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Old Hercules - My First Ride

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Old Hercules - My First Ride

Old 10-16-11, 04:51 PM
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Old Hercules - My First Ride

Well, today was my first opportunity to actually take my old Hercules for a first ride. A few weeks back I started a thread (https://goo.gl/rRWme) after I found and bought it off of Craigslist. It's been sitting in my basement since then waiting for a set of serviceable wheels and some other work to get it road worthy. Last week, a set of wheels which RobbieTunes gifted to me (Thanks again Robbie!) arrived, so I finally got around to putting the wheels on the bike today and took her for a spin. The old Hercules is a small-framed bike, but will be good for riding on the C&O Canal towpath and short rides around where I live. The bike definitely has character and I plan to do some more work on her over the winter with the possibility of taking the bike on the 3-Speed Tour in May 2012.

You may notice the chainguard from the original pictures has been removed. I may put that one back on later or buy one that is supposed to be on the bike. I'm undecided at this point. Also, note the big cog on the rear of the bike. That's a 24t SRAM cog that I bought from an eBay seller in Germany. I bought several because where I live we have hills that I'd like to ride up and without changing the front chainring, that's about the only way to get appropriate gearing for a SA AW hub.

Without any further ado here are some pics.


Hercules First Ride - 1 by Sallad Rialb, on Flickr


Hercules First Ride - 2 by Sallad Rialb, on Flickr


Hercules First Ride - 3 by Sallad Rialb, on Flickr

Last edited by photogravity; 10-16-11 at 05:15 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 10-16-11, 06:14 PM
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photogravity- That's quite a remarkable transformation from what it was (below). I am so glad that Robbietunes helped you out with the wheels - (and especially in upgrading your Shimano 3-speed to a Sturmer Archer). - And with that 24T, you should be able to climb walls in low gear!

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Old 10-16-11, 06:52 PM
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Nice. Hope to see you on the 3-Speed Tour.

You might want to straighten the rear brake cable routing so it's all on the right side.
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Old 10-16-11, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow
photogravity- That's quite a remarkable transformation from what it was (below). I am so glad that Robbietunes helped you out with the wheels - (and especially in upgrading your Shimano 3-speed to a Sturmer Archer). - And with that 24T, you should be able to climb walls in low gear!
Yes, it is actually rideable now. The wheels that RobbieTunes passed forward were off a '65 Hercules and are Dunlop rims to boot! I can't thank Robbie enough for his generosity with the wheels. This is an early- to mid-50's bike and I'm not entirely sure what brand the rims would have been (probably Dunlops also), but it would have likely had a Hercules hub on the bike. I've managed to get my hands on a Hercules A Type 9 from a forum member recently as well as a Bayliss-Wiley hub off eBay so I will probably build a set of wheels on those at a later point in time.
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Old 10-16-11, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by gna
Nice. Hope to see you on the 3-Speed Tour.

You might want to straighten the rear brake cable routing so it's all on the right side.
Thanks gna, I've already signed up for the tour. I'm hoping the weather is good, because I'm not very fond of wet weather riding.

Good point on the brake cable routing. I'll change that when I get a chance.
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Old 10-17-11, 05:11 AM
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I'm running a large rear cog on my SA FW 4 speed. There are times when I wished it had a little more high gear, but sometimes you have to compromise.

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Old 10-17-11, 08:40 AM
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The original hub and shifter for early '50s and pre AMF would have been a "Hercumatic".
I don't believe they were dated like the SA hubs.
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Old 10-17-11, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh
I'm running a large rear cog on my SA FW 4 speed. There are times when I wished it had a little more high gear, but sometimes you have to compromise.
PB, couldn't agree more about compromise. I'd prefer to ride up the hill and then coast down, given the alternative of pushing the bike up the hill. If I want to go faster I'll just pick up my cadence atmo.
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Old 10-17-11, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bobn
The original hub and shifter for early '50s and pre AMF would have been a "Hercumatic".
I don't believe they were dated like the SA hubs.
Bob, that is what I've heard. I'm not concerned with it being perfect, but if I can put appropriate parts on it for a reasonable cost, I'll do so. Based on the hub I have there appears not to be date stamps on the hubs. Now trying to get my hands on a hercumatic shifter may be *the* big challenge.
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