Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Plaid Ride and Lumber Jack Games

Last weekend The BicycleSPACE located in Washington DC organized the first Plaid Ride and Lumber Jack Games ride.  I took the 1953 Raleigh Sports Tourist with its new bag support (see the earlier "DIY Bag Support for the Carradice Barley" post) the Barley bag was loaded with tools, tires, Clif Bars, windbreaker, etc.  The support worked well and stayed in place.

1953 Raleigh with DIY bag support.
Several hundred Plaid riders left from Franklin Square and rode to Kingman's Island for the Lumber Jack Smash lunch (hot cakes, eggs and bacon, hot chocolate and cider) and the Lumber Jack Games.  Much fun, here is a great Video of all the action.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Leather Saddle Bag for the Scorcher

Today I received the leather saddle bag I ordered from The Leather Bug.  This bag is handmade by Hein Olivier in Australia,  I have no financial interest in endorsing this product.  The workmanship is first class and all the fittings are quality stainless steel.  He has other bicycle products listed on his web site from handlebar bags to panniers.  Shipping took 10 business days to reach VA.

I've been searching for a unique Black leather bag that would suit the character of the Scorcher project bike.  I wanted something small to carry phone, keys, wallet, etc.  This bag is just large enough for carrying these items with some room left over for patch kit, tools etc.

Here it is loaded with phone, wallet, and keys.

The Leather Bug

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Lightweight Bikes with Sturmey-Archer Hubs

This past weekend I attended the Philadelphia Bike Expo.  One of the highlights of the show was a Schwinn Paramount display and seminar.  I was surprised to see some 3-speed versions of the Paramount.  I never realized that Sturmey-Archer hubs were fitted to the top of line Paramount model.  There was a Schwinn Paramount, model P-11, "Tourist", that could be ordered with a Sturmey-Archer hub and upright handlebars.  Here are some pictures of the two on display, both were early 1950's.

Alloy AW hub

Notice usual stem/handlebar combination,  this one had chrome fenders instead of the Bluemels Noweight's

The Paramount's were hand built in a special shop using lightweight tubing, very similar to the Carlton/Raleigh relationship.  Lightweight bikes (Reynolds 531 tubing etc.) of the early 1950's with 110 mm rear drop out spacing for Sturmey-Archer hubs have always had a special interest to me. Peter C. Kohler has written excellent articles on the Raleigh lightweights such as the  Raleigh Record Ace (RRA) and the various Clubman type models.

Here is another example, the little known Carlton Corinthian:

and now the Paramount P-11 Tourist. Today they are all very collect able and command high prices.  I have never owned or ridden any of them and probably never will, but I can't help but wonder if they actually ride that much better then a common Raleigh Sports 3-speed.  I guess it just matters what side of the fence you fall on, rider or collector, but I will continue looking for one I can afford.

Sturmey-Archer Service Manuals

Nick over at Three Speed Hubs just posted another vintage Sturmey-Archer service manual Servicing the Sturmey-Archer "A" Range Three-Speed Hubs  This is a very interesting publication that has information not contained in some of the latter manuals.  For those of you that like to "monkey" with old Sturmey-Archer hubs, its a good addition to your reference library.  Also, while your there check-out the other service manuals and vintage catalogs, many contain valuable information on classic three speeds.  

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Coffeeneuring - Ride 7 of 7 - The End

The last ride if the 2013 Coffeeneuring Challenge was completed today.  I used the recently completed bike from the Scorcher Project (see earlier posts) for this ride.  Rode to old town Leesburg, VA. on the W&OD trail to visit "Shoes, Cup and Cork", a converted shoe shop that served customers for 100 years.  Total trip length 10.1 miles.

This was my favorite coffee shop visited during the Challenge.  I ordered an Americano and a white chocolate/raspberry scone.

Unclaimed shoes hanging from the ceiling.

Weekend entertainment.
Outside garden.
The Scorcher Project bike.
Some final thoughts on the Coffeeneuring Challenge.  I would like to thank Mary at Chasing Mailboxes D.C. for this event.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the write-ups and pictures from the many participants. This has been a great incentive to get out and enjoy the splendid Fall weather and exercise some Classic Three Speeds. Thank you so very much.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Early Raleigh Pedals

If you've been following my posts on refurbishing the 1953 Raleigh Sports Tourist, you know I've been wanting to replace the pedals.  The current pedals are from the 1970 Sports I used for the Scorcher Project.  These are the later version Raleigh pedals that are not re-buildable, and have a reflector.  I recently obtained a odd lot of early Raleigh pedals from eBay.  Included were three different style pedals with rubber blocks all 3 1/2" long (wide),  and  couple that are 4" long.  According to some web sources the 3 1/2" pedals were for ladies frames and the 4" were for the gents.  My 1949 Comrade Roadster uses 4" pedals and fit my wide feet much better then the 3 1/2" blocks.  Here are some pictures of the differences between the pedals in the lot.

3 1/2" diamond pattern block with "Raleigh" spelled out.  These are the proper type for the 1953 Sports, which I will rebuild and clean using parts from the other pedals in the lot.  I just wish they were the wider 4" style.
3 1/2" chevron pattern block with "Raleigh Industries" logo.  I don't know when these were in production; however, Raleigh Industries was formed in 1946 and lasted until 1960 when it was merged with Tube Investments (TI).  I have seen this chevron pattern on a 1956 Sports. 
3 1/.2" diamond pattern block with "Sir Walter Raleigh" logo.  I think this is the more modern of the three styles, this same block style was used when reflectors were added in the 1970"s.

Sir Walter Raleigh logo

If anyone has additional info on the timelines and different pedal styles used on Raleigh 3-speeds please share.  I'm looking for 4" blocks, 4" pedal spindles, and the threaded dust caps.  If you know of any sources, or have some to sell please let me know.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Coffeeneuring - Ride 6 of 7

Today was my Coffee Shop Without Walls ride.  This was the sixth Coffeeneuring Challenge ride completed, only one more to go to complete the Challenge.  The ride was on the C&O canal tow path between Brunswick, MD and Point of Rocks.  I chose the 1972 Raleigh Sports "Gold Edition" for this outing, primarily for its rear rack which was needed to haul the equipment for a proper "brew-up".  The Carradice Barley bag was up to the task of carrying my French press, fresh ground coffee beans, and vintage Sierra Club cups.  I also carried fresh water since the water at the hiker/biker campground along the C&O are treated with iodine, not the taste I was looking for.  I strapped my vintage Svea 123 stove and Sigg-Tourist-Set to the rear rack and we were off.  My son Michael accompanied me on the ride with his Nishiki mountain bike, his job was to follow me and report any equipment falling off the bike.  Here we are at the start.

Barley bag, and vintage Sigg Tourist Set ready for another adventure. 

The tow path is beautiful in the Fall.

Old train tunnel.
Lock 28 house.
View from Bald Eagle Island hiker/biker campground.

Getting ready for the "brew-up", at the campground.

Vintage Svea 123 stove, and Sigg Tourist Set

Preparing the French press.

Heating the water.
The "press", with Michael's green tea in the foreground.
The "pour".
Hot beverages with iconic Cliff Bar "pastries".

A great day; ride 6 of 7 completed.  Looking forward to next week for the last ride of the Challenge.  Until then, Enjoy the Ride.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

DIY Bag Support for the Carradice Barley

During the refurbishment of the 1953 Raleigh Sports, I ordered a Carradice Barley saddle bag.  This is the first Carradice bag I've owned.  They have been made in England since 1930.  These bags have gained a very favorable reputation over the years. and are common equipment on many Classic Three Speeds.  Here is the bag mounted on the 1953 Sports.

It is intended to be mounted on the rear saddle loops, but you can see it touches the rear fender and rolls under the seat somewhat.  It is also difficult to fasten the rear straps and the contents of the bag will dump out if not careful.  There is a metal support available for this bag made by Bagman, but it is expensive and currently out of production.  Viewing pictures of the Bagman support on-line shows a rather simple device.

I decided to attempt and make my own to fit the Brooks B-66 saddle I have on this bike as well as several others.  I purchased some 3/16" steel rod from Home Depot.  These come in 3' lengths and can be had either unfinished (rusts easily), or with a zinc plated finish.  I got one of each for $2.77 and $2.93 respectively.  I took some measurements off the bag, bike, and saddle and started bending.  Since I anticipated some trail and error until I got the right fit, I used cheaper unfinished rod first as a prototype.

This is the prototype.  It rests on top of the B-66 rod that goes between the bottom of the springs, then hooks between the double rails.

This is the bag and support.  I used a Velcro strap to secure the bag to the seat post.  The strap goes through the leather attachment patch on the bag and around the support.

Bag is now supported off the fender, and the straps are more accessible.

This is bottom of bag showing Velcro seat post strap.

I want to make some minor adjustments to my measurements, then make another one, using the zinc plated rod. Total cost less than $3.00.

Please share your comments and experiences,


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Coffeeneuring - Ride 5 of 7

Completed ride 5 of the Coffeeneuring Challenge this morning.  I had all intentions of using the recently completed bike from the Scorcher Project, but...

Scorcher Project
because of the morning rain and wet pavement, I opted to use a bike with fenders.  I chose the 1953 Raleigh Sports Tourist, it has fenders and the added bonus of an enclosed chaincase.  This is the same bike I used for the first Challenge ride.  I chose the Vino 9 Market for today's ride.  Located on Route 9 about a 1/4 mile from the W&OD at Paeonian Springs, VA. it has been recently refurbished and now includes a nice patio, and speakeasy type bar (The Blind Pig) under the store.  On Saturday's they have entertainment on the stage in the patio.  The ride there was wet, cool and somber, I was looking forward to a hot cup of coffee on arrival.


Front entrance, patio is in the back.
Patio entrance.

1953 Raleigh Sports, the fenders were a good choice today.  Drip coffee tasted extra good.

More patio
Entertainment stage.

Bottle cap table.

Today's ride was 4.4 miles.  On the way home I was thinking about the nice pot of Chipotle Chili I was going to make to brighten the day, but now as I'm writing this the Sun has come out.  Although; the simmering Chili does smell good.