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  1. #1
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    Note of thanks and some thoughts

    Well, thanks to a lof of help from folks on this forum I finally got the ol' Raleigh Sprite in good working order.

    Some thoughts, from a rank beginner.

    Working on the bike has been decidedly low-tech, which for me is good. The tool I used the most was a crecent wrench. The $39 bike stand from Performance worked just great. For a while I lost one of the innards to the stem mounted shifter and got really uptight, like the shifter was cast right into the stem and only a new bike would solve my problem. Then I realized that the shifter was just attached to the bike with something similar to a hose clip and that I could just substitute another shifter if necessary. I finally found the part but just realizing how low tech it all was eased my tension. Changing the cables was easy and it solved a lot of problems. I bought super cheapie cables. This is just a 5 speed bike with friction shifting. I used a Spind Doctor cable tool and thought it made the job real easy. My dikes were not sharp enough for a clean cut.

    Once I had replaced the cables, the dirraleur adjustment fell right into place per the instructions.

    I replace the brake pads, which were really hard and brittle with a cheapie set. The only place I could ones thaf fit easily was at a department store and they were $4 a set. Had a lot of problems removing the chain. Once the pin came out, it was really hard to put back in, even thought the guy at the LBS told me it would go in just the reverse of how it came out. I used a chain tool bought at the LBS. I guess the answer is to not remove the pin all the way but just leave it still sticking a little to one of the links? I bought a new chain with a quickie link of some sort and even that was really hard. That, for me, was the hardest part of all, the chain. I would sure like to see a tutorial on chain removal and replacement, which most of you take for granted.

    Also, what's a good chain to buy that has a reliable quick break-away and redo feature?

    I have become a lot less stressed as to what kind of lube and oil to use. Obviously it's more important to use some than to get all hung up on what brand. I used Park lube and some high tech bike store oil this time.

    Replacing and relubing the bearings was easy and necessary as the old grease had turned to solid varnish. I did not re-do the headset and BB but they seem to be fine. Changing tires can be a PITA and I ruined two tubes before I got the hang of it. My new Suntour VGT (I think) RD makes it easy to take the chain off it without breaking the chain. I got the hang of that and it helped a lot.

    I bought a used Centurion Le Mans for $20 and I may switch the alloy wheels from it for the Raleigh chromes. The Centurion is funky and it has a slightly bent fork anyway. If I do that I'll save the chrome rims. I'm still thinking on that.

    All in all, a good learning experience. I want to rehab a mixte next just because I think they are cute. I think condition of the frame and paint is more important than anything else on these old bikes as parts are easy to change out if necessary.

    Thank again to all.

    Regards,

    Mirko
    Mirkee

  2. #2
    MFA jjvw's Avatar
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    The first time is always the hardest. I haven't done too much with cables myself yet, but the time is drawing near. I'm glad the rebuild went well for you. Enjoy the next one.

  3. #3
    Yet another vegan biker
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    I bought a used Centurion Le Mans for $20 and I may switch the alloy wheels from it for the Raleigh chromes. The Centurion is funky and it has a slightly bent fork anyway.
    Good move.

    I find I'm always looking for a better set of wheels.

  4. #4
    one word, not two braingel's Avatar
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    you aren't supposed to push the pin in the chain out all the way...leave it so it's still engaged in the outer plate. it's actually pretty amazing that you managed to get it back in after that.

  5. #5
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mirkee
    ..... Had a lot of problems removing the chain. Once the pin came out, it was really hard to put back in, even thought the guy at the LBS told me it would go in just the reverse of how it came out. I used a chain tool bought at the LBS. I guess the answer is to not remove the pin all the way but just leave it still sticking a little to one of the links? I bought a new chain with a quickie link of some sort and even that was really hard. That, for me, was the hardest part of all, the chain.
    The Park Tool CT-5 Mini Brute Chain Tool I use actually has a stop built in, and the tool stops itself from rotating and pushing the pin before it comes all the way out. foolproof..... more or less...... If you have a tool that will allow you to push the chain all the way out, you need to discover when you have the pin out just enough to break the chain. It's a matter of trial and error - very easy to show, not so easy to describe. Basically, push the pin out a little at a time, reverse the pin pusher out, and try to break the chain. If you can't repeat until you can. Then you'll know.

    I've found the replacement chains available at Walmart to be acceptable quality, inexpensive, and easy to install. But mostly I just use chains salvaged off of donor bikes. It's one of the parts I always salvage from "dump" quality bikes, like Magna's and Huffy's.
    Last edited by bigbossman; 02-02-07 at 11:29 PM.
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, itís the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

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  6. #6
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    Actually I didn't get the chain back together after taking the pin all the way out! I got fed up and went out and got a new chain with an easy break and back together feature that gave me all kinds of grief but I finally got it to work. Thanks for the heads up on leaving the pin part way on. I kinda figured that out myself. Nobody ever tells you that and is sure is frustrating. I'll look at that Park tool you talk about. Makes sense.
    Mirkee

  7. #7
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Mirkee, was the LeMans a mixte? I've got a 1980 Centurion LeMans mixte that I just love to ride.

    Too bad about the slightly bent fork, but it sounds as if you are having an excellent time learning to wrench on the bikes.

    You aren't located in the San Francisco Bay area, are you? There's some stiff competition out there for those mixtes nowadays .

    East Hill
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    TRY EMPATHY & HAVE LOVE IN YOUR HEART, PERHAPS I'LL SEE YOU ON THE ROAD...

  8. #8
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    A chain breaker was the first bike tool I ever bought (after trying to get the pin out with a hammer and punch!), and I can remember making the mistake of pushing the pin all the way out at first. Now that I've used the same tool for 20 years, I'm pretty well used to how far to push the pin without pushing it all the way out.

    I've also used whatever quick release pins that come with new chains these days (as well as the classic ones that are on 3-speed chains) but still often find myself just pushing a pin back in to reconnect. Sometimes that results in a stiff link, but the usual trick to resolve that problem is to grab the chain with both hands on either side of the stiff link and move side to side (not up and down).

    Neal

  9. #9
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    Chains! I hate screwin' around with chains. Forget which, but one day in last year's Tour Day France, one of the pro teams had chain troubles all day long. Broken, stuck, everything. And these guys have high buck mechanics to worry over these things. I think it was Graham Watson who posted some pictures of some very unhappy pros by the side of the road.

    Tyson

  10. #10
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Congrats Mirkee!

    Welcome to the club.

  11. #11
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    By the way, Mirkee, we need those photos added to this thread:

    Show us your mixte (mhendricks' new happy place)

    Or we won't let you into our mixte club .

    East Hill
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    TRY EMPATHY & HAVE LOVE IN YOUR HEART, PERHAPS I'LL SEE YOU ON THE ROAD...

  12. #12
    Chrome Freak Rabid Koala's Avatar
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    Welcome to the club.
    Yeah, that too, but more appropriately, welcome to the happy addiction!
    1971 Paramount P-13 Chrome
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  13. #13
    holyrollin' FlatTop's Avatar
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    "...Working on the bike has been decidedly low-tech, which for me is good. The tool I used the most was a crecent wrench..".
    Today I unstuck the stem on a rusty Schwinn Varsity, using a vintage '50s Pexto 16" monkey wrench and a few shots of PB Blaster. Sometimes the low-tech way can be very effective.

    I'm looking forward to hearing more about the Sprite and the process of bringing it back to being fun and functional. Hope you aren't intimidated by the C&V forum...this is the place to get the answers to your questions, for example the chain procedure.

    Best of luck!

  14. #14
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rabid Koala
    Yeah, that too, but more appropriately, welcome to the happy addiction!
    Heh, I didn't want to scare him away too soon.
    Last edited by Stacey; 02-03-07 at 03:24 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlatTop
    Today I unstuck the stem on a rusty Schwinn Varsity, using a vintage '50s Pexto 16" monkey wrench and a few shots of PB Blaster. Sometimes the low-tech way can be very effective.
    My hammer and 12" crescent wrench are always close at hand. The hammer is a new one, actually, one of those Park models that's metal hammer on one side and rubber mallet on the other (recently on sale at BikePartsEtc.). I've been known to center brakes using a hammer and a punch and to loosen/tighten headset nuts with a 12" crescent wrench on the top nut and a channel lock on the lower. And I use a small crescent wrench to toe in brake arms. It wouldn't be fun to work on bikes if I couldn't use a hammer!

    Neal

  16. #16
    Novist senior member tolfan's Avatar
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    ya always find paint you can live with. Repainting costs more than the whole rest of the restore project.
    There are some things a man needs to believe in wether they're true or not;

  17. #17
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbossman
    I've found the replacement chains available at Walmart to be acceptable quality, inexpensive, and easy to install. But mostly I just use chains salvaged off of donor bikes. It's one of the parts I always salvage from "dump" quality bikes, like Magna's and Huffy's.
    ^
    +1. Although they only include 112 links, the Bell-branded TAYA 3/32nd" chain available at Wal-Mart is downright perfect for vintage 5-speed and wide-spaced 6-speed systems.

    It is also a perfect substitute for old-style Shimano UG chains, as the stamping, shape and width of the TAYA chains are pretty much somewhat refined copies of the old UG chain design. It also shifts just a tad better then the original UG chain if used on freewheels without the Shimano twist-tooth cogs. Another benifit over the UG chain is that it comes with a split-link as well.

    It's wide width makes it ideal for bikes running older Campagnolo cranksets, as it rarely gets caught between the two chainwheels, unlike most other replacement chains available (particularly the narrow 7-speed stuff like the SRAM PC58).

    Its only drawback is that it comes in black with silver pins and a gold plated splitter-link, but I dare say that the operational advantages of this chain far outweigh the slightly less flashy visual effect.

    -Kurt

  18. #18
    Broom Wagon Fodder reverborama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey
    Welcome to the club.
    +2 (or was that 3)?

    There's nothing that beats the satisfaction of using something you built or fixed yourself. I had an old clothes dryer that made one heck of a racket. I went to an appliance parts store and got a set of roller bearings (little wheels with rubber rims) that supported the drum. They cost maybe 8 or 9 dollars and after 2 hours of work, that dryer ran like new. I used it for almost 10 years and I smiled every time I started it up. I feel exactly the same way and smile the same smile when I roll out of the driveway on my Fuji Royale.

  19. #19
    Glutton for Punishment
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    For you Californians, Orchard Supply & Hardware also sells the same chain as the one at Wal-Mart, for $6.99. They've got 27 X 1 1/4" gumwalls for $8.99, brake pads for 3.99 a pair, universal cables with housing for 3.99, and other acceptable quality replacement parts.

  20. #20
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    1. No the Centurion is a not a mixte. It's a men's frame. I'll probably trade the frame when I'm done stripping the bike of components. I'll take most anything in trade as I am just starting out. I'm flexible and will post on the trade board soon.

    2. Actually, the chain came from Wallmart, for cheap. The brakes too. All the brake pads at the LBS were some newfangled ones, too curvy, no studs or other problems. Wallmart pads fit perfect and were around $3-4. Some of this Wallmart stuff was just more suitable for my old Raleigh. God knows I give my LBS enough money anyway!

    3. I am soooooo glad that I finally got the hang of putting the chain back on my Suntour RD without taking the chain apart. For future reference, however, what's a good reliable chain with an easy-to-use break apart feature? The Wallmart one I used on the Raleigh had the bronze colored link but still had a heck of a time putting it back together. Is it just a matter of getting the hang of it? The instructions were worthless.

    4. I am in Orange County, CA, and mixtes are hard to come by here as well. I need to finish the taking apart of the Centurion and get my stuff organized before I start on another project. I'm 56 and starting a 2nd career. Taking 15 units at the local university, graduating in May and for some reason, there is a lot more work this semester than others. Furtunately, I don't work (much) but I try to do well in school and that takes a lot of my time. I see Peugot mixtes but that seems like a whole other set of problems. If I found a Centurion mixte I would jump on it, especially if it was lighter steel.

    Lastly, I am a guy. Just think the mixtes are nice. Timeless styling kind of thing. Also easier to get in and out of.
    Mirkee

  21. #21
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mirkee
    Lastly, I am a guy. Just think the mixtes are nice. Timeless styling kind of thing. Also easier to get in and out of.
    Fixed, sorry

  22. #22
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mswantak
    For you Californians, Orchard Supply & Hardware also sells the same chain as the one at Wal-Mart, for $6.99....

    +1. That's were I get them, as well.
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, itís the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

    S. J. Perelman

  23. #23
    Senior Member Bikedued's Avatar
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    For the low tech chain tools, I found the pin starts to get a little tighter right before it pops out. Most of the time anyway. I have a crank remover, but not a nice chain tool, lol. Go figure huh? Congrats on getting your first recondition on the road. It is an addiction though, make no mistake. I fix them up, and sell them. It keeps the addiction fed, and keeps me from taking the good ones apart every other week, lol. I can't leave mechanical things alone. Cars, bikes, whatever.,,,,BD
    The one good thing about black cork wrap is that it's better than nothing.

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