for Xmas regardless of the sentimental value.

Back in their heyday Raleigh, Sunbeam, Rudge, BSA, Phillips never had a dull, rusty scratched finished option listed in their catalogue - for obvious reasons. It's hardly likely to appeal to the current generation.

IMHO, bling the frame as much as you want with as bright colors as you want. To give it heritage - wire-brush the original pitted/scarred groupset / accessories, kill-rust them and seal them with a good catalysed two-pack clear lacquer. This 'distressed finish' on solid steel won't degrade the bike's mechanical integrity but will reflect a 'my granddad's old bike' kudos/heritage that will not degrade for decades. Brand new original-design decals on a flamboyant-colored frame satisfies the shiny new bike wish and in doing so might get a young person to still be riding the bike long after we're all dead.

Hopefully 50 years from now they will do it all again.
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Old 06-30-18, 07:03 PM
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I've always been a historian at hart. I enjoy artifacts as windows into the past and a source of knowledge. Fortunately for our particular hobby, the artifacts are not one of a kind or even especially rare. We can indulge in balancing preservation and restoration in different ways without depriving anyone the experience of purely preserved examples. In my opinion preservation is always 100% valid, no matter the condition. So, there's plenty of room here for everything from total restorations and modifications to museum quality preservations... It's all good and a fun hobby.
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Old 06-30-18, 09:20 PM
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"Patina" vs repaint is a difficult one. When it was new my superbe had gold pinstriping everywhere. Mudguards, top tube, down tube, seat tube, forks. All faded to ghosts now, destroyed by the sun, except for a little bit hidden by the back mudguard clip. I don't know anyone who can do pinstriping, and I don't have accurate references for it. The paint has a ton of scratches, several chips that are rusting, a little rust starting to bloom near one of the lugs. Now I could get this sandblasted and probably even powder coated a very similar colour. But Raleighs were polished, rustproofed, then painted. Can I get a similar finish with a mystery powdercoat material over rough, sandblasted metal? Experience says no. It'd have a different shine and probably lose definition in the lugs. Then there is the decals. Copies are available, but not the bike shop's, and the ones that are will be printed on thick white vinyl, you can always see the edge of it. Even the "good" ones from H Lloyd. Not even getting into the need to clearcoat over them, which is honestly a huge pain in the ass with a big risk of going wrong.

It never looks right. So I don't bother with that sort of stuff anymore.

Originally Posted by BigChief
I don't know about the UK, but the Harley culture here in America is much more working class. Nice folks, most of em. One did say to me that my Bonneville was a good girl's bike. With a totally straight face I said that it was a light bike, but you do have to kick start that high compression engine. There's no "little button" to push.
I'm not so sure. Whenever the USA depicts what it calls "ordinary, working people" in it's export media it also calls them "the middle class" (a favorite platitude subject of politicians), and they're depicted owning big houses and multiple cars. The sort of American I'd associate with buying a new Harley would be like that except also owning a pickup truck that's never seen much work. Maybe owns a small plumbing business, loves the flag, doesn't read.

I mean, in all the time I spent in America, I met and spent time among quite a lot of proletarian people. Like my neighborhood growing up they weren't the type to afford something like a Harley and the associated fancy dress costume. They were mostly concerned with basic survival, both in food terms and also not getting shot by some blood or cop. But this would be politics.
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Old 06-30-18, 10:00 PM
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" But Raleighs were polished, rustproofed, then painted. "
I was amazed to see that Raleigh's were dipped rather than painted. Literally it took a few seconds to cover them with the final coat. I have spent weeks preparing and painting a single bike without remotely getting anywhere near the finish the old boys in this video got in seconds!

'How a Bicycle is Made'


The jolly hockey sticks commentary grates a bit but I can assure you everyone else in the process spoke very differently to the actors with speaking roles in this great video.
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Old 07-01-18, 04:00 AM
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There is also this BBC Raleigh documentary on youtube. I'm not familiar with the various dialects or life in England, so I didn't notice anything odd about the commentary. I suppose it can be easy to think you understand people and their culture when you actually don't.

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Old 07-01-18, 06:07 AM
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Heavy Rotation
These four are my current everyday bikes.
They all have kickstands.
The Superbe with the saddle bag is a Canadian built version.
I'm not sure what the "Made in Canada" sticker actually means.
Were these bikes actually made from scratch or were the pieces
assembled here.
Certainly, the SA hubs etc were shipped as complete units.

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Old 07-01-18, 06:56 AM
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While I've got my parts boxes all apart. There's an interesting scene in that documentary from a movie showing an actor fitting bottom bracket spindles into a purpose built lathe one at a time to cut the bearing surfaces. Notice that spindles from the 1950s are center punched for this operation. By the 1960s, these centers were gone showing that the operation was automated with something I imagine similar to a screw cutting machine and the individual centers were no longer necessary.

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Old 07-01-18, 08:16 AM
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Bolt on seatstay

Originally Posted by BigChief
While I've got my parts boxes all apart. There's an interesting scene in that documentary from a movie showing an actor fitting bottom bracket spindles into a purpose built lathe one at a time to cut the bearing surfaces. Notice that spindles from the 1950s are center punched for this operation. By the 1960s, these centers were gone showing that the operation was automated with something I imagine similar to a screw cutting machine and the individual centers were no longer necessary.

One thing you might clarify. The model finished off in the documentary had bolt on seatstays. Obviously no problem there, but I thought bolt on seatstays were phased out in the 1930s. The film's title says 1945. I was under the impression Raleigh frames were completely braised 10-15 years prior to 1945.
The reason I ask is the bolt on provided an easy/fast reference when trying to assess the vintage of a frame being offered up for sale,/discussion/argument.
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Old 07-01-18, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Johno59
One thing you might clarify. The model finished off in the documentary had bolt on seatstays. Obviously no problem there, but I thought bolt on seatstays were phased out in the 1930s. The film's title says 1945. I was under the impression Raleigh frames were completely braised 10-15 years prior to 1945.
The reason I ask is the bolt on provided an easy/fast reference when trying to assess the vintage of a frame being offered up for sale,/discussion/argument.
The DL-1 (Tourist) continued with the bolt on stays until the bitter end.
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Old 07-01-18, 08:41 AM
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I'm mostly familiar with the post war model roadsters that were exported to the US. The 28" wheeled DL-1 Tourist had the bolt on stays all the way to the end in 1980. The other light roadster models had entirely brazed up frames.
edit:
browsing through the catalogs at VCC, the first 26" light roadster with brazed stays I see was in 1935
VCC 1935
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Old 07-01-18, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
While I've got my parts boxes all apart. There's an interesting scene in that documentary from a movie showing an actor fitting bottom bracket spindles into a purpose built lathe one at a time to cut the bearing surfaces. Notice that spindles from the 1950s are center punched for this operation. By the 1960s, these centers were gone showing that the operation was automated with something I imagine similar to a screw cutting machine and the individual centers were no longer necessary.

Here's Albert Finney making spindles at the Raleigh factory circa 1960
note the centre punch..
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Old 07-01-18, 09:14 AM
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Yup, that's him. Cutting those bearing races one at a time.
In that 1935 catalog, what they did was introduce a sports model named Sports and used the same frame in roadster trim called the Sports Roadster. In later years somehow the Sports name continued on the light roadster versions even though they weren't actually sports bikes.
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Old 07-01-18, 07:32 PM
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Well, I went ahead and had to get this one for some questionable reason and it is quite nice, well equipped & newer tune in perfect working order. 1958 SW hub I couldn't make the date out on the GH6





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Old 07-01-18, 09:17 PM
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That is gorgeous! There's just something about these pre TI Raleighs that get me. I couldn't resist getting correct pedals and a Brooks saddle for this one. Nice, nice bike.
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Old 07-02-18, 03:59 AM
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Originally Posted by johnnyspaghetti

Well, I went ahead and had to get this one for some questionable reason and it is quite nice, well equipped & newer tune in perfect working order. 1958 SW hub I couldn't make the date out on the GH6





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Good score! The chrome looks perfect.
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Old 07-02-18, 05:23 AM
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The $700.00 Raleigh
Someone here in Toronto is asking $700.00 for this Canadian built Raleigh.
The ad has been up for a while....
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Old 07-02-18, 05:40 AM
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@ johnnyspaghetti Just noticed, the brake cables are routed English style. Maybe this bike was brought over privately. The front brake and shifter cables have the original 50s style housings. The rear brake housing is the later fluted type. I really like this bike, good find.
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Old 07-02-18, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by johnnyspaghetti

Well, I went ahead and had to get this one for some questionable reason and it is quite nice, well equipped & newer tune in perfect working order. 1958 SW hub I couldn't make the date out on the GH6





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another excellent bike man! You are the king.
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Old 07-02-18, 06:52 AM
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https://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Ral...7f68a#viTabs_0

Seriously, someone make this man an offer! This is definitely a mid to late 1930s Raleigh roadster of some sort, perhaps a safety or a tourist model. It's a 22" frame and that means it's too small for me... What a pity!
-Gregory

(p.s. The seller also has a matching woman's model with a front dynohub.)


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