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English Roadsters

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ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Anyone heard of a "Standard" from Birmingham posted by: Mark Kaczmarczyk on 10/26/2009 at 5:31:25 PM
Just acquired a 1956 Standard model K - 3-speed roadster (step through frame). I cannot find any information about this manufacturer - has anyone heard of it?


           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Anyone heard of a posted by Mark Kaczmarczyk on 10/26/2009 at 5:35:33 PM
Here is a close up of the downtube decal.


           RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Anyone heard of a posted by Chris on 10/26/2009 at 6:16:53 PM
Hercules cycle and motor co. of Birmingham
perhaps, i am not sure enough for certain anyways i like the bike keep looking

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Anyone heard of a posted by kenju@pacific.net.sg on 10/27/2009 at 4:18:48 AM

May we have a look at the headbadge please?

Does it look anything like this?


           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Anyone heard of a posted by Mark Kaczmarczyk on 10/27/2009 at 2:50:34 PM
Hi Kenju: no, its not like the one on ebay....I've posted a picture (sorry, its a bit worn and reflects light - tried about 6 different ways)....but the wording is: "The" on the top in black, "Standard" in the arched ribbon, "Cycle Co Ltd" under the ribbon, and "Birmingham" in the bottom ribbon, all in gold on a black background. And of course the big "K" in the middle!

Hope this triggers some memories.



           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Anyone heard of a posted by sam on 10/27/2009 at 8:19:32 PM
Standard was a seperate bicycle maker in B-ham.
I think there was a web site on the bicycle manufactures of B-ham---Part of the industries of that area----sam

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Anyone heard of a posted by Ken on 10/28/2009 at 5:37:47 AM
Fascinating. But Im afraid Ive no idea about this one. Sams probably right...

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Anyone heard of a posted by Mark Kaczmarczyk on 10/28/2009 at 9:10:53 AM
I did some searching in the archives, and found some other references to Standard Cycle Co Ltd. Apparently around 1966 they shut their doors and were absorbed by another local manufacturer, and the model K was one of their main models. Thinking of pulling together a small web page and linking in any resources I find, just in case there are others in future looking for similar information.

Will also post pictures as I clean the bike up - not planning any major restoration, but wanted to get some horrid overspray from a poor touchup job off the chainguard (coming up nicely now), and I will have to repaint the fenders as they are partly sanded and almost no original paint left (though I can barely discerne where the pinstripping went. Other than that it will be left with its 53 year old patina!

           RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Anyone heard of a posted by Chris on 10/28/2009 at 12:41:33 PM
Great to see the mystery solved. Birmingham was a huge repository of bicycle related companies

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Anyone heard of a posted by Keith Body on 10/31/2009 at 3:18:59 PM
Hi Mark, It looks a good quality little bike, better than many. There might have been a Standard Cycle Co. Ltd. at 40 Barn Street, Birmingham 5, in the mid 1930's. You might be able to access Kellys Directories Classified trade sections to confirm. I'm not sure about the 36 spoke wheels though.

           RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Anyone heard of a posted by Chris on 11/2/2009 at 7:13:12 PM
And the blue ribbon goes to Keith who solved the mystery! awesome

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Anyone heard of a posted by Mark Kaczmarczyk on 11/4/2009 at 9:43:40 AM
My thanks to Keith as well! I had thought this thread might have already died but it hasn't....and another piece of the puzzle comes together. About the wheels - the rear is a 40 spoke with Dunlop rim (and Taiwanese tire) - SA hub dated 8/56. The front is clearly a replacement as it is a Canadian made hub, 36 spokes, and the tire is from Canadian Tire....will eventually look for a proper replacement.

Other progress: brakes cleaned up nicely, cables have been cleaned, sized properly and adjusted, and I took her out for a short ride the other day - wow what a great ride and so different from the derailleur bikes I usually ride!

Thanks all for the help.


           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Anyone heard of a posted by Hannah on 11/17/2009 at 11:30:49 PM
This may or may not be useful, but I have a 1954 Phillips that is remarkably similar. I had browsed cursorily for bicycles with chain guards of this shape and yours, though it curves around the back, is the closest I've seen other than a 1955 Hercules "Aston Tourist". (The front wheel has 32 spokes.) I wonder if the companies had any relationship to each other or through TI / BCC?


           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Anyone heard of a posted by Matt on 11/20/2009 at 11:56:22 AM
I have two womens bicycle frames still in box! The boxes say Standard Cycle Co. Chicago, Il and all of the packing newspaper is 1940 and earlier. These frames have never been assembled. There are no headbadges...just a silohette of a round badge. No forks or chain guard. Just Frame and fenders. Nice hand painted frames...I don't have pics to post yet. Any thoughts?

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ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Shifter not working posted by: Melissa on 10/24/2009 at 7:47:56 AM
Okay, I hope I can explain this right. I changed my tires on my bike last weekend. I had to disconnect the shifter piece that comes out of the back tire (sorry, I don't know the proper terms) When I was done with everything, the shifter cable that connects to the shifter on the handlebar has fallen out. Can I fix this somehow?

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Shifter not working posted by David on 10/26/2009 at 4:57:14 PM
Explain more.

Is the "indicator chain" still in the hub of the rear wheel (the little chain w/a screw on the end of it)?

Is the threaded ferrule on the end of the cable that would screw onto the indicator chain still on the end of the cable?

Is the handlebar end of the cable still in place in the trigger?

If the cable has fallen out of the trigger, is the cable broken off or does it still have its end fitting?

Try looking at some of the diagrams on this site to pick out the terms describing your situation. Or post some photos.


           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Shifter not working posted by Melissa on 10/26/2009 at 6:53:59 PM
I will work on a picture. The cable has fallen out of the trigger and it still has the end fitting.

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Shifter not working posted by Steve on 10/27/2009 at 2:21:39 AM
If the cable still has its end fitting (and it and the trigger are not broken)....it should slot back into position, it can be a bit fiddly if you've not done it before....you just say to it "you're just a piece of wire and I'm a human being, now get into position and stop messing me around....or else" !

Just seems a little strange that disconnecting the adjuster chain at the rear should affect anything at the other end of the cable !

There are one or two different Sturmey Archer trigger models, but the basic function is the same....yes, a nice BIG clear photo of the trigger (and cable end fitting) is required.


           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Shifter not working posted by Melissa on 11/1/2009 at 6:57:40 AM
I am still working on a pic. Have been so busy! When you say that the end fitting should slot back into position, what position is that? Is the end fitting visible when it is on place?

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FOR SALE:   Time to Re-tyre posted by: Matthew on 10/24/2009 at 3:11:12 AM
eBay item number 350244555091

Nothing to do with me what so ever but as it is a shop on line then he may ship to USA.

Take a look.

Matthew - not retyring just now (47 on Monday)

           RE:FOR SALE: Time to Re-tyre posted by Al on 10/27/2009 at 8:52:27 AM

Classic tires. They're available at Sheldon Brown's old shop, too. So, any LBS should be able to order them, no?


85 psi! Is that even safe on an old steel rim?


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AGE / VALUE:   Camel Roadster posted by: Ken on 10/23/2009 at 3:17:42 AM
Hello everyone,

Several months back, I purchased a 'Camel Brand' childs bicycle. A rod brake roadster, its very well-built and finished. The shop selling it is an old Chinese-owned bicycle shop in Singapore. The very nice proprietors have been in business for over 70 years, and until recently, were rather well stocked with vintage Raleigh products and parts from many other brands and eras as well.

'Camel Brand' was their house brand, which they badged their house branded bikes, which were sourced from post war Japan. Many such beautifully built bikes - all closely following Raleigh pattern sizes, threading, etc. were sold to expatriate Brits, many of them servicemen and their families from RAF Changi.

The childs bike has rather unusual (by todays standards) 18"x1-3/8 tyres and a springed mattress saddle with a badge that says "Special" riveted onto the rear. The chain is from the famous 'D.I.D.' company now still making motorcycle chains, and pedals from "Misugi Iron Works'.

Why these Japanese imports? Raleighs and other English bicycles proved very expensive for most locals in the years prior to the 1970s/80s. Also, supplies of English bikes trickled to a standstill during the Korean War (perhaps ships coming over from England had to carry more precious war supplies?). This led bicycle dealers to jack up prices of the few English-made bikes that did find their way to this faraway colony. Speaking of which, collectors here are fortunate to be on an island which was once a centre for English bike distribution to the Far East. Unfortunately for me, most of the older collectors have already purchased the best bits...

By the way, following my purchase of the Camel childs bicycle, I have been looking for an adult sized version - most were 21" frames with 26x1 3/8 (the shop sold all of them a long time ago). If any readers know of such a specimen in your country, please send some pics, and - if you happen to come across one and wouldn't mind selling it, please let me know.

Thanks for reading.


           RE:AGE / VALUE:   Camel Roadster posted by Ken on 10/23/2009 at 4:01:40 AM
Ive posted links to some pictures here:




           RE:AGE / VALUE:   Camel Roadster posted by sam on 10/23/2009 at 6:18:33 PM

Well a start---I guess---sam

           RE:AGE / VALUE:   Camel Roadster posted by JS on 10/26/2009 at 1:43:46 AM
Really nice little bike! I don't suppose the shop owner knows which Japanese make manufactured their house brand?



           RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Camel Roadster posted by Chris on 10/26/2009 at 6:29:37 PM
Gee, I see.........Raleigh's lamp bracket early type as found on Robin Hoods and other high quality Raleigh produced bikes. that is stolen/ copied
that lamp bracket should only be seen on Raleigh's from England.
the fork is Raleigh tubular fork crown a Raleigh fork same with the fork

the crankset is Schwinn or Schwinn ish no that is Schwinn the pedal is not British but is of the Schwinn era it's a Persons or similar

mudguards are deep early pattern Raleigh

nice paint
nice Westwood rims


           RE:AGE / VALUE:   Camel Roadster posted by kenju@pacific.net.sg on 10/27/2009 at 4:14:49 AM
Jeff, I havent checked with the shop owners about this particular bike, but one of the vintage steel roadbikes a friend recently bought from them had a lugged frame made by Kuwahara.

Chris, I took a closer look at that lamp bracket and suspect it may be a genuine Raleigh part. Or a very close copy.
The pedals are a Japanese copy of the Persons you mentioned. I kept the original cardboard box it came in.

Coincidentally, the tyres are "Camel Brand" as well. They are not the same company. The shop owns the brand name in Singapore and Malaysia. Years ago, some businessmen asked to buy the rights to the brand but the shop owners refused. We suspect the businessmen must have set up shop in Thailand or someplace else in Asia and registered that trademark there. This is because I found these gumwalls for sale (in NOS condition) online earlier this year. A very lucky find indeed as the original tyres - branded "Junior" like the saddle - were so brittle they cracked under the slightest pressure.

           RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Camel Roadster posted by Chris on 10/27/2009 at 6:26:11 PM
Close copy indeed on the bracket not original

can you take a picture of the box the illegimate bast... pedals came in?

very interresting bike, I want to cut it up with a saw myself.
like the Bigwhigs from Tube Investments T.I. were at Raleigh leaning over the Moulton Copy bicycle they had it on the table and they cut into the tubing to examine it in detail. Needless to say they were not happy at all but I don't know anything from there on what happened if anything could happen but they did make a trip to have it cut open and they looked it over and I'm sure the language was not so sweet either.

           RE:AGE / VALUE:   Camel Roadster posted by kenju@pacific.net.sg on 10/28/2009 at 4:36:09 AM
Cut it up? Ouch.

Attached pics of the box.



           RE:AGE / VALUE:   Camel Roadster posted by Ken on 10/28/2009 at 4:41:33 AM
Heres a pic of the boxes the chain and freewheel came in. Freewheel made by "Amtraco".


           RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Camel Roadster posted by Chris on 10/28/2009 at 12:59:25 PM
I am quite interested in all this enjoying the ride so to speak. Thanks for the pix of the boxes I have run across the d.i.d. chain before and I was not to keen with their quality- it kept breaking! but they got better with time.

I would like to see the reaction of the Persons company and hear their comments on the subject of the pedals.

He almost got ahold of the bike but then he paused to notice where the hacksaw was made (China) and we managed to escape with the bike intact!

           RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Camel Roadster posted by Chris on 10/28/2009 at 1:01:49 PM
Kuwahara is known for chainsaws isn't it? Motorcycles too? perhaps I am wrong, where have I heard that name before?

           RE:AGE / VALUE:   Camel Roadster posted by Ken on 10/28/2009 at 5:56:51 PM
Kuwahara = E.T phone home... :)



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ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Brake Cables posted by: Jerry on 10/22/2009 at 6:29:02 PM
Thanks, David for your reply. Yes my calipers do have the nut and bolt anchorage, but I was actually referring to the other end of the cable. Do the Raleigh cables have the disc or barrel at the lever end or do they have the pear shaped end. Sorry I wasn't clear about this. Thanks.


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AGE / VALUE:   Riding a too-small bike posted by: Jon on 10/22/2009 at 5:59:25 PM
Here's a picture of the Raleigh Sports I inherited from my father. Manufactured in 1966, I think. I believe it's the biggest frame that Raleigh made in a Sports, but at 6' 4" it's really too small for me. To make it work I've switched to drop bars, which move my hands a bit forward of the stem, and switched to a long Nitto Technomic stem. The backward set of the seatpost is a bit of luck because it effectively makes the top tube a little longer. (Neither the post nor the frame is bent. It's been like that since the day my dad brought it home--I remember his mentioning it. It appears that the frame was brazed together with the seat lug a little off kilter somehow.
And yes, I had to add a second cog and derailleur because I live in an area that abounds in steep thousand-foot climbs.
My question is this: what adaptations to others make to allow them to make do with a bike that's smaller than they might wish? I like this bike and ride it a lot and will never let it go, but I do wish I were a little smaller or it were a little bigger.


           RE:AGE / VALUE:   Riding a too-small bike posted by Steve on 10/23/2009 at 2:41:58 AM
Sorry Jon,

I too have a Raleigh Sports that's a bit on the small side for me, so can sympathise with your dilemma.
I've never actually read a question like this before, but for one moment I had this rediculous thought of you riding a tandem solo with your good self sitting on the rear seat, I'll let you work the rest out for yourself !

I have an elderley sit-up and beg Hercules tradebike/cycletruck that somehow manages to force my elbows somewhere over the rear wheel arch when I'm riding !

Apologies for the above, haven't had much sleep just lately.
Finally, why do some people ride bikes with their heals on the peddles, one foot pointing East and the other pointing West ?
Am I missing a trick here !


           RE:AGE / VALUE: Riding a too-small bike posted by Al on 10/23/2009 at 11:36:59 PM

I feel your pain. I'm 6-feet-plus tall. I've restored nearly a dozen 3 speed bikes, mostly Raleigh Sports, for friends. But I don't really fit the 23-inch frame myself. My favorite bike is a 24-inch Gazelle, with a nice long stem. Alas, it's a single speed job. Can't wait to get my Raleigh Tourist up and running.

How about a setback seat post? I couldn't view your photo, but I'm assuming you ride a Brooks saddle. The rails on those don't provide much setback. Perhaps the Kalloy UNO374 with a sandwich clamp for Brooks saddles?

I thought Raleigh Sports came in 26-inch frame size, but I may be mistaken.


           RE:AGE / VALUE:   Riding a too-small bike posted by greg on 10/24/2009 at 6:51:59 AM
I go eye ball to eye ball with you so I know where you're coming from. I have a 24" Tourist that barely fits & have to time the turns so my knees miss the handle bars. Also I appreciate the sentimental value of your bike. But..
I built my first fixed gear on a 58cm bike & although I could get a seat post long enough for my inseam no matter what I did I could never get the cockpit length long enough. Bullhorns, chop & flops,etc on the longest stem I could find. Whenever I leaned over my arms always wanted to be out past the end of the bars. I would ride with my wrists on the very ends of which ever bar I was trying & then the steering gets weird from being so stretched out over the wheel. I had no sentimental attachment to the bike so I sold it & got a 69cm frame. Not an option for you. Maybe this bike should be a short haul bike & something that fits for longer trips?

           RE:AGE / VALUE:   Riding a too-small bike posted by David on 10/26/2009 at 4:52:50 PM
I'm 6' 3" and I'm comfortable on a 23" Sports with a long seatpost. I've got my 37 1/2" from pedal to saddle top. The bike looks a bit stretched but works just fine for me. The stock stem extends high enough.

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ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   1966? Phillips ladies' step-through posted by: Deborah Merriam on 10/22/2009 at 3:54:12 PM
Hi everyone, I'm a first-time poster. Thanks for all your prior discussions, I have learned so much from reading them!

I have just acquired a 1960s-era Phillips ladies step-through with a Sturmey-Archer single coaster brake, chrome-trimmed Speedwell mudguards, tyre rims marked STURMEY ARCHER *ENGLAND F250 28 x 1 1/2* (ie, they're 635mm), tyres marked SEMPERIT, Made In Austria, Super Elite (so, not original?). Brooks vinyl mattress saddle, white plastic grips probably made by Dare, kickstand marked PLETCHER, unmarked aluminum basket, unusual chrome-trimmed rubber Raleigh? pedals. Serial number stamped onto the frame below the saddle is 3464230 (Yeah, no letters, unless that zero is an O). The coaster brake has a plastic-stoppered hole for adding oil, and is marked: ENGLAND STURMEY ARCHER SC (in the bottom triangle) 11 6 (running *perpendicular* to the 4-triangle logo, instead of below it; if this is month/year, she was probably made in November 1966).

I thought some of you might be interested in looking at the photos I took of her. Here's a link to the blog post:

Warmest regards,
Deborah in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   1966? Phillips ladies' step-through posted by Steve on 10/23/2009 at 2:20:34 AM
Looks a tidy machine Deborah.

As I'm mainly (but not all the time) a rod brake "fuddy duddy", I still struggle when I see a bike with no brake levers....it's like a human with no ears !

I'm sure she will look after you well.


           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   1966? Phillips ladies' step-through posted by Warren on 10/23/2009 at 6:24:51 PM
Hi Deborah, you've done your homework...it's a very nice Raleigh made Phillips. A couple of comments.

The solid pedals suggest this is a 70's bike. I'm not entirely sure when these were introduced but 66 is maybe a little too early. The Semperits could therefore originals...Dunlop had quit supplying the bike indusutry in the late 60's.

Do your tires actually specify 635mm? If not, I suspect your 28 x 1 1/2 tires are actually Canadian size and will take a wide 700c tires. This will make tire replacement easy. Look for 622 or F13 on the sidewalls.

These are sweet bikes to ride and yours is in great condition....enjoy it!


           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   1966? Phillips ladies' step-through posted by Deborah Merriam on 10/29/2009 at 1:05:08 PM
Update: I've decided to blog about this restoration, so I started a new blog with a friend: loopframelove.blogspot.com - and I've posted many more photos there. I'd love it if you visited and commented.

Steve - thanks! She's a bit slow to stop with the coaster brake, so I might add a front rod brake.

Warren - I think she's a 66 based on the markings on the SA hub. Could the pedals have been replacements? I got the 635mm measurement from one of Sheldon Brown's articles.

Here's what the tire sidewalls say:
28 x 1 1/2 SuperElite 700 x 38B
(logo) SEMPERIT (logo)

1995? 700? Are these actually wide replacement tires?


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ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Brake Cables posted by: Jerry on 10/22/2009 at 10:18:33 AM
I have just purchased a 1977 Raleigh Sports and will be needing both front and rear brake cables. Any help in finding these would be great. I'm new to Raleigh's and wondering what type of end these cables have at the lever; barrell, etc? Thanks

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Brake Cables posted by David on 10/22/2009 at 4:14:39 PM
Do your brake calipers have a nut-and-bolt cable anchorage? Or do they have a hook-shaped end that would engage the special end on a Raleigh cable? If the latter, you'll have to search for a replacement or swap out the caliper so you could use an ordinary brake cable.

           RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Brake Cables posted by Jerry on 10/23/2009 at 7:11:03 AM
David, thanks for getting back to me. Yes, my brake calipers do have a nut-and-bolt cable anchorage. Actually, I needed to know about the lever end of the cable. Does it have the disc or does it have the pear shaped end? I'm thinking the disc. And where can I buy these?
I'm new at this and have enjoyed reading through the posts. Thanks for letting me have a word.

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Brake Cables posted by David on 10/23/2009 at 9:41:37 AM
Generally, brake levers for drop bars use the pear-shaped ends and those for upright bars use the little discs. Most replacement cables are universal, with both types of end: cut off the one you don't need.

           RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Brake Cables posted by Jerry on 10/23/2009 at 9:52:39 AM
Thanks for the info.

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WANTED:   36-hole S5 shell wanted posted by: Randy on 10/20/2009 at 11:05:53 PM
I'm in need/want of a nice 36-hole S-A S5 shell. The only one I have has 36 holes, and I don't want to use an AW shell. I'll buy outright or trade. Thanks!

           RE:WANTED:   36-hole S5 shell wanted posted by Randy on 10/20/2009 at 11:08:03 PM
Doh, the only one I have has 28 holes...

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AGE / VALUE:   Here is a pic posted by: erik on 10/20/2009 at 11:49:59 AM
With this photo I hope you can more clearly see my concern as to why the 32t ring may be to small and cause chain rub, check it out http://www.flickr.com/photos/ubrayj02/2766910413/

           RE:AGE / VALUE:   Here is a pic posted by David on 10/21/2009 at 4:40:55 AM
Do you mean that the chain will drag on the inside of the case if the chainring is too small? Why not measure the smallest diameter ring you think you could get away with, given reasonable chain tension, and calculate its circumference. 2 teeth per inch, right? In the end, though, you'll have to try one out and see how tough it is to maintain the necessary adjustment to keep the chain from drooping and dragging on the case.

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ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   smallest chainring for fullcase posted by: erik on 10/19/2009 at 11:37:35 PM
I need to be able to climb big hills where I live, and obiously, speed is not important to me. So I found a place that sells 32-44t cottered cranks, what would be the smallest ring I could use on a flying pigeon without it rubbing on the inside of the full case?

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   smallest chainring for fullcase posted by David on 10/20/2009 at 10:30:54 AM
Doesn't the size of the case limit how BIG a ring you can use, not how small? (It DOES limit the size of the cog in back, of course.)

           RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   smallest chainring for fullcase posted by erik on 10/20/2009 at 11:47:50 AM
I am not thinking of the outer surface of the inside of the chaincase but rather the innersurface. Stock a flying pigeon has a 46t chainring but if I put a 32t on it may be so small as to rub the inner surface. I don't know, I will call the guy that sells these things and see what he thinks.

What is the largest sprocket you can put on a Raleigh full chain case? Just from looking I would say about a 20t-22t would be about max.

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   smallest chainring for fullcase posted by erik on 10/20/2009 at 11:53:01 AM
With this photo I hope you can more clearly see my concern as to why the 32t ring may be to small and cause chain rub, check it out http://www.flickr.com/photos/ubrayj02/2766910413/

           RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   smallest chainring for fullcase posted by Chris on 10/20/2009 at 1:54:05 PM
This whole matter should be resolved with the use of a 3 speed, 4 speed, 5 , 7 or more of a multispeed enclosed hub.

Look over the newest Sun Race- Sturmey Archer products and invest in one of those. and keep the chaincase in place.

Are we trying to stay with a single speed rear hub in this bike? if so, Why?

Use of the chaincase limits you. I hate to say it, because I love enclosed chaincases on these type bikes. I love them passionately! On many of my bikes I removed the cases altogether and went back to hockey stick chainguards. This allowed me to fiddle with derailers and different size front crank sets/ T.A. chainrings and such wonderful things.

The chain case limits how small a front chainring can be. it also limits how large a rear sprocket one can fit on the rear.

You can remove the end piece of the enclosed chaincase and go to a 22tooth 24 tooth or larger tooth rear sprocket. However this defeats the whole purpose of having an enclosed chaincase on the bike.
Now the front chainring question You will have to fit some different sizes on it and see for yourself. I think that you can't go any lower than a 42 tooth front chainring. really, the enclosed chaincase limits you pretty well.

My answer from memory is no lover than a 42 front chainring will fit inside the case. That's my best guess. I don't have the flying pigeon bike in front of me. These are close copies of the Raleigh's but things are still slightly different, the finishes, the paints, the name itself.

I like the rims and tires and a few other parts but I don't go all the way, or even half the way, with these bikes.
Sorry, but I cannot stand the name. I prefer this type of bike to be British that includes a British name and headbadge, no "Hero" leather seats for me. sorry but a "flying pigeon" is a "winged rat" in my book. Struggling writer Ernest Hemmingway caught pigeons in the city park and ate them to survive as food. Inventor Nikola Tesla loved Pigeons, he maintained regular patrols around the New York Public library to rescue the sick and injured pigeons, he fed them, the pigeons were fed while office workers Muriul Arbus and Dorothy Skerret were shortchanged their salary. They were trying to honor him at an engineers club and he went missing to feed the pigeons. There was one particular all white bird with just a bit of grey on it's wings and when it flew into Nikola's Hotel room window late in 1943 when Nikola was lying in bed solving problems as usual- it supposedly told him she was dying (He loved the bird like a man loves a woman) He knew somehow, and as the book reports he told a group of science writers "And as that pigeon lay dying beams of brillient white light emmitted from the pigeons eyes,More bright than anything produced in his labs yes, an actual white light. It was at that moment that Nikola knew his lifes work was over." Tesla died soon afterward, ther is a photo of the pigeon in the book about him. If it were anyone else I'd say that was crazy but Nikola was special and in a class of his own.So who knows? Now a pigeon with the light streaming from it's eyes as a Flying pigeon t- shirt? I'd buy one of those!

I still think the Pigeon is a "winged rat" It is a "protected bird" as it carried messages in W.W.1 and 2.
so I don't advise getting caught killing them.
To say it's a popular bike in China is an understatement it everyplace and well loved. However, powers that be in China are trying to phase these out. It's like the V.W. bug.

           RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   smallest chainring for fullcase posted by Chris on 10/20/2009 at 4:31:33 PM
The enclosed chaincase prohibits front deraileurs, it knocks out your chance to use multiple front chainrings, (deraileurs) or multiple rear sprockets (deraileurs) the channels on top and on the bottom are only so wide so going larger or smaller on either end is almost impossible.

I am sorry to see that Raleigh/ Phillips/ B.S.A. and others did not maintain control over the factories, dies, tooling , plans,personel, industry secrets, production methods, patents ( those must have expired, making this possible)
What I would have liked to see develop is,
The Flying Pigeon should be a Raleigh Heron. Raleigh should have been operating a factory in China and kept an firm grip on maintaining control and ownership of the enterprise there. Fine if they love the bike, but after all it is British, isn't it? It should stay that way. Profits flowing back to Britain.

We would have never seen a run down factory with broken windows in Nottingham, Brooks would be in a huge, multistoried factory, Sturmey- Archer would never have been sold to Sun Race, the heritage would not have been lost, jobs would remain in place. So much effort, so much sacrifice, time, to over take, push to the wall and buy out the competition to bring it under the T.I. Raleigh umbrella only to pack it away and close it all up.

It does not make sense. The planning folks at T.I. should have said "Ok, this is the worlds largest market and we are going to make it Raleigh's." To consolidate and have all of 100 years experience in this and then not do anything with it? To not lead a charge and take over China's bike markets is an incomprensible waste. T.I. didn't merge with B.C.C., production was not shifted to Nottingham, all the merging and consolidation, and buying up and out and factory closing and all this upheval? It didn't shift to Supply China with Raleigh's and go on to another Golden Era. It didn't do anything but plan it's own funeral.

Before it was knocked down (the Raleigh Nottingham factory) one could see the grandeur of the past. The huge lettering on the walls: R A L E I G H. Seeing the echo's of the past knocked visitors speechless. Instead company officials stated: "We have given up our foreign ambitions" Why not China? Why allow EVERYTHING to be sold, copied with or without permission, Why allow this basic design, the bread and butter bike that was manufactured and shipped around the world the bike that made fortune(s) for more than one company but in an entire industry. There is getting ones wallet pinched (stolen), your groceries and clothes taken from you (a mugging) but what has happened is China has stolen the very soul.( Britains bicycle industry ) That is a hell of a thing to loose! Precisely where things are.

The Flying Piegeon bothers me because it's illegimate.
and why? When one can find the original (s) that are still about.
Racks are special because they are Ashby, Princip , Brooks, Terry's e.t.c. The look, the designs.
British seats
(saddles) are special because they were Brooks, Dunlop, Middlemores, Wrights,
Tires were special because they were Dunlops, Bates, John Bull and a host of other names and Brands and versions. Yesterday I saw a "War Grade" tire on a B.S.A. airborne paratrooper bike it had ridges and looked cool as all get out. I thought "Now! Thats a tire!"

The paint was special itself. Yivone Rix laughed and said the "paint was rubber based and you'll never figure a way to duplicate it appearence wise." Be assured paint recipies are sitting in a locked safe. Even now. You can come close. not exact.

Bells are not the same. it's different, and yes it is cheap, shoddy, not authentic. chrome plate, the thickness of the steel, the grade of steel, e.t.c. The soul is not the same. Yes, this stuff has soul. Ring the old stuff and then the new stuff and listen to it. That ping, it is it's soul.
The Japanese love French bikes because they see the soul in the French bikes and that is why, in part they love it.
Decals too are different.
The finishes of the metals, the screws, bolts. e.t.c.

           RE:RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   smallest chainring for fullcase posted by Chris on 10/20/2009 at 5:21:48 PM
Original front chainrings that are too large combined with the thing being a single speed as well. It must be fustrating to ride. Difficult on hills and limited to only one speed. Are the millions of Chinese users feeling the same way with their Flying Pigeon bikes? Are there many folks in China who are looking to modify the gearing on these?

My guess is they accept the bike as it is sold, they ride it as it is or they are riding something else. Perhaps they are hardier, stronger, more disciplined? Just ride the heck out of it every day, everyplace and get so tough on the single speed roadster that they likely don't give it a second thought. Don't mean to be snotty or disrespectful I really am wondering..... Are the Chinese wanting to add gears derailers or internal hubs onto these class of bicycles?
If there was demand the company would offer gears.


           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   smallest chainring for fullcase posted by erik on 10/20/2009 at 6:44:09 PM
I would like to have an original English made bike but I live in a place where finding one is very difficult. In fact in the thirty years I have lived here I have never seen a proper roadster. Sports model 3 speeds, sure, but never ever a roadster with rod brakes, a full chain case, and 28in wheels.

I only own single speeds at this point in my life. I just like simplicity. After the 24 speed mountain bike I owned and often took to the LBS for adjustment of the derailleurs I said enough and have been riding single speeds ever since. That was seven years ago.

I routinely ride a single speed road bike 30-50 miles at least 3 time per week over hilly terrain with a 42-16 gear ratio. So I am not an extremely weak rider.

However, that bike weighs only 20 lbs. I am just not too sure about trying to ride up hills that most around here walk up with mountain bikes on a single speed that weighs 45-50 lbs.

I was hoping to forgo a 3 speed hub but it sounds like I may have to get one if I want to use a roadster as my primary winter/bad weather/ around town bike. Or I could try a 42-22 combo and see if I can get around.

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   smallest chainring for fullcase posted by Ken on 10/21/2009 at 5:37:03 AM

To be fair, Raleigh didn't allow everything to be copied. Its product was just copied without permission in an era, in a part of the world, where intellectual property theft was hard to police. Some trivia on the 'flying rats':

"At the forefront of the whole bicycle phenomenon in the PRC is the trusty Flying Pigeon. Of all the bicycle logos in China today, the silhouette of a pigeon resting on the two letters FP is probably the best-known. Other brands take a close second, such as the Phoenix (Fenghuang), Forever (Yongjiu), and Giant. Flying Pigeons are hatched at the Tianjin Bicycle Company, which was originally an artillery factory created by Japanese occupying forces in 1936. After the Communists came to power in 1949, the bicycle industry was revived. In the early 1950s, Chairman Mao's heir apparent Liu Shaoqi paid a visit to the factory and commanded that it become the first bicycle manufacturer in New China.

The Flying Pigeon was the brainchild of a worker named Huo Baoji who presented his carefully crafted bike on July 5, 1950. The name Feige (literally 'flying dove') was originally chosen as an expression for peace amidst the raging war in Korea. However, the Chinese word gezi can be translated as either dove or pigeon. For some inexplicable reason the latter was chosen. Why this scruffy, vermin-with-wings was chosen to represent the nation's most prominent bicycle trademark may forever remain a mystery. It could be that the pigeon was regarded as a working-class fowl. A more likely scenario, however, is that an error in translation occurred. Thus Huo Baoji's vision of the Chinese nation gliding around the country on gleaming 'Flying Dove' bicycles never came to pass.

Despite its somewhat comical name, the arrival of the Feige was the turning point for the bicycle industry..."



           RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   smallest chainring for fullcase posted by Chris on 10/22/2009 at 6:45:09 PM
I suspect that an error in the translation occured I failed to mention that the pigoen is related to the dove. It's almost the same a pigeon is called a rock dove doves or pigeons it's about the same and to the Chineese I guess they don't differentiate. Dove would be better.

You are right on the money it happened at a time a different time and it just happened but also my guess is that tooling was sold and it ended up in China

Henry Ford took the old worn out model A ford tooling and put it in ships and it went to Niviskhy Novgorod Russia he enlisted the Socialists in Detroit to go to Russia and they opened a factory in Russia a shot down version of the river rouge factory in Detroit where they built cars for Russia until well...... I suggest you read the out of print book: Coming out of the ice an unexpected life by Victor Herman

anyways you are correct but tooling must have changed hands for this to happen and it was not stolen like other things. Some idiot likely sold it and betrayed the whole industry as well as the country and her people . Oh well it's long over but I don't have to like it.

I understand and your reasons are why a growing number of riders are going to single speed bikes and this is nothing new. Sounds like you are in shape and I tip my hat to you sir.

Please feel free to post here, the group is interested in your reports and posts and now that I'm on record about the flying (ug) pigeon I'll let the other members answer your posts. I am interested and look forward to reading your reports on the scene in China.

the above posts are well written and informative it was good reading.

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   smallest chainring for fullcase posted by Steve on 10/23/2009 at 2:06:46 AM
Off topic I realise.

Some Swedish built Scania coach (bus) chassis are now being bodied in China, they're due to land in England soon....hmmmm !


           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   smallest chainring for fullcase posted by Ken on 10/23/2009 at 3:13:44 AM
Hi Chris,

You might have mistook me for Jeff, the blogger on www.flyingpigeonproject.org who lives in China.

I live in Singapore and am happy to post here. Theres so much to learn from you guys. I hope I may be able to contribute my bit to the vast - and critically important- database you have here. Like Steve, I realise this is getting off topic, so I will share more on a separate thread. Thanks for the welcome.

Some pics of my bikes past and present can be found here: www.flickr.com/photo/ketchupsbikes


           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   smallest chainring for fullcase posted by JS on 10/26/2009 at 1:51:05 AM
Having examined enough old Raleighs at this point, I do not think any of the Chinese Roadster were made using Raleigh tooling. Too many small differences and some large ones too.

Supposedly the FP was a "clean sheet" design. However, It seems to me they took some of the best elements of various british and continental roadsters and simplified them for mass manufacture and easy maintenance. True..many of the parts will interchange with a Raleigh...although they are a bit different. I think this was intentional as there were many Raleighs already in the country, so why not supply parts that fit the existing bike park? At the time, the country needed all the mobility it could get.

I will cover this in greater detail on my blog in a few months. Too many stories between now and then.



           RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   smallest chainring for fullcase posted by Chris on 10/26/2009 at 6:33:13 PM
Ken- happy to read your posts here, keep it up

the Bike may have been named pigeon instead of dove due to religeous overtones the Holy Spirit is a dove and such. I look forward to your blog

           off topic posted by Chris on 10/27/2009 at 6:44:54 PM
The Japanese Zero plane was designed by Howard Hughes somebody went in at night and snatched the designs off of the desk. Then they built it, tested, built more and more of them and then the pilots took to enjoying very much turning about very agile on a dime and getting behind the U.S. servicemen in their planes and then....... opening fire from behind!- but the U.S. planes had bigger guns.

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   smallest chainring for fullcase posted by JS on 10/28/2009 at 4:20:12 AM

I think you are confusing me with Ken again. Ken lives in Singapore.

I live in Beijing and write the blog. http://www.flyingpigeonproject.org.



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AGE / VALUE:   Phillips rod brake part - it broke! posted by: David on 10/15/2009 at 4:27:39 PM
This little part broke on my Phillips rod brake roadster. Does anyone know if these will work on Phillips bikes? They look a bit different, more like Raleigh style.



           RE:AGE / VALUE:   Phillips rod brake part - it broke! posted by Steve on 10/16/2009 at 4:45:50 AM
Hi David,

In an effort to keep old rod bikes alive, I've mixed and matched various small rod brake components (usually parts off scrap and wrecked bikes).

Even allowing for different brands, I don't think you would have any problems with these, that's presuming your rods are straight, some of mine have steps, bends, twists, surface rust etc (the scars off a fruitful life).

A bit of heat, a small file and emery cloth usually sorts them out.

I take it that you have no scrap rod brake bike near you to scavenge from.



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ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Dunelt posted by: Jonas on 10/15/2009 at 10:52:21 AM
Found and bought a Vintage Dunelt in great condition. I post here because I think it would be nice to here if someone have some information abut the bike and the brand Dunelt. I have googeld but didin´t find much usefull information.

Ram: Reynolds 531
Hubs: Campagnolo record, 5 speed
RD: Campagnolo Gran Sport (1 st or 2 generation)
FD: Campagnolo
Brakes: Weinmann
Crankset: Williams
SSaddle: Brooks Swallow leather
Rims: Weinmann 630 mm
pedals: Campagnolo
Headset: Campagnolo
Handlebar: GB
Stem: GB

So if anyone have some information, please post.



           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Dunelt posted by Steve on 10/15/2009 at 11:35:02 AM
It looks a nice bike to me, but I think your question should be in the Vintage Lightweight section.


           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Dunelt posted by Matthew on 10/15/2009 at 11:46:38 AM
The message seems to have appeared there too.

Matthew - curiouser and curiouser

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AGE / VALUE:   Phillips Cantilever Frame posted by: john on 10/14/2009 at 11:27:48 AM
Greetings: Just purchased a single speed, coaster brake Phillips with cantilever frame. I'd never seen a cantiliver Phillips before but maybe I just lead a sheltered life? Thanks. john

           RE:AGE / VALUE:   Phillips Cantilever Frame posted by Matthew on 10/14/2009 at 1:56:00 PM
Hi John,

Do you means a frame with a curved top tube such as a Raleigh Colt?

Matthew - down to details

           RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Phillips Cantilever Frame posted by john on 10/14/2009 at 5:29:46 PM
Mathew....single curved top tube with 2 smaller tubes underneath as found on many older Schwinns. john

           RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Phillips Cantilever Frame posted by Chris on 10/15/2009 at 6:15:25 PM
popular in Canada, a great place to find British bikes

           RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Phillips Cantilever Frame posted by john on 10/16/2009 at 12:45:25 PM
So I guess nothing special then. At a distance, I thought it was some type of Schwinn It's just that I had never seen this type of frame on a "Made in England" bike. john

           RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Phillips Cantilever Frame posted by Chris on 10/19/2009 at 5:55:40 PM
I would not say "nothing special" these are kinda rare and it's a cool bike. would love to see pictures of the bike

           RE:AGE / VALUE:   Phillips Cantilever Frame posted by woody on 10/20/2009 at 6:49:58 AM
hi fellas
long time reader first time poster
i have recently aquired a 26" trade bike with what you blokes have discribed as a cantilever top tube and only one down tube. every thing seems to point to phillips, the rod braking system, the chainwheel, handlebars.... but cant find any numbers anywhere...it seems to have everything black from the head down, maybe pre war with replacement chrome handle bars? here i am spouting info grasped at from previous forums....
if anyone has raed this far, then thankyou.
if anyone can help, even better.....

           RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Phillips Cantilever Frame posted by Chris on 10/20/2009 at 5:25:55 PM
would love to see photos of your trade bike!

           RE:AGE / VALUE:   Phillips Cantilever Frame posted by john on 10/21/2009 at 5:40:13 AM
Chris: Tried to send you an email but got message your mailbox is full....will email photos if I can get your address. john

           RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Phillips Cantilever Frame posted by Chris on 10/22/2009 at 6:47:09 PM
will get it sorted out

           RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Phillips Cantilever Frame posted by woody on 10/27/2009 at 5:33:20 AM
here are some pics of my canterlever? tradebike project


           RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Phillips Cantilever Frame posted by Chris on 10/27/2009 at 6:29:19 PM
Wow! neat! really this is cool I am delighted really delighted to see tradebikes get mentioned here looking forward to more posts about them

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AGE / VALUE:   Hurricane posted by: sam on 10/13/2009 at 6:12:25 PM
Just the badge but couldn't pass on it with out putting in a bid.
Any one ever hear of it? I'm positive it's named after the british Hurricane(WW2?)


           RE:AGE / VALUE:   Hurricane posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 10/13/2009 at 6:48:08 PM
Awesome badge! And seeing that it is an aeroplane pictured, I would bet... it's after the "Hawker Hurricane". The 1st British Fighter Monoplane to exceed 300mph.

A rather formidable aircraft in it's day.


Nice find Sam!


Larry "Boneman" Bone - Hawker Hurricane.... Much manlier than the one Neil Young sings (whines?) about. ;-)

           RE:AGE / VALUE:   Hurricane posted by JDuck on 10/14/2009 at 7:02:43 AM
Great badge! It must be after the Hawker Hurricane but picture looks nothing like a Hurricane. Round engine instead of a Merlin, etc. Wouldn't it have been just as easy to try to depict an actual Hurricane?

           RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Hurricane posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 10/15/2009 at 2:45:04 AM
JDuck... I work with enough "Creative" Graphic Agencies to know.... please.... do NOT stand in the way of their creativity by using such dubious things... as ... TECHNICAL DETAILS, OK?



(No offence to any Creative Graphics Folks intended)


Larry "Boneman" Bone - Is that a radial... or a rotary????

           RE:AGE / VALUE:   Hurricane posted by Matthew on 10/15/2009 at 11:51:14 AM

Most rotary engines have radial pistons unless we are talking Wankel and that's a whole nother story.

Of course the Hurricane (defender of the empire) had a vee 12 Merlin - it never got the later Griffin. The phenominal Merlin also powered, spitfire, Mustang, Lancaster, Lincoln (plane not continental)and many others.

Matthew - off topic again!

           RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Hurricane posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 10/16/2009 at 6:08:43 AM
Yes... the Wankel... is a different "rotary" animal alltogether.

As to the Merlin, quite the mill all those planes it powered along and one or two insanely fast "Unlimited" racing Hydroplanes as well. :-)

It was actually not until the release of the Sierra Version of "Red Baron" did any of the WWI Flight Simulator games actually reflect the most interesting turn and climb characteristics of such rotary equipped planes as the Fokker DR1, etc.

Yeah... let's just mount an huge rotating mass on the front of an airplane. The pilots will figure out how to manage the gyroscopic effects, I'm sure.

Of course... quite a number of them perished before it was mastered... but they did manage.


Larry "Boneman" Bone - No... it WON'T climg into a left hand turn!

           RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Hurricane posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 10/16/2009 at 10:39:27 AM
D'oh! As usual... I've got them backwards... 'tis the RADIAL engine that rotates en toto....

Kindly correct your records.

Uhh... or something....


Larry "Boneman" Bone - can one be rotationally dyslexic?

           RE:AGE / VALUE:   Hurricane posted by Matthew on 10/17/2009 at 4:34:21 AM
Hi Larry,

I get it too, occasionally!
Radial - pistons arranged radially around a crankshaft. Radial rotary, ditto but with the engine rotating around a fixed crankshaft with the propeller firmly affixed to the engine.
True rotary, a piece of genius with a tri-lobed elliptical rotor in a chamber of such design as to produce suck squeeze bang and blow, wow.

Matthew - getting around to it?

           RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Hurricane posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 10/18/2009 at 7:34:20 AM
I once had the privledge of working with the late inventor Jerome Murray... on some very preliminary layouts of his "Rotorcam" engine. An oddball marriage of the Wankel engine... but with pistons.

It had great poetential. Alas, after Jerome's passing, I have not a clue whatever became of it.

I once owned an 81 RX-7 and that thing was a ROCKET lemme tellya.... alas, as is the nature of the Wankel... the seals were it's weak point.

That... and it got worse fuel economy than my 1979 Cadillac Coupe De'Ville!


Larry "Boneman" Bone - It's all about what "motivates" us.

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