Monday, December 21, 2015

The Short Days...

We're into the shortest days of the year, and not long until Christmas. That said, if you have weather in the 50's to nearly 60, you take it. The rides are a bit shorter than usual, but if you start by 3:30 or 3:45 in the afternoon here, you can get about 1 hour of riding. This time of year, you take it as a gift more than any other time.

This is the 1946 Hercules Royal Model C again. The Miller headlamp is working with two "D" batteries in it. It does not give off much light for seeing, but does help cars and other bicycles see you sooner than if you had nothing at all. It's a nice period piece that adds at least a little help at dusk.

Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Final Project of 2015

Over the past month or so, I re-built this 1946 Hercules Royal Model C.  The bicycle represents a "compact" style rod brake roadster. The bicycle is Hercules-made, but has a "Royal" decal on the head tube. It came with a Perry coaster brake dated 8-46. I replaced the single speed coaster with a Sturmey Archer TCW hub to make the bike a bit more ride-worthy. The rear brake is a coaster and the front is a rod/stirrup type.

I had a very nice Sturmey Archer quadrant shifter from the 1940s in my parts bin. This one appears to have been either never used, or only very slightly used. The rims are Dunlop Westwood rims that take the 26 x 1-3/8 (ISO 590) size tires. These are the usual, "English Sports Three Speed" sized tires. The frame is 21 inches, but more relaxed than a "Sports" roadster.

It features the "gallows" style seat post and "cut away" type lugs with oval holes. It has the "half chaincase" type chain guard. The gear ratio on this bike is 44 teeth in front and 21 in back.

The philosophy to this bike, like most of the others I have, is to make subtle upgrades to make the bike road-worthy while also keeping a deep respect to the history of the bike. The TCW hub is notorious for difficulties, but I completely overhauled this one into a steady-running state.
This bicycle has a number of the unique features that Birmingham-made bicycles had before they were merged into Raleigh/Nottingham production.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Time Change

The biggest let down about changing back to Standard Time from Daylight Savings is that my time to ride after work is now limited. With sunset at about 6:15 PM in Daylight Savings, there is just enough time to slip in a one hour ride before it really starts to get dark.

However, with Standard Time, it's now dark at 5:15, which robs a good deal of daylight after work. I telework two days weekly, and I can ride on those days if I get started on work very early (about 7 A.M.). However, when I go into the office and you throw in the commute time, I lose the chance to ride after work in Standard Time.

I still get two days of ride during the week and two days on the weekend, which is not too bad. Hopefully the weather holds for a little while yet this season.

Monday, October 12, 2015

1974 Raleigh Sports Update

I periodically clean up and do small upgrades on bicycles I've already "completed". This weekend I replaced the plastic zip ties securing the wire for the light set on my 1974 Raleigh with homemade metal clamps. I made the clamps from sheet aluminum using tin snips, a grinding wheel, and a drill.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sturmey Archer Parts Haul

This week was good in terms of Sturmey Archer parts to buy. I picked up a 1958 Sturmey Archer AG Three Speed-Dynohub combo. I also got a 1953 Sturmey Archer GS6 front Dynohub, as well as a 1978 Sturmey Archer SC3 coaster brake hub.


Along with the hubs, I picked up a somewhat uncommon Sturmey Archer "4" Speed shifter with silver face and brown paint. These are not truly rare, but you don't see very many come up here in the USA. It's much more common to see the "3 or 4 Speed" shifter faceplate than just the 4 speed with window.

I cleaned a little of the red house paint off of the shifter and put it straight on my 1958 Raleigh 4 speed Sports.