Those classy English 3-speeds…

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by xeu, Nov 28, 2003.

  1. xeu

    xeu New Member

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    This thread is up as an information center for English 3-speeds. I’d like to know how they compare to the modern-day road bike when it comes to getting from point A to point B. Any experiences are welcome.

    On a more personal level, I have great interest in the Pashley Roadster. It has 28in wheels and all the typical maintenance-free commuter conveniences. My question is, would the traditional curved-in handlebars become a pain on the longer rides? I want to know how practical it would be for someone who rides around a college campus all day. Would the heaviness of the frame and upright posture make it too slow for me and too annoying for the motorists, compared to the typical road bike with an aluminum frame and drop-down handlebars?

    Dealers that I know of:
    Pashley Cycles
    Swedish Skeppshult Bikes

    Modern-day equivalents:
    Breezer Bikes
    Bianchi Cross-Terrain
     
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  2. meb

    meb New Member

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    Been over 25 years since I've ridden one of those.

    By curved in handlebars I suspect you are refering to cruiser type handlebars. If so, they are very comfortable but poor areodynamically. The more upright position will be easier on a back, but slightly less control in handling due a higher rider center of gravity.

    The English 3 speeds will be slower getting from point A to B than the road bike. Won't be too bad on campus since unlike the deraileur bike you can shift when stopped (particularly when stop by surprise). The internal gear hubs will be more reliable and maintenance free than deraileur based bikes. The thin tires will give you comparable low rolling resistance to the road bikes, so at low speed you won't have any signifianct more effort than a road bike.

    Be more problematic if you travel in hilly areas, no very low gear uphill or very high gear downhill (and the aero again).
     
  3. xeu

    xeu New Member

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    Yes, I was worried about those because it seems as though the more long-range bikes have arm-resters protruding up out the ends of the handlebars or swooping down. I can expect maybe a 5 mi ride to and from campus every day so hopefully it will be comfortable.

    I'm planning on getting the dual top tube version which is probably a little too big for me. Maybe I'll be forced into a more dropped position.. I certainly don't like the idea of being a parachute..

    Might prove to be good exercise : )
     
  4. msrw

    msrw New Member

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    From an American perspective, the 3 speed English Racer type bicycle became extinct about 25 years ago. However, the basic design lived on and continued to evolve in Europe. The modern versions of these bikes are really outstanding--they now have 7 or 8 speed internal gears, drum or roller brakes, high quality aluminum frames, lightweight alloy wheels, a full chain case, built in lighting, very functional rear racks and fenders.

    I have a Gazelle Touche; my wife has a Gazelle Davos. We bought them from a dealer in the UK. In our experience, there is simply no better commuting or around town type of bicycle.

    I routinely commute to work wearing a business suit--no chance of bumping a greasy chain, since the thing is totally enclosed.

    How well do they ride? Without too much difficulty, I can draft along behind most of the fitness riders I encounter here in Miami, even when returning from work. A fully equipped Gazelle weighs about 40 something lbs., but the build and material quality are both exceptional, so the bikes perform very very well.

    You sit upright, not in any sort of tucked racer position. This is much more comfortable for short distances.

    I would rate the build quality and design as at the same level as my Campy Ergo Record equipped Litespeed Tuscany. No kidding.

    Gazelle is the high end of the market for utility bikes. Their web site is www.gazelle.nl. The Dutch section has better info than does the English language section.

    One of the British dealers also has a very informative web site. This is: www.cycleheaven.co.uk.

    The bottom line: I think you're right that this basic type of bicycle is ideal for utility, commuter and around town applications.
     
  5. james Haury

    james Haury New Member

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    Check out the Bike friday web site to see what world traveler Heinz Stucke has done on a 3 speed it will astound you!:p
     
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