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"New & Improved" Raleigh Lenton article

Old 11-17-19, 03:07 PM
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kohl57
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"New & Improved" Raleigh Lenton article

I have extensively re-written and expanded my previously published article on the Raleigh Lentons 1948-60 including the Rudge Pathfinder, Humber Clipper, Triumph Torrington and the Lenton Grand Prix models.

https://on-the-drops.blogspot.com/2016/ ... -1960.html

Peter Kohler
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Old 11-17-19, 03:24 PM
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A must read!
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Old 11-17-19, 07:52 PM
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Good stuff, Peter! It’s remarkable to me how rarely the Rudge and Humber variants appear. Did they just produce far fewer or were they primarily for the UK domestic market?
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Old 11-17-19, 08:19 PM
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How did these compare to the Raleigh Super Lenton/Rudge Aero Special models? I have a 1952 Rudge, not on the road yet.
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Old 11-17-19, 08:32 PM
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...thank you. I have found this article of yours very useful myself, and I know it must be a lot of work.
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Old 11-18-19, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
How did these compare to the Raleigh Super Lenton/Rudge Aero Special models? I have a 1952 Rudge, not on the road yet.
The Super Lenton/Rudge Aero Special/Humber Super Streak were continuations of the Clubman models but with straight gauge 531 throughout the frame (Lenton Sports the main triangle only was Reynolds) and superior components. The Super Lentons got butted tubing and other improvements in 55 when the RRA was withdrawn and was finally changed into the RRA Moderne in '57

My article on the Super Lentons/RRA Moderne is here

https://on-the-drops.blogspot.com/20...erne-1952.html


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Old 11-18-19, 07:25 AM
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Peter - first, thank you for providing an excellent resource.

There was some interesting debate that came up surrounding my Rudge Pathfinder III, which I believe to be a 57’. I think the same would apply to the corresponding Lenton:

1. Did the pathfinder iii have a brazed on pulley, as advertised, or did it come with a clamp on? Mine is clamped.

2. Was the Lenton Sport/Rudge Pathfinder Phase III effectively the same frame/platform with different decals/components as the GP? Both seem to have the same features and provisions?

My pathfinder III has a SA SW 3sp, with clamped on pulley and empty braze on for a shift lever; and we had a debate over some of these questions.

Last edited by KonAaron Snake; 11-18-19 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 11-18-19, 07:57 AM
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.For reference, here’s the thread:

The best laid plans of Mice and Polo Bicycles

On it you will see a Lenton GP with identical features as my Pathfinder III
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Old 11-18-19, 09:21 AM
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I don't see photos of the Rudge in that original posting but yes, Rudge, Humber, Raleigh... the frames and indeed components are the same.

But a Raleigh Lenton Grand Prix is not a Rudge Pathfinder III.... it should be a Rudge Pathfinder Grand Prix. And neither had any provision for Sturmey Archer hub gears hence the lack of pulley boss braze on. The whole point of these machines were that they were derailleur only. However, to further confuse things.... many of these American market Grand Prix examples indeed have hub gears and I think there was a specific bike shop or chain that sold them like that. There are too many examples to make it a one off coincidence. The Grand Prixes were built through November 1960 and a lot of the remaining batch exported to the US and sold well into 1961.

Also note that the Lenton Marque III and the Rudge Pathfinder Series III were built and supplied as fixed/free or hub gear or derailleur. They did have bosses for the SA pulley and also for the single derailleur gear lever etc. They were out of production end of '59.

Hope this helps although with Raleigh anything, it probably adds to the confusion!

Peter Kohler
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Old 11-18-19, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by kohl57 View Post
I don't see photos of the Rudge in that original posting but yes, Rudge, Humber, Raleigh... the frames and indeed components are the same.

But a Raleigh Lenton Grand Prix is not a Rudge Pathfinder III.... it should be a Rudge Pathfinder Grand Prix. And neither had any provision for Sturmey Archer hub gears hence the lack of pulley boss braze on. The whole point of these machines were that they were derailleur only. However, to further confuse things.... many of these American market Grand Prix examples indeed have hub gears and I think there was a specific bike shop or chain that sold them like that. There are too many examples to make it a one off coincidence. The Grand Prixes were built through November 1960 and a lot of the remaining batch exported to the US and sold well into 1961.

Also note that the Lenton Marque III and the Rudge Pathfinder Series III were built and supplied as fixed/free or hub gear or derailleur. They did have bosses for the SA pulley and also for the single derailleur gear lever etc. They were out of production end of '59.

Hope this helps although with Raleigh anything, it probably adds to the confusion!

Peter Kohler
Washington DC USA
Peter - your response was very helpful, and you did a great job translating what I actually meant...was the Lenton GP the same frame as the sport marquee III, was the pathfinder III the same as the pathfinder GP. Some of us thought, and you confirmed, that the answer was yes.

The photos of my Rudge went away with the great photobucket extortion scandal of a few years ago; I’ll try to post some here later.
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Old 11-18-19, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Good stuff, Peter! It’s remarkable to me how rarely the Rudge and Humber variants appear. Did they just produce far fewer or were they primarily for the UK domestic market?

Indeed. Rudges you see, rarely, as either the older Clubman model or the various Pathfinder variants both here in the US or in the UK. Humber Clippers are super rare.. I think I've seen on eBay or posted elsewhere not enough to use the fingers of one hand. Oddly, they all seem near mint and unridden, too! I have never seen an example of a Humber Super Streak (the Super Lenton), either. And maybe three Humber Beeston Clubmans.

Reason: in the day when cycle shops had set contracts with makers, they could only supply that make. When Raleigh bought out Humber in 1933 and Rudge in 1943, it honoured the sales agreements dealers had and thus still supplied them Raleigh models badged as Humbers and Rudges, mainly not to undercut their existing Raleigh sales network. So a Raleigh dealer couldn't sell you a Humber even if you begged. Even though it was made by the same company. And Humber dealers were few if any over here. Rudge yes but mostly in New England, East Coast. Same in the UK, the dealers for Rudge and Humber were fewer and eventually all were switched to Raleigh by the early 60s. Or, as more likely, the number of cycle shops steadily declined so that the remaining ones sold Raleigh anything.

This explains why, by the time the Raleigh Lenton Grand Prix was introduced, it came only as a Raleigh or Rudge... Humber was already on the way out.

Peter Kohler
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Old 11-18-19, 09:57 AM
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Peter - interestingly, my father bought a Raleigh Sport in 1956 (54’ serial number and SA code) that came from the shop with a Rudge hand chainring. I always wondered how that happened, and he assured me the chainring was never changed (bought new, one owner).
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Old 11-18-19, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
Peter - interestingly, my father bought a Raleigh Sport in 1956 (54’ serial number and SA code) that came from the shop with a Rudge hand chainring. I always wondered how that happened, and he assured me the chainring was never changed (bought new, one owner).
Yes... the horrors wrought by bike shops are legend although maybe it came from Nottingham like that, built late on a Friday afternoon before a Bank Holiday Weekend!

It was a nightmare though.... look at the wonderful Raleigh Industries "exploded diagrams" of this era for spare parts and the need to laborously detail and picture the alternate forks and chainrings etc for the Rudge and Humber variants. "Badge Engineering" like GM or Roots Group with cars. Worse, you still had folks insist my Rudge is better than your Raleigh or a Humber has real class compared to a Rudge. Proving that Badge Engineering really does work afterall.

Peter Kohler
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Old 11-21-19, 12:20 PM
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A really fantastic update Peter. Thanks very much. I have been inspired by the materials and stories you've put together. These bicycles are really cool.

One day, I'll find one of these Lentons, Super Lentons, Lenton Tourists, or Pathfinders in 23 1/2". I've got a '53 FW four speed and a '47 dynohub I'm building into a new wheelset that would be perfect.

Perhaps a frame will come along. Occasionally they appear on UK eBay, but often won't ship to NA.

In the mean time, I've settled on an old Pug to build my Lentonesque all-rounder.
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Old 11-21-19, 02:39 PM
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Incredibly thorough documentation, Peter. Thank you.

This places my gold and white Lenton Sports, special gaspipe edition, as something that was produced after the timeline that you documented.
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Old 11-21-19, 09:14 PM
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Thanks.... it would be more complete if I could find copies or scans of the following catalogues:

1950 Rudge
1952 Humber
1953 Rudge
1955 Rudge
1956 Humber
1958 Humber Rudge
1960 Raleigh

And of course, just wish the British magazine "Cycling" were digitized... the V-CC in the UK only has it in their on-line library from 1946-49. All that information, ads and photos just ready to be plundered if you just had the back issues!

Peter Kohler
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