Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking
12 posts • Page 1 of 1
I wanted a set of the elusive Shockstop 'honking' rubbers.
Shockstop produced these in the late 1940s for use on brake levers to cushion the riders hands when using brakes such as the GB Hiduminium, especially when working hard ('honking' for the British riders) up a hill.
The originals are extremely hard to acquire, and all attempts to find some reported reproductions were unsuccessful.
Mario aka 'Silverlight' said he had an original set.
He generously loaned them to me to measure and try to have them reproduced.
The rubber has hardened and has splits. It is unlikely to survive installation onto the brake levers.
After exploring various methods of making a master, we settled on a aluminium version. A mate machined it for me.
I identified the font, then in a series of steps in Illustrator, arrived at the desired single stroke, and ensured the kerning closely matched the original. This provided the path for the engraving.
But finding someone to machine the text around the master was difficult. It is not often done nowdays and the pantographing machines and skilled operators around immediately following WW2 are long gone. A local business was willing to try, and it took three passes on each side to achieve the required depth.
Another local business was confident to make the reproductions and after making the mold from the master, a number of compounds were trialed to achieve the combination of being able to be installed, being durable in use and providing the required level of cushioning.
A small production run, at one per day, was commissioned.
There are sufficient differences to allow no confusion as to what is an original and what is the reproduction, and that is desirable, starting with the use of a modern compound and not rubber.
A special set was made for my Spearman.
PM me if you are interested in a set for a late 1940's bike.
GB introduced the Superhood brakes in the early 1950's and these incorporated rubber cushioning to the brake hoods, negating a future market for these 'honking' rubbers.
It has been a satisfying journey, particularly this afternoon when I was finally able to provide a set to Mario, as a token of my thanks. Great forum this!
I hope this inspires others.
Nice work...good that there are still small business around willing to give you a hand as well.
Very cool story, and a great looking result!
When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments- Elizabeth West.
For a few short years I had in my care a Citroen DS Safari. Despite their reputation they are a durable car and most parts are readily available at a reasonable price. The supply of gear lever shrouds for RHD vehicles had long since dried up and a member of a local french car forum commissioned reproductions. The naysayers had a (fairly mild) field day until the repro rubber was delivered.
Repro parts for classic cars are big business now. From memory I think you can pretty much build an MGB from repro parts...
I've been into old cars and old motorbikes. Pushbikes are simpler and cheaper to work on. Looking at the prices of certain perishable items climbing on that popular auction site must certainly be an incentive for people with the right skills gird their loins... Mafac half hoods anyone??
I'm not sure if the OP wants to produce these on any sort of scale, but I'm sure that there would be a world wide market for these hoods.
It's a nice, easy business model. Set up an online shop, [or an account on everyone's favourite Auction site] and I bet you'd sell a tonne of these to customers from all around the world.
Great work mate. I love that people are out there doing this kind of stuff...
These look absolutely amazing, All done with great detail and material.
Ive added it on to my Hetchins and the appearance looks great.
Folks if you have GB brakes then dont miss out on this.
The local manufacturer can do as many or as few as I require. They are set up for it.
I would be delighted to see these on the period bikes, and perhaps recoup some of my setup costs.
I was looking for feedback before possibly making these more widely available.
Definite signs of insanity there....
Well done, amazing passion to undertake such a task. Count me in for a set!
Does a 1949 5 Swan qualify?
The current project is to custom make copper rivets, to go on custom formed leather which will go on a Brooks saddle frame which will have the cantleplate custom reshaped. The rivets need to be longer than the Brooks ones as I use thicker leather than the thickest Brooks. And the rivet heads may be a little larger than the largest of the Brooks.
PM sent re repros.
Oooh, this I gotta see.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
12 posts • Page 1 of 1
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