Tuesday, 13 March 2012

The New Bike

Here is the new Raleigh. With some initial research I think it may be 60s or 70s but haven't had much joy with the frame number. The condition of the pantwork is poor but I was pleased to see that it too has been repainted at some point as the head tube doesn't match and the paintwork is poor around that area. That means I can repaint it without feeling like I've ruined a classic!

On the face of it, this bike is almost ready to go. With a new set of tyres (I've ordered some old raleigh sport tyres with amber walls) and inner tubes, and with some care given to the chainset I will be taking this bike out on it's maiden voyage to work and back. The headset is a little rough so I will see about replacing the bearings.

Eventually, I think this bike will be a lovely racing green with a bit of tan here and there. Lets see how it pans out. 

Friday, 9 March 2012

A Rudge Update

I was out with the sandpaper tonight. It's slow going but satisfying nonetheless. I'm almost there but I just need to get the cranks off and get the bottom bracket out. Having said that, the bottom bracket spins very smoothly with no give at all. I could spin the pedals, go and have a cup of tea and they'd still be going when I got back. I still need to get them off though.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

What I like about 'The Bike'

I've always loved bikes. When I was 18 I seemed to forget this but luckily I remembered in my mid 20s. In that time it seems that bikes have changed immensely.

But bikes are bikes and they really haven't changed that much at all. What fascinates me is that they represent a massively diverse segment of our lives and histories. To children they are toys, to Victorians they were interesting new modes of transport, to Edwardians they were industry, to Elizabethans they were tools of the police, the midwife, the butcher and the working class man.

Bianchi folding bike from early 1900s

This picture made me smile. Nowadays we have bikes that have automatic gear systems, internal hub gears and bikes that fold in half. But STOP! Look at this, people have had these ideas for a hundred years and the basic structure of the bike hasn't changed. The bike was just a good, solid invention that has been tinkered with and improved through the development of new materials. What a fantastic thing it is, The Bike.

My hobby branches out!

I haven't posted on my blog for a while partly because I just haven't had time and partly because I just haven't felt particularly inspired lately. Don't get me wrong, I still love my bike and have had some good rides with some good people recently including my first ride of Glentress, one of the 7 Stanes.

However, this post is really about how I have found a new aspect of bikes which has engulfed my free time. This new obsession has arisen from my lack of cash and my need to finance my cycling hobby. So, recently I bid on several bikes on Ebay with the intention of cleaning them up and selling them on in order to build a decent Paypal balance.

Above is the Rudge Roadster. Judging from the frame number, this bike was built around the late 1950s or early 1960s. Even though Rudge was one of the many British bike builders bought by Raleigh after WWII, this bike may still carry some of the features seen in the 1940s like the white bottom part of the rear mudguard and the rod brakes.

As you can see from the photos, there's a lot of work to be done but even before the it has really begun, I have the feeling of attachment that is going to make selling them on the hardest part of the process.

This bike has been painted black but upon scraping the top coat off it appears that the original paintwork can be seen underneath. Raleigh made bikes of this era in 3 colours; black, dark metallic green and 'coffee', a metallic brown which it looks like this bike was.

  I also now own a Elswick-Hopper child's bike and a 1960s  Tr-Raleigh racing bike. These bikes will take much less work to restore and I already think that the Raleigh might be my commuter to work and back over the Summer. I have no qualms in the changing of it's colour and modernisation of some components so it may end up as British Racing Green with brown grip tape to match the fetching Brooks saddle.

So watch this space. If I don't update for a while it may be because I have made absolutely no money, kept all the bikes, spent my savings on them and have now had my internet connection cut off due to non payment!