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Hardware for a hercules
hello, i have a 1968 Hercules woman's one-speed commuter bike. the nut that holds the back brake unit was lost on the street somewhere, and apparently the specific hardware they were using for these bikes back then is quite rare. the bolt is 1/4" (or it's nearest metric equivalent...) but the thread is super fine. i have even been to a store in town that only sells nuts, bolts, and other types of fasteners, and they didn't have anything. the bike shop did not have a new brake unit that fit.

my question is where might i find the replacement parts? all i am missing is the nut, but since the threading is so thin on the bolt, no nut in town will fit. and it must use the original bolt because there is a special part that it screws into also that helps hold the whole thing together.

thanks in advance for your advice!
A photo would be of great help.

Otherwise you can take it to a machine shop and have it retreaded for a standard nut. Use a nylon lock nut or use some locktite blue thread holder and a lock washer.

Knowing Where you are would help. Direct info.
Never Give Up!!!
ok, here is a picture of the hardware i have, the wire piece is the spring that pushes out on the two arms of the brake, the two round pieces have a special groove and lock together to hold the spring in place, and the bolt screws in to the one closest to it. all of that is bolted to the back through the frame and then the nut holds it on the other side. there are some washers too.

and i live in eugene, oregon

Seeing an entire system would be good. Its probably like the one on my Free Spirit by Murrey or Huffy.

Ye the threaded collar holds the brake arms and spring loosely together and the bolt tightens it to frame.

Hercules as far as I can find was English made. There were some very unusual hardware and tools in England, like the Withworth system.

Be though to find exact replacement, look at the bright side it lasted 50 years.

Its a simple brake system you might be able to find a similar set up from some old bikes and replace as unit.

You can just re-thread the end so you can put a different nut on it. OR you can try a new bolt with a nut and large washer to replace the threaded collar and a nylonlack nut on outside
Never Give Up!!!
yeah, that setup in your picture looks almost identical to mine. so it seems that another threaded collar (is that what i call round piece with a groove?) might fit the spring for my setup, and if it is more of a standard thread then i could just get a new bolt and nut to fit it all together? i like that idea best.

i will also see if i can find a whole new setup that fits the dimensions of my bike (only if the first idea doesn't work, because my break arms are nice and shiny and match the rest of what is quite an attractive bike)

and finally, my last resort would be to re-thread, but that option intimidates my inexperienced self.

thank you for your replies, you have helped me figure out a plan of attack Smile
1968 threads could be UNF, BA or BSF. (favourite)
I doubt very much it would be metric back then.
No reason why you couldn't fit another bolt etc. Or even a complete brakeset.
Ride hard or ride home alone!
There are many vintage bike sites which you can explore for parts, a few are;
Yes, Hercules was an English make and threads would almost certainly be 1/4" BSF.(British Standard Fine) or British Cycle Thread.

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