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Archived: English Roadsters

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:Try to find info on a late '40 Hercules bicycle posted by: Jia-Dong Liang on 4/3/2000 at 9:55:59 AM
Hi, All:

Enjoyed your site. I have fond memories riding a British bicycle.

Our family used to own a Hercules. It was a ladie's model with 26" wheels,
3-speed and enclosed chain guard. My parents purchased in the late '40s in
Hong Kong, later shipped to Taiwan. My mother taught us how to ride on this
bike and it was our family's means of transportation for many years.

I am trying to gather information on this particular brand/model of
bicycle and hopefully be able to find a sample to collect or to restore.

Any information you can provide will be deeply appreciated.

Jia-Dong Liang

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:Try to find info on a late '40 Hercules bicycle posted by Matthew on 4/9/2000 at 5:10:58 AM
Please check the information on the messages above. Do keep looking for information this discussion board is amongst the very best for the sort of help you need, and I'm saying that as an Englishman in the UK. I had and now own several Hercules cycles they aren't very rare but they are very pleasant to ride. If you need anymore help post another message and look out for answers. If you search hard I'm sure you will find acycle just like the one you learnt to ride on. Finding something similar in the UK would not be too hard but shipping it abroad would be rather expensive

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Triumph posted by: Chris Zenner on 4/3/2000 at 3:46:02 AM
I aquired a bicycle that appears to be quite old. The only markings that I can find are the badge on the front which reads "Triumph, Nottingham England". This same badge appears in decal form on the rear fender just above the reflector and on the down tube. The bike is not in the best shape (it is a five speed) but all of the pieces are here. What can you tell me about it? Is it worth restoring?

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Triumph posted by Chris on 4/3/2000 at 4:24:58 AM
P.S.- The chain gaurd has a decal that says Triumph and the seat or saddle says Brooks, England.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Triumph posted by Michael on 4/6/2000 at 5:02:46 AM
I bought a Triumph roadster in 1978 for £12 from a local auction in my agricultural market town. I used it as basic transportation around school, then university, and sold it in 1985 for £12.
It was in poor condition, but I filled up the bearings with oil through the lube ports, wiped the frame and chrome with an oily rag, and tried to keep is well adjusted and lubed. That was about the limit of my restoration.

My model was the All Steel (ie the bottom bracket wasn't made of cast iron) with 3 speed Sturmy Archer gears and rod brakes. At university, in Birmingam I used to ride it through some rougher parts of town, wearing a Deerstalker hat (in pre-helmet days). The local homeboys would always have a friendly word for me.
It was a nice bike, and worth riding, but I wouldn't call it a collectors item.
Your model sounds better, having a Brooks saddle (still made in Nottingham). Take some care in any restoration, not to restore the character and history out of your bike. Try and keep the original paint and badges. These bikes don't have to be immaculate to be fun.

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Triumph posted by ChristopherRobin on 4/6/2000 at 7:36:11 AM
Very well said! "be careful not to restore the character and history out of your bike"

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Wheel building posted by: Pete on 4/2/2000 at 2:51:04 PM
Anyone building 3 speed wheels? I was looking at the official Raleigh wheel building instructions on Randy's website and was suprised to see that 3 speed wheels should be dished. I had always assumed that the rim would be laterally symetrical to the hub shell and cones - anyone had experience? - I have one to build. Thanks again, Pete.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Wheel building posted by Fred on 4/2/2000 at 7:04:22 PM
Last year I built a couple of 3 speed wheels and never gave dishing a thought. Maybe ignorance is bliss, they work perfectly.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Wheel building posted by Morgan on 4/3/2000 at 8:57:59 AM
I never thought consciously about dishing a 3-speed wheel, but when I build ANY wheel, I use my dishing gauge to make sure the rim is properly centered between the axle nuts.
That's what dishing is really about, and if your wheel ain't centered in the frame, you ain't gonna like the way it rides!


ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Bottom brackets again posted by: Pete on 4/2/2000 at 2:38:47 PM
Thanks for the responses regarding removal of fixed cup. I took my bike to my local Raleigh dealer today and they removed the fixed cup with a heavy puller which worked in the way Calvert described - as a right-hand thread got tight, the left-hand thread of the cup was undone. With the correct tool - which was very heavy duty - it was the work of a moment.
So why did I want it removed? because the adjustable cup and the axle were quite worn, and I had better spares. Funny thing was the fixed cup showed no wear at all, so we put it back in. This after 65 years of riding. What the guy did show me was that the fixed cup, which we know is 26 tpi. hardened steel, is also tapered, so gets tighter as it goes in. He finished the job with a 2 ft. pipe as a lever. Also told me to use loose ball bearings in the bottom bracket, not the caged type - you get more ball bearings in loose, and the cages eventually crack up and jam everything. regards, Pete.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Bottom brackets again posted by ChristopherRobin@starmail.com on 4/5/2000 at 10:05:23 AM
I find a lot of bikes with caged bearings in the bottom brackets even though this is wrong. I switch them back to loose bearings. I guess it is the lazy way of assembling for some owners because the factory never did this.

AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh Colt, Womens posted by: Wings on 4/1/2000 at 7:22:15 PM
Womens Raleigh Colt, SA 3 speed.
Are these common and easy to find?
What do you call the wheels on those -- they have a dropped center -- I have noticed them on lots of Raleighs lately. You see I never noticed them before because I was looking at Schwinns. You refer to three types of wheels, does the Colt have one of those three types?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh Colt, Womens posted by Sheldon Brown on 4/2/2000 at 9:30:13 PM
The "Colt" was the children's equivalent of the "Sports", with similar equipment, but lower frame (boys' models had a bent top tube) and shorter cranks.

The rims on the top-of-the-line models (Raleigh, Rudge & Humber) were called "Raleigh Pattern" rims. They are sometimes also referred to as "Westrick", which is a made-up word combining "Westwood" with "Endrick." Westwood rims were only for use with rod brakes; Endrick rims were only for use with caliper brakes, but Raleigh Pattern, a.k.a. "Westrick" rims can be used with either type.

They combine the raised (or dropped, depending how you look at it) center that keeps rod brake shoes free from the risk of hitting the spokes, with the flat sides required for rim brakes.

Raleigh Pattern rims are preternaturally strong, probably the strongest bicycle rims ever made.

There is also a Schwinn copy of this design, seen on some older Schwinn 3-speeds. The Schwinn uses the larger 597 mm bead seat, instead of the 590 used on most English 3-speeds.

Sheldon Brown
Newtonville, Massachusetts

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh Colt, Womens posted by Wings on 4/2/2000 at 10:08:09 PM
Thanks Sheldon! I do have several of the drop center Schwinn rims -- from Breeze bikes which many times had a 3 speed hub.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh Colt, Womens posted by Phil on 4/3/2000 at 6:23:16 AM
My two "colts" have Raleigh Colts that I acquired last year. "Just like Dad's." I've changed the cogs to 22 tooth too make pedaling a little easier, and put fresh brake pads on them. They still jump on their mountain bikes for general messing around, but every once in a while, they'll use their "old bikes." I think it's because they like to look at the analog speedometers that the "Colts" have on them.

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   James Fothergill frames posted by: Paul on 4/1/2000 at 2:31:02 AM
I have a 1960's English hand built frame. It was built by James Fothergill of Liverpool, England. I bought it second hand in the late '60's and I don't know who the first owner was. In 1980 I wrote to James Fothergill and I still have his hand written reply, but he was unable to give me the frame's history as all his records had been lost. He did say that he still built the occasional frame (In 1980). I've never seen another Fothergill, and never found anyone who owns one.
Anyone know anything about them? It's a beautiful piece of work, and I'll never part with it, but I'd like to know more about these frames generally. Until yesterday I was still riding it, but as I stood to climb a short hill one of the front fork drop outs sheared at the point it is braised into the fork tube. Well... after almost forty years of use I think the guarantee might have run out so I won't be complaining to Fothergills. I'm presently looking at my options and taking the opportunity to strip the frame and do a complete rebuild.
Anyone here come across Fothergill frames?

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   James Fothergill frames posted by ChristopherRobin on 4/1/2000 at 11:17:57 AM
I have never heard of this brand, and I am heartsick that his records are lost this has happened too often. Waterdamage, mice, fire, rust, decay, things falling into unenlightened hands, time itself. Is this fellow still with us? I would love to see a picture of this. Take a picture of this machine before you start tearing it down.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   James Fothergill frames posted by Paul on 4/1/2000 at 1:38:21 PM
I've already stripped the frame but I'll take a photo of it. I last completely stripped it in 1980 when I had it re-enamelled and re-chromed. It was equiped with (and will be rebuilt with) Campag large flange quick release hubs, Milremo rims (tubulars), double butted spokes, Campag Record front changer, Campag Nuovo Record rear changer, Stronglight cranks with TA chainrings, GB stem and bars, Weinmann side pull brakes and levers and I recently swapped my Brooks B15 for another old Wrights saddle. I'm pretty sure the frame would have been originaly bought as just a frame then built up by the owner.
Maybe a week or two before I have the photos developed and scanned.

MISC:   Miyata Rod Brake Bike posted by: Wings on 3/31/2000 at 9:59:28 PM
Womens Miyata Bike with Rod Brakes. Looks old.
Ebay # 296 599 299

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Fixing flats posted by: dewane on 3/31/2000 at 9:39:45 PM
I have a stupid, newbie question, but I can't seem to find the answer in this forum or anybody else's web site.

Is is difficult to remove the tire/rim on a rod-brake bike? It looks as if you have to remove the brake pads from the stirrup to remove the rim, if I am reading the diagram correctly. My american-made 3 speeds have never blown out a front tire, but the back tire has had many flats. This used to happen at 2:15 a.m., after I left the bar for the night. Now it seems to happen after work on Friday.

This forum is quite enlightening. I'm thinking of taking the plunge and getting a rod-brake bike. My commute to work is about six miles and is very flat and I love the ride of a roadster-type bike.

MISC:   CARLTON BIKES posted by: ART on 3/31/2000 at 11:37:50 AM
Anybody know anything about Carlton bikes, specifically their relationship to Raleigh. Did Carlton produce its own high end road bikes? I found a Carlton with chromed lugwork far beyond any Nervex lugs that I have seen. It's probably a 60-70's bike based on the campy stuff on it. So it must have been a fairly good bike in its time. I thought some of you Brit heads might know something even though its not a roadster.

   RE:MISC:   CARLTON BIKES posted by Sheldon Brown on 3/31/2000 at 4:03:20 PM
Carlton was a separate, small production facility owned by Raleigh, and used for their top-of-the-line models. I believe there was a fire at some time, and the operation was moved to the main factory in Nottingham (not certain about that.)

The Carltons with the super ornate lugs are worth SERIOUS money, you're very fortunate.

Sheldon "Jealous" Brown
Newtonville, Massachusetts

AGE / VALUE:   Westwood rims posted by: Aaron on 3/31/2000 at 10:31:17 AM
Hi, Is there any good sources for westwood rims (at reasonable prices) in the U.S.? It seems that there is a lot of demand for these, but no sources for them which would make them a great item for Cambridge Bicycle to get.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Westwood rims posted by Pete on 4/3/2000 at 2:02:04 AM
If you cannot get thses rims anywhere in the US., you can get new chromed steel 28" x 1.5" Westwood rims drilled 32/ or 40 hole from : -

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Westwood rims posted by Pete on 4/3/2000 at 2:07:53 AM
....continuation of message: -
Baker Bikes
Unit 11
Southmill Trading Centre
Southmill Road
Bishops Stortford
Hertfordshire CM23 3DY

local phone no. is 01279 758718
fax 658991
(I think you guys use the country code then drop the leading zero)

I know they deal internationally by mail order. I've bought rims from them myself, and they are of good quality, Dutch manufacture. They cost me 31 UK pounds the pair.
regards, Pete.

WANTED:   DL-1 roadster parts posted by: Brian on 3/30/2000 at 5:05:29 PM
Anybody got a 32-hole (front) westwood rim and front fender they would be willing to sell? I've just got my first ever DL-1 and it's missing a front fender and the chrome is shot on the front rim. I'm not looking for anything super pretty - just in good usable condition.



ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Hercules 3 speed posted by: Mark Jensen on 3/30/2000 at 4:45:17 AM
I bought a Hercules 3 speed a while back at a garage sale.
I would like to determine its age. It has a full chain guard.
Rod brakes, leather saddle (Wrights) Black in color.
It has a frame design like the picture on the Bicycle web sight,
Rusty Spokes. The address is( www.rusty-spokes.com/page05.html )
This bike is a 1925 Elgin if stated properly so it is not a Hercules
but the frame design look like the one I have.
My bike does not look like the one on the same sight but with the address
ending in ( /page14.html ) which has a straight upper frame tube running
from the crank housing to the upper portion that holds the front fork.
The tube on page 5 is curved very similar to the one I have. Any hints
as to where to look for a date or when might this design have dated to and
from. It is in very good shape and has no rust what so ever with the
exception of a slight pitting of the chrome on the handle bars and the
brake rod. Original paint (oxidized) with only minor scratches. Even the
Full chainguard is has only minor defects or scuffing. The saddle though
is cracked and brittle but all there. Very rideable condition, any thoughts
on its value? Thanks, Mark

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Hercules 3 speed posted by Kevin C on 4/1/2000 at 3:23:22 AM
A friend of mine bought a rod-brake, three-speed Hercules from a local bike shop not long ago for $125. It's a very nice bike but the seat leather is dry rotted. I don't really know if the price reflects the market value or not, but it sat unsold in the shop for more than a year. I live in Lafayette, Ind. Kevin Cullen.

MISC:   Phoenix; Londoneer posted by: Wings on 3/29/2000 at 11:12:35 PM
I discovered a Londoneer 10 speed. I think it had been stripped and had American 10 speed rims put on it. I have never seen road brakes up close. It had brake levers similar to Schwinn with a rod (about 8 inches) dangling down from the lever. Was this what was left of an old rod brake?
Could you give me some information on "Londoneer"?
2. I discovered a "Phoenix" with a full chain case and a Sturmey 3 speed hub. No rod brakes. It was the first full chain case I have ever seen. Why did they use full chain cases?? Could you clue me in about "Phoenix"?
Thanks! Schwinn guy is still learning!!!

   RE:MISC:   Phoenix; Londoneer posted by Wings on 3/29/2000 at 11:23:04 PM
"road brakes" = "rod brakes"

   RE:MISC:   Phoenix; Londoneer posted by Karl on 3/30/2000 at 7:06:26 AM
Never heard of Londoneer before (nor Phoenix on a 3-speed, for that matter), but the full chain-case is there to protect the chain from the elements and your trousers from the chain. Fully enclosed that way, the chain will last decades with little or no maintainence. They're very practical for utility bikes, though it makes wheel-changing a bit more complicated. Kind of scarce in the US because the tarriff on imported bikes was *higher* above a certain weight, so the chain-cases were left off to get the weight down, or so I've heard.

   RE:RE:MISC:   Phoenix; Londoneer posted by Kevin C. on 3/31/2000 at 12:55:48 PM
Wasn't the full chaincase also designed to give the chain a continuous oil bath? That, along with good protection from road dirt and grit, would surely extend the life of the drive chain.

   RE:MISC:   Phoenix; Londoneer posted by Mark R. on 3/31/2000 at 5:45:58 PM
Oil bath? Oh no, that's not the idea, or neccesary at all. The full case is intended to protect clothing, and keep the chain clean. An "oil bath" would decrease efficiancy. Plus if it leaked, which it would, you'd constantly have a real mess.

   RE:RE:MISC:   Phoenix; Londoneer posted by Michael on 4/14/2000 at 6:22:51 AM
Some roadsters did use an oil bath within a fully enclosed chaincase. The chain lasts indefinately, and it can also lube the rear wheel bearings. The most notable oil-bath machines were those built by Sunbeam. There is an issue with leakage if your turn the bike upsidown, so you don't, but on the whole it is a sound principle.