Tuesday, December 20, 2011

1975 Schwinn Speedster

Time for a nice change of pace. Instead of the usual English models, Kevin sends some pictures of a 1975 Schwinn Speedster with a 3 speed hub. This one is his "daily driver" and gets used on a regular basis. There's something unique about a bike that gets ridden a lot, it just shows through. And I've got a soft spot for vintage Schwinns. Kevin says of the bike:

I recently acquired a 1975 Schwinn Speedster with a 1973
Sturmey Archer 3-speed hub. The bike featured a Schwinn approved rack
that had a basket attached, but I broke the rack on the second day of
ownership by overloading the basket. Not wanting the bike to lose the
additional charm that the rack & basket combo provided, I dug through
the used parts at the local bike CO-OP until I found a suitable
replacement rack. Then it was a simple matter of drilling a couple
holes in order to attach the basket.

The bottle generator and headlight still worked when I found the bike,
but the original tail light was broken, so I ordered a new one. My
commute home takes me down a big hill, and I'm pretty sure that front
lamp looks like a motorcycle headlight when I'm coasting at 30+ mph.

You might have noticed the front chain ring looks small. That's
because I swapped the original 44t chain ring for a 36t. That changed
the original gear range, which was around 50~90 gear inches, to 40~75
gear inches. It's made the bike much more versatile in a city that has
very uneven terrain. Since I finished fixing up this bike, I've been
logging about 50 miles per week on it, just from commuting, getting
groceries, and generally cruising around town. The only downside to
this bike, for me, is that it uses the 37-597 sized wheels. Only one
company makes tires (they come in black or gumwall) and there are no
options for tread pattern, whitewall, studs, and so on. My next goal
for this bike might be to retrofit some 37-590s onto it.

Thanks Kevin!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

1955 Raleigh Sports

From Tim, and beautiful older 3 speed.

Winston arrives from England!

Winston is a 1955 Raleigh Sports that recently arrived in the US with a returning serviceman. The bike was purchased in rural England and was used almost continuously as a commuter vehicle. When we purchased the bike we could see that it had been protected in the traditional English manner- repeated coats of motor oil to protect against rust. Despite the discouraging exterior, we knew there was a treasure under all that grime.

Restoration included total dis-assembly and an intensive cleaning. While I don't recommend it, the oil coating did protect the bike. The painted frame and the chrome survived nearly intact under a thick layer of crud and responded nicely to careful cleaning and polishing. All parts are original with the exception of grips and new tires. The original grips were saved but too deteriorated to use so we replaced them with a set of vintage Raleigh grips from the 60s. This bike was ordered with a nice set of factory options- dynohub and light kit, Lucas cyclometer, upgraded Brooks B66 saddle and the Sturmey Archer switch-on dry battery unit that provides a standby lighting power source when the wheels aren't turning.

The bike looks and rides great after the rebuild and we're hoping it rolls along for another 55 years.

A complete set of photos can be found on use.com:


Nothing more to add, a lovely bike all around.

Monday, November 28, 2011

1956 Standard

Mark is back again, this time with pictures of his wife's bike (and his wife). He's also done his homework on this bike, as it not only comes with photos but a brief history lesson:

The Standard Cycle Company Ltd of Birmingham was one of the oldest bicycle companies in England - they started in the late 1890s in the hotbed cycling centre of Birmingham/Coventry. They were quite the going concern through the decades until 1965, when in October the company was absorbed by the Swift Cycle Company (of the same area). There is little information available online about the company, but they appeared to make quality bicycles.

Here is an ad from 1931:

and another from 1962:

Here's a shot of the company logo:

My wife's bike is apparently their "stock in trade": the Model K - traditional English roadster: frame is "bondarized" against rust, fittings are mostly Brampton and Nicklin, and overall the quality of the ride is excellent......The bike is mostly original; the exceptions are that the front wheel was replaced prior to our ownership, the seat post has been replaced by a modern alloy (mostly so I could raise the seat so I could ride it). Other than that its pretty much as it was when it left the factory in 1956. My wife and I love riding together as it seems 3 speeds have the same effect as motorcycle sidecars: everyone smiles, waves, says hello as you ride by, with that lovely "tick-tick-tick" of the SA hubs to keep you company.....

Parting shot:

We thank Mark for sharing, and hope he won't be in trouble for submitting a photo of his wife's backside...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Eaton Glider

Mark sends photos of another less common 3 speed. He goes as far as to call it an oddball, but we won't resort to such name calling here.

I noted you said its been quiet on the site lately, so thought I'd provide another photo or two for you. The Eaton's Glider is essentially a Raleigh Sport made for the (now defunct) Canadian Department store chain. Mine appears to be 1972 (based on the hub), and it seems to be mostly original. Interestingly, the rims are Canadian not English! I added the Brooks, and the fenders are not original but close.....

I've been having a ton of fun on this bike, which I've only had for about 6 months.

Here are a couple of shots:



(The black bike in the background is my wife's 1956 Standard Model K - more photos later).

Thanks for the submission, Mark, and for the promise of something else to look forward to. These are the things that help us make it through winter.

Raleigh Wayfarer

Shawn sends lots of links for pictures of his Raleigh Wayfarer. It's a nice looking bicycle, and it's been outfitted for daily use with some nice upgrades. Though it remains true to the style and the era in most, if not all, of the changes.

Hey there!

Love the Three Speed Gallery site. I've been meaning to submit my
bicycle for awhile, but I've only now gotten around to it!

I bought a Raleigh Wayfarer Raleigh for $30 off of Craigslist in
December of 2010 and had to go to darkest East Vancouver, Wash. to
obtain. It's a classic British 3-Speed from the 1970's. I can't find
much info about this particular model on the internets, though. I
spent a lot of energy and some money restoring and updating it. Now it
is my primary "everyday" city bike. I love this bike!

Here are photos on my flickr page:

Here is more info and writings on my blog:

thanks for your time.


It's a great looking bike, and $30 may never have been as well spent.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

1979 Raleigh Suburbe

It's been quiet out there lately in Old Three Speed Gallery land. Everybody is hunkering down for winter, I imagine. Thankfully, Jon sent some nice pictures of his 1979 Raleigh Supurbe. Should give a gentleman something to do on a cold winter's night.

Hey there,
I've been lurking your blog for a while and I thought I'd submit my recently acquired '79 Raleigh Superbe. I bought it about a week ago and have added new tyres, changed the shifter and swapped the saddle for a leather brooks. It's mostly original with almost all the original bits and pieces. Anyway there are more pics and the full story at my blog

there is also my flickr here


No Jon, thank you.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Raleigh Sports

Ben sends some pictures of old Raleigh Sports that he received from his grandfather. Not much other info than that. He does say "bikes" but I'm unclear if these pictures are of one bike or two.

Monday, September 12, 2011


This may be the first Huffy featured on this site. It meets the main criteria, it's old and it's a 3 speed. Leisa says:

I'm thinking this is 60's Huffy. I don't know for sure and haven't seen anything like this one. I found this at a flea market and picked it up for a good price, it had all the things I like about a bicycle, it's sleek and the narrow tires....it rides very good and it is fast. The tag on the seat says Deluxe Sport, I've searched around to see if I could find anything like it on the web and had no luck, so I'd like to find out the exact year if anyone knows please let me know.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Rudge quickie

Geoffrey sent a quick one sentence note along with a single photo of what appears to be a beautiful mid-1950s Rudge.

Monday, July 25, 2011


While I'm more partial to English 3 speeds, this is the Old Three-Speed Gallery, not the Olde English Three-Speed Gallery. Plus, this bike is unique enough to warrant being here, even if it was "English only."

Mike says

I'm a 3 speed lover, but found this French Metropole and couldn't pass it up - trouble is, I can't find anything about it. Best guesses for the age are late forties, early fifties based on the components. The seat and pedals are German, and the shifters are Cyclo and Simplex. It has a neat VDO spedometer in kilometers, as well. The only thing missing on the bike that concerns me is the taillamp lens.

Anything you've seen before? Thanks for your time!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Pat comes to the 3 Speed Blog with a plea for help:

I cant figure this one out nor can I find ANY info of it online. I bought this last week. Great shape overall. Rear Sturmey Archer hub showss 55 2. It says Earlsdon on the seat tube and made in Netherlands on top tube. Brake calipers have cursive writing that says Brilliant. Here are the photos the seller provided. I can take more. I couldnt pass this one up for 80 bucks. It just looked so unique and I have never heard of it. Feel free to post it on the site. Maybe someone else might know some info on it?

What say you, 3 Speed Bloggers? Anyone? Bueller?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

1973 Raleigh Esquire

Mark sends along pictures of his 1973 Raleigh Esquire.

This isn't anywhere near original. Everything has been rebuilt and or
updated as necessary. This is my grocery getter. I use this bicycle
to transport stuff. It is my favorite bike and I get more comments
about this bike than all the others combined.

The story I got, about this bike, was that it was bought in England.
That someone here in the US was stationed there and that there were no
cars allowed on the base. So they bought this bicycle used it for
transportation and brought it back with them.

It may not be anywhere near original, but it's quite a looker. Many more pictures available at picasa.

Monday, June 6, 2011

1961 Sports & 1954 Dunelt

Patrick in Minneapolis has an embarrassment of riches to share. He has submitted photos of not one but two lovely three speeds. The first is a 1961 Raleigh Sports and the second is a 1964 Dunelt. Patrick says:

I stumbled upon your website and wanted to contribute some pictures of my own. I have a 1961 Raleigh Sports and a 1954 Dunelt. Both nearly original, and both in great condition. I come from a Schwinn background, so when I bought these I was blown away at how much....better, for lack of..better word, they rode, felt, were made, and just look. I love them to pieces and ride them whenever the sun peeks through the clouds. Thanks again, and I enjoy the site very much! :)

Patrick isn't kidding when he says' they both look to be in great condition. Links to these beautiful bikes on Flickr are below:
1961 Raleigh Sports

1954 Dunelt

1965 Savoy

Mike sends along some photos of a lovely looking 1965 Savoy two speed. His description states:

Beautiful Royal Blue Savoy with bright chrome work came with Shimano’s ‘333’ series shifting set up unfortunately was not working.
Found a Sachs-Huret that was slightly larger in diameter but worked out right in the end.
New Michelin World Tour tires EA-3 (26 x 1 3/8) give it such a smooth ride
Grip Shift , Cherry stop brakes, Full fenders, and super nice factory decals – who could ask for anything more?
Mike P , New Brunswick N.J.

Skydrive link

Unfortunately I couldn't download the pictures for saving here without registering for Windows Live, so please follow the link. Apologies for any inconvenience.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

1974 Raleigh Sports

Rob sends along a beautiful 1974 Raleigh Sports. While he's a little light in the picture department, he makes up for it in description:

My bike is a 1974 Raleigh Sports. I bought the bike for $100 and somehow ended up dumping another $800 into it, which basically makes it a bit more than a new 8-speed Linus but much less than a Pashley. It has more character than either and is actually lighter than both too.
I'm not sure if this bike is allowed on your blog because it is no longer a three-speed. I was having new aluminum wheels built, so I went ahead and found a new Sturmey Archer five-speed hub, which provides a 244% (or something like that) gear range. The bottom bracket and crank were in sorry shape, so I further upgraded the drive train with a Phil Wood bottom bracket and All City crank. The crank clearance required a little trimming of the chain guard. The Panaracer Col de la Vie gumwall tires are smooth as silk on the road. The MKS platform pedals are designed specifically for clips and straps and I found a pair of brown leather-tipped clips with matching straps that complement the faux-leather grips and genuine Brooks saddle (B17 shown, but swapping that out for a B66 shortly). I still need to polish up the chrome and paint, but this bike is looking pretty good and riding even better. It beats any modern hybrid on the road for speed, comfort and style. As they say, a man who spends more than he wans on a bike cries once, a man who spends too little on the wrong bike cries every day. In fact, my big regret is not springing for the polished rims.Special thanks to Andrew at Bicycle Therapy in Philadelphia for taking my box of parts and unridable bike and turning it into something I expect to ride for decades.

Because we here at the Old Three Speed Blog are bad at math, at least when it comes to money spent on bikes and also on excluding certain bikes based on an arbitrary number of gears, we agree with Rob and feel the bike is worthy of being featured.

Monday, April 11, 2011

1972 Raleigh Sports

I've been a little remiss in my admin duties, and have left Bill's 1972 Raleigh Sports in my inbox for a few days now. Bill says

I‘ve been researching old bikes and found your gallery and I really appreciate he great stories and pictures of vintage bikes. I’m a 69 year old cyclist and have been riding since high school, I ride all types of old and new bikes. A friend gave me this 1972 Raleigh Sport that had been under his house for the last 20 years. I got looking at it and decided to fix it up so here is what it looks like. I know I might have de-valued it by painting it, bit it’s mainly “garage art” for me.

Some folks may think it's devalued, but here at the Old 3 Speed Blog any bike that is fixed up and used is valued in the truest sense of the word. Thanks for sharing, Bill.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

'48 Rudge-Whitworth

Mark in Florida sent some photos of a nice looking 1948 Rudge-Whitworth. Mark says of the bike

Decals on the downtube state that it is a Rudge-Whitworth Sport model. The hub and research do point to 1948 Handlebars are mounted upside down, like the look better. This bike has basically just been cleaned up, the original front and rear lights work. Decals are original, some a bit faded. The seat is vinyl from a 60’s Triumph that I have, I do have the original 3-spring seat for this bike, but the leather is too deteriorated to use it. I ride it to the park often, the gears were pretty extreme on these! Lol

A 1948 with working lights is quite a find in my book. But horrors, Mark is moving and needs to thin the herd. So if you're in the market, leave a comment below.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Rob's Raleigh Sports

My old pal Rob sent a picture of his newest find, a Raleigh Sports. Rob says this about the bike:

I just bought this and have some plans to clean it up a bit, replace the tires, and add a seat (I’m not riding it like that). I’ll send an “after” photo when it’s complete. This one will serve as the “before” photo. It’ll be like one of those weight loss advertisements.

Sounds great, we look forward to seeing the finished product. And you can ride it "like that" if you want. We don't judge here at the Old 3 Speed Blog.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Johnny Cash would be proud

Ray has submitted an English Three Speed to the gallery. I can't be much more specific than that without the danger of a run on sentence. I'll let Ray explain more:

I just found your wonderful website and I thought I’d submit my bike for everyone’s consideration. This is a conglomeration of a few of the English brands from the 60’s. You are looking at an Armstrong bike with Phillips fenders and Dunelt chainguard. Finishing touches include to a Lucas cyclometer and a Elite lantern. I thought the black fenders on the red and white frame & fork, along with the chrome chainguard, really combine to make this bike a standout in the crowd! Hope you like it.

Ray has really hit all the high points of English 3-speeds. Impressive that he only needed one bike to do it! I wonder if he worked at a bike factory in England and had a big lunch box...

Well, I left Kentucky back in '49
An' went to Detroit workin' on a 'sembly line
The first year they had me puttin' wheels on Cadillacs

Every day I'd watch them beauties roll by
And sometimes I'd hang my head and cry
'Cause I always wanted me one that was long and black.

One day I devised myself a plan
That should be the envy of most any man
I'd sneak it out of there in a lunchbox in my hand
Now gettin' caught meant gettin' fired
But I figured I'd have it all by the time I retired
I'd have me a car worth at least a hundred grand.

I'd get it one piece at a time
And it wouldn't cost me a dime
You'll know it's me when I come through your town
I'm gonna ride around in style
I'm gonna drive everybody wild
'Cause I'll have the only one there is a round.

So the very next day when I punched in
With my big lunchbox and with help from my friends
I left that day with a lunch box full of gears
Now, I never considered myself a thief
GM wouldn't miss just one little piece
Especially if I strung it out over several years.

The first day I got me a fuel pump
And the next day I got me an engine and a trunk
Then I got me a transmission and all of the chrome
The little things I could get in my big lunchbox
Like nuts, an' bolts, and all four shocks
But the big stuff we snuck out in my buddy's mobile home.

Now, up to now my plan went all right
'Til we tried to put it all together one night
And that's when we noticed that something was definitely wrong.

The transmission was a '53
And the motor turned out to be a '73
And when we tried to put in the bolts all the holes were gone.

So we drilled it out so that it would fit
And with a little bit of help with an A-daptor kit
We had that engine runnin' just like a song
Now the headlight' was another sight
We had two on the left and one on the right
But when we pulled out the switch all three of 'em come on.

The back end looked kinda funny too
But we put it together and when we got thru
Well, that's when we noticed that we only had one tail-fin
About that time my wife walked out
And I could see in her eyes that she had her doubts
But she opened the door and said "Honey, take me for a spin."

So we drove up town just to get the tags
And I headed her right on down main drag
I could hear everybody laughin' for blocks around
But up there at the court house they didn't laugh
'Cause to type it up it took the whole staff
And when they got through the title weighed sixty pounds.

I got it one piece at a time
And it didn't cost me a dime
You'll know it's me when I come through your town
I'm gonna ride around in style
I'm gonna drive everybody wild
'Cause I'll have the only one there is around.

(Spoken) Ugh! Yow, RED RYDER
This is the COTTON MOUTH

Huh, This is the COTTON MOUTH
And negatory on the cost of this mow-chine there RED RYDER
You might say I went right up to the factory
And picked it up, it's cheaper that way
Ugh!, what model is it?

Well, It's a '49, '50, '51, '52, '53, '54, '55, '56
'57, '58' 59' automobile
It's a '60, '61, '62, '63, '64, '65, '66, '67
'68, '69, '70 automobile.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

1963 Royce Union

Wayne sends photos of a 1963 Royce Union three speed with a personal back story:

This bicycle was purchased new by my mother in 1963. For the past 30+ years, it has sat in the garage, collecting lots of dust and slowly corroding.

Although the brand name is Royce Union, the bicycle was built in the Raleigh factory in Nottingham, England. Upon complete dis-assembly, I noticed that some of the components are stamped with the Raleigh heron. After cleaning, lubing, re-assembling and adjusting everything, it’s probably in better shape now than it was when new. When I took the Sturmey Archer AW 3-speed hub apart, I found it to be amazing and elegant in its simplicity. I decided against repainting the frame because that would have eliminated the character shown by the slightly worn decals; it polished up quite nicely. I did replace a wheel bearing cone, tires & inner tubes, brake pads and saddle.

I'm pleased with the outcome! Everything works smoothly, and it looks great while doing it.

I think we'll all agree it looks fantastic. Thanks for sending these photos along, Wayne.

1956 Speedwell

I'm sad to say these images have been languishing in my inbox for a couple of weeks now. James from Australia submitted pictures of his 1956 Speedwell (Australian brand manufactured by Malvern Star)for your appreciation. I personally am not familiar with the Speedwell badge, but it looks like a bike worthy of the Old Three-Speed Gallery.

James also has an excellent write up of the bike, along with more photos, at Perth Vintage Cycles. A great looking bike with a great story. Thanks James!