Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Spring Evening

 Another nice evening for a ride here. The temperatures are slowly increasing, and now we're getting more into the 60s each day. I've been commuting to work on my bikes this week, and I've been riding after work on the local roads. This 1958 Raleigh Sports has a wonderful 4-speed FW hub, which is one of my favorite models.

The 2021 Season Begins...

 After a moderately snowy winter and several wind storms, we're finally on-track for the start of the 2021 riding season here in western New England. The weather is warming and the days are becoming longer. This week has had some pretty good weather, so I have been commuting to work and riding in the evening on my 3-speed bikes. Below is a picture from last evening's outing with a 1974 Raleigh Sports. 

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Starting to Thaw...

 It's hard to be believe that we are already into March of 2021, but here we are. January and February were quite cold, and relatively snowy for western New England. But now in the first week of March, we are at last having a real thaw. Temperatures are getting up into the 40s and even the low 50s each day. Yesterday was very cold and very windy, but today is much warmer and we're back to thawing.

It might be tempting to go for a ride once things begin to warm. However, be warned that a good deal of corrosive road salt may remain on the road surfaces, and may mix with water from melting snow to form a corrosive bath for the bike and its parts. As much as I love riding, I recommend waiting until a good, strong rain storm has washed away salt and salt/snow/water mix on the roads before riding a valuable, vintage steel bicycle. Consider visiting an away-from-the-road bike trail where there is no road salt or salt brine instead.

With that said, I am looking forward to warmer weather, longer days, and a return to the road.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

The Coldest Days of the Year

 Not much bike riding action this time of year in western New England. It's cold, there's snow around, and then there's the corrosive road salts that just stay on the road for weeks on end. 

So my activities are: fixing up bike parts indoors to prepare for the season, skiing, skating, and jogging. Even when you can't ride, you have to stay active. I even have a 10-speed Raleigh Grand Prix on a trainer in my basement for when I want to practice riding, even if it's stationary. 

Sunday, January 24, 2021

1930s Sturmey Archer Hub Set, Shifter, Pulley

 It has been awhile since I last posted anything here, but I'm still active. The bikes are put away for now, until better weather and the road salt are gone. 

Winter is at least an opportunity to fix parts and small items. I recently acquired a really interesting 1930s hub set: a 1937 Sturmey Archer Model K hub, black-out Sturmey quadrant shifter, black-out pulley, and a Sturmey "Mark II" Dynohub.

So I've set about restoring them to working condition. The Model K apparently had water in the bearings and perhaps in the center of the hub for some time, which meant the need to replace the cones, bearings, and clean the innards. Unfortunately, I do not have an unused set of Model K bearings, so I used AW bearings. Thankfully they work. 

One interesting feature of the late-model K is that the non-drive side has two dust covers between which a grease-laden felt washer is used to hold the oil in the hub. With the switch to the AW-style bearings with metal dust caps and grease seals, the felt-related items are removed and stored. The old cones are also set aside because they differ from the AW, and are at least worth keeping as an example of 1930s-era Sturmey Model K technology. More instructions on the Model K are found HERE, in this nice article by Jim Gill.

The Mark II Dynohub is also quite interesting. According to Tony Hadland's The Hub of the Universe, the Mark II was a short-lived upgrade to the original, large Dynohub of the 1930s. The Mark II was only briefly made before the Dynohub was upgraded yet again in the late 1930s. This Mark II does not have any year inscribed on the shell, and only has a "Mark II" on it. The side of the hub is rather nicely decorated, though some of the text has faded.

Of course the hubset would not be complete with a proper shifter and pulley. I disassembled and restored this "black out" quadrant shifter that is a perfect match for the Model K. I also cleaned and oil the old black pulley to go with it. I do not have the cable, but custom making a quadrant shifter cable is not difficult using brass tubing and an old Bell Systems crimper to set the ends.

 Winter weather may not be pleasant for riding, but at least it gives a chance to clean and repair old Sturmey artifacts like these.