DATING A HUMBER FRAME/BIKE

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
DeepdalePete
Posts: 532
Joined: 29 Jun 2013, 10:18pm

DATING A HUMBER FRAME/BIKE

Postby DeepdalePete » 14 Jan 2014, 7:58pm

One of my more recent acquisitions is a Humber town or sports bike. I'm having trouble accurately dating it. The frame number is: 224843 H. I spoke to one of the chaps from the local CTC and he said not just to go from the date of the rear hub. That is 1950. He also said that the really desirable ones had the Dunlop wheels which mine has! It's complete minus the pedals. Still has the original key for the fork lock and it works. I know Raleigh took over Humber in 1932 but I've looked on the Raleigh database and that does not help me at all. I would very much appreciate a hand in dating this. I know other Humber owners have tried to contact the Vintage Cycling Club but reading their experiences has very much put me off going down that avenue.

Although this is not my bike in the photo, mine is exactly the same as this one.

Any help would be very much appreciated

Brucey
Posts: 42984
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: DATING A HUMBER FRAME/BIKE

Postby Brucey » 14 Jan 2014, 8:45pm

IME if the wheels match one another and are not obviously 'wrong' for the bike then the rear hub date is probably correct and relevant.

Various accessory parts (e.g. the lights and the battery system) vary in detail with date of manufacture and are similarly unlikely to have been added later.

There are some details of Raleigh Group frame numbers listed on the internet. The bike you have could be mechanically similar to a Raleigh of the period, and practically identical (apart from the fork crown and the head badge) to a Rudge, too. The Raleigh had the lock in the fork crown and the others have it in the lower head lug. From ~1947 the kit might have been stainless wheel rims, stainless spokes, 4-speed FG model rear hub with generator, battery system with dynamo lights, chaincase, steering lock. The FG hub internals changed from a threaded driver to a splined one very early on, so by 1950 it should have been a splined driver.

IMHO these bikes are the classic machines of the future, and the usable classic of the present.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pompey Monkey
Posts: 74
Joined: 23 Sep 2013, 1:27pm

Re: DATING A HUMBER FRAME/BIKE

Postby Pompey Monkey » 14 Jan 2014, 8:50pm

I prefer to go out with the ladies myself.

Sorry - I'll get my coat. :D

DeepdalePete
Posts: 532
Joined: 29 Jun 2013, 10:18pm

Re: DATING A HUMBER FRAME/BIKE

Postby DeepdalePete » 15 Jan 2014, 12:13am

Thanks Brucey. Your detailed description from 1947 onwards describes my bike perfectly. It has the generator on the down tube and even has the original pump. Dunlop Stainless steel wheels are unmarked, incredible how they have stood the test of time. There just doesn't seem to be a lot of reference information out there that I can see to help narrow down the model etc.

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breakwellmz
Posts: 1982
Joined: 8 May 2012, 9:33pm

Re: DATING A HUMBER FRAME/BIKE

Postby breakwellmz » 15 Jan 2014, 5:51pm

DeepdalePete wrote:One of my more recent acquisitions is a Humber town or sports bike. I'm having trouble accurately dating it. The frame number is: 224843 H. I spoke to one of the chaps from the local CTC and he said not just to go from the date of the rear hub. That is 1950. He also said that the really desirable ones had the Dunlop wheels which mine has! It's complete minus the pedals. Still has the original key for the fork lock and it works. I know Raleigh took over Humber in 1932 but I've looked on the Raleigh database and that does not help me at all. I would very much appreciate a hand in dating this. I know other Humber owners have tried to contact the Vintage Cycling Club but reading their experiences has very much put me off going down that avenue.

Although this is not my bike in the photo, mine is exactly the same as this one.

Any help would be very much appreciated


I`ve just had a look on the National Cycle Library website at downloads of the 1947-8 and 1952 Humber catalogues.
If it wasn`t for me being a VCC member i could be more helpful :lol:

Brucey
Posts: 42984
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: DATING A HUMBER FRAME/BIKE

Postby Brucey » 15 Jan 2014, 7:07pm

the very similar Rudge models of 1954 are detailed here;

http://1954rudgecatalogue.blogspot.co.uk/

I have a couple of Rudges of about this vintage; both 'sports' models with cable operated brakes, one with a lock and the other without.

there is also a Humber flickr group

http://www.flickr.com/groups/humberbicycles/pool/

which includes a catalogue from the late 1940s

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Brucey
Posts: 42984
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: DATING A HUMBER FRAME/BIKE

Postby Brucey » 15 Jan 2014, 11:02pm

BTW your battery unit could be;

-a DAU
-an FSU, or
-a DBU

-which are all slightly different things.

There is a pretty good explanation of the differences here

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/701409-Filter-Switch-Unit

and Tony Hadland's site is worth a look too; there is a diagram which shows the simplest version of the FSU wiring which incorporates a bleed resistor. It would be simple enough to rework this circuit to allow rechargeables to be trickle charged during daylight riding.

I actually dispensed with DAUs, FSUs and DBUs years ago; DBUs were just a faff (you have to turn the switch to battery power manually every time you slow down) the DAUs were impossible to obtain the right cells for (and anyway they leaked acid...) and the rectifying circuit in an FSU was so lossy that it made the lights dimmer than they should have been all the time. With an FSU when the batteries are powering the lights by themselves, you get 3.6 to 4.5V driving nominally 6v bulbs; brilliant it ain't. With modern LEDs hidden inside the lamps the whole scheme is worth revisiting.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

johnggold
Posts: 8
Joined: 7 May 2013, 2:04pm

Re: ORIGINAL COLOUR FOR A HUMBER FRAME/BIKE

Postby johnggold » 28 May 2020, 4:11pm

I am restoring a 150 Humber Mens Tourer.

It had been in a friends garage for 30 years, and runs but the lights didn't work and it was easier to replace the wiring which had deteriorated and use modern circuitry now hidden in the front lamp, with capacitors in the battery storage tube.

However, it came as British racing green, and as I worked on the wiring I realised that every part had been overpainted. I am about to have it shot blasted and resprayed. It looks as if it was black to start with. I don't know if it needs coachlines. I restored a Raleigh of similar vintage that had red coachlines, but I cant find a good enough colour photo.

Has anyone got a good colour photo so I can copy any coachlines (or lug lines?)

Thank you.

robc02
Posts: 1749
Joined: 23 Apr 2009, 7:12pm
Location: Stafford

Re: ORIGINAL COLOUR FOR A HUMBER FRAME/BIKE

Postby robc02 » 28 May 2020, 8:54pm

johnggold wrote: I don't know if it needs coachlines. I restored a Raleigh of similar vintage that had red coachlines, but I cant find a good enough colour photo.

Has anyone got a good colour photo so I can copy any coachlines (or lug lines?)

Thank you.

Not a colour photo but I have a pdf of the 1952 Humber catalogue. Some of the illustrations are in colour and show enough detail to work out what the lining was like. If you would like to see just pm me with your contact details and I will send it. You might need to send an email address as I don't think I can attach a pdf directly to a pm.

I have a 1952 Humber which appears to be a Royal Elf (model 324). When I bought it, it was hand painted brown. Several years later I took it apart for restoration and found the original blue paintwork on the fork column. I was able to get a fairly good match at a powder coater's and finished the job with gold lining as per the catalogue. It has an FG hub, currently powering modern LED lights- the front in a period SA housing, 26inch stainless rims, and caliper brakes. There is no battery but it could have originally had one and been lost over the years. By sheer fluke I had a key left over from a kit car project that happened to fit the steering lock - very useful it is too.

As Brucey says, it is a very useable classic. I use mine extensively for local utility trips and leisure rides and have even done a couple of overnight camping trips on it. The type of racks that were typically available are heavy and wobbly due to the legs being pin joined to the top platform, so i made my own, to the same basic design, but in lighter gauge tube and with mitred and brazed joints - much better.

I also have a 28inch wheeled Humber, coincidentally also from 1952 (dated by its hub) ready to be re-assembled after a repaint - black with red lining. It has been in this condition for rather too long - we are talking a few years, not months(!) - but I will get around to finishing it at some point.

johnggold
Posts: 8
Joined: 7 May 2013, 2:04pm

Re: DATING A HUMBER FRAME/BIKE

Postby johnggold » 29 May 2020, 10:08am

Thanks for the info. I will pm.

Your comment about leaving a bike for some time struck a chord. Because the hand painting was still in good condition I kept hovering between a rspray and a touch up. Removing the old cabling left a lot of marks.

I am very fortunate in that my neighbour owns a shotblasting and spray company so I just leave my frames on his lawn. No problems with social distancing for me!

I am removing the front forks today so I may get lucky with a bit of original colour.