Thursday 20 August 2020

A Lovely Retro Bike

My cycling colleagues surprise me sometimes. You'd expect most of the bikes to be mountain bikes in various states of repair - like my Decathlon - mixed in with some new Halford's Carerras that get bought every tine a "Cycle to Work" scheme comes around.

That is indeed the case, but there are some more eccentric velocipedes, like the ancient foldaway bike that has a bean bag for a seat or the old model e-bike that weighs 3 tonnes and has uneven handlebars, and some bikes that indicate either by luck or by choice the owner is a bit of a bicycle conneuseur.

Such was the bike I came across today, a lovely late 80s Reynolds 501 steel framed Kellogs Tour of Britain edition Raleigh road bike. Complete with down tube shifters and the glorious Raleigh logo on the front, dating from a time when these bikes were actually made in the UK at a huge factory in Nottingham, this is a super retro bike that any cycling hipster in a tweed cap would be happy to take to an Eroica festival.

Slightly strangely, however, the owner had swapped out the proper drop handlebars for a flat bar.

I love finding old Raleigh bikes with their heron badges. They remind me of a brilliant documentary I watched about that Raleigh factory in the city, where hundreds of skilled workers turned out these classic machines for work, play, and of course racing.

What's there now? A University campus and flats. There used to be a pub called The Handlebar as a last sort of memorial, but I think that's gone now too.

There's a few ipics of other retro bikes here too.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 20.08.20


  1. Beauties! I used to have a Raleigh bike for about 35 years - and it wasn't even new when I got it. Eventually it developed a hairline crack in the frame so I had to pension it off.

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  2. They last a long time when looked after

  3. I like how you pick out the details in these photos.