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I started the site in 1995 and sold my retail shop in April of this year.

I'm retiring from the bike business.

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ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Handlebar innards ! posted by: Steve on 3/20/2009 at 11:23:17 AM
I have a nice set of Phillips handlebars here complete with insignia and undisturbed grips but minus lever rods, I will soon have to attach two brake lever rods but I'm unsure as to how to secure the rod retaining holders to the four mounting points on the bars.

Can anyone offer advice on how to position the 4 x inner nuts in order to accept the threads to secure the rod retaining holders into position.

Any advice gladly received.


           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Handlebar innards ! posted by Matthew on 3/20/2009 at 3:18:39 PM
It is rather complex. I'll be in touch.

Matthew - simply the rest.

           RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Handlebar innards ! posted by Chris on 3/21/2009 at 7:58:22 AM
I'll be praying mathew can help you. Good Luck!

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Handlebar innards ! posted by Steve on 3/21/2009 at 11:31:46 AM
We have a saying in England "there's no such thing as a free lunch" !

How true this has turned out to be.

This Phillips bike was acquired for an absolute snip, I now know why the previous owner was glad to see the back of it...seized seatpost (and I really do mean seized), leverless handlebars (well that's not strictly true, there was one lever, but it was shaped more like a boomerang and also seized), rusted through front 18" wheel (yes 18" not 20") and a whole list of other struggles, one of which was having to drill out the cotter pins (it's the one and only time my Bikesmith.com fantastic cotter pin remover has had to be substituted)...the list goes on.

If I told you the more adventurous ideas I have had in order to fit and position the inner handlebar nuts, you might think that I need to make an extremely urgent appointment with someone in the medical trade, anyhow here are the more sane ideas :-

1. the slimmest ever longest nose pliers known to mankind that can go round bends
2. magnets
3. lightly braze or weld the nut on to the end of a wire, then feed it round, screw the thread in tightly...then snap the wire !

As I said, these are the sensible suggestions, I look forward to Matthews complexities.

Steve - taking a rest (in a dark room) !

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Handlebar innards ! posted by Keith Body on 3/21/2009 at 3:46:32 PM
We used to slide the half round nuts down the bars and just put a bit of wire ( spoke?) into the hole, with the hole pointing down. When the nut reached the wire just gently tease the nut till the thread is visible, screw in the rod eye. All done very gently, and for me very easy.

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Handlebar innards ! posted by Keith Body on 3/21/2009 at 3:50:04 PM
Another thought, there used to be long flexible springs that were used to bend copper tubing, about half inch diameter. We actually did as previously described.

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Handlebar innards ! posted by Steve on 3/22/2009 at 1:11:36 AM
Thanks Keith, I was edging towards the "nut on a piece of wire" method, but the manufacturers (producing in the thousands) surely must have had a purpose built gizmo for this process, I can't imagine rows of workers playing "tickle the nut on a piece of wire" !

It would be a damn sight easier if the bars were straight, and the shaping process took place afterwards...I've never seen any pictures of roddded handlebar production.

Steve - sit up and beg...makes you wonder !

           RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Handlebar innards ! posted by Chris on 3/23/2009 at 5:56:20 PM
it's time we uncover somebody who actually worked at raleigh and assembled these and therefore the secret of how it was actually assembled would be revealed once and for all.

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Handlebar innards ! posted by Kevin on 3/24/2009 at 7:28:53 AM
Good idea, Chris. Who knows? Maybe they used magnetized nuts.

           RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Handlebar innards ! posted by Chris on 3/24/2009 at 8:18:16 AM
I do not recommend that any handlebars be that taken down just don't re- chrome these leave them as is we don't want ruined handlebars or bike enthiusiasts having a nervous breakdown.

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Handlebar innards ! posted by Steve on 3/24/2009 at 8:47:53 AM
I have all kinds of breakdowns on most days of the week, but as of yet I haven't had a nervous one...but I suspect the stuck seatpost drove me pretty close to it !

Steve - mentally stable...I hope !

           RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Handlebar innards ! posted by Chris on 3/25/2009 at 7:56:02 AM
Keith answered the question very neatly awesome

           RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Handlebar innards ! posted by Chris on 3/26/2009 at 2:17:42 PM
I remember finding in the shops the yellow and black raleigh parts boxes of the chrome plated steel collars that the stud went over and the stud threaded thru the hole in the handlebar tubing and it threaded into this nut that goes inside the handlebar. So with spare parts boxed and sold as a rule then these were meant to be an item that was repaired but I think that later on, as time progressed, the shops just ordered another set of handlebars rather than fool with this. I believe if you listen to Keith and have some patience and not a defeatist attitude that one will be ok.
I can shed some light on why were are having this discussion in the first place.
The brake leavers themselves go through this stud that is screwed over the collar and screwed into the nut inside the handlebars.

The handlebar brake stud wears out after some time and some use. (Sometimes) way back, years ago these were replaced but really, we are having this discussion because somebody is wanting to re-plate a set of rod brake handlebars and this gets disassembled prior to re- plating and when it comes back and we want to re- assemble it then this is when we get this question "How do I re- assemble the rod brake handlebars?"

So, if one is patient, and you listen to Keith then these are repairable.

I advise against attempting to re- chrome or re- plate these you'll spend a lot of money and it won't look right and fitting the brake leaver thru the re- chromed stud will be difficult because you will have added too much material. It won't fit right.

There is nothing like original finish anyways. That being chrome or original paint.

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Handlebar innards ! posted by Steve on 3/27/2009 at 5:16:57 AM
Chris, the reason why I raise this subject is quite simply because I acquired what I consider to be a fairly rare tradebike/cycle truck in very poor condition.

It's the classic scenario, bike had been sentenced to three decades of unprotected static exposure in a rural garden, the knock-on effect being :-

1. The usual rotted through sections of the lower rims where contact has been made with vegetation whilst parked on damp ground.

2. Brake lever completely seized (strangely, the other brake lever had mysteriously vanished) !

3. Seatpost seized (post took six weeks to remove...well most of it) !

4. Cotter pins seized (drilled out).

5. Rod brake linkage very frail (to be replaced).

6. Bearings actually looked o.k. (I'll still renew them though).

For some strange reason, the worse condition the bike is, the more they seem to appeal to me !

I can't bare to see a rare piece of English cycle history go down the proverbial pan, hence the struggle/battle/challenge (fun).

I'm not really a shiny stuff buff (although I do appreciate the effort and skill that has gone into a refurb), I quite like the natural patina but, sometimes things are just so bad they simply have to go back to bare metal to resurrect things.

Glad to hear you mention the boxed parts concerning handlebar brake lever renewal, proves it was an issue.

I've still got my Phillips handlebars waiting for the relevant parts, funny thing is...I acquired a similar Raleigh doner yesterday, but the bars will be saved for one of my other projects, I've also got a Raleigh Twenty Shopper AG hanging upside-down in my house at the moment...built like a tank and as strong as an ox, but the rear light doesn't want to play ball...I suspect a dodgy earth wire !

Steve - there's always something to fix !

p.s the bars will not be chromed.


           RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Handlebar innards ! posted by Chris on 3/27/2009 at 7:42:53 AM
Ok, I understand. This was too nice a bike to be made into a garden bike and I am glad to hear you want to save it. I would want to save it too. I'm glad you got it out of the peoples garden.

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Handlebar innards ! posted by Kevin on 3/31/2009 at 2:25:37 AM
Steve --
I understand, too. I would much rather resurrect some rusty, friendless hulk of a bicycle, and ride it, than buy a pristine example that can only be displayed.
As you well know, the old delivery bikes took a beating under the best of circumstances, so saving a totally neglected one is even more fulfilling.
My latest project is a pre-war Schwinn Cycle-Truck that appears to have been left out in the rain from 1938 until the early years of the Clinton Administration. Talk about patina! This old beast wrote the book.


           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Handlebar innards ! posted by Steve on 4/1/2009 at 4:16:35 AM
As one or two will testify here, I have been on a "crash course" of bicycle maintenance over the last two or three years (after a gap of some twenty odd years).

The older ones (1930's to 1950's - especially if they've been statically naturised) tend to offer more of a challenge...my language at times can testify to that but...oh, the joy when you've teased a set of handlebars out without disfiguring them (or the forks), the relief of getting a seized cotter pin out after drilling and filing for an eternity without deforming the chainwheel crank (it's nearly always that side), seatposts...well, they drive me mad (even madder) at times !

I find the correct tools, flame thrower, lubrication and a sack full of patience is the key but, I still find it hard to walk away from something and leave it "till tomorrow" (in order to get some rest and calm down then approach it refreshed and in a sane state of mind) when it's getting the better of me !

I've now decided to settle down with my elderly tradebikes and two or three roadsters, the later bikes (that were wrecks at one time) are now slowly being sold off.

Incidentally, having only rebuilt two S/A AW hubs (which wasn't too bad), I can honestly say from my limited experience that :-
Seized handlebar, seatpost and cotter pin removal jobs are the three that take up most of my time (and irritate the hell out of me) !

Early last year, I asked what people thought of bike maintenance stands, I managed to get a second hand one...wonderful, wouldn't be without it !

Good luck with the old beast,

Steve - stuck in a time warp...that I don't want to get out of !


           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Handlebar innards ! posted by Kevin on 4/1/2009 at 4:35:40 AM
Steve --
I know the feeling, exactly.
I am hooked on the old trade bikes -- I have a Hercules, a Raleigh, a Roadmaster and two Schwinns -- and I hope to get rid of most of my other bikes, as you are doing.
There is something about the utilitarian nature of these bikes, the heavy duty construction, the lack of chrome, the ugliness that, to me, is real beauty. They just seem to have more soul, or something.
I guess that's why I am also drawn to old farm wagons, draft horses, old trucks, heavy industrial machinery, steam locomotives, barns, old warehouses and stone arch bridges.
Carry on! The delivery bikes need you!

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Handlebar innards ! posted by Steve on 4/1/2009 at 6:40:07 AM
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, elderly utilitarian (and possibly ugly) single speed tradebikes/cycle trucks quite often encompass a commercial/industrial mystique about them.

Park-up in a public area and wait for the "thinking person" to come and ask you a question about it.

Steve - Gundle, Phillips, Hercules, Hopper, Raleigh, Pashley (I think) !


           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Handlebar innards ! posted by Kevin on 4/1/2009 at 10:31:24 AM
Absolutely right. I get more stares, smiles and comments about my battered Cycle-Truck than I ever would if I rode a beautiful, new, $3,000 road bike.
The same thing goes for the rusty 1930 Chevrolet pickup truck that I drive on Saturday mornings. Everybody loves it, especially when I toot that AH-OOOHHH-GAHHH!!!! horn.


           RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Handlebar innards ! posted by ken on 4/15/2009 at 3:01:27 PM
hey i have a 1930's english roadster bike that i'm trying to sell. Great condition. Is anyone interested. if so respond to my e-mail. have a great day.

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WANTED:   Modern 40 Spoke Gear Hub Needed posted by: JS on 3/19/2009 at 7:45:15 PM
Hi all-

I'm looking for a modern designe 40 spoke gear hub suggestion: the new SA and Shimano hubs all seem to be 36 or 32 spoke. Any suggestions?


           RE:WANTED:   Modern 40 Spoke Gear Hub Needed posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 3/21/2009 at 4:02:55 AM
I have to presume this is a pretty good question as there's not yet any responses. So perhaps it begs another question.... IF you're absolutely in requirement of a 40 hole hub then it could be that your options may be limited to a... shall we say... somewhat less "modern" hub.

Perhaps the other option would be to get the modern hub... and a rim with the appropriate amount of spoke holes?

Yeah... I know... sometimes that can be a very tall order!

Best of luck!

Larry "Boneman" Bone - it's all about cat skinnin' sometimes....

           RE:WANTED:   Modern 40 Spoke Gear Hub Needed posted by JS on 3/22/2009 at 9:02:08 PM

You are correct that is a tall order. Although companies here in China supply westwood rims in the correct spoke hole configuration, (even up to 48 holes) finding a retailer who will order them and sell them to you is nigh on impossible.

Having obtained a Chinese copy of the Shimano catalog, the Shimano hubs are available in either 36 or 32 spoke configurations.

SA hubs are only available with 36 holes, but SA is essentially unavailable on the mainland and e-mails to the home office in Taiwan go unanswered.

For the project I am considereing, I really want a modern hub and the improved ease of shifting that comes with it. I've got old hubs enough as it is.



           RE:RE:WANTED:   Modern 40 Spoke Gear Hub Needed posted by Chris on 3/23/2009 at 5:58:35 PM
true but i had found a bike shop dealer book about 6 years ago and he was able to order india made westwood rims and they were 32 or 40 spoke and they were wonderful rims. they were new and true and the bike would glide down the street.

ask the shops to scour their dealer books for westwood rims from india

           RE:WANTED:   Modern 40 Spoke Gear Hub Needed posted by JS on 3/24/2009 at 4:19:57 AM

I live in China.

Rims from India are unobtainable, not that I wasn't tempted to bring back a few when I was there in January. But that was before I was considering this project.

           RE:RE:WANTED:   Modern 40 Spoke Gear Hub Needed posted by Chris on 3/24/2009 at 6:49:21 PM
I had no problem awhile back so things have changed.

           RE:WANTED:   Modern 40 Spoke Gear Hub Needed posted by Jeff Bikeguy on 4/9/2009 at 4:51:39 AM
You may be able to find something through a supplier that handles parts for tandems. I think some of these still use 40 hole rims.

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ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Jewel for sale posted by: Kev on 3/19/2009 at 1:41:24 PM
Here's a chance to own one for yourself.




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AGE / VALUE:   My Hero! off topic posted by: Chris on 3/19/2009 at 8:05:01 AM
Babe. The story of Babe Ruth on D.V.D. with John Goodman not to be missed. I was crying. Very good!! I won't go off topic any more here! promise!


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AGE / VALUE:   Canberra Australia bike museaum auction posted by: Chris on 3/19/2009 at 7:50:16 AM
I was physically sickened to see on the website about the Canberra bicycle museaum auctioning off their collection and they changed the name and owners but the former content is still on the website. I was afraid of throwing up on the keyboard I was so sick at seeing them auction stuff. I hope none of my friends here never donated any of their special bikes to the Canberra museaum in Australia.


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AGE / VALUE:   off topic posted by: sam on 3/18/2009 at 6:04:34 PM
Scary to see what's happing in some U.S. cities



Ive been restoring an old house---not a grand house just a small cottage---i'd hate to have to restore one of those large white whales we often see in those bed& brakefast mags!---sam

           RE:AGE / VALUE:   off topic posted by Chris on 3/19/2009 at 7:49:55 AM
Detroit was the "Paris of the Midwest" I went wandering all thru Detroit. I pulled ultra collectable/ valuable bike parts out of rusted metal parts drawers in ruined shops with the stunned buyer asking "Where are you getting this stuff" Welcome to my former playground!

           RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   off topic posted by Chris on 3/23/2009 at 6:06:45 PM
Yes, Brush Park is surreal, strange. One of Henry Ford's house is still standing walled off behind an ivy covered wall. Kinda spooky stuck in time. These houses fall apart because the vibration of your approaching footsteps in the ground is too much for the unstable structure to take and it falls apart before you. People steal bricks, cone shaped roofs, stairs e.t.c. look up the Michigan Central train depot in Detroit look at the front windows!


           RE:AGE / VALUE:   off topic posted by JS on 3/26/2009 at 1:54:21 AM
Look at the dates on the pictures. This is not a recent phenomenon for Detroit. It has been going down hill for a lifetime. (30-40 years is somebody's lifetime)

Recall Roger and Me? Remember Devil's Night?

           RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   off topic posted by Chris on 3/26/2009 at 7:55:59 AM
We had a cartoonist called Richard Guindon in the Detroit Free Press one of his drawings showed: it had these kids looking far off at a marvelous, gleaming magical kingdom on a hill. The one asks What is that? the answer "Old Detroit!"

Unfortunitly, and with my heart utterly broken, in my lifetime.

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AGE / VALUE:   Penny Farthing! posted by: S.H on 3/18/2009 at 10:14:11 AM
I was weeding the front garden this afternoon,looked up and saw a Penny Farthing (High Wheeler)being slowly peddled past!I could not believe it!The machine looked like a modern reproduction,surely they are not still made? The wife saw it as well so not going mad or drunk!

           RE:AGE / VALUE:   Penny Farthing! posted by Michael on 3/18/2009 at 12:03:03 PM

           RE:AGE / VALUE:   Penny Farthing! posted by Stephen Hogben on 3/18/2009 at 1:45:32 PM
Thank you Micheal,had a look at the Penny Farthings (repro)they are not cheap are they? Donot look very safe either.Think i will stick with the Hercules!

           RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Penny Farthing! posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 3/19/2009 at 2:33:35 AM
If you potter around on that site... there either is... or is a link to and article about two older fellers that rode their Highwheelers ACROSS THE USA....

They made many stops... one for a photo opp right up the road from me at the famous "Hawks Nest" section of the Upper Delaware River.

It was interesting to see pics of old fellers with their High Wheel Machines... parked at the scenic turnoffs that are quite literally fender to fender MOTORCYCLES on any given Summer weekend.


Larry "Boneman" Bone - My DL-1 is plenty high enough!

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ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   bolted seat stays posted by: Zach Mathews on 3/17/2009 at 7:35:18 PM
After a full afternoon of riding around on my newly completed DL-1, then just sitting and gazing at the old roadster, I have a question that has become a nagging one. Why the bolted seat stays? Why only that part of the frame? Why not lugs and brazing there too? I have dreamed up all manner of ridiculous explanations, but I would love to know the truth behind this age-old design.

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   bolted seat stays posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 3/18/2009 at 2:33:20 AM
A good question for sure. One thing that I surmised was that it would facilitate chain (and chaincase) removal and installation.

If in fact there's another "Design Intent" I would be interested to know as well.


Larry "Boneman" Bone - SIT! STAY! Oh wait... that was.... seat stay......... ;-)

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   bolted seat stays posted by Steve on 3/18/2009 at 3:29:30 AM
Interesting question and I don't know the answer but...I do know that if you have more "wheel wobble play" than you are happy with and you have checked the cones, bearings, axle etc etc a hundred times, check the seat/chain stay securing bolts...they might look firm and undisturbed, one of mine (although very firm) was not tightened "all the way home" hence creating the above play (a fraction at one end can be a "large irritating dollop of play" at the other end) !
Took me lots of swearing and head scratching to notice that !

Moving on, I had a moan about poor quality cheapo bikes recently as not worth wasting your time with...well, any of you Phillips owners that might have a slightly larger seat post lug orifice and are struggling to get a suitable seatpost, try a twenty year old pile of cheapo junk and you might find that the only useful part remaining is the seatpost, and if you're really lucky it might well fit your Phillips (not Raleigh) perfectly.
One of the seatposts (from the poor quality junk bikes I recently acquired) has no embarrassing makers markings on it (so no need to hide anything), is a perfect fit for my Phillips (which originally had the stuckiest stuck seatpost I've ever been stuck with) !

Seatpost Steve

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   bolted seat stays posted by Keith Body on 3/18/2009 at 12:53:49 PM
In 1912 the french cycle builder Bastide originated the brazed up seat stays, thus rendering your beloveds out of date. The d shape rear stays and rear facing pressed fork ends (called "trapped ends" in my youth) should have dissappeared then. In the same way that black painted components on a trade bike made it look strong, I suppose traditionally people thought the bolt up construction looked stronger. Not so, much weaker.
Much easier to work on a forward facing fork end.
In the UK by the 1930's these were only used on cheap and childrens bikes, and the 28" wheels were phased out, as roads were almost all tarmac surface, and the 24"frame 28" wheel made the bike too tall to be ridden comfortably by average height people.
Post WW2 very few Raleigh 28" wheel bikes were sold (UK), but were still popular in the export markets. Possibly for rough and dirt roads, but not really necessary.

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   bolted seat stays posted by sam on 3/18/2009 at 1:17:04 PM
Bolt on stays could be replaced with a Cargo Box.

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   bolted seat stays posted by Zach Mathews on 3/19/2009 at 11:05:06 PM
Keith, you're bordering on buzzkill with words like "cheap" and "children's bikes". I don't care how knowledgeable you are - this is love, not science. My rear-facing dropouts with silly "chain tensioners" are FANTASTIC! I will not answer to reason. Thanks for the history though. Sam, what's a cargo box? In back?

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   bolted seat stays posted by Steve on 3/20/2009 at 2:45:36 AM
Well, if that's the case...I have loads of cheap, as well as three childrens bikes, and they're the best thing since "sliced bread" !

That's not forgetting the three mixte's (what an interesting design), my wifes 62 Raleigh (it's got more miles on it than an Apollo spacecraft), oh...and a Moulton
Mk1 4 speed, but I think that's a completely different subject...is it beautiful, great, odd or ugly (certainly a million miles away from a Roadster) ?

Funny thing is, some of these cheap, childrens bikes called Sunbeams (and others), go for real adult type pennies !

As I'm a bit of a knowledge magnet, I often wonder what knowledgable people thought/think of new kids (designs) on the block i.e.Moulton, there you go Keith...all singing Roadster v Moulton Mk1 de luxe, what would you choose ?

Seatpost Steve - just rambling on and on and on !


           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   bolted seat stays posted by Keith Body on 3/21/2009 at 4:12:48 PM
Steve, you mention Moulton, I built a pair of wheels that he used experimentally when developing his original ideas. Bradford on Avon was only about 20 miles away. Also have a dyeline print of his original patent application, the original designs were much closer to the later types he produced than the terrible Raleigh version, which used to break the overstressed chainstays by the rubber block.
I knew Vic Nicholson quite well (Moulton Professional rider), who used an almost suspensionless Moulton for various competitions.
The introduction of small wheeled bikes more or less finished off the already dying UK cycle industry.
At least I tell it as it was.
My aim was always to improve the riding experience of any bike.

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   bolted seat stays posted by Steve on 3/21/2009 at 5:34:55 PM
Thanks Keith, I just had a feeling that you would have some interesting comments to make.

No need for any rubber blocks on a Roadster...just imagine it's got good suspension !

Steve - it's all in the mind

           RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   bolted seat stays posted by Matthew on 3/23/2009 at 3:11:35 PM
'My aim was always to improve the riding experience of any bike.'

I agree with that principle in its entirety. That is why many of us meet here.

Thank you Keith.

Matthew - of one mind. (sometimes)

           RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   bolted seat stays posted by Chris on 3/24/2009 at 6:52:11 PM
I had the article with photographs of these prototype moultons you mentioned. Incredible glad to have you here!

           RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   bolted seat stays posted by Chris on 3/26/2009 at 2:35:07 PM
Still popular in the export market. Yes. Popularity is gaining, even now. People see these and want to own them and ride them and this is a magic thing even if it sould have dissapeared years and years ago as you say. We here are most likely sitting in some part of the world that to you is considered "the export market" The export market was covering all over the world too, I will politely remind you that to us it was marketed as a "Bobbie bicycle" That the British police and Post office used and it is a romantic and graceful bicycle to folks who , well, what I am trying to say here is real bike folks who did not hang out in Britains bike shops where the attitude is different grew to love these more than you realize. But Keith is from a different perspective and one that is worth listening to as well. Keith, even though you may not be smitten with love for the 28 inch wheel, 24 inch frame Raleigh or Phillips bikes we are and that is due to it being the bread and butter bike of so many of these companies. What Keith said is true and the attitude will be heard from many from the bike trade in the U.K. but it rubs millions of bike collectors and fans the wrong way because the rod brake roadster is more popular that you give us credit for.

Please remain to teach us. We need you and we are still part of the same family and we are having a difference within our family. Not everybody loves rod brakes But Keith is too smart and valuable and we need you Keith so please stay on and teach us. Thank You- Chris

           RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   bolted seat stays posted by Chris on 3/26/2009 at 4:23:33 PM
A bolt up seat stay can be replaced if damaged. Three bolts and a new backstay bridge is in place. Can't say the same for a brazed up one that is part of the bikes frame. The whole frame is basically shot and useless of one damages a seat stay beyond helping. Also, while the Rod brake bikes were marketed as suitible for rough roads and tracks, there is much to say about the ride, the way it handles, the feel, The amount of cargo it can be made to carry.
I understand totally where Keith is coming from.
He is trying to open our eyes to "what all else there was" and still is popular.

When my 1948 Raleigh Record Ace was sitting in the box in the shop I had my collector friend send it to and it was being opened with my shop owning friend and a local bike shop jobber/supplier was there to see it. He was really enthiustic about the old Raleigh Record Ace with the Sturmey- Archer F.C. hub and leather Saddle and those 27 x 1 1/4 stainless steel rims. The comment was made " he's finally gotten away from those rod brake bikes onto something real. A real bike."

There is excitement in other types of bicycles as well. Different. Keith knows, and is trying to share this sentiment with us and the pack of rod brake 28 inch wheel bike fanatics go into attack mode on him. This is what happened here.

Any bike friend or mentor or teacher who is worth their salt will try to take you to new and different things and open your eyes and jar you into something else. My friend did that by persuading me to own a 1940's and a 1952 Record Ace it was worth every second and I must have said " am only sticking with the rod brake bikes"until he won me over but the record ace was too good to be missed and after listening to the jobber friend tell me about how famous and desireable they were and then riding the thing a few minutes later proved it was worth it.

My main bike passion will always be the rod brake bikes but to miss out on the "Curly stay Hetchins" or David Rattray's flying Scots or the Raleigh record Ace bikes from the golden era, or other bikes that was the mainstay of shops like Keiths would be a huge and terrible mistake.

In England, they had their fill of rod brake bikes and they had trouble selling them and to a shop owner in that part of the world one had to offer what the customer would pay for or else you'd go bankrupt.

The great terrible truth is, due to this attitude these bikes go to the skip and wind up in the landfil there in the U.K. We are losing the history, and folks don't know that in other parts of the world people would send them money if they would only sell it or part it out to folks living in the States or elsewhere where somebody would kill for that 3 spring Brooks leather saddle yes, that tatty old thing is thought of quite differently!

Raleigh had folks fighting over the last of the rod brake roadster bikes. I know,I was one of them.

They hold their value, these go up in value and are more popular every day with exception of folks living in parts of England where these are forgotten and taken for granted.

Collectors who make great fortunes buying and selling old bikes in England ones who buy a house in France and another one in the U.K. may first want your old 27 inch wheel touring bike with the Sturmey- Archer A.S.C. hub or early Campagnolo derailer , they will want your parts, posters, tools, photographs, but trust me, the rod brake bike will not get left behind because there are people who revere them and they will sell as well even if just taken apart and sold on e- bay.

Not enough of these are being parted out in England and sold/offered to the Folks in the U.S. Different strokes for different folks. So Keith, I hope I made things better, even though this is not the lightweights section here at oldroads.com I still would be devistated if you didn't stay on and teach us how to fix these creatures and your knowledge of the history and people behind these is too important for us all to miss. What is written here, will become part of vintage English bicycle history and it will go on long after you and I are gone. While I am passionate, you are ten thousand times more knowledgable and even if you are not bitten by the strange rod brake, 28 inch wheel bike bug as we are, we need you to light our path and if you are astride a different type of cool old English bike that's fine with me.

The knowledge and experiences and times you have and know and can share is too important to not share here.
We are fighting to keep it alive, to record the history before everybody who really knows and was there to see it, passes on.

We need it written down here, and it needs to be complete and in order, and correct. This discussion group here can enable you to help more grateful customers than in all your years of service in the trade. This will never sleep and go on and on and get bigger and long after you are no longer with us you will still be teaching folks how to fix their bike and that is a pretty awesome thing.

           RE:RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   bolted seat stays posted by Chris on 3/26/2009 at 5:37:58 PM
The arivial of the small wheeled bikes gave a breath a life and got the ailing industry back onto it's feet for a while longer.
The small wheeled Moulton was a huge hit at the Earls Court bicycle show in the early 60's and it inspired Raleigh to offer similar small wheeled bikes that were well recieved as well. Raleigh did sabotage Moulton they were envious of this guy who they had turned down before who had gone on without them on his own and here he had this new thing that drew such praise. So they finally bought him out and made their own Moultons that were not as good as the original ones. The "Raleigh Moulton" didn't last long and now after a while of rest and research Moulton is back and the new bikes are totally awesome. So, it's a real happy, exciting continuing new chapter for Moulton. Also, because he started the small wheel bikes, this indirectly brought about the Raleigh Chopper kids bike which is red hot and popular again. Wow! Do folks ever love the Raleigh Chopper especially in the U.K.!

Raleigh brought out a new version! The Raleigh Twenty came out of the seeds Alex Moulton sowed back then and that was a good seller then and is still popular.
The Raleigh Twenty is also well loved and people hop them up and there is a strong following and interest in these again. No problem selling a used Raleigh Twenty they go into the hundreds of dollars on the internet. So if you know of anybody having any old stock of twenty's or their parts please let us know!

The late Sheldon Brown did much to promote interest in the bike and it's very good for commuters who like it. The wheels are switched for alloy rims, the gears changed, the seatposts lightened with alloy's we use different tires on the thing and change brakes and sometimes folks change the forks out for suspension forks but the thing has this awesome foldable frame and the Raleigh Twenty is very hot.

SheldonBrown.com has a Raleigh Twenty page and he kinda led the way in the revolution with these.

Royal Enfield had a bike called the "Revelation" and it was better than the Raleigh Twenty. there was an article written by a fellow called Vic Bott.
The Raleigh R.S.W. 14 was a good kids bike

ok, the Raleigh R.S.W. 16 was the "idiot sister" to the famous Raleigh Chopper with it's 16 x 2 tires and no suspension it was the Raleigh slap in the face to Moulton but even these have their fans I owned nine of those at one time.

So the small wheeled bikes gave life giving breath to the industry and the Moulton society is troubled about out of patent copies (copies from foreign countries). They want to know who made them and where those folks are!

It was a radical new thing, the Moulton and that always is an up hill battle usually no matter what it is. Think of all the cool bikes that happened after Moulton did what he did.

Keith did you repair mopeds in your shop? What was your opinion of the Raleigh and Phillips mopeds?

           RE:RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   bolted seat stays posted by Wayne Radcliffe on 9/18/2009 at 7:56:14 AM
Hi, I have a Raleigh Record yellow and it has on the frame below the handlebars is an emblem of a bird and Nottingham, England . This bike is a bit of a mess but could be restored. Can any advice me what got--age--worth and any thing else about it. thanks Wayne

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MISC:   hub cog removal posted by: mark on 3/16/2009 at 10:07:13 PM
newbie query--What do you use to remove the rear cog off an SA hub--in this case a 1958 SW whose outer pieces i expect to use on a 40h AW (except for indicator spindle)? also if i switch to 22t cog will i need additional or differnt piece(s)? what are splines? thanks for answering this and my previous questions!

           RE:MISC:   hub cog removal posted by David on 3/17/2009 at 8:01:41 AM
Doesn't it have the simple circular spring clip in a groove retaining the cog?

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AGE / VALUE:   keith's official visit visit to the B.S.A.works posted by: Chris on 3/16/2009 at 10:05:42 AM
Hey Keith, can you tell us all about the official visit to the B. S. A. works? Do you have any pictures? thanks! Is the factory building still standing?

           RE:AGE / VALUE:   keith's official visit visit to the B.S.A.works posted by Keith Body on 3/18/2009 at 1:23:20 PM
Hi Chris, As it was over 50 years ago, honestly can't remember much. I suspect they wouldn't have allowed cameras, didn't take mine. For me it was interesting, but brazing frames and then throwing them onto the top of a stack on the floor was not my idea of how they should be treated, but this was quantity production.
For example wheels: there were 4 or five women loose spoking, and one man tightening and truing, who had to do each wheel in 30 seconds to keep up. So a power screwdriver was used, straight round the rim, so that the last 10 spokes pulled down a large lump, all depending on correct spoke length. Then a final quick true up with a spoke key.
Most of the tooling was old, typically in 1955 when Chrysler bought Rootes group (Humber, Hillman cars) they could not believe the machine shop was mostly installed in 1915, still producing engines, axles etc.
When these factories closed the routine would be a huge auction on site, mainly machine tool dealers and scrap men. Most of the machines were probably scrap, not worth reinstalling.
BSA had made and supplied machine tools for cycle makers world wide, which is why French and Italian makers used TPI (threads per inch), sometimes with a metric diameter. and the half inch chain pitch was standard.

           RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   keith's official visit visit to the B.S.A.works posted by Chris on 3/19/2009 at 8:03:38 AM
Read the book Coming out of the Ice, an unexpected life by Victor Herman.

Henry Ford took all the old worn out tooling and shipped it to Russia and enlisted the Socialists to go with it to set up an auto plant in Russia. They took down the Ford sign and re- named it "Molotov auto works" Incredible story. I ran across Victor in Southfield, Michigan and hung out with the guy before he passed away. Not a story to miss. The tooling, albeit worn out goes to China, Mexico, Russia, all over Chechslovokia, all over the scrap buyers sell it and build up fantastic fortunes for foreign countries. It goes onto shipping containers and is re- installed and used again. Just look at Mexican Coca- cola it has the glass bottles and real suger not high fuctrose corn syrup. What we let go of and cast away goes on and makes second and third fortunes for smart vultures. We built China up with our so called "old tooling"

Enjoying real Coca- cola from Mexico in Texas. Glorious Texas.

           RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Stealing the Superfortress posted by Chris on 3/20/2009 at 7:57:18 AM
Everything from old worn out tooling to food items, all sorts of things. When the Soviets copied the Superfortress using the "Hap Arnold" and two others they had come into possession of when U.S. airmen had to land their planes inside Russian territory they were escorted away from their planes and trucked off to be "guests" So much for repair, refuel and rest before going back to work fighting the ware. The "ally" wanted to study those marvelous guns and that marvelous, magical plane and they undertook the behemoth task of copying EVERY SINGLE PART OF THAT PLANE! except for tires that they could not copy for some reason so the Russians just bought some from the States in surplus. At a air show for the Westerners they had a few fly by and first it was thought "oh those are the few that they got from us" and then another, and another all wearing the "red star" The observors were stunned!

It was called "Stealing the Superfortress" on the History channel. If you don't have the original tooling being delievered in a shipping container and you want to conjure it up anyways reverse engineer and improvise..........
Stalin ignored Tupolev and plowed ahead copying the U.S. plane that they marveled at.
Recommed seeing the special it's on video.
historychannel .com

I also heard the Howard Hughes designed the Japanese Zero and somebody got in Hughes at night to look over/ make off with Hughes plans that were not properly secured. Light and able to out manuver our planes the Zero was something else.

Problem is greedy fools sell stuff to anybody and once you sell it what prevents the next guy from re- selling it to anybody they choose and attitude shift and change between each party and soon it's in the hands of folks who never should have it at all, ever.

I'd be at the docks. Saying this is what? you wanna take it where who bought it? Oh no! The sale would be canceled.

China takes care of China. That's it. I am saddened that we don't have the same common sense attitudes ourselves.

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WANTED:   28" rim posted by: Dale on 3/16/2009 at 7:24:16 AM
Is there a source for good quality 28" rims? Most of the web sellers that I found did not appear to sell single parts, i.e. no prices listes, billed themselves as wholesalers.

I bought one a while back from an individual who was a friend of a friend, and although I appreciate his help, the part wasn't very good - many small bends. I've probably got 40 hours in it, and am unable to get it straight enough to work with rod brakes. New rim, new spokes, I've done this lots of times before... The rim would work fine for a service bike that doesn't have any brakes.

I don't want to repeat the experience, so I'd like to get a good one.

           RE:WANTED:   28 posted by Chris on 3/21/2009 at 7:52:48 AM
the rosa rim tool from old time cyclo, it was a tool to remove the dents and kinks out of westwood rod brake rims and they had one for endrick as well my dealer jobber friend told me they made them stop making this tool because you didn't want a rim repaired you wanted the customer to have to purchase a new rim each time and the tool was pulled. It was Holy Grail to me, that rosa rim tool. I'd open up the brown brothers catalog and go into shops asking for that one tool. They grabbed my book and asked where I got the book and they smiled and got quiet and once this one place said in a weird whisper we have this, we have all this stuff, I gotta call my grandpa and get us into where we have it all stored. he said

           RE:RE:WANTED:   28 posted by Chris on 3/21/2009 at 7:55:58 AM
there is a guy selling cd's of scanned brown brothers catalogs on e- bay and i recommend it. traipsing thru the brown brothers cycle catalogs was magical and now you can too, on the computer bruce robbins from angus, scotland but his e- bay handle i don't know.

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FOR SALE:   Rodder Bars... posted by: Larry "Boneman" Bone on 3/15/2009 at 9:49:22 AM
Before I list these on Ebay, thought I would see if there's an interest here. Off my "Abley" roadster... new bars. Flat style... grips are some kinda plastic.

$25 shipped UPS to you.


Larry "Boneman" Bone


           RE:FOR SALE:   Rodder Bars... posted by Chris on 3/16/2009 at 10:00:59 AM
yes, larry I want them. I will e- mail you off line Chris

           RE:RE:FOR SALE:   Rodder Bars... posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 3/18/2009 at 2:34:50 AM
They have your name on them sir. Uhhh... figuratively.... not engraved. ;-)


Larry "Boneman" Bone - Bar none!

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AGE / VALUE:   phillips bike posted by: sophie on 3/14/2009 at 1:57:21 PM
I like my bike very much but I don't know anything about it;YOU maybe can help me!!
It's a phillips women bike with a sturney archer thing:aw 1 81.It's a three speeds green bike.In front of it a lion how say"made in notfingham"
I've search informations since a long time but nobody knows anything about this kind of bikes in france.
Help me?...

           RE:AGE / VALUE:   phillips bike posted by sophie on 3/14/2009 at 2:42:19 PM
the serial number is A1404126.It helps??

           RE:AGE / VALUE:   phillips bike posted by David on 3/15/2009 at 12:39:41 PM
1 81 indicates the Sturmey-Archer hub was made in January, 1981. The bike itself was probably made a little later. Phillips, by that year, was another brand name of Raleigh. So your bike is Raleigh-made in 1981 sometime. It's probably a "Sports" model (26 inch tires and cable brakes) rather than a "roadster," which would have 28 inch tires and rod-operated brakes. This was a very popular type of bike in the U.S.A. and Great Britain. There are probably millions of them and they last forever with only a little care. I'm not surprised that you like it - they're great bikes!

           RE:AGE / VALUE:   phillips bike posted by Matthew on 3/15/2009 at 1:37:39 PM
Bonjour Sophie,

You tried well in English so I have translated David's comment into French for you.

1 81 indique que le hub de Sturmey-Archer a été fait en janvier 1981. Le vélo lui-même a été probablement rendu peu un plus tard. Phillips, par cette année, était un autre nom de marque de Raleigh. Ainsi votre vélo Raleigh-est fait en 1981 autrefois. It' ; s probablement un " ; Sports" ; modelez (pneus de 26 pouces et freins de câble) plutôt qu'un " ; roadster, " ; ce qui aurait des pneus de 28 pouces et des freins tige-actionnés. C'était un type très populaire de vélo aux Etats-Unis et en Grande-Bretagne. Il y a probablement des millions de eux et ils durent pour toujours avec seulement peu de soin. I' ; m que vous l'aimez - they' non étonné ; grands vélos re !

Matthew - not a scholar; merely trying to help.

           RE:AGE / VALUE:   phillips bike posted by Steve on 3/15/2009 at 4:48:58 PM

Phillips were big (tres grand) !

Enjoy your bike and find information for Phillips on the internet or at Sheldon Brown website.

If you want to see a mysterious Phillips...take a look at my Readers Rides (Steves collection) pictures 3 et 11

Bonne Nuit


           RE:AGE / VALUE:   phillips bike posted by sophie on 3/16/2009 at 2:03:56 AM
Thanks a lot!!
David you're right the tires are 26inch tires!(but i don't find my bike very sportive!!)
BIKES:again something you(eng) make better than we (fr) do!!;-))
Thanks Matthew for the translation it helps!... a lot!!!
Thank Matthew for the translation,it helps a lot!!


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AGE / VALUE:   wingfield german bicycle posted by: brenton on 3/14/2009 at 4:40:43 AM
recently picked up 2 old bicycles from shed clearance owner said that parents bought one from germany pre war when fleeing the name is wingfield has torpedo wingfield on badge at front also stamped serial no 678950 or bike no on frame any info would be much appreciated . the other is a hillson has a leather bell seat shows I know nothing about bikes, cheers

           RE:AGE / VALUE:   wingfield german bicycle posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 3/15/2009 at 5:41:29 AM
They sound very interesting for certain.... and I'm sure I speak for most of us here when I say... pictures would not only be awesome... but may provide us with more clues as to the nature of your machines.

Either way... if the provenance is accurate, sounds to me like you have a pair of winners there!


Larry "Boneman" Bone - Es ist ein Fahrrad!

           RE:AGE / VALUE:   wingfield german bicycle posted by sam on 3/15/2009 at 7:27:34 PM
You might try the museum at

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MISC:   BCCF rims posted by: 2burro2 on 3/13/2009 at 3:54:59 PM
Hi--I have been looking thru your archive but can't find my first question--so here goes:
the two 26 x 1 3/8 rims, appear original, on my 1960 Phillips manhattan, say B.C.C. F.----who made these? ARE they original?
ps noticed while looking for AW indicators a reference to Mark I, Mark II and Mark III , are there different sizes of AW spindles?

           RE:MISC:   BCCF rims posted by David on 3/15/2009 at 12:45:30 PM
I'd guess that "BCCF" stands for British Cycle Corp "F" (for something!). TI (Tube Investments) owned BCC and its brands Phillips, Hercules, Norman, and Sun and then bought up Raleigh in 1960.

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