• Thanks @jeff80
    I will take you up on your offer, can I come and pick them up?

  • Of course, ouu can either meet me in central London- (I work at the National Gallery ) next week or I live bloody miles east-in East ham, so you can always collect some from me there. Whichever suits you best.

  • couple of 50's Clauds:

    23" 1950 Avant Coureur Special (I think) with lovely Harden Hubs on Dunlop LA alloy rims, GB brakes and a Simplex chainset . Shame about the rusty down tube on this lugless number.

    Andy Bone / Paragon still at home in Nottingham.

  • bit of a disastrous test ride of the 1948 Carlton;
    a somewhat bent simplex tour de france mech, 3 snapped spokes and a possible bent rim


    1 Attachment

    • DSCF5456.jpeg
  • Ah no, did the derailleur let go or something? The rim should pull straight again. Fingers crossed.

  • the adjustment was wrong and it ran too close to the spokes and got tangled when I changed to the largest cog. The Simplex Tour de France works on a spring loaded plunger and has no limit screws and I had allowed too much adjustment....I think the rim can be saved so will have to save up to get it sorted as I just splurged on 3 entire wheel rebuilds the other day...

  • This was an all too well known failure back in the day.

    It was usually caused by the arm of the mecahism getting bent (often by someone other than the owner!), but faulty adjustment was certainly another cause. Benelux and Huret were just as bad, and this problem was perhaps the main thing which made the Campag Gran Sport such a revelation. With a Campag, if someone knocked your bike over it would only push the mech over against the spring - as soon as you picked it up it just sprang back to where it was before with no harm done.

    In this case, I note that the block is very close to the hub flange, which meant there was no margin of error to avoid this disaster - a spacer (or two) behind that block might have secured a longer life for the unfortunate TdF mech.

  • Yes, I did think that to, although sadly after I'd screwed the block on-which is now almost impossible to remove due to being 'chewed' up where the removal tool fits by a previous owner . You live and learn...

  • Is the freewheel one of the two prong jobbies? They can be a sod to get off once the slots start to shear.

  • I happen to have a spare block (if I can find it, that is) 16, 19,22. If you can repair or replace the mech you can have it.
    Remove the old block by dismantling it and then unscrewing the centre holding it in a bench vice. Do not cut the spokes to remove the damaged rim before doing this!

    Personally, I would want to convert this machine to 5 speed, since I think a 3 speed derailleur is more touble than it's worth, unless you can use a wide ratio double chain ring set up. The TdF will not cope with this.

  • yep that's the type. I guess dismantling as explained by clubman it is the best option

  • I have a spare period 3 speed so no problems. How do I go about dismantling a rear block?

  • Assuming your block is like all the others I've seen:

    There should be a disc just outside the damaged slots which the removing tool would have fitted into. The disc is often stamped "unscrew" with an arrow pointing clockwise since it normally has a lefthand thread. This disc is the outer cone of the freewheel bearing and should have two small holes into which you can insert a punch or the edge of a chisel to unscrew the disc. Once this is off the outer part of the block with the sprockets comes away revealing the centre which can be removed in a vice.

    And if you can re-assemble it afterwards you're a cleverer person than I am.

  • If you have a MIG or TIG welder you can also blat a weld across the two parts and take the whole thing off with a chain whip. You do destroy the freewheel this way, though.

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Pre 1950s rides of LFGSS: old bikes, vintage rats, classic lightweights

Posted by Avatar for luckyskull @luckyskull

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