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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 02-06-19, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by paulb_in_bkln
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.

Old Raleighs have started finding me too like the needy animals in Dr. Doolittle. There is an early '70s coffee brown 21" model tied to a bike post downtown looking very abandoned, but it is too public a spot to ahem...liberate it.

There is another in the student district chained to a fence having been left to rot some time ago judging by its condition. It is a late '60s green model, 23". I want the 23" for the fun of it, but I lack storage space. It is a shame to see these old fellows rusting. An acquaintance may have a line on an early '50s Raleigh bought new by his father, so I'm holding out for that as a parts source for my own 1950 Raleigh.
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Old 02-06-19, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Ged117
It is a late '60s green model, 23".
Crazy. I've got a line on one of those too, also derelict, but the frame is locked at Bkln's commuter rail terminal and security cameras and 24/7 police presence. I'd settle for the rear wheel, but even that could get me in trouble. Today the police ticketed a rider for not wearing a helmet and, wait for it.... There's nothing on the books here about it being illegal to ride without a helmet.
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Old 02-06-19, 11:36 PM
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The flying goat has been lots of fun so far. It's been my primary commuter for a few weeks. I am loving the 4 speed. I am a little worried about one thing though. Gears 2-4 are grand but in gear 1, which I can miraculously stay in now, it feels... rough. I'm not sure how else to describe it. It's not very rough, it just feels... less smooth. That is in comparison to the beautiful butter and velvet quality of gears 2-4 gear 1 feels more like an average cassete.
is this normal?
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Old 02-07-19, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Buellster
The flying goat has been lots of fun so far. It's been my primary commuter for a few weeks. I am loving the 4 speed. I am a little worried about one thing though. Gears 2-4 are grand but in gear 1, which I can miraculously stay in now, it feels... rough. I'm not sure how else to describe it. It's not very rough, it just feels... less smooth. That is in comparison to the beautiful butter and velvet quality of gears 2-4 gear 1 feels more like an average cassete.
is this normal?
Often the culprit is the cable. An old cable may look fine but could have minor kinks/rough spots inside the housing that bind/stick etc.
My current project ('53 BSA w/ '64 hub) was not shifting properly. I thought the problem was the trigger.. it wasn't.
A new cable is a well worth the minimal cost ($8.00-$12.00) and time to install before pulling a hub apart..
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Old 02-07-19, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by gster
Often the culprit is the cable. An old cable may look fine but could have minor kinks/rough spots inside the housing that bind/stick etc.
My current project ('53 BSA w/ '64 hub) was not shifting properly. I thought the problem was the trigger.. it wasn't.
A new cable is a well worth the minimal cost ($8.00-$12.00) and time to install before pulling a hub apart..
I have also found broken strands on inner cables causing problems.Depending on how important originality is to the project, reusing the cable casing and replacing the inner cable without a modern pinch bolt adapter is easy to do with very little extra cost or effort.
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Old 02-07-19, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by gster
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)
I'm sure you could. It's best to ride very defensively and I leave a lot of margin for error by not riding aggressively, also developing some good habits helps, like never riding up alongside a big truck at an intersection, particularly the passenger side. All in all, however, I think it's less dangerous than riding in a lot of NYC's suburbs, where because of the pattern of development very often the only route from A to B is a busy arterial with traffic moving fast, minimal shoulders, and cars constantly turning off into parking areas, and not to mention resentful drivers who despise anyone on a bike. We have had some ghastly accidents. Still, the reward of riding in a big busy city is so great. I almost can't put it into words; maybe someone else can do better than I can. (I was riding the Rudge for both of these snapshots so I feel I'm not too far off topic.)

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Old 02-07-19, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Buellster
The flying goat has been lots of fun so far. It's been my primary commuter for a few weeks. I am loving the 4 speed. I am a little worried about one thing though. Gears 2-4 are grand but in gear 1, which I can miraculously stay in now, it feels... rough. I'm not sure how else to describe it. It's not very rough, it just feels... less smooth. That is in comparison to the beautiful butter and velvet quality of gears 2-4 gear 1 feels more like an average cassete.
is this normal?
Is this an FW hub? I can't remember from old posts is any particular vintage 4-speed preferable?
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Old 02-07-19, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by paulb_in_bkln
Is this an FW hub? I can't remember from old posts is any particular vintage 4-speed preferable?
It is an FW I believe. Which if I remember right is the preferable of the two. The AW had a lot of finicky issue, more so than the FW. I may have that backwards but I sprung for this one because it was the better of the two options.


Originally Posted by BigChief
I have also found broken strands on inner cables causing problems.Depending on how important originality is to the project, reusing the cable casing and replacing the inner cable without a modern pinch bolt adapter is easy to do with very little extra cost or effort.
.
Originally Posted by gster
Often the culprit is the cable. An old cable may look fine but could have minor kinks/rough spots inside the housing that bind/stick etc.
My current project ('53 BSA w/ '64 hub) was not shifting properly. I thought the problem was the trigger.. it wasn't.
A new cable is a well worth the minimal cost ($8.00-$12.00) and time to install before pulling a hub apart..
Thanks guys I'll check it out! It was a new cable, but the process of getting this working, two different triggers, one that I rebuilt, another i didnt. Means it's been pulled in and out about 4 or 5 times and definitely has some rough spots. I told myself "if it works I'll get a new cable" but was so unsure 1st gear would hold I didnt want to go out and buy a new cable just yet.
It did hold and it worked so well in everything but 1st I got to thinking that lowest gear must just be so much strain on the hub that it feels a little less buttery.
It just struck me because it wasnt so much a shifting issue. It goes into first fine, albeit with less of a "click" feeling. It locks in and on the steepest of hills stays in. It just feels different. At first I chalked it up to all the extra pressure it and I were exerting going up a steep hill, all that heavy pedaling and that tight cable. But I noticed that heavy pedaling In gears 2-4 doesnt have quite the same feel. In those gears if I say go from a dead stop in 4 and pump down on the pedals, it feels rougher but not the same feel as in 1. Its hard to explain, it just feels different. I fear I'm damaging some internal component and the recent image on this thread of smashed gears made me want to ask some questions haha

Last edited by Buellster; 02-07-19 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 02-07-19, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by gster
Often the culprit is the cable. An old cable may look fine but could have minor kinks/rough spots inside the housing that bind/stick etc.
My current project ('53 BSA w/ '64 hub) was not shifting properly. I thought the problem was the trigger.. it wasn't.
A new cable is a well worth the minimal cost ($8.00-$12.00) and time to install before pulling a hub apart..
I got the impression the roughness is in the pedaling, not the shifting. I could have read it wrong, though.
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Old 02-07-19, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by paulb_in_bkln
I got the impression the roughness is in the pedaling, not the shifting. I could have read it wrong, though.
This is what I thought as well. I'm sure the cable can affect shifting, and staying in gear, but would be really surprised to find it would make it feel rough while actually in gear?
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Old 02-07-19, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by paulb_in_bkln
I got the impression the roughness is in the pedaling, not the shifting. I could have read it wrong, though.
Originally Posted by Ballenxj
This is what I thought as well. I'm sure the cable can affect shifting, and staying in gear, but would be really surprised to find it would make it feel rough while actually in gear?
you guys are correct. It is during the pedaling. I just figured the cable is still worth replacing as suggested since I know it's in rough shape.
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Old 02-07-19, 11:22 AM
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steering head bearings

Sorry about the poor pic, but you will get the idea. Steering on my new to me 1964 was a bit stiff, so I did a bearing lube. Perhaps 6 bearings on the bottom of the head were just a bit less than perfect. Time to replace I guess. Worth a good laugh at least. Top bearings fine. I guess the bottom ones take most of the load. 55 year old bike, so I guess it was needed.
nice bearings
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Old 02-07-19, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Buellster
The flying goat has been lots of fun so far. It's been my primary commuter for a few weeks. I am loving the 4 speed. I am a little worried about one thing though. Gears 2-4 are grand but in gear 1, which I can miraculously stay in now, it feels... rough. I'm not sure how else to describe it. It's not very rough, it just feels... less smooth. That is in comparison to the beautiful butter and velvet quality of gears 2-4 gear 1 feels more like an average cassete.
is this normal?
No. Check that the bearings aren't too tight and that you have proper lube in it. It should be just as smooth in low as any other gear.
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Old 02-07-19, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by sd5782
Sorry about the poor pic, but you will get the idea. Steering on my new to me 1964 was a bit stiff, so I did a bearing lube. Perhaps 6 bearings on the bottom of the head were just a bit less than perfect. Time to replace I guess. Worth a good laugh at least. Top bearings fine. I guess the bottom ones take most of the load. 55 year old bike, so I guess it was needed.
nice bearings
Yikes. Check the lower head race. That's the one that takes the most stress. With bearings like this, I'd be surprised if it isn't messed up.
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Old 02-07-19, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by sd5782
Sorry about the poor pic, but you will get the idea. Steering on my new to me 1964 was a bit stiff, so I did a bearing lube. Perhaps 6 bearings on the bottom of the head were just a bit less than perfect. Time to replace I guess. Worth a good laugh at least. Top bearings fine. I guess the bottom ones take most of the load. 55 year old bike, so I guess it was needed.
nice bearings
I don't see that the ones on top taking any weight at all.
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Old 02-07-19, 01:01 PM
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Yes indeed

Originally Posted by BigChief
Yikes. Check the lower head race. That's the one that takes the most stress. With bearings like this, I'd be surprised if it isn't messed up.

I checked the lower race. It had a few pits and was not perfect by any means, but nothing really atrocious. One can feel the imperfections while turning bars (not fully assembled yet), but it is going to be good enough for now. It is night and day better than how it was; surprise, surprise. Actually riding it with the messed up bearings as I got it didn't really translate into much of a poor feel while underway. I was a bit surprised actually and think that the slight imperfections now will be just fine. Now if it was wheel bearings or crank bearings, that would be a different story.
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Old 02-07-19, 02:34 PM
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The AW had a lot of finicky issue, more so than the FW. I may have that backwards but I sprung for this one because it was the better of the two options.


It was the FM that was finicky. The AW is the stalwart in the Sturmey lineup.


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Old 02-07-19, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman
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.
Have no idea how it's fastened. But I will soon. I made a deal with the owner and sometime in the next few weeks will make the 100km or so trip to pick it up. Spent more than any of my other old treasures so I hope it turns out well after a refurbishment.
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Old 02-07-19, 04:00 PM
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The FW seems to hold up well but you can't have the bearing races loose like you do with an AW.

The FM OTOH has a disconcerting way of blowing out of its hub shell if made of alloy.
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Old 02-07-19, 08:11 PM
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This from the website of Colwood Wheel Works: "The FW started in 1946 and was more suited to the commuter cyclist. It has compound planet pinions and two sun pinions which allow the drive to be run as a single simple gear train or a single compound gear train."

Probably this has been discussed before in this thread, but, why suited (that implied "just") to the commuter cyclist?
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Old 02-07-19, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by paulb_in_bkln

Probably this has been discussed before in this thread, but, why suited (that implied "just") to the commuter cyclist?
I'd think for the simple fact it had more gears in a wide range. SA hubs slowly (quickly?) became less competitive after the popular pre war races like the Land's End to John 'o Groats. They were marketed as touring and commuting hubs after the war and derailleurs became the new must-have race technology.
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Old 02-07-19, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman
I'd think for the simple fact it had more gears in a wide range. SA hubs slowly (quickly?) became less competitive after the popular pre war races like the Land's End to John 'o Groats. They were marketed as touring and commuting hubs after the war and derailleurs became the new must-have race technology.
If I could wave a magic wand at my AW hubs I would leave the 1st to 2nd jump as is but bring the 2nd to 3rd jump down somewhat. (I would have a very powerful magic wand.) Does the FW fill in that wide gap between the AW's positions 2 and 3?
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Old 02-07-19, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by paulb_in_bkln
If I could wave a magic wand at my AW hubs I would leave the 1st to 2nd jump as is but bring the 2nd to 3rd jump down somewhat. (I would have a very powerful magic wand.) Does the FW fill in that wide gap between the AW's positions 2 and 3?
What you need is a S5 hub. With the left bell crank disengaged, you have a medium range 3 speed that shifts as smoothly as any AW. When you engage the bell crank, You get a super wide range 3 speed. 2nd stays the same but you get a low granny and a super tall overdrive.
S5 in medium range Low -21% normal 0 high +26.6% In wide range mode...low -33% normal 0 High +50%
The AW is Low -25% normal 0 High +33%
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Old 02-08-19, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by clubman
I'd think for the simple fact it had more gears in a wide range. SA hubs slowly (quickly?) became less competitive after the popular pre war races like the Land's End to John 'o Groats. They were marketed as touring and commuting hubs after the war and derailleurs became the new must-have race technology.
Despite our affection for these hubs, they can slip out of gear on occasion, especially under pressure.
I imagine over time that the cable can stretch. This is fine when you're just riding along (commuting).I often have to pull over for a minor adjustment at the indicator chain, even on a bike that's been shifting fine.
Under racing conditions, this slip could prove disastrous if you were off the seat and "standing" on the pedals.
Ouch!

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Old 02-08-19, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by paulb_in_bkln
If I could wave a magic wand at my AW hubs I would leave the 1st to 2nd jump as is but bring the 2nd to 3rd jump down somewhat. (I would have a very powerful magic wand.) Does the FW fill in that wide gap between the AW's positions 2 and 3?
Have a look here. There's a slight reduction between the first two hops and then an even taller 4th gear. Some 5 speeds were the same pattern with an even taller 5th added on.
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