Restoring an old 3 speed bicycle

Updated: 12 October 2011

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Restoring an old 3 speed bicycle

Years ago when I was much younger I had a bicycle with a 3 speed Sturmey-Archer internal gear hub. It was what was loosely called an "English Racer", having dropped handlebars and caliper brakes, and steel wheels, as just about every bike did then. 10 speed derailleur gears were an exotic item. I remember riding several hundred kilometres on it during a tour to the mid-west part of NSW (Australia) with a friend who had one of the exotic 10 speeders. Not too many hills fortunately, but I was in better shape then, and could lift the front wheel on the flat even in top gear (yes, surprised me too!)

While browsing in an Op Shop I saw an old 3-speed step-through bike, pink with rust but straight and with round wheels (not all do 8^D). Thought about it and decided it would make an interesting project, so back the next day....

What it looked like

Here it is as purchased.

You can see the rust pits poking through the paint

The front, chromed steel, wheel was badly pitted

The back wheel was a bit better, presumably due to oil off the chain in days gone by

Ditto cranks

handle bars
and seat post

The overhauling

My assistant (a keen young cyclist next door) and I dismantled it, first taking a lot of photos to aid in re-assembly.

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