Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

For the love of English 3 speeds...

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 05-02-24, 08:04 PM
  #27976  
On the road
 
SirMike1983's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: New England
Posts: 2,213

Bikes: Old Schwinns and old Raleighs

Liked 936 Times in 356 Posts
1959 Schwinn Traveler out for a ride this evening.


__________________
Classic American and British Roadsters, Utility Bikes, and Sporting Bikes (1935-1979):
https://bikeshedva.blogspot.com/
SirMike1983 is offline  
Likes For SirMike1983:
Old 05-03-24, 02:40 AM
  #27977  
Junior Member
 
Cyclespanner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2023
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 185

Bikes: Several

Liked 171 Times in 95 Posts
AD-SLE, hi.

Isn't 8.125'' = 8 1/4''? (decimal = fraction)
SAE spanners don't cut the mustard; you need Whitworth BSW.
Most if not all component dimensions should be to the nearest fraction.

I was 15 in 1970; we were just then being introduced to the 'future' Metric system at school.
The first pocket calculators were becoming available; these suddenly made sense of the Metric system.
As a consequence I still think in Feet & Inches, but revert to Decimals for fine tolerances.
Cyclespanner is offline  
Likes For Cyclespanner:
Old 05-03-24, 05:02 AM
  #27978  
Standard Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Brunswick, Maine
Posts: 4,287

Bikes: 1948 P. Barnard & Son, 1962 Rudge Sports, 1963 Freddie Grubb Routier, 1980 Manufrance Hirondelle, 1983 F. Moser Sprint, 1989 Raleigh Technium Pre, 2001 Raleigh M80

Liked 968 Times in 496 Posts
AD-SLE: I was looking at the headset cups on your frame and they do not seem parallel. You might want to check this. The crown race seems askew.
__________________
"In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and - SNAP - the job's a game!"


1989Pre is offline  
Old 05-03-24, 06:16 AM
  #27979  
Phyllo-buster
 
clubman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 8,865

Bikes: roadsters, club bikes, fixed and classic

Liked 2,069 Times in 1,261 Posts
It may be just the pic angle and the edge of the badge but the head tube seems to have a little wow in it. Difficult to measure even with a steel rule and it may affect the ride once built. Maybe two straight edges placed on the head tube milled faces may show deformation.

Originally Posted by AD-SLE

Last edited by clubman; 05-03-24 at 06:19 AM.
clubman is offline  
Old 05-03-24, 10:32 AM
  #27980  
Senior Member
 
Salubrious's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 1,604

Bikes: Too many 3-speeds, Jones Plus LWB

Liked 281 Times in 126 Posts
This message appeared in my inbox this morning; the Lake Pepin 3-speed Tour is two weeks off:
Yes indeed, it cannot be explained; why would so many Nutters saddle up and ride into the unknown? Welp, there are several reasons and here are a few:
  1. You have been religious in your peaty training regimen
  2. Your Trusty Steed is almost ready and it's hiding in the bothy (and it will be fine with cotton carcass Dunlops).
  3. Your musty rain cape has been found under the basement stairway in the potato bin and is ready for the long walk up the Bay City Hill in the rain.
  4. You have Wife Support.
  5. And finally, the vistas, history and friendship is unparalleled.
Other notes of madness:
  • The head count is at 64; quite good but for those still on the fence, don't wait any longer.
  • Don't trust your tag sale cotton carcass Dunlop tyres. If you don't know if you have cotton carcasses in your tyres, here is a Top Tech Tip: If it says Dunlop, it has a cotton carcass.
  • Saturday dinner is where you find it; many choices are available. After your gourmet selection, meet back at Brenda's Hoppy Girl Brewery for a beverage.
  • Sunday morning reminder: A breakfast fundraiser will be served at St. Felix church at 8am. $12 for a Belgian waffle (with sausage). A church basement treat is far better than vulcanised donuts at a hotel.
  • After breakfast, meet at the campground to finish loading the Lorry and depart.
Best along the Path,
Jon Sharratt, Shirt-Tail Organiser Emeritus
www.3speedtour.com
Salubrious is offline  
Likes For Salubrious:
Old 05-03-24, 12:53 PM
  #27981  
Senior Member
 
Road Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 16,915

Bikes: 1980 Masi, 1984 Mondonico, 1984 Trek 610, 1980 Woodrup Giro, 2005 Mondonico Futura Leggera ELOS, 1967 PX10E, 1971 Peugeot UO-8

Liked 671 Times in 512 Posts
Originally Posted by gster
1972 Superbe

I've not had this one out for several years but needed to cart some stuff downtown
I was having a hell of a time in third gear and
thought I must be getting old....
Most of my bikes have 19/20/21T cogs
and I thought the original cog on this one was an 18.
I was very surprised to find this one had a 17T cog.
This bike is very original with all of it's "R" nuts etc so
I've always assumed the back cog was original as well.
The 17 might be original. That is the original cog on my 1952 Rudge Aero Special, with a 46 chain wheel.. hub choices were AW, FW, and FM, but I doubt they all used the same chainring/sprocket sets
Road Fan is offline  
Old 05-04-24, 12:04 AM
  #27982  
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2023
Posts: 13
Liked 8 Times in 3 Posts
8.125" = 8 1/8"

I believe a 21" ladies model may also have a fork that will work, Most used a taller head tube to give the ladies model a more upright bar position.
oldiron is offline  
Old 05-04-24, 05:42 PM
  #27983  
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Richmond, Va
Posts: 14

Bikes: Rivendell Sam Hillborne, Peugeot UO8, Trek 820, Motobecane Grand Record + projects

Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 4 Posts
SA false neutral

My question pertains to the false neutral on British AW hubs and is specifically technical. I have pulled down and successfully reassembled an early '50s AW hub so I "sort of" understand how they do their magic. I have read that early pre-AW SA hubs did not have the false neutral and that the newer Taiwan SA AW hubs don't either. So what exactly was and is now done differently.
And why did the mid-century hubs deviate from that. ( $$ or sturdiness or ease of service? )
Panurgist is offline  
Old 05-04-24, 06:24 PM
  #27984  
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 24,865

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Liked 3,470 Times in 1,968 Posts
The original AW hub had a neutral space between 2nd and 3rd gear that could happen when the shift cable went out of adjustment. In the 1980s, Columbia Bicycle Company persuaded Sturmey-Archer to slightly change the design to eliminate the neutral position; this version was known as the "No Inbetween Gear" (NIG) hub. When hub production moved to Taiwan, the NIG design is what was used there.
JohnDThompson is offline  
Likes For JohnDThompson:
Old 05-04-24, 08:49 PM
  #27985  
On the road
 
SirMike1983's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: New England
Posts: 2,213

Bikes: Old Schwinns and old Raleighs

Liked 936 Times in 356 Posts
One challenge that had to be overcome was preventing the hub from simultaneously engaging high and normal gears, which could potentially damage or destroy the hub. The model K avoided this problem through ramped engagement surfaces that forced the hub into one gear or the other, but prevented engagement of both at the same time. This held true from the introduction of the K right after WW1 through the 1935 revision.

The ramped surface engagement used by the K model hub has two drawbacks, one was that it added manufacturing cost, and the other was wear on the ramped engagement surfaces, leading to parts replacement. Modifications to the K in 1935 led to the no-drive position. This reduced production cost and reduced the engagement surface wear issue, but it introduced the issue of free spinning between normal and high. The trade-off was felt to be worthwhile because, as the thinking went, if you adjusted/maintained the hub properly and if you understood how to shift while riding, you wouldn't have a problem with the neutral position.

Several modifications made late in the life of the K hub found their way into the AW, including the no-drive position. The AW lived on with the neutral position inherited from the late model K until 1984. Evidently over the years, SA's assumption that the neutral position would not be a serious problem turned out to be somewhat misplaced. The neutral position caused problems with mis-adjusted AWs and proved a serious safety issue on the TCW series hubs. Columbia at that time was a fading manufacturer of bikes in the US and requested an AW without the neutral gear. SA made changes to the hub. Eventually the NIG became a standard adaptation to the hub. Much of this willingness to make changes was because of SA's dire economic situation in the early 1980s. The early 80s were not a good time for Sturmey Archer overall, and they needed to sell every hub they could and keep as many customers as they could.
__________________
Classic American and British Roadsters, Utility Bikes, and Sporting Bikes (1935-1979):
https://bikeshedva.blogspot.com/

Last edited by SirMike1983; 05-04-24 at 09:03 PM.
SirMike1983 is offline  
Likes For SirMike1983:
Old 05-05-24, 07:01 AM
  #27986  
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Richmond, Va
Posts: 14

Bikes: Rivendell Sam Hillborne, Peugeot UO8, Trek 820, Motobecane Grand Record + projects

Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 4 Posts
Brilliant! Thanks much.
The sturdiness of the AW hub is obvious since I am still regularly riding on one from 1952 that has all it's original bits. I pulled mine down, cleaned out the nasty-fied oily gunk and re-assembled with fresh oil - works like a champ.
Unfortunately relying on a cable not to stretch or a clamp not to slip was not a realistic solution. For the non-mechanically inclined it only has to drop into freewheel once, at the wrong moment, to lose confidence in the machine forever.
Panurgist is offline  
Old 05-05-24, 10:11 AM
  #27987  
Full Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 226
Likes: 0
Liked 24 Times in 7 Posts
Jessica Fletcherís Raleigh

Anybody else here enjoy seeing that beautiful Raleigh on Murder She Wrote?
Iím sure Iím showing my age, but these days Iím enjoying the old reruns. Itís always a treat to see her perfect condition womenís Sports in green with original fork-mounted generator headlight.
Anybody with me?

Öor is it a Sports?
Superbe, or some other model?
Iím no expert.

Last edited by woodrupjoe; 05-05-24 at 10:24 AM.
woodrupjoe is offline  
Old 05-05-24, 10:32 AM
  #27988  
Junior Member
 
Small cog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2023
Location: Wessex UK
Posts: 120

Bikes: Vintage Raleigh and more modern Roberts

Liked 176 Times in 66 Posts
Originally Posted by woodrupjoe
Anybody else here enjoy seeing that beautiful Raleigh on Murder She Wrote?
Iím sure Iím showing my age, but these days Iím enjoying the old reruns. Itís always a treat to see her perfect condition womenís Sports in green with original fork-mounted generator headlight.
Anybody with me?

Öor is it a Sports?
Superbe, or some other model?
Iím no expert.
There are constant re-runs on UK television including a clip of the bike when they announce that an episode is coming up but I have never managed to note what model it is.
Small cog is offline  
Old 05-05-24, 10:32 AM
  #27989  
Full Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 226
Likes: 0
Liked 24 Times in 7 Posts

Light and pump, but no full chain case.
And is that an original rack underneath the aftermarket folding wire baskets?

Last edited by woodrupjoe; 05-05-24 at 10:37 AM.
woodrupjoe is offline  
Likes For woodrupjoe:
Old 05-05-24, 12:18 PM
  #27990  
Phyllo-buster
 
clubman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 8,865

Bikes: roadsters, club bikes, fixed and classic

Liked 2,069 Times in 1,261 Posts
Originally Posted by woodrupjoe
Light and pump, but no full chain case.
And is that an original rack underneath the aftermarket folding wire baskets?
Looks like the original Prestube rack and it also has an original Raleigh kickstand. The light should be a Sturmey but who's counting.
clubman is offline  
Old 05-05-24, 03:18 PM
  #27991  
Senior Member
 
3speedslow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Jacksonville, NC
Posts: 9,373

Bikes: A few

Liked 1,128 Times in 656 Posts
Love those Raleigh kickstand! Such a smart design.
3speedslow is offline  
Old 05-06-24, 10:24 AM
  #27992  
Senior Member
 
Salubrious's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 1,604

Bikes: Too many 3-speeds, Jones Plus LWB

Liked 281 Times in 126 Posts
Originally Posted by Panurgist
Brilliant! Thanks much.
The sturdiness of the AW hub is obvious since I am still regularly riding on one from 1952 that has all it's original bits. I pulled mine down, cleaned out the nasty-fied oily gunk and re-assembled with fresh oil - works like a champ.
Unfortunately relying on a cable not to stretch or a clamp not to slip was not a realistic solution. For the non-mechanically inclined it only has to drop into freewheel once, at the wrong moment, to lose confidence in the machine forever.
FWIW I've never had a problem with this. But I am careful to keep an eye on the condition of the bike. I adjust the shift cable by setting it for the minimum tension such that the toggle chain does not retract at all into the hub while in 1st gear. I've been told that the 3-speeds were built for a 100+ year service life but like so many things British from the middle of the last century (or earlier) there was a built-in expectation that the machine would be properly serviced. If everything is checked (properly lubricated, brake pads tested and adjusted, spoke tension tested with wheels aligned, shifter tested and adjusted, tires inspected with new inner tubes at least every 8-10 years, the seat (if leather) properly treated and adjusted, then 100 years is pretty reasonable. Bikes that have found their way into the US often did not get this treatment/respect.
Salubrious is offline  
Likes For Salubrious:
Old 05-07-24, 08:29 AM
  #27993  
On the road
 
SirMike1983's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: New England
Posts: 2,213

Bikes: Old Schwinns and old Raleighs

Liked 936 Times in 356 Posts
Warm, humid evening here last night (for May at least).

__________________
Classic American and British Roadsters, Utility Bikes, and Sporting Bikes (1935-1979):
https://bikeshedva.blogspot.com/
SirMike1983 is offline  
Old 05-08-24, 11:43 AM
  #27994  
tcs
Palmer
 
tcs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 8,709

Bikes: Mike Melton custom, Alex Moulton AM, Dahon Curl

Liked 1,907 Times in 1,102 Posts
Originally Posted by Panurgist
Unfortunately relying on a cable not to stretch or a clamp not to slip was not a realistic solution. For the non-mechanically inclined it only has to drop into freewheel once, at the wrong moment, to lose confidence in the machine forever.
The late Jobst Brandt said the AW was unconditionally unacceptable.

The late Sheldon Brown pointed out that tens of millions of cyclists employed the AW without issue.

The AW is not idiot-proof. Hmm. What on a bicycle is?
tcs is offline  
Likes For tcs:
Old 05-08-24, 01:10 PM
  #27995  
Senior Member
 
Salubrious's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 1,604

Bikes: Too many 3-speeds, Jones Plus LWB

Liked 281 Times in 126 Posts
Originally Posted by tcs
The late Jobst Brandt said the AW was unconditionally unacceptable.

The late Sheldon Brown pointed out that tens of millions of cyclists employed the AW without issue.

The AW is not idiot-proof. Hmm. What on a bicycle is?
Seems like Mr. Brandt was simply wrong
He probably didn't know how to set it up. The AW has some arcane quirks.
Salubrious is offline  
Likes For Salubrious:
Old 05-08-24, 01:41 PM
  #27996  
On the road
 
SirMike1983's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: New England
Posts: 2,213

Bikes: Old Schwinns and old Raleighs

Liked 936 Times in 356 Posts
Brandt was a very bright guy, but sometimes his advice focused on his engineering theory of a matter rather than how it actually worked out in practice. He tended to denigrate things he didn't agree with. I recall one usenet discussion where he basically told another person that the guy's old Schwinn 3 speed was not a real bike. Sheldon's explanation addressed Jobst's complaint about the AW.

Brandt was not alone in his thinking though. I remember once being laughed out of a bike shop in DC because I came in with a Raleigh Sports. There's always been a small but vocal group of "serious cyclists" who sneer at old 3 speed bikes.
__________________
Classic American and British Roadsters, Utility Bikes, and Sporting Bikes (1935-1979):
https://bikeshedva.blogspot.com/

Last edited by SirMike1983; 05-08-24 at 01:46 PM.
SirMike1983 is offline  
Likes For SirMike1983:
Old 05-09-24, 09:49 AM
  #27997  
Senior Member
 
Salubrious's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 1,604

Bikes: Too many 3-speeds, Jones Plus LWB

Liked 281 Times in 126 Posts
Originally Posted by SirMike1983
Brandt was a very bright guy, but sometimes his advice focused on his engineering theory of a matter rather than how it actually worked out in practice. He tended to denigrate things he didn't agree with. I recall one usenet discussion where he basically told another person that the guy's old Schwinn 3 speed was not a real bike. Sheldon's explanation addressed Jobst's complaint about the AW.

Brandt was not alone in his thinking though. I remember once being laughed out of a bike shop in DC because I came in with a Raleigh Sports. There's always been a small but vocal group of "serious cyclists" who sneer at old 3 speed bikes.
Bad luck! Probably the sneering is from a sense of insecurity...

If you ever encounter such again, ask which is better for training!

Maybe they are just being nice but I don't get laughs at my 3 speeds when I bring them to my LBSs. But 3-speeds are part of cycling history such as my Bates or my '35 roadster. My bike that gets the most compliments when I'm out on a ride, whether road, mountain or whatever, is my 1972 Raleigh Superbe.
Salubrious is offline  
Likes For Salubrious:
Old 05-09-24, 10:46 AM
  #27998  
On the road
 
SirMike1983's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: New England
Posts: 2,213

Bikes: Old Schwinns and old Raleighs

Liked 936 Times in 356 Posts
It has a lot to do with the culture of a particular shop. Funny thing was after that happened, I went next door to a competing shop, and they really appreciated the condition of the old Raleigh Sports. People tend to gravitate to others with similar perspectives. Two shops on the same block with totally different ways of looking at it. This was probably 21-22 years ago.
__________________
Classic American and British Roadsters, Utility Bikes, and Sporting Bikes (1935-1979):
https://bikeshedva.blogspot.com/
SirMike1983 is offline  
Likes For SirMike1983:
Old 05-09-24, 04:35 PM
  #27999  
Senior Member
 
adventurepdx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 1,031
Liked 89 Times in 53 Posts
Originally Posted by SirMike1983
Brandt was a very bright guy, but sometimes his advice focused on his engineering theory of a matter rather than how it actually worked out in practice. He tended to denigrate things he didn't agree with. I recall one usenet discussion where he basically told another person that the guy's old Schwinn 3 speed was not a real bike. Sheldon's explanation addressed Jobst's complaint about the AW.


Brandt was not alone in his thinking though. I remember once being laughed out of a bike shop in DC because I came in with a Raleigh Sports. There's always been a small but vocal group of "serious cyclists" who sneer at old 3 speed bikes.

Brandt was bright and also an iconoclast that did things in a very unique, deliberate, and sometimes confounding way. I read somewhere else that he got a new frame built yearly (or every other year) because he put so much abuse on his bikes, and that he always chose yellow paint because it would show cracks the easiest. Jobst would do serious "gravel"/MTB rides with high gearing and slick, narrow tires on a road bike. He would never carry water, instead he knew where water was and would stick his head into the spring or creek and drink. He also looked sideways when Tom Ritchey rolled up on a bike he had built himself, wondering if it would be up for the task. I admire folks like him, but just like I do with Jan Heine, I take their recommendations with a grain of salt.


But Brandt wasn't unique in the practice of denigrating three speeds. That was common practice amongst many American men who got serious about cycling in the 60s and 70s. This was an era when adult biking (at least in the 60s) wasn't a thing, so those who aspired to it looked at racing bikes from Europe for inspiration. Three speeds was what they'd find in department stores, hardware stores, or the basic bike shops, and admittedly a lot of the three speeds available here (that wasn't imported from the UK) were heavy and of mediocre quality. That bias got passed down through the ages, especially through the pages of bike magazines and books. Look at the bike books from that era--they might talk about three speed maintenance because they were common, but there was an air of "If you're serious about this, you'll soon leave that three speed behind and upgrade to a fine machine from Italy or maybe France." (Not Japan just yet.) And that bias is still hard to shake.
adventurepdx is offline  
Likes For adventurepdx:
Old 05-09-24, 09:25 PM
  #28000  
On the road
 
SirMike1983's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: New England
Posts: 2,213

Bikes: Old Schwinns and old Raleighs

Liked 936 Times in 356 Posts
Originally Posted by adventurepdx
Brandt was bright and also an iconoclast that did things in a very unique, deliberate, and sometimes confounding way. I read somewhere else that he got a new frame built yearly (or every other year) because he put so much abuse on his bikes, and that he always chose yellow paint because it would show cracks the easiest. Jobst would do serious "gravel"/MTB rides with high gearing and slick, narrow tires on a road bike. He would never carry water, instead he knew where water was and would stick his head into the spring or creek and drink. He also looked sideways when Tom Ritchey rolled up on a bike he had built himself, wondering if it would be up for the task. I admire folks like him, but just like I do with Jan Heine, I take their recommendations with a grain of salt.


But Brandt wasn't unique in the practice of denigrating three speeds. That was common practice amongst many American men who got serious about cycling in the 60s and 70s. This was an era when adult biking (at least in the 60s) wasn't a thing, so those who aspired to it looked at racing bikes from Europe for inspiration. Three speeds was what they'd find in department stores, hardware stores, or the basic bike shops, and admittedly a lot of the three speeds available here (that wasn't imported from the UK) were heavy and of mediocre quality. That bias got passed down through the ages, especially through the pages of bike magazines and books. Look at the bike books from that era--they might talk about three speed maintenance because they were common, but there was an air of "If you're serious about this, you'll soon leave that three speed behind and upgrade to a fine machine from Italy or maybe France." (Not Japan just yet.) And that bias is still hard to shake.
You make a good point. There was a malaise era for some of these bikes in the 1970s into the 1980s. The Raleigh products were generally good, as were the Schwinn products. Some of the Japanese and French brands also made decent 3 speed bikes, and then Schwinn was also importing Taiwanese Giant-made three speeds at the end.

But some of the fading manufacturers, like Murray and Columbia, were turning out some rather weak offerings by way of three speed bikes in that malaise time. Then there were the department store bikes like the Free Spirit, and some of the Huffy bikes that were just kind of cheap overall. I've seen a fair number of these bikes with broken frame or separated weld joints at the rear of the frame. Then many of the budget level components were cheap. I suppose if your experience with a three speed was on a 1980s Columbia where the rear dropout decided to detach itself during a ride, you'd be turned off on three speed bikes.

Still, it's unfair to lump them all together. I suppose it was sort like the snobbery that plagued the Schwinn Varsity. Perhaps the Varsity took it even worse.
__________________
Classic American and British Roadsters, Utility Bikes, and Sporting Bikes (1935-1979):
https://bikeshedva.blogspot.com/
SirMike1983 is offline  
Likes For SirMike1983:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.