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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 06-12-15, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bjt0055

Been enjoying this thread and the great bikes for a while and wanting a 3 speed of my own but couldnt justify another bike until I Picked up this Raleigh Sprite for 25 bucks at a thrift a couple weeks ago. I believe its from 1977. It needed some normal repairs, Everything was parts on hand except a cotter. It was fun to ride on the trail and a different experience in some ways...the other riders just left me alone and tool around the path. When on my road bike I find "hard core" riders much more aggressive in some ways but not on this bike, I suppose a 3 speed looks of minimal threat to them?

So now my problem...I really only want to have 2 "keeper" bikes so Ive been debating on keeping this and selling another bike I have...now thats a "high class" problem if there is one!
Got any more pics of this? I have one of these and felt lucky to have found it - I suspect that when I get around to going thru it it will be like a Sports on steroids...

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Old 06-12-15, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
Kendra makes a brown tire, but they don't seem to be available in the US.

Tyres k133 26'' road 26x1-3/8 - brown KENDA Tyres, Fixed Vintage Tyres
Nice resource; have you used these guys?
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Old 06-12-15, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by smontanaro
FYI, nice looking (though expensive?) Raleigh Superbe step-through on Chicago CL:
Very Rare Vintage Raleigh Womens Bike
$300 may be on the higher side, but I wouldn't call it expensive for a bike in that good of shape, provided that the Dynohub still functions. They'd be trying to sell it for $500 if it was here in Portland.
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Old 06-12-15, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by PalmettoUpstate
Nice resource; have you used these guys?
I haven't used those brown Kendas, but have used others. Looks like the retail of the brown one would be around $15 USD, comparable to Kendas you can get in the States. I'm guessing it would be that decent but not mind-blowing Kenda quality.
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Old 06-12-15, 08:58 PM
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No. A while back, I was looking to see if brown tires were available for my Rudge project. I was disappointed to find through google searches that even though a reasonably priced product existed, only European dealers had them. I gave up on the idea. At least Kendras are available in traditional all black.
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Old 06-13-15, 11:39 AM
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I'm officially joining the love of english 3 speeds club.
Just got this Raleigh Sports this morning. (Is it really 1964?)
I think i love it already.

images here: https://s1026.photobucket.com/user/jman0war/slideshow

Last edited by jman0war; 06-14-15 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 06-13-15, 11:46 AM
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your picts don't work for me .
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Old 06-13-15, 11:52 AM
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really?
I use that site all the time.
Can you get to Pixie Photo Sharing - Best place to share and backup photos online. ?

What about this one:
https://s1026.photobucket.com/user/jman0war/slideshow/

The SN on the bottom bracket must have been painted over, it's totally unreadable.

Last edited by jman0war; 06-13-15 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 06-13-15, 12:50 PM
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Serial number is on the seat tube as shown on one of your pictures. I would have no reason to doubt it's a 64 but check the serial number on the Headbadge site. Good score regardless!
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Old 06-13-15, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by markk900
Serial number is on the seat tube as shown on one of your pictures. I would have no reason to doubt it's a 64 but check the serial number on the Headbadge site. Good score regardless!
Also check the SA hub for a date stamp. I think it looks older, possibly late '50s
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Old 06-13-15, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by jman0war
Neenah!? Was that on the local craigslist? How did I miss that?
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Old 06-13-15, 01:45 PM
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It was an Estate Sale, not Craigslist.
Glad I got there 1st thing this morning as there was a bit of a crowd and people were just grabbing stuff!
I paid $75, probably could have got it for less but there were others shadowing me when I was talking to the agent.

Anyway, the SA hub doesn't show a date.
And I couldn't find any numbers near the Headbadge.

Last edited by jman0war; 06-13-15 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 06-13-15, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by jman0war
It was an Estate Sale, not Craigslist.
Glad I got there 1st thing this morning as there was a bit of a crowd and people were just grabbing stuff!
I paid $75, probably could have got it for less but there were others shadowing me when I was talking to the agent.

Anyway, the SA hub doesn't show a date.
And I couldn't find any numbers near the Headbadge.
"53" on the hub = 1953; 10 = October. Nice alloy AW.
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Old 06-13-15, 03:45 PM
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Wow. But whatabout the 1964 on the seat tube?
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Old 06-13-15, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jman0war
Wow. But whatabout the 1964 on the seat tube?
Someone might've slapped another wheel on there at some point.
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Old 06-13-15, 04:46 PM
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The lug mounted shift cable wheel and the graphics are all consistent with the mid 50s. I'd say the wheel is original and the 53 date on the hub is right.
Really, really nice find.

Last edited by BigChief; 06-13-15 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 06-13-15, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by jman0war
Wow. But whatabout the 1964 on the seat tube?
It's not a date code. Or if it is, no one has figured out Raleigh's lack of pattern, particularly on the Sports model. The info on the Headbadge is more speculative than anything else.
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Old 06-13-15, 06:54 PM
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Just noticed, it also has it's original 50s window trigger shifter. There should also be a small steel oil filler on the top of the bottom bracket.
Now this is just me but, I'd be looking for a Raleigh with black fenders that would match the patina of this bike. Wouldn't be impossible to find since the fenders remained unchanged all the way through the 60s. Personally, I wouldn't think twice about buying $75 60s stepthrough for the fenders if the paint matched well enough. Although you would still need a black cased reflector. This is a great bike. The alloy shell AW is an added bonus and original saddles on 50s bikes are rare.

Last edited by BigChief; 06-13-15 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 06-13-15, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jman0war
Wow. But whatabout the 1964 on the seat tube?
That's a SN, not a date code. That it shows as 64 is just a coincidence, in my opinion.

Decals etc look just like the 56 that I have -- I think it's 50s.

Is there a boss on the frame near the bottom bracket on the right side that would be used to attach a chain case? Also, a flip top oiler for the bottom bracket on the right side of the seat tube?

I think it's likely a 54 (or so). The chain guard decal and the set tube and downtube decals match exactly to the one I have that we believe is a 56, based on graphics and SA hub date.

Where in Neenah was this estate sale? I grew up in Menasha but haven't lived there full time since 69.
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Old 06-13-15, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by jman0war
It was an Estate Sale, not Craigslist.[...]
That looks like an alloy seat tube. The 56 had an alloy seat tube that was a hellish tight fit and tough to get out though it was not corroded in place. From the looks of yours, it appears as if it may be a tight fit also. Eat your wheeties before you work on getting that sucker out -- ours was a bear.

edit: of course I meant seat post.

Last edited by desconhecido; 06-14-15 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 06-13-15, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by desconhecido
Is there a boss on the frame near the bottom bracket on the right side that would be used to attach a chain case? Also, a flip top oiler for the bottom bracket on the right side of the seat tube?

I think it's likely a 54 (or so). The chain guard decal and the set tube and downtube decals match exactly to the one I have that we believe is a 56, based on graphics and SA hub date.

Where in Neenah was this estate sale? I grew up in Menasha but haven't lived there full time since 69.
Yes there is a boss for a chaincase on the righthand side.
Also yes on the flip top oiler for the bottom bracket, but it's on the left hand side.

The estate sale was something like 200 on 5th street, Neenah.
There were a selection of bikes there.
3 schwinns , Raliegh, Royal ,J C Higgins ,Monarch Rocket, Huffy, Elgin.
One of the schwinns was nice, step through, odd brown color I hadn't seen before.
The other ones, balloon tires didn't interest me that much.
But when the sale opened, there were quite a few of us making a b-line to the bikes, so i didn't waste my time.
A few people asked me was I definately going to buy the Raleigh while I was waiting to get to the agent.


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Old 06-13-15, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by jman0war
Yes there is a boss for a chaincase on the righthand side.
Also yes on the flip top oiler for the bottom bracket, but it's on the left hand side.
[...]
I feel confident that yours is older than the one that we have that we think is a 56. The SN on ours is 18103 RA and I think the PT suffix probably indicates an earlier year (though, who knows?).

Also, the oiler on ours is flip top and it's on the right. We have a 51 step through that has the oiler on the left and it's spring-ball rather than flip top. My understanding is that the change from left side to right side oiler occurred sometime in the early 50s. Don't know about the change in style from spring-ball to flip top. Must be during the early 50s. Also, our 51 has a screw on sprocket on the hub and the 56 has the three spline sprocket. That change also occurred sometime in the early 50s.

That should be a nice bike -- good luck on scoring some fenders. If you have to paint to match, the black should be easiest of all the Raleigh colors. Probably the most likely color to find some replacements, also.

I know exactly where that sale was -- about a block from the hospital. My grandmother lived somewhere around 150 4th St, so I'm very familiar with the area.
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Old 06-14-15, 07:06 AM
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Slight tangent to this current discussion: how do you oil through the ball/spring oiler? I seem to get something like 10% of the oil in and the rest everywhere else. My 49 Humber has the ball/spring oil port on the left, and screw on sprocket.
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Old 06-14-15, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by desconhecido
I feel confident that yours is older than the one that we have that we think is a 56. The SN on ours is 18103 RA and I think the PT suffix probably indicates an earlier year (though, who knows?).

Also, the oiler on ours is flip top and it's on the right. We have a 51 step through that has the oiler on the left and it's spring-ball rather than flip top. My understanding is that the change from left side to right side oiler occurred sometime in the early 50s. Don't know about the change in style from spring-ball to flip top. Must be during the early 50s. Also, our 51 has a screw on sprocket on the hub and the 56 has the three spline sprocket. That change also occurred sometime in the early 50s.

That should be a nice bike -- good luck on scoring some fenders. If you have to paint to match, the black should be easiest of all the Raleigh colors. Probably the most likely color to find some replacements, also.

I know exactly where that sale was -- about a block from the hospital. My grandmother lived somewhere around 150 4th St, so I'm very familiar with the area.
I was mistaken about the oiler on the bottom bracket.
It's not a flip top.
I'm not sure what it is.

(removed picture as it's taking up too much space on the page)

Last edited by jman0war; 06-15-15 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 06-14-15, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by jman0war
I was mistaken about the oiler on the bottom bracket.
It's not a flip top.
I'm not sure what it is.
That's one of the "ball spring" oilers such as markk900 was asking about in the post just before yours. You need an oil can with a long, stiff spout. Press the spout onto the ball to compress the spring and open the port. Squeeze the oil can to inject oil. When you remove the spout, the spring beneath the ball will close the port.
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