Monday, May 30, 2016

Primitive Accessories: 1948 Raleigh Dawn

The 1948 Raleigh Dawn has a couple interesting, rather primitive accessories. The first is something common: a Wald rear axle kick stand. These stands appear on both American and English bicycles from the 1940s. They allow you to mount a kickstand where space under the bottom bracket is tight.


On this Raleigh Dawn, the rear rod stirrup would interfere with a standard Raleigh kickstand. There are indeed some kickstands that mount under the bottom bracket and allow the brake stirrup to move, but this bike has the rear axle stand.

The biggest drawback to this type of stand is that it is quite heavy and 'clunky'.

The second item is the rear rack. The later "Prestube Minor" and "Midlands" type Raleigh racks have nuts and bolts that secure them to the seat stays. This earlier type has a large wingnut, tightened by hand. The tubes on the rack also are not quite as heavy as the later racks. It's a nice addition to this bike.




Sunday, May 29, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

1946 Hercules Model C

I took the 1946 Model C Hercules for a couple of rides this weekend. The bottom bracket needed some find adjustments, and I swapped the 1960s rubber grips for older-type, celluloid Apex grips. The Apex grips a bit less comfortable, but really are more appropriate for this sort of bicycle.




II. 1948 Raleigh Dawn Tourist Update

The 1948 Dawn Tourist continues. I have worked out the drive train, set up the chaincase, rebuilt both hubs, and rebuilt the bottom bracket. All parts have been cleaned and polished. The wheels are trued. I'm down to buying a set of brake pads, and doing the final assembly. This bike is close to returning to the road.

I needed to replace the fenders because the originals had been painted up with what seemed to be automotive paint. Even acetone was unhelpful in removing the overspray. However, I did locate a nice set of Raleigh fenders from a 1960s-70s era bicycle. Their condition is consistent with the rest of this bike, though they have wire stays rather than brazed stays. 

Overall, this bicycle is coming together.







Saturday, May 21, 2016

On the Road with a 1958 Raleigh Four Speed Sports

A couple shots from the other night of the Raleigh Sports with the FW four speed hub:















The FW hub is really a lot of fun.  The gear ratio is a bit close, but the additional, bottom gear is really nice to have for uphill riding. The 24 tooth rear cog gives lots of help climbing as well.

I use this bike as my "hill climber" with that gearing. The weather was generally good this past week, but this weekend has been a mess: lots of rain.  I'm more than ready for the rainy weather to end so I can get back to some good, spring weather riding.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

1948 Raleigh Dawn Tourist

My latest project is a 1948 Raleigh Dawn Tourist. The Dawn Tourist combined the traditional rod brake system with a 26 inch wheel Raleigh Sports style frame. It offered a hybrid of the Raleigh Sports and the Raleigh DL1.



I especially like these hybrid-style roadsters- I already have a Hercules Model C from 1946.

These hybrid bicycles combine the handling and ride position of the Raleigh Sports style bike with more traditional, full roadster elements. I actually rebuilt an early 1960s Dawn Tourist with drum brakes a couple of years ago.

This Dawn Tourist is a complete project, but I have already taken it apart.









The wheels are 26 x 1-3/8, but are Westwood pattern rims for rod brakes.










The project is in decent shape, but certainly needs a fair amount of work. I look forward to rebuilding this bicycle and putting it back on the road.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Early Style Sturmey Archer Handlebar Shifter

Many people are familiar with the "upside down" type Sturmey Archer 3 speed shifters of the 1950s.  But did you know that SA had been producing early versions of that "click" shifter since the late 1930s?

SA handlebar shifters go back to the earliest days of 3 speed hubs, but the first truly modern iteration ("the click shifter") appeared in the late 1930s. World War II intervened, and the top tube "quadrant" shifter continued into the 1940s, after the war ended. In the late 1940s, "click" handlebar shifters gradually began replacing the quadrant shifters on 3 speed bikes.

Here is an example of a 1940s Sturmey "click" handle bar shifter.



This model comes before the "window" shifters of the 1950s and has a longer lever. It is part of the 1948 Raleigh Dawn Tourist I am rebuilding.

Many people love the look of a quadrant top tube shifter, but even the early "click" handlebar shifters generally offer more convenience.  This particular variation is much less often seen than the later, "window" shifters.