1896 Raleigh ‘No 5’ Road Racer
Fitted with 1902 ‘The Hub’ Two-Speed Gear
Frame No 32086
Raleigh Named Saddle with matching Toolbag
This 1896 Raleigh is a rare survivor as, during this era, the company’s production was not as profuse as later. Raleigh was beset by boardroom struggles as Frank Bowden took over from the company founders. Within a few years, the restructuring and massive investment in new equipment set the company on the road to becoming Great Britain’s top cycle manufacture. But in the mid-1890s, Bowden’s backing for the American wooden wheel inventor and manufacturer A.C Fairbanks had lost Raleigh considerable sums of money, and their cycle production was affected.
The Raleigh in 1896 was an upmarket bicycle, so it’s not surprising that it was updated in 1902 with the latest state-of-the-art contrivance available to cyclists …’The Hub’ Two-Speed Gear. This earliest gear system is interesting because in first gear the bicycle is a fixed wheel, with freewheel operating in the second gear.
This Raleigh ‘No 5’ Road Racer is in excellent condition, with good nickel parts. It appears to be an older restoration. The frame number 32086 appears on both the bottom bracket and front forks. It’s fitted with a Raleigh saddle and matching toolbag. The machine is ready to ride.
1897 RALEIGH CATALOGUE
1899 ‘THE HUB’ TWO-SPEED GEAR PATENT
‘THE HUB’ TWO-SPEED GEAR