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

Fidbloke 03-10-15 10:28 AM


@Salubrious - Right now my plan is to drill out the hole in the hub body and re-tap for the SA oil port thread, which seems to be very similar to a 1/4" -28 thread.
I think you may find that the oil filler has a BA thread. I've read somewhere that they're 2BA, but I'd double-check the specs if I were you.

Salubrious 03-10-15 10:53 AM

^^ I think you are right, but they are apparently so close that the threads will work. I plan to use a tiny bit of gasket sealer to insure that oil can't leak past the threads.

El Segundo 03-10-15 11:00 AM

2 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 17617312)
I see you used the long reach R 559s . Hard to see from the pictures, but did you need the extra reach. Would the standard length R 540s be long enough?

@BigChief - here are some pictures of the brake and pad from better angle.

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=438323http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=438324

BigChief 03-10-15 11:01 AM


Originally Posted by Salubrious (Post 17618568)
^^ I think you are right, but they are apparently so close that the threads will work. I plan to use a tiny bit of gasket sealer to insure that oil can't leak past the threads.

Modern oil hole covers use SAE threads. I wouldn't recommend forcing one into a BA threaded hole. I see old English covers for sale on ebay all the time.
Best to use one with the correct thread IMHO.

Fidbloke 03-10-15 11:03 AM

Fair enough.
I think I've seen some of these oilers sold somewhere as NOS, but I can't remember where.

I tried to carry your original quote across, so that it was highlighted in blue as a link, but I obviously still need to learn how to 'drive' this forum jobby...

Fidbloke 03-10-15 11:08 AM

I've only ever had old Raleighs from when I was younger in the 1970's, apart from a couple of unfortunate forays into the world of mountain bikes.

That means most of my bikes have had steel rims and the steel Raleigh brakes to go with them. I've never really known any different, so it's quite interesting to see some of the views on the forum about the subject.

Salubrious 03-10-15 11:46 AM


Originally Posted by Fidbloke (Post 17618602)
Fair enough.
I think I've seen some of these oilers sold somewhere as NOS, but I can't remember where.

I tried to carry your original quote across, so that it was highlighted in blue as a link, but I obviously still need to learn how to 'drive' this forum jobby...

The way to do it is click on the little "+ icon in the lower right of the post you want to quote then click on ''+Reply to Thread'.

I got the oil port on ebay from a guy that had a box of NOS Sturmey Archer oil ports.


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 17618596)
Modern oil hole covers use SAE threads. I wouldn't recommend forcing one into a BA threaded hole. I see old English covers for sale on ebay all the time.
Best to use one with the correct thread IMHO.

Yup- ebay is where I got mine. I've also mined donation bike shops for used hubs- not surprisingly, hubs older than 1960 (the cutoff year for the metal oil port) are harder to find and when you do find them the port is often mysteriously missing... So I bought several NOS to keep me in supply.

What you may have missed is this is for a Brampton hub which has a different thread diameter, so I am drilling it out and tapping it for the SA oil port.

Sixty Fiver 03-10-15 12:09 PM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 17617935)
There were quality problems with English products in the later 60s and 70s, but from my experience,
Sturmey Archer AW hubs seemed to be an exception. I know there were design faults in some of the
other hubs from that period, but the AW stayed pretty much the same reliable workhorse it always was.
Even the plating on the hub shell still held up well. I've never had a problem with any AW that wasn't solved
by a cable adjustment or at most, replacing the indicator pin/chain assembly. The only reason I've had
to take them apart was to grease the bearings. I prefer English bikes from the 50s generally, but I'm fine
with the later S/A AWs .

SA hubs from the 60's through the 80's are still ok... but those late 40's and 50's AW hubs are like silk.

I too have very little need to tear down many SA hubs although the '74 hub on my 1954 Raleigh is going to get that '51 hub and a new wheel...

BigChief 03-10-15 01:27 PM


Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver (Post 17618833)
SA hubs from the 60's through the 80's are still ok... but those late 40's and 50's AW hubs are like silk.

I too have very little need to tear down many SA hubs although the '74 hub on my 1954 Raleigh is going to get that '51 hub and a new wheel...

Positively! A 50s Raleigh deserves a 50s hub. Good find. 50s stuff is getting rare.

PalmettoUpstate 03-11-15 07:38 PM


Originally Posted by Velocivixen (Post 17617425)
All I can say about the Tektro R559 is that braking is fantastic. I use Yokozuna brake pads and ditch the stock Tektro pads (I do save them).

Is there that much difference in the performance of the pads to do so? I have a 17T tall Sports that I ride sorta hard from time to time and I'm considering doing the Tektro 559 conversion and if I'm gonna do that I might as well go all the way with it if there's a marked difference. [in the pads]

Velocivixen 03-11-15 08:38 PM


Originally Posted by PalmettoUpstate (Post 17623241)
Is there that much difference in the performance of the pads to do so? I have a 17T tall Sports that I ride sorta hard from time to time and I'm considering doing the Tektro 559 conversion and if I'm gonna do that I might as well go all the way with it if there's a marked difference. [in the pads]

Really, I notice the difference while riding in the rain. However I may not be quite as discerning as other riders who spend more time in the saddle. I had Tektro brake pads on one of my bikes before and I switched out and noted a positive difference. The pads aren't that much from Universal Cycles.

Sixty Fiver 03-11-15 09:01 PM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 17619030)
Positively! A 50s Raleigh deserves a 50s hub. Good find. 50s stuff is getting rare.

The finest SA hub I ever ran was on my 1949 Rudge... it was smooth as silk.

Back in the 40's the production tolerances at Sturmey Archer were some of the highest in any industry, as 3 speeds became relegated to lower priced models and derailleurs took over they did not re-tool as often and what would have never passed in the 40's and 50's was considered ok in the 70's.

With that being said an SA hub from the 70's is still going to work reliably and maybe only a princess like me would notice the difference but that also stems from experience in using hubs from many eras.

BigChief 03-12-15 08:23 AM


Originally Posted by El Segundo (Post 17618594)

Yup, long reach it is. Glad to know this. One of my projects is replacing a bike I had as a kid and now regret selling. But that one was made entirely from junk day finds. It was just a stripped down 50s Rudge Sports. This Hot Rod Rudge will be a bit fancier and not a true restoration. These brakes and CR-18 rims will be part of the finished package. This is a really great thread. Thanks to all of you for sharing your experiences. It's been very helpful.

El Segundo 03-12-15 08:59 AM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 17624276)
Yup, long reach it is. Glad to know this. One of my projects is replacing a bike I had as a kid and now regret selling. But that one was made entirely from junk day finds. It was just a stripped down 50s Rudge Sports. This Hot Rod Rudge will be a bit fancier and not a true restoration. These brakes and CR-18 rims will be part of the finished package. This is a really great thread. Thanks to all of you for sharing your experiences. It's been very helpful.

Hope to see the Rudge soon. Not all bikes are candidates for restoration, which was my case with this Raleigh, not rare and not pristine. The brake/rim upgrades really work great in the rain, only time I have been able to ride it lately is in the rain. One thing I may have done differently is using 700C rims and shorter reach brakes. There seems to be enough room for the larger rim, probably would cause some toe overlap or handling problems. Has anyone on this thread done a 700C conversion?

nlerner 03-12-15 09:03 AM

I have fit 700c wheels to Raleighs originally made for 590mm, as well as to ones originally made for 597mm wheels. No problem with the fit at all. In fact, I have a 1970s men's Sports that I repainted for the Velo-Cheapo contest that will be missing its wheels once I put them back on the bike they belong to. I'll likely set that one up as a single speed with 700c wheels.

gster 03-12-15 09:34 AM

4 Attachment(s)
Picked up a couple of vintage leather saddles the other day.
A Japanese Speedic and a Wrights.
Both at a very good price.
http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=438666http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=438667http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=438668http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=438669

BigChief 03-12-15 10:47 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Hers's the Rudge the way I got it. A mid 50s frame, a possibly original rear wheel with a nifty 55 alloy case AW hub. Painted over, replaced front wheel and fork. Somebody geared it down by replacing the crankset with one with a 44 tooth chainwheel.
http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=438679

arex 03-12-15 11:51 AM


Originally Posted by El Segundo (Post 17624411)
Hope to see the Rudge soon. Not all bikes are candidates for restoration, which was my case with this Raleigh, not rare and not pristine. The brake/rim upgrades really work great in the rain, only time I have been able to ride it lately is in the rain. One thing I may have done differently is using 700C rims and shorter reach brakes. There seems to be enough room for the larger rim, probably would cause some toe overlap or handling problems. Has anyone on this thread done a 700C conversion?

I'm in the process of doing so...still trying to get all the little bits to fit together. I've run into brake shoe clearance problems on the fork, and I'm waiting for some Kool Stop Continentals to get here that will hopefully remedy the issue. Bear in mind that there are 700C tire clearance issues on the fork, if you try to go too big. 37mm may or may not fit, depending on the tire...35mm is a safer bet.

Velocivixen 03-12-15 02:58 PM

@El Segundo @arex - so let me understand. You are placing 700c wheels on old English 3 speeds? I want to see photos. Lots of photos. What's the purpose of this? More tire choices?

Salubrious 03-12-15 03:29 PM

^^ 26" is good for good stability at low speeds. 700c is better for stability and control at higher speeds on account of the shape of the 'contact patch'.

I figured to put a set of 27" wheels on a lighter frame myself. The build is going slow on account of troubles finding a vintage Weinmann 27" rim with 40 holes....

nlerner 03-12-15 04:20 PM

I futzed a bit this morning with this Sports frame and various size wheels. With 700c wheels, brake reach is about 50mm, so in the range of medium reach. I think it would actually fit a 27" wheel fine (though I didn't try it with a tire mounted), and then brake reach would be 46mm. Biggest issue is with the shape of the dropout slots: rear is made for an Sturmey Archer axle with two slides flat, and it's spaced at 115mm. Front is made for a fairly small diameter axle. I either need to find/build some 27" or 700c wheels with the hubs that'll fit those axles or do some filing.

arex 03-12-15 04:23 PM


Originally Posted by Velocivixen (Post 17625608)
@El Segundo @arex - so let me understand. You are placing 700c wheels on old English 3 speeds? I want to see photos. Lots of photos. What's the purpose of this? More tire choices?

Sheldon Brown indicated it was a good idea. Modern rims, more tires, etc., better rolling. Sixty-Fiver has a bike already rolling...it's purty. He could give you a much better idea of the hows and whys and do's and don'ts...I'm still learning.

I made the mistake of building the wheels on Sun RhynoLites, thinking I was going to be able to fit much larger tires than I was able to. I should've used CR18's. The tires that fit the frame are almost too skinny for the rim. Width isn't the issue, it's the height...too large a tire rubs or binds on the fork crown. Also, brake clearance is an issue, which is why I had to ditch the 559's in favor of Weinmann 610's. Clearance in the back isn't an issue, there's all sorts of room.

arex 03-12-15 04:29 PM


Originally Posted by nlerner (Post 17625796)
I futzed a bit this morning with this Sports frame and various size wheels. With 700c wheels, brake reach is about 50mm, so in the range of medium reach. I think it would actually fit a 27" wheel fine (though I didn't try it with a tire mounted), and then brake reach would be 46mm. Biggest issue is with the shape of the dropout slots: rear is made for an Sturmey Archer axle with two slides flat, and it's spaced at 115mm. Front is made for a fairly small diameter axle. I either need to find/build some 27" or 700c wheels with the hubs that'll fit those axles or do some filing.

I used a Maillard track hub on the front. No filing, and a little bit of cold-setting.

El Segundo 03-12-15 04:30 PM


Originally Posted by Velocivixen (Post 17625608)
@El Segundo @arex - so let me understand. You are placing 700c wheels on old English 3 speeds? I want to see photos. Lots of photos. What's the purpose of this? More tire choices?

@Velocivixen - I plan to do this conversion eventually, possibly in the next winter "no ride" season. My main purpose is that I just want to do it and more tire selection is a plus on the conversion. Most of my English 3 speeds are cosmetically challenged so I don't have any reservations on staying original. Read somewhere that it was recommended not to use a 700C wheel and a big sprocket (21 - 22T) on the hub because of extra stress on the inner working of the hub when riding hard in the higher gears. This should not be a problem with my riding since I am mostly flat on the trails around the neighborhood.

El Segundo 03-12-15 04:37 PM


Originally Posted by nlerner (Post 17625796)
I futzed a bit this morning with this Sports frame and various size wheels. With 700c wheels, brake reach is about 50mm, so in the range of medium reach. I think it would actually fit a 27" wheel fine (though I didn't try it with a tire mounted), and then brake reach would be 46mm. Biggest issue is with the shape of the dropout slots: rear is made for an Sturmey Archer axle with two slides flat, and it's spaced at 115mm. Front is made for a fairly small diameter axle. I either need to find/build some 27" or 700c wheels with the hubs that'll fit those axles or do some filing.

Thanks for the brake info. Will you be using the stock Raleigh fork and does it have to be spread to accept newer hubs?

El Segundo 03-12-15 04:49 PM


Originally Posted by arex (Post 17625805)
Sheldon Brown indicated it was a good idea. Modern rims, more tires, etc., better rolling. Sixty-Fiver has a bike already rolling...it's purty. He could give you a much better idea of the hows and whys and do's and don'ts...I'm still learning.

I made the mistake of building the wheels on Sun RhynoLites, thinking I was going to be able to fit much larger tires than I was able to. I should've used CR18's. The tires that fit the frame are almost too skinny for the rim. Width isn't the issue, it's the height...too large a tire rubs or binds on the fork crown. Also, brake clearance is an issue, which is why I had to ditch the 559's in favor of Weinmann 610's. Clearance in the back isn't an issue, there's all sorts of room.

Good info, I will definitely be using the CR18's when I get around to this project. I have read and enjoyed Sheldon's articles about his experimentation with bikes. Before his death I had e-mailed him with some questions about a project and to my surprise he answered quickly and actually followed up a few days later.

Velocivixen 03-12-15 05:17 PM

Ok, so I shouldn't feel bad about possibly changing out the headset. ;) You have any idea what headset will fit a 1955 non Raleigh bike? JIS? ISO? Have any of you replaced headset on an old bike?


On a different not a local CL listing for a 26" wheel laced to a SA 3 speed hub for $10 got my attention. I'll likely get it tomorrow. Hubs very dirty so seller couldn't see or didn't want to take the time to find a date codes. I've read recently you are of the opinions that the '40's & '50's were the golden era of SA AW hubs. I'm not in any hurry for a hub, but want a project. Are there any years I should avoid?

desconhecido 03-12-15 05:36 PM


Originally Posted by Velocivixen (Post 17625922)
Ok, so I shouldn't feel bad about possibly changing out the headset. ;) You have any idea what headset will fit a 1955 non Raleigh bike? JIS? ISO? Have any of you replaced headset on an old bike?


On a different not a local CL listing for a 26" wheel laced to a SA 3 speed hub for $10 got my attention. I'll likely get it tomorrow. Hubs very dirty so seller couldn't see or didn't want to take the time to find a date codes. I've read recently you are of the opinions that the '40's & '50's were the golden era of SA AW hubs. I'm not in any hurry for a hub, but want a project. Are there any years I should avoid?

Sounds like a bargain to me. I'd buy it for $10 regardless of the date code. Not at 10pm, though. That's midnight here.

El Segundo 03-12-15 05:53 PM

+1. I would buy the wheel regardless.

Do you know the threading on the fork steerer tube, 24tpi or 26tpi? Maybe your LBS can help find a suitable replacement.

nlerner 03-12-15 05:59 PM


Originally Posted by El Segundo (Post 17625830)
Thanks for the brake info. Will you be using the stock Raleigh fork and does it have to be spread to accept newer hubs?

Standard Sports fork is spaced at 90mm, and most road hubs are 100mm, but if I use a bolt-on hub, I can remove spacers and make it work.


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