So I'm driving along during Portland's big trash week, and there's this chrome bike sitting in a pile by the curb. Needless to say I rescued it. It's an early 60's Hercules 3-speed, made in Nottingham by Raleigh. I've kitted it out, or perhaps tarted it up, in the style of a late 30's to early 50's English club bike, with a few anachronisms for personal preferences. Here are the particulars:
Chrome Hercules by Raleigh frame, Tange chrome 27" fork, original seatpost, Brooks B72 saddle, Raleigh North Road bars and stem. Stronglight chainset, Raleigh Birmingham chrome quill pedals with Wellgo SPD inserts. Weinmann centerpull front brake with Weinmann tourist lever. Bluemels mudguards and pump, painted Testors Candy Apple Red over original white. Carradice Nelson Longflap bag. Elite Coloral-style aluminum bottle in handlebar-mount cage. The hubs are Sturmey Archer: front is a dynohub generator powering a Sanyo headlight; the rear is the best part: an AW 3-speed, modified to a two-speed fixed gear. This is the functional equivalent of the old Sturmey TF, giving direct drive and a 25% reduction. Gearing is 52x20; shifting to the reduction gear is like switching to a 39-tooth chainwheel!
This is certainly not my lightest bike. All up as shown it weighs in at about 32 pounds, but it rides wonderfully smoothly, and the reduction gear makes all that weight no big deal on the hills. Now I'm thinking about making another two-speed fixed wheel for one of my lighter bikes.
Coming soon, pics of my KHS, at the extreme opposite end of the style/performance/comfort spectrum from this one.
Thanks for keeping up this wonderful site!
Cheers, Jerry LaSala - Portland, Maine - firstname.lastname@example.org