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When I want to impress bikers, I ride the AreoClubman. When I want to impress the guys, I ride the '45 Rudge blackout bike. But when I want to impress the ladies, nothing works like my pimped out '51 Rudge Sports.

This started out as a plain jane '51 Rudge, almost as heavy as the '45. Since this was a duplicate bike for me, I had no great desire to keep it stock.

I put a Shimano 8 speed hub and aluminum rims on this bike, and used it for long hilly rides with friends who could make it up those kinds of hills. But, as time wore on, I gre to just hate the new-ness. Just shifting the gears detracted from the bike and my enjoyment. Recently, I went back to the three speed, but with an upgraded AG Dynohub, and then added a 1950s Cyclo derailler and 19T and 24T cogs in back. But even though the bike was geared low enough to go up the hill, it was weighing in at nearly 40 pounds.

I decided to see how light I could get the bike, but still stay true to its heritage. It actually worked out pretty darn good - the bike weighs just over 30 pounds - an amazing feat for a Sports, and it only has one new part on it - the handlebars were $18 off Amazon, and match the originals almost exactly. I'm not sure alloy North Road bars were made back then.


I managed to swap out the rest with English lightweight parts from the 50s, and 60s, so the bike still makes some sense. The brakes and levers are Winnemann centerpulls - I'll get GBs when I find some cheap ones, the stem is GB Hiduminium. The seatpost is an alloy Raleigh. The fenders are Blumel Populars, and the pump is a Blumel Lightweight. I could get it down more by dumping the comfy girls sprung Brooks seat, and ditching the alloy rack and touring bag - I could easily make 29 pounds. But as it is, it really surpasses my minimum requirements for comfort, safety, and style, and I like it that way. So I pump a little harder on the steeper hills.

As with all my bikes, it has dozens of Dynohub-powered extra-bright LEDs lighting it 24/7.

The bike feels like a completely different bike - it is really a joy to ride. Comfortable as my regular sports, it's light, responsive, and FAST like my AeroClubman. A very fun bike that I ride frequently, especially on hilly or windy rides and whenever I need to go on the train.