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Old 07-21-10, 08:45 PM   #1
Northorne
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Complete Rebuild

So I'm in the midst of rebuilding a used raliegh I baught on craigslist.
I've stripped it down completely and went to work on all the mechanical elements with simple green and a toothbrush.

I'm making a list of items to be replaced while I wait for the frame to get back from the powder-coater.

1. Brake/gearshift lines - The old ones are stiff, rusted, and gummy with crud.
2. Brake pads - The old ones work but this just seems like a good idea.
3. Chain - I dont know when it was replaced. If its loose can I simply take a link out?
4. Headset - old style bearings, I cleaned them and they look ok but new ones are cheap so why not.
5. Bottom bracket - old bearings are rusted, pitted, and outdated.
6. I would like to stick with my current cassette and crank. What are some indicators of critical wear on these items?
7. Rear de-railer cogs??

This is my first bike and I want to do it right! Any additional service items or input on a component I mentioned will be SUPER helpful and very much appreciated =)

Thanks!
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Old 07-21-10, 10:16 PM   #2
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Sounds like you're off to a good start. Take lots and lots of photographs as you go. You'll be glad later that you did.

It also helps with questions, as they arise.

Only one comment for the moment: If your BB bearings are in bad shape, you'd better take a close and careful look at the BB races. If they're pitted, you may need a new BB. In which case, you might consider going with a sealed bearing unit. But that's just an idea. Check out those cups, first.

You live in a city filled with experts. Advice and spare parts should be easily available. You're lucky!

Have fun.
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Old 07-22-10, 04:22 AM   #3
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Yeah I'm totally with you on the new sealed BB bearing unit. Thanks!
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Old 07-22-10, 05:16 AM   #4
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I just had a sealed unit put in, very simple. As for brake pads I wouldn't sweat that unless they are badly worn. Otherwise sounds like your on top of it. What kind of bike is it?
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Old 07-22-10, 05:47 AM   #5
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One point, if you're dealing with a Raleigh. Some of the older ones used non-standard threading for the headset and bottom bracket. Replacements may be hard to come by. How old is the bike?
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Old 07-22-10, 10:33 AM   #6
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A note on the chain. You don't remove a link when it's too worn. You replace it. Chain has a pitch of 1/2 inch so what you can do is use a 12 inch good quality ruler with fine lines. Line up the edge of a pin at one end and look at the other end for the pin there to line up at the same place. If it's over by up to 1/16 it's OK or near to gone depending on how close it is to being a full 1/16 inch too long. If the pin there is past 1/16 inch then replace the chain without question.

With a crankset it's often hard to tell when the teeth are worn too far. I then to go with how much of a hook there is on the pressure side that hooks and pushes against the chain rollers. With a lot of use and wear this edge mushrooms over and you can hook a fingernail on the curl of metal along the edge of the tooth.

At the rear it's much the same thing again along with carefully looking at the shape for signs of bad hooking. But with modern teeth it's often hard to tell for sure if they are misshapen or not since they are highly unsymetrical even new out of the box. So what most of us do is ride them until the chain starts to skip over the teeth due to not being able to lay cleanly in the gullets. You'll first feel this when riding up a steep hill or when going for a big burst of speed in a small rear sprocket.
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Old 07-22-10, 01:48 PM   #7
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I'm not sure! I'm guessing its around 20-30 years old. How do I check?
Also, is it possible to have it re-threaded to a standard size at a machine shop?
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Old 07-22-10, 01:49 PM   #8
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PS Thanks BCRider, super helpful!
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Old 07-23-10, 08:35 AM   #9
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With regards to bottom brackets and headsets, it is possible to machine them to standard threading, but the threads won't be that strong, as the actual diameters of the threads are the same on Raleighs as they are on standard bikes, so you'll have missing threads. The good news is, if it has a derailleur, it probably isn't old enough to have the proprietary Raleigh threading anyway.
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Old 07-23-10, 08:46 AM   #10
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The good news is, if it has a derailleur, it probably isn't old enough to have the proprietary Raleigh threading anyway.
That's not correct. A friend has an early 1970's "10-speed" (a true 2x5 10-speed) Raleigh road bike and it certainly has front and rear derailleurs and it also has Raleigh's proprietary bottom bracket and headset threading. Any Raleigh built before the mid-80's is suspect.

To the OP: take the frame to a bike shop and try an "English" threaded bottom bracket cup in the bottom bracket shell. If they thread in only a turn or so but then get too tight, the threading is Raleigh's proprieary and you will have a lot of problems finding replacements.
Phil wood does sell Raleigh threaded bottom bracket cups but like all PW components, they are expensive.
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Old 07-24-10, 01:41 AM   #11
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.....Also, is it possible to have it re-threaded to a standard size at a machine shop?
Anything is possible but the cost in this case would not justify the effort on such an old and outmoded frame that is not some highly sought after classic. If it does turn out that you have the proprietary BB threading then it's time to sigh and call it quits on this one and move on to a new project that uses a newer source of inspirational components.
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Old 07-24-10, 07:11 AM   #12
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I'm not sure! I'm guessing its around 20-30 years old. How do I check?
Also, is it possible to have it re-threaded to a standard size at a machine shop?
Try a known English threaded cup as I suggested above. English and Raleigh threading are the same diameter but the thread pitch is just different enough to prevent interchangability. English is 24 threads/inch (tpi) and Raleigh was 26tpi. The English cup will start into Raleigh threading but will bind after a turn or so.

As to rethreading Raleigh to English, the fact they are the same diameter makes this iffy. The resulting retapped threads will be weak and unreliable. You could have the bb shell reamed and rethreaded to Italian threads which are larger diameter than either English or Raleigh but, as BCRider noted, the cost is probably not justified.

If the current bb cups are in adequate condition but the spindle is scored, you may be able to find a replacement spindle and reuse the cups. We did just that on a friends old Raleigh.
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Old 07-24-10, 11:49 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
Anything is possible but the cost in this case would not justify the effort on such an old and outmoded frame that is not some highly sought after classic. If it does turn out that you have the proprietary BB threading then it's time to sigh and call it quits on this one and move on to a new project that uses a newer source of inspirational components.
Alternatively, if the cups are still usable, just find the appropriate replacement spindle. If they're not usable, install a cheap threadless cartridge bottom bracket.
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Old 07-26-10, 11:47 AM   #14
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My existing cups are good but the breaings are done. Installing a threadless bracket between cups seems like the best way to go. The frame should be powdercoated now, and dont really want to make a wall hanging out of it. Should get the frame back in a day or so. I'm going to cross my fingers and hope its standard size and threading!

Last edited by Northorne; 07-26-10 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 07-26-10, 11:57 AM   #15
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The threadless BB's use tapered split cone sleeves to wedge themselves in place. No need to bore or anything else out the threads unless you find that the rings used to wedge them are not screwing in far enough to clear the pedal cranks. And if it turns out that they aren't going in far enough just some light sanding to remove the first few thou of the crests of the old threading should give you the room needed to get the setup to bed down in good form. Google for "velo orange" and check their site to find what you need.
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