Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spring Slowly Returns- Schwinn New World



Slowly but surely, the warmer weather is returning to Virginia. We broke 60 last weekend, and broke 60 again yesterday. Today is in the 50's, though this week is supposed to be chillier. Nevertheless, recent rains have washed away the road salts, and the weather is warm enough for some fun riding.







This past couple of weeks, I have been riding the 1940 New World. You may recall, this was the bike I bought as a core, then built up some nice wheels and put some nice parts onto it. The bike is very agile and, with its aluminum rims, quite light for a 75 year old, steel bicycle.

This bicycle also varies from my 1947 New World. The 1947 has "flat" type touring bars and a lower stem. This 1940 New World has a tall stem with a set of 1940s-era Wald bars that have a little more rise and pullback to them.










This New World rides a lot like a Raleigh Sports because everything in the cockpit is closer together than otherwise would be, considering the slack frame. I like that.









As a side note- I spent a substantial part of the winter after New Years rebuilding some guitars/basses/amplifiers. They are not the topic of this web log, but still something interesting.























Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sturmey Archer Hub Gear Ratio Notes

One of the nice things about Sturmey Archer AW hubs with the 3-spline cog is that you can change your gear ratio as needed.

For Sturmey Archer AW sizing in a 26 inch wheel I like:

[Front] - [Back]

(Note if you are running a conversion cog and inch pitch gearing, divide these numbers of teeth in half)

Very Hilly Terrain:

2-1 (46-23), (48-24)- this ratio is the max low that Sturmey Archer suggested back in the day for the AW hub. They suggested not going lower because they believed it exerted too much force on the hub internals. I've not tested this theory, but 2-1 is pretty low. N is mostly a climbing gear but not bad on a flat into the wind. I suppose you could go lower, but I don't press it with older hubs and I stick to the old Sturmey Archer advice. Perhaps the modern hubs will tolerate it, but I haven't messed around with new hubs much.

Moderately Hilly: 

46-22, 48-23- works reasonably well. Goes OK on a flat. Can climb in L, or smaller hills in N. Has slightly more top end than 2-1 but not much.


Somewhat hilly, or if you like a lower gear a little below stock: 

46-20, 46-21, 48-22, 48-21- Climb mostly in L, N is peppy enough to run well on a flat or into a breeze. I like this ratio for all-around riding. It's a little slower than stock, but I like how it lets you "spin" a little more and is easier on the knees than stock.

Flat:

46-18, 48-18 (18 is stock), 48-20- I think Sturmey Archer set the stock gear ratio too high on these hubs. 18 strikes me as not making the most of that low gear for climbing. On a flat, stock goes well (or 20 on a 48 tooth sprocket), but your climbing is somewhat limited and you may need low gear for going into the wind. I don't run any of my AWs with an 18 tooth cog anymore.

Top end boost:

46-16, 48-16 (this is if you want a really high gear and a lot of top end speed) I fooled with this briefly but didn't like it. It's fast but you had better live in a very flat area.

FW and SW Notes:


The rule I follow for the FW-  the gear ratio when converting between AW and FW is that the FW should be 1 tooth on the rear cog higher (smaller cog) than for the AW. The reason for this is that the FW has a lower high gear than the AW does, while providing a bottom gear. The second gear "L" is slightly higher than the AW's L but the AW doesn't have Bottom. That said, if you want max climbing, go 2-1 on the FW and you'll have better climbing than the AW. I run my Raleigh 4-speed (1958) sports 2-1 because I wanted a "climber" alternative to my standard 3-speed sports (1974). The FW is a lot of fun as well and a nice alternative if you want bottom gear.

For the SW, I don't like changing the ratio substantially because the hubs tend to cam-out more if you put a big cog on the rear, at least in my experience. I also suggest swapping out the SW on any bike you're going to ride substantially, or be climbing with. The AW is the way to go over the SW.
 
For Sturmey Archer sizing I like:
[Front] - [Back]
Very Hilly Terrain:
2-1 (46-23), (48-24)- this ratio is the max low that Sturmey Archer suggested back in the day for the AW hub. They suggested not going lower because they believed it exerted too much force on the hub internals. I've not tested this theory, but 2-1 is pretty low. N is mostly a climbing gear but not bad on a flat into the wind.

Moderately Hilly: works reasonably well. Goes OK on a flat. Can climb in L, or smaller hills in N.
46-22, 48-23

Somewhat hilly, or if you like a lower gear: Climb mostly in L, N is peppy.
46-20, 46-21, 48-22, 48-21

Flat:
46-18, 48-18 (18 is stock), 48-20

Top end boost:

46-16, 48-16 (this is if you want a really high gear and a lot of top end speed)

For Sturmey Archer sizing I like:
[Front] - [Back]
Very Hilly Terrain:
2-1 (46-23), (48-24)- this ratio is the max low that Sturmey Archer suggested back in the day for the AW hub. They suggested not going lower because they believed it exerted too much force on the hub internals. I've not tested this theory, but 2-1 is pretty low. N is mostly a climbing gear but not bad on a flat into the wind.

Moderately Hilly: works reasonably well. Goes OK on a flat. Can climb in L, or smaller hills in N.
46-22, 48-23

Somewhat hilly, or if you like a lower gear: Climb mostly in L, N is peppy.
46-20, 46-21, 48-22, 48-21

Flat:
46-18, 48-18 (18 is stock), 48-20

Top end boost:

46-16, 48-16 (this is if you want a really high gear and a lot of top end speed)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

1940 Schwinn New World


The 1940 Schwinn New World project nears completion. Just a few final adjustments left. I removed the front spring from the knock-off "Brooks" saddle. I'll post a review of the saddle once I have more miles on it. I also need to get a saddle bag for the bike, probably another Banjo Brothers barrel bag. Now for the important part... pictures.












 The "four peg hole" sprocket looks a lot like the more common "cloverleaf" from the 1950s-60s, but is actually a much less common and earlier part. The telltale sign is the four holes toward the center of the sprocket.





This is the original Yale key for the locking fork. I had a duplicate made for use while riding.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

1940 Schwinn New World

Still working on a 1940 New World project I picked up this fall. I've had to manufacture a few small parts for it, tweak a few things, and adjust a few things, but it is starting to come together.











The bicycle is a mix of old and new. The rims are Sun CR 18 aluminum types. The spokes are stainless, but the hubs are vintage. The rear is the uncommon Sturmey Archer alloy and the front is a Schwinn Script hub. The tires are new Kendas in the English ISO 599mm size.









Shifter is a 1940s Sturmey Archer quadrant, but the shifter cable is new. Grips are reproduction coke bottles.













The stem originally was from a Schwinn Cycletruck, but someone cut it down. I re-shaped it with a Dremel tool to accept a normal wedge. The AS bolts on the stem are reproduction, as is the AS seat bolt. The saddle is a generic, but still leather, reproduction. Rear reflector is original glass Stimsonite.










Brake calipers are original "Schwinn Built" type, as are the brake handles. Pedals are AS stamped originals.