Bicycle Mechanics - Restoring an old bike
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I bought recently an old Raleigh hybrid bike on a college for ten pounds. My objective is to bring it back to working order so that my girlfriend can use it when she visits me on the UK. Which normally only happens 4 or 5 weeks a year.
For that reason I don't want to spend the earth just making an nice looking bike that works without much trouble when required. The main problem with it was that the chain and rear dérailleur is completely rusted and so they both need replacement.
Now the problem begins. The wheel has a six gears that I suspect are free-wheels. But the gear lever is rubbish as well but I cannot find any six speeds suitable one. Can I change the wheel to a 7 speed free wheel and that way pair with a more decent gear shifter. I don't need a front dérailleur since it is a single disc crank wheel. Can someone tell me if for hybrid bikes I can use the normal MTB components or they are specific? Also do I need a direct fit or one of that hangs from the frame?
So after a some thinking I think I need the following components:
Rear Wheel 700c
6 or possible 7 speeds freewheel
New brake and gear cables
Tyres (The one it has are heavy used)
New vintage handlebar (No idea how to attach this to the frame)
Based on this can anyone give me suggestions for what components to get?
Thank you in advance,
09-16-10, 02:51 PM
Just a warning....I started an upgrade on my old 93' Raleigh about 2 months ago and by the time I finished, had spent approx. $400 for components and ended up with a bike that didn't have a trace of the Raleigh!! Of course, it might just be my 'OCD' kicking in.....good luck with your project, but bear in mind, it may be more financially responsible/reasonable to pick up a used bike that already is set up for your needs!
Seems to me a big decision point is whether you really need a new rear wheel or not. If the wheel is straight and rolls well, a little rust probably won't mean anything. a 6 speed is most likely a freewheel. You should be able to fit a 7 speed freewheel on there as the spacing is normally the same (check if it's 126 mm between the dropouts on the frame). 6 speed and 7 speed freewheels are readily available in the US. I would think they would be in UK as well.
A shifter is tougher. If you want indexed shifting, probably tough to find anything 6 speed, but I think you can still get 7's. Just depends on what type you want (frame mount, stem mount, etc.) But if the current is friction, you can probably clean it up and get it functional pretty easily unless it is bent or missing parts.
For the derailleur, you would just match the type that is on there. If the current one has a built in hanger, get the same.
I would say new brake cables, pads, tubes and tyres are a given. This is safety stuff so get something decent.
Changing bars is either simple or more complex depending on what you're changing to/from. Would need more detail.
Unless you have to change wheels or really change the whole bar/lever set up, you can probably get in in good shape pretty cheap. But +1 on amillerinmaine's point. Really go through and decide what you're going to do before you start buying stuff. If you just buy things and throw them on without a plan, you can end up spending what you would ahve paid for a new bike pretty quick.
I will measure my frame and report the results. I also brought a new wheel for free with the bike that fits freewheel. The one I have is pretty wasted but I guess adding a new one to the budget is pretty cheap.
The one currently installed is friction (that I really hate and I know my girlfriend will never be able to use it) but if I can fit a 7speed freewheel my available range of choices will increase to the double.
For the derailleur I can get the sram x3 or x4 for about £15 which is not that different from the shimano altus or acera. Which one is the best budget one?
I wasn't considering the tyres and tubes as being mandatory but given your advice I might starting consider them.
I will try to post some pictures of the current handle bar and the final style I want to get. I am definitely trying to control my instincts of just search on-line and buy a lot of stuff that I don't really need. That is the main reason why I came to search for your advice.
Thank you once more for all the answers and advice is really appreciated.
I have just measure the space between the frame but instead of the 126mm that you mention I have 133mm. What is this supposed to mean that I can still fit a 7 speed freewheel?
09-17-10, 04:44 PM
If you really need all that stuff unless you can score all the stuff used you're looking at a pretty princely sum to restore a 10 Pound bike. Far better to just write it off as bad money and buy a 40 to 50 Pound bike that needs nothing but some general cleaning, relubing and maybe new cables and housings and maybe brake pads and tires. More than that and the price goes up to where it's just not economically sensable.
Let make myself clear then. The only thing I really really need is a rear derailleur. The other things I want to change is either because they are in bad cosmetic quality and worned out. So your advice of going to an used bike is getting some in the quality of the components I have fitted and working at the moment.
Here are some photos of the parts I am replacing. I have also included the second wheel I got which I am consider using instead of the original one.
09-18-10, 01:37 AM
Based on the pics, if the spokes, etc are corroded that badly, I can only imagine that the cables and bearings will be shot as well. You might be in for a major overhaul with alot of new parts to make the bike somewhat safe and rideable. Does the frame show any signs of rust or corrosion?
If you are comfortable wrenching on bicycles (it sounds like you might have the interest but not much experience) you can do an overhaul for the cost of parts plus your time (assuming you have the tools). If you have a shop do it, the cost in labor alone will make the project more expensive than the bike is worth.
Let's see some pics of the frame, brakes, etc. to get a better assessment of the condition.
Based on what I've seen so far, I'd look for a used bike in working condition.
At this point, you are in it for 10 quid. I'd write it off as a couple of pints gone and move on.
I have experience in maintaining the brakes gears and so one. Appart from that I never actually assemble any of the components. But like you said I am interested in doing it because it sounds like a good and fun experience. I also have several spares from other bike that I throw away.
Regarding the frame, it show some signs of corrosion but nothing that seems major to me to be honest. The brakes seem to be in good condition as well but I will take some pictures and get back to you.
Thank you again,
Based on the couple of pics you posted so far, I would be really careful putting much money into that bike. I would definitely not be spending bucks on wheels, etc.
As far as shifters, here in the states I can buy 6 speed Shimano indexed thumb shifters, complete with cables, for $10. Six speed stuff is readily available. When you want to upgrade to more speeds, I would toss this bike and find another one that already has what you want on it.
garage sale GT
09-18-10, 08:12 AM
The rustiness of the spokes suggests they may start breaking when you start to use the bike. However, IMHO, the internal workings may have been protected by lubricant. It is possible a bit of oil is all it needs. A freewheel usually wears out when the teeth wear down so much that the chain skips a few teeth when you try to pedal hard. It could be OK under the rust.
The other rim looks like a Velocity road rim. If the bike was originally for 26" mtb size wheels, the road wheel's rim may not align with the brakes. Check before spending anything rehabbing it.
7 speed components require 130mm or 135mm rear spacing. If your frame is steel it can be spread carefully, but if it's aluminum then it's not safe. However, new or used, you could find the right wheel fairly easily.
I noticed that when I change the tyre from one wheel to the other the second one has slightly larger rim. I will fit it today and see if it is ok. The rust has invaded the interior of the rim on the first wheel so migth be a good idea to replace it completely.
I have upload photos of the frame and brakes as well as some photos of the replacement saddle and handle bar I want to install.
The distance between the frame is 133mm so it will feet a 7 speed freewheel I guess.
Thank you in advance.
Doesn't look so bad to me. I'd definitely use the replacement wheel if it will fit with clearance for the tire and if the brakes will line up. Since you already have a 6 speed shifter, I'd go 6. But you should be able to fit a 7 without a problem. Tires don't even look that bad. But if they have fine cracks all over them (dried out), I'd get new tires and tubes. Get tires with kevlar belts to avoid flats if possible. Note that if your wheel are different sizes, get the right tires (26 x 1 3/8 is NOT the same as 26 x 1.5). Definitely a new chain and if you buy a new freewheel, get a wider gear spread.
Try turning all the bearing sets by hand. If it is really rough/loose/crackling...maybe rethink project.
09-21-10, 08:45 PM
Before putting any money into an old Raleigh, make sure to measure the width of the BB shell. If the width is 71mm keep in mind that you will not be able to replace the BB, if the width is 68mm or 73mm than replacements are availible.
09-22-10, 01:33 AM
This bike is going to run you into a lot of money really quickly. With the need for a replacement wheel you just hit the economical wall. It was bad enough that it needed a new chain, brake cables and housings and a few other bits and peices. But add on the cost of even a decent older wheel and this thing just went over the top of the price to payback cut and run line.
Before you buy anything for this old clunker shop around for what you'll need and what it'll cost. Now look for some GOOD old bikes in rideable or near rideable condition and I'll bet you can find them for what your budget would be just for the replacement parts for this bike. Seriously, with the rusty chain and rusty steel rims this bike SHOULD have been given to you for nothing because frankly that is what it is worth.
I have tried the new wheel and it fits and the brakes align with the rim so I will give it a go. I also remembered I have a 6 speed freewheel in good shape from other bike so I might keep it in the end. That means I only need a new gear shifter and rear derailleur.
I took a look at the inner tube and tyres and they are better than the ones I have on my second hand giant rock that cost me £100 a year ago so I will keep it. I don't need new outer cables the old ones are in good condition and new brake cables cost £4 for 2 Deore/XT so not really a problem.
But I will clean it properly and look at all the bearings during the weekend and then decide what to do next.
Thank you once more.
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