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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 02-16-24, 12:59 PM
  #27801  
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Bikes: 1956 Rudge Sports; 1983 Univega Alpina Uno; 1981 Miyata 610; 1973 Raleigh Twenty; 1994 Breezer Lightning XTR; V4 Yuba Mundo aka "The Schlepper"; 1987 Raleigh "The Edge" Mountain Trials; 1952 R.O. Harrison "Madison"

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SirMike, good call on the wheel forensics. I had been thinking the rims were much newer, and also that the whole front wheel was a donor due to it being a 36 hole variety as well as a Normandy hub, not Sturmey or another British marque.
I think I'll let the frameset go with fork, headset, and flat top hillbilly repaired stem. It really does come down to size of the frame, in that my Rudge Sports is a 23" and fits me perfectly, but anything small is simply too small and I'd need to add a much longer stem and keep the MTB seatpost jacked all the way up, just to fit it. With so many project bikes, on top of all the other things which need getting done, I should let this one go, even though the prospect of doing an upright restoration is enticing.
Phil
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Old 02-16-24, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by PhilFo
If I were to title this post, I'd call it "bike forensics and N+2? 3?" Or perhaps, "skip over this nattering rubbish, save yourselves."

If any here have perused the for sale subforum here in C&V, you may have seen my 1951 Rudge Aero Clubman up there last week or so. I wrote about this find/build in September of '23 in this thread. In a nutshell, I found the Rudge last summer, have wanted one since 2014 and have wanted a single-speed path racer as well. I thought I could make the Rudge work for me, but it's just too small for me to ride with drop bars. So, I set out to sell it and find something else to scratch the British 531 path racer / club itch. My friend Graham sent me a photo of a 1974 Raleigh Super Course frame (no fork) that I could have. I picked it up after work that night and found that it's straight, but the bottom bracket shell was hacked down to 66mm, so that needs to be dealt with using a spacer and some decent application of loctite. I found a perfect Carlton fork for it and began to do a bit of building by swapping over the parts from the Clubman (after I took the latter off the market). I found that the fork was an oddball in that it has a 26.4mm crown race seat but also a 26tpi steer tube threading; and no, the crown race was not turned down as it still has original paint overspray on it. So I ordered a new crown race (I was planning on using an old Stronglight A9 I have knocking around) and during some down time at work, I was perusing ebay for bits and somehow went down a rabbit hole on the UK site... This was bad for my pocketbook because all of a sudden, there were way too many path / club frames from some niche marques. I ride a 58cm (any smaller and I get irritation in my neck from an injury I got while in the Navy) and happened upon an R. O. Harrison with GORGEOUS lugs in my size. I threw out a lowball offer, thinking that I'd be shot down and maybe five minutes later got an "Offer Accepted! Pay Now." email.

So now I've got my dream curly lugged (Oscar Egg?), 531 path racer on the way, and I still have the Rudge Clubman AND a Super Course, both currently in project-status, as they are incomplete. Add five or six more bikes of my own, and the missus is beginning to question my use of space in the basement. She has her own flight of locomotion, including two trikes and a 1958 Rudge Sports. I'm not at all attached to the '74 Super Course, so that can leave, but it would also make a cool "beater" bike.

Anyway, last night I was a bit bored, looking for some tinkering to do, and took the Wald cruiser bar out of the flat-top stem, then set to do a bit of hillbilly repair on it before getting the frameset ready to sell again. (I'm from the high desert sticks of eastern New Mexico, so I feel I own the "hillbilly" moniker, in spite of living in Philadelphia.) A previous owner had stuck the wrong size bar in and drilled a hole in the top of the clamp and jammed in a machine screw to prevent the 7/8" bar from rotating in the 23.8mm clamp. I mixed up a gob of metal JB Weld and filled the hole, then let it cure overnight. Earlier this morning, the cured epoxy was Dremeled, leveled, wet-sanded and painted with a chrome pen. I was a bit beside myself how well this turned out. So the last thing I wanted to do was get the clamp done proper. I took a heavy chrome straight seatpost and stuck the narrow end in the clamp then gave it some gentle persuasion with a mallet; did this on both sides, then stuck in the original bar from my '56 Rudge Sports. I had a proper donor bolt with the key and wrenched down to really establish the correct clamp size. Now I'm impressed enough with the stem and a decent upright bar, I get to thinking of restoring this bike as an upright 3-speed.

Later in the afternoon, I went down a bit of a rabbit hole regarding the Rudge and original equipment, and I'm thinking the rear wheel which came with it may be original. To refresh, the bike was incomplete, but came with two mismatched wheels, the rear a steel shell 40 hole AW from 1951, laced to a Rigida Superchromix 27 x 1 1/4 rim. The front was an old 36 hole, alloy round-hole Normandy hub with wingnuts laced to a Rigida Chrolux rim. I'm thinking that the original front wheel was replaced with this one, some 60+ years ago and then it sat in a garage for the full duration of my life (47 years) before the previous owner acquired it as part of a cleanout lot.

Now my conundrum is, do I work to resto-mod the Clubman as a 3-speed upright, complete with correct Dynohub (though I would have lighting provided by a Busch & Muller OneFive)? I have a wonderful upright 3-speed in the 1956 Rudge Sports, which is the bike that I judge all others by, when it comes to comfort and reliability. It's seriously the bike for the end of the world as we know it / complete breakdown of civilization, as I'm confident it will keep working until we reach Star Trek era (23rd century?) I digress. If I fixed up the Clubman as a 3-speed, the chrome rims would go, and would be replaced with a set of something aluminum and polished, but finding new polished 700c or 27" rims in 40 hole drillings seems to be almost a fools errand. Perhaps a NOS set of Weinmanns could be sourced.

I'm rambling and need to make dinner. Would y'all sell the Clubman frameset or set about to make it into a new bike (which would probably eventually get sold at a loss, as wel)?
Any thoughts regarding my mental status, or the questions I pose are appreciated.

Phil
Sell??

Its really obvious you need to buy one of my clubman bikes. Sell is just.... wrong
Bates All Rounder (1955 with tubular rims and SA 4 speed and alloy cottered crank), Raleigh Record Ace from a bit earlier.
I'm hanging on to the Rudge Pathfinder, as you probably should too and I'm doubting you'd want a Lenton Marque Three, although mine is equipped with all alloy parts and rides really well (4 speed FG hub laced to Weinmann 27" rims).

Clubmans can be a bit of a rabbit hole obsession. The Rudge is the only one that I have set up with an upright riding position and I think that's why its the one I want to ride the most. I have it set up with 700c rims (Ambrosia) and an alloy SA hub from 1953 (which I think is the same year as the frame) using 32mm tires. Honestly I think the 27" tire size is better, as well adapted to gravel (or better) as the 650A tire size. the 700c 32mm size is a bit of an approximation.

My GF is a bit unhappy with all the bikes residing in the basement since we just had it renovated but that's mostly because there's not enough room for her to add more bikes of her own. If she would just get rid of that pesky loom she never uses domestic tranquility would be restored... until we need to expand again for the ever increasing bike load.
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Old 02-16-24, 01:37 PM
  #27803  
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Angel on one shoulder, devil on the other, both talking into my ears...
A friend of mine has an EXTENSIVE collection of British bikes which he's trying to liquidate and not lose too much over. It's a 20ish year collection of about 50 fully working bikes, several of which I'm going to be the recipient of in exchange for some work on a bunch of wheels. There's a gent's large DL-1 in this haul, which I'm looking forward to riding. I love those roadsters. I may also take a different gent's large DL-1 frameset and resto-mod it with alloy rims and/or drum brakes. I'll cross those bridges when I reach them. The end point of mentioning this is that within a month or so I'll already have twice as many bicycles, amongst which is a Lenton frame.

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Old 02-16-24, 04:13 PM
  #27804  
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster
All I can say is I've been buying rusted heaps for the sturmey archer hardware lately. If it's 36 hole and has an aw I offer 25$. It's amazing how often I get these bikes. I now have three three speeds in various states. A super course, a gitane tour de france and a motobecane jubilee are sporting wheels built from aw hubs. It's a sickness. I have no answers except to say they make great rides.
The advantage of building up SA AW wheels for those bikes, is not having to deal with the odd ball Raleigh Sport parts. I have a Motobecane, Raleigh Grand Prix, and '77 Raleigh Rampar built up as three speeds. The Rampar really handles well. I have a Raleigh Sport that I am building up with alloy rims.
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Old 02-16-24, 05:15 PM
  #27805  
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Originally Posted by steve21108
The advantage of building up SA AW wheels for those bikes, is not having to deal with the odd ball Raleigh Sport parts. I have a Motobecane, Raleigh Grand Prix, and '77 Raleigh Rampar built up as three speeds. The Rampar really handles well. I have a Raleigh Sport that I am building up with alloy rims.
I've converted a number of older road bikes to SA AW hubs over the years, my two favorites were an early Super Course built as an upright three speed, another a Peugeot U08 built up with U18 mixte bars, saddle, and a set of alloy fenders off some old Dutch bike I found with a broken frame.
Both were 23" frame bikes. I have what i believe is a Gitane built Jacques Anquetil road bike in a 23" frame with Mafac Competition brakes.
The bike is a run of the mill plain steel bike, on par I suppose with a Peugeot U08 or similar but the odd badge makes it a bit of a curiosity I suppose.
That too may end up as a three speed soon.
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Old 02-16-24, 10:38 PM
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Vintage Mens' Raleigh Sport Bicycle $40

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Old 02-16-24, 10:41 PM
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Raleigh vintage bicycle $90

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Old 02-19-24, 10:41 AM
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Here’s another project in the realm of “not your (grand)father’s Raleigh 3-speed”: Frame is a 1971 Raleigh Pro Mark 2, which I recently purchased from @tmnguuyen. It’s quite patina-ed, which suits my sensibilities well. Wheels are alloy 650A/590mm Sun rims, alloy shell AW hub, Panaracer Col de la vie tires. Saddle is a @rhm recovered Brooks B17. Shifter is a modern SunRace model fitted to a single sided Simplex downtube mount (which took some filing). Crankset is a Stronglight 93 with 45t ring.











It felt quite smooth on this morning’s test ride. I’d like to fit it with fenders, but that’ll take some fiddling as clearances are tight at the rear bridges. I might also swap in a set of 700c wheels with an FM rear hub, but I’m awaiting the rims to arrive to build those up.
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Old 02-19-24, 11:03 AM
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Awesome @nlerner. Didn't expect you have it on the road that quickly. She is a beauty....

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Old 02-19-24, 11:10 AM
  #27810  
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Originally Posted by tmnguuyen
Awesome @nlerner. Didn't expect you have it on the road that quickly. She is beauty....
Thanks! Iím very fortunate to have a deep parts bin. These wheels have been on everything from a Raleigh Lenton to a Peugeot PX-10!
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Old 02-19-24, 11:32 AM
  #27811  
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nlerner, that's excellent! I have a pro 650b conversion and they adapt so well. Also thinking about using a strong light 93 on my tour de france three speed. I have a 45 tooth ring too. What rear cog are you using?
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Old 02-19-24, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster
nlerner, that's excellent! I have a pro 650b conversion and they adapt so well. Also thinking about using a strong light 93 on my tour de france three speed. I have a 45 tooth ring too. What rear cog are you using?
Love the bike barn, makes me feel better about my hoards.
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Old 02-19-24, 11:44 AM
  #27813  
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Originally Posted by tmnguuyen
Love the bike barn, makes me feel better about my hoards.
That's my basement of horrors. Sarah was making a shelter for a homeless cat and got more straw than she needed. I have so many cool framesets in the basement and more 27" wheels than God. I need an intervention.
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Old 02-19-24, 12:15 PM
  #27814  
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nlerner I like your style! Here is my attempt at something similar. Mineís a Sprite/Sports mashup with 5 speed huret shifter derailleur combo.
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Old 02-19-24, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster
nlerner, that's excellent! I have a pro 650b conversion and they adapt so well. Also thinking about using a strong light 93 on my tour de france three speed. I have a 45 tooth ring too. What rear cog are you using?
It's a 21t rear cog, which I mainly chose because it worked with the length of the chain I had on hand!
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Old 02-19-24, 01:38 PM
  #27816  
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Originally Posted by nlerner
Hereís another project in the realm of ďnot your (grand)fatherís Raleigh 3-speedĒ: Frame is a 1971 Raleigh Pro Mark 2, which I recently purchased from @tmnguuyen. Itís quite patina-ed, which suits my sensibilities well. Wheels are alloy 650A/590mm Sun rims, alloy shell AW hub, Panaracer Col de la vie tires. Saddle is a @rhm recovered Brooks B17. Shifter is a modern SunRace model fitted to a single sided Simplex downtube mount (which took some filing). Crankset is a Stronglight 93 with 45t ring.











It felt quite smooth on this morningís test ride. Iíd like to fit it with fenders, but thatíll take some fiddling as clearances are tight at the rear bridges. I might also swap in a set of 700c wheels with an FM rear hub, but Iím awaiting the rims to arrive to build those up.
Really nice - all good quality equipment. I love those old style barrel grips on the handlebars.
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Old 02-19-24, 01:45 PM
  #27817  
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Originally Posted by nlerner
It's a 21t rear cog, which I mainly chose because it worked with the length of the chain I had on hand!
I make a lot of moves like that....

45-22 is feeling pretty good.
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Old 02-20-24, 10:46 AM
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My favorite combo is a 46 front, 22 rear. I also like 48 front, 22 rear. When changing ratios, it's helpful if you have a half-link that match your chain on hand. I like being able to nail down the rear axle position toward the middle of the rear drop.
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Old 02-20-24, 03:34 PM
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I see in DM-SG0005-00-ENG, page 6, that Shimano recommends a primary drive ratio between 2.3 to 2.6 for the Nexus 3-speed hub.

Several folks told me that Sturmey-Archer recommends a primary drive ratio of no lower than 2 for the AW family of hubs. Despite swearing on an original copy of Harold Briercliffe's Cycling Touring Guides - Scottish Highlands that 2::1 is gospel, no one has yet been able to reference this in S-A's modern or historical literature for me. Anyone?

I run 42/22 on both the WWII-era AW and the SRF3, and 36/19 on the "don't post that @#&*$% on this forum" S-A three-speed.
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Old 02-20-24, 04:27 PM
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I am currently running 45-22 and 42-21 on two bikes but have gone below with no ill effect. I also love how well a worn in aw hub coasts.
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Old 02-20-24, 07:29 PM
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1974 raleigh sport bike

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vintage Raleigh Sports Three Speed Bicycle $90

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Old 02-20-24, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs
I see in DM-SG0005-00-ENG, page 6, that Shimano recommends a primary drive ratio between 2.3 to 2.6 for the Nexus 3-speed hub.

Several folks told me that Sturmey-Archer recommends a primary drive ratio of no lower than 2 for the AW family of hubs. Despite swearing on an original copy of Harold Briercliffe's Cycling Touring Guides - Scottish Highlands that 2::1 is gospel, no one has yet been able to reference this in S-A's modern or historical literature for me. Anyone?

I run 42/22 on both the WWII-era AW and the SRF3, and 36/19 on the "don't post that @#&*$% on this forum" S-A three-speed.
I live in a particularly hilly area and add to that my legs are not particularly strong, although they will keep going for up to 10 hour with breaks and all my three speeds both SA and Shimano have 36/24 sprockets with no ill effects on the hubs. I can get up most of the hills on them and cruise at 10 mph which is fast enough for me, there are a few hills which I can only get up with more gears and are the same ones I never managed to cycle up on my Raleigh Sports as a kid.
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Old 02-20-24, 10:13 PM
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The 2:1 issue comes up frequently. I have not seen it in the older Sturmey manuals, but I will admit I don't own every variation of the manuals. It does come up relatively frequently in the later manuals, particularly 1980s and 90s (and apparently some later) era manuals.

It often appears in the sections dealing with sprockets or as a nota bene. For example, on the Steelite 3 speed drum brake hub manual in front of me now that says on page 1: "NB. Always maintain at least a 2:1 ratio between the numbers of teeth on the chainwheel and those of the sprocket."
The Summit series XRD3 3 speed hubs also have the same warning in Section 2.2 and the Sprinter 7 manual in part 4.
The 90mm drum brake AB/C 3 speed hubs also have the same warning in section 1.4.
The same goes for the XRD5 5 speed hubs - same warning.

So the warning is not entirely a myth. What is more to the point is whether there is some inherent risk to the hub, new or old, running lower than 2:1. Sturmey must have based its advice as to the newer hubs on some evidence, probably return/repair of damaged hubs, but the warning is not a certainty that you'll pulverize your hub running a lower ratio. I've never seen the warning in an older (1960s or earlier) manual. Perhaps it's buried in one somewhere, but I've not seen it that far back. It comes up with more frequency on later hubs from the 80s and 90s.

My advice is that if you can run a ratio higher than 2:1 comfortably, do that. If you have to use something lower than 2:1 to get use out of the bike, then I would not let the warning stop me. At any ratio, the hub should not be thrashed or abused, but do take some care to ride smoothly if you're running lower ratio than 2:1. If the hub breaks down, replace the damaged parts and go easier.

Edit - I would not significantly change the ratio on an old SW hub. They're prone to slipping out of gear, and I've found changing the ratio makes it even more prone to that. Frankly, I replace SW hubs with AWs from around that time.
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Old 02-21-24, 07:47 AM
  #27824  
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My current project is anything but English. Scandinavian with an older Sachs Torpedo 3 speed.

The current set up is 40/21, so a smidge under 2:1. I picked that because if I want to ride anywhere from the house, I have to head uphill. Once out of my subdivision, it's pancake flat and the only hills are overpasses. Also, the 40T ring was all I had to fit the old Solida crank. So, that's how I work, too.

Once my ankle heals, I may get to ride it.
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Old 02-21-24, 08:48 AM
  #27825  
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983
The 2:1 issue comes up frequently. I have not seen it in the older Sturmey manuals, but I will admit I don't own every variation of the manuals. It does come up relatively frequently in the later manuals, particularly 1980s and 90s (and apparently some later) era manuals.
Interesting. So the 2::1 guideline appeared during the "declining quality, twilight of the English manufacture" years.

Last edited by tcs; 02-21-24 at 08:54 AM.
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