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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 11-08-22, 11:14 AM
  #26476  
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Old 11-08-22, 12:06 PM
  #26477  
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983 View Post
Thanks very much for looking. I tried a couple sources where I had gotten those clamps in the past, and they said their own sources for the parts had dried up. The clamps tend to get lost or bent or broken, so they are harder to find than one would think. It seems like a part that could be reproduced by one of the boutique makers here in the US (Bike Smith, Gentleman Cyclist, etc.). Maybe not enough to be made off of selling new ones? Anyway thank you for looking - let me know if you come up with any.
I think I might mention that to Jon the Gentleman Cyclist and see what he says.

FWIW that kind of mount was used for more than 50 years. Carbide lamps will mount on the same stem mount as the electrics do.
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Old 11-08-22, 04:56 PM
  #26478  
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983 View Post
Thanks very much for looking. I tried a couple sources where I had gotten those clamps in the past, and they said their own sources for the parts had dried up. The clamps tend to get lost or bent or broken, so they are harder to find than one would think. It seems like a part that could be reproduced by one of the boutique makers here in the US (Bike Smith, Gentleman Cyclist, etc.). Maybe not enough to be made off of selling new ones? Anyway thank you for looking - let me know if you come up with any.
Mike, I have a couple of lamps with slightly different versions of that bracket:




Glad to bring one or both when we meet up later this month.

I also wonder if this would be a worthwhile item for 3d printing.
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Old 11-08-22, 08:32 PM
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Neal, thanks. I sent you a PM so as not to clog up the public thread.
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Old 11-09-22, 05:32 AM
  #26480  
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983 View Post
A neighbor very kindly gave me the 1968 Raleigh Sports he had owned since he received it brand new. It's always nice when people do something like that, and it's a nice change of pace from all the bad stuff we hear today. It was certainly a bright spot of my summer.
So over the course of the summer and fall, I cleaned up the bike and returned it to form. It was basically all there. A few parts needed replacing, but it's in nice shape. I got it back onto the road just in time for a couple rides at the end of the season. I have some temporary LED lights on it now, but I'll do a better set of retro lights over the winter.
Such fine condition! How did the previous owner keep the B72 saddle so nice?
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Old 11-09-22, 09:46 AM
  #26481  
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Originally Posted by 1989Pre View Post
Such fine condition! How did the previous owner keep the B72 saddle so nice?
He had the bike in his garage for many years. It was always stored indoors. The saddle isn't perfect, but can still be used. What sometimes happens with them is they look good, then start to get used again, and break down under resumed use. So far, it has performed pretty well. It's a little tired feeling, but not bad. I've only put maybe 2 hours of ride time on it so far. We'll see how it holds up. They're all a little different.

I have one B-72 that looked outstanding and totally clean (it had minimal use), so I started to use it. The resumed use caused it to split at one of the nose rivets after just a couple of rides. Looking at it, you never would have expected that. Maybe it was stored next to a furnace or space heater where it was preserved on the surface but severely dried out under the surface.

I also have a B-73 triple spring saddle that looks awful - lots of scratches and surface crazing, but which has held up to about 6 years of pretty steady use. Looking at it, you'd never think it would survive more than a ride or two.

I have a B66 on a 1958 Raleigh that is original. It shows wear and has lots of miles, but is solid and rides wonderfully still.

As a natural material, each piece starts, and ages, a little differently.
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Old 11-09-22, 11:52 AM
  #26482  
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983 View Post
As a natural material, each piece starts, and ages, a little differently.
The original B72 that came on my Rudge looked fine and I rode it short distances a couple of times. Then, I tried to attach a saddle bag and a chunk of the saddle, with the eyelet, fell off. Like you said, it was dried. The cover on a used Competition almost completely fell off after one ride. You never really know by looking at them. When my B72 failed, I played "damage control" and went ahead to buy a new Flyer S.
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Old 11-09-22, 04:14 PM
  #26483  
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Two quick questions - I know the answers must be buried in the thread somewhere, but I haven't seen these addressed:

I've been riding my 1952 Raleigh less because I worry about wearing things out. I'm trying to stop worrying and ride it as my usual commuter again, but there are two things I wonder about.

1. Does the chainring come off of the crank arm for replacement? I've seen chainrings on Ebay that are threaded, so it looks like they just screw on. Is that the case with Raleighs from the fifties, or would I have to buy a new crank-arm/chainring combo?
2. I worry a lot - probably far too much - about rusting out the fenders in the winter, when the streets have been salted and spread with pumice after a snow. I've thought about putting silicone in some of the nooks and crannies - up at the top where the fender pinches in to the little silver "hood" ornament. Around the welds where the supports are. Does that seem like it would help? Any other tips for riding an old Raleigh in the winter?

It's not a pristine collectors bike. I bought it to ride. More and more often, though, I look at it and think about how old it is. Should I really be riding it eighty miles a week to work and back, in all kinds of weather? It is, however, by far my most enjoyable commuter bike.
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Old 11-09-22, 07:53 PM
  #26484  
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Originally Posted by carfreefamily View Post
Two quick questions - I know the answers must be buried in the thread somewhere, but I haven't seen these addressed:

I've been riding my 1952 Raleigh less because I worry about wearing things out. I'm trying to stop worrying and ride it as my usual commuter again, but there are two things I wonder about.

1. Does the chainring come off of the crank arm for replacement? I've seen chainrings on Ebay that are threaded, so it looks like they just screw on. Is that the case with Raleighs from the fifties, or would I have to buy a new crank-arm/chainring combo?
2. I worry a lot - probably far too much - about rusting out the fenders in the winter, when the streets have been salted and spread with pumice after a snow. I've thought about putting silicone in some of the nooks and crannies - up at the top where the fender pinches in to the little silver "hood" ornament. Around the welds where the supports are. Does that seem like it would help? Any other tips for riding an old Raleigh in the winter?

It's not a pristine collectors bike. I bought it to ride. More and more often, though, I look at it and think about how old it is. Should I really be riding it eighty miles a week to work and back, in all kinds of weather? It is, however, by far my most enjoyable commuter bike.
The chainring does not come off the crankarm on most of these (with exception to road/time-trial IGH bikes of the period with Williams or similar chainsets) - you'll have to swap the crank if you want to change the gearing. You're probably better off changing the cog on your hub instead. Cheaper, easier, quicker to adjust if it doesn't turn out to your liking.

These fenders aren't thick steel, so I would be a bit concerned about corrosion on salted roads. Silicone may not be a bad idea, but I'd also look into the possibility of melting beeswax into the stay mounts. I've never done it myself, but it might work - I've heard Volvo did this to help keep water out of butt-welded sheet metal on their cars.

-Kurt
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Old 11-09-22, 08:36 PM
  #26485  
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Originally Posted by carfreefamily View Post

I've been riding my 1952 Raleigh less because I worry about wearing things out. ... Should I really be riding it eighty miles a week to work and back, in all kinds of weather? It is, however, by far my most enjoyable commuter bike.
You're doing it right. These high quality '50's bikes are their 'best selves' as daily riders. There's ample new or great condition used parts available, especially on this forum at reasonable cost. Ask and ye shall receive.

Is it a Sports or big wheel DL-1 roadster? Pics?
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Old 11-09-22, 08:48 PM
  #26486  
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If it's the same salt used on the roads here, don't ride it in the winter. They use a highly concentrated road brine here, which is sprayed down before snow, and then during the storm dry salt crystals are spread over the road. All of them are corrosive, with the spray brine being particularly bad for steel. I'd save the bike for commuting in good weather. If you absolutely must, I'd try a marine or equipment type spray-on like Fluid Film or Boeshield or something like that inside the fender wells and places that will accumulate salt/brine. Where I live there's a reason the classic cars and trucks disappear in November and don't come back until April - the winter road products are lethal to steel in short order.
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Old 11-10-22, 05:48 AM
  #26487  
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983 View Post
If it's the same salt used on the roads here, don't ride it in the winter. They use a highly concentrated road brine here, which is sprayed down before snow, and then during the storm dry salt crystals are spread over the road. All of them are corrosive, with the spray brine being particularly bad for steel. I'd save the bike for commuting in good weather. If you absolutely must, I'd try a marine or equipment type spray-on like Fluid Film or Boeshield or something like that inside the fender wells and places that will accumulate salt/brine. Where I live there's a reason the classic cars and trucks disappear in November and don't come back until April - the winter road products are lethal to steel in short order.
I'll second fluid film, it's easy enough to get from the auto parts store. It's sheep oil [lanolin] so it doesn't dry. If you're using it on the bike in dry conditions it will pick up lots of grit and dust until it's not sticky anymore. Clean and reapply as needed.
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Old 11-10-22, 09:09 AM
  #26488  
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
You're doing it right. These high quality '50's bikes are their 'best selves' as daily riders. There's ample new or great condition used parts available, especially on this forum at reasonable cost. Ask and ye shall receive.

Is it a Sports or big wheel DL-1 roadster? Pics?
Thanks for the advice everyone - New Mexico is not as bad as New England with the salt. It's a long story, but what I'm actually doing is a year-long project to see if I can use only one of the items that I tend to, if not quite collect, then accumulate, bicycles being one. With bicycles, I tend to ride one for a while, redo a bunch of stuff on it, which isn't too costly, but money dribbles out, and then I switch to another bike, do the same thing, and then repeat. Since I'm riding the Raleigh right now, for example, I find myself thinking about putting a front basket on, because that's something I really like about my other three speed, and I'm thinking of moving the rear light from the seat stay, which is where I put it in homage to the original design, to the fender, which would require buying another light. $50 here, $50 there, and it all adds up if you are doing that with several things - bikes, film cameras, darkroom equipment, backpacking equipment, daypacks, parkas, etc.

To answer Clubman above, it's a 1952 Raleigh Superbe Sports Tourist. I posted a bunch of posts, (and questions), about the rebuild as I did it a few years ago. I've ridden it in the Santa Fe Century, (about 120 miles if you add in the ride from and to my house), and have done some nice 50 to 70 mile rides, some on dirt roads. I ride, and love, it quite a bit.

There are pictures back in other posts, but here's a recent black and white one from last May's bike to work day celebration. I think you can tell that's my bike in front.

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Old 11-10-22, 11:17 AM
  #26489  
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Originally Posted by carfreefamily View Post
Two quick questions - I know the answers must be buried in the thread somewhere, but I haven't seen these addressed:

I've been riding my 1952 Raleigh less because I worry about wearing things out. I'm trying to stop worrying and ride it as my usual commuter again, but there are two things I wonder about.

1. Does the chainring come off of the crank arm for replacement? I've seen chainrings on Ebay that are threaded, so it looks like they just screw on. Is that the case with Raleighs from the fifties, or would I have to buy a new crank-arm/chainring combo?
2. I worry a lot - probably far too much - about rusting out the fenders in the winter, when the streets have been salted and spread with pumice after a snow. I've thought about putting silicone in some of the nooks and crannies - up at the top where the fender pinches in to the little silver "hood" ornament. Around the welds where the supports are. Does that seem like it would help? Any other tips for riding an old Raleigh in the winter?

It's not a pristine collectors bike. I bought it to ride. More and more often, though, I look at it and think about how old it is. Should I really be riding it eighty miles a week to work and back, in all kinds of weather? It is, however, by far my most enjoyable commuter bike.
If you really plan to do this in the winter in the salt, be forewarned that the steel rims don't take it kindly. Unless you are diligent cleaning them after every ride, they will rust. The salt can also mess with the spokes and spoke nipples. This can lead to breakage but more importantly make the spokes difficult to adjust, which is important on steel rims, which tend to go out of alignment easier than alloy rims.
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Old 11-10-22, 11:32 AM
  #26490  
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Originally Posted by Salubrious View Post
If you really plan to do this in the winter in the salt, be forewarned that the steel rims don't take it kindly. Unless you are diligent cleaning them after every ride, they will rust. The salt can also mess with the spokes and spoke nipples. This can lead to breakage but more importantly make the spokes difficult to adjust, which is important on steel rims, which tend to go out of alignment easier than alloy rims.
I had to rebuild the wheels after I bought the bike. They were completely rusted out, so it has alloy rims now.
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Old 11-10-22, 06:31 PM
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$40 (FORTY DOLLARS!) in DE.

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Old 11-27-22, 07:37 PM
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Why do we do this?

My question is why keep or collect vintage English three speed bicycles.

The answer for me is firstly, my Dad had an old Phillips that he road to work, and I road on some of my early bicycle adventures.

Now in retirement I see them as very practical sturdy bicycles, that you can carry more than just yourself on. Yesterday I used my 52 Raleigh to pick up flowers and a bottle of wine for my wife’s birthday.

Thirdly I love the design and durability of the AW hub.
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Old 11-27-22, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by bluesteak View Post
My question is why keep or collect vintage English three speed bicycles.
Because they're the best do-anything bicycle design ever conceived.

(Too bad I didn't post this in the main forum, we'd have a Grant Peterson-level discussion over this claim )

-Kurt
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Old 11-28-22, 08:11 AM
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I think they well because they pass four major criteria:
  • Durability - with a few exceptions, the bikes and parts generally hold up pretty well
  • Reliability - once set up properly, maintenance is fairly minimal and straightforward
  • Adaptability - can be set up to work well for a wide variety of riders and riding styles/needs
  • Attractive - they have a traditional, good look that does not interfere with function
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Old 11-28-22, 09:41 AM
  #26495  
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I agree with Kurt and SirMike.

While there are certain aspects of these old bikes that can benefit from improved parts - like brakes, maybe aluminum rims, modern lighting, etc. - the basic design is about as good as a city/utility bike can be. The pre-TI bikes are some of the most wonderfully made classic bikes you can get. They exude high-quality all around. Even after the later cost-cutting pursuits, they are still fantastic machines.

They all have a unique charm that you don't find with anything else, at least in my opinion. Old Italian racing bikes have theirs, French Randonneurs have theirs, and there are others. But the English three speed has something all its own.
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Old 11-28-22, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983 View Post
I think they well because they pass four major criteria:
  • Durability - with a few exceptions, the bikes and parts generally hold up pretty well
  • Reliability - once set up properly, maintenance is fairly minimal and straightforward
  • Adaptability - can be set up to work well for a wide variety of riders and riding styles/needs
  • Attractive - they have a traditional, good look that does not interfere with function
I found my '72 Raleigh Superbe was getting most of the miles of all my bikes until it was stolen. I felt like my left arm had been severed! I was lucky enough to find a replacement in good shape which I have since also sorted out and found a key for the fork as well. It is still the bike of choice as its so practical! The wheel size is good on gravel and light trails. If you have the brakes set up properly it stops well too (hint: keep the brakes well away from the rim so you have better leverage when its time to squeeze the lever).

The reliability is such that I'm considering doing a run down the Tour Divide Race route (similar to the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route) on a Royal Enfield equipped with 650b wheels.
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Old 11-28-22, 12:54 PM
  #26497  
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Speaking of the dangers of salt - that's why I ride my '64 Triumph Sports for the nasty conditions and why I sold my '50 Superbe - there was no way I was going to ride the Raleigh through Ottawa's winter, which I will be doing with the Triumph this year to work about twice a week and running the odd errand. The Triumph has a 1980 S5 hub and a 1975 GH6 (with LED bulbs for the lamps) laced to worn out steel wheels, with plastic fenders. I had it apart after buying, and sent boeshield up into all the tubes. The indicator chains will be routinely oiled, and the bike given a wipe down with oily rag once a week. I am able to ride because I live near the winter cycling network of multiuse paths that the city plows (I think there's about 50km of MUPs that are plowed in winter as feeder arterials into the Rideau Canal paths, a paltry figure compared to the amounts spent on plowing for car roads, but its better than nothing). Most of the other MUPs (we have about 4-500km of MUPs in the national capital region) are groomed for cross-country skiing through winter. The paths are heavily salted, so ice while dangerous is often only so for a day or two after a weather event. Its really the cold that worries me - I may inject some synthetic 0W20 into the hub to keep the pawls from sticking when its -17c (about 0F) for days on end. I am curious to see how the bike will withstand the weather.

Others have spoken about the comfortable workhorse nature of the design, and they are right. I may source new alloy rims next year for a new wheelset, at that time I may find a rough-shape '50s Raleigh for such an expense, we'll see. I'll post snowy photos of the Triumph doing its work in this thread!
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Old 11-28-22, 01:02 PM
  #26498  
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I commute through the winter in conditions similar to what @Ged117 describes in Ottawa, but not quite as cold typically here in Boston. The streets are similarly deeply brined before and after any idea of snow, and that's really tough on any bike. I killed one Sturmey-Archer two-speed kickback hub commuting one winter, and have actually mostly used derailleur-equipped bikes for the last few years. I don't expect the components to last more than one winter, but they have made it through without undue difficulty. I might have to build a winter-specific IGH bike just for the heck of it.
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Old 11-30-22, 05:33 PM
  #26499  
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
I commute through the winter in conditions similar to what @Ged117 describes in Ottawa, but not quite as cold typically here in Boston. The streets are similarly deeply brined before and after any idea of snow, and that's really tough on any bike. I killed one Sturmey-Archer two-speed kickback hub commuting one winter, and have actually mostly used derailleur-equipped bikes for the last few years. I don't expect the components to last more than one winter, but they have made it through without undue difficulty. I might have to build a winter-specific IGH bike just for the heck of it.
I'm excited, well...as excited as one can be for the cold temps, but its fun to have a bike that I don't worry about as much. The S5 hub is working great with a 20T sprocket with plenty of low gear options in the range. Do you ever have issues with your brake lines freezing up? I did when I used to keep my winter commuter hybrid inside and then take it out into the cold. The Triumph will live outside, so with any luck that'll help.
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Old 11-30-22, 06:11 PM
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nlerner
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No, no problems with brake-line freezing, but that's likely because it doesn't get cold enough here. I do keep my commuters on the front porch, which isn't heated but doesn't usually drop below freezing. I did some years back keep a winter Specialized HardRock in the backyard under a tarp, and that one never braked particularly well and was even worse after extended cold. I eventually lent it to a local friend whose commuter was stolen, and I didn't ask for it back!
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