Vintage 3 Speed English Bicycles

Toronto Vintage Bicycle Show


Armstrong 3 Speed

Blog reader, Richard, has sent a photo of his restored Armstrong 3 speed.


He writes:

“In terms of the year my guess in the 60’s this is based off of bike forums research, I sold this 2 years ago before i was tracking serial numbers and before I knew what i know now 🙂 always check the SA hubs for the date to get a rough idea of the bikes age.”


“Looking at my records the bike was an Armstrong “Ross” – look at the shifter and that rear rack… it worked extremely well and I remember it being Extremely light. I am accustomed to the raleigh, supercycle, ccm crusier bikes… this was a different beast.”


CCM Galaxie 3 Speed

A clean and complete example currently offered on Kijiji, Toronto.

@ $180.00.




Hubba Hubba


This old CCM Galaxie 3 Speed came to me years ago. The rear wheel and hub looked good but never performed properly. The rear wheel was swapped out and the original went into the shed…

Fast forward 8 years and the same hub was installed on a current project.


I’d clearly forgotten it’s troubled past…

No amount of tweaking or adjusting would make it work.

I decided to take the hub apart and find out what was wrong. There’s a very good tutorial on youtube:



Once apart I found a seized pawl with a rusted/broken spring as well as a displaced pin holding the sun gear onto the axle.

All parts were cleaned, new springs purchased and the hub was re assembled…

It still didn’t work!

I took it apart again and had a closer look at the axle which appeared slightly warped.

I can only imagine that the loose pin had been like that for years and caused the problem.

In any case, I swapped the guts out of a ’61 hub into the shell and all is well…..



Iverson and More Junk

The Iverson will be going to a new home today. I have a few more adjustments to make and it should be good to go. This is one of the nicest bikes that I’ve sent out of my shop.

Shifts very well and is virtually silent on the road (no squeaks or rattles).


My shop is really my back yard…


The 22T cog is quite pleasant.



I took the old tires back to the seller and swapped them for a good mattress saddle and while there bought ANOTHER bike for $20.00….


A Raleigh built Supercycle. It’s got some parts on it that I can use (metal trigger and the brake levers I like) and could be a future project. I think the rims are beyond saving.


These are the levers I like to use.


Strangely, I can’t find even a hint of a date stamp on the hub but I would guess it’s from 1972/73.


Iverson 3 Speed Update


This one’s coming together quite quickly. A day to strip it down, a day to repack all the bearings and today, a few hours to install a new chain and a brake cable.

Total costs to date:

Bike purchase @ $90.00 (A little pricey but it was just down the street.)

New tires @ 40.00

New chain @ $15.00

New Brake pads @ $16.00

New brake cable @ $3.00

Supplies and parts from stock @ $10.00

Total  @ $174.00

The guy I bought it from wants the old tires back and will refund $5.00…

The new owner has a $70.00 credit with me and will pay the balance off by future cat-sitting work.


I’ve  swapped out the rear cog for a 22T version, so we’ll see how it works out on a shakedown ride. I also want to change the saddle for a sprung mattress one but don’t have a decent one in the garage.


Despite the online criticism of the Iverson brand, I found this to very similar to my English bikes. The quality of the chrome plating is not as good…


Raleigh Colour Chart



Iverson 3 Speed

I picked this up a few days ago as a gift/payment for a young lady that looks after the pets when we’re away. I offered cash or a bike. She chose a bike.P1190189.JPG

This is a made in Japan Iverson 3 speed with a Sturmey Archer hub and shifter. Hub is dated 3/72. Research tells me that Iverson is not a well respected brand but I think those remarks refer to their 10 speeds. The paint and decals are in good shape. This one will get the usual rebuild with some new tires/pads and cables. I’m sure it will be a good commuter.

Progress photos to follow.P1190196.JPG


Below are two more similar bikes on Kijiji Toronto. Both of these appear to have a Shimano 3 speed hub. I can assume that mine was retro fitted with the SA hub at some point over the last 45 years.

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Raleigh Roadster 3 Speed

Not too sure what this bike is…..

A Raleigh Roadster with lever brakes and a caliper up front, drum on the back.

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I saw an old bike catalogue from 1972 last week that had a parts list with pricing.
A Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub was listed at $17.00 (Canadian). Using the inflation calculator, this would work out to $103.00 today. I would assume the hub came as a complete “kit” with the trigger etc as they did in the 50’s.



Another Successful Show

The 2017 Toronto Vintage Bicycle Show was a great success. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a memory card in my camera…..

I’m waiting for some photos to post.

Thanks to all who participated and attended.



Rudge Report

Kijiji seller lists this as a 1920’s Rudge for best offer.

I think it’s from the 50’s or early 60’s.





It’s Almost Here!

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Save the Date!

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Raleigh Rat Bike

Spent the day touring around the city on this 1961 modified Raleigh Superbe.



Crazy Indian Eastman Saddle


I picked up an Eastman leather saddle today for a very reasonable $40.00 from a Toronto junk shop. It’s not junk to me, the owner of Odds n Ends on Queen West knows I like vintage bike stuff and put this aside for me.


This saddle requires a triple rail clamp so I’ll have to see if I can find one…


Glider Update



I may be done with this one for the time being. I still need to finesse a few things but overall it’s together.

Costs to date:

Glider frame @ $20.00

Wheels from stock

New tires @ $38.00

New chain @ $15.00

New brake pads @ $12.00

New brake cable @ $6.00

New shifter cable @ $8.00

Can of paint @ $7.00

Front caliper and lever @ $5.00

Wrights saddle from stock

Supplies @ $5.00

TOTAL @ $116.00

I should probably add a number for the from stock parts but a lot of them are from salvaged bikes so it’s hard to assign a fixed value.


I made a leather shim for the cable stop.


The bike as originally found (minus the handlebars),




Twisted Forks

Daryl from Freelander Bicycles writes:
Hi Greg,
I’m restoring a Raleigh and the fork is bent slightly. Looks like someone  tried to turn the bars when the lock was engaged. It’s slight, but does pull to the left a little.
It looks like the left blade was bent forward as someone turned the bars to the left.
Any thoughts on how to straighten it and if it would weaken the fork?
Thanks, Daryl
Enjoying your posts as always!


I don’t have a solution per se but can only suggest that you try to reef on them back the other way. I straightened a bent crank last week, so if the metal can be bent one way, it makes sence that it can be bent back…

Anyone else?


More Reader’s Bikes

Curtis S. writes:

Hi Greg, Here are a few of my 61 bikes. Mainly my 3 speeds but a couple 5 or 10 speed cruisers. Raleigh Twenty, West German Rallye Sport 2000, CCM Elite.

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This batch is a CCM Elite, John Deere, Eatons Glider, Free Spirit Sears, and Schwinn World Tourist.

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Supercycle 5 spd, Eatons Glider 5 speed, Free Spirit Sears 3 speed, Supercycle 5 speed, John Deere 3 speed parts bike.

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Raleigh Sports 3 spd, 1962 Ervo Sport Super 3 spd, as well as a Raleigh Pony 3 spd, Free Spirit ladies 10 spd cruiser, Raleigh Sprite, CCM Elan 3 spd, Torpado 3 spd and a few other cruisers. Rest are 11 mountain bikes, 9 road bikes, 2 CCM Imperial 3 spd, and a bunch of vintage CCM coaster bikes as well as other coasters. Even a couple Redbirds, a bunch of camelback CCM, a twin bar, a Zenith Marshall Wells CCM balloon tire bike etc.

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Save the Date!



Glider Progress Update

Coming together…


I bought some tires today and some bearings for the BB.

I’ve put a ’71 hub on the back and we’ll see how it works out. Front rim is a Dunlop.


It’s quite amazing how well 50 year old British chrome will clean up.


I used a pipe lined with cardboard to straighten the crank on this ’61 Superbe.

Big Chief from the 3 Speed Forum says:

“The best check is to put the pedal back and test ride, but you can save some time by holding a spare crank arm against the one you’re adjusting. When the light between the two arms is symmetrical like this, you’re close. This arm was badly bent. I took this picture before I did the test ride and it was spot on. No wobble. Didn’t need any further bending.”



It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I had put the Chain ring from the Glider on this bike as a place holder. It’s come off and back to it’s original place.


I’ll probably use this vintage Wrights composite saddle.


It’s made of some sort of rubbery material that is still in good shape and very comfortable.


Painting Your Bike

Blog reader Ven, has sent some photos of his Supercycle asking for some advice on how to paint.

I would first assess whether it was a worthwhile project. Is the frame and fork straight? Is the bike complete etc.? By the time you’ve taken the bike apart, sanded, painted, cleaned out the bottom bracket and head cups, repacked all the bearings etc. etc..

Getting those cotter pins out can be a real pain.

You may find it’s not worth the effort.


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I can’t tell if this Supercycle is British made or Japanese. It’s clearly been painted before (poorly) and could use a full restoration.

A lot of things come apart (bikes, motorbikes, cars) and never get put back together.

I would consider if I had the commitment to see the project through.

I would do all the work myself as it’s not worth paying someone else to do it.

A bike worth $50.00 will end up costing you far more than it’s worth if you pay someone else.

If you do the work yourself you can probably get it back on the road for less than $100.

Including new tires, chain, brake pads, seat and supplies.

On the plus side, most of that vintage chrome can clean up very well with some aluminum foil and water.

Good luck and keep us posted as to your success.



1963 Western Flyer 3 Speed

For sale on Kijiji, Toronto. A 1963 Western Flyer 3 speed. Built by CCM with Sturmey Archer parts and re-branded for Western Flyer. Seller is asking $140.00.


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Another Project

Last week end I stopped in to see George at Parts Unknown. Mostly just to say hello but he had a tall Raleigh built Glider frame in the back corner. It was straight, had a bottom bracket, chain ring and straight cranks.

Sold for $20.00!


The chain ring quickly migrated over to this ’61 Superbe.


The chain ring crank on this one has a slight warp to it that I still need to straighten.

It’s worth fixing as this is the last year that Raleigh stamped the eye on the heron’s head.


In the mean time, the paint on the Glider frame was beyond saving. A quick clean and sand to remove the rust as well as the reflector stickers in the forks.


My state of the art spray booth.


I think I’ve got enough parts in the shed to finish this off as a stripped down 3 speed Path Racer.




A Collection of Local 3 Speeds

All of these are/were posted on Toronto Kijiji for sale.

An early 60’s Dunelt.


A   Raleigh Sports. I think the white accents and fenders make this a model directed to the Canadian market.



And Finally a 3 Speed Schwinn. American made with British SA parts.




Hipster Raleigh Superbe

A current ad on Kijiji, Toronto:

“Get noticed on your racing green vintage Raleigh.
Pretend you know your stuff when a hot guy/girl asks about it and you answer with aloof indifference: “Whatevs… it’s a 3 speed, 1977 Raleigh Superbe in great shape with all original parts including British made Sturmey Archer transmission in the wheel hub.”
It even has a rack on the back to hold artisanal jams, free range Chanterelles, or an ironic box of moustache grooming supplies.
It has foot powered lights but the bulbs (will need to replaced for the lights to work).
I’d keep it but I’m not cool enough to pull it off.



Another Tourist


Picked this one up today from my friend Brian in Peterborough. He was coming into the city so we met up. Complete bike minus the pump, a little rough but functions well. This will form part of the fleet I’m assembling for a new TV show. This is number 3 so far.


The Hub Hub

Four complete 3 Speed hubs waiting for frames..
from front to back:

The two donor hubs on the ground
1962- does not spin freely
1969 -has an odd sized French rim.



My Dad Bought Me a Bike

Back in 1965 or so, my Dad bought me a bike. It was probably a Supercycle bought at the old Canadian Tire on Dundas. It looked something like this one.


Single speed with a coaster brake.


Even at $40.00 (1967 price), using the inflation calculator, it would equal about $320.00 today or close to half a week’s pay….

I liked my bike very much but by 1967 I really wanted one of these.


My dad and I went back to Canadian Tire, not to buy a new bike but to buy the accessories to convert my bike.

He repainted the frame in a nice sparkle finish green, added the ape hanger bars, new sparkle grips, a banana seat, sissy bar and perhaps monkey fenders.

The re styled bike was promptly stolen by some kid at school. We never locked our bikes back then. Somehow my Dad tracked it down and we went to this kid’s house to retrieve it. I’m not sure how my Dad found it or what happened to this bike afterwards, but I obviously out grew it and moved on to a bigger 10 speed.

Thanks Dad.

If anyone else would like to contribute a story on this theme please comment and I will post.


A Tale of Two Supercycles

Here’s a 1967 3 speed Raleigh built Supercycle in racing trim. Supercycles were made by Raleigh for Canadian Tire stores here in Canada and sold very well. I’m sure my first real bike was a Supercycle (single speed). I wonder if the gold colour was a custom mix for these bikes. Currently listed on Kijiji, Toronto @ $300.00.


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Closer examination of the headbadge reveals it does not say made in England, so it may, in fact be a Canadian made Supercycle…. However it does have cottered cranks.

The bike below is also listed on Kijiji, Toronto. However, it looks to me as if the front forks are bent. Listed @ $240.00




Saddle Bags!

Picked these up yesterday from a local flea market.Real leather and in almost new condition. They were made for a small horse or pony but will adapt well to a bicycle.