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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 12-27-16, 01:09 PM
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Cotter pins are soft, so the velvet glove approach is my first attempt. In all honesty, I have only been able to save some of them, and I can't help but think it was my fault for not having the patience or the best (and expensive) tool to save them all.
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Old 12-27-16, 01:09 PM
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It can also take quite a bit of pressure to pop it free - you might try heating the area with a propane torch (not too much but enough to get a bit of smoke). I prefer to leave the nut on near the end mostly to prevent the clamp from slipping. And last month I finally bought a cotter press from Bikesmith.
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Old 12-27-16, 02:17 PM
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Should you decide to spring for a Bike Smith cotter press, I highly recommend you also get his bottom bracket tool for removing fixed cups. He gives a discount if you buy them together. I always leave the fixed cup in place for normal maintenance, but there are times I want to remove them and this tool is very,very handy.
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Old 12-27-16, 02:43 PM
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I suppose I am too damn cheap to go the Bikesmith route, but I did make a press from a Harbor Freight chain breaker. It works very well, but on some cranks I can't get the alignment right to press out the cotter, so that is when I go back to the C-clamp. I don't see that tool in my future as a major problem with a 20 year old pickup is now at hand.
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Old 12-27-16, 02:49 PM
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I regard cotter pins as disposable. Raleighs are sometimes nice to reuse IF you have the red nuts but otherwise I pitch them.

Cotters are soft enough to deform and make a tight fit but some modern pins are too soft. I much prefer an older, harder pin but they only install well if they have a appropriate depth and cut angle so that the pin closely aligns with the relief in the spindle. Hence the need to custom file pins to mate with the spindle. The current 'soft' pins are made to be a one-size-fits-all approach to cottered cranks. They press in very well and make a tight joint. The problem is removing them, which is where you find yourself now.
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Old 12-27-16, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman
I regard cotter pins as disposable. .
Generally speaking, they aren't!

The problem is that cotters are ground to specific angles, and further, most that you can find these days are soft compared to the older ones. You are always better off reusing the old one rather than replacing it, unless the original was already damaged prior to getting the bike.

In the old days, it was expected that everyone had a cotter press. I've seen pre-war presses go for a good chunk of change on ebay.
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Old 12-27-16, 03:19 PM
  #12257  
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Originally Posted by Salubrious
Generally speaking, they aren't!

The problem is that cotters are ground to specific angles, and further, most that you can find these days are soft compared to the older ones. You are always better off reusing the old one rather than replacing it, unless the original was already damaged prior to getting the bike.

In the old days, it was expected that everyone had a cotter press. I've seen pre-war presses go for a good chunk of change on ebay.
I think we're still in agreement. Cotters are disposable if and when they don't pop out properly using the press.
I'm fortunate enough to have a stash of old hard cotters that I use on quality C&V bikes. The jar of soft cotters go on bikes I'm not likely to keep.
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Old 12-27-16, 04:32 PM
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Setting aside that cranky cotter for now. The rear brake and levers are clean. The front caliper in the picture was replaced at some point. I've got a parts Sprite with a front brake that looks better and may work.



Brooks, nicer pedals, SA shifter to replace the generic Speedy Switch, undecided on grips.

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Old 12-27-16, 05:47 PM
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In my experience, the crank arm holes aren't always drilled accurately. Sometimes they are very good, but I have seen some that were off quite a lot. I can see how this would happen in production. Even a sharp drill bit will walk off center drilling through an inch of steel. The more the bit dulls, the more it walks off. Plenty of times, I've placed two cotters into position hand tight, to see one protrude through the crank arm more than the other. The case hardened spindle flats were ground accurately and the cotters were identical. I think what happens with stuck cotters is that someone along the line, when faced with a cotter that didn't have enough threads to get the nut on, slammed it hard enough to get enough threads out the other side instead of filing the cotter to match. This is a bit more than theory because in all the years I've wrenched these bikes, I've never installed a cotter that was any problem to remove and was always in reusable condition.
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Old 12-27-16, 06:29 PM
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Bikesmith Grade A cotter pins are excellent replacements for Raleigh cut pins. I've used them on several bikes. The results have been excellent. However, I always save cotter pins, unless they are an absolute mess. You never know when they may come in handy when you get an off-branded bike and need to custom file them down further for use. I recently converted a set of left over Birmingham Hercules pins I had for use on an uncommon Schwinn 3-piece crank set from the 1940s.

This works when you have an unknown crank set taking smaller pins than what you have in the bin. If you need bigger, then you need different pins. But having the spares around lets you get creative when you need to be.
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Old 12-27-16, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983
Bikesmith Grade A cotter pins are excellent replacements for Raleigh cut pins. I've used them on several bikes. The results have been excellent. However, I always save cotter pins, unless they are an absolute mess. You never know when they may come in handy when you get an off-branded bike and need to custom file them down further for use. I recently converted a set of left over Birmingham Hercules pins I had for use on an uncommon Schwinn 3-piece crank set from the 1940s.

This works when you have an unknown crank set taking smaller pins than what you have in the bin. If you need bigger, then you need different pins. But having the spares around lets you get creative when you need to be.
Thanks for the tip. I didn't notice those on his website. Nice semi domed nuts and the plating (although it's gone where he ground them) looks much more like the old ones. The plating on the new, commonly available cotters is truly awful. Doesn't hold up at all. He claims swagged threads too. Nice touch. I'm sure they're die cut on the cheapies. I think they're worth the extra cost, especially with the Raleigh taper already cut.
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Old 12-28-16, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
Thanks for the tip. I didn't notice those on his website. Nice semi domed nuts and the plating (although it's gone where he ground them) looks much more like the old ones. The plating on the new, commonly available cotters is truly awful. Doesn't hold up at all. He claims swagged threads too. Nice touch. I'm sure they're die cut on the cheapies. I think they're worth the extra cost, especially with the Raleigh taper already cut.
Oh yes, they were at least as good as the originals when I compared them to a set from a 1958 Raleigh. I thought they were actually a bit better than the originals I compared them to. I don't bother with the new, cheap ones. For a few dollars more, you can do better with the Grade A Bikesmith set.
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Old 12-30-16, 10:50 PM
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Started hanging some parts and the Sports is looking like a bike again. The Sprite caliper worked out and looks more or less the part. Took the R nuts off the Sprite as well. Bearings serviced other than the BB drive side. I tried a nicer SA cable off a Schwinn but it looks like it's a little too long. The fenders and guard still need cleaning and the chain needs help. That horribly placed license sticker needs to go.

Thoughts on this grip color? Do the top tube brake cable clips look correct for this bike?














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Old 12-31-16, 05:30 AM
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There's so many different SA shifter cable sizes out there that I've found it easier to make my own. Easy to do if you have a cable cutter. Also, if you want to avoid the pinch bolt adapter that comes on the new cables, you can make your own ends with 3/32" brass tubing and JB Weld.
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Old 12-31-16, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
There's so many different SA shifter cable sizes out there that I've found it easier to make my own. Easy to do if you have a cable cutter. Also, if you want to avoid the pinch bolt adapter that comes on the new cables, you can make your own ends with 3/32" brass tubing and JB Weld.
Someone here suggested using a small fishing leader crimp ferrule sort of a thing to terminate the SA shift cable at the indicator end rather than the pinch bolt thing. I've tried it and it seems to work just fine. On Amazon you can buy 1000 pieces for $23. I think that would last a while. I bought a small package of 36 (1.4mm id). That will last me a while.
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Old 12-31-16, 07:47 AM
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Brass tubing is the best way to go here. It works for both the indicator barrel and the trigger shifter. Since the cable is wound, the surface is serrated so there's no chance the hardened JB Weld can slip. Before the JB Weld sets, you make a slight crimp in the brass tubing so the hardened JB Weld can't slip through. It doesn't depend on adhesion to work. The tubing is cheap and easy to find. You just need to saw off 1/4" lengths with a fine file.
TowerHobbies.com | K&S 3/32 Round Brass Tube (3)
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Old 12-31-16, 09:59 AM
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Grip color matches the saddle and looks good. Brake cable clips look just like my Huffy's so correct.
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Old 01-01-17, 05:30 PM
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Worth it?

Ok, tomorrows my birthday. Do I really need this late 50's Humber (of course I want it) for $50 when the basement is stuffed with bikes? Sorry but Google photos is now a horrible program. Pics are not working right.


Thanks in advance, I know what you'll say. I'll go look at it and see if the seatpost and stem will move.

Happy New Year

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Old 01-01-17, 06:10 PM
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Happy New Year, Happy Birthday, and YES, BUY IT!!!
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Old 01-01-17, 06:26 PM
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Thanks. A bifurcated fork and a beat Brooks is worth the cost of admission.
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Old 01-01-17, 06:34 PM
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Speaking as one who has recently adopted an affordable but unneeded and no-space-for bicycle, you'd probably be wise to pass on it. However, how likely are you to find another one like it, and will your circumstances be any more conducive if/when that time comes?
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Old 01-01-17, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by thumpism
Speaking as one who has recently adopted an affordable but unneeded and no-space-for bicycle, you'd probably be wise to pass on it. However, how likely are you to find another one like it, and will your circumstances be any more conducive if/when that time comes?
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Old 01-02-17, 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by clubman
Ok, tomorrows my birthday. Do I really need this late 50's Humber (of course I want it) for $50 when the basement is stuffed with bikes? Sorry but Google photos is now a horrible program. Pics are not working right.


Thanks in advance, I know what you'll say. I'll go look at it and see if the seatpost and stem will move.

Happy New Year
$50? Do it.
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Old 01-02-17, 05:36 AM
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Originally Posted by clubman
Ok, tomorrows my birthday. Do I really need this late 50's Humber (of course I want it) for $50 when the basement is stuffed with bikes? Sorry but Google photos is now a horrible program. Pics are not working right.


Thanks in advance, I know what you'll say. I'll go look at it and see if the seatpost and stem will move.

Happy New Year
I could never pass up I bike like this. It's just the kind of project I enjoy. Many hours of wrenching and decision making and at the end of it all it's another very cool old bike back on the road. Hoping you buy it so we can see the project come along.
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Old 01-02-17, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
I could never pass up I bike like this. It's just the kind of project I enjoy. Many hours of wrenching and decision making and at the end of it all it's another very cool old bike back on the road. Hoping you buy it so we can see the project come along.
Agreed^^^. This is one bike where the "patina" has crossed the aesthetic threshold into full-restoration land. Imagine how vibrant this bike would look with new paint, chrome, and decals. (Just my humble opinion...)
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