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Help me ID this Hercules Roadster

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Help me ID this Hercules Roadster

Old 08-19-13, 07:37 PM
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gbalke
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Help me ID this Hercules Roadster

Back in March of 2011, another C&V member, ftwelder, offered me a Hercules Roadster for the cost of shipping. I was working a contract job in Wichita at the time and when the bike arrived at my home in St Louis, my son stuck it in the garage, still packed in the shipping box. That box remained sealed until today when I opened it to quickly check the bike, though not removing it.

The photos below were taken by the previous owner and hopefully they will be enough to help ID the model and possibly year of manufacture. I should say that the rear hub, the Simplex rear derailleur and the both shift levers were removed from the bike prior to shipping.

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Old 08-19-13, 08:35 PM
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Deraillers and rod brakes? Cool. Why 2 levers, though?
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Old 08-19-13, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by sailorbenjamin View Post
Deraillers and rod brakes? Cool.
Be the first in town anyway!

Why 2 levers, though?
cuz the other one is broke?


Looks like it will clean up nice...would be super cool with an old chainpull derailleur!
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Old 08-19-13, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by sailorbenjamin View Post
Deraillers and rod brakes? Cool. Why 2 levers, though?
I believe the lever on the top tube is original. The lower lever was most likely added when the Simplex derailleur was added.
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Old 08-20-13, 02:49 AM
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Rod Brake Roadster With A Derailleur?

Originally Posted by gbalke View Post
I believe the lever on the top tube is original. The lower lever was most likely added when the Simplex derailleur was added.
Quite a neat old Herc. I have never seen one with a derailleur. That is most definitely not original.

As far as the lever on the top tube, as with the derailleur it is not the original as it would have been a quadrant shifter or a trigger shifter.
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Old 08-20-13, 03:27 AM
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Great bike vintage true Herc before made before they sold out likley orginal just Just pre war. While not original the vintage change to what looks like a 4X3 rear is just very interesting. I would love too see this bike up and running with the vintage 50's changes up and running. As for the two levers one for the IGH threespeed and one for the 3/4speed derailleur both on the rear.
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Old 08-20-13, 04:29 AM
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You guys never heard of a "Hercurailleur?" I think this bike came with one originally. It was made by cyclo if I remember correctly.
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Old 08-20-13, 06:19 AM
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Yup...but only seen pictures, late 40's to mid 50's and indexed using a thumb shifter that looked like a handlebar bell...no?
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Old 08-20-13, 06:25 AM
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ftwelder is right, the "Herailleur" though the Simplex derailler is probably a replacement, the catalog shows a Cyclo.
https://threespeedhub.com/wp-content/...g-1954-UK1.pdf
This bike, being the "tourist" type with the bolt up rear triangle, is never mentioned in the catalogs as available with the Herailleur, it could have been ordered that way I suppose.
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Old 08-20-13, 07:29 AM
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You can see the faint outline of the circular headbadge on the steering tube. This badge was replaced with the shield shaped badge around 1950.

I just found this web site, https://herculesmuseum.wordpress.com/...ercules-gents/ which could help in pin pointing the specific model and perhaps zero in on the year.
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Old 08-20-13, 07:44 AM
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I don't believe either shifter is original. It is, as you said, a roadster. It probably came with a single speed freewheel originally. This was upgraded to the three speed freewheel with a Cyclo Standard type derailleur, which has two cables operated by a single shifter (actually one long cable loop). If the derailleur was clamped to the drive side chain stay (as seems most likely) you should find marks on the paint where the clamps attached. You should also find a mark in the paint on the stay near the BB where a hook of some kind was mounted for the spring that maintained chain tension.

If the frame was made for a Cyclo Standard (or similar) derailleur, there will be a derailleur mount brazed to the chain stay and an eyelet for the spring. But I don't see the derailleur mount, so I assume it was an add-on.
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Old 08-20-13, 08:34 AM
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Several things here.

1) This bicycle would not have had a Simplex Prestige derailleur.
2) If it had a Cyclo or Herailleur derailleur, it would have normally been mounted on the downtube and not the top tube. See picture below.
3) It is doubtful a roadster would have had a derailleur.
4) The chainguard, while similar to that on other Hercules, does not appear to be original to the bicycle.
5) You are correct that the shield badge appeared around 1950.
6) As far as the Hercules Museum website, while a nice resource, I doubt you'll be able to pinpoint the model or year. Hercules had a fairly large model range which varied by country and from year to year.

I'm guessing it's somewhere around the 1940's -1950's. I would look at the bottom bracket cups or the chainset for signs of a date stamp.

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Old 08-21-13, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by photogravity View Post
Several things here.

1) This bicycle would not have had a Simplex Prestige derailleur.
I totally agree with you and never suspected it to be OEM since this was a '70 era French derailleur.

2) If it had a Cyclo or Herailleur derailleur, it would have normally been mounted on the downtube and not the top tube. See picture below.
3) It is doubtful a roadster would have had a derailleur.
4) The chainguard, while similar to that on other Hercules, does not appear to be original to the bicycle.
After quite a bit of researching Hercules catalog scans, I can to the same conclusion; probably added by one of its many owners.
5) You are correct that the shield badge appeared around 1950.
6) As far as the Hercules Museum website, while a nice resource, I doubt you'll be able to pinpoint the model or year. Hercules had a fairly large model range which varied by country and from year to year.

I'm guessing it's somewhere around the 1940's -1950's. I would look at the bottom bracket cups or the chainset for signs of a date stamp.

See my comments above.
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