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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 11-22-23, 12:04 AM
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A new member here from the UK who has joined the forum just for this thread, although my cycling interests do extend beyond 3 speeds I spend far too much time thinking about and working on them, I even ride them on a regular basis including along the C & O canal while on holiday in the US earlier this year, no photos yet until I have made 10 posts apparently so I will have to think of something to say without them for now.
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Old 11-22-23, 02:31 AM
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Welcome 'Small cog'.

You are entering a world of genteel cyclists, happily sharing a common experience.
I'm from Yorkshire, yet find this thread relevant to my personal views and interests.
I haven't found a comparable UK site with this level of 3-speed enthusiasm, though our US friends have some odd perspectives on 'Blighty' ways of living and history, one can sympathise and forgive them the error of their ways.

Hope your involvement here is just as rewarding as mine has been.
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Old 11-22-23, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyclespanner
Welcome 'Small cog'.

You are entering a world of genteel cyclists, happily sharing a common experience.
I'm from Yorkshire, yet find this thread relevant to my personal views and interests.
I haven't found a comparable UK site with this level of 3-speed enthusiasm, though our US friends have some odd perspectives on 'Blighty' ways of living and history, one can sympathise and forgive them the error of their ways.

Hope your involvement here is just as rewarding as mine has been.
Thanks for the welcome, genteel would describe my riding style, I have never been a fast rider even when younger and with the low gearing I prefer now speed is out of the question, my user name unintentionally reflects the size of the chainrings on my bikes most of which are 34 or 36 tooth.

Last edited by Small cog; 11-22-23 at 08:26 AM. Reason: More info
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Old 11-22-23, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by 1989Pre
My newest acquisition, a '65 Hercules, was abandoned. It needs a new rear tire and tube, and some tuning of the shifter/cable, but after that, it will be offered for sale as a pair with a ladies '55 Elswick. The bars are narrower (49cm) on the Hercules than they are on my Rudge Sports. Maybe the bike is a juvenile model.

The fan is two years newer than the bike.
I was looking through some old pictures and this bike caught my eye. Yours is a much nicer version of the bike my dad owned. He bought it years ago at a yard sale and rode it regularly until he had a stroke and had trouble swinging his leg over. Now that he is gone, I will take it out for an occasional leisurely ride around the block in his memory.

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Old 11-22-23, 10:02 AM
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Just popped up on UK ebay, 3 veteran English 3 speeds making my heart ache.
Not expensive either.£395 each (open to offers) All in working order.
A Sunbeam and 2 Rudge's. Pedigree patina, the Sunbeam comes with it's original tool bag and tools and even has the original gold lining.




Last edited by Cyclespanner; 11-22-23 at 10:11 AM. Reason: additions
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Old 11-22-23, 10:12 AM
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That sunbeam has quite the interesting cantilever brake system….
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Old 11-22-23, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by markk900
That sunbeam has quite the interesting cantilever brake system….
Apparently 'Resilion' cantilever.
Notice the length of the blocks!

Last edited by Cyclespanner; 11-22-23 at 10:19 AM. Reason: photo
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Old 11-22-23, 10:47 AM
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I did upload a photo of my Raleigh Lenton restomod before I found out I could not post it, if anyone wants a preview they can apparently see it by going into my profile and looking around but I am not sure how that works.
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Old 11-22-23, 11:56 AM
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Those Sunbeams are killer. Nice pair of bikes for someone.
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Old 11-22-23, 01:13 PM
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Here is a nice example (my biased opinion) of a 1950s Raleigh “Sports Light Roadster” model 22. Approximate vintage is 1955-1957 based on the excellent visual identification chart available

on the headbadge site. The model name variation is also lifted from this chart but can’t independently confirm. Alas, this one has a single speed SA freewheel rather than 3 speed.
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Old 11-22-23, 01:39 PM
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And here is my 3 speed contribution. 1969.
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Old 11-22-23, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by cjefferds
Here is a nice example (my biased opinion) of a 1950s Raleigh “Sports Light Roadster” model 22. Approximate vintage is 1955-1957 based on the excellent visual identification chart available

on the headbadge site. The model name variation is also lifted from this chart but can’t independently confirm. Alas, this one has a single speed SA freewheel rather than 3 speed.
''based on the excellent visual identification chart available''
Eh, what? where?
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Old 11-22-23, 03:23 PM
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A "Golden Sunbeam" rang a long unused bell. Yeah, desirable bike. Lotsa info on the web I won't regurgitate here.
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Old 11-22-23, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclespanner
''based on the excellent visual identification chart available''
Eh, what? where?
https://www.kurtkaminer.com/TH_ralsport_visID.html
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Old 11-22-23, 04:33 PM
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Pompiere, thanks for sharing that with us. I'm glad you still have and ride it.
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Old 11-23-23, 10:24 AM
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That's our good friend cudak888 's site. Has some helpful serial number info and an excellent catalog collection.
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Old 11-23-23, 10:32 AM
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Again, from UK ebay, a Dawn Tourist; ex shop display with minimal use.
£3,500 GULP!

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Old 11-23-23, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyclespanner
Just popped up on UK ebay, 3 veteran English 3 speeds making my heart ache.
Not expensive either.£395 each (open to offers) All in working order.
A Sunbeam and 2 Rudge's. Pedigree patina, the Sunbeam comes with it's original tool bag and tools and even has the original gold lining.
The seatposts and saddle mounting are unusual, especially the first one...
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Old 11-23-23, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclespanner
Again, from UK ebay, a Dawn Tourist; ex shop display with minimal use.
£3,500 GULP!

And with a Terry tennis racket clip on the fork!
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Old 11-23-23, 12:17 PM
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If my posting of 'interesting' 3 speeds appearing on UK ebay is wanted, I'm happy to bring them to you from the real 'Land of the 3 speeds'.
Hot linking UK ebay items doesn't work but I can copy plum examples which may be of interest.
If this is useful and you want more, please let me know.
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Old 11-23-23, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by gna
The seatposts and saddle mounting are unusual, especially the first one...
I gather they are referred to as 'Gallows Seatposts'.
The first example has simply been reversed...very unusual.
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Old 11-23-23, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclespanner
If my posting of 'interesting' 3 speeds appearing on UK ebay is wanted, I'm happy to bring them to you from the real 'Land of the 3 speeds'.
Hot linking UK ebay items doesn't work but I can copy plum examples which may be of interest.
If this is useful and you want more, please let me know.
Yes, please. Post away.
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Old 11-23-23, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Sedgemop
Yes, please. Post away.
Thank you.
Here's one from the other end of the price spectrum....no bidders at £30!
The bag alone is worth that.


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Old 11-23-23, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclespanner
Thank you.
Here's one from the other end of the price spectrum....no bidders at £30!
The bag alone is worth that.


The front basket deserves a mention too. Homemade?
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Old 11-24-23, 09:19 AM
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This is my current favourite three speed, not for the purist it is something of a restomod, a 1950 Raleigh Lenton that was picked up from the scrap pile at my local bike shop, my friend who owns the shop said "if you don't take it today the scrapman will take it tomorrow" I was on my motorcycle at the time and had a couple of straps so home it came. There was not much of any use, even the SA four speed was a solid lump of rust inside unfortunately but the frame and forks were still sound so I had them sand blasted and resprayed them with aerosols, it is not a standard colour but I like it and have badged it as a Clubman although it is not.
It has a lot of 1970s updates with a compliment of Sakae Ringyo components mostly bought cheap in poor condition and restored on my polishing wheel, a nos Shimano 3 speed hub and Bluemels mudguards from the same bike shop and a Brooks plastic saddle which is ok but get a bit firm after 30 miles. This has taken the weight down from about 35 lbs down to 27 so quite a reduction.



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