1921 Raleigh ‘Modele Superbe’ X Frame (Green enamel)

‘This is the Age of Steel!’ proclaimed Raleigh in their advertising brochure, pointing out that their ‘All-Steel Bicycle’ describes the fundamental difference between the Raleigh and other bicycles. It is a testament to the quality of manufacturing of that time that this machine is still in good running order over 100 years later.

In 1921, Great Britain was the world’s leading industrial nation, and bicycles one of its leading exports. So Raleigh’s catalogue was printed in a variety of languages. However, given his record in the wars between Spain and England 300 years earlier, I’m not sure how the Spanish version was received bearing in mind the first picture in the catalogue (above) of Sir Walter Raleigh.


1921 Raleigh All-Steel ‘Modele Superbe’ X Frame

Green enamel paintwork with matching grips

Sturmey-Archer ‘Model K’ 3-speed gear

Frame No 704888

24″ Frame

28″ Wheels

(Now sold)


With its original green enamel paintwork intact, this Raleigh X frame is a joy to behold.

The Raleigh X frame had been the most expensive bicycle in the world before World War One. But after the War, market conditions had changed. The Japanese cycle industry had dominated the Asian market as a result of Britain not being to export. Now, with world trade resuming, Raleigh, BSA and Hercules, as Britain’s leading cycle exporters, had to drop their prices to compete.

Comparing two upmarket catalogues from 1925, Sunbeam’s top model, the All Black Golden with 3-speed gear, was 20 guineas. In the same year, this Raleigh was 16 10/-. Judging by the  original Golden Sunbeams and Raleigh X frames I’ve bought and sold over the years, both models were built to a very high standard with a top quality finish, and were treasured by their owners. The ornate gilt box lining and transfers (decals) on a Raleigh X Frame are more sumptuous than any other British bicycle of that time. With a very high standard of preservation, this is one of the best. It’s ready to ride.