Raleigh three speeds.

Chris S

Legendary Member
Location
Sparkhill
They were churning out junk by 1990. The spindle on my Raleigh Chiltern isn't straight because the bottom bracket threads aren't opposite each other. It's impossible to get rid of all the free play in one place without it binding in another. There was also a swirl machined into the original spindle, by the bearing race. It should have been rejected as scrap but was put on the bike anyway. At least I didn't find a mop of swarf in the bottom bracket, unlike somebody on another forum.
 
They were churning out junk by 1990. The spindle on my Raleigh Chiltern isn't straight because the bottom bracket threads aren't opposite each other. It's impossible to get rid of all the free play in one place without it binding in another. There was also a swirl machined into the original spindle, by the bearing race. It should have been rejected as scrap but was put on the bike anyway. At least I didn't find a mop of swarf in the bottom bracket, unlike somebody on another forum.
I think you're describing its charm and unique character.
 

tyred

Legendary Member
Location
Ireland
I'd hardly call my 3-speed relaxing. With just 80, 60 and 45 inch gears it provides a really good workout.
Put a 22 tooth sprocket on it.
 

Kajjal

Veteran
Location
Wheely World
Raleigh Choppers had a different take on three speed, first gear was crazy, second hard work and third gear even downhill needed the strength of Hercules to move it :training:
 
OP
ren531

ren531

Über Member
Location
Lancaster uk
There's a decent one for sale in Dudley if anybody's interested. It's been relisted with it's original £40 starting bid so I can't see it making much more than that.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/353480758037

View attachment 587157
That looks like a rebadged Raleigh Courier, my Hercules is really a rebadged Esquire or similar Raleigh were very good at wheeling out some of the old names ever now and then.
I have a real fondness for these bikes, always look forward to riding them in the better months of the year, got 22 tooth sprockets on them and just love the simple uncomplicated, unpretentious nature of them.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
That looks like a rebadged Raleigh Courier, my Hercules is really a rebadged Esquire or similar Raleigh were very good at wheeling out some of the old names ever now and then.
I'm pretty sure most of the Raleigh family of 3-speeds used the same frame design irrespective of what the paint colour and decals were. Essentially, with minor differences like one model having a rear rack and another one not having one, but maybe having a dynohub instead - they were basically one generic design. Fortunately a good one.
Not much different to the way several models of car can be badged differently but all based on the same bodyshell.
 
OP
ren531

ren531

Über Member
Location
Lancaster uk
Another of my Raleigh 3 speeds, a 1953 Rudge, its very heavy so uncool is nearly cool again and gives me a good work out every time I ride it, but its so enjoyable to ride such a different experience from other bikes very layed back approach to cycling, every one admires it and I love it, thinking of putting a full chain case on it.
IMG_20210423_070410.jpg
 
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