In the excitement of describing the A.N.T. Open House, I forgot to mention that on the same weekend I picked up my Raleigh DL1 Lady's Tourist from the shop.
Here she is, in her restored glory. See this post for the "before" shots.
The DL1 had an extensive tune up that included bottom bracket replacement, rod brake adjustment, and lowered gearing (22 tooth rear cog) to make climbing hills easier.
Then of course there are the aesthetic changes: The old tires have been replace with the gorgeous cream Schwalbe Delta Cruisers, a full chaincase and vintage-style rope dressguards have been installed, and a frame pump has been added.
The rope dressguard is something I had envisioned on this bicycle from the very start, and hunting one down was not an easy task. Finally, a very kind gentleman found these for me in Portugal, and I am eternally grateful!
In the earlier days of the loop frames, this was probably the most common style of dressguards. There were simple versions like this one, as well as elaborate crochet versions. The dressguards attach with hooks directly to holes drilled into the fender.
On the bottom, the cords are gathered onto a hook-like contraption that attaches to the bolt that holds the rear stays together.
Close-up of the rod brakes, curved top tube and frame pump. I find it surprising that the frame pump was intended to fit between the tubes and I don't think it looks very good there - disrupting the flow of the frame's curvature. So I may remove it and just leave the braze-ons empty. Still, I wonder why they didn't place the attachment behind the seat tube?
Close-up of the Raleigh headlight mount. The heron on this one seems to be smiling.
Today I took the DL1 out for her first ride. She is extremely comfortable: stable, smooth, relaxed. The seat-tube angle is much slacker than either on the Lady's Sports or on the Pashley Princess, and it was a pleasant surprise to ride in that position. One interesting thing, is that this bicycle is absolutely silent - both pedaling and coasting. Neither of our other vintage bikes are like that, and I wonder what accounts for the DL1's quiet demeanor. In any case, I am not complaining, and I am thankful to Adam Rankin at Harris Cyclery for all the work he did to make it such a nice ride!
The first ride was meant to be just a short one, because the rod brakes still need some adjustment - But the bicycle was so easy-going, that I ended up cycling all over the neighborhood. Here she is locked up at the grocery store. During the time I was out, four people stopped to talk to me about the bike, being especially interested in the dressguards. Everyone loves beautiful vintage bicycles, and the Raleigh DL1 is one of the most iconic.