Archive for June, 2012

not quite a cameo !

A true bike recyclist knows very well to follow their nose — and so it was, when I saw a local sign “Cheap bikes all sizes”. You never know !

Becoming my latest acquisition is this smart semi-loop frame Raleigh – the Sturmey Archer AW hub dates it around 1980 manufacture ( thank you S.A. !)

three speed hub heaven !

It is English made with a quality feel, and is rideable as is, though badly in need of an overhaul and some detailing :

seat tube decals

head badge

The wheels are imperial 26″ (590mm) x 1 & 3/8″ , and the bike is quite complete and original looking.

There is some well meant overpainting of parts of the frame and guards, but thankfully a lot of the original colour has been left.

The bike has had some rain exposure, but should clean up very well.

The chain wheel has the traditional Raleigh herons and there are Raleigh insignias in a lot of other places.

cottered cranks and “heron” chainwheel

quill stem

headlamp bracket

made in england

I will be proud to refurbish this one, it holds a lot of promise as a classy user…

sturmey archer rear reflector

i would prefer swept back “gull wing” bars


Also from the same vendor, a ratty Jack Walsh 27″ step-through. This looks like a conversion from derailleurs to coaster, but needs some more research.

jack walsh step-through

It is an Australian bike brand that I will have to read up about, but even the alloy lever strike bell, old cateye red reflector, dia-compe brakes and various other parts were worth the asking price, if nothing else !

There’ll be more to follow on this one.


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no identifying features

Here are two of my vintage/classic bike tail lights, both “unswitched” – the first is unbranded, made of a thermosetting plastic that looks a bit like black bakelite. I believe it was Australian made but I’m not certain. It is about as simple as you can get, relying on screwing in the cap to make contact between the bulb and “D” cell battery via copper tracks that mate at a certain point of  rotation. This light is to be fitted to my old speedwell bike, and has polished up nicely with metal polishing paste on all external parts.


bulb and contacts

the neat bracket is obviously designed for a seat stay

on my speedwell diamond frame

The second is the Eveready, made in the UK, of aluminium. This one is slightly more robust in build and the lens doubles as a rear reflector. I may be fitting it to my loop frame Speedwell when it is finished – it needs a tidy-up, as the alloy has oxidised in places.

it’s working

the rubber washer prevents shorting the battery on the spring

the reflector/lens

The main disadvantage with both these lights is that the large battery tends to rattle around when the light is off and may also turn on at times because of this. Some tweaking with rubber washers should help with this issue. Alternatively, I can remove the battery till needed as these bikes won’t get a lot of night use.

The “D” cells back then must have been mostly insulated on the top (+ve) terminal as the holding spring will short out the modern “D” cells via the terminal plate, unless this part is insulated.

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i liked this shot – in winter sun

and a clever use of the brace bar

smile !


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Here are a few more old Schrader caps in my collection, to add to a previous post :

variously from the US, UK and Australia

neat, aren’t they ?

Also, here are the details of an old Dunlop cycle tube vulcaniser patch kit in unused condition, from my youth  :

the patch kit as well

patch and clamp details

the underside of tin is the tube roughener


the reverse and the striker

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Where is everyone ? – it’s not that cold out !

Perhaps they didn’t want to be seen on their bike today because they are having a Monday sickie.

Anyway, there were only a few interesting bikes out, and I had to work hard to find them :

a red trek

a malvern star wisp

my speedwell in “theatre lane”

I travelled quite far today on this single speed bike, and was no more tired than I would be on my geared bikes.


safety conscious – do volvo make bikes at all ?

a fisherman’s trike grab-shot-fly-by

an annoying flashing headlight behind me in the tunnel

Yes, that’s my shoulder bottom right …

a bikespotting spotted cat

See Ya !


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woohoo! – they’e working

Vintage Eveready battery bicycle torch (L) and Australian army torch (R).

showing the rear mounting of the eveready

In a previous post, I showed an old Eveready army style torch that could be fitted to a bike light bracket. The batteries were supposed to be a No. 701A, however I couldn’t find any info on them online.

original packaging

I was playing around with a couple of “D” cell batteries yesterday and something jogged my memory. A quick search of my box of bits came up with these adaptors, and the original pack off one of them tells the story. Whatever the 701A was, these plastic and copper adapters were designed to upgrade the torch to take the new-fangled (sic) “D” cells. From the wording, it would seem that the old 701 battery came with the copper tracks on it, as a complete unit, and now it’s only necessary to buy the “D” cells once you have the adaptor.

The adaptor with “D” cells fitted is shown below :

the side copper track is for the bulb, the top one for the switch, which is screwed down to make contact

Here are some pictures showing how the working light fits two of my bikes :

speedwell “popular” loop frame

the loop frame speedwell has a bracket as part of the headset group

mounted on an accessory bracket on front hub – speedwell diamond frame

the same bike

front view

Next up, a working vintage battery powered tail-lamp…

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the rain is back …

everything a-wash in a minute !

There must be an old proverb that says “He/she who rides fastest in the rain gets the wettest bum”, or so it seemed, as I was passed by lots of riders with sporty G.T. stripes up their backs today.

I always bless my mudguards on such days, as I tootle merrily along on the wet track…

my trusty speedwell

wetter the better ?


Just as in a car – if you go too fast, you can miss things:

today on the harbour

a picture waiting to be taken …


I am also grateful for hub/coaster brakes in the rain as the spongy rim brakes do their “zero G” thingy. What luxury – on this bike I have both !

Disc brakes ? Too complicated, leave them on cars, thanks…

a rain-foresty fernleigh track 

Anyway rainy+cloudy+sunny days are often great for landscape photography, even if there aren’t many lovely bikes around.

a friendly dude at the beach


three on a misty lens

Is there some kind of message here ?


Today was something of a fluoro safety vest day, and don’t those boring things just spoil good bike photos ? The tunnel, however, always has something to offer …

hand in the air

and a dark ghost who walks in the sodium glare

All pics were taken today.



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