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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 12-07-15, 12:17 PM
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@adventurepdx - definitely report back on them. Fanno Creek is behind the house and the trail is completely a lake with the ability to ride in a rubber raft on it!

I'll try to post back later today.
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Old 12-07-15, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
Fanno Creek is behind the house and the trail is completely a lake with the ability to ride in a rubber raft on it!
Isn't the Fanno Creek Trail pretty notorious for flooding? It's been awhile since I've been out on it.
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Old 12-07-15, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
It is a shame to see perfectly good Brooks seat frames go to waste, but I don't think the value of a rebuilt seat would cover the expense of making new leather replacements.
I agree. I think the rebuild cost would be too much.
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Old 12-07-15, 12:46 PM
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@adventurepdx - yes. There are also smaller creeks which drain into it which add to the issues.
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Old 12-07-15, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
It is a shame to see perfectly good Brooks seat frames go to waste, but I don't think the value of a rebuilt seat would cover the expense of making new leather replacements.
Originally Posted by gster
I agree. I think the rebuild cost would be too much.
Heck, It really isn't that hard to build something up if you can find leather that is thick enough. I rebuilt a seat with almost no idea of what I was doing and it turned out fairly well on the first try! The biggest problem I ran into was that I made the new leather a little too long- The old leather that I used as a template was stretched and the new leather was more supple and stretched some after installation. With the leather and rivets it was about $25.00, mostly spent on the rivets and the tools that went with them.

There are several threads on this site including mine that talk about rebuilding Brooks saddles. The expert dude on this site is rhm. I think he's got several threads on the subject. He does really good work BTW...
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Old 12-07-15, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Salubrious
Heck, It really isn't that hard to build something up if you can find leather that is thick enough. I rebuilt a seat with almost no idea of what I was doing and it turned out fairly well on the first try! The biggest problem I ran into was that I made the new leather a little too long- The old leather that I used as a template was stretched and the new leather was more supple and stretched some after installation. With the leather and rivets it was about $25.00, mostly spent on the rivets and the tools that went with them.

There are several threads on this site including mine that talk about rebuilding Brooks saddles. The expert dude on this site is rhm. I think he's got several threads on the subject. He does really good work BTW...
Maybe I'll give it a go...
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Old 12-07-15, 05:08 PM
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@thumpism, $350 is not a bad price for that bike if the mechanical condition matches the aesthetic condition.
@BigChief, I disagree. I have one of @rhm's recovered saddles, and I like it a lot.
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Old 12-07-15, 05:13 PM
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Well,

If all goes as planned and the deal is firm but I don't have the bike yet..

I will be adding a Raleigh 3 speed to my stable again!

Looks to be a 1973 and in great shape with accessories to boot

Sellers pic. A 21" frame, we shall see. I was taller last time I rode one...

Happy !
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Old 12-07-15, 05:23 PM
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Starting to froth. Can't get the bike till later this week but already sealed the deal with the owner.

Two more shots

Looks to be in great shape, saddle and bag.

Some bits in the bag.
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Old 12-07-15, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by gster
Maybe I'll give it a go...
I can send you a piece of leather and some rivets if you want. Shaping a wide saddle like a B.72 is a bit tricky, I find. But... well, that won't be my problem, right?
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Old 12-07-15, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow
Starting to froth. Can't get the bike till later this week but already sealed the deal with the owner.

Two more shots

Looks to be in great shape, saddle and bag.

Some bits in the bag.
i got one of those . i wish i had the bag . the bike had a baby seat when the guy brought it . what year is that one ?
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Old 12-07-15, 09:45 PM
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Michael,

sleauthing of the cats leads me to believe it is a 73. Matches perfectly except mine has a pulley on the seat tube( good thing) versus the continuous cable run as per the cat picture.

baby seats are useful but wife and I are WAY past that ! Bag is good now.
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Old 12-07-15, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by michaelz28
i got one of those . i wish i had the bag . the bike had a baby seat when the guy brought it . what year is that one ?
I see yous is the coffee colour. What size and year is yours?
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Old 12-07-15, 09:57 PM
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@3speedslow - Congratulations on your new bike. It's beautiful! Can't wait to see more close ups when it arrives.
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Old 12-07-15, 10:03 PM
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Thanks, VelociVixen,

It's been too long without a Raleigh 3 speed under me.

Pics when I get her !
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Old 12-07-15, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow
I see yous is the coffee colour. What size and year is yours?
mine is a 23 " . 1974 is the year as the sports lost the air pump in 74 . It a 28 mile , one owner bike . the last pic is as found .. good luck with yours .
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Old 12-08-15, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm
I can send you a piece of leather and some rivets if you want. Shaping a wide saddle like a B.72 is a bit tricky, I find. But... well, that won't be my problem, right?
I tried a thread search of your work rebuilding leather saddles. Came up with a couple. One was your first I think. On a later thread you posted a stunning repro. So somewhere in between you found a better way to hold the softened leather against the wooden form than the inner tubes. Do you mind sharing your technique? How did you do it? Very, very nice work.
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Old 12-08-15, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow
A 21" frame, we shall see. I was taller last time I rode one...

Happy !
Just in case you find the 21" too short. This extra long stem works for me. I use a strip of lead chimney flashing to make a shim so the clamp will hold the Raleigh bars. I keep hammering it thinner and trimming the sides until I get the right fit. Holds nice and tight.
Sunlite Steel Touring Stem, for 1", 22.2mm quill
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Old 12-08-15, 03:46 AM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
I tried a thread search of your work rebuilding leather saddles. Came up with a couple. One was your first I think. On a later thread you posted a stunning repro. So somewhere in between you found a better way to hold the softened leather against the wooden form than the inner tubes. Do you mind sharing your technique? How did you do it? Very, very nice work.
Oh, yeah, that first one was a disaster. Not even very educational, other than in a "well, that didn't work..." kind of way. I don't even use a wooden form any more.

Take a look at this post:
https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...l#post18271344
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Old 12-08-15, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm
I can send you a piece of leather and some rivets if you want. Shaping a wide saddle like a B.72 is a bit tricky, I find. But... well, that won't be my problem, right?

Thank you for your generous offer but I know that I'd never get to it......
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Old 12-08-15, 08:41 AM
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@rhm. I hope I'm not bugging you, But I can't help myself. I'm fascinated by this. I assumed, I guess like you did at first, that the entire shape of the saddle needed to be press fit onto the leather blank. Apparently, with your clamp and wedge method, you form only a single compound radius with the pipe along the center of the leather blank. I'm assuming again that this shape, after being riveted onto the frame is all that is necessary. Do I have this right, or are other forming steps necessary after this one?
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Old 12-08-15, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
@rhm. I hope I'm not bugging you, But ...
No problem. Basically, when the leather is really wet, you can stretch it, and you can unstretch it; that is, force it to contract in some specific way. Brooks does this with an enormous machine and a lot of pressure, which does the job very precisely. When I do it, I don't have that precision, but I don't need that precision to stretch the part that needs stretched. I can unstretch it later, as necessary. So when I put it on that jig, I stretch the sides as much as I can, without stretching the center. This makes the piece into a shape more or less like a potato chip, so it's hard to describe in Euclidean terms.

The purpose of that jig is to overcome the main difficulty: If I just put the flat, approximately egg shaped, piece of leather onto the saddle frame (or wooden form) and fold the edges down, I change the shape from O to V but what I really want is to change it to a Y shape. If I force it into the Yat this point, the center comes up; if I force the center down, the sides spread out and I have a Vagain. It's just not possible to force it into the shape I want, especially without leaving permanent marks on it. But if I've stretched the edges, especially the sides, it is willing to take that Y shape without the center coming up too much (okay, I'm still working on that!).

But now to answer your question, no, that's not all there is to it. But the rest is pretty easy. I can take that piece of stretched leather, punch the appropriate holes in it, and attach it to the frame either with temporary bolts or permanent rivets, and the frame serves as the form I need for the rest of the job. The wet leather is remarkably willing unstretch around the nose, and behind down behind the cantle plate. I may have to make it wet again, and repeatedly push it down and around the frame, smooth out any irregularities that come up, and so on. I have to be careful to not wet the sides so much that they start to shrink as well. This part of the job is a lot of fun; the thing really takes shape in my hands.

Remember, the leather comes from the tannery in the form of a flat sheet (about the size of a bath towel), but it's original shape was the outside of a large animal (specifically, half of the back end thereof). It is not naturally flat. It doesn't behave like something that is naturally flat.
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Old 12-08-15, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
Just in case you find the 21" too short. This extra long stem works for me. I use a strip of lead chimney flashing to make a shim so the clamp will hold the Raleigh bars. I keep hammering it thinner and trimming the sides until I get the right fit. Holds nice and tight.
Sunlite Steel Touring Stem, for 1", 22.2mm quill
Thanks BigChief for the possible solution but as I recall, the stem was fine on my 68 sport. It was the seatpost that took the trip up stairs. Hopefully I have morphed into a compacted individual and will not need to address that either. I was still within the limits of the frame without making it look too noticeable

From the look of the sellers pic, whoever tried to ride it was way small for it.
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Old 12-08-15, 09:31 AM
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Michaelz28,

Nice job, love the light you have mounted on the bike now. Where did you get it?

Love the Z car! Another classic obsession for you? Bikes are cheaper...
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Old 12-08-15, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
@rhm. I hope I'm not bugging you, But I can't help myself. I'm fascinated by this. I assumed, I guess like you did at first, that the entire shape of the saddle needed to be press fit onto the leather blank. Apparently, with your clamp and wedge method, you form only a single compound radius with the pipe along the center of the leather blank. I'm assuming again that this shape, after being riveted onto the frame is all that is necessary. Do I have this right, or are other forming steps necessary after this one?
I took a simpler approach to how Rudy did it.

I flattened out the old leather as best I could and drew a line around it on a bit of paper. Then I folded the paper in half to check my symmetry and corrected it as needed. Then I used the paper to draw the outline needed on the leather I planned to use. After cutting it out, I used some water to make it more pliable. I used a drill to create the mounting holes in the leather and bolted the rear portion to the seat frame. Then I bolted the nose cantle as best I could into the leather as well. Essentially, it was now perched on the frame. I got about 3 feet of some lightweight rope and wound it around the nose portion of the saddle going back as far as the leather allowed me. This forced the side flap areas down. Then I let it sit for several days and after that the leather had retained the general shape of the original saddle.

The only trick was the nose area- to shape that up, I moistened it and heated up a small cast iron pan on the stove. I then used the heated pan to sculpt the nose so it did the proper wrap-around. There was some darkening of the leather on account of this.

It was easy and it worked. I still use the saddle.
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