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

clubman 02-24-10 04:51 PM


Originally Posted by noglider (Post 10446637)
So was the Lenton name solely for the Canadian market? I've only heard of it here on bikeforums and only from Canadians.

My experience with these bikes comes from being an enthusiast and collector but I've never worked in the industry so take everything with a grain of salt.
Lenton was of course a big name for Raleigh in the late 40's and 50's. The original Lenton line morphed into the Clubman and later models became the Gran Sport but the Lenton Sports was kept on in Canada as a 3 speed and later a 5 speed (like the gold example). In the 60's, Raleigh had a few different lines that seem to be exclusive to Canada like the Canadian, the Laurentian, and maybe the even Trent was more common here. Raleigh was the major source of rebadged clones so we also had huge numbers of Eatons Gliders and Canadian Tire Supercycles rolling around. Often these bikes were parts bin specials...bikes with components that weren't fashionable anymore. I've also noticed that the paint and decal designs lagged behind the British models as well. A mid-fifties Sports paint style will show up on a 1960 Raleigh Canadian. With those painted fork tips. Most of the 3 speed sports models eventually morphed into 5 speeds with Huret and Simplex drive trains

As Sixty-Fiver can attest, we've seen a lot Raleigh 3 speeds because of our partial British heritage.
http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=138859

noglider 02-24-10 04:55 PM

I assume the AMF Hercules was made for the US market. Is that right? AMF is the American Machine Foundy. I have a bright red Hercules with chrome chainguard and fenders. It's very spiffy looking.

Sixty Fiver 02-24-10 05:38 PM

The first year the Lenton was available with derailer gears was 1957... this year saw a lot of changes in that the bikes also went to 27 inch wheels and could have been purchased with a Benelux 4 speed and in 1958 the Lenton Grand Prix was equipped with a double chain wheel and rod shifter to make the bike an 8 speed.

The three speed models remained very popular as these were a solid and established technology and actually are a much better drive system than those early pull chain derailers.

The Reg Harris editions were also a little different than the base Sports model.

Raleigh also offered the Cyclo Benelux 3 speed conversion for the SA hub to make it a 9 speed model.

You won't see many 1950's Raleigh's or pre 1960's bikes around here unless you are hanging out in my shop... if people have them they aren't riding them like I do.

My Lenton was purchased as a fixed gear model and with the transfiguration of the Sports I now have a decent 3 speed wheel for it if I wanted to rock another gear... the 3 speed model was also a few dollars more than the fixed gear.

cobrabyte 02-25-10 08:18 AM

ah a good reason to post a pic of my favorite bike!

I've done some work to this: (1974 Sports)

Wald basket w/ cargo net , Wald flashlight bracket & Wald handlebars (the original ones were missing)
original Raleigh grips
tracked down an original pump & pegs
Brooks Saddle & Bag
Tufflex tires - the perfect tire for these bikes IMO
red brakes cable housings
new chain (gold BMX chain)

I absolutely love this bike - If I was forced to keep only one, this would be it

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4045/...d5b0aa7c_b.jpg

and the little folder, (1971) quite fun. I've taken this bike to crit races and "tailgated" with a cooler on the back ha ha

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2463/...4bc4c98b_b.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3540/...123068d1_b.jpg

Sixty Fiver 02-25-10 08:32 AM

cobrabyte - Those are some great bikes... seems like once the bug bites one is never enough.

noglider 02-25-10 10:01 AM

I think one of my problems with three-speeds is that they're too reliable. They don't require enough tinkering from me.

cobralyte, as always, I agree with Sixty Fiver. Those two are lovely.

David Newton 02-25-10 10:40 AM

Cobrabyte, I love your taste.
That RC crate got me thinking, I have a nice wood Remington shotgun shell box from the pre-war that my dad used for tools and stuff, think I'll mount it on the Herc.

PolishGuy 02-25-10 12:37 PM

3 Attachment(s)
This thread gets more interesting with each new post. As Sixty Fiver said, one isn't enough so I've attached pics of the three other Raleighs in my stable. They all have SA AW three speed hubs except the Trent Sports, shown on a prior post, which has a FW four speed laced into the new 700c wheels I had made up last year. Cobrabyte, where did you get the Tufflex tires? I put some Panaracer Col de la Vie tires on the Sports in December but I don't think they ride any better that the el cheapo Kendas I had on it previously. I also agree that the R20 is a great bike for kickin' around town. The next item I'm thinking of aquiring is a Raleigh Sports with a SA S5 gear hub. I've seen a few on e-bay but it's been a while. PG.

Sixty Fiver 02-25-10 12:40 PM


Originally Posted by noglider (Post 10449499)
I think one of my problems with three-speeds is that they're too reliable. They don't require enough tinkering from me.

I offered to teach a 3 speed workshop and it has been so long since I had to tear down an SA hub I had to refresh my memory on how to do it... :lol:

My service advice is usually to flush them and give them a little fresh oil as they rarely ever need to be torn apart completely or have any parts replaced.

noglider 02-25-10 01:09 PM

Yes, the AW is a marvel. I've recently had to take two apart because the oil had turned to glue. I had to scratch it off laboriously with a scratch awl. My daughter helped me! It took some trial and error to remember how to reassemble it. Overall, it's very satisfying to get it back together and have it work.

buck mulligan 02-25-10 02:39 PM


Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver (Post 10450224)
My service advice is usually to flush them and give them a little fresh oil as they rarely ever need to be torn apart completely or have any parts replaced.

Oh, sure - NOW you tell, me, now that I have a big bag o' bits!

But seriously, I'm glad I tore my hub down. It was so gummed up with old grease that the oil port was hopelessly clogged (the front hub was in the same state), and curiously, it was missing a bearing in the right side ball cup (likewise, the lower race in the headset was also missing a bearing). And I honestly don't think I'll have any trouble re-assembling it, except maybe for some momentary confusion about correct orientation when I re-fit the pawls. But mostly, I'm just happy to know that I will have handled, cleaned, and lubricated every little bit of my bike.

jamesj 02-25-10 03:10 PM


Originally Posted by buck mulligan (Post 10450697)
Oh, sure - NOW you tell, me, now that I have a big bag o' bits!

But seriously, I'm glad I tore my hub down. It was so gummed up with old grease that the oil port was hopelessly clogged (the front hub was in the same state), and curiously, it was missing a bearing in the right side ball cup (likewise, the lower race in the headset was also missing a bearing). And I honestly don't think I'll have any trouble re-assembling it, except maybe for some momentary confusion about correct orientation when I re-fit the pawls. But mostly, I'm just happy to know that I will have handled, cleaned, and lubricated every little bit of my bike.


Im scared to pull a hub apart.

Im dreading it when i start on the sport. Looking at the diagrams its looks hella scary!

Sixty Fiver 02-25-10 03:49 PM

They often get gummed up because people put in the wrong oil... 3 in 1 is terrible as it is vegetable based and will turn to sludge whereas good old 10W30 or a heavier single weight oil will work just fine.

I always use synthetic as I often find myself riding in much colder weather and also use this is the bb of bikes that have oil fillers... it makes for a really smooth running bike as the oil flushes out any contaminants whereas grease traps them.

My Lenton is a full oiler as it's hubs are also ported for oil and it has to be one of the smoothest running bikes I have ever ridden... the Sports has an oil port in the bb.

noglider 02-25-10 03:57 PM


Originally Posted by jamesj (Post 10450833)
Im scared to pull a hub apart.

Im dreading it when i start on the sport. Looking at the diagrams its looks hella scary!

Exploded view illustrations make it look hella scary, but it's not that bad. After a while, you get used to exploded views. Just take it step by step. Clean off your work bench. Put down a clean, white rag. Place the parts down in a line, in the order you removed them. It's a stepwise procedure.

AL NZ 02-25-10 04:54 PM

1 Attachment(s)
A 1938 Sachs Torpedo Dreigang, not a SA, but here's how I did it

Notice garage door up to vent petrol fumes.http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=139011

buck mulligan 02-25-10 05:08 PM


Originally Posted by AL NZ (Post 10451262)
A 1938 Sachs Torpedo Dreigang, not a SA, but here's how I did it

I only wish I had a dedicated work area to devote to the task. In the absence of such an area, I just strung all the tricky parts - the washers, spacers, nuts, cones, etc. - from each side of the mechanism onto a wire tied off at both ends. That way, I could throw everything into a plastic bag until I can get back to the project, and rest assured that all the parts will retain their correct order and orientation.

Sixty Fiver 02-25-10 05:26 PM

I have an SA SW hub that I need to refurbish... more out of interest than actually wanting to put it into regular use.

These were not produced for very long as they suffered from design flaws and were supposed to replace the AW... they were only fitted to bikes for a few years before the AW was put back into production.

I am sure many SW hubs were also replaced and then tossed out so they aren't that common.

The holy grail of three speeds would of course be the ASC which is a 3 speed fixed hub... Sun Race / Sturmey Archer has reintroduced this as the S3X which can also be run as a conventional 3 speed with the use of a single speed freewheel.

A friend of mine has a massive collection of SA hubs, shop manuals, and paraphanelia and every once in a while he parts with his spares... hoping that he finds that he has one too many ASC hubs at some point.

:)

buck mulligan 02-25-10 05:43 PM


Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver (Post 10451419)
I have an SA SW hub that I need to refurbish... more out of interest than actually wanting to put it into regular use.

These were not produced for very long as they suffered from design flaws and were supposed to replace the AW... they were only fitted to bikes for a few years before the AW was put back into production.

Didn't Sheldon Brown say that "AW" stands for "always works," and "SW" stands for "seldom works?"

Sixty Fiver 02-25-10 05:52 PM


Originally Posted by buck mulligan (Post 10451486)
Didn't Sheldon Brown say that "AW" stands for "always works," and "SW" stands for "seldom works?"

It is quite possible... the SW was a troublesome hub in that they are beautiful when they work but are not as robust as the venerable AW which never seems to quit.

jamesj 02-25-10 06:15 PM

I think this thread is the Thread of the year!

Nothing but awesomeness in this thread!

bikamper 02-25-10 06:38 PM

Other than worn bearings and dryed 3n1 oil, I rarely find anything amiss in an AW hub. At least, until I came across this while rebuilding a friends hub.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/21499296@N08/3430238106/
Other than a cable, the only breakdown I've ever had on one my own hubs was a split clutch slider on my first fixed AW after 600 miles. Replaced it and have almost 4000 trouble-free miles since then.
I use Mobil 1 0-40W to lube my AW, AM, FW and S5 hubs. A bit spendy, but required for Mrs. Bikampers car, so I keep an extra quart around.

Don't be shy about tearing into an AW, they aren't daunting and you won't learn anything if you don't make a few mistakes along the way.

noglider 02-25-10 08:13 PM

I agree. It's really great to read.

buck mulligan, I googled that and found this.

Sixty Fiver, what was good about the SW?

The 3-speed fixed gear sounds like fun. The new one is not available separately yet, is it? And I bet it's expensive.

old's'cool 02-25-10 08:39 PM

I've never been interested in owning/riding a planetary hub since for me the limited range/large steps and loss of efficiency compared to derailleurs are not acceptable compromises. That said, I find them fascinating technically. My dad was into overhauling them when I was a kid, and there were certainly many bikes around in the neighborhood with the ubiquitous SA three speed hub. I think several bikes in the family had that setup; my dad's, my mom's (not that either of them rode much) and maybe one of my sister's bikes at one point. But I went straight from a coaster brake to a 10 speed.
So, anyway, can you SA planetary hub geeks direct me to a site with detailed design info? I'd be interested to learn details about how the different ratios are effected (I've studied planetary gears in the past, and have a general understanding of the different ways they can be implemented - for instance, lepelletier gearsets; I've even fully overhauled a ZF 4HP18 automatic transmission; so I'm looking for really detailed info, not a general overview or how to.

JohnDThompson 02-25-10 09:47 PM


Originally Posted by bikamper (Post 10451681)
Other than worn bearings and dryed 3n1 oil, I rarely find anything amiss in an AW hub. At least, until I came across this while rebuilding a friends hub.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/21499296@N08/3430238106/

I've seen bad planet gears before, but usually on newer (late 1970s) hubs, not a 1950s hub. The 1950s hubs were very well made but by late 70s cheapness had crept in and the innards were noticeably poorer construction than earlier units.

bikamper 02-25-10 09:49 PM

old's'cool-A lot of detailed technical info here.
http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~hadland/gear.html

Won't argue the range or steps with you as far as 3 speed hubs are concerned, but don't believe what you hear about the inefficiency of hub gears. While you are perusing that link, click on the link for hubstripping.com. You might be surprised.

noglider 02-25-10 09:50 PM

I've seen worn pawls and clutches. These things do see wear, but overall, they are remarkably reliable.

bikamper 02-25-10 09:51 PM


Originally Posted by JohnDThompson (Post 10452452)
I've seen bad planet gears before, but usually on newer (late 1970s) hubs, not a 1950s hub. The 1950s hubs were very well made but by late 70s cheapness had crept in and the innards were noticeably poorer construction than earlier units.

That was quite a surprise. Beautiful bike, too. Wish I had pics of it.

Chris_in_Miami 02-25-10 09:56 PM

My '63 Phillips will probably get replaced by my Super Course, but I'm enjoying it until then:

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_TIeBxBH6dXI/S4...hillips_15.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_TIeBxBH6dXI/S4...hillips_14.jpg

gna 02-25-10 10:01 PM


Originally Posted by noglider (Post 10452067)
I agree. It's really great to read.

buck mulligan, I googled that and found this.

Sixty Fiver, what was good about the SW?

The 3-speed fixed gear sounds like fun. The new one is not available separately yet, is it? And I bet it's expensive.

Here's an article on the SW on Sheldon Brown's site by Brian Hayes: http://sheldonbrown.com/sw.html
It sounds like a near miss--it coulda been a contender.

Oh, and Mark Stonich posts on here as MnHPVA Guy. Very nice man, very helpful, very knowledgeable. I tore apart my first AW hub using his tips and an old copy of Glenn's. It was fun, and I learned a lot.

Sixty Fiver 02-25-10 10:01 PM


Originally Posted by old's'cool (Post 10452178)
I've never been interested in owning/riding a planetary hub since for me the limited range/large steps and loss of efficiency compared to derailleurs are not acceptable compromises.

The SA AW is considered to be one of the most efficient drives of any type with a 97% efficiency... because of cross chaining and their susceptibility to contamination a derailer system can lose efficiency very quickly.

This only speaks to the drive's efficiency... a wider gearing range can make a rider more efficient even if the drive is not.


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