1930s Phillips Rod Brake Roadster Project


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SirMike1983

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 27, 2008
2,943
2,372
United States
#1
https://bikeshedva.blogspot.com/2018/09/pre-war-1930s-phillips-bicycle-project.html

I bought a pre-war Phillips back in June. Spent some time over the past couple months disassembling and cataloging the parts. I'm now beginning to re-build this bike. The picture below is the bike as it arrived.

28%2Bphillips%2B%2B%2B%2Brusty%2BS-2%2Brims%2B001.jpg


So the process begins... Here are a few pictures of cleaning up the frame and building fresh wheels. The front hub will be the original, the rear will be an early Sturmey AW hub. The original rear was shot, unfortunately. See blog for more detailed info.

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Last edited:

SirMike1983

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 27, 2008
2,943
2,372
United States
#2
If anyone is interested in re-building rod brake/Westwood wheels:

-Use both a spoke head brass washer at the flange and a nipple/rim washer (steel). Velofuze makes a good spoke head brass washer and Zipp/Firecrest makes a good nipple washer specially designed for the Westwood/Westrick rim.

-You may need to add 1 or 2 mm in length if you are going to interlace the spokes (many of the originals were not interlaced).

-Copy the spoke pattern and tension of an original wheel. The newly-made steel Westwood rims are lighter-duty than the originals and are single wall at the spoke hole. Going to a more modern, high-tension type set up will result in too much tension at the rim. The standard pattern in front was 32 holes, cross-3 pattern; at the rear was 40hole, cross-4 pattern.

-Aluminum Westwood rims are available if you go with 36 drill hubs (the ones I've seen are Chinese-made). The traditional 32 and 40 drill types seem to all be steel still, mostly made in India or Pakistan today.

-Use a wheel truing stand when building these. You want to be as true as possible side-to-side and length-wise (hop/skip). This will help prevent "lurching" when applying the rod brakes when you ride.

-If you buy the India/Pakistan rims, check the weld inside the rim for sharp spots. File/grind flat accordingly.
 

slowride

Look Ma, No Hands!
Nov 8, 2017
44
61
39
Detroit, MI, United States
#3
Very nice SirMike. I know on your blog you mentioned 306mm length for spokes ; may I ask what kind of spokes?
 

SirMike1983

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 27, 2008
2,943
2,372
United States
#4
These were straight/single gauge spokes, 14 gauge/standard diameter. Brand is Wheelmaster, which is to say basic spokes of decent quality, but nothing special. If money is no object, I'd probably lean toward DT Swiss. But Wheelmaster isn't bad and should perform fine on these. Remember that this wheelset used the large barrel front hub (Phillips) rather than the smaller barrel post-war Raleigh type. There's a factory spoke chart online if using the Raleigh type.
 

juvela

Finally riding a big boys bike
Aug 2, 2014
334
411
Playa del Rey, United States
#5
-----

Thank you for posting this new arrival.

Headset question -

Does the Phillips integral headset use floating u-races with 1/8" balls?

The knurling pattern on the adjustable race suggests it may have been produced by Brampton.

Were they the manufacturers of the Phillips proprietary sets?

Thank you for any information.

Here is an image showing the pieces of one Brampton example. Image not mine, sorry not better. Its locknut is of a different pattern than that on your bicycle.

wsp6kl.jpg



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Likes: dnc1

SirMike1983

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 27, 2008
2,943
2,372
United States
#6
It's a little different from the Brampton above, but same style on top with insert - 1/8 balls on top.
 

SirMike1983

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 27, 2008
2,943
2,372
United States
#7
Something a little different on the Phillips - a rear brake bottom bracket bell crank that threads into the bottom bracket via a specially-designed nut that contours to the inside of the bottom bracket shell. More discussion at:

https://bikeshedva.blogspot.com/2018/11/phillips-rod-brake-roadster-update.html

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This bell crank connects via a rod to the upper bell crank, which in true Phillips style is a side-mount at the head tube/down tube lug.

20181104_122346.jpg
 

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