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I love my Raleigh 3-Speed, but....

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I love my Raleigh 3-Speed, but....

Old 07-08-19, 04:22 PM
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I love my Raleigh 3-Speed, but....

I am wondering if I should keep my Raleigh Sports with my dynohub or get a 10, or greater, speed bike to deal with hills in the Northeast. It doesn’t make sense for me to own 2 bikes though I understand why many would advocate for such a thing. I take my bike to ride around town with my family, and once in a while, on my own to go to the local library or coffee shop, but I don’t ride long distance. I live in a boring suburb. Lately, I find that trying to ride this Raleigh up on inclines (even after swapping out the cog for a 22T) is less than pleasant. Would I see a significantly more comfortable ride from a wider gear range bike? What do you more experienced riders think?

Thanks!

Last edited by poetman; 07-08-19 at 06:21 PM.
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Old 07-08-19, 04:28 PM
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As someone who owns both a Raleigh 3 speed, and a modern 24 speed STI road bike... yes you will feel a noticeable inprovement in efficiency on the modern bike. Like, no comparison, even on just short rides.
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Old 07-08-19, 05:26 PM
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As someone who owns a Raleigh Sports as well as many other bikes of all flavors, I say keep the Sports. 1) it has a lot of cool factor 2) you are just riding around and not trying to prevail amongst the Strava contingent and 3) you can always walk up the hills. I assume you like the Raleigh, right?

You ought to see if you can borrow a bike with a lower range of gears just for comparison. Lower gears do not make hill climbing much more comfortable in my experience - whether I charge up the hill out of the saddle in a higher gear, or spin, spin, spin slowly up the hill, I feel a similar level of exertion.

You say that you "lately" feel ... Could be that there is an issue with the bike that makes it more difficult to pedal. I have drum brakes on my commuting bike and once my front brake would not release fully. I rode for a week with that dragging brake shoe all the while wondering why I was so much slower than normal.
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Old 07-08-19, 05:30 PM
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+1. If anything, try getting out of the saddle and "honking" up those hills to shake things up, rather than wishing for lower and lower gears.
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Old 07-08-19, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by poetman
I love in a boring suburb.
Better to have loved in a boring suburb than never to have loved at all.

At least, that's what they say.


They don't say that! No one says that!
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Old 07-08-19, 05:34 PM
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I think it's more than just the gears. A lighter weight, more efficient and modern bike is just easier to ride.
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Old 07-08-19, 05:50 PM
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...if you have run out of range increasing the rear cog size at 22 teeth , here's a 24 tooth one on e-bay. You can also go for a smaller chainwheel, but it's a lot of work and you'll probably lose the heron heads on the crank. But in answer to your question, yes a bicycle with modern alloy rims, a wider gear range, and lighter, higher pressure tyres will climb hills better. As stated above.

I have an older sports here that I built new, lighter, more efficient wheels for on the existing hubs. Again, that's more work than most people are up for.
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Old 07-08-19, 07:07 PM
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Aluminum rims on the Raleigh Sports will make it dreamy.


How often do you spin out in 3rd gear? If never, or rarely, going to the 24 tooth rear will help, but aluminum rims really make a BIG difference.
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Old 07-08-19, 07:15 PM
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Hills are hills - you win some, you lose some.

Will a wider gear range be more comfortable? I say yes.

But, nothing wrong with the Raleigh for the reasons you like it...

...So, a second bike is not excessive.

Kill the hills at your will.

Let the old cruiser handle the leisure rides.

All is good. Ride on.
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Old 07-08-19, 07:43 PM
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It's just a hill....






...the joy you get when "that hill" becomes easier every time you ride it, is hard to describe.

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Old 07-08-19, 08:54 PM
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Upgrading to alu rims and a 5-speed (or 7 or 8) internal gear hub would give you the gearing you’re looking for.
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Old 07-09-19, 03:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Moe Zhoost
As someone who owns a Raleigh Sports as well as many other bikes of all flavors, I say keep the Sports. 1) it has a lot of cool factor 2) you are just riding around and not trying to prevail amongst the Strava contingent and 3) you can always walk up the hills. I assume you like the Raleigh, right?

You ought to see if you can borrow a bike with a lower range of gears just for comparison. Lower gears do not make hill climbing much more comfortable in my experience - whether I charge up the hill out of the saddle in a higher gear, or spin, spin, spin slowly up the hill, I feel a similar level of exertion.

You say that you "lately" feel ... Could be that there is an issue with the bike that makes it more difficult to pedal. I have drum brakes on my commuting bike and once my front brake would not release fully. I rode for a week with that dragging brake shoe all the while wondering why I was so much slower than normal.
I agree. I also feel a similar level of exertion climbing with either my Rudge 3 speed geared at 48x22 or my Raleigh USA hybrid with it's extra low granny. Both these have plain push pedals. For me, toe straps , or I guess modern clip pedals which I've never had, are the feature that makes the biggest difference hill climbing. Even 10 pounds one way or the other doesn't seem to mean much. The bumpy roads where I live make riding most ultra lightweight bikes less comfortable than the old 3 speed.
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Old 07-09-19, 06:04 PM
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Tubulars fit easy under Raleigh fenders. Tubulars solve most problems.
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Old 07-11-19, 11:33 AM
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I just typed a very long post that didn't go through, so please forgive my brevity here! I went to my LBS yesterday and was BLOWN AWAY at the differences between my old Sports and new hybrid and road bikes. The smoothness, speed, and handling of these newer bikes were WAY too impressive to ignore. Since I am not ready to part with my beloved Sports just yet, I want to test the waters for a vintage road bike. I know nothing about these bikes but find them beautiful! Ideally, I would like to be able to take such a bike off the road onto local trails, but it's not a deal breaker. I know some of the big names in road bikes, but know nothing about components, gears, tubing, etc. Ideally, I would like to wait for a great C-list steal for a vintage 10-speed under $100, but a new Nishiki I rode yesterday made me wonder if I should second guess my vintage impulse. I would appreciate any further recommendations you all might make!

Thank you everyone for the dialogue!
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Old 07-11-19, 12:38 PM
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Every so often, I get a wild hair to swap the handlebars, saddle, and pedals on my 3-speed and turn it into more of a Clubman-style bike. But it would still be relatively heavy and clunky compared to my other road bikes, so the urge passes.
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Old 07-11-19, 09:34 PM
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ThermionicScott - they're not really the same thing...

Originally Posted by ThermionicScott
Every so often, I get a wild hair to swap the handlebars, saddle, and pedals on my 3-speed and turn it into more of a Clubman-style bike. But it would still be relatively heavy and clunky compared to my other road bikes, so the urge passes.
Dont you think its because, in your gut, you know they're not really the same thing....???

Hi-Ten...vs...



Reynolds 531
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Old 07-11-19, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by poetman
I just typed a very long post that didn't go through, so please forgive my brevity here! I went to my LBS yesterday and was BLOWN AWAY at the differences between my old Sports and new hybrid and road bikes. The smoothness, speed, and handling of these newer bikes were WAY too impressive to ignore. Since I am not ready to part with my beloved Sports just yet, I want to test the waters for a vintage road bike. I know nothing about these bikes but find them beautiful! Ideally, I would like to be able to take such a bike off the road onto local trails, but it's not a deal breaker. I know some of the big names in road bikes, but know nothing about components, gears, tubing, etc. Ideally, I would like to wait for a great C-list steal for a vintage 10-speed under $100, but a new Nishiki I rode yesterday made me wonder if I should second guess my vintage impulse. I would appreciate any further recommendations you all might make!

Thank you everyone for the dialogue!
Throw some well-built rims, North Road handlebars, and an IGH hub on an older roadbike built with Reynolds 531, Columbus SL, or Tange 1/2. Slightly slacker geometry would be preferable.

You'll never think of a new hybrid again.

-Kurt
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Old 07-11-19, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by chainwhip
Dont you think its because, in your gut, you know they're not really the same thing....???

Hi-Ten...vs...



Reynolds 531
It goes without saying that it would never be the same thing. I just don't get much pleasure from upright bikes, so installing drop bars would nudge my 3-speed toward being more fun.
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Originally Posted by chandltp
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498

Last edited by ThermionicScott; 07-11-19 at 10:46 PM.
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