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Archived: English Roadsters

AGE / VALUE:   Rudge Whitworth 1956 3 speed Item # 1859903113 posted by: Michael on 9/21/2002 at 5:29:11 AM
This isn't my auction and I have no connection to the seller but I thought this might be of interest to someone. I'm in the process of buying an older Rudge and found it searching for photos.

AGE / VALUE:   Stainless steel rims posted by: humberchristopher28@hotmail.com on 9/20/2002 at 8:39:15 PM
Question: Is it possible to take a old rim in and instead of having it re-finished in nickel or chromium plate have it re-finished in stainless steel?

This would solve the problem of not finding a stainless rim Remove the chrome plate and dip it in stainless steel.
There is no way to do this, is there?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Stainless steel rims posted by sam on 9/21/2002 at 1:08:22 AM
stainless is a steel process not a coating.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Stainless steel rims posted by Chris on 9/21/2002 at 6:00:34 PM
There is no way to re- process a steel rim into a stainless steel rim then.
I thought I was wrong about it- thanks.

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Axle length posted by: Oscar on 9/20/2002 at 8:42:25 PM
What axle lengths are available for an AW? I'm building a 27" wheel with an AW, but the frame's dropout spacing is 120mm. I'd rather have a longer axle than compress the frame.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Axle length posted by David on 9/21/2002 at 11:54:58 AM
The two axle lengths are 146mm and 163mm. But you should have no problem installing the AW in a 120mm-spaced frame (with appropriate spacers) as the standard over-locknut dimensions are 113mm and 117mm. Try measuring again.

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Axle length posted by Oscar on 9/22/2002 at 12:58:26 AM
Thanks, David.

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raising handle bars -- help! posted by: Michael on 9/20/2002 at 4:12:51 PM
I'm trying to raise the handle bars on a new project...bike is from late 60's, early 70's...standard bars, they're all the way down...frozen...bolt loosens up fairly easily, unscrews out nice and far, but post/bars won't move...need help ASAP before the weekend!

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raising handle bars -- help! posted by Michael on 9/23/2002 at 9:57:30 PM
Handle bars are loose!! Thanks to everyone for all the advice!!

I loosened the bolt a little bit, then put a block of wood on the bolt and gave it a soft but firm whack...and the wedge inside slipped off, I could almost feel and hear it...the bars then were easy to raise up...

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raising handle bars -- help! posted by Andrus on 9/23/2002 at 11:37:11 PM
Well, for the record, and so there won't be "suspense" and to finalize this little thread, I thought I would report, that Michael said the first method listed above worked and that he placed a woodblock on top of the stem, when he whacked it. You know, I probably wouldn't write this, but read, in the above disclaimer of this site, that the OldRoads.Com site is not responsible for bad advice. In this case, it worked out ok. Just for info, I know, there is bicycle advice, repair websites out there. One with rather lengthy directions, I have not really applied, is Park Tool. For books, various, Glenn's? or Sloane's are ones I've used and when one is repairing a bicycle, by gosh, the web isn't the same as having a book, smudged pages and all.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raising handle bars -- help! posted by Andrus on 9/20/2002 at 4:49:01 PM
I doubt if it is this; but did you pull out a soft headed hammer, plastic or rubber, bang on the top of the stem? Somehow, some bikes were made, it took a jolt to loosen it. I had problems with the stem of one bike, also, I poured gobs of lubricant (in this case WD 40, but only cause it was handy, I am sure, many things would work well.)

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raising handle bars -- help! posted by Mark on 9/20/2002 at 7:47:54 PM
Did you loosen the wedge at the bottom of the stem, by backing the stem bolt out a few turns and whacking it with a mallet or hammer? The wedge usually needs to be driven out. Merely loosening the bolt, or removing it altogether does nothing the release the wedge.

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raising handle bars -- help! posted by humberchristopher28@hotmail.com on 9/20/2002 at 8:09:38 PM
Flip the bike over on it's back, remove the front wheel, remove the front mudguard(fender) and get a narrow screwdriver or rod and punch the stuck wedge forward and loosen it up. Try to get the wedge re-screwed into the bolt and work it loose as normal. Go at it from the bottom.
Good Luck

   RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raising handle bars -- help! posted by Michael on 9/20/2002 at 9:37:57 PM
Thanks to all that responded...learned a few key things...I will try your tips this weekend! Hopefully, I can get the bars moved up...


   RE:RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raising handle bars -- help! posted by Andrus on 9/21/2002 at 8:07:27 AM
As I emailed Michael, I can not emphasize enough, I want his bike, or his investment to be safe, and it seems like common sense, you need to whack the top of the stem, but as bicycling repair books may tell you, I think, I have seen, the need for a soft hammer or maybe I even read, putting a towel over where you strike the stem. Again, this seems common sense, you don't want to hurt the metal, but merits being said. The wedge, as one of the participants mentioned, is what you are after. I don't quite understand, the mechanics, that the jolt loosens things up, but that is what happens. Maybe the narrowness of the tube. What is important, is to keep the bike free from any harm. How many times, does one find that out after? So, hoping you got the email.

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   What can you tell me about Gazelle posted by: Wes Kinsler on 9/19/2002 at 11:45:31 PM
I saw a Gazelle bicycle in a local shop today and I am considering buying it. It has 28" wheels, fenders, rod-operated hub brakes front an rear, and is a three-speed. I believe the rear hub is a Sturmey-Archer AB. Not shure about the front hub. I am going back Saturday to look at it more closely (it's place in the shop is hanging high above from the ceiling) The asking price is $100. Would this machine be a good rider? Is Gazelle an English or French brand?

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   What can you tell me about Gazelle posted by P.C. Kohler on 9/20/2002 at 1:34:57 AM
That sounds like a Dutch Gazelle not the Nottingham-made ones (sold as a low-cost model by Rudge dealers c. 1940s-early 1960s). $100 is a very fair price for what sounds like the class Dutch roadster. You should find a date stamp on the hubs which will give you an idea of her age. And there should be a country of manufacture somewhere: headbadge usually or mudguard transfer. If she was made in Nottingham, it would say. A badge of quality not kept secret! But there is nothing wrong with a Dutch-made Gazelle; their biggest cycle brand.

P.C. Kohler

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   What can you tell me about Gazelle posted by Peter on 9/20/2002 at 7:57:22 AM
Rod-operated hub brakes and a 3 speed would make this a top of the line Gazelle. I saw much lesser bikes asking 110 euros second-hand in Amsterdam. Typical would be single speed, coaster brake, no front brake. I learned yesterday the Dutch call them 'omafiets' - granny bikes! Snap it up.


   RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   What can you tell me about Gazelle posted by humberchristopher28@hotmail.com on 9/20/2002 at 3:25:23 PM
Snap it up before you're too late.

WANTED:   Looking for Raleigh Tourist DL-1 Rod Brake posted by: Keith on 9/19/2002 at 7:16:36 PM
I'm looking for a black Raleigh Tourist DL-1 with the rod braking system (or similar model if it exists). Actually looking for slightly beat-up men's version, since a great condition one is probably too expensive, but try me anyway. I'll consider anything. Thanks.

   RE:WANTED:   Looking for Raleigh Tourist DL-1 Rod Brake posted by Fred A on 9/20/2002 at 5:38:00 PM
Hi Keith......

I might have exactly what you're looking for. It's now one of my "projects in waiting", so I'm still undecided as to sell it or keep it for down the road. Tall frame and it's all there...except for the shifter cable that snapped. 100% original from 1971. If you're interested, I can take some digital shots and email them to you. Bike needs work, and even has a license plate attached to the rear fender (drilled in, though) from Nantuket Island where it was purchased new (dealer sticker is on the frame).

Email me at fappel@optonline if you're interested. As far as price goes......"make me an offer I can't refuse".

Fred A

   RE:RE:WANTED:   Looking for Raleigh Tourist DL-1 Rod Brake posted by Fred A on 9/20/2002 at 5:39:45 PM
Whoops........email is


   RE:RE:RE:WANTED:   Looking for Raleigh Tourist DL-1 Rod Brake posted by Jim P. on 9/21/2002 at 12:50:15 PM
Just get one with good rims. Rough, rusty rims will devour those expensive, hard-to-find brake blocks and rechroming will cost more than the bike is worth.

   RE:WANTED:   Looking for Raleigh Tourist DL-1 Rod Brake posted by David on 9/21/2002 at 11:21:50 PM
Though a lot of people have boxes of those brake blocks (like me). Far more than a lifetime supply, but they're a pain in the neck to install.

   RE:RE:WANTED:   Looking for Raleigh Tourist DL-1 Rod Brake posted by John B. on 9/25/2002 at 2:12:51 AM
So glad to hear you have a big supply, David.

MISC:   report from Japan posted by: David on 9/19/2002 at 3:32:48 PM
I just got back from a trip to Japan and thought readers might be interested in a little more info on Japanese bikes.

As someone posted a few months ago, the great majority of Japanese bikes are step-through framed models with single-speed freewheel hubs and roller brakes. Most of the newer ones are welded lugless frames with cotterless cranks, aluminum wheels, stems, and bars. Even the older ones seem to have the cheapo flattened-tubing spot-welded rear dropout assemblies. The gearing incorporates very small sprockets; maybe 32 teeth for the chainwheel. The cheap construction pays off though, as prices start around $100. Most have front tire-driven dynamo lights and front baskets. Some odd tire sizes are used; 24 x 1 3/8 and 26 x 1 3/8 (the usual "Sports" size) are common and there are some 27 x 1 3/8. There is a fair number of small-wheeled bikes; some folding and some not. Some of those have derailer gears, most are single speed. There are a few mountain bikes and lightweights, mostly ridden by enthusiasts (and in the street instead of on the sidewalk). There are some bikes with dynamo hubs, among them Shimano, Sanyo, and Pioneer. There are some bikes using toothed belts instead of chains. And there
are some electrically-assisted bikes with a big Ni-MH battery pack behind the seat tube and a big rear hub with a motor in it.

   RE:MISC:   report from Japan posted by Mike Slater on 9/20/2002 at 1:29:20 PM
Not sure what you mean by roller brakes?? On my last trip to Japan (Osaka) I found that at least 95% of the everyday bicycles used a "band brake" in the rear. You never see band brakes in the US. My hosts were quite surprised when I got down on my hands and knees to inspect the rear brakes of bicycles! They probably thought I was nuts!

   RE:RE:MISC:   report from Japan posted by humberchristopher28@hotmail.com on 9/20/2002 at 8:14:51 PM
Roller brakes are the same as rod brakes. Roller lever rod brakes. Same thing. Band brakes are neat, the tricycle with the diffrental in the back end had band brakes. They worked rather well, but to me who was not used to them I found it quirky. The quality of the trike's brakes was weird. Functional but still cheap in a strange way. Band brakes are indeed seldom seen in the U.S.A.

   RE:MISC:   report from Japan posted by David on 9/21/2002 at 11:44:38 AM
Shimano refers to their product as a "roller brake" (on their web site) but it appears to be the same thing as what is called a "band brake." What we call "rod brakes" are unusual in Japan, even on postal bikes (but they have particularly fine leather saddles similar to a Brooks B73).

   RE:RE:MISC:   report from Japan posted by Chris on 9/21/2002 at 6:02:17 PM
The terminalogy is diffrent in diffrent countries then.

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Dutch rims and tyres posted by: Peter on 9/19/2002 at 7:57:18 AM
Just back from a business trip to Holland...did'nt get time to find a bike shop, but from looking at many bikes in the street I noticed the following : -

Typical tyre size marked 28" by 1 1/2".
Tyre manufacturers Vredestein, Cheng Shin Tyre, 'On Tour' (not sure who makes this last one).
Almost all tyres have a white stripe (which looks reflective) about 1/4" wide on the side wall.

Rims are stainless, raised centre, Raleigh style, (some with milled edges for brake grip), or alloy, more of an Endrick pattern and probably a modern size, spoked 36/36 from observation.

Brakes are invariably hub - either rod operated from the handle bars, or coaster. I saw no rim brakes at all.
I also saw no more than 8 white tyres out of several hundred, and all of these were very old, so it looks like they are a thing of the past.

I'm not at all sure the rims would be any use to us, partly the 36/36 drilling, but also they are clearly not designed for pull-up rod brakes.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Dutch rims and tyres posted by Peter on 9/19/2002 at 2:13:14 PM
....further to the above, I have today checked the details of the compant where I bought my rims. I got a pair of new 28" chromed steel Westwood rims drilled 32/40 from: -

Chandos Hub and Rim, (also knowns as Bakers Bikes)
Unit 11 Southmill Trading Centre,
Bishops Stortford

Local Telephone numbers 01279 758 718 and 01279 658 991.
They have no website or e-mail, but I believe the second phone number is a fax.

The price of a pair of rims is £36 (pounds) plus delivery, delivery being £20 to £25 (pounds) to the States for one pair, less per pair for bulk.

The rims are actually Dutch, made by Van Schothorst. I have to say in all honesty that the quality of the chrome is not exceptional, and the spoke holes appear to be drilled after the rims are plated which looks like an invitation to rust, but I know of no other source of these rims at present.

I don't know if this info. will be of use to anyone but thought post it anyway, leave no avenue unexplored. I've no connection with the company other than as a customer.

Anyone wants me to ask them a question, post it here and I'll phone them locally.


   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Dutch rims and tyres posted by P.C. Kohler on 9/19/2002 at 3:53:05 PM
Extraordinarily helpful Peter... many thanks indeed!

Perchance are such rims available in stainless steel?

P.C. Kohler

   RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Dutch rims and tyres posted by Peter on 9/20/2002 at 7:52:26 AM
Sadly they don't do stainless steel. They don't do 26" Westwood either, which is what I am after at the moment.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Dutch rims and tyres posted by Warren on 9/20/2002 at 12:33:06 PM
Check the bead on these rims...many of the 28" rims are 622 mm...smaller than the Raleigh 635 mm size.

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Dutch rims and tyres posted by P.C. Kohler on 9/20/2002 at 3:04:30 PM
Warren-- I have one of these Dutch-made Westwoods on my DL-1; the bead seems the same as the Sturmey-Archer originals. Well as least "eyeballing" looks the same.

Chrome quality is "ok"; this would be more of an issue if one had a 1950s machine with that exceptional blue-tinged heavy chrome. Mine is c. 1978 so the original chrome is again "ok" but nothing like the old stuff. Indeed, the chrome is worn down to steel on the original rear rim. All the more why I just wish we could get these things in stainless steel.

P.C. Kohler

   RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Dutch rims and tyres posted by Warren on 9/21/2002 at 1:53:05 AM
I just mention it because I have a Batavus roadster with the smaller 700's. Not long ago, someone posted a website for ordering Dutch rims. It was comprehensive and included most of the rims we use. Anyone have that URL handy?

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Dutch rims and tyres posted by David on 9/21/2002 at 5:44:30 PM
Are you after the Mavic web site, www.mavic.com? It has links to zillions of different sizes, but I don't think it has ordering.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Dutch rims and tyres posted by Tim Powell on 9/23/2002 at 10:18:03 AM
http://www.rigida.com/anglais/v_acier.html I think this is what you want?

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   WHAT'S THE CORRECT FENDER ORNAMENT? posted by: Mario Romano on 9/18/2002 at 11:38:54 PM
Dear Friends,

I needing information on the kinds of fender ornament originally fitted at the english roadsters as Humber, Raleigh, Phillips and Rudge.
Until now I gathered some fender ornaments descriptions from my own bicycles, see below!

MY RALEIGH: a metal flag longitudinal to the bicycle's frame. Made of some kind of metallic sheet.
MY HUMBER: a kind of bullet (longitudinal to the frame) inside a circle (transversal to the frame), made of aluminum

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   WHAT'S THE CORRECT FENDER ORNAMENT? posted by sam on 9/20/2002 at 2:26:22 AM
Mario,this is a good question.Did raleigh ,rudge,humber ever use finder ornaments?German roadesters did as well as Fuji(japan)and didn't I see a winged hercules ornament on ebay once?And bike shops sold ornaments in the 30s to be added to any bike.but would these be proper for an English bike?Good question!

AGE / VALUE:   Aw C'mon; Dunelt posted by: Andrus on 9/18/2002 at 5:51:54 PM
Found a woman's Dunelt, 3 speed, one can purchase, not much, and did the research, Raleigh purchased the company, it looks like about, as I found in the archives about 1962. Don't feel the need to add one more bike, it is blue with some white fenders, I think, looks very classy, calls itself a lightweight, maybe even English lightweight. Read the comments, it is a mid-range bike...etc. etc.

WANTED:   Raleigh pattern rim posted by: Bruce on 9/18/2002 at 1:09:34 PM
I am looking for a Raleigh pattern wheel and/or rim for a 1954 Humber.

   RE:WANTED:   Raleigh pattern rim posted by Bruce on 9/18/2002 at 1:12:30 PM
The above wheel rim needed is for the front!

   RE:WANTED:   Raleigh pattern rim posted by Bruce on 9/18/2002 at 1:12:47 PM
The above wheel rim needed is for the front!

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Will pay for old-style rear mudguard reflectors with black housing posted by: David Poston on 9/18/2002 at 5:31:51 AM
I've been told I need the rear mudguard reflectors with the black rubber housing, not white, for my pre-war restoration project. I am willing to pay for some in good used condition. I need two right now.

Send me an e-mail if you have any.


   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Will pay for old-style rear mudguard reflectors with black housing posted by James P. on 9/19/2002 at 10:52:31 PM
It might be easier to paint a white one.

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   tire and rim size posted by: claudio on 9/18/2002 at 12:53:02 AM
Can I safely fit tires made for 575 rims on a 559 rim?
Does that also mean that my bike's rims are 16 mm narrower than the tires?

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   tire and rim size posted by Warren on 9/18/2002 at 2:18:44 AM

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   caliper brakes posted by: Claudio on 9/18/2002 at 12:50:54 AM
Why is it that I cannot get both calipers to grab rim at same time? (weak, or worn cables?)

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   caliper brakes posted by Warren on 9/18/2002 at 2:21:07 AM
If adjusting the centre position of the brake won't work, try bending the return spring on the "early" arm to give it more tension.

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   caliper brakes posted by Jeff R on 9/18/2002 at 12:07:01 PM
Stand behind the bike and slowly squeeze the rear brake. You will see the left side caliper will move first and touch the rim then the right will start to move. Watch the cable. The cable that connects to the left caliper will pull up untill the caliper touches. Then the sheath that connects to the right caliper moves down the cable till the right caliper touches. The reason for this is the sheath is stiff and fastened to the crossbar and puts resistance to the right side caliper. The right side then pulls against the left side to over come the resistance. The important thing is do they both retract and center them selves. You can center them by adjusting the spring. The front brake is not affected as much as the cable is not attached to anything.

AGE / VALUE:    Tales from the land of misfit parts posted by: humberchristopher28@hotmail.com on 9/18/2002 at 12:09:30 AM
Misfit as in only one and not a pair. Unmarked as far as size I would be guessing if not for the paper tag that fell apart im mu hands.

Radelli (Italian made ) Westwood variation. Westwoodish lest say. 36 hole 26 X 1 1/2 chrome steel rim. Only one but it's new. It was asking (in Italian) "When you a gonna builda me up and ridea me Eha??

The other is probably 28 X 1 1 /2 Radelli also. No tag but is's larger than the 26 and so is 28 something.
Now the bike these go to would have been nice. One day I hope to see an Italian roadster bike with the rod-a brakes. I got all grabby/greedy and took everything that day in long ago Canada. I have a enclosed chainguard slide piece from my Umberto D.E.I. roadster that I did not keep. I hated it, the rod linkage that was hidden inside the handlebar and them broke. It was single speed and I converted it and finally it went somewhere. I don't remember it's fate. Yes, that one did not get sold quickly enough. These go up to $1000.00 today for a good one.
All that remains is a greasy black slide inspection piece. Now somewhere out there in Italy somebody needs one of these. My Italian buddy said "Chris, that was a D.E.I.!" and he got all quiet afterwards as a way of letting me know that I screwed up. Todays question was, Are we going to put cars in the garage this winter? I closed my eyes, envisioned the current state of the garage and then said "I'll get on it." It's not going to be fun. The 3 wheeler with the differential brought from Japan. I should have kept that and did not.
When do we ever see an Italian rod brake bike pop up on e- bay. I have to type in Italian bicycle and wade thru all the racing bikes and probably in 5 years from now I'l see one.