These models are ordinary roadster bicycles, not including patented specialities such as Three-Speed Gear, and oil-bath gear case, nor the distinctive structural and other details of the higher priced models, but they are FIRST GRADE RALEIGHS, perfectly designed, splendidly finished, put together with the utmost care and fitted with best quality tyres, saddles, and other accessories. They are enamelled in an artistic shade of green, elegantly lined, and look extremely handsome. (Black enamel if preferred). There is no other make of bicycle affording equal value at the price.
– 1911 Raleigh Sales Brochure
A basic model that was stripped of extras and priced at eight guineas (£8 8/-), the 1911 Raleigh ‘Model No 4’ was a top quality bicycle at a bargain price. Although I’ve not seen a 1912/1913 catalogue, I assume that by that time the Model No 4 had developed a gear case and three speed gears. You can see a gear case on the 1916 ‘No 4’ illustrated further down the page. This example has ‘Model K’ gears, introduced in 1921, so possibly it was upgraded after World war One.
Raleigh’s bicycles were superbly painted, and adorning them with transfers (decals) throughout was a Raleigh trademark feature, making them easily distinguishable from a distance (especially when enamelled in green). More than a century after leaving the factory, this example still proudly bears its full complement of transfers, on the head, down tube, gear case and rear mudguard. It is pinstriped in gold with an inner stripe of pale green.
1912 Raleigh First Grade Model 4
Frame No 403199
1911 RALEIGH CATALOGUE EXTRACTS
1916 RALEIGH CATALOGUE EXTRACT
Below, you can see the patent number on the front hub oiler.
26″ FRAME RALEIGH (28″ Wheels) v 18″ FRAME HERCULES JUNIOR (20″ Wheels)