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  1. #1
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    New Project - circa 1967

    Our fleet of comunity bikes at work is looking pretty sad, many are not ridable. They are typically used for errands around town, maybe a mile each way max. So I decided to take one home to spruce up, and picked something interesting, and practical for errands, and that I know nothing about, an old English 3 speed Raleigh. So far I've cleaned it up a bit, got the wheels off, the stem out, the front hub apart (no grease in there whatsoever), and learned, thanks to SheldonBrown, that the front wheel is supposed to be missing locknuts over the cones and has a left and a right side.

    The rear brake was frozen up, but while I had it upside down to wrestle the wheels off, I stepped on the lever and freed it up. Also on sheldonbrown I learned that the 3speed hubs usually have the year on them and this one says '67. Both tires are flat and cruddy The headset is super crunchy and doesn't fit any of the headset (or garden tractor) wrenches I have accumulated. The steel wheels weigh a ton! The chainring has pretty birds on it, perhaps the Raleigh heron. Kickstand threaders will like the massive stand.

    So I called the closest shop for tires and brake pads, and despite my description of the bike, they insisted I had v-brakes since they work on the rim, and that I should get the ISO # off the old tires (yeah, right!). I finally couldn't help myself and explained that v-brakes are a relatively new invention, maybe 30 years after this bike was made, and decided to shop elsewhere. The "Old Spokes Home" which I had never been to sounded promising, though about an hour + away. I called and they knew exactly what I was talking about & said they had everything for my project. In fact they even had a substitute for the wierd double ended brake cables that sheldon said were not available. They have a cool collection of old bikes too, http://www.oldspokeshome.com/full-museum-image-gallery

    If anyone has worked on these and has any pointers, chime in. I'm a bit scared of the cottered crank, don't know if I'll mess with that - what do you think?
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  2. #2
    Frys With That, Please
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    Nice bike!


    Those pedals and grips take me back.
    2012 Cannondale Trail SL 29ER 4

    1994 Cannondale Super V 1000

    1996 Cannondale F500 rigid-fork 69'er

    Motiv 26'er

  3. #3
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    Oooh! Aaah! A three-speed!

    The Old Spokes Home (lovely name, that!) likely will give you pointers on the cottered cranks. I swapped out the cottered stronglight crank on the Raleigh Supercourse in 1973 for the Sugino that is now on the errand bike because I had my fill of cotters and wiggly cranks.

    If I remember correctly, the left when removed will let you into the free bearing BB which likely hasn't a lick of grease either. There is a trick with the chain gear selector on the hub which you likely read in Sheldon. And the headset bearings are loose and likely sans grease. So you remove the top ones with the fork race keeping the bottom ones put. Use a bungie, belt or duct tape on the fork so it can't drop and let the bottom ones out. Once you have the top ones invert the bike and carefully lift the fork free. Resume bearing retrieval for cleaning or replacing.

    It is amazing the punishment and neglect these can take and still live!

  4. #4
    weirdo
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    Cool project! Yup, MUST be V-brakes if they grab the rim. I can`t help you with any of the technical stuff, but I`m sure you`ll get all the info you need- still lots of people familiar with all that gear.

    When you finish the bike, it goes back to work, doesn`t it? Are you going to do suply tires, etc on your own dime?

  5. #5
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    Get a can of Penetrating oil. Soak the thing in it.

    If you discover any sort of white powder of salt deposits you may also need some CLR.
    Last edited by jeffscott; 04-18-2011 at 12:06 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    ...When you finish the bike, it goes back to work, doesn`t it? Are you going to do suply tires, etc on your own dime?
    Yes, it will go back to work, this one is kept on a covered porch. I haven't talked to the guy that has had some involvement with these bikes, but as far as I know there is no fund or anything, I've never seen anything more than a spare tube kicking around. So I'm planning on donating the parts just for the satisfaction of seeing it back on the road. The tires were only $15 each, should be OK for around town.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott
    Get a can of Penetrating oil. Soak the thing in it.
    Yes, I might be needing that for the headset, just bought a large adjustable this a.m. The sturmey archer rear hub has a neat oil port that I'm sure has not seen any oil in a long time. Sounds like chain oil will work on that, it still seemed to shift.

  7. #7
    weirdo
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    "Yes, it will go back to work, this one is kept on a covered porch. I haven't talked to the guy that has had some involvement with these bikes, but as far as I know there is no fund or anything, I've never seen anything more than a spare tube kicking around. So I'm planning on donating the parts just for the satisfaction of seeing it back on the road. The tires were only $15 each, should be OK for around town."

    Well, it sounds to me like you`ll be getting your money`s worth out of it. Good job, Xplorer!

    If Sheldon didn`t say anything about the hub oil, check some of the old bike and mechanic forums. I`m pretty sure most people use motor oil with the viscosity dictated by ambient temperatures (thinner oil for cold climates, heavier for hot climates). I doubt it`s a very critical factor, though.

  8. #8
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    Sheldon said Phil's works good...I think I used up the last of mine, but I should have a suitable substitute (lubes I don't like anymore)...but the motor oil might be a cheap alternative - I'll check that info - thanks.

  9. #9
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    Dang! 1.5" adjustable, biggest they had, (about 38.1mm) is still too small for the larger headset thingy! Off to google the size (bike shop said perhaps 42, shoulda asked them to check) or see if my grandfather's micrometer is big enough & if I can remember how to read it.

  10. #10
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    Ok, feel foolish, shoulda kept reading...Sheldon says:
    As with the bottom brackets, Raleigh differs from B.S.C./ISO in using 26 threads per inch instead of 24. Fortunately, all of the other mounting dimensions are the same between the two systems.
    •The adjustable race is octagonal, 1 5/8" (41.3 mm) across the flats.
    •The lock nut is also octagonal, 1 1/4" (31.8 mm) across the flats
    •The headset uses 25 5/32 inch loose bearing balls in each race.

  11. #11
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    hmmmm...looks to be $30+ for adjustablesnthat open to 15/8" or $88+ for open enders - yikes! I will put out the "wanted to borrow" email at work tomorrow. If no luck there, I will drag it to the shop where my MTB still is & beg them to do it before I pay for my rebuilt fork, & new drivetrain parts (the fork finally arrived from Marz. and it should be done Fri!). That is if a MTB shop even has such a wrench-beast!

  12. #12
    weirdo
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    If your LBS can`t do it for you, an option is to hacksaw and file a wrench from a piece of 1/8 or so steel plate (it helps to drill holes for the corners first). A headset wrench doesn`t need to put up with very much torque- stout sheet metal might even work.

  13. #13
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    Great choice, Those are great bikes. I am currently working on a 65 myself. Sheldons website has been a great resource for me

  14. #14
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I had a cottered crank on a bike I rode to work for a little while.

    I destroyed it. Whoops. It was a department store bike from the early '70s, though, so not like a defaced the Mona Lisa.

    Be careful - those things are fragile, and once they've been ridden damaged, it's supposed to just get worse.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  15. #15
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    Thanks everyone for the input. A co-worker is bringing me a 1 5/8" wrench, hopefully tomorrow.

  16. #16
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    I putted around a little today on the Raleigh. Got the front wheel all set with new rim tape, tubes & tires, and cleaned up the rims a bit. Overhauled the hub, I had the right ballbearings kicking around from older bikes. The old rim tape was really rusty, and has a metal clip at one end for adjustment -anybody remember those? I guess you were supposed to overlap the free end so the clip didn't rub the tube. The adjustable cone (the other side doesn't have a locknut, you snug it down to a shoulder) was a bit stuck, but came loose with some convincing. The front hub also has what looks to be a drain hole in the center of it, and a springy c-shaped thing that can slide over the hole or off it.

    I started the rear hub, it is more challenging due to the 3spd hub but no disasters so far. Didn't take the Sturmey Archer hub 100% apart, I think it works and it looked pretty good in there other than the lack of grease on the ball bearings. I guess the oil for the gears kept the 2 sets of bearings on the R side shiny at least. Not having any soap-based tan grease that Sheldon recommended for the bearings (so that the gear oil doesn't disssolve it), I used the regular bike grease. My gram always used to make kitchen soap from bacon fat, so she probably could have made me some of the grease as well.

    My coworkers wrench was 1/8" too small for the headset, but I ended up getting one online for $11. It is GIANT, 19" long. Haven't used it yet.

  17. #17
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    mtbxplorer,

    I found this older thread and I was wondering how your restoration of the Raleigh 3 speed came along.
    I just recently restored a 1972 Raleigh Rudge Sports with the Sturmey Archer hub. It cleaned up really nice. I found it very easy to work on. I replaced the tires and shifter, trued the wheels, adjusted the brakes and it was good to go. These English 3 speeds ride very smooth were built to last. I prefer the agility, maneuverability and handling of my mountain bikes, but also enjoy the riding style of the vintage three speeds periodically. I'll post pictures soon.

  18. #18
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    It came out good, it wasn't too hard to improve a bike whose handlebars wouldn't even turn! Spent more than I should have on a bike I don't own (tires, cable, brake pads), but it was perfect for folks to run errands around the village. Unfortunately, we got flooded out of those offices! The bike is OK but doesn't really have a good home yet because our temporary offices are too far (& too hilly) for most to want to pedal around.

  19. #19
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    You mentioned it was from a fleet of community bikes. Is that a bicycle co-op?
    Yeah, I have found those three speeds are not geared well for steep hills. I saw several references of people swapping out the 17t sprocket for a 22t. I might do that with mine eventually.

  20. #20
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    No, just an informal thing at work where people can grab a bike if they want to use it to go to the post office or grab a sandwich, and a a couple people who fix the flats etc. I don't know if this particular bike was ever actually a usuable part of the fleet before, someone probably found it or donated it.

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