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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 03-09-15, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
I'd bet it was made in Taiwan in the early 80's. Taiwan-made bikes weren't very good yet at that point. This bike is not up to Nottingham snuff.
Very true. The Raleigh versions from the 60s were quite nice.
https://www.ecovelo.info/images/20110210a1-1000.jpg
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Old 03-09-15, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by PalmettoUpstate
Hey nice Morris! There's a guy here in town, engineer for Michelin, who has a stable of these cars - including as I recall a pickup body. Is that a DL-1 in the boot?

It's a Raleigh Twenty folder.

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Old 03-09-15, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by tbo

New front brake calipers on Raleigh Sports, with newly built-up CR-18 alloy rim. Yes, I know, it's not exactly C&V, but neither is getting a CT scan because the bike didn't stop properly. Gosh, it's nice to have modern brakes. 30 minutes or less to install, including new cable. I could have made the older one work, but why? Doesn't look bad to me.

This R559 only fits on the front. Need a bigger one (if there is one) for the rear. I think it's call the 800a or 880a or something like that.
Hello tbo,
Looks like you have a nice Sports. I just finished mine and used the Tektro brakes on both ends of the bike. The rear fits just fine and works terrific.

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Old 03-09-15, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by El Segundo
Hello tbo,
Looks like you have a nice Sports. I just finished mine and used the Tektro brakes on both ends of the bike. The rear fits just fine and works terrific.

I see you used the long reach R 559s . Hard to see from the pictures, but did you need the extra reach. Would the standard length R 540s be long enough?
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Old 03-09-15, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
I see you used the long reach R 559s . Hard to see from the pictures, but did you need the extra reach. Would the standard length R 540s be long enough?
I don't think the standard length would have worked in my case. CR18 rims were used and the brake pads are mounted pretty low in the calipers. Will post better pic tomorrow.
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Old 03-09-15, 10:17 PM
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All I can say about the Tektro R559 is that braking is fantastic. I use Yokozuna brake pads and ditch the stock Tektro pads (I do save them).
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Old 03-10-15, 01:13 AM
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I scored a nearly mint 1951 AW hub today... will be looking forward to lacing that up into a new wheel as these 50's hubs are by far the nicest ever made.

Also scored some vintage HH Brown boots that had never seen the ground, they should be nice for some tweedy adventures.

Spring is just around the corner... we have a three speed ride planned for St Patrick's day too.
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Old 03-10-15, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver
I scored a nearly mint 1951 AW hub today... will be looking forward to lacing that up into a new wheel as these 50's hubs are by far the nicest ever made.

Also scored some vintage HH Brown boots that had never seen the ground, they should be nice for some tweedy adventures.

Spring is just around the corner... we have a three speed ride planned for St Patrick's day too.
There were quality problems with English products in the later 60s and 70s, but from my experience,
Sturmey Archer AW hubs seemed to be an exception. I know there were design faults in some of the
other hubs from that period, but the AW stayed pretty much the same reliable workhorse it always was.
Even the plating on the hub shell still held up well. I've never had a problem with any AW that wasn't solved
by a cable adjustment or at most, replacing the indicator pin/chain assembly. The only reason I've had
to take them apart was to grease the bearings. I prefer English bikes from the 50s generally, but I'm fine
with the later S/A AWs .
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Old 03-10-15, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver
I scored a nearly mint 1951 AW hub today... will be looking forward to lacing that up into a new wheel as these 50's hubs are by far the nicest ever made.

Also scored some vintage HH Brown boots that had never seen the ground, they should be nice for some tweedy adventures.

Spring is just around the corner... we have a three speed ride planned for St Patrick's day too.
Sweet.


@Velocivixen - you've got me thinking that I may have been too provincial setting up my S.O.'s 3-speed. She didn't really complain about the braking, but I remember it took her a while to descend the backside of the Bay City Hill on the Lake Pepin 3-speed ride. A lack of braking confidence could really affect enjoyment!
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Old 03-10-15, 10:11 AM
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@Salubrious - most of you are probably more adept at braking and confident riding, so using original brakes could be in your nature. Although I rode from the ages of 10-25 years of age daily, then off & on the rest of the time, I managed to crash on an Electra Townie a few years ago, going slightly faster than walking speed. I broke a bone! Only broken bone in my life. Now I am bionic with titanium inside. Hey.....wait....this titanium is probably as close to a titanium bike I will ever get! I will bask in the glory.

I've contacted a CL seller who is selling a SA 3 speed hub attached to an entire 26" wheel for $10! They wanted me to come to Portland to see it at night over the weekend, but I didn't feel like going to look at a bike wheel at 10 pm. I'm waiting for seller to tell me the date code.
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Old 03-10-15, 10:28 AM
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@Salubrious - Right now my plan is to drill out the hole in the hub body and re-tap for the SA oil port thread, which seems to be very similar to a 1/4" -28 thread.
I think you may find that the oil filler has a BA thread. I've read somewhere that they're 2BA, but I'd double-check the specs if I were you.
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Old 03-10-15, 10:53 AM
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^^ I think you are right, but they are apparently so close that the threads will work. I plan to use a tiny bit of gasket sealer to insure that oil can't leak past the threads.
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Old 03-10-15, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
I see you used the long reach R 559s . Hard to see from the pictures, but did you need the extra reach. Would the standard length R 540s be long enough?
@BigChief - here are some pictures of the brake and pad from better angle.

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Old 03-10-15, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Salubrious
^^ I think you are right, but they are apparently so close that the threads will work. I plan to use a tiny bit of gasket sealer to insure that oil can't leak past the threads.
Modern oil hole covers use SAE threads. I wouldn't recommend forcing one into a BA threaded hole. I see old English covers for sale on ebay all the time.
Best to use one with the correct thread IMHO.
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Old 03-10-15, 11:03 AM
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Fair enough.
I think I've seen some of these oilers sold somewhere as NOS, but I can't remember where.

I tried to carry your original quote across, so that it was highlighted in blue as a link, but I obviously still need to learn how to 'drive' this forum jobby...
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Old 03-10-15, 11:08 AM
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I've only ever had old Raleighs from when I was younger in the 1970's, apart from a couple of unfortunate forays into the world of mountain bikes.

That means most of my bikes have had steel rims and the steel Raleigh brakes to go with them. I've never really known any different, so it's quite interesting to see some of the views on the forum about the subject.
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Old 03-10-15, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Fidbloke
Fair enough.
I think I've seen some of these oilers sold somewhere as NOS, but I can't remember where.

I tried to carry your original quote across, so that it was highlighted in blue as a link, but I obviously still need to learn how to 'drive' this forum jobby...
The way to do it is click on the little "+ icon in the lower right of the post you want to quote then click on ''+Reply to Thread'.

I got the oil port on ebay from a guy that had a box of NOS Sturmey Archer oil ports.

Originally Posted by BigChief
Modern oil hole covers use SAE threads. I wouldn't recommend forcing one into a BA threaded hole. I see old English covers for sale on ebay all the time.
Best to use one with the correct thread IMHO.
Yup- ebay is where I got mine. I've also mined donation bike shops for used hubs- not surprisingly, hubs older than 1960 (the cutoff year for the metal oil port) are harder to find and when you do find them the port is often mysteriously missing... So I bought several NOS to keep me in supply.

What you may have missed is this is for a Brampton hub which has a different thread diameter, so I am drilling it out and tapping it for the SA oil port.
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Old 03-10-15, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
There were quality problems with English products in the later 60s and 70s, but from my experience,
Sturmey Archer AW hubs seemed to be an exception. I know there were design faults in some of the
other hubs from that period, but the AW stayed pretty much the same reliable workhorse it always was.
Even the plating on the hub shell still held up well. I've never had a problem with any AW that wasn't solved
by a cable adjustment or at most, replacing the indicator pin/chain assembly. The only reason I've had
to take them apart was to grease the bearings. I prefer English bikes from the 50s generally, but I'm fine
with the later S/A AWs .
SA hubs from the 60's through the 80's are still ok... but those late 40's and 50's AW hubs are like silk.

I too have very little need to tear down many SA hubs although the '74 hub on my 1954 Raleigh is going to get that '51 hub and a new wheel...
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Old 03-10-15, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver
SA hubs from the 60's through the 80's are still ok... but those late 40's and 50's AW hubs are like silk.

I too have very little need to tear down many SA hubs although the '74 hub on my 1954 Raleigh is going to get that '51 hub and a new wheel...
Positively! A 50s Raleigh deserves a 50s hub. Good find. 50s stuff is getting rare.
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Old 03-11-15, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
All I can say about the Tektro R559 is that braking is fantastic. I use Yokozuna brake pads and ditch the stock Tektro pads (I do save them).
Is there that much difference in the performance of the pads to do so? I have a 17T tall Sports that I ride sorta hard from time to time and I'm considering doing the Tektro 559 conversion and if I'm gonna do that I might as well go all the way with it if there's a marked difference. [in the pads]
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Old 03-11-15, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by PalmettoUpstate
Is there that much difference in the performance of the pads to do so? I have a 17T tall Sports that I ride sorta hard from time to time and I'm considering doing the Tektro 559 conversion and if I'm gonna do that I might as well go all the way with it if there's a marked difference. [in the pads]
Really, I notice the difference while riding in the rain. However I may not be quite as discerning as other riders who spend more time in the saddle. I had Tektro brake pads on one of my bikes before and I switched out and noted a positive difference. The pads aren't that much from Universal Cycles.
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Old 03-11-15, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
Positively! A 50s Raleigh deserves a 50s hub. Good find. 50s stuff is getting rare.
The finest SA hub I ever ran was on my 1949 Rudge... it was smooth as silk.

Back in the 40's the production tolerances at Sturmey Archer were some of the highest in any industry, as 3 speeds became relegated to lower priced models and derailleurs took over they did not re-tool as often and what would have never passed in the 40's and 50's was considered ok in the 70's.

With that being said an SA hub from the 70's is still going to work reliably and maybe only a princess like me would notice the difference but that also stems from experience in using hubs from many eras.
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Old 03-12-15, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by El Segundo
@BigChief - here are some pictures of the brake and pad from better angle.

Yup, long reach it is. Glad to know this. One of my projects is replacing a bike I had as a kid and now regret selling. But that one was made entirely from junk day finds. It was just a stripped down 50s Rudge Sports. This Hot Rod Rudge will be a bit fancier and not a true restoration. These brakes and CR-18 rims will be part of the finished package. This is a really great thread. Thanks to all of you for sharing your experiences. It's been very helpful.
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Old 03-12-15, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
Yup, long reach it is. Glad to know this. One of my projects is replacing a bike I had as a kid and now regret selling. But that one was made entirely from junk day finds. It was just a stripped down 50s Rudge Sports. This Hot Rod Rudge will be a bit fancier and not a true restoration. These brakes and CR-18 rims will be part of the finished package. This is a really great thread. Thanks to all of you for sharing your experiences. It's been very helpful.
Hope to see the Rudge soon. Not all bikes are candidates for restoration, which was my case with this Raleigh, not rare and not pristine. The brake/rim upgrades really work great in the rain, only time I have been able to ride it lately is in the rain. One thing I may have done differently is using 700C rims and shorter reach brakes. There seems to be enough room for the larger rim, probably would cause some toe overlap or handling problems. Has anyone on this thread done a 700C conversion?
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Old 03-12-15, 09:03 AM
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I have fit 700c wheels to Raleighs originally made for 590mm, as well as to ones originally made for 597mm wheels. No problem with the fit at all. In fact, I have a 1970s men's Sports that I repainted for the Velo-Cheapo contest that will be missing its wheels once I put them back on the bike they belong to. I'll likely set that one up as a single speed with 700c wheels.
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