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  1. #1
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    1973 Raleigh Sports - Good deal?

    I've been browsing around for a dedicated commuter bike lately. Not wanting to spend a lot but have been keeping my eyes on something like a Globe Daily.

    Saw this Raleigh Sport posted today and it's pretty slick looking. But, I'm not sure if the price is right for it or whether or not the parts are good? Also seems to be missing a rear brake. Not sure if the front one is original or not.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Senior Member blakcloud's Avatar
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    I think it is a pretty clean looking bike for its age I think it has a rear coaster brake that you can just barely see in the photo, so it isn't missing the brake. Is it worth what they are asking? If everything is working then I would try and talk him down just a little bit.

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    OCD Moderator cb400bill's Avatar
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    It's not missing a rear brake. It is a coaster brake 3 speed.
    Laterally stiff yet vertically compliant.

    Viscount Aerospace Pro Trek 770 Cannondale Synapse

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    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    Lots of people will tell you yes, go for it...so I'll give you an opposing view.

    There are two ways to judge a bike's value - it's value on the market and its value as a bike. On both counts - no, it's not worth it in my opinion.

    In my area, a good bike selling area, Raleigh Sports top out at $200 with leather Brooks saddles, dyohubs, and even a bag. The desirable ones - the 40s - 50s ones - are hard to sell for $200. I think that's over priced by $100, though some folks here think they sell for more. That has not been my experience and they sit on Craigslist for anything over $150. This one doesn't even have a generator hub.

    As a bike to ride, I also don't like it. It's needlessly heavy, has steel rims, crappy brakes...I don't think there's anything good about these bikes...other than durability. Lots of folks here like them...I don't understand it. You'd be much better off with a vintage MTB from a riding standpoint. By Raleigh 3 speed standards, I think that's pretty mediocre.
    Last edited by KonAaron Snake; 08-12-12 at 10:20 PM.

  5. #5
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    Ah, interesting. Reason I mentioned it is this catalog photo of the 1973 Sports has a rear rim brake.


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    Still learning oddjob2's Avatar
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    It's a clean bike, but may not be original. It appears to have the cable braze ons for the rear rim brake on the horizontal tube, unless they are for a frame mounted pump. But I believe the brochure shows cable clamps?

    Take it for a test ride. If you like it, make a deal. After a month, if you don't like it, resell it. The most out of pocket if you keep it clean might be $30-$50.

    There is a heck of a deal on a Single Speed EDDIE MERCKX in Tulsa.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. Albert Einstein
    2014 Additions: 1985 Trek 560, 1992 Trek Multitrack 700 (my 2nd), 1994 Trek Carbon 2200, Peugeot PX-10, 1981 Schwinn Voyageur 11.8, 1989 Bridgestone RB-1, Miyata 912

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    KonAaron Snake: Appreciate the opposing view! It's nice to get viewpoints from people that know far more than I do to help put it in perspective.

    I'm unable to test ride it without making an hour drive so I wanted to make sure the price wasn't a ripoff before I even wasted my time. The item was listed at $200 "FIRM" so I doubt he'd go down much.

  8. #8
    gna
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwjohns View Post
    Ah, interesting. Reason I mentioned it is this catalog photo of the 1973 Sports has a rear rim brake.

    Note the text--it can come with the S3C hub as an option. The S3C is a coaster brake hub.

    Quote Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
    It's a clean bike, but may not be original. It appears to have the cable braze ons for the rear rim brake on the horizontal tube, unless they are for a frame mounted pump. But I believe the brochure shows cable clamps?

    Take it for a test ride. If you like it, make a deal. After a month, if you don't like it, resell it. The most out of pocket if you keep it clean might be $30-$50.

    There is a heck of a deal on a Single Speed EDDIE MERCKX in Tulsa.
    The cable braze ons just came with the frame. Raleigh literally would make a pile of frames, then assemble them into bikes. They wouldn't bother not putting the braze ons on a bike because it was going to have a coaster hub.

    Besides, if you don't like the coaster hub, you can put a rim brake on easily and replace the rear wheel with a different Raleigh rear wheel.

    I have no idea how hot the market is in Tulsa but the price seems a touch high for a '70s Raleigh Sport, even a clean one. If it were a 23" frame the seller could probably get $200 here, but even that might be a stretch.

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    In less than a year I am now the proud owner of 2 Sports, a '72 and a '73. My '73 has a similar decal to the one you have pictured, but does not have a coaster brake. It does have braze-ons for the rear brake cable. The '72 has a coaster brake and no braze-ons for a rear brake cable. Someone did take the time to not apply them on mine. It does have pump pegs that are braze ons.

    I thought I would hate the coaster brake. After riding both options in town and a variety of weather conditions I have come to appreciate the value of a coaster brake. Wet rims aren't a stopping hazzard with it.

    As for cost and value.... I paid more than $200 for one of my Sports. Cost was high, but it is pristine. It did come with a Brooks saddle, the original frame pump, and the seat bag with the original owners manual. I have never regretted the purchase even thought the cost was high and I don't value it as much. The other Sports, my favorite, was given to me by a forum member. It also has a beautiful Brooks saddle. My only cost associated with that one was for tires and some Proofhide for the saddle. That gift Sports is priceless to me and will never leave here. I value it greatly.

    Rear racks aren't very expensive and you can add modern front and rear lighting for visibility and safety. I think I paid $15 for a NOS Pletscher rack and a few dollars for Knog type lights that can wrap around the bars and front fork. You can add a flasher to the rear rack. All in all, I think you would enjoy the Sports as much as the retro modern one you had been looking at. Mine are used as commuters on a daily basis. My experience says "Go for it!" if it fits and is mechanically sound.

    As for price, you could try explaining the cost of new tires, etc. As long as you are reasonable and the ad received few responses, I think many CL folks are willing to bargain.

  10. #10
    Senior Member acoffin's Avatar
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    I have to concur with Aaron. That is a beautiful looking bike, but they aren't actually that fun to ride. I have a yellow 74 with the leather brooks and fitted with creme Schwalbe Delta Cruisers, that I would like to sell. The thing is so darn pretty though.

    On the other hand Oklahoma is so darn flat maybe the bikes weight and high gears won't be such an issue.


    Quote Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
    Lots of people will tell you yes, go for it...so I'll give you an opposing view.

    There are two ways to judge a bike's value - it's value on the market and its value as a bike. On both counts - no, it's not worth it in my opinion.

    In my area, a good bike selling area, Raleigh Sports top out at $200 with leather Brooks saddles, dyohubs, and even a bag. The desirable ones - the 40s - 50s ones - are hard to sell for $200. I think that's over priced by $100, though some folks here think they sell for more. That has not been my experience and they sit on Craigslist for anything over $150. This one doesn't even have a generator hub.

    As a bike to ride, I also don't like it. It's needlessly heavy, has steel rims, crappy brakes...I don't think there's anything good about these bikes...other than durability. Lots of folks here like them...I don't understand it. You'd be much better off with a vintage MTB from a riding standpoint. By Raleigh 3 speed standards, I think that's pretty mediocre.

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    Quote Originally Posted by acoffin View Post
    I have to concur with Aaron. That is a beautiful looking bike, but they aren't actually that fun to ride. I have a yellow 74 with the leather brooks and fitted with creme Schwalbe Delta Cruisers, that I would like to sell. The thing is so darn pretty though.

    On the other hand Oklahoma is so darn flat maybe the bikes weight and high gears won't be such an issue.
    I live in very "rolling" terrain. I think three speed choices are plenty for my commute and I'm a girl. I have lots of fun in either commute direction.

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    Not a good deal, no, but I dont think you'll be getting ripped off if everything works and you like the ride. Some of us love how they ride, btw. Besides, if you dont have time to scour the internets looking for a steal of a price, and then the additional time to put in to make it function well and look pretty, well, you could do worse.

  13. #13
    gna
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    Count Orlok Member gna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowtostart View Post
    I live in very "rolling" terrain. I think three speed choices are plenty for my commute and I'm a girl. I have lots of fun in either commute direction.
    FWIW, step through Raleighs usually go for a bit less. If you like this one, though, buy it.

  14. #14
    Get off my lawn! Velognome's Avatar
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    If you like it buy it. then go for a ride. There is little more pleasing than coasting along on a hot August night in the mellow glow of a Miller lamp, the sound of crickets and the Tick, Tick, Tick of a Sturmey hub. Priceless!

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    KingoftheMountain wannabe Savagewolf's Avatar
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    Ride it, like it, buy it. Listen to your gut and what you really feel about it. I've been looking for a C&V bike for awhile. I saw a Raleigh Team U.S.A. bike that I liked but most people would say was overpriced and not worth the price it was selling at. I was convinced not to get it due to the value, but my gut said I should get it.

    I'm satisfied 110% with the bike, and it gets more miles than my $5k carbon Madone gets. I also spend far more time than I should each day thinking of the small things that I want to clean up or upgrade on the bike to make it even better.

    If you love the bike and it rides well, go for it. Sometimes value is only really what you think the bike is worth, not others. Just keep in mind that if you intend to sell the bike later, then in it may be better to listen to what others say it's worth. If it's intended as a forever bike, a higher selling price shouldn't matter as much.

  16. #16
    gna
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowtostart View Post
    In less than a year I am now the proud owner of 2 Sports, a '72 and a '73. My '73 has a similar decal to the one you have pictured, but does not have a coaster brake. It does have braze-ons for the rear brake cable. The '72 has a coaster brake and no braze-ons for a rear brake cable. Someone did take the time to not apply them on mine. It does have pump pegs that are braze ons.

    As for price, you could try explaining the cost of new tires, etc. As long as you are reasonable and the ad received few responses, I think many CL folks are willing to bargain.
    Starting around '73, Raleigh made many minor changes to the Sports, such as self adjusting brakes, 36/36 spoking instead of 32/40, and braceless chainwheel. In '74 brazed on top tube cable guides became standard. Before that they used clips. They're not on your '72 because they didn't come on any '72. See http://www.kurtkaminer.com/TH_ralsport_visID.html and http://www.kurtkaminer.com/TH_Raleigh_Sports_chart.html

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