1912 Raleigh Superbe All-Steel X Frame (Green)

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Our brake mechanism is far and away the most expensive fitted to any bicycle in the world, but then it is proportionately good. It is the one feature above all others in our machines which is produced literally regardless of cost.

– 1908 Lea Francis catalogue description

One of the most interesting features of this 1912 Raleigh All-Steel Modele Superbe X Frame is its Concealed Roller Lever Brakes. This was a 1908 Lea Francis patent (above), and Raleigh offered it as an option on its own bicycles in 1911. As the Modele Superbe X Frame was its most expensive model – in fact it was one of the most expensive bicycles in the world – 1911 and 1912 Raleigh X Frames were more likely to be ordered with this unusual handlebar/brake lever set up than other models. Nevertheless, there are few survivors today.

1912 RALEIGH X Frame 18



1912 Raleigh Superbe All-Steel X Frame (Cross Frame)

Green Paintwork


Sturmey-Archer ‘Model AW’ 3-Speed

Full Lighting Set (1913 Lucas ‘Kora’ Acetylene front / Lucas Model 29T Rear Oil lamp)

Lucas Brass Dome Bell

Britannia Inflator Pump

Brooks B90 Saddle

Matching Raleigh pedals

26″ Frame

28″ Wheels

Frame No 384044

(Now sold)

1912 RALEIGH X Frame 03

This rare Modele Superbe X Frame with concealed roller lever brakes is a new acquisition. It is fully accessorised, with period Kora and Lucas lamps, Lucas brass dome bell (with a rich sound), Britannia pump, large Brooks B90 saddle, and leather saddle and frame bags. It was originally purchased as a police bicycle in the Nottingham area. The paint is scruffy and it has a later Sturmey-Archer Three-Speed gear set. It was set up to be ridden rather than displayed; the previous owner bought it in 2001 and has ridden it regularly. I’ll do a few jobs to tidy it up before offering it for sale.

With most bicycles of the day sold with black paintwork, a machine featuring green enamel stood out from the crowd then …and it still does today. I’ll update this page with new photos after this machine has attended our workshops, unless it is snapped up by an eager X Frame collector beforehand.


































1912 RALEIGH X Frame 70 copy