DISRAELI DOCUMENTS

Raleigh - Cycle Maintenance Handbook

Raleigh - Cycle Maintenance Handbook 1952 page 1 main image

Using my Inspector Clouseau-like powers of deduction, I am going to date this booklet as 1952. I believe that the Sturmey-Archer TCW three speed coaster brake hub (see pages 23 & 25) was introduced in 1952. In my experience, it could only be described as substandard garbage. However the equally poor, and ill-fated, Sturmey-Archer SW three speed hub, which was introduced in 1954, is noticeably absent. Your honour, I contend that this makes 1952 and 1953 the only possible dates. All I need now are means, motive and opportunity.

I like the graphics and the period comments - the advice to ‘remember that the fitting of a motor attachment nullifies the guarantee given with the machine’ (page 35) - and the news that Raleigh’s own-brand oil ‘is now packed in tins incorporating a patented lubricating nozzle’ (page 40).

But none of this is the important thing about this booklet. In fact nothing in the booklet is the important thing about this booklet. The important thing is that there is no mention anywhere in the whole publication of the idea of derailleur gears. Here we have the self-proclaimed largest and most up-to-date bicycle factory in the world (page 37) producing products not one of which uses the gearing system that was winning most every competitive bicycle race out there.


  • Publisher: Raleigh
  • Country: UK
  • Date: 1952?
  • Derailleur brands: Raleigh
  • Derailleurs: most definitely none
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