Bought Another RUDGE...but from 1956...


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HARPO

I live for the CABE
Dec 28, 2010
1,620
1,756
Floral Park, NY, United States
#1
Here I go again...another RUDGE...but older this time. The other one (shown here on THECABE) was from 1968 and a Deluxe model.
This is now the oldest English bike I have, and just 4 years newer than I am. It's in very good condition, and except for the Hunt Wilde grips and tires appears to be all original. End cap is missing from one of the pedals, also. What's cool on this bike is the opening for oiling the bottom bracket. The cap is missing, but I'm sure all is well inside. The wheels spin freely (chain came off removing the bike from the SUV) so at least that's a good sign. Brooks saddle is a little cracked, but hey, it's been used!
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I'm looking forward to doing a nice detailing and taking it for a ride. Who knows, maybe I'll get lucky and find its mate.
 

MarkKBike

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Apr 17, 2017
838
1,954
Chicago Suburbs
#3
I have a nearly identical 3 speed bike with huffy badges, and marked "made in England". When I dated mine I believe it dates back to 1962, as that is the date stamp on the Sturmey Archer hub. The bike came with the same style frame, wheels, stem, handlebars, fenders, etc. It also came with a different designed but similar brooks saddle, and crank ring. To me they appear to be the same bike, with different badges.

When I researched my bike, I came to the conclusion it was made by Raleigh.

Your photo of your bike got me curious, and I wanted to see what the connection was. I just found this timeline on Sheldon Browns site. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/retroraleighs/history.html. It looks like Raleigh purchased Rudge-Whitworth in 1943.

1886 Three Englishmen - Woodhead, Angois and Ellis - begin building bicycles in a small workshop on Raleigh Street, Nottingham.
1887 Alfred Milward Reynolds invents the process of butting (of tubes).
1888 Frank Bowden purchases the Woodhead/Angois/Ellis bicycle workshop on Raleigh Street and renames it the Raleigh Cycle Company. At this point there are about a dozen employees and production is three high-wheelers a week.
1889 Reynolds founds the Patented Butted Tube Company.
1895 British stockbroker Terah Hooley buys controlling interest in Raleigh.
1896 Fred Hanstock builds the first Carlton bicycles in Carlton, England.
1896 Raleigh has the world's largest bicycle factory, occupying 7 1/2 acres. There are about 850 employees and production is 30,000 units per year.
1902 Raleigh buys Sturmey-Archer.
1923 Patented Butted Tube Company name is changed to Reynolds Tube Company, Ltd.
1930's Carlton bicycle factory moves to larger facilities in Worksop, England.
1932 Raleigh buys Humber Cycles.
1935 Reynolds 531 manganese-molybdenum ("mang-moly") tubing is developed.
1938 Raleighs first exported to Canada.
1943 Raleigh buys Rudge-Whitworth.
1953 Raleigh buys the Triumph Cycle Company.
1957 Raleigh buys BSA (Birmingham Small Arms).
1960 Raleigh and the Tube Investments Group (aka TI) merge, forming TI Raleigh.
1960 Raleigh purchases the Carlton bicycle factory in Worksop. Production of all handbuilt, Reynolds 531 frames are moved to Worksop.
1972 Raleigh opens factory in Waterloo, Quebec, Canada.
1974 TI Raleigh completes its Ilkeston factory. Specialty bicycle section (handbuilt one-of-a-kind frames) is moved from Worksop to Ilkeston.
1975 Reynolds 753 tubing is introduced.
1977 Reynolds Tube Company, Ltd. name is changed to TI Reynolds to reflect the growing diversity of the company's products.
1979 Production of Raleigh 531DB-tubed bicycles reaches 10,000 units a year.
1982 Rights to the Raleigh U.S.A. name are bought by the Huffy Corporation. Better models from the Huffy era were made in Japan.
No more British-made Raleighs will be imported to the U.S. from this time forward.

Does anyone know more about the connection between Rudge / Raleigh / and Huffy?

Note to Harpro: You mentioned you believe the grips are incorrect. Mine cam with White Grips, ribbed in the palm with finger notches, and Carlisle Super Ride tires. Whether or not that was original equipment, I do not know. I just checked the brand on the grips, and they are also made by Hunt Wilde, Your grips may be original.
 
Last edited:

MarkKBike

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Apr 17, 2017
838
1,954
Chicago Suburbs
#4
I thought you may find the Huffy version interesting to see. You can see the English lion on the chain guard, and it also says made in England in very large letters on top of the down tube. I bought the bike primarily for the Saddle, and used some of the parts to get a vintage male framed Raleigh back on the road.

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In the future, once I have time I will list some of these parts in the sale section (minus the Saddle) for anyone who might be interested.
 
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SirMike1983

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 27, 2008
3,038
2,659
United States
#5
Correct about the grips - those are replacements. The right ones for a late-1950s bike would be the grey "barrel" type with length-wise ribs. Whatever rubber formulation Raleigh used in the grey barrel grips from this era did not survive well - it tends to either crack to pieces or soften and degrade.
 
Likes: HARPO

Oilit

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 30, 2015
676
542
Concord NC
#6
I posted the Huffy section out of a Walthour and Hood catalog in the middleweights forum here:
https://thecabe.com/forum/threads/1...log-huffy-dayton-and-raleigh-bicycles.108410/
But once you get past the American built Huffys, there's also a section on the Huffy Sportsman line, "Built to our specifications by the worlds most distinguished builder of lightweight bicycles, Raleigh Industries of Nottingham, England." I believe all the lightweight Huffys were imported Raleighs, until sometime in the mid to late '60's, when they started making their own.
 

SirMike1983

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 27, 2008
3,038
2,659
United States
#7
The Huffy shown and the Rudge are similar, but are not the same bike with different badges. The Rudge shown has the higher-end brazed fender stays; slope-shouldered/heavy-duty Rudge fork rather than the general-purpose flat-top fork; Rudge/Raleigh pedals rather than the waffle block general purpose pedals; Rudge has pump pegs whereas the Huffy doesn't seem to have them. They started out as the same basic platform - the "Sports light roadster" concept, but the Rudge was considered a "high-end" bike, whereas the Huffy was a re-badged version of the budget Raleigh product (AMF/Hercules and Nottingham Phillips used similar).

The Rudge here looks like a larger female-sized frame. 19inch and 21nch female frames were common, but there was a larger 23-inch female frame you could buy as well.

Interestingly, the Rudge pattern fork is about the strongest and best fork on these types of bikes. The old parts catalogs show that the Rudge-style fork was offered with Raleigh decals if you busted your original fork and wanted something "heavy duty". I have one of those heavy-duty replacement works of Rudge pattern but with Raleigh decals in my parts bin.


The badge/brand you got depended on how much money you wanted to spend. If you wanted a premium bike - Rudge, Raleigh or Humber. If you wanted the economy version - AMF/Hercules; Nottingham Phillips; Huffy. They all ride pretty well. At the higher levels, each had a little more character (Humber duplex fork; Rudge heavy-duty fork; Raleigh thimble fork; etc).
 

HARPO

I live for the CABE
Dec 28, 2010
1,620
1,756
Floral Park, NY, United States
#8
Thank you, SirMike, as usual for your info on both the Huffy and the Rudge bikes.

I'll post a few pics tomorrow as I have begun the cleanup! Sad to say, though, that the brake pedal is missing more parts than I thought. Still, I'm having fun working on the bike!
 
Likes: SirMike1983

HARPO

I live for the CABE
Dec 28, 2010
1,620
1,756
Floral Park, NY, United States
#11
The oil filler cap is METAL...unlike the plastic on all of my Raleigh's and 1968 Rudge...

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juvela

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Aug 2, 2014
919
1,373
Playa del Rey, United States
#13
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Very good find!

Thank you for posting.

Coming right along most nicely.

You might wish to keep an eye out for a Shuresta propstand for it.

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HARPO

I live for the CABE
Dec 28, 2010
1,620
1,756
Floral Park, NY, United States
#14
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Very good find!

Thank you for posting.

Coming right along most nicely.

You might wish to keep an eye out for a Shuresta propstand for it.

View attachment 772992

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I noticed those stands in a few of the Rudge Catalogs I had found from the 50's. The one on there now is the same stand as the Raleigh's I have.
 

HARPO

I live for the CABE
Dec 28, 2010
1,620
1,756
Floral Park, NY, United States
#17
I just bought this tonight for extra parts. It's a coaster brake model (with a dried out Brooks saddle under the saddle cover) and a bent fork. Basket is probably worth more, lol!

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Likes: dnc1

HARPO

I live for the CABE
Dec 28, 2010
1,620
1,756
Floral Park, NY, United States
#18
A few more shots...and I'll clean off the hub to get the year tomorrow.

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Likes: dnc1

HARPO

I live for the CABE
Dec 28, 2010
1,620
1,756
Floral Park, NY, United States
#20
The pedals on the blue Rudge Sports I just bought match the ones from my 1956 Sports (as well as the same chain guard lettering). However, since this has a BENDIX coaster brake hub, I can't date it.
Would I be correct in ASSUMING it's from the same time period...mid 50's...?
 

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