Bike Forums

Bike Forums (https://www.bikeforums.net/forum.php)
-   Classic & Vintage (https://www.bikeforums.net/forumdisplay.php?f=181)
-   -   For the love of English 3 speeds... (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=623699)

paulb_in_bkln 06-02-18 05:35 PM


Originally Posted by johnnyspaghetti (Post 20372833)
This is a big boy bike

The two extra inches at the head tube vs the diamond frame make a big difference.

BigChief 06-02-18 07:51 PM

Another early 50s Sports showed up on my local CL. Very pricey though. It's all there except the small chaincase cover and the headlamp bracket. It's one of those cases you see where it was removed at some point to make room for a bottle generator lamp. The rims look bad, especially the rear. They are usually worse on the inside than the outside. A bike like this deserves clean Westricks not alloys or Endrick rims. Bad rims always add a lot of cost to a project.
https://maine.craigslist.org/bik/d/r...594071683.html

desconhecido 06-02-18 08:08 PM

A couple good looking JC Higgins bikes on the Dallas craigslist. These are Austrian bikes made, I think, by Puch or Steyr. Glad they're in Dallas and not Houston.

https://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/bi...593163297.html

Chaser95 06-02-18 08:27 PM


Originally Posted by desconhecido (Post 20373650)
A couple good looking JC Higgins bikes on the Dallas craigslist. These are Austrian bikes made, I think, by Puch or Steyr. Glad they're in Dallas and not Houston.

https://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/bi...593163297.html

I have one of those that is blessed with what we now call patina. The bike carries a Puch serial number and it is all quality built. The ride is smooth and sure. If you can find one of these you won't regret it.

anotherbike 06-02-18 08:35 PM


Originally Posted by thumpism (Post 20372719)
Great feeling, isn't it? Here's the one I got the same way.

I have a large ladies frame Sprite 5 speed similar to this hanging in my back garage, its even big for me and I'm 6' tall. I bought it for its rims but after riding it a bit I couldn't bring my self to use it for parts. It came to me with huge oversize blackwall chainlink 26x1 3/8" tires on it with no brand name whatsoever. The tires are a good 1/2" wider than the stock tires. The internal 5 speed is set up to shift with two trigger shifters.
I was always intrigued that they built such a tall ladies frame, it sits and rides taller than my 24" Robin Hood Sports.
(Tried to post a pic but I don't have enough posts here yet). I'll come back with one when I do I guess.

BigChief 06-02-18 08:51 PM


Originally Posted by anotherbike (Post 20373685)
I have a large ladies frame Sprite 5 speed similar to this hanging in my back garage, its even big for me and I'm 6' tall. I bought it for its rims but after riding it a bit I couldn't bring my self to use it for parts. It came to me with huge oversize blackwall chainlink 26x1 3/8" tires on it with no brand name whatsoever. The tires are a good 1/2" wider than the stock tires. The internal 5 speed is set up to shift with two trigger shifters.
I was always intrigued that they built such a tall ladies frame, it sits and rides taller than my 24" Robin Hood Sports.
(Tried to post a pic but I don't have enough posts here yet). I'll come back with one when I do I guess.

I'm a fan of the S5 hub. I have a 21" Sprite that's a bit too small for me and thought about stealing the rear wheel for another project, but like you, I couldn't bring myself to part out a perfectly good Sprite.

desconhecido 06-02-18 08:56 PM


Originally Posted by Chaser95 (Post 20373676)
I have one of those that is blessed with what we now call patina. The bike carries a Puch serial number and it is all quality built. The ride is smooth and sure. If you can find one of these you won't regret it.

I think that the Austrian 3spds that Sears sold during the 50s and 60s were better bikes than the Raleigh Sports bikes of the time. I rarely see a Sears example -- well, not since about 1970 anyway. When the great bike boom hit, nobody wanted a Sears bike anymore -- at least that's my recollection having been teenaged at the time. I encountered a guy on an early 60s JC Higgins on the Houston bike paths a couple years ago and was gob smacked at how nice and well preserved his bike was compared to almost all the Raleighs. Maybe all the bad condition Sears bikes got melted down years ago and the bad condition Raleighs just hung on for some reason.

In any event, those two Dallas bikes sure look good -- good sheet metal, mostly complete and original. $150 for the pair -- if Dallas were 100 miles closer, I'd probably own them tomorrow. Not that I need a couple more three speeds, but how many is enough?

Chaser95 06-02-18 09:16 PM


Originally Posted by desconhecido (Post 20373707)
I think that the Austrian 3spds that Sears sold during the 50s and 60s were better bikes than the Raleigh Sports bikes of the time. I rarely see a Sears example -- well, not since about 1970 anyway. When the great bike boom hit, nobody wanted a Sears bike anymore -- at least that's my recollection having been teenaged at the time. I encountered a guy on an early 60s JC Higgins on the Houston bike paths a couple years ago and was gob smacked at how nice and well preserved his bike was compared to almost all the Raleighs. Maybe all the bad condition Sears bikes got melted down years ago and the bad condition Raleighs just hung on for some reason.

In any event, those two Dallas bikes sure look good -- good sheet metal, mostly complete and original. $150 for the pair -- if Dallas were 100 miles closer, I'd probably own them tomorrow. Not that I need a couple more three speeds, but how many is enough?

I have a friend who had the mid 60s Sears version of those bikes. Even as an 11 year old I noticed the quality of the build. I agree they put many Raleighs to shame. Mine feels like the machine tolerances are tighter than the Raleighs. Everything that moves is very smooth. At that price I would not let 100 miles keep me away.

johnnyspaghetti 06-03-18 02:30 AM

Kind of astonishing, the CL ads. I was in Houston but a few miles north.I looked but saw there were only a small fraction of ads compared to MPLS.
I know why. It would be very easy to die if you ride.

gster 06-03-18 05:09 AM


Originally Posted by Chaser95 (Post 20373732)
I have a friend who had the mid 60s Sears version of those bikes. Even as an 11 year old I noticed the quality of the build. I agree they put many Raleighs to shame. Mine feels like the machine tolerances are tighter than the Raleighs. Everything that moves is very smooth. At that price I would not let 100 miles keep me away.

I have also seen some very nice Polish Austrian 3 speeds at reasonable prices.But at this point in the collecting (hoarding) I have to set some limits on myself.
At last count I was up to 18 bikes...
with 3 non British
Linus
Eastman
Flying Pigeon.
My friend George at Parts Unknown has a fairly complete tall Raleigh 3 Speed Coffee frame
for $20.00...
I could soon have 19 bikes.

gster 06-03-18 06:07 AM

once confessed that he liked to explain to ‘young people’ that, back in the bad-old-low-tech-flared-trousered-analogue days things were so backward that you could fly from London to New York in three and a half hours and men regularly walked on the Moon

ISP 06-03-18 07:08 AM

Thank you for the advice. I cleaned the hub and found a 69 stamp on it which I assume is for 1969. I also found the number 2 stamped on the hub a little further away. Does that indicate the month of February? I'm not sure if any of this information is correct because I found the 1969 catalogue online and it looks like color choices are black, bronze green, and burgundy; however, the bike looks brown to me. Would age, elements, and sun damage change the color of the bike that much?

gster 06-03-18 07:17 AM

The Reward System
My Bitsa Glider has proven itself "worthy" and has been rewarded with a new chain to finish it off.
https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...1886425648.jpg
It's chain has migrated over to the '69 Robin Hood that still has tracking issues...AAARRRGH!
https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...6dd4ef3864.jpg
Not worthy of a new chain.....yet.

gster 06-03-18 07:21 AM


Originally Posted by ISP (Post 20374083)
Thank you for the advice. I cleaned the hub and found a 69 stamp on it which I assume is for 1969. I also found the number 2 stamped on the hub a little further away. Does that indicate the month of February? I'm not sure if any of this information is correct because I found the 1969 catalogue online and it looks like color choices are black, bronze green, and burgundy; however, the bike looks brown to me. Would age, elements, and sun damage change the color of the bike that much?

Yes on the dating.
Keep replying and posting and then post some photos.
The coffee colour was very popular.
https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...fe58371f08.jpg

paulb_in_bkln 06-03-18 08:17 AM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 20373625)
Another early 50s Sports showed up on my local CL. Very pricey though. It's all there except the small chaincase cover and the headlamp bracket. It's one of those cases you see where it was removed at some point to make room for a bottle generator lamp. The rims look bad, especially the rear. They are usually worse on the inside than the outside. A bike like this deserves clean Westricks not alloys or Endrick rims. Bad rims always add a lot of cost to a project.
https://maine.craigslist.org/bik/d/r...594071683.html

Strikes me as being not only pricey but overpriced, by a lot. Though I guess that depends on how badly someone wants this exact type of bike and what else is available.

BigChief 06-03-18 09:21 AM


Originally Posted by paulb_in_bkln (Post 20374161)
Strikes me as being not only pricey but overpriced, by a lot. Though I guess that depends on how badly someone wants this exact type of bike and what else is available.

Well yeah, I was being kind. I see ads like this from time to time. Perhaps it's not a truly motivated seller, just somebody testing the market. Personally, I don't see big prices sticking to old English roadsters. Far too few people have any interest in them.

anotherbike 06-04-18 01:55 AM


Originally Posted by desconhecido (Post 20373707)
I think that the Austrian 3spds that Sears sold during the 50s and 60s were better bikes than the Raleigh Sports bikes of the time. I rarely see a Sears example -- well, not since about 1970 anyway. When the great bike boom hit, nobody wanted a Sears bike anymore -- at least that's my recollection having been teenaged at the time. I encountered a guy on an early 60s JC Higgins on the Houston bike paths a couple years ago and was gob smacked at how nice and well preserved his bike was compared to almost all the Raleighs. Maybe all the bad condition Sears bikes got melted down years ago and the bad condition Raleighs just hung on for some reason.

In any event, those two Dallas bikes sure look good -- good sheet metal, mostly complete and original. $150 for the pair -- if Dallas were 100 miles closer, I'd probably own them tomorrow. Not that I need a couple more three speeds, but how many is enough?

I had a few old Sears three speeds over the years, two of them had Sears branded rear hubs and shifters. They were made in Austria I believe. both were white with gray trim and aluminum fenders. One of them was a ladies bike with the lace holes in the rear mud guard in gold paint with horse hair padded saddle. I do remember that all three had heavy duty spring reinforced, horse hair padded saddles covered in a shiny hard plastic vinyl that eventually cracked apart and let the horse hair fall out all over the place. One bike rarely got ridden back then because of a sticky shift cable that would get stuck in high gear. I think they got left behind/sold with a shore house we owned back in the day. I was never fan of the paint scheme on them compared to a sharp looking green or black Raleigh.

paulb_in_bkln 06-04-18 06:33 AM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 20374225)
Well yeah, I was being kind. I see ads like this from time to time. Perhaps it's not a truly motivated seller, just somebody testing the market. Personally, I don't see big prices sticking to old English roadsters. Far too few people have any interest in them.

Also, as much as I like them I try to keep in mind they were mass produced by the many tens or hundreds of thousands. Although Sheldon wrote somewhere that Ford Model Ts were once so numerous that when they were superseded by newer models you could drive an old one away at a yard sale price. Not exactly like that today. I still think about that guy on eBay a few years ago asking, I think it was $6,000, for a detailed mint his/her pair of 50s black Raleigh Sports. No idea what they might have sold for. I once read that the price of 50s and 60s British tube hifi equipment was driven sky high by a crazy demand for it in Japan. I wonder if the Japanese like old British bicycles?

BigChief 06-04-18 09:09 AM


Originally Posted by paulb_in_bkln (Post 20375593)
Also, as much as I like them I try to keep in mind they were mass produced by the many tens or hundreds of thousands. Although Sheldon wrote somewhere that Ford Model Ts were once so numerous that when they were superseded by newer models you could drive an old one away at a yard sale price. Not exactly like that today. I still think about that guy on eBay a few years ago asking, I think it was $6,000, for a detailed mint his/her pair of 50s black Raleigh Sports. No idea what they might have sold for. I once read that the price of 50s and 60s British tube hifi equipment was driven sky high by a crazy demand for it in Japan. I wonder if the Japanese like old British bicycles?

Unlike some antiquities, the old 3 speed roadsters are still relevant for their intended purpose. They also have an understated dignity that most modern designs lack. I am seeing more townie type bikes on the road these days so maybe we will see an increased interest in vintage roadsters at some point. The older ones are becoming more rare. Hard to say, but in any case it's a fun hobby and not very expensive as hobbies go. The best part is at the end of all the work, you have a beautiful bike that's fun to ride.

Chaser95 06-04-18 09:55 AM

Shift cable
 
Thanks to the good folks on this thread the silver sports is shifting again! Yep, it was the fulcrum stop. Took about a minute to fix and all is well again...…..but, I will keep an eye on it until we build trust. It needs the headset rebuilt soon and that rear reflector HAS to go! I know when I find a chain guard it will not be silver. Anyone know a paint that is a decent match?https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...513a41d409.jpg

crank_addict 06-04-18 10:51 AM


Originally Posted by Chaser95 (Post 20373732)
I have a friend who had the mid 60s Sears version of those bikes. Even as an 11 year old I noticed the quality of the build. I agree they put many Raleighs to shame. Mine feels like the machine tolerances are tighter than the Raleighs. Everything that moves is very smooth. At that price I would not let 100 miles keep me away.

They are neat and have character but not any better or worse than Raleigh. Found a recent listing for a late 50s JC Higgins.... nice original for $150. Have enough bikes but to see one that nice is tempting. Btw: Sears Roebuck listed them as imported from Austria, France and England.

Also, at the CR event in Greensboro, a seller had an interesting all black Puch with rod actuated spoon brake! Likely made in the 1970s but modeled after a 1930s era Steyr Waffenrad. Quirky cool. Priced at $350.

Edit: found pic of above

https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...1659102282.jpg

paulb_in_bkln 06-04-18 01:11 PM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 20375898)
Unlike some antiquities, the old 3 speed roadsters are still relevant for their intended purpose. They also have an understated dignity that most modern designs lack. I am seeing more townie type bikes on the road these days so maybe we will see an increased interest in vintage roadsters at some point. The older ones are becoming more rare. Hard to say, but in any case it's a fun hobby and not very expensive as hobbies go. The best part is at the end of all the work, you have a beautiful bike that's fun to ride.

Indeed my step through Sports is not always my most practical bike but it's always my favorite to ride.

paulb_in_bkln 06-04-18 01:14 PM


Originally Posted by gster (Post 20374005)
Brian Eno once confessed that he liked to explain to ‘young people’ that, back in the bad-old-low-tech-flared-trousered-analogue days things were so backward that you could fly from London to New York in three and a half hours and men regularly walked on the Moon

He always has something interesting to say.

BigChief 06-04-18 01:47 PM


Originally Posted by Chaser95 (Post 20375986)
Thanks to the good folks on this thread the silver sports is shifting again! Yep, it was the fulcrum stop. Took about a minute to fix and all is well again...…..but, I will keep an eye on it until we build trust. It needs the headset rebuilt soon and that rear reflector HAS to go! I know when I find a chain guard it will not be silver. Anyone know a paint that is a decent match?https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...513a41d409.jpg

I've used Testors enamel with good results. I would keep darkening white with black until I had a good match. If you see a hint of primary color you can play around trying to mix that in also. If it's got a metallic look, you could use silver as a base instead of white. I try my best to make the newly painted part fit in with the rest of the old paint by using a more coarse compound like rubbing compound to polish after hardening so the finish isn't so glossy. +1 on the reflector. I'd dump that too. While you have the headset apart, you could replace that reflector with a traditional heron lamp bracket too.Might as well get some 5/32" ball bearings before you take it apart.These bearings are known to have magical properties. You hear them hit the floor then they vanish into nonexsistance. I wonder if there's a parallel dimension somewhere where some guy is wondering why ball bearings keep showing up on his shop floor.

clubman 06-04-18 02:38 PM


Originally Posted by Chaser95 (Post 20375986)
Thanks to the good folks on this thread the silver sports is shifting again! Yep, it was the fulcrum stop. Took about a minute to fix and all is well again...…..but, I will keep an eye on it until we build trust. It needs the headset rebuilt soon and that rear reflector HAS to go! I know when I find a chain guard it will not be silver. Anyone know a paint that is a decent match?https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...513a41d409.jpg

I have an extra half-dozen Sports chainguards but it appears you have the two frame braze-ons on the down/seat tube? That was usually reserved for the Superbes. Pretty sure a regular guard will work with a hole drilled for the top mount. I'll look at what I've got.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:08 PM.


Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.