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

bluesteak 08-18-21 06:50 PM


Originally Posted by theofam (Post 22190106)
Thanks for working out your Google muscles on my behalf! Iíll bet youíre right on the rebadged Raleigh front, but, Iíve yet to see another Alpha. So, Iím feeling particularly sparkly right now.

It doesnít look like a Nottingham bike to me. More like a 50ís Birmingham Hercules.

The lugs donít match anything I have. Closest is my Hopper Invincable.

theofam 08-18-21 07:51 PM


Originally Posted by bluesteak (Post 22190341)
It doesnít look like a Nottingham bike to me. More like a 50ís Birmingham Hercules.

The lugs donít match anything I have. Closest is my Hopper Invincable.

Iíll be away from the Alpha until Monday, leaving you all in suspense, Iím sure! Iíll give it a good cleaning next week, upload updated pics, and sit back with popcorn while you all figure out what the heck I bought!

dirtman 08-18-21 11:01 PM

Sturmey Archer FW or S5 or other?

I've been going through boxes of parts from a recent clean out and found several complete new hub internal sets that are unmarked. at quick glance I figured they were S5 assemblies but closer inspection showed that the left side of the axle is solid, no hole through for a skewer or push rod. Otherwise, all parts appear to be the same as an S5.
When I didn't see the push rod, I figured it must be the later version with skewer, but the axle is only machined about 10mm inside on the left, much like many AW axles with a shallow hole there.
I broke one down to make it didn't just have something in the axle but they're all the same.
The right side is like an AW, its got three pinion gears and a cage as on an S5, and a nut retaining the gear on other end but no pin or skewer and no place to put it. The slot, or the hole are absent.

They were all packaged in a semi transparent heavy plastic tube heat sealed flat on both ends. The guy had a half dozen of these in the parts drawers.
They're definitely older, I was told that the shop was active from '35 to '75 when the owner locked the doors and retired. The primary brand was Rollfast but there was a good assortment of Sturmey Archer parts, even a few new hubs.

Any idea what model these could be for?

As far as i know the S5 used either a push rod or skewer on the left and the FW had an indicator rod, but there is no through hole in the left side of the axle. Yet it uses the cage and planet gears of an S5 or FW.
Otherwise, the axle looks just like one from an S5. I've gone so far as to tap at the end of the hole in the axle to make sure it just wasn't something stuck in there but its definitely machined that way.
The new internal sets are coated with some sort of thin white grease Was there a four speed with out the long indicator?
They are not in normal packaging so they could be aftermarket, but I can't imagine it being a machining error that blatant.

The drilled area on the left side of the axle is also pretty large, about 5mm or so in diameter and about 10mm deep.
The way they were packaged reminds me of how some older military tools and parts are packaged for long term storage.

SirMike1983 08-19-21 06:54 AM


Originally Posted by nlerner (Post 22190214)
Paging @SirMike1983!

Thanks - that's a really, really good deal. I'll give it a few days to see if anyone else really wants it. But if it's still there in a few days... I may very well.

Salubrious 08-19-21 09:26 AM


Originally Posted by dirtman (Post 22190554)
Sturmey Archer FW or S5 or other?

I've been going through boxes of parts from a recent clean out and found several complete new hub internal sets that are unmarked. at quick glance I figured they were S5 assemblies but closer inspection showed that the left side of the axle is solid, no hole through for a skewer or push rod. Otherwise, all parts appear to be the same as an S5.
When I didn't see the push rod, I figured it must be the later version with skewer, but the axle is only machined about 10mm inside on the left, much like many AW axles with a shallow hole there.
I broke one down to make it didn't just have something in the axle but they're all the same.
The right side is like an AW, its got three pinion gears and a cage as on an S5, and a nut retaining the gear on other end but no pin or skewer and no place to put it. The slot, or the hole are absent.

They were all packaged in a semi transparent heavy plastic tube heat sealed flat on both ends. The guy had a half dozen of these in the parts drawers.
They're definitely older, I was told that the shop was active from '35 to '75 when the owner locked the doors and retired. The primary brand was Rollfast but there was a good assortment of Sturmey Archer parts, even a few new hubs.

Any idea what model these could be for?

As far as i know the S5 used either a push rod or skewer on the left and the FW had an indicator rod, but there is no through hole in the left side of the axle. Yet it uses the cage and planet gears of an S5 or FW.
Otherwise, the axle looks just like one from an S5. I've gone so far as to tap at the end of the hole in the axle to make sure it just wasn't something stuck in there but its definitely machined that way.
The new internal sets are coated with some sort of thin white grease Was there a four speed with out the long indicator?
They are not in normal packaging so they could be aftermarket, but I can't imagine it being a machining error that blatant.

The drilled area on the left side of the axle is also pretty large, about 5mm or so in diameter and about 10mm deep.
The way they were packaged reminds me of how some older military tools and parts are packaged for long term storage.

If the axle is solid on the left side its a three speed. I'd be wondering if these are type K internals.

clubman 08-19-21 10:41 AM

There were two models of SW, one with 2 rods, another with only one.

Maybe?

Salubrious 08-19-21 11:44 AM


Originally Posted by clubman (Post 22191079)
There were two models of SW, one with 2 rods, another with only one.

Maybe?

The SW would be easy to identify because of the friction style pawls- very unlike a the S5 of FW in that regard.

clubman 08-19-21 12:22 PM


Originally Posted by Salubrious (Post 22191180)
The SW would be easy to identify because of the friction style pawls- very unlike a the S5 of FW in that regard.

I'll take your word for it, I've never looked at one in the wild. Or an S5. Just AW.

dirtman 08-20-21 07:44 PM


Originally Posted by Salubrious (Post 22191180)
The SW would be easy to identify because of the friction style pawls- very unlike a the S5 of FW in that regard.


It looks like an S5 gear set but with no left side axle hole or push rod. The left side sun gears, spring, and axle ring are the same, but no slot, no push rod. The key that would meet the push rod is not there.
Another thing is that the axle is stepped where the lock nut is, on all the S5 hubs I've had apart, the axle has one size thread on the left, this has a larger thread that begins where the lock nut sits and a deep key way cut into the threads through both levels of the threading. The lock nut takes a 16mm wrench not a 15mm as on an S5.

Both sun gears are the same as on an S5 as is the spring. I see no way for it to shift the pinion gears and the whole mess just functions as a three speed.
It fits into an AW or S5 shell.
The smaller pinion gear is always engaged with the axle, and the larger gear can't be moved using just the standard AW type indicator.

Maybe some oddball aftermarket mistake? None of these were marked with Sturmey Archer, the packaging was more like what I'd expect from military parts than from SA.
An axle swap and left side pin would make it into an functional S5 If it were just missing the axle hole, I'd drill it through, but there's no slot for the key that engages the pin.
I would have ignored the larger lock nut and threads figuring it was just an early or later version but the lack of a slot as well has me puzzled.


https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...0d0d61d8bb.jpg

thumpism 08-21-21 08:51 PM

I had planned to post this in the co-op thread but the pix are lousy. I did not want to move these bikes around for a better view in case someone wondered what I was doing at the closed co-op. Actually, I was there to go through the dumpster but I saw this. The black Rudge ladies' bike is the target. It's been stripped down and updated and it sports 700C wheels and a newer Sturmey three-speed with coaster. Not my preferred hub but I might have to grab it anyway if it's cheap enough.
https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...408bdd7376.jpg

https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...8ab30d51eb.jpg

gster 08-22-21 06:47 AM

Tires!
I just picked up a nice pair of tires from a guy down the street
https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...96a6e49648.jpg
They have a nice "vintage" block tread,
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...654b9ade07.jpg
Branded Vee Rubber.
As we know, it's getting hard to find 26 x 1 3/8 tires.
Even Canadian Tire doesn't seem to carry them any more.

3speedslow 08-22-21 07:08 AM

Great, just what I want to read as I begin my look for a new set for my just acquired Puch Sears 3 speed.

FBOATSB 08-22-21 07:16 AM


Originally Posted by 3speedslow (Post 22194727)
Great, just what I want to read as I begin my look for a new set for my just acquired Puch Sears 3 speed.

https://veetireco.com/
Apparently sold via all the usual sources.
Edit: Could be a challenge finding the size you need.

dirtman 08-22-21 07:42 AM

I used to see that brand, Vee Rubber, here back in the late 70's and 80's. They were sold by a local auto parts store that also sold bikes. I till have a set on one of my bikes here that never seemed to age much over the years. They were likely just a rebranding of another major brand to allow neighboring dealers to sell essentially the same tire.

dirtman 08-22-21 08:55 AM

They appear to have two websites, one as Vee Tire, the other as Vee Rubber,
this one says they began in Thailand in 1977:
About us ? VEE Rubber US. Performance Tires

I haven't seen them around here lately, just a few older tires here and there that turn up from time to time.

JohnDThompson 08-22-21 09:24 AM


Originally Posted by Salubrious (Post 22191180)
The SW would be easy to identify because of the friction style pawls- very unlike a the S5 of FW in that regard.

The SW is smaller diameter than the AW, S5, or FW and wouldn't fit in those hub shells. SW also has three planet gears rather than four.

theofam 08-22-21 11:00 AM


Originally Posted by gster (Post 22194711)
Tires!
I just picked up a nice pair of tires from a guy down the street
https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...96a6e49648.jpg
They have a nice "vintage" block tread,
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...654b9ade07.jpg
Branded Vee Rubber.
As we know, it's getting hard to find 26 x 1 3/8 tires.
Even Canadian Tire doesn't seem to carry them any more.

As another option, I just bought Schwalbe 26 x 1 3/8 tires from Bike24 out of Germany. Even with shipping, it was cheaper delivered in the US than most domestic sites I could find.

thumpism 08-22-21 05:00 PM

NINETEEN dollars. Terrible pix but a great price and a B72 saddle.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...16051713602584

https://scontent.fric1-1.fna.fbcdn.n...d8&oe=61279067

gster 08-22-21 05:17 PM


Originally Posted by thumpism (Post 22195603)

Hope you bought it.

markk900 08-22-21 05:21 PM


Originally Posted by gster (Post 22194711)
Tires!
I just picked up a nice pair of tires from a guy down the street
https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...96a6e49648.jpg
They have a nice "vintage" block tread,
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...654b9ade07.jpg
Branded Vee Rubber.
As we know, it's getting hard to find 26 x 1 3/8 tires.
Even Canadian Tire doesn't seem to carry them any more.

gster : I have been looking everywhere for a source in Canada for those tires. They have the ďrightĒ tread but could not find them through any of the regular sources in Canada. Wheelchair supply places but they tend to have gray and rarely have any in stock. Can you ask your friend where he sourced them?

gster 08-22-21 07:39 PM


Originally Posted by markk900 (Post 22195640)
gster : I have been looking everywhere for a source in Canada for those tires. They have the ďrightĒ tread but could not find them through any of the regular sources in Canada. Wheelchair supply places but they tend to have gray and rarely have any in stock. Can you ask your friend where he sourced them?

It was just a guy on Kijiji.
He said he bought them a while back and never used them.
If you're coming to Toronto Pm me and you can have them for what I paid,
$30.00/pair.

arty dave 08-23-21 03:47 AM


Originally Posted by dirtman (Post 22193153)
It looks like an S5 gear set but with no left side axle hole or push rod. The left side sun gears, spring, and axle ring are the same, but no slot, no push rod. The key that would meet the push rod is not there.
Another thing is that the axle is stepped where the lock nut is, on all the S5 hubs I've had apart, the axle has one size thread on the left, this has a larger thread that begins where the lock nut sits and a deep key way cut into the threads through both levels of the threading. The lock nut takes a 16mm wrench not a 15mm as on an S5.

Both sun gears are the same as on an S5 as is the spring. I see no way for it to shift the pinion gears and the whole mess just functions as a three speed.
It fits into an AW or S5 shell.
The smaller pinion gear is always engaged with the axle, and the larger gear can't be moved using just the standard AW type indicator.

Maybe some oddball aftermarket mistake? None of these were marked with Sturmey Archer, the packaging was more like what I'd expect from military parts than from SA.
An axle swap and left side pin would make it into an functional S5 If it were just missing the axle hole, I'd drill it through, but there's no slot for the key that engages the pin.
I would have ignored the larger lock nut and threads figuring it was just an early or later version but the lack of a slot as well has me puzzled.


https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...0d0d61d8bb.jpg

Sorry nothing to ad, but it does look very much like an S5. ...strange. Hopefully someone can help sleuth this mystery into a reasonable explanation

Johno59 08-23-21 08:34 AM

The Alpha Cycle Company was located in Birmingham 174 Corporation St in 1910 (now a hair-dresser) and in 1932 / 34 on Morville Street Birmingham. The Veterans Cycle Club's Library has 1910, 1930 and 1934 catalogs for Alpha cycles . Morville Street today is very short, maybe 100 yards long and has housing on it now so I imagine the works was knocked down but the hairdresser is in the original building with a roller door and ramped entrance.
Interestingly the 1910 Alpha bikes are very expensive - about twice the price of a Raleigh or Humber of this era. Whereas the 1930s bikes are less than half the 1910 price tag and as such are around the price of the competition.
I'm guessing they moved from the very swank part of Birmingham to Morville St to reduce costs and the price tag drop was also an effort to stay float as the motor-car began to take hold of the transportation market. Like the other 99% of British marques of this era, the ploy was doomed to fail.

thumpism 08-23-21 08:39 AM


Originally Posted by gster (Post 22195632)
Hope you bought it.

Too far away and I don't need it, and I have Sportses and Brookses and plenty of other projects.

gster 08-23-21 11:24 AM


Originally Posted by thumpism (Post 22196504)
Too far away and I don't need it, and I have Sportses and Brookses and plenty of other projects.

I know what you mean.

Salubrious 08-23-21 12:36 PM


Originally Posted by dirtman (Post 22194758)
I used to see that brand, Vee Rubber, here back in the late 70's and 80's. They were sold by a local auto parts store that also sold bikes. I till have a set on one of my bikes here that never seemed to age much over the years. They were likely just a rebranding of another major brand to allow neighboring dealers to sell essentially the same tire.

Vee Rubber is very much around today. I have a set of Vee Rubber tires for my mountain bike I just bought in the spring.

Salubrious 08-23-21 12:37 PM


Originally Posted by dirtman (Post 22193153)
It looks like an S5 gear set but with no left side axle hole or push rod. The left side sun gears, spring, and axle ring are the same, but no slot, no push rod. The key that would meet the push rod is not there.
Another thing is that the axle is stepped where the lock nut is, on all the S5 hubs I've had apart, the axle has one size thread on the left, this has a larger thread that begins where the lock nut sits and a deep key way cut into the threads through both levels of the threading. The lock nut takes a 16mm wrench not a 15mm as on an S5.

Both sun gears are the same as on an S5 as is the spring. I see no way for it to shift the pinion gears and the whole mess just functions as a three speed.
It fits into an AW or S5 shell.
The smaller pinion gear is always engaged with the axle, and the larger gear can't be moved using just the standard AW type indicator.

Maybe some oddball aftermarket mistake? None of these were marked with Sturmey Archer, the packaging was more like what I'd expect from military parts than from SA.
An axle swap and left side pin would make it into an functional S5 If it were just missing the axle hole, I'd drill it through, but there's no slot for the key that engages the pin.
I would have ignored the larger lock nut and threads figuring it was just an early or later version but the lack of a slot as well has me puzzled.


This would certainly explain why they were never used...

theofam 08-23-21 01:46 PM


Originally Posted by Johno59 (Post 22196500)
The Alpha Cycle Company was located in Birmingham 174 Corporation St in 1910 (now a hair-dresser) and in 1932 / 34 on Morville Street Birmingham. The Veterans Cycle Club's Library has 1910, 1930 and 1934 catalogs for Alpha cycles . Morville Street today is very short, maybe 100 yards long and has housing on it now so I imagine the works was knocked down but the hairdresser is in the original building with a roller door and ramped entrance.
Interestingly the 1910 Alpha bikes are very expensive - about twice the price of a Raleigh or Humber of this era. Whereas the 1930s bikes are less than half the 1910 price tag and as such are around the price of the competition.
I'm guessing they moved from the very swank part of Birmingham to Morville St to reduce costs and the price tag drop was also an effort to stay float as the motor-car began to take hold of the transportation market. Like the other 99% of British marques of this era, the ploy was doomed to fail.

Thanks for the history on Alpha! Can you share where you found the information? My searches thus far have proven fruitless.

gster 08-23-21 03:43 PM

Still Out There
https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...ece86df1d.jpeg
This 50's Rudge was offered recently for $30.00 in the Toronto area.
I hope it went to a good home
The forks do look bent a bit.

thumpism 08-23-21 04:29 PM

Posted by Clang in the Are You Looking thread. It's for sale for forty bucks!

https://scontent-msp1-1.xx.fbcdn.net...50&oe=6128E1A5


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