Lady Blue protests

This was planed to be the one of the last posts about “Lady Blue”. Today I was going to fix the handlebars. I started by uncover the bicycle from its protective dust cover i put on a while back. There she was, a real looker if I may say so. The I brought out tools and the NOS (new old stock) grips I bought on an auction, they are from the 40’s and unused. Now, it turned out that this matter with getting the grips on to the handlebar was an real adventure.

First of all, let me explain how the grips is mounted.

Back in the days it was mainly 2 different types of grips that was used.
One style of grips was fastened with a expansion screw inside the bar it self. That is you mount the grip on the bar, then in some magical way there is a set of washers and special designed bolts that expands when tightening a screw at the end of the grip. Tight and the grip stays in place because the grip is made out of one piece of wood that has been hollowed out. Sometimes the wood was coloured or covered in a plastic material. A nice clean look.

Then we have the slightly more crude version.
That was to force a 10 centimetre wooden plug inside the end of the handlebar with a hammer. In that wooden plug, was is a pre-drilled hole to screw the grip into until it fixates the grip to the handlebar. The grip it self is made of two main parts. The end parts where the screw is and the wooden shell that is the grip. With this method, the grip can slide up the handlebar. To prevent this they put two small rivets on the bar so it stop the grip from slid to far.

The old original handlebar that was fitted to Lady Blue back in the 1930’s had the grips with the expansion screws. But since I can not use the original handlebars, due to the condition of them, being painted and so on (they went to Thailand for some adventures, you can read about it here). I got hold of a replacement handlebars from the right era that I mounted while trying to have the original one fixed. But now I am stuck with the replacement. Today I noticed that the replacement bar has wooden plugs inside the ends and rivets on the bar. Prepared for the second style grips

Now guess three times what kind of grips I got on the auction?

Of course, the ones that fits the original handlebars, the style with a expansion screw inside. They do not work on the new replacement handlebars!

I have other handlebars in storage of course, but they all are to modern. They are from 1960’s an forward, they do not have that typical nice, smooth 1930’s curvage that I need for Lady Blue. So, what to do? New grips? New bar? I must think this over for a bit. So for now there is no grips at all.

On the good side, I adjusted the hight of the saddle, I also fitted a bell and an different Dynamo on the front fork. I finally found an Swedish made ASEA dynamo on an auction. So now there is an dynamo that matches the ASEA light I mounted earlier and they are connected with an wire that are inside a long spring, also an typical era accessory. The dynamo it self is a brass coloured big and heavy one, it still works and looks simply great, very impressive! The lamp is chromed and big. The spring is in stainless steel. It all looks really great.

Back then (1930’s) a front light was more or less optional. There where all sorts of lamp styles, candle, kerosene, carbide, electric with dynamo, electric with battery. Bicyclists could buy all sorts of different after mark brands of dynamo and head light from bicycle retailers, post order and regular shops. It was only later in the mid 1950’s there was a law for bicycles to have front and rear light I think. Before that there was only an reflective red “cats eye” on the rear fender and optional light in front.

So, now Lady Blue protests. Perhaps she do not want to leave the comfort in basement? It is summer outside now! Soon she will be out in the sun again and I will bring a camera.

Does anyone want to see the results of that adventure?

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