ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Triumph 5-speed, early 70's (?) posted by: Dan Morse on 7/26/2008 at 10:13:43 AM
I just bought this bike this week: it's a 5-speed Triumph, from the early seventies, according to the seller.

What I am curious about in particular is the shifter's location on the top tube. This seems, at the very least, odd, and potentially even dangerous.

I am wondering if it might have been originally located on the downtube. I have been unable to find photos of similar Triumphs online to compare.

Any assistance, thoughts, advice, etc. would be most appreciated.



   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Triumph 5-speed, early 70's (?) posted by Warren on 7/26/2008 at 11:58:39 AM
Early 70's sounds correct. The top tube mounting position was common...it's more convenient with the upright bars. I wouldn't consider it dangerous although it could be painful given the wrong type of accident.

I had a similar, 1972 Raleigh/Glider rebrand with drop bars, Huret 5 speed gears and the shifter was on the downtube.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Triumph 5-speed, early 70's (?) posted by Dan Morse on 7/26/2008 at 1:15:37 PM
Thanks, Warren.

To all: would my bike be properly termed a roadster, or is that designation reserved for 3-speeds?

Forgive what I'm sure is a rather elementary question. I'm new to this -- but already getting hooked.


   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Triumph 5-speed, early 70's (?) posted by Kurt K. on 7/26/2008 at 2:54:23 PM
Looks like a Triumph-badged version of the first-generation ('68-'70) Raleigh Sprite.

Might want to check your forks - the blades appear bent back just a tad. Nothing that can't be solved with a quick trip to the fork jig and a minor cold setting.


   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Triumph 5-speed, early 70's (?) posted by Dan Morse on 7/26/2008 at 3:40:52 PM
Thanks, Kurt. The Sprite ID is very helpful.

Re: the forks, would bent blades be obvious to my untrained eye? Are there signs I can look for?

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Triumph 5-speed, early 70's (?) posted by greg on 7/27/2008 at 2:55:44 PM
Meant to say Hercules, not Humphey

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Triumph 5-speed, early 70's (?) posted by Kurt K. on 7/26/2008 at 5:55:03 PM
Center the front wheel, stand at the side of the bike, and eyeball a straight line paralleling the headtube down to the fork. The center of the forks should parallel that imaginary line until they curve forward.

If I am not mistaken, you will probably find that the fork blades curve just a tad rearwards of this line.


   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Triumph 5-speed, early 70's (?) posted by Warren on 7/26/2008 at 6:14:33 PM
It's a bike that sits between genres...a little bit of everything, roadster, road bike, comfort bike, sport bike. Change the saddle, bars, stem, drivetrain and you can have any of the above
As it is, 5 speed roadster best describes it in my books.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Triumph 5-speed, early 70's (?) posted by greg on 7/26/2008 at 9:12:04 PM
in a similar vein... picked up a Humphey royal geofery today free. 10-speed 1 3/8 x 26 wheels, white Brooks mattress saddle. Frame, fenders, BB all identical to the Sports sitting next to it(also free, 2 63 on hub)but with a cheaper fork, flattned end of each fork as drop out. No pics, gotta get a digital camera, (next day off?) My qestion, who's this Geofery & how did he get such a low end bike named after him.

   RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Triumph 5-speed, early 70's (?) posted by Chris on 7/28/2008 at 3:11:55 PM

MISC:   WOW... a fine example... bid up accordingly methinks... posted by: Larry "Boneman" Bone on 7/24/2008 at 5:04:28 PM

A simply wonderful machine... what a Schwinn is all about.

I know... a bit off-topic but this one's worth gandering, I assure you.


Larry "Boneman" Bone - For a thousand smackers... it better have a V-twin and make lots of noise!


AGE / VALUE:   Interesting color 1955 Indian Princess posted by: Chris on 7/24/2008 at 3:14:31 PM
e- bay item # 280249647651 1955 Indian Princess bicycle

It's not black, the common color for these!

It's yellow! or a variation of it!
the 1950's had better colors!


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Interesting color 1955 Indian Princess posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 7/24/2008 at 4:47:34 PM
That is a most interesting colour... I say it's "Lime". Or something....

Neat find.


Larry "Boneman" Bone - You put the lime in the coconut... and call me in the morning....

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   English Bikes in their Native Land posted by: Geoff Rogers on 7/24/2008 at 9:16:14 AM
My family and I have just returned from yet another trip to the UK. We didn't see many old Brit bikes in use, sadly. There was a Raleigh Kent in Exeter and a Nottingham 3-speed (not a Raleigh but I forget what) in Coventry, both evidently in daily use, but overall there were no more than I see here in Northampton, Massachusetts, sadly. But we did go to the excellent Coventy Museum of Transportation, which is one of the best free museums, or even ones that charge for that matter, that I'll ever see. Aside from the usual mouth-watering collection of cars, motorcycles, trucks and buses (Coventry was the center of the once-proud British motoring industry, which plunged into near oblivion as precipitously as the cycle industry after the sixties), the Museum boasts a really fantastic collection of bicycles, all of them British, of course! There are pennyfarthings, ordinaries and some even rarer really ancient machines in profusion, but I confess they do not move me. Much more compelling for me is the extensive collection of postwar and just-prewar bikes, many of them 3-speeds and older lightweights, just the stuff I collect and love. There must be dozens of roadsters on display, imaginatively placed with cars, horses, and recreated village streetscapes, as well as a large display of just bikes. I did spot a few abnormalities, like plastic covered trigger shifters on prewar bikes, but most stuff looks correct and original. Favorites of mine included an orange Hetchins that looked brand new, a 1946(?) Lenton, and a pair of 4-speed Superbes from the fifties, both absolutely mint and unspoiled. I have a '53 that is almost as nice, so these were especially appealing to me. It's nice to see the bikes shown in a recreation of the environment where they lived when new. Next to Field Marshall Montgomery's enormous Humber tourer (that's a car, not a bike) was parked a BSA paratrooper bike. Maybe it wasn't as nice as Chris's, but its proximity to Monty's car did raise it up a bit. Come to think of it, though, maybe yours is better, Chris, because you use it. I don't ride my Superbe much, partly because I want to preserve those original Dunlop tires and tubes, but I do use the other ones pretty regularly. Like tomorrow, for instance.
Can't wait for my next trip back!
Geoff Rogers

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   English Bikes in their Native Land posted by Kevin on 7/24/2008 at 9:51:01 AM
Great report, Geoff. I wonder how much of Coventry's industrial base survived the fire bombings during World War II. As I recall, Coventry was hit especially hard. I definitely want to see the museum and its bikes. I was in Ireland in May and saw almost no old bikes in use, but a couple of great old trade bikes were being used for display purposes outside shops in Galway and Limerick.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   English Bikes in their Native Land posted by Chris on 7/24/2008 at 1:39:40 PM
I'm happy to hear you saw this awesome museaum and that you had a safe and happy trip. As to the tales of the disappearing classic bikes in their native land, there is truth to that, but there is still enough magic left in the moonlight, even at this very late date.

You have to search, really search and believe. Don't you never, ever stop believing.


   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   English Bikes in their Native Land posted by Kevin on 7/24/2008 at 5:05:39 PM
Chris is certainly right. You don't see many old bikes on the streets of the U.S., either. But they're still out there, waiting to be found in garages, tool sheds and the cob-webby corners of basements.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: English Bikes in their Native Land posted by Matthew on 7/26/2008 at 1:25:37 AM
Hi Folks,

Well,there is a plethora of cheap and nasty MTBs in the UK plus lots of young people pedaling hard on BMX bikes, which they usually give up when they need to get further than the next street. There are also a great number of very expensive mountain, dirt, DH, lightweight and jump bikes out there too.

However there are still vast numbers of folks in the UK who choose to assuage the luxury of a motor car and take to the streets by bicycle of a far less exotic nature. The humble English 3 speed bicycle is out there in significant numbers. You need to know where to look. There are many housing estates, market towns and shopping centres (not the large out of town complexes and malls) where a three speed bike can be found leant against a shop front, often not locked up, or leant upon by its owner as an efficient prop and walking aid. There are also the retro chic members of society who revel in the use of something far from brand new; skinny young men and women in skinny jeans astride Triumph Palm Beaches and Hercules Balmorals bought cheaply at charity shops. Look around village streets and you will see roadsters en route to allotments and doctor's surgeries. You will find small children still being collected from school atop the saddle of Mum's or Nanny's bicycle. This is the England I live in. It isn't the picture postcard of tourist Britain (no disrespect to those of you who do come here to tour and enjoy our country). It is the reality of day to day rural Britain where an old bike doesn't raise an eyebrow unless it has one wheel much larger than the other.

Yes rod braked roadsters are becoming more rarely seen as everyday transport but English roadsters, from pre-war Rudges painted bright blue with household gloss paint, to late model Raleigh Caprices are still out there and earning their keep. All is not lost.

Matthew - its all very English to me.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   English Bikes in their Native Land posted by Steve on 7/26/2008 at 3:15:31 PM
I never go out on a "normal bike" because I don't have one, I never go out in a car because I don't have, and don't want one...I do still have a snazzy passenger commercial vehicle which I do use very carefully for collecting stray bikes (today it was a desperate and very sad "The Hopper"... & Elsworth I suppose, I'm still reading up on the history of this particular company).

The moral of the story is...if I can use one of my real bikes, I will !
If it's raining and I don't want to get one of my rusty special bikes even rustier, I call on the services of my modern (but rusty in places)1974 Puch 3-speed !

Steve - Hopper undercover tonight (with it's new mates), possibly for the first time ever !

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   "All Weather" Roadsters posted by: Mike on 7/24/2008 at 7:01:37 AM
Hi all: With regard to the Raleigh "All Weather" cycles, the 1939 catalog states something like: "usual chromium parts painted black." I might have an interest in doing this to my '78 DL-1 as opposed to re-chroming stuff. Where all parts actually painted black ((rims, handlebars, seatpost, brake assemblies, etc)? Many thanks for any guidance, Mike

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:    posted by Stephen Hogben on 7/24/2008 at 1:40:32 PM
I painted all the chrome work on my Rudge,did it with "chrome" paint.However used grey primer which seemed to mix and turn a silvery grey!Stripped every part down then painted. On re-assembly (especially brake rods)paint was damaged,probably better to fit ,adjust,remove,paint then fit back.P.S. do not use Hammerite!

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:    posted by Christopher on 7/24/2008 at 1:41:48 PM
Keep the bike original, please.

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:    posted by Christopher on 7/24/2008 at 1:44:41 PM
This was due to the war and yes, all parts were japanned, or painted black. You will ruin the re- sale value of the bike. Save up for an original one. it's well worth it.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: posted by sam on 7/25/2008 at 8:27:41 PM
All-weather roadsters were not done just for WW2--All the chrome would be painted black.Sometimes the bars were plastic coated.But black paint would look good also---black paint is a fine alternative to rechroming.I did the 36 russ tandem in this manner.Sure beat having all the numbers buffed off the parts.---sam

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: posted by Matthew on 7/26/2008 at 1:28:47 AM
Sorry Sam you are just a little bit wrong. The chrome did not exist on 'all weathers' they were black with no chrome at all. The SA hub wasn't even chrome plated and no chrome was painted over because it wasn't there to start with. Parts were all painted or emnamelled.

Hope this helps.

Matthew - its black and white

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: posted by sam on 7/26/2008 at 7:19:54 PM
Matthew,I yeld to your knowlage,and thanks for clearing up this matter for me.I do have a very early S/A K hub that is black as you state(no chrome)just paint.