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Newbie & 1963 Sunbeam 3 Speed

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Newbie & 1963 Sunbeam 3 Speed

Old 10-02-21, 09:16 AM
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rootesgroup
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Newbie & 1963 Sunbeam 3 Speed

Hi, I am new to bikeforums.
I recently acquired 2 later model Sunbeam bicycles. One is a 1969 and the other is a 1963.
While there is a wealth of information on the war and pre-war Sunbeams, there seems to be very little on the post-war bikes.
Does anyone have any information or pointers to info for the later model Sunbeams? I know that they are BSA or Raleigh based bikes. I'd be glad to get any historical info or advertisements with pictures. I have been searching through old Boy's Life magazines on Google books hoping to find some ads. Any suggestions on other periodicals that might have ads?
The 1963 is so very cool with the letter 'S' built into the crank sprocket and the 'S' in the fork chrome cap and its older style center pull brakes. It has an old Terry saddle. I'll post pictures once I am allowed to do so in this forum.
I love these old bikes. I had a Dunelt when I was very young. Unfortunately it was stolen.
I only recently found out about the Sunbeam bikes and, since I have a car by the same name, I invested in these bikes.
Hello again and thanks for this most interesting forum.
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Old 10-02-21, 04:03 PM
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Welcome! If you havenít already check out the extremely lengthy 3-speed thread for some light reading; and do some searches here for Sunbeam and I am sure youíll get some great background.
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Old 10-02-21, 04:30 PM
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Oh yes, SUNBEAM, better known as a popular Loaf of Bread here in the States, but Americans, now over 60 will recall that AGENT 86 (Maxell Smart) drove a Red SUNBEAM TIGER (wiith the Ford V8 engine) during the first season of "GET SMART"........his later cars were a Karmann Ghia & an OPEL GT.
Chrysler bought into Rootes Group and couldn't have the lightweight four hundred sixty pound 260 / 289 FORD in anything.
The TIGER was dated and crude with slight rear fins, so it looked like something out of 1957, but it could haul azz and outrun a Corvette and an E-type. It was a poor-mans Cobra. Yeah, the Corvette & E-type were better overall cars, even though the FORD V8 was better quality than anything GM or Jaguar ever would produce.

As for the SUNBEAM bicycle, we didn't see a huge number of imported bicycles between the fifties and early sixties because TARIFFS on imported bikes were high and President Kennedy made them even higher, so you didn't see a lot of importers because there was little financial incentive to do so. The US Manufacturers had successfully lobbied Congress in the early Fifties. When the Tariifs began to start getting relaxed after about 1964, SEARS ROEBUCK began including more imported 3 speeds and other imported lightweights in their Catalog and Store's bicycle section, and many importers were bringing Imported bicycles into the USA by 1967-1969.

I don't know much about your 1963 SUNBEAM 3 Speed but from all indications it is said to be likely a Raleigh with mostly different badging.
It seems that RALEIGH bought BSA in the mid/late fifties, and BSA included Sunbeam.

These links might offer more information:
https://sunbeammuseum.wordpress.com/...gents-bicycle/

https://thecabe.com/forum/threads/su...cation.187038/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunbeam_Cycles


I am certain that your Sunbeam is a great old 3 speed and I'm sure that it is fun to ride and even more fun to have someone who sees you riding it, ask you to tell them all about it. Sunbeam was also a brand name seen on many consumer appliances here in the USA from the 1940's to the 1970's but I don't think the electrical company was related at all. They competed with GENERAL-ELECTRIC, PROCTOR-SILEX, and others, and Sunbeam made toasters, mixers, irons, hair dryers, shavers, waffle-irons, among other items. The Loaf of Bread, and the hotdog buns & hamburger buns are what most Americans think of when anyone mentions SUNBEAM.
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Old 10-02-21, 08:49 PM
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I have a Tiger (Smart's car... though there is no way that gun could ever fit under the hood;>.
The 69 Sunbeam is your box stock Raleigh bicycle (as I remember my old Dunelt to be). The 63 is similar but has decorative aspects that set it apart and make it distinct. They both have the Sturmey Archer AW rear hub.
I also have a 1970s Sears step-thru cruiser, a 64 JC Higgins step-thru cruiser and a 64 Schwinn tank with the horn button in the tank. They are all fun to ride, especially now that NY has invested heavily in converting old rail lines to bike/walk trails.
I found the Sunbeam history web sites and they go up to where Sunbeam became BSA and then Raleigh but end there. I also found a 1947 Sunbeam ad for a bike that looks very similar to my 63. I found an ad for the Terry saddle too. I've been reading up on the Sturmey AW hubs and was able to clean my 69 AW hub and replace a broken pawl spring.
It will take a while to read all of the info available in this [and other] forums/threads but I'll get to it.
Thank you all.
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Old 10-03-21, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by rootesgroup View Post
I have a Tiger (Smart's car... though there is no way that gun could ever fit under the hood;>..
Well, that's interesting.
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Old 10-03-21, 03:00 PM
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My Tiger is a red 1966.
BTW, there is a nice looking coaster brake step-thru Sunbeam bicycle in Cape Cod, MA. You can find it through the Boston Craigslist. It's too far away for me to get it or I would.
I should have known better... Sheldon Brown has a wealth of information that helps a great deal.

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Old 10-10-21, 07:19 PM
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Still Researching the '63 Sunbeam

In trying to use pictures as reference material, I've looked at over 7000 bikes this evening, worldwide. Okay, mostly Canada and the U.S. as the UK does not seem to make use of Craigslist for bicycles. I browsed through many major cities like Los Angeles (~3000 bikes alone there), Chicago, Boston, Toronto(CA). Does anyone else browse in this manner? It was really interesting and somewhat educational but I did not find any information useful to my research. I was looking at fender shapes and brake designs mostly, trying to find those similar to my '63. I was looking for vintage Resilion or Raleigh Patented center pull brake designs and found none. In any case, it was fun.
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Old 05-28-22, 04:26 PM
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Update

I have learned a lot since I bought what I thought to be a 1963 Sunbeam bicycle. The BSA wheels were swapped out for Sturmey Archers and should be BSA wheels and hubs. I now believe that Sunbeam to be made by BSA sometime around 1952. Also interesting is that nothing was frozen when I stripped it down to the frame (maybe it was just maintained better). The parts seem to be of higher quality than the 60's and 70's bikes I have. Reassembly will start this week and I'll post pictures when I am done.

Since then... I've found and bought an earlier BSA Sunbeam which I've dated to about 1947 or so. It is in better condition than my '52-ish Sunbeam and is completely BSA, with the black lever shifter on the top tube and a real BSA hub that is all black. the whole bike is original all black save for the rear fender which has the white tail. It also has the little oil bath chaincase. I'll post pictures of it soon. It's pretty dirty right now.

I am looking at pictures of BSA built bicycles to try and develop some guidelines for dating. The two things I've decided to start with are the chrome fork covers and the screw adjustable rear wheel brackets. So far, the chrome fork covers seem to have started about 1950. All I know about the screw adjustable rear wheel brackets so far is that they do appear on late 40's BSA bikes. Not making any authoritative claims here as I've not looked at enough bikes yet to make any conclusions. It is a meager start but I'll keep at it.

Last edited by rootesgroup; 05-28-22 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 05-28-22, 04:49 PM
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You've got to post pictures my friend. We thrive on them and it's a great way to outsource some of your research, free!
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Old 05-28-22, 06:08 PM
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Hello,

My 1951 New Hudson Silver Arrow (dated by the original manufacturer's warranty card that I have with the bicycle) is also a BSA machine. The frameset clearly matches a couple of prewar BSA road models rather than New Hudson products and brake levers and calipers were shared between multiple BSA makes in the postwar period and are pictured below. Otherwise, much of the equipment - such as the crankset - is proprietary New Hudson or else outsourced such as the Bayliss-Wiley hubs and Brampton pedals. So really quite a mixed bag and not much to go by when considering what other machines may be directly derived from BSA models or component specifications. Cheers!

-Gregory



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Old 05-28-22, 06:29 PM
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Those brake levers are soooo elegant!

rootesgroup : I agree - pictures of both bikes in any condition please!
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Old 05-28-22, 07:50 PM
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Here is the latest, 1947-ish BSA Sunbeam as found...


1947-ish BSA Sunbeam
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Old 05-28-22, 07:55 PM
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Most cool. Of all of the searching and pictures that I have looked at, New Hudsons seem to be scarcer than BSAs. Is there, perhaps, a Rich Child Cycle Co. decal anywhere on the bike (usually on the rear fender or the center post)?

Last edited by rootesgroup; 05-28-22 at 07:59 PM. Reason: Added text.
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Old 05-28-22, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by rootesgroup View Post
Is there, perhaps, a Rich Child Cycle Co. decal anywhere on the bike (usually on the rear fender or the center post)?
My bicycle was purchased from the original owner in England via a dealer. It was only sold once before I obtained it at The Parade cycle shop in St. Leonards-on-Sea in East Sussex. Cheers!


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Old 05-29-22, 09:25 AM
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I bought this Sunbeam (Raleigh) in 2020. The AW hub is from 1964. Does anyone know if these were sold at the car dealerships? Or bike shops? Or both?

1964 Sunbeam (Raleigh)

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Old 05-29-22, 04:28 PM
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I have a [similar] 1969 Raleigh built Sunbeam. I've been riding that the most lately.

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