Brakes Older Raleigh-made brakes used special cables with moulded ends on both ends of the cables, as shown. These cables are no longer available. They were supplied in different configurations for front, gent's rear and lady's rear applications. The cable came with the adjusting barrel. To replace the cable assembly, you would unbolt the adjusting barrel from the caliper. These cables can often be revived by dripping oil into them and working them back and forth. Later Raleigh-made brakes used standard cables with conventional anchor bolts.
Chainguard Braze-ons Older models had a braze-on with a tapped hole on the right chain stay , behind the chainwheel , to secure a full chaincase. Some later models had simple braze-ons on the seat tube and down tube to secure a "hockey-stick" chainguard. Fork Ends Older models had forged front fork ends , which are 3-dimensional, and are round where they fit into the end of the fork blade.
These fork ends are countersunk on the outer surface, to accommodate the old-style axle nuts which had a shoulder that fit through the washer.
The shoulder provided secondary wheel retention. Later models had flat, stamped fork ends, fitted into domed and slotted fork blades. Pedals Older models had rubber block pedals made in the Raleigh factory in Nottingham. Raleigh was the last bicycle maker to make its own pedals. They were very high quality, and were completely rebuildable. Raleigh used to even offer replacement rubber blocks.
They came in two lengths, the longer size coming on gents' bicycles, the shorter on ladys' models. In the late s, as a cost-cutting move, Raleigh fitted horrible cheap pedals that had no ball bearings. The version used on 3-speeds had an oval rubber platform. Later models had pedals made by other companies, notably Union.
Although these often featured the Raleigh logo, they were not the same quality as the Nottingham models. Pulley Older gent's models had a brazed-on fitting for a pulley, for the shift cable, on the underside of the seat lug. Later models had clamp-on pulleys, either metal or plastic, mounted on the seat tube.
Older clamp-on pulleys used a two-piece clamp made of rigid steel. The two halves of the clamp hooked together opposite the clamp bolt. Pulleys and triggers and fulcrum clamps of this era used special shoulder nuts which had a sleeve that fitted into on end of the clamp, and had a "D" shaped head to prevent the nut from turning as the screw was tightened.
Later pulleys were plastic, and the clamp was a flexible steel band. These generally used a rectangular nut stamped out of sheet steel, a much less elegant but certainly cheaper nut. Latest models did not use pulleys, but ran housing all the way to the right chain stay.
Saddles Top line Raleighs generally came with Brooks leather saddles. The standard Sports models came with the B Early Sports models, and the deluxe Superbe models, came with the B, which is similar, but has two large coil springs at the rear. Later models came with mattress saddles. Spoking Older British bicycles in general used 32 spokes on the front wheel, 40 on the rear.
The front would be laced cross 3 , the rear, cross 4. This generally permitted the same length spokes to be used on both wheels. Older models came with all-black tyres with a block tread. Later upper-end models including the Sports came with the Dunlop Sprite gum-wall, or, later, with the Nylon White Sprite, a blackwall with double white stripes running along the sidewall. Until the mids, tyres used cotton canvas fabric.
These tires were easily damaged by rim cuts if ridden underinflated. If the rubber became damaged so that moisture could get at the cotton carcass, the cotton would rot and the tyre would fail. In [sometime in the mid '60s] Dunlop switched to using Nylon cord instead of the cotton, and the tires became very much more reliable.
Raleigh was by far Dunlop's largest market for bicycle tyres and tubes. In [sometime in the mid '60s] Raleigh and Dunlop got in a disagreement about pricing for the new model year. Each company thought it was indespensible to the other. Dunlop called Raleigh's bluff, and said, in effect, "We don't really need the bicycle tyre business anymore, there's lots more money in car and motorcycle tyres. If you won't pay the prices we ask, we'll just get out of the cycle tyre business.
This caused a crisis in cycling circles, because Dunlop tyres were, at the time, the absolute pre-eminent brand, and none of their competitors was able to make a product that was nearly as good. Cyclists got very good at installing "boots" to prolong the life of their damaged Dunlops, since even a damaged Dunlop was better than anything else you could buy.
This situation continued for several years, until the Japanese learned to make tyres that were even better than the old Dunlops.
Tubes Raleighs of the 50's and 60's came with Dunlop Airseal tubes, a premium grade inner tube with a fully-threaded valve stem and a knurled valve-retaining nut. The original valve caps were metal, and included a two prong valve wrench on the exposed end. The valve caps often had a short length of rubber tubing covering the valve wrench. This was to protect the inner tube from being punctured by the cap while it was rolled up, before it was installed on a bicycle.
Rear Axle Nuts Sturmey-Archer right-side axle nuts have a long, cylindrical projection, with a curved lip for the indicator chain. The cylindrical part had two viewing holes to facilitate visual checking of the cable adjustment.
Some time in the 's, they changed to a two-piece system, with a plain hex nut the same as on the left side and a separate cylindrical nut, knurled on the outer end. Sometime in the 's, they went back to the one-piece design. These hubs used a special left nut that resembled the conventional right nut, but which lacked the rounded interior lip for the chain.
These nuts were designed to protect the left end of the two-piece indicator spindle, and to allow visual adjustment by observing the position of the left end of the spindle against the end of the axle. A common cause of malfunction of these hubs is that people get the left and right nuts reversed, so the indicator chain hangs up on the sharp edge of the nut that belongs on the left.
Front Axle Nuts Older Raleighs, those with forged front drop outs, used a special axle nut with a narrow rounded section toward the hub.
This rounded section fit through the axle washer, and into a recess of the forged drop out, to provide positive front wheel retention. Later Raleighs used conventional nuts, and provided a shoulder on the outer face of the cone for wheel retention.
The stamped dropouts had a keyhole shaped axle opening, and the shoulder on the cone fit into the round part of the opening. Some years used plain hex nuts with separate flat washers, other years used track nuts , domed and decorated with a red "R" on the end. Rear Axle Washers Older Sturmey-Archer hubs used beautifully made forged serrated washers between the axle nut and the fork end. These older washers are easily identified by the knurled edges.
These were used in conjunction with separate, stamped anti-rotation washers, which should go on the inside of the fork end. Intermediate models used cheaper, stamped serrated washers. Fulcrum Sleeve Sturmey-Archer's term for the clamp-on cable housing stop usually mounted on the top tube was "fulcrum. This was a sort of ferrule, with a flange on one end to keep it from sliding through the fulcrum clamp.
It was slotted to facilitate cable installation, and had a flat side which rested against the frame tube. Earlier fulcrum sleeves were metal, later versions are plastic. This was one of the first Sturmey-Archer parts where plastic replaced metal. The metal ones last forever, but the plastic ones are easily crushed and ruined. Lubricator Until fairly recently, all Sturmey-Archer hubs were designed for oil lubrication. An oil cap, or, in Sturmey-Archer terminology, a "lubricator" was set into the hub shell.
The actual cap assembly screwed into a threaded hole in the shell. Earlier versions uses a hinged metal cap, but this was replaced in the late '50s or '60s by a plastic cap with a captive plug.
This was one case where the plastic part was an improvement over the metal one, because they made a better seal, preventing the oil from dripping out. Installing a plastic lubricator into a hub can be quite tricky if you don't have the special tool. The special tool is a dull pencil, poked into the open lubricator. This will let you turn the lubricator to get it started into the threads.
Trigger There have been several different shift controls over the years: The oldest design is the quadrant shifter, a very simple top-tube mounted lever with a spring-loaded pin that fitted into different holes along its side, according to the gear selected.
Moving the lever to the right pulled the pin out of the hole, and allowed the lever to move. These are mostly seen on bikes from the '30s and earlier. These triggers had a metal band running in each direction around the handlebar, connected by a short screw and special nut below the handlebar.
The window-type trigger had a small round hole in the top plate, through which, depending on the gear selected, you could read the letters: Later basic trigger, in 3-speed or 4-speed versions.
These, and later models, had the handlebar clamp running only from the upper surface of the trigger, around the handlebar. The screw that secured it to the handlebar ran through the body of the trigger. No window trigger with clear plastic cover. No window trigger with opaque cover and plastic tip on the lever. An alternate option in the '60s was a twist-grip shifter though I've never seen one of these on a Raleigh Sports.
These worked very poorly. During the wheelie bike craze in the s, very large top-tube shifters were made, designed to look like the gear shift of a sports car.