Archive for July, 2008


I got the bright idea of a “teaser” post from Alex over at Hank and Me with her new Bakfiets. This is a picture of the bike as found. It came from a town dump in NH! Why would anybody throw out such a beautiful and serviceable bike! Ticks me off more than a little bit. It was rescued by pastorbobnlnh a fellow Bike Forums member. He is more into vintage Schwinns, so it was passed on to me. It was rescued from his “magic” dump. That dump has produced more than a few nice bikes over the past couple of years including a nice Robin Hood that went to a new home in the Midwest.

But back to the Herc. I have finally cleared the project palette to the point that I have room on the workstand for it!

It is a 19?? Hercules Skyliner. The year has yet to be completely determined, it is probably between a 1947-1954, based on the paint, the name and the fact that Hercules was absorbed by Raleigh/TII in 1954. The bike has several unusual features: single speed freewheel and rod brakes being the two most outstanding. It was built at the Britannia Works in Birmingham, England…says so, right on the head badge. 😉

Parts have been ordered! We hope to have it back together in time to take to the ABCE Tour in September. Stay tuned for updates!


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That is the typical reaction when people see this bike *big grin*
In reality it is a 1968 Raleigh Compact RSW 3 speed. It was Raleigh’s answer to the Moulton after they had turned Alec Moulton’s design down back in 1961. Alec Moulton secured funding and was quite successful.

Raleigh’s answer was the Compact RSW you see above, they began production in 1965 and stopped around 1974 producing some 100,000 units. It was also made in a non folding version known as the Shopper Mk I,II, or III. It is a fun little bike to ride, but bloody heavy. It weighs almost as much as a full sized Raleigh Sports! The kids around my area refer to it as my clown bike…I wonder why. 😉 And yes at 6′-2″ and 200# I can ride it just fine. I snagged this one off of Ebay after being tipped off by a buddy of mine.

For the tech specs: It has a Sturmey Archer AW 3speed hub, 16″ Dunlop tires. Original tires were completely White as was the original Brooks Mattress saddle. The seat post and saddle are not OEM. The tires are Dunlop Redlines and were a suitable replacement. They also came with an optional dyno hub and fender mounted headlight.

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Lady in Blue

Or perhaps Blue Lady…

This is my bride’s favorite bike, it is a bit old and shows signs of having had a less than gentle life.

My wife has never been an avid cyclist, she did have bicycles growing up and she did ride them about the neighborhood.

When we got married we searched for a suitable bike for her to ride so we could do things more things together. For her, being of below average height finding ANY bike to fit was a challenge. We did find a nice GT Slipstream with 24 speeds in her size, but like many people she has had a real problem with making the front and rear gearing work to her advantage.

We attended an ABCE Tour in New Brighton, MN in 2006. Had a wonderful time and the Blue Colt was one of the donated door prizes. It was preordained! The stars aligned! Destiny! Or whatever you want to believe. 😉 we won the Colt.

She was the only person attending that would be able to ride such a small framed bike. We had it shipped back to our home in NC. Once home we added the lovely wicker basket. It has become her favorite bike, it gets ridden to the video store, the grocery store, the mailbox and where ever else she choses.

The technical details: It is a 1971 Raleigh Colt 3 speed with a coaster brake hub. The Colt was a “tweens” bike. The frame is a petite 17″ but with the upright riding position works quite well. The rear hub is the awful TCW II coaster brake hub, but is working well at this time, so we shall leave it alone.

And here is a “family” picture of the two Raleighs that get the most use (out of the dozen or so I own)

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