Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Raleigh DL-1: Vintage Dream Come True!

Oh what a happy September 1st! I have a new bicycle!! More accurately, it is a newly-acquired old bicycle. This was completely unplanned, but the opportunity presented itself and I could not pass it up.

This is a Raleigh DL-1 Lady's Tourist - one of the best known original loop-frame bicycles. I got it from a very nice local collector, and I really can't thank him enough. The 22" frame feels tailor made for me. The actual height of the saddle is the same as on my 21" Lady's Sports, because the seat tube on the DL1 is considerably more slack. This bicycle is in great condition. We will replace the tires and brake pads, and she will be ready to roll.

As you can see, it is missing a chaincase - but I already have a lead on a full chaincase that should fit it. I also have a lead on a set of vintage-style rope skirtguards, the kind that connect to holes in the fender. I love the vintage bicycle community.

Here is the 3-speed Sturmey Archer hub. Filthy but so sexy!

And here is the gear shifter. The DL-1 has rod brakes, which I would not want on a commuter. But I am fine with them on a collector bicycle that I only plan to take on quiet rides.

I have no place to store this bicycle, so I am still not sure how I will deal with it logistically! But this really is a vintage dream come true, so I will think of something. You can see how happy we are together, even before the chaincase/tire/skirtguard upgrades!

29 comments:

  1. This is amazing! I absolutely love this bike. You're so lucky!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Come to New England! Vintage bikes for all!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Now we have a matching pair!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Another Lovely Bicycle! ;-) New England does seem to be the place for vintage finds. Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  5. That is a fabulous bicycle! You two look perfect together. I can't wait to see how she looks after the make-over :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Haha Oh. I have a vintage Raleigh LTD-3. I just love the loop frame on this beauty.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Maybe it is too early for a comparison, but this beauty looks to be the grandma of the Pashley. How does the Raleigh feel in comparison? No reason to mention braking.

    ReplyDelete
  8. wow!! Congratulations ;) what an amazing bike!! Looks so elegant! There are quite a few old Raleigh round here and they all look so unique and beautiful! Enjoy :D L xxx

    ReplyDelete
  9. ok maybe we need to go bike shopping together. You have Bike Fu!

    that's awesome and gorgeous. ( luckily we're different sizes so we won't fight over bikes too)

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a gorgeous bike! Lucky you, it will look just stunning once you've done the work you've planned to do on it. I hope it rides as beautifully as it looks :-)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks everyone : )

    Dave - I think it's pretty accurate to describe the DL1 as Pashley's grandma. The construction is very similar, right down to the bolted rear triangle. The main differences in anatomy are that the Pashley has thicker tubing, a connector between the curved top tube and the down tube, a steeper seat tube, a higher stem, and a different style of handlebars.

    MamaVee - If you ever want a vintage bike, I'll be happy to help!

    Carinthia - It rides exceptionally smoothly. With new tires and brake pads should be even better. I will also lower the gearing to make it easier to climb hills.

    ReplyDelete
  12. When Rodney finds out--she hasn't been home yet--I'm afraid we'll find small bike babies in the bike room!

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a find!! I wish i could find a lovely vintage bike up here in Edmonton but I have a feeling they are fiercely endangered here:(

    ReplyDelete
  14. wow! gorgeous bike!
    the rod brakes are definitely cool.
    I love to get me a vintage bike with rod brakes someday myself.
    I'm looking forward to seeing how you'll transform it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sweet find! There are lots of vintage bikes in the NE and the upper Midwest. That is where most of mine have been imported from. I need to make a shopping trip to Boston and find me a DL-1 in the large size ;-)

    Aaron

    ReplyDelete
  16. just acquired a vintage Raleigh myself...probably from the same collector via craigslist...and need a chaincase

    any suggestions on where to find one?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anon - I'd be surprised if you got it from the same person. There are at least half a dozen collectors who sell vintage Raleighs in the area though.

    The chaincase was a one-off thing procured via luck and perseverance. My suggestion would be to post a WTB on the local CList, or on the bikeforums Classic&Vintage subforum. Hope this helps!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Lovely indeed... good luck with the restoration and keep us posted. Just finished restoring one myself... documented here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/flyfixie/sets/72157614116512297/

    ReplyDelete
  19. for anyone in the boston area looking for a nice vintage (1948!!) rod-brake raleigh in a ladies' step-through (not a U-frame, but straight top tube), complete with full chaincase, a bikeforums.net member and trusted friend is selling one-- very reasonable at $150:

    http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=587715

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wow, that bicycle is in great shape. Neal Lerner has a wonderful collection.

    ReplyDelete
  21. yes, neal is quite fanatical, knowledgeable, and a fun guy as well. he was instrumental in fueling my own collection obsession. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  22. my father has a bike just exactly like this one its in ruff shape but its complete as well exept it also is missing a chain guard ....anyone interested in aquiring another like it email me racerman89013@yahoo.com

    I would like to find it a home it deserves!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have a Raliege cruiser. All original; for sale. Tan an Beige. pls call if interested. Ask for Katie. I am not a dealer. In California. 209 408 4636.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hope you still have your vintage Raleigh. It is the type of bike you should keep for life. brush that dust off pump up those tires & get enthusiastic again : ) !!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Who did you get your chaincase from? I'm buying a DL-1 myself and would really appreciate the info. My email address is franciephile@gmail.com. Thanks

    ReplyDelete