Friday, September 27, 2013

Sturmey Archer Adventure

I have to admit, I was nervous...

You've heard of the "black box."  A container of technology or function that is akin to magic.  Inputs lead to fantastic outputs and it's all due to the "black box."  Don't try to understand it... for god's sake, don't go tinkering with it...

I guess I've considered the Sturmey Archer 3- Speed to be a black box in a way.  A wire goes into it, you flip a little lever and all of the sudden, it gets easier to pedal!  It's a silver "box."

Well, no longer.  I've read a number of sites about the rehabilitation of SA hubs.  THIS one in particular was very inspiring to help me gain confidence.  After putting it off for a few days, I had no excuse this morning but to dive in.

Here is the hub innards splayed out on my bench.  The only tools I needed are laying there as well.

It's one thing to tear something apart, but putting it back together again can be difficult.  Not these.  I even ended up pulling the pawls and pawl springs out and cleaning them.  The pawl springs are as fine as hair!

Anyway, the whole thing went back together with some fresh grease on the bearings and 3:1 Electric Motor oil in the gear compartment.  Once I got the wheel mounted back on the bike, I was AMAZED at how well it rolled and shifted.

Now I'm going to be working through the winter to do all the other bikes I have...  by the time spring comes.. I'm going to be an expert at this.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Phillips Twenty: GOLD

Here's the second bike I picked up on a trip down to Portland...  a gold Phillips Twenty!

This bike was pretty much in original condition, but on the rough side.  It was missing the seat post and saddle, along with the seat post clamp lever.  The bike had the hi-rise bars on it.  The chain was just a rusty lump of grease and dirt.  Ditto the S-A AW hub and the wheel rims were pretty rusty too...  the fenders are in pretty sad shape.  I'm planning on putting the nice chrome ones from my spare green Twenty on this one.  Silver and gold...

Here are some more pictures in original condition...

Needless to say, this is still a work in progress to get it cleaned up and running again.

Luckily, I have an extra front wheel in real nice shape.  I have worked out a deal with a co-member of the site for a replacement rear wheel in decent shape, so that should take care of the wheels.  I had an extra seat post and passable saddle.  It's coming back together nicely.

As soon as I get some updated pics, I'll add them in.

So, what does all this mean?  I think I have ALL the colors of Raleigh (branded) Twenty's: Carmine, Blue, Green, Brown , White and Orange.  And with this one, a Phillips branded Gold one.  Seven Twenty's!

This Gold Twenty is now done.  The rear wheel arrived from my pal grumpyoldsquid on the Raleigh Twenty site.  It was in decent shape, but since I had it out of the bike, I used it as my first Sturmey Archer teardown wheel.  See the guts HERE.  Once I got it all back together, it looks pretty sharp.  Rides pretty well too!  The paint is still pretty rough and there is some rust on the cranks that wouldn't come off, but overall, and particularly from a distance, it looks pretty stunning in Gold and Silver...  Here are some pictures of the final product.

Here is the overall bike now.  The new wheels really make a huge difference.  Thanks GrumpyOldSquid!!  Originally, it had the high rise handlebars.  I'm not really a fan of these, so I put on a spare low-rise one I had laying around.  The original gold fenders were practically see through in many places.  Unfortunate, because they had the Phillips decal and these silver one sport the Raleigh decal.  But the silver really looks fantastic...

Here is the freshly re-built hub and Grumpy's wheel.  New 1/8" chain too... clean!

Like I said, the frame itself is pretty rough.  Here is the remnant of a sticker near the hinge.  I just left it for "cred."


Raleigh Twenty: Carmine Red

I've added a couple new bikes to my Raleigh Twenty collection, the first being this carmine red example.

This was how I got it from the gentleman I picked it up from in Lake Oswego, OR...

As you can see from the "before" image, there had been plenty done to this bike over it's life.  It's wheels were aftermarket BMX single speed coaster brakes.  The rack was also a cheap add-on.The seat post was so long, it practically touched the bottom bracket spindle! The headset, forks and handlebars were all not original either.  Basically, just the frame and possibly the chain guard were original.  The frame showed it's age - a few scratches and chips, but the joints were still solid and there were no major damage.  Decals were acceptable.  Many of the original "bling" parts like chromed steel adjusting levers and Heron lamp bracket were gone...  So, it required a lot of work to bring it back...

Luckily, I had this bike kicking around:

This is a very nice green Twenty that my youngest son was riding, up to very recently.  He's in middle school now and was starting to think these bikes weren't all that cool anymore (go figure!)  So I was just about to sell this one.  It has 451-sized rims and Schwalbe Durano tires on it.  I basically stripped this one down to the bottom bracket and transferred ALL the parts to the red one, except the fenders - I put them on the gold bike I got... :-)

The fork on the original bike was actually a Raleigh threaded fork, but probably from a Sport.  It had been cut to a length that allowed a quill stem to be added.  Luckily I had a spare brown fork laying around and a rattle can of red that was almost an exact match for the red of the bike.  The chain guard was also in pretty rough shape, so I sprayed it out too.

The finished product looks fantastic and riding on those 451 rims makes this bike very responsive and fun.

My oldest son is going to take the remaining husk of a green frame and do something "rad" with it.  I can't wait to see that...