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Archived: English Roadsters







AGE / VALUE:   Var cotter pin tool posted by: ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 3/14/2001 at 4:16:55 PM
The Var cotter pin installer/removal tool the old one the shop has hanging up. Do you know what I am referring to? It's green, that finish that Var uses or used. Is Var still around? What is the going rate for a Var Cotter pin tool? Where can I get one?


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Var cotter pin tool posted by ChristopherRobin on 3/14/2001 at 5:27:34 PM
He held it in his hand and laughed at me with a twinkle in his eye. I got to hold this myself for a minute and then they put it back. Shop tool we use, can't sell it to you. "You are a Philistine, Chris". More laughter. I run into this problem all the time. I want the good stuff they don't want to part with or because they use it to repair customers bikes. Prying tools away, getting them to accept money and actually leaving the place with the tool I want isn't easy. He looked in some bike shop dealer book and told me "No, the only one I see listed is the Park tool CR2 cotter pin removal press. I said that ok, I will pass. (This is 55.00 plus shipping at Loose Screws.) No, I'm hunting this older thing, mysterious and expensive if I can find one. I'll keep searching the net and let you know what I find. I wish there was a Var Web site to pop up and encourage me with some flashing colors saying Yes, Chris! We have these, Just send us 189.95 plus shipping and it's yours." But right now I do not know what happened to Var Tools. Good Excuse to go to France, except when I get there it will look like my own country with a Walgreen's where the old bike shop used to me Or perhaps a sprawling medical complex. A hostile takeover approach will be expensive. He did say "Everything has it's price" I didn't like the sound of that and so I will keep looking. I showed them a old catalog I have and he asked "Where did you get that?? Eyes big as saucers. You watch, now they will want to trade! I hate it when they do that. My answer will be no if they say that.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Var cotter pin tool posted by ChristopherRobin on 3/14/2001 at 5:32:15 PM
Im embarrised to say I won't even know how it works. Well, kind of. I have been in a lot of shops and I haven't seen these before. The tools I probably passed up. It is a shame. I have some origonal Raleigh tools, being a Raleigh fan it is really great to have found some.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: Var cotter pin tool posted by Mark R on 3/16/2001 at 3:34:45 AM
Chris, I have one of these tools. It's a great chain tool. You could punch holes in steel with it. I've had it for over twenty years and still use it every year. Mine doesn't have a stop to keep from pushing the pin TOO far out if you know what I mean, but that has naver been a problem. I hope you find one dude, you'll like it.
Marko

   Tracking old VAR Tools from Yesteryear. posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 3/16/2001 at 10:40:46 AM
The chain tool, I have that one. It wasn't cheap or easy. I had to badger them and I got lucky one day. No, I'm talking about the Var cotter pin tool. It's a Big old behemoth the newbie shop rats won't know what it does. "We've been told you can't buy this, Sorry Chris, he was specific about it" A lovely shade of green paint too. Old time bike mechnics will remember this fondly, teenage sales people in strip malls selling Voodo bikes will look at one of these and say "Dude! What is this for?" Gee, were so lucky to have cotterless cranks today.






FOR SALE:   NOS Chaincase elbow in E-bay posted by: VVVintage Vintage Bicycles at OldRoads.com on 3/14/2001 at 4:02:54 PM
We just put a New Old Stock chaincase elbow on E-bay.
The item number is: 1123307557

http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1123307557

We're still fixing up our Sturmey-Archer cables page and have many more NOS Brit Bits to post on our "Bikes and Parts For Sale page".

-Vin







MISC:   Raleigh Quality...long posted by: Warren on 3/14/2001 at 2:32:34 PM
I just finished putting my '61 Raleigh "Canadian" sports model back together after a total teardown,(execpt the AW hub, which runs flawlessly and I'm still nervous about diving into one of them). I've done this to a few Raleighs from the seventies and a couple of older Hercs and Dunelts but never a Raleigh from this earlier period. This allowed me to compare apples to apples.

Overall the '61 has better chrome, paint, cables, pedals, clamps and brakes than a "75 Superbe. The frames are virtually identical in design with the exception of the front fork lock of course. The "61 does "sound" heavier when you give it a rap on the various tubes. It's probably a heavier straight gauge tube...I think it's a virtue on a roadster personally.

What I really like is the older Raleigh (SA?) front hub design. Instead of the non-adjustable cone on the right side, you get the axle stop and a locking nut, so you still observe the left/right orientation of the axle and be able to lock the cone in place. What is really great is the way the front fork dropouts "key" into the axle. Instead of the lip protruding from the cone side, it is built into the axle nuts. Brilliant! How many times have you pinched fingers trying to spread the forks to wedge the front wheel in. With these, you just back off the nuts a little further, drop the wheel in and cinch the nuts down. Why they ever stopped this system I'll never know. It may be argued that the newer design will hold the wheel in without nuts but if your nuts ever worked themselves loose enough to drop the wheel you would know it soon enough.

This is the first bike I've had with the older Raleigh brakes with the fixed, soldered cable ends. The cables themselves appear to be a thicker gauge. 40 years old and and still going strong. Fortunately my cables are in great shape cuz I'll never find replacements. These brakes have stronger springs giving very positive return. I like that too.They set up beautifully.

Around '61, Raleigh had pretty much finished the world domination game, as far as English bikes are concerned. Perhaps this is when the quality began to slip. I think the golden age of English bikes is from 1945 to around 1960. The end of WWII left a vibrant engineering and metalurgy industrial legacy in Britain and I think it showed in the steel products they produced in that period. Their bicycles were certainly second to none. I do know that this bike is as solid a bike as I've ever thrown a leg over. Oh boy, another "keeper".


   RE:MISC:   Raleigh Quality...long posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 3/14/2001 at 4:07:41 PM
The guys at OldRoads (here) just got in a boatload of cables and they are origonal with the thickness you mention and they have the adjusting hardware. Take a look and order some.

   RE:RE:MISC:   Raleigh Quality...long posted by Warren on 3/14/2001 at 4:41:47 PM
Unfortunately these brakes predate the cables on the listings...they are the early Raleigh brakes seen on Sheldons web site.

   RE:RE:RE:MISC:   Raleigh Quality...long posted by ChristopherRobin on 3/14/2001 at 5:35:07 PM
So you saw the listing then. Well keep looking. My tour thru British bikes has taken me into weird, crazy brake stuff.






AGE / VALUE:   british 3 speeds posted by: aaron on 3/14/2001 at 1:09:45 PM
In the 1960s what type of stores were selling raliegh, phillips, robin hood, hercules, gazelle, and humbler brand bicycles and was there much of a price difference in these brands?







FOR SALE:   Miller bicycle bike gen lite forkunit 1 peice posted by: todjob on 3/14/2001 at 9:19:47 AM
this is the unit that attaches to your forks with a generator light attached asking $10.00 O.B.O. email for a photo







FOR SALE:   for sale 3 sets of cycle23 toe clips N.O.S. posted by: todjob on 3/14/2001 at 8:54:07 AM
sets are new in box all stamped made in england on them,asking $10.00 a set O.B.O. email me and i'll send a photo







MISC:   Nick at Lloyd's posted by: jim on 3/14/2001 at 7:50:54 AM
Has anyone had recent success purchasing transfers, or anything for that matter from Lloyd Cyclery in Engalnd ?
Their phone number has changed there's no answer ?? Has another source for good stuff dried up ?


   RE:MISC:   Nick at Lloyd's posted by Tim Powell on 3/16/2001 at 6:09:37 PM
No, he is still there but has changed his telephone no. Ask directory enquiries.

   RE:RE:MISC:   Nick at Lloyd's posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 3/17/2001 at 9:07:11 AM
The Web site is still there too. I hope everything is well.






ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Wanted/ English Lightweights/ Track/Six day racers/ Touring bikes etc. posted by: Peter Naiman on 3/13/2001 at 10:06:36 PM
I'm looking to purchase Hetchins framesets or complete cycles. Prior to 1975 preferred, the more ornate the better, Curly Hetchins if possible. Must be in reasonably good original condition. Prefer 19&1/2" to 22&1/2". Also looking for similar English bikes, Hobbs of Barbicon, Ephgraves, Henry Rensch, Bates Cantiflex, Holdsworth, Hurlow etc. Road, track, path racers and six day racers wanted. Call me at (617)512-1502 nights after 8:00PM EST or email.







MISC:   Gear ratios question (why so high?) posted by: Dewane on 3/13/2001 at 1:06:21 PM
I've noticed that some roadster owners and mechanics have replaced their rear cog/rear sprocket with one with more teeth for a lower gear ratio throughout the range of speeds. This seems like a wise idea for old roadsters, my low speed isn't very low.

Why were the gear ratios so high in the first place? My guess is that people didn't think you had to spin as fast back then, but that is an ill-informed guess. There must be some reason.


   RE:MISC:   Gear ratios question (why so high?) posted by Keith on 3/15/2001 at 1:23:10 PM
At the turn of the century, many one-speed safety bikes were offered with 60 inch gears, or something close, and gears in the 60s have long been considered a normal gear for average speed on a flat road. The standard AW combination on a Sports, 46 x 18, results in a 66 inch normal gear, which was considered something of a standard gear for most riding conditions. The two other speeds are 3/4 and 4/3 of that normal gear. I've found a combination of 46 x 21 to be my favorite for 26" wheel Sports-type bikes, with resulting gears of 42.7", 57", and 75.9". The low is good for steep hills, the normal is good for starting off from a red light, and the high gear works well for me for cruising. A similar range is achieved on 28" wheel roadsters with a 46 x 22.






FOR SALE:   NOS Sturmey Archer Coaster brake hub posted by: Robert on 3/12/2001 at 5:50:12 PM
NOS Sturmey Archer S3C coaster brake hub for sale. 1979 date of manufacture. No sprocket. I can supply a used one if you like. $25.00 plus shipping.







MISC:   My name is Phil and I'm a English roadster addict posted by: phil on 3/12/2001 at 4:52:20 PM
Yes I'm an addict, my garage proves it. And right now I need help from the community. I swore I wouldn't buy anymore english bikes, unless they absolutely bit me or literally jumped into my garage on their own. Especially, I wouldn't buy a bike on ebay. (not that I've been burned).

But I made the mistake of searching ebay today and found: http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1122212326
I want this bike. I dream of it. I need it. Help me.

Seriously, I'm not bidding on it, but I'd like to. And my apologies to the board for another one of these ebay links. I just thought you guys might appreciate it.


   RE:MISC:   My name is Phil and I'm a English roadster addict posted by Don on 3/12/2001 at 7:16:39 PM
I tried to find earlier references to the burn you got from eBay, however I was unsuccessful. If I may, what happened?

   RE:MISC:   My name is Phil and I'm a English roadster addict posted by Wings on 3/12/2001 at 11:25:25 PM
I saw that earlier!
I went to Ebay.com and then copied in the item # and it was right there!
Looks great and if you dream about it, why not bid on it? What do you have in the garage that you could sell and make room for the Superbe? Watch it and see what range it gets into. But now, after posting it here -- it may cost more $!
Right?
Sometimes a Man has got to do what he has to do. (Whatever that means!)

   RE:RE:MISC:   My name is Phil and I'm a English roadster addict posted by phil on 3/13/2001 at 6:18:02 AM
No I haven't really been burned on ebay. I did get a little too over entusiastic once bidding on a DL1 that turned out to be less than I wished it was. It was my own fault, I just ignored the subtle indications in the photo and description that the bike was a "beater."

I have purchased 2 fantastic Sprites on ebay (about a year ago). One with a 5 speed derailer, and one with a S5 internal. Both of them are great and look like new.

No, I'm not going to bid on the current bike on ebay. It'll probably go way over $200 and then there's shipping. But it sure looks nice. Hope one of you gets it, should you want it.

   RE:RE:RE:MISC:   My name is Phil and I'm a English roadster addict posted by Fred on 3/13/2001 at 8:38:41 AM
I for one, appreciate the E-bay reference numbers that appear in notes to this discussion group. So far I don't think there has been any complaints.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:MISC:   My name is Phil and I'm a English roadster addict posted by Wings on 3/13/2001 at 11:07:31 PM
Phil, you sound a little depressed in your second post.
Actually, I think I know what you are going through!
I also appreciate ebay #s.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:MISC:   My name is Phil and I'm a English roadster addict posted by BillG on 3/14/2001 at 4:56:26 AM
I think its great to see Ebay references here. I don't have time to check Ebay every day and appreciate cool stuff being pointed out.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:MISC:   My name is Phil and I'm a English roadster addict posted by Dr. Bob on 3/14/2001 at 6:54:54 AM
Grab a pack of smokes and hit a meeting.

   RE:MISC:   My name is Phil and I'm a English roadster addict posted by phil on 3/15/2001 at 5:52:16 AM
Whoa!

Now at $300 with 3 days to go. Wow.






MISC:   A few remarks posted by: Albert on 3/12/2001 at 1:48:35 PM
I had a chat a few days ago with the owner of a local shop that deals in and understands roadsters. In the course of our discussion of SA products he remarked that they make it a matter of policy to throw away TCW hubs. I found this remark by a retailer to be refreshingly honest. Furthermore, he went on to say that he understood that the new owners were going to release a newly designed hub that did not slip. Glory be! Why now cannot some contributors to this site not be so forthcomming? Is it ignorance and lack of experience that prompts contributors like Keith to to question what I say and I express myself? Perhaps it's a pervasive anglophilia, suffered by many American and Commonwealth contributors, that prevents them from making a realistic appraisal of the products marketed over the years by the previous owner of SA? These are wonderments. I do know this however; the virtues of the roadster and the light-sports roadster will never be known to many potential utility cyclists unless safe enclosed hubs are available. And to that end I wish the new owners of SA well. We also have the responsibilty to speak-up when any manufacturer offers products which because of safety issues turns the public away from the type of cycle that is dear to our hearts. I hope Keith, whose preferred style of discourse is that found at teas attended by retired librarians, finds nothing in what I have said or the way in which I said it to offend his sensitivities. Oh' Mencken were are you now that we need you!


   RE:MISC:   A few remarks posted by ChristopherRobin on 3/12/2001 at 5:51:34 PM
Despite whatever some folks say about Sturmey-Archer's TCW hub, The company still made many wonderful cycle gears used and liked by millions. Also, I do not like this "throw it away" mentality. Even a TCW hub is worth saving. What else is being discarded because someone doesn't think it measured up? Myself, I look at it like a buffet bar. Take what you like, leave what you don't care for there.The next person will be glad to have it. Fill your plate with Shimano if you like. Thats Ok! Many people used the T.C.W. hub and it was O.K. for them. It isn't like they immediately discontinued it and went to a diffrent design. Maybe you think they should have, but they had reasons why they did what they did. Didn't Shimano have the TCW on the desk, torn apart? They had it to examine and improve on? The benefit of hindsight. I read that so and so went to Europe and brought back samples. What do you think they did with those samples? They tore them apart and copied them and rushed those copies to market and they profited from it. Some improvements were made, usually they figured out how to make it more cheaply. Millions used the A.W. hub every day, still do. I lot of people would look at you funny if you stood there and critized away at it. They would say you adjust it like this, oil like that, cable like this, do this and that and it's done. works like a dream, enclosed, reliable. All set. The times changed, and not always for the better either. May things are so well made that it would be impractical to recreate it. The A.S.C. hub is sought after by collectors as are the other models Sturmey-Archer produced. These hubs won awards, were appreciated in their day by the racing men (women too) until things changed. The market turned to derailurs. Why don't you only ride derailur equiped bikes and get grit in your drive train, wear out cogs, chains, have it fall over and bend something. At least you are in the hub gear camp. Go back to the cycle shop and replace and repair those dertailurs. Lets zap you back into time and put you in the shoes of some of these hub designers, product planners, board members and lets have you face the Sturmey or Raleigh board of directors. Lets have you face them with your proposal. It wouldn't be easy and we see that was part of the problem sometimes. No board is perfect. We all se places where we wish the rudder was turned in a diffrent direction.Still they did pretty darned well. Imagine being a cycle shop owner or distributor or a designer and having them reject your ideas. It would hurt, especially if you really knew they were making the wrong call. Did you read in "The Dancing Chain" where the guy spent the night fitting the teams bikes with his brand of derailurs only to have the riders critize and refuse to even try his gear out" This happens sometimes with everything new or unusual. Im sure a lot of people were fustrated to see things come out like it did. This is an unique company that lasted longer than most usually do. I wish Sturmey-Archer well. I'm very sorry it ended like it did. The workers deserved better.

   RE:RE:MISC:   A few remarks posted by Albert on 3/13/2001 at 8:13:08 AM
Christopher, perhaps you've misses the point? The TCW's are being disgarded because they are dangerous in that they fail to stop if the cable loses its adjustment.

   RE:MISC:   A few remarks posted by Geoff Rogers on 3/13/2001 at 6:31:39 PM
Albert, I'm at least relieved to see your tone has become somewhat less vicious than your previous posts.
I will add some of my own observations to the S-A hub debate (if that's what it is). I have ridden bikes with these hubs since the early seventies, and seldom encountered problems with them. I agree with Christopher: keep them clean, oiled, and adjusted, and they will keep working. Sometimes even if you don't. Lately I have resurrected several old Brits which have lain around literally for decades, and have been consistently amazed that the hubs allways work, once I squirt some WD-40 in and let it soak a bit before draining all out and adding oil. I repeat, ALL of MINE WORK FINE, even the two TCWs. Even the prewar one.
But more to the point, if you hate the Sturmey Archer hub so venemously, be my guest and don't ride bikes that use them.

   RE:RE:MISC:   A few remarks posted by Albert on 3/14/2001 at 4:49:49 AM
Geoff, thanks for pointing out that my style is slipping; I try to regain my edge on future postings! You misread my attitude toward SA; it is rather one of deep disappointment--sort of being let down by an old friend. About your experience with the TCW, if you are accurate in your description,you've been very lucky.

   RE:MISC:   A few remarks posted by Keith on 3/14/2001 at 11:49:42 AM
Albert, I never questioned the accuracy of your specific remarks about TCW hubs, so once again you are merely ranting. I noticed you also ranted against Sheldon Brown at one point, so I guess I'm in good company. My objection was to your original obscure and sarcastic post in response to a rather innocent new contributor who posted an brief outline of the entire SA history from the SA site. Your strange post in response said that only thing worse would be a message extolling the virtues of Thalidomide (which, BTW, has been shows promise in recent trials for treatment of cancer because it inhibits the growth of blood vessels to tumors). Your original post, to which I objected, did not even mention the TCW hub. And the worst of it is, the TCW hub may well have been defective (was it design or manufacure?), but the point is muted your bizarre personal attacks. So I stand by my comment that your post was uninformative and insulting, albeit to a different contributor. Your pathetic "sound and fury" posting above is obviously meant to insult me -- but I assure you that it would take more than your feeble grandstanding to raise my ire. In the end, at best, you slightly amuse me, so post away. But Albert, most of all, you need deep therapy.

   RE:RE:MISC:   A few remarks posted by Art on 3/14/2001 at 1:35:13 PM
I've watched this interaction play itself out, and I wanted to wait for Keith to reply before I added anything. I don't know anything about the TCW hub, but obviously Albert, you hold strong opinions about it. I too, Albert, thought the initial post of the history of SA sounded like PR, which I think you could have honestly had a point of contention with. Your initial response confused a number of readers, but it missed the mark with the original author, because she didn't get it. It's great to protest the injustices of the world, but the object of one's protest ought to have a clue about the nature of that protest. Keith attempted to address the process of how we communicate on this site. He attempted to explain his protest with specific examples. He's not the webmaster, but he attempted to elevate the discussion to "how" we communicate with each other on these posts. I saw it more as a point of order rather than a personal slam to you, Albert. The Schwinn site folded because of slams and rips. Even the high end discussions on CR digress to personal attacks so much so that the site manager throws people off for inappropriate communication. I'm not the webmaster of this site either, but policing ourselves, catching our own miscues, would, I think, keep us around and healthy for awhile. I thought you kept the negativity going with this recent thread, Albert, and I would have felt insulted by what you wrote, even though you offered words to the contrary. I like the phrase, respectfully disagree.

   RE:RE:RE:MISC:   A few remarks posted by Keith on 3/15/2001 at 6:54:05 AM
Well said Art. I have no problem with Alebert or anyone else pointing out the shortcomings of SA or RI products. In fact, if someone believes, as Albert apparently does, that a product is dangerously defective, then there is a moral duty to point that out. However, if the belief is genuine, I'd think the holder of the opinion would want to communicate it in the most effective means possible, as opposed to obtuse, childish rambling. I myself have often tried to caution people about the limited stopping power of rod brakes, and a specific defect I found in the brake linkage of the Forever roadster. Nor do I have a problem with vigorous, healthy debate, or strong opinions, but civility actually enhances this kind of discourse. And the copied SA history was syrupy, incomplete (leaving Reilly, Mills, and Pellant out), and maybe even inaccurate in some instances. But it would probably be informative to someone new to this hobby, and the new contributor did not deserve the sarcastic "Thalidomide" remark, or the the remark about whether any of her own children had been injured by a TCW. Is that any way to welcome and encourage a newcomer? In sum, rational, civil dicussion is what this site has always been about. Those who engage in infantile attention-getting personal attacks lose credibility with every keystroke. I, for one, can't take someone of that ilk seriously.






MISC:   A few remarks posted by: Albert on 3/12/2001 at 1:48:35 PM
I had a chat a few days ago with the owner of a local shop that deals in and understands roadsters. In the course of our discussion of SA products he remarked that they make it a matter of policy to throw away TCW hubs. I found this remark by a retailer to be refreshingly honest. Furthermore, he went on to say that he understood that the new owners were going to release a newly designed hub that did not slip. Glory be! Why now cannot some contributors to this site not be so forthcomming? Is it ignorance and lack of experience that prompts contributors like Keith to to question what I say and I express myself? Perhaps it's a pervasive anglophilia, suffered by many American and Commonwealth contributors, that prevents them from making a realistic appraisal of the products marketed over the years by the previous owner of SA? These are wonderments. I do know this however; the virtues of the roadster and the light-sports roadster will never be known to many potential utility cyclists unless safe enclosed hubs are available. And to that end I wish the new owners of SA well. We also have the responsibilty to speak-up when any manufacturer offers products which because of safety issues turns the public away from the type of cycle that is dear to our hearts. I hope Keith, whose preferred style of discourse is that found at teas attended by retired librarians, finds nothing in what I have said or the way in which I said it to offend his sensitivities. Oh' Mencken were are you now that we need you!







AGE / VALUE:   Swedish Bicycles posted by: Robert on 3/11/2001 at 5:56:33 PM
Ever here of swedish bikes called "Eminent" ??? I have a fellow who is interested in selling me a matched his/her pair. I have not seen them personally, but he says that the bikes come with sturmey 3 speed setups, disk brakes all around, racks,lights,rear tire locking mechanisms. I tried to get him to comprehend how to read the hub, but he did'nt quite understand. Anyway, anybody have some insight as to the collectability and perhaps general value to these bikes?

Robert


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Swedish Bicycles posted by Robert on 3/11/2001 at 7:35:48 PM
Okay the bike I actually from holland. Eminent york is model or style. Bike has drum brakes. I had to call the guy back to get this info. I must be patient and count to 10. 1,2,3,4,........

Robert

   RE:AGE / VALUE:  Dutch Bikes posted by Tom Findley on 3/13/2001 at 9:23:56 AM
The Dutch regard their bikes as outdoor applianes. The bikes are worth as much as push lawn mowers. Not counting the rear hubs, Dutch bikes have stayed the same since 1915. I would not know where to get parts in this country. You would have to go to Holland for them. To find out what that's like, go to

http://www.aboveworld.com/sports_recreation/www.trfindley.com/pghlnd00.html






FOR SALE:   Finding Forrester bicycle posted by: Robert on 3/11/2001 at 9:37:03 AM
Well a bike like his in the movie anyway. For sale is a 28" tired Raliegh "Tourist" 3 speed. This rider has a sturmey hub stamped 78 5 AW. Nice chrome, take it home today for only $200 bucks.

Robert