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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 08-15-07, 09:20 PM   #201
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The easiest chain case to retrofit to your bike is the Hebie, it "floats" on the chain (you can always feel some drag with it). I forget the name of the manufacturer of the one above (starts with a "p" I think), but it attaches to the frame. You may be able to retrofit one, you may not, it depends on the geometry of the frame.
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Old 08-16-07, 05:33 AM   #202
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The easiest chain case to retrofit to your bike is the Hebie, it "floats" on the chain (you can always feel some drag with it). I forget the name of the manufacturer of the one above (starts with a "p" I think), but it attaches to the frame. You may be able to retrofit one, you may not, it depends on the geometry of the frame.
and of the cranks. i swapped out the cranks on a dutch bike and was left with a rubbing sound that i couldn't fix. the shape of the crank was just enough different from the original that is wouldn't play nice with the case.

veloorange has some nice metal cases coming into production...
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Old 08-16-07, 06:08 AM   #203
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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?
You gave away your Rudge! (faints)
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Old 08-16-07, 06:35 AM   #204
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I love my English bicycles and my everyday ride is a 1953 Hercules ladies roadster with 28inch wheels, a roller lever brake on the front and a SA 3 speed hub and drum brake on the rear. She is equipped with a Lucas lighting set. The Wrights 'featherbed' saddle is wonderfully comfortable and with the 28inch wheels my old Hercules is a very sweet ride indeed.



This particular bicycle has oil cup lubrication throughout and I firmly hold the view that an oil cup lubed bike rolls far more smoothly than a bike with grease packed bearings. She is well worn and no great beauty, but it's plain to me that she was somebody's well maintained and much used transport; - and I like to think that she was much loved too.
Overall her gearing is quite high and on occasion I've wound her up to a very undignified speed in 3rd gear, but to be honest I know I should really fit a rear cog with more teeth on it, but I don't want to start messing about with such an original bicycle.
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Old 08-16-07, 08:31 AM   #205
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Question

Why was this moved? It's a great thread and is pretty central to commuters (esp. international ones).

Is there a new forum called Utility Cycling? Where is it?
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Old 08-16-07, 11:05 AM   #206
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Why was this moved? It's a great thread and is pretty central to commuters (esp. international ones).
To purify the Commuting Forum for discussion of Real (AKA $$$$ or gimmicky ) Commuting bikes and associated high end/touring/racing gadgets favored by BF's self appointed Real Commuters?
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Old 08-16-07, 06:22 PM   #207
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I've noticed a few complaints about cottered cranks which is something I don't understand at all. I'm a woman and I've never had a problem with removing a cotter pin from any crank. Please enlighten me - what is the problem? In terns of reliability and simplicity the steel cottered crank can't be beaten in my opinion.


Cottered crank porn shot - I could stare at it all day

Annie

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Old 08-16-07, 06:47 PM   #208
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I've noticed a few complaints about cottered cranks which is something I don't understand at all. I'm a woman and I've never had a problem with removing a cotter pin from any crank. Please enlighten me - what is the problem? In terns of reliability and simplicity the steel cottered crank can't be beaten in my opinion.
The problem I had is simply that most bike shops here in Austin don't have mechanics with experience with cottered cranks, and they don't stock any cotters.
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Old 08-16-07, 07:22 PM   #209
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I've noticed a few complaints about cottered cranks which is something I don't understand at all. I'm a woman and I've never had a problem with removing a cotter pin from any crank. Please enlighten me - what is the problem? In terns of reliability and simplicity the steel cottered crank can't be beaten in my opinion.


Cottered crank porn shot - I could stare at it all day

Annie

I haven't seen a need to replace them. I did move to 700C wheels since tires in the 650A size are pretty scanty these days. Other than that and swapping out the rim brakes for drum brakes to get around the problem of brake reach and a 7 speed Shimano Nexus hub, everything is pretty much as I when I bought it. So don't worry about the cottered cranks. Raleighs will outlive us all.
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Old 08-16-07, 07:24 PM   #210
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Yes that could be a problem Platy I'm still able to buy cotter pins Ok locally and if I got really stuck I'd just make my own on my lovely old Myford lathe. It's all about keeping it simple really, - the local farm supply engineering store sells loose ball bearings and with just a few basic handtools I can service any of my English bicycles BB bearings in a relaxed hour or less.
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Old 08-16-07, 07:52 PM   #211
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I have a small...very small supply of NOS cotters, and I am sure in a pinch I could find a suitable substitute. The current crop of available cotter pins leave a lot to be desired(they are pressed and stamped rather than machined)

Most people don't know how to remove them properly and therefor botch the job and blame it on the crank. I have been taking them off for years with various methods ranging from a wood block and ballpeen hammer, a c-clamp and socket as well as a proper cotter press.

Sianlle I envy your machining abilities, it is a skill that I have yet to acquire, I can weld after a fashion and my soldering and brazing skills are adequate.

I think my love of the British bikes stems from their mechanical simplicity and extreme durability. I have seen a 70 year old Raleigh that was rescued from the ashes of a garage fire, I have a 55+ year old Hercules that was rescued from a town dump in New Hampshire. My 1971 Sports Standard has spent it's life as a commuter from 1982 until it's semi retirement in 1997(probably in excess of 32,000 miles). I rode it, my brother rode it, my sister rode it, I got it back and rode it some more. And the stories go on. I have ridden with the ABCE Tour it is much more than just the bikes, it is the history of the bikes, the sheer enjoyment and appreciation of them and a simpler time when quality really counted.

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Old 08-16-07, 07:56 PM   #212
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Originally Posted by Sianelle View Post


Cottered crank porn shot - I could stare at it all day

Annie

SHE started it!



Not the best picture, but the only one I have at the moment

Aaron
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Old 08-17-07, 06:11 AM   #213
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Ooooooo that's the Hercules chainwheel that has 'Hercules' in full. My Hercules bicycles have the chainwheel with the 3 'Hs' instead.

I am not jealous ...... no not jealous in the slightest
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Old 08-17-07, 06:59 PM   #214
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It seems to me the English 3-speed was the epitomy of what a utility bike should be, sturdy, dependable and low maintenance. It came as standard with mudguards, chaincase and usually a wicker basket. It had relaxed angles and a sprung saddle that made it easy and comfortable to ride.

Yet the only place you're likely to see one these days is if you take a trip to Oxford or Cambridge, where dependability is a must for students and others who use their bicycles everyday as their main form of transport. Many of these bicycles are 40 years old, running mainly the same components as when they were originally built up.

Elsewhere in the country, the cheap mountain bike is king. 90 for some dual suspension lookalike that'd crumble at first sight of a bridlepath. The fact that it is a "mountain bike" and has "dual suspension" is it's main selling point. Little wonder nobody cycles anymore.

I can't help but feel the mountain bike, in however an unfortunate a manner, has had a sizable role to play in the demise of cycling in the UK. 95% of the riding done on these bicycles is on roads or paths. Their derailleurs come out of alignment too easily, the tyres are heavy and have high rolling resistance. These are not bicycles that are pleasant to ride on the road, least of all the 90 jobbies.

Now you may say that Pashley still makes a nice traditional bicycle, to which I'd agree with you. But it costs 450, this means it is a specialists bicycle. The kind of person who puts down 450 on a bicycle usually knows enough about cycling to know what it is he/she wants from his/her bicycle that they are willing to pay that bit extra if it is to specification.

What I believe we need is a traditional style bicycle, complete with mudguards, chaincase and wicker basket for around 200. True, it wouldn't be the nicest bicycle ever, but I believe a large manufacturer could put out a bicycle of good quality and dependability for such a price tag. Of course, such a bicycle would need to have a jazzy paint job or some such to appeal to the publics fickle tastes. But if we could get such bicycles into shops, into vogue and get the general public riding them, we might start to see a culture where the bicycle isn't looked upon as simply a toy or something to go out for a ride on with the kids on a summers day, but as a means to an end, a tool if you will.

That's the dream, anyway. Discuss...
I recently picked up two old three speed Raleighs, both with the Twenty-style frame (a 1969 folder, and
a Shopper from the 70's).

I'm using them both as utility bikes. The folder is pretty much all original, so I'm going to keep in as intact as possible, the Shopper I'm going to modify pretty extensively.

A few observations about them. For conditions here, which are hilly, the low gear really isn't low enough and on a lot of hills I wind up standing and mashing. I'm probably going to replace the cog on both bikes to bring all three gears lower. If that still isn't adequate I'll rebuild the shopper with a new seven or eight speed internal hub gear.

The three speed Sturmey-Archers were amazingly durable. The 69 is closing in on 40 years old, and still shifts like a charm. I hope the newer hub gears are similarly reliable.

The bikes are indeed heavy. This hasn't been a real problem for me, but if I have to go anything over ten miles I use my road bike.

I haven't really tested enough configurations to tell if this is generally true, but rapidly putting together various containers for hauling stuff the Shopper seems to be able to handle more than my road bike. If I had a touring bike my experiences might be different, but bungee cords, boxes and sacks all work well with both the Shopper and the Twenty, and the Shopper came with a silly looking front basket which provides still another hauling option.
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Old 08-17-07, 07:07 PM   #215
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Change the rear sprocket - it'll make a world of difference and you most probably won't need to change to a more modern hub. There's nothing sweeter than a nicely run in SA 3 speed hub
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Old 08-18-07, 06:04 AM   #216
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Larryfeltonj,
I will second changing out the sprocket for a quick pickup in lower ratios. And it is a relatively inexpensive solution to try. I have a 1968 Compact RSW that I drag around in my work truck when I am on the road, so I can get in my daily riding fix. Most people are mind boggled that the bike is 40 years old FWIW I still have the original redstripe tires on mine, but will be running a set of Scwhalbe Big apples on mine and save the Dunlops for show and tell. I also had to add an extended seat post, the original wasn't quite long enough for me to get proper leg extension. I am still looking for a 400mm straight post Love my old British bikes! Hard to beat that kind of quality. Weight isn't everything...

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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 08-18-07, 06:29 AM   #217
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Aaron, I found a link to a Hercules Catalogue! - I know you were trying to find more information on your Hercules, - hope this helps

http://www.fattiretrading.com/herculescatalog.html
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Old 08-18-07, 06:58 AM   #218
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Thanks Sianelle.
The closest bike in there to ours is the Q model...I still suspect very late '40's to early '50's

Aaron
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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 08-19-07, 01:01 AM   #219
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The three speed Sturmey-Archers were amazingly durable. The 69 is closing in on 40 years old, and still shifts like a charm. I hope the newer hub gears are similarly reliable.
For my buildup I used a 65 that had been sitting outside in our very inclement weather. I cleaned it on a wire brush buffer wheel and fitted a 20 sprocket (42 front - 700c wheels). I added a little oil, which was still too much, as half of it came back out. That was all it needed.
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Old 08-19-07, 03:54 AM   #220
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I just finished this buildup with a hub I got for $5 at the Refuse Transfer Station. It was on a '65 Raleigh Sport, which was pretty rusty, so I stuck it under the house for later.... The frame is a 7 speed roadie which was a good bike in its day - columbus steel and all. The rest either came with the roadie or was in my spares box, except for the Seatpost and Stem which are new, and the S-A shifter & cable/pulleys, which were NOS on ebay. Oh and of course the rims were built up at the LBS. A nice thing to do if you have an old frame thats just too good to throw out.


pure elegance. Very nice buildup!
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Old 08-19-07, 06:50 AM   #221
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++++++ agree
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Old 08-19-07, 07:55 AM   #222
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I just finished this buildup with a hub I got for $5 at the Refuse Transfer Station. It was on a '65 Raleigh Sport, which was pretty rusty, so I stuck it under the house for later.... The frame is a 7 speed roadie which was a good bike in its day - columbus steel and all. The rest either came with the roadie or was in my spares box, except for the Seatpost and Stem which are new, and the S-A shifter & cable/pulleys, which were NOS on ebay. Oh and of course the rims were built up at the LBS. A nice thing to do if you have an old frame thats just too good to throw out.
Very pretty indeed. But looks as practical for utility cycling as a pretty Schwinn Paramount.
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Old 08-19-07, 07:59 AM   #223
NormanF
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pure elegance. Very nice buildup!
The old steel frame rides much nicer built with modern light components. The greatest weight savings are to be found in putting on a pair of alloy wheels. I built mine as 700C but if I had to do it all over again, 650B would be the better choice. The brake reach is only 3" so the old rim brakes should have fit that wheelset.
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Old 08-20-07, 07:18 PM   #224
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Hey has anyone updated their wheels? My SA hub's still kicking but the rims are beaten. This was my work bike and the Big Dig has destroyed the wheels, which were on their way out anyway. I saw 26 3/8 rims but was considering 700c which requires new fenders. Anyone try this? I miss riding that English Tank.


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Old 08-20-07, 07:44 PM   #225
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Originally Posted by jimisnowhere View Post
Hey has anyone updated their wheels? My SA hub's still kicking but the rims are beaten. This was my work bike and the Big Dig has destroyed the wheels, which were on their way out anyway. I saw 26 3/8 rims but was considering 700c which requires new fenders. Anyone try this? I miss riding that English Tank.


jim
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.

Aaron
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