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

thumpism 11-10-22 06:31 PM

$40 (FORTY DOLLARS!) in DE.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...23707886435252

https://scontent.fric1-1.fna.fbcdn.n...fw&oe=6372F8B6

bluesteak 11-27-22 07:37 PM

Why do we do this?
 
My question is why keep or collect vintage English three speed bicycles.

The answer for me is firstly, my Dad had an old Phillips that he road to work, and I road on some of my early bicycle adventures.

Now in retirement I see them as very practical sturdy bicycles, that you can carry more than just yourself on. Yesterday I used my 52 Raleigh to pick up flowers and a bottle of wine for my wife’s birthday.

Thirdly I love the design and durability of the AW hub.

cudak888 11-27-22 07:59 PM


Originally Posted by bluesteak (Post 22722931)
My question is why keep or collect vintage English three speed bicycles.

Because they're the best do-anything bicycle design ever conceived.

(Too bad I didn't post this in the main forum, we'd have a Grant Peterson-level discussion over this claim :P )

-Kurt

SirMike1983 11-28-22 08:11 AM

I think they well because they pass four major criteria:
  • Durability - with a few exceptions, the bikes and parts generally hold up pretty well
  • Reliability - once set up properly, maintenance is fairly minimal and straightforward
  • Adaptability - can be set up to work well for a wide variety of riders and riding styles/needs
  • Attractive - they have a traditional, good look that does not interfere with function

BFisher 11-28-22 09:41 AM

I agree with Kurt and SirMike.

While there are certain aspects of these old bikes that can benefit from improved parts - like brakes, maybe aluminum rims, modern lighting, etc. - the basic design is about as good as a city/utility bike can be. The pre-TI bikes are some of the most wonderfully made classic bikes you can get. They exude high-quality all around. Even after the later cost-cutting pursuits, they are still fantastic machines.

They all have a unique charm that you don't find with anything else, at least in my opinion. Old Italian racing bikes have theirs, French Randonneurs have theirs, and there are others. But the English three speed has something all its own.

Salubrious 11-28-22 12:19 PM


Originally Posted by SirMike1983 (Post 22723214)
I think they well because they pass four major criteria:
  • Durability - with a few exceptions, the bikes and parts generally hold up pretty well
  • Reliability - once set up properly, maintenance is fairly minimal and straightforward
  • Adaptability - can be set up to work well for a wide variety of riders and riding styles/needs
  • Attractive - they have a traditional, good look that does not interfere with function

I found my '72 Raleigh Superbe was getting most of the miles of all my bikes until it was stolen. I felt like my left arm had been severed! I was lucky enough to find a replacement in good shape which I have since also sorted out and found a key for the fork as well. It is still the bike of choice as its so practical! The wheel size is good on gravel and light trails. If you have the brakes set up properly it stops well too (hint: keep the brakes well away from the rim so you have better leverage when its time to squeeze the lever).

The reliability is such that I'm considering doing a run down the Tour Divide Race route (similar to the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route) on a Royal Enfield equipped with 650b wheels.

Ged117 11-28-22 12:54 PM

Speaking of the dangers of salt - that's why I ride my '64 Triumph Sports for the nasty conditions and why I sold my '50 Superbe - there was no way I was going to ride the Raleigh through Ottawa's winter, which I will be doing with the Triumph this year to work about twice a week and running the odd errand. The Triumph has a 1980 S5 hub and a 1975 GH6 (with LED bulbs for the lamps) laced to worn out steel wheels, with plastic fenders. I had it apart after buying, and sent boeshield up into all the tubes. The indicator chains will be routinely oiled, and the bike given a wipe down with oily rag once a week. I am able to ride because I live near the winter cycling network of multiuse paths that the city plows (I think there's about 50km of MUPs that are plowed in winter as feeder arterials into the Rideau Canal paths, a paltry figure compared to the amounts spent on plowing for car roads, but its better than nothing). Most of the other MUPs (we have about 4-500km of MUPs in the national capital region) are groomed for cross-country skiing through winter. The paths are heavily salted, so ice while dangerous is often only so for a day or two after a weather event. Its really the cold that worries me - I may inject some synthetic 0W20 into the hub to keep the pawls from sticking when its -17c (about 0F) for days on end. I am curious to see how the bike will withstand the weather.

Others have spoken about the comfortable workhorse nature of the design, and they are right. I may source new alloy rims next year for a new wheelset, at that time I may find a rough-shape '50s Raleigh for such an expense, we'll see. I'll post snowy photos of the Triumph doing its work in this thread!

nlerner 11-28-22 01:02 PM

I commute through the winter in conditions similar to what [MENTION=483365]Ged117[/MENTION] describes in Ottawa, but not quite as cold typically here in Boston. The streets are similarly deeply brined before and after any idea of snow, and that's really tough on any bike. I killed one Sturmey-Archer two-speed kickback hub commuting one winter, and have actually mostly used derailleur-equipped bikes for the last few years. I don't expect the components to last more than one winter, but they have made it through without undue difficulty. I might have to build a winter-specific IGH bike just for the heck of it.

Ged117 11-30-22 05:33 PM


Originally Posted by nlerner (Post 22723458)
I commute through the winter in conditions similar to what [MENTION=483365]Ged117[/MENTION] describes in Ottawa, but not quite as cold typically here in Boston. The streets are similarly deeply brined before and after any idea of snow, and that's really tough on any bike. I killed one Sturmey-Archer two-speed kickback hub commuting one winter, and have actually mostly used derailleur-equipped bikes for the last few years. I don't expect the components to last more than one winter, but they have made it through without undue difficulty. I might have to build a winter-specific IGH bike just for the heck of it.

I'm excited, well...as excited as one can be for the cold temps, but its fun to have a bike that I don't worry about as much. The S5 hub is working great with a 20T sprocket with plenty of low gear options in the range. Do you ever have issues with your brake lines freezing up? I did when I used to keep my winter commuter hybrid inside and then take it out into the cold. The Triumph will live outside, so with any luck that'll help.

nlerner 11-30-22 06:11 PM

No, no problems with brake-line freezing, but that's likely because it doesn't get cold enough here. I do keep my commuters on the front porch, which isn't heated but doesn't usually drop below freezing. I did some years back keep a winter Specialized HardRock in the backyard under a tarp, and that one never braked particularly well and was even worse after extended cold. I eventually lent it to a local friend whose commuter was stolen, and I didn't ask for it back!

Salubrious 12-01-22 10:40 AM


Originally Posted by Ged117 (Post 22725785)
I'm excited, well...as excited as one can be for the cold temps, but its fun to have a bike that I don't worry about as much. The S5 hub is working great with a 20T sprocket with plenty of low gear options in the range. Do you ever have issues with your brake lines freezing up? I did when I used to keep my winter commuter hybrid inside and then take it out into the cold. The Triumph will live outside, so with any luck that'll help.

I built up a winter commuter from an old 'hybrid' bike frame. I didn't use the canti-brake braze-ons; instead built wheels using Sturmey Archer drum brakes front and rear with a 5 speed SA IGH drum combo. The bike uses 700c rims with studded snow tires. Its held up really well but I've only been running it three years and I do try to clean it off. I went with drum brakes since I figured they would stop the bike regardless of ice.

1989Pre 12-01-22 11:23 AM


Originally Posted by thumpism (Post 22707245)

Looks about a '67 in very nice shape.., with some extras, too!

Ged117 12-01-22 01:21 PM


Originally Posted by Salubrious (Post 22726351)
I built up a winter commuter from an old 'hybrid' bike frame. I didn't use the canti-brake braze-ons; instead built wheels using Sturmey Archer drum brakes front and rear with a 5 speed SA IGH drum combo. The bike uses 700c rims with studded snow tires. Its held up really well but I've only been running it three years and I do try to clean it off. I went with drum brakes since I figured they would stop the bike regardless of ice.

My first few winters of regular commuting I used a late model Norco Indie (Norco is Canadian, well they used to be anyway), and it had disc brakes and a lower end Shimano group. The bike could fit 35mm studded tires, which were great, but otherwise it was a mess. The disc brakes were noisy after being gummed up by winter road nasties and were impossible to keep clean such that they'd stop squealing, and the derailleur/brake cables would constantly freeze up.

With the three-speed bikes of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, the only thing I'd wish for is the quality, variety, and availability of multiple tire types for 650a like has happened with 650b. I'd like to run Soma Cazadero type tires for winter at 42mm wide and aggressive side tread, but the 38mm Panaracer Col de la vie will have to suffice. I'll just need to be more choosy of which days I go into the office.

nlerner 12-01-22 02:32 PM


Originally Posted by Ged117 (Post 22726566)
With the three-speed bikes of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, the only thing I'd wish for is the quality, variety, and availability of multiple tire types for 650a like has happened with 650b. I'd like to run Soma Cazadero type tires for winter at 42mm wide and aggressive side tread, but the 38mm Panaracer Col de la vie will have to suffice. I'll just need to be more choosy of which days I go into the office.

I do like the 650B x 42mm Cazaderos for winter commuting, particularly in loose snow:

https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...24ce0ae24a.jpg

I have found that 50s/60s 3-speeds can work with 700c wheels and fenders. Here's my 1950 Lenton Tourist with 700 x 32mm Paselas:

https://live.staticflickr.com/5476/3...a92992dc_b.jpg

Could be a bit of a stretch to get 700 x 42mm tires AND fenders on there, however.

Ged117 12-01-22 02:50 PM


Originally Posted by nlerner (Post 22726637)
I do like the 650B x 42mm Cazaderos for winter commuting, particularly in loose snow:

https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...24ce0ae24a.jpg

I have found that 50s/60s 3-speeds can work with 700c wheels and fenders. Here's my 1950 Lenton Tourist with 700 x 32mm Paselas:

Could be a bit of a stretch to get 700 x 42mm tires AND fenders on there, however.

Such an interesting bunch of bikes you have hanging around, Neil! Is the International your Gugieficazione! machine? I'm thinking about what I want to do with my Competition...650b really appeals!

nlerner 12-01-22 03:16 PM


Originally Posted by Ged117 (Post 22726653)
Such an interesting bunch of bikes you have hanging around, Neil! Is the International your Gugieficazione! machine? I'm thinking about what I want to do with my Competition...650b really appeals!

Yes! It received the full [MENTION=381793]gugie[/MENTION] treatment. It's been my primary commuter this fall, particularly since it's outfitted with fenders, dyno hub, front and rear lights, big-ass front bag.

gugie 12-01-22 03:57 PM


Originally Posted by Ged117 (Post 22726653)
Such an interesting bunch of bikes you have hanging around, Neil! Is the International your Gugieficazione! machine? I'm thinking about what I want to do with my Competition...650b really appeals!

From previous threads it looks like you have a 73 and a 75 Competition? Either of those would make great starting points for a 650b conversion. It's the model that got me into doing it after I bought an already modified Competition frame from the master, Peter Weigle. Here it is built up and ready for a credit card tour:

https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...b5ca172e51.jpg
Note room for 650b x 42's and proper fenders

Ged117 12-02-22 09:18 AM


Originally Posted by gugie (Post 22726726)
From previous threads it looks like you have a 73 and a 75 Competition? Either of those would make great starting points for a 650b conversion. It's the model that got me into doing it after I bought an already modified Competition frame from the master, Peter Weigle. Here it is built up and ready for a credit card tour:

https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...b5ca172e51.jpg
Note room for 650b x 42's and proper fenders


PM with some questions inbound!

Thanks.

1989Pre 12-02-22 05:33 PM

A couple of Craig's List finds: A '67? Rudge Sports and a '70's Raleigh Superbe.
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...79f491d540.jpg
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...9fd1a7e09a.jpg

arex 12-03-22 03:26 PM

I came across this site this morning, in case it's new to anyone else:

Sturmey-ArcherParts.com

thumpism 12-04-22 07:54 AM

Very clean, if confused, Twenty for $150 in MI.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...97776674220752

https://scontent.fric1-1.fna.fbcdn.n...IQ&oe=63918A1D

groth 12-04-22 09:24 AM


Originally Posted by arex (Post 22728490)
I came across this site this morning, in case it's new to anyone else:

Sturmey-ArcherParts.com

Yes, I got a brake pawl assembly for an SA S3C (internal coaster brake) hub from them. Was happy to find it!

- Ed

LucasHartong 12-08-22 01:56 PM

Rudge-Whitworth sports (1973). Nearly all original. With the Sturmey-Archer 3 speed.

https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...9c6959315a.jpg
https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...dcc757535d.jpg
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...44981b948f.jpg

Ged117 12-09-22 01:36 PM

That is a cool one, Lucas - the red against the black is very sharp.

1989Pre 12-09-22 02:48 PM


Originally Posted by LucasHartong (Post 22733553)
Rudge-Whitworth sports (1973). Nearly all original. With the Sturmey-Archer 3 speed

Very nice. How long have you owned it?

clubman 12-09-22 02:55 PM

Perhaps it was made in the Netherlands? The fork dimples, rims, chainguard and crankset are not what quite what you'd expect from the typical Rudge.

Ged117 12-09-22 03:08 PM

An exchange in the "drop bar three speed" thread got me thinking about lamps and dynohubs. I was originally planning to run a late '40s Sturmey Archer lamp set using a tire-driven dynamo on my Sun Wasp, but now I'm thinking I could source a 700c 32h CR18 rim and make a dynohub wheel for a more British C&V esthetic. I have a few options, as a few years ago I gathered dynohubs thinking I'd build another early '50s Raleigh, but now that I've found the Triumph I don't think I will be doing that. Hubs are below dated June 1946 and November 1947 respectively. I also have a GH6 dated 1962 out in the garage bin, but its earmarked as parts donor for the '75 dynohub on my Triumph. My only concern is in using the bakelite-clad version, because this hub will probably see many years of service, potentially to its centenary in the 2040s (well, hopefully, hah!). One would have to take care when tightening not to crack it, but I never had that problem with the 1950 AG hub on my Superbe. I suppose if it cracked, I could just replace the guts within the hub shell.

Has anyone built a standlight circuit and paired it with the Nicelite LEDs for these lamps? I run those in the Triumph's lamps, and I don't mind the flicker at low speeds, but it might be fun to try and build such a circuit and occupy myself over a winter weekend.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...dfec2894_h.jpgPXL_20221209_202457876

LucasHartong 12-11-22 08:04 AM


Originally Posted by Ged117 (Post 22734585)
That is a cool one, Lucas - the red against the black is very sharp.

Thanks!

LucasHartong 12-11-22 08:05 AM


Originally Posted by 1989Pre (Post 22734646)
Very nice. How long have you owned it?

Couple of weeks! :)

LucasHartong 12-11-22 08:09 AM


Originally Posted by clubman (Post 22734655)
Perhaps it was made in the Netherlands? The fork dimples, rims, chainguard and crankset are not what quite what you'd expect from the typical Rudge.

Rudge at a certain moment fused with Raleigh in England. This bike is a mix of that fuse-time, I figured. As far as I could reconstruct Rudge bikes were later marketed as Raleigh. The bike is all original though; got it from son of the first owner who received it new as a gift from his parents. I love bikes with a personal story!


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