This is an archive of Vintage Bicycle Information.
For current Discussions, go to our main site: OldRoads.com

If you are trying to determine the genealogy of your bicycle by it's features, go to our Vintage Bicycle Price Guide
which details bicycle features, wheel sizes, brake types, etc., as well as showing a price estimate for your old bicycle.

If you are trying to determine the make and model of your bicycle, go to our Vintage Bicycle Picture Database
which details bicycle features, wheel sizes, etc., as well as showing a price estimate for your vintage bicycle.

Archived: English Roadsters

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Sheldon Brown's Raleigh Competition "Superbe" posted by: Sheldon Brown on 4/16/2003 at 12:28:05 AM
I've just put up some info on my 1976 Raleigh Competition, which I have made into an interpretation of what the Sports and Superbe might have evolved into...

Purists beware! This isn't for you!


Sheldon "Sacrilege " Brown
Newtonville, Masachusetts
| Bicycling isn't supposed to hurt! See: |
| http://sheldonbrown.com/pain.html |
Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts
Phone 617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041
Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
Useful articles about bicycles and cycling

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Sheldon Brown's Raleigh Competition posted by Stacey on 4/16/2003 at 10:53:43 AM
Kudos to you Sheldon, it's magnificent! If Nottingham had only been thinking just a litle bit 'outside the box' perhaps something like this might have come from their design team. :-)))))))))

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Sheldon Brown's Raleigh Competition posted by Edward in Vancouver on 4/16/2003 at 1:38:51 PM
Great stuff, but can you tell me how to dip all those parts in a pot of boiling 24 kt gold?

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Sheldon Brown's Raleigh Competition posted by steve on 4/16/2003 at 5:19:37 PM
Stunning! Makes ny own recent "ne plus ultra" club-type bike (a ca. 1973 Gran Sport with a Sturmey S5-2) look delightfully conservative. . .

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Sheldon Brown's Raleigh Competition posted by Ken on 4/16/2003 at 11:51:39 PM
It's beautiful... Does the Nexus hub only generate in one direction? Also, thanks, Captain B, for rescuing the Retro Raleighs site!

AGE / VALUE:   Skip tooth chains posted by: sam on 4/15/2003 at 11:12:19 PM
Never saw one that didn't have a master link.Only problem is you got to look really hard to tell which is the Master.Hawthorns nost often were columbia or cleveland welding.The badge might be cleanable.pre-war badges were brass/chrome.Also look for new departure twin streak(two speed hub)and any Morrow coaster brake.Some pre-war american L/Ws were cro-mol tubing(club bike?)---sam

AGE / VALUE:   Diffrent wingnuts posted by: Chris on 4/15/2003 at 4:50:07 PM
The G.B. alloy lever style wingnuts are special. They are made out of Duraluminum. They shine beautifully after a polish. One has to be extremly careful about what should be polished and what is not. You can remove finish that in not supposed to be removed.
The captive serrated washers on wing nuts vary. If these are cheap looking then it is likely less valuable but if it looks well made and intricate then these go for more and sometimes a lot more.

AGE / VALUE:   Fustrating cotterless axle lengths posted by: Chris on 4/15/2003 at 4:41:32 PM
I have a cotterless axle in the Raleigh Lenton Sports Reg Harris Road Model bike with a double Campagnolo chainring.
The Campy chainring is not meant for this moidel bike. Not this particular chainring anyways but the real bother is that the cotterless axle is too long.
The cotterless axle spins sweetly in the Raleigh bottom bracket. Proper length spindles. I am not there yet.
Sheldon did clarify this topic at his site and it has saved me money. I can now narrow it down a bit better.

AGE / VALUE:    Be buggin,with the A.C. hub. Hybrid Hyjinks! posted by: humberchristopher28@hotmail.com on 4/15/2003 at 4:18:10 PM
I don't recall ever seeing anybody make up and sell/ offer a custom made longer Sturmey- Archer axle for the use of Hybrid gears and also for modern frames with wide spaces.
All the worry about enough axle space. Why? Why no 7 inch Sturmey- Archer axles that fit the old range?
Re- do the axle on paper and give it all to the machinist.
I was looking at the axle on the A.C. 3 speed time trial hub and it is 5 3/4 or whatever it is. Bottom line is it's too short for hybrid hijinks. No longer 6 and whatever longer Sturmey- Archer axle was ever offered not for the A.C. For other hubs yes.
Why Not.
It's like somebody came down from the front office and said. "Ah,No you don't!"
I have two axles for the A.C. hub. One already in it and another extra. Both are mint. I'm taking this axle to the machinist. I wonder what would happen! Will I tear up this hubs internals by doing this?
The ratios are very close. I understand that this hub was made for Clubmen that would cherish and use it as the chaps at Sturmey- Archer intended. Did time trials ever allow the use of derailers and Sturmey- Archer hubs married together? Did time trials ever allow and use Hybrid hubs at all?
The axle and the indicator chain arrangement on the A.C. is special to it.
This was never designed so one could have more gears. The A.C. is very close ratio but how would it be with derailers?
I'm proposing a A.C. Hybrid setup with a Old school threaded driver cog. The wrong time period cone nut gives it away that the seller swapped cones on me.But perhaps he did not. I changed cones on the A.C. hub. It has old Hercules cones that are better and are perfectly interchangable.

A new reintroduced All Speed Gear would not cost no 800.00 like the Rohloff.
That is plain sabotage of the internal gear camp and we all know that!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:    Be buggin,with the A.C. hub, the F.M. and all the rest. Hybrid Hyjinks! posted by Chris on 4/15/2003 at 7:26:12 PM
Lengthen indicator chain rods too. A longer axle needs a longer indicator chain rod. That would be the easy part!
Any other Sturmey- Archer hubs out there that were only offered with the basic 5 3/4 inch axle? Hmmm?
What about a Sturmey- Archer F.M. Hybrid? A longer axle would enable new hybrids!
The A.G. Three- speed dyno? The F.G. four speed dyno? Yes you do,but barely and rarely.
Why is it you never see hybrid gear set ups with these models? The F.M. , A.G., F.G., THE 1960'S backpedal S-2 version that was intended for folding bikes?
The old Sturmey- Archer K hub had no dead spot or free wheeling in a no gear position. Also, my best and all time favorite feature of these K hubs was that if the cable broke,the hub was in first gear not high gear as with everything else ever after that.
I want a K hub! I want a threaded driver in it. ( Actually that's all they offered, that and or was it splined back then?)
Anyways, I want hybrid derailer cog set up on a K hub. That looks tough enough and that being in one gear or the other is a plus. Yes, K hub Cyclo style conversions.
Move back, away from the A.W. hubs. The loss of an lovely alloy shell is worth it. Ever see the engraved scroll pattern on a K hub? It says Sturmey- Archer- 3 speed gear! Cool!
Longer axles, longer indicator chain rods? Longer threaded hub drivers? More threads on a longer threaded driver? Why not? How about changing the hardness of the metal parts inside the hub so it does not self destruct when I try this magic with this hub?
The fellows found out that the clutch keys busted when anything larger than a 22 tooth cog was fitted. Well actually you can fit a 24 tooth cog, but no higher.
redesign the clutch keys, the axle! Change the specs.
Come on here! The guys knew how to get around that!
This was intentionally allowed to be a problem.
What about an A.S.C. fixed gear three speed with a threaded driver and a 3, 4, 5, or 6 speed freewheel? Make the free wheel into a fixed- wheel! Remove the ability of having it be a free wheel but retain the number of cogs. A non moving freewheel. Fixedwheel. With all of this still fixed?
Yes, with a rear derailer. Toss in a double or tripple chainwheel in front! With an A.S.C. hub.
Wait, that might not work, Hmmm. The A.S.C. would be a challenge. Ok, Leave the A.S.C. alone perhaps??

Work with the B.S.A. 3 speed hub, that actually is old school Sturmey Archer model K and lengthen it's driver to accept a threaded cog set. Lengthen by way of machining an new axle, driver and indicator chains.

An F.M. hub with a brake was drawn up. Designated an F.M.B hub. The ratios of the F.M. hub with a (I think it was a 90 mm hub shell.) Same shell as the A.G. and F.G.!
This is a drum type hub not a coaster brake combo. This was mooted with a Capital M ! Never made it past the drawing board. Unknown to book authors too! Or at least not shown.
The books are excellent but I'll wager more was created and hidden, removed and or lost way back in the day. The books would be larger, whole 12 book volumes would be if the information was out there for an dedicated authorlike Hadland to have acess too. Problem is the folks are passed on, the times changed, the old buildings are razed and what good is traveling 80 Km to see a area all changed where nothing is left. It would be helpful to put vast amounts of effort into chasing this but the results would be meager perhaps? These men were a lot more creative and intelligent and active then we have yet learned or have ever given them credit for.
Whole books could be filled with wonderful, neat, strange things that were drawn up but shortly after, later wound up in safes or wastepaper baskets or both!
Yes,the section of hubs that were never made was perhaps more broad then we have been able to discover and read about.
Reilly, Cohen, Brown, and the others at Sturmey- Archer.
Sir Edmund Crane of Hercules and all the vast amount of other guys would grin but they'd be dismayed that we didn't have the chance to buy, ride and know about so much more. We would be intrigued and or dismayed at hearing/seeing! What all unknown was drawn up but never went forward. Perhaps it went like this?
"Oh, That, "Well he came and sat on the corner of my desk Chris, and yelled and all the shop heard it and he threatened and I was supporting a family then you remember, and he went away with my plans under his arm and I was transferred." I'm speculating, wondering here. Reilly died in obscurity on a kerb after feeling ill and he leaned the bike up, sat down and died. His old journals were consigned to the salvage drive. He was a cyclist to the end. To talk to him before that? Who did that? Who else that we have not heard about? To get to know these men before they passed on and before everything was lost would enable whole expanded and new cycle history to have been written. There are gaps in British Cycle history large enough that whole companies have fallen thru and vanished.
We can't even hardly trace the clubs and cronies of these fellows and where are family now? To go looking for that bike that Reilly had leaned against the kerb? Good Luck!
Yet, folks have traced the machines of many famous riders. They won't share exactly how they do it so I can join in the game and be a compettitor and I can't blame them. But I'll bet that somebody saw to it that it was collected and given to his family.
They worked on so much more! They would be unhappy that they spent time over drawing boards that went to utter waste. It would blow your mind with what else they could tell you about. I can imaging rolls of plans going home and into the wood stoves. I'd love to push this, and learn more. Somebody(s) more able will. The excellent book Tony Hadland wrote that led the way.The other works that folks have contributed has fired up interest.(myself?) I want to push this and dig but I don't have what that takes. I hope those that will, and do, and have been digging, will hold up to the daylight and share what they have been finding out.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:    Be buggin,with the A.C. hub, the F.M. and all the rest. Hybrid Hyjinks! posted by Edward in Vancouver on 4/16/2003 at 2:23:43 AM
Chris, in regards to proper indicator length for S.A. hubs, I use "Sinatra's law". (i.e. I did it my way...) Adding or subrtacting a few links from the S.A. indicator chain isn't reserved for watchmakers or engineers. File off the chain rivits, pound 'em out with a nail set(as in carpentry tools, not from the wife's drawer...) add a link, and ride on. When I finally go, I hope they find my corpse in the garage with my favorite cable cutters and allen keys clenched in my fist....

AGE / VALUE:   Hurcules for sale 1930s posted by: Pete on 4/15/2003 at 4:18:43 PM
Hello All I have for sale a 1934 Hurcules club bike in original condition including transfers. This is a "Southall"
model, Frank Southall being their famous works rider. It has a 21" frame a rare Sturmey Archer KSW 4 and steel spearpiont mudguards. unrestored useable condition $475 plus shipping

FOR SALE:   Cotter Pin Tool posted by: Tom on 4/15/2003 at 11:13:09 AM
I saw thison Ebay and thought you guys may need one. It is an old Cotter Pin removal tool. I have one the same as this with oak handles. They work great. I have not damaged a single pin since I got it. Not my auction. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=27953&item=3602966828&rd=1

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   1951 Raleigh catalogue at RetroRaleighs posted by: Sheldon Brown on 4/14/2003 at 9:34:30 PM
Thanks to Richard Booth, RetroRaleighs now features the complete 1951 British market Raleigh catalogue.


Sheldon "Scanner" Brown
Newtonville, Massachusetts
| Give a man a fire, and he will stay warm for a day. |
| Set a man on fire, he stays warm for the rest of his life. |
Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts
Phone 617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041
Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
Useful articles about bicycles and cycling

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   1951 Raleigh catalogue at RetroRaleighs posted by Larry Bone on 4/14/2003 at 11:05:28 PM
Awesome work sir!!!!! My hat's off to you and I'm sure I'm not alone in saying: "THANKS!!!!!"



   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: 1951 Raleigh catalogue at RetroRaleighs posted by P.C. Kohler on 4/14/2003 at 11:33:25 PM

This is the BEST and hardest to get post-war Raleigh catalogue and when, well I sure think so, Raleigh were absolutely at the top of the heap.

P.C. Kohler

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: 1951 Raleigh catalogue at RetroRaleighs posted by Chris on 4/15/2003 at 12:45:16 AM
Grab your favorite lawn chair and enjoy the show. Oh, the colors on the frames!

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   1951 Raleigh catalogue at RetroRaleighs posted by David on 4/15/2003 at 2:07:40 AM
Wow. Thank you Richard and Sheldon. Now we know that the model #s "DL" this and that are probably just an abbreviation of "Model."

MISC:   To Scott... A follow-up on Crown/Rollfast posted by: Stacey on 4/13/2003 at 11:43:18 PM
An interesting tidbit I just discovered. I happened to be at my 'junk pile' and took a hard look at an old 50's era Phillips frame sitting there and dashed over, frame in hand to compare it to the Crown frame I have of the same vintage... lo & behold they are identical in every last respect. So, I think it's a safe bet to say that Phillips made the frames for Rollfast. It's a great day when something new is learned :-)))))))

   RE:MISC:   To Scott... A follow-up on Crown/Rollfast posted by scott on 4/16/2003 at 2:09:19 PM
thanks stacey you have been much help :)

FOR SALE:   60's and 70's British Bikes posted by: geo on 4/13/2003 at 10:34:17 PM
On occasion I preach about keeping the costs of old Brit bikes down. Well I am going to practice what I preach and am offering these items for sale at reasonable prices. There are no big finds here. No dynohubs on these and only mattress saddles. Just good old run of the mill British bikes. Here goes

1 early 70's electric blue ladies Triumph with 3-speed coaster, stuck seat post, minor rust and pitting good condition $35

1 1964 red ladies Dunelt, faded paint minor rust and pitting $50 pretty bike

early 70's black ladies Phillips real rusty chrome $20

24'(wheels) ladies Indian Princess with Perry single speed and bad house paint job $75

1972 MEN'S Raleigh LTD near mint complete and original electric blue $125

black Phillips ladies frame $10

blue Raleigh ladies frame $10

If all this was bought seperately it would come to $320 if you buy it all at once it's $275. 5 complete bikes and 2 frames for $275. MUST PICK-UP south of Boston Mass. I'm giving you guys first dibs for good homes. If this doesn't work I may try E-bay(although that's been known to be controversial here).

AGE / VALUE:   Chain horror's/unacceptable idiocy posted by: Chris on 4/13/2003 at 5:58:18 PM
One the old Raleigh's you had a chain running covered in oil in an enclosed guard. It was a Perry's Best Blue Chain or equivilent. It lasted for years! Occaisonally it got gumped up and you removed it and soaked it and cleaned it and re- installed it . If you wanted to replace it it cost 8- 10.00 for a new one. This was old chains with bushings.
I dropped into a shop the other day and hung out for 15 minutes. The pal of mine was busy, and couldn't talk. There was a young fellow with a Giant mountain bike. It's a couple of years old. It was acting up he was there for service. He measured the chain after hearing that something was not working right.Turns out the chain is shot, stretched.
A new chain is $25.00, and this is the second chain on this bike already! It's still shiny. So this poor kid is looking at a 3 rd chain! He was stunned and exclaimed 25.00? The $40 .00 chain which is better will not work with the freewheel on this model bike. The chain's only last 400 miles anyways! This kid does a moderate amount or riding but in two or three years he's gonna rack up more that 400 miles per season. I asked what will happen when he reglects replacing the chain. "He'll tear up the whole drivetrain!" He'll need a new front chainring and rear cogs! This kid did not have the $25.00 or was too much in shock to act. He stood there and my pal helped another customer. People are bringing in the old mountain bike and SOCKKO! 85.00 OUT THE DOOR!

Now of course we are all spared this crazyness with the our bikes.
No chain B.S. with our bikes!
The fellow said it is made to self destruct. I asked "What do you mean?" It's not made to last and last and wind up wit my grandchildren?
He looked at me in bewilderment and asked " Where have you been?"

So mountain bikes are made to need chains all the time?
I understand that each bike is different and that the mountain bike chain is exposed to grit and is perhaps stressed diffrently than a 3 speed Roadster. That's why these don't last but it seems they are made to wear out and need replacing so they sell more chains! Chains seem to be a problem these days with a chain breaking and wearing out after just a few weeks of use. A heck of a lot of money is expended of chains especially if you commute on the mountain bike. It's unacceptable!
Why are mountain bikes without enclosed chaincases? Why are we switched over to bushingless chains? Ok ,I understand for the derailer cogs and for more speeds. A basic old school chain won't flex and shift but in the 1960's they had derailer chains with bushings and they didn't replace chains all the time did they? The old school Reynold chain?
There was a heck of a lot of research on chains and to have something now at this late date is needing replacing all the time is unaccepatable.

   RE:AGE / VALUE: Chain horror's/unacceptable idiocy posted by J. M. Vernooy on 4/14/2003 at 2:07:27 AM
Chris, you're absolutely right. Now if others would be as alert to the chain problems of new bicycles maybe the cycle's transmission will get put back where it belongs, in the rear hub. Bicycles with derailleur transmissions are about as practical as having a Nascar racing car as the family car. When the gear cluster on one of those mountain bikes needs to be replaced when the chain is, which is increasingly becoming with every second or third chain replacement, it is because the chain was used even though worn out and often used mostly on only one or two cogs. That means that the bicycle was not used in every gear close to evenly but used on only a few, at most, gears. So every second or third time the chain is replaced, the cog set also needs to be replaced. That means $14 for a Sram/Sachs chain, which seems to be one of the longest lasting chains, $25 or more for the gear cluster, and a labor charge of at least $10, for a total of $49 or more.If the chain is taken care of it can last a thousand miles or a bit more before it starts wearing down the teeth on the cogs. But that means, in the case of mountain bikes, cleaning and relubing the chain as needed. If every ride is in rain, in mud, or in sand then that means that after every ride the chain will need a cleaning and relube. But are any hub gears recommended for mountain bikes? According to what I've read, the manufacturers of the hubs say they aren't. Riders who are riding mountain bikes for on road travel rather than off road travel are choosing the wrong bicycle. I'm not recommending the abuse that this shows, but I have ridden bicycles having hub gears rather than derailleur gears on which the chain was so rusted that after it was removed it still had the oval shape as if it was still going around a chainring and cog even though it was off the bicycle. Except for being a little bit harder to pedal it worked. But a derailleur bicycle is so critical of chain condition that it starts skipping before the untrained eye can even see that it's the fault of a badly cared for chain. And as you noticed, the chains for derailleur gears are bushing-less. They are also being made thinner because the increase in cogs to nine or ten on the gear cluster requires closer spacing of the cogs. Even without the full chaincase and oil bath the chain on a bicycle with the gears in the hub survives better because it doesn't go through so many twists and turns. But with a full chaincase and oil bath, chain replacement, cog replcement, and chainring replacement become so rare as to be almost unknown. Oh, and when you hear a mountain bike with a constant or almost constant squeak as the rider pedals, it is probably because of a dry rusty chain. To me it looks like the plot to make bicycles last ony a few years started with opening the chain to pick up dirt and dry out, then continued when the oil ports disappeared from the hubs and crank. How many cyclists would reward the manufacturers of bicycles made to last a century by buying a new one every two or three years? But the manufacturers of cheap bicycles that are made to last two or three years get to sell replacements every two or three years. And the manufacturers of cheap bicycles also get a bigger profit than the manufacturers of more expensive long lasting bicycles. I read in a trade magazine about a year ago that one Chinese bicycle manufacturer was in financial trouble because they were making too many "traditional" bicycles and not enough mountain bikes and were soon to discontinue making "traditional" bicycles in favor of more mountain bicycles as the per bicycle profit was so much higher on the mountain bicycles.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: Chain horror's/unacceptable idiocy posted by Edward in Vancouver on 4/14/2003 at 4:31:21 AM
Nope, the future aint what it used to be. Hey why do you think all those bicycle couriers ride fixed gears in lousy weather? They aren't going to fork major $ every few weeks just because the city salts it's roads diligently...

Of course there are possibilities of making a 28 speed mtn bike with hub gears. There's the Rohloff(Spelling?) 14 spd intenal hub, but I think it's somewhere around $U.S. 800.00 for the plain version, and there's the Shlumpf (again, Spelling?) bottom bracket two speed gear that's activated by kicking or nudging the pedal. It only costs around $US 400.00. Both of these hubs are available at Harris Cyclery, but the cost is prohibitive. Do they stand up to the abuse and stress of mountain biking? Yes. Will they become popular?

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: Chain horror's/unacceptable idiocy posted by J. M. Vernooy on 4/14/2003 at 12:16:29 PM
I forgot the Rohloff 14 speed hub. How could I forget an $800 hub? It's the state of the art in internal gear hubs and it is made for mountain biking. But how many mountain bikers are going to give up the $200 derailleur gear drivetrain in favor of the Rohloff hub drivetrain? Rohloff celebrated production of the 10,000th Speedhub back in 2001. The Rohloff 14 speed Speedhub productiion began in 1998. Ten thousand in about three years is an average of about 3,333 per year. That's not many compared to the number of derailleur setups sold in the same three years. Rohloff also makes chains for derailleur systems that are probably the best best drive chains made. But most customers want to know what is the lowest priced product that can provide reasonable performance and durability, or they just follow the advertising.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: Chain horror's/unacceptable idiocy posted by Chris on 4/15/2003 at 4:17:42 PM
I had an X type hub in the shop and we took it apart. These are heavier and stronger and the metal is heavy duty. The hub was a monster!
Take one of these and make it out of stronger modern metals and compare it aginst a basic common Sturmey- Archer and put the re- done old one in the rear end of the mountain bike.

MISC:   Shimano 3-speed hub posted by: David on 4/13/2003 at 5:49:54 PM
Anyone have some experience with Shimano 3-speed hubs? My edition of Glenn's describes something a bit different from what I have.

WANTED:   28 inch tires wanted for roadster posted by: ron on 4/13/2003 at 2:20:08 PM
NO japan models

   RE:WANTED:   28 inch tires wanted for roadster posted by Jorge Ullfig on 4/20/2003 at 2:21:52 AM
For 28's (35-635) try St. John St Cycles, http://www.sjscycles.com/ , they carry the Michelin World Tour, also Nokian makes them, Tour Sydney, looks like a high performance and it also comes in nice gray like the first safeties.

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Replacing rims/spokes posted by: David on 4/13/2003 at 4:25:42 AM
I just uncovered a 1952 Raleigh Sports. The rear hub is in excellent shape, but the rim is rusty and many of the spokes are ruined. Would it hurt the value (by being non-original) to have the rim and spokes replaced out of stainless steel?

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Replacing rims/spokes posted by P.C. Kohler on 4/13/2003 at 5:25:17 AM
Of course, that original rust just adds value!! No, of course, who wants a rusty bike! If you can find stainless Westrick rims or better condition chromed ones (from the '50s when the chrome was great), go for it. I have a pair of lovely stainless rims for my '49 Rudge when I can justify the cost of having the wheels relaced. And was lucky to get a pair of Westwood stainless 28" rims for my DL-1, too. By the way, I read that England suffered a chronic chrome shortage c. 1950-52 and that's when, Eureka!, Raleigh started making stainless rims stock issue for their better bikes.

P.C. Kohler

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Replacing rims/spokes posted by Chris on 4/13/2003 at 5:45:30 PM
Ammonia! Get a squirt bottle filled with ammonia and spray it on the rusty parts and let it sit before you loosen things.
Don't use liquid wrench but ammonia. It works!

   RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Replacing rims/spokes posted by Edward in Vancouver on 4/14/2003 at 4:17:22 AM
Chris swears by Ammonia, but I go with Oxalic acid. Don't let the name fool you, it won't eat holes in granite or glass, as a matter of fact it's present (in minute quantities) of spinach and (quick, gimme a bucket,) Rhubarb. It's also known as wood bleach and can be obtained at stores selling wood finishing products. It comes in white crystals which dissolve in water, I think I paid $8 CDN for 300 grams. It's mild enough to remove rust stains on clothing or in my case to dissolve the rust on the magnet/armature assembly of a dynbo-hub without harming the copper winding, or separating the two... and unlike Ammonia, it doesn't stink. You just mix it with water. If you have rusty rims/spokes, the odds that there'll be rust/crap in the hollow box sections of the rim are high. That sound of rust rotating in the rim drove me crazy untill I found a way to get rid of it. Get a large needle and inject Oxalic solution in those tiny holes in the rim. Rotate the rim around, let it sit for a few hours, then drain out. No more rust. Also the added benifit of dried Oxalic solution inside the box sections which will be reconstituated when water gets inside the rim, means the problem won't crop up again for some time.
Then only reason I know about Oxalic acid is I had the same problem a few years ago, posted a similar message on this very board, and got a similar answer. I'm forever gratefull

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Replacing rims/spokes posted by Dick on 4/14/2003 at 5:08:20 PM
That speculation on the appearance of stainless rims attributable to a UK chromium shortage reflects your good neuron activity. But typical varieties of stainless steel possess around 18% chromium content. This is a good deal more than in the plating layer. On another tack, I am curious how the stainless rims hold up on salted winter roads. Non-magnetic stainless is particularly vulnerable to chloride stress corrosion.

   RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Replacing rims/spokes posted by P.C. Kohler on 4/14/2003 at 5:41:58 PM
Interesting; I had no idea! This was reported in British Motor Cycle and Cycle Export News at the time when shortages of chrome, some forms of steel, coal and oil etc. were just bedevilling British industry which was desparate for export business. It's interesting to see how stainless steel rims were featured year-to-year in the catalogues. Indeed, there must have been a shortage of stainless steel at one point as the 1948-49 catalogues actually have allowances if rims can't be supplied in this and only in chrome. There was no shortage, it seems, of alloy in Britain in the late 1940s and 50s and this must have been the heyday of alloy everything. Maybe that where all those melted down Spitfires and Lancasters went?

Finally any shortages in chrome seems to have passed c. 1955 for that's when Raleigh Industries went mad for the stuff, replacing all the previously enamelled rod brake bits and other fitments with chrome.

P.C. Kohler

   RE:RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Replacing rims/spokes posted by Chris on 4/14/2003 at 11:30:45 PM
Oxalic acid may be better yet. Go with Edwards solution.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Replacing rims/spokes posted by Tim on 4/15/2003 at 3:56:56 PM
I have always used Oxalic Acid for rust removal with no problems. I remember posting this here way back.

On the subject of stainless rims, I have a couple of cycles with them. I live on the coast and often cycle across the sands at low tide. In the winter the local council throws tons of rock salt on the roads as well. My stainless rims are as good now as the day they were made. I believe the grade is 316 austenitic and is a hangover from the war time aircraft industry.


MISC:   Nishiki Villager posted by: David on 4/13/2003 at 3:23:58 AM
I've started fixing up the Nishiki Villager I got from the trash. Very nice 3-speed Sports-type bike; cro-mo frame, alum rims+bars+stem+fenders, cotterless crank, brazed-on chainguard+kickstand mounts, waterbottle bosses, all bearings servicable. Unfortunately, a little too small for me (22") but I'll ride it anyway with a tall seat post. Anyone have a Nishiki brochure - what sizes did this come in and when was it produced?