One of my neighbours was clearing out a tenant’s remainders and among the detritus were a few bike frames, mostly disassembled. One of them was an in-tact (mostly) Raleigh of unknown vintage. I had a look at the bike and noticed that it had internal hub gearing a Sturmey Archer by the looks of things.

So being a curious lad I took the Raleigh and one of the other frames in reasonable condition and set off home.

I did a bit of digging and it turns out that the bike is in fact a Raleigh Superbe, and is in fact equipped with a Sturmey Archer 3-speed hub.

Some light googling found the following useful information from the always useful Sheldon Brown:

The Raleigh “Superbe” model was always the super-deluxe version of their basic top-of-the-line bike. Generally, Superbes are “sports-type” bikes, with 590 mm (26 inch) wheels and cable-operated brakes. The usual Superbe model differs from a standard Sports by having a locking fork, Dynohub lighting system, and a sprung saddle (usully the Brooks B-66 instead of the B-72)

The 1954 model looked like this:

So thanks to Sheldon, I was able to track the pedigree of the bike. It is a 1969 Raleigh Superbe – British Green.

A number of things are noteable about the Superbe in my possession:

  • The original forward chainring and cranks are gone.
  • The chain case is gone.
  • Original pump – gone. But the pump pins are there. Rear rack is not there.
  • Original saddle is also gone.
  • Front and Rear Lamps missing.

What is there:

  • Original Locking Fork – no key (big surprise).
  • Original Dynohub (status unknown – really really hoping it works)
  • Original Sturmey Archer 3-Speed Hub – seems to be in good condition – I need to investigate this further because I have no idea about its workings. The cable connecting the clutch chain to the shifter lever is damaged and frayed.
  • Front and Rear Brakes Good Condition.

I’ll start documenting the restoration process as I go. Photos will follow as I start the strip-down process.

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