Freeliner with 3 x 1 gearing is GO!

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JA331

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The Freeliner has been patiently waiting in the garage while I’ve been working on Outkast, so today I gave it some love and fitted the wheel set.

I thought I would need to buy a freewheel for the Sturmey hub but discovered the 18t ACS one I removed from my Kos last year fitted perfectly. The other bonus was the freewheel uses a narrow 3/32 chain to suit the chainrings on the crank I am using. I’ll be even more surprised if my plans are successful for a 3 speed klunker using a front derailleur to change chainrings with the rear derailleur working only as a tensioner.

I’ll get more done on it during the week as I need to rush to mow the lawn before the next downpour.

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Son of Kradus

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hey man, the bikes looking great! I been thinking about the derailure system you want, I rekon if you use the front derailure to swap between 3 cogs then only have a tensioner running off the chainstay, in some sort of fashion to cop the slack when swapping cogs up front, if you try to keep the ratios of them front cogs sort of closer than usual then there wont be too much travel for the tensioner when say going from the smallest to biggest etc, this way you may still be allowed to have that coaster brake and the front derailure
Sort of similar to the tensioner I used on blue meanie! the first chain drive has no adjustment so to counter this I put a tensioner in so the chain never go's slack and its easy to remover the chain if ya have too.
 

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JA331

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The rear hub has a freewheel with a drum brake and I think the rear derailleur should work fine as a tensioner. I checked the chainrings on the cranks and the ratios are spaced about 30% apart. The middle chainring has 36t and the freewheel is 18t so I think it should ride nice. How are you doing up north with the rain and flooding? It is shocking down here.
 

Son of Kradus

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The rear hub has a freewheel with a drum brake and I think the rear derailleur should work fine as a tensioner. I checked the chainrings on the cranks and the ratios are spaced about 30% apart. The middle chainring has 36t and the freewheel is 18t so I think it should ride nice. How are you doing up north with the rain and flooding? It is shocking down here.
dodged a bullet this time round, we still got a small flood comming in the next day or 2 from beaudesert. when it floods out that way it has to pass through our suburb, houses are fine but the boat ramp and parks all go under!
saw on the news the system from victoria will combine with ours coming down, prepare yourself! some of these rain events we havnt seen before so they really dont know whats gonna happen, we only been in this part of the world for 200 yrs, LOL
 

OddJob

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This build is looking good! That rear drum brake makes the upper part of the frame look clean. Of course there's no cabling yet, but I like your idea.

I have thought to do a front derailleur, multi chain ring, single cog build for some time. There have been a few attempts by others, but I don't recall one that worked without a hitch of some kind. Either braking was affected, or chains were dropped, or gears didn't quite match up. If you do have trouble with the triple, you could always go to a 2 X 1 and used your top 2 rings or the bottom 2, depending if you need help with hills in your area, or you want a higher top speed. That would decrease the chance for chain tension and shifting issues.

Keep those progress posts and photos coming! The 'ghost fans' are loving it already....

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JA331

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Love your work man and thanks for the advice. The bars are Electra attitude and the saddle was salvaged from a Viva lady’s bike.
 

JA331

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I did a quick assembly today. To my amazement the 3 x 1 gear system works perfectly. I locked the rear derailleur in the position it needed to be to get a decent chain line, using a short section of brake cable. It all came together a lot easier than I thought and is testament to the quality of the 35+ year old Japanese parts.

I took the bike for a quick ride and the gear spacing feels similar to a Nexus 3 speed. The Chang star front canti brake and Sturmey Archer rear drum work well. I'll need to search my parts bins for a quick release binder bolt for the seat post clamp like the old klunkers used.

Hopefully we get a clear day soon so I can take it for a longer ride before pulling it down for paint or a brighter bare metal finish.

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twojs.bike

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I am not following how you locked the rear derailleur with brake cable? I understand why just not how. Could you lock it in place with the limit screws?
 

JA331

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Hey Matti, it rides far better than I expected. I had it assembled back in 2020 (photo below) with a traditional stem and handlebar and the bike felt small and uncomfortable but the long stem and taller bars has transformed it.

It also feels really responsive because it weighs only 31lbs/13.8kgs and has a simple freewheel.
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OddJob

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Wow! Congrats on the 3 X 1 drive train success!

There is a high cool factor on this bike. The caliper brakes, saddle, thumbie shifter, drum brake, knobbies; the list goes on!

I'm trying to envision a cool paint you could do to the frame, I really like the brilliant green on the fork! Hope you can find a color to compliment it.
 

Ulu

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I like this frame a lot. It reminds me of my old Schwinn in design.

I’m not a knobby-tired bicycle kind a guy, but this is coming along very nicely.

Is that a drum brake with brake shoes or is that a drum brake with a contracting band?
 

JA331

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I like this frame a lot. It reminds me of my old Schwinn in design.

I’m not a knobby-tired bicycle kind a guy, but this is coming along very nicely.

Is that a drum brake with brake shoes or is that a drum brake with a contracting band?
Wow! Congrats on the 3 X 1 drive train success!

There is a high cool factor on this bike. The caliper brakes, saddle, thumbie shifter, drum brake, knobbies; the list goes on!

I'm trying to envision a cool paint you could do to the frame, I really like the brilliant green on the fork! Hope you can find a color to compliment it.
Thanks Oddjob.
 

JA331

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I like this frame a lot. It reminds me of my old Schwinn in design.

I’m not a knobby-tired bicycle kind a guy, but this is coming along very nicely.

Is that a drum brake with brake shoes or is that a drum brake with a contracting band?
The frame is a 1936 Schwinn but the bike it came from was branded B.F. Goodrich. The drum brake has 2 shoes and works well.
 
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I may try your concept to use a freewheel 20" BMX wheel on a 26" frame. Oh, I wonder what the gearing will be like on that combo!
 

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