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

Slash5 01-27-16 09:35 AM

Seems a shame to do that to an International or Professional. A 3 speed isn't going to be light, might as well use a Grand Prix - and they are dime a dozen.

http://i.imgur.com/JfRLKRD.jpg

nlerner 01-27-16 04:57 PM

When I first got my Raleigh Int'l (as a frameset), I set it up with a Nexus 8-speed IGH and upright bars:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-F...ational8_7.jpg

I commuted with that configuration for a while until I realized that I preferred derailleurs.

gster 01-27-16 05:08 PM

1 Attachment(s)
This guy in Vancouver has a lot of NOS parts including spindles.
http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=501005

Bike Wizard by Ozz specializing in Restorations of Vintage and Old Bicycles - Vintage Retro & Cruiser bikes Gone Past

BigChief 01-27-16 05:09 PM

Building a bike like this has been a daydream with me for years. That is a fine looking Grand Prix, but for me, emotion trumps practicality. It's the idea of building an internal geared, fendered, upright townie just like the vintage 3 speeds I know and love, but with lighter, higher end components. That would mean a 531 frame. I prefer medium ratio gear spread, so it looks like I'd use one of the modern IG hubs since AM, S5 and FM Sturmey Archer hubs are so hard to find.

noglider 01-27-16 05:17 PM

@BigChief, which hubs have the most closely spaced gears? I don't like the 3- and 5-speed hubs that I've used for that reason.

BigChief 01-27-16 06:50 PM

My problem with the AW is the 33% jump from normal to overdrive. For me anyway, overdrive is too tall to be useful. So then I gear the whole business down with a 22T cog and I get a nice tempo for flat roads in overdrive, but except for a really stiff headwind, normal is too low. I'll use it, but the quick tempo is awkward. Underdrive turns into a granny that is sometimes useful for things like sandy paths and lawns. I have the percent changes for all the SA hubs, but not here with me in rainy Florida. I do have the difference between the AW and S5. Here they are:
AW -25% 0 + 33%
S5 -33 1/3% -21.1% 0 +26.6% +50%
So essentially, with the bell crank cable slack, the S5 is a AM. You can access the -33% granny and the silly tall overdrive with the bell crank shifter.
Sturmey Archer close and medium ratio hubs are rare as hens teeth.

adventurepdx 01-27-16 09:26 PM


Originally Posted by Slash5 (Post 18490286)
Seems a shame to do that to an International or Professional. A 3 speed isn't going to be light, might as well use a Grand Prix - and they are dime a dozen.

I wouldn't say a three speed can't be light! And yeah, Grand Prixs are a dime a dozen, but I think it's more the idea of building up a lightweight "clubman" style bike. It's pretty hard to find the original clubmans here in the States. While nabbing an International, Professional, or even a Super Course isn't always easy, either, it's still easier than finding an old Lenton!

BigChief 01-28-16 04:06 AM

Ah...found it. Sheldon Brown's site of course. Percent changes of SA FM and FC hubs:
Maintenance Instructions for Sturmey-Archer FM & FC Medium & Close Ratio Four-Speed Hubs

smontanaro 01-28-16 08:05 AM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 18491942)
My problem with the AW is the 33% jump from normal to overdrive.

That seems to be a common complaint. I'm surprised the AM wasn't more widely used. Was there some practical matter which made the AW the go to 3sp hub for decades? It couldn't have been the gearing.

Hmmm... Maybe add a half-step double up front.

BigChief 01-28-16 11:57 AM

I figure those of us with complaints of the AW's spacing must be in the extreme minority. The wide ratio hubs must outnumber mediums 100 to 1. Even the new, redesigned SA AW hub has the same ratios.As far as I know , only top of the line Clubmans ever used the close ratio hubs. So, if I ever get around to building my daydream bike, I'll use one of the modern IG hubs. It will be a shot in the dark though. I have no idea how well they function. How reliable they are. I figure that if Pashley uses a Shimano 8 speed, it can't be bad. I suppose...make that hope...I could learn how to service it.

adventurepdx 01-28-16 12:16 PM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 18493606)
I figure those of us with complaints of the AW's spacing must be in the extreme minority.

Exactly! ;)

You have to remember that the majority of three speed bicycles were "utility" bikes, where having a wide range gears is useful and practical. And the narrow range hubs stayed on the "racy" bikes.

Me, I wish the gap between low and medium was bigger. I'd have preferred it if it was 66%-100%-133% than 75%-100%-133%. If I could redesign the AW, that's what I'd do.

Salubrious 01-28-16 12:52 PM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by Slash5 (Post 18490286)
. A 3 speed isn't going to be light, might as well use a Grand Prix - and they are dime a dozen.

I got my Bates down to 22 pounds. Not sure if that is considered 'light' but it works for me. FWIW though it uses an alloy hub made about 1952. http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=501135

IronDan 01-28-16 02:25 PM

I just picked up another 3 speed that I won on EBay for the sum of 2.70 or $3.88

it's a 1980 Raleigh Transit with the original Brooks saddle, saddle bag and side stand.
I thought from the sellers pics that it had white paint all over it but after picking it up it turns out that it's bird poo where it's been stored in a barn :)

http://i.pictr.com/fzzs1ic3pv.jpg

3speedslow 01-28-16 02:31 PM

You forgot to mention the bell! That is another nice brown one to show up here. I would like more details and pics of that saddle bag. Plaid at that!

Good catch.

ascherer 01-28-16 02:57 PM


Originally Posted by noglider (Post 18487775)
The Raleigh Pro is made of a fairly common design, and if you are not sentimental about Raleigh Pros, you could probably get an equivalent bike from some other maker.

Sentiment is exactly the point. '73 Pro in Mink Blue/Silver is a Grail bike for me, along with the PX-10 that I got. The International isn't but I know what a great frame it is.

ascherer 01-28-16 02:58 PM


Brilliant find!

gster 01-28-16 03:08 PM


Originally Posted by ascherer (Post 18494189)
Brilliant find!

I haven't bought anything from him but he's got a few things I might like.

noglider 01-28-16 03:12 PM


Originally Posted by ascherer (Post 18494184)
Sentiment is exactly the point. '73 Pro in Mink Blue/Silver is a Grail bike for me, along with the PX-10 that I got. The International isn't but I know what a great frame it is.

I spent many years lusting after the mink blue Pro, and I'd like to try one one day, but I suspect it will be similar to bikes I own or have owned. It might be close to my McLean. I think I let go of my lust in recent years.

browngw 01-28-16 05:01 PM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 18491942)
My problem with the AW is the 33% jump from normal to overdrive. For me anyway, overdrive is too tall to be useful. .

The AW is quite simple, 1 for uphill, 3 for downhill, 2 for everything else.

BigChief 01-28-16 06:06 PM

It's just a matter of opinion. I prefer medium ratio hubs. My only real gripe is that they are so hard to find.

choteau 01-29-16 11:02 AM


Originally Posted by browngw (Post 18494574)
The AW is quite simple, 1 for uphill, 3 for downhill, 2 for everything else.

I'm a believer in 3rd is cruise, 2nd is for hills/headwinds, and 1rst is for bighills, I'm tired/lazy, or really want to go slow.
I coast down hills :D

Sixty Fiver 01-29-16 12:31 PM


Originally Posted by browngw (Post 18494574)
The AW is quite simple, 1 for uphill, 3 for downhill, 2 for everything else.

I usually set up my AW hubs so that 3rd is my main gear and then I have two steps down for the heavy lifting like riding into the wind and steeper hill climbs.

Exception would be that 1954 Raleigh of mine that has a fairly typical set up and a 48/65/84 gear inch drive set up but it doesn't tow anything and I usually ride this pretty light and fast.

The 20's have much lower gear ranges since they are little mules.

The winter 3 speed tops out at 65 gear inches.

noglider 01-29-16 02:34 PM


Originally Posted by choteau (Post 18496231)
I'm a believer in 3rd is cruise, 2nd is for hills/headwinds, and 1rst is for bighills, I'm tired/lazy, or really want to go slow.
I coast down hills :D

That's how I geared my Rudge in Maplewood, NJ which has steep hills. I shipped it to Florida where my mother in law lives. Now the gears are too low, because the only challenging part of the terrain is a headwind. I'll bring a smaller cog down next time I visit. It has a whopping 24T now.

But for my normal riding, even a medium spaced three-speed is too wide for my taste. Same for the 5-speed hubs. That's one reason I don't often ride IGHs. I'm sure I'd love the NuVinci hub with the continuously variable ratio.

gster 01-29-16 08:54 PM


Originally Posted by IronDan (Post 18494088)
I just picked up another 3 speed that I won on EBay for the sum of 2.70 or $3.88

it's a 1980 Raleigh Transit with the original Brooks saddle, saddle bag and side stand.
I thought from the sellers pics that it had white paint all over it but after picking it up it turns out that it's bird poo where it's been stored in a barn :)

http://i.pictr.com/fzzs1ic3pv.jpg

I think you've paid too much.

BigChief 01-29-16 09:26 PM

<<I'm sure I'd love the NuVinci hub with the continuously variable ratio. >>
Never heard of it. Wow, fluid drive! Amazing!

BigChief 01-29-16 09:27 PM


Originally Posted by gster (Post 18497784)
I think you've paid too much.

yeah, he got skunked on that one :thumb:

John D 01-29-16 09:56 PM

3 Attachment(s)
http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=501440http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=501439http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=501438
This is my 1936 Raleigh Golden Arrow with SA K series three speed with two cogs and a tensioner under the chainwheel to make It a six speed.

gster 01-30-16 08:59 AM


Originally Posted by John D (Post 18497880)
http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=501440http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=501439http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=501438
This is my 1936 Raleigh Golden Arrow with SA K series three speed with two cogs and a tensioner under the chainwheel to make It a six speed.

I really like this bike.

Velocivixen 01-30-16 09:17 AM

@John D - what a great looking bike. What is the ride quality like? How did you end up with the bike? P,ease share more.

@gster- you have got to stop allowing those sellers to take advantage of you! Sheesh.:roflmao2:

gster 01-30-16 10:35 AM

1 Attachment(s)
http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=501499

Originally Posted by Velocivixen (Post 18498509)
@John D - what a great looking bike. What is the ride quality like? How did you end up with the bike? P,ease share more.

@gster- you have got to stop allowing those sellers to take advantage of you! Sheesh.:roflmao2:

You're right!
The most I've paid is $435.00 (CDN) for a near perfect 1967 Sprite 5 speed followed by a 1977 near perfect DL-1 fully equipped @ $425.00.
The lowest I've paid is $0.00.. .. But generally I like a bike in the $75.00 range...
These are the ones that see the most use as I'm not as concerned with the cosmetics.
Drawing from the 1902 catalogue.


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