Gallery: David Haimson’s 1972 Raleigh Super Course

1972 Raleigh Super Course

I built this bike based on the idea of the Sturmey Archer drum brake hubs and the plump tires. The moment I found the Super Course frame for sale, the project was launched. I used cable ties to experiment with cable routing, and when I had it all worked out, I took it to Mark Nobilette to remove the derailleur braze-ons and make custom braze-ons for the drum brakes and 5-speed IGH. He did a superb job, much better than what I asked for. I had it powder-coated, and it went together very smoothly in one day.

1972 Raleigh Super Course
1972 Raleigh Super Course

I use this to commute daily to work, and for recreation on paved and dirt roads. In a month or so, I plan to put Nokian Hakkapeliitta W106 700 x 35c tires on it for ice. It’s geared pretty low, with a 36t chainwheel and a 22t sprocket. The gears are as follows (numbered as Sturmey Archer numbers them, from high to low):

  1. 70.69
  2. 58.91
  3. 44.18
  4. 33.14
  5. 27.61

At the moment I can ride comfortably up an 8% grade, and (painfully) up a 12% grade. The gears work well, now that I’ve learned to adjust them properly. The brakes are superb, the best I’ve ever used – quiet, powerful, and precise. I bought the sprung saddle at a garage sale, and it has been very comfortable. The bike weighs 29 lbs.

1972 Raleigh Super Course

In the pictures, it looks as though the saddle is much higher than the handlebars. In fact, it is. Many of us who began riding when this Super Course was new, now prefer a more upright posture. But I am comfortable in the forward posture, and I like the fact that it reduces air resistance. They tell me that air resistance is proportional to the fourth power of your speed.


  • Frame: 1972 Raleigh Super Course, 23 1/2″
  • Cranks: Sugino XD-700
  • Bottom Bracket: Phil Wood steel spindle
  • Pedals: Shimano M520 SPD
  • Front Wheel:
    • Sturmey Archer XL-FD hub with 90mm drum brake,
    • Velocity Synergy symmetrical 700cx 23mm rim,
    • 36 holes, spoked cross 3
  • Rear Wheel:
    • Sturmey Archer XL-RD5(w) 5-speed hub with 90mm drum brake,
    • Velocity Synergy O/C 700c x 23mm rim,
    • 36 holes, spoked cross 3
  • Tires: Schwalbe Delta Cruiser 700 x 35c
  • Fenders: Velo Orange fluted 49mm
  • Headset: Tange Levin
  • Stem: Pivo 90mm
  • Handlebar: No-name alloy flat riser bars, WTB grips
  • Brake Levers: Tektro FL-750
  • Seatpost: Origin-8
  • Saddle: Brooks Conquest
  • Rack: 1988 Blackburn

Thanks for putting this on display!
David Haimson

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