Sunday, February 17, 2008
I used to own a 70's Raleigh Record. Like most classic Raleigh road bikes, it looked great but this one was made of plumbing pipe and must've weighed well over 30 pounds. With no regrets, I found it a new home. I'd love to have another Nottingham bicycle sometime, though one of higher pedigree. A vintage Record Ace would do nicely. Manufactured from 1933 to 1958, it was the company's top-of-the-line lightweight, built entirely of Reynolds 531 and available with either a fixed rear hub or a Sturmey-Archer fourspeed. All the components were the best available at the time. I suppose I'll be looking for one of these for quite a while as they are now rare as hen's teeth, especially in North America. The fixie in the photo above is the 1955 model that was ridden by Ray Booty on 6 August 1956 when he became the first person to clock a sub-four-hour 100 mile time trial. It is now owned by a fan who bought it directly from Mr. Booty in 1995. The restoration looks spot-on except for that red plastic water bottle!