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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 10-01-15, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by arex
Do you consider it crass to do major upgrades to an old 3-speed, instead of a faithful restoration?
Personally, no.

I did a lot of major upgrades to my Raleigh Wayfarer. True, it was never a pristine machine, with its mismatched fenders, one piece handlebar-stem, and what looked like children's pedals, so there was rarely any concern about wrecking its "pristine" condition. But I always intended it to be a "daily rider" so I had new wheels built on alloy rims, and over the past five years did other things like new mudguards, seatpost, etc. Alloy rims are always a good investment, not as much for lightening up the wheel, but stopping power in the wet. And riding a bike daily in Cascadia, that's a big concern.

I can see doing "faithful restorations" if the bike is more a Sunday rider/special occasion machine that won't see rain (or you just live in a very dry climate.) Or that the bike is old enough that you don't want to remove/destroy the nice old parts. But my philosophy has always been that bikes are for riding.
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Old 10-01-15, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by arex
I wasn't going to go as far as replacing the crank...while I did do it on my own bike with good results, I also recognize that I got pretty lucky in getting everything to fit right. I'm not looking for a struggle with Linda's bike.

I was think about aluminum rims, stem, handlebars, and seat post, and I've already rounded up a nice B-66S for it. I think if I could knock 5 pounds or so off the weight, I'd be happy. I think it's doable.
You could save a pound or two by avoiding the leather saddle. Some of those saddles with the relief in the middle are very nice.
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Old 10-01-15, 12:54 PM
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I upgraded my early 50's Sport with modern calipers and SunCr18 polished aluminum rims with stainless spokes.I anything i fell it greatly enhance it and good to go for anther 60 years.

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Old 10-01-15, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
You could save a pound or two by avoiding the leather saddle. Some of those saddles with the relief in the middle are very nice.
Nope...gonna use the Brooks. We're not savages.
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Old 10-01-15, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
@arex, whatever you do is fine. Your delineation is fine though arbitrary, but that's how it goes. I don't think you'll ever make it a light bike, and it would be expensive just to make it slightly lighter. Aluminum rims are a worthwhile investment. An aluminum crankset would reduce weight further, but it's expensive, and the weight savings would be small. You could replace the handlebar and stem for further weight reduction. You could replace the fenders with plastic ones, and that would save weight, but they won't be as reliable. You could replace the chainguard, but you'll never get one as good. Or you could remove the chainguard. I probably wouldn't do most of these things to a 3-speed except change the rims. But if you did any or all of them, I wouldn't call you crazy.

Panaracer Col de la Vie tires are said to be really good. They may be worthwhile. I had Schwalbe Delta Cruisers on my 3-speed and found them to give a very harsh ride. I like the cheap Kendas better.
I like the cheap Kendas as well. they're readily available and the price is right.
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Old 10-01-15, 04:35 PM
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I have the Panaracer *and* the cheap Kendas at the same time (on two different bikes) and I found the Panaracers nice but not worth the extra cash.
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Old 10-01-15, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by adventurepdx
Personally, no.

I did a lot of major upgrades to my Raleigh Wayfarer. True, it was never a pristine machine, with its mismatched fenders, one piece handlebar-stem, and what looked like children's pedals, so there was rarely any concern about wrecking its "pristine" condition. But I always intended it to be a "daily rider" so I had new wheels built on alloy rims, and over the past five years did other things like new mudguards, seatpost, etc. Alloy rims are always a good investment, not as much for lightening up the wheel, but stopping power in the wet. And riding a bike daily in Cascadia, that's a big concern.

I can see doing "faithful restorations" if the bike is more a Sunday rider/special occasion machine that won't see rain (or you just live in a very dry climate.) Or that the bike is old enough that you don't want to remove/destroy the nice old parts. But my philosophy has always been that bikes are for riding.
I agree. I have a few pristine bikes (Show Bikes) and have kept them as original as possible, with the exception of new tires and brake pads.
The other bikes are the everyday riders and have been modified and set up for safety and comfort. As you said, bikes are for riding.
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Old 10-01-15, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by markk900
I have the Panaracer *and* the cheap Kendas at the same time (on two different bikes) and I found the Panaracers nice but not worth the extra cash.
I'm the outlier that doesn't care much for the Panaracers. Oh sure, loved the look and the ride quality, hated the flats. I'd rather have a "harsher" ride on the Delta Cruisers than play the "where's the slow leak coming from" game I was playing on a weekly basis with the Col de La Vies. Plus, I'm a sucker for those cream tires.

I've also had the cheap Kendas (got 'em free!) and liked them too.
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Old 10-01-15, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
Panaracer Col de la Vie tires are said to be really good. They may be worthwhile. I had Schwalbe Delta Cruisers on my 3-speed and found them to give a very harsh ride. I like the cheap Kendas better.
I already have some Continentals in the right size. I'm not making the mistake of going with 700C wheels on this one.
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Old 10-01-15, 08:23 PM
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> Nope...gonna use the Brooks. We're not savages.

+1 QOTW.
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Old 10-01-15, 09:51 PM
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Have to admit, I have a cheap Koobi style saddle that I bolt on to any of my bikes that I plan on riding any distance. I'm considering spending the money for a real Koobi Classic. They aren't nearly as ugly as the one I have now. I'd like to try a Brooks Imperial, but the relief along the full length of the saddle instead of just the middle really works for me. I don't think the Brooks would be as comfortable.
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Old 10-02-15, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver
They were made to last 100 years...
At one point, they came with a 50 year warranty - according to the old catalogues. I can't imagine any modern bicycle manufacturer promoting the idea of their products lasting longer than the factory-fitted tyres nowadays..!
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Old 10-02-15, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
@dweenk - hey, thanks for the explanation. I'm certain, that if it's Monty Python, Mr. Velocivixen will know of this reference. Hahahaha
@colinm your bike is so pretty. That's my favorite color.
I've been happily reading the 'Monty Python' thread and I've only just realised what your 'tag' name actually should be.!'
I'd always read it as 'Velovixen'.

I saw your reference to 'Mr. Velocivixen', and thought "What are those extra letters doing there?". Then I looked above your picture. Doh.!

I'm going to have to pay more attention in future.!

You ought to see the 'Spanish Inquisition' sketch though. Rather silly, but in a good way..
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Old 10-02-15, 03:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Fidbloke
At one point, they came with a 50 year warranty - according to the old catalogues. I can't imagine any modern bicycle manufacturer promoting the idea of their products lasting longer than the factory-fitted tyres nowadays..!
Many companies offer a lifetime warranty on frames, but Raleigh just built a bicycle that in some respects was overbuilt but in other respects, was built exactly the way it needed to be to provided decades of service.

A Sturmey Archer 3 speed can run 30,000 miles or more before it needs to be overhauled and then it will be good for another 30,000 or more.
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Old 10-02-15, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver
Many companies offer a lifetime warranty on frames, but Raleigh just built a bicycle that in some respects was overbuilt but in other respects, was built exactly the way it needed to be to provided decades of service.

A Sturmey Archer 3 speed can run 30,000 miles or more before it needs to be overhauled and then it will be good for another 30,000 or more.
Yes, the design, materials and build quality of the Nottingham Raleighs was first rate for the time and purpose of these bikes. Fortunately, for us vintage bike lovers, although not so fortunate for the factory workers, the traditional techniques were used all the way to the end of production in the 1980s.
I don't think the world will ever see this level of craftsmanship and certainly not the aesthetics of these bikes in mass market production ever again. True, it is 1930s technology, but there's a lot to admire about 1930s technology. It's all a matter of what you think "improvements" are.
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Old 10-02-15, 07:56 AM
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@Fidbloke - yes the name is like "Velociraptor" the dinosaur. Then "Velo" referring to bike, then "vixen" referring to.....well, all things vixen. My spouse thought up the name on a whim, so I figured he knows me best.
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Old 10-02-15, 11:24 AM
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I chose my SN because I'm a fan of Professor Longhair.
I'm confirming that a 22T cog will clear the chainguard of a DL1. Very pleased about this.
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Old 10-02-15, 01:23 PM
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Pretty! What's the front rack??



Originally Posted by michael k
I upgraded my early 50's Sport with modern calipers and SunCr18 polished aluminum rims with stainless spokes.I anything i fell it greatly enhance it and good to go for anther 60 years.

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Old 10-02-15, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by michael k
I upgraded my early 50's Sport with modern calipers and SunCr18 polished aluminum rims with stainless spokes.I anything i fell it greatly enhance it and good to go for anther 60 years.

What kind of brake calipers did you upgrade to?
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Old 10-02-15, 03:44 PM
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I could have posted these in the Spotted In The Wild thread, but thought they'd be more appreciated here.

I saw this nifty Dunelt locked up near the foot of the Libby Hill climb at the Worlds last weekend here in town.


And at the top of the same hill I saw this ladies Sports, nearly identical to the one in my garage. Note the pedals.


And today at a little thrift shop near home I found this ladies' Hercules with SA twist-grip, hub shiners, and a 65 hub date. She says she might be willing to trade it for some parts to fix other bikes she's trying to sell. Bad news for me, who most certainly has parts and needs not another bike.
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Old 10-02-15, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by thumpism
I could have posted these in the Spotted In The Wild thread, but thought they'd be more appreciated here.

I saw this nifty Dunelt locked up near the foot of the Libby Hill climb at the Worlds last weekend here in town.


And at the top of the same hill I saw this ladies Sports, nearly identical to the one in my garage. Note the pedals.


And today at a little thrift shop near home I found this ladies' Hercules with SA twist-grip, hub shiners, and a 65 hub date. She says she might be willing to trade it for some parts to fix other bikes she's trying to sell. Bad news for me, who most certainly has parts and needs not another bike.
I noticed the pedals on that green bike before I even read your text. I have a friend who commutes on a 3-speed and has SPD pedals on his.

You could get a lot of joy if you bought that blue ladies bike, fixed it up with a trigger shifter, and sold it to a nice college student. I did that. The young women have nice senses of style, and you will find someone who just loves the way it looks.
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Old 10-02-15, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
You could get a lot of joy if you bought that blue ladies bike, fixed it up with a trigger shifter, and sold it to a nice college student. I did that. The young women have nice senses of style, and you will find someone who just loves the way it looks.
Damn, dude, I'm a married man. Thirty years last week. Are you suggesting I seek joy with college women? Not a bad idea, actually, but if I get caught I'm ratting you out as the instigator. All I did was find a blue bicycle...
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Old 10-02-15, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by thumpism
Damn, dude, I'm a married man. Thirty years last week. Are you suggesting I seek joy with college women? Not a bad idea, actually, but if I get caught I'm ratting you out as the instigator. All I did was find a blue bicycle...
You can look as long as you don't touch. I used to do that, and my wife was glad to see the joy I got from it.
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Old 10-03-15, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider
You can look as long as you don't touch. I used to do that, and my wife was glad to see the joy I got from it.
A nice college student is coming over today to pick up this bike......
She doesn't mind riding a men's bike.
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Old 10-03-15, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by redfoxdogs
Pretty! What's the front rack??
It was a bikeshop find and has no markings.It also has two mounts for lights just below the top area.

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