Through the incredible generosity of a dear old friend and his father, I just received a 1972 Raleigh International. At least I'm pretty sure it's a '72, the serial starts with "G" and it seems to fit with the description of the '72 on the RetroRaleighs site. It's champagne in color, it's in pretty good overall shape (somewhat nicked and scratched, with a little surface rust here and there, but nothing major), and it seems to be mostly original. I promise to post pics later, but for now I do have a few questions. Here's what's on the bike:
Campy crankset, rear der., front der., downtube shifters, brakes, brake levers, headset, seatpost, pedals, and hubs. The rims are marked "Fiamme Made in Italy" and are tubulars (I've never dealt with tubulars before). Wheels are 36 spoke, front and rear. Handlebars and stem are Cinelli.
From what I've seen in the catalogs on RetroRaleighs, the stock brakes and rims would have been Weinmanns, with the brakes being centerpulls. I presume the hubs would have been the same Campy Record that I have, but laced to Weinmann rims. Since the Fiamme rims that are on the bike are tubulars, I presume they're 700c? Were the Campy brakes and tubular rims/tires a factory option, or is this something that would have had to have been changed out later? I believe I've read that the upgrade to Campy sidepulls was fairly common on these bikes, I was just wondering if it was such a common upgrade it was made a factory option?
I've always been a Schwinn sort of guy when it comes to road bikes (and I'm not talking Paramounts ), so this higher end stuff is totally new to me. But I am so excited, and grateful for my friend's and his father's generosity. I want to keep this bike as vintage as possible, but at the same time I want to make it a practical bike to ride for an old mountain biker like me. My main areas of concern are the tubulars and the stock gearing. If I were to re-lace the hubs to different rims, is there anything anyone would recommend for a rim that would be appropriate? If I do this, I'd like to go with 700c clinchers, and something that has a hook edge so I can use high pressures............The bike has apparently had the original freewheel swapped out for a 14 x 31 (five speed). What would the original gearing have been? The Campy chainrings are 52 and 45, which I would think might be original. I really need lower gears all the way around (I'm used to low-geared triples ), but my desire to keep the Campy drivetrain as original as possible will probably over-ride that. Any ideas to get me some lower gears and yet stay with the original cranks and derailleurs? What about that "tripleizer" I've seen on Pastor Bob's Paramount, how does that work?
Thanks for any input-