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A Raleigh question

Old 05-13-20, 01:59 PM
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steve sumner
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A Raleigh question

why on some headbadges does it say "the raleigh"?
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Old 05-13-20, 02:06 PM
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Because originally there was only one model of Raleigh bike, but you could have extra features depending on how much you wanted to spend.

So it was THE Raleigh.
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Old 05-13-20, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Cute Boy Horse View Post
Because originally there was only one model of Raleigh bike, but you could have extra features depending on how much you wanted to spend.

So it was THE Raleigh.
Are you sure? Just a quick read of Wikipedia suggests that they offered more than one model when Mr. Bowden acquired the company in 1888 and established the LLC "The Raleigh Bicycle Company" (having previously been simply "Raleigh"). I don't have a definitive answer, and would like to hear other explanations if anyone has them.
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Old 05-13-20, 02:26 PM
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Simple marketing? Not an uncommon approach in days gone by.
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Old 05-13-20, 02:32 PM
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Old 05-15-20, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
Are you sure? Just a quick read of Wikipedia suggests that they offered more than one model when
They listed variants as "Model 1", "Model 2" etc, but these are all exactly the same bike just with more stuff added. "The Raleigh" is like "Ford Mustang", It doesn't matter if you got one with air conditioning or not it's still A Ford Mustang.

You'll know which one THE Raleigh is, it eventually stabilized into the thing Americans refer to as the DL1.
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Old 05-15-20, 07:03 PM
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Sorry Cute Boy Horse but I don't think there's any evidence to substantiate your claim. However, the earliest badges do say "The Raleigh" and then some. Start with the link below:

https://onlinebicyclemuseum.co.uk/ra...icycle-museum/

Here's "the oldest surviving Raleigh" dating from 1890, and the head badge is totally different than the later version that simply say "The Raleigh." Instead, it also says "Raleigh Bicycle Company" as well as some other things, which I suspect was later shortened to "The Raleigh" for the sake of simplifying the new badge. This is an illustration of the first badge used in the 1897 catalog:



The same badge was still in use in the later 1890s, when a rather definitive number of models were already included in the catalog, such as X-frames, double-top tube and sloping top tubes, and ladies' step-throughs. These are all given model numbers, as you indicate, but the term "The Raleigh" does not come up in reference to any one model - it's simply a turn-of-phrase, in my opinion.

https://onlinebicyclemuseum.co.uk/18...ight-roadster/

And continued to be in use right up to 1907, as seen with this example:

https://onlinebicyclemuseum.co.uk/19...perbe-x-frame/

BUT, in 1908, viola, we have the new badge in its earliest incarnation!

https://onlinebicyclemuseum.co.uk/19...gh-for-ladies/

Interestingly, this is the same year that another badge appears to have been taken up, but which did not stick around for long:

https://onlinebicyclemuseum.co.uk/19...gh-model-no-4/

And from then on all of the examples, which date from a period when a large variety of models were offered, have the new style badge.

Raleigh's use of numbers to denote different models survived well into the 20th century, but the bicycles were often very different from one another. They were certainly not all "one model with add-ons" by any means!

So, as stated above, my (revised) theory is simply that "The Raleigh" sounded good for advertisement, but was in fact a term only used sparingly besides on the head badges. It hardly occurs in the early catalogs, and before 1900 there are already perhaps a dozen different models offered which do not have anything to do with one another in terms of frame design or features. Yet "The Raleigh" stuck around as the only thing on the revised head badges despite that. I think there doesn't have to be a good reason for everything... Cheers!

-Gregory

Last edited by Kilroy1988; 05-15-20 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 05-18-20, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
Are you sure? Just a quick read of Wikipedia suggests that they offered more than one model when Mr. Bowden acquired the company in 1888 and established the LLC "The Raleigh Bicycle Company" (having previously been simply "Raleigh"). I don't have a definitive answer, and would like to hear other explanations if anyone has them.
You are right to doubt that. Raleigh offered a range of bicycles right from the start. It's simply that 'The Raleigh' made it sound more significant and definitive, and set it apart from the other manufacturers. Humber also did the same in earler years, as did Rover.
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Old 05-18-20, 09:11 AM
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Old 05-18-20, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Cute Boy Horse View Post
You'll know which one THE Raleigh is, it eventually stabilized into the thing Americans refer to as the DL1.
Are you sure that that wasn't Raleigh's in-house designation? Those bikes came in a box labeled "DL1" when I worked in a Raleigh dealership in the early 1970s.
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