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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 09-28-13, 10:19 AM
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What's the appropriate tire look for a late 50's clubman - gumwall or all black? (Black frame bike with 700C wide polished rims.)
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Old 09-28-13, 10:19 AM
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Rudge was sold to Raleigh in 1943
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Old 09-28-13, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Gasbag
a better quality 16mm cone wrench would have made the job easier.
Surely the Real Thing would be better:

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Old 09-28-13, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
Surely the Real Thing would be better:


The right tool for the job. The search is on!
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Old 09-28-13, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
Surely the Real Thing would be better:

I bought a number of these a few years ago.
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Old 09-28-13, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver
I bought a number of these a few years ago.
Same here. They seem to turn up in batch lots on eBay occasionally.
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Old 09-29-13, 05:27 AM
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+1 on the Whitworth wrenches. Working on the old Raleighs got a lot easier when I finally broke down and bought a set. A mix of metric and SAE had been mostly adequate but I was a lot happier with wrenches that fit correctly.
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Old 09-29-13, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by crank_addict
What's the appropriate tire look for a late 50's clubman - gumwall or all black? (Black frame bike with 700C wide polished rims.)
I've seen both. In the videos "Cyclists Special" parts 1 & 2 the bikes are on predominately blackwall. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyz5d3entBw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGYng...ature=youtu.be

In catalog scans for Raleigh Lentons and Hercules Kestrels they have both choices.

My 1962 Hercules clubman has old Camel gumwalls that have a real nice orange color but are too dry cracked to ride on. It will get another set of gumwalls when it gets it turn on the repair stand.

So, I guess the answer is either, according to your tastes.
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Old 09-29-13, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by David Newton
Rudge was sold to Raleigh in 1943
Really! I didn't know that. My Rudge still has the distinctive Rudge fork crown, which I love. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the chainring with the logo.
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Old 09-29-13, 10:36 AM
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My Rudge doesn't have the hand chainring either. If I ever have the good fortune to locate one in good condition and priced fairly, it will be installed promptly. The hand is a defining feature of the Rudge-Whitworth after all.

Raleigh bought Rudge to avoid living up to their exclusive territory obligations. If a shop in a town already sold Raleigh and another shop wanted to sell them, the second shop was provided with the Rudge brand. This also goes to explain the relative scarcity of Rudge-Whitworth bicycles.

Last edited by Gasbag; 09-29-13 at 10:41 AM. Reason: addendum
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Old 09-29-13, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Gasbag
My Rudge doesn't have the hand chainring either. If I ever have the good fortune to locate one in good condition and priced fairly, it will be installed promptly. The hand is a defining feature of the Rudge-Whitworth after all.
There's one on e-Bay UK right now, current bid is only 1.2 Pounds; about $2.50 or so. However, shipping is 16.99 Pounds; $26 more or less. Here's a link:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-Ru...ht_4643wt_1235
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Old 09-29-13, 02:01 PM
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Rudge was sold to Raleigh in 1943
Really! I didn't know that.
Tom, I didn't know that because I'm any expert, but I read that they were an "early acquisition".
Rudge is usually mentioned along with Hercules, that Raleigh, TI really, absorbed in 1960, which was the last of the other big names.
Rudge was earlier bought by EMI the record company, of all things, and sold when they realized that bicycle making didn't fit them well.
Rudge was always a premier brand, and Raleigh kept them that way until there was only room for one at the top.
What an arcane story the simple 3-speed bike turns out to be.
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Old 09-29-13, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by David Newton
Tom, I didn't know that because I'm any expert, but I read that they were an "early acquisition".
Rudge is usually mentioned along with Hercules, that Raleigh, TI really, absorbed in 1960, which was the last of the other big names.
Rudge was earlier bought by EMI the record company, of all things, and sold when they realized that bicycle making didn't fit them well.
Rudge was always a premier brand, and Raleigh kept them that way until there was only room for one at the top.
What an arcane story the simple 3-speed bike turns out to be.

I kind of understood it to have been the other way around. TI bought Raleigh, and since Raleigh's Nottingham works were more capable than the Birmingham and other factories of the BCC empire, production was moved to Nottingham.

This is kind of ironic, because (again as I understand it) the pre-merger Hercules used 24TPI for headsets and bb's, but afterward used Raleigh 26TPI parts. The 24TPI standard survives even today.

Of course, I might have all that twisted all the way around two or three times.
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Old 09-29-13, 06:20 PM
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You've got it right Howard, my bad sentence structure shows. TI owned Raleigh, and was doing all the consolidation.
What is hard for us to understand is how Britain had so many threads, and a standard was so late coming. There are some amazing stories of how things had to be done when the war departments were buying out components from diverse shops.
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Old 09-29-13, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by David Newton
You've got it right Howard, my bad sentence structure shows. TI owned Raleigh, and was doing all the consolidation.
What is hard for us to understand is how Britain had so many threads, and a standard was so late coming. There are some amazing stories of how things had to be done when the war departments were buying out components from diverse shops.
As we sometimes say at work, "the nice thing about standards is that there are so many of them."

I'll bet the stories are indeed amazing.

I once added up how much it cost per mile to operate various bicycles I've had. The (Raleigh Sports - like) Hercules came in at around 4 or 5 cents per mile (tires, tubes, etc. plus fully accounting for the purchase price). Shoes typically cost more than that. Seriously, at that time, it cost me more to walk three miles than to ride the Sports. Bet it still does.
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Old 09-29-13, 08:25 PM
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I have no doubt a three speed is more economical than most other bikes, but I've never heard the cost of cycling compared with that of walking. Could that possibly be true?
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Old 09-29-13, 08:48 PM
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Seriously, at that time, it cost me more to walk three miles than to ride the Sports. Bet it still does.
It isn't hard to believe. As engineers say "if it looks right, it is right". I have always heard that the bicycle is one of the most efficient machines ever invented. I ride a single speed freewheel bike with rim brakes. It goes so easily, I am fooling myself to claim that I ride for exercise.
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Old 09-30-13, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider
I have no doubt a three speed is more economical than most other bikes, but I've never heard the cost of cycling compared with that of walking. Could that possibly be true?
If time is money, sure.
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Old 09-30-13, 09:38 PM
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Everyone--bad news. Many of you have bought cotters, cotter presses, or 3-speed parts from Mark Stonich, aka Bikesmith of Bikesmith Designs. Mark was recently in a serious collision--he was hit from behind by an elderly driver--and has multiple fractures and a concussion. He is currently in the hospital recuperating, but seems more concerned by damage to his 1972 Holdsworth Mistral.

Send emails to Mark, who has his iPad at the hospital:

mark@bikesmithdesign.com
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Old 09-30-13, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
Surely the Real Thing would be better:

The things you need when you ride a bike with an SA hub...

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Old 09-30-13, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by gna
Everyone--bad news. Many of you have bought cotters, cotter presses, or 3-speed parts from Mark Stonich, aka Bikesmith of Bikesmith Designs. Mark was recently in a serious collision--he was hit from behind by an elderly driver--and has multiple fractures and a concussion. He is currently in the hospital recuperating, but seems more concerned by damage to his 1972 Holdsworth Mistral.

Send emails to Mark, who has his iPad at the hospital:

mark@bikesmithdesign.com
Sounds like he is a real cyclist, worrying about his bike more than himself.
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Old 10-01-13, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver
Sounds like he is a real cyclist, worrying about his bike more than himself.
Mark is a huge asset to the vintage bike community in MSP as well as many other places. I have purchased a lot of odd Sturmey-Archer parts from him. He also has been involved in HPV events in MN. He built a recumbent using a Raleigh Sports frame a while back. He is quite the innovator.

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Old 10-01-13, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by gbalke
There's one on e-Bay UK right now, current bid is only 1.2 Pounds; about $2.50 or so. However, shipping is 16.99 Pounds; $26 more or less. Here's a link:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-Ru...ht_4643wt_1235
Thanks for the lead. The chrome on the crank arms is too degraded on this one. I saw another one but it was badly scratched up. I'll have to keep waiting & watching.
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Old 10-01-13, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
I have no doubt a three speed is more economical than most other bikes, but I've never heard the cost of cycling compared with that of walking. Could that possibly be true?
I think I figured about a hundred bucks for a good pair of shoes and maybe 600-800 miiles, meaning 12.5 to about 16 cents per mile for walking.

Just to double check, a quick search turned up this article
https://sneakerreport.com/news/the-10...ailable-today/
with an average of around $100 and a recommendation to throw them out at 500-600 miles. 16 to 20 cents a mile. For reference my "serious" running friends are into it at about 30 cents a mile.

The Sports cost me around $80 altogether (including new tires and tubes) and at that time I had about 2000 miles on it. That's between 4 and 5 cents per mile - if it disappeared on that afternoon. It has more miles on it now, and I've also replaced some other bits (grips, brake pads, cotters, etc). More than half of the miles have been commuting or errands. It's been a pretty good value for me. I rode it on the 25 mile round trip commute last week, so it's still turning "revenue" miles.

If I sold the bike for $50, the cost per mile would go way down. I wouldn't expect shoes to retain much value after 1000 miles .

The newer more (ahem) "specialized" bike I bought for commuting has not been economical, taking a new fork (recall), a new rear wheel (cheaply made), and new tires and some other things. It has been more expensive than walking, FWIW.
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Old 10-01-13, 03:30 PM
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Howard, interesting. The price you paid is atypical, but it's fun to read through your numbers. I've never thought about how many miles my shoes have gone.

In any case, if someone shows me that I'm spending too much on bikes, I'm not going to stop.

gna, thank you for the bad news and the suggestion. I wrote Mark a get-well email.
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