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Do I really need my classic Raleigh Tourist?

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Do I really need my classic Raleigh Tourist?

Old 04-30-19, 07:44 AM
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julius rensch
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Do I really need my classic Raleigh Tourist?

The Question ?
Do I really need my classic Raleigh Tourist?

Answer:
Probably not, but I truly believe my 50 year old Raleigh needs me!


Julius in Ohio
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Old 04-30-19, 08:29 AM
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Pics or it didn't happen. Oh and you need 10 posts before you can post a picture. Welcome to BF.
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Old 04-30-19, 08:38 AM
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Speaking as one who has a '73 Tourist, 24" frame (I clear it, just barely), as well as a 23-1/2" frame '69 Raleigh Sprite (Sturmey-Archer S5), the Tourist gets used in all commuting that is five miles and less and doesn't expect me to carry a package that won't fit in my large Schwinn seat pack or messenger bag. I've been doing this for five years now, find I like the Tourist better than the Sprite in everything except brakes (especially on wet rims), and consider the Tourist probably the best commuter bike ever made.

You certainly want to keep that Tourist. There's is nothing classier in bicycles made.
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Old 04-30-19, 08:55 AM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by sykerocker View Post
Speaking as one who has a '73 Tourist, 24" frame (I clear it, just barely), as well as a 23-1/2" frame '69 Raleigh Sprite (Sturmey-Archer S5), the Tourist gets used in all commuting that is five miles and less and doesn't expect me to carry a package that won't fit in my large Schwinn seat pack or messenger bag. I've been doing this for five years now, find I like the Tourist better than the Sprite in everything except brakes (especially on wet rims), and consider the Tourist probably the best commuter bike ever made.

You certainly want to keep that Tourist. There's is nothing classier in bicycles made.
.................................................................................................... .................................................................................................... .................................................................................................... .................................................................................................... .............

My Tourist was a Christmas present from my wife back in 1972.....although my Gal has passed back in 2007...my reliable Steed remains. While my Raleigh has approximately 60,000 miles on it....me, the sole rider, has many more at the age of 78. LOL
Just for the record, my Raleigh Superb with Dynamo Hub feels rather "spindly" by comparison.
Julius in Ohio
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Old 04-30-19, 09:11 AM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by julius rensch View Post
.................................................................................................... .................................................................................................... .................................................................................................... .................................................................................................... .............

My Tourist was a Christmas present from my wife back in 1972.....although my Gal has passed back in 2007...my reliable Steed remains. While my Raleigh has approximately 60,000 miles on it....me, the sole rider, has many more at the age of 78. LOL
Just for the record, my Raleigh Superb with Dynamo Hub feels rather "spindly" by comparison.
Julius in Ohio
I know the feeling. I ride that Sprite from time to time, but it just doesn't feel as good.

Right now I'm looking for a woman's frame Tourist. Want to restore/backdate it for a friend of mine who doesn't Women's Land Army (British) in WWII reenactment.
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Old 04-30-19, 10:04 AM
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I bought and have been reworking a 24" Raleigh Tourist DL-1 as part of the Clunker Challenge:

The long wheelbase and crazy front fork rake make for a really smooth ride. I have an extra pair of 635 BSD rims that I am thinking of rebuilding with a 3-speed coaster brake hub to get a third brake option for messy weather. I have only ridden the Tourist in fair weather, but the rod brakes are not impressing me. Just one note that made a difference for me was correcting the front brake install so the trailing link on the front brake shoe was installed properly (positions the front brake shoes almost under the front fork, rather than extended to the front):

Where are the pix of classic Raleigh rod brake bikes?

-Will
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Old 04-30-19, 10:27 AM
  #7  
julius rensch
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Originally Posted by sykerocker View Post
I know the feeling. I ride that Sprite from time to time, but it just doesn't feel as good.

Right now I'm looking for a woman's frame Tourist. Want to restore/backdate it for a friend of mine who doesn't Women's Land Army (British) in WWII reenactment.
.................................................................................................... .................................................................................................... .................................................................................................... ...............................................................................................
A noble project Sykerocker...I too, keep looking for a Ladies Tourist...it would be easier for me to step through the frame, rather than throwing over, to mount.
My wife had one...just a little too large for her to be comfortable with...we traded it for a Fugi Light Weight with 6 speed....which she rode until she passed in 2007.
We used to do relaxed 25 milers on Sundays together...I miss those precious days.

all the best, Julius in Ohio
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Old 04-30-19, 10:39 AM
  #8  
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Wow, Random Tandem...what a find...looks great...that Brooks Saddle is The Bomb.
Mine (purchased new for me by my wife in 1972) now has over 60,000 miles on it...still in love with it, I am.
I've done a number of 100 milers on it, back in the day. Reliable & Forgiving are these English Postmans Raleighs.

all the best, Julius in Ohio
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Old 04-30-19, 10:46 AM
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Old 04-30-19, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by julius rensch View Post
.................................................................................................... .................................................................................................... .................................................................................................... .................................................................................................... .............

(...) my Raleigh has approximately 60,000 miles on it....me, the sole rider, (...)
Julius in Ohio
Did the math. Am suitably impressed.

Welcome, Julius!
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Old 04-30-19, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by julius rensch View Post
Mine (purchased new for me by my wife in 1972) now has over 60,000 miles on it...still in love with it, I am.
I've done a number of 100 milers on it, back in the day. Reliable & Forgiving are these English Postmans Raleighs.
I am impressed - 100 miles on a 38lb-er. It took me two days to ride more than 70km this weekend. You only have 3 more years before your Tourist turns 50, but I bet there are still a few good miles to go. I am waiting for your post count to get to 10 so we can all see the machine that has served you so well.

Originally Posted by julius rensch View Post
that Brooks Saddle is The Bomb.
Thanks, Julius, but I have to cop to the fact that the saddle is not a Brooks, but rather another vintage saddle I picked up from the local Bike Coop for CND$5 (the saddle and pedals were the only non-original parts when I bought the bike). A Brooks would have blown the budget for the Clunker Challenge. Given the bike it came off, I think it was made in the USA.

-Will

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Old 04-30-19, 08:36 PM
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No, you don't need a Tourist. I've had a few pass through my place and never bonded with them, as much as I like the concept and what they represent.
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Old 04-30-19, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by thumpism View Post
No, you don't need a Tourist. I've had a few pass through my place and never bonded with them, as much as I like the concept and what they represent.
^
I tend to feel the same way as @thumpism. I've enjoyed all the cable-brake Raleigh Sports I've owned in the past - even those that were not so exciting - but I've yet to have a DL-1 that I really enjoy riding.

All things considered though, I tend to fall into the trap of negatively judging the DL-1 on impulse over poorly trued rims and badly adjusted rod brakes. Make no mistake, having perfectly trued rims with rod brakes makes a big difference and a DL-1 shouldn't be judged for its ride unless the rims are absolutely true and rust free. You'll want good pads too.

Still, there's a limit I have for the handling of slack frame geometry. Though this is arguably what makes the DL-1 visually interesting to begin with, I really don't enjoy the front end flop. To me, the wheel flop is an annoyance at slow speed. By the time you're traveling fast enough for it not to be an issue, the gyroscopic forces of the wheel fight you when you do want to corner.

But this is only my own personal take on the DL-1.

Nobody can really answer whether you should keep your DL-1 but yourself, but you can use the ride characteristics as a guide: Do you prioritize the ride over the looks, or the looks over the ride? Which is more important to your enjoyment of the bike? Match up what you want with the DL-1's characteristics. If it's a match, keep it. If not, pass it on.

Keep in mind that I actively own a Rudge DL-1 that doesn't fit me either (and I don't really enjoy riding). But it is such a fantastic bike to look at that I'm very pleased to keep it for that reason.

-Kurt
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Old 05-01-19, 12:16 AM
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It's like my late beloved cat Socks. She needed me and I needed her and she would have passed long ago without my love and help. Keep your Raleigh and enjoy life, it's short but made of good moments.


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Old 05-01-19, 06:37 AM
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As cudak888 states, front wheel flop is annoying. Mine has a coaster brake too, without it I probably would not have ridden it much. When I received the bike in 1981, as a “ take, it, it’s yours” gift, starting fron scratch on spoke tension to control the wheel shape was a must.

one of the original tires let go five years ago, the bead failing. All hail Mr Dunlop. 40 plus years is not bad.
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Old 05-01-19, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
Did the math. Am suitably impressed.

Welcome, Julius!
.................................................................................................... .................................................................................................... .................................................................................................... .................................................................................................... ................
Hey non fixie...The old Raleigh serves me well..however, a bit of correction is in order,...I did not take her to our 16 year saga in the Caribbean, as the island we were on had not roads.
She was in storage Stateside , hence the low mileage. Most of the 60,000 miles were from flat-land S.S. Florida riding.

all the best, Julius in Ohio
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Old 05-01-19, 02:59 PM
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Do you need a Tourist? Not if you don't want it or don't ride it. It would be better to sell to someone who will ride it.
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Old 05-01-19, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by dweenk View Post
Do you need a Tourist? Not if you don't want it or don't ride it. It would be better to sell to someone who will ride it.
.................................................................................................... .................................................................................................... .................................................................................................... .................................................................................................... ..................Interesting point dweenk ....The original thought was " My Tourist needs me...afterall, we've come to depend on each other, we are both antiques....lol
Just put on the 11th set of tyres...getting her ready for Summer riding.

as ever, Julius in Ohio
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Old 05-01-19, 09:21 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
It's like my late beloved cat Socks. She needed me and I needed her and she would have passed long ago without my love and help. Keep your Raleigh and enjoy life, it's short but made of good moments.


I won't disagree with this. A small frame Raleigh Tourist was young physically challenged Kent T's liberation in the early 1970's. My first somewhat grown up bike and a step up from Raleigh Choppers. Only reason why I upgraded was when I got too big for it, and by 9 years old, I had a radio station job, had a FCC license, on air and assistant engineer, and no mean hand with a soldering iron and troubleshooting sick broadcast gear, and audio gear. I was well paid. And respected. When I outgrew that Tourist in 1973, an International (a New Old Stock smallest frame International with Campy everything was the successor bought for $199 from Drake Auto Parts in Maryville, TN. Who kept me in nice bicycles (Pediatrician advised Mom to get me the best bike affordable due to being Cerebral Palsied, short leg, and hip issues). Drake Auto Parts took great care of me. They kept my bikes in top condition, made that important, treated me as a friend. Saw that my needs were met. A model for LBS service. Taught me the value of fine people. Love the cat as I am a feline fanatic. And needy felines tend to be mine. Socks looks a lot like the cat which owns me, Baby. You need the Raleigh Tourist and the Cat. They depend on you.

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Old 05-01-19, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Kent T View Post
I won't disagree with this. A small frame Raleigh Tourist was young physically challenged Kent T's liberation in the early 1970's. My first somewhat grown up bike and a step up from Raleigh Choppers. Only reason why I upgraded was when I got too big for it, and by 9 years old, I had a radio station job, had a FCC license, on air and assistant engineer, and no mean hand with a soldering iron and troubleshooting sick broadcast gear, and audio gear. I was well paid. And respected. When I outgrew that Tourist in 1973, an International (a New Old Stock smallest frame International with Campy everything was the successor bought for $199 from Drake Auto Parts in Maryville, TN. Who kept me in nice bicycles (Pediatrician advised Mom to get me the best bike affordable due to being Cerebral Palsied, short leg, and hip issues). Drake Auto Parts took great care of me. They kept my bikes in top condition, made that important, treated me as a friend. Saw that my needs were met. A model for LBS service. Taught me the value of fine people. Love the cat as I am a feline fanatic. And needy felines tend to be mine. Socks looks a lot like the cat which owns me, Baby..

Thanks Kent T...yours is a "feel good" message...Bravo,

Julius in Ohio
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Old 05-01-19, 10:57 PM
  #21  
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I bought my 1937 Tourist about 3 years ago, and I love it! I love how much of a freight train it is when it gets rolling, I love how it handles, I love how it looks, and really just most things about it! I actually love it so much that I built up a more modern ANT frame with similar-ish geometry to serve as a more practical version of it for general around-town riding, and ultimately had a new fork custom-made for that frame to make it handle even more like the old Raleigh!




Edit: Remembered after posting that I have a better shot of the second bike, taken at an event a few days ago

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Old 05-02-19, 05:07 AM
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I'm especially fond of these bikes. I only have time for short rides these days, so it's nice to different bikes to give the same old ride a different experience. I like the feel of these big roadsters. Very smooth. It is also much happier on gravel and rough roads than my Sports. I did need take the overall gearing down with a 22 tooth cog on the hub to help my old legs get up hills. Wonderful bikes.
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Old 05-02-19, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by sykerocker View Post
Speaking as one who has a '73 Tourist, 24" frame (I clear it, just barely), as well as a 23-1/2" frame '69 Raleigh Sprite (Sturmey-Archer S5), the Tourist gets used in all commuting that is five miles and less and doesn't expect me to carry a package that won't fit in my large Schwinn seat pack or messenger bag. I've been doing this for five years now, find I like the Tourist better than the Sprite in everything except brakes (especially on wet rims), and consider the Tourist probably the best commuter bike ever made.

You certainly want to keep that Tourist. There's is nothing classier in bicycles made.
I would consider this high praise coming from a person who’s had many, many high quality bikes pass through your hands.
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Old 05-02-19, 06:45 AM
  #24  
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A lot of my love for the Tourist comes from Merle Adams, the owner of A.R. Adams Cycle of Erie, PA who, at 6'3", was a huge believer in the bike, had one of his own, and really tried, tried, tried selling them to the general public. And was looked at as a bit of a madman by the customers crowding our shop.

Merle was a wise person who knew bicycles better than any of his customers were willing to believe, and succeeded in the business despite himself. Of course, my years working for him were during the Bike Boom, and Merle was a firm believer in the Sturmey Archer AW powered roadster and especially the Raleigh Sports. Something he imparted on me, actually convincing me to sell my Sprite 10 at the time and buy an ivory (only one I've ever seen in that color) Sports that had come through damaged in shipping (all paint damage, nothing structural). Merle rode in the evenings with his wife after dinner, he on a Tourist, his wife on a Sports, and he knew what was comfortable doing 3-5 miles thru the neighborhood most evenings.

Of course, trying to impart that on a customer with a "gotta have a 10-speed" obsession during the Bike Boom was a losing proposition. I'm amazed that customers didn't flat out walk out of the shop while he showed them the bikes, because if it didn't have drop bars, derailleurs and an insanely uncomfortable saddle they didn't want to hear about it. I often wonder how many of our customers would have continued riding after 1974 if they'd have bought a Raleigh Sports rather than that Roger Riviere (aka, a Gitane not good enough to put the real name badge on it) they insisted on since we were sold out of Schwinn and Raleigh 10-speeds. Then again, since every bike shop in Erie was constantly sold out of 10-speeds, they had to put up with his sales pitch if they wanted the latest obsession.

The other part of Merle succeeding despite himself was his complete refusal to stock any bikes higher up the line than a Schwinn Super Sport or a Raleigh Super Course. He firmly believed that spending more than $150.00 on a bicycle was completely insane. Of course this was coming from a guy who's sales between 1960 (when he took the shop over from his late father) and 1971 were 90%+ to children. He was so absolute on this, that he refused to consider ordering me a high end Raleigh when I wanted to start racing, and I ended up going to his nephew's shop, John Adams Cycle, across town to buy my first Gitane.

One of the outcomes of this thread was the realization that I've never photographed my Tourist, something I took care of yesterday. Which is odd, because I've recorded every bike I've built/restored otherwise. And yes, my LBS has been having a difficult time getting tires for the bike anymore that aren't gumwalls.

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Old 05-02-19, 02:13 PM
  #25  
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I love to see all the pix of Raleigh Tourists - I am so envious of the quadrant shifters on agmetal's. Also, interesting to note that sometimes the gear cable runs along the top tube and sometimes on the downtube.

Julius: where are the pix of the ride that inspired this thread?

-Will
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