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

kingsting 09-16-10 05:12 PM

How about a chrome Raleigh "Boss Bike"?

http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w...g/IMG_0206.jpg

http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w...g/IMG_0207.jpg

It's only a single speed but it is English and appears to be a DL-1 variant. It has rod brakes, rear carrier, full chaincase, Dunlop 26 x 2.0 balloon tires (tyres), a B-33 saddle, heavy rear dropstand, and it's ALL chrome.

I've posted this on some forums before and nobody has been able to positively ID what model this is. I'm guessing it's early to mid-60's vintage. It has two serial numbers (one on the seat lug and one on the side of seat tube.) and neither appear on any of the charts. No date codes on the hubs either. This may have been for the South African market although it has a Nottingham headbadge.

http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w.../Raleigh20.jpg

it gets a lot of attention at car shows too. :)
http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w...iraleigh-1.jpg

noglider 09-16-10 07:37 PM

Wow, Kingsting. I think you should get a different bike tray, the kind that lets you mount the bike upside down. Then the setup will look like you can flip it and carry the car on the bike.

greengage 09-16-10 09:01 PM

Holy cow, that's cool--and so's the Mini...

mickey85 09-16-10 09:10 PM

So, kingsting, which is heavier? :lol:

Andrew F 09-16-10 09:15 PM

What keeps the car from laying over on it's side? All jesting aside, cool mini.

AL NZ 09-17-10 04:14 AM

Kingsting,
in one of life's random twists, you have just blown me out of the water.
i have recently returned to NZ after a year in UK. I have 2 choice Raleighs following me in a container (1955 Sports, and 1939 loop frame).
Just 24 hours ago I saw this for sale in my home town,

http://www.trademe.co.nz/a.aspx?id=317636872

and i thought it a bitser. With the separate seat stays I judged it an old 28" wheeler that someone had put later 26" Westwoods and fat tyres on.

Then, chrome aside, from the other side of Planet Raleigh I saw your post - the two appear to be the same model, but what that model is I know not .

Can anyone Shed the Light?

kingsting 09-17-10 06:34 AM


Originally Posted by AL NZ (Post 11478950)
Kingsting,
in one of life's random twists, you have just blown me out of the water.
i have recently returned to NZ after a year in UK. I have 2 choice Raleighs following me in a container (1955 Sports, and 1939 loop frame).
Just 24 hours ago I saw this for sale in my home town,

http://www.trademe.co.nz/a.aspx?id=317636872

and i thought it a bitser. With the separate seat stays I judged it an old 28" wheeler that someone had put later 26" Westwoods and fat tyres on.

Then, chrome aside, from the other side of Planet Raleigh I saw your post - the two appear to be the same model, but what that model is I know not .

Can anyone Shed the Light?

Hey! A New Zealand guy on the forums! :thumb: You probably recognized my Mini. ;) It came from New Zealand originally and it still has the original dealer sticker in the rear window. I'll have to go look at it tonight and see what town it came from... I think the dealership was John King cars LTD...

Anyway... Back to the bike you found. The frame and wheels definitely look to be the same as mine, however - it looks to be a lower end model with a hockeystick chainguard and mattress saddle. It also appears to be older judging from the black reflector housing.
After a so-called expert told me that this bike was something that someone made out of a DL-1, I measured my frame and compared it to my Dawn and DL-1. The dimensions are different so this is a model of it's own.
I found a few short articles that mention the balloon tire roadsters and that they were mostly for the South African market.

SouthernGothic 09-17-10 02:36 PM

1 Attachment(s)
http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=170179
I cannot believe it has been a year and a half since I last signed in on the forum.
This is my pride and joy. 1970 Raleigh DL1 and 40 years old this year of which ten have been with me. It is my daily ride and now my only bicycle. I am soon to replace the original Brooks B72 saddle with a more plush Brooks B135.
Of all the modern and vintage bicycles I have owned through the years, this one has been the most reliable, easiest to maintain and easiest to fix.

AL NZ 09-19-10 03:29 AM


Originally Posted by kingsting (Post 11479190)
Hey! A New Zealand guy on the forums! :thumb: You probably recognized my Mini. ;) It came from New Zealand originally and it still has the original dealer sticker in the rear window. I'll have to go look at it tonight and see what town it came from... I think the dealership was John King cars LTD...

Anyway... Back to the bike you found. The frame and wheels definitely look to be the same as mine, however - it looks to be a lower end model with a hockeystick chainguard and mattress saddle. It also appears to be older judging from the black reflector housing.
After a so-called expert told me that this bike was something that someone made out of a DL-1, I measured my frame and compared it to my Dawn and DL-1. The dimensions are different so this is a model of it's own.
I found a few short articles that mention the balloon tire roadsters and that they were mostly for the South African market.

... and along comes another one for sale in NZ

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Sports/Cycl...-317335706.htm

..a bit like buses, 2 or 3 come at once.
Does anyone know what this model is?

jedge76 09-20-10 04:49 PM

What kinds of maintenance items would be atop your guys' lists if you were unsure of the maintenance record of the 3-speed Raleigh you just acquired. I was thinking of looking into the repacking the bottom bracket, flushing the SA hub and refilling w/ 10W30. What about the front hub? Repack? Anything else that comes to all of you English bike owners?

wahoonc 09-20-10 05:06 PM


Originally Posted by jedge76 (Post 11496153)
What kinds of maintenance items would be atop your guys' lists if you were unsure of the maintenance record of the 3-speed Raleigh you just acquired. I was thinking of looking into the repacking the bottom bracket, flushing the SA hub and refilling w/ 10W30. What about the front hub? Repack? Anything else that comes to all of you English bike owners?

A lot of what I do is visual. But at the bare minimum, I repack the BB, front hub and headset. Rear hub I dump some oil in and if it shifts okay, let it slide. I almost always replace brake pads with Kool Stop Continentals. I may oil cables or replace if they are rusty and ugly. If the bike is in really rough shape I do a complete tear down and clean up.

However...whenever I get a new to me 3 speed the first thing I do is take it for a short spin and see what works and what doesn't.

Aaron :)

noglider 09-20-10 11:37 PM


Originally Posted by wahoonc (Post 11496232)
A lot of what I do is visual. But at the bare minimum, I repack the BB, front hub and headset. Rear hub I dump some oil in and if it shifts okay, let it slide. I almost always replace brake pads with Kool Stop Continentals. I may oil cables or replace if they are rusty and ugly. If the bike is in really rough shape I do a complete tear down and clean up.

However...whenever I get a new to me 3 speed the first thing I do is take it for a short spin and see what works and what doesn't.

Aaron :)

I don't do the BB, headset, or front hub. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. You could cause more problems than you solve. You could drop oil into these bearings, and sometimes, I do. And cotter pins are such a pain.

I do oil the rear hub. I replace the cables if needed. Sometimes, they just need oil. And sometimes, I replace the brake shoes. Basically, I do as little as possible on these machines. I like to true wheels, though, so I do that if needed. They often have cotton rim strips, so be ready to replace them. Sometimes, they fall apart from age when you take the tire off.

Obviously, you'll inspect the tires and replace them if needed. The tubes are usually OK. My 1967 had old tires, not original, and they were seriously dry rotted. I rode them for a while, but they recently gave out, so I am replacing them.

mkeller234 09-20-10 11:45 PM


Originally Posted by noglider (Post 11498253)
I don't do the BB, headset, or front hub. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. You could cause more problems than you solve. You could drop oil into these bearings, and sometimes, I do. And cotter pins are such a pain.

That is surprising. It seems 99% of the old bikes I have found had bearings in very poor shape. Most of the time I find them adjusted very tight with a mixture of sand, gunk and bugs in the bearings.

noglider 09-21-10 12:02 AM

Yeah, but oil will flush all that cr@p out.:lol:

Sixty Fiver 09-21-10 12:46 AM


Originally Posted by jedge76 (Post 11496153)
What kinds of maintenance items would be atop your guys' lists if you were unsure of the maintenance record of the 3-speed Raleigh you just acquired. I was thinking of looking into the repacking the bottom bracket, flushing the SA hub and refilling w/ 10W30. What about the front hub? Repack? Anything else that comes to all of you English bike owners?

I do a complete overhaul of all the bearings as even if they are smooth I want to see what is in there... rear hubs get a little drink of oil and if they run smoothly I don't do anything else and this is the case for 99% of the three speeds I work on.

If the cables and housings are good I give them a little lube... many of these bikes have spent their lives in warm dry garages so corrosion is not an issue.

AL NZ 09-21-10 02:58 AM

I am with 65er.
Remember, all these English hubs/BBs were originally intended for oil, and the older ones have oilers on both hubs and the bottom bracket.
Having said that, modern grease is good stuff and will tend to keep the rain out of bearings.
But never grease a 3 speed hub! Strictly oil.
It is not hard to have a sneaky-peak in a 3 speed - pop off the retaining wire ring for the sprocket, take off sprocket, undo lock nuts and ease the drive side of the hub out for a look. If all clean and no rusty oil or grit, slosh in some 30W oil and put it back together. I recently did this to a 1939 AW hub, and it was pristine inside after 70 years and didn't need stripping. It changes perfectly and never slips.

I prefer a bike that is mechanically OK but perhaps looks a bit scruffy, than vice versa

noglider 09-21-10 09:28 AM

Upon reading your comment, Al, I guess I prefer scruffy bikes. Nearly all of my bikes are scruffy. I don't enjoy cleaning them. But they work extremely well. This is also a useful strategy, as it makes the bikes less of a target.

mickey85 09-21-10 06:39 PM


Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver (Post 11498346)
I do a complete overhaul of all the bearings as even if they are smooth I want to see what is in there... rear hubs get a little drink of oil and if they run smoothly I don't do anything else and this is the case for 99% of the three speeds I work on.

If the cables and housings are good I give them a little lube... many of these bikes have spent their lives in warm dry garages so corrosion is not an issue.

+1. When I get any bike, I repack the hubs, BB and head, and replace the cables, at a minimum. I didn't do the cables on teh Phillips though, as they're the original ribbed white cables, and I like them...black would be lost on an all-black bike.

With any new 3 speed (just did this with my sister's Schwinn sporting an AW hub), I shoot WD-40 into the rear hub until it's profusely running out the sides, then ride it (not using the back brake!) for 25 miles or so (not necessarily at once). I'll then switch to ATF and do the same thing once or twice, then clean it up, drop on a teaspoon or so of ATF (I have an old "dinka dinka" style oil can for this), and off I go. The Phillips got a greased BB and head, but the hubs are both oiled - with the front, once every 6 months or so, I'll take off the wheel, loosen the nuts, and shoot liberally with the same ATF the rear hub gets. The BB will probably get regular anointing with the same after the first couple years, because I bent my cotter press trying to get out the damn cotters on my UO-8 (cutoff torch is your friend with those bastards...).

Sixty Fiver 09-21-10 10:01 PM


Originally Posted by AL NZ (Post 11498467)
I am with 65er.
Remember, all these English hubs/BBs were originally intended for oil, and the older ones have oilers on both hubs and the bottom bracket.
Having said that, modern grease is good stuff and will tend to keep the rain out of bearings.
But never grease a 3 speed hub! Strictly oil.
It is not hard to have a sneaky-peak in a 3 speed - pop off the retaining wire ring for the sprocket, take off sprocket, undo lock nuts and ease the drive side of the hub out for a look. If all clean and no rusty oil or grit, slosh in some 30W oil and put it back together. I recently did this to a 1939 AW hub, and it was pristine inside after 70 years and didn't need stripping. It changes perfectly and never slips.

I prefer a bike that is mechanically OK but perhaps looks a bit scruffy, than vice versa

Pretty is as pretty does... although it is wonderful to have both and I have a few of those I always do the mechanical work before I even think of any cosmetic re-finishing.

Sometimes a bike just gets a clear coat to protect it from the elements and preserve the original decals and patina and in other cases I might be looking at a tear down and total re-finishing job.

Just picked up a custom made mtb that was built here and the paint has seen better days so it will be going out to the shop for powder sand blasting and powder coating.

It was a three speed for about 30 minutes today too... :)

old's'cool 09-21-10 10:04 PM


Originally Posted by noglider (Post 11499588)
Upon reading your comment, Al, I guess I prefer scruffy bikes. Nearly all of my bikes are scruffy. I don't enjoy cleaning them. But they work extremely well. This is also a useful strategy, as it makes the bikes less of a target.

That is like my philosophy for my FrankenVega, the bike I take into town and leave locked up for hours at a time, i.e. "scruffy" on the outside, but clean on the inside. :thumb:

jedge76 09-22-10 10:28 PM

Thanks to everyone for the insight. My bike arrived today and it is really stellar, at least appearance wise. Seems like it's spent a lot of time sitting in a comfy spot while not acquiring many miles in it's 38 years. I still need to reassemble the front wheel, handle bars, lights, etc. Then I think I'll take a look at the bb, front hub and headset. Pour of few drops of 10W30 into the SA and see from there. I hope to have it going by early next week. It's already begging me to be ridden. I will soon abide. Thanks again.

AL NZ 09-23-10 02:32 AM

Jedge, I am no oil expert, what I know is just from car oil changes.
Californ-i-a is fairly warm no snow, yeah?
So 10W-30 is good for cold engine start up, and probably good for bicycle bearings in frozen climes, but you probably don't need it in warm ol'CA
4-stroke lawnmower oil is 30-viscosity and, I understand, almost the same as the original-spec singe-viscosity oil as specified by Sturmey Archer 'back in the day', as they say.

Having said this, I personally think we all fret way too much about what is the best oil/grease/etc, and anything is better than nothing, and regular attention and the occasional clean of the bearings probably exceeds the original design parameters.
None of us can generate the loads that a bog-standard home-handiman trailer's wheel bearings are subjected to, so even the cheapest modern grease should be ample for all cycle bearings.

Main thing is, never grease the Sturmey 3 speed (but maybe just its outer bearings to minimise water ingress)

wahoonc 09-23-10 03:00 AM


Originally Posted by AL NZ (Post 11510618)
Jedge, I am no oil expert, what I know is just from car oil changes.
Californ-i-a is fairly warm no snow, yeah?
So 10W-30 is good for cold engine start up, and probably good for bicycle bearings in frozen climes, but you probably don't need it in warm ol'CA
4-stroke lawnmower oil is 30-viscosity and, I understand, almost the same as the original-spec singe-viscosity oil as specified by Sturmey Archer 'back in the day', as they say.

Having said this, I personally think we all fret way too much about what is the best oil/grease/etc, and anything is better than nothing, and regular attention and the occasional clean of the bearings probably exceeds the original design parameters.
None of us can generate the loads that a bog-standard home-handiman trailer's wheel bearings are subjected to, so even the cheapest modern grease should be ample for all cycle bearings.

Main thing is, never grease the Sturmey 3 speed (but maybe just its outer bearings to minimise water ingress)

I agree with the greasing and oil. Only odd caveat is if you do grease and use regular oil, make sure you use a compatible grease or the oil will wash it right out of the bearings. FWIW I use the cheapest brown grease I can find for my hub bearings that get oil. Otherwise I use a marine grease designed for boat trailers.

I have one Sturmey Archer AW hub that has somewhere over 30,000 miles on it. It is the best shifting of all of my hubs and is still ticking along after 35 years of pretty minimal maintenance.

Aaron :)

AL NZ 09-23-10 03:06 AM

interesting, your use of the phrase 'ticking along'.

Its origins are probably obscure, but it is the perfect description of a good Sturmey Archer hub, and maybe that is the source..

Andrew F 09-23-10 06:42 AM


I have one Sturmey Archer AW hub that has somewhere over 30,000 miles on it. It is the best shifting of all of my hubs and is still ticking along after 35 years of pretty minimal maintenance.
Got one over 60 years old that ticks like a fine watch, they are amazing!


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