Classic Lightweights UK
Classic Riders

Ray Booty

Ray Booty
Most lightweight enthusiasts will have heard of  Ray Booty, who on August 6 1956 became the first man to break the four-hour barrier for a 100 mile time trial with a time of 3 hours 58 minutes 28 seconds and a month later attacked the ‘straight-out’ 100 mile record, which he smashed with a ride of 3 hours 28 minutes 40 seconds, a time which held for 34 years. 

As was the way in the 50s, most of Ray’s riding was done on fixed-wheel but as he was riding for Raleigh he was compelled to try out the Sturmey Archer hub gears as the Raleigh/Sturmey organisation wanted to be able to use the fact that he had done so in their advertising.  He did use the AC for two races, a test in a 50 mile time-trial, and then the RRA 100 mile event but he found that the ASC(fixed-wheel) gear ratio was too wide and considered it to be more of a touring gear.  For the RRA event the machine was kitted out to the following specification: Stronglight 49A (steel cotterless ) chainset with 54 t Williams 5-pin ring , SA AC hub gear and Airlite SF QR release front hub on sprint rims. GB Coureur brakes, Brooks B17 Champion Narrow saddle, Long GB steel stem, and unkown deep road bars which were rather like the GB Road Champion, Raleigh RRA pedals.

The image shows Ray at speed on one of his Raleighs but this time on fixed-wheel.

One of Ray Booty's bikes from 1955 is available to view in Readers' Bikes.