deralleur for 6 cog cassette, old steel raleigh bike


New Member
Sep 3, 2012
hello, i am very new to road cycling having just purchased an old raleigh steel tube cycle from a friend. i decided i wanted to fix it up and see if i enjoy the sport and eventually buy a nicer bike. i would like to buy a new rear deralleur because the one on the bike seems to be not working extremely well. right now it has a shimano on it, but i cant see any other markings. i did some research and found that the shimano makes a 6 speed called the tourney, but i hear that it is not the best quality. i am i willing to pay more to get a mid range deralluer, but i need it to be able to fix my cassette. i have friction shifters so indexing shouldnt be a problem. does anyone know of any equipment i could purchase that would fulfull my needs?
Clean it, oil it, adjust it. Youtube and are your friends to figure out how.
I'd start with the post above unless your existing derailleur is simply rusted to pieces, bent or otherwise falling apart.

But if you really want a new derailleur then you can use just about any derailleur with friction shifters. Since you don't have indexing in your shifters you don't have to match up a specific rear derailleur. You can even run a 7,8,9,10 heck even 11 speed rear derailleur as long as you set the limit stop screws for the correct amount of total travel (so you don't shift into the spokes or off the small cog and into the dropout) but there's no issue with compatibility as long as you stay with friction shifting.

BTW, if you do change the rear derailleur and really even if you just clean up the system you should probably change out the cables and housings at the same time. Hard to say how the bike has been maintained but I'd probably change out all cables and housings (brakes as well as derailleurs), replace the brake pads and likely replace the tires and tubes for a bike of that vintage unless it's had regular and recent maintenance.

+1 on the park tools site as well as the late great Sheldon Brown's site for repair, maintenance and compatibility info.

Good luck,
i have already ordered new brake levers and cables. i am also going to get new shifter cables and housing, even if i keep the deralleur. i ordered some lube and degreaser to i can give the thing a good cleaning and see if it will suffice. i dont see any rust or anything on it so i think it could work fine. as if of now though, the limit screws arent working very well. do you think i could replace just the screws or is that unheard of.
also, the chain slips on certain gears and i think it could be the spring. but it could be a number of things.i am going to start with the deralleur and cables. then try the chain, and if that doesnt work i guess i am going to have to assume it could be the cassette being worn.

those two links are very helpful. i have already been to sheldon browns site a few times already. considering the age of the bike it is in pretty good shape. i beleive it was maintained fairly well. i just kind of wanted to learn as much about the bikes as i could for cheap and figured buying an old beater would be the best way to go. if i really enjoy riding ill prob sell this one and upgrade to something better. thanks for the help
- Limit screws are nothing special and could be replaced if you can find a suitable replacement at a hardware store but it's unusual to need to replace them. Usually they just need to be cleaned a bit but I guess it's possible the screwdriver slots in the heads may have been stripped out over the years. But they're just screws so if you can find replacements of the correct diameter, threading, and length you can certainly replace them.

- Jumping chain is likely a combo of worn out chain and or worn out freewheel cogs. If folks run a chain much too long it will 'stretch' (not really stretch in the usual sense but a wearing down of rollers and pins that makes the chain longer) and if they keep running the longer chain the cogs will eventually get worn to the point where a new chain of correct pitch (half inch between rollers) won't seat well and can jump under load. In that case you'll want to replace your freewheel and that might get a bit tricky as it's almost certainly a screw on type freewheel that includes it's own pawls and ratcheting mechanism as opposed to newer cassettes that slide onto freehub bodies that are part of the rear hub. That might force you to look on ebay for compatible parts and unfortunately there were several variations on freewheel removal tools back in the day so you'll want to figure out which freewheel you have and what tool you'll need to remove it. Parts are definitely available but it may take some time to find them.

Again Sheldon's site should be very helpful in terms of identifying exactly what sort of freewheel you have and what sort of tools you need to remove it.

Good luck,
BTW. Some 5-/6-speed chains are decidedly WIDER than 8-/9-/10-speed chains ... if the chain on your bike is the original, then you will probably find the chain is too wide for the derailleur cage of an 8-/9-/10-speed rear derailleur ...

So, if you opt for a more contemporary rear derailleur then you may want to get an 8-speed SHIMANO chain to use with it.

Also, depending on the chain tool which you may already have, a 9-or-10-speed chain may require a slightly better (that is, slightly more expensive) chain tool.
The chain making noise on the rear freewheel could be an adjustment issue--with friction shifters, you have to make tiny adjustments either way once you are in a gear for the noise to go away. Like someone else said, the limit screws have nothing to do with most shifting--they only stop you from shifting beyond the highest and lowest gears.