Vintage 3 Speed English Bicycles



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.

002 (4).JPG

006 (6).JPG004.JPG$_27 (58).JPG

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

004 (6).JPG


007 (3).JPG



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

013 (5).JPG

010 (7).JPG

016 (2).JPG

016 (5).JPG


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.

084 (2).JPG







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.


unnacvgnmed.jpgunna cvbmed.jpg

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.


$_2 vnhmjko7.jpg$_2vbgfnhjh7.jpg$klololgk_27.jpg

$_27 bcfhuuo.jpg



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.


$_2vbhrthjtjiuth7.jpg$_2 nukhgx7.jpg$;vgutysrs_27.jpg


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.



Rare Raleigh 5 Speed Sprite

Here’s a nice bike that I may have posted before. A late 60’s Raleigh 5 speed Sprite.

$_2fdthju67.jpg$_2 nmkflcdk,.jpg$_27 vnhgjuko8.jpg$_2 ,lvcg7.jpg$_2dstvfdgb7.jpg

This one has the rare dual throttle shifters and appears to be in very nice shape.


$_2 bnjmyuki8o7.jpg


$_2 bfhmktutuktuk7.jpg

Located in Niagara Falls, Canada. The seller is asking $415.00.


Raleigh Tourists Wanted!

I’m working on a television show that takes place in the 1920’s and am looking to purchase some local (Toronto area) Raleigh DL-1 Tourists as props.

Looking for complete bikes, men’s or ladies and would pay a reasonable price.

We picked up a nice ladies Tourist this morning for $250.00.

The one pictured was $150.00 but has had the rod and lever brake system removed and the rear hub has been replaced with a coaster brake.

My plan is to remover the triggers and replace the rear cogs.

Tires and brake pads will be replaced as well.

I’ve also bought a couple of old CCM coasters as well.

If anyone has anything please let me know.


Raleigh Sports


Here’s an early 70’s Raleigh Sports currently offered for sale on Kijiji, Toronto.

It appears to have had the bottom bracket replaced.

$_fsggrw627.JPG$_sw45367879pk27.JPG$_2 ol0p,hkjsry7.JPG$usuukjmg_27.JPG$e45678kjhg_27.JPG


1972 Raleigh Sports Update

All in all a very quick and easy turnaround on this one.

I think my camera’s on a strange setting….


Luckily, the bike was very complete and original to start with.


-Bike purchase @ $150.00

-New Tires @ $32.00

-New tubes @ $10.00

-New Cables @ $4.00

-New cotters and brake pads @ $16.00

-New ferrels and cable ends @ $2.00

-Supplies @ $5.00

TOTAL: $219.00

This number does not reflect any labour.


From stock I pulled some period pedals, a couple of cable guides and an old Wrights saddle.

I re used the original ribbed cable housings as well as the 3 speed cable.


Still to finish:

-Attach rat trap

-Attach kick stand

-Perhaps attach lock


1972 Raleigh Sports Progress


Progress has been made. Once again those cotter pins have proved to be difficult.

The drive side popped out with a couple of stern whacks of the hammer, the other side wouldn’t budge. I ended up drilling it out with no damage to the crank or spindle.


Judging by the grease inside the BB, this bike hasn’t been ridden in years. The cups look good so if the weather here in Toronto clears up it should be back on the road next weekend.


Front and back hubs cleaned and re packed with new tires courtesy of George at Parkdale Bicycles at 1428 Queen Street West.


Re assembly has started. I will replace the pedals with either some new MKS pedals or some old Raleigh pedals from the spares bin.


Starting to look like a bicycle.


Raleigh Built Eaton’s Glider

Another Kijiji listing.

An early 70’s Eaton’s Glider 3 speed offered at $150.00 including delivery.

$_27 mnk;ouo;u.JPG$_2c mfxfvdsf7.JPG$_27vxgmf.JPG$_dvsfggrher27.JPG

The Eaton Family mausoleum in Mount Pleasant Cemetery.



3 Speed CCM

Jamie T. writes:

I bought this to give to street person, it looks all right now after cleaning for 3 hours.
light works, 1&3 speeds work watching youtube to figure out how to get second gear.
It rides nice
To Jamie,
It’s a matter of adjusting the indicator chain with the trigger in second gear.
Rule of thumb is that the body of the spindle should just be poking out in second.
The trouble is that indicator chains may have been swapped out over the years, some were longer than others. Once locked in position it should run fine. If you’ve added a new shifter cable it may stretch requiring periodic tweaking.
Nice of you to help a street person with a bike.
The illustration below shows the indicator chain in the second position.
The shoulder of the chain (#1) is flush with the end of the axle. I set mine with a tiny bit more poking out. Fine adjustment with #3 and lock with #2.

1972 Raleigh Sports Progress

I spent the afternoon yesterday stripping the bike and making a plan.


Hubs and rims cleaned up quite well.


Fenders are in good shape as well.


It came with this period wheel lock that I don’t think will be put back on.


Sadly, the cotter pins are frozen solid. I may need to visit George at Parts Unknown to use his press.


More Junk! 1972 Raleigh Sports

Picked this up today. It actually looks much better in the photos than in person, but it wasn’t expensive and quite complete.

The Good:

-Complete bike

-Paint is good and will clean up

-Tall frame

-Original ribbed cables (all work well

-Plastic trigger face not cracked

-Period saddle bag attached

-Chain OK

-Brooks vinyl saddle OK

-Interesting period wheel lock

The Bad:


-Brake pads

-Incorrect pedals

-Rims have surface rust but may polish out

-Rear hub is missing the oil port (Bolt in it’s place)

My plan is to strip the bike and re-assemble. More than likely I’ll pass it on to someone at cost (Bike + parts). Someone contacted me last week looking for a bike so it may go to him. He’s a little put off by the colour, but I like it.

$_ nvhfmdthegg27.JPG$_2 bvgnt7.JPG$_27 bjut nv.JPG$_2nvgh7.JPG



The $49.00 Bike

This Raleigh 3 speed is currently for sale in Hamilton Ontario for a staggering $49.00!

Granted, it will need work but still a good basis for a spring project.



What is a Scorcher?

What is a Scorcher (of the 1890s)?
The question came up on another blog as to “what is a scorcher?” in reference to an 1896 pledge by a cyclist not to be one. A cyclist who was a scorcher was commonly understood to ride aggressively at high speeds outside of controlled races risking crashes with other riders, pedestrians, and others. The scorcher was also commonly criticized for his (or her) less than upright seat on the bicycle. (This posture, however, was perfectly OK during a race . . . ) Since the bicycles of the day either had no brakes at all or generally poor ones compared to what we are used to today, the potential for mayhem was that much greater.



My Bitsa Scorcher

My Bitsa Scorcher.
The Black Bomber
-Raleigh 10 speed frame (free)
-Swapped out Raleigh 3 speed bottom bracket
-Painted flat black
-Rear hub is a Bayliss Wiley single speed coaster brake laced to a 28″ British Westrick rim
-Front wheel is a 28″ Canadian rim (different tire size)
-Inverted bars with a scavenged Raleigh front caliper brake for saftey
-Saddle is a leather Wrights
-new chain and tires
Good info on Bayliss Wiley:…tent-presence/




Modified 3 Speed New Hudson

This bike has been kicking around for a few years. It was originally for sale at a bike Co-op in Hamilton Ontario. It’s for sale again. A 1950’s New Hudson 3 speed with modern drum brakes/hub, a modern bottom bracket, new rims and handle bars.

$_bhmutk27.JPG$_2hgjkj7.JPG$_2jkhgyjg7.JPG$_27 bjgxyuko.JPG$_27bvh.JPG$_2 nhki7.JPG$_2jjhh7.JPG


Summer Friends



1958 Raleigh Superbe

For sale on Kijiji, Toronto, a 1958 Raleigh Superbe with an asking price of $350.00. I think that number is optimistic considering how much work would be needed to restore.

On the plus side, the paint looks quite good.

$_fbdfdn27.JPG$_2duyuupiutpi7.JPG$_dddddk27.JPG$_2cfbfhh7.JPG$_2zgnjykil7.JPG$_xsdaegwt27.JPG$_2 bhjkk7.JPG


Raleigh Tourist

Another Toronto Kijiji listing. A good example of a mid 70’s 3 speed Raleigh Tourist. Seller is asking $375.00.



Yet Another Raleigh Superbe

Here’s a good looking Superbe for sale on Kijiji Toronto.

When looking for a vintage 3 speed, originality is always a factor in the purchase.

This one has some good and bad features. The mini fenders or “fenderettes” are  not original but a nice period accessory, The cable clips appear original and are much better than the cable ties you often see. The saddle does not look like a Brooks.

A Superbe with a key is always a good sign.

$_vcgfhk27.JPG$_2 vcgfnyj7.JPG$_fdtnhj27.JPG