I’ve had this bike for a little while now and bought it on ebay when I was thinking about getting a frame to build up to a single speed. I was also expecting a few visitors in the following months that might be staying for a while and I wanted something I could lend out that would get them from A to B in some style.
When I turned up to buy the bike it was too small for me, however I took it for a ride anyway and it worked well, and just felt like a nice ride. I couldn’t resist it’s originality even though I knew it wasn’t from a recognised frame maker. Since buying it I haven’t found out too much more about the frame builder, but imagine it is essentially a ‘kmart bike’ from an era when cheap bikes were heavy and robust.
I’d had the bike a little while and one morning I found my regular ride with a flat tyre and on a whim decided to take the oxford. I rode it as my regular commuting bike for the next couple of months and although it wasn’t nearly as efficient as my regular ride, the small size and simplicity of the bike kept me riding it even though the tyre on my regular bike was long since repaired
The only problem it developed during this period was that the jockey wheel (?) that carries the actuator cable for the sturmey archer 3 speed failed due to old age and so fouled the operation of the geared hub. Since then, I had put the bike aside until now, hoping to find more time for it. As I suspected, months later, I still have no significant time to spend on it but I thought I’d document what I have and strip it back a little. My original intention was a single speed, but I think I can get some of that flavour by simply stripping it back, but keeping the strumey archer 3 speed hub for the sake of practicality.
Once I started pulling it apart I found most of the bike to be in pretty good condition, It looked, in the main dirty, with some surface rust.
So after finding an hour to quickly clean some of the dirt off the bike. The frame, the hubs, and rims came up well. the rear rim will need some work, but looks salvageable. Not sure about the handlebars. After the quick clean I am surprised these bicycles aren’t better known. This must be a 35+ year old bike and the frame looks to be in reasonable condition – there is a little bubbling under the paint on the forks, and the chrome looks pretty good – from how well it has stood the test of time I think it must have been made with reasonable materials. The Sturmey Archer 3 speed is also a nice addition to the functionality of the bike.
That’s all I have time for this week.