Monday, August 29, 2011

My 1965 Malvern Star 2 Star bicycle - Part 2

If you have perused Part 1 of my post regarding my 1965 Malvern Star you'll see that I originally re-painted the frame a beige colour....well, I experienced some problems with the paintwork. As I was assembling the bike the paintwork badly peeled away from the frame on the forks, the rear dropouts, and the seat post clamping area at the top of the seat tube.

I was very disappointed. I had my heart set on the frame being finished nicely so I had it sand blasted again, but this time around I had it powder coated a navy blue colour. In terms of durability and finish, I don't think you can beat a powder coat finish on a steel bicycle frame.

After powder coating I repainted the stars on the head tube and forks, assembled the bike.....and here it is - no paint problems this time!

My 1965 Malvern Star 2 Star

The 28 x 1 1/2 inch rear chromed Westwood 40 hole rim has a Perry (England) brand 19T rear coaster hub that was restored from old. The hub polished up quite well, although the coaster brake itself isn't too effective for braking. The old coaster brake will pull you up.......eventually, but in today's traffic you need more than just "eventually"! 

Perry England 40 hole coaster hub.

I'm not too concerned about the lack of rear braking as I've also fitted a period Dia-compe caliper brake setup to the front chromed 32 hole Westwood rim. The brake is operated by a drilled Dia-compe lever - drilled levers always look great. Althought the Westwood rims offer a very limited braking surface area the front brake is quite effective in dry conditions (...although I don't think riding this one in the rain is an option!!).

Dia-compe brake caliper with drilled lever.

I had trouble sourcing an original Malvern Star chromed headset so I opted for a chromed Japanese Tange headset that looks quite good. The chrome finish sets the head tube paintwork off nicely.

Headtube and headset.

The stem is an original Malvern Star chromed steel stem from the period and the handlebars are also chromed steel drop bars (Nitto steel bars - not original but nice!). Sure they're a little heavy, but chromed steel components still look great on any restoration.

The cranks are Williams brand new old stock (NOS) originals that were very common to bicycles of this era.

This is a track crank setup where the chainwheel is interchangable without removing the cranks from the bottom bracket spindle. The 46 tooth chainwheel is secured to the crank assembly by 5 pins (very hard to find these little gems!) These also polished up nicely as did the NOS T.D.C bottom bracket cups.

Williams chainset.

T.D.C bottom bracket.

The Malvern Star decals look great. I again sourced these from Greg at Cyclomondo on eBay.

.......and of course I fitted a restored Brooks B17 saddle and seatclamp, a bottom bracket oiler cap, and chromed wingnuts to the front axle to finish things off!

Chromed front wingnuts.

My 1965 Malvern Star 2 Star is very enjoyable to ride. The large 28 inch wheels with thick black rubber tyres roll along effortlessly on the flat. A soothing sound is emitted from beneath the rider as the 1/2" x 1/8" steel chain rolls around the chainwheel and rear cog. The comfort of a Brooks leather saddle rounds off the experience.....steel, leather, rubber - what a nice combination!

Ride safe...


Monday, August 1, 2011

The Sturmey Archer legend

Henry Sturmey and James Archer teamed together in the early 1900's and commenced designing and producing bicycle and motor cycle components. In 1902 they patented their first 3 speed hub. Their approach to cycle component design would become legendary throughout the 20th century as bicycle and motor cycle manufacturers adopted Sturmey Archer components as the basis for cycling innovation and design.

The history of the Sturmey Archer phenomenon is well documented at  At this site you'll find some fantastic information on the Sturmey Archer story, with old catalogues and historical advertising material.

The catalogues are fantastic, and the advertising material even better. The advertising style captures the periods of the various products brilliantly. I have posted some advertising material below that captures some of these periods.

...and of course Sturmey Archer are still producing cutting edge cycling components today. Their latest catalogue can be found at

I am a proud owner of a 2010 Pashley Guv'nor 3 speed bicycle that is geared by a Sturmey Archer X-RD3 rear hub with drum brake. This equipment is faultless, an amazing piece of technology that is based on the Sturmey Archer patented 3 speed hub of 1902.

X-RD3 - 3 speed rear hub with drum brake

The Guv'nor also has a Sturmey Archer X-FD front hub with drum brake, this hub is also excellent.... and very stylish too.

X-FD - front hub with drum brake and wing nuts to match.

I have recently restored a 1974 AW 3 speed hub. Below are some before and after images of the hub that is in perfect working order.

The old hub covered in oil and dirt.
Reconditioned and polished.....almost like new!

The beauty of these hubs is their longevity.....a generously oiled hub prevents corrosion and wear so make sure your hub is well cared for to ensure years of riding pleasure.

Of recent interest is their new line of rear hubs....2 speed kick back, and combined fixed and free hub models with anodised colour choices.......just brilliant.

Until next time...

Safe riding,