Hi there. I recently acquired a beat-up, spray-painted Raleigh Edge. The components appear to be original and are mostly as listed here with the exception of 175mm Sugino crank arms, a weathered saddle, and a lower serial number. The tires are shot, with several unsightly bulges in the sidewalls, and the chain is stretched by about 3/16" per 12". Other than that the bike appears to be in decent working order.
Can anyone offer a general idea as to what I have? I don't know much about cycling in general or in specific, beyond what I've read on Sheldon Brown's masterful site and what I've turned up here and there. Basically, I'd like to know if this bike has any value as a collectible, and whether you think it will be an effective commuter and touring vehicle. That is to say, I don't expect to use it for trials or even off-road, so an additional question is, will putting slicks, fenders and panniers on it be a travesty against MTB ethics? Or, should I get my $30 back out of it and find a decent road-bike?
The paint job doesn't help out at all in determining the value of this bike. Back in the mid to late eighties, it seems that there was a war between Shimano and everyone else for market domination. This bike seems to be marketed more for stunt ability than racing or commuting. If you want some speed when riding, you'll need a bigger rear wheel. I would poach the good stuff from the bike and look for a decent used rigid mountain.
+1 Strip the good parts. By your description, I would call your bike a donor, very little value, but some good reusable components. You can find nice rigid frame mountain bikes around here all the time for around $100. Post a wanted to buy frame in your local Craigs List and someone probably has one in the $25 to $50 range.
gurry: can you elaborate on why a bigger rear wheel will help with speed? Is it due its effects on the gain ratio, or to stability, or to something else?
I've decided to perform the minor maintenance needed to get this thing rideable - I've replaced the tires (with knobbies, blech) and the chain - and to keep my eyes on CL for frames or whatever else catches my eye. Depending on what happens I may donate it to the Derailer Bicycle Collective after I've replaced it. I completed the maintenance today and so felt safe riding it for the first time, and it was very nice to ride a bike again. Now to get the derailers and brakes dialed in and I'll be set.
Back in the mid ninties, I wanted a new bike to replace a 12 year old 12 speed road bike and strolled into an LBS for the very first time. After being overwhelmed with all the different bikes on the market, I had a nice chat with the salesperson. He asked me where I will be riding and I said to work. I also pointed out those newfangled mountain bikes and said I like the handlebar set-up as I was getting tired of the hunched down approach of the road bikes. He brought me over to the hybrid bikes and pointed out to me that I will be able to Maintain Good Speed with the 700c wheels compared with the 26's on mountain bikes. I bought the hybrid for around 500 bucks and still have it! Since then, I've rediscovered those old road bikes, they call them lightweights for a reason.
The bike you have of course is equipped with a 24 inch rear wheel and a 26 inch front wheel. That is an odd ball set-up, though it might do really well climbing hills. Fix it up. The bike may be a hill eater like no other bike out there!