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It wants to be a Sports: Rusty 1954 Ralegh Superbe Tourist content lurks within

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It wants to be a Sports: Rusty 1954 Ralegh Superbe Tourist content lurks within

Old 05-01-21, 02:14 PM
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It wants to be a Sports: Rusty 1954 Ralegh Superbe Tourist content lurks within

**CORRECTION - 1956**

This just arrived from the Florida Keys:



It was ridden hard and put away wet, obviously, and it hasn't escaped a front ender at one point in time either. Also, someone must have vandalized the spokes at some time; half of them are split.

However - there's a very special machine under here. FW 4-speed, stainless 28" Westwood rims (which someone was able to shove 700x35C's on!), locking fork. The FW is from '54, the GH6 is from '56, and the frame's SN (....DC) would correlate something in the ~'56 region.

Everything here, including the green finish, points to a 1954 Raleigh Superbe Tourist or thereabouts.













This thing deserves to be called Mr. Oxalic for what I'm going to have to do to it.

Yet, the one thing that doesn't add up is what's on the downtube. I'm convinced someone added it in the past. Raleigh might have done some weird things, but badging a 28" rod braker as a Sports wasn't one of them. They're also positioned a lot higher up than I'm used to seeing them.



Cleaning this one up should prove to be interesting, to say the least.

The current owner's husband used to ride it in the Keys until he was diagnosed with MLS. She says he got it in Delaware from Irénée Du Pont, Jr., but I haven't any paper documentation to confirm so.

Either way, at the end of the day, it's a chance to save a Raleigh Superbe Tourist. This should be fun

-Kurt
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Old 05-01-21, 02:44 PM
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Now that's a project! The bright parts will come back well; the paint, much more of a challenge! What's the decal on the seat tube? Looks like the Mercian sticker from a distance (which would be very odd).
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Old 05-01-21, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Now that's a project! The bright parts will come back well; the paint, much more of a challenge! What's the decal on the seat tube? Looks like the Mercian sticker from a distance (which would be very odd).
Pretty sure it's an owner-added sticker - probably as old as the bike. I think it's from the Université de Genève's medical school:

\






-Kurt
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Old 05-01-21, 04:25 PM
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In the stand. Already have both wheels off. Pretty sure I'll have to replace all the spokes; some of them easily snapped when bent. Trek had something like that around ~2010ish; something to do with problems with the stainless metallurgy.



It's giving me a fair fight; this is after running enough polish on it that it would usually pop with a huge shine. Might have to go up to compound, but I think I want to oxalic the frame first; see what kind of results I get before making the guard too shiny.

-Kurt
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Old 05-01-21, 04:42 PM
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Ah, the energy of youth!

The headlamp and mount looks aftermarket. I have roadster lamp brackets if you need one. Or other sundries.
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Old 05-01-21, 05:25 PM
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That wired rear lamp looks kinda French!
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Old 05-01-21, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
Ah, the energy of youth!

The headlamp and mount looks aftermarket. I have roadster lamp brackets if you need one. Or other sundries.
Haha...energy. This thing will zap some years off my life, that I'm sure of!

I could definitely use a proper 1950's Raleigh DL-1 lamp bracket; the current light has to go.

Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
That wired rear lamp looks kinda French!
Agreed. It looks 1960's to me though; fairly plasticky, definitely not the original. Haven't given it a close look though.The front lamp is remarkably well made inside, but the housing isn't. The formed and rolled metal has split along the entire surface every quarter inch or so.

Part of me is a wee bit curious why a green Superbe should be wearing a standard FW and GH6 instead of an AG or FG. Given the weird selection of hubs on it, I wouldn't be surprised if they were both re-laced at one time. Perhaps even under warranty, given the '56 date of the front hub, and the matching stainless rims..

I also have a theory that this one might have been brought over from Europe (given the Swiss sticker), and wasn't a US market example.

-Kurt
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Old 05-02-21, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
That wired rear lamp looks kinda French!
Neal, just FYI, the taillight has turned out to be Swiss. Pics soon.

-Kurt
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Old 05-02-21, 06:12 PM
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Just last week I got a '57 (or so) barn-find Raleigh Sports in a trade that's in much better shape paint-wise but wheels are pretty rusty. It does have the Dynohub but headlight has obviously seen better days. I would love to have a full-chaincase for it. I'll have to get some pics of it. I also have the original Brooks B66 saddle for it which is intact. I Proofided it but it's not too good of shape.
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Old 05-03-21, 05:01 PM
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Here's a testament to greasing seatposts and handlebar stems. Came right out, and it still has a nice film of grease:





Almost there:



Things that will not buff out:



Taillight appears to be an "ASAT Lucifer-4." Judging by this thread, the headlight and taillight on this DL-5 started as a pair.









-Kurt
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Old 05-03-21, 06:19 PM
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Left to right, old to newer? PM if you want one.

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Old 05-03-21, 06:33 PM
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Anybody jonesin' for a Dynohub? I cut out the spokes and it's in great shape cosmetically, no rust at all. Don't know if it actually works or not and it appears to be re-greased recently however the non-Dynohub side bearing cone is pitted (with my experience of SA hubs they all seem to be like this because the metal is simply inferior in my opinion). I'm using the hub as a display piece right now but I wouldn't mind it going to a good home.
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Old 05-03-21, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
I could definitely use a proper 1950's Raleigh DL-1 lamp bracket; the current light has to go.
I think I have one of those which I probably won't reuse. Probably tomorrow I will bring my Raleigh out of the basement and take a pic of two (or three) of it. Again, not bragging or anything like that but it's an actual fifties model and is in much better shape cosmetically. If you need parts I can probably help you out.
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Old 05-03-21, 06:53 PM
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Also I have a completely rust-free SA AW (date 7 54) three-speed hub looking for a good home. No pitting at all on the metal hub shell, it actually looks brand new if I can manage to get some of the caked-on grease off of it. The Endrick rims I had to toss since they were too rusty on the inside. More pics coming soon!
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Old 05-03-21, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
Left to right, old to newer? PM if you want one.
Originally Posted by smurfy View Post
I think I have one of those which I probably won't reuse. Probably tomorrow I will bring my Raleigh out of the basement and take a pic of two (or three) of it. Again, not bragging or anything like that but it's an actual fifties model and is in much better shape cosmetically. If you need parts I can probably help you out.
I'm not 100% sure which of Clubman's three which might be from the 1950's (have to check an original). @smurfy, if you'd like to snap a photo of your lamp bracket, if anything, I can check it as a reference. Might take you up on it though.

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Old 05-03-21, 08:54 PM
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is that a key hole on the non-drive side of the fork crown??
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Old 05-03-21, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by smurfy View Post
it's an actual fifties model and is in much better shape cosmetically. If you need parts I can probably help you out.
Cool. Lots of spot rust on these as an alternative. We'll see how the restore goes.
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Old 05-04-21, 03:31 PM
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Photo of rear of headlight bracket. I really haven't had much time to play with this bike so maybe I'll get it disassembled this weekend and get you a better pic. I'll post more pics tonight.
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Old 05-04-21, 05:17 PM
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Old 05-04-21, 05:55 PM
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Wow Kurt! A rusty crusty Raleigh is exactly what you need! Hahahaha! Do plan to swap the rear seat stays for some sort of suspension gizmo?
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Old 05-04-21, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by smurfy View Post
[pics]
A Sports lamp bracket won't clear the rod brakes, so I'll have to go with one of @clubman's brackets.

Incidentally, that's far too nice a Sports to part out. It'd polish up really nice.

Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
Wow Kurt! A rusty crusty Raleigh is exactly what you need! Hahahaha! Do plan to swap the rear seat stays for some sort of suspension gizmo?
Hey, I'm also trying to get a Superbe Sports Tourist too (much less crusty) so I might have yet another around before the year is out.

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Old 05-04-21, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
A Sports lamp bracket won't clear the rod brakes, so I'll have to go with one of @clubman's brackets.
Geez, I'd totally blanked on the rod brake clearance. Give me a a measurement. I think my brackets may be Sports as well. Centre of the steerer to the rod clearance maxes out at about 5 cm.
I had other brackets, will start looking.
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Old 05-04-21, 08:02 PM
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Everything is apart. Excuse the mess on top of the mess.



Here's the frame and the nasty bits of the front ender. If this comes out, good. If not, I'm going to seriously consider a frame swap on this one. I know an OA bath can do miracles, but this may be at the point of diminishing returns.







Turns out even the tires and tubes are Swiss. Produit Maloja Suisse. Also, I read the tire size wrong - they're 700x35B's, so they are, in fact, the correct 28"/635mm tires one would usually find on one of these:





Rear hub is an FW shell, but there's an AW in it. Crap. This was probably the pre-internet fix for "My FW hub isn't working."

At least the stainless rims are very satisfying to clean up, even though they're eventually going to get de-laced and cleaned correctly.



Before (not really bad at all):



After:




Originally Posted by clubman View Post
Geez, I'd totally blanked on the rod brake clearance. Give me a a measurement. I think my brackets may be Sports as well. Centre of the steerer to the rod clearance maxes out at about 5 cm.
I had other brackets, will start looking.
All three you showed there are designed for rod brakes; the center gap spreads wide at the headset end. The Sports type is nearly squared off.

-Kurt
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Old 05-04-21, 11:01 PM
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As my name would suggest, I am a fan of originality so I would do little to preserve that fine machine. Get the mechanical bits functioning (bearings, tires, lube pivot points), clean off rust where it won't hurt any original finish and cruise around the neighborhood in leisure.

FWIW - I have a Bianchi (similar style and era) in a similar state but mine will need a LOT of love to be right. Rod brakes are rad brakes...
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Old 05-05-21, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by RustyJames View Post
As my name would suggest, I am a fan of originality so I would do little to preserve that fine machine. Get the mechanical bits functioning (bearings, tires, lube pivot points), clean off rust where it won't hurt any original finish and cruise around the neighborhood in leisure.

FWIW - I have a Bianchi (similar style and era) in a similar state but mine will need a LOT of love to be right. Rod brakes are rad brakes...
We'll see how well the oxalic acid cleans off the frame, though I will probably try pulling the headtube damage out first. Won't be as shy getting it straightened if it doesn't look that good

-Kurt
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