Raleigh: Past & Presence of an Iconic Bicycle Brand

Front cover dust jacket of 'Raleigh' by Tony Hadland

Raleigh Past and Presence of an Iconic Bicycle Brand by Tony Hadland, with contributions by Eric Kwiatkowski, Scotford Lawrence and Paul Whatley, was published in autumn 2011 by Cycle Publishing / Van der Plas Publications of San Francisco. It is the most comprehensive and thoroughly researched history of the Raleigh bicycle brand yet published and involved about 5,000 hours of research.
The author has been writing thoroughly researched books on the history of bicycle technology since 1980. All his books have been produced independently of the companies covered. His primary concern has always been for accuracy, not for financial gain. He has therefore always made it a practice to publish, free of charge, update sheets including additional information and corrections. Below is the first such update sheet for this book.

Additional information and corrections

Page 8, column 3, line 8: ‘Harry Davey’ not ‘Harvey Davey’.

Page 12, column 2, line 21: California became part of the USA two years before (not after) Frank Bowden’s birth.

Page 12, column 2, line 28: Although transcriptions of the 1891 census (e.g. as published by Find My Past) list Harold Bowden as born in 1881, he was actually born 9 July 1880.

Page 13, column 3, paragraph 2, last line: We now know from contemporary press advertising that the company was operational by May 1885.

Page 14, Fig. 1.7: Since the book was published, Colin Kirsch has acquired a Raleigh that slightly pre-dates the Brooklands machine.

Page 139, Fig. 23.1: Should read ‘The 1946 Lenton Sports…’

Page 145: Fig. 23.17: Should read ‘showing 1961 BSA Goldens.’

Page 146: Fig. 23.21: Should read ‘1961’ not ‘1950’.

Page 148, column 3, paragraph 1: Replace last two sentences with ‘This was then the most powerful TV transmitter in the world and covered Nottingham but, in this era of austerity, very few people owned television sets.’

Page 149: Fig. 24.5: Should read ‘Reg Harris beating Arie van Vliet at the 1954 World Championship finals.’

Page 199, column 1, after paragraph 1: Paul Whatley points out that the Raleigh versions, which also first appeared in 1961, were the Gran Sport (which featured for the first time a Campagnolo gear), the Sprite and the Blue Streak. All three used the same 72 x 72 degree non-531 frame. A revamped Raleigh headbadge was also seen on these bicycles. The forks lacked the traditional chromed thimbles and had a normal straight cut fork crown. This new range was first shown at the 1960 Earls Court show and continued until the end of 1964.

Page 235, after column 1: Here is some additional information, provided by Paul Whatley, about Raleigh Lightweights of the 1960s. The Gran Sport, Sprite and Blue Streak were dropped at the end of 1964, to be replaced by the Raleigh Record, Rapide, Rapier and Royale, in that descending price order. There was a 531 double-butted Record frame, which sold for £18. The Raleigh Record did not use this quality frame, but a cheaper version, the whole bike selling for £38. This range, with a few minor alterations, lasted until 1968. In that year, the Raleigh Ruberg replaced the Record, selling for a similar price, while Raleigh offered a 531 frameset at around £20. The Rapier and Royale continued in production, as possibly did the Rapide, until 1970-71. Several professional teams used the 531 Record and Ruberg framesets at this time, the Ruberg equipping a German professional team. Carlton was left to produce the sportier adult models for the first years of the 1970s, until the rise of the Raleigh professional team in the later 1970s.

Page 243, Fig. 37.3: After ‘Bernard Hinault’ insert ‘(centre) and Joop Zoetemelk (right)…’

Page 261, Fig. 38.39: Should read ‘Mike Mullett working on a wheel at the Skol 73 six-day races, with Jan LeGrand in the background.’

Page 264, column 3, last two paragraphs: Delete, including continuation of last paragraph into column 1 of page 265.

Page 319, Fig. 45.10: Should read ‘Sturmey-Archer advertisement stating that 1907 and 1908 Tour de France winner Lucien Petit-Breton used their three-speed hub gear in the 1913 race.’

Page 366, column 4, line 23: Should read ‘Drinkwater, Dave, 82, 169’

Tony Hadland
14 March 2016

11 thoughts on “Raleigh: Past & Presence of an Iconic Bicycle Brand”

  1. I’ve been looking for a copy of your book – I recently restored, as in restored to daily riding condition, a 1952 Raleigh Superbe Sports Tourist. It’s a delightful bicycle, and the AG hub still works perfectly. I’ve had it out on seventy mile rides, over rough dirt roads, with no complaints. But back to your book – it seems like it’s out of print, and copies, at least here in the U.S.A., are going for $800 and up! It looks like I’ll just have to borrow a copy through interlibrary loan. I do hope it comes back in print at some point.

    1. Many thanks for your comments, Paul, and well done with the restoration. I’m sorry that the book is out of print and I have copied your message to the publisher. If the book ever does come back into print, I will be sure to advertise it here.

    1. Many thanks – I’m glad you like it. By the way, the original draft is considerably longer and fully source referenced. The National Cycle Archive at Warwick University has a copy which I deposited for the benefit of future serious researchers.

  2. Can this book be purchased?? I’m currently restoring an old Raleigh Sports that I’m having trouble dating… It could be anywhere from the 50’s to the 70’s. Most information relating to identifying these bikes is based on Raleigh’s produced in the UK and US. This one was made in Hastings NZ.

    1. Hi Carla,
      Thanks for your email. Yes, the book is certainly available. Amazon stock it and any decent bookshop should be able to order it through the normal channels. However, it may not help much with your specific problem. Has your bike got a Sturmey-Archer hub gear? If so, that will have a date on it (year and month) and, assuming it was original equipment, the hub will typically be only a few months older than the bike. Also, have you seen the article by Michael Toohey on my website/blog about NZ bikes made in Hastings? It doesn’t show the model you mention but may provide some leads that you can follow up.

      1. Hi Tony, thanks for your reply… I did read that post, which is how I realised that the bikes produced in NZ created a unique offshoot of Raleigh, and therefore conventional dating methods could not be applied.. For instance our bike has its serial number on the right dropout. I may try to ask Michael. Out of interest, ours is ZD0-001483.

    2. The Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub will have a 2 digit number , that will tell you what year the bike or at least the rear hub is.
      Gary A. Bonacker

      1. Thanks Gary. It’s a bit more complicated than that but for the period from the end of World War 2 until the start of the 21st century Sturmey-Archer hubs normally have a two digit year code and a one or two digit month code. Thus 64 11 indicates a hub made in November 1964. Several other numbering schemes have been used prior to 1945 and since circa 2000.

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