| Hi, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Melissa and I live in Arizona. I recently bought an English roadster that I was not aware of. I just wanted a beach cruiser type bike to ride around and save some gas. Well, I really got into my bike but am having trouble finding information on it. It says Armstrong Made in England on it and has a Sturmey-Archer shifter on it. That is about all I have figured out. It is a ladies bike as well. Anyways, is there a way to find out more info, such as year made. Thanks! |
| On the rear hub there should be a date code. It would be something like 3 65 meaning March of 1965. All Sturmey Archer hubs have date codes from the 1930's on. You may have to clean the built up grease first. |
| Melissa, according to Sheldon Brown, Armstrong was a "generally low-end Raleigh model" (http://www.sheldonbrown.com/english-3.html). Still, I have a black 1964 Lady's Armstrong 3-speed, and I'm impressed by the quality of the frame finish and the chrome. They've held up quite well, better than some Raleigh-branded Raleighs I've had from that time. It's my current bike project to rehab and resell.|
| Hi Melissa,|
You obviously have an eye for style!!
Neal is correct that the Armstrong was on the lower end of the Raleigh line however that only meant that the items such as the seats and other trim items were not as fancy as some of the other Raleigh's. The frames, gear systems, etc. were exactly the same quality.
I've always liked the look of an English ladies bike outfitted with a woven basket (it's really charming to decorated the basket with flowers too).
Check this site out and you'll see the baskets I'm talking about:
Good luck with the bike. It's a keeper!
| Witrh respect to Craigs Sunbeam, I have a Dunlop tire chart that lists the F9/26 x 1 1/2 size. I thinks it's quite oddball and you may have a hard time finding them. It's actually smaller than an EA3.|
If anyone wants a scan of this Dunlop tire chart from the 60's, send me your email. Its canadian so it deals with our funky sizes in relation to most British and some US sizes. A good appendix to Sheldons tyre charts.
| It actually is a scan of a Dunlop poster showing the mid sixties tire lineup...nice period graphics with the Sizing chart as an insert. |
| Hi Warren,|
I also solved the tire mystery today.
I've been slowly cleaning the bike off as I've had time.
In small lettering I discovered today that the rear mountain bike tire is in fact a 584 x 44 tire (a 650B!) obviously made for the early Raleigh mountain bikes that used that size. I didn't notice it initially as in large letters it says 26 x 1 1/2 at a different location on the tire. It confirms to me that the bike has the original aluminum rims.
I've also found out that it does have the famous two piece rear axle that makes tube removal easier. That's an exciting find confirming the hubs are also original.
Cleaning the bike has taken a bit longer than I thought it would. It appears that a previous owner sprayed it with some kind of sticky preservative. Even the inside of the frame is coated with an oily substance. Probably explains why the bike is so rust free!
I just received a new Brooks B130 saddle which I'm going to mount on the bike. I do have the original Terry saddle. I'm debating on having it restored with a new cover (I think Cyclart in Vista CA does that kind of work). Another option is to retire it as is and just keep it as a conversation piece. The B130 is still period looking.
I will be posting pictures as soon as I finish removing the sticky coating on the bike. The bike is loaded with all kinds of little screws and petite oil covers. The only missing part was a 3/16" washer that was a part of the front rod brake setup. It was easily replaced with a new one.
I'm still grinning from ear to ear. Pictures are soon to follow.
| I forgot to mention that I'd like the copy of the chart. Email is posted. Thanks!|
| NOS Brooks saddle on Ebay for another day|
| Forgive me if I'm missing the obvious here, but:|
1. When one oils the rear hub through the port, does some of that oil make it to the axle bearings, or are they lubricated by some other method?
2. Is there such a thing as a 4-speed thumb shifter to go with my FW, or should the shifter/cable simply be adjusted to run the whole range without worrying about the positions on the shifter?
Alright, while I'm here, one more:
Is something wrong with my head tube, or does the bottom bearing cup actually rest on the crown race bearings without being pressed into the bottom of the tube? When I took the fork off, the cup simply slipped out.
Gil - (pace Matthew) hopeful SA-ist
| Hi, Gil. 1) You can grease the axle bearings by pulling off the locknuts and cones on both sides of your hub (putting one end in a vise while you're working on the other side makes this process very easy). To get to the locknut and cone on the drive side, you need to take off the cog and that's held on by a circular steel band that pops off with a bit of prying. 2) Yes, SA made 4-speed shifters for FW and FM hubs. I just picked one up on eBay, and they appear with fair regularity. Price can be stiff! 3) That the race popped out of the bottom of your head tube isn't a total disaster as long as it fits back in without a problem. The headset cones and locknut will hold everything together, but you might look carefully to see if someone replaced the original race with one that's the incorrect size.|
| When the hubs were built or re-built the barrings(only) should be greased.The oil lubs the internals and was to help keep the oldtimey grease from drying out.Modern grease doesn't need the oiling that the original type would need.(but the internals still need the oil.But if you re-pack the BB or head set they shouldn't need any oil between cleanning.|
| I have a 1942 Hercules Rod brake roadster with 28" wheels. It is a single speed bike. There is no chrome as it is a war years bike. The pedals have Hercules molded into the rubber blocks. I believe that Hercules was related to Phillips at that time. The bike is ready to ride and it is for sale.|
| Hi Jeff,|
Could you let me know how you got the 1942 date for your bike? I have owned a few Hercs and never managed clear dating so any advice is gratefully received. The Veteran Cycle Club have a marque specialist for Hercules but he won't deal with anything beyond 1946(too new). I got the feeling that he thought roadsters were below him (mine are when I'm riding!)
Matthew - anticipating enlightenment.
Hope you get a buyer soon.