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

SirMike1983 05-02-24 08:04 PM

1959 Schwinn Traveler out for a ride this evening.


https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...a3caac795c.jpg

Cyclespanner 05-03-24 02:40 AM

AD-SLE, hi.

Isn't 8.125'' = 8 1/4''? (decimal = fraction)
SAE spanners don't cut the mustard; you need Whitworth BSW.
Most if not all component dimensions should be to the nearest fraction.

I was 15 in 1970; we were just then being introduced to the 'future' Metric system at school.
The first pocket calculators were becoming available; these suddenly made sense of the Metric system.
As a consequence I still think in Feet & Inches, but revert to Decimals for fine tolerances.

1989Pre 05-03-24 05:02 AM

AD-SLE: I was looking at the headset cups on your frame and they do not seem parallel. You might want to check this. The crown race seems askew.

clubman 05-03-24 06:16 AM

It may be just the pic angle and the edge of the badge but the head tube seems to have a little wow in it. Difficult to measure even with a steel rule and it may affect the ride once built. Maybe two straight edges placed on the head tube milled faces may show deformation.


Originally Posted by AD-SLE (Post 23228694)


Salubrious 05-03-24 10:32 AM

This message appeared in my inbox this morning; the Lake Pepin 3-speed Tour is two weeks off:

Yes indeed, it cannot be explained; why would so many Nutters saddle up and ride into the unknown? Welp, there are several reasons and here are a few:
  1. You have been religious in your peaty training regimen
  2. Your Trusty Steed is almost ready and it's hiding in the bothy (and it will be fine with cotton carcass Dunlops).
  3. Your musty rain cape has been found under the basement stairway in the potato bin and is ready for the long walk up the Bay City Hill in the rain.
  4. You have Wife Support.
  5. And finally, the vistas, history and friendship is unparalleled.
Other notes of madness:
  • The head count is at 64; quite good but for those still on the fence, don't wait any longer.
  • Don't trust your tag sale cotton carcass Dunlop tyres. If you don't know if you have cotton carcasses in your tyres, here is a Top Tech Tip: If it says Dunlop, it has a cotton carcass.
  • Saturday dinner is where you find it; many choices are available. After your gourmet selection, meet back at Brenda's Hoppy Girl Brewery for a beverage.
  • Sunday morning reminder: A breakfast fundraiser will be served at St. Felix church at 8am. $12 for a Belgian waffle (with sausage). A church basement treat is far better than vulcanised donuts at a hotel.
  • After breakfast, meet at the campground to finish loading the Lorry and depart.
Best along the Path,
Jon Sharratt, Shirt-Tail Organiser Emeritus
www.3speedtour.com

Road Fan 05-03-24 12:53 PM


Originally Posted by gster (Post 23220307)
1972 Superbe
https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...7a1daa738b.jpg
I've not had this one out for several years but needed to cart some stuff downtown
I was having a hell of a time in third gear and
thought I must be getting old....
Most of my bikes have 19/20/21T cogs
and I thought the original cog on this one was an 18.
I was very surprised to find this one had a 17T cog.
This bike is very original with all of it's "R" nuts etc so
I've always assumed the back cog was original as well.

The 17 might be original. That is the original cog on my 1952 Rudge Aero Special, with a 46 chain wheel.. hub choices were AW, FW, and FM, but I doubt they all used the same chainring/sprocket sets

oldiron 05-04-24 12:04 AM

8.125" = 8 1/8"

I believe a 21" ladies model may also have a fork that will work, Most used a taller head tube to give the ladies model a more upright bar position.

Panurgist 05-04-24 05:42 PM

SA false neutral
 
My question pertains to the false neutral on British AW hubs and is specifically technical. I have pulled down and successfully reassembled an early '50s AW hub so I "sort of" understand how they do their magic. I have read that early pre-AW SA hubs did not have the false neutral and that the newer Taiwan SA AW hubs don't either. So what exactly was and is now done differently.
And why did the mid-century hubs deviate from that. ( $$ or sturdiness or ease of service? )

JohnDThompson 05-04-24 06:24 PM

The original AW hub had a neutral space between 2nd and 3rd gear that could happen when the shift cable went out of adjustment. In the 1980s, Columbia Bicycle Company persuaded Sturmey-Archer to slightly change the design to eliminate the neutral position; this version was known as the "No Inbetween Gear" (NIG) hub. When hub production moved to Taiwan, the NIG design is what was used there.

SirMike1983 05-04-24 08:49 PM

One challenge that had to be overcome was preventing the hub from simultaneously engaging high and normal gears, which could potentially damage or destroy the hub. The model K avoided this problem through ramped engagement surfaces that forced the hub into one gear or the other, but prevented engagement of both at the same time. This held true from the introduction of the K right after WW1 through the 1935 revision.

The ramped surface engagement used by the K model hub has two drawbacks, one was that it added manufacturing cost, and the other was wear on the ramped engagement surfaces, leading to parts replacement. Modifications to the K in 1935 led to the no-drive position. This reduced production cost and reduced the engagement surface wear issue, but it introduced the issue of free spinning between normal and high. The trade-off was felt to be worthwhile because, as the thinking went, if you adjusted/maintained the hub properly and if you understood how to shift while riding, you wouldn't have a problem with the neutral position.

Several modifications made late in the life of the K hub found their way into the AW, including the no-drive position. The AW lived on with the neutral position inherited from the late model K until 1984. Evidently over the years, SA's assumption that the neutral position would not be a serious problem turned out to be somewhat misplaced. The neutral position caused problems with mis-adjusted AWs and proved a serious safety issue on the TCW series hubs. Columbia at that time was a fading manufacturer of bikes in the US and requested an AW without the neutral gear. SA made changes to the hub. Eventually the NIG became a standard adaptation to the hub. Much of this willingness to make changes was because of SA's dire economic situation in the early 1980s. The early 80s were not a good time for Sturmey Archer overall, and they needed to sell every hub they could and keep as many customers as they could.

Panurgist 05-05-24 07:01 AM

Brilliant! Thanks much.
The sturdiness of the AW hub is obvious since I am still regularly riding on one from 1952 that has all it's original bits. I pulled mine down, cleaned out the nasty-fied oily gunk and re-assembled with fresh oil - works like a champ.
Unfortunately relying on a cable not to stretch or a clamp not to slip was not a realistic solution. For the non-mechanically inclined it only has to drop into freewheel once, at the wrong moment, to lose confidence in the machine forever.

woodrupjoe 05-05-24 10:11 AM

Jessica Fletcherís Raleigh
 
Anybody else here enjoy seeing that beautiful Raleigh on Murder She Wrote?
Iím sure Iím showing my age, but these days Iím enjoying the old reruns. Itís always a treat to see her perfect condition womenís Sports in green with original fork-mounted generator headlight.
Anybody with me?

Öor is it a Sports?
Superbe, or some other model?
Iím no expert.

Small cog 05-05-24 10:32 AM


Originally Posted by woodrupjoe (Post 23232153)
Anybody else here enjoy seeing that beautiful Raleigh on Murder She Wrote?
Iím sure Iím showing my age, but these days Iím enjoying the old reruns. Itís always a treat to see her perfect condition womenís Sports in green with original fork-mounted generator headlight.
Anybody with me?

Öor is it a Sports?
Superbe, or some other model?
Iím no expert.

There are constant re-runs on UK television including a clip of the bike when they announce that an episode is coming up but I have never managed to note what model it is.

woodrupjoe 05-05-24 10:32 AM

https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...9400c685b.jpeg
Light and pump, but no full chain case.
And is that an original rack underneath the aftermarket folding wire baskets?

clubman 05-05-24 12:18 PM


Originally Posted by woodrupjoe (Post 23232174)
Light and pump, but no full chain case.
And is that an original rack underneath the aftermarket folding wire baskets?

Looks like the original Prestube rack and it also has an original Raleigh kickstand. The light should be a Sturmey but who's counting. :innocent:

3speedslow 05-05-24 03:18 PM

Love those Raleigh kickstand! Such a smart design.

Salubrious 05-06-24 10:24 AM


Originally Posted by Panurgist (Post 23232009)
Brilliant! Thanks much.
The sturdiness of the AW hub is obvious since I am still regularly riding on one from 1952 that has all it's original bits. I pulled mine down, cleaned out the nasty-fied oily gunk and re-assembled with fresh oil - works like a champ.
Unfortunately relying on a cable not to stretch or a clamp not to slip was not a realistic solution. For the non-mechanically inclined it only has to drop into freewheel once, at the wrong moment, to lose confidence in the machine forever.

FWIW I've never had a problem with this. But I am careful to keep an eye on the condition of the bike. I adjust the shift cable by setting it for the minimum tension such that the toggle chain does not retract at all into the hub while in 1st gear. I've been told that the 3-speeds were built for a 100+ year service life but like so many things British from the middle of the last century (or earlier) there was a built-in expectation that the machine would be properly serviced. If everything is checked (properly lubricated, brake pads tested and adjusted, spoke tension tested with wheels aligned, shifter tested and adjusted, tires inspected with new inner tubes at least every 8-10 years, the seat (if leather) properly treated and adjusted, then 100 years is pretty reasonable. Bikes that have found their way into the US often did not get this treatment/respect.

SirMike1983 05-07-24 08:29 AM

Warm, humid evening here last night (for May at least).

https://blogger.googleusercontent.co...215838_179.jpg

tcs 05-08-24 11:43 AM


Originally Posted by Panurgist (Post 23232009)
Unfortunately relying on a cable not to stretch or a clamp not to slip was not a realistic solution. For the non-mechanically inclined it only has to drop into freewheel once, at the wrong moment, to lose confidence in the machine forever.

The late Jobst Brandt said the AW was unconditionally unacceptable.

The late Sheldon Brown pointed out that tens of millions of cyclists employed the AW without issue.

The AW is not idiot-proof. Hmm. What on a bicycle is?

Salubrious 05-08-24 01:10 PM


Originally Posted by tcs (Post 23234856)
The late Jobst Brandt said the AW was unconditionally unacceptable.

The late Sheldon Brown pointed out that tens of millions of cyclists employed the AW without issue.

The AW is not idiot-proof. Hmm. What on a bicycle is?

Seems like Mr. Brandt was simply wrong :)
He probably didn't know how to set it up. The AW has some arcane quirks.

SirMike1983 05-08-24 01:41 PM

Brandt was a very bright guy, but sometimes his advice focused on his engineering theory of a matter rather than how it actually worked out in practice. He tended to denigrate things he didn't agree with. I recall one usenet discussion where he basically told another person that the guy's old Schwinn 3 speed was not a real bike. Sheldon's explanation addressed Jobst's complaint about the AW.

Brandt was not alone in his thinking though. I remember once being laughed out of a bike shop in DC because I came in with a Raleigh Sports. There's always been a small but vocal group of "serious cyclists" who sneer at old 3 speed bikes.

Salubrious 05-09-24 09:49 AM


Originally Posted by SirMike1983 (Post 23234965)
Brandt was a very bright guy, but sometimes his advice focused on his engineering theory of a matter rather than how it actually worked out in practice. He tended to denigrate things he didn't agree with. I recall one usenet discussion where he basically told another person that the guy's old Schwinn 3 speed was not a real bike. Sheldon's explanation addressed Jobst's complaint about the AW.

Brandt was not alone in his thinking though. I remember once being laughed out of a bike shop in DC because I came in with a Raleigh Sports. There's always been a small but vocal group of "serious cyclists" who sneer at old 3 speed bikes.

Bad luck! Probably the sneering is from a sense of insecurity...

If you ever encounter such again, ask which is better for training!

Maybe they are just being nice but I don't get laughs at my 3 speeds when I bring them to my LBSs. But 3-speeds are part of cycling history such as my Bates or my '35 roadster. My bike that gets the most compliments when I'm out on a ride, whether road, mountain or whatever, is my 1972 Raleigh Superbe.

SirMike1983 05-09-24 10:46 AM

It has a lot to do with the culture of a particular shop. Funny thing was after that happened, I went next door to a competing shop, and they really appreciated the condition of the old Raleigh Sports. People tend to gravitate to others with similar perspectives. Two shops on the same block with totally different ways of looking at it. This was probably 21-22 years ago.

adventurepdx 05-09-24 04:35 PM


Originally Posted by SirMike1983 (Post 23234965)
Brandt was a very bright guy, but sometimes his advice focused on his engineering theory of a matter rather than how it actually worked out in practice. He tended to denigrate things he didn't agree with. I recall one usenet discussion where he basically told another person that the guy's old Schwinn 3 speed was not a real bike. Sheldon's explanation addressed Jobst's complaint about the AW.


Brandt was not alone in his thinking though. I remember once being laughed out of a bike shop in DC because I came in with a Raleigh Sports. There's always been a small but vocal group of "serious cyclists" who sneer at old 3 speed bikes.


Brandt was bright and also an iconoclast that did things in a very unique, deliberate, and sometimes confounding way. I read somewhere else that he got a new frame built yearly (or every other year) because he put so much abuse on his bikes, and that he always chose yellow paint because it would show cracks the easiest. Jobst would do serious "gravel"/MTB rides with high gearing and slick, narrow tires on a road bike. He would never carry water, instead he knew where water was and would stick his head into the spring or creek and drink. He also looked sideways when Tom Ritchey rolled up on a bike he had built himself, wondering if it would be up for the task. I admire folks like him, but just like I do with Jan Heine, I take their recommendations with a grain of salt.


But Brandt wasn't unique in the practice of denigrating three speeds. That was common practice amongst many American men who got serious about cycling in the 60s and 70s. This was an era when adult biking (at least in the 60s) wasn't a thing, so those who aspired to it looked at racing bikes from Europe for inspiration. Three speeds was what they'd find in department stores, hardware stores, or the basic bike shops, and admittedly a lot of the three speeds available here (that wasn't imported from the UK) were heavy and of mediocre quality. That bias got passed down through the ages, especially through the pages of bike magazines and books. Look at the bike books from that era--they might talk about three speed maintenance because they were common, but there was an air of "If you're serious about this, you'll soon leave that three speed behind and upgrade to a fine machine from Italy or maybe France." (Not Japan just yet.) And that bias is still hard to shake.

SirMike1983 05-09-24 09:25 PM


Originally Posted by adventurepdx (Post 23236045)
Brandt was bright and also an iconoclast that did things in a very unique, deliberate, and sometimes confounding way. I read somewhere else that he got a new frame built yearly (or every other year) because he put so much abuse on his bikes, and that he always chose yellow paint because it would show cracks the easiest. Jobst would do serious "gravel"/MTB rides with high gearing and slick, narrow tires on a road bike. He would never carry water, instead he knew where water was and would stick his head into the spring or creek and drink. He also looked sideways when Tom Ritchey rolled up on a bike he had built himself, wondering if it would be up for the task. I admire folks like him, but just like I do with Jan Heine, I take their recommendations with a grain of salt.


But Brandt wasn't unique in the practice of denigrating three speeds. That was common practice amongst many American men who got serious about cycling in the 60s and 70s. This was an era when adult biking (at least in the 60s) wasn't a thing, so those who aspired to it looked at racing bikes from Europe for inspiration. Three speeds was what they'd find in department stores, hardware stores, or the basic bike shops, and admittedly a lot of the three speeds available here (that wasn't imported from the UK) were heavy and of mediocre quality. That bias got passed down through the ages, especially through the pages of bike magazines and books. Look at the bike books from that era--they might talk about three speed maintenance because they were common, but there was an air of "If you're serious about this, you'll soon leave that three speed behind and upgrade to a fine machine from Italy or maybe France." (Not Japan just yet.) And that bias is still hard to shake.

You make a good point. There was a malaise era for some of these bikes in the 1970s into the 1980s. The Raleigh products were generally good, as were the Schwinn products. Some of the Japanese and French brands also made decent 3 speed bikes, and then Schwinn was also importing Taiwanese Giant-made three speeds at the end.

But some of the fading manufacturers, like Murray and Columbia, were turning out some rather weak offerings by way of three speed bikes in that malaise time. Then there were the department store bikes like the Free Spirit, and some of the Huffy bikes that were just kind of cheap overall. I've seen a fair number of these bikes with broken frame or separated weld joints at the rear of the frame. Then many of the budget level components were cheap. I suppose if your experience with a three speed was on a 1980s Columbia where the rear dropout decided to detach itself during a ride, you'd be turned off on three speed bikes.

Still, it's unfair to lump them all together. I suppose it was sort like the snobbery that plagued the Schwinn Varsity. Perhaps the Varsity took it even worse.


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