Picked up this Old Armstrong Today...

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Schwinny

Finally riding a big boys bike
Interesting and fun webpages to peruse. Hillary Stone and Golden Age. The models are in the top class and prices are quite high. Very dangerous stuff for me.
I woke this morning to a different idea about the cable, but one that will be set aside if I find the real thing.
Since the originals work, are not completely rusted, and my only complaints are the ends bent very slightly (which can be easily fixed,) and that the cloth sheathing is ratty in places and missing in others. I could strip the sheathing, clean the metal casing and paint it with a black textured paint....
 

jimbo53

I live for the CABE
Here's an old Armstrong that popped up on Facebook Marketplace. Pretty rough-looks to be single speed with trashed fork.
1431743
 

Schwinny

Finally riding a big boys bike
Here's an old Armstrong that popped up on Facebook Marketplace. Pretty rough-looks to be single speed with trashed fork.
View attachment 1431743
After researching Armstrong Bikes ad-nausem, That looks like a Raleigh made version from the 50's-60s.
When Raleigh bought them in the great consolidation of the 50's they took the Armstrong moniker of "the better bike" and turned them into one of their bottom wrung offerings. Maybe a slight to the brand, due to the competition they were getting from Armstrong pre-consolidation, I dunno. Thats what I've read. Considering what I've read on them, I wouldn't buy a Raleigh made model. No more panache'
Thanks for the eye out !!
 

Schwinny

Finally riding a big boys bike
Update and a question.
I've gone full bore these past few days and done quite a lot on three or four projects.
One of them is of course this old Gentleman.
It is now completely disassembled except for the crank and BB. The whole bike came apart with ease. All except the crank. There was only two replacement nuts that Ive found and one missing. All others are originals.
The BB has been apart before, and the last monkey used a sledge for the crank pins. Not only are they roughed up real good, they are also in so tight I can't get them out.
In the past, right or wrong, when it came to removing crank pins, I have threaded the nut back on to the pin till it was flush with the top of the bolt/pin threads and used a center punch placed in the center of the pin, and hammer to tap the pin out. The nut being on so as to keep from mushrooming the bolt/pin. In leu of that, I would do the same with the nut except then use a wooden hammer handle on the nut (being flush with the pin/bolt) held vertically and smack the top of the hammer with a 2lb sledge.
Either of those have always worked.
Not this time. And they've been soaking in oil for two days.
First, are these pins in standard sizes to be replaced? I would want to do that anyway considering they were smacked in with a hammer last time and the heads are mangled. They are both also slightly bent. If I will have to re-use these, I will also have to re-shape the heads and have them re-plated with the rest. But first I will need to get them out without totally destroying them.
If they are easily replaceable, I willl take out a little negative energy on them.
Any recommendations along these lines?
The arms have obvious puller recesses so that should be easier.

and....
All bearings are micro... and loose, dozens of them. The headset has a BF load in it. I thought that everything might all be loose bearings so it was disassembled inside a plastic tote pan to keep everything together. Good thing too, they are no bigger than the head of a pin.
The frame and fork are very light. The fork rivals the lightness of modern ChroMo forks I have. The frame is not quite 8lbs right now and it still has the crank on it.
When researching dates, Ive noticed that the Armstrong bikes in the 36' catalog were touting Reynolds 531 steel. It cant be seen in the catalog pics, but if there were decals indicating that on the frame as there probably were, The first year for Reynolds 531 was 1935. H. Llloyds has Reynolds pre-531 decals which indicate high manganese steel.
Considering this bike has a "Made with the highest quality British Steel" decal on the seat tube, I am going to say this is at least a 33' or 34. It may actually be a 31' but I cant figure out how anyone would know.
UPDATE TO THE UPDATE
This paint laughs at stripper. And it is VERY thick. A couple applications later this showed up on the dropouts. To start with, you couldn't even see the nut scrapes
If that's a Jullian date serial Number, its May 3 1938. 123 seems a little convenient though. But who knows.
I can see pins on the stays going through the dropouts.
This frame is going to need to be blasted.

LLROmoth.jpg


RRImoth.jpg


RROmoth.jpg
 
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Schwinny

Finally riding a big boys bike
I like this cotter press and he has quality cotters too. Cotters likely to be 9.5mm. Fairly standard size for brit bikes.
I have had to drill out a few cotter pins. Be careful to drill down the center if you do this and start small and work your way up regarding bit size.
View attachment 1434679
PERFECT !!
Thank You.
I got them out. The rest came off by hand. go figure
Bayliss Wiley BB
The frame completely bare weighs 5lbs exactly.
 

Schwinny

Finally riding a big boys bike
Light update on the progress and thought process.
I've found a pair of vintage Phillips Apollo Pedals that look pretty close to the ones in the picture that's in the 36' Catalog. Traded a CABE'r an old saddle for them. They were standard rusty funky but cleaned up real nice. Couldn't help myself though, so I have a NOS set of end caps coming for them since the end caps are a little scuffy.

After full disassembly, the only thing questionable I can see has been done to the bike over its lifetime is that some ham fisted bike "tech" gnarled up the BB Lock ring and cotter pins. The reason I had such a hard time with the cotter pins is that one had been hand ground using the wrong kind and then smacked in extra hard to force the fit. You can see the grinding done to one of them in the pic. They are of course the size and style that aren't readily available now but I may have a line on a new pair. They are just a bit long so Im continuing the search for the time being.

The handle bars are a slight puzzle since although I can see that several models in the 36" catalog are black, but the depiction of my model, #33 Velox Sport is a little ambiguous. They could be natural or they could be black. Further, taking them off, there is no black under the grips but there is black under the stem clamp area. It turned out that the bike frame had 3 coats of black paint which is factory paint, and someone had done a little rattle can touch up long ago. The handle bars have at least one coat of rattle can on them.
I have found an acceptable pair of semi-period hand grips I will use.

In the Resto, considering there isn't a lot of early info on these bikes, I'm going with the manufacturing practices of the time period. All parts sourced as close to the factory as possible. Armstrong was in Birmingham, and Bluemels was also. So I have decided that the grips, air pump and mudguards should be Bluemels. The reason I chose these particular grips is that the same time period air pump seems to have the same handgrip style as these handlebar grips I found. In that day, the word "plastic" hadn't been coined yet. Plastic was "Celluloid" and of a different consistency than any of todays plastics. My mudguards have a correct, and time worn decal on them that is the Armstrong label but they are definitely Aluminum. Most likely impossible to find, but I have found a few early shape plastic Bluemels that may fit the bill. I wonder if Aluminum was the thing in 38' and they switched over from Celluloid or maybe these were correct replacements sometime later after the originals were crunched up. Either way, it looks like plastic it is.
A vintage set of Bluemels "No Weight" or "Featherweight" mudguards are still going to be hard to find. I've seen them in larger sizes for sale but none for the 26" tire as of yet.

I still haven't decided on whether to use a modern highly catalyzed Enamel for paint or to have it powder coated. Luckily, the powder coating would be straight forward and the cheapest cost of powder coating anything, since Gloss black is a standard color and there is no extra cost there. I'm pretty good at painting bikes but I also loathe scratches and chips on my newly restored bikes. When you are OCD like that, its like a magnet for what you dont want to happen....

I've settled on the bike being a 1938 model considering what looks to be the Julian date stamped into the LR dropout. I don't think its the serial number. (pictured in earlier post) A Julian date serial Number wouldn't make sense. But maybe its not a Julian date, Im not sure. Ending with 38 and no other reference anywhere else on the bike is what Im going with. The other stamp, which is on the outboard of the LR dropout AND the inboard of the RR dropout can be seen In the pic posted earlier. "AT No.372o. With the "o"s up high.
Although stamped lightly in both places, there is no sign on either stamping that it had a P in the front which is what I first thought would be a Patent stamp or the like. I think the little "o" after the N and after the number 372 are like start and stop identifiers. Maybe combined with the end it would be the old way people designated # "No." Again, hard to say. Perhaps it is Reynolds style 372 Dropouts?
But altogether I am thinking that this was bike 372 for the year and it was made on May 6, 1938. All together being the serial number. Or.... it could be the 123rd bike of the year 1938, and it actually is the serial number all together.
I am thinking the upside down stylized "R" is a mark for Reynolds steel, but again, I don't know. The dropouts are pinned and brazed to the stays.
Any help on this or any other part of this bike is greatly appreciated !!

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juvela

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
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thank you so much for this update

wonderful to see the machine moving forward with such care and thought on your part 👨‍🔧🚵‍♂️

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Phillips Apollo pedals -

this model enjoyed quite a lengthy production life

at some point during the 1960's the pedal dust cap changed from chrome plated steel to black plastic

have never known a specific date for this; likely some of our Brit experts will have it...

here is a late type set on this Raleigh built Triumph of 1969:

6285c10c-66b6-4c31-991d-1fe66f791902-jpeg.jpg



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Schwinny

Finally riding a big boys bike
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thank you so much for this update

wonderful to see the machine moving forward with such care and thought on your part 👨‍🔧🚵‍♂️

---

Phillips Apollo pedals -

this model enjoyed quite a lengthy production life

at some point during the 1960's the pedal dust cap changed from chrome plated steel to black plastic

have never known a specific date for this; likely some of our Brit experts will have it...

here is a late type set on this Raleigh built Triumph of 1969:

View attachment 1443415


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Thats good to know, thank you.
 
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