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1937 Raleigh Found, But What Model?

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1937 Raleigh Found, But What Model?

Old 04-29-10, 06:13 PM
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streets
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1937 Raleigh Found, But What Model?

Hi guys! First post here but first of many I hope, I'm a real vintage bicycle/obscure bicycle nut!
I found this old girl on Ebay and payed 20 pounds for it. It's covered in white paint but I think it should restore nicely. Can you identify the model?




I got the 1937 date from the hub, and the frame number on the top of the seat tube confirms this.





It has the full oil bath chainguard...





Rod brakes of course....





The Sturmey Archer quadrant shifter operating the 3 speed....





And unusually (for me at least) the rod brakes operate drums up front....





....And at the rear.





There's a Lucas dynamo light system....





With Lucas on the front light lense.

I think she's mostly original, but can you identify the model?
It came without a saddle so...





I've found a nice Brooks B83, a bargain at 3 pounds! I think it should be near enough period correct.
My plans are to do some light custom stuff with it as that's what I'm into. Nothing too drastic though.

Anyway, I'd love to hear what you think of it and any information is appreciated!

Thanks for reading!

Last edited by streets; 10-04-14 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 04-29-10, 06:23 PM
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A Superbe model likely. What is the serial number on the frame? (maybe on top of the seat tube...)
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Old 04-29-10, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by streets View Post
Once ready I will be riding it from John O'groats to Lands End...
Excellent! Do remember to post stories & pics of your ride!
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Old 04-29-10, 06:53 PM
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Here's the 39 catalogue to get you close...http://www.sheldonbrown.com/retroral...1939/index.htm
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Old 04-29-10, 10:05 PM
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It's either a Sports Tourist or one of the Superbe models.

Last edited by Maddox; 04-29-10 at 10:08 PM. Reason: because I was wrong
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Old 04-29-10, 10:57 PM
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We'll help you, but only if you reveal where you're getting this stuff!
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Old 04-29-10, 11:16 PM
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I'm definitely looking forward to seeing more of this bike as it comes along!
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Old 04-30-10, 12:05 AM
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where are you in UK? I'm in rural Surrey

that is a great bike, esp with the rod-operated drums.
Well done
I've got a B83 that came on a '55 Raleigh roadster. Very comfortable.
Buy some Brooks' Proofide and give it plenty. Retension the saddle gently, and you may be surprised how good it is
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Old 04-30-10, 06:31 AM
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Nice bike!

Okay, I know this is heresy, but... I like the white!
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Old 04-30-10, 07:22 AM
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Glad riding the bike doesn't depend on the Lucas electrics.
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Old 04-30-10, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Ex Pres View Post
Glad riding the bike doesn't depend on the Lucas electrics.
Someone had to say that.

What size wheels are on it?

I wonder if the drum brakes are original. I like the rod operation and recently was mentioning that that would be a good system. I don't know if Raleigh actually did that. Now I suspect they did.
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Old 04-30-10, 09:16 AM
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Saddle is a later '60s/'70s replacement, but the bike itself is a Raleigh Special X, Mod. 27X, variant on the Tourist/DL-1. This is as far from a Sports-based (or Superbe-based Sports) model as you can get.

From the 1939 catalog:



-Kurt
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Old 04-30-10, 09:55 AM
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We have a winner. Very cool. And only £9.5.0!

But notice how absurdly high the gears are.

streets, does it still have the stainless steel spokes? I didn't know they existed that far back.
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Old 04-30-10, 10:03 AM
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The only things I would change are the rims, install drum brakes for all weather braking and installing an 8 speed Sturmey Archer hub for greater gearing range. Was the bike white? I'd sent it in to get it powdercoated black and dressed up in the traditional Raleigh Nottingham livery.
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Old 04-30-10, 10:56 AM
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Thanks all for your positivity! Great forum you have here, really helpful and inspiring

AL N2- I'm in Leicester myself! I used some saddle soap on it that I've had for donkeys, it really brought it up a treat and it's much more pliable now. I was afraid to mess with the tension of the leather but I might give it a bit of a tweak now and see what happens

Cudak888- Thanks for posting that up, brilliant! Looks like that's what it is, nice work! The only difference I can see is that mine doesn't have a locking fork. Perhaps this is the only non-original part of the bike?

Noglider- I'm not sure about the spokes I'll have to scrape some of the paint off and have a look! The wheels are 28 x 1 1/2 inchers, huge old things!

I'll post up some progress pics when I've made some headway, perhaps in a different section if this isn't the right one. Thanks again for your enthusiasm!
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Old 04-30-10, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by streets View Post
Cudak888- Thanks for posting that up, brilliant! Looks like that's what it is, nice work! The only difference I can see is that mine doesn't have a locking fork. Perhaps this is the only non-original part of the bike?
Could have been an available option. I dare say we probably won't know until the 1937 catalog presents itself.

-Kurt
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Old 04-30-10, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Saddle is a later '60s/'70s replacement, but the bike itself is a Raleigh Special X, Mod. 27X, variant on the Tourist/DL-1. This is as far from a Sports-based (or Superbe-based Sports) model as you can get.
Dang. My post originally said that it would have to be some variant of the Roadster model, but I edited it because I thought even the mens' roadsters had the swoop-down toptube.

I failed you, OP. Thanks for the model ID, Cudak.
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Old 04-30-10, 11:56 AM
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best place for good tyres at good price is Spa Cycles, Harrogate

11 pounds for Schwalbe Delta Cruisers - white or black. Up to 25 quid elsewhere

they look like this http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...store-it/page2

tension gently, I have a spare Brooks spanner if you need one - let me know
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Old 04-30-10, 01:50 PM
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I have the 1938 Raleigh catalog of models exported to the USA, and interestingly you could add hub brakes to several models. For example, there's the "Tourist X Gents," which fits the pics of the OP's bike and does not have a locking fork. BTW, it cost $56.75. Original saddle would have been made by Terry.

Neal
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Old 04-30-10, 02:07 PM
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Very nice bike, streets. It almost looks like one of those share-a-bike paint jobs. I hope you can safely remove the white paint and bring it back to life. Excellent detective work, Kurt.
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Old 04-30-10, 02:08 PM
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Al NZ- Those tyres are just what I'm looking for! I think I'll rig it out with white ones like yours, which looks awesome BTW!

Nlerner- Ah, Tourist X gents, that does sound like the one. Those Terry saddles are new to me, but I've always loved the Brooks range and this one came up at a very good price.
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Old 04-30-10, 02:42 PM
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Oh neat. It's almost like My Sports. hope your tyres aint like mine, mine took me a long time to find because people kept giving me the wrong size, who would of thought there was that many sizes of 26" rims mines a Sports model with what might rear drum 3 speed and front Canti brakes, I love the look of these old Raleighs, Lots of brass and neat things.
This is the one I got last summer.

Pay no attantion to the lovely craptastic seat lol
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Old 04-30-10, 04:30 PM
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$56.75? That sounds like a lot for 1937. And people complain about today's bike prices! Is that about the same as £9 5 shillings?
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Old 04-30-10, 04:35 PM
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It took somebody over a month to earn $56.75 back then. I make that before morning coffee break.
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Old 04-30-10, 04:46 PM
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Assuming an average monthly salary of $3,333, you can buy a lot of bike for that kind of money. How did people manage to buy bikes back then?

It explains the heartache in the movie "The Bicycle Thief". It's an excellent movie, and I highly recommend it.
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