Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Awakening

Taking Shape

After years of lying forgotten somewhere and narrowly missing being "recycled", this Rudge-Whitworth frame is slowly coming to life. More on the man himself..........http://www.localhistory.scit.wlv.ac.uk/Museum/Transport/bicycles/Rudge.htm

My research indicates that the frame dates back to the 1930's (that particular type of headset badge was last used in 1939). If anybody has more information, I'd be grateful.

Front End:
I've sourced a steel, twin-tube fork and the necessary headset (the frame has an integrated headset, something you'll be told is a "new development" in bike design)

The North Road bars (http://www.sheldonbrown.com/english-3.html) are old, with a nice sweep and with their original plastic grips in what is now "ivory" or more simply, dirty white.
The bell, in contrast, is new, cheap and, inevitably, Chinese. (Sourced from the Kooperasie in Laingsburg)

Chrome. Ivory.

The front wheel is a Swift Arriv, (http://www.stars-rim.com/english/) deep-section rim with a 1988 Maillard hub, radially spoked and fitted with Continental Speed Kings (35mm)

That ultra sleek look of radial lacing

The rear wheel has the same Swift Arriv rim with a coaster hub (back-pedal hub to South Africans) from the Czech Republic, laced 4 cross and fitted with the same Speed King tyre.

The BB is another story which requires a detour through the history books........ When the majority of British cycle manufacturers agreed to standardise on a BB thread, they chose the BSA thread (1.370"x24tpi). Raleigh, being the Microsoft of the time, decided to remain with their 1.370"x26tpi thread)

That BB......is it 1.370" x 26tpi ??

So that's what I'm looking for right now, bearing cups for a 1.370" x 26 tpi BB shell. I will find them, but buying the Phil Woods one is not an option. Phoning a "big" bike shop in Cape Town and I learn some new stuff. That there are only two BB threads in the world, British and Italian. Wow. And to think I believed Sheldon Brown when he listed no less than 8! Maybe more bike shop owners should make a study of http://sheldonbrown.com/gloss_bo-z.html#bottom
In fact it would do them good to study the entire website. In detail.

Hot from the workshop: The bb shell does not measure what a 1.370" x 26tpi should. Maybe we have some predecessor here....starting to look like a machining job coming up!

Cranks and pedals will surely follow.

An old Brooks. This particular saddle is rather special because it was made in SA under licence. It appears to have been a partnership that ended when Cycsad took over the manufacturing and branded the saddles as Cycsad (a standard on many old SA made dikwiels)
Except that this one's leather is buggered, so I'll be making a replacement out of rawhide and then covering it with sheepskin (just for a little local flavour). Graeme Murray will be assisting in the shaping of the saddle because he knows about those things.

Seatpost? It's less than an inch, so probably an imperial size like 7/8" or, knowing the British, possibly even some "standard" size like 13/16" !! Update: It would appear to be 15/16". I'll just pop down to the lbs and collect "One 15/16" seatpost please" Which length would you like sir?....

That stylish contrast

1 comment:

  1. No need to have a slightly derogatory tone about the origin of the bell...Does it work? Looks dazzling.