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Old 10-23-07, 06:37 PM   #1
ctjohna
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English 3 Speed, Armstrong & Raleigh

Hi all,

Here are a pair of bikes that followed me home today. One is a red men's Armstrong, the other is a Woman's Raleigh. I think the Armstrong's from 1964 (it has a 64 on the hub). The Raleigh has a 77 on the hub, but i don't know if that would be the year or not -- seems recent for an English 3 speed.

English 3 speed expert's opinions?

many thanks,

John
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Old 10-23-07, 07:57 PM   #2
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Well seeing how (IIRC) SA didn't completely shut down until around '99/2000... I have a couple of SA hubs from the mid 80's so 1977 is very believable. The Armstrong I have no clue on.

Aaron
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Old 10-23-07, 07:58 PM   #3
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Really digging the curved top tube on the Armstrong, very nice
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Old 10-23-07, 08:03 PM   #4
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Thank you. . .

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Originally Posted by dwoloz View Post
Really digging the curved top tube on the Armstrong, very nice
What do you make of the ROSS on the seat tube? I'm confused by that. I searched for British Ross & didn't get anywhere. Armstrong was apparently purchased by Raleigh around 1960?
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Old 10-23-07, 08:09 PM   #5
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At various times in the late 1960s I have owned two English 3-speed bikes, a Hercules with a 9-speed cyclo conversion, and an Armstrong with a 12-speed conversion. Thanks for posting.
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Old 10-23-07, 08:16 PM   #6
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Just have to say. I had an Armstrong just like that as a young man. Marvelous bicycle.

Thanks for posting the pictures.
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Old 10-23-07, 08:23 PM   #7
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My Pleasure. . .

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Originally Posted by jwbnyc View Post
Just have to say. I had an Armstrong just like that as a young man. Marvelous bicycle.

Thanks for posting the pictures.
These pictures are 'as found' (see the dump finds thread). I'm working on a Ross Europa 3speed (side-of-the-road discard) right now (the fork, chainguard, and fenders are in my living room!). I'll be assembling it over the next few days. I have a couple of bikes in front of the Armstrong and LTD-3, but i'm looking forward to the clean-up and tune-up of these two bikes.

Hints and suggestions gladly accepted!
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Old 10-24-07, 02:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctjohna View Post
Hi all,

Here are a pair of bikes that followed me home today. One is a red men's Armstrong, the other is a Woman's Raleigh. I think the Armstrong's from 1964 (it has a 64 on the hub). The Raleigh has a 77 on the hub, but i don't know if that would be the year or not -- seems recent for an English 3 speed.

English 3 speed expert's opinions?

many thanks,

John
Your Raleigh looks right for the year.
Compare it with my 1978 model here:


Not much difference except for the chain-guard and maybe the bars are slightly different.
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Old 10-24-07, 11:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctjohna View Post
These pictures are 'as found' (see the dump finds thread). I'm working on a Ross Europa 3speed (side-of-the-road discard) right now (the fork, chainguard, and fenders are in my living room!). I'll be assembling it over the next few days. I have a couple of bikes in front of the Armstrong and LTD-3, but i'm looking forward to the clean-up and tune-up of these two bikes.

Hints and suggestions gladly accepted!
For starters, there are some excellent threads on removing rust and polishing chrome:

http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php...ht=oxalic+acid

http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php...ht=oxalic+acid

http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php...ht=oxalic+acid

http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php...ht=oxalic+acid

http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php...ht=oxalic+acid
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Old 10-25-07, 06:34 PM   #10
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The curved top tube frame looks exactly the same as a 56 Gazelle 3-speed that's been promised to me.

Awesome looking bike
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Old 10-25-07, 08:26 PM   #11
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All I could come up with is this reference to Armstrong being part of The TI Group and was purchased prior to TI buying Raleigh.

The TI Group(formerly Tube Investments) was a holding company for various specialised engineering companies. The three major divisions were John Crane International, a manufacturer of mechanical seals; Bundy Corporation, a tubing manufacturer and supplier to the refrigeration and automotive industries; and Dowty Group plc, an aerospace company.

History

The business was registered in 1919 as a public company combining the following seamless steel tube manufacturing companies: Tubes Limited, New Credenda Tube (later known as Creda), Star Tube, and St. Helen's Tube and Metal.
  • 1919Accles & Pollock (tube makers) was purchased.
  • 1928Reynolds Tube was purchased.
  • 1928Ivan Stedeford joins company.
  • 1935Ivan Stedeford elected CEO.
  • 1944Ivan Stedeford elected Chairman.
  • 1946Swallow Coachbuilding Co. (1935) Ltd.
  • 19?? The British Cycle Corporation subsidiary was formed which eventually composed of the following cycle companies:
    • Phillips Cycles
    • Hercules Cycles (No connection with the German Hercules company)
    • Armstrong
    • Rudge Whitworth
    • Norman Cycles
    • Sun Cycles
  • 1958/9 The Aluminium War
  • 1960Raleigh Industries joined the group bringing with it:
    • BSA Cycles
    • J. B. Brookes
    • Raleigh was given control of the TI cycle business, which then controlled 75% of the UK market
  • 1963 Bought Russell Hobbs, kettle manufacturers
  • 1963Ivan Stedeford retires as Chairman & CEO and assumes title of Life President.
  • 1987 Raleigh was sold.
  • 1987 Creda was sold to GEC Group
  • 1992 Dowty Group plc was purchased
  • 1996 Accles & Pollock was sold to Hay Hall Group.
  • 2000 On 18 September2000Smiths Group announced its intention to merge with TI Group. The merger was completed on 4 December. Smiths divested TI's automotive business shortly after the merger.
So, I'd have to say it's another of the rebadged Raleigh.I haven't found anything about the Ross on it.Maybe they were sold through Ross dealers(?)

Last edited by thebikeguy; 10-25-07 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 10-25-07, 10:36 PM   #12
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I also found this.....
"An Armstrong 3-speed is a decent mid-range quality bike similar to a Dunelt or Robin Hood in finish etc. Solid and dependable and nothing wrong with that! Armstrong was part of the big BCC (British Cycles Corp) conglomorate that was centred on Birmingham and environs: Phillips, Hercules etc. etc. Their real focus in the 1950s was on their wonderful club bikes and Armstrong's lightweights of that era were top-notch and prized today. The "Moth" was the most famous of them but they had a number of others."
-unknown contributor-
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Old 10-25-07, 11:18 PM   #13
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Raleigh was controlling the strings for a lot of the British bicycle industry, but; Armstrongs were not re-badged Raleighs. They were their own animal. What I mostly recall from comparing them in the bike store at the time was that they were lighter and simpler bicycles than the Raleigh offerings which were considerably more upscale. I don't think I ever saw an Armstrong in any color other than the Red shown in the photos above. Definitely an economy product, but a very nice one. It's a very nimble design as well.
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Old 10-26-07, 12:21 AM   #14
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No,I don't think I agree with you there.In 1960, TI bought all Raleigh shares, then handed over the British Cycle Corporation to Raleigh management.Seeing as Armstrong was part of the BCC,naturally they fell under the Raleigh wing.Armstrongs were "their own animal" prior to that.They became a lower end Raleigh like the Glider and SuperCycle(lesser models than the Raleigh,RobinHood and Dunelt)after the amalgamation.A little more economy minded and marketed as such(usually for dep't and hardware stores).Those are definately Raleigh lugs on the head tube.

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Old 10-26-07, 04:48 AM   #15
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Thanks for the great info!

I'll be posting some more pics as the renovation / restoration project gets underway.

Thanks again,

john
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Old 10-26-07, 05:50 AM   #16
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Just as a side note to the above history. 1954 was the last year Hercules was produced as an independant brand, by 1955 they became a rebadged Raleigh, and about that same time production was moved from Birmingham to Nottingham. Also remember in the 30's-50's Great Britian had massive problems with gasoline shortages, so bicycles were a big business.

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Old 10-26-07, 06:00 PM   #17
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My post was more to do with the design. They were quite different from the Raleighs of the time. The term "rebadged" generally denotes a product that is identical with a different label.

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No,I don't think I agree with you there.In 1960, TI bought all Raleigh shares, then handed over the British Cycle Corporation to Raleigh management.Seeing as Armstrong was part of the BCC,naturally they fell under the Raleigh wing.Armstrongs were "their own animal" prior to that.They became a lower end Raleigh like the Glider and SuperCycle(lesser models than the Raleigh,RobinHood and Dunelt)after the amalgamation.A little more economy minded and marketed as such(usually for dep't and hardware stores).Those are definately Raleigh lugs on the head tube.
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Old 10-26-07, 09:39 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwbnyc View Post
My post was more to do with the design. They were quite different from the Raleighs of the time. The term "rebadged" generally denotes a product that is identical with a different label.
Other than the fenders,chainguard,chainring,headbadge(of course),pedals,and maybe the forks and handlebars they were identical.They might have looked a little different but they should have ridden the same(given that they have identical frame size)as the Raleighs.The only thing that would make it lighter would be less parts.I have a Norman and it's the same frame as one of my older Raleighs,and the Armstrong in this post.Same curved top tube and the same lugs on the headtube.Even the rear drop outs look similiar(but they're kinda hard to make out in the pic).
Still not a believer?You should check Sheldon Brown's(www.sheldonbrown.com) or Tony Hadland's(www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~hadland/raleigh.htm) sites.That's where I found most of this info.Tony's site is more British specific(because that's where he is)than Sheldon's but they're BOTH excellent sites.
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Old 11-11-07, 07:29 PM   #19
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I have an Armstrong Ross that I would like to show here-- could someone tell me how to add a pic? New member, John, motiheal@yahoo.com
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Old 11-11-07, 07:57 PM   #20
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here is the armstrong ross, with the pic from flickr. by the way, i spoke with sherwood ross , former president of ross bicycles who is retired in florida and still does bike safety consulting, and he verified that ross had imported armstrongs in the early '60s (actually, i spoke with him twice, and the first time he said late '60s). i am curious about my bike, and think it's really cool. if you look around the web, like yahoo images, a number of other armstrong references have the ross seat tube decal. anyone know about this one? it's a five speed, huret allvit derailleur, wrights saddle, unmarked brakes. the headbadge is the same as ctjohna's. i rode it to work on a 16 mile round-trip commute last month, but just starting home, something went wrong internally, i think in the rear hub, and the bike had resistance so it wouldn't go more than 5 mph with effort-- what a workout. i will repair this soon. it has no aluminum on it save for the pletscher rack.

john, motiheal@yahoo.com

http://www.flickr.com/photos/15297401@N03/1604294674/

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Old 11-12-07, 12:59 AM   #21
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Raleighs like that one were definitely being produced into the 80s.
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Old 11-12-07, 06:40 AM   #22
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reply

you meant the armstrong presumably... any pics available?
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