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1956 Raleigh Sport Never Used

Old 05-31-23, 04:47 PM
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1956 Raleigh Sport Never Used

My neighbor gave me her bike. It had been stored in her basement for over 50 years. I put in my garage for another ten years. I am finally trying to figure out where this should go. To a museum? A bike shop? For sale? Definitely not the trash (yes she wanted to throw it away). Everything works. I took it for a little spin around the neighborhood the other day. I thought that the brakes were a bit funny. Maybe because they had never been used? The saddle is still the way it was I imagine. The saddle bag has deteriorated, but is still hanging on. The rubber on the handle bars has started to decompose in my hands while I was riding. There is one tiny scratch on the back fender about the size of a quarter. Otherwise, no dents or scratches. The bell has that old sound from the past. No pump or light. Those may have been accessories back in those days that you had to pay extra for? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-31-23, 05:18 PM
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Old 05-31-23, 07:27 PM
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If it hasn't had new grease, I wouldn't ride it as the old grease is probably varnish now and parts will get worn fast. Same goes for the seat which needs some proofhide.
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Old 05-31-23, 07:39 PM
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Nice color. I had a Rudge the same age. The original Dunlop Sprite tires were still holding up after 63 years! I.still have some of the tools it came with, including the bottom bracket wrench that I use often.. The bikes built then had a higher build quality than the ones built after the late '60s. Right now I have a '72 N.O.S. Hercules that was never given it's final assembly. It's still tied up the way it left the factory. Amazing how this stuff finds a hiding place for all these years.. Take good care of that bike.
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Old 06-03-23, 11:55 AM
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Museum? Not likely as Raleigh made millions of these over several decades.

My comments below are based on my local market, hopefully yours is better! The 3 speed market is very weak. The few buyers out there want the man's style, very hard to sell the woman's style, and prices are very soft in comparison. If I service these bikes in attempt to make a profit, I don't. I am out both time and money spent on consumables (tires and cables).

Best way to get a return on these bikes is to ride them. Still, it will need a full service first. If taken to a shop, service and consumables could cost $300 or more. So even if I was given one for free, I would be hard pressed to break even. In my experience, breaking even or making a slight profit on 3 speeds = sell as is. Every $$ on consumables and every minute of time just digs me a deeper hole. I had one that I thought was a "sure" winner. It was men't style, with new expensive tires. Paid $10 for it. Ended up donating it.

Again, certainly urban areas have a strong market for 3 speeds.


From a recreational rider standpoint, the 1980s rigid frame MTB is the winner. Much lighter in weight, much better brakes, tires are plentiful and affordable. And some individual parts of vintage MTBs can have good value: pedals, cranksets, thumb shifters, some stems, some seat posts.

Last edited by wrk101; 06-03-23 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 06-03-23, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101
Museum? Not likely as Raleigh made millions of these over several decades.

My comments below are based on my local market, hopefully yours is better! The 3 speed market is very weak. The few buyers out there want the man's style, very hard to sell the woman's style, and prices are very soft in comparison. If I service these bikes in attempt to make a profit, I don't. I am out both time and money spent on consumables (tires and cables).

Best way to get a return on these bikes is to ride them. Still, it will need a full service first. If taken to a shop, service and consumables could cost $300 or more. So even if I was given one for free, I would be hard pressed to break even. In my experience, breaking even or making a slight profit on 3 speeds = sell as is. Every $$ on consumables and every minute of time just digs me a deeper hole. I had one that I thought was a "sure" winner. It was men't style, with new expensive tires. Paid $10 for it. Ended up donating it.

Again, certainly urban areas have a strong market for 3 speeds.


From a recreational rider standpoint, the 1980s rigid frame MTB is the winner. Much lighter in weight, much better brakes, tires are plentiful and affordable. And some individual parts of vintage MTBs can have good value: pedals, cranksets, thumb shifters, some stems, some seat posts.
Thank you for your thoughts I appreciate the time and what you had to say. Not much service needed on this. The ten blocks that I rode it may have been the longest that it has ever been ridden. The web is riddled with scammers. I put it up for sale on Facebook Marketplace and someone said that they wanted it for $400. "I'm sending my wife" he says. Venmo or Zelle? Nope, just cash. I saw someone looking to get over $3K on eBay. I am mostly concerned about finding the right home for it, and getting more space in mine. All the best.
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Old 06-05-23, 09:34 AM
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As a bare minimum, anything with grease will need service, brake pads need replaced as well as tires.

Asking prices by others are meaningless. Its what bikes have sold for in the past,

One challenge with selling on eBay is packing that full fendered bike. Difficult job, but tends to yield the most $$.

The main advantages of selling on ebay: 1. Higher prices, and 2. Can sell as is. Sure, bikes can be sold as found locally but they tend to go cheap. Your choice.

Last edited by wrk101; 06-05-23 at 12:43 PM.
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