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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 02-11-21, 07:26 PM
  #23926  
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Originally Posted by thumpism View Post
All this motor talk reminds me of a bike I once saw that was owned by a rep who called on our shop. He'd taken a nice fendered American bike of the '60s and installed a motor above the front wheel, which had a Sturmey-Archer 3-speed hub laced in with its cog driven by the gear on the motor. So he had a gas-powered bike with a 3-speed trans. No telling the life expectancy of that hub but it must have been fun while it lasted.

-----------------------------------------

And how about a nice Italian version of the perennial Sturmey bike? Good price and beautiful condition.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...87711235085450

That chainguard is sharp! The fenders look much newer.
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Old 02-12-21, 06:03 AM
  #23927  
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Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
27" wheels? Aluminum rims?
I wondered about those points also, but my own Condor (Swiss) 3-speed has 700C alloys and a Sturmey hub (and a rad chainguard), and the Motobecane Nobly Sturmey 3-speed had 27s in steel.



I converted a boss' Raleigh Sports to 700C alloys for her guest bike and there was clearance for 35C tires. I suspect the Atala might have been converted, especially because of the front QR, but who knows? The 3-speed world may be larger and more wonderful than we know.

Last edited by thumpism; 02-12-21 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 02-12-21, 06:09 AM
  #23928  
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Originally Posted by gster View Post
That's it!
They could never get away with that today.
The exhaust was right in front of you, they smoked like a freight train pulling a hill, and the engage/disengage set up was iffy at best.
But they sold a ton of them. The motors were really good, they never died, but the drive set up was good for bearings going bad and the tire roller wearing out tires. That one appears to have a rubber tire roller, those I saw around here were deeply serrated and concave to match the tire. If the roller slipped, it ground a bald spot in the tire. If it didn't slip, it eventually balded the entire tire in short order.
They had a speed limiter setting on them when new, guys would adjust or break off the screw to allow it to over-rev. They also drank a lot of gas, so much so that if you intended to go on a longer ride, you needed to take a gas can on the rear rack. They would burn through the 3/4 gallon of fuel or so that the tank held in about 25 miles or so if run wide open, which is the way everyone ran them.
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Old 02-12-21, 06:29 AM
  #23929  
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Here's one on an old Schwinn tandem.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/...17057632824621

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Old 02-12-21, 10:03 AM
  #23930  
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Originally Posted by thumpism View Post
All this motor talk reminds me of a bike I once saw that was owned by a rep who called on our shop. He'd taken a nice fendered American bike of the '60s and installed a motor above the front wheel, which had a Sturmey-Archer 3-speed hub laced in with its cog driven by the gear on the motor. So he had a gas-powered bike with a 3-speed trans. No telling the life expectancy of that hub but it must have been fun while it lasted.

-----------------------------------------

And how about a nice Italian version of the perennial Sturmey bike? Good price and beautiful condition.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...87711235085450

Nice colour!
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Old 02-12-21, 10:40 AM
  #23931  
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Originally Posted by thumpism View Post
I converted a boss' Raleigh Sports to 700C alloys for her guest bike and there was clearance for 35C tires. I suspect the Atala might have been converted, especially because of the front QR, but who knows? The 3-speed world may be larger and more wonderful than we know.
I've converted 2 old Hercules 3 speeds to 700c, I was only able to fit 25c tires though with the fenders in place, they work just great, all in all, but it would be nice to get some bigger tires on the rims. Both those bikes have the nice Hercules Chrome fenders so I did want to retain those, I did bend them around where possible to get as much clearance as possible, but going to a 28c tire did result in rub, not the end of the world, but I'd love to fit 32's on those bikes.... I converted a Raleigh Sprite to 650b with which is a great bike, and fits 38c tires just fine, but I do like the look of the bigger 700c wheels on these old 3 speeds.
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Old 02-12-21, 12:59 PM
  #23932  
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Originally Posted by thumpism View Post
I converted a boss' Raleigh Sports to 700C alloys for her guest bike and there was clearance for 35C tires.
For reference here is my Herc with 700x25 tires,



And here is my Sprite with 650bx38c tires, or 27.5 x 1.5 according to the manufacturer,

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Old 02-12-21, 03:29 PM
  #23933  
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Nice!
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Old 02-12-21, 07:48 PM
  #23934  
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Originally Posted by thumpism View Post
Nice!
So, how did you fit 35c tires on a sports? Was that with fenders?
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Old 02-12-21, 08:58 PM
  #23935  
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Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
So, how did you fit 35c tires on a sports? Was that with fenders?
Put them on the wheels and the wheels on the bike. Brrrrump! Cha!
Seriously, they fit, but thinking back it might not have been a Sports but some other English gem with perhaps more clearance than a Sports. It was about 40 years ago.

Yes, with fenders.
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Old 02-13-21, 02:17 AM
  #23936  
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I have two Raleigh Sports frames here, and a set of 37-700C Kenda tires on Weinmann 519 rims. The front would fit if the fork dropouts were larger, (the 9mm axles won't fit into the smaller Raleigh fork dropouts). The tires would easily clear the fenders. The rear is different on both bikes, the older frame will not fit the 700c wheels with or without fenders, they would fit on the 1972 frame but the fenders would be super close at the front. A smaller tire would help but it would have to be a much narrower tire.
I tried them on a 1962 Hercules frameset and there's far less clearance both front and rear, they may fit the front but not with fenders, the rear is not happening with a the 700-37c tire with or without a fender.
With all this in mind, I've got a buddy who has a late model Sports, I think his is a 1979 model, and he put a set of CR18 36 spoke 700c rims on it with white wall tires, they're a tight fit but they do fit with the fenders.
My thought was that maybe the later bikes were built a bit larger for this reason? Maybe if Raleigh had continued we may have seen a 700C Sports?

I had a Motobecane Nobly once, it had 27x1 1/4" Hutchinson gumwall tires on Rigida Chromolux rims with the serrated sides, and an SA AW hub.
I bought a his/hers pair at a yard sale for $10 back in 1979, The owner said they were 3 years old, he and his wife were moving to FL and couldn't take them along.
The one thing I remember most about them is that they tended to rust easily, no matter what I did I kept getting rust popping up on the rims and even on the paint. I'd clean, polish and wax them to look like new, and two weeks later they were rusting again. I finally gave up and sold them both. The things were getting rusty sitting inside the house, and I don't live near the shore. My Raleigh bikes never rusted like that.

I also had a Peugeot three speed in the early 80's, it had 27" alloy Super Champion wheels, 1 1/4" tires, aluminum fenders, and an AW hub, that bike was almost as bad with the rust issues but mostly just due to the poor paint they used. My biggest issue with that bike was that it kept popping spokes, so I finally respoked both wheels with straight gauge DT stainless spokes and the problem was solved. (For some reason my size and Robergel double butted spokes just never got along).
I had bought the Peugeot at a bike shop that was closing and got it brand new for something like $30 cash, (The hang tag price was only $59.99 back then).
Neither were bad riding bikes but they weren't as well built as a Raleigh when it came to paint and chrome. The Nobly bikes didn't stop well, the serrated rims didn't help in the rain, and the original saddle on the men's model didn't last a month under my then 250lbs or so.
The ladies model pretty much just got hung in the garage and rarely used.
I had the Peugeot for a few years, but it sort of became a loaner bike at some point and someone crashed it bending the frame and forks on it The wheels are still hanging in my basement.
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Old 02-13-21, 03:07 AM
  #23937  
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Originally Posted by thumpism View Post
Here's one on an old Schwinn tandem.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/...17057632824621

That's probably a well suited application for that motor, if you ever rode one of those old Schwinn tandems, you know what I mean.
We had one when I was a kid and the thing had to weigh 80 lbs. It was a middle weight model with chrome steel front and rear racks, a generator set that run off the rear tire, a speedometer, a took kit and back on the rear seat, and a pair of those folding saddle baskets in the rear attached to the chrome steel rack. My dad had pulled it form a dumpster somewhere along the road while at work figuring it would be a good thing to have around during the summer, but no one ever rode it and it took up a ton of space in the garage. He finally let me trade it for a pair of Varsity 10 speeds back in the early 70's. Riding that thing, even when it was fairly new, was like pedaling a bike through mud the entire ride, and stopping it when it got rolling down a hill was just as bad. Me and my brothers were all big kids, (I was 6 ft tall- 200lbs going into high school and in most cases the other rider was the same size or better). That red stripe coaster brake used to smoke and turn blue trying to stop going down hill. I remember parking it one day and watching the red paint in the hub stripe bubbling from heat. I think it was from around 1964 or so. Regreasing the rear hub was almost a monthly chore, The brakes in general left a lot to be desired, the front caliper didn't do a whole lot, and the coaster brake wouldn't lock up the rear wheel unless there was only one rider. I always thought the two seats were too close together, with to big riders, the rear rider didn't have much room. Years later I had ridden an older Rollfast built tandem from the 30's and it was a much better ride with plenty of room between the riders and balloon type tires.
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Old 02-13-21, 08:20 AM
  #23938  
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Figured these would be appreciated in this thread:



I don't believe Sturmey-Archer ever cataloged the RXL-RD3, even though these have finally trickled down to the aftermarket.

It's a version of the S-RF3 with a huge, honkin' 90mm drum brake and matching right side flange; a companion of sorts for the XL-FD.






-Kurt
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Old 02-13-21, 08:40 AM
  #23939  
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Originally Posted by vintagebicycle View Post
That's probably a well suited application for that motor, if you ever rode one of those old Schwinn tandems, you know what I mean.
We had one when I was a kid and the thing had to weigh 80 lbs. It was a middle weight model with chrome steel front and rear racks, a generator set that run off the rear tire, a speedometer, a took kit and back on the rear seat, and a pair of those folding saddle baskets in the rear attached to the chrome steel rack. My dad had pulled it form a dumpster somewhere along the road while at work figuring it would be a good thing to have around during the summer, but no one ever rode it and it took up a ton of space in the garage. He finally let me trade it for a pair of Varsity 10 speeds back in the early 70's. Riding that thing, even when it was fairly new, was like pedaling a bike through mud the entire ride, and stopping it when it got rolling down a hill was just as bad. Me and my brothers were all big kids, (I was 6 ft tall- 200lbs going into high school and in most cases the other rider was the same size or better). That red stripe coaster brake used to smoke and turn blue trying to stop going down hill. I remember parking it one day and watching the red paint in the hub stripe bubbling from heat. I think it was from around 1964 or so. Regreasing the rear hub was almost a monthly chore, The brakes in general left a lot to be desired, the front caliper didn't do a whole lot, and the coaster brake wouldn't lock up the rear wheel unless there was only one rider. I always thought the two seats were too close together, with to big riders, the rear rider didn't have much room. Years later I had ridden an older Rollfast built tandem from the 30's and it was a much better ride with plenty of room between the riders and balloon type tires.
I had a yellow Deluxe Twinn with the rear drum brake and the five speed derailleur setup. It was barely adequate as a conveyance but it could be fun at times. Chicks and kids dug it.
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Old 02-13-21, 11:14 AM
  #23940  
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Originally Posted by vintagebicycle View Post
I have two Raleigh Sports frames here, and a set of 37-700C Kenda tires on Weinmann 519 rims. The front would fit if the fork dropouts were larger, (the 9mm axles won't fit into the smaller Raleigh fork dropouts). The tires would easily clear the fenders. The rear is different on both bikes, the older frame will not fit the 700c wheels with or without fenders, they would fit on the 1972 frame but the fenders would be super close at the front. A smaller tire would help but it would have to be a much narrower tire.
I tried them on a 1962 Hercules frameset and there's far less clearance both front and rear, they may fit the front but not with fenders, the rear is not happening with a the 700-37c tire with or without a fender.
Ahhh, this all makes sense now, I always thought the hercules frames were identical to the Sports, but they are not, so me only being able to fit 700/25 with fenders on my Hercules is in line with what you experienced.
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Old 02-13-21, 11:28 AM
  #23941  
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When I was a kid there was a family across the street that had a Rixie triple with a front motor, the whole thing was factory, motor and all, someone from their family had brought it down from NY one summer and left it. It was made in Germany. I'm not sure of the year but it had to be from the late 50's or so. The thing had to weigh 150 lbs or more, had oversized rims and tires and a tiny little Durex coaster brake hub.
It lived under their carport, it was too long to fit in their shed outback. The front wheel had a massive brake drum, it used 12ga spokes and I seem to remember it having some odd 26" tire size, something like 26x3.0 or something. The motor hung over the front wheel like that but it was a lot larger, more like a moped engine or sorts that drove off a roller on the tire. I never rode it but I do remember it sort of rattled when it ran. It had some sort of centrifugal clutch, to disengage the motor to pedal you had to get off and lift it up off the tire and lock it with a pin or latch somehow. I think rust got the better of it before it quit running, I also remember helping them load it in a pickup truck one time, the thing was too long to fit in an 8ft bed truck, it had to sit on an angle with the rear tire on the tailgate. The chain system on that thing was an oddball, to adjust the front chain, the one BB was eccentric and you would unclamp the BB shell from the assembly and rotate the inner half to tension the front chain, then the rear chain got adjusted via the dropout slots. The chainguard was one piece, about 6ft long.
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Old 02-13-21, 12:44 PM
  #23942  
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Rixe. They made bikes, scooters and mopeds.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rixe
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Old 02-14-21, 07:50 AM
  #23943  
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Found 1967 BSA on Facebook Marketplace

It can be a bit of a challenge finding quality British 3 speed roadsters in the US, especially in the South, so I was really happy to get this beautiful original paint BSA with exceptional decals and overall condition.As found, should clean up nicely. Even came with new tires/tubes, new brake shoes and original color matching Brooks saddle








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Old 02-14-21, 08:24 AM
  #23944  
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Originally Posted by JIMBO53 View Post
It can be a bit of a challenge finding quality British 3 speed roadsters in the US, especially in the South, so I was really happy to get this beautiful original paint BSA with exceptional decals and overall condition.As found, should clean up nicely. Even came with new tires/tubes, new brake shoes and original color matching Brooks saddle








Very nice find.
Hopefully at a fair price.
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Old 02-14-21, 08:58 AM
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JIMBO53 Really nice bike and will clean up very nicely. As an ex-owner of a BSA motorcycle would have loved a bike like that.
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Old 02-14-21, 09:00 AM
  #23946  
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The seller was a biker so he know sort of what he had, but I thought the price was fair for the condition esp w/new tires/tubes and even comes with a nice Stewart Warner speedo which I'll probably sell to offset my cost
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Old 02-14-21, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by markk900 View Post
JIMBO53 Really nice bike and will clean up very nicely. As an ex-owner of a BSA motorcycle would have loved a bike like that.
Thanks! I've had dumb luck finding bicycles from British motorcycle marques (Triumph, Dunelt, Rudge and now BSA) Are there other British motorcycle/bicycle colloberations out there?
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Old 02-14-21, 09:11 AM
  #23948  
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Originally Posted by JIMBO53 View Post
Thanks! I've had dumb luck finding bicycles from British motorcycle marques (Triumph, Dunelt, Rudge and now BSA) Are there other British motorcycle/bicycle colloberations out there?
Royal Enfield for sure; I assume Sunbeam was the same company; I'll bet there are more! I have a Humber but I don't believe they made motorcycles, just cars. Edit: yes they did!
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Old 02-14-21, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by markk900 View Post
Royal Enfield for sure; I assume Sunbeam was the same company; I'll bet there are more! I have a Humber but I don't believe they made motorcycles, just cars. Edit: yes they did!
would love to find a duplex fork Humber! Iíve seen posts with vintage RIís too and would welcome one of those to my stable, too!
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Old 02-14-21, 12:58 PM
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JIMBO53 : Always a good excuse for a picture.....

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