Blog reader B. Smith has kindly shared some of his current projects with me.
The first attachment shows my ’71 Raleigh Superbe. This has become my “daily driver” I got out twice last week, and I’m thinkin of going again today. This mild weather has really been kind, if you dress for the wind. we ride out at Beaverdams next to the canal in Thorold.
I bought this one in a package deal last summer at the Brantford swap meet. I’ve sent you pics when it was ROUGH. In addition to having the original dyna-hub and lights working, I got some nice L.E.D. lights for Christmas. The coffee cup holder is still a little sketchy as to my NEED for it, but I’ve had it a while. the Schwalbe delta cruisers are the finishing touch for a nice ride. This one has a 20 tooth rear sprocket.
The second shot is my ’74 Glider I bought at the summer vintage swap meet, same package deal as the Superbe. Over the holidays, I was in the mood to get going on this project, so up it went on my Park Tools stand. I re-packed the dry headset and went through the guts of the Sturmey Archer AW rear hub. I graced her hub with a 22tooth sprocket.
The ’71 Superbe originally came with these funky green brake handle grips. I cleaned and tuned it, and gave all the chrome a good rub with fine steel wool and chrome polish on the nasty spots. There were lotsa nasties! The crank had the pedal arm welded to it in a previous life, so it got my spare Raleigh “Heron” style crank and block pedals. It came with the rear rack. I have one of those crank pin remover tools. That is the ONLY way to remove these cranks!
Attachment three: The green brake grips were orphans till I ran into a guy at the Toronto vintage swap meet who sold me the matching handle grips. I love these so much , I may slide the whole package onto my Superbe, but then, I’d just be riding another Glider, now, wouldn’t I?
Attachment four: The rear shot is with the ’70 and ’74 Gliders slumped up together. The ’74 had a trashed taillight, so I modernized it with a pixeo L.E.D., even though there’s a generator for the headlight.
I started riding the ’70 earlier this year, because I had built up this project when I finally got around to respoking the rear of the ’71 Superbe. I fit this girl with a 21 tooth sprocket. This Glider was originally a 40 spoker, and it is trashed. I just swapped the wheel assembly for something newer, and fit some crappy used gumwalls. I got flat after flat and swore something was in the tire, but the last tube I put in stayed up. It was one of those projects that I got to use up some spare parts, and keep busy in the evenings.
ANYWAY, I got to liking the way the Glider rode. The handlebars are more “North Road” shaped, and the Superbe’s are flat and straighter, identical to the ones YOU have…(which is what prompted me to type this LOL)
The smaller frame still seemed to fit me, and I felt “nimble” on the tighter dimensions. There’s not a lot of differences, really, and I’m six ft, 200 pounds, I like ’em both. Only a long ride would tell me if the larger frame was more suitable.
I’d be more impressed if I had some nice Panamerica tires to test on this lady.
Attachment five shows all three sisters lined up and posing like happy girls. Each one is a different shade of olive green, each one has a different rear sprocket, so the range is slightly changed on each. The tires are vastly different on each one, too. The “70 and ’71 are made in Nottingham, and the ’74 numbers check out as Canadian built. I can’t tell unless I decode the serial numbers. I feel the Quebec factory did a great job building these bikes for Raleigh.
The Tree Sisters…
Thanks B. Smith for the contribution and I encourage other readers to do likewise!