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

gbalke 09-29-13 12:33 PM


Originally Posted by Gasbag (Post 16114722)
My Rudge doesn't have the hand chainring either. If I ever have the good fortune to locate one in good condition and priced fairly, it will be installed promptly. The hand is a defining feature of the Rudge-Whitworth after all.

There's one on e-Bay UK right now, current bid is only 1.2 Pounds; about $2.50 or so. However, shipping is 16.99 Pounds; $26 more or less. Here's a link:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-Ru...ht_4643wt_1235

David Newton 09-29-13 02:01 PM


Rudge was sold to Raleigh in 1943
Really! I didn't know that.
Tom, I didn't know that because I'm any expert, but I read that they were an "early acquisition".
Rudge is usually mentioned along with Hercules, that Raleigh, TI really, absorbed in 1960, which was the last of the other big names.
Rudge was earlier bought by EMI the record company, of all things, and sold when they realized that bicycle making didn't fit them well.
Rudge was always a premier brand, and Raleigh kept them that way until there was only room for one at the top.
What an arcane story the simple 3-speed bike turns out to be.

Howard 09-29-13 06:09 PM


Originally Posted by David Newton (Post 16115148)
Tom, I didn't know that because I'm any expert, but I read that they were an "early acquisition".
Rudge is usually mentioned along with Hercules, that Raleigh, TI really, absorbed in 1960, which was the last of the other big names.
Rudge was earlier bought by EMI the record company, of all things, and sold when they realized that bicycle making didn't fit them well.
Rudge was always a premier brand, and Raleigh kept them that way until there was only room for one at the top.
What an arcane story the simple 3-speed bike turns out to be.


I kind of understood it to have been the other way around. TI bought Raleigh, and since Raleigh's Nottingham works were more capable than the Birmingham and other factories of the BCC empire, production was moved to Nottingham.

This is kind of ironic, because (again as I understand it) the pre-merger Hercules used 24TPI for headsets and bb's, but afterward used Raleigh 26TPI parts. The 24TPI standard survives even today.

Of course, I might have all that twisted all the way around two or three times.

David Newton 09-29-13 06:20 PM

You've got it right Howard, my bad sentence structure shows. TI owned Raleigh, and was doing all the consolidation.
What is hard for us to understand is how Britain had so many threads, and a standard was so late coming. There are some amazing stories of how things had to be done when the war departments were buying out components from diverse shops.

Howard 09-29-13 06:32 PM


Originally Posted by David Newton (Post 16115752)
You've got it right Howard, my bad sentence structure shows. TI owned Raleigh, and was doing all the consolidation.
What is hard for us to understand is how Britain had so many threads, and a standard was so late coming. There are some amazing stories of how things had to be done when the war departments were buying out components from diverse shops.

As we sometimes say at work, "the nice thing about standards is that there are so many of them."

I'll bet the stories are indeed amazing.

I once added up how much it cost per mile to operate various bicycles I've had. The (Raleigh Sports - like) Hercules came in at around 4 or 5 cents per mile (tires, tubes, etc. plus fully accounting for the purchase price). Shoes typically cost more than that. Seriously, at that time, it cost me more to walk three miles than to ride the Sports. Bet it still does.

noglider 09-29-13 08:25 PM

I have no doubt a three speed is more economical than most other bikes, but I've never heard the cost of cycling compared with that of walking. Could that possibly be true?

David Newton 09-29-13 08:48 PM


Seriously, at that time, it cost me more to walk three miles than to ride the Sports. Bet it still does.
It isn't hard to believe. As engineers say "if it looks right, it is right". I have always heard that the bicycle is one of the most efficient machines ever invented. I ride a single speed freewheel bike with rim brakes. It goes so easily, I am fooling myself to claim that I ride for exercise.

JohnDThompson 09-30-13 08:03 AM


Originally Posted by noglider (Post 16116128)
I have no doubt a three speed is more economical than most other bikes, but I've never heard the cost of cycling compared with that of walking. Could that possibly be true?

If time is money, sure.

gna 09-30-13 09:38 PM

Everyone--bad news. Many of you have bought cotters, cotter presses, or 3-speed parts from Mark Stonich, aka Bikesmith of Bikesmith Designs. Mark was recently in a serious collision--he was hit from behind by an elderly driver--and has multiple fractures and a concussion. He is currently in the hospital recuperating, but seems more concerned by damage to his 1972 Holdsworth Mistral.

Send emails to Mark, who has his iPad at the hospital:

mark@bikesmithdesign.com

Sixty Fiver 09-30-13 09:54 PM


Originally Posted by JohnDThompson (Post 16112363)
Surely the Real Thing would be better:

http://www.os2.dhs.org/~john/SA-cone-spanner.jpg

The things you need when you ride a bike with an SA hub... :)

http://www.ravingbikefiend.com/bikep...oolz%20(1).JPG

Sixty Fiver 09-30-13 09:55 PM


Originally Posted by gna (Post 16119692)
Everyone--bad news. Many of you have bought cotters, cotter presses, or 3-speed parts from Mark Stonich, aka Bikesmith of Bikesmith Designs. Mark was recently in a serious collision--he was hit from behind by an elderly driver--and has multiple fractures and a concussion. He is currently in the hospital recuperating, but seems more concerned by damage to his 1972 Holdsworth Mistral.

Send emails to Mark, who has his iPad at the hospital:

mark@bikesmithdesign.com

Sounds like he is a real cyclist, worrying about his bike more than himself.

wahoonc 10-01-13 05:11 AM


Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver (Post 16119738)
Sounds like he is a real cyclist, worrying about his bike more than himself.

Mark is a huge asset to the vintage bike community in MSP as well as many other places. I have purchased a lot of odd Sturmey-Archer parts from him. He also has been involved in HPV events in MN. He built a recumbent using a Raleigh Sports frame a while back. He is quite the innovator.

Aaron :)

Gasbag 10-01-13 06:49 AM


Originally Posted by gbalke (Post 16114975)
There's one on e-Bay UK right now, current bid is only 1.2 Pounds; about $2.50 or so. However, shipping is 16.99 Pounds; $26 more or less. Here's a link:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-Ru...ht_4643wt_1235

Thanks for the lead. The chrome on the crank arms is too degraded on this one. I saw another one but it was badly scratched up. I'll have to keep waiting & watching.

Howard 10-01-13 03:18 PM


Originally Posted by noglider (Post 16116128)
I have no doubt a three speed is more economical than most other bikes, but I've never heard the cost of cycling compared with that of walking. Could that possibly be true?

I think I figured about a hundred bucks for a good pair of shoes and maybe 600-800 miiles, meaning 12.5 to about 16 cents per mile for walking.

Just to double check, a quick search turned up this article
http://sneakerreport.com/news/the-10...ailable-today/
with an average of around $100 and a recommendation to throw them out at 500-600 miles. 16 to 20 cents a mile. For reference my "serious" running friends are into it at about 30 cents a mile.

The Sports cost me around $80 altogether (including new tires and tubes) and at that time I had about 2000 miles on it. That's between 4 and 5 cents per mile - if it disappeared on that afternoon. It has more miles on it now, and I've also replaced some other bits (grips, brake pads, cotters, etc). More than half of the miles have been commuting or errands. It's been a pretty good value for me. I rode it on the 25 mile round trip commute last week, so it's still turning "revenue" miles.

If I sold the bike for $50, the cost per mile would go way down. I wouldn't expect shoes to retain much value after 1000 miles :) .

The newer more (ahem) "specialized" bike I bought for commuting has not been economical, taking a new fork (recall), a new rear wheel (cheaply made), and new tires and some other things. It has been more expensive than walking, FWIW.

noglider 10-01-13 03:30 PM

Howard, interesting. The price you paid is atypical, but it's fun to read through your numbers. I've never thought about how many miles my shoes have gone.

In any case, if someone shows me that I'm spending too much on bikes, I'm not going to stop.

gna, thank you for the bad news and the suggestion. I wrote Mark a get-well email.

Howard 10-01-13 06:00 PM


Originally Posted by noglider (Post 16122410)
Howard, interesting. The price you paid is atypical, ...l.

it was about 20 for the bike, and 60 in bits.
I think the prices must be regional and seasonal. I enjoy pulling them apart and putting them back together.
Sometimes it takes a while, but sometimes they show up for not very much, and in surprisingly good shape. This was less ...
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8390/8...e9434db476.jpg

wahoonc 10-02-13 04:06 AM

I can probably beat Howard's numbers... I bought a 1970/1 Raleigh Sports Standard back in 1982 for $25 (~$60 today) and used it as my only form of transportation for 4 years and my main transportation for 4 more after that. It survived 4 years of college with my brother and is still being used in town as a beer bike. It has well over 35,000 miles on it. The fork was replaced along with the off side crank arm and pedal when my brother ran into a parked car on night when it went neutral on him. Those came from the local co-op. Everything else has been inexpensive off the shelf replacement parts. I would be surprised if the the overall operation costs exceeded a tenth of a cent a mile. I did just recently increase the value by quite a bit... I added a new bottle generator and new lights. The enjoyment of that bike has been priceless.

Aaron :)

bikelitelynn 10-02-13 08:06 AM

Boy, do I love this thread - still working on reading through it all, though!
Just bought my second Raleigh 3-speed, and can't wait to get it up and running. My first one was bought four years ago for $15, a 1973 LTD-3, which I cleaned up (with advice from the C&V forum), installed new tubes, tires and brake pads, then brought to my LBS for a tuneup. This time, I'm hoping to do a bit more work myself. My new purchase is a 1974 Raleigh Sports, bought from the original owner (thru Craigslist) for $50, which included the owners manual, vinyl saddle bag and multi-tool.
http://i704.photobucket.com/albums/w...s/DSCF0946.jpg
http://i704.photobucket.com/albums/w...s/DSCF0957.jpg
I pumped up the rotten tires and was shocked that they actually held air for at least a week, but they will be replaced anyway. The gear shift cable will also need to be replaced, as it's starting to fray in an exposed area near the chainring. This will be something new for me to attempt, but I think I can handle it (fingers crossed!).
I plan to replace the brake pads with Kool Stop Continental salmon pads, but I'm not sure about the brake cables. They seem to work just fine in spite of sitting idle for years, but how does one know when to replace them? Should I just lube them? I think the brake cables on my LTD were replaced when it was tuned up at the LBS, but I don't remember if it was my call or theirs. I'm trying to keep costs down, but not at the expense of safety.
That's all for now. I'll continue searching this forum for tips as I work on my new old bike - such a wealth of experience and inspiration here!
Lynn

Howard 10-02-13 02:32 PM


Originally Posted by bikelitelynn (Post 16124420)
Boy, do I love this thread - still working on reading through it all, though!
Just bought my second Raleigh 3-speed, and can't wait to get it up and running. My first one was bought four years ago for $15, a 1973 LTD-3, which I cleaned up (with advice from the C&V forum), installed new tubes, tires and brake pads, then brought to my LBS for a tuneup. This time, I'm hoping to do a bit more work myself. My new purchase is a 1974 Raleigh Sports, bought from the original owner (thru Craigslist) for $50, which included the owners manual, vinyl saddle bag and multi-tool.... The gear shift cable will also need to be replaced, as it's starting to fray in an exposed area near the chainring. This will be something new for me to attempt, but I think I can handle it (fingers crossed!).

...

I like it ... The pic I posted earlier belongs to SWMBO (she who must be obeyed), and I discovered that for just getting around town I like the step through/ladies frame ...
So ... last night I picked up the twin of your brown 74 Sports (hub is 74-1). It's rougher than yours, but not beyond saving. I think the chrome on the rims is mostly gone :-( but I have an extra wheel :-) .

Cable replacement advise here:
http://sheldonbrown.com/sturmey-archer/cable.html

gna 10-02-13 03:51 PM


Originally Posted by bikelitelynn (Post 16124420)
I plan to replace the brake pads with Kool Stop Continental salmon pads, but I'm not sure about the brake cables. They seem to work just fine in spite of sitting idle for years, but how does one know when to replace them? Should I just lube them? I think the brake cables on my LTD were replaced when it was tuned up at the LBS, but I don't remember if it was my call or theirs. I'm trying to keep costs down, but not at the expense of safety.
Lynn

The cables seem a bit heavier on these old Raleighs, so I'm inclined to keep using them. Spray some lube or drip some oil into the cables and work them a bit, especially the upturned cable on the rear brake--it can catch water.

markk900 10-02-13 03:56 PM


Originally Posted by bikelitelynn (Post 16124420)
My new purchase is a 1974 Raleigh Sports, bought from the original owner (thru Craigslist) for $50, which included the owners manual, vinyl saddle bag and multi-tool.

Last year I picked up an almost identical bike for my sister - it too came with the bag, but no manual or tool. It did have a functioning bike lock and some pant clips though. Also that awesome original mileage counter.

I paid $75 in Canada and only put tires and tubes into it....this is a 74 based on the hub....

http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/IMG_2881.jpg

The frame polishes up nicely and the paint is really nice.

bikelitelynn 10-02-13 04:26 PM


Originally Posted by Howard (Post 16125845)
I like it ... The pic I posted earlier belongs to SWMBO (she who must be obeyed), and I discovered that for just getting around town I like the step through/ladies frame ...
So ... last night I picked up the twin of your brown 74 Sports (hub is 74-1). It's rougher than yours, but not beyond saving. I think the chrome on the rims is mostly gone :-( but I have an extra wheel :-) .

Cable replacement advise here:
http://sheldonbrown.com/sturmey-archer/cable.html

Photo, please! I love seeing the Before shots just as much as the Afters.
Good thing you have a spare wheel. I haven't cleaned my wheels yet, but they don't look bad at all, just dirty with a light sprinkling of pitting. The handlebars had less pitting, and after polishing with No. 7 Chrome and Metal Polish, they look brand spanking new! I'm anxious to try the No. 7 polish on the rims now. On my LTD I had used Barkeeper's Friend, since it was recommended to remove the thick black brake residue. It removed it easily and left the chrome shiny, but the No. 7 seems to add a shine and gloss. I guess it's like washing a car, compared to washing and waxing it.
I will definitely be using Sheldon Brown's step-by-step instructions for replacing the S-A cable. Without his site and this forum, I would never have the confidence to buy and fix up an old 3-speed. I don't know anyone with an interest in old bikes, so I am completely reliant on the internet. At least it's available at all times of the day and night!

wahoonc 10-02-13 04:56 PM

I still have OEM brake cables on several of my Raleighs. If they work and then ends aren't frayed you might be able to pull them from the housing and add grease, otherwise use something like Phil Wood oil and dribble it in the housings. On my Twentys I almost always get new slick cables because the braking is marginal to begin with, less so on the full sized bikes.

Aaron :)

bikelitelynn 10-02-13 06:30 PM


Originally Posted by wahoonc (Post 16126310)
I still have OEM brake cables on several of my Raleighs. If they work and then ends aren't frayed you might be able to pull them from the housing and add grease, otherwise use something like Phil Wood oil and dribble it in the housings.
Aaron :)


Originally Posted by gna (Post 16126114)
The cables seem a bit heavier on these old Raleighs, so I'm inclined to keep using them. Spray some lube or drip some oil into the cables and work them a bit, especially the upturned cable on the rear brake--it can catch water.

The front brake cable seems fine, but the rear cable is missing the crimp cap thing on the end, so the wire ends are splayed out. Any remedy, or just replace? I have Phil Wood Tenacious Oil and will use that on the front cable.

wahoonc 10-02-13 06:38 PM


Originally Posted by bikelitelynn (Post 16126550)
The front brake cable seems fine, but the rear cable is missing the crimp cap thing on the end, so the wire ends are splayed out. Any remedy, or just replace? I have Phil Wood Tenacious Oil and will use that on the front cable.

You can still pull the whole cable assembly free from the bike and dribble oil down the side of the cable into the housing. I only grease them if I can get the cable out of the housing. I have had some luck buying NOS cables on Ebay. The old cables are a lot heavier, but he new cables have Teflon lined housings and quite often are stainless rather than galvanized, they do slide a bit easier.

Aaron :)

bikelitelynn 10-02-13 06:45 PM


Originally Posted by markk900 (Post 16126126)
Last year I picked up an almost identical bike for my sister - it too came with the bag, but no manual or tool. It did have a functioning bike lock and some pant clips though. Also that awesome original mileage counter.

The frame polishes up nicely and the paint is really nice.

What a beauty! The paint looks perfect. Mine has a rather large scrape through the Sports on the chain guard, unfortunately, and a few minor ones elsewhere. But I love the deep metallic brown, Coffee, to be official, and I've ordered cream tires to go with it and a coffee cup bell. I couldn't resist. :p
Do you remember how many miles were on the counter when you got it?

markk900 10-02-13 07:17 PM

No, don't remember mileage but it was under 300mi I think. I never liked the coffee in pictures, and the bike was pretty filthy when I got it, but I was amazed once I cleaned it up....as you can tell the picture was taken in spring - when the sun came out the bike was glowing....

Cream tires - GREAT idea!

Salubrious 10-02-13 07:20 PM

Sad to hear that Mark got hurt!

Mark of Bikesmith makes an excellent cotter press. Once you use it you will wonder why and how you got along without it should you ever service a cottered crank.

michael k 10-08-13 10:50 AM

Ran acroos this little number at pawn shop. Shes flawless,Date code on hud is '74.Interesting it has both coaster and hand brake.

http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/c...ps87b6caf0.jpg

smontanaro 10-08-13 10:58 AM

My mum-in-law's bike is a Schwinn Collegiate (I think) with that handbrake in front, coaster in back setup. My wife hates coaster brakes, so even though it's been in our garage for many months now, she prefers the Xtracycle. :)


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