When I were a lad...

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
dragonrider
Posts: 81
Joined: 21 Jun 2011, 10:17pm
Location: Harrogate

Re: When I were a lad...

Postby dragonrider » 30 May 2017, 5:07pm

I diversion from the main discussion on gears but you may enjoy the following.

My dad Cycled up, what seemed to me as little un, a cliff path to the colliery in the South Wales valleys. His bike was a heavy old Raleigh with the top luxury 3 speed SA gears. Don't know if it was that b...y bike, the hard life of a blacksmith, or the 50 woodbines a day that killed him at 64!

But I have always struggled to remember the bike lights he used. I recall being fascinated by them but cannot recall the name of the chemicals or system. My best recollection is some form of crystal with water dropped on it that gave off a flammable gas. That was ignited to give a flame in a reflector - if you like it was an early portable gas lamp. It all sounds pretty dangerous by today's standards and I am sure he dumped them for EverReady batteries as soon as they were commonly available. Does anyone know what I am describing?

User avatar
cycleruk
Posts: 5544
Joined: 17 Jan 2009, 9:30pm
Location: Lancashire

Re: When I were a lad...

Postby cycleruk » 30 May 2017, 5:23pm

dragonrider wrote:I diversion from the main discussion on gears but you may enjoy the following.
But I have always struggled to remember the bike lights he used. I recall being fascinated by them but cannot recall the name of the chemicals or system. My best recollection is some form of crystal with water dropped on it that gave off a flammable gas. That was ignited to give a flame in a reflector - if you like it was an early portable gas lamp. It all sounds pretty dangerous by today's standards and I am sure he dumped them for EverReady batteries as soon as they were commonly available. Does anyone know what I am describing?

Carbide was the compound. Mixed with water would give off Acetylene which is of course flammable.
My first bike was a single speed Hercules with rod brakes (cost my parents £3 [2nd hand] in 1953).
Then I was upgraded to a Trent Tourist 3 speed Sturmey one Christmas (1959). [Still 2nd hand but immaculate]. This I had till I bought a moped to go to work on.
Now my bikes have the lowest gearing I can fit practically.
You'll never know if you don't try it.

tatanab
Posts: 4344
Joined: 8 Feb 2007, 12:37pm

Re: When I were a lad...

Postby tatanab » 30 May 2017, 5:27pm

Calcium Carbide to be exact. My local LBS had it in stock right into the 1970s, by which time it must have been pretty aged.

aljohn
Posts: 59
Joined: 7 Sep 2012, 9:39pm

Re: When I were a lad...

Postby aljohn » 30 May 2017, 5:59pm

I can relate to the ancient gears in my youth too, but I recently read a book by Ragged Staff, Rex Coley, I used to love his tales when I were young. They are a little dated now, but I read when he was thrilled to be fitting a 4 speed hub gear to his normally 3 speed tandem. His wife and he carried a fair load in saddlebag and panniers. It made me feel really weak - I have a Ribble with a 9 speed triple Campag, a Saracen 9 speed compact Campag, a Dolan 10 speed Ultegra compact. And I'm willing to bet I'd not cope with a 4 speed hub gear on any of my bikes - I've obviously got too soft in my old age...sob.....

scottg
Posts: 875
Joined: 10 Jan 2008, 8:44pm
Location: Highland Heights Kentucky,, USA

Re: When I were a lad...

Postby scottg » 30 May 2017, 6:01pm

Brucey wrote:
peetee wrote:It were 42-21 bottom gear. Never stopped me getting up Portsdown Hill - the hard way! I never walked I didn't. Kids, don't know they're born...


42/21 ...? Pah. That meant you had a second chainring. Bloody luxury.... Chain made from fence staples and binder twine, sprockets for goalposts....

cheers


Up hill both ways, chased by wolves ? or was it Normans ?

Before British Cycling started using foreign rubbish, British Cyclo offered
double chain wheels in 44/28 and 46/30, and there was a Rosa clanger
to complete the kit. And the awe inspiring Cyclo-Benelux Tourist mech.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++
Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-AG
+++++++++++++++++++++++++

dragonrider
Posts: 81
Joined: 21 Jun 2011, 10:17pm
Location: Harrogate

Re: When I were a lad...

Postby dragonrider » 30 May 2017, 7:09pm

tatanab wrote:Calcium Carbide to be exact. My local LBS had it in stock right into the 1970s, by which time it must have been pretty aged.

Thanks for that - calcium carbide, and now that I know I have just googled it. You can buy it by the sackful on Amazon. But best not leave it out in the rain!

mig
Posts: 2324
Joined: 19 Oct 2011, 9:39pm

Re: When I were a lad...

Postby mig » 31 May 2017, 2:58pm

i've never thought that much smaller gears on their own are a great aid to climbing & have always found the gear i'm most used to the best for the job.
i just couldn't produce the spin rate required on a tiny gear to climb the short of hills i ride - shorter, steeper ones.

User avatar
[XAP]Bob
Posts: 17972
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: When I were a lad...

Postby [XAP]Bob » 31 May 2017, 4:09pm

Slight pause in rhythm, but not a significant cadence change when I drop from 75t to 30t up front on the Rapto.

The pause is to allow me to hit the button with my heel, and jump 7-8 gears on the derailleur...

You just need to know how big the jump is compared with the rear and flick that many gears the 'other' way when you change - oh and know when you change...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

User avatar
willcee
Posts: 1190
Joined: 14 Aug 2008, 11:30pm
Location: castleroe,co.derryUlster

Re: When I were a lad...

Postby willcee » 31 May 2017, 10:06pm

Before British Cycling started using foreign rubbish, British Cyclo offered
double chain wheels in 44/28 and 46/30, and there was a Rosa clanger
to complete the kit. And the awe inspiring Cyclo-Benelux Tourist mech.[/quote]

Afaik from what i've read those were gearings that were in wide usage in France.. the French touring bike factories actually had a set std.. in fact if memory serves the French guys had experimental 4 chainwheels back in the 30's and flicked the chain with a hardwood dowel when they needed to ratio up or down..
BITD I think there was lot of stick from hardened clubmen who typically used halfstep gearing to anyone who went out with them got a ribbing if they couldn't get on top of the gear.. unless you're racing or being a sunday warrior, 39/52/3 . pros use these .. 34/50 or 36/50 or even the new std 32/46 is ample with whatever you wish to run on the back personally i rode 11.25 11/28 and now its 11/32..age!! and with wisdom!! ... will

Brucey
Posts: 42324
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: When I were a lad...

Postby Brucey » 31 May 2017, 10:27pm

scottg wrote: Up hill both ways, chased by wolves ? or was it Normans ?


bloodthirsty cavemen, hundreds of them. And that were when the woolly mammoths 'ad their day off, mind....

You tell youngsters that these days, and they don't believe you..... :shock:

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

User avatar
NATURAL ANKLING
Posts: 12444
Joined: 24 Oct 2012, 10:43pm
Location: English Riviera

Re: When I were a lad...

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 1 Jun 2017, 9:46am

Hi,
Threatening to revive the road bike to replace the 14 kg plus tourer (refuse to remove rack and mudguards) I am now climbing some of the hills on a minimum 41" yesterday (blame that on the third bottle), but have previously managed 46" last week :)
My second gear is 46" which is what the road bike uses for first :)

So do I persevere with tourer which has also a emergency granny :) Or do I tough it out with the 10.5 kg racer and I might have to walk on the day of sportive :?

P.S. The racer means I am being serious.................the tourer allows me excuses :lol:
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.

nigelnightmare
Posts: 699
Joined: 19 Sep 2016, 10:33pm

Re: When I were a lad...

Postby nigelnightmare » 10 Jun 2017, 8:08pm

Go for the "Tourer" then.


Oh, it's not "excuses" it's good reasons and if nobody wants to know them......




...You can save save 'em for the next time. :wink: :lol:

User avatar
foxyrider
Posts: 5233
Joined: 29 Aug 2011, 10:25am
Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Re: When I were a lad...

Postby foxyrider » 10 Jun 2017, 8:33pm

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Hi,
Threatening to revive the road bike to replace the 14 kg plus tourer (refuse to remove rack and mudguards) I am now climbing some of the hills on a minimum 41" yesterday (blame that on the third bottle), but have previously managed 46" last week :)
My second gear is 46" which is what the road bike uses for first :)

So do I persevere with tourer which has also a emergency granny :) Or do I tough it out with the 10.5 kg racer and I might have to walk on the day of sportive :?

P.S. The racer means I am being serious.................the tourer allows me excuses :lol:


When I can ride (grrrr!) I generally use gears @15/20" higher on my 7.5kg carbon plaything compared to my 10kg tourer on the same climbs. My low gear in the Alps last year was 34x27 but i've struggled with 26x29 when it's been available!
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

User avatar
NATURAL ANKLING
Posts: 12444
Joined: 24 Oct 2012, 10:43pm
Location: English Riviera

Re: When I were a lad...

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 10 Jun 2017, 9:22pm

Hi,
Crikes, 10kg tourer :( I wish.
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.

niknakmb
Posts: 33
Joined: 26 Sep 2016, 7:12pm

Re: When I were a lad...

Postby niknakmb » 11 Jun 2017, 9:11pm

ImageImage
Still running 39 52 with 6 speed maillard freewheel 14 to 24.
Hills are hard after just getting back on the bike after 15 years.
Had to restore the old bike first !