Friday, July 12, 2013

1935 English Hercules 3 Speed Model G All Black





The Hercules is essentially done. I say "essentially" because I may have another part or two to replace, and perhaps a few minor adjustment to finish. But basically this is the bicycle.










It's a 3-speed internal gear hub with a quadrant shifter and rod brakes. The model was available both with plated trim and with black trim. This particular example is the black trim variation. It runs on 26 x 1-1/2, 650b, tires. The metric width is 40 mm, and that is similar to the roadster tire width in the 28 inch size.








The tire brand is Kenda marketed under the Sunlite distributor.  The rims are steel Avro Westwoods. The spokes are replacements, DT Swiss type with 14mm brass nipples. The hubs are original. The brake pads are unused, old stock British. The pedals are reproductions without reflectors.










The chain case is an original Hercules chain case from the 1940s or early 50s. It fits the frame fine because they apparently did not change the dimensions. The running gear has been swapped to a new chain and a 20 tooth rear cog. The original 18 gave gearing that was too high. The fenders are the deep-well "valence" type. The saddle is a modern Brooks leather and the bag is a canvas and leather Banjo Brother Minnehaha bag. I like the old style look and the small size of it. I recommend it for anyone wanting a vintage-style bag without spending a lot of money.








The bicycle rides like a big, old touring car. You sit very upright and very high. The bottom bracket is high off the ground and the frame is a large, 24 inches from bottom bracket to seat tube top. When you combing the bottom bracket height with the big frame, you'll actually find you're looking down at the tops of vans and pick up trucks on the road. You tower over a regular sedan or coupe.





The 650b tires run great, especially at around 45 fps. 50 seems a little hard for the roads I ride. They are a great mix of cushion and roll. They ride faster than an American balloon tire but give more cushion than a Raleigh Sports 650A type.



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