Wants & Desires | Raleigh Superbe | A Continuous Lean.

Wants & Desires | Raleigh Superbe

Aug 21st, 2009 | Categories: Bicycles, Cycling, England | by Michael Williams

Something has come over me — maybe it is this New York heat wave — but I have become obsessed with the idea of owning a vintage Raleigh 3-speed bicycle. I’m not really into the idea of spending more than $200 for said bicycle (I already own three bikes), and the typical online auction destinations have yielded little within my budget. All that aside, I did discover one fantastic piece of hardware along the way which has me thinking twice. The below gem of a bike near Hartford, Connecticut, is a beautiful English made Raleigh Superbe 3 speed, in near mint condition. The auction is holding steady at the starting bid of $475 (which I think is a little much even for a bike in such good of shape), but if money isn’t an issue I say go for it.

Raleigh_Superbe_5

Lesli at Archival Clothing also pointed out Kogswell of California, which is a more practical modern alternative to the heavy steel frame English bicycles from the 60′s and 70′s.

Raleigh_Superbe_6

Raleigh_Superbe_1

Raleigh_Superbe_2

Raleigh_Superbe_4

Raleigh_ebay

Comments: 33

33 Comments to “Wants & Desires | Raleigh Superbe”

  1. Sam
    on Aug 21st, 2009
    @ 2:37 PM

    damn that is pristine it’s almost worth the price tag

  2. steve
    on Aug 21st, 2009
    @ 3:14 PM

    I had one as a kid – chestnut brown with the same Brooks saddle and a black leather Brooks tool kit that hung off the back of the seat. It was a fine piece of machinery but I owned it at a time when Peugot and Motobecane 10 speeds were the “it” bikes. My Raleigh 3 speed was the ideal bike for city rambles, not suburban sprints, so eventually I ended up with a Bianchi 10 speed, the stately Raleigh relegated to a corner of the garage, and finally pawned for pocket change to a neighborhood kid. I wish I still had it.

  3. Jamie
    on Aug 21st, 2009
    @ 3:16 PM

    If you are in the market for a nice vintage Raleigh – Recylce Bicycle over on Ave. C is worth a shot. I think the inventory moves pretty fast – but I got a 1950s Raleigh Sport 3 Speed for $250 – came with original Brooks seat, decals, owner’s manual, and is real smooth. Looks like there is Dumbo outpost as well – plus any purchase helps win for the kids.

    http://www.recycleabicycle.org/shops

  4. vaughn
    on Aug 21st, 2009
    @ 3:27 PM

    I love them.
    http://www.archivalclothing.com/2009/02/archival-bicycles.html

  5. jc
    on Aug 21st, 2009
    @ 5:40 PM

    sweet jeebus. i coveted these while living in copenhagen.
    specifically the tourist deluxe. (google image that!)

  6. jeremy
    on Aug 21st, 2009
    @ 6:37 PM

    I have a Kogswell P/R set up very much like a raleigh superbe. It’s a fantastic bike. http://mydutchbike.com/ is importing Oma and Opafiets that are similar as well, but they’ll set you back a little. Well worth it for a bike you ride daily though. Pashley also makes a good option in this market, and Linus Bikes have some less expensive alternatives.

    Note: I may be working with MyDutchBike soon.

  7. Lesli Larson
    on Aug 21st, 2009
    @ 7:35 PM

    Another Kogswell-as-Raleigh (now has a custom front rack)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/archivalclothing/2980943690/

    Wacky batch of Kogswell frames were selling for 350.00 (frame, fork and fenders).

    But above ACL’s pricepoint!

    My own recently released English 3-speed (Phillips, not Raleigh):

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/archivalclothing/124088957/

    I got tired of the fussy gearing adjustment for the bike. Went back to a nice, simplified, 1×7 speed drivetrain w/chainguard and fenders:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/archivalclothing/sets/72157605078010434/

  8. Wm
    on Aug 21st, 2009
    @ 9:52 PM

    I got my Raleigh Sports 3 speed off craigslist for $200. Just gotta search every day on there for the deals.

  9. doug
    on Aug 21st, 2009
    @ 11:31 PM

    I’ve picked up two British bicycles around my area free in recent years-a ‘Robin Hood’, and a Dunelt. I happened to go by them when they were out at the street on garbage day.

  10. giuseppetimore
    on Aug 22nd, 2009
    @ 12:00 AM

    It’s a little pricey, but those old Ealeighs, especially the Superbe, are worth it.

    I have a lot of bikes too. But what I always liked about my Raleigh Sports was that I could ride it in shoes and a sports coat. The chainguard, the upright stance, the wide and comfy leather saddle, all made for a great “dressy” ride…way more so than a ten speed or fixed gear ever did. Add a basket on the front and the things perfect.

    I got a matching pair, mens’ and ladies, off craigslist a couple of years ago for $120, $60 each. I say, if you really want one, keep looking. They built a lot of those things and they’re practically indestructible.

  11. Lush
    on Aug 22nd, 2009
    @ 9:40 AM

    I have my Kogswell P/R set up this way as well (Brooks saddle, Sturmey-Archer 3 speed, etc.). It’s mainly just a grocery getter. I’m jonesing hard for a Rivendell A. Homer Hilsen now. Here’s my Kogs:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lushmojo/sets/72157620927931213/

  12. Scooter
    on Aug 22nd, 2009
    @ 2:32 PM

    On April 3, 1974, I bought a Raleigh Super Course 10 speed, which I still have and ride. It is the same color green as the 3-speed above. It has a Reynolds 531 frame aloong with the Brooks saddle. I wonder if this 3-speed has the same frame?
    How do I know the day I bought it? I bought the bike at 3:15pm and the worst tornado ever to hit Louisville, KY hit at 4:30pm. Epic.

  13. Pigus
    on Aug 22nd, 2009
    @ 3:09 PM

    You’re obviously on the first rung of discovering how beautiful British 3-speed bicycles are, but I should tell you now that the one to get is a Rudge. Before Raleigh bought them all up and became the biggest bicycle manufacturer in the world, there were a whole host of smaller companies producing this type of bicycle, and Rudge was one of the finest. I’ve owned plenty of 3-speeds – in England we also call them ‘sit up and beg’ bicycles – as well as buying and selling them with another English friend of mine here in New York, but my burgundy-red Rudge with all original components including well worn Brooks saddle was the most beautiful… Just look at the chain-ring on one!

    On another note, those Kogswells, like a lot of people making bikes now, unfortunately seem to miss the point, insofar as they are overly practical at the expense of bicycle esthetics and the spirit of cycling; you only have to see that the the top tube is not horizontal to realize that; and at $600 just for the frameset you can guarantee that you’ll never be able to lock it up outside without worrying about it getting stolen.

    - The bike in your picture is nice enough, especially as it has dynamo lights, which are hands-down the best lighting solution, but if the price goes any higher you might want to look for another one… Go down to Frank’s Bikes on Grand Street and have a look up in the rafters of the store and see if you can’t find a hidden gem… and Frank’s a diamond geezer, too!

  14. Jeremy
    on Aug 22nd, 2009
    @ 4:02 PM

    The top-tube on my Kogwsell is horizontal. I chose the new Kogswell over used Raleigh for a few reasons. Mainly, I’m too tall to fit 99% of the local Raleighs for sale, and I also wanted something a bit more sophisticated in gearing (8 speed internal) because I frequently put 30 to 50 miles a day on that bike running errands. Despite the money I have into it, I lock it up all over town. Pitlocks on the wheels and headset help, plus I keep it inside at work.

    Without getting too deep into the economic realities of making bikes these days, $600 for a frame from a company that’s quite literally one guy designing and importing the frames is pretty reasonable.

    All that said, if I can ever get my hands on a tall enough Raleigh Superbe or Tourist for under $400, I will buy it in a second.

  15. hoganfe handmade handbag originals
    on Aug 22nd, 2009
    @ 6:36 PM

    Oh I loved my Raleigh it was dark green & took me everywhere!

    mary

  16. melissa ahamad
    on Aug 22nd, 2009
    @ 8:23 PM

    i got mine for… $65 bucks, sammme exact bike :)

  17. c.a.
    on Aug 23rd, 2009
    @ 11:53 AM

    they’re single-speed, not three speed, but has anyone seen these bowery lane bicycles in person? http://www.bowerylanebicycles.com/

    supposedly made in nyc, and they look pretty sweet, but I guess they’re pretty new, so there’s very little in the way of info or reviews out there.

  18. Harold & Zooey
    on Aug 23rd, 2009
    @ 7:17 PM

    One of the sexiest bikes I’ve ever seen. It’s sad thought — the pains of being poor.

  19. Cory Gomberg
    on Aug 23rd, 2009
    @ 11:08 PM

    I own that very same bike. Identical. Mine is a ’63. Unfortunately, my headlight was recently stolen, but other that she is complete. Best of luck with the bidding.

  20. Tintin
    on Aug 24th, 2009
    @ 10:22 AM

    That would look great on a wall.

    My fear (and it’s my fear) is that if I did the bow tie thing with this bike, someone would beat me to a pulp and steal my bike.

  21. TM
    on Aug 25th, 2009
    @ 9:03 AM

    have 2 of these in Green I bought for $450..(for both) in Philly! both in perfect condition!

  22. Matt
    on Aug 25th, 2009
    @ 11:07 AM

    Just get on any bike and ride. Life’s too short – there are more interesting problems than how to consume this.

  23. Eric Channing Brewer
    on Aug 25th, 2009
    @ 5:31 PM

    My father bought me this same Raliegh 3 speed model that was gently used. I was in the 9th grade. It was the same color but without the wrack. I later added one with rear blinkers attached. Yes I was a nerd. I used it to commute for a year and then, being utterly incapable of respecting finely made things at that age, I mistreated and abused it. I do regret stupid things I’ve done in the past. These pictures have reminded me of that.

  24. TM
    on Aug 25th, 2009
    @ 8:57 PM

    Oh..Matt…is this a problem…? I thought we were riding and having fun !!!!!!

  25. Mike
    on Aug 26th, 2009
    @ 11:54 AM

    Maybe hold off. What about if BMX’s are ‘in’ next summer?

  26. Nik T
    on Aug 28th, 2009
    @ 4:30 PM

    You wouldn’t believe, 2 weekend ago I was riding my bike in Trinity Bellwoods park (Toronto) an a guy had a pop up lawn sale thing and he was selling this exact bike (minus brooks brother seat) for $60 CDN I couldn’t belive it and if I didn’t have 2 bikes already 1 the vintage Raliegh that I was riding and the vintage CCM galaxy that I am refurbishing I would have totally got it.

  27. Ruben
    on Aug 29th, 2009
    @ 4:30 PM

    My neighbor has a really cool and old Superbe for sale with the old square head light for sale in his garage. I told him there must be someone who appreciates these things. Anyone interested?

    Ruben 805-252-6046 Santa Barbara, Ca

  28. Michael Geller
    on Sep 20th, 2009
    @ 7:16 PM

    can anyone tell me what a 1977 Raleigh Tourist is worth…mens 24″ frame, ladies 22″ in good original condition. both black… thanks email me at geller@sfu.ca

  29. Fonkamex
    on Nov 3rd, 2009
    @ 8:21 PM

    I have a Raleigh Superbe with a front Dynohub. This is the most beautiful cycle ever. I have a ladies Raleigh Sports for restoration project. I live in Montreal, Canada.

  30. Fonkamex
    on Nov 3rd, 2009
    @ 8:22 PM

    http://groups.google.com/group/raleigh-superbe

    My new Raleigh Superbe discussion group.

  31. carl
    on Nov 11th, 2009
    @ 3:26 PM

    Had a red Raleigh back then in 1969…..my first bike.Loved it.

  32. Jillo
    on Dec 16th, 2009
    @ 10:16 PM

    I have one of these and I LOVE it! They are heavy but so well-balanced that I don’t really notice it. I ride mine on errands around town and it performs very well even with both pannier baskets full. It’s a bit banged up, but the tire pump still works and I got it for about $100. If anything ever happened to it, I’d pay twice that to replace it, gladly.
    I replaced the seat with a Spongy Wonder and my headlight is a Flea USB-chargable. This bike gives me joy. I hope that whatever you find, it gives you joy, too.

  33. Andre
    on Dec 17th, 2009
    @ 5:20 AM

    I have Raleigh Superbe Mens 5 Speed Bicycle