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

Velognome 06-11-19 08:26 AM


Originally Posted by clubman (Post 20972876)

Jack, you are a hard man! Nice ride.

Indeed! I used to climb out of the saddle on my IGH bikes, key words "used to". Still have horrible memories of when the hub disintegrated. Now I gear them so I can sit and spin. Hard man Jack, a hard man!

Salubrious 06-11-19 09:22 AM


Originally Posted by jackbombay (Post 20972554)

https://i.postimg.cc/6Q5fbS4c/EBDH.jpg

I had the bike geared 52/24, which was pretty ideal for this ride, with that I spin out at about 22 MPH, and I never needed or wanted a gear lower than 1st, it worked well to do a lot of the climbing standing up in 2nd gear...

I am curious- why not go with the stock 46 tooth in the front, with a 21 in the rear? This gives you exactly the same ratios, the hub is totally rated for it (they used to make tandems running the AW hub) and overall the bike would weigh less (although not by much). Finding that 24 had to be a bit harder- although I really like the way the sprocket is drilled.

jackbombay 06-11-19 09:39 AM


Originally Posted by Salubrious (Post 20973113)
I am curious- why not go with the stock 46 tooth in the front, with a 21 in the rear? This gives you exactly the same ratios, the hub is totally rated for it (they used to make tandems running the AW hub) and overall the bike would weigh less (although not by much). Finding that 24 had to be a bit harder- although I really like the way the sprocket is drilled.

I had the bike geared 40/18 for many may years, but before this century I did a big/complete tune up, the 40 tooth ring was very worn, the chain was super stretched so I just started digging around through all my spare parts, I had the 24 (brand new) from who knows where and I had the 52 (those never wear out so it was essentially new) so all I needed was a new chain and I was in business. the 52 looks a bit out of place, but I dig it now! Maximizing gear size like I have done does add a bit of weight, but it also increases chain life. The bike will never be light so I'm of with a bit of extra weight here and there.

jackbombay 06-11-19 09:42 AM


Originally Posted by Velognome (Post 20973000)
Indeed! I used to climb out of the saddle on my IGH bikes, key words "used to". Still have horrible memories of when the hub disintegrated. Now I gear them so I can sit and spin. Hard man Jack, a hard man!

Out of the saddle climbing in 2nd gear is kind of safe though, yea? As it's direct drive?

What gear were you in when you blew up the hub? What gearing (chainring/cog) were you running with it?

88Tempo 06-11-19 10:40 AM

If there are any Colorado 3 speed fans there is a guy in the Arvada Craigslist selling off a large collection which looks to include a bunch of rod brake English bikes.

Ged117 06-11-19 12:36 PM

I'm having a hard time fitting my rear fender back onto the '50 Superbe. I think the Panaracer Col de la Vie tires are a bit bigger than the original. The front went OK with a little wiggling and adjustment, but the rear has been a pain. It is very tight right at the back where the fender reflector bolt end rubs on the tire. I'm wondering I could use a shorter bolt, but I am afraid to remove the reflector housing bolt. I suppose I will keep moving it around to find the best alignment. I think the trick is in where it mounts at the brake; there is something curious about the way they mounted the fender stay clip. I just have to run the shifter cable, install brake cables with original oiled housings, and dial in the shift adjustment before I install the 3 speed Cyclo derailer. I am very excited about the Cyclo unit because it will help on our local trails and my commute. I may even take it on an overnighter or weekender once I can trust it.

Salubrious 06-11-19 01:32 PM


Originally Posted by jackbombay (Post 20973151)
Out of the saddle climbing in 2nd gear is kind of safe though, yea? As it's direct drive?

The strength of the hub isn't the issue IMO... how well the shift adjustment is set up and how worn the hub might well be. As you know, the hub has a notorious neutral between 2nd and 3rd. Its been known to slip out of gear with possibly painful results.

I stand on the hub all the time, until about 5 years ago never thought there might be any downside. But I still do it- i just make sure the shift cable is properly set and the hub well vetted. Since you've already done serious climbing with yours, its a good bet that both of these factors are sorted on your bike. But it is a good thing to know...

jackbombay 06-11-19 01:37 PM


Originally Posted by Salubrious (Post 20973581)
The strength of the hub isn't the issue IMO... how well the shift adjustment is set up and how worn the hub might well be. As you know, the hub has a notorious neutral between 2nd and 3rd. Its been known to slip out of gear with possibly painful results.

Ahh, yea, I do run clipless pedals so in the event of an unexpected neutral I have a bit of a chance of not racking myself on the top tube, but I also make sure the shift cable is adjusted correctly.


Originally Posted by Salubrious (Post 20973581)
Since you've already done serious climbing with yours, its a good bet that both of these factors are sorted on your bike. But it is a good thing to know...

Yea, I'm the only person that has ridden/oiled this hub so there is nothing unknown in its past.

clubman 06-11-19 01:50 PM


Originally Posted by Salubrious (Post 20973581)
just make sure the shift cable is properly set and the hub well vetted. Since you've already done serious climbing with yours, its a good bet that both of these factors are sorted on your bike. But it is a good thing to know...

Just to be pedantic, the fulcrum stop clamp and axle nuts are equally important. If any of these 3 items move, there could be trouble. But you all know this.

clubman 06-11-19 02:21 PM


Originally Posted by Ged117 (Post 20973502)
It is very tight right at the back where the fender reflector bolt end rubs on the tire.

Yup. Just take a coarse hand file or dremel to shorten it, making sure to clean up any burrs. I'm not sure which fender/brake mount is being used here but sometimes you can put a spacer between the chainstay bridge and the front of the rear mudguard to shift the whole assembly back and possibly give you a nicer arc to work with.

sykerocker 06-11-19 06:20 PM

My latest 3-speed find: A 1935-ish Armstrong roadster, ladies frame. I'm rebuilding this one with the intentions of selling it to a WWII re-enactment group, the Woman's Land Army. These ladies put on some incredible displays, and most of what they've got are antiques, not something modern fudged to work.



https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...4444ab388.jpeg
https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...7859291f9.jpeg
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...0b8979335.jpeg
https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...c01f73d37.jpeg
https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...f7e14e97a.jpeg

Of course, what I'm lucked into is an "80% complete" bike, which means I'm looking forward to spending the rest of this year (at least) looking for the other 20%. Primarily: full chain case, and a lot of little parts for the rear brake. Hub is a Sturmey AW, although I'm not seeing any date stamp on the hub case, at least not in the places I'm usually used to looking at in '60's and '70's bikes.

If anyone knows of any sources for pre-war English bikes parts, I'd appreciate it if you'd pass them along. While I've done a number of '50's bicycles in the past few years, this is my oldest restoration attempt. Happily I've got my own DL-1 Tourist to check over if I start getting confused.

Ballenxj 06-11-19 06:31 PM


Originally Posted by sykerocker (Post 20974003)
My latest 3-speed find: A 1935-ish Armstrong roadster, ladies frame. I'm rebuilding this one with the intentions of selling it to a WWII re-enactment group, the Woman's Land Army. These ladies put on some incredible displays, and most of what they've got are antiques, not something modern fudged to work.

Very COOL! Are they by chance online?

tigervw78 06-11-19 06:38 PM

Just saw these on CL. Men's and Ladies All Gold Editions.

https://northmiss.craigslist.org/bik...907727264.html

https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...4ce0e821ef.jpg

Anybody near this location interested? I wish I was closer.

nlerner 06-11-19 07:13 PM


Originally Posted by sykerocker (Post 20974003)
My latest 3-speed find: A 1935-ish Armstrong roadster, ladies frame. I'm rebuilding this one with the intentions of selling it to a WWII re-enactment group, the Woman's Land Army. These ladies put on some incredible displays, and most of what they've got are antiques, not something modern fudged to work.


Of course, what I'm lucked into is an "80% complete" bike, which means I'm looking forward to spending the rest of this year (at least) looking for the other 20%. Primarily: full chain case, and a lot of little parts for the rear brake. Hub is a Sturmey AW, although I'm not seeing any date stamp on the hub case, at least not in the places I'm usually used to looking at in '60's and '70's bikes.

Great project! Iirc, the undated S-A AW hubs were from the year they first came out: 1936.

sykerocker 06-11-19 07:26 PM


Originally Posted by Ballenxj (Post 20974016)
Very COOL! Are they by chance online?

Unfortunately not that I've seen. The group is from the Williamsburg, VA area (I've known the leader and her husband for decades, as they're Burnley and Trowbridge, my main fabric suppliers for the historical costuming I do), and they're set up every year at Military Through the Ages at the Jamestown Settlement in mid March. Will do some other looking for pictures. There's something on the Women's Land Army on Facebook, but it's a British group. They've already got their bikes.

sykerocker 06-11-19 07:27 PM


Originally Posted by nlerner (Post 20974072)
Great project! Iirc, the undated S-A AW hubs were from the year they first came out: 1936.

At which point, you may have just dated the bike for me. Thank you.

clubman 06-11-19 08:37 PM

Looks like a 0 so possibly a 1940 model as a flyer. Early-war?
I'd expect to see more blacked out chrome near the end of war.

jackbombay 06-11-19 09:30 PM

I have a 1987 Dahon folding bike with a Sturmey Archer AW in the rear wheel, I pulled the hub apart and cleaned it and reassembled, but now I don't have first gear, 2nd and 3rd work as normal. I did adjust the shifter cable plenty tight and that is not the problem. The shifter does go into the first gear position even with a shift cable that I would consider somewhat too tight. Any ideas of what I reassembled incorrectly?

I think that maybe the axle needs to be sticking further out on the drive side of the wheel? I did not measure axle protrusion before disassembling it, for reassembly I put the non drive side cone such that the gear that is fixed to the axle was about a 1/16" from "bottomed out".

jackbombay 06-11-19 11:32 PM

I disassembled and reassembled using the vid linked below, and now it works fine, I think it was that I needed to move the axle towards the drive side...


BigChief 06-12-19 03:58 AM


Originally Posted by jackbombay (Post 20974318)
I disassembled and reassembled using the vid linked below, and now it works fine, I think it was that I needed to move the axle towards the drive side...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNxwMwzS3Jo

Glad you got it sorted. Not sure what went wrong the first time, but the axle is fixed in position. When you drop the planet gear cage on, it rests on a stop and is automatically aligned with the sun gear.

gster 06-12-19 04:18 AM


Originally Posted by Ged117 (Post 20973502)
I'm having a hard time fitting my rear fender back onto the '50 Superbe. I think the Panaracer Col de la Vie tires are a bit bigger than the original. The front went OK with a little wiggling and adjustment, but the rear has been a pain. It is very tight right at the back where the fender reflector bolt end rubs on the tire. I'm wondering I could use a shorter bolt, but I am afraid to remove the reflector housing bolt. I suppose I will keep moving it around to find the best alignment. I think the trick is in where it mounts at the brake; there is something curious about the way they mounted the fender stay clip. I just have to run the shifter cable, install brake cables with original oiled housings, and dial in the shift adjustment before I install the 3 speed Cyclo derailer. I am very excited about the Cyclo unit because it will help on our local trails and my commute. I may even take it on an overnighter or weekender once I can trust it.

Perhaps your rear wheel is too far back in the drop outs.
On a normal set up (one cog) the wheel sits about half way
in the drop out allowing you a little room for adjustment
as the chain stretches.
You're entering new territory with your set up and will need
some time to dial it in...

alexnagui 06-12-19 04:49 AM

I had been looking for a 3-speeds bike and I found one in my size a while ago. It's a BSA Star Rider supposedly from '62. It's quite a heavy machine but it has some nice details. I haven't seen many of them here on the forum, but I found this one here.

Last weekend, I took it from the storage for a check and some adjustments. Mounted a Brooks B67 saddle, adjusted brakes and oiled the hub. I will take it for a small ride tonight to see if I need to do anything else. Will definitely have to fix lights and adjust the rear brake a bit better. I am busy with other projects so I don't have enough time right now for a complete overhaul. Anyway I am gonna use it as an all-around bike as it is now.

https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...64e2f5726b.jpg
https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...fbbd6cb1ba.jpg
https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...263164208b.jpg
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...493dc8eda2.jpg
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...1d83bb6872.jpg
https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...4cbb5e31c1.jpg
https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...d971bf4cf1.jpg
https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...529c7cbfdd.jpg
https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...b84fc8e2cf.jpg

Ged117 06-12-19 06:45 AM


Originally Posted by clubman (Post 20973653)
Yup. Just take a coarse hand file or dremel to shorten it, making sure to clean up any burrs. I'm not sure which fender/brake mount is being used here but sometimes you can put a spacer between the chainstay bridge and the front of the rear mudguard to shift the whole assembly back and possibly give you a nicer arc to work with.


Originally Posted by gster (Post 20974409)
Perhaps your rear wheel is too far back in the drop outs.
On a normal set up (one cog) the wheel sits about half way
in the drop out allowing you a little room for adjustment
as the chain stretches.
You're entering new territory with your set up and will need
some time to dial it in...

Thanks fellows. I thought about filing down the bolt but I figured I was doing something wrong to require that kind of action. From reading elsewhere it looks like these Panaracer tires are usually a tight fit anyway. I hadn't thought of moving the wheel in the drop outs. It is all the way back because I thought that was how it is supposed to be. I'm going to try moving it up to the halfway point or almost. I learn something new here with each visit. We'll see if that jives with the Cyclo setup once I get the AG adjustment sorted. I cleaned the Cyclo cable housings with mild dish soap and they came out so well. The unit itself is nicely chromed and shined right up. A little oil down the housings and grease on the spindle and I think it will be really neat to ride with. Figuring out the gear combos should be fun. There are a bunch of neat gravel and dirt rail paths I want to take it on that I can't ride at present with my touring bike. One thing at a time...

I'll take nice photos at a local cycle destination when it is road ready.

clubman 06-12-19 06:52 AM


Originally Posted by alexnagui (Post 20974424)
I had been looking for a 3-speeds bike and I found one in my size a while ago. It's a BSA Star Rider supposedly from '62.

Wonderful bike. Dutch market, possibly even assembled in Holland by Gazelle with Raleigh parts. The rims aren't Dunlops so likely dutch too. I think BSA's have the nicest fork crowns. Congrats.

BigChief 06-12-19 07:07 AM


Originally Posted by alexnagui (Post 20974424)
I had been looking for a 3-speeds bike and I found one in my size a while ago. It's a BSA Star Rider supposedly from '62. It's quite a heavy machine but it has some nice details. I haven't seen many of them here on the forum, but I found this one here.

Last weekend, I took it from the storage for a check and some adjustments. Mounted a Brooks B67 saddle, adjusted brakes and oiled the hub. I will take it for a small ride tonight to see if I need to do anything else. Will definitely have to fix lights and adjust the rear brake a bit better. I am busy with other projects so I don't have enough time right now for a complete overhaul. Anyway I am gonna use it as an all-around bike as it is now.

https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...64e2f5726b.jpg
https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...fbbd6cb1ba.jpg
https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...263164208b.jpg
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...493dc8eda2.jpg
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...1d83bb6872.jpg
https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...4cbb5e31c1.jpg
https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...d971bf4cf1.jpg
https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...529c7cbfdd.jpg
https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...b84fc8e2cf.jpg

You got a good one. It's possible that this is Raleigh made in Nottingham with some aftermarket parts. They used some premium features on this bike. It has the Raleigh pattern dual purpose rims and the nicer single bolt brake levers. Back when I worked at the Raleigh dealership, the head mechanic always made a stink over stems set too high. He wanted the expander to be below the threaded section of the fork tube. Raleighs don't have a keyway cut into the tube, so it may not be as critical, but what he told me about failures there stuck with me all these years. This stem looks like the expander is up under the threads. Great choice of saddle. This bike may have originally had a Brooks since it seems to be a premium model. Nice Bike.

sykerocker 06-12-19 07:44 AM


Originally Posted by clubman (Post 20974177)
Looks like a 0 so possibly a 1940 model as a flyer. Early-war?
I'd expect to see more blacked out chrome near the end of war.

The rear wheel is as it came, the front wheel was obviously a rusted rim repainted in silver paint. A new rim came with the bike, so I rebuilt the front wheel using the straight gauge spokes I normally keep in stock in the shop. The seat post is one I had sitting in the shop that fits, the original is an L-shaped chrome one that's completely beaten to hell to the point that I'm afraid it'd crack at the weld if used regularly.

I've got a Wright's non-leather saddle with the bike that's in bad enough shape that I don't consider it rideable. Will probably replace with a B-72, which would look proper and is a heck of a lot easier to find.

Pre-war/early-war, I'm equally happy. Consider that my original plan for the group was to pick up a '70's DL-1 and completely refinish and backdate it. The group was fine with this - in WWII-era reenactment, unless you've got a BSA folding bike, you fudge like crazy, and I've seen more than a few Huffy's, etc. repainted to look sorta like the proper thing at 15 feet. I discovered years ago that most WWII re-enactors know almost nothing about Thirties bicycles, and usually spend some of my off-duty time from the James Fort at MTA talking with the units, filling them in on what they need to do if they want that part of their impression to be dead-on.

And don't ask what BSA folding bikes go for. You'll be picking your jaw off the floor. They're highly desirable.

jackbombay 06-12-19 08:04 AM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 20974401)
Glad you got it sorted. Not sure what went wrong the first time, but the axle is fixed in position. When you drop the planet gear cage on, it rests on a stop and is automatically aligned with the sun gear.

Well, on my first attempt I was reassembling it in a horizontal position, so things weren't necessarily where they were supposed to be.

Just rode it to town and back and its running and shifting great :-)

Ged117 06-12-19 09:11 AM


Originally Posted by gster (Post 20974409)
Perhaps your rear wheel is too far back in the drop outs.
On a normal set up (one cog) the wheel sits about half way
in the drop out allowing you a little room for adjustment
as the chain stretches.
You're entering new territory with your set up and will need
some time to dial it in...

I've just gone back and taken a look at the photos I posted in this thread when I first bought the bike and brought it home at Christmas. The rear wheel was installed about halfway in the drop out. Great suggestion thanks. I'm going to re position the wheel and that should take care of the fender clearance issue. In looking at the photos, I realized that the right hand brake lever was controlling the front brake. I know for cable routing perfection that is preferable, but I'm going to stick with muscle memory.

Salubrious 06-12-19 10:08 AM


Originally Posted by Ged117 (Post 20974882)
I've just gone back and taken a look at the photos I posted in this thread when I first bought the bike and brought it home at Christmas. The rear wheel was installed about halfway in the drop out. Great suggestion thanks. I'm going to re position the wheel and that should take care of the fender clearance issue. In looking at the photos, I realized that the right hand brake lever was controlling the front brake. I know for cable routing perfection that is preferable, but I'm going to stick with muscle memory.

The problem here is that the chain tension (or lack thereof) has to be correct- you can just move the wheel around. Generally about 1/2" to 3/4" deflection in the middle of the chain if you pull it up with your fingers. That governs the position of the wheel.

If the wheel is all the way back things get tricky. One reason it might be there is the chain is shot. Another might be because its too long. But taking a link out might make it too short. You can buy half links (ebay) to solve the latter problem. If you've not got a chain link tool, get one (Park makes the best I've had so far), get some scrap chain and see if you can remove and reinstall links properly. Its not hard.

alexnagui 06-12-19 10:18 AM


Originally Posted by clubman (Post 20974547)
Wonderful bike. Dutch market, possibly even assembled in Holland by Gazelle with Raleigh parts. The rims aren't Dunlops so likely dutch too. I think BSA's have the nicest fork crowns. Congrats.

I think you're right! It came with a mix of British and Dutch components. And it looks like a typical Dutch bike indeed!


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 20974563)
You got a good one. It's possible that this is Raleigh made in Nottingham with some aftermarket parts. They used some premium features on this bike. It has the Raleigh pattern dual purpose rims and the nicer single bolt brake levers. Back when I worked at the Raleigh dealership, the head mechanic always made a stink over stems set too high. He wanted the expander to be below the threaded section of the fork tube. Raleighs don't have a keyway cut into the tube, so it may not be as critical, but what he told me about failures there stuck with me all these years. This stem looks like the expander is up under the threads. Great choice of saddle. This bike may have originally had a Brooks since it seems to be a premium model. Nice Bike.

It came with a brown B66s. The previous owner might have swapped it.


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