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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 02-13-12, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by greengage
Meant to add "in my price range"--there's a nice one on there for $59!
I only paid $49 for mine but I'm going to have a lot more in it by the time I get finished with it.

Last edited by silvercreek; 02-13-12 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 02-13-12, 07:24 PM
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Yikes.

I amuse myself by snapping up the pedestrian steel-shelled AW's out of the hub bins at the local rebuildery/coop for $2/each.

But we all have to have our hobbies.
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Old 02-14-12, 12:55 PM
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I've got a '61 Raleigh Sports with the Chaincase boss. I'm thinking of putting on some cream tires and a chaincase.

Has anyone tried the chaincases that Yellow Jersey sells? I've heard that in terms of quality they are a bit of a hit and miss.
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Old 02-14-12, 03:53 PM
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I got one a few months ago badged Ya Chung. Quality seems fine, finish is not as good as the early British stuff but it is just a chaincase, so I'm happy with it.
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Old 02-15-12, 06:27 PM
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I've been working on this Raleigh Safety de Luxe, full story and more pics here:

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...xe-3-speed-IGH

Just wondering if anyone in this thread has any info about this bike. I didn't get much of a response in the appraisals forum. It seems like a great bike, I can't wait to get it into riding condition, maybe I'll even get mom to ride it. I just never have enough time to work on it when I visit the folks.
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Old 02-15-12, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver
This is a must read article...



60 Years And Still Not Tyred
Dear God, it still has the original brake cables!
That is a great story--thanks for sharing it. Why is it again that we all have so any bikes? Is there really any need for more than one?
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Old 02-28-12, 09:07 PM
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Hercules Royal Imperial

A friend of mine in England asked me a couple months back to keep an eye out for a Hercules Trio-Tube 3-speed bicycle. Since I am always on the lookout for anything Hercules, when I did my usual search on my Local CL, I was surprised to see an ad listing two bikes: "1950s English 3 Speeds,Hercules,Portland". I was even more surprised to see that one of the bikes was the Hercules of nearly mythical status which Mike had asked me to find for him and, additionally, we now seemingly had a name for the model of the bike - Hercules Royal Imperial! Well, the rest is history. I left the the gentleman's home $100 poorer, and with not just one bike but two! I've not had opportunity to take pictures of the Portland yet, but here are some of the most unique English 3-speed cruiser you'll likely set eyes on.


Hercules Trio-Tube - 1 by Sallad Rialb, on Flickr


Hercules Trio-Tube - 2 by Sallad Rialb, on Flickr


Hercules Trio-Tube - 24 by Sallad Rialb, on Flickr


Hercules Royal Imperial - C&O Canal Ride - 1 by Sallad Rialb, on Flickr


1950s English 3 Speeds,Hercules,Portland by Sallad Rialb, on Flickr
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Old 02-28-12, 09:32 PM
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Oh WOW! That is so cool! Your friend will be ecstatic! - And to find it on THIS side of the pond - all I can say is "Oh WOW! That is so cool! "

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Old 02-29-12, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow
Oh WOW! That is so cool! Your friend will be ecstatic! - And to find it on THIS side of the pond - all I can say is "Oh WOW! That is so cool! "
As I hear it, and I could be wrong on this, the reason they can't be found in England is because they were built for the US market. If that is the case, he's going to have an exceedingly unique machine over there. When I took it for a ride Sunday, I found it to be a nice riding bike, very similar to a Raleigh Sports or other similar light roadster but with a slightly tighter cockpit. One thing that Hercules did with these bikes was retained the shorter wheelbase and the standard 26x1-38" tires, whereas the Raleigh Lancer put larger tires on the bike (26x1-3/4, I believe) making it more of a middleweight bicycle which resulted in the the Lancer being quite American in character. I've posted a picture of a Lancer below for the edification of the forum.


DSC_2461 by msu bikes, on Flickr
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Old 02-29-12, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by photogravity
As I hear it, and I could be wrong on this, the reason they can't be found in England is because they were built for the US market. If that is the case, he's going to have an exceedingly unique machine over there. When I took it for a ride Sunday, I found it to be a nice riding bike, very similar to a Raleigh Sports or other similar light roadster but with a slightly tighter cockpit. One thing that Hercules did with these bikes was retained the shorter wheelbase and the standard 26x1-38" tires, whereas the Raleigh Lancer put larger tires on the bike (26x1-3/4, I believe) making it more of a middleweight bicycle which resulted in the the Lancer being quite American in character. I've posted a picture of a Lancer below for the edification of the forum.


DSC_2461 by msu bikes, on Flickr
I didn't even know that the Lancer existed.

Weird that they made a Schwinn clone -even down to the S7 wheels.

What a dumb idea No wonder they are rare.
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Old 02-29-12, 11:03 AM
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This thread just gets better a better... got my Twenty dressed up a little and out before the snow returned.



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Old 03-01-12, 07:11 AM
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My Superbe

Hi Guys!

Thought I'd get involved with this forum by showing my English 3 speed. Nothing extraordinary, a 1975 Raleigh Superbe. I've had it over 10 years now, given to me by my grandfather who bought it new during a trip home to England. He worked for the Canadian government and was posted in India, China, various South Pacific islands and Barbados. The Raleigh followed him everwhere and was his main mode of transportation wherever he was, and finally in Ottawa until he retired. I used it as my every day transport in Toronto until I moved to Adelaide, Australia in 2004. Shortly after receiving it, it replaced my 1991 Miele (can't remember the model, but I bought it new and cost me all my savings at the time) as my favourite ride in the city. Once I experienced the simplicity and versatility of the AW hub, I couldn't believe anyone would bother with derailers! Hell, I could change gears at the lights if I had to! I had my brother bring the Raleigh over to Oz with him in 2010 so I could ride it again. Living in the hills means I don't get to use it for getting to work anymore, but I still get out for a joy ride or out to the shops at least once a week.
I have replaced the SA Dynohub with a standard spool because it wasn't working and the axle was cross threaded anyway. I'm currently running without the front frender as it was damaged during transport from Canada and I just haven't bothered with trying to get the dents out. About the only issued I'm having now is that the Raleigh 'Self Adjust' brake levers won't stop self adjusting so I might just replace them with standard levers.




I posted a quick intro in the C&V pages last week, showing a mystery 3 speed I've just picked up. Originally I was simply going to get it rolling and operation nicely and ride it as is. I like the patina of frame and I was maybe going to clean up the fenders a bit. But now, having inspected it a little more closely, it's going to need more work than I anticipated. The crankset is mismatched, not the same length and the "cotter" pins are simply random bolts jammed in there (so not sure of the BB condition yet), the steering bearing cups are mangled, one of the seat stay tubes is slight bent and the wheels need at least a true, maybe more. So I've decided this is going to be my first bicycle rebuild, with fresh paint and all, into something a bit sporty. It's a little different than working on the old motorcycles I'm used to.
I'm sure most of you have resurrected worse, but here's what I'm working with, wish me luck.
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Old 03-01-12, 07:16 AM
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>> Hell, I could change gears at the lights if I had to!

This is a huge selling point when we're showing used 3-speeds to people commuting in the city.
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Old 03-01-12, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Commando
Hi Guys!

I posted a quick intro in the C&V pages last week, showing a mystery 3 speed I've just picked up. Originally I was simply going to get it rolling and operation nicely and ride it as is. I like the patina of frame and I was maybe going to clean up the fenders a bit. But now, having inspected it a little more closely, it's going to need more work than I anticipated. The crankset is mismatched, not the same length and the "cotter" pins are simply random bolts jammed in there (so not sure of the BB condition yet), the steering bearing cups are mangled, one of the seat stay tubes is slight bent and the wheels need at least a true, maybe more. So I've decided this is going to be my first bicycle rebuild, with fresh paint and all, into something a bit sporty. It's a little different than working on the old motorcycles I'm used to.
I'm sure most of you have resurrected worse, but here's what I'm working with, wish me luck.
Drum brakes front and rear? Pics of the drop outs and the fork crown will probably yield a positive ID.
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Old 03-01-12, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Commando
Hi Guys!


I'm sure most of you have resurrected worse, but here's what I'm working with, wish me luck.
That will clean up better than you think.

Look up:

Oxalic acid
Scratch Remover Polish (Scratch-X, etc.)
Barkeeper's Friend

Do not go nuts and start using anything more harsh than that. I wish I knew what I know now when I started cleaning up my dad's '54 Sports. I thought I did a good job but after I did a few more bikes I learned that I could have been a lot more gentle and the micro-damage I did to the paint and the chrome getting it rust free and cleaned up is irreversible.

If you want to work on Raleigh bikes you need to get yourself a cotter press of some sort. The vise and socket method works, but there are other cheap methods like the $16 press. The hammer method just plain sucks.

Here is a great resource. Don't forget Sheldon.
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Old 03-01-12, 07:55 AM
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Thanks Guys,

Mos6502, I reckon the fork crown is the key, quite unique. It looks like some late 50's or early 60's BSA's but other features don't match up, could be a bitsa.





The SA AB hub is dated 57, so there's another piece to the puzzle.

Amesja, I was just thinking that today. As I said, I like the patina of the frame as it is. It just depends on what will need to be done to the rest of it and if I can keep the overall look consistant.
I've checked up a couple of the cotter press threads here and will attempt the chain breaker method. I think I have 2 motorcycle chain breakers laying around, both the same as in your link. I made up a quick tool yesterday out of a c-clamp. The biggest problem was trying to keep it centred on the cotter "pin" while I tightened it.
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Old 03-01-12, 09:01 AM
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I have used my Motion Pro motorcycle chain breaker to press out cotters and it works quite well. Get everything straight and it pops right out. I like the Harbor Freight press because it is faster. The Motion Pro takes longer to set up as everything is disassembled in the plastic case. I have to think about which pieces to use and how to set it up -then put it all back away when I'm done.

Plus, the HF press is $16. I bought another one for $9 the other day when it was on sale. So if I mess it up I won't be out much. The MP press runs $150. I don't want to screw it up or lose pieces out of it -or the next time I need to install an endless motorcycle chain I'll be bumming. If you think LBS rates are expensive -try going to a Moto $tealership. Yikes!
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Old 03-01-12, 07:54 PM
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I just bought a 1969 Burgundy women's Raleigh Sports. It will be a retirement present for a friend and colleague who is moving to the beach. It's in pretty good shape, but I'd like to do the following:

1. Replace the tires. I'd like white or gumwall tires, but am told the selection is very limited for the tire size (26 x 1 1/4). Does anyone know if there are any available in that size? Will 26 1 3/8 fit on the rim.

2. Polish up the paint and maybe touch up some scratches. It has its share of chips and scratches. Is it worth finding some nail polish that matches or even trying to find touch-up paint, or should I just use polishing compound and/or car wax to get the finish looking as nice as possible? What's the best way to shine up this old bike?

3. Clean up all the metal parts, de-goop them, lube them and get them working as well as possible. This includes brakes, shifter, drivetrain, etc. I know the hub has a lube port. How much should I pour in there? If it has trouble staying in first gear, occasionally bumping up to 2nd, is there anything that can be done? I know better than to open that hub! Short of that? What's the most common reason for shifter problems like that on these old S-A 3 speed hubs?

4. Replace the basket, which is badly beaten up and bent. I can pry open the metal brackets that wrap around the basket and then ply them shut again if I can find a new one that is a reasonable match. Any advice on where?

That's about it. A friend who is a tech at an LBS advises me not to replace the cables, just to clean and lube them. That sound right? Brake shoes are in surprisingly good shape. Just hoping to get it as shiny and functional as possible to make it a nice gift. It won't be mint or even close, but it's a classic looking bike and I think it'd make a great beach cruiser (has a Brooks saddle, btw. A little piece of the vinyl/leather coming off, but that can be excised easily and it's pretty comfortable).

Thanks in advance for any help.

Matt

PS--No photos now, but can post some tomorrow if that'd be helpful.
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Old 03-01-12, 07:55 PM
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I just bought a 1969 Burgundy women's Raleigh Sports. It will be a retirement present for a friend and colleague who is moving to the beach. It's in pretty good shape, but I'd like to do the following:

1. Replace the tires. I'd like white or gumwall tires, but am told the selection is very limited for the tire size (26 x 1 1/4). Does anyone know if there are any available in that size? Will 26 1 3/8 fit on the rim.

2. Polish up the paint and maybe touch up some scratches. It has its share of chips and scratches. Is it worth finding some nail polish that matches or even trying to find touch-up paint, or should I just use polishing compound and/or car wax to get the finish looking as nice as possible? What's the best way to shine up this old bike?

3. Clean up all the metal parts, de-goop them, lube them and get them working as well as possible. This includes brakes, shifter, drivetrain, etc. I know the hub has a lube port. How much should I pour in there? If it has trouble staying in first gear, occasionally bumping up to 2nd, is there anything that can be done? I know better than to open that hub! Short of that? What's the most common reason for shifter problems like that on these old S-A 3 speed hubs?

4. Replace the basket, which is badly beaten up and bent. I can pry open the metal brackets that wrap around the basket and then ply them shut again if I can find a new one that is a reasonable match. Any advice on where?

That's about it. A friend who is a tech at an LBS advises me not to replace the cables, just to clean and lube them. That sound right? Brake shoes are in surprisingly good shape. Just hoping to get it as shiny and functional as possible to make it a nice gift. It won't be mint or even close, but it's a classic looking bike and I think it'd make a great beach cruiser (has a Brooks saddle, btw. A little piece of the vinyl/leather coming off, but that can be excised easily and it's pretty comfortable).

Thanks in advance for any help.

Matt

PS--No photos now, but can post some tomorrow if that'd be helpful.
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Old 03-01-12, 08:07 PM
  #2995  
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Are you sure this sports has S6 rims??? Other than the above-mentioned Lancer Schwinn-clone I didn't think Raleigh made any bikes with S6 rims.

Why? Did someone re-lace schwinn rims onto the bike? Fender clearance must be really tight.

If I found such a bike I'd bin the S6's and put 590's back on it.
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Old 03-01-12, 08:11 PM
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They don't look like S-6 rims, but maybe they shared the tire size.
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Old 03-01-12, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Commando
Hi Guys!Thought I'd get involved with this forum by showing my English 3 speed.


Nothing extraordinary, a 1975 Raleigh Superbe. About the only issued I'm having now is that the Raleigh 'Self Adjust' brake levers won't stop self adjusting so I might just replace them with standard levers.
The Suberbe is an extraordinary bicycle... loved mine.

Those self adjusting levers can be turned into straight levers as the self adjuster mechanisms can be removed... there is no need to replace them but the self adjusting feature was a dog.
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Old 03-02-12, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Amesja
-or the next time I need to install an endless motorcycle chain I'll be bumming. If you think LBS rates are expensive -try going to a Moto $tealership. Yikes!
Motion Pro make some good stuff!
I know what you mean! Until about a year and a half ago I worked at a motorbike shop. Luckily I'm mates with most of the shops around town and get good discounts, makes running the motorised 2 wheelers a bit more affordable.
What kind of bikes do you ride?
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Old 03-02-12, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver
The Suberbe is an extraordinary bicycle... loved mine.

Those self adjusting levers can be turned into straight levers as the self adjuster mechanisms can be removed... there is no need to replace them but the self adjusting feature was a dog.
Yes Sixter fiver, it is a great bike! What I meant was is in our world of old bicycles, it's fairly common, and by my standards not that old. Heck, it was made the year I was born, and I don't feel old.

Thanks for the advice on the levers, which part of it is the self adjusting mechanism? Is it just the spring and gear?
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Old 03-02-12, 12:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Commando
Yes Sixter fiver, it is a great bike! What I meant was is in our world of old bicycles, it's fairly common, and by my standards not that old. Heck, it was made the year I was born, and I don't feel old.

Thanks for the advice on the levers, which part of it is the self adjusting mechanism? Is it just the spring and gear?
There is a spring clip and a little tab that goes into the lever... after removing the brake cables undo the spring and pull the adjuster off ... you may need to use a small punch to tap the tab out of the brake lever and they can be jammed in there quite tightly.

Running the bike with brakes that are conventional will improve things a good deal.
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