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Old 09-14-06, 07:08 AM   #1
Gotte
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Authenticity vs practicality.

What's the general feeling. Is it better to restore a bike to how it originally was, or chop and change to make an interesting ride.
I'm hoping to get my hands on a mid 70s Raleigh 3-speed upright, but I'm tempted to swap out the cheaper parts for better, newer variants.

Anyone know if this would be a criminal act?
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Old 09-14-06, 07:19 AM   #2
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Gotte in himmel! don't do it. . . .
no just kidding.
I think upgrading parts is fine, even with newer variants.
I get concerned when I hear "chop" I have visions of hipsters
with a dremel going after braze-ons and derailleur hangers

otherwise nah, not criminal.

marty
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Old 09-14-06, 07:26 AM   #3
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I swap parts back and forth all the time. I never cut things off or drill holes etc. Period correct is a good thing for rare valuable bikes, but otherwise build it up the way it suits you.
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Old 09-14-06, 08:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gotte
I'm hoping to get my hands on a mid 70s Raleigh 3-speed upright, but I'm tempted to swap out the cheaper parts for better, newer variants.
Raleigh Sports models are excellent to upgrade, not to mention that their original appearance is easily retained after such a conversion.

I'd highly suggest a pair of aluminum EA3 rims for better braking, aluminum seatpost, and aluminum North Road handlebar (Harris Cyclery carries a Nitto model). An aluminum handlebar stem can be substituted as well, in which case I'd suggest a short-reach SR stem.

The original Heron crankset can be changed out for a 3-piece cotterless crankset (Sugino comes to mind) if you wish, although I, personally, would retain the original for asthetics.

If your machine is running Raleigh self-adjusting brake levers, remove the lever assembly and brake cable, then remove the black self-adjuster barrel from the lever. Remove the small steel strap that held the self-adjusting barrel onto the lever, then slide the lever back onto the handlebars. This will eliminate the self-adjusting mechanisim, a device that never worked properly in the first place. Pre-'73 and post-'76 Sports models will not have the self-adjusting mechanisim.

-Kurt
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Old 09-14-06, 08:14 AM   #5
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I do what is necessary to ride safely and comfortably. If I swap out parts, I label and save the originals in case I want to sell the bike in its original state.
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Old 09-14-06, 08:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gotte
What's the general feeling. Is it better to restore a bike to how it originally was, or chop and change to make an interesting ride.
I'm hoping to get my hands on a mid 70s Raleigh 3-speed upright, but I'm tempted to swap out the cheaper parts for better, newer variants.

Anyone know if this would be a criminal act?
If it is for a museum, go original, if it is to ride, then replace the things that it makes sense to replace.
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Old 09-14-06, 08:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cudak888
Raleigh Sports models are excellent to upgrade, not to mention that their original appearance is easily retained after such a conversion.

I'd highly suggest a pair of aluminum EA3 rims for better braking, aluminum seatpost, and aluminum North Road handlebar (Harris Cyclery carries a Nitto model). An aluminum handlebar stem can be substituted as well, in which case I'd suggest a short-reach SR stem.

The original Heron crankset can be changed out for a 3-piece cotterless crankset (Sugino comes to mind) if you wish, although I, personally, would retain the original for asthetics.

If your machine is running Raleigh self-adjusting brake levers, remove the lever assembly and brake cable, then remove the black self-adjuster barrel from the lever. Remove the small steel strap that held the self-adjusting barrel onto the lever, then slide the lever back onto the handlebars. This will eliminate the self-adjusting mechanisim, a device that never worked properly in the first place. Pre-'73 and post-'76 Sports models will not have the self-adjusting mechanisim.

-Kurt
Kurt,

When were you going to tell me how to to remove the self adjusters on my '73? Were you going to make me struggle with them for a while first?

Well, I read this thread and foiled your plan!

Also, shouldn't the replacement parts be aluminium since it is an English bike?

How much total weight is saved by changing the rims, seatpost, handlebar and stem from steel to aluminium? The person I hope will use the Sport does need a light bike.
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Old 09-14-06, 09:34 AM   #8
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I saved a ton of weight upgrading My Raleigh Capri to Al. The most noticable was the wheel change for ride qulaity as well. I still have a steel seat post tho'.
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Old 09-14-06, 09:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabid Koala
I do what is necessary to ride safely and comfortably. If I swap out parts, I label and save the originals in case I want to sell the bike in its original state.
That's the ideal solution. I am working this debate from both sides with the two circa 1960 Capos, one of which has been repainted and updated/upgraded with aluminum cranks and seatpost and 1980s derailleurs.
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Old 09-14-06, 09:48 AM   #10
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If you're talking about upgrading a late '40s Herse, I object. But for a common bicycle such as the Sports, I don't think it's that big a deal. When I take on such projects, I strive to make changes than can be undone if necessary.

Switching to aluminium rims will save a tonne of weight. It will make the most noticeable difference.

FYI, I built 700c wheels for a ladies Raleigh Sports and could run tyres as large as 700x32 and still clear the mudguards.
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Old 09-14-06, 11:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Darwin
Kurt,

When were you going to tell me how to to remove the self adjusters on my '73? Were you going to make me struggle with them for a while first?

Well, I read this thread and foiled your plan!

Also, shouldn't the replacement parts be aluminium since it is an English bike?

How much total weight is saved by changing the rims, seatpost, handlebar and stem from steel to aluminium? The person I hope will use the Sport does need a light bike.
*thinking back* - I honestly can't remember when you asked me about removing self-adjusters...

Thought I suggested aluminum parts in my post too! Do you mean replacement, aluminum brake calipers? If so, I advise against it - the Raleigh levers are superior to Weinmanns when operating correctly.

I have no idea how much is saved, for I've yet to do it myself. I'm sure at least 4-6 pounds are shaved off the total weight when swapping the rims, and about 2-3 after a handlebar/post swap.

You'll still have a 28-32 pound bike when all is said and done though - no lightweight by any means.

I'm not sure if this would make sense, but you might be able to build a lighter 3-speed machine by building one from a Schwinn 4130 frame - swap the bars, insert a 3 speed hub in back, take out a chainring, mount a Raleigh detachable chainguard, and you're good to go. No need to chase down the aluminum rims either, as I believe all the 4130 Schwinn models already have them.

-Kurt
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Old 09-14-06, 03:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Darwin
How much total weight is saved by changing the rims, seatpost, handlebar and stem from steel to aluminium?
This is clearly an apples to oranges comparison, but when I went from Schwinn S-6 steel rimed wheels to aluminum, the weight reduction was 2 lbs per wheel. The difference in acceleration from a standstill was very noticeable while the difference in effort required on hills was less than I expected.

As for the OP, I agree with what’s already been said, if it’s not a rare museum piece, upgrade away.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Darwin
Also, shouldn't the replacement parts be aluminium since it is an English bike?
Only if they're English parts.

Regards,
Alan
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Old 09-14-06, 04:28 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by cudak888
*thinking back* - I honestly can't remember when you asked me about removing self-adjusters...
I didn't ask, but you were the one that identified the year of my lady's Sport, and guessed the year exactly... and you mentioned the self adjusters as one of the elements that identified the year. I was thinking to myself that self adjusters sounded good, and you never warned me.

I am not terribly worried about weight, I was just curious. The bike will probably need a paint job and/or some other protective measures due to the top tube being pretty scratched up. Is it still called a top tube on a women's frame?

And actually the person that will be riding it doesn't mind riding a heavy bike as long as someone else does any lifting.
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Old 09-14-06, 06:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Darwin
I didn't ask, but you were the one that identified the year of my lady's Sport, and guessed the year exactly... and you mentioned the self adjusters as one of the elements that identified the year. I was thinking to myself that self adjusters sounded good, and you never warned me.

I am not terribly worried about weight, I was just curious. The bike will probably need a paint job and/or some other protective measures due to the top tube being pretty scratched up. Is it still called a top tube on a women's frame?

And actually the person that will be riding it doesn't mind riding a heavy bike as long as someone else does any lifting.
One can get self-adjusters to work reasonably well, I suggested removal of them only as a custom performance modification.

Personally, I do not remove self-adjusting mechanisms from any machine that is to be kept stock - I simply remove the spring inside that controls the rachet, apply a bit of superglue/Loctite to the threaded adjuster barrel, and screw the adjuster back together.

As the brake calipers on models with self-adjusting brakes do NOT have barrel adjusters, I usually keep a few cable stops of the conventional kind to swap in the existing stop's place.

Might as well call it a top tube, no sense in calling it the top down tube.

-Kurt
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