She’s back! After seven long weeks my sweet Raleigh Ladies’ Superb, circa 1962, is back in my hands. This was a Craigslist find that included the complete frame, original pedals, chain guard, pump, handlebars and shifter, a vintage Brooks saddle, Dynamo lighting, and an upgraded Swedish “double” kickstand. (One switch from the original that I totally support. Most single kickstands can’t properly support a bike, especially with baskets or panniers attached.) And did I mention she’s a 3-speed with coaster brakes?
I brought my ride to BicycleSPACE for an overhaul, and Jerry worked pure magic — cleaning the frame, taking apart the hub, modifying the cables and Dynamo headlight wiring. I managed to find a used rear reflector to replace the one that was missing (an Ebay score shipped from Coventry, UK) and Jerry actually found an old crushed Raleigh that supplied the tiny chrome frontpiece on the front fender. The final touches were a new “ding dong” bell, a replica of the bells used in an earlier time by British postmen, and a Felt café coffee cup holder. Other than new brake pads, these are pretty much the only new parts used.
A work of art that rides like a dream — I couldn’t be happier and am so glad she’s back!