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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 04-19-16, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by peppep
I've acquired a new-to-me Raleigh Sports, hub dated 67. I'll be able to get some pictures taken this evening when I pull it out to start cleaning.

This is my first big C&V project. I've read about 30 pages of this massive thread, and some of Sheldon Brown's site, and I know there's lots more info out there; just starting to soak it all in!

If you don't mind, some newb questions:
I've seen a lot of talk about details referring to "older models" and "later models" of Sports. Where would a c.1967 fall?
Are there certain brake and shift cables that are recommended for this bike, or is that pretty generic?
Excuse my ignorance! This is a major learning project for me.
Welcome!

1967 is in the middle.

Any generic brake cable will do. New brake cables are thinner and therefore give a slightly softer feel, which is too bad, but it's not terrible.

Please post pictures!
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Old 04-19-16, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
Congrats on your new project. Old English 3 speeds has been a hobby of mine for many years and I'm still having a blast with it. Newer or older is subjective, but 67 is a good year and still retain some of the features like full pattern chainwheels and graphics that I prefer.
If possible, reuse the original cable casings. Any brake cable with a barrel end should work on your bike because it uses pinch bolts on the calipers. Shifter cables are a bit trickier because they come in different lengths. Modern replacement cables get around this by using pinch bolt adapters that screw on to the indicator chain. Again, reuse the cable casing if possible. If you want to avoid the clunky pinch bolt, you either have to find a complete vintage cable/casing assembly the right length or make one up yourself. Looking forward to seeing your pics.
Thanks, that's very helpful! The casings look to be ok on first glance. Sounds like the pinch bolt might be the easiest option to find. I'll have to look into it.

Originally Posted by noglider
Welcome!

1967 is in the middle.

Any generic brake cable will do. New brake cables are thinner and therefore give a slightly softer feel, which is too bad, but it's not terrible.

Please post pictures!
That's what I was wondering! After reading about the pinnacle of the '50s and the lessened quality in the '70s and '80s, and Sheldon's lists of parts all referring to "older" and "later," it seemed like the '60s ones were left floating mysteriously in between. I'm so glad to have found one with the heron chainwheel!

The co-op where I got it and will be working on it stocks new cables and has a terrifying box of older ones. Not sure if I'm feeling up to digging through that.
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Old 04-19-16, 02:18 PM
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Wow, if someone actually buys this, I gotta talk to them about a 1972 Schwinn Suburban in similar condition (though the tires are newer)
Vintage Raleigh From The 1950's
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Old 04-19-16, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by bmthom.gis
Wow, if someone actually buys this, I gotta talk to them about a 1972 Schwinn Suburban in similar condition (though the tires are newer)
Vintage Raleigh From The 1950's

Crazy price, but I really like that chain case. I haven't seen that one with the exposed crank.
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Old 04-19-16, 04:50 PM
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I think you will start to look forward to digging through the boxes of old crap to find all sorts of treasures! Congrats on the purchase and +1 on pictures
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Old 04-19-16, 09:37 PM
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Ok! Here are pictures of the '67 Sports before any cleaning. I already had the front wheel off, but it's original with original tire just like the back.


Anyone have a shot of what that tubing label is supposed to look like?


This is the worst rust on the frame. Doesn't seem to be causing structural damage, but I'm not 100% sure. It's painful to see!

I'm planning to clean it up, do basic maintenance (cables and grease), and change out the tires. The saddle is a vinyl Schwinn one with horribly rusted rails, so I'll probably change that out too, but nothing fancy (buying a Brooks for it would blow the entire restoration budget). I'd also really like to remove the rust and polish it up; reading up on the various ways to do that. Would an acid bath be dangerous to an older bike like this?
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Old 04-19-16, 10:23 PM
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Oops, I was wrong. Your brake calipers have ball end cables not pinch bolts. I've never had a bike with those calipers, but I'm sure somebody else here can help you with replacing the cables. Now, this is just opinion, but it is shared by many of us 3 speed fans. We tend to appreciate old original finishes. Unless a finish is totally gone or painted over we clean up, polish, wax and preserve original paint. Normal wear and fading of the finish give the bike a character that a total restoration will never have. To me, your bike has a nice finish and I would preserve rather than restore it. I would carefully remove rust, touch up bare spots (easy to do with black bikes) But never acid baths. I might restore the chain guard though. I wonder if the damage there is caused by a bent crank arm. For your year, the chain guard decal is the same as the down tube decals on earlier Sports and are available.
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Old 04-20-16, 05:23 AM
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You can either use a regular cable with a knarp on the end (ugly) or a regular cable with a cut down spoke nipple soldered on. I haven't needed a soldered cable yet but did experiment with soldering on galvanized modern brake cable and it worked out pretty well - the spoke nipple disappears into the caliper arm as if it was original.



Or you can shop for the expensive NOS cables of the right length (and colour) on flea-bay....
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Old 04-20-16, 06:49 AM
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If you scroll down to 1965-1968, you can see a detail of the tubing sticker. velocals sells excellent repros of these.
'The Headbadge': Raleigh Sports Visual ID & Decals, 1951-1982
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Old 04-20-16, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
Oops, I was wrong. Your brake calipers have ball end cables not pinch bolts. I've never had a bike with those calipers, but I'm sure somebody else here can help you with replacing the cables. Now, this is just opinion, but it is shared by many of us 3 speed fans. We tend to appreciate old original finishes. Unless a finish is totally gone or painted over we clean up, polish, wax and preserve original paint. Normal wear and fading of the finish give the bike a character that a total restoration will never have. To me, your bike has a nice finish and I would preserve rather than restore it. I would carefully remove rust, touch up bare spots (easy to do with black bikes) But never acid baths. I might restore the chain guard though. I wonder if the damage there is caused by a bent crank arm. For your year, the chain guard decal is the same as the down tube decals on earlier Sports and are available.
The front brake uses a pinch bolt and the rear has the ball end cable. Not sure if that's original or if one got switched out. I don't know the history of this guy at all (it was donated to the coop, so no original owner to talk to or anything).

I'm definitely keeping the finishes! Just want to get the rust off and either polish or paint the spots that are currently rusty. Seems like folks use oxalic acid/vinegar/lemon juice baths to just remove rust while keeping paint and decals, but with the older paint I was worried that it might cause harm. So the rust removal should be done by hand instead?

And thanks for the link to the decals!

Originally Posted by markk900
You can either use a regular cable with a knarp on the end (ugly) or a regular cable with a cut down spoke nipple soldered on. I haven't needed a soldered cable yet but did experiment with soldering on galvanized modern brake cable and it worked out pretty well - the spoke nipple disappears into the caliper arm as if it was original.
Looked up what a knarp looks like, and I don't mind it, so that'll work unless/until I find a friend with a soldering iron! Thanks for the advice
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Old 04-20-16, 09:41 AM
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I use naval Jelly by Loctite for rust. It's like a thick gel that you paint on then wipe off. In some cases, where it might dull the surrounding paint, Polish and wax fix it right up. I've on,y experienced paint dulling if I leave it on, accidentally, for like an hour.
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Old 04-20-16, 10:49 AM
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Same goes for painted touch up spots. Polishing compound helps blend in the repair with the surrounding paint. On areas like fenders where there is some oxidation under the paint, I've found that waxing once a year and keeping the bike stored in a dry place will stop further damage. Also chrome. Once chrome rusts, it will rust again much quicker than chrome that's never been rusted. Wax does a great job of keeping cleaned up chrome looking good.
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Old 04-20-16, 11:39 AM
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So: naval jelly, then paint for rusty painted areas; naval jelly, then polish for rusty chrome areas; then wax on everything?

I appreciate all this help; I'm sure this info is out there, and I could be finding it all for myself, but you're really making things much easier. Big thanks.

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Old 04-20-16, 11:47 AM
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@peppep, you got lucky. It doesn't look pristine, but you'll get it in good working order. It's a good one. I can't help wondering if the rear hub might be newer than the frame. I don't remember which years had those graphics.
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Old 04-20-16, 12:36 PM
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@noglider, for $40, I feel great about it! I'll have to dig into the decals to try to date the frame if it's not the original hub.
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Old 04-20-16, 12:51 PM
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@peppep - that's what I bought mine for, in much the same condition as yours! I started out with tires & tubes (mine were shot), new cables/housing, and a few hours cleaning it and doing the headset, bottom bracket and front hub. It took me awhile to get through all of it, and during that time I had to also get new cotters and two new axle nuts. I was able to find a Brooks B66 (sprung, double rail) on Amazon for $107 with Prime shipping...not sure how I found that price...but while it was an unexpected expense I couldn't pass up that price. A few weeks after I finally finished all of the maintenance on bearings, I decided to go ahead and get some new rims. I ended up definitely blowing the budget I was going to work with, but it was all spread out over a few months, and in the end, totally worth it. If you plan on keeping it, spread the costs out but definitely think about going to alloy rims and a Brooks.

I have also found that it is impossible to keep the rear wheel clean. Oil must drip out of the oil port while riding. Everytime I touch the back wheel/rim I get greasy.

I kind of like the patina on mine. I generally leave it at work and use it to ride around the city during the day. I'm not worried about someone wanting to steal it, and it's a bike that was built to withstand the elements and outlive their original owners. Mine will probably end up outliving me, as well (one can hope).

Speaking of, just got back from a ~7 mile jaunt around the city to meet the Better Half for lunch and coffee. Right now it's perfect 3 speed weather.
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Old 04-20-16, 01:36 PM
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Like all things British: oil leaks by design to prevent rust and to remind you to add oil every once in a while!
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Old 04-20-16, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by markk900
Like all things British: oil leaks by design to prevent rust and to remind you to add oil every once in a while!
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Old 04-20-16, 02:30 PM
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I have an old AW 3 speed with a plastic oil port. It looks like I can add 5 to 10 drops of oil every week with out getting oil spills, rims and spokes are clean. I don't know the ideal amount and how often, has anyone done a detailed study of this? I use a type of synthetic oil at the moment, generic name, I think it's with teflon.
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Old 04-20-16, 03:34 PM
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@bmthom.gis, nice! Have you posted pics of yours? Sounds great. Your starting out steps are what I'm doing: cleaning, cables, tires and tubes, and cleaning/greasing the rotational systems. Looking for a cheaper saddle that will match the look well enough. The idea of putting on alloy wheels is really tempting (and a good excuse to learn to build wheels)! I'm going to wait until the rest is done and see how I like riding it. If I enjoy it enough to keep it and ride it often, then the wheel upgrade really sounds worth it, if only to avoid getting caught in the rain with steel rims. Budgets reset after some time, right?

Not sure how all-out I'll go patina-wise; I don't mind it showing its age, but I also like the idea of shining it up and the peace of mind of not having big rusty spots. If I do end up selling it, I think clean and rust-free will affect the price I can get. But not gonna lie, I'm hoping to keep it!

Tire-wise, I was going to order some Schwalbe Delta Cruisers (black with gumwalls), but I just called my favorite LBS and they stock Kenda k40s. I like to support them; reading up on those tires now.
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Old 04-20-16, 04:57 PM
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Brooks saddles have high prices, but if you are going to ride the bike a lot, it is an investment that provides good value. If well taken care of, it can last for decades, giving you more years per dollar than the other kinds of saddles. And you can find them used on ebay and here on BF.
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Old 04-20-16, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by peppep
@bmthom.gis, nice! Have you posted pics of yours? Sounds great. Your starting out steps are what I'm doing: cleaning, cables, tires and tubes, and cleaning/greasing the rotational systems. Looking for a cheaper saddle that will match the look well enough. The idea of putting on alloy wheels is really tempting (and a good excuse to learn to build wheels)! I'm going to wait until the rest is done and see how I like riding it. If I enjoy it enough to keep it and ride it often, then the wheel upgrade really sounds worth it, if only to avoid getting caught in the rain with steel rims. Budgets reset after some time, right?

Not sure how all-out I'll go patina-wise; I don't mind it showing its age, but I also like the idea of shining it up and the peace of mind of not having big rusty spots. If I do end up selling it, I think clean and rust-free will affect the price I can get. But not gonna lie, I'm hoping to keep it!

Tire-wise, I was going to order some Schwalbe Delta Cruisers (black with gumwalls), but I just called my favorite LBS and they stock Kenda k40s. I like to support them; reading up on those tires now.
About the alloy rim upgrades. Again, just one opinion from a crusty old time 3 speeder. All the other Raleigh made brands used plain Endrick rims. Only the Raleigh badged bikes got the Raleigh pattern...Special design...Westrick...I've heard them called all three, rims. These were designed to use either rod or caliper brakes. They are well made, have beautiful thick chrome plating and with their raised centers, have the look of the traditional Westwood rims. The Raleigh pattern rims on this bike look to be in good condition. I wouldn't think of swapping them out for alloys. I think they add a lot to the bike. I'm a sucker for tradition.
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Old 04-20-16, 08:13 PM
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Here's my latest rescue case. A 21" 64 Sports. Needs a lot of work, but very little rust. Light bracket was removed to make room for bottle generator light. I have a good one in my collection. The drive side crank arm is bent. Rather than fixing it, a previous owner just removed the chain guard. I don't have a perfect match for the chain guard, but I do have a nice 2 point guard that can be repainted. There's a couple soft dents in the rear fender that I think I can work out. The saddle is in reasonable shape and is worth the price of the bike, lucky there. It has an aftermarket shifter. The only period correct one I have is on my Sprite. I'll have to swap it for another. This bike needs a complete teardown, but I think she'll come out well in the end.

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Old 04-20-16, 08:40 PM
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@noglider, I'll certainly keep an eye out for a good deal on a used Brooks. For the moment the priority is necessary maintenance, and we'll see after that! The biggest question will be how much I enjoy riding the bike, which will determine if it gets regular use (aka needs a more comfortable saddle), gets kept as a guest bike, or gets sold. Hoping to love it, of course!

@BigChief, thanks for the perspective on the wheels. I'd honestly prefer to keep them, but we get a fair amount of rain here, so I'm concerned about stopping ability. Then again--probably less rain than England. I don't really care about the weight (but ask me about that again after I have to carry it down to and back up from the basement!). The priority at the moment is maintenance to make sure everything is in good running order, so new wheels aren't part of the immediate plan. I'm looking forward to riding it with the current ones and seeing how that feels!
Nice find on your new Sports! That bike was lucky to find you.

I have to go away for Passover and won't be able to work on my Sports until next week. Plenty of time for obsessive reading about all the maintenance for it...
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Old 04-20-16, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
Here's my latest rescue case. A 21" 64 Sports. Needs a lot of work, but very little rust. Light bracket was removed to make room for bottle generator light. I have a good one in my collection. The drive side crank arm is bent. Rather than fixing it, a previous owner just removed the chain guard. I don't have a perfect match for the chain guard, but I do have a nice 2 point guard that can be repainted. There's a couple soft dents in the rear fender that I think I can work out. The saddle is in reasonable shape and is worth the price of the bike, lucky there. It has an aftermarket shifter. The only period correct one I have is on my Sprite. I'll have to swap it for another. This bike needs a complete teardown, but I think she'll come out well in the end.

It looks rather dapper the way it is.
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