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

BigChief 08-31-16 06:27 AM


Originally Posted by RobbieTunes (Post 19022151)
i.e.: good maintenance.

who'da thunk it?

That's true. I think the stock brakes/rims give respectable performance with new pads and good maintenance. Us enthusiasts tend to go to the max with our 3 speeds. I do. The first thing we do with a new project is tear down every last part of the bike. Fresh grade 25 ball bearings and marine grease all around. Any silly plastic cages in the bottom bracket? In the garbage with em along with the plastic fulcrum stops. Then we customize the overall gearing. 20 bucks for brake pads...no problem. You know what I mean. We are a bit nuts, I recognize that. That's why I come here. It's good to know I'm not alone.:o

tbo 08-31-16 08:01 AM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 19022816)
That's true. I think the stock brakes/rims give respectable performance with new pads and good maintenance. Us enthusiasts tend to go to the max with our 3 speeds. I do. The first thing we do with a new project is tear down every last part of the bike. Fresh grade 25 ball bearings and marine grease all around. Any silly plastic cages in the bottom bracket? In the garbage with em along with the plastic fulcrum stops. Then we customize the overall gearing. 20 bucks for brake pads...no problem. You know what I mean. We are a bit nuts, I recognize that. That's why I come here. It's good to know I'm not alone.:o

Pretty much true here. We turned a $60 craigslist find (great shape) into a $200+ daily commuter for my DW. That's not including baskets, lights and other accessories. New rims ( professionally installed) and modern front brake because we're in FL and it rains a lot. The steel wheels are just not good enough here for daily transportation use. You can't keep it dry and clean enough.

That was the first vintage bike. I got one just like it for me (also craigslist, worse shape) and I redid the bottom bracket bearings, replaced the crank and pedals (the pedals were cross-threaded beyond repair and would fall off), laced and trued an AL rim on the front, new brakes, changed out the rear cog with more teeth because of knee pain, taller front stem, new seat, new cables, tires, tubes, and anything else you can think of. Now it runs like a dream and unbelievably quiet.

Now the only thing they need is air in the tires and they run forever. In fact, in over 18 months of commuting on a 35 year old bicycle, DW has had one tirewall failure and the rear axle bearings needed to be banged back into place. That was a 15 minute repair at the LBS. That's it. She hasn't even had a standard flat tire due to tube puncture or failure.

adventurepdx 08-31-16 01:11 PM

Wait, Kool Stop pads are expensive?

Yeah, many a time all you need is some basic maintenance to get a vintage three speed on the road. But where's the fun in that? :p And maybe you don't want to go down the road of endless futzing and personalization if all you are doing is flipping the bike, or fixing it up for your brother-in-law, or you have a garage/basement with 30 bikes in it. But if the bike's going to be your main (or one of your main) commuters, doing a bunch of stuff to it isn't a bad idea.

As for brakes/pads, yeah, the original steel rims and Raleigh brakes are adequate if you don't intend to ride your bike in the rain. But for someone like me who uses their Superbe to commute in the wet NW, aluminum rims are So. Much. Better. I've tried riding a three speed with steel rims in the rain, and even with the best of pads, it can be scary.

Now all this is an excuse for me to show a pic of my '68 Superbe, all dressed up and futzed with!
https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7507/2...06ed2c33_z.jpg

BigChief 08-31-16 03:23 PM


Originally Posted by adventurepdx (Post 19023759)
Wait, Kool Stop pads are expensive?

Yeah, many a time all you need is some basic maintenance to get a vintage three speed on the road. But where's the fun in that? :p And maybe you don't want to go down the road of endless futzing and personalization if all you are doing is flipping the bike, or fixing it up for your brother-in-law, or you have a garage/basement with 30 bikes in it. But if the bike's going to be your main (or one of your main) commuters, doing a bunch of stuff to it isn't a bad idea.

As for brakes/pads, yeah, the original steel rims and Raleigh brakes are adequate if you don't intend to ride your bike in the rain. But for someone like me who uses their Superbe to commute in the wet NW, aluminum rims are So. Much. Better. I've tried riding a three speed with steel rims in the rain, and even with the best of pads, it can be scary.

Now all this is an excuse for me to show a pic of my '68 Superbe, all dressed up and futzed with!
https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7507/2...06ed2c33_z.jpg

Yes, this Superbe is pretty much perfection. You even got the CR-18 stickers off! Lovely bike. I just don't want newcomers to feel intimated by all the technical details we see as normal. When I see a bike like this, I know this rider knows which direction Sturmey Archer pawl springs are installed by hart.

adventurepdx 08-31-16 05:04 PM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 19024041)
Yes, this Superbe is pretty much perfection. You even got the CR-18 stickers off! Lovely bike. I just don't want newcomers to feel intimated by all the technical details we see as normal. When I see a bike like this, I know this rider knows which direction Sturmey Archer pawl springs are installed by hart.

Well then, I fooled ya, as I don't know anything about no SA pawl springs! :p (Also, there is a CR18 decal on one rim still.)

But I do get what you are saying. We here at BF, esp in C&V can get "lost in the weeds", so to speak. And you don't have to do a lot to get an old three speed.

But the flip side of all that is I WANT to see more people ride three speeds as every day bicycles, not just as sunny day fun rides or for your local Tweed Ride. (Not that there's anything wrong with all that!) I have talked to some folks who would love to ride their three speeds more often, but they don't because of the lackluster stopping power of brake pads on wet steel rims. And some of those folks get hung up about switching out wheels, because somehow NOT keeping the steel rims makes it "less" of a three speed. Which of course is not true! And let's not kid ourselves, old three speeds are not common but are by no means rare. So do what you want with them.

I've been riding a three speed as one of my main commute bikes for over five years. For a city like Portland, it's all I really need for in-town transportation. The three speeds do well on our varied terrain. Aluminum rims mean I can stop in the rain. Racks and bags means I can carry stuff. Dynohub lighting means I can see and be seen at night without worrying about recharging batteries. Did all that cost money? Sure. Was it worth it? You bet! :D

clubman 08-31-16 06:54 PM

58 Trent Sports, fluted cranks
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/retroral.../images/8b.jpg

BigChief 08-31-16 08:18 PM

That makes sense. An intermediate club style model. Hi Ten frame, so the heron chainwheel. I can see how a few could have made their way onto Sports models. Although, the fluted cranks wouldn't look right with rubber pedals IMO.

clubman 08-31-16 09:02 PM

Maybe it's a 5 speed Sprite frame, they came in carmine. Show us the mudguard clearance with the 700's if you get a chance. Is there a braze-on for a pulley wheel near the seat cluster?


Originally Posted by Fat Tire Trader (Post 19020241)
Since, almost everything else on this bike has been changed, it may be that the cranks came from a different model. Yes, the rims are aluminum, the bike came to me with 700c rims, Sturmey SR5w and mafac 2000 brakes, French bars, Japanese stem, Avocet saddle. and a bent steerer tube. The serial number is on the seat tube. I was not able to find it in any of the charts.

http://fattiretrading.com/images/red...s-number-1.jpg


Fat Tire Trader 09-01-16 08:07 AM

I don't think that it is a Sprite frame. It has a clamp-on cable roller on the top tube which was no longer being used, but still in place.
I'm thinking that it is a 1950s Sports. I'm not sure if I am going to save this one. I mainly bought it for some of the parts that came on it. But, maybe I will fix it. It has a slightly bent steerer tube. When I took the fork out, the lower head set cup came out without any force, so the headtube might be slightly out of round, and one of the chain guard braze-ons is broken off.

BigChief 09-01-16 11:44 AM


Originally Posted by Fat Tire Trader (Post 19025400)
I don't think that it is a Sprite frame. It has a clamp-on cable roller on the top tube which was no longer being used, but still in place.
I'm thinking that it is a 1950s Sports. I'm not sure if I am going to save this one. I mainly bought it for some of the parts that came on it. But, maybe I will fix it. It has a slightly bent steerer tube. When I took the fork out, the lower head set cup came out without any force, so the headtube might be slightly out of round, and one of the chain guard braze-ons is broken off.

A brazed on chainguard lug rules out 1950s. That feature didn't start until the late 60s. I'd be real pleased to find a fluted crankset though. And bottom bracket cups and spindles are hard to find. Always a good score.

Fat Tire Trader 09-01-16 12:23 PM

Thanks for the timeline for the chain guard braze-ons. So this frame must be late 60s or newer.
Thanks,
Chris

thumpism 09-01-16 01:44 PM

It's riveted together. I'd use penetrating oil, scrape away what rust I could reach with various implements, work the mechanism loose, then lube the hell out of it and use it. I have recovered shifters that looked as bad.

BigChief 09-01-16 03:12 PM

2 Attachment(s)
a 48 hour soak in Evapo-Rust would do wonders. Here's a before and after of one I did.

Attachment 536044

Attachment 536045

BigChief 09-01-16 05:49 PM

I should mention that I did end up having to take this one apart because the spring was weak from rust and needed replacing. It comes apart easily, just drift out the two pins. It's getting it back together that's tricky. You need to hold everything together under spring pressure while you slip the pins back into place.

BigChief 09-02-16 07:32 AM

Your trigger shifter is positively worth saving. It's a mid 60s type when SA changed from embossed face plates to simply printing the graphics on the plate. Many of these have faded or worn off graphics. This one is in pretty decent shape. The style after yours did away with the face plate and used a plastic cover which often broke off. There's plenty of 70s shifters missing their covers around that you could use to harvest parts to repair your mid 60s shifter if the rusting has gone too far.Especially on the mousetrap spring. Just in case you decide on a teardown, I'll post some pictures later today on my lunch break. I've restored a few of these. It's not that hard to do.

dweenk 09-02-16 09:08 AM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 19026740)
I should mention that I did end up having to take this one apart because the spring was weak from rust and needed replacing. It comes apart easily, just drift out the two pins. It's getting it back together that's tricky. You need to hold everything together under spring pressure while you slip the pins back into place.

I second what BigChief said. Just be sure to save the pins that you drive out so they can be used for re-assembly.

BigChief 09-02-16 09:54 AM

2 Attachment(s)
You need a punch slightly smaller than the small end of the pin and a vise opened just enough to clear the pin head to support it as you drift it through. It's not a rivet. The pin is only press fit into the thin back wall of the case. Tap these 2 pins out and it all comes apart. The one here is a later type than yours with the plastic cover, so there's no face plate and the pins don't have the wide heads. So inside the case, you have the trigger, the cam plate, the pawl, the mousetrap spring and 2 pins. There's a 3rd pin holding the case together, but you don't have to bother with it. The cam goes on the trigger in this direction, pic 2.
It might be best to disassemble yours before soaking. Your face plate has the printed on logo instead of the earlier embossing and I'm not sure how it would react to the Evapo-Rust.
Getting it together again is the hard part because it's under spring pressure. After some wrestling, you will have all the parts lined up and both pins poked lightly in their holes. Then, lay it down on a hard flat surface and tap the pins home.
edit: forgot to mention. I find it best to locate the pin that holds the spring and pawl first.
Attachment 536083

Attachment 536084

BigChief 09-02-16 03:13 PM

Good Job!!!

gster 09-03-16 08:09 AM


Originally Posted by ideaofnorth (Post 19010084)
1954 (?) Raleigh Sports. Saddle pictured here finally gave out, but found a decent used B72 nearby that is working great. Considering getting a light for the dynohub at some point, but for now it's just a super fun ride.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BH-p1ivgRNw/

Nice New Hampshire registration sticker from 1956 on the rear fender as well.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BJD_sqUAHh4/

Nice looking bike. It looks like your front wheel is on backwards..
The Dynohub should be on the drive (right) side.

ideaofnorth 09-03-16 08:14 AM

Backwards wheel
 

Originally Posted by gster (Post 19029907)
Nice looking bike. It looks like your front wheel is on backwards..
The Dynohub should be on the drive (right) side.

Thanks! I wondered about that based on photos here. I received the bike with the dynohub on the left so kind of used to it I guess.

gster 09-03-16 08:16 AM

Humber Update
 
2 Attachment(s)
I've put the fenders back on, swapped the saddle for a leather one and installed a saddle bag. The chain is still rubbing on the paint can cover but I'll deal with that a bit later.

gster 09-03-16 08:30 AM


Originally Posted by ideaofnorth (Post 19029916)
Thanks! I wondered about that based on photos here. I received the bike with the dynohub on the left so kind of used to it I guess.

You should still flip it around as the front bearing adjustment cone is now on the wrong side as well.

nlerner 09-03-16 09:18 AM

CL outing in central Mass--a free 23" Raleigh Superbe: Raleigh Superbe Free Antique

If that were closer to me, it would be in the back of my car and heading home by now.

ollo_ollo 09-03-16 09:21 AM

I enjoyed reading through 20 or so pages of this mammoth thread. It brought back good memories of my 1st multi-speed bike, an "English Racer" with a 3 speed, Sturmey Archer hub, that I got for Christmas at age 11, in 1951.
It wasn't brand new, but had been overhauled, plus freshly re-painted in a light green, metallic color. It was totally unexpected, best Christmas ever!

Had to be a Raleigh Sports, as I remember the "bird head" on the crank. Several sizes to big so I could "grow into it". I still remember how sore my thighs & boy parts were the 1st few weeks after sliding back & forth across the top tube!

My best friend, John Greene, had a new one and his had a bottle generator with head & tail light. A rare luxury in our neighborhood. We rode them for miles all over town, simply telling our parents "I'm going bike riding". This was to be my transportation until I began driving.

Years later, in early 80's Portland, I picked up a $35 Raleigh Sports from a fellow student. It had a well broken in B-72 saddle and became my ride to school and work. It was several sizes too large as my stand-over was just barely clear of the TT, but in my bike ignorance, I thought it was sized "just right".

I rode that Sports long enough to wear out a few sets of brake pads and replaced the tires once. Don't remember ever having a flat on that bike. I eventually passed it on to another student for $35 and now, with bikes that are amazing compared to the old 3 speeds, I still wish I had kept it. Don

nlerner 09-03-16 09:21 AM


Originally Posted by gster (Post 19029907)
Nice looking bike. It looks like your front wheel is on backwards..
The Dynohub should be on the drive (right) side.

Hmm, the Dynohub on my '49 Raleigh Clubman is on the non-drive side, and I'm pretty sure it's correct. It was made for the US/export market and also has the lamp bracket on the left fork blade.

https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8522/2...5fe9fb7d_b.jpg


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