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  1. #301
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkhound View Post
    Because pushing the bike by hand is harder on the back. Also, shoes that are good for cycling tend to be terrible for walking, and vice versa.
    We need to be exercising our backs. And as far as cycling shoes goes, I refer you to the Rivendell article titled The Shoes Ruse.

    http://www.rivbike.com/article/clothing/the_shoes_ruse

  2. #302
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    I haven't read all the pages in this thread but will likely do so in future. My two cents:

    I am a bike mechanic living in the Netherlands for 25 years. In that time i have ridden perhaps hundreds of these bikes and serviced and overhauled dozens. I sell Azor (and similar) bikes for a living. The bikes we speak of here are EVERYWHERE in the Netherlands. I realize you guys will probably hate me but just today i saw a great looking one in prime condition for 35 Euro's in a thrift store.. This is quite normal here...

    The old bikes (from the 50's, 60's and 70's) are actually even a little bit better than their modern counterparts. Azor is pretty much the best approximation and nearly as good. They are affordable here.

    The double top bar is indeed redundant (but nice looking) unless you plan to carry more than 130 Kilo's on your bike. I have never ever seen a quality English/Dutch three speed bike frame (with only one top tube) broken through 'normal' use.

    The Sturmey Archer three speed (and i speak of the AW model specifically) is simply the best and most durable three speed hub EVER made. Period! you may or may not disagree but everything in my experience as a mechanic and cyclists leads me to believe this. Sheldon Brown also has some choice words to say (in a kick ass podcast even) on both three speeds and the aforementioned hubs.

    My conclusion is that if you do live in an area which is not too hilly and/or you like a good workout these bikes are the ultimate in commuting/urban transport. Providing your ride isn't a really long affair (say under 40 minutes) or you are not in a rush. I could even imagine touring on these machines if i intended to cycle say 40 to 80 Kilometers per day. I found the weight is only an issue if you frequently need to carry you bike up flights of stairs or are in a real big hurry to cycle to places.

    But to completely misquote the owner of Rivendell:

    How much do you hate cycling that shaving a minute of a 15 minute ride is worth lots of expense, maintenance and dirty clothing? What i am trying to say is that for many applications the functionality (Fenders, closed chain case, and reliability) of these bikes is well worth the increased weight and rather slight decrease of speed.

    Of course there are alternatives. I kind off build one in fact. Basically my aim was to take the best of the Three Speeds' attributes and combine them with the best if the old School mountainbikes' attributes. Check my page: http://www.rhizomes.nl/ultimatebike.html

    I sold that bike actually. I intend to make another and even better one some time.

    However, having said the above, i am also very partial to certain quality folders and older steel racing bikes. I could very much see why for certain applications (and even certain forms of commuting such as multi mode commuting or 'work out commuting') those machines might make some much happier. More power to them! I am not trying to convince anyone as such. As long as you are out riding and having fun, even if you ride a Unicyle, as long as you love it i say good on ya!

    Anyway if you guys have any questions on specifics or technical things to do with the 3 speeds, fire away!
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

  3. #303
    Sister Annie Sianelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkhound View Post
    Because pushing the bike by hand is harder on the back. Also, shoes that are good for cycling tend to be terrible for walking, and vice versa.
    I've always worn a lightweight hiking boot while bicycling, but then I also wear wool socks, loose cotton/linen mix long trousers, vintage steel bicycle clips and either a fine wool jersey or a cotton tee shirt. I live with an on-going chronic illness and since I returned to bicycling my health has much improved. I have an old back injury too and as far as I can tell pushing my bicycle hasn't done it any harm. If anything my muscle tone and strength has improved which can only help things. My doctor very much approves of what I'm doing, but while bicycling is good for my fitness the real reason I do it is because it's fun
    OMNIPOTENS aeterne Deus, qui nos secundum imaginem Tuam plasmasti, et omnia bona, vera, pulchra, praesertim in divina persona Unigeniti Filii Tui Domini nostri Iesu Christi, quaerere iussisti, praesta quaesumus ut, per intercessionem Sancti Isidori, Episcopi et Doctoris, in peregrinationibus per interrete factis et manus oculosque ad quae Tibi sunt placita intendamus et omnes quos convenimus cum caritate ac patientia accipiamus. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

  4. #304
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulH View Post
    I'm so happy that they started making real bikes again. Now, if they would only bring back British sports cars as well.

    Paul
    Let me see, were those the British cars that had the oil leak already provided by the factory? Customer to dealer. "Sir, my MG is leaking 1/4 pint of oil every 200 miles." Dealer to customer "Oh my, theres definitely something wrong, it should be leaking at least a pint every 200 miles!"

    The British cars with the Lucas electrics that carried the warning "Headlights for dayime use ONLY" ?

    Sorry, I couldn't resist
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
    1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
    1988 Ducati 750 F1

  5. #305
    Sister Annie Sianelle's Avatar
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    v1nce, - I very much agree with your posting I enjoyed taking a look at your website too.

    San Rensho, - I've recently sold my 1954 Morris Minor to a collector. She had done almost 300,000 miles and I'm sure that my Morrie's cavalier attitude to oil tightness had a great deal to do with the fact that she had almost no chassis rust when I came to sell her.
    OMNIPOTENS aeterne Deus, qui nos secundum imaginem Tuam plasmasti, et omnia bona, vera, pulchra, praesertim in divina persona Unigeniti Filii Tui Domini nostri Iesu Christi, quaerere iussisti, praesta quaesumus ut, per intercessionem Sancti Isidori, Episcopi et Doctoris, in peregrinationibus per interrete factis et manus oculosque ad quae Tibi sunt placita intendamus et omnes quos convenimus cum caritate ac patientia accipiamus. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

  6. #306
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    Quote Originally Posted by v1nce View Post
    I haven't read all the pages in this thread but will likely do so in future. My two cents:

    I am a bike mechanic living in the Netherlands for 25 years. In that time i have ridden perhaps hundreds of these bikes and serviced and overhauled dozens. I sell Azor (and similar) bikes for a living. The bikes we speak of here are EVERYWHERE in the Netherlands. I realize you guys will probably hate me but just today i saw a great looking one in prime condition for 35 Euro's in a thrift store.. This is quite normal here...
    Please explain how one can apply conclusions drawn from conditions in a small, flat, densely populated country to a large, mountainous, sparsely-populated one.

  7. #307
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
    Let me see, were those the British cars that had the oil leak already provided by the factory? Customer to dealer. "Sir, my MG is leaking 1/4 pint of oil every 200 miles." Dealer to customer "Oh my, theres definitely something wrong, it should be leaking at least a pint every 200 miles!"

    The British cars with the Lucas electrics that carried the warning "Headlights for dayime use ONLY" ?

    Sorry, I couldn't resist
    Absolutely! Cars are supposed to be fun. That's their job. The job of the bicycle is to provide reliable everyday transportation, particularly in high density urban area where cars don't work well. Of course, bikes are also fun, which is why I'm posting to a bike forum.

    Paul
    (Still looking for a really nice XK-150)

  8. #308
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkhound View Post
    Please explain how one can apply conclusions drawn from conditions in a small, flat, densely populated country to a large, mountainous, sparsely-populated one.

    Was he replying to you directly, or to the thread in general?

  9. #309
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkhound View Post
    Please explain how one can apply conclusions drawn from conditions in a small, flat, densely populated country to a large, mountainous, sparsely-populated one.
    I would guess that most people interested in bicycling, especially utility bicycling, from any country, are not real concerned with the issues involved with cycling from one end of their country to the other, and are probably not real concerned about cycling up and down large mountains.
    Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 10-03-07 at 07:23 AM.

  10. #310
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    I and are probably not real concerned about cycling up and down large mountains.
    Depending on where one lives, one may have little choice in the matter. I live in West Virginia, which is called "the Mountain State" for good reason.

  11. #311
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkhound View Post
    Please explain how one can apply conclusions drawn from conditions in a small, flat, densely populated country to a large, mountainous, sparsely-populated one.
    Very well, i shall do so if you then explain why you did not read my post properly,...

    In it I wrote:

    My conclusion is that if you do live in an area which is !!!not too hilly!!!.....

    That takes care of the "mountainous".

    As for "large", i am not feeling it. Irrelevant. I also clearly stated in my post that i was speaking mostly of commuting. What made you think i was writing of cross country touring or something along those lines? When i did mention touring i specifically said that i would only think it viable for shorter daily distances. Though to be honest i toured last summer on a single speed and would not hesitate to tour on a 3 speed myself providing the terrain wasn't too hilly). But that is only my individual taste, would not and did not recommend that for everyone. However Heinz Stucke seemed to do fine cycling (almost) all countries and territories of the world on a very heavy 3 speed. But he is exceptional and it took him more than a while.

    "Sparsely populated". What of it? Don't see how that makes a difference. Except that on the contrary i might suggest that the more durable and reliable a bike is the better to use it when a place is sparsely populated and remote. The only thing which i think may be problematic is that in quite some countries spares for three speed hubs are rare but i think that could be dealt with.
    Last edited by v1nce; 10-03-07 at 11:24 AM.
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

  12. #312
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sianelle View Post
    v1nce, - I very much agree with your posting I enjoyed taking a look at your website too.

    San Rensho, - I've recently sold my 1954 Morris Minor to a collector. She had done almost 300,000 miles and I'm sure that my Morrie's cavalier attitude to oil tightness had a great deal to do with the fact that she had almost no chassis rust when I came to sell her.
    Very glad you enjoyed my rant(s)!

    It is always nice to hear that.
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

  13. #313
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkhound View Post
    Depending on where one lives, one may have little choice in the matter. I live in West Virginia, which is called "the Mountain State" for good reason.
    V1nce already disposed of your "hilly/mountain" shtick in regards to utility cycling, but to further pile on, maybe if those mountains are in every WV town it is a reason why you will see few WV residents even considering commuting/or utility biking on any pedal bike.

  14. #314
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkhound View Post
    Depending on where one lives, one may have little choice in the matter. I live in West Virginia, which is called "the Mountain State" for good reason.
    So to go from one end of town to the other, would you have to ride over a mountain?

    I'm also in a mountainous state. I ride a fixed gear, an 8spd internal hub, and a 'modern' racing drivetrain. They all work.

    You need to use the right tool for the job. If you are not up to a commute over the Himalayas on your 3spd, you need another tool.

  15. #315
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmike View Post
    So to go from one end of town to the other, would you have to ride over a mountain?
    Depending on what part of town I was going to, perhaps. Charleston is built on the floor of a narrow valley, but as the city has grown it has crept up the sides of the mountains on either side of the river; some neighborhoods are very high up on the mountainsides, and getting there on a bicycle is not easy, even with the 21- and 24-speeders I have. It may not be impossible for a singlespeed or three speed to manage it, but I would say that a rider who could had an unusual physique. When I do have to walk, pushing the bike and carrying the helmet (in the summer, at least, wearing the helmet when walking is too hot) can be a difficult proposition, particularly if I have the Xtracycle loaded with stuff.

  16. #316
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkhound View Post
    Depending on what part of town I was going to, perhaps. Charleston is built on the floor of a narrow valley, but as the city has grown it has crept up the sides of the mountains on either side of the river; some neighborhoods are very high up on the mountainsides, and getting there on a bicycle is not easy, even with the 21- and 24-speeders I have. It may not be impossible for a singlespeed or three speed to manage it, but I would say that a rider who could had an unusual physique. When I do have to walk, pushing the bike and carrying the helmet (in the summer, at least, wearing the helmet when walking is too hot) can be a difficult proposition, particularly if I have the Xtracycle loaded with stuff.
    A single speed can climb anything, assuming you have the right choice in cog and chaingring. A 3 speed and 8 speed is similar - choose your gearing for the load / terrain that you plan to ride in. Design your gearing so you spin out on the flat @ 12-15mph but can climb 8-10% grades with a load. Its possible - but only you can determine if its effective for you to do.

  17. #317
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    Well the given situation and location is rather exceptional i imagine. But indeed i think a 3 speed could manage it quite easily! One could very cheaply and easily reduce the entire gearing range by replacing the cog on the hub with a much larger one. Effectively your highest gear would be very high indeed and your lowest gear would then become the gear you pedal with on the flats (normally it is the second gear). The second gear would be for the intermittent areas.
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

  18. #318
    Sister Annie Sianelle's Avatar
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    A New Zealand woman, Louise Sutherland, made many long and intrepid journeys through a total of 52 countries over a forty year period. Her ride of choice was, save for what was to be her last journey through the Amazon region, was an English 3 speed bicycle towing a small trailer.
    I own a signed edition of one of her books and it's very much a treasured possession.

    3 speeds rule
    OMNIPOTENS aeterne Deus, qui nos secundum imaginem Tuam plasmasti, et omnia bona, vera, pulchra, praesertim in divina persona Unigeniti Filii Tui Domini nostri Iesu Christi, quaerere iussisti, praesta quaesumus ut, per intercessionem Sancti Isidori, Episcopi et Doctoris, in peregrinationibus per interrete factis et manus oculosque ad quae Tibi sunt placita intendamus et omnes quos convenimus cum caritate ac patientia accipiamus. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

  19. #319
    Spazzy Member zippered's Avatar
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    well, my partner and i are "gearing" up for our first tour this weekend, so i sure hope i can manage!

    i'm going to ride the raleigh because the hybrid frame he's re-building with a new 7 speed (with mega-range!) hub after a few years in storage isn't ready yet, so it's the only bike i have with a rack.

    the plan is to take the train just out of town and ride east to his family's cottage for their thanksgiving dinner, stopping at other family's homes at the half-way points overnight.

    basically 400 kms in 4 days over rolling country-side road and some unpaved trail, along lake ontario.

    "Never do anything that you wouldn't want to have to explain to the paramedics."

    "His first words were 'did you bike today?' I hesitated before admitting that I had, thinking I was going to get a lecture on how bad the roads were and how I shouldn't try to bike home. Instead he said 'man, you're lucky! I've been sitting in traffic for over 1/2 hr, and I've only gone about 2 miles. Some guy on a bike passed me about 20 minutes ago and I'm sure he's home by now'."

  20. #320
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sianelle View Post
    A New Zealand woman, Louise Sutherland, made many long and intrepid journeys through a total of 52 countries over a forty year period. Her ride of choice was, save for what was to be her last journey through the Amazon region, was an English 3 speed bicycle towing a small trailer.
    I own a signed edition of one of her books and it's very much a treasured possession.

    3 speeds rule
    And what did Heinz Stucke ride on his 355,000+ miles all over the world?

    A very gizmo-free 3-speed.

  21. #321
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Fred A. Birchmore did his circumnavigation on a Reinhardt single speed he named Bucephalus.

  22. #322
    Sister Annie Sianelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllenG View Post
    Fred A. Birchmore did his circumnavigation on a Reinhardt single speed he named Bucephalus.
    A good classic roadster bicycle that

    I've got a pre-war Phillips gents roadster and an Empire gents roadster that have the same geometry and if I had to get someplace that was a looooong way off with complete reliability I'd most probably chose them too.
    OMNIPOTENS aeterne Deus, qui nos secundum imaginem Tuam plasmasti, et omnia bona, vera, pulchra, praesertim in divina persona Unigeniti Filii Tui Domini nostri Iesu Christi, quaerere iussisti, praesta quaesumus ut, per intercessionem Sancti Isidori, Episcopi et Doctoris, in peregrinationibus per interrete factis et manus oculosque ad quae Tibi sunt placita intendamus et omnes quos convenimus cum caritate ac patientia accipiamus. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

  23. #323
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    I see no problem with touring on a 3 speed as long as you aren't in a blazing hurry, but I have come to the conclusion that I am in no hurry to get on with my life, I am going to enjoy every minute that I have left In fact I got my old faithful 35 year old Sports Standard back on the road this afternoon, it is one seriously ugly machine, with the rust and all, but all it took was 2 new tires, a rim strip and some new brake blocks and away we went for a 5 mile ride. Not to shabby for a bike that was purchased for $25 25 years ago and ridden daily for 9 1/2 years and then intermittently for another 5 years. Then parked outside on my brothers balcony, stored under a tarp in the yard, in my dad's garage and now in the back of my pickup truck as my "lifeboat"

    Aaron
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    Very much agree with the above. This stuff kind off reminds of the book i am re reading for the like 13th time: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

    The author argues (among many other great things) that touring can be very delightful if it is about "making good time" with the emphasize on Good! not time.

    I notice myself that i really enjoy having few or even no gears. When i cycle i usually am looking to do just that, pedal and enjoy the surroundings and the forward motion. I am not looking to set personal records. And, quiet often being busy with "little mechanical machines" a lot (shifters) and shifting around all the time take away from the enjoyment rather than add to it. Not to say that on occasion i do not enjoy going as fast as any bike will take me but usually i prefer my geared recumbent for that.
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

  25. #325
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    Quote Originally Posted by v1nce View Post
    Well the given situation and location is rather exceptional i imagine. But indeed i think a 3 speed could manage it quite easily! One could very cheaply and easily reduce the entire gearing range by replacing the cog on the hub with a much larger one. Effectively your highest gear would be very high indeed and your lowest gear would then become the gear you pedal with on the flats (normally it is the second gear). The second gear would be for the intermittent areas.
    West Virginia is not all that exceptional in the US. The Appalachian mountains are not very tall, but they have very steep grades (in some places, there are roads exceeding a 20% grade), and extend from Maine down into Georgia. That said, I know it's possible to get fit enough to manage a single speed on a typical moderate grade (5%) for the area. Also, most large towns are built on a flatter area, either a valley floor or a broad mountain top. Flatter means "you do not automatically have to face a 5% grade if you wish to go to the grocery store", not flat. If you're traveling between towns or live outside of a city core, odds are good that there will be at least one or two moderate grade hills on your route.

    I grew up in central Pennsylvania, in a house on one of the smaller hills. Going to the local bakery meant a moderate climb further uphill, then a longer gentle climb. Getting back was not so bad. Getting to the local library meant going 35 mph (56 km/hr) down a 15% grade. Need brakes so you don't break the speed limit. Going back up that 15% grade was nowhere near as fast. I'd often end up walking it, with my helmet off so I didn't overheat. There was no way to avoid hills unless I wanted to stay at home . Even a walk around my block featured moderate grades.

    It's too bad there aren't more English and Dutch style bikes making use of 7, 8 and 9 speed internal geared hubs available in the US. For the average rider, a 7+ speed internal hub with the lowest gear set at around 20 gear inches (50cms) should handle most steep grades. There will still be a suitable gear option for flat terrain, and well... you'll go fast downhill no matter what. I was always more concerned with not going *too* fast and with not overheating my brakes. It's not a good idea to speed on a bike; it means drivers think they're going too slow.

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