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"1957" Raleigh Sports 3 speed

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"1957" Raleigh Sports 3 speed

Old 10-24-19, 08:15 PM
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"1957" Raleigh Sports 3 speed

I picked up a Raleigh Sports 3 speed today for a very reasonable price. It appears to be a "barn find" dusty but all there.

My primary interest was in the Brooks seat, figuring buy bike, replace seat, wipe down bike, flip bike and keep seat. I got the bike and it's actually in very good condition so might not rush to move it on.

Having said that, I don't believe it's earlier than late 60's at most (though I'm open to being corrected). Not complaining because it was cheap and it's definitely worth cleaning up. There is no serial number that I can find on the seat tube or the BB. I haven't had time to clean it up because today was "clean garage day", so sorry for the dust but I believe it will clean nicely.

It came with a badly worn seat bag and that contained a small lever, a Dunlop card on tire pressures and a booklet about how to maintain your raleigh three speed and lessons on how to ride a Raleigh (including how to sit on the seat!) as well as two old patches and two aluminum pads to scuff a tire before patching.

Q: 1) Any idea when it was really made?

Q: 2) Is it a B66 or a B72? I can never tell the difference.



Ad photo




As picked up





Good Luck brand. Is it a battery powered siren?




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Old 10-24-19, 10:08 PM
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From the lug shapes and the shifter I'd say it's from 1955-56. Very original. I love the color. Looks like some polish and wax would bring up some gloss nicely. A shame to part it out really. The Brooks B66 looks to be in good shape. The dual quill pedals with original Raleigh blocks are another rarity in that condition. The shifter is an earlier style, so it wouldn't surprise me to see a hub date as early as 1954, but any 54 I've seen so far has the older style lug shapes. Nice bike.
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Old 10-25-19, 05:20 AM
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WGB-

Check the rear SA 3 spd hub. The outer shell will be stamped with the year of manufacture so the bike will, typically, be built within a year of that date. That is one of the early, better Raleigh Sports. The large, flat cap stay cap indicates earlier production before the race to reduce manufacturing cost substantially reduced quality levels. I'd say a Brooks B 66: https://www.brooksengland.com/en_row/b66-family Check under the saddle on the cantle plate as they sometimes had a 2 digit year of manufacture stamped into the metal like "66". A very cool bike but a word of caution: those look to be the early Raleigh sidepull brakes with the one piece brake cable - do not cut the cable off as replacements are difficult/impossible to get. Check the 3 speed forum for details.

There is good information here: https://bikeshedva.blogspot.com/

Last edited by bertinjim; 10-25-19 at 07:31 AM. Reason: added link
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Old 10-25-19, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by WGB
Is it a B66 or a B72? I can never tell the difference.
The saddle is a B66. B72 saddles have a single loop spring; B66 have the coil springs.
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Old 10-25-19, 08:13 AM
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1950s?

Eh.....it looks like a 1970s bike to me.
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Old 10-25-19, 08:16 AM
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It has the double ended brake cables so early 60's, late 50's imo.
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Old 10-25-19, 12:54 PM
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If it really is from 1957, good chance it has an SW rear hub.
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Old 10-25-19, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Johno59
Eh.....it looks like a 1970s bike to me.
I'm thinking it is a 1950s model based on the others I have seen and my bike. The font of the name badge on the down tube, the paint colour, the shifter, and the quality B66 all tell the '50s story. As well, on the seat tube you can see the 'high carbon steel' paint transfer.

It's a cool bike. 1970s models didn't come in that green - they came in a pea soup, very 1970s green alongside brown, blue, and very rare yellow. I've seen gray ones too around here.
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Old 10-25-19, 03:33 PM
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Thanks for all the pointers and sorry for the late update but house had a plumbing issue.

A member on here was interested but rather than just pass it on I decided to at least do a superficial cleaning and see what I could learn from it. The only rust I touched was on the seat post which I very lightly greased and replaced. I learned that Raleigh loved to put Raleigh on any part they could fit the logo or name or both onto. I learned that yes, it truly is an all steel bike!

I did find an SN (2983RC) on the seatpost which confuses me as i thought the numbering would have been the other way (RC2893). Could it have been a misstamp?? If I understand the dating system and RA was 1955, then would RC have been 1957? Hub is stamped 56 10.




"SW" 56 10 (assuming 1956 Oct??)


Gotta have the logos everywhere


"The All Steel Bike"


Pedals look rebuildable


Shifter needs to move a bit. Button is for the norn/siren which I haven't checked to see if it's salvageable


Nifty little oil port cover

@bertinjim - no marks on saddle underside. Good call on the brake cables! I'm glad you got me before I pulled them!!
@BigChief - Wasn't thinking of parting it out, just assumed that that it would be a trainwreck and so I wanted it just for the seat. When I got it I immediately saw that it deserved a better future than being a parts bike. Saddle now mounted back where it belongs.
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Old 10-25-19, 03:42 PM
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Nope, that fits with a Canadian bike. I've got (or had) three 50's Sports with the same RC suffix.
RA is Raleigh America. RC is Raleigh Canada. RB is Raleigh Britain, at least around the late 50's. I'm sure there's others.
This system is not well documented but I've seen enough of them that I'm 95% on this.
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Old 10-25-19, 03:50 PM
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Here's my 'Superbe with a '58 SW hub. Serial number 55045 RC below. The fact that there's 5 numbers makes me think these aren't date codes.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
Supcomp copy.jpg (1.43 MB, 85 views)
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Old 10-25-19, 04:30 PM
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Every Raleigh light roadster type bike I've ever seen with this shaped top tube lugs had either 1955 or 1956 AW hub dates. This bike has the older style window shifter and dual quill pedals which is very nice. By 1956 it could have had the later through body mount shifter and plain diamond plate pedals. 1950s Raleigh chrome is very good. I think this light rusting will clean up beautifully. It's always good to wax cleaned up chrome as it won't be as rust resistant as it was originally. The paint and transfers look very good. Compounding and wax will make a huge difference. This will be a very pretty bike.

1955 - 1956 top tube lug

post 1956 style lug
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Old 10-25-19, 05:26 PM
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I was watching the auction - you got a great deal on a 1950's Raleigh. Thanks for posting photos - its in nice shape.
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Old 10-25-19, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by WGB

Very cool, the only 56 dated SW I've seen
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Old 10-25-19, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman
Very cool, the only 56 dated SW I've seen
yeah, must be one of the very first. This bike also allows me to date window shifers and dual quill rubber block pedals as up to 1956.
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Old 10-25-19, 09:34 PM
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I grabbed it on a whim as I saw "Brooks seat" and maybe some spare parts and it was only a mile from my door.

I got it home and wiped the top tube and the paint looked really nice so I changed my mind about stripping it.

It doesn't fit me, I have only so much storage and I have to fit in my touring bike next week and I'll find something crazy again , I always do and I'll need to store that when it comes along so it did have to go. Having said that, selling it now by an ad would mean condemning it to be a winter rider and with salt and sand it would be done quickly and I couldn't have that.

GED117 offered to take it without the seat but as BigChief said, it would be a shame to part it out. GED117 wanted it for his lady to bomb around town on in the summer so I threw in the seat because it sure looks like a ladies saddle (don't know if they made 66 ladies saddles or if it just looks like a ladies saddle). I know it would have sold for more at a c&v show or next spring but he's happy and it was a fun rescue.

All good.
Wesley
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Old 10-26-19, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by WGB
I grabbed it on a whim as I saw "Brooks seat" and maybe some spare parts and it was only a mile from my door.

I got it home and wiped the top tube and the paint looked really nice so I changed my mind about stripping it.

It doesn't fit me, I have only so much storage and I have to fit in my touring bike next week and I'll find something crazy again , I always do and I'll need to store that when it comes along so it did have to go. Having said that, selling it now by an ad would mean condemning it to be a winter rider and with salt and sand it would be done quickly and I couldn't have that.

GED117 offered to take it without the seat but as BigChief said, it would be a shame to part it out. GED117 wanted it for his lady to bomb around town on in the summer so I threw in the seat because it sure looks like a ladies saddle (don't know if they made 66 ladies saddles or if it just looks like a ladies saddle). I know it would have sold for more at a c&v show or next spring but he's happy and it was a fun rescue.

All good.
Wesley
Thanks Wesley! I'm looking forward to seeing the bike in person. I think the paint is really going to stand out after a polish. Its already a looker with the white fenders and lively green. The '50s chrome is something special. The SW should be fun to poke around with.
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Old 10-26-19, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman
Very cool, the only 56 dated SW I've seen
I wonder, does it have a one-piece indicator rod, or a two-piece indicator rod? I have a couple '57 SWs; one has a one-piece rod, the other a two-piece rod.
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Old 10-26-19, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
I wonder, does it have a one-piece indicator rod, or a two-piece indicator rod? I have a couple '57 SWs; one has a one-piece rod, the other a two-piece rod.
Probably one. I think the two piece was a later mod to salvage the model. My 58 8 has that.
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