Raleigh Fireball 3 + 2 - Class 1

Aug 26, 2016
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Okay gents, this is hopefully the first of many entries. I have several bikes at the the powder coater, and this is the first one on the stand. I got this a while back and even picked up a donor bike this spring. One is a Raleigh Fireball and the other is the equivalent Canadian version, the Eaton's Glider. Both are 3 speeds, but this one will be getting the +2 treatment with a NOS Sturmey Archer 5 speed hub, and the elusive Sturmey Archer 5 Speed Twinshift with wooden knobs. The last one of these I saw on ebay sold for $450 US and was purchased by a fellow from Australia. I haven't seen one since. I'll be making mine from parts I've been collecting for a couple years. Even the NOS 5 speed hubs are crazy money. Luckily I scored 14 of these a couple years ago. Sold most of them for $300 each and kept a few for my own builds.

I'll be doing some custom touches with this bike, but not enough to move it to Class 2. You'll notice that the main difference between the UK versions of this bike and the one's sold in North America, is the seat. The UK seat is hard to come by, but I'm not too worried. I prefer the North American style seat.

How do you guys like the colour I chose??


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Aug 30, 2018
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That's really a cool ride. How do the twin shifters work? Is it a 3 speed with 2 extra gears controlled by the second shifter ?
 
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Aug 26, 2016
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That's really a cool ride. How do the twin shifters work? Is it a 3 speed with 2 extra gears controlled by the second shifter ?
This diagram outlines the shifting pattern. The right side of the hub has a typical 3 speed indicator chain. The left side of the hub uses a bell crank that is also seen in the diagram. Lots of these shifters on Aussie bikes and Choppers in the UK. I've seen NOS bell cranks sell for $150+ on ebay.

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Aug 26, 2016
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Looks like I'll be focusing on this build alone for the time being. I got a text from my powder coat guy Dale. He's hurt his arm and will be out a couple months minimum. I told him to heal up, bikes can wait. I didn't press him for details. He was having a hard time texting with one hand.

So, at least I have this one well on the way. I got started with the shifter. I have all the parts I need to make the twinshift, but there are some details that differ between the different models. There are different backing plates, body plates, covers, shifter arms, etc. You'll notice that the small wooden knob shift handle is longer than the one with the red handle. I'm hoping to make up a couple more of these twinshift models and I have 2 more of these NOS small handles coming in the mail. They were not cheap!! I purchased a few of the long handles last year as well, because I didn't want to take apart a good 3 speed sportshift, since they can fetch a couple hundred bucks on a good day. Again, those handles were not cheap. This stuff is getting harder and harder to come by. I was going to make stickers for the shifter cover, because I couldn't for the life of me find any on ebay or facebook. Strangely enough, I was digging through my parts, and I find an NOS twinshift 5 cover in the box. Then I realize I have another cover on 5 Speed Raleigh Rodeo that I had hanging in the garage. I just switched it with a chrome cover I had.

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So I started to piece this thing together. My first snag was the push washers that hold the lever on the shifter body. I had to source a replacement. Luckily I found something at the local home depot that worked and wasn't expensive. You'll also notice in the pics that the small handle on some models is riveted on, and bolted on others. I simply drilled this out and added the wooden handle.

I also got a head start on cleaning up some of the parts! Metal rescue is AMAZING for this. (similar to Evaporust)
 

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Aug 26, 2016
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I kind of stalled on this build. Too busy at work and with the little one. She's 2 and a half!! She loves riding her strider bike out in the shop and then occasionally we turn the place into dance party zone.

Anyway, I'm trying to make a decision on the seat. I've spotted a few NOS ones on ebay that I didn't pull the trigger on, and I have a few that I'm thinking about recovering. I have to visit my local upholsterer and get some vinyl. In the meantime, I finally emailed some files off for my custom decals. Here's a sample pic of the chainguard decal I designed for this build. I'm not crazy about the original Fireball DTR decal, so I came up with something new. As you can see from the pictures, my design went through several iterations before I realized that I had to actually squeeze the dimensions to make it fit the actual guard. What do you think?

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Mar 26, 2012
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Maplewood, MN
I like everything about this shop! Especially the 'kid friendly' attitude.
When my boys were this age, I used to give them a spray bottle , with just water in it, and a rag and let them clean the bottom bracket areas on the bikes when they were in the stand. Eye level! :21: Their favorite game was for them to put the valve stem end of a pump hose in their mouth, and then pump away on the handle while puffing out their cheeks! :giggle:

Dig your decal ideas and plans for the build. RaT oN~!
 
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Aug 26, 2016
236
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I like everything about this shop! Especially the 'kid friendly' attitude.
When my boys were this age, I used to give them a spray bottle , with just water in it, and a rag and let them clean the bottom bracket areas on the bikes when they were in the stand. Eye level! :21: Their favorite game was for them to put the valve stem end of a pump hose in their mouth, and then pump away on the handle while puffing out their cheeks! :giggle:

Dig your decal ideas and plans for the build. RaT oN~!
Thanks man!!