ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Acquiring a Raleigh; which One? Aftermath. posted by: Larry on 4/4/2008 at 4:07:33 PM
Hey folks! Just got back from Virginia with .....a 1959 Rudge Sport in burgundy. No rust and all components are original save the grips and tires. Based on a 1950's Rudge catalog, it seems that this particular model is the 20" coaster model with the TCW III three speed Sturmey Archer.

The chainring seems to be original but does not have the 'red hand of Ulster' emblem fabricated in the design. I'm thinking that this might be a junior model - perhaps someone in the group can enlighten me on this point.

I purchased the bike with the firm intent of riding it - but looking at the excellent condition of the bike, my thought is to make it more rideable by upgrading some key components, i.e. rims, hub, and putting the components not being used aside for safekeeping.

By the way, the TCW hub is rated as 'Not Acceptable' by Consumer Reports because of its failure when the gearing is disengaged; Sheldon (R.I.P.) also writes of its unreliability and tendency to fail.

I'm also discovering that the gearing is set too high (If this is what the English were riding before the war, no wonder the English kicked German butt!) So...that's another reason I wanted to upgrade some of the key parts. New wheelset, a 1970's AW S/A hub, a rear brake. I'm thinking these changes will make the bike much more enjoyable to ride.

Your thoughts?


   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Acquiring a Raleigh; which One? Aftermath. posted by Warren on 4/4/2008 at 6:22:26 PM
Heres a start...a 22 tooth cog for $5 plus shipping. Ebay item 140221044549.

You could then replace the non-hand crankset with any number of 40 tooth cranks (or less). Keep the original. There's a nice williams 36 tooth ring on ebay but you need the 3 ping crankarms to go with it. # 370038644131

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Acquiring a Raleigh; which One? Aftermath. posted by Al on 4/4/2008 at 7:32:10 PM

If the bike is a junior model, you might check the cranks. I recently found a friend a Raleigh Wendy model, 19.5-inch seat post, with 5-and-a-half-inch cranks. Once upgraded to the 6-and-a-half-inch Raleigh cranks, the bike rode great.

And a 22-tooth cog.


AGE / VALUE:   Remove decal? posted by: sciencemonster on 4/4/2008 at 8:25:07 AM
I'm cheating here and using a Regal oversized chainguard on my Rudge - is there a way to gently remove the decal without messing up the paint? I need to preserve my slacks, more than I want to preserve that low-class emblem - it detracts from my pimped-out Rudge.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Remove decal? posted by Kevin on 4/6/2008 at 5:04:41 PM
Saturate a paper towel in Windex, wrap it around the decal, let it sit for 20 minutes or so. Usually that will lift the decal, as long as it hasn't been clear-coated.

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Rim sizes posted by: Warren on 4/3/2008 at 5:22:58 PM
With respect to Steve's rim issue below. I've posted a Dunlop rim chart that compares Canadian size rims with the British equivalents. There's useful size info about brit rims in general. I like the circumference of the bead seat surface as a method of measuring tires.


   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Rim sizes posted by Steve on 4/4/2008 at 3:06:20 AM
Nice chart, interesting reading.

I've posted three pictures (Readers Rides) of the mystery wheel in question together with the bike.

Front rim measures (total width across the rim) 1 1/4"
Rear rim measures 1 1/2"
Mystery rim also measures 1 1/2" across the rim but is definitely larger wheel diameter than the 26" but smaller than a 28" (it also has 32 spokes as I would have expected).

I will only leave the photos on until this little saga is solved (which will no doubt be followed by another saga) !

By the way, both tyres/tires are "tired" Michelins - Front is 37-590 ZIG ZAG and rear is 35-590 WORLD TOUR.

Steve - thanks.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Rim sizes posted by Matthew on 4/4/2008 at 10:31:25 AM
Dunlop UK made Dunlop Carrier tyres in 26 X 1 3/4. My ride is on Michelin rubber.

I can assure everyone that only 26 X 1 3/4 (UK) tyres will fit those 26 X 1 3/4 rims. The late great man himself would be in agreement, I consulted Sheldon on the subject when it vexed me.

Matthew - pasta and mince mmmmm teatime!

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Rim sizes posted by sam on 4/4/2008 at 5:51:00 PM
Also should be pointed out that the Schwinn S-7 tires were a british size.(26x1&3/4)

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Rim sizes posted by Kevin on 4/5/2008 at 6:30:22 AM
THe Schwinn tire works fine. I have one on the rear wheel of my Hercules delivery bike. I never could find a tire to fit the smaller front rod wheel. Does anyone know what size that takes, and if they're available?

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Rim sizes posted by Matthew on 4/5/2008 at 8:50:43 AM
There front wheels are usually 20" some may be 16". now that BMX bikes are so very popular there are some good looking (not knobbly) BMX tyres which might fit?

Matthew - more half pint than half pipe.

AGE / VALUE:   27" trade bike wheel ? posted by: Steve on 4/3/2008 at 10:25:24 AM
Whilst sorting out a pile of wheels yesterday I came across a wider than normal width rod wheel. I'm presuming this is a trade bike wheel but I'm struggling to get a tyre onto it.

The 26 x 1 3/8 just will not have it and a 28 x 1 1/2 slips over the top of it.

I know that 27" tyres exist but I've never heard of a 27" rod wheel tyre(and a trade bike wheel at that) ?

Any ideas.

Steve - still learning and loving it !

   RE:AGE / VALUE: 27 posted by Matthew on 4/3/2008 at 1:31:52 PM
Welcome to the other side. (deep scary laughter)
You have entered the 26 X 1 3/4 zone. Nothing else will do for you, not even 26 X 1 1/2.

There are no other tyres which will fit that rim, 650B won't fit nor will MTB 26 X 1.75 You have a trade bike wheel and you cannot return to the former side. (The dark side is reserve for 'bents and their pilots) - beyond the dark side lies the other side where only heavyweight machinery survives (More scary laughter.)

Matthew - keep on cycle trucking!

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: 27 posted by sam on 4/3/2008 at 1:39:14 PM
I have a set of rod brake rims---made in england---for wide 700s!Yes England did make 700s rims---for export to Canada where their rims were all 700s sized.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: 27 posted by Warren on 4/3/2008 at 4:45:34 PM
Sam is correct. Dunlop made an entire range of "canadian size rims" for our market. And the 28 x 1 1/2 inch size is exactly the same as a 700c. Try a road tire on it and see. Then you can find some wide 700 X 45's to fit. Continental actually made some 48's.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   27 posted by Steve on 4/3/2008 at 4:47:54 PM
Matthew, you made my wife laugh...which is very very scary for me (and the neighbours)!

There was a more in depth reason for raising the question, this being that I had been looking for a trade bike for some time but would not part with mortgage repayment size money.
Anyhow, I did land on a trade bike for sensible money but did that risky thing of purchasing something that has had at some stage a blow over in Matt Black (in my commercial vehicle buying days I would never buy anything that had fresh black paint splattered all over the engine compartment).

Nevertheless, lets be honest we're dealing with miniscule amounts of money (and lesser heartbreak and stress) should things go wrong in comparison.

On checking the bike over and rectifying one or two minor faults (brakes that didn't work properly etc) that I hadn't noticed when purchasing the bike it suddenly dawned on me that the front wheel was slightly narrower than the rear wheel...

So, out with the measuring stick and yes there is approx 6 to 7 mm (or 1/4" in real talk) difference but here's the strange part....both rims are fitted with a 26 x 1 3/8 tyres !

At this stage I'm thinking...no problem front wheel is not original but I'm sure I've got a front trade wheel amongst my doners and I'll stick the tyre/tire on that rim until I get a pair of beefier tyres...hence the question.

The mystery doner wheel looks/feels good, has no markings, is black, has age to it and is most definitely from "the other side" (lots of extremely deep and scary laughter)!

The thing that bothers me is that the 26 x 1 3/8 tyre really did not get anywhere near fitting it, which is a pity because I've got a few used but good tyres of this size and obviously no "other side scary laughter" tyres/tires.

26 x 1 3/4 or 700s I'm looking forward to solving this one.

Steve - delivering soon.


   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: 27 posted by Warren on 4/3/2008 at 5:35:15 PM
You said it was a wider than normal rim. Matthews likely pegged it as the 26 X 1 /4. Are they available these days Matthew?

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: 27 posted by Warren on 4/3/2008 at 5:53:02 PM
...that's 26 x 1 3/4...

   RE:AGE / VALUE: 27 posted by Matthew on 4/4/2008 at 10:25:26 AM
eBay Item number: 130142970189

Kingsway cycles seem to stock front a rear 26 X 1 3/4 rims.

I bought brand new Michelin tyres for my trade beastie. They came from my local(ish) proper family owned (since 1894) Cycle shop.

Matthew - rather tyred - its dark out here.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   27 posted by Steve on 4/4/2008 at 4:07:32 PM
I can feel it in my bones !

I might just treat myself to an early (very early) Christmas present this year.

As much as a like rummaging through piles of junk in search of that elusive item, I suspect that this search could be a long one...26 x 1 3/8 yes, 26 x 1 3/4 ?

Thanks for all details and prompts.

Going off at a tangent now...I went out on my 74 3 speed PUCH today for the first time in ages just to loosen it up, it was fine - but you can't beat a ROADSTER !

Steve - lights out !

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   An unusual English bike posted by: Kevin on 4/2/2008 at 1:19:49 AM
I have an old, unusual English bike. It's black (of course) single speed, 26 inch wheels, with rod brakes. The rear axle is quite small and stamped "Raleigh" with the heron. The fenders are round, not flat, and the handlebars are quite narrow and stamped "Made in England." It has a decal-type headbadge that I can't read. The seatpost is shaped like a "7" and it has a really unusual leather saddle with a large coil spring in the nose. Is this a Raleigh? I'm guessing it's from about 1930. The chainring is more of a star pattern, and not the usual heron style. It's a nice, tight little bike, very lightweight, and it pedals easily despite the fact that it's a single speed. Any help identifying it would be appreciated. I've had it for at least 10 years but I didn't know about the Raleigh stamping until I started cleaning the axles yesterday.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   An unusual English bike posted by Steve on 4/2/2008 at 3:25:32 AM
I've had (and still do have) similar bikes here. Could be Brookes, Dunlop saddle etc, might have had replacement parts over the years before you acquired it.

Try putting a photo on here, there's lots of knowledgable folks who will no doubt comment on it.

I had a small 21" frame New Hudson single speed recently with BSA stampings on it, lovely flowered inlay Rudge-Whitworth No: 701 seat and needless to say "Made in England" stamped into the handlebars (details were only revealed once the dirt and rust had been removed).

Good luck in identifying it.



   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: An unusual English bike posted by Matthew on 4/2/2008 at 11:41:56 AM
Hi Kevin,

get a photo of the unreadable headbadge. As big and clear as you can, then let us see it.

Matthew - I can see clearly now..

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   An unusual English bike posted by Kevin on 4/2/2008 at 3:40:39 PM
I'll try take a photo of the headbadge. Additional information: The rear hub also is stamped: "T.D. CROSS & SONS, LTD. TRADE MARK ... OIL (arrow) UNSCREW." The lettering is on the outside of the shell, around the sprocket. I've never seen a rear hub like this one. It's very finely machined, quite delicate looking.

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: An unusual English bike posted by sam on 4/2/2008 at 8:27:22 PM
sounds like your talking about the freewheel,not the hub.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: An unusual English bike posted by Matthew on 4/3/2008 at 1:35:40 PM
TDC made freewheels for everyone. A T.D.Cross freewheel is a good piece of kit & is as English as Ashby de la Zouch.

Matthew - you couldn't make it up!