Older used Raleigh bike?

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by flameburns623, Aug 10, 2007.

  1. flameburns623

    flameburns623 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi folks!

    I already own not one , not two, but three different 'department store' brand bikes. The bikes I currently own are a 1970's All-Pro bike from K-Mart; a 1990's Huffy Broadmoor bike from Target; and a Wal-Mart Next bike. I bought the Broadmoor brand-new on sale years ago, but the other two bikes were bought used. I bought the All-Pro very cheaply--$3.50 and a thrift shop, marked down from $5.00 for 'customer appreciation week'. The Next bike I bought for $20.00--which he really didn't want to accept--from a kid who salvaged it from the trash as a fix-up project that he never quite got around to fixing-up.

    I have the chance to buy a very inexpensive Raleigh bike. Bike is for sale for $20.00. Gears seem to work (derailleurs shift the gears, front and back); brakes work; wheels turn freely. The tires are flat and the bike is damned tall--I'm 6'00" tall with a 32" inseam and the top bar on the frame just brushes my crotch. The seat is shot--they've covered it with a cheap Bell-brand gel-foam cover but I lifted that and the seat beneath is just the metal skeleton--whatever served as padding previously is long gone. I'm going to assume the tires themselves are dry-rotted and need to be replaced. Oh--the tires are EXTRAORDINARILY narrow--one of my department-store bikes is a 1970's road bike with narrow tires and the tires on the Raleigh look skinnier than these. The Raleigh seems lighter than my K-Mart All-Pro road bike--I think the Raleigh must have an aluminum frame whereas the All-Pro is definitely steel.

    Part of my concern is that--depending on what the bike ends up needing--I might spend a fortune just finding parts for this thing. I can recoup the initial investment by selling off one of my other bikes--I could sell the Wal-Mart bike for right around the same amount the thrift store wants for the Raleigh. (Of course I dumped a lot of money into the Next bike to get it running--it came to me vandalized, and I had to replace freewheel, rear derailleur, and crankshaft--and the bike is still a 'prima-donna' bike that gives me some sort of trouble every second or third time I ride it. I love the 27 gears that the Next bike sports, but I scarcely ever get to use them, with the bike going down almost every month). I really don't want two road bikes, but I actually enjoy riding the All-Pro bike more than the Next bike, and think I might enjoy swapping between the All-Pro and the Raleigh. I'm going to try to post an image of a bike that resembles the Raleigh I looked at--but the bike I saw had foam rubber on the handlebars. If the foam is 'original equipment', I'm gonna guess the bike I saw is a later model than the one pictured. This one is close enough though:

    [​IMG]

    I think the distance between the seat-post and the handlebars on the bike above is much closer than that on my Next brand bike. On the Next--even though it has flat handlebars instead of the knurled-under road bike version handlebars--I feel a little too stretched-out--as if my nose were in Illinois and my rear were in Kansas somewhere. One of the reasons I've come not to like the Next bike so much as I thought I would. I think that having the handlebars closer to me would feel less like I'm doing push-ups at the same time I'm riding the bike. Or mebbe I'm trying to rationalize buying the bike. Any thoughts, folks?
     
    Tags:


  2. flameburns623

    flameburns623 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Any help/advice at all? Is anyone familiar with this brand of bike? Is the idea of buying a cheap older-model Raleigh as a fixer-up a good or bad idea?
     
  3. Velo Steve

    Velo Steve New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    I owned a Raleigh Super Course and a Competition in the 1970's. In fact I still have the Competition. The Grand Prix was a fairly low end bike in the Raleigh line, but any Raleigh was probably a cut above your other bikes. It's almost certainly a steel frame, but built more lightly than the others.

    If you are into looking retro, restore this and make it look original. Otherwise, my personal choice would be to find a newer used bike to start from. You'll have less trouble finding compatible parts.

    Steve


     
  4. flameburns623

    flameburns623 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    The more I look at the bikes the more I think that the bike I saw looked more like this:


    [​IMG]Mainly because the shifters were on the handlebar stem and there was a big Raleigh emblem on the bar underneath the stem.

    No I'm not into 'retro' bikes and I'm not going to 'restore' this or any other bike. I will repair it--put new tires on it, new tubes, replace the bearings if they wear out, replace the brake pads and the cables. Etcetera. If I have to hunt all over heck and back to find parts that fit the bike, it wouldn't be worth my time. I want a bike I can ride and a bike that doesn't drive me batty when I need to repair it. Pure and simple.

    So far as the 'look' of the bike, I don't give a flip about that. If I had the mechanical know-how and craftmanship to do it, I'd disassemble every bike I own, sand the frames down, primer them, and put a glossy coat of black paint on them. Then put silver reflector tape on five or six key points of each, put'em back together, and be done with it. Henry Ford had the right idea: 'you can have any color you want so long as it's black'. I certainly don't want the name of the bike manufacturer escutcheoned all over my bikes--they should stamp their name discreetly on a little metal plate somewhere inconspicuous and have done with it.

    Thanks for your response though!
     
  5. Velo Steve

    Velo Steve New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    No problem. Actually, I almost have the Henry Ford bike you describe. My Competition came in black, and the decals are mostly worn off. It has been a recreational bike, commuter, had different size rear axles, and now it's a fixed gear. Never restored, though, just the original paint minus whatever has worn off.

    The Record was probably the bottom of the line, but there's no reason not to use it if not too many parts are needed. As far as compatibility, the biggest likely problem would be the bottom bracket threads. There were probably three or so common thread patterns in those days. Next is the rear axle width. If it's five speed (120mm?) and needs a new derailleur or freewheel, it may be easier to have it bent out to a more modern width (like 135mm) and upgrade to more rear cogs. Fortunately, those old steel frames are very tolerant of being respaced.

    Good luck.

    Steve
     
  6. flameburns623

    flameburns623 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, the bike I saw was sold by the time I got back to it. Oh well. I will keep my eyes open for a cheap, used, name-brand bike in running order. I'm irrationally drawn to Raleighs for the moment, not just cause I read so much about them online, but because the local bike shop carries that brand. The owner says that in the winter he takes some 'trade-ins' or has customers with older bikes they want to get ride of. Since the lbs can work on Raleighs if I run into problems it makes sense to keep my eyes open for one of those. Or am I just being silly?
     
  7. tfstrum

    tfstrum New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had a Raleigh alum bike in the late 80's (that someone nikked). Can't remember the model but it had 105 components on it. It wasn't bad, but it flexed a lot when standing on the pedals. It was definitively better than a dept store bike.

    And they're still hanging in there
    http://www.raleighusa.com/depts.asp?deptid=5
     
  8. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Messages:
    3,233
    Likes Received:
    95
    Smart position. These bikes are a dime a dozen and there is nothing collectible about them. If nothing is majorly broken, make it ridable and enjoy it. 27'' tires, brake cables and blocks, handlebar tape, and 5-speed freewheels and chains are available, but you may have to go online--nashbar.com and bikepartsusa.com are good for this kind of stuff.

    I recently finished a Q&D restoration on an old Peugeot, and one of the guys I used to work with is now merrily getting exercise around his neighborhood.
     
  9. flameburns623

    flameburns623 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, I paid $175.00 plus s&h for this bike on e-Bay

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=190154375706&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=009

    It's not bad, but only rode about 8 miles before the tire went flat--AFTER I removed the front tire and had it laying in the back of my station wagon for about 6 hours. Go figure. So I now have a 'stable' of 4 bicycles, though I plan to get rid of a Wal-Mart Next bike that I brought back from the dead but haven't enjoyed riding so much as I thought I would.
     
  10. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1,643
    Likes Received:
    3
    Niagara Cycle Works seems to have almost anything for the old tenspeeds.

    Not sure but the BB should be threaded the same as today's cartridge bb's. Also, the old style units are still available.

    You may need a new rear axle; they'll frequently be bent on a bike like this. I like to run the cones a bit tight on such a bike, hoping the cones will transmit bending force into the hub instead of allowing the axle to bend.

    Much of the old 70's and 80's stuff was highly interchangeable provided you don't need parts correct for a show quality restoration, if there is such a thing in the bicycle world.

    You probably already know but kevlar belted tires are available for the old 27's from Nashbar, Performance bike/forte', panaracer, bell, etc. I like the bell streetster because it's larger than the others, good for street touring.
     
  11. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1,643
    Likes Received:
    3
    Say, I repaired an old Peugeot too. Maybe you guys know what will make the freewheel slip? It's not the pawls. It's a slippage in lower gears, not a sudden giving way.
     
  12. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Messages:
    3,233
    Likes Received:
    95
    Please describe "slippage."
     
  13. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Messages:
    3,233
    Likes Received:
    95
    I've bought stuff from Niagra, too. Thanks for bringing them up.

    The thing to remember about interchangeability is that the steerers on French forks are slightly narrower than everybody else's. French forks need French stems and headsets.

    I'm putting together a fixie from an old Frejus track frame and a nice chromed fork from a Gitane Tour de France, I suspected. Everything went together fine until I tried to stuff a 25.4 stem into the steerer.
     
  14. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1,643
    Likes Received:
    3
    In the lowest gear or two, pressing on the pedals with full force will cause the pedals, rings, and sprockets to turn faster than the wheel for maybe 10-15 degrees but with resistance, not like a pawl gave way and let the sprocket spin around 1/2 turn.

    I have never had the hub apart because the fw removal splines are 30 mm, big enough to change the dust caps without removing the fw. However, I get the distinct sense that the part of the hub which holds the fw threads is press fit into the part which has the spoke flanges and center section between the flanges. It feels like a tight press fit is rotating.
     
  15. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1,643
    Likes Received:
    3
    Sheldon Brown says a 22.2 English stem will usually fit a 22.0 French fork, and only the wedge nut will need sanding down. Maybe the same goes for your size.
     
  16. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Messages:
    3,233
    Likes Received:
    95
    You might be right about the threads on the hubs being press-fitted. That's never happened to me so I never looked that closely at the threading, and I can't confirm. Peugeot used about three different grades of Normandy hubs in the early 1970s, and that doesn't include all the stuff they would have used since using Asian hubs. Since it only happens in your lowest gears would support that, though, because of the added torque.

    The only way to be sure is to find the right tool and remove that freewheel.
     
  17. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1,643
    Likes Received:
    3
    Thank you for the help. It's a low end model, not like a PX-10 or the OP's Raleigh. I am thinking about finding out what Normandy fw's are worth on ebay. Please do not expend any more brain glucose on my problem.
     
  18. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1,643
    Likes Received:
    3
    My comment about interchangeability applies mostly to English, Taiwanese, and Japanese tenspeeds, or those French models which used English style parts. You could take the freewheel off any one of those bikes, for example, and it would fit our friend's Raleigh. In fact, you could get a modern MTB, hybrid, or roadie in the $49-$300 range, and the freewheel would fit, although the axle and frame spacing would be too narrow on account of the seven speeds. Cranks, pedals, and bottom bracket too, if they came with a three piece crank.

    Not that you have to swap; unless you try to get parts with the correct factory look, you can simply buy the service replacement parts from Niagara or Bikepartsusa.
     
Loading...

Share This Page

Loading...