Buy Newer Or 'modernize' Old Raleigh?


New Member
May 8, 2015
Hi there! I am relatively new to road cycling but I really do enjoy it, I enjoy the fitness and of course the scenery of riding around (I also love going fast). I have a Raleigh Technium 440, I believe from around the mid-late 80's.. it has 52-40 chain rings and 14-28, 6 cog freewheel.

Do you guys think it is possible and worthwhile to upgrade this old bike to add more cogs (I would prefer 8), and to get lighter wheels?

My other option is to buy a newer used bike off craigslist, I have seen a lot of nice (to me) used Specialized Allez on there for anywhere from $400-800.. I am talking about year 2000+ bikes here.

-Would riding a newer bike like the specialized be a lot different from a modernized 80's road?
-Are there even parts available for modernizing an old aluminum frame bike?

I also have the opportunity to ride and race with my universities club team next year if I get in good enough shape.
I forgot to add that where I ride there are not many hills, but when I go across the mountains the hills are killer (Seattle area) and where I ride the wind can be a real heart breaker.. we regularly see avg. wind speeds of 15+ and gusts of 30.
If you like going fast - then some gearing a bit taller then 50x14 may be in order. You may end up spending a lot of time, effort and money to upgrade to a more modern specification.

I would keep the bike as-is and look for a good deal on a used, more modern, bike.
If the Raleigh's an aluminum frame, you're not going to be able to get an 8 cog freewheel or cassette on the rear. Old six cog frames had 126 mm dropout spacings. You need a frame with 130 mm spacings to get an 8 cog set on there. You can spread the dropouts on a steel frame (or, more precisely, someone who knows what he's doing can), but not with aluminum. You might be able to get a seven cog freewheel on there. I'm guessing your bike has a freewheel cog set.

Rims, depends. You probably have 27" rims on there. Whether you can replace them with light weight 700c rims depends on whether you can lower your brake calipers a few millimeters.

I'd ride it the way it is now, save up for a new bike, and then keep the Raleigh as a back-up/bad weather bike.
Why not get a different freewheel with a wider range rather than upgrading to 8 speeds? You could get up to a 34t top cog. You might have to upgrade to a longer cage rear derailleur and a longer chain but that's it.

Your bike should use the same threads as a modern freewheel. They are still in production for less expensive bikes although some are seven or eight speed.

Although you could install a seven or eight speed freewheel, you would have to get a longer axle and spacers, change the dish of the wheel, and respace the frame.
Some or all Techniums had an aluminum main triangle and steel chainstays and seatstays. You could respace it for a more modern wheelset or a 7 speed freewheel if you wanted to but I think getting a different six speed freewheel would give the most bang for the buck.

If the weight of the wheels bothers you, consider getting Kevlar bead tires such as Panaracer Paselas. They are skinwalls and would not resist abrasion to the sidewall as well as most tires but roll easier for it. Some tires are available with steel or Kevlar bead.
I believe after six months theeZakKorsgard has made up his mind and gone ahead.
It would be nice to finish the thread off though to be honest and they could have come back and said what the decision was. Guess we'll never know...
It looks like the OP's two posts on this thread were his only posts ever on cyclingforums.

Oh well, maybe someone else will use the information.