MISC:   help! posted by: john on 6/13/2008 at 7:33:46 PM
only problem i see with this site is that no-one answers good, technical questions for me! many, many posts get unanswered here. i wrote about a Rudge-Whitworth about 5 posts down, but got no replies and now the post is buried. anyone know anywhere else i can contact a Rudge expert? john

   RE:MISC:   help! posted by Kevin on 6/14/2008 at 1:19:07 AM
A lot of good, technical questions are answered here. I am not familiar enough with Rudges to know why your decals don't match. Could the fenders possibly be from another bike?

   RE:MISC:   help! posted by Steve on 6/14/2008 at 1:43:07 AM
Never had a Rudge so can't comment. The nearest I get to a Rudge is/was my grandads motorbike back in the "olden times"... eeeee it were all fields round ear then !

Steve - sorry about the reminiscing.


   RE:MISC:   help! posted by john on 6/14/2008 at 9:42:34 AM
thank you for the answers. i don't see why someone would swap out a rudge fender for an armstrong one. thank you for answering by the way.

does anyone know about so-called "cut fenders"? i have noticed this mentioned with some early english bikes. my rudge has a cut rear fender-- forward part missing. was this to mimic earlier ones that were made partial? john

one more question-- anyone want to buy a nice armstrong ross, currently on ebay?

   RE:MISC:   help! posted by Pete on 6/14/2008 at 10:11:20 AM
Have a look here you may find some clues in the images

   RE:MISC: help! posted by Matthew on 6/14/2008 at 3:21:43 PM
Hi John,

sorry I didn't reply to your query. I tend to reply only when I have something valid to say. I'm afraid your decal mystery is just that to me, perplexing and mystifying but I have no solution. However if P.C.Kohler is reading then he is your (Rudge) man.

Matthew - life is a mystery

   RE:MISC:   help! posted by Geoff Rogers on 6/16/2008 at 9:54:41 AM
I am quite certain that the people at the Rudge factory would never put an Armstrong fender, or even fender decal, on a Rudge bicycle. Fenders and decals were cheap, certainly while the machines are in production, and certainly they would be plentiful at the factory, so it would have had a Rudge decal for sure, even if they were building Armstrongs at the same place (they were!). My guess is that your bike suffered some type of damage to the rear fender at some time and it was replaced, either with a new one from a local bike shop, or with a good used one that matched except for the decal. Why somebody would saw off the front of it, however, is the real mystery!
Bike shops often had new fenders, some with decals, painted in the different original factory colors, for just this purpose. I have a few Raleigh ones from old bike shops, as well as some Phillips plastic Bluemels lightweight fenders, all with decals, and numerous "generic" British fenders, all NOS, so I'm betting that is where the Armstong fender on your bike came from. It probably had a little incident where the original one got squished somehow. Is the rear rim original? If not, that might be another clue!
Geoff Rogers

   RE:MISC:   help! posted by john on 6/17/2008 at 5:35:18 PM
thank you ALL for your answers. the rear rim looks to match the front. i am also wondering about that V on the top tube. what would this have said for a 52 Rudge? my son will be taking pictures soon. by the way check out the red armstrong ross on Ebay USA now...

AGE / VALUE:   Rudge Whitworth posted by: S H on 6/13/2008 at 1:50:37 PM
Rode bike to work the other day (on earlies)to show my long suffering workmates the bike I had been working on.Mostly got such comments as flippen heck thats nearly as old as you!What I did notice was the amount of flex in the frame,really twisty!The 1960 approx Hercules ladies bike Ive got has no where near that sort of flexing.Is this normal!I put a picture of the R W on Riders Rides, but have not had 1 comment on it,come on guys if you dont like it tell me,I can take it! I like it anyway, and I suppose thats all that matters!

   RE:AGE / VALUE: Rudge Whitworth posted by Matthew on 6/13/2008 at 3:19:51 PM
Which is your reader's ride page Stephen?

Matthew - labels are good.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Rudge Whitworth posted by David on 6/13/2008 at 3:58:47 PM
Your frame shouldn't feel "flexy" or "twisty." Check for loose things (axles, saddle, etc.) If nothing there, check closely for cracks in the frame joints. I found that the seatstays had cracked at the top on my Raleigh Comp and that explained the squirrely handling.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Rudge Whitworth posted by Steve on 6/14/2008 at 1:25:18 AM
I'm about to commence work on a "flexi" bike here, let us (me) know if you find anything that's causing this.

I'm all ears !

State clearly on Readers Rides which site is yours.

I'm all eyes !

Rudge-Whitworth is one of the few traditional English bikes I haven't had through my hands in the last twelve months although the prettiest seat I have (floral inlay) has Rudge-Whitworth inscribed into it.

I've often wondered (due to the frame arrangement) if ladies bikes would start to flex more so with age than mens bikes ?

Steve - always learning.

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Go figure! posted by: Warren on 6/13/2008 at 8:18:13 AM
Tourists get hundreds and this one didn't get a bid.


A pristine Canadian Sports with stainless rims, larger frame, with pump, albeit no Brooks saddle.

Wish I needed it.

AGE / VALUE:    posted by: S H on 6/12/2008 at 1:05:07 PM
Can anyone tell me when rod brakes were replaced by cables?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by Chris on 6/12/2008 at 5:58:37 PM
They were not. They made rod brake bikes along with cable brake bikes and coaster brake bikes were made at the same time as well.


   RE:AGE / VALUE: posted by Warren on 6/12/2008 at 6:00:33 PM
They've overlapped for decades...they are really alternate brake systems. Heck, aren't the Indian and Chinese makers still producing rod brakes?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 6/13/2008 at 5:55:57 AM
Yeah... Abley, Eastman, et.al... all still mfg. rod-brake equipped machines. Albeit (at least looking at my Abley)I daresay they're more for show than stopping.... It's why I don't ride the thing.


Larry "Boneman" Bone - Just stopping in.....

MISC:   Good advice worth having posted by: Matthew on 6/11/2008 at 2:29:26 PM
This came from a colleague at work, Justin Mark Wilson, and it is too goo to keep to one's self so here goes.

Technique: How to set up your bike

A properly set up bike will both look and feel right
You and your bike should dovetail together, so that you get the best ride possible and the bike maximises its potential. 'Man and machine in perfect harmony', to use an over-used phrase.

By tweaking your position, getting some work done or yourself or buying the right piece for your bike you can regain unity. Don't let a complaint become something you feel needs to be endured. It doesn't have to be. Good riders aren't better because they put up with aches and pains more than lesser mortals. More a case that by trial and error they have found what works for them and how to minimise unnecessary discomfort.

If you've got a bad back, bad knee or whatever, be sure to do something about it as soon as possible. Otherwise, it might become more serious and lead to more permanent problems. The Cycling Plus bike fit clinic is now open. Next rider please...

Neck pain, headaches and/or shoulder tension are common for fitness riders to report. The muscular tension is often due to handlebars being too low or the stem too long. This can be due to trying to get too low and aero, or just having too long a reach for the rider's torso and arm length. If you place your elbow against the nose of the saddle, your middle (longest) finger should be approximately 60 to 80mm (or the approximate width of the knuckles on your other hand) behind the handlebar.

Alternatively carrying heavy loads in a courier bag or rucksack can put strain on the muscles around the neck and shoulders. So try riding with panniers. Additionally the correct stem height and length can alleviate shoulder tension and make you lock your arms out less.

BIKE FIT 1: make sure the handlebars are the right length and height, so you feel comfortable and can control the bike with ease. Then add some extra padding to the bars for perfect hand comfort
Tension 2...
Ever wondered why you feel heavy on steering and always seem to be resting on your arms rather than having slightly bent 'soft' elbows? In most cases this scenario manifests itself in tight arms, blisters, numb hands and even shoulder tension. You may also see excessive bar tape wear and bunching up. There's a simple cure for this: tilt your saddle until it is flat or, for some people, even slightly tilting up at the front.

Use a spirit level to see how 'flat' your saddle really is, or isn't, double checking that Getting your saddle flat will ensure proper weight distribution on the bike the floor you have the bike on is flat. You may also find that good padded gloves, Specialized Bar Phat Padding £14.99, tel: 0208 3913500 and the above handlebar reach tip all contribute to a perfect hand-handlebar interface. Be sure that the saddle height is not too high (often a man-thing).

Ideally the seat to crank distance (when at the furthest point from the saddle) falls close to 109% of your inside leg length, measured crotch to floor. Get this wrong and you'll overstrain on your hamstrings, knees and lower back. Check the seat post doesn't move (carbon posts in carbon frames often do); I would suggest a small hairline notch scraped into the post, things like electrical tape move over time, a line stays.

BIKE FIT 2: get your saddle flat after ensuring that the height is right
It's about the back...
When cycling you are often bent over or in a twisted position looking over your shoulder or drinking. This is one cause of lower back pain. The other three main culprits are: riding big gears too often, lack of abdominal/ lower back strength and poor flexibility. Use of smaller gears on certain days of the week (eg spinning Sunday) helps to reduce strain. You can also take the time to build some off-the-bike strength with sit up exercises and lower back strengthening, maybe even a few months each winter in the gym.

Best of all take time to stretch. Data from Don't let a complaint become something you feel needs to be endured. Sort it out the US Military shows holding hamstring stretches three times a day, for 30 seconds five times reduces injuries dramatically. A light stretching routine (see below) is easy to do at the end of your ride once you get home and need to cool down.

BIKE FIT 3: take care of your back and abdominals as these are the central column of your cycling physiology - stretch lightly after rides
Needy knees...
The knee is a complicated structure consisting of ligaments, bones and tendons lying smack bang between your cycling muscles. It bends, twists and strains as your pedals revolve in a very unnatural circle.

Suffice to say there's a fair share of fitness riders with niggling knees, often as a result of a sporadic riding regime. This can be compounded by the use of toe clips or clipless pedals that may have too much or too little play, or float, in them. Horses for courses: some riders need play in the ankle, others need none. An early trip to a sports injury clinic is a safer and wiser option if there is serious pain or a history of knee injury or surgery. If you press down on the pedals pointing your toes most of the time this will put a lot of strain on the lower leg (calf ) muscle and the knee. Add too high a saddle and you're heading for big trouble.

Sometimes sitting too far forward or too high causes this over extension. It may just be that you have tight calfs - if so again stretch them by lifting your toes upwards and holding for a count of 30. Repeat this five times and have a masseuse give them the once over.

BIKE FIT 4: be aware of knee complaints, calf tightness and anything from the waist down that is a serious pain - at least look at the bike set up; if it continues get professional help Don't suffer, solve it!
The complaints above are just the main ones that riders can be plagued by. The prescription is not always obvious. However, choose from these: R.I.C.E (Rest, Ice Compression, Elevation), Massage, Bike Set Up, Bike Equipment and Stretching or Body Work (physio, chiropractor, chiropodist, podiatrist). What you must do is ensure a regular complaint does not become something you accept as part of your cycling. You should not have to endure pain or 'after shocks' when you ride. As a rider you probably have enough problems getting on the bike regularly without injury or pain stopping you. Don't suffer. Sort it out.

All credit to Mr Wilson for this most excellent advice no matter what machine you ride.

Matthew - in awe.

   RE:MISC:   Good advice worth having posted by Pete. on 6/12/2008 at 3:56:46 PM
Wise words indeed, I will take this on board and adjust accordingly.
Pete......fresh from the physio dept (really)