At a time when the whole world is suffering from financial chaos and traduce depression, we feel a special pride in being able this year to announce a substantial reduction in the price of all Raleigh bicycles. Realising the need at this critical period of a stimulant to trade, and the provision of employment for the thousands of British workpeople, it was decided to bring our prices well within the limits of the sadly depleted purchasing ability of the public, and to the discriminating buyer our ‘Popular’ model at the new price of £4 19s 6d represents the very best cycle value that money can obtain.
Heedful of our world-wide reputation for products only of the very first class, we emphasise that in spite of the reductions, the quality – always associated with the Raleigh – has been fully maintained, and we again renew for the ALL-STEEL RALEIGH our world-famous ‘For-Ever’ guarantee.
Whilst on the subject of quality, we cite an instance which illustrates that the reputation we enjoy at home is, if anything, over-shadowed by that which exists in our markets abroad. So thoroughly impressed have been the natives of Buganda – a large province of Uganda, situated in East Africa, and for many years a splendid market for our machines – with the ‘Raleigh’ that the name has been adopted as their common definition of quality, and should a neck-tie, cap, or any other object meet with their enthusiastic approval, immediately it is dubbed ‘Raleigh.’
Greater tribute than this is difficult to imagine, and we pride ourselves upon the knowledge that the ‘Raleigh’ should merit such generous and unstinted appreciation.
– Introduction to the 1932 Raleigh Sales Catalogue
The Great Depression of 1929/1930 killed off the Raleigh X Frame.
Since being introduced around the turn of the century, it became Raleigh’s flagship model and one of Great Britain’s most expensive top quality bicycles. But by the end of the twenties, with sales badly affected by the worldwide economic crisis, the company needed to revise its manufacturing practices and lower its prices. Lightweight bicycles were starting to replace heavy duty roadsters. So the X Frame was discontinued and Raleigh introduced a new sales range with more affordable prices.
Despite the need for a radically new range of bicycle to be illustrated in the sales brochures, there was still actually a demand for the X Frame, both at home and abroad. So a year later, it was reintroduced into the catalogue as the ‘Irish X Frame’ and, subsequently, as the ‘Service Model.’
Batches were sent to Raleigh’s Dublin depot for local assembly, to be supplied to the Irish Police Force. Obviously the company’s police contract provided a first class advertising opportunity, and in Ireland it was duly renamed the ‘Police Model.’ As the advert by Raleigh Cycle Co Ltd of 35 Lower Abbey St, Dublin declared:
The duties of the Force demand more than a mere ‘push-bike’ – supreme strength, easy running and unfailing reliability, in short the new Raleigh ‘Police Model.
Note the specially constructed steel ‘X’ frame. This added strength will meet the demand of the hardest service it is possible to give to a bicycle. But throughout it will maintain its flexibility. Bearings are specially hardened and accurately ground to ensure silken running. Raleigh brakes are a revelation in their smoothness and efficiency, while Raleigh chrome plating and special rust-proof enamelling make the All Steel bicycle ideal for all-weather riding.
No matter how much you pay, money cannot buy a better bicycle – the Raleigh is the standard by which all bicycles are judged.
1935 Raleigh All-Steel Irish X Frame
Two-Speed TB Hub Gears/Brakes
6 Volt Dynamo Lighting Set
Raleigh Detachable Chaincase
As Used by The Irish Police
This Raleigh X Frame is in absolutely superb condition. The excellent thick black paintwork is original, never restored. Even its original gilt transfers have survived intact. It is one of the nicest Raleigh X Frames I’ve encountered.
This machine was fitted from new with the recently introduced Raleigh Two-Speed Hub Gears/Brakes, as well as a 6 Volt Dynamo Lighting Set and Raleigh Detachable Chaincase. It is a heavy duty machine, weighing in at 25kg; I assume that’s why it’s fitted with John Bull ‘No 2’ heavy duty pedals. With the poor roads in Ireland before the war, sturdy bicycles were essential.
These extras would previously have been included in the price of an X Frame. But in order to keep their advertised prices as low as possible, the company now offered these only as optional extras.
Everything possible was done to keep the price as low as possible on the basic model. As you can see in the brochure illustration below, even the leather saddle was now replaced by a cheaper mattress saddle. The extras fitted to this bicycle were available on both the Irish and British X Frames. In the British catalogue, adding the extras to the basic model – here designated a ‘Service Model’ – turned it into a ‘Service Model 3X.’
The RALEIGH ALL-STEEL ‘IRISH’ X FRAME POLICE MODEL
The Irish X Frame model, as its name implies, has been specially designed for use on the reputably bad roads often to be found in Ireland, or where the ground to be continually traversed is of a broken and exceedingly rough nature, thereby necessitating a frame of somewhat more substantial and stronger character than is usual.
The ‘Model Superbe’ Crosss-Frame had been Raleigh’s top-of-the-line model since 1900 but, by the early 1930s, the company started to phase it out. As it still appeared under other guises for several years, I suspect that it was still available by special order.
It was subsequently renamed the Police Model, as you can see below, and no longer given prime billing in the catalogue.
It also appeared in Raleigh catalogues as the ‘Irish X-Frame’ – The special X formation used gives it the additional strength exactly where it is needed, and the machine readily stands up to the hardest of hard going. The adverts below show Raleigh’s Dublin address as well as Nottingham.
According to the book The Story of the Raleigh Cycle, the Irish government launched its ‘Industrial Programme’ in the thirties to encourage firms to employ local labour. So Raleigh formed the Irish Raleigh Cycle Co Ltd in October, 1936, ‘though its factory was only really an assembly plant and did not actually manufacture bicycles. The factory became operational early in 1937 and an average of 1000 machines per week were put together there until the outbreak of the Second World War.’
KIRK & MERRIFIELD ‘KIRMER’ SADDLE
RALEIGH ‘TB’ HUB GEARS/BRAKES