Bike Forums

Bike Forums (https://www.bikeforums.net/forum.php)
-   Classic & Vintage (https://www.bikeforums.net/forumdisplay.php?f=181)
-   -   For the love of English 3 speeds... (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=623699)

52telecaster 02-19-24 11:32 AM

nlerner, that's excellent! I have a pro 650b conversion and they adapt so well. Also thinking about using a strong light 93 on my tour de france three speed. I have a 45 tooth ring too. What rear cog are you using?
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...1a831c01bb.jpg

tmnguuyen 02-19-24 11:41 AM


Originally Posted by 52telecaster (Post 23161095)
nlerner, that's excellent! I have a pro 650b conversion and they adapt so well. Also thinking about using a strong light 93 on my tour de france three speed. I have a 45 tooth ring too. What rear cog are you using?
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...1a831c01bb.jpg

Love the bike barn, makes me feel better about my hoards.

52telecaster 02-19-24 11:44 AM


Originally Posted by tmnguuyen (Post 23161105)
Love the bike barn, makes me feel better about my hoards.

That's my basement of horrors. Sarah was making a shelter for a homeless cat and got more straw than she needed. I have so many cool framesets in the basement and more 27" wheels than God. I need an intervention.

cjefferds 02-19-24 12:15 PM

nlerner I like your style! Here is my attempt at something similar. Mine’s a Sprite/Sports mashup with 5 speed huret shifter derailleur combo.
https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...7396dd7ad.jpeg

nlerner 02-19-24 01:00 PM


Originally Posted by 52telecaster (Post 23161095)
nlerner, that's excellent! I have a pro 650b conversion and they adapt so well. Also thinking about using a strong light 93 on my tour de france three speed. I have a 45 tooth ring too. What rear cog are you using?

It's a 21t rear cog, which I mainly chose because it worked with the length of the chain I had on hand!

SirMike1983 02-19-24 01:38 PM


Originally Posted by nlerner (Post 23161035)
Here’s another project in the realm of “not your (grand)father’s Raleigh 3-speed”: Frame is a 1971 Raleigh Pro Mark 2, which I recently purchased from @tmnguuyen. It’s quite patina-ed, which suits my sensibilities well. Wheels are alloy 650A/590mm Sun rims, alloy shell AW hub, Panaracer Col de la vie tires. Saddle is a @rhm recovered Brooks B17. Shifter is a modern SunRace model fitted to a single sided Simplex downtube mount (which took some filing). Crankset is a Stronglight 93 with 45t ring.

https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...ee210bbb3.jpeg
https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...65894a1e7.jpeg
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...a6de50a81.jpeg
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...05f0a1453.jpeg
https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...deec4520b.jpeg
https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...0ecbdae92.jpeg
https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...5c3efab30.jpeg
https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...73f2dfc02.jpeg
https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...46e57c417.jpeg

It felt quite smooth on this morning’s test ride. I’d like to fit it with fenders, but that’ll take some fiddling as clearances are tight at the rear bridges. I might also swap in a set of 700c wheels with an FM rear hub, but I’m awaiting the rims to arrive to build those up.

Really nice - all good quality equipment. I love those old style barrel grips on the handlebars.

52telecaster 02-19-24 01:45 PM


Originally Posted by nlerner (Post 23161189)
It's a 21t rear cog, which I mainly chose because it worked with the length of the chain I had on hand!

I make a lot of moves like that....
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...c2998a2f6.jpeg
45-22 is feeling pretty good.

SirMike1983 02-20-24 10:46 AM

My favorite combo is a 46 front, 22 rear. I also like 48 front, 22 rear. When changing ratios, it's helpful if you have a half-link that match your chain on hand. I like being able to nail down the rear axle position toward the middle of the rear drop.

tcs 02-20-24 03:34 PM

I see in DM-SG0005-00-ENG, page 6, that Shimano recommends a primary drive ratio between 2.3 to 2.6 for the Nexus 3-speed hub.

Several folks told me that Sturmey-Archer recommends a primary drive ratio of no lower than 2 for the AW family of hubs. Despite swearing on an original copy of Harold Briercliffe's Cycling Touring Guides - Scottish Highlands that 2::1 is gospel, no one has yet been able to reference this in S-A's modern or historical literature for me. Anyone?

I run 42/22 on both the WWII-era AW and the SRF3, and 36/19 on the "don't post that @#&*$% on this forum" S-A three-speed.

52telecaster 02-20-24 04:27 PM

I am currently running 45-22 and 42-21 on two bikes but have gone below with no ill effect. I also love how well a worn in aw hub coasts.

oldspokes 02-20-24 07:29 PM

1974 raleigh sport bike

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...42710556090497


https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...03081196c5.jpg

vintage Raleigh Sports Three Speed Bicycle $90

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...34097325395344


https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...be35d44357.jpg

Small cog 02-20-24 08:01 PM


Originally Posted by tcs (Post 23162422)
I see in DM-SG0005-00-ENG, page 6, that Shimano recommends a primary drive ratio between 2.3 to 2.6 for the Nexus 3-speed hub.

Several folks told me that Sturmey-Archer recommends a primary drive ratio of no lower than 2 for the AW family of hubs. Despite swearing on an original copy of Harold Briercliffe's Cycling Touring Guides - Scottish Highlands that 2::1 is gospel, no one has yet been able to reference this in S-A's modern or historical literature for me. Anyone?

I run 42/22 on both the WWII-era AW and the SRF3, and 36/19 on the "don't post that @#&*$% on this forum" S-A three-speed.

I live in a particularly hilly area and add to that my legs are not particularly strong, although they will keep going for up to 10 hour with breaks and all my three speeds both SA and Shimano have 36/24 sprockets with no ill effects on the hubs. I can get up most of the hills on them and cruise at 10 mph which is fast enough for me, there are a few hills which I can only get up with more gears and are the same ones I never managed to cycle up on my Raleigh Sports as a kid.

SirMike1983 02-20-24 10:13 PM

The 2:1 issue comes up frequently. I have not seen it in the older Sturmey manuals, but I will admit I don't own every variation of the manuals. It does come up relatively frequently in the later manuals, particularly 1980s and 90s (and apparently some later) era manuals.

It often appears in the sections dealing with sprockets or as a nota bene. For example, on the Steelite 3 speed drum brake hub manual in front of me now that says on page 1: "NB. Always maintain at least a 2:1 ratio between the numbers of teeth on the chainwheel and those of the sprocket."
The Summit series XRD3 3 speed hubs also have the same warning in Section 2.2 and the Sprinter 7 manual in part 4.
The 90mm drum brake AB/C 3 speed hubs also have the same warning in section 1.4.
The same goes for the XRD5 5 speed hubs - same warning.

So the warning is not entirely a myth. What is more to the point is whether there is some inherent risk to the hub, new or old, running lower than 2:1. Sturmey must have based its advice as to the newer hubs on some evidence, probably return/repair of damaged hubs, but the warning is not a certainty that you'll pulverize your hub running a lower ratio. I've never seen the warning in an older (1960s or earlier) manual. Perhaps it's buried in one somewhere, but I've not seen it that far back. It comes up with more frequency on later hubs from the 80s and 90s.

My advice is that if you can run a ratio higher than 2:1 comfortably, do that. If you have to use something lower than 2:1 to get use out of the bike, then I would not let the warning stop me. At any ratio, the hub should not be thrashed or abused, but do take some care to ride smoothly if you're running lower ratio than 2:1. If the hub breaks down, replace the damaged parts and go easier.

Edit - I would not significantly change the ratio on an old SW hub. They're prone to slipping out of gear, and I've found changing the ratio makes it even more prone to that. Frankly, I replace SW hubs with AWs from around that time.

bikamper 02-21-24 07:47 AM

My current project is anything but English. Scandinavian with an older Sachs Torpedo 3 speed.
https://i.imgur.com/eBReUMfl.jpg
The current set up is 40/21, so a smidge under 2:1. I picked that because if I want to ride anywhere from the house, I have to head uphill. Once out of my subdivision, it's pancake flat and the only hills are overpasses. Also, the 40T ring was all I had to fit the old Solida crank. So, that's how I work, too.

Once my ankle heals, I may get to ride it.

tcs 02-21-24 08:48 AM


Originally Posted by SirMike1983 (Post 23162788)
The 2:1 issue comes up frequently. I have not seen it in the older Sturmey manuals, but I will admit I don't own every variation of the manuals. It does come up relatively frequently in the later manuals, particularly 1980s and 90s (and apparently some later) era manuals.

Interesting. So the 2::1 guideline appeared during the "declining quality, twilight of the English manufacture" years. :foo:

52telecaster 02-21-24 09:37 AM

The 2:1 recommendation always comes without a wheel size. I assume if it's radically different than 26" that compensation would need to be made.

nlerner 02-21-24 10:10 AM

In support of @SirMike1983's reading of the S-A material, the 1951 Service Manual offers a gearing chart with several violations of the 2:1 common wisdom:

https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...ee8e16e842.jpg

SirMike1983 02-21-24 10:46 AM

Good find as to those gearing charts.

I'm not sure whether it appearing later has to do with manufacturing issues or if it was a change to the way the hubs were designed. The warning appears suspiciously after the introduction of the no in-between gear "NIG" hubs, but that also could just be a coincidence.

Running a properly set up, older hub, I would not sweat the ratio too much if you need the extra low gearing.

nlerner 02-21-24 10:53 AM

In additional tales of S-A hub weirdness, I had difficulty screwing in the indicator in the AW hub that's on the Raleigh Pro above. I didn't recall having any problems with that hub when running it on previous projects, but when I opened things up, I found that the axle key was broken in half. That's not the first time I discovered such a thing. Fortunately, I have plenty of spares, and now all seems to be running fine. Weird.

52telecaster 02-21-24 11:48 AM

Wow 40-22 on a 26 wheel is pretty darn low. Even I don't need it that low! Yet.

tcs 02-21-24 02:08 PM


Originally Posted by SirMike1983 (Post 23163210)
The warning appears suspiciously after the introduction of the no in-between gear "NIG" hubs, but that also could just be a coincidence.

All SunRace Sturmey-Archer builds is NIG. Warning in the factory literature since 2001?

adventurepdx 02-21-24 02:46 PM


Originally Posted by SirMike1983 (Post 23162788)
The 2:1 issue comes up frequently. I have not seen it in the older Sturmey manuals, but I will admit I don't own every variation of the manuals. It does come up relatively frequently in the later manuals, particularly 1980s and 90s (and apparently some later) era manuals...So the warning is not entirely a myth. What is more to the point is whether there is some inherent risk to the hub, new or old, running lower than 2:1. Sturmey must have based its advice as to the newer hubs on some evidence, probably return/repair of damaged hubs, but the warning is not a certainty that you'll pulverize your hub running a lower ratio. I've never seen the warning in an older (1960s or earlier) manual. Perhaps it's buried in one somewhere, but I've not seen it that far back. It comes up with more frequency on later hubs from the 80s and 90s.

My advice is that if you can run a ratio higher than 2:1 comfortably, do that. If you have to use something lower than 2:1 to get use out of the bike, then I would not let the warning stop me. At any ratio, the hub should not be thrashed or abused, but do take some care to ride smoothly if you're running lower ratio than 2:1. If the hub breaks down, replace the damaged parts and go easier...

My speculation is that the 2:1 ratio was always known by Sturmey engineers, but they never bothered to spell it out, because they thought no one would push the limit. It didn't seem like most folks were swapping out the 18 tooth rear cog, I mean, who has found an old Raleigh three speed with a bigger cog? Plus, the whole concept of "ride up any hill, no matter how steep or long" wasn't a concept in mid-century UK, there's a reason why they called them "push bikes". And the island of Great Britain wasn't a very mountainous place--hilly, sure, but there aren't a lot of sustained mountain grades like you'd find here in the western US, France, or Italy. (Would Sturmey have made hub gears with lower gearing if there were?)

I equate it with modern tire talk. Back then, there was little, if any, variation in tire width for a given wheel size. When I look through my 70's era bike books, the whole tire talk revolved around wired or tubeless. Now? Search here or other forums and you'll get the "How wide of a tire can I get on X bike?"

As a heavier rider, I've kept my AW equipped bikes within that 2:1 ratio. It works good for here in Portland, and I also maintain a good high gear for downhills or when I need to power it. I don't want to risk it (heck, I've destroyed hubs as it is). But if you are a lighter rider with a smooth pedaling style and the hub is in good condition, you may be able to get away with a bigger cog.

Cyclespanner 02-21-24 03:07 PM

Everything is relative.
I am a UK resident and live in a valley in South Yorkshire. If I wish to ride one mile out in any direction, there's a long hill to climb straight away, long enough for me to want a damn good reason to go anywhere!
Not exactly the Alps but enough to remind you how old you are.
You are correct, one never finds old three speeders with bigger rear sprockets.
Back in the day the vast majority of 'cyclists' did the shopping and went to work, locally.
Any further, you hopped onto a bus or a train.
The 'touring' cyclists, on their 'club' bikes were always few and far between and seen as a bit odd.
Times and expectations change.

Salubrious 02-21-24 04:54 PM


Originally Posted by Cyclespanner (Post 23163424)
Everything is relative.
I am a UK resident and live in a valley in South Yorkshire. If I wish to ride one mile out in any direction, there's a long hill to climb straight away, long enough for me to want a damn good reason to go anywhere!
Not exactly the Alps but enough to remind you how old you are.
You are correct, one never finds old three speeders with bigger rear sprockets.
Back in the day the vast majority of 'cyclists' did the shopping and went to work, locally.
Any further, you hopped onto a bus or a train.
The 'touring' cyclists, on their 'club' bikes were always few and far between and seen as a bit odd.
Times and expectations change.

I have a 1938 Royal Enfield with a 23 on the back and a 42 up front, on 650B tires. I think it might be the first year of the AW. I cheated and put a newer carrier on the hub so I could use a newer sprocket. The bike is sort like a 1990s mountain bike but less gears. It'll be interesting to see how it holds up.

PhilFo 02-22-24 07:03 AM

A friend of mine had to move out of his apartment on extremely short notice due to a fire in another unit in the building and he's storing a bunch of bikes in my garage. One of them is a lady's Raleigh Sports with mostly black hardware and a 1948 AW hub, so we're assuming the bike is 1948. It doesn't have a saddle but still has/had the post sticking out. I texted my friend the other day asking if I could buy the post off him and he said I could have it.
So last night, I went out to the garage, armed with an adjustable, a 5mm allen key, and an old MTB bar end so I could extract the recalcitrant post without any damage. It came out pretty easy, and there was no rust... I brought it back inside and cleaned it off better up at the 7/8" clamp side. Not only was there no rust at all, as a matter of fact, all the dirt and schmutz on the thing was just surface stuff. What I was holding was a stainless steel 1" closed-top straight post with no label or markings, and impressively thin wall. I've never seen such an animal; has anyone here heard or seen this kind of post?
Phil

SirMike1983 02-22-24 07:56 AM

I've seen posts like that on more middle and higher end bikes, but generally not on a base model Sports of that era. It sounds like an upgrade to me. A hiduminium post was also available as a further upgrade, though I think you'd notice if yours was aluminum (it's very light indeed). Nice find.

barnfind 02-24-24 02:38 PM

I've run across a few of those super light closed top posts in the past, but none were ever on bikes, just posts I found in some box or parts room drawer. Either made from some sort of high grade chromoly or low grade stainless, they don't really rust, but they do surface rust or get sort of discolored with age. The last one I found was tagged '1952 racer' on it if that means anything to anyone, but the dealer that had it wasn't around in 1952. It wasn't beer can thin but it was light.
It was only slightly magnetic, but not enough for a typical stick magnet to pick it up off the floor.
I've got a drawer out back with about 200 English seat posts in it, it would surprise me if there were 5 of any one kind in there.
Most came from old bike shops or collector hoards that I acquired over the years. Those places are getting fewer and farther between these days but on occasion I still find one now and then that shocks me as to how much stuff someone left behind.
The last one was a mix of English bike parts and aircraft parts, the guy was a farmer who had several old air planes and his own runway along his own field so I now have several boxes of aircraft parts and gauges that were mixed in with all the old English bike parts. Who would have figured that what looked to be an abandoned dirt field airstrip would have half a truck load of old bike parts in side along with all the airplanes and parts.

Road Fan 02-24-24 08:28 PM


Originally Posted by Cyclespanner (Post 23163424)
Everything is relative.
I am a UK resident and live in a valley in South Yorkshire. If I wish to ride one mile out in any direction, there's a long hill to climb straight away, long enough for me to want a damn good reason to go anywhere!
Not exactly the Alps but enough to remind you how old you are.
You are correct, one never finds old three speeders with bigger rear sprockets./Back in the day the vast majority of 'cyclists' did the shopping and went to work, locally.
Any further, you hopped onto a bus or a train.
The 'touring' cyclists, on their 'club' bikes were always few and far between and seen as a bit odd.
Times and expectations change.

So having touched on Club bikes, as the owner of a 27 x 1 ¼ Rudge with 531, I wonder how a change to 27 x 1 ¼ might affect the 2:1 policy, or if it has been reflected in teh S-A literature beyond the 1951-era gearing chart? I changed out my steel cotter chainset with 46 teeth/17 rear to a TA single with a 49 (it was in the pile in the Bike Room, and the TA314 spindle fit the BB bearing cups). Been looking at gearing options and my age and mediocre fitness, at least this month, and I might like to go to 2:1 as well. ertainly the frame does not have fittings for a chan tensioner of any significant wind-up ability. I could put on a claw and a front mech or a rear mech, but but ... not pretty!

For example does it apply to an FM, FW or an FG? What about any of the more recent 5-speeds?

Road Fan 02-24-24 08:51 PM

Another topic: For a re-laced and pretty darn true Dunlop Special Lightweight rim in chromed steel. I still have all the original plated steel spokes on the bike, dirty but not rusty.

What sort of spoke tension can I use on this wheel?

The hub is the original 1952 steel AW. If I replace the rim I'll go to new Sapim spokes with similar butting to the one the Lenton factory used, but as it is I just want to finish the truing/rounding off with a set tension value. In deference to the old girl's age, I will probably back down the tension 10% or something, though my weight is borderline Clyde. I'll handle the front wheel the same way, considering the smaller number of spokes and 4x lacing (3x in the rear).

52telecaster 02-25-24 01:11 AM


Originally Posted by Road Fan (Post 23166578)
So having touched on Club bikes, as the owner of a 27 x 1 ¼ Rudge with 531, I wonder how a change to 27 x 1 ¼ might affect the 2:1 policy, or if it has been reflected in teh S-A literature beyond the 1951-era gearing chart? I changed out my steel cotter chainset with 46 teeth/17 rear to a TA single with a 49 (it was in the pile in the Bike Room, and the TA314 spindle fit the BB bearing cups). Been looking at gearing options and my age and mediocre fitness, at least this month, and I might like to go to 2:1 as well. ertainly the frame does not have fittings for a chan tensioner of any significant wind-up ability. I could put on a claw and a front mech or a rear mech, but but ... not pretty!

For example does it apply to an FM, FW or an FG? What about any of the more recent 5-speeds?

Unless you're a moose 2/1 will be fine. Ive gone 40/22 on 27" wheels and pulled my 40# son in a rear bike carrier. Climbed a lot of hills and never had an issue.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:41 PM.


Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.