Author Topic: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton  (Read 4296 times)

Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #25 on: October 06, 2020, 08:50:36 pm »
waiting for parcel force with eager anticipation

arrived - here it is - images can be a little deceptive - but it is quite an early frame number


LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #26 on: October 06, 2020, 09:20:01 pm »
The handlebars are just a location to place your hands and to guide the bike towards where you want to go. Don’t stress the bars in any way and riding the bike becomes much easier.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #27 on: October 06, 2020, 09:49:31 pm »
The handlebars are just a location to place your hands and to guide the bike towards where you want to go. Don’t stress the bars in any way and riding the bike becomes much easier.

Thanks - I'm not expecting much, but I will enjoy the "restoration" - hopefully I can get replacement parts

presumably those "white" tyres are the original spec, I'll try to find some if they are, pity that the few chrome plated bits seem to rust

I should get it by the weekend and the weather it forecast to be good

Got soaked on my Brompton this afternoon, but riding into the driving rain was quite enjoyable

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #28 on: October 07, 2020, 04:55:21 am »
I got a Bickerton a few years ago.  After a quick ride of 100m (that's metres, not miles), I quickly concluded that Harry Bickerton could never have ridden his own invention. 

There was so much flex from the ridiculous handlebars, that it was not possible to safely ride it other than at low speed, in a straight line, not helped by the daft 14" front wheel.  So I swiftly found a donor unbranded folding bike and nicked the forks with a conventional stem and folding steerer, added Brompton wheels front and back including an 8 speed Sturmey Archer hub, and a rack which can take panniers, and it's a much better bike. 

Four years ago it went on the Eurostar to Avignon and Rebecca (on a Brompton) & I had 2 lovely weeks touring around.  And I went up Mont Ventoux on it.  A few people were a bit miffed to be overtaken by me on a Bickerton!  I still use it regularly to pop into town.

No, it doesn't fold as neatly as a Brompton if you're going on a train.  But everyone has a Brompton.  So it's nice to be a bit different.

With those kind of mods, is it still a bickerton ;)

Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #29 on: October 08, 2020, 10:40:06 pm »
I have an owner's manual if you'd like it!

Adam

  • It'll soon be summer
    • Charity ride Durness to Dover 18-25th June 2011
Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #30 on: October 09, 2020, 09:46:05 pm »
I got a Bickerton a few years ago.  After a quick ride of 100m (that's metres, not miles), I quickly concluded that Harry Bickerton could never have ridden his own invention. 

There was so much flex from the ridiculous handlebars, that it was not possible to safely ride it other than at low speed, in a straight line, not helped by the daft 14" front wheel.  So I swiftly found a donor unbranded folding bike and nicked the forks with a conventional stem and folding steerer, added Brompton wheels front and back including an 8 speed Sturmey Archer hub, and a rack which can take panniers, and it's a much better bike. 

Four years ago it went on the Eurostar to Avignon and Rebecca (on a Brompton) & I had 2 lovely weeks touring around.  And I went up Mont Ventoux on it.  A few people were a bit miffed to be overtaken by me on a Bickerton!  I still use it regularly to pop into town.

No, it doesn't fold as neatly as a Brompton if you're going on a train.  But everyone has a Brompton.  So it's nice to be a bit different.

With those kind of mods, is it still a bickerton ;)
It's a Bickerton +!



“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” -Albert Einstein

Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #31 on: October 09, 2020, 09:51:58 pm »
It's a generic folding bike with some Bickerton parts bolted on I'm afraid.

Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #32 on: November 08, 2020, 05:39:52 pm »
some folding bikes feel like they might fold up as you ride them. The Bickerton is one such, and appearances are not deceptive.

FWIW I know where there are two of the blessed things for sale, very low mileage, with bags. 

cheers

Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #33 on: November 12, 2020, 08:18:30 pm »




1976 Bike ..... according to the SA rear hub

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #34 on: November 12, 2020, 08:24:39 pm »
So that's what they did with all the Raleigh Chopper ape hangers. Not a bike that appeals to me but I hope you enjoy it.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #35 on: November 12, 2020, 08:28:44 pm »
a few more images for your appreciation

I need a rear reflector ......... and any info on the plastic headset


























Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #36 on: November 12, 2020, 08:31:33 pm »
any info on the plastic headset

Try the local plumbers' merchant?   ;)
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #37 on: November 12, 2020, 08:35:55 pm »
when you take it to pieces and put it back together you realise that most of the parts are hand made - reminds me of the metalwork classes at school - but the pedals, chainwheel set and brakes are better than those used on the early Brompton's which also had a plastic 1" headset

Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #38 on: November 12, 2020, 09:04:17 pm »
a few more images for your appreciation

Blimey. Did it arrive in a time machine?

(and how did they get it up to 88 mph?)

Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #39 on: November 12, 2020, 09:10:07 pm »
it scrubbed up very well - ultrasonic cleaner worked wonders on the chain and a few other bits and Autosolve is now my new friend, but the bike was very good to start with.

Not sure that I intend to ride it (much) until there is a "fair" weather day

compared with the Brompton it is ultralight

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #40 on: November 12, 2020, 09:12:41 pm »
Not sure that I intend to ride it (much) until there is a "fair" weather day

Can't say I blame you.  It's looking very shiny, and we're into peak skog season.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #41 on: November 12, 2020, 09:15:03 pm »
The only stuff that I could not get off were the hand grips, and I did you want to force them - I tried heating them in very hot water!!

Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #42 on: November 12, 2020, 10:23:24 pm »
If the headset is plastic it should be possible to get one turned up. The raw material I am thinking of is called Ertalon IIRC, comes in bars, quite expensive and is a nylon or teflon variant. We had several bars of different diameters for bashing out bits of hydraulic hammers when I did that sort of thing. Quite hardwearing!

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #43 on: November 12, 2020, 11:26:04 pm »
Ditch the plastic headset if you want to actually ride the bike. A normal headset swaps in just fine.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #44 on: November 13, 2020, 10:08:35 am »
Ditch the plastic headset if you want to actually ride the bike. A normal headset swaps in just fine.

Thanks - it's for another bike that I am "restoring" - the plastic lock nut has cracked.

I could replace it with a metal set but then I would loose the special ride characteristics of the front end.

Not that I am planning to ride them a lot, I just bought them out of curiosity and something to do in lock down - probably get another as they are cheap and quite interesting to take to pieces, improve and reassemble.

I've been searching the internet for history but there is not much really even though Harry's sons have a "web site" which is hardly of any use concerning the past.

I prefer to replace parts with original spec ones, if they are available.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #45 on: November 13, 2020, 11:24:09 am »
Later Bickertons swapped from the lightweight plastic headset (upper bearing only, from memory) to steel because of dubious durability and poor steering performance from the plastic bushing. As with many folding bikes, the Bickertons gained weight over the production run as various weight-saving weaknesses were beefed up.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #46 on: November 13, 2020, 11:50:25 am »
Later Bickertons swapped from the lightweight plastic headset (upper bearing only, from memory) to steel because of dubious durability and poor steering performance from the plastic bushing. As with many folding bikes, the Bickertons gained weight over the production run as various weight-saving weaknesses were beefed up.

Thanks

Yep - I've seen "black" coloured ones and steel one - presumably an alloy one, (the 1" as used on the Brompton), would do the job but as I indicated it's more about restoring the bike with original spec parts, (finding them is part of the fun), rather than riding it.

Adam

  • It'll soon be summer
    • Charity ride Durness to Dover 18-25th June 2011
Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #47 on: November 13, 2020, 10:35:21 pm »
Later Bickertons swapped from the lightweight plastic headset (upper bearing only, from memory) to steel because of dubious durability and poor steering performance from the plastic bushing. As with many folding bikes, the Bickertons gained weight over the production run as various weight-saving weaknesses were beefed up.
On mine, the upper & lower were both plastic originally. 

I really wonder why they were ever made in plastic, as they surely must have thought at the time they wouldn't be very durable?
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” -Albert Einstein

Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #48 on: November 13, 2020, 11:01:06 pm »
IIRC a plastic headset (might even be the same one as fitted to a Bickerton) was a lightweight part that offered by Ron Kitching in the later 1960s. Still one of the lightest headsets made. Not very durable, obviously.

In the 1980s you could buy a stronglight headset with several plastic parts (a variant of the A10 headset with roller bearings in it). This was most often seen with 'Red S' branding, distributed by Madison.  It at least conceded that you needed metal for the locknut and threaded section of the adjusting race, but even then they only made half the adjusting race from aluminium; the rest was plastic.

cheers

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Thinking about getting an "original" Bickerton
« Reply #49 on: November 14, 2020, 09:17:55 am »
A full plastic headset is just more proof that my memory is not perfect. Correction noted.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...