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

mitchito 12-09-21 09:24 PM

1951 cws
 
1951 CWS roadster is being sold at an estate auction in Florida. It is sitting at $30 right now. It's a bit far for me and I have no space but I think it may be somewhat rare and hopefully desirable to someone here

https://hibid.com/lot/107557766/vtg-...0&ref=lot-listhttps://media.hibid.com/img.axd?id=7...P83s4FBy7%2fmr

arex 12-10-21 10:23 AM

Sale, today only. They have whitewall and gumwall.

https://www.biketiresdirect.com/prod...90-tire?sg=500

gster 12-10-21 11:19 AM

Paul McCartney on a British Club bike.
Not sure of the brand...
https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...6ce985a63a.jpg

Salubrious 12-10-21 12:18 PM

Metal fenders, look at the nose piece on the front fender. Chrome fulcrum clip stop. The brake levers help too- suggests early 1950s. Not a Raliegh- might be a Dunelt.

arex 12-10-21 12:36 PM

Daaaaaaang. I don't know what I'd do with it personally, but it's still pretty neat.

Velo Mule 12-10-21 12:41 PM

Hey @dirtman , good observation/diagnosis of the pin backing out of the pinion gear. That could be the cause as described. I have often wondered why these pinion gears weren't brazed in. I already know the answer though. It works and if after 50 years a pin fall out that is ok. Afterall brazing the pinion gear on would be a lot more work than just pinning it. An involve a torch, oxygen and someone skilled in the use of this equipment. Any line assembly tech can put a pin in.

I will check the fit of this pin next/every time I have a hub apart.

Of course, this is why you should not ignore signs that something may be going bad. No one here on Bike Forums would do that, but outside of us bike zealots that happens. The good news is that she found the right person to return her hub to it's original form and continue to ride her C & V bike. Good job, @2fat2fly .

Velo Mule 12-10-21 12:50 PM

@SirMike1983 I saw your bike in another classic forum. Wow, it is in nice shape. I don't know what it looked like when you got it but the chrome and paint looks perfect. I can't wait to see this one complete.

I worked on a Schwinn Racer three speed a while back and I wouldn't mind adding one of these Schwinn 3 speeds to my garage. Suburban's are a possibility too. They also came with three speeds and had a tubular fork. Come to think of it, I have many of the parts to make a Suburban 3 speed. Hmmmm. But it won't be original like the Traveler.

The American version of an English 3 speed. I like them both. That is the original and the Chicago variant.

Salubrious 12-10-21 01:41 PM


Originally Posted by Velo Mule (Post 22335663)
@SirMike1983 I saw your bike in another classic forum. Wow, it is in nice shape. I don't know what it looked like when you got it but the chrome and paint looks perfect. I can't wait to see this one complete.

I worked on a Schwinn Racer three speed a while back and I wouldn't mind adding one of these Schwinn 3 speeds to my garage. Suburban's are a possibility too. They also came with three speeds and had a tubular fork. Come to think of it, I have many of the parts to make a Suburban 3 speed. Hmmmm. But it won't be original like the Traveler.

The American version of an English 3 speed. I like them both. That is the original and the Chicago variant.

The Racer has that solid Astabula fork- its heavy and flexes. You really do want the tubular fork. But these days that shouldn't be hard to find- a Continental might have one that has the lower half chromes- kind of a nice touch...

Velo Mule 12-10-21 06:01 PM


Originally Posted by Salubrious (Post 22335731)
The Racer has that solid Astabula fork- its heavy and flexes. You really do want the tubular fork. But these days that shouldn't be hard to find- a Continental might have one that has the lower half chromes- kind of a nice touch...

My issue with the Astabula fork is that it is heavy and doesn't flex, at least the way I would like it to, that is to accommodate small bumps. I think that the thin (Aero, before aero was a thing) fork blades flex sideways is what you are referring to. One thing that I will have to say on the behalf of the Astabula fork is it is strong (as long as you don't sideload it). I do have a Tange fork for the Varsity. Schwinn at some point switched to using Tange forks for their tubular forks. This particular Tange fork has a similar bend and from the same era as the one on my Continental. If I put together a Suburban, it will be a Frankenburban, but oh well. I'd enjoy it.

Yes, the reason that I prefer the Continental over the Varsity and the Suburban over the Racer is the tubular fork with a nice curve in it.

With all of that, I still like that black Traveler with the Astabula fork. It is great condition and all original right down to the fork. The new light will look great on it.

It is the Schwinn version of a Raleigh Sport with an Electro-Forged frame, forged fork, built in kickstand, welded on brackets for the rear brake and shifter cables, sturdy fenders (mudguards), North road style handlebars and better forged aluminum brake calipers. Too bad it didn't originally come with a Brooks or similar saddle. I would suspect the geometry is simar too. It does have a lightweight headbadge.

Is there enough members here for an American or North American 3 speed thread? Murray, CCM, Schwinn, Sears, etc.

clubman 12-10-21 06:18 PM


Originally Posted by Velo Mule (Post 22336035)

Is there enough members here for an American or North American 3 speed thread? Murray, CCM, Schwinn, Sears, etc.

Pretty sure there are but we're adept at inserting ourselves in a variety of threads already.

One on my fave CCM 3 speeds but sold to another. BTW we used to have sub groups, IGH and regional but they escaped my cursory search.


https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...01ada754d2.jpg

dirtman 12-11-21 01:57 AM


Originally Posted by Velo Mule (Post 22335651)
Hey @dirtman , good observation/diagnosis of the pin backing out of the pinion gear. That could be the cause as described. I have often wondered why these pinion gears weren't brazed in. I already know the answer though. It works and if after 50 years a pin fall out that is ok. Afterall brazing the pinion gear on would be a lot more work than just pinning it. An involve a torch, oxygen and someone skilled in the use of this equipment. Any line assembly tech can put a pin in.

I will check the fit of this pin next/every time I have a hub apart.

Of course, this is why you should not ignore signs that something may be going bad. No one here on Bike Forums would do that, but outside of us bike zealots that happens. The good news is that she found the right person to return her hub to it's original form and continue to ride her C & V bike. Good job, @2fat2fly .

There may be concerns of heat damage if the pinon was brazed on. The better solution may have been to machine the gear as part of the axle but there again, hardness concerns might have been the issue. The axles are fairly soft, The gears would need to be a bit harder for longevity. From my experience so far, the gears are harder than the axle, the planet cage and ring gear are harder than the gears. I've had stripped pinions, loose pins, and worn planetary gears, broken pawls, broken pawl springs, and worn planetary pins but I've not found a worn or damaged cage yet. Usually damaged hubs are low on oil or gummed up from the oil drying up.

2fat2fly 12-11-21 03:04 AM

I picked up a couple bikes back in the spring for parts, all were bent or rusted too bad to repair. One was a rather complete 1969 ladies model Sports.
The guy who I got it from regularly calls me when he gets bikes, he works at a recycling center and the boss lets them take good items home since it costs the Township to dispose of them otherwise.
Most bikes, regardless of condition are only a buck or two depending on how much they still shine i suppose.
I went to his place, he said he had 30 bikes and wanted them all gone for $30, so I drove over with my trailer in tow. Five were really clean older Huffy and Sears bikes, nothing more than flat tires, in that lot was the Raleigh sports. The bike was clean looking over all but had some rusty bits here and there and two flat tires. Plus it wouldn't roll. Both wheels and the handlebars were painted silver with a brush, some sort of thick heavy paint with no gloss. It looked like the paint they used to use on old galvanized rain gutters many years ago.
Who ever took the time to pain the chrome took care not to get any on the paint or tires but the spokes were encrusted with the stuff.
The bike wouldn't roll, but the chain had also been painted with the same paint, and it was likely painted solid, but again, no silver paint on the chain guard, just the chain and sprocket. The metal on the pedals was also painted, but none was on the rubber blocks.
The paint on the frame was almost 100% mint, the tires were original and still had the little nubs on the tread.
I first went over the bikes that only needed air in the tires and gave a few a quick going over and listed them. Cheap bikes are always a fast sell here.
I took the ladies Sports apart with the intent of maybe finding a good set of rims for another bike I have here.
I had to take a wire brush to get the paint off the axle nuts and threads but got the wheels off it without incident.
When I opened the rear hub, I realized why it wouldn't roll, the inside of the hub was completely painted as well, but there was no paint on the inner shell, just on the moving parts. As if someone had pulled the internals out, cleaned them of all lube, and dipped them in paint and stuck them back in the wheel after the paint dried. There was paint on every spoke, over the whole outer hub shell, and they even must of poured paint down the seat post because the BB was full of hardened paint, so much so I had to chip out the chunks of paint after pulling the crank axle and cups from the frame. The same with the headset, all parts were painted and put back together.
The bad part was that someone had to have done this years ago and let it sit, there's no way that much paint would completely dry thoroughly in just a few years. It had to be decades.
Worse yet, nothing seemed to want to melt that paint. Mineral spirits did nothing, Citrus paint stripper was taking forever and old fashioned Aircraft stripper was doing almost nothing at all.
I finally took the wheels outside, filled a tub with old gas and let them sit under a tarp out back in gasoline for a week, and that removed the paint, or at least softened it enough so I could pressure wash the rest off the rims and spokes. The result was two perfect rims and hubs. I then soaked all the bearings and hub parts in gas too, after another week all the paint was just a 2" scum layer in the gas filled tub.
The wheels are back together, and all the other parts are sitting on a shelf, the original plan was to use them on a men's frame I have but I'm still not sure i want to skip redoing the bike they came off of since everything cleaned up so well. The men's frameset isn't nearly as nice as the ladies bike, and both are too small for me. I'm also a bit inclined to just wait to find a 23" frameset that fits me rather than wasting some really nice chrome bits on a bike that likely won't bring enough money to cover a fraction of the time I spent cleaning it all up. Its not about the money but I know I'll regret selling off any of the nice chrome if I find a frame later.

Greg R 12-11-21 07:47 PM


wonder if the planetary gears could create a reverse gear situation if one set of pawls were either engaged or not there in the right combination.
I know in planetary gear sets you get a reverse output by holding or locking the carrier. Whatever the input, the sun gear or ring gear, the other will reverse with the carrier (cage with planet gears) held. If Big Lady is pedal'in along and the ring gear is the input, or even in 2nd, and for whatever reason the carrier gets locked up, (failed bearings, loss of clearances, running in debris) I can imagine that sun gear getting some serious torque in the wrong direction and taking the axle with it plus forward motion of bike and rider.

Greg R 12-11-21 08:01 PM

After many months of bike mekan'ikan; I've got 4 completed with 3 Raleighs including the Colt with the almost impossible to find crank spindle. We've got rain for the next week and a half so when the sun or suitable weather is out I can post some pictures of the herd.

Are there any Raleigh cotters or cotters that can use the "R" nuts. out there? Sure it's just a detail but I would like to keep the Superbe original if possible. I've got some help with the Dynohub so just patiently waiting for a headlight. In the meantime I'm waiting for riding weather.

gster 12-12-21 07:40 AM


Originally Posted by Greg R (Post 22337057)
After many months of bike mekan'ikan; I've got 4 completed with 3 Raleighs including the Colt with the almost impossible to find crank spindle. We've got rain for the next week and a half so when the sun or suitable weather is out I can post some pictures of the herd.

Are there any Raleigh cotters or cotters that can use the "R" nuts. out there? Sure it's just a detail but I would like to keep the Superbe original if possible. I've got some help with the Dynohub so just patiently waiting for a headlight. In the meantime I'm waiting for riding weather.

The only way would be to preserve the original Raleigh cotters....
As with most Raleigh items, they have their own proprietary threading.
I have a couple of very original bikes that I have not restored the BB's on
for this reason.
I have poured some very heavy oil down the seat tube.
They don't get ridden much.

JohnDThompson 12-12-21 12:49 PM


Originally Posted by Greg R (Post 22337057)
Are there any Raleigh cotters or cotters that can use the "R" nuts. out there? Sure it's just a detail but I would like to keep the Superbe original if possible.

AFAIK, Raleigh cotters use non-standard (Whitworth?) thread, so the "R" nuts won't work on other manufacturer's cotters. OTOH, the "R" on the Raleigh nuts is a disk pressed into the end of an open nut, so you may be able to transfer the "R" disk to another nut that will work with your replacement cotter.

Greg R 12-12-21 01:22 PM

The cotter threads are the 26 TPI as every other one on this vintage of Superbe, 1974. Raleigh didn't use the Whitworth thread form, at least this far down the road. The thread diameter is different on these I checked for 1/4", too large; then 5/16" and smaller than that. I'm thinking maybe 9/32 which is on the BSC/CEI thread chart. The Churchill also seems to use the same cotters with fancy plated nuts. Normally I don't care much with consumable parts, but these bikes are in very good original condition and if it isn't too much bother I'd like to keep it that way and still sound enough for a trouble free ride. The OEM ones were soundly trashed by previous owners or shops.

I know where to get good cotters at Bikesmith Design, they make ones that fit like original with strong 7mm threaded stems; way better than the cheaper pressed ones that dominate the aftermarket.

markk900 12-12-21 02:11 PM

The Bikesmith web site says he hasn't got any that accept the R nut....

Greg R 12-12-21 02:52 PM

True, just that the stronger ones use the 7mm stub. The main point of his are the correct diameter with an accurate taper.

Salubrious 12-13-21 11:19 AM


Originally Posted by Greg R (Post 22337761)
True, just that the stronger ones use the 7mm stub. The main point of his are the correct diameter with an accurate taper.

With any cotter pin you should expect to do some filing of the ramp on the cotter to achieve the correct angle of 180 degrees apart of the crank arms.

rustymetal 12-13-21 05:42 PM


Originally Posted by Salubrious (Post 22338606)
With any cotter pin you should expect to do some filing of the ramp on the cotter to achieve the correct angle of 180 degrees apart of the crank arms.

Wouldn't the cranks automatically fall at 180 if the cotters were installed in the correct opposing directions if both cotters were the same?
I've never had to file new cotters to get the cranks to fall in place at 180. I was taught years ago when working in a bike shop in the 70's to install each cotter with the flat facing the direction of drive, or with the respective crank facing forward, the but end of the cotter should be showing. This achieves three things, first it puts the max load of the pedaling force against the widest part of the cotter flats, second it insures that both arms end up in the right position in relationship to one another, and third, the butt end of the cotter is less likely to catch the riders pant leg while pedaling.

In those days more than half the bikes we saw had cottered cranks, there was a VAR cotter press hanging by every bike stand. Back then that shop was selling Raleigh, Peugeot, Nishiki, and Astra, Plus they had just about all the American brands except Schwinn at that time. 90% of the imports all used cottered cranks. For some reason the cotters on the Raleigh and Peugeot bikes were the toughest to remove. Particularly the older Raleigh bikes. I worked there off an on seasonally for four or five years, I started out assembling new bikes and ended up being the guy who did all the major service work and most of the wheel building. I loved working there but life dictated I needed to find a job that paid more than a couple bucks an hour.

Velo Mule 12-13-21 06:11 PM


Originally Posted by clubman (Post 22336049)
Pretty sure there are but we're adept at inserting ourselves in a variety of threads already.

One on my fave CCM 3 speeds but sold to another. BTW we used to have sub groups, IGH and regional but they escaped my cursory search.


https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...01ada754d2.jpg

I like it. It seem like a bit of mix between a English and American with the two bar frame, truss forks and the cross piece on the handlebars. I know those seats don't have much padding and can be uncomfortable. It has plenty of springs to soften the bumps. It looks like it could have been original. I also like the steel piece on the seat right where the leather or Naugahyde would wear or tear.

Greg R 12-13-21 06:38 PM


With any cotter pin you should expect to do some filing of the ramp on the cotter to achieve the correct angle of 180 degrees apart of the crank arms.
I don't think it's so much the "phasing" of the crank arms as it is to get an accurate tapered fitment along with proper installation. Unless there's even contact across the taper there'll be some yielding and creep that leads to wear and looseness. I found this out the hard way with my 1st cottered crank and daily use many moons ago.

barnfind 12-13-21 09:19 PM


Originally Posted by Greg R (Post 22339184)
I don't think it's so much the "phasing" of the crank arms as it is to get an accurate tapered fitment along with proper installation. Unless there's even contact across the taper there'll be some yielding and creep that leads to wear and looseness. I found this out the hard way with my 1st cottered crank and daily use many moons ago.

When using a good cotter press, the softer pin should easily conform to the crank and crank axle flat. If installed properly with a bit of lube and a fresh cotter pin, there should be no work loosening of the pin but a re-torque or simple check of the nut would be considered due diligence.
I can only see the need to file the pin if using a used or damaged pin, where in that case the right fix is likely to simply replace the pin.

The whole design of the pinned crank arm makes for a very solid and rigid connection when all parts fit property and when parts are properly installed. The cotter effectively fills the void near completely making the joint act as one. The resulting joint between the hardened crank axle and the somewhat hardened crank arm via a soft cotter pin is likely more rigid than a one piece American crank arm which were mostly made from malleable iron or steel. I've seen far more bent one piece cranks than I have bent English three piece cranks. The only bent Raleigh arms I've run across were all the result of an accident not rider applied force. I've also never seen a crank cotter shear or give way.

anotherbike 12-13-21 09:38 PM

Would anyone rebuild a bike and put an SW hub back in it?
I have a late 50's Hercules that's been sitting in the shed waiting for me to get around to it or for a good set of wheels.
I found a set of clean Dunlop Endrick rims and was looking for a late 50's dated hub.
I was told the bike originally had an SW hub, but it got sold off with the wheel set by the second owner.
I spotted a super clean properly dated SA SW on ebay today, and the same seller also has a Hercules SW shell that may also be
an option if I want this to be all Hercules.Sturmey Archer SW - 3 Speed Hub - 40h - 57-3 and Hercules SW Hub Shell
I was thinking that if I buy both, I could swap the internals over to the Hercules shell and have a correct hub for my bike?
I seem to recall owning a bike with an SW a long time ago and never had any issues with it up until I broke the axle but
that was likely my fault not the fault of the hub. (I had a cast iron transmission strapped to the rear rack that I had bought for my pickup at a local junk yard, between the weight of the tranmission and my 350 lbs it was likely more than the hollow axle could stand, and the fact that it wasn't the first time I grossly overloaded the bike like that).

Does anyone still ride one of these SW hubs?
I do remember keeping a bag of spare dogs around but don't ever remember needing to change them.
I replaced the axle in that old bike, gave it a new set of dogs, and kept using it till the frame rusted out where the kickstand bolted on. It hung in the garage at my parents place for decades after that.
I wish I knew what ever happened to that bike, or many other's I owned back then.

anotherbike 12-13-21 09:58 PM


Originally Posted by clubman (Post 22336049)
Pretty sure there are but we're adept at inserting ourselves in a variety of threads already.

One on my fave CCM 3 speeds but sold to another. BTW we used to have sub groups, IGH and regional but they escaped my cursory search.


https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...01ada754d2.jpg

I can't say I've ever run across a CCM down here but your bike reminds me of an old Rollfast that belonged to my father when I was a kid. He had bought the bike used in the early 1940's and still had it well into the 70's. I wish I knew what ever happened to it. I think he stopped riding it when single tube tires became impossible to find. The last i remember seeing that bike it had a handful of rusted off spokes, two petrified tires that would no longer hold air, and the saddle had all but fallen apart. It was hanging in his tool shed outback. When I moved back here 30 years later it and the shed were gone.
If I remember right it may also have had wood rims. When he hung it up, he dug out an old Balloon tire bike that belonged to his brother and started to ride that instead. I still have that bike.
The Rollfast wasn't a three speed though, just a standard coaster brake.

rootesgroup 12-13-21 10:03 PM

I find the internally geared rear hubs to be a great work of engineering. I am in awe of what they are able to do in such a small space, even in the modern-day incarnations of these hubs. If your riding demands fit the use of one of these hubs (and mine do) then they are a good option to consider. As for the Sturmey-Archer hubs, consider this...
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...19b61acf10.jpg
I rode them as a child and I ride them now. Since they are not rare at all I find it pretty easy to find a parts bike for less than $50, giving me all the parts I need and then some [extras]. I just have to be patient and ignore all the people that pull an old English bike from a barn and think they have found something "rare" and want hundreds for it without doing any work.

oldspokes 12-14-21 03:32 AM


Originally Posted by anotherbike (Post 22339335)
Would anyone rebuild a bike and put an SW hub back in it?
I have a late 50's Hercules that's been sitting in the shed waiting for me to get around to it or for a good set of wheels.
I found a set of clean Dunlop Endrick rims and was looking for a late 50's dated hub.
I was told the bike originally had an SW hub, but it got sold off with the wheel set by the second owner.
I spotted a super clean properly dated SA SW on ebay today, and the same seller also has a Hercules SW shell that may also be
an option if I want this to be all Hercules.Sturmey Archer SW - 3 Speed Hub - 40h - 57-3 and Hercules SW Hub Shell
I was thinking that if I buy both, I could swap the internals over to the Hercules shell and have a correct hub for my bike?
I seem to recall owning a bike with an SW a long time ago and never had any issues with it up until I broke the axle but
that was likely my fault not the fault of the hub. (I had a cast iron transmission strapped to the rear rack that I had bought for my pickup at a local junk yard, between the weight of the tranmission and my 350 lbs it was likely more than the hollow axle could stand, and the fact that it wasn't the first time I grossly overloaded the bike like that).

Does anyone still ride one of these SW hubs?
I do remember keeping a bag of spare dogs around but don't ever remember needing to change them.
I replaced the axle in that old bike, gave it a new set of dogs, and kept using it till the frame rusted out where the kickstand bolted on. It hung in the garage at my parents place for decades after that.
I wish I knew what ever happened to that bike, or many other's I owned back then.


Years ago I bought a pair of pretty rough looking old bikes at a local fleamarket. They were complete but neglected, but not rusty and not bent. I think I gave $20 for the pair at the time. One was a Hercules, with a hub dated 56-6, the other a Norman, with a hub date of 58-3. Both had SW hubs, and at the time I really hadn't messed around much with the SW hubs. I had a few here and there, they worked and they got sold, but at the time I bought this pair I was looking for both a winter project, since the job I had at the time gave me a good bit of time off in the winter, and I wanted a pair of bikes to use around town there. The Hercules was the better of the two bikes, it had better paint and better wheels and tires, but the hub had issues. It was fine in first and second most of the time but it would on occasion slip in third, and sometimes it would neutral out after a downshift and do nothing till you stopped completely. The Norman was rougher with badly faded paint and a stuck seat post. But it shifted just fine. I pumped up its tires, ended up patching the one tube and was otherwise able to get everything working. The stuck seat post was in a good position for me so i never messed with it.
I used the Norman as found for two years without any issues, the hub shifted fine, and it pedaled and rolled well. The third winter I decided to tear into the better looking Hercules that had been hanging in the garage now for two years. I tore the whole bike down, and pretty much found that some one had previously taking it all apart and re-greased everything with white lithium grease, which by that point had turned to stone. After chipping away the grease and pretty much cleaning every moving part with steel wool and gasoline, I got to the rear hub. After a long fight, i got the hub open, and that too had been pumped full of white grease. They must have taken a grease needle and filled the rear hub completely. I'm surprised the wheel even turned with how the grease hand set up like plaster.
I took my time and soaked and cleaned out every bit of that mess, put the hub back together, this time adding only about a tablespoon or so of some very light oil, it too was up and working. Once that bike was all done i did the Norman, but the Norman wasn't as lucky, when I got that bike apart, it had the opposite problem, there was no lube left anywhere. The crank axle and cups were shot, the wheel bearings were pitted, and the rear hub was a complete mess. I finally hunted down a parts hub and rebuilt what was left of the Hercules hub back to original, I found a local dealer that had a BB set, and I ended up swapping out the front hub for an older hub I got from a junk Raleigh wheel. After that both bikes were 100%. I rode the Norman the most since it had the taller frame, and the Hercules became my loaner. I had the Norman for the duration of my time at that house, it got passed along to the new owners since the buyer really liked the bike and for me it was one less thing to move. The Hercules disappeared one weekend, a lady friend had brought her two nephews for the weekend and one of the kids was riding the Hercules and had come home without. All i got was that he left it at some kids house and would get it back the next day, a week later I got the bike back, it looked like it went through a tornado when he brought it back, it was so bad I wasn't sure it was the same bike. One brake cable was gone, the rear rim was missing three spokes, and the seat was falling apart. A week later it wouldn't shift and one pedal seized up. I later found out they were riding down at the lake and one of them rode the bike off the sliding board into the lake, they were waiting for the other kids brother, who was a diver, to retrieve the bike. By the time it seized up, it had sat for several weeks full of water. I pulled the back wheel, opened up the hub and found it full of water and rust. The pawls were shattered, the planetary gears were seized on the posts, and the ring gear was solid rust. I ended up having to soak the parts in hot oil to free up the planetary gears. After replacing all six dogs and some fresh oil it was back to normal after some new spokes. I replaced both pedals, and tore down the rest of the bike and re-lubed everything. The paint polished up okay but it was never 'nice' again. But the hub was trouble free for as long as i had that bike after that. I and another lady friend used those two bikes on vacation one year not too long after that too. If i remember correctly I think i gave the Hercules to her dad to use not too long after that trip.

The SW is a good hub if kept clean and used as it was meant to be used. its not as tolerant as the AW to abuse or neglect but if maintained I think they're just fine.
I also seem to remember that the SW may have had a taller 3rd and maybe a lower 1st gear, they definitely felt different riding them. Since that area was quite hilly, I really noticed the lower first gear on my SW equipped bikes.
I don't know if I'd particularly chase after bike with an SW hub, not any more than i would one with an AW hub, but I certainly wouldn't removed one unless I didn't have any other option at hand. If you have the means, and want to keep the bike 100% original then the SW hub is your right choice. If I do have to replace a hub, i do try to at least match the date of the hub with the year of the bike if I can. Clean versions of many of the older hubs are getting hard to come buy these days, and most of the bikes i find now are pretty rough. That hub in your link looks really clean, as does the Hercules shell.
You also would also be able to sell off the unused SA shell once you made the swap, I'm sure there's someone out there looking to upgrade a rusty SW.

JohnDThompson 12-14-21 07:12 AM


Originally Posted by oldspokes (Post 22339463)
The SW is a good hub if kept clean and used as it was meant to be used. its not as tolerant as the AW to abuse or neglect but if maintained I think they're just fine.

My experience with the SW hub is that it doesn't like cold weather. The springless pawls take longer to engage than the sprung pawls on other hubs even at the best of times; when it gets cold, you can go one or more complete crank rotations before they engage.

On the plus side, the SW has fewer parts than the AW and is dead-easy to overhaul.


I also seem to remember that the SW may have had a taller 3rd and maybe a lower 1st gear, they definitely felt different riding them. Since that area was quite hilly, I really noticed the lower first gear on my SW equipped bikes.
Yes, the SW has a both a lower low gear and a higher high gear than the AW hub. The AW hub has ratios of 0.75/1.0/1.33, while the SW hub has 0.72/1.0/1.38

SirMike1983 12-14-21 08:09 AM


Originally Posted by anotherbike (Post 22339335)
Would anyone rebuild a bike and put an SW hub back in it?
I have a late 50's Hercules that's been sitting in the shed waiting for me to get around to it or for a good set of wheels.
I found a set of clean Dunlop Endrick rims and was looking for a late 50's dated hub.
I was told the bike originally had an SW hub, but it got sold off with the wheel set by the second owner.
I spotted a super clean properly dated SA SW on ebay today, and the same seller also has a Hercules SW shell that may also be
an option if I want this to be all Hercules.Sturmey Archer SW - 3 Speed Hub - 40h - 57-3 and Hercules SW Hub Shell
I was thinking that if I buy both, I could swap the internals over to the Hercules shell and have a correct hub for my bike?
I seem to recall owning a bike with an SW a long time ago and never had any issues with it up until I broke the axle but
that was likely my fault not the fault of the hub. (I had a cast iron transmission strapped to the rear rack that I had bought for my pickup at a local junk yard, between the weight of the tranmission and my 350 lbs it was likely more than the hollow axle could stand, and the fact that it wasn't the first time I grossly overloaded the bike like that).

Does anyone still ride one of these SW hubs?
I do remember keeping a bag of spare dogs around but don't ever remember needing to change them.
I replaced the axle in that old bike, gave it a new set of dogs, and kept using it till the frame rusted out where the kickstand bolted on. It hung in the garage at my parents place for decades after that.
I wish I knew what ever happened to that bike, or many other's I owned back then.

I have a low-mileage 1958 Raleigh Sports that originally came with an SW hub. I believe it was the "updated" SW hub, as there were a couple versions with internal changes as Sturmey tried to make them more reliable. I gave the hub a going-over and tried it with a couple different oils, but it never worked quite right. It always tended to skip, quite a lot in low gear. It did a little better with thinner oil and warmer weather. Anything heavier than 20-weight machine oil caused it to just never engage in low gear. Cold weather also caused it to skip even more. It was never anywhere close to reliable for me.

These issues more than offset for the small size, relatively light weight, and quiet operation of the hub. It's a shame because it was a quiet, smooth-coasting hub. But the pawls never seemed to be reliable in catching the way they are in a properly maintained AW hub.

I ultimately dumped the SW in favor of an FW four speed. The cross-four lacing pattern allowed reuse of the original spokes (40 cross four wheel).


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