Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Commuting on Ancient Raleigh DL-1

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Commuting on Ancient Raleigh DL-1

Reply

Old 10-27-08, 01:42 PM
  #1  
Saintly Loser
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Posts: 541

Bikes: Nothing special, but it works.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Commuting on Ancient Raleigh DL-1

Today was my first commute on my new (to me) Raleigh DL-1 (Tourist). Also my first commute from my new neighborhood (Brooklyn Heights, New York) to work (midtown Manhattan - the Chrysler Building).

Observations:

The route is easy enough. From my apartment to the Manhattan Bridge. Over the bridge. East to the East Side Greenway/MUP/whatever it's called. Nice ride up along the East River to 34th Street. Over to First Avenue, up to 42nd Street, west to Lexington Avenue, there I am.

The bike: It's heavy! It's also supremely comfortable. The riding position is just right for commuting. Nearly bolt upright. Visibility is great.

The three speeds proved adequate for all the mild hills I encountered. Mainly the one on the bridge. The bike is geared a bit high. I might swap the rear sprocket for one a tooth or two larger.

The brakes are marginal. I'm ordering new pads. We'll see if that makes any difference.

All in all, I'm happy. This bike is a perfectly functional commuter for my trip. I'm going to stick with it.
Saintly Loser is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-08, 07:16 AM
  #2  
Mauriceloridans
Senior Member
 
Mauriceloridans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Shreveport
Posts: 309

Bikes: 1983 Trek 520, early 80's Univega Gran Tourismo, '98 Santana Arriva, '71 Dawes Galaxy, '77 Peugeot UO10

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
I have one too. I changed the rear sprocket to a 22T. The brakes are ok if you keep the rods adjusted so the pads fairly close to the rim. I would use mine more if I lived on the flat side of town.
Mauriceloridans is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-08, 08:47 AM
  #3  
Nightshade
Humvee of bikes =Worksman
 
Nightshade's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 5,362
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Saintly Loser View Post
The bike: It's heavy! It's also supremely comfortable. The riding position is just right for commuting. Nearly bolt upright. Visibility is great.

The three speeds proved adequate for all the mild hills I encountered.
The heavy steel frame is the reason for the great ride. Also the 3 spd is best in an urban area.

You see the Brits really did know what made a great everyday durable bicycle for the masses.
__________________
My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
Nightshade is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-08, 02:31 PM
  #4  
Saintly Loser
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Posts: 541

Bikes: Nothing special, but it works.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
The heavy steel frame is the reason for the great ride. Also the 3 spd is best in an urban area.

You see the Brits really did know what made a great everyday durable bicycle for the masses.
They did. Those old Raleigh (Humber, Royal Scot, Robin Hood, Dunelt, whatever) Sports three-speeds seem pretty indestructible. And the Tourist seems absolutely bomb-proof. I'd wanted a Sports for ages for commuting, but I couldn't find one in my size. Then this DL-1 popped up on Craigslist, and I thought, what the heck, it seems big enough, it's still a three-speed, with fenders, a chain guard, and internal gears, I'll try it. And it works just fine. Needs a bit of cleaning up, and some new bits (brake pads, a rack), but I think I'll be commuting on this for years to come.
Saintly Loser is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-08, 05:08 PM
  #5  
roseskunk
Senior Member
 
roseskunk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 631
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
here's mine. it's got a new brooks saddle, b-135. the brakes don't work as well as they would if the bike had alloy rims. but they're great bikes, i feel like a king on mine... as opposed to a prince on the sports.
roseskunk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-08, 06:55 PM
  #6  
roseskunk
Senior Member
 
roseskunk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 631
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
oops, sorry. i don't know where mine is...
roseskunk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-08, 07:22 PM
  #7  
Doohickie 
You gonna eat that?
 
Doohickie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Fort Worth, Texas Church of Hopeful Uncertainty
Posts: 14,677

Bikes: 1966 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist, 1973 Schwinn Varsity, 1983 Raleigh Marathon, 1994 Nishiki Sport XRS

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 139 Post(s)
I ride my DL-1 to work about once every week or two. I have a couple of significant hills to climb, and they're a challenge in first gear. But when I go back to my normal commuter they're easy-peasy. So I just look at riding the 3-speed as a training event.

And yeah, the sucker rides like a Cadillac.
__________________
I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.


Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
Doohickie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-08, 03:25 AM
  #8  
wahoonc
Membership Not Required
 
wahoonc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On the road-USA
Posts: 16,837

Bikes: Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 63 Post(s)
Spent many a mile and quite few years commuting in the cockpit of the Raleigh Sports. Not quite the Road Queen that the DL-1 is but still a solid bike. Changing the rear cog for a 22t or even a 24t is definitely the way to go. As far as the braking is concerned, remember to "ride ahead", as in look up the road and anticipate traffic and braking. I learned this valuable lesson riding in the rain

Aaron

__________________
Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
wahoonc is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-08, 02:25 PM
  #9  
anymouse
Junior Member
 
anymouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Raliegh Tourist DL-1

As an owner of one of these great old bikes ( I bought it when I was in the military back in the seventies ) you won't find many better commuter bikes. I will tell you that getting the brakes to work well in wet weather is impossible. Don't use WD-40 or 3-In-One in the rear hub, 30wt motor oil is best. If you want the best of both worlds i.e. 28'' wheels, a frame with lots of rake, great brakes, 8 speed hub, and indestructability get an Azor Opa. It's just like the DL-1 but with all the great stuff a commuter bike should have. I mine.
anymouse is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service