The Raleigh Cameo Project

Walking home from the shop on Sunday I spotted a pair of bikes by the dumpsters at the end of a terrace. The one closest to me was a low end Halfords house-brand mountain bike. I wasn’t going to look any closer, but I spotted a Sturmey Archer AW hub on the bike behind and decided to take a closer look. The second bike was a Raleigh Cameo, one of the various names given to what is basically a ladies Raleigh Sports.

The rear hub is stamped 11.79, the front wheel is missing. I assume that the front wheel was stolen and the low value of the bike in its current state led the owners to simply give up on it.

There are a few rusty spot on the frame, in keeping with the age and condition of the bike, but it is otherwise sound. The front mudguard looks as if it could be persuaded back into its original shape, but sadly the rear mudguard is missing (except for the remains of the right stay, which is caught in the wheel). The rear rack is not original, not to mention hideous. The saddle is a pretty basic mattress saddle of the era.

The fork has the same crown as my DL-1, the lug-work is also quite similar. The frame is quite similar to the step-through version of the DL-1, differing mainly in the seat and head-tube angles, which are slightly steeper on this model. With a bit of work, it could make quite a nice (third) bike for Ms. C and a loaner for visitors.

Finding this bike gave me an idea for a project. Seeing as the bike was free, I thought it would be interesting to try and restore it to a functional state using either free, cheap, hand-me-down or trade parts. These bikes (and very similar non-Raleigh models) were very common in their day, so it should be possible. Stay tuned for updates.


15 thoughts on “The Raleigh Cameo Project

    • It’s my first half-decent almost-complete-bike find in many years of keeping an eye out. I have been envious of other people’s finds, I believe John the Monkey once found a Raleigh Twenty in a similar manner once.

  1. This looks like a great project! I was too late with the Raleigh locked & forgotten outside Edinburgh Bicycle, I went pass yesterday and it was gone. I hope it went to a good home and not to the scrap. Must be more decisive next time.

    • I’ve seen so many obviously abandoned bikes but shied away from taking advantage. There’s always that niggling doubt that the owner might come back after months and want whatever remains of the bike they abandoned.

  2. Good score! Look forward to seeing how the project comes along.

    With the Rudge Sports I was given, I tried to use as many free/available parts as possible, but ended up spending some cash, $53 if I remember correctly. (£33) The biggest score was finding free tires and tubes.

  3. Chester, wow! I just picked up a Rayleigh cameo from my local tip shop. Unfortunately I’ve just realised the original hub is gone, but i’m still looking forward to my first restoration.
    Please, update us on your project!! I need all the tips and info I can get my hands on.

  4. How did the project go?

    I ask because I have just adopted an identical Raleigh Cameo abandoned in the communal sheds.

    The mud guards are knackered, and the hub has seized up.

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