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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:11 am 
Newbie

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:28 pm
Posts: 3
Hi All (Warning: this is going to be a long post and I apologise in advance!)

I am completely new to this whole restoration game (and in fact this site!)

My name is Aimee and I'm 23 and have a bike for the first time in about 12 years!

I bought my Wisp in October last year through Gumtree. I wasn't looking for anything in particular when I bought it, but it was cheap at £45. When I collected it it had a perished tyre so I haggled down to £35 which I was very happy with as it is a very smart looking bike. Got it home, got new tyres for it (just cheap ones so that I could give the bike a run for the first time). Took it out the next day on a leisurely 20 mile riverside ride and was very happy with it.

The other thing that was slightly annoying about it when I got it was that the handlebar was a flat bar. I had initially looked into getting a brand new Dutch style step-through bike, but couldn't find one that I was 100% happy with. Anyway, I found the height of the bar itself and the grips etc. (which had also perished) very uncomfortable so I bought a "moustache" handlebar on-line and fitted it with the help of my fiancé and bought some lovely white grips. I now sit in a much more upright position and the ride itself is much more comfortable. I also bought new brake levers as mine were pretty much fused to the old handlebar which was very old and battered!

The paintwork is all original and very scuffed! My fiancé's granddad is a bodywork specialist and has offered to redo the paint job for me and I'm hoping that this will be a navy blue (I don't have the colour codes to hand!)

My lovely bike has been in hibernation since December. I was due to strip it down today ready for being sprayed etc. ... but the weather has been awful.

Anyway, my actual point to this post is..

I have absolutely no clue about anything bike related whatsoever. I want this bike to me my project (save for the paint work .. ) Until perhaps today I didn't even know the parts on a bike and so seeing things like "derailleurs" really put me off in the past!

I hopped onto Google, typed in "Raleigh Wisp bike" (otherwise I get a bunch of sites about some stupid moped) and stumbled across a couple of threads on this site about members having restored their Wisp. Very impressive stuff. Beautiful bikes. I want my bike to be beautiful too.. I just don't know where to start.

I need some help. I'm going to eventually replace everything on the bike (that NEEDS replacing), chainset, derailleurs, callipers etc. I've got on order from SJS a new headset and stem (both of mine are broken.. and when I say broken, I mean that my stem isn't shiny like my new handlebars! vanity I know, but it looks terrible!!)

I've taken lots of notes of the specs of others' mods to their Wisps, what things I need to get but I really feel I need talking through it like an idiot.

I would be very grateful for any help anyone can give me.

Once I've stripped the bike (hopefully next weekend) I will better know what exactly I have and can then come back and ask for help from you knowledgeable people about what things I need to replace the same with. As I said, I really have no idea.

I'm going for blue and white. My grips are white, I will be getting a white saddle and replacing my brake cables with white also (but these are the last finishing touches as far as I'm concerned. I like the stainless steel look and initially wanted to keep my mudguards but they are very bashed and noisy and broken. Had looked for replacements but have ended up having to get chromoplastic which I tried to avoid. I'd like some help in this area also.

So anyway, I just really need some help with what to do, where to get this stuff and the prices I should be paying as everything seems to vary and I really don't know what sites are good. My lbs's are very very small and don't seem used to people coming in that have absolutely no clue about what they need help with.

Sorry for the long post... but I'd really appreciate help from people who know what they are talking about.

Thank you!

Aimee


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:14 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:55 am
Posts: 2922
Location: Dorset
Welcome onboard :D

I look forward to some pictures - i am a sucker for Raleigh (i have 4 of my own :oops: )

I have been on this forum for a while and its a great place for advice etc.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:21 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:55 am
Posts: 2922
Location: Dorset
I forgot,

I get my spares, components etc from places like Chainreactioncycles, evans cycles and the wanted sections on here - and sometimes the devil that is ebay.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:28 am 
Newbie

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:28 pm
Posts: 3
Thanks!

Attempted eBay earlier today for a chainset but got so confused! I have absolutely no idea about bikes, I cannot stress this enough. It's embarrassing really.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:30 am 
Retro Guru
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:42 am
Posts: 345
Location: Birmingham
Welcome aboard Wisp.

For some shiny mudguards look here.

And for things that don't look shiny enough:

Image

coupled with

Image


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:35 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:55 am
Posts: 2922
Location: Dorset
Wisp wrote:
Thanks!

Attempted eBay earlier today for a chainset but got so confused! I have absolutely no idea about bikes, I cannot stress this enough. It's embarrassing really.


Ask away, it sounds like you are not keeping it 100% original, but changing things to make it more comfortable and individual so parts should not be a problem. If you are unsure post it on here.

I am by no means an expert and ask some silly/obvious questions :oops:


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:07 pm 
Old School Hero
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:54 am
Posts: 157
Location: Cambridge, UK
Hi and welcome to the site!

I'm another vintage Raleigh fan - I've got three vintage Raleighs and another two in the process of being built up gradually. I think that Raleighs of the 1980's are hugely under-rated bikes.

Before you spend a whole lot of cash rebuilding this bike, have a bit of a think about why you are doing it. If you want the satisfaction of rebuilding a bike and making your old treasured machine look like new again then don't let me stop you, however, if you want to end up with something like a mint condition Raleigh Wisp then save yourself a lot of hassle and buy a new-condition one online. The Wisp isn't a high-spec machine (although I do understand it's still a nice bike!) and emotional attachment aside, it probably isn't worth spending any time or money restoring a ratty one.

Assuming you do want to rebuild it though (and it's a lot of fun!) you're going to need a few specialist tools to get it apart and you might think about buying these while the weather is preventing you from stripping it down. One thing that you'll certainly need a crank extractor (obviously shop around).

You're also likely to need a tool or two to get the bottom bracket off depending on what type it is, as well as a large spanner and/or vice to get the non-adjustable cup out.

A set of allen keys will also be a requirement.

In terms of sourcing components, you might find it is cost-effective to purchase a second Wisp (or other '80s bike) to raid for parts - this is a technique that I've used several times in the past. If you want another set of the Stainless Steel Weinmann mudguards then you can either pay through the nose for a second hand set on their own or buy a whole bike with them on. They were often also fitted to Falcon bikes of the same vintage. These are pretty heavy though and chromoplastic ones are a lot lighter. Extra points can be scored for sourcing an original 80's ESGE set ;-) One of the arts in vintage bike restoration is to buy a parts bike, take the parts you need and then sell what's left for the same amount or more then you bought it for!

In terms of buying new components, it all depends on how far you want to take it. The Wisp originally had a Sachs Hurett gear system which was fairly widely used and is easy to find second hand, it also had Weinmann brakes and IIRC a Raleigh Custom crank set. If you want to keep it relatively original-looking then source replacement '80s parts, and there's opportunity for some weight-saving and performance-enhancing upgrades. Look at the groupsets that the more expensive Raleighs had and perhaps look at fitting those instead of the original kit. Something like a Sugino crankset, Campagnolo Record gear systems, lightweight Sakae seatpost and stem..... But bear in mind that you're bolting it all to a relatively heavy frame so don't go too mad.

If you're anywhere near Cambridge you're welcome to take a look in the parts bin in my garage - there are quite a few old Raleigh bits in there!!!

Have fun...

PS forgot to mention: Wheels.
IIRC, the Wisp originally came with 27 x 1 1/4" chromed steel wheels. You can still buy this size of wheel but tyre availability is not as good and choice is a lot narrower than the current 700c standard size. As an aside I always think you can tell the quality of an 80's Raleigh bike. If it's got the chromed steel wheels then it's usually a lower-spec bike but if it's got Weinmann alloy wheels then it's usually more upmarket.

Anyway, the point is that if you need to replace the wheels then you've got a few choices to make:

Option 1: Buy 27" wheels (might as well buy alloy ones!)
Pros: Originality, brakes will still line up, like-for like swap so you can use your existing rim tape, freewheel, tubes and tyres
Cons: Old size, poor tyre choice

Option 2: Buy new 700c wheels with hub that accepts screw-on freewheel
Pros: Good tyre choice, wider choice of wheels
Cons: You might need to exchange your brake callipers, screw-on freewheel is old technology

Option 3: Buy new 700c wheels with freehub that accepts cassette and lock-ring
Pros: current technology, lots of choice in tyres and cassettes etc.
Cons: You might need to exchange your brake callipers

If you go with option 3 then bear in mind that there are two types of free-hub and the Shimano one will give you a choice of cheaper cassetttes...


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:43 pm 
Newbie

Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:28 pm
Posts: 2
Hi everyone

Just got my wife the bike of her youth - a Wisp. I am hoping to keep as close to original as possible and my first challenge is to try and source a saddle. My wife seems to remember hers as being blue suede. I'm hoping for some pointers as to possible sites/ shops to try.

Spent three hours polishing up the front wheel and it is looking fab. I have taken off the rear cassette and thought soaking it in white spirts might remove the twenty years of grime but it now feels very gritty- have I ruined it? Not sure if I can strip the cassette down to clean and grease.

No doubt I will be back with plenty of other questions. So far I am loving my project and can see how it can become quite addictive.

Thanks for reading.

Phil


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:37 pm 
Old School Hero
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:54 am
Posts: 157
Location: Cambridge, UK
SentryDT wrote:
Hi everyone

Just got my wife the bike of her youth - a Wisp. I am hoping to keep as close to original as possible and my first challenge is to try and source a saddle. My wife seems to remember hers as being blue suede. I'm hoping for some pointers as to possible sites/ shops to try.

Spent three hours polishing up the front wheel and it is looking fab. I have taken off the rear cassette and thought soaking it in white spirts might remove the twenty years of grime but it now feels very gritty- have I ruined it? Not sure if I can strip the cassette down to clean and grease.

No doubt I will be back with plenty of other questions. So far I am loving my project and can see how it can become quite addictive.

Thanks for reading.

Phil


Hi Phil,

Good luck with the saddle!! eBay is probably the only place you'll find anything original - in the past with the Raleigh suede saddles of the 80's I've just bought a bit of suede and re-covered it myself. Perhaps not completely original but if you have a tired saddle on the bike and you're careful you can separate the foam padding from the old suede (by soaking in warm water) and then use leather glue to put everything together. Your other option is as I said in my post above - buy another Wisp to use for parts and then sell off what you don't use/need. If you're doing it properly, you can buy a bike fairly cheaply and sell the parts from it on at a profit!

The rear cassette is actually a freewheel. It's probably not trashed - I must admit that I've never taken one apart but I'm sure someone'll be along with help sooner or later. They're not very expensive to replace if the worst happens.

Good luck with the work!

Simon R.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:57 pm 
Old School Hero
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:54 am
Posts: 157
Location: Cambridge, UK
SentryDT wrote:
Hi everyone

I have taken off the rear cassette and thought soaking it in white spirts might remove the twenty years of grime but it now feels very gritty- have I ruined it? Not sure if I can strip the cassette down to clean and grease.


Hi again Phil,

Take a look at this other thread on Retrobike, sounds like an easy job to dismantle the freewheel and clean it out.

Cheers!


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