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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 10-23-16, 05:09 PM
  #11801  
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SA 3speed old vs new

I had a 1952 Raleigh Dawn Tourist which I let get away from me. Now I am thinking 3 speed thoughts again. What I didn't like about the old SA hub was the false neutral and the bit of freewheeling before the pawls kicked in ( which I guess is normal? ). How does this compare with the newer units? And how does the Nexus compare to the new SA? Thanks.
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Old 10-23-16, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by gster
On Friday night somebody thought it would be a good idea to kick in the door of my bile shed and steal this bike.
A 1967 Dunelt 3 speed with a very nice Wrights leather saddle and period pump. I have some suspicions on who it was and will be doing some detective work... They didn't really want the bike they just wanted to cause some damage and steal something....punks!
I sure hope you get it back. Very distinctive bike, wouldn't be hard to spot. There's all kinds of new security equipment that's very affordable. You would never guess to look at it, but between this farm and the neighbor's a person couldn't walk through the yard without setting off house alarms and having pictures taken of them and sent to cell phones. Forget breaking into one of the buildings.
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Old 10-23-16, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Panurgist
I had a 1952 Raleigh Dawn Tourist which I let get away from me. Now I am thinking 3 speed thoughts again. What I didn't like about the old SA hub was the false neutral and the bit of freewheeling before the pawls kicked in ( which I guess is normal? ). How does this compare with the newer units? And how does the Nexus compare to the new SA? Thanks.
Once you get the hang of adjusting them, false neutrals aren't a problem at all With old Sturmey Archer 3 speeds.
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Old 10-23-16, 06:07 PM
  #11804  
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Originally Posted by artclone
Now that is cool. Is that a Schwinn paint scheme, or custom?
The paint scheme and graphics are original. The paint looks to be a two-stage job of aluminum and blue coats. I love those wing graphics on the frame. The British bikes tended to be a little more subdued in that era, but Schwinn loved putting its monogram and logo all over the bike as a status symbol. Both approaches have their appeal.

Originally Posted by markk900
Can you post more pictures of the frame brazing and front hub? Stunning bike and I've not seen one before.


Here is an eletroforge welded joint from a 1947-48 New World by comparison:



The fillet braze joint is really well-done and smooth, but still a bit chunkier than the electroforge welded.



The hub shell is aluminum with Schwinn script and typical Schwinn profile. But it has an English-style oiler hole and spring cover.

Originally Posted by adventurepdx
Very nice!

Quick question: Did these pre-1950's Schwinn lighweights use the same 597 tire/wheel size that the later ones did?
The earliest were 599mm and the later ones were 597mm. They changed over in the 1940s at some point. The best part though is that I've found Kenda 597mm tires fit both sizes. The 2mm difference, in my experience, has not been enough to prevent use of the 597mm tires on both rim types.

A little more comparison of a 1947-48 Schwinn New World and a Continental from the same time period: https://bikeshedva.blogspot.com/2016/10/comparing-1940s-schwinn-new-world-and.html
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Last edited by SirMike1983; 10-23-16 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 10-23-16, 08:45 PM
  #11805  
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I've always kept an eye out for American Lightweights. I just don't find many. Especially in the large frame size. Even the most common Racers always seem to be small frames. I wouldn't pass up something like a 50s Traveler project in 23". Nice bikes.
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Old 10-24-16, 03:22 AM
  #11806  
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Here' s a picture of my (pre- Ralleigh) 3- speed 1954 BSA Roadster on my daily ride through the woods.
Though the 3-speed hub bears the name BSA, it is actually a Sturmey Archer model X, built under license by BSA from 1908 until 1956.

Peter

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Old 10-24-16, 10:43 AM
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Yesterday was the Tweed Ride in Boston. Along with the usual Raleigh Sportses (and a couple non-Raleigh bikes, like a CWS that I didn't get any pictures of), there were 3 other rod brake roadsters. A '40s Tourist very similar to my '37, but with a different handlebar bend, larger frame size, and AW hub instead of K. There was a loop-frame single-speed (year unknown), and a '49 Tourist that had been painted red at some point. It was awesome seeing all of them together!









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Old 10-24-16, 10:46 AM
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Continued:








And here's me with my bike:

Last edited by agmetal; 10-24-16 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 10-24-16, 01:09 PM
  #11809  
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Originally Posted by gster
On Friday night somebody thought it would be a good idea to kick in the door of my bile shed and steal this bike.
A 1967 Dunelt 3 speed with a very nice Wrights leather saddle and period pump. I have some suspicions on who it was and will be doing some detective work... They didn't really want the bike they just wanted to cause some damage and steal something....punks!
Sorry for your loss, Gster. That is a nice bike, but you know the odds in the city. It'll probably disappear into the woodwork. It's not valuable to anybody but us old gearheads. Not that it isnt valuable, but there's far more value in reselling a modern stolen brand name bike.
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Old 10-24-16, 03:06 PM
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[MENTION=171383]agmetal[/MENTION] Concerning your roadstercentric photo coverage of the Tweed Ride
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Old 10-24-16, 09:41 PM
  #11811  
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More pricey three speeds on Portland CL

This one's been off-and-on for quite awhile. Nice that it has alloy wheels (though 700C) but I feel like I'll be seeing this one for a bit.

Raleigh Sports Custom 3 Speed - $400 (NE portland)
Raleigh Sports Custom 3 Speed
Lugged steel 23inch (58cm) Raleigh Sports frame. Hand built Sun CR18 700c aluminum rims laced to a Sturmey Archer 3 speed internal hub and original Raleigh generator hub. Lumotec LED headlight and original tail light. Hammered Velo Orange fenders, Brooks leather saddle, Passella Panaracer tires, hand built front rack, MKS pedals, IRD longreach brakes. Excellent condition ready to ride. All the charm of vintage 3 speed with modern wheels, tires, and brakes that work. 400 Firm.
goldraleigh700c.jpg
You'd figure for $500 they could at least install new tubes and tires. Gonna be seeing this one for a bit too.

Raliegh 60's city commuter - $500
Raliegh 60's city commuter
1960's Raleigh Sports city commuter.
Amazingly original parts, excellent condition.
Been a wall flower in a bike shop for 8yrs. Previous owner brought it from England in the 70's. Needs tires and tubes to be ridable.
greensports70s.jpg
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Old 10-24-16, 11:21 PM
  #11812  
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Originally Posted by agmetal


That's houndstooth, not tweed. Get it right. Kidding. Looks like a fun gathering. Thanks for posting.

PS I know houndstooth is technically tweed.
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Old 10-25-16, 06:55 AM
  #11813  
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Originally Posted by adventurepdx
This one's been off-and-on for quite awhile. Nice that it has alloy wheels (though 700C) but I feel like I'll be seeing this one for a bit.
I feel bad for this guy. He obviously put time and money into building a custom that suites him. You really do have to figure that building a custom out of a vintage will be a big money looser. That's why it's always best to only customize bikes that are almost junk to start with. That way, if you decide to sell, you only loose money on the new parts and not much value from the project bike. It would help if he still had the original parts.

Last edited by BigChief; 10-25-16 at 06:59 AM.
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Old 10-25-16, 03:39 PM
  #11814  
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This may be a question for the moderator.

A while back I bought a couple of rough Raleigh Sports for cheap - like $10, but I had to take both of them. One is a root beer 23" frame that I spent the winter getting into shape as a beater, and I'm keeping that one. The other is a silver 19" Camelback Sports. The Camelback has the original fenders and chain guard. I didn't know that Raleigh even made the Sports as a Camelback model.

I can't use the 19" Camelback frame, so I would like to trade (preferrably) or sell. I know the the "Frame Doesn't Fit" and "ISO or For Trade" threads are for this, but I mostly see road bikes there. Any advice?
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Old 10-25-16, 08:08 PM
  #11815  
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Originally Posted by BigChief
I feel bad for this guy. He obviously put time and money into building a custom that suites him. You really do have to figure that building a custom out of a vintage will be a big money looser. That's why it's always best to only customize bikes that are almost junk to start with. That way, if you decide to sell, you only loose money on the new parts and not much value from the project bike. It would help if he still had the original parts.
I more or less did the same thing with a '74 Sports. I realized early on, though, that there was no way I'd ever get selling it what I put into it (way too much). In short, I'm stuck with it...but that's okay. I only recently started riding it, because I'm close to my target weight for riding it (long story). It feels good, though I need to fiddle with the size of the rear cog (23T), gearing is too low even with our hills.
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Old 10-25-16, 09:43 PM
  #11816  
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I do not buy bicycles with the intention of flipping them. I have sold or given away a few but when I bought them it was to keep. But somethings do not stick, others do. But, I do not worry about the money so much, try to keep it reasonable but I have a lot of money in my wheels sets on my wife and my Sports. I just spent near $300 on new Mavic wheels and hub rebuilds for a nice old Bridgestone MTB that is so nice from five feet it looks new, heck from one foot! If I were to buy anything like any of these bikes today they would be hundreds and would be machine built instead of essentially hand built. My Sports looks new and my wife's will be getting there with a little more detail work. Why not spend money on them if the intent is to use them and enjoy them, something that cannot be bought.

I like things that are unique or have personality or show something of human touch and imagination even if machine built. That Schwinn up a few posts with the art deco bullet top forks, very nice and attractive. Just do not often see that kind of work these days.

In the Jeep CJ/YJ/TJ off road world there is a saying, "Built Not Bought" and I think that can apply to many of these bikes, particularly E3Ss. I am not especially fascinated with patina though, I prefer things to look like I just bought them, albeit 20 or 30 or 40 years ago . And took care of them all along.

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Old 10-25-16, 10:06 PM
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do they make replacement pedal blocks for raleigh pedals? Im just curious. Chances are i will go with a modern lighter MKS pedal but was wondered if they made blocks. The original pedals seems to well made. No reason not to reuse them if possible.
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Old 10-26-16, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by arex
I more or less did the same thing with a '74 Sports. I realized early on, though, that there was no way I'd ever get selling it what I put into it (way too much). In short, I'm stuck with it...but that's okay. I only recently started riding it, because I'm close to my target weight for riding it (long story). It feels good, though I need to fiddle with the size of the rear cog (23T), gearing is too low even with our hills.
That does seem pretty low geared. Especially since by 74, Raleigh switched to the 46T chainring. Although, both of my roadsters are 70s with the smaller chainring, the chromed 22T coaster cogs are just about right for me on those.
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Old 10-26-16, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
That does seem pretty low geared. Especially since by 74, Raleigh switched to the 46T chainring. Although, both of my roadsters are 70s with the smaller chainring, the chromed 22T coaster cogs are just about right for me on those.
This is an interesting discussion on a subject to which I have given much thought. When I put a 24t rear cog on my DL1, it was for one purpose: Getting 60lbs worth of loaded-down bicycle and my own 220 lbs up Maiden Rock Hill on the Lake Pepin 3-Speed Tour without dismounting to walk. It also meant that I could only go about 18 mph max on level ground.

But ya know what? That's all I've ever needed on my Roadster, and it all comes down to aerodynamics. See, in the dignified upright riding position dictated by these old English steeds, we present much more frontal area to the air we are moving through. At some point, as our speed increases, that "wind resistance" begins to increase exponentially, to a point where each additional mph requires much more effort to maintain.

So nobody is going much over 15mph anyway on that ride - and if they are, it's not for very long. I found that I didn't need to change that cog after the big ride `round Pepin. If I go downhill at a speed exceeding 18mph why, I just coast. I don't want to go much faster than that with rod-brakes anyway. And the low gearing means that climbing any hill I am likely to find on your typical bike path will be a doddle!
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Old 10-26-16, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by scale
do they make replacement pedal blocks for raleigh pedals? Im just curious. Chances are i will go with a modern lighter MKS pedal but was wondered if they made blocks. The original pedals seems to well made. No reason not to reuse them if possible.
Yes. I saw some on ebay just recently.
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Old 10-26-16, 10:13 AM
  #11821  
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Originally Posted by DQRider
This is an interesting discussion on a subject to which I have given much thought. When I put a 24t rear cog on my DL1, it was for one purpose: Getting 60lbs worth of loaded-down bicycle and my own 220 lbs up Maiden Rock Hill on the Lake Pepin 3-Speed Tour without dismounting to walk. It also meant that I could only go about 18 mph max on level ground.

But ya know what? That's all I've ever needed on my Roadster, and it all comes down to aerodynamics. See, in the dignified upright riding position dictated by these old English steeds, we present much more frontal area to the air we are moving through. At some point, as our speed increases, that "wind resistance" begins to increase exponentially, to a point where each additional mph requires much more effort to maintain.

So nobody is going much over 15mph anyway on that ride - and if they are, it's not for very long. I found that I didn't need to change that cog after the big ride `round Pepin. If I go downhill at a speed exceeding 18mph why, I just coast. I don't want to go much faster than that with rod-brakes anyway. And the low gearing means that climbing any hill I am likely to find on your typical bike path will be a doddle!
Back when I was commuting to work or even going to point B from A, speed was a factor. These days, my rides are always from point A back to point A. I only have time for shorter rides and they are purely for the joy of riding. I find that I prefer upright riding at slower speeds for this. My rides average around 10-12 mph. I honestly prefer riding my old roadsters than my much faster road bike. Ironic, in a way. I started riding upright as a kid, went through a long period of drop bar road bikes and have now come full circle to old upright 3 speeds. There are a couple of spots where I have to walk up, but at my age, I figure I can cut myself some slack.
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Old 10-26-16, 01:53 PM
  #11822  
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Originally Posted by BigChief
I feel bad for this guy. He obviously put time and money into building a custom that suites him. You really do have to figure that building a custom out of a vintage will be a big money looser. That's why it's always best to only customize bikes that are almost junk to start with. That way, if you decide to sell, you only loose money on the new parts and not much value from the project bike. It would help if he still had the original parts.
Originally Posted by arex
I more or less did the same thing with a '74 Sports. I realized early on, though, that there was no way I'd ever get selling it what I put into it (way too much). In short, I'm stuck with it...but that's okay...
Originally Posted by Loose Chain
I do not buy bicycles with the intention of flipping them...But somethings do not stick, others do. But, I do not worry about the money so much, try to keep it reasonable but I have a lot of money in my wheels sets on my wife and my Sports...My Sports looks new and my wife's will be getting there with a little more detail work. Why not spend money on them if the intent is to use them and enjoy them, something that cannot be bought...
Interesting thoughts. I have to say I agree with arex and Loose Chain here.

I don't know what the intentions of the person selling the gold Sports with alloy wheels for $400. Did he or she do it for themself, only to not have it "stick"? Or were they intent on selling it all along? (I have a strong hunch that this person was the one trying to sell a $600 Superbe for awhile, so it may jut be the latter.) Because it's hard to get back what you put into a bike. It probably would have been better if the seller saved the original wheels and put them back on, saving the nicer wheels for another project (or sell them separately).

But I don't think a bike needs to be complete junk to justify customization. All my vintage bikes have been customized to some extent, and as parts wear out, they get replaced. My Raleigh Superbe is in nice shape, but I still went ahead with alloy rims and other modifications. Why? Because it was going to be a "daily driver" and needed to cope with all sorts of weather. The alloy rims with modern brakes (Tektro) are pretty effective in the rain. That's worth it to me, though the shaving off a couple pounds of weight is a nice bonus! If I sold this bike, would I get that money back? Probably not, but I can always find some steel wheels that fit and swap 'em out.

I think it was argued many pages back about how much needs/should be done to restore an old British three speed. There's the argument that you shouldn't do much to it besides adjusting and lubing and replacing consumables. And yeah, you probably don't need to do too much beyond that, esp. if you may not ride the bike daily or intend to ride it in wet weather. But then again, sometimes customizations and/or modernizations helps one enjoy their bike and make it more useful to them. And there's nothing wrong with that!
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Old 10-26-16, 02:01 PM
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Has anyone ever made or modified their own shifter for top tube mounting? I like the quadrant shifter on my '37 Raleigh, and I'd like to use one on another project bike, but not sure I want to spend the money to get another original. Looking at it, it looks to be quite simple from a mechanical perspective, and I can't imagine it'd be terribly difficult to hand-make one. Alternatively, are there any good ways to mount something like one of the current-production thumb/downtube/stem shifters on the top tube? I believe the top tube on my bike is 25.4mm diameter.
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Old 10-26-16, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by adventurepdx
Interesting thoughts. I have to say I agree with arex and Loose Chain here.

I don't know what the intentions of the person selling the gold Sports with alloy wheels for $400. Did he or she do it for themself, only to not have it "stick"? Or were they intent on selling it all along? (I have a strong hunch that this person was the one trying to sell a $600 Superbe for awhile, so it may jut be the latter.) Because it's hard to get back what you put into a bike. It probably would have been better if the seller saved the original wheels and put them back on, saving the nicer wheels for another project (or sell them separately).

But I don't think a bike needs to be complete junk to justify customization. All my vintage bikes have been customized to some extent, and as parts wear out, they get replaced. My Raleigh Superbe is in nice shape, but I still went ahead with alloy rims and other modifications. Why? Because it was going to be a "daily driver" and needed to cope with all sorts of weather. The alloy rims with modern brakes (Tektro) are pretty effective in the rain. That's worth it to me, though the shaving off a couple pounds of weight is a nice bonus! If I sold this bike, would I get that money back? Probably not, but I can always find some steel wheels that fit and swap 'em out.

I think it was argued many pages back about how much needs/should be done to restore an old British three speed. There's the argument that you shouldn't do much to it besides adjusting and lubing and replacing consumables. And yeah, you probably don't need to do too much beyond that, esp. if you may not ride the bike daily or intend to ride it in wet weather. But then again, sometimes customizations and/or modernizations helps one enjoy their bike and make it more useful to them. And there's nothing wrong with that!
Changing rims from steel to alloy and bolting on Tektro brakes doesn't spoil the integrity of the design in my book.
Neither does adding accessories like bags, grips and lighting.The gold Sports is missing the chainwheel/crank assembly, fenders and has oversized wheels. Might be great for him, but for me looking at it is like a finger poke in the eye. I value this bike less than if he had left it alone. I'm sure I wouldn't feel that way about your Superbe.
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Old 10-26-16, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
Changing rims from steel to alloy and bolting on Tektro brakes doesn't spoil the integrity of the design in my book.
Neither does adding accessories like bags, grips and lighting.The gold Sports is missing the chainwheel/crank assembly, fenders and has oversized wheels. Might be great for him, but for me looking at it is like a finger poke in the eye. I value this bike less than if he had left it alone. I'm sure I wouldn't feel that way about your Superbe.
I see your point. To each their own in this case, though I don't think aesthetically the gold Sports looks that "off". I have replaced stock Raleigh fenders with VO stainless on one of my three speeds, mostly because the extant fenders were mismatched and the front was pretty thrashed. And yeah, I wouldn't have gone with 700C wheels, but I don't think it's "wrong". In fact, Mr. OP himself @sixtyfiver; has at least one Raleigh Sports with 700C wheels, and I think it looks OK.
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But possibly in this case, the person should have started with a 70's/80's Japanese sport touring frame and worked from there? I've seen some nice three speed conversions this way, and you can dress it up any way you want without messing too much with the "original integrity" of the bike, so to speak. And you'd have a lighter frame for the most part. Or, just get over yourself and get a Linus three speed.

I think this is what happens when people look at vintage bikes through the lenses of modern bikes. Every old thing that works fine as it is is still a "problem" that needs to be solved. For instance, I owned a nice 1953 Rudge Sports for a few years. Lovely bike, but was too small for me so I sold it. I went into a shop, who said it looked nice, but you know what would make it even better? Change to a cotterless crankset! Cotterless? Are you serious? Yeah, I understand that cotters are not easy to work on, but man, the best part of that bike was "The Hand" chainring, and I'd lose that if I went with a modern crankset. And for what? The once in a great while when I need the bottom bracket overhauled?
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