For the love of English 3 speeds...
It was in post war Britain that the Raleigh Sports really came of age as it was a lighter and "sportier" alternative to the heavier English roadsters and remained in production well into the 1980's.
It was the "All Steel bicycle" and for most of it's production life was fitted with a Sturmey Archer AW hub although through 1957 and 1958 it was fitted with the poorly designed and ill fated SW hub.
The 1950's were the peak of Raleigh production and quality and they were a household name in most of the English speaking world and on this side of the pond they were referred to as English racers.
But they were never racing bikes.
This was a well made and sturdy utility bicycle that was designed to last 100 years and they did not see many changes during their production life... latter models have alloy stems and brakes and the Superbe was always completely fitted out with generator lights and a locking fork which brought it's weight up to 42 pounds without a full chain case.
I know this because I owned a 1978 model and only sold that when I could no longer ride in an upright position due to a back injury.
My Superbe roadster... my friend now enjoys this bicycle and it has been his daily driver for several years and still looks even better than it did when he received it as it now sports a new honey brown B66 saddle and matching Brooks saddle bags.
I also owned a beautiful 1948 Rudge roadster which was Raleigh made but because of my back issues decided to sell it to a young lady who is longer of leg than I and enjoys this bike immensely.
So for the first time in many years I found myself without an English 3 speed and that could never do as my daughters and I love riding our English three speeds together.
I have a beautiful 1955 Raleigh Lenton fixed gear road bike, but it is not a 3 speed...
So I set about building up an English 3 speed that I could ride...