Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

3-speeds: Raleigh vs. Schwinn

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

3-speeds: Raleigh vs. Schwinn

Old 11-01-11, 08:56 PM
  #51  
70cst
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Roseville Oh
Posts: 29

Bikes: 1949 Raliegh Superbe, mid 60's Schwinn Corvette & 1970 Schwinn Collegiate

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
This is a great thread. I'm going to compare the Raleigh and the Schwinn to Cars. The Schwinn is more like a muscle car that has a great ride and can handle the rough/uneven roads. The Raleigh to me is more of a sports car--it has great handling and seems more nimble but if you get it on gravel/paved roads it doesn't do as well. JMHO

PS: I am in search of a nice 40-50's Raleigh Sport or Superbe so I can test out the ride of a more vintage bike. Stay tuned. : )
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
61 Covette 69 Superbe.jpg (99.5 KB, 283 views)
70cst is offline  
Old 11-01-11, 09:30 PM
  #52  
rudypyatt
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 341

Bikes: Windsor TimeLine; Linus Gaston 3; Sears Free Spirit

Liked 99 Times in 46 Posts
"This is not to say that after the zombie apocalypse that the only thing left will be cockroaches, EF Schwinns... and Raleigh Sports."

To the contrary. The survivors will ride them to escape the zombies, while dodging mutant cockroaches.

Now you've gotten me curious about trying a Raleigh Sports. There are at least five of them within a five block radius, and the same number of Schwinn Lightweights. One of the local co-ops had a brown Sports (year unknown) for sale a few months back. I wonder if I can at least cage a test ride, just to compare it with my Speedster. What's the geometry on the Sports? I sent an email to Waterford asking for that info on the Speedster, and was told that it was probably 70 degrees for both seat tube and head tube (this from Richard Schwinn himself. I still can't get over that. So cool!)

Regarding weight, neither of my bikes feels very heavy, at least while handling them outside and while riding them. Getting them up to my apartment (4th floor walk-up building, narrow stairwell) would be a different story, if only for the awkwardness, so they live on the rack outside. No doubt the Raleigh would be the same.
rudypyatt is offline  
Old 11-01-11, 09:50 PM
  #53  
Sixty Fiver
Bicycle Repair Man !!!
 
Sixty Fiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YEG
Posts: 27,267

Bikes: See my sig...

Liked 133 Times in 99 Posts
The Raleigh Sports has 72 degree frame angles which is what probably makes it feel a little more nimble that the Schwinn.

At one time they were offered with drop bars or North Road bars and this geometry lends itself well to either set up.
Sixty Fiver is offline  
Old 11-01-11, 10:45 PM
  #54  
oldlugs
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NJ
Posts: 218

Bikes: Too many to list

Liked 17 Times in 14 Posts
30 years ago I used both Schwinn and Raleigh bikes to deliver news papers on. (Along with several other Raleigh or British built 3 speed bikes and a few Columbia Tourist models).
I used the three speeds since they were lighter and since I was very tall, they could be found in taller frame sizes compared to the average old balloon tire bike.
When it came to durability at the point of what I guess was abuse to some extent the British bikes had a slight advantage.
My route covered loose stone roads, pavement, dirt roads, and industrial areas with many railroad crossings and often plenty of road hazards and debris.
Overall I preferred the British build bikes, mostly for two reasons, first, the bottom bracket bearings would hold up far better than the stamped steel cups on a Schwinn or other American bike, and the Raleigh moved out easier with a large load on, it was more nimble even with a lot of weight onboard.
The Schwinn frames were far more rigid, there was less flex and they felt like they could carry far more weight but the added weight made the bike more and more sluggish. To compare wheels, it's a close call, the Schwinn rims held up better, they were more forgiving on rough roads and potholes, (S-6 vs. the lighter Endrick rims). The Schwinn s-5 and Westrick rims on the better Raleigh Sports were about equal.
The Raleigh had a bit of an advantage spoke wise but it was pretty close there too. Both usually used British rear hubs, usually a Sturmey Archer AW, a few used earlier Hercules or BSA three speed hubs. With the way I was using them, all of my BSA rear hubs seemed to die an early death under the added weight, I had the best luck with the AW hubs.
The British front hubs seemed to hold up better bearing wise but the Schwinn front axle seemed to hold up better as I broke several front axles over about an 8 year period back then.
Over the years I did that paper route I went through probably 10 bikes, and I always ran two bikes, one bike wouldn't hold the whole load of papers so I often loaded up two bikes and switched rides mid route. The easier part of the route always seemed to be on the British bikes. In that time, I broke two frames, both were Columbia built, one had a seat stay come un-brazed, the other broke a dropout. I damaged two British bike frames, both were due to impacts with curbs or potholes. One frame bent behind the head tube in a sliding crash going downhill on a loaded BSA, the bike slid into a high concrete wall on it's side striking the wall with it's front wheel, the second was also an early 50's Hercules that broke a front fork blade. I rode the BSA with the bent frame for many years after as a spare, and replaced the front fork on the Hercule's.
I hated dealing with cottered cranks as a kid but once they were done and properly serviced they would last much longer.
I never broke a Schwinn frame, but ruined many of S-6 wheels. The British bikes that seemed to hold up best were the Raleigh Sports models with the Raleigh pattern rims. I still own the last one I had back then. Minus all the baskets.
Back then I would have run solely all Raleigh Sports models if I could have found them cheap, but it was the Schwinn's that I found more of.
I did take one early Schwinn Traveler and build it up to be super heavy duty using heavier spokes, thorn resistant tubes and belted tires with a pair of balloon tire fork trusses modified and added to the front end, and custom lower gearing. That bike did very well but finally snapped a steer tube off after about a year of hard use.
My favorite bike out of all of them back then was an old Hercules I had bought at a local flea market for cheap. It came with strange studded tires and a center stand. That bike became my winter back up for icy roads. I ran that one till the tires fell apart. The tires were made in Poland, I've never seen another set of them since. Every tire lug had a pointed steel stud in it. They were a bit oversized and made it hard to get on the bike but once on, they were the best thing going in the winter. Once the tires were worn out, that bike became just another back up bike in the shed.

My vote would go to the Raleigh Sports with any of the many British three speed models as a close second choice.
The Schwinn, while a bit heavier duty frame wise just felt too heavy and took too much effort to pedal compared to the Raleigh.

I still own three Schwinn three speeds, a 1956 Tourist, 1962 Traveler, and a 1965 Racer, along with four British three speeds, a 1962 Raleigh Sports, a 1965 Robin Hood, a 1968 Raleigh Sports, a 1967 Raleigh Sprite 5 speed, and most recently I acquired a minty clean Hercules three speed from the early 70's which basically looks the same as my older Robin Hood. I also still own two of my original Columbia Tourist 3 speeds, one of which I used for delivering newspapers back then. It was the one that broke a dropout, which I later fixed and put back into use with a new wheelset and modern tires.
oldlugs is offline  
Old 11-04-11, 06:31 PM
  #55  
rudypyatt
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 341

Bikes: Windsor TimeLine; Linus Gaston 3; Sears Free Spirit

Liked 99 Times in 46 Posts
Great info, oldlugs.
rudypyatt is offline  
Old 11-04-11, 09:11 PM
  #56  
PatrickZ
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Lawrence, Kansas
Posts: 155
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by rudypyatt
Great info, oldlugs.
I second that.
PatrickZ is offline  
Old 11-05-11, 07:34 PM
  #57  
tsappenfield
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Akron, OH
Posts: 430

Bikes: 2008 Seven Axiom Steel, 1984 Colnago Nuovo Mexico, 2008 Cervelo P2C, 2000 Trek Multitrack 7200

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I grew up with a Schwinn and I loved that bike. Much later in life, like four years ago, I discovered Raleigh. I look forward to every day I can get on my 1974 Raleigh Sports. This is kind of pretentious, but an old mechanic once told me that when he was young, the rich kids rode Schwinns, but the really rich kids rode Raleighs. Doesn't matter to me, but maybe that's worth some points for someone out there.

TSapp
tsappenfield is offline  
Old 11-05-11, 09:38 PM
  #58  
rudypyatt
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 341

Bikes: Windsor TimeLine; Linus Gaston 3; Sears Free Spirit

Liked 99 Times in 46 Posts
"The Raleigh Sports has 72 degree frame angles which is what probably makes it feel a little more nimble that the Schwinn.

At one time they were offered with drop bars or North Road bars and this geometry lends itself well to either set up."

Interesting. I've seen a Paramount Tourist elsewhere on C&V, complete with drop bars and the SA trigger shift on the hood. Given the set up, I assume that it has steeper frame angles than its lesser cousins - and I assume that none of the EFs ever came from the factory with drop bars. Not that it would suddenly become livelier than the Sports, but how do you think the Schwinn's 70 degree angles would work with drops?
rudypyatt is offline  
Old 12-16-11, 05:41 PM
  #59  
rudypyatt
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 341

Bikes: Windsor TimeLine; Linus Gaston 3; Sears Free Spirit

Liked 99 Times in 46 Posts
I need a new 3-speed. Or maybe not...

Fortunately, I wasn't riding at the time, or getting ready to by pulling one off the rack. Both bikes, and the monster NYC bike rack they were on, got mowed down by a Mack truck last week. They stood no chance, but they died well. According to witnesses, the wreckage they made under the wheels of the truck slowed it enough to keep it from crashing through a storefront.

The Trek is taffy - the frame is literally torn. The Schwinn?

Fork bent? Yes. Wheels tacoed? Yes. Bars noodled? Yes. Chainring bent? Yes. But the frame is still solid and straight. The headset and stem even appear to be okay: They turn cleanly when I move what's left of the handlebars.

Unbelievable. After all else has crumbled to dust, Electro Forged Schwinns WILL be here with the radioactive cockroaches.

Logic says that I should give up on it and find another. But I may just wig out andmay take it up the block to the same LBS that resurrected it the first time.

And the truck driver did pull a hit-and-run... most distressing.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
BikesPostMortem1.jpg (99.5 KB, 180 views)
rudypyatt is offline  
Old 12-16-11, 05:48 PM
  #60  
repechage
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 20,322
Liked 2,848 Times in 2,009 Posts
I would want a Raleigh DL-1

The Schwinn is strong, but the rims today make buying tires effort, not that EA rims are much easier.
I have had a Sports, DL-1 factory sister and a Schwinn Racer.
Schwinn gets the ease of service nod.
Raleighs the better ride and handling.

At this point, as they are all old, the best value condition wise, best condition prevailing.
repechage is offline  
Old 12-16-11, 06:36 PM
  #61  
RaleighSport
Hogosha Sekai
 
RaleighSport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: STS
Posts: 6,669

Bikes: Leader 725, Centurion Turbo, Scwhinn Peloton, Schwinn Premis, GT Tequesta, Bridgestone CB-2,72' Centurion Lemans, 72 Raleigh Competition

Likes: 0
Liked 21 Times in 15 Posts



I love them both... although I think the schwinn weighs 5 lbs more.
RaleighSport is offline  
Old 12-17-11, 08:52 AM
  #62  
Gravity Aided
Senior Member
 
Gravity Aided's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Normal, Illinois
Posts: 2,714

Bikes: Trek 600 ,1980Raleigh Competition G.S., 1986 Schwinn Passage, Facet Biotour 2000, Falcon San Remo 531,Schwinn Sierra, Sun Seeker tricycle recumbent,1985 Bianchi Squadra

Liked 12 Times in 9 Posts
I've owned both the Schwinn Racer from 1963 and a Raleigh Sports, and I loved them both. But the Raleigh was lighter, and better, in my opinion . Around here (Central Il.) it seems hard to find a 3 speed of any make in tall sizes.
Gravity Aided is offline  
Old 12-17-11, 09:29 AM
  #63  
55 Traveler
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Toronto, eh?
Posts: 109

Bikes: Schwinn: Twinn Sport, Super Sport and Suburban. Raleigh Grand Prix, Competition, and Super Course, plus New Clubman.

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts


My Dad's Suburban converted to a 3 speed. The Suburban is standard EF Schwinn, but has a tubular fork similar to a Continental.

It was a fairly easy conversion. A used bike shop had the trigger, cable assembly and the roller pulley. I spoked up the CR18 rims to a 36 hole SA AW.

The first thing I noticed, ride wise, was that the handlebars are wide and so the steering effort was too low. I've since played with handlebars to find something more the right height and width. It is a 22" frame and I'm 6' 0", so the seat is up.

37.4 pounds as is with fenders and Pletcher rack.

David S.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
lighthouse.jpg (98.4 KB, 275 views)
File Type: jpg
suburb close.jpg (102.1 KB, 271 views)
55 Traveler is offline  
Old 02-06-12, 06:43 AM
  #64  
silvercreek
Banned.
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 680
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I am generally a Schwinn lover because I'm more familar with them but asking a question like that here is like the Fox counting the chickens isn't?
silvercreek is offline  
Old 02-06-12, 06:48 AM
  #65  
silvercreek
Banned.
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 680
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by 70cst
This is a great thread. I'm going to compare the Raleigh and the Schwinn to Cars. The Schwinn is more like a muscle car that has a great ride and can handle the rough/uneven roads. The Raleigh to me is more of a sports car--it has great handling and seems more nimble but if you get it on gravel/paved roads it doesn't do as well. JMHO

PS: I am in search of a nice 40-50's Raleigh Sport or Superbe so I can test out the ride of a more vintage bike. Stay tuned. : )
Do you think the bikes in your picture is really a fair comparison? The 2 bikes aren't really in the same class are they?
silvercreek is offline  
Old 02-06-12, 06:52 AM
  #66  
oldroads
OldBikeGuide.com
 
oldroads's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 696
Liked 21 Times in 10 Posts
The Raleighs and their Brit counterparts are lighter than the Schwinns, and in my experience customers prefer the Brit 3-speeds.
When you have to carry your bike up and down a couple flights of stairs every day, you’ll appreciate the lighter cycle.
oldroads is offline  
Old 02-06-12, 07:35 AM
  #67  
photogravity
Hopelessly addicted...
 
photogravity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Central Maryland
Posts: 4,955

Bikes: 1949 Hercules Kestrel, 1950 Norman Rapide, 1970 Schwinn Collegiate, 1972 Peugeot UE-8, 1976 Raleigh Sports, 1977 Raleigh Sports, 1977 Jack Taylor Tandem, 1984 Davidson Tandem, 2010 Bilenky "BQ" 650B Constructeur Tandem, 2011 Linus Mixte

Likes: 0
Liked 10 Times in 9 Posts
Originally Posted by silvercreek
I am generally a Schwinn lover because I'm more familar with them but asking a question like that here is like the Fox counting the chickens isn't?
I have great reverence for Schwinn bicycles and one of my most ridden bikes at this point is my 1970 Schwinn Collegiate which I converted to a Sachs Pentasport IGH last year. With that said, the English bikes tickle my fancy a bit more than the Schwinn bikes. Pre-Raleigh Hercules are my main interest, though Raleigh bicycles are great machines too. I bought another quite rare Raleigh on Saturday when I purchased my 1961 Fiorelli tandem.


Collegiate on the Potomac - 3 by Sallad Rialb, on Flickr
photogravity is offline  
Likes For photogravity:
Old 02-06-12, 07:42 AM
  #68  
photogravity
Hopelessly addicted...
 
photogravity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Central Maryland
Posts: 4,955

Bikes: 1949 Hercules Kestrel, 1950 Norman Rapide, 1970 Schwinn Collegiate, 1972 Peugeot UE-8, 1976 Raleigh Sports, 1977 Raleigh Sports, 1977 Jack Taylor Tandem, 1984 Davidson Tandem, 2010 Bilenky "BQ" 650B Constructeur Tandem, 2011 Linus Mixte

Likes: 0
Liked 10 Times in 9 Posts
Originally Posted by oldroads
The Raleighs and their Brit counterparts are lighter than the Schwinns, and in my experience customers prefer the Brit 3-speeds.
When you have to carry your bike up and down a couple flights of stairs every day, you’ll appreciate the lighter cycle.
Vin, I couldn't agree with you more! Every time I carry my Schwinn Collegiate up or down the stairs of my house, I realize just how heavy the Schwinn is compared to my English bikes, but once I get it out on the road riding it, I forget all about the weight and instead focus on how nice the bike rides.

Last edited by photogravity; 02-07-12 at 07:02 AM.
photogravity is offline  
Old 02-07-12, 05:08 AM
  #69  
Gravity Aided
Senior Member
 
Gravity Aided's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Normal, Illinois
Posts: 2,714

Bikes: Trek 600 ,1980Raleigh Competition G.S., 1986 Schwinn Passage, Facet Biotour 2000, Falcon San Remo 531,Schwinn Sierra, Sun Seeker tricycle recumbent,1985 Bianchi Squadra

Liked 12 Times in 9 Posts
Back in the day, many of us had only schwinns and hardwarestore bikes available . That being said, my Dad had a hardwarestore bike, and it was a Phillips Lightweight 3 speed . But the Schwinns were approved by Captain Kangaroo ...
Gravity Aided is offline  
Old 02-07-12, 06:37 AM
  #70  
oldroads
OldBikeGuide.com
 
oldroads's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 696
Liked 21 Times in 10 Posts
Originally Posted by KLW2
Not to inject another brand but how do the Columbia Sport III bikes from the late 60s and early 70s stack up?
I'd put it around the same as the Schwinn, though a bit lighter.
Still a decent commuter with fenders, chainguard, kicstand etc.
oldroads is offline  
Old 02-07-12, 07:33 AM
  #71  
mkeller234
Rustbelt Rider
 
mkeller234's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Canton, OH
Posts: 9,106

Bikes: 1990 Trek 1420 - 1978 Raleigh Professional - 1973 Schwinn Collegiate - 1974 Schwinn Suburban

Liked 372 Times in 177 Posts
I never thought I would have said this.... but based on looks alone, I like Schwinns better. The bright candy colors, spaghetti script decals and starbursts are way to cool looking.
__________________
|^^^^^^^^^^^^^^| ||
|......GO.BROWNS........| ||'|";, ___.
|_..._..._______===|=||_|__|..., ] -
"(@)'(@)"""''"**|(@)(@)*****''(@)
mkeller234 is offline  
Old 02-07-12, 07:34 AM
  #72  
Amesja
Cottered Crank
 
Amesja's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Chicago
Posts: 3,401

Bikes: 1954 Raleigh Sports 1974 Raleigh Competition 1969 Raleigh Twenty 1964 Raleigh LTD-3

Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 8 Posts
Wow, this is an old thread. I couldn't read page 2 (where this all got bumped into this decade) because my browser told me there were malware re-directs going on in there via some .ru domain.

Reading the OP the thing that jumped out at me was that Cottered Cranks are considered a drawback and Astabula stone-age tech is a plus.

WHAT? So you need a special tool that costs under $20 to make? How much does a modern crank-puller cost? About the same.

AFAIC any bike that has an OPC and isn't a BMX bike or made before 1970 is a POS big-box pile of heavy pig-iron garbage. I have friends looking for cheap 3-speeds for me at garage sales and whatnot. The first thing I train them is to watch for the OPC. DO NOT WANT. OPC = Junk. Sorry Schwinn fans, but that is just the way I look at it. Every time I work on an OPC I think of Col. Mustard in the Library with the lead pipe...

There was also mention early on in the thread that 590 tires are somehow hard to find? Where are these people shopping? A True-value/Ace hardware store? 590 tires are just as available today as they were 40 years ago. Rims might be the victim of limited choices -but the CR-18 is available and a good option.

The death of the 590 wheel and tire is a myth. Unfortunately so is the death of the OPC. I only wish they would quit making those heavy boat-anchor Astabula forgings.
Amesja is offline  
Old 02-07-12, 07:44 AM
  #73  
KonAaron Snake 
Fat Guy on a Little Bike
 
KonAaron Snake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 15,944

Bikes: Two wheeled ones

Liked 348 Times in 176 Posts
+1...I didn't get that either, and comparing brake calipers on either of these bikes is like the commercial where the babies compete to fill the diaper best. I did have the misfortune of riding a Raleigh 3 spd and a Schwinn 3 spd as a kid, and the Raleigh was lighter, better looking, better handling...better everything. The Raleigh had a dymano hub generator and the Schwinn had one of those bottle generators. Schwinn mattress saddle vs. brooks should be the end of discussion anyway.

Obviously aesthetics are subjective, but the heron crank has more style than any Schwinn decal and I just HATE the look of EF forged. I'll take the chunky Raleigh lugs.
KonAaron Snake is offline  
Old 02-07-12, 07:50 AM
  #74  
Amesja
Cottered Crank
 
Amesja's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Chicago
Posts: 3,401

Bikes: 1954 Raleigh Sports 1974 Raleigh Competition 1969 Raleigh Twenty 1964 Raleigh LTD-3

Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 8 Posts
Lugs are always better than non-lugs IMHO. Ask any hipster -even they know this.

It's too bad that due to labor issues, and cost-cutting at the Nottingham factory, that the lugwork in the post 1970-ish bikes got sort of gnarly, as well as the paint finish on the frames. These frames are just as good physically IMHO -but the cosmetics of the lugs and finish did suffer during the bike boom all the way up to the time where they gave up trying to compete and pulled the plug on the E3S built in England.
Amesja is offline  
Old 02-07-12, 08:01 AM
  #75  
KonAaron Snake 
Fat Guy on a Little Bike
 
KonAaron Snake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 15,944

Bikes: Two wheeled ones

Liked 348 Times in 176 Posts
The Raleigh I had was a 1954...and the plating on the parts was much better than later Raleighs I've seen.

I do like filet brazed...but most of the time lugs always look best. Don't tell my tig welded ti frames I said that.
KonAaron Snake is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.