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 Women's Royal Astoria & Men's White Sterling
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Joseph Martin

USA
1973 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2017 :  20:37:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
this perfectly restored Royal Astoria just sold on eBay.


Edited by - Joseph Martin on 09/01/2017 06:50:51

brad drexler

USA
303 Posts

Posted - 08/29/2017 :  17:35:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That is a genuine Dick Rath restoration. It is nice.
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Rambler

USA
366 Posts

Posted - 08/29/2017 :  18:36:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sold for starting bid. Crank sprocket looks modified to me. Maybe it's the 1/2" pitch chain and screws holding the sprocket on that concern me that somethings just not right.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-ladies-bicycle-from-the-early-1900-039-s-restored-to-museum-quality-standard-/112536447167


Edited by - Rambler on 08/29/2017 18:38:03
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Dick Rath

USA
215 Posts

Posted - 08/31/2017 :  18:39:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Rambler got it somewhat right in his critique of my restoration work; the part that the machine screws did not look quite right. The originals were badly buggered up and could not be salvaged so I did replace them using specially hardened pan head machine screws which are a very close match, at least in appearance, to the originals. It is the back-up nuts that, in my view, stand out as incorrect. The 1/2 pitch chain and sprocket are original to the bike however what Rambler missed is that the cranks are not a match. The right side crank is original and actually has a beautifully sculpted shape to the inside the arm. It's the left side that is incorrect and I suspect it is actually a Raleigh crank arm. The mis-match can be clearly seen in the eBay ad pictures.

I bought the bike from Brad Drexler who was kind enough to convince his buddy Keith Pariani to squeeze it into his van and deliver it from Florida to Copake this past April.

At first it appeared it would be a simple and straightforward restoration but, as I got into the work I found there was lots to be done to finish it correctly; most of which I was able and willing to do. However I have little experience with European built bikes and I knew that finding a market for what might turn into a very expensive project when completed would mean selling it for less than I would have in the restoration. I do these projects as a small retirement hobby business that must at very least be self supporting. As some of you may know most of my restored bicycles have been sold to a Swiss collector that has little interest in bicycles that are not American built. He viewed a set of 24 pictures I sent to him and was extremely complimentary in his comments however, as I knew he would, he passed on purchasing the bike. My experience has shown that the market in the US for restored bicycles is difficult no matter the quality of the restoration work; that's just the way it is and has been for as long as I've been enjoying working at this.

This particular bike was sold to a woman who resides on Mackinac Island, Michigan who seems to have every intention to regularly ride the bike.

My next 2 projects include full restorations of a TOC men's 28" Fleetwing roadster and a late 1890's ladies 28" Crescent Model 18 Chainless. The Crescent will be going to Switzerland; the Fleetwing is not spoken for. Perhaps Tony will post some pictured of it and maybe a Wheelman will find it to his liking.

On another matter:

A few months ago I received a call from my friend Peter Zhuetlin who, as most of you are likely aware, is the author of the book "Around The World On Two Wheels"; an account of his Great, Grand Aunt, Annie Londonderry's, bicycle adventure in 1894 on her men's Sterling roadster. Prior to the book's publication Peter commissioned me find and restore a duplicate of the Sterling that he intended to use during his book tours around the US.

Peter's recent call was to ask me about shipping the restored Sterling to Israel where the Museum of Science in Jerusalem was preparing an exhibit centered around women in sports and, having heard about Annie's ride, wanted her adventure to be part of the exhibit. In Peter's discussion with the exhibit's organizers they learned about the existence of the restored Sterling and they wanted it for the exhibit. I gave peter some tips on how to package the bike for shipping and also an estimate of the bike's insurance value.

2 week ago the bike was shipped and I learned that it would not be coming back to the US for about 4 years as the museum's plans now included the exhibit traveling, on loan, to museums around the world, including some in the US.

For any wanting to see pictures of the Sterling there are many of them on my website www.timemachineslimited.com It is the only white Sterling on the website. Sterling painted the bike white specially for Annie and I'm told it's the only one they'd ever done.

As I learn more about the exhibit and perhaps have some pictures of the setup I
will get them to Tony who has been very kind to post many pictures for me.

Dick
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Joseph Martin

USA
1973 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2017 :  06:48:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote








































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Ed Minas

USA
28 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2017 :  07:34:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dick the The Sterling is just stunning. Superb job!
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Rambler

USA
366 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2017 :  09:03:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree, absolutely stunning work on the Sterling.

Dick, I did not at all intend my observation on the Women's Royal Astoria as any critique of your restoration work. You do very nice restoration work. It was simply an observation of the replaced bolts and 1/2 pitch chain not being typical for this era of bike. I thought possibly something had been modified from original. The 1/2" pitch chain makes perfect sense to me now that I realize this this is a European bicycle. I did notice the left crank arm and what appears to be a repair to the chain guard but did not choose to mention it.

I do have one question for you, what type of tires did you use on the Women's Royal Astoria? Are they pneumatic? I did not recognize the tread pattern so I know they were not the same as those on the Sterling for example.
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Dick Rath

USA
215 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2017 :  08:45:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Rambler mentioned the chain guard which I fabricated for the Royal Astoria's restoration; it is a design I created based on a photograph I found of a similar European ladies bicycle from the same period. The guard that was on the bike when I purchased it from Brad was a stamped metal design which seemed to me to be from the mid 1930's so naturally it had to go. The lacing pattern on both the fender and the chain guard is one which I use regularly and which was fairly common during this period. I've seen many other patterns over the years, some very complicated and elaborate but beyond my basic Boy Scout knot tying skills. Finding the right cordage for the lacing on these bicycles involved a long search that resulted in finding an appropriate diameter woven cordage marketed under the name "Parachute Cord". The problem was the cord's coloring which was a stark white. To give the cord the desired vintage appearance I soaked the entire coil in a pot of my wife's Lipton Tea and the result, in my view, was pretty close to what I was looking for.

The best thing that came out my sale of this bicycles was that during my correspondence with the woman buyer, I wrote about The Wheelmen and the positive experiences I've enjoyed as a member; she responded yesterday that she will definitely be signing up and likely will begin to participate actively in our activities. My impression is that she will be real asset to our association.

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Dick Rath

USA
215 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2017 :  09:00:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Whoops, I forgot to answer Ramblers tire question. The tires on the bike were purchased on eBay as New Old Stock ( apparently very old stock ) clincher types.
The size matched the badly deteriorated tires that were on the bike when i purchased it and only required new tubes. I did notice that when inflated beyond 30 psi the bead began to creep out of the edge so I kept the pressure at 25 psi.

I advised the purchaser that if she intended to ride the bike she should consider a set of RD Tire's 1 5/8" ribbed model types and to glue them in place.

THe tires on the White Sterling are white 28" Universal's which are display types which I use often on restorations unlikely to be ridden and always advise the new owner to exchange them for a set of RD Tires if they ever intend to ride the bike.
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Rambler

USA
366 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2017 :  13:10:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you Dick for all the excellent helpful information. Especially the tip about using "Parachute Cord".

https://smile.amazon.com/Paracord-Planet-Micro-Cord-Available/dp/B00HCO8YOQ/ref=cm_wl_huc_item
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paulabidder

United Kingdom
18 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2017 :  09:18:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi , Dick.

The restoration on the White bicycle is probably the Best I have seen in a Long time (SUPER) Who did the work on the Saddle .The total restoration is quite superb," keep up" the good work..Regards Paul Adams
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Dick Rath

USA
215 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2017 :  12:22:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Paul,
Thank you for your kind comments; I hope the bike is returned to Peter Zheutlin in the same condition he has maintained it. The saddle was restored for me from a pretty nasty original by Chuck Leipham at The Saddle Shop in Edgewater, Florida.

The flip forward feature on the saddle was new to me and was likely developed to make it easier for women to mount. I may not have mentioned in my note that Annie's original choice for her adventure was a ladies Columbia which she pedaled to Chicago arriving in late September when she realized that to get to the west coast where she would begin her ocean passage to Asia she would have to cross the Rockie Mountains in winter.......just a small miscalculation. Evidently she had issues with the Columbia and decided to switch to the men's Sterling. She then retrace her ride to Chicago to get back to Boston where she spent the winter and then in the Spring pedaled her way to New York where she departed for Europe and parts East.
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brad drexler

USA
303 Posts

Posted - 09/05/2017 :  18:01:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dick the Sterling is stunning! And what a great place for the Royal Astoria to be. She matches the island charm perfectly. Don't know if I mentioned when you visited but Chuck Leipham's daughter lives across the street from me. He's over there often working.
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