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3-speeds: Raleigh vs. Schwinn

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3-speeds: Raleigh vs. Schwinn

Old 12-29-19, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by wrk101
Later Schwinns were Giant products, with the less than wonderful Shimano 3 speed hub. Earlier Schwinn 3 speeds were very nice.
Yes, though they were heavier.
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Old 11-28-20, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983
That's the first thing I notice when swapping from a Raleigh Sports to a Raleigh DL-1 or an American balloon tire-- the fact that the front wheel is way out in front.

The first thing I notice going back to the Raleigh is not how close the front wheel is, but how vertical the frame is-- mine is a 23 inch frame. The Sports sort of feels like "riding while sort of standing up" whereas the DL-1 and the balloon tires are more like "sit back and reach forward".

The Sports has a nimble, quick feel to it-- takes right off. The DL-1 has more of a slow feel to it, and the turning is slower. The balloon tire bikes occupy a feel all their own-- cushy, heavy, and ponderous. They don't "take right off" at all- rather they have a very slow build to speed.

Going downhill I feel like the Sports is an extension of my legs. On the road, the short, tall frame is easy to get used to, feeling as if you're sort of "jogging" almost. The DL-1 down hill is a little more removed-- you know the bicycle is a separate entity. It displays good stability though and handles bumps downhill well. Braking quality is fairly poor-- they remind me of the old non-power drum brakes on the cars I had back when. The balloon tire is like riding atop a granite boulder-- it has a mind of its own downhill and accelerates frighteningly fast. It is quite stable, but you can't let the speed get away from you-- it accelerates quickly downhill, but braking needs to be done well in advance of your target stop point. They generally only have a single coaster brake for stopping, so you learn to "cycle" it so as not to overheat it.

I love each for its own feel. If I had to "tour" with one bike or go long distances, I'd choose the sports though-- it's at home going longer distances for me.

Road surface matters. The Sports is "wobbly" and dances about on dirt roads with little round stones on top. The C+O canal towpath is a good example- the Sports is problematic on these surfaces because the tires struggle with the little round stones and uneven surface. Wet cobblestones (like we had in Georgetown) are awful. Smooth pavement is a joy though.

The DL-1 handles these surfaces much better. The large tires are a little friendlier to getting around the little round stones. The DL-1 also performs better on cobblestones. It does well on all surfaces.

The balloon tire bikes are monsters on these surfaces-- they eat them for breakfast. You can see why they were prototypes for the early mountain bikes. You do get some rolling friction on pavement though.
I have a similar experience on my Rudge when riding at work. Occasionally I am on pea gravel or oyster shell marle and the bike doesn't like it, Very wobbly!

'53 Rudge Whitworth
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