Sometimes with an old bike restoration you just have to accept that the project is actually finished.  With some bikes this is harder than others, such as this glorious 68 year old Hercules in size 53cm which has been completely rebuilt over the last few months for the second time in its life (the first being at Mercian in Derby who repainted the Reynolds 531 frame beautifully back in 1982).  Though ridden little since, this time at DRC the objective was to balance maximum originality with usability so as much of the original bike is utilised as possible, with a few period correct vintage upgrades sought out to compliment the build.  The frame has relaxed 70.5″ geometry making it an easy bike to potter about on yet keeping it stable at speed.  New consumables, together with a modern headlamp and fat 37mm tyres help too.  The full specification of the bike (including bespoke handlebar end plugs made from a piece of the old Manchester Velodrome track) is at the bottom of the post, meanwhile enjoy the photos to understand why we don’t really want to let this very special British classic go!  Upright roadster bars available on request, rather than drops.

Frame: 21″ (53cm) Hercules Kestrel Club, Reynolds 531 with special hand lined cut-aways lug

Fork: Narrow pattern chromed crown (original)

Paintwork: Metallic Petunia (Mercian)

Frame number: 11034TZ (1953)

Headset: original

Stem: quill (period correct)

Handlebar: chrome plated Maes (period correct)

Bar Tape: Velox cloth (NOS) with handmade wooden end plugs

Brake Levers: original

Brake Calipers: original

Brake Pads: new

Brake Cables: new inners, upgraded vintage frame clips

Shifter: Her-cu-matic trigger 3 speed

Cable Guide: Sturmey-Archer (NOS)

Chain: SRAM PC1 (new)

Crankset: Williams, dated 1959

Bottom Bracket: original, new bearings

Pedals: Brampton B8, with Zefal chrome clips & leather straps

Rims: chromed steel 650A

Front Hub: Sturmey-Archer GH6 Dynohub

Rear Hub: Her-cu-matic 3 speed, upgraded driver

Tyres: 26 x 1 3/8″ (new)

Saddle: Kestrel leather (original)

Seatpost: original

Mudguards: Bluemels All-Rounder

Headlamp: Sturmey-Archer 6v 2.4w

Pump: Kestrel (original, sadly not working)