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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 12-14-21, 01:27 PM
  #25476  
gster
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Bikes: 1971 Hercules, 1978 Raleigh Superbe, 1978 Raleigh Tourist, 1964 Glider 3 Speed, 1967 Raleigh Sprite 5 Speed, 1968 Hercules AMF 3 Speed, 1972 Raleigh Superbe, 1976 Raleigh Superbe, 1957 Flying Pigeon, 1967 Dunelt 3 Speed

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Dunelt Skyliner
For sale in Toronto

Seller is asking $250.00.

Paint and decals are quite nice.
I have a soft spot for this model.
I had one that was swiped a few years back.....
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Old 12-14-21, 03:29 PM
  #25477  
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I like the color on that Dunelt, I don't think I've ever seen anything but black down my way. Raleigh and Robin Hood are the common brands, and the Dunelts are all from the 50's. Personally, I've only had one Robin Hood that wasn't black, a mid 60's model in bright red, and that came from a family that moved here from N.S. in the early 70's.
Raleigh Sports are mostly black, brown, or green. I've seen three shades of brown and two shades of the pea green color over the years.
I had one dark blue Raleigh Wayfarer that somehow made its way here from the UK, and cranberry color 50's Sunbeam but all the rest were black.
I know they made other colors but they're rare here for some reason.
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Old 12-14-21, 06:57 PM
  #25478  
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Here's a sad one, what looks like a 23" ladies' Sports in serious decay. Probably very cheap if anyone wants one.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...52587654962998

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Old 12-15-21, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by anotherbike View Post
Would anyone rebuild a bike and put an SW hub back in it?
I have a late 50's Hercules that's been sitting in the shed waiting for me to get around to it or for a good set of wheels.
I found a set of clean Dunlop Endrick rims and was looking for a late 50's dated hub.
I was told the bike originally had an SW hub, but it got sold off with the wheel set by the second owner.
I spotted a super clean properly dated SA SW on ebay today, and the same seller also has a Hercules SW shell that may also be
an option if I want this to be all Hercules.Sturmey Archer SW - 3 Speed Hub - 40h - 57-3 and Hercules SW Hub Shell
I was thinking that if I buy both, I could swap the internals over to the Hercules shell and have a correct hub for my bike?
I seem to recall owning a bike with an SW a long time ago and never had any issues with it up until I broke the axle but
that was likely my fault not the fault of the hub. (I had a cast iron transmission strapped to the rear rack that I had bought for my pickup at a local junk yard, between the weight of the tranmission and my 350 lbs it was likely more than the hollow axle could stand, and the fact that it wasn't the first time I grossly overloaded the bike like that).

Does anyone still ride one of these SW hubs?
I do remember keeping a bag of spare dogs around but don't ever remember needing to change them.
I replaced the axle in that old bike, gave it a new set of dogs, and kept using it till the frame rusted out where the kickstand bolted on. It hung in the garage at my parents place for decades after that.
I wish I knew what ever happened to that bike, or many other's I owned back then.

The cold weather operation concerns are valid but that can be fixed with some light or synthetic oil. I've only owned a few of them over the years and my last one was at least 30 years ago now. I had some issues on cold mornings with my last SW wanting to slip in low gear, I tore down the hub, found that the thing was all gummed up with oil that had turned to what looked like sticky black paint. After a thorough cleaning, I used about a table spoon of Slick 50 engine additive that I had drained from what was left in a quart can I added to my old truck. The stuff was super slippery and super thin. I did notice some leaking around the right bearing cup so ended up putting just a bit of teflon tape on those threads and topping off the hub again. After that it was all good for as long as I had that bike. The other bike, one that I only owned for a few years, never gave me a lick of trouble. Back then, I really didn't pay much attention to which hub a bike had or didn't have, it came with an SW, so that's what I used. I really never saw it as being better or worse than the other models, it was just different. Both were my main rides back then, both were commuter type bikes that got used daily and stored outside during the day at work. Bike number one only ceased to exist after I clipped a fire hydrant while avoiding getting run over by a bus, The bike had a rather stout front platform rack on it, and the lower braces went down to the front axle,. The left rack brace caught the outlet of the fire hydrant and sort of flung me and the bike to the left but I stayed upright. At first I though I had just bent the rack brace and the fender stay, but after a closer look later that night I realized I had pretty much totaled the bike. The forks were bent, the left blade was back about 1/2", the axle was bent on the end, it likely also hit the hydrant, and the frame had bent ever so slightly top and bottom just past the head tube lugs, and it bent off to the left not straight back. I didn't notice this till i fixed the fork and took it for a ride, the bike then had a bad pull to the left. I did what I could to bend it all back in shape but it was pretty much toast. I took it to the bike shop where I worked for a bit part time and a couple of us tried to bend things back in shape but when we pulled on the front end the down tube cracked next to the lug. I rode it like that for a few weeks before finding its replacement. I saved the wheels from that bike, they ended up on a future bike about 10 years later, which is also long gone now, along with the SW hub. I wish I still had those wheels now because I just picked up a late 50's Dunelt that's missing its wheels.

Back then, I was warned by a few shop owners that I wouldn't like the SW hub, but none of them likely had ever had one apart. I think if they're clean, properly lubricated, and used normally, they can be just fine. They're not likely the right choice for an abusive rider, but most bikes they came on really weren't the type of bikes that you would find climbing mountains or doing stunts. For my purposes, the SW worked out fine. While I doubt I'd have had to tear the one apart if it were an AW, the old sticky oil or what ever was inside it wasn't the fault of the hub. They're easy enough to open up and check, and if you start out with a healthy hub to begin with, chances are you'll be just fine. Just don't dump a load of 30wt oil in it. Stick with 10w oil, and synthetic oil if possible. Sealing the bearing cup threads will stop any leakage,but that holds true on the AW as well.

From a collector standpoint, I'd likely say I'd probably put any late 50's Raleigh back together with an SW just to be historically correct. But as i get older i ride a lot less than I used to, and I'm not looking to ride in the cold anymore. Things just ache too much when it gets cold out these days.

There was a bike mechanic at one shop I used to buy old parts from who told me he had played around with magnetizing the two bearing cups on an SW to 'attract' the dogs better. I can't imagine the magnetic charge lasting very long but the idea seemed sound if the rotating assembly remained non magnetic.

One area that I see guys have trouble with is getting the pawls back in place during assembly. So many put grease behind the pawl to hold the pawl in place but that's the worst thing you can do. All I've ever done is to assemble the whole inner assembly in hand, then thread the whole internal set up into the shell. If you place the left side pawls in place and keep the hub and assembly vertical, you should be able to just lower it into place without putting anything on the pawls at all. If you leave the left bearing and dust cover out, if a pawl falls out of place going back together, you'll know it because it'll fall out the bearing opening, and you will know before you put it all together.
Once you have a few apart you sort of get the hang of putting it together like that.

There are at least three versions of the SW, the early models had two piece shift indicators and the planetary cage was held in place with a forced in place washer, the second version changed the clearance between the pawls and the carrier, and the last two versions used a single sided shift indicator, with the last version having a nut that held on the planetary cage. All of mine were the first of second version. The early two piece shift indicators are hens teeth, they were hard to find 30 years ago so I doubt they're any easier to find now. The right answer is to change it over to the AW style single ended indicator. Since finding parts can be tough, you can simply file down the pin from an AW to fit the collar on the SW and use the newer style indicator. Beyond that, the only other hard to find part is the pawls and they do turn up on eBay from time to time and I read online at Sheldon Brown's site that they can be cut from a woodruff key in a pinch.
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Old 12-15-21, 12:30 PM
  #25480  
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Originally Posted by oldspokes View Post
I like the color on that Dunelt, I don't think I've ever seen anything but black down my way. Raleigh and Robin Hood are the common brands, and the Dunelts are all from the 50's. Personally, I've only had one Robin Hood that wasn't black, a mid 60's model in bright red, and that came from a family that moved here from N.S. in the early 70's.
Raleigh Sports are mostly black, brown, or green. I've seen three shades of brown and two shades of the pea green color over the years.
I had one dark blue Raleigh Wayfarer that somehow made its way here from the UK, and cranberry color 50's Sunbeam but all the rest were black.
I know they made other colors but they're rare here for some reason.
I think we Canadians got a wider/special colour selection.
My stolen Dunelt was that colour. A 1967 model

As purchased several years ago in Hamilton for $50.00
The funny thing is after I bought it I took it back to the shop (in Hamilton) and stripped a bunch of parts off it to
make a Path Racer.
I listed the parts on Kijiji and the same guy that sold me the bike came and bought the stripped parts...

As it was prior to the scoff.

Last edited by gster; 12-15-21 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 12-16-21, 03:28 PM
  #25481  
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Originally Posted by gster View Post
I think we Canadians got a wider/special colour selection.
............................ ..............................
I have to agree, colors other than black, brown, or pea green are rare here. The only two bikes I've had in the past 40 years that weren't those common colors were one British racing green Sunbeam, an early 50's model, a bright metallic red 1966 Robin Hood Sports, and same color red Royce Union, from around the same era. Both red bikes were tiny humpback style frames.
For some reason, maybe just by chance but most of the men's model Raleigh sports models I've owned were in brown and all but two drop frame models have been black.
All of my Dunelts have been black, and as well as all but those two red Robin Hoods, all of those have been in black. I did have an early dark blue Norman but most of those over the years were black too.

Something that always got me around these parts is how I always find more Raleigh side brands than I do Raleigh bikes. most are 60's Robin Hood models, with Hercules being the next most common. I don't recall any local shops selling them back then I don't ever remember seeing one 'new' back in the day, just old rusty used one's that would pop up from time to time.
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Old 12-16-21, 08:42 PM
  #25482  
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Show-off time again.

The Carmine or Crimson red were popular as it was the national colour. Pre-65, the Canadian Red Ensign was our flag so we saw a lot of this really beautiful metallic finish.

This version of the flag is 1908. The maple leaves tie in nicely with the romanticism of the early sentiments.










We also saw a lot of sunburst decals, maybe even paint on the head tube joins. This is was an unusual bright red '59 sports with bursts and painted fork ends.



.
Between 57 and the early 60's the Reg Harris gun-metal Lenton grey could be found with chrome tips.




His and her dark blue '61's Superbes.





Many versions of bronze greens too





Black was available on Sports but never popular. That was owned by DL-1's and Tourists.

Last edited by clubman; 12-17-21 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 12-18-21, 02:10 AM
  #25483  
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In the past 40 or so years I've probably had more than 50 or so Raleigh three speeds, out of all of them I only recall one of two in green, three or four in brown, and one in silver.
I've never come across a Superbe, but have had side brand models with Dynohubs and Superbe type options. more than half of the later models I've had were the lesser models with Endrick rims or LTD models.

I've had only one in red, a 20" frame Robin Hood, which also had chrome fenders. I had one Rudge in a medium, non metallic blue, and Gold 53 Sunbeam with an FW hub and Bluemel fenders and drop bars. I had pretty much figured that it had been assembled that way back when it was much newer.

The number one brand to find here in the older English bikes is Hercules, with Robin Hood being a distance second. Dunelt, Norman, Rudge, and other side brands are rare.
Back in the day when I spent time working in a bike shop that sold Raleigh, Peugeot, Ross, Columbia, Rollfast, and Nishiki. A combo of brands that was common among many local shops back then. The number one Raleigh was the Record, but it was second in sales to the Peugeot UO8, and then various entry level Ross and Columbia road bikes. The number one upright bike was a toss up between Ross and Columbia, Rollfast at that time was fading away and mostly they only kept coaster brake models in stock. Raleigh three speeds were rarely stocked because no one wanted to spend that much. Most who wanted a three speed went next door and bought a Schwinn, which was $10 to $15 cheaper at the time. The average buyer who came in the door also wanted an American built bike, very few wanted anything imported.
The only Raleigh three speeds I remember seeing roll out the door were special ordered and most were part of a his/hers pair. They sold a good many Sprite 27 models too but most were ladies models. Men's Sprites were always 10 speeds, the ladies models were usually 5 speeds. The Sprites came in bright colors in the 70's.
I do remember seeing one all chrome Sports, it was on display in a bike shop back in the day with an 'I don't want to sell it price' on it.
I've only run across one rod brake model, a very early drop tube model that was extremely rough and rusty. A local shop had one for sale for the better part of 10 years with no takers but I seem to remember they wanted over $200 for it back in the 70's. It was there till the place closed up in the early 90's along with various other nicer models that just never sold over the years. They sort of became the owners 'collection' on display I guess.

I have a good many older Raleigh catalogs but nothing for the off brands at all besides Royal brand bikes which were English built bikes sold by Rollfast in the 60's.

That shop did get trade ins from time to time and they got many Robin Hood and Hercules models, and a few other English brands but we never knew who was selling them. I used to be able to buy them pretty cheap, the owner had no interest in fixing up used bikes. I bought quite a few of them back then and resold them elsewhere.
All of which was long before any were considered vintage or collectible. These days most that I run across are pretty rough. Rust seems to be the most common option these days.
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Old 12-18-21, 03:28 PM
  #25484  
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clubman That red is stunning! Great photo.

As to colours available, I realize that what was often ordered and what was actually available from the factory are often different, especially away from England, but this page out of the 1952 Humber catalog should give an idea of the range that could be had (potentially!)....


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Old 12-18-21, 04:51 PM
  #25485  
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Here's a similar color chart from a 1950 Raleigh catalog:
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Old 12-18-21, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by markk900 View Post
clubman That red is stunning! Great photo.

As to colours available, I realize that what was often ordered and what was actually available from the factory are often different, especially away from England, but this page out of the 1952 Humber catalog should give an idea of the range that could be had (potentially!)....

Thanks...The light was right. An unadulterated Samsung Note 3 shot.

Appreciate the Humber chart. I'd only ever seen Royal Blue and Maroon models until I bought this clapped out 52 and wondered about it. The basement light is bad. It's definitely green like the 2nd shot. Note the plain seat lugs.








Neal beat me to the Raleigh but here's the Rudge.


Last edited by clubman; 12-18-21 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 12-19-21, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
Thanks...The light was right. An unadulterated Samsung Note 3 shot.

Appreciate the Humber chart. I'd only ever seen Royal Blue and Maroon models until I bought this clapped out 52 and wondered about it. The basement light is bad. It's definitely green like the 2nd shot. Note the plain seat lugs.


< x >
Neal beat me to the Raleigh but here's the Rudge.
< x >
I'm surprised that I don't at least stumble on the occasional bike here in the states from up north, I think in all my years I've only run across one low end CCM road bike, and one Miele that made its way here from up in Quebec when its owner moved to PA.

The side brand models and bright colors are rare, especially in the older models. So much so that I think black became the accepted norm for any English bike here.
In the 70's, we saw a ton of Raleigh Grand Prix 10 speeds in bright red metallic with the black headtube and seat tube panels, a few light blue Raleigh Professional models, Red or Gold Super Courses,
light metallic blue or champagne Super Grand Prix models, and black or brown men's Sports or LTD's and green or black ladies Sports models. nearly all the Hercules, Robin Hood, Dunelt, and Norman bikes were black it seems.
I looked at a bunch of bikes that local flipper had accumulated the other day, in the mix were a dozen black Raleigh side brand bikes, one black ladies sports, and a pile of brown and red Sprite 27 models all in pretty bad shape. None were worth bothering with and certainly not worth the $100 each he was asking. All would need tires and a complete going over and I only saw two wheels that looked worth bothering with.

We seem to get a different kind of rust around here too lately. Old bikes used to clean up with just a little elbow grease and some steel wool, but now I find that the rust is more severe.
The rust I find on chrome rims these days is a brown rust that flakes away metal fast. The pitting is deep and permanent. Years ago chrome would just get a light coating that would polish away fairly easily.
It was more of a red rust that formed a patina not deep pits and flakes.
Its been a long time since I found a decent set of chrome rims on an English bike, most are rusted to the point they're not usable these days.
I've got a half dozen decent bikes here that just need a good set of wheels. I could build up a set of modern wheels but its just not the same bike after that. I did use a few new old stock Rigida Chrolux rims on a few but those are even hard to find these days. The Westrick or Raleigh pattern rims seem to hold up a bit better but most of those i find have some pretty serious brake track wear.
Years ago a 60 year old bike would be found with peppered chrome and faded or worn paint, now I find them with flat tires and the lower 2" of each wheel rusted completely away.
I picked up a free Sprite 27 the other day, the bike was in pretty decent shape but both chrome rims were completely rusted through along a 6" area where they sat closes to the ground on flat tires for the past 10 years. The old guy that had it said it was sitting in his garage where it got that rusty. This area isn't all that close to the salt water either, I'm a good 20 miles or more from the nearest body of salt water. The weather here has gotten more humid though. When I lived in PA, bikes there would rust pretty bad, I had left my an old Schwinn Spitfire I had as a kid up in a hay loft in the barn, (a barn that was built in the 70's, it rusted up so bad it was nothing more than scrap up there. The rims literally fell apart and collapsed. Yet a couple of old shotguns leaning on in the corner were pretty much untouched by rust. I was really surprised to see how bad that bike rusted, I've never seen another like it since. It was a red Schwinn Spitfire, made in Birmingham, England. It looked like a rebadged Hercules or Norman.
The chainguard was the wide profile type, with a small picture of a blue and yellow plane and the word Spitfire behind it. The headbadge said Spitfire in bold with Schwinn below it.
The saddle was a two tone Wright model, the bars and stem were the same as same year Hercules. The AW hub was dated 52/2. The chain ring was unique in that in place of the usually Hercules 'H' pattern it had air planes where the 'H's would be.
The wheels were Dunlop Endrick pattern in 26x1 3/8". When I put it up there in the 80's it was in decent shape, I left it there to keep it away from the farm help and for safe keeping. When i got back to it 6 years ago there was nothing left of it. Nothing else around it was particularly rusty, and that area was mostly used to store building supplies and hay. There were several stacks of truck wheels nearby that were fine, the two shotguns, and a bunch of original windows and doors from the old farm house which were also all fine. 20 ft away began the stacks of hay and bags of sawdust for the stalls below.
The bike, and two table saws were both rusted beyond use for some reason. That same type of rust has become the norm around here lately too.
I figured back when I put it there it was pretty safe storage for that bike, it was up high in a dry barn with good ventilation and no exposure to the elements but it still rusted away.
The tires also rotted, they got gummy and soft, bits of the tires were stuck to the rusty bits of rim that had fallen away. It was dusty up there but not wet and there was no fertilizer or feed up there either. Even the aluminum headbadge was deteriorated, it fell to almost dust when i tried to pry it free before scrapping it. The only thing I was able to salvage was the rear hub, which looked like brand new inside an out other than the rusty axle ends and rusted off indicator chain. It looked like it had sat on a salty beach for 50 years.
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Old 12-19-21, 06:40 PM
  #25488  
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Dutch, but Sturmeyed up and a rare-for-a-3-speed 24" frame.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...74883069995588

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Old 12-19-21, 06:58 PM
  #25489  
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Originally Posted by thumpism View Post
Dutch, but Sturmeyed up and a rare-for-a-3-speed 24" frame.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...74883069995588

Very cool. Thanks for this! Now I know what to look for in a size appropriate three speed. I sold my '50 Superb because it was too small and awkward to ride as I am long of leg and short torso. The era of Dutch made three speeds of the 1950s and 1960s - intriguing.
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Old 12-19-21, 07:08 PM
  #25490  
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I just picked up my second Raleigh 24" Space Rider in the space of a couple months. Before that I had never heard of or seen one. This blue step through is a later model as evidenced by the auto adjust front brake. It also has a coaster brake and I assume , 3 speeds. in the S/ A hub.

I have it apart and will go to work cleaning off as much rust as I can tomorrow. hopefully it will clean up nicely.

Has anyone else here had one of these? I would think it would be a great companion for it's larger stable mates. Just the thing for a father /daughter vintage ride.



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Old 12-19-21, 08:53 PM
  #25491  
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Originally Posted by Ged117 View Post
Very cool. Thanks for this! Now I know what to look for in a size appropriate three speed.
You'd better grab this one. This is the only non-Tourist (the classic 28" wheel Bobby bike with rod brakes) 3-speed I've seen with a 24" frame. All the "normal" Sportses stop at 23". It's nearby if you need for me to take a look at it.

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Old 12-20-21, 05:54 AM
  #25492  
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Originally Posted by thumpism View Post
Dutch, but Sturmeyed up and a rare-for-a-3-speed 24" frame.


it may just be an optical illusion but the forks look a bit off on this bike.
It may still be a deal but I'd pay close attention to it maybe having some crash damage.
The fender and wheel look a bit close to the down tube to me.
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Old 12-20-21, 07:30 AM
  #25493  
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Originally Posted by rustymetal View Post
it may just be an optical illusion but the forks look a bit off on this bike.
It may still be a deal but I'd pay close attention to it maybe having some crash damage.
As always, caveat shopper.
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Old 12-20-21, 09:29 AM
  #25494  
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Originally Posted by Ged117 View Post
Very cool. Thanks for this! Now I know what to look for in a size appropriate three speed. I sold my '50 Superb because it was too small and awkward to ride as I am long of leg and short torso. The era of Dutch made three speeds of the 1950s and 1960s - intriguing.
I have the same bike except that the fenders are stainless steel on mine. Mine is a 1986, and I imagine the one pictured is about the same age. It has longer cranks than the old Raleighs. The stem and bar are a single piece, and the bottom bracket is a press fit assembly that uses sealed bearings. The chaincase is plastic, but pretty sturdy. The rims are stainless steel. Overall it is a nice riding bike and is well built. I like the long cranks and drum brakes, but wish I could adjust the angle of the bars. Pulling the rear wheel is a pain because there is so much attached to the rear axle. I drilled and tapped the dropouts to relocate the rack and fender stay attachments which has improved things a bit.

When I got the bike one of the bearings had seized and spun in the bottom bracket and no longer had a press fit. I installed the replacement bearing with gap filling Loctite and have had no problems since. The rear brake pads on mine were contaminated with oil from the hub and did not work well, so anyone buying the bike above (or using a Sturmey Archer AB hub elsewhere) might want to convert to grease lubrication.

-Carl
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Old 12-20-21, 11:25 PM
  #25495  
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Making progress on the 1964 Schwinn Traveler 3 speed project. I'm going with a Brooks B66 instead of the stock vinyl Schwinn saddle. I'm also going with a late 1950s upside down shifter because the original 1964 shifter is faded and kind of beat up. It's fixable, but this is just going to be a nicer shifter no matter what. I still need to finish making a fixed-length shifter cable using brass tubing and the Bell Systems Model B crimper.





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Old 12-21-21, 06:03 AM
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SirMike1983 : wow that is a pretty bike. Great job! Can you provide a closeup of what looks to be a combination rear brake cable stop and pulley - that looks different to me….
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Old 12-21-21, 03:05 PM
  #25497  
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1972 Sports for sale in Toronto

Listed as fully restored
Optimistically priced at $599.00
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Old 12-21-21, 06:46 PM
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AB driver

I have a 39/40 Elswick 26 inch woman’s roadster which I have been playing with again. It has an undated AB hub, with a threaded driver and an 18 tooth cog. It looks a lot better now with a chain case, and I think my wife might consent to ride it with a 22 tooth cog. Can I use any AW hub to donate a driver?
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Old 12-21-21, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by markk900 View Post
SirMike1983 : wow that is a pretty bike. Great job! Can you provide a closeup of what looks to be a combination rear brake cable stop and pulley - that looks different to me….


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Old 12-22-21, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by bluesteak View Post
I have a 39/40 Elswick 26 inch woman’s roadster which I have been playing with again. It has an undated AB hub, with a threaded driver and an 18 tooth cog. It looks a lot better now with a chain case, and I think my wife might consent to ride it with a 22 tooth cog. Can I use any AW hub to donate a driver?
Tried looking it up to be sure in Sutherlands but he doesn't say specifically, however I think all the A series drivers are interchangeable - I did the threaded to circlip change on a 49 AW hub and it was a trivial change, so I would go ahead and give it a shot. Also I read elsewhere in BF that threaded cogs are still available to fit the threaded driver.....however in my case I was reluctant to put enough force on the sprocket to unthread it from the driver - it was on TIGHT....easier to throw in an circlip driver and be done with it.
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