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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 12-17-07, 05:23 PM   #401
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Well I thought I would post my Dunelt, since I mentioned it in a previous post, but did not have a small enough photo and for some reason Photoshop was not working. Reloaded Photoshop reduced the size and here it is (click on the image to see it larger):

Dunelt-26.jpg

That was taken just after it arrived last year. It had a rusted out white mattress saddle on it, I changed that for the Brooks B-72 in the photo and then realized I should take some photos before doing any more to it. It cleaned up pretty nice, but the front wheel is not original, I keep looking for an original 32 spoke but they are few and far between down here in the North Carolina Mountains and I have seen nothing reasonable on eBay. The S-A hub is stamped 75 but there is a 1974 registration sticker on the bike so it was probably replaced. I replaced the cables with black ones, and want o find black replacements for the grips. I would also like to find a rack and generator light set for it but I can live without those.

I have a basket case Raleigh as well with most of the components rusted beyond use. I eventually plan on rebuilding it with alloy components as and having it powder coated to use as a utility bike. I just ordered a pair of Sun rims with that in mind.

Does anyone else besides me find it amusing that Raleigh managed to sell a dozen models each of 20-30 brands of bicycle while only making four frames, gents 21 & 23 inch and ladies 19 & 21 inch?
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Old 12-20-07, 01:51 PM   #402
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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 lived in China in 1993 and purchased a chinese made 3-speed at a local bicycle shop. The local company had to sign for it as they wouldn't sell to a foreigner because of local bike registration rules. I paid $42 US and was told it was "top of the line...best bike in China" by the locals. Understand this was the worst quality bike I've ever owned. It weighed something like 50 lbs, had push-rod caliper brakes that worked a little better than dragging your feet (a bit of an exaggeration, but not much!). It was really a poor quality bike, but I have to say it worked and provide me with low-cost transportation around town which is really the point.

When I left China a few months later I gave it to a local chinese friend who's bike was way to big, had no brakes and was otherwise falling apart. You'd have thought I gave him a car he was so stoked...very cool experience.
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Old 12-21-07, 07:29 AM   #403
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"It was really a poor quality bike, but I have to say it worked"

Which is more than can be said for the Pacific Cycle offerings. PC bikes work for a few weeks, then start breaking one thing after another. So how is "poor quality" then defined? By the size of the bead at the welded joints? Or whether it can provide "low-cost transportation around town"?
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Old 12-24-07, 05:08 PM   #404
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No argument there.
But don't tell me that if I could replicate the exact geometry of your current rig, and pare the weight to 18lbs your commute wouldn't use less calories.

We're arguing physics vs. aesthetics, and I can't disagree with either one.
This one always gets me. If I was racing I would want the lightest bicycle that will not fall apart under me. But if acceleration is not all that important it really makes no difference. Using that 18# figure and a 162# rider vs. a 36# bicycle the difference is only 10% hardly a world shattering difference. Of course the 18# bicycle probably has the most expensive racing components on it, while the 3-spd has the cheapest stuff possible which I think is 95% of the perceived riding difference. I once had a bike with a full Dura Ace it was the nicest running bicycle I have ever rode, but then the components cost more than the total cost of all the other bicycles I have owned. That in my opinion had more to do with it than the 19# weight.

Another point that everyone seems to miss is that the geometry of a modern road bike and the old 3-spds is entirely different. In my old age, I find my Bianchi Hybrid commuter rather twitchy compared to my 3-speed. And the big old heavy roadsters have even easier geometry with 68 degree angles instead of the 72 degree angles of the lighter sports roadsters. Also the old bikes have a lot longer wheelbase which makes quite a difference as well, 37 for the Bianchi, 42 for the Dunelt, and the old roadsters were about 47 inches.

And then there is durability. I had a Schwinn Le Tour back in the late 70's the frame was replaced twice under warranty then the third one pretzeled when I hit a big pothole that I could not avoid because of traffic and I gave up on it, and I only weighed 185 back then. I have never had a 3-speed frame bend under me even at 220 pounds. Haven't had that problem with the Biachi which dates from the 90's either, I admit.
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Old 12-24-07, 05:37 PM   #405
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Jim, I would heartily recommend an upgrade to alloy rims...only problem being that there aren't any 26x1-3/8" available in alloy that I can find and I am not the only one looking.... Most of the steel replacement rims I have seen are of poor quality. The occasional pair of NOS SA show up on fleabay or where ever and command unbelievable (IMHO) prices. So it may be to your advantage to order up a new set of fenders and some 700c rims.

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Well, I am posting 4 months down the line, but I expect my Sun alloy CR-18 32/40 26x1-3/8 (iso-590) rims day after Xmas (according to Fed Ex). $28 each, found with a google search. So they do actually seem to be available.
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Old 12-24-07, 06:12 PM   #406
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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.
Somehow to me a utility bicycle and specialized bicycling shoes do not seem to fit into the same paradigm.
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Old 12-24-07, 10:17 PM   #407
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Well, I am posting 4 months down the line, but I expect my Sun alloy CR-18 32/40 26x1-3/8 (iso-590) rims day after Xmas (according to Fed Ex). $28 each, found with a google search. So they do actually seem to be available.
They just came available again in mid November, from what I have been told the shiney 40 hole are in short supply but he satin finish are readily available.

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Old 12-24-07, 10:41 PM   #408
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"It was really a poor quality bike, but I have to say it worked"

Which is more than can be said for the Pacific Cycle offerings. PC bikes work for a few weeks, then start breaking one thing after another. So how is "poor quality" then defined? By the size of the bead at the welded joints? Or whether it can provide "low-cost transportation around town"?
Baloney. I've been using my PC Schwinn Jaguar as a grocery getter for the past year. It's had lots of use, generally loaded with as much foodstuffs and canned goods as I can strap/hang on the thing. And I'm sorry to have to report to you that I've had ZERO problems with it so far. It was a Christmas '06 gift.

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Old 12-25-07, 01:45 AM   #409
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I have been riding my converted Kuwahara Cascade for a good part of the winter... it sports a Shimano 3 speed and has been quite excellent in the snow and slush.

The other day I decided to see how another one of my three speeds fared in the snow and was again, very pleased. It is running 20 by 1.75 Specialized Leveque tyres which worked extremely well on the snow, slush, and ice.


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Old 12-25-07, 12:11 PM   #410
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Talking

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I like to ride this one on some of the more relaxed rides with the club. That means 25 to 35 miles, but flat to mildy rolling terrain. I agree that a good 3-speed is probably about the most well thought-out bike ever built. There's something to be said for still being usable after over four decades. When I got this, it was a cast-off, one step away from the junk heap. A little cleanup and oil brought it back to life.


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Old 12-25-07, 02:21 PM   #411
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Somehow to me a utility bicycle and specialized bicycling shoes do not seem to fit into the same paradigm.
That is sooooooo right. I nearly always ride wearing a pair of lightweight hiking boots so I can stop and walk if I want to.
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Old 12-25-07, 04:09 PM   #412
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That is sooooooo right. I nearly always ride wearing a pair of lightweight hiking boots so I can stop and walk if I want to.
I wear what ever the weather demands...boots in colder weather, boat shoes or tennis shoes in warmer and if on a Sunday and on the way home from church dress shoes


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Old 12-26-07, 07:01 AM   #413
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[QUOTE=Juggler2;5865799]Baloney. I've been using my PC Schwinn Jaguar as a grocery getter for the past year. It's had lots of use, generally loaded with as much foodstuffs and canned goods as I can strap/hang on the thing. And I'm sorry to have to report to you that I've had ZERO problems with it so far. It was a Christmas '06 gift.

ZERO? You must be very lucky.

Here is a partial list of the problems I had with a Roadmaster (not a Mt Fury, but one step up) in three years:
1. Brake springs were too weak -- replaced brakes first front after two months, then rear after a year.
2. Seat post bent (I am tall) -- replaced
3. BB bearings went (twice) -- replaced
4. front bearings went -- replaced
5. seat broke in a month -- replaced
6. at least a half a dozen spokes broke -- I replaced spokes and had wheel trued at LBS each time because wheel was out of true. LBS warns me rims are in bad condition when it was a year old.
7. numerous flat tires from spoke nipples -- my policy is that after three patches, I replace the tube. Replaced tubes fore and aft (twice). I guess I could have used kevlar . . .
8. Front tire worn out after two years, rear okay. -- replaced.

I got a stick in the derailer, and it was bent beyond repair (but that's not the bike's fault) -- replaced

I almost never carried groceries with this bike (not reliable enough), but I did ride it daily for about two miles with the dog trotting alongside. It was stored inside.

Now I ride a 1993-ish old Bicycle Corporation of America bike that somebody threw away a couple of years ago. In a year of daily riding, the only thing I've had to do was replace the BB bearings. Two weeks ago, I treated it to a new chain and freewheel even though the old ones still worked okay. Several teeth were missing and the rest looked like shark's teeth. I replaced the seat because the old one had holes worn in it.

Before I rescued the bike I waited two months while it sat on the curb to make sure I wasn't stealing something. When got it, the front and rear bearings were seized from all the rain water. I used WD-40 to free the bearings. Last month, I pulled and looked at those bearings, cleaned them, greased them and put them back.

The only good thing I can say about the PC Roadmaster was that I learned a lot about bicycle repair. More than I ever wanted to know.
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Old 12-26-07, 08:08 AM   #414
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Pacific Cycles apparently makes different lines of bikes based on who is selling them...The bike shop Schwinns appear to be of a better quality than the discount retailer ones. I strongly suspect it has to do with QC on the assembly lines and possibly a bit better component selection. No LBS in there right mind would want to sell anything that would require massive amounts of warranty work. WM just gives you your money back then probably because of their size, back charges the manufacturer for the returned goods. Which is probably already calculated as a given percentage. Many people won't bother with the return for various reasons, lost the receipt, not worth the time because of the cheap price, forget about it until it is too late, etc.

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Old 12-26-07, 10:03 PM   #415
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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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It's a "high end" Huffy. I've only seen about three of these things - very unusual bikes. I would ask what brand rims it has on it (if they are marked) and what the serial number is. A Huffy number will usually start with H or HC - however they sometimes left the number off on bikes they produced for other companies.
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Old 12-26-07, 10:53 PM   #416
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It's a "high end" Huffy. I've only seen about three of these things - very unusual bikes. I would ask what brand rims it has on it (if they are marked) and what the serial number is. A Huffy number will usually start with H or HC - however they sometimes left the number off on bikes they produced for other companies.
Interesting commentary there Mos, thanks for the info. My Sportsman's s/n is an 8Hxxxx number. Let me point you to a current thread on Schwinn Forums started by a guy with a middleweight or heavyweight (I can't tell for sure in his photos) Holiday Gas Stations "IMPALA" and there's no doubt about it being a Huffy.
<<http://www.schwinnbike.com/heritage/showthread.php?t=52364>>

Both rims on my Sportsman are RIGIDA SUPER CHROMIX.
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Old 12-27-07, 09:39 PM   #417
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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!
Did you have trouble with part interchangeability? This looks like a fun project with beautiful results!
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Old 12-27-07, 09:59 PM   #418
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They just came available again in mid November, from what I have been told the shiney 40 hole are in short supply but he satin finish are readily available.

Aaron
Well, mine came yesterday (12/26/07) including the shiney 40 holer. However I do have some question in my mind about the viability of the polished rim when used with rim brakes. I think they will be scuffed up quit soon. I have to get some more parts in before building the wheels though.

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Old 12-27-07, 11:17 PM   #419
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I built a non English 3 speed using a Kuwahara mtb touring frame and a Shimano 3 speed hub laced to a Mavic double walled wheel and used a double walled Vuelta wheel up front.

It is 15 pounds lighter than my Raleigh 3 speed and only half a pound heavier than it's twin which is set up as a fixed gear.

I would like do the same using a Raleigh frame and lightweight parts.
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Old 12-28-07, 04:47 PM   #420
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I built a non English 3 speed using a Kuwahara mtb touring frame and a Shimano 3 speed hub laced to a Mavic double walled wheel and used a double walled Vuelta wheel up front.

It is 15 pounds lighter than my Raleigh 3 speed and only half a pound heavier than it's twin which is set up as a fixed gear.

I would like do the same using a Raleigh frame and lightweight parts.

My problem is that what I really like about the old three speeds is not the hub, but the frame geometry.

Of course if one has the money I guess one could get a custom frame that matches the old ones that way. But, with a choice of a heavy bike or an extra $1000 or so, it is easy for me to decide which way to go. To me the advantage of your last option is that one can upgrade a piece at a time while still having a bicycle to ride.
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Old 12-28-07, 06:52 PM   #421
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My Kuwahara 3 speed and my Raleigh 3 speed... the frames are nearly identical geometry wise although the Kuwie has longer rear stays as it was intended for serious off road touring.





The smaller frame size and lighter weight of the Kuwie makes it a very agile bike...especially since it gets ridden in the snow, slush and ice which is a place my old Raleigh doesn't go cause she's too pretty.

I also opted to use a modern sprung saddle on the Kuwie as it makes the ride just that much nicer.

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Old 12-28-07, 08:24 PM   #422
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Interesting commentary there Mos, thanks for the info. My Sportsman's s/n is an 8Hxxxx number. Let me point you to a current thread on Schwinn Forums started by a guy with a middleweight or heavyweight (I can't tell for sure in his photos) Holiday Gas Stations "IMPALA" and there's no doubt about it being a Huffy.
<<http://www.schwinnbike.com/heritage/showthread.php?t=52364>>

Both rims on my Sportsman are RIGIDA SUPER CHROMIX.
alf
I these frames are actually brazed instead of welded. The ones I've seen have much cleaner joints than most Huffys. I guess if you ever service the headset or BB you can take a look inside and see what the deal is. Very interesting bike to have though.
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Old 12-29-07, 08:25 PM   #423
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Since I have posted several times in this thread I thought folks might like to see who I am. The Dunnie still needs some work. I think I am beyond help. Aren't remote controls neat?
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Old 12-29-07, 08:30 PM   #424
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graywolf - Excellent pic !
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Old 12-30-07, 07:31 AM   #425
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>My Kuwahara 3 speed and my Raleigh 3 speed... the frames are nearly identical geometry wise although the Kuwie has longer rear stays as it was intended for serious off road touring.<

What my tired old eyes zeroed in on were the differences, 1. the longer head tube on the Raleigh, 2. How it slopes back rather than straight up, 3. and how the stem puts the handlebars over the head tube rather than out in front. The new "bar" handlebars also demand the rider lean forward.

These three design features add up to a more upright seating without the "begging squirrel" seating the "comfort" bikes use these days.

It's not the number of gears that make me long for the old 3-speeds, but the frame geometry. When people age, they don't want to lean forward as far as the new bikes demand.
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