Thursday, October 30, 2008


What is it about we humans imbuing inanimate objects with “personality”. We give objects importance. We have favorites, (bikes, guns, fishing rods, bats, gloves…” that seem to us to perform better than others for us. So we give them names and character and feelings.

I am currently working to restore, modify, so restomod is the word I suppose, a 1968 Raleigh Super Course. What’s that you say, you were not aware that the Super Course was made in ’68? Well according to the good folks at Bike Forums and my own research. It is likely the first year that it was made and furthermore this frame appears to be a Carlton Grand Prix rebadged as a Raleigh.

This was taken shortly after I got her. That saddle was from another bike and has since torn beyond repair, (sigh) it was a Wrights 34.


This bike is now forty years old and now that I have her (see, I did it there) back on the road I seem to get this “feeling” of joy, of happiness at being ridden again. This is the point I am trying to get at. I know with my “logical mind” that this is impossible. But logic has little to do with the emotions involved with riding.

From 1968

From 1969

On Sheldon Brown’s Retro Raleighs web site. (from which I got the images) There are catalogs (catalogues) from 1968 and 1969 that show this bike. The ’68 catalog lists the parts accurately with the exception of the crankset which is a Stronglight Model 93 and was either a shop upgrade or done by a previous owner. I lean toward the in shop scenario. It is also interesting to see that in ’69 the Super Course cost $110.00. The 1970 catalog lists different derailleur’s than mine has. One of the reasons that I believe that she is a rebadged Carlton is that the serial number #110536 is on the left rear dropout. Carlton is reported to do this but at that time Raleigh did not.

My plan for her is a “randonneur” type of kit. With full fenders and bags, she came to me with a little rack attached to the front brake that is for keeping a very large handlebar bag off of the wheel and or fender, which is what, gave me the randonneur idea. The paint is really rough. She seems to have been stored outside for at least some of her 40 years. Still there are some areas that the original coffee color can be seen. I am still trying to sort out how (or if) I will repaint her. It appears that the method used was transparent brown over a copper or bronze metallic.


As for the decals, they caused quite a stir on another forum. I did receive a graphic for the down tube Raleigh and I think I can make one for the seat tube from a picture of the headbadge. The top tube has Super Course in a script of some kind I might try to do a rubbing and see if I can get close. I’ll also need some sliver tape for the seat tube striping.

I am really excited about this project. I think that the beauty and grace that this bike displays is of the era it is from and something that some manufacturers are doing again, and either saying that it’s “new” or that they’re getting back some “nostalgia”.

Tags: ,


Yokota Fritz said...

I don't name my bikes or even assign a gender -- they're just bikes to me. *shrug* I'm occasionally tempted to personalize them but I usually get lazy and forget.

Charisa said...

Your Raleigh is SWEET - have fun fixing her up! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi - I'm just a visitor here but had to say your bike is fantastic! I have a 72 that I just rebuilt. Ig you look on ebay right now there is another 70 or 72 with the Carlton logo decal. I drew up the model name in autocad if you want it. I'l check back here.

Anonymous said...

Sorry - it is Anonymous (rob) again - I am tired and not typing well here. On ebay there is another bike very similar to yours with decals still prety well intact; It is a newer model though. I took my dial calipers and measured the "supercourse" graphic on my bike's top tube. I then traced it with velum, scanned it and redrew it in AutoCad according to my measurements and the tracing. It is pretty accurate - There is a guy in England who produces high quality decals - When I finally get down to repainting my frame I will have him produce the decals. I need to look his name up. Contact me,, if you would like a free copy of the drawing and I will look for the guys name. The more I ride my Supercourse, the more I like it!

getinlost said...

Anon-Ron, Thanks for looking. I would be interested in seeing that CAD drawing. As for the gentleman in England, I think I've run across his site before, you also might look into doing them yourself. There are waterslide decal kits available at most hobby shops usually in the modeling areas. Thanks for reminding me about this post I should post an update on the progress I've done thus far (mostly parts and mechanical).


T_M said...

I realize I'm diving into an old thread, but I'm curious as to whether your SC has the weird block lettering Raleigh decal on the downtube (it may well be the same bike that was on BF)...?

I came into what's labelled as a Raleigh Super Course, but it has a Carlton serial #, the weird block Raleigh decals seen on earlier Raleigh 3-speeds, and wrap around seat stays...

Anyway, just curious as to whether your bike is a (near) twin... and how the refurbishing went.

getinlost said...

T_M Yes the lettering on the downtube is the block lettering found usually on Raleigh 3 speeds. Also the one you saw on BF was probably mine.


T_M said...

Huh, interesting to have so quickly found a near twin... if you don't mind me asking a few more questions did you find anything other than a numeral serial #?

I found 111855 on the outside of the left dropout, but nothing else.

Also... I saw elsewhere that you mentioned it having Bocama lugs, is there a # stamped on the side of that same bottom headtube lug on your bike? There's a 60 (in a circle I believe, not looking at it at the moment) on the side of mine...

Thanks! I'm just trying to figure out what I can... which so far isn't very much.