[CR]Lightweight 3 speeds, was Pinnacle of the vintage lightweight era?

(Example: Humor)

Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2001 13:27:39 -0500
From: "Leonard Bulger" <bulger@erim-int.com>
To: tomwitkop@juno.com
Cc: beyerc@mailserver.volvo.com, classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
References: <20010325.222839.-134867.6.tomWitkop@juno.com>
Subject: [CR]Lightweight 3 speeds, was Pinnacle of the vintage lightweight era?

I tried to make a high performance 3 speed once. I took a 1957 vintage alloy Sturmey AW hub off a Huffy and built it up with a wide Weinmann concave alloy rim. This wheel went on my 531 DB Gazelle. I was never really happy with it. The bike didn't feel as lively as it did with derailleurs. It might be that there was more energy loss with the hub, or that the wide spacing of the gears ensured that the bike rarely had the right ratio for the conditions. A narrow ratio hub with narrow, light weight rims might make for a more fun ride.

I eventually took off the Sturmey and put a Duopar on the back and a Super Champion rod shifter on the front. After a while the Super Champ went on another bike. A little while later the Duopar failed spectaculary, ripping out the spokes, ripping the 980 front derailleur in half and bending two chain links. Then tha bike got a Nuovo Record front and original rally rear, and has lived a boring, uneventful life since.

I also had a Lenton Sport with drop bars, a 3 speed AW hub, Simplex plunger derailleur and 3 cogs on the back. Everything on the bike was steel except for the Brooks saddle and Chinese 26x1 1/4 gumwalls. The thing must have weighed 45 lbs despite the 531 frame tubing. I never could warm up to that bike; very sluggish, but the drivetrain really worked well.

I've wondered what my Heron would be like with a 14 speed Rohloff hub, but it's just too expensive to experiment with. The thing costs as much as a Juy 543 :-)

Anyone out there have a good lightweight 3 speed experience?

Leonard Bulger Ann Arbor, MI

tomwitkop@juno.com wrote:
> Dear Chris and fellow list members,
> I never rode a high-performance hub gear bicycle. I remember converting
> my father's Hercules 3 speed with down bars and moving the trigger switch
> by the handle bar plug for a sort of end shifter. It still rode in a
> heavy fashion. I have used the modern Nexis 7 speed internal but that was
> on a cruiser style bicycle and also not particularly lively feeling.
> Assuming a decent lightweight frame and aluminum rims, can a 3 speed
> Sturmey Archer feel or even be a fast bicycle? Thank you.
> Tom (I know, it's not the bicycle it's the rider, but still...) Witkop
> Rockville, Md.
> On Fri, 23 Mar 2001 14:41:46 -0500 Chris Beyer
> <beyerc@mailserver.volvo.com> writes:
> > Leonard, et al:
> >
> > Now you're speaking my language. But I'd vote for a British
> > Club-racer
> > style bike with a Sturmey-Archer hub, such as a FM. They shift
> > positively, every time, which is more than you can say for the
> > Cyclo.........Hub-gear bikes have that same uncluttered grace and
> > simplicity as track bikes, but they're useable And I'm unconvinced
> > that
> > 7, 8, 9, and10-speed cassettes have made our cycling lives any
> > better.
> >
> > Chris Beyer
> > Epicyclic Bloomfield, NJ
> >
> > Leonard Bulger wrote:
> >
> > > How about an Alan Super Record with titanium Galli group and
> > tapered
> > > roller bearings? Or maybe the original Klein Stage? Bikes went
> > > downhill after that time.
> > > Seriously, I suppose the pinnacle would be a good 1940's 531 DB
> > frame
> > > with a Nivex or French Cyclo derailleur. Bikes haven't gotten
> > any
> > > better since then; it's just that the fads change.
> > >
> > > Leonard Bulger
> > > temporarily sunny Ann Arbor
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> >
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