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Archived: English Roadsters

WANTED:   Warren: CCM parts posted by: Kennny G on 1/27/2001 at 7:55:15 AM
Warren, I need to contact you about those CCM parts. Email me

   RE:WANTED:   Warren: CCM parts posted by sam on 1/27/2001 at 6:16:45 PM
Warren,I to would like to talk to you on those old parts.As I posted in L/W lookin for F-7 tires.Not schwinn S-7,but old british rod-brake F-7s.I think the heavy duty chain went to this type of bike,probaly from1930s---sam

WANTED:   English classic bikes posted by: Adamo Lochmatter on 1/27/2001 at 3:49:08 AM
I`m a swiss bike dealer and I am interested for english classic bikes. Who can give me more informations.Produced
Raleigh even classic bikes or exists in england other classical trades.

MISC:   RESPONSE TO SHELDON BROWN ON SHIMANO 4-SPEED posted by: Albert on 1/26/2001 at 10:32:48 AM
I am amazed that a respected authority on bicycles, Sheldon Brown, has seemingly failed to see the design shortcoming in the Shimano 4-speed. Its lowest gear is 1:1, direct drive. What's wrong with this? Well plenty! A PLanetary hub is most efficient, having no power loss, when it is in direct drive--- the efficiency approaches 100%. It is good design practice to use the direct drive for the most often used. Direct drive on the SA and Shimano's 333, FA, and FE series is the middle speed. A chainwheel/cog combination of 40/18 teeth provides a gear of 60" in direct drive with these hubs; this a very nice gear for frequent use. This 60" gear in direct yields 45" in low and 80" in high. These gears are well suited for utility cycling as might be done on a roadster. When we look at the Shimano 4-speed, the problem becomes quite obvious. We are forced to sacrifice the efficient direct drive by using it as a gear for riding in "low". The more often used gear size is a less efficient non-direct speed. How much less efficient----well we will have to waite until we hear from Mr.Berto.

   RE: RESPONSE TO SHELDON BROWN ON SHIMANO 4-SPEED posted by Sheldon Brown on 1/26/2001 at 7:46:37 PM
All systems have shortcomings, and people need to make tradeoffs based on their priorities.

Not all cyclists care all that much about efficiency. In generall, those who consider this the prime consideration are probably better off staying away from internal gearing.

I don't own a Shimano 4 speed, and have only occasionally ridden them, but I do own a Shimano 7 speed. This hub replaced a Sturmey-Archer FM 4 speed, and it was my distinct impression that the Shimano hub was more efficient--despite the fact that the Shimano 7-speed has _no_ direct drive in any gear!

The Shimano 4 speed is not intended for sporty, high-performance applications. It is primarily intended for utility/commuting applications, most often with riders who would rather sit up straight and go slow, rather than adopt an "efficient" racing crouch. For its price range and intended user, I believe it's a pretty decent product.

Both the Shimano 4 and 7 speed hubs provide a rather nice progression of gears, and to many riders that is more important than the slight differences in efficiency among the gears.

Sheldon "De Gustibus" Brown
| Remember that engineering is about trade-offs. None of |
| these systems are ideal, each of them has advantages and |
| disadvantages. Which issues are most important is a matter |
| of judgement and personal choice. Don't expect that you |
| will have the same priorities that I (or anyone else for |
| that matter) has. --David Wittenberg |

   RE:RE: RESPONSE TO SHELDON BROWN ON SHIMANO 4-SPEED posted by Wings on 1/26/2001 at 8:49:05 PM
Well said Sheldon!
I use a Nexus 7 on one bike, a Sachs 3 x 7 on two bikes (one bike has a 20 inch rear wheel -- the Sachs is needed!), and also a Shimmano 3 speed on a cruiser. I also use non internal geared hubs on my mountain bikes (Traditional 21, 24, and 27 speed). I use what works good for the purpose in which I am going to use the bike. This involves looks as well as what is functional and practical. The many choices for gearing that we have allows for greater options and creativity which allows for more ways of enjoying a bike!

Remember the post of the guy in NY who was a messenger bike rider in traffic useing a 7 speed Nexus on a Raliegh 20 folder? He was thrilled at how well the Nexus /folder worked for him. He buzzed through traffic and could fold it up for the elevator. He made the choice that worked for him! This was more efficient for him!

Examine another area. Look at all the different brakes and brake pads that are available and they all behave a different way. The V brake is very efficient, but it is certainly not what is wanted in all riding situations (Consider a BMX freestyle where more measured control is needed. Or the left handed grandma using V-brakes -- Ouch!). This also allows for greater choices for our riding environment and style. These choices are great!

   RE:MISC:   RESPONSE TO SHELDON BROWN ON SHIMANO 4-SPEED posted by Keith on 1/30/2001 at 5:59:55 AM
Although I eagerly await Berto's findings, I agree that efficiency is not the bottom line for all types of cycling. The durability, relaibility, low maintenence and ease of use (I think many otherwise bright people remnain dumbfounded when faced with a 27 speed bike, but can manage to work a 3-4 speed trigger) are the key features of the epicyclic hub, as well as the British roadster and sports bicycles that use them. In any event, I think a good argument could be made that the low gear is the best to have 1:1, since going up hills is when you need the most help. I believe that the loss of efficnency reported by Berto was greatest in the gears lower than 1:1, and the dropoff in higher ratios was not as significant.

WANTED:   Tempest posted by: Wings on 1/25/2001 at 8:05:15 PM
I have a friend with a womens bike with the headbadge:
"Tempest" with the picture of a rooster under the name "Tempest."
It has a Komet coaster brake.
Is "Tempest" an English bike?
It has a cotterless crank with a bell shape that goes over the spindle. It does not fit standard spindles. I am looking for the left crank arm. I am also looking for what ever information you have on this bike. Thanks!

   RE:WANTED:   Tempest posted by Wings on 1/26/2001 at 8:52:42 PM
I am looking for the CHAIN RING CRANK (right side).
Any information you have is appreciated.

AGE / VALUE:   e-bay item #547942422 Raleigh Sturmey-Archer oil can posted by: ChristopherRobin on 1/24/2001 at 2:46:56 PM
Look at e-Bay item # 547942422 Raleigh Sturmey-Archer oil can

How many diffrent ones were made? How many diffrent labels? I keep seeing diffrent versions! This one is not seen too often. I love the old oil tins!!

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Armstrong Bicycle posted by: Pete on 1/24/2001 at 12:59:07 PM
CAn anyone please tell me if they have ever heard of a "Armstrong bicycle? When they were made? & if they are worth antthing? Thank so much.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Armstrong Bicycle posted by ChristopherRobin on 1/25/2001 at 4:36:46 PM
Armstrong bicycle: Most likely a 22 inch frame, mens or a ladies cable brake 3 speed in the color black. Am I right? Well... You didn't describe it for us! Armstrong was a brand name that Raleigh Industries of Nottingham, England put on the b-grade cycles they sold.(Or it could be a bike that Phillips made) this could be from the late 50's to mid 1960's. I could be wrong because there may well have been an Armstrong company years ago and then it could be a name that Raleigh bought up after buying the smaller company. In this case the Armstrong bicycle you have could be a real genuine Armstrong and then it wouyld be worth a bit more and then you would have something! Get back to us here with a good description. What year does the rear Sturmey-Archer 3 speed hub have stamped on the outer shell? It should say 8-61 (or something) which would be August of 1961. The date stamp on the hub is a good way to date the whole bike. Unless somebody switched wheels on you and that isn't too likely. Put it up on e-bay and see what it brings come selling time. If this is a rod brake bike then it is diffrent model then what I described but it may not bring more money. Put it up with a picture on E-bay!

Does this have an enclosed chainguard, is it complete, mens or ladies e.t.c.

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Armstrong Bicycle posted by ChristopherRobin@starmail.com on 1/26/2001 at 7:12:28 AM
I am starting to believe that Armstrong was indeed a seperate company at one time and perhaps you have something a bit more valuable that a basic 3 speed Raleigh made bicycle.

FOR SALE:   We've got some stuff up on Ebay posted by: VVVintage Vintage Bicycles at OldRoads.com on 1/24/2001 at 5:08:40 AM
A Peugeot with a Sturmey-Archer S-5 hub at:


A nice Ideale leather saddle at:


Vin - VVVintage Vintage Bicycles at OldRoads.com

FOR SALE:   Deluxe Touring Bag posted by: thetoyking on 1/23/2001 at 4:37:19 PM
Used Schwinn Deluxe Touring Bag. Very big and very english looking. $25 shipped in the US. Please e-mail if interested. Thanks!

FOR SALE:   Hercules Fender Ornament posted by: thetoyking on 1/23/2001 at 4:35:39 PM
Very nice NOS Fender mascot for Hercules. Herc logo in center with gold wings. $6 shipped in the US.
E-mail if interested. Thanks!

FOR SALE:   NOS Sturmey Tailight posted by: thetoyking on 1/23/2001 at 4:32:06 PM
I have an NOS Sturmey Archer Tailight in the box. White rubber and plastic housing. red Amber lenses. Fits on the rear fender. Could be used on a folding bike. Has wiring for a Dyno Hub. $35 shipped in the US. Please e-mail if interested. Thanks!

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Gear calculator for internally-geared hubs posted by: Sheldon Brown on 1/21/2001 at 8:37:14 PM
With some help from a friendly programmer, I've updated my online gear calculator program, including a brand new version for internally-geared hubs (Rohloff, Shimano, SRAM & Sturmey-Archer.)

Results are calculated in your choice of Gain Ratios, Gear Inches or Meters Development.

For standard derailer gearing see:
For internal gearing see:

Sheldon "Planetary" Brown
Newtonville, Massachusetts

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Gear calculator for internally-geared hubs posted by Paul Cleary on 1/22/2001 at 3:28:22 PM
I went to the internal gear calculator and played around with different combinations. Its easy and good to use. A couple of minor niggles - the SRAM 5 speed shows up as having only 4 speeds and the Shimano 4 speed has its 1:00 ratio set as the lowest, so shows everything else as very high in gear inches.

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Gear calculator for internally-geared hubs posted by Albert on 1/23/2001 at 10:43:09 AM
I beleive the Shimano 4-speed is at its lowest when it is 1:1. This has always seemed peculiar. Does someone know why this is so? Is it another case of those who design cycling equipment believing that the cycling community doesn't know tiddly?

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Gear calculator for internally-geared hubs posted by Sheldon Brown on 1/23/2001 at 11:55:20 AM
I've fixed the missing gear in the Sram 5 speed, thanks.

I don't understand why everybody always has to bash Shimano like this. The Shimano 4 speed hub has a very much better set of spacings than the Sturmey-Archer does. The fact that the gears go from unity upwards isn't a problem unless you select inappropriate sprocket sizes.

This arrangement is particularly felicitous for small wheel bikes, such as folders, because it allows reasonable gears without requiring a huge chainring.

Sheldon Brown

   RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Gear calculator for internally-geared hubs posted by Paul Cleary on 1/23/2001 at 3:26:03 PM
This leads to a interesting question (to me anyway) then. If the Shimano 4 speed is used on a 26" wheel size bike, what's the lower limit for the ratio of front chainwheel teeth to rear sprocket in order to get those low gear inches (Is there an official Shimano ratio and a separate unofficial ratio at which the gear hub destructs?)

   RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Gear calculator for internally-geared hubs posted by Dale Oswald on 1/24/2001 at 9:34:53 AM
Amen. I personally won't use the Shimano three speed because I go 200+# and I fear I'd break it, but it's clearly a superior design: no neutral, lighter, easier to adjust (not that an AW is hard to adjust). It is harder to reassemble and requires a tool to disassemble. I just wish they hadn't made it with such small sliding keys and had used more/better steel so a big guy with low ratios could use it.

I think that, good or bad, aesthetics and snobbery play a part in the Shimano bashing.

Not that this detracts from my rabid love of Sturmey Archer... or my annoyance at Shimano's marketing strategies...

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Gear calculator for internally-geared hubs posted by Sheldon Brown on 1/24/2001 at 2:51:23 PM
The crankset Shimano promotes for use with the Nexus 4-speed hub comes with a 33 tooth ring (and is made in...Italy!) I haven't yet heard of any failures from the 4-speeds, even the automatic-shift version.

As to the Shimano 3-speeds, the older ones were certainly delicate, but the newer designs are pretty decent.

The SRAM(Sachs(Torpedo)) 3 speed seems very, very robust.

It will be interesting to see what happens to Sturmey-Archer under the Sun Race regime. I think they've got nowhere to go but up.

Sheldon Brown

MISC:   Cleaning zinc spokes posted by: Aaron on 1/19/2001 at 6:09:23 PM
I know this was mentioned a while back, but what is the best way to clean zinc spokes without damaging the finish. They are not rusty, just grimey and tarnished. I would just buy new ones but these are an odd size for a French Solex moped.

   RE:MISC:   Cleaning zinc spokes posted by Warren on 1/20/2001 at 6:16:19 PM
There are more and more shops building their own wheels with custom cut spokes. Find one that can rebuild your wheels with DT or Wheelsmith stainless spokes and ride safely in style. Motorbikes are a lot harder on wheels.

   RE:MISC:   Cleaning zinc spokes posted by sam on 1/21/2001 at 7:56:53 AM
I'd try some of that spray cleaner you can buy at wal-mart for mag wheels.Take it to a car wash - spray it - let it set - and wash it off.

   RE:RE:MISC:   Cleaning zinc spokes posted by Aaron on 1/22/2001 at 6:48:23 PM
I found out that the spokes are about 13 gauge (American) which is not all that uncommon. I am not positive on the length as I am not sure how to measure the length properly but I am sure someone here could inform me.

   RE:RE:RE:MISC:   Cleaning zinc spokes posted by Warren on 1/23/2001 at 7:16:53 AM
Pull one of each length off the bike when you go to buy them. If you have to premeasure, go from the centre of the head to the end of the spoke in millimetres. eg 276 mm. If you're unsure, go a mm longer and you can then take a dremel tool to any excess length that threatens your innertube. Sometimes, longer spoke nipples are available to compensate for spokes that are a little short.

AGE / VALUE:   Funky Cranks and drivetrain posted by: Warren on 1/19/2001 at 11:39:14 AM
I posted this on the vintage lightwieghts as well.
A buddy of mine gets to rummage in an old bike store from the 30's once and a while. This week he gave me an assortment of
cool cranks. Two inch-pitch plus a 3 bolt replacement ring, a cool CCM crankset with triangular axle,(cotterless),and an
ornately scrolled crankset with the name KAY on it. A few of these cranks were made by "Williams", the name being etched in
the arms. Now the weird item...a crank and 2 matching cogs AND an NOS chain that measures at least 5/32, standard half
inch pitch. This shop has several of these NOS oversized chains. Does anyone have any background on these cranks and
especially the big drivetrain. I think it would make a righteous fixed gear runabout...guaranteed to not stretch the chain for about
a decade I figure.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Funky Cranks and drivetrain posted by sam on 1/20/2001 at 7:38:49 AM
Warren,the only bike I've ever saw that used a real heavy duty chain was a rodester from england made by Mercury they were used on english air bases in WW2--I have no knolage of wheather that is the chain for then or not,just a guess.was this shop connected to English bikes?--sam

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Funky Cranks and drivetrain posted by Warren on 1/20/2001 at 9:35:15 AM
The only connection with Brit bikes is that the shop is in Toronto and then by default would have carried many British bikes or imitations thereof. One sad story about this shop...several years ago the proprietress of the shop burned about 50 wooden rims! She hadn't sold one in over 20 years and had paid $1 each when they were new. I believe repro wooden rimas are about $100 each...original equipment would certainly command a premium above that. I'm desperately trying to get a foot in the door to thoroughly rout through the place. I'll let you know.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Funky Cranks and drivetrain posted by ChristopherRobin@starmail.com on 1/20/2001 at 10:57:25 AM
Burning wooden rims? Williams was a huge maker of cranks and sprockets. A ton of British parts and bicycles made it into Canada. I would be acquiring all you can get because it winds up in landfil and then there are deranged shop owners that take delight in smashing British Tail light lenses, burning rims and destroying old shop signs, e.t.c. Isn't skip tooth also called "Humber Pitch"? These places are sliping away from all of us and you should be speedily picking it up and gratefull that you have the opportunity. They knock these places down and they put up a medical complex and it is all forgotten. I hope you get to pull Juy Simplex 531 derailurs and old Campy but just load it all up and figure out what you got later.

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   BSA BICYCLES posted by: Doyle Sessions on 1/19/2001 at 8:24:10 AM

FOR SALE:   Schwinn Large Deluxe Touring Bag posted by: thetoyking on 1/19/2001 at 5:10:38 AM
I have for sale a used Schwinn Large Deluxe Touring Bag. It's made of heavy black vinyl. Has all the buckles and straps intact. Very nice shape. Has two small pockets on the side and one internal pocket. Very large and sturdy. I use one for touring on my Raliegh Sport. These bag look great on English three speeds! $25 shipped anywhere in the cont. US. Thanks! E-mail if interested.