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

dweenk 12-11-16 10:17 AM


Originally Posted by desconhecido (Post 19244018)
I don't believe the advertisement that the saddle is the original. Every original Brooks saddle on a Sports that I have seen has had springs and the pictured one does not. Looks like a B17. If I were to have a tatoo on my butt it would be "B17," so you know I'm not disparaging the saddle, but it doesn't appear to be original to me.

Also, the rear fender has two stays and I don't believe that Raleigh went to two stays on the rear fender as early as 58. But, that's conjecture.

It very well may be before 1970, though, as it still has the white tail and small round reflector.

The saddle looks like a B-72 to me - I see loop springs in the shadow.

nlerner 12-11-16 10:35 AM


Originally Posted by dweenk (Post 19244685)
the saddle looks like a b-72 to me - i see loop springs in the shadow.

+1

desconhecido 12-11-16 12:51 PM

About the saddle, you guys are right and I am wrong. Still think it's later than 58, though. Catalogs show single strut fenders as late as 62 but 67 catalog shows two strut rear fenders. This one has steel brakes and a top tube shifter cable routing and a white tail with small white reflector. The right brake lever is visible and it sure looks like a self adjuster (as mentioned earlier). That would be about 72 or 73. Reflectors on the pedals, too.

I know the catalog descriptions and photos may not be exactly year definitive and I know that Raleigh didn't always maintain the tightest controls on their specs, but with the self adjuster on the right brake lever , that bike is very probably early 70s.

edit: Kurt Kaminer's summary of Raleigh Sports indicates 73 as the first year of the self adjusters. Catalog pages referred to above are also found on Mr Kaminer's wonderful resource site.

3speedslow 12-11-16 01:16 PM

+1 self adjusting brakes started with 73.

thumpism 12-11-16 04:41 PM

4 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 19231337)
I've been keeping my eyes out for older Schwinn lightweights for years and have come to the conclusion that not many were made, especially in the large frame size. According to the catalogs, lightweight bikes like the Traveler were available in 23" frames. Try to find one. If I come up with a nice 3 speed Schwinn project, I'll report back here, but I've been looking for the past 25 years and haven't found one yet.

Sooprise, sooprise, sooprise! Tell me if I'm getting warmer on this. I went back by the co-op this afternoon to settle a nagging feeling that I'd missed something on previous visits and made a discovery that might be of interest to you, a Schwinn Speedster in red that looks like it measures 23" c-t. I could not get to the rear hub to check the date but got a shot of the serial number if that will help you date it. Looks like a '70s bike to me with the reflectors on pedals and wheels and the plastic cover on the SA shift trigger.

It's no garage queen but it's in pretty decent shape from what I can tell; the storage room is poorly lit, dusty, and the bike's frame tubes are wrapped in blue painter's tape, possibly miles of blue painter's tape. Plus, it's got a retroreflective strip that foils flash photography but the bike would be indistinguishable in the dark otherwise. Let me know if you're interested. The place is open on Tuesday evenings and Sunday afternoons. I can wrestle it out into the open for a closer inspection at your request. Tires are S-6, 37-597.
Attachment 545588

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BigChief 12-11-16 07:47 PM

It's only recently that I relented from my 50s or earlier rule for British bikes. Not ready to go there for the American bikes. But thanks for looking. Funny, I'm so old myself that the 70s or certainly the 80s just doesn't seem old to me. No way will I ever think of anything from the 80s as vintage. I have clothes I still wear older than that.

thumpism 12-11-16 10:05 PM

Y'know, if you keep it dusty and tape-y no one will ever have to know.

teisco 12-12-16 07:00 AM

I picked up an old English Dunlet last summer and fell in love with 3 speeds. I am hoping to find a nicer version of almost any English 3 speed someday. The look I have in mind would include an aged Brooks leather seat and a small rear seat bag.

desconhecido 12-12-16 07:12 AM


Originally Posted by teisco (Post 19246260)
I picked up an old English Dunlet last summer and fell in love with 3 speeds. I am hoping to find a nicer version of almost any English 3 speed someday. The look I have in mind would include an aged Brooks leather seat and a small rear seat bag.

Small bag -- depends on what you mean by small. We have a Banjo Brothers barrel which is about 1 liter. BB used to be Minehaha, I think. It's ok.

For a bit more money you can get the Carradice zipped roll. Advertised as 2 liter. Much better quality than the Banjo Brothers bag. We ordered a couple from SJS (St Johns St). With the strong dollar relative to the pound, they were reasonably priced. For some values of "reasonable", that is.

Have a Carradice Barley as well. Advertised as 7 liter. Big enough for any sort of day trip, I'd think. Barley has a water resistant liner and the ZR does not, if that's important.

I forget who had the picture in this thread with a zipped roll Carradice, but it was within the last month. Nice looking bag.

I hart me some Carradice bags. There might be some better ones around, but not by much.

BigChief 12-12-16 09:28 AM


Originally Posted by desconhecido (Post 19246272)
Small bag -- depends on what you mean by small. We have a Banjo Brothers barrel which is about 1 liter. BB used to be Minehaha, I think. It's ok.

For a bit more money you can get the Carradice zipped roll. Advertised as 2 liter. Much better quality than the Banjo Brothers bag. We ordered a couple from SJS (St Johns St). With the strong dollar relative to the pound, they were reasonably priced. For some values of "reasonable", that is.

Have a Carradice Barley as well. Advertised as 7 liter. Big enough for any sort of day trip, I'd think. Barley has a water resistant liner and the ZR does not, if that's important.

I forget who had the picture in this thread with a zipped roll Carradice, but it was within the last month. Nice looking bag.

I hart me some Carradice bags. There might be some better ones around, but not by much.

+1 on the Carradice Zip Roll. I think it's the perfect bag for a vintage 3 speed.

DQRider 12-12-16 09:59 AM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 19246505)
+1 on the Carradice Zip Roll. I think it's the perfect bag for a vintage 3 speed.

Unless you're talking about the DL1; then it must be a Barley... ;)

http://i1073.photobucket.com/albums/...pscmfxnaeu.png

BigChief 12-12-16 10:04 AM


Originally Posted by DQRider (Post 19246583)
Unless you're talking about the DL1; then it must be a Barley... ;)

http://i1073.photobucket.com/albums/...pscmfxnaeu.png

Well yeah, that is sharp too. BTW, Where's the fall pictures you promised? I've been waiting.

BigChief 12-12-16 10:05 AM

About steel. A few posts back I mentioned a long ago conversation I had with a then old time cyclist and mechanic. For the lower end bikes, he preferred the Raleigh frames to Schwinn because Raleigh's 2030 steel was harder and springier than Schwinn's 1018 steel. Makes for a better frame I remember him saying. Since I'm snowed in this morning I did a bit of research. Since 2030 is a brand type name like Reynolds 531 and not an industry standard, I can't find out exactly what the alloy was. 1018 is easy. 10 is low carbon mild steel and 18 means .18% carbon. Since Raleigh frames were brazed and they bragged up their "high tensile" steel by putting stickers on their bikes, I'm going to guess Raleigh's 2030 is akin to modern 1026 steel which is still in the mild steel class but is harder and has a higher tensile strength with it's .26% carbon. Perhaps, this is what gives the Raleighs a more lively feel. Since welding technology was nothing like it is today and higher carbon steel is more difficult to weld, I figure Schwinn chose the softer 1018 steel for ease of welding. Another guess would be that since the older Schwinn lightweights were brazed, they were able to use a higher carbon steel and this accounts for the more lively feel of those bikes over the more modern welded models. Oh well...time to go out and shovel...grrrr

DQRider 12-12-16 10:43 AM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 19246596)
Well yeah, that is sharp too. BTW, Where's the fall pictures you promised? I've been waiting.

Well, I didn't get out with my camera as much as I would have liked this fall. I rode my DL1 a lot, but it was mostly commuting as part of Shawn Granton's October 3-speed Challenge. No camera on those rides, unfortunately.

Besides, this bike has been a bit overexposed here on this thread. I enjoy sharing my photos, but I have to wonder if people don't get tired of looking at the same bike all the time. I've been keeping a lookout for another restoration project, but most of the bikes I see advertised are in good shape, and priced accordingly.

Here is the one decent Fall shot I was able to get this year on the DL1:

http://i1073.photobucket.com/albums/...psjenn6mzt.png

I hope to do better next year.

thumpism 12-12-16 11:32 AM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by teisco (Post 19246260)
I picked up an old English Dunlet last summer and fell in love with 3 speeds. I am hoping to find a nicer version of almost any English 3 speed someday. The look I have in mind would include an aged Brooks leather seat and a small rear seat bag.

How bad is your Dunelt? I may have just the "aged Brooks" it needs.
Attachment 545658

BigChief 12-12-16 04:49 PM


Originally Posted by teisco (Post 19246260)
I picked up an old English Dunlet last summer and fell in love with 3 speeds. I am hoping to find a nicer version of almost any English 3 speed someday. The look I have in mind would include an aged Brooks leather seat and a small rear seat bag.

Welcome to the club. Post some pics of the Dunelt sometime. My advise is to not mess around and jump straight to the top with a DL-1. See DQRider's pics above.:love: edit: you forgot...Del Rey !

teisco 12-12-16 04:51 PM

Thanks, I would love one but finding one in Iowa is not going to happen.

clubman 12-12-16 04:57 PM


Originally Posted by teisco (Post 19247550)
Thanks, I would love one but finding one in Iowa is not going to happen.

As @BigChief suggested post pics of your Dunelt. The early models were very nice quality and there's lots of parts available if you're looking.

PalmettoUpstate 12-12-16 05:49 PM


Originally Posted by desconhecido (Post 19237844)
Schwinn eventually failed not only because they didn't adapt to changes quickly. Management was guilty of a myriad of financial sins: extravagant management perks and compensation and "profit" payments to Schwinn family members that could not be justified, among them. Also, even though the Schwinn company had made boatloads of money over the years, they financed company operations through very expensive lines of credit. Someone said, "neither a borrower nor a lender be," but when the ship hits the sand, the borrower ends up with nothing and the lender gets the remainder.

A couple business journalists wrote a book about Schwinn: Crown, Judith, and Coleman, Glenn, No Hands: The Rise and Fall of the Schwinn Bicycle Company, An American Institution

It was available from our local library so I read it about 10 or 15 years ago. It's a very sad story.

Hey just checking back into this most "paramount" of threads...

VERTICAL MANUFACTURING IN A BRAVE NEW WORLD: killed: Schwinn, Raleigh, Flying Pigeon etc. etc. etc.

BTW, earlier on this thread [I think] someone mentioed an early 60's Brit Flick called Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. I procured a copy thru ILL and it indeed has some good scenes of the actual Raleigh Nottingham factory and Albert Finney bashing about on his Lenton. Highly recommended!

PalmettoUpstate 12-12-16 06:03 PM

<<<It runs deeper than that and can probably best be explained by having you read the first few chapters of Tom Robbins's second novel "Even Cowgirls Get The Blues." Heroine Sissy Hankshaw hails from Richmond and her early life here is described, as well as some thoughts on the city itself. Robbins was on the newspaper here before his career as a novelist. Anyway, in addition to a very large and still growing university or two or three, there is a strong Anglophile character to the place going back to Colonial days but, as the author pointed out in the book, "...Richmond longs to wear England's pants, not get into them." Prime conditions for the existence and survival of old English bicycles and cars.>>>
@thumpism: Shades of Flannery O'Connor and other defeated Southerners. Yes, being something of a literature nut, I read that "Big Thumbs" book [you know what I mean] years ago when it was released. Trash. However, Robbins did somewhat have his finger on the pulse of Spider-town and your observations are quite interesting. And, LOL, Richmond is, so far as I know, the closest metro to Williamsburg and to Roanoke - the original North American Anglo-towns.

Wonder if I could find an early Fiat Spyder or Alfa Romeo Veloce up there...?

thumpism 12-12-16 07:26 PM


Originally Posted by PalmettoUpstate (Post 19247704)
Wonder if I could find an early Fiat Spyder or Alfa Romeo Veloce up there...?

850 or 124? Coupe or convertible? Seen them around, and Alfas, too. Let me know.

Both Williamsburg and the Roanoke settlement (presumably you mean the Lost Colony of Dare County NC and not Virginia's second largest city located in Southwestern VA) are physically closer to the Tidewater cities of Hampton, Norfolk, etc., a vast metro area.

BigChief 12-12-16 09:00 PM


Originally Posted by thumpism (Post 19247839)
850 or 124? Coupe or convertible? Seen them around, and Alfas, too. Let me know.

Both Williamsburg and the Roanoke settlement (presumably you mean the Lost Colony of Dare County NC and not Virginia's second largest city located in Southwestern VA) are physically closer to the Tidewater cities of Hampton, Norfolk, etc., a vast metro area.

These days, shopping for something like a vintage sports car needs to be regional if not national. I was pretty lucky finding my DL-1 locally. The good old stuff gets more and more rare as the years pass. One good thing about old 3 speed hunting is there's not a lot of competition from buyers. There's not many of us out there.

PalmettoUpstate 12-12-16 09:32 PM


Originally Posted by thumpism (Post 19247839)
850 or 124? Coupe or convertible? Seen them around, and Alfas, too. Let me know.

Both Williamsburg and the Roanoke settlement (presumably you mean the Lost Colony of Dare County NC and not Virginia's second largest city located in Southwestern VA) are physically closer to the Tidewater cities of Hampton, Norfolk, etc., a vast metro area.

Not to get too far afield but I didn't know that the 850 - with its "breadbox" engine - was called a Spyder so I was speaking of the 124.

And I stand [geographically] - corrected on Williamsburg and Roanoke. Tx.

BTW, you see this? I'm kinda far away from striking distance tho' I did go to NJ last year about this time to get my "Bucket List" Lenton: 1954 54cm JC Higgins 3 Speed Touring

thumpism 12-12-16 10:19 PM


Originally Posted by PalmettoUpstate (Post 19247989)
BTW, you see this? I'm kinda far away from striking distance tho' I did go to NJ last year about this time to get my "Bucket List" Lenton: 1954 54cm JC Higgins 3 Speed Touring

I had not seen the J.C. Higgins bikes. Beautiful, but too nice for me. I can appreciate them but have no room in my life for them.

SirMike1983 12-12-16 10:25 PM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 19246599)
About steel. A few posts back I mentioned a long ago conversation I had with a then old time cyclist and mechanic. For the lower end bikes, he preferred the Raleigh frames to Schwinn because Raleigh's 2030 steel was harder and springier than Schwinn's 1018 steel. Makes for a better frame I remember him saying. Since I'm snowed in this morning I did a bit of research. Since 2030 is a brand type name like Reynolds 531 and not an industry standard, I can't find out exactly what the alloy was. 1018 is easy. 10 is low carbon mild steel and 18 means .18% carbon. Since Raleigh frames were brazed and they bragged up their "high tensile" steel by putting stickers on their bikes, I'm going to guess Raleigh's 2030 is akin to modern 1026 steel which is still in the mild steel class but is harder and has a higher tensile strength with it's .26% carbon. Perhaps, this is what gives the Raleighs a more lively feel. Since welding technology was nothing like it is today and higher carbon steel is more difficult to weld, I figure Schwinn chose the softer 1018 steel for ease of welding. Another guess would be that since the older Schwinn lightweights were brazed, they were able to use a higher carbon steel and this accounts for the more lively feel of those bikes over the more modern welded models. Oh well...time to go out and shovel...grrrr

Yes, the welded frames are thicker walled and heavier than the seamless fillet brazed ones. The Cro-Mo frames were still another step up. The cottered crank bikes were lighter than the ashtabula bikes too. They had a bunch of variations. I tend to think the drawn-seamless New Worlds with three piece cranks and fillet brazing are about on a par with a decent Raleigh Sports. The welded frames are a bit heavier and deader than the Raleigh, but if you throw the lightened alloy upgraded wheels on one, it improves greatly. The wheels can make a huge difference if you can get your hands on a period performance set (duraluminum hubs and lightened rims). The Cro-Mo frames are definitely a step up from the Raleigh Sports. It really depends on what you have on hand.

The tall frame bike in this thread is a later model than what we're thinking of here. They're not badly made, just very heavy for what they are. They tend to be very durable, though "dead" is a good way of describing their ride.


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