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

clubman 08-16-21 03:58 AM

[MENTION=530752]2fat2fly[/MENTION], I think the 50's were exactly when these were marketed. No date codes.

arty dave 08-16-21 04:49 AM

Yes to Shiney Things!

I like the sram 1/8" PC-1 nickel-plated chain for when I can't resurrect old chains. Cheap but strong, and the right vintage colour for us lot.

ConnoisseurEqua 08-16-21 11:41 AM


Originally Posted by gster (Post 22180601)
I'd suggest a soak in vinegar for the rust but not sure if it will affect the paint.

I have remembered that I used those two products years ago but forgot about them. In my cupboard.
Rather impressive results after few minutes of light rubbing with a cotton cloth.
I will apply later a second coat and finish with my Dremel to shine it.

It did not affect the paint at all. That was done 3 days ago and no changes.


https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...b7df80d923.png
Polished with Silvo
https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...0938286160.png
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...6e27051cc1.png
Great products forgotten in my cupboard

ConnoisseurEqua 08-16-21 12:05 PM

3-4 speed shifter and AW hub
 
Would it be possible to use a 3 speed shifter lever with a 3-4 speed hub until I find a proper 3-4?

Secondly, a friend gave me a rusted wheel, well the inside is, with an AW 3 speed hub. [10/79]
Whats the difference with an AG 3 speed?
Worth using instead of the AG?
The hub seems in good order.
The inside wheel is really rusted, but the outer reasonably ok. So I used some of the spokes.
Thanks


https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...06b9f8a1ed.png
https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...612cc821c4.png
Rigida Made in France 26 x1 3/8 Superchromix

oldspokes 08-16-21 12:52 PM


Originally Posted by 2fat2fly (Post 22186137)
Is there a way to tell what year an old Hercules hub is?
Spotted this on fleabay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/234141863570
I was wondering if it would be correct for a mid 50's Hercules or were these newer?
The bike I'm working on is old enough to have a BB oil port, and a Birmingham Head badge and fork.
Did the Hercules branded hubs have a date code? The only markings I see on the hub on ebay is a 'B Type 4'.
I wasn't sure if that gave the year or not?

I've seen both the AW and SW labeled Hercules like that. Rarely do they have date codes on the AW versions but I've seen dates on the SW hubs from the later 50's.
I think all the off brand hubs are kind of rare these days. That one looks pretty clean.

oldspokes 08-16-21 01:11 PM

I've got a couple of clean ladies 5 speed Sprites, (S5 hubs), in the garage. I had a guy here yesterday looking at a Super Tourer I was selling and he spotted the two Sprites.
He offered me $250 for each of the rear hubs. He doesn't want the whole bikes, just the hubs.
(I had bought the two Sprites about 12 years ago because they both had minty clean wheels on them, but I couldn't bring myself to strip them for the rims after seeing how clean they both were).
But his offer has got me thinking. I scertainly couldn't sell either one whole for that amount, I tried, and didn't get a single reply at $150 for them on CL and FB.

$500 in pocket is starting to sound tempting, plus I keep the bikes and could just swap the S5's out for a pair of AW hubs and they're still good to go, or just strip them down and use the wheels like I intended, and hang the rest on the wall. I ride the one off an on, its got a pair of saddle baskets and I tend to take that bike when I take my early morning ride around the neighborhood on trash day. I never really used the upper and lower gears, I just ride them as a three speed anyhow. I'd likely just ad a larger rear cog and call it a day. Both are converted to dual trigger shifters, they were like that when I got them.
I had saved them because they were both taller frame ladies bikes, both with Prestube racks, their original headlamps, and one with a Dynohub.
I guess in a way I was keeping them around for when I get too old to get on my standard frame bikes.
One of those racks would also look great on my 23" men's model, and their chrome bits would also be an upgrade.
How many would sell the S5 hubs? (I didn't realize they were worth so much either).

ConnoisseurEqua 08-16-21 01:43 PM

Spokes
 
Hi
I have a problem with my 40yo Raleighs.
2 spokes broke on both of them during the last few months.
Both have a hub with a Dyno 3 speed.
I tried to replace 3 of them when I realised that the 4th broke. I don't know when it did actually.
Is it ok to replace them with similar spokes taken from other wheel?
Well one.
They are not the same size by 1-2 mm, so I cut them.

I also notices that the wheel are not perfectly true [? ]. A bit of a spine curved. I noticed it while fixing the brakes pads.
I YouTubed them but the explanation is as clear as a muddy water to me.
If its bend to one side, screw the other side. Not really conclusive.
I tend to do everything on all my 3-4 speed bikes. More recently as I have more time on my hands.
Any ways to understand this jargon a bit more easily?
Thanks

theofam 08-16-21 04:02 PM

3-Speed English bikes are following me home at an alarming rate. I can't find any information on this forum about Alpha. But, I picked this up via CL this morning. A single-owner bike (I'm guessing the seller's dad passed away), the dad purchased this bike in 1962 in Pasadena, Calif. I'll clean it up, but the patina, including stickers and decals, will stay. If you know anything about Alpha bicycles (my GoogleFu didn't even come up with anything), please chime in.


https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...27be3c4fc4.jpg

https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...a8e7a49ef4.jpg

https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...2245252529.jpg
I love the old dealer sticker and registration sticker.

https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...f50dcdf65e.jpg
I'm also digging Alpha on the chainguard.

https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...a4677cbdc7.jpg
The rear and front hubs are heavily lubed. Check out the left chain stay. It has a lock on it. I can't get it to work yet. The ad said "solid tires." The wheels' Schraeder holes have no valve stems, but yet, something is in there. Can't figure out what dad put in there to make it rideable.

thumpism 08-16-21 05:57 PM


Originally Posted by theofam (Post 22187149)
The ad said "solid tires." The wheels' Schraeder holes have no valve stems, but yet, something is in there. Can't figure out what dad put in there to make it rideable.

Can't recall the name but I installed a few of those flatproof things in the late '70s; they're like thick butyl donuts. You might need to saw the tires off to remove them.

clubman 08-16-21 06:37 PM


Originally Posted by theofam (Post 22187149)
3-Speed English bikes are following me home at an alarming rate. I can't find any information on this forum about Alpha. But, I picked this up via CL this morning. A single-owner bike (I'm guessing the seller's dad passed away), the dad purchased this bike in 1962 in Pasadena, Calif. I'll clean it up, but the patina, including stickers and decals, will stay. If you know anything about Alpha bicycles (my GoogleFu didn't even come up with anything), please chime in.




I love the old dealer sticker and registration sticker. I'm also digging Alpha on the chainguard.

https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...a4677cbdc7.jpg
The rear and front hubs are heavily lubed. Check out the left chain stay. It has a lock on it. I can't get it to work yet. The ad said "solid tires." The wheels' Schraeder holes have no valve stems, but yet, something is in there. Can't figure out what dad put in there to make it rideable.

It's an interesting bike, maybe an amalgamation of Birmingham bikes being absorbed into the Borg of Nottingham around 1961. First thing I'd do is stop trying to tune it up and clean it top to toe. Show us the rear hub, clean! Wheel truing on these bikes is easy but still require a methodology to get there. Second is ditch the kickstand and chain stay lock until you know it won't rip your spokes out. That design never went far but you can keep it for later. Spoke reflectors etc. Lookds like a Raleigh chainguard but the mudguards are unusual. As I said, cool bike.

markk900 08-16-21 06:40 PM


Originally Posted by ConnoisseurEqua (Post 22186912)
I also notices that the wheel are not perfectly true [? ]. A bit of a spine curved. I noticed it while fixing the brakes pads.
I YouTubed them but the explanation is as clear as a muddy water to me.
If its bend to one side, screw the other side. Not really conclusive.
I tend to do everything on all my 3-4 speed bikes. More recently as I have more time on my hands.
Any ways to understand this jargon a bit more easily?
Thanks

it might help to visualize what is happening - if the rim is off centre to say the right, the spokes nearest the spot that go to the right should be loosened to push the rim back towards centre while the ones that go to the left need to be tightened to pull the rim over. This is from the perspective of looking at the wheel from directly above. You will see some spokes go to the right flange of the hub and alternate spokes go to the left.

the main thing is to “spread” your correction over say 6-8 spokes and only make very slight adjustments; the further from the centre of the trouble spot the less adjustment you make. I rarely twist more than 1/8 turn at a time at the worst spot; sometimes it’s just a slight twist.

if you proceed slowly and carefully you can get things pretty good. Also remember the whole wheel is a “system” so changes at one spot can affect others; so don’t just concentrate on the original trouble spot but check the whole wheel as you go. Have fun!

theofam 08-16-21 07:29 PM


Originally Posted by clubman (Post 22187357)
It's an interesting bike, maybe an amalgamation of Birmingham bikes being absorbed into the Borg of Nottingham around 1961. First thing I'd do is stop trying to tune it up and clean it top to toe. Show us the rear hub, clean! Wheel truing on these bikes is easy but still require a methodology to get there. Second is ditch the kickstand and chain stay lock until you know it won't rip your spokes out. That design never went far but you can keep it for later. Spoke reflectors etc. Lookds like a Raleigh chainguard but the mudguards are unusual. As I said, cool bike.

Roger that. I’ll get it clean first and report back. It’ll likely be a week or so, given other to do items.

Glad you think it’s cool! The CL pic wasn’t a good one. I just assumed it would be a Raleigh, but this Alpha angle, coupled with the lack of info on it, has me intrigued.

clubman 08-16-21 07:41 PM

Second glance, Raleigh mudguards. Paint and pinstripes are like Hercules. more input needed.

Maybe Austrian, don't recognize the rear mudguard stay bosses.

3speedslow 08-16-21 08:42 PM

Not Austrian. Nothing like the Austrian 3 speed I will start cleaning next month. Interesting machine for sure and yes, we need the rear hub cleaned up.

ConnoisseurEqua 08-17-21 07:53 AM


Originally Posted by markk900 (Post 22187363)
it might help to visualize what is happening - if the rim is off centre to say the right, the spokes nearest the spot that go to the right should be loosened to push the rim back towards centre while the ones that go to the left need to be tightened to pull the rim over. This is from the perspective of looking at the wheel from directly above. You will see some spokes go to the right flange of the hub and alternate spokes go to the left.

the main thing is to “spread” your correction over say 6-8 spokes and only make very slight adjustments; the further from the centre of the trouble spot the less adjustment you make. I rarely twist more than 1/8 turn at a time at the worst spot; sometimes it’s just a slight twist.

if you proceed slowly and carefully you can get things pretty good. Also remember the whole wheel is a “system” so changes at one spot can affect others; so don’t just concentrate on the original trouble spot but check the whole wheel as you go. Have fun!

That makes more sense to me.
I was turning at least half a turn. I would say that the gap increases at its max by 4-6mm.
I use this kind of wrench. [on 15]
I will study it and when perfectly understood, do my best to fix it. Thanks.

https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...edc21c752d.png
https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...7b4e1f3c73.png

markk900 08-17-21 08:14 AM

cornucopia72 : I should point out that if the rim is physically bent this may not solve the problem.

Also I use the same type of spoke wrench (for some reason almost always on 14). You might want to spray a small amount of lube into the spoke nipples in case they are a bit seized or you risk breaking a spike. And when you are done, if you made a largish adjustment (tightening) you need to check the end of the spoke is not above the top of the nipple when viewed from inside the rim. If so grind down the end so it cannot puncture the tube.

Unca_Sam 08-17-21 08:49 AM

I understand the desire to just fix it and go, but tightening and loosening spokes to correct lateral true ignores that the entire wheel, especially at that age, should be checked for radial true (the wheel is round), lateral true (the side of the rim exists in the same plane), and deviation from average spoke tension. Spoke tension determines spoke longevity, while the other two affect ride and braking.

On old wheels, I'll fix radial problems and then lateral problems, and then check dish (SA hubs are great because it's simple to center the rim between the lock nuts). Then I check my work with a tension gauge (you don't need one, just pluck a spoke with a pick or your thumbnail and match the tone around the wheel.) This last test finds me spokes that are doing more work than they should, or not enough, and lets me rationally spread the load in the direction it needs to go. It makes more sense if you do it enough times, but ultimately you'll have a 'musical' wheel, as the spokes are generally 'in tune'.
I'm not kidding, a bare rim can ring like a bell once done.

markk900 08-17-21 09:18 AM

Unca_Sam : agree but it looks like cornucopia72 is relatively new to truing and throwing too many variables at the situation may not help. A check for radial trueness is pretty easy (strap a ruler across the stays/forks just above the rim (no tyre) and watch to see if the rim goes up and down. Use the same ruler with a mark in the centre to look for dish. Centre of rim should stay under the mark. I usually also make two additional marks - one above either edge of a centred rim to make it easy to also check lateral trueness. And for spoke tension I use a screwdriver lightly banging against the spokes - though I may be tone deaf as I rarely get them all to sound the same as they are supposed to! But if they are close I call it “good enough”!

ConnoisseurEqua 08-17-21 06:43 PM


Originally Posted by markk900 (Post 22188061)
Unca_Sam : agree but it looks like cornucopia72 is relatively new to truing and throwing too many variables at the situation may not help. !

Mark, I'm trying to follow, but who's cornucopia72 ?

markk900 08-17-21 06:59 PM

Whoops - sorry ConnoisseurEqua ! Wrong tag…

ConnoisseurEqua 08-17-21 07:13 PM


Originally Posted by markk900 (Post 22188829)
Whoops - sorry ConnoisseurEqua ! Wrong tag…

The full name was ConnoisseurEquator but it's apparently too long.
Equator was one of the very first light weight Raleigh MTB around 1990. Purple. Hardly rode it. For my friends now.
Thanks for the help btw.

vintagebicycle 08-18-21 07:48 AM


Originally Posted by 2fat2fly (Post 22186137)
Is there a way to tell what year an old Hercules hub is?
Spotted this on fleabay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/234141863570
I was wondering if it would be correct for a mid 50's Hercules or were these newer?
The bike I'm working on is old enough to have a BB oil port, and a Birmingham Head badge and fork.
Did the Hercules branded hubs have a date code? The only markings I see on the hub on ebay is a 'B Type 4'.
I wasn't sure if that gave the year or not?

I can't swear to it but I don't think the AW model with "Hercules" badging returned after they switched to the SW hubs in 1956/57.
My guess would be that any AW scripted as "Hercules" is at least pre-1956 unless they coincided with the SW for a while as well.
Just looking at that hub, its no newer than 1962 regardless of what branding is on it since its got a removable left side bearing race.
My gut feeling is that its early 50's.

While its hard to say what was original over the years but I've seen more than few 'Hercules' badged hubs on other second tier branded bikes such
as Robin Hood, Dunelt, etc. It could be that they used them across the board in substitution back in the day or maybe some of the bikes I recall could have had non-working SW hubs that failed
and they gained a new back hub or wheel, this many years later its hard to tell as even back in the day most of those bikes were already 10 to 20 years old when they came in the shop I worked at then.
A clean Hercules hub though would look quite at home on a 50's Hercules.

vintagebicycle 08-18-21 09:20 AM


Originally Posted by thumpism (Post 22187308)
Can't recall the name but I installed a few of those flatproof things in the late '70s; they're like thick butyl donuts. You might need to saw the tires off to remove them.

They were sold as industrial tire rings or donuts. There was a tool to install and remove the tire with the donut in place. I lived in a town full of glass ware factories who used dozens of bikes to get around the plant on. We were always changing them out. They would never go flat but they would eat up tires there pretty fast. The tool just clamped over the bead and over the axle and with lots of soapy water you sort of just swung the tool down around the tire removing the tire and tube. In later years they came out out with one piece foam tires that went on the same way. We rarely had to remove those, most showed up melted on one spot or melted so bad from heat they fell off the rim.
There were two brands we saw for those tire donuts, one was made to size, the other came in a roll in various diameters with end 'plugs' that joined the ends. A chart on the box would tell you how long each piece needed to be. They were easier to remove because you just marked the tire or felt for the seam, and cut the tire there with a sharp knife and pulled out the solid tube. It sort of looked like foam filled garden hose to me in several different diameters. I test rode a few bikes with those back in the day and didn't care much for how they rode, but I suppose it was better than dealing with flats. Good tires and tubes pedaled much easier and rode so much better.

theofam 08-18-21 09:48 AM


Originally Posted by vintagebicycle (Post 22189504)
They were sold as industrial tire rings or donuts. There was a tool to install and remove the tire with the donut in place. I lived in a town full of glass ware factories who used dozens of bikes to get around the plant on. We were always changing them out. They would never go flat but they would eat up tires there pretty fast. The tool just clamped over the bead and over the axle and with lots of soapy water you sort of just swung the tool down around the tire removing the tire and tube. In later years they came out out with one piece foam tires that went on the same way. We rarely had to remove those, most showed up melted on one spot or melted so bad from heat they fell off the rim.
There were two brands we saw for those tire donuts, one was made to size, the other came in a roll in various diameters with end 'plugs' that joined the ends. A chart on the box would tell you how long each piece needed to be. They were easier to remove because you just marked the tire or felt for the seam, and cut the tire there with a sharp knife and pulled out the solid tube. It sort of looked like foam filled garden hose to me in several different diameters. I test rode a few bikes with those back in the day and didn't care much for how they rode, but I suppose it was better than dealing with flats. Good tires and tubes pedaled much easier and rode so much better.

I agree about the ride quality. Compliance for inconsistency in surfaces is non existent. I’ll change them out, at some point.

But, first, I owe the collective a cleaned up bike to help determine just what the heck is this Alpha?

FBOATSB 08-18-21 11:15 AM


Originally Posted by theofam (Post 22189553)
But, first, I owe the collective a cleaned up bike to help determine just what the heck is this Alpha?

Yes you do!:)
I did some googling and found the Alpha brand "ordinary bicycle" aka penny farthing made by Birmingham Small Arms Co. way back in the early 1880's and since Raleigh swallowed most all British bicycle mfgs with their associated badges, and since Raleigh was selling Raleigh "Alpha Sport" tenspeeds as late as the 80's I think it is safe to assume your Alpha is a Raleigh three speed badged as Alpha. The hub should have a date code.

clubman 08-18-21 01:40 PM

There's the rub. Raleigh never had the attachment points for the rear mudguard above the axle, only behind. That's what places this as a Birmingham frame, built up as a Raleigh, around 60 or later.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.:p

theofam 08-18-21 03:13 PM


Originally Posted by FBOATSB (Post 22189688)
Yes you do!:)
I did some googling and found the Alpha brand "ordinary bicycle" aka penny farthing made by Birmingham Small Arms Co. way back in the early 1880's and since Raleigh swallowed most all British bicycle mfgs with their associated badges, and since Raleigh was selling Raleigh "Alpha Sport" tenspeeds as late as the 80's I think it is safe to assume your Alpha is a Raleigh three speed badged as Alpha. The hub should have a date code.

Thanks for working out your Google muscles on my behalf! I’ll bet you’re right on the rebadged Raleigh front, but, I’ve yet to see another Alpha. So, I’m feeling particularly sparkly right now.

thumpism 08-18-21 03:58 PM

SIXTY DOLLARS in CT.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...35678528506489

https://scontent.fric1-1.fna.fbcdn.n...21&oe=61225297

3speedslow 08-18-21 04:30 PM

Nice! Chain case even!

nlerner 08-18-21 04:41 PM

Paging [MENTION=38859]SirMike1983[/MENTION]!


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