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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 08-29-07, 05:46 PM   #251
larryfeltonj
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Raleigh Sports are nice bikes - I love my 1947 ladies model and would never part with it.
I'm leaning heavily toward getting the bike. My only concern is that I'd like to be able to determine if the three speed hub is in decent shape. I have several rebuilding projects going on, and if the problem with the hub is beyond just replacing the connector I'm reluctant to put another bike on the queue.
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Old 08-29-07, 05:53 PM   #252
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If it's only the hub that's a problem it's still worth buying such an original bike that's in nice condition. That's my two pennyworth, but I guess it depends how much storage space you have.

My Raleigh Sports
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Old 08-29-07, 06:42 PM   #253
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If it's only the hub that's a problem it's still worth buying such an original bike that's in nice condition. That's my two pennyworth, but I guess it depends how much storage space you have.

My Raleigh Sports
That's a gorgeous bike. I can't tell from the photo how the shifter works, though. Is it a little toggle-like mechanism on the bars, like the later Raleigh three speeds?
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Old 08-29-07, 08:21 PM   #254
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Larry, don't dither - get it! You could always sell it later, but you'll regret it if you don't buy it.
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Old 08-29-07, 08:38 PM   #255
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Larry, don't dither - get it! You could always sell it later, but you'll regret it if you don't buy it.
It's about 95% certain that I'm going to get the bike.
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Old 08-30-07, 12:23 AM   #256
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That's a gorgeous bike. I can't tell from the photo how the shifter works, though. Is it a little toggle-like mechanism on the bars, like the later Raleigh three speeds?
It almost looks like a single speed coaster brake is on that bike (looks like a brake arm perhaps in the photo)? You'd probably need it to help the front rod brakes out anyway.
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Old 08-30-07, 01:30 AM   #257
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Sorry, forgot to point out that my bike is a single speed coaster model. Nuffing wrong with rod brakes by the way, it's all how you set them up and most folk don't keep them in proper adjustment and alignment. Quite a few of my bikes have rod brakes and I much prefer them to all those messy cables and finger pinchy bits on modern bikes.
I much prefer to ride something old and trustworthy with no silly dangly bits......

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Old 08-30-07, 01:45 PM   #258
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The rod brakes I have on my DL1 aren't bad. I treat them like old non-power drum brakes on vintage cars- you need to be thinking well ahead of time to use them at all times.
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Old 08-30-07, 05:22 PM   #259
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Sorry, forgot to point out that my bike is a single speed coaster model. Nuffing wrong with rod brakes by the way, it's all how you set them up and most folk don't keep them in proper adjustment and alignment. Quite a few of my bikes have rod brakes and I much prefer them to all those messy cables and finger pinchy bits on modern bikes.
I much prefer to ride something old and trustworthy with no silly dangly bits......

That clears up my confusion about the layout. In general I agree with you that there are certain big advantages to bikes with fewer cables and external moving parts. Atlanta is very hilly though, so even the standard SA 3-speed is a bit of a workout. People do ride single speed bikes here (fixed gear bikes are a common sight, and old cruisers have a niche following).
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Old 08-30-07, 05:42 PM   #260
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If it's only the hub that's a problem it's still worth buying such an original bike that's in nice condition. That's my two pennyworth, but I guess it depends how much storage space you have.

My Raleigh Sports
One mystery may have been cleared up from your photo. My Raleigh Twenty folder has a bell aside the left grip, and I've wondered if it was part of the original equipment. Your bell seems identical to mine, so I'm leaning toward assuming it was a feature on Raleigh utility bikes. Am I correct?
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Old 08-30-07, 07:41 PM   #261
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Certainly here in New Zealand a bell was always part of the equipment on any Raleigh, Phillips, etc etc that was sold new. One or two of my older 1950s bikes still have their 'Lucas King of the Road' bells that would've been a part of their original equipment. Later on a variety of bells by other makers were fitted here; - most of the non-British ones I've seen are by German makers. Of course by the time the traditional bicycle industry in Britian was going to the dogs Hong Kong and Japanese bells were being sold by the bike shops and most of those were little more than junk.

A Lucas bell.


A Miller Bell (Ignore the box, the bell has Miller's distinctive lighthouse logo).
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Old 08-30-07, 08:29 PM   #262
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Certainly here in New Zealand a bell was always part of the equipment on any Raleigh, Phillips, etc etc that was sold new. One or two of my older 1950s bikes still have their 'Lucas King of the Road' bells that would've been a part of their original equipment. Later on a variety of bells by other makers were fitted here; - most of the non-British ones I've seen are by German makers. Of course by the time the traditional bicycle industry in Britian was going to the dogs Hong Kong and Japanese bells were being sold by the bike shops and most of those were little more than junk.

A Lucas bell.


A Miller Bell (Ignore the box, the bell has Miller's distinctive lighthouse logo).
I hadn't inspected the bell carefully before this exchange, but I just put the flashlight to it, and the inscription (reading from left to right) says "British Miller Made". I'm assuming the "British Made" is intended to be read separately from the "Miller". And it does have a little lighthouse logo.
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Old 08-30-07, 09:27 PM   #263
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I hadn't inspected the bell carefully before this exchange, but I just put the flashlight to it, and the inscription (reading from left to right) says "British Miller Made". I'm assuming the "British Made" is intended to be read separately from the "Miller". And it does have a little lighthouse logo.
Miller made good quality bicycle accessories and I always look out for their lighting sets as I prefer them to the Lucas equivalent. Yes the logo is supposed to be read as, 'Miller British Made' even though it doesn't look like it. I've got a Miller lighting set from the late 1950s that's marked 'Empire Made' which is an interesting variation
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Old 08-31-07, 03:47 AM   #264
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Miller made good quality bicycle accessories and I always look out for their lighting sets as I prefer them to the Lucas equivalent. Yes the logo is supposed to be read as, 'Miller British Made' even though it doesn't look like it. I've got a Miller lighting set from the late 1950s that's marked 'Empire Made' which is an interesting variation
Lucas...the Lord of Darkness Supposedly the reason the British drink warm beer...they have Lucas refridgerators For those of you who don't know Lucas Electrics, especially the 12 volt automotive systems were notorious for leaving you in the dark, sitting on the side of the road due to component failure. Quite often they would be DOA out of the box brand new.

Sianlle I suspect the Empire Made may have been done to include stuff made in India?

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Old 09-04-07, 06:04 PM   #265
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This is incredible. I browsed this thread when the Utility Cycling forum was created a couple of weeks ago, looked at the Raleigh Sport you posted and made a mental note to check into them on the used market. I then made a trip to Albany NY to help my fiance sort through her mother's belongings (her mother has developed Alzheimer's and the house will be sold).

In the garage was a 1968 (judging by the stamp on the hub) Raleigh Sport. It appears to be in good shape (no significant rust). The little connector between the cable and the chain coming out of the cylinder attached to the hub is missing. And of course the tires are dry rotted. I already have a couple of Raleigh utility bikes (a Twenty folder and a Shopper) but I'm considering buying it from the estate.

I'm becoming an accidental Raleigh collector. My primary road bike is a recent Raleigh supercourse, all three of my utility bikes are Raleighs (the Twenty, the Shopper, and a monstrously heavy 1970s Raleigh road bike which seems to have the knack for staying in adjustment no matter how badly I abuse it).
well now your fiance can have one to match! may you two ride off into the sunset together and live happily ever after
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Old 09-21-07, 09:58 AM   #266
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It's my first visit to the form (as a member) and I find a monster thread on english 3 speeds... it must be fate.

I volunteer at a community shop where we are well known for being some of the only folks who know anything about English three speeds since there's this old guy there (me) who just loves them.

They are more comfortable and less fussy than most bikes and the my "new" Twenty is in the process of being upgraded with modern wheels and cranks.

Here are my girls...


1978 Raleigh Superbe


1971 Phillip's Twenty folding bicycle (made by Raleigh).
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Old 09-21-07, 10:34 AM   #267
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Sixty Fiver...welcome to the fold so to speak That Phillips Twenty is interesting. I have never seen nor heard of one before. My British bike collection is growing...again. Current stable numbers around 6 with a couple more possibly on the way They are some of the best bikes ever built and will be around long after I am done riding them.

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Old 09-21-07, 01:06 PM   #268
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wahoon...

"My British bike collection is growing...again. "

Phillip's was another one of Raleigh's captive brands and like Rudge and Humber were of equal quality to their Raleigh counterparts. My holy grail of bikes is my 1955 Raleigh Lenton Sports (model 28), Reg Harris road model with all it's original bits and the factory equipped fixed gear hub.

There are equivalent Rudge and Humber variants to this model too.
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Old 09-21-07, 01:26 PM   #269
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A fun post to read but haven't read all of it just yet. I own three vintage Raleigh 3-speed hub geared (Sturmey-Archer AW-3) bikes and love them all. Also have a 1982 Univega Super Strada that I ride on those days when I feel like playing "Lance". My wife thinks I'm nuts for haveing so many and not riding them all the time. Depends on the mood I'm in. Hopefully the attachment works. PG.
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Old 09-21-07, 01:53 PM   #270
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Polish guy... that's a nice looking collection of Brits you have there.
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Old 09-22-07, 06:34 PM   #271
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Old 09-28-07, 05:44 AM   #272
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Look under the heading, " PRODUCTS", select bicycles, & open up some of their links. Cool bikes, but most dealers will only sell 3 or more , shipped to your door.
http://www.herogroup.com/bicycle_roadster.htm
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Old 09-28-07, 10:46 AM   #273
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How do people in hilly, not to say mountainous, areas manage with three speeds? There are many streets in my town that cars struggle up, and are difficult for 21- or 24-speeds. How do three-speeds or even singlespeeds manage?
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Old 09-28-07, 01:34 PM   #274
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How do people in hilly, not to say mountainous, areas manage with three speeds? There are many streets in my town that cars struggle up, and are difficult for 21- or 24-speeds. How do three-speeds or even singlespeeds manage?
Most towns (not Charleston, though) are flat. 3-speeds are perfect for that, since they are geared appropriately to start from a stop on flat land, and to put on some speed on the flats in gear 3.

Also, you can climb moderate hills with a 3-speed.

The vast majority of bike riders don't have daily hills to climb, so keep that in mind. In a city like Charleston, you are better off with a derailer bike with 24+ speeds.
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Old 09-28-07, 03:54 PM   #275
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Most towns (not Charleston, though) are flat. 3-speeds are perfect for that, since they are geared appropriately to start from a stop on flat land, and to put on some speed on the flats in gear 3.

Also, you can climb moderate hills with a 3-speed.

The vast majority of bike riders don't have daily hills to climb, so keep that in mind. In a city like Charleston, you are better off with a derailer bike with 24+ speeds.
Remember when it comes to steep hills you can always get off and walk. The classic 3 speed and single speed bikes were always refered to as 'pushbikes' in Britian and her former colonies and this gives the clue to their use. It's a great way to get around and ever since I was a youngster I've used these sort of bikes to explore the countryside. Getting off and walking gives one a chance to use different muscle groups and to catch one's breath. Sawing away at the lowest gear on a 21 speed while barely maintaining forward motion is not my idea of cycling.
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