ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Hercules posted by: Charl Cilliers on 8/7/2005 at 6:47:26 PM
Hi all

Just to let you know I've posted a rather unique Hercules bicycle on my website http://www.oldbikes.741.com

Any ideas on how old it might be?



ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   One Hercules hub...go for it Chris posted by: Kurt K. on 8/6/2005 at 2:27:28 PM
Thought you fellows, Chris especially, would like to have a go at this Hercules 3 speed Type 3 hub:


NMA, NRS, I.H.N.T.D.W.I., ETC...

Take care,


   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   One Hercules hub...go for it Chris posted by Chris on 8/6/2005 at 3:43:42 PM
Hey, saw it too. Thanks.
This is the axle nut that will never strip out and now you fellows can see the indicator chain nut with the rectangular window in the nut. This is helpful in adjusting the indicator chain.

If only this was new in a box, with the trigger. Oh man, I'd go for it. Still may, even though this one is used. I'm pleased to see one of these offered.Thanks for the heads up!

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   One Hercules hub...go for it Chris posted by Kurt K. on 8/8/2005 at 1:27:02 AM
You're welcome - always glad to point out items of interest.

Yes - I noticed the square adjuster indicator as noted for these hubs. Interesting little feature, although I usually never take advantage of them - I prefer to adjust according to tension and pedal feedback, then check with a quick test ride.

The threaded driver is the best little part of this hub!

Take care,


   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: One Hercules hub...go for it Chris posted by wahyu on 8/23/2005 at 4:59:46 AM
halooo iam from indonesia can you give some more poster picture bicycle hercules,simplex,BSA.because i have bicycle simple in my home,ok tanks

MISC:   Bianchi Milano posted by: Lawrence on 8/5/2005 at 8:55:56 PM
OK!!! I know this is an Italian bike with Japanese gears but....
Does anyone else who posts on this list have one? I just bought one and it just makes me smile. I still have my Raleigh 3 speeds but this cheeky little poser gives me the convenience of the Raleighs plus five more gears and a lot less weight. Oh and it stops quickly! I'd be interested to hear what others think.

   RE:MISC:   Bianchi Milano posted by Kurt K. on 8/5/2005 at 10:15:27 PM
I've seen one of these in small-frame camelback form - I believe all of them come this way? Never ridden one.

The one I saw was a 7 speed Nexus with electronic (yes, electronic) shifting - there was a double push button on the bars which ran a small cable of wires to an electric reciever/transmitter box just behind the bottom bracket, above the chainstays. Out of this box ran the cable to the rear hub.

Asthetically, it's a rather decent looking cycle in the modern form, considering the majority of nonsense designs from the last 5 years. The mudguards make it or break it, in my opinion. The bars, well, I can't see where they'd be too comfortable - curved just enough that your wrists are placed in a rather uncomfortable position.

As to the build quality, I've never been a fan of aluminum. I've never owned an aluminum bicycle, I've never put an aluminum fork on any of my bicycles.

Personally, if I wished to have a bicycle styled as such, I would buy that silver camelback Canadian Sports that pops up on Fleabay for $225 now and then.

Whatever floats your boat though you apparently like it, and I hope you recieve maximum enjoyment from it.


   RE:RE:MISC:   Bianchi Milano posted by Kurt K. on 8/5/2005 at 10:18:38 PM
P.S.: Outfit that Canadian Sports with a new 5 speed S/A hub and alloy rims, a Reynolds 531 road fork, and a Nitto aluminum North Road handlebar and stem, and I don't see why it shouldn't perform just as well as the Bianchi. Alloy rims make the world of difference, and I don't see any reason to change out the original Raleigh calipers - possibly the best steel side-pulls ever made.


   RE:MISC: Bianchi Milano posted by jack on 8/7/2005 at 5:28:27 AM
In my eternal search for the perfect bike(s), I too see these modern wonders with their shimano nexus and generator hubs and can't help but be tempted. But then I see either Al or steel welded in china or taiwan frames and can't take the plunge. I'm sure they are nice bikes and probably function as good if not better than vintage. One of these days I'm going to marry these modern components to a vintage 531 frame but due to cost its almost cheaper to buy a new bike for these components! Then there are compatibility issues blah, blah, blah...

   RE:RE:MISC: Bianchi Milano posted by Kurt K. on 8/8/2005 at 1:42:04 AM
Jack, you can get older, modern components cheap enough if you know the right shops to go to.

For me, the tough part is getting a cheap 531 frame! The first (and only) English 531 frame I have bought so far is a beat-up '77-'78 Grand Sport for $15. In fact, that's all I've found - everything else is going for $150+ on eBay - not my idea of cheap.

I've been wanting to make a hot-rod 531-frame machine for general 'patroling' of the neighborhood - something with a flat alloy North Road, alloy AW w/2 speed 19/16 derailer setup, 700Cx32 tires w/alloy rims, Brooks B17 saddle, alloy cotterless crankset, et cetera - but since I've got the Grand Sport saved up for another project, I'm stuck.

No bargains on eBay...gotta keep all eyes on Craigslist.

All the best,


WANTED:   Sports-model chaincase... posted by: Kurt on 8/4/2005 at 8:33:08 PM

One Sports model chaincase, preferably black. Any condition or missing parts ok - I never pass up bargains.

The chaincase is intended for a 1951 Raleigh "C" Sports, if anyone is wondering.

If you have something, contact me at cudak888@aol.com.


ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Rwanda posted by: Kimo on 8/4/2005 at 1:19:53 AM
I’ve just returned from Northern Rwanda, home of the mountain Gorilla and also home to numerous roadster style bicycles. The Brands range from Raleigh Dl-1s, Avons, Flying Pigeon, and other numerous Indian and Chinese brands. Most are single speeds. If a man has farming equipment (we’re talking pangas and hoes here) and a bicycle, he is thought of being fully equipped. The population density is staggering ( 600+ per square kilometer) in this Third World country. The Bikes are used for carrying huge loads of “Irish potatoes” Bananas, Firewood, Steel Drums, Baked Goods, Pombe Banana beer, Water, building material and nearly anything that needs to be moved in this physical country. Most have an add-on which allows the user to keep the front fork “set or locked” so that the user holds it by seat post and frame and pushes the load. We’re talking immense loads, 300 lbs + in many cases. I think most have a smaller than 28” rims size although the frames looked nice and big. Each hamlet has a dedicated corner where bikes are flipped over and repaired. The very rough dirt roads must be heck on the tires, I saw a lot of flat repairs. In Towns, there are associations of “taxi drivers”. There is a wide rear rack with a comfortable padded seat and two foot rests. Women (who I never saw riding a bike solo) sit side saddle, male passengers astride. The fare is a reasonable 100 Rwandan francs (about 30 cents) to go where you need to go. The Taxi drivers must pass a driving test and as I was told “Eat a lot!” Northern Rwanda is hardly flat. As a deep fan of the Roadster bicycle, with my own mini fleet, I really enjoyed seeing the Roadster as a commonplace, common sense vehicle, able to do a heck of a lot, a useful and graceful invention. I brought back a taxi seat and when I get it fixed up, perhaps I’ll post a photo. Just the thing to pick up the wife after work (I know it is illegal in New York City, but I’ll risk it) . Many many of the bikes (especially the taxis) were tricked out with stickers, reflectors, wild paint jobs, NS favorite cars painted on mudguards (Toyota and Land Cruiser, were the faves. I enjoy “Old Roads” but have felt that there is a strong emphasis on “historical accuracy and correctness” rather than lively use and adaptation of these most interesting bicycles. Because I like to customize my Roadsters, I enjoyed the Rwandan’s artistic individuality, and expression. No strict historically correct repros for these users of this sturdy invention. They used the bikes so much that they were comfortable in having the bikes displaying the Rider’s character. I loved it (and Rwanda, My third trip.) Oh yeah I saw the Gorillas. 10 years have passed since the beginning of the Genocide and Rwanda is actively trying to come to terms with those dreadful events. I left wishing them all the best luck in the move towards a shared future.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Rwanda posted by Mike on 8/4/2005 at 8:58:37 PM
Sounds much like a version of the stories about Cuba. They take old cars from the 40s and 50s there and still use them regularly. They are often very brightly painted and such. It's not uncommon to see Packards and Studebakers down there that are over 50 years old still being driven as daily drivers.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Rwanda posted by Dick in FL on 8/5/2005 at 12:41:17 AM
I was keenly interestred in this post on utilitarian bicycling in Rwanda and the follow-up on Cuba. In the dystopic future that some believe we are sleepwalking into, bicycles will be valued less for nostalgic authenticity and more for utility. Cuba has evolved into a nation of foraging McGivers who have learned to adapt and improvise on discards. A plastic bleach attached to a hoe becomes a fruit harvester. Sadly for North America, the bicycle has been relegated to the status of a recreational vehicle. It will be unable to rescue the suburbanite who has painted himself into a corner with a 40 mile commute.

Happy motoring!
Dick in FL

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Rwanda posted by Matthew on 8/5/2005 at 5:57:20 PM
Here in deepest darkest East Anglia, home of the Marsh Harrier and the Bittern, we often see trade bikes (cycle trucks) once used to haul boxes of herrings or baskets of bread / meat / groceries, being used by gents to prambulate to their allotments, the Post Office, the pub, or out for a ride, Raliegh, Elswick, Gundle, Phillips, Pashley all are represented. These are not show bikes, they are cheap transport for fit pensioners. Often there are wooden fruit boxes tied onto the front carrier where once wicker baskets would have been. Adaptions to carry garden tools to and fro are common as are other racks and attachments. This is not some rural idyll but in and out of town traffic negotiating holiday makers, buses, coaches and caravans. Rider's attire ranges from pre-worn Adidas to wedding suits from charity (welfare or dead men's) shops. Some bikes are held together by trust and string other gleam like new.
Most importantly of all they are ridden and enjoyed by their owners. They are not over valued and hung on loft apartment walls, as subjects for after dinner chat, they aren't buried in sheds or barns under fifty year of dust. They are up and at it. Hooray.

Isn't it heartening to know that machines built 50 and 60 years ago from a design of of 100 years ago, are still doing what they were built to do? Hallelujah to the safety bicycle where ever on the globe it is ridden.

Matthew - An East Anglian.

PS I've seen a Bittern.


   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Rwanda posted by Lawrence on 8/5/2005 at 8:50:40 PM
Kimo.What an absolutely wonderful story! Thanks for sharing it!
Matthew: I love your reply. I was born in Kent and never saw a bittern--even on my beloved cycling trips to East Anglia on my Carlton. The American Bittern is a far less shy creature and I occasionally see them on my walks around the Nisqually Wildlife Reserve here in Washington State

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Rwanda posted by Lawrence on 8/5/2005 at 9:08:14 PM
Matthew: I have seen Marsh Harriers in Kent. Lots of harriers at Nisqually but these are hen harriers--known as Northern harriers in the USA

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Rwanda posted by Bryan in CT on 8/9/2005 at 1:47:13 AM
I wanted to post a response to this thread last week, but I was having trouble with the system. Posts like this touch me deeply. I am so happy to read about these bikes being used as utilitarian tools. We get so caught up in our collecting and restoring that we forget the true origins of our treasures. I used mine to commute to work when I was down and out, and I will never forget that experience. The world is a better place because of bicycles. Especially three speed bicycles.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Rwanda posted by Julia on 8/9/2005 at 8:06:39 PM
I am in agreement with Bryan, and I must say both the posts on Rwanda and East Anglia have heartened me greatly. Until recently, I knew nothing about bicycles and hadn't had one since the 6th grade ('1980). The day this past June that I "rescued" an old Triumph from the dumpster and started working to make it rideable is the day I began to have new faith in old things. The bike is a Heinz 57 of scrap parts. Kids in the neighborhood make fun of it. It's ugly. It has a coaster brake. But by God, it's older than I am and still has a LOT of life left to give and many things to show me. On the first rideable day--its "re-maiden" voyage--this city girl on her city bike saw a family of rabbits, a beaver, many migrating geese, and a black crested night heron. And was at peace. Hardly a travelogue as glamourous as England or Africa, but I'll take it.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Rwanda posted by Lawrence on 8/10/2005 at 5:42:10 PM
BRAVA JULIA! You have re-discovered the essence of cycling: it slows us down and makes us notice! You have also re-discovered the spirit of the "bricoleur!" You don't say where your maiden voyage took you--I'm sure we are all curious! I am sure that to someone from East Anglia or, for that matter Rwanda, a ride that shows you beaver, geese and black crested night herons would seem exotic!