Saturday, March 12, 2016

1947 Ladies Hercules from Birmingham, England

If you have been reading earlier entries, you may know that last fall, I acquired a matching pair of 1946-47 Hercules bikes. The bikes are from the "Royal" sub-brand of Hercules bikes, which were made at the Birmingham factory long before Hercules merged with Raleigh.

I cleaned and brought the men's bike back on the road last fall. I have been riding it this spring, and it's a great little machine. This appears to be a rod-coaster brake variant of the Hercules "Model C" compact roadster (26 x 1-3/8 or ISO 590mm wheels).

Now that the weather is warming, I have begun working on the ladies' Model C. I look forward to the time change as well. The later daylight will allow me to ride my bicycles after getting home from work again. I usually exercise by jogging a few miles each night after work when I cannot ride. I honestly hate jogging, but it keeps me in shape when I can't get onto a bike.

This bicycle was somewhat less complete, but I have some Nottingham-era Hercules parts to put it back on the road. This will not be a purely period repair, but it will be a tasteful job using vintage English parts that go well with the bike.

 I have been able to source a few Birmingham-era Hercules parts for the drive train, but the fenders and chain guard will be 1960s-era parts.

This evening, I cleaned and polished the fenders, as well as re-built the a three speed coaster brake for the bike. The concept here is to complete a tasteful rebuild without searching forever for Birmingham-era sheet metal parts. I was lucky enough to find "H" pattern bottom bracket parts. A lot of this bike is present, it's just missing the chain guard and fenders. I think these 1960s Hercules parts will stand-in well enough. It should be an attractive, fun bike for my wife to ride. It will also make a nice pair with the mens' model.