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  1. #1
    Senior Member loubapache's Avatar
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    Bike with IGH recommendation

    Hi,

    I am shopping for a retro-looking and more modern IGH bike. Currently I have five older (pre 1980) English and American bikes equipped with either the SA or Shamano 3-speed IGH. I like them and the 3 speed IGH is enough for where I ride. These are all oil lubed so there is minimal maintenance.

    There is no local bike shop and the closest is over one hour away.

    I am between these two internet bikes now (see below). The only difference I can see is that the Bistro 3 has an aluminum frame (fork is still steel), sprung saddle, and wider tires.

    Motobecane Bistro 3V
    City Bikes Save up to 60% off new Motobecane Bistro 7V Aluminum City Bikes from bikesdirect.com

    Windsor Oxford 3 speed
    Save Up to 60% Off Town Bikes | Classic, Stylish Three Speed City Bikes | Urban Bikes | Commuter Road Bikes | Windsor Oxford from bikesdirect.com

    I would love to hear your experiences and recommendations. There are some info about the Oxford but almost none user experiences for the Bistro 3. The price difference is 100 ($350 vs $450). Just from the online pictures, it looks like the Oxford has a more horizontal top tube and I prefer that. However, this could just be the photos. I could not find the detailed geometries of them.

    I have not used these modern Shimano 3 speed hubs. I assume they are "sealed" and grease lubed so might require regular maintenance (clean and re-grease, etc).

    I am also open to the Nexus 8 speed IGH, although I do not necessarily need it. It might add more complexity to the bike and another $100. The steel Kensington 8 is sold out for my size so only the Bistro 8 is still available ($550).

    TIA.

  2. #2
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    There is the Raleigh Classic Roadster with a 3 speed Shimano Hub and caliper brakes. Available for $550.

    Virtue Encore 5M with a 5 speed Sturmey Archer Hub and drum brakes. Available for $554. It comes in two sizes - 54 cm and 58 cm.

  3. #3
    contiuniously variable TransitBiker's Avatar
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    I would go with the one on the top.

    If you want another thing to look at, may i suggest this:
    Breezer Bikes - Downtown 5 - Bike Overview Yes, it's a 5 not a 3, but i think it has a bit of that look you're going for?

    Good luck, keep us posted!

    - Andy
    I can't wait for the next pint of good chocolate milk after a long ride.

  4. #4
    Senior Member loubapache's Avatar
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    Thank you both, NormanF and TransitBiker. I have actually looked at the Raleigh (online). The Virtue Encore 5M is looking really good.


    I believe these are dealer only bikes but I will need to research further. I would prefer online order.

  5. #5
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    I don't have any of those bikes but I've had a Nexus 8 and now have an Alfine 8. They do use grease for lubrication but you can use an "oil bath" instead using either Shimano's oil or ATF fluid.

    Basically you pull the innards out, let them soak in the oil for awhile, then put it back together. I believe that should be done every couple of years depending on your riding habits and conditions. I recommend it. The grease gets a little thick in cold weather. It might be my imagination but I can feel the difference.
    If you're not riding with a psychedelic gecko on your shirt, you ARE having a substandard experience.

  6. #6
    Senior Member loubapache's Avatar
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    That Virtue Encore 5M is the one. Are there places selling online? I did some searches but cannot find any.

    There are very few dealers and none in my state.

    tjspiel: Thanks. Yes, I have seen the photos of the ATF dip. It does not look too bad.

  7. #7
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loubapache View Post
    Hi,

    I am shopping for a retro-looking and more modern IGH bike. Currently I have five older (pre 1980) English and American bikes equipped with either the SA or Shamano 3-speed IGH. I like them and the 3 speed IGH is enough for where I ride. These are all oil lubed so there is minimal maintenance.
    Whatsa matter with the five bikes you already have? More modern? Whatz that mean, certainly not better.

    Why shop for more of the same (at best)?

    You won't be gaining anything unless you like to ride a different bike for each day of the week.

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Got nothing to say abou a bike that bypasses a Retail Shop, because I never see them * You are on your own ..

    *except the rare repair .. a frame and a bunch of parts on it = a bike. You may change the parts if you wish .
    Good/Bad you can form your own opinion.



    Pretty much Any frame with horizontal dropouts makes a suitable retrofit of an UGH wheel ..

    ( may have to spread old fixies that take 2 brakes)

    One with Vertical dropouts will need a chain tensioner , but that is an easy to use Derailleur substitute*

    * disabling a Rear Derailleur so as to have it stay over the 1 cog will work too.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 10-11-14 at 01:38 PM.

  9. #9
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    The bike companies policies against online ordering is to help the shops, not the consumer.

    It simply means I cannot buy what I want when I want it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member loubapache's Avatar
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    Many places in the USA have no local bike shops. It is not that I want to bypass them. I have no choice. Two years ago, I traveled to buy a Trek T900 tandem bike. I could not believe how the "LBS" assembled that bike. Several screws were stripped, the front brake was out of adjustment, etc. I managed to replace the bolts and adjust the brakes without going back. I even bypassed the free tune up within one year. It is just not convenient.

    Take the Virtue brand bikes as an example, they have just spot presence in the country and my local state does not even have a dealer so I cannot even buy local. Thank to a forum member's PM, there is at least one dealer that can sell online but the cost will add up quickly due to the long distance for shipping.

    Bike is a simple machine. Many people can repair them with a little bit of study. I have restored many old bikes and repaired some SA and Shimano IGHs so I am fine on my own.

    I appreciate these IGHs and that is why I am thinking to buy another one even though I have five of them (3 English 3 speed and 2 American) and four more hubs not laced. I do not ride them all and actually I only use one regularly (1956 Robin Hood) that I laced with CR18 rims to replace the old steel rims. You are right that I really do not need another one. As a mater of fact, these oil lubed SA hubs might be superior to the new Shimano units. The three Engish 3-speed bikes I have are all 21" so they are a bit small for me (I am 6' tall). I had to raise the handlebar by using a stem riser. The larger 23" ones are very hard o find.

    Thank you all for your advice.
    Last edited by loubapache; 06-19-14 at 01:17 PM.

  11. #11
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    Consider a Jamis Commuter 3 ?
    sorry I sold mine when I got N+1 lust.
    ride long & prosper

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by martianone View Post
    Consider a Jamis Commuter 3 ?
    sorry I sold mine when I got N+1 lust.
    You're doing N+1 wrong.

  13. #13
    Senior Member loubapache's Avatar
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    ^, it should be N - 1, LOL.

    The Breazer and Jamis have the sloping top tube. I prefer the look of the traditional horizontal top tube, diamond frame.

    Thanks,

  14. #14
    contiuniously variable TransitBiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loubapache View Post
    ^, it should be N - 1, LOL.

    The Breazer and Jamis have the sloping top tube. I prefer the look of the traditional horizontal top tube, diamond frame.

    Thanks,
    The main reason i believe they do this on breezers is to allow a slightly different riding position that also lowers center of gravity. My old diamond frame years ago (before cruiser) had that flat top tube and boy do i not miss it or its less comfy geometry!!

    - Andy
    I can't wait for the next pint of good chocolate milk after a long ride.

  15. #15
    Senior Member loubapache's Avatar
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    I finally ordered a 56 cm Windsor Oxford in Olive color. It got here last night and I put it together after dinner.



    The bike is a good value. Everything except the pedals are stock now. I did not install the included resin pedals which I have seen in much more expensive bikes as well.

    It rides very well but is not as smooth as my other three speed bikes with either the Sturmey Archer or Shimano hubs. The chain is very tight from the factory and if it does not loosen up after a couple of rides, I will have to adjust the rear wheel position a bit.

    The brakes work very well. They are a night and day difference from these vintage 3-speed bikes even with alloy wheels.

    The front hub is a no namer but it spins very smooth. The 44/22 ring/cog puts the 3rd gear as my normal flat riding gear and I think it is perfect.

    Both wheels require a tiny bit of touchup. They were not too bad to start with but definitely not very true. I think I will touch them up again after a couple rides. The spoke tensions are a bit too low than the wheels I normally build.

    The stem, handlebar, grips, saddle, etc are all very serviceable. The chain-ring, however, is out of round beyond reasonable tolerance. This is the only negative so far, along with a dented front fender. I have contacted bikesdirect to see what they can do.

    The Shimano SG-3R40 is a bit tight now. It also ticks quite loud. I think it is normal, however. Hope it loosens up a bit or I will have to adjust the cone. I may even add a bit oil in there and eventually I will convert it to oil lubrication.

    The 56 cm size fits me perfectly (I am 5 11-1/2") with the stem at maximum height. I did not like the shape of the rack on the Deluxe model. I will add a more classic looking, silver color rack later.

    Overall, it is a very good value bike.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by loubapache; 10-11-14 at 11:46 AM.

  16. #16
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    Congratulations - the Windsor Oxford is an uncanny update of the classic Raleigh Sports utility bicycle.

    Simple and reliable like the bikes many of us remember riding in our youth except its not as heavy as that old all-steel three speed bicycle was!

    Ride it in good health for many years to come.

  17. #17
    Senior Member loubapache's Avatar
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    Thank you, NormanF, for all your suggestions.

    Yes, I forgot to mention, The bike is lighter than I expected. Just weighed it on the bathroom scale: 28 pounds.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by loubapache View Post
    Thank you, NormanF, for all your suggestions.

    Yes, I forgot to mention, The bike is lighter than I expected. Just weighed it on the bathroom scale: 28 pounds.
    Not bad...I'd go with a Brooks B-67 leather saddle on it. It just seems period correct. It would add a few pounds of weight but who cares when you want a comfortable ride.

  19. #19
    Senior Member loubapache's Avatar
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    I actually do have a new B17 standard aged saddle. I normally like the Flyer and B67 but the B17 might work on this bike. It is not as upright as the English 3-speeds. The stem angles down rather than flat or up.

    Just took a short ride and the stock Velo saddle feels OK.

  20. #20
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    I have the Flyer. Same top as the B-17 but with rough streets, the springs seem to help with the bumps and jolts of the road.

    You might be able to replicate the geometry of the English three speed with a change of stem angle. Stock North Road bars appear serviceable but if you want the bike to look really nice, Nitto Albatross bars would be awesome.

  21. #21
    Senior Member loubapache's Avatar
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    I think a slightly taller but shorter reach stem, along with a northroad bar will make it very similar to the English 3-speeds.

    However, I really like the more swept back handlebar on the Oxford (grew up with copies of the Raleigh Roadster, i.e. Flying Pigeon, Forever, etc.).

  22. #22
    contiuniously variable TransitBiker's Avatar
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    Do you plan on getting any lights?

    - Andy
    I can't wait for the next pint of good chocolate milk after a long ride.

  23. #23
    Senior Member loubapache's Avatar
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    Sorry, Andy, no lights as I do not ride in the dark. I may get a drum brake hub based on how well it does on my Worksman trike. However, these dual pivot caliper brakes work really well.

  24. #24
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    A dyno hub and front light would be what you want anyway if you intend to do serious commuting. Especially during the short days of winter, it would come in handy.

  25. #25
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    On 2nd thought give us your checkbook so we can fix up your bike nice

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