At last, the 1948 show

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  • That's a beaut.

  • funny nut sizes might well be Whitworth

    Maybe, the 17/32" wrench is also used for 5/16" fasteners on some old British cars, but they could just as easily be 24 or 26TPI CEI (trivia point; a year later the CEI thread was formally adopted as a national standard to become the BSC we know and love, and which is often wrongly referred to as BSA in bottom bracket discussions). The thread form and pitch isn't relevant at this stage, I just need something easy to carry which will fit both ends.

  • Medium gear?

    I haven't actually counted the teeth, might be even less as I think it was last used to go to a reunion lunch rather than a race, either all Preston Park alumni or maybe former Prestonville Nomads

  • In the olden days, you didn't just casually n+1 every time you wanted to try a different discipline, you rode your track bike on the road and on the grass too. Poised in third and ready to pounce for the win. Before fast lenses, TT pix were taken at the dead turn where riders where going at walking pace.


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  • Nahbswank original owner buys 'bike for life' and ends up selling less than 75 years later. Typical 😉

  • Nice write up, will be interesting to see where this goes.

  • In the olden days, you didn't just casually n+1 every time you wanted to try a different discipline, you rode your track bike on the road and on the grass too.

    It's hard, nowadays, to understand just how short money was in the 40's and 50's.

    Many rear hubs from this period are what are now called 'flip flop', but we knew them as 'gear/fixed' . They existed because you only had one back wheel which you used for gears in the summer, but turned round to use as fixed for the winter. Apart from anything else, your derailleur was too expensive and precious to be used under winter conditions. A Simplex Tour de France rear mech cost about thirty shillings (£1.50) in the 1950's, Benelux and Huret about the same.

  • " I just need something easy to carry which will fit both ends."

    Two companions for the road:

    The flat steel spanner (right in pic.) is perfect for these Whitworth wheel nuts (5/16" rear, 1/4" front). Literally millions of these (or similar) came with every new British bike - there must still be huge numbers of them in parts bins and cycle jumbles.

    The brass box spanner (left) is probably French, but fits well enough for roadside repairs - I think it may have been made with the British market in mind.


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  • While I'm here......

    Tester is lucky to have this aristocratic Rotrax as his heritage project - I'm sure he 'll enjoy both the restoration and the riding.

    I was less fortunate, but I have rebuild my Dad's bike and used it. This has been mentioned before, (Silver Sunbeam, in this thread), but I hope one photo here isn't too boring a repetition


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  • flat steel spanner

    Which is also exactly the kind of thing CVA were making the tools to produce back then. One of father's first tasks on the shop floor was straightening the spanners which came in the Rolls Royce tool kit after they came off the punch press with the inevitable slight curvature, something only RR were concerned about enough to pay the extra for a second operation.

  • brass box spanner

    I think it's probably bronze rather than brass. By the time I was a boy those "dumbbell" box spanners had changed to steel, presumably because by then the balance of material and working cost had shifted in favour of steel over bronze.

  • Were the steel ones often galvanised, or were there cheap and nasty ones made from some zinc alloy? I'm sure I've got at least one that looks like white metal of some kind.

  • Were the steel ones often galvanised, or were there cheap and nasty ones made from some zinc alloy?

    Most likely to be chrome on the steel ones, but I think there are pot metal ones too.

  • Shoulders on both faces of the chainring to smooth the air flow coming off the chain plates @xavierdisley


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  • Several layers of grotty old tape taken off, a bit of a polish, and a fresh layer of Velox, capped with Nitto (Est.1923) end plugs. Custom housing to give the Moon Merak front light a retro look, watch clip which is not quite able to hold a Garmin Edge 130


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  • Any updates?

  • I'm a terrible procrastinator, but the brake calipers are on so it's really only cables and tyres short of rideable. First TT of the year is May 12th, I'm aiming to use theRotrax

  • How did the TT go? :)

  • 74 year old chrome looks amazing.

  • Slowly, and on the Look 464 because I'm a terrible person where it comes to building and maintenance, I just ride what's already rideable

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At last, the 1948 show

Posted by Avatar for gbj_tester @gbj_tester

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