Sunday, March 23, 2014
1958 Raleigh Sports Four Speed
The 1958 Sports is complete. The level of originality of the parts and the overall bike is high. Some of the perishable, rubber parts are replaced, but it's really quite a nice riding bicycle. It's quite a looker too.
A couple of people have asked about the shifter. The shifter is the early 1950s pattern, brass faced "3 or 4" speed type shifter. It functions reasonably well, though you have to make sure you have "hooked" the shifter's ramp for the bottom gear.
The FW hub has quite a bit of tension on the shifter cable in bottom gear, so the shifter needs to really be "locked" in on the bottom rung or else it kicks back into low. I tightened the spring a bit to make it a little easier to catch, though you still have to feel that "click" to make sure it will stay in bottom.
The original, double ended Raleigh brakes are rock solid and stop every bit as well as my 1974 brakes do. They aren't quite modern in stopping power, but better than most I've encountered.
Overall, it's one of those bikes that rides wonderfully and looks great as well.
The bag is a new, Carradice Zipper Roll in black canvas and white leather. It matches the bike nicely and has the usual, good quality expected from Carradice.