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

SpeedofLite 04-08-19 08:46 PM

I wandered into a northern Indiana Craigslist last night and saw what I thought was the bike I rode to destruction in 1968-69, a red Columbia Sports III. But no, the bike listed is called a Huffy Sportsman III (photo below).

The pictured bike looks exactly as I remember my Columbia, including indexed throttle shifter, white tail on rear fender, and red/white vinyl seat. While looking for information about either my Columbia Sports III or the Huffy Sportsman III, I thought it odd that both companies were manufacturers and competitors and so I didn't think one would make the bike for the other to sell. I didn't find an answer to why these bikes by different manufacturers looked identical, but I did stumble into a CABE thread that featured a 1964 Raleigh-built Huffy Sportsman (no "III" in the model name) that had similar two-tone seats and throttle shifter. One poster in the thread implied the Raleigh Company owned Huffy, but a Huffy bicycle wiki implied it was the other way around (at least to the extent I could understand the various name changes and re-orgs). I also learned in the CABE thread about a beloved Raleigh 3-speed model called Sports, a seemingly higher quality bike than the Huffy and Columbia with a classic handlebar mounted thumb-shifter.

Can anyone provide some insight into the existence of these mid-to-late 1960s 3-speed bikes (all with "Sports" and two with "III" in the model name), including any manufacturer relationships among Raleigh, Huffy, and Columbia?
It's buggin' me. Thanks.

https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...dac29d24f5.jpg

paulb_in_bkln 04-09-19 04:28 AM


Originally Posted by nlerner (Post 20875957)
I appreciate the support! I also did that conversion on a Peugeot back in the fall:

https://live.staticflickr.com/4851/4...8ce09487_c.jpg

That one has 590mm/EA3 wheels. I fitted the Moto with a 650B/584mm x 38mm wheelset, and there's oodles of clearance. It would take 42mm tires no problem. What is a problem, however, is the rear brake reach needed is about 83mm. I'll likely try it with a Weinmann 750 brake and a pair of those offset pads for a bit more reach.

I used 700c wheels so brake reach wasn't an issue. But from its forged chrome dropouts I guess your Pug is a more expensive frame with tighter clearances? We'll see if I want to spruce mine up with details like your quick release cable stops. What crankset is that? Also does that frame use the skinny seatpost?

I began the project to vindicate an idea I had, which I described in probably my first post here, that the 10-speed fever of the early seventies was kind of silly, that the mass-market French bikes so in vogue then were not fundamentally so different from the Raleigh Sports whose popularity preceded them. Now I'm not so sure. The converted Peugeot seems to me to feel a bit different than a Raleigh. But handlebars, wheels, and tires make so much difference...

BigChief 04-09-19 06:32 AM


Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart (Post 20875909)
I remember reading somewhere that the pinions were sintered, not cast.Entirely different process.

Still, even back then, gear cutting machines were almost fully automated. The cost savings would have been tiny. The whole notion of using sintered gears in a bicycle drivetrain is questionable in my mind. Especially if they had been machining the same part for 50 years and it was proven to be reliable. To me it's a lot like deciding to put a cover over the shifter and then making it out of brittle plastic that cracked when you tightened the mounting bolt. Strange that such poor ideas were put into practice by such a well established, experienced company.

clubman 04-09-19 06:51 AM


Originally Posted by SpeedofLite (Post 20876048)
I
Can anyone provide some insight into the existence of these mid-to-late 1960s 3-speed bikes (all with "Sports" and two with "III" in the model name), including any manufacturer relationships among Raleigh, Huffy, and Columbia?
It's buggin' me. Thanks.

https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...dac29d24f5.jpg

Your Huffy looks like an outlier. It appears to be a Raleigh made frame with the exception of the one piece crank, which is incompatible with Raleigh bottom brackets. Maybe someone else could chime in. Most 64/65 Sturmey Archer drive trains came with the twist grip but they proved to be less reliable and by 66 most bikes were fitted with triggers again. Huffy and Raleigh were always separate companies. Raleigh sold their ubiquitous Sports frames to many department stores and other bike companies around the world in big numbers to be rebranded as whatever they customer wanted.

The gear cable is broken, you can see the original cable pulley behind the chainwheel. I'm now thinking that perhaps that frame is a Huffy made copy of a Raleigh Sports. Things just look a little different and without close-ups, it's hard to tell. The position of the rear mudguard mounts looks a little high.

gster 04-09-19 08:44 AM

A Few Nice Items
These parts arrived yesterday from Hoop Rider.
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...c77697b903.jpg
A vintage Dunlop Westwood rim.
A set of lever bars
A box of NOS rear brake cables
A Sturmey Archer front spindle
Nine NOS cable clips
A NOS GBaluminum stem
Slight problem with the rim as it was listed as a 36H and is in
reality a 40H.......
I was planning on building a new front wheel for the Hercules
but may have to harvest from another bike..
https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...f537365c11.jpg
Original wheel may have to do until a suitable replacement is found.

SpeedofLite 04-09-19 09:30 AM


Originally Posted by clubman (Post 20876400)
Your Huffy looks like an outlier. It appears to be a Raleigh made frame with the exception of the one piece crank, which is incompatible with Raleigh bottom brackets. Maybe someone else could chime in. Most 64/65 Sturmey Archer drive trains came with the twist grip but they proved to be less reliable and by 66 most bikes were fitted with triggers again. Huffy and Raleigh were always separate companies. Raleigh sold their ubiquitous Sports frames to many department stores and other bike companies around the world in big numbers to be rebranded as whatever they customer wanted.

The gear cable is broken, you can see the original cable pulley behind the chainwheel. I'm now thinking that perhaps that frame is a Huffy made copy of a Raleigh Sports. Things just look a little different and without close-ups, it's hard to tell. The position of the rear mudguard mounts looks a little high.

Thanks for your input clubman. I appreciate your time.

I could see decals on the black Huffy Sportsman in the CABE thread that indicated that particular bike was English made, but I can't see the decals well enough on this one. I guess I'm still confused as to whether Huffy and Columbia made these bikes at all, or maybe just some were Raleigh-made. It makes sense to me if Raleigh and Huffy had an organizational relationship under one company or the other, or both under an umbrella company. The Columbia story is less clear to me. This whole bike manufacturer/ brand/ model/year thing seems much more complex than I ever thought it was. It does seem to me though that 3-speed lightweights were a nice market that bike companies all wanted a piece of in the 1960s.

Ged117 04-09-19 09:47 AM


Originally Posted by paulb_in_bkln (Post 20876294)
I used 700c wheels so brake reach wasn't an issue. But from its forged chrome dropouts I guess your Pug is a more expensive frame with tighter clearances? We'll see if I want to spruce mine up with details like your quick release cable stops. What crankset is that? Also does that frame use the skinny seatpost?

I began the project to vindicate an idea I had, which I described in probably my first post here, that the 10-speed fever of the early seventies was kind of silly, that the mass-market French bikes so in vogue then were not fundamentally so different from the Raleigh Sports whose popularity preceded them. Now I'm not so sure. The converted Peugeot seems to me to feel a bit different than a Raleigh. But handlebars, wheels, and tires make so much difference...

That's why I am so keen on my Peugeot AO8 IGH four speed project. I think it is going to make for a tidy-looking, fun to ride commuter. The Peugeot red is just icing on my cake since I had a Peugeot in university with North Roads in the same shade of red, or thereabouts. I wish I still had that frame, it had original fenders and original north road style bars, and I am not sure which type of Peugeot it was now. I haven't seen such an example since.

clubman 04-09-19 10:01 AM


Originally Posted by SpeedofLite (Post 20876675)
This whole bike manufacturer/ brand/ model/year thing seems much more complex than I ever thought it was.

Yeah there's always a bit of sleuthing to be done. Here's a pic from The Headbadge and although it's a late model version, you can see how the rear mudguards attach at a point almost level with the rear axle. This is one of the easiest ways to spot a Raleigh. Your Huffy connects well above the axle.


https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...1a76de764f.png

BigChief 04-09-19 10:56 AM


Originally Posted by gster (Post 20876596)
A Few Nice Items
These parts arrived yesterday from Hoop Rider.
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...c77697b903.jpg
A vintage Dunlop Westwood rim.
A set of lever bars
A box of NOS rear brake cables
A Sturmey Archer front spindle
Nine NOS cable clips
A NOS GBaluminum stem
Slight problem with the rim as it was listed as a 36H and is in
reality a 40H.......
I was planning on building a new front wheel for the Hercules
but may have to harvest from another bike..
https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...f537365c11.jpg
Original wheel may have to do until a suitable replacement is found.

This project is looking great. 40/32H Westwood rims are almost always the major problem with the big roadsters. Originals tend to be rusted away and finding good replacements is not easy. The 40H rear rim looks good. You're half the way there.

carfreefamily 04-09-19 11:24 AM

Is this the kind of thing one can expect when one starts riding a vintage 3-speed? Someone here at the college where I work came by and said, "I hear you like old London bicycles. I have a Raleigh Hercules I could let you have real cheap." Real cheap to him is $50. To me, real cheap has always meant $25 or less. Maybe I can talk him down. It sounds like a mess - it needs a paint job, the brake levers have been painted, no fenders. Still, I have trouble fighting the urge to make old three speeds that are going unridden rideable. I told him I would take a look at it.

gster 04-09-19 11:25 AM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 20876876)
This project is looking great. 40/32H Westwood rims are almost always the major problem with the big roadsters. Originals tend to be rusted away and finding good replacements is not easy. The 40H rear rim looks good. You're half the way there.

I'm hooking up the brake linkages today..
I had no idea how complicated it is.
Everything is placed on the frame but not tightened up yet.
I have a good set of pads for this one.
Also, I'm going to try compressing the front fender back into shape.
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...d0e860b778.jpg

browngw 04-09-19 01:11 PM


Originally Posted by gster (Post 20876929)
I'm hooking up the brake linkages today..
I had no idea how complicated it is.
Everything is placed on the frame but not tightened up yet.
I have a good set of pads for this one.
Also, I'm going to try compressing the front fender back into shape.

To enlarge the radius you normally squeeze the sides of the fender inwards which looks like what you need . If you were to pull the edges outward the radius would decrease and the ends would be even closer to the tire. It is a lesson I learned many years ago and seldom fails. It takes very little movement to bring it back.

gster 04-09-19 01:13 PM


Originally Posted by browngw (Post 20877078)
To enlarge the radius you normally squeeze the sides of the fender inwards which looks like what you need . If you were to pull the edges outward the radius would decrease and the ends would be even closer to the tire. It is a lesson I learned many years ago and seldom fails. It takes very little movement to bring it back.

Good tip!

BigChief 04-09-19 01:42 PM


Originally Posted by gster (Post 20876929)
I'm hooking up the brake linkages today..
I had no idea how complicated it is.
Everything is placed on the frame but not tightened up yet.
I have a good set of pads for this one.
Also, I'm going to try compressing the front fender back into shape.
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...d0e860b778.jpg

Wow, this is coming along beautifully. Good chainring choice. These are very similar to the ones I see in 1930s Hercules catalog pictures. Very nice you found one without the Sir Raleigh stamp on the crank to give it away. You never mentioned if there was any sign on an attached head badge. Lloyds makes an exact transfer of that period Herc head badge. Many English bikes from the 30s seem to have transfers instead of an attached badge. In either case, it would look great on this bike. They also have the seat tube transfer.
https://h-lloyd-cycles.myshopify.com...-head-transfer

gster 04-09-19 01:57 PM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 20877132)
Wow, this is coming along beautifully. Good chainring choice. These are very similar to the ones I see in 1930s Hercules catalog pictures. Very nice you found one without the Sir Raleigh stamp on the crank to give it away. You never mentioned if there was any sign on an attached head badge. Lloyds makes an exact transfer of that period Herc head badge. Many English bikes from the 30s seem to have transfers instead of an attached badge. In either case, it would look great on this bike. They also have the seat tube transfer.
https://h-lloyd-cycles.myshopify.com...-head-transfer

It would appear to have had a transfer badge.
Thanks for that link.
I will check it out.

clubman 04-09-19 03:29 PM

Nice workroom. Arts & crafts table beside a 50's chrome dinette. Does the rotary phone work?

gster 04-09-19 03:32 PM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 20877132)
Wow, this is coming along beautifully. Good chainring choice. These are very similar to the ones I see in 1930s Hercules catalog pictures. Very nice you found one without the Sir Raleigh stamp on the crank to give it away. You never mentioned if there was any sign on an attached head badge. Lloyds makes an exact transfer of that period Herc head badge. Many English bikes from the 30s seem to have transfers instead of an attached badge. In either case, it would look great on this bike. They also have the seat tube transfer.
https://h-lloyd-cycles.myshopify.com...-head-transfer

The chainring came about for two reasons:
1-It was in the garage
2-It fit

gster 04-09-19 03:41 PM


Originally Posted by clubman (Post 20877303)
Nice workroom. Arts & crafts table beside a 50's chrome dinette. Does the rotary phone work?

That's the kitchen.
I usually work outside but it was too windy today and
I didn't want to risk losing any of the little brake
pieces....
Yes, the phone works.
We had a major blackout here several years ago
and that phone continued to work for another half hour...

arty dave 04-09-19 04:26 PM


Originally Posted by gster (Post 20876929)
I'm hooking up the brake linkages today..
I had no idea how complicated it is.
Everything is placed on the frame but not tightened up yet.
I have a good set of pads for this one.
Also, I'm going to try compressing the front fender back into shape.
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...d0e860b778.jpg

That sucks with the wrongly advertised 40 hole rim, upside is you have a really nice spare 40 hole rim. It's great to see the bike upright & almost rideable, looks like a really nice sized frame!
...looks kinda in-between the DL-1 sizes...maybe 23"?

gster 04-09-19 04:54 PM


Originally Posted by arty dave (Post 20877390)
That sucks with the wrongly advertised 40 hole rim, upside is you have a really nice spare 40 hole rim. It's great to see the bike upright & almost rideable, looks like a really nice sized frame!
...looks kinda in-between the DL-1 sizes...maybe 23"?

I haven't actually measured but assume it's a 23".

nlerner 04-09-19 06:50 PM


Originally Posted by paulb_in_bkln (Post 20876294)
I used 700c wheels so brake reach wasn't an issue. But from its forged chrome dropouts I guess your Pug is a more expensive frame with tighter clearances? We'll see if I want to spruce mine up with details like your quick release cable stops. What crankset is that? Also does that frame use the skinny seatpost?

TA 3-pin crankset with a 45t ring. And seatpost is original, chromed steel. Not sure of the diameter but iirc those metric Reynolds 531 seat tubes take a 26.6mm.

BigChief 04-09-19 07:47 PM


Originally Posted by nlerner (Post 20875611)
Picked up this Moto Grand Record frameset this weekend and am thinking of a possible IGH conversion (and maybe 650B?). The paint is original.

https://live.staticflickr.com/7920/4...66caa548_c.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/7899/3...566ba31c_c.jpg

There you go tempting me with that light weight roadster project I never got around to. Which reminds me of a question I have. Does anybody make mudguards that look like the old time Bluemels? All the modern ones I see look... well...too modern.

clubman 04-09-19 07:58 PM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 20877616)
There you go tempting me with that light weight roadster project I never got around to. Which reminds me of a question I have. Does anybody make mudguards that look like the old time Bluemels? All the modern ones I see look... well...too modern.

SKS makes one decent almost retro set in varying sizes but only one colour, black. Paint it?

nlerner 04-09-19 09:07 PM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 20877616)
There you go tempting me with that light weight roadster project I never got around to. Which reminds me of a question I have. Does anybody make mudguards that look like the old time Bluemels? All the modern ones I see look... well...too modern.

A friend has posted some instructions on how to modify the SKS Longboards to look more like Bluemels Populars. They only come in cream and black, however, unlike the wide variety of colors of the original Bluemels.

thumpism 04-10-19 02:47 AM

Reality sets in, as evidenced by a significant price drop.

1974? Raleigh 3 speed ladies bicycle - $100 (The fan)


Originally Posted by thumpism (Post 20868958)
Pix aren't great and the price is too high, but it looks like a nice little CB 3-speed bike.

https://richmond.craigslist.org/bik/...855003412.html

1974? Raleigh 3 speed ladies bicycle - $200 (The fan)


https://images.craigslist.org/00r0r_...Zc_600x450.jpg
https://images.craigslist.org/00404_...lo_600x450.jpg

bicycle frame material: steel
bicycle type: road
frame size: Medium
wheel size: other/unknown Vintage Raleigh 3 speed bicycle
Sturmey Archer 3 speed rear hub
Shifts through gears and brakes look good. Needs new inner tubes to be rideable and a good cleaning.
Brooks saddle
Overall great shape for its age, just needs someone to love it
$200
Call or text 804-221-six nine four three


BigChief 04-10-19 05:36 AM


Originally Posted by nlerner (Post 20877709)
A friend has posted some instructions on how to modify the SKS Longboards to look more like Bluemels Populars. They only come in cream and black, however, unlike the wide variety of colors of the original Bluemels.

Thanks for the tip. Actually, it seems like a fun project. Someday, I'll be back here asking for measurements and a photo of the Popular transfer.

gster 04-10-19 06:12 AM

Pair of Raleigh Folders
For sale here in Toronto
Best offer
https://www.kijiji.ca/v-view-details...m_medium=email
https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...273b4f736a.jpg

gster 04-10-19 06:20 AM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 20877132)
Wow, this is coming along beautifully. Good chainring choice. These are very similar to the ones I see in 1930s Hercules catalog pictures. Very nice you found one without the Sir Raleigh stamp on the crank to give it away. You never mentioned if there was any sign on an attached head badge. Lloyds makes an exact transfer of that period Herc head badge. Many English bikes from the 30s seem to have transfers instead of an attached badge. In either case, it would look great on this bike. They also have the seat tube transfer.
https://h-lloyd-cycles.myshopify.com...-head-transfer

https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...5b0bde37eb.jpg
This set is also available, although not correct for the period
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...b3037776b2.jpg

gster 04-10-19 06:53 AM

GB Stem
This was part of the order that arrived
the other day.
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...d0045e172a.jpg
Not sure where it will end up but there're a couple of Semi Scorchers that
could use an upgrade.
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...ed190e7b70.jpg

clubman 04-10-19 06:53 AM


Originally Posted by gster (Post 20877967)
This set is also available, although not correct for the period

Bondbrized? No space between finest and quality. Leave that one off if you go that route.


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