The romance of the vintage bicycle

Note that the serial number information below is fragmentary and incomplete, and many bikes have proven to be much newer than the serial numbers would suggest. It appears that Raleigh recycled many of the older serial numbers in later years, so there are lots of bikes from the 60s and 70s that have serial numbers that would suggest much greater age. Most older Sturmey-Archer hubs have two or three-letter model codes, which are usually stamped onto the hub shell. Conveniently, they also usually have the month and the last two digits of the year of manufacture stamped onto the shell. This is the easiest way to date a 3-speed bicycle, if it has its original rear wheel. In , an entirely different numbering system was introduced for the higher end and subsequently Raleighs. Serial numbers should begin with a “W”, which stands for Worksop, the facility that produced these frames. This is followed by another alphabet.

1884 Rudge Coventry rotary tricycle

Are you seeking an appraisal? Click here. What this chart is intended to be: This chart has been developed as an additional reference guide more so then simply dating off Sturmey-Archer hubs for the positive identification of Raleigh frames and entire bicycles. As proper factory documentation is very limited, the following charts are a constant work in progress; they have been compiled by examining numerous Raleigh frames from each period, component date codes, decal schemes, color availabilities per year; and – occasionally – official papers.

That said, these charts are representative of U.

And for those of us who collect ‘old black bikes’ Raleigh provided a wonderful supply and variety. in as Gazelle, was changed to Robin Hood, and Raleigh acquired Rudge-Whitworth. All dating would therefore be approximate.

Search our collection All 59 People 0 Objects 59 Documents 0. Filter search. Clear all filters. Object type bicycle Date From To. Rover ‘Safety’ bicycle, Road Transport

Vintage Bicycle Posters

T-shirts, stickers, wall art, home decor, and more featuring designs by independent artists. Find Rudge gifts and merchandise printed on quality products that are produced one at a time in socially responsible ways. Sell your art. Rudge 53 Results. Tags: rudge, landscape, trees, bushes, castle, pond, log fence, wheels, tires, france, paris, manufacturer, tour de france, bicycles, cycles, bikes, races, racing, travel, tourism, bike race, bicycle racing, vintage art, art, nouveau art, exercise, retro, advertising, sport, transportation, recreation, dirt roads, posterbobs, vuelta.

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Using Raleigh as their brand name, it is one of the oldest bicycle companies in the world. After being acquired by Frank Bowden in December , it became The Raleigh Cycle Company, which was registered as a limited liability company in January By , it was the largest bicycle manufacturing company in the world. From to , Raleigh also produced motorcycles and three-wheel cars, leading to the formation of Reliant Motors.

Raleigh bicycle is now a division of the Dutch corporation Accell. In the spring of that year, they started advertising in the local press. The Nottinghamshire Guardian of 15 May printed what was possibly the first Woodhead and Angois classified advertisement. Russell Street Cycle Works. Like Woodhead and Angois, Ellis’s background was in the lace industry.

He was a lace gasser, a service provider involved in the bleaching and treating of lace, with premises in nearby Clare Street and Glasshouse Street.

Rudge Whitworth find in Oklahoma

The quintessential old British bicycle found in the USA is a Raleigh Industries three speed bicycle that is heavy, geared too high, indestructible and almost always black. Among the many old black three speeds that one can still find in major US cities like Boston, San Francisco or New York, once in a while one can find in another color such as burgundy, dark green, or in later models: red, blue or gold.

The all chrome model is very close in style and construction to the ordinary Sports model.

The Raleigh factory starts making bicycles. Raleigh ceases productio of bicycles frames in the UK. All dating would therefore be approximate.

The history of The Raleigh Cycle Co offers an excellent insight into the history of cycle manufacturing in Great Britain. A Raleigh Superbe is surely the most practical vintage bicycle to own and use on a regular basis. Comprehensive records of Raleigh frame numbers is another very useful factor: you can check the age of your Raleigh at the bottom of this page. Raleigh Street, Nottingham, was the site of a small workshop which in started producing diamond-frame safety bicycles at the rate of three a week.

Frank Bowden, a successful lawyer and convert to cycling, bought the firm in and in December founded The Raleigh Cycle Company as a limited liability private company. In , Sturmey-Archer gears were added to the product range. Six years later, Bowden bought back Raleigh, which was to remain in family hands for the next quarter century. By the early s, Raleigh was a world leader, capable of producing annually , cycles, , hub gears 15, motorcycles and 50, motorcycle gearboxes.

Raleigh survived the Great Depression well. It acquired Humber cycles in and the following year started producing a three-wheeler car. By , its production of bicycles had grown to nearly , units per annum and the company had stopped making motorcycles and cars. During the Second World War , Raleigh concentrated on munitions work.

Frame identification by frame number

As Rudge Enthusiasts Club Archivist, one of the most frequent questions I get asked is “where does the Rudge red hand come from? The most common, being that it was added to the Rudge logo because they won the Ulster Grand Prix! This is probably compounded by the fact that the ‘Ulster’ is arguably Rudge’s most famous model, its easy to see why so many people would think this.

is a question I get asked a lot, nearly as much as: ‘I have a bicycle that looks like one of RUDGE-WHITWORTH FRAME NUMBER DATING.

Try to Download directly 7. Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume. Cycling has become the mode of transport of choice for many of us now. Bikes of today are hi-tech, made of carbon fibre – rocket cycles! But along with the lycra set there is the resurgence of the retro bike. Dan Bolwell and Charlie Farren are two people who are keeping cycling from a bygone era alive in present day.

Dan custom builds bespoke Penny Farthing bikes and Charlie, with her husband Paul, have a vintage bicycle collection dating back to the ‘s. Audio Player failed to load. Play Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume. Image: photo by Mathew Dooling. Download The romance of the vintage bicycle 7.

Duration: 15min 46sec Broadcast: Tue 27 Jan , am. Guests Dan Bolwell Custom builds bespoke penny farthing bicycles.


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Thank you, Peter, for an amazingly detailed and well-researched presentation of the Raleigh-Carlton families of bike brands and the amazing evolution of the bikes, the markets, and the companies involved. Were they early Raleigh or Carlton dealers? Hi Peter, Thank you for documenting a fascinating history that I was previously completely unaware of.

Please keep up the good work! Jacob Russell. Thank you for featuring my Franco-Suisse. She’s my pride and joy. Great work gathering all this information in one place. I thought I learned all there was to know about Raleigh, but alas I learned something new. Thanks again! The ’66 Constellation credited to Michel Angelo is actually mine. My photos too. Took me 10 years to find one.

Rudge Whitworth All Weather Bicycle Aero Special with Watsonian Bicycle Sidecar 1932