• Would be interested in photos of any that you have.

  • Have bought 26 and 27 ich tyres from wilko in the past but they are no longer listed on the website. Or are Michellin World Tour made in that size.

  • Il get a few photos snapped for you today. cheers

  • Wilko definitely worth a punt, will also try LBS. I don’t think world tour were ever a thing in 597-32

  • I have a few bikes with 26 x one and a quarter rims, and I can confirm that the Schwalbe tyres mentioned above are the best you are likely to find.

    Unfortunately they are essentially roadster tyres in terms of weight and tread pattern and I doubt that the bike you are going to use them on is a heavyweight clunker, but at least these tyres do take an adequate pressure (85psi). Those tan wall things on Ebay only take 55psi, and they would probably go out of shape with as little as 60 psi.

    I've actually managed to wear out one Schwalbe, and it did give quite good service and was ok to ride on, but I don't think anyone would describe these tyres as 'lively'.

    It's possible you could find something old which might still be ok - I have a couple of Michelins (not World Tour btw) which are perfectly useable, but most 40 plus year old tyres are too perished to be worth fitting.

    So get some Schwalbes, unless you intend to do ambitious riding of any kind (speed or long distance touring), in which case I suggest converting the bike to 700's which usually fit these old frames better than the 26's for which they were intended .

  • Second those comments about the schwalbe- they are the only feasible option for 597 rims these days.
    I use them on my daily commuter - which is a 1950s Raleigh Lenton- and it usually sees 2,500 miles annually (pre Covid that is...). I get through one rear tyre a year and the fronts tend to last several years.

    Reasonable tyres to be honest. Not the most puncture resistant but I’d hazard a guess I get no more than 8 every 2,500 miles which isn’t bad considering the state of London’s roads.

    As for converting to 700c, my aunt’s 1950s Carlton has 700cs and the drawback is that the max width tyre she can use with mudguards is 28mm, which some might find too narrow but I guess it all depends on the look and riding experience you’re going for. Other frames may well give more clearance anyway so it’s always worth double checking first.

  • 28 mm is not that much narrower than 1.25" (1 inch = 25.4mm).

    For me the standard tyre size is 23mm, I do have a bike with 28mm and to my eye they look huge!

  • Well, progress of sorts. Was hoping to get the drivetrain on but the rear bb shell is larger than a standard one wtf? Anyone have a set of the cups, needs to fit a 35mm dia hole.
    Blue monster weighs a ton already!

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  • Sounds like Schwalbe are the one!
    Really appreciate this characteristically thorough response - your willingness to share your wealth of knowledge is a great joy in this thread! Thanks

  • Thanks for that comment. It is a pleasure for me to find an outlet for my obscure knowledge !

  • @clubman I second the comment by @Rik_Van_Looy.
    Your experience and knowledge is invaluable to myself and others who are delving into and exploring the golden age of cycling.

  • needs to fit a 35mm dia hole.

    If you had asked Mr. Chater-Lea (there was such a person) he would have said 'I think you mean an inch and three eighths'. That is the size of Chater BB cups, so you need the complete set - two cups, lock ring and spindle plus some 5/16th balls.

    I can't tell you the part no. you'll need for the spindle, but I know that '1007' is standard width for use with a single chain ring, so that won't do for the tandem.

    You might try The Tandem Club - I think they have some special tandem parts.

  • I must agree with the comments and While we are on the subject of knowledge and experience, I need some help with gearing.
    I have a 50t chainring and an 18t.cog which works out to a ratio of 2.78.
    I have bought a new chainring which is 46t, what size cog would give me a similar gear ratio.?

  • 46t with 16 cog = 2.88.
    46t with 17 cog = 2.71.


  • @crossedthread @clubman

    This article looks like it has the part numbers

    An example of what you are looking for (I think) sold about a month ago https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/174403421596

  • Again, got to hand it to you for knowing and sharing all this stuff :))
    At least I know there’s potentially such a part (thought I was going round the bend.)
    Also, will remember to set the Vernier to old money!

  • Ah, and hat-tip also. Will read up this evening.

  • Just goes to show our different 'cycling tribe' origins. I was brought up as a tourist, so for me the standard tyre width is 32mm / 1 1/4" and anything narrower looks impractical!

  • 46t with 16 cog = 2.88.
    46t with 17 cog = 2.71.


    I don't think I've ever seen a gear chart like that - it's information is woefully incomplete because it doesn't take account of the wheel size.

    Personally, I like the English system of stating a gear in inches because that's how I've always thought of gearing, and because it gives an easy to remember set of numbers. For example 46 x 18 (the traditional British utility bike gear) is 66 with 26" wheels, but 69 with 27's - a significant difference (n.b. 700's are in between and vary according to the tyre size, but can be taken as about 26.5).

    In these days of calculators gear charts are unnecessary - all you do is to divide the no. of teeth on the front by those on the back and multiply by the wheel size, preferably in inches ! I can remember people laboriously working out these sums with pencil and paper using long division.

    I know the continental system of 'development' is more rational, but it doesn't give a memorable set of numbers. I think it's quite possible to be able to feel the difference between 66 and 69, especially into a head wind.

    I've another comment to make, but it's now stopped raining so I'm going out on my bike - more later.

  • Worth a nerdy look for the front brake assembley and frame design.


  • Interesting, but not pre 1950s! ;)

  • While we’re on the subject of gear inches...

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  • Also, while I’m here posting pics, here’s some interesting pre-50s-ish stuff that work colleagues have dumped under my desk.

    The chainset is a bit of a beast. Twin 1/8” chainrings in 60 and 56 teeth. Looks to be a home made conversion. Can’t quite make out the manufacturer stamp, I think it says Utility and British Made. Cranks themselves are nickel plated while the chainrings are chromed. Allegedly not off a tandem! In the same box was a Benelux mech and a 1/8” 3-speed block which I assume was all used together at one point. The old puncture repair kits were in that box as well.

    The stem came from someone I work with who is EF Russ’s grandson, who is having a clear out. It’s in black celluloid (?), not chrome, so I assume it was made during or shortly after WW2 while the chromium shortage was on. Probably means it could have been made by Ernie Russ himself.

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

Posted by Avatar for luckyskull @luckyskull