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High performance townie build with 5 speed Sturmey Archer.

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High performance townie build with 5 speed Sturmey Archer.

Old 01-05-20, 04:51 PM
  #1  
jackbombay
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High performance townie build with 5 speed Sturmey Archer.

I'm building this up for a friend, I'm totally in love with this bike even though it's nowhere close to being done!

Early 70's Raleigh Super Course frame and fork, not in very good shape cosmetically, but it is straight and the chrome socks cleaned up pretty well with some steel wool, the chrome on the fork crown is in fairly bad shape though. I plan on getting the frame and fork powder coated. I'm not sure on color yet, couple options so far, all tan and then paint the lugs dark brown, or get the original color matched as well as they can...

It's getting a 700c wheelset (not the one on it), a NOS Sturmey S5 5 speed hub from 1969, some velo orange bits and pieces, some FSA gimondi cranks, 35c pasela's, etc...

I will be adding some cable stop braze ons to get the 2 shifter cables and rear brake run in a clean manner, I have never messed with brazing before, but it seems pretty easy, just like soldering plumbing but at a notably higher temp!

I will need to crimp the chain stays a bit to get a little more tire clearance for the 35c tires, I found a neat way to modify a C clamp to do that in a controlled accurate manner.

Here is somewhat of a before pic,

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Old 01-05-20, 04:55 PM
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Cool! I ran my last SuperCourse as a 5-speed IGH. I preferred right side trigger on the bars and left side on the downtube.
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Old 01-05-20, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Cool! I ran my last SuperCourse as a 5-speed IGH. I preferred right side trigger on the bars and left side on the downtube.
I was planning on setting up the 2 shifters on the right side of the bars, it is tempting to set up the "left shifter" as if it is a front derailleur, because it kind of is, but it also kind of isn't. My goal with the gearing for this bike is to set it up so 1st matches the lowest gear he currently uses on a regular basis on the bike he is riding now which is a 34/28. I'm going to gear his new bike 44/24, and with the %33 reduction of first gear he will be right at the equivalent of 34/28, assuming I did my math right! When I deliver the bike I will bring a few extra cogs so we can go on a test ride and confirm that the gearing is good, or if it needs to be changed it will be quick and easy.

Sturmey Archer S5 dual shifter set up. This is how I plan on setting up the 2 shifters.
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Old 01-06-20, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
I was planning on setting up the 2 shifters on the right side of the bars...
On my S5 equipped bike (upright bars) I too run both shifters on the right. I find it intuitive to do all the shifting with the same hand. I use a bar end to shift the left side cable and like the ergonomics of having one shifter at each end of the grip. Shifting improved noticeably when I added a spring at the bellcrank.

I am getting ready to put an S5 in another bike. I am considering shifting the left cable with a Sturmey trigger shifter, but wonder whether the shift performance and cable adjustment will be more finicky than the bar end. Any thoughts from your experience?

-Carl
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Old 01-06-20, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by cszipper View Post
I am considering shifting the left cable with a Sturmey trigger shifter, but wonder whether the shift performance and cable adjustment will be more finicky than the bar end. Any thoughts from your experience?

-Carl
Using the 2nd and 3rd gear options of a standard Sturmey shifter for the bellcrank works great!

Just adjust the cable tension so that when you move the shifter to second you feel the travel of the bellcrank bottom out, then back the adjuster off just a tiny bit.

I've found that you do need to be applying some pressure to the pedals while pedalling for the shift to 1st and the shift to 5th to work reliably, if you are just spinning the cranks but not applying any pressure to the pedals shifting to 1 and 5 only happens about %60 of the time.
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Old 01-06-20, 01:27 PM
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Thanks. Sounds straightforward.

-Carl
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Old 01-06-20, 01:31 PM
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Cool build! My current city bike is a similar setup, but with an old AW3 hub.
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Old 01-06-20, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by jeirvine View Post
Cool build! My current city bike is a similar setup, but with an old AW3 hub.
That is a very nice build!

This was originally going to have a resto-mod Raleigh sports with an AW, but my buddy had more money to spend on it than I had guessed so it got a fair bit nicer with the super course frame and S5 hub. This will have a set of VO "tourist" bars on it instead of drop bars.
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Old 01-06-20, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
That is a very nice build!

This was originally going to have a resto-mod Raleigh sports with an AW, but my buddy had more money to spend on it than I had guessed so it got a fair bit nicer with the super course frame and S5 hub. This will have a set of VO "tourist" bars on it instead of drop bars.
This is a 54 Sports. The wheels are 700c CR18s with 28mm Schwalbe glow-in-the-dark Marathons. I don't think I can get 32mm tires to fit but haven't tried. The saddle is a RHM creation and despite how it looks is really quite comfortable. As I recall, he said the goal was to make a saddle about the same design as a Brooks Swallow, Well done saddle. I think the gearing is 48/22 which is ok for Houston. The black CR18s were selected because they were the most reasonable option I could find with both 40h and 36h. The AW is 40h and the dyno is from a 74 Sprite and is 36h Dynohubs are fun to lace -- 3X on one side 2X on the other and the spoke heads keep falling out of the keyholes. With the 700c rims, Raleigh labeled Dia Compe 610s fit perfectly. It was a fun bike to build and it's fun to ride, despite the mass.

Actually, I can't recall if this is the 2X 3X Dyhohub. I built another with a 32h hub and this one may be 3X both sides. I think J Thomson suggested at the time using match stick to keep the spokes from exiting the keyholes
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Old 01-06-20, 06:44 PM
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Another S5 SC

My '71 SC had a 1950s alloy-shell FW (wide-range four-speed) for many years until I got tired of the 4-sp triggers wearing out. I went through maybe 4 or 5 of them, getting maybe 5 to 8 years of use before they started slipping out of Low. The 3-sp trigger is so much more reliable.

So a few years back, I converted my FW to be a 5-sp, which only requires replacing a couple of parts inside. The hub shell still says FW Alloy.

I use a regular trigger for the right, and a '40s or '50s British Cyclo top-tube shifter for the left. Not saying that's better than both shifters on the handlebar, I just thought it was a cute way to use that Cyclo toptube shifter.


As you can see I use a 26t sprocket, because I am old and slow. Be careful about gearing them too low though -- if you're strong, you can twist the axle. So, not really suitable for MTB use!



Hard to see, but the word after "CYCLO" is B'HAM, meaning Birmingham England. There was a French Cyclo also, not sure what the relationship between them was (if any).


I brazed a second pivot point onto the pulley clamp, to have pulleys on both sides. Not historically accurate, but sort of in keeping with the spirit.

The '50s Campagnolo decal is not very historically accurate either. It started out as a joke, because the only Campy thing on the bike was the decal. Since then the bike got Campy clamp-on pump pegs on the downtube, so it's not a "Campy-free zone".

Mark B in Seattle
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Old 01-07-20, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by bulgie View Post
As you can see I use a 26t sprocket, because I am old and slow. Be careful about gearing them too low though -- if you're strong, you can twist the axle. So, not really suitable for MTB use!
Looks like a fantastic townie you have there!

I have a PDF of the owner's manual for the Sturmey S5, I just checked it out, it states you can use up to a 22 tooth cog, but it doesn't mention the front chain ring size, Depending on the year I think they were all 46 or 48 tooth, so this bike will be geared a bit lower than that, I was planning on 44/24, but maybe I'll deliver the bike with 44/22 and see how that works for him, but I'll have a 24 tooth sprocket if he really wants it geared lower.
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Old 01-07-20, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
Looks like a fantastic townie you have there!

I have a PDF of the owner's manual for the Sturmey S5, I just checked it out, it states you can use up to a 22 tooth cog, but it doesn't mention the front chain ring size, Depending on the year I think they were all 46 or 48 tooth, so this bike will be geared a bit lower than that, I was planning on 44/24, but maybe I'll deliver the bike with 44/22 and see how that works for him, but I'll have a 24 tooth sprocket if he really wants it geared lower.
Yeah he'll probably be fine with 44/24 unless he's a major masher. The only time I twisted an axle was attacking a short intensely steep ramp, a board that I laid on one side of my porch stairs, to be able to ride up onto the porch. I had a full load of groceries aboard, so I had to really punch it. I was a decent Cat.3 sprinter in those days and pretty heavy for a racer (prolly 180 lb). Now I weigh <ahem> somewhat more than that but I don't "attack" anything on my FW (S-5) hub anymore.

Replacement axles are getting harder to find though, and besides twisted axles there are a few other things that can go wrong under really hard pedaling. So you might remind him not to unleash his most awesome burst of power on it. It's intended more for normal non-sprinty riding. Depending on his weight and strength, "spirited" riding is probably OK -- he doesn't have to keep it down in the "sedate" range. But consider walking if the grade is super steep

-Mark
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Old 01-07-20, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by bulgie View Post
Yeah he'll probably be fine with 44/24 unless he's a major masher.
%95+ of his time on a bike is transportation, so he's reasonably fit, but he's never on the bike to see just how fast he can make it go, he weighs about 180.

Originally Posted by bulgie View Post
The only time I twisted an axle was attacking a short intensely steep ramp, a board that I laid on one side of my porch stairs, to be able to ride up onto the porch. I had a full load of groceries aboard, so I had to really punch it. I was a decent Cat.3 sprinter in those days and pretty heavy for a racer (prolly 180 lb).
That is the perfect storm! Lots of power, heavy load, and very steep grade.

So the axle itself gets a twist in it? I've heard of axles rotating in the dropouts, and it makes sense that the axle could get twisted with enough torque, especially with an S5 where 1st and 5th put more torque on the axle than 1st and 3rd do on an AW.

Originally Posted by bulgie View Post
Now I weigh <ahem> somewhat more than that but I don't "attack" anything on my FW (S-5) hub anymore.
I have another bike with an S5 that I take on some real rides, I've never hesitated to put everything I have into the cranks on that bike generally in 2 3 or 4, but I have it geared much taller, 53/24, it has 700c wheels and 25c tires, and I'm 160-165 pounds so I think I'm pretty safe there.

Originally Posted by bulgie View Post
Replacement axles are getting harder to find though, and besides twisted axles there are a few other things that can go wrong under really hard pedaling. So you might remind him not to unleash his most awesome burst of power on it.
It seems this applies most with 1st and 5th gears, yea? Thats is when the torque on the axle is greatest? It seems with 3rd gear there is nothing to fail really as it is direct drive.

Thanks for the info!
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Old 01-07-20, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
he's reasonably fit,
This might sound snobbish but there's a yawning gulf between most any actual racer and a "reasonably fit" transpo rider. There are exceptions of course, like when Bob Roll was discovered just out for a ride and dropped the 7-Eleven team. But most non-racers have an eye-opening experience (or more like a slap in the face) in their first race -- they can't believe how much harder it is than a regular "hard ride". Well, maybe not so much the case anymore with Cat.6 (or whatever they're up to!) and one-day beginner's licenses, gran fondos etc. But in my day beginners were thrown in with some very fast people.

Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
So the axle itself gets a twist in it? I've heard of axles rotating in the dropouts, and it makes sense that the axle could get twisted with enough torque, especially with an S5 where 1st and 5th put more torque on the axle than 1st and 3rd do on an AW.
Exactly, the axle stays put in the dropouts but the center section with the sun gear twists relative to the ends. The twist mostly occurs where the axle is relieved (slotted) for the clutch key. A 3-sp axle is harder to twist because it only has one clutch key slot, to the right of the sun. 4- and 5-sp hubs have slots on both sides of the sun. Like you said, twisting never happens in Normal (2nd gear on a 3-sp, 3rd gear on a 5-sp.)

Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
I have another bike with an S5 that I take on some real rides, I've never hesitated to put everything I have into the cranks on that bike generally in 2 3 or 4, but I have it geared much taller, 53/24, it has 700c wheels and 25c tires, and I'm 160-165 pounds so I think I'm pretty safe there.
Yes I agree, with that ratio and your weight, I'd expect it to be safe.
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Old 01-07-20, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by bulgie View Post
This might sound snobbish but there's a yawning gulf between most any actual racer and a "reasonably fit" transpo rider. There are exceptions of course, like when Bob Roll was discovered just out for a ride and dropped the 7-Eleven team. But most non-racers have an eye-opening experience (or more like a slap in the face) in their first race -- they can't believe how much harder it is than a regular "hard ride". Well, maybe not so much the case anymore with Cat.6 (or whatever they're up to!) and one-day beginner's licenses, gran fondos etc. But in my day beginners were thrown in with some very fast people.
That all makes sense, by "reasonably fit" I mean in comparison to the general public.


Originally Posted by bulgie View Post
Exactly, the axle stays put in the dropouts but the center section with the sun gear twists relative to the ends. The twist mostly occurs where the axle is relieved (slotted) for the clutch key. A 3-sp axle is harder to twist because it only has one clutch key slot, to the right of the sun. 4- and 5-sp hubs have slots on both sides of the sun. Like you said, twisting never happens in Normal (2nd gear on a 3-sp, 3rd gear on a 5-sp.)
And once the axle is twisted it doesn't shift well, or at all, I assume?

I think I'll deliver the bike with 44/22 gearing, if he really wants it lower I'll bring a 24 with me...
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Old 01-07-20, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by bulgie View Post
Hard to see, but the word after "CYCLO" is B'HAM, meaning Birmingham England. There was a French Cyclo also, not sure what the relationship between them was (if any).
Le Cyclo started off as a French company, but when the Great Depression caused high import duties in the UK, Cyclo and the importer started up production in Birmingham for the UK market. Eventually they diverged, with Le Cyclo faltering in France, and UK Cyclo producing their own Benelux derailers before going out of business.
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Old 01-09-20, 09:49 PM
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As the paint on this bike is in pretty bad shape it is going to get powder coated to be ready for city duty, so I removed all the factory braze-ons and added ones specific to this build. I went with some triple cable stops under the top tube for the rear brake and 2 shifter cables for the Sturmey S5 along with a cable stop on the bottom side of each seat stay to complete the shifter cable system and I also added some rack mount braze-ons on the seat stays as this bike will have a rack. Not a lot of standover height on this bike which is why I went with the bottom mount for the triple cable stops, I also don't think they look all that good on top of top tubes, but somehow I'm digging this setup with them on the bottom, the cable routing will actually be super nice for the shifter cables with it bottom mounted and will be quite nice for the rear brake to.

With the exception of MIG welding braze-ons to frame (yea I know its gross) this was my first time sticking braze-ons to a bike, it all went pretty well. I've sweated a lot of copper pipe, and this is similar, BUT steel does not conduct heat nearly as well as copper which I wasn't quite expecting, next time I'll make sure I have "good" access to all side of the braze-on with the torch before I start getting things hot.

A couple pics, rear triple cable stop and seat stay cable stops along with the seat stay rack mounts,



And an out of focus pic of the front cable stop,



Next up, crimping the chain stays for more tire clearance, from what I've read the brazing for the chain stay bridge will likely crack a bit when the stays get crimped so I'm expecting to spot sand blast that and rebraze it once the chain stays are crimped...
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Old 01-09-20, 10:48 PM
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I've totally changed my mind on powder coat color, I'm currently thinking of going with silver. My buddy who will be the owner of the bike once its done says he's fine with anything and wants me to choose, THIS IS A LOT OF PRESSURE!!!!

Thoughts on silver? I will have the powder coater leave the chrome socks on the fork and stays....
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Old 01-09-20, 11:54 PM
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The chainstay crimping went decently, the crimps are perfectly symmetrical, but close enough and with the fender in there it will be even less notable.

Here is the clamp I modified to crimp the stays,



The clamp in action,



And the finished product, before crimping there was ~2mm of tire clearance,

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Old 01-10-20, 06:33 AM
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Impressive crimping
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Old 01-10-20, 06:43 PM
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Great!

I have a 1971 Super Course in the same color. I just switched to 700c wheels, and it gives me lots of clearance. I have 38mm tires in there now. I haven't installed fenders yet, but I think I can do it without crimping the stays.
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Old 01-10-20, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I have a 1971 Super Course in the same color. I just switched to 700c wheels, and it gives me lots of clearance. I have 38mm tires in there now.
Huh, with a 700x35c pasela on a narrow rim (narrower than will be used for the final build) I had about 2mm on each side of the tire at the chain stays, that was with the wheel centered in the dropouts. This is identical to a 1972 Super course I have, I have assumed this was a 72, maybe the 71 has a bit more chainstay clearance?


Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I haven't installed fenders yet, but I think I can do it without crimping the stays.
With the wheel centered in the dropouts I have reasonable space up front, a fully inflated 35c tires doesn't quite make it into the dropouts though, but once its in place its fine, I will likely trim just a little off the bottom front corners of the rear fender to eliminate that issue.
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Old 01-10-20, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
maybe the 71 has a bit more chainstay clearance?
Not on mine. I have two 1971 Super Courses (well, one bike and one F&F only). Neither one could fit a true 32 mm wide tire in back "comfortably" as-delivered. I indented one (the bare frame) and it's got lots of room now, see here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskyV5FPK

The bike that I ride is still waiting to get that treatment. It's got a tire that's about 30 mm wide and it's still less clearance than I'd like. Gotta get that bike in the stand one of these days for indenting, been back-burnered for a long time.

The one I ride did have 38 mm tires for a while -- when I converted it to 650b, in the late '70s I think (maybe early '80s). These frames are not really perfect candidates for 650b conversion because the brake reach is already so long. On mine, I used drum brakes F&R so the reach to the crown or brake bridge was irrelevant, but the huge clearances under the crown/bridge sure did look funny. Eventually I got tired of the drum brakes and converted it back to 27" with the original rims, where it stands today.

Mark B
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Old 01-10-20, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by bulgie View Post
Not on mine. I have two 1971 Super Courses (well, one bike and one F&F only). Neither one could fit a true 32 mm wide tire in back "comfortably" as-delivered. I indented one (the bare frame) and it's got lots of room now, see here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskyV5FPK
Nice!

Maybe noglider has some skinnier 700c rims which make the 38c tires fit?
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Old 01-12-20, 08:09 PM
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Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

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I guess I better look again and take pictures.

bulgie, any chance you'd rent that indenter out? Or make more for a fee?
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Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
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