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

rudypyatt 01-13-23 11:15 AM


Originally Posted by tcs (Post 22767145)
The Sachs Spectro 7 had 17~18% steps and that's about as small as you can go with single-stage non-compound gears. The AM was a single-stage compound planetary.

Fun fact: Inside the Sturmey XRF8 is a narrow range (~13% steps) six-speed.

There’s that hub again: The XRF8. I haven’t yet ridden anywhere that 46/18 on an SRF3 won’t take me, but the XRF8 really intrigues me.

anotherbike 01-16-23 12:17 AM

Over the past few years I've gotten back into finding and fixing up old bikes a bit more frequently than I had in the past. Being semi-retired now has given me the time to do so.
One of my favorites has always been three speed bikes in general with a major preference toward English made bikes since that's what I mostly rode when I was younger.

I've run across several lately that were 'Sports' type bikes that were single speed coaster brake. So far I've had a Robin Hood, a Dunelt, a Raleigh LTD, two ladies models, one badged Norman, the other a Philips, all but the Raleigh looked to be early 60's models, the Raleigh LTD I believe was from the 70's.
I've seen others lately, but left the rougher examples behind due to either their condition or the lack of storage space here.

Where these bikes factory equipped as coaster brake single speeds? None had any sign of ever having any three speed hardware attached and they all had Endrick style Dunlop rims. I see the Raleigh LTD had a CB option but did the older models also offer it?

oldlugs 01-16-23 02:52 AM

Had a Hercules many years ago that came new with 26x1 3/8" wheels and a Perry coaster brake.
It was bare bones, no brake levers, no shifter, just two wheels, a frame and a seat.
It was bought in or around 1971 or so.

markk900 01-16-23 07:40 AM

anotherbike : much older models (40s and 50s) were often coaster brake with optional 3 speed, so not surprised you could find a range of coaster brake bikes. I have one bike with a Perry B100 coaster - it’s a crappy brake even with a new brake liner…..What happened to the coaster bikes of my youth that you could lay huge skid marks? 😎

52telecaster 01-16-23 09:28 AM


Originally Posted by clubman (Post 22767348)
@SkinGriz, manage your expections. A 'weight weenie' Sports is in the mid/low 30's if you're lucky. Part of the charm is it's rolling mass, going downhill in the rain, wondering when you last dialed in your brakes.:D

Was riding my supercourse equipped with an aw in Portland last year. The brakes were just barely adequate on some steep hills with aluminum rims and weinman center pulls. Steel rims in the rain would have been a true adventure.

Salubrious 01-16-23 11:08 AM


Originally Posted by 1989Pre (Post 22765752)
Has anyone done the Lake Pepin 3-Speed ride in Minnesota? I was just wondering about the necessary gearing. Is a standard S/A. AW hub low enough?


Originally Posted by tcs (Post 22766342)
One hill. Not a range of mountains. Not a 23km col. One hill.

The Bay City Hill is 2 1/2 miles long. With a 46/22 usually you do fine as long as the bike isn't fully loaded. If you go on the Tour you can put your gear in the '3-speed Lorry' and pick it up in Wabasha at the end of the day and Red Wing the next day.

If you go 'off route' such as I do by taking the rustic road just outside of Maiden Rock, you'll encounter more hills. But totally worth in IMO.

People come from all over the US to participate in this event. Jon the Gentleman Cyclist is already taking entrance fees. The even is the weekend of May 20th this year to avoid Mother's Day.

1989Pre 01-16-23 11:41 AM


Originally Posted by Salubrious (Post 22770704)
People come from all over the US to participate in this event. Jon the Gentleman Cyclist is already taking entrance fees. The even is the weekend of May 20th this year to avoid Mother's Day.

Thanks. That gives me optimism. I figure I'll milk the drive over, with a stay near Syracuse and one night near Indianapolis. No need to rush it, I figure. I admire John's enthusiasm for the whole ambiance of British leisure cycling in the Golden Age.
I figure I'll pop a larger sprocket on there and see what happens. I won't have too much in my satchel. I'm looking forward to this.

Salubrious 01-16-23 04:18 PM


Originally Posted by 1989Pre (Post 22770752)
Thanks. That gives me optimism. I figure I'll milk the drive over, with a stay near Syracuse and one night near Indianapolis. No need to rush it, I figure. I admire John's enthusiasm for the whole ambiance of British leisure cycling in the Golden Age.
I figure I'll pop a larger sprocket on there and see what happens. I won't have too much in my satchel. I'm looking forward to this.

Make sure your bike is tuned up properly- lube in the crank, fork bearings and hubs. In particular the SA AW hub should have a slight amount of play; IOW set the bearings ever so slightly loose rather than no slop. This is the instruction given in the manual. Otherwise its a good idea to follow the instruction from the Lake Pepin 3-speed Tour website:

To gain a better perspective, here is a list of things we leave behind: derailleurs, lycra, target heart rates, SPD, SIS, STI, HRM, XTR, etc. There will be no sprinting, spinning, drafting nor will there be any carbon fibre, drillium, eludium or unobtanium. Please note we are not advocating being a retro-grouch or ridicule those with alloy handlebars but instead we are asking you to strip away all you know modern cycling to be and hop aboard your £5 Thrift Store Raleigh and come with. Leave your lycra and Johnny-Rebel competitive spirit at home and instead, bring your sense of adventure. Wear something appropriate for eagle watching or sitting in a café and bring an honest-to-goodness rain cape because, of course, it rains in England. Be prepared to make new friends and be swept away by the scenery. Be prepared to stop here and there to take a photo or complain about your hard saddle or make an entry in your Tourbook. Be prepared to keep in mind it's not the destination you'll remember but the journey.
BTW, this is the latest from Jon regarding the Tour:

By now, most of us have noticed the days getting longer (nope), temperatures warming (nope) and bicycle projects coming along nicely (nope). The best we can do at this point is to keep our feet pointed toward the fire and have a nice flammable delicacy in hand. Have your fond memories of the Tour ticking over in your mind and your plans of what to ride and wear for the coming event close to your heart. It won't be long now and so it may be a good idea to clear the workbench in preparation of the 3-speed teardown explosion once feeling returns to your fingers. Of course, the aforementioned bench should be sloped toward the back so the tiny ball bearings may disappear without notice. If your bench is out in the shed, cancel the bench clearing and return to the hearth immediately since the shed will be snowed in.


Other slants and takes:
  • Bag tags will be a special order in black to honour our fallen hero Noel. I'll order a few extra to have on hand.
  • Registration fees remain at $30 per Ploughman or Ploughwoman.
  • May 20 & 21 are the dates. The timing shifts once every 4 years to avoid Mother's Day. You may thank the Gregorian Calendar for this hitch in your giddyup.
  • Registration is always open; Paypal is still easiest, just send it to the address of this email.
Best along the furrow,
Jon Sharratt, Shirt-Tail Organiser
www.3speedtour.com

vintagebicycle 01-17-23 01:53 PM


Originally Posted by markk900 (Post 22770442)
anotherbike : much older models (40s and 50s) were often coaster brake with optional 3 speed, so not surprised you could find a range of coaster brake bikes. I have one bike with a Perry B100 coaster - it’s a crappy brake even with a new brake liner…..What happened to the coaster bikes of my youth that you could lay huge skid marks? 😎

Most of the coaster brake models I've found were small frame bikes. Most later models have been ladies models.

Back in the day, as kids, we were lighter and often riding bikes with smaller wheels, and likely tires weren't as grippy.
When I was 10, I was riding a 26" wheel bike, but I was likely still under 100 lbs. I had two bikes with coaster brakes that I rode, one was a Schwinn middleweight, the other a Rollfast lightweight with a CB. Both were Bendix RB2 equipped bikes.
Back then, laying into the brake let me slide into a stop sideways. 50+ years later all I get out of a coaster brake is a discolored hub shell and grease boiling out the side of the hub. They stop, but will not lock up the wheel. Long stops on a downhill ride heat up the hub to the point where the hub is sizzling at the bottom of even a minor hill.
I made the mistake of trying a roller brake (Shimano Nexus), a few years ago, I put one into a road bike wheel and soon realized they just weren't made to stop a 27" wheel with a 300lb rider. I was burning up brake units, ripping spokes out of rims, breaking spokes, and spinning narrow tires on the rim.

markk900 01-17-23 03:07 PM


Originally Posted by vintagebicycle (Post 22772038)
Most of the coaster brake models I've found were small frame bikes. Most later models have been ladies models.

While I agree that here in North America full size models with coaster brakes (or single speeds bikes in general) were mostly kids bikes. I was referring though to full size Raleigh, Humber etc models that in the 40s and 50s catalogs almost always said "3 speed available as an option"....

Here's one example from 1952:

https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...a4499f98a7.jpg

clubman 01-17-23 03:48 PM


Originally Posted by markk900 (Post 22770442)
anotherbike : much older models (40s and 50s) were often coaster brake with optional 3 speed, so not surprised you could find a range of coaster brake bikes. I have one bike with a Perry B100 coaster - it’s a crappy brake even with a new brake liner…..What happened to the coaster bikes of my youth that you could lay huge skid marks? 😎

Yeah, those Perry hubs seemed to be popular on Canadian bikes during the late stages of the war and they were definitely crapola. I'm thinking the best quality steel inventory went to arms makers.

You only weighed 70's as a kid! ;)

cudak888 01-17-23 09:05 PM

Did some room refurbishing and dumped the IGH fleet in it:

https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...d9b9d1fc21.jpg


https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...8cc2091772.jpg


-Kurt

pastorbobnlnh 01-17-23 09:25 PM


Originally Posted by cudak888 (Post 22772460)
Did some room refurbishing and dumped the IGH fleet in it:

https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...8cc2091772.jpg


-Kurt

And why do I not spy a certain 1980 refugee from NH living in climate controlled goodness? :innocent:

I take it the '50s refugee made the cut.

BTW, I took the Voyageur II with the SA AM hub for my first long ride today. I adore the gearing on that hub. Perfect for me!

cudak888 01-17-23 09:30 PM


Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh (Post 22772471)
And why do I not spy a certain 1980 refugee from NH living in climate controlled goodness? :innocent:

I take it the '50s refugee made the cut.

BTW, I took the Voyageur II with the SA AM hub for my first long ride today. I adore the gearing on that hub. Perfect for me!

It and the '51 are in the shop until that blasted file cabinet gets cleared out and sent to scrap. They're the ones that can go to the shop for a bit and not be the worse for wear.

'50 is third in the row, in front of the Humber.

I've got to try something like that AM sometime. Haven't had a chance to play with any exotic Sturmeys, but I've been able to get a taste of nice narrow gearing thanks to my Nexus 8 hubs. Really a joy.

-Kurt

dirtman 01-18-23 02:07 AM


Originally Posted by clubman (Post 22772148)
Yeah, those Perry hubs seemed to be popular on Canadian bikes during the late stages of the war and they were definitely crapola. I'm thinking the best quality steel inventory went to arms makers.

You only weighed 70's as a kid! ;)

Most of the coaster brake models I've found have been newer, mostly in the 62-72 range.
The only one I kept is a 62 Dunelt with the Perry hub.
I've had many bikes with the Perry hub, mostly English lightweights and a few Schwinn balloon tire bikes and none ever gave me any problems in general.
Basic maintenance kept them up and working just fine. They seemed to fair pretty well and all were on adult size bikes.

There's a lot to the thought that we're all a lot heavier these days than we were back when we were just kids locking up tires and marking up the pavement.
Tires are also very different, newer tires are likely made from different compounds than they were 60 years ago. Many tires now don't even leave a mark if they do slide, and certainly not like those old rubber tires did back then. I'd suppose new tires are likely made from more synthetic rubber than back in the day.

The older I get the more likely I am to just hop on one of my old single speed bikes, they tend to be lighter and there's less to go wrong.
As a kid, the name of the game was speed and showing off, that fades as we get older, now its more about just getting out and riding and enjoying the ride.

3speedslow 01-18-23 09:13 AM

Last paragraph… Amen.

Ged117 01-18-23 09:18 AM


Originally Posted by cudak888 (Post 22772460)
Did some room refurbishing and dumped the IGH fleet in it:

https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...8cc2091772.jpg


-Kurt

I spy, with my little eye, something that is Raleigh green...

Ready to ride, alongside some pals of the period! Nice to see it - hard to believe it spent 30 odd years in a barn in Hamilton, Ontario, and now its enjoying sunny climes in Florida.

Its replacement, a Bitsathis, Bitsathat Triumph, doing yeoman's work on the daily. Much better its this machine facing the snow and salt paths than a nice original Superbe. I have to say though - this bike doesn't ride nearly as 'nicely' as the Superbe, and I am not sure why that would be. Something to do with the frame?

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...2e0593b5_b.jpgPXL_20230112_131500857

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...2d81244a_b.jpgPXL_20221215_131835788.MP

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...41e3d6d4_b.jpgPXL_20221215_132153036

Ged117 01-18-23 09:09 PM

This bike is for sale in Ontario. Anyone know details? Seller claims 1920s Raleigh, looks to have a drum brake in the back, and either fixed or single speed. Pretty neat.

https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...97f3e04f52.jpg
https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...2990a59958.jpg
https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...2e8c130b30.jpg
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...33910ce272.jpg

SirMike1983 01-19-23 08:40 AM

The bike is quite old, but whether it goes all the way back to the 1920s, you'd have to look at the bike more closely to see. On early bikes, there should be nickel rather than chrome plating. Bikes pre-dating the traffic safety acts also may not have the white tipped rear fender or a reflector. Drum brake hubs often have date codes on them, so they may be of help as well. You're more likely to find a very old Raleigh in Canada than the USA though. If in doubt, go have a look.


Originally Posted by Ged117 (Post 22773542)
This bike is for sale in Ontario. Anyone know details? Seller claims 1920s Raleigh, looks to have a drum brake in the back, and either fixed or single speed. Pretty neat.

https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...97f3e04f52.jpg
https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...2990a59958.jpg
https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...2e8c130b30.jpg
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...33910ce272.jpg


Salubrious 01-19-23 11:51 AM


Originally Posted by Ged117 (Post 22773542)
This bike is for sale in Ontario. Anyone know details? Seller claims 1920s Raleigh, looks to have a drum brake in the back, and either fixed or single speed. Pretty neat.




https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...33910ce272.jpg

That is a pre-war saddle FWIW.

Ged117 01-19-23 12:00 PM


Originally Posted by SirMike1983 (Post 22773836)
The bike is quite old, but whether it goes all the way back to the 1920s, you'd have to look at the bike more closely to see. On early bikes, there should be nickel rather than chrome plating. Bikes pre-dating the traffic safety acts also may not have the white tipped rear fender or a reflector. Drum brake hubs often have date codes on them, so they may be of help as well. You're more likely to find a very old Raleigh in Canada than the USA though. If in doubt, go have a look.


Originally Posted by Salubrious (Post 22774085)
That is a pre-war saddle FWIW.


Thanks Salubrious - I am intrigued by this bicycle. Any idea when the white tipped rear fender became a requirement? A quick google of British regulations didn't reveal.

Does this fork look bent, or is it the design? I'll try and find some period advertisements.

https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...8ca26f954b.jpg

markk900 01-19-23 12:14 PM

The 1939 catalog has a similar model:

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/retrora...9/pages/22.htm

As a "just before the war" model the bright parts are painted black in this version, but the ladies model 6 did come with an optiona drum rear and rim brake front.

I agree though that the picture makes the fork look bent. Won't be sure unless you go see the bike.

Edit: this person claims a very similar bike is a 1921....certainly matches a lot of the details of the one in question...

https://myvintagebicycles.wordpress....es-loop-frame/

Salubrious 01-19-23 12:16 PM


Originally Posted by Ged117 (Post 22774095)
Thanks Salubrious - I am intrigued by this bicycle. Any idea when the white tipped rear fender became a requirement? A quick google of British regulations didn't reveal.

Does this fork look bent, or is it the design? I'll try and find some period advertisements.

https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...8ca26f954b.jpg

As I understand it the White Tail came in during WW2 when there were blackouts imposed. The white tail made the bike more visible in the dark. Pre-war bikes don't have the white tail. As always, with Raleighs in particular it can be tricky knowing if all the parts on the bike are original.

gna 01-19-23 01:01 PM


Originally Posted by Salubrious (Post 22770704)
The Bay City Hill is 2 1/2 miles long. With a 46/22 usually you do fine as long as the bike isn't fully loaded. If you go on the Tour you can put your gear in the '3-speed Lorry' and pick it up in Wabasha at the end of the day and Red Wing the next day.

If you go 'off route' such as I do by taking the rustic road just outside of Maiden Rock, you'll encounter more hills. But totally worth in IMO.

People come from all over the US to participate in this event. Jon the Gentleman Cyclist is already taking entrance fees. The even is the weekend of May 20th this year to avoid Mother's Day.

A 21T or 22T helps, but it can be done with an 18T or 19T. There's no shame in pushing.

There is a very short, steep hill leaving Maiden Rock, but it's board flat from Pepin into Nelson.

I'm already registered for 2023. I'm hoping for good weather. Trying to decide which bike to ride. I'm disappointed my daughter doesn't want to ride this year, after I fixed up a nice Raleigh for her, but that's right before finals.

Salubrious 01-19-23 01:46 PM


Originally Posted by gna (Post 22774191)
A 21T or 22T helps, but it can be done with an 18T or 19T. There's no shame in pushing.

There is a very short, steep hill leaving Maiden Rock, but it's board flat from Pepin into Nelson.

I'm already registered for 2023. I'm hoping for good weather. Trying to decide which bike to ride. I'm disappointed my daughter doesn't want to ride this year, after I fixed up a nice Raleigh for her, but that's right before finals.

There's more than one hill after Maiden Rock. The second one I would not want to face with the stock gearing. Its not as steep as the first but its longer and gains more altitude.

If you have a lower gearing, going off route is more attractive. That rustic road I mention is really pretty- it winds through a coulee with lots of wild flowers with 4 creek crossings you have to ride through. At the end of the valley there are more rock formations. You'd be pushing up the grade at the end of that valley but most of its rideable with a 22 on the rear.


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