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Old 05-12-10, 07:44 AM   #1
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3 Speeds Anonymous.....

We'll call this 3 Speeds Anonymous.

I have this urge to turn every bike I find into a 3 speed. I don't know why, I just want to do it to every single one. I just got a Takara 732 that is in good shape and pretty cool the way it is. It has nice barcons and good components. I want to convert it to a 3 speed road bike. I already have a Raleigh Sports and a Raleigh Technium which I have converted. I had another 3 speed which I sold recently.

Anybody else have the same problem? I know there are a few around here that own or have owned many 3 speeds, but do you have this uncontrollable urge to convert every bike?
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Old 05-12-10, 07:53 AM   #2
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I've been eyeballing my Raleigh Pro (in serious need of rust repair, and new componentry) as a base for a Faux-Clubman, with a 3 speed trigger, track bars, and a Sturmey 3. I'd consider an S3X for that one.
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Old 05-12-10, 07:59 AM   #3
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Yes.

But not just three speeds; all IGH's fascinate me. At the moment I'm playing with a 1951 FM hub that I've installed on a 1958 Raleigh Lenton Grand Prix. In fact, Pennsylvania riders may see it on the road this weekend.

Let's not call it an uncontrollable urge! That would be defeatist.
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Old 05-12-10, 07:59 AM   #4
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That sounds like a great idea to me! Clubmans are cool.

I'm toying with the idea of keeping the front derailleur and turning the takara into a 6 speed clubman.
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Old 05-12-10, 08:02 AM   #5
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I'm toying with the idea of keeping the front derailleur and turning the takara into a 6 speed clubman.
But you'll need a rear derailleur too, for chain tension; better just go with a rear derailleur and two cogs on the AW (21 and 24 give an especially sweet gear progression).
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Old 05-12-10, 08:24 AM   #6
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Guilty as charged, but the larger dilemma for me is whether to convert to a drop-bar or upright bar bike. I find early 70s Raleigh road bikes to make particularly good candidates. I do have a '62 Gran Sport frameset hanging in my basement that has braze ons for a 10-speed set, but it'll likely get the 3- or 4-speed treatment once I've had a chance to build a rear wheel for it.

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Old 05-12-10, 08:29 AM   #7
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I've been tempted to convert my Panasonic into a 3 speed, for a beater bike (paint is all chipped, wheelset is shot, etc). It would fix my one complaint with this bike: cockpit is too long for me, if I did North Road bars. But what's really weird is that my Raleigh actually rides over rough roads better; maybe building up a lightweight Club bike is in my future someday, instead.

I wonder: I tend to be somewhat frugal, and like oddball stuff. I drive a diesel powered stationwagon that pulls over 40mpg under most driving conditions, in a land of V8 gas swillers. The only gas powered "muscle" cars that I really lust after are Slant Six powered. I live in a small house, got rid of cable, and my cell phone is left off most of the time. Maybe I'm a Luddite at heart, and ancient tech works for me? Or maybe there is some allure to that which works, reliably, day in and day out?
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Old 05-12-10, 08:32 AM   #8
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Not so much 3 speeds but IGH in general have some sort of weird draw. Don't get me wrong; I've been looking for a Superb in my size for a while now, but I every frame I have I try to decide if I should get a modern IGH and see what I end up with. I haven't done it so far, but I think it will be a summer project!
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Old 05-12-10, 08:32 AM   #9
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But you'll need a rear derailleur too, for chain tension; better just go with a rear derailleur and two cogs on the AW (21 and 24 give an especially sweet gear progression).
You can fit 2 cogs on there? Thats brilliant!

I think I see an upgrade to my 3 speed Austro Daimler in the works.

I've got a thing for a road bike w/ drop bars and an IGH. it looks super clean and is very functional.
I've got the IGH bug too...but I'm itchin for a hit of the hard stuff...7 or 8 speed.
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Old 05-12-10, 08:49 AM   #10
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as I understand it, the cogs are dished, so if you have them dished away from each other, you have space to run a derailer.
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Old 05-12-10, 09:03 AM   #11
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ah, very interesting... cool signature Mickey.
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Old 05-12-10, 09:16 AM   #12
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But you'll need a rear derailleur too, for chain tension; better just go with a rear derailleur and two cogs on the AW (21 and 24 give an especially sweet gear progression).
Good point. Have you built one like that before?

Also, I think you're all right about it being about ighs rather than just 3 speeds. Maybe instead of doing a 3 speeds or the two cog route, I could do a 7 or 8 speeds hub. I'm guessing that would be more expensive though.
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Old 05-12-10, 09:25 AM   #13
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If you had wingnuts, you wouldn't need to have a derailer with two cogs - you could have a 19 and a 21, or some such, and just move it manually back and forth - it would especially work well if you used something that would take up slack, like a bar end shifter or some such.
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Old 05-12-10, 09:28 AM   #14
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Good point. Have you built one like that before?

Also, I think you're all right about it being about ighs rather than just 3 speeds. Maybe instead of doing a 3 speeds or the two cog route, I could do a 7 or 8 speeds hub. I'm guessing that would be more expensive though.
No. I'm torn between my love of originality (in the C&V sense) and originality (in the Frankenbike sense). So while I have a 1963 Raleigh Lenton Sports Convertible, which came with an AW hub with two cogs and a two-speed benelux derailleur, I don't ride it because the gears are all too high for me, and I haven't found a way to reduce them. Also, the bike is a boat anchor. There is a constant temptation to remove the Cyclo/Benelux parts and sell the bike as a regular old Sports... a temptation I have resisted, so far, but... there it is.

I am considering doing the two-cog thing on the Raleigh Lenton Grand Prix that I mentioned above; perhaps even with two chain rings (and a 'suicide shifter!), but first I'm going to ride it a bit with the FM hub.

I have a Shimano Nexus 8 speed hub on my touring bike, and it's great. Really great. I would talk about it more, but it's not C&V; it's a classic Frankenbike.
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Old 05-12-10, 09:30 AM   #15
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I'd love that Lenton, if only to snag the parts off of it and stick it all on a 531 frame.
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Old 05-12-10, 09:42 AM   #16
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If you had wingnuts, you wouldn't need to have a derailer with two cogs - you could have a 19 and a 21, or some such, and just move it manually back and forth - it would especially work well if you used something that would take up slack, like a bar end shifter or some such.
You lost me. How exactly would a bar end shifter take up slack in the chain?
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Old 05-12-10, 09:57 AM   #17
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I have this urge, too. I like my Raleigh Sports, but I can't find studded tires in that size, plus it would be nice to have lighter weight components with standard threading. I'd like to build up a commuter with 700c rims, IGH, fenders, and northroad bars.
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Old 05-12-10, 10:06 AM   #18
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I have this urge, too. I like my Raleigh Sports, but I can't find studded tires in that size, plus it would be nice to have lighter weight components with standard threading. I'd like to build up a commuter with 700c rims, IGH, fenders, and northroad bars.
That's pretty much what I had in mind with this Lambert Grand Prix:

I have to take a photo of it in the springtime sun, I've seen enough snow for a while!

I went with MTB-size wheels, drum brake hubs, dynamo on the front and 5-speed on the rear. I have a chain guard for it (matches the fenders, not the frame, but it's close) but sadly the chain guard and the crank don't get along.

The Lambert frame is good for this application because it has nice forged horizontal dropouts without a derailleur mount or other unnecessary braze-ons (except some cable guides at the BB; I'm using them for the gears and brake cables).
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Old 05-12-10, 10:12 AM   #19
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I have this urge, too. I like my Raleigh Sports, but I can't find studded tires in that size, plus it would be nice to have lighter weight components with standard threading. I'd like to build up a commuter with 700c rims, IGH, fenders, and northroad bars.
Like this? (fenders, chainguard and dyno-hub coming soon)
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Old 05-12-10, 10:27 AM   #20
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I've been to the edge and then come back. I've converted and deconverted most every bike I've owned to a 3 speed at one time or other. This has been my experience:

A 3 speed hub is pretty heavy. I tried it on some of my lighter bikes like my Motobecane Grand Record and Raleigh Supercourse and the bike felt sluggish. It was like I put a tractor engine into a sports car. When I put a 3 speed hub on my Schwinn Sports Tourer and Motobecane Super Mirage, it felt fine. Those bikes are both heavy bikes and performance was similar to stock.

I tried to run a derailleur on an AW with 2 cogs & a homemade JB welded 5 speed cassette on a splined driver, but I could never get enough chain wrap to keep the chain from skipping under load. Other than the novelty of it, there is really no point in adding a derailleur(s) to a 3 speed. You are defeating the purpose of a clean chainline & bike.
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Old 05-12-10, 10:31 AM   #21
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I've been to the edge and then come back. I've converted and deconverted most every bike I've owned to a 3 speed at one time or other. This has been my experience:

A 3 speed hub is pretty heavy. I tried it on some of my lighter bikes like my Motobecane Grand Record and Raleigh Supercourse and the bike felt sluggish. It was like I put a tractor engine into a sports car. When I put a 3 speed hub on my Schwinn Sports Tourer and Motobecane Super Mirage, it felt fine. Those bikes are both heavy bikes and performance was similar to stock.

I tried to run a derailleur on an AW with 2 cogs & a homemade JB welded 5 speed cassette on a splined driver, but I could never get enough chain wrap to keep the chain from skipping under load. Other than the novelty of it, there is really no point in adding a derailleur(s) to a 3 speed. You are defeating the purpose of a clean chainline & bike.
I agree. The simplicity of no derailers or extra chaingrings/cogs is a lot of why I like them.

The AW hubs are solid, no doubt, but they don't seem all THAT heavy to me. How do the new IGH hubs compare? Heavier? Lighter? or the same?
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Old 05-12-10, 10:42 AM   #22
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BTW, a fairly active internal-gear hub group is http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Geared_hub_bikes/. Lots of knowledge there, particularly about the latest IGH offerings.

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Old 05-12-10, 11:03 AM   #23
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I agree. The simplicity of no derailers or extra chaingrings/cogs is a lot of why I like them.

The AW hubs are solid, no doubt, but they don't seem all THAT heavy to me. How do the new IGH hubs compare? Heavier? Lighter? or the same?
Yeah, I too agree about the simplicity and the chain line thing.

The thing about AW hubs and weight, I think, is partly a matter of misunderstanding the problem of overgearing. A Raleigh Sports, with its 46T chain ring and 18T cog, feels really heavy. If you change that cog to a 22T, along with the additional 2" of chain that will also be needed, you make the bike a little heavier, but when you're riding it, it will feel much lighter.

The newer IGH's have more gears, both in the sense there are more pieces of metal (gears) inside them, and they offer more speeds ("gears"). They skimp on weight where appropriate, like with an aluminum shell, but they are not light. But the combination of a wide range of gears with the freedom to change to any gear at any time, even stopped, means you can always find a gear that makes your bike feel light and responsive at the speed you're going.
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Old 05-12-10, 11:31 AM   #24
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That's pretty much what I had in mind with this Lambert Grand Prix:

I have to take a photo of it in the springtime sun, I've seen enough snow for a while!

I went with MTB-size wheels, drum brake hubs, dynamo on the front and 5-speed on the rear. I have a chain guard for it (matches the fenders, not the frame, but it's close) but sadly the chain guard and the crank don't get along.

The Lambert frame is good for this application because it has nice forged horizontal dropouts without a derailleur mount or other unnecessary braze-ons (except some cable guides at the BB; I'm using them for the gears and brake cables).
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Like this? (fenders, chainguard and dyno-hub coming soon)
Exactly. I've got a lead on a Centurion Mixte that someone halfway converted to a fixie before giving up. It's a 54 cm frame; not sure if that will fit me (I'm 5'11"). Still has the brakes; no stem and bars but that's no big deal:

centurion..jpg

There's also an old Schwinn Super Sport frame I could pick up relatively cheap.
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Old 05-12-10, 11:33 AM   #25
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I have this urge, too. I like my Raleigh Sports, but I can't find studded tires in that size, plus it would be nice to have lighter weight components with standard threading. I'd like to build up a commuter with 700c rims, IGH, fenders, and northroad bars.
Lack of quality tires is the bane of British Sports bikes. I need studs in winter too so I use a roadster with 700c rims and a two speed sachs Duomatic to get me thru the snow. Not light but stable on snow and ice.

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