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

ISP 06-01-18 01:02 PM

Hi everyone... yesterday I rescued a 3 speed Raleigh Sports from the trash. I know nothing about bicycles but thought this might be a fun summer project. I was wondering if anyone would be able to tell me the age of the bike and missing external parts. I have tried to post pictures; however, the forum will not let me do so until I have at least 10 posts. Help is greatly appreciated with information on the bike and how to upload pictures.

Thanks

Ian

desconhecido 06-01-18 01:22 PM


Originally Posted by ISP (Post 20371776)
Hi everyone... yesterday I rescued a 3 speed Raleigh Sports from the trash. I know nothing about bicycles but thought this might be a fun summer project. I was wondering if anyone would be able to tell me the age of the bike and missing external parts. I have tried to post pictures; however, the forum will not let me do so until I have at least 10 posts. Help is greatly appreciated with information on the bike and how to upload pictures.

Thanks

Ian

Lots of people here will be able to narrow down the possible years pretty quickly. The easiest thing for you to check is the Sturmey Archer date code underneath all the dirt and grunge on the rear hub. It does happen, but it's relatively rare to find a hub that doesn't match the age of the bike.

paulb_in_bkln 06-01-18 03:46 PM


Originally Posted by ISP (Post 20371776)
Hi everyone... yesterday I rescued a 3 speed Raleigh Sports from the trash. I know nothing about bicycles but thought this might be a fun summer project. I was wondering if anyone would be able to tell me the age of the bike and missing external parts. I have tried to post pictures; however, the forum will not let me do so until I have at least 10 posts. Help is greatly appreciated with information on the bike and how to upload pictures.

Thanks

Ian

You really have stumbled into the correct saloon.

arty dave 06-01-18 08:10 PM


Originally Posted by paulb_in_bkln (Post 20370931)
This positively answers my question!

Mine too! I've just spent a tonne of $ at the dentist, the thought of handing over more because of a broken stem would at least make the dentist happy.
It will sit on the shelf for now. Maybe I'll find a 23.8mm clamp handlebar, or maybe I can find a 22.2mm clamp handlebar that I can shim into the stem.

gster 06-02-18 05:36 AM


Originally Posted by ISP (Post 20371776)
Hi everyone... yesterday I rescued a 3 speed Raleigh Sports from the trash. I know nothing about bicycles but thought this might be a fun summer project. I was wondering if anyone would be able to tell me the age of the bike and missing external parts. I have tried to post pictures; however, the forum will not let me do so until I have at least 10 posts. Help is greatly appreciated with information on the bike and how to upload pictures.

Thanks

Ian

Yes, the hub stamp is your main source of info. There are lots of other details that the members here can use to narrow the year down.
Free bikes are always the best...
You can usually get these back in shape for less than $100.00 (plus your labour)
New tires
New chain
new brake pads
new cables (re use the original casings)
When dis assembling keep ALL the parts!
Even a rusty old axle nut.
Raleigh parts are all proprietary,
you can't pop down to the hardware store for a new one.
Most of your work will be taking it apart, cleaning, re-packing bearings etc.
Lots of info here and on youtube .
Lots of small parts are still available from your LBS.
Good luck!
https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...f6868c951e.jpg

paulb_in_bkln 06-02-18 06:54 AM


Originally Posted by Chaser95 (Post 20370479)
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...5b046fd082.jpg
Another road trip another Sports. AW Hub July 77. Has those @&$(*#^ adjustable brakes. Another barn picture for Paul. Bought this and a red 70s Le Tour Mixte for two Jacksons. Thanks guys for the shifter tips. Had I not been Raleigh chasing I would have tried them out today. Back to work tomorrow.

Is the barn on your property? Tons of visual character. I always feel like I am king of the world when riding my Sports step thru.

thumpism 06-02-18 07:36 AM


Originally Posted by ISP (Post 20371776)
Hi everyone... yesterday I rescued a 3 speed Raleigh Sports from the trash...

Great feeling, isn't it? Here's the one I got the same way.https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...cf2abef437.jpg

johnnyspaghetti 06-02-18 09:29 AM


Originally Posted by thumpism (Post 20372719)
Great feeling, isn't it? Here's the one I got the same way.https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...cf2abef437.jpg

This is a big boy bike

thumpism 06-02-18 10:07 AM


Originally Posted by johnnyspaghetti (Post 20372833)
This is a big boy bike

My wife won't let me look for a tall girl to ride it while I accompany her on my men's 23" Sports.

dweenk 06-02-18 01:13 PM

https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...f4e53db7a0.jpg
Advertised as a Rodeo, But I think this is a Sports or Superbe.
https://delaware.craigslist.org/bik/...604497099.html

paulb_in_bkln 06-02-18 05:35 PM


Originally Posted by johnnyspaghetti (Post 20372833)
This is a big boy bike

The two extra inches at the head tube vs the diamond frame make a big difference.

BigChief 06-02-18 07:51 PM

Another early 50s Sports showed up on my local CL. Very pricey though. It's all there except the small chaincase cover and the headlamp bracket. It's one of those cases you see where it was removed at some point to make room for a bottle generator lamp. The rims look bad, especially the rear. They are usually worse on the inside than the outside. A bike like this deserves clean Westricks not alloys or Endrick rims. Bad rims always add a lot of cost to a project.
https://maine.craigslist.org/bik/d/r...594071683.html

desconhecido 06-02-18 08:08 PM

A couple good looking JC Higgins bikes on the Dallas craigslist. These are Austrian bikes made, I think, by Puch or Steyr. Glad they're in Dallas and not Houston.

https://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/bi...593163297.html

Chaser95 06-02-18 08:27 PM


Originally Posted by desconhecido (Post 20373650)
A couple good looking JC Higgins bikes on the Dallas craigslist. These are Austrian bikes made, I think, by Puch or Steyr. Glad they're in Dallas and not Houston.

https://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/bi...593163297.html

I have one of those that is blessed with what we now call patina. The bike carries a Puch serial number and it is all quality built. The ride is smooth and sure. If you can find one of these you won't regret it.

anotherbike 06-02-18 08:35 PM


Originally Posted by thumpism (Post 20372719)
Great feeling, isn't it? Here's the one I got the same way.

I have a large ladies frame Sprite 5 speed similar to this hanging in my back garage, its even big for me and I'm 6' tall. I bought it for its rims but after riding it a bit I couldn't bring my self to use it for parts. It came to me with huge oversize blackwall chainlink 26x1 3/8" tires on it with no brand name whatsoever. The tires are a good 1/2" wider than the stock tires. The internal 5 speed is set up to shift with two trigger shifters.
I was always intrigued that they built such a tall ladies frame, it sits and rides taller than my 24" Robin Hood Sports.
(Tried to post a pic but I don't have enough posts here yet). I'll come back with one when I do I guess.

BigChief 06-02-18 08:51 PM


Originally Posted by anotherbike (Post 20373685)
I have a large ladies frame Sprite 5 speed similar to this hanging in my back garage, its even big for me and I'm 6' tall. I bought it for its rims but after riding it a bit I couldn't bring my self to use it for parts. It came to me with huge oversize blackwall chainlink 26x1 3/8" tires on it with no brand name whatsoever. The tires are a good 1/2" wider than the stock tires. The internal 5 speed is set up to shift with two trigger shifters.
I was always intrigued that they built such a tall ladies frame, it sits and rides taller than my 24" Robin Hood Sports.
(Tried to post a pic but I don't have enough posts here yet). I'll come back with one when I do I guess.

I'm a fan of the S5 hub. I have a 21" Sprite that's a bit too small for me and thought about stealing the rear wheel for another project, but like you, I couldn't bring myself to part out a perfectly good Sprite.

desconhecido 06-02-18 08:56 PM


Originally Posted by Chaser95 (Post 20373676)
I have one of those that is blessed with what we now call patina. The bike carries a Puch serial number and it is all quality built. The ride is smooth and sure. If you can find one of these you won't regret it.

I think that the Austrian 3spds that Sears sold during the 50s and 60s were better bikes than the Raleigh Sports bikes of the time. I rarely see a Sears example -- well, not since about 1970 anyway. When the great bike boom hit, nobody wanted a Sears bike anymore -- at least that's my recollection having been teenaged at the time. I encountered a guy on an early 60s JC Higgins on the Houston bike paths a couple years ago and was gob smacked at how nice and well preserved his bike was compared to almost all the Raleighs. Maybe all the bad condition Sears bikes got melted down years ago and the bad condition Raleighs just hung on for some reason.

In any event, those two Dallas bikes sure look good -- good sheet metal, mostly complete and original. $150 for the pair -- if Dallas were 100 miles closer, I'd probably own them tomorrow. Not that I need a couple more three speeds, but how many is enough?

Chaser95 06-02-18 09:16 PM


Originally Posted by desconhecido (Post 20373707)
I think that the Austrian 3spds that Sears sold during the 50s and 60s were better bikes than the Raleigh Sports bikes of the time. I rarely see a Sears example -- well, not since about 1970 anyway. When the great bike boom hit, nobody wanted a Sears bike anymore -- at least that's my recollection having been teenaged at the time. I encountered a guy on an early 60s JC Higgins on the Houston bike paths a couple years ago and was gob smacked at how nice and well preserved his bike was compared to almost all the Raleighs. Maybe all the bad condition Sears bikes got melted down years ago and the bad condition Raleighs just hung on for some reason.

In any event, those two Dallas bikes sure look good -- good sheet metal, mostly complete and original. $150 for the pair -- if Dallas were 100 miles closer, I'd probably own them tomorrow. Not that I need a couple more three speeds, but how many is enough?

I have a friend who had the mid 60s Sears version of those bikes. Even as an 11 year old I noticed the quality of the build. I agree they put many Raleighs to shame. Mine feels like the machine tolerances are tighter than the Raleighs. Everything that moves is very smooth. At that price I would not let 100 miles keep me away.

johnnyspaghetti 06-03-18 02:30 AM

Kind of astonishing, the CL ads. I was in Houston but a few miles north.I looked but saw there were only a small fraction of ads compared to MPLS.
I know why. It would be very easy to die if you ride.

gster 06-03-18 05:09 AM


Originally Posted by Chaser95 (Post 20373732)
I have a friend who had the mid 60s Sears version of those bikes. Even as an 11 year old I noticed the quality of the build. I agree they put many Raleighs to shame. Mine feels like the machine tolerances are tighter than the Raleighs. Everything that moves is very smooth. At that price I would not let 100 miles keep me away.

I have also seen some very nice Polish Austrian 3 speeds at reasonable prices.But at this point in the collecting (hoarding) I have to set some limits on myself.
At last count I was up to 18 bikes...
with 3 non British
Linus
Eastman
Flying Pigeon.
My friend George at Parts Unknown has a fairly complete tall Raleigh 3 Speed Coffee frame
for $20.00...
I could soon have 19 bikes.

gster 06-03-18 06:07 AM

once confessed that he liked to explain to ‘young people’ that, back in the bad-old-low-tech-flared-trousered-analogue days things were so backward that you could fly from London to New York in three and a half hours and men regularly walked on the Moon

ISP 06-03-18 07:08 AM

Thank you for the advice. I cleaned the hub and found a 69 stamp on it which I assume is for 1969. I also found the number 2 stamped on the hub a little further away. Does that indicate the month of February? I'm not sure if any of this information is correct because I found the 1969 catalogue online and it looks like color choices are black, bronze green, and burgundy; however, the bike looks brown to me. Would age, elements, and sun damage change the color of the bike that much?

gster 06-03-18 07:17 AM

The Reward System
My Bitsa Glider has proven itself "worthy" and has been rewarded with a new chain to finish it off.
https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...1886425648.jpg
It's chain has migrated over to the '69 Robin Hood that still has tracking issues...AAARRRGH!
https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...6dd4ef3864.jpg
Not worthy of a new chain.....yet.

gster 06-03-18 07:21 AM


Originally Posted by ISP (Post 20374083)
Thank you for the advice. I cleaned the hub and found a 69 stamp on it which I assume is for 1969. I also found the number 2 stamped on the hub a little further away. Does that indicate the month of February? I'm not sure if any of this information is correct because I found the 1969 catalogue online and it looks like color choices are black, bronze green, and burgundy; however, the bike looks brown to me. Would age, elements, and sun damage change the color of the bike that much?

Yes on the dating.
Keep replying and posting and then post some photos.
The coffee colour was very popular.
https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...fe58371f08.jpg

paulb_in_bkln 06-03-18 08:17 AM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 20373625)
Another early 50s Sports showed up on my local CL. Very pricey though. It's all there except the small chaincase cover and the headlamp bracket. It's one of those cases you see where it was removed at some point to make room for a bottle generator lamp. The rims look bad, especially the rear. They are usually worse on the inside than the outside. A bike like this deserves clean Westricks not alloys or Endrick rims. Bad rims always add a lot of cost to a project.
https://maine.craigslist.org/bik/d/r...594071683.html

Strikes me as being not only pricey but overpriced, by a lot. Though I guess that depends on how badly someone wants this exact type of bike and what else is available.

BigChief 06-03-18 09:21 AM


Originally Posted by paulb_in_bkln (Post 20374161)
Strikes me as being not only pricey but overpriced, by a lot. Though I guess that depends on how badly someone wants this exact type of bike and what else is available.

Well yeah, I was being kind. I see ads like this from time to time. Perhaps it's not a truly motivated seller, just somebody testing the market. Personally, I don't see big prices sticking to old English roadsters. Far too few people have any interest in them.

anotherbike 06-04-18 01:55 AM


Originally Posted by desconhecido (Post 20373707)
I think that the Austrian 3spds that Sears sold during the 50s and 60s were better bikes than the Raleigh Sports bikes of the time. I rarely see a Sears example -- well, not since about 1970 anyway. When the great bike boom hit, nobody wanted a Sears bike anymore -- at least that's my recollection having been teenaged at the time. I encountered a guy on an early 60s JC Higgins on the Houston bike paths a couple years ago and was gob smacked at how nice and well preserved his bike was compared to almost all the Raleighs. Maybe all the bad condition Sears bikes got melted down years ago and the bad condition Raleighs just hung on for some reason.

In any event, those two Dallas bikes sure look good -- good sheet metal, mostly complete and original. $150 for the pair -- if Dallas were 100 miles closer, I'd probably own them tomorrow. Not that I need a couple more three speeds, but how many is enough?

I had a few old Sears three speeds over the years, two of them had Sears branded rear hubs and shifters. They were made in Austria I believe. both were white with gray trim and aluminum fenders. One of them was a ladies bike with the lace holes in the rear mud guard in gold paint with horse hair padded saddle. I do remember that all three had heavy duty spring reinforced, horse hair padded saddles covered in a shiny hard plastic vinyl that eventually cracked apart and let the horse hair fall out all over the place. One bike rarely got ridden back then because of a sticky shift cable that would get stuck in high gear. I think they got left behind/sold with a shore house we owned back in the day. I was never fan of the paint scheme on them compared to a sharp looking green or black Raleigh.

paulb_in_bkln 06-04-18 06:33 AM


Originally Posted by BigChief (Post 20374225)
Well yeah, I was being kind. I see ads like this from time to time. Perhaps it's not a truly motivated seller, just somebody testing the market. Personally, I don't see big prices sticking to old English roadsters. Far too few people have any interest in them.

Also, as much as I like them I try to keep in mind they were mass produced by the many tens or hundreds of thousands. Although Sheldon wrote somewhere that Ford Model Ts were once so numerous that when they were superseded by newer models you could drive an old one away at a yard sale price. Not exactly like that today. I still think about that guy on eBay a few years ago asking, I think it was $6,000, for a detailed mint his/her pair of 50s black Raleigh Sports. No idea what they might have sold for. I once read that the price of 50s and 60s British tube hifi equipment was driven sky high by a crazy demand for it in Japan. I wonder if the Japanese like old British bicycles?

BigChief 06-04-18 09:09 AM


Originally Posted by paulb_in_bkln (Post 20375593)
Also, as much as I like them I try to keep in mind they were mass produced by the many tens or hundreds of thousands. Although Sheldon wrote somewhere that Ford Model Ts were once so numerous that when they were superseded by newer models you could drive an old one away at a yard sale price. Not exactly like that today. I still think about that guy on eBay a few years ago asking, I think it was $6,000, for a detailed mint his/her pair of 50s black Raleigh Sports. No idea what they might have sold for. I once read that the price of 50s and 60s British tube hifi equipment was driven sky high by a crazy demand for it in Japan. I wonder if the Japanese like old British bicycles?

Unlike some antiquities, the old 3 speed roadsters are still relevant for their intended purpose. They also have an understated dignity that most modern designs lack. I am seeing more townie type bikes on the road these days so maybe we will see an increased interest in vintage roadsters at some point. The older ones are becoming more rare. Hard to say, but in any case it's a fun hobby and not very expensive as hobbies go. The best part is at the end of all the work, you have a beautiful bike that's fun to ride.

Chaser95 06-04-18 09:55 AM

Shift cable
 
Thanks to the good folks on this thread the silver sports is shifting again! Yep, it was the fulcrum stop. Took about a minute to fix and all is well again.....but, I will keep an eye on it until we build trust. It needs the headset rebuilt soon and that rear reflector HAS to go! I know when I find a chain guard it will not be silver. Anyone know a paint that is a decent match?https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...513a41d409.jpg


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