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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 07-25-19, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by AD-SLE
My wife will shoot me. I asked her to drag it out of the barn and take a photo. And check the SN again. I think I have used up my pretty please at this point. I am leaving Columbus and heading to Eau Claire WI for the next assignment. Work. Gets in the way all the time. Here are a few other photos. I will work on the hub. My recall, oily. I could not find anything. But, I was likely keen for the conventional Sturmy Archer logo. The shifter has the SA logo. It is my belief it is a stock bike from that era.
Radial spokes were found on early RRA's, perhaps Golden Arrows. We'd luv a full set of pics. A club bike would have endrick stainless rims as a rule, sometimes chrome but always good. Even the steel spearpoint mudguards suggest an upper tier bike. I like it as is.

Last edited by clubman; 07-25-19 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 07-25-19, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by AD-SLE
Here she is. There is absolutely no alpha with the SN. I will try to get other photos. Since I was a small child this bike was in the stall. Rarely ridden by my father but still his pride and joy. He grew up in Cambridge Ma, the small front odometer says 1192. Sadly one of the rotted rubber hand grips blew off as it rode in the back of my truck. I have the chain guard. He was born in '23. I would assume he got it when 13. That would make it a 1936. I suspect, since he tells me he had the first 3 speed in Cambridge and he had to have the bike store special order it, the cost was significant. 1200 miles on a 3 speed is doing something. I suspect that when he turned 16 or 17, cars quickly replaced the bike. I think the bike is a bit of a time capsule that I will carefully clean and ride some day. The handlebars are black, not chrome or nickle. And very narrow. You have to work at keeping your knees in to avoid hitting the end of the bars. he was 5 11, I am 6. I mean other than hang it up in the shop and ride it for parades, 3 speeds in my part of NH are hard to work up and down the hills. The rear hub does not have the normal dating so that is of no use.

Wow, just wow. What a wonderful bike. Mid 30s Sports Light Roadster. Didn't know about the radial spoked front wheel. Now I do. Amazing.

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Old 07-26-19, 06:02 AM
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An interesting aspect about this bike is that it answers the question we had all those years about why Raleigh named their regular roadsters "Sports" when they weren't actually sports bikes. This medium weight frame was made for a sports model, but made from the usual mild steel instead of the exotic chromolly steel of their top end sports bikes. Then, they offered the same frame with upright bars, different rims and mudguards and called it Sports Light Roadster. Compared to the rod brake bikes with bolt on seat stays they were pretty sporty. Then they dropped the drop bar model and added chainguards or chain cases, but the name Sports stuck. So for the next 40 years we had roadsters named Sports that weren't sports bikes at all.

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Old 07-26-19, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by AD-SLE
Here she is. There is absolutely no alpha with the SN. I will try to get other photos. Since I was a small child this bike was in the stall. Rarely ridden by my father but still his pride and joy. He grew up in Cambridge Ma, the small front odometer says 1192. Sadly one of the rotted rubber hand grips blew off as it rode in the back of my truck. I have the chain guard. He was born in '23. I would assume he got it when 13. That would make it a 1936. I suspect, since he tells me he had the first 3 speed in Cambridge and he had to have the bike store special order it, the cost was significant. 1200 miles on a 3 speed is doing something. I suspect that when he turned 16 or 17, cars quickly replaced the bike. I think the bike is a bit of a time capsule that I will carefully clean and ride some day. The handlebars are black, not chrome or nickle. And very narrow. You have to work at keeping your knees in to avoid hitting the end of the bars. he was 5 11, I am 6. I mean other than hang it up in the shop and ride it for parades, 3 speeds in my part of NH are hard to work up and down the hills. The rear hub does not have the normal dating so that is of no use.
If a 1936 then it is a type K hub which have much prettier graphics than the later hubs. So right by where it says 'K' you will find a number; '6' will be 1936 (seems to me the AW was introduced in 1938). The gearing can be changed by removal of the rear sprocket and replacing it with a larger one. A 22 will get you up most hills (on the Lake Pepin 3 speed tour, a 22 is a good ratio to get you up the Bay City Hill). The type K used a threaded carrier for the sprocket, which are the same thread as used on track bikes, so if you can get it off (once you get the hang of it, not that hard) then other sprocket sizes are readily available.

I am 6.0" and no worries with my knees and the handlebars on my 1935 Sports Model (which is a Roadster FWIW) but that has more to do with inseam than it does height. The stem on this bike is quite a bit different in appearance than the post-war stems so do be careful with it. I can't see from the photos- does your machine have a gallows seatpost?

Allegedly the K did not have the big neutral between 2nd and 3rd but its most definitely there on my machine, which was equipped with stainless rims. My hub is a type KB, having a drum brake integrated into the hub.

BTW I would very much like to see what the graphics on the seat tube look like. It appears that yours are similar to mine, but mine are mostly covered by spray paint which has been the devil to remove!

Last edited by Salubrious; 07-26-19 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 07-26-19, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Salubrious
If a 1936 then it is a type K hub which have much prettier graphics than the later hubs. So right by where it says 'K' you will find a number; '6' will be 1936 (seems to me the AW was introduced in 1938).
I went to the S-A heritage site to check on that since I speculated 1936:

Sturmey-Archer Heritage :: History

Looks like there was some overlap between the K hub and the AW. Actually, I think I have a K hub in the bin that's a 1937.
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Old 07-26-19, 04:52 PM
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@AD-SLE I and I'm sure others here would greatly appreciate close detail photos of this bike for reference. Information on these pre-war bikes is very limited so examples like yours with so many original features intact is a wonderful source of knowledge for us enthusiasts. Things like the handle bar grip. These are extremely rare and yours appears to be original. The lug shapes, stem, brake calipers, mudguards, all are of great interest. You mentioned a chainguard, but I don't believe this bike had one originally. The rear reflector might be a later type also. This bike would not of had a kickstand, if one was never bolted on and the chainstays are undamaged, it would be a rare and wonderful thing. Great bike. I love this thread. Always learning new things here.
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Old 07-26-19, 07:41 PM
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@AD-SLE

Your Dad was a righteous dude!
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Old 07-29-19, 07:22 AM
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This one is going to a new home, the smallest and newest of our three Sportses. One of the four of my wife's bikes currently for sale in C&V Sales, I found this one years ago for a neighbor who envied my own Sports and wanted one for herself. This one showed up at a yard sale in absolutely pristine condition and twenty years old at the time. $24. My neighbor, predictably, never rolled a block on it and gave it to me two decades later after leaving it in her back yard to marinate. Well, my wife's niece stopped by for a visit yesterday and she said she could use a town bike so my wife offered this one, so this little bike (named "Cathy" after that neighbor) is moving to a hipster neighborhood where I hope the thieves and vandals and will give it a pass.
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Old 07-29-19, 09:25 PM
  #20984  
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SA with Low, N, High


BigChief. Et al. Perhaps odd, but, my circumstances are that I am not in NH where my stuff is and more importantly, my lovely bride of 30 years. Corporate America is not as predictable as it used to be. I now live for 2 to 3 years in other cities helping, fixing operations, culture. My next gig is in Wisconsin. Closer to MSP than Madison. I know cold. I get cold. I was up there this weekend and my Dad's time capsule will now be even farther away. And tonight is the first time I have had a chance to attend to non work computer stuff.

My Dad, born in '23, was an engineer. Anything mechanical, electrical was his passion. Fitness, health was not a thing back then. It was just wheels to get somewhere. It is somewhat amazing that this bike survived teenager-hood to adult-hood. True, he did not move from New England. Cambridge to Weston Ma is not that far. To me, that he somehow held onto the bike that his father purchased new for him, told me it was special. Hung upside down in the barn for YEARS, I can remember heading out as a family. Me in an odd square plaid child seat and my older sisters (twins) with their matching Schwinn single speeds. How do I remember? Who knows. Picnic of course just 3 miles from the house but it was a memorable outing given that I was maybe 5 or 6 at the time. How many folks here remember being ridden by your parent is a youth seat.....and I was born in '62?

Oddly, my first bike was a Red Columbia single speed that my Dad rescued from the dump. Bought new tires and was handed a bike that was too big I could hardly reach the pedals. I learned...painfully and somewhat traumatically...on our gravel driveway how to ride. My father induced much loss of blood and oddly....I continue to bike now some 45 years later. That Red Columbia single speed became my ticket to freedom. I biked up hills that today....no one would think possible. I cut lawns for two summers to save up $149 to buy a fancy new Raleigh Grand Prix. Not the Raleigh Record sans chromed fork. But all those bikes are gone. My dump salvage, my Sister's matching pair of Schwinns just got junked 5 years ago. But...the dusty, rubber rotted 3 speed of my Dad's remains.

I suspect is it not a fancy bike. I do have a fully enclosed chain guard that was packed away and has some mouse pee corrosion. I knew him to ride it less than 5 times as a child. Certainly if he got me a trash pick bike, and did not give me his...what does that tell me? Odd. I would give my son any bike he wanted from my collection. He just needs to ask.

More photos. I guess make a list and I will ask my son to do some shutter work. The remaining grip is petrified. Almost melting off the end of the handle and a bit sticky IIRC. Tires also petrified. Rims, some surface rust. Any rust it has is from the condensation affect. The most joyous part of riding this bike is the slow but steady "ping" of the pin hitting the odometer. It just sounds magical. Perhaps the radial spoke contributes to longer lasting resonance which reminds me of days gone by.

Send me a list. I advised them to only knock off the dust with a rag. No more than that.

Last edited by AD-SLE; 05-04-20 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 07-30-19, 09:03 AM
  #20985  
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I'm adjusting my AG hub after installation. I adjusted the drive side cone as you do, set up the indicator, and shift cable. I backed off the drive side cone a half turn (perhaps a little more), and fastened the lock ring. However when I push the bike forward, it engages the driver and the pedals move. Folks do minor non-drive cone adjustment on AW hubs to loosen things up a tad and prevent that, but how can I do that with a generator attached? Has anyone adjusted an AG before? I think the outer cone on the face of the generator / non-drive side is to adjust the tightness of the generator cover to the axle end, not the hub bearings. But perhaps I am wrong.

I'm starting to wish I had a regular AW and separate Dynohub.
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Old 07-30-19, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Ged117
I'm adjusting my AG hub after installation. I adjusted the drive side cone as you do, set up the indicator, and shift cable. I backed off the drive side cone a half turn (perhaps a little more), and fastened the lock ring. However when I push the bike forward, it engages the driver and the pedals move. Folks do minor non-drive cone adjustment on AW hubs to loosen things up a tad and prevent that, but how can I do that with a generator attached? Has anyone adjusted an AG before? I think the outer cone on the face of the generator / non-drive side is to adjust the tightness of the generator cover to the axle end, not the hub bearings. But perhaps I am wrong.

I'm starting to wish I had a regular AW and separate Dynohub.
Dropping chain tension a bit does a lot to reduce/eliminate pedals turning while walking the bike with an AW, worth trying on your AG.
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Old 07-30-19, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by AD-SLE


BigChief. Et al. Perhaps odd, but, my circumstances are that I am not in NH where my stuff is and more importantly, my lovely bride of 30 years. Corporate America is not as predictable as it used to be. I now live for 2 to 3 years in other cities helping, fixing operations, culture. My next gig is in Wisconsin. Closer to MSP than Madison. I know cold. I get cold. I was up there this weekend and my Dad's time capsule will now be even farther away. And tonight is the first time I have had a chance to attend to non work computer stuff.
Photos of the graphics on the bike would be really nice. If you ever want to sell that I'm sure you understand there is a ready market But since you are coming to the area (I'm in St. Paul) you might want to refurbish this as we have a fine 3-speed crowd here, and Lake Pepin is close by. This would be a well-regarded steed for the Lake Pepin 3-speed tour! We also have a show and tell coming up in September called the All British Cycle Event (ABCE).
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Old 07-30-19, 04:31 PM
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I guess THE Ohio State or THE Wall Street Journal was not the only one to use an article to "disambiguate" the description in the sentence. In the day, were bikes make of anything else? Sadly with a scratch.

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Old 07-30-19, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by AD-SLE
I guess THE Ohio State or THE Wall Street Journal was not the only one to use an article to "disambiguate" the description in the sentence. In the day, were bikes make of anything else? Sadly with a scratch.

Even with the scratch, it's not ambiguous in the least.
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Old 07-30-19, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman
Fine work @harlond Looks like a mobile beekeeping hive.

I was going to ask if you have a dog or a small child but I think it's both. (wanna-be Hercule Poirot)
Thanks. When the picture was taken, it was a small boy and a fat cat. The boy is nearly full grown and the cat, now 16 years old, has slimmed down. The bike is still going strong.
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Old 07-31-19, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by AD-SLE
I guess THE Ohio State or THE Wall Street Journal was not the only one to use an article to "disambiguate" the description in the sentence. In the day, were bikes make of anything else? Sadly with a scratch.

Thank you for this close up down tube photo. That is a beautiful transfer. I would also like one of the handlebar grip, the brake calipers and the frame lugs. Sorry to be so pushy, but this is a rare opportunity to collect some next to impossible to find details. Thanks to your post, I already know that the 1 3/8" rims of the Sports light Roadster were radially spoked. I would have never guessed that. Also, the upper headbadge drive screw was placed just below the heron's chin. Nicer looking that way to my eye. Notice the badge says..."The Raleigh"
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Old 07-31-19, 01:02 PM
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The bottom bracket was shot on the little green Raleigh I'm fixing, so I had to remove the fixed cup. It wasn't easy, but with the Park HCW-11 and the Sheldon Brown Bolt/Washer method, I got it out:



A different coworker found a Malaysian-made Sports at a yard sale. He got it for the princely sum of $6:




The fenders are not original. I have some blue ones that may make an unusual color scheme.
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Old 07-31-19, 03:36 PM
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Back on New Year's Day I rode all my bikes and made notes on what each of them needed. Decided to execute that command today after realizing I'm gaining hooks with the departure of bikes. I had this ladies' Sports 23" boxed at the old place and got it out after the move to get some pix for this thread. I won't need the bike until the time when I can no longer swing a leg over my men's 23" Sports so back into the (same) box it goes, and gets stuffed away.
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Old 07-31-19, 03:51 PM
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With the packing and stowing of that Sports I have the same number of bikes as I do hooks, so the floor is less cluttered than it has been in years. I decided to celebrate by adding bars to a notoriously underbarred little Condor 3-speed I got from the co-op a year or so ago. I since found some rusty Wald bars at the same place, the only thing with that bend for cheap, and today I put them on the Condor and actually rode it for the first time. The 20" frame is too small for me but with those 700C alloys it rides very nicely

As found.


Today. I actually bought this little bike for its wheels, intending to use them on my Raleigh Pro 3-speed build, if I ever get around to that.
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Old 07-31-19, 07:16 PM
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If people would quit re-posting and re-re-posting each other's pics I bet these threads wouldn't get to be 842 pages long.
-Dan
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Old 07-31-19, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Trinity Pratt
If people would quit re-posting and re-re-posting each other's pics I bet these threads wouldn't get to be 842 pages long.
-Dan
??
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Old 08-02-19, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Trinity Pratt
If people would quit re-posting and re-re-posting each other's pics I bet these threads wouldn't get to be 842 pages long.
-Dan
I have to agree. Re-posting the pics when quoting a post, makes it take a really long time to go through a thread - especially when the pics are large high res.
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Old 08-02-19, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Trinity Pratt
If people would quit re-posting and re-re-posting each other's pics I bet these threads wouldn't get to be 842 pages long.
-Dan
Yup, it would only be 631 pages. But most here can't reed or right so hi rez pictures for everyone!
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Old 08-02-19, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman
Yup, it would only be 631 pages. But most here can't reed or right so hi rez pictures for everyone!
I like the posts and re posts.
They provide a point of reference for the comments/advice.
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Old 08-02-19, 04:27 PM
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I agree with the exception that we should keep the pictures targeted by editing out the images irrelevant to the post.

Robbie and Trinity, you're pretty new but you'll soon realize that the English 3 Speeds is a slightly eccentric thread so don't be deterred. We like pics of old machines.
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