Sunday, March 22, 2009

Reader Project: Ian's 1971 Raleigh Superbe

If you read this blog regularly, you'll remember Ian from his 1936 Rollfast, which I posted on back in December. Seems Ian has caught the bug, and couldn't pass up this $20 Craigslist find. Yeah, I know, that's twenty dollars, not a typo. Sheesh.
I saw the post on CL for $20.  Didn't know much about the bicycle, but it had a Brooks saddle clearly in the pic, so I thought I'd check it out.  When I saw the bicycle I was hooked.  It had a baby seat mounted to the back which, while practical, was unsightly (what a snob I'm becoming!) and worse, it smelled of cat pee.  I opened my trunk to put the bicycle in, turned around to pick up the rear rack (not in pics yet) and then put that in.  As I was driving away I hear, "Meow!" the cat had jumped in my van!  My heart leaped for a sec., then I figured what happened, pulled over and let the cat out.
I don't know, Ian, $20 for a bike and a cat, not a bad deal!
More photos from Ian here. And as always, check out the Old Bike Blog Reader Projects Album for images of all past Reader Projects.


  1. That one could be a sister to mine, a black 1971-73 Raliegh Sport 3 speed, gold pinstriping, gold trim rings on the seat tube, heron head badge, Brooks mattress saddle,heron decal on the rear fender, heron design chain ring. Mine says it was made in Malaysia, along with all the Raliegh Nottingham decor. The rear fender ought to be White, at least up to the bottom of the decal. Shouldn't it?

  2. I never find deals like that around here.

  3. @ Tinker: I noticed that rear fender, too. I think for some reason, some later model Raleighs didn't have it.

    @ Rat Trap Press: Methinks they are few and far between, especially for bikes like this. I see a few deals around here, but the bikes are generally in worse shape, and not as quality as Raleighs.

  4. The rear fender doesn't look like it's been re-painted, though I'm far from an expert. It's a Superbe, not a Sport, maybe that makes a difference. I haven't found "Made In Malaysia" written anywhere, but tons of "Made in England." I hope this week has better weather, as I've only got a week to get the bike ready for my Mom to ride when she visits.

    Btw, do any readers know why Gerry Lauzon's site, "How To Fix Your Bike" is down? I'm trying to get to his article on re-painting bicycles.


  5. England had a law requiring a minimum area of white on the rear fender, as a safety item. So, pretty much all of the actual "Made in England" bikes have the white section.

    Maybe the fact that the bike is Malaysian-built explains the lack of white.

  6. @ Jon: I do believe that Ian's bike is made in England--at least he hasn't found any evidence to the contrary--see his comment above. I wonder if there was a period in the late 60s or 70s when that law was repealed?

  7. Whether it was made in another country (doubtful as "Made in England" is prominent everywhere on the bicycle.
    I think the law had lapsed by the time this bicycle was produced (1971 accord. to the SA Hub stamp) because on the rear fender the gold striping goes down well below the decal of the heron to a point where there would have been very little room for a white strip to have been painted.

  8. Hi, did you all see Martin's fine article on the rear fender white spot?
    also there is a Raleigh Sports bearing chart and a nifty long history of SA triggers and his collection of 3speeds

  9. @MarcosLagoSalado: Thanks! For whatever reason, the link you provided didn't show up as clickable, so I'm posting a link to Martin's main page here:

    It's also in my "Information & Resources" section in the sidebar.