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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 01-11-16, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Narhay
I also purchased this little oiler can. I've never used one before but I figure it would look and work nicely to put 30W oil in the AW hubs that I seem to be amassing.
I have a Singer sewing machine oiler very similar to that, but recently bought a pump oiler that I really like.

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Old 01-11-16, 03:39 PM
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@noglider Thanks for confirming my suspicions that the nuts were made to be expendable. They are so light they might as well be aluminum, err aluminium. When I bought this bike around 1980 I asked for a sturdy bike that would stand up to the rigors of urban riding and the salesman told me the Tourist was the "third world" model. Protecting the axle with soft nuts seems to fit that description to a T. Not likely to find Whitworth thread hardware at most of my LBSs as the bike is probably older than most of the bike mechanics so it's off to the web.

The axle looks to be a 5/16" diameter, can anyone tell me the thread pitch?

Originally Posted by noglider
@erileykc and @bmthom.gis, those axle nuts are designed to strip easily, believe it or not. They are made of soft metal. The rationale is that the axle is valuable and also difficult to change, so rather than risking the nut stripping the axle, the axle strips the nut. Tightening the nuts properly takes a bit of skill. You have to make them tight enough that the wheel won't slip but not tight enough to strip them. And still, you'll strip them occasionally. Buy a new pair plus a spare pair.
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Old 01-11-16, 03:53 PM
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@erileykc, you don't buy them that way. You tell your bike shop you want axle nuts for a Sturmey Archer 3-speed hub. Either they have them or they don't.

Here is the left nut, and here is the right nut. You can use either two left nuts and reuse that extra "tube" or you can replace the nut and tube with a right nut. You don't have to buy them from Harris. I just used their links as examples. Many vendors have them.
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Old 01-11-16, 04:05 PM
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@noglider So "raliegh superbe axle thread" was totally the wrong search term. Doooohhh.

"Unique thread size, nothing else fits. " Well that pretty much answers that question. Clearly I should start taking Sheldon as biblical truth. I was really hoping to get some grade 8 nuts to ensure the nuts remained when the rest of the bike was in ruins but so it goes. Thanks for the pointers and links.

@Velocivixen I like your version better, thanks.

Originally Posted by noglider
@erileykc, you don't buy them that way. You tell your bike shop you want axle nuts for a Sturmey Archer 3-speed hub. Either they have them or they don't.

Here is the left nut, and here is the right nut. You can use either two left nuts and reuse that extra "tube" or you can replace the nut and tube with a right nut. You don't have to buy them from Harris. I just used their links as examples. Many vendors have them.
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Old 01-11-16, 04:25 PM
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not sure about the NOS but still pretty cool - $50
1953 Sturmey Archer Hub, shifter etc New in box | frames, parts | City of Toronto | Kijiji

1953 Sturmey Archer AW 3 speed internal hub 'new in box' with shifter, cable stop, cable roller guide, SA spanner (wrench), cog

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Old 01-11-16, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by dweenk
I have a Singer sewing machine oiler very similar to that, but recently bought a pump oiler that I really like.

Sewing machine oil was recommended to me recently for the SA hub....
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Old 01-11-16, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Slash5
not sure about the NOS but still pretty cool - $50
1953 Sturmey Archer Hub, shifter etc New in box | frames, parts | City of Toronto | Kijiji

1953 Sturmey Archer AW 3 speed internal hub 'new in box' with shifter, cable stop, cable roller guide, SA spanner (wrench), cog

I just responded to the ad.
I've bought parts from him before.....
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Old 01-11-16, 04:53 PM
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Hey, anyone here that's worked with the SW hub- have you found a lubricant that allows it to work without slipping?

I know I should change this out (its on a 1958 BSA rod brake machine I just acquired) for an AW, but hope springs...
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Old 01-11-16, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by gster
I just responded to the ad.
I've bought parts from him before.....
I just bought 3 of these.
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Old 01-11-16, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by gster
Sewing machine oil was recommended to me recently for the SA hub....
I believe that bicycles and sewing machines are connected in some way. The old treadle machines were a sort of 1 legged bicycle. I have a Singer sewing machine base that I use as a work table platform.
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Old 01-11-16, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by gster
I just bought 3 of these.
Did he say where they came from? Been sitting for 60 years.
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Old 01-11-16, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by erileykc
@noglider Thanks for confirming my suspicions that the nuts were made to be expendable. They are so light they might as well be aluminum, err aluminium. When I bought this bike around 1980 I asked for a sturdy bike that would stand up to the rigors of urban riding and the salesman told me the Tourist was the "third world" model. Protecting the axle with soft nuts seems to fit that description to a T. Not likely to find Whitworth thread hardware at most of my LBSs as the bike is probably older than most of the bike mechanics so it's off to the web.

The axle looks to be a 5/16" diameter, can anyone tell me the thread pitch?
I just Google searched Sturmy Archer axle nut and Amazon had them with free shipping.
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Old 01-11-16, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Slash5
Did he say where they came from? Been sitting for 60 years.
He's an old 3 speed guy, (not that old really). He's just sold me 3 NOS hubs + (as pictured) for $125.00 CDN ($88.00 US).
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Old 01-12-16, 01:20 PM
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Recent event has slowed my progress on most everything so no report yet on how the Specialized tires mesh with the Sports rim.

This Sat my English Bulldog Peaches,16 yrs old, passed away quietly while on her bed. She had belonged to my late Mother and was her baby.

This Christmas

Always took a personal interest in the British bike projects.

I am slowly taking the 3 speed project back up and should have something to tell you in time. Today was filing the rough spokes down on both wheels and then brass brushed the slight rust around the inside valve holes before hitting it with converter. Tomorrow will be rim strips and tires, tubes.

Till then.
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Old 01-12-16, 01:33 PM
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@3speedslow - Peaches is a stunner, and as a proper English dog, she demonstrated an obvious joy in supervising your English projects. It's always difficult when a beloved pet passes away. I am sorry for your loss.

On a different note, I look forward to more of your project.
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Old 01-12-16, 02:15 PM
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RIP, Peaches!
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Old 01-12-16, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Salubrious
Hey, anyone here that's worked with the SW hub- have you found a lubricant that allows it to work without slipping?

I know I should change this out (its on a 1958 BSA rod brake machine I just acquired) for an AW, but hope springs...
I have several SWs here. My experience is you can always count on 1/2 or more of a revolution of the cranks before the springless pawls engage. Sometimes they surprise you and engage right away, but don't count on it. Performance is especially bad in cold weather. Riding my SW wheel when the temperature is below freezing is thoroughly frustrating. Sometimes several complete revolutions of the crank go by before the pawls engage.

On the plus side, they're particularly easy to overhaul: fewer parts than the AW hub, and no fiddly pawl springs to lose. Precious few of the parts interchange with any other hub, though. Curiously, I have SW hubs with two-piece indicator rods as well as ones with one-piece indicator rods. One of the hubs with a two piece indicator is newer than some with the one piece indicator, so I don't know how to relate this difference to date of manufacture.

As far as lubricant goes, I'd suggest the lighter, the better to minimize problems with the pawls not engaging.
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Old 01-12-16, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow
Recent event has slowed my progress on most everything so no report yet on how the Specialized tires mesh with the Sports rim.

This Sat my English Bulldog Peaches,16 yrs old, passed away quietly while on her bed. She had belonged to my late Mother and was her baby.
Gorgeous pup. She looked like a sweet one. Sorry to hear she passed.
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Old 01-12-16, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by bmthom.gis
I just Google searched Sturmy Archer axle nut and Amazon had them with free shipping.
Yes it is easier to search for Sturmey Archer axle nuts. We lump all the British threads into the name Witworth. So when you ask for SA axle nuts, it eliminates any confusion. I believe the axle threads are British Standard Fine. (BSF)
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Old 01-12-16, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
I have several SWs here. My experience is you can always count on 1/2 or more of a revolution of the cranks before the springless pawls engage. Sometimes they surprise you and engage right away, but don't count on it. Performance is especially bad in cold weather. Riding my SW wheel when the temperature is below freezing is thoroughly frustrating. Sometimes several complete revolutions of the crank go by before the pawls engage.

On the plus side, they're particularly easy to overhaul: fewer parts than the AW hub, and no fiddly pawl springs to lose. Precious few of the parts interchange with any other hub, though. Curiously, I have SW hubs with two-piece indicator rods as well as ones with one-piece indicator rods. One of the hubs with a two piece indicator is newer than some with the one piece indicator, so I don't know how to relate this difference to date of manufacture.

As far as lubricant goes, I'd suggest the lighter, the better to minimize problems with the pawls not engaging.
Thanks- I'll give it a shot....

Originally Posted by BigChief
Yes it is easier to search for Sturmey Archer axle nuts. We lump all the British threads into the name Witworth. So when you ask for SA axle nuts, it eliminates any confusion. I believe the axle threads are British Standard Fine. (BSF)
I used to own a 1962 BSA Super Rocket- leave it to the Brits to have 4 different thread types on the same motorbike- in addition to Whitworth and BSF, there was a pipe-fitting thread and British Standard Cycle. If you confused them, you ran the risk of damaging the thread as not only can the thread pitch be different, but the thread contour can be different too- so it won't go even if its the same pitch. Sheesh. Fortunately not run into that on the bicycles.
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Old 01-12-16, 07:44 PM
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1965 Raleigh Sports

A few pages back BF member dim asked the question "if you could only have one three speed, which would it be?" Although there are many that I would like to have, this 1965 bronze green 23 inch Sports is at the top of my list. This is mostly due to nostalgia(I owned one as a youngster), but I also am partial to the details on this series of Raleighs. After I decided this was what I wanted, it took about 5 years before I found one for sale. It was sold out of the original owners estate, and it looked like it had been in storage for many years. This looks like a fairly well ridden bike, but well cared for and not to banged up. The pump and D bag were in place when I bought it. The complete rebuild only required new bearings, new tires, and a pair of original equipment Dunlop tubes that were salvaged from a parts bike, along with a lot of cleaning and polishing. It is a comfortable and nearly silent riding bicycle. There must be many of these 1965s in existence, but they are rarely seen on the internet, either for sale or for show and tell. If you have one, I would love to see your pictures.


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Old 01-12-16, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Salubrious
Thanks- I'll give it a shot....



I used to own a 1962 BSA Super Rocket- leave it to the Brits to have 4 different thread types on the same motorbike- in addition to Whitworth and BSF, there was a pipe-fitting thread and British Standard Cycle. If you confused them, you ran the risk of damaging the thread as not only can the thread pitch be different, but the thread contour can be different too- so it won't go even if its the same pitch. Sheesh. Fortunately not run into that on the bicycles.
My dream bike was always a BSA 500 Goldie. Never got one.
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Old 01-12-16, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow
Recent event has slowed my progress on most everything so no report yet on how the Specialized tires mesh with the Sports rim.

This Sat my English Bulldog Peaches,16 yrs old, passed away quietly while on her bed. She had belonged to my late Mother and was her baby.

This Christmas

Always took a personal interest in the British bike projects.

I am slowly taking the 3 speed project back up and should have something to tell you in time. Today was filing the rough spokes down on both wheels and then brass brushed the slight rust around the inside valve holes before hitting it with converter. Tomorrow will be rim strips and tires, tubes.

Till then.
Sorry about your dog.
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Old 01-12-16, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
My dream bike was always a BSA 500 Goldie. Never got one.
Still got a '69 BSA 650 Lighting in the garage
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Old 01-12-16, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldpaint
A few pages back BF member dim asked the question "if you could only have one three speed, which would it be?" Although there are many that I would like to have, this 1965 bronze green 23 inch Sports is at the top of my list. This is mostly due to nostalgia(I owned one as a youngster), but I also am partial to the details on this series of Raleighs. After I decided this was what I wanted, it took about 5 years before I found one for sale. It was sold out of the original owners estate, and it looked like it had been in storage for many years. This looks like a fairly well ridden bike, but well cared for and not to banged up. The pump and D bag were in place when I bought it. The complete rebuild only required new bearings, new tires, and a pair of original equipment Dunlop tubes that were salvaged from a parts bike, along with a lot of cleaning and polishing. It is a comfortable and nearly silent riding bicycle. There must be many of these 1965s in existence, but they are rarely seen on the internet, either for sale or for show and tell. If you have one, I would love to see your pictures.


I think that British Green is my favourite bike colour, followed by black.
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