3 speed IGH race bikes?

Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking

3 speed IGH race bikes?

Postby ldrcycles » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:29 pm

I'm just about to start restoring a 1965 Local Cycle Co roadster for doing some vintage racing and am looking for photos of bikes from the pre to postwar period with internally geared hubs like Sturmey Archers (i'll be using a Shimano Nexus simply because I happen to have one that cost me nothing and they are so easy to set up) for inspiration. I have contemplated making a Campagnolo Cambio Corsa type rod shifter from scratch but 3 speed freewheels have a very narrow range unless matched to double chainrings, which then means making a clanger as well

No matter what combination of search terms I use I haven't been able to find anything on Google Images and the only thing i can find anywhere close to what I envisage is the new Pashley Speed 5. From what I can see it appears that from perhaps the late 40s onwards most bikes were either fixed gear or had a 3/4 speed derailleur system like the Cyclo, but surely there would have to have been some racers using Sturmey hubs?
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by BNA » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:41 am

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Re: 3 speed IGH race bikes?

Postby Torana68 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:41 am

As far as I know it was common in England, here mostly fixed.
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Re: 3 speed IGH race bikes?

Postby WyvernRH » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:32 am

Yes Sturmey's were used in competition in the UK through the 30's, 40's and 50's although they became desperately 'unhip' in the 50's with the British League of Racing Cyclists pushing all that was 'modern' and continental, decrying hub gears as 'friction boxes'
SA made alloy cased versions of the 3 speed and four speed hubs to attract racing men and you could get them in wide, medium and close ratio (AW/FW, AM/FM, AC/FC) and of course for the really trad type there was the ASC 3 speed fixed. My personal favorite is the alloy cased FM which gives a well spaced set of gears for road riding IMHO. Time trial competitors (by far the majority in UK racing circles)who had progressed from fixed gears often used alloy case hub gears in the 50's. AFAIK this died out in the 60's although one old bloke round our way still ran his Bates on an alloy FC right up until my day (70's/80's) in time trials in Essex and put a lot of young chaps to shame on their 'drillium' 12 speed Italian show ponies :wink:
Here's a picture of my early 50's Holdsworth fitted with an alloy FM. Take off the mudguards and she's set for the Sunday time-trial.

Image

Cheers
Richard

PS IRRC the German team in the1936 Olympics used Fichtel & Sachs 3 speed Torpedo hub gears.
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Re: 3 speed IGH race bikes?

Postby spirito » Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:23 pm

Wow ... what a bike !!! 8)
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Re: 3 speed IGH race bikes?

Postby ldrcycles » Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:05 am

Hmm, so if I fitted my Local with a 3 speed that would make me a period correct retro grouch :lol: .

So onto the rest of the bike, i'm thinking centrepull brakes (most likely Weinmann or such) alloy endrick 27" rims and a Brooks saddle of some description, but just trying to work out if it is going to 'work' from an aesthetic point of view. The bars are another one i'm unsure on, whether to use my preferred SR items or something with an 'older' bend like the ones on your Holdsworth.

And are there any new and/or original cotterless cranks of the Williams style that can be had cheaply? I'd rather not use cottered cranks as they are a bit of a hassle.
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Re: 3 speed IGH race bikes?

Postby WyvernRH » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:21 am

ldrcycles wrote: i'm thinking centrepull brakes (most likely Weinmann or such) alloy endrick 27" rims and a Brooks saddle of some description, but just trying to work out if it is going to 'work' from an aesthetic point of view.


Weinmann centrepulls have been around since the late 50's. Once they are adjusted they work really well but feel very 'soft' if you are used to modern twin pivot brakes. Just make sure you have a good stiff hanger, Dia Compe ones are good, Mafac ones are crap :wink: .

ldrcycles wrote:The bars are another one i'm unsure on, whether to use my preferred SR items or something with an 'older' bend like the ones on your Holdsworth.


From what I can tell, at least in the UK, the choice of bars in the 40's and 50's varied wildly from semi drops like on the Holdsworth , Marsh pattern, dropped North Road and a whole swag of bars that looked pretty much the same as drops up to the late 80's before the ergo flat started appearing below the lever. Settled down to Maes or similar type drops by the 60's, so I reckon you can pick whatever style you like.

ldrcycles wrote:And are there any new and/or original cotterless cranks of the Williams style that can be had cheaply? I'd rather not use cottered cranks as they are a bit of a hassle.


TA and Stronglight 49D are your friends here (as on the Holdsworth). Use the 5 pin pattern as it can be hard finding rings for the 3-arm TA. Also the 5-pin are easier to get (ie cheaper) and look more period. If you are lucky you might come upon one of the Japanese copies of the 5-pin TA cranks - SR and others made some IRRC. These look period and are really well made. Also the Jap copies use standard size crank pullers, unlike the TA and the Stronglight 49D which both use unique sized crank puller tools which seem to be REALLY expensive these days :(

Cheers
Richard
Last edited by WyvernRH on Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 3 speed IGH race bikes?

Postby rkelsen » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:26 am

That Holdsworth looks very nice Richard.

Have you got any more pics of it?
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Re: 3 speed IGH race bikes?

Postby find_bruce » Wed Sep 11, 2013 3:38 pm

ldrcycles wrote:Hmm, so if I fitted my Local with a 3 speed that would make me a period correct retro grouch :lol:

If you fitted your local with a 3 speed nexus and cotterless cranks, you would be someone who looks like a retro grouch :mrgreen:
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Re: 3 speed IGH race bikes?

Postby ldrcycles » Wed Sep 11, 2013 3:44 pm

rkelsen wrote:That Holdsworth looks very nice Richard.

Have you got any more pics of it?


+1!

And thanks very much for the help Richard, i thought of Velo Orange this morning but their single speed cranks would look dreadfully out of place IMO. Not all that cheap either.

find_bruce wrote:
ldrcycles wrote:Hmm, so if I fitted my Local with a 3 speed that would make me a period correct retro grouch :lol:

If you fitted your local with a 3 speed nexus and cotterless cranks, you would be someone who looks like a retro grouch :mrgreen:


:lol: Practicality first!
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Re: 3 speed IGH race bikes?

Postby WyvernRH » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:29 pm

rkelsen wrote:That Holdsworth looks very nice Richard. Have you got any more pics of it?

Only a couple, not very good I'm afraid.

Image

Image

It no longer has the mudguards fitted. You could have seen it in the flesh at Dungog Pedalfest last weekend on the Retro Ride on Sunday :)
I'll add a picture from the ride later.
Cheers
Richard
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Re: 3 speed IGH race bikes?

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:18 pm

Just another quick question, did many racers use a downtube mount for a water bottle or were handlebar mounts the only go pre 60s?
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Re: 3 speed IGH race bikes?

Postby tedsbikes » Sun Oct 13, 2013 4:33 pm

Yes, downtube bidon cages were used in the 50s. Like this one http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/NOS-REG-WATE ... _889wt_945

Reg also produced a quick release version where the cage could be removed from the one piece frame fitting.

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Re: 3 speed IGH race bikes?

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:35 pm

*looks at picture on ebay listing- "Ohh no way that's perfect, you ripper"

*looks at price- "ARRGH MY CHEST!"


But thanks for the info, I already have the thin steel clamps for the cage on my Dawes Shadow due to lack of braze ons and haven't had an issue with that, so a suitable cage with clamps from Velo Orange will be on it's way soon (for 25 odd dollars too!) You don't happen to know a source for ye olde style ally bottles do you? The Velo Orange ones may have to do but they don't look quite right.
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Re: 3 speed IGH race bikes?

Postby Clydesdale Scot » Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:07 pm

Speedplay suggests that the Reg cage style dates from the 1960s
The 1955 "Aids to Happy Cycling" at p15 has downtube bottle cages, simple wire ones.

The old style alloy bottle can be bought here
They are a bit cheaper and easier to get than my ribbed Ottusi bottles
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Re: 3 speed IGH race bikes?

Postby RobertFrith » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:12 am

I can't spot the SA shifter on your Holdsworth Richard - where is it mounted?
Image
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Re: 3 speed IGH race bikes?

Postby WyvernRH » Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:47 am

RobertFrith wrote:I can't spot the SA shifter on your Holdsworth Richard - where is it mounted?

Gosh, the shifter is hard to see in those photos! Look at the first photo, the trigger is mounted on the front of the bend of the r/h side bar just above where the red tape ends. It sort of merges into the background, zooming in helps.
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Richard
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Re: 3 speed IGH race bikes?

Postby tedsbikes » Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:39 pm

by Clydesdale Scot » Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:07 pm

Speedplay suggests that the Reg cage style dates from the 1960s
The 1955 "Aids to Happy Cycling" at p15 has downtube bottle cages, simple wire ones.

The old style alloy bottle can be bought here
They are a bit cheaper and easier to get than my ribbed Ottusi bottles
Philip

Phillip

Down bar bidons were being advertised in Australian Cyclist in June 1954 ( a random selection and maybe earlier) by both Super Stevens of Brunswick and Lawrencia of Glenferrie.

Super Stevens description was " Down Bar Bidons, quick release, ribbed and highly polished, these are beautifully made 35/- each. Also plenty of colored bidons." From this description it sounds like the Reg model advertised for mega $$ on ebay. (The 35/- ($3.50) price would have bought you about 17 copies of the AC (then 2/- each) so how much would 17 copies of a current bike mag be?) The QR probably refers to the lever shown to release the bidon.

Reg also produced a model using a heavy steel wire cage fitted on a similar mount except the cage could be detached from the mount by lifting a small catch and sliding the whole cage up and off the bike. Why?? maybe to use the bike in track races. I have a couple of these - one goes back to whenI raced in late 50s. (Sorry, not for sale).

Lawrencia provided no description except "Down bar 21/6"

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Re: 3 speed IGH race bikes?

Postby Clydesdale Scot » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:48 pm

Ted
I am not as confident as you in the 1954 description as being the Reg Type 164, particularly as the advert makes no apparent mention of a brand name.
On the Speedbicycles site there is a bike with downtube and quick release cage
CILO HUGO KOBLET Switzerland, 1953
Image
But my looking at all the bikes from 1952 to 1979 inclusive found very few with bottle cages and none of the Reg Type 164.
Anyone else found a photo of the Reg Type 164 in use on a race bike?
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Re: 3 speed IGH race bikes?

Postby RobertFrith » Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:38 am

WyvernRH wrote:Gosh, the shifter is hard to see in those photos! Look at the first photo, the trigger is mounted on the front of the bend of the r/h side bar just above where the red tape ends. It sort of merges into the background, zooming in helps.

Got it! Thanks.
IGH's on older lightweights is something I seem to read about a fair bit, but the talk doesn't seem to be backed up by photos too well. Correct me if I'm wrong but IGH's are pretty thin on the ground on Classic Lightweights and I don't think there's even one in David Rapley's "Racing Bicycles 100 Years of Steel".
I love IGH's BTW; my "truck" is Rohloff equipped, I'm still trying to decide which frame will be the new home for my SA FM, which will be the new home for my AM and how much to bid for the next ASC that pops up on the 'bay!
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Re: 3 speed IGH race bikes?

Postby Clydesdale Scot » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:10 am

RobertFrith wrote:IGH's on older lightweights is something I seem to read about a fair bit, but the talk doesn't seem to be backed up by photos too well. Correct me if I'm wrong but IGH's are pretty thin on the ground on Classic Lightweights and I don't think there's even one in David Rapley's "Racing Bicycles 100 Years of Steel".

Robert
a search of the Classic Lightweights Component Database shows there are 27 SA geared bikes in the Readers Bikes.
Not an insignificant representation.
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Re: 3 speed IGH race bikes?

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:14 am

Man i'm loving the direction this thread's going in! :D .

Interesting stuff about the bottles and cages, I had got the impression from searching google images that all the aluminium water bottles were ribbed, so if plain was actually around then I can just grab a new stainless job from Big W for about $5, bung in a cork and away I go (that's what I did for the bottle on my Healing, just had to sandblast the anodizing off).

I haven't had a chance to check what length I need yet but it looks like cotton bar tape can be purchased more cheaply if it's bought just as material, rather than as bar tape, then I will need to get some shellac (even though I used to be a woodturner I never used liquid shellac, only the shellawax cream).

And after looking at the Classic Lightweights article about Weinmann brakes and getting into the mindset of my fictional 60s retrogrouch, I think i'll go with 730 sidepulls instead of centrepulls, apparently the Vainquers weren't released til the late 50s, so Mr IGH would have viewed them as suspicious new fangled things :lol: . Plus 730s are super easy to pick up.

Still keeping my eyes open for cranks, if all else fails the Velo Orange 50.4bcd cranks with the inner ring removed will look nice but they are jolly exxy.

Then it's just rims, and that will likely be Alex X404, as they are a bit wider to better suit the 1-3/8 tyres i'm looking to use, and they have the old Westrick profile.
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Re: 3 speed IGH race bikes?

Postby jonbays » Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:50 am

I have kept an old Sturmey Archer three speed hub that I salvaged off an old roadster for years with the thought of building up a vintage three speed bike like the cooper bikes have and after looking through this thread I am thoroughly energised to actually make it happen.
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Re: 3 speed IGH race bikes?

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:09 pm

So just in case a Sturmey shifter doesn't work with the Nexus (though it should) and I have to use a Sturmey hub instead, will the often mentioned neutral gear thing kill me?
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Re: 3 speed IGH race bikes?

Postby WyvernRH » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:39 am

ldrcycles wrote:So just in case a Sturmey shifter doesn't work with the Nexus (though it should) and I have to use a Sturmey hub instead, will the often mentioned neutral gear thing kill me?


Nah, just adjust the gear properly. I have never had the slipping problem except on SW type gears which suffered from bad quality control.
Get the earliest good condition Sturmey you can find tho' as the quality dropped off toward the end.
You could always fit a SACHS 3 speed they had constant engagement, then you could be a Euro-Retro-Grouch :wink:
Cheers
Richard
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Re: 3 speed IGH race bikes?

Postby find_bruce » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:47 am

An alternative shifting mechanism is to use a sturmey archer shifter on the downtube
Image

Via mtbr. Reported to work just fine with a 3sp nexus hub. He used the lever from a thumb shifter but the downtube shifter should also work
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