bought this Raleigh DL-1 Tourist new in 1977 at a bike shop in the
Knox St. area of Dallas. The shop also sold me a full chain case
they had lying around but phoned me later and asked me to bring
it back because they said it had been special ordered for another
reason the bike came with an open chain guard was that the full
chain case would have boosted the weight above 40 lbs., incurring
a higher import tax, or so I've read.
bike sat in a shed at my mom's house in Dallas for decades, then
underwent full submersion by Hurricane Katrina on the Mississippi
Gulf Coast. The inside of the seat and head tubes don't show a lot
of rust, however. I've sprayed the inside tubes with Boeshield,
and am working on the exterior rust spots with steel or bronze wool
and touch-up paint.
point is, in spite of all the abuse it's undergone, the bike keeps
on ticking, which is exactly what it was designed to do. The rod-actuated
brakes never break, but the downside is that they don't brake very
well, either; and when it rains, forget about it.
riding position is very strange. Although the 24-inch frame has
a fairly high stand-over height, mainly due to the 28-inch tires,
the bike is still too small for me. Even with the seat adjusted
out past the insertion mark, I can't get enough leg extension on
the pedal stroke to be comfortable. That probably explains why the
bike sat unused for so long. On the upside, the handlebars feel
like they're sitting in my lap, which makes the bike work exceedingly
well with a Carradice rain cape. As you can see from the photos,
I just came back from a rainy expedition to the grocery store and
a stop at the public library. The made-for-Rivendell Carradice saddlebag
(also a Katrina survivor) swallowed most of the groceries, while
the Topeak basket handled the overflow and the books.
is the type of bike one sees hanging from the rafters of bike shops
nowadays. Ever notice how the best bikes are usually hung high on
the walls like antiques or parked in the "employee's only" area
of the shop instead of displayed for sale on the showroom floor?