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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 03-04-15, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by El Segundo
We have had lots of weather samples in the last few weeks. Last week we had 11" of snow which stayed on the ground two days, today we have 70 degrees with 20 mph wind and forecast tomorrow is high of 30 degrees. So ready for the real spring to arrive.
Yeah we haven't had a lot of good biking weather here in the Piedmont of SC either. Hit 70 here today but was 10 two weeks ago...

At least this last blast that's coming tomorrow won't have any steam left when it pivots around the southern Appalachians so we'll have a halfway decent day tomorrow too. Definitely looking forward to the mild weather this year! [Heck, at least it's not Boston; now they have truly been whacked this winter!]
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Old 03-04-15, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by PalmettoUpstate
Yeah we haven't had a lot of good biking weather here in the Piedmont of SC either. Hit 70 here today but was 10 two weeks ago...

At least this last blast that's coming tomorrow won't have any steam left when it pivots around the southern Appalachians so we'll have a halfway decent day tomorrow too. Definitely looking forward to the mild weather this year! [Heck, at least it's not Boston; now they have truly been whacked this winter!]
This afternoon we dropped 20 degrees in 1.5 hours. Bad weather tomorrow but Friday starts warming up then in mid fifties for the weekend. Folks in the northeast have indeed had a tough winter.
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Old 03-04-15, 06:53 PM
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Took some time out from working on the house and derailleur bikes to spend a little time with a 3-speed, the Raleigh Sports L23 I mentioned a while back. Whoever worked on it last had installed one of the crank cotters in the wrong direction so the arms were not at 180 degrees and I fixed that. While it is seriously dried out, it really only took a rear tube to be rideable. This one still had the original Raleigh-branded rear tube (still has the original Dunlop tires) but I had a spare so put that in. This one was missing a rim strip so used electrical tape for that. Could not get the rear tire fully seated even after lubing the bead and applying high pressure and the tool of choice, the Bicycle Research tar plar. The seat is very uncomfortable so I'll need to dig out a B66 or B72 to try on it. A few shots of lube and it seems to be coming around. And it will need that 22T cog I have hiding somewhere in the garage. The stock 18T just does not do it when you're used to lower gearing.
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Old 03-04-15, 07:52 PM
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@thumpism - I sure like that shade of green. Gorgeous.

Here's an update on my earlier brake situation post. For those who didn't read, I decided to remove the original brake caliper of the '55 Phillips and install a "like new" set of Tektro R559 Long Reach dual pivot calipers. The first one went great. The front caliper has cable entering from the drive train side of the bike, which was no issue because my right brake lever operates the front brakes.

When I mounted the rear caliper I noticed that the cable routing was not the same as the original, which had the cable entering the caliper from the bottom going up. New caliper would have cable entering from the top down. Anyway, I simply moved the cable over to the NDS of the bike, gently bend & go up the seat tube (held near top with zip tie), then gently loop into the caliper.

Also since I last posted a photo I have put on Col de la Vie tires, and shortened the chain 1 entire link then installed a half link to "center" the rear tire fore-aft within the fender.



At the moment I haven't cut the zip tie "tail" and I've got blue painter's tape holding the dyno rear light cable at the moment. Considering if I should move the rear tail light to the NDS of the bike. It's sort of charming being on the other side as it tells me perhaps this bike was actually ridden in England (or maybe not). I always use a red blinky light rear anyway.

Oh, did I mention that I LOVE riding it now???? Braking is fantastic!

I cannot get photos from flickr to upload. Maybe it's because my one month "trial" of premium membership has lapsed.
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Old 03-04-15, 08:03 PM
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Thanks, but it looks much better in the photos than in real life. The finish is variously scratched, faded, abraded and generally worn. Fortunately, my bikes need not be pretty.
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Old 03-04-15, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
@thumpism - I sure like that shade of green. Gorgeous.

Here's an update on my earlier brake situation post. For those who didn't read, I decided to remove the original brake caliper of the '55 Phillips and install a "like new" set of Tektro R559 Long Reach dual pivot calipers. The first one went great. The front caliper has cable entering from the drive train side of the bike, which was no issue because my right brake lever operates the front brakes.

When I mounted the rear caliper I noticed that the cable routing was not the same as the original, which had the cable entering the caliper from the bottom going up. New caliper would have cable entering from the top down. Anyway, I simply moved the cable over to the NDS of the bike, gently bend & go up the seat tube (held near top with zip tie), then gently loop into the caliper.

Also since I last posted a photo I have put on Col de la Vie tires, and shortened the chain 1 entire link then installed a half link to "center" the rear tire fore-aft within the fender.



At the moment I haven't cut the zip tie "tail" and I've got blue painter's tape holding the dyno rear light cable at the moment. Considering if I should move the rear tail light to the NDS of the bike. It's sort of charming being on the other side as it tells me perhaps this bike was actually ridden in England (or maybe not). I always use a red blinky light rear anyway.

Oh, did I mention that I LOVE riding it now???? Braking is fantastic!

I cannot get photos from flickr to upload. Maybe it's because my one month "trial" of premium membership has lapsed.
Nice solution to the brake cable and really nice bike. Enjoy the ride.
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Old 03-04-15, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
@Salubrious - I built some CR18 rims/ wheels so it's new with Kool Stop Continental pads.
@adventurepdx- I have a set of those Tektro FL 750 levers.

Basically ly I would not ride the bike fast the way the brakes are now. No confidence in it.

Also so the floating headset sucks. Don't know the measurements for a new one.
Floating? Your bike has some sort of integrated headset installed?
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Old 03-04-15, 10:17 PM
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@BigChief - no on the headset. Sort of hard to explain, but if you imagine a "wok shaped" flat cup pressed into the top of the head tube and on that race sits a donut shaped piece of metal with a channel in it that holds the ball bearings. Then is the top piece, as usual, that you screw down on the steer tube until it touches the bearings, then there's the usual lock nut. Works best to adjust with bike on the floor because that "donut shaped" piece self levels as it sits in the wok or "V" shaped pressed cup. Never seen one before.

Apparently they were made in the day when quality control tolerances weren't great. I imagine they were mostly on less expensive, utility type bikes but I cannot be certain.




As you can see the top pressed cup is smooth and angled. No way for ball bearings to sit there. See silver item I'm holding with lots of grease in it. That's the donut shaped piece with a ring of bearings in the grease. Just sit that down on the pressed top cup, then proceed as usual. Different huh?
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Old 03-05-15, 07:04 AM
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Wow, I've never seen anything like that before. Even on really old, trashed Raleighs. So, I've never done this repair myself. Hopefully, someone here has experience with it. I'd like to know how it's done.
Wait...a ring? I see. It's been bunged up by some backyard mechanic. Too bad. Nothing for it but to replace those races somehow.

Last edited by BigChief; 03-05-15 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 03-05-15, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
@BigChief - no on the headset. Sort of hard to explain, but if you imagine a "wok shaped" flat cup pressed into the top of the head tube and on that race sits a donut shaped piece of metal with a channel in it that holds the ball bearings. Then is the top piece, as usual, that you screw down on the steer tube until it touches the bearings, then there's the usual lock nut. Works best to adjust with bike on the floor because that "donut shaped" piece self levels as it sits in the wok or "V" shaped pressed cup. Never seen one before.

Apparently they were made in the day when quality control tolerances weren't great. I imagine they were mostly on less expensive, utility type bikes but I cannot be certain.




As you can see the top pressed cup is smooth and angled. No way for ball bearings to sit there. See silver item I'm holding with lots of grease in it. That's the donut shaped piece with a ring of bearings in the grease. Just sit that down on the pressed top cup, then proceed as usual. Different huh?
I'm having trouble believing that this has anything to do with "quality control tolerances"; if anything in the 1950s they would have been fine and would likely have gone downhill as the decades wore on. I'm thinking that what we are looking at here is indeed the cludge of a monkey doctor; I serviced out a 1958 Phillips a couple of years ago and the headset did not look like that at all. So now I am wondering if this headset is correct- for example if it got taken apart in the past and a part was lost, so a work-around was created to get the bike down the road.

Generally speaking, one thing about British 3-speeds is that while they might be heavy and not particularly expensive (transportation for the masses being the goal), they were built with good bearings throughout, which were meant to last for decades with proper service (which is the British way). So I am agreeing with Big Chief here.

Would you like a photo of that Phillips headset I worked on recently? I have to install brake pads and a new (actually period correct) shifter on it so I'm due to have it in the shop soon. I could pick it up in the next day or so...
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Old 03-05-15, 11:15 AM
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@Salubrious - Good to know. I found out on this forum about floating "U" headsets. It was also mentioned about tolerances, etc. So I'm just repeating what I read here. .

So if I were to buy a new headset what size? ISO or JIS? Any particular brand you recommend? I have a midern Tange new in a box.

Oh, yes I would really appreciate some up close photos of your headset in details. I'll look forward to them.

Update: look at post #82 on my original thread about this bike. See where @markk900 says his wife's Standard Model K bike has the same headset. He goes on to say that it had been suggested to him that this style headset was made by Brampton in England and were common.

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Old 03-05-15, 11:52 AM
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@Velocivixen, Hmm- OK... now I am curious what I saw in that Phillips. I have to service it anyway so I will try to get it this weekend.

I don't have a recommendation on headsets, although I have a Tange headset on a British bike and it has worked out fine.
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Old 03-05-15, 11:59 AM
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@Salubrious - here's another thread. See post #3 for images:

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...o-my-head.html

I just read in old roads.com that Phillips & Hercules if the '40's & '50's used 1/8" bearings. I don't know what size bearings were in my headset, but I just replaced them with the size that was in there.

Would having too small bearings cause my symptoms? The bike rides beautifully. When I tighten race just enough to remove play, headset binds at extreme right/left angles. Since riding a bike with extreme angles is impossible, I don't worry about it.

Apparently T. D. Cross (TDC) also made floating headsets & "Fitments".

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Old 03-05-15, 12:26 PM
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All the headsets in my British bikes (and my French Riva-Sport too) take 1/8" bearings in the headset. So I think you are safe there.

And heck- it works- so why fix it? Unless you are like me, where ya just gotta get to the bottom of things. That aspect of myself has gotten me in over my head plenty of times...
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Old 03-05-15, 01:13 PM
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There's a ladies' Sports that looks like a 19" on CL locally. Looks like it's originally from Agee's (local since-forever Schwinn/Raleigh dealer) and seems very reasonably priced. Nicer than my L23" but mine was free. Hope someone can use it!
VINTAGE : Raleigh 3 speed

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Old 03-05-15, 04:14 PM
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Here you go. I'd soak those cups in DB Blaster a bit, drift em out with a sharp edged bar or pipe and replace that whole mess with something like this.

Vintage Bike Bicycle Headset Cup Set Bearings Raleigh BSA French Philips | eBay
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Old 03-05-15, 04:30 PM
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VV,

I hope I never see one of those, don't we all have enough trouble with standard stuff?
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Old 03-05-15, 04:47 PM
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VV,

those TDC headsets were common and are quite good. The one on my late 60's Dawes Galaxy functions great and the chrome still bright and shiny. I replaced the gazillion bearings that were in there though. God help the poor sod who had too many pints for lunch and then had to load those tiny bearings.

nice Phill you got there.
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Old 03-05-15, 05:56 PM
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Hey all, yeah I don't want to replace headset as it is in fine condition. I don't recall bearing size. I'm going to go open it in a minute, dig out a bearing & measure it. I will report back.
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Old 03-05-15, 05:56 PM
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I replace the 5/32" headset bearings as a matter of course when I grease the headset. They're cheap and I always loose a few anyway. But I was always impressed how well the races held up even on bikes that obviously saw much use and no maintenance. I've never had to mess with the cup races. But now that I look at them, I'm pretty sure they would drift out without much trouble. I would replace them. I thing what she said about a ring meant she found caged bearings in the headset. Whoever had that idea, overcame the usually reliable races and wrecked them. Cranky headset bearings would drive me crazy. I'm funny that way. The brakes on the other hand don't bother me in stock form. I do set them open enough that they start to engage in the middle of the lever's travel. And I like to toe them in to the front about 10 degrees so they don't squeak or glaze the pads.

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Old 03-05-15, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by PalmettoUpstate
Yep. And maybe, like me, vintage lawn chairs. I re-web them when the sun has destroyed the webbing. Can't stand to see the aluminum frames junked when these are such perfect example of functional industrial design...

To the topic at hand, left to right:

"small" round white rubber housing, these could be SA, Lucas, or Fairylite as best I can tell. On a project bike I haven't gotten to yet... [no chain guard, doinker kickstand etc.]
"small" round black rubber housing, this is a repop from Asia somewhere. Decent quality but not correct for my black '74 LTD-3 but I like it so...
"large" round white rubber housing, OEM to the '74 Raleigh Sports [same bike as mentioned above]. I guess the Feds were getting involved hence the change...

...and now, with michaelz28's bike's reflector, I'll have to add another variant to my pics and knowledge base. There are some people on this thread with encyclopedic knowledge of these bikes and maybe they can shed some light on the black vs. white variants of the reflectors from this time frame.
i guess we never got to the bottom of this . pratically all the raleighs i see have a white one .
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Old 03-05-15, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen



At the moment I haven't cut the zip tie "tail" and I've got blue painter's tape holding the dyno rear light cable at the moment. Considering if I should move the rear tail light to the NDS of the bike. It's sort of charming being on the other side as it tells me perhaps this bike was actually ridden in England (or maybe not). I always use a red blinky light rear anyway.
Bike is looking great.

Just my opinion here... if I owned this beauty I'd definitely try to get some black wiring to replace the gray [for your lighting] and then, as much as possible, "clean up" the look of the bike by combining the run of the black wiring with the run of the black brake cables while judiciously using black zip ties. Then perhaps, at least on the main tubes, use the OEM metal cable clamps that have a little "shoulder" on them for accommodating the brake or shift cable and a smaller wire [as in the lighting wire]. I know those are out there because I have re-used them on a couple of bikes. Maybe someone with an extensive "bits bin/box" will donate them to you!

PS- the brakes look great too!
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Old 03-05-15, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by PalmettoUpstate
Bike is looking great.

Just my opinion here... if I owned this beauty I'd definitely try to get some black wiring to replace the gray [for your lighting] and then, as much as possible, "clean up" the look of the bike by combining the run of the black wiring with the run of the black brake cables while judiciously using black zip ties. Then perhaps, at least on the main tubes, use the OEM metal cable clamps that have a little "shoulder" on them for accommodating the brake or shift cable and a smaller wire [as in the lighting wire]. I know those are out there because I have re-used them on a couple of bikes. Maybe someone with an extensive "bits bin/box" will donate them to you!

PS- the brakes look great too!
Thanks! You've got a good eye for detail. Prior to yesterday's new brakes and re routing of the rear brake cable the electrical (grey) and the brake cable were "as one" and ran side by side using the clips holding it all together. Now that the brake cable is on the NDS I figured I'd move the lighting over to that side too. That way the cables will be all together and the rear light will be on the correct side for traffic. I never thought about black electrical cable. I've seen that on eBay. Donations gladly accepted. Maybe one of the coops would have them. I've found some pretty obscure old parts. I've got to go when I've got a lot of time to dig through stuff.

UPDATE on headset. I opened headset and it has 1/8" ball bearings. All along I noticed that the cup shaped race that the ball bearings sat in was seated unevenly in the pressed, wok shaped, cup. Tried all sorts of things and could never get it aligned. I think that was the problem. Just now had the race unscrewed, bike on the ground and noted that, due to the very slack head tube angle, the steer tube was leaning back, resting on the head tube. In other words, the steer tube was not centered within the head tube in it's relaxed state due to gravity. However, when I applied the front brake and pushed the bike forward, the head tube moved a bit allowing the part with the ball bearings to seat evenly. I maintained the brake/pressing forward motion while simultaneously tightening the top race and adjusting, tightening the locknut. From the side the "bowl" with ball bearings appears to be seated evenly all the way around the the slight binding I felt during extreme turning of handlebars right/left has disappeared.

Now, when I lift the front of the bike the handlebars turn more freely left/right and there is no knocking of the steer tube. I think that was the trick. I have also read that these headsets are notorious for coming out of adjustment. Not sure that's true.

The top race said "Phillips 24 Made In England".
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Old 03-05-15, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
I never thought about black electrical cable. I've seen that on eBay. Donations gladly accepted. Maybe one of the coops would have them. I've found some pretty obscure old parts. I've got to go when I've got a lot of time to dig through stuff.
What I speak of is not exactly what I'd call "cable" - more aptly described as just black lightweight wire - and I'd certainly look for something with a high conductivity rating.

Re the OEM metal clips: I'll see if I can find one on one of our bikes and snap a couple of pics of it off the bike. Someone like the OP or someone who works in a CO-OP or - rarest of rare possibilities - in a shop specializing in the old lightweight bikes - may be sitting on a stash ;v)

That being said; burgundy/garnet and black are one of the all time great color combos and you can easily refine your nice bike to the reality of sporting it glowingly...

It would fit well in the overall aesthetic you seem to be shooting for IMO.
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Old 03-05-15, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by michaelz28
i guess we never got to the bottom of this . pratically all the raleighs i see have a white one .
The 51 black Sports step through that we have has a black reflector housing. It seems to be original and the bike has other black accents like the brake cable clips. Also, the ends of the BB spindle are black as opposed to the typical shiny chrome. At the time, black was standard and other than black was a extra price option.

The rubber housing had a tear and I repaired it with CA glue infused with black rubber (purchased that way from Amazon, WBS). The glue dries hard, like other CA glue, but that was ok because the original rubber was PDH. I'd call the repair a success as it's barely noticeable even on close inspection. If I were trying to repair a white one, I'd experiment with CA glue mixed with baking soda to see if the color would be ok.

edited:

The point about the black reflectors -- probably, black reflector housings came on some older black bikes. How did a black one get on a non-black bike? Perhaps the bike needed a replacement and the shop had a black one in stock. Or, perhaps Raleigh put it on there because they were out of white ones the day it was assembled. Or, perhaps it was specced that way for some time -- with older Raleighs, who knows?

Last edited by desconhecido; 03-05-15 at 07:12 PM.
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