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

Cyclespanner 10-27-23 01:47 PM

It wasn't my intention to be contentious.

This thread has a substantial number of devotees to rod braked machines.

Years ago I worked in a museum. The one, elderly security guard had just bought such a machine, new and asked me to see if I could get his brakes working.
The short answer is, after many unsuccessful attempts I came to the conclusion that Raleigh never intended the brakes to work at all!

So, I see there's room for all sorts of preferences and opinions here.
Being English and a Yorkshireman to boot, I see no reason to add a little levity now and again.
I certainly have no truck with conservative un-imaginitive ideology.

PhilFo 10-27-23 02:00 PM

After all, brakes only make a rider go slow. Who wants to do that? ;)

nlerner 10-27-23 02:47 PM

It took just one or two urban commutes on a Raleigh DL-1 for me to realize that the braking abilities of that bike were not at all compatible with urban commutes.

Cyclespanner 10-27-23 03:32 PM


Originally Posted by PhilFo (Post 23054142)
After all, brakes only make a rider go slow. Who wants to do that? ;)

Yes....to paraphrase Mr Ferrari, ''I make my cars to go fast, not to stop!''

1989Pre 10-27-23 03:53 PM

A very nice, basic renewal of a Triumph, complete with a Sturmey Archer hub refurbish. (I played it at half speed, because the fast-forward bugs my eyes.)

Cyclespanner 10-29-23 02:06 PM

OK, 3 speedies, I have the opportunity to get hold of a 1955 S-A AW hub.
Assuming that is in good internal condition, would the guts of it transfer directly into a late (1991) Brit built example which doesn't have an oil port?

The reason why I ask is received opinion is the older generation of hubs were manufactured to higher standards.
If so, then would I expect improved feel and performance, if any?

Unca_Sam 10-29-23 02:35 PM


Originally Posted by Cyclespanner (Post 23055866)
OK, 3 speedies, I have the opportunity to get hold of a 1955 S-A AW hub.
Assuming that is in good internal condition, would the guts of it transfer directly into a late (1991) Brit built example which doesn't have an oil port?

The reason why I ask is received opinion is the older generation of hubs were manufactured to higher standards.
If so, then would I expect improved feel and performance, if any?

As reliable as the AW is, I would not expect a remarkable difference in performance. I'm sure you could transfer parts from a '55 into a hub made right up until 1980, but I've never seen a hub with a manufacture date later than 1982.
I doubt there is anything to gain from a guts swap, especially if the later hub isn't showing any signs of wear.

Cyclespanner 10-29-23 03:06 PM


Originally Posted by Unca_Sam (Post 23055889)
As reliable as the AW is, I would not expect a remarkable difference in performance. I'm sure you could transfer parts from a '55 into a hub made right up until 1980, but I've never seen a hub with a manufacture date later than 1982.
I doubt there is anything to gain from a guts swap, especially if the later hub isn't showing any signs of wear.

Thanks Unca.
My question was of the curious 'academic' kind.
I agree with your 'technical' assessment but I can assure you I do have a hub dated December 1991.

The Sturmey-Archer bible, 'The Hub of the Universe', by Tony Hadland & Alan Clarke, confirms on p134 that the final Brit production ended in 2001.
(A book that covers the entire history of Sturmey-Archer.....a weighty tome indeed.)

I'm waiting on a reply from the acknowledged expert on the subject, I'll let you know what his response will be.

markk900 10-29-23 05:12 PM

I am not said acknowledged expert, however I can share my experience. I was having trouble with my ‘49 dated AW jumping out of first gear; I replaced most of the parts related to that such as pawls, pins and springs. As an experiment I pulled the complete insides of an ‘83 dated AW and simply slid them into the ‘49 hub. Didn’t bother to go back as it completely resolved the issue….. so not sure the later hubs are really all that much worse than the “golden era”; mine is but one personal experience.

thumpism 10-29-23 05:31 PM

Very clean Sports for $40 in PA.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...78559165714866

https://scontent.fric1-1.fna.fbcdn.n...Lw&oe=65448073

Cyclespanner 10-29-23 05:43 PM


Originally Posted by markk900 (Post 23056037)
I am not said acknowledged expert, however I can share my experience. I was having trouble with my ‘49 dated AW jumping out of first gear; I replaced most of the parts related to that such as pawls, pins and springs. As an experiment I pulled the complete insides of an ‘83 dated AW and simply slid them into the ‘49 hub. Didn’t bother to go back as it completely resolved the issue….. so not sure the later hubs are really all that much worse than the “golden era”; mine is but one personal experience.

Pardon me, old chum, but the 'acknowledged expert' I was referring to is the above mentioned Tony Hadland.

Thank you for sharing the valuable fruits of your experience, which I'm pleased to hear. You did good by trying that experiment.
It's exactly the kind of feedback I am looking for.

It could very well expose the received wisdom 'myth' I was alluding to earlier, and in a roundabout way you did confirm the 'guts' of these hubs are indeed interchangeable.

Cyclespanner 10-29-23 05:47 PM


Originally Posted by thumpism (Post 23056046)

WOW! That's definitely worth $40 of anyone's money.

markk900 10-29-23 05:57 PM


Originally Posted by Cyclespanner (Post 23056059)
Pardon me, old chum, but the 'acknowledged expert' I was referring to is the above mentioned Tony Hadland.

Oh I knew that! Just having some fun.


Originally Posted by Cyclespanner (Post 23056059)
It could very well expose the received wisdom 'myth' I was alluding to earlier, and in a roundabout way you did confirm the 'guts' of these hubs are indeed interchangeable.

For sure lots of interchangeability, but also no doubt later tooling had become quite worn.So there could be newer hubs that were “less” than the old ones… whether that is noticeable in regular use I think is luck of the draw.

Cyclespanner 10-29-23 06:23 PM


Originally Posted by markk900 (Post 23056071)
Oh I knew that! Just having some fun.



For sure lots of interchangeability, but also no doubt later tooling had become quite worn.So there could be newer hubs that were “less” than the old ones… whether that is noticeable in regular use I think is luck of the draw.

You could well be correct, I don't doubt.
As with any mass produced component there is always a rogue to be found.
The (barely turned a wheel) 'Chiltern' I presented not so long ago is from 1991, costing me only £50.
Though I haven't had many opportunities to ride it, I must say I was immediately impressed how slick the gear change was. Remarkable, when you consider it had sat untouched at the rear of a garage all these years with no blemish to be found.

Rest assure, I'm attending to the various bearings, refreshing the lubrication and making the finer adjustments.

SirMike1983 10-30-23 10:11 AM

There were revisions to the AW over the years, and particularly so in the early 1950s. The larger the gap in time between hubs, the more likely you are to encounter differing parts. Fortunately, many of the wearing parts interchange still, and worst case, you can usually swap hub guts as a unit.

For the question about freewheeling between Low and Normal, there is a slight gap between L and N on the very old AW hubs (my experience is AWs made prior to 1952). This is in addition to the usual gap between N and H. But if you misadjust your cable just right, you'll find you'll get skipping between L and N on the really old AW hubs. All of my 1930s and 40s AWs have had this. It's not an issue if you adjust the cable correctly. Do not confuse this for an actual malfunctioning hub or bad parts. It's not a big gap, but if you just perfectly play with the cable, you'll find that tiny gap in the old hubs.

JaccoW 10-31-23 05:04 AM


Originally Posted by Unca_Sam (Post 23053965)
JaccoW , Without a front brake, you're losing over 50% of your ability to stop quickly in an emergency. I would be ok with that in a recreational bike, but not a bike I'd be mingling with traffic during a commute. I can't speak to how your commute looks in the Netherlands, but if I'm commuting in all weather with busses or cars, I don't want to be limited to skid distance for an emergency stop in adverse weather. Especially if you have to use modern recreational-grade tires.

I can see how that would be an issue in the US but proper bicycle infrastructure helps. The Netherlands is an exception here but I would estimate almost 50% or even more of all bikes in use only have a rear coaster brake and nothing else. Perks of being a fairly flat country I guess.
They are simply the most maintenance free brakes there are (by a long shot) and that works well for most Dutch people who treat their bike as simply a mode of transport.

This would be a commuter that mostly rides on separated bicycle paths, only interacting with cars and busses at intersections with clear design, signage and traffic lights. The tyres used are the Vredestein Dynamic City, which are 47-622 (28"X1.75") 950gram (2.09 lbs) behemoths of comfortable wide rubber.

That being said, for now I'm going to skip the 3-speed option in favour of simply the same period correct Torpedo hub and a new wheel build. Parts should be arriving tomorrow.
http://i.imgur.com/UiKONV0.jpg

Originally Posted by Cyclespanner (Post 23054019)
With all vehicles, the maximum deceleration possible is dictated by the ability of the tyre to retain reverse traction.
Not only is that compromised by whatever surface you may be on but also the sensitivity and skill of the operator.
Too much brake is worse than just enough.
A skidding wheel is no brake at all.

It's fairly easy to feather these so you're not jus skidding to a halt but I digress.

You might find this short video interesting by NotJustBikes:

P.s. I might one day build a Copenhagen-style commuter. When I was there last year most bikes seem to have a drum brake/roller brake up front and a 3/7/8-speed Shimano coaster brake in the rear. Could be ideal for most places.

Cyclespanner 10-31-23 05:22 AM

These days it is foolish to be riding a cycle without at least 2 functioning brakes. Even better with 3 options.

Even on dedicated cycle routes there's always some idiot capable of stepping unpredictably right into your path!

An old tandem trick was to mount 2 calipers on each wheel, for instance, one before the fork crown (as normal) but another behind the crown.
Only ever found one online photo of that set-up. I'd be interested in that as an experiment. Anyone got an example to share with us?

tcs 10-31-23 06:55 AM


... I've never seen a hub with a manufacture date later than 1982.
Someone posted this January 2000 one on Facebook:

https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...b259e71544.jpg



The Sturmey-Archer bible, 'The Hub of the Universe', by Tony Hadland & Alan Clarke, confirms on p134 that the final Brit production ended in 2001.


Any AW hubs offered after June, 2000 were assembled and completed in Taiwan, using English parts. (pg 292-297)

"Much factory 'work in progress' had been shipped to Taiwan, so some original type AW were made there but in silver painted hub shells because chrome plating was not available." - Alan Clarke

Mr. Clarke was the Sturmey-Archer engineer who made the call not to return the AW to production at SunRace, but carry on into the future with the AW-NIG.

SirMike1983 10-31-23 08:48 AM

Around here you need two working brakes. I wish we had flat, smooth roads and more bike-friendly roads, but we have what we have. We have roads and multi-use paths, each with their own issues.

On the roads, you have many large, fast-moving trucks and SUVs.

On the multi-use paths, you have pedestrians, dogs (off leash sometimes), baby carriages, etc. I live in a hilly area as well.

I'm stickler for checking my brake adjustment and wheel straightness because of these challenges. I get acceptable stopping power out of my brakes and steel rims, but it takes time and patience when doing the set up to get the most out of them. Even modern brakes of indifferent quality will stop faster than vintage brakes on steel rims that are properly set up. It is the nature of the technology.

I run 22-tooth rear cogs for the most part, due to the hills (we have plenty of those around here).

There is one fundamental truth of riding like this. That truth is that you can do everything right and still be killed or horribly maimed. You can ride with a flasher light, helmet, stay aware of cars/trucks, move to the right when they come through, etc. But if someone driving is on a cell phone, drunk, high, or even just stupid, you can still meet your end on the road here. I have somewhat accepted that truth and found that I still love riding.

Cyclespanner 10-31-23 12:32 PM

tcs, hi.
That hub looks to be chrome.....the silver painted ones had a matt eggshell finish, at least the ones illustrated on the official S-A website.

The book referred to is very informative, made somewhat dull by frequent repetition.
Because of that, I'm putting off a second read, but the quote you highlight is indeed conflicting with the one I alluded to. Well spotted.

1989Pre 10-31-23 01:03 PM

Not mine: '35 Rudge All Weather

https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...2bd62409dc.jpg

Cyclespanner 10-31-23 01:11 PM

1989Pre, that is one handsome scoot.
Tell me, have you had it from new?:roflmao:

Rudge were famous for their wheels for cycles, motorcycles and cars.
Often they had their own peculiarities building them (lacing patterns and offsets).
Do the cycle ones have such foibles?

1989Pre 10-31-23 03:55 PM


Originally Posted by Cyclespanner (Post 23057885)
1989Pre, that is one handsome scoot.
Tell me, have you had it from new?:roflmao:

Rudge were famous for their wheels for cycles, motorcycles and cars.
Often they had their own peculiarities building them (lacing patterns and offsets).
Do the cycle ones have such foibles?

Yeah, it is a very nice bike, but it is not mine. I didn't even take the photo.

Cyclespanner 10-31-23 04:01 PM

:popcorn

1989Pre 11-01-23 04:42 AM


Originally Posted by Cyclespanner (Post 23058075)
:popcorn

I am unfamiliar with that symbol. What is its meaning?


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