Friday, April 22, 2011

Chrome DL-1

Apparently, in 1980, Raleigh released a Special Edition Chrome DL-1. Not only is it chrome, but it appears to have come with a Brooks B33, nicer fender stays, front and rear powered lights, a full chain case, a Raleigh logo bell, and a front mud flap. Was that rear rack stock? It's a real looker!

Images from The Public Blog

If anyone has any information or literature on this Special Edition bike, I'd love to learn more! If anyone has one of these bikes for sale, please contact me :D

Tom Ward, in Brooklyn, owns one (found on Flickr):
Tom Ward, 2009, with Raleigh DL-1 in Brooklyn, at Parco.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

DL-1 Clone Sighting

It's unusual for me to come across a rod-brake bike in the wild, but when I do, it certainly sticks out. I spotted this DL-1 clone today, an India-made "Hero Jet," in front of San Francisco General Hospital:

It appears to have the same geometry as my 24" Tourist. The double top tube was the only difference that I really noticed. The owner of this bike upgraded the saddle to a Brooks B67.

That chain ring design is reminiscent of brass knuckles, no?

Stock cargo rack.

Follow the manly man for more info about Hero Cycles Ltd.'s "Roadsterz"
(warning: it's like traveling back to 1995):

Sunday, January 23, 2011

John Lennon on a rod brake Raleigh

I love these photos of John Lennon riding a rod brake Raleigh bike:

While I am not certain that this bike is a Raleigh DL-1, it certainly appears to be one... or two. These are two different bikes! One has blackout handlebars that are set higher than the chrome handlebars in the other photo. Same photoshoot though? rising70's Photostream on flickr is where I found them, and it is indicated there that these images were from the making of Magical Mystery Tour.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Raleigh's 2011 Tourist DeLuxe lineup

While this blog will mostly be concerned with restoring, maintaining, admiring, and customizing the classic Raleigh Tourist DL-1 Rod Brake bikes, I thought that I'd take this opportunity to mention that, in Denmark, you can still buy a brand new Raleigh bike based on the same classic frame geometry and styling today, in 2011!

Check out the 2011 Raleigh Tourist DeLuxe Lineup! They're available in both men's and women's frames in a variety of colors, several trim options, with your choice of brakes! Starting at a mere 5.099 kroner!

Tourist DeLuxe Brooks (Herre)

Tourist DeLuxe (Damme)

Tourist Sport (Herre)

'Now to figure out where I can purchase those racks and chaincases...

Friday, January 21, 2011

1981 Raleigh Catalog Page

In 1981, ride-up antique stores were commonplace and bicycle helmets were still just a dream. How times have changed!

In this photo, you can clearly see how the rear reflector is now mounted way up on the seat stay, replacing the saddlebag. The rear fender is now all black and reflectorless. This is how I believe my DL-1 was outfitted when it was new, way back in '76.

Found at

Proper cycling attire for a Raleigh Tourist?

Check out these classy and timeless fashions from the 1973 catalog:

Found at

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My 1976 Raleigh Tourist DL-1

Before and after restoration of my 1976 DL-1:

And here is how it is outfitted today:

It is mostly stock with a few upgrades:
- New bearings and lube
- New Schwalbe Delta Cruiser Cream Tires (and tubes and rim tape)
- New Brooks B66 Honey Saddle (the old B66 went onto my 1976 Raleigh Sprite)
- New Sunlite 16" Frame Pump
- NOS Sturmey Archer Shifter
- Rivendell Portuguese Cork Grips finished with Amber Shellac
- 'Upgraded' the plastic fulcrum sleeve and cable pulley to the older metal versions
- Black Acorn roll bag (which is actually full of tools)
- New Fibrax brake pads.
- New Black Izumi Chain (original chain broke on my first ride and shortening wasn't an option)
- Used Raleigh Pedals (from a 1978 Raleigh Sports)
- 22-Tooth Sturmey Archer Rear Sprocket
- SOMA Torpedo 1-Watt LED headlamp and headlamp bracket clamp
- Crane Suzu Brass Bell
- Catseye Aluminum Fender Reflector (NOS)

Lovely Bicycle's Customized DL-1 "Velouria"



The cream tires, full chaincase, skirtguard, and Brooks B18 saddle really set this DL-1 apart. The idea of putting the Schwalbe Delta Cruiser Cream tires on my DL-1 came from seeing this bike. Lovely bicycle indeed!

Check out her blog, Lovely Bicycle, Velouria's photo set on Flickr, and photo set of LovelyBike's cohabitant's DL-1 as well!

James' 1974 Tourist

James, in Perth, Western Australia, has an amazing example of a 1974 DL-1 Tourist. Complete with Sturmey Archer Dynohub, locking fork, and a chainring typical of a model with a full chain case!

Read all about it over at his blog:

And here's the Tourist page from the 1974 Raleigh catalog:

1977 Raleigh Tourist Parts List

You don't know the name of that thingy you need? Well, now you're in luck! Here's a diagram that I found handy when I was working on my bike.

Thank you, Sheldon Brown, for the image.

Helpful tip: A lot of the info that you'll find online about maintaining these old British bikes is written in British English. To help save some confusion at your local bike shop when looking for a specific tool, remember that "spanner" is what the Brits call a wrench. Old Raleigh's use a wrench standard called "Whitworth," but I find that metric wrenches work just as well, even though the fit is a little off. Where I can, I'll often use an adjustable wrench.

1977 Raleigh Catalog Page

This is the year that the chainguard changed design from the older "hockey puck" style and the larger rectangular mudguard reflector was introduced. The front lamp bracket is designed as a reflector mount with two holes, instead of featuring the classic Raleigh Heron design (a crying shame, IMHO).

Note that in this photo, the front brake shoes are assembled in front of the brake stirrup, which is the opposite of the way the brakes are installed in the 1976 catalog image. The exploded drawing from the 1977 parts list also indicates that the brake should be assembled in front of the stirrup.

It will probably work fine either way, but on my DL-1, I've installed the brakes behind the stirrup, as it seems that the brake shoe being pushed into the stirrup by the rim would provide more strength than the brake shoe being pulled away from the stirrup.

Found at

1976 Raleigh Catalog Page

This is the year that my Tourist was made. It seems that, in the US anyway, the Tourist was not outfitted with a rear mudguard reflector, nor did it have the tip of the mudguard painted white in this year. Instead, it came with a large rectangular red "Catseye" reflector mounted to the seat stay horizontal.

Found at

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Behold, the Raleigh DL-1 Tourist

... in it's exploding goodness:

Original image from Sheldon Brown. Edited by me.