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Classic and Vintage Bicycles: What's it Worth? Appraisals and Inquiries Use this subforum for all requests as to "How much is this vintage bike worth?"Do NOT try to sell it in here, use the Marketplaces.

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Old 11-14-10, 04:54 PM   #1
Roll-Monroe-Co
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Raleigh rod-brake roadster frame

Hi guys-

At my co-op I spied a donated frame. I'd like to offer them cash for it as-is, but I don't know what's fair. It's important to me to give at least a market price. I love that coop as if it were my own business.

I don't have much info, but here's what I've got: It's a black Raleigh roadster with rod brakes. Seems to be NO WHEELS. Hockey stick-type chainguard. No saddle or seatpost. Otherwise, it appears to have bars with levers for rod brakes and the crankset is complete. There is considerable rust on the chrome and considerable (but surface-looking) rust showing through the paint on the rear stays. The frame is quite tall looking. I was surprised by that because they are usually shrimpy.

I'm in a midwest college town. I doubt these guys would go to the trouble to get it functioning again in the original way.

I don't see many bikes like this around. Supposing that it's not bent, the rust is not terminal, and there aren't wheels hidden somewhere, what would you offer as a fair price? What if there were wheels?

Thanks for any replies.

Eric
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Old 11-14-10, 07:34 PM   #2
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Well, I couldn't resist. I went down there and got the frame and a dynohub wheel (SA but seemingly built for a schwinn). frame has a 7-digit sn stamped in the seat lug starting 22... I think, according to Kurt's system, it's a 71.

This frame and wheel now have an official value--what I paid.

Last edited by Roll-Monroe-Co; 11-14-10 at 07:36 PM. Reason: Official value
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Old 11-14-10, 07:50 PM   #3
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If it really didn't have wheels, its value is much lower, imo. For the rod brakes to work, you need wheels with Westwood rims, which are pretty rare.

Have fun with it though... lots of info on Sheldon Brown and stuff.
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Old 11-14-10, 08:39 PM   #4
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It will be a challenge getting it fixed up, but go for it.

I remember seeing some stainless steel Westwood pattern wheels on Ebay a few days ago, no idea of the quality or anything.

There are a number of India-made bicycles and perhaps the Chinese Flying Pigeon bicycles that use that style of wheel as well, and if you do some research, you may be able to run down a set fairly cheap. I have no idea as to quality. I have an India-made bicycle, and the rims on it seem to be sturdy enough, however, they weren't perfectly round where the rim was spliced (welded). So it was kind of a challenge pulling it into true while building up the wheels. In wheelbuilding, you expect the finished wheel to be perfectly true and spoke tension to be perfectly uniform, and if you start with a rim out of true, one of those isn't going to happen. Also, I haven't dealt with the genuine Raleigh wheels, so I don't know they compare. I believe Yellow Jersey was one store selling the India versions.

You do on occasion see Raleigh handlebars, rod brake parts, etc. on Ebay. (Hint: search for "rod brake bicycle" without the quotes, and click the option to include the text of the ad as well as title). Some of the parts are in England, and while it may be prohibitive to ship an entire bike over here, it may be worthwhile to pick up select smaller parts like brakes, etc.

On the actual value of just a frame like that, I would tend to think pretty minimal, due to the amount of work required to hunt up the other parts. An original bicycle in pretty decent shape is around $300-$400 for a men's frame. If you put one together with a mishmash of parts, I don't know what that does to the value.

Speaking of men's frame, sometimes you'll see women's frame bikes go fairly cheap, and it may be worthwhile to buy one just for the wheels, handlebar, etc., assuming they're interchangeable.

On the frame size, I think they made a 22" and a 24" or 25". Keep in mind that back in the old days, you'd see people riding bikes that by our standards have frames just entirely too big- to such a point that they may not have been able to straddle the frame when stopped. Consider that their forefathers rode highwheel bikes, and that makes more sense.
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Old 11-14-10, 11:13 PM   #5
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Thanks for the thoughtful replies! I believe I have a 71 tourist or dl-1. It does take 28" wheels. I think it's the same as here http://www.jaysmarine.com/TH_Raleigh_Cat_70_14.html

The wheel I got turns out to be a 26" Raleigh wheel with a 66 dynohub. Hub is missing a dustcap. Hoping I can get correct rims and build them up around this dynohub and an appropriate-year AW.
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