Saturday, June 30, 2012

So Whats With the DL 1?

Why would anybody want to ride a bike that is twice the size and weight of any other bicycle? Why do their owners love them so?

Mostly steel, the Raleigh DL 1, has not changed in design for over 90 years. Rod pull brakes need to be understood to stop. Hopping on a DL 1 can be an adventure all in it self

The first thing you notice is how far away the front of the bicycle is from where your sitting. Two Zip Codes away is how some put it. The wheels are huge, the tallest of any pneumatic road tire available. They measure 28 1/2" and roll over anything smoothly.
My bike measures 6 1/2 feet long and weighs over 45 pounds. When you get a bike like this up to speed, it seems to want to roll for ever.
People describe riding a DL 1 to like the ride of a Cadillac. That is what I heard first when I was told of the model sold at Olkens in Wellesly in the early 70's.
Not many were sold, but Richard Olken, brother of Benny from the Bi-Ex, did stock the bike. Hearing about the bike without seeing one first, it was hard for me to understand why one would ever want such a bicycle. It only took one ride.

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