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Ladies Lenton. One that will likely annoy the purists

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Ladies Lenton. One that will likely annoy the purists

Old 11-16-14, 10:39 AM
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crusader998
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Ladies Lenton. One that will likely annoy the purists

Why am I posting at all?
I did this restoration and have received various comments about losing "authenticity" Just wanted to see what others might think. I'm thick skinned so if I've spoiled it feel free to let rip.

The back story.
This is a 1954 ladies lenton sports with sturmey archer 4 speed.
The bike in the pictures belongs to my mother who was given it new. She used it for many years until about 1975 when it ended up in the basement. She has had other bikes since but has always hinted that she preferred her Lenton so a couple of months ago I took it away to do some work on it as a Christmas present. I have never undertaken a bike restoration before but with the brief from mum that she wanted a "town bike" style restoration and that the bike would be her daily transport. (She's 69 and cycles about 70 miles a week) I decided to have a crack at it.

The Restoration.
The lightweight frame was in good nick but the paint and decals were beyond saving. The original lightweight wheels were a bit pitted but complete and running true however they were beyond my ability to restore. I have kept them and will maybe have someone with more knowledge look at them in the future.
I dismantled then rubbed the whole thing down to bare metal and zinc primed it.The bike was originally blue and from doing my research found that it was polychromatic Mediterranean blue. Thankfully there was some original colour beneath the brake cable clips so I was able, as best I could, to colour match it. I added a moderate amount of flake and colour sanded the last coat to flatten the flake to achieve the original polychromatic effect. There really was no alternative to repainting. I am all for patina but there's patina and there's just plain knackered looking. I got some duplicate decals onto it then clear-coated followed by a gentle rub with 2500 grit to retain the polychromatic look as opposed to full on gloss.
Contemporary 26 X 1 1/4 lightweight wheels are impossible to find as various people delighted in telling me (one reason why I have kept the originals) so I sourced a set of stainless 26 X 1 3/8 wheels from 1956 which came complete with sturmey archer 4 speed and dyno hub.
Apparently the bike came with plastic mudguards which have probably been broken sometime over the last 60 years and thrown away but in keeping with my "town bike" brief I found the ones that are on now. They come from a 60s BSA and have been repaired, de-dented and sprayed to match the bike.
The white and blue colour scheme came from the old dear's desire to have white wall tyres.
The chrome was not bad given its age and so I treated it to a fairly gentle wire brushing and then clearcoated it using etch thinners. This has retained the patina but should stop it becoming more patina than metal. The only exception was the handlebars. They were in pretty bad order so I painted them.
Bearings, brakes gears were fine just needed cleaning and re-greasing

Justifying myself
The bike could be put back to original by swapping back the wheels, removing the mudguards and replacing the brooks seat
The bike has gone from a relic in a basement to an every day rider.
I am a spray painter so the paint job is professional and probably better than factory
Anyway it's done now so have at it




Attached Images
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aft2.jpg (107.9 KB, 61 views)
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aft3.jpg (105.0 KB, 131 views)
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Old 11-16-14, 10:46 AM
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I think you did a great job rescuing that bike! Although a Brooks B72 and some proper north road bars would really do the trick.
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Old 11-16-14, 10:46 AM
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Nice job. I think it looks great. I'd probably install a chain guard on it, too.

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Old 11-16-14, 10:48 AM
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What does your mother think of it? Everyone elses' opinion is irrelevant. That being said; I really like it. Nice work.
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Old 11-16-14, 10:56 AM
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Do you have more before pictures? I'd really like to see more of what it looked like before. Also, I'd like to see the details you did on the mudguards if you don't mind.

As far as the repaint, I prefer not to repaint if it can be avoided, but I think the paint job you did looks quite nice. There are basically two things I'm not crazy about on this bike and would change were it mine: 1) the handlebars, as I think a Bailey bend drop bar or Northroads bar would be a great fit, and 2) the seat, which I would replace with some sort of Brooks saddle.

Other than those two nits, I quite like it.
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Old 11-16-14, 11:37 AM
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It looks great. I don't know of too many "purists" who object to taking a rusty, unrideable bike and cleaning it up and making it not only useful, but pretty doggone awesome.

Nice work.
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Old 11-16-14, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by David325 View Post
I think you did a great job rescuing that bike! Although a Brooks B72 and some proper north road bars would really do the trick.
Thanks. I agree about the seat and bars but the bars are original to the bike and at her age my mother would prefer to sit upright. The seat just happened to fit in with the colour scheme. I hate it personally but it wasn't my choice
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Old 11-16-14, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
Nice job. I think it looks great. I'd probably install a chain guard on it, too.

Yup I'm trying to get my hands on a suitable contemporary one.
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Old 11-16-14, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by nesteel View Post
What does your mother think of it? Everyone elses' opinion is irrelevant. That being said; I really like it. Nice work.
She loves it. Wouldn't allow me to wait until Christmas. She's been using it every day for the past week. And with the winter weather here in Scotland that shows that she approves
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Old 11-16-14, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by photogravity View Post
Do you have more before pictures? I'd really like to see more of what it looked like before. Also, I'd like to see the details you did on the mudguards if you don't mind.

As far as the repaint, I prefer not to repaint if it can be avoided, but I think the paint job you did looks quite nice. There are basically two things I'm not crazy about on this bike and would change were it mine: 1) the handlebars, as I think a Bailey bend drop bar or Northroads bar would be a great fit, and 2) the seat, which I would replace with some sort of Brooks saddle.

Other than those two nits, I quite like it.
I didn't take any more before pictures unfortunately. I just snapped that one as I dragged it out of the basement. I'll be happy to take a couple more of the mudguards for you. They're nothing special just white painted seam line and the traditional white lower section on the rear one but with a curved taper rather than the straight cut across which is a bit too severe for my taste. I'll post them when it gets daylight here.
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Old 11-16-14, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by crusader998 View Post
She loves it. Wouldn't allow me to wait until Christmas. She's been using it every day for the past week. And with the winter weather here in Scotland that shows that she approves
Beautiful! That's what it is all about.
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Old 11-16-14, 01:25 PM
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It's unfortunate you didn't get additional pictures, but I understand. Thanks for your willingness to take additional pictures of the mudguards.
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Old 11-16-14, 02:37 PM
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When Mama's happy, everyone's happy! Looks great!
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Old 11-16-14, 02:51 PM
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Looks awful nice. and it looked like junk before. And your mom rides it, which is really the important thing. I appreciate that you kept the crank, or at least still have a cottered crank on it. Good job!
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Old 11-16-14, 03:07 PM
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You're a good son!

As for purists; what could be more pure than building for Mom the bike she wants?

Brent
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Old 11-16-14, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Salubrious View Post
Looks awful nice. and it looked like junk before. And your mom rides it, which is really the important thing. I appreciate that you kept the crank, or at least still have a cottered crank on it. Good job!
Thanks, yes its the original crank.
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Old 11-16-14, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by obrentharris View Post
You're a good son!

As for purists; what could be more pure than building for Mom the bike she wants?

Brent
Thanks Brent. What a nice thing to say
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Old 11-16-14, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by crusader998 View Post
She loves it. Wouldn't allow me to wait until Christmas. She's been using it every day for the past week. And with the winter weather here in Scotland that shows that she approves
We have a winner here! Nice work.
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Old 11-16-14, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by crusader998 View Post
Thanks, yes its the original crank.
Sweet- looks like a nice crank with 116mm BCD chainrings.

That Dynahub does not show up in the original photo- you plan to install lighting?
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Old 11-16-14, 04:14 PM
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Winner, winner...Lenton dinner!
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Old 11-16-14, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Salubrious View Post
Sweet- looks like a nice crank with 116mm BCD chainrings.

That Dynahub does not show up in the original photo- you plan to install lighting?
Honestly have no idea, I just dismantled it and renovated it and put it back together again. I'm no bike expert I'm afraid. The wheels along with the dynahub are replacements circa 1956. The dynahub works but hadn't considered lighting. I'll give it some thought if I can find contemporary lights.
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Old 11-16-14, 05:02 PM
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I've found such things at my donation LBS. If they show up there, they are usually inexpensive.

You will need one of these (that is if you want it to look right...)
Vintage Raleigh Superbe Bicycle Chrome Headlight Bracket from 26" Model | eBay

Then you should be able to fit the correct style British headlight. You can find them under 'Sturmey Archer' as the link below, also 'Miller'. The one below seems a bit pricey to me...

Vintage Raleigh Sturmey Archer Chrome Bicycle Head Light Headlight British Lamp | eBay
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