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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 04-02-07, 08:38 AM   #126
thdave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Then you appreciate my old Brooks. Comfortable from Day one, better now.

The B-66 is on my current commuter. It was OEM on a 1976 Raleigh Superbe I bought in 1976. The B72 was OEM on a Raleigh Sports I bought in 1972. The rivets in the back all had to be replaced by pop rivets after breaking during years of hard use. No preservation or treatments ever applied to either saddle. Only care was to cover with plastic bags if left outside for many hours when rain could be expected. The B72 was recently retired and replaced by another B66.
Great pics! Love 'em.
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Old 04-03-07, 08:41 AM   #127
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Just did my first 7 mile commute on a 1954 Rudge Sports I restored so my dad could ride it when he came to town. 2030 tubing; SA AW 3-speed (swapped out the old cog for a 19t, though).

The bike works pretty darn well, although I definitely got a sweat on lugging the frame on the uphills; downhills and flats were fun, what with so much momentum.

The Brooks mattress saddle, however, sucks bobo, as do the so-out-of-true-they-might-have-been-made-by-a-blind-drunkard steel rims and rusty spokes.

Still has a 1974 parking pass for the National Academies of Science on the top tube, though.

All in all a fun ride, although the frame's a bit small for me. I have a hand and a half of post showing.
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Old 04-03-07, 09:05 AM   #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by comradehoser
Just did my first 7 mile commute on a 1954 Rudge Sports I restored so my dad could ride it when he came to town. 2030 tubing; SA AW 3-speed (swapped out the old cog for a 19t, though).

The bike works pretty darn well, although I definitely got a sweat on lugging the frame on the uphills; downhills and flats were fun, what with so much momentum.

The Brooks mattress saddle, however, sucks bobo, as do the so-out-of-true-they-might-have-been-made-by-a-blind-drunkard steel rims and rusty spokes.

Still has a 1974 parking pass for the National Academies of Science on the top tube, though.

All in all a fun ride, although the frame's a bit small for me. I have a hand and a half of post showing.
Pics!!!
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Old 04-03-07, 04:27 PM   #129
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Granted, its heavy for a commuter bike. Switching to aluminum rims would lighten the ride somewhat and perhaps a Shimano Nexus hub would give you wider gearing choices. The only issue then is whether you want to switch to 26" or 700C rims for more tire options. But Raleigh Sports type bicycles will last virtually forever with reasonable care. More modern commuter bikes made in Europe are much lighter than the old All Steel Bicycle was.
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Old 04-03-07, 08:05 PM   #130
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Just last year I gave my 35 year old Rudge 3-speed away to charity and replaced it with a modern flat bar road bike. I found the Rudge useless on the hills around here. Do you guys ride where it is really flat or am I just that out of shape?
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Old 04-03-07, 08:57 PM   #131
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nope, I have some pretty okay hills here in DC/Maryland, and the 3 speeds with a 19t cog (as opposed to the ~15t stock) are ample for me, even geared a bit on the low side.

yeah, I realize the steel rims are heinous (and out of true), but the true pooper on the bike is the seat. Brakes even function okay, but I wouldn't trust them in a serious emergency stop, especially because I had to jury rig cable stops for the calipers.

oh, the pedal spindles are also slightly bent.

cosmetically, it's pretty beat up as well.

and one of the chainstays is pretty chewed up.

but for a $25 rescue I'm not complaining. And she's still a lot of fun. The SA was awesome to take apart and put back together.
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Old 04-04-07, 07:10 AM   #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPMacG
Just last year I gave my 35 year old Rudge 3-speed away to charity and replaced it with a modern flat bar road bike. I found the Rudge useless on the hills around here. Do you guys ride where it is really flat or am I just that out of shape?
Need to change the rear cogs out. I have no clue why they were geared so high to begin with. I put a 22t on my wife's Raleigh Colt and it made a night and day difference. My Superbe has a 18 or 19t on it now, but a 22 is on order along with a couple of spare 24t. IIRC MnHPV Guy is trying to weld up a 28t hybrid cog for the really hilly stuff
+1 on alloy rims. I have kept my Superbe stock except for the cogs. My Dawes build up is going to be done my way

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Old 05-03-07, 07:19 AM   #133
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RE narrowed the 3-speed drive sproket

Quote:
Originally Posted by n4zou
Electra produces modern bicycles with 3-speed internal hubs. The LBS sells more of them than any other bicycle in his inventory.
You can easily purchase old 3-speed bikes at your local thrift store as well. I picked up one with a CC3 hub that only required pumping up the tires for $1. The CC3 hub is 3-speed with a coaster brake. I modified the drive sprocket to accept narrow chain and use a 52-42-30 crank and front derailleur and an old rear derailleur locked in position for chain adjustment.
Please tell me how you did that. Thanks.
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Old 05-03-07, 11:41 AM   #134
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I learned to ride on my mom's Raleigh 3 speed, and I kept it until I was through university. I CRIED when I had to leave it behind when I moved to Calgary (I couldn't imagine biking here). I gave it to a charity shop... I really hope someone recognised its loveliness and fixed it up.

The Boy's parents have a couple of old 3 speeds in their garage. I am thinking of begging the bikes off them, just for day rides and errands. I don't think I can give up my 21 speed hybrid for my ride to work though - I pretty well use the whole gear range depeding on the day!
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Old 05-03-07, 11:57 AM   #135
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I've got a bunch of 3 speeds, but at the moment, I'm more excited about the 4 speeds. I've got a Horace Bates race bike from 1940 with an FM 4 speed of later vintage fitted, and a Raleigh roadster on the way, with the FG four speed generator hub. Having used one of these on a Rudge that's on the way to a fellow BFer, I'm really excited. It shifts better than the AW, and gives a much more useable range. I'd think the average rider should discover what sort of gear inches they like on a single speed, and then take one of two courses of action. If you live in a flat area, equip it so that 2nd is like your standard single speed ratio, so that you get one hill climbing gear, and two higher gears to let you scream around faster. For hilly areas, I'd make 3rd like your SS gear, so that you get two climbing gears, but still have a little higher you can kick it up for more speed.
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Old 05-03-07, 12:05 PM   #136
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When I ride my hybrid, I pretty much use the entire range of gears, too. But you don't need them as much as you think you do. I use the range on my 7 speed internal gear hub, but I'm sure I'd get by with a 3-speed (actually, I've tried it, by just using my middle 3 gears and it wasn't too bad).

Once you have that hub and enjoy the fact you can change gears at an intersection and don't have to worrry about your chain, you don't think about the range of a 21 speed. That said, I live in a fairly flat area.
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Old 05-03-07, 02:28 PM   #137
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It's way too hilly around here to ride a 3 speed bike.

I'll stick with my trusty 18 & 20 speed road bikes.
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Old 05-03-07, 09:20 PM   #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDRider
It's way too hilly around here to ride a 3 speed bike.

I'll stick with my trusty 18 & 20 speed road bikes.
It's never too hilly to ride a 3-speed (unless you live in the Himalayas!)
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Old 05-03-07, 09:35 PM   #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammyboy
I've got a bunch of 3 speeds, but at the moment, I'm more excited about the 4 speeds. I've got a Horace Bates race bike from 1940 with an FM 4 speed of later vintage fitted, and a Raleigh roadster on the way, with the FG four speed generator hub. Having used one of these on a Rudge that's on the way to a fellow BFer, I'm really excited. It shifts better than the AW, and gives a much more useable range. I'd think the average rider should discover what sort of gear inches they like on a single speed, and then take one of two courses of action. If you live in a flat area, equip it so that 2nd is like your standard single speed ratio, so that you get one hill climbing gear, and two higher gears to let you scream around faster. For hilly areas, I'd make 3rd like your SS gear, so that you get two climbing gears, but still have a little higher you can kick it up for more speed.
I have an Bianchi Brave steel frame that I'm thinking of making into a 3 speed. The axle is spaced at 135 mm but I'm not sure which AW-3 hub to buy?


1. Specs for 175.0mm Axle with 126.8mm OLD

2. Specs for 175.0mm Axle with 118.8mm OLD

3. Specs for 162.7mm Axle

4. Specs for 148.0mm Axle
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Old 05-04-07, 10:26 AM   #140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thdave
When I ride my hybrid, I pretty much use the entire range of gears, too. But you don't need them as much as you think you do.
Hah, tell me that when you see me walking the bike up Edworthy hill I do like the idea of being able to change gears at a stop, but I think my legs need more conditioning before I can handle 3 gears around here! (I have to climb out of a river valley at least once a day - and if I take the "short" route, I have to do it twice, with a bonus hill in the middle!)
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Old 05-04-07, 12:47 PM   #141
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A few years back I bought an Electra Commuter 7 for $400.00. It's been discontinued, however.
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File Type: gif Electra Commuter.gif (55.0 KB, 52 views)
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Old 05-04-07, 12:49 PM   #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smurfy
It's never too hilly to ride a 3-speed (unless you live in the Himalayas!)
...sez the guy from Ohio.
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Old 05-04-07, 03:29 PM   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
I have an Bianchi Brave steel frame that I'm thinking of making into a 3 speed. The axle is spaced at 135 mm but I'm not sure which AW-3 hub to buy?


1. Specs for 175.0mm Axle with 126.8mm OLD

2. Specs for 175.0mm Axle with 118.8mm OLD

3. Specs for 162.7mm Axle

4. Specs for 148.0mm Axle
I'd love to pretend I'm an expert, but I'm not. However, if you're dropouts are spaced at 135, I'd for sure go for the widest spaced hub I could - #1. Why would you go for anything smaller? The nuts will pull your dropouts in.
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Old 05-04-07, 03:39 PM   #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
I have an Bianchi Brave steel frame that I'm thinking of making into a 3 speed. The axle is spaced at 135 mm but I'm not sure which AW-3 hub to buy?


1. Specs for 175.0mm Axle with 126.8mm OLD

2. Specs for 175.0mm Axle with 118.8mm OLD

3. Specs for 162.7mm Axle

4. Specs for 148.0mm Axle
Have you seen this part of Sheldon's website?

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-spacing.html

I used his "cold spacing" method on my beater so that I could put a modern cassette hub in an old Raleigh frame my friend saved from the garbage. I've been riding the bike for about 6 months and nothing bad has happened yet...

He also mentions using washers to put a narrower hub on a wider frame. That might be the best solution if bending your frame seems a little too extreme.
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Old 05-04-07, 04:12 PM   #145
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A co worker of mine gave me a rideable and very good shape Raleigh sport ladies model cause he knows my youngest daughter loves old school stuff. Brian Backus at Trailside bikes in Orting Washington worked some magic on it for me by replacing the hub with one I bought off e-bay and now it shifts like a dream and put on two new tires and tubes, new nipples on the rear wheel, he cleaned and re-used the old spokes not a one was broken front or back. He trued up the front wheel and installed a period style chrome pump and a rear spring loaded carrier. This bike still has the old cables and they work fine with a little lube and then I proofided the saddle and the kid is thrilled with it. None of her friends have anything close to it and they love it too. If I knew how to post pictures I would but I keep screwing it up

Last edited by stringbreaker; 05-05-07 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 05-05-07, 07:23 AM   #146
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I have read some of this thread with great interest - and not without a little nostalgia too.

When I was 16 (back in the 1970's) I had an O'Brien Challenge bike with the internal 3 speed gears. I used to cycle 8 miles to work and 8 miles back. It was a very heavy bike. I didn't have it long when the gears packed in and it remained in permanent 2nd gear. I lent it one night to my brother-in-law to get to his work as his car had broken down. Unfortunately, it got stolen so that was the end of that bike. I learnt to drive shortly after that and didn't bother with another bike for many years.

I then bought a second-hand Raleigh Rose, again with the 3 speed internal hub. A very heavy bike that I didn't really like so I didn't bother with it. It's gears were also permanently stuck in 2nd. I moved house and left the bike for the next owners.

I took up cycling again late last year. Found this Raleigh at the local market and bought it for 18. I now commute to work and go everywhere on this bike. I really love this bike and it has inspired me no end. She has five gears (Huret) and is lightweight compared to the last two bikes I've ridden. This bike has inspired me so much to ditch my car in favour of bikes that a couple of weeks ago I put down a deposit on a Specialized Dolce Elite which I hope to collect from the shop in a few weeks time. I will still keep my Raleigh as she's such a good bike and still use her regularly.

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Old 05-07-07, 07:39 PM   #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammyboy
I've got a bunch of 3 speeds, but at the moment, I'm more excited about the 4 speeds. I've got a Horace Bates race bike from 1940 with an FM 4 speed of later vintage fitted, and a Raleigh roadster on the way, with the FG four speed generator hub. Having used one of these on a Rudge that's on the way to a fellow BFer, I'm really excited. It shifts better than the AW, and gives a much more useable range. I'd think the average rider should discover what sort of gear inches they like on a single speed, and then take one of two courses of action. If you live in a flat area, equip it so that 2nd is like your standard single speed ratio, so that you get one hill climbing gear, and two higher gears to let you scream around faster. For hilly areas, I'd make 3rd like your SS gear, so that you get two climbing gears, but still have a little higher you can kick it up for more speed.
I happen to believe the most underrated hub is the Sprinter 5 speed. My Dahon Vitessee uses this hub and I've set it up so that 3rd gear is my SS (I call it direct drive) giving me two high gears and two low gears. I'm thinking of getting a slightly larger cog so that I'll have one high gear and three low gears for mountain climbing! I'm still debating this because 1st gear is so low at the moment, it feels like a touring bike gear.
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Old 07-16-07, 03:37 PM   #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BroMax
http://www.broadwaybicycleschool.com/broadwaybike1.html

This is the link I said I couldn't find earlier. This is a small shop that rebuilds 3-speeds using the old frame, so they're compatible with modern components. They also make their own new steel English-style bike.
Whimper.
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Old 07-17-07, 06:34 PM   #149
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I've been thinking about a conversion like this. I have an old Columbia 10spd in the basement, with drops and fenders. I think I'd want to change the drops to something similar to North Shore (North End? forget which) and gear it for 18 or 20mph at 90rpm in top. Only thing is, I don't know if I could abide the steel rims--and I've never built a rim up.

All the "real" 3spd's that come up on CL around here are womens, for some reason that just doesn't do the trick for me. Which might be just as well--I'm pretty sure I don't want to mess with cottered cranks.
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Old 07-17-07, 07:47 PM   #150
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Restored a '68 Schwinn Breeze 3 speed for my daughter, she loves it and so do her friends. I did a '62 Traveler 2 speed and a '67 Racer 3 speed for myself. Bought an '86 Dahon folder with the same Sturmey Archer 3 speed. I ride them all from time to time, have climbed some pretty good hills with them, too. I'd like a little more gear on the top end and a narrower gap between gears. Oh well, if I want to go fast, I ride my 2006 Trek roadie or my '85 Schwinn Sprint.
A shot of oil in those old hubs occasionally, and they'll outlast me and probably my kids, too.
Almost forgot, I have a '36 Columbia Cruiser restoration in progress, 2 speed New Departure hub. When I rode it 55 years or so ago, it was smooth but heavy. Probably will be still.
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