Saturday, February 19, 2011

Excitement! A Ladies Tourist on it's way!!!

OK... This has been a long time coming... And it's a long story, so let's get started...

As readers of this blog know, I acquired a Raleigh DL-1 Tourist last year from a very nice gentleman over in Gig Harbor who collected bikes for many years. Ever since I got the bike, I have wanted to find the partner to it, a Loop Framed Raleigh DL-1 Tourist ladies version. Amazingly, right after I picked up the gents version, a loop frame popped up on the local craigslist for $100. I took a pass.. Biggest mistake I've ever made on the craig. I've been searching for one like it ever since...

I've set up a nationwide search via craigslist and eBay, feeding my RSS reader with over 50-60 hits per day of possible bikes... Months and months went by - nothing.

Until a few weeks ago...

Toronto... A DL-1 Loop Frame, $100... Oh my, she's in rough shape for sure... How can I get this bike to Seattle? I began emailing and calling a very nice fellow, "P," up in Toronto. "I've got a local guy who said he might be interested, but if not, I'll let you know..." Didn't sound too promising. A couple weeks go by and I figure its gone by now.

Then one day, in the middle of a conversation with my parents, about bikes (go figure), the phone buzzes an incoming text message in my pocket. It's my guy in Toronto and the deal is on. I contact local bike shop that is willing to box up the old girl and send her along via UPS. I'm working with Owen from Sweet Pete's bicycle shop in Toronto. He is a great guy to work with and if I ever get the chance to go up there, I'm definitely stopping by. I PayPal the original owner and, a credit card number later, my little girl is in a box and on her way to Seattle.

Now I'm the first to admit, this she's going to be a project bike with a Capital "P". She is missing the rear wheel. This is probably going to be the hardest part to get fixed. I have a 26" wheel set with Westrick rims, but I'm imagining that the ladies DL-1 has 28" wheels like my gents version. I'm kind of hoping that the ladies version might have 26" wheels... But I doubt it. She has a front wheel, so I will soon know. She is somewhere between here and Toronto, expected delivery in a week or so...

I'm very excited!!!

Here are some pictures from the seller to whet your appetite. More to come when she arrives at home.

Here she is, a little rough... The chain guard is the hockey-stick and there is a rear fender and vintage pedals.

Here you can see the front rod brake attachment. It also looks to have a front rack wire of some kind.. My gents version does not have this, never seen anything like it before.

Front wheel and fender. Looks very dirty, but in decent condition after some clean up. Owen at the shop indicated it was in pretty good condition too...

Handlebars with rods. The left one looks like it might be a little bent. Also looks like an old handlebar mounted light bracket to remove. White grips... Nice...

Rear fender. You can see the chain guard below on the floor.

She's going to look great with a gleaming Brooks B-66 and a shellacked wicker basket on her...




  1. You can buy westwood rims in the correct size from Yellow Jersey out of Madison, WI. From what I gather they are not as good a quality as the OEM rims but they are round and they roll! I have heard rumors of alloy Westwoods in the 28" size available from a Dutch supplier, but haven't pinned those down...yet.


  2. Aaron, thanks for the lead on the wheel! I thought you might know. I have been emailing back and forth with Steve at Re-Brit Cycle, also in Madison. Seems he may have a wheel too. Not sure if it would be a Yellow Jersey one or a true vintage one. This will be my wife's bike and I'm pretty sure she won't be putting any serious load on those rims!!

    How are your project bikes coming? The Herc all done now? I see your posts on the Twenty site, but the blog I've linked to doesn't seem to be up to date. Do you have another one??

  3. I also blog at, that is the main one and it is supposed to update the wordpress one. I just checked and apparently the widget quit widgeting and updating. I haven't posted in a while. Work has been in the way. I did get the Herc done and off to DS. I have a new (to us) bike coming in mid March. Need to get the blog(s) updated.


  4. Hey Aaron, I hear you on work getting in the way. Between that and winter, my blogging has suffered a bit. I updated my links on this site so it's to your blogspot blog...


  5. Get the Tourist yet?

    Interested to "hear" more about it.


  6. Hey Aaron,

    Yes, she arrived on Monday. I was traveling for work in Madison, WI... we probably passed each other somewhere mid country. Too bad though, I was hoping to take the 3-speed coaster brake hub I have to Yellow Jersey in Madison and have them build up a rear wheel for me...

    I'm going to be posting up today once I get some pictures taken... she's a rough little gem for sure...


  7. haha! so funny. i was that guy who displayed an interest in the bike. we even arranged a deal and i went to pick it up but the seller did not show up. guess it was meant to go to you! congrats. fun bike.

  8. Hey Jason - whoa! what a coincidence that you'd come across the same bike out of the whole wide Internet! I swear I didn't have anything to do with him not connecting up. In fact, it had been over a couple weeks since I talked to him last and I figured the bike was long gone when he texted me out of the blue and said it was still available. It was quite an ordeal getting it shipped to Seattle, but in the end, it all worked out. Make sure and look at my other posts to see her in all her glory! New wheels front and rear, new saddle and LOTS of TLC brought her back to life.

    I hope you can find another one soon!


  9. I just ran across your blog. I think I have the only other Lady DL-1 in the Seattle area, at least that I have seen... I found it on CL in May 2010. I love riding her, and I am in the process of upgrading the wheel set and brakes (I have laced Aluminum westwood rims to modern rear S-A 5 speed drum hub and front dyno drum). Don't worry, I am keeping the rods-- I actually found the proper connections to go from the rods to the drum arms. Too bad I did not do this earlier, because I would gladly have offered the old ones to you!

    Raleigh DL-1's are a fun addiction. I convinced my coworker to buy a men's 24" one that popped up on CL several months back, and he rides his nearly every day.

    I think you can date your Dl-1 based on the rear hub and the serial number that can be found on the top seat tube lug. I can not really make out the date on my hub, but the decals and serial on the frame date mine to about 1972. I used this website to date my Dl-1:

  10. Hi Amanda, thanks for leaving a comment here. I've been on vacation for a while, so sorry for the late response.

    Yeah, you don't see too many DL-1's around Seattle. They seem to be much more common out East. I started learning more about them a couple years back on a blog called Lovely Bicycle written by a gal in Boston.

    I've tried to keep mine pretty much stock. They are not all that old, but they do look it. The gents version I have is a 1978 and the loop frame is probably a mid-1970s based on the frame decals. There isnt a serial number that I can find, and the bike came from Toronto without the original wheels, so hub dating was impossible.

    My wife and I ride them around occasionally here on Mercer Island where we live. We don't ride them on the big hills, if we can help it! I put a 20-tooth cog on my wife's bike to allow her a little more low end strength.

    Do you ever get to Dutch Bike, over in Ballard?



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