Raleigh Model F
1891, Racing Lock-ups, On long term display
This is the earliest known ‘Raleigh’.
The cheapest of the 3-speed gentleman’s safety bicycles offered by Raleigh in 1891. To help with the rough roads of the period, sprung front forks (the coil spring can be seen just above the fork crown) and a well sprung saddle are fitted. A front brake is fitted with the brake shoe working on the top of the tyre. A free wheel is not fitted but braking can also be done by back pressure on the pedals. There is a mounting step fitted to the rear wheel axle, foot rests are fitted to the front forks (to rest your feet on when coasting). The radial spoking was, at this time, thought old fashioned, first being used on the ‘Ordinary’ or ‘High Bicycle’. A feature was made of the fact that you could change gear on a Raleigh. A four pin bolted larger or smaller chainwheel could be changed in about 5-10 minutes depending on whether you were riding through hilly or flat country.