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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:31 pm
Posts: 9
Well, after it sitting in the barn for too long, and me discovering this forum I think I have found the enthusiasm to rebuild a ride from my youth. The story so far..
About 14 or so years old I was quite proud of my bike, a Raleigh Mtb, team banana I think. 531 steel frame, as was the fashion in the late 80s. It was quite good compared to the boat anchor I had before. Unfortunately I was t boned on it by a teacher on their way to school, which bent the frame but left the components undamaged. I knew of this old guy that made good frames out of a tiny and packed workshop in slough, and I'd always liked the look of them, a bit old fashioned but good. It's a hand made british 531 frame, bought from the guy that made it, in the way so little is available these days.

So, with the perfect excuse to get one I didn't waste time, and built it up with the bits from the crashed one, which were mid range suntour (not the best I know, but I was a kid, and they worked) and spent the next few years riding it everywhere. It proved almost indestructible, light and was a better bike than a lot of fancier stuff. I'd reckon it better than my modern alloy trek bike.
As is the way over a number of years bits got changed, and as eBay wasn't about then got left in a box. Eventually it was mostly stripped to make other things.. I was too fond of it to get rid, and having a barn storage was not a problem..

Fast forward to last week, I was introduced to this forum, and decided that it deserves to live, and seeing as I probably have the makings of it I should get I it back together. I have dragged it out of the barn, and have found the wheels, and indeed a possibly usable panaracer smoke back tyre.. Once my little fella goes to sleep I shall get back out there and look for more of the bits of it. The memories flood back.. When I work out how to get pics on here I shall post them up. Is there a section on hand made British stuff?
I am still debating with myself a few questions about it-
Do I repaint? It's a bit scruffy now, but it's original. I'd loose the stickers, but it would be smart again? Otherwise I reckon I should carefully clean it up and maybe lacquer it?
Do I go as I originally built it? Or do I throw whatever bits I find onto it? I have boxes of mostly working bits from various eras, and it had had a fair few of then on it over the years.. But do I go for extra retro points and put canti's back on it?

I have done a little looking about and Dave Russell frames have a small but strong following, so I think I need to do a good job of it.. Apparently he was well known as a builder from the old school, more known for his racing and lightweight road bikes than Mtbs. I'd forgotten how much this bike meant to me at the time, but it's been 20 years or more since it was my main bike..


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:55 pm 
West Midlands Deputy AEC
West Midlands Deputy AEC
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Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:30 pm
Posts: 3830
Location: Suffolk
Welcome to the site!

Please get some pics up of your Dave Russell :D


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:39 pm 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:08 am
Posts: 6851
Location: Nth Somerset, UK
Another warm welcome.

If it were mine, I would give the frame and components a really good clean, a bit of time, a couple of old tooth brushes and some warm soapy water can work wonders.

Once it's clean, then you have a much better idea of what you are working with. Take a look at some of the restorations in the road section of this forum and you will be amazed at some of the results. There are some talented restorers on this site, so look at some of the rebuilds and don't be afraid to ask the builder how they got the results, Sinnerman is particularly good at turning junk back into gold, as are several others.

As for what bits to use, that one's tough, especially as you have had the bike a long time. I think a look at what bits you have will help, and what is missing can most likely be found in the classifieds or on the bay.

One thing to remember about the frame is that 'it is only original once', and that the patina of use is irreplaceable.

Looking forward to seeing the pictures, once you work out how to post them (I host all mine in photobucket and copy'n'paste the direct links).


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:28 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:12 pm
Posts: 3050
Location: Yateley, Hants.
Welcome. Your Raleigh was a rare bike too, only 250 made, its taken me nearly 4 years of looking to find mine and I'm sure once the bug bites the search will start for one of your own. Enjoy your resto project.

Carl.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:06 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:42 pm
Posts: 3196
Sounds very nice, looking forward to pictures.

Have a gander here to see some quality Brit steel

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=188154


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:33 am 
Newbie

Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:31 pm
Posts: 9
Oh No! The raleigh is rare..! That sends up another problem.. I made that into an electric bike after straightening it out, I took all the stickers off it but it's still blue and yellow. It actually straightened up OK once I had picked up the skills and courage to give it a go. I built it up with leftovers and scrap bits. I had to file open the fork dropouts to fit the motor in, but I can always weld and grind them back to size..
I'm thinking I should put that back to rights, as I think I still have nearly if not all the bits, then work out what to do with Dave. There's me thinking this would be easy.
Done some more research - the stickers on Dave are DJR, which apparently means it's not made by him personally. That explains how I could afford it at the time, I seem to remember it being the cheapest (and therefore reachable) frame in his workshop..
Still not managed to get pics up? what size/type is allowed here, as am just getting a stock error message.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:01 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:12 pm
Posts: 3050
Location: Yateley, Hants.
Wow, can't believe you straightened it up! Pictures of mine are in my sig, it's still being built.

Could you check something for me? I am still trying to work out if my Raleigh forks are originals or replacements, mine have open ends and Gipemme dropouts (the frame has Shimano dropouts), are yours the same or something different?

Carl.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:38 pm 
Newbie

Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:31 pm
Posts: 9
From the pics on your thread, and my memory, they look right. I will see if I can see when I get home. Seeing the pics in your thread brought it all back to me! I'd been watching it in the bike shop for a year or so, then the price got dropped on it. Just after christmas, when I was flush with pressie money.

It survived a house move or two as a bent bare frame, then spent ten years hanging up on the wall in my barn. I never thought it was rare..! Fortunately it wasn't badly bent, one of the seatstays was pushed in 1.5'', too much for me to do when I was a kid, and my dad preferred me to get a new frame, which I did not exactly discourage. A little tweaking with some bits of wood and a press and you'd not know there'd been damage, the paint was undamaged. I have checked it as best I can (I'm a bike mechanic..) and it's been used since for a couple of years without incident on and off road. I wouldn't have been able to do that with an alloy frame!!!
I may have to either rename this thread, or start a new one methinks..


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:48 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:12 pm
Posts: 3050
Location: Yateley, Hants.
Nice to hear of another one, there's 3 on here now as I think Velomaniac has one in his collection, mine got it's first ride today to trial the stem choices I have and it was pretty good bar a couple of minor niggles.
Where did your one come from out of interest?

Carl.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:34 pm 
Newbie

Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:31 pm
Posts: 9
A place in Slough, on the way towards windsor I think? Many years ago. Very early 90s I think? Next to it in the shop was a folding Pashley mountain bike, which I'd never seen before, or indeed since. I've always liked the slightly less conventional stuff. They had lots of unusual bikes in that shop, not real expensive, but proper nearly affordable stuff. I have sketchy memories of it.
Velomaniac? Is he the rather tall fellow from scotland? If so I have him to blame for being here, I fixed his bike last weekend on his way to the snowed off lakes run! He let me know of this site by way of thanks..


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