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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 05-14-21, 07:17 PM
  #24526  
bazil4696
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1952 Claud Butler Tandem

I have been an enthusiastic fan of vintage 3 speeds for a long time and have had many versions pass through my hands. Mostly Raleighs and their offspring, such as Eaton's Gliders, but I always thought I'd like to ride a "club" type bike, Reynolds 531 tubing, and a comfy Brooks saddle... However, I've had my '71 Superbe for years, and it has been fulfilling. For the last few years, I've been more focused on riding tandems, and spent time learning the ropes of all the quirks that come with that type of bike.
Last month, I found a 1952 Claud Butler on kijiji, and bought it. That seems like it covers the Reynolds 531, but goes a step further being fillet brazed, AND a tandem. Also, it's a ladyback tandem which suits my wife, who PROMISES to wear a skirt when riding it... lol
So, as I plan just where to start, I'm realizing that this old set of wheels is very original and very complete. So...no new paint job, just remove almost seventy yrs of crud, put air in the tires and RIDE!
Well, this NOVEL could go on forever, but first, PICS!

As purchased

Claud Butler Headbadge

Frame can be cleaned but these transfers are delicate


Cyclone three speed

Original solite hubs and 26 x 1 1/4 Dunlop rims

Original Resilion canteliver brakes
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Old 05-14-21, 07:40 PM
  #24527  
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Spectacular tandem. Not really a go-fast club bike with those Resillion cantilevers but you're right to leave it original. You could clean it up nicely. Early Clauds are fine bikes.
Are the rims Dunlop stainless Special Lightweights? In that case, it's virtually all original. Your cranks need to be retimed, maybe new chains?
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Old 05-14-21, 08:50 PM
  #24528  
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That CB tandem will be a great project! Glad you plan to treat it gingerly; you can always go back later and try more aggressive methods. I had very good results using a boiled linseed oil finish coat on a comparably aged Claud. Anxious to get my hands on another, and jealous of your double-sized project.
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Old 05-15-21, 12:48 AM
  #24529  
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
Spectacular tandem. Not really a go-fast club bike with those Resillion cantilevers but you're right to leave it original. You could clean it up nicely. Early Clauds are fine bikes.
Are the rims Dunlop stainless Special Lightweights? In that case, it's virtually all original. Your cranks need to be retimed, maybe new chains?
We're too old to be looking for trouble even on a downhill, so the Resilions will do. I stripped the back ones off today, which was NOT like unbolting any brakes I've ever worked on. A quick dunk in evaporust and... wow! Looks like it needs new cables... oh! Where do I find a tandem length 70 year old split cable?
Looks like I'll be fabricating everything out of modern Dura Ace silver housings and turning some fine brass cable tensioners.
If there's a spare dead brake cable out there that I could harvest the hardware from, I'd love to have some of that kit. Anybody know what springs are in these cables?

I stole this pic from Flickr. I'm not the first to need cables.
Yes, it looks like these old Dunlop rims are original. It's why I bought the bike. Virtually unmolested and rideable, if you agree that brakes are overrated.
The eccentric needs tightened and the cranks timed, but I'll rip the guts out and service it all first.

Last edited by bazil4696; 05-15-21 at 12:56 AM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 05-15-21, 08:22 AM
  #24530  
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Resilion Resurrection

What do you have regards the entire loom? All is replaceable with modern with the exception of the yolk and the piston spring arrangement within the caliper itself.
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Old 05-15-21, 09:00 AM
  #24531  
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More Resilion

You're in Southern Ontario, maybe close to TO? John (Engler?) is the owner of Jet Fuel Coffee shop and 20 years ago, he gave me a set of Resillion brakes including cables. I gave them back after a few years since I couldn't find a use for them. Maybe contact him through the Jet Fuel web pages and ask? He loves to barter if you've got old stuff.
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Old 05-15-21, 01:30 PM
  #24532  
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I boosted these as the original springs were a bit weak.

like I said above. All is replaceable with modern brake cable inners,outers, pads etc.

These are not boosted as the more traditional cantilever opens and closes much better than the more modern compact version I have boosted with the green spring in the first foto.
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Old 05-15-21, 02:42 PM
  #24533  
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Originally Posted by Johno59 View Post
What do you have regards the entire loom? All is replaceable with modern with the exception of the yolk and the piston spring arrangement within the caliper itself.
I have everything that originally came on the bike, but I'd have to cut the assembly apart to harvest the internals. I'm a machinist and have the capability and am happily willing to reproduce all these components in brass if I can measure them. The springs are inside sleeves, and I'd like to not reinvent the wheel and just get modern springs so i can clone the whole assembly and leave the original alone.
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Old 05-15-21, 03:11 PM
  #24534  
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
You're in Southern Ontario, maybe close to TO? John (Engler?) is the owner of Jet Fuel Coffee shop and 20 years ago, he gave me a set of Resillion brakes including cables. I gave them back after a few years since I couldn't find a use for them. Maybe contact him through the Jet Fuel web pages and ask? He loves to barter if you've got old stuff.
You're in Nova Scotia! The company I work for just shipped apple processing equipment there, but we're not allowed to install it... non essential workers. What's non essential about food that ripens? Lol
I'll try to track him down. Thanks for the tip. I'm in Niagara area near Hamilton, so, an hour away from Toronto. Thanks for the tip.
The biggest concerns are getting the right springs and reproduction of the "Y" sleeves where the cables twin off to each brake pivot. The rest will be brass sleeves custom machined to modern housing sizes. The original stuff looks like it would work on my Harley!
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Old 05-15-21, 09:42 PM
  #24535  
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[QUOTE=bazil4696;22059995]I have been an enthusiastic fan of vintage 3 speeds for a long time and have had many versions pass through my hands. Mostly Raleighs and their offspring, such as Eaton's Gliders, but I always thought I'd like to ride a "club" type bike, Reynolds 531 tubing, and a comfy Brooks saddle... However, I've had my '71 Superbe for years, and it has been fulfilling. For the last few years, I've been more focused on riding tandems, and spent time learning the ropes of all the quirks that come with that type of bike.
Last month, I found a 1952 Claud Butler on kijiji, and bought it. That seems like it covers the Reynolds 531, but goes a step further being fillet brazed, AND a tandem. Also, it's a ladyback tandem which suits my wife, who PROMISES to wear a skirt when riding it... lol
So, as I plan just where to start, I'm realizing that this old set of wheels is very original and very complete. So...no new paint job, just remove almost seventy yrs of crud, put air in the tires and RIDE!
Well, this NOVEL could go on forever, but first, PICS!


Can't wait to see this one Bazil!
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We are what we reflect. We are the changes that we bring to this world. Ride often. -Geo.-
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Old 05-15-21, 09:55 PM
  #24536  
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Resilion rehab

Originally Posted by Johno59 View Post
like I said above. All is replaceable with modern brake cable inners,outers, pads etc.

These are not boosted as the more traditional cantilever opens and closes much better than the more modern compact version I have boosted with the green spring in the first foto.
Johno when you say modern inners, what did you use for the split cable? Is it the dual cable bmx stuff? If it's the bmx cable is it easy to crack open their cable splitter housing to get the bare cable out? The only other way I can see is to braze new cable into the original splitter fitting. But I don't really feel confident to do that myself. I guess I could find someone to do it for me.

And I think you've used a knarp at the coiled end but I can't zoom in far enough to see for sure...is that right?

Thanks in advance for any advice... I've been pondering this for a while now but am still a bit stumped with how to deal with replacing the split inner cabling.

Last edited by arty dave; 05-16-21 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 05-16-21, 01:57 AM
  #24537  
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There are plenty of tandem experts on here but I would suggest you put a drum brake on the front to help the Resilions. Two riders using just a single pair of 70 year old brakes not a good idea. You may not be interested in going down a hill fast but the hill is interested in sending you down as fast!
BITD Resilion cantilevers were the go to brake for tandems because of their superior stopping power but most tandems had a drum brake as well. Lots of old tandems are condemned because they are under-braked going downhill. Old drum brakes are very heavy duty and people can't give them away but they can take a lot of punishment. You can get those dual cable levers for the captain but a Resilion version I have never seen. Better give the rear set of brakes to the stoker and let the captain work the front rim brake and the front drum brake but like I said above ask one of the experts on here.

I use modern MTB 'Razor' insert pads for the Resilions - I think Clarks make them. They are a straight fit and are as cheap as chips.I will check and send a foto.
The thing about Resilions is must be as dialled in sitting on your bench as they are on the bike. IOW the cantilevers articulate off the bike ( you can apply pressure on the lever and the brakes operate as normal) as strongly as when they are mounted, unlike a modern cantilever system wherein the bosses on the frame are a needed fulcrum to operate the braking action.
Something you may have already realized is you can use any size wheel you like as the mounting of the cantilever itself can slide up or down the fork or seat stay to fit the wheel you have.
Don't lose any of the adjusting barrels that lengthen/shorten the cable between the splitter and the brake lever on the bars or the little springs that fit inside the piston / cylinder arms mounted on the cantilever themselves. These concealed springs actually work the system.
As you suggest the splitter is the crux of the problem and it was the difficulty repairing the splitter union that condemned the design to history.Applying heat to a brake cable is risky, lots of the old timer repairs were real rough and the old cables most definitely can not be heated with a flame.
The way I do it involves no heat and the loom can be made as long or as short as you like with standard braking cabling. I too initially tried the BMX splitter off their gyro brake system. Unfortunately for me it works on a slightly different principle and the cabling is very short as well - as you'd expect on a BMX.
The only thing you need that you can't buy in a bike shop is 10 cents worth of flat brass bar-stock.
I'll make one up in the shed and send the fotos.

Last edited by Johno59; 05-16-21 at 02:03 AM.
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Old 05-16-21, 04:43 AM
  #24538  
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Originally Posted by Johno59 View Post
I use modern MTB 'Razor' insert pads for the Resilions - I think Clarks make them. They are a straight fit and are as cheap as chips.I will check and send a foto.

As you suggest the splitter is the crux of the problem and it was the difficulty repairing the splitter union that condemned the design to history.Applying heat to a brake cable is risky, lots of the old timer repairs were real rough and the old cables most definitely can not be heated with a flame.
The way I do it involves no heat and the loom can be made as long or as short as you like with standard braking cabling. I too initially tried the BMX splitter off their gyro brake system. Unfortunately for me it works on a slightly different principle and the cabling is very short as well - as you'd expect on a BMX.
The only thing you need that you can't buy in a bike shop is 10 cents worth of flat brass bar-stock.
I'll make one up in the shed and send the fotos.
Fantastic! Can't wait to see the brass bar stock solution Mine are all in pieces after I dismantled them, but they've been de-rusted and re-finished satin black, as a lot of the chrome had disappeared before I bought them. I'll have to check out the razor pads. I'd read somewhere that koolstop MTB pads fit the resilion holders so I got some of them but they're a tad short.

Solving that part of the puzzle will give me the motivation to finish building the 3 speed that the resilions belong to. The wheels are already painted, lined and laced. I had not long finished painting (minus the topcoat) when I had to suddenly move house & store all my bikes & bike parts in a friends shed for 9 months. Possum pee is quite corrosive, and it happened to only this bike frame, which I thought was safer hanging from a wall hook. Not only was the paint job ruined, but the frame had fallen (or knocked down by possums probably) and dented the top edge of the headtube. I should be able to repair this, it's just one more challenge to overcome!

My other long term challenge is finding a rear quarter access panel for the chaincase of my DL-1.

Last edited by arty dave; 05-16-21 at 04:52 AM.
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Old 05-16-21, 05:34 AM
  #24539  
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Drill three holes in a bit of brass the size of brake cable as close together as you can.And cut/file so it slides freely into the splitter bonnet

You loop the cable going to the cantilevers up and over the central hole and down thru the cantilevers as per the original. The cable from the levers coming from the opposite direction goes down thru the central hole.

The outer and the adjusting barrels are obviously put on before you knarp the center cable.Take the lead button out of the lever,make sure the adjusting barrels are as short as possible. Pull the loop down as hard as possible.

The second knarp is just for safety

Insert the union as far inside the bonnet but still allowing just enough space to tighten the knarps. Work the grommet up at the lever end back into the jaw of the lever - this should pull the splitter union further up into the bonnet. Don't open the adjuster barrel yet.

Unlike the original system the cantilever side is much easier as it is an open system and you can tighten each brake as per a modern bike.

Pull each cantilever cable down, this will cause the splitter union to come down inside the bonnet. Use the barrel on the lever side to get a balance whereby the union floats up and down the bonnet without binding. Unlike the original one-shot setup using hot lead, everything here is reversible. Usually you have too much slack between the splitter and the levers so you just unscrew everything and go again albeit this time a bit tighter. The bonnet allows an inch of travel which is more than plenty once you have a balance.

Razor Blade

Wilderness Trail Bikes ala Resilion. Who knew?

Slides in a treat. The original pads came as a strip. You cut them to length and scribed the base to fit the backing plate. Good grief!

Last edited by Johno59; 05-16-21 at 06:44 AM.
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Old 05-16-21, 06:07 AM
  #24540  
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Once set up they are surprisingly maintenance free.
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Old 05-16-21, 08:08 AM
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I love learning stuff here.
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Old 05-16-21, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Johno59 View Post

The second knarp is just for safety
Awesome Johno! Make so much sense, a simple, solid fix ...many many thanks. One more question: Where did you purchase the mini brass knarps in this photo? I can only see chunky looking ones online.
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Old 05-16-21, 04:54 PM
  #24543  
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Thank-you Johno59!

Wow. An instant apprenceship of cable wizardry! Thanks for such an in depth procedure step by step, making my quest for cables easy by following your experience.
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Old 05-17-21, 06:07 AM
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Lately I've needed a temporary lumber bike and I turned to the Sports step-thru. Very fine performance.

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Old 05-17-21, 08:20 AM
  #24545  
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Originally Posted by paulb_in_bkln View Post
Lately I've needed a temporary lumber bike and I turned to the Sports step-thru. Very fine performance.

the lumber doubles the value of the bike!
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Old 05-17-21, 08:30 AM
  #24546  
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Minature knarps source

Originally Posted by arty dave View Post
Awesome Johno! Make so much sense, a simple, solid fix ...many many thanks. One more question: Where did you purchase the mini brass knarps in this photo? I can only see chunky looking ones online.
Tap this description into Ebay.
'universal adjustable cable barrel clamp adjuster bike motorcycle lawn mower new'
It's a French company. They ship worldwide. The website offers a huge selection of mini knarps.They don't call them knarps BTW.
Make certain your shipping address is crystal clear. I found the service excellent.
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Old 05-17-21, 08:37 AM
  #24547  
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Originally Posted by bazil4696 View Post
the lumber doubles the value of the bike!
No kidding with what's happened to the price of 2x4s!
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Old 05-17-21, 01:50 PM
  #24548  
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The second stop along the Lake Pepin route in Maiden Rock Wisconsin this last weekend. A good number of bikes were parked in the street as well. The weather was great and it was nice to see people out again now that the mask mandate has been lifted, although masks were very much in evidence along the route. I arrived to one of the last slices of chicken quiche at the Smiling Pelican bakery where this photo was taken. We were traveling on his and her's 1951 Humber Sports originally purchased by a couple who honeymooned with them in the UK and then brought them back to the US. Bikes on the ride were all over the map in age. The oldest was a tandem made in 1897.
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Old 05-17-21, 02:43 PM
  #24549  
clubman 
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Location: Nova Scotia
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Bikes: roadsters, club bikes, fixed and classic

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Originally Posted by paulb_in_bkln View Post
Lately I've needed a temporary lumber bike and I turned to the Sports step-thru. Very fine performance.

Pop some wheelies, dragster style!
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Old 05-17-21, 03:40 PM
  #24550  
markk900
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Johno59 : can I suggest you start a separate thread called “resilion brake setup” or something like that? Excellent instructions that deserve not to be buried in a very long thread! I don’t have those brakes but your tutorial was fantastic!
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