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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 09-18-18, 08:02 PM
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Can those Rudge bikes be worth anything but salvage parts? It would be a major headache trying to source the parts, sheet metal and all, to put either back in an approximation of Rudgeness. If what is desired is a frame and some parts to create a "scorcher" or a pseudo-clubman or path racer or something, there are many Raleigh sports bikes available for not much which are probably much easier platforms. Of course, there is that chainwheel.
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Old 09-18-18, 08:05 PM
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Keep the older tall frame if you like how it rides. It's getting harder to find a 23 inch frame from that earlier era, and they have a little "extra" to them, being from that era. Those frames earlier are a little heavier, but they're very well-made. They've got a cachet beyond the more common stuff. They're harder to replace if you regret selling later.

I had a late '40s Dawn Tourist tall frame that I sold. It was a solid bike but I sold it because my other Raleighs rode better. It had the chain case, generator set, the works - but I ended up preferring my 1958 Sports 4-speed. In fact, my 1974 Sports 3-speed also rode better than the Dawn Tourist.

Which brings up a point that I've found after messing around with old bikes for more years than I'd like to admit: each old bike has its own feel. I have a 1974 Sports that is a gem to ride, but had a late 1960s-era Raleigh that was pitiful and was supposedly the same basic product as the '74. I've had some dud Raleighs from the 1950s. I've had some great stuff from the 1950s as well.

You reach a point where you buy what appeals to you and see if you like the feel of the finished project. If not, sell it and move to the next project. If you're not careful, you end up with a garage full of old bikes and not enough space. But that's how it goes. There are worse outcomes.
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Old 09-18-18, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983
If you're not careful, you end up with a garage full of old bikes and not enough space. But that's how it goes. There are worse outcomes.
If you're really not careful, you end up with a garage full of crap that is NOT old bikes and which gets in the way of acquiring more old bikes. But that's how it goes.

Do not let this happen to you.
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Old 09-19-18, 04:15 AM
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Originally Posted by thumpism
If you're really not careful, you end up with a garage full of crap that is NOT old bikes and which gets in the way of acquiring more old bikes. But that's how it goes.

Do not let this happen to you.
Good advise.
In the past two days I've given two bikes away to deserving young people.
1971 Hercules has gone to a former student of mine, Jessica..
She recently broke up with her fiance and decided to make cycling part of her new start in life.
She doesn't mind riding a men's bike.


A small frame men's bike that she was quite happy to receive.
I lowered the seat and bars. Saddle bags were not included...
1971 Superbe was given to my friend Tim's daughter who recently had
her bike stolen at university.

Again, seat and bars lowered. Pump was not included.
I made a promise to myself to only hang onto 23" bikes.
It's not a big dent in the fleet but it's a start.
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Old 09-19-18, 04:17 AM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
I just finished this 51 Rudge. I noticed the frame seemed heavier than the 23" TI Raleigh I did just before.I was wondering if it had to do with the steel used for the tubes. Raleigh didn't start touting their High Tensile steel until later in the 50s. I was wondering if perhaps the frame is heavier because it's made from a more mild steel. The hockey stick chainguard is original .Heavier or not, I'm in love with this one.

Nothing compares to a traditional black British roadster.
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Old 09-19-18, 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by desconhecido
Sad doesn't begin to describe those two. About those bars: reminds me of the old saying that somebody doesn't know whether he's coming or going.
I saw a guy recently, riding his bike with the forks spun around backwards.
I tried to talk to him but he said he wanted them like that......
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Old 09-20-18, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
Thicker tubing, sturdier lugs, those huge seatstays, and that thick enamel paint all add up quite a bit. Whether it's more mild or not, these things are a stiff as a butcher block. I'd have reservations about a fast descent on a TI-industries frame, but wouldn't think twice of it on of these.
I won't disagree that the 50's Raleighs were nicer frames, but I have done plenty of fast descents on the later TI Industries frames. (Hello, Bay City Hill!) I think the wheels and brakes are more important than the frame when it comes to descents. It might be blasphemy, but I love the stopping power combination of modern aluminum rims with more modern brakes and Kool Stop pads. I've upgraded the wheels and brakes on all my three speeds.
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Old 09-20-18, 02:38 PM
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Just added N+1...

1960 Sports, 23" frame. The paint looks nearly new, with good chrome. One bug I've not seen before- the shifter doesn't like to be firmly tightened down on the handlebars. It does not more freely at that point- to make it work properly I have to back off the mounting bolt half a turn. Its raining pretty hard today so its a good day to clean and lube its bearings...
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Old 09-20-18, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Salubrious
Just added N+1...

1960 Sports, 23" frame. The paint looks nearly new, with good chrome. One bug I've not seen before- the shifter doesn't like to be firmly tightened down on the handlebars. It does not more freely at that point- to make it work properly I have to back off the mounting bolt half a turn. Its raining pretty hard today so its a good day to clean and lube its bearings...
That style shifter has a spacer bar down by the mounting screw. It's meant to resist deforming the case as you tighten the mounting screw. I suspect it may be missing.
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Old 09-20-18, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by adventurepdx
I won't disagree that the 50's Raleighs were nicer frames, but I have done plenty of fast descents on the later TI Industries frames. (Hello, Bay City Hill!) I think the wheels and brakes are more important than the frame when it comes to descents. It might be blasphemy, but I love the stopping power combination of modern aluminum rims with more modern brakes and Kool Stop pads. I've upgraded the wheels and brakes on all my three speeds.
My scorcher has aluminum rims, Tektro R559 brakes and cable stops on the top tube. The brakes do feel luxurious, like having power brakes. Such a light touch, but as far as actual stopping distance when dry, I don't see a big advantage over the old brakes on steel rims. Good pads like Kool Stops or the Fibrax " Science" pads for steel rims and roughing up the rim sides with 220 sandpaper do make a world of difference. I'm sure if you did a side by side test, you could quantify some improvement, but it doesn't stand out much to me. Hydraulic discs on the other hand DO stand out. Very impressive to an old fart like me used to oldtime calipers.But I agree about the TI era frames. I've never had a problem with them.
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Old 09-20-18, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by adventurepdx
I won't disagree that the 50's Raleighs were nicer frames, but I have done plenty of fast descents on the later TI Industries frames. (Hello, Bay City Hill!) I think the wheels and brakes are more important than the frame when it comes to descents. It might be blasphemy, but I love the stopping power combination of modern aluminum rims with more modern brakes and Kool Stop pads. I've upgraded the wheels and brakes on all my three speeds.
The most important thing for me about any bike is that I like to ride it and aluminum rims and good brake pads are important. Doesn't mean that I wouldn't ride/own a steel rimmed bike, I do, but the bikes with replacememnt rims (Cr 18s) are, in my opinion, more friendly to ride. And, putting alloy rims on a 79 Raleigh Sports? It's not like painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa.
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Old 09-21-18, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by desconhecido
The most important thing for me about any bike is that I like to ride it and aluminum rims and good brake pads are important. Doesn't mean that I wouldn't ride/own a steel rimmed bike, I do, but the bikes with replacememnt rims (Cr 18s) are, in my opinion, more friendly to ride. And, putting alloy rims on a 79 Raleigh Sports? It's not like painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa.
True, but remember that the older 40/32 hole Westricks in good shape are super hard to find. If you ever swap out older rims, you could do it for free by selling the 40/32 pair if they're clean. Not sure when Raleigh decided to go normal with 36/36H. Sometime in the early 70s.
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Old 09-21-18, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
True, but remember that the older 40/32 hole Westricks in good shape are super hard to find. If you ever swap out older rims, you could do it for free by selling the 40/32 pair if they're clean. Not sure when Raleigh decided to go normal with 36/36H. Sometime in the early 70s.
A couple years ago, I shipped a pair of Raleigh patent rims from a 54 to a forum member. Cost was $16 or $18, I can't remember. They were ok rims that I had soaked in OA, but not great. I wouldn't call them "clean." The only old Raleigh rims that I've encountered that were "clean" are on a 51 step through. They are some sort of stainless type alloy. Stainless spokes, too. The moved to plain carbon steel in 52 or so.

Of course, I've seen many pictures of old Raleighs here with what appear to be plain steel rims with chrome in excellent condition -- just never encountered one in person.
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Old 09-21-18, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
It's probably a solid frame under all the rust
I'm pretty sure all Raleigh frames are hollow. OK, sorry.
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Old 09-21-18, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
My scorcher has aluminum rims, Tektro R559 brakes and cable stops on the top tube. The brakes do feel luxurious, like having power brakes. Such a light touch, but as far as actual stopping distance when dry, I don't see a big advantage over the old brakes on steel rims.
The operative term there is "dry". I live in damp ol' Portland, Oregon, and ride my three speeds all year. I'm done with the sketchy braking of wet steel rims. It's okay to keep the rims steel if your three speed isn't going to see rain, though.

Originally Posted by BigChief
Good pads like Kool Stops or the Fibrax " Science" pads for steel rims and roughing up the rim sides with 220 sandpaper do make a world of difference. I'm sure if you did a side by side test, you could quantify some improvement, but it doesn't stand out much to me. Hydraulic discs on the other hand DO stand out. Very impressive to an old fart like me used to oldtime calipers.But I agree about the TI era frames. I've never had a problem with them.
I've tried the Fibrax pads on steel rims, and felt that the improvement in wet braking power was negligible.
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Old 09-21-18, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by desconhecido
And, putting alloy rims on a 79 Raleigh Sports? It's not like painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa.
Quote of the day!
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Old 09-21-18, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by desconhecido
A couple years ago, I shipped a pair of Raleigh patent rims from a 54 to a forum member. Cost was $16 or $18, I can't remember. They were ok rims that I had soaked in OA, but not great. I wouldn't call them "clean." The only old Raleigh rims that I've encountered that were "clean" are on a 51 step through. They are some sort of stainless type alloy. Stainless spokes, too. The moved to plain carbon steel in 52 or so.

Of course, I've seen many pictures of old Raleighs here with what appear to be plain steel rims with chrome in excellent condition -- just never encountered one in person.
By clean I mean reasonable. It's nice to have a bike looking old but cared for in the end. I've seen many pre TI Raleighs that were in good condition except for the rims, so nice Westricks are at a premium for anybody looking to do factory correct project. This Rudge is the oldest project I've done so far. It has chrome Westricks and stainless spokes. The only difference I see between these 1951 and more modern Westricks is that the raised center section has a satin finish. If anybody had a bike like this with rusted out rims, more modern 40/32H Westricks would be plenty good enough. By the later 50s Raleigh was using Endrick rims on the Rudge models. Much easier to find replacements for those.
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Old 09-21-18, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
True, but remember that the older 40/32 hole Westricks in good shape are super hard to find. If you ever swap out older rims, you could do it for free by selling the 40/32 pair if they're clean. Not sure when Raleigh decided to go normal with 36/36H. Sometime in the early 70s.
Originally Posted by desconhecido
A couple years ago, I shipped a pair of Raleigh patent rims from a 54 to a forum member. Cost was $16 or $18, I can't remember. They were ok rims that I had soaked in OA, but not great. I wouldn't call them "clean." The only old Raleigh rims that I've encountered that were "clean" are on a 51 step through. They are some sort of stainless type alloy. Stainless spokes, too. The moved to plain carbon steel in 52 or so.
Yeah, I never had great luck with the old rims either. The chrome on them looked okay, but there was no way to fix spokes or true the wheels as the nipples etc had rusted.
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Old 09-21-18, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
That style shifter has a spacer bar down by the mounting screw. It's meant to resist deforming the case as you tighten the mounting screw. I suspect it may be missing.
Got it in one. I found an aluminum spacer at Ace that looks to be a good candidate.

Originally Posted by BigChief
True, but remember that the older 40/32 hole Westricks in good shape are super hard to find. If you ever swap out older rims, you could do it for free by selling the 40/32 pair if they're clean. Not sure when Raleigh decided to go normal with 36/36H. Sometime in the early 70s.
Probably later than 1972. That is the year that the lined AWs and the 6-point Heron cranks turned up, so you can have a '72 with an unlined hub and a 9-point crank, but either way it will be 32-40 front and rear.
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Old 09-21-18, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Salubrious
Got it in one. I found an aluminum spacer at Ace that looks to be a good candidate.



Probably later than 1972. That is the year that the lined AWs and the 6-point Heron cranks turned up, so you can have a '72 with an unlined hub and a 9-point crank, but either way it will be 32-40 front and rear.
What's the difference between a lined and an unlined AW hub? (How would you tell which one you have and why would it matter?)

Thanks,
Ed
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Old 09-21-18, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by groth
What's the difference between a lined and an unlined AW hub? (How would you tell which one you have and why would it matter?)

Thanks,
Ed
An unlined hub has a smooth finish. Lined hubs have lines running around their circumference. I like to think that the machining is better on the earlier smooth hubs; this appears to be so in particular with 1950s to early 1960s hubs.
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Old 09-21-18, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by groth
What's the difference between a lined and an unlined AW hub? (How would you tell which one you have and why would it matter?)
The ribbed hub shell was a cosmetic change around 1972. The internals are the same before and after this change.

AW hub with a smooth shell:



Later AW hub with ribbed shell:

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Old 09-21-18, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
I'm pretty sure all Raleigh frames are hollow. OK, sorry.
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Old 09-21-18, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
The ribbed hub shell was a cosmetic change around 1972. The internals are the same before and after this change.

AW hub with a smooth shell:
Thanks, and to Salubrious as well.

Mine is a 72-1 unlined hub. (Also, it's 40 - 32, rear - front and a 9 point heron ring.)




I've owned this bike since it was new and am "resurrecting" it, not restoring it.

This forum and Sheldon's pages have been very helpful. I hope to post more photos and the story of the bike in the not too distant future.

- Ed
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Old 09-21-18, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by adventurepdx
I won't disagree that the 50's Raleighs were nicer frames, but I have done plenty of fast descents on the later TI Industries frames. (Hello, Bay City Hill!) I think the wheels and brakes are more important than the frame when it comes to descents. It might be blasphemy, but I love the stopping power combination of modern aluminum rims with more modern brakes and Kool Stop pads. I've upgraded the wheels and brakes on all my three speeds.
All fair points - forgot who mentioned so in this thread earlier, but it really depends on the individual frame itself.

That said, I've been meaning (for 5 years now) to throw long-reach dual pivots at my 1980 Raleigh Sport (the one that Pastor Bob unearthed from the NH dump site). It might actually happen too, as I wound up acquiring a nondescript 2000's ladies' city bike from a neighbor - apparently, it was brought over here from the UK and has a pair of modern, aluminum Rigida 590 rims on it. Even better,a modern Sturmey AW too. Has galvanized spokes, but I'd like to re-lace my Dynohub back into it, along with a 4-speed. Should be an interesting ride.

-Kurt
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