Sports & Recreation

3-speed English racers
3-speed English racers

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There are 3 comments for this item.

Posted by Duff at 6:21 pm (PDT) on Sun June 24, 2012   
Right... On an English racer, you'd shift while coasting, whereas with a derailleur you must keep pedaling. That was tough to get used to... almost as tough as switching from coaster brakes to hand brakes. Every day there are probably hundreds of skinned knees and bruised hands from kids who just got their first hand-brake bike and, needing to stop abruptly, pedaled backward from force of habit.
Posted by Max at 12:58 am (PDT) on Sat August 15, 2009   
The rear coaster brake on your sister's bike is very common in the Netherlands. Sturmey Archer makes (made) three speed coaster brake hubs. I find the planetary gearing of a three speed hub very interesting. It's simple and reliable once you get the cable tension just right. Unlike dérailleur gearing, you can shift into low gear after stopping.

You can find the approximate age of most hub-geared three speed and five speed bikes by examining the hub itself. The month and year of the hub's manufacture is stamped on the outside.

I have a Raleigh three speed of the late 1960's. This was before the company closed up its shops in Nottingham and sold its name to a company that manufactures in the Orient. I like it so much, I'm thinking of building a front wheel with a disc brake. Those caliper brakes on stainless steel hubs don't have enough friction to make a good stop.
Posted by Duff at 7:20 pm (PDT) on Fri August 14, 2009   
My sister and I had Royce Union English racers, mine with hand brakes for front & rear, hers with a front hand brake and rear coaster brake (does that disqualify it as an English racer?). I recall liking mine, and thought that it was the fastest bike in the neighborhood. It was very well balanced, and I had no trouble riding with no hands; I recall even standing on the seat a few times. I also enjoyed riding as slowly as possible, and won a couple of "slow bike races" at school Field Days.

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