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Raleigh Roadster date of mfg?

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Raleigh Roadster date of mfg?

Old 11-14-18, 08:37 PM
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Raleigh Roadster date of mfg?

This is a Dublin made model, imported as part of an estate to the US. The bolted on seat stays were from what period, or is that more related to the full chaincase removal than date of mfg?
The DB55xxx serial number has me stumped.
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Old 11-14-18, 09:03 PM
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Hard to say without seeing pics. Does it have a 3-speed rear hub? If so, and if it’s the original rear wheel, the date code on the hub will be informative.
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Old 11-14-18, 10:24 PM
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Serial numbers are often useless. It was the Dublin factory that burned along with the vast majority of serial number documentation and much more.
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Old 11-16-18, 07:12 AM
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Will post some pics. Maybe headbadge and build attributes will give a clue.
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Old 11-16-18, 02:16 PM
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The bolted on seat stays were on all roadsters with 28" wheels (dl1 dl2 dl3). I have one from 1981 from Nottingham. Maybe I'm missing something...as said pictures will help a lot!
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Old 11-18-18, 07:19 PM
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I am over 10 posts now , attaching photos. Others have said 1950. Any ideas?







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Old 11-19-18, 06:16 AM
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That looks like 26" wheels. Really long head tube. I know they used to offer frames in 24" and even 26" back in the 30s. The white blaze on the rear mudguard didn't appear until the later 30s, so that's the latest feature I see on this bike. I'm stumped on this one. Could be 1950, but it wouldn't surprise me to learn that it was pre war.
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Old 11-19-18, 07:15 AM
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I agree. Hard to tell. The lamp bracket is the "skinny" heron, which I associate with 1930s bikes. It doesn't have a headclip, but then I've had 1930s Raleigh Roadsters that came without (and those that came with). And as @BigChief says, wheels size and frame size might be important clues as they might be particular to the era.
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Old 11-19-18, 04:58 PM
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Answered my own question. Apparently, this head badge was still in use in 1950, so it doesn't answer the question if this bike dates back into the 40s or late 30s or not.
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Last edited by BigChief; 11-20-18 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 11-19-18, 10:44 PM
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Thanks for the replies. The seller in Massachusetts inherited this bike from her grand uncle who died in Dublin, brought to the u s In 1998. In storage since then.. The grand uncle by the name of Frank Finn rode it daily to work, from Terenure to Dublin, about 6 miles each way. He was a chemist at Guinness , and did not own a car.
the seller believed it is 1930ís bike. I am trying to confirm this. A few others had suggested 1950, but pre war might be more in line with what I was thinking and what the seller thought. I believe the wheels are 28. They are being trued, will call the shop tomorrow and ask them to measure.

Last edited by raleighroadster; 11-19-18 at 11:10 PM. Reason: Correct date inherited
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Old 11-20-18, 06:29 AM
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When viewed side by side with a later 24" frame DL-1, it does look like 28" wheels. From the look of the head tube, I'll guess this is a 26" frame. I've seen mention of 26" frames in the pre war catalogs, but have never seen one before this.

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Old 11-20-18, 05:24 PM
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Frame from center of crank to top of top tube is 24 inches. Wheels are 26 inches! That is why I can pedal it with a 32 inch pants inseam.
so with those dimensions this would suggest a 1939 or so d o b, right? When did raleigh roadsters go from 26 inch to 28 inch?
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Old 11-20-18, 05:28 PM
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So full roadsters came in 26 or 28 inch wheels!
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Old 11-20-18, 05:55 PM
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You can find lots of 1930s Raleigh catalogs at the Veteran-Cycle Club library.
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Old 11-20-18, 07:32 PM
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That was very helpful, thank you!
In the late 30's it appears that stainless steel spokes came out. My bike does not have that.
The 26 inch wheels are mentioned in the 1927-1930 gents standard model. The saddles match, 24 inch frame, rod brakes, one speed (3 spd extra)
The 1927 catalog, and the 1930 catalog. are shown below. In the 1931, the gents standard raleigh was dropped. .
Thank you VCC!
Here is

the 1927 catalog, and the 1930 catalog. In the 1931, the gents standard raleigh was dropped.





Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
You can find lots of 1930s Raleigh catalogs at the Veteran-Cycle Club library.
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Old 11-20-18, 07:49 PM
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The thing no one can explain is my double letter prefix serial number DB 55xxx
From this chart, 1927 was B56536
What if my bike were 1927 , but as it was made in Dublin, a D was added in front of the number.


1925-Second World War

Between 1925 and the cessation of cycle production during the Second World War, letters prefixed or suffixed the running frame number although no indication is given of the starting point of the numbers. They seem to reflect only the number of machines produced whilst each letter was in use. All dating would therefore be approximate. (Info from the Nottinghamshire Archives)
1925: A1
1925: B34181
1926/27: B56536
1929: E15693
1930: G94785
1933: L84682
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Old 11-20-18, 09:29 PM
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This is my only source of this information, but it seems to be confirmed by catalog images. The white blaze on the rear mudguard was required by English law in October 1934 so we can assume this bike was made sometime after then. It seems Raleigh dropped production of the 26" wheeled heavy roadster at some point with only the 28" wheeled version remaining. If we use the catalog data (which is not always complete) to find the last 26" wheeled heavy roadster to find an end date and use the mudguard blaze to figure an early date of 1935, it gives us a likely window of production for this bike. It might be narrowed down further by the 24" frame option.

https://thefrugalcyclist.wordpress.c...s-aka-fenders/
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Old 11-21-18, 06:09 AM
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So I am thinking the 1934 law requires all bicycles being operated on public roads have the white rear fender.
so I believe pre 1934 bikes had the rear fender painted. Mask it off and paint it . Pretty easy.
that would keep my 1927 date and serial number correct!!??

Do owners of pre 1934 English bikes operated in England after 1934 all have the partial white rear fenders?


also, my roadster has a lot of space between the
Tire and fender. Maybe it was sold as a 28 inch, and then retroactively fit with 26 inch.. owner might have gotten a set of 26 inch wheels and made the bike fit him better by putting 26 wheels on it. Or the dealer could have been out of smaller more common frame sizes , and made the wheel switch and gave a discount.




Originally Posted by BigChief View Post
This is my only source of this information, but it seems to be confirmed by catalog images. The white blaze on the rear mudguard was required by English law in October 1934 so we can assume this bike was made sometime after then. It seems Raleigh dropped production of the 26" wheeled heavy roadster at some point with only the 28" wheeled version remaining. If we use the catalog data (which is not always complete) to find the last 26" wheeled heavy roadster to find an end date and use the mudguard blaze to figure an early date of 1935, it gives us a likely window of production for this bike. It might be narrowed down further by the 24" frame option.

https://thefrugalcyclist.wordpress.c...s-aka-fenders/



Last edited by raleighroadster; 11-21-18 at 07:34 AM.
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Old 11-21-18, 07:32 AM
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I really would not put any faith at all into attempts to interpret the Raleigh serial # schemes from this era. You're better off guestimating by features, decal styles, catalog descriptions, and whatever @BigChief says!
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Old 11-21-18, 09:00 AM
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I love a good mystery but, unfortunately, I'm not very familiar with the pre war Raleighs. There are so few of them on this side of the Atlantic. I have no personal experience of Raleighs older then my 1951 Rudge. I only have information from the good folks here and catalog scans. However, the early catalogs do mention these heavy roadsters as 26" wheels standard with 28" as an option. From your photo, I see that the bar from the front brake stirrup to the handle bar rod is extra long when compared to my 28" wheeled, 24" framed DL-1. This makes me think the 26" wheels are original to the bike. I am surprised to hear the crank center to top of seat tube measures 24". The head tube is a good 2" longer than the one on my DL-1. edit...Now that I take a closer look at your photo, I see the down tube is at a much lower angle than my DL-1. That explains the longer head tube and might be another clue to your bike's age.
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Old 11-21-18, 09:23 AM
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Or...maybe this 24" frame was made specifically for 26" wheels. Just for fun, I measured the fork on my DL-1. From the center of the thimble to the axle center is 15 3/4" Perhaps the fork is shorter on yours and the length of the head tube and the angle of the down tube was changed to make up the difference.
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Old 11-21-18, 02:27 PM
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15 3/4 on this one too!



Originally Posted by BigChief View Post
Or...maybe this 24" frame was made specifically for 26" wheels. Just for fun, I measured the fork on my DL-1. From the center of the thimble to the axle center is 15 3/4" Perhaps the fork is shorter on yours and the length of the head tube and the angle of the down tube was changed to make up the difference.
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Old 11-21-18, 02:51 PM
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That's interesting. I suppose it's possible that someone changed wheel sizes at some point, but it seems unlikely. They would have also needed to buy the longer piece that bolts onto the brake stirrups because the linkage wouldn't reach otherwise. I think it's a good bet the 26" wheels are original and this bike dates back to the days where the 28" wheel was an option. I would check the catalogs for models with that shallow angle down tube. That would be another clue. Also the head badge, but I don't have any references to show what style was used when. I do know for a while in the 30s Raleigh used varnish transfers instead of stamped badges.
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Old 11-22-18, 11:02 AM
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Fully Braized

Originally Posted by raleighroadster View Post
Thanks for the replies. The seller in Massachusetts inherited this bike from her grand uncle who died in Dublin, brought to the u s In 1998. In storage since then.. The grand uncle by the name of Frank Finn rode it daily to work, from Terenure to Dublin, about 6 miles each way. He was a chemist at Guinness , and did not own a car.
the seller believed it is 1930ís bike. I am trying to confirm this. A few others had suggested 1950, but pre war might be more in line with what I was thinking and what the seller thought. I believe the wheels are 28. They are being trued, will call the shop tomorrow and ask them to measure.
For the UK market braized seatstays were adopted in 1934. My 1934 is a U and they are braized . Your bolted on B would be 1926/7. It certainly fits the catalogue I find the Raleigh numbers to be reliable for Raleigh bikes, not so much all those marques taken over.
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