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-   -   For the love of English 3 speeds... (http://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vintage/623699-love-english-3-speeds.html)

ThermionicScott 09-16-11 09:44 PM

Less than two months ago, I had no idea what an English 3-speed was. Thanks to Sheldon and this thread, I developed a need for one that culminated in snagging this one off eBay:

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...mstrong/ds.jpg

It's a '64 Armstrong with a CycleRama generator and lights (headlight not attached yet.) I'm gradually getting things dialled in, but the brakes aren't quite there yet. The shoes are the original John Bulls (!) and the front caliper rocks forward noticeably when braking. Is it supposed to do that? :eek: The rear shoes, at least, have flanges that act as stops against the seat stays.

Although I don't trust it enough yet for long distances, I'm having a lot of fun riding it around the neighborhood. It's a totally different experience from the Bianchi. Now to find a decent saddle for the thing. :)

- Scott

auchencrow 09-16-11 10:28 PM

Nice Armstrong, ThermionicScottt. I happened to be riding mine today, a bit older than yours and the brakes are indeed a little "different" - (no worse though that my Bianchi when it had the original scintered metal shoes :rolleyes: )

I replaced the pads on both bikes with Koolstop Campy inserts. I had to cobble the holders on the Armstrong for them though, so in retrospect it might have been wiser to replace them with Koolstop Continentals. In any case, I think your John Bulls are about due.

Your bike appears to be in superb condition. Is there a name on the saddle? I think it is period correct if not original to the bike.

wahoonc 09-17-11 07:04 AM

If the caliper is rocking it can be tightened up, they do flex some, even the steel ones. I don't see any Armstrong bikes around here, in fact I seldom see ANY British bikes outside of my own personal accumulation.

Aaron :)

noglider 09-17-11 07:39 PM

Aaron, where are you? Not on the road, I take it.

Scott, tighten up the center bolt to the point that the brake doesn't bind. It will have to have a little slop, but not much. And I can attest that Kool Stop Continentals make the bike brake extremely well in dry weather. In wet weather, there's a delay for drying the rim, but after that, it's sort-of OK. Ride more slowly, brake early, plan ahead.

My 3-speed has its original brake cables. They're extra thick, and I hope I never have to replace them. I wish we could still get cables this thick. Talk about quality!

auchencrow 09-17-11 10:49 PM

Some of these old steel calipers rock, or flex, even when the center bolts are tightened.
Armstrong put these stay braces on to prevent the arms from submarining under the stays on hard braking. - An unlikely occurrence I think, but I can still appreciate why it seemed like a good idea.

http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/h...ng1951015a.jpg

Sixty Fiver 09-18-11 12:32 AM

Some of the older Raleighs used the same caliper with the brace and before Kool Stops you could fit Fibrax brake pads which are still available... they do squeal more when they are dry and are designed for wet weather braking with steel rims.

My daughter's R20 has vintage Matthauser "Super Brake" pads installed on it's steel calipers (British 451 equipped models used these) and the braking is very good in all conditions.... she is 1/3 my size but can cruise along at 15-20 kmh and sprints up to 30 kmh and the braking is more than adequate.

With the export version and it's alloy calipers the braking is barely passable with Kool Stops and an alloy front wheel as I have set up on my R20 and will be adding V-brakes in the near future.

Sixty Fiver 09-18-11 12:33 AM

Scott... that is a beautiful find.

Although I cannot credit Sheldon Brown for my love of English three speeds it is a love we shared although he really renewed my interest in Raleigh 20's.

My mom's friend had suffered from polio and used canes to walk but also rode a Raleigh 20 and believe the low step over and very stable nature of the bike is what appealed to her and at a very young age of maybe 6 I was always fascinated by her little folding bicycle.

Now I often need a cane to walk and also appreciate the same virtues of the 20 and when I was getting back on the bike my Phillip's 20 was the vehicle that allowed me to ride when I could not swing a leg over or dismount from a standard sized bicycle.

wahoonc 09-18-11 05:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by noglider (Post 13241304)
Aaron, where are you? Not on the road, I take it.

Tom,
I live near Fort Bragg, NC right between the Coastal Plains (robbietunes) and the Sandhills, that is when I am at home. :P FWIW all of my British bikes except one have been brought in from other parts of the country, most from either the upper Midwest or New England.

Aaron :)

gomango 09-18-11 06:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JohnDThompson (Post 13222594)
So, who's going to the "All British Cycling Event" this weekend?

I'm planning on being there...

If the rain breaks this morning, three of us will ride up from St. Paul.

If I get the Hercules back together, I'll ride her.

Otherwise the Bob Jackson.

markk900 09-18-11 07:27 AM

Auchen: The Standard Model K my wife rides (1956) also has those braced pads - and they come into play very regularly. The calipers flex enough that the pad will brace itself against the stay for most stops (you can hear a light tick as they move forward). I think designers were worried about a power brake effect: if they start to go under the stay they apply themselves very hard as they are squeezed into a tight space.....the brace keeps things manageable.

I'm going to have to find a local source for the Kool Stop Salmons just to try them.....braking on steel rims is not very good, but then I'm not very fast!

Mark

ThermionicScott 09-18-11 03:46 PM

Thanks, guys! Even though there is a lot more wear than my crummy iPhone picture shows, this thing has gotten compliments wherever I go. :)

The saddle is a Wrights, and I'm sure it's original. There's nothing wrong with it, but I don't like the way the edges feel, so I'd like to upgrade. Let's see -- B17 or B72? Hmmm. ;)

I've tried tightening down the bolt on the front caliper, but I started worrying about bending something with the effort I was putting into it. I just took it on another test ride around the neighborhood. It's been drizzling a little, so it was the perfect chance to test out the wet-weather braking. The fronts seem to rock and "pulse" a little less, but it could also be that I was using a firmer grip to re-dry those rims. ;) The rears were nearly useless -- I'm changing my order to include a set of Kool-Stops for the rear as well! I'll be losing those cool stay braces though. Has anyone tried fabricating limit stops that can be bolted into the arms? Looks like there's plenty of room.

- Scott

Toeslider 09-18-11 04:10 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Just made a thread with one I acquired this weekend, then saw this thread. If anyone knows the year I would appreciate it! AMF? Hercules ladies 3-speed.

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=219311

auchencrow 09-18-11 05:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Toeslider (Post 13244144)
Just made a thread with one I acquired this weekend, then saw this thread. If anyone knows the year I would appreciate it! AMF? Hercules ladies 3-speed.

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=219311

Hi Toeslider -
Just look for the 2-place date code on the Sturmey Archer hub. Chances are it's original, and it will pinpoint the date for you.

wahoonc 09-18-11 06:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ThermionicScott (Post 13244070)
Thanks, guys! Even though there is a lot more wear than my crummy iPhone picture shows, this thing has gotten compliments wherever I go. :)

The saddle is a Wrights, and I'm sure it's original. There's nothing wrong with it, but I don't like the way the edges feel, so I'd like to upgrade. Let's see -- B17 or B72? Hmmm. ;)

I've tried tightening down the bolt on the front caliper, but I started worrying about bending something with the effort I was putting into it. I just took it on another test ride around the neighborhood. It's been drizzling a little, so it was the perfect chance to test out the wet-weather braking. The fronts seem to rock and "pulse" a little less, but it could also be that I was using a firmer grip to re-dry those rims. ;) The rears were nearly useless -- I'm changing my order to include a set of Kool-Stops for the rear as well! I'll be losing those cool stay braces though. Has anyone tried fabricating limit stops that can be bolted into the arms? Looks like there's plenty of room.

- Scott

To tighten up the brake you need a wrench and a large screwdriver for that front screw. I will have to do the process again to be able do describe it properly.

Aaron :)

Schwinnsta 09-18-11 06:08 PM

My handlebars on my Sports started to rotate while I was out riding. When I got home I tightened the stem clamp but they still rotated so under pressure so I tightened some more and stripped the stem bolt. For the time being, I added three washers above the nut so that nut would be on thread. It still rotates under normal force of riding. I have a feeling the problem is with the handlebar serrations or lack their of, but the handlebars are otherwise in great shape, with good chrome. I am purchasing another Raleigh bolt (with the stem, from eBay). I would rather not have to purchase another handlebar too.

Any ideas? Should I try Loctite?

ThermionicScott 09-18-11 06:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wahoonc (Post 13244627)
To tighten up the brake you need a wrench and a large screwdriver for that front screw. I will have to do the process again to be able do describe it properly.

Aaron :)

Yeah, I used a thicker-than usual screwdriver in front, and a 7/16" wrench on the nut (might not be original). Rest assured, I'm not just spinning the bolt around. ;)

- Scott

auchencrow 09-18-11 07:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Schwinnsta (Post 13244631)
My handlebars on my Sports started to rotate while I was out riding. When I got home I tightened the stem clamp but they still rotated so under pressure so I tightened some more and stripped the stem bolt. For the time being, I added three washers above the nut so that nut would be on thread. It still rotates under normal force of riding. I have a feeling the problem is with the handlebar serrations or lack their of, but the handlebars are otherwise in great shape, with good chrome. I am purchasing another Raleigh bolt (with the stem, from eBay). I would rather not have to purchase another handlebar too.

Any ideas? Should I try Loctite?

Assuming all parts are original, I suspect the cause for the handlebars rotating is that the bolt was initially under-torqued - and then subsequently over-torqued.

- Apart from threads being stripped, it is also possible that the little anti-rotation nib under the head of the bolt has been compromised, such that you cannot attain adequate clamping load before it begins to rotate.

- Of course w/o physically inspecting the parts, I am speculating, but I am confident that the new stem & bolt will be sufficient to obviate the problem, provided it is manufactured to Raleigh's original specs.

Sixty Fiver 09-18-11 08:06 PM

Went for a nice pootle on the 20 this afternoon... pace was easy and the sun was bright and warm... a simply beautiful fall day.

Stopped off and picked up a little hardware to turn an old generator headlamp into an LED marker light and this turned out really well... those modern lights just do not look right on a 40 year old 3 speed.

jrecoi 09-18-11 08:07 PM

Bobbin Bicycles recently showed off at Interbike its version of the Raleigh Shopper, the non-folding version of the Raleigh Twenty. It comes stock with V-brakes and Sturmey Archer gear. From the photographs, the fenders are a tad wonky but overall it seems like a very faithful revival/reproduction of the Shopper. Its priced around 550 USD. Most importantly it comes in British Green.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lovely_...n/photostream/

Sixty Fiver 09-18-11 08:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jrecoi (Post 13245139)
Bobbin Bicycles recently showed off at Interbike its version of the Raleigh Shopper, the non-folding version of the Raleigh Twenty. It comes stock with V-brakes and Sturmey Archer gear. From the photographs, the fenders are a tad wonky but overall it seems like a very faithful revival/reproduction of the Shopper. Its priced around 550 USD. Most importantly it comes in British Green.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lovely_...n/photostream/

Nice... considering that refitting a 20 with V brakes and better rims is not an inexpensive job.

$120.00 to rebuild the wheels with high quality rims, $80.00 for the brazing, and then you have to refinish the frame... but then you will still have a genuine R20 and not a reproduction.

Sixty Fiver 09-18-11 08:35 PM

2 Attachment(s)
A few pictures...

Temp was about 15C so a little wool was nice...

http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...1&d=1316399533

A thermos of hot tea for those inevitable stops along the way... now that the front light is rocking an LED I can ditch the front knog and will do the same for the rear with an orphan rear housing.

http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...0&d=1316399510

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=219331

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=219330

Schwinnsta 09-18-11 08:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by auchencrow (Post 13245074)
- Apart from threads being stripped, it is also possible that the little anti-rotation nib under the head of the bolt has been compromised, such that you cannot attain adequate clamping load before it begins to rotate.

Thanks for the reply,

I think your first assumption is correct but the one quoted above is not. First if it were I would not have been able to torque the bolt enough to strip the threads. The bolt would have spun. The little nub is fine. I will check the stem against the new (to me) one. As far I can tell only the handlebar has serrations and the stem clamp does not.

-roger

jrecoi 09-18-11 10:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver (Post 13245135)
Went for a nice pootle on the 20 this afternoon... pace was easy and the sun was bright and warm... a simply beautiful fall day.

Stopped off and picked up a little hardware to turn an old generator headlamp into an LED marker light and this turned out really well... those modern lights just do not look right on a 40 year old 3 speed.

Are you going to do a step by step on the conversion? I'm thinking of changing an Indian Miller dynamo light set to LED.

Schwinnsta 09-19-11 05:52 PM

Tony Hadland has written a new book that appears to be a "complete history of Raleigh". Available here for pre-order here
http://www.amazon.com/Raleigh-Iconic...6475895&sr=8-1 but for 20% less here
http://www.buy.com/prod/raleigh/221182037.html but still pricey. Release date is 10/15/11.

gomango 09-19-11 06:12 PM

Had a great time at the "All British" bike event this weekend in New Brighton.

http://www.abcetour.com/

I was able to meet our very own John Thompson, and he brought along a beauty of a Viscount.

My memory is a little fuzzy, but I believe he came in first place in the "pastry joust" competition!

Great storytelling, food, people to meet, and of course, the amazing bicycles.

Here's a photo of our bikes at the event.

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6179/...2712ce70_o.jpg


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