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

Fir 06-23-10 11:22 AM

I mentioned on James's page that back in the old days we used to besmirch the vintage 3-speeds. The body position wasn't exactly the raciest image for a young fellow and the examples we got our muddy paws on were mostly either wrung out ladies models or faddish bannana seat and sissybar choppers with the stick on the Toptube... But some of my most absorbed recollections are of tooling around on a lady's Raleigh. I was fortunate enough to explore some of Gloucestershire on my Aunt's machine in 1970 and 1974. Wish i were posessed of a photochemical image of that. And I had a copper-brown ladies' 3spd for a short time in ca1990 - can still feel the elegant if not aerodynamic riding position. When I got my Sports recently I simply assumed that it would never compete with my aluminim Scott Lightflight with XTR componentry on my 6 km commute. Qu'el surprise, when I timed it out of interest and my watch was unable to declare which bike is faster, missing a second hand. Besides, if you really want excercise, an aerodynamic posture is totally counterproductive... And then some of the time saved on a derailleur bike is lost on gear adjustments, chain replacements, and if you're at all like myself, frequently staring between one's legs to learn whence all those grinding and clunking noises arise.

noglider 06-23-10 11:30 AM

Here is the Men's Rudge. I'm really excited about this one. I hope there aren't unpleasant surprises waiting for me when I start fixing it up. The saddle is a bit splayed but in otherwise good condition. The saddle alone is worth a lot. I will probably try to get it back into the proper shape.

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1243/...d6d25f45_b.jpg

Here are the rest of the pictures.

noglider 06-23-10 11:30 AM

Here is the ladies Robin Hood. Front caliper brake and rear coaster brake. Baskets bolted to the fenders.

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1252/...0c303dd4_b.jpg

Here are the rest of the pictures.

desconhecido 06-23-10 11:39 AM


Originally Posted by gna (Post 11006278)
Sure you can. Relax and enjoy the ride.

For the lurkers, there's a lady's Phillips that matches on MPls Craigslist: http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/an...803857621.html
http://images.craigslist.org/3na3m23...57cf781919.jpg


$50 or best offer. That strikes me as crazy.

desconhecido 06-23-10 11:43 AM

Rudge: "Britain's Best Bicycle." They couldn't say it if it eren't true, could they? Wonder what that says about my Raleigh Sports?

Fir 06-23-10 12:00 PM

Nice bikes Tom :-) What vintages? Tachometer on the Rudge? Interesting saddle frame. Baskets too, never saw ones like that. Or mounted like that :-)

gna 06-23-10 12:16 PM


Originally Posted by desconhecido (Post 11007180)
$50 or best offer. That strikes me as crazy.

I'd buy it, but my wife would kill me.

Maddox 06-23-10 12:29 PM


Originally Posted by noglider (Post 11007116)
Here is the Men's Rudge. I'm really excited about this one. I hope there aren't unpleasant surprises waiting for me when I start fixing it up. The saddle is a bit splayed but in otherwise good condition. The saddle alone is worth a lot. I will probably try to get it back into the proper shape.

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1243/...d6d25f45_b.jpg

Here are the rest of the pictures.

Absolutely lovely, but I'm sad that it doesn't have the traditional/awesome Rudge chainwheel -

http://www.bikecult.com/works/chainring/chrgrudge!.jpg

Tom, don't you have another Rudge with said chainwheel?

Sixty Fiver 06-23-10 06:51 PM

Was out and about today and got to talking to a fellow and his friend who was riding a Raleigh Sprite 5 speed and he said he had a Raleigh lady's bike with "stick brakes" that he would like to sell and discovered that he lives all of 5 minutes from my house.

She looks a little used but after putting some air in her original Raleigh branded tyres took her for a spin around the block and aside from a wheel that will need some vertical truing she's a grand riding old gal that would fit a lady of about five foot seven or eight quite well.

The fellow said he wanted the bike to go to someone who would appreciate her and know of a person who has some loop frame lust that needs to be sated.

D:

http://www.ravingbikefiend.com/bikepics/dl1lady1.jpg

http://www.ravingbikefiend.com/bikepics/dl1lady2.jpg

Her saddle is in fine and rather supple shape and just needs a little rub down... but don't we all ?

http://www.ravingbikefiend.com/bikepics/dl1ladyb66.jpg

Most of the work she needs is aesthetic and that speaks well of a bike that is 32 years old and has been sleeping in a garage.

terraskye 06-23-10 07:09 PM

:::Swoons:::



Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver (Post 11009408)
Was out and about today and got to talking to a fellow and his friend who was riding a Raleigh Sprite 5 speed and he said he had a Raleigh lady's bike with "stick brakes" that he would like to sell and discovered that he lives all of 5 minutes from my house.

She looks a little used but after putting some air in her original Raleigh branded tyres took her for a spin around the block and aside from a wheel that will need some vertical truing she's a grand riding old gal that would fit a lady of about five foot seven or eight quite well.

The fellow said he wanted the bike to go to someone who would appreciate her and know of a person who has some loop frame lust that needs to be sated.

D:

http://www.ravingbikefiend.com/bikepics/dl1lady1.jpg

http://www.ravingbikefiend.com/bikepics/dl1lady2.jpg

Her saddle is in fine and rather supple shape and just needs a little rub down... but don't we all ?

http://www.ravingbikefiend.com/bikepics/dl1ladyb66.jpg

Most of the work she needs is aesthetic and that speaks well of a bike that is 32 years old and has been sleeping in a garage.


curbtender 06-23-10 07:29 PM

Saved this from the scrap pile. I'm not up much on English bikes. Raliegh Sport.
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/h...r/DSC00843.jpg

Sixty Fiver 06-23-10 07:39 PM


Originally Posted by terraskye (Post 11009491)
:::Swoons:::

And those are just crappy cellphone pics... wait until I get her alone in my room for a few hours and give her some love.

:)

terraskye 06-23-10 08:02 PM


Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver (Post 11009606)
And those are just crappy cellphone pics... wait until I get her alone in my room for a few hours and give her some love.

:)

Dont talk dirty to her though or she'll expect it all the time lol

gna 06-23-10 08:17 PM


Originally Posted by curbtender (Post 11009562)
Saved this from the scrap pile. I'm not up much on English bikes. Raliegh Sport.
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/h...r/DSC00843.jpg

Late '70s model. I'm guessing it has an S3C coaster brake hub in back. Saddle looks excellent. Color is called "Pearl Silver." Serial number will be on the rear of the seatpost. You can look it up on Kurt's excellent Headbadge site. I'm currently fixing up a matching lady's model for a friend of my wife.

wahoonc 06-24-10 03:51 AM


Originally Posted by curbtender (Post 11009562)
Saved this from the scrap pile. I'm not up much on English bikes. Raliegh Sport.
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/h...r/DSC00843.jpg

Good save! Late 70's model, hub date should confirm it. Tall frame too, those are a bit less common than the usual 21".

Aaron :)

curbtender 06-24-10 05:17 AM

I've a friend who'd been bugging me to find him one. He was crying it's too big. The saddle almost looks too clean to be original, but no one's crying about that...

tinypurple 06-24-10 08:19 AM

7 Attachment(s)
I'm new to vintage bikes. Here is what I found down the street. I just thought they looked awesome. I now see there is much more to it LOL Attachment 156806 Attachment 156807 Attachment 156808 Attachment 156809 Attachment 156810 Attachment 156811 Attachment 156812

tinypurple 06-24-10 08:21 AM

7 Attachment(s)
Here's the other one. Attachment 156815 Attachment 156816 Attachment 156817 Attachment 156818 Attachment 156819 Attachment 156820 Attachment 156821

gbalke 06-24-10 09:11 AM


Originally Posted by tinypurple (Post 11011588)
I'm new to vintage bikes. Here is what I found down the street. I just thought they looked awesome. I now see there is much more to it LOL Attachment 156806 Attachment 156807 Attachment 156808 Attachment 156809 Attachment 156810 Attachment 156811 Attachment 156812

So, did you pull the trigger on either? Be careful, these can become on obsession!

tinypurple 06-24-10 09:35 AM

Yeah, I got them for $22 a piece. I didn't have any clue what I was buying, I just wanted a bike to ride and these were right down the street. I bought the woman's to begin with and left the mens but I went back and got the other because I just couldn't see splitting up the pair. Well, when I started looking around online and found out they were actually pretty cool bikes to have! I'm really interested in learning more about vintage bikes. Its been really neat to read all of the history and to see everyone's finds. My brother is a big biking guy and works for Trailnet in St. Louis. I'm going to have to get him up here to look at these for me and tell me what to do with them LOL

noglider 06-24-10 11:09 AM

tinypurple, you got two good bikes!

I don't know if you know, but in recent decades, most bikes with the Huffy name on them have been very, very bad, cheap, crappy bikes. They were sold only in department stores and toy stores. These, however, were marketed by Huffy and built by Raleigh in England. They're every bit as good as the bikes with English brand names on them. I see them sell for $150 to $300, if you're interested in flipping them. If you're interested in keeping them, you'll enjoy them a lot. By modern standards, they are heavy and slow. But they have a friendly quality to the ride and handling. They are durable and reliable, much more than most other bikes, both old and new. If you put on modern brake shoes, the braking can be good. Without them, they may or may not be acceptable in dry weather, and they'll be useless in wet weather.

rhm 06-24-10 11:24 AM


Originally Posted by noglider (Post 11012536)
By modern standards, they are heavy and slow.

I agree with Tom's whole post, but I highlight this one point because it's totally fixable. The sprocket on the back hub of these bikes probably has 18 teeth on it; if you change it to one with 22 teeth, which will cost you as little as $3 per bike, they will feel much faster and lighter. Not lighter for carrying them up stairs, but a lot lighter for pedaling around.

tinypurple 06-24-10 12:14 PM

If I make the changes you are talking about, like modern brake shoes and a different sprocket, does that diminish the value of the bike? I don't think I want to sell them, but I would like to do the right thing by them in the way of maintaining their vintage value. I guess I don't know what I can do to these bikes to improve them without diminishing the value.

tinypurple 06-24-10 12:19 PM

Also, my whole point in finding a bike was to pull one of those trailers for my son to ride in. Would that be stupid? Is that too much weight for one of these old bikes? I feel like maybe someone with more knowledge should have stumbled upon these since I have no clue. I mean, I'm trying to find out but now I'm feeling a little out of my league!

gbalke 06-24-10 12:26 PM


Originally Posted by tinypurple (Post 11012894)
If I make the changes you are talking about, like modern brake shoes and a different sprocket, does that diminish the value of the bike? I don't think I want to sell them, but I would like to do the right thing by them in the way of maintaining their vintage value. I guess I don't know what I can do to these bikes to improve them without diminishing the value.

Begin by visiting the Retro Raleigh web site. There's a ton of information on English 3 speeds and Sturmey Archer; history, technical, parts and much, much more:

http://sheldonbrown.com/english-3.html

You're in NE Mo, where abouts? I'm just west of STL.

noglider 06-24-10 12:27 PM

If someone wants to buy it to ride it, then improvements increase the value. If someone wants to buy it as a collector's item, then some changes could decrease the value, though I wonder.

Another thing you can do to make it ride lighter is to change the rims and tires. This is expensive. It will improve the bike a heck of a lot, but it still won't be as fast or light as a modern bike. One reason is the weight. Another is that the geometry leads to slow, casual riding. The head angle is slack, which makes steering slow but easy. The top tube is short, which puts the rider in an upright position. Another reason the bike is hard to pedal is that the cranks are a bit shorter than modern cranks.

I'd say if you really want to lighten up the ride, the best investment is tires, and after that, it's rims. The Panaracer Col De La Vie is highly regarded. I haven't tried it, but I happen to love Panaracer tires. They are $30 each. Installing tires is no big deal.

The Sun CR-18 rim will build right up with your existing spokes. But this is much more work. If you're interested in doing this but think that building wheels is too hard for you, we can walk you through it. You don't have to have a bike shop do it. We've walked many people through their first wheel builds, and it has always worked out with very satisfying results. It takes hours, though, and you learn a heck of a lot. A year ago, I put a pair of these rims on a 55-year-old three-speed, and the result was very good. I didn't put new tires on, so I didn't give it the best possible upgrade.

And of course, you could spend more money on upgrades than a replacement bike costs, and you might like a new bike better. There's no telling. Some people like to put money in old bikes because there is more thought and care in that, so you feel like you control the final product. It's a matter of taste. The way I resolve these conflicts with myself is by owning a great many bikes. You don't want to know how many bikes I have.

noglider 06-24-10 12:29 PM

What's your terrain like? If it's not too hilly, you can pull any amount of weight on any bike.

I pulled two daughters simultaneously in my trailer. I think my max cargo weight was 180 lbs. No big deal. I just went more slowly, using lower gears. Headwinds were a big challenge, though.

tinypurple 06-24-10 12:43 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm in Kahoka, MO which is really in the middle of nowhere. There are no bike shops within 30 miles and no bike paths. I guess my terrain would be pretty flat since I will just be riding around in town for now. A tire rebuild is a little bit intimidating, but if I decide to try it I will definitely need some help! West of St. Louis? My brother works for Trailnet in St. Louis. He's some kind of program coordinator and sets up a lot of rides down there. Its weird that I know so little about bikes really.

gna 06-24-10 12:52 PM


Originally Posted by tinypurple (Post 11012015)
Yeah, I got them for $22 a piece. I didn't have any clue what I was buying, I just wanted a bike to ride and these were right down the street. I bought the woman's to begin with and left the mens but I went back and got the other because I just couldn't see splitting up the pair. Well, when I started looking around online and found out they were actually pretty cool bikes to have! I'm really interested in learning more about vintage bikes. Its been really neat to read all of the history and to see everyone's finds. My brother is a big biking guy and works for Trailnet in St. Louis. I'm going to have to get him up here to look at these for me and tell me what to do with them LOL

Those are very nice bikes, tinypurple. Good score.


The brake shoes Tom mentions are Kool Stop Continentals, in Salmon color. (You'll probably spend as much on brake pads as you did on the bikes. But you got such a good deal, just about everything you need you will spend more for than you did on the bikes).

As rhm points out, they're easier to pedal if you put on a bigger cog. But they work just fine in relatively flat places, such as the Twin Cities.

My wife and I pull my 4-year-old daughter in a trailer all the time, so no worries. My issue was finding the right hitch to work with the bike.

noglider 06-24-10 12:59 PM

I pay about $8 per pair of Kool Stop salmon-colored brake shoes. They are worth every penny and more. There is nothing better.


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