The death of a three speed. (A sad tale, indeed.)

Thursday was a nice day around these parts, but I didn’t plan on taking a ride as the initial forecast wasn’t promising. However, I decided to do some bike maintenance. I wanted to do a few more things to the Crested Butte, but there was a couple things I also wanted to do to the Raleigh Wayfarer. So I got the portable bike stand out and put the Wayfarer in.

And that’s when I noticed something horrible. The seatstay on the right side had separated from the set cluster.

No no no no no! Why? And what could have done it? Did my futzing with the stand’s clamp somehow torque the seatstay away from the cluster? Did it break earlier and I had not noticed it? Come to think of it, I had been getting a weird noise for over a month, something I attributed to pedal bearings. Could this have been it? Well, what’s done is done.

And now what?

I promptly emailed the Raving Bike Fiend with photos. He suggested that the break could be fixed with a simple weld. But in my head, it was over. I had already decided the Wayfarer was done. I didn’t want to attempt to fix this frame.

To me the answer was clear: transfer the wheels, dynamo lighting setup, rack, and some other items over to my Rudge Sports.

I’ve had the Rudge for over a year, but haven’t ridden it that much because of steel wheels and lack of fenders. Now I would affix the good stuff from the Wayfarer and have a perfectly rideable bike. It would have a sportier setup than the Wayfarer, but that’s okay, especially since I already had a perfectly good upright riding setup with the Raleigh Crested Butte. So full speed ahead with Rudge Sports 2.0.

You might be thinking: Why the detachment? Didn’t the Wayfarer mean a lot to you? Well, yes. The Wayfarer was a great bike. It got me around for over two years. And it was my introduction into the world of British bikes. It started an obsession that has carried on to this day.

But it’s an object. While it is an object that has had special meaning to me, there are many other objects pretty much like it (like the Rudge). It served me well, but it’s time to move on.

In retrospect, it’s fitting that the Rudge Sports wasn’t ready for the Three Speed Ride on Sunday. This gave me one last good ride with the Wayfarer. It’s a fitting end to a great bike. Now, it’s onto the Rudge.

And there is the possibility of another old three speed coming into the stable, as the Raving Bike Fiend wants to sell me a sweet 50’s Raleigh Sports. If one was that way, one might think the Bike Fiend sabotaged the Wayfarer in order to encourage me to buy the Raleigh Sports. 😉


One thought on “The death of a three speed. (A sad tale, indeed.)

  1. Robin says:

    Hi, Shawn.
    I got your postcard today- I forgot to mention that I’d moved (last August and then again 10 days ago), so I’ll write back via our respective postal services with my new (for now) address.

    I’m leaving this comment to beseech you to at least keep the frame alive through donation or something. Maybe CL it for free, mentioning the needed repair…

    I understand if you’re done with it, but isn’t one of the properties we (collective we) always trumpet about steel bikes is that they can be repaired?

    Best & warmest regards,
    Victoria, BC

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