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

jackbombay 04-14-20 06:53 PM


Originally Posted by Ged117 (Post 21418471)
I find that I have to switch the gear while pedaling forward gently, and slightly let off the pedals ever so little, almost to the point of pedaling back, and it will engage the gear.

I don't have a 4 speed, but I've owned/ridden plenty of 3 speeds and when shifting from a higher gear to a lower gear I try to pedal a bit slower that I expect to be pedalling after the gear change has occurred, your top 3 gears should operate like a 3 speed, yea?

Ged117 04-15-20 06:45 AM


Originally Posted by jackbombay (Post 21418561)
I don't have a 4 speed, but I've owned/ridden plenty of 3 speeds and when shifting from a higher gear to a lower gear I try to pedal a bit slower that I expect to be pedalling after the gear change has occurred, your top 3 gears should operate like a 3 speed, yea?

The top 3 work like an AW, and the 4th or bottom gear puts everything in tight adjustment. I don't think the shifter has the strength to hold it for very long. I just wanted to make sure that the shifting is working as intended. Still, it is really fun to operate. I've read on UK cycling forums that people still take long tours around the country with their '40s, '50s, '60s, Sturmey hubs.

jackbombay 04-15-20 08:37 AM


Originally Posted by Ged117 (Post 21419135)
I've read on UK cycling forums that people still take long tours around the country with their '40s, '50s, '60s, Sturmey hubs.

Last summer I rode a century (and a few half centuries) on my restomod 3 speed hercules, I have some big plans for my recently resto-modded 5 speed sturmey Sprite, but Covid may throw a wrench into those plans, hard to say right now...

sykerocker 04-15-20 08:52 AM


Originally Posted by Ged117 (Post 21418471)
These FW four-speeds are a devil to get adjusted just right. I think I finally have the cable tension and adjustment on my FW correct, and no play at the hub either. Shifting from Bottom gear > Low gear > Normal gear > High gear works okay (Bottom gear is tough - I think the shifter is weak being 65 years old, and I may find a newer four-speed shifter). However, shifting from High gear to Normal and on down through the range takes a little finesse. I find that I have to switch the gear while pedaling forward gently, and slightly let off the pedals ever so little, almost to the point of pedaling back, and it will engage the gear. However, it was not doing that when I had a little play at the hub and the shifter was loosely mounted to the bar via zip-tie. It simply engaged up or down while pedaling forward gently. I'm not sure what has changed, other than the cones being adjusted for no play. The cable adjustment remains as per instructions. It is a commuter / all-rounder bike and so I'm not expecting to take my four-speed on week-long tours in the rolling English countryside like owners did back when, engaging Bottom gear constantly, but still I'd like it to work a little better. Salubrious just wondering if you could chime in since I know you own a few four-speeds. Does the S5 conversion solve this issue?

My experience with the S5 (I use my '69 Sprite as one of my two daily commuters) is that, given the kludginess of the left side actuation, I don't treat it as a 1-2-3-4-5 five-speed. I tend to run the bike as a dual range three-speed: With the left lever forward, I'm running 2-3-4 off the right side. With the left lever back, I'm running 1-3-5 off the right side. Now, my setup is completely factory stock except for the right side being controlled by a plain old AW handlebar switch since I've broken the right side lever twice now in my six year ownership of the bike. I've yet to find a third replacement, and if I do it's just going to get bagged and stored, and offered with the bike should I ever decide to sell it. At the moment, highly unlikely.

With a 23t sprocket on the hub, the bike is slightly under geared for me (a 21 or 22 would be better) so using it as a dual-range works fine. About the only time I wish it shifted better are on some lazy days when I want to climb my driveway and am feeling lazy. At which point, I stop the bike, get the left side actuated, and with the right side in low, climb the slight hill in first. If the bike's in one of it's ornery moods and won't shift, I just climb the hill in second and mutter slightly.

jackbombay 04-15-20 10:30 AM


Originally Posted by sykerocker (Post 21419371)
given the kludginess of the left side actuation

Left side is certainly not as satisfying to shift as the right side!

It took me a bit of tinkering to get it figured out, but I've determined that the best way to shift the left side is to have a slight bit of tension on the drivetrain, its of course totally unlike shifting the right side, and it took me a bit for this to become intuitive, keeping the drivetrain slightly loaded for the 4 to 5 shift. the 2 to 1 shift is the same loading the drive train slightly in second will allow it to go into first easier than no load on the drivetrain, shifting from 2 to 1 has the advantage that when the shift occurs the cranks want to spin faster so having that slight load on the drivetrain is more intuitive.

Shifting from 5 to 4 or 1 to 2 should always be easy/smooth.

Salubrious 04-15-20 11:08 AM


Originally Posted by Ged117 (Post 21418471)
These FW four-speeds are a devil to get adjusted just right. I think I finally have the cable tension and adjustment on my FW correct, and no play at the hub either. Shifting from Bottom gear > Low gear > Normal gear > High gear works okay (Bottom gear is tough - I think the shifter is weak being 65 years old, and I may find a newer four-speed shifter). However, shifting from High gear to Normal and on down through the range takes a little finesse. I find that I have to switch the gear while pedaling forward gently, and slightly let off the pedals ever so little, almost to the point of pedaling back, and it will engage the gear. However, it was not doing that when I had a little play at the hub and the shifter was loosely mounted to the bar via zip-tie. It simply engaged up or down while pedaling forward gently. I'm not sure what has changed, other than the cones being adjusted for no play. The cable adjustment remains as per instructions. It is a commuter / all-rounder bike and so I'm not expecting to take my four-speed on week-long tours in the rolling English countryside like owners did back when, engaging Bottom gear constantly, but still I'd like it to work a little better. Salubrious just wondering if you could chime in since I know you own a few four-speeds. Does the S5 conversion solve this issue?

I've stayed away from the 5 speed conversion. 4 speeds are cool just as they are.

To adjust the shifter, in low the cable should be only just tight enough so that the toggle chain is as far out as it will go. It doesn't do to put any further tension on the shift cable beyond that- such will only lead to poor shifting. If this is set right, getting into low is easier. I really like the 4 speed concept, as the bike becomes considerably more practical, but I don't trust the shifter when climbing out of the saddle in low, so I hold it in low so it can't jump out of gear. But this is also the gear in which the hub gets the most abuse; I've got two of them that skip nastily in low.

sykerocker 04-15-20 12:40 PM


Originally Posted by jackbombay (Post 21419589)
Left side is certainly not as satisfying to shift as the right side!

It took me a bit of tinkering to get it figured out, but I've determined that the best way to shift the left side is to have a slight bit of tension on the drivetrain, its of course totally unlike shifting the right side, and it took me a bit for this to become intuitive, keeping the drivetrain slightly loaded for the 4 to 5 shift. the 2 to 1 shift is the same loading the drive train slightly in second will allow it to go into first easier than no load on the drivetrain, shifting from 2 to 1 has the advantage that when the shift occurs the cranks want to spin faster so having that slight load on the drivetrain is more intuitive.

Shifting from 5 to 4 or 1 to 2 should always be easy/smooth.

Thanks for the insight, will give it a try in this afternoon's ride.

oldveloman 04-15-20 12:43 PM

Hi all,

My '54 BSA was in need of a serious service, so I took apart the Bottom Bracket.
There was sufficient wear on the axle and cups, so I dug up my box of spare BB-parts, only to find out BSA used a different pitch than Raleigh...
Also, the nuts on the BSA 3speed are different than the Sturmey Archer ones.
Anyone knows the size or has some spare parts lists or anything to confirm?

Peter

https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...12376aa013.jpg

Salubrious 04-15-20 01:03 PM


Originally Posted by oldveloman (Post 21419866)
Hi all,

My '54 BSA was in need of a serious service, so I took apart the Bottom Bracket.
There was sufficient wear on the axle and cups, so I dug up my box of spare BB-parts, only to find out BSA used a different pitch than Raleigh...
Also, the nuts on the BSA 3speed are different than the Sturmey Archer ones.
Anyone knows the size or has some spare parts lists or anything to confirm?

Peter

Raleigh had their own thread pitch of course; didn't BSA just use the same English thread everyone else other than Raleigh used?

gster 04-15-20 06:24 PM

BSA should be 24 TPI
while Raleigh was 26 TPI
it's worse that buying ink for a printer.....

jackbombay 04-15-20 07:52 PM


Originally Posted by gster (Post 21420531)
BSA should be 24 TPI
while Raleigh was 26 TPI
it's worse that buying ink for a printer.....

The old raleigh 3 speeds had a 71mm wide BB shell too, but my 1972 Raleigh 10 speed had a 65 mm wide BB shell, uhhhh, industry standard is 68mm guys? Well, I'm not sure when 68 became standard, but Raleigh is all over the map with BB shell widths...

clubman 04-15-20 08:18 PM


Originally Posted by jackbombay (Post 21420695)
The old raleigh 3 speeds had a 71mm wide BB shell too, but my 1972 Raleigh 10 speed had a 65 mm wide BB shell, uhhhh, industry standard is 68mm guys? Well, I'm not sure when 68 became standard, but Raleigh is all over the map with BB shell widths...

Frames are often butchered by the guy in charge on facing the BB's in shops. They get used to shaving x amount of turns off a BB without bothering to actually check before it's too late. Human nature in a production environment.
I watched it happen to a high end EL-OS frame as the mech talked on a cell phone while facing. The BB had to have spacers inserted on drive side to compensate for the error.

jackbombay 04-15-20 10:15 PM


Originally Posted by clubman (Post 21420752)
Frames are often butchered by the guy in charge on facing the BB's in shops. They get used to shaving x amount of turns off a BB without bothering to actually check before it's too late. Human nature in a production environment.
I watched it happen to a high end EL-OS frame as the mech talked on a cell phone while facing. The BB had to have spacers inserted on drive side to compensate for the error.

Humans are fallible for sue, bit every old three speed I have messed with has a VERY wide BB shell and the 2 super course frames I have messed with have very narrow BB shells.

BigChief 04-16-20 07:35 AM


Originally Posted by Fat Tire Trader (Post 21417613)

Very interesting bike. I don't know as much about Birmingham bikes as I do Raleigh, but I can date the Sturmey Archer trigger shifter to the mid 50s. There should be a date stamped in the rear hub shell. Nice bike. Those original handlebar grips are super rare. Very worthy project.

Ged117 04-16-20 08:01 AM


Originally Posted by sykerocker (Post 21419371)
My experience with the S5 (I use my '69 Sprite as one of my two daily commuters) is that, given the kludginess of the left side actuation, I don't treat it as a 1-2-3-4-5 five-speed. I tend to run the bike as a dual range three-speed: With the left lever forward, I'm running 2-3-4 off the right side. With the left lever back, I'm running 1-3-5 off the right side. Now, my setup is completely factory stock except for the right side being controlled by a plain old AW handlebar switch since I've broken the right side lever twice now in my six year ownership of the bike. I've yet to find a third replacement, and if I do it's just going to get bagged and stored, and offered with the bike should I ever decide to sell it. At the moment, highly unlikely.

With a 23t sprocket on the hub, the bike is slightly under geared for me (a 21 or 22 would be better) so using it as a dual-range works fine. About the only time I wish it shifted better are on some lazy days when I want to climb my driveway and am feeling lazy. At which point, I stop the bike, get the left side actuated, and with the right side in low, climb the slight hill in first. If the bike's in one of it's ornery moods and won't shift, I just climb the hill in second and mutter slightly.

Good information, thanks. Ideally, I'd like to stay with the four-speed. The extra low makes the bike far more useful to me in my riding here in the Ottawa River valley, and I've just serviced the hub with a good clean, bearings, and grease. I'm currently running 48t x 18t and it is a blast to ride with my nice-riding but heavier AO8 frame. I'm keen to try this wheelset on my lighter '50s Armstrong Reynolds 531 frame once it's ready. Then the AO8 will become my first fixed-gear road bike and general experimental frame.


Originally Posted by Salubrious (Post 21419663)
I've stayed away from the 5 speed conversion. 4 speeds are cool just as they are.

To adjust the shifter, in low the cable should be only just tight enough so that the toggle chain is as far out as it will go. It doesn't do to put any further tension on the shift cable beyond that- such will only lead to poor shifting. If this is set right, getting into low is easier. I really like the 4 speed concept, as the bike becomes considerably more practical, but I don't trust the shifter when climbing out of the saddle in low, so I hold it in low so it can't jump out of gear. But this is also the gear in which the hub gets the most abuse; I've got two of them that skip nastily in low.

Thanks for this Salubrious . I have it adjusted so that in Low, the end of the control rod is flush with the end of the left side axle end (as per Sturmey instructions). If I try your method, I'm thinking it will be slightly tighter and the shifting may improve. Does that sound right?

gster 04-16-20 08:48 AM


Cyclist30923 04-16-20 08:52 AM

I plan on retiring this summer. One project I am planning to tackle is my 1972 three speed Raleigh Chopper. My goal is to restore it to rideable condition. The bike is about 80 percent complete, and the Sturmey hub appears to be working.

gster 04-16-20 11:54 AM


Originally Posted by Kratebiker (Post 21421352)
I plan on retiring this summer. One project I am planning to tackle is my 1972 three speed Raleigh Chopper. My goal is to restore it to rideable condition. The bike is about 80 percent complete, and the Sturmey hub appears to be working.

This is the right place for information.

Fat Tire Trader 04-16-20 12:36 PM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 21421208)
Very interesting bike. I don't know as much about Birmingham bikes as I do Raleigh, but I can date the Sturmey Archer trigger shifter to the mid 50s. There should be a date stamped in the rear hub shell. Nice bike. Those original handlebar grips are super rare. Very worthy project.

The Sturmey shifter is not original. In the picture you can see a BSA shifter hanging from the handlebar. I believe it is the correct shifter. The bike has a BSA 3 speed hub, not a Sturmey. As far as I know, BSA hubs are not dated.

Salubrious 04-16-20 12:56 PM


Originally Posted by Ged117 (Post 21421259)
Thanks for this Salubrious . I have it adjusted so that in Low, the end of the control rod is flush with the end of the left side axle end (as per Sturmey instructions). If I try your method, I'm thinking it will be slightly tighter and the shifting may improve. Does that sound right?

I'm a bit dubious. You really don't want that shift cable to be any tighter than needed! I go by the extension of the toggle chain method simply because I don't trust that the chain and associated hardware is correct and original.

sykerocker 04-16-20 07:14 PM


Originally Posted by Ged117 (Post 21421259)
Good information, thanks. Ideally, I'd like to stay with the four-speed. The extra low makes the bike far more useful to me in my riding here in the Ottawa River valley, and I've just serviced the hub with a good clean, bearings, and grease. I'm currently running 48t x 18t and it is a blast to ride with my nice-riding but heavier AO8 frame. I'm keen to try this wheelset on my lighter '50s Armstrong Reynolds 531 frame once it's ready. Then the AO8 will become my first fixed-gear road bike and general experimental frame.

I've never had a four-speed, have always wanted one, because they seemed to make the most sense to me. While I love the first gear on the S5, I rarely use the fifth. My attitude is usually "who really needs the overdrive, it's only good on downhills, and that's coasting time anyway", whereas the under drive on first is always appreciated to get back up the hill that was the only place you could wind fifth out in. In my general commuting area, I have three different shopping malls within a four mile radius of my house, two pretty much on the level, the third is about 500' in elevation below my house. That's when I really appreciate the S5.

gster 04-17-20 09:17 AM

Interesting Bike
here is an early 60's Raleigh built Glider.
Built for Eatons dept stores.
https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...152e564592.jpg
Clearly branded as a Glider it also has a Superb sticker on the downtube
https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...0d7a35e453.jpg
It also has the white accents seen on Canadian bikes as well as a Dyno Hub.
The chrome fenders and chain guard are also common to Gliders.
It lacks a locking fork.
Bike appears in excellent condition with an asking price of $380.00 CDN...
Still a bargain when you consider inflation.

nlerner 04-18-20 01:17 PM

Nicely preserved 23" men's Sports on the Boston-area CL for a reasonable price:

https://boston.craigslist.org/nos/bi...104499339.html

arex 04-18-20 01:48 PM


Originally Posted by Ged117 (Post 21409857)
I've come to terms with the fact that the 1950 Superbe is too small for me. It is the 23" size, but I'm 6'2" or 6'3"ish and mostly legs. The seatpost is too short, and the handlebar stem is way too short. I can't ride it anymore unless I can find a longer post and a longer stem. I'd really like to enjoy this bike and put it in the regular ride and (one day...) commute rotation without sore knees. Anybody got the scoop on longer stem / seatposts that fit these bikes?

Thanks all.

https://www.laxzo.com/vavert-micro-a...st-14385-p.asp

gster 04-18-20 03:00 PM


Originally Posted by nlerner (Post 21425602)
Nicely preserved 23" men's Sports on the Boston-area CL for a reasonable price:

https://boston.craigslist.org/nos/bi...104499339.html

That is a good deal.
Two bikes, both with leather saddles.


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