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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 01-15-16, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by gna
Most of us use the term "Whitworth" for anything that uses the same size nut and bolt sizes--the tools, mainly. The threading is another story. I believe Raleigh used 26tpi instead of 24tpi, but the heads of the fasteners are the same, so if one gets a set of Whitworth tools one has a fighting chance of not rounding off all of the nuts and bolt heads. Every now and then someone will get lucky and score a set of old Snap-On Whitworth tools. Hasn't been me, yet.
The thing that catches people out with BSW/BSF tooling, is that the tools are marked with the thread size, rather than the 'Across Flats' (AF) size of the fastener head.
The American UNC/UNF system goes by the head size, so you can guesstimate the tool by looking at the bolt head...
A number of tools companies in Britain have re-introduced BSW/BSF tool sets. Something like this might do what you want:
Whitworth Spanners (Set of 8) | Frost Auto Restoration Techniques

Last edited by Fidbloke; 01-15-16 at 07:48 AM. Reason: Added extra stuff.
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Old 01-15-16, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by thumpism
Forgive me, but I love posting this photo after a setup like that. Don't hate me. These were on the tool board at the shop where I used to work and I purchased them when the place closed down.
The storeman at one of my previous jobs had over-ordered some sets of BA spanners, so he gave me a set. It's a nice little wallet, going from 0BA, right down to something like 10BA at the other end...
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Old 01-15-16, 08:04 AM
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Wow, you're right! These things have been unavailable for so long that I never thought to use the internet to look for them. Maybe not Snap On quality, but still good to have. Here's something handy:
https://www.amazon.com/Toolzone-Piece...rth+wrench+set
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Old 01-15-16, 08:51 AM
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My regular commuting bike has been out of commission, so I've been doing the daily commute on my Raleigh Lenton Tourist. I recently set it up with one of those B&M "retro" lamps. Front generator hub is one of the cheap ones that V-O used to sell, and I had to remove spacers and file down the axle to fit the Raleigh fork. This bike is actually set up with 700c wheels and 32mm tires, but plenty of clearance for fenders. Here's what winter looks like in the Boston area at this point:

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Old 01-15-16, 09:02 AM
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Nlerner,

That's awesome! Looks quite chilly too.

So your bike came with 26" and you can fit 700's in there? What fenders are those?

Also, is that a regular bag holder or did you make it yourself. I have a Carradice as well and have been going round and round about make it or buy it decision.
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Old 01-15-16, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow
Nlerner,

That's awesome! Looks quite chilly too.
Thanks! Just a bit below freezing, which is the warmest it's been all week.


Originally Posted by 3speedslow
So your bike came with 26" and you can fit 700's in there? What fenders are those?

Also, is that a regular bag holder or did you make it yourself. I have a Carradice as well and have been going round and round about make it or buy it decision.
Yup, originally would have had 597/EA1 wheels, but you can put pretty much any range of wheels in these. Original brake calipers would have been very long reach, so 700c is an easy mod.

Fenders are Bluemels Lightweights. Bag holder is the older style Carradice uplift.
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Old 01-15-16, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by thumpism
Forgive me, but I love posting this photo after a setup like that. Don't hate me. These were on the tool board at the shop where I used to work and I purchased them when the place closed down.
Sorry, but I hate you now.
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Old 01-15-16, 11:36 AM
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Thanks nlerner!

I wonder if it makes that bit of difference between the 1 3/8 590 and the 1 1/4 597 size doable for a 700 size to fit and have room for fenders.

I go research...
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Old 01-15-16, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow
Thanks nlerner!

I wonder if it makes that bit of difference between the 1 3/8 590 and the 1 1/4 597 size doable for a 700 size to fit and have room for fenders.

I go research...
My lady boss at the old shop had a "for visitors" English 3-speed with 26x1 3/8 wheels that I rebuilt for her with 700C Super Champ 58 rims on the stock hubs. I think we put 35C tires on it, maybe 32C. Clearance was fine. I'll eventually do the same with my own Sports.
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Old 01-15-16, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by gna
Sorry, but I hate you now.
I understand, but I urge you to be patient. I'm 65 and you may have the chance to buy those wrenches at my estate sale, but not too soon, I hope.
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Old 01-15-16, 06:09 PM
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700c works on the old Raleighs, but you're limited on tire size. 700x32 is about as big as you can go and still use fenders. I have 700x38s on mine, but there is very little space between the tire and the fork crown...I had to try several different tires to find one at the higher range that would fit. Width isn't the problem, it's the "height".


Originally Posted by 3speedslow
Thanks nlerner!

I wonder if it makes that bit of difference between the 1 3/8 590 and the 1 1/4 597 size doable for a 700 size to fit and have room for fenders.

I go research...
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Old 01-15-16, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Fidbloke
Yeah.
Positive Earth was a strange idea. There must have been a reason for it, but it's obscured by time now.
My first car had a sticker under the bonnet, that said "This vehicle is wired NEGATIVE EARTH", as a reminder.
I'm a part owner of a Farmall Model H tractor & it is positive ground.
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Old 01-15-16, 09:26 PM
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Does anyone know of a iso 597 whitewall tire other than NOS ones on ebay? I can only find 650A/590 unless i'm overlooking this! They are gonna go on the 1953 Dunelt
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Old 01-15-16, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by MeadMan2
I'm a part owner of a Farmall Model H tractor & it is positive ground.
I guess positive ground wasn't an entirely British thing. Neither was right side shifting on motorcycles. I remember Sportsters were right side in the 60s.
Raleigh did change the hand brake levers to right/rear for the American market. Well, except for the rod brake roadsters. They didn't bother switching the linkages around so us Americans had to get used to the British style left/rear brakes on our DL-1s. Things were more interesting before all this government standardization.
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Old 01-15-16, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Fidbloke
I think most of the threads on older Nottingham bikes are BSF.
The current ISO bicycle thread standard is based on the old BSC (British Standard Cycle).

The threads on the Sturmey Archer Dynohubs are actually BA (British Associated). The terminals are 2BA and the four nuts that hold the thing together are 6BA.

During my apprenticeship, we were taught about all these as completely separate thread forms and it confused the hell out of me when I first looked at Bike Forums and everyone kept talking about bikes having 'Whitworth' theads. To me, Whitworth threads are very coarse threads used on the huge bolts which held steam engines and Battleships together.!

It's possible that the cotter pins might be 1/4" Whitworth, as they look quite coarse, but I'm pretty certain that everything else on a Raleigh is BSF.
I've since Googled this and found that someone has lumped all the old British threads together under the name Whitworth. I can't see how that helps anyone... (Grrr!)

Anyway, that's my rant over.
Finally, some long needed clarity on British threading standards! In the States, we find old door locks and hinge fasteners with a bizarre threading that I've always wondered if it too, is a British system. I wonder if there is some guide or reference on these standards and their more common usages.......
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Old 01-15-16, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by elcraft
Finally, some long needed clarity on British threading standards! In the States, we find old door locks and hinge fasteners with a bizarre threading that I've always wondered if it too, is a British system. I wonder if there is some guide or reference on these standards and their more common usages.......
fifmyself!! Found it here:
British Standard Whitworth, B.S.F and B.A sockets and spanners.
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Old 01-16-16, 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by MeadMan2
I'm a part owner of a Farmall Model H tractor & it is positive ground.
Yeah, there must have been a reason for them to do that. So many older vehicles were wired like that..
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Old 01-16-16, 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by elcraft
Finally, some long needed clarity on British threading standards! In the States, we find old door locks and hinge fasteners with a bizarre threading that I've always wondered if it too, is a British system. I wonder if there is some guide or reference on these standards and their more common usages.......
I'll have a look, to see if I still have some of my apprentice notes and text books.

For starters, BA threads were mainly used on electrical devices - Old Wireless sets, Aircraft and car electrical components and instruments.
Pretty much anywhere where you had brass screws and electrical terminals...

Oh, and Sturmey Archer Dynohubs of course.!
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Old 01-16-16, 08:32 AM
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Great thread & I hope I'm not out of line showing my 1960s French Diamant Mixte.
I've added a 3 speed Sturmey Archer running AM internals. Set up to run as a single speed in top gear, leaving two lower gears for hills, loads, etc:

Love this mixte with its curved laterals....


This machine was bought as a Peugeot, but it ain't!

It has all original parts except for SA front lamp & 3 speed hub etc. A definite improvement on the original 3/4 speed Cyclo RD.
I used the down-tube lever braze-on to add a stop for the SA cabling, which leaves it possible to return it to its original set up.
Has new tyres on the 650b rims & only the brake calipers 'let it down' right now. Love the twin rubbered pedals & cool Nervar chain-wheel. And the substantial alloy guards.
The address tag on the stem clamp also adds to its interest for me.



Bars would benefit from a re-chrome, but I love the shape & seek a better replacement when available: )
The SA trigger will have its cover replaced anon.
It is a 'work in progress' right now; )
It could use a twin sprung saddle, but the Turbo is a neat & comfortable option meanwhile.
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Old 01-16-16, 10:36 AM
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What a gorgeous bike - the chainwheel especially. And the combination of cream/white and light brown is very striking and very unusual (maybe not in France!)....
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Old 01-16-16, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by thumpism
Forgive me, but I love posting this photo after a setup like that. Don't hate me. These were on the tool board at the shop where I used to work and I purchased them when the place closed down.
I bought a set of combination Whitworth wrenches through Amazon last summer. Big Red Toolbox in England was the source. It took quite a while to get through customs though.

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Old 01-16-16, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
My regular commuting bike has been out of commission, so I've been doing the daily commute on my Raleigh Lenton Tourist. I recently set it up with one of those B&M "retro" lamps. Front generator hub is one of the cheap ones that V-O used to sell, and I had to remove spacers and file down the axle to fit the Raleigh fork. This bike is actually set up with 700c wheels and 32mm tires, but plenty of clearance for fenders. Here's what winter looks like in the Boston area at this point:
That's a beaut!

I too have one of those Novatech dynamos that VO used to sell, and had it built into a 650A wheel by the OP for my Raleigh. Yeah, there was a bit of "brute force" to get it to fit in the front fork, but it works. And yeah, the B+M Retrotec lights are great, especially for old three speeds. While it still isn't as classy as an old lamp, it works heaps better.
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Old 01-16-16, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Bicyclz

Love this mixte with its curved laterals....

Love the chain guard.
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Old 01-16-16, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Bicyclz
Great thread & I hope I'm not out of line showing my 1960s French Diamant Mixte.
I've added a 3 speed Sturmey Archer running AM internals. Set up to run as a single speed in top gear, leaving two lower gears for hills, loads, etc:
Another beautiful bike! I really liked the "wing" chainguards on the French bikes. They weren't as common on British bikes, but I've seen a few early Raleigh Sprites with that style chainguard.
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Old 01-16-16, 05:14 PM
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Thanks to @gugie I now have more space in the garage as well as a nice 12" pump for the Raleigh Twenty AND a saddle bag. I traded my too large Raleigh Sports for the pump and the bag. What a great forum member.

Here are some photos along with close up of the replacement decals from VeloCals. Original rear brake caliper had routing from the bottom up, and now am using modern Tektro R559's so there's that unsightly bend in the brake cable. Oh well. The rack is a loved Bontrager and it's very sturdy. I'm using this rack so I can actually go do light grocery shopping with this bike.

12" Frame Pump R20 by velocivixen, on Flickr

Silver Frame Pump by velocivixen, on Flickr

Vinyl Seat Tube Decals R20 by velocivixen, on Flickr

Close Up Frame Pump by velocivixen, on Flickr
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