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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 06-22-15, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
I went to A Better Cycle Coop today...
So that's where you were! We missed you on the Three Speed Ride!
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Old 06-22-15, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by adventurepdx
So that's where you were! We missed you on the Three Speed Ride!
Father's Day get together with my father-in-law & rest of the family. I will ride my Raleigh Twenty on the next ride. How many turned out?
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Old 06-22-15, 02:13 PM
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Went on a father's day ride with my wife and youngest daughter yesterday... we all rode our R20's.

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Old 06-22-15, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
Father's Day get together with my father-in-law & rest of the family. I will ride my Raleigh Twenty on the next ride. How many turned out?
We had 14 total, but only 5 stuck out to the bitter end!

I should be doing the next one in October, though I'll be attempting the Three Speed Camping Tour in late August!
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Old 06-23-15, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
@browngw - what a beauty. What are your plans for it?
He will become part of the family I assume. He has been dubbed "Sir Ways A. Tonne" to reflect his heritage and heft (over 40 lbs!) I put air in the tires, original Raleigh Roadster marked, and rode it down the street but much work needs to be done. I been lucky enough to find some parts, but the rust on the front wheel is really bad. You can see more here https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...ays-tonne.html and here https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...you-offer.html I'm really looking forward to this project.
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Old 06-23-15, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by browngw
He will become part of the family I assume. He has been dubbed "Sir Ways A. Tonne" to reflect his heritage and heft (over 40 lbs!) I put air in the tires, original Raleigh Roadster marked, and rode it down the street but much work needs to be done. I been lucky enough to find some parts, but the rust on the front wheel is really bad. You can see more here https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...ays-tonne.html and here https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...you-offer.html I'm really looking forward to this project.
I hope you have time to post pics as it comes along. I've always been a fan of the roadsters.
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Old 06-23-15, 06:08 PM
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@Sixty Fiver - Great photo. Looks like a "mom" & "dad" R20 had a baby!

I took apart the headset on the R20 today, and found the bottom section bone dry! Oh my! The top has a plastic bushing which looks new. For those who don't know, in order to completely remove the handlebar stem, you must remove the front brake bolt, because there's a metal cable type piece with a loop at the end. Brake bolt goes through the loop & other end attatched to the bottom of the stem, that way one can't accidentally move the handlebars up too high.
Wire From Handlebar Stem by velocivixen, on FlickrPlastic Headset Bushing by velocivixen, on Flickr

I tried using the usual method to determine if the headset was adjusted properly - by applying the front brake then rocking the bike back & forth. Lesson of the day is: when you have extremely long brake caliper arms which are flexy this method does not work. Finally got it adjusted just right and all is well with the world.
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Old 06-24-15, 10:18 PM
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I found a guy on craigslist that says he works at a bike shop and also fixes bikes up on the side. All kinds of vintage bikes, from beach cruisers to 10 speeds. We chatted a bit about what I'm looking for - something to get around my city neighborhood, and maybe go 2-3 miles on pretty flat roads to get 1 or 2 neighborhoods over. He recommended an English 3-speed. I'm going to check this one out on Sunday. He said it's a Huffy Sportsman by Raleigh, but in looking at more pictures on this forum, the crank looks different. Thoughts?

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Old 06-24-15, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
@Sixty Fiver - Great photo. Looks like a "mom" & "dad" R20 had a baby!

I took apart the headset on the R20 today, and found the bottom section bone dry! Oh my! The top has a plastic bushing which looks new. For those who don't know, in order to completely remove the handlebar stem, you must remove the front brake bolt, because there's a metal cable type piece with a loop at the end. Brake bolt goes through the loop & other end attached to the bottom of the stem, that way one can't accidentally move the handlebars up too high.

I tried using the usual method to determine if the headset was adjusted properly - by applying the front brake then rocking the bike back & forth. Lesson of the day is: when you have extremely long brake caliper arms which are flexy this method does not work. Finally got it adjusted just right and all is well with the world.
Our Raleigh Twentys have their original headsets, my daughter's bike got the hybrid treatment and now has a Ritchey threadless instead of the stock Raleigh bits.

She likes riding no handed and the steering is smooth as silk.



The headtube had to be cut down and re-faced to allow for the increased stack height of the new headset but that was simple enough and the upper hardware stayed inatct so things stayed full adjustable.
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Old 06-25-15, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by stm25rs
I found a guy on craigslist that says he works at a bike shop and also fixes bikes up on the side. All kinds of vintage bikes, from beach cruisers to 10 speeds. We chatted a bit about what I'm looking for - something to get around my city neighborhood, and maybe go 2-3 miles on pretty flat roads to get 1 or 2 neighborhoods over. He recommended an English 3-speed. I'm going to check this one out on Sunday. He said it's a Huffy Sportsman by Raleigh, but in looking at more pictures on this forum, the crank looks different. Thoughts?

That's not the Raleigh-built Huffy, but instead an American built one, sold out of department stores bitd. If you're looking for an English 3-speed, that's not the one.
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Old 06-25-15, 07:10 AM
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I hadn't even heard of English 3-speeds or internal hubs before I talked to the guy.

I had been thinking about a 3 or 5 speed bike, since I don't plan on any long rides, or very many slopes - I'm just looking for an inexpensive, comfortable bike, most rides will be ~0.5 miles, some as long as 2 or 3. Having done some research, I think I like the idea of an internal hub and a thumb shifter.

Are the American Huffy's total junk, or would ~$100 seem fair for one in good condition?
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Old 06-25-15, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
That's not the Raleigh-built Huffy, but instead an American built one, sold out of department stores bitd. If you're looking for an English 3-speed, that's not the one.
Agreed. It's got the problematic Shimano 3.3.3 hub as well.
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Old 06-25-15, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by stm25rs
I hadn't even heard of English 3-speeds or internal hubs before I talked to the guy.

I had been thinking about a 3 or 5 speed bike, since I don't plan on any long rides, or very many slopes - I'm just looking for an inexpensive, comfortable bike, most rides will be ~0.5 miles, some as long as 2 or 3. Having done some research, I think I like the idea of an internal hub and a thumb shifter.

Are the American Huffy's total junk, or would ~$100 seem fair for one in good condition?
The Huffys made in England are superior to the ones made in the USA. Also, as mentioned the Huffy you posted appears to have a Shimano 3.3.3 internally geared hub which, to my understanding, had issues and is not as reliable as a Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub. Also $100 is too much for that bike. Wait for a better one. You'll be happier in the end.
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Old 06-25-15, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by stm25rs
I hadn't even heard of English 3-speeds or internal hubs before I talked to the guy.

I had been thinking about a 3 or 5 speed bike, since I don't plan on any long rides, or very many slopes - I'm just looking for an inexpensive, comfortable bike, most rides will be ~0.5 miles, some as long as 2 or 3. Having done some research, I think I like the idea of an internal hub and a thumb shifter.

Are the American Huffy's total junk, or would ~$100 seem fair for one in good condition?
Not unless he is suggesting that he is paying you $100 to take it off his hands If you see a Huffy with a one-piece crank its a good bet its junk.
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Old 06-25-15, 10:34 AM
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Curious Velo Gathering – Bicycle Swap Meet

“Curious Velo Gathering – Bicycle Swap Meet”. Sunday, July 12th from 8.00am to 2.30pm. Parking lot behind 97 Massachusetts Avenue in Lexington, MA

For those in the New England area, this parking lot swap meet promises to be 3-speed parts heaven. And the shop's not too shabby either.

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Old 06-25-15, 10:48 AM
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Can anybody explain what is so bad about the Shimano hub?

Only thing I can really find is that it's not as easily to rebuild as a SA, and therefore not as desirable. Is it more likely to break in the first place?
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Old 06-25-15, 11:07 AM
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As suggested, I got a lamp bracket from Ebay to keep my basket off the front brake. I read in the material that came with the basket that you can wet it to bend it if you need to, so I bent the back of the basket to the shape of the bracket, since it sticks out at an angle. I also bent the bottom of the basket away from the front brake area. I threaded a zip tie through and around the bracket to keep it from swinging back and forth. I'll replace the tie with something prettier when I get it all figured out, but it's just about invisible anyway. Yesterday I took it for a test ride with a bit of weight in it. It's a lot better, the brakes worked great, but the straps slid down a bit and it started to move around a little too much. If I tighten the straps, the basket kind of sticks out at an angle, which I don't like, so I had them at the loosest setting, which isn't ideal either. A bit more adjusting, I think, like I think the tie is way over on one side here, but it's way more usable than it was, and I'm happy to have a nicer looking solution than dedicated basket hardware. The bracket looks pretty cool by itself. If I hadn't already bought the basket (actually it was a gift and the person ordered it online, too much of a hassle to return) I would probably have picked a different one to start with.

Untitled by Lindsay Joy, on Flickr

Untitled by Lindsay Joy, on Flickr

I also did my headset while I had it apart, my front hub, and as mentioned in another thread, my bottom bracket. It's like a whole new bike! I do have an issue with the rear fender, which has a really bad rattle. Everything is as tight as it can be, so I'm not sure how to fix it. Maybe some leather washers?

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Old 06-25-15, 11:12 AM
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Neoprene washers would probably be more durable, but well-oiled leather washers would most likely do the job.
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Old 06-25-15, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by arex
Neoprene washers would probably be more durable, but well-oiled leather washers would most likely do the job.
Ohhh, like for a faucet? I didn't think of that. Always repurposing things from the hardware store...
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Old 06-25-15, 11:23 AM
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I was a bike mechanic when the Shimano hub was in production. My hazy memory says yes, it was more likely to break, but that doesn't mean it will break on you. It might work just fine. But when it breaks, it is done.
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Old 06-25-15, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by forestine
Ohhh, like for a faucet? I didn't think of that. Always repurposing things from the hardware store...
On the other hand, leather washers would be more "authentic" and "correct"...probably look better, too.
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Old 06-25-15, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by forestine
I do have an issue with the rear fender, which has a really bad rattle. Everything is as tight as it can be, so I'm not sure how to fix it. Maybe some leather washers?
Looks great. Very pretty bike.
Check the little spring tab that holds the front of the rear fender against the frame. Sometimes, the tab comes out of the little hole in the fender.
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Old 06-25-15, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Salubrious
Not unless he is suggesting that he is paying you $100 to take it off his hands If you see a Huffy with a one-piece crank its a good bet its junk.
I'm going to state a slightly divergent opinion and say that those old Huffys aren't all that bad, so long as you are getting the bike for free or really cheap (like $25.) They make great BBL (beater-bar-loaner) bikes. And say what you want about one piece Ashtabula cranks, they are easier to work on than cottered!

But if you want a nice old English three speed to lavishly restore (and of course post photos here!) you'll want to keep looking.

Originally Posted by noglider
I was a bike mechanic when the Shimano hub was in production. My hazy memory says yes, it was more likely to break, but that doesn't mean it will break on you. It might work just fine. But when it breaks, it is done.
That's the impression I've gotten too. The other thing I heard is that Shimano didn't do a great job of supporting them, so the only way to rebuild one is with a donor hub. I still see my share of Shimano 3.3.3. hubbed bikes on the streets of Portland, so I'm guessing they are still working. Or, they broke and now they are single speeds!
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Old 06-25-15, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
Looks great. Very pretty bike.
Check the little spring tab that holds the front of the rear fender against the frame. Sometimes, the tab comes out of the little hole in the fender.
That tab seems fine but I checked again and the band around the middle of the fender (with the tab that connects to the brake assembly) seems very loose, like the whole fender wiggles inside the band. I guess I'll have to take the whole thing off and bend it, or maybe add a shim. That explains why all the bolts are tight but it's still wiggling. Tried to get a photo of what I mean, but it's not really working. (And they weren't sideways when I uploaded them. Stupid thing.)



Tightened the basket straps and re-wet and bent it up a little higher. Looks like that's solved my issues but I need to wait till it dries and give it a test ride first. Yay!
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Old 06-25-15, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by adventurepdx
I'm going to state a slightly divergent opinion and say that those old Huffys aren't all that bad, so long as you are getting the bike for free or really cheap (like $25.) They make great BBL (beater-bar-loaner) bikes. And say what you want about one piece Ashtabula cranks, they are easier to work on than cottered!

But if you want a nice old English three speed to lavishly restore (and of course post photos here!) you'll want to keep looking.
I'll see if he can do better than $100, but it does have new tires, brakes, brake lines, and a new seat, which makes me think it's worth at least $50, right?

I've been keeping an eye on craigslist and a couple local facebook "for sale" groups, but haven't seen anything in the $100-150 or less range that's even close to appealing, and with summer here, I want a bike yesterday. I'm in Baltimore, so there's a pretty active bike market, and I've heard the local bike shops are very aggressive on craigslist, snatching up all the good value bikes quickly.

I don't have any interest in restoring a bike. Never heard the term BBL before, but that's exactly what I'm looking for.

Thanks everybody, for all the info.
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