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

Dipping my Toes into 3-Speeds

Notices
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.

Dipping my Toes into 3-Speeds

Old 09-03-11, 12:11 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Central California
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Dipping my Toes into 3-Speeds

So last week my girlfriend asked me to put a basket on her road bike so she can take her stuff to school. Her commute (if you can call it that) to campus is under a mile each way, so of course I can't just put a basket on her bike. Instead I decide this would be a great time learn a little about 3 speeds and sturmey archer. I'm willing to go up to about $200 for a ready to ride bike or $200 total cost into a project.

After a week of scouring craigslist, I've determined that I'm leaning towards Raleigh LTD, Sports, Superbe, or Sprite, but man are they pricey. Anything in decent condition is at least $300-500. There have been a few cheaper ones I've seen but they are about a couple hours drive away in the bay area and they'll probably be sold before I get there.

So my questions to you guys:
1) Are there any bikes that you guys would recommend other than the Raleighs? Maybe a little cheaper? I've seen Schwinn Breezes listed for as high as $500 around here too. Are free sprits complete garbage? There are a couple in the $20-30 range. How about a Columbia Tourist?
2) How hard would it be to convert a mixtie to three speed? Is it more complicated than just swapping the hub and shifters? How about rear spacing?
3) Do you have a spare womens 3 speed you could part with? I've got a few C&V mens roads I could swap or some parts. Let me know what you have.

Or if you've seen something nice and reasonably priced on your local CL that you could facilitate for me that would be awesome.

Thanks guys

Last edited by jchibante; 09-03-11 at 12:19 PM. Reason: Typos
jchibante is offline  
Old 09-03-11, 12:26 PM
  #2  
Full Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 226
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 24 Times in 7 Posts
Sometimes people start pretty high only to come way down. Maybe you could post an ad for a Sports with your own price and get someone who's tired of waiting for a collector willing to shell out. Here in NYC I've seen Sports listed for anywhere from about $80 up to $500 or more. Doesn't mean anyone's really spending that much though. You can also drop the seller an email telling them your price range and if they don't get any takers to get back in touch with you.
There are a lot of folks out there on non-Raleigh 3-speeds and they seem to be doing ok, I loved my Columbia Tourist when I was a kid. But I do have a thing for the Nottingham bikes and would try to find one before buying anything else.

happy hunting, Joe

Oh yeah, don't forget there are a lot of Raleigh-made Nottingham bikes under other names: Robin Hood, Phillips, Rudge?, etc. etc..

Last edited by woodrupjoe; 09-03-11 at 12:31 PM.
woodrupjoe is offline  
Old 09-03-11, 12:37 PM
  #3  
Hogosha Sekai
 
RaleighSport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: STS
Posts: 6,669

Bikes: Leader 725, Centurion Turbo, Scwhinn Peloton, Schwinn Premis, GT Tequesta, Bridgestone CB-2,72' Centurion Lemans, 72 Raleigh Competition

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 70 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 21 Times in 15 Posts
Hi there, Raleigh's are a great 3 speed for cruising on, but keep in mind the sports weigh in at about 50 lbs. The "all steel" bicycle, I got both my Superbe and my Sport from the local recycling center actually totalling less then 20 bucks for them both. A little history on raleigh's and 3 speeds, they were basically the microsoft of their day, consuming other companies and spitting out bikes under those brands as well, rudge was a big one, so in theory you can pretty much get a raleigh 3 speed even if under a different brand name fairly easily, these bikes were MASS produced to the gils and little changed on them for decades. And what are we talking about "decent condition"? I have a few listings around here that are "decent" and have been around a long time for about 150 each...
This has a frame/hub spacing for reference https://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-spacing.html
No womens bikes at the moment, but I do have a 21" Raleigh Sport in okayish condition, no brookes saddle though.
RaleighSport is offline  
Old 09-04-11, 12:57 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 98
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Look for a Taiwanese-made Sears Free Spirit. Many have quite nice frames/lug work, SA hubs, and low prices. I have purchased them for $15-50. Much better, IMO, than Huffy, Murry, Ross, Columbia,etc. and cheaper than Schwinn and Raleigh.

If you want to stick with English, lesser brands (Dunelt, Robin Hood, etc.) will be cheaper than Raleigh.

Last edited by cooper34; 09-04-11 at 05:55 PM.
cooper34 is offline  
Old 09-04-11, 02:20 PM
  #5  
Membership Not Required
 
wahoonc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On the road-USA
Posts: 16,855

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

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 70 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 16 Times in 15 Posts
The American built Huffy Baypoint is not a bad bike and can usually be had for a reasonable price. How tall is your girlfriend and what sized frame are you looking for? I had to buy bikes from outside my area because they did not exist around here. Even with shipping I was coming out just fine.

Swapping out wheels and shifters can be done if you do a bit of research and are mechanically handy. I am in the process of converting a low end Raleigh Record from an 1980's 10 speed into a 5 speed IGH city bike.

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  
Old 09-04-11, 06:45 PM
  #6  
Schwinnasaur
 
Schwinnsta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 1,601
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 478 Post(s)
Liked 198 Times in 132 Posts
Huffy sold rebadged Raleighs for short time as well as Moulton's.
Schwinnsta is offline  
Old 09-04-11, 07:09 PM
  #7  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 17
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by jchibante
So last week my girlfriend asked me to put a basket on her road bike so she can take her stuff to school. Her commute (if you can call it that) to campus is under a mile each way, so of course I can't just put a basket on her bike. Instead I decide this would be a great time learn a little about 3 speeds and sturmey archer. I'm willing to go up to about $200 for a ready to ride bike or $200 total cost into a project.

Thanks guys
You should check out: lovelybike.blogspot.com

Lots of info on older 3speeds. As for the weight issue, it can be reduced as seen in the pic. I have an old Triumph Step thru that if i picked up for $45 Needs tires, tubes, grips, cables and a seat. Found a NOS Brooks 66 so now working on rest. Oh and check out the Budget Options section. good luck!

https://lovelybike.blogspot.com/2009/...igh-ladys.html
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
Lucy3Speed_Lifting.jpg (24.3 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg
Lucy3Speed2.jpg (60.3 KB, 20 views)
alyeska1986 is offline  
Old 09-04-11, 07:45 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Central California
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for all the info. I went and looked at an old free spirit today for $20 thinking that it could be a temporary solution allowing me more time to search for a nice nottingham bike, but it was a pile. I wouldn't have taken it had they given me $20.
You should check out: lovelybike.blogspot.com
Looks like a good site, I might go check out a his & hers set of raleighs tomorrow, the mans appears to be a tourist with rod brakes, not sure about the womans, maybe a sport or superbe. Ill probably resell the mans, unless I find myself unable to let go of it
jchibante is offline  
Old 09-04-11, 09:37 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Central California
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts




Am I right in thinking the mens is a Tourist? What are you guys thinking on the womans? I am by far no Raleigh expert. What should I be looking for when I check them out besides rust, westwood wheels, and the brakes being intact?
jchibante is offline  
Old 09-04-11, 10:12 PM
  #10  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 17
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Looks like both have Brooks saddles and possibly an original pump on the mens. Does look like a Tourist. (the pic below is from one in Denver, mint cond & sold for $425,) Both look good if the price is right for you. Check the shifter & seat post to see if they're stuck. And spray the inside with Frame Saver to head off any rust. I'd loose the wire basket & add a wicker. Nantucket is a good brand of basket & pricey but meijer.com & LL Bean sometime puts em on sale. The Triumph I picked up is in the middle and the basket is my a Peugeot mixte.

https://www.meijer.com/catalog/search...ord=Nantucket+
alyeska1986 is offline  
Old 09-04-11, 11:00 PM
  #11  
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New York, NY, and High Falls, NY, USA
Posts: 40,616

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

Mentioned: 513 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7403 Post(s)
Liked 2,584 Times in 1,507 Posts
I wish you luck. I have a deep affection for 3-speeds, especially the English ones. Anything made in England since 1960 is 99% likely to be a Raleigh, even if it bears a different brand name.

I believe a Sports is closer to 40 pounds than 50 pounds. In any case, I rode one every day for a few months until about a month ago. (I'm rotating through my fleet of bikes.) I often went 1 to 6 miles at a time, sometimes up some fairly challenging hills. Yes, it's harder on a three-speed, but it's not impossible.

These bikes are extremely durable and reliable.

But those prices near you are crazy. Check out garage sales or other sources of inexpensive bikes. A couple of years ago, I asked the woman running an estate sale if there were any bicycles. Turns out that there were, but they were buried. The bikes turned out to be two 50-year-old 3-speeds. I got the pair for $30.
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
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  
Old 09-05-11, 05:50 AM
  #12  
Membership Not Required
 
wahoonc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On the road-USA
Posts: 16,855

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

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 70 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 16 Times in 15 Posts
Yes the men's bike is a Raleigh Tourist and looks to be the 24" frame model. It is a later model 1980's? because it does not have the white tail fender. The biggest thing is to see if the bikes roll and shift and look like they are complete. If there is a massive amount of rust or pieces are missing the price needs to go down. FWIW not all Raleigh Sports had the Westrick rims, some had Endrick pattern rims which aren't quite as heavy as the Westricks.

From what I can see in the pictures the bikes look to be in decent shape.

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  
Old 09-05-11, 06:17 AM
  #13  
Death fork? Naaaah!!
 
top506's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: The other Maine, north of RT 2
Posts: 5,341

Bikes: Seriously downsizing.

Mentioned: 49 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 565 Post(s)
Liked 646 Times in 291 Posts
Originally Posted by cooper34
Look for a Taiwanese-made Sears Free Spirit. Many have quite nice frames/lug work, SA hubs, and low prices. I have purchased them for $15-50. Much better, IMO, than Huffy, Murry, Ross, Columbia,etc. and cheaper than Schwinn and Raleigh.

If you want to stick with English, lesser brands (Dunelt, Robin Hood, etc.) will be cheaper than Raleigh.
Roger that; I had a Free Spirit 3-speed pass through my hands a few years ago. Quite a nice bike, for what it was.
Too bad you're in CA, as I have a Raleigh Sports, a Dunalt, AND a Robin Hood sitting in the barn looking for new homes.

Top
__________________
You know it's going to be a good day when the stem and seatpost come right out.

(looking for a picture and not seeing it? Thank the Photobucket fiasco.PM me and I'll link it up.)
top506 is offline  
Old 09-05-11, 07:00 AM
  #14  
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New York, NY, and High Falls, NY, USA
Posts: 40,616

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

Mentioned: 513 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7403 Post(s)
Liked 2,584 Times in 1,507 Posts
A Schwinn Breeze just showed up here on the NJ craigslist. It's "$45 firm firm firm" which is a steal. Too bad shipping costs would be prohibitive. It appears to be in fantastic shape except that it needs tires.
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
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  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
mosmith
Classic and Vintage Bicycles: Whats it Worth? Appraisals.
4
02-06-17 08:13 AM
short
Utility Cycling
20
01-03-15 07:14 AM
bikemig
Classic and Vintage Bicycles: Whats it Worth? Appraisals.
19
10-04-14 10:23 AM
flammenwurfer
Classic & Vintage
34
11-07-12 10:23 AM
sykerocker
Classic & Vintage
13
11-03-10 05:53 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.