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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 02-22-19, 11:30 AM
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Oil Filler on the Bottom Bracket:

My 1952 Raleigh has the oil filler on the bottom bracket that consisted of a spring holding a ball in place.

When I disassembled the bottom bracket, there was just a spring hanging down through the hole. I pulled it out with a pair of needle nose pliers. Somehow, the bearing seemed to be nowhere to be found.

I will, most likely, simply grease the bearings as usual, and I know I can just put a dab of silicone in the hole to keep the water out, but does anyone know if that type of filler is threaded in there, so I could unscrew it and screw in a functional replacement, just to have it as it should be, even if I do go with grease?

I was also curious, for those who go with oiling the bearings - what do you do when you rebuild them? Do you use grease to start with, to hold the bearings in place while reassembling? Do you give them an initial dousing of oil instead of grease, and chase them around like herding cats to get everything back together?

My front hub is also fitted with an oil port, and I'm wondering the same thing there.

I kind of like the idea of giving them a little squirt of oil once a week. It looks like there are various opinions on the use of oil on various threads on BF, that boil down to a) use oil, it washes gunk away and b) use grease, it works well and you don't have to worry about oiling it regularly.

Last edited by carfreefamily; 02-22-19 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 02-22-19, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by carfreefamily
Oil Filler on the Bottom Bracket:

My 1952 Raleigh has the oil filler on the bottom bracket that consisted of a spring holding a ball in place.

When I disassembled the bottom bracket, there was just a spring hanging down through the hole. I pulled it out with a pair of needle nose pliers. Somehow, the bearing seemed to be nowhere to be found.

I will, most likely, simply grease the bearings as usual, and I know I can just put a dab of silicone in the hole to keep the water out, but does anyone know if that type of filler is threaded in there, so I could unscrew it and screw in a functional replacement, just to have it as it should be, even if I do go with grease?

I was also curious, for those who go with oiling the bearings - what do you do when you rebuild them? Do you use grease to start with, to hold the bearings in place while reassembling? Do you give them an initial dousing of oil instead of grease, and chase them around like herding cats to get everything back together?

My front hub is also fitted with an oil port, and I'm wondering the same thing there.

I kind of like the idea of giving them a little squirt of oil once a week. It looks like there are various opinions on the use of oil on various threads on BF, that boil down to a) use oil, it washes gunk away and b) use grease, it works well and you don't have to worry about oiling it regularly.
With my '50 Superbe (equipped with the spring ball oiler), I initially poured a bunch of 5W30 down the seat tube and laid the bike on its side to get the oil into the bearings and flush out the nasty stuff. It now rotates smoothly and the oil that leaked out eventually looked clean. I don't have a cotter press handy and I don't want to pay the currency exchange or the shipping across the border for the Bike Smith one, so it'll have to do for now. I bought an oil needle which fits inside the spring ball oiler just fine. I'll add oil every now and again and service the BB at a later time. Certainly within the continental States the Bike Smith cotter press is a good deal and makes the maintenance of cottered cranks and bottom brackets easy.
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Old 02-22-19, 02:14 PM
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New rims for tired wheels.

My '53 Rudge Sport got new wheels. The old rims developed a crack down the middle. Not bad for 66 year old wheels! I'm thinking these new rims should own the path much better.



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Old 02-22-19, 02:28 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.
No makers mark found yet but it does look like strange little screws holding the CR on. Also a partial split BB arrangement.

The BB has an oil port as well. Into some new territory on this one!
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Old 02-22-19, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by carfreefamily
Oil Filler on the Bottom Bracket:

My 1952 Raleigh has the oil filler on the bottom bracket that consisted of a spring holding a ball in place.

When I disassembled the bottom bracket, there was just a spring hanging down through the hole. I pulled it out with a pair of needle nose pliers. Somehow, the bearing seemed to be nowhere to be found.

I will, most likely, simply grease the bearings as usual, and I know I can just put a dab of silicone in the hole to keep the water out, but does anyone know if that type of filler is threaded in there, so I could unscrew it and screw in a functional replacement, just to have it as it should be, even if I do go with grease?

I was also curious, for those who go with oiling the bearings - what do you do when you rebuild them? Do you use grease to start with, to hold the bearings in place while reassembling? Do you give them an initial dousing of oil instead of grease, and chase them around like herding cats to get everything back together?

My front hub is also fitted with an oil port, and I'm wondering the same thing there.

I kind of like the idea of giving them a little squirt of oil once a week. It looks like there are various opinions on the use of oil on various threads on BF, that boil down to a) use oil, it washes gunk away and b) use grease, it works well and you don't have to worry about oiling it regularly.
If you want to stay period correct, the thing you'll be searching for is called a ball oiler. Alternatively, you could use the later flip top style oiler, but those are threaded in and the ball type are press fit. I've never replaced one of these. Not sure what size they are, but here's the Mc Master Carr catalog page.
https://www.mcmaster.com/ball-oilers
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Old 02-22-19, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
If you want to stay period correct, the thing you'll be searching for is called a ball oiler. Alternatively, you could use the later flip top style oiler, but those are threaded in and the ball type are press fit. I've never replaced one of these. Not sure what size they are, but here's the Mc Master Carr catalog page.
https://www.mcmaster.com/ball-oilers
Thanks Big Chief. I'll see if I can wiggle the old one out of the bottom bracket like an old tooth. If it doesn't want to come along nicely, maybe I'll leave well enough alone and seal it somehow. If I can get it to slide out of place, I'll order a replacement ball type.

The bike goes to the local frame builder tomorrow to have some restoration done on the spread and rounded rear dropouts. I may take the fork to the locksmith to see if he can make a key for the lock. (Though I have to admit I'm paranoid about leaving parts of the bike scattered about town. I'd hate to go back to the locksmith and have him say "what fork?") In for a penny in for a pound.

I'm still waiting for it to warm up enough to do some rattle-can touchup on places I sanded the slight surface rust away.

It's slowly coming along.
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Old 02-22-19, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by eatontkd
My '53 Rudge Sport got new wheels. The old rims developed a crack down the middle. Not bad for 66 year old wheels! I'm thinking these new rims should own the path much better.



I don't see an anti-rotation washer on that rear wheel! Did the Rudge not have them? Or is it only on the non-drive side?
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Old 02-22-19, 03:16 PM
  #19283  
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Originally Posted by carfreefamily
Oil Filler on the Bottom Bracket:

does anyone know if that type of filler is threaded in there, so I could unscrew it and screw in a functional replacement, just to have it as it should be, even if I do go with grease?

I was also curious, for those who go with oiling the bearings - what do you do when you rebuild them? Do you use grease to start with, to hold the bearings in place while reassembling? Do you give them an initial dousing of oil instead of grease, and chase them around like herding cats to get everything back together?

My front hub is also fitted with an oil port, and I'm wondering the same thing there.

I kind of like the idea of giving them a little squirt of oil once a week. It looks like there are various opinions on the use of oil on various threads on BF, that boil down to a) use oil, it washes gunk away and b) use grease, it works well and you don't have to worry about oiling it regularly.
The metal oil ports are threaded so can be replaced. Repack with grease only and then you can use a drop or two of oil maybe once or twice a year to keep the grease from hardening. Oil dissipates very slowly and will migrate out of your hubs, onto wheels, brakes pads, clothes etc so the weekly drop or two will become a mess.

Really, the only bikes that used oil only are track bikes AFAIK.
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Old 02-22-19, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by carfreefamily
I don't see an anti-rotation washer on that rear wheel! Did the Rudge not have them? Or is it only on the non-drive side?
It would be easy for a frame builder to replace the ball oiler while you have the frame there anyway. The hub should have anti rotation washers on both sides.
Like these. https://www.ebay.com/itm/STURMEY-ARCHER-VINTAGE-BIKE-HMW-155-LOCK-WASHERS-QTY-2-HUB-WASHER-3-THREE-SPEED/290510264860?epid=1751968283&hash=item43a3c2da1c:g:HEcAAOxy1VlRFJE1:rk:1f:1&frcectupt=true
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Old 02-22-19, 03:38 PM
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Am I going to get in trouble if I swap my '59 Sports SA wheel/shifter for the SA wheel from my '60's Schwinn Speedster?

If I keep the same rims and SA hubs (heavy nice chrome, etc,) will I get into purist purgatory if I relace with stainless spokes instead of the galvanized. Bike is OEM but could be a lot prettier, and I'd like to ride it quite a bit.

Last edited by RobbieTunes; 02-22-19 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 02-22-19, 03:44 PM
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@RobbieTunes
The rim won't fit will it? They are entirely different sizes, and the Schwinn is a lot harder to find tires for.

I think all my 3-speeds have stainless spokes.

Sun alloy rims are the usual goto for replacements. They've had 32 (front) and 40 (rear) in 26"x 1 3/8" (650A).

Last edited by Salubrious; 02-22-19 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 02-22-19, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Salubrious
@RobbieTunes
The rim won't fit will it? They are entirely different sizes, and the Schwinn is a lot harder to find tires for.

I think all my 3-speeds have stainless spokes.

Sun alloy rims are the usual goto for replacements. They've had 32 (front) and 40 (rear) in 26"x 1 3/8" (650A).
My 51 Rudge has stainless spokes too. They still look new. Not sure when they changed to galvanized. A cost cutting measure I assume.
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Old 02-22-19, 07:42 PM
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Thanks for the advice. I ordered the ones you recommended.
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Old 02-23-19, 07:47 AM
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How about a classy Eye-talian 3-speed? Sturmey hubbed! Not cheap, but a neat looking ride.

https://richmond.craigslist.org/bik/...826156882.html

'67 BIANCHI Bicycle 3 spd Womans Pullman - $350 (Claremont)




bicycle type: other
frame size: 26"
make / manufacturer: Bianchi
model name / number: Pullman
wheel size: 26 in
1967 Bianchi Woman's Bicycle
Marked: PULLMAN
26" 3 Speed
Nice Overall Condition, Needs Detailing
Will Be Removed When SOLD
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Old 02-23-19, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by carfreefamily
Thanks Big Chief. I'll see if I can wiggle the old one out of the bottom bracket like an old tooth. If it doesn't want to come along nicely, maybe I'll leave well enough alone and seal it somehow. If I can get it to slide out of place, I'll order a replacement ball type.

The bike goes to the local frame builder tomorrow to have some restoration done on the spread and rounded rear dropouts. I may take the fork to the locksmith to see if he can make a key for the lock. (Though I have to admit I'm paranoid about leaving parts of the bike scattered about town. I'd hate to go back to the locksmith and have him say "what fork?") In for a penny in for a pound.

I'm still waiting for it to warm up enough to do some rattle-can touchup on places I sanded the slight surface rust away.

It's slowly coming along.
A key can be made with the code number stamped on the lock.
Provided they have the blanks,
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Old 02-23-19, 08:21 AM
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If it takes a flat blank you can make one yourself, with patience and some tiny files. I once watched a lock guy (also one of my bike shop dealers) make one from scratch by turning the blank in the lock and then filing away the faint shiny spots where the blank edge could be seen having hit the tumblers. Takes a good eye and a steady hand, and some time doing fit/file/fit/file/fit/etc., but it works.
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Old 02-23-19, 10:21 AM
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A friend of mine ordered key for his 1953 Austin Healey from here, Home and told me they also had Raleigh bike lock keys. Worth a try.
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Old 02-23-19, 12:48 PM
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Old 02-23-19, 01:14 PM
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There was a Brit vendor on eBay making fork keys for a reasonable price. I had him make up one for a Superbe I had some time back. An eBay search might bring up that info.
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Old 02-23-19, 01:29 PM
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The difficult part with the key is removing the plug opposite the lock barrel without damaging it, in order to get a screwdriver in there to unscrew the barrel. Plus, I don't know if I will be able to pick the lock in order to put it in the locked position to remove the pin. I don't want to try picking the lock without getting step one done. What if I get it stuck in the locked position?

The locksmith said that if I left it with him, he could try to take an impression and make a key that way, but I wanted to work a little more on getting the barrel out. Plus, I don't want to leave a crucial part of the bicycle with a locksmith without really knowing him. I had a locksmith destroy a $50 Vespa key, (one with a transponder chip) one time and then deny that the blank could have cost me that much. That made me wary of locksmiths.
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Old 02-23-19, 04:09 PM
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Locksmiths, by nature are a deceptive and unscrupulous bunch.
Operating under the cover of darkness they come and go, like
hobos wandering in and out of a bus station.
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Old 02-23-19, 04:24 PM
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The Raleigh is coming along. Got the wheels cleaned up and fresh rubber and tape installed. Any idea how to get nasty brake residue off? Brass brushes haven't made a difference. Perhaps vinegar and foil?



Last edited by Ged117; 02-23-19 at 04:29 PM. Reason: Oops
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Old 02-23-19, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by thumpism
How about a classy Eye-talian 3-speed? Sturmey hubbed! Not cheap, but a neat looking ride.

https://richmond.craigslist.org/bik/...826156882.html'67 BIANCHI Bicycle 3 spd Womans Pullman - $350 (Claremont)




bicycle type: other
frame size: 26"
make / manufacturer: Bianchi
model name / number: Pullman
wheel size: 26 in
1967 Bianchi Woman's Bicycle
Marked: PULLMAN
26" 3 Speed
Nice Overall Condition, Needs Detailing
Will Be Removed When SOLD
That really is super cool.
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Old 02-23-19, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Ged117
The Raleigh is coming along. Got the wheels cleaned up and fresh rubber and tape installed. Any idea how to get nasty brake residue off? Brass brushes haven't made a difference. Perhaps vinegar and foil?
I find blue Windex and foil works well on wheels.
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Old 02-23-19, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by eatontkd
My '53 Rudge Sport got new wheels. The old rims developed a crack down the middle. Not bad for 66 year old wheels! I'm thinking these new rims should own the path much better.
Those ought to serve you well!

Are they 590mm rims? I know of Sun CR18s in 3-speed size, and got one for my bike, but if I could have gotten a Rhyno Lite that would have been even better.
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