Recreational & Family - Old Raleigh 3-speed or new look-alike.
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09-01-04, 11:34 AM
I usually ride a road bike and enjoy my solo and group rides with the local bike club. However, I would like to ride more around the neighborhood to do routine chores (bank, post office, grocery store etc) but my road bike is a little too pricey to leave locked-up outside for any significant time and is kind of awkward due to the clipless pedals (LOOK 396's) and lack of any rack or fender mounting points etc. Was/am considering an older Raleigh 3-speed but got to thinking that a newer bike from TREK, Giant or whomever with a new version of the Shimano Nexus hub or similar design might be a better option than subjecting an older "collectable bike to rountine rides. What do you think? Old vintage bike or new version? Any brands or models you'd recommend? Thx, Thom.
09-01-04, 02:26 PM
They're two different things, IMO. You can probably find an old single-speed or three-speed in a thrift store for $10-$25 (at least you could here), and put it back in riding condition for $25 to $50, depending on how much work you can do yourself and whether it needs tires. I just rebuilt a $15 Raleigh for a 75-year-old neighbor who wanted "something with a basket to go to the store," and it's fine for what she does with it.
A new bike (hybrid or basic mountain bike) would probably cost $300 or more, and I don't know that it would be THAT much better suited to your purposes--I mean, it's a better bike, and it would work, but would it be COOL?
Another thought: Check the classified ads in your newspaper for a used bike. They're often less than half the new price, and a lot of them have barely been ridden. That's why they're for sale.
09-01-04, 06:50 PM
Well I will say that I really love my Bianchi Milano with the Nexus 8. However velodog has mentioned some great options at a much more economical price tag. It's partly because of fond memories of bopping around on someone elses old three speed in days of yore that I fell in love with my new bike. In recent times, I didn't happen to have a vintage 3 speed available to tinker up. But if someone did that would certainly be potentially great(and great priced) option. Meanwhile, I do love my Bianchi!
Love to All
09-01-04, 10:19 PM
Mate, You can spend a lot of money on a bike and not have as
good a bike for utility use than an older English made Raleigh
3 speed bike. These were made to use as basic transportaion
for the masses. They were also made to haul stuff so they
are stronger than some other bike from that time period.
I used a 3 speed Raleigh to carry very heavy loads of news
papers when I was kid in the late 50's to early 60's. That
bike NEVER complained even tho it often was so heavy I had
to push it 1/2 my route till I could pedal it!!
So if it's utility you seek the English built Raleigh is your
bike.The new "Raleigh's" on the other hand are not as well
made. Sad, really.
09-02-04, 04:35 AM
I've ridden a good many of these old nottingham 3-sp raleighs, and my god, if I could find one in my freaking size I would have one by now. Those are beautiful bikes, and their age only makes them stand out even more.
09-04-04, 09:34 AM
I agree with you 100%. A couple weeks ago I retrieved a 1970 Raleigh Superbe from a garage over in Pleasanton, where it'd been hanging from the rafters since 1971 -- original tire pump and all! The coffee color paint looks like it's a foot deep, the Brooks saddle was in wonderful condition, and the dynamo light set actually throws a useable patch on the ground.
After only three or four hours of cleaning and oiling, my wife was tootling down the street on what is essentially a one year-old Nottingham Raleigh. The old girl turns heads wherever she goes (the bike, not the wife ;) )
09-04-04, 09:55 AM
My wife has a 1980 Raleigh 5 speed which is in like-new condition. I seems to weigh about 1000 pounds compared to the aluminum bikes we have. When I hang it in the garage, I have to get help lifting it! She has decided to get a 3 speed cruiser with aluminum frame and components. It has in Shimano 3 speed internal hub. http://www.sunbicycles.com/03/html_03/retro_alynexus3.html
Ride both and see. I don't think the weight would be critical for the type of riding you describe (I'm doing the same), BUT all of the LBS folks I spoke with said it makes a big differebce and to get aluminum.
09-05-04, 10:30 PM
Yeah, that '70 Raleigh I mentioned comes in at around 40 lbs., which didn't seem like a lot until I bought a '68 Motobecane and had something to compare it to. On the bright side though, the Raleigh leaves the Motobecane liked it's tied to a tree on long downhill stretches. ;)
09-07-04, 10:37 AM
Thanks for all your input. You've convinced me to continue my search for a vintage Raleigh. Living in the Los Angeles, Ca area makes it a little more difficult. Those who are in the know about these bikes have snapped them up already for their own collections or use and/or are re-selling them at a premium; $300.00 to 600.00. The quest continues. Thx again, Thom.
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