Sunday, 7 October 2018

Lenton Sports bicycle


Changed; 22/08/2019, 24/08/2019
Introduction;
My own bikes have been a child's bike with solid tyres with awful stabilisers fitted that did not help at all, a 20",  a 24" bike with very rusty rims, chain, stirrup (rod) brakes that was as much as I could afford with my pocket money.  My father promised me his Lenton Sports bike when I was big enough to ride the bike and it is my first bike with gears.  Compared to my sister's then-new ~1974, 3-speed unisex "Shopper" and all other bikes I have ridden, the Lenton Sports is very much better.

The picture above right;  The Raleigh Bicycle Company's Heron, 1946 sports bike's sprocket.  Raleigh manufactured at Lenton Boulevard, Nottingham, England.  I was surprised to find the brilliant chromed sprocket covered and protected by a coating of black oil and dirt.  Other chrome and steel have been speckled with surface rust for most of the bikes life.   The sprocket is made in two parts and you can see one of the three screws' threads in the picture.

Please leave comments below. I have discussed much of Raleigh Bikes, Sturmey-Archer gears and bike history in various Facebook groups before writing this blog. The book, The Sturmey-Archer Story, by Tony Hadland, has also been very helpful [I have made reference to that book].

Summary;
People old enough to have ridden hub gear bikes made before 1970 and have a modern bike will confirm enthusiastically how light and easy those old bikes were to ride, just touch the peddles now and then to keep the bike moving.  By comparison modern greased or part greased transmission (just the front hub and crank) bikes have to be continually peddled to keep them moving.  Bikes made before 1960 are even better and this Lenton Sports has four very well-chosen speeds.  All versions of The Lenton Sports have no grease in the transmission and which makes them lighter to peddle and the rider of this Lenton at least feel like he is being pulled along.

About old bikes;  
Old Raleigh bike frames are British steel, are robust because they do not have any welded joints that are brittle and can fracture, seems to be known as steel frame, braised and lugged.  The unions are forged from single pieces which protect the grain of metal and are brazed to the tubing, for strength without brittleness.  Where possible single pieces of metal are formed to shape rather than parts joined.  I'd say the bike is the best of the best engineering made by Raleigh at the top of what it did, making excellent sports bikes and bikes for daily use but with the same sports bike, light to peddle technology.  These bikes or the Sturmey-Archer gears had been winning in competitions for decades and continued to win for a while after dérailleur geared bikes were permitted in competition.  It became more common to find Lenton's fitted with dérailleur gears in the 1950s when that type of gear started to win in competition.

Picture left; close ratio 4 speed, FM and AF hubs use a second elliptical gear coupled to the main elliptical gear to achieve the medium or close ratios. Similar to AR close-ratio 3-speed hub introduced two years earlier [Pg 105/106].  The second elliptical gear drives the sun pinion.  The later FW uses a single elliptical gear.

The 1945 FW 4 speed hub, that is fitted on this Lenton Sports bike is different.  The elliptical gear has a single ring gear but one of two sun pinions is locked by ball bearing clutch in the stationary shaft to provide a super-low bottom gear.  This is an efficient gear hub that was made until 1969/70 and is counted as one of the set of acclaimed 4-speed hubs.

Picture left, is from that book is the plaque awarded to Sturmey-Archer by the Cycling Touring Club for the greatest advance in cycling design or equipment for their 4-speed hubs in 1939. [pg 105/106].

Britain was known for engineering that was second to none, but British textiles, film industries were also excellent.  What has survived a century and is in running condition is the best of the best such as American Model-T Ford cars, British Singer sewing machines and Raleigh bikes.  Many machines made before 1914 did not last, metal parts did not spring but bent or were brittle and cracked this is because there was more variability in engineering but less formalised skill and knowledge  That is engineering were more of an art then.  I suspect a lot of  Victorian steam trains boilers cracked, or for other reasons, were scrapped after a short life and I have seen a fine-looking steam train taken out of service after just 10 years of use in museums.  People normally saved boxes, tins, jars, bottles, paper bags for other use or to take shopping until the 1980s.

Anecdotal may have been said by Raleigh representatives that; "A Raleigh bike will last 100 years"
 - opinion; These old hub gear bikes turn out to be very understated and delightful to ride.

Obviously, a bike will not last indefinitely but will last used or neglected outside for many decades.  Another bike could be in reasonable order after 100 years, I have seen a 1909, Raleigh bike, which although badly corroded in places, most of the enamel and the gold lines on it are sound.  As if the machine has personality and appreciates being liked and gives remarkably good long service in return for having been cared for.  I have seen a picture of a 1951 Raleigh sports bike that had been in continuous use (as of 2018) and the paint is good still although chipped. 

Things changed - 1970' new cars delivered with faults - poor management in British industry - designed in obsolescence and designed to ware-out;

Timex watches can run without maintenance for 50 years but my 1974 day date Timex (pictured right) was made to wear out in 5 years when the knurling on the winder wore away. You could have the winder replaced but I found a patch and the watch remained very accurate for 30 years. Evidently designed to wear out had been well-engineered so that it was just one part that would not fail or compromise the accuracy within the warranty period. My patch was to fit and to keep replacing a rubber sleeving on to the winder or to wind the watch with a rubber band stretched across your fingers.

British Textiles were still made to high standards and a 1975 Burton's made-to-measure coat would be made to last a lifetime.  After 20 years one of the buttons got loose but the coat always felt lovely to wear compared with anything off-the-peg.  British Leyland was still making very well made Rover cars and Minis but many of the cars they made although very good were delivered with fault's (Gremlins).   The Leycare warranty was featured in advertising during the 1970s along with the admission that new cars might be delivered with gremlins.

The 1970s marked a time when life had become easier, full employment, virtually no homeless. Mortgages, pensions, and financial services were trusted to mutual and friendly societies and that is what most people did. The banks still had a Quaker philosophy of supporting and looking after their customers but these things changed. Significantly more things were designed to wear out or were badly made so they wore out or become obsolete quickly. There was little place for repairing shoes, bikes and what was repaired was carried out by replacement of a module rather than of a part. Built-in wear out had already been the case for example valve TV's designed with the valves overstressed, 1930's Ford cars with cheap manufacturers regulated prices on parts and maintenance.  A ford engines designed to last only 25,000 miles (that is as long as a ~1935 Ford Anglia manufacturer's gold-seal replacement engine lasted purchased in the 1950's). More people chose things they could unwrap, played with briefly, then be discarded, so many British manufacturers tried to follow the trend but failed to and produced rubbish in the first place. Raleigh bikes went with the trend, changing enough but continued manufacturing in the UK until 2012 but bike makers did not need to design in obsolescence or to wear out many bikes are and have always were bought or given but then simply not used.


Picture left - Yashicamat (was made in Japan, probably in the 1950s) equal to a German Rollei (Rolleicord or Rolleiflex) in quality, far eastern products can be equal to the best.

During the post-war (political) consensus until 1980 - if you could do the job you were given the job.  There was a place for philanthropic, commercial and government services and investment called, The mixed economy, regulate so that what worked was done.  Significantly manufacturing and engineering were still supported.  The prejudice against engineers being people who work on dirty engines as opposed to ingenuity the correct meaning was always true.  There was an expectation to be employed and anyone would feel or be made to feel very uncomfortable about being unemployed.  Generally, periods of unemployment lasted just a day.  For longer-term unemployment state national insurance paid unemployment pay and your mortgage interest was paid.

At the end of the 1970's the problems in British industry were in hand or had been fixed by the government and union initiatives such as ethics in BAE Scotland, The Lucas Plan, Triumph motorbike Cooperative.  To protect against monopoly's from unfair pricing was addressed by the creation of British Sugar Corporation, Giro-Bank (not that sugar prices should be regulated which surely conflicts with public health).  High-value investment and return supported by National Enterprise Board (significantly Ferranti), also British Leyland (significantly the Metro car) was resolved even though the unionised workforce lost jobs to robot assembly.  The National Coal Board and British Rail had already been successfully nationalised in the 1946 and 1948 from failing private companies so British deep mine coal was the cheapest and safest in the world (NUM early 1980s).  The working week had reduced from up to 48 hours prior to world war two to typically 40 hours a week but many worked 37.5 hours and the number of hours was reducing towards 35 hours in some cases with up to 30 days annual holiday.

The current era since 1980 was planned in the 1970s was for the country to move to financial services as the main method of exploitation.  The "military-industrial-complex" remains the same a monster out of control as was warned would happen when the phrase was coined by US President Dwight D Eisenhower.  Therefore the creation of money made importing things very cheap (below UK costs and what is or amounts to slave labour) consumption that undermined and thereby displaced a lot of manufacturing in the UK.

1946 LENTON sports (Raleigh);
My father was promised this top of the range sports bike if he matriculated (pass his school-leaving exams) and his mother paid £19 and something (£19/14- I have found on a website).  Evidently, my father had to wait until after leaving school in 1944 for the war to end and his bike to be delivered.  There are two numbers on the frame which confirms the date of early 1946, my father was conscripted that summer and returned 18 months later.

Crankcase No. 453967 Z (under the crank),
Frame number; 289193 P (below the saddle)

This Lenton Sports bike is a MK II [web], Model 25 [Facebook].

The FW, 4-speed wide hub.  4-speed Sturmey-Archer gears have a reputation for being unreliable and I am told that the problem of only being able to select one of three of the four gears is common on many bikes except when the hub is new. 

My work-around was; To over tightened the cable to get four gears and that may be the common solution.  The problem is often said to be selector wear but if that were the case then the notches would have rounded off and the selector would not hold a gear but in the case of this bike the selector does hold the gears precisely.  Bottom gear seems to need 1 mm or more pull which could be due to the extra stretch in the cable when the tension is very high or the notch cut in the wrong place except all bikes maybe like this?  

The hub's date code is 50 I, (January 1950), maybe the completion of the order but might be an upgrade or a warranted replacement.  My father chose a more comfortable saddle instead of the standard sports bike saddle.  The FW has proven to be very robust, very low friction, very fast and easy to change gear and has had a high and hard usage without significant wear.   Although it has crevices that trap black residual of oiling and then having long periods of being out of use.  Unfortunately, N gear, the best gear, would click but it does click now but coincidentally I can not use B gear either.


It looks as if my father optimised the position of the brake levers and gear selector for comfort and ease of peddling effort and that works very well where they are now. I have had no wish to change there position although I have adjusted most other things.

Weight; 14Kg,  with the comfortable Raleigh saddle fitted that may be 2Kg, rack and panniers bags.

The Raleigh Record Ace (RRA) was a made to order and the most expensive Raleigh bike that only some dealers could sell.  The Lenton Sports MK I or MK II then the MK III Lenton Clubman were the top of the range standard bike that all dealers could sell, I understand.  

A similar point many manufacturers supplied different dealers with a broader or a narrow range of parts, accessories, bikes and new products - it used to be necessary to visit another town to find out about and obtain different things.  Parts sold by trained staff who would offer and give the correct advice.  By comparison since 1980, it has become normal to only find a limited range of the same things but anywhere.  A broad range of some items such a different colour toilet paper, shampoo are exceptions to do with marketing.  It is now very unusual to find different things and the expectation of speaking to trained staff on the use and the type of product is now not expected or offered.  This uniformity and narrowing of choice were promoted, at the time, as "choice".


The FW four-wide variant hub (pictured left); Was a new model alloy hub launched in 1945 although Tony Hadland's book is more authoritative and says lighter alloy hub option was launched in 1948 but alloy hub was discontinued in the 1960s.  Apparently, the steel hub was stronger and does not crack.  I would say the gearing and the gear spacing has been chosen well, this was also said at the time.

The bikes four-speed selector (picture below right);  Has one patent number 498,820 on it.  In 1948 some modifications were made including a modification to reduce rattling in the selector.  This modified selector has two patent numbers the second patent number is 649,009 that distinguishes the two types.  A variation to this account is that the selector I have on the bike is a 1950 selector and the second patent number variant may not have been stamped on until later.  I am sure that the trigger is the later 1950 selector but I can not say if it has the modifications?

The rider can change gear easily with the bike stationary or moving;
Keep peddling forward (moving the peddle backwards works better with some hub types such as AW) slowly and with lightest peddle pressure whilst moving the gear selector. Changing up a gear is best done with the leaver held between two fingers (this is not necessary with newer selectors and AW hubs). When parking the bike put the bike into the highest gear in order to release the cable tension moving the peddle to complete the operation, of cause.  The gears might complete the change when you take your foot pressure off the peddle - The point is the gears are delightfully easy to use and respond better to smart but sensitive use.

Pictured right; I have pushed the gear selector cable through so that you can see an extra square washer on the cable. This extra washer is an undocumented part and is important because it prevents the small-diameter anchor from wedging the selector and jamming it. The smaller anchor would wedge the halves of the movement apart if the cable were assembled in accordance with the workshop diagram (without that square washer).

This extra square washer is most likely a modification carried out by a craftsman.  It is not uncommon in manufacturing prior to the 1980s for informal modifications to be carried out.  It of cause still occurs that a concession is made to a manufacturing process but by 1980 the concession or modification would be formally documented rather than a note on a scrap of a card or be a mental note be made.  I don't know what Raleigh's policy on formal or informal concessions and modification was but the company's that work, either way, both ways work.


As an electronics design engineer I working for an old scientific instrument maker where I was shown many things done quickly and precisely using techniques that could be called knack.  Those methods had been developed by the craftsmen employed in the past, are vital but could be easily dismissed looking easy and trivial but lost when people or craftsmen particularly leave.  Asking how accurate is this?  I have been shown very high precision work made by a professional with equipment and test instruments all made by the company.  The culture of excellence went through the company bottom to top.

Technical detail observed;
  • The mechanism selects easily.  There is feature since 1910-1912 to hold the gear even if the cable is not optimally adjusted but this feature is not on all hubs or speeds (if I have understood correctly).  Sturmey-Archer patented very many modifications but most of them were not implemented.  All gears are in constant mesh but are selected using dog clutches, a type of dog, a ball bearing clutch or selectively disengaging the free-wheel pawls, even so, dog clutches can be chipped.
    • The FW hub on the Lenton sports does not have the low-speed pawls permanently connected but overrun in Normal and High gears instead there is a neutral between each gear and that appears to be the case.  This is no doubt done in order to improve the hub's efficiency though I am sure such improvement would be very marginal. 
    • (A 1948 patent not implemented would have put two gears N and H closer together and ensured they overlapped - therefore be no neutral between those two speeds.  This patent once again did not normally have the low-speed pawl over-run by the high-speed pawls except whilst changing gear as far as I understand)
  • The main point is that a light oil-lubricated type British made Sturmey-Archer hub is very easy to use and more efficient than Taiwan made or dérailleur gears.  The efficiency in N gear is of the order of 98% falling to 92.5% in other gears (proportionally to the difference from N gear).  I don't know what this means but the bike is very light to peddle and you can feel the differences between each gear which I can not do with a much newer bike.  Normal gear is the direct drive speed and is discernibly more efficient.  The other factor is the bike's gears are particularly easy to select compared with an AW Sturmey-Archer hub gears which are also very easy to use and that the bike has a long wheel-base that also makes the bike much more efficient.
Later in the Sturmey-Archer Story, the book quotes different comparative tests.  The book covers the history of Raleigh and gears during the time when their bikes were made to be the best without unnecessary cost.  The company made many cross-licensing agreements with UK and Europe bike makers.  Significantly the FW, 4-speed wide hub provides a hub design with up to 5 gears with just one extra set of meshing gears that don't carry any load so only a tiny percentage of the power is lost in that alternative messing sun gear.  The FW is similar to the 1912 four-speed hub patent gained in cross-license agreement with Fichtel & Sachs, Germany. The Universal Torpedo four-speed hub but was not successful then.   Fichtel & Sachs bike gear maker with the same reputation in Germany as Sturmey-Archer in Britain.  The single cable 5-speed variant patented by Henry Sturmey (1857-1930) was also not taken up by any manufacturer no doubt because of fear that cyclist would similar to the earlier 4-speed hub case considered two or three speeds adequate.   A five-speed hub but with two cables was launched in the 1966 and there was a modification to the early four-speed hub to provide the extra gear.  A single cable version of the five-speed hub was launched in the 1980's similar to the 1921 patent used two elliptical gear assemblies but the power trains were through one or the other but not both elliptical gears (any patent would have expired by then).

Old British patents used to be granted for a long period of time;-  Used to be granted for much longer periods of time such as 40 years on the 1930's Austin Over Head Valve cylinder head used in a lorry at first but well known as the Mini engine.  {I do not have the references now and have not been able to reconcile those details with what I have read more recently on Austin or Morris} The engine head designer came from Jaguar car's worked on the Merlin Engine for Rolls Royce then went on to do the same for the car engine which was to create a lot of swirling turbulence in the combustion chamber in order to spread the flame quickly and thoroughly - as far as I can guess?  Copyright act 1911 gave protection for the author's lifetime plus 50 years.

The patent may have less relevance than Sturmey-Archer's philosophy of conservatism in making small changes taking cyclist with them rather than leading.  That is avoiding investing in a new design that is a commercial failure,  only making the most necessary changes and not doing things that might be perceived as adding friction.  That is original three gear hub sold all over the world but a four gear hub fails, decades later the four gear hubs are acclaimed  Then a modified four gear to provide five gears followed by a single cable five gear hub a few more decades later.  Lesson learnt that each step be small and when the cyclists were ready.

German website archive of bicycles or Fichtel & Sachs hubs;

Universal Torpedo including the 4-speed hub gear (opens PDF)  - Brochure some features such as ball bearings that the planet idler gears run on was a selling point rather than beneficial.  BSA had a similar feature - The claimed a big friction reduction with was only on a part that contributes a very small amount of friction - so the claim was misleading.

http://dokumente.strewi-fahrradwerke.de  - more documents.

http://strewi-fahrradwerke.de  - parent website (I can't read because it is in German).

The 1939 AF & FM close and medium ratio 4-speed hubs [Pg 105/106].  These hubs are different from the FW and have a second elliptical gear.  The two elliptical gear assemblies that one is coupled to the other (providing an opposing drive and thereby the difference in two bigger ratios is the close-ratio required).  These were similar to William Reilly's brother Henry's 1908 patent for a four and five-speed hubs not developed at that time but I do not know how they compare with the 1912 F&S Torpedo hub.  I am told these particular four-speed hubs have more friction but are still low friction [Facebook], conversely, the four-speed and the three-speed close and medium ratio hubs developed in 1937 were very well-liked in competitive cycling when a number of cycling records were broken with them.

1937 was a significant year for bike gears because the ban on using dérailleur gears in competitions was lifted.  This 
started to give competition cyclist close and medium speed ratios where Sturmey-Archer had been held back by 
lack of commercial interest no doubt anticipating a concern about friction with close and medium speed hub gears
 that had been the case in the past.  1951 was the year that a dérailleur gear bike won a competition.

The one imperfection in this very well designed bike;  Picture left; Raleigh brake cables are very thick and strong but if you need to replace them the adjuster assembly is part of the cable assembly.  The cable assembly is the cable, sleeve and soldered ends (or crimped), brass knurled adjuster, knurled lock nut and threaded post that is bolted to the calliper.  That aspect seems wasteful if as has happened one of the ends which is hard-soldered pulled out 40 years ago.  In this case, I re-soldered the end but with electrical solder which is not a hard solder.  This type of cable assembly changed and was simplified in the late 1960s.   You can see a coating of the black residual of oiling the bike - the part had to be scrubbed hard to remove it but in any case, I should have greased these parts.


Picture right - This is not how the cable is assembled but the picture shows the soldered cable end and the nicely made brass ferrule on the end of the cable sheath.  The knurlled adjuster, knurled lock nut and the fixed post should all be fitted before the end is soldered.

Was the brake cable design unduly wasteful? - Not really, all parts last a very long time and up until 1970 metal scrap could be sold to the rag and bone man who came around once a week or a fortnight.  The Rag and bone man I remember called out in a loud singing  "Any old lumber" and as a boy, I thought he said "any old humber" often street sellers sang out using a slightly mispronounced word that made you stop for a moment.  The Rag and Bone man would pay money or give a child a goldfish in payment for scrap and negotiate for more scrap for a fish.

By 1980 Raleigh was making 1.5 million bikes a year.  During the 1970s the average distance cycled was only 20Cm 
a year.  Company's had car parks with cycle racks and an old company may have had as many employees who 
cycle to work as cars driven to work but a new company would have fewer employees that would cycle to work.

Estimating the amount of use that the Lenton sports has had;
The bike has probably only been used 20,000 - 40,000 miles all-weather and my father had a cycling cape.  Mum told me that dad used the bike a lot so the mileage is no doubt higher and the chain has stretched wearing the rear sprocket would be consistent with a much high mileage or hard use and there are some significant long hills that the bike was ridden up and down a lot near me.  The front bearings are worn a little having tight spots as the shaft is turned but are fine when I adjusted to the loosest range of the tolerance 1/4 - 1/2 turn of slack.  On the other hand, the frame, saddle and everything is tight like new and there is nothing lose but in prime condition.  Also, nuts and bolts that have not been touched in the life of the bike or for many decades move as easily as a new bike I found when I adjusted the seat, handlebars and the spokes recently.  Some spokes were loose though and many are different no doubt having been replaced with many of the spokes on the front wheel the Raleigh Bright Steel and they are a brilliant yellow/silver.  All the rear wheel spokes are dull grey and some with slight amount surface rust.
  • Oil the bike weekly or fortnightly with a teaspoon of 20 SAE oil in the hub when using the bike and then the bike will last almost indefinitely.  First scrub with a brush if necessary but in any case, wipe off the dirty oil with a rag.  The chain will be oiled from the oil that comes out of the gear hub if the gear hub is being adequately oiled.
  • The bike will need tyres, brake blocks, tubes some adjustment including the spokes from time to time and after 100,000 miles will need new sets of ball bearings, which are cheap to buy. Apparently, the chain may be okay at 100,000 miles if is on enclosed type bike.
    • The Lenton Sport's chain has stretched a lot and has worn the rear sprocket.   My father lived in Sevenoaks and Orpington, Kent where there are a lot of long hills if you use main roads as my father did.  The bikes wear is not much and the frame is solid but the wear will be due to heavy usage but also a lot of miles.
    • A very heavy person using a bike up steep hills and 7 miles a daily may find a modern mountain bike the best but they ware one out every 5 years.
    • Raleigh Catalogue of the 1930s gives an example of a cyclist who cycled 100,000 miles in 500 days.  That is 200 miles a day.  That cyclist would be oiling the bike daily.
    • Oil in the hubs will run down the spokes and eventually on to the rims but I have not found it gets on to the braking surfaces.  Judge how much you use, you will not find oil gets to the brakes.  If you do low mileage then put less than the teaspoon of oil the recommended weekly or fortnightly.
    • More recent advice differs, and I believe, is one teaspoon first use then 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of oil every 100 miles but of 30 SAE oil.  A tin of Sturmey-Archer oil I purchased in the 1970s is a thicker oil and probably is 30 SAE - the tin does not state the viscosity of the oil?
    The bike is exceptionally* light to peddle with quiet free-wheel.   It was very nice having that same delight with the bike in early summer 2018 when I took it out of the shed and found the bike running smoothly but more surface rust and less of the original colour paint left.  The same delight with the bike I felt when I started riding the bike as a boy in about 1970.

    [*exceptionally light to peddle - all variable gear bikes of this sort of age are like this].

    I have been walking 7 KM for most days for years. Have changed my diet more recently to a
    Mediterranean diet approximately, that is, vegan or fruit and vegetable plus wild fish and 
    the 
    consequence is that although I am obese I do not suffer from headaches, hay-fever, aches 
    and pains that I used to get.  This is important when starting to ride a bike again you will ache 
    bit when you start out in the morning so don't ride every day and don't go more than two 
    1 to 2KM journeys and ride on the flat at first.  At very first cycle just 200M expect to wobble 
    have a break then have another ride do that on a Sunday when the road is quiet.  A nice old 
    hub geared bike will feel like it is helping you as if the bike were pulling you along.

    The war grade tyres wore out quickly so my father fitted tandem war grade tyres and they did not wear out but perished a little, fairly quickly but then remained fairly stable.  One of those was replaced though in about 1968 as a thank you to my father for lending the bike to a colleague.  I have never ridden the bike further than I want to push the bike home with a flat tire but a friend borrowed and rode the bike to Brighton about 35 miles or so in about 1988.  I was using the other war grade tandem tyre last year (2018) but have replaced it.

    The wheel rims are stamped Dunlop 26" x 1 1/4" the front tyre is Dunlop war grade Tandem V, 26" x 1 1/4".  The chrome is quite thick and bobbly in places on the wheel rims although the chrome on the bike is smooth.  Raleigh used to claim in the 1930s that their chrome was the best and that claim does not seem to be exaggerated.  I've to see poorer chrome finish on 1960's cars.

    Some Raleigh bike frames started to be made of aluminium from 1951, I understand?  I mentioned above my bike, by comparison, is all steel with features like brazed joins and the joins made of single pieces of forged metal for comparative; strength and lightness.  I am also advised that when alloy frame sportbikes were introduced by Raleigh the frame was still marked ALL STEEL.

    Unfortunately, the bike was stored in a shed with one wheel in the mud, this has caused a little corrosion to eat into the rim which causes one brake pad to keep wearing out but the corrosion is not enough to have weakened the wheel.  Otherwise, the bike's polychromatic green paint has mostly fallen off which is a distinctive flaw in these MK II Lenton sports bikes made 1946-47.  The little of the polychromatic green paint that has survived was heavily coated in oil and dirt - evidently, cycle oil has protected the paint.  The MK2 Lenton sports' gold stylised Olympian runner's torch decoration probably was designed to mark the 1948 London Olympics as well as to mark the start of peacetime manufacturing.
    • The paint is called Polychromatic Green.  The next model the; MK III, is renamed the Lenton Clubman. There is no catalogue page for the 1946-47 MK II Lenton Sports, I have read but elsewhere I have found a short single page on this bike.  The technical differences between the bike models and the Lenton Sports, MK I and MK II becomes the Lenton Clubman MK III in 1949.  The lesser super sports becomes the Lenton Sports losing its bright orange gloss for a dark metallic green - I read or am advised.
    • The British manganese steel frame is Reynolds 531 Steel. The gold label under the saddle that probably had technical details has been unreadable for many decades and may not have said what the frame is made of in any case?  This type of frame does make the Lenton Sports noticeably very light so is comparable to some folding bikes and lighter than most other bikes.  The bike weighs 14Kg with the heavy comfortable saddle, rack, panniers but a conventional steel men's sports bike 1 or 2 Kg more.  By comparison, modern good bikes such as 2019, step-through Pashley Cycles with brazed jointing (lugged and braised) not welded frame weighs 20Kg compared to 15.5Kg for the Astra that is made of high tensile steel, see below.
    • The use of this high tensile strength aircraft steel makes the bike both lighter and gives the frame a springiness.   I have not found any mention of Reynold's 531 steel used on bikes in the 1939 catalogue.  This MK II Lenton might be the first Raleigh bike to use this steel?
    • The bikes made after the end of World War Two (September 1945) would have been made the best that was possible with available stock which may have included tubing that had been in stock since before the war.  Sturmey-Archer stopped manufacturing in March 1942 but restarted manufacturing in 1945 but Raleigh kept on manufacturing could be but at 5% of normal output but I have seen different figures and dates.  People not returning after the war and likely use of old stock might explain the paint not lasting and the faults common in the FW gear hub but even so, all these bikes were made to last and they do last.
    Pictured left;  The tyre pump with the bike is a Bluemels motorbike pump fitted with an adaptor for a bicycle valve.  One of the holding clips on the bike was loose and fell off.  The pump has rusted the rubber valve/piston is hard and does not work so not has stood the years as well as the bike and one tyre.  I have painted some parts with Hammerite ant-rust treatment. It has a fold-out foot stand.
    The rear tyre was a replacement in 1968-ish and has 26" x 1 1/4", 597mm_32mm even this dimension tyre is now (2018) difficult to obtain and you need the correct inner tube, a bike shop is likely to order the wrong size.  Even these tyres are tight and you need a metal or better to use strong plastic leavers to get the tyres on.  The bike is strong but I broke one front spoke in about 1971-2 riding over some tree roots.  I did not fit the replacement properly, I should have fitted the nut and trimmed the length of the spokes, I learned this when I punctured the inner tube instead.  The rubber on newer Michelin tyre looks better than the old war grade tyre looked decades ago.

    Tyre Arithmetic - this seems to work properly for an old bike;
    What does 597mm_32mm mean?
       31.75mm = 1.25" x 25.4; Rounds up to; 32mm
       660.5mm = 597 + (31.75 x 2)
       26" = 660.5mm / 25.4; The tyre diameter agrees.

    So what does 650A, E? mean? It is a tyre size code, not a dimension.

    The tyre's outside diameter is larger than 660mm (26") but that figure is roughly the wheel's outside diameter when fully inflated and the bike is carrying the rider's weight.  If the measurement on the tube, tyre and rim are all the same then they will all fit but a bike shop is unlikely to have those on the shelf for an old bike.

    Warning I have looked at a newer bike tube, tyres and this arithmetic does not work out for those.  For a mountain bike, the tyre diameter says 660mm is important but different width of about 38-55mm are interchangeable.  This is also true of the tubes.  The problem though is the tolerance tends to be poor so they can almost fall-off or be very tight as I have found with both bikes.   In conclusion, the number 26' for a mountain bike is just a number related to the bead diameter - wheel rim diameter and is what this code determines in this case.

    Because the tyre is a tight fit (bike shops are likely to get in and sell you the wrong size tubes and tyres and may tell you what they have got in for you will be suitable but it probably won't be suitable) so fit the tyre and remove it without the tube before you try with the tube.  Also, check and if necessary replace the cloth or plastic tube protector I added more cloth from a ripped down cotton bed sheet.  Also, check that the ends of the spokes are below the surface of the nuts they would have been adjusted over the life of the bike.
     
    Fitting a tire and tube - I can't really recommend a good way of fitting a tire and tube because I have done it a few times then still sometimes managed to puncture the new tube and then needed to patch it.  What helps though is to check the rim, protector and tire for anything sharp first by running your fingers around them. Pump the tube up and fit it in to the tire.  Put one side of the tire on to the rim with the valve in place.  Then keep the tube in the tire and put the other side of the tire on to the rim keep going around until it is done.  Pump the tire a little more and rotate and bounce the wheel on the ground to bed the tire in then pump up some more.  Lastly, before you go out, check and expect to pump the tire up on the first few times you use the bike. 

    Spokes - I had been putting off dealing with a wobble in the front wheel.  The front spokes are a mixture of the original Raleigh Bright Steel (which are brilliant) thicker greyish steel and an aluminium spoke I fitted 45 years ago and set to the same tension as the neighbouring spokes;
    1.  Firstly even up the spoke tensions they all played different tunes when plucked but I am advised that squeezing adjacent spokes are a better way - I think either way is fine.  Start from the valve so that one revolution can be determined.
    2.  Partially tighten any loose spokes and slacken any that are unduly tight. 
    3.  Making a small adjustment of 1/4 turn a spoke per wheel revolution and starting from the valve.  The loosest spokes first. keep going around bring up the loosest spokes.  That is making small adjustments at a time.
    4.  I was expecting the wheel to go eccentric at this stage and this had always worried me dealing with two parameters and I had considered a strategy before I started but the issue did not arise.
    5.  Watch the wheel rotate next to a brake shoe and stop it when the gap closes.
    6.  Loosen two spokes one side and tighten one the other side a quarter of a turn. 
    7.  Watch the gap the other side do the same adjustment and keep doing the same swapping sides back and forth.
    8.  I found the wheel is not eccentric but the remaining wobble is smaller.
    9.  Repeat the spoke tension adjustment - but I am told this is not usually done.
    10.  Check the wobble but in any case, you will be close enough and when the bike is ridden I did not see any wobble in the rim or the tyre. 
    Lastly, I am advised correcting the wobble (un-trueness) is the most important so evening up the spoke tension is less important. 

    The rear wheel (which has the newer 1950 FW hub) spokes are all thicker grey steel some have a little surface rust and some needed a little tensioning.  The wheel runs very true despite the extra weight the wheel carries but the back wheel does not get the shocks and hits that the front wheel gets.  A rider normally transfers their weight to the peddles thereby transferring the shock to their bent legs away from the riders body and the bike.  Evidently, this has made a lot of difference.
    ---------------------------------

     Anti-rust treatment - I have been recommended two products;
    •  ACF-50 (which leaves the metal white) and Hammerite (which turns the rust black).
      • Hammerite works well.
      • Autosol has been recommended to me by a motor-biker, for chrome.
      • Just leave it and let the oil comes out of the hubs carry on protecting other parts. Has worked well but stains your fingers and clothes. 
      • For chrome, I've been recommended wire wool, T-cut or Brasso but also rub aluminium foil.
        • These are drastic methods that may only work once because you rub through paint or chrome quickly.  
      • Soaked in CLR for a bit and scrubbed with a copper scrubber.  Then used Turtle Wax Chrome cleaner and polish.  Said to be safer than aluminium foil.  The result looks very good on Facebook.
        • Another recommendation that sounds most promising is to use Autosol M1 - this is not the one in the shops marked for chrome but in small print is NOT for chrome.
      • Linseed oil [is flammable so be careful not to leave any soaked rags in the sun] - turns the rust-brown and does not look so good but looks okay and is said to be good on the paint 
        • The colour does not change but is brought out by cleaning off the black oil and dirt. The Heron badge is a lovely deep tarnished brass. 
        • It has been suggested to me that using linseed oil on the transfer decoration particularly was risky and I should use mineral oil.
      • Citric acid a bit stronger than lemon juice is said to clean rust - I've seen this on you-tube it looks good but I don't know how well it compares with other methods? 
      • Acetone (such as nail varnish remover) is environmentally bad and ill strip paint but is also the most effective way of removing the sticky oil that acculturates on the lubricated metal surfaces such as spokes and hubs.  But with more work White spirit also works and is less harmful to the paint if inadvertently gets on the paint.
        • Cleaning inside the hub can successfully restore function, I am advised.  Simply dismantling cleaning and reassembling or even just soaking in white spirit or paraffin may be all that is required.
        • Old oil paintings and probably a dirty painted bike decoration can be cleaned with acetone with a very quick wipe over.  I have used linseed oil as a safer option on the bike.
      • The stitching of the saddle has deteriorated although the leather looks exceptionally good.  By comparison the tool pouch, saddlebag and peddle shoe grips which had leather straps had all deteriorated and had been discarded by 1970.  I do have a comparable quality pair of shoes but things of this quality were often available but not at an excessive price.
        • There are two particularly good shoe repairers in Tunbridge Wells;  Guest's in Mount Ephraim, Tunbridge Wells will take on more difficult work and work that might not turn out well.  He has done a very nice job hand stitching the saddle which looked inaccessible to stitch and the repairer said was difficult. 
      Picture right above;  The LENTON sports decoration looks like a downward pointing arrow but probably is a stylised Olympian runner's torch.  The flat-top has 45' corners with looks like a gold stencilled outline on a transfer?  The letters are italic capital 3D polychromic green as the bike and deep blue shadow outline, I think.  On the tube section from the crank to the steering column, the words ALL STEEL are painted red with black 3D shadow or outline.

      Political perspective

      The decoration on the bike is new modern and forward-looking, in keeping with the time, The Labour Government and the NHS.  The pre-World War two Lenton Sports decoration has William Morris style swirls and curves.  The later decoration is a plain italic capital letter.  The tubing on all pre-war bikes had a gold line running along the centre.  The bike was made at the beginning of the period 1945 to 1979, called "The post-war (political) consensus".

      The price of the Lenton Sport at £19/14- was double it's 1939 price.  In turn, a basic Raleigh single speed bike cost £10 in 1947.  My mother had a new £10 Raleigh bike purchased in Brighton, England for her to share with one of her sisters it was taken back to Scotland because a bike could not be purchased where she lived.  My mum says it was hard to peddle the 7 miles to where she worked fruit picking.  

      There is an association between the twice 1948 Olympic Silver Medal winner Reg Harris OBE and Raleigh in the 1950's as well as Claude Butler in cycle making for competition (probably before 1939?)  In the late 1950's a premium Reg Harris sports bicycle would cost about twice as much as Raleigh's top of the range standard bike and be a little heavier.   Reg Harris bike parts are not interchangeable with Raleigh parts thread sizes differ, for example, I understand.  In any case, Reg Harris cycle company found it difficult to get supplies of the parts it needed and I understand this is partly why the company ceased trading [ref discussion with a collector of old bikes in Maidstone 2018].  This would be £50 that might be £3,000 in 2012 prices. £10 bike would be £600 in 2012.  The cost of cycling has stayed the same at the lower end plus the introduction of very cheap bikes that have a reputation for a short life.  At the top end bikes have become more expensive but in any case, are not made to last 100 years and be guaranteed for the lifetime of the owner or to be particularly low friction in general.   There was also a Reg Harris Lenton but I don't know if it was used in completion but Reg did train on one fitted with the FM (four-speed medium ratio hub gear).  Reg was employed by Raleigh at this time.   (Prices are roughly based on mean women and men's pay 1952 and 2012)

      There was a period at the beginning of World War 2 when the war seemed to be over-there or nothing happening the period was called the Phoney War but the corner turned after the 8 months and the first attacks by Germany in Europe after Britain had announced it was going to war with Germany. The mood began to change so we are in it together with a spirit carried on after World War Two until, in my opinion, the 1970s and specifically ended with Mrs Thatcher's government and the quote - There is no such thing as society - the change had started a decade earlier than the statement but the statement is a cycnical generalisation of how things were changing;

      "They are casting their problems at society. And, you know, there's no such thing as society. 
      There are individual men and women and there are families. And no government can do 
      anything except through people, and people must look after themselves first. It is our duty 
      to look after ourselves and then, also, to look after our neighbours." – in an interview in 
      Women's Own in 1987

      At the time wealthy classes and the working classes had a bond of mutual support because a person from one class could be rescued from a bombed building by someone from another class.  Men had been billeted together and talked about what they wanted after this war that they did not get after WW1.  At the same time, the government did not want to make the mistake of the post WW1 where Germans and allies people suffered badly and Hitler rose out of that.  Similar things were happening in Britain.  The warnings King George V made after WW1 were ignored then but was heeded after WW2.

      The picture above left;  I think Raleigh captured the mood of the time right with "Lenton sports" bike decoration.  Picture right the 1945 Labour manifesto it does not matter if the picture captured the mood of the people because the manifesto content did capture the wish of the people.  The Conservative Party manifesto cover was of Winston Churchill giving the Victory V looks back but people expected better than war.  Also, the bike pricing between the cheapest and the top of the range is just 2:1 (£750 to £1,500 in 2018 money) for better bikes than the modern equivalent.  Raleigh was making munitions but was still also making 5,400 bikes a week that is; 280,000 a year until 1943 when they stopped making bikes compared to 400,000 and 1.1 million bikes a year in 1939 and 1951 respectively.

      In reality, Winston Churchill may have given the people the NHS just the same as the Labour Government did.  There were a lot of Conservative Doctors opposed to the NHS though.  It was an easier job for the Labour Government with mass popular support that it had to make those changes at that time.
      https://www.military-history.org/articles/5-key-reasons-churchill-lost-the-1945-general-election.htm

      The Lenton sports MK II was made for just two years 1946 and 1947 although the Lenton sports bikes were made for decades.  Briefly, the world was not at war, USSR were allies and British soldiers were seconded to Palestine police in 1948 until new friends and enemies were found.  Wars are manufactured to sell weapons and the warning from 1962 about the military-industrial complex has not been heeded.  In the 1970s it was stated that the UK would change to a post-manufacturing exporter of financial services.  Since 1998 Sturmey-Archer stopped being British owned making gear hubs and since 2012 Raleigh stopped being British owned and making bikes in the UK.  

      Also, the optimism about the European Community formed in 1945 of six founding European country's whose population suffered most in the war has grown.   The idea of a federal Europe free of internal conflict has been demonstrated to work not dreams at all.   Britain remained sceptical of the project then confirmed membership and was the 9th member in a referendum 30 years later.  

      Riding with best efficiency and comfort.
      To make it easier to start from stationery set the saddle height a little low 
      this will make peddling a little more tiring;  Set the saddle as high you 
      can so you can just reach the ground tip-toe.  This method requires more 
      peddle effort.  Later you can set the saddle height higher using what I
       believe is similar to 1980's method and this will make peddling easier.

      Set the saddle height so that with your foot on the peddle at the furthest
       stretch your leg is almost straight.  Apply pressure from the ball of your 
      toe on the peddle.  You start by kicking off, to bring yourself upright and 
      going.  Don't set the saddle so high that you are unstable on the road.

      When you first start off or if peddling feels a little harder today just use 
      a lower gear or don't have a fried breakfast tomorrow instead.  Cycling
       is not a chore but cycling maintenance and riding are pleasures.  Just 
      be patent with the maintenance stop and reconsider what you plan to 
      do if something seems wrong.  If you feel safe then wave or speak your 
      thanks or friendship towards other road users, friends and neighbours.

      Comfort and leisurely cycling comparison  
      between modern and old bikes mostly 1902-1910

      History of The Raleigh Cycle Company

      Lenton the name of the bike might be connected to Lenton Priory, Nottingham that existed in the 12th-14th century.  Raleigh and Sturmey-Archer were located at; Lenton Boulevard, Nottingham at the time of the bike's manufacturer. Sturmey-Archer was a subsidiary of Raleigh at that time.  Raleigh's 1930's Nottingham head office

      The metal grip peddles are good at preventing your shoes from slipping on the peddle even when it is wet unlike rubber grip peddles. Move the peddle upwards to be ready to move off others wise it spins till it hits your shin but you soon learn to overcome that.  Pushing your ankle into the peddle and moving the peddle upward seems to work.


      Many patents were registered by Sturmey-Archer but not implemented. Interchangeability of replacement parts was important and this aspect was common with British manufacturing. Customers expected and imposed conservatism on the company such as not taking up technical leading product development offered at times. This does mean though that the four-speed hub design is less optimal than it could be if the cable were pulled from the other side of the hub and there is a non-Sturmey-Archer modification to do that (reversing the order of the gears).



      How the bike was made - This documentary is dated 1945 but evidently shows pre-world-war-two, bikes 
      being made.  Pre-WW2 bikes have the gold line painted on the frame tubing.  You can see the hub gear 
      parts being made. Even in 1910, the quality of the tempering of the gears was very high and a part 
      should not be scratchable with a file and when bent should spring back.  Steel improved greatly at the 
      beginning of the 20th century then improved considerably after each of the world wars.  By comparison, 
      pre-1914 car's gears usually had bits broken off of the teeth this is mitigated in the Sturmey-Archer gear 
      hub by using dog clutches and very good quality control on the metal tempering.

      The bike's transmission is all lubricated with 20 SAE oil such as Sturmey-Archer oil but not 3-in-one brand.  The drawing in the link further down this page below shows another type of oil port on the crankcase and hub.  But there are different styles of oil ports such as the ones on this bike.  It is a brass hole and the one in the crank also has a ball that needs to be pushed down with a special oil can.  You can see further down the page that I have adapted an old oil can filler to form a funnel in order to make lubricating the hubs easier.

      https://www.sheldonbrown.com/sturmey-archer/fw.html

      Picture Right; the Polychromic green paint has mostly fallen off which is typical of the 1946 MK II Lenton Sports bike.  The undercoat is enamel but I guess the top colour might be a war grade paint or that the lightweight steel tubing, which would not be Utility, for the bike was slightly tarnished being old stock from 1943 or before the war prior to restricts?  War restrictions meant that only "Utility" products and materials could be manufactured for civilian use.  

      The original mudguards were cream in colour, brittle Bakelite.  These replacement Bluemels Lightweight mudguards have remained plastic and are much better.  The mudguards look right but there was no reflector on these replacement mudguards. They were fitted in about 1970.
      ----------------------------------------------------------------

      B bottom gear - cable is at its greatest tension.

      Gears have been used in church clocks and windmills as early as 500AD. Making gears involved too much work to be developed anything other than very well-financed work but may not have been developed further than ideas drawn on paper.  Only a tiny number of those ideas have survived such as drawn by Archimedes, novelty such as Hero's (steam) engine no doubt would not have had a practice use and was not developed.  The Chinese South-Pointing Chariot based on a differential gear built in the 3rd century but could have been developed in the 27th century B.C.E.  Drawings that looked like elliptical gears, although no physical machine was intended, were carved into stone as Mayan calendar with a cycle of a little over 5,000 years.

      In Britain metal was used for tools and weapons but machines were made of wood usually.  British Kings in the 12th century were finding quests abroad and bringing back strange wonders, maths and astronomy to the British Isles.  Tempering the swords very rarely got it right they chipped and shattered. 

      1418 Giovanni Fontana, is credited with building the first human-powered four-wheel land vehicle 

      Some bicycles began to manufacture in the 18th century, these were wooden and had no peddles.  The first sketch is known is much earlier drawn by Gian Giacomo Caprotti – a pupil of Leonardo da Vinci.

      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

      L low gear - hold the leaver between two fingers and move the leaver up and a lot of tension is released in the cable.

      The spring tension is higher between B and L gears in these early versions of the four-speed hubs.

      Some time after 1950 the gear selector pictured was replaced by a new modern gear selector that was numbered (1, 2, 3, 4) and the numbers rotated and placed so it is readable with the selector mounted as it is on my bike instead of named using the letters (B, L, N, H) was introduced.  Before 1937 the selector was placed on the cross-bar but there was an optional handlebar selector offered this was the original 1902 type that was different,  with a leaver that rotates in a barrel with a notch for each gear.

      The British Empire had been formed in the 16th century and Britain started ruling the seas and thereby ruled most of the world.  It may be said that Indian received fare rule of law in exchange for profit returned to the UK.  A large class of wealthy British and clergymen with an income developed many ideas that had no use until long after there death.  One of those was Erasmus Darwin's Hydrogen and oxygen pumped to an expansion chamber rocket motor, that had no application until the 20th century.  17th and 18th Century gave Britain steam power.  Steam power improved greatly and gave us the power to build machines that powered the industrial revolution.  The Newcomen Engine was used to pump water out of mines despite its inefficiency (0.5% versus 35% or higher for a modern steam turbine).  This was the change that turned many centuries-old ideas or toys to entertain emperors and kings turned to practical use.  The most modern steam trains reached 20% efficiency but diesel is more efficient and electric much more efficient can take and return power to the rail grid in some cases.

      History of bicycling in pictures  Much engineering was developed by amateurs with a lot of leisure time and money.  This in addition to commercial research.  All funding from the exploitation of the world by the Empire nations.

      In the cold about 30 years ago a spring broke in the gear selector but I only recently 2018 thought of a better fix.  This time the fix worked.  The bike was stored in a shed and has deteriorated in that period but the wheels move more freely than any new or any other bike I have looked at.  The front brake cable broke 40 years ago and I re-soldered it but not that well so I have replaced the cable in 2019.
      ---------------------------------------------------------------

      N normal gear - This is fast but easy on the flat.  Unfortunately, the hub clicks slowly in this gear so I did not use to use this gear but the symptom has changed since then.  My Father told me the clicking had been a problem when he used the bike.

      19th Century marked the start of the unification of measurement and parts with Whitworth thread sizes.  Metrication was proposed and started throughout the sciences although the Russian Rouble (PDF) had already been decimalised in the 16th century.

      Britain is credited with the first automobile in 1800-1810 but there seem to be others in the USA and one Paris using the first Internal Combustion Engine although steam or electric was used generally. Many types of bicycle were developed.  1896 The flash-boiler was patented this meant steam cars could go from turn-on after 90 seconds then move silently and in a gentle way but the very fast steam cars such Stanley Streamer and Doble that were also silent had no gears but took 10 minutes before the steam pressure was enough to go.

      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      There were also 100's of bicycle and bike gear patents registered;
      First practical elliptical gear hub was made by Scott and Phillot 1878. At this time there were very many bike inventions patented but an American machinist Johnson made the first commercially successful elliptical gear hub in 1895.  Depending on what you read between 500 and 1,000 patients in the last two decades of the 19th century but another significant factor was that the quality of metals was going to improve greatly over the next two decades.  The ideas re-invented for thousands of years capability and wealthy all came together to implement them.

      William Reilly invented much more robust and cost-effective elliptical hub gears some years after leaving the Hub and Two-speed gear Co,  that later became owned by BSA. Reilly asked his fellow engineer James Archer to patent it in his name instead.  William Reilly had signed a condition that bound him even after leaving that company 2-3 years earlier that was resolved when patent's and cross-licensing was negotiated between BSA and Sturmey-Archer years later. But in Reilly's opinion, his invention was never fully attributed to him. The 1902 patent three-speed hub proved to be the lightweight, efficient, robust hub that Raleigh Bicycle company were looking for. They returned to the original design after making changes and mostly kept to that design but with improvements. [pg 78]

      William Reilly was employed at Sturmey-Archer significantly ensured the process of tempering the hub gear parts was of a high standard. The components should bend and spring back but not crack. Gears made by car manufactures at that time generally could crack with pieces breaking off.  William seems to have been passed over, perhaps because of his demanding standards were only tolerated when necessary but that is not recorded.  I observe that people who do a job efficiently and very well are often not liked.

       - Reference; The Sturmey-Archer Story, Tony Hadland (dedicated to William Reilly the unaccredited inventor of the modern bike elliptical gears hub).

      Bicycle chain was invented in 1880. These earliest chains were less robust until the type with a shaft slid inside a tube were developed.  At first, each link pivoted on the two thin metal link points one each side {references to follow}.

      Dérailleur gears were developed in 1905 but there was some form of dérailleur gear in 1899.  This type of gear provides close speed ratio's but Sturmey-Archer did not provide until 1937 when there was an interest in close speeds ratios.  Dérailleur gears become fashionable in the 1970s.  The mechanism is not protected so gets damaged, dirty needs adjustment and requires skill to use which probably is an attraction and why dérailleur gears became popular.  Dérailleur gears are the cheap high maintenance option and hub gears have become the expensive and even lower maintenance option (because they now don't need frequent oiling).
      Sturmey-Archer used to make parts for hybrid hub and dérailleur gears.  The hub gear can be used to get you started from stationary so therefore a wide-ratio hub is most suitable?  I have read elsewhere that close or medium ratio hubs put back a little force in free-wheel on to the chain that may cause it to come off with dérailleur gears. 
        • The advantages are;  Dérailleur close speed ratios, Able to start with the dérailleur at a high speed by selecting a low speed with the hub gear when stationary.   Disadvantages of the vulnerable and slower gear change of the dérailleur and the dead weight of the hub gear.
          -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

          H high gear - the cable is slack and this is how the bike should be left when not ridden.  If you peddle hard you can fly along at 30MPH+ Otherwise the bike rolls along with light peddling occasionally or braking to keep the speed down to 20MPH.

          20th Century -  from about 1910 cars with internal combustion engine had a starter motor fitted but required a lot of maintenance and perpetration first.  Petrol cars were fun and had to be driven with skill and these were different from silent cycling, electric or a steam car.  Meanwhile in France car manufacturer had not been stalled by the horse lobby as it had been in Britain and small 500cc, £600 cars. These cars were petrol, also steam and electric were being made.

          Bikes were really developing fast with lightest weight hub gears, frame and the lightest to peddle bikes succeeded.  Raleigh and Sturmey-Archer made the best for a very long time.  At the beginning of the 20th Century, there were a number of excellent bikes and gears being made. BSA made a Sturmey-Archer gear hub under license but with a ball races in the planet idler gears that hardly reduced the now very low friction any more.  Helical gears to reduce friction and gear wine did not seem to exist at all in British made bikes and not in cars until after WW1?  The Sturmey-Archer gear hubs use straight gears but the hub operates very quietly.

          Picture right FW alloy hub;  By 1945 bikes had got to the ultimate with the FW gear hub.  The oiling port on my bike is a simple brass hole but some bikes have an oil port with a spring cap.  If you look through the hole the metal is bright silver and brass inside.  The wheel only needed to be moved two spoke widths after 25+ years unused in the shed and it moved back to its balance position.  After some months of very light use, the wheel only needs to be moved half a spoke width.
          ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

          Pictured right is 1950 Lenton sports and is mostly original;

          I am advised by Rob Luke (Facebook) - "This is a 1950 and mostly original as I got it here in Canada it was likely sold by the Eaton's Department store that was a huge importer of Raleigh. Fenders still had Raleigh transfer and I switched to similar drop bars to what it would have had. It had an AW S/A but I got an FM as the upgrade was often. I attached the as found even had the front Raleigh hub knock offs. Whatever you can do to promote these bikes is great."






          British manufacturers were exporting as much as possible after World War Two, it was vital for the country to pay off the vast war debt.  Chrome and I guess, therefore,  Gold and Reynolds 531 lightweight steel could be used again although the bikes were still "utility" and the tyres were war grade tyres. For example, the price of a loaf of bread was still regulated until the early 1960s and I was very young.  All the bright parts did not have to be painted black for the black-out now the war had ended.

          The paint on this Canadian bike has much better paint quality than the paint on my bike. The paint on my bike has mostly fallen off.  It is also reasonable to assume that the painting process with a new stock of tubing and many other things in short supply would continually improve on this new model of the Lenton bicycle.

          Rob also tells me the chain guard was added on was the wrong colour.  By comparison, my bike does not have space between the tubing and the big sprocket for a chain-guard and the sprocket brushes the bike frame a slightly.

          Left the 1950 Lenton sports bike after restoration note Lenton Sports decoration 3D text on the saddle tube section is the same as my bike.  The crank to steering tubing is different my bike is ALL STEEL in red 3D.
          -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

          Maintenance;
          Although oiling the bike is quick and easy if you do not clean the grime it attracts then you will get dirty black stains on anything that touches it.  The big draw-back with modern bikes is how heavy they are too peddle since all light oil transmission was replaced by greased bearings.  This happened;
          • The crank in 1961(USA Facebook) 
          • I don't know when the hubs started being greased (1970s perhaps?) but by 1991 bikes did not have 20SAE oil-lubricated hubs in the UK.
          • At some point, the viscosity of the oil recommended increased to 30AE - I understand.  It is better to use thinner oil 20SAE oil than risk parts within the hub not operating properly.  3-in-one works on a bike that is in contentious use and the old oil is cleaned off before lubricating but it is a bad choice of Oil because it leaves a black residue on everything.  Modern engine and gear oils are good though but I have not determined the correct equivalent viscosity
          • The Sturmey-Archer gear hubs stopped being fitting with oil ports from 1991/2 (Facebook).  Modern bikes with grease used in the transmission are consequently hard to peddle.
          Picture Right;  Cotter pins are made of mild steel and bend easily the threads are easily ruined.  The only way to remove or fit them is with a press (you might manage with a small vice and a ring spanner).  I ruined the thread on the cotter pin in my teens decades ago using a hammer I have also ruined a cotter pin tightening one using the nut (the lock nut is only used to prevent the pin becoming loose and falling out).  A bike shop may hire you a cotter pin press.   The 3-in-one oil should not used in the gear hub there are crevices that will trap the hard black residue and prevent the gears selecting properly - this is not a functional issue though with the simple bearings used elsewhere.

          If the thread of the cotter pin is okay but the cotter pin is loose and can not be pressed in further you can turn the cotter pin 90', file another flat and re-use it.  Although new cotter pins can be purchased - there is no rule to say don't reuse parts if it can be done and the bike is safe after.  The cotter pin is made soft intentional but similarly, the reason you would replace an engine head studs is that you slightly stretch them when you tighten them to the correct tension.  You should not stretch the engine studs twice, that would be unsafe.

          The Sturmey-Archer oil was right for the bike 30 years ago but what you might buy for a modern bike may be heavy and prevent the pawls (freewheel and gear selection parts) from moving reliably.  The pawls have a very light spring and are counterbalanced.  I have the plastic filler from an old can of oil as an extension to reach into the oil ports.

          In practice, bikes are not kept in regular use and oiled frequently so oil is not continually flowing through the transmission but becomes a black hard or sticky and a problem.   Bike hub gear repairs and enthusiasts, therefore, recommend using a mineral oil such as car gear or engine oil instead.  My concern was that engine oil has additives including some to make it hygroscopic, absorb corrosive products of combustion and work at high temperatures.  Engine oil has to get hot in order to release that water held.  Even so, mineral oil is better I am advised.

          The tube is a car automatic brake bleeder made using a bicycle tire valve.  The bike tire valve is the only connection with a bike this is a very useful tool.   I have replaced master and slave cylinders on cars for decades on my own using this tool and a jam jar of brake fluid for the end to be immersed in.

          The pipe wrench tightens on a large bolt so if you don't have the correct spanner it can work but don't pull by the end of the leaver that will put too much leverage and crushing force on the nut or bolt. Wrenches like this should be held and supported at the bolt end as well as the leaver.  Wire cutters and pliers then the next adjustable spanner is much better than it looks reaching into places and with care should not slip.  If you have the space to work the mole wrench is the best.  The adjustable spanner at the end looks rubbish but it can work well on small nuts and bolts but it is rubbish with larger heads because the jaws spring apart and slip round of the nut you want to move.  The metric spanners fit many nuts and bolt heads but not all and I have more metric spanners.  Three grease guns have no use on a bike other than to dispense grease without contaminating the tin of grease.  The grease gun clicks onto a nipple and offers considerable pressure to get any unmaintained vintage car's bearings lubricated but the other two pump type grease guns do not have much pressure.

          With all types of adjustable spanner or grips always hold them near nut or bolt but always avoid using them and use the correct socket or spanner.

          The correct tools;

          Use Youtube to see what is inside but don't take any advice so much of it is very wrong.  Haynes car manuals give sound general advice use them.

          Nuts and bolts  The threads will cross if you mix them and the part be ruined as you can see in the picture;
          • British Standard Cycle (bikes and motorbikes) - Apparently Raleigh does not use these sizes.
          • Whitworth.
          • British Standard Whitworth - which uses smaller spanners.
          • British Association (BA)
          • American Fine (AF)
          • Unified fine (UNF)
          • Metric (M) is the thread width in millimetres but there are a regular pitch and a fine pitch thread alternative.
          The two important things are oil and C-spanner. When putting the crank bearing caps back it is necessary to use a minimal amount of grease to hold the ball bearings in the cup. 
          • Then screw the cap and crank back together finger tight, check the crank turns and check the tightness again. 
          • Loosen the ball cap 1/4 to 1/2 turn and tighten the ring nut with the c-spanner.  With a wheel bearing similarly turn the shaft with your fingers and loosen the nut until there are no tight spots - the ball bearings ware oval and will pit the bearing shells if there are tight spots hence the tolerance 1/4 to 1/2 turn of slack. It there are still tight spots you need to replace the ball bearings but if the shells are pitted that is another problem and I have no experience of either issue.
            • Bicycle bearings seem to be adjusted to much less slack than car bearings and I am advised that 1/4 to 1/2 turn is too loose (I still recommend setting to this amount of slack).  I am also advised that one of the bearings in the hub must be set with less slack than I suggest in any case. 
          • The sprocket will wobble a little but that was unchanged after I opened the crank for the first time ever. The chain is in good order.
          • Otherwise, assemble dry or minimal oiling then oil after assembled and checked (the small amount of grease will wash out in time and the extra friction trivial anyway).  This is different from a car which you oil and grease as you re-assemble everything.   The important thing is kept free of grit than everything be lubricated as it is assembled as you would do with an engine or gearbox.  There may be different opinions on this point?
          I damaged a cotter pin as a teenager - hence my warning and my example based on Haynes Car manual on assembling a bearing.  I've crossed threads by mixing the wrong thread pitch nuts and bolts but in this case, I probably crossed the thread having hammered the cotter pin out to remove the peddle.  I then stopped and did not proceed to check inside the crank thinking it better to leave well alone.

          Sturmey-Archer maintenance 1957

          Car Foot-pumps may not be able to attain a high enough pressure for a bike.  I had one that did not but I have recently purchased another car foot-pump which claims to be suitable and it is. Like the 3-in-1 oil, it was purchased from an independent cars spares shop.

          The black residue from using 3-in-1 or Sturmey-Archer oil is all over the bike and seems to need a chisel and a wire brush to remove it.


          Hub gears

          My bike has an FW (4-speed hub), pictured above left, is virtually identical to the five-speed twin cable hub introduced in 1966.  Parts are fairly interchangeable between the two hub types.  Some FW hubs can be adapted to 5-speed hubs.  The extra cable selects between the normal sun gear locked and the super/high/low sun gear locked.  Notice the oil port pictured is different from my bike and has a spring-loaded cap.  My bike has brass oil port and the one in the crank has a sprung ball.  The cable setting gauge can be see through the left-hand nut in this picture.

          Page Right - from the Sturmey-Archer Story on the S5, five-speed hub - this S5 is very similar to the FW 4 speed hub.

          The Sturmey-Archer 3 speed hub gear of 1902 succeeded later variants because of its efficiency and robustness.  A combination of designs by Reilly but patented in the name of Sturmey and Archer designs plus others and some of the financing from the Raleigh cycle company.

          There is plenty of information on the web but I could not see precisely how the hub gears work.  I have included a number of videos below-showing variations of similar things.  Some of this was explained to me in relevant Facebook groups.

          All hub gears are based on the original 3 speed, elliptical gear constant mesh design.  The gears are selected with dog clutches and a mechanism for disabling one of two pairs of free-wheel ratchets called pawls in the diagram.  Three of the seven combinations of gear ratios are of practical use.  Bathed in light oil, if you were to over oil the hub the oil will run back out of the filler otherwise oil constantly comes out of the hub through the bearings if it is being oiled adequately.

          Although meshing teeth of gears are inefficient elliptical gears are efficient.  This is because only a fraction of the power is carried through the meshing pinions.  That fraction of power is the percentage increase or decrease in speed of the selected gear.

          FW Hub – has two sun wheel pinions and the planet idler gears are a large and small gear.  There is a single outer ring gear which meshes with one set of planet idler gears (I have never taken a hub apart)
          • Normal gear - No power is transferred through the gears although they are moving this is the direct drive speed. 
          • Low Gear & High Gear - use the same smaller sun pinion.
          • Bottom – The smaller sun wheel pinions are de-clutched from the shaft and then the other larger sun pinion is clutched to the shaft.  The relative speeds are low as well as the gears being lubricated with cycle oil makes this extra pinion also efficient.  There clutch mechanism can be based on ball bearings that are pushed out of holes in the fixed shaft by movement of the operating cable. 
           The Condition of the Lenton sport's FW hub (being carried out July 2019); [detail to be checked]
          • Bottom gear large sun pinion clutch is a conventional dog clutch which does not look warn and is clean.
          • All the gears look clean and are not worn. 
          • Low/Normal/High gear small sun pinion clutch looks like a ring gear or a socket that slides over part of the small sun gear to stop it turning.  The ball bearing type clutch is not used in this hub.
            • This part does not look worn but there is a crevice formed that has trapped a lot of the black residual of oiling the bike.
          • The third clutch which drives the planet gear is the only worn part in the hub is not difficult to obtain a replacement but the part did not need replacing and has not been replaced. 
            • There is another dog clutch that I did not look at but in any case was fine.  This clutch couples the ring gear to the peddle input drive in N, L and B gears.  The hub was dissembled quickly and easily and I did not see all the parts and there connection with each other.
          • Otherwise, some of the springs were tired but they did not all be replaced.  One of those, the compensator spring, may be hard to obtain.  The springs that operate the pawls are all very light even though the free-wheel is faultless but this explains why the hub is very quiet in free-wheel and does not cause the pedals to turn.
            • There is another crevice formed inside the hollow shaft where the compensator spring is located and this spring was covered in black residual of oiling.   In use, there would have been a small amount of oil run through on to the cable pull chain and the indicator rod out of the hub.
           Stretched chain and worn small sprocket - see that one side of each tooth is warn.
          • The small sprocket is well worn because the chain has stretched.  This means that the power has not been spread around the sprocket but the last tooth on the pull side of the chain has been carrying the power.
          • The gear cable and the selector leaver pull may be another issue to be determined.
          Ultimately the hub now behaves as most FW hubs there are only three of the four gears available.  The springs are finely balanced, I understand, so that two gears are not selected at the same time but having discussed this with others and thought about it - perhaps the reason that the hub had worked well before was because the springs were selected so that two gears were almost selected at the same time and hence the clicking in Normal gear? 

          The freewheel clicking is quiet and soft compared with the AW steel hub on Astra bike see further down the page although a little louder than they were before the springs were replaced.


          Green Pawls - freewheel ratchet mechanism.  There is space for movement so preventing side-thrust on the gear assembly bearings so their no-load carrying through the meshing the gears but for turning forces.  There are separate bearings to carry the weight of the bike and the rider called side thrust.  Some bikes pre-World War 1 bikes are fixed wheel or freewheel on just some speeds.

          Blue - Ring gear.

          Brown - Planet pinion/gear cage.

          Yellow - Sun pinion/gear.

          The 5-speed hub uses, I understand from the web, mostly the same parts but there is a separate cable to select which sun pinion to de-clutch and to clutch to the shaft.  The selector is called supper-low/super-high on in the lever's other position is the usual medium three gears.  The S5 was launched in 1966 and withdrawn in 1974 and replaced in 1977 S5/1 but the 1982 to 1991 S5/2 Introduced was made so the repair was simply the replacement of the whole assembly.  Also, a stronger spring and better sun pinions fitting locking clip but primarily were different having two elliptical gear sets in an efficient way using one or the other not pass the power through both [I have misunderstood that last point, the video below does not show two elliptical gear sets on the S5/2].

          S5/2 hub explained is very similar to the FW hub  
            This video is the clearest I have seen although I do not understand 
          German.  The ball bearing sun pinion clutch mechanism is not shown.

          Bright Red - Low & Bottom - Pushes the ring gear pawls to disengaged them so that High and Normal gear pawls are disabled.

          Orange - Normal - Engages the input power to the ring gear and the pawls are engaged. Direct drive is engaged. Both pairs of pawls may be carrying power thereby preventing slip between some gears.

          Blue - high - Engages power to the planet gear and power is taken from the ring gear through the red pawls. The planet pawls turn more slowly and are therefore overrun.

          The other cable locks one or the other sun pinion to the shaft. The difference in the FW hub is that there is one cable so the super-high-speed cannot be reached by this mechanism. When the cable is slack the selector plate is to the left and engaging the planet but as the cable is progressively pulled through each gear to the left H-N-L and the Red low ratio sun pinion carries the power. When the cable is pulled against a spring L remains engaged but the cable then pulls the ball clutch to lock the dark-yellow sun pinion and thereby give Bottom gear (super low).

          Ball clutch mechanism S5 single cable and other detail.

          5-speed hub 1921 Henry Sturmey slightly wider ratios than the model launched in the 1960s.  The same method of super-low/high by sun-gear selection. This model was reported in the Cycling in 1924 but not made. This used a single cable and was not introduced again for another 60 years. I could not follow the description but I don't think there is a gear in which the gears are not moving in the mesh. Launched for a year then withdrawn 1974 with no 5 gear hub offered. (pg. 156). The five-speed gear patent 1940 (pg 111) selected two gears overrunning two of the pawls to take power from the faster ratio then tripping out the slower pawls.

          Hub gear configurations and arithmetic  (PDF) - This is a very good explanation of the drive paths with a lot of detail.  This PDF is an addendum to the Sturmey-Archer Story by Tony Hadland.

          This link may be interesting it is a new website and the author is said to be well informed; https://britishhubgears.co.uk/

          Anecdotally I am told that two leaver type 5 speed hubs are reliable and cable does not need adjusting.  I spoke to two people on Facebook in 2019 who have bikes from the 1960s. This is not a very significant sample.
          --------------------------------------------------

          A different strategy low maintenance but friction is not important; (modern bikes)

          Blue track rider, A frame, Special DS, Bazani, "18 gear", 26"

          This modern mountain bike has 18 gears (3x6) is equal to about 8 speeds.  I saved the bike from being scrapped in order to compare a cheap modern bike with a Lenton sports bike.   The dérailleur gears are all low speeds so there should be no difficulty starting from stationary, then the rider should change gear promptly to resolve the cross chaining.  The spokes are tight and uniformly tensioned so evidently, the bike has had very little use but even so, has some damaged parts and no brakes  (I was a boy once and did more harm than good sometimes in maintaining my bike).  Many parts are broken or rusted that would not be so on an older bike - for example when carefully prised off one of the front suspension rubber bungs and it broke off. 

          Comparison - The mountain bike will go up any hill can go at extremely low speeds and handle in a small space so is different to a road bike.  An old long-wheelbase road, touring or sportbike will fly past the mountain bike easily on the flat.  In my case I get off and push on may hills on either bike that I would have peddled up when I was 20.  The hub gear bike is much better at stop-start bother free cycling required in town.  It is very distracting listening to the chain to here if the selector needs to be moved a micro-click, whether it will change in time for what you see approaching and whether it will do all that safely with traffic all around you - the answer is yes hub gear bike even if the bike was made 100 years ago.  The sports or touring bikes like the Lenton sports, by comparison, have a long wheelbase and understeer so you go across those unavoidable bad patches in the road without falling off better than you could not steer around or should not steer around because of traffic anyway.  The long-wheelbase provide stability over bumps if you transfer your weight to the peddles so that neither you or the bike gets such a severe bump.

          Another comparison of old and new bikes

          Evidently, a considerable amount of work has been carried out on the bike's design to ensure the bike performs well when new but has a short life.   The bike itself looks very nice it is comparable in weight to the Lenton sports although the frame is welded steel.  The bikes and most things are bought with no expectation of long reliable life and that maintaining the bike would not be viable anyway.  The shock absorbers should minimise the risk of the frame fracturing.

          I am advised that the bikes chain and front springs should be oiled and greased but nothing else.  Some modern bikes are very light plastic frame and I am advised that the frame can break.  I add grease the ends of the cables as well.  The rear suspension makes the mountain bike less controllable I am advised.  Similarly, the Wall-of-Death motorbike show run 1920's and 1930's "Indian" solid frame bikes for the same reason. The Indian has a low centre of gravity the Wall-of-death have adapted a modern motorbike that they use but that bike they say is not so predictable to ride.   The Wall-of-death show visited Hastings, East Sussex in May 2018. 

          If by sitting on a sprung bike your leg reach is shorted then peddling will become hard work consequently.  I have also found as I was advised that the chain comes off easily or fouls up so it is a good idea to always carry a rag.   The chain will stay on better if everything is kept clean and adjusted and that is my experience of the bike since doing that maintenance.  The chain and sprockets are made of comparatively much thinner metal so are they are sharp and can cut your fingers.

          I am advised to change gear one speed at a time and give the bike time.  I am also advised to avoid changing the front dérailleur gear, which is under chain tension - so the best advice is change gear by keeping the bike and peddles moving but under lightest effort (chain tension).  The rear dérailleur gear can be changed under load easily enough by comparison.  I also found that to start when the chain is cross-chained and the smallest sprockets used that the chain tension was too light to prevent the chain from bunching and the transmission seizing - I could not find the adjustment for this but in any case, it is not a normal way to ride the bike.

          Incidentally, I have briefly ridden an E-bike which has a better selector mechanism for the dérailleur gears. The mechanism which clicks up and down easily and a spring operates the change when the conditions are right subsequently.  Significantly the E-motor overcomes the problem of starting in high gear.  You would not want to try and lift that bike anywhere even up on to the pavement because it is heavy.

          I observe that when the chain is oiled black comes out this will come clean after a while.   With regular cleaning and oiling oil will not mark or stain anything.  You lose both ways if don't lubricate because the chain will not flex and may jam with both small sprockets selected as you would leave the bike when not in use.

          This mountain bike is made very much like an old British made Ford cars were, cheap and cheerful, needing lots of cheap maintenance, spares and were popular.  People fondly or cynically used to call Ford car's Dagenham Dustbin (where Ford made cars in the UK).   

          The difference is that many parts; engine, dynamo, starter, gearboxes, were made to be reconditioned and with a "Gold Seal" manufacturer reconditioned quality mark.  Not made to be discarded and this is still the case in the automotive industry.


          Left and right - car cycle rack donated to a charity shop with bits missing.  I have adapted it by drilling more holes so that it is now a fold-up bicycle maintenance stand. 

          The bike maintenance stand is necessary for dérailleur geared bike maintenance so that the chain hangs normally and the adjustments can be reached.  Otherwise, turn any other bike upside down to work on it works fine.  The stand is still useful for any bike and particular a bike with drop handlebars.
          -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

          Change;

          Until sometime in the 1960's all Raleigh bikes and probably all bicycles were made as sports bikes but with variants of heavy steel or lightweight Reynolds 531 steel (developed in Birmingham in 1935) or later Alloy (aluminium),  saddles, panniers, racks, baskets, chain guards, mudguards, drop or straight handlebars.   They were not made unnecessarily heavy to achieve strength and robustness although basic bikes are heavy but unlike the Indian motorbike which is very heavy with a big low power engine.  By the way, the name Indian was chosen with respect to the first nation people of America.  British engineering tends to be what works and is different from US engineering which tends to be expedient heavy design with lots of parts.  German or Swiss engineering tends to be very correct.

          So the extra feature of a bicycle is lightweight, light to peddle and very robust a combination unique to bicycles and the UK lead the world in this technology for 90 years.  During this time many Sturmey-Archer parts are interchangeable with other makers parts around the world due to cross-licensing and conservationism of the designs.

          I mentioned hubs and cranks changed from thin oil to lubricated with grease. The S7 - 7 gear hub was introduced in 1973 with the no-slip between gears feature. This hub probably would have had higher friction almost certainly because it incorporated three elliptical gear assemblies and the drive path was through a number of meshing gears. The non-slip feature considered not to have merit previously but bikes with hub gears were being marketed to regular cyclists as easy, strong and reliable compared to dérailleur gears having become fashionable in sportbikes. The 7-speed gear hub of about 1997/2000 uses the mechanism of a third sun pinion and a third cog on each of the planet pinions to form what might have been efficient but by then grease was used in the bearings and there was no lubrication port in the hubs. The 1973, S7 the cable rotated a shaft operating cams rather than pulled a rod but the later seven gear has in effect ultra-low and high gears.
          -------------------------------------

          The Raleigh bike lifetime guarantee;  Offered since 1902 were not transferable and lasted for the lifetime of the original purchaser of the bike.  Such guarantees were fairly common on high-quality British products.  Because they were on parts only a shop may resist carrying out a repair at its own cost or try to justify passing on that cost to the customer.  Some were said not to be worth the paper they were written but I expect they were carried out although there is a subjective judgement that a manufacturer would make to determine if it the cause was due to normal ware-and-tare.   I don't know how well Raleigh compared.


          I don't know how Raleigh applied its policy on replacement spares but I have read in a Raleigh document that they would charge for re-magnetising a returned dynamo had been let demagnetise.  That is put a soft iron keeper with the magnet.  That suggests that Raleigh might replace anything in exchange for the broken part that has not been broken by misuse but I have not read that anywhere or that said in reply to my question in any public forum?

          End of Sturmey-Archer in the UK;  Ownership changed and the equipment and manufacturing shifted to Taiwan in about 2000 turned around from what had become a make-do return to good quality control in manufacturing again.  This story can be re-told for so many companies from the 1970s.  Hubs were not made for very high endurance any more though and a modern non-serviceable hub's lubrication could be dried out with broken parts inside after just seven years.

          https://www.sheldonbrown.com/sturmey-archer.html
          ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

          Probably the most efficient geared bike transmission 


          Shaft drive bicycle is not new but the one in this video 
          claims 99% transmission efficiency (if enclosed and 
          kept clean).  https://youtu.be/-9gQ1KRhesM

          Ceramic speed - I can see that the gear teeth are slotting in on roller bearings not sliding up the tooth so there does not seem to be the velocity modulation that conventional tooth gears have.  The velocity modulation in straight gears can make the wine.  Presumably, the transmission is normally enclosed in order to keep the grit and dirt out so thereby staying a low friction transmission in order to make the maker's claim meaningful?

          The gear changing occurs by timing the slide of the pinion across the crown disk at an appropriate time.  Hopefully, a cable operated variant will be developed so that a cyclist won't become stuck with a flat battery?

          If the change operation lifted the shaft and dropped then the gears could be changed at stationary.

          John D. Rockefeller owned a single-speed shaft drive bicycle it may have been a Columbia shaft-drive bicycle of 1900.  At that time chain drive was very new having only been developed in about 1880 and may have had a poor reputation because originally the couplings swivelled at two points rather than having a shaft inside a large tube to form longer bearings that modern chains have.

          The Sturmey-Archer story mentions the Deal Drive (automatic gear Victorian invention) more efficient (pg. 173). The way this works is that the large drive sprocket's diameter can be varied.  See; Book Review - Deal Drive I believe is British Patent; 2,062,142 - 1981.

          I understand that light oil transmission is the lowest friction type but it is probably the same as sealed ceramic bearing transmission.  I have not ridden a ceramic bearing bicycle.

          It is likely but I don't know that the biggest contributor to friction in either this bike or an old bike transmission is the tyre friction.  Tyre friction is generally minimised by pumping the tyres to high pressure and using slim tyres which both old bikes and modern racing bikes have in common.
          ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Picture Right; The bike is a cleaner now (summer 2019) and some of the colour and the decoration can be seen.  The remaining bright-steel spokes are spotless and brilliant.  I have put the pump back on the bike.  The new front tire has very little rubber on it by comparison with the high mileage War Grade tandem tire I had been using.  It is not an imitation "War Grade" though.

          Other Sturmey-Archer bike components and assemblies;
          • Hub brakes were reckoned to be very good smooth, progressive and powerful.  Some variants were operated by back-peddle others by cable and they could also include a gear hub.
          • Hub dynamo was introduced in 1935 and is claimed not to add friction but a few people I've spoken to say that it does.  The power taken is very little and no more than the power output 2W used in the lamps.  If peddling at a reasonable pace putting in the same effort as walking then 50W of effort then 4% would be used which is more losses than N gear and similar to B  gear (guess?).
            • 1982 XAG 3W, 6V meeting new lighting standards and 4 times more efficient 30 pole, alloy dyno-hub sampled but not introduced. Then all dyno-hubs were withdrawn in 1984.
            • During the 1980's permanent magnet motors became much more efficient requiring less copper.  They used more powerful magnets.  Also, much smaller air-gaps were possible due to better engineering tolerance and bearings with very little play.  Greater power density and efficiency was achieved provided those motors or generators did not drive directly but had flexible couplings.
            • Basic generator theory determines that the output is a constant current but the voltage (with no load) is proportional to the speed of the wheel.  That is;  300mA = 2W / 6V, With old fashioned series lighting circuit open lamp fails all lights will go out but with modern parallel lamp connection one lamp fails the other lamp will receive too much current.  The ratings vary depending on the age of the bike.
          • Various lighting parts and battery units to be used with the hub dynamo or Dyno-Gear-hub.
          • Fixed wheel and back-peddle brake.
          • An internal combustion engine was briefly badged Sturmey-Archer.

          References
          The Sturmey-Archer Story, Tony Hadland, ISBN; O 9507431 2 7
          • 1887 - Made 3 bikes a week.  The shop in Raleigh Street, Victoria was purchased and renamed the Raleigh Cycle Company.
          • 1896 - 30,000 bikes made this year.
          • 1914 - Over 50-60,000 bikes made that year.  My Grandfather had a three-speed before WW1.
          • 1939 - 400,000 bikes made a year.
          • World War Two - 280,000 bike made a year.
          • World War Two from 1943 - Bicycle manufacturing may have stopped and Raleigh published a leaflet advising people to keep their old bikes running.
          • 1951 - 1.1 million bikes made a year.
          • 1980 - 1.5 million bikes made a year. Nearly as many as car sales.
          1955 bikes were ridden 20 million KM/yr but during the 1970's the 
          figure was only 4 million KM/yr and this amounted to only 20cm/year.

          Comparison of efficiency (appendix gives a range of different figures - these seem most relevant)
          • N - gear is 1% and more efficient than dérailleur gear.
          • AW 92.5-96% but dérailleur 92% 95%.S5, FW B 87%
          • Losses 5-10% both gear types. over a gear ratio range +33 -25%

          Tony Hadland blog supplement to the book;
          https://hadland.wordpress.com/2012/07/02/the-sturmey-archer-story-supplement/

          Lots of old bike related pictures
          http://www.oldbike.eu/museum https://www.veloduo.co.uk

          Bike discussion forum.
          http://www.retrobike.co.uk

          Catalogue pages of bikes around 1939 to 1950 including the Lenton Sports.
          https://on-the-drops.blogspot.com/2016/12/the-clubmans-1946-1951.html

          Supplier of old bike transfers.
          https://h-lloyd-cycles.myshopify.com/collections/raleigh
          https://h-lloyd-cycles.myshopify.com/

          Pictures of another Lenton Sport
          http://s47.photobucket.com/user/supergymnast/library/1945%20Raleigh%20Lenton?sort=3&page=1

          Archive of Sturmey-Archer catalogue pages and technical data.
          http://www.sturmey-archerheritage.com/index.php?page=history-detail&id=176

          Reg Harris OBE Cyclist trains on a Lenton sports with FM hub;
          https://on-the-drops.blogspot.com/2016/12/the-raleigh-lentons-1948-1960.html

          Archive of Veteran bicycles catalogue pages and technical data.
          http://veterancycleclublibrary.org.uk/library/

          When were bicycle gears invented - Guardian Newspaper.
          https://www.bikeradar.com/gear/article/when-were-bicycle-gears-invented-35989/

          Drive train history - Velo News.
          https://www.velonews.com/the-drivetrain-wars

          YMCA, Recycle - Bike project;

          https://westkentymca.org.uk/our-work/recycle-bike-project/

          Bike catalogue pages;
          https://on-the-drops.blogspot.com/2016/12/the-raleigh-lentons-1948-1960.html

          Raleigh merged with Tube Investments in 1960 which marked the end of the very big but family firm looking after its employees. Reg Harris won some races on a Lenton in 1949; Pedalling Dreams: The Raleigh Story

          About some of the comments I have made in the text;
          • S-A Sprinter S7, 1997-2000 has a single ring gear, single elliptical cage, each planet gear is a single 3 cog component, 3 sun gears. Giving 3 speeds + 2 more super-wide speeds + 2 more ultra-wide speeds.
          • 1966, S5 two cable hub launched.  Note Tony Hadland's book draws attention to the point that the single cable version was not launched until the 1980s but I add that old patents such as the 1921 Henry Sturmey's patent on the single cable 5-speed hub may have still been active or recently expired.  I have read that patents used to be granted with a life of 40 years before WW2.
          • Selectors and hubs and some other parts are often made under license by different makers are mostly interchangeable with British made versions of Sturmey-Archer.  The important point is that parts made since Sturmey-Archer closed in the UK and relocated to Taiwan are very unlikely to be interchangeable with parts made in the UK over the previous century.  I say most but not all Sturmey-Archer gear selectors can be used with all Sturmey-Archer hubs.
          The bike decoration;
          The postwar period was exciting with the finest quality made for the people, up to a point just the white English.   The deferred Olympics to be held in London in 1948 and the Festival of Britain in 1951.  The lovely 1946 Lenton Sports bike and it's golden stylised Olympic torch reflects all of that well.



                          LENTON SPORTS











          • Left; MK 1 up to 1939 --- Feature of the bike frame was a gold line stencilled on some of the tube sections.
          • Centre; MK II, 1946-1947  --- Looks like a serrated arrowhead pointing to the ground in peace.  The decorations is a gold stencil outline on mustard yellow with deep blue shadow, green text, as far as I can tell from the remaining colour.   The decoration may also combine with a stylised Olympian runner's torch looking forward to the 1948 London Olympics.  Some Lenton MK III's made prior to those London Olympics also use the same decoration.
            • The 1948 London Olympics had been postponed from 1939 due to war.
            • I do not know if the decoration is made up of stencils.  Raleigh had started using transfers before World War II?
          • There are a number of other decorations on different Lenton bikes in around 1949.  Lenton Clubman (the successor to the Lenton Sports) and the 1950's Reg Harris Lenton is an Olympic torch with a red flame.
          • Right;  MK III from 1950 --- Simple italic text, which was very in keeping with the era coming.
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          Road Safety;


          The picture above; The reflective jacket on the left and the reflective bike clips are the early 1970s. The helmet and reflective jacket on the right were bought in 2018.
          • The Highway Code advises cyclists at a junction to stop at the left-hand side before turning left, right or going straight on.  But you need to judge the traffic and the situation.  A junction near me has the drain hole fitted the wrong way so that a narrow width tyre wheel could jam between the grating.  What was particularly bad in this case was that cars were parked so the issue could not be seen in advance.
          • Learn to get on and move off with your left or right sides and feet.  A step-thru bike is easier to get on an off but they are a bit heavier which does not matter unless you are travelling by train with it.  A large wheel full-size bike will ride the pot-holes better.  So don't be shy if you are a bloke about riding a step-thru bike.  
          • Potholes and lowered kerbs - It is a judgement whether you go round them when there is no other traffic or go straight over them if there is traffic.  Either way make the decision in plenty of time to look behind, signal and manoeuvre.  Avoid hitting an obstetrical from a glancing angle but straight-on (perpendicular) to the edge or else you are likely to fall off the bike.
          • To repeat the point on bumps, potholes and dropped curbs - make a definite swing out and then steer in to them so you go over a shallow curb more nearly perpendicular rather than a glancing angle.
          • This is where the long-wheel base bike scores over modern bikes in taking bumps well so that you are not knocked back but tend to fly over them.  The front wheel has to take many bumps and the cyclist should bend his elbows in anticipation first then the cyclist can transfer his weight on to the peddles so that his bent legs take the bump but not his body and the bike frame.  It happens that a front-wheel spoke can break from time to time.
          • High visibility is important.  Wearing a silly hat is okay if it gets you noticed but helmets do encourage you to go faster because they give a false sense of safety.  Helmets are not required for the cyclist but they do change the type of injury you might get in a fall or crash.
          • The low down kerb light on old bikes is very useful if you have to cycle in the dark.
          • Wearing a cloth cap - offers no physical protection but the cyclist will have a slow with a gentle pace outlook in mind.  Anyway, he could not cycle fast the hat would blow off.
          Some lorries carry a label FIR - I understand this is for cities like London and it is a cyclist awareness programme in which the driver gets to ride a bike in order to appreciate cycling. 

          It is notable that people seem much more tolerant and courteous to cyclists.  Cycle lanes, cycling on the pavement and on-road is mostly done with a lot of care by most users.  Either way, the best drivers and cyclists are the ones who have experienced other modes of transportation.  There are some of-cause who don't care about animals, cyclist, children or anyone else they will walk, drive or cycle in front of a bus that can stop sharply but a cyclist and a classic car cannot stop sharply.  I have also told a cyclist off for cycling too fast and with a lot of people on the pavement.

          Bicycling statistics;
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          Transition bike between old super-light to peddle and a low maintenance modern bike.

          The Sturmey-Archer hub gears on this bike are the last of the old well-made types all thin oil lubricated. The front hub is greased which makes it heavier to peddle so the bike is a bit of both old and modern plus it is made to last. The bike is very well made of high-quality steel that gives the frame a very resilient springiness. Even though the frame does not have a cross-bar it is a stiffer bike than the Lenton and probably reflects more steel in the frame and developments in high tensile strength steel since 1935 Reynolds steel and 1985 Soviet steel.


          Astra, Super de-Luxe, step-thru bike, 26", 3 speed, lightweight steel.  Made in the 1980s.

          Purchased for a modest price locally in June 2019.  The bike could easily have gone for scrap.  Some bus drivers let you put a bike on the bus but the driver I asked would not let me do that so I had to peddle home, which is flat, was ever so hard-work because the bike needed lubricating.  People don't always like scrapping such bikes and the seller patched and pumped up the tyres for me so that I could peddle it home.

          This bike is evidently made of lightweight high tensile strength steel tubing and braised joints - the bike lightweight for a lady's bike.  A step-thru bike does not have the re-enforcing crossbar but conversely is lower geared so the bike's frame will not be subjected to so big shocks as a fast sports bike or very fast competitive sports bikes which are much stronger bikes. The peddles gets close to the ground which could be a drawback when the rider goes over pot-holes?

          Standard labelled conforms to; BS4102:1 (possible British Standard number but the label is damaged and unclear - this is not the correct number if it is a British Standard)Picture left;  Silver label below the saddle.

          Frame; Is a very lightweight but very strong steel tubing. With braised and lugged joints.  Step-thru bicycle.

          Weight;  15.5Kg, with; rack and basket.

          Gear hub; 3-speed AW Sturmey-Archer, Made in England, 85-6 (June 1985).  

          This hub is a little different to the FW hub when changing down gears at stationary or moving.  Move the peddle backwards a little works better than moving the peddle forwards with this hub.  The leaver moves up one speed at a time so there is no need to move the leaver by holding it with two fingers.  So changing gear feels a little more notchy but also you won't crash and chip the clutches by comparison and that is why this hub is said to Always Work (AW).  Don't force anything, gear changes do not need force it is easy.

          The gear hub is the same basic low friction principle as the Lenton's FW but not to the fanatical extent of those old bikes.  By comparison, the clutches can be crashed between gears if you are particularly insensitive to the mechanism on the FW hub. 

          Tires are;  Saua, Yugoslavia, B35, 37-590 (26”, 1-3/8”), 4 bar maximum, with a car valve.   The tires are a little perished and worn.

          Wheel Rims;  These are made in Germany and the rear wheel has a poor welded join in rim that is not smooth.  There is a bump felt in the braking leaver when braking, the weld was not smooth either and may have pierced an inner tubes when I  removed or fitted them.  I have filed down some of the sharpness that stuck in the tire from the weld.  By comparison the rims are fine on the Lenton.

          Spokes:  Galvanised steel.  The wheels run true enough but there are differences in the spoke tension is modest.  The bike does not appear to have a great deal of use.

          Transmission;  Grease front bearing and crank.  Gear Hub and chain are oil lubricated.  The peddles appear to be made non-serviceable with fold-over metal assembly - So the peddles have not been greased although the rubber is not worn.

          The paddles can be oiled by laying the bike on the ground and oiling with thin oil.  The bearing's take a lot of oil so there is a good chance that the oil will reach the bearing which is the furthest away.  Once lubricated with thin oil the peddles must be oiled regularly but the oil can't run through and keep the internals clean, unfortunately.  Unfortunately getting a little oil on rubber peddles makes them slippery.

          Extras these were probably standard;  Bell galvanised steel with plastic gears.  Galvanised steel side stand. Rack and possibly a different front basket to the one fitted?

          Original supplier;  Canterbury Cycle Mart, 22-24, Stour Street, Canterbury, Kent. 0227 61488. The picture above left;  Yellow label below the saddle.

          Steering stem label;  A Astra, Barton-on-Humber, England. (Had been a British cycle manufacturer).

          This may be a link to information on the importer and former bicycle maker.  The English town is right but that is the only point correlation.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elswick_Hopper

          The only flaw I found in this bike is that the bolt holding the adjustment of the handlebars will not allow me to raise the height of the handlebars. Unfortunately, a funnel is formed that allows water to get into the steering and fork tubing. The Lenton's design is also odd in this area but there is no water trap by comparison. On the Lenton, the steering height lock clamp is between the steering bearing screw cap and its locknut.

          Place of manufacture;  Yugoslavia or Czechoslovakia.
          I have also seen a 1980 Astra sports bike with a very light aluminium alloy frame.  The importer of that bike was based in Maidstone and the bike was thought to be made in China.  I have spoken to another bike owners who had a 1970s Astra sports bike who thought his bike was French.  But I am sure that the bike is Czechoslovakian or Yugoslavian, from a well, informed Facebook acquaintance and that is consistent with the bike's tyre manufacturer.

          What the ride is like;  More convenient to get on and off so treat it as a unisex bike whatever anyone says to you.  Similarly with a crossbar bike call that unisex if it suits you it will be comparatively lighter or faster.  

          The bike does not have a particularly high top gear so you don't have the virtually effortless peddle slowly and have a long rest on the flat that an old sportbike has.  All the same, the top gear is high enough and does not tempt you to race into trouble.  The bike needs to be peddled on the flat to keep it moving by comparison with any older bikes like the Lenton which just rolls with a little peddle now and then.  All the same, bike is much better than the mountain bike and is good for low and modest distances without causing the rider to be tired by the ride.

          The bike only slightly understeers so you can turn in almost as small a space as the mountain bike.  The bike has a shorter wheelbase so the bumps and imperfections in the road surface add more friction like any modern bike.  A quite different ride to the Lenton sports which also gives the rider more time between the front hitting bump and moving his weight to the peddles. 

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          Conclusion;

          Having a liking for well-made machines do not get many new machines sold but it does create interesting and useful work for a spares and repair industry.  More importantly, making well made and maintaining things empowers people but buying new things with a short design non-repairable life reinforces helplessness.
           
          In nature Gaia works were life manages and looks after the environment a badger, fox or a human can leave a village or set then return to it some years later and it has all cleaned up again by nature.  But modern humans just come back to the mess they leave.  Carl Sagan said many sensible words;

          The cosmologist Carl Sagan lessons from space exploration, mythology, speaks on caring for the climate is possible.

          The benefit of cycling compared to walking it is that it is gentle on your joints like swimming and can alleviate aching ankles for example.  Cycling complements walking and life.  Drop handlebars might cause your wrists to ache instead though. 

          Picture right;  Lenton Sports cleaned a little more using Linstead oil and photographed from a different
          angle so the polychromic green frame colour and gold outline stylised Olympic torch can be seen.

          Raleigh bikes and the Lenton MK III are a good choice being lighter weight, has more gear hub options, hub dynamo and comes with straight or drop handlebars but commands a higher price at £200.  Many other nice conditions fully size old bikes are £50-£80.  Many excellent bikes just need to found before they are scrapped and cost a bus or train fare perhaps to collect them or may cost just £5 - £20.  Some are rare and expensive and all of them are worth the money.  In any case, running an old bike is a cheap option and you have a better bike,  that is delightfully easy to peddle which is the most important factor.   There's a lot to chose from and you can enjoy one for a while then run another there is good support on Facebook.  A three-speed AW hub bike is the safest option but they are all good and are very efficient.

          I can not vouch for these links I have not used them but do get cycling -  Some free organised cycling groups many others require that you pay and become an insured member;

          Cycle routes www.cyclestreets.net/
          Cycling events; www.britishcycling.org.uk/ 




          2 comments:

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          2. NotesHere is an interesting table of conversion -

            It looks like 80W gear oil is the same as 20 or 30 SAE engine oil at 50'C they might be the best match. I shall have to feel them if I can get I recall gear oil for my motorbike being thick?

            Sewing machine oil is thin at 37cSt is too thin by guess work. That table says equal to 75W gear oil and 5 or 10W engine oil at 50'C.

            http://www.nadi.it/english/viscosita.htm

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