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Archived: English Roadsters

AGE / VALUE: He's my hero! posted by: ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 8/3/2002 at 4:47:02 PM
E- bay item #2125396994 Phillips Bicycle Pict Enamel Porcelin sign.

The seller rescued this sign from Kuwait City bicycle shop.
It was inside the wall!
And this is at $400.00 something too!
Beautiful sign and a kick butt story to go with it.

Not my auction, no relation to seller. But he just has to be a cool dude!

AGE / VALUE: 26 X 1 3/8 alloy rims to upgrade your Sports, Superbe, Beeston Sports whatever posted by: ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 8/3/2002 at 4:15:42 PM
I was amazed yesterday at the light, quick performance riding my Raleigh Gazelle with the alloy rims.I'm finishing up the front wheel to it now.
Sheldon offers alloy rims or try to scare up a set yourself locally.

   RE:AGE / VALUE: 26 X 1 3/8 alloy rims to upgrade your Sports, Superbe, Beeston Sports whatever posted by Stacey on 8/3/2002 at 5:15:06 PM
I couldn't agree more Chris! Those who MUST have originality shall suffer the hardship of steel hoops. Originality is fine for the museum/trailer queen... but if you're going to ride it (and that IS what they were made for, yes?) it's functionality for me, baby! Better yet, lace up a set of aluminum hoops (heaven's forbid) NON-Raleigh/British hubs and ride them, saving your original wheelsets for show or when you sell the bike.

But, what ever you do have fun doing it!

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: 26 X 1 3/8 alloy rims to upgrade your Sports, Superbe, Beeston Sports whatever posted by P.C. Kohler on 8/3/2002 at 10:50:35 PM
To each his or her own, but why this urge to take something original and wonderful like an English cycle, complete in all its various components and "of an age" and "improve" her with mod cons and foreign bits and pieces? Seems to me you wind up with what fills cycle shops today: foreign made tat with no character. As for "riding", you bet! I'll take on any of you modern alloy rimmed chaps with my made in Nottingham Westrick rims any day. My Rudge loves to pass the titanium and alloy nonsense that passes for cycles today.

P.C. Kohler, still rather Riding Awheel on Sheffield Steel lubed with SA oil of course.....

   RE:AGE / VALUE: 26 X 1 3/8 alloy rims to upgrade your Sports, Superbe, Beeston Sports whatever posted by sam on 8/4/2002 at 3:35:55 AM
And you'de like the 28"s in alum too!

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: 26 X 1 3/8 alloy rims to upgrade your Sports, Superbe, Beeston Sports whatever posted by P.C. Kohler on 8/4/2002 at 2:31:52 PM
How many out there have Raleigh-made stainless steel rims on their machines? These were available, it seems, in the late 1940s-1950s and standard fit on the "Superbe" types of Raleighs, Rudges and Humbers. Yet I don't see too many of them around or mentioned. My 1951 Rudge Sports De Luxe Tourist has them, 26" inch wheels. Were they also made in 28" rims? They are gorgeous rims and such a treat to have zero rust too!

P.C. Kohler

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Overhaul of an Eaton's Glider (Raleigh Sports) posted by: Mark Rehder on 8/3/2002 at 7:52:38 AM
Greetings all,

A while back I asked about an old Eaton's Glider I found. I learned from Sheldon and others that it is a rebadged Sports. Indeed, what had caught my eye about this one was the pointy front fender and general geometry. I saved it from a certain dumpster death, and stripped it down, removed most of the rust, gave it a Tremclad repaint, and rebuilt it. It has now been donated to our local recycles bike co-op (where I volunteer) and should hopefully soon end up in the hands of a local 3-speed admirer.

Details are at my website:

Details on my Sports, my Raleigh Twenty, and other bike stuff can be accessed from my homepage:


And I wish to thank all those who provide and contribute to this fine forum! Cheers, Mark

   RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Overhaul of an Eaton's Glider (Raleigh Sports) posted by Oscar on 8/5/2002 at 4:42:53 AM
You said the the Tremlon was soft. Does it harden after curing? I'm forever ready to paint a bike, but I'm taking a lot of information in, first.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Overhaul of an Eaton's Glider (Raleigh Sports) posted by Mark Rehder on 8/5/2002 at 5:44:17 AM
Oscar, a local amateur bike builder told me that Tremclad and the other rust paints are enamels, and will never cure to a very good hardness. He warned me that any bike painted with this stuff will not look great after a year or two of being leaned against lampposts and parking meters and whatnot. And I noticed as I was putting the components back on the Glider that the paint was easily scratched. I'm also told that you can't apply a clear coat over top of this stuff, as it will partially dissolve it and make a real mess.

But, these rust paints are certainly the cheapest way to make the frame look nice (just keep an extra can around for touch-ups, I guess). Otherwise, you are looking at painting the frame as one would a car. I've been told that perhaps a local body shop would paint one for you, esp. if they were already doing a car in a colour you liked and were going to have some leftover paint they could shoot your frame with.

Talk to your local bike shop, or even better, a local framebuilder, and ask their opinions. I guess the amount you spend on a paint job really depends how much the bike is worth to you!

Cheers, Mark

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Overhaul of an Eaton's Glider (Raleigh Sports) posted by Oscar on 8/4/2002 at 1:37:39 AM
Nice site and story, Mark. To the others, when copying and pasting, replace the ' in front of marker with a tilde in the web address.

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Overhaul of an Eaton's Glider (Raleigh Sports) posted by Mark Rehder on 8/5/2002 at 12:40:39 AM
Thanks for the kind words, Oscar, as well as the heads-up on the 'tilde' thing. I had forgotten that this site doesn't translate that little beastie...


   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Overhaul of an Eaton's Glider (Raleigh Sports) posted by Oscar on 8/6/2002 at 3:38:54 AM
I'm a spray can man, myself. My neighbor is building a bigger compressor, so I'm waiting to see what he figures out on a proper spray job for motorcycle tanks.

AGE / VALUE:    posted by: Mark R. on 8/2/2002 at 2:17:13 PM
Vis-a-vis a thought I had somewhere down the tread: how difficult would it be for some company to recreate an "english" roadster except made with "good" mountain bike technology? What I mean is you know: TIG welded alloy frame, rim brakes only there is a rod that links to the cross over mechanism, 3 or 4 or even seven speed hub, 700b or 27 in. alloy wheels with 1 1/2 tires, nice leather saddle either a Brooks or a Lepper, mudguards, the whole enchilada. What I'm thinking is that you could wind up with a really servicable roadster, rod brakes and all, that would be strong light, and very ridable, but wouldn't brake the bank.
Any thoughts?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by Tim Powell on 8/2/2002 at 3:43:47 PM
Hi Mark,
Yes you can get modern versions of roadsters made in the Netherlands, but not with rod brakes, you have to go to India for machines like that and they are pretty bad quality. I saw a 30" wheel machine in Holland that had the same geometry as a DL1 with a full oilbath chaincase, rear stand and a punched metal carrier. I believe the manufacturer was Urania. HAve a look at http://www.dutchbike.co.uk/Dutchbikes.htm thats as close as you are likely to get.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by P.C. Kohler on 8/2/2002 at 5:06:40 PM
And also the lovely Danish Raleigh roadsters! Very traditional but with modern fitments etc.

The issue has not product but MARKET. Cycle manufacturers know the essential truth about contemporary cycling in North America: sport & leisure. It's kid's stuff. It's weekend jaunts, mountain biking and that sort of thing. Or tearing up some placid cycle path in something Lance Armstrong would ride in some whacked out spandex outfit. Or two-wheeled terrorists called "messengers". What's it NOT is basic, transportation cycling. The sort of biking that is the forte of a roadster. And the kind of sensible person that cycles in this fashion. Like having mudguards so your clothing isn't filthed. Like having lamps on your bike for safe night cycling. Like having a bell on your bike. Like having a comfortable riding position. A prop-stand or kick-stand so you don't just throw your cycle on the ground like a gumwrapper. It's a matter of two parallel universes.

Always remember that even our beloved English three-speeds, outside of the DL-1s, had to be sold here as "English racers" or "Lightweight Sports".

So get thee to the Netherlands or Denmark and buy that gorgeous 21st-century roadster and ship it back here. You'll still be one of a kind on the street or bike path, just with a newer example of sane and sensible cycling.

P.C. Kohler

   RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by John D on 8/2/2002 at 6:51:20 PM
I've asked the Canadian company, Aerolite, the cost of producing a DL frame in titanium with an accompanying fork also in titanium. They have their frames made in China. David Du, Aerolite's manager, quoted US$699 for a frame and US$250 for a fork.

I have a rear 28-inch wheel laced to a Sturmey-Archer 3-speed hub with an internal brake and a front 28-inch wheel laced to a Shimano hub brake. If I were to add the other components I would (hypothetically) have a strong, lightweight frame, fork, hub brakes, internal three-speed -- all updated components. What holds me back, of course, is spending so much on the fork and frame. Nonetheless, a strong, updated DL clone is more than a possibility.

John D

   RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by Matthew on 8/2/2002 at 8:58:17 PM
Pashley. Pashley, Pashley, The Prospero and the Princess both roadsters both modern and both English. Check out their web site. A clone would only be a clone and the real thing is so rideable and so well built, why look for improvement?

   Pashley bikes: are they any good? posted by David Poston on 8/2/2002 at 10:35:42 PM
I've seen the Pashley bikes on the web. They are very nice-looking and traditional. Are these any good? Does olde English quality still apply today?


   RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by John D on 8/3/2002 at 1:01:06 AM
About Pashleys.

I bought my wife a used 1999 Pashley Princess (26-inch wheels) that for all intents had never been ridden. It is the lower end (if there is such a thing) Princess with a three-speed hub. I think the quality and craftsmanship are suberb. Moreover I like such updated features as hub brakes (no more singing in the rain), and use of lighter weight alloy components wherever possible. Full chaincase, wicker basket, skirtguard, you name it -- the details are wonderful. The only improvement I would suggest to Pashley would be that they use water slide decals. They don't, instead substituting pressure sensitive decals which I think cheapen an otherwise beautiful bike.

With a wheelbase of more than 44 inches, the ride is simply regal. I know. I've ridden it.

I also had a favorite DL. I know how heavy it is, and how iffy the rod brakes are (especially in the rain), which is why I have half an eye to the titanium frame clone I described above.

I commute on my DL about twenty miles a day on the towpath of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. It's (of course) flat. At the end of my ride, though, I face a steep hill about a mile long. I get off and walk. On my commute I have time to fantasize about a lighter bike with better brakes that would allow me to at least ride part of the way up the hill. Titanium everything. Maybe some day.

Until then, top-of-the-line for current English-style (and made) bikes remains the Pashley.

John D.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by John D on 8/3/2002 at 1:11:01 AM
I probably should mention that I paid $250 for the 1999 Pashley Princess used (in West Virginia). It appears never to have been ridden.

I realize that this column highlights those who have found great bikes cheap, and I admire all my colleagues whose collections are built on bikes acquired for nearly nothing. However, for an all but new bike of quality, $250 is a reasonable figure. I think nothing of what I paid for it as I admire the bike's quality and ride. I consider myself fortunate to be able to buy such a beautiful bike for a reasonable price.

John D.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by geo on 8/3/2002 at 4:23:04 AM
An English roadster that ISN"T STEEL. You call a mountain bike frame a GOOD frame. Blasphemy.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by David on 8/3/2002 at 11:38:36 AM
The last (and only!) mountain bike I had was a Japanese-built Specialized with a CrMo DB lugged frame. It was a pretty good bike; light & good handling. All mountain bikes now seem to be welded steel or aluminum. Are these frames "better?" Or are they just cheaper to make? Am I suggesting blasphemy, heterodoxy, or just plain apostasy?

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by geo on 8/3/2002 at 4:45:19 PM
I, personally would consider it blasphemy. However it certainly is another opinion, though I'd consider it ill informed. Of course if one were to make a rebellious departure such as you stated, one would hope that it would be in the name of progress, in which case I would disagree with your hypothesis. Taking any one ingredient from the formula can only alter and diminish. Just my heterodox opinion, Wordsworth. Geo (p.s. I must apologize for starting a sentence with a preposition.)

   RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by Mark R. on 8/3/2002 at 7:27:46 PM
Well! I guess I really started something! But, really what I meant was that I believe there is a market for a good quality roadster, and that regardless to other opinions a frame buit of alloy using technology similar to a mountain bikes would make building it very inexpensive. Personally, I have a Cannondale road racing bike made of alloy, and you can actually stand on the stays with out a wheel in the frame and it'll hold your weight (but don't try it just in case!). A traditionally made lugged frame would of course be absolutely top notch! But, I'm thinking that manufacturers won't ever make something like this again unless it is with some more modern machine made technology(God forbid they should have to actually PAY a human).
I still believe the idea is valid, and if I have the dough I'd do it meself.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by Fred on 8/4/2002 at 1:48:29 PM
We thoroughly discussed the topic of the feasibility and specs for an "American Roadster" a few years ago, that would bring the classic Roaster up to date in terms of materials, and componentry. The conclusion was that there was insufficient market in the US for such a product to be successful. Unfortunately as some one said above, the american market is BMX, and mountain bikes. I remember that my own daughter all but refused to ride a lovely, new yellow Schwinn because a lot of her friends had new 10 speeds which were all the rage in the early 70's. Nothing has changed, young people won't look at a Sports type bike. Instead, adult size teenagers will ride BMX bikes standing up because their legs are too long to sit while padeling. Most of these kids will opt for a tractor tired MB when they graduate from BMX even though most of their riding will be on pavement. Roadster or even cross bikes are not in it. On the subject of The Pashley and Dutch roadsters, It would be nice if they weren't so hard to get. We can't all go to Europe and air freight one to the US.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by ken on 8/4/2002 at 7:26:13 PM
P.C., I agree with your assessment of 'market' but not with your discounting of American cycling as transportation. In this town, lots of people ride who would otherwise be walking- and as often as not they ride used ten-speeds that were cheap knockoffs when they were new.

MISC:   S/A Display at LARS? posted by: Jim Barnard on 8/1/2002 at 11:38:40 PM
I am toying with the idea of setting up a small display of sturmey hubs and bits at the Lars Anderson show coming up. I am wondering if there is any interest in seeing and talking about these neat peices of history. I have a few NOS peices: S5, S5.1, S2, AB, SW, AW, SC and some neat used hubs such as an ASC and TC6 fixed 2sp. I am scared to death of theft and disinterest, in that order.
I will be displaying a number [between 25 and 45] of musclebikes dating from '64 to '79, so I will be there to watch them anyway. I do not think I will be able to set a sell table with all this going on.
I am by no means an expert on them, so I hope to learn more about these and to find out what others like in these hubs.
Any body else care?

   RE:MISC:   S/A Display at LARS? posted by Scott Ebersole on 8/2/2002 at 3:28:18 AM
Jim, I am very interested in seeing your display of SA components. SA represents a very important and interesting technology in the history of cycling. I plan to show a preserved 1947 Raleigh Sports Tourist. I think there are others who share our interest in these products of the past.

   RE:MISC:   S/A Display at LARS? posted by Drew on 8/2/2002 at 11:48:42 AM
Great idea, there are so many variables and interesting aspects to these hubs. it would make for lots of conversation, you may not have any time to talk muscle bikes!

   RE:MISC:   S/A Display at LARS? posted by martinH on 8/2/2002 at 9:07:52 PM
I will be there and I am interested in your hub display!

   RE:MISC:   S/A Display at LARS? posted by Rob in England on 8/3/2002 at 2:22:31 PM
Jim, nice to see you over here on the oldroads forums...
Dont suppose therell be any Choppers there will there???????

   RE:MISC:   S/A Display at LARS? posted by Jim Barnard on 8/4/2002 at 1:31:23 AM
I built the display board today. The hubs will be wired to it and the board can be locked to the table. If anyone sees a man running through the field with hub board and table in tow, please alert me.
Good news! I may have a 1914 "A" hub and a 1930's "K" to show, if the post is prompt!
And YES! I will bring a chopper 10, 5, SE, Sprint, 3+2, Girlie 3, pink 5, Tall 69 and The way early tall frame to mention a phew...

FOR SALE:   1952 Raleigh posted by: Ray on 8/1/2002 at 2:45:53 PM
Well I put this up a few days ago and still very low bidding. I think Ebay is dying or the economy is taking its toll. Take a look. Great for restoration of a real old classic bike.

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Vintage Hopper / Raleigh posted by: Chris on 8/1/2002 at 8:00:29 AM
Hi - I'm trying to find information about a woman's 3-speed vintage bicycle that was given to me. It says "Hopper" on the fenders but also has the Raleigh bird emblem in the chain ring and frame front. It has a Sturmey-Archer hub that has 53 9 on it, but under the seat on the frame there is 19 CI 44. The C is over the I. The rear fender says "Coronation Edition" and the drop tube says "Made In England." Any information on the history and value is appreciated. thanks!

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Vintage Hopper / Raleigh posted by Matthew on 8/2/2002 at 8:54:46 PM
I'm not too sure what you have hear but it might be a mixture. I can't recall Hopper cycles of Barton upon Humber being included in the Raliegh TI empire. Instead they were part of the Elswick / Townsend / Claude Bulter group. This still gives you a 50 year old cycle with mudguards from anothe rwhich may be older still. Or does anyone else, Sheldon, Christopher or Peter, know better?

   eBay: Vintage English Hopper / Humber 3 Speed posted by Chris on 8/13/2002 at 4:48:09 AM
Hello Matthew,
Thanks for your reply. It turns out that I looked to quickly and mistook the HOPPER letters in the chain ring for a Raliegh design. The front decal also says "Barton on Humber." Anyway, I decided to try selling this bicycle on eBay. Here's the link if you are interested:


AGE / VALUE:   O.K. To Lube Sturmey AW Hub With Grease? posted by: Mark on 7/31/2002 at 11:35:37 PM
I'm overhauling an old "Indian" (as in the old American motorcycle company) English three speed found in a debris pile destined for the dump. A search of this site, and a lot of evidence on the bike suggest that it was actually made by Phillips, and in 1953 according to the date on the hub. Despite it's shopworn appearance, a strip down revealed that the bearings throughout the bike have almost no wear. It's had little use in its 49 years of life.

My question regards lubrication of the Sturmey Archer AW hub. Both front and rear hubs, and the bottom bracket, have oilers on them. But, of course, I relubed the front hub and bottom bracket with grease. My question is, can the Sturmey AW hub also be lubed with grease, so that it's maintenance schedule can be reduced? And if so, what would be the appropriate grease to use? Would the axle bearings benefit from one grade of grease, while the ratchet and planetary gears get another? Or should I stick with oil?

Note that the entire hub is presently clean and bone dry, ready for whatever lube is best.


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   O.K. To Lube Sturmey AW Hub With Grease? posted by Drew on 8/1/2002 at 12:10:05 PM
I've always heard that a medium weight mineral based oil is best, such as 20w motor oil, tyhis is what I always use in my Sturmey Archer hubs. I think grease/lube is too thick and will prevent correct shifting of gears.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   O.K. To Lube Sturmey AW Hub With Grease? posted by P.C. Kohler on 8/1/2002 at 1:58:52 PM
Grease for axle bearings. Never grease for the gears. Ever. At least according to Sturmey-Archer manuals.

Harris Cyclery (the Sheldon Brown website) sells genuine Sturmey-Archer gear oil for $7.00. This is what you need. I know there has been lots of back and forth on this site on using all manner of substitutes: Singer sewing machine oil, 3-in-1 and 20w motor oil. Why on earth risk use these when the recommended oil is there for the taking? A $7.00 tin (well it's in a horrid plastic bottle now) will last what, four or five years? An English roadster is worth $1.50 a year in Sturmey-Archer oil. Trust me.

P.C. Kohler

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   O.K. To Lube Sturmey AW Hub With Grease? posted by sam on 8/1/2002 at 4:33:11 PM
The reason Singer sewing machine oil is recomended is because Singer is an English Co. and it's readly found in most places.cost is about the same as S/A.And as stated,cost should be of little importance because of the amount needed.For the work involved with the Indian or some of P.C.s classics I'd go with Sheldon's oil----sam PS lub the barring P.C. knows what he's talking about then add the "s/a" oil to keep the grease wet as you ride.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   O.K. To Lube Sturmey AW Hub With Grease? posted by P.C. Kohler on 8/1/2002 at 5:09:49 PM
Actually I just got SA oil from Harris the other day; it costs $7.95 not $7.00! And it's still "made in England". Just about the only SA thing still made there or is this old stock? I poured the new oil into my trusty 30 year old SA oil tin, the one with the really useful metal spout.

Speaking of tins, SA oil was packaged in a variety of tins for specific cycle manufacturers. I have a selection of these posted in my Yahoo Group "Roll Britannia" under Photo Album: Tools.

And yes, it's true: the bearings were indeed packed with grease even with the oiler fittings. The idea as Sam pointed out was to keep the grease "ginned up" I guess. But these English bikes love their regular spot of oil; the manuals are filled with lubrication schedules and what to lube etc. All I know is that with liberal dosings of SA oil, my '49 Rudge has been running like greased lightening and I haven't even opened up the hubs or bearings yet. I usually leave that to my cycle shop but, and Christopher Robin will hopefully approve, I am actually getting up the nerve to try it myself!

P.C. Kohler

   RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:牋燨.K. To Lube Sturmey AW Hub With Grease? posted by Albert on 8/1/2002 at 7:54:51 PM
Please keep the secret that SA hub oil is in reality 20-weight engine oil "repackaged" for SA.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   O.K. To Lube Sturmey AW Hub With Grease? posted by Mark on 8/1/2002 at 7:56:44 PM
Thanks for all the tips about lubing my Sturmey hub. I thought it might be salient to add something to this discussion regarding sewing machine oil. Characteristically, sewing machine oil has the ability to evaporate completely, without leaving a residue. On first consideration this might seem to be a disadvantage, but in fact it's a great advantage, because it allows the machine to be regularly oiled without becoming an oily mess. The trade off is that oiling has to be done regularly, though lightly. A sewing machine technician once told me that a newly serviced and properly oiled machine will need to be re-oiled again within a week or two, just before use, even if it's been left idle and unused since that servicing.

When I pointed out that the Sturmey hub on my Indian bicycle was clean and bone dry, I might have added that I didn't clean it. I opened it to inspect it, assuming that it would need to be cleaned, but it was already dry and immaculate. This condition contrasted markedly with the bearings throughout the rest of the bicycle, which had been lubed with grease, and where the grease had all but fossilized, requiring a lot of serious mechanical effort to clean it out.

The evidence would suggest that the Sturmey hub had originally been oiled with a volatile oil, like sewing machine oil, that had the ability to evaporate out completely, allowing the hub, like a sewing machine, to be regularly oiled over time without becoming an oily mess. This suggest to me that using the factory recommended oil is a prudent idea.


   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:牋燨.K. To Lube Sturmey AW Hub With Grease? posted by P.C. Kohler on 8/1/2002 at 8:37:24 PM
You mean it's really a Snake Oil con? Not bloody likely. After tranferring the contents of my plastic SA bottle into my vintage SA tin, I can tell you the odour of SA oil is sure unlike ANY motor oil I've ever smelled. It is NOT motor oil. As Mark surmised, it's closer to sewing machine oil by not "gumming". This is precisely why SA recommends that the hub be oiled "little" and often.

P.C. Kohler, marvelling at spending 100s on these bikes and finding any recourse not to spend $7.99 on a bottle of oil!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   O.K. To Lube Sturmey AW Hub With Grease? posted by mike on 8/1/2002 at 9:26:38 PM
Thanks for the info to cut through all this super mysterious English oil stuff, if 20W is good enough for a motor worth thousands, it's good enough for a Sturmey Archer hub. Just don't use any kind of vegtable oil, it will gunk up with time, 3 in one contains vegtable oil!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   O.K. To Lube Sturmey AW Hub With Grease? posted by Mark on 8/1/2002 at 9:34:15 PM
"If 20W is good enough for a motor worth thousands, it's good enough for a Sturmey Archer hub." (???)

Are you sure Mike? Would 20W be good enough to lubricate a Rolex watch too, as long as the particular Rolex cost less than an expensive motor? Sorry, but your argument makes no sense.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   O.K. To Lube Sturmey AW Hub With Grease? posted by David on 8/2/2002 at 1:09:10 AM
I think it's NOS whale oil.

   TO OIL OR NOT TO OIL, THAT IS THE QUESTION posted by David Poston on 8/2/2002 at 4:25:36 AM
I've been wondering whether I should try adding a bit of my SA oil to my front hob, headset, and bottom bracket. My mechanic greased everything but the SA hub about 3-4 weeks ago when I first got my Rudge, and he told me not to add any oil, because it would wash away the grease he just put in. But my Raleigh maintenance book c. 1960 reads, "Apply oil to these parts ONCE A FORTNIGHT

   TO OIL OR NOT TO OIL, THAT IS THE QUESTION posted by David Poston on 8/2/2002 at 4:35:10 AM
I've been wondering whether I should try adding a bit of my SA oil to my front hob, headset, and bottom bracket. My mechanic greased everything but the SA hub about 3-4 weeks ago when I first got my Rudge, and he told me not to add any oil, because it would wash away the grease he just put in. But my Raleigh maintenance book c. 1960 reads, "Apply oil ONCE A FORTNIGHT to these parts . . ." So I have been at a loss as to how to proceed. This afternoon, I called Sheldon Brown, and he said not to add oil for several YEARS if everything was just greased! Once you add oil, you have to keep it up, that I know for sure. Anyone want to comment on what I should do?

Speaking of Sturmey Archer oil, I also got a horrid plastic bottle from Harris Cyclery and was hoping to oil my SA hub, which I have not done since it came back from the shop. (I think they used Tri-Flow on it). I was eagerly awaiting this auction on e-bay for a splendid Sturmey Archer tin with the long metal spout. Well dammit! I missed the auction. (It ended half an hour ago). That's second auction I've missed in the past few days. I lost a NOS Lucas bell that was supposed to go on my fiance's 55 Raleigh Sports. We'll see how that goes over . . .

Well, now I'm out of sorts without a decent tin to oil my SA hub with. It's just going to stay dry till I can find a tin to oil it with. I mean, the thought using an ugly PLASTIC bottle on an old hub by Sturmey Archer! A shame indeed! (Well, aesthetics aside, the plastic bottle is far inferior to the tin, because it doesn't have the long spout).

--David, whose world is passing by on e-bay before he can stop it.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   O.K. To Lube Sturmey AW Hub With Grease? posted by Mark on 8/2/2002 at 5:16:28 AM
I had to look "fortnight" up in my dictionary. I'm sure every other Anglophile here already knew that it literally means "fourteen nights," i.e., two weeks. I'm just an American though. :)

Don't oil where grease has been placed. For most bearings on a bicycle, grease is a better choice because it lasts a long time without needing to be replenished. Also, the modern greases available to mechanics today are vastly superior to the ones available when these old bikes were conceived and engineered. They stay in place better, are more water resistant, break down and dry out more slowly than older grease formulations. The one exception on these bicycles, apparently, is the epicyclic hub, which still requires oil, about once every fortnight I'd heard!


   RE:TO OIL OR NOT TO OIL, THAT IS THE QUESTION posted by Warren on 8/2/2002 at 1:01:13 PM
How much did the tin go for? I think I've got a couple of them.

   RE:TO OIL OR NOT TO OIL, THAT IS THE QUESTION posted by P.C. Kohler on 8/2/2002 at 1:10:21 PM
David-- I believe your Rudge dates from 1972. If so, then there should be no way you could even oil the parts you mention. There is no oiler in the bottle bracket, possibly none in front axle and the only oiler in the rear hub is the essential one for the SA GEARS, not the axle bearings. So your mechanic is right: leave the hubs and bottom bracket packed with nice, modern, grease! Or get yourself a '49 Rudge and you can oil away every fortnight!!!

As for the tins, RELAX! Lots and lots of them on eBay. All the time. Not a lot of demand for the newer 60s ones anyway so I'd just put down a reasonable bid first time you see it and forget it. Chances are it's yours.

P.C. Kohler

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   O.K. To Lube Sturmey AW Hub With Grease? posted by Tim Powell on 8/2/2002 at 4:21:24 PM
I have used a light oil with PTFE additive in one of my FW 4 speed hubs as it was sticking and hard to change. Result, a smooth change and a silent hub that has given no trouble for more than two years. PTFE was not available years ago so Sturmey would not have tried it. We use PTFE in aircraft equipment that has similar small epicyclic gear systems with no trouble and it does not gum up the works either.

   RE:RE:TO OIL OR NOT TO OIL, THAT IS THE QUESTION posted by David Poston on 8/2/2002 at 10:44:40 PM

Send me an e-mail if you've got some tins. I'm looking for the good ones with the long spout. I think the last one I saw went for the neighborhood of $20 +. I'd be willing to give you something close to that for a decent one. I'm just tired of having to surf e-bay, and plus it's becoming an addictive habit.


   RE:RE:RE:TO OIL OR NOT TO OIL, THAT IS THE QUESTION posted by David Poston on 8/2/2002 at 10:48:32 PM
My front hub does have the metal oiler clip. I don't know about the bottom bracket or rear hub, and I probably wouldn't know where to look anyway. In light of these comments, I'll leave everything packed with grease.

Thanks all,

   RE:RE:RE:RE:TO OIL OR NOT TO OIL, THAT IS THE QUESTION posted by Sheldon Brown on 8/3/2002 at 1:08:23 AM
I _sell_ Sturmey-Archer oil...

...but I use, and recommend Phil Wood Tenacious!

Sheldon Brown

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:TO OIL OR NOT TO OIL, THAT IS THE QUESTION posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 8/3/2002 at 4:05:27 PM
It's about availability of origonal parts here with these older classics.
Can you get the first choice? original oil? Yes!
From Sheldon and wherever else we see it offered.
So do that. That's why we come here so often, looking for things.
I have a pal who is a jobber. He has seen it all, been there in person for years. I asked him specifically what to say on the group board here about this the other day.
He corrected me and I was surprised.
He said

"Sturmey-Archer oil only."
I replied that "it is hard to find" and he said "not with some looking" I mentioned Sheldon and he said "Bingo!"
The Sturmey-Archer oil is specifically blended for the hubs. 20 weight oil? yes. But still, motor oil is for motors. The Sturmey -Oil is for the hubs and in some way it's diffrent. We have not heard from any ex Raleigh/ Sturmey people who can school us on exactly on how the company packaged this oil or what is up with it's history. That would be neat to hear!
Grease or other oil can and will gum up and impede the pawls with the springs.
He mentioned the 3 in one oil will promote rust and he told about seeing rusted hubs from the use of improper lubrication.

I mentioned that I was recommending Singer sewing machine oil and that it said "Bicycle Gears" on the label. Singer oil was acceptable but stay with what Sturmey- Archer said. "Sturmey-Archer oil."
He didn't want to stand there and debate oil with me that day, but he said to find and use the proper stuff. Something mentioned about some product called "Black Gold" which I have not seen and he didn't carry but that's getting off topic again.

I say to get the Sturmey-Archer from Sheldon and be done with it. I'm not gonna evaluate Sheldon's future stock availability and I would just buy some and be done with it. It should be the best and first choice. Then the Tenacious oil because Sheldon recommends it and with Sheldon's experience that's good enough for me. I like the green Phil grease but that gotten hard to find in my area. The Singer oil has never hurt, but it's thinner stuff. It's easier to get but still, stay with the Sturmey-oil.
The magic thing with an enclosed gearcase is that it keeps it running in oil, grit and dirt free and the whole thing runs better with that chain protected and sealed away in oil. Sme thing for keeping the crank and bottom bracket rust free and running smoothly.
Looking through the old publications I never see oil discussed like we do here. They used the oil sold by the hub maker. The English cycle oil in the little tins.
We are in a time here where everything has changed! The whole cycle industry has been bulldozed and re-built.
Now this has all changed because everybody knows the new or newer S.A. hubs and other internal hubs are re-designed, grease using sealed hubs.

To heck with oil, really. I'm concerned with finding original bottom bracket cups, spindles, cones with spigots or shoulders to fit inside forks. Finding old stock before it gets heaved out and nobody gets to sell or enjoy it is first priority.
Saving the bikes themselves, finding them before the rest of you all here do!
I dunno, it's all hard to find. I never see it anyplace except for finding 3 tins at a house sale. So here on the net Sheldon has become the magic source for it. Lets not overcomplicate this and drive ourselves nuts.

The lesson I have learned is to stay away from aftermarket car parts. They can bring you grief. Recently I got burned on aftermarket c.v. joint that failed just after the pitiful warrenty expired and had to be re-done ($350.00) again and they won't do anything for me.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:TO OIL OR NOT TO OIL, THAT IS THE QUESTION posted by Chris on 8/3/2002 at 4:09:01 PM
I wish we could get original oil can diagrams and servise notes about oil posted here on the net someplace and so we could get past this issue.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:TO OIL OR NOT TO OIL, THAT IS THE QUESTION posted by Chris on 8/3/2002 at 4:15:36 PM
Phil Tenacious is great stuff. It clings. But- do we want that inside the hub itself? We don't want to impede the pawl springs. After the original oil someday is no longer available what will be the substitute then?
Probably Phil Tenacious in the green bottle?

   RE:RE:RE:TO OIL OR NOT TO OIL, THAT IS THE QUESTION posted by Warren on 8/3/2002 at 10:50:31 PM
David...your server mailbox is full...I'll try again in a day or so?

   RE:RE:RE:RE:TO OIL OR NOT TO OIL, THAT IS THE QUESTION posted by David Poston on 8/4/2002 at 5:31:44 AM

Try constantine_dmitrich@yahoo.com if my hotmail address is full. Sorry, my account is nearly overloaded and some damned junk mail can push it over the limit.


AGE / VALUE:   How I am rationalizing getting a Jaguar! posted by: ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 7/31/2002 at 12:01:32 AM
From now on, I keep a logbook of everyplace, and every person and everything I can jot down concerning every place I go with this stupid car.

This has been the second time I have had wheel nuts drilled and overdrilled onto the studs that holds the wheels on the vehicle. Couldn't change a roadside tire, can't inspect brakes, couldn't do the brakes, couldn't replace the tire.
Should not have had to tow.
Dealership cannot use a removal torch for fear or ruining wheels. He shook his head. It's $360.00 to start and if I need wheels? It gets more nasty, quickly.

You need to precisely know and be able to prove who and when this was done or it's on you and nobody wants to admit or much less pay.
Easier to shake your head and refuse to cooperate.
Parts have to be ordered, they're swamped.
If I can crack a joke over this (despite being obviously messed over) and they all laugh hysterically, then I should be taking this material to a stand up comedy routine. I was pretty good, actually. Otherwise there is nothing I can do.

Now I have to check with a torque wrench and fill out my journal every time I have anything done with wheels. Or learn to do everything myself.
I am getting burned on this adventure, big time.
The answer to all this is getting a Jaguar car with the hammer tool and the screw on type wire wheels!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   How I am rationalizing getting a Jaguar! posted by Jeff R on 7/31/2002 at 1:36:21 AM
Try using a product called ANTI-SEIZE by Permatex. Its a graphite paste. It works.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   How I am rationalizing getting a Jaguar! posted by smg on 7/31/2002 at 4:45:14 PM
Try getting a length of pipe (3-4 feet) that will fit over the end of your T-wrench, to provide more leverage on the nuts; technical term is a "breaker bar", I think. I started using one of these after hurting my back while wielding the wrench, and it works well. Caution: I once twisted off a wheel stud when tightening the nut with this setup!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   How I am rationalizing getting a Jaguar! posted by David on 7/31/2002 at 7:25:14 PM
The idiots love to use impact wrenches to fasten the wheels. NEVER! Always use a hand wrench WITHOUT an extension to tighten. It will be tighter when you go to remove it - how will you apply 300 ft lbs?

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:$860.00 could have been a real nice vintage bike posted by Chris on 7/31/2002 at 9:22:39 PM
The wheel/stud/nut repair bill was at $400.00 dollars. The idiotic dash light was a catalitic/fuel regulating computer that needed re-caliberating and watching too. That was $260.00, so I'm at $660.00 right now, plus the two $100.00 each tires. $860.00!
Why am I telling this? It is an example of how runaway repair bills and the many ways a bill with a car can be created. No bicycle ever puts you through all this.
People are slaves to the car. Not many folks really, really use a bike to commute to work, nor use the bike to shop, visiting friends, taking care of business. All using a bicycle?
They will run you down, you take your life in your hands. The little space alloted to a cyclist on the side of the road is thought of by a driver as theirs, leaving you with nothing.

It's a car, or the often late bus that passes you by because of the driver's mood that day. The bus is unreliable and you aren't safe to wait for it. You'll freeze waiting for it. The striped nuts is an example of how rare properly done work can be.
Trains? in the U.S.? It is a mess. Can you take a train in your area? really? To work and back? If so, you are lucky.
The roads are not safe to travel on even if you are driving. Potholes everywhere! People do as they wish, run a stop sign, speed, follow too closely. If you don't get injured or killed by some nut then someplace and someday you'll get a ticket and that may or may not be deserved. Points are higher, it's stricter.You cannot go racking up points no matter if you deserve it or not, it is not possible to allow. Anyways, you'll have to deal with all that too, and remember it is stacked against you. Well, lets just say you will have to swim against the current.
When they step down the speed signs quickly before you can adjust speed to match and they have a officer waiting there to nab you. That may be a speed trap. Those are fun to try to get out of. Good luck! I use a crosswalk like I am supposed to. I'll probably die using one. The driver is hunting parking spaces, eyeing shop wares or whatever. They are not expecting me to be crossing the street. I'll never forget the bus driver who snapped at a pedestrian. "This ain't Toronto lady!"

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:$860.00 could have been a real nice vintage bike posted by Ray on 8/1/2002 at 2:18:51 PM
Chris, I can sympathize with you. I live in NJ and there is probably not a more unfriendly place for cyclist in the country. No bike lanes plus everything you mention above. There is no easy train access for me to get to work. What trains we have are very expensive to use. I try to go riding a few times a week and you cannot avoid a congested road. I really don't mind drivers who are courteous to cyclists but there are a lot of bone heads out there. My latest fear is the drivers of some of the newer HUVs that have these side mirrors that stick out a lot more then they should. I have had one of these mirrors twice already brush my elbow as I was riding down the road. I don't think the drivers even know how far they stick out. Here in the NE the roads are narrow because horse and buggys did not take up too much space so structures were built close to the road. They cannot widen the roads, too many cars and no chance for a cyclist. I do a ride early each Sunday morning when I have half a chance at pedaling at high speed before I have to stop for something. I have a running joke with my friends and family here in NJ. If you can go up any street, even a dead end and make a K turn without someone bearing down on you trying to rush you so they can get by you are a very lucky person. Try it and let me know how you do. It is virtually impossible here in the northern part of the Garden State.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:$860.00 could have been a real nice vintage bike posted by sam on 8/1/2002 at 4:44:23 PM
I find in the older and poorer parts of town people are kinder to cyclest.Beware of mall crazy drivers in SUVs

FOR SALE:   Lovely Lucas Lamp posted by: P.C. Kohler on 7/30/2002 at 6:51:29 PM
English roadsters are great, but I admit to liking the 'fitments' and accessories every bit as much as the bikes.

Take a look at this prewar Lucas 'King of the Road' no. 270 dyanamo set on eBay:



Lamps and lighting sets are particular favourites of mine. They just 'define' a working cycle, one used for everyday transport instead of some recreational toy. Dynohubs are wonderful, of course, especially with the old style black/chrome lamps but some of these Lucas and Philips dynamo sets are just gorgeous.

'Tis the season for evening cycling as well. I am surprised (well not really) at how many idiots are out on the streets and trails at night without any lights at all. My Rudge and I will surely not be dipping our Dynohub headlamp to these night cloaked fools who, for want of £50, could have this swell Lucas dynamo set on their 28 speed what'sit.

P.C. Kohler

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Tire Slippage posted by: David Peterson on 7/30/2002 at 12:08:25 AM
I just started restoring a 1965 3 Spd Hercules I found hanging in the garage of my girlfriend's parents. The bike's in good shape but for a persistent problem: whenever substantial force is applied to the pedals, as when climbing a hill, the rear tire seems to slip out of a centered position and rubs against frame. I can't seem to figure it out and would appreciate any insight into a possible solution.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Tire Slippage posted by rickey@knowles bicycle shop on 7/30/2002 at 1:26:54 AM
the frame could be striped or not tight enough try a splined washer that might lock it down

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Tire Slippage posted by Jeff R on 7/30/2002 at 1:33:27 AM
The axel nut could have stripped or the threads on the axel could be worn. Make sure the washer with the flats that center the axel in the dropouts is in place.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Tire Slippage posted by Mario Romano on 7/31/2002 at 1:33:48 AM
Hey pal, try to check the rear rim of your bicycle, it maybe a bit "tortioned" or the nuts who locks the rear wheel could be loose or with it's "rosca frouxa" (nuts with little tightening capability)...

MISC:   HOW TO DETECT FRAME SOLDERINGS posted by: Carlos Nero on 7/29/2002 at 11:02:17 PM
Hey pals, everybody knows frame solderings turns an extremely rare bicycle onto a pile of unusable scrap, agree? Well, I and my physics institute developed a easy-to-use way for to detect frame solderings using simple an program computer. Copy and paste the bicycle photo at Windows-based Paintbrush program, now is only reverse the colors for see any soldering points at the frame! Usually, frame soldering points varies from soft to dark grey or anyone color except white (on black painted bicycles). Comments?

MISC:   My Raleigh Roadster posted by: Mario Romano on 7/29/2002 at 10:56:10 PM
I recently bought an Raleigh Roadster and, surfing by the web, I saw Sheldon Brown 1954 Raleigh Superbee Roadster homepage at http://www.sheldonbrown.com/superbe54.html. The Sheldon Brown's bicycle is equally to mine Raleigh Roadster, except the chain guard (missed!) and dynohub. My Raleigh Roadster have 28 inch wheels (32/40 spokes), rod-operated brakes, B-66 saddle and all parts still original from factory. On the future I thinking in put a photo from this bicycle at my homepage at www.romanao.cjb.net.

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   What's Wrong With This Picture? posted by: Ben on 7/29/2002 at 1:22:12 PM
Well, I bought and built up a NOS 1950 FW for my Phillips roadster and it seems to be working OK except for one thing...It takes a brutish amount of force to get it into the lowest gear, certainly more than intended. In 1st gear the gear cable is tight as a piano string, I'm thinking it will break under the stress.

I am using one of the "3 or 4 Speed" triggers, which has an unusually long throw from 2nd to 1st gear, but I understand they may all be this way. One last bit of evidence: in 3rd gear, the clicking is erratic. But, everything works.

I am considering taking down the hub this afternoon to make sure it was assembled properly. Anyone have any experience with this problem?

Thanks in advance,


   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   What's Wrong With This Picture? posted by smg on 7/29/2002 at 5:34:17 PM
Sounds exactly the same as my 1948 FW, which came as something of a shock when I got it 6 months ago. The shift technique that works for me is to hold the shift trigger back with steady pressure while pedalling slowly ahead. In a few revolutions, you'll feel the hub drop into lowest gear and at that point the trigger will hold in the first position. Lowest gear is not available on short notice!

The correct adjustment is found with the left-hand indicator rod flush with the axle end. If the hub goes into first gear easily, that means the adjustment is wrong for the other gears - a typical consequence being that the hub softly and soundlessly drops from third to second gear, which is at least as disconcerting as a slip. If you expect to seriously need lower gears and like internal hubs, I would suggest looking for a 5-speed - S51 or S52 by preference. These shift very easily using two 3-speed triggers, which is the setup I have on my commuter bike.

I've come to like the FW best as a medium-ratio 3-speed gear for basically level going. I've been riding an AM medium-ratio 3-speed, and find it to be a little too narrow given that nowadays I need a gear no higher than about 46" for starting. I never really liked the wider range of the AW, and the top 3 gears of the FW seem to be spaced just right.

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   What's Wrong With This Picture? posted by smg on 7/29/2002 at 5:36:38 PM
Addendum: That's with the indicator rod flush with the axle end in 2nd gear.

   RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   What's Wrong With This Picture? posted by smg on 7/29/2002 at 7:40:29 PM
Erratum (Argh!) - It drops from third to second gear.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   What's Wrong With This Picture? posted by smg on 7/29/2002 at 7:41:58 PM
THIRD to SECOND gear! Finally said it right!

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   What's Wrong With This Picture? posted by smg on 7/29/2002 at 7:44:45 PM
Second . . . to Third. There. Hope that series of verbal pratfalls was good for a laugh or two!

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   What's Wrong With This Picture? posted by Jeff R. on 7/30/2002 at 1:02:49 AM
The early FW 4-speed requires a lot of force to get it into first gear. Later on, they changed the springs in the 4-speed hubs, and the later hubs shift with the ease of a 3-speed. The older hubs can be updated with the newer springs. I don't have the part numbers readily available, but they were sold as a kit. It makes the FW Hub more enjoyable. I have 2 FW Hubs from the early 50's that were converted and they shift as easily as an FM or an FC Hub.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   What's Wrong With This Picture? posted by Ben on 7/30/2002 at 5:04:57 AM
As always, the folks on this list are the greatest...thanks for all the great advice and information.


ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   '61 Sports on Ebay posted by: David on 7/29/2002 at 1:22:02 PM

Looks like regular Sports geometry, but full chain case, rod brakes. 26" tires, 23" frame acc to seller.