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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 04-16-16, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
I don't know what alloy Raleigh's 20-30 tubing is, but I don't think it's fair to call it gas pipe or consider it to be a cheap and inferior product. Back before modern welding techniques, the whole point of brazing a frame in formed lugs was to allow for lighter tubing that couldn't stand up to the welding methods at the time. Raleigh went out of it's way to form and seam weld it's own tubing to get just the alloy and dimensions they wanted. True, Raleigh did continue using materials and production techniques long after they were outdated, but that is part of their charm. We can still find 1960s and 70s bikes that are essentially 1920s technology. Lugged 20-30 frames may not live up to the performance standards of modern or exotic alloy frames, but they are still high quality.
Most of the bicycles on this planet are made with high carbon steel, the difference between a bike like a Grand Prix and a straight gauge 531 framed model is about a pound.

In a lot of cases it came down to the parts that were attached to the 20-30 frames vs what came with the straight gauge 531 frames that made most of the difference... I recently upgraded a Peugeot AO8 which has a high carbon frame with some nice period parts and it curbs out at 26 pounds.

My '54 Raleigh 3 speed is 28 pounds with alloy wheels and brakes, it still has the rest of it's steel parts and by itself that old high carbon steel frame isn't really that heavy.

We know that when the end comes all that will be left is cockroaches and old Raleigh three speeds, and a bunch of electroforged Schwinns.
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Old 04-16-16, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider
@adventurepdx, I agree that Americans don't know a good utilitarian bike. Portland has a lot of bike commuters, no? Don't you see sensible bikes there? We're seeing a big influx here. I give a lot of credit to Linus and Biria. Their bikes make tons of sense. George Bliss owned a shop one block from me. He is out of business for now, but he was the biggest Linus dealer in the US for a while. He helped make them big. He said the Biria is basically the same but with better paint (and maybe he said better workmanship overall) and a higher price. The Biria bikes look good to me. I test rode a non-folding bike with 20" wheels. It was too weird for me to imagine what it's like to ride every day.
We do see a lot of sensible bikes here. We have shops that cater to urban/utility bicycles/bicyclists, like Clever. Linus does pretty well here, though Biria is still pretty exotic and Public hasn't made the inroads they probably hoped to. And every once in awhile, you'll see on CL a Dutch Workcycle that someone probably bought from Clever and then realized that Dutch bikes are maybe a bit too heavy for not-even-that-hilly Portland.

But I'm thinking more outside the bubbles, outside cities like Portland, NYC, SF, Minneapolis, etc. These are the places where the big companies aren't reaching with utility bikes, despite offering them in the lineup and having an extensive dealer network.

Take for example Trek, one of the big three. Trek came out a few years back with the Belleville. You can quibble with some of the choices (and the men's frame), but let's be honest: It was a well appointed city bike, and probably the best representation of a modern Raleigh Superbe: Three speed hub (though Shimano), fenders, chainguard, racks, and even dynamo lighting as standard. And only about $700!


But Trek discontinued it, most likely due to low sales. This is despite being from one of the biggest bike companies around, with an extensive dealer network. And I can imagine that in places without an already existing urban/commuting bike culture, the Belleville languished in the dusty corner of the shop, over by the lone 520 (that is, if the shop decided to stock either bike.) And if someone came into the shop to inquire about a bike to ride the rail-trails around the area, or for around the neighborhood and to the store, I can imagine a salesperson trying to steer that person to a Madone instead of the more rational (and cheaper) choice.
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Old 04-16-16, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver
We know that when the end comes all that will be left is cockroaches and old Raleigh three speeds, and a bunch of electroforged Schwinns.
Sounds like a good tattoo!
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Old 04-16-16, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by adventurepdx
We do see a lot of sensible bikes here. We have shops that cater to urban/utility bicycles/bicyclists, like Clever. Linus does pretty well here, though Biria is still pretty exotic and Public hasn't made the inroads they probably hoped to. And every once in awhile, you'll see on CL a Dutch Workcycle that someone probably bought from Clever and then realized that Dutch bikes are maybe a bit too heavy for not-even-that-hilly Portland.

But I'm thinking more outside the bubbles, outside cities like Portland, NYC, SF, Minneapolis, etc. These are the places where the big companies aren't reaching with utility bikes, despite offering them in the lineup and having an extensive dealer network.

Take for example Trek, one of the big three. Trek came out a few years back with the Belleville. You can quibble with some of the choices (and the men's frame), but let's be honest: It was a well appointed city bike, and probably the best representation of a modern Raleigh Superbe: Three speed hub (though Shimano), fenders, chainguard, racks, and even dynamo lighting as standard. And only about $700!


But Trek discontinued it, most likely due to low sales. This is despite being from one of the biggest bike companies around, with an extensive dealer network. And I can imagine that in places without an already existing urban/commuting bike culture, the Belleville languished in the dusty corner of the shop, over by the lone 520 (that is, if the shop decided to stock either bike.) And if someone came into the shop to inquire about a bike to ride the rail-trails around the area, or for around the neighborhood and to the store, I can imagine a salesperson trying to steer that person to a Madone instead of the more rational (and cheaper) choice.
BD's Windsor Kensington8 has a full chromoly frame, racks and fenders and a Shimano Nexus 8 speed hub. Its priced less than the Raleigh Haskell high tensile frame and is completely traditional as a classic three speed bike should look. C&V purists will appreciate everything is true is a way is that's old, tried and true as old, tried and true should be:

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Old 04-16-16, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Loose Chain
Yep, that is what I said. It (the Raleigh Sports) is heavy and dead feeling compared to my Italian bikes or even my Surly CC which are most definitely more lively feeling. The materials were chosen in both cases for the purpose intended and for the expectations of the market. The Raleigh was sold to a different market than a high end SLX Columbus Italian racer and racer there used appropriately. My interest was high tensile strength vs mild carbon steel and it's use in these slightly sporty (and spiffy) utility bicycles. As my wife says, they are cute. I am not sure I would change a thing now that my appreciation for the all steel bike is renewed.

That said, anybody ever want to make a Raleigh Sports out of SL tubing, what a sleeper, a 25 pound wolf in sheep clothing. It certainly would not hurt anything but what workman could afford such a thing? One thing, applying a 50 pound force to the BB of my Raleigh results in a noticeably greater deflection than on my Pinarello. Raleigh, heavier yes, stiffer, I cannot agree. But a bloke on his way to work would he care, I doubt it.

So then we are saying that at least later versions of the Sports had a high tensile steel frame or main frame? Hmmm? Well, indeed this is interesting:



I am not saying these are good tires or even slightly better than poor tires, only that they are black and appear to be made from some sort of rubbery like stuff:

Sears.com

I thought Bell had quit making them. The versions I have are similar but not the same. Added Kevlar?

Well, there is this sad creature awaiting some long overdue attention:

my 74 sports
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Old 04-17-16, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by DQRider
Had I seen this bike before I bought my Scott Sub-10, I might have bought this instead. REI had the Gotham right next to the Sub-10 in their showrooms last year, priced similarly, both with belt-drive/disc-brakes/IGH, but the Alfine hub tipped the scales in favor of the Scott - I understand how that works. The NuVinci 360 in the Novarra bikes, on the other hand, is some sort of black magic.

However, since this is the English 3-speed thread, I'm afraid I have wandered off the path a bit. Sorry.

An Announcement:

I've decided that I am going to take up the challenge to build a superior Lightweight English 3-speed Roadster after all. Elsewhere in C&V there is a thread called "NAME THAT FRAME", in which I try to get some expert to identify a beautifully lugged, hand-built Reynolds 531 frameset that I have recently acquired. So far, the consensus is that it is from the early 1970s, probably British, (maybe American - but built in the British style), from a small, low-volume shop (serial number 352).



This frame is incredible, weighing in at 4.3 lbs, with the fork at 1.5. It is going to be the basis for something I am calling Project John Bull. I have received official recognition for this project from the Gentleman Cyclist's Shirt-Tail Organizer, so it will be eligible for both the ABCE and the Lake Pepin 3-speed Tour. I will keep a build thread here on the C&V forum, all starting as soon as they begin salting the roads again here next winter. This one is going to be fun!
Could be a Mexican built Windsor from the 70's.
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Old 04-17-16, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by gster
Could be a Mexican built Windsor from the 70's.
We (consensus on the other thread) have already dismissed this possibility for numerous reasons. From the Classic Rendezvous site, on Windsor Mexico:

Windsor
This line of bicycles included many models but is best known for their Cinelli-look Pro and Competition. They were produced in Mexico in the 1970s and early 1980s. The 2 models used a similar frame but primarily differed in the components packages, the Pro with Campagnolo Nuovo Record (pictured) and the Competition with Suntour. Similar models were made bearing the Carabela marque; the parent company being Acer-Mex, a large domestic bicycle producer. The tubing was Columbus and the workmanship generally was good. The lugs and seat stay attachment looked very like Cinelli's top models, but unlike Cinelli, the fork crown was an external box crown. Unfortunately, a few unethical owners have placed Cinelli decals on these bikes!



They go on to show some detail shots, and you can see that the stays, the seatpost lug, and the fork crown do not match what I have. Add that to the fact that this frame is definitely Reynolds butted 531, and Windsor origin becomes highly unlikely. Thanks for the input, though.
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Old 04-17-16, 08:36 AM
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Working on my early 50s robinhood again. I need tires. Ive got a nearly new DURO classic 3 speed tread on the rear that i cannot find a matching mate for. I have been looking forever. Id LOVE to find some Sunlite Street K103 black/black but it appears NOBODY has them in stock. Niagra used to have these for about 10 bucks each. Now they only have the white walls as does everyone else. Time to dig through the coops some more i guess.
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Old 04-17-16, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by scale
Working on my early 50s robinhood again. I need tires. Ive got a nearly new DURO classic 3 speed tread on the rear that i cannot find a matching mate for. I have been looking forever. Id LOVE to find some Sunlite Street K103 black/black but it appears NOBODY has them in stock. Niagra used to have these for about 10 bucks each. Now they only have the white walls as does everyone else. Time to dig through the coops some more i guess.
Have you seen these? I'm planning a more sporty ride for my 55 Rudge and thought these look interesting.
The 26x 1/3/8 is rated for 70-90psi.
https://www.specialized.com/us/en/co...adsport/105857
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Old 04-17-16, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by DQRider
This is a challenge I have been thinking of taking on: Can I build a bicycle with quality equal or superior to the Linus Roadster Sport, for less than that asking price of $600. Early research indicates that it won't be possible if I'm paying retail for all the modern upgrade components. However, if I can find modern alloy components on Craigslist or eBay to replace all the steel components of a Raleigh Sport, for example, I just might be able to pull it off.
Yes, with patience it's possible. I built my daily commuter, which I think is quite a bit better equipped than the Linus, for just over $500:

$50 on local Craigslist for a 1981 Takara hi-ten sport-tourer, with all original parts;
$100 on eBay for a 700c alloy rear wheel with a modern Sturmey Archer 5-speed hub (used, but barely, as far as I can tell);
$95 on eBay for an IDC Stout dynamo-hub 700c alloy front wheel.
$71 from Rose Bikes, with a coupon, for front and rear Busch & Müller LED dynamo lights, Hebie Chainglider, and Nexus 3/32 rear cog
$28 alloy moustache bars, eBay
$26 alloy crankset, eBay. I already had the chainring on hand
$15 Sunlite plastic fenders, Niagara Cycle
$35 CST kevlar/reflective 32mm city tires, pair, Niagara
$35 alloy rear rack, Niagara
$11 XLC city pedals, Niagara
$19 KMC 9sp chain, Niagara
$31 Sturmey 5-speed barcon shifter (new, eBay)
$18 new Tange Seiki cartridge BB, eBay
$12 Kool Stop brake pads, eBay
------
$511.

I'm not counting cables, housing, dynamo wires, or bartape (which I buy in bulk), or the saddle and chainring, which I already had. I kept the original Shimano brakes, but I can't say I love them -- my next move will definitely be to get some modern Tektro calipers. Of course, I don't actually love this frame all that much; I'm still kinda patiently looking for something cromoly with the right geometry at a similar price. It takes patience, but they're out there.

If you're happy with your hubs and just want to replace the rims, you could definitely do it way cheaper than I did.

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Old 04-17-16, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by brianinc-ville
Yes, with patience it's possible. I built my daily commuter, which I think is quite a bit better equipped than the Linus, for just over $500:

$50 on local Craigslist for a 1981 Takara hi-ten sport-tourer, with all original parts;
$100 on eBay for a 700c alloy rear wheel with a modern Sturmey Archer 5-speed hub (used, but barely, as far as I can tell);
$95 on eBay for an IDC Stout dynamo-hub 700c alloy front wheel.
$71 from Rose Bikes, with a coupon, for front and rear Busch & Müller LED dynamo lights, Hebie Chainglider, and Nexus 3/32 rear cog
$28 alloy moustache bars, eBay
$26 alloy crankset, eBay. I already had the chainring on hand
$15 Sunlite plastic fenders, Niagara Cycle
$35 CST kevlar/reflective 32mm city tires, pair, Niagara
$35 alloy rear rack, Niagara
$11 XLC city pedals, Niagara
$19 KMC 9sp chain, Niagara
$31 Sturmey 5-speed barcon shifter (new, eBay)
$18 new Tange Seiki cartridge BB, eBay
$12 Kool Stop brake pads, eBay
------
$511.

I'm not counting cables, housing, dynamo wires, or bartape (which I buy in bulk), or the saddle and chainring, which I already had. I kept the original Shimano brakes, but I can't say I love them -- my next move will definitely be to get some modern Tektro calipers. Of course, I don't actually love this frame all that much; I'm still kinda patiently looking for something cromoly with the right geometry at a similar price. It takes patience, but they're out there.

If you're happy with your hubs and just want to replace the rims, you could definitely do it way cheaper than I did.
That's a very competent looking commuter. Although it obviously isn't an English 3-speed, it certainly functions like a modern version of one. Thanks for breaking down the budget on this - it really helps those of us trying to upgrade older 3-speeds or build a modern version with higher-end vintage components. If you don't mind, what does the S-A 5-speed give you over the ubiquitous AW? Is it lower on the low end, higher on the high end, or does it fill the holes in the middle?

I've decided to go with a modern, alloy AW or S-RF3 with a dynamo front hub on my project. I find that, if I use a 24t sprocket and a 46t chainring, I get all the top-end I need, and I can climb any hill I've encountered on a public trail or roadway. And I stay within the rules of the local British Cycling enthusiasts.
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Old 04-17-16, 07:41 PM
  #10137  
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Originally Posted by Loose Chain
My interest was high tensile strength vs mild carbon steel and it's use in these slightly sporty (and spiffy) utility bicycles. As my wife says, they are cute. I am not sure I would change a thing now that my appreciation for the all steel bike is renewed.

So then we are saying that at least later versions of the Sports had a high tensile steel frame or main frame? Hmmm? Well, indeed this is interesting:


As far as I know, they're all 20-30 Hi-Ten.
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Old 04-17-16, 07:49 PM
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If you consider the short-lived late 1940s "Super Sports" a "Sports" (many throw it in with the Clubman), that should be a Sports frame with Reynolds 531 tubing (I've heard some people argue the Super Sports was only 531 in the main tubes, not all of them on the frame). In any event, it's a livelier bike than a straight Sports.
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Old 04-17-16, 07:50 PM
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The Raleigh Sports was straight gauge steel.

That gave it a heavier feel compared to lighter cromoly road bikes.

But it worked very well for its intended market.
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Old 04-17-16, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983
If you consider the short-lived late 1940s "Super Sports" a "Sports" (many throw it in with the Clubman), that should be a Sports frame with Reynolds 531 tubing.
The upper class rode on club bicycles hence the name - while working class folks rode the Sports. If you made more money, you obviously could afford the best money could buy.

That doesn't diminish the Sports or its versatility in any way in an era when few people had cars.
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Old 04-17-16, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by DQRider
That's a very competent looking commuter. Although it obviously isn't an English 3-speed, it certainly functions like a modern version of one. Thanks for breaking down the budget on this - it really helps those of us trying to upgrade older 3-speeds or build a modern version with higher-end vintage components. If you don't mind, what does the S-A 5-speed give you over the ubiquitous AW? Is it lower on the low end, higher on the high end, or does it fill the holes in the middle?
Thanks -- it's doing what it needs to do, every day, in all weather. Honestly, I only bought the five-speed ( X-RF5(w) ) because I spotted a good deal on eBay -- I'd been planning to go with an AW, originally. The difference isn't huge. As I've got it set up now (44x19), I don't use the top gear much. Downhills and tailwinds only. The difference between first and second gear is pretty small -- so you're basically left with something similar to an AW, plus a rarely-used heroic overdrive. If I lived in a place with bigger hills I'd probably appreciate it, but here in the flatlands an AW does just fine, and it's a lot less finicky than the X-RF5(w).

Do not anger the British Cycling Enthusiasts. They're likely to hand you over to the Spanish Inquisition.
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Old 04-17-16, 08:25 PM
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DQRider could buy a brand-new Diamondback ST-8, swap out the bars for North Road bars, throw on some some fenders and add a chainguard and have a nice Shimano Nexus IGH bike for not too much money.

I agree British Cycling Enthusiasts are not likely to look favorably on modern Sports wannabes. They have their limits.
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Old 04-18-16, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by gna
As far as I know, they're all 20-30 Hi-Ten.
It's hard to say because the name 20-30 is a Raleigh name and not any steel industry standard that I know of. Early on, not sure of the year, Raleigh changed it's tubing name from 18-23 to 20-30. So, it was an upgrade of some sort. I'm assuming that 20-30 is lighter and stronger than the earlier Raleighs made from 18-23
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Old 04-18-16, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by NormanF
DQRider could buy a brand-new Diamondback ST-8, swap out the bars for North Road bars, throw on some some fenders and add a chainguard and have a nice Shimano Nexus IGH bike for not too much money.

I agree British Cycling Enthusiasts are not likely to look favorably on modern Sports wannabes. They have their limits.
(Apologies up front for any off-topic content here, but I'm trying to make a point. Please bear with me...)

You mean something like this?



Scott Sub-10 with Alfine-8 IGH and other mods as you describe. Love it.

This is my Nexus-8 bike:



Built up from a cheap CL Gitane Gypsy Sport. This one weighs 30lbs exactly, and is a joy to ride, despite being made of hi-ten "gas pipe".

But the fact that I am building my next bike to more closely emulate the old Raleigh Lenton Lightweight 3-speed is telling. After riding my DL-1 for some distance now, I realize that too much technology detracts from the pure riding experience. Since I really don't care about riding fast, an AW with 46/24 is just about perfect. The most important thing to me is getting up every hill without standing out of the saddle.

This is the model I am using for my next winter build:



It will be like coming home.
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Old 04-18-16, 09:07 AM
  #10145  
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Originally Posted by BigChief
It's hard to say because the name 20-30 is a Raleigh name and not any steel industry standard that I know of. Early on, not sure of the year, Raleigh changed it's tubing name from 18-23 to 20-30. So, it was an upgrade of some sort. I'm assuming that 20-30 is lighter and stronger than the earlier Raleighs made from 18-23
20-30 started showing up as early as '54. Can't say I've seen an 18-23 but I don't have pre 50 Raleighs

https://www.kurtkaminer.com/raleigh_sportsketch_1954.jpg
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Old 04-18-16, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
Have you seen these? I'm planning a more sporty ride for my 55 Rudge and thought these look interesting.
The 26x 1/3/8 is rated for 70-90psi.
https://www.specialized.com/us/en/co...adsport/105857
Continental has a nice "City Ride" EA3 as well. 70 psi available at Harris and many other stores.
26 x 1 3/8 inch (590 mm) Bicycle Tires from Harris Cyclery
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Old 04-18-16, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
Have you seen these? I'm planning a more sporty ride for my 55 Rudge and thought these look interesting.
The 26x 1/3/8 is rated for 70-90psi.
https://www.specialized.com/us/en/co...adsport/105857
That might be a really nice tire, but I wouldn't recommend inflating it beyond 60 psi, probably less, unless you're carrying a lot of weight. If the rider is light, use 40 psi.
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Old 04-18-16, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by DQRider
(Apologies up front for any off-topic content here, but I'm trying to make a point. Please bear with me...)

You mean something like this?



Scott Sub-10 with Alfine-8 IGH and other mods as you describe. Love it.

This is my Nexus-8 bike:



Built up from a cheap CL Gitane Gypsy Sport. This one weighs 30lbs exactly, and is a joy to ride, despite being made of hi-ten "gas pipe".

But the fact that I am building my next bike to more closely emulate the old Raleigh Lenton Lightweight 3-speed is telling. After riding my DL-1 for some distance now, I realize that too much technology detracts from the pure riding experience. Since I really don't care about riding fast, an AW with 46/24 is just about perfect. The most important thing to me is getting up every hill without standing out of the saddle.

This is the model I am using for my next winter build:



It will be like coming home.
Not off-topic! If you can't find a Raleigh Sports, buy or build a homage to it for yourself. Isn't that in keeping with the spirit of a classic utility bike? May not be a C&V if made of modern materials but as a tribute to the English heritage its payment rendered in full.
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Old 04-18-16, 10:27 AM
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A pair of his-n-hers Raleigh Superbes here in Chicagoland. Price seems kind of steep to me, but I know nothing about them.

RALEIGH SUPERBE


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Old 04-18-16, 10:48 AM
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^^ Large men's frame bring a little more.
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