ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Stainless Steel Rod Brake Hardware posted by: KG on 9/17/2008 at 6:41:04 PM
Anyone know of a manufacturer of STAINLESS rod brake hardware? Looking for Rods, Pivots, etc.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Stainless Steel Rod Brake Hardware posted by Chris on 9/18/2008 at 4:46:05 PM
Never seen it. Anywhere. Stainless Sturmey Archer nuts and indicator chain nuts. Stainless Raleigh Chopper bicycle related parts.

No Stainless steel rod brake parts.

Did you guys know that Pashley uses ALLOY in their 28 x 1 1 /2 Westwood bicycle rims for use on the Pashley Guv'nor bicycle? I doub't that you can get the rims without ordering the whole complete Guv'nor cycle. Go the Pashley website and see the bike for yourself. This particular bike is my dream bike. It's a roadster bike that uses reynolds 531 tubing. the only one have seen to use it.
keep looking, I am so far from having all the answers. It may turn up yet. this is mysterious and mystical, magical stuff we are dealing with and like a mirage it may appear.

Legend has it, that Schwinn employees ran Stainless steel through the tube mill late at night after the bosses went home and collectors deny it ever happened but there WERE stainless steel 26 x 2. 125 Schwinn s- 2 rims. I have had them in my very hands.

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Stainless Steel Rod Brake Hardware posted by Chris on 9/18/2008 at 4:50:33 PM
I go to Sheldon's site and see everything that goes up on e- bay bikewise every day and I have see stainless steel chopper aftermarket parts and the aftermarket sturmey archer nuts. I watch and read and lurk but have not yet seen stainless steel rod brake parts. I think it is tottally awesome that you ask. I am not alone in my passion for these bikes and I am so happy to be a part of this group here!

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Stainless Steel Rod Brake Hardware posted by KG on 9/19/2008 at 1:02:48 AM
My love of stainless goes back to my love of old motorcycles. There is a plethora of new stainless parts to replace chrome/cadmium on old motorbikes. Thank God for that. Sometimes, there is a good reason they don't build them like they use to.

Anyway, I am in China. There are lots of repro Raleigh parts around and of course the domestically made, Forever, Flying Pigeon, Phoenix, Five Rams, etc, are all brake rod roadsters built in numbers that the British manufacturers never dreamed of. Ditto in India where Hercules and Westwood are made. Not suprisingly lot's of parts will interchange.

I figured somewhere in China, England, India or elsewhere, at sometime, somebody must have thought of the obvious step of using stainless instead of chrome. I am actually, quite suprised that nobody has. I mean, it rains even more in England than in China, I would have thought there would be a demand.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Stainless Steel Rod Brake Hardware posted by Steve on 9/19/2008 at 2:16:30 AM
Forgive my ignorance on this, but how does the manufacturing (hence the cost) process differ between Stainless and Chrome ?

I have a mountain of sad chrome parts here..I just wished some of it WAS stainless.


   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Stainless Steel Rod Brake Hardware posted by KG on 9/19/2008 at 2:40:11 AM
When you see "18:10 Stainless", it means that 18% of the alloy is chrome and 10% is nickel. The other 72% is steel.

I suspect this is considerably higher content of more expensive metals than the atom thin electroplate coating of copper, nickel and Chrome of most "show plate" fixtures.

Still worth it in my estimation.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Stainless Steel Rod Brake Hardware posted by Steve on 9/19/2008 at 4:45:41 AM
I must confess to being quite "blase" about two ex Dyno 4 Superb rims I have here.
Yes, they are stainless and they're real beauties...the remainder of the bike had been painted gloss bathroom blue (minus the dolphins) with possibly something akin to a witches broom !
Thankfully they escaped.

Thanks for the technical "breakdown" explanation.


   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Stainless Steel Rod Brake Hardware posted by KG on 9/19/2008 at 5:17:54 AM

I should also add that stainless is quite a bit harder to form than mild steel, which drives up the cost as well.

Got any pics of these "blase" rims?

:D :D

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Stainless Steel Rod Brake Hardware posted by Kevin on 9/19/2008 at 6:54:09 AM
A magnet will not stick to stainless steel. That's a good test to determine what you have.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Stainless Steel Rod Brake Hardware posted by Keith Body on 9/21/2008 at 12:45:38 PM
I used to get Raleighs supplied with stainless "westrick" rims where possible. The one problem with them was in the frequent rain here (UK) the brakes were almost useless. Most users did not go very fast. These "westrick" rims had a slightly deeper well (centre of the rim) which made tyre removal easier. Never used tyre levers, ever.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Stainless Steel Rod Brake Hardware posted by Flying Pigeon LA on 10/8/2008 at 1:04:13 AM
I just opened up a shop in L.A. selling Flying Pigeon bicycles. It has been a bit of a challenge to find a domestic (U.S.) supplier of rod brake kits and small parts to work on our rod pull brakes. Fortunately (or unfortunately?) some of the bikes shipped from the factory were not properly assembled. We have used them as "parts bikes" thus far. The components we have are definitely NOT stainless steel, but they are Raleigh reproductions. If you need anything in particular shoot me an email.

If anyone has a lead on a bulk supply of good rod draw bolts and Raleigh type rod brakes, please email me! I've found spare parts for most of our bike components, but these have thus far eluded me.


   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Stainless Steel Rod Brake Hardware posted by matt on 10/12/2008 at 12:19:09 PM
Stainless Sturmey Archer wheel nuts do exist! I have them on my bike and they were made right here in the U.K on a lathe in my shed! they are MUCH tougher than the originals which strip by just looking at them!

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Dim move of the day ! posted by: Steve on 9/17/2008 at 9:26:31 AM
My Hercules trade bike (cycle truck) that I converted from 1/8" to 3/16" running gear, 26 x 1 3/8 to 26 x 1 3/4 tyres etc etc has been mothballed for a while waiting for a consignement of 3/16 chain to arrive.

Anyhow, chain arrived (eventually) and I "severed it" to the appropriate length, fitted it...ok looks/feels good...lets go !

Meanwhile the tyres were looking a bit "podgy", so I inflated them only to find the "beefy" front tyre rubbing the mudguard in one or two places...so, off with the wheel (after removing brake blocks and general messing about - my front wheels never seem to drop out of the slots easily even when things are lined up properly).

O.K., remove mudguard and re-shape in one or two areas (without going mad and deforming things), replace mudguard, put wheel back and sling the brake blocks back !

The moral of the story is this :-

Never stare at problems on other bikes whilst putting brake blocks with open and closed ended shoes back in position because the following will happen...

Now, I tend to ride approximately 14 miles a day delivering one of my children to/from school, today I wanted to test-ride the Hercules to see how things had settled in...the outboung journey was fine and so was the return journey until almost home when all of a sudden my front brake lever was touching the underside of the handlebar on application ?
At first I thought the rod linkage had loosened but no, one of my new Fibrax 144 blocks had decided to vanish.

Why...you've probably guessed by now, yes in my eagerness to have the bike ready for the afternoon school run (as well as staring at problems on other bikes), I had fitted both brake blocks/shoes the wrong way round with the open end of the shoe in the position where the closed end should be.

I'm now angry and decided to punish myself by sending dopey me on a "find the brand new Fibrax144 block" mission.

The block could have orbited itself into next week, it could be anywhere on the 3.5 mile route that is a mix of roads, park paths and grass verges etc.
It's amazing how many bits of c**p on the roads automatically change colour to black and reshape themselves into perfect rectangles resembling brake blocks in order to trick you !

Well, a wonderful thing happened...I found it about three miles away from home, I don't know what the betting odds are on finding such a thing, I don't intend making this mistake again !

Steve - Two steps forward, three miles backwards !


   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Dim move of the day ! posted by Chris on 9/17/2008 at 6:19:53 PM
Very happy to hear that you found the missing brake shoe. I would love to see pictures of this bike. Best Wishes!

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Dim move of the day ! posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 9/18/2008 at 2:57:17 AM
Well... it would not have been a problem if you had just left the bike in REVERSE GEAR, no? ;-)

Odds? Here's an even more amazing story... Whilst a bunch of us were riding motorbikes across the top of the Shawangunk Ridge in N.Y. State... one of the Harleys (known for vibration and the shedding of parts) threw a tail light lens whilst doing 50mph.

The feller riding "Sweep" (i.e., last in line)... actually spotted it as it flew off.... turned around... retrieved it... while that's fairly amazing... what REALLY was nuts was he actually spotted and retrieved the wee screw that fastened it to the machine in the first place!

His new "Nickname"? EAGLE EYE....

Glad you found the part and moreso glad the consequences were not considerably more dubious.... I know that on my DL-1... not having front brakes... I don't even want to ponder it!


Larry "Boneman" Bone - Just STOP in now!

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Dim move of the day ! posted by Matthew on 9/18/2008 at 4:06:43 AM
Hi Steve,

What a good job I had my brake blocks in the right way round when I came through South Benfleet. For those who don't know, I reached an indicated 40mph down hill on my delivery bike recently. Even if the speedo is 20% inaccurate that is still over 30mph! On rod brakes!

Matthew - to destiny and beyond.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Dim move of the day ! posted by Steve on 9/18/2008 at 4:58:07 AM
Here's the culprit in the flesh !

The beauty of having a collection of bikes is that you get to know how different they all are in handling and feel etc.
This Hercules presents me with a very upright riding position with it's narrow handlebar set-up.

As I'm still a relative novice with old bikes, I'm not quite sure if the chainwheel/cranks etc should be black, the chain itself is of the 3/16th type and is too shiny for my liking...I hope to tone it down somehow.

Steve - Blocks away....!


   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Dim move of the day ! posted by Steve on 9/18/2008 at 5:01:18 AM
Ignore the white peddles, they're just temporary until I locate some real oldies in black.
See readers rides (picture 12) for more details.

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Dim move of the day ! posted by Chris on 9/18/2008 at 5:11:45 PM
thanks for the picture.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Dim move of the day ! posted by Kevin on 9/19/2008 at 3:54:59 AM
Steve -- What a great old trade bike! Where did you find the basket for it? I'm using a large metal bicycle basket (sans the mounting struts) in my basket frame. It works, but it's not nearly as elegant as yours...

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Dim move of the day ! posted by Kevin on 9/19/2008 at 7:00:56 AM
As for darkening the chain to match the bike ... get it really clean then apply gun bluing, the chemical used on rifle and shotgun barrels. It's very fluid and leaves no buildup.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Dim move of the day ! posted by Steve on 9/19/2008 at 10:45:03 AM
Kevin - I'm a bit of a sad case really...if I want something (it doesn't matter what), I will study the appropriate topic on Ebay (and elsewhere) until the sun rises if necessary !

Alas, the basket was an Ebay capture, but be very careful with dimensions...it's so easy to get it 90% right but the remaining 10% is intensely irrating if you "screw up" !

I know because...I'VE DONE IT !

Watch out for Christmas Hamper baskets, we usually get one each Christmas from a family member, we enjoy the contents immensely but then the "cherry on the top" is locating which trade bike the basket will fit.
It also helps if you've got half a dozen trade bikes with different sized cradles to choose from !

If you Google "wicker baskets", there's an array of them but be careful of cheap and nasty quality plus postage fees.
Obviously it's best if you can source them locally (jumble sales or shops) and take your cradle/bike with you in order to get a snug fitting.
Failing all of the above, Master Wicker Basket makers do exist...it will cost you, but it will be "done to perfection".


   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Dim move of the day ! posted by Chris on 9/19/2008 at 6:06:28 PM
I think this is really cool! We are discussing quality wicker baskets for the old trade bikes! Awesome! Thanks for the post. Yes, the wicker is part of the magic!

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Sturmey Question #2 posted by: KG on 9/17/2008 at 8:05:34 AM
Well the mystery of the mysterious hub is solved. I found a late AW gear hub and took it apart to compare the inards: Nothing fits. Nothing. The thread on the axles only works because there is so much play on the chinese version.

But now I have a separate problem. When I put my AW back together, it will not freewheel if the cones are too tight. Anyone experience this? Too much grease inside? (It is not an oilbath version) Any hints?

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Sturmey Question #2 posted by David on 9/17/2008 at 10:11:12 AM
I think that's it: the cones are too tight. A standard test is whether the pedals rotate when the wheel is turned. There is noticeable play in the bearings when they're adjusted right.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Sturmey Question #2 posted by Steve on 9/17/2008 at 11:00:11 AM
I must admit that I have had this effect after tightening things up to tight, maybe slacken back a little.


AGE / VALUE:   Pilgrimage to Roadster Mecca posted by: Geoff Rogers on 9/16/2008 at 10:28:01 AM
I returned yesterday from my annual trip to the UK for the Beaulieu Autojumble. In addition to an enormous array of parts for British cars, there is always a good selection of British bikes (motor and pedal). Many of the bikes are really rough things, a mass of rust and thick black paint, but some are pretty nice and a few are really outstanding. I usually buy one or two, and this year was no exception. Among the bikes I did NOT buy were a maroon 1960 Raleigh (now I forget the model—shame on me!) club machine with alloy AM hub and GB brakes, cheap at 40 GBP; a 1950s black Raleigh roadster, nice and clean with saddlebag, pump, etc., for 100; a primered Sunbeam for way too much money; several Moultons, all cheap but mostly repainted crudely and besides, they don’t appeal to me; and assorted Superbes and other similar machines, mostly pretty rough. A great hybrid was a mint, mint, mint 50s Triumph bicycle with a fairly large engine affixed to the middle of the frame. I looked at the rod brakes and shuddered at the thought of coming down a rain-soaked hill on the thing with those rims wet and expecting to make it stop. Yikes! It was beautiful though, dark green and all original, clean and nice and for 475 pounds it seemed not too expensive. One stall had several restored roadsters and a dozen nasty rough black ones, but the guy was busy and I did not wait around to ask the prices. I bought a few headlamps, an FG four-speed hub with Dynohub plus a pair of 26” stainless rims with another FG; some NOS rod-brake levers, a handful of NOS BB cups, a Norman gearcase, a NOS Brooks B5 N saddle and a used Brooks Pro as well, a couple of Lucas bells, and the coolest thing of all, a Dynohub tester in its original box! Why you can’t just spin the wheel and see if the light goes on, I’m not sure, but now I have a meter to tell me it will. I did not buy the same vendor’s FG hub, DBU and lights, all still connected together, because I already had some of those and the hubs are very heavy. Next year maybe. I bought two complete bikes, a 50s 28-inch Raleigh with Dyno-four hub and stainless rims, which were the only parts not rusty, and a very decent original ’56 26-inch Superbe, also with stainless rims, FG Dyno-Four hub, rod brakes, gearcase, original bell and even working Dyno headlight (the taillight doesn’t work). It has a Brooks B83 saddle, a type I have never seen before. It’s very comfortable, with three coil springs but not as big as a B93, I think. The rear Michelin tire was off the rim and the tube was wrapped around the axle. I carefully unwrapped it and stuffed it back in the tire and walked it back to my stall, where I found a pump that worked, and incredibly, both tires held air! It has an original green saddlebag with Sir Walter emblem (the DBU is inside the bag, held in by two little ring clips—odd, but looks original) and even a green pump, also with Sir Walter on it, although that and the bag are both pretty rough. All four gears worked, so I had some fun riding it around the show before I part-dismantled it for shipment home to the US. It will be a nice stablemate for the ’53 cable-brake Superbe I bought there two years ago (although I may have to sell it, as this trip was pretty expensive). The ’53 does not have stainless rims, but otherwise it is very similar. One other difference is that the ’56 is labeled “SUPERBE” on the seat tube while the ’53 does not. I think that is because the DBU is on the seat tube on the ’53 while it’s in the saddlebag on the ’56. I am sad to say I took the 28” machine to bits and left the frame for the vultures, as it was very far gone and lots of stuff was missing. I will ship the wheels and brake stuff home, and some of it will be available for sale or trade.
All told, we had a great time, bought lots of car parts and even sold a few. The bikes are gravy. We’ll be back again, probably next year!
Geoff Rogers, Home again to Massachusetts.
jolly rogersmo at hotmail dot comm


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Pilgrimage to Roadster Mecca posted by Chris on 9/16/2008 at 6:28:08 PM
Your report soothes my wounds from not being there in person. Interesting reading and I look forward to reading the report from your next visit!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Pilgrimage to Roadster Mecca posted by Brian on 9/17/2008 at 10:14:13 AM
Your trip sounds like fun. I may have to try it some time. I have been trying to buy a Cyclemaster or BSA Winged Wheel motor wheel from UK but no one wants to ship to US.


   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Pilgrimage to Roadster Mecca posted by Chris on 9/17/2008 at 6:17:45 PM
I remember Roger Worton of Autocycle spares in the U.K. cited liability issues ( he was afraid of damage from a lawsuit) and many things were not available to U.S. residents.


   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Pilgrimage to Roadster Mecca posted by Brian on 9/17/2008 at 11:41:53 PM
I never thought about the liability issue. Its a shame that people have to resort to that to protect themselves against other peoples stupidity.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Pilgrimage to Roadster Mecca posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 9/18/2008 at 3:01:48 AM
If ever a non-linked, no image posted required a "DROOLING TOWEL RECOMMENDED" flag.... this would have been it!

Sounds like a wonderful adventure, sir! Thanks for sharing!


Larry "Boneman" Bone - Vicariously basking in the glory....

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Pilgrimage to Roadster Mecca posted by Chris on 9/18/2008 at 5:09:54 PM
there is a picture underneath my post above and that should not be. I don't have a camera in use right now, and I wonder how this occured anyways, it says file not found.
I have not uploaded any pictures on oldroads.com not yet anyways and it will be awhile yet.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Pilgrimage to Roadster Mecca posted by Chris on 9/18/2008 at 5:15:24 PM
I was about to ask the other day, Where are the pictures of the autojumble but then again not many people take pictures of a bike swap meet unless it is of a bike at the bike show where you just won an prize for it. Everybody is too busy buying and shopping and seeing the tables full of goodies to take pictures. By the way, what has me panting after reading your report is the tale of your finding new old stock bottom bracket cups! You know what to look for!

Ohh, Im jealous!!!!

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Sturmey Archer??? Question posted by: KG on 9/15/2008 at 9:46:30 PM
I qas hoping that you could help me with a sturmey gear hub question. I also hope you enjoy a challenge, because it is certainly challenging me!

1. First, I am an American living in China.
2. There are a surprising number of old Raleighs, Humbers, and other British roadsters here and of course, the domestically made Flying Pigeons and Forevers can interchange many parts. So it is not unusual to see some wearing SA gear hubs.
3. I have acquired a hub which looks like a Sturmey Drum 3 speed combo or at least a copy of one. Clearly, it was not working...at least not the gear box side.
4. I disassembled it to find, much to my consternation the internals are not like the AW hub I am familiar with.

a. There is no hollow axle.Instead, the current axle is a curious piece which looks to be a two part axle. At first I thought this was a a "Fix" put in by a former owner so at least they had the benefit of the drums even if the gears didn't work. But now I think it is Original equipment because

b. The right side cone is also GEARED and turns the planetary gears. So the right side cone is the SUN Gear. it threads onto the axle, but I still have no idea how a gear change would be effected.

c. There are actually TWO rows of pawls, but no spring (no hollow axle)

d. Overall the internals are somewhat smaller than an AW, so it would seem that not much interchanges However the axles threads match up.

e. Unlike an AW where the "ratchet" section is part of the case, the gearset instead has the ratchet as part of the shroud which inserts into the case.

f. It's all free ball bearings. No races.

So here are my questions:

1. Does this arrangement match any Sturmey or Shimano gear hub you know of?

2. If so which one?

3.Anyone know of a source of bearings so I can get rid of these free rollers?

-Thanks in advance.



   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Sturmey Archer??? Question posted by Matthew on 9/16/2008 at 1:17:56 AM
Hi KG,

I am sure some one here will no the answer but in the meantime look at the excellent site for SA hubs run by Tony Hadland. A search in his name will take you there as a search for Sheldon Brown will take you to a site that I can guarantee most useful.

Matthew - knowing where to look

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Sturmey Archer??? Question posted by Warren on 9/16/2008 at 5:14:55 PM
2 sets of pawls suggests that maybe it's one of the 5 speed hubs from the late 60's?

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Sturmey Archer??? Question posted by KG on 9/16/2008 at 7:23:25 PM
Actually, after considering some exploeded diagrams online I think it is a copy of an AB hub with some key differences:

1. The sun gear is attached to the right side cone. It is also threaded so it looks like the hollow axle would go through it. But unlike the Sturmey set up, the axle could not have the Sun gear. Does anyone know if such an axle is made? It would match the exterior dimensions and pitch of a normal sturmey axle.

2. The driver is attached to the planet gears and is a one piece unit. At least these parts are so inseperable I cannot tell the difference.

I have added pictures here:


   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Sturmey Archer??? Question posted by Warren on 9/17/2008 at 4:08:42 PM
How about those spoke holes!