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1966 AMF Hercules 3-speed

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1966 AMF Hercules 3-speed

Old 05-05-10, 03:35 PM
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1966 AMF Hercules 3-speed

Hub is dated 1966. This bike was made by Raleigh in Nottingham, England and relabeled with the name AMF Hercules. Everything on it appears to be original. The tires are dry-rotted, and even they might be original. How about those chrome fenders!



More photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/2673402...7623875900107/
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Old 05-05-10, 04:29 PM
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Wow, very nice roadster!! The bag and chrome fenders are nice touches that I don't often see, but the "57 Chevy" chainguard is an acquired taste that I have not acquired. Is this a customer's bike or did you buy it?
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Old 05-05-10, 05:56 PM
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Now you need one of those 26" wheeled Hercules drop bar bikes as a companion for it!
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Old 05-05-10, 06:08 PM
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A new acquisition, Tom?

Love the matching saddlebag! To me, the Hercules always resemble a more american/Schwinn style 3-speed with their sportier colors. Raleighs just exude English, but Hercules (though their made in England) always seem more 50's/60's Americana to me...
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Old 05-05-10, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris_in_Miami
Wow, very nice roadster!! The bag and chrome fenders are nice touches that I don't often see, but the "57 Chevy" chainguard is an acquired taste that I have not acquired. Is this a customer's bike or did you buy it?
The general shape of the chainguard actually would be nice if they didn't sit so high up compared to the chainring. They look weird because they're big, yet sit very high and expose most of the chainring.
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Old 05-05-10, 06:34 PM
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That's awesome! I especially love the twist grip shifter. Is it "indexed" or friction? I've never come across one of those beauties...

And I do love the chainguard - I just wish the rest of the bike would follow suit. I think it'd look especially awesome on a tanker from the 50's or 60's.
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Old 05-05-10, 09:10 PM
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I had always wanted an English three speed, but I didn't want to pay much. I got it in about January, for only $60. It seems hardly ridden. There was more rust on it when I got it. I scrubbed it off with a brass brush.

I would have preferred a Raleigh brand, but I can't complain.

I am still debating about the shifter. It is indexed. But it sucks. It's really not as good as a trigger shift, though it looks cooler. But if I changed it, the bike wouldn't be all-original. This is the only bike I have ever had the urge to keep original. Maybe I should clean it further and sell it. Then I can get one that's a bit more beat up for me to ride. I would change the rims to aluminum and maybe the brakes.

It's nice to ride, but the cockpit is terribly short. I don't know if I can get used to it.

Also, the gearing is much too high, but I can change that easily. I have a few spare sprockets hanging around.
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Old 05-05-10, 09:22 PM
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Nice! I'd roll that
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Old 05-05-10, 09:38 PM
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Gears too high for you?! Ha! I don't believe it! Just pretend your peddling up.....say.... a mountian in Central Jersey, that'll make ya smile.

Don't change the shifter, it's too cool! Are those white walls? We used to scrub them with SOS pads "back in the day"

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Old 05-05-10, 09:44 PM
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If I really get to riding this bike, I'll change the shifter. I'm keeping my eye out for more men's three speeds, so if I sell this one, it would be better to keep it original.

The tires either were whitewalls and have yellowed or they are light colored gumwalls.
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Old 05-05-10, 09:47 PM
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I bet there whitewalls, scub 'em up. It would look so cool with gleaming white walls.
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Old 05-05-10, 10:08 PM
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No, but they're dry-rotted, and I think they are making the bike ride badly.

I might get some Col de la Vie tires to spruce it up. They look really nice, and I've always liked Panaracer (aka National) tires.

Oh, I should mention I rode it to run some errands today. I went to the T-Mobile place and brought the bike inside. One of the guys there asked me if it's my Mercedes and offered to buy it. I think he was joking, but I think he also recognized it as something special.
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Old 05-06-10, 04:35 AM
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Funny how other people are experiencing much the same things that I am these days. I just passed on a near mint old Hercules the other day and it was free. I can still get the bicycle and, perhaps, I should since I just sold 42 vintage Ten Speeds to a Toronto buyer. Anyway, have a look at this old bike. I just might go get it today but I am not sure what I will do with the darn thing. My experience has been that I do not really spend much time riding roadsters.

Stolen_Sorted_Her.jpg
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Old 05-06-10, 06:34 AM
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The tires are Dunlop. In the old days, you would have fixed them up because even damaged Dunlops were simply the best and none of their competitors made anything as good. Until the Japanese learned to make even better tires!
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Old 05-06-10, 09:09 AM
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Randy, don't you think someone would want that Hercules?

Thanks Norman. Odd that they could survive 43 or so years. I wonder how!
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Old 05-06-10, 01:01 PM
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Randy, don't you think someone would want that Hercules?
I did consider this, however, considering my present work load, I decided to pass on offering the bike. The funny thing is, I know that I will regret doing so, one day. Perhaps I will find time to get back out there to pick up the bicycle.
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Old 05-06-10, 03:44 PM
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I see the tires say Made in Taiwan, so they're not original.
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Old 10-22-15, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
Hub is dated 1966. This bike was made by Raleigh in Nottingham, England and relabeled with the name AMF Hercules. Everything on it appears to be original. The tires are dry-rotted, and even they might be original. How about those chrome fenders!



More photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/2673402...7623875900107/
I just bought this exact model Hercules, but didn't know exactly what I had until I read your post. Mine needs more cosmetic work, and I'm going to get it painted, but the gears work, and I barely paid anything because the owner just wanted to see it back on the road again. I sure do covet that rear bag. Beautiful bike indeed.

Last edited by Dolmance; 10-22-15 at 02:19 PM. Reason: Needed a bit more information.
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Old 10-23-15, 07:27 AM
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I noticed that your Rudge has the tall frame. I expect that you have the same trouble with 21" frames that I do. With my Rudge and Sprite, I've been putting up with a too low seat position, but I used to have a 21" Sports that I used one of those Sunlite 10" x 22.2 quills on. I used a bit old lead chimney flashing to shim the Raleigh bars. That stem moved the bars out about an inch and the extra length allowed me to get a nice upright balance and leg extension on the short frame. That and a 22t cog in back made the bike a much nicer ride for me. I still have that stem. I might use it on my still unrestored Rudge this winter.
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Old 10-23-15, 02:00 PM
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@BigChief, my Rudge has a 21" frame, and it fits me well. The seat is raised up a bit but not too much.

Have we seen pictures of your Rudge?

@Dolmance, have fun, and post pictures, starting with the drive (chain) side of the bike.

My Hercules seems to have been damaged in shipping to Florida. The fork is bent, and I don't want to invest any more into it. I hope to find an old bike nut in the Palm Beach area in April and give it away. The market value is about zero because of the work it needs, but someone should enjoy it, because it's worth putting the work in if you're going to ride it. I'm only in Palm Beach once a year for about five days, visiting my wife's family. That's where my Rudge is, too, and it made the trip intact.
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Old 10-23-15, 04:17 PM
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That's too bad. April is just when I'm leaving. Straightening forks is something I've done a lot of over the years. I have a couple blocks of wood with a V channel routed in them. I hold one leg in the bench vise with the blocks and use a pipe with rounded edges and rubber inner tube shims to avoid kinks and adjust until the axle or an axle sized rod fits smoothly into both fork slots.
My Rudge is a mid 50s frame, over painted with a replaced front wheel, fork, crank, shifter, brakes and missing the fenders. It does have a nice alloy '55 AW hub that might be original to the bike or at least it's contemporary to the frame. I like bikes like this because I don't have to preserve anything. But, it still needs CR-18s , Tektro brakes, a good seat, paint and new cables made up if I use the long stem. But, last winter I blew my bike budget on a very nice 69 Sprite because I just had to try the S5 hub. I'm glad I did. I'm in love with the S5s ratios. So for this year, the Rudge will remain as is. The bike looks like crap, but rides really well. Kinda cool in a funky sort of way.

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Old 10-23-15, 08:08 PM
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@BigChief, you want my Hercules? Maybe we can make that work.
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Old 10-23-15, 08:23 PM
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Nice bike. I picked up a cherry robin hood 3 speed not too long ago but I haven't gotten around to overhauling it or, for that matter, tracking down a B72 saddle for it.
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Old 10-23-15, 11:34 PM
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I keep everything.... but replace the saddle with a Brooks B-66 and swap out those tires for creme Schwalbe Delta Cruiser tires.
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Old 10-24-15, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
@BigChief, you want my Hercules? Maybe we can make that work.
I'd like that, especially if it needs fixin'. I'm there all winter.
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