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 Post subject: My old Raleigh reborn...
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:33 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:38 pm
Posts: 14
... but not quite in the spirit of Retrobike.

This is my old Raleigh racing frame from the late 1980's (as far as I can recall). It lay unused for 20 years in my bedroom after I discovered mountain bikes and moved up north. Previous to it's layup it was my fast day bike/ occasional time trialler. As far as I remember it was never taken out in the wet...

About 3 years ago I rediscovered the joys of biking, but took to the mountains with shiney new, midlife crisis mountain bikes. The Raleigh was sold to a local bike shop, the owner snapped the frame up as it was in almost as new condition. I'm sure he didn't really realise how big the frame is...

Moving on until a couple of months or so ago, I was invited out on the road by some of the local cyclists. I bought slicks for one of my mountain bikes (and a seat that didn't leave me numb) but hankered for a proper road bike again.

Trips to bike shops and scouring the internet couldn't find me what I thought I wanted at the price I wanted to pay. I remember the ride of the old 531 frames with rose coloured spectacles. The liveliness and springiness... the frame willing you on...

Popped into the bike shop a few weeks ago I enquired about the frame I sold the owner. Would he sell it back? Delighted to be rid of the thing he passed the frame to me as he appeared from under a pile of boxes in the back room...

Once mine again I started to plan...

This is where the spirit of Retrobike leaves us.

I wanted modern gear on the bike.

Several reasons - firstly, the running gear that I took off the frame wasn't suited to the hilly terrain in the Pennines. Secondly, the bike felt like it was finished off for a giant. I may be the same height as I was when I was 30, but I could barely reach the handlebars, let alone the hoods on the deep drop Cinelli bars that I used to ride on. Thirdly, 52/42 rings on a crankset with no heel clearance. I'm sure I didn't ride like a duck in my youth. Mountain bike cranks only just have heel clearance for me now when I'm using SPDs. And a 52 front ring... I'm never going to need one of those again.

A friend of mine (ex framebuilder) respaced the rear forks to 130mm for a modern wheelset, and I set about ordering stuff and getting my head around fitting a mountain bike crankset and derailleur to a frame that it wasn't designed for.

The front mech gave the most headaches, designed for a 50mm chainline. I'd got the cranks down to 46mm with the shortest bottom bracket I could find. The answer was a purpose made eccentic collar made from tuffnol on my lathe (see pic).

Othe bits made to measure are the cable stops for the gear cables on the downtube braze-ons and rear chainstay.

Last Thursday I got the chance to ride the old frame again... I wasn't disappointed. It was like magic. My rose tinted specs weren't wrong. Those old 531 frames ride just like I remembered. Ace...

BTW Frame No. WM4001667 and given the detail in the pics, can anyone help me put a model name to the frame? It used to have "Raleigh" in hollow vinyl cut letters on the downtube an has a Campagnolo transfer at the base of the seat tube. It was bought as a frame, not a bike.


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gear cable.jpg
gear cable.jpg [ 213.4 KiB | Viewed 710 times ]
fm collar.jpg
fm collar.jpg [ 186.98 KiB | Viewed 710 times ]
cable guide.jpg
cable guide.jpg [ 149.77 KiB | Viewed 710 times ]
Raleigh.jpg
Raleigh.jpg [ 219.74 KiB | Viewed 710 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:34 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:38 pm
Posts: 14
Another pic


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seat stay.jpg
seat stay.jpg [ 197.29 KiB | Viewed 709 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:17 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:22 pm
Posts: 1482
Nice story, enjoyed reading that! Bejebus, you must be tall though! :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 7:30 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:17 am
Posts: 881
Location: Norwich, UK
Nice bike


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