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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 12-28-18, 09:59 PM
  #18901  
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Originally Posted by gster View Post
Another survivor.
Nice bike.
I would service the bearings and you're good for another
50 years.
Thanks. Yes full bearing dismantle, clean, inspect/replace, lube, adjust is also part of the plan. Looks like it has an SW Sturmy Archer hub, hoping it has no problems.
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Old 12-29-18, 06:06 AM
  #18902  
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I've never had an SW hub. It will be interesting to hear if it's bad reputation is deserved or not. I think the rest of the design would have been fine if they stuck to regular spring loaded pawls. Even if you do end up lacing in an AW, this bike will be worth the effort. I think it will look almost new when you're done.
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Old 12-29-18, 10:56 AM
  #18903  
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Originally Posted by BigChief View Post
I've never had an SW hub. It will be interesting to hear if it's bad reputation is deserved or not. I think the rest of the design would have been fine if they stuck to regular spring loaded pawls. Even if you do end up lacing in an AW, this bike will be worth the effort. I think it will look almost new when you're done.
I have a couple SW hubs. The biggest advantage is that they are dead-easy to overhaul: fewer internal parts than the AW hub, and no fiddly pawl springs to lose. They're also eerie-quiet in use. You have to have your ear right next to the hub to hear the pawls at all when coasting.

The disadvantage is that the pawls often take longer to engage. This is particularly an issue in cold weather, and sometimes several complete crank revolutions are needed before they finally engage.

Sheldon Brown describes a modification to add springs to the SW hub to provide quick, consistent pawl engagement. One of my hubs is modified in this manner. It works, but since the pawls actually bear on the springs, the springs eventually wear out and have to be replaced. But as mentioned above, overhaul is dead-easy.
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Old 12-29-18, 12:00 PM
  #18904  
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I've 2 SW's and both have worked fine but I've never tested them with winter temps.
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Old 12-29-18, 01:56 PM
  #18905  
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
I have a couple SW hubs. The biggest advantage is that they are dead-easy to overhaul: fewer internal parts than the AW hub, and no fiddly pawl springs to lose. They're also eerie-quiet in use. You have to have your ear right next to the hub to hear the pawls at all when coasting.

The disadvantage is that the pawls often take longer to engage. This is particularly an issue in cold weather, and sometimes several complete crank revolutions are needed before they finally engage.

Sheldon Brown describes a modification to add springs to the SW hub to provide quick, consistent pawl engagement. One of my hubs is modified in this manner. It works, but since the pawls actually bear on the springs, the springs eventually wear out and have to be replaced. But as mentioned above, overhaul is dead-easy.
That's a very interesting article. Thanks for pointing it out. I missed it somehow. Seems like positive engagement of those pawls is the whole trick here. Too bad there's no room in that ring for a coil spring. Still, a very light synthetic oil added regularly may also do the trick. I've noticed that oil always seems to spread around evenly in the AW hubs I've had apart. I have had AWs where the oil got dried out and gummy making the pawls sluggish or even stuck and that's under spring pressure. If those rounded pawls moved freely and had a light coating of oil, it might solve the whole issue of skipping. Maybe.
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Old 12-29-18, 02:40 PM
  #18906  
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Technologically we're nearly on the same page. Using an AW hub we have internao ratios of 1.33/1.00/0.75. The rear mean ratio is therefore 1.33, so the chainring ratio should be 1.167. With a 44 tooth big front ring, I get a top gear of 94 inches, with a 27" wheel with 630x32 tires. The related half-step small ring should be 38 teeth, which gets a low gear of 40 inches. This does not seem very low, though the low gear with 48 teeth / 17 teeth is 58". But this is a true half-step: there are not duplications, and the spread of gears is totally even.

What I prefer is not a true half step, and it uses the AW rarios, 17 teeth in the rear, and 44/28 chainrings. Here the gear range is 33.75" up to 94.3". While the gears overlap making for an Alpine or crossover shift pattern, there are no duplications - you get 6 distinct gears, though the spread does not match the evenness of the 44/37.

With that frame or with others did you have to deal with the 1 ⅜ x 26 tpi threading issue? Or did you have the foresight to only choose frames with true BSC threading?
i had the foresight to accidently find a frame with a standard 68mm bottom bracket. I like your gear choices. Typically i do the half step to make my top 2 gears closer together but in practice it isnt that big of a deal. 70s for top gear makes me happy on an aw equipped bike.
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Old 12-30-18, 10:14 AM
  #18907  
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Originally Posted by BigChief View Post
I've never had an SW hub. It will be interesting to hear if it's bad reputation is deserved or not. I think the rest of the design would have been fine if they stuck to regular spring loaded pawls. Even if you do end up lacing in an AW, this bike will be worth the effort. I think it will look almost new when you're done.
Hi BigChief: According to Sheldon it is slower changing gear but otherwise for normal riding it works well as long as correct lubricant is used (I assume 3in1 Bicycle Oil), I imagine a thicker oil will gum up the pawls and cause them to stick or act too slowly. I guess general users may not have taken much notice of this at the time, using whatever is to hand hence its bad reputation. I will find out more once the bike it overhauled and ridden and will report here. At this point I don't intend/or want to change the hub, it is part of the bike history. Time will tell as the saying goes.
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Old 12-30-18, 11:25 AM
  #18908  
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Originally Posted by PeterLYoung View Post
Hi BigChief: According to Sheldon it is slower changing gear but otherwise for normal riding it works well as long as correct lubricant is used (I assume 3in1 Bicycle Oil), I imagine a thicker oil will gum up the pawls and cause them to stick or act too slowly. I guess general users may not have taken much notice of this at the time, using whatever is to hand hence its bad reputation. I will find out more once the bike it overhauled and ridden and will report here. At this point I don't intend/or want to change the hub, it is part of the bike history. Time will tell as the saying goes.
My SW was serviced by Via Cycles in Philly, it was a bit sticky when I acquired it from the original owner. I have been using synthetic ATF to lube it since. It has worked fine for me. I use a nice refillable antique oiling can.
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Old 12-30-18, 02:06 PM
  #18909  
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Originally Posted by butch50 View Post
My SW was serviced by Via Cycles in Philly, it was a bit sticky when I acquired it from the original owner. I have been using synthetic ATF to lube it since. It has worked fine for me. I use a nice refillable antique oiling can.
Hi: That is useful information, will bear that in mind, thanks.
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Old 12-30-18, 02:13 PM
  #18910  
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Opinions, advice, thoughts, and rebuttals...

Greetings~ Due to a sick leave, I've found myself with too much time on my hands. Not one to do the "sit and relax" well, I've been contemplating what to do with an English 3 Speed I acquired from a storage barn nearby. She'll be 63 years old this new year ('56 Hercules, #B 1405). I think, the best I can tell, it's a Hercules "New Yorker" marketed to the U.S. market by TI/Raleigh/Hercules/etc. I gave it a light cleaning, quick lube, tire inflate, and everything works well! Considering I paid $60.00 for what you see, I feel it's a bargain if for no other reason than it was the kinda bike my Dad enjoyed.

My question(s); 1). The frame is rubbed(beyond just scratched) in several places down past the primer(which looks like black paint) to the metal due to bad storage and less than adequate moving on the back of pickups. Being type-A, it's difficult for me not to want to strip and repaint. Is this not advisable, or is this not that valuable that it even matters? If not to paint, suggestions on how to "******" rust? 2) Is there a resource for decals? The chain guard shape and graphic is what first attracted my attention. I'd like to ride it on decent days; I see it as a nice boardwalk ride.

Appreciate all thoughts~ Doug







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Old 12-30-18, 02:45 PM
  #18911  
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A very clean and original looking bike.
The saddle alone is worth the purchase price.
As the original paint looks quite good I would
leave as is and consider the wear areas a
natural patina.
I would think your time better spent cleaning, repacking bearings
and replacing cables (Keep the original casings)
Upgrade the brake pads.
Chain looks newish and the tires as well.
Good score.
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Old 12-30-18, 02:51 PM
  #18912  
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Originally Posted by eatontkd View Post
Greetings~ Due to a sick leave, I've found myself with too much time on my hands. Not one to do the "sit and relax" well, I've been contemplating what to do with an English 3 Speed I acquired from a storage barn nearby. She'll be 63 years old this new year ('56 Hercules, #B 1405). I think, the best I can tell, it's a Hercules "New Yorker" marketed to the U.S. market by TI/Raleigh/Hercules/etc. I gave it a light cleaning, quick lube, tire inflate, and everything works well! Considering I paid $60.00 for what you see, I feel it's a bargain if for no other reason than it was the kinda bike my Dad enjoyed.

My question(s); 1). The frame is rubbed(beyond just scratched) in several places down past the primer(which looks like black paint) to the metal due to bad storage and less than adequate moving on the back of pickups. Being type-A, it's difficult for me not to want to strip and repaint. Is this not advisable, or is this not that valuable that it even matters? If not to paint, suggestions on how to "******" rust? 2) Is there a resource for decals? The chain guard shape and graphic is what first attracted my attention. I'd like to ride it on decent days; I see it as a nice boardwalk ride.

Appreciate all thoughts~ Doug







Thatís a great buy. Iím a fan of Birmingham Hercules bikes myself. I have one that has been cleaned and mechanically restored and one in pieces. Most on here tend to lean to leave as is. My one in pieces needs a lot more paint TLC than yours and Iím planning on cleaning it and treating the bare metal. Some do that either with matching nail polish or clear coat. Yours being altogether I would just spot treat it. Iíll probably clear coat mine because too much touch up will make it look like a zebra.
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Old 12-30-18, 05:58 PM
  #18913  
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That's a nice 50s Hercules. Good find. It would have originally had a Her-cu-matic Trigger shifter. This style SA shifter is later than the bike, 64 or so. I see, what looks like Hunt Wilde grips. These were common American aftermarket grips. I don't know, but I'm going to guess that this bike originally had white grips and white cable housings.I would also leave the paint as is. Just a polish and wax.
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Old 12-30-18, 08:52 PM
  #18914  
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Tourists...



Ď71 & Ď74
I had a bunch of Raleighs for sale. KInda had them tucked in for the winter but renewed a cl ad just because.
People did the usual cl thing and most of the sales didnít happen.
Before putting everything away again I took two of the Tourists out for a short toot.
Two surprises...number one being the standover...these things are tall! Too tall, almost too tall for me! I ride between 56cm-60cm!
Number two, these are the Crown Vicís of the bike world! What a great ride!
Dragging these into my shop!
Oh yeah. Number three thing...they are long!
My shop(s) are jacked to begin with!
Iíll have to move +or- 6 road bikes to make this work!



Last edited by billnuke1; 12-30-18 at 08:56 PM. Reason: Adding pics...
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Old 12-31-18, 02:33 AM
  #18915  
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Originally Posted by BigChief View Post
That's a nice 50s Hercules. Good find. It would have originally had a Her-cu-matic Trigger shifter. This style SA shifter is later than the bike, 64 or so. I see, what looks like Hunt Wilde grips. These were common American aftermarket grips. I don't know, but I'm going to guess that this bike originally had white grips and white cable housings.I would also leave the paint as is. Just a polish and wax.
Strip it down to the frame, remove surface rust, rust kill, clearcoat or wax and polish and put everything back with new ball bearings, grease and maybe original cables. Good for another fifty years.
If you want to repaint a frame there are plenty of old bikes that are ten times worse than your old campaigner. Decals for the mass-produced bikes are now very easy to obtain on the web.
The wear mark on the top tube suggests the bike has seen many many miles. Whoever owned it certainly took great care of it.
Finally the color would be near impossible to match with modern paint.
Really nice red bike.
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Old 12-31-18, 07:02 AM
  #18916  
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Originally Posted by billnuke1 View Post


Ď71 & Ď74
I had a bunch of Raleighs for sale. KInda had them tucked in for the winter but renewed a cl ad just because.
People did the usual cl thing and most of the sales didnít happen.
Before putting everything away again I took two of the Tourists out for a short toot.
Two surprises...number one being the standover...these things are tall! Too tall, almost too tall for me! I ride between 56cm-60cm!
Number two, these are the Crown Vicís of the bike world! What a great ride!
Dragging these into my shop!
Oh yeah. Number three thing...they are long!
My shop(s) are jacked to begin with!
Iíll have to move +or- 6 road bikes to make this work!


These bikes are hard to explain. Somehow, even with the weight, they are fun for me to ride. I'll always keep one ready to go for those times I'm in the mood for something different. I do gear them down so my old legs can handle inclines, but rod brakes and all, I have no problem taking in the countryside on my big roadster. Puts a smile on my face every time.
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Old 12-31-18, 08:44 AM
  #18917  
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I was one of the potential buyers doing "the usual cl thing" -- meaning, I think, that I dithered. Sorry, Bill. We probably had a deal for one, but I ran out of time and had to leave town.

Bill would like to do a package deal of a few bikes and some parts. He's a solid, trustable, and knowledgeable guy. When I return to the Cape in spring, if he still has some 3-speeds, I'd like to buy a bike. I wish I got one of his Tourists which isn't not far from being a stunner. You should buy his bikes.

Bill uses the "make me an offer" sales method. On fixed-priced cl purchase ads, I don't think I've ever showed up and not bought. I personally prefer the fixed-price sales or expressed price with an OBO. (If a bike isn't as good as advertised or looked in photos, negotiation seems appropriate.) When I sell, I list a price that I'm pretty firm on. ...just me.

I did buy a '63 Humber yesterday and loved the transaction from first email to waving good-bye in the seller's driveway. Wished I'd saved the ad with craigslist ad saver (Home - Craigslist Ad Saver) but the ad read: "HUMBER - the bicycle architects of England made this quality 3 speed - Rolls good - nice patina - fenders and chain guard are in near perfect shape - good tires - 26 inch - all speeds work - rare to find everything in such great shape. Collector bike or ride it. - had dual baskets in the back. Fair and firm price. $70." Oiled-finish, black frame. A coaster brake is great to have for rainy days. I usually buy them needing more work. I'm thinking I'll re-paint the mudguard white tail, change-out the kickstand, and ride it.
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Old 12-31-18, 09:11 AM
  #18918  
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Originally Posted by gster View Post
Fixies are pure and simple racing bikes. A binary system,
on and off. Pedaling or stopping, nothing in between.
They are not suitable for everyday riding and are
not for novices . They are not forgiving.
They are a fad for the young and reckless, that has, thankfully, mostly passed.
I've said my piece and welcome any
counter arguments.
I like to compare the fixie fad to the 10-speed bike boom of the 1970s. Neither fads were logic-based and both went (or are going on) way too long. I'd think many on this thread would agree that durable, 3-speed, upright bikes are what many to most people should be on.
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Old 12-31-18, 09:14 AM
  #18919  
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Originally Posted by BigChief View Post
These bikes are hard to explain. Somehow, even with the weight, they are fun for me to ride. I'll always keep one ready to go for those times I'm in the mood for something different. I do gear them down so my old legs can handle inclines, but rod brakes and all, I have no problem taking in the countryside on my big roadster. Puts a smile on my face every time.
I've been putting larger cogs (20T/22T) on all of my recent builds.
It makes a big difference
A Quick Story
I went to the parts counter at a local bike shop
and the regular helpful guy wasn't there.
I asked the young man (purple hair/nose rings etc.) for some Sturmey Archer 22T cogs.
He looked at the computer and said they didn't have any....
I suggested we look in the parts drawer directly behind his head
labelled "Sturmey Archer Cogs".
Lo and behold, it was ram jam full.
"That's weird" he said.
I bought four and left.
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Old 12-31-18, 09:27 AM
  #18920  
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Originally Posted by gster View Post
I've been putting larger cogs (20T/22T) on all of my recent builds.
It makes a big difference
A Quick Story
I went to the parts counter at a local bike shop
and the regular helpful guy wasn't there.
I asked the young man (purple hair/nose rings etc.) for some Sturmey Archer 22T cogs.
He looked at the computer and said they didn't have any....
I suggested we look in the parts drawer directly behind his head
labelled "Sturmey Archer Cogs".
Lo and behold, it was ram jam full.
"That's weird" he said.
I bought four and left.
Haha this is funny to me because in portland a kid with purple hair and nose rings is more likley to know about old three speeds than a middle age guy, old is cool up here I suppose.
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Old 12-31-18, 09:44 AM
  #18921  
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Great afternoon.

Originally Posted by RobHalligan View Post
I was one of the potential buyers doing "the usual cl thing" -- meaning, I think, that I dithered. Sorry, Bill. We probably had a deal for one, but I ran out of time and had to leave town.

Bill would like to do a package deal of a few bikes and some parts. He's a solid, trustable, and knowledgeable guy. When I return to the Cape in spring, if he still has some 3-speeds, I'd like to buy a bike. I wish I got one of his Tourists which isn't not far from being a stunner. You should buy his bikes.

Bill uses the "make me an offer" sales method. On fixed-priced cl purchase ads, I don't think I've ever showed up and not bought. I personally prefer the fixed-price sales or expressed price with an OBO. (If a bike isn't as good as advertised or looked in photos, negotiation seems appropriate.) When I sell, I list a price that I'm pretty firm on. ...just me.

I did buy a '63 Humber yesterday and loved the transaction from first email to waving good-bye in the seller's driveway. Wished I'd saved the ad with craigslist ad saver (Home - Craigslist Ad Saver) but the ad read: "HUMBER - the bicycle architects of England made this quality 3 speed - Rolls good - nice patina - fenders and chain guard are in near perfect shape - good tires - 26 inch - all speeds work - rare to find everything in such great shape. Collector bike or ride it. - had dual baskets in the back. Fair and firm price. $70." Oiled-finish, black frame. A coaster brake is great to have for rainy days. I usually buy them needing more work. I'm thinking I'll re-paint the mudguard white tail, change-out the kickstand, and ride it.
Hey Rob,
Definetly wouldíve enjoyed more time to wheel and deal.
I also use these sessions as a learning opportunity.
The rides of those two bikes was night and day!
Both good, just different.
Bigchief, I will keep at least one...or both.
I do ride with people who donít have multiple types of bikes.
Huge departure from whatever they are riding!
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Old 12-31-18, 09:58 AM
  #18922  
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Originally Posted by billnuke1 View Post

Hey Rob,
Definetly would’ve enjoyed more time to wheel and deal.
I also use these sessions as a learning opportunity.
The rides of those two bikes was night and day!
Both good, just different.
Bigchief, I will keep at least one...or both.
I do ride with people who don’t have multiple types of bikes.
Huge departure from whatever they are riding!

I'll take out two ostensibly identical Raleighs and the two will have completely different feels. I've gone to the effort to swap out parts from the one that feels great to the one I really want to feel great but rarely figure out what makes that difference in feel. So, I ride a fairly beat-up 1968 Sports with Kenda tires more often than one of my decked-out Superbes. If you figure that one out, I'd love to know.

Last edited by RobHalligan; 12-31-18 at 03:14 PM. Reason: added a word I feft out.
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Old 12-31-18, 10:24 AM
  #18923  
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1968 Sports
Originally Posted by RobHalligan View Post
I'll take out 2 ostensibly identical Raleighs and the two will have completely different feels. I've gone to the effort to swap out parts from the one that feels great to the one I really want to feel great but rarely figure out what makes that difference in feel. So, I ride a fairly beat-up 1968 Sports with Kenda more often than one of my decked-out Superbes. If you figure that one out, I'd love to know.
Well, I should take some of that back. Looking at that Sports, it's not looking bad at all (from about 10 feet). Maybe I should replace that rock hard saddle and rig up some Dynohub lights. Falling for something (or someone) you didn't expect to is a good thing.

Last edited by RobHalligan; 12-31-18 at 12:44 PM. Reason: added
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Old 12-31-18, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by RobHalligan View Post


1968 Sports


Well, I should take some of that back. Looking at that Sports, it's not looking bad at all (from about 10 feet). Maybe I should replace that rock hard saddle and rig up some Dynohub lights. Falling for something (or someone) you didn't expect to is a good thing.
What a beautiful roadster. To me, all the bumps and scratches from so many years of riding just add to it's dignity and charm. Back in the 50s, these light roadsters came with coil sprung B66 saddles. I've always preferred them to B 17s for upright riding. Don't know why Raleigh changed them.
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Old 12-31-18, 03:10 PM
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Trying to figure Raleigh's logic can be frustrating or futile. In the case you ponder, I think the B72s weigh and cost less without losing much comfort. I've been tempted to fit a B17 but don't think I've ever ridden one on an upright. Thanks for complimenting the bike.
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