In a fit of fleabay madness I seem to have bought a rusty old
ladies unisex shopper bike. So let me present Elswick Hopper’s answer to the Raleigh twenty.
It’s basically the same principle as a Twenty but with a slightly more elaborate double tube frame and nifty one piece bent tubes forming the chain and seat stays.
That’s about all I know about this bike. There doesn’t seem to be any mention of the Cosmopolitan on the internet at all, just a few brief historys etc about Elswick hopper itself such as on Sheldon and an article from 1949 which has some fantastic black and white photos.
This particular one is a complete rust-bucket and it’s a good job I have no intention of restoring it to the condition of the one show below that sold on ebay in Coventry because so many of its original components are bin-fodder.
Laughably the seller described the brakes as 'great', even though the rear caliper had no cable or brake blocks and the front was so rusted that the pivot was seized. All that was stripped and binned within 5 mins. Good job it was cheap and I didnt want the brakes anyway, no harm done but cheeky to describe something so inaccurately.
The handlebars and stem went straight in the bin as the stem bolt sheared immediately, leaving me to cut the stem with a hacksaw and hammer the rest of the bolt & quill out. The chrome plating on the front rack is rusted to hell, so that may get painted up and reused in someway, or just put on ebay along with the white pedals and grips.
It came with 20” 451 wheels, but I’ll replace those with bmx sized 20” 406 wheels instead and use drum brakes. The 3 Speed AW Sturmey Archer is stamped August 73 and it’s in pretty fantastic condition considering it's age and how knackered some of the other components are. I’ll be stripping the AW down completely and cleaning it up. Then it can either go onto ebay to recoup the cost of the bike or I’ll keep it for the future.
The frame will get a new coat of paint and I’ll be keeping the chain guard. The mudguards I’m not sure about, as the rear one is badly split and they wont be quite the right size for the smaller wheels anyway.
It will take a while to build up the various parts needed to make a working bike out of this, so this one is a long term project for rainy days.