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  1. #1
    Senior Member southpawboston's Avatar
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    1951 Raleigh DL1 (pic heavy)

    in the flurry of DL1 threads recently, i realized i had never posted pics of my DL1-- a 1951, but far from original. i picked this up a couple of years ago in rough shape, with a lot of non-original and missing parts. rear wheel was bent beyond repair. headset and BB needed replacing. fortunately i scored a huge DL1 parts lot at a swap meet and was able to take the best parts from that and try to recreate a decent, though by no means period-correct, DL1. frame, fenders, chaincase, rack and hubs are original as far as i can tell. i removed the rear 1951 hub internals and inserted them into a 1980 hub shell that was already laced to a good 1980 westwood rim (easy way to replace the trashed rear rim). while i was at it, i swapped out the stock 18T cog for a 22T to help with the somerville hills! pedals, grips and headlight are 70s vintage, as are some of the brake bits. i serviced the headset and bottom bracket (needed a new spindle, original was pitted...found a good one at a local bike co-op), as well as the hubs (1951 hub internals were in great shape except for the clutch, which i replaced with NOS). dynohub works great, the taillight is surprisingly bright. the paint had seen lots of rattle-can touchups but since large sections were original and in good shape, i chose to just wipe it down and leave as is. there is remarkably little surface rust on this frame.

    this is the most relaxed riding bike i own. it's a joy to ride around town, and the brakes are surprisingly...adequate (as long as i don't ride in the rain!). i'm inspired by veloria's threads to swap out the tires (not original, but not exactly reliable either-- taken from the DL1 parts lot) with schwalbe delta cruisers in cream. then again, i *really* don't want to have to take that rear wheel off again...









    original taillight (wired my way):



    original chaincase is in rough shape, but the fit is perfect: zero chain rub or slap!


    teardrop headlight is newer vintage. note the non-original wiring setup. i never liked the way that raleigh ran their dynamo wiring-- it was sloppy. having worked for years with electrical circuits and wiring, i just had to do it differently.




    original dynohub. note that i'm running only a single conductor to the switch and using the bike's frame as the second conductor:


    DL1 posed next to my wife's 1973 union, which was built in the netherlands:
    Last edited by southpawboston; 10-25-09 at 10:17 PM.

  2. #2
    Lug Princess Veloria's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting these! Is this the bicycle you had with you the other day?
    If so, I must say that it looks to be in even better condition in person.

    Whatever it is you do to your bicycles, I am taking your advice from now on; I was very very impressed!

    Do the dyno lights work reliably? And are they bright enough for night-time, or do you supplement with LED?

    My husband is planning to get a full chaincase for his 24" DL-1 next and do some other upgrades. He would love the look of yours.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Coreyk's Avatar
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    What is it about Somerville, MA and marvelous English Roadsters? They must grow on trees out there.

    Really nice roadster. I would consider a DL-1 to be perhaps my personal be-all-end-all bike.

    I have a neighbor who occasionally loans me her 1980 model; it feels fairly light when compared to my 1983 Stumpjumper. Is your 1951 model comparable in weight to the later ones?

    Here is a pic of hers I took this summer:



    Possibly the most *stately* bicycle I've ever ridden. I dearly want one of my own.

    Corey

  4. #4
    Lug Princess Veloria's Avatar
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    It's true, they do grow on trees here : )
    Though my husband's came from Maine.

    I see that the 1980 model in your photo does not have a "cotton tail" rear fender. I had read in another thread about the law in the UK that required that white fender strip, but can't seem to find it now.

    Do you know in what year they stopped making the DL1s altogether?
    Did the diamond frame and loop frame have the same years of production?

    In terms of weight: For what it's worth, my 1972 lady's frame is what I consider to be "light" - at least by the standards of today's Dutch bikes and Pashley.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Coreyk's Avatar
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    I have been told that Raleigh ceased production of the DL-1s in the 1985 model year.
    Late 1970s catalog scans show the loop frame as well. Neither seem to sport the full chaincase in the pictures I've seen, though I'm sure it was an option.

    This particular bike is a bit of an anomaly. It came off of CL in the San Francisco peninsula, but the seller knew the entire history. The bike was ordered by a Raleigh dealer for his own use, and his son sold the bike to the fellow my neighbor bought it from.
    (I actually knew the bike shop owner when I was in high school in the 80s. Nice man. He sold my father a very nice Univega which he rode for a decade.)

    CK

  6. #6
    Upright bars SirMike1983's Avatar
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    I have a '78. It's a joy to ride. They dropped the white tail sometime in the late 1970s, at least here in the US. Some of the export models kept them-- sent to India, Africa, Caribbean etc. I prefer the earlier stuff with Dynohubs and chain cases, but even the later ones are nice to have.

    I think the brakes are "adequate" if kept in peak operating condition and dry. But wet they're weak. They also have the nasty habit of being "clunky" when there's hop to the rim (which there often is after years of rod brake use).

    On the whole a blast to ride, especially with 22 tooth cog.

    English Roadsters, American Roadsters, and Balloon Tire Bicycles
    The Bike Shed classic bicycle blog: http://bikeshedva.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
    Lug Princess Veloria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coreyk View Post
    I have been told that Raleigh ceased production of the DL-1s in the 1985 model year.
    Amazing that they made rod brake bicycles through 1985!

    Slightly off topic, but perhaps not:

    I am a bit confused about the model names. Are the Roadster and Tourist essentially the same thing? Or is the Tourist a subtype of the Roadster? Same question re the Superbe and Sports: Is the Superbe a deluxe version of the Sports? But wait, there is also the Superbe Roadster! What the ...?

    Also, does every model have a DL-# number corresponding to it? I know that some refer to models as DL-1, DL-2, DL-3... but what model names do these refer to?.. I have tried numerous times to get this straight, but it is not so easy!
    Last edited by Veloria; 10-26-09 at 12:08 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member yellowjeep's Avatar
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    Between this thread and the tweed and porn thread, the more I see these the more I am convinced I must have one. I have quickly fallen in love with old english bikes.
    When in doubt, style it out.

    How to post full size pictures

  9. #9
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I am hoping that one day I will be able to ride a Sports or Roadster again... my back really does not like the more upright position and I have sold my Sports and Rudge because of this.

    It's better that other folks get to appreciate them and I have a buyback deal with the young lady who now has my Rudge... should she ever decide to part with the old boy.

    I should also be able to borrow him from time to time should an event warrant it so all is good.


  10. #10
    hi YoKev's Avatar
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    Thats one classy bike

  11. #11
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veloria View Post
    Amazing that they made rod brake bicycles through 1985!

    Slightly off topic, but perhaps not:

    I am a bit confused about the model names. Are the Roadster and Tourist essentially the same thing? Or is the Tourist a subtype of the Roadster? Same question re the Superbe and Sports: Is the Superbe a deluxe version of the Sports? But wait, there is also the Superbe Roadster! What the ...?

    Also, does every model have a DL-# number corresponding to it? I know that some refer to models as DL-1, DL-2, DL-3... but what model names do these refer to?.. I have tried numerous times to get this straight, but it is not so easy!
    Hopefully Kurt will weigh in, I don't have all the names and numbers straight.

    All Raleigh bikes had model numbers and names.

    The Superbe and the Sports are the same frame, the difference being in the "trim" level. The Sports actually came in two levels at varying times, some were known as Sports Standard and then as an LTD. Those used an Endrick pattern rim vs the Westrick, did not have pump pegs and usually did not have a headlight bracket. They were quite often made under license, mine was made in Malaysia. The standard Sports had Westrick rims, vinyl mattress saddle or depending on the year a Brooks B72 and came with an air pump.

    The Superbe typically came with a leather saddle, usually a B67, pump, color matched rear rack by Presstube Minor, locking fork and dyno hub with lights. Confused yet? The Superbe model designation was a DL24, the Sports was a DL22. The step through frames seem to have added an "L" to the end of the model number, ie; a step through Superbe would be a DL24L. The model numbers also changed over the years on some models.

    My wife has a Raleigh Colt which is a smaller sized version of the Sports. Hers came with a coaster brake hub and is an 18" frame the model designator on that one is a DL58L.

    Sheldon Brown has a decent archive of information and some catalogs.

    Aaron
    Last edited by wahoonc; 10-26-09 at 03:52 AM.
    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.

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  12. #12
    Fuji Fan beech333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Hopefully Kurt will weigh in, I don't have all the names and numbers straight.

    All Raleigh bikes had model numbers and names.

    The Superbe and the Sports are the same frame, the difference being in the "trim" level. The Sports actually came in two levels at varying times, some were known as Sports Standard and then as an LTD. Those used an Endrick pattern rim vs the Westrick, did not have pump pegs and usually did not have a headlight bracket. They were quite often made under license, mine was made in Malaysia. The standard Sports had Westrick rims, vinyl mattress saddle or depending on the year a Brooks B72 and came with an air pump.

    The Superbe typically came with a leather saddle, usually a B67, pump, color matched rear rack by Presstube Minor, locking fork and dyno hub with lights. Confused yet? The Superbe model designation was a DL24, the Sports was a DL22. The step through frames seem to have added an "L" to the end of the model number, ie; a step through Superbe would be a DL24L. The model numbers also changed over the years on some models.

    My wife has a Raleigh Colt which is a smaller sized version of the Sports. Hers came with a coaster brake hub and is an 18" frame the model designator on that one is a DL58L.

    Sheldon Brown has a decent archive of information and some catalogs.

    Aaron
    Interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  13. #13
    Senior Member southpawboston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veloria View Post
    Thanks for posting these! Is this the bicycle you had with you the other day?
    If so, I must say that it looks to be in even better condition in person.
    yes, it's the same bike, and thanks! i think it's because i don't know how to photograph worth beans .

    Quote Originally Posted by Veloria View Post
    Whatever it is you do to your bicycles, I am taking your advice from now on; I was very very impressed!
    we should start a co-operative effort: you photograph my (and my wife's) bike collection and provide aesthetic consultation, and i will provide technical and repair/upgrade assistance for your DL1s.

    Quote Originally Posted by Veloria View Post
    Do the dyno lights work reliably? And are they bright enough for night-time, or do you supplement with LED?
    well, not really. the front headlight is not as bright as modern LEDs and can't provide illumination for the rider or acceptable visibility to others as well as a LED does, even though it does appear bright when you're looking right at it. the taillight is surprisingly bright (about as bright as a single or double LED taillight) and has 270 degree visibility. i replaced the front and rear bulbs with the standard 2.4V and 0.6V bulbs, respectively, but there does seem to be a rear bias. the dyno itself seems to output as well as a new one. the weak link is definitely the old-style incandescent bulbs. i am working on a home-brew LED retrofit.

    rather than load up all my bikes with various LED lights, i keep a permanently mounted rear LED on my helmet, and i have a larger front LED that i attach to my helmet at night. my setup is designed for visibility to drivers, not illuminating the roads since all my riding is on lit urban streets. if i were to commute on unlit rural roads, i'd have to have a different setup with more robust lighting. obviously, this arrangement doesn't work for helmet non-wearers, but it works for me..

    Quote Originally Posted by Veloria View Post
    My husband is planning to get a full chaincase for his 24" DL-1 next and do some other upgrades. He would love the look of yours.
    any time...we can PM and arrange a meet up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coreyk View Post
    What is it about Somerville, MA and marvelous English Roadsters? They must grow on trees out there.
    the greater boston area (and somerville in particular) are rich in cycling history, with lots of local frame builders and bike shops that go back generations. (not to mention, the late and great sheldon brown lived in this area). but i suspect that raleigh roadsters can be found in most metro regions in the country. interestingly, at the last local swap meet i attended, there were a ton of DL1s represented, but most were 70s models, nothing really too old.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coreyk View Post
    I have a neighbor who occasionally loans me her 1980 model; it feels fairly light when compared to my 1983 Stumpjumper. Is your 1951 model comparable in weight to the later ones?
    really? that surprises me since the stumpjumper has the compact MTB geometry and chromoloy tubing. i think the DL1s of different vintages are about the same in weight, since the parts didn't really change much. however, accessories can make a difference. the dynohub's huge magnet itself adds a couple of pounds, and the rack and chaincase add some weight as well. i wouldn't call the DL1 light by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a few pounds lighter than a very similar dutch roadster that i have that is built in holland. [/QUOTE]

    sirmike, i love your headlight. is it a sturmey archer unit? it looks older than the ubiquitous teardrop unit that i have (which was also put on the superbes and sports of the same era).
    Last edited by southpawboston; 10-26-09 at 07:22 AM.

  14. #14
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Are you sure it's a 1951? I don't see any serial # on the left side of the seat lug (though it might have a BB serial). The offset front brake pads are also throwing me off. The pulley wheel and reflector are the only two details possibly backing up the '51 date.

    Model numbers changed throughout the years. What the U.S. market called a "DL-1" in the '60s and '70s (chaincaseless), the UK market called a DL-2 (IIRC) in the '50s. Can't recall for sure. I'm nursing a cold right now, so I don't have the energy to double check my research at the moment. Sorry.

    -Kurt
    Last edited by cudak888; 08-15-10 at 05:23 PM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member southpawboston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
    Hmm - are you sure it's a 1951? I don't see any serial # on the left side of the seat lug (though it might have a BB serial). The offset front brake pads are also throwing me off. The pulley wheel and reflector certainly back up the '51 era though.
    -Kurt
    kurt, i'm not sure. the bike is far from original and was at one point owned by a roadster collector, so who knows what's happened to it over the years. the main reason i'm calling it a 1951 is because both hubs were date-stamped to 1951, and things like the fulcrum pulley, reflector, rack, taillight, chaincase, etc are consistent with that period. it's entirely possible that someone retrofitted those parts onto a newer frame. the SN is on the BB shell and is partially illegible. i haven't been able to match it against anything. the other mystery is the absence of a BB oiling port, which could shed some light. what year did they discontinue it? when were the offset front brake pad adapters added?

    another small difference that differentiates this DL1 from the newer ones is the fender stays:

    most 60s-70s DL1s use a one-piece galvanized "U" shaped rod with curled ends to fasten to the axle bolts. this DL1 uses two straight rods with one threaded end and the other end clamped to a P-clamp at the axle.



    what puzzles me is that veloria's 193x DL1 has yet different fender stays. i don't know whether the stays on my bike are from a specific period, or if they hail from a different market.
    Last edited by southpawboston; 10-26-09 at 08:33 AM.

  16. #16
    Gammal cyklist Reynolds's Avatar
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    My '80 DL-1, single speed, 26" balloon tires:









    Paint is original, stand, lights and rack not but period correct.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Fibber's Avatar
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    Thanks for the picture of the headlight and bracket assembly. I'd always wondered what / why those tab headbadge brackets on Raleigh bikes were for.

    Also, your suggestion to substitute a 22 tooth sprocket for the 18T is a great idea, and will certainly make the bike more rideable. I assume that there is adequate room in the fully enclosed gear case to accommodate the larger diameter? How about chain length?

  18. #18
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by southpawboston View Post
    the main reason i'm calling it a 1951 is because both hubs were date-stamped to 1951, and things like the fulcrum pulley, reflector, rack, taillight, chaincase, etc are consistent with that period.
    The fenders, definitely, now that I see the closeup. Frame looks it as well, but I'd need closeups of the lugs to be sure.

    The fact that it was owned by a collector is something to note - there is, therefore, the chance of significant modification.

    Quote Originally Posted by southpawboston View Post
    the SN is on the BB shell and is partially illegible.
    Do you have a picture?

    Quote Originally Posted by southpawboston View Post
    i haven't been able to match it against anything. the other mystery is the absence of a BB oiling port, which could shed some light. what year did they discontinue it?
    Early '60s, on the Sports models. Don't know if this is congruent with the DL-1's evolution.

    Quote Originally Posted by southpawboston View Post
    another small difference that differentiates this DL1 from the newer ones is the fender stays:

    most 60s-70s DL1s use a one-piece galvanized "U" shaped rod with curled ends to fasten to the axle bolts. this DL1 uses two straight rods with one threaded end and the other end clamped to a P-clamp at the axle.
    The "rod" stays were used back in the '50s, but are not a significant dating feature. The U.S. DL-1's were the primary examples that were fitted with the alternate wire stays; most of the remaining production used the rod stays. Note that Reynolds' magnificent, orange 1980 DL-1 has the latter. My Nottingham-made, 1979 Rudge DL-1 (for Curacao export) also shares the same adjustable rod stays:



    You might notice, however, that your fenders are slightly boxier then the later '70s fenders; that is in keeping with the '50s theory.

    EDIT: Your taillamp is also '50s-era.

    -Kurt
    Last edited by cudak888; 10-26-09 at 09:15 AM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Fibber's Avatar
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    My 1950 (hub is marked '49) uses the same straight two piece fender stays nutted on both sides of a tab on the fender as you show, so at least 'some' of your bike is original '50's vintage.

    I also have something curious in the bend (or in this case absence of bend) of the handlebars. My '69 & '73 sweep forward before resolving in the straight center section. The '50 is very plain by comparison. I need to shoot pixs of these little details so that we can compare notes.

  20. #20
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fibber View Post
    My 1950 (hub is marked '49) uses the same straight two piece fender stays nutted on both sides of a tab on the fender as you show, so at least 'some' of your bike is original '50's vintage.
    Read my note above - a non-U.S.-market model as late as 1980 can have those stays.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fibber View Post
    I also have something curious in the bend (or in this case absence of bend) of the handlebars. My '69 & '73 sweep forward before resolving in the straight center section. The '50 is very plain by comparison. I need to shoot pixs of these little details so that we can compare notes.
    I've often hypothesized that the wider bars were something developed for the American market in the '60s (though I think a couple of U.K. examples also featured these bars). They pop up mainly on U.S. examples, and not before the '60s. Greater knee clearance for the big folk, I assume. Post-60's export models retained the narrower bar, and some U.S. models came with them as well (see SirMike1983 and CoreyK's posts).

    '73, '73, '76




    -Kurt
    Last edited by cudak888; 10-26-09 at 09:29 AM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member southpawboston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
    My '80 DL-1, single speed, 26" balloon tires:
    reynolds, that is a beautiful DL1. interesting that it has 26" tires!!! was this one designed for export? i do note your threaded rod fender stays.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fibber View Post
    Also, your suggestion to substitute a 22 tooth sprocket for the 18T is a great idea, and will certainly make the bike more rideable. I assume that there is adequate room in the fully enclosed gear case to accommodate the larger diameter? How about chain length?
    there is plenty of space in the chaincase for the larger cog, but you will definitely need a new chain, or at the very least, add four links to maintain the axle position in the dropouts. even slight change in that position will require repositioning the rear rod brake stirrup stays. also, on a slight tangent, i found that the fenders were designed to have the best fit around the tire when the axle is near the front of the dropout. if the axle is near the back of the dropout, the gap between the tire and the fender at the front is too large and everything appears skewed.

    Quote Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
    The fenders, definitely, now that I see the closeup. Frame looks it as well, but I'd need closeups of the lugs to be sure.
    that's reassuring! i will try to get more closeups of the lugs.

    Quote Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
    The fact that it was owned by a collector is something to note - there is, therefore, the chance of significant modification.
    yeah, that's what i was thinking as well. i have no illusion that this is an authentically dated DL1, but at least i know that all the parts are real DL1 parts (when i got it, many of the bolts were substituted with whatever "did the job", not DL1-specific, and fortunately i was able to replace most of them with the proper ones (the rod brake clamps in particular use very odd domed nuts). the DL1 parts lot i scored had the hardware from about 15 DL1s!!! this bike *definitely* had been worked on a lot and fitted with different parts. i have it to the point where i'm almost satisfied. mechanically it's about perfect, and i'm pretty fanatical about the mechanical aspect of everything i own (scientist and former engineer by training). but it's visually tainted enough and non-original enough that i can actually enjoy riding it and not worry about it getting scratched or knocked over in a bike rack. i may incorporate some of veloria's ideas since they seem to work so well, visually, on the DL1.

    Quote Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
    Do you have a picture?
    not at the moment, but i will take a look tonight and see if i can get a good pic of the SN.

    kurt, i have to say, your rudge roadster is outstanding!!! it certianly stands apart from all the black raleigh-branded versions. did the brooks B73 come standard? the raleigh-branded version came spec'd with the B72 throughout the 70s. seeing yours makes me want to replace the B67 with a B73. i see you have a rear 3-speed dynohub... sweet!!! i didn't know raleigh continued to make the battery packs into the late 70s. also, interesting that your rudge doesn't use the short shifter cable housing and fulcrum wheel; instead it uses a long cable (white, no less!) with cable stop near the hub. those are very hard to find as NOS with the indicator spindle adjuster barrel pre-installed. most NOS full-length housing versions have a bare end to which you have to clamp the barrel adjuster.

    very nice, indeed. thanks for all your input, too.
    Last edited by southpawboston; 10-26-09 at 10:02 AM.

  22. #22
    Gammal cyklist Reynolds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post

    I've often hypothesized that the wider bars were something developed for the American market in the '60s (though I think a couple of U.K. examples also featured these bars). They pop up mainly on U.S. examples, and not before the '60s. Greater knee clearance for the big folk, I assume. Post-60's export models retained the narrower bar, and some U.S. models came with them as well (see SirMike1983 and CoreyK's posts).
    I didn't thought of it before, but probably that's the reason. I'm not tall at 172 cm, my seatpost and stem are at limit insertion mark and my knees touch the bars sometimes when I turn sharply.

  23. #23
    Gammal cyklist Reynolds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by southpawboston View Post
    reynolds, that is a beautiful DL1. interesting that it has 26" tires!!! was this one designed for export? i do note your threaded rod fender stays.
    Thanks!
    Kurt thinks so, and he surely knows about Raleighs.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Coreyk's Avatar
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    As an aside, I may have just worked out a trade deal for the 1980 DL-1 I posted earlier...
    Wish me luck.

    Up The Roadsters!

    Corey


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    Senior Member funrover's Avatar
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    This thread is gonna make me ride my dads old Raliegh.. It's a fun rig to ride

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