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Old 02-02-12, 03:50 PM   #1
greengage
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1951 Lenton Tourist--too much of a project?

Would this bike be the best thing ever or break my heart--and my wallet?

http://boston.craigslist.org/sob/bik/2807498438.html
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Old 02-02-12, 04:00 PM   #2
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What do you want to do w/ it? A cleanup-and-ride project would probably be cool, but a full showroom restoration would be prohibitive.
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Old 02-02-12, 04:10 PM   #3
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Whoa... and in a 23" frame at that! I may be heading to Boston this weekend anyway.
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Old 02-02-12, 04:14 PM   #4
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got damn... I'd regrease, clean, and ride the snot out of.
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Old 02-02-12, 04:14 PM   #5
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Needs too much for MY tastes

Well, he couldn't get any interest on it from local e-Bay folks last time around. That should tell you something.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1951-Raleigh...item19ccd68b25

Maybe compare it to this Lenton in much nicer shape, that has lingered on e-Bay for months, off and on.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1953-Raleigh...item415d7e0384
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Old 02-02-12, 04:29 PM   #6
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That's a way cool bike.
As John E implied, I think you can forget it about it if you want to bring it back to showroom condition, but if you can appreciate a little "patina", it could be a great project.
I'd plan on throwing a little money at it for rubber, cables and a Brooks saddle at least -(the original item there looks too far gone to me.)
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Old 02-02-12, 04:40 PM   #7
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Well, he couldn't get any interest on it from local e-Bay folks last time around. That should tell you something.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1951-Raleigh...item19ccd68b25

Maybe compare it to this Lenton in much nicer shape, that has lingered on e-Bay for months, off and on.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1953-Raleigh...item415d7e0384
Sounds like he got interest but had issues with shipping, etc. on ebay. I don't know this guy personally but I've emailed with him about a couple of bikes and he seems like a good egg going through some tough financial times. He's done some awfully nice restorations--I've seen one in person and seen his Flickr pics. I have my own half-finished Lenton project on my hands already (and yes--I'm all about the cleanup-and-ride-the-snot-out-of-it) but my bf did look at this one admiringly. I just dont think we have the wherewithal to take it on, but in any case I hate to see a cool bike like this sitting around! Someone take a nice day trip to the Cape and get it!
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Old 02-02-12, 05:01 PM   #8
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Sounds like he got interest but had issues with shipping, etc. on ebay
Point taken.

My thought is...if it was a really decent purchasing deal, someone in that HUGE New England bicycling community (as close as a few hours road trip from NYC for that matter) would have snapped it up already off the e-bay auction, local pick-up and cash in hand.

Heck, three days now on C/L for that matter. The "good deals" last only hours, minutes even.
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Old 02-02-12, 05:04 PM   #9
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The bike looks like a fun restoration project. The seller, not so much.
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Old 02-02-12, 05:05 PM   #10
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Sounds like he got interest but had issues with shipping, etc. on ebay. I don't know this guy personally but I've emailed with him about a couple of bikes and he seems like a good egg going through some tough financial times. He's done some awfully nice restorations--I've seen one in person and seen his Flickr pics. I have my own half-finished Lenton project on my hands already (and yes--I'm all about the cleanup-and-ride-the-snot-out-of-it) but my bf did look at this one admiringly. I just dont think we have the wherewithal to take it on, but in any case I hate to see a cool bike like this sitting around! Someone take a nice day trip to the Cape and get it!
It is a bike that I'd love to have in my stable, but with a restoration of my 1949 Hercules Kestrel in progress, it is hard for me to justify. I also think his price is a little high for the condition. At a lower price, I'd be knocking at his door.
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Old 02-02-12, 05:13 PM   #11
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Well, he couldn't get any interest on it from local e-Bay folks last time around. That should tell you something.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1951-Raleigh...item19ccd68b25

Maybe compare it to this Lenton in much nicer shape, that has lingered on e-Bay for months, off and on.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1953-Raleigh...item415d7e0384

That second one, in addition to being priced too high, suffers from poor photos.
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Old 02-02-12, 05:20 PM   #12
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Concur!
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Old 02-02-12, 05:49 PM   #13
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Yah, bad photos on the second one, but that one's clearly not got really disturbing frame rust on it...
Patina is one thing - this just hurts my eyes to look at the bottom bracket area. I don't necessarily think that it would collapse underneath you... but rust never sleeps. And forget about that front wheel. It's in good shape but belongs on a bike that you don't care if it stops - like a Sports.
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Old 02-02-12, 05:56 PM   #14
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I would love to work on the bike but It's too expensive.
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Old 02-02-12, 06:20 PM   #15
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Man, that's dreamy...3 times too much money.
The rust doesn't bother me a bit.
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Old 02-02-12, 07:58 PM   #16
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greengage WAKE UP! It's a 23" ( harder to find), it's really in not that bad a shape, those alloy bars are way cool and it's February. Show up at the door, look it over, grumple about every rusty nut and bolt and layout $150 in cash. If it were closer, it would be in my garage by now.
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Old 02-03-12, 07:42 AM   #17
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As I'm heading up that way to retrieve my 1961 Fiorelli tandem I think I'm going to touch bases with this guy.
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Old 02-03-12, 07:55 AM   #18
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It's fine IMHO. Price is fine too if you are willing to pay it to ride it as a keeper in your fleet.

Looks like a great rehab project!
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Old 02-03-12, 08:53 AM   #19
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Well, he couldn't get any interest on it from local e-Bay folks last time around. That should tell you something.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1951-Raleigh...item19ccd68b25

Maybe compare it to this Lenton in much nicer shape, that has lingered on e-Bay for months, off and on.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1953-Raleigh...item415d7e0384
You can't compare the first one to the second one. The second one is BS, if you'll pardon the term. It's a 1962-3 model, which means the frame is exactly the same as a Sports (not 531) and all the original components were chromed steel. The blumeles fenders are not original. The 1953 hub is not original. The Wrights saddle is not original. And so on. You won't win any best in show with that one. It's not a bad bike, but it's value is somewhere around the value of the Bluemels fenders plus $100.

The first one is cool, though a bit overpriced. For me the killer is the irreplaceable front rim. The brakes, chain guard, handlebar, and rear rim are all valuable and sought after items. Worth the cost of restoration? I don't know. But it has potential.
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Old 02-03-12, 09:24 AM   #20
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Is the front rim really irreplaceable? I was wondering whether I could swap out the front wheel from my '48 Sports which has a Dynohub, or are we talking about completely different beasts?
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Old 02-03-12, 09:35 AM   #21
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Is the front rim really irreplaceable? I was wondering whether I could swap out the front wheel from my '48 Sports which has a Dynohub, or are we talking about completely different beasts?
It is irreplaceable in that it is a 26x1-1/4 alloy rim as opposed to the common 26x1-3/8 steel rims that are on other Raleigh bikes. The wheels are entirely different beasts and you can't even exchange the tires between the two bikes. Don't get me wrong, the wheel from your 48 Sports will fit fine, but it will not be proper for this bicycle.
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Last edited by photogravity; 02-03-12 at 10:22 AM. Reason: grammar, ugh!
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Old 02-03-12, 09:42 AM   #22
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^just so. The original wheels on the Lenton Tourist (and Lenton Sports, Lenton Clubman, &c) are 26 x 1 1/4 (597 mm) as opposed to the 26 x 1 3/8 (590 mm) of the Sports and other three speeds. There's nothing wrong with the former, but no one makes the rims any more and the tire selection is severely limited. Finding a replacement Dunlop aluminum 32H rim is going to be tough. I would get CR18's in 26 x 1 3/8 (590 mm) and put the rear rim on the shelf. If the correct rim turns up cheap, I might grab it; if it's price is through the roof (as is not unlikely) I would more likely sell the rear one.
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Old 02-03-12, 10:14 AM   #23
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Your heart would have to be in it to make it worthwhile. Yes it will be impossible to match the rear wheel and find decent tyres for it as well as finding the rest of the original equipment. Then don't. I suspect that rear alloy rim would make a $100 reserve (if not more) at auction to help offset the costs. Build some nice 700's or EA3's or even 650's and clean it up. It would make a smashing runabout and like they say, they're not making them like that anymore. Value is in the eye of the beholder.
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Old 02-05-12, 12:10 PM   #24
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There are a couple folks here on the forums who already know this, but I acquired this bike yesterday. The seller, Don, is one of the most gracious and easygoing guys you'd want to meet and he loves old English steel as you can see through his flickr account. It would be great to have has participation in the forums and I'm hopeful he'll join in the future.

About the bike: it is in pretty rough shape overall, but with some love and attention, I am confident this is going to be a nice rider. The right seatstay has a slight bend in it and the paint is in extremely rough condition, so it may be a good candidate for a repaint. I'll make a determination on that later depending on how well the rust cleans up.

I know, pictures or it didn't happen. They will be coming soon.
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Old 02-05-12, 02:00 PM   #25
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Wow. Cool.
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