I will always reply to comments and always re-reply to re-replies.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


(click on any image to enlarge)

Well it took a while and some cash outlay, but the finished article is well worth it. My 60 year old (owned by me for 50) Raleigh Record Ace has now been fully restored, as you see here. It originally looked like this and then this as I began the work.
I painted it myself, but the transfers for the frame had to be specially made (and cost me £50!).
The bag is a replica of a 1950's item.

The chain-set is a 1950's Williams which I picked up in the "jumble-box" at a cycle museum in Cornwall, whilst on holiday (a bargain - £5)

The rear wheel contains an original pattern Sturmey Archer 4 speed gear, reconditioned and then built into a wheel by a retired cycle shop owner (another £120 I'm afraid!)

I took it for its first ride across Romney Marsh today and it behaved like the perfect gentleman it is. It was interesting to get used to the hub gear after so many years of riding with a multi-gear derailleur, but all worked smoothly and I only walked one hill. (I even saw a pair of swans with their 8 cygnets).

It will get its first airing at a Veteran-Cycle Club meet at the end of September, when the "experts" will survey it with critical eyes to ensure that all is "in period" (no worries there).

Who's a happy bunny, then?


Nea said...

Oh what a beauty.......I think this is marvelous. nothing I like better than to restore something back to it's original shine and function. You should be so proud. I know it is costly to do so, but personally I always think it is well worth it, especially if it is something you can use. I love cycling, I used to ride almost 20 miles each day. I never missed a day. Georgia isn't cycle friendly......they have no bike paths, and the roads have no shoulders.

Good job!!!

herhimnbryn said...

Well what a shining Sir Walter he is!
Well done Aged P.:)

Knowleypowley said...


A truly stunning bike (the old version looked magnificent, but this).

Well done matey, what next, a Brough Superior?


chiefbiscuit said...

You are an amazing 'cycle-smith'? 'bike-wright'? Astonishing attention to detail. What craftmanship has gone into the restoration of a beloved, 'faithful charger'.
I am reminded of a poem I wrote a while ago about ABM's Raleigh. (Long gone now sadly.) May even be inspired to post the poem ...

chiefbiscuit said...

Oh and LOVE the swan piccie - so sweet!

Avus said...

NEA: 20 miles per day, every day, is pretty good stuff. There was a time I did that, to and fro to my first job - but I am happy with a run of about 40 miles, once per week, these days.
HHnB: I have never "named" any of my transport items, but what a perfect one that would be if I did!
KNOWLEY: A Brough Superior motorcycle? That would be nice but I see that a very rusty "barn-find" one went for £15,000 at auction recently. A perfect one can fetch up to £60,000!
CHIEF: Thanks for that. I would like to see your "bike poem", so please do a post on it. As to the swans, "just perfick" (as Pop Larkin would have it) They were cruising along sedately in line and mum and dad hissed loudly at me as they went past.

Lucy said...

That really is a thing of beauty,
and the swans are a bonus!

Vita said...

That bike is so amazing, and now it's all shiny and restored. Shiney! That must have been quite a hill. Love the swans.

Looks like you keep your eye out for your main chance on an interesting motorcycle? Maybe one day something brilliant and specially priced will pop up and there you'll be.

Lee said...

Wacko! Beautifully done. You must be very proud of it.

Avus said...

LUCY, VITA, LEE: Thanks for the comments, folks - yes I am very pleased with the result. As I seem to "restore" it once every 30 years its next brush-up will be when I am 98!
VITA: - yes, I still look at the "motor-cycles for sale" adverts. I used to restore old motorcycles - buy them for a song, have fun getting them good again and sell for very little profit. Now prices have gone silly and there is no pleasure in it. Hence bicycle restoration - the fun is still there and those elegant machines, built by specialists in the '50s deserve restoration.

Vita said...

Re: Lincoln
Oh boy! That's a good one. Thank you for pointing it out.

John said...

Very interesting to see your fine machine because today I came across a 1935 RRA, in need of some TLC, and was wondering what the little braze-ons were for on the seat stays! Now I know! Thanks.
John. (V-CC 3780)

Avus said...

thanks for visiting - yes the seat stay braze-ons were for the Raleigh made saddlebag support.
A 1935 RRA in need of TLC certainly needs renovating! Go to it, man.