The Finished Article
Frame and Fork:
The frame and fork are unchanged from how they arrived. It has been treated to a few layers of wax and a few new decals, but apart from that all it’s ‘history’ remains intact.
The wheels consist of Weinmann Bontrager blue/red spot rims built with DT Swiss double butted spokes onto an M900 XTR hub on the rear and a Hope Titanium blue anodised hub on the front. They are held to the chassis by M900 XTR skewers, I did toil with using more modern titanium ones but stayed with the period ones in the end. The tyres currently fitted are Continental Cross Country 1.9”, these aren’t the original specced ones as Continental Supercross/Baja’s were the tyres of choice for the Raleigh team, but I’ve been unable to source more than one of these.
The brakes are a full set of M900 XTR cantilevers complete with immaculate original pads. The pads will be changed for riding as they are getting rare and modern pads will perform better. The cantilevers are connected to the M900 XTR STI’s via modern XTR v-brake cables with XTR grey outers. I don’t feel any shame with using modern cables and pads as these will mean less maintenance for me and consistent performance for the rider.
As previously mentioned the shifters are M900 XTR STI units. The left side is an NOS unit that Adrian kindly supplied, the right side has been stripped, cleaned and lubricated. These are connected to the M900 XTR front and rear mech via modern XTR cables with XTR grey outers. The front mech is again supplied by Adrian and is working fantastic with the NOS shifter. The rear mech was sourced from retrobike and completed the XTR groupset.
The cranks are XTR M900 units once again, the XTR detailing was sadly missing from these so I polished these to a high finish with wet and dry and Autosol. These are attached to the bottom bracket by Middleburn self extracting units, the original crank bolts were titanium bolts with washers, but to save the crank threads I’ve gone with these instead. The bottom bracket is a lightweight TA Titanium spindled unit 68x107mm, I found this on Ebay for just £25, it might not be the original but I feel it fit’s the project well.
The UN-91 chain is propelled by an NOS XTR M900 12-28t cassette at the rear and mixture of rings at the front. The outer and middle rings are M900 46 and 36t respectively, but the inner is a no name titanium unit of 24t. These are bolted to the cranks using original Shimano bolts for the inner and Middleburn blue anodised bolts for the middle/outer chain rings.
After taking the bike for a quick shakedown this morning I must say that I’m really impressed by the shifting performance and gearing.
X-lite is the order of the day up front with X-lite’s period L-bend bar ends and titanium bars. Both the original bars and bar ends have been replaced as they had the smallest of bends in them, I’d of lived with this but the paranoia of handing this bike to a pro made me think twice. The grips are NOS ODI Attacks which I believe to be original, Adrian assures me only Baker used grip tape instead of gips to save weight. These are mounted to a refurbished Syncros 140mm Cattleprod stem. The steering is turned by an NOS XTR threaded headset which suit’s the bike nicely and is silky smooth.
The saddle is an NOS Selle San Marco Bontrager Titanium unit all the way from the US and is mounted to a USE titanium 25.0mm seat post. The post it came with was a Kalloy unit which Adrian believes might be original, sadly it kept slipping and tilting the saddle back, so as Baker used a USE titanium unit I decided that this post was fitting enough for this project. The post is shimming into the bike using a USE 25.0-26.0mm shim.
The pedals are NOS M737 Shimano SPD’s all the way from Portugal.
I started this project looking for the bikes original spec, I soon realised this wasn’t an exact science. Looking through old pics of the bike and it’s sister bikes they were all different and changed by the week. Baker’s had a bit of everything, Hinton’s was kitted out in all USE components and the rest of the teams bikes were all different.
I’m glad that I refrained from repainting it, I like it more just as it is. It’s battle scars are what show it’s character and history. Gil_m as ever has come up trumps with the decals, the X-lite ones he came up with from scratch and give it a real works look. I think the brand naming on a bike such as this is very important, BITD we would have been looking at what brands our favourite riders were using for our own bikes and i'm sure brands like X-lite, Shimano, Cheng-Shin and Continental would have made great efforts to have their brand on clear display.
The bike looks great, rides fantastic and regularly brings a smile to my face. I'm really glad I bought it and restored it. Hope you’ve enjoyed seeing it built up and maybe brought back some memories for you.
Finally a few thank you’s (very sorry to anyone I‘ve missed):
Gil_m, EdEdwards, Fluffy Chicken, Kaiser, Mazdaman1980, Reanimation, Old Ned, Rich, ocset, dyna-ti, 8lezard, Gravy Monster, John, Stuflyer, NickD, Geoff, stuartg, Huntso, Lewis 1641, Dr. S, Clunker, Chaser, flyingwelshman (62kg wet through he assures me!), orange retro, jonnyboy666, Pickle, PeeBeds, BikesINPortlandOREGON, longun, slinky182, long beech, DAVE O, Guybe, CTK, Russell, Elev12k, MikeD, red_dread, pete_mcc, gibbleking, Dave H, BONTY1, boxxer, richardf, nuno, slim Joe, coudroyboy
Thank you gents, your comments, advice, parts and encouragement have really helped with this project. Special thanks to Adrian Timmis for the parts and putting up with my pestering these past months. I might retract this if he stacks the Raleigh this weekend though!