Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking
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I recently purchased a MS 2star kindly dated by a forum member to 1949. The westwood rims fitted to this 'low end sportster' don't fit the 28x1 3/8 tyres I bought. On inspecting the perished remnants in situ I found 27x 1 1/4 and 27x 1 3/8 tyres fitted. I purchased the larger size, they fitted perfectly and are ridden daily. My experience is fairly limited in the world of vintage bicycles and am a little curious as to what kind of orphan I appear to have. Does anyone have any knowledge of these rims?
The bike mechanic who straightened the wheel said as much also. He must be in his seventies and has shown me sepia photos of him racing bicycles of a similar vintage, so I tend to regard him as knowledgable on the subject. Nevertheless, I appear to be in posession of a couple of these oddities....
Can you post a picture? What is the lip to lip measurement across the rim? Any manufacturers marks? Chrome or painted?
What you may have what is variously known as 'Raleigh Pattern' or Westrick' rims which were a combination Westwood/Endrick shape that allowed the use of rod or caliper brakes.
I must admit that most of the ones I have seen have been of 26 x 1 3/8 or 28 x 1 3/8 sizes but there may well have been a 27 x 1 1/4 size or possibly, there may be one now being manufactured in India or China.
I have a pair of 27 x 1 1/4" westwoods here, 40/32 drilling. I am not sure what brand, would have to scrape some paint off to see if they have any stamping. I have had them since about 1980, and they were old when I got them. They are definitely normal Westwood profile, not Westrick, or Endrick.
This is the only pair of 27" Westwoods I have ever seen, until the pair under discussion here came along.
I have not seen 27 x 1/4" westwood listed on any old catalogues, but they obviously did exist.
And yes, they are actual 27", they hold a normal 27" tyre perfectly.
That is really interesting, thank you Warren!
I have a pair of 'lightweight' narrow 28" Westwood rims laced up in my 1930's Speedwell but neither here nor in the UK have I seen 27" Westwoods.
That changeover period is an extremely interesting time in bicycle design. I do have a just post war Austrian bicycle that has 700c size Westwood style rims. From what I can tell this was pretty common in Germany and Austria in the 30's to 50's period. Interesting to see that there were 27" rims as well. Are they Australian made? Might be a thing that only happened in Oz? (purely speculation here!)
I will scrape some paint off the 27's and try and find a brand stamping. I have a 1950 Bianchi roadster and a 1938 German 'Mars' here with 700C clinchers, and recently rebuilt a WW2 German army bike for a customer that had 700C westwoods. As far as I know, 700C westwoods were very common (the most common?) in European markets.
The very narrow 28" Pacemaker rims (Westwood) were standard issue on some 1930's Hartley models, and the 1937/8 Malvern Star Sports Racer. Some of the bikes have survived, mostly without one or both of the the narrow rims. The 28" pacemakers are probably about as thin on the ground (no pun intended!) as 27" westwoods.
Richard, I'm unable to post pictures at this stage due to my limited posts. I have previously PMd Warren photos who should be able to confirm the rims are westwood pattern.
Diameter: 643ish mm (tape curvature around axle)
Rim width : 35mm
Rims are painted and appear to match the frame colour, no stamping readily evident.
My diameter measurement system was replicated on a 70s 27 inch bike for the same value
By this method a 60s 28x 1-3/8 rim measured 655x40mm
Oo-er.. I'd better take care of them then! I picked up the Speedwell (painted in Dulux orange!) at a motorbike swap meet on the Central Coast. It was a complete bike with all the original fittings (as far as I could tell); wheels, chainset, Taylor stem and bars etc etc so when I restored it I just had it re-sprayed, re-spoked the wheels, had the appropriate parts re-plated if necessary and put it all back together. Oh, and added a saddle which was missing...
I should add that it is only tentatively a Speedwell as no original paint survived under the orange house paint. I based the identity on the frame number and a great similarity to 30's Speedwells seen in photos.
Here's a picture. Originally it had a rear Phillips brake which was unrecoverable so I ride it as a fixed wheel.
I have been doing some homework on Barb bikes, and had to check the date code of the Williams chainwheel on a Barb project bike I have had for a while. I had previously recorded it as a 28" bike, on the basis of its Westwood rims, but on closer inspection, they are 27".
So we have another set of 27 x 1 1/4" westwoods to add to the list. 40/32 drilling. These are on a Barb 'semi' racer, with club ends. It looks to be a complete original bike, has a VEW alloy front hub (Australian Made). The Williams chainwheel date code was 'AK', placing it in 1948.
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