According to Babelfish, that means Two Three Speeds.
If you're not into old bikes at all, this entry is going to be even duller than usual. If you have a passing interest, these bikes might be of interest. These bikes are a slightly different tack than the usual English three-speed bicycles. These are German three-speeds. They're called Rabeneicks, I'm guessing they're from 1958 or so (based on Sturmey Archer hub vintages), and they're down at One on One Bicycle Studio
in Minneapolis (yes, that's Ein auf Einem).
The back story? I guess the original owner was in the U.S. Army in Germany in the 1950s, bought these there, and brought them home. It is thought that they weren't ridden much once back in the U.S. I am not an expert on this stuff, Rabeneicks seem to be ill-documented on the web (at least in English), but they look to be largely original. I thought they were cool when I first saw them in the infamous One on One basement, and asked if I could come in one Saturday morning, pull them out, and take photos. I did this yesterday. These are the photos and notes.
There are two of these bikes, a mens' and a ladies'. They are for sale for $600 for the pair, or $333 each, though it would be a pity to break them up after being together half a century.
Here are my photos:
(Note: as with almost all my photos, if you click on the picture you'll get a much larger version to better see the fine details)
This is the Rabeneick Men's bike...
...and this is the Ladies'.
One of the things that immediately drew me to these bikes was the "hood ornament", a metal eagle on the front fender. It looks so Germanic!
Everything's very solid, including the bell, with the Rabeneick name prominently showing.
The ladies' bike says Rabeneick Rad. Rad? Wow, man, that's Rad!
The men's bike has Weinmann 1020 brakes, the ladies' has one of those on back and an Altenburger sidepull on front. This is the brake lever for it. Both bikes had these Bakelite handgrips.
German they may be, but they're both Sturmey-Archer three-speeds.
The ladies' bike has this seat tube decal. A feature I really like is the little tool box affixed to the frame, visible in the background.
This is the toolbox.
This shows the dogbone wrenches (literally, "Hundeknochenschlüssel", what a great language, I should have taken German instead of French in high school) in the ladies' toolbox.
I don't know what this means. Neither does Babelfish.
Here's the Weinmann brake lever.
The ladies' bike has a 1958 Sturmey Archer SW hub. This was the replacement for the common-as-dirt AW hub but could be a finicky unit (the joke is that SW stands for Sometimes Works) and the AW came back into production, so that the one on my bike is a 1967 AW.
It's funny with steel stuff how slender things can be. This is the front hub. I like the wingnuts.
This shows the actual Altenburger front sidepull on the ladies' bike.
The bikes both have wheel locks. Nowadays, European bikes (and Breezer Uptowns
) have these kind of "handcuff" locks--this one just sticks a bar in the spokes. It's called a Trelock Automat.
The Ladies' bike has Continental Type Corsa tires. Love these whitewalls. I think the ridges on the sidewall are to improve traction for the sidewall dynamos. Clever chaps these Germans! Also, the ladies' bike had all these holes drilled in the rear fender. It looks to me like it was to lace in a skirt guard. The men's bike doesn't have these drillings. Finally, notice the textured rim, little dots cut into the braking surface.
The saddle is an "L. Lepper, Beilefeld" unit.
I love fender lights. I just ordered one for my Schwinn, though it's batteries and LEDs while this one's a bulb and dynamo. Even so, it seems to have side windows for better visibility to traffic.
This is the downtube decal on the men's bike. This bike isn't Rad I guess. (Rad actually means "wheel" in German).
The cable routing for the men's bike takes the shift cable over a pulley. No cheesy English plastic shift pulleys here, boys, it's a metal pulley.
This is the whole drivetrain. At this date a swastika crankset would be out of the question, but they could have had more fun than this. Again, the steel components are very slender compared to modern aluminum or carbon components.
Even then they had reflectors in pedals. I don't know well these work, but they are pretty neat.
The men's bike has an alloy-shelled Sturmey Archer AM hub. The AM is the medium-range (the common-as-dirt AW is the Wide range). This is a 1956 unit.
The 6 volt 3 watt dynamo. That's the same as current specs.
This is the headbadge on the men's bike.
The ladies' stem is very plain, but I loved the sort of "ship's prow" casting (forging?) for the men's stem.
Another L. Lepper. You might want a cover.
They're solid, handsome bikes. They're also 50 years old.
To photograph these I set them up at the front of One on One and just used the mixture of open skylight and incandescent. I had to move a couple of new Bianchi racing bikes to make space. Boy, was that illuminating! Having just hauled these battlecruisers out of the basement I picked up a tiny (probably 19") Bianchi carbon racing bike and it weighed about 4 pounds. I exaggerate, but it was extremely light, especially compared to the all-steel Rabeneicks.
Thanks to One on One for letting me do this. I bought a coffee and then lunch from them and they were very agreeable to letting me do this. I may do it again on other interesting bikes in their collection. Also, in case you are wondering, I have no business arrangement with them--if this entry hastens the sale of these bikes I don't get paid. I just did this because they looked like unusual bikes and it was kind of fun to do on a unique pair of cycles.
Finally, if you're deeply interested in photography, these were all shot on my Sony DSC-R1 10.2 megapixel camera using a tripod. They're at ISO 160 and exposures often ran more than a second. One some photos I filled in the shadows a bit by holding a reflector just out of view.