~1950s Local Cycle Co. roadster restoration.

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~1950s Local Cycle Co. roadster restoration.

Postby ldrcycles » Tue May 28, 2013 11:42 am

Since restoring my dad's 1954 Healing roadster I've been on the lookout for a similar style and age of bike that I could restore to ride hard on, as dad's bike is much too precious to me to risk destroying it.

The other day I got my hands on something thanks to akq.


Image

As you can see, the old girl is in pretty poor shape, the cranks were NOT going to budge so I had to just cut the BB axle to get them out. The seatpost and stem came out surprisingly easily though. Part of the stem had actually sheared off inside the steerer but I was able to remove that without too much difficulty, one of the BB cups has also sheared off, and for that the frame will need to go to a local engineer for some attention.



Image


After a good look under a microscope I've worked out this reads "Built by The Local Cycle Co. South Brisbane". I'm thinking I will have to recreate that logo virtually from scratch, there isn't a whole lot left to go on but I should be able to make something that is at least similar in spirit.

So only a day after picking the bike up, she looks like this.


Image


The next step is working out an age, the serial number on the top of the seat tube is 3249 but none of the components had any date stamps. The rear rim is 27" and the Sturmey Archer hub is dated December 1964, so I think that is a ring in. The front rim looks a little larger (hard to say though with the chunk missing), all I can make out on that is "made in japan", it had a Renak hub stamped 24 32. My first thought was that as the frame number started with 32, the hub having 32 as well meant 1932 manufacture, but Renak only started making hubs under that name in 1954, so no.

The BB axle and cups were TDC (and the headset looks like TDC as well, but I can't say until I've sandblasted all the rust), there were no markings that I could find on the cranks.

My plan at the moment is to build it up with rims that will allow for rim brakes (possibly Westrick but if I have to go Endrick so be it) either 27 x 1-3/8" or 28 x 1-1/2" with cream or gumwall tyres, a nice Brooks saddle, drop bars with cotton tape and most likely a 3 speed hub (preferably a Shimano Nexus rather than a Sturmey as I have been riding a bike with a Nexus hub recently and I really like it).
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by BNA » Tue May 28, 2013 11:51 am

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Re: ~1950s Local Cycle Co. roadster restoration.

Postby ldrcycles » Tue May 28, 2013 11:51 am

I've already had a slight change of plan, i'm thinking a drum brake front hub rather than rim brakes, and then chromed westwood rims, i'm liking the sound of that :) .

And while I really like internally geared hubs, I have had the thought of making a Campagnolo Cambio Corsa 3 speed freewheel type of thing from scratch, possibly with a sprung pulley tensioner rather than the Campagnolo toothed dropout :twisted: .
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Re: ~1950s Local Cycle Co. roadster restoration.

Postby redrover3 » Tue May 28, 2013 9:58 pm

I used to go to his shop in Logan Road fairly often. Just trying to think of his name.
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Re: ~1950s Local Cycle Co. roadster restoration.

Postby bicyclepassion » Thu May 30, 2013 4:43 pm

The frame looks like it could be 1964 to me.
Everything about it could be 1960's, including the rainbow paint job. And the Japanese rims, and skidbars, make sense for that period as well.
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Re: ~1950s Local Cycle Co. roadster restoration.

Postby ldrcycles » Thu May 30, 2013 7:43 pm

Oh ok, I would have thought the 60s was too late for this style of bike, especially the headset, I had got the impression they died out pretty quickly after the 50s?

And pardon my ignorance but what are 'skidbars'?
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Re: ~1950s Local Cycle Co. roadster restoration.

Postby bicyclepassion » Thu May 30, 2013 8:40 pm

The English or Standard headfittings were still making an appearance in the 1960's. Skidbars are the shape that is on your bike in the first photo. They are what appeared on the Malvern Star Skidstar from mid 1960's on. (Anyone know exactly what year?) Completely different shape to the bars on the Skidstar GT, from the late 1960's.
Skidbars appeared on lots of bikes, not just Malvern Star Skidstars.
The Sturmey twistgrip changer was often used on those bars. I reckon that bike is mostly original.
An almost identical bike, branded Master Sports, is featured on the back cover of 'The Australian Cycle Trader', March 1965. English headfittings, 3 speed sturmey (trigger shift), listed feature being SKID BARS (Two words)
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Re: ~1950s Local Cycle Co. roadster restoration.

Postby ldrcycles » Thu May 30, 2013 9:25 pm

Cool, you learn something new every day, thanks for the info Warren :) .

Unfortunately the shifter (like most of the parts) is well beyond rescuing.

After doing some googling i'm now looking at a new Sturmey hub rather than a Shimano, as they have one with an appropriate OLD, and with a drum brake.

Image

And this for the front

Image
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Re: ~1950s Local Cycle Co. roadster restoration.

Postby ldrcycles » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:23 pm

I have news on this one at last, and VERY good news it is too!

I decided that before investing significant time and money into the build I should throw the bike together with whatever rubbish I have lying around just to see if the frame will suit me, which means sorting out the BB. I thought it was unlikely I would be able to remove the remains of the BB cup myself but had a crack anyway and after a little attention from the blowtorch and a bit of tapping away with a screwdriver it just screwed straight out, easy as!

I'll be taking the frame to the LBS tomorrow to chase the threads and then the only part I will need to buy is an English headset, everything else I can just get out of the parts boxes in the shed and we'll see what the old girl can do. :)
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Re: ~1950s Local Cycle Co. roadster restoration.

Postby ldrcycles » Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:47 pm

The offending scrap of BB cup.

Image
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Re: ~1950s Local Cycle Co. roadster restoration.

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Sep 29, 2013 3:22 pm

She lives!


Image



Please excuse the hideous Scott Drop-in bars etc, just threw it together with whatever bits I found lying around.

Funny story, I spent about a fortnight asking people if they knew of any old bikes that I could scrounge a headset off, as I didn't want to spend the money on a new headset until I knew whether or not the bike actually fit me. Eventually it occurred to me that I could just borrow the one off the Healing, derr why didn't I think of that before! :roll:

Well the morning after I had that brilliant idea, I was rummaging around for a seatpost bolt and found a plastic bag with an English headset in it. Oh yea, the Local was completer when I got it, OF COURSE it had a headset with it :oops: . Deary me.

Anyway, while the stem I fitted for the test ride is too long, with a ~90mm stem it should be bang on. It had a 52-17 combination (82.8") which is what I use the most on my Mercier, and even riding on flat pedals wearing thongs she felt quite sprightly. The current plan is to combine the Nexus 3 speed with 42-17 cogs for a top of 91.3", to split the difference between the slightly too tall 100.6" and much too short 82.8" top gears on the Mercier. That would also give a 49" bottom gear which may just be enough for the steep climb between Warwick and Stanthorpe.
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Re: ~1950s Local Cycle Co. roadster restoration.

Postby WyvernRH » Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:40 pm

ldrcycles wrote:Well the morning after I had that brilliant idea, I was rummaging around for a seatpost bolt and found a plastic bag with an English headset in it. Oh yea, the Local was completer when I got it, OF COURSE it had a headset with it :oops: . Deary me.


Bin there, done that... so embarrassing, especially when the wife finds the required part in your stash after you have denied its existence...:roll:

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Re: ~1950s Local Cycle Co. roadster restoration.

Postby devilishdesigner » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:43 am

Cranks and bars aside it looks surprisingly good thrown together too :)
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Re: ~1950s Local Cycle Co. roadster restoration.

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:10 pm

devilishdesigner wrote:Cranks and bars aside it looks surprisingly good thrown together too :)


Yea the camera is VERY flattering, it looks a million times better in this pic than it actually does in the flesh. Will definitely need to be stripped (there is little left of the original decals or paint so "preservation" isn't really on the cards) then just have to decide whether to try and recreate the complicated original paint scheme with the ridiculous amount of pinstriping or go for something simpler.

Recreating the headtube logo will be one heck of a challenge...
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Re: ~1950s Local Cycle Co. roadster restoration.

Postby ldrcycles » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:24 pm

Some very minor progress on this one, I've ordered the Sturmey Archer shifter (the standard bar mount type) and some cloth bar tape which I got from a craft supplies mob rather than as a bike product, so much cheaper :) .

I also rediscovered the sidepull brakes the bike came with (yea I know I really need to work on my "filing" system :lol: ) and i'll take them to work tomorrow and see how they clean up. While I like the shape of the levers they came with, the split clamp on them is intended for flat bars and would probably be dreadfully uncomfortable on drops, so i'm looking at using some plain Dia-Compe non-aero ones I have lying around.

The next job is to recreate the headtube logo, I draw like a kindergartener so that will be quite challenging :) .
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Re: ~1950s Local Cycle Co. roadster restoration.

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:46 pm

Okay, I've "de-suicided" the Dia-Compe levers and I think they will look the part. The brake callipers are halfway through getting refinished (only chrome spray paint rather than actual chrome due to budgetary constraints) and the big priority now is to recreate the headtube logo so that the frame can be stripped and resprayed.

Now given this was all I had to go on (and this is a great photo!)

Image

it is none too easy but it's coming along very well and hopefully by the end of the week it will be finished :) .
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Re: ~1950s Local Cycle Co. roadster restoration.

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Nov 10, 2013 7:45 am

A few more pics of the headbadge

Image


Image


The only font I've found that's remotely similar to the "THE LOCAL CYCLE CO" writing is the "THE" on the Tourist badge on the right of this image, does anyone know of an available font that matches it?

Image
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Re: ~1950s Local Cycle Co. roadster restoration.

Postby QuangVuong » Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:30 am

From Clysdale Scot, I was linked WhatTheFont, when I was doing my Centurion's decals. Pretty useful site to find fonts that you dont know. From the quick test, it looks to be Battle Cry Open Regular. The spacing is not the same, but the font is similar. If youve got a larger copy of the image, then the site would find a better match. When youre drawing it up, just do single letters, then space them manually.

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Re: ~1950s Local Cycle Co. roadster restoration.

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Nov 10, 2013 5:35 pm

QuangVuong wrote:From Clysdale Scot, I was linked WhatTheFont, when I was doing my Centurion's decals. Pretty useful site to find fonts that you dont know. From the quick test, it looks to be Battle Cry Open Regular. The spacing is not the same, but the font is similar. If youve got a larger copy of the image, then the site would find a better match. When youre drawing it up, just do single letters, then space them manually.

Image


Thanks for the link, I've already come across one that's starting to get there,

Image

I think I've seen that battle cry font when I was looking through the fonts on Google Docs, or at least one similar, it just doesn't look anywhere near "conservative" enough with that sort of bulbous shape. Thanks too for the tip about spacing, I found an appropriate font for the downtube "Local" decal but it was spaced too closely, problem solved now :) .

EDIT: any tips on how to angle letters, specifically the "SOUTH BRISBANE" that needs to follow the curve on the bottom banner?
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Re: ~1950s Local Cycle Co. roadster restoration.

Postby Clydesdale Scot » Sun Nov 10, 2013 7:33 pm

what you need is Illustrator and some experience.
The 'THE' seems straightforward.
Fairly basic san serif font
Manually adjust the kerning to match original.
The font on a curve (path) is also straightforward.
Is there anyway you can track down a better original?

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Re: ~1950s Local Cycle Co. roadster restoration.

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:11 pm

Slim to you've-got-to-be-kidding unfortunately, I've only heard of 3 other Local bikes, and there is only one photo I can find which is of an earlier one with a metal badge that bears no resemblance to this logo :( .

With such a short time now left until the race it's looking like I will just have to do it the hard way, I shudder to think how many hours it will take and what mental state I will be in by the end but the money/time isn't there to do it any other way.
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Re: ~1950s Local Cycle Co. roadster restoration.

Postby Clydesdale Scot » Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:24 am

I think time spent training might be of more value than trying to recreate a logo from the remnants you have.
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Re: ~1950s Local Cycle Co. roadster restoration.

Postby Ditch35 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:39 pm

Hi mate,
Had these photos from a Local that I previously owned. Not the greatest photos, but hopefully it may be able to help.

Thanks,
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Image
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Re: ~1950s Local Cycle Co. roadster restoration.

Postby ldrcycles » Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:30 pm

Dude no way. I'm speechless :D . Thanks so much for that!

Now the million dollar question, what would be the easiest way of turning said photo into something that the local signwriter can print?
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Re: ~1950s Local Cycle Co. roadster restoration.

Postby The Fixer » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:28 am

ldrcycles wrote:Dude no way. I'm speechless :D . Thanks so much for that!

Now the million dollar question, what would be the easiest way of turning said photo into something that the local signwriter can print?


Photoshop and/or Inkscape would be capable programs.

I'd have a bash at it for you, but that is way beyond my limited abilities.

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Re: ~1950s Local Cycle Co. roadster restoration.

Postby ldrcycles » Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:24 pm

Some BIG progress today, after some encouragement from the LBS (who I suspect just didn't want to do it themselves, even for money) I stripped the Nexus hub, had a heart attack at the amount of tiny little bits and bobs and then after a good think managed to get it all back together :D . There was a bit of muck in there but it was pretty good, and now after a good clean and regrease it feels and sounds great. The true test will come once I have it built into a wheel, fingers crossed.

The other job was to clean up the frame and after nearly 2 hours she's back to her birthday suit. GREAT news is the bad looking patch of rust on the steerer is actually just superficial, phew! The primer goes on tomorrow and then I just have to make a decision on the paint scheme.
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