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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 10:55 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:47 pm
Posts: 231
Location: South Manchester
Hello - I've just bought this 1986 Raleigh Competition off eBay as what is hopefully a fairly cheap foray into retro road cycling, with half an idea towards upgrading it a bit if necessary and learning how to do the mechanics myself - bicycle maintenance has always been something I've paid other people to do in the past - and any advice anyone can provide will be gratefully accepted!

Hopefully I've bought a good 'un in terms of the frame. I was after a proper lightweight job (I have an old Peugeot 3-speed that is probably made of pig-iron and is *very* heavy) and attracted by the Reynolds tubing (from what I'd read in my research I was expecting 531 but it's actually 501) and certainly compared to the Peugeot that I'm used to, I've not been disappointed.

As I understand it the Competition was a fairly high-end Raleigh in its day, so was expecting a fairly decent old-school set of components on it. But as it turns out the chap who sold it to me is an old guy who does up bikes as a hobby, and he was given the frame, and built it up with parts that he had to hand. Including straight handlebars and friction gear shifters moved up from the downtube to the stem. So I'm not sure how good these components are, or whether they're better or worse than what the bike originally came with.

I've looked up the frame number on the internet - WN6001004 - and worked out that it must be a 1986 model, made in Nottingham, and the 1004th frame off the production line in October.

Kurt Kaminer's website has the the specification from the 1987 Raleigh Catalogue along with the page for the Competition 12 which looks identical to the frame I've bought - and it seems the 1987 Competition 12 had mainly Shimano 105 equipment on it. Would the gears have been indexed?

What it currently has on it are:
Weinmann side-pull brakes - looks like the front are type 500 and the rear type 600 but it's quite hard to read the stamp on the metal. Both could be 600. Or 500...
The brake levers are Weinmann ones that look fairly cheap and simple.
Rear derailleur - Exage 400EX with 5 cogs (although there appears to be space for 1 or 2 more)
Front derailleur - Exage 300EX with 2 cogs
The front chainrings appeared to be unbranded until I spotted 'SR' stamped on one in very small letters.
The cranks say 'Custom' on the outside and are stamped SR 165 on the inside.
The pedals say 'Lyotard, made in France' on them.
Both wheels are 700c and required a little detective work:
Rear wheel - Maillard hub with Weinmann 716 alloy rim
Front wheel - hub says 'Atom 27 80' and the man who sold it me thought it (or the rim) was a Mavic but the sticker wore off years ago. It feels similar to the back wheel. Both are 700C.

Is any of that any good? I'm not that bothered about restoring it to having the original equipment, but I would like what's on it to be as good as it had when new... or an improvement on it.

Basically I'm hopeful of buying good retro components on the cheap on eBay, and learning how to fit them myself - so advice from people who actually know what they're doing would be invaluable! The main thing I want to change straight away is to put drop handlebars back on it which presumably would entail buying new brake levers etc as well?

And does anything else sound in need of an upgrade?

So many questions! Feel free to answer just one if you can - any help will be gratefully received with an open mind.

Cheers,
Drew


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 2:09 am 
Road Moderator
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Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:07 pm
Posts: 4715
Location: Sheppey, Kent
Hi Drew, welcome to our world :)

The good news is you got yourself a great base (frame) to start with and that sir is the heart of the bike so you done good, reasonable price too.

The bad news is all the parts are run of the mill lower end stuff, adequate and will do the job but there is nothing there that is better or even on par with the original spec. It is okay though and will happily do the job until you get round to upgrading so a nice rolling project.

Yes drop bars will mean new levers too (I have some shimano 1050 aero levers with black hoods for £10 posted) and cables too (I have those too :) ), obviously bars and the stem looks a bit short too.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 2:13 am 
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Original spec gears were indexed, SIS = Shimano Index System and despite "only" being 501 rather than 531 it is 501sl which from my experience rides just as well and is comparative in weight.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 2:14 am 
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Location: Sheppey, Kent
Losing the shorty mudguards should be your very first mod :)


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:17 am 
Old School Hero

Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:47 pm
Posts: 231
Location: South Manchester
Thanks Tel - are the 1050 levers the kind with integrated gear and brake levers? And is it best to go for an 'all-in' unit on the front or doesn't it matter to keep brakes and gears separate?

I take it mudguard removal is something favoured by the purists?

Cheers,
Drew


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:28 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:07 pm
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Location: Sheppey, Kent
The 1050 levers are just for the brakes. Integrated brake and gear levers (STI's) are convenient but not the most aesthetically pleasing and not really in keeping with the bike. It's upto you of course. A set of STI shifters will probably set you back in the region of £40+. They are also speed specific ie 7, 8, 9 speed etc, your bike will accept 7 easily (which are hard to find, although not impossible) but you can squeeze 8 upwards in there if you spread the dropouts by 4mm.

Full mudguards are fine on the right bike, shortie mudguards are very rarely fine on any bike! Get em off ;)


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:02 am 
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Location: The Cock Inn, Tillett, Herts
Tel wrote:
Original spec gears were indexed, SIS = Shimano Index System and despite "only" being 501 rather than 531 it is 501sl which from my experience rides just as well and is comparative in weight.

Indeed, 501 is more of a cromo and for all that is strength and weight properties are fairly similar to 531 - a good example of a lower Reynolds series number not necessarily being inferior. The significant mechanical difference is that the tubes are made from rolled stock so have a seam, but at that level it makes zilch difference to the performance. The other thing to note is that 501 was usually, but not always, plain gauge but then plain 531 was available too.

I'm rambling on, but why I'm trying to say is that in the performance characteristics of the material there's little in it twixt 501 and 531. Sounds like a nice frame.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:25 am 
Old School Hero

Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:47 pm
Posts: 231
Location: South Manchester
Thanks guys. That's a relief to hear about the frame - that was the main reason I went for this one over various other retro bikes that were available cheap on eBay.

A test ride this morning revealed that drop handlebars are very much a necessity. With the straight ones the geometry of the bike seems all wrong - I'm only 5'8" but my arms felt like they needed a lot more space.

Is there anything I should look out for in terms of handlebars? Or stems, if that proves necessary too?

I imagine you get what you pay for, like with most things - but I know from buying other things on there that eBay can be a great leveller if you're armed with a little knowledge. Is there a particular type of handlebar (or width?) that I should be looking for, or will any drop handlebars do? And are brands important with handlebars, or just that they're alloy and fairly lightweight?

Thanks again - I'll be asking lots of basic questions to begin with, but usually I'm a fairly quick learner and will try not to ask a daft question more than once...


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:01 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:47 pm
Posts: 231
Location: South Manchester
Are Cinelli stems and handlebars a good fit for a bike like this, would you say? It's just a name someone mentioned to me. Better than something like SR?

There seem to be chrome Cinelli bars available secondhand for about £15-20 but also new Cinelli Vai ones on eBay for about a fiver more.

And could someone be kind enough to explain what difference the width of handlebars makes? Those new ones seem to come in 40, 42 or 44 cm sizes.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:17 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:29 am
Posts: 30
Location: Pontefract, West Yorkshire , England
Hi i also have this bike but with all original parts. It has Shimano 105 brakes and gearing. It has weinnman 700 rims the only difference to your bike is the SR road champion handlebars.I ve uploaded pics so you can have a look.


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