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Let the 1951 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist reparations begin!

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Let the 1951 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist reparations begin!

Old 12-17-12, 11:33 PM
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viva.italia
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Let the 1951 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist reparations begin!

Hello fellow bikers,

After following the forum for countless hours, I've decided to make my very first post! Hopefully, this will be a fruitful learning experience, as I am in great need of advice and resources...

I very recently became an owner of a 1951 Raleigh DL-1, in dark green with full chaincase and good overall shape. It spent most of its life in a garage, and received couple coats of linseed oil for good measure. One minor change was made by a previous owner, who swapped the 3-speed SA hub for a newer one from 1972/3 with dynamo. A few missing details: the light that goes on the back fender, the heron bracket on the headset, kickstand (and rack?). One initial problem I discovered was a loose headset, which turned out to be a major headache, but more on that later. The settling price was high but not unreasonable considering a very urban market and recent vintage fever.

I had planned for this bike to fulfill my long-time dream of having an English/Dutch work bike to putter around town with my groceries and my 2-yr old in comfort and style. Philadelphia unfortunately doesn't have much of a Dutch bike culture---I think I've seen one, maybe two Dutch bikes in all my years in Philly. I've since then resigned to looking for an old English bike and spec it up to transport standards, with sturdy front and back racks, lights, drum brakes, double-legged stand, wheel lock, child carrier, panniers, etc etc.

Fast forward, after a gentle maiden ride around town (with the wonky headset in rainy weather, idiotically enough), I managed to get the seat up to where I want. In the process, I wanted to raise the stem for a more upright position (in fact, are Raleigh's ever as upright as a Dutch bike?). So I broke out the spanner and tried to adjust the bolt on the stem, which felt problematic---half a turn loosened it, and half a turn further seemed to tighten it back.

This was a bad sign, so I decided to take out the handlebar/stem set for a closer look. Long story short, the conical stem expander nut had badly stripped threads, and the threads on the tip of the stem bolt seem flattened (see pictures). Needless to say, the stem was impossible to tighten under my few desperate attempts.

After a couple hours of search online for a replacement stem bolt & conical expander nut, I only came across a few complete handlebar sets located overseas and a stem bolt from a 70's Raleigh chopper, which might be too short. I am at a loss as to where to look/inquire for such parts (local bike shop websites don't seem to have them).

So, if any of you bike aficionados/collectors/restorers happen to have such part handy, I would very gladly and gratefully to inherit it. If there are any suggestions/leads, I would very much welcome and appreciate them... To be continued...

In the mean time, I have been entertaining the prospect of converting the rod-rim brakes into rod-drum brakes, seen on a very few Raleigh DL's of the past and current 3-speed model of the Gazelle Toer Populair. Something about the beauty of the mechanical rods and the all-weather reliability of the drum brakes seems to be best of two worlds. Needless to say, it's a long and complicated operation, along with some much needed linkages connecting the drums to the rod levers nowhere to be found---rarer than unicorns. Again, if you guys have any idea where these rod parts could be found, please let me know... For now, I'll make do with the ever-conspicuous Kool-Stop salmon pads...

Sorry for the novel, and thanks for reading! Happy Holidays everyone!



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Last edited by viva.italia; 12-17-12 at 11:46 PM. Reason: to shorten the novel...
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Old 12-18-12, 08:56 PM
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I would be interested to know if you find a source for the linkages. Let me know the length of the bolt. I think the extra I have came from a Sports and looks shorter. I think your pedals and seat are later.
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Old 12-18-12, 09:51 PM
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Good luck with your project. The DL-1's give such a nice ride so it'll be good to have another back on the road.
I have a similar but newer Raleigh that had a rear drum brake but the rim style in front. Not done yet, but am converting the front to drum brake. A friend in Amsterdam gave me a set of rods off of a junked Batavus. While not Raleigh, I've managed to make them work. My Raleigh was beat up enough so I didn't mind changing some parts to make it more rideable.
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Old 12-19-12, 01:17 PM
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Thanks for your kind wishes!

The bolt is 7" long. I didn't have a ruler handy, so used iPhone screen as reference instead... Two diagonal lengths across exactly, 3.5" x 2 = 7"... Haha. Yes I wouldn't be surprised if more than the rear hub are newer parts.

I can't stop admiring the few finished rod-drum DL-1 projects that were posted on here... But given how hard it is to find the parts, I might simply swap the back hub for a 40hole SA S3C coaster hub instead. Velouria from Lovely Bicycle has similar set up (though she rebuilt the backwheel with 36 hole rim).

@folderfan550, that's an interesting combination of brakes, never seen that before. And are the Batavus rods interchangeable? I would love to see some pictures when you are done!

There is a webstore named Dutch Bike Bits that has quite a lot of goodies not available in the U.S. Their prices are pretty good and shipping cost isn't really all that bad. I am considering ordering some parts from them...
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Old 12-19-12, 09:06 PM
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Mine measures 6 3/4". Email me. A coaster brake would work and have more stopping power than a drum brake. I have a combination coaster brake and a drum brake on a Schwinn. On my DL-1 I have tried Koolstops and Rainchecks. Koolstops work better in dry conditions but that is between not so good and acceptable and really poor in wet weather.
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Old 12-19-12, 09:43 PM
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Welcome, and congratulations on such a great bike! I happen to have a 1951 DL1 as well (with many non-original and non-period-correct parts), it's such a fun bike to tool around town on.

Have you tried Via Bicycle in Philly? They may have the parts you need. You can also give Yellow Jersey in Madison, WI a call, they specialize in old, hard to find Raleigh parts.

I suspect it may be a very difficult challenge to retrofit the appropriate linkages to actuate drum brakes, and in the end you may end up with very mediocre performing brakes. And I would think the cost of finding out is on the high side-- both wheels have to be rebuilt around the drum brake hubs. Indeed, Velouria's rear coaster brake with single front rod brake seems to be the best compromise out there.
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Old 12-21-12, 02:12 PM
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Good news! Again, thanks for all the tips. I did stop by Via Bicycle and was able to dig out a bolt & expander set (had to be longer than 7" because the original could barely engage the threads on the expander nut in default position) with the same diameters, albeit it did take about an hour. But it worked like a charm!

I've also fitted the salmon brake pads (Amazon!) to the original brake housings and oiled & laced the old saddle (per Velouria's tips in her post), didn't lose any time before puttering around town in the revived bike.

I'll be hunting down and installing the missing/needed parts over the next weeks: heron light bracket, a rear reflector that goes on the fender, rear heavy-duty rack/stand combo, frame-mounted wheel lock.

Before shelling out money for the coaster hub, I do find myself wondering whether I should keep the current one because it's a working Dynahub (allegedly). I'm not sure which modern lighting systems are compatible, but if there are any suggestions, I would very much appreciate it. I am currently in love with the Lumotec Classic by Busch & Muller...

Pics coming soon!
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Old 12-23-12, 02:21 PM
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The LED lights available today eat up so little power that the AG Dynohub will handily power them.

If you have a 36 hole front hub, I happen to have 36h 28" Aluminium rims, in both Westrick and Westwood profiles.

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Old 12-23-12, 04:04 PM
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I would contact Peter White at peterwhitecycles.com and see what he recommends. There are some lighting systems with a vintage look,





including this one that could replace your missing reflector.

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