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

Amesja 06-04-11 10:50 PM

1/2" x 1/8" single-speed chain. Chains are cheap wear items -like gas in a car. Buy a new tank of gas when the old one is burned up and buy a new chain when it "stretches."

wahoonc 06-05-11 06:31 AM


Originally Posted by Amesja (Post 12741240)
1/2" x 1/8" single-speed chain. Chains are cheap wear items -like gas in a car. Buy a new tank of gas when the old one is burned up and buy a new chain when it "stretches."

With a bit of cleaning and oiling they will last for several years under typical use. I routinely was getting 3 years out of the ones on my Sports which would have been in the 10-12k mile range. Yet another advantage of the IGH.

Aaron :)

noglider 06-05-11 08:24 AM

I've never seen an 1/8" chain wear out. I guess that little bit of width plus never shifting make it really easy on chains. So I recommend any old chain as a replacement, even the very cheapest. I had to replace the 50 year old chain on my Rudge because I went to a larger sprocket and needed a longer chain. The old chain was not compatible with new, so I couldn't just add links.

auchencrow 06-05-11 09:07 AM


Originally Posted by noglider (Post 12742182)
I've never seen an 1/8" chain wear out. I guess that little bit of width plus never shifting make it really easy on chains. So I recommend any old chain as a replacement, even the very cheapest. I had to replace the 50 year old chain on my Rudge because I went to a larger sprocket and needed a longer chain. The old chain was not compatible with new, so I couldn't just add links.

I normally replace the chain on every bike I buy (which has been quite a few :rolleyes:) but on advice I've received here, I cleaned and reused the old one on my 60 year old Armstrong. Because I went with a larger cog, I just spliced in 2 extra links that the LBS gave me for free.

Obviously it was more effort than a new chain, but it allowed me to maintain a smidgen more originality - which I think is a consideration on these old relics.

noglider 06-05-11 09:12 AM

Which leads me to my new dilemma. I rarely pay attention to period correctness, but I'm starting to get the bug with my 3-speeds. My beloved Rudge is just about completely original. I'm thinking of changing the stem or handlebars or both, for a better ride. I would "ruin" the originality by making it a "better" bike. I'm leaning towards doing it. I can always undo it. I'm keeping the Hercules original. Eventually, I'll shine it up and sell it.

auchencrow 06-05-11 09:25 AM


Originally Posted by Singlespeed92 (Post 12741159)
This thread.....is now my favorite on all of the forums here-and I don't even own one of these bikes (YET),LOL!

I read through all (ok...most of the 78 pages) in the last few days,some REALLY nice bikes you guys have. I've never restored a bike before (got as far as disassembly on one once,it was too far gone with rust and bent frame),but I want to soon :thumb:

Singlespeed92- Your aim is admirable - but be advised that it's a slippery slope. Once you take the first step, you already have reached the point of no return.
I've owned tons of bike but never an English 3-speed, until very recently, and now, I suddenly have three!

auchencrow 06-05-11 09:29 AM


Originally Posted by noglider (Post 12742302)
Which leads me to my new dilemma. I rarely pay attention to period correctness, but I'm starting to get the bug with my 3-speeds. My beloved Rudge is just about completely original. I'm thinking of changing the stem or handlebars or both, for a better ride. I would "ruin" the originality by making it a "better" bike. I'm leaning towards doing it. I can always undo it. I'm keeping the Hercules original. Eventually, I'll shine it up and sell it.

I've never been a purist really, and normally encourage people to make (reversable) mods to suit their own preference, but for whatever reason, I want to keep these bikes as original as I reasonably can.

Amesja 06-05-11 09:34 AM


Originally Posted by noglider (Post 12742182)
I've never seen an 1/8" chain wear out. I guess that little bit of width plus never shifting make it really easy on chains. So I recommend any old chain as a replacement, even the very cheapest. I had to replace the 50 year old chain on my Rudge because I went to a larger sprocket and needed a longer chain. The old chain was not compatible with new, so I couldn't just add links.

The old chains are often just fine on some of the bikes I pick up. They are the disused type of basketcase rather than the over-used and used-up type. That's because most of them are step-throughs that their owners, for what ever reasons, didn't want to ride much. Men's/diamondframe Raleighs tend to be of the used-up type and even so are much more expensive to purchase in basketcase condition as many have been Drewed into fixies if the frame was halfway straight.

So....

The chains are often in good shape and only have some degree of surface rust on them. Boiling out with my vinegar pot does a good job on them if they are really yucky. Dunking in OA for a few minutes takes off the rest and "dyes" them black so the rust spots don't show on a shiny chain. Re-oil and they are good as new (almost.)

If they don't pass the scrutiny of the Park CC-3 I just toss them. The idea of putting together old chains (that are not too stretched) to make them longer so as to fit a larger cog is brilliant. I'll never throw away an OEM Raleigh 3-speed chain if it passes the CC-3 e test -I tend to save everything. One extra chain will go a LONG way when adding links to other old chains!

Sixty Fiver 06-05-11 10:06 AM

I have a wall of old chains that have been pulled off bikes when new ones were needed because of drive changes... have checked them all for wear and all are within spec.

An old bushing chain does look right on a vintage bike.

MY '57 Peugeot runs a new chain even though it's original chain is perfect and has no wear... wanted to preserve the original Sedis chain as it is the only one I have ever seen that has a quick link that has a tiny screw and a threaded link.

Amesja 06-05-11 10:10 AM


Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver (Post 12742491)
I have a wall of old chains that have been pulled off bikes when new ones were needed because of drive changes... have checked them all for wear and all are within spec.

An old bushing chain does look right on a vintage bike.

MY '57 Peugeot runs a new chain even though it's original chain is perfect and has no wear... wanted to preserve the original Sedis chain as it is the only one I have ever seen that has a quick link that has a tiny screw and a threaded link.

I can imagine making a SCA suit of chainmail out of old bicycle chains. I'd be heavy though...

noglider 06-05-11 10:25 AM


Originally Posted by auchencrow (Post 12742379)
I've never been a purist really, and normally encourage people to make (reversable) mods to suit their own preference, but for whatever reason, I want to keep these bikes as original as I reasonably can.

Exactly my position! I used to think "period-correctness" was pointless and silly. But I'm drawn to it with three-speeds. Maybe it's because the three-speed bike design itself remained unchanged for so incredibly long. And maybe this is the appeal of the genre and therefore this thread. It's my favorite thread also!

auchencrow 06-05-11 10:49 AM

Speaking of originality - or lack thereof - here is an update on my Golden Arrow "project" (or shall I say "career"?)

Kurt did a great job of straitening my head tube so now we have the slack geometry back again. (The wheel in the pic is a stand-in from my Sports.) I plan to build new wheels with ss spokes (not unlike the original issue), but will go with alloy rims instead, in the common 590mm EA3 size, because it will allow a better tire selection, and the 597's it came with were unoriginal anyway.

http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/h...rowproject.jpg

Because my GA had been "Sporterized" to such an extent with northroads (and various other components), I had to compromise on the stem and bars. I found a steel quill type stem that totally wrong, but which looks convincing enough to me, and which fits the Soma lauterwasser bars with its big modern center clamp. REAL lauterwassers are unobtainium, as you probably know.

http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/h...owproject2.jpg


http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/h...Red1974014.jpg

After much deliberation, I have decided to keep the Brooks sprung matress saddle. I understand that the original spec was a Terry Oppy saddle, similar to the one here.


- Which leads me to beleive that my Brooks is at least period correct, if not original - given whatever the supply situation was at the time. (The cover on this saddle is made from some extremely durable material, so it seems quite plausible that it's 73 years old.)

Barely visible in the photo are the rat trap pedals from my stash. They look right even though they are wrong.

I have not looked all that hard yet, but I've not seen any deals on white Bluemels. They're very expensive. I am half of a mind to go with the steel fenders - at least for an interim build.
IMO they look awfully "period" (as on this old BSA).

http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/h...ithfenders.jpg

Six jours 06-05-11 11:04 AM


Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver (Post 12740083)
Sports models in larger sizes are rather hard to find... bicycles at the upper and lower end of the sizing spectrum are always built in lower numbers because there are fewer buyers of these so after some decades the numbers of these tends to be even less.

I almost pulled the trigger on that one. I never knew they made any Sports models larger than 23". Do you suppose that one in the auction was 24"?

noglider 06-05-11 11:08 AM

It looked like it was 24", but I can't say for sure.

cazoo 06-05-11 11:11 AM

Thanks for the tip!

Six jours 06-05-11 11:19 AM


Originally Posted by noglider (Post 12742584)
Exactly my position! I used to think "period-correctness" was pointless and silly. But I'm drawn to it with three-speeds. Maybe it's because the three-speed bike design itself remained unchanged for so incredibly long. And maybe this is the appeal of the genre and therefore this thread. It's my favorite thread also!

It varies, for me. With a Raleigh Sports, for instance, I generally don't care about correctness much because there are just so many of them. In fact, I prefer to find a real disaster and remake it into exactly what I want. I feel absolutely no guilt about this because I can't imagine anyone ever needing that particular bike as an example of what they were like originally. BUT - I do start to worry about it when a nicer one turns up. One of the things that kept me from buying the large one on Ebay is the fact that it appears to be in pretty nice condition. That, along with the rare size, would have me thinking long and hard about making any changes to it - and without the changes I'd make, it wouldn't be a bike that gets ridden. I'm not interested in hanging bikes on the wall...

And then of course there are much rarer bikes, like just about any of the old Brit lightweights. If I had one, I might make reversible changes (like a different saddle or what have you) so that I could ride it, but major work like repainting would be out of the question unless the bike was a total disaster to begin with.

Six jours 06-05-11 11:23 AM

Auchencrow - What grips are those?

auchencrow 06-05-11 01:01 PM


Originally Posted by Six jours (Post 12742815)
Auchencrow - What grips are those?

They are cheesy "Raleigh" repro's from eBay -( I had to trim the mold parting line flash from them when I got them.)

Six jours 06-05-11 01:14 PM

Ah, I've seen those. Are they satisfactory?

Fenway 06-05-11 02:17 PM

Edit: The original plain 42T chainset has now been changed to a standard 48T Heron and the cotton tail paint has been touched up. Managed to get my hands on a pristine Sturmey Archer head and tail lamp to replace the Yellow Jersey set of lights in these photos. Changed out the XPT kickstand for a period accurate Raleigh Industries one as well, not sure why an XPT was ever placed on this bike, but the top plate was from a RI kickstand so I assume the original owner must haven broken the leg? I'll post photos of this at some point. It's even more lovely!

Miss Nottingham ~ 1958 Raleigh Colt
Restored for my mum as a gift for mother's day, today she took her maiden voyage.
Right click - view image + zoom for larger, had to resize them to fit the forum.
http://img838.imageshack.us/img838/8043/img0546b.jpg
http://img219.imageshack.us/img219/2783/img0547g.jpg
http://img863.imageshack.us/img863/6626/img0548k.jpg
http://img812.imageshack.us/img812/2852/img0552j.jpg
http://img148.imageshack.us/img148/4089/img0558f.jpg
http://img594.imageshack.us/img594/14/img0561m.jpg
http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/9576/img0562rt.jpg
http://img835.imageshack.us/img835/8017/img0570mj.jpg
http://img580.imageshack.us/img580/8614/img0571nq.jpg
http://img705.imageshack.us/img705/1240/img0555eq.jpg

markk900 06-05-11 02:44 PM

Very nice colt - how'd she like it?

auchencrow 06-05-11 02:44 PM


Originally Posted by Six jours (Post 12743242)
Ah, I've seen those. Are they satisfactory?

They fit, look OK and are inexpensive and available.

Mexican Street Dog 06-05-11 04:14 PM


Originally Posted by auchencrow (Post 12742677)
Speaking of originality - or lack thereof - here is an update on my Golden Arrow "project" (or shall I say "career"?)

Kurt did a great job of straitening my head tube so now we have the slack geometry back again. (The wheel in the pic is a stand-in from my Sports.) I plan to build new wheels with ss spokes (not unlike the original issue), but will go with alloy rims instead, in the common 590mm EA3 size, because it will allow a better tire selection, and the 597's it came with were unoriginal anyway.

http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/h...rowproject.jpg

Because my GA had been "Sporterized" to such an extent with northroads (and various other components), I had to compromise on the stem and bars. I found a steel quill type stem that totally wrong, but which looks convincing enough to me, and which fits the Soma lauterwasser bars with its big modern center clamp. REAL lauterwassers are unobtainium, as you probably know.

After much deliberation, I have decided to keep the Brooks sprung matress saddle. I understand that the original spec was a Terry Oppy saddle, similar to the one here.


- Which leads me to beleive that my Brooks is at least period correct, if not original - given whatever the supply situation was at the time. (The cover on this saddle is made from some extremely durable material, so it seems quite plausible that it's 73 years old.)

Barely visible in the photo are the rat trap pedals from my stash. They look right even though they are wrong.

I have not looked all that hard yet, but I've not seen any deals on white Bluemels. They're very expensive. I am half of a mind to go with the steel fenders - at least for an interim build.
IMO they look awfully "period" (as on this old BSA).

auchencrow, I saw on a repro of a '37 or '38 Rahleigh catalog that they offered white steel fenders as well as the Bluemels. My GA came with them and they seem to be original to the bike.

Mexican Street Dog 06-05-11 04:26 PM

Here's that catalog

http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/a...oldenArrow.jpg

rookgirl 06-05-11 05:19 PM

Nice Colt! The saddle goes great with it!


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