Sedate, yes, but think of the momentum you'd get up going downhill! I read on Sheldon Brown that the American models were shipped without the chainguard because there was a tax on bikes weighing over 40lbs (18kgs)!
They say that by the mid 20th century, the steel bicycle had been improved to the highest efficiency attained by a mechanical form of transport. The mid 50's is also supposed to be Raleigh's high point in manufacturing for longevity (certainly not for minimum weight, so excluding their racing bikes), and that this high point is represented by the Superbe and Sports models.
That's why I'm so glad to have found this one, and in the condition it's in. I'm not much of a photographher, but I'm thinking of enlarging a better shot of the crank and BB area (third pic from top in previous post). It's pure machine, an engineer's dream without a superfluous bit of metal.
GThe tyres as mentioned are Dunlop Roadsters, 'made in Malaya', not very worn. I think I'll take them off and put them aside.
I'm going to be very careful about restoring this bike. I certainly won't touch the paintwork. I might dab paint very carefully into the chipped areas, and I'll try cleaning the chrome with aluminium foil and Autosol.
Any suggestions would be welcome.
Here are some more pics: