1979 All-Chrome Raleigh Superbe Roadster ‘Boss-Bike’

1979 All-Chrome Raleigh Superbe Roadster

chrome_raleigh11

This is a top-of-the-range Raleigh similar to those manufactured for the African market.

chrome_raleigh2

From the “Penguin Book of the Bicycle” by R.Watson and M.Gray (1978):

“By far Raleigh’s largest single foreign market is Nigeria. The cornerstone of African cycling is still the heavy-duty roadster. They are country cousins to the British Raleigh Superbe. We admired the roadster with two-inch balloon tyres and, most of all, the ‘boss bike’, an all-chromium-plated Superbe Roadster, a glittering status symbol.”
chrome_raleigh3

The chrome is a little tarnished here and there, but these photos were taken before I’ve set to with polish, and it will be interesting to see how it comes up afterwards.

chrome_raleigh4

According to the head-badge it was made in Nottingham rather than in the Raleigh factory in Kano, Nigeria.

chrome_raleigh5

The differences? It has a Sturmey Archer 3-Speed hub (dated 1979) rather than the coaster brake which was fitted to the Nigerian-built models. African Raleighs also had 2″ balloon tyres, while this has 28″ x 1 1/2.

chrome_raleigh6

It’s more likely that this particular All-Chrome was made for the German market, as I’ve seen mention of them being in German catalogues of the early 1980s. The All-Chrome was also a useful model for dealer displays.

chrome_raleigh7

***********************

THE CALL OF THE ROAD

Raleigh exported bicycles to the Commonwealth countries in Africa from the earliest days. The advert below is from 1927. Mr. A.J. Cook, aged 17, rode from Cape Town to Johannesburg in 28 days, on a Raleigh bought in 1900 and in continuous use ever since. In a tradition inherited from earlier days of intrepid British explorers, vehicle manufacturers often illustrated long journeys on their products to promote their reliability and sturdiness: “Only the All-Steel bicycle can endure such wear and tests, and all the time be running so easily. That is why it can be and is GUARANTEED FOR EVER.”

1927raleigh_africa_ad

***********************

chrome_raleigh8

chrome_raleigh9

chrome_raleigh10

chrome_raleigh111

Published on March 25, 2009 at 8:24 am  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: http://oldbike.wordpress.com/1979-all-chrome-raleigh-superbe-african/trackback/

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 175 other followers

%d bloggers like this: