Friday, December 30, 2011

3 Speed Touring

I have come across a few web sites that look like a fun time.  The Pepin Lake tour seems like a blast!  It can be found at Would be nice to form a group of "gentleman/woman cyclist" here in the Houston area. Toying with the idea of re-spoking the wheels of the Hercules myself, but we will see.  Waiting on word from Bikesmith if the Grade A Raleigh cotters are in stock.  Need to head over to Boone Cycles next week and check on stock of 590 mm tyres.  Hopefully they will have some gum walls.  Well, there is always Harris Cyclery!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

1970 Hercules

Picked up a 1970 Hercules a few days after Christmas.  Has a Sturmey Archer AW hub with 70 stamped on it, so I assume it is 70's. The bike had a lot of grime and grease on it, had the incorrect fender stays, and someone did a terrible job on the cranks as the cotters were not installed 180 degrees apart.  Also, the drive side was very loose and the threads were stripped on the cotter.  After some banging and coaxing, was able to get some thread to bite and was able to remove the drive side cranks.  The non-drive side came off fine.  I really should break down and get a cotter press.  Anyway, disassembled the bike, took lots of pictures and started to degrease and clean up the pieces/parts with Chore Boy, WD 40 and soap and water. All parts were stamped "Made in England," except the pedals which were made in Germany.  The paint on the frame is fair, but the chain guard has some wear down to the factory black primer.  The decaling is fair, so took dare in cleaning those areas.  Seat was not original, so will need to find a replacement.  Also need to get a new trigger shift, brake pads, fender stays, rim strips, tubes, tires, and of course new crank cotters.  Coming up, bottom bracket maintenance!!!!

AMF Nimble

Picked up a 70's AMF Nimble.  It appears to be a copy of the Hercules models that AMF imported.  The frame is not as nice as the English built frames as those a lugged and the Nimble is cheaply butt welded.  The rims are rather cheaply made as the weld seams were visible and not ground very smooth.  This bike required cleaning, new rim strips, tubes and tires, as everything was dry rotted.  The good thing was the crank was a one piece Ashtabula crank, so no pounding on cotter pins!!!!!  Anyway, the crank was easy to service.  This bike featured a Shimano 3 speed hub.  Did shift nice and was easy to adjust and set up. All chrome was cleaned with Chore Boy copper wool (I have a hard time finding bronze wool locally) and WD 40.  Frame was degreased with citrus degreaser and then was washed vigorously with soap and water.The shift and brake cables were in good shape, just dripped oil into the ends and worked cable. Was a fairly easy restore.  I did not like the plastic stickers that were on the frame.  Some of the ends were lifting and had to be trimmed back with a Xacto knife.  I try to stay away from painting a frame, as I feel it takes away from the character of the bike, plus I hate sanding and painting!  I added a wicker basket up front for that extra flair.

My daughter enjoyed riding the bike through the neighborhood. I have since sold this bike, but on to better things!!