| Hi, I am writing for a graphic novel about a postman in 1930s Indonesia. Will be much obliged if someone can help me in finding out the type(s) of bicycle that the post-people were using back then in Java, and if there are any books or websites that I can read for mechanical details or just general bicycle history. Regards, Arsisto. |
| Wow.. talk about an esoteric question!|
But I can almost guarantee what was used in the then Dutch East Indies by any government department would be your standard Dutch 28" wheel, rod-braked black roadster and not much different from those still seen today in the Netherlands: Gazelle, Batavus etc. Best source of information: browse the microfilm of newspapers from Batavia c. 1930 and you'll doubtless find lots of cycle advertisements. They will almost certainly all be of Dutch brands, directly imported from the Netherlands. You might also check the web for Dutch postal history/stamps.
By the way, if you visit Jakarta today and the old port area (Tanjung Priok once called Batavia) you'll wonderful 1930s era Dutch buildings including the railway station, post office etc. A Gazelle parked in front would look right at home!
| See if a local libary has copies of Island Magazine(maybe Islands). this magazine deals with your part of the world---great articals. Tells a lot of the history etc.---sam|
| Thank you very much for these information, P.C. and Sam. I'm sorry I didn't get back to you sooner, as I was travelling. I will find more information on Islands and Gazelle and Batavus. This novel will take a long time to write, but I will try my best to update you. Once again, thank you very much. Arsisto|
| Grand Design.|
| Remarkably, it reminds me of a Wards Duralium. |
Larry "Bowman" Bow
| Neat machine. Are those "lightening" holes in the chainguard? I like your "sig" too. ;-)|
Larry "Boneman" Bone
|Yesterday I hit a motorbike head-on incurring a slight crack at the top of my Raleigh Royal frame (nr. the handlebar stem). It's one of the last to be built in England and took me from Belfast to Athens and now here in Beijing this past decade. I can't bear the thought that this is the end; any advice as to how I could tend to it, either through welding or a special steel 'plaster'? Anyone know too how I can get parts for it here in China? The official Raleigh site is useless- unless I'm a potential stockist or advertiser there's no email address I can use.|
I do hope you faired better than the Raleigh and that you'll mend more quickly than it will.
Given the frame number and exact model I guess the good folks of the forum here may be able to locate another frame for you. Shipping will not be cheap. I'm no international traveller (no passport) but my estimation would be that you live in a nation of cyclist and cycle repairers? Surely amongst the best of them you should be able to find a craftsman with the right skills to get you going again?
If the frame is brazed (bronze welded - sometimes called hard soldering) It can be heated, carefully and to a considerably high temperature and the original joint(s) parted. This will allow for dismantling at frame geometry level and re-assembly. Obviously this isn't a job for a blacksmith usedto repairing farm machinery (no disrespect to those worthy souls who do this for a living) but requires the skills of a frame builder.
If the frame is MIG welded, signified by beads of weld at the frame joints (looks like very hard bathroom mastic) then the repair and foregone damage are probably worse. I have seen brazed joints fail under extreme impact with little damage to the associated parts. Particularly in cold weather.
Failing this perhaps the new / replacement frame is the best way forward. Patching the frame is a poor answer to a repair but a gusset (no giggling at the back) which is a plate of (frame grade) steel placed inside the angle of the frame would stiffen the affected area, as seen on jump and BMX bikes.
Matthew - trying to help, badly?
| Keep the Royal until you find the right guy to fix it and get a second bike...you can't have too many, ask anyone on the list. I strongly recommend late 50's early 60's for build quality. You may never look back at the other one.|
| I no expert but aren't we overlooking the possible damage to the other components of the bike?Especially the fork and front wheel,maybe the handle bars?But there also must be good bike shops in a major city that might render a repair but I think sound geometry will be the problem.I recently shipped a chainring/crank assembly to the Netherlands.$10 part,9 pounds.$123 UPS about 4 days delivery.Could have shipped for less.30 to 60 days and $60 to $80.Looks like parts alone could cost a fortune.|
Seems like a local product would get you around probably for a few dollars US.Pack the baby away and ship it home when and if it seems the way to go.
| I just read that 90 % of ALL items in general(not just bicycles) that are sold in the USA are now manufactured in other countries, and in most cases, China. I heard the wages are 15 cents an hour with 12 hour days and no benefits other than universal health care in some parts of China. After a tour of both Walmart and higher- end Boscovs, in all departments, I could not find one item made in the USA and 98% of everything I saw was made in China. The Indian made products I have seen are of extremely poor quality(English bicycle knock -offs and Victrola knock-offs). I wonder what ever became of our manufacturing base..is it gone forever? I know this is a bicycle forum, but I see the conection between first the loss of the English Raleigh production, then the American made bicycles.. I heard Ethan Allen furniture hasn't made an American made piece of furniture in six years! Oh,well.|
| There are few if any items that are still made here when it comes to bicycles, other that a handful of low production hand built bikes, just about everything comes from China. The problem with US made goods, or even European or Japanese made for that matter, are too expensive, and would not be affordable to the average consumer here these days. |
Take into account the rate of inflation over the last thirty or so years, and add that to any item you would have bought then to get a rough idea. While I would love to see more US made product, I doubt many of us could afford them. Imagine what a brand new US made bike like say a Schwinn would cost in today’s economy: 30 years ago, a Schwinn 3 speed sold for about $81, take into account the inflation rate alone of the last 30 years, and that becomes about $310. Then, take into account the fact that the shop selling that bike has higher overhead, higher fuel and utility prices, etc, and imagine what we would be paying for that same bottom of the line Schwinn Speedster.
If you want to make the comparison more appropriate to this forum, take the Raleigh Sports that sold for about $110 thirty years ago, and add in inflation over the past thirty years and it would be somewhere around $425.
While those of us here would probably have no problem justifying that amount on such a bike today, not many of the general public would spend that much on any new bicycle, they would either do without, or buy a cheap $99 Huffy. Bike shops around here are having a hard time competing with places like Wal-Mart, the average consumer wants cheap, not quality, and either doesn't know the difference, or simply doesn't care. Many simply do not have the money to spend in the first place.
The only real option would be to have to never have let the imports in to begin with, but that would have excluded even those from England, and if that were the case, we most likely wouldn’t be posting here on this forum today.
| Concept is good.|
But your prices are a tad off!
I paid about $435 in 1979 (26 years ago) for my new Raleigh DL-1. Have the receipt from Cycles & Sports, Washington, DC, still!
Using that handy dandy Inflation Calculator website:
What cost $435.00 in 1979 would cost $1231.80 in 2005.
$1231.00 for a three-speed.
You can (and people do) pay about $345 for a Chinese (or is it Vietnamese?) made "Raleigh" hybrid piece 'o junk.
Raleigh Sports et. al. were about $100 c. 1973 and the DL-1 always was about $25 more as I recall. Remember the horrific inflation during this time.. but by the end of the decade, DL-1s and Sports cost a fortune.
I think this was more than a consequence of being built in England and had at least to do with the cost of manufacturing hub gears. The biggest advantage of a derailleur other than its lower weight is that it's CHEAP. To make. And to buy. As a cost comparison, the 12-speed Raleigh Competition GS, a top quality all Reynolds 531 tubeb racing bike with Campagnolo components, cost $450 in 1979 which is... you guessed it.. pretty much the same as a DL-1!
| Does anyone know when Raleigh began importing an Asian built Sports? I trash picked a pair of his and hers Rampars yesterday. While they're not in too bad of shape, they are both made in Taiwan. The hubs are early style Shimano, (non cartridge style 3.3.3., 3 speed hubs), the saddles are Messinger, the rims are Araya 36 hole, but the crankset looks like a Raleigh knockoff like those on a Robin Hood or other. The fenders use double clamped stays like on a set of Bluemels, the headbadge is not Raleigh of America, but does not say Nottingham on it. The mens has the self adjusting brake levers like on a regular Raleigh, and the calipers are copies of those on an earlier Raleigh. |
I checked my '77 through '80 catalogs, and not such model is listed. There was a Tourist listed, that looks about like the ladies bike, but no "Rampar" Sports.
Anyone have any ideas?
Going by the older 333 hubs, it puts these back near the start of Shimano, I can't see anyother date codes, and the serial number is totally different from any on a Raleigh. Both still use the Raleigh ribbed grips, the fenders are look a like copies as far as shape, and the chaingaurd would probably fit on any of the non Raleigh Branded models, (no frame tabs). Both have dry rotted Raleigh Record tires with the reflective stripe. These were out for the trash about 6am this morning, not more that a few miles from my house. Other than some solidified grease, and rotted rubber, these both look ridable, and they don't look tampered with. The woman that was putting them out was glad to see them go so fast, and had said that her and her husband bought them years ago new to get some exorcise, but she said she doubt's they got ridden more than a coulple of times around the block. There is no dealer decal, so I can't tell the age by that either. She guessed that they were about 30 years old, but I could tell she really couldn't remember.
| I also have an Asian Sports. It has Raleigh patent "Westrick" wheels with a Shimano 3-speed rear hub. Curiously and unlike my Nottingham "Westricks", these have laced spokes. The brake controls are not Raleigh style, but the fork crown is (tubular). What circumstances would justify shipping English rims to Asia to be laced with a Shimano hub? The finish quality is equivalent to Nottingham.|
| These two I have look more like a rebadged Japanese Royce Union or similar, the rims are definitely not Raleigh and the fork crown is stamped steel like that on the later Sprite 27. Fit and finish is not bad, but definitely not British. These are both considerably lighter than a Raleigh built sports, probably at least by 10 lbs or so. |
I was just surprised to see Shimano on a non Raleigh USA built bike. I didn't realize that Raleigh had imported such a combo. I have seen Asian built Sports models like you describe, but like yours they had Westrick rims and a tubular crown. They were commisioned by Raleigh and simply built in Asia, these two I have here look to be just Rebadged bikes, nothing British on them at all, just some parts make to look the part.
I do seem to remember that Huffy had a part in the transition of Raleigh to what is now Raleigh USA/Derby.
I wonder if these were from that era? The only part that doesn't fit with that theory is that the Shimano hubs are too early. Does anyone recall when the 333 markings were gone from Shimano hubs? I was thinking that it was pre-1980? I do have a '79 Schwinn with the cartridge style hub that is all original. Unless there was still enough old style hubs somewhere for them to be still using up old inventory. If these two are post Raleigh UK bikes, that would put them mid to late 80's, which doesn't fit with the hubs style, plus, I don't recall ever seeing the Rampar name on later bikes.
If it helps date these, they both have fork mounted clamp on Rampar generator sets and remote tailights, the headlamp is attached righ to the generator on the Right side of the fork, which is odd for a US bike, the light should be on the left side. A detail of the frame also got my attention, the area behind the b.b. to the rear stays is a single large tube, a lot like an early Columbia. This requires both to use a special kickstand, both of which are marked "Rampar". The only think on these that's even slighly British is the 26 tpi headset. The B.B. is standard BSA thread. Both of these are stamped Taiwan right in the B.B. just below the serial number. The chrome on these is pretty poor, lots of pitting, even though these both look to have been pretty well stored. The paint is clean and near mint and wasn't even dirty, and the wheelsets are both mint. Just the bars, stem,(which is a Raleigh style copy), the crankset, and headset are pitted and peeling. The fork has a flat, ill fitting chrome cap which is peeling and pitted, and the headset is low end with retainer style bearings.
I found it odd that these are labled both Raleigh and Rampar, most of the Raleigh sold Rampars I have seen had no actual mention to Raleigh anywhere on them, while these say Raleigh on the headtube, yet use the Rampar style logo elsewhere. Not to mention the Sports decals. The ladies model even has an old style child seat mounted, the all steel style with plaid padding, but even the child seat is stamped Taiwan. The child seat is a nearly identical copy of one I removed from a 50's Dunelt I picked up a few years ago. If this is pre 1980, that would mean that Raleigh sold both Asian and Britich built sports at one time?
| I worked for a Raleigh dealership at the time, and the Rampars were really nothing more than an effort by Raleigh to produce a bike that could be sold at a lower price point by the bike shops that wanted to compete with the discount stores.|
The Rampars really were low quality trash. I always thought of them as bikes that Raleigh was embarrassed to put their name on. It was always a real treat to set one up from the box. They had a nasty habit of coming in with the brake cables fitted with the calipers completely open. Therefore when you tightened them, the cable was too short to close the caliper. Another of their favorite tricks was to send one of the crank arms un-tapped. That was always good for a bit of profanity.
Yes, at the time I thought the only bike worse than a Rampar was a Kent.