I found this 24 inch frame DL-1 Tourist in a Schwinn shop in Indiana. I have several Raleigh 3 speed Sports models and several 10/12 speeds and I felt that this would be a perfect addition to my Raleigh collection. I asked the counter man if it was for sale and he directed me to the shop manager who owned it. The owner said he might restore it (where have we heard that before?), but would consider selling it. I ventured the opinion that to restore the bike would be a mistake since it was in good condition with all the decals intact. We discussed the matter and a price was agreed upon.
The bike was in good condition but missing one brake pad and needing tires badly. The Brooks saddle was hard, dry, and curled up at the edges. Most of the plated brake hardware had some light rust but was all there and in good condition. As soon as I returned home I went to work disassembling the brake system and polishing all the bright work with 0000 steel wool and Brasso. It came out looking great. Then the entire bike was scrubbed and much tar removed from the underside of the fenders. Clean-up was completed with a coat of wax.
I was concerned that brake pads and tires might be difficult to find but upon inquiring at my favorite bike shop, found that they had it all "down cellar". I installed the brake parts, the tires and tubes along with a new Brooks saddle and now the bike was complete. When I look at the bike I envision Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson pedaling ponderously along an English lane with coat tails aflying. The riding quality can only be described as stately. There will be no rushing about on this bike with its slow steering due to the generous head tube angle and forward rake of the forks. The gearing is tall and favors riding in the flats. My DL-1 is now the premier member of my collection of 12 Raleigh made bikes. I welcome your comments on this or any of the bikes shown in the list.
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