FYI: I do wholesale!

Urban Adventure League

Folks, I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but I am down with selling my comics, zines, buttons, and postcards to stores! I offer a wholesale price of 50% off “cover” price on my sundries.

You can be a bookstore, a comic store, a zine shop (if they still exist), a cool bike shop, or some other place that would like to sell my wares.

A few notes:

  • You’ll need to at least buy five items to qualify. I’m not going to give wholesale price to one or two items. And by items I mean “piece”. You can order two of New Old Stock 2.125, one of New Old Stock 1 3/8, and two of New Old Stock 333 to qualify.
  • The discount applies to individual items, not to multi-packs or any discount offers.
  • The discount applies to the regular (“cover”) price, not sale prices (unless otherwise noted.)
  • Not…

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A SoTS membership pack update

Hello folks! The Society of Three Speeds membership kit is still in process. I’ve got the patches, buttons, and stickers OK. I’m still finishing up some of the “other” stuff. What is this other stuff, you may ask? Well, you’re going to have to wait and see!

I said I’d be getting the kits out by the end of January. That’s still a few weeks away, so everything looks to be on schedule. You can still get in on the action and order your kit here.

Reminder: Three Speed Get-Together this Saturday, January 19th!

Hey folks! Just a friendly reminder that the Get-Together is this weekend! We’ve had a few people sign up. If you are thinking of coming, please register via Eventbrite. This way I know how much of a space to reserve at Montavilla Brew Works. Registration is free, and takes maybe two minutes.


All within traveling distance of Portland, Oregon are invited to a meeting between 4 PM and 6: 30 PM on Saturday January 19th at Montavilla Brew Works, 7805 SE Stark St., Portland, Oregon, USA.

This event is FREE, but all beverages will be paid for by YOU. Montavilla Brew Works has no kitchen so no onsite food besides a few snacks. However, they allow outside food, and there are HEAPS of options within a couple blocks of the brewery. You will not go hungry!

After the gathering, if people are willing and the weather’s okay, we may go for a ride. So, it is best to bring your Three Speed bicycle to show off and use! (And it’ll be dark and maybe wet, bring lights and rain gear for that.)

Things that will happen at the gathering:

  • A State Of The Three Speeds Address
  • Prizes!
  • Society of Three Speeds Memberships sold at just $20 (would be $27 if purchased online)
  • Discussion of upcoming Society of Three Speeds events for 2019
  • Other random crap to be determined.

Pre-registration is encouraged. I need to get a handle on how many of you folks will be showing up so I can reserve the appropriate amount of space. Registration is free and takes two minutes. Please register here.

And for those of you coming from out of town: Make it a Three Speed Weekend! The following day I’ll be leading my (mostly) annual Palm Tree Ride. We’ll be meeting up in the same neighborhood, at at Fillmore, 7201 NE Glisan St at 11 AM. We depart at 11:30 AM. This ride will be three speed friendly. Find more details on the ride here.

Some new stuff from the internets

So last week I mentioned how there seemed to be a lack of new three speed bike blogs. Of course, someone has to go prove me wrong! Paul just started The Happy Little Three Speed Blog to talk about his converted Schwinn Le Tour. It’s only one post long (so far), but let’s hope there’ll be more!

And someone pointed to this interesting history paper: Sturmey-Archer Trigger Shifters 1938-1960 by Martin Hanczyc. It’s a fascinating bit of overlooked three speed history. Check it out!

Three Speed Dead Letter Office

…or “Dead Blog Office”, to be more exact. (And no, this three speed blog ain’t dying.)

Since really getting into three speeds in 2010, I have spent many an hour scouring the internets for three speed content. There’s a lot of good stuff out there if you check the corners of Instagram. The #hashtags #threespeed and #sturmeyarcher are good ones to seek. And tumblr has Rideinternal, a good source of all things three speed.

But blogs? It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a new three speed bike blog. Heck, most of the three speed bike blogs I’ve followed over the years have gone the way of the three speed–er, dodo.

I still come across three speed blogs that I didn’t know exist, from back in the day. I just found about the Night Heron Project blog, an account of one man’s attempt to convert a Raleigh International* into a path racer three speed. But frustratingly, this blog is only five posts long, and we never saw the finished result (if there was a finished result.)

The blog only lasted for a month in the beginning of 2012. The same writer also was partially behind the Raleigh DL-1 Fan Club blog, which went on longer than the Night Heron one, but not by much. It died off in 2013, which was the era of The Great Blog Die-Off. Now much of this three speed talk happens on Instagram or the Book of Face.

UPDATE: I got in touch with Sean of the Night Heron blog and he had this to say: “I ended up using an early 80s Dawes Atlantis frame, since the International frame turned out to be too big for me (I do still have it tho). Night Heron became, and continues as, my main ride.” A pic of that steed is here.

And I can understand. For a lot of folks into three speeds, posting photos to Instagram is easier than blogging. There’s maybe only so many ways to talk about three speeds in a blog format. Heck, some of the existing three speed blogs may be better suited for IG or tumblr.

And who am I to talk? This blog isn’t exactly “hopping”. I have good intentions to post here regularly, but I don’t always have something to say about three speeds. I don’t simply want to become a repeater of other three speed content, and I don’t want this blog to just be a bunch of photos either. You can look at my IG or flickr for that.

Still, there are three speed blogs out there that post regularly and have good content. I always enjoy a post from The Bike Shed. He goes into good detail about his bike projects, and ends up finding some cool bikes.

Still, I wish there were more three speed blogs out there. The best I can do is make sure to post here more often!

*Calm down. When he bought the International it was already a single speed.


The Return of the Superbe

Dear readers of this blog: You may have noticed a dearth of photos of my Raleigh Superbe over the past six months or so. The biggest reason for this was that when it came to a three speed in 2018, I mostly went with the Robin Hood path racer. This was because it was the new sexy bike for the year.

But I still love the Superbe, and as summer wore I was itching to ride it more for one simple reason: capacity. The Robin Hood has no racks, so it’s whatever I can fit into a Carradice Nelson or Camper longflap bags. I can do some basic commutes on it, but grocery shopping is difficult. And I’m avoiding the urge to rackify the bike, as I want to keep it that sexy stripped down path racer. Besides, I do have a three speed set up to carry more stuff, and it’s the Superbe.

But the Superbe had issues. It wasn’t shifting properly. No, it wasn’t slipping, but not wanting to get into appropriate gears. The trigger would be in 3 but I’d get 2. And if I had it in 2 I’d get 1.

I thought that the new panniers were the issue, since the drive-side one would rest against the shifter cable near where it goes into the hub. But then I’d ride it without that pannier touching the cable, and…same thing. So I thought it might just be the cable, so I got it replaced. And…same thing.

It took me awhile to get around to bringing the Superbe in; the problem/benefit when having multiple three speeds is you can just switch to a different bike if one is acting up. But I finally brought it into the shop and opened the hub up. They thought it might be a broken or stiff clutch spring, but that wasn’t it. Nope, the hub finally wore itself down. So a donor hub of 1972 vintage was located, and plopped in. Now she works as good as new!

The bad hub had a good life. The wheel on the Superbe came from the long-dead Raleigh Wayfarer.* That bike originally had a hub from 1956 when I got it, but the hub wasn’t working so Mr. Raving Bike Fiend plopped in the guts of a ’54 hub to get it working. That was just about eight years ago. So I got a good bit of constant duty out of that hub!

Now that the Superbe has been fixed, I’ve been riding her a bunch. I love the upright civilised riding position of this bike (Nitto Albatross Bars), the widish Col de la Vie tires, the beutiliarian Pletscher rear rack, the funky aluminum Swedish double legged kickstand. The bike looks great, rides great, and is supremely functional. I can see why someone called British Three Speeds the ultimate in utilitarian cycling!

I’ve had the Superbe for over three years now, and hope to ride her for many more.

*The original wheel of the Superbe ended up on the Robin Hood. I took it off at some point to put the alloy-rimmed Wayfarer wheel on instead. So I used the steel-rimmed Supbere wheel on the Robin Hood until the spokes started to break, and now that 1968 hub is built into another alloy rim. Yeah, at some point I should get around to switching wheels.