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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 03-27-14, 07:49 PM
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Did they ever give 3-speeds to the army?
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Old 03-27-14, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by garage sale GT
Did they ever give 3-speeds to the army?
Some armies, yes:

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Old 03-27-14, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by krtchp19
Would anyone happen to have an extra stem/stem bolt for an early 70's raleigh they don't need, mine broke off.
I've got a couple stems from that era, if you want 'em. They're off of Hercule-branded bikes, I believe, but I think they're the same as found on actual Raleighs. They've got the heron on 'em, anyway. Not perfect, but they'll clean up nice.
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Old 03-31-14, 06:38 PM
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I didn't want to start a new thread for a newb question, but does anyone know what the white plastic cover on the drive side axle nut on a SA AW hub is called. It protects the little chain on the shifter connector. I'm missing it on my Raleigh Sports and am pretty sure that's why the chain was broken when I got the bike.
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Old 03-31-14, 07:34 PM
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I've decided to improvise and make one out of one of those synthetic wine corks. I'll post pics later. Must drink wine first, sober up, make part.
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Old 03-31-14, 07:44 PM
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I like your style....

FWIW: millions of 3-speeds made without the plastic cover so not sure it is really necessary, but if you want one I can't fault your approach!
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Old 04-01-14, 06:17 AM
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You can order them from a variety of places, they are to protect the indicator chain if the bike falls over. Some of my bikes have them and some don't. I got a handful Mark Stonich of Bikesmith Designs a few years back. They are called "Indicator Guards" and the part number is HSL-711 (current part number) they are considered optional.

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Old 04-01-14, 07:54 AM
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Well, after reading through this thread I took the plunge and found myself a Raleigh Sports via Ebay. A metallic brown, 1976 according to the hub. Assembly has come to a stop for the moment since I can't seem to get the front wheel to fit into the fork. The distance between the drop outs is 3 3/16" by my tape measure. Is the fork bent? Should I be looking at something else?
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Old 04-01-14, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by BGBeck
The distance between the drop outs is 3 3/16" by my tape measure. Is the fork bent? Should I be looking at something else?
No, that sounds about right. The front wheels are kind of a pain to get in and out, the first few times you do it. You have to kind of pull the fork blades outward while pushing the hub down (with the bike upside down; I don' t even try to do it right side up anymore) with your thumbs, possibly while cursing loudly. It'll seem like there's no way it can work, then the hub will suddenly snap into place.

And then, if Murphy hates you, you'll discover you put the wheel in backwards, with the adjustable cone on the wrong side, and have to do it all over again.
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Old 04-01-14, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
Some armies, yes:

Cool... but... those aren't three speeds either.
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Old 04-01-14, 03:23 PM
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Took the work vehicle to lunch today.
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Old 04-01-14, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by garage sale GT
Did they ever give 3-speeds to the army?
The Swiss had trials with three speeds in the early 90s before settling for derailleurs. Singlespeed machines don't have much in the way of cables or shifters to break, a chunk of the derailleur Swiss army bikes have bent hangers and bashed derailleurs despite generous bashguards.
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Old 04-02-14, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Ankheg
No, that sounds about right. The front wheels are kind of a pain to get in and out, the first few times you do it. You have to kind of pull the fork blades outward while pushing the hub down (with the bike upside down; I don' t even try to do it right side up anymore) with your thumbs, possibly while cursing loudly. It'll seem like there's no way it can work, then the hub will suddenly snap into place.

And then, if Murphy hates you, you'll discover you put the wheel in backwards, with the adjustable cone on the wrong side, and have to do it all over again.
Thanks. I was beginning to think I was too dumb to do bicycle mechanics. I do have the cursing part down!
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Old 04-02-14, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by jrecoi
The Swiss had trials with three speeds in the early 90s before settling for derailleurs. Singlespeed machines don't have much in the way of cables or shifters to break, a chunk of the derailleur Swiss army bikes have bent hangers and bashed derailleurs despite generous bashguards.
I was thinking it would be easy to look up if the British ever used 3-speeds. The original DL-1 f course did not.

I took a casual stab at finding it and was surprised to read the military model came with "butt-ended tubing" at least at some point.
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Old 04-09-14, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by garage sale GT
Did they ever give 3-speeds to the army?
These are single speeds but this is quite interesting nonetheless: put dutch bicycle band into a Youtube search and check 'em out!
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Old 04-09-14, 05:52 PM
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Over the winter we managed to pick up, cough, three(!) English 3-speeds. One was a 21" Hercules from possibly 1970/1971 that came from a pretty inept bike flipper. It was pretty beat, missing the fenders, but the wheels were in quite good shape. I needed a bike to tow a trailer with, and this seemed like it'd fit the bill.

The old handlebars were bent, and while I had a spare Raleigh replacement, I decided to swap out everything. Stem is some cheap steel Sunlite one, and the handlebars are Wald #896 , my favored cruiser bars. (Slightly longer and wider than the original Raleigh bars.) Cork grips, Velo-Orange levers, a spare Sunlite saddle I had laying around in the basement, a new front brake, new tires, new cog (20T--it originally had a 17T one... no, just no...) and chain, and it was done. It did have the nice fully-servicable rubber block pedals we all know and love, but I put those on my wife's bike, since that came with those hideous solid-plastic pedal-shaped-objects of legend, and put on some random old pedals I had in the basement.



The bike my wife picked up (I'll post pics someday, probably) had a coaster-brake rear hub, which she immediately hated, so I swapped the AW wheel from this Hercules onto hers. Hence this battered black Herc with three brakes-well, really two and a half, since the TWC Mark III leaves a bit to be desired in the stopping department.

Took it for the first ride this afternoon, and I'll be on the lookout for a replacement AW wheel soon, as I hate the TWC only slightly less than my better half does.



I like to replace the front brakes on newer three-speeds with a centerpull. It's mostly easy enough to do, but you seem to always need a rear brake, regardless of manufacturer, for sufficient reach. (This is a Weinmann-made one from my LBS, apparently off an old Raleigh.)

Anyway, yeah, another Hercules, somewhat butchered. Turned out a bit more hipster-ish than I was hoping, and the only thing more annoying than the TWC is the lack of a kickstand (to be replaced, soon), but it should haul a trailer just fine, which is the important part. And I now have a black English three-speed, which everyone should have at least one of, so there is that.
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Old 04-09-14, 06:00 PM
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I'm likin' that Hercules - nice looking frame, good build, looks like a fun around town rider/trailer hauler....but a 17 tooth! Incredible. I must say though the saddle looks scary to me....
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Old 04-09-14, 07:04 PM
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Yeah, the saddle came loose on me while was out, and I could only get it so tight with the little adjustable wrench I was carrying with me, so it slipped again a couple blocks from home.

And I have no idea what they were thinking when they put a 17T cog on there, except possibly "Hey, if we keep people from ever even trying to leave first gear, they'll never slip into neutral between 2nd and 3rd and lose braking, right? Suck on that, Consumer Reports and your grouchy criticisms of the TWC!" I kind of wonder if I was the first person to ride that hub in third gear in forty years?
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Old 04-10-14, 05:55 AM
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nice herc.. that thing is screaming for a brooks.. please do right by it..
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Old 04-10-14, 06:49 AM
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I had old reliable out last weekend for a ride. 1976 Raleigh Superbe. The Toronto Vintage Bicycle Show 2014 will be on Sunday July 27th in Trinity Bellwoods Park (Queen Street side)
More info to follow. A padded sprung seat makes a lot of sense this spring considering the condition of the roads here in Toronto.The inside curb lanes have been torn to shreds with potholes and crumbling asphalt everywhere.
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Old 04-10-14, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by gster
I had old reliable out last weekend for a ride. 1976 Raleigh Superbe. The Toronto Vintage Bicycle Show 2014 will be on Sunday July 27th in Trinity Bellwoods Park (Queen Street side)
More info to follow. A padded sprung seat makes a lot of sense this spring considering the condition of the roads here in Toronto.The inside curb lanes have been torn to shreds with potholes and crumbling asphalt everywhere.
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Old 04-11-14, 07:53 PM
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Took the Hercules out for another ride. Realized as I was riding along a nice flat street in a quiet part of town that the three-speed TCW hub on this bike only has two speeds. I'd be okay if the were first and second, but for some diabolical reason the three positions on the shifter are 1st, 1st, and 3rd. (And for me, with the 20t cog, 1st is lower than I'd like for riding on level ground--it's supposed to be the hill-climbing gear--and 3rd too high.) It's not, as far as I can tell, a matter of cable adjustment; the cable is correct (at least by AW standards), and moving the shift lever carefully, it just goes 3rd->neutral->1st->more 1st->still more 1st->1st yet again. Put it into "2nd", thinking maybe it'd slip or suddenly pop into 2nd somehow or do anything, really, somewhere along the way, but nope.

I'd take it apart and try to see what's wrong, but I really hate the coaster brake anyway, so this is all the more incentive to just get a new rear wheel with an AW hub, sigh.
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Old 04-11-14, 09:15 PM
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Didja replace the oil in the hub? If its been sitting a while I give it a good dose of Kroil (a penetrating oil) and ride it a few miles. Missing gears seem to majically reappear...
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Old 04-11-14, 10:10 PM
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Kroil - an elixir from the gods.
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Old 04-14-14, 11:11 AM
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I finally got the Brooks B-67 on this Raleigh Sport and a nice day to ride it.
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