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  1. #1
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    Anyone Know Anything About Raleigh Sprites from 1975?

    Hi. My parents have had two identical bikes sitting in their shed for as long as I can remember. I investigated the other day and found them to be Raleigh Sprites. My father said he bought them around 1975.

    There isn't much info on the bike I can reference. It says, "20-30 High Carbon Tubing". It was made in Nottingham England.

    Something says, "model C" on the metal rack in the back, but I'm not sure if that is in reference to the rack or the bike.

    My parents have mentioned an interest in selling these bikes, and I'm wondering if there is any value in them. They were barely used and are in good condition. A few scratches on the paint.

    I've attached a picture of what the bike looks like.

    So my questions:

    1) Would this be considered a touring bike?
    2) What is the bike worth?
    3) The bike is quite heavy compared to a modern bike. Is it made from outdated material?
    4) Is there anything particularly interesting or of high quality about the model?
    5) I can't find much in the way of a model number. Would it be hidden somewhere?

    Thanks.
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  2. #2
    Wrench Savant balindamood's Avatar
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    I have a yellow one hanging in the barn. It was my father's bike, and I rode it al over Tokyo in the early '80's. Beyond the sentimental value, they are not condiferd to be worth much, but good examples are getting hard to find. If you like it, ride it. If not, sell it and get something you do like.
    "Where you come from is gone;
    where you are headed weren't never there;
    and where you are ain't no good unless you can get away from it."

  3. #3
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    A few more questions:

    1) What is the best way to sell a bike? I imagine shipping would be very expensive, so would I use craigslist to advertise the bike as a local-only deal?
    2) How much do you think I should offer the bike for sale for?
    3) What info about the bike would I need to give to someone?

  4. #4
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    I sold a Sprite last month for $130. It was in good overall condition and about the same vintage as yours. They are great city bikes for getting groceries, tooling around, riding a path, or riding to the train. The frames are lugged steel and most parts are steel so they do weigh a bit. But that makes them a solid low maintenance kinda bike. These were the classic ride around campus bikes of the day.

    Craigslist would be my first choice for selling them. Should be able to get at least $100 a piece for them.

  5. #5
    Senior Member cycleheimer's Avatar
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    I've seen them selling for over $200 (for 1) in the NYC market, but that's about what is being asked for rusty old department store 10-speeds. They have steel rims, cottered steel cranks, etc. Retro cool for urban riding. Made at a time when Raleigh wasn't exactly at the "top of their game".

    How to find out how much other people are asking for them:
    http://bike.jaxed.com/cgi-bin/bike.c...ye=&submit=+GO+

    Almost everything else you might want to know about them:
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/retroraleighs/sprite.html


    Don't want to keep them in the family after all these years?

    Niagara Cycle Works can hook you up with new tires for about $5 a piece and low prices on anything else you might need for them. Would also look nice with DayTrekker panniers from Nashbar.
    Bike-A-Holic

  6. #6
    way too many bikes cold_surfer's Avatar
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    movie prop value more than a collectors bike. I'd say $100-170 if the chrome is completely clean (no scale, pits) and the shifters and brakes are in good order and tires are good. Add up the cost of getting them up to speed and you'll see the net value of the bike is $50-75. Some are buying this era bike and converting it to a fixed drive (I did it to a 1972 sprite 27" that I paid $35 for frame/fork/seatpost/gooseneck/seat. what I quickly ran into was that Raleigh used a funky 26 tpi bottom bracket for the crank housing. I removed the cups and was looking at $50-75 just for 26 tpi cups + 135-200 for a good crankset. most other manufacturers used 24 tpi and it strips out the crank thread learning the lessen.

    new bearing are only .05 each so I repacked the crank and ran into the next problem: installing the 3 piece crankarms. the hammering method DOES NOT LAST. You need a special park tool that acts like a vice press, pressing the pin into place. The bolt is NOT MEANT to tighten the pin up but to keep it under tension. reman pins are $20/set without R-nuts and those have a funky thread pitch TOO. you usually destroy the r-nuts removing the crank so good luck finding more of those (unless you find a vintage bike shop with old stock - which I kinda ran into late in the game).

    Good news: conversion to fixed made a rocket-ship bike. one of the fastest, most comfortable frame (that absorbs every pebble in the road like carbon fiber), track style bike for next to nothing. ALL the cost went into the wheels -- which the 27 easily accomodates 700C and the brakes even reach. I love the bike more than my orbea. The geometry is AWESOME. Riding position is key. These bikes were made in jolly old england - master metalshop and suspension wizzards when they had the knowledge in-house and hadn't got into the asian outsource yet and loss of that vital skillset that has not been replaced by china factories.

    my Raleigh fixed lessens learned: try not to crack open the crank -- if the left pin is loose and you feel a wiggle in the left peddle each rotation go for it and teardown/repack/re-pin. Use 1/8" chain and either the big or small chainring - adjust the rear cog to get your ratio right and get a 1/8" rear cog.

    My opinion: EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE A FIXED BIKE AND LEARN TO RIDE IT. at a minimum you learn to appreciate the freewheel. you'll find out why when you get there. If you live in a very hilly area do NOT go brake-less unless you have a death wish.

  7. #7
    cs1
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    Senior Member cs1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cycleheimer View Post
    I've seen them selling for over $200 (for 1) in the NYC market, but that's about what is being asked for rusty old department store 10-speeds. They have steel rims, cottered steel cranks, etc. Retro cool for urban riding. Made at a time when Raleigh wasn't exactly at the "top of their game".

    How to find out how much other people are asking for them:
    http://bike.jaxed.com/cgi-bin/bike.c...ye=&submit=+GO+

    Almost everything else you might want to know about them:
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/retroraleighs/sprite.html


    Don't want to keep them in the family after all these years?

    Niagara Cycle Works can hook you up with new tires for about $5 a piece and low prices on anything else you might need for them. Would also look nice with DayTrekker panniers from Nashbar.
    Kind of late to the party but those are great links. I've go my eyes on some Sprites.
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
    1989 Raleigh Technium, 1989 Schwinn Traveler, 1986 Specialized Rockhopper
    1984 Specialized Stumpjumper, 1986 Specialized Stumpjumper and just way too many projects to list.

  8. #8
    way too many bikes cold_surfer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cs1 View Post
    Kind of late to the party but those are great links. I've go my eyes on some Sprites.
    No problem. Better late than never. My comments about the sprite still stand -- it's still my favorite bike. Since then I've added taller handle bars and improved the seat a little. I usually run the freewheel side more than the fixed side of the flip-flop rear wheel (get a wheel with fixed and freewheel sides of the hub if you are thinking fixed).

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