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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 07-08-18, 10:28 AM
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Arrrg, have to get to work now. Having fun working on the Rudge. Well, I'd like the project to last a while anyway. It can be hard to stop. Unlike the front, the rear mudguard needs little attention. A protective finish for underneath, polish and wax should do it.

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Old 07-08-18, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Johno59
Having never rebuilt an AW hub I asked my LBS owner's retired Dad this exact question regards my 1934 Sports resurrection.
It had stood for 75 years and the rim had literally dissolved where it had sat on the garage floor.
He advised WD 40 in the filler cap, free it up, spin it up by hand over the next few days. Shake the WD 40 out as much as poss and then pore a tablespoons worth of gear oil whatever into the filler cap and off you go.
With serious doubts I followed his advice.
I've loaded it with 4 panniers and done 500 miles and I swear the gear changing is getting smoother by the day.
Originally Posted by DQRider
You may find some inspiration here: https://www.charliechadwick.org/

This fellow rode English bikes on English roads in the 1920s and beyond. Distances of 170 miles in a day on a 28-inch roadster? What you are proposing would be a doddle compared to that.

(Apologies if this has been discussed before here. I was too lazy to look... at the end of a very long day.)

.
These bikes were designed to do hundreds of miles a month with zero maintenance . Travelling salesmen, postmen, railwaymen, policeman etc all over the world used these bikes to get them to work and carry out their duties thruout their day. When they were designed at the turn of the 19th century there were very few cars or paved roads.

I normally use a TT bike for my commute. It's flat out and God help you if you hit a pothole. I'm fixated on anything on the road - pebbles, rabbits, birds, sticks, potholes, ice whatever. You hit anything and things burst, break, crash or scare the bejesus out of you.
On an old three speed you sit up and take in the sights. Hit anything and the weight, soft tyres and sprung seat reminds you what these bikes are all about.
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Old 07-08-18, 05:52 PM
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Great time today at the Canadian Vintage Bicycle Show. Said goodbye to my 1977 DL1 and the Raleigh built 1972 Supercycle. I did purchase a complete but scruffy "root beer" 1972 23" Sports for a future project bike. The price was about average at $110 CDN. Considering I sold five bikes today, I rewarded myself with the Sports.
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Old 07-08-18, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by browngw
Great time today at the Canadian Vintage Bicycle Show. Said goodbye to my 1977 DL1 and the Raleigh built 1972 Supercycle. I did purchase a complete but scruffy "root beer" 1972 23" Sports for a future project bike. The price was about average at $110 CDN. Considering I sold five bikes today, I rewarded myself with the Sports.
good score.
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Old 07-09-18, 05:00 AM
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Not an English 3-speed bike, but an English 3-speed hub, trigger and cable for ten bucks.

https://richmond.craigslist.org/bik/...637537968.html

Vintage 80's RED 3 Speed Bicycle - $10 (Richmond)


1980's 3 speed project bike.

Call 382-9474
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Old 07-09-18, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by browngw
Great time today at the Canadian Vintage Bicycle Show. Said goodbye to my 1977 DL1 and the Raleigh built 1972 Supercycle. I did purchase a complete but scruffy "root beer" 1972 23" Sports for a future project bike. The price was about average at $110 CDN. Considering I sold five bikes today, I rewarded myself with the Sports.
I think this should clean up very nicely. Hard to tell from the picture, but the dent in the front mudguard looks like it could be worked out. I've had good results by making my own form and punch out of pine. The biggest problem I have is trying to enlist my wife to hold the mudguard in place while hammer out dents. She doesn't care to spend her time on my bike stuff. Here's a good chance to try the toilet brush method on rims. I've never seen a Raleigh Sports with this shifter cable routing. Or these pedals either. Doesn't seem likely someone would change them. Wonder if the bike came this way.
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Old 07-09-18, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
I've long had a goal of taking an IGH bike on a century/100-mile ride, but haven't quite pulled the trigger, even with converting relatively lightweight road frames with 700c wheels and 3- or 4-speed hubs. It's mostly on account that when riding that long, which I don't get the chance to do terribly often, I'd rather be on something I know is well-suited in terms of gears, comfort, tires, fit. And given that I'm not terribly fast on a "regular" road bike, it would be a very long day to ride a century on a 3-speed, even if I could find a mostly flat course (which is fairly difficult but not impossible here in eastern MA).
It's well worth trying, and easier than you would think! While I haven't done a proper English 100 mile century on an IGH bike, I did ride a metric century on a c.1962 Dawes Realmrider - Racelite lugs, probably TruWel tubing (lighter and thinner than basic Raleigh 20-30, not as light and thin as 531), Sturmey-Archer FW w/ 18T cog, 27-in Mavic alloy rims (replaced rusted out steel 27-in rims), Weinmann Jr. sidepulls, steel cottered cranks w/ 46T ring, Pasela 27 x 1 1/4 tires, B.17, Nitto bars and stem, Bluemels fenders, clips and straps, all-up weight around 30 lbs and a gear range of around 46 to 87 gear inches. It was my first event ride after my quad bypass, over moderately rolling terrain in this area the realtors insist on calling "The Lakelands," and while I wasn't burning up the road, I was hardly DFL, either. I had FUN, the bike ran well and was comfortable beneath me - and that may be the key, the bike kinda disappeared beneath me the way good bikes that fit do.
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Old 07-09-18, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
I think this should clean up very nicely. Hard to tell from the picture, but the dent in the front mudguard looks like it could be worked out. I've had good results by making my own form and punch out of pine. The biggest problem I have is trying to enlist my wife to hold the mudguard in place while hammer out dents. She doesn't care to spend her time on my bike stuff. Here's a good chance to try the toilet brush method on rims. I've never seen a Raleigh Sports with this shifter cable routing. Or these pedals either. Doesn't seem likely someone would change them. Wonder if the bike came this way.
I agree that the mudguard dent can be greatly improved with the wooden block method. More troubling is the chain guard dent that was likely mangled to prevent the crank hitting it. The tires (Raleigh Record), cables and housings all appear original. I have seen those pedals on a Nottingham Sprite(75) before. (Sprites were also built in Canada). The front wheel appears correct but the axle is longer than I would expect. I have not found the Serial# yet. I did not realize the "d" shaped mud guard stays were solid. I've always seen pressed or wire type?


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Old 07-09-18, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict
How do the Sports respond to drop handle bar conversion?

Like lean slightly more forward for more efficiency of aerodynamics...and better use of different leg muscles.
Is the geometry suitable for that? Like longer distance, like light touring.
If you are not in fact racing, really you don't have any business on dropped bars. It just makes the bike less comfortable, which isn't good if you are going a long ways. After a few days of touring with dropped bars, you may find Shermer's Neck to be a bit of a problem, as well as weakness and numbness in the hands. A more upright position isn't as low drag, but allows you to ride further with less injury.

Originally Posted by browngw
(Was Robin Hood the only one to have the decal read "Sports Model"?)
My 1935 Raleigh has a decal that reads 'Sports Model'.

Originally Posted by mtb_addict
I guess these bikes were not intended for long distance traveling. But I wonder if anyone rode a vintage 3 speed long distance touring...like across country or across continents?
They are in fact *totally* designed for long distance traveling, and on varied terrain (hence the 650A wheels, which are well suited to paved to light gravel and hardpack). The original rod brake machines were designed for military service, and that wasn't just for a quick nip down to the corner chemist

For several decades the record set for the most miles in one year (88,000 IIRC) was done on a British 3-speed (it was finally broken in the last 2 years). British 3-speeds were really the first mountain bikes, for example they were used extensively on single track in Africa to deliver mail and the like. Think about it this way, prior to WW2 if you wanted reliable wide range shifting, the SA 3-speed hub was the only game in town (yes, the French had a 'dérailleur' but they could only do 3 speeds but without the gear range and were finicky where the SA hub was not). There is an nice epic story about a a BSA three speed being ridden across Australia in the 1920s, over 3000 miles. A lot of it was across the Outback.

In recent years bikepacking has become a thing to do with mountain bikes for longer rides like the Tour Divide (an epic MTB route that goes from Banff in Alberta Canada and follows the continental divide down to the Mexican border), but bikepacking had its start with 3-speeds. Prior to WW2 you could buy wax impregnated canvas frame bags, handlebar bags and seat bags right out of the Sears catalog.
*
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Old 07-09-18, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by browngw
I agree that the mudguard dent can be greatly improved with the wooden block method. More troubling is the chain guard dent that was likely mangled to prevent the crank hitting it. The tires (Raleigh Record), cables and housings all appear original. I have seen those pedals on a Nottingham Sprite(75) before. (Sprites were also built in Canada). The front wheel appears correct but the axle is longer than I would expect. I have not found the Serial# yet. I did not realize the "d" shaped mud guard stays were solid. I've always seen pressed or wire type?
That would be a much more difficult repair. If it was intentionally bent to clear the crank, it's a good bet the crank arm is bent inward and this was a hambone way of dealing with it. What a shame. It's a 5 minute job to fix a bent crank, but you would need a pedal wrench, a pipe and a piece of cardboard.
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Old 07-09-18, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
I think this should clean up very nicely. Hard to tell from the picture, but the dent in the front mudguard looks like it could be worked out. I've had good results by making my own form and punch out of pine. The biggest problem I have is trying to enlist my wife to hold the mudguard in place while hammer out dents. She doesn't care to spend her time on my bike stuff. Here's a good chance to try the toilet brush method on rims. I've never seen a Raleigh Sports with this shifter cable routing. Or these pedals either. Doesn't seem likely someone would change them. Wonder if the bike came this way.
I have a 1969 or 70 Raleigh Sprite with the same pedals, along with a 1969 Armstrong with the same (sans reflectors). The Armstrong had the shift cable routed along the down tube as well until I changed it.
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Old 07-09-18, 02:30 PM
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just updated my post on this lovely lady.. it belongs here as well though..
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Old 07-09-18, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by dweenk
I have a 1969 or 70 Raleigh Sprite with the same pedals, along with a 1969 Armstrong with the same (sans reflectors). The Armstrong had the shift cable routed along the down tube as well until I changed it.
That's exactly when they used them, leftover stock from the fast fading Choppers. If you're lucky you got them in white. Pretty sure they only had bushings, no bearings.
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Old 07-09-18, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman
That's exactly when they used them, leftover stock from the fast fading Choppers. If you're lucky you got them in white. Pretty sure they only had bushings, no bearings.
I have not tried to open the pedals since they spin freely. But they are black.
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Old 07-09-18, 03:44 PM
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some tips for a better ride

There seem to be a bunch of newer converts on this thread! Here are some tips that will help the ridability of any British 3-speed.

The rear hub should be ever so slightly loose on its cones. If tightened so there is no slop, it will bind and eventually be damaged. The hub in the wheel should spin as well as a vintage Campagnolo hub in good form.

To set the proper shift cable tension, simply put the shifter in low and set the toggle chain so its pulled all the way out of the hub. It should not be under heavy tension. In this way the neutral between 2nd and 3rd will be between 2nd and 3rd and not either gear.

Tire pressure is important! In most cases this will not be the rated pressure, but some fraction thereof. The heavier the rider, the closer to the rated maximum on the tire. Smoother roads also allow for more pressure. As a general rule of thumb if the ride is very bumpy, if you feel every imperfection in the pavement, the tires are overinflated. The correct pressure will be both smoother and faster. The front tire should be about 70-80% of the pressure of the rear since it carries less weight. This really brings out the ride quality of the machine!

The brakes can squeal with good new brake pads. To prevent squeal, the brake arms have to be bent slightly so that the part of the brake pad that is closest to the front of the bike engages before the rear. Kool Stop Salmon pads are the best, especially with steel rims and rain.

Alloy rims are a good idea- the bike will be faster and stop better as well. Sun CR18s were the goto for a long time; they had a 32 hole for the front and 40 hole for the rear. If you can find them they are a nice touch. It is not worth it to polish and chrome the original rims if they are really shot, but it is worth it to see if the original chrome is OK- the Brits had pretty good chrome!

The crank should be set up with precision. I recommend the Bikesmith Designs cotter press. With this tool removal of the crank arms and re-installation is pretty easy and no need to replace cotter pins. No need to remove the drive side cup, but it should be cleaned and new grease added. If the bearings are in good shape re-use them, if not, get the hardest grade you can find. It takes a bit of finesse to properly adjust the non-drive side bearing cup. When you tighten the locking ring you may find that the bearing cup is tighter too. Park Tools makes a cone wrench that fits the bearing cup; I recommend it for the tool box.

Otherwise, its helpful to understand that most of the nuts and bolts are Whitworth rather then English or metric.

To free pesky nuts, seatposts and stems, Kroil (kanolabs.com) is the secret weapon of many professional mechanics.

The leather saddle should be slightly nose up in the front front. Slightly. Also pay attention to the tension adjustment of the saddle- this is the nut under the nose cantile. The nose can only be raised or lowered in notches, and the so the leather tension is the other part of the equation for getting the right fit. Usually the seatpost is aft of the saddle mount, no set back is used due to the slack frame geometries. A slight tilt down on the handlebars is helpful for a more comfortable ride.
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Old 07-09-18, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman
That's exactly when they used them, leftover stock from the fast fading Choppers. If you're lucky you got them in white. Pretty sure they only had bushings, no bearings.
As another data point I have a 1974 Raleigh Wayfarer with that style of pedal in white, without reflectors. They also have no bearings
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Old 07-09-18, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by DQRider
You may find some inspiration here: https://www.charliechadwick.org/

This fellow rode English bikes on English roads in the 1920s and beyond. Distances of 170 miles in a day on a 28-inch roadster? What you are proposing would be a doddle compared to that.

(Apologies if this has been discussed before here. I was too lazy to look... at the end of a very long day.)

.
I had a bit of a read through the site, it lists the specs for Charlies newly purchased bike as fixed gear! (no year listed but has quite slack angles and drop bars). What a trooper!
At least the Aussies had 3 gears, although the story mentions issues with the hub resulting in long miles with only 2nd gear working.
Here's the Australian story, worth a look even just to see the photos from the day and the recreation of the bike used & they've done a great job building it:
https://www.ridemedia.com.au/feature...ike-from-1914/
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Old 07-09-18, 06:03 PM
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^^ Cool article arty dave.^^ Enjoyed the read and photos.
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Old 07-09-18, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by desconhecido
That looks like a real good deal. Appears to be complete and unmolested, sheet metal all in decent shape, maybe salveable rims and Brooks saddle. I'm lucky that it's about 1800 miles beyond my reach or I'd own it. Heck, it's worth way more than $30 for the sheet metal and hub, in my opinion.

Those bars are worth an oxalic soak. Can't replace missing metal, but it might end up looking decent with some copper colored freckles. Otherwise, those bars in decent shape aren't scarce.
You would be amazed at how good Turtle wax chrome polish and cleaner works on bad rust, cheap, green plastic bottle at most auto parts stores. Try it you'll like it.
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Old 07-09-18, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict
Is the Brooks B17 too narrow for this type of bicycle?
No, it's not too narrow. B17s work fine. If you want springs, consider the Flyer which is basically a B17 with springs.
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Old 07-09-18, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by dweenk
I have not tried to open the pedals since they spin freely. But they are black.
I have, and they are not rebuildable. I did pry off the retaining clip, redo the grease and adapted an industrial C clip....but it did not last long. @clubman - yes there are bearings in there - goodness knows how they stay lubricated!
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Old 07-09-18, 07:42 PM
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Good to know I guess. I assumed there weren't bearings as all of mine felt as dry as the Sahara.
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Old 07-09-18, 11:40 PM
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I’ll admit to a bit of laziness, so please excuse me on this. Would some of you history mavens show me a basic list of the hierarchy of Raleigh owned bikes. From what I have gleaned here, Raleigh brought quite a few brands into their fold, and while I see little difference in a lot of the brands, there does seem to be a pecking order. Off the top of my head, I can think of Robin Hood, BSA, Raleigh, Hercules, Dunelt, Rudge. As far as British 3-speed bikes, what is the hierarchy?
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Old 07-10-18, 05:38 AM
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What happened was Raleigh bought out Robin Hood early on and used it as a lower priced line to compete with their big competitor Hercules from Birmingham. After the war, a whole lot of General Motors style consolidation went on in Both Nottingham and Birmingham. So we have a bunch of different brands made by Raleigh in Nottingham with the same frames, but keeping some distinctive features like forks and chainrings. Same sort of thing was going on with Tube Investments consolidating brands in Birmingham. So for a while we have essentially Nottingham bikes and Birmingham bikes. Then, in 1960, Tube Investments bought out Raleigh and shifted all production to Nottingham. Now you end up with a ton of different brands all Raleigh made. Add that to the custom labeled bikes and you get a crazy amount of different labels all essentially lower priced Raleighs. After a while, the "other" branded bikes lost much of their distinctive features and became generic budget priced Raleighs with different badges.
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Old 07-10-18, 06:34 AM
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Location: Nova Scotia
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Bikes: roadsters, club bikes, fixed and classic

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Adding to BigChiefs post these are some of marques and dates taken from Sheldons pages

Humber, BSA, New Hudson 1932
Rudge-Whitworth 1943
Triumph 1954
Three Spires 1954
Sunbeam 1957
Phillips 1960
Hercules 1960
Norman 1960
Sun 1960
Carlton 1960
Dunelt 1960
Moulton 1967

There were many other smaller rebrands not listed here. Generally, the top tier bikes were Raleigh, Humber and Rudge. This doesn't imply that the others were poorly made.
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