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Archived: English Roadsters

AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh Roadster posted by: GMS on 2/28/2004 at 9:05:06 PM
I was down to the bike shop today, and behold something very rare around these parts...a 1978 Raleigh 3 speed roaster. The thing looked like new...literally! Chrome was awsome the brown paint was still shiny. The price that was set at $150(canadian). A good deal I think! I believe that it also had a Nottingham headbadge on it too...only problem was it was a LADIES bike! damn...always the wrong sex when a good bike comes along!

AGE / VALUE:   Losing the bike zeal or just harder to please? posted by: Chris on 2/28/2004 at 8:04:45 PM
Well, perhaps I'm mellowing out a bit. I passed over the Hercules Hawthorne bicycle for 20.00
Didn't even try for it at all. No attempt at haggling either. It was blue, ladies model, single speed, hooked to an exerciser.

At first I was excited to see a bike at all, then I looked it over. I saw that single speed hub, the ladies frame, and well, the bike didn't do anything for me.
I still love the Hercules bikes, but a ladies frame bike is much harder to sell and the trunk was full. If it was a Humber it'd be a different story.

Typical shennanigans at the sales continue. I watch people and the stuff I see a happining is something to shake your head at. The one fellow did not like it that I was looking over his shoulder. He was cleaning out a cupboard that I had over looked. Just a lot of papers and junk. Nothing really sellable. My small pile of stuff was by the door and I was awaiting to be cashed out. Just one last look about before heading out. I had missed this one cupboard. The fellow was told by the boss to clean this out "So people would not get into it and make a mess" Not that we were but that's what he said.
Well, it was not all papers and old mustard bottles! Now I know why the two workers especially the one, was having such a problem with my looking over his shoulder!

I was currious to what was there, maybe old kitchen glasses I had missed?
I put two and two together and now I know what he wanted to me to "Go away"
I love the sales but what I see happening from time to time is no good.
If I was not so naieve and living in my own little world, If I was a bit more worldly- wise I would see and understand even more of what goes on around me, and then it all would be less magical for me.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Estate sales posted by Chris on 2/28/2004 at 8:38:12 PM
The houses are a treat to see and explore. You never know what you are going to see and find. Many are way old inside, with 1960's and 1950's interriors and it's like walking into a time capsule. The one range hood over the stove, so cool and retro. So covered in dusty, greasy kitchen grease. It must have took 20 years to get that so caked up and here it is a way cool piece. I wanted to clean it! It's all going. Ripped up and carted away. The experts, the dealers, the amatuers, and buisness savy. The shady characters too! The hunt for the perfect, retro light fixtures has stalled and I'll take my sweet time in getting that done. I hit my head three times today on low ceilings!

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   James Bicycles, need info posted by: Gregg Radloff on 2/28/2004 at 1:23:06 PM
I picked up a James bicycle at a garage sale for a $1.00. The SA hub notes 63 I guess which dates it.It looks all original to me, even the tires but needs some serious cleaning and some rust removal. I would like to determine what James model it is as well as get more info on the James company. The chain guard says Famous James which I think is a motor scooter. Can anybody out there point me to a info source? Thanks

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   James Bicycles, need info posted by Chris on 2/28/2004 at 8:02:14 PM
I would guess that by this year of hub that this is a Raleigh made bicycle. By 1963 Raleigh was using the name on one of their b- grade line of bicycles.

The actual James Company would likely have stopped making their bicycles and probably folded before 1963.

The name is cool, the price was excellent and it is a fine little bicycle but it probably is not an actual James cycle. You can tell by looking at the headsets and other traits that tell wheather oir not it is a Raleigh or Phillips bicycle.
Raleigh was making a James bicycle in this time period 1963 so I doubt that it is an actual James with an updated rear wheel. Go to E- bay and look at the Raleigh bicycles and look to see if you see your bike's headset on one of them.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   James Bicycles, need info posted by sam on 2/29/2004 at 5:05:51 AM
The James Cycle Company Ltd. started in 1880 by Harry James.James first built hi-wheelers then the James safety.Later part of the British Cycle Corp. and By 1963 as Chris said part of Raleigh.---sam

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   James Bicycles, need info posted by Stacey on 2/29/2004 at 11:52:02 AM
I recently did a bit of research on the Famous James Motorcycles and came up with this piece, taken from: http://freespace.virgin.net/mw.berrie/james_history/james_cycle_company.htm

In early 1997 Comet Restorations acquired a James Ladies touring bicycle dating from about 1960.Over the years we have made various attempts to find out the history of the James Cycle company and would like to find a list of models but much of the history was lost .

None of the established vintage cycle clubs have been able to turn up any information so what we know about the cycle side of James is very sketchy .

The James Cycle company produced high class bicycles up until about 1960 by which time the motorcycle and bicycle business were separated. as part of the expansion of the motorcycle factory at Greet the cycle division moved to the Rocky lane works at Aston in Birmingham sometime in the early 50s.

By 1954 James were sharing the premises with the Hercules Bicycle Company where it continued to produce racing models but retained its own identity separate from Hercules. Eventually the close working relationship led to an amalgamation (or take over )with them.

1953 saw the debut of the Comet Luxury Tourist Model based on an American export model that came with encased chain guard and in a range of colours aimed at the club tourist

In 1954 James put on sale the Transatlantic Model which did not actually go on sale in the UK until November 1954 being unveiled at the Earls Court cycling show to compliment the Comet Luxury .The Transatlantic was a successful export machine released in America the year before .For the Earls Court show James displayed some 19 models including the Arrow Ace an 8 speed model which would later prove a good seller for the company .

By the mid 60s the James name had disappeared becoming part of Hercules Cycles which in turn were taken over by Raleigh industries in the early 1970s .

James Cycles were not cheap and the company aimed at being reliable and high quality and were very keen to develop new ideas and many patients were registered to them .

ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   Upside Down trigger on Ebay posted by: Larry "Boneman" Bone on 2/27/2004 at 11:59:22 PM

Thought someone might find this of interest.


Larry "Boneman" Bone

MISC:   unusual SA hub posted by: Niels on 2/27/2004 at 4:13:45 AM
Got a bit of a puzzler today. Second occurance now, so I'd like your guys input. My buddy just got a NOS 1969 AW hub,and the month is "16", no doubt about it. Any ideas/input,etc? Thanks

   RE:MISC:   unusual SA hub posted by Beth on 2/27/2004 at 10:19:54 PM
This pops up from time to time, but I don't think we've ever had a definitve answer. My Robinhood's AW hub is also stamped 69 16. Is it a quirk from this particular year?

   RE:MISC:   unusual SA hub posted by Geoff Rogers on 3/2/2004 at 5:30:36 PM
The "16" refers to the week the hub was made. Curiously, Lucas, who made all the elctrical compnents for English cars in those days, and who also made a lot of bike stuff like headlights and bells (I have a couple of Lucas headlamps from the 30s or 40s, still in the original green boxes), date-stamped their products as well as Sturmey Archer. In 1969, they changed from using the month of manufacture to the week, for some reason. My surmise is that S-A did likewise, although I think later S-A hubs were date-stamped with the month, not the week. Maybe it was just an experiment in 1969. People experimented with a lot of stuff in those days...
Geoff Rogers

   RE:RE:MISC:   unusual SA hub posted by Niels on 3/3/2004 at 12:27:21 AM
Good stuff; thanks for the answers! That will be good to remember in the future when coming across '69, 7 hubs, or the like!

WANTED:   South of France bars posted by: Tim Cornock on 2/26/2004 at 5:22:26 AM
I recently became the proud owner of my late Fathers Curly Hetchins, and wanted to put the bars on it he'd intended to use. We had a pair of beautiful "South of France" bars that would move from bike to bike depending which one was in use at the time, but recently someone decided to break into his place and steal their current ride. I'd love to find another pair as they were such a comfortable design, and they would be in keeping with the kind of bike my Dad would have ridden as a youth if he'd been able to afford such a luxury as a Hetchins lightweight. Any help would be appreciated.

   RE:WANTED: South of France bars posted by Warren on 2/26/2004 at 2:00:51 PM
There was a pair on ebay last month. They don't show up too often.

MISC:   raleigh roadster posted by: ron on 2/26/2004 at 2:13:56 AM
Did anyone see this, very rare roadster on e-bay, auction ended a day and a half after it was posted.
1. a green 28 inch wheeled Raleigh from the hard to come by years 40 and 50's.
2. size 24
What a find, what do you guys think?
It seems that the green color is less common, I seldom see 40 through 50 28 inch wheeled bike for sale, any reason why??

   RE:MISC:   raleigh roadster posted by P.C. Kohler on 2/26/2004 at 4:48:52 PM
Green was exclusively reserved for the Raleigh "Superbe" models of both the 28" and 26" wheel machines. And yes they are rather rare in 28". Humber and Rudge had the same policy.. Royal Blue and Maroon were "special" colours only for the best models.

P.C. Kohler

MISC:   NRR, but REAL COOL nonetheless posted by: Larry "Boneman" Bone on 2/25/2004 at 1:47:08 AM
Maybe I've lead a sheltered life, but I've NEVER seen anything quite like this "Steer from the rear" tandem:



Larry "Boneman" Bone

   RE:MISC:   NRR, but REAL COOL nonetheless posted by Tim Powell on 2/25/2004 at 3:27:18 PM
I saw a machine like this in I think the National Cycle Museum at Llandrindod Wells UK, or perhaps the one in Coventry. There was also one illustrated in an old pre-war copy of Cycleing. I think it was refered to as a raceing tandem. As you say, Cool.


   RE:MISC:   NRR, but REAL COOL nonetheless posted by Pete on 2/25/2004 at 8:10:52 PM
There is a historical reason for a rear steering tandem.
In Victorian times itwas considered rude for a lady to stare
at a mans back. So she would sit on the front and he keeped control from the rear

   RE:MISC:   NRR, but REAL COOL nonetheless posted by David on 2/25/2004 at 10:24:51 PM
and stared at HER backside...

   RE:MISC:   NRR, but REAL COOL nonetheless posted by paul viner on 2/26/2004 at 9:07:31 AM
very interesting bike,one of the reasons for the rear steer is that,it doesnt feel so disconcerting if you help to steer.the person at the front still steers.my wife and have tried one and comparing it to our normal tandem,she preffered the rear steer.

   RE:RE:MISC:   NRR, but REAL COOL nonetheless posted by Phil Deaves on 2/27/2004 at 11:59:00 AM
My wife and I were looking for a tandem last summer. We found a shop in Oxford (UK) that had a (modern) rear steering one. Bright yellow it was, too. Ugh! The intention was to put child at the front, and adult supervising at the rear.


   RE:RE:RE:MISC:   NRR, but REAL COOL nonetheless posted by Phil Deaves on 2/27/2004 at 12:18:36 PM
Illustration here, if you're interested.


   RE:MISC:   NRR, but REAL COOL nonetheless posted by Chris on 11/14/2004 at 7:04:18 AM
I am looking for a vintage rear sterring tandem. Any help , leads or for sales would be fantastic. Whole or in parts, does not need to be complete, but frame must be straight and steering linkage must be complete.

Chris (415)661-3000 tctilt69@aol.com

WANTED:   Bronze Green Rack posted by: Mike on 2/24/2004 at 4:22:56 AM
Anyone know where I could locate a bronze green rear book rack that will fit a '74 Raleigh Sports mens' edition?

   RE:WANTED:   Bronze Green Rack posted by VVVintage Vintage Bicycles, Inc. at OldRoads.com on 2/24/2004 at 1:20:59 PM
We picked up an NOS bronze green Prestube rear rack at the Monson swap this past weekend.
We'll be posting it (along with a nice DL-1, a '52 Sunbeam, and some other goodies) in the next week or so.

Vin - VVVintage Vintage Bicycles, Inc.

   RE:WANTED:   Bronze Green Rack posted by Steve on 2/24/2004 at 2:56:58 PM
I've got one in bronze green that I don't need. It is quite used, some surface rust, but serviceable and certainly refurbishable. Let me know.

   RE:RE:WANTED:   Bronze Green Rack posted by Mike on 2/24/2004 at 11:18:49 PM
Thanks to everyone who replied, Steve, do you have any shots of the rack? I'm trying to find a rack that's not in new condition but is used (though not beat). I'm trying to get it to match the rest of the bike (used but in pretty decent shape)

   RE:RE:RE:WANTED:   Bronze Green Rack posted by Steve on 2/25/2004 at 2:09:17 PM
Mike, I don't have any shots and the rack is at my house in Boston. I'll be there in another five weeks after some travels and can send you some at that point. I really just want to get rid of it, so it won't cost much at all. I upgraded the Superbe whence it came to alloy rims and a better rack for use as my town bike, so OEM is not a consideration for me.

   RE:WANTED:   Bronze Green Rack posted by James on 2/26/2004 at 8:32:57 PM
Does anyone has a black rear rack suitable for use on a late 60s black raleigh or robin hood?


ENGLISH ROADSTERS:   "Super Cruiser": Different and interesting. posted by: Larry "Boneman" Bone on 2/23/2004 at 10:47:33 AM

I'm going to have to revisit retroraleigs on this one as I don't recall the particulars of the "Super Cruiser". Seems like a sprite, but then, it is not. Neat bike. I like the paint scheme. Though I bet the odds of the sellor knowing the combination to the lock affixed to the rack are slim to none!


Larry "Boneman" Bone

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:    posted by Marko on 2/23/2004 at 4:34:58 PM
It's a Super Course, not a super cruiser. Somebody bin smokin' de ganja mon. It is a nice bike, and would make a really nice club bike.

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:    posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 2/23/2004 at 11:59:46 PM
DOH! I should have guessed. Good catch. As to the sellors choice in smoking materials... well.. mayhap it was just a minor case of dyslexia?


Larry "Boneman" Bone

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: posted by Warren on 2/24/2004 at 12:29:44 AM
Have a look a the shallow drop on those "North Road" bars. They look like alloy...I have some Japanese bars that are very similar. Invert them and they would work quite nicely as club bars,

   RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:    posted by Ian on 2/24/2004 at 7:51:36 AM
No that is not dyslexia Larry, Dyslexia is a bike with to head tubes and a pair of gears between the steerer tube and the fork so that it turns left when you steer right. You should try building one someday. They are a great form of entertainment and a great way to raise money for charity. Charge people a buck a go and give them ten if they can ride it - you will never have to pay out. Best done on a ladies frame so you don,t injure too many blokes! Sorry to hijack the post but you just jogged my memory of how much fun we had.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:    posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 2/24/2004 at 10:14:05 AM
Hmmm. Sounds grand! I would make one more "modification" though. Crossover the drive chain somehow so that one would have to pedal BACKWARDS to go forward!


Larry "Boneman" Bone

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:    posted by Mark R. on 2/24/2004 at 1:04:18 PM
WOW, put a three speed hub, Brooks saddle, drop bars, and a few misc. accoutrements and it really would be a great club bike! I'm tempted to bid....

   RE:RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS: posted by Warren on 2/25/2004 at 1:08:29 PM
Fixed gear conversion....this is the bike I commute with everyday.

   RE:ENGLISH ROADSTERS:    posted by Matthew on 2/25/2004 at 9:01:27 PM
The left for right / right for left and backwards for forwards cyclces are generally known as Jezebels.


AGE / VALUE:   raleigh rod brake posted by: wes on 2/23/2004 at 2:33:27 AM
while in texas this weekend a friend of mine had bought out a bike shop that had been closed for years going through
the stuff i found a raleigh with rod brakes and 28 inch tires the bars going down to the drop outs are bolted also i got a hercules 28 inch with rod brakes when did raleigh
use rod brakes the raleigh is rideable even has the tire pump on the frame the hercules is missing the the front wheel but all there other than that can you help me date them thanks wes

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   raleigh rod brake posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 2/24/2004 at 10:19:50 AM
First, congrats on the "find"! You didn't state if these bicycles had 3-speed hubs or not but let's presume that is the case. Sturmey Archer 3-speed hubs are date stamped with month and year of manufacture. Have a looksee at the rear hubs. 7 58 of course would indicate July of 1958, etc. Possibly there IS no date stamp and that would indicate perhaps 1939 or older.

Additionally, you could write down the serial numbers and compare them to the charts elsewhere on this site.

As to rod brakes, Raleigh used them all the way up to the end of their operations on the 28" Roadsters.

Good luck!

Larry "Boneman" Bone

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   raleigh rod brake posted by wes on 2/24/2004 at 10:26:27 PM
thanks for the information it ia a sturney hub but can find no date on it the other one is a three speed also but the hub says hercules on it cant wait to go back you would not believe every thing in 4 different barns they closed the shop and put every thing in barns and if interested the man will sell you what you need cheap again thanks wes

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   raleigh rod brake posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 2/26/2004 at 2:00:32 AM
Hmmmm.... sounds real interesting. There wouldn't offhand be any NOS full chaincases laying about, would there? Heck, even used ones....

Seriously, if there's an extensive inventory of british bike stuff, I'm sure there are many here that would be very interested!

A hercules hub! And an un-dated S/A!!! You best wipe your feet, sir! :-)


Larry "Boneman" Bone

AGE / VALUE:   Anyone in drivind distance of Red Wing MN posted by: sam on 2/23/2004 at 12:31:54 AM
Wish I were! http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3662349212&category=42312

AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh Sports mudguard stays posted by: David Poston on 2/22/2004 at 11:00:03 PM
Does anyone know the answer to why Raleigh Industries switched from the single pair of mudguard stays to the double pair of stays on the Sports models c. 1970? My '72 Rudge Sports has the double pair of stays, and they are annoying as hell, because there are just another pair of stays to rub on your tyres. I'm wondering how I can safely remove one set (I'm satisfied with one pair).

It's puzzling why Raleigh did this. When all the rest of the fitments were going downhill, they decided to add cost by placing another pair of stays on the mudguards. Baffling.


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Raleigh Sports mudguard stays posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 2/24/2004 at 12:06:09 AM
Only thing I can think of on this one is that perhaps one of the engineers at Raleigh had the same pet peeve I did. The rear mudguard on my first Sprite used to make an awful racket if you hit a hard bump. I've noticed that the Sports that I have with the double stays are solid as a rock. Yes, a pain to get them all aligned so as not to rub, but perhaps that is the reason.

I have other sports models here that have single stays. they are either non-raleighs or the LTD I have is single stay as well. Perhaps it was also a way to set the "Full Fledged" Sports apart from the otherwise-branded bicycles.

Just a couple of guesses of course.


Larry "Boneman" Bone

   RE:AGE / VALUE: Raleigh Sports mudguard stays posted by John on 2/24/2004 at 2:17:06 AM
I don't know for sure, but just a guess from my own experience. My first bicycle, a Hercules Hawthorne made by Hercules Cycle & Motor Co of Birmingham England, had just the one set of rear mudguard stays. The rear mudguard only lasted about two years before it broke at a point just under the rear brake caliper just behind the bridge clamp. The one set of stays didn't prevent the mudguard from moving vertically and the break was probably because of metal fatigue. Putting another set of stays nearly vertical would solve that. Raleigh may have been improving the product at the mudguards even at a time when it appears that they were saving money elsewhere such as the chrome quality and spoke number of 36 becoming standard on front as well as rear wheel.
If that is the reason, you may want to keep the stays as supplied. On most, possibly all, of those Raleighs the stays were welded to the mudguard. They would very likely be impossible to remove without scar to the bicycle. There are ways to get those mudguard stays to stay away from the tire without disfiguring the bicycle.


   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: Raleigh Sports mudguard stays posted by David Poston on 2/24/2004 at 5:12:32 PM
Hmmm...I think Raleigh used a single set of stays on their 26" and 28" roadsters from the very beginning up until the late 60's or early 70's. Did it really take them more than 50 years to figure out that they needed two?

I have noticed that club bikes with celluloid mudguards will have a double set of stays--this is because the mudguards are weaker and prone to breakage, of course.

I don't know about the lower-end brands of Raleigh Industries bikes, but the single set of stays on my pre-1970 Raleigh Sports bikes is perfectly adequate, because both the mudguard and stay itself is pretty HEAVY DUTY. It doesn't shake around at all, no sir. Adding a second set of heavy guage stays seems a bit excessive and is just extra weight and annoyance, methinks. I suppose I'll have to keep the extra stays if they can't be removed safely, although I may have to go with some thinner tyres (Kenda?) since my original Dunlop Sprites (with the two thin white lines) are kind of fat and exacerbate the rubbing problem.

I don't know about you, but the main things that irk me on these bikes are these:

1) Your mudguard stays are rubbing on your tyres.
2) Your right crank arm is rubbing on your chaincase.


   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: Raleigh Sports mudguard stays posted by John on 2/25/2004 at 5:30:16 AM
This is just speculation as I haven't measured a range of Raleigh mudguards but could they have changed to a thinner guage of steel for the fenders and found that they needed to use two sets of stays beacuse of weaker, thinner mudguards? If that isn't it then it would indeed seem strange that they began to use two sets of mudguard stays after so many years using just one.

The mudguard stays are supposed to clear the Dunlop tires with a bit of room to spare. Sometimes over a few years or more of use the stays and sometimes the mudguard gets squeezed narrow or the bolts that attach the stays to the frame allow the stays to slip letting the mudguard droop closer to the tire. Often adjusting the stays to their greatest length, which moves the mudguard further from the tire, or gently spreading the mudguard and stays at the mudguard (sometimes this needs to be done along much of the length of the mudguard to keep its edges straight) will get the stay away from the tire. This should be done carefully and by hand to prevent damaging the parts. If you have already done this, then I'm at a loss for a solution. Hopefully it wouldn't be anything so drastic as replacing Dunlop tyres with Kenda tyres. Not that Kenda tyres are so bad but that Dunlop tyres are so good.

I agree with you about mudguard stays rubbing tyres and the right crank arm rubbing the chaincase. I lost count how many times I have had to adjust fenders and chaincase. With some bicycles it seems to be a recurring frustration and with others it's seldom a problem. It varies even among oterwise identical bicycles.


AGE / VALUE:   Cotter pin press continues to elude... posted by: David Poston on 2/22/2004 at 9:22:29 PM
I'm still in the market for the ever-elusive Park CR-2 cotter pin press...After about five or six auctions. I am willing to pay upwards of $50 for one of these tools in good, used condition.

E-mail me privately if interested.


AGE / VALUE:   BSA on eBay posted by: Matthew on 2/22/2004 at 6:12:10 PM
Unashamed advert. This cycle is for sale on eBay and it is my auction. Do have a look.
item number 2227061120