| Was there any difference in overall quality in the 70s between the Sports and the DL1? I know they're different kinds of bicycle in terms of the details, but, for example, did the DL1 use better or worse materials? I have always assumed the DL stood for Deluxe and that it was the "top of the line" bicycle for Raleigh. I'm not sure about this or if it applies to the 1970s.|
The reason for this is that it's school time again in August, which means law school and I'm going to be taking a bike with me as a recreational ride along the shore bike trails (and occasional fair weather commuter short distance). I have a Sports and a DL1 and am weighing the options of which to take. They're both in pretty good condition and I was wondering if one of the two was simply "made better" or of "better materials" than the other. Thanks for the help.
| From what I've observed, it appears that the materials and workmanship of a Sports and a Tourist are the same for bikes of the same period (same carbon steel tubing and plating quality on both). I feel the bikes built in the sixties are of slightly better workmanship than ones from the seventies. Of course this is a generalization but my seventies Raleigh Sports and Grand Prix have rather large braze gaps in places that few sixties Raleighs seem to have.|
| Although the overall fit of parts of 1970s DL22 and DL1 models are reasonably on par with each other, I'd say the Sports is a much better bike for the use you intend to put it to, both as to the ride aspect and repairs.|
The late '70s DL-1's braking abilities are minimal, in my opinion, especially with the cheap chroming used on the 28" rims (which, for some reason, always is far worse then the chrome used on the 26" models - in fact, most department store bikes of the era had better plating), and is not safe for anything but very leisurely paced commutes...on level ground.
I also find that even the U.S./U.K. spec handlebars leave a bit to be desired in terms of knee clearance - the narrow export bars leave no room at all. The extreme slack angles in the frame also make for very sloppy cornering.
The Sports, however, makes up for every shortfall of the DL-1 that I've mentioned, except for two: The larger 28" wheels (which absorb road imperfections a lot better), and the fact that a DL-1 is a much more elegant machine (not that the Sports isn't, but it's a hard contest!), and turns many more heads (I would say "coolness factor", but we're not talking about Schwinns here).
And, of course, in wet weather, hardly either of these bikes come to what you may call "lawful, complete stops." That's when it's very handy to have a drum brake up front.
>I have always assumed the DL stood for Deluxe and that it was the "top of the line" bicycle for Raleigh...
Not true. I believe DL is short for 'Model' - not 100% sure upon that point, but Peter Kohler made a point of the "DL" designation in a rather recent post, no more then a week or two ago. All Raleigh models from sometime in the late '50s on began to use the DL suffix in their name, for example, DL-22 (Sports), DL-1 (Tourist/Roadster), DL-175 (Professional Track), DL-135/140 (Raleigh Super Tourer, 5/10 speed), et cetera.
| If it helps any for specifics the Sports is a 74 and the DL1 a 78. I imagine they are close to the same in quality. Both would be used in a pretty leisurely fashion and the ground near the school, from what I've seen is pretty flat cause it's on the shore. Are there any chrome replacement rims for the 70s rims that retain the old style look but brake better with the rod brake shoes? Those brakes are a bit anemic compared to even side pull calipers, though they aren't horrible still.|
| Go with the Sports, Mike. DL-1s aren't that good in traffic (foot or automobile), and are a pest to hold up and maneuver at pedestrian crossings - even worse when trying to get moving with a crowd of people around you that don't appear to realize that a the DL-1 is not a nimble steering machine.|
The largest selection of 28" Westwood rims that I have seen available online are the ones from Yellow Jersey:
(Anyone here agree that the Eastman decals are positively disgusting?)
Unfortunatly, Yellow Jersey also has some of the highest prices I've seen so far (save for those less then service-oriented fellows at Bikeville.com) for these Westwood-type 28" rims.
Stay away from the Eastman rims - no better then what you have now. The Beretta 36h rim in front and the Araya 40h in back would be your best option. Might want to double check that the Araya is a Westwood though - looks like it might be one of those oddball Westrick 28" rims.
We of course know from a previous discussion that your DL-1 and all others made in the '70s featured 36/40.
Furthermore, while the rims may help some, the original pads that came with these roadsters are also of questionable quality...and Yellow Jersey litterally wants the keys to Fort Knox for a pair. It isn't worth it.
If you can find out how slide in some decent, new brake blocks without damaging the tab on the original holders, you might just succeed (with new rims of course) in putting together a quick-stopping DL-1.
| I'd take the Sports with me to school - if I could only have one bike, etc. And you can find parts on trash night. If brakes are a problem, you might get aluminum wheels made up for it; just a front if $ is a problem. That should improve your brakes tremendously.|
| I did break down and get a set of the Yellowjersey Fibrax pads and they are actually really good. I had an old set of generic pads on there in front and the new, good pads make a difference. I also got one of those upgraded rims from YJ as well and that has helped also. You are right about those export bars though, mine has the narrow old style bars and the knee clearance is a bit on the slim side. I think I will go with the Sports if I'm going to be in a dense urban area or living on an upper floor apt where there is no elevator. Thanks.|
| I'm looking for a bronze green rear fender for my raliegh sports does anyone have one in reasonable condition that they might part with for reasonable compensation?|
| Having recently procured a new Automobile, I treated myself to some interesting wax to keep it in top shape.|
Well... I rolled 4 miles or so on the DL-1 last night... and upon my return got to thinking... it's getting a bit dingy looking. Thought to myself... why not try that new wax on it? It did wonders for the car... but I figured the car would look great being new and all.
Anyhow.... I put this stuff on the bicycle and it literally glows now....
Give it a try! Meguiar's "TECH WAX". Some sort of synthetic polymer... it's amazing stuff. A bit pricey but a little bit goes a LONG way!
Larry "Boneman" Bone
| I also used an Auto wax on my DL1. Mine is black, of course, and had become faded over the years due to sun exposure. I used the new auto wax found in the garage and it really did nicely. I went easy on the finish so as not to carve up the pinstipes and the wax shined the black up fairly well. I'm not sure the brand of wax (it was a spray of some sort) but I'm sure most high quality car waxes that are able to work on clear coated auto paints will be okay. Just don't go overboard and it should work fine.|
| My product of choice for paint upkeep is good ol'e Turtle Wax straight from the tub dispenser. Nothing better then an old wax formula for old paint, I like to say. |
My father brought by some spiffy (and expensive) 3M wax for clearcoated paint one day - and it didn't work half as good as Turtle Wax. Then again, do the '70s Raleighs actually have clearcoats?
For polishing out flat spots, I either choose Kiwi Neutral shoe polish (if I am worried about nearby transfers or pinstriping), or 3M Microfinishing Compound (for the tough jobs). I then finish off with...you guessed it - Turtle Wax.
| A correction on the above the product I used was not an auto wax but a light grade auto polish. I don't think I've ever used wax per se, but the polish worked to good effect. Just have to be careful with it.|
| I've Enjoyed great success with a product called "Bike Lust".Worked better for me on serveral old faded frames then any of the popular brands of car waxes that I've tried.|
Problem is that it's becomming more and more difficult to find. I was even told recently by one shop employee that the EPA had caused it to be taken off of the market. I rather doubt this however since I located some in another shop after being told this. It is a spray on wipe off liquid sold in about a twelve oz. can. Good luck with your project.
| Joseph meet Elizabeth when they both were contracted to do a book on the historic buildings of Philadelphia.Joseph did the drawing and Elizabeth did the writing,they were soon married.|
Joseph had been a bicycle nut from his first ride,Elizabeth soon also loved cycling.Their work of drawing and writhing took the newlyweds to England.They were ever in demand for magazine articals and drawing.The bought a Humber tandem tricycle and soon did their first book on cycling.31 years they spent in England before returning to the States.Joseph was the SUA rep in England for the Wheelmen and he also rode for the Pickwick Cycling Clubin England.Their last cycling book was "Over The Alps on a Bicycle---dated 1898.It was their love of eachother,their love of cycling and their love of art(writing and drawing)that won the harts of the public for this new form of travel.Through their eyes and books and articals the public learned of cycling.As I said they returned to the USA but did not stop cycling---Joseph was secretary of the Germantown Cycling club.And they contuned their work in words and drawing.Till Joseph's death in the late 20s.
travle to those lands---in there books---sam
| Joseph & E.Robins Pennell.|
| I have a Raleigh Sprite with an S5 hub. This bicycle is a 68 and it has what I belive to be a set of stainless rims by Sturmey Archer. They are marked 26 x 1 3/8 SS. Has anyone run across this type of rim? The rims are very well polished and are the Raleigh rased center style. The bicycle was an exceptional deal at $100. I think that it is in good shape because the original shifters were a poor design and no one wanted to ride it. I have changed the shifters to a left hand mtb shifter and a standard SA 3 speed shifter. Ed|
| The wheels on my 51 raleigh are stainless steel 28 x 1 3/8 - Highly recommended|
| I notice that you refer to these wheels as Raleigh "pattern". I call them Raleigh "patent". I've seen both term used numerous times always assuming the usage was inherited without scholarly inquiry. Do you perhaps have a link to a good reference to clarify this for me once and for all.|
BTW: Nice find! I admire these wheels enormously and have a small stockpile of them .... uh ...none stainless though.
Thanks...Dick in FL
| I got a nice c. 1969 stainless steel wheelset for my DL-1 from St. Johns Cycles (UK) complete with dynothree hub awhile back. Stainless rims, oddly enough, were mainly offered in the early 1950s when Raleigh and other British industries faced a chronic chrome shortage (among other materials). At first Raleigh seemed to apologise for the substitution and then folks realised stainless was an improvement and it was offered on the better machines like the Superbes. |
| I've heard that chromium shortage tale before and it always leaves me sceptical. Typical stainless steels hover around 18% chromium content which would dwarf the thin chrome film on plated steel wheels.|
| My 51 raleigh has a front dyno with a bullet lamp that was painted black over chrome. My opinion is that painting chrome black was intially to do with blacking out light & reflections during WWII bombings in the UK & Europe. Although the practice seems to have continued until the early 50's. There probably was a shortage of all sorts of material as well but I can't see any other reason to take a bullet lamp, chrome it, scratch the chrome & paint it black (apologies to the rolling stones)- Well that's my justification for re-chroming it anyway.|
| And was painting over chromed parts actually required in England during the war? It doesn't make much sense, but as the daily newspapers prove, government regulations during "wartime" are often nonsensical.|
| In the early weeks of the WW2 blackout more people died or were injured as a result of traffic accidents in the dark than died or were injured as a result of enemy action in the UK during the same period. Blackout regulations were fairly stringent and Air raid wardens were very strict and particular about light showing from any window or door. It was an offence to allow light to show from a building in the hours of darkness. In this atmosphere of fear people went 'over the top' with black out precautions and this would include painting over brightwork on bicycles cars and motorcycles. The Regulation lighting allowed on motor vehicles was nothing short of dangerous, slits in lamp covers at the front and miniscule rear lamp were order of the day. Interior lamps operated by opening the doors were almost unheard of anyway and were not encouraged at all. Buses and trams travelled with unlit interiors. The blackout was all consuming, even city dwellers speak of not being able to see your hand in front of your face on dark nights and moonlit nights were a boon for bombers. Petrol rationing stopped unneccesary journeys. It is not rare to find cycles with blacked out chrome work, even now. Many early war issue military cycles were built from civilian stock with chrome fittings simply painted over with drab kahki or RAF blue paint. |
It was steel that was in very short supply after the war as was power too. Running a chrome plating plant was an extravagance which could be ill afforded in a financially stretched UK. It was all out for export production, that's why the Rover car company experimented with and built a cheap to build, flat panelled, aluminium bodied utility vehicle to boost their export market and dig them out of the doldrums. It wouldn't be a long term project and would just get them back in the market. They called it the Land car or Landrover; still being built over 55 years later.
Back to cycles I rebuilt a war time civilian Raleigh. It was all black, no chrome at all. The 3 speed hub had no chrome on its casing and the wheel rims were painted black too, not over chrome. The chainguard was a hockey stick type to save steel. Front and rear battery lamps were black enamel and the handle bars were painted too. This bike had never been chromed anywhere and due to its history I have no reason to think it was tampered with. During the rebuild I was careful to strip and investigate but never found a trace of chrome at all, the ultimate blackout machine, leaving chrome plate for more important things like searchlight reflectors.
Matthew - Nowadays bombers are harder to spot and Londoners have taken to their bicycles once more. 07/07/05