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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:10 pm 
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It's not exactly in tip-top condition, but I believe it can be rescued back to some of it's former glory, a touch of paint, and some new decals...

I was VERY lucky (I think..!) and picked it up off the eBay for a smidge under £90 delivered. A lovely piece of British RSP engineering in Reynolds 853, from my neck of the woods, and totally bonkers paintwork! :twisted:

Current pics are from the Auction page, haven't had chance to inspect it yet!..
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Got a lot of spare parts, and some Middleburn's, Ritchey etc accumulated which will initially go on it, and gradually upgrade over time with the grade of parts it deserves is the rough plan so far..
First thing to do though is to get back to blighty - but not until July, :facepalm: so it's going to be a long build, but I can't wait!!

I know it's the '99 RSP 450 butted Reynolds 853 tubing - need to get hold of some Reynolds and M-trax decals for the seattube..
Any more info about the frame etc will be very much appreciated - I should be able to get hold of the serial number later on in the week!


Last edited by Osella on Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:13 pm 
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And now I have it, and have it built! Frame is VERY stable, yet pliant off-road and very tough..
1,920g for frame including seatpost shim & bolt - so not exactly a weight-weenie, but very nice indeed! Serial number is K05175 - for which I think I need bikemeister2000's assistance in garnering any further info about the frame (but I believe this means it was sold as a complete bike, not frame only)..

Pics to follow..


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:49 pm 
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Right - time for the build pics..! I cannot tell you how excited I was to get this bike up & running again!

The story is long, and probably boring, however... for all the yapping about 'great' British bikes and frame builders, I cannot tell you just how underestimated these Raleigh Special Products bikes are. Just check out the welding if you get chance to see one up close!
Luckily enough for those of us who like and appreciate them however, they don't command stratospheric prices, so that's nice!

So, the story starts when I was 6, and received my first bike as a Christmas present, which was a little Raleigh Bobcat (20" wheels I think). Nothing special, just a mass-produced kids bike, but it was the start of the journey!
It had a BMX-type top clamp stem, and low-rise MTB riser bars, single-speed, and foam grips.. The frame & forks were bright yellow, with black 'bobcat' stripes on the frame & fork. I should mention this was 1986, and NOBODY had riser-bars back then.. :shock: :wink:

So.. when I found the above beauty, a handmade Reynolds 853 Raleigh frame, in yellow, I just had to have it (even though it's 'not' 'retro' :roll: )..

And so it begins:
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The heron badge picked up a few knocks over the years, but scrubbed up quite nicely:
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Frame appears to have 2 serial numbers, one is the BB number and the other appears on the downtube. Not sure if perhaps one is the frame serial and the other was the bike serial - as I believe originally this particular frame was sold as a complete bike in 1999, rather than as a frameset
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BB Serial number:
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You can see the frame is not exactly in mint condition - but nothing to be scared of.. if it's going to be used, it may as well start out used! :wink:


Last edited by Osella on Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:51 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:57 pm 
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More examples of the damage to the paintwork. The Chainstay protector covers some, and the rest I'll just have to live with! Doesn't stop the bike working after all.. And after thorough cleaning with some degreaser, the frame doesn't scrub up badly at all!
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A basic mock-up - the steerer obviously needs a little shortening, but beautifully-made Magura Ronin forks. (Bright yellow too - to continue the Black & Yellow theme..) A little newer and so not period, but so much better than the originally-specced elastomer Manitous! Relatively sprightly too, at 1,750g and infinitely adjustable.. A fellow RBer supplied the forks and the Magura HS33 Evo brakes - Firm-tech on the front.
Decals need replacing though..
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First thing to do was to fit the headset, using the lovely FSA Orbit MX - reliable and tough as old boots!

Using my custom-made headset press, as always....
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Et Voila! :wink:
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Next, fitted the BB (UN91), some chainsuck from the past but nothing getting through to damage the metal, so no problems.
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Last edited by Osella on Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:05 pm 
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Wheels were again from a fellow RBer - Avenir (Sun) rims from the US, appropriate as Avenir USA is a division of Raleigh USA - so keeps it all in the family.. so to speak..
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And mounted to gorgeous XTR M900 hubs! Very nice & 1,895g for the pair (excl skewers).
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I had decided to go full XTR throughout (the original bikes were supplied with XT) simply for a known quantity of reliability and performance, but the weight helps too to keep it all in check. Managed to get a full set of XTR-everything, split between M900 wheels & M952 running gear with an XT cassette for, well, the fact it won't collapse under a gear-change!

Maguras all fitted very nicely, with a black brace replacing the red one - more in keeping with the feel of the original plan, which was to 're-create' my old Black & yellow Raleigh..
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Another thing I had to have - in keeping with the original feel of my first bike was to have polished finishing kit, with bare Alu replacing the original chromed steel.
The stem was a real find as far as I'm concerned - replicating the original look & feel in the cockpit of the top-loading BMX-style stem, but with a 55mm reach for usability. Riser bars are again essential to recreate the feel & look of the original plan.
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I don't know if it was specifically part of the design, as it's a non-disc frame, although Maguras were pretty widespread at the time the frame was made (1999), but the hose for the rear brakes clips in between the rear gear and brake cable guides at the front & rear of the frame - if it wasn't a design feature it's a very happy coincidence, but I'd love to find out if it was integrated into the design for anyone running Maguras at the time..
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I love the brushed Grey of M952 - it just functions.. Doesn't shout about it, doens't need polished sheen, just does the job very effectively, and lets the paint job do all the shouting.. :twisted:
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Middleburn cranks - again quality British kit to match the frame - and the bargain Octane One pedals.. And some very light TA Specialites chainrings, again to continue the yellow/black theme with polished silver kit. Okay, the pedals are decidedly 'un-retro', but frankly, does it matter!?
They spin well, and have great grip & a perfect platform. There is some bad feedback about flaky paint on the coloured versions, but I wanted silver pedals in any case, so went with the bare metal versions.
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The WTB Silverado saddle was an eBay find. Okay it's not the original WTB saddle, but frankly I couldn't pass up the chance to match the colours with the frame! It's a VERY comfortable seat, even after a couple of hours off-road. The Ritchey classic post was an eBay bargain too.. light at 240g, strong and just perfect.
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Last edited by Osella on Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:19 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Location: Notts, UK
That looks good. Being from Nottinghamshire, I suppose I really should own a nice Raleigh...


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:29 pm 
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iveto1983 wrote:
That looks good. Being from Nottinghamshire, I suppose I really should own a nice Raleigh...


Thanks! Well, I'm from Leicestershire, so I thought along similar lines... :wink:


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:39 pm 
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Okay, so I decided to take the plunge and remove the decals and replace with new. Slightly easier as the frame was originally made with the newer italic Raleigh logo, rather than the old plain upper-case one.

I also removed and cleaned up the '450' from the top-tube as I never liked the placement over the top of the flames. All of the decals on the frame were originally just stickers in any case, so removing and replacing them was not a difficult choice, and it's fairly easy to restore the original look at a later stage..

So I relaced the '450' with 'RSP' further back along the top-tube:
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The Maguras had already had their 'Ronin' decals removed, and just retained the 'Magura' and '80' (mm travel) logos, so I decided to go a little different with those.
I did get a decal set that would have black flames up the fork legs, matching the black/red of the frame, but I wanted something a little different, so decided to go with hazard chevrons instead. I then found some which are have an added bonus of being reflective under light - which has the benefit of safety in the winter/at night as they will catch lights coming from the side. They also protect the fork lowers somewhat from scuffs.

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Tyres are Maxxis Ignitor 1.95's (folding, to save on rotational weight). I use Maxxis on a couple of other bikes and have never found any problems with them in terms of grip or punctures. The 1.95" tyres maintain the right proportions for the frame (not too fat!) and the Ignitors were also perfect for the colour scheme! Black/Yellow/Red, with small yellow & Red flame logos on the sidewalls to match the frame! Hey.. I like details... 8) :roll:

After removing the frame decals, I replaced them with black versions of the same Raleigh decals on the downtube, just to tone down the overall impression of red of the original RSP 450 bike, and bring it more into line with the Yellow/Black theme I wanted to reflect.
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So.. Finally finished & ready to ride!!!
The grips are Ritchey WCS foam grips - which mirror perfectly the old foam grips of my 80's Raleigh, and I even found an old MkII Crud catcher in metallic grey which blends in perfectly with the M952 gear, and doesn't distract from the frame - which for any RSP bike should be the focus of the whole bike.

The whole bike is Black & Yellow, with touches of Red, and all the rest of the kit just flat black and bare Aluminium - perfect.

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To follow... pictures with mud & dirt from the following day.. :wink:


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:40 am 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Looks great that. Everything does seem to work well together aesthetically. Should be a great xc bike.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:03 am 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Great build. Enjoy.


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