Saturday, May 12, 2012

Vintage Raleighs & Vintage Film

Jerry and I recently did a vintage ride on bikes that were born before we were (although, admittedly, not by much). Jerry was on this 1951 Raleigh 3-speed.

I was riding a 1954 Rudge Pathfinder with a 4-speed FM hub and a generous helping of patina.

Purists will note there are a mix of old and new parts. For both of us the goal was to strike a balance among rideability, restoration and curb appeal.

Both bikes were made at the cavernous Raleigh factories. Here's an image borrowed from Sheldon Brown's Retro Raleigh website:

A tip of the hat to Jared for passing along this film on Raleigh's manufacturing process at a time when nearly every part was made under one of Raleigh's many roofs. I love all the big vats of chemicals. I suspect the EPA would have something to say about that...

If you have 15 minutes, you'll thoroughly enjoy this.... There are several gee whiz moments: the shot of a worker who can pack ball bearings into 1,000 hubs during a single work shift; the fellow who laces hubs with sewing needle precision; and two ladies who need only 50 seconds to put a tire and tube on a rim...

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