Do Not Open Until Xmas

Do Not Open Until Xmas

(Written 20Nov09, but not posted until the wee hours of Christmas morning in the interest of keeping it a surprise…)

So, I got another vintage Raleigh on Kijiji, as a Christmas gift for my husband from our kids (it was actually their idea. Honest!). It’s in hiding in a friend’s garage, so I can’t check serial numbers (the article at The Headbadge and this scanned Raleigh 1970s serial numbers memo should be really useful when I do) or take further photos, but I can show you the ones I downloaded from Gord’s sales listing:

Mid-to-Late-1970s-era (based on the decal style) Raleigh 3-speed with two 36-spoke wheels. The rear hub is actually a Shimano, not a Sturmey-Archer. (Strange, yes? So, the wheels are possibly not original – although at some point (1990s?) Raleigh was no longer exclusively using Sturmey-Archer hubs according to this history by Tony Hadland.) The trigger shifter is unmarked, so likely came with the Shimano hub. There aren’t any braze-ons for a frame pump.

Is this a Tourist, Sports, Superbe, or Ltd frame? How does one tell?
Nice shot of the headbadge (missing a rivet, and with two lines at the bottom instead of a Nottingham or America location – anyone know if that tells me something about date or where it was made?) and the chrome nose on the front mudguard. The silver sticker above the white R decal says that at some point long-time local institution United Cycle had this one come through their shop.
The chrome will need a little work, but it’s in pretty good shape. The shifter cable needs to be reconnected to the 3-speed hub, and there’s a little rubbing noise from somewhere when you turn the crank. If those problems are beyond me, I’m told the fellows at RedBike are the men for the job, but I do want to do what I can myself first.

Boy, does that chain need cleaning. You can’t tell from this photo, but the cotterpins have R nuts on them, the pedals have the Raleigh crest, and that’s a Pletscher kickstand (which is going to get replaced with a Y kickstand that came off a 1970s Raleigh, for better stability when parked). I looove the heron chainwheel – so elegant. A replacement chromed NOS chainguard is en route (thanks to eBay), now if only I can source the clips to attach it:

Needs a replacement reflector, and I wonder if it’s possible to replace the Wrights plate (based on the 1973 Brooks-Wrights saddle catalogue I mentioned a few posts back, this is a Wrights pan saddle – page 48 – and they must have switched production from white PVC to black) that was torn off the saddle? 26-inch wheels mean it’ll be easier to fit a Wald 135 front rack and child seat on this bike than on my Mary Poppins. (My preference is for a Bobike Junior, with lap belt, footrests, jacket protector, and seat spring cover. Naturally, that will cost more than the entire rest of the bike combined. Sigh.)
As for a date, perhaps this nearly-identical ladies’ Raleigh being sold by an eBayer in Saskatchewan (a scant province away for you non-Canadians) can help: its Sturmey Archer hub dates it to 1979 or so.
Now taking nominations for names. Bert, perhaps, since it’s a consort for Mary? All the black bits *are* a bit chimney-sweep-ish…
[Update: Merry Christmas! So it wasn’t even close to being a surprise, thanks to some hints dropped by me and the kids – hubby’s a pretty smart cookie and had figured it out ages ago. It’s possible that I’m more excited than he is – but he is pleased. Waiting for the bike to be dropped off by our kind friend who’s been hosting it in his garage…]
[7 Jan, Update 2: Bert-the-Bike is still in our friend’s garage, but my husband has gone to visit and seen it in the flesh. It reminds him of his first bike (FTW!), and fits him perfectly (we’re close to the same height so that wasn’t much of a gamble). He says the tires are totally flat and it’s stuck in third gear, so hard to say how it rides. I am waiting anxiously to get at it with a camera and find out all the serial numbers and the specifics of the mystery hub, and making myself nervous about which hub it has and whether I’ll need a whole new-old wheelset for the restoration…]

2 thoughts on “Do Not Open Until Xmas

  1. Update: Keith the wonder mechanic took a look at Bert today, and dated him to about 1975 based on the style of brakes and his own identical bike (except that his has the original wheels, unlike Bert).

  2. I just found the fraternal female twin of this bike on the side of a road in Waterloo. I’m going to ride it myself anyway. And agreed about the chain wheel. I shined mine up and it’s the best part of the bike.

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