Picked up this Old Armstrong Today...

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dnc1

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Can't find a 1931 catalogue.
1929 and 1936 are available.
In the '36 catalogue, as you mentioned earlier, the 'Tri-Velox' system was the only derailleur offered, on the 'Moth Sports' model.
I'm guessing your bike is an early '30's model with the period upgrade of a 'Cyclo' derailleur which would have been a top of the range conversion that would have been very desirable to any enthusiastic touring rider at the time.
There are quite a few 'Moth' models offered in '36 with variations in brake types, bars and colour schemes being the main differences.
 

Schwinny

Finally riding a big boys bike
I've tried a couple different ways to pull this catalog off but it has been pdf'd and locked. I can put it on my computer but the file is too large to display here. If you just follow this link, it goes directly to the file. I wouldn't click into the site if I were you guys with a PC. There are ghost files and prompts there that aren't originals. I wonder if this is an old Sheldon Brown site. Somebody is paying to keep it hosted but is hasn't been updated since 2015 and is unsecure.
Looking at this catalog is fine though. I think the intro on the sight said its a 1930 catalog, but inside the catalog itself there is a written buyers testimonial that starts off with "I bought my Moth in February 1933..." and in the front it states 1936 offerings, so I guess this is really a 1936 catalog.
It's a pretty big file and won't display here.
I think this bike is as close to the model 33 as I can find.

 
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dnc1

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
I've tried a couple different ways to pull this catalog off but it has been pdf'd and locked. I can put it on my computer but the file is too large to display here. If you just follow this link, it goes directly to the file. I wouldn't click into the site if I were you guys with a PC. There are ghost files and prompts there that aren't originals. I wonder if this is an old Sheldon Brown site. Somebody is paying to keep it hosted but is hasn't been updated since 2015 and is unsecure.
Looking at this catalog is fine though. I think the intro on the sight said its a 1930 catalog, but inside the catalog itself there is a written buyers testimonial that starts off with "I bought my Moth in February 1933..." and in the front it states 1936 offerings, so I guess this is really a 1936 catalog.
It's a pretty big file and won't display here.
I think this bike is as close to the model 33 as I can find.

Yes, that is the same rider testimonial that is in the V-CC's 1936 catalogue.
 

Schwinny

Finally riding a big boys bike
The guy I got it from was over today to go through some more stuff and mentioned he asked about it here so I dug into the search function and found his post. the heading wasn't Armstrong or Cyclo. Took a minute.
Other good stuff there.
The longer I look at it.......
 

Schwinny

Finally riding a big boys bike
I've looked around for tidbits and have found the proper decals at H. lloyd in England. Other few parts I would need seem to be around also. I've looked quite a bit on the internet and cant find another bike like this one, none even close really.
If the war time metal drives of the 40's in America made pre-war bikes a rarity in the US, I would imagine pre-war English bikes are even scarcer for the same reason and more. Especially any that might have survived the Blitz in England.

So considering all this, I have decided that I will Restore this bike to its former glory.
Being as rare as it is, and seeing as the last few owners just let it sit, It seems to look at me harder than I look at it. I can understand though. Im sure all the previous owners were in a quandary as to how to restore it. Especially considering the time it spent hidden away pre-internet. It will be much easier to restore it today than it would have been 20 years ago.

So the first thing I did was get tires and tubes to ride it around a little.
I went to my favorite local bike store and got a pair of nice 590/37 tires and tubes.
Wrong.
The previous tires were American Goodyears from the 1960's and didn't have an ISO size on them so I assumed.
Turns out its worse than I thought in the tire category. The 590 selection was surprisingly deep. the shop had 4 different kinds and styles. But the horn honked loud, when I brought a good pair home and after a minute of looking at them placed next to the rims it was obvious they weren't going to fit.
I now know that S5 and S6 Schwinn rims were patterned after the Dunlop EA1 rims, which is what I have on this bike.
Knocks the tire choices down to one. 597/37
I thought to myself..... at least I have a grip of those hanging... outside... in Arizona.
Honk Again. As I looked at each one of the 6 different "good" older ones I had, including one I bought just 2 years ago and was on a rim... All cracked beyond use. A good reason to keep all this stuff inside the house... not.
So, two new tires and two new thorn proof tubes (a must around here) later, I scooted it down the street and ran it through a couple paces. Both hand brakes work and all 3 gears find their teeth. But if you overshoot 3rd, the chain binds between the frame and the derailleur. Hmmmm.

I've got a couple questions for pre-war bike enthusiasts, if there are any here in the International bike section.

#1 - The finish in the 36' catalog says it was dipped, in enamel I imagine. And then perhaps baked, I dont know.
So should I spray it black enamel, or have it powder coated? Paint is going to attract chips and scuffs. I've powder coated bikes before and although it still chips and scratches, it takes 4 times the effort to do it.
This bike is going to be ridden, I'm going to pimp it all over town.
Also, in the same vein, The decals, including the head badge decal are free standing and old timey thick. New ones will be water slide (super thin) or vinyl. Hopefully I can get 2mil vinyl. That willl look proper, but should I clear coat the paint and decals?

#2 - The bright parts. some look nickel and some look chrome. All are nearly completely chipped off and rusted.
Chrome was new in the 30's. Should I have the bright parts nickel or chrome plated? The handlebars are factory painted black but could have been plated, per the 36' catalog.
Im leaning towards nickel, It's not cheaper, but it will look that era, more so than bright chrome.

I figure this will take till late in the fall to complete considering I have two others apart being restored and three for sale which I will divert the moneys to help pay the bills this will incur. I'm figuring around 1k. The bikes are piling up and Im forgiving my own bike owning rules a little to get this one squeezed in.

The hardest thing to find may be the cables. Can anyone point me towards bulk metal cased brake cable? These are black cloth sheathed but I'll bet that won't happen.....
Also will need a set of Phillips Rat traps, a 16" (closed) frame mounted bike pump. White plastic (celluloid) was original and a pair of hand grips. I saw a pair of repop period European grips for sale on the internet not too long ago but didn't bookmark them and now I can't find them again.
There will be a few other parts also Im sure. These are just off the top of my head.

Thanks in advance for any help anyone can give.
M/
 

juvela

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
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congratulations on deciding to take the thorough path

there shall be times of wait as you attend the arrival home of fittings from the plater and the sourcing of those "difficult to locate" bits

this will give you plenty of opportunity for cleaning a prepping the bits which do not have to go out, and for your build planning

the mention of "dipped and baked" finish makes me think of what Brits term "stoving" or "stove enamelling" - terms which do not refer to using a stove but rather creating a painted finish like that seen on stoves

"Phillips rat trap pedals" - the Celtonia might be a quite plausible model; well made and attractive too. sort of item Hilary Stone might have on hand...

we had a set come through the forum on a bike a couple months back -


vinyl transfers - very much a second choice. can be adequate to pass the "five metre test" but not the "two metre" one...

wrt clear coating over replacement transfers - you really want to resource this. perhaps getting advice from the transfer provider. have read horror stories of replacement transfers being ruined by clear coating.


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Schwinny

Finally riding a big boys bike
Oh....
I've ruined a few things, and many decals both water slide and vinyl. Its not the clear coat, its me having only one hand to work with. My right arm doesn't work so well anymore. Its pretty much a hapless helper when I concentrate. But a destructive menace if not.
I've gotten real good at clear coating decals. A small bit of temperance and then add a bit more patience. After many trials and errors, many, many, I have acrylic bike painting down to a science. I've done quite a few and re-done quite a few.
The coats meld when done right, including the clear over top. The end result is, as hard, if not harder than new bike original paint and is easily repaired with no notice if there is a scratch or chip.
Modern acrylic paints are great as long as you'e gone through every way you can mess it up and have learned how not to and how they react under what conditions
Enamels and water slide, not so much. Laquers... eh. they are ok but vinyls hate it if not done in a weeks time. Tedious.

Thanks for that Phillips pedal sheet, I'll be looking around for those or similar.
 

dnc1

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Hi,
Enamelled bikes did pass through a paint oven to cure the paint .
Some frame restorers over here in the UK today still do this,but you are looking at the equivalent of $500 plus usd to get that kind of paintwork.
As you say, powder coating is a very durable option, but it's so thick that you will lose a lot of distinction around the lugwork.

Chrome plating on bright parts appeared in the UK in late 1928, prior to that all parts were Nickel plated.

Many friends who have immaculate '30s/'40s classic lightweights invariably have black 'Lauterwasser' handlebars. Originally these would have been celluloid covered, but this is one area where they do go down the powder coated avenue.

Steve at Lloyd's usually includes advice on clear coating the transfers he supplies.

When you decide on a specific pump, grips etc. you can DM me and I could put you in touch with several people that could probably help you out over here.
Cloth covered cables are almost non existent at the moment, I don't know of anyone in Britain or Europe who supplies them.
You could probably search for decades before finding some.

Oh, by the way @juvela, Hilary Stone has just got out of the bicycle business, he's pursuing other avenues.
I believe "Golden Age Cycles" of Banbury, Oxfordshire have just purchased his entire stock.
 

juvela

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
-----

@dnc1 -

thank you for the news of Hilary Stone

---

cable casing -

recall that during the 1950's and early 1960's there was a type of casing widely employed in Britain which was of a clear plastic with a white fabric liner

if one purchased a new set of Gerry Burgess arrestors this is what came in the box

is anyone currently offering this sort of casing for restorers?

-----
 

dnc1

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
-----

@dnc1 -

thank you for the news of Hilary Stone

---

cable casing -

recall that during the 1950's and early 1960's there was a type of casing widely employed in Britain which was of a clear plastic with a white fabric liner

if one purchased a new set of Gerry Burgess arrestors this is what came in the box

is anyone currently offering this sort of casing for restorers?

-----

I don't think so.
I'll enquire with them that use such things as brakes!
 
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