Adventures & Mysteries in Sourcing Parts for Restoration

Adventures & Mysteries in Sourcing Parts for Restoration

It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted, in large part because we’ve had another cold-flu-whatever virus run through my household. So, I’ve been unable to do much bicycle work*; cuddling the kidlets has taken precedence. However, I have been reading the other cycling blogs and forums, and spending waaaaay too much time on eBay, researching the various parts my ’66 Phillips is currently sporting and figuring out what’s period-appropriate and what she’s missing that I need.

My first view of my ’66 Phillips (now dubbed Mary Poppins) on Kijiji

According to this digitized 1963-era Raleigh-made parts catalogue (PDF), here’s a list of parts that are in my bike:

  • Frame with detachable backstay: #RFJ401/2/3, Lady’s Roadster Curved Diagonal (page35) (Need to check the height to get the exact catalogue number)
  • Forks: 28″ wheel, Other Marks (not Phillips! interesting!), #RAB109 (page 9)
  • Handlebars: #RNA120, North Road Raised with no levers (page 17)
  • Chainguard: #RCA101, 28″ wheel, ‘hockey-stick’, enamel finish (page 13)
  • Chainwheel: Plain (page 8)
  • Basket: probably #RMM143 Shopper (not illustrated, page 2) 
  • Rims: 28 x 1-1/2, Westwood, chrome (page 28)
  • Handlebar grips: #RNL104, 7/8″ diameter, sleeve grip, white plastic (page 22)
  • Reflector: #RDL105, White Plastic (page 3)
  • Possibly missing: mudflaps (page 3), bell (page 3), tools (pages 3-4), lamp bracket (page 12)
  • Colour, based on Retouching Enamel list (page 4): Royal Blue

One mystery has been solved:

Pedals like mine (except they have added reflectors on the edges) just sold on eBay for 36 pounds (for those keeping score, that’s about Can$64 before shipping, which means they cost more than I paid for my whole bike). That listing said they belong on a Raleigh Chopper – and sure enough there is a beautifully restored 5-speed Chopper for sale on eBay right now with the same solid rubber, chrome-edged pedals. Raleigh introduced the Chopper in 1969 according to the ads of the period, so the pedals may have been a later replacement for the Phillips-logo block pedals you’d expect would have been the standard issue for the bike based on the information in the catalogue linked above (pages 29-32). Then again, Sheldon Brown dates the switch to oval pedals with no ball bearings to 1967, so maybe the pedals are original and the bike was built in ’67 with a ’66 SA coaster hub.

A couple of other mysteries to solve:

I do wonder whether the bike should have had a lamp fitting originally. Anyone know if lamp brackets were standard on all 1960s Raleigh-made bikes, or if they were routinely left off the models sold with front baskets attached?

My rims are probably original, since they’re Sturmey-Archer (as I noted in my first post, they’re marked STURMEY ARCHER *ENGLAND F250 28 x 1 1/2* ). But are the tires original? (Or should I say ‘tyres’?) Hard to say. I was expecting Dunlops, but they stopped making bicycle tires in the late 60s (according to Sheldon Brown – does anyone have a hard date on that?).
Here’s what the tire sidewalls say:
28 x 1 1/2 SuperElite 700 x 38B
(logo) SEMPERIT (logo)
…and they have Schrader valves.
I *think*, based on a Sheldon Brown article I read, that the original tires should have been 635 mm – but these say 700. Is that the mm measurement? Is that 700C or 700B? Is that 1995 the year they were made? Are these actually wide replacement tires? WTH? Here’s what Sheldon wrote:

“28 X 1 1/2” (635 mm) tires used on some rod-brake 3-speed roadsters are a distinct size of their own, and should not be confused with 700C (622 mm) tires which are sometimes also referred to as 28 inch.

So, having gone and read Sheldon Brown’s tire sizing article, it appears that my bike may have the rare Canadian 28 x 1-1/2 F.13 700C 622mm tires instead of the UK roadster standard 28 x 1-1/2 F10 or F25 or 700B – but made in Austria – on rims made in England. Confused yet? I am.

As for my wish list:

I’m reconsidering my wine box / milk crate idea, and adding to that list of cargo-carriage possibilities a Wald 535 extra-large twin rear carrier basket. It’s made of wire and similar in style to my front rack, and it’ll carry way more stuff than the Pletcher-style mousetrap rack that seems to have come standard on most Raleigh-made bikes in the 60s. I want to use this bike trips to the grocery store, so carrying capacity is important. Would it be period-appropriate to put a Wald basket on a Raleigh product?

On your advice, I’ve decided to add front caliper brakes, to complement my coaster brake and make the bike a little safer. I’ve won an auction on a NOS Cherry 1-3/8″ centre-pull front caliper brake set, but I have my fingers crossed that I’ll win a set made by Phillips that I’m bidding on right now. Cross your fingers for me!

It would be nice to have a frame pump to fill the lonely-looking braziers. I missed out on a Phillips-branded frame pump about a week ago, but the fierce bidding war for it indicates I’m not the one person wanting one to complete my bike! Now I’m bidding on an unbranded chrome-finished one which is similar to #RMJ-121 on page 3 of the catalogue linked above. [Update: I won that auction! Wanna see how pretty it is?]

I’ll also need replacement springs for my poor mangled mattress saddle – which will hopefully come courtesy of a saddle with significant upholstery damage but sound-looking springs that should be arriving in the mail any day now.

* I did manage to grab a little time today to clean some of the chrome with Rust Cure 3000 and a rag – which works pretty much as I expected from the information in the links I’d provided previously. I also partially cleaned and lubricated the chain with ProLink Chain Lube according to the directions on the bottle; I expect to have to repeat that process. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to finish cleaning up Miss Mary and take her for another spin or two before it snows again!

2 thoughts on “Adventures & Mysteries in Sourcing Parts for Restoration

  1. Filigree – thanks for visiting! I so love your blog – your photos of Boston always make me homesick for my beloved hometown of Halifax, and your recent post about your 1936 loop-frame? *Swoon*. I must say I really like the coaster brake, although the longer distance to stop will take a little getting used to – I’m adding an NOS front hand-brake so that will presumably change. The ride is comfortable, but I only took it out for a short trip before (a) discovering the cotter pin issue, which I’m still puzzling over, and (b) the customary early arrival of snow here in Edmonton necessitated that I put it in storage. So I’ve been concentrating on research and accumulating the bits & bobs that will make it a fully functional 3-season errand-running bike. I’ll be able to comment more fully about how it handles come spring. =)

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