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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 05-20-19, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by carfreefamily

My wife and I rode in the 50 mile event of the Santa Fe Century yesterday. (She figures that, with getting to and from the event and going grocery store shopping afterwards, we actually bicycled 75 miles). I'm sad to report that, in the 2000 + riders in the event, I believe I'm the only person riding a three speed. I believe I was the only person bicycling in blue jeans as well. I wasn't the fastest, by any stretch, but we did pass a lot of people. I was surprised at the number we passed while climbing. I thought that would be where the Raleigh would be at a disadvantage. The bike was generally well received, but that was a little bit of indignation from some of the people I passed who were on racing bikes. I got one real loud "Hey!" as I went past one person.

We participated in the Vintage bike show during packet pickup the night before, and I had the only three-speed there as well. I'm afraid I didn't win any prizes, but then, my bike has been restored to daily rider status, not to show status. There were some very lovely vintage bicycles, including some Hetchins that had lovely fancy lugs. I met Classic and Vintage listserv memeber Andy Matipas, who was down with his wife and son from Colorado for the event and was showing vintage bikes as well. It was a great, fun time, but as far as three speeds go, maybe it wasn't quite my tribe.
I often pass guys on my old $150.00 3 speed while they ride head down, in formation on
their $10,000.00+ bikes and matching $$ lycra outfits.
I have a friend who had an expensive carbon fibre bike ($5000), his chain came off and wrapped around
a rear stay and broke the stay .
The frame was scrap.
He now has a $10,000 bike that is either, under him (riding) or
in his house. He can't ever leave it locked up.....
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Old 05-20-19, 07:57 PM
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1952 Sport



Just got this rusty Raleigh Sport, my first 3-speed. It's going to be a challenging project, to say the least. It has a three-cog freewheel on the 3-speed IGH. The gear indicator/chain pull is missing from the hub, so I won't be able to use it until I get new a part. Anyone know what kind of hub I might have here? It's labelled Sturmey Archer AW.

Last edited by horatio; 05-20-19 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 05-20-19, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by horatio
Anyone know what kind of hub I might have here? It's labelled Sturmey Archer AW.
Well, you answered your question: It's a Sturmey Archer AW, the one that most Raleigh 3-speeds came with. It'll have a date code w/ month and last two digits of the year. Sheldon Brown has plenty of info on servicing, etc.

The added three-cog block is kind of a nifty thing to increase gear range though it also adds complication.
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Old 05-20-19, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
Well, you answered your question: It's a Sturmey Archer AW, the one that most Raleigh 3-speeds came with. It'll have a date code w/ month and last two digits of the year. Sheldon Brown has plenty of info on servicing, etc.

The added three-cog block is kind of a nifty thing to increase gear range though it also adds complication.
Thanks. I haven't removed enough grime to see the date code. I scanned the SB pages but saw no mention of a three cog freewheel, only five or six cog versions, and wondered if this was non-standard.

I think the IGH is stuck in high gear. It's hard to pedal, even on the "big" freewheel cog. Gonna try the seatpost tomorrow. Fingers crossed!
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Old 05-20-19, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by carfreefamily

My wife and I rode in the 50 mile event of the Santa Fe Century yesterday. (She figures that, with getting to and from the event and going grocery store shopping afterwards, we actually bicycled 75 miles). I'm sad to report that, in the 2000 + riders in the event, I believe I'm the only person riding a three speed. I believe I was the only person bicycling in blue jeans as well. I wasn't the fastest, by any stretch, but we did pass a lot of people. I was surprised at the number we passed while climbing. I thought that would be where the Raleigh would be at a disadvantage. The bike was generally well received, but there was a little bit of indignation from some of the people I passed who were on racing bikes. I got one real loud "Hey!" as I went past one person.

We participated in the Vintage bike show during packet pickup the night before, and I had the only three-speed there as well. I'm afraid I didn't win any prizes, but then, my bike has been restored to daily rider status, not to show status. There were some very lovely vintage bicycles, including some Hetchins that had lovely fancy lugs. I met Classic and Vintage listserv memeber Andy Matipas, who was down with his wife and son from Colorado for the event and was showing vintage bikes as well. It was a great, fun time, but as far as three speeds go, maybe it wasn't quite my tribe.
Lovely early 50s Raleigh you have there, but yes, there are very few of us who appreciate old English roadsters. There does seem to be enough of us that their value has risen to the point where people will take out CL ads or donate them to a local co-op rather than toss them in the dump or let them rot away outside. This and the fact that so many were made adds up to a fortunate opportunity for those of us who enjoy riding and wrenching these classy old machines. As far as hobbies go, the cost is really very modest.
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Old 05-20-19, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by horatio
Thanks. I haven't removed enough grime to see the date code. I scanned the SB pages but saw no mention of a three cog freewheel, only five or six cog versions, and wondered if this was non-standard.

I think the IGH is stuck in high gear. It's hard to pedal, even on the "big" freewheel cog. Gonna try the seatpost tomorrow. Fingers crossed!
The IGH default gear is high unless you have cable tension pulling the indicator chain to put the hub into a lower gear.

The three-speed cogset is likely a Cyclo Benelux 3-speed conversion made to fit a Sturmey hub, although the rear derailleur on yours looks like a Shimano Eagle.

Also, it looks like a shop sticker on the seat tube, so be sure to post a photo of it in the "Shop Stickers" thread.



Last edited by thumpism; 05-20-19 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 05-20-19, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by carfreefamily

My wife and I rode in the 50 mile event of the Santa Fe Century yesterday. (She figures that, with getting to and from the event and going grocery store shopping afterwards, we actually bicycled 75 miles). I'm sad to report that, in the 2000 + riders in the event, I believe I'm the only person riding a three speed. I believe I was the only person bicycling in blue jeans as well. I wasn't the fastest, by any stretch, but we did pass a lot of people. I was surprised at the number we passed while climbing. I thought that would be where the Raleigh would be at a disadvantage. The bike was generally well received, but there was a little bit of indignation from some of the people I passed who were on racing bikes. I got one real loud "Hey!" as I went past one person.

We participated in the Vintage bike show during packet pickup the night before, and I had the only three-speed there as well. I'm afraid I didn't win any prizes, but then, my bike has been restored to daily rider status, not to show status. There were some very lovely vintage bicycles, including some Hetchins that had lovely fancy lugs. I met Classic and Vintage listserv memeber Andy Matipas, who was down with his wife and son from Colorado for the event and was showing vintage bikes as well. It was a great, fun time, but as far as three speeds go, maybe it wasn't quite my tribe.
I realized a long time ago I wasn't fast enough or thin enough to pull off Carbon or lycra although I did try real hard for about 5 years, now I ride old steel at a leisurely pace in jeans or shorts, oh the indignity of being passed by a dude in jeans on a vintage 3 speed while kitted out and astride your multi thousand $$ US Postal replica Trek (hee hee)
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Old 05-21-19, 12:05 AM
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I'd love to get hold of a 3 speed cogset for a sturmey hub. One day I'll try a homebrew 2 cog set up.
There's some nice kit in this 1938 Cyclo catalogue:
threespeedhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Cyclo-Gears-1938-UK.pdfEdit: I skimmed over this at work, I've just had a closer look at it now I'm home and they're really pushing the derailleurs, no mention of adding cogs to a SA hub. Still interesting, and some cool items near the end

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Old 05-21-19, 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by horatio


Just got this rusty Raleigh Sport, my first 3-speed. It's going to be a challenging project, to say the least. It has a three-cog freewheel on the 3-speed IGH. The gear indicator/chain pull is missing from the hub, so I won't be able to use it until I get new a part. Anyone know what kind of hub I might have here? It's labelled Sturmey Archer AW.
Looks like a good project. Doesn't look that rusty...
Mid 50's trigger.
More photos would help.
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Old 05-21-19, 06:05 AM
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Another Mystery Bike
Listed as a 1950's Power King...
Looks to be a British 3 speed.
Perhaps another house brand?

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Old 05-21-19, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by gster
Another Mystery Bike
Listed as a 1950's Power King...
Looks to be a British 3 speed.
Perhaps another house brand?

Not British.
Japanese....
Shimano 333
Nice racks though....

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Old 05-21-19, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by gster
Looks like a good project. Doesn't look that rusty...
Mid 50's trigger.
More photos would help.
Cockpit and top tube have the worst rust. The chrome is quite pitted in places, but I think that adds some unique character. Iím planning to verify the date soon with the original owner.


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Old 05-21-19, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by thumpism
The IGH default gear is high unless you have cable tension pulling the indicator chain to put the hub into a lower gear.

The three-speed cogset is likely a Cyclo Benelux 3-speed conversion made to fit a Sturmey hub, although the rear derailleur on yours looks like a Shimano Eagle.

Also, it looks like a shop sticker on the seat tube, so be sure to post a photo of it in the "Shop Stickers" thread.

Good eye! Thanks for the info on the IGH and Benelux gearing. Any suggestions on a proper replacement indicator spindle, i.e. long vs short? There are several choices at bikeshop.com, i.e. long, short, Mk I, Mk III, etc.
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Old 05-21-19, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by horatio


Just got this rusty Raleigh Sport, my first 3-speed. It's going to be a challenging project, to say the least. It has a three-cog freewheel on the 3-speed IGH. The gear indicator/chain pull is missing from the hub, so I won't be able to use it until I get new a part. Anyone know what kind of hub I might have here? It's labelled Sturmey Archer AW.
That's a great find. These early post war roadsters are my favorites and are getting harder to find. The indicator pin/chain would normally be part # HSA 125, but I'm guessing it would be too short for the triple cog. The HSA 126 is somewhat longer and a bit harder to find. Not sure what indicator would work here.
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Old 05-21-19, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by horatio
Good eye! Thanks for the info on the IGH and Benelux gearing. Any suggestions on a proper replacement indicator spindle, i.e. long vs short? There are several choices at bikeshop.com, i.e. long, short, Mk I, Mk III, etc.
I ordered the only new spindle that Harris Cyclery had online for my '52 AG hub. Others here may know better, but if you're setting the tension by going for slight movement of the spindle in low gear, I think any spindle made for an AW hub will do.
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Old 05-21-19, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
That's a great find. These early post war roadsters are my favorites and are getting harder to find. The indicator pin/chain would normally be part # HSA 125, but I'm guessing it would be too short for the triple cog. The HSA 126 is somewhat longer and a bit harder to find. Not sure what indicator would work here.
Originally Posted by carfreefamily
I ordered the only new spindle that Harris Cyclery had online for my '52 AG hub. Others here may know better, but if you're setting the tension by going for slight movement of the spindle in low gear, I think any spindle made for an AW hub will do.

Thanks. The bikeshop.com indicator pins are inexpensive, so I'll probably order one of each.
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Old 05-21-19, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by horatio
Thanks. The bikeshop.com indicator pins are inexpensive, so I'll probably order one of each.
To me, this is an exciting project. Rare to find these pre 1955 frames especially in 23". The mudguards and chainguard look solid. These aren't the original wheels. This bike would have originally had Raleigh pattern rims, 32H front and 40H rear. So you could build new wheels using CR-18 alloy rims without destroying an original feature. Other parts like the headset, handlebar, brake levers can be replaced with later parts in better condition. You are also missing the original Heron headlamp bracket. This would be harder to find because the original would have been the "skinny neck" variety. This looks to be an original Sturmey Archer headlamp, but I've never seen this style of mount before. Here's a picture of this lamp on my 1951 Rudge.

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Old 05-21-19, 12:49 PM
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skinny neck headlamp bracket

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Old 05-21-19, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
To me, this is an exciting project. Rare to find these pre 1955 frames especially in 23". The mudguards and chainguard look solid. These aren't the original wheels. This bike would have originally had Raleigh pattern rims, 32H front and 40H rear. So you could build new wheels using CR-18 alloy rims without destroying an original feature. Other parts like the headset, handlebar, brake levers can be replaced with later parts in better condition. You are also missing the original Heron headlamp bracket. This would be harder to find because the original would have been the "skinny neck" variety. This looks to be an original Sturmey Archer headlamp, but I've never seen this style of mount before. Here's a picture of this lamp on my 1951 Rudge.
Thanks! And here I was thinking I bought a junker! This is all new territory to me. I didn't think the wheels were originals. They are steel rims, but not terribly heavy. The fenders and chainguard are in decent shape, but there's a good bit of surface rust on the underside of the fenders. Well, maybe it's just mud. Won't know for sure until I remove and clean everything.
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Old 05-21-19, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by horatio

Just got this rusty Raleigh Sport, my first 3-speed. It's going to be a challenging project, to say the least. It has a three-cog freewheel on the 3-speed IGH. The gear indicator/chain pull is missing from the hub, so I won't be able to use it until I get new a part. Anyone know what kind of hub I might have here? It's labelled Sturmey Archer AW.
That's so cool. I've never even seen a multi-cog derailleur equipped AW hub.

If you were to try to restore the bike 100% it would be a lot of work. But cleaning lubing etc so it shifts/rides like it should, probably not a tremendous commitment and it will be very rewarding.
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Old 05-21-19, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by horatio
Thanks! And here I was thinking I bought a junker! This is all new territory to me. I didn't think the wheels were originals. They are steel rims, but not terribly heavy. The fenders and chainguard are in decent shape, but there's a good bit of surface rust on the underside of the fenders. Well, maybe it's just mud. Won't know for sure until I remove and clean everything.
Take pictures of everything before disassembly. Never know how foggy the memories become, or is that just me?
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Old 05-21-19, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow
Take pictures of everything before disassembly. Never know how foggy the memories become, or is that just me?
Excellent advice, which I will follow.
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Old 05-21-19, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by ryansu
I realized a long time ago I wasn't fast enough or thin enough to pull off Carbon or lycra although I did try real hard for about 5 years, now I ride old steel at a leisurely pace in jeans or shorts, oh the indignity of being passed by a dude in jeans on a vintage 3 speed while kitted out and astride your multi thousand $$ US Postal replica Trek (hee hee)
I still love the look of the old wool cycling apparel and wish I had a couple of jerseys. Maybe someday I'll buy one from Vintage Velos. One of the many treats of watching Breaking Away is Dennis Christopher's fantastic assortment of them (which I don't see how a 17 year old working class kid could have afforded, but never mind). I tweeted Christopher to ask if he got to keep the jerseys but he didn't reply.
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Old 05-21-19, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by gster
Not British.
Japanese....
Shimano 333
Nice racks though....

Those look like Bridgestone lugs; more like sleeves than typical lugs.
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Old 05-21-19, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by horatio
Thanks! And here I was thinking I bought a junker! This is all new territory to me. I didn't think the wheels were originals. They are steel rims, but not terribly heavy. The fenders and chainguard are in decent shape, but there's a good bit of surface rust on the underside of the fenders. Well, maybe it's just mud. Won't know for sure until I remove and clean everything.
Old English roadsters have been a hobby of mine for many years. Yours is a good one. Well worth the effort. I know it's in rough shape, but that's part of the fun. I generally wire brush loose rust off and give the insides of the mudguards a fresh coat of enamel paint. Here's my latest project bike. A Raleigh made Rudge hub date 1951. And what the front mudguard looked like when I first got it.



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