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Archived: English Roadsters







ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Old Sturmey 3 speed hub posted by: Tom on 5/31/2002 at 2:53:53 AM
I have a friend in England who has an old 3 speed tandem roadster with drum brakes. The bike has no makers name. It looks pre 40's. It is in ok shape. The rear hub is a Sturmey Archer AT8. Has rod operation not cables. Could this be a very early SA hub. Any experts out there. I would love to buy it but shipping is very high. Maybe someday.


   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Old Sturmey 3 speed hub posted by Ian on 5/31/2002 at 8:33:27 AM
Tom, my 1937 English Sun tandem (I bought it from the family of the recently deceased original owner so am fairly sure that the year is correct) has the same hub. It has cable type brake levers but the rear connects up to a rod under the bottom frame rail between the cranks. The rod then runs to the back hub. An interesting feature is an auxillary brake pedal mounted on the frame rail between the cranks. The captain can step back onto it but the stoker could also reach forward and push down on it causing an unscheduled panic stop. I don't know what your freight might be but I am sure if you divide it by the number of years of pleasure you will get out of the bike it becomes much more reasonable. I am a firm believer that if you are really an enthusiast then the pain of the cost will not last anywhere near as long as the pain of a missed opportunity! Good luck. Ian.






AGE / VALUE:   Found the Sprite ad, Enjoy! posted by: Chris on 5/30/2002 at 11:13:54 PM
Heres the new Pace setter!
The Raleigh Sprite
This magnificent newcomer,with Benelux 5 gear, sells under L(British Pound symbol)26

Outpacing it's rivals on sheer value for the money comes a new Raleigh Sports model-the Raleigh Sprite. This handsome machine, with a Benelux 5 speed P2 gear, costs only L 25.19.6 tax paid, and has a specification as exciting to read as the cycle is to look at! It comes in three frame sizes(Mens only) 21 1/2 , 22 1/2, 23 1/2 , with 27 H.P. Rims; Dunlop Sprite Tyres;Maes Alloy Handlebars; GB Alloy Centerpull brakes and a Lycette Saddle.In two finishes: Royal Blue with Red/Ice Blue details and Gunmetal with Royal Blue/Yellow details.
Make a point of seeing it at your Raleigh dealer's just as soon as you can. You'll agree the Raleigh Sprite is a winner on all points!
Every Raleigh is Equiped with Dunlop Tyres.
From Cycling Magazine June 19,1962
The chainwheel crank is a model never seen before by myself. They don't describe it. Plus this magazine was in black and white and so we don't see a color on the bike.

Look out for Sprites and especially the early ones.


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Found the Sprite ad, Enjoy! posted by P.C. Kohler on 5/31/2002 at 12:30:14 AM
Thanks Chris-- very interesting especially since this is nothing like the Sprite "introduced" (to the N. America at least) four years later. Much more of a touring machine with better components etc. But EXPENSIVE at £25 19 s. 6 d.

(Hey if you ever want to use the £ symbol on any Windows machine, press the 'ALT' key and 156 on the number pad on the right of the keyboard).

Sounds a lovely machine, especially in 'gunmetal'.

P.C. Kohler

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Found the Sprite ad, Enjoy! posted by Catfood Rob on 6/1/2002 at 10:38:00 AM
Over here we have the "£" SYMBOL OVER THE TOP NUMBER 3 KEY, JUST BELOW F2.
££££££££££££££££££££( JUST TO PROVE IT!)
Maybe now Ill turn the caps lock off... got me again!

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Found the Sprite ad, Enjoy! posted by Oscar on 6/2/2002 at 8:20:37 PM
ALT 156? £ Oh, cool! Hey Catfood, my US keyboard has # over the 3. That's a pound for you and a pound for me.






AGE / VALUE:   Carrying 'Stuff' posted by: P.C. Kohler on 5/30/2002 at 8:15:59 PM
The discussion below about bungee cords and carriers.... you chaps seem to be carrying a lot more with you cycling than I ever do. Bales of hay, livestock, mother-in-law...?

I have owned three machines with carriers (as stock equipment): two Sprites and a Peugeot UE-8 (yes even I briefly flirted with Frenchmen) and almost never used the things. When I cycled to work I just used a briefcase with a shoulder strap. When I cycle I have a saddle bag with a tyre patching kit, the all-in-one cycle wrench and thats about it.

Photos of 1940-50s cycling in England show one pretty well standard thing: few carriers, lots of saddlebags and one item seldom seen or mentioned nowadays: an oilskin cycling rain 'cape' neatly rolled up and fashioned to the bag (which usually had special leather straps for the purpose). Most of the cycling catalogues of the era had pages of rainproof cycling kit.

P.C. Kohler


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Carrying 'Stuff' posted by geo on 5/30/2002 at 8:57:01 PM
I agree. I usually bungee cord the sunday newspaper to the back or use a cheap set of nylon panniers. I can understand that if your going to restore and display a vintage bike then you should use accuracy in it's presentation, but if your going to use it for errands and recreation then just use it. Use whatever it takes to make your ride efficient and enjoyable. I think the vast amount of British bikes should be ridden and enjoyed, that's what they were built for and well built they are and there are plenty of them. If you have something insanely rare and valuable then restore it and hang it on the wall.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Carrying 'Stuff' posted by P.C. Kohler on 5/30/2002 at 9:13:56 PM
Absolutely! These machines are made to be USED. I just like the idea of also collecting the 'bits', the vintage accessories and add-ons that somehow complete the 'look'. If anything, the accessories, the riding outfits and so much else has changed every bit as much as the cycles themselves. Just look at some of the 1930s-40s vintage Brooks adverts; gents in plus-fours, Norfolk jackets and tweed caps. Not a thread of Spandex or 'branding' labels in sight!

P.C. Kohler

   Going all the way posted by David Poston on 5/30/2002 at 9:58:50 PM
Old Constantine here is going all the way (actually, I'm only 25 years of age). When I get my Raleigh or Rudge I am going to put on my turn-of-the-century costume and go riding in style. Yes, that's right, P.C.,--knickers or trousers, band collar shirt with maybe a vest or sack coat, black leather shoes, boater or derby hat depending on weather, and round period sunglasses. I'll look like I just came off of a movie set. But it's more fun that way. My fiance and I are both period fanatics and we go to Victorian costume events frequently. We used to ride cheap $150 Wal-Mart bought Huffy-made American cruiser reproduction bikes that look 1950's, but soon we will be riding in proper style. Call us strange.

David (aka Constantine)

P.S. If we ever get our roadsters, we plan to go to the Dickens-on-the-Strand festival in Galveston this December and represent the stately class of English propriety as best we can while cruising in style.

   RE:Going all the way posted by sam on 5/31/2002 at 2:40:22 AM
Would like to hear more on Dickens-on-the-Strand,are there other bicycles?

   RE:Going all the way posted by Pravin on 5/31/2002 at 2:47:43 AM
About Galveston/Dickens-on-the-Strand... That sounds like a fun idea... we should round up other people who live in the Houston area who are into these bikes... Perhaps even start a small English Roadster gang/contigency during Critical Mass rides in Houston!






ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   1940's "Ralsfoh"? posted by: David Poston on 5/29/2002 at 9:33:04 PM
What is a "Ralsfoh"?

http://www.bikeicons.com/1940s%20The%20Ralsfoh%20Boys.html


   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   1940's posted by MR on 5/30/2002 at 3:58:56 PM
Well, that looks for all the world like a Raleigh DL-1. Are you sure you're reading the name correctly?

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   1940's posted by P.C. Kohler on 5/30/2002 at 4:51:49 PM
Sure does to me also; one would think (hope) that for the asking price of $500 (are they nuts?!) someone could ascertain the correct name. I suspect it's a Raleigh alright. I am not about to start collecting 'Ralsfoh' cycles especially at half a grand a pop.

P.C. Kohler

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   1940's posted by Chris on 5/30/2002 at 6:29:33 PM
The pedal and the front fork with it's tubular fork crown tells me it's a Raleigh.
Also tells me that it's a Sports or Superbe that is over priced by about 400.00.
This is a 26 inch wheel bike not a 28 inch wheel model and that is a strike against it.

Nice bike, I love the light kit. I love these bikes, but 500. is too much.






MISC:   spring clamp on rear carrier? posted by: Andrei Taganov on 5/29/2002 at 8:18:26 PM
All,

Do rear carriers normally come with a spring clamp included? How did people keep their stuff on their racks? Bungee cords weren't period, were they?

Andrei


   RE:MISC:   spring clamp on rear carrier? posted by geo on 5/30/2002 at 3:37:37 AM
I may be speaking out of turn here or maybe I have a different attitude. I don't know if bungee cords were "period" or not. I remember them as far back as the 1970's but then again that's about as far back as I remember. Rope might work but then again, who cares. Will you people just ride these bikes. I take my old Raleigh on trips to the post office and to the supermarket and carry things back using the most efficient lashings I can on my carrier. Mainly a bungee chord and I have yet to be stopped by anyone saying, "Hey, you can't use a bungee cord on that bike. They didn't have bungee cords when that bike was built. That's not historically correct." I maybe be expelled from this board from admitting this but I have an old Raleigh Sports beater with a new gel saddle on it because I got it without a saddle and I couldn't afford the $75 plus it would cost to buy a "period" Brooks leather saddle. Blasphemy, maybe. Do I feel guilty, not at all. Am I having fun, definitely.

   RE:RE:MISC:   spring clamp on rear carrier? posted by Andrei Taganov on 5/30/2002 at 4:29:39 AM
Hey Geo,

Not, it's not blasphemy, I was just curious what they used back then. Yeah, I'll use whatever works, if it does work. Can you really hold stuff on these racks with bungee cords?

Andrei

   RE:RE:RE:MISC:   spring clamp on rear carrier? posted by Albert on 5/30/2002 at 11:23:30 AM
In the '50's and 60's I used an inner-tube that I cut through to make a long tie-down. It could be stretched as it was being used to secure packages and the resulting tension would keep it from it loosening. It didn't have those nasty hooked end that always seem to fall in the the spokes and cuase major problems. It worked so well that I still use one. Cheers from Philadelphia!

   RE:RE:RE:MISC:   spring clamp on rear carrier? posted by Albert on 5/30/2002 at 11:23:40 AM
In the '50's and 60's I used an inner-tube that I cut through to make a long tie-down. It could be stretched as it was being used to secure packages and the resulting tension would keep it from it loosening. It didn't have those nasty hooked end that always seem to fall in the the spokes and cuase major problems. It worked so well that I still use one. Cheers from Philadelphia!

   RE:RE:RE:MISC:   spring clamp on rear carrier? posted by Jeff R on 5/30/2002 at 11:25:44 AM
I use one of those bags that attaches to top of the rack with a velcro strap. I also use bungees. When I show the bike I remove the bag.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:MISC:   spring clamp on rear carrier? posted by P.C. Kohler on 5/30/2002 at 1:47:02 PM
Actually, it appears that Bungee cords have been around since the late 50s guys so everyone can rest easy! As for gell seats on an English classic cycle... well that's another issue.... My wife complained bitterly about the B66 on her DL1-L and wanted to get some wretched new thing instead. 'Discussion' ensued and I obtained another B33 for my machine and put my perfectly broken in older B33 on hers. Domestic tranquility and historical accuracy prevails...

P.C. Kohler

   RE:MISC:   spring clamp on rear carrier? posted by Dale on 5/30/2002 at 2:40:47 PM
Lashing (assuming you know a couple of appropriate knots) and buckle straps work well, in fact in many cases they work better. Have I had a bad incident with a bungee? Yes. Do I continue to use them? Yes, but much more carefully than I used to.

   RE:RE:MISC:   spring clamp on rear carrier? posted by Chris on 5/30/2002 at 4:42:29 PM
People used a wider variety of baskets more than we do today and rear racks came with real leather straps with little buckles.

   RE:RE:RE:MISC:   spring clamp on rear carrier? posted by chris on 5/30/2002 at 5:25:19 PM
Packing tape complete with the "gun" she's taping the stuff onto the rear rack of the bike. Seemed expensive to do this.
I like the inner tube idea best, no bungee metal hook to cause havoc( darned thing gets caught in your wheel) and best of all, it's cheap and light and just plain neat.

The strange thing is that the original makers of racks, or shifters or whatever that was intended to be clamped onto the bike didn't supply rubber boots or rubber grommets so the bikes paint finish was saved from scratching or gouging or rusting. My point is that you see electrical tape wound around something on the bike but that was done in the shop during assembly or by the bike owner after they got it home.Never by the factory or never encouraged by the maker of the rack or whatever. Metal to metal and they wonder why it rattles.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:MISC:   spring clamp on rear carrier? posted by David Poston on 5/30/2002 at 10:05:18 PM
Yeah, I got a bungee cord wrapped around my back wheel and it took forever to get it unstuck.

Do those spring clamps work good for anything?

P.C., Your wife didn't find a B-66 comfortable? I thought those were the best out there?

David

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:MISC:   spring clamp on rear carrier? posted by P.C. Kohler on 5/31/2002 at 12:35:47 AM
Nope... we both much prefer the B-33. I am using an almost new B-33 and it's amazing comfortable with no 'breaking in'. I guess it's a matter of taste (and tushes). B-33s look splendid on 28" roadsters but B-72 loop springs are the most common on 26" machines. That's a great saddle too.

P.C. Kohler

   RE:MISC:   spring clamp on rear carrier? posted by sam on 5/31/2002 at 2:36:10 AM
My all time favorate are the racks for the 5 gal.milk cans.It holds one on each side.You'll also need the drop stand to keep the bike up right when you deliver the mile door to door!






FOR SALE:   Check out this interesting Raleigh piece for sale posted by: Ray on 5/29/2002 at 4:16:40 PM
Here is a neat piece of Raleigh history.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2106684477







MISC:   sheldon brown posted by: Albert on 5/29/2002 at 3:25:51 PM
Where o' where has Sheldon Brown gone?


   RE:MISC:   sheldon brown posted by MR on 5/29/2002 at 4:53:10 PM
Long time passin'

   RE:MISC:   sheldon brown posted by JohnM on 5/30/2002 at 1:12:50 PM
I see from their web site that Harris Cyclery is short a couple of mechanics, and this is certainly peak season in New England. I'm sure Sheldon has his hands more than full. Harris is a great shop - I brought my '55 Sports there to get the fork straightened - and I hope they do well with their hiring.

   RE:MISC:   sheldon brown posted by Ben on 5/30/2002 at 2:10:13 PM
If I didn't have three children and live in Chicago I'd take that job in a flash...

Ben






ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   WHAT WE DO WITH BIKERS HERE IN OUR CITY posted by: Hayward Robillard on 5/29/2002 at 2:26:16 PM
What'cha think we ought to do with 'em? I don't damn know, but I don't
think they'll make the parish line.

Hayward Robillard


   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   WHAT WE DO WITH BIKERS HERE IN OUR CITY posted by Ima on 5/29/2002 at 2:59:51 PM
OK redneck. Take your CAT cap ,your Bubba ways, you pickup truck with the rifle rack in the back window, and leave the Easyriders alone. :>)






MISC:   Brooks saddle tension posted by: David on 5/29/2002 at 2:10:17 PM
I'll try again - my Q disappeared from the 1st page very quickly! How much should I tension my slack B66? Just tight enough to hold my tail up off the wires?


   RE:MISC:   Brooks saddle tension posted by Warren on 5/29/2002 at 9:19:45 PM
Yes






MISC:   Sturmey Archer rear drum , How good are the new ones? posted by: Robert on 5/29/2002 at 1:09:32 PM
i traded for a Fuji commuter bike. Rod brakes fron and rear with a band type "drum style " brake on the rear. I would like to add some gears to it and the Sturmey Archer 3 speed w/ drum would seem to be the easiest to retrofit.
How well do newer ones work? I have heard that the older ones were real dogs. Also anyone knowing anything about older older Fuji commuters or a source for info I would appreciate hearing from them.
Thanks


   RE:MISC:   Sturmey Archer rear drum , How good are the new ones? posted by Bill Putnam on 5/29/2002 at 4:20:38 PM
Robert,

The newer Sturmey drum brakes work much better than the old ones. I have an Elite/AT3 that I use for commuting in the winter and it works fine. I did dispense with the original cable housing which runs from the brake lever to the hub torque arm. This long run of housing results in excess cable friction. I put a cable stop on the down tube near where down tube shifters are mounted on a 10-speed, and a nylon derailler cable guide on the bottom bracket (I drilled and tapped the bottom bracket to mount a generic nylon cable guide). With a slick inner wire, and lined housing only from the brake lever to the cable stop on the downtube, there is much less friction in the cable.

To get back to the old vs. new Sturmey Archer drum brakes: The new brakes use a composite pad material similar to auto brakes, while the old brakes use leather. The new material is much better than the old.

One issue that I can't help with is how much work it would be to set up a modern drum brake with rod actuation, as to my knowledge all the new drum brakes use cables. You might try to look and see if the brake arms can be swapped from an old rod braked drum hub and a new cable actuated hub. Sheldon Brown may be able to help with that question.

   RE:RE:MISC:   Sturmey Archer rear drum , How good are the new ones? posted by Geoff Rogers on 5/31/2002 at 2:00:38 PM
My 1935 Raleigh Dawn Tourist has rod-operated hub brakes, Simply put, they are awful. I took them apart, cleaned them thoroughly, lightly sanded the linings and reassemebled. They barely stop the bike. The hub brake was touted by Raleigh as being an all-weather brake which did not "deface the rim" as a normal rim brake does. One disadvantage of rim brakes (I refer to roller-lever style, or rod brakes) ius that they get pretty bad when the rims are wet. The advantage of the hub brakes is that they are just plain terrible all the time, wet or dry, so at least you know what to expect!
The linings on mine, by the way, are a composite material, not leather, and riveted onto the shoes. I believe them to be original, as there is very little wear on the bike, which is very original. Maybe new linings would help. I have some scrap leather around here somewhere....

   RE:RE:MISC:   Sturmey Archer rear drum , How good are the new ones? posted by Geoff Rogers on 5/31/2002 at 2:00:56 PM
My 1935 Raleigh Dawn Tourist has rod-operated hub brakes, Simply put, they are awful. I took them apart, cleaned them thoroughly, lightly sanded the linings and reassemebled. They barely stop the bike. The hub brake was touted by Raleigh as being an all-weather brake which did not "deface the rim" as a normal rim brake does. One disadvantage of rim brakes (I refer to roller-lever style, or rod brakes) ius that they get pretty bad when the rims are wet. The advantage of the hub brakes is that they are just plain terrible all the time, wet or dry, so at least you know what to expect!
The linings on mine, by the way, are a composite material, not leather, and riveted onto the shoes. I believe them to be original, as there is very little wear on the bike, which is very original. Maybe new linings would help. I have some scrap leather around here somewhere....






AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh Sprite?? posted by: Bryant on 5/29/2002 at 11:33:16 AM
Hi all. I picked up what I think is a 10 speed Raleigh Sprite at a yard sale, and I'm trying to find year of manufacture. On the top left side of the bottom bracket is a number 4322. The right side crank (steel cottered) has a 189, ND, 74 forged close to the spider arms. It came with a Brooks comfort mattress style saddle, front and rear fenders and a Plescher rear rack. The brake calipers are steel, made in England, and the brakes are the self adjusting kind. There is no model name that I can find. Raleigh is on the downtube and a fancy R is on the forks and seattube. The head badge does say Nottingham England as does the Raleigh decal on the rear fender. It has 27inch wheels with a grease hole, and sliding cover on both hubs. I believe the 5 speed freewheel is a SA because the spoke protector says Sturmey Archer. Two questions. Is it a Sprite, and what year was it made. Thanks!!


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh Sprite?? posted by David on 5/29/2002 at 2:06:03 PM
Mid 70's Sprite. Description matches my c 75 catalog. Both 5- and 10-speeds were offered.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh Sprite?? posted by P.C. Kohler on 5/29/2002 at 3:30:36 PM
Two clues here: self-adjusting brakes (which I believe were introduced 1972) and the grease hole in the front axle. I seem to remember my 1973 Sprite having this but my second Sprite (same year!) did not. Any idea when this was deleted? My Sprite was so marked on the top tube (on the sides towards the front). 5-speed Sprites were usually so marked on the chainguards.

P.C. Kohler

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh Sprite?? posted by Dale on 5/29/2002 at 4:02:47 PM
I think the full model name is "Sprite 27" as opposed to the older "Sprite", which had 26" wheels and the S5 hub.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh Sprite?? posted by Catfood Rob on 5/29/2002 at 9:26:30 PM
May 1977 , Nottingham manufactured.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh Sprite?? posted by Bryant on 5/30/2002 at 11:16:06 AM
Thanks for the info. This is half the fun of getting a bike, the other half is fixing it and riding it.






WANTED:   Rear fender for Raleigh Sports posted by: Pravin on 5/29/2002 at 6:59:42 AM
Does anyone have an old Raleigh Sports black fender w/reflector from the '50s (in nice condition preferably) that they want to sell? Please let me know if you do.

Thanks,
Pravin


   RE:WANTED:   Rear fender for Raleigh Sports posted by Cal on 5/29/2002 at 12:57:44 PM
They have NOS (new original stock) fenders on this site with a Phillps decal on it, but I believe it is the same fender for your Raleigh.
(now that I think of it, the fender braces might not be right - anyone?)

   RE:RE:WANTED:   Rear fender for Raleigh Sports posted by P.C. Kohler on 5/29/2002 at 2:31:36 PM
Possibly not since Raleigh had those rather wonderful brazed on mudguard braces on their 26" dia. wheel cycles. I am not sure when this was introduced but from the mid 60s onwards I believe. Of course you could always use the Phillips mudguards and the ordinary braces if 100 per cent authentic is not a requirement.

P.C. Kohler






WANTED:   Rear fender for Raleigh Sports posted by: Pravin on 5/29/2002 at 6:59:42 AM
Does anyone have an old Raleigh Sports black fender w/reflector from the '50s (in nice condition preferably) that they want to sell? Please let me know if you do.

Thanks,
Pravin







MISC:   Raleigh Sprite posted by: geo on 5/29/2002 at 12:58:08 AM
Howdy folks, Thought I'd tell you about my Raleigh Sprite. A $10 basket case that I stripped down to the frame. Scrubbed and waxed and polished and kept the old paint blemishes and all. Replaced real rusty stuff with parts from a Ladies Raleigh Sports donor of same vintage(that kind of hurt bustin' up that ladies Raleigh, it was a nice bike but it had to be done). Found original shifters for SA 5 speed internal on ebay for $10. New roadster tires and tubes from Walmart. When all was said and done the whole thing cost about $60, alot of late nights in the cellar listening to Wilco, it is a real rat and rides like a dream. That was alot of fun. There I had to tell someone because my friends don't care about bicycles, never mind rusty old British bicyles. There I feel better now, that was quite cathartic. thanks for listening. I just had to tell someone.


   RE:MISC:   Raleigh Sprite posted by The Doctor on 5/29/2002 at 3:30:43 AM
There, there...it's good that you feel better letting all that pent-up frustration out.

Now go find another bike to work on...go on now, you'll thank me later. I'll send you the bill.

   RE:MISC:   Raleigh Sprite posted by geo on 5/29/2002 at 12:37:17 PM
I'm going to that right now. Maybe a DL-1 or even just a Sports. Thanks, Doc, You always did know best.

   RE:MISC:   Raleigh Sprite posted by smg on 5/29/2002 at 3:07:15 PM
The medium-to-lightweight 5-speed (with either derailleur or internal transmission) was an awfully practical piece of transportation. Unfortunately, the "10-speed" fetish caused it to be overlooked both then and now.






MISC:   CYCLISTS, WHAT WE OUGHT TO DO WITH 'EM! posted by: Jimmy Lee Ray Hobbillard on 5/28/2002 at 8:54:49 PM
What'cha think we ought to do with 'em? I don't damn know, but I don't
think they'll make the parish line.

Jimmy Lee Ray Hobbillard