Three Speed Spotted: “Stella”

There are plenty of three-speeds out there that are “purpose built”, meaning they were designed to be three speeds. But it’s always interesting to spot a bike that wasn’t originally a three-speed turned into one. I’ve always said that 70’s sport-touring bikes, ye olde ten speeds of the Bike Boom (and beyond) make great candidates. So much so that I converted a 70’s Univega Safari Ten to one several years back!

Today’s find was spotted outside a corporate grocery last Sunday. The make of the bike is “Stella” and it looks very 70’s. I don’t know what country this bike is from. Stella sounds like it could be Italian or maybe French, but it could also be a Japanese bike masquerading as a French/Italian bike. Anyways, it looks like a very appropriate mount, with porteur front rack, classy rear rack, cork grips, and Brooks saddle.

And yep, it’s a three speed! Rather than the more common Sturmey-Archer AW three speed hub, this uses the more exotic SRF-3 hub. I didn’t encounter the owner, but left some flyers on that very convenient porteur rack with bungees. I did see the owner riding along the Esplanade a few days later but he was too far away to say anything. Supposedly the owner is one Josh D. Josh D, if you are out there, feel free to get in touch. And please come on the ride on Sunday!

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2 thoughts on “Three Speed Spotted: “Stella”

  1. 1) I interviewed a gentleman named Ray Keener who talked about selling French-made Stellas in the 1970s. Ray worked for Bevil Hogg, who later co-founded Trek. Here’s the link: http://16incheswestofpeoria.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/after-the-boom-ray-keener-talks-bicycles-in-the-1970s-and-business-today/

    2) I still hope against hope that the Raleigh International I converted into an orange three-speed with cantilever brakes more than 20 years ago is still roaming the land, somewhere.

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