I am a law student on a super tight budget (trying to make my 9 month financial aid package last for 12 because I'll be working for free over the summers). I managed to get a 1968 Raleigh Robin Hood 3-speed bike for free. It looks like this one: http://www.hampshirebicycleexchange.com/node/256. The bad news is that it's not in working order right now, and I don't have oodles of money to spend by taking it to my LBS and just asking them to do whatever needs to be done. I'm hoping to tackle whatever I can handle myself. I don't know about bikes and I don't have any special tools, but I am pretty smart and good at following directions. I also have a set of normal tools (wrenches, screwdrivers, etc). I'm hoping that someone can give me a list of what things I absolutely need to tackle before riding and in what order. Here are a few of the things I've noticed from looking at the bike:
-Gear and break cable plastic tubing seems worn/slightly frayed in some areas. (photos ahead)
-Some rust removal which doesn't look too complicated. (Handlebar photos)
-The chain seems to run, but is rusty so I'm not sure if it needs heavy duty cleaning or just replacing (photos).
-Front tire seems to be the original dunlop and still holds air but looks like it's got small cracks from weathering and there's a spot where it bulges a bit (see photos). Back tire I think was replaced at some point but doesn't hold air so I think it needs replacing (at least the tube, but maybe the tire as well since it also has a weathered look).
-Breaks actually seem to break but are really tough to operate; I'm not sure if it's the cables that need replacing or if they just need cleaning/lubricating.
-It has a Sturmey-Archer internal rear hub and I have no idea if I need to pull the whole thing apart somehow or if I just need to pour some kind of lubricant/oil into it through the lubrication opening. If it just needs oil, what kind of oil is best for this type of mechanism. If it needs pulling apart, is it the kind of thing that I can just tackle with patience if I pay attention to what order I pull it apart in order to put back together correctly.
-I think the rims are out of alignment and need truing, but that's probably something I'll have to get the professionals to do, right?
-Seat is the original Brooks mattress seat. It seems like it's in fine shape aside from some rust on the springs.
-Fenders are pretty uneven/off-kilter. Is this just a matter of bending back into place?
I imagine I should just start by cleaning it. Can I use regular soap and water on the frame? Also, does anyone have any idea how much money whatever I need to do to this bike could run? I'm thinking if I do whatever I can myself it'll pay off since this is a good bike, right? It's just for me to ride and hopefully become my main form of transportation in Boston.
I really don't mind doing the work slowly, even though I am eager to get on it and ride. Even if you can just give me your opinion on the bike and what the first thing I should do is, I really appreciate it. I'm so sorry to write so much, but I know from looking around these forums that sometimes it's frustrating for people trying to help when the OP doesn't give enough photos/information. I attached a bunch of photos (tried to put more photos but the site wouldn't allow it). Btw, the person who gave me the bike has kept it in the garage for many years.
Thanks so much, and please let me know if I'm doing anything wrong/annoying in my posts. Cheers!