This was my first proper racer back in 1988/89. Santa delivered me a shiney new Raleigh Criterium and my younger Brother got a HiTen Raleigh Banana
After my first season racing as a schoolboy, and once my Dad knew i was serious about the sport, the Criterium became my winter trainer as i got to build up a new 531 racebike. Various parts were upgraded and added including mudguards and many a mile was racked up through all weathers. My Dad used the old Raleigh for leisure/fitness riding and it became affectionately know as 'Blue Bird'
I decided to give Blue Bird a good service, which turned into a total renovation job. The old girl had served my Dad and I well over all the years and she was looking a bit sorry for herself.
The bike was stripped completely and i decided to give it a complete respray and colour change to liven it up a bit. Whilst sanding the frame, i removed the mudguard eyes & pump peg just to let Blue Bird know that her days of slogging through wet and salty roads were over
She had deserved this, so i thought i'd do it right and she could enjoy retirement.
I decided on the white/black scheme in a bid to keep things subtle and retro. The Criterium is made from Reynolds 501, not 531, but i had an old set of 531 decals lying around and decided just to use them.
Blue Bird or 'magpie' as i guess she will have to be called now
had a mixed selection of components gathered up and added over the years, so i tried to fit a complete Shimano 1055 groupset as best as i could. The only original parts to survive are the seatpost and the Weinmann brake calipers due to the longer reach and nut fitting.
I am really pleased with how the old girl turned out and glad to say that it rides very well indeed. It had been many years since i was last out on the road on it, and was pleasantly surprised, with how comfortable and smooth the bike is. The Criterium will be looked after now in retirement with no nasty winter rides ever again
Frame: Reynolds 501 Raleigh Criterium
Stem: Cinelli 1A
Bar Tape: white cork
Brake Levers: Shimano 1055
Brake Calipers: original Weinmann Carrera
Brake Pads: Modolo
Shifters: Shimano 1055
Front Derailleur: Shimano 1055
Rear Derailleur: Shimano 1055
Cassette: Sachs 13-21
Cranks: Shimano 500EX
Chainrings: Shimano 52-39
Bottom Bracket: FAG sealed
Pedals: Time Equipe
Rims: Campagnolo Omega
Hubs: Campagnolo Chorus
Hub Skewers: Campagnolo
(photo shows Mavic Mach 2CD/Dura Ace wheelset)
Saddle: Turbo GEL
Seatpost: original SK Sakae