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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 05-10-24, 10:03 AM
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Parts find of the week - an unused front hub for a Schwinn 3 speed with its original box. Neat stuff. This one is a dural hub from the late 1940s or early 1950s.



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Old 05-10-24, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983
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.
From what I've seen, I'd rank Columbia higher than the K-mart triumvirate of Huffy/Murray/AMF, the bikes looked a bit nicer and better made. Of course, Huffy did import some stripped down Raleigh Sports and rebadged them as Huffy Sportsmen (though not all Sportsmen were Raleigh made). I know AMF imported some Hercules, don't know about Murray. And Free Spirit was agnostic in where they got their bikes, I've seen some American made ones, but the Free Spirit three speed my partner has is lugged and Taiwanese. (Giant?) Same goes for Sears, who had a lot of their three speeds made in Austria by (I believe) Puch.

As an aside, for further research: The fascinating case of Ross, who were basically a third-tier American maker in the vein of Iverson until the mid-80s, when they decided to make some nice mountain bikes that are now fairly desirable.

Anyways, it is true that there were differences in quality in the American and British three speeds during the bike boom era. But my central thesis isn't that. It's the fact that all three speeds, no matter the quality, were considered junk by a certain type of bike snob. And that thinking got passed down through the ages, which makes it hard to shake, even now. And that's a shame. Three speeds are great everyday bikes for most riders, especially those who are using their bikes for commuting or utility purposes. Compare that to the bikes those snobs considered great: Lightweight machines good for going fast and far but not as good for other uses.
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Old 05-10-24, 12:07 PM
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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 contemporary Fichtel & Sachs 55 and 415 hubs also had neutrals. The H3111 (which became the SRAM T3) was introduced in 1976 and did not have a neutral.
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Old 05-14-24, 07:08 AM
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After the purchase of a Super Course, my Raleigh-esque stable is growing. Not all 3 speeds and technically not all mine. The 72 green Sports started it all when I rescued it from 30+ years in the dank cellar of a house we bought. I found the 67 Robin Hood Lenton Sports when I was looking for parts for the 3 speed. And I bought the 67 ish Triumph for a Triumph sports car friend who has yet to pick it up. One of these days I'll bring the Sports for a nice, relatively level bike path ride. Meanwhile, the Super Course does well for the hilly terrain in my neighborhood.
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Old 05-14-24, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by swampyankee2
After the purchase of a Super Course, my Raleigh-esque stable is growing. Not all 3 speeds and technically not all mine. The 72 green Sports started it all when I rescued it from 30+ years in the dank cellar of a house we bought. I found the 67 Robin Hood Lenton Sports when I was looking for parts for the 3 speed. And I bought the 67 ish Triumph for a Triumph sports car friend who has yet to pick it up. One of these days I'll bring the Sports for a nice, relatively level bike path ride. Meanwhile, the Super Course does well for the hilly terrain in my neighborhood.
Robin Hood Lenton Sports? Yes, the Lenton moniker was purloined by them, but the frame wasn't the lightweight Reynolds tubing.
Raleigh produced the Robin Hood cycles, but always regarded them as part of a budget range, sold through dealers who weren't the (favoured) exclusive Raleigh outlets.
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Old 05-14-24, 01:03 PM
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Yes, the Lenton Sports is basically a rebadged Raleigh Sprite. But it's a unique bike in very nice shape. The original owner had removed the fenders so they didn't see years of youthful abuse, but he still had them.

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Old 05-14-24, 08:23 PM
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1947 Schwinn Continental out for a ride earlier this evening. The leaves have really filled in on the plants here over the past week or so.

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Old 05-14-24, 09:26 PM
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Raleigh DL-1

A Raleigh DL-1 on Long Island. A bit rusty, but the price helps soften that some.

Vintage Raleigh Rod Brake - Craigslist Long Island

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Old 05-15-24, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Velo Mule
A Raleigh DL-1 on Long Island. A bit rusty, but the price helps soften that some.

Vintage Raleigh Rod Brake - Craigslist Long Island

I think that may be a 26 inch wheel Dawn series bike rather than a DL-1. Neat find. Looks like a challenge for someone who likes projects.
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Old 05-15-24, 10:52 AM
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.

I found this in a thrift store a while ago, I didn't need it.

I'm more interested in 1970's 10 speeds, but I had to have the bell....






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Old 05-15-24, 06:01 PM
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Sturmey-Archer bearing cage?

I've already posted this to the mechanics forum, but answers are more likely to come from this group.

I was gifted a Royal Scot (made by Raleigh?) 3-speed and it immediately became my favorite city bike. Coincidentally, like the one above. Btw, is this made by Raleigh? Sheldon Brown says it's a NYC bike shop house brand. I figured it was a Raleigh because I had a Huffy that looked 100% the same, and it had a "made by Raleigh" decal on it.






I added a bit of 90W gear oil and it started acting up. I was hearing some grinding on one ride, but it went away. Later it got a little wobbly and I had problems adjusting the bearing play. Pulling it apart today, the bearing cage is obviously trashed. Normally I would eliminate the cage, but without it the bearings fall into the hub. This is a cup design issue/feature, as far as I can tell. Are these cages available anywhere?





Here's my exploded view. Can anyone comment on the sequence. I tried to lay them out in order but quickly mixed them up. I have an online exploded view, but the parts aren't the same as mine, close, but not the same.



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Old 05-15-24, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983
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.
I love it when people trash talk 3 speeds, I mention that my longest rides was 205 miles with 14,000' of climbing, 16 hours of clock time, 14 hours rolling time, on a sturmey archer 3 speed equipped bike, and then ask what their biggest ride has been, and nobody ever wants to tell me how long (short?) their longest ride was
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Old 05-15-24, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by sunburst
I've already posted this to the mechanics forum, but answers are more likely to come from this group.

I was gifted a Royal Scot (made by Raleigh?) 3-speed and it immediately became my favorite city bike. Coincidentally, like the one above. Btw, is this made by Raleigh? Sheldon Brown says it's a NYC bike shop house brand. I figured it was a Raleigh because I had a Huffy that looked 100% the same, and it had a "made by Raleigh" decal on it.






I added a bit of 90W gear oil and it started acting up. I was hearing some grinding on one ride, but it went away. Later it got a little wobbly and I had problems adjusting the bearing play. Pulling it apart today, the bearing cage is obviously trashed. Normally I would eliminate the cage, but without it the bearings fall into the hub. This is a cup design issue/feature, as far as I can tell. Are these cages available anywhere?





Here's my exploded view. Can anyone comment on the sequence. I tried to lay them out in order but quickly mixed them up. I have an online exploded view, but the parts aren't the same as mine, close, but not the same.


Are you actually working on an SW hub like the one in the diagram, or do you have the more common AW hub?

Are the parts shown from the drive side or the left side?
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Old 05-15-24, 07:01 PM
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[QUOTE][A Raleigh DL-1 on Long Island. A bit rusty, but the price helps soften that some.

Vintage Raleigh Rod Brake - Craigslist Long Island

I think that may be a 26 inch wheel Dawn series bike rather than a DL-1. Neat find. Looks like a challenge for someone who likes projects./QUOTE]

It may be a Dawn and certainly it is very similar but I have one from 1952 and although it did have the rod brakes like this one and the 26 x 1 3/8 tires it also had a fully enclosed drive train. I thought that was part of the spec. Might be the later ones ditched the chain enclosure. The hub will be stamped with the year of manufacture and that would tell part of the story. I think the rim/tire size is the key, the DL1 had large diameter tires and very relaxed geometry. ( BTW I find that my Dawn steers and handles like a very modern bike. )
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Old 05-15-24, 07:06 PM
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[QUOTE=Panurgist;23241250]
[A Raleigh DL-1 on Long Island. A bit rusty, but the price helps soften that some.

[url=https://longisland.craigslist.org/bik/d/plainview-vintage-raleigh-rod-brake/7746344540.html]Vintage Raleigh Rod Brake - Craigslist Long Island

I think that may be a 26 inch wheel Dawn series bike rather than a DL-1. Neat find. Looks like a challenge for someone who likes projects./QUOTE]

It may be a Dawn and certainly it is very similar but I have one from 1952 and although it did have the rod brakes like this one and the 26 x 1 3/8 tires it also had a fully enclosed drive train. I thought that was part of the spec. Might be the later ones ditched the chain enclosure. The hub will be stamped with the year of manufacture and that would tell part of the story. I think the rim/tire size is the key, the DL1 had large diameter tires and very relaxed geometry. ( BTW I find that my Dawn steers and handles like a very modern bike. )
Whether the bike received a chain case depends on which model within the Dawn family of bikes and when it was made.
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Old 05-15-24, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by sunburst
I've already posted this to the mechanics forum, but answers are more likely to come from this group.

I was gifted a Royal Scot (made by Raleigh?) 3-speed and it immediately became my favorite city bike. Coincidentally, like the one above. Btw, is this made by Raleigh? Sheldon Brown says it's a NYC bike shop house brand. I figured it was a Raleigh because I had a Huffy that looked 100% the same, and it had a "made by Raleigh" decal on it.






I added a bit of 90W gear oil and it started acting up. I was hearing some grinding on one ride, but it went away. Later it got a little wobbly and I had problems adjusting the bearing play. Pulling it apart today, the bearing cage is obviously trashed. Normally I would eliminate the cage, but without it the bearings fall into the hub. This is a cup design issue/feature, as far as I can tell. Are these cages available anywhere?





Here's my exploded view. Can anyone comment on the sequence. I tried to lay them out in order but quickly mixed them up. I have an online exploded view, but the parts aren't the same as mine, close, but not the same.


If this is an AW hub, that bearing looks to be a HSA284. My domestic source for Sturmey Archer has been Modern Bike, but they don't have it. Ebay seems to be out of them as well. Hmm. Brommie+ in Taiwan seems to have them but they might cost more to ship than the parts. Perhaps there are more Sturmey Archer parts you might need to justify shipping. SJS is a UK based source for all thing Sturmey Archer as well.

Or you could use some grease and put the balls in loose.

30 weight oil is the usual recommendation for lubrication. People have used various oils and as long as there is oil in the hub, they seem to run. 90wt may be a bit too thick though. There are some good videos on rebuilding the AW hubs.

Let us know if the hub is an AW. It will be stamped on the hub along with a date code.
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Old 05-15-24, 09:35 PM
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Raleigh 5 speed with 2 levers

hey, I have a weird question... I have a couple of Raleigh (matching pair) Sprite. They have 5 speed internal gearing hit. The girls bike has 2 levers on the top tube (well the top sloping tube).. My question, with 2 levers I would expect a 4 speed (AA,AB,BA, BB) or 6 speeds (AA, AB, AC, BA, BB, BC) but how in the world did they come up with 5 speeds????
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Old 05-16-24, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by jerrylis
hey, I have a weird question... I have a couple of Raleigh (matching pair) Sprite. They have 5 speed internal gearing hit. The girls bike has 2 levers on the top tube (well the top sloping tube).. My question, with 2 levers I would expect a 4 speed (AA,AB,BA, BB) or 6 speeds (AA, AB, AC, BA, BB, BC) but how in the world did they come up with 5 speeds????
The middle gear (the "2" spot on the right lever) is the same, no matter what the left lever's position is.
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Old 05-16-24, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Velo Mule
30 weight oil is the usual recommendation for lubrication. People have used various oils and as long as there is oil in the hub, they seem to run. 90wt may be a bit too thick though.
"Weight" is a rating, not an actual numerical viscosity measurement.

Sunburst said they used GEAR oil. GEAR oil viscosity is measured at a different temperature than MOTOR oil - cylinder walls typically being hotter than gearboxes.

At the same temperature, 90wt GEAR oil runs through a viscosimeter about like 30wt MOTOR oil.

Folks use all kinds of stuff to lubricate IGHs. It seems to be a game to use anything other than the manufacturer's recommendation. An IGH being gears, an argument can be made for using gear oil rather than motor oil. Tilting at windmills; it's a struggle to keep people from putting honey in the hubs. When in doubt:


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Old 05-16-24, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Velo Mule
If this is an AW hub, that bearing looks to be a HSA284.
A bit confusing, isn't it? Sunburst shows us an exploded view of a SW Mk I and then says 'my hub is different'. Wonder which hub we are actually dealing with here? No matter! That K67Z 'Ball Cage with 8 Balls' became the HSA108 in the historic renumbering and then was updated (one fewer ball?) as the HSA284. It is darn near universal in Sturmeys, among which: AW, SW Mk I, SW Mk II, AM, FW, CS-RF3, RS-RF3, S5, S5-1, S5-2, Sprinter 7, S-RF3, X-RF4, and even the X-RF8(W) all use the same caged axle bearing.

BTW, the balls are std. ". If one desires to stick them in with grease w/o the cage, use 10.

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Old 05-16-24, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs
"Weight" is a rating, not an actual numerical viscosity measurement.

Sunburst said they used GEAR oil. GEAR oil viscosity is measured at a different temperature than MOTOR oil - cylinder walls typically being hotter than gearboxes.

At the same temperature, 90wt GEAR oil runs through a viscosimeter about like 30wt MOTOR oil.

Folks use all kinds of stuff to lubricate IGHs. It seems to be a game to use anything other than the manufacturer's recommendation. An IGH being gears, an argument can be made for using gear oil rather than motor oil. Tilting at windmills; it's a struggle to keep people from putting honey in the hubs.
Absolutely! In the old days MG's and FIAT's called for 30w motor oil or straight GL1 mineral oil in the gearbox, when people would use GL5 gear oil instead they would shift horribly and wear fast. Partly the extreme pressure additives mucked up the syncros but also I was told the additives affected how easily/quickly the oil could flow between the gear teeth.
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Old 05-16-24, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs
A bit confusing, isn't it? Sunburst shows us an exploded view of a SW Mk I and then says 'my hub is different'. Wonder which hub we are actually dealing with here? No matter! That K67Z 'Ball Cage with 8 Balls' became the HSA108 in the historic renumbering and then was updated (one fewer ball?) as the HSA284. It is darn near universal in Sturmeys, among which: AW, SW Mk I, SW Mk II, AM, FW, CS-RF3, RS-RF3, S5, S5-1, S5-2, Sprinter 7, S-RF3, X-RF4, and even the X-RF8(W) all use the same caged axle beth
BTW, the balls are std. ". If one desires to stick them in with grease w/o the cage, use 10.
yes, after checking, mine is a 1974 AW, not the SW in the drawing. But mine is also different than this AW spec sheet. Neither shows the dust caps.
I am going to try 10 loose balls. I'm only seeing the HSA284 available in the EU and Australia. One would think they sold enough 3-speeds in the US to justify someone stocking parts.

Sturmey AW

Now, when it comes to gear oil, which a few have commented on, I read many(!) threads/discussions before deciding on this. I figured it has gears, why not use gear oil.
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Old 05-16-24, 05:27 PM
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Here's a shot of the official factory 1972 exploded view:

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Old 05-16-24, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by sunburst
One would think they sold enough 3-speeds in the US to justify someone stocking parts.
Sturmey-ArcherParts.com out of Seattle USA has them:

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Old 05-16-24, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs
Sturmey-ArcherParts.com out of Seattle USA has them:

Thanks for that source, I will bookmark it. When I googled that part, that did not show up. Search has so much room to improve. Hope AI achieves that.

Anyway, fixed it with the loose bearings. Got all the parts back in the right order too. The two dust caps(?) fit together in a way I wasn't expecting. Took it for a ride, the bike and the wheel feel great.

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