Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Here's a Surprise

It turns out that the Phillips was originally a deep red, not black like I had assumed. The fork steerer tube gives a pretty clear indication that this was the original color. It seems, in fact, that the base coat was black with the red on top, which creates a rather striking and rich red. This could mean that the bike is not pre-war, since most specimens from the 1920s and 1930s seem to have been black. However, at least one pre-war Phillips that I know of had a rather more striking original color scheme. In other words, the color doesn't do much to help date the bike, but it certainly did come as a surprise to me.

Also, I've managed to scrape the yellow paint off the head badge. This will be black, red, and gold when finished, like this one.

13 comments:

  1. The red does look rich and beautiful. This looks like a fantastic project to work on.

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  2. Most Phillips bikes that I have had my hands on over the years have been red or blue. I have never had a black one.

    Aaron

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  3. i was curious --r.e. still a project my 60 phillips manhattan--anyhow my headbadge and rear fender badge--both brass-- looks like yours but appears never to have been painted--that is, maybe original "colour" is just brass, not the painted scheme like you see on 60s raleigh phillips
    best, mark

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  4. pps so i am guessing you might consider NOT painting the headbadge, just polishing

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  5. @Aaron: ah good to know. The folks at the pre-1939 Flickr group seem to think it would be black, which is what I was going from.

    @Mark: I think there were painted badges on pre-Raleigh Phillps, too, though. My suspicion is that perhaps it just wears off very easily. But perhaps I should do some more research.

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  6. Thom- FWIW, there's a BMC/British Leyland automobile color called Damask Red. I had a Damask Red Austin 1300 in college. It may be a spot on match for that deep red on your steerer. Several companies are on the web who do paint matches (using new formulations). Some even provide the custom mixes in rattlecans! About $25.00/can.

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  7. Was it perhaps some sort of primer?

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  8. Okay, I admit that the badge looks better in its original state than it did covered in "buttercream". Interesting that the original colour was red. Every bicycle has its own story to tell.

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  9. @ Will, when you look at the rest of the bike, it's very clear that red is the color directly beneath the yellow spray job. Black seems to have been the primer, or at least a base coat

    @ Filigree, you'll forget all about buttercream by the time this young lady is ready to roll again!

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  10. btw Thom, i went to an auto paint store and had them "computer match" 1958 Raleigh blue, i think it was around 12 bucks put into a rattle can. just finished painting the fenders, i am pleased with the results....maybe if you don't find your red elsewhere this might work for you?

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  11. Hi Thom , wondered if the below might be useful when you get to the headset, it's from oldroads..."
    Phillips and Raleigh headsets 101:
    Now Phillips is 24 T.P.I. and they did it differently. In the front steering section of the Phillips made cycle you also have a top and bottom headset race cup. HOWEVER, these do not have built in channels for the ball bearings to race around in. They are hollowed out, and there is room in each cup for a seperate ring like race. Each bike takes four of these. The smaller bearings are sandwitched between two rings on the top and two rings in the bottom with groves in each ring type race. These ring type races pop in and out and are just held in the headset cups with a smear of grease. There are more bearings and they are also smaller balls. Also loose bearings with both Raleigh and Phillips- no caged bearings here with Raleigh or Phillips. You smear grease in the channels and fill them up them take one ball out.
    The Phillips has smoother steering v/s/ the Raleigh cycle. The Phillips cycle allowed easier headset overhauls but the real reason why it is different between the two escapes me. To replace the headset on a Raleigh you have to tear it all down even further knocking the pressed in Raleigh type cups out with a copper pipe or the proper tool. I guess the floating part is the two races within the cups themself so the bearings are sandwitched between two races that are not part of the overall cups. There are the differences before the Raleigh T.I./ Phillips merger.
    After the merger, thousands lost their jobs and the Raleigh factory made the Phillips bicycles and the headsets became standard Raleigh type"

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  12. Hi Thom, regarding paint on pre-Raleigh Phillips headbadges, there's a 1930s advertising pin that's for sale on eBay right now that says you're right that they were painted. I can't post a link in comments, but you should be able to find it quickly using the search engine. It's being sold by Cox Antiques.

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  13. Thom, I have an original paint Phillips that has the same exact same forks, rod brakes, chainring, & pedals. My bike does not have a curved lower frame, it is straight. Online pictures are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/49997576@N02/4590533305/
    Cheers,
    Andy

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