PLEASE NOTE: I try to keep as up-to-date with this page as possible. But I can’t always be on top of things. Please let me know in the comments if I missed something, or if a link is dead, or a club/organization is no longer.
General info and resources:
Sheldon Brown: Saint Sheldon had a passion for three speeds, and his site is still a “go-to” for technical and repair information. Here are the most pertinent links for three speeds:
- Servicing English Three Speeds
- Servicing Sturmey-Archer Three Speed Hubs
- Internal Gear Hubs
- Retro Raleighs
Installing and Adjusting 3-Speed Wheels. More useful basic info.
“The Oldbiketrader web site is dedicated to the promotion and continued success of Sturmey-Archer Products and Raleigh Vintage Bicycles.” They’re so retro-grouch, their website looks like it’s from 1997! (Aol email!)
Sturmey-Archer Trigger Shifters 1938-1960 by Martin Hanczyc. Interesting history!
The Bike Shed fixes and restores many a vintage bike, but a lot of them are three speeds, both of the English and American varieties. A lot of good resources on restoration and repair in the sidebar on the blog.
From the Bike Shed, a good primer to Schwinn three speeds (and adult utility single speeds) from the 1930’s through 1950’s.
Thinking about buying a Pashley Guv’nor? This blog post will have all the info you ever wanted on this retro-inspired modern “path racer”.
This weblog details bicycling and touring in Northern Ireland during the 50’s into 60’s. (Yeah, they mostly rode single speeds, but the feeling is there.)
Cycling before Lycra offers a small glimpse into British touring during the Depression/WWII era.
Oldbike is about lots of classic British bikes.
Sturmey-Archer Heritage. Dedicated exclusively to the best planetary gear hubs in the world. (Suck it, Rohloff!)
The Lake Pepin Three Speed Tour in Red Wing, Minnesota. This annual ride occurs every May. The tour is an 85 mile (135 kilometre, if you are a Francophile) circumnavigation of Lake Pepin, a natural feature of the Mississippi River with charming towns (like Wabasha, MN) and stunning views along the way. It’s typically the second or third full weekend (Saturday and Sunday) in May. In 2019 it will occur on May 18 and 19. I went for the first time in 2014, and returned in 2015, 2016, and 2018. Emee and I plan on attending in 2022! If you are in the upper Midwest, you are a heck of a lot closer than I, so I encourage you to attend! The 2022 event is May 14-15.
Forums and the like:
The Gentleman Cyclist Google group is associated with the Lake Pepin folks (see “Events”). A good list to join if you are interested in three speeds and old English bicycles.
For the Love of English 3 Speeds is a long going and very active discussion going on over at Bikeforums. A lot of info about three speeds has been shared in its 25,000 or so posts. (And over a thousand pages!) It’s a good spot to look up info, or ask a question you need answered. (Or a way to waste a day or two if you read through it all!)
While I am no fan of The Book of Face, the UK based “fan club” Society of Three Speeds UK is a good place to visit if you are so inclined.
Ride internal. A celebration of Sturmey-Archer internally geared hubs & other bits.
From Seattle, 3 Speed Seattle Blog.
From Boston: Boston Raleigh Users Group.
From Santa Fe: The Happy Little Three Speed Bicycle.
From Ireland: the old bikes home
BikeSmith Design. From Minneapolis, BikeSmith provides specialized components, tools, design services that are outside the scope of the typical bicycle shop. They specialize in such three-speed specific things like cotter pins, cotter presses, and bottom bracket cup tools.
Red Barn Classic Bicycle Accessories. A cottage industry project out of Harrisonburg, Virginia, who handmade bicycle racks, chainguards, and other functional and decorative accessories for vintage bicycles, including a rear rack to fit a Raleigh DL-1 Roadster!
Gentlemen Cyclist Parts. From the man behind the Lake Pepin event comes bits and bobs like steel pulleys and fulcrums for your Sturmey Archer cable, LED bulbs for your vintage dynamo powered headlamp, and of course the classic stainless steel tea mug. (There’s more, too!) NOTE 2 Aug 2019: Jon is having some technical difficulties, so the site is down–for now. Rest assured, it will be back up.
Aaron’s Bike Repair. This Seattle shop specializes in servicing internally geared hub bikes. They stock nearly every model of internal gear hub (like SRAM and F&S) including many vintage Sturmey Archer AWs. They are also behind Sturmey-ArcherParts.com, where you can order spare S-A parts online.
Other Bike “Clubs”:
Some other places to go if you like bikes, sending people money, and getting some cool stuff. If you are already here, you probably do.
Tarik Saleh Bike Club. The rules of TSBC are very simple:
- Ride Bikes.
- Try not to be an ass.
Association of Caffeinated Wheelers: Drink coffee, ride bikes. Ride coffee, drink bikes.
Rough Stuff Fellowship. The original off road cycle touring and mountain biking club, based in the UK. They’ve been doing it since the Sturmey Archer AW hub was king…
Grass Up The Middle. A Manchester (UK! Not Connecticut, silly) based club that rides
“green lanes”. You can buy stickers and badges from them, very cool!
St Clair River 3 Speed Touring Club. Located in the Downriver region of St. Clair County (north of Detroit), the club strives to provide touring/riding opportunities for 3 speed bicycles that would otherwise not be available in other cycling activities. (Though I hope they do something soon!)
NOTE 1 Oct 2017: Doesn’t look like anything has happened in quite some time. NOTE 30 May 2019: The site has been updated! See below:
Yes, it is true I am still here riding my 3 speed.
Since I first put this together 6 yrs ago I have moved from Anchorville to Harrison Twp. I am rather close to the Metro Parkway trail. Perhaps if I receive some contacts I’ll put something together that involves the trail and Metro Beach now called Lake St Clair Metro Park (LSCMP). Rides will either originate from LSCMP or Tucker Park at Jefferson and the spillway.
I’m going to modify my plan slightly by broadening the scope of our activities to include all internally geared hub bicycles as well as those of the mixte frame designs.
Time to drag these classic designs from the depths of your storage and get them ready. For men (don’t be bashful) and women alike.
“Dead Letter Office”:
Unfortunately there seems to be a high rate of attrition for three speed bike blogs and sites. This section keeps on getting bigger and bigger, alas. Sites that have been inactive for three or more years or have gone dark are below. (Still reachable ones are at the top of the list.) There still can be some good info obtained from perusing them, the ones you can still get to, that is.
Three Speed Hub.
A wealth of information, including loads of vintage British catalogs. Looks inactive as of 27 Sept 2018. UPDATE 6 Jan 2022: The info is still there (for how long I don’t know), but the “blog” has been taken over by spam. Sigh.
Classic Three Speeds. Another blog focused on three speeds. Pretty active in 2013, a handful of entries in 2014 and 2015, and nothing since then.
Three Speed Gallery. Reader submitted photos and text of their three speed bikes. Archives are still there, but no new submissions since November 2014.
From Portland, Little Green Bike Blog. Emily hasn’t updated since 2015, but I know she still rides her Green Raleigh Twenty!
A blog about three speeds from Toronto: Three Speed Mania. Not active since 2018.
From Pennsylvania: EATONTKDACADEMY Inactive since 2019
The Southern California Three Speed Touring Club is defunct. See comment from Noel below. Get jealous that this guy in Edmonton regularly finds pristine condition Raleighs for nothing/next to nothing. NOTE 2 AUG 2019: Looks like the site is currently down. Three Speed Bicycles. Yet more info! UPDATE 3 Oct 2017: Whereabouts unknown. Dead link. The Tin Can Ten. A hub-geared bicycle race in England. UPDATE 26 July 2016: Appears to be dead.
Semi-Complete List of 650A tires. This updated list consists of all the tires known to currently exist in the 650A size, also known commonly as 26″ x 1 3/8″, EA3, or ISO 590. This is the common size of most old three speeds. (Yes, we know, there are exceptions to this.)
UPDATE 7 Jan 2015: This link appears to be dead. We are investigating. Maybe we will have to create a new list from scratch? UPDATE 30 Jan 2016: Back from the dead, apparently! UPDATE 1 Oct 2017: Dead again. Toggle Chain Tour. Founded in the UK in 2010, the Toggle Chain Tour was first centered around an annual weekend bike ride for steel-framed hub-geared bikes. Now it’s acting as a meeting place for like-minded traditional bicyclists. . UPDATE 5 June 2022: Facebook link no longer works, oh well. UPDATE 26 July 2016: Appears to be dead. UPDATE 13 Sept 2016: The regular webpage is dead (killed by hackers) but they do have a Facebook presence. Alas, the message board is gone
3 Speed Touring in Japan.
Don used to be all about three speeds, but he’s all about bikepacking now. He finally “killed” this site, his new interests are over here. But there’s still some good three speed stuff on the old site, just dig into the archives. UPDATE 3 Oct 2017: Looks like the site is dark.
updated 6 June 2022