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

JohnDThompson 09-13-11 08:37 PM

So, who's going to the "All British Cycling Event" this weekend?

I'm planning on being there...

gna 09-14-11 01:02 AM


Originally Posted by JohnDThompson (Post 13222594)
So, who's going to the "All British Cycling Event" this weekend?

I'm planning on being there...

My wife has given me tentative permission to go on one day.

noglider 09-14-11 01:08 AM

mainstreetexile, you did extremely well. The bike is in fantastic shape probably because it hasn't been ridden.

The slightly cheaper components on yours won't make it ride any worse. Better, maybe, since they're lighter. They're just a little less bomb-proof.

photogravity 09-14-11 07:38 AM


Originally Posted by JohnDThompson (Post 13222594)
So, who's going to the "All British Cycling Event" this weekend?

I'm planning on being there...

I'd love to, but have other commitments. I am signed up for the 3-speed Tour in May, though. :)

gna 09-14-11 11:15 AM


Originally Posted by photogravity (Post 13224076)
I'd love to, but have other commitments. I am signed up for the 3-speed Tour in May, though. :)

We'll see you there. Which Raleigh will you ride?

gna 09-14-11 11:24 AM


Originally Posted by mainstreetexile (Post 13221307)
I've been looking for a Raleigh Sports / 3 speed to try out for a while now. Finally found this Triumph last weekend, looks like it's made by Raleigh, second tier / lower model than the Sports.

Seems like it's in really excellent condition, the previous owner replaced the indicator spindle and shifter cable but I need to fix and trim up the housing. Not sure of an exact date, all I can make out on the AW hub date code is a straight vertical looking line and a zero, so I'm assuming 1970.

I was looking for a green Sports since I'm not crazy about the coffee / brown, but I really like the paint color on this. I like vintage motorcycles too and I really love these decals and the Triumph connection.

Very nice. Early '70s; the large rear reflector makes me think 73 or so. Are the wheels 36/36 spoke, or 40/32? I bought a black one with similar decals and lettering for my brother, and I'm guessing it's from '73 or '74.

I like the Bronze Green Sports, too, as that's the bike my dad had when I was a kid.

bikamper 09-14-11 11:29 AM


Originally Posted by JohnDThompson (Post 13222594)
So, who's going to the "All British Cycling Event" this weekend?

I'm planning on being there...

I'll be there, too.

Mike Mills 09-14-11 12:34 PM

Is it okay to show up with an English racing bike? :-)

Can I wear my black wool racing shorts? ;-)

All kidding aside, I'd like to attend something like this but am not aware of anything remotely resembling this is my area and MN is too far away.

P_M 09-14-11 01:12 PM


Originally Posted by JohnDThompson (Post 13222594)
So, who's going to the "All British Cycling Event" this weekend?

I'm planning on being there...

Sounds like fun! Not possible for me, but fun nonetheless!

I read the linked page. I understand why lycra is banned. But it allows plus fours?

JonnM 09-14-11 05:15 PM

First post!!
Our two three speeds... Probably paid waaay too much for them but everything is over priced in Vancouver.. :\
Put new rims/tires on it with original hubs and a Brooks B73 seat. Still have the original seat and rack. Prefer the look with no rack though.
My 1979 Made in Canada Raleigh Sports...
http://i434.photobucket.com/albums/q...m/IMG_0328.jpg
Wife's 1971 Canadian Tire Super-Cycle...
Put a new shifter on it because the original twisty grip shifter was worn out. Shoulda held onto that but alas...
I found a chain guard and put it on. Dunno what it's originally from or what came on this.
http://i434.photobucket.com/albums/q...m/IMG_0321.jpg

markk900 09-14-11 07:57 PM

Cool bikes! How does that Brooks feel on a ride - I can't decide if it look comfortable or not. :)

auchencrow 09-14-11 08:10 PM

Welcome to C&V JonnM! Whatever you may have paid - or overpaid - there in Vancouver, is irrelevant as long as you enjoy your saddle time on your old Raleigh's.

To echo Markk900's query - How DO you feel about the sprung Brooks saddle? I have an old Sports with a similar Wrights saddle, and I find it is comfortable, but "sproingy" - Kind of like riding a beach ball.

JonnM 09-14-11 11:06 PM

The B73 is pretty comfy now but it took a while to soften up after buying it new. The leather is starting to fade a bit too which is cool.
I guess that is normal for a leather saddle though.

P_M 09-15-11 09:25 AM

JonnM,

Nice bicycles! I have a Canadian made 1980 Sports in blue. It came with the same rack which I promptly took off as well. I'm digging the B73 you put on there. Very nice!

mainstreetexile,

What a great find! And a nice colour on that Triumph!

cazoo 09-16-11 01:37 PM

Hello,

I would like to change the brake cables on my Raleigh Sports (72). Sheldon Brown's site links to these from Harris Cyclery: Jagwire

Are these my only/best options?

Amesja 09-16-11 01:52 PM

Jagwire makes decent cable. If you are replacing the cable think about replacing the housing as well. The older housings are cool looking and all but a modern high-quality lined housing will do much more for your braking than changing the cable. If the cable is bad, change it -but if it isn't kinked, rusted or frayed then changing it isn't going to make much of a difference in your brake feel and power without changing the housing as well. If you want good housing Jagwire makes good stuff too.

THink about replacing the brake ferrule/stop at the lever as well -especially if yours are the old cruddy plastic/nylon type. This will help a LOT in brake feel. Those old plastic ones are just waiting to fail in a hard stop.

Don't buy the one I listed from BikeWorldUSA at Amazon -I just used it as an example. That part is EXTREMELY over-priced even without considering the terrible shipping costs (as are most things from BikeWorldUSA -use Niagara if you buy anything online though Amazon). Your LBS can sell you the same part much cheaper and not over-charge you like BikeWorldUSA does.

cazoo 09-16-11 02:02 PM

Thanks Amesja! I didn't know that the cable housing would have much or any effect on the braking. It's a shame to replace though as I do like the "ribbed" look.

Amesja 09-16-11 02:08 PM

They don't HAVE to be replaced -but they will do more for braking feel and power than replacing the cables.

I like the old look too -I have the originals on my '54. But they are pretty spongy after 55 years.

ThermionicScott 09-16-11 09:44 PM

Less than two months ago, I had no idea what an English 3-speed was. Thanks to Sheldon and this thread, I developed a need for one that culminated in snagging this one off eBay:

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2...mstrong/ds.jpg

It's a '64 Armstrong with a CycleRama generator and lights (headlight not attached yet.) I'm gradually getting things dialled in, but the brakes aren't quite there yet. The shoes are the original John Bulls (!) and the front caliper rocks forward noticeably when braking. Is it supposed to do that? :eek: The rear shoes, at least, have flanges that act as stops against the seat stays.

Although I don't trust it enough yet for long distances, I'm having a lot of fun riding it around the neighborhood. It's a totally different experience from the Bianchi. Now to find a decent saddle for the thing. :)

- Scott

auchencrow 09-16-11 10:28 PM

Nice Armstrong, ThermionicScottt. I happened to be riding mine today, a bit older than yours and the brakes are indeed a little "different" - (no worse though that my Bianchi when it had the original scintered metal shoes :rolleyes: )

I replaced the pads on both bikes with Koolstop Campy inserts. I had to cobble the holders on the Armstrong for them though, so in retrospect it might have been wiser to replace them with Koolstop Continentals. In any case, I think your John Bulls are about due.

Your bike appears to be in superb condition. Is there a name on the saddle? I think it is period correct if not original to the bike.

wahoonc 09-17-11 07:04 AM

If the caliper is rocking it can be tightened up, they do flex some, even the steel ones. I don't see any Armstrong bikes around here, in fact I seldom see ANY British bikes outside of my own personal accumulation.

Aaron :)

noglider 09-17-11 07:39 PM

Aaron, where are you? Not on the road, I take it.

Scott, tighten up the center bolt to the point that the brake doesn't bind. It will have to have a little slop, but not much. And I can attest that Kool Stop Continentals make the bike brake extremely well in dry weather. In wet weather, there's a delay for drying the rim, but after that, it's sort-of OK. Ride more slowly, brake early, plan ahead.

My 3-speed has its original brake cables. They're extra thick, and I hope I never have to replace them. I wish we could still get cables this thick. Talk about quality!

auchencrow 09-17-11 10:49 PM

Some of these old steel calipers rock, or flex, even when the center bolts are tightened.
Armstrong put these stay braces on to prevent the arms from submarining under the stays on hard braking. - An unlikely occurrence I think, but I can still appreciate why it seemed like a good idea.

http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/h...ng1951015a.jpg

Sixty Fiver 09-18-11 12:32 AM

Some of the older Raleighs used the same caliper with the brace and before Kool Stops you could fit Fibrax brake pads which are still available... they do squeal more when they are dry and are designed for wet weather braking with steel rims.

My daughter's R20 has vintage Matthauser "Super Brake" pads installed on it's steel calipers (British 451 equipped models used these) and the braking is very good in all conditions.... she is 1/3 my size but can cruise along at 15-20 kmh and sprints up to 30 kmh and the braking is more than adequate.

With the export version and it's alloy calipers the braking is barely passable with Kool Stops and an alloy front wheel as I have set up on my R20 and will be adding V-brakes in the near future.

Sixty Fiver 09-18-11 12:33 AM

Scott... that is a beautiful find.

Although I cannot credit Sheldon Brown for my love of English three speeds it is a love we shared although he really renewed my interest in Raleigh 20's.

My mom's friend had suffered from polio and used canes to walk but also rode a Raleigh 20 and believe the low step over and very stable nature of the bike is what appealed to her and at a very young age of maybe 6 I was always fascinated by her little folding bicycle.

Now I often need a cane to walk and also appreciate the same virtues of the 20 and when I was getting back on the bike my Phillip's 20 was the vehicle that allowed me to ride when I could not swing a leg over or dismount from a standard sized bicycle.

wahoonc 09-18-11 05:56 AM


Originally Posted by noglider (Post 13241304)
Aaron, where are you? Not on the road, I take it.

Tom,
I live near Fort Bragg, NC right between the Coastal Plains (robbietunes) and the Sandhills, that is when I am at home. :P FWIW all of my British bikes except one have been brought in from other parts of the country, most from either the upper Midwest or New England.

Aaron :)

gomango 09-18-11 06:10 AM


Originally Posted by JohnDThompson (Post 13222594)
So, who's going to the "All British Cycling Event" this weekend?

I'm planning on being there...

If the rain breaks this morning, three of us will ride up from St. Paul.

If I get the Hercules back together, I'll ride her.

Otherwise the Bob Jackson.

markk900 09-18-11 07:27 AM

Auchen: The Standard Model K my wife rides (1956) also has those braced pads - and they come into play very regularly. The calipers flex enough that the pad will brace itself against the stay for most stops (you can hear a light tick as they move forward). I think designers were worried about a power brake effect: if they start to go under the stay they apply themselves very hard as they are squeezed into a tight space.....the brace keeps things manageable.

I'm going to have to find a local source for the Kool Stop Salmons just to try them.....braking on steel rims is not very good, but then I'm not very fast!

Mark

ThermionicScott 09-18-11 03:46 PM

Thanks, guys! Even though there is a lot more wear than my crummy iPhone picture shows, this thing has gotten compliments wherever I go. :)

The saddle is a Wrights, and I'm sure it's original. There's nothing wrong with it, but I don't like the way the edges feel, so I'd like to upgrade. Let's see -- B17 or B72? Hmmm. ;)

I've tried tightening down the bolt on the front caliper, but I started worrying about bending something with the effort I was putting into it. I just took it on another test ride around the neighborhood. It's been drizzling a little, so it was the perfect chance to test out the wet-weather braking. The fronts seem to rock and "pulse" a little less, but it could also be that I was using a firmer grip to re-dry those rims. ;) The rears were nearly useless -- I'm changing my order to include a set of Kool-Stops for the rear as well! I'll be losing those cool stay braces though. Has anyone tried fabricating limit stops that can be bolted into the arms? Looks like there's plenty of room.

- Scott

Toeslider 09-18-11 04:10 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Just made a thread with one I acquired this weekend, then saw this thread. If anyone knows the year I would appreciate it! AMF? Hercules ladies 3-speed.

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=219311


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