The front wheel trued up pretty easily but the rear one caused trouble with seized spokes and I had to cut and replace a few to get the wheel straight. I’ve been doing some cosmetics on the pin lining, adding a faint dust of magenta in places, a sort of “lipstick for grandma” – we don’t want to overdo it though (or she might look like a bad wolf in drag)! I’ve tried to keep it original looking but I have touched up some of the faint pin lines, I could’t help myself. I have also clear coated her after neutralising the rust to protect the paint from further decay.
The frame finish is basically as it was then, still with chips and scratches – it seemed a shame to remove 50+ years of character, and I didn’t want a “botoxed” grandma either, without any expression at all…
The chain wheel crank turned out to be too bent to to use, which is a shame, and to get her going I’ve had to substitute the old cottered 48T from my old diamond frame Speedwell. This was a non-original Japanese crank and isn’t quite the look I wanted so I’ll keep looking for a set of proper period cranks. I exchanged the other diamond frame Speedwell’s crank for a 40T tapered one a while back, to lower the 3-speed gearing, so that bike is still perfectly rideable. The gearing on this is slightly higher now than with the original 44T. A new 1/8″ chain has been fitted, and that’s the only thing I have actually bought for it so far. Except the bell, which came with a bike attached for $10!
I haven’t finished detailing the bike yet, but you see the general idea, and it is now quite rideable. I fitted the Lucas 28″ cyclometer to the front wheel, but found that the clicking drove me mad on such a silent bike, so I’ll have to remove it soon I think! The handlebar is slightly bent too, but right now that’s a matter of acclimatising to it.
The BSA coaster brake is not brilliant but is noticeably better at stopping than the Perry on my Malvern Star and should be sufficient for an easy rider like this. My friend Vicki has kindly donated the tyres and tubes from her 28″ Speedwell, since her bike has now been upgraded to 700C wheels.
I would like to add a skirt (coat?) guard to it at some point using the pre-drilled holes, and the non-original sprung Royal saddle is the wrong style and colour. A black leather Brooks (or similar) would be better and is on the wish list!
There will be a more in-depth ride report and close-ups to come later – Happy Cycling!