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

Fir 07-07-10 02:37 PM

Thanks Tom! Greeeat tip. The secret's safe with us :-)

I just found a Pletscher rack, an Italian "alom" (sp?) kickstand, a chrome CCM chainring and a shiny AW hub in my LBS's bins of old stuff. They let me have it all for a customer loyalty inducing pittance. You have to love an LBS who keeps all that old stuff in bins and lets you paw through it whenever you like. A guy can get lost for hours in there...

I'm spinning Malian Tunes in honour of Martin. Some of this world's best music. Habib Koite wrox. Wondering which is the better souvenir, the 3 spd itself or the memories of tooling through the savannahs of Mali on one... What is the countryside like there?

curbtender 07-07-10 02:58 PM


Originally Posted by wmartinhickman (Post 11062494)
ha. Well if you want one let me know, there are tons of them and considering where they are they are in good shape! I am about to go out and try to find a market that sells the generator and the lights. It has the wires already run, but apparently someone just stole the lights. I haven't seen any with rod brakes yet. Tell me this, what are the advantages/disadvantages of the drum brake?

They've been shipping a lot of bikes from here to Africa http://mikesbikes.com/articles/afric...rive-pg591.htm

desconhecido 07-07-10 03:28 PM


Originally Posted by curbtender (Post 11074875)
They've been shipping a lot of bikes from here to Africa http://mikesbikes.com/articles/afric...rive-pg591.htm

Hey, that's great. Ship bikes from SF to Zimbabwe and give them to needy Africans who can exercise their entrepreneurial spirit by selling them to Americans who can then ship them back to the US. Think of all the jobs this will create.

terraskye 07-09-10 04:35 PM


Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver (Post 11009408)
Was out and about today and got to talking to a fellow and his friend who was riding a Raleigh Sprite 5 speed and he said he had a Raleigh lady's bike with "stick brakes" that he would like to sell and discovered that he lives all of 5 minutes from my house.

She looks a little used but after putting some air in her original Raleigh branded tyres took her for a spin around the block and aside from a wheel that will need some vertical truing she's a grand riding old gal that would fit a lady of about five foot seven or eight quite well.

The fellow said he wanted the bike to go to someone who would appreciate her and know of a person who has some loop frame lust that needs to be sated.

D:

http://www.ravingbikefiend.com/bikepics/dl1lady1.jpg

http://www.ravingbikefiend.com/bikepics/dl1lady2.jpg

Her saddle is in fine and rather supple shape and just needs a little rub down... but don't we all ?

http://www.ravingbikefiend.com/bikepics/dl1ladyb66.jpg

Most of the work she needs is aesthetic and that speaks well of a bike that is 32 years old and has been sleeping in a garage.


She is home and is much love:) I need to move her into the living room though so she gets constant attention:D Thanks again Sixty-Fiver!!! You really ARE my Super Bike Mechanic:D

greengage 07-09-10 07:17 PM

Huzzah!!! I hope you have a weekend of great riding ahead (and polishing and admiring and all the other nice getting-to-know-you stuff). With all luck, mine is arriving in about a week and a half--will keep you posted!

Originally Posted by terraskye (Post 11086644)
She is home and is much love:) I need to move her into the living room though so she gets constant attention:D Thanks again Sixty-Fiver!!! You really ARE my Super Bike Mechanic:D


archaehologist 07-09-10 07:58 PM

Finally cleaned her up and took some decent pics...

http://i388.photobucket.com/albums/o...o/P1050723.jpg

http://i388.photobucket.com/albums/o...o/P1050725.jpg

http://i388.photobucket.com/albums/o...o/P1050728.jpg

http://i388.photobucket.com/albums/o...o/P1050729.jpg

http://i388.photobucket.com/albums/o...o/P1050727.jpg

http://i388.photobucket.com/albums/o...o/P1050731.jpg

Fir 07-26-10 01:41 PM

Think I need some asseestaunse. I put some Schwalbe Marathons 26 x 1.75 on my "CCM Tandem" (pic earlier this thread) and they just big for the rims. Diameter wise. Thump thump thump thump egg shape too big. If there's no air pressure the tyres just fall off. I guess the bike would have been constructed in the 70's sometime? Was 26 X 1.75 a different diameter back then? Anyway, the schwalbes ask for up to 75lbs, so I put in 60 lbs and after a few little trips, (and a deflation and repump last night to try and centre the tyres) this AM after 6km and a little sunbathing (the tyres not me), the rear went off sounding like a carbomb. Maybe it was the sunshine or the friction and pinching or a combination of the two...?

I find too frequently when I pump up to max recommended inflation and then the tyres sit in the sun for a while, kaboom. Sheesh.

mkeller234 08-04-10 03:04 AM

I finished up my DL-1 this afternoon, I spent the past 3 days with it and broke it down piece by piece. I just need to make the normal small adjustments and then I am set. It's a fun bike to have around and the first 3 speed that is big enough.

No pretty scenery today... just a bleak wall.
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4102/...af01df5c_b.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4121/...62f0130e_b.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4119/...89056f5b_b.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4135/...5b762d45_b.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4098/...aa44c441_b.jpg

noglider 08-04-10 07:47 AM

Amazing work, Matt. Please let us know how you find the ride to be.

I tried someone's DL1 a few months ago. I just tooled around a parking lot, and it was, as you'd expect, slow and smooth, very relaxed.

mkeller234 08-10-10 06:09 PM


Originally Posted by noglider (Post 11229220)
Amazing work, Matt. Please let us know how you find the ride to be.

I tried someone's DL1 a few months ago. I just tooled around a parking lot, and it was, as you'd expect, slow and smooth, very relaxed.

Thank you Tom. I'd say smooth and slow is a good description. You can get it moving pretty good with a little effort, although it's not a good idea down hills with the rod brakes. I swapped the rear cog with a 20t, which just barely fit. The new cog makes life a little easier and I spend most of my time in 2nd gear.

I haven't ventured more than 5-10 miles at a time on it yet, most riding has been my work commute.

jedge76 08-10-10 11:09 PM

This MAY be my next bike. I am wondering the kind of maintenance that goes into an older bike that will be ridden a lot. I want to use it as a commuter/cruiser. Is there much more effort in the general upkeep of a mid-1960's 3-sped versus a contemporary version? I sure hope not, I've been eyeing vintage Raleighs for some time and then this popped up:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...%3DI%26otn%3D2

mkeller234 08-10-10 11:30 PM

Hey jedge76, strange thing is I live in the same city as that ebay ad. Are you from Canton?

There are a few quirks to the old Raleigh 3 speeds. Normal maintenance would include regreasing the bearings in the front hub headset and bottom bracket. To get to the bottom bracket you have to remove the cranks which are held on by cotter pins. Cotter pins can be a mild pain if they have been in place for a really long time, they do sell cotter presses that make it much easier. Maintenance for the Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub is mostly adding a few drops of oil to the hub once in a while. The indicator chain, cable and trigger shifter should get a drop or two of lubricant once in a while too.

Those are the basics, they are pretty simple to look after actually. Raleigh used proprietary 26tpi headsets and bottom bracket cups so those can be hard to replace if you ever need to.

I have a feeling most modern bikes use replaceable cartridge bearings which can be nice and convenient. The braking power on a modern bike will be much better than a steel rimmed Raleigh, especially in the rain. A modern bike will either have indexed shifting or an internal hub that probably offers a better range of gears. You have to decide how important performance is, old Raleighs are very capable but there are some drawbacks in functionality.

Andrew F 08-11-10 08:05 AM

Rub it with a dead skunk? Actually something like Fabreeze and a good airing out will help a bit, the odor is more likely from mold than the saddle material.

David Newton 08-11-10 08:09 AM

Neat Phillips Lau. The chain ring is worth it's weight in chain rings.
You'll be wanting a blue & white seat anyway, but you could take the seat off and pour baking soda all under and around the mat of horsehair, and let it sit for a few days, let it dry out.

Andrew F 08-11-10 08:11 AM


This MAY be my next bike. I am wondering the kind of maintenance that goes into an older bike that will be ridden a lot. I want to use it as a commuter/cruiser. Is there much more effort in the general upkeep of a mid-1960's 3-sped versus a contemporary version? I sure hope not, I've been eyeing vintage Raleighs for some time and then this popped up:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...%3DI%26otn%3D2

Very nice at first glance. The Vintage 3spds are wonderful and bombproof, keep oil in the hub and air in the tires and ride, ride, ride. This one is a bit small, 21" frame, good if you less tha 5"8 or have short legs. The 23" frame will suite a rider from 5'8" to ove 6'.

noglider 08-11-10 09:48 AM


Originally Posted by Andrew F (Post 11270756)
Rub it with a dead skunk?

:lol:


Actually something like Fabreeze and a good airing out will help a bit, the odor is more likely from mold than the saddle material.
Hmm! Clever!

jedge76, that's an excellent, excellent specimen. I hope you get it.

I disagree somewhat with mkeller234. English 3-speeds need a lot less maintenance than just about anything. This is in my many years of experience. They are incredibly reliable and durable. The trouble with maintaining them, as mkeller234 points out, is on the rare occasions when you do have to take them apart. The cranks are a pain to remove and replace, but I very rarely need to.

If you're used to a modern bike's ride, you will find this bike very slow. You may want to replace the rear sprocket with something larger to drop all the gear ratios; they typically come too high. The handling is friendly and will put a smile on your face, because the steering is light. But it has a large turning radius and isn't nimble for quick turns and fast reflexes. It encourages you to slow down. And it's not a great hill climber.

But it will win your heart anyway.

Andrew F, for some reason, you can ride a smaller 3-speed than a road-racing style bike. I'm not sure why. I'm 5'9" and fit the 21" bikes well. The 23" bikes are much too big for me, yet I have a 23" road bike. Someone else might be able to explain that.

flammenwurfer 08-11-10 09:52 AM

That is strange. I have a 23" sports and a 23" Technium. Both fit me great and I'm 5'10". My technium is a 3 speed conversion, however, and has north road bars. Maybe it's the body position of upright versus drop bars that makes the difference?

kingfish254 08-11-10 11:32 AM


Originally Posted by msLau (Post 11270255)
If anyone has any suggestions for stopping the (original, looks like it's stuffed with horsehair) saddle smelling like a dead badger, that would be much appreciated. ;)

Sounds like the previous owner had a bad case of Swamp Ass (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=swampass).
Rubbing it with a dead skunk is actually the proper treatment for this ailment.

mkeller234 08-11-10 11:35 AM


Originally Posted by noglider (Post 11271338)
:lol:



Hmm! Clever!

jedge76, that's an excellent, excellent specimen. I hope you get it.

I disagree somewhat with mkeller234. English 3-speeds need a lot less maintenance than just about anything. This is in my many years of experience. They are incredibly reliable and durable. The trouble with maintaining them, as mkeller234 points out, is on the rare occasions when you do have to take them apart. The cranks are a pain to remove and replace, but I very rarely need to.

If you're used to a modern bike's ride, you will find this bike very slow. You may want to replace the rear sprocket with something larger to drop all the gear ratios; they typically come too high. The handling is friendly and will put a smile on your face, because the steering is light. But it has a large turning radius and isn't nimble for quick turns and fast reflexes. It encourages you to slow down. And it's not a great hill climber.

But it will win your heart anyway.

Andrew F, for some reason, you can ride a smaller 3-speed than a road-racing style bike. I'm not sure why. I'm 5'9" and fit the 21" bikes well. The 23" bikes are much too big for me, yet I have a 23" road bike. Someone else might be able to explain that.


Actually, I think we are closer to agreeing that it may sound. I do think English 3 speeds are pretty simple to maintain, I just wanted to show that there are some drawbacks compared with a quality modern bike. Things like quick release skewers, effective brakes, lots of gears and sealed bearings can be nice to have for a serious commuter but the 3 speed looks cooler. I'm not putting down the Raleigh, I really love them.

When it comes to fit I am 6 feet tall and like the large 3 speeds the best. I can never get the posts high enough to avoid knee pain with the small frames, and then they look goofy with the posts way up.

kingfish254 08-11-10 11:53 AM

What is wrong having the posts way up?

I washed my English 3 Speed the other day and it shrunk, so now I have to ride it with the seatpost way up.

http://i914.photobucket.com/albums/a...r%20Sale/1.jpg

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...0#post11268340

Andrew F 08-11-10 12:50 PM

Noglider, really a 21" I thought? I know I've got a few inches on you but a 23" still requires a rather extended seatpost to get a proper position. I'm a bit curious so I just took my 21" Herc. for a spin around the block, felt fine, seemed large enough, then I immediately hopped onto a 23 Raleigh, much better. Finally, I took my Sports with drop bars out, it felt tighter than the 21" frame! My conclusion:

English 3spd are so darn comfortable and rider freindly, a larger or smaller frame is very adaptable, due I assume, to as you said, the upright position, but still I think a nod has to be given to proper fit.

noglider 08-11-10 01:03 PM

Yes, but you are really quite a bit taller than I am, and I do have short legs for someone my height. I think a person 5'10" tall might be better suited to a 23" frame, but most people are shorter than 5'10". We don't know how tall jedge76 is. We haven't heard from him since his one and only post here. I just sent him a message, saying I hope he knows we're addressing him and trying to help.

BigPolishJimmy 08-11-10 01:50 PM

All this talk about 3-speeds lately, now I have to dig my Raleigh Sports out and have a little ride on it. I'm curious to see if I can adjust it up to fit my 6'4" size, I had just assumed it was too small, now I have to know for sure. I rode my Armstrong on campus for a summer, but that was about 20 years ago and it was easier to conform to the bike back then when I was a whole person thinner. I see that I'm going to be measuring and comparing 3-speed frame sizes tonight.

noglider 08-11-10 01:54 PM

I'm not sure I've ever seen an English 3-speed bigger than 23-1/2 inches.

Come to think of it, Andrew, aren't they really 21-1/2 and 23-1/2. No wonder the smaller one fits me and the bigger one doesn't.

jedge76 08-11-10 04:01 PM


Originally Posted by Andrew F (Post 11270780)
Very nice at first glance. The Vintage 3spds are wonderful and bombproof, keep oil in the hub and air in the tires and ride, ride, ride. This one is a bit small, 21" frame, good if you less tha 5"8 or have short legs. The 23" frame will suite a rider from 5'8" to ove 6'.

I was thinking the clearance might be alright, but I think your parameters are probably spot on. I am about 6', maybe a tad over and am now really afraid of the frame size. Seems like it'd be quite a bit too small. Thanks for the reply Andrew!


Originally Posted by mkeller234 (Post 11269798)
Hey jedge76, strange thing is I live in the same city as that ebay ad. Are you from Canton?

There are a few quirks to the old Raleigh 3 speeds. Normal maintenance would include regreasing the bearings in the front hub headset and bottom bracket. To get to the bottom bracket you have to remove the cranks which are held on by cotter pins. Cotter pins can be a mild pain if they have been in place for a really long time, they do sell cotter presses that make it much easier. Maintenance for the Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub is mostly adding a few drops of oil to the hub once in a while. The indicator chain, cable and trigger shifter should get a drop or two of lubricant once in a while too.

Those are the basics, they are pretty simple to look after actually. Raleigh used proprietary 26tpi headsets and bottom bracket cups so those can be hard to replace if you ever need to.

I have a feeling most modern bikes use replaceable cartridge bearings which can be nice and convenient. The braking power on a modern bike will be much better than a steel rimmed Raleigh, especially in the rain. A modern bike will either have indexed shifting or an internal hub that probably offers a better range of gears. You have to decide how important performance is, old Raleighs are very capable but there are some drawbacks in functionality.

Wow, thanks a lot for the really well-thought out, knowledgeable advice. I have read elsewhere (maybe Sheldon Brown's site) that the steel wheels are a lot more difficult to slow down. I heard someone say they replaced the wheels w/ something newer. That'd add to the investment, but definitely a possibility. Thanks again!


Originally Posted by noglider (Post 11272587)
Yes, but you are really quite a bit taller than I am, and I do have short legs for someone my height. I think a person 5'10" tall might be better suited to a 23" frame, but most people are shorter than 5'10". We don't know how tall jedge76 is. We haven't heard from him since his one and only post here. I just sent him a message, saying I hope he knows we're addressing him and trying to help.

Got your message Noglider...I wrote the original post late last night and just got home from work. Yea, I'm about 6' and am thinking that a 21" frame will not suffice. Thanks for all your advice so far...it is SO MUCh appreciated. BTW, I'm originally from Berlin, NJ. Anyhow, I guess I'll keep looking.


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