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-   -   For the love of English 3 speeds... (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=623699)

clubman 08-14-18 08:36 PM

It all comes down to what you want to build. You've probably seen beater bikes (see Clunker Challenge) that make your head spin. Do what you want, there's plenty of choices left out there. If you find you don't like them, then put them on a true beater bike. Do try to get box section rims with eyelets.

So you've got a 36 hole 4 speed Sturmey hub??

Buellster 08-14-18 08:50 PM


Originally Posted by clubman (Post 20506984)
It all comes down to what you want to build. You've probably seen beater bikes (see Clunker Challenge) that make your head spin. Do what you want, there's plenty of choices left out there. If you find you don't like them, then put them on a true beater bike. Do try to get box section rims with eyelets.

So you've got a 36 hole 4 speed Sturmey hub??

That's the problem. The paradox of choice, so many options they all blur together. Box section rims with eyelets gives me a starting point so thanks!

Sure do. Got it from the Ebay.
Is that an odd hole number for a 4 speed? https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...fdc0d05cd9.jpg

Bit of NOS from Ebay
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...1dee7d5e01.jpg

clubman 08-14-18 08:57 PM

Less typical for Britain, more often found in export markets like Canada in the old days. No problem. More choices of somewhat matched rims at a better prices. What year is hub? What's your front hub?

Buellster 08-14-18 10:14 PM


Originally Posted by clubman (Post 20507018)
Less typical for Britain, more often found in export markets like Canada in the old days. No problem. More choices of somewhat matched rims at a better prices. What year is hub? What's your front hub?

Sounds like a perk to me. The 4 speed is a 64 model year, the front hub is a Hope Pro, unsure of the year.

markk900 08-15-18 05:28 AM

Maybe I am out of touch, but $60-90 for a rim seems high to me. I have built several (5-6) wheels using Alex DM18 in 700c and I seem to recall they were around $25 CAD each. I have a set of CR18s ready to go and I think they were under $35 each - they are popular with the IGH crowd.

I am am not a deepV fan on anything that is not modern so save that for your next build. If you have a $90-120 budget you should have no problem with brand new decent quality in a set.

Buellster 08-15-18 09:59 AM


Originally Posted by markk900 (Post 20507297)
Maybe I am out of touch, but $60-90 for a rim seems high to me. I have built several (5-6) wheels using Alex DM18 in 700c and I seem to recall they were around $25 CAD each. I have a set of CR18s ready to go and I think they were under $35 each - they are popular with the IGH crowd.

I am am not a deepV fan on anything that is not modern so save that for your next build. If you have a $90-120 budget you should have no problem with brand new decent quality in a set.

I should specify, my total budget is about $210. (Though I know it will exceed that by some)
I still need a single gear front crank and a 4 speed trigger shifter.
I figure 40-60 for the shifter given the rarity (Ebay puts me about there).
The single gear crank set has me lost and I'm totally unsure how much that ordeal will cost me. (I have another thread up trying to figure out if my specialites TA cranks could work in some capacity).
I've looked into the rim selections you give and like the look of the Alex rims, they are about $35 which is great by me.
I just had no idea what I was looking for so I went of the rims I had on the bike currently. Haha
thanks for the help!

Salubrious 08-15-18 10:10 AM


Originally Posted by Buellster (Post 20506793)
So I'm almost to a point where I can have my 700c wheel built around my 4 speed hub.
I was able to sell that 21" sports and once my friend pays me for the Peugeot I sold him I'll have the funds to put into the wheel build.
My LBS says he will only build with a new rim, but that I can choose or provide the rim as long as it's new. I know that may seem like an overzealous restriction but hes a great guy who takes a lot of pride in his wheel builds and refuses to build on a rim he cant guarantee. Of all the bike shops around he provides the best maintenance and has the most care for my bikes.
There is also a shop dedicated to wheel building specifically and only. They would be more expensive but its tempting since they are solely focused on wheels. I would at least imagine that means they are pretty danm good at it. They also wont build on anything but a new rim.
Any way that's sort of besides the point. I'm trying to figure out what type of rim I should use. My front rim (which was free to me) is a Velocity Deep V rim. I like the look and feel of it, but its pricey(msrp $86) and I am very suspicious the deep V thing is just marketing mumbo jumbo. I'm unsure what brands are known for good rims (past the obvious campy) and more so if there are any brands or types that would best serve an internal hub.
Is lighter always better, or would I be better suited with a heavier wheel that would stay true longer and maybe last longer?
and what about spokes!? Does it matter? How much?
I'll could easily be spending more on this wheel than I paid for the bike ($125) so I want to do it right.
any suggestions or advice would be helpful, even if that advice is "go to another thread and ask there" haha

The advantage of the 650A tire size is that its really well suited to a variety of road conditions from good pavement to gravel. That is because that is what was around when the tire size was created. 700c is less well adapted- it works better if pavement is really all you plan to ride on, although there are some wider sizes. You might consider 650B- this also fits older frames- the 650B tire size has been around a really long time as well.

The 650b size is also available in tubeless, and you can get 32, 36 and 40 hole versions. Most of them I've seen are black (but silver might be out there), with and without polishing for rim brakes. Ritchey makes a 650b tubeless-ready tire (Tom Slick) that is a road tire; its about the same width as a 650a tire. It rides really well. A rim example:
Velocity Wheels - Hand Made in USA


The thing is, ride quality in a three speed British bike is a good part of its charm. 700c wheels just don't ride as well unless you go to wider sizes (tubeless is also available for 700c now). The advantage of tubeless is you can get that ride quality back, because without an inner tube the tire is a bit more supple. This allows the wheel to be lighter and faster too, if you get the tire pressure right.

Buellster 08-15-18 10:31 AM


Originally Posted by Salubrious (Post 20507719)
The advantage of the 650A tire size is that its really well suited to a variety of road conditions from good pavement to gravel. That is because that is what was around when the tire size was created. 700c is less well adapted- it works better if pavement is really all you plan to ride on, although there are some wider sizes. You might consider 650B- this also fits older frames- the 650B tire size has been around a really long time as well.

The 650b size is also available in tubeless, and you can get 32, 36 and 40 hole versions. Most of them I've seen are black (but silver might be out there), with and without polishing for rim brakes. Ritchey makes a 650b tubeless-ready tire (Tom Slick) that is a road tire; its about the same width as a 650a tire. It rides really well. A rim example:
Velocity Wheels - Hand Made in USA


The thing is, ride quality in a three speed British bike is a good part of its charm. 700c wheels just don't ride as well unless you go to wider sizes (tubeless is also available for 700c now). The advantage of tubeless is you can get that ride quality back, because without an inner tube the tire is a bit more supple. This allows the wheel to be lighter and faster too, if you get the tire pressure right.

I dont think tubeless is my style but I am in no way opposed to 650b or a sizing. The bike ran 27s and I knew you could throw some 700cs on with no adjustments so that's what I did. I mostly ride pavement but I dont like road or racing tires as the ride is very harsh. I like the idea of going the 650b or a route if I'm getting two new wheels anyway.

Salubrious 08-15-18 10:42 AM

Going tubeless is insanely easy- once set up, it can hold air longer than tires with tubes. You tend to get less flats too- nothing to pinch flat. Small punctures get sealed by the sealant. The only tricky bit is getting the tire to seat, and so far I've been able to do that with a regular floor pump. There's lots of instruction videos on You Tube.

desconhecido 08-15-18 11:42 AM


Originally Posted by Buellster (Post 20507780)
I dont think tubeless is my style but I am in no way opposed to 650b or a sizing. The bike ran 27s and I knew you could throw some 700cs on with no adjustments so that's what I did. I mostly ride pavement but I dont like road or racing tires as the ride is very harsh. I like the idea of going the 650b or a route if I'm getting two new wheels anyway.

My recommendation for a basic 700c rim would be the Sun CR18 which can be had in three finishes -- silver, black, and shiny polished. They are available from a bunch of different sellers including Amazon with free shipping for about $32 or less. The outer width is about 23mm and they are suitable for the widest tires that you might want to put on your Harding -- probably 35mm would be about the max though it probably depends on fender status. The shiny polished finish is my favorite.

650b rims are 584mm compared to the 630mm of the 27" rims and 622 of the 700c. 650a rims are 590 mm. With either 650a or 650b, you would need extra long reach brakes or have some canti bosses brazed on.

I understand why your wheel builder wouldn't want to build with used rims. Possible problems create an avoidable headache.

As for spokes, straight 14 gage should be fine as the wheel will have no dish.

browngw 08-15-18 11:51 AM


Originally Posted by Buellster (Post 20507780)
I dont think tubeless is my style but I am in no way opposed to 650b or a sizing. The bike ran 27s and I knew you could throw some 700cs on with no adjustments so that's what I did. I mostly ride pavement but I dont like road or racing tires as the ride is very harsh. I like the idea of going the 650b or a route if I'm getting two new wheels anyway.

If you wanted to stay with 27", the Panaracer Pasela PT 27x1 1/4" 32-630 is a good all round tire for everything from gravel to pavement. The 32mm size is a great compromise of comfort and speed. I have them on two different bikes, a '76 Bridgestone alloy touring and a '58 Sun Cresta lightweight.

Buellster 08-15-18 11:56 AM

Yeah the brakes are at thier limit with the 700c so I'm I dont think 650b would work...


sticking with 27" could be nice. I will look into those, thanks!

markk900 08-15-18 05:12 PM

I can vouch for Paselas in both 700c and 27” sizes....

BigChief 08-15-18 10:16 PM


Originally Posted by clubman (Post 20505431)
Yup. Too bad the chrome is rough and even after an OA bath it's still cosmetically challenged to be polite. The bike was pretty corroded but it all came apart just fine. The small chrome bits like brakes and levers are fine, the stem and bars, no. Rubber Humber pedals intact.

I love these chainrings. This has to be one of the most bizarre company logos ever devised. I think you have to be English to come up with things like this. I can't help but imagine the meeting where this idea was introduced.
Here's the logo I made up. What do you think?
Why it looks like 5 headless men holding hands running in a circle.
Well no, that huge circle in the center is the head.
Ah, that makes sense. Brilliant, we'll go with that then.

Buellster 08-15-18 10:51 PM

Oh hey it's me again.
Thank you all for the wheel suggestions! It was really helpful and I have a good idea of what I'm going for. The route desconhecido provided is what I'll likley go with. The 700c wheel sets have a good number of tire options and an extra perk is that they are fairly cheap.
Sorry to be spamming this lovely thread. I hope you wonderful people dont mind my constant questions.
I found a front chainring that will work for the build. I have Lambert TA crank with a 52 teeth outer ring. I'll be using it and a 22 tooth rear cog (I used sheldons gearing calculator and the 22 tooth evens out the loss the 52 tooth front causes).
With that part of the build (or rather the plan for it) all wrapped up I'm on to the mountings.
the only thing I'm missing is the 4 speed shifter (the most expensive part of the whole setup).
I'm reading that the tension for the lowest gear ratio is very very high. I'm seeing some lesser quality shifters for $39 and all the way up to $70 for NOS.
The two types I'm running into are "4 speed" and "3 or 4 speed".
The 3 or 4 speed tend to be from the 50s and 60s time frame, while the 4 speed dedicated are from later years. Should I be trying to get a shifter from the time period of the hub? I'm not concerned with keeping the system original, I'm more concerned with best functionality.

BigChief 08-16-18 05:21 AM


Originally Posted by Buellster (Post 20509019)
Oh hey it's me again.
Thank you all for the wheel suggestions! It was really helpful and I have a good idea of what I'm going for. The route desconhecido provided is what I'll likley go with. The 700c wheel sets have a good number of tire options and an extra perk is that they are fairly cheap.
Sorry to be spamming this lovely thread. I hope you wonderful people dont mind my constant questions.
I found a front chainring that will work for the build. I have Lambert TA crank with a 52 teeth outer ring. I'll be using it and a 22 tooth rear cog (I used sheldons gearing calculator and the 22 tooth evens out the loss the 52 tooth front causes).
With that part of the build (or rather the plan for it) all wrapped up I'm on to the mountings.
the only thing I'm missing is the 4 speed shifter (the most expensive part of the whole setup).
I'm reading that the tension for the lowest gear ratio is very very high. I'm seeing some lesser quality shifters for $39 and all the way up to $70 for NOS.
The two types I'm running into are "4 speed" and "3 or 4 speed".
The 3 or 4 speed tend to be from the 50s and 60s time frame, while the 4 speed dedicated are from later years. Should I be trying to get a shifter from the time period of the hub? I'm not concerned with keeping the system original, I'm more concerned with best functionality.

The 3 or 4 speed shifter was introduced in 1950 and only lasted a few years before SA changed to separate 3 and 4 speed shifters. The 4 speed kept the same case as the earlier shifter for years It seems more economical to use one shifter for both hubs, but they changed for some reason. This is just speculation. I've never had a 4 speed hub, but I'm thinking that either the 4 speed hub changed or the 4 speed shifter indexing was improved to better suit the hub. Since they are expensive, I would use a dedicated 4 speed shifter unless someone here has experience using an early 3 or 4 speed shifter with a later FW hub and found it reliable.

Salubrious 08-16-18 11:49 AM


Originally Posted by Buellster (Post 20509019)
the only thing I'm missing is the 4 speed shifter (the most expensive part of the whole setup).
I'm reading that the tension for the lowest gear ratio is very very high. I'm seeing some lesser quality shifters for $39 and all the way up to $70 for NOS.
The two types I'm running into are "4 speed" and "3 or 4 speed".
The 3 or 4 speed tend to be from the 50s and 60s time frame, while the 4 speed dedicated are from later years. Should I be trying to get a shifter from the time period of the hub? I'm not concerned with keeping the system original, I'm more concerned with best functionality.

Either shifter will work. I'd go with the one that matches the period of the frame. The cable is best adjusted by putting the shifter in low, and then setting the cable so the toggle chain is all the way out of the hub but no more. That's all the tension you need! If set that way, all the other gears will be there for you. Its a bit tricky sometimes getting into low until you get the hang of it.

Nervar made a pretty cool crank called the Sport that was a steel cottered crank with alloy chainrings. The rings were available in 53 down to 40 teeth. I've stumbled across them in used parts bins at my co-op LBS. The later versions were still steel, but cotterless. Nervar also made a really nice alloy crankset which you can still find cheaper than Stronglight or Campy, yet is every bit the same quality (hint: they shine up nice). Both cranksets are available in English threads.

ddeand 08-16-18 01:09 PM

Quick evaluation, please. What is the most you’d pay for this bike based solely on the picture?

https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...255610a00.jpeg

clubman 08-16-18 02:03 PM

Mid to late 60's, decent shape. $140. (I'm stingy)

I'd LIKE to pay $75.

BigChief 08-16-18 02:57 PM

DL-1s have been actually getting higher prices here in New England in the past few years. It wouldn't surprise me to see this bike get $250.

clubman 08-16-18 04:21 PM

I agree with your estimate. I'm knocking a big discount off as a women's frame. Men's frame at $250, definitely.

Buellster 08-16-18 05:10 PM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 20509198)
Since they are expensive, I would use a dedicated 4 speed shifter unless someone here has experience using an early 3 or 4 speed shifter with a later FW hub and found it reliable.


Originally Posted by Salubrious (Post 20509879)
Either shifter will work. I'd go with the one that matches the period of the frame. The cable is best adjusted by putting the shifter in low, and then setting the cable so the toggle chain is all the way out of the hub but no more. That's all the tension you need! If set that way, all the other gears will be there for you. Its a bit tricky sometimes getting into low until you get the hang of it.

Nervar made a pretty cool crank called the Sport that was a steel cottered crank with alloy chainrings...

Thanks you two!
My inclination was definitely to go with the dedicated 4 speed, both because it is from the same period and would likley be the most compatible and because I would imagine that a shifter built only for 4 speeds is better suited for them.

Those cranks and chainrings do look nice Salubrious but I think I'm sticking with my lambert cranks and my 52 tooth cog. I think I can get it shined up pretty nice.

I've been thinking I should put some oil into the FW before I get it built into the wheel. If its truly never been used, which seems to be the case, I imagine its dry in there. Which may be a blessing since that also means no ancient grease.
Should I just fill it to the brim and let the excess leak for a few days before I get it built into the wheel?
On the note of oil I'm thinking the sports could probably use some too....

BigChief 08-16-18 05:50 PM

Since the 3 or 4 speed shifter works, the only issue would be the cable ferrule. The older shifters have a threaded hole for a threaded ferrule and the later shifters (after 1963 or so) have a keyhole slot for ball end ferrules.
edit:
I may be wrong about this. I've never had a later 4 speed trigger. It may be that only the later style 3 speed triggers got the keyhole connection. Here's a late 60s or 70s 4 speed trigger and it still has the threaded hole.
70s 4 speed trigger

Buellster 08-16-18 10:56 PM

The cable that came in the box has this end on it.
I'm thinking this is the ball end style?
I'm glad you pointed that out because I didnt realize that more than one type existed haha
I'll have to be careful which type I buy.
https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...ae5ac011c7.jpg

BigChief 08-17-18 02:48 AM

This is the ferrule you'll need for a threaded shifter. Both cable ends should be like the second picture, although this is one I made myself from 3/32" brass tubing. Back when this picture was taken I silver soldered the ends on, but now I glue them on with JB Weld. I don't have a picture of a factory shifter cable handy.

https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...cba8abf797.jpg
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...39449b6fdb.jpg

BigChief 08-17-18 03:12 AM

I forgot...Many of the newer replacement shifter cables come with pinch bolt adapters with a barrel nut that connects to the indicator chain at the hub instead of the older style which had the little sausage ends directly into the barrel adjuster. They still need the sausage end to fit into the shifter though. I do have a complaint about some of these replacement cables. The end for the shifter is a piece of tubing crimped onto the cable end and sometimes they're too fat to fit well in the notch in the shifter cam. Sometimes they will get stuck halfway into the notch. Then after you think you have the cable adjusted correctly, they'll slip further down leaving you wondering why the cable went slack. Sloppy work. Also, I don't care for the clunky pinch bolt adapters either. That's why I make my own. It's more trouble to fit them correctly, but they look much cleaner.
Ah, found something for ya. This cable was designed to handle anything you throw at it. You would need cable cutters. It has the threaded ferrule. The cable and housing are longer than you'll need, so no matter which routing you choose, it will work. It has a Shimano end on one side, a Sturmey Archer sausage end at the other and a pinch bolt adapter for the hub.
universal cable

nlerner 08-17-18 04:37 AM


Originally Posted by Buellster (Post 20511008)
The cable that came in the box has this end on it.
I'm thinking this is the ball end style?
I'm glad you pointed that out because I didnt realize that more than one type existed haha
I'll have to be careful which type I buy.
https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...ae5ac011c7.jpg

I believe that style of barrel is for a twist-grip shifter.

thumpism 08-17-18 05:21 AM

Shimano 3-speed shifter takes the barrel end, while Sturmey 3-speed takes the much thinner sleeve end shown in BigChief's photo.

BigChief 08-17-18 07:32 AM

I'm only going from that eBay ad since I've never had a 4 speed shifter, but everything about that one looks 70s to me. Unless someone here knows differently, I'm going to say that any 3 or 4 and 4 speed SA shifters will require the threaded end ferrule. So, what he will need is: The shifter, an inner cable with the small end to fit the shifter, a length of housing with a threaded ferrule to go from the shifter to a top tube mounted fulcrum clip, a seat tube mounted guide wheel and a pinch bolt adapter to connect the cable to the indicator chain.

Buellster 08-17-18 07:44 AM

Well that is just a danm shame. Here I thought the box would have everything I needed but the shifter. Turns out its missing something else quite important.
this is the full cable, it does have the screw on adjuster but then the other end is as shown. So what this guy just tossed in a shimano cable and called it a day?
Thanks for finding that universal cable!
would it be too thick for the standard roller runners one mounts on the rear triangle?
Is there an advantage to the tensioning nut as opposed to the original style? I don't mind upgrading if it's a good change but I also have seem some simailry priced period cables. Like I said beforeI want to use what will work the best more than I'm trying to keep it period.
https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...06d567634e.jpg


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