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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 12-20-23, 01:27 PM
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I have in my fleet a 1950 Lenton Tourist, which I found as a frameset on eBay, so build possibilities were wide open (and the original mostly alloy parts would be hard to find). I ended up fitting it with 700c wheels and 32mm tires, steel calipers and crankset that came off of a ‘49 Claud Butler, Bluemels mudguards, Brooks B15, GB stem, and Nitto bars. Currently I’m running it with a SRAM 2-speed automatic shifting hub, but mostly it’s had an AW hub. I’ve always liked the ride and the kind of stealth Raleigh Sports quality with very understated graphics.

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Old 12-20-23, 01:29 PM
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I think a 1970s Super Course would make a nice starting place. It's a good, mid-level frame: not too expensive, not too rare, but also certainly a notch about the basic frames. A Dawes Galaxy might be another option, especially if you like a little more relaxed frame.

Raleigh made a high-end upright bar tourer in the 1970s known as the "Super Tourer". They apparently did not sell all that well, but the kind of bike we're talking has been tried on a few occasions between the 1930s and the 1970s.

I think the problem was that this kind of bike was, "neither fish nor fowl": too expensive and less equipped than a commuter would want, and too laid back or too pedestrian for a competitive rider.

Frankly, it's perfect for the person who rides casually for fun but who also wants something a little "extra" in the way of performance (especially if there are hills nearby). I'm in that category, but the market did not agree back in the day, I guess.
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Old 12-20-23, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by adventurepdx
I did notice, but that doesn't necessarily matter, as many folks on BF don't quote when they're directly responding to something. Not saying that's you though. I just wanted to double-check, since yours came right after mine.
Sincere Best Wishes to you, friend.
Would it have made any difference if I had quoted you?

The following post by 'nlerner' illustrates the point I was trying to make. Now that's a super bike!
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Old 12-20-23, 01:38 PM
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I’ve done a bunch of single-speed or IGH conversions to 70s road bikes. Most successful in terms of ride quality was a Dawes Galaxy and various Super Courses and Gran(d) Sport(s). Least successful was a Raleigh Competition, which never handled very well; I suspect it wanted more weight distributed toward the front end as would be true with drop bars. FWIW, I felt the same about the 70s Super Tourer, essentially a Competition with a few aesthetic variations.
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Old 12-20-23, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclespanner
Would it have made any difference if I had quoted you?
If you were specifically talking to me, yes.
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Old 12-20-23, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983
I think a 1970s Super Course would make a nice starting place. It's a good, mid-level frame: not too expensive, not too rare, but also certainly a notch about the basic frames. A Dawes Galaxy might be another option, especially if you like a little more relaxed frame.

Raleigh made a high-end upright bar tourer in the 1970s known as the "Super Tourer". They apparently did not sell all that well, but the kind of bike we're talking has been tried on a few occasions between the 1930s and the 1970s.

I think the problem was that this kind of bike was, "neither fish nor fowl": too expensive and less equipped than a commuter would want, and too laid back or too pedestrian for a competitive rider.

Frankly, it's perfect for the person who rides casually for fun but who also wants something a little "extra" in the way of performance (especially if there are hills nearby). I'm in that category, but the market did not agree back in the day, I guess.
I think I remember you talking about that Super Tourer on your blog. And I hear you about "neither fish nor fowl". By the 1970's a "serious bike" in many people's heads had to have drop bars and ten speeds, so anything that bucked that trend was seen as inferior. Yet most casual riders prefer upright bars, so we got such lovely compromises as "suicide levers". And look at the revulsion that most "serious" cyclists had to hybrids in the 90s. Granted, many of them were mediocre bikes, but they were also perfectly serviceable and what many folks wanted to ride. I'm glad that people are finally poking holes through the "drop bars=serious bikes" trope
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Old 12-20-23, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by adventurepdx
If you were specifically talking to me, yes.
How/Why?
Like 99.9% here this forum thread is a source of immense pleasure to me and I have no wish to spoil anyone's day. I'm not trolling you or anybody else.
Take care and stay well.
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Old 12-20-23, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclespanner
how/why?
Like 99.9% here this forum thread is a source of immense pleasure to me and i have no wish to spoil anyone's day. I'm not trolling you or anybody else.
Take care and stay well.
ok.
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Old 12-20-23, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by adventurepdx
I think I remember you talking about that Super Tourer on your blog. And I hear you about "neither fish nor fowl". By the 1970's a "serious bike" in many people's heads had to have drop bars and ten speeds, so anything that bucked that trend was seen as inferior. Yet most casual riders prefer upright bars, so we got such lovely compromises as "suicide levers". And look at the revulsion that most "serious" cyclists had to hybrids in the 90s. Granted, many of them were mediocre bikes, but they were also perfectly serviceable and what many folks wanted to ride. I'm glad that people are finally poking holes through the "drop bars=serious bikes" trope
Very true. Many times in its long history bicycling has endured in spite of "serious cyclists", not because of them.
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Old 12-20-23, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983
I think a 1970s Super Course would make a nice starting place. It's a good, mid-level frame: not too expensive, not too rare, but also certainly a notch about the basic frames. A Dawes Galaxy might be another option, especially if you like a little more relaxed frame.
On the Lake Pepin 3-speed tour, the Super Course or International are often seen, set up as 3 speeds.

Jeff Jones, the guy that sells the Jones bars, is adamant that if you are not racing you've no business with dropped bars as they trade comfort for speed. Comfort is what allows you to stay on the bike and put in some miles. OK youth allows that too since you can put up with discomfort better and may not even know what it is...

Most of my bikes have some kind of upright riding position either with a North Road bend or Jones bars.

I have four clubmen-style bikes now and feeling like I need to let one go. That would put either the Lenton Marque Three or the Rudge on the chopping block, if anyone is interested PM.
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Old 12-20-23, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Salubrious
On the Lake Pepin 3-speed tour, the Super Course or International are often seen, set up as 3 speeds.

Jeff Jones, the guy that sells the Jones bars, is adamant that if you are not racing you've no business with dropped bars as they trade comfort for speed. Comfort is what allows you to stay on the bike and put in some miles. OK youth allows that too since you can put up with discomfort better and may not even know what it is...

Most of my bikes have some kind of upright riding position either with a North Road bend or Jones bars.

I have four clubmen-style bikes now and feeling like I need to let one go. That would put either the Lenton Marque Three or the Rudge on the chopping block, if anyone is interested PM.
I've tried various permutations of drop bars on my bikes, but none ever measured up to North Road bars. I guess there are people who do well with certain types of drop bars. I don't doubt the bars may be comfortable for them, but I've never had much luck with drop bars, especially compared to North Road or similar tourist bars.

My New Hudson Silver Arrow has North Roads, my Raleigh Lenton has North Roads, and my Clubman has Nitto swept back bars. They're all great bars and very comfortable. The Nittos are also very light in weight compared to traditional steel bars.
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Old 12-20-23, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by adventurepdx
I don't, but on my List of Projects I'll Never Get Around To, I've had thoughts of taking a 70's era Raleigh ten speed, at least one of the better frames (Super Course MK II upward) and making it a three speed of some sort. Those bikes are a lot easier to find than the earlier rarified British lightweights.

I once had the opportunity to buy an early 60's ten speed Lenton for cheap, but passed. The guy selling it told me the original owner toured Europe on it and applied an oval country sticker for each nation they toured. But someone in the interim peeled those stickers, leaving a wrecked paint job.
We were kicking this around on another thread recently: Building a light drop bar SA 3 Speed
I've been prowling CL and Facebook marketplace looking for an '80s frame. Chromoly would be nice, but I may have to settle for hi ten. I have some 36H SA hubs, so I'd build lace one up in some 700c rims from the recycler and away I'd go. There's a Raleigh Reliant up for cheap I may buy just for this project.
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Old 12-20-23, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Salubrious
On the Lake Pepin 3-speed tour, the Super Course or International are often seen, set up as 3 speeds.
True. And even a basic Grand Prix can make a fine 3 speed. This was Garth's from the 2014 Pepin tour:

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Old 12-20-23, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by adventurepdx
True. And even a basic Grand Prix can make a fine 3 speed. This was Garth's from the 2014 Pepin tour:

Ooh nice. There's a Grand Prix I could look at, too.
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Old 12-20-23, 10:12 PM
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On the topic of drop-bar three-speeds. Although certainly not a lightweight frame, my 1971 Robin Hood "Sports Model" was a fine machine I owned for many years. It was sold this spring at the Canadian Vintage Bicycle Show and now lives a life of luxury with its new owner as part of an exhibition.
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Old 12-20-23, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983
I've tried various permutations of drop bars on my bikes, but none ever measured up to North Road bars. I guess there are people who do well with certain types of drop bars. I don't doubt the bars may be comfortable for them, but I've never had much luck with drop bars, especially compared to North Road or similar tourist bars.

My New Hudson Silver Arrow has North Roads, my Raleigh Lenton has North Roads, and my Clubman has Nitto swept back bars. They're all great bars and very comfortable. The Nittos are also very light in weight compared to traditional steel bars.
The Carlton Ten I was given in something of a state last summer had pullback bars fitted by the previous owner which I swapped for some lighter SR ones, I found them very comfortable but not so good for hills of which there are many around here so have swapped them for some SR riser bars the same as my Lenton has fitted, it also has a three speed at this point.

I had to look up the Super Tourer as we never had that model here and what a nice bike and well suited for conversion to hub gears.




Last edited by Small cog; 12-20-23 at 10:48 PM. Reason: More info
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Old 12-28-23, 12:45 AM
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Does anyone have a Humber Clipper in the original red or some good photos of one? I have recently picked up a frameset with some serious patina and plan to respray it red and would like to get it something like original if not it will be the same colour as the above Carlton. I have looked at all of the photos on-line which are mostly from brochures but none are good enough to get an idea of what I should go for.
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Old 12-28-23, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Small cog
Does anyone have a Humber Clipper in the original red or some good photos of one? I have recently picked up a frameset with some serious patina and plan to respray it red and would like to get it something like original if not it will be the same colour as the above Carlton. I have looked at all of the photos on-line which are mostly from brochures but none are good enough to get an idea of what I should go for.
Using the Raleigh paint code for the Carmine Red, CF24, might be helpful if you can find a cross-reference. Anyway, it appears that the Carmine was the same for Raleigh Lenton, Rudge Pathfinder and Humber Clipper, so maybe focus on finding examples of Lenton Sports in the Carmine. There were actually three reds used on the clipper, at various times. In it's inaugural year, 1948, there was a Bright Red. In 1953, a Lustre Carmine was introduced. By 1955, that had become a Flambuoyant "Royal" Carmine. Any good frame painter in Britain should get you close; Mercian, Mario Vaz, Allen Higgs, Blue Whippet paintwork, Kevin Winter or
Arthur Caygill Cycles of Richmond.
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Last edited by 1989Pre; 12-28-23 at 06:42 AM.
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Old 12-28-23, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by 1989Pre
Using the Raleigh paint code for the Carmine Red, CF24, might be helpful if you can find a cross-reference. Anyway, it appears that the Carmine was the same for Raleigh Lenton, Rudge Pathfinder and Humber Clipper, so maybe focus on finding examples of Lenton Sports in the Carmine.
Carmine red was used on a wide range of Raleigh and Raleigh based cycles, almost to the end.
The 1965 'Riviera' I bought recently is in that colour and hasn't faded.
Like all red pigments, it doesn't take kindly to UV light and fades badly..
The red was a clear lacquer over a gold base coat. One of the most glorious paint finishes ever contrived.
Whoever ran Raleigh's paint shop knew what they were doing.

Originally I believe it was called 'Royal Red' and used along side a blue and a gold, to celebrate the Coronation of QEII.

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Old 12-28-23, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyclespanner
Carmine red was used on a wide range of Raleigh and Raleigh based cycles, almost to the end.
The 1965 'Riviera' I bought recently is in that colour and hasn't faded.
Like all red pigments, it doesn't take kindly to UV light and fades badly..
The red was a clear lacquer over a gold base coat. One of the most glorious paint finishes ever contrived.
Whoever ran Raleigh's paint shop knew what they were doing.

Originally I believe it was called 'Royal Red' and used along side a blue and a gold, to celebrate the Coronation of QEII.
Is the Carmine flam the paint used on the early-60's Lenton Grand Prix, or is this the Burgundy?
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Old 12-28-23, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by 1989Pre
Is the Carmine flam the paint used on the early-60's Lenton Grand Prix, or is this the Burgundy?
That looks to be Carmine Red to me.
Photographs on screen are notoriously difficult due to each device having its own colour balance; but yep, I'll stick with the Carmine on that one.
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Old 12-29-23, 01:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Small cog
Does anyone have a Humber Clipper in the original red or some good photos of one? I have recently picked up a frameset with some serious patina and plan to respray it red and would like to get it something like original if not it will be the same colour as the above Carlton. I have looked at all of the photos on-line which are mostly from brochures but none are good enough to get an idea of what I should go for.
The "Velocipedium" channel on YouTube has featured several bikes that are Carmine Red. Might be worth a look.

Velocipedium Channel
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Old 12-29-23, 04:00 AM
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Originally Posted by zookster
The "Velocipedium" channel on YouTube has featured several bikes that are Carmine Red. Might be worth a look.

Velocipedium Channel
Yes, I regularly watch and enjoy Rowan de Bonairs 'Velocipedium' YT channel which is his quirky take on his lifelong hobby. Full of ditties worth listening to, frequently about Brit 3 speeds and their practical 'real world; maintenance.
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Old 12-29-23, 07:16 AM
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What's with the pretend fenders?

Originally Posted by Small cog
I rather like the Pashley Morgan 3 but not the modern components, bah humbug! and asked them if they would sell me a frameset so I could build it up with vintage SA components but the answer was no.

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Old 12-29-23, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by erileykc
What's with the pretend fenders?
How about a pretender fender? I think we have invented a new cycling term.
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