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

nlerner 04-14-16 06:51 PM


Originally Posted by artclone (Post 18691334)
Fun to tool around the hood in, but boy to I need a larger sprocket. What's recommended?

You can go as big as a 26t rear cog if you purchase from BikeSmith Design. Any cog made for the Shimano Nexus rear hub should work, such as this 22t one from Niagara.

artclone 04-14-16 07:15 PM


Originally Posted by nlerner (Post 18691428)
You can go as big as a 26t rear cog if you purchase from BikeSmith Design. Any cog made for the Shimano Nexus rear hub should work, such as this 22t one from Niagara.

Perfect info, thanks.

Velocivixen 04-14-16 08:09 PM

@thumpism - that's a nice bike. That shade of blue is one I've never seen before - it's quite luxurious looking color. Very nice.
@artclone - what a nice Superbe. Really well done.

gna 04-14-16 10:17 PM


Originally Posted by Velocivixen (Post 18684565)
I "adopted" "Miss Molly" a likely 1972 Raleigh Twenty in almost new all original condition. Woman bought it from her neighbor whose husband had passed away. He took it in their RV and rode it around while traveling. She replaced the brake pads, installed Schwalbe 20" x 1.5 tires (406 - smaller 20" wheels), repacked the lower headset and front wheel hub. She bought a cotter press but could not get the cotters out, so she wanted to sell it. There was a torn up sticker on it from "Dicks" bicycle shop in Vancouver, WA, which no longer exists, so it's a local bike.

Chainring chrome is spotless with no rust or wear on the teeth, and bottom bracket spindle & races are pristine, however there was a ball bearing "half" inside - the other half fell out when she was working on the bike. Never knew ball bearings could break in half. She had dripped Tri-flo down the seat tube to get some sort of lubrication into the bottom bracket.

It definitely needs new cables, but I really want to keep the housings because they are like new. Brakes will be alright, but with the shifter I'll either have to use JB Weld or use a clamp on end. I wish I could get some lube in there, but can't, so ...


https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1511/...79548be4_z.jpg"Miss Molly" R20 by velocivixen, on Flickr

That's a really nice looking Twenty.

Velocivixen 04-15-16 12:45 AM

@gna - Thanks. I trued the wheels today. The rear was out of dish by about 1/3" or so with low tensions. The wheel has 36 spokes and they're short so the tensionometer didn't have enough spoke to grab onto. So I focused on radial, lateral, dish then used sound to see if the spokes were generally similar to one another. They're better than they were.

I also replaced the shift cable - it was pretty gummed up. Kept the white housing - used whitewall tire cleaner on them to brighten them up.

thumpism 04-15-16 05:19 AM


Originally Posted by Velocivixen (Post 18691595)
@thumpism - that's a nice bike. That shade of blue is one I've never seen before - it's quite luxurious looking color. Very nice.

Thanks. It's a stock color, a glossy dark blue I've seen on other Raleighs but years of weathering have added a matte purplish tinge to it.

DQRider 04-15-16 05:36 AM

What a fortuitous juxtaposition! These two posts speak volumes about the state of the hobby today:

http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...p;d=1460676683


Originally Posted by NormanF (Post 18691224)
Aftermarket fenders should fit, probably with smaller 32-35 c tires and of course a Brooks B-67 would be the perfect replacement saddle.

I wouldn't change anything about it: the design is clean, simple and timeless.

So what, about $300 on top of whatever it cost you for the bike? Plus many hours of Quality Time out in the shop, recommissioning?

Or:

http://www.bikemastertool.com/media/...png?1434471427

From the ad for the Raleigh Haskell: Classic City Styled High Tensile Frame and Fork, Rack & Fender Ready

Only $600 for for a bike to which you will still have to add at least $300 to "finish"? Notice that the ad doesn't say whether this is a Sturmey-Archer 5-speed or not. For that price, I would expect at least 4130 Crome-Moly (What is the correct spelling for that, anyway?)

At least they put the right shifter on it.

Seems like a clear choice to me... :innocent:

BigChief 04-15-16 06:35 AM


Originally Posted by artclone (Post 18691334)
Here's the '68 Superbe I bought a couple months back after a wiping it with an oily rag and lubing all bearings and hubs. Paid $50 for the bike and put another $75 in tires, tubes, saddle, fender bolts, and a sweet grip shift set and cables from from @YoKev.

http://i1281.photobucket.com/albums/...pssc1pz06p.jpg
Notice it has no dynohub, lights, or pump brackets. Sheldon said Superbes only "usually" come with that hub and lights, so I imagine this is how it came from the shop. Which is not to say said shop didn't swap everything to upgrade a return customer's Sport. I've seen other '68 Superbes without pump brackets. There's no sign they were broken off, so I assume the pump brazeon guy was sick in 1968.

Also notice it has a vinyl Raleigh mattress saddle instead of a B72 and no rack or saddlebag. This is solely because you forum members haven't kicked down.

Fun to tool around the hood in, but boy to I need a larger sprocket. What's recommended?

Nice bike. Always liked the bronze green color. Other things are different here too. No fork lock, different graphics on the seat tube and chainguard. Hard to see in the photo, but in 68, Superbes and Sprites got the new short neck stem. This one looks to be the usual no neck stem. Under instead of over shifter cable routing. I guess you can never say with certainty exactly what features you'll find on a Raleigh. There always seem to be exceptions to the rules. With 46T chainwheels, I like using those chrome 22T sturmey archer coaster brake cogs.

agmetal 04-15-16 07:54 AM

I'm curious about the BSA/Sturmey Archer X-type 3-speed hub...how does it differ from the AW?

artclone 04-15-16 08:29 AM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 18692226)
Nice bike. Always liked the bronze green color. Other things are different here too. No fork lock, different graphics on the seat tube and chainguard. Hard to see in the photo, but in 68, Superbes and Sprites got the new short neck stem. This one looks to be the usual no neck stem. Under instead of over shifter cable routing. I guess you can never say with certainty exactly what features you'll find on a Raleigh. There always seem to be exceptions to the rules. With 46T chainwheels, I like using those chrome 22T sturmey archer coaster brake cogs.

It does have a fork lock, it's on the left. I'm not sure about what neck the stem is. The under cable routing might have been a previous owner; all the cables had been redone with black when I bought it. Chrome sprocket would look great, thanks for the idea.

The script on the frame matches other '68s but the chainguard script is smaller.

SirMike1983 04-15-16 08:47 AM

I recommend a cog from 22 to 24 for all around use and upright riders.

gna 04-15-16 09:16 AM


Originally Posted by Velocivixen (Post 18691943)
@gna - Thanks. I trued the wheels today. The rear was out of dish by about 1/3" or so with low tensions. The wheel has 36 spokes and they're short so the tensionometer didn't have enough spoke to grab onto. So I focused on radial, lateral, dish then used sound to see if the spokes were generally similar to one another. They're better than they were.

I also replaced the shift cable - it was pretty gummed up. Kept the white housing - used whitewall tire cleaner on them to brighten them up.

Are you going to keep it? It's so nice I wouldn't want to change anything major. But I can't imagine riding it in the rain and trying to stop....

noglider 04-15-16 10:44 AM


Originally Posted by DQRider (Post 18692126)
I would expect at least 4130 Crome-Moly (What is the correct spelling for that, anyway?)

Chrome molybdenum, or chrome moly for short.

adventurepdx 04-15-16 11:34 AM


Originally Posted by DQRider (Post 18692126)
What a fortuitous juxtaposition! These two posts speak volumes about the state of the hobby today:

So what, about $300 on top of whatever it cost you for the bike? Plus many hours of Quality Time out in the shop, recommissioning?

Or:

From the ad for the Raleigh Haskell: Classic City Styled High Tensile Frame and Fork, Rack & Fender Ready

Only $600 for for a bike to which you will still have to add at least $300 to "finish"? Notice that the ad doesn't say whether this is a Sturmey-Archer 5-speed or not. For that price, I would expect at least 4130 Crome-Moly (What is the correct spelling for that, anyway?)

At least they put the right shifter on it.

Seems like a clear choice to me... :innocent:

To be fair, my 1968 Raleigh Superbe would be about $550 in today's dollars, and that was hi-ten. But yes, it had the fenders and all the other bits on it.

At least the Haskell is steel, not aluminum, which has become the default material for lower-priced hybrids. But yeah, it wouldn't have hurt them to put fenders on it. And that shifter looks S-A.

A good option for a kitted out modern steel three speed would be a Linus. I think they are about $600 or so, and have fenders and rear rack included.

DQRider 04-15-16 12:17 PM


Originally Posted by adventurepdx (Post 18693097)
To be fair, my 1968 Raleigh Superbe would be about $550 in today's dollars, and that was hi-ten. But yes, it had the fenders and all the other bits on it.

At least the Haskell is steel, not aluminum, which has become the default material for lower-priced hybrids. But yeah, it wouldn't have hurt them to put fenders on it. And that shifter looks S-A.

A good option for a kitted out modern steel three speed would be a Linus. I think they are about $600 or so, and have fenders and rear rack included.

Ah, Linus... Yes, they do have the right idea with their Roadster Sport - and the frame is hi-ten steel with a "cro-mo" downtube. Interesting, that. But you see what they are emulating, right? The classic English 3-speed! But with a Nexus instead of Sturmey-Archer. They both weigh a bit over thirty pounds, although "The All-Steel Bicycle" is almost certainly heavier.

This is a challenge I have been thinking of taking on: Can I build a bicycle with quality equal or superior to the Linus Roadster Sport, for less than that asking price of $600. Early research indicates that it won't be possible if I'm paying retail for all the modern upgrade components. However, if I can find modern alloy components on Craigslist or eBay to replace all the steel components of a Raleigh Sport, for example, I just might be able to pull it off.

Sure would be fun to try... I feel a Winter Project coming on!

FWIW, my DL-1 was built for less than that. But it is a distinctly different animal from the lightweight Sports from Raleigh, or Linus. For one thing, there is nothing lightweight about it. I haven't checked yet, but I'm betting he will tip the scales right around fifty pounds, kitted out for Pepin.

P.S. Right after I posted this, I went to CL and found this for $50:

http://images.craigslist.org/01515_8...wK_600x450.jpg

Ad says it needs a new tube for the rear, and it will be good-to-go. And the owner has the chainguard for it. This would make a good starting point, if I didn't already have a frame for the project.

Velocivixen 04-15-16 01:40 PM

@gna- gonna leave it as is. Just cables & different brake pads @ slightly wider 1.75 Schwalbe Marathons. I already have one that is modified and I want this one just the way it is.

NormanF 04-15-16 03:31 PM

Mild steel on Raleigh Haskell just like with the original Raleigh Sports - a high end frame wouldn't do for the masses. ;)

Loose Chain 04-15-16 07:23 PM

I am not thinking that references to high tensile steel are the same as mild carbon steel in the bike world though some may use them interchangeably. Bikes that I have ridden made from high tensile steel throughout are lively and reasonably light constructions. Not bashing on these 3 speeds, they are what they are, but I do not think them to be constructed of high tensile steels as the frames feel relatively dead. Again, not really a bad thing for the intended purpose, as it produces a soft, compliant ride at a modicum of cost. Even at 62yo, I am still more than strong enough, too turn up the watts, and noodle-ize one of these, but why, it simply is not the intention of the bike or the market they were sold to. They are delightful as they were intended when used as intended. These stories of dropping pelotons, I mean, like, I love a tall tale ;). Frame aside, the SA hub could not take the power input now anymore than it could when I was 14yo and stood on it up the hill.

FBinNY 04-15-16 07:47 PM


Originally Posted by Loose Chain (Post 18694293)
I am not thinking that references to high tensile steel are the same as mild carbon steel in the bike world though some may use them interchangeably. Bikes that I have ridden made from high tensile steel throughout are lively and reasonably light constructions. Not bashing on these 3 speeds, they are what they are, but I do not think them to be constructed of high tensile steels as the frames feel relatively dead. Again, not really a bad thing for the intended purpose, as it produces a soft, compliant ride at a modicum of cost. Even at 62yo, I am still more than strong enough, too turn up the watts, and noodle-ize one of these,......

I hope folks here will forgive me for injecting a bit of reality and science into this thread.

Keeping tubing diameters the same, frame stiffness is mainly a function of the amount of steel (frame weight). The variation in the index of stiffness (Young's Modulus) is very small comparing various structural steel alloys, as seen in this graph.

The benefit of higher alloys, ie. higher carbon steels or chrome-moly, or similar isn't that they are inherently stiffer, because they're not. It's that they are stronger, allowing thinner, lighter tubes to be equally strong. However, with lower weight you get less stiffness.

Normally the fix would be larger tube diameters, but high end tube walls are already about as they can be without unreasonable risk of denting or buckling under compression.

So, when all is said and done, steel frames made of better steels can be lighter, but that means that frames made of crappy steels will be stiffer.

As far as subjective differences, besides the weight, it's that excess stiffness, not flex, that makes low alloy frames feel dead and ride like trucks.

Note, before folks start screaming, everything above is based on tube dimensions (not counting wall thickness) are the same. That's critical because while the three main tubes are the same diameters on various steel frames, forks and stays vary significantly and that can have a major effect on ride quality.

adventurepdx 04-15-16 08:27 PM


Originally Posted by DQRider (Post 18693209)
Ah, Linus... Yes, they do have the right idea with their Roadster Sport - and the frame is hi-ten steel with a "cro-mo" downtube. Interesting, that. But you see what they are emulating, right? The classic English 3-speed! But with a Nexus instead of Sturmey-Archer. They both weigh a bit over thirty pounds, although "The All-Steel Bicycle" is almost certainly heavier.

I think that the North American bike market has been too focused on "sport" bikes for far too long, so when they make forays into "utility/city" bikes, they either get it wrong or miss details. Compare that to much of the rest of the world, esp Europe, where things like racks, fenders, even lights are all included and are not add-ons afterwards. At least Linus and Public are on to something, and sell well where they are sold.

I wrote a blog post about the dearth of fully kitted utility bikes in North America. It was sparked by seeing a Novara Transfer in the wild. It was chro-moly, hub geared, racked, fendered, chainguarded AND had dynamo lighting. REI sold it for about $700 for a time, but they discontinued it and their newer options don't have all the features (or go overboard, like hydraulic disc brakes.) Sure, to many here the frame isn't that attractive, but at least it gets the job done.
https://urbanadventureleague.wordpre...actical-bikes/
https://urbanadventureleague.files.w...=700&h=&crop=1

adventurepdx 04-15-16 09:19 PM


Originally Posted by Loose Chain (Post 18694293)
I am not thinking that references to high tensile steel are the same as mild carbon steel in the bike world though some may use them interchangeably. Bikes that I have ridden made from high tensile steel throughout are lively and reasonably light constructions. Not bashing on these 3 speeds, they are what they are, but I do not think them to be constructed of high tensile steels as the frames feel relatively dead.

Yeah, I think there is confusion between "mild" and "high tensile" steel, but as far as I can tell, at least later Raleigh three speeds (or any steel Raleigh) used high tensile 20-30 steel, which as far as I can tell is NOT mild steel. You can see it in the 1968 Raleigh USA catalog (see page 4):
http://sheldonbrown.com/retroraleigh...talog-1968.pdf

And I've seen a High Tensile or 20-30 High Carbon sticker on the seat tube of a few Raleigh three speeds:
https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7339/8...5fdb1d3ba7.jpg

Loose Chain 04-15-16 09:40 PM


Originally Posted by FBinNY (Post 18694332)
I hope folks here will forgive me for injecting a bit of reality and science into this thread.

Keeping tubing diameters the same, frame stiffness is mainly a function of the amount of steel (frame weight). The variation in the index of stiffness (Young's Modulus) is very small comparing various structural steel alloys, as seen in this graph.

The benefit of higher alloys, ie. higher carbon steels or chrome-moly, or similar isn't that they are inherently stiffer, because they're not. It's that they are stronger, allowing thinner, lighter tubes to be equally strong. However, with lower weight you get less stiffness.

Normally the fix would be larger tube diameters, but high end tube walls are already about as they can be without unreasonable risk of denting or buckling under compression.

So, when all is said and done, steel frames made of better steels can be lighter, but that means that frames made of crappy steels will be stiffer.

As far as subjective differences, besides the weight, it's that excess stiffness, not flex, that makes low alloy frames feel dead and ride like trucks.

Note, before folks start screaming, everything above is based on tube dimensions (not counting wall thickness) are the same. That's critical because while the three main tubes are the same diameters on various steel frames, forks and stays vary significantly and that can have a major effect on ride quality.

Yep, that is what I said. It (the Raleigh Sports) is heavy and dead feeling compared to my Italian bikes or even my Surly CC which are most definitely more lively feeling. The materials were chosen in both cases for the purpose intended and for the expectations of the market. The Raleigh was sold to a different market than a high end SLX Columbus Italian racer and racer there used appropriately. My interest was high tensile strength vs mild carbon steel and it's use in these slightly sporty (and spiffy) utility bicycles. As my wife says, they are cute. I am not sure I would change a thing now that my appreciation for the all steel bike is renewed.

That said, anybody ever want to make a Raleigh Sports out of SL tubing, what a sleeper, a 25 pound wolf in sheep clothing. It certainly would not hurt anything but what workman could afford such a thing? One thing, applying a 50 pound force to the BB of my Raleigh results in a noticeably greater deflection than on my Pinarello. Raleigh, heavier yes, stiffer, I cannot agree. But a bloke on his way to work would he care, I doubt it.

So then we are saying that at least later versions of the Sports had a high tensile steel frame or main frame? Hmmm? Well, indeed this is interesting:

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b3...psnxdpw8sc.jpg

I am not saying these are good tires or even slightly better than poor tires, only that they are black and appear to be made from some sort of rubbery like stuff:

http://www.sears.com/bell-sports-701...&blockType=G37

I thought Bell had quit making them. The versions I have are similar but not the same. Added Kevlar?

Well, there is this sad creature awaiting some long overdue attention:

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b3...psme90ydey.jpg

DQRider 04-16-16 07:09 AM


Originally Posted by adventurepdx (Post 18694399)
I think that the North American bike market has been too focused on "sport" bikes for far too long, so when they make forays into "utility/city" bikes, they either get it wrong or miss details. Compare that to much of the rest of the world, esp Europe, where things like racks, fenders, even lights are all included and are not add-ons afterwards. At least Linus and Public are on to something, and sell well where they are sold.

I wrote a blog post about the dearth of fully kitted utility bikes in North America. It was sparked by seeing a Novara Transfer in the wild. It was chro-moly, hub geared, racked, fendered, chainguarded AND had dynamo lighting. REI sold it for about $700 for a time, but they discontinued it and their newer options don't have all the features (or go overboard, like hydraulic disc brakes.) Sure, to many here the frame isn't that attractive, but at least it gets the job done.
https://urbanadventureleague.wordpre...actical-bikes/
https://urbanadventureleague.files.w...=700&h=&crop=1

Had I seen this bike before I bought my Scott Sub-10, I might have bought this instead. REI had the Gotham right next to the Sub-10 in their showrooms last year, priced similarly, both with belt-drive/disc-brakes/IGH, but the Alfine hub tipped the scales in favor of the Scott - I understand how that works. The NuVinci 360 in the Novarra bikes, on the other hand, is some sort of black magic.

However, since this is the English 3-speed thread, I'm afraid I have wandered off the path a bit. Sorry.

An Announcement:

I've decided that I am going to take up the challenge to build a superior Lightweight English 3-speed Roadster after all. Elsewhere in C&V there is a thread called "NAME THAT FRAME", in which I try to get some expert to identify a beautifully lugged, hand-built Reynolds 531 frameset that I have recently acquired. So far, the consensus is that it is from the early 1970s, probably British, (maybe American - but built in the British style), from a small, low-volume shop (serial number 352).

http://i1073.photobucket.com/albums/...pslgaffjjy.png

This frame is incredible, weighing in at 4.3 lbs, with the fork at 1.5. It is going to be the basis for something I am calling Project John Bull. I have received official recognition for this project from the Gentleman Cyclist's Shirt-Tail Organizer, so it will be eligible for both the ABCE and the Lake Pepin 3-speed Tour. I will keep a build thread here on the C&V forum, all starting as soon as they begin salting the roads again here next winter. This one is going to be fun!

BigChief 04-16-16 08:17 AM

I don't know what alloy Raleigh's 20-30 tubing is, but I don't think it's fair to call it gas pipe or consider it to be a cheap and inferior product. Back before modern welding techniques, the whole point of brazing a frame in formed lugs was to allow for lighter tubing that couldn't stand up to the welding methods at the time. Raleigh went out of it's way to form and seam weld it's own tubing to get just the alloy and dimensions they wanted. True, Raleigh did continue using materials and production techniques long after they were outdated, but that is part of their charm. We can still find 1960s and 70s bikes that are essentially 1920s technology. Lugged 20-30 frames may not live up to the performance standards of modern or exotic alloy frames, but they are still high quality.

noglider 04-16-16 09:02 AM

@adventurepdx, I agree that Americans don't know a good utilitarian bike. Portland has a lot of bike commuters, no? Don't you see sensible bikes there? We're seeing a big influx here. I give a lot of credit to Linus and Biria. Their bikes make tons of sense. George Bliss owned a shop one block from me. He is out of business for now, but he was the biggest Linus dealer in the US for a while. He helped make them big. He said the Biria is basically the same but with better paint (and maybe he said better workmanship overall) and a higher price. The Biria bikes look good to me. I test rode a non-folding bike with 20" wheels. It was too weird for me to imagine what it's like to ride every day.

@DQRider, I look forward to seeing your new townie bike. I have a 1975 Viscount that I converted to fixed gear with flat handlebars. Unfortunately, the clearance between the chain stays is small. I can fit a 32mm tire in there but not with a fender. It's OK because I don't ride the bike much, but it's awfully fun. It's very lightweight, and it has sport-touring geometry, which is fun and versatile.


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