ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Went out with an olde, neglected, friend tonight.... posted by: Larry "Boneman" Bone on 8/14/2007 at 5:28:13 PM
OK... so I've posted here before how I slaved mowing lawns in South Jersey in the summers of 1969 & 1970... to save up the hurculean sum of $100... to procure my first English "Racer" (the ignorance of youth)... an impossibly small framed, gold, 10 Speed Raleigh Sprite 27.

I rode that thing everywhere... and my dad... after I moved out of course... gave it to a neighbor's kid and that was pretty much the end of that... :-(

About five years ago... I got to thinking about that machine... the times I had with it... stripping off the regular bars... putting drops on it... removing the fenders and putting a "racing" seat on it... Actually hitting 40mph on the mechanical Huret speedometer....

Dad, of course, thought I ruined it by doing that... and after a time I pretty much concurred... as I eventually... re-installed the original bars... seat, mudguards, etc...

Anyhow... a wee bit of digression there...

Back to 5 years ago... I did a search on one on Ebay... and came across a coffee brown 5-speed... that for some odd reason, really caught my eye. Exceptionally tall... in fact, the frame is 26"... I clicked the "Buy It Now" for $100... figured that to be a bargain... and while... not really, I don't regret doing it.

It arrived via Fedex ground... and I re-assembled it... cleaning it up a bit as I went along. The tires.. didn't match, but were plenty servicable... so... aired them up... did a little magic with the WD-40 and off I went... riding this 70's classic around the neighborhood.

OK... the bug at that point had bitten... I've acquired a small plethora of machines... 3 speeds... 5, 10... a 1974 DL-1 in very nice shape....

Somewhere along the line... I procured a very lovely set of Kenda whitewalls for the Sprite... so, I ripped the wheels off it... and there it sat in the basement... inverted. I did completely clean the rims, spokes... etc.... got the tires off of course... and proceeded to lean the set of them in the corner....

Well that was... like two... maybe three years ago. The bike sat... the wheels / tires / tubes sat.... everything just SAT.... Talk about growin' HAIR!!!!

Dunno why... but tonight... after work I got on the motorcycle and instead of my usual route home... I rolled out 80 west to the Delaware Water Gap... got off at Exit one... and took the Old Mine Road... from there to Dingmans Ferry. Simply a heavenly ride... and the oldest "commercial" highway in the country nonetheless... All within the boundaries of Worthington State Forest and the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Sheer and utter wilderness... with a winding road to meander along on.

I arrive home in a post-ethereal-ride / meditation state... and I have no clue why... but I just spotted the wheels in the corner... and got tired of walking past my olde friend Sprite... so... Mounted the tires... aired them up... relieved the frame of it's plethora of dust bunnies....put her all back together.. a little oil here.... etc....

And off we went... cruising the neighborhood once again.

I had completely forgotten what a graceful, stately... and yes... when pushed... outright fast a machine the Sprite was!

Riding past a small gathering of "Bikers" (neighborhood kids astride their various... I dunno WHAT to call them.... Bicycles?)... I hear one of them say... "Wow... look at the FRAME on THAT thing!"

Call me a Luddite.... or an anachronism.... or both... There's nothing quite like a perfect evening ride on an old English Roadster.

Hope y'all are having similar experiences with your machines this summer!


Larry "Boneman" Bone


   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Went out with an olde, neglected, friend tonight.... posted by David Poston on 8/15/2007 at 10:33:11 AM
I agree, nothing can replace those experiences.

Me, I just dusted off my roadsters after collecting dust in my garage for about three years. Too bad I can't keep 'em all.


   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Went out with an olde, neglected, friend tonight.... posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 8/15/2007 at 4:12:24 PM
And for anyone that's interested.... here be the machine in question:



Larry "Boneman" Bone

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Went out with an olde, neglected, friend tonight.... posted by edgar x on 8/16/2007 at 8:35:53 AM
Man, those whitewalls are startling!! Did you have to clean them up, or did they just stay that white?

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Went out with an olde, neglected, friend tonight.... posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 8/16/2007 at 6:16:06 PM
Actually... the whitewalls I procured new on Ebay.

They really do add a whole other dimension to the machine, do they not?

As to keeping them clean... there's this product out there for automobiles... Westley's Bleche-White....

Keeps them amazingly bright.


Larry "Boneman" Bone

WANTED:   Coppi Info wanted posted by: Mike on 8/14/2007 at 8:55:27 AM
I was wondering if anyone out there could help me. I am trying to do my homework and learn more of a bike that I just picked up. It is a Silver or Gray Coppi 4 speed womens bike. It has a 4 speed freewheel, blue and bike seat, blue grips. It resembles a Raleigh Sports but I suspect its Italian. I did find some Coppi Road/Racing Bikes but no info on this cruiser/roadster style. Any info would be appreciated.
Thanks, Mike Russell

   RE:WANTED:   Coppi Info wanted posted by David on 8/14/2007 at 11:21:45 AM
Seems likely that it's named for Fausto Coppi, the famous racer. But exactly who built it when is another question.
Measure the width of the bottom bracket shell. If it's 70mm wide, it's Italian. Also check for Italian names/brands on the components of the bike (hubs, stem, saddle, crank, etc)

   RE:RE:WANTED:   Coppi Info wanted posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 8/14/2007 at 5:27:05 PM
Wow... sounds very interesting. I can see it all now.... these things will be discovered hiding in garages... barns.... Estates... etc.... and next thing you know....

We'll have a SPLINTER group.... "Discuss ITALIAN Roadsters"!


Just winding you up a little. Sounds like you have a very nice machine there. I'm sure I'm not the only one that would like to see pictures of it when you get the opportunity.

Meanwhile, best of luck with it. If it's at all like the Roadsters we all here know and love, you'll have many years of enjoyment!


Larry "Boneman" Bone

AGE / VALUE:    posted by: Riley on 8/13/2007 at 5:55:29 PM
Novice enquires...Can I convert my brompton 3 speed to a 5 or 6 speed? if so what is my next step in learning the way.

   RE:AGE / VALUE: posted by sam on 8/15/2007 at 8:05:26 AM
You can by adding two cogs(sprocket) to the hub and a derailer---this will give 6 speeds.

AGE / VALUE:   register your bike posted by: Chris on 8/13/2007 at 6:59:29 AM
I had a bike stolen from me.I called the police and guess what they said!

Is the bike registered? Can you prove ownership? Sorry we can't help you.

It's a civil matter, between you and ....... We do criminal and traffic matters. The twouniformed patrol men rolled their eyes at me like I was an idiot ( and I am,for not registering it!) and they took off.

So I can kiss the bike good by. Oh, it'll turn up, eventually.

It was a flea market find and I laugh at the thought of them riding it with no brakes!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   register your bike posted by Kevin on 8/13/2007 at 9:37:25 AM
Be sure to check the next police auction. Lots of bicycle thieves abandon the stolen bikes they have ridden where they want to go, and the police get them back. Too often, however, the bike ends up in the bottom of a river, or it is damaged beyond repair.


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   register your bike posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 8/13/2007 at 3:17:17 PM
No brakes! You'll be HELD LIABLE!!!!

It would be funny.... if it weren't true... but then... I would think the thief would have to prove you the owner in order to collect....

Sorry to hear of your loss.... I hate when stuff like that happens. More than likely... the thief though... Nobody will miss THIS fossil....

Karma..... it'll get 'em!


Larry "Boneman" Bone

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   register your bike posted by Chris on 8/14/2007 at 11:56:52 AM
It's been recovered. I was lucky.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   register your bike posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 8/15/2007 at 9:33:22 AM
Recovered! That's GREAT! And yes... get out there and procure some lottery tickets RIGHT NOW!


Larry "Boneman" Bone

AGE / VALUE:   Hercules age posted by: richard rackham on 8/13/2007 at 1:17:51 AM
I have been offered a gents Hercules, Brittania Works, Birmingham, with cable brakes, allegedly from 1932! Does anybody know whether this adds up, I thought rod brakes were around until the 50s. All the other features of the bike look 1932 ish