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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 09-17-19, 06:07 PM
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Just finished the Robin Hood Sports. I must admit it has been 'Raleigh-fied' to some extent. A Raleigh crankset, headlamp bracket and seatpost binder bolt. I've been cruising mostly in 1st gear and sometimes 2nd gear. I might have to get that rear 22T cog.


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Old 09-17-19, 06:15 PM
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I posted about a junk shop nearby with a pretty little Hercules ladies' 3-speed that is rusting away outside with several other bikes. I went by again today and it's still there joined by another one just like it. You can see the original at the top right of this photo, with the rusty front rim and the speedo hub drive visible. The new one is the same color, same frame size, same chrome fenders, same white pedals, same Sturmey AW. Rims are nicer than the other but the frame finish is a little worse. This one has the original Wright's seat, the chainguard and the front rack. I don't need either one of them and don't have the space but I'd purely hate to see them keep rusting away, as I'm afraid they surely will.
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Old 09-18-19, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by BocaJr
Just finished the Robin Hood Sports. I must admit it has been 'Raleigh-fied' to some extent. A Raleigh crankset, headlamp bracket and seatpost binder bolt. I've been cruising mostly in 1st gear and sometimes 2nd gear. I might have to get that rear 22T cog.
Nice job on this one. Looks great. I know it's crazy expensive, but these bikes deserve a real Brooks saddle. I'll go as far to say they really need one. I'm spoiled now. To me, they are an essential ingredient to the overall 3 speed experience. It seems most of us here prefer our roadsters geared down a bit from stock. I do.
edit: looks like you have a 46T chainring. Just a thought, but I know I prefer a 20T with the smaller chainring. I do use the 22T for the older 48T.
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Old 09-18-19, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by BocaJr
Just finished the Robin Hood Sports. I must admit it has been 'Raleigh-fied' to some extent. A Raleigh crankset, headlamp bracket and seatpost binder bolt. I've been cruising mostly in 1st gear and sometimes 2nd gear. I might have to get that rear 22T cog.
When I was a kid I used to complain that if I liked a tv show it was a sure thing to be canceled. The B72 is my favorite of Brooks' saddles. It was discontinued.
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Old 09-18-19, 07:23 AM
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A trifle off subject maybe but with contributors to this thread so widely distributed I'm curious, what's it like riding a bike where you live? Not the bike itself (we know the Three-Speed Experience is Superior).
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Old 09-18-19, 07:37 AM
  #21331  
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When I lived in the MD/VA/DC area, the riding was mostly flat. There were lots of bike/pedestrian trails there and lots of suburban development type areas where you could ride relatively safely. If you left those areas and went on the main roads, you ran a real risk of being hit by a car. But there were so many nice bike trails and quiet subdivisions that you had decent options.

I moved back to western New England early in 2019. There is a lot less traffic, but more hills. I do more over-the-road type riding here because if you know your route, the traffic isn't too bad. But you do stay off the main, state roads.

One interesting thing is that the drivers in the DC-area were more generically "aggressive" but also usually more aware of what to do about bikes and pedestrians. We have fewer bikes and pedestrians here in rural New England, so the drivers are much more unpredictable when they come into close contact with a bike or walker.
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Old 09-18-19, 07:52 AM
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Just an update on my experiment with replacing Sturmey Archer's zinc (or whatever it is) plating on a thoroughly rusted surface. I discovered Action Magic dry lubricant back in my tool and die maker days. I noticed that besides lubricating, it prevented rust. I had been using it to cover rust spots on trigger shifter cases, but there it was usually only small rusty spots starting to poke through the finish. On this guide wheel, the plating was completely gone leaving nothing but a brown rusted surface. I didn't remove the surface rust. The silver Action Magic powder is so fine that it sinks into the rust and bonds with it. I lightly burnished it it with a wooden match stick. At first, the finish looked new and bright, but now after almost a year, it has darkened and shows no sign of rust. I'm pleased with it. Even looking closely, you would never guess this finish had been restored.
last summer


and today:

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Old 09-18-19, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983
When I lived in the MD/VA/DC area, the riding was mostly flat. There were lots of bike/pedestrian trails there and lots of suburban development type areas where you could ride relatively safely. If you left those areas and went on the main roads, you ran a real risk of being hit by a car. But there were so many nice bike trails and quiet subdivisions that you had decent options.

I moved back to western New England early in 2019. There is a lot less traffic, but more hills. I do more over-the-road type riding here because if you know your route, the traffic isn't too bad. But you do stay off the main, state roads.

One interesting thing is that the drivers in the DC-area were more generically "aggressive" but also usually more aware of what to do about bikes and pedestrians. We have fewer bikes and pedestrians here in rural New England, so the drivers are much more unpredictable when they come into close contact with a bike or walker.
The rural New England paved roads are very dangerous to ride. They are curvy and narrow with no shoulders, lots broken pavement, washouts and pot holes at the edges. Lots of blind dips and curves. And that just where a car will come up behind you while a giant Peterbilt loaded with logs, using up 3/4s of the road is staring you in the face. On the other hand, there's some new bike trails usually along river banks where train tracks used to be that are wonderful to ride. And the coastal villages are fun.
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Old 09-18-19, 02:08 PM
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The Twin Cities compete with Portland for being one of the most bike-friendly metro areas. There are a lot of bike pathways being added all the time. OTOH I see people on bikes doing really stupid stuff like riding with no lights, poking along side by side on busy throughfares and other things guaranteed to make cagers upset. But there are plenty of back streets and not much in the way of hills so you can do almost any hill in the Twin Cities with a 3 or 4 speed bike.
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Old 09-18-19, 05:29 PM
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1955 Humber Sports
Picked up today at a reasonable price....

A bit of a mess but otherwise a decent frame and chain ring.

As Clubman mentioned earlier, it does have the EA1 rims...
with Dunlop Ranger tires mounted.


Rims are fair and may clean up.
One caliper missing
Stem and bars are crap
Paint and decals are presentable.
Trigger was somewhat modern (i.e plastic face/missing)
Cable stop and guide are nice.
Hub is dirty but seems to function.

On the other hand..
The vendor in Hamilton had two VERY nice his and hers 20"s
$150.00 a piece.
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Old 09-18-19, 06:17 PM
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Nice bike! - there can't be many 1950's Humbers around. From your description, it sounds like it would be straightforward to clean it up and bring it back to life. Sweet!
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Old 09-18-19, 07:30 PM
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@gster I think your bike's all original and pretty unique for a Humber. Check to see if it's lacking scratches and clamp marks for a chainguard. That's how my Raleigh Canadian came to me. No chainguard or mudguards, EA1 wheels, steel drop bars and late model Raleigh 'Clubman' pedals. Same setup. Those spiral two-tone cable covers were popular in the 50's as well. Big frame is rare too, very cool.

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Old 09-18-19, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
Just an update on my experiment with replacing Sturmey Archer's zinc (or whatever it is) plating on a thoroughly rusted surface. I discovered Action Magic dry lubricant back in my tool and die maker days. I noticed that besides lubricating, it prevented rust. I had been using it to cover rust spots on trigger shifter cases, but there it was usually only small rusty spots starting to poke through the finish. On this guide wheel, the plating was completely gone leaving nothing but a brown rusted surface. I didn't remove the surface rust. The silver Action Magic powder is so fine that it sinks into the rust and bonds with it. I lightly burnished it it with a wooden match stick. At first, the finish looked new and bright, but now after almost a year, it has darkened and shows no sign of rust. I'm pleased with it. Even looking closely, you would never guess this finish had been restored.
last summer


and today:

That's a very good tutorial.
Thx
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Old 09-18-19, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by paulb_in_bkln
When I was a kid I used to complain that if I liked a tv show it was a sure thing to be canceled.
My wife has killed several writers by binge-reading all their books.
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Old 09-19-19, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by clubman
@gster I think your bike's all original and pretty unique for a Humber. Check to see if it's lacking scratches and clamp marks for a chainguard. That's how my Raleigh Canadian came to me. No chainguard or mudguards, EA1 wheels, steel drop bars and late model Raleigh 'Clubman' pedals. Same setup. Those spiral two-tone cable covers were popular in the 50's as well. Big frame is rare too, very cool.
Thanks for the info.
I'll look for lack of scratches.
I agree that it was/is a special bike.
Looks as if it's been in a garage for years.
I've got a vice NOS GB stem that will work,
and a Brooks Swallow saddle...
Still haven't been down to the LBS to find tires
for these rims.
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Old 09-19-19, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by clubman
@gster I think your bike's all original and pretty unique for a Humber. Check to see if it's lacking scratches and clamp marks for a chainguard. That's how my Raleigh Canadian came to me. No chainguard or mudguards, EA1 wheels, steel drop bars and late model Raleigh 'Clubman' pedals. Same setup. Those spiral two-tone cable covers were popular in the 50's as well. Big frame is rare too, very cool.
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Old 09-19-19, 07:20 AM
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Noisy 'hood ornament'

Hi fellows,

Please see the culprit in the photo. I've managed to find and fix all of the rattles on the '50 Superbe. Everything is nice and tight now. However the ornament end of the front fender rattles loudly. Has anyone else had this problem? It's only a little loose. How to tighten it? A tiny bit of glue underneath perhaps?




Also on the AG: High and Normal gear feel almost the same...is that to be expected?The adjustment of the cable has taken longer than I thought. I'll think it is almost there or is adjusted properly and then it will slip suddenly. I might have it now.
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Old 09-19-19, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by gster
1955 Humber Sports
Picked up today at a reasonable price....
The Humbers in the 1950s employed a lug that held the shift pulley. Not sure when that ended but apparently before this frame was built. Another thing to look for is the Humber 'H' in the headlight mount.
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Old 09-19-19, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Salubrious
The Humbers in the 1950s employed a lug that held the shift pulley. Not sure when that ended but apparently before this frame was built. Another thing to look for is the Humber 'H' in the headlight mount.
Closer examination of the frame reveals some details..

Pulley lug in place.

Nice head badge.

Lamp bracket

Chaincase lug

Maypole chain ring..
The bike came apart easily and the cotters slipped out
like butter...

Serial number 4757 RC

Last edited by gster; 09-19-19 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 09-19-19, 10:28 AM
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Sweet. The oil port on the bottom bracket is a good clue also.
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Old 09-19-19, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Salubrious
Sweet. The oil port on the bottom bracket is a good clue also.
The frame is exactly the same as my 55 Rudge. To the best of my knowledge, Raleigh only used this style lug shape from 1955-56. I have one of those frame mount guide wheels ... somewhere.
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Old 09-19-19, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
The frame is exactly the same as my 55 Rudge. To the best of my knowledge, Raleigh only used this style lug shape from 1955-56. I have one of those frame mount guide wheels ... somewhere.
As I clean and work on this bike I'm more impressed.
At first glance it looked like the rims were too rusty to clean
but a couple of hours with a brass brush and vinegar they look great.
Another detail, rims are stamped "Jointless 26" EA1 made in England Palmer"




The tubes hold air and the tires are actually OK....
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Old 09-19-19, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by BocaJr
Just finished the Robin Hood Sports. I must admit it has been 'Raleigh-fied' to some extent. A Raleigh crankset, headlamp bracket and seatpost binder bolt. I've been cruising mostly in 1st gear and sometimes 2nd gear. I might have to get that rear 22T cog.


Another Black Bomber.
Nice work.
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Old 09-19-19, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
The frame is exactly the same as my 55 Rudge. To the best of my knowledge, Raleigh only used this style lug shape from 1955-56. I have one of those frame mount guide wheels ... somewhere.
BC, could you post a photo of the other side of the guide wheel?
g
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Old 09-19-19, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by thumpism
I posted about a junk shop nearby with a pretty little Hercules ladies' 3-speed that is rusting away outside with several other bikes. I went by again today and it's still there joined by another one just like it. You can see the original at the top right of this photo, with the rusty front rim and the speedo hub drive visible. The new one is the same color, same frame size, same chrome fenders, same white pedals, same Sturmey AW. Rims are nicer than the other but the frame finish is a little worse. This one has the original Wright's seat, the chainguard and the front rack. I don't need either one of them and don't have the space but I'd purely hate to see them keep rusting away, as I'm afraid they surely will.
What are you gonna do? I've lost count of the number going derelict around here. Recently discovered another on Dekalb Ave. I'm debating whether to take the back wheel. (I probably will.) How many AW hubs do I need? (No need to answer.)
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