Posted on January 8th, 2014 by Broadway Bicycle School
This season we are going to meet some of the mechanics at Broadway and their bicycles. To kick things off we have Kate, Broadway Bicycle’s East Bay Californian, to talk about her ride!
You have several bikes, what all do you have now? Let’s see, I have a Raleigh Sports 3 speed, Shoppie (Broadway’s old shop bike), a re-figured hard-tail disc Trek mountain bike collecting dust, a Salsa Casserole 105 group road bike and I also own a frame and fork which I welded together with Mike Flanigan of ANT bikes and then built up into my Tour Bike.
Which one do you ride the most? In the winter, the 3 speed and in the summer I ride the Salsa Casserole. Long tours such as riding down the pacific coast is reserved for my Tour Bike, shoppie is sentimental, and the mountain bike was a very fun project that hasn’t seen a lot of mountains. One day… but probably not.
Well its winter now – tell us about the 3 speed! It’s a Raleigh Sport 3 speed from the early 60s. It has the original frame, fork, fenders, rear hub and near original chainguard. I updated the wheels by using contemporary rims and spokes with the old rear hub and a new generator front hub and installed a Phil Wood bottom bracket so I could put on a modern Sugino crank. To use the contemporary front generator hub I stretched the fork and filed the drop out but it allows for my lighting system. I have 2 halogen front generator lights – it’s like a motorcycle coming toward you.
Why did you decide to build up an old Raleigh rather than a new bike? I would say there is both an aesthetic aspect and a reliability aspect of classic 3 speed that makes them an excellent choice if you want a charming commuter bike. These bikes are fairly uncommon on the west coast and greatly reflect the European heritage of New England, at least to an outsider like me. I suppose this bike makes me feel closer to you gruff but loveable East coasters.
What types of riding do you do on your 3 speed? I Mostly use it for commuting which daily is about a 10-15 mile round-trip but I once road it to Provicetown. That was a two day camping trip which covered about 35-40 miles a day (we started in Plymouth) and was fully self-sustainable. I also ride it up to Turtle Pond in Roslindale or other watering holes in the summer time.
How did it handle the load on the trip to Provincetown? It handled the load well, it is a heavy bike so adding more weight doesn’t make it feel much different, if you can believe that.
How do you like the 3-speed for commuting? I love it, keeps you upright so you are very visible, plus it is incredibly durable. It’s also one of my funnest bikes to ride although not my fastest. Overall it makes my commute feel safe, moderately slow and pleasant.
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