Those of you with a sensitive disposition who are easily offended may want to avoid reading the rest of this post.

I have removed the rod-brake handlebar and rods from my Raleigh Tourist, and replaced them with a longer quill stem, a Raleigh north road handlebar, Sturmey brake cables and Shimano brake levers.


The new blasphemous handlebars.


Cable-actuated front brake.


Cable-actuated rear brake.


Alternate cockpit view.


Retired rods (with slippers for scale)


Retired handlebar, with grips and roller-levers.

I took the newly corrupted bike out for a test ride,  The difference was amazing, what I have lost in style I have gained and more in riding pleasure.  The brakes work, and I mean really work; with the rods only the front brake had any real power due to the multiple direction changes the rods for the rear brake had to go through.  the bars are also higher now, and feel more natural, making this amazing bike feel even better.  I was going to go on the block but I extended my test ride to the Ducie Arms near the Science Park because it was so nice.  Even the saddle felt better.

The rods and handlebar will be going up onto eBay shortly.  they would be ideal for a restoration project, the handlebar compatible with the standard rod-actuated stirrups, and the rods giving the opportunity for drum brakes, which differ in being able to actually stop the bike.


5 thoughts on “Sacrilege

  1. Wow, that looks great. A lot of work. I'm glad to hear you are liking the ride.Just a thought… I had an Italian road racing bike once, really nice one, with Shimano 600 on it. I became real enamored with the whole fixed gear thing for a while and converted the bike to a fixie. Learned that my knees couldn't take the strain. Ooops… I already sold all the Shimano 600 to a LBS. I really regretted selling off the parts. Cost me a fortune to re-acquire nice replacements.Only my two cents… might want to hang onto those original parts. They are mighty hard to come by later on, if you ever decide to re-convert it back.~charles

  2. I did think quite seriously about whether to keep the parts for the exact same reason. In the end I decided that I need to stop hoarding as many bike parts and I decided to keep the handlebar conversion faithful to the non-rod version of the Tourist that Raleigh Denmark still make. This means if I ever decided to part with it I can still male the bike "stock," just not the same stock configuration I got. I could also do a stirrup rod-brake conversion in the future if I wanted to make it into a museum piece; the parts are quite readily available for that.Thanks for your insight.

  3. most of it went over my head… (I ain't bike technical… yet!) does it mean you've turned it more similar to a modern Pashely for example? Anyhow… looks good and I am happy to know there's an extra sit-up-and-beg (don't you just love that name lol!) bike in Manchester 😀 happy ride!

  4. Basically I have made the bike more comfortable to ride upright. The rod-brakes limit the handlebar height, making the bike perfect for a sit-up and beg posture for someone a bit smaller than me (although they would have no standover height left). Now the handlebars are higher and nearer at my seat height, as well as being wider and angled better for me. Plus the cables activate the brakes much more than the rods did. Basically it is now almost exactly the same as a Pashley Roadster Sovereign, except for the slightly more slack seat-tube angle and the 3 gears instead of 5. I could do a 5-speed swap one day, but I enjoy the simplicity of three-speeds; one for setting off/hills, 2 for cruising along in and 3 for downhills/fast riding on flats.I think more people would cycle if bikes with this riding posture were more widely available in the UK.

  5. Pingback: DL-1: One Year On | Chester Cycling

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