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-   -   For the love of English 3 speeds... (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=623699)

Velognome 11-21-10 09:15 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Cool old Herc. How does the work? I'm in the midst of redoing this old Hercules, the hub is simular to yours but an A Type O, the model is a Birmingham made Renoun. I've been unable to find much infor on these hubs other than they seem to pre-date the Hercamatics and the B Types which I believe were made by Sturmey Archer.

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=179467

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=179469

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=179468

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=179470

Sixty Fiver 11-21-10 09:19 PM


Originally Posted by x136 (Post 11803003)
Oh, looky what came in the mail to-day.

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b3...s/IMG_7119.jpg

It'll be 38 years old next month, but it just escaped from the box.

Nice find... what are you going to use it for ?

I have been enjoying my new 3 speed mtb a great deal... more than a few people have come into the shop with freewheel / freehub issues due to the cold and the AG has been purring along in what has been -20 C weather and it does not realize that it is winter.

nick22 11-21-10 09:34 PM


Originally Posted by Velognome (Post 11823303)
Cool old Herc. How does the work? I'm in the midst of redoing this old Hercules, the hub is simular to yours but an A Type O, the model is a Birmingham made Renoun. I've been unable to find much infor on these hubs other than they seem to pre-date the Hercamatics and the B Types which I believe were made by Sturmey Archer.

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=179467

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=179469

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=179468

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=179470

It shifts just fine; the steering is a little jittery for some reason; what are thinking about for fenders? nick

Velognome 11-21-10 10:22 PM

It most likely had a paint to match set like a raleigh. I'd look for a used set.

gbalke 11-21-10 10:59 PM


Originally Posted by Velognome (Post 11823303)
I'm in the midst of redoing this old Hercules, the hub is simular to yours but an A Type O. I've been unable to find much infor on these hubs other than they seem to pre-date the Hercamatics and the B Types which I believe were made by Sturmey Archer.
http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=179467

Am I right in assuming that the Hercules hubs were not date stamped?

Road Master 11-22-10 01:27 AM

Hi! I grew up in small coal towns in the Pennsylvania mountains(USA) and there wasn't a whole lot of anything available. But on or about 1961 a family moved in on the other side of our duplex and during the move leaned an old girls bike against the fence. Well, there it stayed and everyday I would walk down the alley and stop to gaze at this marvelous machine decaying in front of me. Now I could read so I knew it was English built which was just great with me because I was already in love with British Sports Cars and I was constantly reading about the Austin Healeys, MGs, Triumps as well as the Tour de France.

It never occured to me that someday this steel beauty would be mine plus it was a girls bike afterall. She needed brake shoes, gear changer/cable and new tires/tubes. Well, since I wasn't too discrete about my gawking the lady had seen me oogleing her bike everyday and came out to talk to me. She asked if I liked the bike - it's English, what's not to like so I said yea. Then she told me I could have it. My brain was swimming as I could not believe what just took place. I picked her up and carried her home to the back porch.

There was no money in our family and I had already been informed that if I ever wanted a bike I would have to procure one myself. As a child I was pretty thrifty - on allowance day my brothers would run to the local candy store and immediately gobble their allowance into obscurity. Me, I was into "stuff". We didn't have much so I would save my allowance @ 50 cents per week until I had enough to get what I wanted. I took side jobs weeding gardens, picking raspberries or green beans, shoveling snow, mowing lawns, anything to accumulate extra cash for more "stuff". The high point of every year was at Halloween. During the spring and summer I grew Indian Corn and Pumpkins while everybody else was growing tomatoes. Tomatoes? Seriously? Anyway, about a month before Halloween I would go door to door getting pre-orders for bundles of Indian Corn and Pumpkins which I delivered a couple weeks before Halloween. All totaled I would net about $12.00 which was alot to me.

So one piece at a time I started buying needed parts for what turned out to be a 1950s Hercules - black of course. Tires and tubes were first - I could then ride it albiet a little tough to get going in 3rd gear and even tougher to stop with me straddleing the top bar dragging my shoes in the gravel of the alleys. Next came brake shoes - you just can't appreciate what you can do with brakes until you ride without them. Finally, I needed a gear changer with cable. In my town of 7,000 people there was no such part available. So I jumped on a bus that crossed the Susquehanna River into what was called a "City" where the store of stores was located - Montgomery Wards. I ordered me a Sturmey Archer gear changer and cable and waited the three weeks before I had to once again cross the River to pick it up.

You can imagine the sensation of spending months saving money to buy parts and then ripping through the gears that first time - what a rush! I was in Bicycle Heaven! Thank God for the English! I zoomed everywhere that first day until dark set in. As luck would have it the brother of a good friend of mine donated all the parts from another 1950s Hercules boys bike that he had torn apart in an attempt to motorize it. In the boxfulls of parts that arrived was a generator and light set. Before long I was riding a 1950s boys Hercules(black of course) equipped to ride at night as well as day.

When I came home from College all the bikes and parts that I had acquired had made their way to the dump. It wasn't till about a year ago that I reunited with another Hercules 3 speed - again, black of course. It was listed in Craigs List for $50 and was just a 15 minute drive away. The hub is marked for 1975 production and even though it doesn't have the air pump braze ons that my 1950s models did, it is in very nice original condition. I've been building and wrenching on balloon tire bikes for awhile now so I just took some pics and moved her into storage. I was so elated to go through all these 46 pages of English 3 speeds that I feel inspired to go clean her up. I hope I didn't bore anyone too much - sometimes old people are long winded. Enjoy the pics and thanks. Robert

http://i601.photobucket.com/albums/t...neous/144A.jpg

http://i601.photobucket.com/albums/t...neous/144D.jpg

http://i601.photobucket.com/albums/t...neous/144E.jpg

http://i601.photobucket.com/albums/t...neous/144G.jpg

http://i601.photobucket.com/albums/t...neous/144H.jpg

http://i601.photobucket.com/albums/t...neous/144J.jpg

http://i601.photobucket.com/albums/t...neous/144K.jpg

Sixty Fiver 11-22-10 02:12 AM

Road Master... that was beautifully written.

The Hercules is a beautiful bike.

wahoonc 11-22-10 04:03 AM

Road Master,

Well said :thumb: Good things come to those that wait! I always wanted a Raleigh Superbe, it took 40 years but I finally go one, thanks to the generosity of a fellow forum member.

Aaron :)

http://inlinethumb39.webshots.com/43...600x600Q85.jpg

Road Master 11-23-10 05:21 AM

Hi Guys! Thank you for the kind words. I'm getting ready for another Indiana winter. We don't get a ton of snow here but the weather is definitely not conducive to working on bikes. I put new gaskets and stops on the garage door plus added an additional ceiling light so I'm all set for another season of cleaning parts for my balloon bikes and detailing my Hercules.

I notice in the pics that my white cable covers have yellowed some - does anyone have any cleaning tricks to share on how to restore them to white/white? I prefer to keep them original as they are not cracked or damaged. Any help with this is greatly appreciated.

It's really nice to have a place that like interested bicyclists can share stories and ideas. When I had my Herc as a kid I was obviously the only one in town that had one so I was pretty much an outsider. It's nice to be able to share with others that are as excited about English 3 Speeds as I am. Thanks alot. Robert

gbalke 11-23-10 07:05 AM


Originally Posted by Road Master (Post 11829096)
I notice in the pics that my white cable covers have yellowed some - does anyone have any cleaning tricks to share on how to restore them to white/white? I prefer to keep them original as they are not cracked or damaged. Any help with this is greatly appreciated.

Robert

One trick I discovered was using Goop hand cleaner worked quite well. You can apply it with your fingers or an old tooth brush, removing the excess with an old cloth.

Velognome 11-23-10 07:28 AM

So many nice English 3 speeds represented here! Great work everyone!



http://www.bikeforums.net/images/sta...ser-online.png http://www.bikeforums.net/images/but...post-right.png
I'm in the midst of redoing this old Hercules, the hub is simular to yours but an A Type O. I've been unable to find much infor on these hubs other than they seem to pre-date the Hercamatics and the B Types which I believe were made by Sturmey Archer.
Attachment 179467




http://www.bikeforums.net/images/misc/quote_icon.png Originally Posted by gbalke

Am I right in assuming that the Hercules hubs were not date stamped?

Youre correct, the later Hercules (50's on ) and S/A hubs were all date stamped. This one is not. The entire bike is a mystery, I haven't found the "Renoun" model in any adverts post 1938. The elderly gentle man who I bought it from he believed the bike to be a pre-war example. I begining to think it's a late 20's-30's machine.

Road Master 11-23-10 09:41 AM


Originally Posted by gbalke (Post 11829286)
One trick I discovered was using Goop hand cleaner worked quite well. You can apply it with your fingers or an old tooth brush, removing the excess with an old cloth.

Hi! Thanks for the tip - I just happen to have a tub beside the sink. Robert

kingfish254 11-24-10 11:14 PM


Originally Posted by gbalke (Post 11829286)
One trick I discovered was using Goop hand cleaner worked quite well. You can apply it with your fingers or an old tooth brush, removing the excess with an old cloth.


Nice to ear of another use of Goop. It is one of the best hand cleaners out there to me, plus if you get your clothes a bit greasy from chainrings and such, just rub a little Goop on there before you toss it in the hamper. Works wonders.

gbalke 11-25-10 07:51 AM


Originally Posted by Velognome (Post 11829347)
So many nice English 3 speeds represented here! Great work everyone!



Youre correct, the later Hercules (50's on ) and S/A hubs were all date stamped. This one is not. The entire bike is a mystery, I haven't found the "Renoun" model in any adverts post 1938. The elderly gentle man who I bought it from he believed the bike to be a pre-war example. I begining to think it's a late 20's-30's machine.

I have several Hercules catalog scans; 1937, 1949, 1951 and 1953. There's no mention of a Renoun in any of those scans. I sent your photos to a friend in Ireland who is pretty knowledgeable on Hercules and other vintage English bikes. Maybe he can shed some light on the Renoun.

mickey85 11-25-10 07:55 AM


Originally Posted by Road Master (Post 11829096)
Hi Guys! Thank you for the kind words. I'm getting ready for another Indiana winter. We don't get a ton of snow here but the weather is definitely not conducive to working on bikes.



MIght not be, but it is conducive to riding them! Especially the English 3's - they're my primary steeds during the dark times...

noglider 11-25-10 08:27 AM

Hmm, I'm going to pay attention to that this winter. Do my derailleur bikes need tinkering in the winter? If so, I should get my three speed road ready! It's a total wreck now.

mickey85 11-25-10 08:33 AM

Tom, I'm not very sold on the argument that IGH's keep your bike shifting well in the winter. I'll agree that there's less to gunk up, but the only time I've ever had autoshifting due to snow was after 10 miles in 6" of snow and slush. The slush packed in the freewheel and iced, then just turned it to one large, spiny ice-cube. Except for the gear I was primarily using, there wasn't enough tooth for the chain to get a grip on. Derailers have never been a problem in my winter commuting.

But, the 3 speed has a chainguard and full, steel fenders (everything else has full plastic), no fiddlybits to be knocked around if I slide around and biff it, and a good, solid upright ride with tires that can go down to 40 PSI for maximum grip. IMO, the only way it could be better is if I could find those Panaracer Col de la Vie Passhunting tires - they look like CX tires for the 590 size!

noglider 11-25-10 08:41 AM

Thanks, mickey85.

Yeah, I discovered the wisdom of the chainguard when I got my Hercules about two years ago. I don't even have to bind up my trousers! Just jump on and go. What freedom!

And in case you haven't heard me say it, wool dress trousers look good and are very well suited to winter cycling. I get them for $40 at Costco and sometimes for nearly as little as that at Macy's. Nowadays, I'm checking church rummage sales and the like. They make me look older than I am, but I'm quirky that way.

wahoonc 11-25-10 09:23 AM


Originally Posted by gbalke (Post 11840415)
I have several Hercules catalog scans; 1937, 1949, 1951 and 1953. There's no mention of a Renoun in any of those scans. I sent your photos to a friend in Ireland who is pretty knowledgeable on Hercules and other vintage English bikes. Maybe he can shed some light on the Renoun.

Hey any chance of checking the 50's catalogs for a Hercules Skyliner? It is a step through frame 26" Westwood wheels, rod brakes, single speed freewheel. My best guess in 1954. The one we have is red, it came with the brown vinyl Hercules mattress saddle.

Aaron :)

Velognome 11-25-10 09:35 AM


I have several Hercules catalog scans; 1937, 1949, 1951 and 1953. There's no mention of a Renoun in any of those scans. I sent your photos to a friend in Ireland who is pretty knowledgeable on Hercules and other vintage English bikes. Maybe he can shed some light on the Renoun.
Thanks gbalk, Renoun has been a great mystery, keep me posted.

Sixty Fiver 11-25-10 09:38 AM


Originally Posted by mickey85 (Post 11840524)
Tom, I'm not very sold on the argument that IGH's keep your bike shifting well in the winter...

Mickey - It is not an argument... it is a fact.

But then... you live in the tropics.

:)

It is supposed to warm up to freezing in the next few days and hope we can look at more seasonal temperatures after that little cold snap... had to deal with a number of folks who experienced freewheel and cassette seizures at those low temps.

Velognome 11-25-10 09:46 AM


It is supposed to warm up to freezing in the next few days
That's just not right!

michael k 11-25-10 12:42 PM

Has anyone upgraded or replaced their brake calipers on their Sport?

Having 60 yr old cables and bits it's about due and looking at Tektro's sidepulls I've noticed the cable mount positions are reversed.

noglider 11-25-10 01:04 PM

I did on one bike. I put a BMX sidepull on the front and a Weinmann centerpull on the rear. On this bike, I also replaced the rims with Sun CR18's.

It was a women's bike, so the brake cable swung down and up to the brake. I attached the cable stop on the yoke! It even had a barrel adjuster. And it all worked well enough. I don't know if I ever took pictures of that bike. It was an interesting project. It had a Brampton hub, an AW clone. Overhauling it was a witch (with a capital 'B'), because the lubricant had turned to shellac.

At some point, bike component makers noticed that Italian sidepull brakes had their pull arms on the left, while everyone else's were on the right. They switched over to the left to follow the look of prestige. I feel it looks better but it's harder to adjust for us right-handed people. I like to squeeze the caliper with my left hand and tighten the pinch bolt with my right hand. I either have to switch or cross my hands or do it from behind the caliper.

sekaijin 11-26-10 10:28 PM

Question about brake pads
 
Love this thread. Been lurking for a while, while I'm doing my first English 3-speed resto.

Now that I'm rebuilding the brakes, I am wondering about brake pads.

1. Keep 'em or replace 'em? Will new ones brake a lot better than the old ones?

2. If replace ... where do I find the right replacement pads?

Thanks!

Sixty Fiver 11-26-10 10:40 PM


Originally Posted by sekaijin (Post 11846951)
Love this thread. Been lurking for a while, while I'm doing my first English 3-speed resto.

Now that I'm rebuilding the brakes, I am wondering about brake pads.

1. Keep 'em or replace 'em? Will new ones brake a lot better than the old ones?

2. If replace ... where do I find the right replacement pads?

Thanks!

Kool Stop Continentals.

These will greatly improve the braking.

sekaijin 11-28-10 06:01 AM


Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver (Post 11846984)
Kool Stop Continentals.

These will greatly improve the braking.

OK, but they don't look like a match for the original brake shoes. Any idea what replacement pads might fit these?

http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u...oesandpads.jpg

wahoonc 11-28-10 06:52 AM


Originally Posted by sekaijin (Post 11851466)
OK, but they don't look like a match for the original brake shoes. Any idea what replacement pads might fit these?

http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u...oesandpads.jpg

The old style campy refills sort of work, they are shorter in length. I use the Continentals.

Aaron :)

sekaijin 11-29-10 06:40 AM


Originally Posted by wahoonc (Post 11851523)
The old style campy refills sort of work, they are shorter in length. I use the Continentals.

Aaron :)

Yes, I saw those and wondered if they would fit.

So, IIRC my options are:

1. stick with original brake pads and shoes

2. get new pads and shoes - i.e. Kool Stop Continentals and find brake shoes to match

3. get Kool Stop campy replacement pads which will "sort of work" with original shoes

#3 makes me uneasy and #2 would send me on a hunt for vintage brake shoes, so I am leaning toward #1 at this point.

Am I missing something? What would you do?


===========


BTW here is the bike - a 1969 Hercules.

Resto in progress, just needs its brake handles, pads, shifter and cables.

http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u...inprogress.jpg

noglider 11-29-10 09:36 AM

I would absolutely do #2, without hesitation.


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