Tagged: Raleigh

Rudge “Ulster Sports” c.1957

With the long, dark winter nights during in, I feel it’s a perfect time to share some of the bikes that have been bought and stored for a future build. Along with the frame I used in the Kerry’s build, came this frame and three others. This frame looks the worst in terms of it’s visual appeal but after a bit of research I think it’s possibly the most interesting.

Looking purely at the frame you can see it has a bit of history. The paint looks to be brown but in some places you can find a vivid red. You’ll see the serial number carved in to the seat tube which generally tells me it’s an early frame (Pre 1960). The chrome that remains is rusted and shows a life lived in the elements. The transfers that remain are the biggest clue to this bikes identity though. Along the down tube there is the shadow of a transfer reading Ulster Sports but if you look around you’ll see the Rudge badge on the forks and the Raleigh tubing label on the seat tube. The head badge is long gone and all the components have been stripped but the identity of the frame remains.

Looking through the Veteran Cycle Club library I came across the 1957 catalogue, here it is, the Rudge “Ulster Sports” in the vibrant red the frame should be showing.

The catalogue shows the men’s model but scrolling through I find a table at the bottom which shows the correct equipment for the ladies.

26″ x 1 1/4″ Rims
Fixed / Freewheel gearing OR if you’ve got the extra money, a 3 Speed Sturmey Archer gearing.
3 1/2″ Rubber Pedals
All Rounder Handlebars with an adjustable stem
Caliper Brakes with hooded levers
White Celluloid Mudguards
Brooks B72L Saddle
Royal Carmine Finish (For this particular bike)
Kitbag, Tools, Inflator, Reflector & Fork lamp bracket as accessories.

Certainly a nice list of parts to find but for an extra helping hand the VCC has the spare parts brochure which gives an exploded diagram for the bike.

I love to see the detail like this. It makes tracking down the correct parts a lot easier. The original brochures are a massive help by themselves but they often lack the detail needed to pinpoint an exact model of part. I’ll have fun hunting down the long list of parts.

Now for a bit of history of the company. Rudge-Whitworth was founded in 1894 from a merger between Whitworth Cycle Company of Birmingham and the Rudge Cycle Company of Coventry. They produced Bicycles, Saddles, Motorcycles and Wheels. In 1938 they sponsored Billie Fleming for the World Record attempt of most miles covered on a bicycle in a year. She cycled 29,603.7 miles in that year and the record stood until her death (aged 100) in 2014! Raleigh bought Rudge in 1943 and after this point Rudge badged bicycles were essentially Raleigh models using familiar Rudge components (crown and chain wheel). The Rudge name was killed off sometime in the early 60’s.

I’d class this build as a bit of a back burner. I’d like to put some time into finding the right parts and restoring the bike to it’s original 50’s glory. The hardest, and probably the most expensive parts to find will be the rims. I’ll have a good look but it may be easier to convert to the more “popular” 26″ x 1 3/8″. There are Rudge spares floating around on eBay, whether they match this build or not, I’m not sure but I’ll investigate further. So there we go, another build to go parts hunting for.

Raleigh Sports Model C.1939-1942 – Please stop eBay!

I know I shouldn’t… I know it, but I’m weak. I see a nice part and I buy it. It’s going to really get me in trouble… The story behind this buy is:

A couple of weeks ago a new hit popped up on my Raleigh Blue Streak search on eBay. I have 95% of the parts I need and nothing I actually needed was listed. However, the results that came up showed a crank set in better condition than the one I already have and the price wasn’t too bad either so I waited, bid and won. After checking out the sellers other items I ended up with a few more parts and one of them being this frame set. At first I thought I’d just add it to my watch list. It sat there for a bit and then I decided to ask the seller how much he’d accept for the frame and for a hub I wanted for another build. I thought it was a fair price so I agreed to buy it.

I picked it up on Sunday morning. The chap I bought it off seems to have exactly the same addiction as me. In the kitchen was his freshly built 30’s path racer and outside in the garden and in the sheds were multiple bikes and bike parts… I’m pretty sure he also said there were some in the loft. We spoke for a bit about the bikes and apart from getting this nice frame I’ve always made a new contact for parts… missing out the eBay middle man.

So the frame. It hails from the beginning of World War 2. The Sports Model preceeds the start of war but in those earlier catalogues the bike is clearly shown with a coloured head tube. Despite the name “Raleigh Sports Model”, the frame carries a lot of weight! Thick, heavy tubing with no fancy lugs. Climbing hills will be fun. The frame still has all the original paint/enamel on it and despite a few rust patches it’s in really good condition, so much so that I’m thinking of just polishing the frame and applying a clear coat to preserve the originality.

As with most old Raleigh’s the “standard” gearing was a fixed / freewheel hub with optional Sturmey Archer. It seems the bike did indeed get the Sturmey Archer treatment but I’m going for the fixed / singlespeed option. I already have a Baylis-Wiley front hub which fits perfectly along with a set of peroid Raleigh wing nuts. I also have a British Hub Company rear hub that suits both the frame and the fixed / freewheel standards. Digging through my boxes I’ve found a set of fixed cogs that I can fit and a nice Phillips freewheel.

You’ll notice the Brooks saddle too. That’s come from my “old” fixed gear (it’s been relegated after bending the frame). It’s not period correct but it suits the bike. As for the other parts, I think I have a set of brakes that will fit, along with the crankset and handlebars. The rims are going to be the hardest thing to find! 26 x 1 1/4″ are rare, so very rare and finding ones in good condition for a reasonable price is even harder. I do have other options but I’d like to stick with the original wheel size if possible.

I’m in no rush to get this bike built. This is another one for my own collection so it will be on the back burner for a while. Still, what do you think? A part of British cycling history.

BSA “Tour De France” c.1976 – Battered, bruised and… burnt?

I should not be allowed on eBay. Someone should ban me from it until I’ve cleared the back log of bikes I have. Sometimes the urge to put in a “cheeky” bid to test the water gets the better of me and I end up winning. Oops

Back in 1976, BSA, owned by Raleigh, produced this entry level sports bike. Whether the name represented a “Tour De France” achievement or not, I don’t know, but from what I’ve read people have mixed opinions of the bike. Some seem to fondly remember wanting to own one and others loving the ride however there are those that look down on this “basic” bike and shun it. At the time this bike was first purchased it would have cost the buyer £96.95, which is apparently worth roughly £727.26 in today’s money! That seems a crazy amount! I paid a whole £12.50 for this bike and it came with two spare handlebars!

Ok so it’s not in the best condition and it is missing a couple of small parts but really I don’t think it’s going to take that much work to put right. The paintwork is clearly the worst part of the bike. A strange shade of faded red / orange with a fair helping of stone chips and what looks like a burn on the down tube. The top tube has taken a good knock at some point, leaving a good sized dent, but structurally it looks straight. I’m not really worried about the paint though. Seventies paint can easily be stripped and it won’t be hard to respray in a deep red and fit new decals.

I chose to take a chance on this bike mainly because the chrome looked to be in good condition. There worst component is the front derailleur and I think with a bit of work with the Dremel and polish I can polish it up nicely. If worse comes to worst, I can replace it with the front derailleur I have left over from my fixed gear build. Raleigh really seem to have put their name on this bike with the components, only leaving their branding off the Brooks saddle and the Weinmann / Union hubs. Hopefully I can save the Brooks saddle. It’s definitely seen better days, however with some treatments I’m hoping it with supple up and not tear apart on the first ride.

The plan of attack is going to be something along the lines of:

Strip the bike and sandblast the frame (checking for any defects)

Clean and polish all components, replacing any that aren’t deemed useable.

Respray the frame in a deep red and replace decals.

Find a replacement top tube pump, rear caliper, brake levers and seat post pin.

Possibly replace the rims with 700C

Buy all cables and consumables.

Build and sell.

It’ll be a nice bike when finished I think. It’ll fit nicely into next years L’Eroica Britannia!

Raleigh “Wayfarer” – Baring All

It’s time for an update.

With all the trips I’ve been doing to the powder coaters this week I thought I’d drop the Wayfarer off to be stripped. This bike was most definitely used and abused by the previous owner. Parts have been seized and others covered in rust. The rust had got to the rims so much that I had to cut through the spokes to free the hubs and ended up chucking the rims after finding holes on the bead seat. I wasn’t too concerned about the frame but I feared the mudguards would have the same fate as the rims. The underside of the guards were caked in mud and the tips were covered in rust and flaking paint. It didn’t look good.

I dropped the frame, forks and mudguards off to be stripped on Thursday and picked the components up this morning. Packaged in clear bags they all looked really nice. The guys over at Central Wheel Components had also taken the time to remove the head badge and fork crown caps. At first glance, it all looks good.

The forks are by far the best part of the bike (condition wise). They don’t shown any signs of pitting and there are no dents are far as I can see. The brazing is fairly messy but I think this one part is ready for paint.

The frame didn’t fair quite as well as the forks but it’s still in a good, useable condition. The downtube has a couple of dents on either side that will need to be filled and the chain stays have a small amount of pitting on the underside. That’s one thing I hadn’t noticed before handing the bike over. The blasting is super fine and has really cleaned up all the lugs nicely. It shouldn’t take much more work to get a “nice” frame from this.

If anything was going to cause some problems it was going to be the mudguards. As expected the stripping has brought out a lot of pitting. The tips and tails are the worst affected but the side walls also have a fair share. In places there are some fine holes letting light through, showing that the rust has definitely taken hold but I think the guards could be saved. A good rust treatment and some high build primer should… should, sort the pitting. I would like to save them – I hate throwing parts away.

If you’ve noticed the one missing “body” part, have a cookie, if not, the missing part is the chain guard. I’ve decided not to spec the Wayfarer with the original 3 speed Sturmey Archer hub and instead use the Huret 5 speed gear set that I picked up in that bargain job lot, thus, the chain guard won’t work. I’m hoping it make the bike more user friendly and attractive to potential buyers. That being said, the derailleur needs a lot of cleaning before going anywhere near the bike. The jockey wheels are so caked in old dirt and grease that they’re locked in place. They may not have even been cleaned since ’76 – at least it’s period correct!

So that’s the plan with the Wayfarer. Fix a dent or two in the frame, treat any pitting and cover with high build primer before spraying in the original blue and fitting new transfers. A 5 speed conversion to finish off and it’ll be done.

Raleigh “Blue Streak” – Part Hunting

I’m really getting somewhere with this project now. Having started with just a bare frame I’m happy to say my shopping list is very nearly complete. It’s taken a lot of searching to find the parts I have so far and a lot of luck with the auctions but I think I’m almost there. The last few parts will be an extremely tough find though.

The aim:

The shopping list:

Pump Clips – Campagnolo
Rims – 27″ x 1 1/4″ Endrick
Tyres – Dunlop White Sprite
Handlebar – 15/16″ Steel Maes, taped and plugged
Stem – 2.5″
Brakes – G.B. Alloy
Mudguards – Britton’s Celluloid, Electric Blue
Gears – 10 Speed Benelux “Mark 7”
Chainwheel – 46/49T Double
Saddle – Brooks B15 Leather
Equipment – Polished Alloy Pump & Twin Coloral Bottles in Handlebar Carriers.

In the last post, all that time ago, I’d managed to find the original crankset, chainwheels and pedals. They’re matched exactly to the photos I’ve found and thankfully, I didn’t pay too much for them! Here’s what I’ve found since.

Frame Pump

A Bluemel’s Featherweight pump. I found this in my Grandpa’s garage along with two other pumps. For some reason I thought this bike needed a white pump but after reading that brochure again, I think I’ll swap the pump out for the polished alloy Afa pump I also found.

Handlebars

Ok, the brochure does specify steel but I must have missed that first time around. I found these alloy G.B. Maes bars on eBay for a good price so snapped them up. I’ll work on polishing the alloy up so that it shines like steel – it’ll be fine!

Stem

Now there’s no mention of a brand on the advert with regards to the stem, however, after careful studying of the photos I narrowed my choice down to a select few. The photo shows a specific style, with the handlebar clamp bolt angled on the front underside, the stem bolt should be raised and the rear of the stem should overhang. The Titan stem’s jumped out at me and after a few failed attempts to get one I came across this recently rechromed item and made sure I won it. It’s a beauty!

Saddle

Finding a Brooks saddle isn’t hard – eBay is littered with them. Finding a specific Brooks saddle in good condition becomes a little more challenging. I don’t think I paid much for this example, less than £30 and for that price I’m very happy. It is used and it does have some tiny scuffs but it’s in excellent condition and will look great on the finished bike.

Brakes

The brochure stated G.B. alloy for the brakes and that’s exactly what I’ve found. I did do a bit more research than that though. Looking through picture after picture I tried to identify the specific model. In some pictures I saw the Sprite engraving and so, found a set and bought them. They’re in good condition and will look even better after a thorough polish.

Gears

Now these are the parts I love the most and the parts I’ve had most trouble finding. Starting with the “Mark 7” rear derailleur, I looked around and found a few examples but they were either extremely high in price or poor condition. I’ve honestly searched for months until I found this specific derailleur. It only cost me £25 and all it really needs is the red filling in on the logo. After that I kept an eye out for the shifters and the front derailleur. Lots of single sided shifters were popping up but never a double. When this one made an appearance I couldn’t let it slip away so bought it straight away – I think that was another £20. The front derailleur is proving to be a very rare part. I’ve seen one in the UK and I was beaten to it. I’ve seen a few more rod shifters pop up but I need one to work with my downtube shifters. If worst, does come to worst, I do have an option in the States but at over £200, I really want to avoid that…

To get the bike working, I’m only really missing the wheels. I don’t think they’ll be too hard to find but I may need to send them off to be rechromed along with the crankset and pedals – I won’t know until I find a set. As for the hubs, the catalogue doesn’t specify a brand so I think I have free range there. The only other parts (apart from the front derailleur) that I need to source are the mudguards. The brochure states “Britton’s Celluloid” but I haven’t found anything under “Britton’s”. In terms of Celluloid, well there’s lots of them. I’ve seen lots of NOS Celluloid mudflaps pop up in all colours of the rainbow, however finding the right colour is tough. It’s hard to match what I see on eBay / Google to the exact colour I need. I think I’ve found a couple that are a near match – close – so close.

I’ll start contacting companies to see if I can get the transfers replicated next and after that, it’s strip and spray time! I’m excited!

Raleigh “Predator” – Fixed Gear Facelift

I was getting all ready to write out a nice post about my plans to change the design of my fixie. It’s coming close to the 1000 mile mark so I thought it’s only right to spruce the old girl up a bit. In the first few hundred miles the bike got beat up quite a bit, trying to fine tune the chain tension etc. A respray is long overdue but I also wanted to change the style of all the components.

I wanted to flip things around. The light frame would go dark and the dark components would go light. Essentially I was going for a black and chrome look. It would look a little more “period” than it does currently. This, of course, meant buying a Brooks saddle and a chrome seat post to start with. I opted for a B17 model in black. I got it for a good price and it’s in pretty good condition. I rode with it on Friday and I can safely say it’s just as comfy and supportive as all the other Brooks saddles I’ve ridden.

The next buys were a new set of bars and a new stem. I didn’t want flat bars anymore and I didn’t want the tradition drop bar, although I would have gone for the sleek sloping style that are on the France Sport if I could have afforded a pair… Instead I went for a set of “North” bars (or at least that’s what I’ve seen them called). I think they’re meant to be used as riser bars for town bikes but instead I’m mounting them upside down so there is a very slight drop. They’ll be wrapped in a black cloth tape and fitted with a matching period brake lever. Stem wise, I wanted to go back to chrome or polished alloy. I still have the original SR stem from the bike but it only has a 60mm reach and I feel comfortable with a bit more. My searches on eBay threw up lot of choices, too many choices, but I found myself leaning towards the alloy stems with a “sleek” design. On my watch list was a renovated “Biba” stem which was beautifully polished, however as £40 it was quite pricey. I kept looking and to my surprise another “Biba” stem popped up under the title “Unusual British Made Stem”. The seller had noted the two cyclists in the logo but hadn’t seen they also spelt “biba”. It was only £10 so I bought it without waiting. It’s needs a slight polish but it’s exactly what I was looking for.

As for the next steps I’m hoping to get my hands on a “Rudge” crank set because I love the hand design and possibly some new pedals. The frame will be stripped and repainted a gloss black and the bike will be good for another 1000 miles.

Well… actually that’s all just a “wish” at the moment. I had a slight accident on Friday riding to work. While trying to flip my non drive side pedal, without hitting any form of pot hole, my chain jumped off the sprocket, wrapped itself around the hub, locking and pulling the rear wheel out of alignment in the drop outs. This was at around 20mph, possibly more and was quite a violent motion. I skidded to a stop, realigned the wheel and tensioned the chain and rode on. Something didn’t feel right though. When I got to work I checked the bike over and noticed something that concerned me. Looking at the bike from the rear, aligning my sight down the seat tube and head tube, shows the rear wheel has a lean to the non drive side and it also seems the rear triangle is now bent slightly too.

The chain has slipped off and locked up before but never this violently. I asked my work mates to have a look too and they said the same thing. The rear triangle looks bent… I’m going to try and find a frame alignment tool and check it out so fingers crossed. It would be great if I could just bend it back but the more I bend the steel, the more it stresses and eventually the more likely it is to fail…

Raleigh Trent Sports – Panniers, Pedals & Glass

My mind changes a fair bit. I’ve only recently bought the Carradice saddle bag and webbing pouches for panniers but I’ve gone and bought a completely new set. The old set up was more than enough for me but it just looked a bit cluttered. I had a look around eBay and saw a few sets I liked. Missing out on the first couple, I managed to win the auction for the next set; a pair of Altura Arran 36 Panniers. Yes they are modern but they have more than enough storage to carry a change of clothes, coat and food for the winter trips to work. They should be waterproof too… hopefully.

They were so simple to fit and look a lot neater on the bike. I’m happy.

Next up, I decided to change the pedals. The bike came with a set of Union flat / cage pedals but according to the original brochure the bike should have a set of nice quill pedals. My excuse to buy a new, rather expensive, pair was that these Union pedals had a bit of play in them and seemingly no way to strip them down and repack the bearings. I could feel the movement in the pedal axle as I rode and began to picture a pedal breaking off at some point. The decision was made and eBay had the goods. There were lots of different quill pedals from cheap, rusted worn pedals to the super expensive NOS pedals. I opted for the middle ground and bought a beautifully shiny used set. Stamped “Made in England” and “SA”, I want to presume they’re Sturmey Archer pedals. I could be wrong, who knows, all I know is they’re gorgeous and make me want to strip the whole bike down and do a complete restore to get the paint to match!

Last but not least, the speedo is finished. The glass I ordered arrived and has been fitted. It was a little smaller in diameter than I wanted but it was still a fairly good fit in the rubber seal. I’ve applied a thin layer of black sealant to the edges so *touch wood* it shouldn’t fill up with water in the rain.

I just need to find a set of 50’s lamps now and get the dyno hub working!

Raleigh Scorpio – From Rust to Riches

Riches may be a tad too far in descriptive terms but for a bike that was seized and covered in rust it hasn’t turned out too bad at all. If you consider all I’ve really done is a strip and clean the outcome is brilliant. OK so it’s not going to win any awards but it’s another bike saved from the scrap and for someone (I hope) it’s going to open up a new world of exploration.

The final job I had to do was to sort out the rear wheel. That was the only thing stopping me from aligning the gears and the rear brake and getting the bike on the road. Unfortunately the original wheel had a bent / broken hub so I went on the look out for a replacement. I found a rear wheel in excellent condition on eBay, made an offer for it and it got accepted. It arrived, I swapped out the axle for the Raleigh gear but unfortunately it wasn’t the right fitment. Despite a bit more spacing the chain sat far too close to the chain stays for my liking and the dish of the wheel was completely wrong. I had to find an alternative.

Fortunately for me, I’d been watching a complete 27″ wheel set and with it ending at around 9.30am on a work day I managed to win it for the starting price. A low starting price. I was expecting to pick them up from the Post Office on Thursday after the failed delivery attempt but to my surprise the Parcel Force guy recognised my name and turned up at my work in the afternoon to deliver them. (He’s not a stalker, just recognised my name from delivering to my workplace regularly) While this set wasn’t as completely rust free as the last replacement, I’m happy to say it did fit!

At the weekend I stripped down and cleaned the axle, giving it a fresh coat of grease before fitting it to the bike. The dish was perfect and the chain line was spot on. I swapped over the tyres, aligned the brakes and gears and gave everything a final check. It was finally ready for the road!

The test ride didn’t start off too well. You may notice one shiny new component missing from the finished picture…? If you didn’t, it’s the pump. The nice new chrome steel Raleigh branded pump I’d bought seems to have had a terrible fitment. Less than a mile into the ride the pump had fallen off three times, bouncing across the road. On the third time it fell into / under the rear wheel of the bike and got bent so a little further down the road I threw it straight in the bin. Things picked up after that and I tried to put the bike through it’s paces. I racked up 20 trouble free miles and called the bike complete.

If you’re interested in buying the bike after seeing the progress, it’s available on eBay [HERE]

Overall I think the build went well. It was a bit of an experiment to see how well the Oxalic Acid treatment would work and on reflection, I am impressed. It wouldn’t have been worth completely stripping the bike down to have parts send off and replated and sprayed and although it still does look rough up close, I have to say I really like it. For anyone who does buy the bike; you always have the option of upgrading to 10 speed should you feel the need. The frame has all the guides built into it…

Well that’s it. I hope you like the finished bike and I hope you’ve enjoyed following this build. Onto the next one!

Raleigh RSW-14 – A hidden history.

By now you know how much I’m addicted to eBay and looking out for a bargain bike. It’s the reason I have a garage full of bike waiting for my attention and this bike is one of those last second, “why the hell not” decisions. It was listed as a vintage Raleigh kids bike, I thought I could rebuild it for my niece and I won it for less than £5 however tracking down the history was quite difficult.

The bike looks in fairly good condition. Some of the chrome is rusted but the paintwork looks fairly good. Mechanically the bike isn’t so good. The brakes work but the movement of the cranks is severely restricted from either a super gunked up bottom bracket or a seized freewheel / hub. The only real Raleigh markings on the bike are the headbadge, the R badge on the forks crown and an occasional stamp on one of the components. There’s no sign of any decals or any date stamps. I trawled through lots of old Raleigh catalogues looking for a kids bike that matched but nothing really jumped out at me. It was a bit of a mystery.

The bike has sat in my garage for about a year waiting for work and yesterday I decided to get it out and start work. I was out taking photos of it for this post when my Dad turned up and had a look over it. I was telling him how it was confusing me because it had no date stamps where there should be when he pointed out some run marks in the paint and said it’s probably been painted. That was a bit of a lightbulb moment!

I grabbed a Stanley knife blade and started to scrape away in the usual locations looking for decals. I found every one. The bike has indeed been sprayed, and sprayed well with a good layer of primer and top coat but non of the decals have been removed and a lot of the original paint survives. Instead of the flat red the bike should be a deep metalic red with decals on the seat post, down tube and chain guard. Two of those locations simply revealed the Raleigh decals but the final location revealed the model! RSW-14.

I actually only uncovered the three letters R, S and W before getting a bit excited. I began to Google RSW and found a rough date of the late 60’s. Raleigh launched the RSW (or Raleigh Small Wheel) in a bid to compete with the Moulton. The Raleigh’s lacked the suspension of the Moulton and so made up for it with fatter, softer tyres. However all the RSW specs I was finding showed the bike as having a Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub, sometimes even a dyno hub with different chain rings and a few subtle differences here and there. I knew I had an RSW but non of this new info matched the bike.

Looking a bit deeper I found Raleigh also produced a “Compact” version, essentially a folding version and the RSW-14, a smaller, single speed “juvenile” bike. There aren’t many websites that bring up information about the RSW-14 though. Those I have found do list identical bikes so now I’m certain the bike I own is still a “kids” bike. Now I’ve found this information I can dig a bit deeper, strip the bike down and look for any more clues.

I aim to restore the bike back to it’s former glory with the original paint colour and decals. Hopefully it won’t take me another year to finish 😉

Raleigh Trent Sports & Smiths Speedo

One of the main reasons I decided to chance a bid on this bike was because I was the old mechanical speedo and thought “How cool!”. The bike has been awesome but unfortunately when I first cleaned the bike I found the speedo didn’t work. The cog on the end of the cable kept skipping off the face of the wheel plate. I pulled the speedo off and stripped it down. Initially I thought the mechanical cable had seized but what I actually found was a tiny cog had seized inside the speedo itself.

For weeks I kept spraying the unit with WD40 and Penetration spray but nothing seemed to have an affect and the cog remained siezed. I’d essentially given up on the part and it was left on my workbench to gather dust. That was until yesterday when I was out in the garage checking over another bike (post to come). My Dad popped around and he noticed the speedo and started looking at it. I grabbed the cable, plugged it into the mechanism and tried to demonstrate how it was all seized but to my surprise it worked! The weeks (or months) of sitting on my bench had allowed the remnants of the fluid to penetrate right into the corrosion and freed the whole thing up.

I borrowed my Dad’s ultrasonic cleaner earlier and gave the mechanism a good clean in some Methylated spirits before stripping out the offended cog and greasing up all it’s associated components. One circlip held it in and it gave me no trouble what so ever. The whole unit went back together without a hitch and is no sitting pride of place on the handlebars of the Trent Sports.

I had a quick test ride up and down the road and I’m happy to say it works! The speed rises and falls smoothly but at a standstill the needle seems to rest at 3mph. I’ve no idea how to calibrate the unit so I’ll just have to remember that when I’m out riding the speed the unit shows is probably 3mph faster.

You’ll notice the unit doesn’t have a glass lens on just yet. This was missing when I got the bike but a new one is on order (along with some new brake blocks!)

Another “new” addition to the bike is a Carradice saddle bag. It’s a big bag giving some extra storage for my food runs and despite its size, it doesn’t interfere with my legs at all. Of course this means I can’t attach a camera or lights to the seat post any more so I might have to make up a bracket for the pannier.

All in all though, I’m really pleased with these two latest “developments” for the Trent Sports.