Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Raleigh Superbe Green vs Raleigh Superbe Green Posing as Black

Certain colors change greatly depending on the type and amount of light present. Raleigh Superbe Green is one of those colors that ranges anywhere from a medium green, to a black-looking color.

Here's a look under a decent amount of sunlight, but not in direct sun:

How about a little farther away?

 It looks like a medium-dark green with some blue tones.

What about in the shade?

It looks more like a grey-blue-black color in the shade here. If you take this latter picture to the paint shop for a match, you'd come back with the wrong color.

When you want to match vintage bicycle paint at a paint shop, or when you want to mix your own paint, always work from a representative part of the bike. Look for a part of the bike that is closest to the majority of your project's color. Avoid working from just a picture of a bike, and avoid working from the more faded areas. Only work from a like-new area if you're re-painting the entire bike. It's better to match your faded original paint for touch-up than it is to throw like-new paint into the chips and have it not match.

And if you really are in doubt, get a black bike...

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Nice Weather

Nice weather today - a marked change from the humidity we had earlier. I took a couple rides over the past two days with some nice old Raleigh bikes. I also got a chance to watch the start of the Tour de France this morning

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July - a couple shots of two classic Schwinn 3-speeds: a New World and a Continental.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

1940s and 50s: Schwinn and Raleigh Quality

I took a couple of rides this weekend, despite the high heat and humidity here.

Friday evening, I rode this really nice 1958 Raleigh Sports 4-speed. The Raleigh really is a classic, conservative-looking bicycle that displays a high degree of quality. Black is a classic Raleigh color, and both the paint and graphics on this Sports are great.

We're in the long days of the year, though the days are now starting to shorten. We have plenty of daylight, and the slightly cooler air of evening is better than the high heat of the mid-afternoon.

The following evening, I took out this 1947 Schwinn Continental.

The Continental is probably the "coolest" bike that I own, particularly because it was a higher-end bike and is in such great condition. The blue paint is in excellent shape, and the silver, winged graphics are really impressive.

Schwinn went all-out on this bike: Cro-Mo frame, hand-brazed joints, aluminum parts, heavy-duty saddle, stainless fenders and rims, double-butted spokes, and monogram "AS" bolts. This bike was really a high-end piece when it was built in 1947 and it still is quite impressive.

Friday, June 29, 2018

1940s Schwinn New World

I'm a fan of the Schwinn New World bikes, which sometimes are forgotten when people focus on Schwinn Paramounts, Superiors, or Continentals. But the New World is still a great bicycle, and a classic that is not a bank-breaker if you want to buy one.

This 1940s New World has been in my collection for several years, and I enjoy riding it a lot. The New Worlds have more relaxed frames than the Raleigh Sports bikes, and can feature some unique touches, like art deco parts/designs. The winged chainguard is certainly one of them, as is the "razor back" stem with monogram bolts.

I added the French light set to this bike as a period touch, complete with yellow French headlight bulb. Whereas the Raleigh offers a more "straightforward" 3-speed, the Schwinn New World offers something a little "flashier" in terms of artistic parts.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Good Weather, Lots of Daylight - Raleigh Sprite

We've had a stretch of really, really nice weather over the past couple of days. These are prime days for riding - some of the longest days of the year, along with some of the best weather of the year. Our weather this time of June is often very hot and humid, but the past couple of days have been great - plenty of daylight and good weather.

Here's a shot of the 5-speed Raleigh Sprite from over the weekend:

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Large Wheels, Small Wheels

 I took a couple of different bike rides today, due to the fact that I had no chance to ride yesterday on account of rain.

So I decided to take two very different bicycles: a 1962 Raleigh DL-1 with 28-inch wheels, and a 1971 Raleigh Twenty folding bike with 20-inch wheels.

As you'd might expect, the two bikes handle differently. The Twenty is lighter and "snappier", but has less of a feeling of momentum behind it when you ride. The small wheels are a little slower than the full-sized wheels, but not much.

What is different is the feeling of "heft" and momentum you get in the DL-1. The DL-1 feels like a locomotive by comparison: slower to start off, and not as snappy, but with a lot of energy behind it once it gets going. The large wheels soak up bumps and go over obstacles without too much trouble. The DL-1's slack frame also contributes greatly to the unique feel of the bike.

The Twenty's wheels do have a little cushion because of the wide tires, but the bumps have a little harshness to them that they don't have with the DL-1. The Twenty's small, trim frame make it great in traffic, though less stable if you try to ride hands-free.

Both are excellent bicycles and of very good quality. Both have a place in every complete Raleigh collection.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Evening Rides - Raleigh Twenty

A shot of the Raleigh Twenty from the other evening. We're into the longest days of the year, and we have daylight until about 8:45 p.m. With the help of a couple of LED lamps that charge via USB cable, I can ride well into the evening. I did just that with this Raleigh Twenty. It's cooler and more pleasant at dusk than earlier in the evening this time of year, and this ride was pretty good.

The Raleigh Twenty is a bit deceptive. Despite having small wheels and a folding frame, the bike is actually quite robust. It is only slightly slower than a full-sized wheel bike. It's a great choice for the person who wants a vintage folding bike that does not suffer much disadvantage compared to something like a Raleigh Sports. It may not fold up as compact as more modern folders, but it's rock solid and a joy to ride.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Rolling into Summer - Classic Raleigh Bikes

A few shots from this week. The week started relatively hot and humid, but finished with outstanding weather. It was warm and fairly dry today, with no sign of rain or thunderstorms. These are Grade-A riding days - lots of daylight into the evening, lots of warmth, and not too much humidity (yet). But the hottest and most humid days of summer still await...

1958 Raleigh Sports 4-Speed

1970 Raleigh Sprite 5-speed

1962 Raleigh DL-1 Export Model

1972 Raleigh Twenty Folding Bike

Also this weekend a couple of great sporting events: the U.S. Open Golf Tournament and the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. I plan on watching a bit of both this weekend.

Friday, June 8, 2018

The Longer Days

We're entering the longer days of the year - lots of daylight to ride in the evening. We've had some summer-like evenings here this week, along with some very nice, cooler weather. I had a good opportunity this week to ride several classic Raleigh bikes - a Raleigh DL-1; a Raleigh Twenty; and a Raleigh Sprite. These are all great bikes.

 With hot, humid weather arriving, these Mallard Ducks are out and about enjoying a swim.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Classic Raleigh and Schwinn Bikes - Memorial Day Weekend

The weather has been summer-like this weekend: hot and humid. But that has not stopped me from getting plenty of ride time. I took out several bikes this weekend - a 1958 Raleigh Sports; a 1947 Schwinn Continental and a 1941 Schwinn New World.

1958 Raleigh Sports 4-speed bike:

1947 Schwinn Continental 3-speed:

 1941 Schwinn New World 3-speed:

The only concern this weekend has been fast-developing thunderstorms each afternoon. I use a phone app radar/forecast program to check hourly forecasts, and I keep an eye on darkening skies as I ride. But so far... so good this weekend. Summer is arriving.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Traditional, New Pedals for 1/2 Inch Spindles (U.S. Size)

 I'm a big fan of traditional rubber block pedals made without reflectors. While reflector pedals have a little extra safety element, they are not correct for older utility bikes, such as 1940s-50s era bikes.

So when I found out that MKS is making a traditional pedal in both 9/16 and 1/2 inch spindle sizes, I jumped on some. These are the MSK 3000S pedals - they've been made for decades, but are now becoming more readily available online thanks to sellers in Japan.

I recently bought a set of 3000S pedals in the 1/2 inch spindle size. This size is particularly difficult to find high-quality, traditional pedals. This is the size that old, American-made bikes take, both those with one-piece cranks, as well as 1940s-50s Schwinns with cottered cranks.

The 3000S pedals have arrived, and the quality is very good. They also fit perfectly in these Schwinn cranks from the 1940s. They will be a welcomed alternative to using old-stock pedals, which often are bent or worn. I'll keep riding my old Torrington #8 pedals, but I will have a ready back up set of MKS 3000S pedals for them.

Monday, May 21, 2018

A Nice Evening

After many inches and several days of rain, we finally have had a nice, dry day here. I took the 1958 Raleigh Sports out for a ride. It's a little dusty from all the pollen, but that's no big deal.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

A Bonus Ride - Raleigh DL-1 Export Model

 Originally, this weekend was supposed to be very damp. The forecasts called for rain Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday. So it was a pleasant surprise when Saturday was mostly dry, and the rain held off entirely today. The result was that I was able to get in two, full-length rides this weekend.

Today's ride was on this early 1960s-era Raleigh DL-1 Export Model. If you have never ridden a rod brake roadster, it really is an experience that is unique. The slack frame angles, wide tires, and rod brake set up all contribute to a ride that is different from any other type of bicycle. This Export DL-1 is no exception.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Spring Weekend Ride - 1947 Schwinn New World

A cooler, nicer day today, at least before it rained in the evening. I love riding when it's just a little on the cool side - around 70-75 or so. I took a nice ride on this 1947 Schwinn New World. I took lots of detail photos of the interesting touches Schwinn put on this bike. The old French light set and North Star bell were my own additions.