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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 10-22-20, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by carfreefamily
I finally had time to take the front fork off the 1952 Raleigh to try to determine why it was binding when turned to the side. Even if I started out with the adjustment a little loose, it would be binding again when I got home. I see two things - one, the steerer is wearing on the front, and two, it does look like the steerer tube is bent - curving backwards slightly. Could it be bending progressively, each time I go out? What could bend a steerer tube like that? I've never crashed into anything. The binding seemed to start after a recent 55 mile ride, and I started in the dark and bumped through some sizable cracks in the bike path, that were hard to see in the dark. That's the only thing I could think might have caused the problem, but that's not particularly harsh treatment.
I'm wondering if it is something the local bike builder can sort out for me. I've also seen forks on Ebay, but it seems nicer to keep the bike together. Plus, the fork ends have those recesses the shouldered nuts fit into. I don't know when Raleigh stopped designing them that way.
I have straightened a couple of bent forks using blocks of 2x4 lumber and a hydraulic bottle jack under the trailer hitch on my motorhome. If I had a press I would prefer that. The tricky part is supporting it so as to not squash the steerer tube out of round. Cutting a half circle out of the wood to support the steerer and pressing on the fork crown area slowly may work. I once used campground fire wood and a jack to straighten the frame on my wife's steel MTB in the 90s. Seems some idiot bumped the bike on the rack at a shopping mall in Kelowna BC. The wheel was scrubbing and we were planning a ride with friends the next day on the Trestle Trails. It worked very well for the next 10 years. Good old gas pipe tubing and some tools at hand saved the day.
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Old 10-22-20, 02:58 PM
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I just picked up a Raleigh Twenty folder for free from someone in the neighborhood. Can't post pics yet as I'm under the 10 posts threshold, but I can say that it's in pretty rough shape. Looks to have been living outside, possibly under a pine tree, for many years. The finish on the paint is completely gone, fenders are there but rusty, wheels look okay so far, but I've barely looked at it beyond getting in the garage. SA hub is dated 1969, and isn't shifting, but I'm certain it's dry as a bone inside. Indicator chain is very rusty which is a little concerning. I've worked on my mother's (now mine) Robin Hood Sports 3 Speed, but it's been a while and it didn't need that much aside from lots of cleaning and bearings repacked. I've never gotten into one of these hubs. Suspect I'm going to get my chance soon.

I've been spending the past couple days reading through bits of this thread and absorbing a lot of great information. Hope I can contribute something of more interest soon once I start getting into this bike!
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Old 10-22-20, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by knittykitty
I just picked up a Raleigh Twenty folder for free from someone in the neighborhood. Can't post pics yet as I'm under the 10 posts threshold, but I can say that it's in pretty rough shape. Looks to have been living outside, possibly under a pine tree, for many years. The finish on the paint is completely gone, fenders are there but rusty, wheels look okay so far, but I've barely looked at it beyond getting in the garage. SA hub is dated 1969, and isn't shifting, but I'm certain it's dry as a bone inside. Indicator chain is very rusty which is a little concerning. I've worked on my mother's (now mine) Robin Hood Sports 3 Speed, but it's been a while and it didn't need that much aside from lots of cleaning and bearings repacked. I've never gotten into one of these hubs. Suspect I'm going to get my chance soon.
Get some oil into that hub and pedal to move the innards around. I'd bet it loosens up and would shift with a new indicator chain. Don't toss the old one as you'll need to match the length; they came in a couple of sizes. Good luck! A friend of mine has a Twenty that I'd love to liberate from his garage.
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Old 10-22-20, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by thumpism
Get some oil into that hub and pedal to move the innards around. I'd bet it loosens up and would shift with a new indicator chain. Don't toss the old one as you'll need to match the length; they came in a couple of sizes. Good luck! A friend of mine has a Twenty that I'd love to liberate from his garage.
Thanks for the tip on the indicator chain. I hadn't really considered that they wouldn't all be the same. Fortunately I guess I'm pretty paranoid about throwing out stuff like that.

I'll try to lube up the hub soon and post some pictures. I'm in the middle of moving right now, but expect to be done in the next couple days. Part of me is optimistic that a good dose of oil will get that hub moving, but I don't want to get my hopes up. Worked on the Robin Hood, but it hadn't been as exposed to the elements.

What's your recommended oil for geared hubs? I think all I have on hand is Zoom Spout 10wt, 3 in 1 (which I definitely wouldn't use), and Boeshield.
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Old 10-22-20, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by carfreefamily
I finally had time to take the front fork off the 1952 Raleigh...

Fixed this on a '52 Sports (not a Superbe, but same w/o the fork lock) by clamping the fork crown (with extensive padding) in a vise and straightening the steerer with a length of Reynolds 531 downtube:

1 + 1 = 1952...Say hello to another Raleigh Sports



-Kurt
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Old 10-23-20, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by knittykitty
What's your recommended oil for geared hubs? I think all I have on hand is Zoom Spout 10wt, 3 in 1 (which I definitely wouldn't use), and Boeshield.
Automatic transmission fluid works quite well. You can also use lightweight gear oil.

To get an old hub going I start by having the oil port facing down and just spraying into it to allow the old gunk to flow out of the port. Thn I fill it with WD40 and give the wheel a spin and see if it starts to free up. If it frees up and starts shifting then I take it for about a mile ride and then remove the WD40 and put a proper oil in it, with the expectation it will be replaced within another 20 miles or so.
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Old 10-23-20, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by browngw
I have straightened a couple of bent forks using blocks of 2x4 lumber and a hydraulic bottle jack under the trailer hitch on my motorhome. If I had a press I would prefer that. The tricky part is supporting it so as to not squash the steerer tube out of round. Cutting a half circle out of the wood to support the steerer and pressing on the fork crown area slowly may work. I once used campground fire wood and a jack to straighten the frame on my wife's steel MTB in the 90s. Seems some idiot bumped the bike on the rack at a shopping mall in Kelowna BC. The wheel was scrubbing and we were planning a ride with friends the next day on the Trestle Trails. It worked very well for the next 10 years. Good old gas pipe tubing and some tools at hand saved the day.
Just wondering? The fact that these steerer tubes are bending sound like a hardness issue. I doubt that originally the metal was tempered to create a hardness. So I am wondering if that would make your fix a more permanent fix? I would look up how a Knife is tempered and try to do the same things once you have fixed the bend?
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Old 10-23-20, 03:20 PM
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1952 Superbe Sports Tourist Fork Straightening Success

At least I would say it's a qualified success. I still have to take it out on a ride longer than around the block.

I took it to O'Leary Cycles at lunch today. Charlie asked me what all the good folks on the three speed list were saying. He used a couple of steel blocks that have a semicircle cut out to fit tubing on either side down near the crown and then clamped the blocks in his monster bench vise. (I'm jealous, all I have is a little vise that clamps on the table - no end of headaches.) He measured the deviation of the steerer from the sides of the vise. He had me do the bending with a long section of pipe. I was careful not to overdo it, so it took me a few attempts before I got the bend right.

By the time we were finished, it looked largely straight. It also looked slightly like it had a little bit of an S-curve, but not much.

I put everything back together, and there's no binding even when it's adjusted down to no, (or at least barely) visible play. I was also able to get the stem inserted without a problem, which is one thing I was worried about.

I'm thinking there may have been something about the steel in the early fifties, since the majority of people who have chimed in with bent steerers have bikes from that time. The point about trying to temper the steel is interesting. For the time being, I'll just be a little more gentle.

Thank you, everyone, for your ideas, stories, and encouragement. I'll declare it a full success after a week's worth of regular riding.
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Old 10-23-20, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by keithdavis2
Just wondering? The fact that these steerer tubes are bending sound like a hardness issue. I doubt that originally the metal was tempered to create a hardness. So I am wondering if that would make your fix a more permanent fix? I would look up how a Knife is tempered and try to do the same things once you have fixed the bend?
The softness of mild steel makes them malleable and they won't have a strong memory. If I had to straighten one, I'd have a well lubed (sacrificial?) stem inserted and alternate making bend corrections with further and deeper insertion of the stem to help keep it all round.
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Old 10-25-20, 06:45 PM
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Old 10-25-20, 10:42 PM
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1958 Phillips Manhattan

Cleaning up the Speed King inspired me to work on my 1958 Phillips Manhattan. We have two, and the ladies' model rides pretty well. The mens' model was subjected to a lot more weather and abuse so I had to strip it down, scrub all the rust off, and put it back together. It's still pretty squeaky and clunky.

The most annoying problem for daily riding was that the brake calipers wouldn't stay centered, so they always made little rubbing noises. I read a bunch of forum threads on calipers and I tried using a hammer and punch to re-center them. It worked like a dream on the front calipers but not the back. One side of the back caliper shoves itself against the wheel the first time you tighten the brake, and it won't move back.

I understand how the center bolt tightens the caliper mechanism and the brake bridge attachment separately. The tight spots are clean and oiled. The spring for the back calipers can't really get off center because it is held by a curved spacer that fits on the brake bridge and has a slot to hold the spring. I banged on it with the punch a couple of times anyway on the theory that maybe this would dislodge something that was binding, but no effect.

I think it may be missing a spacer or two. I tried putting nylon spacers in the places where there were no spacers, but that just made it squeak more with no change in behavior. So two questions:

1. What are the original little red spacers made out of?

2. Does anybody have any ideas I haven't thought of?
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Old 10-26-20, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by albrt
I understand how the center bolt tightens the caliper mechanism and the brake bridge attachment separately. [snip]

2. Does anybody have any ideas I haven't thought of?
I assume you are holding the front of the fixing bolt with a large screwdriver while tightening the mounting nut? I found sometimes even a little extra torque on the mounting bolt can bind things.... With my 3rd hand I also tend to put a bit of a twist on the caliper as I am tightening, in the direction of the arm that wants to move the least.

Also try setting the caliper tightness ridiculously loose (as an experiment) and see if it still binds.
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Old 10-26-20, 12:20 PM
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Raleigh Sports Handlebar Replacement?
So I'm looking to replace the original handlebars on the 72 Sports. I'm 6'3" and find these bars to be a small. The distance between the ends it only 20 inches. It's almost like they are from a kids bike. I'd like a little more rise and longer grip sections. Anyone know of bars like this that would fit the original stem?
Or will I need to replace stem and bars together? What setup have others found that would meet my needs. Thanks.

Camp
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Old 10-26-20, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by albrt
Cleaning up the Speed King inspired me to work on my 1958 Phillips Manhattan. We have two, and the ladies' model rides pretty well. The mens' model was subjected to a lot more weather and abuse so I had to strip it down, scrub all the rust off, and put it back together. It's still pretty squeaky and clunky.

The most annoying problem for daily riding was that the brake calipers wouldn't stay centered, so they always made little rubbing noises. I read a bunch of forum threads on calipers and I tried using a hammer and punch to re-center them. It worked like a dream on the front calipers but not the back. One side of the back caliper shoves itself against the wheel the first time you tighten the brake, and it won't move back.

I understand how the center bolt tightens the caliper mechanism and the brake bridge attachment separately. The tight spots are clean and oiled. The spring for the back calipers can't really get off center because it is held by a curved spacer that fits on the brake bridge and has a slot to hold the spring. I banged on it with the punch a couple of times anyway on the theory that maybe this would dislodge something that was binding, but no effect.

I think it may be missing a spacer or two. I tried putting nylon spacers in the places where there were no spacers, but that just made it squeak more with no change in behavior. So two questions:

1. What are the original little red spacers made out of?

2. Does anybody have any ideas I haven't thought of?
I've had pretty good luck holding the opposite brake pad from the side that drags against the rim as I tighten down the nut on the backside of the center bolt. I've not seen spacers in use other than the one that holds the spring and the shoulders on which the caliper is seated to the brake mount. A bit of grease in the mechanism doesn't hurt. Occasionally I've run into a caliper that just won't adjust. What I've found is that the spring can be bent, probably from someone bending it when they didn't understand how the brakes set up. If the spring is symmetrical, it should work fine, assuming that the center bolt is actually straight.
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Old 10-26-20, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by markk900
I assume you are holding the front of the fixing bolt with a large screwdriver while tightening the mounting nut? I found sometimes even a little extra torque on the mounting bolt can bind things.... With my 3rd hand I also tend to put a bit of a twist on the caliper as I am tightening, in the direction of the arm that wants to move the least.

Also try setting the caliper tightness ridiculously loose (as an experiment) and see if it still binds.
Yes, I figured out the effect of tightening from the screw side and tightening from the mounting nut side, so I'm holding the tightness of the calipers steady with the screwdriver while tightening the mount.

It still binds on the one side even when the calipers are very loose, although when it's loose the binding seems to result more from the calipers moving at an angle to each other. Everything seems to move freely when the calipers are not on the bike and the fixing bolt is tightened down a reasonable amount.
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Old 10-26-20, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Salubrious
I've had pretty good luck holding the opposite brake pad from the side that drags against the rim as I tighten down the nut on the backside of the center bolt. I've not seen spacers in use other than the one that holds the spring and the shoulders on which the caliper is seated to the brake mount. A bit of grease in the mechanism doesn't hurt. Occasionally I've run into a caliper that just won't adjust. What I've found is that the spring can be bent, probably from someone bending it when they didn't understand how the brakes set up. If the spring is symmetrical, it should work fine, assuming that the center bolt is actually straight.
Thanks, I think you are right, the spring is stronger on one side than the other.
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Old 10-26-20, 02:18 PM
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Yeah, I think it's the spring. I substituted another similar caliper and it centers easily. The spring on the second one subjectively feels much stronger than the original.
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Old 10-27-20, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by campngolf
Raleigh Sports Handlebar Replacement?
So I'm looking to replace the original handlebars on the 72 Sports. I'm 6'3" and find these bars to be a small. The distance between the ends it only 20 inches. It's almost like they are from a kids bike. I'd like a little more rise and longer grip sections. Anyone know of bars like this that would fit the original stem?
Or will I need to replace stem and bars together? What setup have others found that would meet my needs. Thanks.

Camp
There's are lots of older steel roadster bars that would suit. I've got a few but it wouldn't be economical to ship across the continent. I swapped them out on my own bikes, being broad in the shoulders.
Find a co-op if you can. New ones may not fit your stem.
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Old 10-27-20, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by campngolf
Raleigh Sports Handlebar Replacement?
So I'm looking to replace the original handlebars on the 72 Sports. I'm 6'3" and find these bars to be a small. The distance between the ends it only 20 inches. It's almost like they are from a kids bike. I'd like a little more rise and longer grip sections. Anyone know of bars like this that would fit the original stem?
Or will I need to replace stem and bars together? What setup have others found that would meet my needs. Thanks.

Camp
I use a Nitto Dirt Drop stem with Nitto Albatross bars on my '72 Superbe. The Nitto stem allows clearance for the headlight. I also have Brooks grips. The handlebars with the grips are worth more than the rest of the bike!
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Old 10-29-20, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by campngolf
Raleigh Sports Handlebar Replacement?
So I'm looking to replace the original handlebars on the 72 Sports. I'm 6'3" and find these bars to be a small. The distance between the ends it only 20 inches. It's almost like they are from a kids bike. I'd like a little more rise and longer grip sections. Anyone know of bars like this that would fit the original stem?
Or will I need to replace stem and bars together? What setup have others found that would meet my needs. Thanks.

Camp
I have a few Raleighs. The older models have 20" (+/-) handlebars. I have a mid-seventies Sports that has 24" handlebars with a slightly larger rise. Like someone already said, the shipping cost for bars is likely higher than purchasing them from another source with free or discounted shipping.
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Old 10-30-20, 06:38 AM
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Mongrel Lenton

I have the front hub apart on the radial spokes front wheel. Is this how they made them?

Fixed cone

Adjustable cone, star washer(missing tab for axle slot), and locknut.
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Old 10-30-20, 07:00 PM
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Austrian. I spy a chunk of the Dee's sticker on the seat tube. I might have assembled this bike back in the '70s.

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Old 10-31-20, 05:10 PM
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1958 Phillipsae

Finally got the 1958 Phillips Manhattan riding well enough to be fun. It is one of a pair:



These originally had the same paint scheme. The metallic red is a translucent lacquer over silver paint. The red is very subject to fading in the sun, and these bikes live in Phoenix Arizona. The men's bike saw harder use and more weather, so the red is mostly gone. It was very rusty and needed to be completely disassembled. The women's bike was basically just wiped down and the cables replaced.



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Old 10-31-20, 05:24 PM
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Wow. I remember when @nlerner picked up a faded Manhattan long ago. This is the first time I've seen one in all it's translucent red glory. Stunning.

-Kurt
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Old 11-01-20, 07:24 PM
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Really nice looking in person.

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