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

ConnoisseurEqua 08-17-21 07:13 PM


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

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. Iíll 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! Iíll bet youíre right on the rebadged Raleigh front, but, Iíve yet to see another Alpha. So, Iím 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 @SirMike1983!

bluesteak 08-18-21 06:50 PM


Originally Posted by theofam (Post 22190106)
Thanks for working out your Google muscles on my behalf! Iíll bet youíre right on the rebadged Raleigh front, but, Iíve yet to see another Alpha. So, Iím feeling particularly sparkly right now.

It doesnít look like a Nottingham bike to me. More like a 50ís Birmingham Hercules.

The lugs donít match anything I have. Closest is my Hopper Invincable.

theofam 08-18-21 07:51 PM


Originally Posted by bluesteak (Post 22190341)
It doesnít look like a Nottingham bike to me. More like a 50ís Birmingham Hercules.

The lugs donít match anything I have. Closest is my Hopper Invincable.

Iíll be away from the Alpha until Monday, leaving you all in suspense, Iím sure! Iíll give it a good cleaning next week, upload updated pics, and sit back with popcorn while you all figure out what the heck I bought!

dirtman 08-18-21 11:01 PM

Sturmey Archer FW or S5 or other?

I've been going through boxes of parts from a recent clean out and found several complete new hub internal sets that are unmarked. at quick glance I figured they were S5 assemblies but closer inspection showed that the left side of the axle is solid, no hole through for a skewer or push rod. Otherwise, all parts appear to be the same as an S5.
When I didn't see the push rod, I figured it must be the later version with skewer, but the axle is only machined about 10mm inside on the left, much like many AW axles with a shallow hole there.
I broke one down to make it didn't just have something in the axle but they're all the same.
The right side is like an AW, its got three pinion gears and a cage as on an S5, and a nut retaining the gear on other end but no pin or skewer and no place to put it. The slot, or the hole are absent.

They were all packaged in a semi transparent heavy plastic tube heat sealed flat on both ends. The guy had a half dozen of these in the parts drawers.
They're definitely older, I was told that the shop was active from '35 to '75 when the owner locked the doors and retired. The primary brand was Rollfast but there was a good assortment of Sturmey Archer parts, even a few new hubs.

Any idea what model these could be for?

As far as i know the S5 used either a push rod or skewer on the left and the FW had an indicator rod, but there is no through hole in the left side of the axle. Yet it uses the cage and planet gears of an S5 or FW.
Otherwise, the axle looks just like one from an S5. I've gone so far as to tap at the end of the hole in the axle to make sure it just wasn't something stuck in there but its definitely machined that way.
The new internal sets are coated with some sort of thin white grease Was there a four speed with out the long indicator?
They are not in normal packaging so they could be aftermarket, but I can't imagine it being a machining error that blatant.

The drilled area on the left side of the axle is also pretty large, about 5mm or so in diameter and about 10mm deep.
The way they were packaged reminds me of how some older military tools and parts are packaged for long term storage.

SirMike1983 08-19-21 06:54 AM


Originally Posted by nlerner (Post 22190214)
Paging @SirMike1983!

Thanks - that's a really, really good deal. I'll give it a few days to see if anyone else really wants it. But if it's still there in a few days... I may very well.

Salubrious 08-19-21 09:26 AM


Originally Posted by dirtman (Post 22190554)
Sturmey Archer FW or S5 or other?

I've been going through boxes of parts from a recent clean out and found several complete new hub internal sets that are unmarked. at quick glance I figured they were S5 assemblies but closer inspection showed that the left side of the axle is solid, no hole through for a skewer or push rod. Otherwise, all parts appear to be the same as an S5.
When I didn't see the push rod, I figured it must be the later version with skewer, but the axle is only machined about 10mm inside on the left, much like many AW axles with a shallow hole there.
I broke one down to make it didn't just have something in the axle but they're all the same.
The right side is like an AW, its got three pinion gears and a cage as on an S5, and a nut retaining the gear on other end but no pin or skewer and no place to put it. The slot, or the hole are absent.

They were all packaged in a semi transparent heavy plastic tube heat sealed flat on both ends. The guy had a half dozen of these in the parts drawers.
They're definitely older, I was told that the shop was active from '35 to '75 when the owner locked the doors and retired. The primary brand was Rollfast but there was a good assortment of Sturmey Archer parts, even a few new hubs.

Any idea what model these could be for?

As far as i know the S5 used either a push rod or skewer on the left and the FW had an indicator rod, but there is no through hole in the left side of the axle. Yet it uses the cage and planet gears of an S5 or FW.
Otherwise, the axle looks just like one from an S5. I've gone so far as to tap at the end of the hole in the axle to make sure it just wasn't something stuck in there but its definitely machined that way.
The new internal sets are coated with some sort of thin white grease Was there a four speed with out the long indicator?
They are not in normal packaging so they could be aftermarket, but I can't imagine it being a machining error that blatant.

The drilled area on the left side of the axle is also pretty large, about 5mm or so in diameter and about 10mm deep.
The way they were packaged reminds me of how some older military tools and parts are packaged for long term storage.

If the axle is solid on the left side its a three speed. I'd be wondering if these are type K internals.

clubman 08-19-21 10:41 AM

There were two models of SW, one with 2 rods, another with only one.

Maybe?

Salubrious 08-19-21 11:44 AM


Originally Posted by clubman (Post 22191079)
There were two models of SW, one with 2 rods, another with only one.

Maybe?

The SW would be easy to identify because of the friction style pawls- very unlike a the S5 of FW in that regard.

clubman 08-19-21 12:22 PM


Originally Posted by Salubrious (Post 22191180)
The SW would be easy to identify because of the friction style pawls- very unlike a the S5 of FW in that regard.

I'll take your word for it, I've never looked at one in the wild. Or an S5. Just AW.

dirtman 08-20-21 07:44 PM


Originally Posted by Salubrious (Post 22191180)
The SW would be easy to identify because of the friction style pawls- very unlike a the S5 of FW in that regard.


It looks like an S5 gear set but with no left side axle hole or push rod. The left side sun gears, spring, and axle ring are the same, but no slot, no push rod. The key that would meet the push rod is not there.
Another thing is that the axle is stepped where the lock nut is, on all the S5 hubs I've had apart, the axle has one size thread on the left, this has a larger thread that begins where the lock nut sits and a deep key way cut into the threads through both levels of the threading. The lock nut takes a 16mm wrench not a 15mm as on an S5.

Both sun gears are the same as on an S5 as is the spring. I see no way for it to shift the pinion gears and the whole mess just functions as a three speed.
It fits into an AW or S5 shell.
The smaller pinion gear is always engaged with the axle, and the larger gear can't be moved using just the standard AW type indicator.

Maybe some oddball aftermarket mistake? None of these were marked with Sturmey Archer, the packaging was more like what I'd expect from military parts than from SA.
An axle swap and left side pin would make it into an functional S5 If it were just missing the axle hole, I'd drill it through, but there's no slot for the key that engages the pin.
I would have ignored the larger lock nut and threads figuring it was just an early or later version but the lack of a slot as well has me puzzled.


https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...0d0d61d8bb.jpg

thumpism 08-21-21 08:51 PM

I had planned to post this in the co-op thread but the pix are lousy. I did not want to move these bikes around for a better view in case someone wondered what I was doing at the closed co-op. Actually, I was there to go through the dumpster but I saw this. The black Rudge ladies' bike is the target. It's been stripped down and updated and it sports 700C wheels and a newer Sturmey three-speed with coaster. Not my preferred hub but I might have to grab it anyway if it's cheap enough.
https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...408bdd7376.jpg

https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...8ab30d51eb.jpg

gster 08-22-21 06:47 AM

Tires!
I just picked up a nice pair of tires from a guy down the street
https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...96a6e49648.jpg
They have a nice "vintage" block tread,
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...654b9ade07.jpg
Branded Vee Rubber.
As we know, it's getting hard to find 26 x 1 3/8 tires.
Even Canadian Tire doesn't seem to carry them any more.

3speedslow 08-22-21 07:08 AM

Great, just what I want to read as I begin my look for a new set for my just acquired Puch Sears 3 speed.

FBOATSB 08-22-21 07:16 AM


Originally Posted by 3speedslow (Post 22194727)
Great, just what I want to read as I begin my look for a new set for my just acquired Puch Sears 3 speed.

https://veetireco.com/
Apparently sold via all the usual sources.
Edit: Could be a challenge finding the size you need.

dirtman 08-22-21 07:42 AM

I used to see that brand, Vee Rubber, here back in the late 70's and 80's. They were sold by a local auto parts store that also sold bikes. I till have a set on one of my bikes here that never seemed to age much over the years. They were likely just a rebranding of another major brand to allow neighboring dealers to sell essentially the same tire.

dirtman 08-22-21 08:55 AM

They appear to have two websites, one as Vee Tire, the other as Vee Rubber,
this one says they began in Thailand in 1977:
About us ? VEE Rubber US. Performance Tires

I haven't seen them around here lately, just a few older tires here and there that turn up from time to time.


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