Thursday, May 25, 2017

James Sports Ace Light Roadster ladies model

c1937 James Sports Ace Light Roadster ladies.

As a sucker for lost causes I couldn't pass this by. It's a James ladies cycle that has been turned into 'wall art', or willfully vandalised as some might say. Now I'll freely admit that there are a lot of bicycles in this world, you can't save 'em all but it seems a bit sad to take the hacksaw to something rare and unusual that has survived for the last eighty odd years.

I stumbled upon the James on a visit to a local antique emporium. One of the guys running a stall had it on display and apparently he had a line in taking old bicycles, distressing them and slimming them down to hang on the walls of pubs and restaurants. I really wanted to pass the bike by as way too much hassle but five minutes after leaving the shop I found myself going back in and making an offer....

So here we are now. A James ladies model, if I am correct its full name is 'Sports Ace Light Roadster ladies model' and it is dating from c1937. In being prepped to hang on a wall anything not metal was taken or cut off and put in the bin, so no tyres, rubbers, saddle cover or cables. The bike was slimmed down to make it hang flat: this meant that a hacksaw was taken to the handlebars, left hand pedal and even the saddle was slimmed down. There's not a lot of paint left, possibly it was stripped to give it more 'character' and it has had a quick splash of clear coat. 

Note how the James sits uncomfortably close to that wall!

I do believe though that it is a bicycle worth saving and the plan is to resurrect it without going in too deep moneywise. James cycles were always nicely made, high quality devices and this particular one has several unusual features. Most noticeable is James' own two speed planetary crank gear system, something that they offered as an option on most of their cycles from the veteran era onwards. The brakes are of rather unusual cantilever design and the front mudguard has a very elegant spearpoint.

Hopefully it will be a quick project. All the bearings and the gears will have to be stripped and greased as I'm not sure if the bike was dipped or not to clean it up, there are cables to make and a few parts to find but it shouldn't be too tricky. I'll post up the finished item with any luck in a couple of months.... 

Rather lovely cantilever brakes.

Only one of these levers left. If anyone out there has a solitary
lever that matches going spare please get in touch.

Changer for the two speed gear.

Front end braking.

Stylish spearpoint mudguard.

'The Famous James' lamp bracket.

Eek! Why?

Surely unscrewing the pedal would not have been tricky? Still, at
least the crank is still there....

Even the saddle has been clipped.

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