Saturday, December 12, 2015

Royal Enfield bicycles brochure

Royal Enfield bicycles brochure from the fifties. I haven't been able to identify the year exactly but it is marked '1154' on the back page. I'd assume this to mean November 1954 so this looks like the 1955 model year range brochure.

Royal Enfield 1955 bicycles brochure front cover.

Royal Enfield 1955 bicycles brochure pages 1 and 2.

Royal Enfield 1955 bicycles brochure pages 3 and 4.

Royal Enfield 1955 bicycles brochure pages 5 and 6.

Royal Enfield 1955 bicycles brochure pages 7 and 8.

Royal Enfield 1955 bicycles brochure pages 9 and 10.

Royal Enfield 1955 bicycles brochure rear cover.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Alan project update. Campagnolo why the weird sizes!

Nearly there with the Alan.

Most of the refurbing and fitting together is now complete. Had a short hold up when I discovered that the cable anchors for the Campag Delta brakes use a 3.5mm allen key. Why would anyone choose that as a size to use!! I then discovered that the Victory chainset uses a 7mm key for the crank bolt. The choice of wonky sizes by Campag was surely a willful swipe at the home mechanic. Luckily I've got a really decent toolshop nearby so it turned out that getting the right keys was just a short ride away.

I had a bit of a dilemma over what to do with the gear cable run on the bottom bracket. From new the cables run direct on to the shell through small guides with no protection for the delicate aluminium. Over time the cables run score marks on to the shell. I toyed with the idea of putting a new plastic guide on but the original guides fouled up with it and it would have meant cutting them off. In the end I settled for small teflon tubes. The tubes seem to hold themselves in place ok and are stopped from lateral movement by the angle of the cable and the original guides.

Not a lot more to do now than adjust and polish.

Campagnolo Delta brake showing that annoying 3.5mm
allen head anchor bolt.

Campagnolo Delta brake. Over-engineered, over-complicated,
beautifully made and a joy to behold.

Campagnolo Victory chainset with odd 7mm crank bolt.

Bottom bracket cable run showing teflon sleeves. Not the
most elegant solution I will confess but one which works
and doesn't involve modification to the frame.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

BSA Gold Vase project update

Progress to date on the BSA Gold Vase. It's been a case of trying to use parts that I've got lying around and matching up the patina to the frame. The bars and stem I had bought simply because I liked the shape and that they had the original John Bull grips. They're alloy bars with a nice moustache bend. The wheels are tandem type with British Hub hubs, they fit and are with a three speed block to match the Cyclo gear hanger. I might just fit the end product with a auxiliary cyclemotor engine so the extra braking power will be useful. A pair of Bluemels Airweight alloy mudguards picked up on the bay of E look right as does the Dorset Saddle I bought a short while back.

Just a chainset to find and then renovate the whole lot and we'll be rolling.

Just about everything collected to build up a cycle now. Just
lacking a chainset.

The Cyclo derailleur I had lying around has turned
out to be a little bit less functional than hoped for.
Twisted and rusted but it should free up and bend
back in to shape. 

Original BSA Gold Vase transfer.

Sweet badge on the Bluemels Air Weight

Original period John Bull handlebar grips.

New old stock Lucas bell from the jet age was lying around
unused and looks a treat on the Beesa.

Handlebars, a stylish moustache bend. Cyclo changer is seized
up so may need new cables making.

Miller headlight with a Terry's clamp on bracket.
Need a rear light to go with it plus maybe a dynamo
or battery pack.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Trade cycle in Slovenia

Another holiday spot in Ptuj, Slovenia, was this delivery cycle serving as a prop for a flower shop. Not sure if the wheels are original to the cycle or not. The front brake lever mechanism is very bizarre.

Delivery cycle in Ptuj, Slovenia.

Odd front brake lever operation looks factory correct.

Monday, September 14, 2015

1990 Alan project coming on

The Alan project is slowly nearing completion. Sourcing components has taken a while, mainly because it is easy to get carried away and spend top money to accumulate everything needed in a rush. As the plan for the bike is for it to be fully Campagnolified I've taken it easy and bought when I've seen the right part for the right price.

Since the last post on the project a pair of Delta brakes have been sourced which cost the same as the frame but were a must have. I've gone for a Triomphe rear mech just because I find them the prettiest mech of the period. Campag aero seatposts in the unusual Alan size of 25mm are always available but generally costly which is probably why most Alan frames are sold without them... 

The bars and stem are Cinelli as that really felt like the only brand that could compliment the project. The stem is an XA, I just love the wedge mechanism for clamping the bars. Just a chainset (anyone out there got a reasonable Croce d'Aune one going for a fair price?) and a Rolls titanium saddle to find now.

The Alan, mostly there now.

Campag delta brakes. Beautiful.

Cinelli bars and stem the only choice.

Just finishing touches required now.

Campagnolo Triomphe rear mech. A boxy squarish kind of beauty.

Monday, August 31, 2015

1929 Austro Daimler bicycle

On holiday in Slovenia recently I came across this rather lovely 1929 Austro Daimler cycle in an antique shop in the city of Ptuj. The condition was wonderfully original with wooden handlebar grips, frame fitting leather toolbag, lighting set and Slovenian bicycle licence plate. Thankfully for my wallet it was already sold or I would have left 350 euros lighter! 

1929 Austro Daimler.

1929 Austro Daimler. Nice mudguard mascot.

1929 Austro Daimler awaits new home.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Early childs tricycle and pedal car

Cute photo of a pair of young 'uns with their toys looking like they are to the manor born. 

Tricycle and pedal car probably from the 1900s.

Monday, August 17, 2015

BSA Gold Vase

Maybe I shouldn't admit this in public but I bought this BSA (it was cheap) because I had a Cyclo derallieur on the shelf and the frame has the right braze on to suit it. I concede that most folks might have parted with the gearset and lived happily ever after but I wanted to fit one and see how well it works. Plus this is quite a nice pre-war frame even if it is slightly small for me...

BSA Gold Vase frameset.

Cyclo gear braze on.

Original BSA Gold Vase transfer.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Villiers Two Speed Gear

A scan of the brochure for the Villiers two speed gear. Not a derailleur system as it is essentially a chain gearbox. An interesting dead-end in bicycle gear design. Puzzlingly complicated to fathom and rather heavy the Villiers two speed was a product of the thirties though when production was started and ceased exactly I am not sure.

Villiers two speed brochure page 1.

Villiers two speed brochure page 2.

Villiers two speed brochure page 3.

Villiers two speed brochure page 4.

Villiers two speed brochure page 5.

Villiers two speed brochure page 6.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Alta girder forks

I found these Alta brand girder forks at a parts meet a few years ago. They were too unusual and cheap to resist. They have suffered a bit from storage but are new old stock. It seems that perhaps the chroming wa of very cheap quality in the first place. The forks seem to be Italian made and are with one inch steerer and English threads.

The best guess would be that they were marketed at a time when cyclemotor attachments were popular. They certainly have the look of an early fifties component about them. They are made to fit a frame size of around 23 inches, obviously dependent on steerer tube length. There is no anchor for a drum brake but there is a bridge for a caliper.

Hopefully some day I'll find the right frame to put them on. I did recently come across a BSA Golden Vase that looked like it would fit the bill but when offered up the steerer on the forks was too long.

Alta cyclemotor spring forks detail.

Alta cyclemotor girder forks.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Dorset Saddle

An ebay find. I've never heard of Dorset saddles before but the local connection kind of meant I had to have it for a future build. The typeset and shape of the label is very similar to Lycett so perhaps it was produced for a local shop, the address I bought it from was in the county so it stands up as a theory. Does anyone out there know anything more?

Monday, June 1, 2015

Girder framed project finished

The mystery (maybe Robin Hood, maybe Royal Enfield) girder-frame project is completed and ready to ride and I'm delighted with the result. The cycle has had a general service and a few parts added. The horrible blue plastic grips were junked for a pair of new old stock rubber items from the correct period, a Lucas carbide light added and I felt that a cycle of this stature should have a rack so a suitable one was sourced via ebay. It's rather nice, a 'Princip' - a brand of rack I've never heard of before but it looks the part and is pretty much the same pattern as a Brooks item.

I had a lucky cat mascot on the shelf that I've put on the handlebars, it's quirky and period and might as well go on a cycle as sit on a shelf. The pedals are new old stock and came to me boxed. I pondered for a while before fitting as they will be nos only once but they were made to be used so on they went.

Weight-wise the cycle is a tank but it's a quality product and the ride is good. I'm not sure if the Sturmey hub is original or not but it makes the whole plot a lot more rideable, no gears on this one would be a chore.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Coventry Eagle 1959

Here's the front page from the 1959 Coventry Eagle brochure. The way it folds out makes it hard to scan but the cover is worth posting for the cheesey fifties celebrity endorsement!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

1990 Alan frame

My cycle projects to date have been machines from before my time. This one though is a big nostalgia trip. A cycle that was too exotic for my teenage pocket but which I now don't really have the fitness to do justice to!

As purchased the Alan was a bare frame with Campag bottom bracket and headset. The plan is to build it up fully Campaged out with Cinelli bars and stem and Rolls saddle, all representing the best of what was around at the time. I'm hoping for some delta brakes but am currently baulking at the price, perhaps Monoplaners will do.

The late eighties / early nineties componentry represents for me Campagnolo at the peak of their powers. The manufacture and finish of each piece is exquisite, anyone who takes any interest in engineering cannot fail but to be moved by their beauty. The period was a time when metallurgy was highly advanced but price was not squeezed so heavily by the competition of mass production techniques. Components are polished to a mirror finish rather than annodized and the logo is etched rather than printed. Poetry!

So far I've sourced a pair of wheels with Croce D'Aune hubs and Graphite rims, a front mech and new old stock levers. This build is going to take a while, gonna have to spread the cost to take the pain away! 

1990 Alan frameset. Hard to photograph, so very shiny!

Sheer beauty. Campagnolo Triomphe new old stock friction

Croce D'Aune hubs.

Triomphe braze on front mech.

The Alan aero top tube. Not too sure why they did this. Looks
good though.