Tag Archives: 3 speed

A Not So Brief Introduction.

Made in England

Well, it is now technically Spring and ones mind turn to bikes….of course.

And this last week-end I just picked up a bike that we’ll all get very familiar with.  This is the bike in which I’m going to use for this blogs section on cleaning, and refurbishing an old three speed.  I picked this one up from a Craigslist ad,  It’cost…$25.00.

So without further ado let me introduce to you the 1960 Phillips Manhattan.

Right Side

Sorry, it’s not the greatest photograph, but there will be many more of it as time goes on.  (And note this pic is still better than 75% of the pics on Ebay or Craigslist.)

HeadbadgeTailSeat tube decal


So obviously it’s a Phillips Manhattan.  This bike was supposedly made by Phillips for the American market.  And though I will say that some made it over here, I’m not totally convinced because if you look closely at the picture of the seat tube (the one with the Manhattan logo) you’ll notice that the tail light is on the right side of the bike which is where one would mount a rear bike light if one were to ride in England where they drive on the wrong side of the road (though watching most people, I’m not so sure there is a wrong or right side of the road to drive on anymore).

Some of the not so obvious hints that this is Phillips are found in some of the little details.  Like the Phillips Dimples on the fork.

Phillips Fork Dimiples


In the picture above you’re looking at the front fork from the left hand side of the bike.  If you look at those sideways chrome (granted it’s hard to tell they’re chrome in the picture) D’s where the “tines” in the fork meet.  Those are a very specific design aspect of Phillips bicycles.

Also they have some other things to note, for when you’re looking at old three speeds which might lack markings. Like the Front and rear lugs.

Front forkAg Dynohub


I’m not going to say a whole lot about these.  I’m kinda working on a side project about different drop outs where this subject will be explored much more in-depth.  Though astute readers will notice something a little unusual about the second photo.  It’s a Sturmey Archer AG.

The AG is basically the standard AW hub, but with a dyno in it.  For those that don’t already know what a dyno is I will explain.  The dyno produces electricity for the lighting system.  This technology has really caught on recently with bike commuters, and many think it’s a fairly recent invention.  But many don’t realize that it was invented by Sturmey Archer in the early 50’s.  It’s fun to look back at some of the ads for them back in the cold war days, because they claim it works great for lighting up fall out shelters and for emergency lighting.  Though I got one on my Superbe and honestly the light is pretty much there to keep me street legal at night, but I don’t really use it to see anything because the light is pretty dim.

Currently I’m not sure if the dyno works.  If you look closely you’ll notice one of the connectors is disconnected.  And even if it was hook up there is a good chance the bulbs are burned out.  We’ll find out if it works together when I get to that aspect of the rebuild.  I should note though that the hub shifts perfectly, and because of that I’m hopeful the dyno works.

Ag Hub date Stamp


For those that don’t know already, the hub is the standard for dating these bikes.  All Sturmey Archer hubs until fairly recently have a date of manufacture stamped on them.  Here you will see the numbers 60 and 6 stamped under the S-A logo.  60 would be the year, and the 6 would be the month.  Since the hub was made in June of 1960, this bike was probably built in the late summer/early fall of 1960.



A quick look at the cockpit.  You’ll notice that the shifter is age appropriate.  And despite the fact that 80% of the frame is worn to the primer coat (see the first picture and you’ll see a small amount of the red that was preserved by being under the cable clip for most it’s life), the shifter looks amazing.  It’s not unusual at all for all the paint to missing from an old shifter.

Last but not least, lets look at that chainguard.

Chain Guard

Despite it’s coolness.  I’m debating if I should ditch this part.  First it’s missing a part.  There should be a small piece that covers the gap in the lower left part of the first picture.  Second these all metal chain guards are horrible.  They look cool, but they’re a pain in the butt to remove .  As much as I’d like to keep the bike all original, this coupled with the severe rust on the rear fender make this goal really difficult.  Not impossible, but it’ll take a lot of extra time sourcing the missing parts and money.  And since this bike is a little too small for me, I’m most likely going to sell it once it’s done.

So basically here she is.  Get use to her.  You’re going to see a lot of this bike in the near future.

A couple more pictures and features.

Oil Port on Front Hub          Don’t need to grease these bearings.  Just add oil.

Peddle and Oil Port     Phillips pedals and an oil port on the bottom bracket too.