Archive for September, 2017

some rain here would be nice..

Initially I was thinking single speed, but I have quite a few of those now, and I already had a 40H Sturmey Archer FW 4-speed hub in a good 27″ wheel. The hub is dated to 1966, which is pretty close to the 1965 of the AW 3-speed that I think was on it originally. The front wheel is a 32H steel rim on an S.J.W. hub.

sturmey archer FW 4-speed hub

As mentioned in the previous post, I wanted to keep the original paint intact, so the only thing I did here was to retouch the “Holland” lettering on both sides of the down tube. This was done by hand, following the original outlines as much as possible. It seemed a bit pointless to leave them so worn, as it so obscured the brand name and thus lost some historical interest.

i think it’s subtle ..

I tried to maintain a matching  ‘patina’ effect on the new segments of the letters. You can see the difference by looking at the previous post.

4 gears .. cool bananas !

I had a 4-speed trigger too, to go with the rear wheel, though I can’t vouch for it being period correct. The 4-speed FW Sturmey hub is new to me, and requires a lot of pressure to engage bottom gear.  The extra gear is quite useful though, and on these hubs the series goes : 4-high, 3-normal, 2-low, 1-bottom.  Adjustment is made in 2-low where the indicator rod should be flush with the axle end when looking into the round window on the left hand wheel nut ( or at least that’s the starting point ! ).  I had a few dramas trying to get it to work correctly and soon learned that the fixings must be quite tight, so as to withstand the strong tension of 1-bottom gear compared with the 3-speed models.

you can see the end of the indicator rod. it is a 2-piece unit on the FW. seen here in “3-normal” gear.

I used a Jagwire outer and a new Sturmey inner gear cable, though it doesn’t have the thin plastic wrap on it that goes over the jockey pulley wheel. Unfortunately, while Sturmey Archer hubs can last almost forever, some of the matching fittings and cables are getting harder to find in good condition. Interestingly, this hub is faintly stamped “USA” with a number, as well as the usual (3/66) date stamp and brand/model.

One of the problems with choosing brake callipers for these older Australian bikes is that the required drop to the rear rim is often greater than that to the front. In this case, I used a Weinmann Carrera for the front and a Weinmann Model 730 at the rear. The idea was to have the ‘best’ brake on the front – the 730 is a bit ordinary in its stopping power…

the weinmann ‘carrera’

The short steel stem, the Tange moustache bars, and Dia-Compe reversed levers seemed to suit this bike, so I pilfered them from another steed. They were already wrapped with the Berthoud leather bar tape over the white cables, which I didn’t want to disturb, though I do think I’ll change the cables for gold coloured ones, eventually.

The cranks are Sakae Silstar 165mm and come from a junked coaster-braked 1982 Malvern Star Roadstar, again, not period correct, but effective.

165mm cranks are good for spinning, which is sometimes useful with the fairly large jumps in the ratios of hub gears. This bike probably had cottered Williams cranks, but this will be a user, and these will be much more practical. At this point, gearing is 46 x 20T, ( i.e. in ‘3-normal’ ) and we’ll see how that goes for now.

With 27″ wheels and 165 cranks, gearing on the low-ish side is in order, relative to the usual 700c and 170mm.

now that’s a nice patina !

The saddle is a Brooks B17, and though I can’t find a date code on it, I think it’s 1970s. I used the stainless mudguards that I took off the Road King before I sold it, with the Gilles Berthoud leather mud-flap intact on the front one, topped off with the PDW Fender-bot ( such a cool name ) tail lamp / reflector, at the rear. 

the elegant fender-bot

I think that the Brooks “Isle of Wight” saddlebag is the most useful and good looking small tool holder in their range, the only down-side I find with them is not being able to use a modern rear light on the seatpost, but that’s not a problem here. The attachment method is so easy, and in the non-black versions they are nice looking. This one is a medium, in green.

with brooks bag ..

Tyres are Cheng Shin white walls in 27″ ( 32-630 ). It’s sad that good 27″ tyres are becoming more and more scarce as 700c becomes ubiquitous … ah well !  After riding 700c Tufos it takes a while to get used to the block tread’s  squirminess in corners, but they do suit this ride, I suppose.

Although the top tube is a bit cluttered with cables now, they at least hide the extremely worn surface somewhat.  I think this bike is an eye-catcher because of the unusual paint scheme and patina, and the 4-speed set up, along with the plush extras fitted.

And I’m rather enjoying hearing the serene tick-tick-tick ( in normal & high gears ) of a well oiled planetary hub once again !

Happy Re-Cycling !      


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