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  1. #1
    Cars are evil mynameisnotdrew's Avatar
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    Three speed road bikes

    Howdy folks,

    I'm trying to build a 3-speed road bike with an old sturmey archer hub, and everything was going real smooth, until I counted the holes on the hub, and the stupid thing had to have 40. What the hell is 40? Has anyone ever heard of (or know where to buy) a 40-hole 700C rim? I'll even settle for 27, just please let me avoid 26x1 3/8.

    Ideally this would be a 40H 700Cx23.

    Or can LBS's get non-drilled rims and drill them for me?

    Any advice on the topic of three-speed road bikes is welcome.

    Thanks--

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Not to worry, that's a common drilling for road tandems. Any LBS should be able to easily get one for you or try somebody like Tandems Ltd.

  3. #3
    least coast myxbyx's Avatar
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    or you could get another SA hub, they weren't all 40 hole
    Everybody needs something to believe in,
    I believe I'll have another beer.

  4. #4
    Older Than Dirt
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    40 spoke tandem wheels are very common. any of the tandem specialty dealers can help you with this.

    Doc
    Say Ya to da Yoop, eh!

  5. #5
    Rebel Thousandaire Ya Tu Sabes's Avatar
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    Post pictures of the completed bike - I'm in the process of doing up something similar, although my goal is to spend no money at all, so I'm just mating 3-speed wheels (26" rims and all) to a road frame. Are you using the original SA shifter, and if so, where are you putting it? What about the cable guides and such? What about the axle (my hub's axle is a little narrow for the frame I'm using)? Even though my project will be sort of a beater (certainly unlikely to win me any road races), I'd like to see what you come up with, since you seem to be putting in a little more thought and effort than I am.

  6. #6
    Cars are evil mynameisnotdrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ya Tu Sabes
    Post pictures of the completed bike - I'm in the process of doing up something similar, although my goal is to spend no money at all, so I'm just mating 3-speed wheels (26" rims and all) to a road frame. Are you using the original SA shifter, and if so, where are you putting it? What about the cable guides and such? What about the axle (my hub's axle is a little narrow for the frame I'm using)? Even though my project will be sort of a beater (certainly unlikely to win me any road races), I'd like to see what you come up with, since you seem to be putting in a little more thought and effort than I am.
    nah, I'm not doing anything fancy. I'm actually building it for my dad for xmas. he has another bike, old-school schwinn tourer, and he always rides on the straight part of the drop bars, using the suicide levers.

    so I got this old Puch 10 speed frame, I'm putting some straight bars on it, with bmx handgrips, mtb levers, cushy, old-skool spring seat, suntour cable guides, old peugeot collorless crank, high-end old-skool cup and ball sugino bb, maybe a biopace chainring, 40t ish, and old mafac 'racer' centerpull brakes. the shifter'll go right on the inside of the levers

    it'll be a hot bike for a 57 year-old male urbanite.

    how are you going to hook the brakes to your jawn? are you using a coaster? if i had a rollerbrake three speed (if there is/was such a thing), I'd be stoked

  7. #7
    least coast myxbyx's Avatar
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    how are you going to hook the brakes to your jawn? are you using a coaster? if i had a rollerbrake three speed (if there is/was such a thing), I'd be stoked[/QUOTE]




    there were several 3-speed coaster brake setups from Sturmay Archer and others. I have a wheelset with a coaster brake 3 speed in the shed waiting for the right project. Also it is waiting for tires and tubes as is German with 28" wheels and the rubber is shot
    Everybody needs something to believe in,
    I believe I'll have another beer.

  8. #8
    Rebel Thousandaire Ya Tu Sabes's Avatar
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    Yeah - sheldon brown (or harris cyclery, his employer) sells 3-speed coaster hubs, and I think some of the newer Shimano Nexus hubs have coaster brakes.

    As for the brakes on my 3-speed roadie, I swapped in some long-reach calipers from the junk parts bin. I haven't decided whether to keep the drop bars and levers or go to something else - I have some bullhorns lying around, and a straight bar, and a cruiser bar, and . . .

  9. #9
    Glutton for Punishment
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    if i had a rollerbrake three speed (if there is/was such a thing), I'd be stoked

    I've got a Shimano 3-speed coaster hub from a '79 Free Spirit. I'd give it to you, but you seem like a nice guy. Those things are the suck; can't reposition your pedals after you come to a stop. What were you going to do with your other hand while you're braking anyway?

  10. #10
    Cars are evil mynameisnotdrew's Avatar
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    No, no, no, not a COASTER brake, a ROLLER brake. like they got on old school trikes, where the brake cable attaches to the thingie on the outside of the hub. i really don't know how they work, but they eliminate exposed calipers/cantilevers.

    I hate coaster brakes. You can't wheelie on them.

  11. #11
    Senior Member shecky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mynameisnotdrew

    I hate coaster brakes. You can't wheelie on them.

    When I was a kid every kid on the block could do a wheelie on the ss coaster brake bikes we all had.

  12. #12
    Ex Racer, frame builder
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    Hi,

    40 on the rear and 32 on the front was the standard british pattern for about 80 years.
    I bought some velocity 40 holers just last week to rebuild a couple of old track rear wheels (they were really good wheels with campag hubs, fiamme rims and really thin double butted spokes (now rusted a bit) they were for sew-ups so they have been hanging in my shed for years. I thought it was a waste, so now I have 2 new rear track wheels for 700c. I reckon that for serious track racing (while clinging onto the old school methods) you can't beat the stiffness of a nice tight 40 spoke rear wheel.

    I reckon the english got it right with 40/32. Its much better than the continental 36/36. Same number of spokes just doing the job better.

    40 hole rims are still readily available (yes, mostly for tandems, but also old timers like me that can no longer afford sew-ups).

    Bobthe....

  13. #13
    bum style sneaky viking's Avatar
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    I'm totally new here, but had to respond to this. I've built up 2 bikes like this so far and really like them, because it's hard to get an old roadster in tall sizes, and dilapidated women's Raleigh Sports are pretty common.

    I agree that it's easy to find a 36 hole SA hub.

    The problem I've run into is the rear axle spacing on an old ten speed is still too wide, and though it can be forced together with the axle nut, it winds up stripping the nut. And the nuts are a peculiar thread size, I think. So you (and I) might have to consider getting the spacing on the rear stays adjusted. I'll try to post some pics...

  14. #14
    Rebel Thousandaire Ya Tu Sabes's Avatar
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    Your wish (for an internally geared hub with a roller brake) is granted.

  15. #15
    Rebel Thousandaire Ya Tu Sabes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sneaky viking
    So you (and I) might have to consider getting the spacing on the rear stays adjusted.
    I've never monkeyed with a 3-speed hub except to tighten/loosen the cones. Is it possible/practical to replace the axle with a longer one? Do they make the right sort of hollow axles in that length?

  16. #16
    Cars are evil mynameisnotdrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sneaky viking
    I'm totally new here, but had to respond to this. I've built up 2 bikes like this so far and really like them, because it's hard to get an old roadster in tall sizes, and dilapidated women's Raleigh Sports are pretty common.

    I agree that it's easy to find a 36 hole SA hub.

    The problem I've run into is the rear axle spacing on an old ten speed is still too wide, and though it can be forced together with the axle nut, it winds up stripping the nut. And the nuts are a peculiar thread size, I think. So you (and I) might have to consider getting the spacing on the rear stays adjusted. I'll try to post some pics...
    I think mine fits--but if upon close inspection it doesn't, I'll just put a spacer on the axle and dish the wheel accordingly.

  17. #17
    Rebel Thousandaire Ya Tu Sabes's Avatar
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    Well, I cold-set the rear spacing and it seems good now. My next challenge is that the frame I'm using, although it has horizontal dropouts, has a very short dropout on the drive side - it looks like there used to be an ordinary length dropout but it got filled in mostly with steel. Why would they do such a thing?! Anyway, should I take drill and dremel to that side and make it longer, or break down and use a chain tensioner (which is functionally great but aesthetically less pleasing)?

  18. #18
    Rebel Thousandaire Ya Tu Sabes's Avatar
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    (The reason this is a problem, by the way, is because I want to use the 45-tooth chainring I have (rather than buy a new one) but the chain is too slack.)

  19. #19
    least coast myxbyx's Avatar
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    could take a link out of the chain
    Everybody needs something to believe in,
    I believe I'll have another beer.

  20. #20
    Rebel Thousandaire Ya Tu Sabes's Avatar
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    In the end, I solved the chain tension problem with a half-link, got the bike up and running, 3-speed shifting smoothly, brakes making minimal noise (front rim needs to be cleaned), rode it to work today and ...

    Failure: All the trouble over the chain was to make sure the axle sat deep enough in the dropout and could get enough grip on the frame, but to no avail - as I started from a stop (in 1st gear, of course) the damn wheel came out of the drops. Grrrrr.

    I had brought a wrench for just such and eventuality, but in the process of tightening the wheel back in place, the cups & cones of the hub got too tight, and I just didn't feel like dealing with it, so I walked home (one of the benefits of Boston is that it's small). Now I can't make up my mind whether to have another go at it or just resign myself to the fact that I'm not meant to have gears and build fixed-gear number two.

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