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My 1954 Raleigh Superbe Roadster
Sheldon Brown photo
by Sheldon "There'll Always Be An England" Brown
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Raleigh Superbe 1954
Click for larger image. (41k)

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)

My Superbe roadster model, like all true roadsters, has 635 mm (28 inch) wheels and roller-lever (rod-operated) brakes. Like most roadsters, it also features a full chain case. Like other Superbes, it features a locking fork (and I even have the key!) and Dynohub lighting system.

Unlike most Superbes, the Dynohub generator is in the rear hub, which is a very rare FG four-speed Dynohub. It also came with the "Dry Battery Unit", a frame-mounted battery pack designed to hold 4 "D" cells to provide light even when the bike was stopped or moving very slowly. (You can see the clips that held this to the top tube in the photo.)

Instead of the fairly commonB-66 saddle, it has a triple-sprung B-73 for maximum comfort on rough surfaces.

This bike was originally purchased in England in 1954, as part of a pair. I also own the lady's model, which is very similar except for having 590 mm (26 inch) wheels with Raleigh Pattern rims.

I sold this bike in late 1999, and bought a Minidisc deck with the proceeds.

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