Three Speed Day Rides and Touring, how long and how far.

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Sid Aluminium
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Re: Three Speed Day Rides and Touring, how long and how far.

Postby Sid Aluminium » 7 Apr 2020, 7:52pm

Great to hear completion of this effort and I'm sure many fine days awheel are ahead.

I've been riding this steed IGH since 1981, for many years with an S5/2 but in the last decade and a half an SRF-3. Unconvinced that 700C is anything more than a fad, the bike continues to wear 27s. :lol:

gravel ahead.jpg


About the sign: I've never seen another like it. It indicates the road surface changes to loose gravel ahead. Texas, which is why the sign is on the 'wrong' side of the road.

Happy trails!

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Three Speed Day Rides and Touring, how long and how far.

Postby Cyril Haearn » 8 Apr 2020, 3:06am

Please to post some pictures
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mjr
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Re: Three Speed Day Rides and Touring, how long and how far.

Postby mjr » 8 Apr 2020, 10:02am

Sid Aluminium wrote:About the sign: I've never seen another like it. It indicates the road surface changes to loose gravel ahead. Texas, which is why the sign is on the 'wrong' side of the road.

I can think of several sketchey moments cycling in Norfolk, England, where a sign like that would be helpful! Loads of those transitions seem to be on bends or junctions.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Cyril Haearn
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Re: Three Speed Day Rides and Touring, how long and how far.

Postby Cyril Haearn » 8 Apr 2020, 3:45pm

How far behind the sign does the surface change?
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Sid Aluminium
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Re: Three Speed Day Rides and Touring, how long and how far.

Postby Sid Aluminium » 9 Apr 2020, 3:39pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:How far behind the sign does the surface change?


At cycling speeds, a fine distance. At automotive speeds, it comes up pretty quickly.

surface changes here.jpg
surface changes here.jpg (74.7 KiB) Viewed 441 times


In my county (a sub-state governmental area about 30 miles square) we're nearly out of gravel roads - over the last twenty years they've hard paved almost everything down to tiny little farm roads hardly wider than a pickup truck. Local L'eroica and gravel grinding fans - sorry! This little road begins to runs down the line of county jurisdiction and city jurisdiction right where the gravel starts and, in that great universal spirit of cross-governmental cooperation, there's a fuss about who should pay for the paving. I've wondered if the sign is more of a political statement than a warning. :lol:

Back on topic: the bike fitted with its 5- or 3-speed hub gears has always been a joy to ride. I really hope Carlton enjoys his machine as much or more!

Carlton green
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Re: Three Speed Day Rides and Touring, how long and how far.

Postby Carlton green » 8 May 2020, 9:08am

By way of an update and an answer to my own question.

I’ve been riding my three speed bike now for say six weeks and am delighted with how things have turned out. I was on the road at 6.00am this morning and must have covered 20 plus miles before returning home, recently I seem to be doing around that mileage on it every other day. My local area has hills and is generally undulating so the gears get used quite a bit. I ride along minor roads and gravel pathways on 700 x 35’s and the gearing gives a top of just 63”. The hub has needed no attention.

Edit. As a general observation with regard to the three speed AW hub, to use one happily one has to embrace some change of mentality. Whilst not overly constraining the hub does have limits on what it can do for you; one has to both recognise those limits and work both to and with them, and to a certain extent push the boundaries and be inventive too.

My conclusion is that I could go virtually anywhere I wished with my three speed and that it’s not distance limited. Certainly I wouldn’t be concerned about day tours and longer ones using Hostels, etc. Having said those positive things I’m also learning to work with it and accept its limitations too. I can’t go fast on it (a top of 63” caps the speed) but I can keep making reasonable progress on it and could do so all day long. I can’t (without unhelpfully hammering my legs) climb steeper hills on it but I can get part way up them and walk the rest; indeed I now actively stop and walk part of the hill and happily accept it as part of riding a three speed - walking a minute or two here and there is a nice change too. As there are but three gears i can’t be (almost) always in the correct gear for both the speed that I’m doing - or wanting to do - and the gradient of the road. I find that compared to a bike with many more ratios the three speed is more sapping to use. There is a trade-off between the exertions of the rider over any given journey and the complexity of the gear train. I mostly find that trade-off acceptable but can understand why more complex - and IMHO less reliable - derailleur gears are much much more popular than three speed hubs.

At some point I might take my three speed out with the local club, but I’m not sure how we’ll fair in terms of keeping pace with a group of fit riders on good bikes with many more gears. It’s likely that I’ll be OK but in general I think the three speed better suited to rides with other three speeds and to solo excursions (which is the bulk of what I do) .
Last edited by Carlton green on 17 May 2020, 5:38pm, edited 2 times in total.

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mjr
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Re: Three Speed Day Rides and Touring, how long and how far.

Postby mjr » 8 May 2020, 10:52am

Carlton green wrote:At some point I might take my three speed out with the local club, but I’m not sure how we’ll fair in terms of keeping pace with a group of fit riders on good bikes with many more gears. It’s likely that I’ll be OK but in general I think the three speed better suited to rides with other three speeds and to solo excursions (which is the bulk of what I do) .

On group rides, you'll be off the back sometimes and racing up the field others, all else being equal, due to bigger gear steps. It's a more extreme version of taking a vintage 10-speed to a ride of modern 18-27 speeds. The two things that come to mind are when a few of the racing motorbikes were rotary-engined, and the phrase "taking a knife to a gunfight" depending how well it's going!
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Carlton green
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Re: Three Speed Day Rides and Touring, how long and how far.

Postby Carlton green » 8 May 2020, 11:14am

mjr wrote:On group rides, you'll be off the back sometimes and racing up the field others, all else being equal, due to bigger gear steps. It's a more extreme version of taking a vintage 10-speed to a ride of modern 18-27 speeds. The two things that come to mind are when a few of the racing motorbikes were rotary-engined, and the phrase "taking a knife to a gunfight" depending how well it's going!


Yep, I suspect that "taking a knife to a gunfight" might well turn out to be a fair summation but we’ll see. (Edit. H’mm, on reflection Derringer would be an OK simile too, and in the past Derringers have been both very effective and a chosen weapon.) I think it will be a case of selecting rides through terrain appropriate to a three speed - so nothing too hilly. On reflection there are some things that the three speed SA is near perfect for, but for others it’s a case of you ’could’ do that on a three speed. If you have a bike with more gears then overall that (other bike) would probably be a noticeably better choice for the ride if not for durability and regular maintenance.

[ Edit. To my mind this is a very good and balanced summary by Brucey from a different and much later thread: “A 3s hub seems like it is very limited and old hat; however as a bunch of compromises (esp for commuting) it often works out much better than apparently more sophisticated options.” . viewtopic.php?f=5&t=137457#p1480072 ]

I’ve taken my vintage 10-speed (my best bike) out on local club runs with loads of modern 18-27 speeds and managed quiet well. However my local club doesn’t ride quick, my tourer is both very well set-up and I’ve both covered a lot of miles on it, and I’m a bit fitter and more experienced than some other riders on their fancier bikes (loads of gears help, but they aren’t everything and not everyone knows how to use them to advantage).

Edit. Another month of me using the Sturmey has passed and I’m still loving it if more conscious of both how I interact with it and its limitations as they are experienced by me (others might well have differing interactions and/or experiences). The Sturmey has stretched me and I’m a better rider for using it but it’s time to take the gains and to use the SA to meet my needs in a more selective way.

Shortly my ten speed bike will become my most used bike again, the three speed will be set aside for those things it excels at (such as: utility transport, rides under an hour, trails and rough surfaces and poor weather) whilst the ‘ten’ speed makes more efficient and sustainable use of what power and energy there is in my legs. Horses for courses as they say and as longer rides beckon it’s time for me to change my selected horse ... though of course it could all still be ‘managed’ on the good old AW.

Carlton green
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Re: Three Speed Day Rides and Touring, how long and how far.

Postby Carlton green » 2 Oct 2020, 10:51pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:Please to post some pictures


I’ve now discovered how to post pictures, might this one do? My ‘all purpose’ SA geared bike as being used on one of my local tracks. It’s maybe not the best bike in the World but it’s worked remarkably well in meeting my everyday cycling needs, it cost me relatively little too. What’s not to like?

The versatile box on the back takes two large carrier bags of food, or one terrier sized dog and one carrier bag. In all the years I’ve had this bike (must be getting on tor thirty) it’s never gone that far from home, but that’s my choice and even with the three speed hub it could take me virtually anywhere I asked it to. A few hours out away from home and in the country-side is usually the most that I ask of it, and for that it is near enough perfect.


B4FC5861-9EBB-4EC6-B6F9-C9E8FA498B9B.jpeg
Last edited by Carlton green on 3 Oct 2020, 3:41pm, edited 1 time in total.

Greystoke
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Re: Three Speed Day Rides and Touring, how long and how far.

Postby Greystoke » 5 Oct 2020, 8:29am

I know people like to hang onto Brooks leather saddles but yours looks like it needs attention :shock:

Sid Aluminium
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Re: Three Speed Day Rides and Touring, how long and how far.

Postby Sid Aluminium » 5 Oct 2020, 11:26pm

The Three Speed Society is once again running its annual Three Speed October challenge. This year's tasks:

https://societyofthreespeeds.wordpress.com/3spdoct/

Carlton green
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Re: Three Speed Day Rides and Touring, how long and how far.

Postby Carlton green » 6 Oct 2020, 8:48am

Greystoke wrote:I know people like to hang onto Brooks leather saddles but yours looks like it needs attention :shock:


It’s a ‘brown’ Brooks B5N which came to me second hand some decades ago, well so long ago that I don’t recall never having it. To be honest it doesn’t receive any care and I should look-up what to do with it - your prompt is well received. I adjusted the leather tensioning bolt a few weeks back, never done that before.

This old saddle is just ignored and sat on, on longer rides it doesn’t seem to feel as comfortable as it once did - improved by the re- tensioning though - but for a few hour’s ride it’s fine. The B5N a narrow saddle so I cannot expect perfect comfort (?) but it works, doesn’t entice the light fingered and (with me being a cost conscious Northerner) it was probably not expensive. In the comfort stakes the wider B17 on my tourer is better.

Sid Aluminium wrote:The Three Speed Society is once again running its annual Three Speed October challenge. This year's tasks:

https://societyofthreespeeds.wordpress.com/3spdoct/


Thanks, that’s interesting and I might well think about it. During the lockdown I was out most days on my bike for an ‘hour’, but we had the weather for it then. The Society of Three Speeds is based in North America. With modern communications the World is changing but the USA still feels remote to me and I rather wish that there was a similar group in the U.K.
Last edited by Carlton green on 6 Oct 2020, 9:06am, edited 1 time in total.

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Three Speed Day Rides and Touring, how long and how far.

Postby Cyril Haearn » 6 Oct 2020, 9:02am

@Carlton green
'rides under an hour'
I automatically thought of doing 25 miles in under 60 minutes, I guess you did not mean that :wink:

I used a sram three speed for a while, it was very impractical, huge gap between first and second, third much too high, upgraded that cycle to fixed, got a seven-speed hub gear on another cycle

Whatabout back-pedal brakes? I should never like to ride without one
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Greystoke
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Re: Three Speed Day Rides and Touring, how long and how far.

Postby Greystoke » 6 Oct 2020, 9:07am

I think your Brooks saddle probably needs some leather feed.
Living in Lincolnshire a 3 speed seems ideal although we do have hills here.

Carlton green
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Re: Three Speed Day Rides and Touring, how long and how far.

Postby Carlton green » 6 Oct 2020, 9:28am

Cyril Haearn wrote:@Carlton green
'rides under an hour'
I automatically thought of doing 25 miles in under 60 minutes, I guess you did not mean that :wink:

I used a sram three speed for a while, it was very impractical, huge gap between first and second, third much too high, upgraded that cycle to fixed, got a seven-speed hub gear on another cycle

Whatabout back-pedal brakes? I should never like to ride without one


I guess that ‘someone’ could do such fast times, IIRC there used to be a ‘Tin Can Ten’ time trial competition. (http://www.bikejumbles.co.uk/tincanten/index.html)

Picking overall gearing on a 3 speed hub is, IMHO, a bit of an art. I don’t know about the gear spread on the Sram but the AW is a ‘workable’ compromise.

My Sram 5 speed hub with back peddling hub brake was a joy to use, sadly it’s now out of production but spare parts are still available in Germany. I can’t honestly say that the AW is as good in every respect but it’s a very practical proposition - no complaints here. For winter use I’m planning to build a three speed hub wheel for my derailleur geared touring bike, that bike will be slower with a three speed hub but to balance that out I won’t need to spend time cleaning winter muck off of the transmission.