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My Old Robin Hood
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by Sheldon "Sherwood" Brown
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Robin Hood bicycle

My Old Commuting Bike

This old Robin Hood was abandoned in a friend's backyard, probably by a Harvard student. For a number of years in the '70s, when I lived in Boston and worked in Cambridge, this was my main utility transport.

Whenever I was around anybody who was using paint, I'd borrow the brush and dab a few splotches onto it, to deter thieves. I painted every part of it, except for the saddle.

Although this looks like a 3-speed, it was actually a 5-speed, with the innards of a Sturmey-Archer 5-speed hub inserted into the 3-speed shell.

The front brake was an old Altenburger dual-pivot sidepull, the rear a Weinmann centerpull.

On occasion, I used a front tire with home-made studs, made from galvanized roofing nails. I don't think that tire was installed at the time this photo was taken.

I installed a Dynohub lighting system, with a battery backup, using a 6-volt lantern battery which I would normally tape to the seat tube, resting on the shelf bracket you can see in the photo. The headlight is a modified Elite battery light, with the full-wave rectifier inside of it to convert the AC output of the Dynohub into DC. The light is held by a vertical piece of steel, which is held to the axle by the axle nut.

This bike was also equpped with a Trygg double-leg kickstand, and, most unusually, a pair of Campagnolo rubber pedals with reflectors. I've never seen nor heard of another pair of these pedals.

After I moved to the 'burbs, I no longer needed this bike, so I gave it to my nephew, who still has it.

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English Links

English 3-Speeds

Retro Raleighs

Raleigh Parts Threading/Interchangeability

Three-Speed Parts from Harris Cyclery

Sturmey-Archer Hubs

Sturmey-Archer Brochures 1935-38

You'll need a fast connection for this.

Sturmey-Archer 1902-1952

Evolution of the Raleigh Sports

The Raleigh Twenty

Some of My Raleighs:


Sturmey-Archer Heritage Site

Martin Hanczyc's roadster pages.

Tony Hadland's Sturmey-Archer Pages

Tony Hadland on the history of Raleigh

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Sheldon Brown's Personal Pages

Articles by Sheldon Brown and Others

Copyright © 1997, 2008 Sheldon Brown

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Last Updated: by John Allen