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

horatio 05-28-19 03:47 AM

Thanks, all. I’ll give it a good flush sometime this week, when the mood strikes.

BigChief 05-28-19 07:05 AM


Originally Posted by Ged117 (Post 20950239)
I took my AG apart after filling it with wd40 and then some PB blaster and it looked great. There was a lot of old grease from 1950 that was gellied. I think the hub was barely broken in when the bike was put away. I filled it with 20w oil.

The donor 1979 Sports AW is immaculate on the outside, however the inside is dry and crusty. I am going to rebuild it as a test of methods before I rebuild my 1953 FW. They are neat machines. Do you guys know how to attach a new sturmey archer shifter cable to a 1950 shifter? Its a bit of a mystery to me.

With the early 3 or 4 speed shifters, you have to lift the pawl up with a small screw driver to thread the cable end through. Also, the ferrule is threaded with a blank spot at the bottom so it spins freely once screwed in all the way. To remove it, just pull back and turn until the threads engage.

Ged117 05-28-19 07:16 AM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 20950603)
With the early 3 or 4 speed shifters, you have to lift the pawl up with a small screw driver to thread the cable end through. Also, the ferrule is threaded with a blank spot at the bottom so it spins freely once screwed in all the way. To remove it, just pull back and turn until the threads engage.

Thanks BigChief. I was confused about attaching the new one to the 3/4 speed shifter. I will be gentle with the pawl. So the new cable ferrule should thread into the shifter without an issue? That's a relief. I'm setting it up this weekend, running the brake cables, and taking it for a ride after testing. I can't wait!

BigChief 05-28-19 11:45 AM


Originally Posted by Ged117 (Post 20950631)
Thanks BigChief. I was confused about attaching the new one to the 3/4 speed shifter. I will be gentle with the pawl. So the new cable ferrule should thread into the shifter without an issue? That's a relief. I'm setting it up this weekend, running the brake cables, and taking it for a ride after testing. I can't wait!

Some cable ferrules are ball ended for the later triggers with keyhole slots, some are threaded. If you're using a pinch bolt adapter at the indicator, the cable comes apart so you can use your original ferrule if the new one has the ball end type. Another issue is that some cables use crimped on ends can be too fat to fit into the slot in the hardened plate in the shifter. It's good to check to see if it fits nicely because it's a pest to remove them when they're stuck in tight. Just file it down a bit if it's too tight. Most replacement cables you find today are universal fit and use a pinch bolt adapter at the indicator end. There are ways to avoid the adapter and have the cable run directly into the barrel adjuster like the original, but it's more work and only crazy people like me care about this sort of thing.

88Tempo 05-28-19 07:38 PM

https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...b49c0d0be8.jpg
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...86b4cd52a6.jpg
Spotted this bike on Craigslist and thought it was cool looking. Very much old school, but looks brand new I'm not familiar with the brand.

gster 05-28-19 08:04 PM


Originally Posted by 88Tempo (Post 20951837)
https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...b49c0d0be8.jpg
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...86b4cd52a6.jpg
Spotted this bike on Craigslist and thought it was cool looking. Very much old school, but looks brand new I'm not familiar with the brand.

It's Chinese, a Raleigh copy.
Interesting bikes but very heavy
and no gears.

88Tempo 05-28-19 08:09 PM

@gster
The Ad said it was from Uganda. I just thought it was interesting because it appeared newish, but the style/geometry was very much old.

gster 05-28-19 08:22 PM


Originally Posted by 88Tempo (Post 20951878)
@gster
The Ad said it was from Uganda. I just thought it was interesting because it appeared newish, but the style/geometry was very much old.

You can buy one new
They still make them.
$40.00 approx over there.

88Tempo 05-28-19 08:28 PM

I think they are cool looking, but for really old stuff like that I'd prefer the Clubman? style. The one that looks like an old school road bike with a 3 speed hub.


I'm new at this whole vintage thing.

gster 05-29-19 04:03 AM


Originally Posted by 88Tempo (Post 20951905)
I think they are cool looking, but for really old stuff like that I'd prefer the Clubman? style. The one that looks like an old school road bike with a 3 speed hub.


I'm new at this whole vintage thing.

They are cool looking.
They're copies of a classic Raleigh
DL-1 (Tourist)
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...14818dc4e2.jpg
These were made up until 1981 or so.
These are big heavy bikes as well but not
as bad as the Chinese/Indian copies.
The build quality is better and they
have 3 speeds.
There's plenty of them out there (as well as other
British 3 speeds) at reasonable prices.
https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...f7b86ec58b.jpg

BigChief 05-29-19 04:24 AM


Originally Posted by 88Tempo (Post 20951905)
I think they are cool looking, but for really old stuff like that I'd prefer the Clubman? style. The one that looks like an old school road bike with a 3 speed hub.


I'm new at this whole vintage thing.

Ah yes, those are the cream of the crop. Bikes like Raleigh Clubmans and Rudge Pathfinders. These were the lightweight sport models that go back to the days of English riding clubs.


paulb_in_bkln 05-29-19 06:37 AM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 20952158)
Ah yes, those are the cream of the crop. Bikes like Raleigh Clubmans and Rudge Pathfinders. These were the lightweight sport models that go back to the days of English riding clubs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPkT0paGEnQ

No idea if it's still around now but that tradition of a social and sporting life centered on club participation (such as in A Boy a Girl and a Bike) was still important not even that long ago.

A life in cycling with Isla Rowntree | The Bike Show from Resonance FM

88Tempo 05-29-19 07:43 AM

@BigChief

Yes those are exactly what I'm talking about. Unfortunately at 6'2" I'm rather unlikely to come across one in my area that also fits.

Not to mention budget wise I couldn't do a restoration justice.

paulb_in_bkln 05-29-19 08:37 AM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 20952158)
Ah yes, those are the cream of the crop. Bikes like Raleigh Clubmans and Rudge Pathfinders. These were the lightweight sport models that go back to the days of English riding clubs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPkT0paGEnQ

I never tire of watching Cyclist's Special. That traveler's wagon at 10:30.

Ged117 05-29-19 11:29 AM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 20952158)
Ah yes, those are the cream of the crop. Bikes like Raleigh Clubmans and Rudge Pathfinders. These were the lightweight sport models that go back to the days of English riding clubs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPkT0paGEnQ

I really like that video. I think I'd like to find a Raleigh Clubman or Lenton Sports machine one day to complement my 1950 Superbe in a lighter, faster flavour to take on country road day rides. I imagine 23" models are few and far between though. I got lucky enough finding an early model 23" Superbe I suppose.

rustystrings61 05-29-19 11:42 AM

[QUOTE=. I imagine 23" models are few and far between though. I got lucky enough finding an early model 23" Superbe I suppose.[/QUOTE]

I am busy smacking my forehead right now - I glanced over at FB and lo, in their marketplace up popped what appears to have been an early '50s 23-in Raleigh Lenton Sports up near Rock Hill for $100. I contacted the seller, to learn it hadn't sold, but had been donated to Habitat up there. So I called Habitat, but no, it's already gone. Dang it.

The photo from the ad, and yeah, saw that chainwheel set -

https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...db7d1f1442.jpg

gster 05-29-19 04:30 PM


Originally Posted by 88Tempo (Post 20952342)
@BigChief

Yes those are exactly what I'm talking about. Unfortunately at 6'2" I'm rather unlikely to come across one in my area that also fits.

Not to mention budget wise I couldn't do a restoration justice.

Do a saved search on Kijiji and Craig's List and you'll get a notice if something comes up.
I've found several bikes that way.

BigChief 05-29-19 05:43 PM


Originally Posted by 88Tempo (Post 20952342)
@BigChief

Yes those are exactly what I'm talking about. Unfortunately at 6'2" I'm rather unlikely to come across one in my area that also fits.

Not to mention budget wise I couldn't do a restoration justice.

There is another option. A daydream of mine that unfortunately isn't practical for me since my old body can't take much time on drop bars anymore. I'd start with a Raleigh Super Course frameset. Find a suitable crank, vintage trigger shifter, Sturmey Archer S5 hub and mudguards that looked as much like vintage Bluemels as possible. I'd strip and repaint the frame in a more vintage style with vintage style transfers. I bet I could even get used to toe straps again although it's been a while. I don't see this happening at this point. I'll just stick to my roadsters.

88Tempo 05-29-19 05:54 PM


Originally Posted by gster (Post 20953195)
Do a saved search on Kijiji and Craig's List and you'll get a notice if something comes up.
I've found several bikes that way.

That's a good idea, honestly I didn't even know that was possible.

88Tempo 05-29-19 05:58 PM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 20953293)
There is another option. A daydream of mine that unfortunately isn't practical for me since my old body can't take much time on drop bars anymore. I'd start with a Raleigh Super Course frameset. Find a suitable crank, vintage trigger shifter, Sturmey Archer S5 hub and mudguards that looked as much like vintage Bluemels as possible. I'd strip and repaint the frame in a more vintage style with vintage style transfers. I bet I could even get used to toe straps again although it's been a while. I don't see this happening at this point. I'll just stick to my roadsters.

That's what I was kind of figuring on doing. I doubt if I would use a Super Course as that is one of the higher end models isn't it? I'd be happy with an old Rampar frame or similar.

BigChief 05-29-19 07:17 PM


Originally Posted by 88Tempo (Post 20953307)
That's what I was kind of figuring on doing. I doubt if I would use a Super Course as that is one of the higher end models isn't it? I'd be happy with an old Rampar frame or similar.

The Super Course was a medium priced model. The important factor is that it has a Reynolds 531 tube frame like the original club bikes. What you're talking about is what we call a scorcher. That is stripping down a regular light roadster like a Sports. I made this one from a 21" 1955 Rudge Sports. I need upright bars, so this has a tall Sunlite touring stem and long seat post so it fits me. It has alloy rims, alloy shell AW hub,a light weight seat, alloy ESGE kickstand, rat trap pedals, Tektro brakes and no mudguards or chainguard. It's pretty sporty. I put a lot of miles on this one. There is a misconception that these frames are "gas pipe" but they are not the same mild steel as the cheapo department store bikes or even electro welded Schwinns. Those are 1010 steel. The Raleigh Sports frames are more like 1018 or 1020, but still not as hard or light as the more exotic alloys like 531. Still, you can have plenty of fun on a scorcher!

https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...b1583359a6.jpg

clubman 05-29-19 07:29 PM


Originally Posted by 88Tempo (Post 20952342)
@BigChief

Yes those are exactly what I'm talking about. Unfortunately at 6'2" I'm rather unlikely to come across one in my area that also fits.

Not to mention budget wise I couldn't do a restoration justice.

Just to add a bit to the club thing. There were hundreds of excellent builders in post War Britain making these bikes to even higher standards than the big guys and many were built in custom large or small sizes. Have a look at the classic Rendezvous reference page for Britain to get a few more names to add to your list.

At 6"2', you might be a bit large for this New Hudson, currently for sale here. It's a nice example in great original conditions for not a small fortune.

browngw 05-29-19 09:13 PM


Originally Posted by 88Tempo (Post 20953307)
That's what I was kind of figuring on doing. I doubt if I would use a Super Course as that is one of the higher end models isn't it? I'd be happy with an old Rampar frame or similar.

You might get lucky and find an original seventies (71) drop bar 23" Robin Hood Sports like I did. I waited years for it to come along! It is one of my favorite riders. Shown five years ago and recently.
https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...81f681b2b3.jpg
https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...ed4d6d9a80.jpg

88Tempo 05-29-19 09:29 PM

@clubman
Thanks for the link, I bookmarked it for future reading. That Hudson is nice the and the owner looks close to my size so I could probably make a 23" work
too.
@browngw
That would be a nice find. You have a really nice looking bike there.

BigChief 05-30-19 04:00 AM


Originally Posted by 88Tempo (Post 20953580)
@clubman
Thanks for the link, I bookmarked it for future reading. That Hudson is nice the and the owner looks close to my size so I could probably make a 23" work
too.
@browngw
That would be a nice find. You have a really nice looking bike there.

I think a 23" frame would work for you. I'm 6'1" 33" inseam and there's plenty of adjustment left in the seat post of my 23" roadsters. That sure is a pretty Robin Hood. It wouldn't be hard to convert a roadster to drop bars. Any 22.2 stem will fit the fork tube.

gster 05-30-19 04:45 AM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 20953751)
I think a 23" frame would work for you. I'm 6'1" 33" inseam and there's plenty of adjustment left in the seat post of my 23" roadsters. That sure is a pretty Robin Hood. It wouldn't be hard to convert a roadster to drop bars. Any 22.2 stem will fit the fork tube.

BC and myself (and others) are big fans of the Scorchers (inverted bars) and Semi Scorchers (upright bars).
here's my Robin Hood.
https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...78aa1c4c43.jpg
This cost less than $200.00 to put together.
Plus a Glider below.
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...876b5a733d.jpg
This started as a $20.00 frame and built up from the parts bin.
In both cases, the leather saddles are the most expensive items.
So we're not talking about a lot of money.

88Tempo 05-30-19 07:15 AM

I had a 21" Rudge for a little while. It was fun to ride although quite small for me. It is the bike that got me interested in a scorcher or clubman. I haven't seen another one since then.

I have a few bikes I'm interested in getting this would just be one. An aluminum Schwinn is the highest priority.

paulb_in_bkln 05-30-19 09:21 AM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 20953293)
There is another option. A daydream of mine that unfortunately isn't practical for me since my old body can't take much time on drop bars anymore. I'd start with a Raleigh Super Course frameset. Find a suitable crank, vintage trigger shifter, Sturmey Archer S5 hub and mudguards that looked as much like vintage Bluemels as possible. I'd strip and repaint the frame in a more vintage style with vintage style transfers. I bet I could even get used to toe straps again although it's been a while. I don't see this happening at this point. I'll just stick to my roadsters.

I think about this, too. I'm close to having my old ('83) Trek 600 repaired and repainted. Almost certainly I'll keep it as derailleur bike. But the frame would be perfect for what you've described.

Salubrious 05-30-19 10:31 AM

I wore the Michelin 650A tires out on my main rider. While I'm waiting for a new set of tires I've been riding some of my other 3-speed rides; yesterday was the '61 Sports (which might be the only year with the inverted, but otherwise 1960s shifter), today is the 51 Humber Sports. One thing that I've really noticed as a result is the older bikes have a springier, more nimble and more charming character. The Humber is really nice handling; much more enjoyable than the '72 Superbe. So it seems that that if you really want to experience what the 3-speed thing is all about, you'll get a much better feel for it if you avoid the later machines. I'm not saying that the later ones can't be fun, but the earlier machines have a better feel, obviously more care in frame construction, and apparently more care in the shifters and hubs. Just sayin'

88Tempo 05-30-19 10:43 AM

My first experience with a Sturmey Archer 3 speed was the Rudge I mentioned. I was pleasantly surprised how well a either 1951 or 1954 ( I can't remember) bike worked.

The priority for parts and stuff right now is my Tempo and then the Nashbar Road LP. With a limited budget for bike stuff I absolutely have to have some priorities.


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