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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 05-25-15, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
I often forget to park my Phillips with the oil port facing up, so when I go to ride the bike I spend the first several minutes cleaning off all the oil that is on the spokes/rim. I don't think I'm over oiling it. Should I just make sure to park with port facing up or is this typical of owning a 3 speed hub? Thanks.
When I over oil my hubs that have plastic oil ports, the oil drips out of the non-drive side around the axle (they all have kickstands and lean left - come to think of it, I lean left as well). On my older Sears/Steyr it seems to hold oil even upside down, but that's the first bike with a metal oil port that I've ever had that did not leak.
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Old 05-25-15, 02:28 PM
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@dweenk - that's what I figured.

Ive vey been telling myself that I should ride to the gym. Beats traffic & less than 2 miles away. HoweverI worry about it getting stolen. I finally decided to ride Prince Phillip - figured nobody would want to steal a 60 y/o three speed that's all faded. I think Phillip will officially be my beater bike.
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Old 05-25-15, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
@dweenk - that's what I figured.

Ive vey been telling myself that I should ride to the gym. Beats traffic & less than 2 miles away. HoweverI worry about it getting stolen. I finally decided to ride Prince Phillip - figured nobody would want to steal a 60 y/o three speed that's all faded. I think Phillip will officially be my beater bike.
Prince Phillip looks too good to be a beater - I prefer "go-to utility bike". You should see my Sears/Steyr for a beater - I found a bent Wald front basket that is nearly as good as a U-Lock. Don'cha just love having a bike that is as ugly as sin that functions perfectly.
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Old 05-25-15, 02:38 PM
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Well I scored a Superbe in my size with all the trimmings, but I didn't notice some dork had to crank down on the kickstand so much they crushed the tubes. I didn't pay a fortune for the bike and I'm sure it's more than rideable, in fact I rode it around the neighbourhood and nothing seemed wrong with it at all, but still I'm kinda bummed. The only thing missing is a key for the fork, of course. I even have a pair of aluminum rims I was thinking about rebuilding the wheels but now I dunno. I have a grand prix I am doing a 3 speed drop-bar conversion on so I might just leave this Raleigh unmolested.

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Old 05-25-15, 02:40 PM
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@dweenk - good call. It's my utility bike. I parked near a new Surly Disc Trucker. Figured a thief would want that more.


Here's Prince Phillip waiting for me while I do yoga at the gym.
I1955 Phillips aka "Prince Phillip" by velocivixen, on Flickr

Last edited by Velocivixen; 05-25-15 at 03:11 PM. Reason: Photo
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Old 05-25-15, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
I often forget to park my Phillips with the oil port facing up, so when I go to ride the bike I spend the first several minutes cleaning off all the oil that is on the spokes/rim. I don't think I'm over oiling it. Should I just make sure to park with port facing up or is this typical of owning a 3 speed hub? Thanks.
I use heavy, 90 weight gear oil or lately, Phil Woods Tenacious oil for my hubs. I don't want oil to get into the greased bearings, so I add it sparingly. Only a few drops per season. Even after years of use, I've seen that the internals are still covered with oil when I have it apart for a re-grease.
With small amounts of heavy weight oil, leakage isn't a problem.
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Old 05-25-15, 08:10 PM
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@BigChief - I've been using 10w/30 motor oil because I had some & I have an oil can with a hose & a press down sort of nozzle handle. Anyway I'm likely putting too much in, and too often. I have Tenacious oil so I think I'll switch to that. I've got black dirt stuck to oil on my spokes & rim & hub all the time.
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Old 05-25-15, 10:22 PM
  #7333  
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Originally Posted by Lastillluce
Hi, I was wondering if anybody could help me find information on my bike. I've had no luck researching online and I'm just looking for information so I can have it restored. It rides well still, Dynamo light cable needs to be replaced, but I know next to nothing about it other than its a Popular Special sports model 1960.
Originally Posted by desconhecido
Is it certain that these Popular bikes are Raleigh products?They look a lot like the Raleighs, but those aluminum brakes -- Raleigh didn't start using those until the mid to late 70s, I don't think. And the front fender little chrome accent looks quite a bit different. White tail on the rear fenders is not typically Raleigh and I'm not sure of the fender shape. Raleigh Sports models from the 50s through the 70s also had pressed steel fender stays spot welded to the fenders. These look like drawn rod stays and I can't see the attachment. But, the rear dropouts look like Raleigh as far as I can tell.

I'm sure not saying that they are not Raleigh bikes, just that they are different from the other sub-brands that Raleigh cranked out on the Sports production line which seemed to be pretty much Sports without herons and without the thimble crown.
Originally Posted by Lastillluce
I talked to a couple of bike repair guys in KC and both were stumped by the Raliegh question. They had the same concerns. Parts of it fit for raleigh and others don't. I will post a Better picture of the rod stays in a little while.
Originally Posted by gna
No "Nottingham England", no Sir Walter that I could see. Lastillluce's has a 60 date on the hub, and mine has a bottom bracket oiler, so 1960 seems about right. As a guess, and only that, wasn't 1960 when Raleigh finally consolidated most of the British cycle makes under their roof? I suppose they could have tossed these bikes together from fenders, brakes, and other parts from other makes that they were consolidating. Just a guess.

I suppose we could check the threading on the bottom bracket or the fork and see if standard Raleigh 26 tpi parts fit. That would settle the debate for me.
I worked on the Popular Special today, and the cranks DO have Sir Walter on them. A standard Raleigh Headset nut fits fine on the fork. I say it's a Raleigh.
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Old 05-25-15, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
I often forget to park my Phillips with the oil port facing up, so when I go to ride the bike I spend the first several minutes cleaning off all the oil that is on the spokes/rim. I don't think I'm over oiling it. Should I just make sure to park with port facing up or is this typical of owning a 3 speed hub? Thanks.
I put a catch rag under the hub after I lube them... the oil is most often as clean coming out as it went in and then I use that little bit of oil to wipe down the bike.

This flushing action is removes any contaminants from the hub, a completely sealed hub would not be able to do this.

Harley Davidson tried to apply this to their motorcycles but it did not work as well.

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Old 05-25-15, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver
I put a catch rag under the hub after I lube them... the oil is most often as clean coming out as it went in and then I use that little bit of oil to wipe down the bike.

This flushing action is removes any contaminants from the hub, a completely sealed hub would not be able to do this.

Harley Davidson tried to apply this to their motorcycles but it did not work as well.

Oh, makes sense & perfect timing. I just put a catch rag under the oil port a few hours ago. I'm pretty sure I've been over oiling it, and using too thin of oil. Anyway...live and learn right?
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Old 05-26-15, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
Oh, makes sense & perfect timing. I just put a catch rag under the oil port a few hours ago. I'm pretty sure I've been over oiling it, and using too thin of oil. Anyway...live and learn right?
I use 10w30 synthetic in sparing amounts... the Aw hubs gets a little louder when it is thirsty and it does not take much to make them purr.

I have been building bicycles for our co-op and a huge number of old 3 speeds have passed through the stand and most have already found new homes.
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Old 05-26-15, 12:49 AM
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OK, I have to ask. What is the most modern frame you made into a 3 speed? Just curious. I've got an AW 3 speed rear hub & GH6 front hub, and have overhauled both. Not laced to anything. I'm getting creative in my head and thinking about what bike I could make into a 3 speed.
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Old 05-26-15, 03:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
I think they have. I initially bought Kenda 26x 1 3/8" tires from the bike shop because that's what they had. I eventually bought these and noticed a cushier ride. Only issue I have is the tread likes to pick up little rocks, so every rotation I hear "click, click".
That's interesting to hear. I wondered how they compared to other tyres.
I have some Michelin City Protek Plus tyres on my Raleigh Chiltern at the moment. It came with Raleigh Records, but they were starting to show their age and I replaced them with the Michelins for better puncture protection.
Initially, I ran them at 85psi, because I'd always run tyres at the max pressure for puncture protection, but I let them down to 60psi and the ride has noticeably improved. They won't stop bigger knocks, like the edge of drain covers etc., but they seem to soak up the little 'niggly' roughness now.

It's interesting to hear 'markk900's' remark about the rolling speed of the Panaracers as well. I might still try a set, when I get round to needing new tyres on one of my bikes..
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Old 05-26-15, 03:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver
I put a catch rag under the hub after I lube them... the oil is most often as clean coming out as it went in and then I use that little bit of oil to wipe down the bike.

This flushing action is removes any contaminants from the hub, a completely sealed hub would not be able to do this.

Harley Davidson tried to apply this to their motorcycles but it did not work as well.

Many British motorcycle manufacturers tried the same method, but people wanted bikes which not only kept the oil inside, but they wanted bikes that started in the morning as well. They often ended up buying Japanese ones as a result.
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Old 05-26-15, 03:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
Oh, makes sense & perfect timing. I just put a catch rag under the oil port a few hours ago. I'm pretty sure I've been over oiling it, and using too thin of oil. Anyway...live and learn right?
A modern 10w30 is going to be pretty runny stuff and more like a nicely brewed tea in its viscosity...
I thought that the 'ideal' oil for bikes was straight 30 grade, as used in lawn mowers and the like.?
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Old 05-26-15, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Fidbloke
I thought that the 'ideal' oil for bikes was straight 30 grade, as used in lawn mowers and the like.?
"Sturmey lubrication: the best oil with which to lubricate a Sturmey hub is an oil produced for petrol lawn mowers known as 30W four-stroke motor mower engine oil."
-Classic Lightweights UK Restoration

"Use machine oil, not a spray lube or other thin oil. Unless a hub has sealed bearings, also use grease, to form a seal at the bearings and help keep the oil in. "
-Sheldon Brown

The OEM Sturmey oil was non-detergent machine oil which is what 30W lawn mower oil is.



In practice use restraint in oiling an AW w/ Phil, mower oil or whatever potion one chooses, a few drops when the hub sounds like it needs it are all that are required.

-Bandera
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Old 05-26-15, 07:16 AM
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When I have the hub apart for bearing greasing, I apply tenacious oil on the places I figure it would be
hard for it to migrate to on it's own. Like the pawl and planet gear pins. Then, I give everything a light
coating before reassembly. Over the years, I've had maybe 10 different SA hubs that I've serviced. Somebody
that services them for a living could give a better assessment than I can, but so far, I've never seen
a hub with worn down gear teeth or pins. And they always seem to be oily. There doesn't seem to be enough
heat and friction there to break down gear oil. What I have seen is badly worn ball bearing races.
IMO, that is the main area of concern, so I clean and grease the bearings on my daily riders every couple of years.
I'm just a backyard mechanic, not a pro, but what concerns me about over oiling SA hubs with light oil,
besides being messy, is oil getting into the ball bearings and lowering the viscosity of the grease.
So what we have with a SA hub is two different lubrication systems and they're not really separated.
Oil for the gears and grease for the bearings. So what you want is just enough sticky oil to coat the
gears, but not so much as to leak into the greased bearings.
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Old 05-26-15, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
OK, I have to ask. What is the most modern frame you made into a 3 speed? Just curious. I've got an AW 3 speed rear hub & GH6 front hub, and have overhauled both. Not laced to anything. I'm getting creative in my head and thinking about what bike I could make into a 3 speed.
I built an AW into a 559 rim and made a city bike out of a late 80s "ATB" frame. It was already had nice upright bars and was spaced to 120mm since it was a 5 speed bike in it's original form. Norco made a lot of frames that were like this in the 80s. I imagine most rigid MTB frames would make great 3 speeds if they have horizontal dropouts or even chain tensioners. I imagine brakes with a lot of pad adjustment could even work with 590 wheels.

I have the same pair of hubs I'm waiting to build into something and I think if I find a decent old frame I might make another 3 speed ATB.
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Old 05-26-15, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
OK, I have to ask. What is the most modern frame you made into a 3 speed? Just curious. I've got an AW 3 speed rear hub & GH6 front hub, and have overhauled both. Not laced to anything. I'm getting creative in my head and thinking about what bike I could make into a 3 speed.
I converted my '88 Kuwahara Shasta with an AW and a dual drive setup... this worked really well.





The Shasta got tuned back into a fully geared touring / trekking bike and now lives with my nephew... put that wheelset into a Norco mountain bike after that for winter riding.
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Old 05-26-15, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by markk900
They are cushy, but also slower riding in my opinion. The Col de la Vie tires are actually 26 x 1 1/2" (which doesn't sound much bigger but clearance on my bike is actually almost a problem). I like them but won't buy another set - too expensive, too much trouble to source, and not that much "better" to make it worth the effort.
I pretty much agree with you there, though I did find the Col de La Vies for about $25 each once, and didn't feel that they were slower. But yeah, there were clearance issues, and the worst part was how many flats I got with them.

Originally Posted by Velocivixen
...I eventually bought these (Col de la Vies) and noticed a cushier ride. Only issue I have is the tread likes to pick up little rocks, so every rotation I hear "click, click".
Which is why I think they flat easy: That old-school "block" tread looks cool, but catches little things like pebbles...and glass. And with barely any puncture protection...
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Old 05-26-15, 05:00 PM
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Slower for 2 reasons - compared to the cheaper Kendas (with the raised centre) that run at higher pressures, and secondly the width. Like I said though, they ride nicely....just not "fast". Main issue is the low pressure and the trouble getting them here in my area.
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Old 05-26-15, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
@Lastillluce - Welcome! You can definitely do it! These enablers...I mean forum members Encouraged me when I came upon a 1955 Phillips with Sturmey Archer dynohub. I knew nothing about 3 speed mechanics. Sturmey Archer has a Heritage site with all sorts of instruction for adjusting, disassembling, etc Fantastic site.


Heres a link to a 1951 Service Manual. It will help. Have fun and be sure to post what you've done.

Sturmey-Archer Heritage :: History

Thank you for posting the link to the Sturmey Archer heritage site. I am restoring 1957 Humber Sports with a SW hub and have found very little information about that hub. The heritage site has the manual for the SW hub so now I have something to work from. Most people say to avoid the SW and replace it with the AW but I am a die hard preservationist and will do my best to keep all the original aspects including the front dyno hub. Thanks!
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Old 05-26-15, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
OK, I have to ask. What is the most modern frame you made into a 3 speed? Just curious. I've got an AW 3 speed rear hub & GH6 front hub, and have overhauled both. Not laced to anything. I'm getting creative in my head and thinking about what bike I could make into a 3 speed.
Not particularly new. 1987 Cannondale SM400 with an SA SRF3 hub. Soon to get a chain tensioner, somewhat to my dismay, but the magic gearing just isn't quite low enough for the fatter tires and dirt path riding. Moving from 17 rear 40 front to a 19 in the rear.

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Old 05-27-15, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
what concerns me about over oiling SA hubs with light oil,
besides being messy, is oil getting into the ball bearings and lowering the viscosity of the grease.
Not a concern as long as you add new oil regularly so there is always lubrication in the bearing.
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Old 05-27-15, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by madras13
I am restoring 1957 Humber Sports with a SW hub and have found very little information about that hub. The heritage site has the manual for the SW hub so now I have something to work from. Most people say to avoid the SW and replace it with the AW but I am a die hard preservationist and will do my best to keep all the original aspects including the front dyno hub. Thanks!
I have a couple SW hubs here. My experience with them is that they're very easy to overhaul -- fewer parts than the AW and no fiddly pawl springs to deal with -- but the springless pawls do not catch as reliably as the AW's sprung pawls. Most of the time this just means you might go half a crank rotation or more before they catch, but in cold weather the problem is exacerbated. When it gets below freezing you really can't count on them catching at all!

I also have an SW modified to use flat springs under the pawls in the manner Brian Hayes describes on Sheldon Brown's site. This works well, but the flat springs do wear because the pawls rock on them and eventually erode through the spring.

N.B. I do have a supply of SW spare parts, if you find you need something.
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