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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 07-20-16, 07:05 AM
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Every once in a while a design can achieve a classic status. I think this happened when Bike makers in England mated their IG hubs to their latest lightweight lugged frames with modern rear dropouts and caliper brakes. We spoke here of the American versions and I'm sure many great versions were produced in continental Europe, but I credit the English with this design and I can see someone wanting an English 3 speed even it is less practical in some ways. To me, a 3 speed from England will always be the real deal.
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Old 07-20-16, 12:32 PM
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^^^^ What BigChief said.
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Old 07-20-16, 03:25 PM
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Cable Housing

Does anyone know of a source for black ribbed cable housings used on 1970's Raleigh's? Also, while I know the cables would be different are the housings the same for shift cable and Brake cables?

Last edited by DaytonaMike; 07-20-16 at 03:27 PM. Reason: add picture
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Old 07-21-16, 04:20 AM
  #11154  
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Originally Posted by DaytonaMike
Does anyone know of a source for black ribbed cable housings used on 1970's Raleigh's? Also, while I know the cables would be different are the housings the same for shift cable and Brake cables?

Complete setup here: Vintage Black Ribbed Outer Cable Set Brake Sturmey Archer Gear Hard to Find | eBay
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Old 07-21-16, 05:03 PM
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Thanks.
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Old 07-21-16, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Stadjer
I don't want to go off topic or push my own preference for drum brakes and the Dutch workmanship of that era, and you can find 50's Raleighs here, but they are more rare and you'll end up paying more for a bike in worse condition, with parts beeing harder to find. It's just more practical to get a local product of comparable charm.
Yes I have seen a few good Youtubes of the bike culture in Amsterdam and Copenhagen and elsewhere in NW Europe and I have often noted the slack ride angles, the drum brakes, and the IGH's.

For un-hassled navigation of the grit and grime of city streets and gravel paths I am sure the drum brakes are unsurpassed.
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Old 07-22-16, 04:09 AM
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Originally Posted by PalmettoUpstate
Yes I have seen a few good Youtubes of the bike culture in Amsterdam and Copenhagen and elsewhere in NW Europe and I have often noted the slack ride angles, the drum brakes, and the IGH's.

For un-hassled navigation of the grit and grime of city streets and gravel paths I am sure the drum brakes are unsurpassed.
In the cities it has always been and still is 70% single speed coaster breaks, but that has little to do with love and a lot with practicality. With lots of bikes close together in racks cables turn out to be hassle both in the parking itself and the maintenance required due to the vulnerability. For me rods are a good compromise in the city, but they can get bend too, are heavy and quite expensive to replace. 'If it's not on the bike it can't break', is the general attitude. With so many foreign students biking, Germans shopping and with lots of cyclists paying more attention to whatsapp than to the traffic, I really prefer the quickness of handbrakes when I'm in a hurry.

The rodsjust barely survived the light weight trend of the 70's and since the mid 80's rods are only fitted to 1930's models that were never discontinued, just build to lower standards since the 80's with minor upgrades since the 30's. In the 30's the 3-speed with rod brakes was really something, a bike the mayor, the village notary and factory owner would ride. 'Professional cyclists' like the mailman and policeman would probably just get a single speed coaster brake, or the higher in rank maybe with a dual speed kick back gear with coaster brake. After the war, everybody who had managed to keep his bike was happy to be able to get inflatable tires again, so production concentrated on the simpler models and get the country back on the saddle, also because the import of English parts like the SA stopped during the war. A Dutch 3-speed hub was developped during the war, with the gear ratio's a bit closer together because of the flatness of the country (or the Dutch dairy fed thighs, because wind can be as powerful als gravity). In the 50's and 60's the SA turned out to be the better deal, and more 3 speeds were sold because of progress an the growing economy. (These are my impressions of history, probably not far off, but not based on solid research.)

So to get back on topic, where does the English 3-speed fit in? I think almost all of the Dutch bike manufacturers from the turn of the century started out importing English bikes, evolving to factories. English bicycle technology has always been held in high regard, and the Dutch bike evolved from it. We're still having wheels in inches, like Napoleon never invaded the country. I guess most Dutch kids of my generation and older generations first foreign language pronunciation issue's were with the coveted Sturmey Archer. More than with Raleigh, allthough that was more difficult to pronounce, because those were quite rare. I guess Raleigh was bought by people who wanted something different, something more exotic and were willing to pay more, because of customs and tariffs. The name Raleigh meant a lot more than French imports, and I remember an elementary school kid bragging about his dad beeing a 'Raleigh man' (that was about a friction gear 5 speed tourer with cable brakes). Imo an English bike as 'the real thing' and the pinnacle of technology was justified until the 1930's, after that it was more an emotional matter or something of personal preference. But they are very collectible, just like the rare Dutch bikes from the many smaller and long gone manufacturers. It's probably for the kind of collectors who don't like it when it's too easy to find a good one, to find the parts and the right tools.

It never got imported in big numbers, and there were a lot of simular bikes, so it never became an iconic bike here. But the English 3-speed is certainly a classic icon here, it's just not the bike, it's the hub and gear lever.
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Old 07-23-16, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
I've been daydreaming about a sportier Sports for some time, but any way to make it really worth while, it's expensive. I'd need a nice 531 frame, old Super Course maybe. I'd need to modify the crank to 1/8" single sprocket. I'd need to install a 6 1/4" axle into a really nice AW hub, mid 50s would be nice and make custom spacer/anti-rotation washers to adapt the axle to the frame. Not sure what O.L.D the Super Course needs. Some cold setting might be necessary even with the longer axle and spacers. Then, you can't put cheap fittings on a bike like this. Good brakes, levers, alloy rims, fenders, a short reach SR stem, Sunlite alloy Northroads bars and a sprung Brooks saddle. Ca-ching. I bet it would be a grand gone before I was finished.
I have a Super Course I was give new in the 70's, and made some of these changes, primarily because I wasn't thrilled with plastic shifters and derailleurs, and liked the frame but preferred a dynohub and AW hub.

My experience is that this didn't cost a grand, but I wasn't quite as ambitious as your full list and I wasn't in a hurry so I could buy parts when I found them for good prices. My main expense was new rims and tires (I used Sun CR 18 700c rims); I was satisfied with the original bars and brakes.

Simplifying the project (and letting you make upgrades as you choose):
* I had no problem putting an AW hub with the 6 1/4" axle in the Super Course; with spacers, it did not need any cold setting.
You do need the longer axle, but they're not hard to find.
* Sturmey Archer makes 9.5mm anti rotation washers to put AW hubs in derailleur frames, no need for custom washers Sturmey-Archer Axle Washer w/9.5 mm tabs HMW494 - Harris Cyclery bicycle shop - West Newton, Massachusetts

* I admit I did not replace the chain wheel, and just used a 1/8" chain with one of the original chain rings.

Racks and fenders are easier to move to or from other bicycles, so it's not as dedicated an expense as new wheels.

Of course, I'm sure the bike could be even nicer with a new stem, brakes, fancier racks, etc. if you enjoy it. In my case, I figured I'd start with the easy changes before replacing functional center pull brakes, etc.
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Old 07-23-16, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by AngeloDolce
I have a Super Course I was give new in the 70's, and made some of these changes, primarily because I wasn't thrilled with plastic shifters and derailleurs, and liked the frame but preferred a dynohub and AW hub.

My experience is that this didn't cost a grand, but I wasn't quite as ambitious as your full list and I wasn't in a hurry so I could buy parts when I found them for good prices. My main expense was new rims and tires (I used Sun CR 18 700c rims); I was satisfied with the original bars and brakes.

Simplifying the project (and letting you make upgrades as you choose):
* I had no problem putting an AW hub with the 6 1/4" axle in the Super Course; with spacers, it did not need any cold setting.
You do need the longer axle, but they're not hard to find.
* Sturmey Archer makes 9.5mm anti rotation washers to put AW hubs in derailleur frames, no need for custom washers Sturmey-Archer Axle Washer w/9.5 mm tabs HMW494 - Harris Cyclery bicycle shop - West Newton, Massachusetts

* I admit I did not replace the chain wheel, and just used a 1/8" chain with one of the original chain rings.

Racks and fenders are easier to move to or from other bicycles, so it's not as dedicated an expense as new wheels.

Of course, I'm sure the bike could be even nicer with a new stem, brakes, fancier racks, etc. if you enjoy it. In my case, I figured I'd start with the easy changes before replacing functional center pull brakes, etc.
I'm sorry, but will someone tell me why you need a "longer axle" to install the AW into an old 10-speed frame?

This wasn't necessary on the Fuji Royale Roadster build I just did. I simply cold set the frame a little bit to bring the dropouts closer together. This bike turned out very nice:


@BigChief - I am in the midst of building the bike you are talking about, using a 531 Raysport Turismo frame that weighs 4 lbs w/o the fork, 5.5 lbs total, with. This frame was built by English (Scottish, actually) Olympic cyclist Ian Alsop (1968 Olympics, Mexico City) in about 1974. I'm trying to put the actual build off until winter, so right now I am in the midst of sourcing all the best parts I can find. You are right, by the time I am through, total spend will be about $1,100.00.

But of course, that is because I am being impatient, and paying retail for a lot of the premium parts. If I could just bide my time and wait for stuff to come up on CL or ePay, I could probably cut that by a third. The wheels are spendy because I am going with the Soma "Iggy" 700c with the Sturmey Archer 5-speed, and matching front. I have an AW waiting in the wings, just in case the Taiwanese S-A doesn't live up to my expectations.

When finished, this bike is going to look like the Raleigh Lenton Model 29... as I think I've mentioned here before. I have most of what I need to start building, and it is getting difficult to resist the call - as if the bike is at the end of its gestation, waiting impatiently to be born.

Should I post my progress here in this thread, or is there a more appropriate one elsewhere? After all, it is for the love of English 3-speeds that I conceived of this project in the first place.
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Old 07-23-16, 06:38 AM
  #11160  
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Originally Posted by DQRider
I'm sorry, but will someone tell me why you need a "longer axle" to install the AW into an old 10-speed frame?
Many (but not all) AW hubs came with axles intended for 110mm OLD spacing. An old 10-speed frame is likely either 120mm or 126mm OLD.
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Old 07-23-16, 07:42 AM
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Raleigh Sports axle

[IMG][/IMG]

I hope this is the right place to post this question. Does this look like the correct axle for a 1967 Sports? It seems kinda long to me.

Last edited by Yo Jimbo; 07-23-16 at 07:46 AM.
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Old 07-23-16, 08:13 AM
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@ AngeloDolce Thanks for that information. Good to know that anti-rotation washers for a project like this can be bought off the shelf. It would take hours to make them by hand. I can say from experience that installing a 6 1/4" axle would be far easier than cold setting the frame. I have dealt with bent stays and getting it right can be difficult. If an axle swap and spacers work, that would be the way to go and AW hubs have plenty of cog adjustment for chain alignment. My project would be an upright townie not a club style, so I'd need a short neck stem and alloy Northroads. I'd love a project like this. It would mean saving up quite a while though. It would be much more expensive than my usual projects.
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Old 07-23-16, 10:27 AM
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Got it done. Today was the first time this bike has seen the road in many years. This bike got totally stripped down and repaired. Couldn't save the fenders or Brooks saddle, but it's a fun, smooth ride. I used an older window trigger I had from another salvage bike instead of a period correct one and the Surfas RX saddle is comfy on this bike. Only issue is that I'm the only one in my family tall enough to ride a 24" frame. Oh well..
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Old 07-23-16, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Yo Jimbo
[IMG][/IMG]

I hope this is the right place to post this question. Does this look like the correct axle for a 1967 Sports? It seems kinda long to me.
That looks like a replacement axle. I think a '67 Sports would have "R" axle nuts. Do both sides of the hub have cone locknuts?
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Old 07-23-16, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
Got it done. Today was the first time this bike has seen the road in many years. This bike got totally stripped down and repaired. Couldn't save the fenders or Brooks saddle, but it's a fun, smooth ride. I used an older window trigger I had from another salvage bike instead of a period correct one and the Surfas RX saddle is comfy on this bike. Only issue is that I'm the only one in my family tall enough to ride a 24" frame. Oh well..
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Old 07-23-16, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by dweenk
That looks like a replacement axle. I think a '67 Sports would have "R" axle nuts. Do both sides of the hub have cone locknuts?
I always associate those R axle nuts with later models, likely after 1971 or so. I'd have to comb the catalogs to figure out what they show.
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Old 07-23-16, 12:12 PM
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Looks great, @BigChief! I think I sorted out the shifting and braking issues on my DL-1 and intend to take it for a ride later today.
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Old 07-23-16, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Yo Jimbo
[IMG][/IMG]

I hope this is the right place to post this question. Does this look like the correct axle for a 1967 Sports? It seems kinda long to me.
My 1968 Sports front axle measures 141mm.
IMAG1217 by w1gfh
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Old 07-23-16, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
Looks great, @BigChief! I think I sorted out the shifting and braking issues on my DL-1 and intend to take it for a ride later today.
Looking forward to hearing your impression of the S5 on the roadster. I think you're gonna love it. These salmon Kool Stops work very well. I can recommend them.
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Old 07-23-16, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
I always associate those R axle nuts with later models, likely after 1971 or so. I'd have to comb the catalogs to figure out what they show.
I could be wrong about the date of the R nut, but wouldn't two adjustable cones indicate a replacement axle?
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Old 07-23-16, 02:17 PM
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64axle.jpg

69axle.jpgRaleigh axles were just long like that. On the 69 with the R dome nut, they added a fat washer.
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Old 07-24-16, 04:29 AM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
Got it done. Today was the first time this bike has seen the road in many years. This bike got totally stripped down and repaired. Couldn't save the fenders or Brooks saddle, but it's a fun, smooth ride. I used an older window trigger I had from another salvage bike instead of a period correct one and the Surfas RX saddle is comfy on this bike. Only issue is that I'm the only one in my family tall enough to ride a 24" frame. Oh well..
A handsome bike. I don't mind the lack of fenders.
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Old 07-24-16, 07:29 AM
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@ gster Thanks, I decided to replace the chainguard even though it doesn't match the rest of the finish. I ride with blue jeans a lot. I removed the rust, but there was still nasty pitting of the steel. I gave it about 10 coats of paint and smoothed it out as best as I could. Didn't bring up too much gloss, but still, it looks replaced. Considering that, I added a vinyl transfer that I had on hand. The 64 Sports I restored was missing it's chainguard and I was planning on painting one I had, but a chainguard with original finish and varnish transfer came up on eBay so I didn't use it.
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Old 07-24-16, 04:36 PM
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I took my DL-1 out for a 3-mile test run. I had intended to go longer than that, but realized that the shifter housing was once again creeping past the fulcrum sleeve, leaving me with high gear only. It wasn't a hilly route, but, still, a couple of lower gears would be nice. The braking is reasonably sorted out now though the front rim isn't exactly round so it pulsates somewhat violently as I slow down. But it does slow me down! Once back home, I popped in a brand new plastic fulcrum sleeve, which should be good to go for another 25 years. I'm thinking I'll commute on this bike tomorrow (6 miles round trip) and see how it feels.

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Old 07-24-16, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
@ gster Thanks, I decided to replace the chainguard even though it doesn't match the rest of the finish. I ride with blue jeans a lot. I removed the rust, but there was still nasty pitting of the steel. I gave it about 10 coats of paint and smoothed it out as best as I could. Didn't bring up too much gloss, but still, it looks replaced. Considering that, I added a vinyl transfer that I had on hand. The 64 Sports I restored was missing it's chainguard and I was planning on painting one I had, but a chainguard with original finish and varnish transfer came up on eBay so I didn't use it.
Looking good, Big Chief. You have it up and rolling down the road again, serving it's intended purpose. That's all that really matters. Cosmetics can be taken care of at your leisure. It looks almost sporty that way...
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