1910 Raleigh Modele Superbe X Frame
Three-Speed Sturmey Archer Gears
Frame No 272318
Brooks B90/3 Saddle
This rare early Raleigh X Frame was well-used throughout most of its 103 years. It was bought new by Frank Ducker, who is reputed to have ridden it around India in his youth. He still used it in later life, having it professionally restored in the 1960s. Early 1930s chrome wheels were fitted, including a Sturmey-Archer three-speed set up with a handlebar-mounted barrel changer. The pedals, rear carrier and inflator pump are later too.
Mr. Ducker left the bicycle in his will to his nephew, who kept it in storage for twenty years before selling it to me.
The saddle is a large Brooks B90/3 with the Raleigh logo embossed on the top. The saddle looks good on this large-framed (26″) machine, adding extra inches to its height to give it a very imposing presentation.
The handlebar grips are the originals in good condition except they’ve lost their end caps. The handlebar nickel is faded in parts, but very good for over a century of age.
Cosmetically, it is as you’d expect from an older restoration. The chaincase inspection cover looks to be a replacement, being a different cover green. This is the only fault I can pick with the X Frame: it is very presentable overall, definitely stands out from the crowd, and attracts envious glances from other road users.
I’ve ridden it around the New Forest and it handles well. A 26″ frame is too large for me (I’m 5′ 8″ tall with 31″ inside leg), but that’s the beauty of cross frames – I can easily get my leg over the crossbar and then shift my backside backwards onto the saddle, and it’s very pleasant being in such a high riding position.
BROOKS B90/3 SADDLE
(with Embossed Raleigh Stamp)