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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 07-18-07, 01:54 PM   #151
alanbikehouston
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I saw a old British bike catalog from about fifty years ago that showed a three speed hub on a race quality frame. That sort of bike would be a terrific "in-town" bike...maybe someone will start selling one again. Who wouldn't want a 20 pound commuting bike with a reliable three speed hub?
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Old 07-18-07, 03:14 PM   #152
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I saw a old British bike catalog from about fifty years ago that showed a three speed hub on a race quality frame. That sort of bike would be a terrific "in-town" bike...maybe someone will start selling one again. Who wouldn't want a 20 pound commuting bike with a reliable three speed hub?
Wimps like me who live in hilly places want a 7 or 8 speed.
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Old 08-10-07, 10:44 PM   #153
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I agree that old English three-speeds have their drawbacks, but they are a very nice ride. You can find them on eBay for a couple hundred dollars.

And there is at least one importer of Indian knock-offs of the old Raleigh Sports/Superbe three-speed. They are only a couple hundred dollars. A little rough around the edges, but a true transportation cycle.

See CyclesValhalla.com. (Assurance: I'm completely unrelated to them.)

Mark McClure
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Old 08-11-07, 02:43 AM   #154
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A store in Vancover sells those "Amsterdam" style bikes and is doing very well.



Jorg & Olif is the only company in North America to sell Dutch city bikes. Their bicycles, sourced from a small traditional factory northeast of Amsterdam, are priced from CAD 875 for a 1-speed Oma (hers) or Opa (his) version. Three and eight speed versions are also available. The company currently only ships within Canada, and operates from a gallery-like lifestyle store in Vancouver. (in downtown Vancouver, about 33 per cent of people travel by foot and bicycle, approximately 28 percent take transit, and 39 per cent drive)

Dont forget RAINCITYBIKES! they have two locations in Vancouver and carry a ton of of Dutch city bikes, cargo bikes and commercial transport bikes
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Old 08-11-07, 03:56 AM   #155
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I see one of those bikes being ridden everyday by a lady who has to be about 70... The bike looks like it was her coming of age present, but i live by the coast where there are 1:3 hills....

Cornish old people live forever and die with thighs made of girders...

Hub gears seem to be coming back to popularity over here - i suppose the modern equivalent of that bike would a not-too-high-end hybrid..? Just got back from london and virtually every bike i saw (except for uber-bling fixies) was a flat bar hybrid with skinny tyres and v-brakes. The real problem with the old-style roadster was that the brakes were pathetic to non-existent...

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And the primary reason more people don't ride bikes is because they are afraid of traffic.
People tend to gasp when i say i ride in traffic. Despite the fact that out of 3300 (approx) road deaths in the UK last year only 164 were cyclists (motorcyclists make up 40% of deaths but only 4% of traffic), they seem to think that cars are safer...
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Old 08-11-07, 08:06 AM   #156
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Originally Posted by alanbikehouston View Post
I saw a old British bike catalog from about fifty years ago that showed a three speed hub on a race quality frame. That sort of bike would be a terrific "in-town" bike...maybe someone will start selling one again. Who wouldn't want a 20 pound commuting bike with a reliable three speed hub?

Alan,
Those are "Club Racers" or Clubman models. I am not aware of a modern version of one. But that won't stop me from building my own! I have a 1976 Dawes Galaxy frameset that is going to get a FG(4 speed dyno) hub, alloy 700c rims, fenders and inverted alloy north road bars, brooks saddle. I suspect the all up weight to be about 22-24#'s because of the frame size, 25.5"

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Old 08-11-07, 08:57 AM   #157
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i'm working on it!

this is the "before" picture, but i don't have a camera and it's not *quite* finished for the "after" shot.

it's a 1971 raleigh sport, made in england. my partner saw the add on craigslist, and it turned out to be someone we knew rfom BF, who also happened to live a block or so away. it was his mother's, but she was having trouble getting on the bike with the high bar.

$50, some new cables, better pedals, and many hours of (free ) labour later, it is my birthday-cruiser-ride. since the old low-end "brooks" was shot (read: felt like i was sitting on the seat post when riding ) i put an old saddle of mine on it until i can afford something better, and a rear mount for a rack bag we had kicking around. it really needs a kickstand; i tried a cheap one that didn't work, but haven't had luck in finding an original-style one. a few other touches may also be added in the future such as a proper front light, better/bigger grips, front basket, and water bottle cage.

as i've said in other threads, it takes some getting used to the looser handling, and the quirks of the SA hub/cottered cranks, but i'm still very proud of it.
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Old 08-11-07, 12:03 PM   #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanbikehouston View Post
I saw a old British bike catalog from about fifty years ago that showed a three speed hub on a race quality frame.
Yep. See:

http://groups.google.com/group/gentl...e9250925c8fda6

Best,
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Old 08-11-07, 12:20 PM   #159
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Wimps like me who live in hilly places want a 7 or 8 speed.
Wimps?

I'd like to see these 3-speed retro-philiacs pedal out of my valley!

Don't get me wrong, I can appreciate the utilitarian simplicity of an English 3-speed -- on level ground.
But for practicality in all types of terrain, modern derailleur (or modern internal hubs) is the only way to go.
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Old 08-11-07, 12:54 PM   #160
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Wimps?

I'd like to see these 3-speed retro-philiacs pedal out of my valley!

Don't get me wrong, I can appreciate the utilitarian simplicity of an English 3-speed -- on level ground.
But for practicality in all types of terrain, modern derailleur (or modern internal hubs) is the only way to go.
They aren't meant to pedal out of the valley. Just down to the store and back.
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Old 08-11-07, 01:10 PM   #161
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Old 08-11-07, 01:13 PM   #162
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They aren't meant to pedal out of the valley. Just down to the store and back.
And for that, they are superb (I've ridden them).
But let's get serious here, most folks can't afford a stable of cycles, and the English 3-speed is a poor choice for the one bike cyclist.
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Old 08-11-07, 01:18 PM   #163
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But let's get serious here, most folks can't afford a stable of cycles, and the English 3-speed is a poor choice for the one bike cyclist.
Depends on what you want to use it for. If you live a few miles from work and want to bike commute, it is perfect. If you do long group rides and live 10 miles from work it probably isn't for you.
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Old 08-11-07, 01:24 PM   #164
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Depends on what you want to use it for. If you live a few miles from work and want to bike commute, it is perfect. If you do long group rides and live 10 miles from work it probably isn't for you.

Well... I disagree.
If you live only a few miles from work (on level ground of course), and never plan to use your ONE bicycle for weekend/holiday adventurizing, then a light singlespeed is the way to go.

Whatever advantage you would gain from 2 more gears is lost by the heft of most E-3's.

Again, I want to repeat that if I had the $$$ I'd have an E-3 in my corral. I like them. But let's not get ahead of ourselves and promote them beyond their rank in regards to commuting.
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Old 08-11-07, 02:15 PM   #165
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http://en.flying-pigeon.cn/newEbiz1/...shParent=false

I believe Flying Pigeon makes custom bikes, too. Get that with aluminum rims, a Nexus 3, and caliper brakes, and you've got a cheap commuter - that thing with (I believe steel) rims, a single speed, and rod brakes is $30.
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Old 08-11-07, 04:00 PM   #166
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And for that, they are superb (I've ridden them).
But let's get serious here, most folks can't afford a stable of cycles, and the English 3-speed is a poor choice for the one bike cyclist.
I've gotten by just fine for the last year one just a three speed (74 Schwinn Speedster) in Baltimore, which is far from flat (not SF hilly, but it ain't flat) and have done decent (10-15 mile) pleasure rides on it in addition to almost daily commuting. Like any other bike, the more you ride it the more your body adapts to riding it. Even when I had a 21 speed MTB I only used 2-3 gears excluding when I would ride over the Oakland hills. The argument from the SS/fixie crowd that most people only use one gear is a little narrow, but for me three is almost perfect.

(Unfortunately the 33 year-old spokes don't like the 200 years-since-last-paving roads in B'more, so the three speed is currently down with a busted rear)
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Old 08-11-07, 04:29 PM   #167
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I beat my friends up the Rock Garden (in LA) with my Nexus 3 (42/16). I would agree it's not the most pleasant experience, but then again, you will *always* want just one more gear going up a steep hill. "Normal hills" (whatever that means) shouldn't be an issue with a 3 speed.
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Old 08-11-07, 05:19 PM   #168
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Like any other bike, the more you ride it the more your body adapts to riding it.
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.
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Old 08-11-07, 05:35 PM   #169
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And for that, they are superb (I've ridden them).
But let's get serious here, most folks can't afford a stable of cycles, and the English 3-speed is a poor choice for the one bike cyclist.
Buddy, dude! most of the folks on this website have at least two bikes I myself just got that 1954 for $50.00 I have to say that the majority of commuters here have less than a three mile ride. three speeds make up the large percentage of bikes worldwide. just sayin'
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Old 08-11-07, 06:53 PM   #170
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Buddy, dude! most of the folks on this website have at least two bikes
Yes... and I'd be one of them.
One is a touring/commuter
And the second is a MTB/winter commuter

Add my burley nomad, and either can haul groceries.

What I'm saying is, as much as I appreciate the E3s, there is no way you can convince me that they are the best option for commuting/utility cycling.

I like retro, but I like pragmatism more.
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Old 08-12-07, 10:10 AM   #171
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In 76 I purchased a new Raliegh Roadster... 3 speed, 28 inch wheels, rod brakes etc.. It was and still is one of my favorite riding bikes... Still mostly original down to the air pump that came with it... I have however had to order a new shifting cable for it ... The old original one finaly gave up the task...
If I could buy an new one of these bikes today I would not hesitate.. IMHO those 28 inch wheels, the steel frame and the long wheel base make for a very comfortable ride...
I see Raliegh has some new bikes out for 08 that lean in this direction but don't quite make it... I am refering to the "Detour Delux" ... It has a smaller wheel base then the roadster and uses a derailer instead of an internal hub..
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Old 08-12-07, 10:26 AM   #172
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Dont forget RAINCITYBIKES! they have two locations in Vancouver and carry a ton of of Dutch city bikes, cargo bikes and commercial transport bikes
yeah, jorg&olif, napastyle, the importer dutchbikes us, clevercycles in portland, rain city, seattle dutch bikes, and you can check my sig below for a northeast outlet...
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Old 08-12-07, 10:32 AM   #173
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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.
how many usable gears on that 18&20 speed bike? how much overlap?
you might want to check out this handy gear chart and minor dissertation on how one rider chose his gears... it was made comparing 3spds to modern drivetrains.

i'm not saying 3spd is the answer - but for many folks, IMHO a 'modern' drivetrain is overkill, esp for commuting and errands - its not like one day some mountain will just show up between you and work... typically you know you're route, and you know where you need to go on a regular basis. you also tune the gearing to match your typical riding. SS, 3Spd, and 8spd seem to be real alternatives to derailed bikes.

YMM will most certainly V.
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Old 08-12-07, 10:42 AM   #174
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I will still contend that a English style 3 speed makes an excellent commuter/utility bike for a large segment of the population. I had one from 1982-1987 as my only bike, then rebuilt a basket case Motobecane for longer rides. After that I still commuted on the 3 speed for another 5 years. That 3 speed carried me day in and day out with minimal maintenance, it took me to the movies, the theatre, the library, the grocery store, friends houses, and to work. The area I lived in was by no means flat, but it wasn't the Swiss Alps either. The best part about that bike is that I only paid $25 for it and it was dead simple to keep maintained. Most expensive repair/replace items were the tires... wish I could say that for some of my dérailleur equipped bikes

Aaron
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Old 08-12-07, 11:47 AM   #175
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I will still contend that a English style 3 speed makes an excellent commuter/utility bike for a large segment of the population.

+1
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