Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

What size Whitworth Tools needed to work on Raleigh 3 speeds?

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

What size Whitworth Tools needed to work on Raleigh 3 speeds?

Old 12-10-09, 10:54 PM
  #1  
gna
Count Orlok Member
Thread Starter
 
gna's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 1,615

Bikes: Raleigh Sports, Raleigh Twenty, Raleigh Wyoming, Schwinn Le Tour Luxe Frankenbike

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 7 Posts
What size Whitworth Tools needed to work on Raleigh 3 speeds?

I'm hopeful that one of our UK members can advise me. I'm getting tired of using crescent wrenches when working on Raleighs. What size Whitworth spanners should I buy to work on classic English Three speeds? Or will I have to break down and buy a set?
gna is offline  
Old 12-10-09, 11:08 PM
  #2  
treebound 
aka: Mike J.
 
treebound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: between Milwaukee and Sheboygan in Wisconsin
Posts: 3,378

Bikes: 1995 Trek 520 is the current primary bike.

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 97 Post(s)
Liked 16 Times in 12 Posts
Probably no help but here's a chart with inch measurements.

And just how exactly did they come up with the Whitworth fractions?

1/4W = 5/16 British Standard = .525 inches = 13.34 mm. I just got a headache looking at that.

edit: forgot the link: https://www.samstagsales.com/whitworth_table.htm
Whitworth will do that to you.
treebound is offline  
Old 12-11-09, 09:51 AM
  #3  
old and new
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,132
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm not from the UK but AM from a hardware backround including but exlusively English Cars.
Whitworth pertains to the thread pitch not the wrench size. Odd fractional sizes required for the heads of bolts and to a lesser extent allen screws are just that, odd. Old USA wrenches came in sizes meas. to 32ths of an inch. I've used 'em 'cause I have 'em; only occassionally and not on bikes as I recall. I've not worked on numerous Raleighs either. For Allen sizes, I can't see metric (or frac.) not working. Pertaining to the Whitworth open ends or "spanners"... let's see what Brits have to say. Whitworth, to extent that is was ever used; Raleighs & others and on Triumph Cars has been gone for forty years. As it pertains to you, it does to the old ones.
old and new is offline  
Old 12-11-09, 10:42 AM
  #4  
rhm
multimodal commuter
 
rhm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: NJ, NYC, LI
Posts: 19,444

Bikes: 1940s Fothergill, 1959 Allegro Special, 1963? Claud Butler Olympic Sprint, Lambert 'Clubman', 1974 Fuji "the Ace", 1976 Holdsworth 650b conversion rando bike, 1983 Trek 720 tourer, 1984 Counterpoint Opus II, 1993 Basso Gap, 2010 Downtube 8h, and...

Mentioned: 488 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1716 Post(s)
Liked 178 Times in 133 Posts
Search for the words "dumbell spanner" on ebay. You can get them in both metric and SAE sizes, either one has ten sizes, the biggest around 15 mm, and it's small enough to fit in the smallest toolkit. I bought one of each, and am now wondering why I didn't get more. The SAE one fits the nuts on my English three speed bikes. They're a very useful tool to have with you when you go for a ride.
rhm is offline  
Old 12-11-09, 11:40 AM
  #5  
gna
Count Orlok Member
Thread Starter
 
gna's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 1,615

Bikes: Raleigh Sports, Raleigh Twenty, Raleigh Wyoming, Schwinn Le Tour Luxe Frankenbike

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Search for the words "dumbell spanner" on ebay. You can get them in both metric and SAE sizes, either one has ten sizes, the biggest around 15 mm, and it's small enough to fit in the smallest toolkit. I bought one of each, and am now wondering why I didn't get more. The SAE one fits the nuts on my English three speed bikes. They're a very useful tool to have with you when you go for a ride.
Thanks rhm--done! One each for my wife and me.
I also found some Whitworth spanner sets on eBay, but I'm unsure what to buy, so I'm hoping to hear from someone who's fluent in Raleigh.
gna is offline  
Old 12-11-09, 09:22 PM
  #6  
sailorbenjamin 
26 tpi nut.
 
sailorbenjamin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Rhode Island (an obscure suburb of Connecticut)
Posts: 5,703

Bikes: one of each

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I found on Ebay a pair of "Raleigh bicycle wrenchs". I guess they were part of an old toolkit. They have a pretty decent range of sizes stamped in to heavy sheet steel. Sort of like old fashioned dumbell spanners. You see them every now and then, so they're not rare.
__________________
I have spoken.
sailorbenjamin is offline  
Old 12-30-09, 09:03 AM
  #7  
fiataccompli 
Steel Member
 
fiataccompli's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 1,480

Bikes: N + 1

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've been asking the same questions looking at the hardware on my '65 & '66 Robin Hoods. Seems like a 17/32" socket would be the size I need for most stuff....but from the post above, I assume that's a 1/4W or 5/16 BS......whatever it is, the bike is so UN-buggered that it would be a horrible shame to mar up all the nuts just 'cause I was too lazy or too cheap to buy a few funky wrenches. In the meantime, I'm hoping a british car friend from around town might have a spare or two he could hook me up with.
fiataccompli is offline  
Old 12-30-09, 09:12 AM
  #8  
Ex Pres 
#39
 
Ex Pres's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Mountain Brook, AL
Posts: 7,247
Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 47 Times in 34 Posts
The internet and ebay certainly would have helped me work on my BSA m/c back in the 70's. No one in the SW Va hills could find me any Whitworth tools.
Ex Pres is offline  
Old 12-30-09, 09:21 AM
  #9  
dedhed
SE Wis
 
dedhed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 6,808

Bikes: '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1300 Post(s)
Liked 706 Times in 486 Posts
Great question. When I picked up an old Sprite last year and went to overhaul it I was surprised when neither my metric or SAE stuff fit. Needless to say I used knuckle buster crescent wrenches on a lot of it. Some of the parts I was able to use "normal" wrenches with "good enough" fit. I was familiar with Wentworth from my old Triumph Bonneville days, but didn't own any.
dedhed is offline  
Old 12-30-09, 09:34 AM
  #10  
fiataccompli 
Steel Member
 
fiataccompli's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 1,480

Bikes: N + 1

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I learned about them about 15 years ago when a friend became a BSA/Matchless/Triumph collector and we were comparing 'shop' stories on our projects. I'm gonna see what I can find among friends today & also find out if a 17/32" socket is obtainable here in town.
fiataccompli is offline  
Old 12-30-09, 11:49 AM
  #11  
gna
Count Orlok Member
Thread Starter
 
gna's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 1,615

Bikes: Raleigh Sports, Raleigh Twenty, Raleigh Wyoming, Schwinn Le Tour Luxe Frankenbike

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 7 Posts
FWIW, I asked on the Gentleman Cyclist Google group, and was advised that 1/4W x 5/16W, 3/8W
x 7/16W, and 1/2W x 9/16W wrenches will take care of most of my needs. I got sticker shock looking at most of the recommended tools, but I found and purchased a set from britishtoolsonline on eBay motors. Now I'm waiting for them to arrive.
gna is offline  
Old 12-30-09, 12:05 PM
  #12  
fiataccompli 
Steel Member
 
fiataccompli's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 1,480

Bikes: N + 1

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
THat's still a little shocking for me, but it is what it is. thanks for the tip.
fiataccompli is offline  
Old 12-30-09, 03:45 PM
  #13  
Sluggo
Senior Member
 
Sluggo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Left bank, Knoxville TN
Posts: 514
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Liked 21 Times in 11 Posts
My recollection from my bike shop days is that 1/4 and 5/16 are the two sizes you really need.

And yes, fiataccompli, we can arrange for you to use these.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
snapon.jpg (40.9 KB, 49 views)

Last edited by Sluggo; 12-30-09 at 03:53 PM.
Sluggo is offline  
Old 12-30-09, 03:49 PM
  #14  
bernardmarx
Hair Club Member
 
bernardmarx's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: East Tennessee
Posts: 127

Bikes: '86 Miyata 310 '78 Raleigh Sports 3-Speed

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It's my understanding that Whitworth screws, bolts, etc. were normal 1/8 inch fractions - if you're measuring the shank, not the head! lol Even other British bike manufacturers didn't use Whitworth. And, yes, the threads are a different pitch. No wonder the French call an adjustable wrench a "cle Anglaise." Older Americans think a "spanner" is an adjustable wrench - probably for the same reason originaly.
bernardmarx is offline  
Old 12-30-09, 05:37 PM
  #15  
gna
Count Orlok Member
Thread Starter
 
gna's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 1,615

Bikes: Raleigh Sports, Raleigh Twenty, Raleigh Wyoming, Schwinn Le Tour Luxe Frankenbike

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 7 Posts
There was a smaller set of open ended wrenches for under $30--that's the one I got. Maybe more will come up for sale.
gna is offline  
Old 12-30-09, 06:05 PM
  #16  
fiataccompli 
Steel Member
 
fiataccompli's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 1,480

Bikes: N + 1

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Those are nice...Thank you!....Snap-On, no less!...I was lucky and a friend lent me a set of "spanners" and sockets this afternoon so I can check some things out, but ultimately, I may need to borrow those Snap-Ons some time or, in reality, buy the few I really need. Having something mechanical and not having the proper tools to repair or maintain it is a form of torture for me.....though I sometimes wish I didn't care.

Attached Images
fiataccompli is offline  
Old 12-30-09, 07:51 PM
  #17  
tatfiend 
Gear Hub fan
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Reno, NV
Posts: 2,829

Bikes: Civia Hyland Rohloff, Swobo Dixon, Colnago, Univega

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My brother still has a full set of Craftsman Whitworth wrenches from the 60s from a friend who raced a Triumph TR2 IIRC. He has open end, box end and socket sets.

Not sure what the Craftsman lifetime guarantee is worth though as these wrenches have not been made in years and you are NOT going to get a replacement from Craftsman if you break one.
__________________
Gear Hubs Owned: Rohloff disc brake, SRAM iM9 disc brake, SRAM P5 freewheel, Sachs Torpedo 3 speed freewheel, NuVinci CVT, Shimano Alfine SG S-501, Sturmey Archer S5-2 Alloy. Other: 83 Colnago Super Record, Univega Via De Oro

Visit and join the Yahoo Geared Hub Bikes group for support and links.
https://groups.yahoo.com/group/Geared_hub_bikes/
tatfiend is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
bwilli88
Classic & Vintage
3
08-24-15 08:46 AM
MichaelW
Bicycle Mechanics
5
03-28-15 06:52 PM
mapleleafs-13
Classic & Vintage
14
03-15-12 09:01 PM
treebound
Classic & Vintage
21
01-11-12 07:21 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.