MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

BEEKAY THREE WHEELER

1977 RALEIGH TOURIST

194? VICTORIA

FIFTIES? CCM ROADSTER

E-Z ROLL REGAL TRICYCLE

SEARS FROM AUSTRIA

WINDSOR WINCHESTER

 

ROADSTERS & TRADERS

 

19?? WINDSOR WINCHESTER

Though the focus of MY "TEN SPEEDS" is the traditional road racing or touring bicycle, from time to time something so unusual comes along that it cannot be passed by.  This was the case with this lovely old and apparently little used Windsor Roadster.  The vintage of the bicycle is, pretty much, unknown at the time of this writing, but the country of origin proved to be of interest.  India!  One would never have guessed.

None the less, the bicycle, in all its unused glory, is of East India origin, sporting a matched Eastman group.  The design of everything is antiquated, to say the least, presenting a wonderful vintage bicycle image that is not often seen in the wild these days.

Best guess about the Winchester's vintage would have to be early 1950s.  Twenty eight inch wheels, rod brakes and double top tube all point to a bicycle of that, or even an earlier vintage.  And, even though at the time of this writing, the bike is over sixty years old, it appeared to have been unridden.  Both tires sported that flimsy moulding flap commonly found only on unused tires.

Sadly those lovely 28" Red Line tires did show their age, sporting a spider web of light checking.  None the less, they did hold air well and will likely go unreplaced for some time to come.

"As found", the bicycle was quite ride able, however; it was, at the very least, unsafe to use.  Though everything worked just fine on the bicycle, it was in sorry need of fresh lubrication, without which damage to bearings would be swift and final.  With-in the first few revolutions of crank and wheels, the bicycle began its song of sorrow.  Both wheel hubs screeched, as did every other revolution of the bottom bracket.  The rear wheel was in need of adjustment and the inner rims surface needed to be freed up of surface oxidation.  The drive chain, though clean and unoxidized, proved to be stiff and dry.  But the bike could be ridden and safely enough - for the rider.  But the mechanical condition demanded attention before the bike would assume any load again.

With that in mind, the rebuild began, as did the discovery of wonderful antiquated curiosities that lend the tremendous vintage appeal sported by the Windsor.  The slight down turn of the handlebars and, of course the double top tube leap out to capture the eye of any observer.  And, once noted, the eye is then drawn, here and there, lingering on one piece of Velo antiquity, before being drawn quickly to another.

The "rod" brakes are next to catch the eye, offering an intricate train of linkages the eventually pull the rubber brake pads into the inner diameter of each rim.  No rim pinching here.  The design is as old as the hills and doesn't work all that well when going down them.

The brake levers are attached to pivots on the handlebars, themselves.  Once the lever is pulled, for the rear brake, the energy is transferred to a rod.

The rod actuates a pivot bracket attached to the underside of the down tube.  That bracket is attached to another rod reaching to the bottom bracket housing.  A second pivotal bracket is clamped to the seat tube, allowing the brake energy to move around the bottom bracket housing where it meets a yoke, attached to another yoke which, finally, holds the brake pads.  Whew!

But the brakes are a treat to behold, even if they don't actually work all that well, and though never tested personally, not at all in the wet.

Of course, if the rider does finding him or her self riding in wet conditions, the full wrap fenders become welcome friends.  Though a bit heavy, the fenders are very sturdy, sporting gold pin striping to compliment that already well stated vintage appeal of the bicycle.

A vintage appeal increased with the presence of the fluted chain guard.  Both practical and presentable, the chain guard is one more indication of the bicycle's great age.  Interestingly enough, the chain guard serves to protect the rider's pant leg, while complimenting the presence of the Old School cottered crank assemble.  Perfect for any truly vintage bicycle.

The Old School twenty eight inch wheels and, of course, tires are becoming harder and harder to acquire.  Though repos are now being offered, the prices are still high and finding a dependable supply is a "get lucky" scenario, at best.

The original Windsor saddle is a disappointment, and that is an understatement, if there ever was one.  Smaller than might be expected, it is a poor perch, cheaply made and inadequately covered.  What a shame to put such an understated and under engineered component on an otherwise nicely put together old bicycle.  Go figure?

All in all, the Windsor Winchester has proved to be a pretty bicycle, offering an unusual ride quality and seating position, both of which are coupled with a host of good looking and wonderfully antiquated features that scream - look here, and here.  And to that add that the bike is a hoot to ride around the neighbourhood.

However, hoot or no, when an opportunity to swap for a vintage road bicycle presents itself, it will most likely mean good bye Winchester.  And that is exactly what happened to this lovely old road brake bicycle from India.  It traded places with a very nice, early seventies Zeus Criterium which, though incomplete, proved to be a perfect trade to the MY "TEN SPEEDS" collection.

 

 

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