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Archived: English Roadsters

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   bulbs for classic lighting gear posted by: JohnM on 8/17/2000 at 6:31:57 AM
The days are getting shorter, and now might be a good time to get that old classic generator system back on line. Many local bike shops don't carry the standard 2.6 watt headlight/.4 watt taillight bulbs for a conventional setup, never mind the old classics. I found a UK site, www.relectalite.com, which has just about everything. They have 3 watt bulbs, in case you want to run a headlight only. They have a 1.2 watt headlight bulb for my old 2 watt SA dynohub system (though they say they're dropping these when current inventory is gone). They even have bulbs for my early 70's 6v, 6w generator set. They also have a small 6v voltage regulator that can be installed in an unregulated system. Choice of incandescent or halogen in many sizes, and each bulb is individually boxed and clearly labeled. They don't seem to have a problem with US$ checks, and the turnaround has been quick, considering it has to go through customs on the return trip. Highly recommended.

Ride safe, and don't be too proud to use a modern battery headlight and/or LED taillight as backup.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   bulbs for classic lighting gear posted by JohnM on 8/17/2000 at 12:48:52 PM
Sorry about the typo - it's www.reflectalite.com

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Fwd: Sturmey-Archer tech manuals on line posted by: Sheldon Brown on 8/16/2000 at 6:55:30 AM
I got this in my "in" box this morning:

"With the kind permission of Sturmey-Archer, Hadland.net now brings you virtually all the useful content of the 1956 Master Catalogue. It includes full maintenance instructions for the SW, AM, FW, FM, FC, SB, TCW, BF, BR, GH6, SG, FG, AW, AB, AG, AC and ASC hubs. Good condition copies of the Master Catalogue sell for about £40 in the UK and are too precious to risk getting oily during maintenance. Now users can download the pages they need, when they need them.

"The data is in Adobe Acrobat format, making it zoomable and easily printable on a page-by-page basis. Many users will already have the Acrobat Reader plug-in on their PCs; for those who have not, it can be downloaded free of charge via Hadland.net.

"To access the Sturmey-Archer maintenance information, simply go to http://hadland.net then click on the link for "Cycle Technology & History". In that section, scroll down and you will find a link "How to repair old Sturmey-Archer hubs" which takes you to the relevant index.

"We should be grateful if you would publicise this new service. Also attached are two recent flyers which may be of interest.

"Kind regards,

"Tony Hadland
Visit our website at http://www.hadland.net

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Fwd: Sturmey-Archer tech manuals on line posted by phil on 8/16/2000 at 9:12:46 PM
Many thanks, Sheldon for sharing this with us. And please pass on our appreciation to Tony Hadland.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Fwd: Sturmey-Archer tech manuals on line posted by Oscar on 8/18/2000 at 8:31:38 AM
If you thought bicycle hobbiests are detail laden, you should read the work Tony Hadland has put together on English Catholic recusants.

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Wanted: Info on Raleigh deliver bike posted by: Jeff Archer on 8/16/2000 at 6:24:13 AM
I recently acquired a Raleigh delivery bike similar to a Schwinn Cycle Trcuk. It has a heavy duty chain/sprocket, 26" wheels (front and rear) and rod brakes. I've not seen one before and wondered if anyone has any further info on it. Pictures @ http://www.firstflightbikes.com/serv02.htm
First Flight Bicycles

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Wanted: Info on Raleigh deliver bike posted by ChristopherRobin on 8/16/2000 at 10:33:44 AM
I remember seeing one going for $800.00 a few years back at a swap meet. It sold! and it was gone. Although this was before E- bay if that means anything. I love these a lot. I have diagrams if you need a set, free. e- mail me at http://www.ChristopherRobin@starmail.com

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Wanted: Info on Raleigh deliver bike posted by sam on 8/16/2000 at 10:58:59 AM
Hank has one of these over at the Helotes bike shop , I'll send you his adress---sam

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Wanted: Info on Raleigh deliver bike posted by Keith on 8/18/2000 at 6:59:52 AM
Pashley still makes a delivery bike that resembles this, but uses drum brakes.

MISC:   American Roadster posted by: Tom Faust on 8/15/2000 at 4:32:01 PM
This is a revival of the "American Roadster" topic that was popular here a few years ago. I am modifying my Dawes Galaxy as follows, North Road bars and Raleigh levers installed. Brooks B72 saddle installed. I am having a Sachs S7 laced into the rear wheel now. Here is the question, I am tempted to leave in the dual chainwheel and derailleur, mostly because it can be done. How about opinions as to practical benefit?

   RE:MISC:   American Roadster posted by Fred on 8/15/2000 at 6:12:46 PM
Tom; Its a good idea. I built a custom bike two years ago and used a SA 3 speed hub and a dual chain wheel. I installed a modified Shimano cog from a free wheel to get good climbing ability here in the hills. Take a look at my Austrian bike and my Juice bike. You can access my site from the site list on Old Roads. Its Fred's Wheels.

   RE:RE:MISC:   American Roadster posted by Tom Faust on 8/15/2000 at 7:24:24 PM
Fred, thanks for the encouragement. But, I'm still not sure I need 14 speeds. I think I will let the question be settled by esthetics. You may want to know that in my off hours I run a vintage car junkyard "Warrington Faust, purveyor of automotive obscura to the advanced motorist"

   RE:MISC:   American Roadster posted by red on 8/16/2000 at 2:47:03 AM
14 speeds may not be necessary. When I built a version of the American Roadster I considered this option. I had decided to use a S/A 7-speed internal (coaster) hub. I also decided to invest in a singulator. In theory it was a great idea. However, when applied, it did not work. Despite the heavy tension I had set the singulator at, it still wasn't enough to keep the chain tight enough to keep it from slipping over the stubborn S/A cog. I gave up on the singulator and decided that I could just put a regular rear derailer on instead. Before I had a chance to do so, the rest of the bike was ready for its maiden (test) voyage. It was during this trip that I realized that 7 speeds was more than enough to meet my needs. If a Sachs S7 has the same or similar ratios as the S/A 7, then you may find that 7 speeds are plenty. On a related note: after giving up on the singulator, I gave it to a friend who was also building (a Frankenstein version of) the American Roadster. His has 3 front cogs, and a Shimano Nexus 4-speed rear (coaster) hub. He also had trouble getting the singulator to work and I imagine that he has by now put on a regular rear derailer.

   RE:RE:MISC:   American Roadster posted by WIngs on 8/16/2000 at 4:55:15 PM
A regular rear derailer with adjustment screws set so it will not move works great!!! I have never had a problem with mine and I run 3 chainrings with a S.A. 3 speed.
But why do it if you don't need the additional gears?

   RE:MISC:   American Roadster posted by Keith on 8/18/2000 at 7:04:18 AM
Since it would be easy to try it both ways, that's what I'd do. I'd try without first, and if you don't feel the need for more gears, leave it off. Part of the asthetic of an epicyclic-equiped roadster is it's outward simplicity and lack of derailleurs.

WANTED:   RaleighTwenty 12 inch pump& Clip on Light Wanted posted by: Paul on 8/15/2000 at 12:48:04 PM
I am in need of an original 12 inch frame air pump for a Raleigh Twenty Folder. I also need a clip -on light for the front either square light or regular standard chrome rounded headlight with the slot on the back. Thanks. Please post your reply. Thanks.

   RE:WANTED:   RaleighTwenty 12 inch pump& Clip on Light Wanted posted by Aaron on 8/20/2000 at 3:23:27 PM
The 12 inch pumps to fit the Raleigh Twenty are hard to come by. I got mine from Phoenix Cycles in London when I was there on vacation, found on the web at www.phoenixcycles.com. They are the premier specialists in folding bicycles in London. The front headlights used to be available from American Cyclery in San Francisco on the web at bicycletrader.com. The ones they sell (or sold) are new from Hong Kong. Not of superior quality but they work.

MISC:   Left hand/right hand threading posted by: Brian on 8/14/2000 at 8:17:45 PM
Okay, maybe this comes up now and then, but I searched the archives and found nothing. Can anyone explain the rationale for left hand threads on the left pedals and right hand on the right pedals. If one looks at the drag direction on the bearings as the crank rotates forward, it seems completely backwards - the left hand pedal rotates clockwise relative to the pedal spindle (viewed from the left side). A left handed thread should tend to loosen, right? Er, correct? I'm an automotive engineer, and I can tell you why some wheel mounting systems use left hand threads on the left side, but this pedal issue has me baffled. I must be missing something. Has anybody got an explanation?



   RE:MISC:   Left hand/right hand threading posted by Sheldon Brown on 8/15/2000 at 7:26:27 AM
Yes, this is a perennial chestnut. You'll find the answer (and many other things) in my online Bicycle Glossary. The pedal entry is at:

Sheldon Brown
| The important thing is not to stop questioning. |
| Curiosity has its own reason for existing. |
| --Albert Einstein |

   RE:RE:MISC:   Left hand/right hand threading posted by Brian on 8/15/2000 at 7:36:01 PM
Thanks, Sheldon! I can sleep at night, now! I knew 100 years of practical experience couldn't be wrong.
BTW, your glossary gave an excellent explanation.


ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Amazing Humber posted by: Sheldon Brown on 8/14/2000 at 8:12:49 PM
I had a guy drive up from Connecticut today with an amazing Humber he'd picked up at a yard sale or some such. It was labeled "Humber Sports Model" on the seat tube and was all black, except for the handlebar stem, brake calipers and rims. Everything else that could be chromed wasn't, was black.

This was a wartime or immediat postwar bike. Chromium was a vital strategic material, not available for civilian products...and I suppose that the black stuff gave a greater feeling of security in blackouts. It didn't have the trademark Humber double fork blades, nor did it have chrome trim on the fork crown. It did appear to have the cute little Humber guys running around the (black) chainwheel, as far as I could see where the pedal hole slider was missing from the chaincase disk.

The bike is in amazing condition, with an un-dated AW hub, Endrick rims, and the original "Dunlop War Grade" tires, in great condition!

I told the guy it's toJB©od to ride, at least not on those tires...


ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Larz Anderson Photos posted by: Sheldon Brown on 8/14/2000 at 8:11:03 PM
I've put up some photos from yesterday's Larz Anderson show on my Web site at:


There's also a "virtual reality" IPIX 360 degree image at:


You may need the IPIX plug-in to navigate this, but it's easy to load and fun to play with.

Sheldon "Gone Digital" Brown
Newtonville, Massachusetts
| The wind and waves are always on the |
| side of the ablest navigators. |
| --Edward Gibbon |

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raleigh, Robin Hood, 1969 posted by: Ryan on 8/14/2000 at 6:49:54 PM
Found Ladies bike with Sturmey-Archer 3-spd. hub with "69 4" stamped on it, a black and white Brooks saddle (weathered), and "Robin Hood of Nottingham" badge & decals. Bike is almost rideable, Is this a Raleigh? What is it's value ?

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raleigh, Robin Hood, 1969 posted by Michael Toohey on 8/16/2000 at 3:49:54 AM
The Robin Hood is indeed a Raleigh, sort of. In the late 50's, 60's and 70's, the British bicycle industry, like the motorcicle and car industries, rationalised and Raliegh bought out alot of old firms, including the great (Sunbeam, B.S.A) and the small, like Robin Hood. By april 1969 your Robin Hood would have been built by Raleigh

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Larz Anderson posted by: Deb on 8/14/2000 at 6:00:34 AM
So how was the Larz Anderson Show? Can someone give us the highlights? What's this show all about?

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Larz Anderson posted by Jeff on 8/16/2000 at 8:43:29 AM
The show was excellent. incredible variety of bicycles including many English bikes. Lots of vendors and very good prices.

AGE / VALUE:   Humber posted by: Elisabeth Doyle on 8/13/2000 at 5:03:29 PM
I have an old Humber bicycle. It appears to be 1940's as it looks very similar to a picture of a 1948 model but may be a later model. It has Sturmey Archer 4 speed gears with integrated dyno- hub and cable brakes Can anybody give me any clues about how to date and value it?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Humber posted by red on 8/13/2000 at 10:36:52 PM
The universal response to the age & value question:
I figure that it is probably my turn to answer one of these questions:
Age? It is stamped on the rear hub.
Value? It depends on the buyer.
If there is a glint in her eye, or a smile on his face, then it is worth a lot. However if it is just someone in need of a bike who is in the right place at the right time, then you might be lucky to get $60 for it.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Humber posted by ChristopherRobin on 8/16/2000 at 10:36:44 AM
Well said, true. These are worth picking up.

AGE / VALUE:   JC HIGGINS posted by: MP on 8/12/2000 at 3:04:40 PM
Please tell me about my 1960 English-made JCH "Official Lightweight". Headbadge says JC Higgins, Simpson-Sears, has 3 sp S/A drivetrain, etc. Anything special about it? Or is it just a good parts bike?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   JC HIGGINS posted by Warren on 8/13/2000 at 8:42:58 PM
It's likely Canadian...Simpsons-Sears was an unusal amalgam of US/Canadian companies that had their own line of stuff. JCH bikes are rare up here north of the border. As far as how special the bike is depends on condition. Most bikes from around 1960 are generally well made.

MISC:   S.A. Four or Five speed hubs posted by: Wings on 8/12/2000 at 12:21:36 AM
Does a S.A. 4 or 5 speed hub have greater range (lower low and/or higher high) than the 3 speed hub?

   RE:MISC:   S.A. Four or Five speed hubs posted by Sheldon Brown on 8/12/2000 at 1:49:52 PM
In general, yes. I have a chart of Sturmey-Archer hub models with gear range data at:


   RE:MISC:   S.A. Four or Five speed hubs posted by Sheldon Brown on 8/12/2000 at 1:53:08 PM
In general, yes. I have a chart of Sturmey-Archer hub models with gear range data at:


   RE:RE:MISC:   S.A. Four or Five speed hubs posted by Wings on 8/14/2000 at 4:37:27 PM
Thanks for the information. What a great source of information on S.A. Thanks!

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Acid from Dyno Battery Holder posted by: Paul on 8/11/2000 at 12:07:28 PM
Thanks for all the advice below. I still need to know what is going to happen if I try to remove the old batteries. Has anyone tried? Also what is the 3 position switch on the headlight for. Is it for the automatic feature mentioned. I use it in the far right position but the headlight is really dim. Thanks again.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Acid from Dyno Battery Holder posted by JohnM on 8/17/2000 at 7:02:43 AM
For non-automatic systems, the middle position is for battery power. The older dynohubs only put out about 2 watts, so the light will be dim no matter what you do. But check the bulb - if it's a standard 2.6 watt bulb, it will be even dimmer. Check out www.reflectalite.com for the correct bulb for dynohub systems.

I have a question for you - I'm missing the lower cap for my SA battery tube. There are no threads on the tube, so I'm wondering how it was held in place with the weight of 4 batteries on top of it?

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Rear wheel retainers position on 3 speeds posted by: Paul on 8/11/2000 at 4:14:57 AM
On Raleigh 3 speeds, when you are remounting the rear wheels, should the pronged washers go between the frame by spreading the frame and go inside the frame pointing out OR go outside the frame pointing in? Does it really matter? Also, has anyone had any luck clearing out the old dry cell batteries in a Dynohub dry battery container and if so, can you replace then with D cells and have it work? Will the old cells leak acid after 40 years when you try to hammer them out? Thanks.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Rear wheel retainers position on 3 speeds posted by Paul R. on 8/11/2000 at 8:01:21 AM
Hi Paul. In respect to the dry battery unit (DBU) you CAN use regular old D cell batteries. I have them in mine and they work fine. Just make sure that all of your conections are clean and bright and that you have a good ground (if your wiring setup uses a frame ground - some do not). I have the DynoLuxe unit which uses some sort of filter assembly to automatically switch from the battery to the dynohub depending on your speed. Neat idea but unfortunately the filter really draws down the voltage so I have bypassed it and operate it as a convential DBU sytem (i.e., manually switch from battery to dynohub as req'd). Has anybody had good luck with the DynoLuxe system? Good luck with your DBU and keep a flashlight in your seatbag just in case!

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Rear wheel retainers position on 3 speeds posted by Fred on 8/11/2000 at 8:03:35 AM

Sutherland's exploded views of 3 speed hubs shows the lugs on these washers facing the hub which indicates that they go on the axle after the wheel has been installed. This makes it a lot easier to get every thing aligned properly.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Rear wheel retainers position on 3 speeds posted by Bill Putnam on 8/11/2000 at 8:59:36 AM

I believe Raleigh installed these differently than other
makers. According to Sheldon Brown on his discussion of
Raleighs, the anti rotation washers should go in the
inside of the fork ends (between the hub and fork end)
not on the outside.
See http://www.sheldonbrown.com/raleigh.html

Sutherland's may have given the more generic
location used by other manufacturers.


   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Rear wheel retainers position on 3 speeds posted by [B]Sheldon Brown[/B] on 8/11/2000 at 9:09:12 PM
That's a bit of an oversimplification. Older models used smooth-surface, stamped anti-rotation washers, inboard of the dropouts. These went along with the lovely old knurled, forged serrated (toothed) washers that kept the axle from slipping forward. When using the two washer per side system, indeed the anti-rotation washers go inboard, and the serrated washers go between the axle nuts and the outside of the dropouts.

As the bean counters kept looking for ways to make things cheaper, they went to a single washer system. The newer washers are forged washers with both the two tabs for anti-rotation and a serrated surface to grip the dropout against slippage. If you use these washers, they go on the outside, under the nut.

In general, you should never have a turning fastener such as a hex nut pressing directly against the part it clamps to without some sort of washer. This is especially true of axle nuts.

Cheapo bikes often use "serrated flange nuts" to save the expense of washers, but this is a cheesy, Mickey Mouse rig. The serrations rip up the paint as they are tightened, and can make it harder to set the axle in the right position for correct alignment and chain tension.

I'll be at the Larz Anderson show on Sunday, hope to see some of you folks there.

Sheldon B.