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  1. #1
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    Brown-Inspired 3 speed help!

    Hi everyone-
    I don't post here much, so I wasn't sure what category to put this in (my apologies).

    I've been in need of a new bike venture, so I've decided to turn a Trek road bike I have into one with an internal 3 speed rear hub, fenders, North Road-ish handlebars, etc. I got the idea from a Peugeot PX-10 Sheldon Brown had that he turned into a "PX-3". Call it blasphemous, call it silly; whatever, it's what I'm trying to do. The idea is to have a fairly lightweight and quick 3 speed.

    Anyway, this is also going to be my first foray into wheel building. I want to find a 3 speed hub and lace it to a 27" rim (I'm trying to do this as cheaply as possible, too, because the wife already thinks I'm an idiot for having 4 bikes- so I'm trying to use as many old parts as I can). I've looked on eBay, and so far I'm watching an old Schwinn-approved Sturmey Archer with an axle width of 4.5". The fork spacing on my frame is 5". Would this be able to be spaced to fit?

    Any and all suggestions/pointers as to how to go about this little project are much appreciate.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Steel frame, horizontal dropout bike? If so I'd squeeze the rear dropouts together to match your hub. Afterward you might want to take a big crescent wrench to realign the dropouts so they are parallel.

    If it's an aluminum frame or a bike with vertical dropouts, I'd rethink the whole project.

    One other thing to check is the number of spoke holes in your hub. It's probably 36 but I wouldn't assume anything.

  3. #3
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    I agree with Retro but would like to add

    are you sure the trek takes 27" wheels and not 700c? will the diameter of the axle, yes I know it has 'flats' on it but will it fit in the dropouts?
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto (2), '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '88 Trofeo, '86 Volpe, '89 Axis, '79 Mixte SOLD, '99 Mega Pro XL Ti, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '86 Bertoni (sold), '09 Motobecane SS, '98 Hetchins M.O., '09 K2 Mainframe, '89 Trek 2000, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    They have a Grip washer that slides over the axle, same flats.. , Its part of the torque transfer to the frame.

    You can add a spacer on the axle under the lock nut to match the frame ..

    Pay attention to the chainline on the right, then when all that's right ,
    center the wheel [dish stick, gage] between your axle lock nut ends.

    3 speed cogs are made from 13 to 22 teeth to get the gear range
    where it will work best for you

    Sheldon's suggestion was High gear in the mid 70" range

    with the external ratio giving about a 57" gear
    I have a 77 for the high..

    Steel frame can be cold set to change rear dropout spacing ..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 01-03-11 at 03:27 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    Steel frame, horizontal dropout bike? If so I'd squeeze the rear dropouts together to match your hub. Afterward you might want to take a big crescent wrench to realign the dropouts so they are parallel.

    If it's an aluminum frame or a bike with vertical dropouts, I'd rethink the whole project.

    One other thing to check is the number of spoke holes in your hub. It's probably 36 but I wouldn't assume anything.
    Yep, steel frame, horizontal dropouts.

    Also, it already has 27" wheels on it; 27x1 (not 1 1/4"). I'm going with a pair of 1 1/4" so I can save the original wheels.

    So, all in all, I'd say this project seems feasible...as long as I can handle the wheel building business.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ziggy_stardust View Post
    So, all in all, I'd say this project seems feasible...as long as I can handle the wheel building business.
    Building wheels isn't that hard. Take your time, pay attention to the details and you'll be fine.

  7. #7
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I know a 6 year old that builds wheels and her dad finishes the up by doing the truing on them...

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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  8. #8
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    I keep seeing the thread title and thinking "Guy's building a UPS bike?"

  9. #9
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    So, possible change of plans.

    The lazy bones in me is possibly taking over- I found a complete 3 speed fixed gear hub/wheel/shifter on eBay for $250. It's 700c which means I'll need to get a 700c front wheel too, but since it's fixed gear, I'd only use a front brake; I've never come into problems with a front brake stopping a 700C wheel on a frame built for 27" wheels, even though some say you don't brake as well.

    I already have a fixed gear in the stable, and the idea of a 3spd fixed gear makes me a little giddy. I don't know why I didn't consider this from the get-go. Probably because I was just in northern Italy where everyone rides around on regular 3 speeds going "Ciao" and wanted to be just as laid-back as them.

  10. #10
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    Well, I'll definitely be putting at least one rack on it, so...UPS-kinda.

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