(right? I mean it hasn't got a mob boss's prosthesis welded to the chainstay or anything, yeah?)
Welp, we shipped our three-speeds to Florida. They'll live at my mother in law's place from now on so we can ride bikes when we visit. I was thinking of selling them, because while they're beautiful, they're not the kind of bike I like to ride much. Shipping to FL was my wife's brilliant idea. It cost us $87 each to ship them by Greyhound, and that's cheaper than a few rentals, and it's cheaper than buying bikes locally on Craigslist. Now I know why I married her.
Unfortunately, the twist shifter on the Hercules will need to be replaced. It's not working well any more. It's cool, but nothing beats the classic trigger shifter.
We went to the bus station in FL, unpacked and reassembled the bikes. My daughter and I rode them back to MIL's place, and I saw that a three speed is perfect for such a flat place.
The bikes are the oldest in the bike room at MIL's apartment building, easily.
I heard some really funny synonyms for "kilt" here a week or two ago but they were in some other English bike thread. Anybody remember them?
Acquired this off of eBay over the winter, after much irritable negotiation.
It's a 21" 1958 Robin Hood Sports, well and truly a Raleigh Sports by any other name. It's a guaranteed genuine English lightweight, which never fails to amuse me.
Unlike second-tier bikes from the '60s and '70s, it's marked Raleigh all over:
Usually step-through frames seem to be barely used, but this one's got a fair few miles on it; it was used enough to pick up new front brake pads, a new front tire, and new grips (nice cushioned "Schwinn Approved" ones) over the years. Not sure if the Lycette saddle is original or not. All the cable housings were non-ribbed medium grey. Mercifully whoever owned and rode it took excellent care of it, in approved E3S fashion. (That's a nice way of saying it was oily all over.) Other than squirting some more oil in the rear (SW...) and front hubs and the bottom bracket, cleaning everything, and replacing the shifter cable, it was ready to ride. Came with a frame pump from Sears that I assume isn't original, though I didn't have it on for the test ride today.
I probably paid too much, especially given the SW hub and old-style brakes, but my wife kind of fell in love with it, I'd been wanting to work on an older three-speed with oil ports everywhere, and it was in pretty great shape. Alas, it's just slightly larger than she's comfortable riding, so I may either wind up riding it myself, or trying to sell it.
Very nice Bicycle.
Allright, I've read way too many of these posts without being able to join in with my own English 3 speed. That stops today. I just got home with a Raleigh Superbe found on CL. The pictures below are as found, haven't even had time to brush any dirt off. I think it looks pretty good for its age, the paint is dull but not very many scratches at all. There's a few but not any real bad ones.
The Sturmey Archer hub is stamped 74-1. The Brooks B-66 is pretty well dried out but maybe it can rescued. The lens on the headlight also say Sturmey Archer. Still looking for the serial number.
No plans other than cleanup and complete lube and riding. And of course, re-read all the great tips in this thread on what to or not do now that I have one.
The last picture shows a lot of rust on the INSIDE of the rim, how much of a concern is that?
Any suggestions would be appreciated!
kcaut, you did great.
Rust inside the rim is common. Scrape it out with wire brushes. No need to worry. You'll need to collect rust in it for another 150 before you need to worry about it rusting through.
i just love the quality of steel on these bikes. The bolts and nuts are made better than just about anything today. I even love the clip that holds my brake cable to the top tube. It's so stout!
Nice find. That will be a fun project with a great reward at the end. 24" frame?
That's gonna be slick once you clean it up.
Welcome to the club kcaut!
That's going to be a good looking one - the paint will polish out nicely.
For the rust on the rims, personally I'd disassemble the wheel and go the OA route. You can easily assess what you have at that point (though I suspect there will be enough parent metal left to make a go of it). Then I'd lay some epoxy paint down there in the trough to arrest the rust (rust never sleeps) and clear coat the topside.
It's a little bit of work, but that's what makes projects so rewarding.
I finally picked up my Raleigh Twenty from a friend of mine who found it in Michigan. Its in decent shape! Only needed brake pads and tires plus a few drops of oil in the hubs. It seems to be all there right down to the shortened tire pump that resides behind the seat tube.
What do people use for tires on these things? The rear was bulging- the best I could find in a pinch (meaning - what can I find quick I want to ride this thing) was a Kenda 20" x 1.50" which can inflate to 100 pounds. It fits OK on the rim. I have it inflated to 60 pounds. Really thinking about alloy rims....
While it's possible for Westrick rims to rust through, it takes quite a bit of rust. The bigger issue is that the nipples may be frozen to the point you cannot true the wheel. Start with a wire brush and some WD40 or Ballistol to knock off the rust. After that, I'd run some Kroil or "ATF-Acetone mix" (or similar penetrating oil) into the nipples from the rim side. Let that soak in quite awhile. At that point, you can assess the condition of the rim and the nipples/spoke ends. If there's still a lot of rust proving difficult to remove, or you have numerous, frozen spokes, I'd consider disassembling the wheel. You'd soak the rim in Oxalic Acid to remove the rust, buy new (stainless) spokes and new nipples, and then rebuild the wheel. If you find the nipples turn freely and the rust is removed, you can clean up the wheel and run it with the old parts. While you're at it, check the braking surface sides of the rim. If you find your braking surfaces are in poor shape/pitted badly, that's a reason to go to a replacement rim.
At 45 psi they deliver a plush ride and since my 20 is my short errand bike they work great and really handle our pothole ridden streets.
For $12.00 / each they are a good deal.
I run Marathons on my P20 because it goes farther and faster although you do sacrifice a little ride comfort.
60 psi sounds about right... any higher and you start to run the risk of blowing the tyres off the rim. The stock tyres on the Twenty were 1.75's with a 45 psi maximum... the bike is designed for lower speeds and a plusher ride and this set up serves them well.
My 1.5 Marathons are pretty stiff at 70 psi (on hooked rims)... it is a function of the wider tyre section and the wider rim where a lower psi becomes optimal rather than running them at their maximum which just makes the bike feel skippy on rough roads as the tyres fail to absorb shocks.
For a '76 Sports: Are Continental tires any good? From what I've read, Kendas aren't, and Panaracer Col de la Vie are the best, with Michelins second to them. Any recommendations? While I'm at it, any tube recommendations? Recommended inflation?
Perhaps helpful..a curated list of english three speeds on craigslist in the boston area.
Craigslist English Three Speed Bicycles - Craigslist English Three Speed Bicycles
I can't imagine needing more than 60 psi in a tire that wide. It isn't necessary, and it won't pedal more easily, either.
As has been said many times before, the original brakes on the Twenty are unconscionably bad. Think of alternatives for the front brake. I used a drum brake front hub. Also, the rims are super heavy, so aluminum rims will be a plus.
Touching up the paint afterwards would be the biggest challenge.