his and hers raleigh roadsters
This past weekend, we found a pair of ‘His and Hers’ vintage Raleigh bikes. They were listed on Craigslist as a set and were said to be from 1960. The seller was only the second owner; his father-in-law had purchased the bikes new in the 60s and then gifted them to his daughter and her new husband around 1980. They were now looking for someone to give this pair of beautiful bikes a new home. We were more than willing to oblige.
Since bringing these beauties home, we’ve found out the following:
According to this site, you can date the bike by the year number inscribed on the derailleur hub. The number on this bike is “67”, so that would make this a 1967 Raleigh Sprite. The seller, however, told us that he’d had the bike converted from a 5-speed to a 3-speed when he first inherited it thirty years ago. We’re assuming that this type of conversion would have required a new hub. If this is the case, the hub is not original to the bike and doesn’t accurately tell its year. It is a Sturmey-Archer hub as would have been the original.
This bike’s number on the derailleur hub reads as “68”. This 1968 Raleigh Sports is in great shape, clearly having been used less than the Sprite. The brakes need new pads but the gears shift smoothly and the bike is overall less scratched and worn than its Sprite counterpart. It also came with the original saddle bag that needs some repair.
Both bikes came with the original Brooks saddles (already broken in!) and with fenders and a chainguard. The Ladies’ Sports also has the original rear rack in ‘bronze green’ on it. They have the Raleigh decals that read “The Raleigh, Nottingham, England” and the words “Made in England” stamped in italics on the top tube and down tube respectively.
We’re both pretty enamored with our new bikes and mine will become my daily commuter. (T. has a Trek Soho 3.0 that he uses as his daily city bike). We’re looking to restore them to good working condition since they have been used infrequently over the last thirty years and their last tune-up seems to have taken place around 1980, when the son-in-law and his wife received the bikes. I’ve already visited my local bike shop for some tips and we’ve perused the internet for more information; I will post changes and upgrades as they are made.
Have you restored a vintage bike? Do you ride a Raleigh? Do you know of good resources online (or in book version) on this topic? I’m very grateful for any tips or suggestions!