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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:15 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:40 pm
Posts: 150
I have a 1949 Claud Butler frame with 114mm dropout spacing. The original spec of the bike states it was available as 3, 4 or 5 speed, although Sheldon specifies this spacing as only suitable for 3 or 4 speed. I have not been able to find any hubs at this OLD, except track hubs that would normally be used with single sprockets. Does anyone know if these hubs would take a 3 or 4 speed freewheel or were there special hub designs for multi-gear set ups? I've searched the usual forums but haven't been able to find a definitive answer.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:22 pm 
rBoTM Winner
rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:18 pm
Posts: 2373
Location: California
I am by no means an expert on Clauds, or even pre 1950 bikes, but since no one has weighed in yet...

You did not mention the model but perhaps it was meant for single speed use, as a path racer or such. Three and Four speed freewheels, and corresponding hubs, were pretty common, Cyclo i think is an option as well as Regina. Attached is an Cyclo advert from 1949 showing a 5 speed set up on what looks a lot like a Claud type drop. Brampton would be another option as well as Sturmey Archer.

Out of curiosity i measured an early 60s Record hub and the shell itself is about 87mm. So in theory I could re-space this hub at 114 and simply install a 3 or 4 speed freewheel. (assuming the threading is the same.)

Alternately you could cold set it to 120 which will open up, literally, a much larger range of hub options

Steven


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:25 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:59 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Staffordshire UK
Right. You have options here. I had a similar issue with my 1949 Higgins and, as it was pretty much a historic frame decided to stay with the OLD it had and go for single fixed. All well and good, but not ideal for all circumstances. I have other bikes, so that is a luxury I can afford. I ride it in perfect conditions whenI am fit enough to cope, and that is not often!

It would be perfectly possible to get a 4 speed into that OLD. Your problem would be finding a 4 speed block in reasonable condition to use. I has been a while since they were made and they are scarce in any condition. It would not be difficult, I think, to push your OLD out to 120. This would make 5 speed possible and there are 5 speed blocks available. From my experience, steel frames bend quite easily and the only problem you have is the angle that the clamping wheel nuts meet the frame. Use the "cold setting" method and use spacers to get the OLD you need. Even 125, if you need it is not beyond reach.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:46 pm 
rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:18 pm
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Location: California
Looks like it needs a bath but it is also located in Bath

http://www.ebay.com/itm/CYCLO-4-SPEED-F ... 3cd04a7aa4


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:44 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:40 pm
Posts: 150
Thanks very much for all the advice. There are a few 3 and 4 speed freewheels around - thanks for pointing out the one in Bath - my problem is finding a suitable hub. The frame is an Avant Coureur which was advertised as 3, 4 or 5 speed. The original hubs were specified as 'Airlite'. I don't want to build it as single speed but I do have an old Airlite hub that would do the job, so that may be an option. Alternatively, I know a Sturmey 4 speed hub would fit, although that would deviate from the original spec.

I'll keep looking around for now.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:00 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 6:08 pm
Posts: 418
Location: U K
This wheel issue with older bikes is a problem - especially if, like me, you're not especially technically gifted! I was ,however,wondering if you've tried the usual vintage places - Hilary Stone, Ebay, Vintage bike cave etc, for wheels or hubs?


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