Join Date: Aug 2010
Bikes: 1954 Raleigh Sports 1974 Raleigh Competition 1969 Raleigh Twenty 1964 Raleigh LTD-3
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I'm sorry that I didn't include a picture with this thread when I started it. I had figured that this wasn't that weird of an artifact and that all the Raleigh Sports of the era had this and it just wasn't talked about.
Here is the picture:
It seems to be just a piece of wire brazed onto the inside of the fork which is very similar to the wire brazed onto the downtube for the pump pegs but without the longer length, the 90-degree bend, and the little hat on the end to mate with the pump holes. It might just be the same exact wire. I measure it at just about .175" with the paint on it using my calipers which puts it right between number #5 and #6 steel wire. This is using the American Wire Gauge (AWG) and not Whitworth which is most surely what they were using at the time in Nottingham. It sticks out about .175" too but that is harder to measure due to the slight filleting of the brass around the base where it was brazed. But it is nearly exactly as tall as it is wide. The peg is very cylindrical and looks like it was just a short segment of .175" wire that was brazed into a hole in the fork when it was new.
The paint on the fork in this area is fairly good, all things considered. It does not look repainted nor scratched such that whatever bolt-on bracket this peg was supposed to help affix and locate was ever utilized. It's looks all original and factory.
This bike was purchased new in 1954 by my father. It was also subsequently used by his younger brothers in the late 50's and early 60's after he got a car and quit riding it. The fork may have been damaged and replaced at this time with a newer replacement from the factory but it is definately a Raleigh as it has the thimbles and the Heron decals. The front rim is in MUCH better shape than the rear wheel which makes me wonder if it had been replaced at some point. The cone nuts are identical from side to side and both have the locknut. I thought the bikes of this era had the locknut on only one side so perhaps they were replaced by a newer unit due to damage/wear.
I had theorized that maybe the bearings blew up at one point after the wheel was put in backwards and the entire wheel/hub was replaced with a newer unit. It is also possible that the bike was crashed and the front wheel was damaged as well as the fork and both were replaced. I don't have access to this information as my father and his brothers are all at an age where their memory of this time is less than perfect.