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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 03-12-15, 09:34 AM
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Picked up a couple of vintage leather saddles the other day.
A Japanese Speedic and a Wrights.
Both at a very good price.
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Old 03-12-15, 10:47 AM
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Hers's the Rudge the way I got it. A mid 50s frame, a possibly original rear wheel with a nifty 55 alloy case AW hub. Painted over, replaced front wheel and fork. Somebody geared it down by replacing the crankset with one with a 44 tooth chainwheel.
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Old 03-12-15, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by El Segundo
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?
I'm in the process of doing so...still trying to get all the little bits to fit together. I've run into brake shoe clearance problems on the fork, and I'm waiting for some Kool Stop Continentals to get here that will hopefully remedy the issue. Bear in mind that there are 700C tire clearance issues on the fork, if you try to go too big. 37mm may or may not fit, depending on the tire...35mm is a safer bet.
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Old 03-12-15, 02:58 PM
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@El Segundo @arex - so let me understand. You are placing 700c wheels on old English 3 speeds? I want to see photos. Lots of photos. What's the purpose of this? More tire choices?
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Old 03-12-15, 03:29 PM
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^^ 26" is good for good stability at low speeds. 700c is better for stability and control at higher speeds on account of the shape of the 'contact patch'.

I figured to put a set of 27" wheels on a lighter frame myself. The build is going slow on account of troubles finding a vintage Weinmann 27" rim with 40 holes....
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Old 03-12-15, 04:20 PM
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I futzed a bit this morning with this Sports frame and various size wheels. With 700c wheels, brake reach is about 50mm, so in the range of medium reach. I think it would actually fit a 27" wheel fine (though I didn't try it with a tire mounted), and then brake reach would be 46mm. Biggest issue is with the shape of the dropout slots: rear is made for an Sturmey Archer axle with two slides flat, and it's spaced at 115mm. Front is made for a fairly small diameter axle. I either need to find/build some 27" or 700c wheels with the hubs that'll fit those axles or do some filing.
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Old 03-12-15, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
@El Segundo @arex - so let me understand. You are placing 700c wheels on old English 3 speeds? I want to see photos. Lots of photos. What's the purpose of this? More tire choices?
Sheldon Brown indicated it was a good idea. Modern rims, more tires, etc., better rolling. Sixty-Fiver has a bike already rolling...it's purty. He could give you a much better idea of the hows and whys and do's and don'ts...I'm still learning.

I made the mistake of building the wheels on Sun RhynoLites, thinking I was going to be able to fit much larger tires than I was able to. I should've used CR18's. The tires that fit the frame are almost too skinny for the rim. Width isn't the issue, it's the height...too large a tire rubs or binds on the fork crown. Also, brake clearance is an issue, which is why I had to ditch the 559's in favor of Weinmann 610's. Clearance in the back isn't an issue, there's all sorts of room.
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Old 03-12-15, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
I futzed a bit this morning with this Sports frame and various size wheels. With 700c wheels, brake reach is about 50mm, so in the range of medium reach. I think it would actually fit a 27" wheel fine (though I didn't try it with a tire mounted), and then brake reach would be 46mm. Biggest issue is with the shape of the dropout slots: rear is made for an Sturmey Archer axle with two slides flat, and it's spaced at 115mm. Front is made for a fairly small diameter axle. I either need to find/build some 27" or 700c wheels with the hubs that'll fit those axles or do some filing.
I used a Maillard track hub on the front. No filing, and a little bit of cold-setting.
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Old 03-12-15, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
@El Segundo @arex - so let me understand. You are placing 700c wheels on old English 3 speeds? I want to see photos. Lots of photos. What's the purpose of this? More tire choices?
@Velocivixen - I plan to do this conversion eventually, possibly in the next winter "no ride" season. My main purpose is that I just want to do it and more tire selection is a plus on the conversion. Most of my English 3 speeds are cosmetically challenged so I don't have any reservations on staying original. Read somewhere that it was recommended not to use a 700C wheel and a big sprocket (21 - 22T) on the hub because of extra stress on the inner working of the hub when riding hard in the higher gears. This should not be a problem with my riding since I am mostly flat on the trails around the neighborhood.
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Old 03-12-15, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
I futzed a bit this morning with this Sports frame and various size wheels. With 700c wheels, brake reach is about 50mm, so in the range of medium reach. I think it would actually fit a 27" wheel fine (though I didn't try it with a tire mounted), and then brake reach would be 46mm. Biggest issue is with the shape of the dropout slots: rear is made for an Sturmey Archer axle with two slides flat, and it's spaced at 115mm. Front is made for a fairly small diameter axle. I either need to find/build some 27" or 700c wheels with the hubs that'll fit those axles or do some filing.
Thanks for the brake info. Will you be using the stock Raleigh fork and does it have to be spread to accept newer hubs?
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Old 03-12-15, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by arex
Sheldon Brown indicated it was a good idea. Modern rims, more tires, etc., better rolling. Sixty-Fiver has a bike already rolling...it's purty. He could give you a much better idea of the hows and whys and do's and don'ts...I'm still learning.

I made the mistake of building the wheels on Sun RhynoLites, thinking I was going to be able to fit much larger tires than I was able to. I should've used CR18's. The tires that fit the frame are almost too skinny for the rim. Width isn't the issue, it's the height...too large a tire rubs or binds on the fork crown. Also, brake clearance is an issue, which is why I had to ditch the 559's in favor of Weinmann 610's. Clearance in the back isn't an issue, there's all sorts of room.
Good info, I will definitely be using the CR18's when I get around to this project. I have read and enjoyed Sheldon's articles about his experimentation with bikes. Before his death I had e-mailed him with some questions about a project and to my surprise he answered quickly and actually followed up a few days later.
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Old 03-12-15, 05:17 PM
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Ok, so I shouldn't feel bad about possibly changing out the headset. You have any idea what headset will fit a 1955 non Raleigh bike? JIS? ISO? Have any of you replaced headset on an old bike?


On a different not a local CL listing for a 26" wheel laced to a SA 3 speed hub for $10 got my attention. I'll likely get it tomorrow. Hubs very dirty so seller couldn't see or didn't want to take the time to find a date codes. I've read recently you are of the opinions that the '40's & '50's were the golden era of SA AW hubs. I'm not in any hurry for a hub, but want a project. Are there any years I should avoid?
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Old 03-12-15, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
Ok, so I shouldn't feel bad about possibly changing out the headset. You have any idea what headset will fit a 1955 non Raleigh bike? JIS? ISO? Have any of you replaced headset on an old bike?


On a different not a local CL listing for a 26" wheel laced to a SA 3 speed hub for $10 got my attention. I'll likely get it tomorrow. Hubs very dirty so seller couldn't see or didn't want to take the time to find a date codes. I've read recently you are of the opinions that the '40's & '50's were the golden era of SA AW hubs. I'm not in any hurry for a hub, but want a project. Are there any years I should avoid?
Sounds like a bargain to me. I'd buy it for $10 regardless of the date code. Not at 10pm, though. That's midnight here.
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Old 03-12-15, 05:53 PM
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+1. I would buy the wheel regardless.

Do you know the threading on the fork steerer tube, 24tpi or 26tpi? Maybe your LBS can help find a suitable replacement.

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Old 03-12-15, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by El Segundo
Thanks for the brake info. Will you be using the stock Raleigh fork and does it have to be spread to accept newer hubs?
Standard Sports fork is spaced at 90mm, and most road hubs are 100mm, but if I use a bolt-on hub, I can remove spacers and make it work.
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Old 03-12-15, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by El Segundo
+1. I would buy the wheel regardless.
+2 that.
@Velocivixen I'd even go so far to say that $10 would be a pretty good deal even if it turned out only good for spare parts; which is highly unlikely with an AW IMO.
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Old 03-12-15, 06:10 PM
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TEKTRO and...?

Seeing the more-or-less raves about the TEKTRO 559's here and having read thru generally very positive reviews at the big river site, I'd like to ask what kind of brake cables & housings FTLOE3S people prefer when doing this upgrade to an English 3 speed.

And BTW, I don't live in a biking mecca and the LBS's here generally want premium prices for anything off-the-shelf and for special orders. Thus most of my parts and accessories are bought online.

Thanks!
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Old 03-12-15, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by PalmettoUpstate
Seeing the more-or-less raves about the TEKTRO 559's here and having read thru generally very positive reviews at the big river site, I'd like to ask what kind of brake cables & housings FTLOE3S people prefer when doing this upgrade to an English 3 speed.

And BTW, I don't live in a biking mecca and the LBS's here generally want premium prices for anything off-the-shelf and for special orders. Thus most of my parts and accessories are bought online.

Thanks!
I used the Shimano BL-R550, $20.72 from Niagara Cycle, includes cables. I also bought the Tektros there.

My nearest LBS is about 18 miles away however, not very helpful with anything older then last year's model. Another shop about 25 miles away has an older mechanic who likes the older bikes although not particular in love with the three speeds. I do enough business with them on my road bikes that he is pretty helpful with oddball requests.

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Old 03-12-15, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
Ok, so I shouldn't feel bad about possibly changing out the headset. You have any idea what headset will fit a 1955 non Raleigh bike? JIS? ISO? Have any of you replaced headset on an old bike?


On a different not a local CL listing for a 26" wheel laced to a SA 3 speed hub for $10 got my attention. I'll likely get it tomorrow. Hubs very dirty so seller couldn't see or didn't want to take the time to find a date codes. I've read recently you are of the opinions that the '40's & '50's were the golden era of SA AW hubs. I'm not in any hurry for a hub, but want a project. Are there any years I should avoid?
This is my recommendation:
Sturmey Archer Headset Raleigh English Racer | eBay

I have never had to replace the pressed in cups, but I see no reason they can't be drifted out and replaced. I think it would be far easier, less expensive and work just as well or better to stick with the original design headset and just replace the broken parts. This and a box of 5/32 ball bearings should put things right. That is, of course, if the race on the fork hasn't been ruined as well. I'm assuming only the top race was wrecked.

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Old 03-12-15, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
This is my recommendation:
Sturmey Archer Headset Raleigh English Racer | eBay

I have never had to replace the pressed in cups, but I see no reason they can't be drifted out and replaced. I think it would be far easier, less expensive and work just as well or better to stick with the original design headset and just replace the broken parts.
+1
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Old 03-12-15, 06:52 PM
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We've been talking about braking recently here, in fact I am one of the instigators of that. I am an absolute newcomer (6 or 8 months) to this idea of English 3 speeds and I only have 2. So take anything I say with a grain of salt and please let me know if I am getting far afield.

We have these bikes because my wife rides one every day to work. I will do everything in my power to make sure that the bicycle she has is 1) as safe as possible and 2) a bicycle she loves to ride. Based on some very good advice from here in BF C&V, Sheldon Brown, and Lovely Bicycle, I set her up on some professionally built up CR-18 wheels and Kool Stops. She thought it was a good improvement but she hasn't ridden any bicycle newer than her current C&V 3 speed. To my mind, it wasn't quite what I was expecting. Much better, but still not there yet, not by a long shot.

If there has been one big improvement in the last 40 or 50 years in this section of the bike market, it is brake technology. The rest of the bicycle is great. Good balance, nice ride, stable, easy to work on, takes more cargo than an 18 wheeler, and no chain schmutz on your pants leg. That all stands up to any new bicycle in its class today and you can get one for Craigslist money. And that AW hub is just amazing. But as originally configured, it just can't stop itself, especially when wet.

New brakes on aluminum rims are better than old brakes on steel rims. Knowing that, and after testing out the new brakes on my bike, I just can't let her ride around on those old things. Yes, it might lose a little bit of that true vintage look. But vintage looks are not worth risking a possibly avoidable crash over, especially on a daily driver bicycle. If these were truly vintage bikes that were actually worth something, I would consider that as long as we had other bikes to ride. But this is her one and only. So good, modern, non-vintage, brakes with modern alloy rims it is.

So, in addition to the standard recommendations of getting new alloy rims (plus tires and tubes, if at all suspect) for your 3-speed, I would replace getting the Kool Stops with getting modern brakes instead.

Sacrilige?

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Old 03-12-15, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by El Segundo
I used the Shimano BL-R550, $20.72 from Niagara Cycle, includes cables. I also bought the Tektros there.

That looks like a nice setup. I'm assuming that the cables and housing would be the modern "slippery and non-binding" type?
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Old 03-12-15, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by tbo
We have these bikes because my wife rides one every day to work.
My 2 cents... That says it all; if my wife were commuting on a bike - any bike - it would be set up with the best stop and go stuff - lighting, tires, tubes, brakes, bell, mirror - out there.

So to me, naw, not sacrilege definitely given the bike's usage. Personally I'd think the Kool Stop pads would fit into that scenario but maybe there are better ones out there... Looks to me like the Kool Stops you are now using would bolt up to the TEKTRO 559's but maybe I'm missing something...
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Old 03-12-15, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by PalmettoUpstate
My 2 cents... That says it all; if my wife were commuting on a bike - any bike - it would be set up with the best stop and go stuff - lighting, tires, tubes, brakes, bell, mirror - out there.

So to me, naw, not sacrilege definitely given the bike's usage. Personally I'd think the Kool Stop pads would fit into that scenario but maybe there are better ones out there... Looks to me like the Kool Stops you are now using would bolt up to the TEKTRO 559's but maybe I'm missing something...
I guess I could get Kool Stops for the Tekro R559's, but I can't use the Continental style I took off with the old calipers. The new brake pads with the R559's seems very good enough for now, and I might get Kool Stops when replacements are needed.

And yes, she has mirrors, outrageously bright LED lights, Hi-vis vest, bell, reflectors in the rims, you name it.
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Old 03-12-15, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by PalmettoUpstate
That looks like a nice setup. I'm assuming that the cables and housing would be the modern "slippery and non-binding" type?
Cables are marked "Shimano M System" and looking at piece I cut off it is lined with some type slick material. Whatever the stuff is the brake action is very smooth.
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