Monday, April 23, 2012

Raleigh Lady's Tourist: Two Generations

1970s and 1930s Raleigh Tourists
As some might recall, I own two vintage Raleigh Lady's Tourists. Being in the midst of a major bike upheaval right now, I've retrieved these from storage and took the opportunity to photograph them together. The bicycle on the left is a 1973 DL-1. It has been refurbished and modified over the years (aftermarket chaincase, tires, rack, dress guards, pump, saddle, grips and rear wheel), a very ridable bike but definitely not a collector's item. The bicycle on the right is a 1936 Tourist. This one is in original and unaltered condition, including an intact chaincase, rotting grips and tires, cracked frame pump and dilapidated saddle. In the future I would like to have the older Tourist restored professionally, and until I can afford that I will continue to carefully store it. The newer Tourist I've decided to use as a transportation bicycle again, having now sold off most of my other bikes (a topic for another post). In the meantime, I'd like to share some observations while I briefly have these beauties side by side. 

1970s and 1930s Raleigh Tourists
I am not very good at lining up bikes and comparing them properly, but I'll try. Despite the older Tourist appearing smaller to the naked eye than the newer model, their wheelbases are near-identical - as are their bottom bracket heights (300mm), the lengths of their chainstays (500mm), their front-center measurements (680mm), and the lengths of their seat tubes (540mm center to center, or 560mm center to top - a.k.a. the 22" frame size). The seat tube angles look identical. The headtube angle on the newer bike looks like it could be slightly steeper, but I am unable to measure precisely. The forks line up identically. The virtual top tube on the older bike is a little shorter (570mm compared to 580mm on the newer one, measured center to center). But the most glaring difference is in the height of the head tubes.

1970s and 1930s Raleigh Tourists
The headtube on the 1973 Tourist measures 185mm from the very bottom of the lower lug to the very top of the upper lug. On the 1936 Tourist, the headtube measures 265mm. That's a considerable difference, placing the older bicycle's handlebars quite a bit higher. Combined with the slightly shorter virtual top tube, the rider is overall more upright. 

1970s and 1930s Raleigh Tourists
The quadrant shifter on the older model is on the top tube.

1970s and 1930s Raleigh Tourists
Notice also that the handlebars used in the '70s are different than those used in the '30s. The older ones were narrower, and angled straight back with no forward sweep to them.

1970s and 1930s Raleigh Tourists
On the older bike, the pump is behind the seat tube and there is a lugged connection between the down tube and the looped top tube. On the newer model the pump sits between those tubes and there is no lugged connector.

1970s and 1930s Raleigh Tourists
Overall I would say that the two bicycles are more similar than not, and it's interesting to me that so few changes were made between those 4 decades. I would love to see how a 1950s model compares to these two.

89 comments:

  1. Velouria are you selling either or both of these bikes?

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    1. No, definitely not. These are not for sale. In fact a third one will soon join them.

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    2. " In fact a third one will soon join them." A third Ladys' Tourist?

      You sold several bikes, but will own 3 of these?

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    3. Correct. Someone needs to preserve these things!

      But only the 1973 bike will be for personal everyday use.

      Delete
  2. From clipless pedals to this! I like it.

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  3. If you aren't undertaking the resto yourself it would be much simpler to seek and buy a clean '30s bike and pass the rough one on to someone does the work for fun rather than to be paid. If you paid for every minute of time a restorer could lavish on your bike you would spend multiples of any conceivable value quickly.

    There are simply a lot of collectors out there who are getting old who don't know what in the world they will do with all the bikes. There are only a handful of bikes that continue to find high prices. Iron is abundant and sadly being left to rust or scrapped.

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    1. Yes, I got both of my DL1s from one of such collectors.

      The problem with Raleigh Tourists is that they were very ridable bikes, and therefore were ridden by their owners. It is hard to find one that has not been ridden into the ground, let alone one that has remained pristine.

      If you've seen 1930s Lady's Tourists in clean condition with all original parts, I would love to know where. I have been monitoring the market for the past 2 years and have seen hardly any. What makes this bike special is the 100% intact original chaincase and all original parts. The rust is surface rust. Put new tires and tubes on it, and it is in running condition. In a few years time maybe I will know enough to restore it myself or will find someone who will do so via a trade of some sort, but until then I do not want to touch it.

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    2. It's a commonplace of collecting that you start with the best example of coveted object x you can possibly get your hands on. And that paying for services rather than doing it yourself is a money pit.

      I can't see the condition of that bike in a couple small pics. If the paint is good it could be a keeper.

      In the past two years I've seen a few good roadsters sold out of oldbicycleshowroom.co.uk.
      Mr. Gunn seems to have slowed down a bit and his prices were always high but he listed them for everyone and not just word of mouth.
      You could call him. Anyone who has a flickr file showing their collection is worth contacting. Then there were a lot of variants to the basic DL-1L. I'm thinking of Dawns and New Dawns and Superbes when they were rod brake and some of the higher end bikes may have been better preserved. Anyway I think this post here may draw attention. Hope so.

      Oldroads has a couple of 30s bikes right now. Not loop frames but kinda nice.

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    3. You are right. I am probably not "collecting" in the same sense as you mean it and I am certainly not a sophisticated collector by most standards. I have spent very little $$ on either bikes so far, and the money pit issue is precisely why I am biding my time and trying to decide exactly how to handle the older one. And by the way, its condition is certainly no worse than anything I see at Old Roads. I am familiar with
      Dawns and such
      , but for whatever reason I am interested specifically in the Tourist. If I were to pursue another vintage direction, it would be the Austrian Waffenrad and not another Raleigh model.

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    4. I've just finished overseeing my first restoration and, while expensive beyond market value, it was a great experience to have something done exactly as I'd like it to be.
      I'm happy there are aspects of my life - however trivial - that aren't predicated on ROI.

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    5. Right. I am not looking at these bicycles as a financial investment, I just really love them; it;s hard to explain. Unfortunately I do not have the time or the resources to properly restore the 1930s bicycle right now and so the best thing I can think of to do in the meantime is to preserve it.

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    6. Three DL-1s and we're not collecting yet? It starts out as a sly and subtle disease.....

      One of the marks of a good collector is they spend little money and they are very patient. You're on track.(Sometimes you have to spend a little just so sellers know you will.)

      I think the Waffenrad you mention is a Steyr Waffenrad? I've only ever seen a few Steyrs and each was memorable. Special bikes.

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    7. Well Velouria, here's your chance...

      http://www.thewheelmen.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4578

      A gorgeous, fully restored 1911 Steyr Waffenrad for sale!

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    8. Whoa that is beautiful. The chainring!

      It is indeed the Steyr Waffenrad I am talking about, but I am only interested in the women's swan frame. Also, it must come directly from Austria from one of the collectors I know personally. And also I technically already own one (a NOS 1950s frameset) and it is being stored for me in Vienna. I ride a similar, but beat up model when I am in Vienna.

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  4. Stamped vs. forged drop outs? Different lug cutouts? Is the shift cable wheel attached to a braze on on the older Tourist? Different style lamp bracket? Omission of oil ports? Is the seat pillar domed or open at the top? Differences in the prop stands? Differences in the brake stirrups? Raleigh Industries imprinted glass reflector?

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    1. Good points. I need to do a more in-depth assessment.

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    2. I, too, am eager to read about comparisons of some smaller details. This is one of your best recent posts, in my opinion. Do you have any detailed pictures of the older bike's brake set-up? I'd love to see the braze-ons and elbow-joints!

      -rob

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    3. It's been raining non stop here since I took this bike out of storage; when the weather is drier I will take some proper detailed shots of each bike individually.

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  5. Yeah, my 1970's DL-1 has become something of a Frankestein as well (even more than yours). It's got a Dutch Steco front rack, a Gazelle rear rack with kickstand, panniers from Clever Cycles, and new front and rear wheels with new hubs - though mine did have the hub brakes front and rear originally - now it has a dynohub as well, and new front and rear lights (it had front and rear generator powered lights originally, too, but with a tire generator). At this point, it is basically my ideal transportation bike, it's perfect. Well, as perfect as anything ever is :)

    Raleigh really was a major loss for the cycling world. It's sad to see a company like that go by the wayside.

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  6. And so proving the saying, "if it ain't broke, don't fix"! I'm sure you've covered this before but, in my eyes at least, and tyres, sorry tires, excepted, I would much rather see a veteran bicycle wearing its faded paint, tarnished plating and owner modifications with pride. They're both beautiful bikes in their own way!

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    1. Exactly. The ride quality of these bikes suits me very nicely. I will write about that in more detail shortly.

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  7. Fascinating look at two generations. :)

    Maybe you'll give an update soon on your current stable of bikes?

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  8. I am pretty sure it was on this blog that I read Dutch Bikes evolved as a copy of early English Roadsters. Seeing these two bicycles together, that makes a lot of sense. The older Raleigh has some of the same features as your vntage Gazelle. Looks like Raleigh went with a more leaned over posture in later decades while Gazelle remained true to the original concept.

    Which do you prefer?

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    1. That is the gist of it. But Gazelle is not exactly the same as the older Raleigh Tourist. The handlebars and lugs are different (particularly the upper headtube lug), the seat stay design is not the same, the tubing looks and feels different, and then there's the whole rod vs coaster brake thing.

      I prefer the handlebar position and the ride quality of the DL-1, but I also like Gazelle very much.

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  9. When do you reveal the third bike in the pack?

    I love DL1s--perhaps my favourite bike ever!

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    1. I'm afraid to jinx the transaction. It is very special. Also a lady's DL-1, but, well, a little different!

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    2. I am dying- dyyyyiiiiinnngggg- to hear about this new mystery Tourist. : ) How I love the Ladies DL-1. Perhaps this will motivate me to finally complete both of mine.

      BTW- You may have said this before, but if you don't mind me saving the trouble of searching it out- Do you feel that the coaster brake conversion made your DL-1 fully reliable in all weather? One of mine will need a new rim, so I'm considering giving her a coaster brake while I'm at it.

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    3. Can't speak to Velouria's experience with the coaster brake, but my rebuild of the front wheel with a SA generator/ drum brake hub has made my DL-1 reliable in wet weather.

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    4. Thanks, cycler. Did you have to replace the rod brake system?

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    5. With the coaster brake the bike stops fine now, but unless you looove coaster brakes I think cycler's method is more appropriate. Historically these bikes were not built with coaster brakes.

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    6. I was lucky to come into a rod actuator specifically made for using rods to control drum brakes. They're hard to find here, and the person I bought it from had ordered it from Europe , and it also may have been N.O.S.
      For some reason it won't let me post a link, but photos can be found at biking in heels "fixing it so it brakes, part 2"

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  10. There's an interesting evolution going on with my relationship with my DL-1. I used to think it was my most comfortable bike, but after not riding it for about a year, I took it on a leisurely bike path ride (about 24 miles total), and by the time I started the return leg of the trip (after only 12 miles), I felt miserable! I wasn't using my back muscles and my usual leg muscles, and my hands kept getting sore from pulling on the handlebars-- I thought my body would flip backwards off the bike if I didn't hold on tight. I think my DL-1 will be relegated to strictly special event/parade type usage; I find a semi-upright riding position much more satisfying, even on a city bike.

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    1. Funny. I rode my DL-1 this morning after a long absence and it felt very normal. I did keep trying to clip in though after not having ridden any transportation bikes for the past week...

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    2. The 1979 DL-1 that lives here was the personal bike of a Raleigh dealer on the SF Peninsula. It has the original chaincase and the narrower, flatter handlebars typical of the UK models.

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/77617662@N00/6894809608/in/set-72157629728740543/lightbox/

      They are indeed pretty rare, though I understand that early bike share programs in both Sacramento & Davis CA used Raleigh Tourists as their livery fleet in the mid to late 1970s.
      I've seen more Phillips rod-brake roadsters locally than Raleighs, surprisingly.

      Corey K

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    3. I had my first of about 15 DL-1's back in the late 70's. The older bikes from the 30's-mid 50's are much nicer then the newer. Every detail on the older Raleighs was made with pride.
      Problems like seat clusters not being able to hold the seat pin, crappy pedals. grips that make your hands hurt and turn black, brakes that dont stop the bike and all and all poor quality seems to be found on all of there product line after 1969. Its true. But after all that being said, like a family member or lover, we deal.
      My most recent bikes are a pair of 1974, his and hers. As they are, they still a blast to ride. I wold never lock and walk away from a Pre-War Raleigh, These in some spots, we don't lock.
      The trick to being comfortable is simple: "Don't out ride the bike." Ride with the bike and find its sweet spot to "carry" you along. Riding "with" your bike, rather riding "the" bike will soon have you smiling, (and being passed by other riders :) But at the same time, at a speed that allows you to see the world up high and happy.

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  11. V,
    On your '36 Tourist, do most/all chrome parts have a Raleigh stamp on them? I can certainly see the heron on the lap bracket.
    I'm restoring a '39 Royal Elgin - made by Raleigh for Sears Roebuck. It doesn't have any Raleigh markings and I suspect it was made by a company that Raleigh had bought, rather than in the Nottingham factory.
    Mark

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    1. There is the heron cut-out on the lamp bracket and herons on the crank arms, but the other chrome bits have strategic dustings of rust where such markings might be. I don't see anything on the handlebars, stem and rod brakes, for instance, but that doesn't mean it isn't there.

      The tires/tyres are Dunlop, the pump is Britannia and the saddle is an original Terry.

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  12. I have an old loopframe Speedwell (Australian brand) that is from the 50s and a friend has one from the 40s, the frame geometry is identical on them and looks to be the same as your 30s model. Our handlebars are different from the Raleighs, more curved, but identical to each other. I think of our Speedwells as being very similar to Raleighs of that era. Mine is a great ride, I love the very low step through and overall ride quality which I find hard to define exactly, it is my everyday bike. My friend has a post on them here: http://rustybikebell.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/a-loop-frame-australian-classic-speedwell-popular/

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    1. What a cool bicycle, thank you for sharing!

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    2. No worries, he did a very cool restoration job on it, I think. Preserved the patina really well.

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  13. It would be interesting to do a comparison w/ the Tourists still made by Raleigh Denmark. Superficially, they look very similar, but w/ modern gears and brakes.

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    1. I would LOVE to see one of those in person, and better yet, ride one! The geometry looks somewhat different to me, but it's hard to tell from the limited info we get here.

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    2. I too am intrigued about the Raleigh Denmark bikes. My vintage DL-1 was stolen, alas, and they seem very rare in the UK - at least certainly the 60s/70s versions. I bought a second hand Pashley, but ended up selling it and have tried a few Dutch bikes but I really liked the DL-1!.

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  14. I love the *idea* or image of these and other old bikes like Raleigh Sportses, but dislike riding them, and I wonder what the attraction is (to me as well as to others). My second new bike as a child was a Hero given me on my 11th birthday (I was already as big as many Indian men); we lived in Bangalore. (For b/day 12 my father had it painted fire engine red and a AW installed -- hottest Hero on the subcontinent). As a teenager I rode many hilly miles on our askari's Indian roadster (this was outside of Nairobi), and in my adulthood I've bought and briefly ridden a number of Raleigh Sports and Japanese and US equivalents (Collegiates, etc.) only to quickly say, "enough" and get rid of them.

    What is it about these bikes that make them so appealing? I - speaking for myself - find them horrible to ride: the Sports is bad enough but the even more upright roadster is even worse. I can't get power to the pedals, I have to grab the bar at the center and lean forward awkwardly to pedal with any force; and standing makes me liable to fall over forward. And this is before we get to any discussion of their massive weight, useless brakes -- and have you ever had to fix a rear puncture?

    That said, if the LBS near my house offered to sell one of the two such English roadsters on display, I'd buy it. Again, nothing but emotional appeal which I cannot at all explain. I certainly don't feel that way about American cruisers (my first new bike as a JC Higgins, age seven).

    So what is the appeal? Second question: I think that the DL design -- angles, position, materials, braking, gearing -- was simply a bypassed step in bicycle technology development: that is, there is no good reason for this, they just didn't know any better. The Sports is a big improvement but modern, cheap aluminum utility bikes are far better yet.

    Am I wrong?

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    1. I think that the roadster design has proved very enduring as a city bike, although I have to agree with you about the brakes.

      If you are not trying to go very fast or far, and are riding in traffic that requires you to be vigilant about your surroundings, and if you are riding in your office clothes which you don't want to get dirty, a Roadster is a very comfortable bike. Millions of northern Europeans ride bikes of its lineage every day because of its comfort and simplicity

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    2. Yes, you're very wrong. If you search the Bike Forums, among other places, you'll find that hardly anyone agrees with you; most people, having tried a DL-1, pronounce it the most comfortable ride they've experienced. I ride mine to work every day (when it's not raining; the brakes are indeed unreliable when wet). Most people who want a true city bike do not care about power or weight; they want stability and comfort, and the DL-1 delivers. Steel will always be more comfortable than aluminum. Plus, it's actually pretty fast (unlike an American cruiser).

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    3. Hmmm, I would be very interested to try a DL-1. I've owned three 70's era Raleighs -- a Sports, a Sprite and a Super Course -- but ended up giving them all away. For me, the ride quality just couldn't compete with my more modern steel bikes. Perhaps the DL-1 would bring me back to Raleigh?

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    4. They came from the factory geared a bit high. Replacing the rear cog with a 22 tooth cog makes a big difference.

      that being said, if you live in a place where you have to pedal up hills, it's not the best.

      Its forte is city and town, and fairly level, biking.

      But they are among the most elegant of rides, in my opinion...and I am talking comfort, not just visual style.

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  15. Love seeing your Raleigh 3-speeds again. I'm partially restoring a 1951 Dawn Tourist w/rod brakes & full chain case - to get on road this Spring. Reluctantly painted chain case which had patina-ed to solid rust brown. Will not touch frame paint, though.

    Funny how rod brakes continued to be used long after cable brakes were introduced. It's trial and error to tune them but they really are simple mechanical devices once you understand them. It's a joy to discover all these things that English bicycle engineers mainly worked out a century ago.

    Recently found on a 70's Sprite a period head- and tail-light for my Dynohub; this will now go on this Dawn Tourist where it belongs.

    Lube ports on its bottom bracket and AW hub are metal spring valves of some sort. Handlebars are necessarily different and the metal of the wheels and chain rings is different but otherwise bike is very similar to my everyday 1967 Superbe.

    Have you checked out Scott Chamberlain's Boston Raleigh User's Group blog? He has many paeans to old Raleighs, including a nice Jan. 2012 series of postings of a restoration job.

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    1. Oh yes. Scott Chamberlain is the one responsible for my DL-1 stable!

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  16. My brother's only comment upon seeing my little stable of bikes was that he really liked my Lady's 1977 DL-1 Tourist as extraordinary. Yes, as you say, an emotional appeal and contentment that she's out there in the garage waiting for the next ride. She fills my heart! Thanks. Jim Duncan

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  17. This is interesting....While working in a bike shop in Eugene, Oregon in the 70's customers couldn't dispose of these bikes quick enough. The issue was always safety.

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    1. Wow, are you sure? My understanding was that not many of these made it to the West Coast in the first place. Boston is teeming with vintage DL-1s whereas in Portland they are pretty rare.

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    2. We were a Raleigh dealer and very few who bought these kept them.

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    3. Did the rain have anything to do with it?

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    4. I found my DL-1 on Craigslist in Portland - luckily it was one of the ones that had rod-operated drum brakes originally (though I've now replaced both hubs with new SA hubs). It's great having the aesthetics of the rods, but with brakes that are quite solid in any weather.

      I was also lucky enough to find one with the full chain case, and locking fork!

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    5. That being said, I've only seen maybe one or two other DL-1s ever in Portland.

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    6. Weird. It's not like England doesn't get its fair share of wet weather. These bikes seemed to be evolved pretty well to handle wet weather.

      As for DL1s and the Boston area-- there are probably more vintage Raleighs of all sorts in the Boston area than anywhere else in the US. Boston was home of Raleigh's first US distributor, some bike shop on Mass Ave in Back Bay in the 50s.

      As for 1970s bike culture, I do know that once 10-speeds started getting popular (and again in the 80s, with mtn bikes), people were literally throwing away their perfectly good 3-speeds simply because they thought they were obsolete and "uncool". My in-laws threw away gorgeous, wonderfully preserved his and hers Raleigh Sports (with matching saddlebags!) simply because they thought "who rides these anymore?". Needless to say, Mrs. S and I were pretty annoyed when we learned that.

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    7. We didn't love them in Toronto either...
      The rod brakes and tough to source rims made replacement if not financially prohibitive - "$200 worth of work on this old thing my uncle gave me? Forget it!" - then subject to endless waits while speciality parts were sourced.

      One of Toronto's mayors had an old Raleigh and we mechanics used to hide in the storage area when he came in with his quarterly rear flats. It could take an hour to get everything back together again and not rubbing.

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    8. In the 1950s Raleigh's American headquarters was on Comm Ave in Boston, toward Brighton. An advert in Google Books shows they were being distributed in 1934 by H Osgood on Huntington Avenue. Further research probably would show them distributed here a good deal earlier.

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    9. I see a lot of 1970's Sports and Sprites and other sort of smaller city bikes of that era, plus a ton of old 60's and 70's Schwinns, but almost no large roadsters of any type.

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    10. Of course, people wanted to throw away what was seen as obsolete because of the new 10-speed rage of the 70s.

      How very unfortunate.

      That being said, the bikes do have an issue with stopping power in the rain, because of the steel rims (not because of the rod brake actuators).

      But given the normal speeds attained on an Sturmey Archer-equipped 30 to 40 lb bike, that isn't a crippling issue, even to this day.

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  18. Hm...my comment above was supposed to thread to this one .

    Blogger has oddnesses.

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  19. The most nostalgic thing for me is the little light bracket on the front. Whatever happened to them, they'd be SO useful with todays massively improved lighting options. Oh for the dull amber glow of yesteryears 'railway lantern'!

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  20. Tickled to see these two bikes out and about again--it was my own DL-1 obsession that first led me to Lovely Bicycle. Nice too to see these side by side. I have a near-identical pair--a 1965 DL-1 and a 1932 Raleigh loop frame. They are very similar in their proportions and their grand, "Cadillac" style ride, but the height of the head tube and the set of the handlebars gives the older bike an even more easy, effortless feel. I use it mainly as a summer bike, so given, I don't deal with as much traffic or city aggro, but it's a dreamy bike on hills or flat, and I often ride it ten or twenty miles at a time. I was lucky to buy it in very good shape but will be eager to see your progress on restoring this bike--it really is something special.

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  21. www.cyclesofyesteryear.com. I know nothing about them except that they post a good number of 1930s bikes.

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  22. Anyone out there have a full chaincase to fit a loop frame DL-1 from the early '702? I would prefer a Raleigh chaincase to a Chinese copy. I do have a Superbe chaincase but not sure it will fit and a men's DL-1 chaincase that the LBS said would not fit. Advice appreciated.

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    1. I'm afraid they are very hard to find! I would love one myself if anyone has one lying around : )

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    2. They're reasonably plentiful on eBay UK. Am happy to assist if anyone wants one shipped.

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    3. Complete DL-1 spares are at yellowjersey.org. Most items are from India. The quality IMO is far better than Chinese. Andy at YJ can quickly answer compatibility questions. Cosmetic suitability is up to you. In most cases where there is any significant pattern difference it is because the Indian parts were frozen in the past to a Raleigh design older than your bike.

      YJ also has real Raleigh parts, Italian rod brake systems, all sorts of old transportation bike parts. They're just not on a coast or in the blogosphere

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  23. Oh, I'm really happy to see these bikes again :)

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  24. For those concerned about flats, it's possible to patch a flat on one of these bikes without taking the rear wheel off. It takes about 10-15 minutes. You don't even really have to flip the bike over. Replacing the tube after every flat seems a little overkill.

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    1. Dave,

      Were you being modest by not including a link to your own post? ;) Fixing a Rear Flat on a Dutch Bike

      Here comes a 'left-handed' compliment. I don't follow your blog, but found this post long ago. I have it bookmarked, just in case.

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    2. Well, I hope it will be useful for you, one day, but not too soon :) it's ok that you don't follow my blog, I generally don't assume anyone does - that way it's always a nice surprise when there's some interaction there :) cheers!

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  25. Charcoal and Brown or Black and Brown make nice combos, earthy yet elegant.

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  26. Yeah, maybe.
    On my similar sports w/ full chaincase, I have a slow leak on my rear tire- fast enough that I can't ride to work without pumping up midway, slow enough that I can't find the damn thing....
    I pulled the tube out without removing the rear wheel, but for the life of me I can't find the leak, even after dunking the tube bit by bit in soapy water.
    So I guess I'll end up pulling the wheel anyway and replacing the tube :(
    Contrary to popular opinion, it's not the chaincase that's the problem, it's the IGH and the roller brake that are a pain to remove and reassemble, at least on my bike.

    On the other hand, it's been forever since I had a flat on this bike, although only 4 months into this particular set of tubes/ tires.

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    1. Yeah, certainly there are still occasions when you have to pull the whole wheel off - on mine the pain is a combination of things - the drum brake and the rear fender, which you have to un-hook to get the wheel off (rear-facing dropouts).

      Certainly it's not quick and easy to remove the rear wheel, but the DL-1 is my only bike, and I never find myself worrying about how much trouble it will be, as after 3 years, it hasn't been any inordinate trouble. Having to remove the rear wheel once every year even is not too daunting.

      I've averaged a little under one flat per year over the last 3-4 years, and only one that *really* required the tube being replaced.

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    2. A replica of the Raleigh Tourist is still made in China, complete with rod brakes, but no gears. It used to be used by China Post.

      It can be bought new for about US$55.

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    3. Protruding spoke nipple leak.

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  27. Great to see the DL-1 is going to be your summer ride this year; I'm sure the poor thing has been pining to get out and get ridden!

    The 1936 bike is grand! Lucky you, living in a land of DL-1s. I keep looking for any for sale here in Oz but no luck so far; I did pick up a nice 1984/5 Raleigh Cameo last year though.

    Intrigued as to what DL-1 III will be - don't keep us waiting too long! :-))

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  28. At sargentandco.wordpress.com scroll down to 'customers and their bikes' April 20. Two customers with recently restored DL-1s, both gents. Pictures shot on film. Didn't know rob sargent did Tourists. One more lead to follow. Rob has an eye.

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  29. I thought you might be interested in this short film about the manufacture of Raleigh bikes made in 1947. I enjoyed it.

    http://film.britishcouncil.org/how-a-bicycle-is-made

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  30. Hi,

    Hope you don't mind me joining you, i'm from the UK and have recently discovered your blog and am reading it avidly since I have a passion for all things vintage and more recently bikes :) I recently purchased (but do not yet have) a vintage Raleigh loop framed bike but for the life of me I cannot identify its name or age since whilst it has the look of your beloved DL-1 mine has (what I think looks like) a distinctive lug that joins the two frames together. I did have a look at some on-line images from an old Raleigh catalogue and the only similarites again were of a model from the 1930's. Whilst 'm not convinced its that old, thereafter I have no clue...its the lug thing (that I recal you liked on your Gazelle?)? The lady owner has no clue but I would just like to know more about what it is I actually will be riding. Seemingly it does have its Raleigh badge and comes with 28" wheels but there is no sign of the obligatory Sturmey Archer gear albeit this could mean it lost its original wheel...it is however 3 x speed and looks vintage. Could you, in your expert opinion help here...?

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  31. where do you get your after market parts. i need a chaincase for a raleigh dl-1 lady tourist

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  32. you have a very beautiful bikes, I got one like this..the vintage Raleigh loop-frame but different colour :)

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  33. Hi, I have a Speedwell ladies bicycle that was my grandmothers when she was a girl that I would like to restore for my grandfather to see. He is in his 80s, and my nan would be now too if alive so I am guessing the bike is circa 1940s. I am trying to find some original pictures to match paint colour, pedals, seat and hand grips to. The bike is in otherwise good condition. The details I have are the frame number from near the seat post is B68694; near the rear wheel axle / dropout is G2866; wheel rim BIM P - 2. I really hope your archives have info available or that you can direct me to someone who can help. Thank you

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  34. That 1936 is one beautiful bike!

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  35. Nice that you write abot the geometry details of the bikes in this post, you should do that with every bicycle you write about. Steering angle, seat angle, bottom bracket drop, wheelbase, rake and/or trail, it makes some sense of what it feels to ride a bicyle.

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  36. I just purchased a 1946 Dawn Tourist that is all original except for the pump and tires. As I start to work on the bike I'll send pictures. It is very similar except has a straight downtube and had 26" tires. Will be great for my wife to start the riding in the warm weather with the my matched 1951 Gents Tourist! The bike is all original except for the pump and tires and looks a bit tired. Now I just have to remember how to adjust the rod brakes. Haven't worked on these since my high school mechanic days at the old Raleigh Shop.

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