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Old 02-10-10, 09:28 PM   #1
scottbrown
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Phillips 3 Speed English Bicycle...........

I would like to know whether or not the English bicycle manufacturing company PHILLIPS still exists? Can anybody tell me whether or not this company is still in business? I remember back in the 1970's and early 1980's you could find this particular bike at all the department stores for under $100. Lots of college students and commuters used to ride this bike. I love the black colored Phillips 3 speed bicycles and would like to know who sells them so I can buy one? How much does this bicycle cost brand new right now?
THANKS
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Old 02-10-10, 09:43 PM   #2
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you can get used overpriced ones on craigslist along with the over priced 70s and 80s road bikes
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Old 02-10-10, 09:54 PM   #3
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I think Phillips was absorbed by Raleigh.

I believe that the Indian branch of Phillips may still exist and produce bikes though. (I know the Indian branch of BSA is still active).
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Old 02-10-10, 11:46 PM   #4
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When you say the "Indian Branch", do you mean in India? And what does BSA stand for? Do they have a website? Also, if BSA makes the exact looking bicycle like the Phillips where can I find and purchase a brand new one here in the United States? I live in Massachusetts.
Thanks
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Old 02-11-10, 12:06 AM   #5
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And what does BSA stand for?I live in Massachusetts.
Thanks
BSA is best known for motorcycles, but the name stands for Birmingham Small Arms. That would be Birmingham, England, not Alabama. I suppose the company started out making firearms.
Sorry about the Massachusetts thing.
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Old 02-11-10, 12:06 AM   #6
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BSA stands for British Small Arms. They were one of Raleigh's main competitors until Raleigh absorbed them (like they did with almost every British bicycle manufacturer).

As far as I know, noone is making exact replicas of these bicycles, at least in North America, but plenty of the originals are still roadworthy. They can be found quite cheaply at garage sales and in classified ads. Your Phillips was one of Raleigh's many rebranded models, so you will see a wide variety of names on nearly identical bikes. The highest quality were sold under the Raleigh, Rudge and Humber brands, with Phillips being a step down. Take a look at Sheldon Brown's page on English three-speeds for the full details.

If you're set on a new bicycle, you could check out Flying Pidgeon. These are commuter bicycles imported from China, and are very similar to the Raleigh/Phillips/etc roadsters. Several manufacturers have also started coming out with modernized three-speeds in the last couple of years. Off the top of my head, the Schwinn Coffee (I think this has been renamed) and the Kona Africabike are probably the closest to the originals. The utility forum has a thread title "Bring Back the English Three-Speed", which mentions most of these newer version.
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Old 02-11-10, 12:13 AM   #7
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The Flying Pigeon's are single speed roadsters with rod operated brakes, they're not really the same things as the old 3 speeds Raleigh and others unloaded in the U.S. 30 years ago.

I would say the Schwinn Coffee is probably the closest thing to those that you can easily find in the U.S. today. But for the price, you could probably buy two very nice older "genuine" english 3 speeds.
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Old 02-11-10, 01:30 AM   #8
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I do like the Schwinn Coffee bicycle very much. What's the cheapest price that I can buy it for? I already own an AVIGO RIALTO 7 speed men's bicycle which I like very much. I bought my Avigo Rialto brand new from ToyrRUs for under $100. It's not a bad quality bike and it looks almost like the Schwinn Coffee. Which retailers around here carry and sell the Schwinn Coffee?
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Old 02-11-10, 05:54 AM   #9
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I do like the Schwinn Coffee bicycle very much. What's the cheapest price that I can buy it for? I already own an AVIGO RIALTO 7 speed men's bicycle which I like very much. I bought my Avigo Rialto brand new from ToyrRUs for under $100. It's not a bad quality bike and it looks almost like the Schwinn Coffee. Which retailers around here carry and sell the Schwinn Coffee?
Yep. The Schwinn is a pretty nice bike & reasonably priced. Don't think of it as a WallyWorld Schwinn. They are pretty good !
http://www.schwinnbike.com/usa/eng/P...F3-Coffee-3spd
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Old 02-11-10, 07:32 AM   #10
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http://www.safaribikes.com/cycle37.htm

As close to a new Phillips as you can get.

According to Sheldon, Phillips was originally a Birmingham company that was absorbed by Raleigh in the early 60's. From then on, they were near the bottom rung as far as quality and such.

That being said, I've got a Phillips from the late '60's, as well as a ladies' Raleigh Sports (1973). Comparing the two, the lug work is rather sub-par and the wheels aren't the Raleigh Style (rather, they're the Endrick style) on the Phillips, but it's still a nice looking bike, and ride-wise, I can't really tell a difference. The biggest difference, to me at least, is that the Sports came with a Brooks B72 and the Phillips came with a pastic mattress saddle, although comfort is similar. I've since swapped it out for a Wal-Mart style MTB saddle that doesn't creak and is relatively more comfortable. The specs are nearly identical as far as componentry, and the weights are comparable (I think the Sports weighs 1 lb more or so, but it also has more "top tube" to deal with). Here's a shot of mine:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg phillips.jpg (46.9 KB, 41 views)
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Old 02-11-10, 07:39 AM   #11
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Also, if you're looking at getting a new bike that would be comparable, I'd highly suggest looking at the Schwinns - the Coffee mentioned above would be a good replacement for a 3 speed, but if you're looking for a touch more versatility, the Willy appears very similar, although with a 7 speed derailleur geared setup out back.

Comparing new to old, I think given the choice between a free Phillips like mine and a free Schwinn Coffee, I'd go with the Coffee, for three reasons - first, you don't have to search out one in your size (i.e. if you don't fit 20-22" frames, you're screwed), the one-piece bottom bracket is a whole lot easier and cheaper to rebuild than a 3 piece, especially factoring in cotters, and you don't have to oil the hub (although this last one is rather negligible).


ETA - also look at the Trek Belleville and the Fuji Cambridge. The Fuji would be my pick, honestly.

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Old 02-11-10, 08:51 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by reptilezs View Post
you can get used overpriced ones on craigslist along with the over priced 70s and 80s road bikes
Yes and no. I found this Triumph on Craigslist for $20:



It was listed as "Bike." It was January, and the seller wanted it gone.

I got this Raleigh Sports for $50:



Had a new condition Brooks B66. The seller was moving, and wanted it gone.

As IanHelgesen says, check out Sheldon Brown: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/english-3.html
Look at Craigslist, but also check garage sales, thrift stores, and estate sales.

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Old 02-11-10, 11:57 PM   #13
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I will constantly check out Craigslist for one of these bikes. Meanwhile, I have my eyes on the Schwinn Willy 7 Speed. I'm falling in love with the Schwinn Willy. The bike that I have right now is the AVIGO RIALTO. I just purchased it brand new last week and haven't ridden it yet because of the snow storm which we just had up here just the other day. I am hoping that I can start riding starting sometime in March when the salt on the roads and the weather gets better. If I start riding my AVIGO RIALTO a lot and it falls apart, then I will have a good excuse to spend the money to buy the Schwinn Willy 7 Speed. I am trying to set the stage for the Schwinn Willy so my wife will not give me any $hit about buying a second bike if the first one that I own right now falls apart. That's why I want to start riding the AVIGO RIALTO a lot. If the AVIGO RIALTO starts to fall apart, she might sympathize with me and it will be a lot easier for me to get the better Schwinn Willy 7 Speed which I really love.
What do you think? Great idea or what?

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Old 02-12-10, 02:13 AM   #14
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None of these companies exist any longer.

If you want a quality commuter in the spirit of the vintage Raleighs, Phillips, BSA, etc., I suggest Pashley. They are classic yet thoroughly modern bikes with drum brakes, racks and fenders, dynamo lights and fully enclosed chaincases, that also do excellently as winter bikes.
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Old 02-12-10, 06:53 AM   #15
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Pashleys certainly are nice, and I'd love to add one to my stable, but the cheapest "english 3 speed" style bike that they have is still $775! I realize that you get drum brakes, hub gearing and a Brooks saddle, but when you're considering a Schwinn for $350, $700 is a bit of scratch for a commuter...

IMO, if you want a Phillips, get a phillips. If you want a Raleigh, get one. Check Craigslist, and Ebay for deals - you can usually get one. The phil that I posted above I got for $50, and I know of a Nottingham built bike that has a 3 speed/dynohub and is completely refurbished in Louisville for $150. Earlier in the summer I got a ladies' Raleigh Sports complete with a worn-but-serviceable B72 and new tires for $120. You can get a whole lotta bike for not a lot of cash, and chances are, with a few specialty tools (i.e. a $50 cotter press and bottom bracket tools), you can keep the thing going for 100 years even on the stock bearings.

For instance, just a quick search for "Raleigh" on Ebay gave me these:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Knottingham-Engl...item20af58d4d0

http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-1950s-Ra...item1e5a6e1361

http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Raleigh-...item335a0c10d5

Or, build your own:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Raleigh-Sports-b...item2c5310a7a6

Or, if you're looking to spend outrageous dime for one:

http://cgi.ebay.com/VINTAGE-1956-RAL...item3a57a1f98d

http://cgi.ebay.com/Incredible-Cond-...item1c100a6288


Go to sheldonbrown.com and search his pages on the English 3 speed. You can find a bunch of makers that were absorbed and continued to be produced by Raleigh - do an ebay search, chances are you can find one for under $150 before shipping and $200 total.

Last edited by mickey85; 02-12-10 at 07:01 AM.
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Old 02-12-10, 07:16 AM   #16
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http://cgi.ebay.com/VINTAGE-HERCULES...item1e5a6af7c5

Here's an old Hercules on ebay - it's in MA, so maybe you could arrange pick up and save on shipping - reasonable price too if the frame is in your size.

Hercules was another name (like Philips) that Raleigh stuck on their bikes. I would however be careful of buying a used bike if you cannot check it out in person - so if you have questions ask the seller before forking over the money.
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Old 02-12-10, 07:39 AM   #17
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Man, I love those sport shift shifters.

The main questions to ask would be this:

Is it all original?
Is there any rust that is more than surface rust?
Does the hub shift to all three gears?
Do the wheels spin smoothly? (I wouldn't worry about truing, as that's easy enough to do yourself)
When you turn the handlebars, is the movement ratchety?

And ask for photos of the rear hub, front sprocket, handlebars, brakes, tire sidewalls, fenders and saddle.


At least, if I was to buy the bike. Then again, that Herc looks good enough and is cheap enough I'd consider buying sight-unseen.

The good thing about these bikes is that you can fix nearly anything that goes wrong for $100 or less. Even if the rear hub takes a powder, you can find used ones for $25 or less, or buy a new one for under $150.
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Old 02-12-10, 07:44 AM   #18
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Here's my '63 Phillips when I picked it up for $40 at a flea market (original saddle was a ruined B72, I swapped a good one onto it for this test ride)



And after some cleanup and component swapping:



Still looking for an older crank set with the "Phillips" logo stamped in the chainring...
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Old 02-12-10, 07:51 AM   #19
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http://cgi.ebay.com/PHILLIPS-STEEL-D...item2eab04400a

http://cgi.ebay.com/PHILLIPS-STEEL-C...item2eab043d36
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Old 02-12-10, 08:01 AM   #20
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The crank has been removed from the first one.
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Old 02-12-10, 08:03 AM   #21
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Thanks, I have been watching that one, I'm just hoping to find one that doesn't live someplace that's perpetually wet (had some negative experience with rusty parts shipped from the UK...)
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Old 02-12-10, 10:30 AM   #22
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The crank has been removed from the first one.

If you've got the crank from the chainring you're wanting to replace, it shouldn't be a big deal to put the new ring on...
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Old 02-12-10, 10:53 AM   #23
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If you've got the crank from the chainring you're wanting to replace, it shouldn't be a big deal to put the new ring on...
Not so with old cottered cranks like these, the chainrings are "permanently" swaged on. They can be removed from the crank arm, but you'll remove the metal that holds it together in the process.
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Old 02-12-10, 01:05 PM   #24
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Here's my '63 Phillips when I picked it up for $40 at a flea market (original saddle was a ruined B72, I swapped a good one onto it for this test ride)



And after some cleanup and component swapping:



Still looking for an older crank set with the "Phillips" logo stamped in the chainring...
Nice bike, both before and after. What did you swap out? Looks like new chain, stem, bars, grips...pedals? Front hub?
I'm curious, as in this thread I'm wondering what to do with the Triumph pictured above.
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Old 02-12-10, 01:11 PM   #25
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When I do get my bike, I am going to buy "brand new". I have my eyes on the Schwinn Willy 7 Speed Comfort Cruiser. The only time that I would buy used would be if I could find a really cheap priced comfort cruiser 3 speed or 7 speed bike that's in excellent condition. I am also currently looking at Craigslist to see if there are any deals on any used bikes which are in excellent unused shape. Lots of people tend to buy a bike and not use it and they store it. This is the type of situation that I would be looking for if I were to buy used.
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