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Archived: English Roadsters

WANTED:   Some brake cable housings for my Twenty posted by: Kurt K on 12/8/2004 at 1:53:48 AM
And I thought it'd be easy! Alas, no - tan brake cable housings haven't been made for a long time, as I soon find out. The bike shops I call most definitely want to remind me that the Twenty is as old as the cables I want. A load of bike salesman rubbish, but that's another story.

To get to my point, I am looking for a pair of original tan Raleigh brake cable housings to use on the Twenty. Not the actual steel cable wire of course, just the plastic-covered housing that the cables run through. Used is fine of course, just so long that the original cable isn't rusted shut in it, and that the housing isn't kinked. The housing doesn't have to be the exact length for the Twenty's front and rear cables - I can use two Sports rear cables and cut the housings down to size if nessesary.

If you have a cable or two that you would like to get rid of contact me at: cudak888@aol.com

Thank you very much!

Take care,


(Unrelated) To P.C. Kohler: If you do have the 1970 or 1971 Raleigh catelouges, could I trouble you check for me to see if, at the time, two "Sports" named models were in production? Thank you very much!

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   It takes a sureon to invent Raleigh's Tire posted by: Drew on 12/7/2004 at 7:41:09 PM
It's raining and I'm have no bike projects downstairs, so I thought I'd provide some Dunlop tire history since This brand is most identified with Raleigh. The following was taken from a Bicycling magazine from the 1960s. In Belfast Ireland, there lived a middle aged Scotsman who was a veterinary surgeon. His small son was not happy with the rough ride his tricycle had with solid rubber tires, so his father set out to make a air filled tires for the tricyle. The father's name was John Boyd Dunlop. First he bought some 1/32" sheet rubber, made a tube, covered this tube with strips of linen taken from his wife's dress. He took the tire, mounted it on a hand made rim and tested it against a wheel off the tricycle, his tire rolled with ease across the uneven yard, while the solid wheel did not. All this happed on February 28, 1888; the pneumatic-tire industry was born in a Belfast backyard. William Hume, the captain of the Befast Cruiser's Cycling Club became interested, had Dunlop make him tires to race against other riders in the Queen College Sports Races, Hume won all four events! This was May 18th 1889. Now the cycling World demanded these air filled tires and production began in Dunlop's spare bedroom, soon to be overwhelmed with orders, therefore production was moved to the center of the cycle industry in Coventry, England, then to nearby Birmingham.
I beleive it was at about this time Raleigh contracted Dunlop to make it's tires...a relationship that was to last many years. Something went wrong with the partnership about 1970 and other brands started to appear on Raleigh's 3-speeds. I have no details on what happened but it seems like it was the begining of the end of the Raleigh/Dunlop team!

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: It takes a sureon to invent Raleigh's Tire posted by Chris on 12/8/2004 at 10:35:35 PM
Sheldon Brown tells this story. I cannot take time to re- tell it and Sheldon said it so well.
Sheldonbrown.com old bicycles section. in the bicycle glossery section?


   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   It takes a sureon to invent Raleigh's Tire posted by sam on 12/12/2004 at 1:48:33 AM
Drew , you must be reading the same book I am,"Best Of Bicycling"Great set of articles all written in the 60s.---sam

FOR SALE:   Selling a few things posted by: Robert on 12/7/2004 at 4:28:13 AM
Put a few things on ebay that someone might be able to use.



WANTED:   NOS/Mint Sturmey-Archer 3-Speed Coaster Brake Hub & Front Drum Brake Hub posted by: Scott Buchanan on 12/7/2004 at 1:37:11 AM
I'm looking for an NOS/mint Sturmey-Archer 36-hole 3-speed coaster brake hub and an NOS/mint Sturmey-Archer 36-hole front drum brake hub. I can pay with PayPal or a money order. PLEASE RESPOND TO MY EMAIL ADDRESS, NOT THIS FORUM!

   I Am Still Looking For A Front Drum Brake Hub posted by Scott Buchanan on 12/7/2004 at 6:46:06 PM
I found a 3-speed coaster rear hub, but I am still looking for an NOS/Mint Sturmey-Archer 36-hole front drum brake hub.

   I Have Found Both Hubs! posted by Scott Buchanan on 12/9/2004 at 3:52:21 AM
I have found both the hubs I need, thanks to forums like this one.

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raleigh Sprite posted by: David on 12/6/2004 at 7:09:44 PM
There's a rough 23" frame Sprite on Ebay; # 2290949606. It's pickup only but more-or-less free in St Cloud MN (too far for me!). Seems to be a 5-speed (S5 or S5-2?) with an original rear rack, but no chainguard. Good luck.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raleigh Sprite posted by Mark on 12/6/2004 at 9:27:19 PM
Not bad for $10. Looks like a mid 60s vintage, after the switch from racing handle bars to upright. Last year I found circa 1974 5-speed in mint condition, 25" frame with ivory paint(a very nice looking bike). it has the early chain ring like the one being auctioned...I believe they changed to a modern looking 3 prong chain ring in 1976. Sprites are neat bikes, having the classic look of a 'Sports' but are more suited for distance riding having 5 or 10 speeds, 27" wheels. Can Sprites be dated by their serial number ?

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raleigh Sprite posted by David on 12/7/2004 at 12:40:44 AM
I'm sure Mr Kohler can correct me, but I think "Sprite" was first used for 26" wheel Sports with the 5-speed SA hubs. In the 70s, probably, the SA hub was dropped in favor of a derailleur and 27" wheels. (I'd be surprised if you had any more luck dating a Sprite by its serial number than anything else!)

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raleigh Sprite posted by Mark on 12/7/2004 at 12:59:34 PM
I just found some information on the 'Retro Raleigh's' website and they show photo's from a 1962 catalogue....Bealux Mark VII gearing, 27" wheels & racing handle bars. They say that in the mid 60's the Sprite was "transmogrified" with SA S-5 gearing. 1967 photo shows upright bars. Raleigh must have gone back to a derailleur about 1970 ? Retro Raleigh has some good photo's, specs and details.

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raleigh Sprite posted by P.C. Kohler on 12/7/2004 at 4:12:08 PM
Gosh guys you make me sound like some severe English schoolmaster here!

But yes lads... the original Sprite of '62 was a saucy little speedster.. on a budget. 2030 tubing and so-so components. The Record of its day. Like all the Raleigh "lightweights" of the time, it was anything but but still looked lovely.

The second generation of Sprite came out in 1966. Totally different concept being an upgraded Sports with the new 5-speed S/A hub gear (with the really cool twin shift handles!), 26" Westrick rims, Sports style mudguards, Presstube Minor rack, neat chainguard distinctive to this model, groovy new colours (purple or coffee brown!), B-72 saddles and pump pegs. They must have sold a pile of these as they come up on eBay often, sometimes in near mint condition. But good luck getting those 5-speed S/A gears to work properly.

Third generation Sprite was the Sprite 27 which came out c. 1970. Biggest change was, as per the name, the 27 x 1 1/4" rim which was a S/A made version of the classic Dunlop. Very light for steel and strong as heck. Changed the whole ride and character of the bike. Rack, pump pegs and B-72 were gone as were the Sports style mudguards with brazed stays. Instead, a much lighter rounded style with wire stays. And... the S/A hub was gone and replaced by a cheap and rather sluggish Huret derailleur. Still five speeds only initially (within two years, you could get ten speeds) and with a plain chainguard.

The final variant of the Sprite came out around '75-76 with a cheaper, more angular mudguard and I think the quality took a nosedive about then or was it that yucky metallic red colour? No pinstriping either as I recall.

Sprites seem to elicite yawns or derision and are favourites for parts stripping vultures it seems. Shame. I retain a great fondness for mine. They were the first new (1973, cost $89 which was a lot then!) bikes I owned.. the first was stolen after a money and the dealer sold me a replacement at cost. Just a nice inbetween the Sports and the Record with a very nice ride indeed.

So lads, lesson over and off to the cricket pitch.

P.C. Kohler

   RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raleigh Sprite posted by P.C. kohler on 12/7/2004 at 4:14:31 PM
Blue pencil: "stolen after a MONTH not money (!)"....

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raleigh Sprite posted by Bryan on 12/8/2004 at 1:07:37 AM
I have a late 60's Sprite with the Sturmey Archer 5 speed hub and I absolutely love it! While I mostly ride in the direct drive gear, the extra gear options are nice when you need them. Also, even though it appears identical to a standard Sports frame, I could swear my Sprite has a "racier" feel to its steering.

If the bike has the Sturmey Archer hub, its better to date the bike by the hub code rather than the serial number.

   RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raleigh Sprite posted by Kurt K on 12/8/2004 at 2:25:36 AM
P.C. - just thought I'd add that the second-gen Sprite was also available in tradional Raleigh bronze green, both women's and men's models. These have to have the best looking Raleigh downtube transfers of all time!

Take care,


   RE:RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Raleigh Sprite posted by P.C. Kohler on 12/8/2004 at 4:59:17 AM
Yes indeed Kurt... that WAS a great looking transfer and the whole machine was very handsome I thought. Raleigh was still making great quality machines then (c. 1966-69). There was a stunning Humber badged Sprite, also in green, on eBay about a year and a half ago... it was sold for some insultingly low sum as I recall. But I'd really hold out for a "fushia" one! And remember folks, these early Sprites used the same grey roadster grips I have for sale (shameless commercial plug)

P.C. Kohler

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Raleigh Sprite posted by Chris on 12/8/2004 at 10:48:03 PM
Raleigh Sprite you say?
Parts strpping vultures aloft, overhead and carrying tools in the talons.
I'm one of them! Imagine a guy swinging a broom and yelling "It's not for sale!" as he tries to shoo me away. I'm all set to land, offer 15.00 for the thing and carry it off someplace and pick the meat from the bones.
"Meat" is seats, pedals, racks, red Raleigh r nuts and cotter pins, handlebar stems, seat posts. headset parts, bottom bracket cups, lockrings.
However as I go flapping thru the sky, I rarely see a Raleigh Sprite anymore.

Yes, the Sprite has a strong following but to me I use the parts on "better" bikes.
Meaning the beloved Raleigh 3 speed frame.
The Raleigh Sprite is not and never was, a Reynolds 531 lightweight frame bike. Also once you have bee on one of those after riding the Sprite you never want to go back.

   RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raleigh Sprite posted by Dick in FL on 12/9/2004 at 4:05:29 AM
Thanks for the fine rundown of Sprite changes by year. We should also call attention to the unique handlebars; viz., "all-rounders". These were a handsome compromise between "North-roaders" and flat style. In fact, they served as the model for the alloy version that appeared later on my 'object d'lust', the Raleigh Super Tourer (1975-1976). This was the Sprite rendered in Reynolds 531 that you may have been wishing for.

AGE / VALUE:   we need to add posted by: sam on 12/5/2004 at 11:40:27 PM
We need to add to the Headder,English club bikes,inaddition to roadsters.The vintage Lightweight group is great if your talking about something 70s and Italian,but their really lost when it comes to great Lightweight bikes from the 30s to the 50s from England.Claud Butler,FlyingScotts,RRAs,Chater Lea,Constrictor,Selbach,F.W.Evans,Woodrup,,hetchins,Jack Taylor,Norman,Sun,Dayton,Coventry Eagle,R.O.Harrison,Purves.............the list goes on and on----sam

   RE:AGE / VALUE: we need to add posted by P.C. Kohler on 12/6/2004 at 12:32:51 AM
Agreed. Good point.

The Vintage Lightweight discussion site is great and I enjoy contributing to it, but it's essentially 60s-70s era (including British I might add), just not 1940s-50s British lightweights. And that's a pity. These wonderful machines just seem to "fall through the cracks". But hey, if folks aren't into them, great... more for us! Anyone who hasn't ridden a classic late '40s early '50 British club bike is simply leading a blithfully deprived life.

P.C. Kohler

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   we need to add posted by Kurt K. on 12/6/2004 at 12:50:07 AM
Actually, I believe this section should be re-titled "English Lightweights." Or if you want to be more specific (or broad, actually), "English Lightweights & Roadsters" fits as well. Far as I'm concerned, "Raleigh Industries Choppers" should go here just the same, as the Musclebike forum is run by Schwinn fanatics who don't know much (and most don't care) about the Raleigh Chopper.

On the note of "Roadsters" and "Lightweights":

Only the design most commonly attributed to the Raleigh DL-1 Tourist can be classified Roadsters. I believe the Raleigh Dawn Tourist can be classified as such as well.

However, Nottingham-Raleigh built "Sports" bikes (or any other form of such bike), is easiest on American ears as an English lightweight. No sense in calling them middleweights, their physical shape is more commonly known in the states (and now worldwide) as a lightweight. And although their actual weight is definitely not "Lightweight", the "Middleweight" term has been definitely confiscated by the American semi-balloon tire bikes. The "Heavyweight" term, of course, is strictly guarded by all Schwinn fans to denote "any American bike weighing over 45 pounds, with 26 X 2.125 tires that look more puffy then doughnuts, and equpped with fenders we ripped off a 1930 Harley-Davidson that will give your bike the steering abilites of a herd of oxen."

Just my two cents.

Take care,


   RE:AGE / VALUE: we need to add posted by Brian on 12/6/2004 at 4:55:26 PM
Although far from perfect, I'd like to see, "English Hubgear Classics" as the catagory title here. But of course I can hear someone already chiming in - "but there were hubgear bikes that fit into the Vintage Lightweight catagory as well"!!

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: we need to add posted by P.C. Kohler on 12/6/2004 at 5:05:43 PM
Well you can never please everyone!

Technically and by all rights, the Vintage Lightweights section is the place to talk about ANY lightweight machine which I, at least define, as anything that's not a roadster (meaning with upright bars, slack angles, made of 2030 tubing or similar, rod or cable brakes) and yes.. the Raleigh Sports is a "roadster" at least by common perception. British lightweights had derailleurs (Cyclo-Benelux etc.) from the 1930s onwards or hub gears. Or neither.

So come on lads, let not ghetto-ise this group into lots of subsections. Just fill the Vintage Lightweights site with loads of pithy discussion about RRAs, Clubmans, BSA Tour of Britains, Holdsworth Cyclones etc. and keep the Continentals at bay. They might learn something too.

P.C. Kohler

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   we need to add posted by David on 12/6/2004 at 5:13:29 PM
What's the point in adding a new category? Adding a new one won't miraculously add new people to the discussion. If you can't get your questions answered by the people who already monitor the English Roadster and VLW messages, they won't be answered by relegating them to a new list.

   RE:AGE / VALUE: we need to add posted by jack on 12/10/2004 at 7:10:23 AM
I think the Vintage Lightwt classification is great as-is. General enough to include most bikes that interest me (no matter the nationality), yet specific enough to be useful. Maybe a clearer title should be Vintage Race/Tour.

And yet the English Roadster category is too restrictive. It should just be called Lightwt Roadster so that it obviously includes non-english roadsters as well.

We who are regulars pretty much know what category is appropriate. We should make the categories self-explanatory for the newbies to successfully navigate.

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   A Twenty joins the collection... posted by: Kurt K on 12/5/2004 at 9:03:47 PM
Well, a truckload of Columbias wasn't the only divine payoff of participating at a Ft. Ladurdale vintage cycle show a month ago! I had my two Sports and a third from a local shop on display, which attracted the attention of a Schwinn collector nearby.

"You into Raleighs?"
"Sure am"
"I've got a Raleigh Twenty at home - I want to sell it. Fifty dollars."
"Yea, man"
"What condition?"
"Very nice, paint is good, with a tiny bit of rust here and there. Only needs brake cables. It has a rear rack."
"Is it possible to see it sometime soon?"
"What's your number?"

And so on Saturday, I drove over to his place to have a look at it. Hub dated July 1970, clear-faced Sturmey trigger. U.S. 406 mm sized original S-A rims (Chopper style), with Weinmann brake calipers and red-dot levers. Steering equipment is the one-piece handlebar and stem, which is past the bronze wool stage, and needs a rechrome (or replacement). Same goes for the front rim, but these two things are the only major problems with it. Rear rim is spotless, thanks to that leaky Sturmey AW dripping oil all over it. Tires are BMX replacements. Did not have any grips. He said he'll go $35...then $30.

Came home with the Twenty in the trunk, $30 dollars out of my wallet, and a big smile on my face.

Had a pair of grips that came from a 1977 Raleigh Sprite, a repair from one of the local bike shops. Fellow who brought it in wanted the components upgraded, and the grips were on the list of stuff to be replaced. Grips were about to be thrown out.

"Hello my friend! Got a Raleigh on the stand today, eh?"
"Yes - the man came in and said he wanted to put new parts on this bicycle. He thinks it is a very 'valuable' Raleigh."
"One of those, eh?"
"Yes - he wants to sell it on ebay."
"He probably thinks it's from 1921. Say, are those the grips from it?"
"Yes. The man wants new grips, new this, new that."
"How much do you want for the grips?"
"Take them - I can't sell them and I don't want them!"

And so, they tempoarly were used on the '75 Sports, and now reside on the Twenty. From Raleigh to Raleigh to Raleigh.

Included a picture for your enjoyment.

Take care,



   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   A Twenty joins the collection... posted by Ward on 12/6/2004 at 1:50:04 PM
I also recently aquired a Twenty. The bike is a "hoot"! Mountain bikes,Shmountain bikes. The Twenty is fast for a heavy bike, and if I deflate the tyres slighty I can take it off road into the sandy Jersey Pine Barrens and ride with ease on the trails. Great,well made bicyle.

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   A Twenty joins the collection... posted by Ward on 12/6/2004 at 1:52:12 PM
Ooopppps! "Bicycle".

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   A Twenty joins the collection... posted by David on 12/6/2004 at 5:19:24 PM
Nice find Kurt. You even got the pump! Those are always lost. I have two Twenties; one folder and one fixed. I've never decided what to do about their headsets. The plastic bushing makes the steering the slightest bit sticky and it's annoying. But Sheldon's solution limits the collapsibility. ???

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   A Twenty joins the collection... posted by Kurt K on 12/8/2004 at 2:23:09 AM
Hello David,

Being one of those purist nuts who can't have anything other then the original, I plan to keep the headset on my Twenty stock, just like everything else.

I was successful doing hands-off while taking it around the block for a bit - not on curves, but pretty well on straight sections, even though as you say, the steering is quite on the sticky side.

Can't say that I can complain about it's acceleration though, even with the seat only a few inches up - this little thing is fast - and I never had a chance to get out of first gear for fear I wouldn't be able to stop with my shoes (no brakes on it until I put a temp. front cable on today).

Oh - by the way - it still has it's original Weinmann brake pads, which look like they've never been broken in yet! Unfortunatly, they have dried out, so I'll have to install a new set.

Take care!


ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Classic Raleigh's demise ? posted by: Drew on 12/5/2004 at 8:28:21 PM
Does anyone have a chronology of events leading to the end of the classic three speed by raleigh? I know that in Feb. 1981 I bought a new silver Sports and was told that it was the last of the Engish made 3-speeds. Were Asian built Raleigh's sold after 1981? Any bits of info & history welcome!

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Classic Raleigh's demise ? posted by P.C. Kohler on 12/6/2004 at 4:01:33 PM
Gosh.. who wants to even relive those dark days? Another tombstone in the history of the civilised world was planted when it was announced that Huffy had acquired Raleigh USA. Prior to that and just after, all of the Raleigh three-speeds were still Nottingham built. Well... at least the frames, all enamelled components and the Sturmey-Archer gears. From then on, it was a dismal decline. I remember seeing the first Asian made tat was called a Raleigh "sports" c. 1984. Still had Sturmey gears but it was just rubbish of course.

During the transition time, many Raleighs had the traditional Heron badge with cross-hatching where "Nottingham England" used to be. But I believe the new era of Raleigh USA bikes had all new, big clunky badges.

Remember, too, that Raleigh still made real Raleighs in Nottingham long afterwards.. you just couldn't get them in the USA. The last enclosed, gearcase rod-braked Superbes (which were really revamped Dawns) didn't come off the assembly line until c. 1988 I believe. You can still find these on eBay UK. But even then, I think they were fitted with a lot of Raleigh Denmark components. But the frames and essentials were still "real" Raleigh.

As late as 1992 I could still order and get direct from Raleigh, Nottingham, all manner of replacement parts and fittings for the DL-1 etc.

But frankly, I am trying to forget more of this period than anything else. It was too painful living through the first time around.

P.C. Kohler

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Classic Raleigh's demise ? posted by wayne on 12/6/2004 at 6:03:53 PM
For what it is worth, I have found a 3 speed Raleigh roadster from 1986. This one was made in Canada and has the expected quality levels and a nice "classic" deep blue paint job with silver trim. Overall I would say that the condition of this one is about 9 out of 10.
Apparently some Raleigh bicycles were still being well built in the late 80's.
It cost me all of $50 Canadian.


   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Classic Raleigh's demise ? posted by Warren on 12/7/2004 at 2:45:07 AM
I'm quite familiar with the model you're talking about...I used to borrow my father-in-law's and ride about Montreal for weeks at a time when I was visiting or working there.

Yes, it is a well made bike in comparison to many "generic" department store bikes of the day and it's certainly a good daily rider for $50. There are however, many differences from that generation of bike and it's predecessors from 25 years earlier. Build quality, materials choices, chrome plating, brakes, fender stays, bearings, even Sturmey Archer hubs were quite superior in the post war period up to the early 60's.

Ride yours and enjoy it, but keep your eyes open for a late fifties model for comparison. Next thing you know, you'll have a stable full like the rest of us, if you don't already.

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Classic Raleigh's demise ? posted by Chris on 12/9/2004 at 12:33:33 AM
They had stoped making the Royal Roadster before 1997. 1997 was the year I bought mine direct from factory. My friend bought one and so did I. I think production in England stoped in 1995 or 96?
The last one sold to a customer that was not a Raleigh Co employee was my bike.
Board room bigwhigs got the (last 5) rest. This was part of a stash that was not listed in the computer system. Two other bigwhigs opted out leaving the two open.
It was over $700.00 U.S. with shipping thru Heathrow, and they were already switched over to a green powder coat paint that chipped. I showed it to an old school distributor friend who wept at seeing it's finish.
You see back in the day, Raleigh's had marvelous paint finishes. He questioned me, asking how did I get it in the first place. I pulled strings and was very lucky.

Missing out on the South African Raleigh 28 inch motorized bike in Carmine red, double top tube was a real blow.

Like P.C. who lived through it and does not want to remember it, I also feel that way.

I can close my eyes and remember the woman sobbing. She loved her job, took pride in it. When the end came a lot of really fine people got kicked in the teeth.
Listening to Veronica cry and explain that they were just sold and being shut down and that she was also out of a job as well was horrible.
The last phone call was going to be confirming the money wire was about to go thru and I had asked some question before making it happen at the bank and she stopped me worrying if it had already gone thru or not and when she replied that it was good that I had not sent it yet I asked what was the matter.
She broke down and told me they had just heard that they were out of business. This was the Springs, South Africa factory. It was the end and there was nothing I could do.
She was wonderful to speak with and being into this and loving these Raleigh bikes I also felt the pain.
Scouring the shops in South Africa has not turned up any Factory fitted motorized Raleigh's in carmine red. Not yet.
They are out there.
Bikes for the South African market would come from..... Taiwan.
Upon hearing Taiwan, my stomach soured.
Yes, those were unhappy days. I was adding to the collection and gathering it up from everyplace I could.
The bike was going to Canada and into storage with a friend due to the then customs rules about things from South Africa not being able to be shipped to the U.S.

The arrangements were made, the draft typed, multiple phone conversations made, my Canadian friend awaiting with anticipation the African Raleigh of mine that was going on the shop wall as a beloved conversation piece that was not ever going to be for sale. I was not going to attempt bringing it across the border. Nothing happened, I was too late.
Then this huge shop with all it held, moved and then went under and I had to scramble to bring things home. Going mad in the process trying to get it bought, cleared and back home into my collection. My god, there was so much stuff.
During these times, I was in the shops watching the great dynasty fall. Meeting a lot of bike shop owners and workers who remembered the wonderful trade dinners, factory tours and stories recalling wonderful, profitable, better times. And then seeing the sadness in their eyes with the current situation.
The bicycle industry no longer sold things with magic mixed in the metal, mixed in the rubber and mixed in the paint. It became empty and vulgar, new but cheap and worse yet. It became Foreign.
The face had changed and it held a nasty little smirk for a lot of folks.
It hurt. I was in so many places, so many shops and I was there cleaning out the shops. Buying up the old stuff. I bought things and also pulled things out of the dumpster. Stopping the trash truck waving it on.
A jobber wharehouse company that went under was another tale. I was called in, bought some things. The guys helping me load up also out of a job after the day was out.
I had the audacity to reach across the man's desk and remove placques and knick nacks off his wall and ask how much. I said "Im' sorry, you must want to keep this or that. But with sad disgust he said No, it's for sale.
Yet he was offended. I told him how sorry I was to see it all happening.

Today as I look at these things on my wall I am bothered about it. It would have gone to landfil which is why I grabed it but still. This and that was 50.00 each.
Some of it was kinda expensive at the time but I was just glad to save it, to have it myself in my collection, the experience of being there to see it all happen. I was just glad to have it because I love this stuff. Not motivated by money. I have this stuff in my soul and was out to gather as much of it up as I could. I was souping up the 28 inch Raleigh tourist with 5 speed hybrid gearing and riding and all bewitched with anything British bicycle.

All these times were before discovering the internet, before the discussion groups and all before e- bay.
Looking back, for over 15 years all I did was chase old bikes, visit shops and all kinds of places. What I missed out on, what other collectors got instead of me, and what we all missed out on and what went to landfil was truely mind boggling. I was completly sold out and busy in my quest. When I was all tapped out I would call up other collectors and tell them about the lead I had. We'd go get it and they'd gather it all up into their stashes with my help and they'd marvel, "Where did you find this guy?"
Chris, I'm broke too!
Crap! what do we do?
People I did not like personally, were called in so it was going to be saved from landfil. "Listen you nitwit, You have to come with me, bring your checkbook and how big is your truck?"
"Why did you do this? Why did you call, we hate each other!" he says with a strange, puzzled half- grin. "Because it all would have gone to landfil."
Lack of money, lack of help carrying it all out, poor timing, out of time, the lady had it carted to landfil. I alone knew what was in the last barn full of goodies.
I have beaten some of the sharpert folks in this at their own game.Outraged that this guy would have the nerve to come work my territory! I got in there in time. We were speechless at what all we saw. "Who are you again? How do you know about this?" "Well, exactly how much do you have to get cleaned out? I demanded wondering if we could get another truck on such short notice.
We saved a lot from going to landfil. This was before e- baY. I poured his beer and listened to the story and gasped in horror and I cried because I had seen what all they had and he then said that it all went to landfil?
The waste was/is unbelievable. The ride was breathtaking, interesting, informative, fun, sad, sorrowful, and unbelievable. I can't help but remember. I brought home a borrowed Bianchi book and read it until I fell asleep. Oh the dreams I had. Reading every book I could get my hands on talking about it wit folks, and chasing it down, then getting into this wonderland with the outgoing owner on a winter Sunday morning to get left alone in the cold basement and pull open the drawers and look at everything. He came downstairs and he's thinking I had a stroke on him as I try to re- learn how to speak. I stayed out of trouble, had awesome fun adventures, and would not have missed it for the world. I do miss the people that moved on, retired, or passed away.
There are a few well known collector/treasure hunter/resucers in England still chasing the old bicycle winds for fun and profit as I have done. We can only imagine what they are finding and today with a world internet market, they must be raking it in.
For me it was for the thrill and experience and to further my old bicycle education for for others it was serrious business.

   RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Classic Raleigh's demise ? posted by Chris on 12/9/2004 at 12:46:40 AM
Being a vintage bicycle tool collector, wanting to own everything I ever saw in the bicycle dealer books tool wise especially. It took a long, long time before I was finally happy and I'm still chasing things I want. The old tools were always the hardest part to get. Seperating some beloved tools from the mechanic/owner who used them is like removing a food dish from a feeding dog who has his teeth and jaws in the dish you are trying to get ahold of. Good Luck!
Foeget the money on the glass case, I had to literally dance as they watched for some of these things.

AGE / VALUE:   Sam Antonio Mission Ride posted by: sam on 12/5/2004 at 6:04:40 PM
Saterday I rode in the San Antonio Mission to Mission ride.Weather was low 70s,over cast but no rain.The SA bike path follows along the San Antonio river connecting the 4 of the 5 original Spanish missions of SA.The Alamo being the one not on the Bike Path as it's right in Downtown SA.,and the bike path has not extended to downtown.Round trip for the familiy ride was 12 miles(longer 36 mile ride for roadys)I always have a good time riding the Mission bike path,seeing the 1700s missions,dam and oldest active Aqueduct in the U.S.Folling the river the path is almost flat but does have some rise where it climba the bank to cross over the hi-way.Rode the modified DL-1 was a pleasure with the largs low gear sprocket and aloy wheels,shifted to high(5 speed) for great down hill runs and the V brakes bring the BIG machine to a quick stop. Everone likes seeing the "old style machine" ---sam

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Brooks saddles ? posted by: Dan Adams on 12/4/2004 at 1:16:53 PM
What is the status of Brooks, are they still made where they've always been made and is the quality still A+. Has the company changed had through the years? Prices seem so high for new ones, not to mention some of the vintage models. One sold for $500.(NOS - 1930's) on ebay last week, yikes! I've found a few from the 70s & 80s and thought the qaulity was not that good at all!

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Brooks saddles ? posted by Steve on 12/4/2004 at 5:37:26 PM
Brooks is thriving, still in its old location, and now owned by Selle in Italy. Their new saddles are of very fine quality (I have purchased two recently) and, with the prices of used saddles on EBay approaching absurd levels, have much to commend them. I get mine from Persons Majestic (www.permaco.com), the old distributor who is now retailing them for, albeit, higher prices. I bought one B66 last year for $48 on sale; they are now $69.

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: Brooks saddles ? posted by paul on 12/5/2004 at 1:08:10 AM
I have a Persons Magestic saddle that I use on a 1942 Compax Traveler Take apart Bicycle that looks like a Brooks Saddle. I took it off a decrepit Ladies Elgin from the early to mid thirties with inch pitch drive and steel clad wooden rims. The '42 Compax was made in Westfield, MA and uses same size tires as pre war Raleigh EA-1 26 x 1 and 1/4 and has a two speed New Departure hub and inch pitch drive, the shift is cable operated. I believe Persons Magestic saddles were made in Worcester, MA back in the 1930's and it's interesting to note my saddle looks like a Brooks and now Persons owns Brooks. paul

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Follow up on Raleigh serial #'s posted by: Stan on 12/3/2004 at 9:37:35 PM
I myself was curious about Raleigh frame #'s in the 50s & 60s. Drew asked in his post about a # which didn't match the serial # chart. I've found several 3-speeds with frame #'s that do not match the chart? Anyone have some insight about this, or know of a detailed source of serial # dating on the Raleigh?

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Follow up on Raleigh serial #'s posted by P.C. Kohler on 12/3/2004 at 10:46:46 PM
Forget the serial number charts... with the possible exception of 1947-51 and post 1971, they seem to jibe with everything as long as it's not a Raleigh! How many times have we seen DL-1s on eBay, clearly c. 1970, dated 'according to charts on the internet' to 1921!!

If you have a Sturmey-Archer hub that seems original to the bike, use the date code on that. It will usually be accurate to within four months. If no S/A hub, most Raleighs can be dated by careful accounting of their components and fitments, transfers etc.

P.C. Kohler

MISC:   Achilles Bicycle posted by: Charl Cilliers on 12/1/2004 at 11:41:03 AM

Wasn't sure which forum to post this on...
Just wanted to know if anyone had ever heard of an Achilles bicycle?

I have one in great condition (not for sale) with a licence disk (we used to have these in South Africa) dating from 1962. It is a black men's bicycle, 3 speed Sturmey archer with thumb shifter, rod brakes and a dynamo-driven (painted black) headlamp and tail-light. The painted headbadge states that it was made in South Africa. The rear hub is unfortunately not original since the code is AW 73.

If you search "Achilles bicycle/s" in google you get zero hits!

So, was just wanting to know if anyone had heard of the make.... I will post pictures in due course.

I'm heading off into the rural arid west coast at the end of the week (I'm a botany student) and will be keeping my eyes peeled for more old bicycles... who knows? Maybe I'll find another Achilles? :-)



   RE:MISC:   Achilles Bicycle posted by Tim on 12/3/2004 at 10:36:14 AM
I have an old varnish-fix decal with Achilles on it and it says in small print at the top 'Made in England by Hercules Bicycles'. I have a load of the NOS decals which were probably printed for export machines. I have another really great one with 'The Delhi Mail' and a picture of an old steam engine in the centre. They all have Hercules Bicycles Co in small print. Perhaps your Achilles is an English badgeed up export?


AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh Women's Loop Frame Bike posted by: Mike Grady on 11/30/2004 at 11:32:27 PM
I am a novice in the bike restoration area. I have recently received my grandparents old Raleigh from Ireland and had it sandblasted and powder-coated (it was a true "bog bike"!) I was hoping that someone with more expertice could help me with finding the year of manufacture. It is a single speed, rod brake, loop frame
serial #DK 96501. I can't wait to take this heirloom out for its first American tour.


ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raleigh pump ? posted by: Kurt R. on 11/30/2004 at 9:58:04 PM
Wanted to know what is the correct pump for a early 50's Raleigh.....mine has one made of black plastic, handle reads "Thapex Apex co. LTD. made in England". It looks like the ones pictured on Sheldon Brown's site (1951 brochure). Also, what year did Raleigh change frame lugs...from plain to more ornate ?

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raleigh pump ? posted by P.C. Kohler on 12/1/2004 at 3:10:10 PM
The correct pump is, of course, a Raleigh one! I don't think there was a single component on a Raleigh Industries bike except the tyres and tubes that wasn't made by or for Raleigh specifically.

Roadsters had a colour-matched bakelite pump, usually with the "RI" logo or the Sir Walter Raleigh logo, and a chromed cap at the hose end. Black ones are fairly common on eBay but cost. The coloured ones (Raleigh green, Rudge maroon and Humber blue [I have one of those!]) are RARE and coveted. And remember: none of these things can, by now, pump up a balloon usually! It's safer to be prototypical an carry one of those wonderful mini-pumps in your saddle bag.

By the mid 1960s, the frame pumps were alloy. Most of the ones I remember were sans any manufacturer's markings but there were also even nicer Britannialloy ones supplied.

I am not quite sure about lug changes... were there on the Sports etc. in the 1950s?? The only 1950s cycles Raleigh made with cutaway lugs were the Clubman, Lentons and the RRA.

P.C. Kohler

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Raleigh pump ? posted by P.C. Kohler on 12/2/2004 at 2:45:57 PM
Egad, here's the pump!


FOR SALE:   Dunlop Endrick rims posted by: P.C. Kohler on 11/30/2004 at 5:47:07 PM
Wasn't someone here dead keen on getting 32/40 hole Dunlop Endrick rims (26 x 1 3/8")... well they don't better than this but the UK postage might kill you:


   RE:FOR SALE:   Dunlop Endrick rims posted by Kurt K. on 12/1/2004 at 1:10:09 AM
I believe I'm the fellow you are thinking of, Peter!

I was looking for a Sturmey-Archer stamped 40 hole rim though - not the Dunlops. I did find one fellow here in the States with a nice complete Dunlop Endrick wheel for $7.50. I might get it, but I'm still hoping for an S-A labled example to pop-up one of these days.

I do thank you for remembering, and taking the time to post this.

Take care,