Sunday, October 16, 2016

Another Offering in 26 x 1 3/8 Tires (ISO 590mm) For English Bikes

I am always on the look out for new 26 inch options in tires for American (ISO 597mm or 599mm) or English three speeds (ISO 590mm).

I recently came across these: Sunlite/Kenda K103

Sunlite/Kenda K103 on Amazon

In thinking about "vintage-style" tires, I start with the original sources. In the case of English bicycles, I look at what Dunlop offered many years ago. Below is a picture of some of the different tread patterns Dunlop commonly offered.

The image above shows several variations, but a couple of commonalities. First is that none of the tires are exceedingly small or large for this particular rim size. Second, some tires are "street" treads and some are "all 'rounders". Our options today are not entirely limited. There are a few common tires

Kenda's popular K40 tires and Duro's competing offerings capture the "street" tread style of tire for English light roadsters.

At right: Kenda K40.

At left: Duro ISO 590mm tire for English light roadsters.

But let's say we want something new, cost-effective, and more akin to the "Dunlop Sports" or "Dunlop Speed" all 'rounder tires. This would mean looking for a medium-sized tire with some knob in the tread, but not an off-road tire. Such a tire might be very good for going over paved surfaces with sand, sticks, stones, acorns, and other small debris.

Panaracer Col de La Vie tires might be too big for this, though they remain an excellent, larger tire for all purposes on a 3 speed.

Recently Sunlite/Kenda began making a version of their Raleigh DL-1 sized tires for the English light roadster size. These are called Kenda/Sunlite K103 tires. These tires come in both black and white wall versions.

 The K103 tires are the same size as the K40 road tires, but have a "roadster" style tread.

At left is a tread comparison between a Duro road tread and Kenda roadster K103 tread.  That K103 tread may look familiar: it is the tread from the Kenda tires that fit the Raleigh DL-1 Tourist.
 The two tires at left are a K103 white wall and an original Dunlop White Sprite. The two tires are about the same size, though the K103 has the "all 'rounder" tread. The Dunlop has a little more white to it.

Dunlop Sprite: this was a street tread tire. I've seen Sprites with black walls and White Sprites with white walls. Some White Sprites had white stripes rather than full white walls. I actually have an old White Sprite hanging up in my garage.

This tire has a "straight" street type tread with mild interruptions in the center tread. Evidently there is a little variation compared to the Dunlop image above.

Here is a White Sprite comparison to a Schwalbe Delta Cruiser. The Delta cruiser has a more modern, automobile type tread, and is a larger tire.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Hercules Three Speed

Today brought a change of tires to the 1946 Hercules Model C. These new tires are a relatively recent offering from Kenda tires. They are a ISO 590 26 x 1 3/8 roadster tires. Unlike the usual Kenda or Duro tires, these have a version of the treads used on Kenda's Raleigh DL-1 tires.  They have an "all 'rounder" tread rather than a street or smooth tread.

 The tires run reasonably smoothly and handle light road debris well.

The weather this time of year is especially good for riding: often cool and dry. It's time to get rides in before the colder, shorter days, arrive.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Fall Rides: 1946 Hercules Model C

A few shots of the Hercules Model C down by the local park. I dropped some mail off at the local Postal Service box, and then ventured down to the park. It was a cool, but nice day. I do prefer riding in cool weather to very hot weather.

 I've always loved the "H" Hercules chainrings. They're attractive and certainly something different.
 The Duro tires are showing a few small cracks in the sidewalls, which is not very good, given that the tires are just under 1 year old. The next set I get for this bike will be a different brand.
The quadrant shifter is always a favorite among bike collectors, but it certainly is not as fast or convenient as the later handlebar shifters. However, this is the right shifter for this bike and you do get used to it.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Raleigh Sprite 5 Speed

The weather here is turning cooler, though it is still warm enough. Hurricane Matthew approached, but never hit here directly. I have mostly been riding a 1974 Raleigh Sports or a late 1960s Raleigh Sprite this fall.

I recently got a new, Brooks B66 saddle for the Sprite. I opted for the "antique brown" finish, which goes well enough with the green paint. I also replaced all the cables on the bike.

The bronze green color strikes me as a good fall color, a cross between green, brown, and bronze-gold. Now is the time to ride. Opportunities become scarcer in the winter.

As a closing note, I urge you look for your local bicycle co-op or local bike shop and to provide them with some business, or donations. Our local co-op: Velo City Co Op is a charitable venture where I sometimes donate spare bikes or parts I am not using. They provide training and bikes to people looking to learn or people in need. If you have a local shop or co-op near you that does these things, I urge you to help them out how ever you can.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Sturmey Archer FG Four Speed Dynohub

I recently acquired a couple of uncommon pieces here in the US: a Sturmey Archer FG four speed dynohub, and a 1948-49 silverface Sturmey shifter.

The four speed dynohub was a deluxe gear hub offered by Sturmey Archer from the 1940s to the 1960s. This one dates to 1956.

The shifter is slightly older. This silverface shifter was only made for two years: 1948 and 49. It is in outstanding shape.