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A new bike build, first ride on it, and my first Society of Three Speeds ride

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A new bike build, first ride on it, and my first Society of Three Speeds ride

Old 04-20-19, 08:21 PM
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A new bike build, first ride on it, and my first Society of Three Speeds ride

The Society of Three Speeds is a creation of Portland local Shawn Granton. For $20, you can join and receive a patch, some stickers, and a few badges, along with occasional post cards pimping events and 3 speed bike challenges. I met Shawn a few years ago and joined. He's also one of the organizers of the annual Tweed Ride and several Portland Pedalpalooza events. I've described him once as someone who treads on the earth lightly. I've been wanting to do one of his organized rides the past few years, but things kept getting in the way. One was the lack of an appropriate bike, but in reality, any 2, 3, 4 or 5 speed IGH bike would do. My Raleigh Grand Sport set up with a 5 speed Sturmey Archer hub is my basic commuter bike. But honestly, it seemed too "sporty" for this crowd. Alright, in reality, I was busy doing other things. Then a chrome Grand Sport came my way, and I decided on a special build for it, one that I would be proud to ride in a S.O.T.S. event.

First, the build. I was tipped off to a rare chromed Raleigh Grand Sport in the LA Craigslist (who was the tipster?) With an April event coming up, I started the build. The chrome on this thing is wonderful, chromed Grand Sports were in the 1970 catalog, but I hear they were never widely available - perhaps some were made for demonstration? It also had some "chromovelato" panels. I believe this is Italian for "paint falls off if you breath on it." Here's what I ended up with:



Rims are from @Drillium Dude, who gifted me a pair of black 36 hole 700c Weinmann concaves. Spokes are a combo of black and silver stainless steel DT's that were picked up when Performance Bicycles shut down - rear is 3 cross, front is 2 cross, because that's what worked with the lengths I had. I have several sets of MAFAC RAID brakes, so I pulled out a set from my pile, polished them up, put new Koolstop pads and bolted them on. An SR Laprade seatpost bolts up to an @rhm releathered frame. I had a used Normandy hub that polished up nicely. The cranks are the Raleigh version of Stronglight 105's with a chain guard. Removing the 52 tooth chainring and subbing triple length bolts for doubles gave me something vintage looking for a parts bin price. I purchased a 2 speed kickback Sturmey Archer hub, which meant no reaction arm or cables to attach to the frame - I didn't want to detract from the chrome. Platform pedals were borrowed from another bike. I had some VO upright bar brake levers, a stem was pulled form a set of bars I had laying around. I bought a pair of VO Postino handlebars and black Rustine grips were the only other parts I bought for this build. I even had a pair of vintage black Bluemels to attach, and a Carradice saddle bag, so this was a very English build. I did accessorize with a Problem Solver handlebar bottle cage adapter. To keep in the hipster mode, I put a stainless steel insulated bottle in it that was gifted to me some time ago. Note the 25-1/2" frame, a very french fit for me.
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Old 04-20-19, 08:40 PM
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That looks like a fun bike. I'd like to try a kick back hub sometime.
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Old 04-20-19, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by northbend View Post
That looks like a fun bike. I'd like to try a kick back hub sometime.
It's like a flip flop without having to stop and switch. Great city bike.
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Old 04-20-19, 09:13 PM
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Just went back through my PM's it was @juvela that bird dogged this frame for me!
Thanks!
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Old 04-20-19, 09:49 PM
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Nice build, would be a fun ride. How is that kick back hub working? I have a SRAM Automatix 2 speed hub and it is a great hub.
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Old 04-20-19, 09:53 PM
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My favorite IGH rig was a Sturmey Archer AW hub with a close ratio 4-speed cog block.

For a time, I converted my old low-end Bianchi Corsa from a 2x5 derailleur system to a Sturmey Archer 3-speed coaster brake, friction shifted with the original Huret downtube lever. It was my short haul, theft-resistant campus commuter for a couple of years.
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Old 04-20-19, 09:55 PM
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Society of Three Speeds Challenge Ride

Society of Three Speed rides are the exact opposite of rides in the genre of the Velominati. We wouldn't ride more than 10 miles before stopping and smelling the roses. The start was at a breakfast/coffee spot attached to an extensive art studio. Most of the bikes were vintage, there were 3 Brompton's as well, and a modern Linus 3 speed.



The pace was easy. One could ride alongside someone else and carry on a full conversation - never out of breath or hard of hearing from wind rushing by. Attire was Rivendellian - the picture belows shows the one pair of cycling shorts seen worn the entire ride. The woman next to her is wearing a dress!



One of the April S.O.T.S challenges was to stop and make some tea or coffee, so we all did.



Our fearless leader, Shawn:

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Old 04-20-19, 10:13 PM
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The ride continues

Oregon City has a unique feature: a munincipal elevator connecting two neighborhoods, one near the river, the other on a cliff high above.



We wheel our bikes in 3 or 4 at a time for the vertical ride. Looking back in the picture below is longtime bicycle rider, Pedalpalooza organizer and all around great gal @BicycleKitty sporting a dress and riding a 1950's era Ross 3 speed. Don't let the attire fool you, she was one of the strong finishers of the 2nd annual attack of North Trask "death ride" a few years back.



A very short ride further up the hill we come to a vista point where we view the Willamette Falls Locks.



A short, quick downhill and we reach a Scottish pub, where I was too busy perusing the beer menu, eating and conversing with my fellow riders to take any pictures! I ended up leaving before the party was over as I had some family commitments. A few miles riding and I brought my bike onto Portland's fairly new north-south MAX line; a proper hook awaited my bike to shorten the route home.




Our pace was slow, we stopped a lot for long periods of time (compared to what I'm used to), but it was all around fun.

If you have a 3 speed, or are thinking of getting one, I'd highly recommend joining the Society of Three Speeds. The swag is great, too! Shawn does all of his own graphics by hand. Postcards are hand written. He's as old school as it gets.

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Old 04-20-19, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by bwilli88 View Post
Nice build, would be a fun ride. How is that kick back hub working? I have a SRAM Automatix 2 speed hub and it is a great hub.
Sometimes the backwards pedal will toggle the gear, sometimes not. A couple of tries and it would kick in.

I believe @nlerner has that same SRAM Automatix 2 speed on his Sears Ted Williams 531 bike I rode to a Red Sox game a couple of years ago.
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Old 04-21-19, 07:30 AM
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Awesome post!
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Old 04-21-19, 07:50 AM
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Very cool, looks like fun, and thos are some wiiiide bars! Comfy. Youíve reminded me that Iíd like to have an IGH 3 speed in the mix...
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Old 04-21-19, 08:10 AM
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Motivates me to find another saddle for my '64 (from hub date code) Robin Hood super steel roadster, 28 x 1 1/2"
was gifted the bike on 1981, original saddle went in 2006, a second $2 yard sale B72 died about three years ago- tragic as the wayward nose section bounced into the storm drain- preventing sending that one off for a new leather.

mine curiously has the coaster brake and front and rear rod brakes.

stoll has the original tubes, original tires rotted out at the beads. Was lucky to catch them before the tubes blew

Of a time when Sturmey-Archer was king of Gears
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Old 04-21-19, 01:43 PM
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Fantastic read! Doing my own challenges for it on this coast side. Sorry I can’t catch one of Shaun’s rides personally.
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Old 04-21-19, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
Fantastic read! Doing my own challenges for it on this coast side. Sorry I canít catch one of Shaunís rides personally.
Well, this one probably isn't close enough for you, but Minnesota, May 18tha nd 19th...

Lake Pepin Three Speed Tour
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Old 04-21-19, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Well, this one probably isn't close enough for you, but Minnesota, May 18tha nd 19th...

Lake Pepin Three Speed Tour
Every year I dream, reality is a cruel reminder. I can still scheme.
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