Wednesday, April 23, 2014

1976 Raleigh LTD 3 speed Model DL32 a rideable project bike...for someone else

I may have mentioned in my post on the Raleigh Ladies 3 speed that I got a package deal of 3 speeds when my friend was cleaning out his garage in preparation of a remodel.  The other half of the set was a Mens Raleigh LTD 3 speed Model DL32 which, as I found out from three speed hub ,was the entry level to the Raleigh 3 speed line below the mid range Sports (DL22) and the high end Superbe (DL24) with brooks saddle. and locking fork.
Though humble, the LTD still sports a Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub, mud guards (fenders to us yanks) and a chain guard.  This particular LTD,  like its sister the Sports, was/is in need of a lot of TLC.  Since I have had trouble finishing bike projects lately, attentive readers will notice a lack of a final installment for the Peugeot Course, I decided to sell this bike as a project.  Even so I still had to do a little bit of work before I could list it.

All the dust and must and rust none withstanding this bikes major issue was the lack of a shift cable, or rather a complete one.
 Your shift cable shouldn't terminate halfway down the down-tube in a frayed rusted mess.  I didn't want to spend any money on the bike but I did want it to be functional.  The tires are old but not dry rotted and they hold air, the brake pads have seen better days but they did stop the bike so with a working shift cable I would have a functional, albeit shabby, 3 speed.

Amazon came through with the six dollar Sturmey archer 3 speed cable kit so I am good to go right..?
And then it hits me, I know friction and I know SIS and I even know STI.  I speak Shimano, Campy and Sun Tour but about Sturmey Archer 3 speeds I don't know Jack.  BikemanforU to the rescue! he did a great youtube series a couple years ago rehabbing a Schwinn 3 speed speedster, with an SA rear hub, and episode 6 goes over replacing and adjusting a 3 speed shift cable, thank you Bike Man!

With the shift cable  fixed it was time to take care of a few other items.  The foil cover on the shifter  housing had come loose so a little Elmer's glue, a make-shift clamp (cardboard and vise grip) and I had it reaffixed.
One of the things I dread in any bike  rehab is either a stuck stem or seat-post so I had to check to be sure both were ok, they were, and then I added a bit of grease to each to keep them unstuck.   I also needed to figure out the year of the bike and on Sturmey Archer hubs they stamp the year of manufacture so it was just a matter of cleaning away some muck to determine that 1976 was when this bike was made.
1976 is that yankee doodle I hear?
Nope, definitely Rule Britannia 

I then did a quick ride to be sure the bike shifted and stopped before listing it to craigslist.  Given enough $$ and space an old English 3 speed would definitely be in my quiver, also this bike is unique in my experience in that is a 23 inch seat tube model and its in sky blue.  Most of the 3 speeds I see seem to be smaller and either black or brown with the occasional bronze green thrown in.  I am , however, currently an unemployed apartment dweller, not to mention an old fat man living in a hilly neighborhood so I had to be realistic about keeping a 3 speed for myself.

Still it has some cool features.  I really like the look of the original handlebar grips,
I also like that something minor like a plastic brake lever cover has the Raleigh stamp,
and of course who doesn't love a good headbadge?
I am hoping some energetic Anglophile snaps up this craigslist bargain and rehabs it into a solid commuter.

Until next time, and hopefully the exciting conclusion of the Peugeot UO-10, Ride.Smile.Repeat.


  1. I always considered Raleigh to be a class act. And they definitely have a kick-ass headbadge. I can't help but think of Robin Hood when I see that badge. I was watching 'Treasure of the Sierra Madre' a few days ago. "Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges..."

    Wrong. I think every bike should have a headbadge. A real headbadge, not some stupid sticker. I waxed eloquent over at, uh, where was it? That guy Padraig...VeloNews? Bicycling? I don't remember. But I went on and on about the beauty of the noble headbadge. Kind of like now.

    Have you already been blogging for two years now? Good lord, it seems like yesterday. Unbelievable. But I still can't believe that it is the year 2014. WTF?

    Yesterday I signed on with a new outfit, doing light construction and remodeling. All local work and only 40 hrs a week. It has been eons (real eons, I'm that effin' old) since I had a "regular" job. I have no idea how it will work out, but spending the rest of the year sleeping in my own bed and not living out of a suitcase sounds...well, comfortable.

    Yesterday I took some beers up to this little piece of land I have my eye on. Ignoring the No Trespassing signs I pedaled up to the highest point and had a beer sitting on a fallen pine that made a perfect bench. The sun was just right, the bird noise was just right and a couple feet away a medium-sized black snake was sunning itself, totally ignoring me. If I continue to live like I'm broke and saving and saving I can buy that place by the end of the year.

    The year 2014. Good Lord.


    1. I hear ya Velo Brother its hard to believe its 2014, where are the flying cars and the teleportation! I love the Heron symbol of Raleigh, I used to do a ride, when I worked on the Eastside of Seattle Metroplex, that wound through some wetlands and whenever I saw a Blue Heron I knew it was going to be a good day. I hope your land dreams become reality, maybe I can find me a vintage Airstream and come out to FL for a visit at the Comstock compound. I'll bring my work-stand and tools and maybe a few projects like the Peugeot Sports I picked up yesterday - coming soon to a blog near you.

    2. Two years ago I had no clue about bike blogs and all the info and entertainment that was out there. I was just a guy pedaling about, commuting and going on tours. It has always been about the people that cross your path and I hope to meet you guys face to face sometime.
      The Raleigh head badge has, for me, symbolized a high quality desired bike. Started way back in Junior High days when a friend got a beautiful Grand Prix to ride back and forth to school and I was clunking along on my hand-me down ten speed. I saved enough for a new bike but got the Peugeot instead of saving the extra money to step up to the Raleigh.

      TJ, a regular job is a good thing especially when there is a goal out there to acquire some land to build the next plan. I can only encourage you for selfish reasons....a place to come and set up my tent, bring cold beer and swap stories. The working life has to have some kind of purpose, otherwise, I sure have wasted a lot of my life. Makes me think of my other avocation. I have met a fellow coach a few times at clinics and we hit it off. Good guy, and coaching is his career unlike me. Well, he just got the Head job at Missouri. 58 years old and just now getting his first chance at a Div 1 job after spending his life "paying dues". Jesus, I'm 58 years old and after 30 years in the lumber business I'm starting to think about what my next, slow it down some, retirement job is going to be. It is a crazy world when we have to accommodate a working life so we can enjoy the fun things this world has.

      Oh yeah, a long story to just talk about a cool Raleigh 3-speed that somebody will take Ryans start and turn it into a nice commuter/pleasure rider.

    3. Hey Jim glad you pulled up a chair here at the ol' blog. I am not sure you were too far off in getting a Peugeot instead of a Raleigh they have some classic Lion head-badges of their own and there is a certain something about the ride of French Steel, even a lowly UO-8 that is unique and cool. Very cool story about your friend getting the Mizzou job at an age when many are winding things down. Maybe at 58 I can "afford" to be like Hugh and work on bikes as my main job.