Speedwell appreciation society

flying dragon
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:15 pm

Speedwell appreciation society

Postby flying dragon » Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:13 pm

I brought this home on Thursday:

Images-l1600 (1) by arty dave armour, on Flickr

The serial number on the seat tube is A57584, would this mean that it was built in 1957? I pulled it apart this weekend to clean it and found a stamp on the fork steerer : "Made in England A&P B". It has a perry coaster brake in 40/32 Westwood rims in the 642 mm Aussie size 28 x 1 3/8. The rims only just passed muster after de-rusting. I'd like to put a SA 3 speed in the rear, and I'll need to re-lace the front with a new hub after I snapped the axle :( I also broke the seat post bolt and ground to a halt with removing a very very stuck stem. I've soaked it, heated it, cooled it, and I guess I'll keep repeating. Weirdly the seat post slid out really easily. I've got a pretty good match for the stem. I'd also like to get some philco brakes if I can. The mudguards are incredibly straight, but the chrome on the cranks is totally shot, and the pedals completely seized up.
I have uncovered some pretty nifty pin-striping under the surface rust of the frame and forks, and just the "po" part of a 'popular' decal. On with the fun!

Torana68
Posts: 1425
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:40 am
Location: NSW/ACT
Contact:

Re: Speedwell popular roadster date?

Postby Torana68 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:25 am

flying dragon wrote:The serial number on the seat tube is A57584, would this mean that it was built in 1957? ........................................


nope there is no obvious year code in Speedwell numbers but its c 1954 ish. Replacement front axle should be easy enough to find .
Ozpushies! for ALL Australian made bikes.
"It's only original once"

flying dragon
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:15 pm

Re: Speedwell popular roadster date?

Postby flying dragon » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:10 am

Thanks Torana, good to know.

If anyone has any bits I'm after, please let me know - 40h Sturmey Archer AW hub or hub shell, philco brakes front and rear, Williams cranks 46T or 48T. I have a nicely chromed 28h front axle with an oiler hole that fits the drop-outs well, forgot to mention in the 1st post.

I posted this on another forum and got this reply on the fork stamping :

[QUOTE=JohnDThompson;20016070]Probably indicates Accles & Pollock "B" tubing:

Accles & Pollock main[/QUOTE]

I had looked up A & P bicycle manufacturers but nothing came up. What a great name 'Accles and Pollock' :) The 'B' is separate to the other inscriptions. I'd thought it was a size, but according to the article it's B quality tubing.

Here's the fork post-clean, pre-polish, hopefully the colours will saturate a little more with the polish:

ImageIMG20171127082120 by arty dave armour, on Flickr

koshari
Posts: 907
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:33 pm

Re: Speedwell popular roadster date?

Postby koshari » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:21 am

nice, good luck with the stem,
Image

Torana68
Posts: 1425
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:40 am
Location: NSW/ACT
Contact:

Re: Speedwell popular roadster date?

Postby Torana68 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:57 pm

flying dragon wrote:........................I had looked up A & P bicycle manufacturers but nothing came up. What a great name 'Accles and Pollock' :) The 'B' is separate to the other inscriptions. I'd thought it was a size, but according to the article it's B quality tubing. ......


AP only did parts , they were probably getting tubing wherever they could get it as the war wasnt that long ago at this stage.
Ozpushies! for ALL Australian made bikes.
"It's only original once"

flying dragon
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:15 pm

Re: Speedwell popular roadster date?

Postby flying dragon » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:21 pm

Interesting...so would they have gotten the frame brackets from A & P, or from wherever they could get them, like the tubing? The only thing I've seen so far marked Australia has been the BB cups. I think the spindle was marked made in England.

User avatar
Clydesdale Scot
Posts: 1992
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:55 pm
Location: Adelaide, SA

Re: Speedwell popular roadster date?

Postby Clydesdale Scot » Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:26 am

Accles and Pollock were a founding business of the Tube Investments Group (1919). Reynolds was added in 1928.
Accles and Pollock used chrome molybdenum steel whereas Reynolds 531 used a different grade of steel.
The 531 name is a reference to the metallurgical components of the tubing - five parts manganese, three parts carbon, one part molybdenum.

Chrome molybdenum steel had different properties
Image
Image

Not only did they have a problem with how to pronounce the tubing name
Image

they also had a problem with their company name
Image

The marketing section at Reynolds must have chuckled at these advertisements.

My 1946 Hobbs of Barbican has the Accles and Pollock chrome molybdenum steel tubing.

flying dragon
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:15 pm

Re: Speedwell popular roadster date?

Postby flying dragon » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:37 am

Great stuff Clydesdale Scot! I love seeing the old ads of the day, and to know a bit more of the history behind Aussie bikes. I had a read last night about bicycle manufacturing in Australia, it seems like lots of English parts were imported to be built into bikes here.

Torana68
Posts: 1425
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:40 am
Location: NSW/ACT
Contact:

Re: Speedwell popular roadster date?

Postby Torana68 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:34 am

flying dragon wrote:Great stuff Clydesdale Scot! I love seeing the old ads of the day, and to know a bit more of the history behind Aussie bikes. I had a read last night about bicycle manufacturing in Australia, it seems like lots of English parts were imported to be built into bikes here.


WW2 put a huge hole in imports and a lot of stuff was made locally, prior to that Id guess most bikes were very high in British made content. I cant comment on others but Speedwell made their own handlebars for example. Tubing , hubs ,saddles etc were all made here at one time. The British thing was probably helped by import taxes being biased to Commonwealth made items in earlier years. "British made" was also a sign of quality (at one time).
Ozpushies! for ALL Australian made bikes.
"It's only original once"

User avatar
find_bruce
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 7698
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 8:42 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: Speedwell popular roadster date?

Postby find_bruce » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:22 pm

I know a bit of the history of steel making in Australia, including that the BHP steel works in Newcastle opened in 1917, that Stewarts & Lloyds started making tubes in Newcastle in 1934 or 35 & that British Tube Mills built a factory at Kilburn SA in 1938.

Any idea who & when in Australia started manufacturing steel tubes that were suitable for use in bicycles?

Torana68
Posts: 1425
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:40 am
Location: NSW/ACT
Contact:

Re: Speedwell popular roadster date?

Postby Torana68 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:30 pm

find_bruce wrote:I know a bit of the history of steel making in Australia, including that the BHP steel works in Newcastle opened in 1917, that Stewarts & Lloyds started making tubes in Newcastle in 1934 or 35 & that British Tube Mills built a factory at Kilburn SA in 1938.

Any idea who & when in Australia started manufacturing steel tubes that were suitable for use in bicycles?


wouldnt have been a huge market pre war so Ill say BTM started making bike tubes sometime after '39
Ozpushies! for ALL Australian made bikes.
"It's only original once"

User avatar
Clydesdale Scot
Posts: 1992
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:55 pm
Location: Adelaide, SA

Re: Speedwell popular roadster date?

Postby Clydesdale Scot » Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:45 pm

I don't know if the quality of the steel required for frame tubes would be able to have been made with the steelmaking methods available preWW2 in Australia.
At the Port Kembla works only the Open Hearths were available until the Electric Steel plant was built during WW2.
Richard may be able to contribute here.

In the years soon after WW2, Britain limited domestic sales and required companies to export. This was to get foreign currency to pay for food etc. Britain was broke. The British Cycling publications had plenty of advertisements explaining this.

\

flying dragon
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:15 pm

Re: Speedwell popular roadster date?

Postby flying dragon » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:46 pm

Thanks all for continuing the discussion. I remember bringing home my 1st vintage bike - a '68 Malvern Star Skidstar standard. I was quite surprised to see 'Made in Japan' on it. But very happy when I realised what the S5 stamped on the Sturmey Archer hub meant.
So again I was surprised to see 'Made in England' stamped on the Speedwell forks. It sounds like we might have only been making bicycle quality tubing here for maybe 25 -30 years or so?
I only recently read about the UK being in massive debt after the WW2, owing billions to the US (amongst others) that they only just finished paying off in 2006. It's no wonder they were busy exporting bikes and parts to us and others after the war.

User avatar
Clydesdale Scot
Posts: 1992
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:55 pm
Location: Adelaide, SA

Re: Speedwell popular roadster date?

Postby Clydesdale Scot » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:54 am

I have a SA ASC hub
If you have a look at the SA advert in the 29 December 1948 edition of Cycling
the reader is given all the sales pitch, and then the let down!

Image

flying dragon
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:15 pm

Re: Speedwell popular roadster date?

Postby flying dragon » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:24 am

Nice ratios! What bike do you have it in?
That would have sucked for the cyclists - although I guess wages would have been tight as well.

Torana68
Posts: 1425
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:40 am
Location: NSW/ACT
Contact:

Re: Speedwell popular roadster date?

Postby Torana68 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:50 am

flying dragon wrote:...........
So again I was surprised to see 'Made in England' stamped on the Speedwell forks. It sounds like we might have only been making bicycle quality tubing here for maybe 25 -30 years or so?


the later 60's was the end of it , cheap Asian imports made making one here uneconomical, I don't look at anything past '65 unless its a custom build (like Llewellyn or your favorite frame builder) . There was a huge downturn in cycling that was the end of the bigger makers as well towards the end of the '60s. There are nice older Asian made frames out there but I'm about Australian stuff.
Ozpushies! for ALL Australian made bikes.
"It's only original once"

User avatar
Clydesdale Scot
Posts: 1992
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:55 pm
Location: Adelaide, SA

Re: Speedwell popular roadster date?

Postby Clydesdale Scot » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:31 pm

flying dragon wrote:Nice ratios! What bike do you have it in?

Another Hobbs in Work in Progress.

flying dragon
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:15 pm

Re: Speedwell popular roadster date?

Postby flying dragon » Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:37 pm

Nice one Clydesdale Scot, I followed that through to the hub post with the exploded alloy hub, ouch!

Yep Torana68 I love the old Aussie bikes too, I've never seen that many around, I'm probably looking in the wrong places. I love the roadsters with a more relaxed rake.

I drilled out the stem wedge and then did 2 more rounds of soaking, heating, pipe wrenching, and then took the fork to Adam at Adams bikes https://www.facebook.com/adam392/ (Canberra). He had helped me previously to put the right curve on a fork blade from a Raleigh DL-1 that was out of alignment. He set up his pipe vice stand and set to work with I think 3 cycles of heat and lube before the stem moved. It's finally out with no damage to the steerer or paintwork, cool!

BTM is stamped on the cranks and BB cups. The headset is Brompton, and the races fortunately cleaned up very nicely. Does anyone know what size bearing they would take? This is the old school integrated headset with heaps of tiny bearings. Now I'm reading up on British Tube Mills http://www.aussievelos.net/british-tube-mills-btm/

Torana68
Posts: 1425
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:40 am
Location: NSW/ACT
Contact:

Re: Speedwell popular roadster date?

Postby Torana68 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:19 pm

flying dragon wrote:. ..................The headset is Brompton, and the races fortunately cleaned up very nicely. Does anyone know what size bearing they would take? This is the old school integrated headset with heaps of tiny bearings. ..................


take a couple into any bike shop or probably easier a bearing supply. LBS may not stock them anymore
Ozpushies! for ALL Australian made bikes.
"It's only original once"

flying dragon
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:15 pm

Re: Speedwell popular roadster date?

Postby flying dragon » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:14 am

1/8" balls ordered, I wonder if this was a standard size ball for this type of headset with the flared headtube ends that hold the cups? On further cleaning the crown race revealed the stampings 'Brampton Made in England 4 51', so it may be a date stamping bringing the birth date of the bike into the earlier 50's. Or it could just as easily have been older stock used in the original build.
Still working on removing rust that's lying on top of the paint. I may try to touch up the red paint a bit - it's a shame so much of it has worn off the top of the green. I've treated both the rims and have a 40 hole Sturmey Archer AW hub on its way to me. In de-rusting the cranks I am down to about 15% chrome on the drive side :(. I'm trying to do this build far cheaper than the last bike I rebuilt, so may just do some fakey chrome paint toned down to look less fake.

Torana68
Posts: 1425
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:40 am
Location: NSW/ACT
Contact:

Re: Speedwell popular roadster date?

Postby Torana68 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:14 pm

flying dragon wrote:1/8" balls ordered, I wonder if this was a standard size ball for this type of headset with the flared headtube ends that hold the cups? On further cleaning the crown race revealed the stampings 'Brampton Made in England 4 51', so it may be a date stamping bringing the birth date of the bike into the earlier 50's. Or it could just as easily have been older stock used in the original build.
.................................


first bit yes probably a std size. Second bit, things came by boat, boat takes ages , so a 4/51 part may not have left the factory/supplier in England till '52 , then a slow boat ride down here to a supplier , then supplied to the factory....then dropped into a big box full of them.
Ozpushies! for ALL Australian made bikes.
"It's only original once"

flying dragon
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:15 pm

Re: Speedwell popular roadster date?

Postby flying dragon » Fri May 11, 2018 12:04 pm

I took the Speedwell for a ride a couple of weeks ago. I've built it up with bits and pieces to try it out for size and handling feel. I've put on a 700c wheelset with a 3 speed sachs torpedo coaster-brake , and a cotterless crankset so I only have to do the cotter pins once for the final set up with steel cottered cranks.
It was weird for a while as my hands kept reaching for brake levers that aren't there, but the coaster works really well. The 3 speed hub is over-geared as usual, I was surprised as the chainring I used is only 42 teeth, with an 18 T hub cog. The headset is nice and smooth with new bearings and grease.
ImageIMG20180422120655 by arty dave armour, on Flickr
For the continuing build - Derny from this forum has helped me out with a Philco rear brake, and from a local guy I've scored some other parts - a 50's SA front drum, Williams cranks, a period SA 3 speed shifter, and another philco rear. I also bought from him a 30's racer in nice condition - possibly speedwell, 28 3/8" fixed/freewheel wheelset, no brakes. I'll post a photo this weekend.
And yesterday I stopped at an antique place on the way home and scored 2 Speedwells for $40. The single speed mens popular looks to be 50's, and has a westwood front wheel that I'll use on the front of the green & red Speedwell. Its westwood rim is on the iffy side and I've been reluctant to re-lace it. Now all I need is a longer stem or 2 so I can stretch out a bit more on the bikes.

Torana68
Posts: 1425
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:40 am
Location: NSW/ACT
Contact:

Re: Speedwell popular roadster date?

Postby Torana68 » Fri May 11, 2018 12:29 pm

Bet it rides well :D
Ozpushies! for ALL Australian made bikes.
"It's only original once"

User avatar
Clydesdale Scot
Posts: 1992
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:55 pm
Location: Adelaide, SA

Re: Speedwell popular roadster date?

Postby Clydesdale Scot » Fri May 11, 2018 5:40 pm

well done, and nice to see the progress report.

flying dragon
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:15 pm

Re: Speedwell popular roadster date?

Postby flying dragon » Mon May 14, 2018 10:25 am

Yes with those cushy tyres I think anything would ride well! It's surprisingly light in its current state. I put a longer stem (alloy) and a more comfortable saddle on for this weekends riding, it was nice to stretch out a bit more, it does ride well. So I'll be looking for a longer steel stem.

Here's the bike sold to me as a 30's racer possibly Speedwell. I don't know the dating cues to look out for but it's a nice looking bike. Fits me and mechanically sound. I can see evidence of original paint on the rims, looks like they were red with green outer stripes and white pinstripes. The frame looks like it's been completely stripped and rattlecanned without primer. I put this saddle on it as the one it came with is super skinny

ImageIMG20180513152626 by arty dave armour, on Flickr
ImageIMG20180513152653 by arty dave armour, on Flickr
ImageIMG20180513152753 by arty dave armour, on Flickr
ImageIMG20180513152828 by arty dave armour, on Flickr

Here's the new find Speedwell popular, riveted headbadge rather than brazed like the red and green popular. I think I've seen this type of handlebar on old Aussie bikes before? It has some decent pedals and the Dunlop Atlantic tyres should be useable, crankset good, both wheels good. The rear stay should straighten out fairly easily.

ImageIMG20180513152338 by arty dave armour, on Flickr
ImageIMG20180513152410 by arty dave armour, on Flickr

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users