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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:28 pm 
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According to my wife's aunt who bought the Humber new the year was 1946 (were Humber building bikes again so soon after the war?) Today whilst cleaning the old girl (bike not aunt) I noticed a date stamp on the Dynohub dated 7/49 which doesn't tie in with the 1946 date I was told. Now a couple of things spring to mind, (1.) Aunty was loosing her marbles and got the date wrong or (2.) The rear wheel has been changed a few years after she bought the bike.


I've been trawling the net and found that Humber was bought out by Raleigh in 1932, so I thought I would check Raleigh serial numbers. Sadly the Raleigh numbering system is nothing like the Humber numbers so I can rule that line of enquiries out.

The numbers I have are:-

Top of seat tube - 207789H
Bottom Bracket - 58777
Reg. No. - 6363


The Reg. No. is a number painted into the front mudguard, I did find another online here but it gives no clue as to actual age.


I've still not finished cleaning the Humber, but I decided to take it for a spin and have to admit it is one of the most comfortable bikes I have ever been on. Sadly though it is extremely heavy and even with the 3 speed Dynohub the pace is rather sedate


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:34 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:25 pm
Posts: 48
Location: hertford
hmm. I wish I could help you with the date but I have no idea.

I do however ride a humber to university every day, I restored it a while ago. I would agree on the comfortable nature of this style of bike. If you find it a bit sluggish then I would recommend the following two things:

1: if you have calliper brakes rather than rod brakes you can get 26 x 1/3/8 rims in alloy, I got mine on ebay - better braking and lighter by a lot. If your brakes are rod then they need special rims that I believe are only available in steel.

2: the gearing is normally set pretty high on these bikes, which would contribute to the sedateness you describe. Mine had a 18-48 ratio when I got it, way high for urban riding especially when hills are about. Replacing the rear hub cog with a 22 tooth sturmey archer cog solves this though, you can get that on ebay as well for about £3 I think.

hope some of this is useful


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:55 pm 
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Thanks for your input Jake, I won't be changing the gearing as the bike is as it left the factory and I would like it to stay like that.

The experience when sitting upright in the Brooks saddle whilst peddling is that of a different era, it's a bit like when I'm driving my 1947 car, a time when the pace of life was much slower and beer was 3d a pint


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:52 am 
MacRetro rider
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Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 4:16 pm
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As for date, during the war Raleigh still built bikes as people and various military and government personel still needed to move around without using precious petrol. Raleigh though had to build cheap and thus to avoid downgrading the image of Raleigh they badged the bikes made then with the other marques they owned which included Humber. A way to determine if its war time is how much/little chrome the bike has, as chrome was an essential war material bikes from the time were painted black where chrome would have been used. Also if it still had its original tyres they would be rather basic Dunlop war pattern. Sturmey Archer 3 speed hubs would likely as not have been omitted in favour of single speed but nothing would have stopped an owner upgrading after the war.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:30 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:07 pm
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Location: Cotswolds
Appearance can help to date it. When did Raleigh change to the octagonal head set, wish I could remember but 1946 might be the old round one. Chrome was just coming back in but I think 1946 still had some black components.
Might be possible to find old catalogues, bearing in mind that export bikes were often different specs. Has it got the Humber twin fork blades?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:02 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:25 pm
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Location: hertford
do post a picture when you can


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:30 pm 
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Hi Jake, plenty of pictures here


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:41 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:07 pm
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Location: Cotswolds
Looks to me 1949, are the rims stainless?
Has the full complement of chrome, in superb condition.
I sold and repaired Raleigh makes and others not long after this was made.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:04 pm 
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The rims are chrome, everything is original as far as I can tell except for the saddle which auntie said she had changed for a comfier one


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:49 am 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:25 pm
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Location: hertford
Really lovely. You are right it does not need any restoration. It seems from the other thread that you are selling it, I would buy it were I in the situation to do so. 400 is a good price for a bike of this condition and age. It looks to be the sister of my bike, right down to the saddle.


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