~ PROJECT 57 ~
The RALEIGH SUPERBE SPORTS TOURIST
~ THE ALL STEEL BICYCLE ~
RALEIGH Since 1887 - " 70th Aniversary "
Photo update July 1st 2014:
APRIL 2nd 2014,
Well, it's done... I can't believe it! I only wish I could test ride it. So this '57 Raleigh Roadster is looking for a rider!
I ended up with rebuilding the light somewhat. It was working, though brittle begfore I had painted it last year. At any rate, to reconnect the broken switch turned out to be more than just a chore. After a few attempts I ended up mounting a toggle type of switch with the leads coming off the bulb. It works very well.
Also, I have taken an aluminum container that twists apart to make a power connecter box in the middle of the bike. This container used to hold 1/4 Made in England ball bearings and is from the 50's era as well. These words are indented on the twist lid. I painted it to match the head lamp and have used two nice looking metal chrome pump pegs to hold it secure.
I ended up cutting and working a clamp system on the front fender to hold securely a 50's era mud flap. Originally the bike does come with something similar.
The front hub was certainly worn, one side was quite bad. I have saved both rims, though finding a 32 hole Raleigh to era front hub was beginning to not happen. Then as I was sorting out some other things I came up with a 32 holed front hub... it's not perfect, but works very fine. The rear 6 Volt Dyno Three speed hub is NOS (new). The spokes and nipples are new on both wheels.
I have also now added 3 NEW decals, one on each side of the fork, as well as one on the rear fender mast.
Bellow, the story, and all of the images as I went along from February 2013
Update: November 5th 2013
I am now just waiting for 3 small decals to come in. Two for the top of the forks, and one for the rear of the fenders. Also I have been in search for a left/front brake lever for this '57, the one in use now is Raleigh correct though a few years earlier and not a exact match. I have changed all the cables to black ( they are New NOS ). Note: these cables are double ended, as in the calipers have no anchor bolt, the fit is precise.
I have come across a handful of NOS Sturmey Archer 1950s wiring sets. I got lucky with getting classic Superbe green sets as well. So of course this Superbe has the proper wires. Also I have been working on acquiring a Sturmey Archer dry cell battery holder. This units takes the surplus power, as well charges a set of D cells so you have lights when stopped. Other than a few touch ups here and there this 57 is ready to roll.
If you're interested in this beauty then drop me a line with your offer!
OPEN TO OFFERS !
Update: May 6th 2013
Well, after a couple of months I am fairly close to finishing this Awesome Raleigh roadster. I have a few things left to do to this bike. I have a bit more red paint to take off of the rims. The head lamp and the rear paper basket have to be painted. As well, I now have a new NOS set of green Sturmey Archer lighting wires. The rear brakes need to be stet up and then little things like final brake pad and gear adjustments.
So I replaced the rear DYNO3 6 volt hub with a good used 40 spoke whole shell from 1950 and with NOS guts from a 36 spoke whole 1950 Sturmey Archer DYNO3 6 volt hub. I replaced the spokes with NOS English rustless spokes, and saved the original rim. I then rebuilt the original front hub, replaced the spokes, and saved the original rim.
The stem that was on this bike seemed not to be correct, perhaps a CCM stem. I replaced it with a good used Raleigh box stem as to era. The original Raleigh North Road bars were saved and had all the red paint taken off, like every other part.
I also replaced the cranks with the same. I never really had too, though I had ones with very good chrome as the original never cleaned up adequately enough.
I also replaced the shifter with a very good used one, and of course as to era. I originally thought this was a 4 speed, though I did mistake that. It was a 3 speed AW and still is.
The brake cables are new, and the 3 speed cable is used. I may change them all to black. The seat is a New/NOS Brooks B66 as what came on the bike. I also have added a Leather Brooks saddle bag. I have also replaced the lock and had two keys made for the locking fork mechanism.
~ So then, your keys to the 57 Superbe ~
I took this bike for a little spin the other day... umm, I think you would be impressed !
February 24th 2013
57 Pieces now ha ha ha ha! Well, it wasn't so bad, it took a day + a little. I had to cut a few things off like the head lock nut, and a couple of Sturmey bolts. I also, like many snapped the stem bolt head off. If they are not loosening then go for it snap it, then drive the bolt 'n chuck down with a punch and hammer...
It's really something, we who wrench on bikes all day long know how things rust, corrode, bond, and seize. You would though think, like a few you've had before, that some of this stuff is not going to come out. Gee, this bike - 1957 all steel and chrome, sat directly outside in the middle of a Rain Forrest for who knows how long, but at least 25 years. And then once I loosened the seat post bolt, the post came directly out. This I still shake my head about.
So the handle bar stem was a little tougher. After cutting and hammering for a while, and loosening off the head lock, and the stem bolt. It took some force, twisting and turning, but it came out just fine after that. What this attested too is a few things:
1) Rather fine machining
2) High quality British steel
3) Superior, and the highest quality of Chrome. This was it, after 1963 the chrome can be more hit and miss, though certainly after 1972 the chrome gets a little more miss, and so on. It is though that Raleigh had Chrome, and Raleigh knew how to apply it. Also, like many British bikes - pre late 60s.
As you see the down tube transfers are there, and the original Deep Green enamel paint. The head lamp is also the same color. I would love to keep this paint, but I vision the same, but new paint, and Full transfers with all of gold pin stripping put back on it. Also, it is pretty rough in too many areas. So paint it is....
February 23rd 2013:
Well, like myself, like so, so many others, we have all seen this bike. Do you recognize it? Come on... it's coming to you isn't it?
Okay, if you have driven thru Coombs here on Vancouver Island then I bet you never missed this. If you did, you probably missed the goats on the roof too, huh? This bike has been part of the Coombs country landscape for a couple if not a few decades, I myself don't remember it not ever being there.
This lovely 1957 Raleigh Superbe Sports Tourist has been parked outside in front of Owen's and Company Antiques on Highway #4 on your way though Coombs B.C. for years and years. And now I have it.
It's interesting, at one time I barely looked at it. And over the years the bike has really never changed, it's always been painted red and has always been parked right in the same spot.
Yesterday I walked in hoping that I could at least buy the small end piece of the chain case for my 40's Humber as they are the same fit. I had also wanted the Sturmey Archer wires that are used to run lights with. When I first approached Kerry (the owner) I said to her that I know you do not want to sell the bike, but could you please sell me these couple of items? I explained to her that it wouldn't be all that noticeable and would not ruin the appeal of the bike. To my surprise she says, "Well I don't know about just a few parts why don't you buy the whole bike?"
Okay, so to many this bike is a total junker, but I do know of others over the years that have tried to purchase this bike and have been refused. I have also heard of other stories of people trying to buy this bike. Well, at any rate this bike is now of course mine and it will roll again...
So it is a 1957 (Raleigh's 70th Anniversary) #24 Raleigh Superbe Sports Tourist. Lightweight 20/30 high carbon steel, locking fork, full chain case, featuring a 4-speed rear Dyno 6 volt hub. It's amazing this bike has been sitting outside and stationary for decades and things are still spinning, and bolts and nuts are loosening. These old English bikes never cease to amaze me.
I was going to use a few parts on this bike, but after careful examination, consideration, and initial removal of a few parts, I have decided to do a complete Restoration to this beauty. If any deserve to be restored, then it is this one. It's pretty much all there, and what is not I have, except for the Sturmey Archer dry cell battery pack, stock grips, and tires... though these parts are easy enough to get.
Where most would never consider, I take pride in and relinquish my love, luster, and passion for what was, and what was once to see roll again.
Okay, stay tuned... let's see what becomes of this!