MISC:   Cloth HB tape posted by: greg arnold on 1/19/2005 at 6:17:40 PM
Greetings! I've just purchased a wonderful NOS racing bike from 1972 which comes equipped with the original white cloth covered handlebars. Clean and new! Has anyone had any experience with shellacking or otherwise weatherproofing cloth taped bars?
Thanks for any info! greg nyc


   RE:MISC:   Cloth HB tape posted by P.C. Kohler on 1/19/2005 at 8:57:25 PM
The traditional method is shellac. If you use clear, you wind up with pale tan-coloured tape. If you want white or pale cream you might try a clear coat gloss enamel instead. Real racing guys usually just used plain white tape and replaced it when it got grungy. Regardless of what you use, it takes multiple light coats to get the desired finish. Do a Google search shellac handlebar tape.... I think there is a website that goes into this quite extensively as you can get all sorts of neat colours using different types and tints of shellac.

P.C. Kohler

MISC:   Reconditioning posted by: VVVintage Vintage Bicycles, Inc. at OldRoads.com on 1/18/2005 at 11:22:39 PM

Today we received an email suggesting we post the steps we follow when reconditioning an English 3-speed.
This is a great idea and I'd like to start a topic on it here.
Once we post our methods and other OldRoads participants add their methods, we'll create a static page and put it in our General Resources section.

The writer also suggested we talk about what we look for in English 3-speeds when we acquire them.

Time is always tight; should I be sitting here typing or should I be wrestling with a rusted pedal on the bike stand?
I'll at least try to get an outline together and jot down a few ideas tonight:

1) What we look for when buying a cycle:
Original Paint
Straight Frame
Straight wheels (rarely a problem on these bikes)
Minor rust pitting, except on handlebars, stem and seat post which we can get aftermarket so these parts can be in poor condition.
Nothing important is frozen:
+ gears work - (these Sturmey-Archer hubs are incredible)
+ bottom bracket is smooth (loose is ok - that can be fixed, but it is getting harder to find cups, etc)
+ Headset is smooth
Nothing is cross-threaded or damaged.
Nuts and bolts are not badly rounded from people using the wrong tools on the cycle.

This all assumes we're looking for a clean, ridable, saleable cycle, not anything particularly rare or exotic.
Its year of manufacture will probably be from between 1957 and 1975. There are still plenty of them here in New England.
It is amazing the things we find on these old bikes. Mud wasp structures in the fenders, bee hives in handlebars, mouse nests in saddlebags, spider webs and eggs everywhere.

That's all for now. A potential outline for the next installment is below.

Also, if you're still reading this, look for me on "Antiques Roadshow FYI". It's a new PBS program where they go into detail on various subjects; it will be on the show which talks about bicycles - on a Wednesday night at 8pm, most likely within the next 2 months. I spent an intense 2 hours on camera talking about a collection of bicycles covering the 1930s to the 1970s. I don't expect to see more than a couple minutes broadcast.
Hey, I've got a face for radio.

2) Reconditioning
2a) Work the wheels
2b) Work the chrome
2c) Headset, Bottom Bracket, front and rear hubs
2d) Cables
2e) Tuning


   2a) Reconditioning wheels posted by VVVintage Vintage Bicycles, Inc. at OldRoads.com on 1/19/2005 at 10:35:19 PM

2a) Reconditioning wheels.

First we remove the front and rear wheels and remove the tires. We check for
trueness and examine the spokes' condition and tension. One way to check for
consistent spoke tension is to pluck the spokes and listen, being sure they
all sound about the same.
Then we remove the rim strips and check the inside of the rim for rust,
sharp spots and protruding spokes.

Next we check the hubs. (We've already confirmed the wheels spin freely and
smoothly and the rear hub works when we did our initial examination of the
cycle). We back off the cones and look for dryness or any signs of dirt or
contamination. Then we (ideally) just grease the bearings and dribble oil
into the rear hub. If the rear hub needs a rebuild, we move the bike back
into storage and grab another one. The time it takes to rebuild a hub just
isn't worth it for us to invest on a $100 to $200 cycle.

Mechanically the wheels are all set, so now we make 'em look good. We use
bronze wool to clean off the rust and grime. (After so many years of doing
these recons we've learned the best tools to use, and we [caution: plug
coming...] put together the Vintage Bicycle Cleaning Kit we sell here at
OldRoads.) Use bronze wool, not steel wool. The bronze wool is softer than
steel wool which will scrape or spider your chrome. It is a good idea to
wear a dust mask, or at least use water with the bronze wool in order to
keep from breathing the chrome dust that gets spread around when you're
cleaning up the chrome.

Finally, we put our cleaning oil on the chrome and give it a little buffing,
being careful not to get it on the braking surface of the rim. If we do get
cleaning oil on the braking surface, we wash it off with soap and water.
This makes the chrome look good and also protects it from water. Then we
put on new rim strips, tubes, and maybe tires, depending on the condition of
the tires the cycle already had. You can sometimes re-use a tire and a rim
strip, but always put in a new tube.

With the wheels off it is easy to inspect the brake pads for dryness and
wear, and we'll replace them at this stage if necessary.


ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Chains? posted by: Pete on 1/18/2005 at 6:14:42 PM
What brand chain was Raleigh using in the late 70's to early 80's?
Is there a British company making chains today?
I'd like to know before buying whatever the bike shop has.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Chains? posted by Kurt K on 1/18/2005 at 8:09:50 PM
The chain used on the late '70s Raleigh Sports was by Union, I believe, made in Germany. Not sure of this, but I'm pretty sure it's not English chain. These chains have a small "U" logo embossed on the small links.

Take care,


   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Chains? posted by smitty on 1/19/2005 at 3:40:35 AM
I am glad to hear that somebody else cares about what brand of chain they have . I was happy when I found NOS Reynold Elite chains at my favorite bike shop for my club bikes. He had 3. I got all three for 10.00$ each. They did not have the tins. They were in bags. I have seen them on ebay and they did not go for all that much. I would have thought they would have been sought after for restoration. May be they just do not wear out or you have to look so hard to tell any way that nobody cares. The reynold Elite chain is very high quality. The pins have a shoulder on them. Lets face it if you have 50 bucks to spend a new head lamp gives you a hole lot more bang for the buck. As for your sports if you want a english made chain you may look for a Perry also. You might check in some of the older shops in your area you never know. PS I have all three reynold chains in use. I would rather have a GB made chain even if it is not original. Smitty

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Chains? posted by Warren on 1/19/2005 at 2:11:03 PM
A small correction...often mispelled, they are Renolds chains. The midrange chain for the Sports models and Roadsters was the Coventry model. Very tough chains. I'm sure the german Union models are good as well. I don't think that there are any current British chains on the market. I think the best value in a modern chain is the nickel plated Sachs PC-1. $10 at Harris cyclery...but don't assume that it needs less lubrication because of the nickel...it needs eqaul if not more maintenance than the old chains. I wonder why...are the old chains cadmium plated?

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Chains? posted by Smitty on 1/20/2005 at 4:41:15 AM
I must of profread that posting 10 times It was late. Connex chains are nice to. The Stalard dropouts on my club bike are a little on the short side a half link would be nice. Were they comon in the day and is ther a Renold elite half link.(not all chain has the same pin diameter)I am also using 2 master links to lengthen the chain when I switch the 20 tooth cog to a 22 instead of replceing the chain If I had a half link I think I could use the same chain length for the 2 different cogs. Smitty. PS I don't spell very well

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Chains? posted by Pete on 1/20/2005 at 2:05:33 PM
Thanks for responses.
btw: I have a 61 (I think) Robin Hood that has a Perry chain. Some links are stamped "Perry" and others "England".

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Dutch'n german posted by: Jacob on 1/18/2005 at 6:13:56 PM

Check it out (in german).

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Dutch'n german posted by James on 1/18/2005 at 8:41:35 PM
I'm rather fond of that X frame bike the site owner restored, after seeing this restoration http://www.rijwiel.net/restaurn.htm I've been itching for an old roadster to restore.
Jacob are you in denmark?

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   What have I picked up off the junk heep posted by: David on 1/18/2005 at 10:57:39 AM
I have just picked up an old rusty thing with British F.10 rims (28" X 11/2). There is no serial No at the base of the crank case other than a distorted 030o casting shape. The bearing races of the crank have T.D.C Made in England stamped on them. The upper rear wheel support fork is detachable and fasted with bolts at three points. It is a ladies frame made out off tubing jointed by gas fit joint sleeves. Any ideas.

Thanks for your time
David Sydney Australia


   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: What have I picked up off the junk heep posted by sam on 1/18/2005 at 10:03:05 PM
The T.D.C is T.D. Cross company--still in bussness making chains,not sure if they still make bicycle chains.Made good quality parts like BB and headsets too.The bolt on rear stays were standard Roadster fair.--sam