TWO RATHER DIFFERENT TAKES ON YOUR COMMON OR GARDEN LADIES RALEIGH STEP-THRU...
First up was this tatty old Cameo. Brought to me by my good friend Karl to restore for his girlfriend, the old dear (the Cameo, not Karl's lass) is now back on the road after a complete strip down and rebuild. I kept it as original as possible with just new tyres & tubes, cotterpins, a NOS chrome bell, headset bearings and a nicer seatpost.
The original wicker basket is due to be fitted as soon as I find some suitable straps, and I have no explanation for the bronze colour forks…
It runs sweetly now, and I'm particularly happy with the chromework – especially the Brooks saddle springs on which I worked my fingers to the bone!
I picked up this Chiltern Lady cheap - in very
nasty condition - and went to town on ie completely custom! Admittedly not to everyone's taste, but I think the colour scheme works well... I guess I went for a '30 US gangland car look!?
The frame, forks, mudguards, chainguard, handlebars and stem were stripped and powdercoated in contrasting celeste and white colours, and I sourced and fitted a vintage Raleigh seatpost clamp with matching headbadge and a New Old Stock Raleigh decal. The headset and bottom bracket bearing have been overhauled, and the seatpost, brakes, cranks, kickstand, mudguard reflector and pedals have been restored to somewhere close to their former glory, complemented by a period-correct Selle ladies saddle. I made a leather mudflap for the front mudguard and fitted new turquoise Oury grips, white brake cables and a New Old Stock chrome bell. I also fitted brand new all-alloy singlespeed wheels with new whitewall 26 x 1 3/8" Michelin tyres, Hermann’s rim tape and new silver alloy valve caps. The all-alloy wheels have transformed it from a podgy 35lb+ lump into a relatively lightweight (29lb) bicycle, and the rims give much improved braking performance over the original chrome steel. The saddle, tyres, grips and original rubber pedals give a fairly smooth and cushioned ride quality, and the singlespeed transmission has further dropped the weight and reduced likelihood of gear-slippage to zero!
Frame: Raleigh Chiltern Lady (celeste powdercoated)
Fork: original (celeste powdercoated)
Headset: original (restored)
Stem: steel riser (celeste powdercoated)
Handlebar: steel riser (white powdercoated)
Grips: Oury (new)
Brake Levers: original (restored)
Brake Calipers: original (restored)
Brake Cables: white
Cassette: 1/8" single freewheel (new)
Cranks: original (restored)
Chainrings: original (restored)
Bottom Bracket: original (restored)
Pedals: original rubber (restored)
Rims: alloy (new)
Hubs: alloy (new)
Hub Skewers: nutted front, track nuts on rear (new)
Tyres: Michelin World Tour whitewall 26 x 1 3/" (new)
Valve caps: alloy bullet type (new)
Seatpost Binder: Raleigh
Extras: original mudguards and chainguard (powdercoated), bespoke mudflap (new), wicker basket (new)
Weight: 29 lb
More info and pics here: