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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 07-02-10, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
They're heavy as boulders, but Ashtabula cranks are easy to work on!
Yeah, don't need an Ashtabula crank press to grease the bearings. When we were kids, all the bikes I ever saw had 1 piece cranks. I replaced one when I was about twelve. Only tool that I had access to was a 12" Crescent wrench -- but that's all I needed.
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Old 07-02-10, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
They're heavy as boulders, but Ashtabula cranks are easy to work on!
Heavy as boulders, I like that! I woulda said, ugly as sin. But then that's probably my Catholic upbringing showing through. Gotta watch that.

But going back to Ohio (Ashtabula, OH)...

Are they really that heavy? The single Z shaped crank and spindle is really very thin, and can't weigh more than two cottered crank arms pinned to a spindle; the BB may weigh a little more than an English style one, but a negligible difference I guess; and then the chain ring. Usually a heavy one, but doesn't have to be. Somehow I suspect one could make an Ashtabula crank very light indeed, were that the goal; it just wasn't Schwinn's goal, that's all.
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Old 07-02-10, 09:57 PM
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I think the Ashtabula crank is a great design, major reduction of parts compared to cottered/cotterless... no reason it couldn't be made about as light as a cotterless if that were the goal. - same cost though, I dont know
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Old 07-02-10, 10:11 PM
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Ashtabula cranks are a little heavier than cottered steel cranks... their great virtue is that they are so easy to service and require no special tools.

Older models tend to be made far better than latter models and Sugino made some really nice Ashtabula z arms for BMX bikes.
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Old 07-02-10, 10:19 PM
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You've seen that builder ANT bikes uses a one piece crank set that looks pretty smooth. I wonder if it is alloy?

This really is a radical group, politics, the hint of religion, and now promoting Ashtabula cranks!
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Old 07-02-10, 10:39 PM
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If anyone is interested, The local scrap guy stopped by the other day and has a Raleigh rod brake bike, complete, but rough. Black, men's, about a 23". He would like to unload the bits. PM me if interested. I have pics.
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Old 07-03-10, 08:36 AM
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The Ashatbullas on my tand- er that is, BBF2 are making me a bit cranky because I want to easily remove them from the back end to use that space as cargo. My goal is to have long or short cranks depending on who the stoker is or no cranks in case of extra large baskets, and to be able to do the swap over on the road with minimum tools... Quick realease cranks would be ideal. I suppose that material might be tough to drill through...

Hmm...
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Old 07-03-10, 10:15 AM
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I thought I'd document this one as it's now packed up in a box and on the way to my brother in Ohio. An AMF Hercules, rear hub date 1969 (and the 13th month!), remarkably well preserved. My brother owned one of these as a kid in this color, I believe, and has long looked for a replacement. However, I think by 1969 he owned a Schwinn Varsity.











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Old 07-03-10, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
I thought I'd document this one as it's now packed up in a box and on the way to my brother in Ohio.

Neal
Very nice. Do you have any shipping pointers? I'm giving my brother a Triumph 3-speed, but I need to get it to Birmingham, AL.
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Old 07-03-10, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by gna
Very nice. Do you have any shipping pointers? I'm giving my brother a Triumph 3-speed, but I need to get it to Birmingham, AL.
I use FedEx ground as it's usually the least expensive and very convenient to me as there's a FedEx/Kinkos just down the street from my house. Shipping a 46 lb. bike box from Boston to Cleveland was about $38.

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Old 07-03-10, 08:48 PM
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I'm a little smitten with the rod brake Raleighs--where are you located?
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Old 07-03-10, 08:56 PM
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$38--seriously? All of the shipping fees I always see quoted seem to be $100 plus. Do you have to dismantle it or is that packed "as-is?"
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Old 07-03-10, 10:13 PM
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Found the vunerable spot on my raleigh sport today. Rounding a corner a hit a very smallish pothole, didn't think to much of it other than making a mental not for the next time. Applying a bit a rear brake, I noticed the something was wrong. I struck the rim at the exact location were the valve stem hole is located, apprently the weakest spot! Arghhh! It put a crimp in the side of the rim, it's out of round. I though I might try working the crimp out using an auto body hammer but I think that will end up being a wast of time. It was such a nice rim.
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Old 07-03-10, 10:28 PM
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Some shops have a tool for straightening steel rims and this is one of their virtues over aluminium... a dent won't kill them.

In some cases I have used a circular wheel jig to straighten old steel wheels if they are the type that are hard to replace.
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Old 07-04-10, 07:06 AM
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I am spending the summer in Western Africa and have found a whole lot of these 3-speed bicycles just like the ones pictured on this forum, including Raleigh, Rivel, Gazelle and other brands. They are identical to almost all of the bikes pictured on this forum - plus a lot of dirt. I am not well knowledged in vintage bicycles. I am trying to learn as much as I can because I am coming to love these bikes I am finding here. I have noticed that most of the bikes have 28" rims vs. 26" rims, they have front and rear fenders with head and tail lights. I don't know how to tell the age of the bikes, but they are mostly all from either England or Holland. I really want to learn as much as I can about them so that I can buy a few, refurbish them, and take them back to the States with me. I would greatly appreciate any help!!!! I will try to get some pics of them.
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Old 07-04-10, 07:32 AM
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Sturmey Archer puts a date of manufacture on the rear hub shell. The bike is almost always built in the year of the hub or the year thereafter. This will help you date the bikes.

I think as a rule, the 28" wheel bikes have rod brakes and the 26" wheel bikes have caliper/cable brakes. There are exceptions, and I know a lot less about the Dutch bikes than the English bikes, so this general rule may not apply to the Dutch bikes.

I'm look at a lot of craigslist ads with mens three-speeds lately. I've finally found my holy grail, but I haven't turned the alert off, because I'm enjoying seeing the ads. If you want to see what I'm seeing, set up a google alert and use the search terms "mens 3 speed site:craigslist.org".
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Old 07-04-10, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider
Sturmey Archer puts a date of manufacture on the rear hub shell. The bike is almost always built in the year of the hub or the year thereafter. This will help you date the bikes.

I think as a rule, the 28" wheel bikes have rod brakes and the 26" wheel bikes have caliper/cable brakes. There are exceptions, and I know a lot less about the Dutch bikes than the English bikes, so this general rule may not apply to the Dutch bikes.

I'm look at a lot of craigslist ads with mens three-speeds lately. I've finally found my holy grail, but I haven't turned the alert off, because I'm enjoying seeing the ads. If you want to see what I'm seeing, set up a google alert and use the search terms "mens 3 speed site:craigslist.org".
OOOO I'm so setting up my own alert!!!! I didn't know you could do that and I was always wondering how everyone got their CL finds!!

Thanks!
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Old 07-04-10, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by greengage
$38--seriously? All of the shipping fees I always see quoted seem to be $100 plus. Do you have to dismantle it or is that packed "as-is?"
This is a DIY operation: I used a standard bike box (roughly 53" x 31" x 8"), and removed pedals, saddle and post, front wheel, front fender, front rack, stem/bars. I didn't disconnect the gear cable or rear brake so that my brother can just put the handlebar stem in and be good to go. There's lots of info out there on packing up bicycles, such as this one.

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Old 07-04-10, 08:18 AM
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im going to check that alert thing out! I've never even heard of that!
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Old 07-04-10, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver

I really like this one. If you ever wanted to get rid of it.....
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Old 07-04-10, 05:40 PM
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Alright. I went back to the market today and took pictures of the bikes. I also bought one. From the date on the hub it is a 1975 Raleigh. Everything appears to be original, except the right hand brake and the seat. Let me know what you think, it cost about $56 dollars here.

IMG_7226..jpgIMG_7224..jpgIMG_7221..jpgIMG_7209..jpg
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Old 07-04-10, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by greengage
$38--seriously? All of the shipping fees I always see quoted seem to be $100 plus. Do you have to dismantle it or is that packed "as-is?"
This was a few years ago now, but I shipped a 75lb transmission on FedEx ground from Seattle to New Jersey for about 20 bux.
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Old 07-05-10, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by wmartinhickman
Alright. I went back to the market today and took pictures of the bikes. I also bought one. From the date on the hub it is a 1975 Raleigh. Everything appears to be original, except the right hand brake and the seat. Let me know what you think, it cost about $56 dollars here.

Attachment 158336Attachment 158337Attachment 158338Attachment 158339

WOW! Trying to give us heart palpitations I haven't seen a line up of fendered bikes like that in years!

The one you have has a drum front brake and that little bracket on the fork is for a bottle generator. Price seems decent enough.

FWIW I have seen rod brakes on everything from a 20" wheeled bike on up.

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Old 07-05-10, 09:08 AM
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ha. Well if you want one let me know, there are tons of them and considering where they are they are in good shape! I am about to go out and try to find a market that sells the generator and the lights. It has the wires already run, but apparently someone just stole the lights. I haven't seen any with rod brakes yet. Tell me this, what are the advantages/disadvantages of the drum brake?
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Old 07-05-10, 10:55 AM
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Google alerts are a MIGHTY powerful thing, and I hesitate to share it with others, since I give away my advantage. But there you are, and I can't exactly ask you NOT to spread the word.

My father in law is sometimes in the press, so I have an alert with his name. Every so often, I send him email, saying I've read the article about him, and he asks me what I'm doing reading the Palm Beach Press or some other obscure newspaper.
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