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

SirMike1983 08-22-23 02:17 PM


Originally Posted by markk900 (Post 22992315)
I know little to nothing about 50s American bikes, so what is it that makes this Schwinn less sporty than say a Raleigh? Is it solely weight? I have to say the fork crown on your bike is gorgeous; and the brakes look to me like they might work better than the typical steel British side pulls….

It's also the frame angles. The Schwinn frame is more laid back than the post-war Raleigh Sports. The flat blade fork also is a little flexier than the Raleigh fork. It tends to soak up bumps well, but is pretty heavy. The ride is a preference thing - some people appreciate the more laid back ride of the Schwinn, but others don't like it because the Raleigh is lighter and more responsive. I find the Schwinn to be a great rider, but I also don't mind a little more weight and the laid back frame.

The crown on the Schwinn fork has a chrome trim piece that mounts under the crown race. It's kind of an ingenious bit of manufacturing. It's fairly thin and is shaped to envelop the crown while accommodating the brake bolt. When it's on, it fits tightly and looks like the top of the fork is chromed, even though it's just a trim piece.

The Weinmann brake calipers are indeed an improvement over the basic British, steel ones. They're lighter and more precise to adjust than the basic British ones.

markk900 08-22-23 02:44 PM

SirMike1983 : thanks for the detailed explanation. Your pictures inspired me to get out for a ride this afternoon on the 49 Humber Sports… not sure about how different it is in the frame angles but the duplex fork is supposedly more flexible for rougher roads! Regardless a lovely ride.

My wife’s 55 (I think) Standard Model
K has one of those chrome trim caps but it doesn’t fit nearly as tightly as the one on your Schwinn!

thumpism 08-22-23 05:15 PM

Two Twenties for $150 about an hour from me. Why am I not buying one, you ask? I'm asking the same question.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...38483425342576

https://scontent.fric1-1.fna.fbcdn.n...gw&oe=64EB1431

thumpism 08-22-23 06:08 PM

Another pair (Rampair?) of Raleighs for $75 in MA!!!

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...28629144577139

https://scontent.fric1-1.fna.fbcdn.n...Hg&oe=64E9B2F6

tungsten 08-22-23 09:35 PM


Originally Posted by SirMike1983 (Post 22896698)
Added an Acorn bag to my WWII era Schwinn New World three speed.

https://blogger.googleusercontent.co...519_171455.jpg



That is f'n beautiful. And interesting it's fillet brazed (All the very early Rockys were fillet brazed. A lotta' work!) instead of capillary brazed w/lugs. Although I see the seat/top wasn't filed up completely or maybe repaired? Ever consider a re-paint?

sunburst 08-23-23 03:57 PM


Originally Posted by 1989Pre (Post 22990932)
It looks really nice. What kind of tires did you put on it? Will you use this for shopping? (You'll need a Carradice bag!):)

The tires had been replaced before I got it with Michelin World Tour. They are very affordable and I saw some reasonable reviews. At 1 3/8" they feel great. I've got another English bike, Reynolds 531, from the 70's with the unlikely French name Jananou. It's got some beefy 27x1 1/4 Marathons which were my largest tires before the Royal Scot. I like the feel of these 26x1 3/8" and see why they were used. The Jananou is outfitted with two folding baskets in the rear and two panniers on a low-rider in the front. I can haul a lot of groceries!

This brings up a question I had for the group anyway. I haven't followed this thread for long, but I haven't seen any 3-speeds with rear racks. And there is no accommodation on the frame for a rack unless you double up on the fender mounting holes. Has anyone done this? Every time I put a rack on a bicycle I end up using it much more.

browngw 08-23-23 09:15 PM


Originally Posted by sunburst (Post 22993491)
The tires had been replaced before I got it with Michelin World Tour. They are very affordable and I saw some reasonable reviews. At 1 3/8" they feel great. I've got another English bike, Reynolds 531, from the 70's with the unlikely French name Jananou. It's got some beefy 27x1 1/4 Marathons which were my largest tires before the Royal Scot. I like the feel of these 26x1 3/8" and see why they were used. The Jananou is outfitted with two folding baskets in the rear and two panniers on a low-rider in the front. I can haul a lot of groceries!

This brings up a question I had for the group anyway. I haven't followed this thread for long, but I haven't seen any 3-speeds with rear racks. And there is no accommodation on the frame for a rack unless you double up on the fender mounting holes. Has anyone done this? Every time I put a rack on a bicycle I end us using it much more.

The Pletscher rack is common on three 3 speeds. The neatest rack is the one that comes on the Superbe. These two rather rough examples are currently at OneBrownsLane for refurbishment for a client.
https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...2fce8409a5.jpg

thumpism 08-24-23 07:08 AM

Never heard of the Bates brand but you can have this one for a mere $1200 (and that's the reduced price!) in NJ.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...12933231268104

https://scontent.fric1-1.fna.fbcdn.n...kw&oe=64EC876C

1989Pre 08-24-23 07:28 AM


Originally Posted by sunburst (Post 22993491)
The tires had been replaced before I got it with Michelin World Tour. They are very affordable and I saw some reasonable reviews. At 1 3/8" they feel great. I've got another English bike, Reynolds 531, from the 70's with the unlikely French name Jananou. It's got some beefy 27x1 1/4 Marathons which were my largest tires before the Royal Scot. I like the feel of these 26x1 3/8" and see why they were used. The Jananou is outfitted with two folding baskets in the rear and two panniers on a low-rider in the front. I can haul a lot of groceries!

This brings up a question I had for the group anyway. I haven't followed this thread for long, but I haven't seen any 3-speeds with rear racks. And there is no accommodation on the frame for a rack unless you double up on the fender mounting holes. Has anyone done this? Every time I put a rack on a bicycle I end us using it much more.

I just bought some Michelins for the Rudge, myself. This April, that is. They are N.O.S. and don't really say a model except for Sports. Even though old, they are are unused, so much more supple than the worn tires I took off the bike. I had never heard of the name Jananou.

SirMike1983 08-24-23 07:46 AM


Originally Posted by tungsten (Post 22992811)
That is f'n beautiful. And interesting it's fillet brazed (All the very early Rockys were fillet brazed. A lotta' work!) instead of capillary brazed w/lugs. Although I see the seat/top wasn't filed up completely or maybe repaired? Ever consider a re-paint?

Thanks. This came to me as a bike core - frame, fork, fenders, and a few peripherals. I had most of the parts needed. I figured it might be nice to do something with a WWII aviation theme, so the silver "wing" kind of theme on it. The frame is partially brazed and partially electro-forge welded. 1942 was the first year that the bottom bracket shell and some of the frame joints were welded on the New Worlds, the transition happening at some point during the i-series of serial numbers. The seat tube top is the old style joined type Schwinn used. You are right that it is rougher than most. All of the brazed joints on the frame got minimal final finishing because they were going to war production with reduced time and effort spent on bikes. Schwinn was not selected to produce bikes during the war but was allowed to build a limited number of bikes using existing stocks of parts and no-frills frames like this one. There's only one decal on the bike - a Schwinn logo one on the seat tube. The paint is the original dark red, which I touched it up a bit here and there with matching paint. Badge is a B.F. Goodrich, which was a bulk buyer from Schwinn for many years.

sunburst 08-24-23 10:43 AM


Originally Posted by 1989Pre (Post 22993913)
I just bought some Michelins for the Rudge, myself. This April, that is. They are N.O.S. and don't really say a model except for Sports. Even though old, they are are unused, so much more supple than the worn tires I took off the bike. I had never heard of the name Jananou.

I badly misspelled it. It's Joannou. A very small NYC(?) importer that brought in frames and created the brand, iirc. So, an American bike, English frame, French name.
I call it my "mule", since I've turned it into a utility bike. When it was offered to me I tried hard to turn it down (because they are money sinks, the way I like to set them up), but when I saw the decal (3rd pic) I knew it found it's rightful owner. That's my name.
https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...3751ce8c13.jpg
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...d4892aa98b.jpg

https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...d0fc5a2616.jpg

Unca_Sam 08-24-23 11:28 AM


Originally Posted by browngw (Post 22993711)
The Pletscher rack is common on three 3 speeds. The neatest rack is the one that comes on the Superbe. These two rather rough examples are currently at OneBrownsLane for refurbishment for a client.
https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...2fce8409a5.jpg

Yes, the Prestube minor rack. It was stamped from a sheet of steel and then painted to match the frame; most have rusted away. These also work poorly with just about any pannier; the outer rails of the rack are too thick for most hooks and are completely incompatible with the Ortlieb system of mounting.

I also saw a pair just like this listed for sale on Marketplace, in Indiana, I think.

1989Pre 08-24-23 06:27 PM


Originally Posted by sunburst (Post 22993491)
The tires had been replaced before I got it with Michelin World Tour. They are very affordable and I saw some reasonable reviews. At 1 3/8" they feel great. I've got another English bike, Reynolds 531, from the 70's with the unlikely French name Jananou. It's got some beefy 27x1 1/4 Marathons which were my largest tires before the Royal Scot. I like the feel of these 26x1 3/8" and see why they were used. The Jananou is outfitted with two folding baskets in the rear and two panniers on a low-rider in the front. I can haul a lot of groceries!

This brings up a question I had for the group anyway. I haven't followed this thread for long, but I haven't seen any 3-speeds with rear racks. And there is no accommodation on the frame for a rack unless you double up on the fender mounting holes. Has anyone done this? Every time I put a rack on a bicycle I end up using it much more.

I've never had to double-up the fender and rack attachments on one eyelet, but I would, if need-be. There are some nice old English racks. Ashby is one vintage brand. Laura Wakefield, on Ebay, has usually got some British racks. Some have twisted stays, which look rather nice.
From 1953:
https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...421b5be55d.jpg

clubman 08-24-23 08:25 PM

Midlands are nice too.
https://thecabe.com/forum/threads/vi...g-rack.126717/

dweenk 08-25-23 10:40 AM


Originally Posted by browngw (Post 22993711)
The Pletscher rack is common on three 3 speeds. The neatest rack is the one that comes on the Superbe. These two rather rough examples are currently at OneBrownsLane for refurbishment for a client.
https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...2fce8409a5.jpg

Those look like presstube racks.

thumpism 08-25-23 08:57 PM

Ladies' S5 Sprite with Presstube rack for $135 in OH,

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...84509947544835

https://scontent.fric1-1.fna.fbcdn.n...0A&oe=64EE74D8

DQRider 08-27-23 04:51 AM

1949 Raleigh Clubman Path Racer On Tour
 
Just a few shots from a long weekend of riding. The weather has been beautiful here, and once on the road, I simply didn't want to stop.

https://i.imgur.com/3Xz1ek4.png

https://i.imgur.com/rN0BzFe.png

https://i.imgur.com/nHZSVIK.png

A local artist named Ashley introduced me to a fellow traveller, her friend "Walter". He's from out of town... WAY out of town. For some reason, he thought I was there to arrest him, I think. Either that, or both hands in the air is his native sign language for "What a cool bike!".

https://i.imgur.com/cybTHaL.png
*
*
*

thumpism 08-27-23 05:57 PM

Two real beauties for $150 each in NY.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...96015262745560

https://scontent.fric1-1.fna.fbcdn.n...mw&oe=64F03A18

oldspokes 08-28-23 03:03 AM


Originally Posted by SirMike1983 (Post 22992123)
This 1959 Schwinn tall frame came as a bike core to me - frame, fork, and chain guard. The fork needed a little straightening at the steerer tube. The Park HTS-1 can be adapted as a fork pusher in at least some instances (thankfully this is one of them). And fortunately, I had many of the parts in my bins, so I managed to get it back together. It has that classic 1950s American-made look: lots of chrome and stainless steel bright work. The fenders are polished stainless steel. These are heavy but comfortable bikes to ride. They're not exactly sporty compared to a Raleigh, but it's a little different take on the style of bike. There is still a little cosmetic work to be done here and there, but it's a good rider.

https://blogger.googleusercontent.co...0/SAM_0453.JPG

https://blogger.googleusercontent.co...0/SAM_0454.JPG

https://blogger.googleusercontent.co...0/SAM_0456.JPG

https://blogger.googleusercontent.co...0/SAM_0455.JPG

Beautiful bike!
I just picked up a basket case 1962 in a three speed. Its in addition to a 1965 and 1972 Single speed, all in 24 inch frames. I also have an earlier one in a 23" frame. Both fit me fine with the right seat post adjustment but the taller frame is best on longer rides.
They ride very different from a Raleigh sports, and are considerably heavier both in actual weight and ride feel. Neither one is bad, just different.
My 1962, 65, and 72 have the S5 rims, my 56? has S6 rims and stainless fenders, although there's not much left to the original fenders. I'm about to replace them with some new old stock chrome fenders I have until I get around to maybe fixing the original fenders well enough to use.

1989Pre 08-28-23 06:19 AM


Originally Posted by DQRider (Post 22996780)
Just a few shots from a long weekend of riding. The weather has been beautiful here, and once on the road, I simply didn't want to stop.

https://i.imgur.com/3Xz1ek4.png

https://i.imgur.com/rN0BzFe.png

https://i.imgur.com/nHZSVIK.png

A local artist named Ashley introduced me to a fellow traveller, her friend "Walter". He's from out of town... WAY out of town. For some reason, he thought I was there to arrest him, I think. Either that, or both hands in the air is his native sign language for "What a cool bike!".

https://i.imgur.com/cybTHaL.png
*
*
*

He? She? Both? saw that excellent Clubman and immediately went into the "I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy!" sequence. (These beings are hard-to-impress, too).

thumpism 08-28-23 06:48 AM

FREE at the curb (somewhere) in Enfield CT. Run!!!

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...76941929485572

https://scontent.fric1-1.fna.fbcdn.n...Kg&oe=64F1B970

SirMike1983 08-28-23 07:01 AM


Originally Posted by oldspokes (Post 22997637)
Beautiful bike!

I just picked up a basket case 1962 in a three speed. Its in addition to a 1965 and 1972 Single speed, all in 24 inch frames. I also have an earlier one in a 23" frame. Both fit me fine with the right seat post adjustment but the taller frame is best on longer rides.

They ride very different from a Raleigh sports, and are considerably heavier both in actual weight and ride feel. Neither one is bad, just different.

My 1962, 65, and 72 have the S5 rims, my 56? has S6 rims and stainless fenders, although there's not much left to the original fenders. I'm about to replace them with some new old stock chrome fenders I have until I get around to maybe fixing the original fenders well enough to use.


As you say, the extra weight is not necessarily bad, just different. The Schwinn tends to soak up the bumps a bit better than the Raleigh. The Raleigh is livelier and less work to get up hills. The welded Schwinn construction got a bad rap in the '70s and early '80s, unfairly so, I think. If I let vintage bike people ride a 1959 Raleigh Sports and a 1959 Schwinn Traveler, then ask which they prefer, probably 75% would pick the Raleigh. But there would be a fair number of people who would be surprised that the Schwinn is a good rider as well, and some who actually prefer it.

oldspokes 08-29-23 06:20 AM

The biggest drawback to the Schwinn design wise to me is the one piece crank, but its not a deal breaker. I put a ton of miles on an old Schwinn Varsity back when i was young with no issues but when I upgraded to a lighter bike with better bearings the difference was very noticeable even as a kid, but my goal then was to go faster not just being out for the ride.
These days the bike I choose to ride is often just the easiest to get out without moving 20 others, often which ever bike I just got done going through.
As I find others, others get pushed farther back in the garage or simply require moving a ton of stuff to get them down off their hooks.
A few years ago my daily ride was a '72 coaster brake Schwinn Speedster. An extra tall frame model, it was just a good fit for me and it got used for the better part of the year, now its behind many others, with a '68 Sprite being the easiest to get at since i just got done going over it.
I've got a half dozen Schwinn's, and as many English models awaiting my attention. Plus a few older rebuilds that are due again after many years of use.
Another downside to the Schwinns is the odd tires, finding good quality tires has been tough lately and most are stuck with cheap tires where as I tend to use Michelin World Tours on my English bikes.
I got lucky with my 62 and 56 Schwinn Traveler models, both came to me with minty clean vintage tires, one with old Uniroyal chain tread, the other with Sears Allstate tires. How they survived I'm not sure but they look and feel like new tires.
I always thought my '62 Traveler would look good with wide whitewalls but I refuse to spend $60 for a pair of Kenda bike tires. The 62 is all black with the one year only Starburst headbadge and chrome fenders with a three speed on S5 rims.
I've owned both of the 62 and the 56 Travelers for the better part of 30 years now. One was a an estate sale buy, the other I bought at a bike shop for $10 while traveling for business. Contrary to popular belief, you can fit a 1956 Schwinn Traveler inside a 1987 Corvette, (in pieces). I found it but was driving a company car and didn't want to leave it or risk shipping it so I took it apart in the parking lot, wrapped it up in paper and stuffed it in the back under the rear window for the duration of the 23 days on the road checking on various company construction projects. The bad is that I never did put it back together, its been hanging on the wall in pieces awaiting a few parts it needed, long since found, and my time.

SirMike1983 08-29-23 07:00 AM

The tires are still the biggest drawback of the Schwinn 3 speeds. The 597mm size has gradually whittled down to the Kenda straight tread tires. Sunlite also markets the Kenda, but it's the same tire. There were previously some other offerings, like the Schwalbe club tires sold mainly in England, but those are apparently long gone. If the Kenda ceases to be made, then it will really be a hard time.

Tall frame Schwinn 3 speeds from before 1965 are not easy to find. Some of the 1950s models in particular rarely appear with the the taller 23-24 inch frame. There probably was not a whole lot of demand in the US for them in those days. The market for youth bikes like the middleweights was more lucrative in the US, and it probably was not easy to compete with the British makers for three speeds given that they had years of experience and machinery set up for them. Even so, a tall frame Schwinn 3 speed from before 1965 is a nice addition to any collection if you can find one.

swampyankee2 08-29-23 12:25 PM

My bike stable is full at the moment, but I've been tempted by this Triumph on FB Marketplatz, originally offered for $100. When they lowered to $50 I sent the ad to my Triumph sportscar friend telling him it would be perfect for riding around some of the Triumph meets and autojumbles. When he said he had been looking for one of those I went and bought it for him. It's dusty and a bit rusty, but not nearly as bad as my cellar find Sports. The Raleigh Record tyres pumped right up and are holding air. I'm tempted to give it an oily rag and 00 steel wool resto. I've yet to read the date on the rear hub but I'll guess its mid-late 60's.
https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...1460022fd6.jpg
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...03e6145535.jpg


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