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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 01-21-22, 09:49 AM
  #25626  
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Not to distract from the nice old Boston Sports above, but has anyone done a direct comparison of Panaracer Col de La Vie, Michelin World Tour, and Schwalbe Delta Cruiser tires?

I have a Sports with an older pair of Panaracers on it. They're not in bad shape and they ride pretty well. The only thing I don't like is that they totally max out my fender space and I have very little room for tolerance or error in set up. This is a 70s bike so gum/tanwall is the way to go. I'm contemplating a swap to Michelin when the time comes.

I have a late 50s Sports that I put the white wall Delta Cruisers on. They're a huge improvement over the Duro tires I formerly had, though at the time I could not get Michelin World Tour white walls. Thoughts on the Schwalbe vs Michelin?
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Old 01-21-22, 11:02 AM
  #25627  
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
The bars are alloy from V-O and the GB stem is likely a placeholder. I also have new Schwalbe tires on order as you can see that front tire that I had in the bin is too narrow. Haven’t taken it for a test ride yet as I did something wacky with the brake reassembly and now they don’t work very well! I’ll figure that out.
I advise taking the brakes apart as an exercise to see how they work. Raleigh brakes are denigrated a lot but if you figure out how they work they are very easy to adjust, one of the better side pull designs out there (I hate that bit where they want to drag on one side of the rim and these are the best brakes at having no worries with that). Here are a few tips:
1) if you can take the brake line out of the sleeve and run WD 40 through the sleeve and chase it with spray lithium grease. Clean the line as best you can and apply a bit of automotive wheel bearing grease to it as a bit of a sheen.
2) Grease the round brake cable fitting in the brake lever! Pay annual attention to this- if the grease gets washed out it can lead to cable failure.
3) adjust the brake travel so the pads are well away from the rim at rest. In this way when you grab the lever it will have some travel before the brakes engage. You'll find that you have far more powerful braking action in this manner, not the least of which is your grip will be more powerful too. Operating the brakes should have a smooth, almost addicting feel.
4) Kool Stop makes pads that slide directly into any shoe holder that has John Bull pads. They even have them in black.
5) do a proper wheel alignment. You'll want to this anyway because old spokes have stretched!

If you get all this right the bike will stop quite well even in the rain.
Originally Posted by SirMike1983 View Post
Not to distract from the nice old Boston Sports above, but has anyone done a direct comparison of Panaracer Col de La Vie, Michelin World Tour, and Schwalbe Delta Cruiser tires?
The Michelin is probably the fastest tire. The Panaracers have the best ride IME/IMO. The Schwalbe looks the best (IMO, if you have the white ones) and sits between the two. A lot depends on tire pressure; you probably know to run your front tire a bit lower than the rear. I'm a bit heavier so I tend to run the rear tire just below recommended maximum and the front about 20% lower. The ride of the Panaracers is addicting, but IME they are more likely to puncture or else I've just had bad luck.
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Old 01-21-22, 01:00 PM
  #25628  
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Originally Posted by Salubrious View Post
I advise taking the brakes apart as an exercise to see how they work. Raleigh brakes are denigrated a lot but if you figure out how they work they are very easy to adjust, one of the better side pull designs out there (I hate that bit where they want to drag on one side of the rim and these are the best brakes at having no worries with that). Here are a few tips:
Thanks for those tips! Front and back actually have different issues (though I didn't pay attention to their reach when I removed them for cleaning; I guess that rear has the longer reach and my original pic confirms): Rear binds up. I've lubricated the brake bolt and played around with the tension between tightening/loosening the brake bolt and tightening/loosening the brake bolt nut, but something still isn't right. It's possible I reversed front and rear springs, but they seem to be sitting in the right spots. The front springs open and closed just fine, but now the pads are too close to the rim! It's possible I switched front and rear pad when reassembling, but they look equally worn to me (which is actually not worn at all). That's an odd one. I'm assuming the calipers just aren't opening as wide as they should.

When new tires arrive and I have a reason to pull the wheels, I'll also pull both brakes and see if I can figure out what's going on. Advice always appreciated!
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Old 01-21-22, 01:22 PM
  #25629  
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Very impressive/quick turnaround on this one.
It cleaned up real good!
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Old 01-21-22, 01:31 PM
  #25630  
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Thanks for those tips! Front and back actually have different issues (though I didn't pay attention to their reach when I removed them for cleaning; I guess that rear has the longer reach and my original pic confirms): Rear binds up. I've lubricated the brake bolt and played around with the tension between tightening/loosening the brake bolt and tightening/loosening the brake bolt nut, but something still isn't right. It's possible I reversed front and rear springs, but they seem to be sitting in the right spots. The front springs open and closed just fine, but now the pads are too close to the rim! It's possible I switched front and rear pad when reassembling, but they look equally worn to me (which is actually not worn at all). That's an odd one. I'm assuming the calipers just aren't opening as wide as they should.

When new tires arrive and I have a reason to pull the wheels, I'll also pull both brakes and see if I can figure out what's going on. Advice always appreciated!
If I were you I would not use the original pads- they are probably as hard as a rock and not good for much.

One thing I've run into on occasion is the spring for the brake can bend slightly over time. I've had to bend them outward on occasion to restore proper operation. The front and rear pads should be the same part, but on older bikes sometimes there is a bent bit of metal on the rear pad that prevents it jamming between the wheel and frame if the brake is poorly set up.
I would disconnect the cable from the brake and insure that it moves freely and easily in both directions. If the cable is rusty it might move reasonably well enough when squeezing the brake lever, even enough to convince you its just fine, but it may not release, especially when the brake spring is weaker from being tensioned over so many decades.
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Old 01-21-22, 02:26 PM
  #25631  
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@SirMike1983

On the tires, I really like the Michelins and the Schwalbes. No complaints so far, and those Michelins just look right on these bikes to my eye. The Panaracers gave me too many flats, but that may have been just my experience.
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Old 01-21-22, 08:34 PM
  #25632  
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Thanks, all. This bike was clearly put away in dry storage for 60+ years. Barely any corrosion on the bright parts and just a bit of scraping on the main triangle. Interestingly, no evidence of ever having been fitted with a kickstand! Woohoo!



This is likely the third bike I've setup with a quadrant shifter, and they work really, really well. Less fussy than trigger shifters on the bars.
No kickstand....Now that's lucky. A while back, some guy on ebay got a hold of some NOS German ESGE stands made especially for Raleigh frames. I put one on my Rudge to cover up the chain stay carnage.
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Old 01-21-22, 10:56 PM
  #25633  
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Here’s an update on my 1940 (most likely) Sports Light Roadster project. A pic from when I first brought it home:

The bars are alloy from V-O and the GB stem is likely a placeholder. I also have new Schwalbe tires on order as you can see that front tire that I had in the bin is too narrow. Haven’t taken it for a test ride yet as I did something wacky with the brake reassembly and now they don’t work very well! I’ll figure that out.
That's as perfect as a barn find spit-and-shine gets, Neal. Absolutely adore it.

-Kurt
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Old 01-21-22, 11:21 PM
  #25634  
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983 View Post
Not to distract from the nice old Boston Sports above, but has anyone done a direct comparison of Panaracer Col de La Vie, Michelin World Tour, and Schwalbe Delta Cruiser tires?
I have all three, but have only been able to ride the Michelin and the Schwalbe Delta Cruisers.

I honestly can't tell much difference between the two, but it could be because the Raleighs wearing them are radically different - my restomodded 1980 Sports wears the Michelins, while 4-speed Clydesdale of a '51 Sports wears the Schwalbes. In my experience though, the Schwalbes seem to coast a bit better; perhaps because of their fairly thick, hard tread. But that tread also makes them heavier than the Michelins, and I think one would feel the difference if running a Sports/Superbe/whatever-with-EA3s on aluminum rims instead of the stock steel anchors.

That said, the Michelins win out any day of the week on tread pattern alone, and no distracting billboard advertisements plastered all over the side of the tire. The only reason I run the Delta Cruisers on my '51 is because neither Panaracer nor Michelin makes their tires in cream.

Incidentally, Panaracer also offers a Kevlar-bead EA3 tire which is not the Col De La Vie in the Japanese market. It comes in a bag. Amazon has it, they claim it's the "Super Hard" model. Not sure if translation is correct or accurate: https://amzn.to/3Ku5sqx



The tread pattern on this Panaracer is traditional, but I've never held one in my hands to get a feel for it.



I have no desire to try a pair - I can't see a folding Kevlar bead and a straight-side, non-hooked Raleigh steel rim ending in anything other than a blowout. In fact, one of the cream Wanda tires ("WD" on the sidewall) I had on my '51 blew off it's stainless Raleigh rims twice due to the wire bead not being molded absolutely perfectly into the rubber. Zero issues with the Schwalbes on the same rim with no "quick fixes" to the rim between the swap.

I'm itching to try out the Col De La Vies though, which came to me via @Ged117's Superbe. They look like fat high-end skinwalls, and of course, skinwall clinchers look like tubulars...

-Kurt
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Old 01-22-22, 08:32 AM
  #25635  
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In response to @SirMike1983 wondering if the rear dropout on the 1940 Sports was a different style than standard, I took some pics of Raleigh dropouts in the fleet:


1937 Sports


1940 Sports


1949 Clubman


1950 Lenton Tourist


1970 Sports
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Old 01-22-22, 10:15 AM
  #25636  
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
I have all three, but have only been able to ride the Michelin and the Schwalbe Delta Cruisers.

I honestly can't tell much difference between the two, but it could be because the Raleighs wearing them are radically different - my restomodded 1980 Sports wears the Michelins, while 4-speed Clydesdale of a '51 Sports wears the Schwalbes. In my experience though, the Schwalbes seem to coast a bit better; perhaps because of their fairly thick, hard tread. But that tread also makes them heavier than the Michelins, and I think one would feel the difference if running a Sports/Superbe/whatever-with-EA3s on aluminum rims instead of the stock steel anchors.

That said, the Michelins win out any day of the week on tread pattern alone, and no distracting billboard advertisements plastered all over the side of the tire. The only reason I run the Delta Cruisers on my '51 is because neither Panaracer nor Michelin makes their tires in cream.

Incidentally, Panaracer also offers a Kevlar-bead EA3 tire which is not the Col De La Vie in the Japanese market. It comes in a bag. Amazon has it, they claim it's the "Super Hard" model. Not sure if translation is correct or accurate: https://amzn.to/3Ku5sqx



The tread pattern on this Panaracer is traditional, but I've never held one in my hands to get a feel for it.



I have no desire to try a pair - I can't see a folding Kevlar bead and a straight-side, non-hooked Raleigh steel rim ending in anything other than a blowout. In fact, one of the cream Wanda tires ("WD" on the sidewall) I had on my '51 blew off it's stainless Raleigh rims twice due to the wire bead not being molded absolutely perfectly into the rubber. Zero issues with the Schwalbes on the same rim with no "quick fixes" to the rim between the swap.

I'm itching to try out the Col De La Vies though, which came to me via @Ged117's Superbe. They look like fat high-end skinwalls, and of course, skinwall clinchers look like tubulars...

-Kurt
The Panaracer Col de la Vie might be my favourite bicycle tire of all time. For an upright bicycle like an old Raleigh, it returns a very nice ride. I rode the Superbe quite often and for many kilometers over varied terrain beyond the city path network, including the odd dirt and gravel path. Never flatted once, but one can expect flats eventually with any tire. If I ever have a another three speed 650a or a 650b converted bike, I would 100% buy again. I'm building a new 700c wheelset for my Peugeot, and it's getting Panaracer Gravel Kings in 28 or 32mm. I could fit 35mm without fenders, but that won't do.
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Old 01-22-22, 04:06 PM
  #25637  
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I haven't tried a set of Panaracer Col de la Vie tires on a Raleigh Sports but had a set in 650B on a mid 80's Raleigh mountain bike that had been converted to a Nexus 7 speed hub for a while. The bike came to me with a Col de la vie tire on the rear, and a CST tire up front that had seen better days. I bought a new front tire and left the rear tire alone. I got a ton of flats with those tires, I ended up buying some Kevlar strips for the inside of the tires which ruined the ride. At max pressure they still felt soft under my weight. I eventually added a set of thorn resistant tubes and ran them over inflated to gain back to help with rolling resistance. While I think they're a well made tire, I don't think their a good choice for a heavy rider. Michelin World Tour tires have been my favorite lately. I've not had a set of Schwalbe tires yet though.
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Old 01-23-22, 12:18 AM
  #25638  
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Michelin World Tour

I switched to Michelin World Tour tires. I really like the look of them and seem to be holding up great for the past few years. I am getting fond of the White walls...

Gum Walls Michelin World Tours

Michelin World Tour Whitewalls on CCM
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Old 01-23-22, 09:01 AM
  #25639  
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Related to questions about tire brands….All of my older Raleigh/Hercules bikes with 26” wheels have 37-590 tires with at least a couple of different brands represented, though none of them the Michelin World Tours. When looking online at the World Tours for sale, they’re all listed as 35-590. Is that 2mm in width going to make a difference in their ability to be mounted on (and stay on) those older rims?
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Old 01-23-22, 04:49 PM
  #25640  
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sturmey am compatability?

3-speed related question that hopefully someone can help me with...
i know (from my readings of this great forum) that s-5 hub internals will fit into aw hubs shells, and that am internals will fit into aw hub shells. what i need to know is whether s-5 internals will fit into am hub shells? and failing that, will a 40-hole s-5 shell use the same spokes as a 40-hole am hub? i figured that if anyone would know it'd be the people on this thread.

thanks!!!!!
rob
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Old 01-23-22, 05:00 PM
  #25641  
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Originally Posted by Rherdegen View Post
Related to questions about tire brands….All of my older Raleigh/Hercules bikes with 26” wheels have 37-590 tires with at least a couple of different brands represented, though none of them the Michelin World Tours. When looking online at the World Tours for sale, they’re all listed as 35-590. Is that 2mm in width going to make a difference in their ability to be mounted on (and stay on) those older rims?
They'll be just fine.
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Old 01-23-22, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
They'll be just fine.
Thank you—good news!
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Old 01-23-22, 07:20 PM
  #25643  
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I just bought some Kenda tires listed as 37-590, but I’ll be really surprised if they end up that wide once mounted. They feel stiff and narrow out of the box.
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