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Archived: English Roadsters

AGE / VALUE:    Don't you go finding it before I can double back and clean them out! posted by: Chris on 7/24/2002 at 11:50:36 PM
Looking out the window as we roll along.
When I spot a shop and yard full of parts. Can we stop? I won't be long.
"No!" they say, "Chris, you'll have to do it another day"

"Cone on, please, I won't stay. I don't want to drive 6 hours of highway.
The town passes by, the shop slips from sight.
I tell myself It's not worth the fight
these people I realize, are a terrible blight.

If you bring your own car and stay in charge
your collection my friend, could be large.
So stay behind your wheel no matter how they feel.
You can shop and wander and decided when to have a meal.
This vacation? it was unreal.
End of my crazy poem.
I have been telling myself that there was never anything there and it would have yeilded nothing.
Every time I mess up and miss out on something I lie to myself and say something like "They wouldn't have had anything you'd be interested in anyway."
But my subconscious is no dummy, especially with my adventures and experiences so far.

MISC:   Bike ambulances! posted by: David on 7/24/2002 at 6:09:12 PM
From today's Times


AGE / VALUE:   old 3 speed, NOT English posted by: dave on 7/24/2002 at 3:25:31 PM
I spotted the '53 AW hub on this bike, the price was $5 so I bought it ... but it's a Schwinn, so I apologize for posting here if inappropriate but it would not make sense on the other groups either.

No model script visible, headbadge different than I have seen on other Schwinns -- the oval, but horizontal stripes on either side half way down, bulbous fork crown without any chrome top, Rigida rims (sticker still barely visible on rear), shifter has the plastic cover so not original (right?), generator still works as does the Miller front lamp, brakes are Weinmann ("Made in Switzerland"), levers
slightly different style than on '60s bikes I have seen, also stem is different than I have seen with raised center ridge. Paint pretty rough. My guess is the hub is original and the bike is a 1953 ... any other things to

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   old 3 speed, NOT English posted by Kevin C. on 7/24/2002 at 5:40:15 PM
It could well be a 1953 Schwinn lightweight. To find out for sure, check the serial number that is stamped on the frame, on the bottom of the crank housing, then check the serial number chart at this site. I have one that sounds almost identical to yours. The Schwinn "wing" headbadge is sort of cool, don't you think?

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: old 3 speed, NOT English posted by dave on 7/24/2002 at 9:04:42 PM
Thanks for the tip, I'll check tonight. Didn't "feel" like a lightweight, but does have drop bars.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: old 3 speed, NOT English posted by dave on 7/25/2002 at 1:45:17 PM
Serial number is on the left dropout - B09651, so probably the frame is from '53 or '52.
The frame is not lugged -- were these welded or fillet brazed?
Yes, the "wings" on the headbadge are cool ... I had not seen this type before.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: old 3 speed, NOT English posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 7/26/2002 at 9:10:20 PM
This could be a alloy shelled hub. Sturmey-Archer offered a alloy shell hub until 1954 and many of these Schwinns from this spot in time had a alloy shelled hub. Does the hub say alloy on it?
I have one of these bikes,l it's heavy but very cool and I have a locking fork in mine with the key!
Lovely fork on this bike.
This is a early Schwinn Traveler.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: old 3 speed, NOT English posted by Chris on 7/26/2002 at 9:13:20 PM
The headbadge is cool, I love the blue color. You did well moneywise.
Tires do not interchange with English. You will want EA- 1

MISC:   A Broke Brake. A Rotten Rod. posted by: P.C. Kohler on 7/23/2002 at 11:11:13 PM
It's my fault: buying foreign made 'NOS' parts (actually from this site): a replacement front rod brake assembly for the rusted original on my Rudge. All shiny chrome, looks close to the 'real' thing. Install it, tighten it properly, brake, pull the brake lever and 'ping', the rod pulls right out of the arch! No threads, if welded, it was welded by phantom welders. Busted. Broke. Worthless. So much for foreign-made roadster junk. So, I rummaged and found... a NOS Raleigh, Nottingham-made, Sheffield steel original in my treasure trove of bits and pieces. A bit shorter rod but it WORKS! And will doubtless continue to do so for 75 years. I don't know if the broke brake was Chinese, Indian or Pakistani made; either way I can sleep soundly this evening with the certain knowledge none of these countries' nuclear weapons can possibly work or threaten anyone!!

P.C. Kohler, content with a 100 per cent English Rudge (well French tyres!)

   RE:MISC:   A Broke Brake. A Rotten Rod. posted by Mark R. on 7/24/2002 at 2:23:55 PM
Oh Great! I just ordered an old Pakistani made roadster too! Dang, I suppose I'm in for some serious problems...

   RE:RE:MISC:   A Broke Brake. A Rotten Rod. posted by P.C. Kohler on 7/24/2002 at 3:32:51 PM
Hope not, Mark, but this was a classic! All that fiddling to install the new rod and stirrup, looks great. Apply the brake once and "POP" (it even made that cartoon-like sound!)... then I'm just holding two broken bits of potmetal in my hands marvelling at the whole thing.

So good luck to you. I think I hurt my Rudge's feelings with that Third World fitment anyway and she's much happier with her rod and stirrup from Nottingham, thanks very much.

If it makes you feel better, I actually had a frame fracture on my Nottingham-made DL-1; total separation of the seat tube at the crank. One call to my dealer and Raleigh air freighted a replacement from England, paid for the labour and were profoundly embarrassed all around. They paid to have the fractured frame shipped back to the UK for testing, saying it was almost unheard of! Lifetime guarantees meant something back then (mid 80s).

P.C. Kohler, with a wary eye on Pakistani and Chinese roadsters coming down hills towards him...

   RE:MISC:   A Broke Brake. A Rotten Rod. posted by Mark R. on 7/24/2002 at 5:18:08 PM
Well, it's OK either way. I only bought it out of curiosity because it was inexpensive. I will let everyone know how it goes regardless as a lesson/learning experience. I have seen photos of people riding these bikes in Pakistan for years, and I'm interested in seeing how well constructed one of the older models (like mine) is.

WANTED:   Looking for NOS 26" wheel fenders in black posted by: David Poston on 7/23/2002 at 8:55:08 PM
Where can I find some NOS 26" wheel fenders in black, preferably Raleigh brand? These are for a 1955 Raleigh Sports ladies I just received yesterday for my fiance. The fenders are alright, but they are bit bashed up.


   RE:WANTED:   Looking for NOS 26 posted by P.C. Kohler on 7/23/2002 at 10:04:14 PM
Mudguards, David, MUDGUARDS! Schwinns and Huffys have 'fenders', English roadsers have mudguards. eBay... eBay...eBay As a matter of fact I seem to recall some on offer recently. Of course you'll need to use the search words mudguards and 'fenders' but they are out there. New Old Stock usually. Pity you don't have a green Raleigh as I have that pair of green Sunbeam mudguards hanging about.

P.C. Kohler

   Apologies posted by David Poston on 7/24/2002 at 3:44:05 AM

Much apologies for the horrid subsitution of the word "fender" for "mudguard." A travesty indeed! It's a habit, I guess.... So mudguards it is, anyone have any 26" black MUDGUARDS? Thanks, Peter, for the correction.

   RE:WANTED:   Looking for NOS 26 posted by David on 7/24/2002 at 4:04:02 PM
Call them what you want. There was a collection of NOS ones on ebay a few months ago. I just sent a msg to the auction winner asking if he (she?) wants to sell some. I'll post the relevant details if I hear anything back.

   RE:WANTED:   Looking for NOS 26 posted by Mark R. on 7/24/2002 at 5:20:55 PM
Hey! I have an almost new front mudguard you can have if you like. You can just pay for the postage. You are on your own for a rear though, but it is a start.

   RE:RE:WANTED:   Looking for NOS 26 posted by David Poston on 7/24/2002 at 8:56:21 PM

Thanks for the gesture. Is it black with the ridged front? Brazed on flat stays or the wire ones? VVVintage says they have rear fenders, but only Phillips. These do not have the brazed on stays, unfortunately.


   RE:RE:RE:WANTED:   Looking for NOS 26 posted by Mark R. on 7/25/2002 at 2:28:43 PM
Yes, this is the type that uses rods to conect it to the fork tips.
If you don't mind painting your f..OOPPPSS! MUDGUARDS! Well I also have a pair of coffe colored ones that do have the brazed on stays. You can have them as well if you want for the postage.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:WANTED:   Looking for NOS 26 posted by David Poston on 7/25/2002 at 10:59:11 PM

E-mail me at constantine_dmitrich@hotmail.com with postage cost.


ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Brooks saddle tension adjustment on my Rudge posted by: David Poston on 7/23/2002 at 8:46:56 PM
My new brown B-66 is looking mighty fine on my Rudge Sports. The Proofhided leather just glows with the sheen of polished saddle leather. I've basically converted my Rudge Sports into a Rudge Superbe with headlamp, rear Pletscher carrier, and B-66 saddle. I took pictures of my Rudge this weekend, dressed in summer period custome. Whew! What a hot day it was here in Houston. I had to keep wiping the sweat from my forehead whilst standing for the picture. I'll try to upload the photos to my yahoo photo album soon for all to see. Took them in both sepia and in color.

I'm wondering how to go about tensioning the saddle. When I received it, it felt somewhat loose. Just pushing with my hand, it gives some. Seems maybe I should tighten a bit, and then let my butt loosen it? Is there a rule-of-thumb for proper saddle tension?

Much obliged,


   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Brooks saddle tension adjustment on my Rudge posted by David on 7/24/2002 at 10:43:07 AM
The reasonable advice I was given on the same subject was to tighten it just enough that my butt was off the wires. The special Brooks spanner does make it easy to turn the nut, but a regular wrench will do the job more slowly.

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Brooks saddle tension adjustment on my Rudge posted by David Poston on 7/24/2002 at 4:29:46 PM

Once you tighten, can you back, if too tight?


   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Brooks saddle tension adjustment on my Rudge posted by Mark R. on 7/24/2002 at 5:23:11 PM
For Gods sake don't tighten it just after riding, or if wet especially with sweat!!! It can ruin the saddle! Yes you can back off a bit if you've over done it.!

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raleigh Popular on e-bay posted by: Peter on 7/23/2002 at 12:26:27 PM
I was the lucky (only) bidder on the Raleigh Popular that was on e-bay and mentioned here last week.

In my experience it is unusual - it has a 26" DL-1 type frame - bolted up back stays, rounded fenders without a raised ridge etc., but 26" wheels.

I've never seen this set up in a catalogue. All the DL-1 series frames I've seen have had 28" wheels, all the fully brazed frames have 26" wheels.

I'd appreciate it if anyone can offer any information. I think it may be 1951. I am collecting it tonight - after I've seen it I'll report back.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raleigh Popular on e-bay posted by P.C. Kohler on 7/23/2002 at 3:26:45 PM
Peter, congratulations! I am pleased at least one of we nutters got this intriguing machine. As I said, I have a c. 1953 Raleigh catalogue for the UK and the Popular no. 1 is indeed listed. Only rub: has 28" wheels, 24" frame (gents only), freewheel standard (no AW hub). I thought that post-war Raleigh no longer made the larger 26" frames. You have a real puzzle on your hands (or soon enough). I'd be interested to know the serial number. We always tend to date cycles based on the easy to find date on the SA hubs, but as the Popular was supplied without this (except as an extra cost option), it could have been retrofitted at some time and thus be older than 1951.

Anyway, have fun with her and give her a good home. She must have stories to tell!

P.C. Kohler

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raleigh Popular on e-bay posted by David on 7/23/2002 at 8:42:45 PM
Didn't the seller refer to it as "Popular LIGHTWEIGHT?" I suspect the LW designation refers to the smaller wheels.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raleigh Popular on e-bay posted by Peter on 7/24/2002 at 10:28:21 AM
I've got the bike now and things are looking clearer...the serial number is L5130, which makes it possibly early 30s. 26" frame, 26" Westwood rims. It has an original-looking small transfer at the top of the downtube saying 'Popular Light Roadster', so that is the model.

I had another rummage through my catalogues last night and found something very similar in 1940. There is a 'Light Roadster', model 9, which has bolted up seat stays, 26" wheels and handlebars that bend forward then back. I was wrong the other day - a number of machines in this catalogue have bolted up back stays and 26" Westwood rims. These had disappeared by the 1947 catalogue.
The only difference on my machine is the frame size - in 1940 the max. was 24".

So how about this for a theory? The bike I bought was made in the early 30s, when a 26" frame was available with 26" wheels. Some time before 1940 Raleigh dropped the 26" frame size for 26" wheel bikes (through the years they tended to drop the 26" frame rather than add it). Then in 1951 the owner treated himself to an AW hub. Possibly in the spirit of modernity - Festival of Britain, Coronation year?

Does anyone know when the Raleigh 'Westrick' rim was introduced? there are none in the 1940 catalogue.

Regarding 26" frames, I have them listed in the 1948-9 catalogue with 28" wheels only.

The bike will certainly stay in my collection as 26" is my frame size. It needs a lot of work, but I think the original paint will hold up. I also bought the Rudge with the broken frame, for the sake of the bell and the rack.
The chap selling had been asked to dispose of the contents of a shed by his neighbour - luckily he knew they should not go to the tip.
regards, Peter.

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raleigh Popular on e-bay posted by P.C. Kohler on 7/24/2002 at 2:21:10 PM
Peter; thanks for the update! Your theory sounds plausible enough and the thrifty owner of this Popular invested £2. 10 s. for a Sturmey Archer AW hub c. 1951 and got himself a "new" cycle!

I am not sure when the Westrick rim came out. Another item missing from your machine is the "spearpoint" ribbed mudguard which I believe was introduced c. 1947 on Raleigh-Rudge-Humber on 26" inch wheel machines (not to my knowledge ever on 28" wheel roadsters); yours has the old square cut mudguards. So definitely pre-war.

Are you going to get the rims rechromed? I ask because I have no idea if this is practical or the cost. To me, it's more desirable that fitting NOS or replacements from other cycles because the rims are specifically marked and differ from year to year etc. Thus worth keeping with the original machine when possible.

Lloyds stocks new transfers for a "Popular Light Roadster" by the way. If your Popular is like most English cycles of the era, I bet that "hopeless" black enamel will rub out into something quite impressive. It's amazing stuff.

P.C. Kohler

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raleigh Popular on e-bay posted by Ben on 7/27/2002 at 1:05:20 AM
Don't y'all think this bike originaly had 28" wheels? The pix on ebay certainly made it look like there was clearance for them....

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raleigh Popular on e-bay posted by Ben on 7/27/2002 at 1:05:40 AM
Don't y'all think this bike originaly had 28" wheels? The pix on ebay certainly made it look like there was clearance for them....

   RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raleigh Popular on e-bay posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 7/24/2002 at 11:40:47 PM
I paid $675.00 and traded rare parts and gifted things up the wazoo just to even get the fellow to hunt for me at all and then I had to wait and wait and a lot of crap to put up with. The seller paid $250.00 and he marked it up to $675.00 for a 26 inch frame rod brake bike and it does not have the potential and character that yours does. Restore this, all the way to the hilt and be thankful that you can even get the decals for this model. With all the haunting I have done in this site, yours is the first "Popular" I have heard about or ran across and you never see these offered on e- bay so go for it and have fun.
These are only seen in picture books unless you live in a bubble in time and even then, you hear about them being thrown out into the trash.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raleigh Popular on e-bay posted by Chris on 7/25/2002 at 12:20:58 AM
It's easier and better to get the rims replaced rather than re- chroming them. It's expensive and it can peel and it won't match the other chrome work. Unless it is a old, unique rim I would replace it.
Something straight and true and conditionwise, new.

In past discussions we mentioned sources for new Westwood rims.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raleigh Popular on e-bay posted by Peter on 7/25/2002 at 11:02:31 AM
Thanks guys, for the input and encouragement.
On the matter of rims, I didn't realise the markings were significant. In my case I'm not sure either wheel is original, the rear wheel having a 1951 AW, and the front doesn't look very 'Raleigh' - it has black paint with red lining, (original) and the hub looks wrong - it has the same diameter all along - about 7/8th inch - and a flip-top oiler rather than the usual sprung clip.
I don't know the cost of re-chroming here but I have a friend in the car restoration business who descibes it as 'expensive'. I must ask him just what that means.

Must also get on to Lloyds and see about transfers. Enamel? yes, couldn't resist a trial cut and polish. Beautiful.

I did have a source (UK) for new Westwood 28" rims a few years ago - they were chromed steel, made in Holland - I bought a pair drilled 32/40 but they were not particularly good quality. I've yet to lace them up - saving them for the right bike.

I've moved towards preservation rather than restoration these days, but I don't have strong feelings either way.
Judging by the condition they are usually in when we find them, we are seeing them in a different light to their previous owners, and adding our chapter to their history accordingly.
Whatever we do we cannot destroy the quality and care that went into their manufacture.
I'm off on holiday for a couple of weeks now - I'll check in when I get back.

MISC:   Ashtabula cranks posted by: David on 7/21/2002 at 4:57:46 PM
This ain't no roadster, but maybe someone will know. My son has a very small-framed "Giant" MTB with a 6 1/2 inch one-piece Ashtabula-style crank. He is short and the crank arms are way too long. Wald makes a 4 1/2" one-piece crank. My Q is this: will the American inch-sized crank be compatible with the Taiwan-built bottom bracket? I don't want to take it all apart only to find that it's impossible.

   RE:MISC:   Ashtabula cranks posted by sam on 7/21/2002 at 11:12:17 PM
Should fit O.K.

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Phillips Fitments Catalogue 1949-50 posted by: P.C. Kohler on 7/21/2002 at 2:00:00 AM
I recently acquired, via eBay, a rather nice Phillips Fitments Catalogue c. 1949-50. This has all of their parts and accessories plus some delightful pen and ink illustrations highlighting Phillips products throughout the world.

Some of the more interesting pages, including rod brakes, handlebars and gearcases, have been scanned and may be found in the Yahoo Group "Roll Britannia" under Photo Albums: Catalogues


P.C. Kohler

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Indian Princess posted by: Ward on 7/20/2002 at 11:45:42 PM
My friend was just given an Indian Princess lightweight ladies' bike.
It is in great shape, except: missing the 3-speed (internal)gearshift and RH brake levers and cable assemblies.
I am very curious about the history of this bike, and possible parts sources.
I still ride my 1967 Collegiate Sport I assembled, new.

AGE / VALUE:   Burned, (not tanned) to a crisp, but hits paydirt!! posted by: (Traveling bike collector) ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 7/20/2002 at 6:09:29 PM
Been away vacationing for a bit. found the only shop in town, it's a hardware store, got into the basement with the fellow. the last seven packages of extra long gear trigger shifter cable was hiding in a box that was bound for another shop. I arranged a detour for these parts, picked up a StingRay cheap and got to look about and see what all they had. It was great and 1960's prices are always nice!

Boy, I should be bringing up a van and renting out bikes!

Besides, new territory to roam and hunt in is overdue with me. New competittion and new territory. I hope the locals are asleep! -fat chance! I know.

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Ladies Raleigh Sports w/Dyno posted by: David on 7/20/2002 at 1:13:36 PM

A little overpriced at $50, but only asking $15 shipping. In Hartford, nice blue color, unfortunately no chain guard.

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Record $$$? posted by: David on 7/20/2002 at 12:49:58 PM
What do you think is responsible for so much action on this 70s Triumph? The decal pix? The Huret speedo?


   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Record $$$? posted by Sheldon Brown on 7/20/2002 at 4:21:48 PM
Among the "B" line Raleigh brands, Triumph often commands a preimium because of the association of the name with Triumph motorcycles. The high bidders are most likely motorcycle fans.

Sheldon Brown

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Record $$$? posted by Sheldon Brown on 7/20/2002 at 4:22:45 PM
Among the "B" line Raleigh brands, Triumph often commands a preimium because of the association of the name with Triumph motorcycles. The high bidders are most likely motorcycle fans.

Sheldon Brown

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Record $$$? posted by Mark R. on 7/22/2002 at 11:50:57 AM
Maybe it's time to start thinkin' about moving some of the herd:-)

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Record $$$? posted by Ray on 7/22/2002 at 6:40:01 PM
Don't you think another contributing factor is that this bike is C-L-E-A-N and original.

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Record $$$? posted by P.C. Kohler on 7/22/2002 at 7:09:37 PM
True. District Hardware, Dupont Circle, Washington DC (one of the best friends of the many English three speeds in the area) has a delicious Raleigh Sports in ivory (and amazingly with nary a chip on her!) for $395. So maybe this extra clean Triumph is not overpriced especially when compared with the Asian made nonsense that passes for a bicycle nowadays.

Remember, too, that some of us city cyclists don't drive or own a car; I am a CYCLIST and PUBLIC TRANSIT user. Thus, we don't have the ready access to all these side of road sales and parking lot flea markets where some of you guys find the $10 wonders. Thus eBay, despite what some consider dizzying prices, is a godsend.

Oh... if you want to test the value of a Triumph, there's another nice one up on eBay this week.

P.C. Kohler, wishing he had bought a barnful of English cycles than invested in the stock market...

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   The Road to Perdition posted by: Gralyn on 7/20/2002 at 3:11:03 AM
I don't usually post on this particular discussion area - but I saw a movie tonight....The Road to Perdition ...with Tom Hanks...Throughout the beginning of the movie....this kid (Tom Hank's son in the movie) is riding this English Roadster looking bike. It looks like it has about 28" wheels on it....The movie takes place in 1931 - so I suppose the bike should be around a 1930 model or so. If anyone sees the movie and can identify the bike...I am curious to know.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   The Road to Perdition posted by Schwinnderella on 7/20/2002 at 5:33:03 PM
I believe it is a Iver Johnson,I am certain that at least the head tag is. Happy Collecting!!

WANTED:   twenty pump & superbe posted by: paul M on 7/20/2002 at 2:08:28 AM
i am searching for the pump that went with the raleigh twenty, folding bicycle. It is smaller than the pump found on other raleighs. It should be around 12.5 inches. thanks everybody.. also I have a beautiful 71 raleigh superbe. it is one of the deluxe models with the locking forks...but sadly no key. everything is original..still have raleigh tires, orig. brake pads. beautiful leather brooks saddle, dynohub gen..front and rear lights shine just as brilliant as the day they left the nottingham factory. this bike was obviously ridden very, very little. this gem lives in asheville N.C. If anyone is interested in a possible purchase or trade..email me...sorry i just wouldn't feel right about shipping it..but if you live near me,,ie:western NC,,maybe we could work something out...I would consider other english bikes..or especially i would kick my heels up to the ceiling for a mint raleigh twenty/folder. thanks...

   RE:WANTED:   twenty pump & superbe posted by Clyde on 7/20/2002 at 12:49:37 PM
Hey Paul M, You can get the Superbe fork lock re-keyed at a good locksmith who has the codes. You should see a stamped code in the chrome face (mine both start with NGN). My locksmith said the "book" shows the codes are for Raleigh bikes and British Leyland cars!

Someone nipped my AFA plastic pump while Folder was parked outside office. Prior to aquiring Folder, I had bought it in England. I had to find a schrader-fitted hose to replace the Woods-type when I got back to states. I'm still looking for a replacement, but have found some short sports-ball pumps that almost fit.