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  1. #1
    Senior Member Business810's Avatar
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    1971 Triumph 3 speed

    My craigslist find of the day is a 1971 Triumph 3 speed in my size. The original owner has it listed at $45, and I'm going to look at it tomorrow afternoon. According to the post, it's in very good condition with generator head and taillights. From Sheldon's site, I've found that Triumph was a second-tier brand that was manufactured by Raleigh. Regardless, I'm pretty excited to go see it.

    Any tips of things to look for when I go to see it? I can't imagine too many things that would keep me from bringing it home. Pictures, of course, will follow.
    Jon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Business810 View Post
    My craigslist find of the day is a 1971 Triumph 3 speed in my size. The original owner has it listed at $45, and I'm going to look at it tomorrow afternoon. According to the post, it's in very good condition with generator head and taillights. From Sheldon's site, I've found that Triumph was a second-tier brand that was manufactured by Raleigh. Regardless, I'm pretty excited to go see it.

    Any tips of things to look for when I go to see it? I can't imagine too many things that would keep me from bringing it home. Pictures, of course, will follow.
    Hope it's nice and follows you home. Second tier only means it was not a Raleigh, Rudge, or Humber which were their first tier bikes, they were still good bicycles.

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    When Raleigh bought out other companies (Like Triumph,Robin Hood etc) they kept the brand name going since it had some sales appeal. They were still VERY cool. My Mom had a Triumph 3 speed "back in the day".

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    Triumph is a good bike; it got all the same parts as the Raliegh except the Heron chain-ring. Raliegh kept all the names running such as Triumph, BSA ect as it allowed for more than one dealer in any town, some sold Raliegh some sold BSA etc..... all from the same factory, good marketing.

  5. #5
    Senior Member sykerocker's Avatar
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    I'll agree with 385xza's comment completely - back in the day, we sold a lot more Triumph and Dunelt 3-speeds than Raleigh Sports because the overall all quality was just as good as the Raleigh, so it's wasn't worth spending the extra $15.00. Japanese knockoffs (Kent, if I remember correctly) with Shimano 333 hubs sold for $60.00, Triumphs/Dunelts went for $85.00, Raleigh Sports sold for $100.00 - the same as a Raleigh Record.

    It wasn't as luxuriously equipped a bike as the Raleigh Sports, but 3-speeds primarily sold to people who wanted to do a couple/few miles in the neighborhood after dinner on a summer evening, and the Triumph filled that need nicely. I rode a Sports back then because: a. employee's discount, and b. I actually used my 3-speed in place of a car for about three years. At that point, the better appointments of the Sports made a difference.

    What to look for? Completeness in the tinware. Fenders, chain guards, etc. are almost impossible to find nowadays in real nice shape, so I'd want a complete bike. If it's any color other than blue, you've got something a bit rarer. I was always used to the shop getting Triumphs in blue, Dunelts in red, although I have run across a few black ones. Surface rust can be an issue, although Raleigh built bikes had good chrome and I've rarely run across one that didn't clean up decently enough.
    Syke

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Business810's Avatar
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    Thanks for the information! She did follow me home this afternoon. She is in pretty good shape with all of the original pieces - including the fenders, the chainguard, the front and rear generator lights, and the Brooks saddle. The paint is not too bad for a vintage bike, either, but it does have a few scratches. There is no visible rust on the frame, though the brake calipers, levers, and a few other bare metal parts are showing some surface rust. Some polish should hopefully clear that up. All of the bearings are in good shape, the hub shifts like brand new, and the brakes are about as good mechanically as one can expect with all sidepull calipers and steel rims. She will need a few adjustments and some cleaning, but I'm very happy with the purchase.

    Here is a quick picture, though I don't have great lighting in my apartment and I don't have time to clean her up tonight. I'll try to get a start on that tomorrow, and perhaps I'll venture outside for some much nicer and clearer photos.

    Jon

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    Smiling and Waving thebikeguy's Avatar
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    Nice find.Looks to be in great shape.A rare taller frame too,most are shorter.I wouldn't worry too much about the scratches in the paint,consider it "patina".It IS 36 years old afterall.Keep the hub lubed and it will probably out last you.I doesn't look too much different than this 71 Raleigh Sports.
    Last edited by thebikeguy; 12-30-07 at 08:59 PM.

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    Senior Member Business810's Avatar
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    Thanks. The nice thing, maintenance-wise, is that even though the original owner has not ridden it more than a few miles in the last 20 years, he kept it religiously oiled, cleaned, and lubed. Despite a bit of rust on some of the clamps, it's in great shape for its age.

    I'm just looking forward to taking it by my parents' house after I clean it up. My mom had a Raleigh Sports back in the early 70's and it was her favorite bike she ever owned, so I'm sure she will love seeing this.

    On a side note, is there anything I need to do to the saddle? It looks like a B-22 to me. The leather is pretty supple and has no cracks. Given its nice shape, I want to take good care of it and keep it that way.
    Jon

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    Senior Member g-funk's Avatar
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    I really believe that the "non-raleigh' Raleighs will be worth more in the future due to the uniqueness. especially the BSA and triumphs due to the motorcycle link. that said they all suck compared to phillips which are the champion of all raleigh 3-speeds due solely to the fact that I have 2 for sale right now!
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Senior Member Business810's Avatar
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    G-funk, that's a nice matched pair you have! Apparently, the previous owner of my Triumph also had a matching black ladies Triumph of the same year, but his wife had unfortunately sold it at a garage sale a few years back.
    Jon

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    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Business,
    Great find! I wipe my black Raleigh down with an oil dampened rag and it keeps the finish in good shape and keeps rust at bay. It looks like you have the vinyl mattress saddle from the picture. Just keep it wiped clean with a mild detergent.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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  12. #12
    Senior Member Business810's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Business,
    Great find! I wipe my black Raleigh down with an oil dampened rag and it keeps the finish in good shape and keeps rust at bay. It looks like you have the vinyl mattress saddle from the picture. Just keep it wiped clean with a mild detergent.

    Aaron
    Thanks Aaron. I'm a bit confused about the lineage of the saddle, because it is definitely a Brooks, and I thought Brooks only made leather saddles. It looks very much like the B.22 saddle pictured here in a 1958 Brooks catalog. It feels like leather, but it could be vinyl.

    I started polishing some of the chrome, and I think it will clean up very nicely. The sun came out for a few minutes this morning, so I took her out and rode her a bit and snapped a few more photos.





    Jon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Business810 View Post
    Thanks for the information! She did follow me home this afternoon. She is in pretty good shape with all of the original pieces - including the fenders, the chainguard, the front and rear generator lights, and the Brooks saddle. The paint is not too bad for a vintage bike, either, but it does have a few scratches. There is no visible rust on the frame, though the brake calipers, levers, and a few other bare metal parts are showing some surface rust. Some polish should hopefully clear that up. All of the bearings are in good shape, the hub shifts like brand new, and the brakes are about as good mechanically as one can expect with all sidepull calipers and steel rims. She will need a few adjustments and some cleaning, but I'm very happy with the purchase.

    Here is a quick picture, though I don't have great lighting in my apartment and I don't have time to clean her up tonight. I'll try to get a start on that tomorrow, and perhaps I'll venture outside for some much nicer and clearer photos.

    Lovely!

    Looks exactly like my Dunelt, only mine is missing the lights and has an incorrect 36 spoke front wheel. I would guess that your frame has decent paint, but the fenders could use some work. I guess they out sourced the fenders as the paint did not stand up as well as that on the frame.

    http://www.graywolfphoto.com/digital...-20071229a.jpg

  14. #14
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Business810 View Post
    Thanks Aaron. I'm a bit confused about the lineage of the saddle, because it is definitely a Brooks, and I thought Brooks only made leather saddles. It looks very much like the B.22 saddle pictured here in a 1958 Brooks catalog. It feels like leather, but it could be vinyl.

    I started polishing some of the chrome, and I think it will clean up very nicely. The sun came out for a few minutes this morning, so I took her out and rode her a bit and snapped a few more photos.
    Jon,

    Definitely the vinyl saddle, I have at least 3 of them and they all carry the Brooks name plate. I have never seen them listed in a catalog, but don't forget that Raleigh owned Brooks at the time. I also have the same saddle in Tan and White... They are not as comfortable as the Brooks leather for longer distance riding, but they weather much better and are fine for 3-5 miles at a time.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
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    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  15. #15
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by graywolf View Post
    Lovely!

    Looks exactly like my Dunelt, only mine is missing the lights and has an incorrect 36 spoke front wheel. I would guess that your frame has decent paint, but the fenders could use some work. I guess they out sourced the fenders as the paint did not stand up as well as that on the frame.

    http://www.graywolfphoto.com/digital...-20071229a.jpg
    graywolf,
    Why do you think the 36 spoke wheel is incorrect?

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
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    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  16. #16
    Senior Member Business810's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Jon,

    Definitely the vinyl saddle, I have at least 3 of them and they all carry the Brooks name plate. I have never seen them listed in a catalog, but don't forget that Raleigh owned Brooks at the time. I also have the same saddle in Tan and White... They are not as comfortable as the Brooks leather for longer distance riding, but they weather much better and are fine for 3-5 miles at a time.

    Aaron
    Aaron,

    Thanks for the info! I checked a bunch of catalogs and couldn't find it exactly. The material didn't seem nearly as thick or nice as some B.17's I've seen, so I can see how it would be vinyl. I didn't know Raleigh owned Brooks then, though.

    Jon
    Jon

  17. #17
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Jon,
    Here is a crappy picture of my 1971 Raleigh Sports Standard. Same rims and saddle as the Triumph. Mine was actually made in Malaysia under license from Raleigh. I have owned this bike since 1982 and it has been ridden hard and still is ridden today.

    Aaron

    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
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    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    graywolf,
    Why do you think the 36 spoke wheel is incorrect?

    Aaron
    Probably because the rear is a 40 spoke. Also I recognize it as a K-Mart grade wheel. But even if it came from the factory that way, I would still rather have a proper 32 spoke wheel on it, preferably with an oil hub. One with a Dynohub would be even better.

  19. #19
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by graywolf View Post
    Probably because the rear is a 40 spoke. Also I recognize it as a K-Mart grade wheel. But even if it came from the factory that way, I would still rather have a proper 32 spoke wheel on it, preferably with an oil hub. One with a Dynohub would be even better.
    Just wondered...looked stock to me. I have at least one Raleigh that came stock with 36 spoke wheels 1974 IIRC.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
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    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  20. #20
    Senior Member sykerocker's Avatar
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    The 40 rear/32 front wheels is traditional Raleigh. They started going away from this sometime in the 70's, going to a 36/36 combination. Some collectors feel that the traditional wheeled roadsters are the only true Raleighs.
    Syke

    "No wonder we keep testing positive in their bicycle races. Everyone looks like they're full of testosterone when they're surrounded by Frenchmen." ---Argus Hamilton

  21. #21
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sykerocker View Post
    The 40 rear/32 front wheels is traditional Raleigh. They started going away from this sometime in the 70's, going to a 36/36 combination. Some collectors feel that the traditional wheeled roadsters are the only true Raleighs.
    I think the switch over to 36/36 occurred with the 1974 model year, along with those freaky automatic brake adjusters, and the chain wheel without the extra piece in it. I have one 1974 and that is what it came with. Maybe someone with a 73 can tell us what it has?

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  22. #22
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 385xza View Post
    Triumph is a good bike; it got all the same parts as the Raliegh except the Heron chain-ring. Raliegh kept all the names running such as Triumph, BSA ect as it allowed for more than one dealer in any town, some sold Raliegh some sold BSA etc..... all from the same factory, good marketing.
    Not all the parts. The main difference is the rims and saddle. Raleigh Sports would have Raleigh pattern ("westrick") rims and a Brooks B72 leather saddle.

    Triumph would have Endrick rims and a mattress saddle.

    The Raleigh pattern rims were nearly indestructible, but very heavier. If the Endrick rims aren't damaged, they're actually nicer riding due to reduced weight.

    The Triumph might have also had slightly cheaper pedals and brake calipers, though if it's as late as '71, these are probably not different from the Raleigh Sports.

    The Raleigh/Rudge/Humber also had welded fender stays and chainguard braze ons.

    Frame quality was the same, as were hubs, headset and bottom bracket.

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  23. #23
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown View Post
    Not all the parts. The main difference is the rims and saddle. Raleigh Sports would have Raleigh pattern ("westrick") rims and a Brooks B72 leather saddle.

    Triumph would have Endrick rims and a mattress saddle.

    The Raleigh pattern rims were nearly indestructible, but very heavier. If the Endrick rims aren't damaged, they're actually nicer riding due to reduced weight.

    The Triumph might have also had slightly cheaper pedals and brake calipers, though if it's as late as '71, these are probably not different from the Raleigh Sports.

    The Raleigh/Rudge/Humber also had welded fender stays and chainguard braze ons.

    Frame quality was the same, as were hubs, headset and bottom bracket.

    Sheldon "http://sheldonbrown.com/english" Brown
    Also an interesting find...apparently in the late 60's? early 70's Raleigh was having a Sports Standard (low price?) being built in Malaysia. It comes with Endrick Rims and the mattress saddle, no pump pegs and apparently no head light bracket on the 3 that I have seen.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown View Post
    Not all the parts. The main difference is the rims and saddle. Raleigh Sports would have Raleigh pattern ("westrick") rims and a Brooks B72 leather saddle.

    Triumph would have Endrick rims and a mattress saddle.

    The Raleigh pattern rims were nearly indestructible, but very heavier. If the Endrick rims aren't damaged, they're actually nicer riding due to reduced weight.

    The Triumph might have also had slightly cheaper pedals and brake calipers, though if it's as late as '71, these are probably not different from the Raleigh Sports.

    The Raleigh/Rudge/Humber also had welded fender stays and chainguard braze ons.

    Frame quality was the same, as were hubs, headset and bottom bracket.

    Sheldon "http://sheldonbrown.com/english" Brown

    I can not believe that I am going to argue with the worlds formost expert on the subject.

    Things changed over the years, in the early days what Sheldon said is 100% true, but then they made cheaper versions of the light roadster with mattress saddle just like the second tier bikes. Raleigh became very market orientated in its later years (since they were about the only mainstream bicycle make left in England they were only competing with themselves anyway) if someone wanted a cheap Raleigh branded bicycle, why they were willing to sell one.

    Some clarification, Raleigh, Rudge, Humber were the top of the line bikes, the different brands so they could sell them at competing bicycle stores. We seldom saw the Rudge or Humber here in the USA.

    Most of the rest of the obviously English Tourers were second tier bikes, like my Dunelt and the OP's Triumph. Usually came with a mattress saddle, and a tire driven dynamo light (instead of the hub dynamo on the TOL Raleighs). I find it strange that the 60's basket case Raleigh I have is obviously not as well built as the 70's Dunelt.

    Then there were the department store bikes, the third tier. Built to sell for what Sears (I had a Raleigh built JC HIggins once upon a time in my youth, I understand later ones where made in Austria or someplace like that), or whoever, wanted to sell them for, usually $35. Those had some rather crappy components on them.

    I so not think I ever saw the westrick rims on anything but the TOL bikes however. Some folks believe that the stainless steel westrick rimed wheels were the strongest production bicycle wheels ever made. They were something else hardly ever seen here in the USA. I think bikes with the full chaincase, rod brakes, etc were actually imported in the 50's but they were expensive as heck an you do not see many around.

    One other point, these are old bicycles unless one bought it new, one can not be sure if the pieces on it are original or not. So there can be some strange combinations out there.

    Well, I guess I am actually amplifying rather than arguing.

  25. #25
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Also an interesting find...apparently in the late 60's? early 70's Raleigh was having a Sports Standard (low price?) being built in Malaysia. It comes with Endrick Rims and the mattress saddle, no pump pegs and apparently no head light bracket on the 3 that I have seen.
    I believe you're referring to the LTD model. The O.P. says '71, which predates that by a couple of years, I believe.

    Quote Originally Posted by graywolf View Post
    I can not believe that I am going to argue with the worlds formost expert on the subject.

    Things changed over the years, in the early days what Sheldon said is 100% true, but then they made cheaper versions of the light roadster with mattress saddle just like the second tier bikes. Raleigh became very market orientated in its later years (since they were about the only mainstream bicycle make left in England they were only competing with themselves anyway) if someone wanted a cheap Raleigh branded bicycle, why they were willing to sell one.
    Right, that's the LTD. It's true that as time went by the bean counters were readier to cash in on the prestige of the Raleigh name.

    Quote Originally Posted by graywolf View Post
    Some clarification, Raleigh, Rudge, Humber were the top of the line bikes, the different brands so they could sell them at competing bicycle stores. We seldom saw the Rudge or Humber here in the USA.

    Most of the rest of the obviously English Tourers were second tier bikes, like my Dunelt and the OP's Triumph. Usually came with a mattress saddle, and a tire driven dynamo light (instead of the hub dynamo on the TOL Raleighs).
    The tire, sorry, tyre driven generators (I refuse to call them "dynamos") were never factory equipment. Those were aftermarket items installed by the dealer or the buyer. The main British marque was Miller.
    Quote Originally Posted by graywolf View Post
    I find it strange that the 60's basket case Raleigh I have is obviously not as well built as the 70's Dunelt.

    Then there were the department store bikes, the third tier. Built to sell for what Sears (I had a Raleigh built JC HIggins once upon a time in my youth, I understand later ones where made in Austria or someplace like that), or whoever, wanted to sell them for, usually $35. Those had some rather crappy components on them.
    Yes, my very first 3-speed was an Austrian J.C.Higgins I found in the Marblehead town dump. Here I am on it around 1960:



    In the '70s I sold Phillipses for $38.50, third-line models. The main difference was the saddles. They looked like mattress saddles, had the felt/vinyl top and the two springs in back, but the undercarriage of the top was a steel plate, not the longitudinal coil springs of a proper mattress saddle.

    Quote Originally Posted by graywolf View Post
    I so not think I ever saw the westrick rims on anything but the TOL bikes however. Some folks believe that the stainless steel westrick rimed wheels were the strongest production bicycle wheels ever made. They were something else hardly ever seen here in the USA. I think bikes with the full chaincase, rod brakes, etc were actually imported in the 50's but they were expensive as heck an you do not see many around.
    In the '50s, the U.S. industry was concentrating on toy balloon tire cruisers with motorcycle styling. That was the only market the U.S. companies was interested in, so they arranged for protective tarriffs to keep overseas manufacturers out of that business. In their wisdom, the had their legistative minions jigger the import duty regulations so that there was a higher duty on _heavier_ bikes! This is what caused Raleigh to stop bringing in the models with chain cases...the chain case brought the weight of the bike over the threshold where a higher tarriff rate would be imposed.

    Quote Originally Posted by graywolf View Post
    One other point, these are old bicycles unless one bought it new, one can not be sure if the pieces on it are original or not. So there can be some strange combinations out there.

    Well, I guess I am actually amplifying rather than arguing.
    No argument here.

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