Bike Spotting: Restored 1949 Hercules

A very classy restored 1949 Hercules full of style and grace

It is amazing the number of places you may come across interesting bikes. This one was being locked up in front of Home Depot. I was in a rush; it was a bit crowded and I almost went right past it as I left the store, but the prominent headlamp caught my eye and I was engrossed. Once you catch a glimpse of it, it is a real head turner, even with its subtle colouring.

Restored 1949 Hercules Bicycle

Restored 1949 Hercules

I managed to snatch a quick conversation with Ray, the bike’s owner and he filled me in a little on the details of the bike. He indicated he had restored the Hercules himself and we briefly chatted about the features of the restoration.

Detail of Headlamp on 1949 Hercules
Headlamp Detail

While a subdued brown in colour, it really is a handsome bike featuring classic steel frame lines, coordinated components (including the handlebars) and contrasting tires. There was a lot of attention to detail: a broad leather seat (not a Brooks) featuring detailed copper riveting; a leather seat pouch and companion leather handlebar bag; very rugged fenders (in matching brown); rod lever brakes; a very uniquely designed bell and an almost steam locomotive style headlamp rising above the handlebar line.

Well-used, copper-rivet, leather saddle
Well-used, copper-rivet, leather saddle

I would have liked to have stopped and chatted longer, but we were both in a rush, so all I got were a few quick pictures and the name of the bike. I hope to get a better look someday.

More photographs at Flickr.

Bike Spotting is a series of photographs of interesting everyday bicycles in and around Peterborough. Do you have such a bike or images of it? Send us the links or the images and, better yet, the story behind the bike. We’d love to share them.