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Soliciting Info on Dunelt 10-speed

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Soliciting Info on Dunelt 10-speed

Old 10-21-04, 09:58 PM
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Soliciting Info on Dunelt 10-speed

I've googled Dunelt - Bicycle, and found virtually nothing. If anyone has any knowledge to share, I'm all ears. I've heard that they primarily made motorcycles and three-speeds, but not many 10-speeds, and that they were bought out by Raleigh.

I came across one (bought it), the other day - it had "non-artistic" lugs, a Wright saddle, reversed brakes, and (what sealed the sale) gear shifters at the end of the drop handlebars where the plugs go - just like in the Raleigh, Super Course in the mid-late 1970's. It needs some minor work, but seems like quite a nice find for $25.00. Judging from the components, I'd suppose that this is a notch or two below the Super Course - but that's just my speculation. However, if the rarity makes this more valuable, it would definitely influence the way I'll go about restoring it.

I'd be interested in hearing any feedback - and if anyone is sufficiently interested, I'll post some pictures and more details.

Thanks...
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Old 10-23-04, 04:15 AM
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Not sure if this will help any, but it is a Dunelt "Racer" model - really vivid green color with black accents . Serial Number on frame is 83390. Huret Derailleurs front and rear. Campagnolo bar end shifts. Weinmann center-pulls. Wright saddle that looks like a knock-off of a Brooks B-17 or B-15. 27" x 1.25" wheels (pretty sure they're aluminum). 40 spoke Atom hub in the rear (I'm not going to have fun replacing it).

Any insights or clues would be much appreciated. I'm not even sure what year it is - whether its from the '70's (which is my suspicion), or the early '80's. I know its rather sad that I know so little about one of my bikes, but this one is outrageouusly obscure.
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Old 10-23-04, 11:56 AM
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Wasn't Dunelt one of the Raleigh family names? I had a Dunelt rod brake roadster for a while. It was basically a badge-engineered Raleigh single-speed.
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Old 10-28-04, 11:50 PM
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I had a Dunelt 3 speed back in the sixties. It was one of the "more affordable" brand names manufactured by Raleigh, in the UK, though I don't remember which city. They usually had the city the bike was manufactured in, on the front emblem. From what I remember, they didn't have Brooks saddles so the Wright is probably original.

I was also under the impression that Raleigh was owned by Birminghan Small Arms which made firearms during the war, as well as BSA and Triumph motorcycles. At some point there may have been a bicycle similar to the Dunelt manufactured under the Triumph name.

Campagnolo componants were fairly commonplace during the sixties though, from what I remember, Huret was more popular with the Brits.
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Old 11-01-04, 10:38 AM
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Thanks for the note Stacy. I'm not staring at it now, but I believe the badge says it was made in Birmingham.

After spending more time rehabilitating the bike, it seems evident that, even though the bike isn't a piece of junk, some of the components were quite a way from "top of the line". The rear hub was shot - thorough cleaning and reassembly couldn't make it right (the fellow I showed it to at the bike shop was quite diplomatic in telling me it wasn't one of the better designs even when it was new). Expediency led me to put the old atom cluster on a new aluminum freewheel. I'm a bit less enthusiastic about attempting to restore it now.

Whoever owned it before had the rear derailleur adjusted so it wouldn't budge. Now I'm experiencing skipping in the rear in the higher gears. Sheldon's site says it could be the cluster or the chain and I'm in the process of figuring out what needs to change. I'm hoping it isn't the cluster (and before anyone suggests it - not, I wouldn't consider making this a "fixie").
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Old 11-02-04, 12:54 AM
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Birmingham sounds about right.

From what I remember, I bought mine around 1962 to replace a stolen bike. Three speed Raleighs and Rudges were probably going for around $75 at the time, while the Dunelt was around $40. Considering the rate of inflation it sounds like you got a bargain

The 3 speed Dunelts were decent enough but they didn't have the heavier ridged rims, brooks saddles and seat bags. The fork was less elegant and the seats were vinyl.

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Old 11-14-04, 04:39 AM
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The Raleigh built Dunelts were made in Nottingham not Birmingham, I believe, if the bike was built in Birmingham it might be much older than the components, which could have been added later?
I think Raleigh bought dunelt some time around 1960 and transfered production to Nottingham
All british companies made bikes similar to what you now call roadbikes in the 40s, 50s, 60s, like the Raleigh Clubman, Rudge Pathfinder etc, your Dunelt could be of this generation, a "clubbike," if it isn't a Raleigh built dunelt. If it has a bright, weird or ugly paint job then in probably isn't.
Raleigh did produce an entry level road bike in the 1960s, the Record, that was essentially a Raleigh Sports (3 speed) with a 10 speed set up, Simplex or Huret.
I've seen Hercules badged versions of these,so there might have been a dunelt version.

Raleigh was never owned by BSA or triumph, they either bought these brands or took them on when Raleigh merged with Phillips in the 1960s. Phillips was the big Birmingham company.
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Old 11-14-04, 05:52 PM
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You're correct. i remember seeing a reference to Birmingham, but it was on the Wrights saddle, not the bicycle. The badge merely reads: Dunelts Cycle Co. England. It is a very vivd shade of green with black accents. The pictures aren't the greatest, but goes...
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Old 11-14-04, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Rudgey
The Raleigh built Dunelts were made in Nottingham not Birmingham, I believe, if the bike was built in Birmingham it might be much older than the components, which could have been added later?
I think Raleigh bought dunelt some time around 1960 and transfered production to Nottingham
All british companies made bikes similar to what you now call roadbikes in the 40s, 50s, 60s, like the Raleigh Clubman, Rudge Pathfinder etc, your Dunelt could be of this generation, a "clubbike," if it isn't a Raleigh built dunelt. If it has a bright, weird or ugly paint job then in probably isn't.
Raleigh did produce an entry level road bike in the 1960s, the Record, that was essentially a Raleigh Sports (3 speed) with a 10 speed set up, Simplex or Huret.
I've seen Hercules badged versions of these,so there might have been a dunelt version.

Raleigh was never owned by BSA or triumph, they either bought these brands or took them on when Raleigh merged with Phillips in the 1960s. Phillips was the big Birmingham company.
The lugs might give some hint. From what I remember Raleighs and Rudges had distinctive lugs. Dunelts and some of the other lower costs bikes they produced tended to have less elegant lugs... though I don't remember exactly what they looked like.

The only Dunelts I remember were either metalic Red or Blue so that would support the suggestion that it could be an older frame.

Last edited by Stacy; 11-14-04 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 11-15-04, 12:47 AM
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To me the bike looks 1960s, maybe late 50s, my guess is it is an earlier bike with later parts. or maybe it is a 3 speed frame with 10 speed parts? go to oldroads.com and start a thread in the english roadsters section, someone there is bound to know. It's a nice looking frame, the parts may not be the best but that frame could last a very long time.
I'd like to have a bike like that, puts some Honjo fenders on it, moustache bars with schellac'd bar tape, dia compe centre pulls, dynohub, etc. it would make a nice sporty looking city bike.
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Old 11-15-04, 08:10 AM
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I'll give that a shot. I took pictures of the head tube this morning before I came to work. Can't put them up til tonight, cause I'm not allowed to bring camera into the office. The lug work is interesting, but not exactly what I'd consider artful or elegant. A fellow with a little bit of artistic flair, a hacksaw and a file could have produced them.

I did some searches on Classic Rendezvous (what a different world!), and I did see a post from a fellow who recalls having bought a Dunelt 10 speed from a German bicicyle shop in Buffalo. He describes it as having the same model derailleur (toothless Huret Allvit), and a couple of the other components seemed to match. Once I screw up the courage to post there, I'll see if I can pump him for more info.

At this point, I'm still mulling over this one's fate. I'd like to be able to ID it so I can make a more informed decision. I'm in the process of restoring my uncle's '74 Superbe. Its taking longer than I hoped because of more indecision on my part (to cannibalize or repaint/rechrome), but that will ultimately be the stately old steed I ride through town on mild, sunny days.
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Old 11-15-04, 10:43 PM
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Here's a picture of the lugs up front. The style is consistent throughout.
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Old 11-15-04, 11:08 PM
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Smufty posed some photos of his 1954 Dunelt in https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vintage/42759-dunelt-photos.html
Maybe if we can convince him to post photos of his lugs we could compare.

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Old 11-15-04, 11:41 PM
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Hi Stacy,

I just checked my e-mail, and I got a very helpful reply from a fellow whose post I found on Classic Rendezvous. He had a Dunelt 10-speed that he bought new in 1964. His was red, but he said that from the description and the components, what I have matches up with what he had - except for the bar-end shifters (which makes sense, because if you're going to put Campy shifters on a bike, why throw on Huret derailleurs?). He said the bike wasn't bad for what it was - an entry-level 10-speed with "el-cheapo components" on a "gas pipe" frame.

I'm ready to declare "mystery solved" - as I think it would be too much to ask that I could find the exact year in which it was manufactured. Now all I need to do is figure out where to find 40 spoke hubs that don't look too modern (or just 40 spoke hubs for starters), so that I can get those Sturmey Archer chromed steel rims (they sure cleaned up well) back on.

I greatly appreciate your persistence and interest. When I get this squared away, and I learn to take better pictures for posting, I'll put them up.

Regards,

John
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Old 11-16-04, 12:00 AM
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It could be the Dunelt version of this Raleigh, the record https://www.retroraleighs.com/record.html basically a Raleigh Sports 3 speed set up as a road bike, or a Dunelt version of the early Raleigh Sprite https://www.retroraleighs.com/sprite.html
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Old 11-16-04, 12:01 AM
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The Dunelt's lugs are the same as the Lugs on my Raleighs, Rudge and Robin hood Sports, so it appears to be a less expensive road bike model related to the Sports as I suggested above.
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Old 11-16-04, 12:06 AM
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In addition to 40 hole Sturmey archer aw hubs, there are these simple SA rear hubs https://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...284556270&rd=1 probably what the bike came with.
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Old 11-16-04, 11:24 AM
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Rudgey,

You do have a keen eye. I took a closer look at some of the older Raleigh catalogs online to compare. The Dunelt appears to be very close to the 1967 Raleigh Record - except for lacking fenders, and the hubs on mine are far worse than what's in the illustration. The Record is based on the frame of the Sports, which means ... you are correct!!

The gentleman who I contacted said he purchased his in 1964 - which would seem to be within a year of two of the year mine appears to be. I was off looking in the wrong decade, which certainly wasn't helping me any. Those bar-cons threw me.

Shame about that hub being available for UK only. That would be ideal - but would lead to a more frenzied quest for a suitable front hub.
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Old 11-17-04, 02:52 AM
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Ask the guy if he will ship, below "UK only" it said "will ship worldwide." many sellers in the UK are unclear about this, apparently if you don't unclick a UK only box when filling out the form it will show up.
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Old 11-17-04, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Stacy
The 3 speed Dunelts were decent enough but they didn't have the heavier ridged rims, brooks saddles and seat bags. The fork was less elegant and the seats were vinyl.
I had a 3-speed Dunelt for awhile and it came with both a Brooks leather saddle and a Brooks canvas seat bag.

My guess on the Campy bar-end shifters on the 10-speed is that they are not the original shifters, but rather, that they are an aftermarket retrofit.
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Old 11-20-04, 04:28 PM
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Stacy,

here are the pics of the lugs you wanted me to take for you. The bike is a little dirty after a 60mi ride last month and a 30mi ride two weeks ago. That is an oiler on the BB lug but the cap was missing when I got the bike.
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