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Anyone got a drop bar 3 speed? Pics are always a plus, of course!

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Anyone got a drop bar 3 speed? Pics are always a plus, of course!

Old 07-26-12, 10:38 PM
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Anyone got a drop bar 3 speed? Pics are always a plus, of course!

I'm thinking of building up a drop bar commuter out of a Tange 2 frame I have. I've got myself liking the idea of something simple with a 3sp internally geared hub and light weight aluminum fenders. I'm thinking that build would turn out to be a pretty quick, light weight, and low maintenance bike. Who has one or has tried one? What do/did you think?
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Old 07-27-12, 03:25 AM
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Well it sure ain't light. Rudge de luxe with Raleigh GP parts


27 107 by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr
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Old 07-27-12, 05:32 AM
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Drop bar 7spd? Oh wait sorry it is 21 spd but it is an IGH

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Old 07-27-12, 05:52 AM
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I did that to my Lambert. Here's a photo of it when I first had it all together:



And on a recent century:



I ride this bike on Long Island, where there are not many hills. Perfectly adequate for that; I ride with guys who have more gears, but my limited gearing doesn't seem to hold me back much.

I've also got an old Raleigh Record Ave set up as a five speed; the five speed hub is kinda like having two three speed hubs in one shell, so you have two shifters, and a bit wider range, which is useful on hills. All in all it's a very similar ride.

So I'd say yeah, go for it.

Last edited by rhm; 07-27-12 at 05:56 AM.
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Old 07-27-12, 06:25 AM
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Kabuki Super Speed, Shimano hub laced to 27" wheels, Pasella tires. Using 39x18 to get 44, 59 and 78 inches. It is pretty flat here, so I have gears for head winds, tail winds, and cruising.

Edit: I noticed the pictures were gone so I restored them. In the ten years since this thread was posted, I returned the Kabuki back to derailleur shifting.


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Kabuki pictures 001.jpg (52.6 KB, 145 views)
File Type: jpg
Kabuki pictures 011.jpg (81.7 KB, 137 views)

Last edited by Pompiere; 11-22-22 at 07:53 PM. Reason: restored the pictures
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Old 07-27-12, 07:08 AM
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'62 Sports


81 Comp GS


Do inverted North Road bars count?
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Old 07-27-12, 07:29 AM
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Anyone got a drop bar 3 speed? Pics are always a plus, of course!

Here are a couple of my dropbar IGH bicycles. The Hercules Kestrel is a 3-speed and the Norman Rapide is a 4-speed.


Hercules Kestrel - First Ride - C&O Canal Towpath - 1 by Sallad Rialb, on Flickr


Norman Rapide - Valley Trail - 2 by Sallad Rialb, on Flickr
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Old 07-27-12, 07:50 AM
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I saw the title for the thread, 3 speed drop bars and I think of the Norman Rapide. How's that for word association?
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Old 07-27-12, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by 3speed
I'm thinking of building up a drop bar commuter out of a Tange 2 frame I have. I've got myself liking the idea of something simple with a 3sp internally geared hub and light weight aluminum fenders. I'm thinking that build would turn out to be a pretty quick, light weight, and low maintenance bike. Who has one or has tried one? What do/did you think?
The quickness depends mostly on the overall weight of the bike. Using light rims and tires will help a lot. As you suspect, it will be low maintenance. The thing that will occupy most of your time once you get it built will be keeping the fenders straight. It will be a bit heavier than a similarly-geared derailleur bike. But there is an elegance to an IGH bike.

The AW hub annoys me with its gears so far apart. When I shift down, I have to slow way down, so if I don't want to tire myself out, I end up going much more slowly than on a bike with a "full" set of gears.

I think choosing your ratio carefully can help. My Rudge Sports is heavy at about 40 lbs, so I geared it super-low. photogravity sent me a special, hard-to-find 24T sprocket for the rear. The chainring is 48T. So all my gears are low. You won't need to go so low. But since you'll have only three gears, you may want to use my approach: don't gear it too high. I go down hills fast by coasting, not pedaling. If a hill is steep, I don't need to pedal. So my gear inches are 39", 52", and 69". The top gear is suitable for pedaling down the very slightest of grades. The bottom gear will get me up any hill, even when I'm towing a big load of cargo with my trailer.

For a lightweight, drop-bar bike, I might gear it with something like 42/18. This gives you gears of 47", 63"and 84". This assumes a fairly low cadence where you use top gear for cruising in the city or a high cadence (or slow speed) in the middle gear.
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Old 07-27-12, 08:03 AM
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'51 Armstrong.
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Old 07-27-12, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow
'51 Armstrong.
I would kill for a bike that color. Is there a name for it?
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Old 07-27-12, 08:47 AM
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^ I'm lovin' the rear rack on the Armstrong...and now I want one too....so what's 1/4 pound to the old Raleigh anyway?!
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Old 07-27-12, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Velognome
81 Comp GS
This is gorgeous.
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Old 07-27-12, 08:53 AM
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I've converted several road bikes to 3-speed IGH. This is the most recent, a Shogun 300 conversion from last year.
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Old 07-27-12, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by KOBE
I saw the title for the thread, 3 speed drop bars and I think of the Norman Rapide. How's that for word association?
I guess I'm succeeding in my mission then! Of all the bikes I have, the Norman is my all-time favorite. I can honestly say that if I could have only one single-rider bike, the Norman would be the one to keep. I am truly enamored with this bike, to put it mildly.
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Old 07-27-12, 09:15 AM
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In the planning stage.

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Old 07-27-12, 09:24 AM
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Sorry I have no pictures, but I do have a three speed with dropped bars. It may be a little different that the bikes posted, a Fuji Track with actually differnt bars to make one of my favorite rides a multiuse do everything bike. The three speed with drop bars is quite simple, I mounted the shifter on the stem with no problem. I also have a set of upright touriing type bars with a traditional shifter set up. The bike will also accomadate a single speed and I can easily turn it back into the track bike for a trip to the velodrome. It may seem extreme to some but I can easily change one configuration to another in less than thirty minutes.
Use your imagination and experiment with your wrenching and by all means have some fun.
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Old 07-27-12, 09:31 AM
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I saw the title for the thread, 3 speed drop bars and I think of the Norman Rapide
Strange since it's a 4 speed! But I understand what you mean, it's a classic!
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Old 07-27-12, 12:41 PM
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Some of you have some beautiful bikes in this style! Now I Have to do it. Mine won't be as nice looking as many of yours, but I think it will ride nicely.

Noglider - It would be heavier than a derailer geared bike? I figured the 3sp hub, while being heavy, would weigh less than a freewheel, two derailers, and the extra chain-ring and shifter/cable. Maybe I'll start looking into the lightest 3sp hub I can find that looks decent.
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Old 07-27-12, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow
'51 Armstrong.
That is just such a nice bike... If you EVER sell it, I would love to be the first person in line for this baby.
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Old 07-27-12, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Velognome
Strange since it's a 4 speed! But I understand what you mean, it's a classic!
Well, I sure wasn't going to correct him! I frequently try to sneak it in on 3-speed bicycle discussions.
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Old 07-27-12, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speed
Maybe I'll start looking into the lightest 3sp hub I can find that looks decent.
Yeah, start a thread on that!

I once weighed two AW's, one with a steel shell and the other with the aluminum shell they used in the 50's, and was amazed at the difference. But of course I don't remember what the numbers were. FW's are a good bit heavier.
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Old 07-27-12, 01:24 PM
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Old 07-27-12, 01:27 PM
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Old 07-27-12, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm
Yeah, start a thread on that!

I once weighed two AW's, one with a steel shell and the other with the aluminum shell they used in the 50's, and was amazed at the difference. But of course I don't remember what the numbers were. FW's are a good bit heavier.
I can weigh both an alloy and a steel shell hub this evening to see what the weight difference is. I'll compare two 36-hole versions to make the comparison valid.
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