Saturday, November 21, 2009

1939 Raleigh Sports

This is my 1939 Raleigh Sports. I have many more sports but this is oldest one. it's got wingnuts allaround. Rear 3 speed drum brake. big dyno front hub, head and tail light. it's unrestored and rides very nice.

That one and two others in group picture.

1972 Eaton's Glider

This is my 1972 Eaton's Glider, made by Raleigh for the department store Eaton's of Canada. Eaton's is no more, sadly, but the bikes live on! Sturmey Archer 3 speed, Brooks mattress saddle, Rigida rims. I had one of these as a kid and sold it years ago... and then 3 years ago, found this one, almost exactly the same as my original. Since this photo was taken, I have put on a very old Brooks B73, soaked in Proofide. Comfy! Regards, Tom in Toronto

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pair o' Huffeighs

A Completed Pair:

I've recently finished restoration on a matched pair of 60s-era Huffy Sportsman 3-speed bikes. The womens bike was located in Dayton, OH and the mens bike was purchased in Lancaster, OH. The date codes on the Sturmey Archer hubs show the mens bike as 1963 and the womens bike as 1964. I originally planned to restore the womans bike and keep it, but once the mens bike became available, I saw a chance to give a unique wedding gift to my nephew and his fiance--- they'll be married in early October. If you spot the newlyweds pedaling the streets of Cincinnati, say, Hi!".

Readers can find a full set of photos at:

John in Ohio

Twin Raleighs

Good morning from Atlanta. Below is a pic of my 74 Raleigh Sports. Next to it is the same exact bike. I just happened to park next to this bike while visiting this downtown office building for a sales call. 3-speeds are becoming more and more popular in Atlanta. Four or five years ago, bicycle racks would be flooded with fixies. Not true anymore. People are steady trading in their fixed cogs for bicycles with more character and comfort.


1984 Dawes Atlantis

A friend directed me you your site to see his 3 Spires. Seeing people still ride old 3 speeds always puts a smile on my face and I am always amazed how many are still on campuses in Boston every Spring. About my bike, 3 speed enthusiasts love or hate my bike. Here is its story:

I bought a Raleigh Team USA frame for $15 back in the good old days before prices went crazy. I think it was two years ago. The seller gave me another frame from a discarded former single speed with a broken dropout and a bad brushed on paint job. This turned out to be the Dawes.

The cast rear dropout said Dawes and scraping off the paint the Reynolds 531 Butted frame tubes, stays and fork sticker was still clear and so was the blue faded paint job. The badly corroded brakes and cranks that were dated to 1984 and matched only one Dawes bike, an Atlantis.

Restoring it was impractical but it was too good not to fix so I decided to make it the cleanest 3 speed I could. I brought the frame to Circle A Cycles in Providence to have the dropout welded but they had a Campagnolo dropout without a derailleur hanger that matched the Dawes perfectly so it was meant to be. Since the bike would have no derailleur hanger and I was screwing it up I might as well add cable stops for the rear brake and the shift cable to eliminate the chrome cable clips.

Nitto supplied the stem via Harris Cyclery, the handlebars and brakes were from a mixte with a questionable past. The brakes and crank are Shimano 600 arabesque and when I find a chainguard I like I can get rid of the outside ring and chainguard. The rear rim is a Araya700c mounted to a Sturmey Archer AW and the front was a handy 700c Mavik that wasn’t attached to a bike. The seat is a Brooks B72 from the Raleigh Sport that donated the AW and just belongs on a 3 speed.

Some think it is a waste of a good Dawes frame to make a 3 speed and some think it is a waste of a good AW to put it in a race bike. To me the key is to keep the 3 speeds on the road and at about 24 pounds I sure like it better than a Tourist on the hills!

Now what to do with that 1948 Raleigh Rod Brake Dawn Tourist …….

If you like I can send a picture with the chainguard and a couple of other changes I plan.

Newton, MA

Friday, September 11, 2009

Gary's German 3-speed

I thought I'd share the newest addition to my 3 speed bicycle collection, a 1971 dated 3 speed made in Germany
with a Sturmey Archer 3 speed rear hub and shifter. I brought the bike home as shown in the pictures, having done nothing to it at this point. The paint is almost flawless, no noticeable rust and the chrome shines brightly. The only
issue that is apparent is a brocken plastic fulcrum for the shift cable, an easy repair.

The brand of brakes are unknown to me; Altenberger Brillant. The tires, Continental white walls in size 26" x 1-3/8", state they were made in Germany and appear to be original to the bike. The crank set, stem and handle bars and aluminum fenders have no markings that I have found. The SA hub is dated 71 as the year and 7 as the month; July of 1971.

The decals on the bike have not provided me with a definate answer as to its brand or model. Is it a Sport 70 Super Deluxe or a Super Deluxe Sport 70? Perhaps someone seeing these pictures can shed some light on this bike for me.

My current plans are to dismantle the bike to the frame, clean and polish, replace if necessary and relube all bearings,
replace all cables and housings, replace tubes, replace the tires with suitable white wall tires, [keeping the originals] and to adjust the SA hub if needed and lube, and reassemble. Oh yeah, clean and polish. Ride like it was meant to be!!

More photos here.

O'Fallon, MO

John's Schwinns

There seems to be a shortage of Schwinns on the site. By reading I've learned a lot about Raleighs and their ilk, but to me the Schwinns are just plain prettier. I think the site needs some color; hope my lightweight three speed Schwinns add some.

The blue Speedster is from 1977 and Lincoln, Nebraska. It was very clean; it seemed to have hung in a garage for most of its life but one year. The head and bottom bracket were completely frozen and just needed a good cleaning and greasing - easy on a Schwinn.

The red Racer is a 1968 and from suburban Denver. It had been used and had more modern brake pads. Well taken care of and ready to ride, I got it last November.

Of course these have Sturmey-Archers three speeds and 26 inch Schwinn steel rims.

Maybe the Raleighs have something going for them; they're classic British and certainly designed for serious adult usage. But Schwinns have wonderful, bright colors; are pretty durable themselves with unique electro-forged frames; are examples of proud Chicago manufacturing and German heritage so I like them best.

- John / Cheyenne -

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

1961 JC Higgins

I've really enjoyed your blog, so I thought I'd share my project.

This is a 1961 JC Higgins...actually my first bike that I remember picking out of the Sears catalog as an eight year old. It had been hanging in my folks' garage for over 40 years.

It's made in Austria by Steyr/Puch, with a JC HIggins branded Austrian 3 spd. hub. The frame is fully lugged with 3 piece cottered cranks.

This is the bike that I first cut my cycling teeth on; it took me to school, delivered papers, and eventually took me on several century rides. The last time I rode it, I had obviously outgrown it, as shown by my attempts to turn it into a racing bike. It eventually gave way to sexier thoroughbreds, but you never forget your first.

Plans are to return it to it's former glory with the original upright touring bars and chrome fenders it came with, along with the distinctive JC Higgins crank. I'm still missing the chainguard, head tube badge and front "ratrap" carrier. If anyone has a lead on those items, let me know! I'll send more photos as work progresses.

John from Bellingham, WA

Sunday, August 23, 2009

1964 Huffy Sportsman restoration-in-progress

Well, when it rains, it pours. I enjoyed reading the posting regarding Charlie's mom's Raleigh Sport. While seeking out my next project bike, this one became available:
1964 Nottingham Huffy Sportsman. 100% original (except tires?) and 99.9% complete (missing one spoke and 2 cable clips). Paint is pretty tired, but I strongly suspect it will rub out and come back fine. Fenders are nearly 'dingless'! Very light rust and pitting. A real 'survivor' and a real sweetie. I post project images at:

John in Central Ohio

1968 Schwinn Racer from Chris S.

This started life as a 1968 Schwinn Racer. After Intermittent stops and starts on the build, she is done. She consists of: white Velocity Aerohead rim laced to Sturmey-Archer 3 speed hub with red spokes, 105 hub/ Velocity rim in the front, custom hand cut brake lever, hand cut and laced grips, lots of the frame was replaced with stainless steel and finished in high polish, Carbon Forte fork, stainless steel basket frame over the back wheel, and lots of other little hand finished bits.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Charlie's Mom's 1959 or 1960 Raleigh Sports

I was viewing your bike pictures on your site. I live by Lake Nokomis, and just ran across these pictures on my Mom's 59/60 Raleigh (I'm on the back), in 1961. I loved these bikes, but they got sold at a garage sale when I was in college.


Friday, July 3, 2009

1966 Hercules

1966 Hercules, made by Raleigh as I understand. I paid $60 for it, and have put a few hundred into getting the look right. I really enjoy the odd chainguard and the little baby rear fender. It also has a grip shift as apposed to the standard issue Sturmey-Archer thumb shift. Hope you enjoy.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

1970 Hercules

(more here)
This is my 1970 Hercules 3 Speed. I paid $37 dollars for it...sort of. I found a clean Schwinn ladies 10 speed and swapped it with a neigbor for the Herc. I cleaned and oiled the bike, adjusted the brakes, shifter, chain tension and read Sheldon Browns page on English 3 Speeds. I added the Wald Basket and Pletscher Rack for getting groceries. The paint and chrome are very clean and yes those are the original Dunlop tires and tubes.
Paul in Ohio

Sunday, June 21, 2009

1955 Huffy Sportsman

John, in Central Ohio, has completed a preservation on a 1955 Huffy Sportsman manufactured in the Raleigh Nottinghan plant in England. John was lucky in finding this example as it was virtually rust-free. The bike was disassembled, surface cleaned/polished and clear acrylic was lightly applied to fenders, chainguard and frame in order to protect decals/transfers and to guard against further UV light damage.
Parts/components of 'dubious' origin were; 3rd party front fork (branded 'Yama' or 'Yoma'), aluminum seat post and a Taiwanese mattress saddle. More here:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

1978(?) Raleigh

Bought this lovely Raleigh in 1978 for getting me to work,a year later I fitted a saddle on the bar for my child,the year after I fitted a seat at the back for my second child. We have great memories of our journeys together around holiday spots in Ireland and I now carry my grandchildren on the very same bike. Wonderful bike...Pat

1971 Triumph

This is my 1971 Triumph. When I bought this bike she was in pretty rough shape. The original rubber block pedals fell apart within a couple of days, the original Brooks Mattress saddle was nearly broken in half, and the front wheel had a nasty bend in the rim. I have put on a Brooks B-17, MKS touring pedals with MKS clips and leather straps, and elk hide leather grips from Velo Orange. I also flipped the original northroad bars since I'm used to riding in dropbars and this gives me a slightly more aggressive riding position. With the rear rack and basket, this has become my day trip and camping bike. I routinely ride her to a blufftop winery off the Missouri River that is located on the Katy Trail.

1957 Three Spires

Hi Jim!

I really liked looking over your Old Three Speed Gallery. A friend tipped me off when he saw the pix of the Huffy Sportsman by Raleigh.

I wish I were better at photography, but I sent you a link to some pix of my Three Spires 3-Speed anyway. Bought it for $40 last week.

My bike was in grubby and greasy original condition and I think very lightly used. The rubber on the pedals is pristine. Each one clearly bears the Raleigh Industries logo, which is repeated all over the bike. The Dunlop tires were in fair shape, but the rear tended to lift its bead off the rim, so I've upgraded to a used gumwall on hand. The original gray rubber grips had congealed into a real mess. Other than the grips and the rear tire, it's all original. After a good cleaning and lubrication it works great.

The 26 X 1 3/8 Dunlops bear the precise inflation instruction: "Inflate Hard."

Of interest is the SA type SW 3 speed hub, with wider range than the AW. This one works perfectly. It's a delight to have the wider range.

Stock rear is 18T. I plan to try out a 20T and 22T rear to see how that feels. I have a 20T on my 1960s Huffy Sportsman, also by Raleigh. That's my in-town stealth bike for use in downtown Boston. DK the Huffy's true year, since I upgraded the very rusty rear wheel before I knew about date coding on SA hubs. It's always there when I return! I've had that one for about 20 years, since rescuing it from the curb on trash day.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Winston's Tweed Ride in The Windy City!

A chap named Garth asked me to advertise this event:

Inspired by The London Fixed-Gear and Single-Speed Forum's Tweed Run and challenged by San Francisco's Thursday Tweed Ride, I would like to announce the 1st Annual Winston's Tweed Ride! This celebration of herringbone, hip flasks, and our noble steeds will be hosted by British Bicycles of Chicago, or the BBC.

Everyone is invited! If you have a Brit bike, do ride. If you don't,
but enjoy tweedy elegance, do ride. If you do both, CERTAINLY DO RIDE!!!

2 May 2009 marks the 80th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s invention of his exquisitely dry martini: gin poured over crushed ice while he observed the vermouth from across the room. The route, designed by the Right Honorable Lee Diamond, is 10 civilized miles meandering past (and into) some of The Windy City's
most infamous (and still open) speakeasies. Where else but in these
lively establishments would the ladies & gents find more bracing
refreshments and hearty victuals?

As with our fellow tweed runs, we hope to offer small, but significant, prizes for

Most Dapper Chap

Most Snappy Lass

Most Stylish Noble Steed

Most Inspired Interpretation of Tweediness

Best Mustache
(open to both lads and inventive lasses)

1963 Huffy Sportsman

I loved looking at your 3-speed gallery and thought I'd send along some pics of my 1963 Huffy Sportsman made by Raleigh. It was given to me and only needed to have some steel wool taken to the chrome, a wax job, new shifter, cotters, tires, tubes and cables and fresh oil in the hubs and bottom bracket. My son helped me and learned about the history of these all steel bikes as we disassembled and reassembled it. The old fellow rides like a dream and is really comfortable!

More here.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

updated photos

You posted my bike on December 1. Here are some fresh pictures from March 20 to put up on Old Three Speed Gallery if you would like. Note the new Schwalbe Delta Cruiser tires.

A pic showing my view from the saddle.

Parked outside the pub.

They let me bring it inside.

And one of me riding it.


Paul H.

1973 Fuji 3sp conversion

My name's Matt and I live in Worcester, Massachusetts. I have a couple three speed bikes, including an old Raleigh I restored and then loaned to my father. This bike is something I had been thinking about for a while, after I saw some pictures of British club racers from the 1940s and 50s.

The frame is a 1973 Fuji S10S, the first successful Japanese road bike sold in the US. I stripped it completely, installed a sealed bottom bracket and headset, picked up a micro-adjust seatpost, and used parts out of my bin for the rest. The rear wheel is built up around a 1969 Sturmey Archer AW three speed. I put an additional spacer on both sides of the axle to fill out the 120mm spacing and laced it to a Sun rim. I used a high flange track hub up front. At first I used a Suntour barcon to shift, but the shifting wasn't great. I switched to flat bars for a while with a SA trigger shifter, but found the ride uncomfortable.

Finally, I removed the plastic face plate from the shifter and was able to mount it on the drop bar below the brake lever. It's not perfect, but it's the best solution I've tried. I spent a lot of time cleaning up this set up Dia Comp center pull brakes, but after putting the bike together, I realized the fork was bent (and the rear triange, but not as bad). I tried to straighten the fork but was unhappy with the results. Instead, I now have a Tange chro-mo fork with a modern Dia Comp side pull. The fork doesn't look as nice, and I can't run my original brake, but it feels a lot more like a modern road bike. So far, it's the lightest, fastest, best handling three speed I've ever ridden. I might upgrade to a lighter frame some day.