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  1. #1
    Senior Member Gotte's Avatar
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    Anyone toured on a 3 speed?

    My friend and I are planning a charity tour next year, which follows the advance of my friend's father during the the war from Normandy to Minden, Germany. I have a vague notion to do it on bikes of the period or ones that have the same design. I've got an old Raleigh 3 speed which is pretty well athentic (though from the 50s or 60s, I think - the design seems pretty acurate, though for the 40s).
    Our tour is about 750 miles, to be completed in couple of weeks (roughly 50/60 miles a day). Anyone tried this kind of tour on an old 3 speed? I'd be interested in hearing your experiences.

  2. #2
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I do day long 40-50 mile rambles on my old 3 speed Raleigh, and shorter ones on my 3 speed folder. As long as you pack reasonably I see no reason not to tour on a comfortable, dependable bike like a Raleigh 3 speed. Many, many people have toured on 3 speeds in the past. Here is a group that does it every year.

    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. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  3. #3
    Senior Member Gotte's Avatar
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    Hey, thanks for that link. I'll check it out. I figured that in the past it must have been a commonplace practice to tour on such bikes. Good to see it continuing. Again, many thanks for the input.

  4. #4
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gotte
    Hey, thanks for that link. I'll check it out. I figured that in the past it must have been a commonplace practice to tour on such bikes. Good to see it continuing. Again, many thanks for the input.
    Gotte,
    Here is another link to this year's Fall Event There were several bikes there that had been ridden on extensive Europeon tours. One had been rescued from a garage fire and scrap yard. It belonged to a guy that had toured most of Europe just prior to WW II with the current owner's uncle. IIRC it is a 1937 Raleigh. The durability and reliabilty of these bikes is phenomenal. My wife and I have been discussing a 3 speed tour...but got to get enough time off first. BTW at that event we rode 40+ miles between 11 and 6 including a sit down lunch and a heavy headwind, and a few stops along the way.

    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. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  5. #5
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    I've not toured on one, just got my first 3 speed this summer. The idea has gone through my mind, I may try a short overnight and go from there. I can't imagine why it wouldn't be fine, just a bit slower.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gotte
    My friend and I are planning a charity tour next year, which follows the advance of my friend's father during the the war from Normandy to Minden, Germany. I have a vague notion to do it on bikes of the period or ones that have the same design. I've got an old Raleigh 3 speed which is pretty well athentic (though from the 50s or 60s, I think - the design seems pretty acurate, though for the 40s).
    Our tour is about 750 miles, to be completed in couple of weeks (roughly 50/60 miles a day). Anyone tried this kind of tour on an old 3 speed? I'd be interested in hearing your experiences.
    The Sturmey Archer AW-3 is about as durable a 3 speed hub on the market. My old Dahon was falling apart but the hub still shifted like new. Incredible.

    I would see if it's possible to lower the gear on the Raleigh because many of them were over geared. There's an article on the net about a guy who made a living fixing Sturmey hubs and he came to the conclusion the Raleigh needed a larger rear cog.

    Try to see if you can get 2nd gear (direct drive) at 48 or 50 inches. If you post the number of teeth and on the chain ring and cog, I'll do the calculations for you. I think it would make things alot easier if you have the rear cog replaced with a larger one because a 50 inch second gear will give you a fairly low 1st gear at 36 inches.

  7. #7
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I agree with Dahon.Steve,
    you may need to change out the rear cog. Most of my bikes have 22 tooth sprockets on the rear, and a couple have 20s. IIRC it came from the factory with a 16. Here is a link to Harris Cyclery they carry most if not all of the available sprockets.

    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. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  8. #8
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    I combined a double crank with a Sturmey Archer three-speed hub. This is a worthwhile project as it greatly expands the ratios available. Having a metal lathe made it easy to thin down the hub cog to accept 3/32" narrow chain. An old rear derailleur with a broken cable clamp was used to take up chain slack when switching between chain rings. The high gear limit stop was set to hold the RD inline with the hub cog. Of course, no cable is required! Another option for the rear cog is to simply bolt a narrow cog from a freewheel or cassette to the hub cog making sure it wont interfere with the chain. If the teeth of the hub cog are in the way you could simply grind them off providing clearance for the chain riding on the narrow cog. Anyone with a drill press and bench grinder could do this project. A triple crank would provide extremely low gear ratios on the small chain ring, normal 3-speed operation when in the middle chain ring, and very high gearing when on the big chain ring.

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    My parents used to tour in Ireland with a single speed and a 3 speed just after the war. Visiting Ireland in the 60-80s I used to see lots (basically everyone in the countryside) on single speeds. There doesn't appear to have been much stigma against walking though.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Gotte's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the input.
    Dahon, I counted teeth, and It's it's 19/46.
    Of course there's always the option of a greater number of gears isn;t there, from such hubs as the Rohloff. Are SA considered better? I'd prefer to keep the integrity of the original wheel, bt the thought does cross my mind to increase to a five speed, maybe, or more.

  11. #11
    I am the Eggman Mooo's Avatar
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    http://www.bikechina.com/heinzstucke1z.html
    385000 km on a 3 speed.

    Not sure what else to say. Or what could be said.

  12. #12
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gotte
    Thanks everyone for the input.
    Dahon, I counted teeth, and It's it's 19/46.
    Of course there's always the option of a greater number of gears isn;t there, from such hubs as the Rohloff. Are SA considered better? I'd prefer to keep the integrity of the original wheel, bt the thought does cross my mind to increase to a five speed, maybe, or more.
    Rolhoff are a great hub, but cost around $1000 IIRC. The S-A hubs have been proven over and over again. They did make 4 sp and 5 sp hubs and there is a more modern 8 speed version available. It all boils down to personal choice. I typically choose the minmal hassle of a 3 sp over a more speed bike. I walk up the occasional hill, but I am not in a hurry.

    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. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gotte
    Thanks everyone for the input.
    Dahon, I counted teeth, and It's it's 19/46.
    Of course there's always the option of a greater number of gears isn;t there, from such hubs as the Rohloff. Are SA considered better? I'd prefer to keep the integrity of the original wheel, bt the thought does cross my mind to increase to a five speed, maybe, or more.
    With a 19 tooth cog and a 46 chaing ring, you're looking at a direct drive of 62-65 inches! That's way too high and you have to bring that down much lower to be comfortable. A 22T cog would be much better because that brings you down to 54 -56 inch direct drive. Find out from Sheldon if you can use the 24T cog because that would be the best solution bringing you down to 52-54 inches for direct drive. Much better for touring.

    Forget the Rohloff for this ride because your bike would need too many modifications like dropout spacing. For less than $25.00, you'll have yourself a new bike.

    If only Sturmey Archer could have made the three speed with a Direct drive of 52 inches and a low of 22 inches! I was playing with Sheldon's calculator and it is possible to get the low at 22' but you'll have to buy a 26 tooth chainring! I wonder if this setup wouldn't destroy the internals of the 3 speed hub doing such a radical change? Furthermore, a chainring this size would drop direct drive to 29 inches or about and that would be too low for regular riding.

    Try to get the 22 or 24 tooth cog and you'll be fine.

    Good luck.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc
    Rolhoff are a great hub, but cost around $1000 IIRC. The S-A hubs have been proven over and over again. They did make 4 sp and 5 sp hubs and there is a more modern 8 speed version available. It all boils down to personal choice. I typically choose the minmal hassle of a 3 sp over a more speed bike. I walk up the occasional hill, but I am not in a hurry.

    Aaron
    Agreed.

    I destroyed my first Dahon folder to the point where the frame cracked from abuse. The AW-3 hub was still shifting like new. An incredible device considering it has not changed since the 1930's when the product was introduced.

    If only SA could have made a hub with direct drive at 52' and a low of 22', would there be a need for a Rolhoff?

  15. #15
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
    Agreed.

    I destroyed my first Dahon folder to the point where the frame cracked from abuse. The AW-3 hub was still shifting like new. An incredible device considering it has not changed since the 1930's when the product was introduced.

    If only SA could have made a hub with direct drive at 52' and a low of 22', would there be a need for a Rolhoff?
    Uhhh Steve they were introduced in 1902. But I completely agree that it is hard to improve on. I have seen them take amazing abuse and still keep going. I have one that my brother rode dry for 2 years and I do mean RODE. I broke it down, cleaned it, replaced a bad pawl spring, reassembled, oiled it and it is still going strong. I agree that the gearing could have been better but the bulk of them were used on flat ground by mashers not spinners. As far as I know the 24 tooth is a direct swap out but you may have to lengthen the chain a bit. I have usually swapped all of mine out for 20 tooth just as a matter of course but the 22 or 24 would be much better suited for touring.

    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. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  16. #16
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc
    Uhhh Steve they were introduced in 1902.
    The AW was not introduced in 1902. It was introduced in 1936, according Sheldon Brown's page: http://sheldonbrown.com/sturmey-archer.html#aw.

    It's a great hub, perfectly suited to the rigors of touring... just downgear it first!

  17. #17
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grolby
    The AW was not introduced in 1902. It was introduced in 1936, according Sheldon Brown's page: http://sheldonbrown.com/sturmey-archer.html#aw.

    It's a great hub, perfectly suited to the rigors of touring... just downgear it first!
    That was the AW hub which is the most common of all S-A hubs, however the patent was issued in 1902 And I believe that is when Raleigh began using them or purchased them. There have been quite a range of hubs over the past 104 years with the AW being the most produced, popular and dependable. They dropped the AW for a bit and came out with a SW hub in 1954 but it didn't work out and they went back to the AW.

    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. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  18. #18
    I am the Eggman Mooo's Avatar
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    All you really need to know about AW, TCW, FW, FM, ASC, TCW, 5star, and Type X Sturmey hubs in one swell place:
    http://www.sturmey-archerheritage.com/history.php

  19. #19
    Senior Member Gotte's Avatar
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    Thanks for that. I'll check out the cog. I used to mess about with SA's when I was a lad. I seem to remember dissassembling them and reassembling them, for cleaning. Am I right in remembering that the cog comes off by removing a big spring?

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