Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

For the love of English 3 speeds...

Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

For the love of English 3 speeds...

Reply

Old 02-22-10, 04:49 AM
  #1  
Sixty Fiver
Bicycle Repair Man !!!
Thread Starter
 
Sixty Fiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YEG
Posts: 27,273

Bikes: See my sig...

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
For the love of English 3 speeds...

It was in post war Britain that the Raleigh Sports really came of age as it was a lighter and "sportier" alternative to the heavier English roadsters and remained in production well into the 1980's.

It was the "All Steel bicycle" and for most of it's production life was fitted with a Sturmey Archer AW hub although through 1957 and 1958 it was fitted with the poorly designed and ill fated SW hub.

The 1950's were the peak of Raleigh production and quality and they were a household name in most of the English speaking world and on this side of the pond they were referred to as English racers.

But they were never racing bikes.

This was a well made and sturdy utility bicycle that was designed to last 100 years and they did not see many changes during their production life... latter models have alloy stems and brakes and the Superbe was always completely fitted out with generator lights and a locking fork which brought it's weight up to 42 pounds without a full chain case.

I know this because I owned a 1978 model and only sold that when I could no longer ride in an upright position due to a back injury.

My Superbe roadster... my friend now enjoys this bicycle and it has been his daily driver for several years and still looks even better than it did when he received it as it now sports a new honey brown B66 saddle and matching Brooks saddle bags.



I also owned a beautiful 1948 Rudge roadster which was Raleigh made but because of my back issues decided to sell it to a young lady who is longer of leg than I and enjoys this bike immensely.



So for the first time in many years I found myself without an English 3 speed and that could never do as my daughters and I love riding our English three speeds together.

I have a beautiful 1955 Raleigh Lenton fixed gear road bike, but it is not a 3 speed...



So I set about building up an English 3 speed that I could ride...

Last edited by Sixty Fiver; 08-12-12 at 01:54 PM.
Sixty Fiver is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-10, 05:07 AM
  #2  
Sixty Fiver
Bicycle Repair Man !!!
Thread Starter
 
Sixty Fiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YEG
Posts: 27,273

Bikes: See my sig...

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
A friend gave me a bedraggled 1954 Raleigh Sports a few years ago and I just had not found the time to extract a frozen stem and set to work on bringing this bike back to life.

Over the past few weeks have been working on my new ride.

In 1954 the Sports was fitted with the now obscure EA1 wheel (597mm rim) and as my Lenton is fitted with these I know the challenges of finding suitable tyres. The wheels on the Sports were not the beautiful stainless models and were rather thrashed... the front wheel was beyond repair.

I knew the bike would accept a 650A or 26 by 1 3/8 wheel and tyre as the difference between this and the EA1 is only 8mm but the options for high performance 650A tyres is pretty much nil.

I pondered building up some 650B wheels but thought I should try using a 700c wheelset first, having seen that a number of people have performed this conversion.

The bike came together rather quickly (once I removed that frozen stem) and I took pictures throughout most of the process... I don't think I have taken this many pictures of any bike I have built or owned.

Some befores...

As received...



A work in progress...







Rideable enough to take home to my new shop.


Last edited by Sixty Fiver; 08-12-12 at 01:56 PM.
Sixty Fiver is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-10, 05:23 AM
  #3  
Sixty Fiver
Bicycle Repair Man !!!
Thread Starter
 
Sixty Fiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YEG
Posts: 27,273

Bikes: See my sig...

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
We went on our first ride yesterday afternoon and it was absolutely wonderful... riding usually relieves a lot of back pain as it does not engage my muscles as walking, sitting, and standing do but this was something else.

Perhaps it was the saddle...



Or the new bars and plush tape... I did upgrade the bars, stem, and brakes as well.



The old fashioned brifter...



The bike itself came together so nicely... all the parts were things I had kicking around... the 700c wheels, the proper English Bluemel fenders, the new brakes and old levers were all here.

And once again, I have an English 3 speed... that I can actually ride... and if one did not know better they might think this bike always looked this way as it accommodates the wheels and tyres so nicely.

And it rides like a Raleigh should... beautifully.



I expect this bike to see 100 at which point I will be 89.
Sixty Fiver is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-10, 06:27 AM
  #4  
lecky
Excursionist
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Lewisham, London, UK.
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Lovely bike and story.
lecky is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-10, 06:38 AM
  #5  
foozle
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: NH and Florida
Posts: 26

Bikes: '73 Paramount P 15

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Beautiful Bike. I have rebuilt a '71 Schwinn World Traveler into a touring single speed. All cleaned up well and the new stuff went together well. Except the fenders were a lot of work. I also had large tires 700x35's Yours look tight as well. Any trouble aligning the fenders?
foozle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-10, 08:30 AM
  #6  
Andrew F
Senior Member
 
Andrew F's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 904
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Beautiful ride....many happy miles!
Andrew F is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-10, 09:33 AM
  #7  
sekaijin
Senior Member
 
sekaijin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 1,140

Bikes: 2000 Litespeed Classic, 1984 Schwinn LeTour, 1998 Gary Fisher Marlin, 1969 Hercules, 1977 Sekai 5000 Superlite, 1993 Koga-Myata TerraLiner, 2013 Trek Farley.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
+1 Beautiful bike and story.

Good inspiration for me and my still unfinished English 3-speed resto project.

Hopefully done by late spring. Stay tuned ...
sekaijin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-10, 09:52 AM
  #8  
cudak888 
www.theheadbadge.com
 
cudak888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Southern Florida
Posts: 22,809

Bikes: http://www.theheadbadge.com

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 51 Post(s)
That put a smile on my face. Lovely build.

Now all we need is a side-by-side picture with the Lenton

-Kurt
__________________
cudak888 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-10, 10:03 AM
  #9  
JohnDThompson 
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 19,632

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 82 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1390 Post(s)
Very nice. And speaking of English 3-speeds, is anyone else here planning on riding the Lake Pepin 3-Speed Tour in May? My wife and I are signed up. I'll be on my 1973 Superbe, and my wife will be on her 1974 Sport.

JohnDThompson is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-10, 10:22 AM
  #10  
David Newton
Wood
 
David Newton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Beaumont, Tx
Posts: 2,299

Bikes: Raleigh Sports: hers. Vianelli Professional & Bridgestone 300: mine

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
I love the Sportsters. Great build, Sixty-fiver!
David Newton is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-10, 10:30 AM
  #11  
Harvey2
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 33
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Beautiful bikes, all of them. In strange twist of fate I now own a 1972 Raleigh Superbe myself.
I don't know much about these wonderful machines yet but I know pretty good quality. Were
These still within the range of the most preferred Superbes?

Very strange twist of fate...

Thanks for all the great pics and your (and everyone's) kind sharing of the history and key differences
between models and years.

Harv
Harvey2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-10, 10:35 AM
  #12  
jamesj
Senior Member
 
jamesj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Arizona
Posts: 837

Bikes: 2015 Specialized AWOL, 2006 Paul Frank Cruiser, 1987 Specialized Street Stomper, 1980 Trek 412, 1979 Raleigh Sport,

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 36 Post(s)
i love this thread...

beautiful machines...
jamesj is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-10, 10:53 AM
  #13  
PolishGuy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 228
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Beautiful build and very enjoyable post. I went the same route as you regarding wheels, EA1 to 700c on my Raleigh Trent Sports. The change in wheel size works well and the selection of tires is fabulous. It's odd how I continue to "shop" for my ultimate life-time bike but whenever I ride one of my old Raleigh 3-speeds, I think to myself that I've already found it. But, I still continue to look. PG.
PolishGuy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-10, 12:35 PM
  #14  
gna
Count Orlok Member
 
gna's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 1,553

Bikes: Raleigh Sports, Raleigh Twenty, Raleigh Wyoming, Schwinn Le Tour Luxe Frankenbike

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Very nice. And speaking of English 3-speeds, is anyone else here planning on riding the Lake Pepin 3-Speed Tour in May? My wife and I are signed up. I'll be on my 1973 Superbe, and my wife will be on her 1974 Sport.
My wife and I will be there on our '72-'73 Sports:




I'm rebuilding the wheels with Sun CR-18s right now, and ordered fulcrum stops and shift wheels from the STO.

I can't wait for spring, though I rode my Triumph yesterday, dodging the potholes and the puddles.
gna is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-10, 02:23 PM
  #15  
sekaijin
Senior Member
 
sekaijin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 1,140

Bikes: 2000 Litespeed Classic, 1984 Schwinn LeTour, 1998 Gary Fisher Marlin, 1969 Hercules, 1977 Sekai 5000 Superlite, 1993 Koga-Myata TerraLiner, 2013 Trek Farley.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Lake Pepin 3-Speed Tour - that is charming. Maybe one of these years.
sekaijin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-10, 02:25 PM
  #16  
buck mulligan
I'm shovel-ready!
 
buck mulligan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 136

Bikes: Raleigh Sports All-Gold

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When I get discouraged about the rebuild I'm doing - all the work, all the challenges - it's threads like this one that renew my motivation. Thanks, all!
buck mulligan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-10, 02:29 PM
  #17  
Zaphod Beeblebrox 
PanGalacticGargleBlaster
 
Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Smugglers Notch, Vermont
Posts: 7,534

Bikes: Upright and Recumbent....too many to list, mostly Vintage.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
this picture made me smile



That looks soooo comfortable.
Zaphod Beeblebrox is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-10, 02:44 PM
  #18  
clubman 
Youngman Grand
 
clubman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 4,902

Bikes: roadsters, club bikes, fixed and classic

Mentioned: 69 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 685 Post(s)
Beautiful. My kinda ride.
clubman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-10, 03:00 PM
  #19  
AL NZ
Senior Member
 
AL NZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 256
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Tell me, please, Bicycle Repairman, what you know of the Raleigh Tourist.

I bought one here in UK, blue with white head tube, scruffy vinyl Brooks ( ? the low point of Brooks' history), 26" wheels with Westrick rims (very rusty), Sturmey 3 speed (which aint working properly and needs dismantling and cleaning), front dynohub, and all transfers present and "patinated".

So it is pretty original.

And man, is it heavy. I was planning on doing it up but haven't yet.

In 4 months I return to NZ and I am trying to decide whether to ship it home or sell it on

But I am in the early throes of the Disease, and I can still recognise my problem. So I am trying to stop it getting to marriage-threatening proportions, so I may sell it here in UK
AL NZ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-10, 03:18 PM
  #20  
Zaphod Beeblebrox 
PanGalacticGargleBlaster
 
Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Smugglers Notch, Vermont
Posts: 7,534

Bikes: Upright and Recumbent....too many to list, mostly Vintage.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Is this the year of the 3 speed racer?

I've seen half a dozen threads (not to mention my own build) of folks putting 3 speed IGH's on road bike with drop bars in the last week and a half....seems like there's gonna be a lot of us riding around without derailleurs this summer
Zaphod Beeblebrox is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-10, 03:37 PM
  #21  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: West Village, New York City
Posts: 35,524

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1973 Raleigh Twenty, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 368 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4493 Post(s)
I love these bikes, too.

How is the top tube length on yours, Sixty Fiver? I imagine it's not as cramped with drop bars as it is with upright bars. My knees just about hit the grips.
__________________
Tom Reingold, [email protected]
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-10, 03:53 PM
  #22  
jamesj
Senior Member
 
jamesj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Arizona
Posts: 837

Bikes: 2015 Specialized AWOL, 2006 Paul Frank Cruiser, 1987 Specialized Street Stomper, 1980 Trek 412, 1979 Raleigh Sport,

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 36 Post(s)
i wouldnt mind doing that with the 3 speed i have now... its a purty bike...

jamesj is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-10, 04:38 PM
  #23  
wahoonc
Membership Not Required
 
wahoonc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On the road-USA
Posts: 16,837

Bikes: Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 63 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Harvey2 View Post
Beautiful bikes, all of them. In strange twist of fate I now own a 1972 Raleigh Superbe myself.
I don't know much about these wonderful machines yet but I know pretty good quality. Were
These still within the range of the most preferred Superbes?

Very strange twist of fate...

Thanks for all the great pics and your (and everyone's) kind sharing of the history and key differences
between models and years.

Harv
Harv,
Enjoy what you have. I have several 1970's vintage Raleighs, including a nice 1972 Superbe. I think the older ones were of higher build quality, but certainly the 70's bikes were better than the ones that followed.

Aaron

__________________
Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
wahoonc is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-10, 04:40 PM
  #24  
Sixty Fiver
Bicycle Repair Man !!!
Thread Starter
 
Sixty Fiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YEG
Posts: 27,273

Bikes: See my sig...

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
Kurt - When it's a little nicer I will put the girls together for a side by side shot but this is as close as they will get for now.

The Lenton is an inch taller at the head tube than the Sports but is still riding on it's EA1 wheels which puts both bikes at nearly identical standover heights and the room in the bikepit is almost the same.

The geometry is very similar if not identical... both bikes have relatively short rear stays as they were built for a smaller wheel.





I am pretty sure the straight gauge Sports weighs less than the Lenton which is a 531 frame... before I added the fenders and swapped out the bars and brakes it was 26 pounds on the scale from the loo.

The Lenton's did not come with the lovely heron chain wheel but rather have a swappable 1/8 track chain ring on a 3 bolt spider as these were used for everything to commuting to time trials and club racing. The Lenton could have also been purchased as a three speed for a few pounds more.

The Bluemel fenders fit wonderfully on the Sports and there is still good clearance between them and the 700:32 tyres which are some run of the mill Duro Proteks... they have a vintage look and I have had good success with these tyres.

The Lenton uses the same fenders and you can see how much extra clearance there is in the frame.

I am not sure how these new parts would fit into a modern Sports as the geometry on the '54 might be just a little different, I do know that you cannot use the stock steel fenders in a 700c conversion.

And of course, because I built a fair weather and rain bike... it is now snowing.
Sixty Fiver is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-10, 04:44 PM
  #25  
Sixty Fiver
Bicycle Repair Man !!!
Thread Starter
 
Sixty Fiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YEG
Posts: 27,273

Bikes: See my sig...

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I love these bikes, too.

How is the top tube length on yours, Sixty Fiver? I imagine it's not as cramped with drop bars as it is with upright bars. My knees just about hit the grips.
Both bikes fit me like an old glove and they really suit my style as I am not one for pristine garage queens but rather, those old bikes that have seen some miles and bear the patina of age... the Sports frame is really scruffy and will need some expert touching up to protect the frame and the old decals.
Sixty Fiver is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service