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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 02-03-19, 03:53 PM
  #19126  
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Originally Posted by PeterLYoung
I have now stripped this bicycle to last nut & bolt (except wheels). I checked the Philips Catalogue in Veteran Cycle Club's Library for 1957 and established the bike is a P2 Ladies Sports Light Roadster (The Mens version was a P1) On inspection I have found there is a problem with the SW 3 Speed which is missing the 'telltale' and needs to be dismantled to clean and inspect anyway so I will know more once it is apart. I have obtained two further 1957 SW Hubs, one in apparent good condition and one not so but can be raided for spare parts, I also found a NOS Telltale and gear change spindle on eBay which is on its way currently (I was amazed to find this).

I cannot believe how little the bike has suffered considering its age, the paintwork has only minor damage typical on a bike used for a few years only. It must have been stored in a very dry place. for example, the inside on the mudguards had a small amount of dirt which when wiped off revealed the paint full intact, I removed the Chrome Nose from the front mudguard to de rust the inside. Everything dismantled easily and a couple of days soaking in white vinegar has cleaned all the chrome and removed any rust.

The headstock, pedals and bottom bracket bearings were completely dried out with the remains of the grease falling out as dust, fortunately it has not been ridden in this condition as the bearing surfaces are all good and will be re-used with new balls.

The brake cables are beyond redemption however and replacements are unobtainable in my searches so far here in USA but in February I return to the UK and I expect my local bike shop there will be able to find some with correct nipples. I have already found a NOS 3 Speed cable and replacement Sturmey Archer gear changer as the one on the bike has been badly bent & damaged from leaning against a wall as illustrated in recent discussion above.

I have compounded the frame and the paint which was flat and dull has come up well and nows has a shine, I was careful not to damage the transfers so those areas are not a shiny as areas that had none but I am happy with how it looks. I plan to clear lacquer the painted parts which should improve its looks and protect the paint and transfers. I will also inject the frame with 'J. P. Weigles - Bicycle Frame Saver' as the climate here in North Carolina is very humid and it will prevent internal corrosion of the frame.

The wheels I have not touched yet but they only have minor pitting of the chrome rims and hubs are in nice condition. I will deal with them when I come back to USA in May/June



.
An update on progress with the Philips. I completely polished the frame taking care around the transfers then touched up some of the worst blemishes and gave it a couple of coats of clear lacquer. One error I made was to lightly mask the most fragile transfers, big mistake as I lost a small amount when removing the masking tape. Overall the main frame has turned out well and I have injected all tubes with 'frame saver' just in case though I could see very little corrosion in sections I could inspect. When it came to the forks they needed a lot more paint. I managed to mask up the lining and fill in the areas of damage but when I applied the lacquer it did not agree with the paint so I had to strip of all I had applied down to the original enamel but in doing so lost what had remained of the line work. I finished up respraying the forks and they currently await clear coat which I will do when I get back to USA in May/June.



Basic frame after treatment.
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Old 02-03-19, 04:39 PM
  #19127  
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Originally Posted by PeterLYoung
An update on progress with the Philips. I completely polished the frame taking care around the transfers then touched up some of the worst blemishes and gave it a couple of coats of clear lacquer. One error I made was to lightly mask the most fragile transfers, big mistake as I lost a small amount when removing the masking tape. Overall the main frame has turned out well and I have injected all tubes with 'frame saver' just in case though I could see very little corrosion in sections I could inspect. When it came to the forks they needed a lot more paint. I managed to mask up the lining and fill in the areas of damage but when I applied the lacquer it did not agree with the paint so I had to strip of all I had applied down to the original enamel but in doing so lost what had remained of the line work. I finished up respraying the forks and they currently await clear coat which I will do when I get back to USA in May/June.



Basic frame after treatment.
Looking good! Now you have a perfectly good reason to buy a fun new tool. This has been on my wish list far too long waiting for a need to come along. I'm almost at the point of buying one anyway. Besides, I need to practice before I can use it on a real project. How's that for inventive rationalization?
https://www.beugler.com/
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Old 02-03-19, 04:55 PM
  #19128  
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Originally Posted by BigChief
Looking good! Now you have a perfectly good reason to buy a fun new tool. This has been on my wish list far too long waiting for a need to come along. I'm almost at the point of buying one anyway. Besides, I need to practice before I can use it on a real project. How's that for inventive rationalization?
https://www.beugler.com/
Had a look at the website, very interesting and very tempting, yes I am a tool freak, need no encouragement. My wife just rolls her eyes!!!! The guy makes it look so easy, I am sure it is a learned skill needing plenty of practice especially on a tapering & curved tube such as a bike fork. Something to think about though, might go for it!!!. If you get one be sure to post how you get on.
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Old 02-04-19, 06:03 AM
  #19129  
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Originally Posted by paulb_in_bkln
The bike is safe but the damage is conspicuous and not cover-up-able. I have thought of what you said, but the Trek has been useful to me as a derailleur bike. Plus, ahead of it project-wise is the cotterless cranking and AW-ing a salvaged mid-70s Peugeot mixte that while the finish is awful is straight and undinged. I finally got back my built 700c wheels (CR18s) after a long wait (two years almost!) and unfortunately some harsh words. I have not been able to locate a cotterless spindle that fits the old French BB, so will probably wind up shelling out for the Velo Orange BB, once I figure out the spindle length I need. I am so much better at making plans than at carrying them out.
Still semi on topic - I also have an early 70s Peugeot - which I owned since 1973 and back then converted to cotterless. You can continue to use the cups that are on the bike and I think the spindle is a "SSS" or "3S" (not sure if that's size). Anyway, it was not hard to source a spindle at the LBS - take the cottered one with you and find a cotterless spindle with same basic specs. As to OT - the IGH on 700C wheels was on this bike before the Trek.
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Old 02-04-19, 11:32 AM
  #19130  
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Originally Posted by Chr0m0ly
I'm interested in finding something like these bikes, for utility use, foul weather, errands, pub ride, etc. But from what I can tell they are mostly hi-tension steel, and not butted?
Are there any three (or four or five speeds) with higher end frames? Butted Mangy-molly would be fine, I know these are utility cycles, but something a touch lighter would've nice!

Barring that, I'm conciderering IGH-ifying a nicer frame, and If I go that route what sort of geometry would work best? I have an '84 Trek 520 I think would work well in this role, I would think a mid-level touring frame would be a good choice, am I wrong? Are there better choices?

Thanks!
One thing about that makes these bikes so charming is the ride. That does not come from any one thing; wheel size, tires, frame geometry and materials all play a role. I've played with a lot of high end frames and its a bit of a trick to find one that has the same charm- most are too harsh. If you are planning 700c I would not do anything less than 28mm (33 would be better and likely faster too) and I would run wider rims; both will help with ride quality. The thing about the 650A tire size that most British 3-speeds use is its extremely well adapted to a variety of surfaces (as anyone on the Lake Pepin 3-speed tour can tell you)- not too slow on pavement and relatively sure-footed on gravel (its arguable that the rod-brake machines were the first mountain bikes...). The frame geometries are relaxed where most 531DB frames tend to be designed to be faster handling (although IME three speed geometries handle plenty fast); in their efforts to make lighter frames handle faster, most of what is happened is ride quality suffered unless the frame builder really knew what he was doing.

So while you can make a more high end bike look the part quite often what occurs is a bike that lacks the ride quality- and as a result tends to spend more time in the garage. One frame that might do the trick is the Schwinn Sports Tourer or Super Sport; both have a more relaxed geometry and have a celebrated ride quality, but those frames aren't exactly lightweight They also rode on 27"x 1 1/4" tires.

I have a number of high end bikes, even a custom built frame made of Reynold 953 stainless, but the bike I ride most often is my stupid 1972 Raleigh Superbe- it goes to work, the grocery store, the bank and so on. It has fenders, lights so a ride home at night is no worries, a rack which with a single pannier made it really handy and a locking fork so I usually don't carry a bike lock. I ride it more than any other bike simply because its a great commuter. But I've taken it on the Lake Pepin 3-speed tour and other rides and its totally been up for it. Its not a light bike bit its really ride-able and if the apocalypse came that would probably be my goto.
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Old 02-04-19, 02:02 PM
  #19131  
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A fellow bike guy called this morning to see if I was still interested in a bike he has had for 22years or so. It is a Belgium Royal Nord President believed to be circa 1967. I looked at a couple of years ago and took a couple of poor phone shots. At that time he didn't want to part with it, but now has changed his mind. We will have to get to a lower price but I think I want the bike. The green/marble paintjob and the chainguard are fascinating . Now to the English part. Brampton Speedy Switch and hub? Are these similar to the Sturmey Archer?
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Old 02-04-19, 03:11 PM
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^^ Yes. Some of the parts are interchangeable.
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Old 02-04-19, 05:10 PM
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Tearing into it now

Originally Posted by Slowride79
Cotter pin press
New Crank Cotter Press

you will also needpark tool hcw-5 for bb lock ring and hcw-11 for cups. Amazon for those. Fixed cups are a bear but you can leave in or get the bikesmith tool for that too.

As mentioned this is really the first thing along with all other bearings that should be cleaned /replaced /repacked with new wheel bearing grease. 9 times out of 10 they've never been serviced . It will transform the bike from a creaking and clunking contraption to smooth running machine!
Well, thanks to you enablers, I am tearing into the 1964 Huffeigh Sportsman now. Got the cotters out with a modified chain breaker, and even got the crank out. Rust and crud inside. Good call I think on disassembly. I want to start with some grease, and in later years oil down the seat tube. After seeing the axle, it would seem that for oil to get to the bearings, one would be advised to put the bike on its side and work pedals, and then the other side. I think I may get the park tool HCW-11 so as not to have to use a punch and hammer again.

Yes, one pedal was quite stiff so that is apart now. Maybe take the steering head bearings out tomorrow. Can the rear hub bearings be serviced without taking the 3-speed mechanism apart? A bit challenging working on a 50+ year old bike, but a good winter project.
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Old 02-04-19, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by browngw
Cool 5 pin crank. Is that ring bolt on or riveted? See if you can find a makers mark on it somewhere.

The chainguard is super 60's cool as well.
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Old 02-04-19, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by sd5782
Well, thanks to you enablers, I am tearing into the 1964 Huffeigh Sportsman now. Got the cotters out with a modified chain breaker, and even got the crank out. Rust and crud inside. Good call I think on disassembly. I want to start with some grease, and in later years oil down the seat tube. After seeing the axle, it would seem that for oil to get to the bearings, one would be advised to put the bike on its side and work pedals, and then the other side. I think I may get the park tool HCW-11 so as not to have to use a punch and hammer again.

Yes, one pedal was quite stiff so that is apart now. Maybe take the steering head bearings out tomorrow. Can the rear hub bearings be serviced without taking the 3-speed mechanism apart? A bit challenging working on a 50+ year old bike, but a good winter project.
Glad the cotters came out well. Being able to reuse them saves time and money. You are right about laying the bike on it's side to get oil into the bearings. You are also right about a proper servicing being much better. I never remove the fixed cup for regular servicing. I just reach in there with a chopstick and rag soaked in paint thinner. Grease will hold the new bearings on the spindle as you thread it through again when reassembling. Yes, if the AW hub is working properly, you can get by with squirting a bit of oil into it. Oil tends to spread around inside nicely. Just don't use anything too heavy. Regular motor oil will do, but servicing it isn't hard to do and can be a fun winter evening project. Beats watching TV. Here's a good video of a rebuild.


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Old 02-05-19, 07:22 AM
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Thanks Big chief. On the rear hub, does oil squirted into the hub migrate to the axle bearings? The video doesn't seem to show any greasing of axle bearings. 1964 AW is the hub, and it spins freely and adjustment seems spot on also.. Thanks
Steve
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Old 02-05-19, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by sd5782
Thanks Big chief. On the rear hub, does oil squirted into the hub migrate to the axle bearings? The video doesn't seem to show any greasing of axle bearings. 1964 AW is the hub, and it spins freely and adjustment seems spot on also.. Thanks
Steve
The oil does seem to migrate everywhere in these hubs and it doesn't take much. Still, it's good to tear down a hub that's been sitting around for 50 years and clean it up. RJ does pack the bearings with marine grease in the video. I use marine grease too. It's claimed it has some sort of additive that fights moisture. I can't say how well it works, but I take them at their word. Moisture is your enemy, hopefully it helps. But, yes, just adding some oil will protect the hub and you could put off a full service without worrying about it. You don't want to run it dry.
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Old 02-05-19, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by sd5782
Can the rear hub bearings be serviced without taking the 3-speed mechanism apart? A bit challenging working on a 50+ year old bike, but a good winter project.
The SA AW hub is a very durable design.

If I have one that is stiff and won't shift, I spray WD40 into the oil port for about 5 seconds. Then I spin the wheel a bit with the cranks and try to shift it- some WD-40 will leak out. If weather permits, I take the bike for a spin around the block and see if the gears start shifting. They usually do. Regardless, I put the bike back on the stand, rotate the oil port down, and flush it out with the WD40. Then I let it drain. I then rotate the wheel so the oil port is up, and install about a tablespoon of automatic transmission fluid (Dextron). Then I take the bike for another spin- this time for about a mile. At this point it should be working quite nicely (if the bearings are not over-tightened). On return home, I put the bike on the stand, rotate the oil port down, and flush it one more time with the WD40. Then I install the regular oil.

The hub bearing should have a tiny bit of play- they should not be snugged down. If you have the hub set up right, it won't leak a whole lot and the wheel will spin as freely as any good quality hub (like Campagnolo).

Last edited by Salubrious; 02-05-19 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 02-05-19, 12:29 PM
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Shifts and spins fine now

Originally Posted by Salubrious
The SA AW hub is a very durable design.

If I have one that is stiff and won't shift, I spray WD40 into the oil port for about 5 seconds. Then I spin the wheel a bit with the cranks and try to shift it- some WD-40 will leak out. If weather permits, I take the bike for a spin around the block and see if the gears start shifting. They usually do. Regardless, I put the bike back on the stand, rotate the oil port down, and flush it out with the WD40. Then I let it drain. I then rotate the wheel so the oil port is up, and install about a tablespoon of automatic transmission fluid (Dextron). Then I take the bike for another spin- this time for about a mile. At this point it should be working quite nicely (if the bearings are not over-tightened). On return home, I put the bike on the stand, rotate the oil port down, and flush it one more time with the WD40. Then I install the regular oil.

The hub bearing should have a tiny bit of play- they should not be snugged down. If you have the hub set up right, it won't leak a whole lot and the wheel will spin as freely as any good quality hub (like Campagnolo).
It operates just fine now. Bike was purchased last year and I fought shifting a bit until I got rid of the twist grip shifter. I added a liberal amount of oil. Perhaps a dozen rides last year, and it seems fine. Rear hub bearings and shifting seemed fine before winter set in. Perhaps in the warmer future I may tackle the hub. I am just happy now to have done crank bearings. Head bearings, pedals, front wheel, and tires/tubes next. Need brake pads, and the front wheel has a bit of wobble too. Oh what fun.

As an aside, the British seem to like to do things differently.
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Old 02-05-19, 12:55 PM
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What is normal OLD on a SA three speed hub?
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Old 02-05-19, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by trainman999
What is normal OLD on a SA three speed hub?
There were two axle lengths, actually: 5 3/4" and 6 1/4" for 115mm OLD and 120mm OLD. More on that here from Sheldon Brown.
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Old 02-05-19, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
There were two axle lengths, actually: 5 3/4" and 6 1/4" for 115mm OLD and 120mm OLD. More on that here from Sheldon Brown.
I believe the longer axles were for bikes with wire mudguard stays that were mounted to the axle like the DL-1.
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Old 02-05-19, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Salubrious
The SA AW hub is a very durable design.

If I have one that is stiff and won't shift, I spray WD40 into the oil port for about 5 seconds. Then I spin the wheel a bit with the cranks and try to shift it- some WD-40 will leak out. If weather permits, I take the bike for a spin around the block and see if the gears start shifting. They usually do. Regardless, I put the bike back on the stand, rotate the oil port down, and flush it out with the WD40. Then I let it drain. I then rotate the wheel so the oil port is up, and install about a tablespoon of automatic transmission fluid (Dextron). Then I take the bike for another spin- this time for about a mile. At this point it should be working quite nicely (if the bearings are not over-tightened). On return home, I put the bike on the stand, rotate the oil port down, and flush it one more time with the WD40. Then I install the regular oil.

The hub bearing should have a tiny bit of play- they should not be snugged down. If you have the hub set up right, it won't leak a whole lot and the wheel will spin as freely as any good quality hub (like Campagnolo).
I like the old AW hubs because even though they're clever and somewhat intricate, any moron (me) can rebuild one successfully and once done the hub works like new. I don't know much about rifles but I read somewhere the original Kalashnikov was designed to have very loose tolerances so it would function dependably despite rough treatment and little cleaning. That seems like a pretty good description of the AW hub, whether or not that's what SA intended.

And on the subject, on the way home tonight I found another derelict, rusting three-speed, a blue ladies Sports, tires flat, cables torn away, indicator missing, AND UNLOCKED. I walked away with it. Probably not much is salvageable except the hub, but that's what I want. I locked the bike up in order to collect it tomorrow, so I'm not sure, but it's a later model and I think it's got the 36 spoke rear wheel.
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Old 02-05-19, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Salubrious
The SA AW hub is a very durable design.

If I have one that is stiff and won't shift, I spray WD40 into the oil port for about 5 seconds. Then I spin the wheel a bit with the cranks and try to shift it- some WD-40 will leak out. If weather permits, I take the bike for a spin around the block and see if the gears start shifting. They usually do. Regardless, I put the bike back on the stand, rotate the oil port down, and flush it out with the WD40. Then I let it drain. I then rotate the wheel so the oil port is up, and install about a tablespoon of automatic transmission fluid (Dextron). Then I take the bike for another spin- this time for about a mile. At this point it should be working quite nicely (if the bearings are not over-tightened). On return home, I put the bike on the stand, rotate the oil port down, and flush it one more time with the WD40. Then I install the regular oil.

The hub bearing should have a tiny bit of play- they should not be snugged down. If you have the hub set up right, it won't leak a whole lot and the wheel will spin as freely as any good quality hub (like Campagnolo).
Everyone has their own method for flushing out the hubs...
Here's mine:
I place the wheel flat over a big pot with the non drive side race removed.
Then, I slowly pour a quart of solvent (varsol/paint thinner, doesn't matter) down
the hub, rotating the cog/swishing it around etc.
A lot of gunk will drain out.
I then follow up by pouring 2 pots
of boiling water through the hub (more gunk)
More spinning etc.
I let it dry out for a day and the add oil.
re assemble/ re install and ride using all the gears to
give all the parts a good oil film.
Rarely does a hub have an internal problem.
Also, while the wheel is off it gets a good cleaning with
a toothbrush and solvent.
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Old 02-05-19, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by gster
I've using these tires on my bikes and I quite like them.
Good price @ $18.00/tire
Nice tread pattern
Good ride
No flats (yet)
All black w/small logo
The REAL problem these days is inner tubes that slowly (sometimes quickly) leak air.
I've got original Dunlop tubes from the 50's that are tighter than the new ones.
My "getting away with something" ended this morning when the front Kenda went flat on the way to work. Shoulda kept my mouth shut.
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Old 02-05-19, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by paulb_in_bkln
My "getting away with something" ended this morning when the front Kenda went flat on the way to work. Shoulda kept my mouth shut.
I was in New York City last w/e.
I'm not sure I could ride a bike there.....
and I live in Toronto (also a busy city)
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Old 02-05-19, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by paulb_in_bkln
My "getting away with something" ended this morning when the front Kenda went flat on the way to work. Shoulda kept my mouth shut.
I see that Continental City Rides have come down to 20 dollars in some places now. At that price, I think I'll spring for a pair. I've had the Tour Rides on my DL-1 for over a year now. Very pleased with them.
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Old 02-05-19, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
I see that Continental City Rides have come down to 20 dollars in some places now. At that price, I think I'll spring for a pair. I've had the Tour Rides on my DL-1 for over a year now. Very pleased with them.
Good tip, Big Chief. Thanks.
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Old 02-05-19, 08:12 PM
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I just measured the chainline on an old AW hub at 39 mm. Does this sound right?
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Old 02-06-19, 11:11 AM
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To recap, riding homeward from work yesterday what did I spy but yet another abandoned, rusty ladies' Sports. Verily these things get no respect. But wait! This one is... it can't be... can it? It's unlocked! I looked around to see if I was on Candid Camera. But no sign of The Man. Although I was riding my foldcycle, a fortunate coincidence had me carrying my U-lock. I rolled the Raleigh a few blocks before giving up the idea of getting two bikes on the subway at rush hour. So I locked it up and fetched it this morning. I was just planning on getting another hub to rebuild but after an inspection, pumping the tires, and a liberal spritz with Blaster spray, I think this entire bike might be recoverable. Crazy.
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