Say “Hi” to the Speedwell Classique 3.
We’re into the 1970s again and the days of Australian made Speedwells are over – but this one is a throwback to the days of the classic ladies’ 3-speed roadster. It’s a basic design that will never die, though in this case is influenced by the 70s era ten-speed boom in its frame design and angles, and with typical period 27″ wheels.
There are even modern 700c equivalents still being made, like the 3-speed versions of the Giant “Via” step-through, not to mention the many new ‘retro’ step-through bikes that are available these days.
This one was appealing to me because it’s in reasonable condition and complete with the original “Speedwell” sprung saddle, painted and lined mudguards, and matching painted chainguard.
It’s Taiwanese made, and the Shimano 3S hub with trigger shifter is the same that I bought new to “upgrade” my old Speedwell coaster braked roadster so many years ago.
There is an art to pre-visualising – or imagining in the mind’s eye how an old bike will look when refurbished and this one’s looking pretty good to me !
It does need a complete overhaul with special attention to the wheels and bottom bracket, and so hopefully will be interesting to follow as a project, especially if you are restoring something similar yourself . There will be decisions here on what to retain and what to replace, depending on condition, looks and performance.
Does it have to be strictly original or a modern (sometimes!) improvement ? Your choice.
In my case I would never consider repainting this frame – “it’s only original once” !
Above is the butcher’s method to cotter pin removal, drilling into the pin’s head – but with care it works well. I use it when all other methods fail. I don’t have a pin press but use a hammer and punch and releasing agent first.
It’s very important to avoid damaging the crank or axle with the drill if you want to re-use them, and to support the crank on a notched block of wood while banging away at the pin, or the bearing surfaces may be ruined.
If you’re sure you are going to scrap them then it doesn’t matter, I guess.
In this case the heat of drilling must have loosened the rust bond as the pin tapped out without going all the way with the drill. I knew the bearings were no good from the initial feel of the rotation but it’s always better to be gentle in case they can be saved.
This job would have been much harder on the drive side as the chain wheel tends to foul the drill – but it tapped out OK.
And this is what your complete overhaul ‘parts box’ might look like after the bike has been fully dismantled.
And remember to take some time off between dirty jobs …
See Ya !