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

Ima Tumor 03-02-18 07:37 PM

My friend was gifted a 1957 Norman 3 speed in average condition.
It is all original except seat.
He is not into vintage. I have photos

johnnyspaghetti 03-04-18 08:28 AM


Originally Posted by Ima Tumor (Post 20201779)
My friend was gifted a 1957 Norman 3 speed in average condition.
It is all original except seat.
He is not into vintage. I have photos

Please we love photos, Please

Chaser95 03-04-18 12:26 PM

I know Raleigh built many different brands. I saw an ad for an American Flyer that has the "Raleigh Look" right down to the ribbed cables. Is it Raleigh built? Thanks!

thumpism 03-04-18 12:52 PM

I have a head badge for an American Flyer stating it was built by Schwinn for Louisville Cycle, so anything is possible.

Chaser95 03-04-18 01:16 PM

2 Attachment(s)
The ad said American Flyer but, the bike says Western Flyer for those of us who remember Western Auto Stores. Looks a lot like my wife's 74 Phillips.

BigChief 03-04-18 03:13 PM

Nice. This is an older one too. A good 10 years older than your wife's Phillips. Except for the seat, it looks all original. This bike was made by Raleigh at it's Nottingham factory. Looks like it would clean up nicely.

Ballenxj 03-04-18 11:22 PM


Originally Posted by Chaser95 (Post 20204359)
The ad said American Flyer but, the bike says Western Flyer for those of us who remember Western Auto Stores. Looks a lot like my wife's 74 Phillips.

If I remember correctly, Western Auto stores were like a combo automotive, and hardware store that happened to also sell guns and bicycles. I'm pretty sure my first bicycle was a Western Flyer.

BigChief 03-05-18 08:19 AM

The Western Auto in my town was very bicycle oriented. It had a whole wall of bicycle accessories. I remember buying the wire baskets for my paper route there. Darn, I'm getting old.

noglider 03-05-18 08:59 AM

@Chaser95, that's definitely a Raleigh.

Chaser95 03-05-18 12:41 PM

Thanks for the confirmation guys! I am picking it up this evening........and another mystery bike.

ascherer 03-05-18 02:56 PM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 20205511)
The Western Auto in my town was very bicycle oriented. It had a whole wall of bicycle accessories. I remember buying the wire baskets for my paper route there. Darn, I'm getting old.

Likewise, at 15-16 years old it was my go-to source for cheap parts and tools.

boattail71 03-05-18 03:05 PM


Originally Posted by Chaser95 (Post 20204359)
The ad said American Flyer but, the bike says Western Flyer for those of us who remember Western Auto Stores. Looks a lot like my wife's 74 Phillips.

I hope it's just my eyes but in photo one, is the down tube slightly bent near the head tube?

clubman 03-05-18 03:49 PM


Originally Posted by boattail71 (Post 20206432)
I hope it's just my eyes but in photo one, is the down tube slightly bent near the head tube?

My thought as well but the fork looks fine. Camera distortion? Forks been straightened?


Originally Posted by Chaser95 (Post 20206060)
Thanks for the confirmation guys! I am picking it up this evening........and another mystery bike.

Take a pump with you and make sure you test drive to see if it tracks straight. Unless it's dirt, dirt cheap...

Chaser95 03-05-18 07:26 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Just got home. It was dirt cheap. Tires and tubes are rotten. Hub is dated July 62. Big Chief you were all over the date!

BigChief 03-06-18 06:46 AM


Originally Posted by Chaser95 (Post 20206951)
Just got home. It was dirt cheap. Tires and tubes are rotten. Hub is dated July 62. Big Chief you were all over the date!

This looks like a fun project. I don't see much deep rust here. It's amazing what some time buffing the paint with polishing compound and wax will do for a bike like this. All of the scratches and different areas of fading will still be there, but with all the dirt and grime gone and a little depth and gloss to the paint it won't look neglected and you'll end up with a more dignified old look. Looks like that soft dent could be worked out of the fender.

thumpism 03-06-18 06:51 AM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 20205511)
The Western Auto in my town was very bicycle oriented. It had a whole wall of bicycle accessories. I remember buying the wire baskets for my paper route there. Darn, I'm getting old.

Western Auto stores were still around in the late '80s when I began repping, and they were a cycling source in small towns where they were frequently the only cycling source.

BigChief 03-06-18 07:33 AM

Just for the fun of it, I'll point out some cool features on this bike in case you're interested. You can compare it to your 1974 Phillips which by then was Raleigh made also. In the late 50s, Raleigh bought out the Birmingham manufacturers Phillips, Hercules ect. and for a couple of years the old Birmingham style fenders appeared on some Raleigh made bikes like this one. I don't know if Raleigh tooled up to make these or if they were left over parts from the acquisition, but it didn't last long, only a couple of years. This bike has the Birmingham style fenders. This bike still has the lug in the right side chainstay for an enclosed chaincase. It may also have an oil port in the bottom bracket, which was gone by 1963-64. It also has the blunt ends at the fork dropouts instead of the later bullet style.

BigChief 03-06-18 07:35 AM


Originally Posted by thumpism (Post 20207485)
Western Auto stores were still around in the late '80s when I began repping, and they were a cycling source in small towns where they were frequently the only cycling source.

I had no idea they were around that long. I haven't seen one since I was a kid.

Chaser95 03-06-18 12:40 PM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 20207550)
Just for the fun of it, I'll point out some cool features on this bike in case you're interested. You can compare it to your 1974 Phillips which by then was Raleigh made also. In the late 50s, Raleigh bought out the Birmingham manufacturers Phillips, Hercules ect. and for a couple of years the old Birmingham style fenders appeared on some Raleigh made bikes like this one. I don't know if Raleigh tooled up to make these or if they were left over parts from the acquisition, but it didn't last long, only a couple of years. This bike has the Birmingham style fenders. This bike still has the lug in the right side chainstay for an enclosed chaincase. It may also have an oil port in the bottom bracket, which was gone by 1963-64. It also has the blunt ends at the fork dropouts instead of the later bullet style.

Thanks BC! I always like to learn more. Yes, there is an oil port in the bottom bracket. When I picked up the bike there was only slipping of the chain and no wheel action. A few sprays of lube on the linkage, shifter and in the hub and all gears are working. I was delighted to find another AW hub.

The only major damage I have noticed is the front light bracket is broken off. I checked the down tube in daylight and I am happy to report it is straight. I think there was a case if lens distortion. Thanks to the guys with questioning eyes! I need all the help I can get.

The main reason I bought this bike is that I simply can't bring myself to tear down my Raleigh Sports because I want to ride all the time!! So, my plan is to overhaul the Western Flyer and when it is ready I will ride it and rebuild the Raleigh.

Thanks to EVERYONE for their knowledge and sharp eyes! Much appreciated!

BigChief 03-07-18 06:03 AM


Originally Posted by Chaser95 (Post 20208213)
Thanks BC! I always like to learn more. Yes, there is an oil port in the bottom bracket. When I picked up the bike there was only slipping of the chain and no wheel action. A few sprays of lube on the linkage, shifter and in the hub and all gears are working. I was delighted to find another AW hub.

The only major damage I have noticed is the front light bracket is broken off. I checked the down tube in daylight and I am happy to report it is straight. I think there was a case if lens distortion. Thanks to the guys with questioning eyes! I need all the help I can get.

The main reason I bought this bike is that I simply can't bring myself to tear down my Raleigh Sports because I want to ride all the time!! So, my plan is to overhaul the Western Flyer and when it is ready I will ride it and rebuild the Raleigh.

Thanks to EVERYONE for their knowledge and sharp eyes! Much appreciated!

If you're inclined to, it would be fun to see pictures as your project comes along. For me, it's the next best thing to having a project bike going myself. And for some reason I always get more excited about the older ones, say early 60s and back. It must be a nostalgia thing since these were the bikes that started me on my hobby of rescuing old broken English bikes in my younger days.

BigChief 03-07-18 08:48 AM

A question about 1950s Raleigh handlebar grips. They seem to be very rare. For some reason they didn't seem to survive long. Even bikes like this beautiful late 50s short frame Sports where everything else down to the cable housings looks original, the grips got changed at some point. These appear to be the usual American made Hunt Wilde grips that were for sale at places like Western Auto back in the 60s. It's hard to see much detail in old catalog scans. If anybody here has any old originals, I would like to ask if you would take the time to post some close up picks of them for me. Thanks, BC

https://www.ebay.com/itm/RALEIGH-Spo...sAAOSw37BagEy2

noglider 03-07-18 11:08 AM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 20209479)

My goodness, that thing is beautiful.

ascherer 03-07-18 11:46 AM


Originally Posted by noglider (Post 20209754)
My goodness, that thing is beautiful.

Hell yes.
Patina = 10/10

Salubrious 03-07-18 11:57 AM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 20209479)
A question about 1950s Raleigh handlebar grips. They seem to be very rare. For some reason they didn't seem to survive long. Even bikes like this beautiful late 50s short frame Sports where everything else down to the cable housings looks original, the grips got changed at some point. These appear to be the usual American made Hunt Wilde grips that were for sale at places like Western Auto back in the 60s. It's hard to see much detail in old catalog scans. If anybody here has any old originals, I would like to ask if you would take the time to post some close up picks of them for me. Thanks, BC

https://www.ebay.com/itm/RALEIGH-Spo...sAAOSw37BagEy2

Wouldn't the grips be white?

dweenk 03-07-18 12:12 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I think they would look like this, bullet style in white or gray.

BigChief 03-07-18 01:48 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Ah, thanks @dweenk It's so hard to tell from the old catalog pics like this from 1954. Even the colorized ones.

Attachment 602466

BigChief 03-07-18 01:57 PM


Originally Posted by noglider (Post 20209754)
My goodness, that thing is beautiful.

Yes, It's one of the nicest ones I've seen in a while. I think the saddle may even be original, but I don't know enough about them to say with certainty.

noglider 03-07-18 02:00 PM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 20210078)
Yes, It's one of the nicest ones I've seen in a while. I think the saddle may even be original, but I don't know enough about them to say with certainty.

The seller says the saddle is original.

dweenk 03-07-18 02:27 PM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 20210065)
Ah, thanks @dweenk It's so hard to tell from the old catalog pics like this from 1954. Even the colorized ones.

Attachment 602466

Those do not look bullet style to me. I do have a pair of grips I removed from an old bike that were similar to the catalog page. The material was hardened and had a couple of small cracks, but they do look like other Raleigh grips that I have seen.

BigChief 03-07-18 02:41 PM

Those look like the DARE grips. Those are sturdy. I've seen them on 70s Sports, but don't know how far back they go. This 1954 scan from The Headbadge site is much more clear and looks a lot like the bullet style...gray maybe?
'The Headbadge': 1954 Raleigh Catalog - Canada


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