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

MeadMan2 05-31-24 01:52 PM


Originally Posted by gna (Post 23255362)
I've ridden my Raleigh Sports to work for years. I have it set up with a Dynohub, LED lights, Sun rims w/stainless spokes, Tektro 800s with Kool Stops, and a 5 speed S5 hub. It's a great commuter bike.

https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...e86db51c54.png


I've been riding my touring bike the last few months, but I'll probably switch back to the Sports here soon.

I ride my Twenty sometimes, too.

Photo taken on the 3 speed tour?

gna 05-31-24 02:14 PM


Originally Posted by MeadMan2 (Post 23255444)
Photo taken on the 3 speed tour?

Yes, a few years ago.

Salubrious 06-01-24 12:23 PM


Originally Posted by Ged117 (Post 23252942)
Anyone here commute on their three-speed? I'm thinking of stripping and respraying my 1959 Raleigh Sports/Canadian using Spray Bike's Hercules dark green, and turning it into a commuter. I've also got a chaincase I would paint, and some decals for late 50s Raleighs.

Nothing better it seems to me than running one of these for the daily run to and from work. I've got a '56 FG hub, stainless steel wheels, Fibrax "rain" brake blocks, and a Sturmey lampset that would look the business.

It would be good to see examples of three-speed commuters or city errand bikes.

My 1972 Superbe has been a commuter since 2012 or so. It gets more miles than any of my other bikes, based solely on how handy it is. I lock the front fork and the bike stays put while I go to the bank, grocery, work, lunch, etc. Rack and lighting as well and its a nice ride- been on the Lake Pepin Tour 2 or 3 times. CR18 rims, Kool Stop brake pads, LED lighting.

bikamper 06-02-24 05:41 AM

I commuted year round for almost 8 years and the bulk of it was done on IG hubs. It was divided up between a 68 Raleigh Superbe, Dunelt Sports w/2 speed fg, Super Course w/3 speed fg, seventies something Gitane w/8 speed Alfine, and an 07 Riv Bleiot w/Sram 7 speed.

Jeez, I need to drag the Gitane and the Riv down from the garage attic and put some miles on them since I started doing club rides again.

gna 06-03-24 09:57 AM


Originally Posted by SirMike1983 (Post 23255385)
The other option is to start with a sporting bike and configure it to be more utilitarian. I have a '51 New Hudson, '53 Lenton, and '49 Clubman set up as utility/touring bikes with North Road style bars similar to a conventional Raleigh Sports. Being based on lighter sporting/road bikes, they are all under 40 pounds. You can definitely go lighter with three speeds if you want to do that.

Hmmm... there's an '80s-era Grand Prix on CL for $100. Maybe I should go look...
ETA: Seems to be Hi-ten. Maybe wait for something better.

SirMike1983 06-03-24 12:02 PM

Yes, I'd pass on the Grand Prix. With later frames, I'd look for something along the lines of a Raleigh Super Course or Dawes Galaxy as a base to start building.

capnjonny 06-04-24 08:30 AM

I did some research and it appears to be a pre 1934 Aberdale british bike. Apparently the Aberdale factory moved to a different location in 1934 so that puts this example prior to that date.

I am loth to touch this bike as it should really be left in its original condition and put in a museum.

Salubrious 06-04-24 08:40 AM


Originally Posted by capnjonny (Post 23259170)
I did some research and it appears to be a pre 1934 Aberdale british bike. Apparently the Aberdale factory moved to a different location in 1934 so that puts this example prior to that date.

I am loth to touch this bike as it should really be left in its original condition and put in a museum.

Its not there yet! For one thing, the wheels are not right and are much later- the rear wheel from the 1970s at least.
I restored a 1935 Raleigh. It took 8 years. Finding information on prewar British 3-speeds is a bit of a trick, especially when it comes to graphics. Your frame appears in much better shape than mine was so I would not touch the finish. But I would try to find period-correct parts (for example the rear hub would be a type K4 but I would settle for any K hub at this point). Whether it belongs in a museum or on the road is a different matter; since bikes of this era were built to be very sturdy and reliable, I'd be riding it, at least on events like the Lake Pepin 3-speed Tour or other local vintage events.

Cyclespanner 06-04-24 09:03 AM


Originally Posted by capnjonny (Post 23259170)
I did some research and it appears to be a pre 1934 Aberdale british bike. Apparently the Aberdale factory moved to a different location in 1934 so that puts this example prior to that date.

I am loth to touch this bike as it should really be left in its original condition and put in a museum.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aberdale

Aberdale bought out 'Bown', so I wasn't that far out ;)

SirMike1983 06-04-24 09:37 AM

It does look like some of the Aberdale models offered in the 1930s. Aberdale moved to London in February 1934, as per their 1934 catalogue. Aberdale's output in 1933 was increased substantially over previous years. Given the chrome plating and features, I'd guess 1930-34 period. You should not be too afraid to work on that bike. Given it has already undergone at least some parts swapping, it is not entirely original and is a candidate for repairs and riding.

https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...2314ace73e.jpg

dirtman 06-05-24 05:52 AM

As a 6ft 3in tall rider, I took a mid 70's Super Course and built it up as a sport bike with alloy north road bars, an AW hub at first then afterwards added a Shimano Nexus 7 speed, and ran the original Raleigh scripted alloy cranks. I added a set of Honjo fenders and a Brooks saddle off an old Sports model
I was never happy with the result, the fork geometry didn't work well with the upright position, the bike lacked directional stability and under my size and weight I had a ton of frame flex down low as I peddled. It was better with the AW hub, as the Nexus just seemed heavy and having to shift through sometimes 6 gears to get back to low when needed was a pain.
The choice of tires, and limited width due to the tight fit of the rear wheel to the seat tube and narrow rear chain stays, and having the fender, to center pull brake clearance was also a bit of a problem until I finally just notched the fenders a bit. In the end, I ripped it all apart and put the Super Course back to stock and sold it. I sold the Nexus hub after being completely un-impressed with it. I then just went back to an older 23" Robin Hood frame with stock everything as my favorite ride.
What I really came away realizing is that a few less pounds means nothing on a bike like that and unless your competing in in some top end racing event and are in the best possible physical shape, 10 lbs underneath you makes no real difference. Its far more important to have a bike that can handle the task at hand with a sound, rigid frame and wheelset than to save a few pounds. I gained more by slipping breakfast and lunch for a month than I did building a lighter bike. And even after that I didn't lose any weight, only a bit of size.

SirMike1983 06-05-24 08:29 AM

I agree that frame weight in old three speed bikes is less important. If saving weight is a goal, weight savings are best started at the wheels. Part of the attraction of the old three speed bike is that you don't have to obsess over weight savings. I ride my conventional Raleigh Sports and Schwinn Traveler bikes more than I ride my Clubman or Lenton because I just like their feel a bit better. I love the sportier bikes too, but I just like the feel of a Sports or a Traveler.

junkpile 06-06-24 06:54 AM


Originally Posted by Ged117 (Post 23252942)
Anyone here commute on their three-speed? I'm thinking of stripping and respraying my 1959 Raleigh Sports/Canadian using Spray Bike's Hercules dark green, and turning it into a commuter. I've also got a chaincase I would paint, and some decals for late 50s Raleighs.

Nothing better it seems to me than running one of these for the daily run to and from work. I've got a '56 FG hub, stainless steel wheels, Fibrax "rain" brake blocks, and a Sturmey lampset that would look the business.

It would be good to see examples of three-speed commuters or city errand bikes.

I wish I could use a bike for work but my 'work' moved 40 miles away about a year ago. I was going to quit but they gave me a van to drive. In the past I used an old '55 BSA three speed for work, until the the frame buckled, likely the result of rough roads, a too big rider, and internal rust. I switched to an early 60's Columbia for a while but that bike' rear drop outs kept breaking loose where they were brazed into the chainstays. After that I had late 60's Sports that I used which I picked up at the fleamarket for $10. It lasted for about four years before the fenders got so cracked and rusted I had to remove them, after that it didn't get used much, without fenders, it was no good to ride to work as I had to stay clean and a mud stripe down my back would have been an issue.
I later found a full fender Schwinn Varsity that was several sizes too small, but it was cheap and had fenders, I rode that 'as found' with only basic maintenance for about 4 years until the rear wheel gave out, I then took an AW hub and laced it to the original rim, and added a pair of upright bars and brake levers, and rode that bike for another 10 years without incident. I had quit riding it near the end one to do some work on it, and took a minty clean 1964 Robin Hood Sports that day, a bike I had found at an estate sale in near new condition for only an $8 bid. I had gone through it top to bottom, polished and relubed it and had kept it for just going for a ride around the neighborhood. The one day I took it to work, some idiot backs into the bike rack with a fork lift The Robin Hood was the second bike in line and he crushed 18 bikes. Nothing was salvageable. The guy offered me $10 and said he was sorry. We all figured he did it on purpose. The next day the paramedics spent three hours trying to free him from a toilet seat in the men's room. It seems someone poured super glue on the seat. Hope it was worth it.
That all was a long time ago, that company went away with the NAFTA run to Mexico like so many others here.
The last job moved away to avoid NJ taxes, since they did little business in NJ they moved. I can't blame them, I'd have done the same in their shoes. For me, it just meant time to retire I suppose.

Now I ride for fun, when the weather permits, if only we had more roads that were safe tor ride on here. Since the last wave of repaving they took away what little shoulder space or bike lanes they had before. Now only the residential streets are safe and you really have to watch out for illegals speeding around here lately and the recent wave of ATVs racing all over the place on the street.

Bikes seem to be frowned upon here lately all the stores got rid of their bike racks, citing they were tired of dealing with bike theft and people thinking they were responsible for parked bikes. A few placed even put up NO BICYCLE PARKING signs around their building expecting people to leave their bikes in the lot like a motorcycle.

Ged117 06-07-24 12:22 PM


Originally Posted by SirMike1983 (Post 23260130)
I agree that frame weight in old three speed bikes is less important. If saving weight is a goal, weight savings are best started at the wheels. Part of the attraction of the old three speed bike is that you don't have to obsess over weight savings. I ride my conventional Raleigh Sports and Schwinn Traveler bikes more than I ride my Clubman or Lenton because I just like their feel a bit better. I love the sportier bikes too, but I just like the feel of a Sports or a Traveler.

Indeed! For my '59 Raleigh commuter project I've found a chaincase that'll complete the look and reduce maintenance needs. Stainless steel Raleigh rims, Fibrax 'rain' brake pads for steel rims (should be fun to try), '56 FG hub, a late '40s Sturmey lampset I'll use LED bullbs in, and Spray Bike Hercules paint (dark green) to be applied after I strip the seriously bad paint off of the frameset (originally a 1959 Raleigh Canadian - soon to be reborn as a 1959 Raleigh Superbe). I'll run a rack on the back for my modern convertible work bag and an old Carradice for the extras. It'll be a stately rider, I'm sure of it. Different handlebar set up for me though at 6'2" - VO Postino with a Nitto Dirtdrop should get me a slightly forward position that I prefer.

Velo Mule 06-09-24 09:37 PM

Raleigh Dawn for listed close to me
 
I spoke to the seller of the Rod Brake Raleigh Dawn on Long Island. It turns out that I know him. Long Island with the bridges and traffic to get to can be challenge for someone looking for something like this. I can facilitate, if you are interested.

The seller says, it's all there, it just needs a little love.

https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...4138aff77d.pngIt seems odd to me, and it could be all timing, but I sold a DL-1 for over $300 about 8 years ago, but this bike is still available at $60.?!?

I like three speeds, but this is not my thing. I enjoyed my time with the DL-1 and learned some things from it, but I was happy to move it onto someone that appreciated it more than me.

52telecaster 06-10-24 09:19 AM

I haven't been on in a while but reading this thread is the best. Done a small amount of commuting. When I don't need to tow a trailer the aw hub is a common mode for me. Also my girlfriend and I like to explore new cities by bike on our camping trips. The aw is great for that too. My particular frameset is a cycle gitane tour de France. I love the feel of this bike!
https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...31110a3cc8.jpg
French fit!

markk900 06-10-24 09:34 AM

52telecaster : Are your wheels 650B? and holy smokes that's a long reach front caliper!

Velo Mule 06-10-24 04:10 PM

You gotta love that Stronglight crank on a Gitane. Like bread and chocolate. And the modern touch platform pedals look like they match the decals. Why get a new bike? This is so much better. Ok, I know, not everyone likes to tinker with bikes.

swampyankee2 06-10-24 04:30 PM

I'm very tempted to pick up a Rudge 3 speed that looks to be in decent shape, if the pics on FB Marketplatz can be trusted. Although not a "hand" chainwheel, it has rust free rims and decent patina. For $40 it seems cheap enough, and the Rudge name is classic obscure English cyclery.
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...9ebeab3396.jpg

almico8 06-12-24 07:51 AM

Hey gang. New guy. Getting back into cycling at 64 after a 12 year layoff. Still have the old rides, but I'm feeling nostalgic for my old Ross 3-speed. I live a stones throw from the Columbia Trail in Joisey and an old Brit bike would be perfect for the flat, gravelly ride.

I'm looking at a local Raleigh Tourist from 1969. It's a 5-speed SA hub and according to the seller: Recently replaced new 28” tires. Fully overhauled, lubed, cleaned and ready to ride. Cosmetics are average for a 55-year old bike. Scratches and a bit of rust here and there. Looks original except for the crusty Brooks saddle that was replaced long ago. Worth a buck and a half? I'd post picks, but it seems I'm not allowed to until I post 10 times.

Ged117 06-13-24 07:03 AM

I wish we had more Rudge bikes from the '50s up here - I think we mostly received Raleighs and sub-brands, or Canadian Department store (Eaton's) versions of Raleighs.

On another topic, I'm going to repaint my mudguards as part of my '59 Raleigh commuter project - any suggestions on how to separate the white tail / mask it off? Is good painter's tape sufficient?

nlerner 06-13-24 08:18 AM


Originally Posted by Ged117 (Post 23266860)
On another topic, I'm going to repaint my mudguards as part of my '59 Raleigh commuter project - any suggestions on how to separate the white tail / mask it off? Is good painter's tape sufficient?

I’ve used just standard masking tape and have found the quality of the spray paint and the prep are key.

Ged117 06-13-24 08:42 AM


Originally Posted by nlerner (Post 23266913)
I’ve used just standard masking tape and have found the quality of the spray paint and the prep are key.

Cheers, Neil. I was thinking of doing the same - planning on using Spray.Bike paint (Hercules, a dark green that looks a lot like early 1950s Superbe green).

Classtime 06-13-24 11:04 AM

Lamp Bracket Ideas?
 
I want to use the bracket that came on my daughter’s bike. So many of these bikes come with a bracket but without lamps that there must be acceptable ways to affix a modern led lamp to them.

Ditto1958 06-13-24 06:13 PM

I’m 65 and remember fondly those “English racers”- our name for them where I grew up. Sadly I never owned one, but I did get to ride a few. They were very nice to ride. I think the current market for urban and commuter bikes would be better served today if similar bikes were still sold than by the stuff they do sell these days.


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