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

Ged117 11-22-19 09:36 AM


Originally Posted by gster (Post 21218944)
Something Different
I swapped a pair of EA1 rims onto an 50's BSA.

The hub was missing an oil port so I went down to the local co op and found this...

A 1956 SW hub.

I don't know too much about them except that they're somewhat rare not well liked.
The indicator chain connects to a rod that extends out the other side.
Does anybody know the purpose of this?
It's a bit like an S5 hub....

That is just the same as my 1956 ladies Sports' SW hub. The two piece indicator rod. I'm going to rebuild the hub and see if it'll work well. Yours looks to be in good shape. As a matter of fact, they were made in the same month!

Here's mine:

https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...6785a23cdb.jpg

My 1947 dynohub find and your SW find prove that cool old stuff is still hiding at co-ops. What will you do with it?

I have a 32h '47 dynohub with the black bakelite covering, and a 36h '62 dynohub all chrome. I'm trying to figure out which one to build into a new set of Velocity Dyad wheels to go on my red Peugeot AO8 and a new B&M dynamo light set. I intended to use the 32h dynohub for the ladies '56 Sports in a new front 32h CR18 wheel with an old sturmey light set, and keep the 36h for the new Dyad wheel. The black bakelite centre would look so cool on my red Peugeot though. I think it makes more sense to have a 36h wheel up front for a tough commuter / all-rounder bike.

gster 11-22-19 04:19 PM


Originally Posted by Ged117 (Post 21219079)
That is just the same as my 1956 ladies Sports' SW hub. The two piece indicator rod. I'm going to rebuild the hub and see if it'll work well. Yours looks to be in good shape. As a matter of fact, they were made in the same month!

Here's mine:

https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...6785a23cdb.jpg

My 1947 dynohub find and your SW find prove that cool old stuff is still hiding at co-ops. What will you do with it?

I have a 32h '47 dynohub with the black bakelite covering, and a 36h '62 dynohub all chrome. I'm trying to figure out which one to build into a new set of Velocity Dyad wheels to go on my red Peugeot AO8 and a new B&M dynamo light set. I intended to use the 32h dynohub for the ladies '56 Sports in a new front 32h CR18 wheel with an old sturmey light set, and keep the 36h for the new Dyad wheel. The black bakelite centre would look so cool on my red Peugeot though. I think it makes more sense to have a 36h wheel up front for a tough commuter / all-rounder bike.

Hopefully, October 1956 was a good month!

gster 11-23-19 06:46 AM

https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...f0bec83a80.jpg

JohnDThompson 11-23-19 07:56 AM


Originally Posted by gster (Post 21218944)
I don't know too much about them [SW hubs] except that they're somewhat rare not well liked.

The biggest complaint is that the springless pawls engage unreliably.


The indicator chain connects to a rod that extends out the other side. Does anybody know the purpose of this?
I'm not sure of SA's rationale for this design, but I do see it as an advantage. The more common AW hub has a reputation for reliability, but one of the common failure points is stripping the axle key into which the indicator rod threads. Replacing the axle key requires opening the hub. The two-piece rod eliminates this problem, as the axle key is unthreaded and trapped between the two pieces of the indicator rod. If one or the other piece gets stripped, they can be removed and replaced without opening the hub.

gster 11-23-19 08:44 AM


Originally Posted by JohnDThompson (Post 21220284)
The biggest complaint is that the springless pawls engage unreliably.



I'm not sure of SA's rationale for this design, but I do see it as an advantage. The more common AW hub has a reputation for reliability, but one of the common failure points is stripping the axle key into which the indicator rod threads. Replacing the axle key requires opening the hub. The two-piece rod eliminates this problem, as the axle key is unthreaded and trapped between the two pieces of the indicator rod. If one or the other piece gets stripped, they can be removed and replaced without opening the hub.

Good points.
The S/A literature at the time promotes fewer parts as an advantage (their advantage)
I've never had a stripped axle key but did have one shatter as I was running/testing the hub
without the indicator in place. Lesson learned.
This SW is a 40h and shows minimal signs of use.
I suspect it was removed early and replaced with an AW...

PeterLYoung 11-23-19 09:00 AM


Originally Posted by JohnDThompson (Post 21220284)
The biggest complaint is that the springless pawls engage unreliably.



I'm not sure of SA's rationale for this design, but I do see it as an advantage. The more common AW hub has a reputation for reliability, but one of the common failure points is stripping the axle key into which the indicator rod threads. Replacing the axle key requires opening the hub. The two-piece rod eliminates this problem, as the axle key is unthreaded and trapped between the two pieces of the indicator rod. If one or the other piece gets stripped, they can be removed and replaced without opening the hub.

The attachment below shows how to adjust the 3 Speed Hub with LH Indicator Rod.https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...fa10750f37.png
SA Technical Paper Extract Ref Indicator Rod Adjustment

paulb_in_bkln 11-23-19 10:10 AM

What does anyone think about building up a bike for hard, fast riding using an old FW hub?

jackbombay 11-23-19 10:31 AM


Originally Posted by paulb_in_bkln (Post 21220410)
What does anyone think about building up a bike for hard, fast riding using an old FW hub?


Back in 1939 Tommy Godwin set the record for most miles ridden in a year and for the second half of that year he was running a sturmey 4 speed, he did ride 75,000 miles that year.


I have an S5 in a bike that I smash on pretty hard, I also had an AW in that bike and rode a hilly century on it at 16+ MPH...

IMO sturmeys can easily handle anything a normal human can throw at them.

curbtender 11-23-19 10:44 AM


Originally Posted by jackbombay (Post 21220430)
Back in 1939 Tommy Godwin set the record for most miles ridden in a year and for the second half of that year he was running a sturmey 4 speed, he did ride 75,000 miles that year.


I have an S5 in a bike that I smash on pretty hard, I also had an AW in that bike and rode a hilly century on it at 16+ MPH...

IMO sturmeys can easily handle anything a normal human can throw at them.

75,000? That would be a lot of tires.

jackbombay 11-23-19 11:01 AM


Originally Posted by curbtender (Post 21220451)
75,000? That would be a lot of tires.

Right?!?!?

The guy was surely made of nails and train tracks.

His record was recently beaten, 80 years later, but it was by someone riding in circles around their house on asphalt.

Tommy Godwin | Long Distance Legend

sykerocker 11-23-19 11:13 AM


Originally Posted by PeterLYoung (Post 21213981)
I think this is the model I have bought, which indicates it was produced both before and after the war with little change. Mine is more like the 1939 version but with BSA 3 Speed, it has the same handlebars as shown in 1939 literature. I think BSA bought Sunbeam from AMC in 1939 or thereabouts. by the time of the 1951 catalogue they were making changes such as the straighter handlebars. So I need a BSA 'Snap Control' to replace the SA Trigger.

BSA (later BSA/Triumph) bought the Sunbeam name from AMC in 1943, also produced motorcycles (the S7 and S8) postwar until 1956. The motorcycles left a bit to be desired, and are usually considered in retrospect as the first signs of weakness and impending disaster in the British motorcycle industry. The bicycles continued to have a good reputation, as they should seeing there was very little change from the pre-war models, and were produced until 1957, at which I assume the Sunbeam marque was discontinued completely.

sykerocker 11-23-19 11:23 AM

Unfortunately, I must inject a bit of bad news into this thread. For those who haven't followed my thread on the subject, my garage/bicycle shop burned to the ground two weeks ago. All tools and a 15 year parts collection were lost. And, most unfortunately, the 1935 Armstrong Ladies Roadster I was working on was in the garage when it burned. I'd been restoring it for a WWII British Women's Land Army impression, and had the misfortune to put it in the garage that Monday afternoon with the intention of working on it the following rainy Tuesday.

I haven't tossed it, despite the twisting in the frame from the heat, intending to at least pull the components, media blast them once I have the shop rebuilt, and re-chrome if necessary. I'm also to going to save the SA hub, as pre-war hubs aren't exactly common. And I've got a bag of additional part (my Tuesday project) sitting in the house.

https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...d3682add1.jpeg
https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...70ffb04bc.jpeg
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...1eb43ee81.jpeg
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...2e83d7f31.jpeg
https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...267c25566.jpeg
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...a73b230fd.jpeg

PeterLYoung 11-23-19 12:02 PM


Originally Posted by sykerocker (Post 21220477)
BSA (later BSA/Triumph) bought the Sunbeam name from AMC in 1943, also produced motorcycles (the S7 and S8) postwar until 1956. The motorcycles left a bit to be desired, and are usually considered in retrospect as the first signs of weakness and impending disaster in the British motorcycle industry. The bicycles continued to have a good reputation, as they should seeing there was very little change from the pre-war models, and were produced until 1957, at which I assume the Sunbeam marque was discontinued completely.

I have a Wartime Finish Sunbeam produced after BSA took over Sunbeam, no chromium all in black paint single coat, it is covered in surface rust and needs full restoration but is a nice original bike. Yes Sunbeam was in decline on all fronts and the S7 Motor Cycle was a failure, due to insufficient development, the S8 was an improvement and did sell more bikes but not enough to save Sunbeam. They did in 1959 launch a BSA/Sunbeam Motor Scooter in two versions, a 175cc two stroke and a 250cc four stroke but the market was already sown up by Vespa and Lambretta whose machines have cult status and you see gangs of old geezers still riding them today re living their youth. The BSA Sunbeam Scooter lasted until 1964 when they were discontinued. The Sunbeam bicycles were discontinued in 1957 when Raleigh took over BSA though they did later use the Sunbeam name on various children's bicycles, a sad end for a great marque.

I was sorry to read of the loss of your collection due to a fire in your workshop, a great loss and very upsetting. I know how it would affect me so my thoughts are with you. I hope you can salvage something and rebuild your workshop and collection, regarding the Armstrong frame, it might be worth getting a good frame builder to look at it, some are very clever and may consider it worthwhile to attempt to straighten and re align the frame, I have had frames straightened though admittedly nowhere near as bad but they can put it in a jig and may be able to reform the tubes. Bike restoration is a very worthwhile enterprise especially as our successors may have to resort to the bicycle as the only means of transport in the future. My best wishes to you on this.
Best regards
Peter Young

PeterLYoung 11-23-19 12:20 PM


Originally Posted by gster (Post 21218944)
Something Different
I swapped a pair of EA1 rims onto an 50's BSA.
https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...11b124c376.jpg
The hub was missing an oil port so I went down to the local co op and found this...
https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...91b88faadb.jpg
A 1956 SW hub.
https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...7dd6916457.jpg
I don't know too much about them except that they're somewhat rare not well liked.
The indicator chain connects to a rod that extends out the other side.
Does anybody know the purpose of this?
It's a bit like an S5 hub....

I have a 1957 Philips 'step thru' with the SW 3 Speed hub, I stripped and rebuilt the hub along with a second one as a spare as part of the rebuild of the bike (posted earlier in this thread). I found the hub to work very well as when I am in USA I ride it a lot and todate it has never slipped, it is a silent hub (pedalling or freewheeling) which is a bit of a novelty. It needs to be lubricated with a thin oil such as Transmission Fluid otherwise the unsprung pawls can tend to stick, also parking the bicycle on its flip down stand allows the oil to drift to the 'non drive' side of the hub reducing lubrication to the drive side. It needs to be used sympathetically. If one bears these points in mind the hub should give many years trouble free service. I have posted how to adjust the indicator rod in this thread with an extract from an SA Technical Manual.

gster 11-23-19 12:21 PM


Originally Posted by PeterLYoung (Post 21220352)
The attachment below shows how to adjust the 3 Speed Hub with LH Indicator Rod.https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...fa10750f37.png
SA Technical Paper Extract Ref Indicator Rod Adjustment

That makes sense.

gster 11-23-19 12:28 PM


Originally Posted by sykerocker (Post 21220488)
Unfortunately, I must inject a bit of bad news into this thread. For those who haven't followed my thread on the subject, my garage/bicycle shop burned to the ground two weeks ago. All tools and a 15 year parts collection were lost. And, most unfortunately, the 1935 Armstrong Ladies Roadster I was working on was in the garage when it burned. I'd been restoring it for a WWII British Women's Land Army impression, and had the misfortune to put it in the garage that Monday afternoon with the intention of working on it the following rainy Tuesday.

I haven't tossed it, despite the twisting in the frame from the heat, intending to at least pull the components, media blast them once I have the shop rebuilt, and re-chrome if necessary. I'm also to going to save the SA hub, as pre-war hubs aren't exactly common. And I've got a bag of additional part (my Tuesday project) sitting in the house.

https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...d3682add1.jpeg
https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...70ffb04bc.jpeg
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...1eb43ee81.jpeg
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...2e83d7f31.jpeg
https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...267c25566.jpeg
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...a73b230fd.jpeg

That's a terrible turn of events.

paulb_in_bkln 11-23-19 12:50 PM


Originally Posted by sykerocker (Post 21220488)
Unfortunately, I must inject a bit of bad news into this thread. For those who haven't followed my thread on the subject, my garage/bicycle shop burned to the ground two weeks ago. All tools and a 15 year parts collection were lost. And, most unfortunately, the 1935 Armstrong Ladies Roadster I was working on was in the garage when it burned. I'd been restoring it for a WWII British Women's Land Army impression, and had the misfortune to put it in the garage that Monday afternoon with the intention of working on it the following rainy Tuesday.

I haven't tossed it, despite the twisting in the frame from the heat, intending to at least pull the components, media blast them once I have the shop rebuilt, and re-chrome if necessary. I'm also to going to save the SA hub, as pre-war hubs aren't exactly common. And I've got a bag of additional part (my Tuesday project) sitting in the house.

Horrible. But, you know, it's only stuff.

paulb_in_bkln 11-23-19 12:52 PM


Originally Posted by jackbombay (Post 21220430)
Back in 1939 Tommy Godwin set the record for most miles ridden in a year and for the second half of that year he was running a sturmey 4 speed, he did ride 75,000 miles that year.


I have an S5 in a bike that I smash on pretty hard, I also had an AW in that bike and rode a hilly century on it at 16+ MPH...

IMO sturmeys can easily handle anything a normal human can throw at them.

Yeah, I was thinking it's a perfectly ok idea.

gster 11-24-19 06:57 AM

For the Detectives
George at Parts Unknown has these two vintage English bikes at his shop.
https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...e08c182177.jpg
They both have "Made in England" stamped on the handle bars.
There are no other markings/decals left.
He thinks the headbadge says "Windsor"
https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...bd5cb4e7ba.jpg
Both are coasters.

oldroads 11-24-19 08:02 AM


Originally Posted by gster (Post 21221214)
For the Detectives
George at Parts Unknown has these two vintage English bikes at his shop.

They both have "Made in England" stamped on the handle bars.
There are no other markings/decals left.
He thinks the headbadge says "Windsor"

Both are coasters.


The camelback frame is similar to a Raleigh Colt.
I recognize both chainrings but at the moment can't remember what the the one on the right is.

The chainring one on the left is more common.

gster 11-24-19 08:06 AM


Originally Posted by oldroads (Post 21221276)
The camelback frame is similar to a Raleigh Colt.
I recognize both chainrings but at the moment can't remember what the the one on the right is.

The chainring one on the left is more common.

Both are large 24" frames

clubman 11-24-19 08:21 AM

Looks like a couple of Birmingham Hercules.

gster 11-24-19 09:33 AM

My Saddle Soars.....
https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...3c4f119730.jpg
I know Proofhide is the recommended treatment for leather saddles but
it's an expensive/small container.
I've been using mink oil from the shoe store @ $6.00 a tub and seems to work fine.
https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...1589736aaf.jpg

paulb_in_bkln 11-24-19 10:28 AM


Originally Posted by gster (Post 21221347)
My Saddle Soars.....

I know Proofhide is the recommended treatment for leather saddles but
it's an expensive/small container.
I've been using mink oil from the shoe store @ $6.00 a tub and seems to work fine.

It seems to me oil could make the leather too soft so I would use very sparingly. For a Proofide alternative, how about Sno-seal? Waxy, not oily.

blackbomber 11-24-19 10:43 AM


Originally Posted by paulb_in_bkln (Post 21221394)
It seems to me oil could make the leather too soft so I would use very sparingly. For a Proofide alternative, how about Sno-seal? Waxy, not oily.

Good suggestion! I have some, but never thought of this. Thank you.


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