Friday, October 29, 2010

The answer to your commuting dilemma!

I continually come across blog discussions on topics such as which commuter bike is the best or how to best accessorize a bicycle to make it fit for commuting.  People discuss things like whether there is a good commuter bike out there for under $1,000 or which fenders to buy, how to achieve an upright riding position through $200 or $300 worth of accessories, etc.

It's always a struggle for me to avoid posting, in all caps, BUY A RALEIGH SPORTS AND BE DONE WITH IT!!!

The esteemed Lovely Bicycle blog took on this topic this week, and to my delight, advocated something close to this position.  Velouria has a greater willingness to modernize components and is more thorough in judging a bicycle ready to ride than am I, but it was good to see someone advocate for the scads of quality used three-speeds that are out there.

Here's exhibit A.  It's a 1974 Raleigh Sports offered for $150. New tires, new tubes, Sturmey-Archer hub fine-tuned and shifting smoothly.  Fenders for the coming rain.  Room to mount a $5 Plescher rack (which the seller will mount for free) and plenty of places to clip a light or two.  Bam. Done.  You're a bike commuter.

By the way, if this particular bike is calling your name, it's available from Mike (not me) at Vintage Bicycle Supply in Sacramento.  Contact me if you want his number.


  1. Problem is they are no longer as widely available as they used to be...

    I seriously doubt you would find a Raleigh 3 speed for sale at any price in my neck of the woods...I know I am constantly on the look out.

    I do agree though for $150 you are money ahead and good to go.


  2. Thank you for your esteem : )

    Just want to add that my thoroughness in judging a bicycle ready to ride has to do with feedback from my readers. The #1 reason women I talk to or receive emails from are reluctant to commute on a vintage 3 speed is because they feel the brakes are insufficient in the rain. They are not aware that this problem can be solved, with the bicycle still ending up less costly than a new $500 piece of junk from the store.