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 Post subject: The age of my BSA?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:10 pm 
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Hello,
I am Paul, this is my first post here and I hope I will be welcome. I have a feeling that you probably get asked about this a lot, but here goes anyway;

At the end of last year I bought myself a new bike, I've always liked vintage bikes but had only owned a Universal Unisport ('60s) and a BSA (A roadster from the 1950's) both of which went missing due to unfortunate circumstances. I had always wanted something better than these anyway and decided I may as well splash out a bit more.

My bicycle appears to be the BSA All-Weather bicycle as can be found in many of their catalogues, it features a Sturmey Archer K-6 hub, I can not find much information about the K pattern hubs so I do not know what year it is from by looking at this, I also found the number on the frame which is at the top of the seat-tube "6 7506" so if anybody knows how these numbers worked it should be possible to figure out - there seems to be a lot of 6's in everything so I would guess at 1926 or 1936 but I would like to be more certain.

I was going to post some links to images to help, but I am not allowed to do that yet - I am not complaining, having run forums myself I understand the purpose of this rule and approve completely.

Anyway, hope I am welcome here and thanks for any help with this, if it is OK with you all I may drop in on this forum from time to time as it seems like it could be interesting and I may even be useful to some extent.

Oh, and if anybody is selling a BSA chainguard, let me know ;)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:48 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:07 pm
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Location: Cotswolds
Paul, Sturmey Archer K6 should be 1936, but I would expect the bike to have a BSA 3 speed, so possibly a replacement.
The K type would have an indicator rod sticking out of the axle on the left side.
If you want to send me some pictures, PM for details.

Most of the bikes here are genuine racing machines or imitations, but I sold Raleigh, BSA and others in the 1950's.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:54 am 
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I did wonder about it not being a BSA hub, but I have seen quite a few BSA cycles with S.A. hubs, seems to depend on where they came from, in fact, as you travel north some models of BSA become almost unrecognisable compared with what they are supposed to be, how this works I do not know, possibly they were not assembled by BSA or there were just a lot of bikes with the gearing replaced - though as far as I am aware the BSA hub that should be on there is exactly the same as the S.A. hub.

The indicator rod is there, though it is hidden by the nut (both nuts are the longer ones that every sturmey archer has, though I think they only used them on the right when the AW had been around for a while. Incidentally, it seems they are usually both different on the K with one being more rounder and slightly smaller inner diameter on the right for the gear chain.)

As for there being a lot of racers around here, I have been looking around and noticed that, seems most people here own bikes from the late 70's onwards, nothing wrong with that... Unless they are the fools who class 1980's racing bikes as Vintage on eBay making it hard for me to locate parts :D - though I do feel kind of out of place with my clunky "old black" touring/road bikes. Interesting that you used to sell Raleign an BSA in the 50's, wonder if you ever had to work on them and have the joy of removing cotter pins.

Anyway, I may PM you as suggested, I already have a load of images on ImageShack anyway, I uploaded them yesterday for a different purpose before stumbling accross this forum and thinking "Hmm... I wonder if anybody here will know how old this thing is."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:42 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:07 pm
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Location: Cotswolds
Paul, the SA and BSA hub history is well documented, BSA was an early SA design superceded really due to manufacturing cost. When the BSA high gear slips you have to replace the driver and planet cage, in the AW only a cheap sliding clutch and planet pins.

It's quite possible 3 speed wheels were replaced due to lack of parts or ability to repair BSA gears.

Cotter pins see http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=134987

My own bikes tended to have 8 ounce rims and 6 ounce tyres, and are pre 1980. Not really able to use them now.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:02 pm 
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I've never been able to find many documents about the K hubs beyond how to repair them and a few exploded diagrams - actually, they look quite scary and I hope I never have to completely dismantle one for any reason... well, actually, that would be easy, it would be re-assembling it that would bother me.

Yes, it is entirely possible that the wheel was replaced, though it does seem to match the bike - all parts painted black in the same enamel as the frame, though everything had a coating of matt lead paint on it (Presumably from the war). I'm happy with 1936 anyway, it would add up with some other parts on there.

Oh, and I see you have indeed worked with cotter pins, I hate those things, that two hammer trick may come in useful if I ever have to take the pins out (such as if I ever obtain an oil bath that fits) as I usually end up injured.

All this ounces stuff sounds light to me... I'm usually not fussed on weight and prefer heavier bikes, but then I am quite tall and heavy so it stands to reason that I would find weightier bikes easier to control.

Anyhow, I've exceded the 2-post limit, and so can now add those thumbnails here, though I'm happy with 1936 as we both guessed at that and as such it is likely right, unless the wheel was indeed replaced.
Image ImageImage

Edit: Those pictures don't show things too well, the number is on the opposite side of the bike at the top of the seat tube. The wheels are 26" x 1½" and the rear end of the frame (can't remember what the parts that run from the top of the seat tube to the dropouts is called) is bolted instead of brazed/welded.

Anyway, thanks for your help and everything


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:59 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:07 pm
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Location: Cotswolds
Paul, I would have expected more BSA trade marks, like "BSA" chainwheel, trade marks stamped into cranks and front hub, and a cast bottom bracket shell marked BSA with a pivot for the rear brake. I must say it is probably 50 years since I've seen any of this.
Hope that helps. I have looked at my BSA catalogue copies and the nearest I have is 1932.
Is it possibly a Sunbeam? (part of BSA) or made from BSA components?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:42 pm
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Hi Paul, welcome to the forum. It isn't necessary to be the proud owner of a classic road bike to be a member here, we take all sorts!

With that BSA of yours you may be interested in an event in your area on 9th and 10th July which is a pair of rides around the WW2 airfields in the York-Selby-Goole-Pocklington district. Riders are expected (but will not be ostracised they don't!) to ride pre-1945 bikes if at all possible. Distances will be around 40-50 miles each day with stops at each airfield for tea and bacon butties etc. All very leisurely and led by Tony who rides nothing but Ordinaries (penny farthings to the masses!). I will probably put up a more general thread about this nearer the time.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:51 pm 
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EDIT: @Old Ned; Missed your reply before somehow... That sounds like it would be good, I wish my health would still permit things like that unfortunately I can hardly go more than 5 miles these days without potentially collapsing and even having a stroke which is rather irksome as I used to be able to do about 80 miles a day - and that was just a leisurly ride because I was bored... I did have a MTB bike (Diamondback Sorrento FS - don't buy one) back then though. Still, my health may be better by July. Sorry I missed your reply at first.

@keithlos; Ah, Sunbeam is what I was trying to think of before when I was talking about other people building with BSA parts and logos.

The headbadge is badly damaged and unreadable, seems it was painted on which does not seem uncommon on this type of bicycle.

Now you mention it, it could well be a Sunbeam, though I do not have access to any of their catalogs (I am sure I could find some scans online though) and various parts point to BSA or even have the logo. Actually, if it is a Sunbeam that would not be a bad thing, there are not many of those in my area and people around here would pay a stupid price for it if I ever sold it (though I am not likely to) and it would also answer the excessive amount of red paint where the headbadge was. Oddly, Humber (A local company) Bicycles are almost never seen in this area either, but that is off topic, just though I would add it in because of how weird it seems to me.

Here are the remains of the headbadge (which I wish was still there) and the under side of the bottom bracket;
ImageImage

As you can see from that, I had to add a stupid connector to that lamp, I wish I did not have to do that, but I know if I left it on when my bike was locked up it would just get stolen and I have no intention of putting modern lights on as they would look out of place.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:49 pm 
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Location: Cotswolds
Paul, A sunbeam would have had a large cast bottom head lug using 3/16 balls. Also BSA/Sunbeam should have the rear brake tube in front of the head tube, not at the side. Raleigh and BSA both used a double sided bell crank (on the bottom head lug) to connect the rear brake.

The pivot under the bottom bracket looks like BSA, but they also trade marked all the bearings.

If I could read your head badge.......

You're doing well to get out for a few miles, I am consumed by terminal idleness (a computer ailment), and I keep being reminded of things long forgotten. I am also old enough to remember what Hovis bread was like, not the brown foam it has become.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:56 pm 
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Ah, I've never seen a Sunbeam crank close up - probably due to the affore mentioned lack of Sunbeams in this area - but I do have a Raleigh Tourist of about the same age as this bicycle, think it's a little younger, the rear brake rod on that is in the center and uses the double sided device to connect to the rear brakes.

On the other hand, whilst I was stood looking at my bikes again (I do this a lot, it took me ten years to get around to finding and buying these things and I still can't believe I own them sometimes.) and I thought about the Headbadge and looked at the Raleigh, that still has a headbadge and directly above it is the lamp bracket, which has the Raleigh logo in it's metal work - the thought occured to me to look up various bikes to see what the lamp bracket was like, this one does not have any branding, but it does match with other BSA bicycles - it is actually the same as the one from a newer BSA I own, except it is painted black, so I am willing to bet on it actually being BSA as originally thought.

As for doing a few miles, yeah, realistically there is nothing wrong with my physical health, I just have major anxiety problems which can cause physical issues - mainly palpitations, numbness and inability to breathe which can lead to serious problems - if they are stretched too much. Sadly, I am not old enough to remember real Hovis and have only ever had the brown foam that it is now, well, usually Morrison's own-brand bread as I am too cheap to buy anything recognisable.

I guess this is probably this thread finished really. Thanks again.


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