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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 07-31-21, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by molleraj
Larger rear sprocket? You mean a gear with more teeth? Are you saying by default it will probably be too low a gear and too strenuous?
Yes...
Most of us here on thread are not as young as we once were.....
The addition of 2 or 3 teeth on the rear cog makes a big difference.
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Old 07-31-21, 04:10 PM
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Not a 3 speed but too nice not to post
1970 Raleigh built Glider 5 speed with an asking price of $200.00
I converted one of these to a 3 speed and it's now my main bike.
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Old 08-01-21, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by juliywann
Raleigh Sport with the Cranehead chain wheel and laced in dyno. For dates I have an Essex women's bike to complement it. I actually consider the two of them to be boyfriend and girlfriend. Both were purchased for less than $20
smokin' deal!
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Old 08-02-21, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by anotherbike
Around my way that wouldn't have any chance of selling at that price. I can't get that for a minty clean 3 speed men's model that's been stripped down and gone through with new tires.
I see ladies bikes as parts, thus they're worth the sum of their parts when you really need them, if they're in pristine condition.

I listed a 55 Sports right after Christmas last year, it as a tall frame, with a perfect wheel set, two new black wall tires, and a clean original Brooks saddle. I had it up for $150 and didn't get a single reply after two months.
I finally parts it out and sold the wheels, saddle, pump, bars, stem, and crankset on fleabay, I saved the tires for my own bike.
Along side it on CL I listed a rusty Sears three speed from the 60's, it was a lug frame, Austrian model but it had been kept outside for years. It was not rideable The rear hub was clean, and the cranks were decent, the rest was rusty.

It sold for my $100 asking price the following morning. The guy saw the Raleigh Sports when he picked up the Sears bike, asked how much, I told him $150, he said '"Too bad its not from Sears" and walked away from it.

I personally know a few dozen guys who are very into old English bikes, they each likely have a dozen or more bikes, a few have over 50 of them. I've never known any of them to pay more than $20 or $30 for any bike, but they'll spend ten times that for one part while trying to revive some old rusty mess of a bike that likely wouldn't sell here for a fraction of what they spent in parts.

I think its a matter of three speed bikes appealing to only folks that are primarily on a fixed income these days.

Where in NJ is this that clean bikes are $20? I live in Brooklyn and will happily take a ride to get a bike like that for $20 or $30 even
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Old 08-03-21, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by mitchito
Where in NJ is this that clean bikes are $20? I live in Brooklyn and will happily take a ride to get a bike like that for $20 or $30 even
I don't think he's saying there are $20-30 bikes in NJ, but that the only way any will sell there if if they are that cheap.

I get the same thing here, I list a clean original bike, regardless of what year, and get nothing, not at $50, not a $100, it don't matter.
I listed a minty clean 1975 Motobecane Grand Jubilee, all original, not even a scratch, and didn't get a single email on it in 2 1/2 years on CL or FB
I ended up parting it out and selling the parts that were easy to ship on fleabay. The frame did sell locally for $10 after about 4 years being listed.
The derailleurs and shifter sold for more than I was asking for the bike whole, and worse yet, nearly all the parts sold to a guy who wasn't more than 20 minutes from me,
He could have had the whole bike, ready to ride in the original box for half what he paid on eBay and in shipping online. Instead, he got the derailleur set, the bars and stem, the crankset,
and the calipers. The bike was listed in his area, on CL at that point for 2 years and 7 months prior to it going on fleabay.

Two years ago at least I got a sale every few weeks or more on CL, if I kept 100 items listed, at least a few things would sell every once in a while.

Last summer I had listed a minty clean Lotus that was too small for me, a 23" frame, The bike was full Shimano 600. on a Champion #2 frame. I had done a typo and left off a zero in the price and it had been up for five weeks at $30.
I only realized it when I spotted it here in a Panasonic thread. Yet still no one emailed about it. I watched as several talked about what a great bike it was and that its not far away but not a single email. I fixed the price and it sat for another couple months. I finally broke it down for parts to sell online. Its not just three speeds, no bike sells well on CL in my area either. Its worse on FB or Offerup.

When it comes to the Raleigh three speeds, regardless of the brand on the headbadge, I don't see much difference through the years. A few things changed here and there but they still ride pretty much the same. The oldest I've had was a 51 BSA, then a bunch of mid 60's models, and the latest was a '75 that looked like the one shown in that ad above. Of all the English three speeds I've owned, the only two to actually fail was the 51 BSA, and a 64 Hercules. The BSA frame started to sag, then finally the bottom tube pulled out of the head lug. The 64 Hercules got wrecked and the frame buckled after a front impact. Most of my three speeds I got for free of super cheap at the fleamarket here but lately the fleamarket has been empty, it never seems to have recovered from the covid shutdown. (Nothing but new item vendors now, hardly any used items these days.

I wish CL had a hit counter, so we could tell how many people actually have looked at a particular ad. Something tells me no one goes there anymore, the same with FB, Offer Up, and eBay.
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Old 08-04-21, 07:54 AM
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27inch, I think maybe you are an old school seller in a new world. I don't know, I'm not someone who sells a bunch of bikes, though my wife wishes I was. I might suggest that if you are getting lots of interest from NYC or Philly, you can try to bundle customers and take 2 or 3 bikes to the city to show, with the agreement that each person would pay $10 or whatever towards your expenses if they don't buy. Do a little sight seeing and call it a day.
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Old 08-04-21, 08:44 AM
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1947 Schwinn New World 3-speed out on a nice, summer evening.

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Old 08-04-21, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by mitchito
27inch, I think maybe you are an old school seller in a new world. I don't know, I'm not someone who sells a bunch of bikes, though my wife wishes I was. I might suggest that if you are getting lots of interest from NYC or Philly, you can try to bundle customers and take 2 or 3 bikes to the city to show, with the agreement that each person would pay $10 or whatever towards your expenses if they don't buy. Do a little sight seeing and call it a day.
A bit of a tempest in a teapot. Our experiences buying and selling doesn't give us enough data to quantify or qualify bike markets. Online sales can muddy the waters imo. Being in the right place at the right time determines whether bike sales are cheap or expensive. I had a 50's Humber Sports for sale online (locally) for about a year at what I thought was a reasonable price of $150 Canadian and it wouldn't move. I took it down. 3 months later a couple saw me riding something vintage and asked me for a 3 speed. I got my $150 after all. Finding the right buyer or the right bike is the challenge.
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Old 08-05-21, 01:35 AM
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Lately what i see on CL is there's only two types of people, the first are those that email you every time the bike goes to the top of the page saying they're interested in your bike, and leave a number, that no one ever answers. Or, you get an email asking when can they see it, maybe talk in the phone a bit and they say they're on their way, then never show. I've had 9 of those this week so far. Both from CL and FB. Rarely does anyone actually show up and just pay for something.
I've usually got a few hundred items listed both on CL and fleabay, I haven't had a single sale on eBay in a month, and noting on on CL in three weeks, not even the scammer emails. I've pretty much given up on ebay lately until I see things start moving again.
CL has never been this dead, nor has FB but FB has always been a waste of time. Most don't respond to messages or they sold the item and didn't have the courtesy take the ad down when it was gone.
Yard sales are usually pretty big around here, the last weekend in June four of us combined for a big yard sale, We put an ad in the paper, on CL and on FB, and put signs up for a mile around. Around sunup, we had four guys stop by, all wanted things for almost free. I put out a few older bikes, mostly cheap project bikes for $50 each.
The others had just about everything on the tables. I sold one push mower for $25 after an hour of him trying to buy it for $10.
Then after that it was 5 hours of absolutely nothing, not a car all day after that. A guy stopped as we were packing up on Sunday and said he had a yard sale about a mile from me and didn't sell a thing either.

CL and FB are full of junk bikes most of the time, I half can't blame anyone for not wanting to mull through page after page of junk to find a good bike. But usually the junk still sells, but lately, over the past few months, its been completely dead.

I don't know about anyone else but if someone calls or emails and tells me they'll buy something if I deliver it to the city, I pretty much just figure they don't want it that bad or they're pulling some sort of scam. I'm not driving 20 minutes to an hour plus gas and tolls to sell a bike to someone who will likely offer me $20 or so knowing I'm at the disadvantage having driven that far and spend the money in gas and tolls. I feel if they can't drive 20 miles to buy a bike, they just don't want the thing or don't have the cash. They can take a bus, find a friend, etc and come get it here. If I burn half a tank of gas in my truck going to the city, I'm losing money in the end. Its not that I'm being mean, just that with stuff not selling, there's not a lot of money left to play with these days.
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Old 08-05-21, 04:51 AM
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I remember the good old days when this thread wasn’t 90% talk of buying and selling and 10% talk of actual bikes. Guess I should throw up a 3-speed pic to try and achieve some balance. Here’s a Peugeot mixte I’m nearly finished with, outfitted with an S-A 3-speed coaster brake hub (and this eliminating the need to deal with routing a rear caliper brake).



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Old 08-05-21, 10:42 AM
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I love old Sturmey hubs, especially the really nice stuff from the 1950s and earlier. But I have to admit, that I think the modern 3-speed Sturmey coaster hubs are a better offering than the old TCW hubs. I've gotten TCW series hubs to work and work reasonably well, after tearing them apart, cleaning and re-building. This meant replacing any suspect parts with known good parts. But the modern 3-speed Sturmey hubs seem to have more robust braking, more reliable adjustment, etc.

The TCW bike I had was this 1946 Hercules - coaster in back and rod in front.



I worked reasonably well after extensive work getting all the bugs out.

But when I would go more "off script" in terms of customizing a bike. I'd opt for the modern Sturmey 3 speed coaster. I did a customized Manton & Smith (Western Flyer badge) 3-speed a few years ago, and opted for the modern hub:



And when I did a light customization on a 1959 Schwinn Tiger, I also opted for the modern hub 3-speed coaster to deal with hills.



I will admit that today, working from a blank slate as to the wheels, I'd go with the modern hub on whatever I built. You can get the old Sturmey 3-speed coasters to work and work reasonably well, but it's a disproportionate amount of work compared to the return you get once the hub is running correctly. It's just easier to buy the modern version and go with it.
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Old 08-05-21, 12:05 PM
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I had the '51 Raleigh out for the first time the other day on an errand run. My first impression was that the Michelin World Tour tires are a pretty nice riding tire. I got a pair from Bike24, and shipping from Germany meant a bit of a wait. But at a total of $41 and change, I'd consider these worth it. It'd be nice if they were carried in the US, but $20 isn't a bad price for a decent tire. And they look right at home on the bike, too.
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Old 08-05-21, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by BFisher
I had the '51 Raleigh out for the first time the other day on an errand run.
Fantastic!

How did the shifter do?

-Kurt
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Old 08-05-21, 05:08 PM
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Intro in an effort to . . .

Get to 10 posts to upload a pic of my latest effort.

In March, a buddy gave me two rusty relics to pass the time. I figured Iíd make a coffee shop bike for each my wife and myself.

Let me know when you want to learn more, as itíll give me a reason for Post #2!
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Old 08-05-21, 05:09 PM
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[QUOTE=SirMike1983;22171975] I've gotten TCW series hubs to work and work reasonably well, after tearing them apart, cleaning and re-building. This meant replacing any suspect parts with known good parts. But the modern 3-speed Sturmey hubs seem to have more robust braking, more reliable adjustment, etc.

You really do have some beautiful bikes Sir Mike, and I enjoy seeing the ones you post.
I'll have to post my early 50's TCW hub before it goes back into its shell. It looks clean and functional & I'm hoping it works. I harvested it from a 24" girls bike with a very bent frame. I'm also hoping the front drum brake will help the TCW to slow down the roadster they'll be on. The only coaster brake I've used was a Sachs 3 speed that had less braking power in third gear and more in 1st, and I think the TCW is similar.

Originally Posted by BFisher
I had the '51 Raleigh out for the first time the other day on an errand run. My first impression was that the Michelin World Tour tires are a pretty nice riding tire. I got a pair from Bike24, and shipping from Germany meant a bit of a wait. But at a total of $41 and change, I'd consider these worth it. It'd be nice if they were carried in the US, but $20 isn't a bad price for a decent tire. And they look right at home on the bike, too.
I got excited for a moment there, but no World Tours in 27x1 1/4" . They are a good tyre. I've been pleased with buying from Bike24 (Germany to Australia), and bought a pair of Alloy Westwood rims from them, that I still haven't laced up. My excuse is that I'm still building the space to build bikes in
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Old 08-05-21, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
I remember the good old days when this thread wasnít 90% talk of buying and selling and 10% talk of actual bikes. Guess I should throw up a 3-speed pic to try and achieve some balance. Hereís a Peugeot mixte Iím nearly finished with, outfitted with an S-A 3-speed coaster brake hub (and this eliminating the need to deal with routing a rear caliper brake).



Nice set up.
I just picked up a similar Peugeot mixte off CL. The pics were vague and it had been listed all year for $40.
I was going that way so i figured I'd take a peek. I walked away with it for $30 cash. He had it on CL and FB, but I only found the CL ad.
i think I had seen the ad before but wasn't going to make a 30 mile drive for a mixte.
It turns out its got a full Huret Jubilee derailler set on it, Stronglight 93 cranks, and its original Mafac brakes all around.
Its got an odd set of brake levers though, all metal, vs. the usual Delrin levers they used back then.
The Huret stuff and the Stronglight cranks are going elsewhere, likely to fleabay if things start to sell there.,
I hadn't thought about making it a three speed.
I wish I had more SA coaster brake hubs, all I've got it a bucket of broken one's with not enough parts to make one good hub.
My frame doesn't have pump pegs, its got a Silca pump and an AVA umbrella bracket instead. I believe mind is a 1975/76 model judging by the plastic headbadge.
The wheels are stock serrated side Rigida Chrolux.
The bike is too small for me but I figured it would make a good loaner to keep around since they obviously don't attract many buyers, or I"d not have gotten it for so cheap.
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Old 08-05-21, 06:10 PM
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3-4 Speed cable

Could anyone explain the reasons on why some Sturmey 3-4 speed bikes the gear cable is passing at the top of the frame and some at the bottom?
Any advantages?
Thanks
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Old 08-05-21, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
Fantastic!

How did the shifter do?

-Kurt
Shifting was great. I did rotate it downward some after tooling around in the driveway here. It was a nice ride, only about three miles or so.
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Old 08-05-21, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by theofam
Get to 10 posts to upload a pic of my latest effort.

In March, a buddy gave me two rusty relics to pass the time. I figured Iíd make a coffee shop bike for each my wife and myself.

Let me know when you want to learn more, as itíll give me a reason for Post #2!
Do you know how old they are? Sturmey Archer hubs? How rusty?
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Old 08-05-21, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by ConnoisseurEqua
Could anyone explain the reasons on why some Sturmey 3-4 speed bikes the gear cable is passing at the top of the frame and some at the bottom?
Any advantages?
Thanks
Routing the shift cable along the down tube and chain stay sometimes means your feet hit the cable and cause inadvertent shifts, or worse.

Routing the shift cable along the top tube and seat stay keeps it out of the way of your feet while pedaling.
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Old 08-05-21, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by BFisher
Do you know how old they are? Sturmey Archer hubs? How rusty?
They both have Sturmey Archer three-speed hubs. The bike Iíve been working on has a hub from 1960.

Care to know what badge it carries? If so, itíll be a great excuse for my third post.
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Old 08-05-21, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
Routing the shift cable along the down tube and chain stay sometimes means your feet hit the cable and cause inadvertent shifts, or worse.

Routing the shift cable along the top tube and seat stay keeps it out of the way of your feet while pedaling.
I suspect they re routed to eliminate the cost of the pulley.
A whopping savings of .49 cents per bike
-welded on metal pulley
-clamped on metal pulley
-clamped plastic pully
-no pulley
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Old 08-05-21, 08:43 PM
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In my quest for to post a pic, some background. I was speaking with my dad and uncle last week. It turns out, as kids, they frequented a store called Western Auto Parts. This chain of stores sold a rebadged Raleigh three-speed as a Western Flyer, which is one of two bikes I packed up in an enclosed trailer from Lake Havasu to Denver after wrapping up a motorcycle trip earlier this year.
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Old 08-05-21, 08:51 PM
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As BFisher asked earlier, ďHow rusty?Ē

Well, rusty enough to remove the rear wheel and have the chain maintain its same shape! Rusty enough for both the SA three speed and crank to be frozen. Rusty enough to require my body weight in white vinegar to scrub numerous parts after stripping the Western Flyer to its frame. Rusty enough for most folks to bin it, but, much like motorcycles Iíve restored from the dead, I like the idea of giving something hopeless a second chance.
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Old 08-05-21, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
Routing the shift cable along the down tube and chain stay sometimes means your feet hit the cable and cause inadvertent shifts, or worse.

Routing the shift cable along the top tube and seat stay keeps it out of the way of your feet while pedaling.
I've had quite a few with the pulley at the base of the seat tube, many are seized up and the cable just drags across the pulley. I think they work best up high, far away from all the road dirt, water, and grease off the chain.
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