ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Chrome, Stainless or Black rims/wheels. posted by: Steve on 4/10/2008 at 2:52:26 PM
Mainly interested in information on black rims.

Were they shipped out of the factory in black (complete with bike) in peace time and not just war time ?

Were they mainly attached to Trade bikes or did other bikes have them.

On purely economical grounds did most become black (especially standard width rims) when the chrome started to vanish and things were starting to look rusty ?

I seem to have a few black rod rims/wheels, most with remnants of chrome underneath the now ageing paintwork.

The only two genuine black rims/wheels appear to be on wider width rims which I presume will have come off a trade bike of some description.

Were black rims to be seen on any types of newly released bikes or was it mainly a trade bike attachment...I really can't imagine my Raleigh Sports with black rims but I struggle to imagine my trade bike with nice shiny rims.

I know this may sound silly but if the bike is/was in everyday use, wouldn't the black paintwork soon start to disappear from the rim edges after regular contact with the brake blocks ?
I suppose one could argue that this wouldn't matter as the blocks would stop the exposed metal from going rusty !

Steve - I think I was born in the wrong era.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Chrome, Stainless or Black rims/wheels. posted by Warren on 4/10/2008 at 4:51:46 PM
I like painted rims. Here's 3 examples, the green is a 26 x 1 3/4 trade bike wheel from '51. The others are roadster wheels. CCM used them for decades but they never had rod brakes. I wouldn't use them for that application.



   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Chrome, Stainless or Black rims/wheels. posted by Steve on 4/11/2008 at 10:38:48 AM
I didn't realise that rims had been so artistic.

We're having a bit of a rim cleaning session here, quite a few of the wheels I've acquired are "tatty", so it's off with the remnants of the rim tape (ragged brown fabric), wire drill the rusty stuff out, coat of primer followed by top coat when dry.
Funny thing is, no one ever sees how nice the inner rim is with it's new protection paint and rim tape !
Oh well, it shouldn't go rusty again for a very long time.

Thanks for photos,


   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Chrome, Stainless or Black rims/wheels. posted by Kevin on 4/11/2008 at 11:58:02 AM
Steve -- Do the rod brakes grab well enough to stop the bike when the rims are painted?

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Chrome, Stainless or Black rims/wheels. posted by Steve on 4/11/2008 at 2:37:34 PM
Well Kevin, it's funny you should ask that because so far I've only restored the inner rims (probably seven or eight etc).

The tyres/tires on the rims were just to risky to ride on when I acquired them, hence the cleaning up job.

To be perfectly honest the braking is at best average, the saying "drive to the limits of the vehicle" springs to mind.

I have cleaned up the braking area on the unpainted rims where the surface rust had accumulated, I can't really say that I've noticed much difference in braking performance on the painted rim bikes.
I suppose one would be better qualified to comment on this when trying out a freshly painted rim bike.

My biggest problem with rod brake bikes has been freeing off seized linkages (usually below the handlebars) in order to get the adjustment set-up correctly.

As a point of interest I adjusted my daughters "V" brakes the other day on her super-duper three year lifespan modern flimsy bike...and it hurts to say - they're wonderful at stopping you !



   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Chrome, Stainless or Black rims/wheels. posted by Kevin on 4/13/2008 at 8:10:21 AM
Steve -- I've been riding old English bikes for years, and I have found that rod brakes have far less stopping power than cable-type brakes, even when you use those expensive leather brake blocks. I avoid riding rod-brake bikes in heavy traffic, or on wet days. I am guessing that painted rims wouldn't make them any worse, and my Hercules delivery bike came with painted rims. Painting would be a good way to salvage and smooth rims that have gotten really rusty. Pitted rims devour the brake blocks on a rod-brake bike.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Chrome, Stainless or Black rims/wheels. posted by Steve on 4/13/2008 at 12:00:02 PM
Well that's a coincidence Kevin !

The whole reason behind me questioning colour of rims is down to a recently acquired Hercules delivery bike.

I'm pretty sure that it has the wrong size wheel rims (painted black) attached which I suppose has probably happened to many aged trade bikes as they have become more battered and possibly discarded over the years (until recent times I guess).

I hadn't really thought about the smoothing-out effect on pitted rims, but it sounds good to me.

The problem I have now is whether to search for the proper size original wheels/rims in good condition (which may take some time), acquire a doner with the correct wheels attached or buy new although I think the spoke set-up may be different on these.

The bike is actually performing useful tasks here and is not a display item, so the quicker the correct wheels (and tyres) are on it...the better !

I don't think I've ever had the luxury of expensive leather brake blocks so can't really comment on that.


   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Chrome, Stainless or Black rims/wheels. posted by Kevin on 4/13/2008 at 3:54:10 PM
I could never find a tire to fit the front wheel of my Hercules delivery bike. I removed both rod-brake wheels, saved them, and replaced them with Schwinn middleweight 20 inch and 26 inch wheels. It still looks like a rod-brake bike, but it has a coaster brake on the back. I plan to paint both rims black this summer. I love the bike -- it rides smoothly, and it's surprisingly nimble and easy to pedal.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Chrome, Stainless or Black rims/wheels. posted by Steve on 4/14/2008 at 1:24:40 AM
Just as a point of interest, how are you going to paint your rims - brush or spray.

I've painted large metalwork over the years by both methods i.e. Etch Primer, primers, top coat(s) etc and the rubbing down in between.

I haven't painted anything so "nimble" as rims, I'm not so concerned with aged/used rims but would want to make sure that if I acquire new chromed rims that I get it right first time if possible.

I actually like chrome (as long as it's good quality),stainless etc but I can only picture this particular bike dressed in all black !

Steve - I suppose the wicker basket will be next !

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Chrome, Stainless or Black rims/wheels. posted by Kevin on 4/15/2008 at 10:42:33 AM
I plan to spray the spokes and rims with black enamel while the bike is upside down and the wheel is spinning. That distributes the paint very evenly and results in fewer runs.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Chrome, Stainless or Black rims/wheels. posted by Steve on 4/15/2008 at 2:36:31 PM
Thanks for that. I hadn't thought of spinning the wheel.
I'll sit the wheel in my old inverted forks stuck into the top of a traffic cone...mind you, I'll have a practice on a doner first.

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Drooling towel recommended.... posted by: Larry "Boneman" Bone on 4/10/2008 at 2:28:51 AM
If this were a mens' frame I would jump on it like a kangaroo....

Ebay item: 180231975266

Very nice indeed.


Larry "Boneman" Bone

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Drooling towel recommended.... posted by Evelle Snoats on 4/13/2008 at 8:02:06 PM
Well I jumped on it to use parts for my Mens Supurbe, although if it looks good my wife may want it. What do you think a fair price would be? I am still below reserve at 101.

It looks like it has a dynohub; that and the fairly good looking wheels, saddle and gearcase have me interested. Do you think the saddle is women's specific? My bike is a mens but I'm kind of thinking maybe there was no women's specific back in the day.

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   1959 Rudge Chainring posted by: Larry P on 4/9/2008 at 10:17:32 AM
Greetings all!

Just acquired a 1959 Rudge Sport with all original parts; based on a 1950's brochure, I'm thinking its the 20" coaster model since its a 20" size and has a coaster brake hub (great analysis, huh?)

It has a generic looking chainring (again from the 50's) but without the 'hand of ulster' design which I have seen on some other Rudges.

Can anyone enlighen me as to why a given model for Rudge would not come equipped with this unique chainring? Were only some models so equipped? The 20" Sport model, by the way, seems to be an adult and not a junior model since the cranks are 6 1/2 inches and not the 5 1/5 inch boys/girls model.

Any feedback greatly appreciated.


   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   1959 Rudge Chainring posted by Geoff Rogers on 4/9/2008 at 12:02:11 PM
Larry, English cycles with 20 inch wheels were not built for adults, at least not in the 1950s. When folding bicycles came out a bit later, they had 20 or even 16 inch wheels, but it sounds to me as though your Rudge is a boy's bike. Adult cycles were normally equipped with 26 inch wheels, or 27 if they were "lightweights" (as distinct from the 26" sports or roadster machines which we all love so well, which often bore a decal proclaiming them to be "Genuine English Lightweight," which was true only as far as the genuine and English part. They were certainly light compared to American balloon-tire machines, though). As to the Rudge "hand" chainwheel, I have a theory about that: I suspect that Raleigh, who was making Rudge cycles by 1959, used the same smaller chainwheel on all their children's bikes at that time, a plain-Jane style instrument with fewer teeth than the ones used on bigger machines. Normally the big bikes had 46 teeth, but I expect a 20-incher would have fewer, maybe 40 teeth, for easier pedaling. Some women's cycles also had a smaller front chainwheel, although not all. Maybe it was optional? Anyway, a Rudge, any Rudge, is a cool machine, no matter what the wheel size. I have a little Dunelt with 24-inch wheels and a rod brake on the front (coaster rear) and it's one of my favorites.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   1959 Rudge Chainring posted by Larry P on 4/9/2008 at 3:25:29 PM
Geoff, thanks for the reply. The Rudge in question has 26 1 3/8 inch rims and a 48 tooth chain ring. On the seat tube is the decal displaying 'Genuine Engligh Lightweight'.

In the brochure that I have, there's a 'swept frame Rudge' for adults and one also for boy's. Looking closely at them both indicates a regular (no hand) chainring.

I'm inclined to believe that this is a kid's model although seemingly modified for an adult.


   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   1959 Rudge Chainring posted by Chris on 4/9/2008 at 3:27:53 PM
I pulled old bikes out of all the old shops in Michigan and much from Detroit and Canada, I asked this exact question
and my old distributor friend, Bill Farber( Farber Cycle and Hobby) told me this about the plain spoked type crankset: "That is a very famous crank set!"
It's Raleigh's crankset! You don't have to have the Herons or a rudge hand to have it be original. Sure, the spoked type is not as unique and the Herons or the Rudge hand or the Humber imps, but what you have is famous and original just as much as the others.

It was a model thing, and also availability. Change it if you like but I'd leave it in place and give it a nod and keep it as you found it.


   RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   1959 Rudge Chainring posted by chris on 4/9/2008 at 3:40:45 PM
The Six and Livernois Shop in Detroit was a magical playground and the cranks that I found there!
Oh, My God.....

This was Gene Porteisi's shop part of Cyclopedia Mail order and the things that that place yeilded!!

Collectors stunned! asking "Where did you find this stuff?"

the stuff that I draged home. the memories, the atmosphere, the people that brought in things to sell and things I bought. I bought a Flying Scot Track bike from a lady in the suburbs and I and took it home, to the shop in Detroit where it was bought, special ordered from England, special built from Rattrays. He looked it over and was quiet

yes, back in the day They imported Flying Scots for riders who were destined to ride in the Olympics.

I played detective and found/ bought the missing/ fabled back inventory stock of Cyclopedia.....
landfill? yea, shure.........
There was another shop...where the new owners did not believe there was a basement in the place. That trap door....
None of the border hassles of Canada either.

I was in negiotations to buy the place and we came close to a deal but I decided against it.

He had a fire and what was left was carted away. It's all gone.

I tell you all the place was magical. A bubble in time.

Rats, no electricity, running water, being escorted to and from the car by my pal with his Jesse James gun belt to keep me safe.

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Dynohub repairs posted by: Geoff Rogers on 4/9/2008 at 9:07:19 AM
I am putting together a Dyno-Four (FG) four-speed rear hub, but the dyno parts are missing. The axle and hub guts are all intact, and I suppose I could use it the way it is, but I would like to replce the dyno bits. I have a couple of front dynohubs; can I use those parts in the FG? and how do I remove those parts from the original hub without ruining the magnets? I remember reading that they must be retained in some sort of keeper device. Many thanks,
Geoff Rogers

PS Were Dyno-Four hubs used on US-market Raleighs, or did they all come with three-speed hubs? I have a suspicion the Dyno-four was not sold over here, for some reason. They are certainly a lot more common in the UK.

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Freewheel removal tool. posted by: Steve on 4/7/2008 at 1:31:41 PM
Just had a frustrating time trying to remove two single speed freewheels (one T.D.Cross the other Sturmey Archer) without deforming or wrecking them.

Both have approximate internal diameters of 36mm (approx 1 x 7/16ths).

My hammer and blunt chisel are really NOT the tools for this job.

I have yet to see the appropriate tool available on the market for this job apart from something that I think could possibly be utilised which is advertised for use on BMX.

As both freewheels must be in the region of 50+ years young...the two recesses for purchase are slightly "shaped off" on one side where someone has wacked them before (probably with a tool worse than mine).
The opposing side on the recess is obviously untouched due to the theoretic self tightening of the freewheel after threading it back into position by hand.

I'm trying to get a "try" of this BMX device in the hope that (a)it will fit (b) it will not slip out of the recesses when pressure is applied.

Any of you expert single-speed freewheel removal technicians know of a purpose built tool readily available or something that can be adapted/made to work with a minor change or two.

Steve - Saga 372 Chapter 5