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  1. #1
    Senior Member Andrew F's Avatar
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    IGH 3spd fixed or 5spd -opinions please

    Stopped by my LBS today with my newly aquired R. Comp. GS frame. Decided to build up with an IGH either 5spd or a fixed 3. I'm going to use the bike as a trainer. My route is mostly flat, a few small hills with a mix of urban street riding and parks. The 5spd seems practical but the 3spd fixed sounds like lots more fun...maybe? wada ya all think?
    2010 frame project 045..jpg

  2. #2
    neits stien's Avatar
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    Honestly I think you should make it a freewheeling bike, but that's my opinion

  3. #3
    Buh'wah?! Amani576's Avatar
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    Go with the S3X. Just keep brakes on it to keep it looking right.
    -Gene-

  4. #4
    Senior Member Andrew F's Avatar
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    Brakes it will have, Campy's front and rear...with age comes wisdom..a little anyway. In additon to keeping it looking right, I was hoping on a bit of functionality too!

  5. #5
    PanGalacticGargleBlaster Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
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    If you already know you like fixed gear riding the S3X is probably a bunch of fun.

    I'd get the 5 speed because I don't like riding fixed in busy areas.
    --Don't Panic.
    My bike is a lot like your mom.

  6. #6
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    A toss-up between 3-speed fixed and 5-speed freewheel is like, uh, I dunno, two very dissimilar things. For practicality, I guess 5-speed. For practicality, fun, and novelty mushed together, go with 3-speed fixed.

    As you may remember, the cheapest way to get the S3X hub is to buy this bike, keep the hub, and part out the rest of the bike. You might even make a profit on it.

    Where did you get the frame, and what year is it?
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

    Tom Reingold
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    noglider's ride blog

  7. #7
    rhm
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    Nice score on the frame. Big one, huh?

    I see the attraction of both the five speed hub and the three speed fixed one, but I'd have trouble making up my own mind, let alone trying to make up your mind for you! If you're really curious about the S3X, you should probably take Tom's advice and get that Mercier, and ride that for a while. If you really like it, then switch the parts over to the Competition... but be sure to let me try it out first!

  8. #8
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I know it's a sin to say so, but there's a chance that that Mercier rides better than the Raleigh.

    OK, I'll just go duck into a cave now.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

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  9. #9
    another retro grouch Mr IGH's Avatar
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    How about IGH 5 speed? I really like my SA 5 speed with drum, I never use first gear but the other four have great spacing, drum brake has cool factor:




  10. #10
    Senior Member Andrew F's Avatar
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    I was looking at the SA5 with the drum brake, looked kinda big, plus the bridge on the frame is set up for a brake. If it was a repaint, I'd fill the hole and consider the drum brake option.

    My feeling is the 5spd will make for a nice daily rider and the s3x will be alota fun but I'm concerned about the bb hieght. I noticed the older fixed grear bikes often had bb hieghts of 11" to nearly 12", this frame on 700's has just over 10". I can see myself catching a pedal and sliding out!

    Noglider; I have a Ritchey Areo Roads wheelset and Campy brakes in good conditon and I'm plannig on butcher a B-17 so I only need the crankset and hub. Sturmey has a nice Track crank set I'd like to use with the hub so the Bike Direct buy would only net me the hub and chain, not worth it to me.

    Yup it's a bigin! I picked up the frame from a little old lady who rode to the grocery store and church on Sunday, she said it was hardly used. ( I over paid for it on eBay, It looked so prestine I lost all control)

  11. #11
    PanGalacticGargleBlaster Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew F View Post
    Yup it's a bigin! I picked up the frame from a little old lady who rode to the grocery store and church on Sunday, she said it was hardly used. ( I over paid for it on eBay, It looked so prestine I lost all control)
    She can't be that little if she's been riding a 66cm frame

    Seriously, is that a 66? wait, it would be in inches since its British so is it a 26"?
    --Don't Panic.
    My bike is a lot like your mom.

  12. #12
    rhm
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    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
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    I'm going to guess it's nominally a 25 1/2" frame; I remember selling a 25 1/2" Competition GS; that was in 1980. Biggest I've ever heard of. Well, we had a 27 1/2" Super Course in stock at the time....

  13. #13
    Senior Member Andrew F's Avatar
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    It's "only" a 25" the black and chrome make it look big from behind.

    It's a Japanese built '82, the fit and finish are perfect!! I'm anticipating a ride as if on a ribbon of black velvet, escorted by Bo Derek and Farrah Fawcett riding Unicorns with sparkly manes. ( It's my flash back, gotta go.. songs over ...... I gotta flip the Boston LP over)

  14. #14
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    A Japanese-made frame of 531? Cool. The workmanship will be better than an English-made frame of that era, that's for sure!

    In fact, that was the best era for Japanese-made bikes, in my opinion. That frame will last a few lifetimes.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

    Tom Reingold
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  15. #15
    PanGalacticGargleBlaster Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew F View Post
    I'm anticipating a ride as if on a ribbon of black velvet, escorted by Bo Derek and Farrah Fawcett riding Unicorns with sparkly manes. ( It's my flash back, gotta go.. songs over ...... I gotta flip the Boston LP over)
    --Don't Panic.
    My bike is a lot like your mom.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    I know it's a sin to say so, but there's a chance that that Mercier rides better than the Raleigh.

    OK, I'll just go duck into a cave now.
    I want the Mercier with a five speed. I suppose I could buy one and sell the S3X to help finance a 5 speed hub. I think that would be a nice new bike for little money.

  17. #17
    tcs
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew F View Post
    I was looking at the SA5 with the drum brake, looked kinda big, plus the bridge on the frame is set up for a brake. If it was a repaint, I'd fill the hole and consider the drum brake option.

    My feeling is the 5spd will make for a nice daily rider...
    I don't know of an aftermarket retail source for a new freewheel version S-A XRF5(W) in N.A. S-A wholesale distributer UBS has them cataloged but flagged out-of-stock. QBP doesn't even list them.

    Sturmey has offered a variety of 5-speed designs over the last 45 years, which are available on the used market. Some are better than others.

    225% overall, 67%, 79%, 100%, 127%, 150%:
    S5: 1966-1976, RH indicator, LH bell crank
    S5-1: 1977-1981, dual indicators
    S5-2: 1981-1990
    5 StAr: 1991-1993 First NIG mechanism
    Sprinter: 1993-1999 First single cable design
    Summit: 1999-2008 Ball Locking. Last British designed 5-speed

    256% overall, 63%, 75%, 100%, 133%, 160%:
    W: 2009- First SunRace designed 5-speed 256% overall

    For the new (W) series, Sturmey offers twist, bar end, dual paddle and thumb shifters.

    The SRAM Spectro P5 is widely available. SRAM, true to their Gripshift heritage, only offers a twist shifter.

    HTH,
    tcs
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

  18. #18
    another retro grouch Mr IGH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcs View Post
    I don't know of an aftermarket retail source for a new freewheel version S-A XRF5(W) ...
    These guys claim to have the 5 speed (W) in stock (with drum):
    http://smartbikeparts.com/search_det...hp?itm=SBP3281

    without brake:
    http://smartbikeparts.com/search_det...p?itm=SBP32810

  19. #19
    rhm
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    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
    These guys claim to have the 5 speed (W) in stock (with drum):
    http://smartbikeparts.com/search_det...hp?itm=SBP3281

    without brake:
    http://smartbikeparts.com/search_det...p?itm=SBP32810
    I got mine (5w with drum) from them. But they didn't have it in stock; as soon as they got my order they phoned it in to Sturmey Archer, and I had it within a few days. So I wouldn't hesitate to do business with them again, but I wouldn't necessarily trust their "in stock" assertion.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Andrew F's Avatar
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    Thanks IGH, I was told it would be late September to get the hub. I'm planning on using bar end shifters. I'm thinking I'm gonna go with the s3x hub. The frame doesn't have eyelets for fenders and it's geometry is pretty tight so I think it's destined for short fast rides. I could through on a pair a of Race Blades on in the fall to stay dry.

    Noglider; yes, Japanese and 531! looks like better work than the Carlton bikes from the late 70's
    2010 frame project 046..jpg
    Last edited by Andrew F; 07-29-10 at 04:43 PM.

  21. #21
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Or just wear an extra layer of clothing to substitute for lack of fenders. :wink:

    Great choice on the S3X. I can't wait to see it and try it.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

    Tom Reingold
    New York City and High Falls, NY
    noglider's ride blog

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