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Archive for the ‘Hercules’ Category

Sorry about the impromptu hiatus.

Work has been a real beast these past few months, but with the current economic situation any job is better than no job.

As time has rolled along a couple of new members have been added to the metal side of the family.

I purchased yet another Twenty. This one is a 1975 Raleigh Stowaway, with the 451 wheels. These were never sold on the US market as far as I know, so this one must have wandered its way in from the UK somehow.

The newest member is a 1973 Raleigh Colt that I literally picked up today. I actually purchased it back in early December. But just got a chance to pick it up today. It is in spectacular condition for it’s age and matches my Superbe in colour. It has the petite 18″ frame that my lovely bride needs to be able to ride. It will need a bit of tweaking and a couple of upgrades prior to her riding it. But here is a picture…beauty shots will come a bit later.

I did get the 1964 Hercules completed and off to my sister late last year. More on that one too…in a bit.

Spring has Sprung here in the Carolinas, so riding season is hard upon us!

Aaron

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When I get a new to me bike, one of the first things I do is a quick and dirty ride around the block just to see what works and what doesn’t. Next thing up is usually a complete tear down, cleaning and parts inspection.

Most of the bikes I buy are in need of TLC, some are worse than others. One thing I enjoy doing is bringing old dull parts back to life, in most cases, especially with the old heavy chrome a bit of cleaning and polishing is all it needs. These are the brakes off of the AMF Hercules that I am rebuilding for my sister to ride. The brakes themselves are fine, they just need new pads and cables. It is amazing how much nicer they look.

The AMF Hercules is progressing, I am almost done with the clean up of the parts, and have started reassembling things. Repacked the headset and the bottom bracket yesterday.

On another note: The Staiger has gone to live with my DD in Western Massachusetts as a commuter bike, if all goes well it will travel with her to Keene, NH as she returns to grad school.

Aaron

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CIMG0008

Meet the newest member of the fleet/herd/flock or whatever you call the collection of bicycles that are currently in residence here.

This one was given to me by one of the mechanics at my LBS, because he knew that I like “old stuff”.

This is a 1964 AMF/Hercules. I don’t know much about the Hercules/AMF bikes, only that they were built by Raleigh Industries and primarily sold in North America. The bike is typical of the British 3 speeds of the era. Sturmey Archer AW three speed hub, 26×1-3/8″ tires, Dunlop steel rims, etc. I have just started the cleanup process so I have a ways to go. Initial impressions is that this is a well built bike and of better quality than what Raleigh was putting out by the 1970’s.

This particular bike shows signs of much use, but no real abuse. It has been well cared for in the past, but had been neglected for a while. Mechanically it is in good shape and won’t need much done. Cosmetically it is a bit rough, but nothing some elbow grease, oil and polish won’t cure.

Hercules was it’s own brand started in Birmingham, England in 1911 and was absorbed by Raleigh in 1960. The Hercules Museum webblog has a lot of information gathered in one place.

This bike most likely will be going to my sister to use riding around her neighborhood and the large park behind her townhouse. I will have to find out if she wants a basket and if so what type. Perhaps a Peterboro from Maine or a Wald Woody?

More to be posted as things slowly progress.

Aaron

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A while back I posted a teaser photo of a Rescued Hercules. It has not been on high on the priority list for rebuild. My day job keeps getting in the way of my fun! I was meandering through ebay listings and came across a gently used Hercules saddle. They don’t show up very often and it was the correct one for the bike, so a bid was placed and I am now the proud owner of a very nice OEM saddle for the Herc. Yet another piece of the puzzle, a large part of the fun of dealing with vintage bikes. And I am sure the readers will agree this saddle is an improvement over the one that came with the bike!

Aaron

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Teaser…

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!

Aaron

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