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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:25 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:17 pm
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Location: Norn Iron
Having reached the grand old age of 44, i discovered that my waist line was trying to catch up with my age. In order to remedy this i have started a diet and now i need to exercise. Having ridden in TT's in my much younger days and put in a lot of miles, i decided to visit the attic and bring down my old bike. It is a Raleigh Rapide from 1983 (30yrs old next year), for those who may not know this bike it was in the same catalogue as the Road Ace. I wiped some dust away and decided to put new tyres and tubes on and see if i could get it up and running. I accomplished this after a visit to a local bike shop.

Unfortunately (maybe not), whilst at the bike shop i bought a new bike! The salesman did not have to try too hard and i am getting a good deal on everything (i need absolutely everything). I will get it next Wednesday and i am rather excited about the prospect but that leaves me with a quandry - what about my old bike?

The details are as follows - 1983 Raleigh Rapide Reynolds 531 frame and i have added parts to it - Shimano 600ax brakes (centre/parapull), Shimano 600ax Rear Mech, Shimano 600ax seat post, Concor Profil aero seat, aero gear levers (perhaps carbon - memory is fading) and the wheels are Mavic rims with Mallard hubs the rear has a helicomatic cassette (perhaps it may be called something close to that).

I have all the original parts except the seat (although it may turn up in the attic). The bike originally had Campag front and rear mechs although not top of the range, Weinmann brakes - not aero, Weinmann wheels and hubs. The paintwork requires attention as it has a few scrapes etc from the many miles the bike has travelled and strangely the touch-up paint i used on it has faded to a yellow - the bike is pearl in colour. The other problem is brake hoods - which have turned from their original skin (gum) colour to black! The black colour may be caused my a fungus type organism and will clean off with a lot of elbow grease but the hoods are starting to crack with old age (like me!) and seem difficult to source on line (unless someone knows different).

I want to keep the bike but my quandary is -
Should i restore it to its' original condition?
Should i try and complete the 600ax groupset?
Should i get it resprayed?
Should i leave it as it is? (i do not like this option)


I would like to get some use out of it - perhaps on my turbo trainer and i do not want it gathering dust.

Any advice about my quandary would be greatly appreciated.

I posted this on another forum and was directed here - thanks to the chap who re-directed me


Last edited by TGR on Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:08 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:40 pm 
retrobike rider
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Location: Nth Somerset, UK
Welcome to the forum, you have come to the right place :twisted:

I am a roadie newbie, having been a retro mtb'er since before we were retro.

First off, I doubt it needs a respray, I think with a good wash a bit of T-cut and a polish will make it look a lot better. The battle scars are to be cherished, as they add character.

Next, please don't consign it to the turbo, all that sweat and carbon dioxide is not good for the poor chap.

Last; I think the answer of what to do with it lies within; what would YOU like to do with the bike?

Personally, I'd probably complete the updates, but there are many here who would love to see you restore it to factory spec.

Most importantly you must RIDE IT. Even if only on happy days and holidays in summer, but it must be ridden, after all, that is what it was built for.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:53 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Location: Norn Iron
The battle scars are unsightly and the yellowing touch-up paint does little to help. The bike has a lot of wear where the cables have rubbed through the paint and one fork is badly marked (icy road related scrape).

I might try to add some pics later tonight to give an idea of what it looks like.

Thanks for the advice.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:58 pm 
retrobike rider
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See, you already know what you want to do :wink:

I predict a full resto coming up.

Pictures! Ohh we love pictures.

Sounds like you have a great project, I look forward to seeing it progress.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:08 pm 
Retro Guru
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Location: Birmingham
Helicomatics - how we love 'em! :lol:

A few more posts and you should be able to post photos of your pride and joy which, in my opinion, you ought to restore to original condition and ride on the good days when you want to enjoy the open road. Sounds far too good a beast to be shackled to a turbo trainer.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:48 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:17 pm
Posts: 3775
Location: Norn Iron
The pics may show the yellowing touch-up paint on the fork leg and the black growth on the hoods - i have sorta cleaned one a bit.

Opinions as to paintwork please. Apologies for my poor photography - first time i have done this.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:44 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:17 pm
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Location: Norn Iron
I have been looking at various Rapides using the search facilty and i am confused by the front forks. If you can see in the pics the top of the fork leg is bevelled - the closest fork leg i can see is on a Raleigh Corsa which was Reynolds 501. Can anyone enlighten me as to what type of forks are on my Rapide.

Based on the guidance provided i 'think' i might try and complete the 600ax groupset and ride it - but this will be very dependent on cost.

Any further guidance is greatly appreciated.

Thanks (again)


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:26 pm 
Road Moderator
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Personally I'd:

Get the frame resprayed, pearl white doesn't age well in my experience. Ice blue or something would be nice.

Refit the original parts

Sell the 600AX parts and recoupe some of your costs

Or

Sell the whole thing as it is and enjoy your new bike!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:16 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Posts: 3775
Location: Norn Iron
Thanks, but i have thought about selling and that is not an option for me. Too many good memories on it! And it was my last big birthday present from my father.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:18 pm 
Road Moderator
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Good call, you'd instantly regret it....

For sentimental reasons I'd restore as close to original as possible. Full pearl white respray, replica decals from H Lloyd and original spec.


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