You never forget how to ride a bike.
Listen for rattles, rubbing noises and other changes, work out what they are and fix them on your bike.
- Avoid dérailleur gears, or ask someone to select a gear for you then don't change gear they are very distracting. Select the middle sprockets should be about right or a higher gear if it is a mountain bike.
- Choosing either a single-speed bike or a hub gear bike is good. Select 1st or 2nd gear if it is a three-speed or four-speed Sturmey-Archer hub move the pedal backwards whilst stationary. When moving, move the pedals without applying pressure to the pedals. It is very easy.
- A short wheelbase bike is easiest to balance at low speed, such as a mountain, folding and children's bikes. The long wheelbase and sports frame bikes need more space to turn in and you need to be moving a little faster. First, start off on the flat.
- The Video; Put the pedal and pedal arms back on the bike (if you removed them) and carry on scooting then transfer your feet to the pedals and pedal. Finally set the saddle higher when you feel secure otherwise the bike will be hard to pedal. The saddle height should be set so that sitting on the saddle, one leg straight and your instep resting on the pedal and furthest away. Push the pedals with the balls of your big toes mostly when cycling.
- Alternatively, someone can hold the saddle or the back of your coat to steady you briefly whilst running with you. I understand a cycle trainer may also hold the handlebars with their other hand to help an adult learner balance. As far as I recall the helper only needs to do this once and the learning is off, my father recalled turning around as an infant and seeing his parents a long way behind him.
- Your brakes should be applied progressively increasing with the front brake doing most of the braking but bicycle braking is usually not so powerful that a bike is likely to skid. In any case, avoid skidding, by reducing pressure on the brakes, skidding makes the bike uncontrollable and reduces the rate of deceleration. Although you can signal before stopping by waving your right arm up and down you have less control of your bike and it is usually better to keep holding the handlebars. Look behind you before moving off or stopping and stop slowly, except in an emergency.
- In stunt car driving the rear braking is used to turn sharply is called a 'handbrake turn'. A front-wheel skid is never done intentionally, takes longer to stop and stops in an uncontrolled way but has the advantage of tending to stop in a straight line. When braking the weight of the vehicle transfers to the front which is why more braking is applied to the front. Some fast motorbikes and some sports bicycles have brakes powerful enough to cause the biker to go over the handlebars and be severely injured.
- All road users should not brake or not brake hard when cornering or when road conditions are poor. Roads are particularly slippery when it rains after a very hot period.
- The simplest way, lean the bikes over then step over to form a wide triangle seated. Lift your pedal ready. Push down on the pedal whilst pushing off with the other foot.
- The method in the left video works well with a step-through bike use the pedal to start moving and seat yourself. The method does not work so well with a small frame crossbar bike and I reposition myself on the saddle whilst I apply pressure to the pedal after I move off.
- Put your outside foot on the pedal scooting off with your inside foot then swing your leg over, I have never used this method. The postman in this video on the right uses this method.
- Observe that the postman is with the time choosing to get a new bike every two years, many people like new things and like the postman chose not to repair and reuse in his case as he would have been brought up to do. Bikes during his working life were all made to last much longer than the postman has chosen to run his bikes.
- Another postman anecdote from a bike shop in an earlier time, I have read, was of a postman who had his bike serviced for 50 years, 75 miles a day and when any non-consumable part broke Raleigh replaced the part at no cost but for bike shop's fitting charge.
Riding a bike again after a long time;
The next hurdle is to get your cycling strength up - just cycle up and down a road on a quiet day. Do no more than 200m then rest then repeat 200m, build up to 1Km over a number of weeks after that progress as you feel fit to. I spoke to an older guy, like myself, who did not pace his build-up and was in pain for a few days after his first ride. It gets a lot easier once you get cycling again to cycle further. Do cycle further at first if you are under 50 or 60 and choose to.
- When you start a new exercise and are older first your muscles ache but after a few day's rest if you did too much you will be okay again and you soon start getting stronger. Then as your muscles get stronger your joints may ache and you may need at least a few weeks to rest. As this is occurring your breathing might be uncomfortable at first but gets easier and you feel better for exercising harder at all other times. I found my ankles ache less for walking less but exercising more.
- You should make up your mind in advance and start to manoeuvre early so that if you don't see what is behind you or don't manage to signal others on the road will see what you are doing in plenty of time. Don't take your hands off the handlebars if to do so would make you unstable, such as the road has a bad surface ahead. It may be better to push the bike on the pavement across a road junction or around a parked vehicle on a busy road with limited width.
- Cycling on the pavement is fine if you take care and don't get caught. The serious point is to put your foot down and stop or dismount if you think you might worry pedestrians. Cycle slowly on the pavement even if you don't see anyone. Policing mostly does not apply rules unless you could cause harm.
- Cyclists need to take their position on the road just the same as a motorbike user would be taught to or they/we will be driven into the kerb, broken glass or knocked off their bike. Take corners fairly wide so that you are seen and can be seen and have room to take evasive action.
- If unsure dismount and cross a road junction on foot. There are many situations when cycling that using a hand signal is unsafe such as before, turning on a hill, the road surface is poor but signal when turning right on a flat road with a good surface if you feel stable. Similarly, speak to or acknowledge with a wave a road or pedestrian, only if you feel stable on your bike. These things will come in time concentrate on stability first and start to manoeuvre early so other road users see what you are going to do in enough time. Be aware of what is behind, and around you and plan ahead. You do not see much looking behind but doing that also indicates to other road users that you are there, maybe stopping, changing lanes or turning soon.
- Pedestrians need to take care to not step off the pavement in front of a bike, there is no easy way for a cyclist to avoid falling off the bike or swerving in front of a vehicle.
- Cyclists should proceed with care when they are moving in a lane next to slow-moving or stopped vehicles, particularly for vehicles turning into or out of entrances and side roads, I am ready to stop or do stop when the cars stop or have left a gap.
- But the list of things some car drivers do, reverse out of parking spaces and driving particularly on to major roads, chase cyclists who can not get out of the way because of parked cars. Squeeze gaps without allowing a cyclist's room to wobble.
- Anyone on the road squeezing or walking through a gap where something is happening that others on the road have stopped for. The lack of patience and empathy for the heavy vehicle driver manoeuvring, the bus driver because he has to reverse at a badly designed terminus.
- On starting a manoeuvre when a car appears in sight. There is then doubt about halting and wobbling or continuing. This is a situation where there is no fault but both road users have to take care.
Vintage means over 25 years old, Veteran means over 100 years old or if it is a Raleigh bike just out of guarantee.
Many modern hubs or crank gears sacrifice efficiency, for spec. points such as lots of speeds. By comparison, the old bikes were made for a very long life, very serviceable, efficient and light to pedal because they have a good frame. Those particularly old bikes are comfortable and fast. Buying a modern bicycle is a bit of a minefield but there has always been a need to ask the sellers advice on suitability which then becomes part of the contract you have with the seller. Hopefully, this blog should help you select a nice old bike but in all cases, a sports bike may be unsuitable for road use either in the case of a 1940s/50s custom Raleigh Record Ace having a 1" higher crank, and maybe high geared, and be more difficult to start going on or a modern bike having just 23mm wide tires that do not suit on a gravel cycle path.
Dr Who's TARDIS might be of indeterminate age but the way it travels no doubt billions of years of wear rather than millions of years old and more like life on Earth that has been running continually for 3.77 billion years or more, than a machine. Surely the fiction in early BBCTV series like Dr Who inspired by British made machines made in the 20th century could more and more be made to be reliable and last a very long time. When The Time Machine was published in 1895 the Victorians were striving to make machines with good function and reliable, and one man could know all the known science, it was said. Both these fictional time machines were constructed of very hard materials or used very strong forces to make very robust and highly functional machines.
Picture right; The Oxford electric bell has been operating since 1840; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford_Electric_Bell
TAKE CARE WITH ALUMINIUM FRAME BIKES OR PARTS NOT TO STRIP THE THREADS BY OVER-TIGHTENING BOLTS OR CROSSING THE THREADS SO SCREW IN GENTLY AT FIRST AND UNSCREW START AGAIN IF NECESSARY. Aluminium threads bind when crossed more easily and started badly but you stand a chance of correcting it, whatever the parts are made of, if you unscrew back until you feel the thread go past the start then start screwing in again ensuring you keep the parts aligned. Using the appropriate tool a ring spanner rather than an open spanner for example.
- Short wheelbase bicycle - mountain bikes very noticeably go in and out of all the bumps and take pedalling effort doing that. You can turn sharply and move and manoeuvre at very low speeds. A fun bike but more work to pedal and have a range of low to very low-speed gearing. Starting from stationery you can almost lift both feet off the ground at the same time and start pedalling.
- The cheap mountain bike pictured has [3 x 6] 18 gear derailleur which provides about 8 speeds or three mostly overlapping ranges of six speeds. The gears change by twist grip micro-clicks. You move two clicks for a one-speed change. The chain came off a lot and I carried a rag with me because it was dirty, the metal thin and sharp.
- After fixing the front disk brake is very good, progressive and works in the rain. The rear brake is poor.
- A tube kept on puncturing and I was advised to run my fingers around the inside of the tire until I found something sharp. It turned out to be a piece of thin stiff wire.
- The bike is lightweight and sprung will protect the frame from being fractured. This bike is not suitable for a heavy person.
- I am advised not to yank the handlebars to help you bump up a curb with such a bike because the suspension will cause the wheel to drop and hit the curb knocking you off the bike.
- I got the bike in January 2019. Probably equivalent to a £200 bike and was available in new old stock for £160 at the time I was running the bike.
Raleigh, Urban 2, - is a modern road bike,
- 8x3 dérailleur gears, 24 combinations, amounts to at least 10 speeds. The front dérailleur provides a little greater gear spacing. The control trigger levers operate easily for a dérailleur. The gears changed easily with gentle pedal movement as they should. The dérailleur changes easily under severe cross chaining and the rear dérailleur changes easily under heavy load although doing those will shorten the chain's life. The front dérailleur changes easily provided you pedal lightly and hold the up-a-sprocket lever for a brief period whilst the chain hooks onto the larger sprocket. Unlike the bike above I don't think the chain will come off.
- The bike is in good order and a very nice bike, aluminium alloy frame and wheels. Light to pedal but the frame is stiff causing a little road vibration in the hands of the rider but a nice bike. That is more vibration in the handlebars than an old 1970s steel bike, so it will be a little tiring on a long ride. Other people had said to expect that of other makes of good modern bikes. The bike turns in a fairly small circle and is easy to get started on provided gears are set suitably.
- The bike is much heavier than I expected at 15Kg, which is similar to a good high tensile steel frame bike. The front forks are steel, though this is not mentioned in the spec, giving the bike some springiness and the pedal effort lighter. The bike feels lighter than its weight but also feels dead, unlike a good steel frame sports bike. That deadness and little feeling of momentum in the frame tends to make me inclined to change speed more.
- It has road bike optimum 32mm wide 700x32c (28x1.25") tires that hold air. With the close spacing of the dérailleur, you can go down a gear on cut grass where you would not with 41mm wide tires. Changing from the smallest to the second front sprocket does not work reliably unless you are pedalling lightly and hold the lever until the chain has caught the bigger sprocket but I prefer to leave it that way rather than adjust the setting and risk damaging the outer plastic guard on the front sprocket. In any case, the dérailleurs are correctly set up. I rotated the handlebar a little to improve the comfort of gear operation.
- The braking is unusually powerful for a bicycle but fortunately, it is also progressive. The brakes also work well in the rain. So the cyclist needs to take care to avoid skidding. The brake pads will wear of cause but I understand that the aluminium wheel rims will wear as well.
- The brakes squeal loudly. This was resolved by loosening one brake pad bolt then placing a penny under the front and squeezing the brake leaver whilst tightening the bolt. Then do the same on the other side but put the penny at the back of the brake pad. The brakes have started squeaking a little again as the pads have worn down.
- The front rim is okay but the rear wheel rim is worn close to its limit. There is a groove cut in the braking surface to indicate wear when the alloy is worn down to the point that the wheel rim should be replaced.
- The pedals are nice and your feet probably won't slip when it is wet.
- The saddle squeaks but is fairly comfortable. The squeak was resolved by repositioning the saddle back to front more centrally and tightening the bolts.
- Raleigh started making some frames using aluminium alloy with steel forks rather than all-steel from 1960, I understand. The forks steel gives some spring so that the bike ride is smooth and light to pedal. Apparently, these aluminium frame bikes remained branded ALL STEEL for some years. No doubt there is a cost-saving in welding the aluminium alloy frame, instead of brazing and lapping steel tubing. There are parts that are stiff with corrosion due to electric reaction (cathodic reaction) between dissimilar metals, aluminium and steel, electrolyte water and salts. There are many plastic insulators fitted to break the electrical circuit and minimise corroding electrical current flow, due to electrolytic (battery) action but temperature gradients are less likely to be significant because the thermoelectric effect would produce much smaller voltages.
- This may be the bike spec and its present-day price may be about £475 (2021), so it is not much more in price than a basic single-speed Raleigh bike in 1947 £10 (equivalent to £425 in 2021). https://www.thebikelist.co.uk/raleigh/urban-2-mens-2009 http://www.bikeroar.com/products/raleigh/urban-2-mens-2012/specs the bike probably does not come with any tools, unlike an old bike which has spanners for all nuts, bolts, spokes and a c-spanner for the crank. The guarantee is much reduced but may be up to 15 years for the frame?
- I have added more reflectors and have fixed the bell by adding a spring with a screw as a hammer for the bell.
- There is little handlebar adjustment you can raise and move the handlebars toward the cyclist by loosening the Allen key bolt at the side, then loosen the four bolts and rotating the handlebars to suit. The top Allen key bolt can be removed and an extension kit fitted, or the three shims can be moved to lower the handlebars this bolt sets the bearing pressure, retains the shims and has a seal to keep the water out. The bearing runs smoothly but the stem had some corrosion making it difficult to take apart to service the bearings. One of two O-rings and a flat plastic washer seal the top bearing, need to be replaced. The rust had made the shims tight and spilt the plastic wedge washer which I reused because the split has not harmed its function. I used emery paper to clean off the rust, then painted that section of the fork, unsuccessfully because the car primer paint can be scraped off which I cleaned and repainted. The adjustment is to tighten the top blot a bit too tight then tighten the side clamp bolt. The bottom bearing is similar but the top of the fork is wedge-shaped instead of the plastic wedge used with the top bearing.
- The bearing shell is pressed into the frame the bearing assembly was difficult to take apart; The balls are held in a cage, which I distorted a little and could not put back so I added more balls, ensuring that it looks as if there was space for one more ball. Because the bike judders at very low speed when braking I then needed to tighten the bearing more than normal in order to minimise this juddering, without making the bearing stiff and the bike feel wobbly at low speed. The steel cone washer forms the bearing. The following hard plastic washer was difficult to push back into the grove in the bearing shell. The bottom bearing had rusty grease so I was able to clean and re-grease it. The top bearing was cleaner so I avoided taking it apart as far as removing the ball race but I added grease. This is an exception to not setting any slack in this bearing and the video is very useful.
- Before painting the fork stem I degreased it with a solution of water and 5% vinegar.
- The front hub bearing was lubricated and clean and I added a little more grease too - The front wheel has a quick-release mechanism, remove the wheel by pulling the fork apart slightly.
- Remove the quick-release mechanism, which slides through the shaft easily.
- The shaft is conventional with a cone nut and lock nut on each side but with an additional rubber seal over it. I used two spanners to loosen the bearing working on the side that came free then push the shaft through to inspect both sides and grease the other side. Push the shaft back and grease the first side.
- To reassemble, screw the cone nut back with your fingers then loosen by half a turn. Hold the cone nut with a thin spanner (14mm) and tighten the lock nut. Finally, put the sealing rubber washer back by stretching it over the lock nut.
- The bottom bracket does not look serviceable without a specialist tool that does not come with the bike, unlike a traditional crank. But all the bearings run freely.
- But you may be able to move again by;
- Lifting the pedal ready to move off,
- Select a lower gear with both dérailleurs, The rear dérailleur has a smaller gearing change per speed change,
- Push off with one foot and start pedalling with the other.
- I wobbled but if I managed to stay on the bike I could then go down more speeds and get going.
- The Astra is notchy but is fine and as it should be, this bike has had very little use and the spring in the sector is tight.
- This Universal is smoother probably because the bike has been used more but also much of the cable is unsheathed. That is despite the hub being newer (1997 light greased type) when they had a poor reputation for quality but is good (see photo above),
- The Hercules is older and nicer, the cable is sheathed for its whole length.
- But the Lenton sports the gear change very nice and easy except for bottom gear (1 of 4) which needs a strong pull, it now has a lighter spring but one of the speeds B or N does not work depending on how the cable is set. This gear hub and the bike has four perfectly placed speeds with N being the most efficient direct drive speed placed perfectly for resting but at a good speed.
- I am told and read that a bike with 23mm wide tires is okay on the road but is unusable on gravel. I spoke to a friend with a good low-cost alloy Raleigh sports that weigh 14Kg. He has had the bike since new in 2014 and tells me the chain has never come off.
- Unfortunately, that bike can not take tires wider than 25mm but the bike is good for long distances but no good on a gravel track consequently. But it is also configured for trekking, with fittings for saddles but the steering becomes wobbly at 30MPH he tells me.
- The bike was purchased in about 2000, Mangalloy (HLE) steel is but-brazed apparently, is magnetic and has some spots of rust weighs 12Kgs,
- 6 x 2 Shimano derailleur gears,
- Aluminium wheels and other parts, 22x622 22mm tires at a pressure of 7 bar, the frame can take up to 32mm wide tires but the wheels do not need to be changed. The tire width is limited by the dimensions of the front fork. I found that with 32mm wide alternatively known as 700c tires the rear tire has to be let down to fit or remove it.
- Light on smooth roads, fast or slow. Faster on the smoothest roads but harder work on rougher roads. Road vibration in the saddle and handlebars is hard on the cyclist under all conditions. The flexible steel frame is nicer but still loses momentum in preparing the derailleur for a hill.
- I have set the brake leavers - old style but the bike would suit me better with straight handlebars.
- I have added a rack pictured which can make the bike a little less stable but okay.
- With tires increased from 22mm to 32mm wide fitted the bicycle is much more comfortable, less easy to pedal on a smooth road and easier to pedal on a rough road. The tire pressure is similar 6.5 bar maximum with 32 mm tires reducing the pressure to 75 back and 65 PSI front is okay I am advised but with the narrower tires, they should be pumped to a high pressure to protect the rims.
- These are also short wheelbase and generally heavier, to pedal if you try to travel at the speeds you would be more comfortable with a long wheelbase bike. I guess you can balance easily at a lower speed than an old long-wheelbase bike so if you have one of those bikes and my guess is that you should not need to or expect to go anywhere quickly. You can carry lots of shopping. The Bickerton used to be quite a poor ride, I understand, but was one of the first lightest weight folding bikes. Molton originally claimed the ride to be as good as a full-size bike and the bike had rubber suspension parts like the Mini car but not all models of the Molton had that better suspension.
- This Astra bike (pictured below right), which I purchased locally cheaply in 2019, now has lights and reflectors. It also has new tires, all re-greased and running nicely. The bike is easy to maintain, and fully serviced and the bike cost so far has been about £90. The Astra of Scunthorpe was imported from Hungary, Czechoslovakia or Yugoslavia assembled and badged Barton, Humber, England and sold in 1985 (the date on the Sturmey-Archer, England, 3-speed hub). The tires have perished and are poor quality Yugoslavian, rims are German and the frame is a lightweight Soviet high tensile strength steel is strong but poor because it is a very stiff frame. I have fitted pieces of rubber tire to the front basket to make it quieter with less rattle and squeak.
- The step-thru bicycle pictured is a good all-around bicycle. Particularly because you can mount and dismount easily. These bicycles have a longer wheelbase which makes them a lot lighter to pedal than the mountain bike above. This Soviet-era high tensile steel frame bike is lighter weight than a conventional steel frame bike at 15.5Kg. The frame is stiff, unlike a sports bike frame. The forks are stiff making the bike tiring on the hands and the ride heavier to pedal than it could be.
- The braking is okay with new Fibrax, and Raincheater brake blocks. But there is virtually no braking in the rain until the leather within the brake blocks gets wet. This is a problem with chromed wheels until chrome wears away, or rust comes through the chrome. Some brake pads that have a sticky soft texture but not the leather insert are also used.
- The bike is not fast and you can find yourself going too fast for the bike that it does not feel stable cornering, over bumps and metal water or drain covers, compared to a good sports frame bike. On the other hand, you can load the rack with lots of weight and the bike's handling does not change. There is a lot of vibration transmitted to the frame and the handlebars of the bike. All the same, I do like the bike and ran it for over two years.
Older adult bikes are lighter to pedal than children's and modern bikes. I recall that big difference going from a 24" children's bicycle to the Lenton sports. I was pleased to confirm that the 1975 Hercules Balmoral also moves ever so freely.
There is a little on bike frame geometry in this video - the flexibility of the frame and the springiness in the forks count for a lot.
- Labels on the bike;
- Universal bikes, Rayleigh, Essex (2 labels).
- Model; A267Y,
- Decoration on the seat post is; Tour De Assique, 3 speed, Sturmey Archer.
- South coast cycles, Hove, East Sussex and website so this looks like subsequent maintenance and there are other labels that also say Hove but are unreadable may be the original supplier?
- Universal Cycles Ltd. establish in 1977 in Basildon, Essex, UK. Acquired Muddy Fox. Is now the major subsidiary partner in Sports Direct. (Wikipedia).
- The bike weighs 16.5-17Kg. Is the heaviest bike I have ridden but is not so heavy to pedal.
- I am told that cheap parts were fitted on this make of bike are about 1978 and that is about what I thought. The pedals are a little broken but are fine. I drip a little oil down the shaft to lubricate the pedal bearings. The bike is basically a good bike but also poorly assembled and with wrong parts like many of the 1970s British Leyland car models.
- Steel frame, the seat adjusted easily but the handlebar adjustment is seized rusted but adjusted the day after pouring oil down the steering tube. The spokes are cheap unprotected and rusty, which I have treated with Hammerite, but the wheel rims and other chrome have rust spots. Paint is missing but rust has not eaten into the metal.
- Spokes are tight and even so the bicycle has not done many miles although brake cables have been replaced with newer cables with smaller barrel nipples.
- The bike was stiff to pedal because the chain needed lubricating. It turned out that all the bearings are in good order and have been lubricated. The bicycle has been serviced regularly by a bicycle shop.
- The brake callipers appear to be for wider wheels and close to a point where no further adjustment is possible when the pad is worn by 50%. I found that the pivot hole in the calliper levers was larger than the bolt and have inserted a washer to reduce the hole diameter. This will probably mean that the calliper will close up completely just before the brake pad scrapes the rim? The washers used were antishake split washers filed to fit and pressed into the holes.
- Part of some of the cable runs are unsheathed and there is a nylon slide for the gear cable under the crank.
- The saddle is uncomfortable and I have fitted a new saddle.
- The hooter did not work but rubbing Yoho glue into the tears and cracks has patched it for now and it works.
- 1970s Eveready front light and a similar incandescent lamp type plastic rear light. Which have been retained but LED lighting has been added and is used.
- The gear change is smoother probably because more of the cable is unsheathed but also trigger has had more use. That is despite the hub being newer and having a poor reputation for quality but is good.
- I purchased it, not running, in May 2021.
The bike may be made with high tensile steel and is a lightweight frame bike at 15Kg. Many parts are Raleigh parts, saddle, brakes, and crank. But it is a flexible frame and forks, unlike many modern bikes, making it lighter to pedal and a smoother ride. So the frame is somewhat like a sports bike frame as I had been told was the case of bikes made up until the 1970s.
- The bike feels like a mountain bike, low speed, stable and can turn in a small space. Unlike sports bikes, these sorts of bikes are more stable at low speed and carry a lot of weight on the rack.
- The bearings were dry with a little surface rust on some of the balls. The cotter pin needed penetrating oil on it and was pressed with so much force to remove it that it was not reusable. A bearing with loose balls should look like one ball is missing but if you fit another ball the bearing will tend to seize (I did not see there was one more ball bearing obscured by grease). When servicing the steering bearings I usually manage to drop some balls but find some of them with a magnet. A solution suggested is to spread an old bed sheet out and work on that.
- The 3-speed hub is running smoothly but I needed to get a toggle chain for it. After oiling the hub it leaks rusty oil, like all things on the bike including the wheel rims the rust and deterioration have been stopped in time. The bike has much more life left in It than a new bike.
- The seat and handlebars were raised easily, there is no built-in water trap in the handlebars adjustment, unlike the Astra bike. The era when so many things were designed to wear out, become obsolete and not supported after a short period of time had not affected the design of this bike.
- There is no lock-nut with the front wheel bearing so take care with putting the wheel back to ensure that there is correct freeness in the wheel. Turning the adjusting nut till it is finger tight then turning it back 1/4 to 1/2 a turn is not so easy to do because the wheel clips into the forks tightly. The correct amount of slack is 1/2 a turn but it may be necessary to set less slack.
- The brakes are very good and that seems to be due to rust on one of the rim surfaces. That surface will wear out brake blocks and is best replaced with old hard blocks, and then put softer new blocks on another side.
- The bicycle has always felt remarkably light to peddle and is fast. The transmission including the crank is lubricated with thin oil but the crank can be greased. In addition, the wheelbase is a little longer, a very lively springy frame and the curved forks make these bikes feel that it is helping me go along but hills are hills and spokes also break occasionally; The bike has a lot of momentum and goes a long way up hills is high gears changing down as the bike slows. 1946 Raleigh Lenton sports pictured cleaned with linseed oil, patched such as the bottle top for a pedal cap that I had crossed the thread on as a boy. I have since fitted another cap. The low left-hand side lamp shines into the curb so you to see hazards in the kerb when cycling in the dark.
- Modern superbikes - many people have an old lightweight high tensile steel frame sports bike and a modern lightweight such as a carbon fibre frame bicycle. These superbikes and old bikes also have low friction ceramic comparable to the old thin-oil lubricated bearings on bikes made before 1961. Many people like both, many others say the much older bike is lighter to pedal, more comfortable and better others say the newer bike will be 3-5Km/Hr. faster. Bikes made after 1890, that had shaft drive or chain drive and may have hub gears were a major improvement. Metals improved after each of the two world wars so bikes from 1920 to 1961, with cable and calliper or hub brakes at the height of bicycling, were the best bikes and best value for money ever made but were still excellent until at least 1975. These bikes and sports bikes are low and long and Raleigh's engineering was excellent during these periods. In comparison, a competitive sports cyclist may start the day with a hearty fried breakfast, and smoke tobacco before competing in the past but that is unlikely now, it was a pipe that Reg Harris OBE was photographed smoking with the Lenton before training for example for the 1948 Olympic games.
- Generally, the rack and the rear and panniers are good but do not carry so much weight without causing a little instability, with a sports frame bike. It is best to avoid carrying any weight in a front basket again that depends on the bike geometry, I understand. Alternatively, a front basket that is mounted so that it does not turn as you steer is more stable, I am advised.
- Pedals - metal types are good because they don't slip so easily as rubber pedals. I have not ridden a bike with toe clips they scare me and I am advised that people do fall over with them. My father used toe clips and a cycling cape that clipped onto the handlebars with the Lenton sports pictured.
The Raleigh bicycle brand is still a very good brand and is now dutch owned for light to pedal bikes the Gazelle is good particularly withstands salty sea air very well compared to other steel frame makes of otherwise, not cheap bicycles. The Gazelle has a long wheelbase making it very comfortable and light on a rough cycle track.
It looks like Government thought the NHS was fine despite a decade of austerity then people in government got ill themselves and got scared. The less important old and ill were kept out of hospitals and sent home in case the more important people got ill. Now people can visit a hospital but many have been scared or are staying away. That was until autumn 2021.
The cartoon expresses the sort of concerns people have about the lifting of locked-down. The government is managing the lifting of lock-down by manipulation and retraction thereby creating annoyance but as required slower return to normal or a new normal. Unfortunately "Social distancing" laws were applied to old people but otherwise, people did and are talking to each other and enjoying their families at a safe distance.
- AstraZeneca is a British/Swedish company that has chosen to sell Covid Vaccine at cost but not for profit. In September 2021 AZ's scientist who created the vaccine said that only two doses were required and a boost dose was not required. That is repeating a point made many times previously about all the vaccines, which Is that the protection is very good and the outcome for those infected much better.
- Cuba though very small gives the world some health care without cost.
- USA under new president Biden is legislating to share their vaccine intellectual property freely to poor countries.
- Even under President Trump's rhetoric scepticism of the virus, that country looked after its own health supplies redirecting things being shipped from the far east to the EU to the USA instead.
- There is a lot of commercial resistance to those things but if the poor countries who supplied most of our wants and needs suffer surely we all suffer. In India for example, hospitals are now overstretched but the UK chose not to enforce the export of vaccines made in India but let that country look after their own.
- Like the bikes, people mostly don't care about them, each other or harm to the environment but vary politically as to whether they admit that or just give lip service to those good things.
- People feel we should not criticise covid measures so few express fear of being led toward relying on a commercial medical industry to just live. Waiting for the next technical fix rather than stepping back from the intensity of daily commute and non-recyclable waste created. As if only the BBC are allowed to interview concerned people but they also play people one way then the opposite way, rather than seek for consensus showing variations.
- Do those wearing masks out in open spaces risking their health also spread more disease?
- Wearing masks when driving alone just risks causing a crash?
- Discard masks and rubbish on the ground.
- Discard rather than compost vegetable waste and put oil-contaminated paper in the recycling. You can often take your own china mug and reused wooden cutlery and you may get a discount for doing that.
- Shops supermarkets and cafes that have bakery uncovers, cutlery on the table handled and breathed over by many customers.
Momentum Labour at the last General Election, in December 2019, offered a path of social responsibility. That government would have promoted peace in the world, the environment and toward each other. Different from both New Labour and Old Labour, in not promoting self-interest. I was very surprised that Momentum Labour captured so much support. Momentum Labour's modernised 1945 Manifesto was very inspiring and I expect that Coronavirus would have been handled differently.
be used freely and is made up of the semaphore for "N" and "D" (Nuclear, Disarm).
The Victorians built a sanitation system in order to protect the rich from catching a disease from the poor. Cricket and sport encouraged the health of all. But I doubt that the vastly rich will impose health, better food, air, and cycling on us, this time but in order to save the planet from the adverse consequences of human activity.
Time will tell but I hope people do not become reliant on big pharma and disinfectant for a sort of living instead I wish we all learn to like good health and much less waste as a way of life. There be less reliance on factory-farmed meat and more plant-based food. A high correlation between poor air quality (such as in cities) and Covid-19 fatalities but vehicle emissions and crashes is the major cost to the National Health Service. I hope people change their minds about cars.
During this Covid-19 pandemic, people have been cycling more and enjoying better health due to the better air quality whilst road traffic has been greatly reduced. Poor air quality in cities has been strongly linked to poor respiratory health long before the clean air act of 1956 and poorer survival to Covid-19.
The Costs of transport such as poor air quality
The cables, leavers and selectors should be oiled or greased, and the toggle chain (linkage entering the hub) should be greased periodically.
- If the toggle chain is not aligned, such as when you put the wheel back on, loosen the indicator rod whilst you align the chain and gear cable.
end of the rod level with the end of the hub shaft in speed 2 of 4 was viewed through the inspection hole in the wheel nut. Alternatively, the
newer hub-type method using the shoulder of the toggle chain works.
the notch in the rod level with the end of the hub shaft in speed 3 of 4
viewed through the inspection hole in the wheel nut. I prefer the
- With a four-speed FW hub, most people fiddle with the adjuster until it works. This is similar to what I do.
- Put gear lever into second gear.
- Undo the barrel adjuster on the toggle chain until the hub goes into the no gear position. Now turn the opposite way until the hub engages second gear again.
- At this point, turn the barrel another full circle and a half. Lock off the barrel.
- Put hub into first gear. Ensure the gear lever will select first without the cable being very tight. You should be able to pull a tiny amount of the toggle chain out of the axle by hand.
- If you can't, turn the barrel back half a turn.
Move the selector to high gear and adjust the cable to leave it just slack.
- You only need to replace one brake block at a time when required with much older bikes. If one rim wears blocks quickly, because of corrosion on the rim, move or fit an old hard block to that rim side. Swapping brake blocks to use all the pad is fine they work as well doing that.
- Set the brakes to apply fully before the leaver touches the handlebars then you will have enough play in the braking to cope with the required slack in the bearings, some wobble in the wheel and the difference in brake block wear, as any corrosion on the rims, may not be even.
- If necessary, use an adjustable spanner to hold the brake pad in alignment whilst tightening the nut.
- I had one brake block wear unevenly front-to-back until I slightly bent the calliper where the block mounts using an adjustable spanner. So that issue that the bike has had for over 70 years is now resolved.
- To set the callipers - fit identically new or worn brake blocks, Loosen the nut and bolt, apply the brakes fully and hold the pressure, which will centre the spring, whilst re-tighten the nut and bolt. This should not arise unless the bolt has been loosened for some reason, such as to replace the mudguards.
- To remove the broken end of the wires from the nipple, if necessary apply flux or fluxed solder to the iron when the soldering iron is hot, to tin the bit. Use long-nose pliers to remove the strands of wire from the nipple, the nipple needs to have flux or fluxed solder applied before and whilst holding the nipple with a second pair of long nose pliers. Keep applying flux and heat until all the wires are removed and the hole passes light through, tap the pliers on a hard surface to shake solder out of the hole.
- The outer sheath shortened one end where the insulator had cracked. When the assembly was complete the length of the cable was corrected, after soldering, by shortening the other end of the outer sheath where the insulator had also cracked.
- That gave me more cable to push through the de-soldered and scrapped-out hole barrel nipple.
- The cable was cut back so that all strands are used and those strands had gone through the hole in the barrel nipple.
- The straightened and cleaned the wire strands but some of the carbon for past oiling remained and it bubbled black when I soldered the assembly.
- The ends of each strand were then turned over left or right.
- Finally, the cable was pulled back into the end as it was re-soldered using electrical solder (60/40 Tin-lead) and more flux as necessary. The correct solder to use is silver solder because it is less poisonous.
- I used a soldering iron to start but it was not satisfactorily heating and I used a gas hob flame. The wire wetted well to the solder, which I was not sure would happen, leaving a bright silver finish with a nice meniscus on the brass and steel wire.
Get rid of rust: Coca-Cola will eat away at the rust for you if you have any rust stains or tools covered in rust. Leave the rusty object submerged in Coke for an hour or overnight and then scrub off the rust.
Vinegar also works you find rust sediment in the bottom of a dish you put the item in. Apparently, there is a stronger gardening vinegar at 30% acetic acid rather than the 10% strength food type. I have not tried the latter type!
Dilute Citric acid works better than all of them. I’m a recent convert to Citric Acid after using Oxalic for a while. Still can’t believe how the rust just seems to wash away after some time in this solution. Maybe an image of text that says "Wilko ORIGINAL CITRIC ACID a natural but powerful limescale remover for many appliances around your home great for descaling your kettle clean as a whistle! AROA 250g 12131415161718192025 6171819202122"
As does oxalic acid aka wood bleach. I have used it on a few frames that needed a bath. Put it in a kiddie pool. I think that is one of the traditional rust removers.
Just about any weak acid will work as a rust converter.
This building is one of the most beautiful architecture anywhere. I can not be captured on film and I have not seen a picture
that captures the impression that the building has now or had before its renovation.
The pictures above were taken on a Canon AE1, using Fuji Slide film which is a good fine-grain slide film in which the colours are not saturated. The best amateur camera of its time, 1976. The film characteristic richer colours when underexposed by half a stop. The rose was photographed on a damp day. The pictures were taken in the winter of 2015 - 2016.
Many people run an old bicycle those bikes were made to work hard for a very long time and must be maintained regularly. This bike has been nicely kept and has a secret conversion to E-bike. A lot of bikes run and look lovely just as they are but for being maintained and the frame cleaned with an oily rag or linseed oil. Other bikes are brought back to almost new with detail restored and artisan touches put back.
Raleigh bicycle maker of Britain was once the biggest manufacturer of bicycles in the world, representing the best in engineering. British engineering, textiles and the film industry were for a long time second to none. Statutes to war leaders and heroes, slave traders, bankers and the city of London are good representations of the country. Perhaps the most prominently placed statue should be a heron to mark 125 years (1887-2012) that Raleigh manufactured in Britain and looking forward to cycling, walking, cleaner air, better health and kindness towards each other and harmony with nature.
Like so many things The Mallard, Pacific A4 class locomotive is distinctively beautiful because of its typically British understated design style by the British engineer Sir Nigel Gresley. Along with the Flying Scotsman, the A3 class were the fastest surface public transport in the world. Although by the 1920s and '30s trains could now be made to be very reliable, they were not efficient or clean. At this time bicycles were nearly as good as they were ever going to get.
Newer hub gear designs;
The Rohloff hub weighs 1.7Kg, British-made Sturmey-Archer Hub gears weigh 1 to 1.4Kg but most hub gears weigh 1 to 2Kg. But despite the long power train, good efficiency has been measured, other studies don't rate this hub's efficiency highly. It has 14 speeds but as with bicycle epicyclic gears, only a percentage of the power is carried through the meshing cogs, which is why bicycle epicyclic gears are efficient. The spacing between speeds (13.6%) is similar to a medium ratio Sturmey-Archer hub. None of the speeds is high efficiency although the high ratios are surprisingly good - on paper. By comparison, the vintage Sturmey-Archer FW is highly efficient in Normal (3 of 4), when it's most appreciated and Bottom is the least efficient highest ratio is not heavy when hill climbing when the efficiency is not noticeable but feels surprisingly optimal.
Very typically German engineering design. The design is an assembly of simpler function blocks built up. The first part of the video shows a Sturmey-Archer hub its design is much more like a complex single-function block where parts slide and move changing many things as they move. The Sturmey-Archer design is typical of British design being elegant robust and cost-effective. The design is simpler also because of the limitations of the time 1902 but in 1973 the s7, 7-speed hub used a rotating operating rod in which cams operate a different section of the hub was introduced.
Pictures - The Riley 9 car in the 1930s was fitted with a Wilson preselector gearbox. This is an epicyclic gear gearbox with friction clutches that operate selectively on the ring gears. Otherwise, this type of gearbox is different from a bicycle gear hub having just one speed for each epicyclic gear. The gear oil should be changed every 3,000 miles but the oil-bathed friction bands need re-lining after at least 160,000 miles. The power train includes an automatic clutch.
The Wilson gearbox is very heavy to operate due to the effort of operating the clutches but more modern power-assisted preselector gearboxes are lighter to operate.
Wilson pre-selector gearbox gear change can be operated stationary, moving or powered and the selector pedal can function like a clutch pedal. I have seen a video of bicycle gearing that does that based on epicyclic gears Constantly variable planetary but the power direction is reversed and it is unlikely to be efficient. Daff/Volvo Varomatic and Moblette moped V-belt drive automatic gearing is fairly efficient and this variation called Inception Drive probably is efficient. With an additional no-slip between speeds feature added using a freewheel mechanism on the lowest speed, perhaps another bicycle crank gear could be developed based on a Wilson pre-selector with friction bands. This solution is likely to be big and heavy to operate. The variable speed epicyclic gear hub bought by Raleigh bicycle maker in 1902 is very good and the variants developed by 1960 covered all things required by cyclists at the time.
During the Coronavirus lock-down 2020, there was a big reduction in vehicle movements I first noticed that my breathing improved between mid-March to the end of May when the traffic came back on the roads. Also that my Tinnitus diminished greatly and quickly when I stopped drinking coffee; https://www.tinnitus.org.uk
I hope for more kindness in the world. Some statues of men who profited from the slave trade have been removed from positions honour to them. But the UN Secretary-General's Appeal for Global Ceasefire during this pandemic unsuccessfully;
Envisioning a post-Covid-19 transport landscape: surface travel
Prof John Whitelegg, Liverpool John Moores University, looks at how The UK can transition to a sustainable transport system by building on some of the changes pursued during the Covid-19 ‘lockdown’. In the first of two blogs, he focuses on surface travel.
The carbon footprint of British military spending is a level similar to the emissions produced by over six million average UK cars;
The military-industrial complex becomes a useless liability in the pandemic;
If we don't look after the natural environment we will get unwell
Sweden, light touch Coronavirus measures - May 2020
- The 1973 Fuel Crisis, wave power and warning of an ice age to come,
- The 1980's rise in asthma in school children, the effect of nuclear war but and made pollution TAPPS 1985? and dia warnings of what could happen before the 21st century,
- Inconvenient Truth 2000's, warning that climate change is understated 2019, IPCC 2021 does not pull so many punches;
- 1950's to present nuclear electromagnetic pulse, and sunspot activity, causing 19th-century telegraph to operate without the battery connected.
- Probably between 2 and 3 billion years ago life that had started by chance became able to intelligently manage the Earth's climate for the good of life and the system known as Gaia had established. Much more recently multi-celled life eventually developed successfully and this might be unique (Professor Brian Cox) in our galaxy the Milkyway. There is evidence of earlier forms of multicell life 2 billion years ago but the accepted figure is 600 million years ago.
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/aug/09/humans-have-caused-unprecedented-and-irreversible-change-to-climate-scientists-warn (graph right above 1AD to 2020AD)
In recent years informed sources have stopped pulling their punches, compromising with populist politics so the New Labour style Green-wash is named and ridiculed. Here are some recent examples of autumn 2021:
Presentation hosted by Ethical Consumer. To achieve less than a 1.5'C temperature rise each one of us must limit to; No car ownership, Less than 5,000 miles of long-distance train travel a year and Less than 5,000 miles of short-distance train travel a year. The poorer part of the world consumes at this level See; https://www.sgr.org.uk/sites/default/files/2021-10/SGR_1.5C_lifestyles_Oct21_%28web%29.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0lcYZmMoecI6QoijJ_18DN-mb5rIKMO6tX275TS5-v5qwrJ5l_OrIJ0Rc
Kent County Council - Learn to ride, Cycle training for children or adults;
Cyclecraft by John Franklin (ISBN: 978-0-11-708243-4) - has been recommended.
Active Travel - package of funding announced by the Government during the Covid-19 pandemic;
The Highway Code;
Brokes Wood - Informal BMX bike track now
closed to the public by the present landowner.
Facebook - Vintage bicycles in the UK
Facebook - Raleigh Lenton and all the derivatives
Facebook - The Raleigh Roadster Club. (Incorporating the Raleigh Superbe Owners Club)
There are many other cycling groups on Facebook, but many bicycle brands were owned by Raleigh, which merged with Tube Investments. Many of the bicycle groups on Facebook have document sections with good descriptions of how to do things.
1x systems. E.g. SRAM 10-50 12-speed cassette. This has a range of 500% with a spacing of about 15% between speeds.
Sometimes it is necessary to buy a specialist tool in that case here is a US company with some useful tools (I have not used this company);
More Bike Advice;
Bike parts; Some bike shops can advise and supply but if you know what you want then
SJS cycles supply parts efficiently.
Many people including can be found on many of the Facebook bike groups who paint, restore, sells head badges and hub-gear parts. One of those members for example also dates bikes made by Raleigh.
If you have not got any glue left for your patches Evo-stick works, and should be the correct glue, but not so well.
Gear Hubs history and pictures of the internals of many vintage types, wheel rebuilding (fitting new spokes) and bicycles; http://www.bicyclehub.co.uk/
Modern bike manual; Raleigh-Owners-Guide.pdf
Vintage and veteran Raleigh bike steering lock keys;
David West says - As many of you may be aware, I used to cut all the original Wilmot Breedon NGN keys for Raleigh, at our local bike shop.
These are still available if you have lost yours or need another. Please PM me for any details and see attached pictures for your information. These are original genuine Wilmot Breedon blanks.
Story of my Lenton sports bicycle + General maintenance advice, technical and history;
Dynamo maintenance and operation in theory