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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 10-26-07, 01:17 PM   #376
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Considering how weak the dollar has become against most major world currencies, including the loonie I suspect it is worse than that. Very seldom do I purchase a brand new bike, I typically look at my LBS used rack, yard sales, thrift shops and flea markets. On my desires for the vintage stuff the best choices have come from fellow BF'ers.

Aaron
The declining dollar has changed the game in bringing in bikes from overseas... well, at least bike from Europe. Prices have climbed 24% or so in the last 4 months. Just the nature of living in a country that doesn't make much anymore, I guess.
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Old 10-26-07, 01:18 PM   #377
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For some pics ro euro style riding, check out Copenhagen Chic...



One of my favorite blogs to check.
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Old 10-27-07, 03:50 PM   #378
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Ok, I still haven't found my 3 speed bike yet (well, I did, but a 48cm womens is just too small), but I still keep an eye out. How do classic 3 speeds take to the hills? I'd regear it, probably 36 gear inches for low (maybe even lower); but it would always be dealing with hills.

I suspect those Dutch bikes would be an absolute bear around here.
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Old 10-27-07, 04:58 PM   #379
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Ok, I still haven't found my 3 speed bike yet (well, I did, but a 48cm womens is just too small), but I still keep an eye out. How do classic 3 speeds take to the hills? I'd regear it, probably 36 gear inches for low (maybe even lower); but it would always be dealing with hills.

I suspect those Dutch bikes would be an absolute bear around here.
You can swap out the cogs and in a worst case the chain ring too.
You're probably not going to ride one across the country... but to town, for errands... all reasonable, even with 3 speeds - and gasp! even with 1.
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Old 10-27-07, 05:05 PM   #380
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My Twenty was re-geared so that I have 36, 48, and 64 gear inches and with those little wheels it climbs exceptionally well.

I have been thinking of lowering the gearing on my Superbe as I really like riding in our river valley but climbing with a 42 pound bike that has a low of 50 gear inches is brutal.
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Old 10-27-07, 06:34 PM   #381
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Closest grocery store is 9 miles; take-out is closer but I'd be in trouble for taking so long. I ride recreationally, and tend to go 20 miles, sometimes 30. I had a short ride that I took in the evening; 14 miles at 800' of climbing; the weekend 26 mile "hill" ride was 1800'. I've been trying lately to ride flatter rides but longer distances, sorta hard to do.

But with winter coming up I'm not sure what I'll do. Probably ride less. Already gave up night riding, just wasn't fun anymore once the temp dropped, so I'm down to just one ride per week already.
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Old 10-29-07, 01:01 PM   #382
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Hey that mastermodel seems real nice and a great deal! Butted? Cool! Hand build and lighter? Excellent! Three things i did Not like though: Crap Saddle, a threadless headset (pet peeve of mine perhaps others find it an advantage) and the biggest problem: Tight tire clearances! The old English bikes and the Azor tend to have beefy tires for comfort and wheel durability, they will not fit into that frame! But perhaps since the bikes are hand build they could resolve that... If not, a real downside in my book.
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Old 11-03-07, 01:24 PM   #383
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Not exactly english 3 speeds, but for people in San Francisco Bay area, I just noticed that Willow Glen bikes (San Jose) has Batavus in stock (at least 2 in the window).... and no I don't work there or own it, but my son did play soccer with the owners son 3 years ago.
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Old 11-05-07, 11:09 AM   #384
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Unhappy Willow Glen Bikes

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Not exactly english 3 speeds, but for people in San Francisco Bay area, I just noticed that Willow Glen bikes (San Jose) has Batavus in stock (at least 2 in the window).... and no I don't work there or own it, but my son did play soccer with the owners son 3 years ago.
I am originally from San Jose. Lived off Meridian and Hamilton/willow Glen area for 10 yrs before the move North over a yr ago. : )

I recall last visit (I tend to visit every few months) the bike shop in Willow Glen had Breezers. That is very cool that they are carrying Dutch bikes like Batavus. Thanks for the post. Maybe I will run into you at Acqui's. Good Mexican isnt always easy to find up north.

By the way...maybe that 3 spd Raleigh I see on Lincoln Ave belongs to you? Seeing bikes like that in San Jo is not real common. I biked regularly on my old schwinn 5 spd cruiser for over 3 yrs before moving. School at SJCC, radio show at Santa University, and to work off Hamilton and Bascom. Just seeing people biking can be a rarity, despite the fine weather... I have a friend in the same complex I used to live in that literally "drives" to the treadmill at bally's gym 3 blocks away!
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Old 11-05-07, 11:48 AM   #385
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Nope, three speed is not mine, (I had a columbia in Jr. High )I have an old nishki I rebuilt into a 1x8 commuter utility bike..... (my first build Nishiki International)

I am seeing more families get on the bike and go to Aqui for mexican food, but in general it is sad how few people get on a bike for the mile or so trip to downtown (I'm at Lincoln and Pine)

The owner of Willow Glen bikes is dutch...so he kind of had to bring these in..... the models I saw were "old dutch" and "personal bike" the batavus site http://usa.batavus.com/

Bascom and Hamilton....how was ebay?
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Old 11-07-07, 11:15 PM   #386
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Nope, three speed is not mine, (I had a columbia in Jr. High )I have an old nishki I rebuilt into a 1x8 commuter utility bike..... (my first build Nishiki International)

I am seeing more families get on the bike and go to Aqui for mexican food, but in general it is sad how few people get on a bike for the mile or so trip to downtown (I'm at Lincoln and Pine)

The owner of Willow Glen bikes is dutch...so he kind of had to bring these in..... the models I saw were "old dutch" and "personal bike" the batavus site http://usa.batavus.com/

Bascom and Hamilton....how was ebay?
Heh. Actually I was working PT at Home Depot in sales for Trane while in school.

I think San Jose is spread out a lot/could use a stronger biking network, but at least it is nice and flat to ride on for the most part. The LG trail is pretty decent to. The drivers on the other hand...

Wish they would do "something" with downtown. there seems so little incentive to go there during the day. At night they have all the auto cruisers on weekends acting all obnoxious.
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Old 11-08-07, 09:46 PM   #387
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With all this talk about Dutch style bikes, I was wondering what everyone thought about this fleabay seller that sells these:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Classic-3-speed-...QQcmdZViewItem

He's got several types. Are these made in Europe or China? Prices look good. Any thoughts?
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Old 11-13-07, 03:50 PM   #388
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With all this talk about Dutch style bikes, I was wondering what everyone thought about this fleabay seller that sells these:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Classic-3-speed-...QQcmdZViewItem

He's got several types. Are these made in Europe or China? Prices look good. Any thoughts?
I questioned the same. in fact, I emailed the poster. There was no reply. I tend to think they are China copies. The Jorge and Olif model "Scout" is likely the best entry level value bike out there. At least they are rustproofed.
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Old 11-13-07, 08:10 PM   #389
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I picked up two Columbia's at local garage sales, $5 each. Both are equipped with S-A AW 3 speed hubs. The yellow one was bought specifically for the purpose of being a flower basket holder in the back yard. The brown one I dunno, there was room in my garage, so why not. It is a garage mate for my wife's 1960 AMF Hercules,also with a S-A AW hub, also $5 at a garage sale.
Those are some amazing finds!
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Old 11-13-07, 09:05 PM   #390
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[QUOTE=squirtdad;5578447]Nope, three speed is not mine, (I had a columbia in Jr. High )I have an old nishki I rebuilt into a 1x8 commuter utility bike..... (my first build Nishiki International)



I would very much enjoy a classic Nishkiroad bike such as that with newer coponents and comfy/upright. Sounds like a enjoyable quick urban commuter.
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Old 11-18-07, 07:38 PM   #391
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This thread has gone on for pretty much of a year and while I won't be offering up anything that hasn't already been well-said, I can at least raise my hand as another guy who rescues S/A 3-spders from the thrift shops. Mostly electro-forged Chicago adult Schwinns but other makes as well, so long as it's got a S/A or copy hub back there.

I'm new at this, having taken it up only this last January as a retirement hobby, but since January I have managed to bring back to useful life 12 Schwinn 3-spds, 2 Raleighs, 1 Dunelt, 1 Hercules, a Steyr, and one of my favorites - an unknown American bike.

That last one is a VG-condition gorgeous fire-engine red 1967 Holiday Gas Station (Upper Midwest and across the border States as far west as Spokane) promo bike. Has a 1-pc crank so I'm guessing it's American but otherwise its parentage is a mystery.

For my old legs and relaxed riding habits I gear every one of them with a 22T cog.

Hopefully every one of them will be useable for another 30 to 40 years.
alf
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Old 11-19-07, 05:38 PM   #392
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This thread has gone on for pretty much of a year and while I won't be offering up anything that hasn't already been well-said, I can at least raise my hand as another guy who rescues S/A 3-spders from the thrift shops. Mostly electro-forged Chicago adult Schwinns but other makes as well, so long as it's got a S/A or copy hub back there.

I'm new at this, having taken it up only this last January as a retirement hobby, but since January I have managed to bring back to useful life 12 Schwinn 3-spds, 2 Raleighs, 1 Dunelt, 1 Hercules, a Steyr, and one of my favorites - an unknown American bike.

That last one is a VG-condition gorgeous fire-engine red 1967 Holiday Gas Station (Upper Midwest and across the border States as far west as Spokane) promo bike. Has a 1-pc crank so I'm guessing it's American but otherwise its parentage is a mystery.

For my old legs and relaxed riding habits I gear every one of them with a 22T cog.

Hopefully every one of them will be useable for another 30 to 40 years.
alf
Alfie,
I would suspect that your Holiday is probably either a Columbia or Huffy built bike...got pictures

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Old 11-19-07, 07:05 PM   #393
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Holiday Sportsman
A 1967 bike sold at Holiday Stores (gas stations across the Upper Plains and Mountain States) with a S/A AW hub and shifted by an S/A early twist grip shifter. Rides pretty nice, noticeably lighter than the electro-forged Schwinns and as a rider, compares favorably with my Raleigh Superbe. I have it geared with a 22T cog and the chainring is a 46.

Interesting sidebar, in 40 years the Holiday corporate logo and lettering style have changed little if at all.
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Old 11-20-07, 12:12 AM   #394
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I get nostalgic for my good old Raleigh 3-speed, too, but I tend to forget the bad stuff: steel rims meant the brakes barely worked at all when wet. Cotter pin cranks - ugh!
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Old 11-20-07, 10:32 AM   #395
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It's relatively easy to fit alloy rims, and I personally don't have too much issue with cottered cranks. Get a good cotter press, and you're all set.
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Old 11-22-07, 10:51 AM   #396
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I get nostalgic for my good old Raleigh 3-speed, too, but I tend to forget the bad stuff: steel rims meant the brakes barely worked at all when wet. Cotter pin cranks - ugh!
Unless something breaks in the BB, you never have to take it apart. Just squirt oil down the seattube at regular intervals. Older 3spds had oil ports in the BB, the oil down the seat tube is the same principle.

Yeah, steel rims don't brake well in the wet, but there are brake pads you can get (coolstop salmon?) that give some braking in the wet.
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Old 12-13-07, 07:16 PM   #397
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I always liked English 3 speeds, but I thought they were much too heavy, so I built my own with an old lightweight frame and mostly used lightweight parts. It's a joy to ride!



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Old 12-15-07, 02:14 AM   #398
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I would like to disagree with everyone who has posted so far in this thread.

2. These bikes are not all that great. Here is a list of objections I have... mostly this is based on my experiences with an old Columbia that my mom has, perhaps the Raleigh is better:

A. They are heavy.
B. The internal hub is not as bombproof or maintenance-free as is commonly suggested.
C. The frame geometry is weird: short cockpit and short crank arms.
D. A lot of the components are real junk - brakes especially.
Something to what you say, but lets take the those points one by one:

A. Yes they are heavy. They were designed for durability and that was the only way to obtain it in those days.

B. Nope it is not. You really have to keep it oiled and the slack out of the cable. That is perhaps too much to ask of modern people.

C. You are as an adult male talking about a bicycle made for a girl? Hum...? I find a 23 inch man's model quite comfortable to ride.

D. Yes, absolutely, only thing is, they were about as good as you could get at the time. Caliper brakes never really worked well on steel rims, not even if they were Campy's, and alloy rims of the period were not up to the abuse a transportation bicyce got.

The interesting thing is that in impoverished countries the same old bicycle that was modern in 1903, the Raleigh/Phillips 28" Roadster style is still the preferred type of bicycle. The Dutch one someone posted a photo of is the Phillips style, the Raleigh had a single top tube. the advantage of the double top tube is that you can sling a pack over it and use it as sort of a wheeled mule. The Viet Cong moved a lot of supplies that way. Although they seem to agree with you about the hub, most of them are single speeds.

Last edited by graywolf; 12-15-07 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 12-15-07, 05:13 PM   #399
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That's what people think of when they look at a Nottingham Raleigh. A bike that's rugged and practically indestructible. My 1968 Raleigh Superbe looks as good as the day it was made.
A point to consider, the quality went down after TI took over in 1960 (The best built ones were from the mid-1950's) so the bikes most of us are bragging about the quality of were considered rather shoddy when new compared to the older ones.

Another point to consider, is that the prices were not usually discounted back in those days so when comparing the prices to todays machines you have to take that into consideration.

That Dutch Secret Service bike someone posted about is actually a modern version of the Light Roadster bicycle (what the Raleigh Sports was), however I get the impression that it is made in rather small quanities pretty much by hand in a country with high wages, so that kind of give you a todays price.

Interestingly some like to compare to the $30-40 price of Indian or Chinese versions, but they do not seem to realize that is ex-factory, unassembled, in container lots. I kind of suspect they go for $100-$150 in local bicycle shops there. By the time you add shipping assembly and taxes you are talking $200, then most wholesalers and dealers want to make a profit, usually a good one. That makes the $400 Yellow Jersey wants for their Eastman Roadster fairly reasonable and realistic.
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Old 12-15-07, 06:07 PM   #400
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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.
When your speed drops to 3-4 mph it is just as quick and takes a lot less energy to get off and push.

As I mentioned in another thread, the bikes were not used by athletes but by everyday Joes, and Jills, for transportation. The object was not to get there as quickly as possible or to get a lot of exercise, but to get there with as little exertion as possible and preferably without getting all sweaty in the process. Typically the bikes were designed and geared to be pedaled in the 30-60 rpm range, not the 100-200 range that modern sport riders expect, or even the 60-120 range I preferred as a commuter.

As a kid in Detroit I had my bike geared 44/16 (correction 46/16) (the LBS did not have a 14 tooth cog) and locked into high; the only place I had to get off and push were the expressway overpasses. I could not do that today (actually 15 years ago before disability), but then I weigh a bit more than I did back then too hauling an extra 100 lbs or so seems to make quite a difference.

I remember my bible back then was a book published in England for enthusiasts about 1950. It had a lot of interesting stuff in it. For instance it recommended using an odd and and even numbered sprocket claiming that they chain would last longer. Another recommendation was using paraffin wax melted on the stove with the chain immersed in it as a chain lubricant and swapping two chains freshly cleaned and lubed weekly. How many of us think twice about having to buy a new chain? I wish I could remember the name of that book I would try to find a copy.

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