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Old 05-29-08, 08:59 PM   #1
UnsafeAlpine
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Am I crazy for trying this?

I recently got 3 junkers, a Columbia girls bike, a Schwinn Varsity? Collegian? something, and a Huffy three speed. I want to turn the Schwinn into a grocery getter using the Sturmey Archer 3 speed. Being totally anal, I've cut the spokes on the hub and want to clean and resurrect it. Is this a stupid thing to do? Will I ever get it to work right? Should I just buy another one for $3? Will Superman ever get Lois Lane? oops, wrong Forum
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Old 05-29-08, 09:29 PM   #2
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Not stupid. Rash, maybe. Looks like it's time to learn how to build a wheel. Don't despair; it's not hard -- just tedious.
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Old 05-29-08, 09:32 PM   #3
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I've already built a wheel, I've just never gotten into a 3 speed before.
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Old 05-29-08, 09:51 PM   #4
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As I recall, the S-A is a rather service-able unit. I think Sheldon Brown's site has good info on it; just keep track of the pieces! I don't see where building a wheel would be any harder with an S-A than otherwise. Have fun, Dr. Frankenbike!
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Old 05-29-08, 09:53 PM   #5
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The secret is don't 'get into' it. They're pretty much bullet proof. Rinse it out with mineral spirits and give it a small amount of light machine oil. I just built a 27" wheel with a 3-speed SA hub, and it's straightforward. Had to dish it a little, but not as much as a 10-speed.
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Old 05-29-08, 10:12 PM   #6
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Sounds like you got quite a haul! Is it a 3 speed with coaster brake, or a straight 3 speed? The coaster brake style are really nice cruiser hubs. And if it's a Schwinn Collegiate, it's a nice bike to build on. Probably mid to late 80's - it's worth fixing.

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Old 05-29-08, 10:15 PM   #7
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it's a freewheel, with a grip shifter!
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Old 05-30-08, 01:26 AM   #8
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Building a wheel around an SA 3 speed hub is no different than building a wheel around any hub save for the fact that they are 0 dish which usually makes for an easier and faster build.
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Old 05-30-08, 04:06 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by UnsafeAlpine View Post
I recently got 3 junkers, a Columbia girls bike, a Schwinn Varsity? Collegian? something, and a Huffy three speed. I want to turn the Schwinn into a grocery getter using the Sturmey Archer 3 speed. Being totally anal, I've cut the spokes on the hub and want to clean and resurrect it. Is this a stupid thing to do? Will I ever get it to work right? Should I just buy another one for $3? Will Superman ever get Lois Lane? oops, wrong Forum
Ha ha ha. Funny writing style. Like it.

Yes, you have embarked on a crazy mission. I can't see much advantage to the Frankenbike you are creating, but you will either learn a lot about bicycle mechanics or you will make the scrap collector happy - or both.

You "CUT" the spokes? Shiver me timbers! You know, you can use a power drill with a screw-driver bit to quickly unscrew the spoke nipples from the inside rim. Then easily unthread the spokes and voile' you have 36 spare spokes for your next project. 15 minute job tops.

If the Varsity spokes are the correct length to fit the 3-speed hub, you will be one lucky mad-scientist. Otherwise you are going to be buying new spokes that fit (good luck with that), and spending more money on spokes than you did on all the bikes combined.

Just a thought... did you slip the 3-speed hub/axle into the Varsity drops to make sure it fits before you started this project?... Argh?

My answer to converting any of these bikes to a shopping freighter would have been to spend my money and time to buy a big WALD sidesaddle rear basket, wash, wax, maybe new grip tape or grips, spend the gas money saved on flowers for the wife, have a coffee, contemplate how sweet life is.

On the other hand, you will have something unique that is sure to confuse future bicycle collectors.
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Old 05-30-08, 12:02 PM   #10
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Honestly, I'm doing this to learn more about bikes. If things don't fit, I have a spare wheel for some other project, or, as you say, I have a scrap collector project. Since I got the bikes for free, a scrap heap doesn't really bother me. I'm an aircraft mechanic and I'm hoping that at least a few skills transfer over
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Old 05-30-08, 12:43 PM   #11
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If the Varsity spokes are the correct length to fit the 3-speed hub, you will be one lucky mad-scientist.
Oddly enough, they will fit. The spoke hole diameter on the wide-flange hub is almost exactly the same as the 3-speed hub.
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Old 05-30-08, 12:45 PM   #12
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The wheel the hub came off was a 26 inch, and the Schwinn is 27 inch, so the old spokes wouldn't have worked anyway.
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Old 05-30-08, 06:58 PM   #13
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Done, looks good, and works great. I'm gonna start rebuilding those things just for fun.
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