transforming my old Hercules 3-speed into touring machine/fork replacement or repair?
I have this heavy steel Hercules frame. It rides on a sturmey archer 3-speed coaster hub. I've got ideas on how I can make this the loaded touring dream machine I'll pedal to the ends of the earth. I just need to know if these ideas are valid.
Here's the bike, there's the bent fork.
Now, can I replace the bent fork with a 700 road fork with less rake and eyelets for a rack and fenders?
Or do I need an older english tourer fork with the rake.
I want 700 wheels on specialized armodillos. The back wheel will be laced to a Sturmey archer 3-speed non-coaster hub.
I have some old campy brakes I'll use.
And a riser stem and drop bars...
Will the 700's fit? Is a 700 lower rake road fork a good idea?
Stick with 26x1 3/8s?
Or should I scrap the idea and go with a new touring setup?
I want to do long distance road touring.
thanks for your thoughts.
Your pics aren't coming up.
Your current stated wheel size, 26x1 3/8" is probably ETRTO 590 mm, or possibly 597 mm. 700C wheels are ETRTO 622 mm. Means a 700C rim will sit 16 mm higher up than your current rims. There will probably be issues with brake reach, maybe even fender clearance.
For touring I don't see the point in deliberately avoiding a coaster brake. Sure, coasters can overheat on long descents, but there are no issues with combining a coaster brake with rim braking. Might even be a nice redundancy feature on a tourer.
If you find a fork with lowrider eyelets, it's probably not a "road" fork as such. The presence of rack mounts is a pretty good indicator that its intended usage was touring already to start with.
Personally I find the combo of a riser stem and a drop bar kinda contrary, but it is used every now and then on tourers. Me, I'd go with a trekking bar instead. Of course, it'd depend on where your bar end up in relation to the saddle.
26x1 3/8" is a so-so touring choice due to accessibility of spares. If you'd stick with the 700C or the most common 26"(559mm) size you'd be able to pick up a new tire of some sort just about anywhere. Should you need a whole new wheel, it's readily within reach as well.
26x1 3/8" spares will be not be quite as easy. Not impossible though.
The recently revived 650B standard might get you out of any brake reach issues. Don't know how spares would compare to 26x1 3/8" though.
The advantages of disc brakes are shining clearer and clearer every year. Particularly the mechanical ones have proven to be very robust, braking is pretty much unaffected by rain, and you can ride in dust and dirt to your heart's content w/o ever wearing out the rims.
Particularly for loaded touring I'd certainly want more than 3 gears. There's no way I'd be happy with having to cover that potential speed range with only 3 gears.
If an EA3 26" wheel It is a British 3 speed standard for decades .. nothing wrong with it.
you can modify the drive train simply to gain a really low gear range, though not inexpensive,
Florian Schlumpf of Switzerland has long made their Mountain Drive crankset in their Machine shop.
it is a second planetary gear the reduction gear is 150%, so 3 speeds become 6 speeds
by going thru the 3 gears , twice, the chain remains on the chainring and cog.
so it is as if you had a 50t_20t double chainring, the crank turns faster than the chainring.
low in high range has high in low range as next gear in the sequence . [I have one on my Brompton]
But we seem to have folks who want to tour on their fixies, one gear,
and renowned author, and adventurer Dervla Murphy says she simplified her bike for reliability
before setting off to India , from, Ireland ,,as she wrote in Her book 'Full Tilt'.
Oh, and, you have some skilled Frame-builders in Philly, to take a torch to the fork and repair it,
or replicate and improve it for your new requirements,
add fittings to mount a front load carrying system , and light bracket. and Etc.
might end up with a great 'bike about town', at least.
Drop bars are not required for a touring bike ., just a comfortable ride..
drum brake hubs offer good braking in all weather, that may make your bike work better..
In the long run .. Sturmey archer also makes a drum braked 5 speed IG hub.
and 2 models of front hub with a Dynamo Drum brake combo.