Monday, March 28, 2011

Ye Olde English 3-speeds

Meet Binnie. Courtesy: Mark.
Binnie is a 1930's Raleigh 3-speed that belongs to Mark in Charlottesville.

Most English 3-speeds were built with fenders and chaincases or chainguards, and an internal gear hub that can withstand the wet English weather.  They were built for transportation, and they were built to last. That is why so many of them are still around.

Nice touch - Binnie has a pump holder. Courtesy: Mark.

For more on English 3-speeds, check out Sheldon Brown's website, or better yet, listen to his September 25, 2005 podcast.

13 comments:

Mike said...

they really got these bikes right in my view. I continually read blog posts in which readers are asking about how to find a comfortable bike with fenders, a rack, a reliable IGH and a chainguard for under $500 or $1,000. Meanwhile, CL is filled with Sports and Superbes for $120 a pop. I'm the proud owner of four.

Anonymous said...

Id be curious to know where these bikes sell for $120. In my area, NYC, Sports and Superbes go for $250 and up- unless they are green. No one seems to like green Raleighs, or womens bikes which are always less. But a mans black raleigh sport in good shape will bring $300+, easy. That said in my opinion the bikes are overrated. They are heavy, slow, the brakes are outdated Parts are obsolete,hard to find and expensive. Unless you like to spend time restoring them, they dont ride all that well, given that few people maintain bikes very well. I think a new three speed is a much better buy for all but the vintage Raleigh enthusiast.

Mike said...

@Anon 11:20
Here in Northern California, I've picked up one green Sports for $80, one coffee Superbe for $150 and two green Superbes for $100 each. A friend of mine beat me to a maroon Superbe, paying $130.

The only one that required anything more than a good cleaning and maybe a new cable here or there was the Sports. The others were dusty but ready to ride.

You're right about them being heavy. In fact, I think no one should buy them under any circumstances... Send them my way and I'll dispose of them safely.

Anonymous said...

Mike , May I help you to dispose them safely , too? :D I live across your continent, though. ;)

Mike said...

OK, Anon... we'll split them down the middle. You get east of the Mississippi and I'll take west.

Lovely Bicycle! said...

Ooooh yes. I love the ride quality if my 1973 Raleigh DL-1, and my 1936 DL-1 is waiting for the right time to get refurbished. Thanks for featuring this wonderful bicycle.

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Stubby said...

To bad Raleigh doesn't import to the US there full line of commuters. Take a look at Raleigh UK and see what we in the states are missing. It's aluminum but then I'm not a steal zealot. A well designed aluminum does wonders here in the rust belt.

http://www.raleigh.co.uk/ProductType/ProductRange/Product/Default.aspx?pc=1&pt=15&pg=7570

Anonymous said...

I think 99% of the old Raleighs are on the Eastside. I keep looking for a loop frame but after 3 yrs no luck. I live in WA state near Walla Walla Wa and drive a very solid 73 "mens" Sports. NOt fancy but she (er,"he") gets me around. As I age a loop frame would allow me to ride longer into my sunset years. I wish the Danes would start shipping their classic Raleigh line to the U.S! That would solve my problem and lots of other folks'!

kfg said...

@Stubby - Raleigh UK and Raleigh USA are companies related only by a shared trademark. Under the terms of sharing the mark Raleigh UK cannot sell bikes in the USA.

carl.gregory16 said...

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