The Royal Imperial with Sturmey Archer AW-9

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3-speeder

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 26, 2017
465
Lansing, MI, United States
So I picked up an old 3-speed today with a Stumer Archer that had the AW-9 stamping on it. I know I've seen a hub on here with that marking. Thought someone said if was a 1939 model. Who can help me remember that? I know, I know. This is a big tease right? Sorry about that. I'll get the bike posted as soon as I get pictures. It was raining costs and dogs when I got home so it's still in the van. Here's the hub marking
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Andrew Gorman

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 15, 2008
2,921
Pasadena (Hastings Ranch), United States
Yep, 1939. A big plus is the 1930s-1940s AW hubs take threaded track cogs rather than the three pip and snap ring Shimano style cogs.
 
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3-speeder

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 26, 2017
465
Lansing, MI, United States
So here it is. It's called The Royal Imperial. I think it's in great shape if it is indeed 80 years old. Still has some solid black paint and nice red pin striping. The hub is very sound and shifted between all gears without any adjustments. Wheels have a slight wobble but not too bad. Mismatched pedals. Headbadge is not a badge but rather a decal or such. Looking it over seems there has been some black spray paint touch up. There is also what I call Kalamazoo chrome on the rims and saddle undercarriage. I've seen this before where it looks like silver paint used on the metal as a way to preserve it perhaps. Over all I'm pretty happy with it. Haven't seen one quite like it.

What can anyone tell me about a manufacturer and maybe year of build? The heavy lugs remind me of @SirMike1983's pre war Phillips. The wheels are a standard 26 x 1 3/8 EA3 size with the Schwinn Spitfire tires. Second English bike I have now with those tires. How about the seatpost? Is that a homemade piece or did some come like that? I sure love a good mystery bike. Should be a fun rehab. I plan to overhaul the mechanics but just mildly clean it to leave that old bike look.

Here are some pics
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3-speeder

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 26, 2017
465
Lansing, MI, United States
More pics. Looks like "British Made" with Z 14 N under the bottom bracket

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Andrew Gorman

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 15, 2008
2,921
Pasadena (Hastings Ranch), United States
The Royal Imperial is like the KuK Post on Austro-Hungarian stamps-Kaiserlich und Koeniglich Imperial and Royal Post. And in 1939 George VI was king of England and nominally emperor of India.
 

SirMike1983

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 27, 2008
3,143
United States
Looks like a pre-war bike to me. 1939 is correct for the hub. Most of the paint is original. The silver, I think, is a re-spray someone did and is not original. Black paint and red pins should be original from the look of it. Seat post is a "gallows" post, correct for pre-war and 1940s era. I'm not familiar with that headbadge, but it is very typical of the pre-war bikes. With the gallows post and pre-war equipment, they ride differently from the 1950s and later bikes - more upright and not quite as "sporty feeling" as a DL-1 (if you can believe it - they're very much a basic, utilitarian bike with an upright riding position, even compared to a standard 1970s DL-1). The brake levers are kind of a peculiar shape, but the pre-war bikes show a lot of variation in the handlebars and lever. Elswick/Hopper had some weird rollers in that style back in the day. It's a good bike and should clean up nicely. You'll need to be patient truing the wheels - make sure you have penetrating oil and a little heat in there before truing. Those brass spoke nipples strip easily if you're not careful.
 

3-speeder

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 26, 2017
465
Lansing, MI, United States
Looks like a pre-war bike to me. 1939 is correct for the hub. Most of the paint is original. The silver, I think, is a re-spray someone did and is not original. Black paint and red pins should be original from the look of it. Seat post is a "gallows" post, correct for pre-war and 1940s era. I'm not familiar with that headbadge, but it is very typical of the pre-war bikes. With the gallows post and pre-war equipment, they ride differently from the 1950s and later bikes - more upright and not quite as "sporty feeling" as a DL-1 (if you can believe it - they're very much a basic, utilitarian bike with an upright riding position, even compared to a standard 1970s DL-1). The brake levers are kind of a peculiar shape, but the pre-war bikes show a lot of variation in the handlebars and lever. Elswick/Hopper had some weird rollers in that style back in the day. It's a good bike and should clean up nicely. You'll need to be patient truing the wheels - make sure you have penetrating oil and a little heat in there before truing. Those brass spoke nipples strip easily if you're not careful.
Thanks for the information and advice. I appreciate it. Looking at this style of brakes it makes me think changing a tire must have been a real chore. Probably needed a few more tools with the patch kit for these ones
 

3-speeder

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 26, 2017
465
Lansing, MI, United States
Looks like some Brampton parts. Maybe the headset is similar to the one posted by @juvela in SirMike's prewar Phillips post.
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Maybe the brake rod set-up is similar to the top model shown in this image posted by @slowride

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I'll get some more pics up of the assembly below the bottom bracket. Thought I had one posted
 

3-speeder

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 26, 2017
465
Lansing, MI, United States
So the cotter pins came out pretty smoothly. Yay! Here are a couple images of the rear brake assembly. Probably the same as the top one in the previous image. Makes sense as that was from the 1939 Phillips catalog.

1088123


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1motime

Finally riding a big boys bike
Aug 7, 2019
385
65
El Segundo, CA
Nice original lightweight. Something different. That front decal needed some serious contortion to go around the lugs. Someone was paid to apply those as a job.
 
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3-speeder

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 26, 2017
465
Lansing, MI, United States
Yep, 1939. A big plus is the 1930s-1940s AW hubs take threaded track cogs rather than the three pip and snap ring Shimano style cogs.
How do I go about getting the cog off? The snap rings are a pain but easy to comprehend. Trying to figure out this threaded cog. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
 

usarnie1

Finally riding a big boys bike
Aug 10, 2015
108
Woodland Hills, CA
Hi 3-speeder,

This gorgeous decal/sticker is available on the e-bay UK site for only 5 pounds! Or, $7.13 from Redbubble.com
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3-speeder

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 26, 2017
465
Lansing, MI, United States
How do I go about getting the cog off? The snap rings are a pain but easy to comprehend. Trying to figure out this threaded cog. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
I think I figured it out. I'll have to remove the driver and then unthread the cog.
 

bikemonkey

I live for the CABE
Jun 25, 2016
1,272
67
North Carolina , Albemarle, NC, United States
How do I go about getting the cog off? The snap rings are a pain but easy to comprehend. Trying to figure out this threaded cog. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
I would use a 1/8" chain whip to remove it before disassembling the hub. Since this in not a 3 speed coaster brake it would have no counter-threaded lock ring.

Once disassembled you risk damaging the driver in removing the cog as it would be difficult to secure it firmly. I would imagine that cog is very tight.
 
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SirMike1983

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 27, 2008
3,143
United States
Exactly - with the older bikes that have been ridden, the cog is usually very tight. I would make up a second driver with a spined cog of the size of your choice and use that for riding. The driver metal is hard and brittle - it's easy to damage (chip or crack usually) the tines of the driver, or gouge the clutch, if you're not careful trying to unthread the cog with the chainwhip. Kroil and warming may help with removing the old cog, but on some, they just won't come off. If you do choose to make up a second driver with a splined cog, you'll want to try to match the tine profile. Usually the 1950s-60s era drivers are close enough to match. There's a later (stepped) profile driver from the 1970s that may lead to shifting problems if you try to use it.
 
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SirMike1983

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 27, 2008
3,143
United States
I have a bike with the "special" model stud for mounting the rear brake to the frame referenced in the ad above. The clamp-on type is easier to work on today because the ones that thread directly into the bottom bracket shell need to index correction to point straight to the rear of the bike. I had to use a crushable lock washer to get mine to index. Yours should just clamp on.


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3-speeder

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 26, 2017
465
Lansing, MI, United States
Thanks guys. I think that I will just leave the cog on the driver. I can clean and service it plenty enough that way. With it working so good already I'm only planning to blast it with the WD-40, let that run out and dry, then clean and repack the bearings and cones. After that I'll ad a little 20 weight oil.
 

3-speeder

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 26, 2017
465
Lansing, MI, United States
Got it all apart without too much trouble. Yay!
Spindle marked Walton & Brown LTD
Headset markings similar to bottom bracket cups, T D C.
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3-speeder

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 26, 2017
465
Lansing, MI, United States
Work is going well. I decided to strip the silver paint from the handlebars and rod brakes and components. It revealed the patina below the paint and this stamping on the brake shoe holders, 1938. Even with the patina and discoloration revealed I am happy I did it. It shows the age of the bike. More photos to come. I did decide not to mess with the rim paint at this time. The citrus stripper I used made it really easy.

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