| Keith, please think of this group as a tour bus. I'd like to hand over the drivers seat to you!|
Please feel free to write about your experiences, bicycles you have owned. people you have met. How long have you been in the business? Did you attend the Raleigh trade dinners? Memories you have?
think a spell and take the stage!
| Thank you Christopher,|
Briefly I was retailing cycles from 1953 to 1966, the first few years with Raleigh and several other makes. I always tended to be critcal of the manufacturers, as I was doing the best I could to make the bikes run reasonably well.
I will tend to use the parts terminology of english from 1960's.
In those days it seemed so unlikely that these mundane things would become collectible, as there was little value in secondhand machines, and they were usually badly neglected. By 1954 a new 28inch wheel bike would be extremely rare, and almost unsaleable,
although I always had tyres, tubes and rims in stock. By 1958 the market had changed, as the take-over of most larger makers proceeded, and production for the UK was mainly for younger people and children. From 1958 I stocked mainly specialist sports/racing machines, both small Britsh lightweight makers, and Italian. I would typically keep 400 tubular tyres in stock, 60 frames, and all the ancilliaries. Rims were purchased in crate lots of 25 pairs. Wheels were often as light as 8 ounce rims, 28 spokes, tubular tyres about the same weight as an inner tube, as well as repairing Sturmey-Archer gears. I normally had all sizes of Campagnolo chainrings in stock,
this was before the many similar japanese parts arrived. I also had a rare direct account with Brooks (saddles), and Bluemels pumps and "mudguards" .
Among machines that I had in the 1960's were a Dursley Pedersen, ( I rebuilt the rear wheel, the 3 speed hub flanges have holes round 3-quarters of the circumference) 1933 F Grubb recumbent, Marston Sunbeam with the 2 speed epicyclic in the chainwheel, but these had very little value, and were sold when I got them mechanically working, when my interest would be elsewhere.
If anyone wishes to ask for my probably biased opinion, you are welcome. I have already comunicated with David Poston.
| Where was your shop Keith?|
Matthew - plain nosey!
| I recently purchased a set of c. 1930 squarish rod brake handlebars that I sent to have rechromed. I have them back now and before I put them back together, I'd like to know if there's any advice on what to use on the small nuts that secure the pivots to the brake levers (at the ends of the levers) The nuts are REALLY hard to install, butted right against each other yet tightening in the opposite directions. I don't want these to loosen up. Should I use grease and just tighten them the best I can with narrow needlenose pliers, or do the same with blue threadlocker? Or, is there something else I should be doing/using. |
Many thanks, Mike
| Picked up my sturmey barrel shifter this morning from the platers.Well dissapointed with the result.I asked for a nickel plate as originally would have been and not chromed.When I handed them the parts I told them not to loose any definition in the engraving on the shifter and they said all would be well,,,,I wasn't expecting perfection and I did not get it.I appreciate they tried to retain the engraving as asked but at the ecpense of having a very potmarked finish when in reality a bit of careful preperation around the areas would have been possible.The parts that were not engraved also had a similairly bad finish due to poor preperation and in my opinion as a fussy sod was not excuseable.Too little effort was put into the preperation and polishing of the base metal to achieve a good result ie do as little as you can and take the punters money.Platers are thin on the ground a goodun a real rareity.Same old thing I guess the time/money/effort/profit equation that rules the world these days with little or no respect for older items and governed only by profit.|
With hindsight I would have prepared the barrel myself and knowing what I know now had the item diamond cut engraved or similair to redefine the engraving before plating.I happen to have another in the shed so I may do that anyway,
Pete.......not bright and not happy
| Will post up the before and after pics in readers rides asap for your viewing pleasure|
|The before and after pics are up on readers rides|
|The dissapointing after|
| Well while I certainly see your point... it can be rather difficult to backfill pitting just by plating over... you can do it... with a LOT of plating thickness... but then you would stand the risk of backfilling all the neat "engraving" that you want to preserve.|
Whilst not perfect... all in all it looks much better than the pre-plated pic.
Larry "Boneman" Bone - Somewhat of a pitty, that....
| Oh my God! This is what I call "back of the hand service" as in a stinging slap! |
Sorry to see this happen to you.
| Hi Pete & Larry,|
I take your point Larry but I also see Pete's point of view too. If I had sent in these parts for plating I would have expected better than the result Pete got. If you have seen photos of Pete's paint finish and coach lining then you'll know he has an excellent quality of finish on his bikes. I suppose the moral of this tale is to do all the prep work your self and only entrust the plating to the platers. Methinks that the bumpers (fenders) from a classic car would have got better treatment. I think there may be a tendency to say 'its only bits of some old bike' rather than deal with the parts as a quality part of vintage machinery.
Pete perhaps a classic car restorer can recommend a better plater?
Matthew - rising with very little shine.
| I'm afraid not,I have and do restore old cars so have info readily at hand about local platers and I am afraid where I took the item was the only choice.The old guy who used to do it seems to be not there any more and standards have slipped somewhat.It did cross my mind beforehand to have the engraving recut prior to plating but after discussion,numerous photos and in the end driving to the platers to show him the item and my concerns he assured me that all would be good with it and the engraving and the end result would be at least acceptable.Perhaps after removing the original finish the base was worse than at first thought hence the poor finish.I will know better next time and do it all apart from the plating myself.If you study the images of the end result you will see that even the easily polishable parts are in a poor state.|
Pete....if you want something nice do it yourself....
| I know what you mean,the first thing to check is do the re-chromed brake levers still go through the holes in the handle bars (mine did not,after painting)so had to drill out by half a mm. Then put in your brake levers(no nuts yet)then put the first nut on both of them,then fit second nut to one of them,leaving as much play as possible i.e. first nut not done up and second nut just hanging on by a thread flush to first nut.Now comes the tricky bit sqeezing the second nut onto the remaining lever,you must have left as much play as possible to achieve this!Then tighten all 4 nuts bit by bit till all is tight.Luckily I had a very,very small spanner to do it with!I did not use thread lock,but did put a bit of grease on first.Managed to get nuts tight enough with little spanner(wrench)had no problems since.How did the chrome plating come out?|
| Stephen: Thanks. The chrome plating came out great considering the condition of the bars beforehand. The company I used did an astounding job preparing the hardware, which is the key to good chromium plating. Everything seems to fit perfectly. I just want it to stay that way.|
| Hi Mike|
I'm glad to here the chrome plating worked out. How much did they charge, by the way, and who did it? I think chrome plating has been one of the big hurdles here, and most of us have just kept the chrome plating as is out of fear it won't turn out well.
Post pics so we can see how everything turned out.
| Hello David, Just a thought about rechrome, the holes the brake rods go through, I have not seen anyone mention that these are normally removable, held in by a shaped internal nut dropped in the end of the handlebar. This sounds more difficult than it is, we used to replace these pieces through wear. Keith|
| I would rather get a black eye, overpaying, for an original from a collector for something new, old, stock with the original string and paper card still on it, in the original tatty box then go through the pain of trying to restore a old shifter. But that's just me.|
We should be able to re- plate these things without this happening. Shifters, the old ones like this are totally magical.
| Keith: The plating is so thin, there's no need to remove the lugs on the bars. Mine were corroded and had the surface of an orange peel. They carefully polished them out and did their thing. Although they were not removed, they appear to have been. Chrome is MUCH thinner than paint, which is the material everyone envisions. It's ALL, ALL, in the prepwork!!! We all go to shows and see beautifully restored cycles; it can indeed be done properly.|
I am sorry Pete's came out the way it did. That said, it can be undone and redone properly. The best I've heard, comes from Cycleart.
| An interesting machine... Schwinn... with Sturmey-Archer gearing and a very creative seating arrangement as well...|
Larry "Boneman" Bone - Yes we have no bananas.....
| This brought a decent price for such a ratty common bike. I'm pretty sure the high bidder is a Sting Ray guy. The seat looks pretty nice under the black spraypaint. |
| That looks like the same type of Solo-Polo saddle that they used on the deluxe Sting-Rays in 1964. It appears to have been spray-bombed black. The seat is worth as much as the bike if not more.|
| You may be right. Perhaps at one time... someone was trying to make a "Manta Ray" out of it....|
Larry "Boneman" Bone - An interesting array for certain....
| Might be just the right bike for the kid next door! You could use the banana seat as a pillion seat; just add pegs.|
| I just picked up an English three speed "Sportster" that I was told was made in England under the Monark brand and made it's way to San Diego via a soldier returning home. It has a 1963 TCW hub and a frame with the serial number 1350455. Does anybody know any history about Monark in England? I'm using it as an every day commuter at the moment and it is a really fun ride. I can tell from the components that it is not top of the line, but it is all original as far as I can tell. |
| For you ladies out there, I am selling both my 1965 Raleigh Sports and my 1977 Raleigh DL-1 (with aftermarket full chaincase).|
Pics and description available here:
Thanks for looking.