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

el_spumante 10-07-11 03:25 PM

For those who want to see it, my first English 3-speed: 1974 AMF-Hercules! https://picasaweb.google.com/randybr...49357163037602

Thanks to all of you who helped me evaluate the different bikes I was looking at and my options. I picked this one up yesterday for $120 from a very nice guy I met via craigslist. It needs a bit of work (which I can't do myself), so I won't be able to ride it until my LBS finishes with it. I'm having them do a full tune up, true the wheels, put new brake pads on, etc. But the shifter, cables, brakes, and everything else seemed like it worked fine, so I don't think it'll be an expensive job getting it ready to ride. Plus, the paint, chrome, grips, tires, and saddle were all in pretty good condition. Once I have more money, I might consider switching the wheels out for alloy rims (and adding some creme tires) and getting a larger rear cog for easier gearing (it's hilly where I live, in Chapel Hill, NC), and putting on a leather Brooks. But one thing at a time. Oh, and I think I'm going to buy #2 from a different LBS this weekend--a 23" (the Hercules is a 21"). This will let me see which size I like better, I figure, and I can use one bike as my everyday commuter and the other as a loaner for friends who visit, etc.

Oh, and does anyone know where (other than Harris Cyclery, which charges min. $8.50 shipping) I can get one of those little oil caps for the S-A hub? My Hercules doesn't have one and I don't want to be leaking oil all over the place.

Amesja 10-07-11 03:29 PM

Just picked up two S/A hubs 50's/60's era for $6 each.

Who would have thought 50 years ago when these hubs were produced that I'd be able to purchase them, fully-operable, for the price of a cup of coffee?

What has the world come to?

David Newton 10-07-11 03:32 PM

You PAID MONEY for AW hubs?
I thought they fell from the sky.

HercRider 10-07-11 03:45 PM


Originally Posted by Super.bee (Post 13332786)
Hello,

I am doing my best to figure out posting of photographs (size, quantity) and ask for your patience. Here are some shots that I hope you enjoy. I certainly welcome any feedback on how I put this message and images together.

I am really enjoying the labels, like "featherweight" and "Bonderized", and that gold script. Also interesting to me are the brakes. The front has a part that wraps around the fork. The rear has tabs that seem like they belong on the front to keep the caliper from knuckling under the fork. Maybe I am misunderstanding. Anyway, I'm trying to get in touch with another Aberdale owner and will share any information they can give me.

Thoughts on this bike's history or future? My plan is to get it riding, finding a new post, saddle, and grips. As for the fork my thoughts are to substitute another and put the old one on a shelf, or perhaps to straighten, if this bike is less common. If I straighten it could a framebuilder reinforce it somehow?

As you can see the bike is in pretty rough shape. In any case, hope this is an interesting addition to the thread and thanks!

EDIT: Ah, I get the brakes now. Why don't we see this on more caliper brakes, especially longer-reach?

That is a sweet bike; looking forward to more shots as you get it cleaned up and upgraded. Looks like the paint on the frame is in good shape, and I'll bet a lot of the metal work can be cleaned of rust.


Originally Posted by el_spumante (Post 13333863)
For those who want to see it, my first English 3-speed: 1974 AMF-Hercules! https://picasaweb.google.com/randybr...49357163037602

Thanks to all of you who helped me evaluate the different bikes I was looking at and my options. I picked this one up yesterday for $120 from a very nice guy I met via craigslist. It needs a bit of work (which I can't do myself), so I won't be able to ride it until my LBS finishes with it. I'm having them do a full tune up, true the wheels, put new brake pads on, etc. But the shifter, cables, brakes, and everything else seemed like it worked fine, so I don't think it'll be an expensive job getting it ready to ride. Plus, the paint, chrome, grips, tires, and saddle were all in pretty good condition. Once I have more money, I might consider switching the wheels out for alloy rims (and adding some creme tires) and getting a larger rear cog for easier gearing (it's hilly where I live, in Chapel Hill, NC), and putting on a leather Brooks. But one thing at a time. Oh, and I think I'm going to buy #2 from a different LBS this weekend--a 23" (the Hercules is a 21"). This will let me see which size I like better, I figure, and I can use one bike as my everyday commuter and the other as a loaner for friends who visit, etc.

Oh, and does anyone know where (other than Harris Cyclery, which charges min. $8.50 shipping) I can get one of those little oil caps for the S-A hub? My Hercules doesn't have one and I don't want to be leaking oil all over the place.

So your decision is to buy both? I think everyone will agree that that is the best of all possible choices. :)

That Hercules looks to be in great shape and you got a solid deal on it, IMO. Make sure you post pics when you pick the LTD up; and give your thoughts on how each one fits. I have the same issue with no cap on my SA hub, and haven't found anywhere else for the cap(except for eBay-usually a more expensive NOS or used one). Just ordered one, in fact.

el_spumante 10-07-11 04:10 PM


Originally Posted by HercRider (Post 13333932)
That is a sweet bike; looking forward to more shots as you get it cleaned up and upgraded. Looks like the paint on the frame is in good shape, and I'll bet a lot of the metal work can be cleaned of rust.


So your decision is to buy both? I think everyone will agree that that is the best of all possible choices. :)

That Hercules looks to be in great shape and you got a solid deal on it, IMO. Make sure you post pics when you pick the LTD up; and give your thoughts on how each one fits. I have the same issue with no cap on my SA hub, and haven't found anywhere else for the cap(except for eBay-usually a more expensive NOS or used one). Just ordered one, in fact.

That Hercules looks to be in great shape and you got a solid deal on it, IMO. Make sure you post pics when you pick the LTD up; and give your thoughts on how each one fits. I have the same issue with no cap on my SA hub, and haven't found anywhere else for the cap(except for eBay-usually a more expensive NOS or used one). Just ordered one, in fact.[/QUOTE]

Thanks! Yeah, I sort of thought having two Raleighs wouldn't be a strange idea to this crowd, ha. To make a long story short, I got interested in the old English 3 speeds after having looked at Linus bikes and other similar brands in my search for a reliable, upright sitting position commuter, and when I realized how much new bikes cost vs. how much vintage ones cost (even with tons of "upgrades"), I realized I could probably get a BETTER bike with more character for maybe half the price of a new bike. If nothing else, it made justifying buying TWO bikes that much easier. ;-)

I'll post photos of the LTD when I have it (perhaps tomorrow afternoon?).

Too bad about the cap issue. I wonder if anyone has found a DIY solution that works? I knew electrical or duct tape might work, but how ugly. I might follow your lead and order one.

Amesja 10-07-11 06:15 PM

If an AW hub fell from the sky it would bend the flanges when it hit the ground (either that or it'd kill someone if it hit them...)

folderfan550 10-08-11 03:55 AM

I recall someone using a plastic Presta valve cap as a stopgap replacement oil cap. Just screw it in tapered end first. Works fine on one I have and stays put as opposed to tape.

el_spumante 10-08-11 05:56 AM


Originally Posted by folderfan550 (Post 13335583)
I recall someone using a plastic Presta valve cap as a stopgap replacement oil cap. Just screw it in tapered end first. Works fine on one I have and stays put as opposed to tape.

Thanks, I'll have to try that.

Amesja 10-08-11 06:20 AM

Harris Cyclery sells the oil caps for $1.95 each. This is not really a hardship IMHO. Maybe a bit expensive for a .01g item, but I tend to replace them on every bike I restore (along with the fulcrum sleeve) as it is just the right thing to do. These plastic parts always seem to break when a 40+ year old bike is put back into daily use again.

auchencrow 10-08-11 07:29 AM


Originally Posted by Super.bee (Post 13332786)
Hello,

I am doing my best to figure out posting of photographs (size, quantity) and ask for your patience. Here are some shots that I hope you enjoy. I certainly welcome any feedback on how I put this message and images together.

I am really enjoying the labels, like "featherweight" and "Bonderized", and that gold script. Also interesting to me are the brakes. The front has a part that wraps around the fork. The rear has tabs that seem like they belong on the front to keep the caliper from knuckling under the fork. Maybe I am misunderstanding. Anyway, I'm trying to get in touch with another Aberdale owner and will share any information they can give me.

Thoughts on this bike's history or future? My plan is to get it riding, finding a new post, saddle, and grips. As for the fork my thoughts are to substitute another and put the old one on a shelf, or perhaps to straighten, if this bike is less common. If I straighten it could a framebuilder reinforce it somehow?

As you can see the bike is in pretty rough shape. In any case, hope this is an interesting addition to the thread and thanks!

EDIT: Ah, I get the brakes now. Why don't we see this on more caliper brakes, especially longer-reach?


Hi Superbee - welcome to C&V.

The Aberdale is not so commonly seen here - there is a little information on them on the web - They started manufacture in 1919 and ceased in 1959 - So your bike is certainly 50's or older. Sorry I can't be more finite than that - (I'm not so good at dating things without the help of a dated rear SA hub.)

At first glance I thought your bars were replacements - more American style than English, but I came upon another, supposedly 30's Sturmey Archer equipped model for sale with the same bars. I think you have some good material for a project there - with some historical interest and one which is certainly unique.

You are correct by the way about the stops on the brake pad holders. - They were intended to prevent them from submarining under the seat stays. Very British you know :) .

http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/h.../Aberdale1.jpg

http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/h.../Aberdale3.jpg

http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/h.../Aberdale7.jpg

http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/h.../Aberdale8.jpg

el_spumante 10-08-11 07:46 AM


Originally Posted by Amesja (Post 13335747)
Harris Cyclery sells the oil caps for $1.95 each. This is not really a hardship IMHO. Maybe a bit expensive for a .01g item, but I tend to replace them on every bike I restore (along with the fulcrum sleeve) as it is just the right thing to do. These plastic parts always seem to break when a 40+ year old bike is put back into daily use again.

The $1.95 isn't the problem--it's the $8.50 on top of that for shipping. I'll look around locally and see if I can find one.

JohnDThompson 10-08-11 10:34 AM


Originally Posted by el_spumante (Post 13335927)
The $1.95 isn't the problem--it's the $8.50 on top of that for shipping. I'll look around locally and see if I can find one.

I wonder if one of these might work?

http://www.mcmaster.com/#oil-caps/=eeir9i

http://images1.mcmaster.com/Contents...e/1229kc1l.png

gbalke 10-08-11 11:07 AM


Originally Posted by el_spumante (Post 13333863)
For those who want to see it, my first English 3-speed: 1974 AMF-Hercules! https://picasaweb.google.com/randybr...49357163037602

Oh, and does anyone know where (other than Harris Cyclery, which charges min. $8.50 shipping) I can get one of those little oil caps for the S-A hub? My Hercules doesn't have one and I don't want to be leaking oil all over the place.

Congrats Randy and welcome to the asylum. I'm sure that Herc will gives you years of enjoyment. As far as the oil cap for your hub, since your bike shop is working on the Herc, let them get one for you. You may pay a bit more than the $1.95 from harris, but you won't be paying that shipping cost.

brianinc-ville 10-08-11 11:46 AM


Originally Posted by folderfan550 (Post 13335583)
I recall someone using a plastic Presta valve cap as a stopgap replacement oil cap. Just screw it in tapered end first. Works fine on one I have and stays put as opposed to tape.

That's a good idea. FWIW, I've cut a stopper out of a rubber pencil eraser, and wedged it on so that one corner of the stopper is held down by a spoke. Not elegant, but it doesn't fall out.

el_spumante 10-08-11 11:51 AM


Originally Posted by gbalke (Post 13336400)
Congrats Randy and welcome to the asylum. I'm sure that Herc will gives you years of enjoyment. As far as the oil cap for your hub, since your bike shop is working on the Herc, let them get one for you. You may pay a bit more than the $1.95 from harris, but you won't be paying that shipping cost.

Thanks, Gary! Good suggestion. I actually just my local shop to ask about the oil cap and they said they probably had one lying around (or could get one easily enough). I also asked them to do two other things I hadn't originally planned: lower the gearing (w/ a 22T cog) and put the salmon Kool Stops I've heard so much about (instead of generic pads). There are a number of moderate hills around so I think I'll get my money's worth out of lowered gearing and better braking power.

The LTD from the other bike shop actually didn't work out. It wasn't in as good as shape as I would have liked, and $175 seemed like too much to spend for a bike I was going to have to do several things to. On the bright side, that leave me with more money to spend on my Herc!

gbalke 10-08-11 12:04 PM


Originally Posted by Amesja (Post 13333877)
Just picked up two S/A hubs 50's/60's era for $6 each.

Who would have thought 50 years ago when these hubs were produced that I'd be able to purchase them, fully-operable, for the price of a cup of coffee?

What has the world come to?

I hate you!!

OK, I really didn't meat that. I've been searching for a 1954 dated S/A hub for the past year or more for my '54 Humber restoration. I just missed one on e-Bay last week.

Post some pics and your address and when you'll be away for a good length of time. Let's see, 5 hrs to drive from St. Louis to Chicago, 1 hr driving around aimlessly; it is Chicago, 20 minutes seeing if the coast is clear........

Seriously, great find there. What date stamps are on the hubs?

Sixty Fiver 10-08-11 02:20 PM

gbalke - I have a 54 AW hub that is smooth as silk... but it won't be going anywhere as it will go back in the Raleigh it came from when I build up a new wheel for it.

Don't see many 50's hubs as I do not see many 50's bikes and when I do, they are coming in for tune ups... it was in the mid 50's that SA briefly discontinued the AW and replace it with the flawed SW which would have then been replaced with spare AW hubs.

Might explain why Aw hubs from the mid fifties tend to be a little scarce compared to 40's and 60's hubs (which are abundant).

gbalke 10-08-11 02:36 PM


Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver (Post 13336946)
gbalke - I have a 54 AW hub that is smooth as silk... but it won't be going anywhere as it will go back in the Raleigh it came from when I build up a new wheel for it.

I hate you too!!

OK, I really didn't meat that either.

Post some pics of the finished wheel and your address and when you'll be away for a good length of time. Let's see, 15 hrs to drive from St. Louis to Canadian border, 1 hr arguing with border oficials because I now need a passport which I don't have, 15 hrs to drive back to St. Louis still in need of a 1954 dated S/A hub.

I need a new hobby!!

Fenway 10-08-11 04:25 PM


Originally Posted by JohnDThompson (Post 13336333)

Unfortunately McMasterCarr charges the same table rates for shipping as Harris does. Those SA rubber caps are typically ordered from QBP so any shop should be able to get them for you.

I've thought about drilling and taping the bottom bracket on my 1972 Raleigh to add one of those. Unfortunately I already replaced the bearings and repacked it. After putting a new set of expensive Bikesmith Tools grade A cotters in place too, I'm none to quick to want to take it all apart to add the oiler. =/

mikeybikes 10-08-11 05:39 PM


Originally Posted by el_spumante (Post 13333863)
For those who want to see it, my first English 3-speed: 1974 AMF-Hercules! https://picasaweb.google.com/randybr...49357163037602

That's a hot 3 speed! Looks just like mine except mine has no chain guard. I would love a chain guard like that.

el_spumante 10-09-11 05:52 AM


Originally Posted by mikeybikes (Post 13337571)
That's a hot 3 speed! Looks just like mine except mine has no chain guard. I would love a chain guard like that.

Thanks! I was surprised to find one in such good shape. Good luck finding a chain guard.

sykerocker 10-09-11 06:20 PM

On the 3-speed front, life just got interesting. Yesterday, I was notified that I won the following eBay auction:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/250904055807...84.m1497.l2648

Yep, I Cyclo Benelux (claimed) 2-speed derailleur with lever, obviously originally made up for the S-A multi-cog conversion freewheel. I think I may have just found the answer to my complaints about my Ranger being too high geared for my riding area. I've had a Cyclo 3-speed freewheel in my parts box for about three years now, just waiting for something like this to happen. 40 years ago, I had my (then new) Raleigh Sports rigged up with one of these setups utilizing a Huret Allvit derailleur and lever. Seem to remember it worked quite well climbing the hill up Peach Street in Erie so I could get to work. Later transferred the setup to the Twenty that replaced the Sports.

What's nice is that in the past week, I've gained 131 miles experience with the Cyclo Benelux on my recently restored Lenton Grand Prix (I'd never held one of these derailleurs until I started on this bike - they weren't in use by my bike shop days) and find that it's a nice shifting unit - as long as you don't try shifting on a climb while stomping on the pedals. Action on these old derailleurs is definitely predicated on a light pedal pressure while in action, and planning one's downshift well before the climb.

Now, if memory is still good: I seem to remember getting around not having a longer S-A axle back then by taking a hacksaw to a S-A right side nut and thinning it down the thickness of the derailleur hanger. I'm tentatively planning the same action here, although the invention of the Dremel tool should make things a lot more delicate and neater. I seem to remember that, at one time, S-A offered a longer axle for conversions of this type but it's been almost 40 years since I last tore down an AW hub, and quite frankly it's the one memory that hasn't transferred through time.

Any thoughts from anyone else who's done one of these since my last effort would be appreciated.

noglider 10-09-11 07:05 PM

Super.bee, that's an interesting bike. I've never seen one like that.

And congratulations, el_spumante. After the LBS finishes the job, I recommend you start learning how to do this stuff. A 3-speed is a good learner bike.

noglider 10-09-11 07:09 PM

I just got email from someone here on bikeforums, and as a terribly nice gesture, he is sending me a 24T sprocket! I can't wait to try it!

jamesj 10-09-11 10:16 PM

My wife's 74. Its a tiny bit big for her but it fits if she has the seat down.
she added corck grips, petersboro basket, copper bell, and 2 legged kickstand.

Sorry about the non drive side photo.

http://i64.photobucket.com/albums/h1.../upload1-1.jpg

http://i64.photobucket.com/albums/h1...or/upload2.jpg

http://i64.photobucket.com/albums/h1...or/upload4.jpg


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