Super clean 1970 Raleigh DL1

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jimbo53

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jul 17, 2015
895
Charlotte NC
Grabbed this exceptionally clean 1970 DL1 at the Hurricane Coaster vintage bike swap and show in Concord NC last Sat. Looks identical to my 75 Tourist but no “Tourist” on the chainguard. 28” wheels, 24” frame, perfectly adjusted (!) rod brakes, SA AW 3 speed hub, nice Prestube rack, Elite headlight, black Brooks B66 saddle, even the original Dunlop Roadster Gold Seal tires are like new! SCORE!

FDC5961F-0038-447C-B115-DCB66BA50EE0.jpeg


189B1D31-AE44-4113-A2CD-0D79A27AB6F1.jpeg
 

Sven

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Dec 24, 2017
3,487
56
Mechanicsville, MD, United States
Nice score! Very clean machine there.
 
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jimbo53

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jul 17, 2015
895
Charlotte NC
Hard to believe it’s 50 years old. I know 3 speed roadster style British bicycles don’t get much love here, but as the Brits say, I’m pretty chuffed with this find!
 
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3-speeder

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 26, 2017
607
Lansing, MI, United States
Hard to believe it’s 50 years old. I know 3 speed roadster style British bicycles don’t get much love here, but as the Brits say, I’m pretty chuffed with this find!
It's gorgeous! I picked up a '71 last August that I thought was really nice, but wow! That one is even nicer. Love the rear rack!
 
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blackhawknj

Look Ma, No Hands!
Nov 29, 2016
43
70
Plainsboro, United States
They are out there. 4 years I acquired a mint 1966 Dunelt coaster brake model.
 

fattyre

I live for the CABE
Oct 22, 2014
1,027
Chicagoland
Is the a 26 inch wheel rack adapted to fit that bike? I noticed the (modernish) clamps around the seat stays.
 
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sykerocker

Look Ma, No Hands!
Jan 23, 2020
30
69
Ashland, VA
That's quite a bit nicer than my '73 Tourist, which is one of my two daily commuters. Is that rear rack a Raleigh product, or something aftermarket. I'd love to find one for mine because anytime I've need to haul something in saddlebags, I'm using my '69 Sprite instead because it's got an alloy rear rack that I can use to hang bags.

"Perfectly adjusted rod brakes." Isn't that a contradiction in terms, or at least an oxymoron?
 

jimbo53

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jul 17, 2015
895
Charlotte NC
That's quite a bit nicer than my '73 Tourist, which is one of my two daily commuters. Is that rear rack a Raleigh product, or something aftermarket. I'd love to find one for mine because anytime I've need to haul something in saddlebags, I'm using my '69 Sprite instead because it's got an alloy rear rack that I can use to hang bags.

"Perfectly adjusted rod brakes." Isn't that a contradiction in terms, or at least an oxymoron?
The rear rack is a Prestube Minor rack that I've seen on a lot of DL1's but not sure if it is a Raleigh or aftermarket product. Either way, It's smashin', [insert British accent] don't you think?
"Perfectly adjusted rod brakes." ;) That's why I had (!) after it, but considering what contrary and inefficient bike stoppers rod brakes are, these were the best adjusted ones I've ridden.
 

1951 C.W.S

Finally riding a big boys bike
Feb 25, 2019
205
18
Fort Collins Colorado
I must say that that is the best looking dl-1 i have ever seen ,you got very lucky my friend!
I personally think that these always look better with a full chain guard
Love the headlamp too!
 
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jimbo53

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jul 17, 2015
895
Charlotte NC
I must say that that is the best looking dl-1 i have ever seen ,you got very lucky my friend!
I personally think that these always look better with a full chain guard
Love the headlamp too!
I prefer the full chain case cover guard as well, but those were for UK consumption from what I've read. The US got the hockey stick guards, which do show off the beautiful Heron cutouts on the chainring.
 

Greg M

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Sep 25, 2011
914
Victoria, BC, Canada
I’ve seen them on Canadian market bikes too, up until the mid-seventies.
 
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sykerocker

Look Ma, No Hands!
Jan 23, 2020
30
69
Ashland, VA
I prefer the full chain case cover guard as well, but those were for UK consumption from what I've read. The US got the hockey stick guards, which do show off the beautiful Heron cutouts on the chainring.
I'm going on very faded memory back fifty years to when I was working at the Schwinn/Raleigh dealership, but supposedly the different chain guard for the US market had something to do with bicycle weight and import duties. Supposedly, the full chain case models put the Tourist just over the weight line for a certain amount of import duty, adding to the cost of bringing the bikes in. Replace the chain case with a regular chain guard and the difference (what, a pound or maybe a pound and a half?) dropped the duty per unit.

I was told this by Merle Adams, the owner of the shop and a long time Raleigh dealer, as the explanation he got from the factory rep. Merle was a big time Tourist lover (as far as he was concerned, that was the only adult bicycle Raleigh needed to make, although he had a begrudging respect for the Sports), and this came out of a conversation we were having one slow winter day when I chanced upon some pictures of the English market version.

No, I don't have the documentation to back it up. Sorry, just working on memory. However, it does make a certain amount of sense as to why one market's bike would be different from the others.

Yep, during 10-speed mania and the Bike Boom, I worked for a dealer who wanted to only sell 3-speeds, disliked the derailleur road bikes, and refused to order anything higher in the line than a Raleigh Super Course (he eventually ordered an International for his son) because he couldn't believe that anyone would be stupid enough to pay over $150.00 for a bicycle.
 

SirMike1983

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 27, 2008
3,199
Inactive
A 10-speed drop bar road bike with friction shifters is good in some circumstances, but what most casual riders need is something a little more forgiving and utilitarian. The 3,4, and 5 speed utility bikes did that. I prefer a Raleigh Sports over a 10-speed.

My previous comment was sort of tongue-in-cheek. I do like the chain cases for what they are, but they just are a pain to work with. Even a properly adjusted and tight fitting chain case resonates with the bike as you ride. It acts as a resonator for road noise, even if it's not truly "rattling". They make drivetrain maintenance a pain and not all the different crank set ups work with them (you want a "GC" suffix spindle). They're also a pretty heavy part to add to the bike. But they certainly have a cachet with the English bike enthusiasts.
 

sykerocker

Look Ma, No Hands!
Jan 23, 2020
30
69
Ashland, VA
A 10-speed drop bar road bike with friction shifters is good in some circumstances, but what most casual riders need is something a little more forgiving and utilitarian. The 3,4, and 5 speed utility bikes did that. I prefer a Raleigh Sports over a 10-speed.

My previous comment was sort of tongue-in-cheek. I do like the chain cases for what they are, but they just are a pain to work with. Even a properly adjusted and tight fitting chain case resonates with the bike as you ride. It acts as a resonator for road noise, even if it's not truly "rattling". They make drivetrain maintenance a pain and not all the different crank set ups work with them (you want a "GC" suffix spindle). They're also a pretty heavy part to add to the bike. But they certainly have a cachet with the English bike enthusiasts.
If you think the British chain cases are bad . . . . . at the Westminster, MD swap meet this past February, I picked up a virtually brand new Flying Pigeon (one of those Maoist-era bikes for those not familiar, a licensed copy of the 1920's Raleigh rod-braked roadster, single speed). For $50.00. With a flat rear tire. Which I have been spending time on and off ever since trying to exorcise the various demons it came with, starting with an inability to go more than 11 miles without puncturing the rear tube. On the inside, against the rim.

The chain case on that bike is the product of demonic design. At best I can figure, it's about 1/16" too narrow, so it's impossible to set up without either the chain or chainwheel rubbing the inside the case somewhere along the line. And mounted in a way against the frame that you have no room whatsoever to dimple it out from the inside to stop the rubbing. I've pretty much resigned myself to getting the rubbing noise down to the minimum possible and just live with it.

While I'm at it, I'm looking for a used (decent condition) Raleigh Tourist rear wheel with S-A AW hub. Turns out the flat problem is the rim itself while will not allow the tire to seat securely, thus making the tube rub on the rim strip (I've tried various combinations, it wears thru eventually). Rather than just come up with another rim, I'd prefer to find a used Tourist wheel and convert the bike to a 3-speed.

The bike has been worth purchasing at that price, however. It's been a great training tool for working on prewar rod-braked roadsters. And the genuine British versions are easier to work on.
 
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SirMike1983

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 27, 2008
3,199
Inactive
It's a different beast, in a sense. The tolerances and materials are not as good on the Chinese Flying Pigeon bikes. They are a pain to set up because you expect everything to function, but inevitably something is rubbing, rattling, or off. You are stuck bending and manipulating parts into fitting just to be tolerable. There was a time when Chinese people would wait for long periods after ordering a Flying Pigeon to receive the bike (it was sort of like what happened with the waiting lists for Trabants in East Germany). The feeling was that it could be made to function passably and it beats walking. I admire the Chinese riders and mechanics who manipulate and jigger things to work on their bikes. You're not working with high-precision, high-quality parts. You're working with at-best functional stuff.

It's worth the $50 just to mess with it. If you're really skilled, you can get a decent bike with enough work. But you gain an appreciation for the quality of old-stock English parts. I've got a set of rod brake handlebars in my basement that came off an Chinese roadster - they work, but that's all you can say. The steel and plating are pretty cheap, and the tolerances are loose. In order to get the brake connections to work, they had to grind down the eyelets to the point they look damaged. But... it beats walking to work everyday I guess.
 
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