Advice on English 3-speed


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Eatontkd

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jun 5, 2016
142
181
59
Central PA
www.eatontaekwondo.com
#1
Greetings~ Due to a sick leave, I've found myself with too much time on my hands. Not one to do the "sit and relax" well, I've been contemplating what to do with an English 3 Speed I acquired from a storage barn nearby. She'll be 63 years old this new year ('56 Hercules, #B 1405). I think, the best I can tell, it's a Hercules "New Yorker" marketed to the U.S. by TI/Raleigh/Hercules/etc. I gave it a light cleaning, quick lube, tire inflate, and everything works well! Considering I paid $60.00 for what you see, I feel it's a bargain if for no other reason than it was the kinda bike my Dad enjoyed.

My question(s); 1). The frame is rubbed(beyond just scratched) in several places down past the primer(which looks like black paint) to the metal due to bad storage and less than adequate moving on the back of pickups. Being type-A, it's difficult for me not to want to strip and repaint. Is this not advisable, or is this not that valuable that it even matters? I'm not interested in getting more into it than it's worth. If not to paint, suggestions on how to slow the assault of rust and still keep looking, right? 2) Is there a resource for decals? The chain guard shape and graphic is what first attracted my attention. I'd like to ride it on decent days; I see it as a nice boardwalk ride.

Appreciate all thoughts~ Doug

framescratch.jpg


Herc:B1405.jpg


Herc1.jpg


Herc2.jpg


Herc3.jpg


Herc5.jpg


Herc6.jpg


Hercbadge.jpg
 

slowride

Look Ma, No Hands!
Nov 8, 2017
85
102
Detroit, MI, United States
#3
Regarding paint: It's only original once. Evaporust soaked rag and wrap around rust area then wrap Saran Wrap over to keep from evaporating. Let sit overnight. Repeat if necessary. Alternatively you can use brass brush and wd40 and remove loose rust . Then you can wash and put wax over bare metal to protect. Because you can not reproduce the color of paint which is a product of both primer and top coat with just a top coat touch up paint you will never be able to match touched up areas in both artificial AND natural light.
 

Andrew Gorman

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 15, 2008
2,720
676
Pasadena (Hastings Ranch), United States
#4
From a crass commercial perspective, anything more than repacking the bearings is a waste of time money and effort. Rebuilt it is a 75.00 bike in most markets. A nice bike, but not a valuable one.
 

Eatontkd

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jun 5, 2016
142
181
59
Central PA
www.eatontaekwondo.com
#5
From a crass commercial perspective, anything more than repacking the bearings is a waste of time money and effort. Rebuilt it is a 75.00 bike in most markets. A nice bike, but not a valuable one.
...yeah, I'm starting to see as such. "slowride", I think I"ll follow your advice this spring and go with the natural-aged vintage appeal look. I seriously would like to redo the chain guard though and find that graphic...
 

sam

I live for the CABE
May 24, 2006
1,451
444
San Antonio, United States
#6
T.I. did own Hercules but I think your bike pre dates when T.I. bought Raleigh. Hercules hubs were Sturmey clones(shells will interchange) but had much stronger gears. Use some past wax shoe polish on it. Auto touch up paint maybe but you'll never get it to match. And your Heru. may be 10/10 steel but it's a better bikes than most I've seen, better lug work.
 

bulldog1935

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jan 21, 2013
3,698
5,280
Bulverde, TX
#7
1946 is when TI bought Hercules, and 1956 is when TI consolidated Hercules, Phillips, Norman, and Sun into British Cycle Corp.
1960 is when TI bought Raleigh
 

Eatontkd

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jun 5, 2016
142
181
59
Central PA
www.eatontaekwondo.com
#9
T.I. did own Hercules but I think your bike pre dates when T.I. bought Raleigh. Hercules hubs were Sturmey clones(shells will interchange) but had much stronger gears. ... And your Heru. may be 10/10 steel but it's a better bike than most I've seen, better lug work.
The more I get into this, the more I'm really glad I bought this!
Appreciate ALL the advice gang! Doug
 
Likes: bulldog1935

sam

I live for the CABE
May 24, 2006
1,451
444
San Antonio, United States
#10
1946 is when TI bought Hercules, and 1956 is when TI consolidated Hercules, Phillips, Norman, and Sun into British Cycle Corp.
1960 is when TI bought Raleigh
Thanks bulldog I didn't know the dates,except for Raleigh being about 1960. Here is a complete list of the British Cycle Corp. before raleigh

5.jpg
 

Eatontkd

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jun 5, 2016
142
181
59
Central PA
www.eatontaekwondo.com
#11
...Here is a complete list of the British Cycle Corp. before raleigh
I've been told that the Thumb shift isn't "correct" for this make and model (which doesn't bother me) so I'm assuming the saddle isn't either? The only Brit saddles I'm aware of are Wrights and Brooks. I noticed this Middlemore isn't on the above mentioned list.
s-l1600.jpg
 

GTs58

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Sep 2, 2012
9,394
7,407
Central Arizona
#12
I would think the saddle is original to the bike.

Middlemores (Coventry) Ltd
Traded as Richard Middlemore & Sons, William Middlemore, Middlemore And Lamplugh, Middlemores (Coventry) LtdIndustry Leather goods, mainly saddleryFate DissolvedFounded Early 1800sFounder Richard MiddlemoreDefunct 1991Headquarters
Birmingham, Birmingham and Coventry, Coventry
,
England
Key people
Richard Middlemore, William Middlemore, James Middlemore, Thomas MiddlemoreProducts Bicycle saddles, horse saddles, harnesses, military ammunition pouches and belts, cigar cases

Middlemores Saddles was a horse saddles and accessories company based in Birmingham, England, with origins dating to the early nineteenth century. After several name changes they ended their time as a bicycle saddle and accessories company in Coventry in the late twentieth century.[1] The company had a trading period that can be documented to at least 160 years; making it one of the most longevous companies to operate in England.[2][3]
 
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HARPO

I live for the CABE
Dec 28, 2010
1,492
1,576
Floral Park, NY, United States
#13
Love the chain guard. That was worth the price alone for me, but detailing the bike as is and using it will bring a lot of enjoyment. Nice find!!
 

sam

I live for the CABE
May 24, 2006
1,451
444
San Antonio, United States
#14
The British Cycle Corp was a group of companies owned by T.I. but they were being run as independent companies so Hercules might have contracted for middlemore seats, also after T.I. bought Raleigh, (1960) there was a short time before all the companies were consolidated. The Sturmey archer shifter in place of a Hercules shifter might also be correct. And to muddy the water a bit more---some assembly lines were producing more that one product line(some different mopeds brands were assembled on the same line) so even before the Raleigh take over some blending was taking place.
 
Likes: bulldog1935

Eatontkd

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jun 5, 2016
142
181
59
Central PA
www.eatontaekwondo.com
#15
Ok. Looking forward to going after a detail day with this one. Thank you for all the input gang. Little things point to this bike having been used well, but taken care of by whomever owned it. I have no idea of it's history and no clue how it ended up in Central PA. It's not a brand that would've been well known or even sold around here. This was the first Hercules I had ever seen. There was a Raleigh dealer in this region back in my youth. Perhaps there?
 

usarnie1

Look Ma, No Hands!
Aug 10, 2015
70
127
Woodland Hills, CA
#16
I thought you might like to see how My 1953 Hercules Tourist looked like when I purchased it on e-bay and what it currently looks like. The only re-paint was done to the chain guard. Most of the work done to the bike was applying new grease to all the bearings, replaceing needed parts and adding accessories.
s-l1600-4.jpg
Herc9.JPG
 
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Eatontkd

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jun 5, 2016
142
181
59
Central PA
www.eatontaekwondo.com
#17
I thought you might like to see how My 1953 Hercules Tourist looked like when I purchased it on e-bay and what it currently looks like. The only re-paint was done to the chain guard. Most of the work done to the bike was applying new grease to all the bearings, replaceing needed parts and adding accessories...
EXCELLENT! Love the tires, nice touch. What brand are they?
 

Oilit

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 30, 2015
598
441
Concord NC
#18
I recently picked up a 1954 "Royal Master" built for AMF by Hercules, and it's nearly identical to yours, except with more rust. From what I can find out, the "Royal Master" brand belonged to AMF and was never used by Hercules except on the bikes they built for AMF. I'm guessing the same may be true with "Royal Prince", but I have no idea who owned the "Royal Prince" brand.
 

Eatontkd

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jun 5, 2016
142
181
59
Central PA
www.eatontaekwondo.com
#19
I recently picked up a 1954 "Royal Master" built for AMF by Hercules... ...I'm guessing the same may be true with "Royal Prince", but I have no idea who owned the "Royal Prince" brand.
Interesting. I never even considered that Royal Price was nothing more than a model name. Never thought about another brand having them made. I was always just under the assumption that this was a model marketed to the U.S.

Any Hercules historians?
 

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