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Old 07-05-07, 06:46 AM   #1
Sammyboy
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My Raleigh Roadster - Repaint, or what?

I got this bike weeks ago, and posted it briefly in Catch of the Day. I rode it once, a 16 mile training ride, and bent a pedal, and since then, I've been so busy working and getting married that I hadn't touched it til today. So, today I replaced the pedals, and took it out on a ride that was more within it's design brief - a run into town for shopping. It was GREAT. It's the most comfortable bike I own, with the slack angles, sprung seat and soft tyres, it's like riding on air, and it actually makes me ride in a relaxed way. It's the only bike on which I'm able to escape my tendency to make a ride a time trial every time. There are, however, a couple of things I don't like. One is the brakes -they're really nasty pressed steel sidepulls, little stopping power and very squeely. On both sides, one arm has bent under brake force. I'm thinking about the sacrelage of putting long reach double pivot calipers and kool stop salmon pads on it for that. The other thing is the paint. It's tired, and in places there's rust (not on the main frame - on the fender arms), but it's also not that nice. British Racing Green is just not on for bikes, in my view. Now the obvious thing would be to respray it in black, which looks really classy, but then again, it's never going to outclassy the Gentlemens Express lightweight 3 speed I'm building on a Dawes Galaxy 531 frame. So I got to thinking, this thing would look great in purple. Or Yellow. Or Fire Engine Red. Or red with yellow fenders..... The possibilities are endless. Of course, it'd be more of a theft magnet, but it'd be SOOO cool. What do you think?

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Old 07-05-07, 07:02 AM   #2
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I dig the green, but I think you should repaint it in any color you like. I also thing you should change the rims out for aluminum ones that'll further improve braking, and lighten the whole thing up significantly.
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Old 07-05-07, 07:08 AM   #3
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If I do change out the wheels, it'll be rims only, and I'll have to rebuild them myself. That's a 4 speed SA generator hub, and I'm not giving that up for anyone! I'm not worried about the weight, and it's not a bike that wants to be ridden fast, so I might well find that dual pivot brakes and salmon pads is enough.
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Old 07-05-07, 07:16 AM   #4
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I hear ya. I love old 3-speeds, and I've been wanting to upgrade the wheels and brakes one one for some time now. I think it's the mere existence of Sun CR-18s in that size that inspired the desire in me.

http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/rims/590.html

I also really like these tires on old 3-speeds
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Old 07-05-07, 07:20 AM   #5
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Oooh. That is rather nice. Although I'm rather enjoying having nice low pressure tyres on there at present.....
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Old 07-05-07, 07:40 AM   #6
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Sammy,
Give the bike a good coating of 90wt gear oil, let sit overnight then wipe off and see what you think of the paint then...or if you want just try one of the fenders first. That is what I have done with a couple of my older British bikes. Other than that it is your bike do what you want with it

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Old 07-05-07, 07:43 AM   #7
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Yeah - I just don't like the green, clean or not! It looks ok on a Jaguar, but on this, it just looks agricultural....
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Old 07-05-07, 07:49 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Sammyboy
Oooh. That is rather nice. Although I'm rather enjoying having nice low pressure tyres on there at present.....
Don't touch that paint. I've got a black '51 Sports "C" Tourist, and most of the fellows on this side of the pond would kill to have another in green that has held up that well - even if it is a post '73 U.K.-spec Sports, and not the real '50s McCoy. Keep it as-is, or repaint it in the original green.

I forgot what Raleigh UK called that green (it isn't Bronze Green, that's for sure), but I've always been a great admirer of it. The only thing that trumps it, IMHO, is Rudge Maroon.

P.S.: Here in the States, we have Meguiars Scratch X, which works wonders on Raleigh paint, amongst all others. Not sure if they carry the same stuff on that side of the pond, but I wouldn't hesitate to check.

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Old 07-05-07, 08:05 AM   #9
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I think it's older than you're estimating Kurt - the FG hub is a 67. Maybe I need to try cleaning it up, but to me, the paint doesn't look all that good, even if you like the colour. What it might also get is a proper sprung Brooks (rather than a mattress like it's got), perhaps a B67 or something.
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Old 07-05-07, 08:24 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Sammyboy
I think it's older than you're estimating Kurt - the FG hub is a 67. Maybe I need to try cleaning it up, but to me, the paint doesn't look all that good, even if you like the colour. What it might also get is a proper sprung Brooks (rather than a mattress like it's got), perhaps a B67 or something.
Get me a closeup of the downtube and chaincase decals. Perhaps Raleigh U.K. was using the italicized logo before it was introduced on the U.S. machines in '73?

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Old 07-05-07, 08:58 AM   #11
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Or maybe the wheels were a retrofit? The style of the thumbshifter is one of the "older" ones as well. I'll try to snap the decal pic when I can.
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Old 07-05-07, 09:41 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Sammyboy
So I got to thinking, this thing would look great in purple. Or Yellow. Or Fire Engine Red. Or red with yellow fenders..... The possibilities are endless. Of course, it'd be more of a theft magnet, but it'd be SOOO cool. What do you think?
+1!!!
PURPLE!
I think purple is an excellent choice~!
That particular bike would be awesome in purple!
A really bright, sparkly, lowrider type of purple!
THAT would really grab people by the . . . !

Oh, and add a burning skull to the circle of the chainguard!
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Old 07-05-07, 09:47 AM   #13
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Sam,

Whatever you do to it, you really need to organize those cables so is doesn't look like you're transporting a nest of snakes.

Unless that bike is worth a whole bunch of money, go ahead and paint it. Consider the effect of cable colors when you make the choice, as they might not leave you with too many options.

Also, changing out the rims truly isn't that big a deal. Take some good before pictures just in case, but truly, with a couple hours and a set of directions from Sheldon's site, you'll have some very respectably straight wheels on your bike.
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Old 07-05-07, 09:48 AM   #14
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+1!!!
PURPLE!
I think purple is an excellent choice~!
That particular bike would be awesome in purple!
A really bright, sparkly, lowrider type of purple!
THAT would really grab people by the . . . !

Oh, and add a burning skull to the circle of the chainguard!

I like purple. How's it going way out west there Dr. D.?
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Old 07-05-07, 10:01 AM   #15
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Yeah, the routing for the lighting cables is pantalons. I could put all those inside a black rubber cover though.....
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Old 07-05-07, 10:07 AM   #16
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I don't think I could repaint that, but, I really like the green.

I think a light buffing would do wonders for it.
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Old 07-05-07, 10:08 AM   #17
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I like that bike, reminds me of the RAleigh Sports that transported me everywhere back in the early 80s. I also think the green is an attractive color, but its your bike so please yourself. My Raleigh was a Black 1969 model & had a very comfortable B72 saddle. The prior owner had done the oil rubdown treatment once a year & I have to say it certainly kept the paint looking great so you might want to try an oil rub on yours before you decide on painting or not. Don
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Old 07-05-07, 11:32 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Sammyboy
Or red with yellow fenders
That sounds too cool for school to me. I was going to strip this old lady bike for the dyno hub, now you've got me thinking of clean up and wild paint job doggonit! So I vote fire engine red, bright yellow fenders and chaincase.

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Old 07-05-07, 11:40 AM   #19
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That, right there, is what I'm talking about. You KNOW it would look cool, and it would be a great townie/grocery getter, specially with those baskets on it....
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Old 07-05-07, 08:12 PM   #20
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Kurt I think this is the Rudge Maroon you are talking about. The bikes are a few months apart in age.
The one on the right of the picture is the one Sammyboy sent me. I ride it a few times a week. I would not paint it or the Raleigh Sam has but that is me. I love original paint bikes. Sam can find these bikes at every village in the UK. Painting his is no bad thing.
Here is a 39 Raleigh in black.
It does look nice in black. I used the oil trick and it brightened up the black. It is also a great bike to ride.
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Old 07-05-07, 09:52 PM   #21
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They do look gorgeous in black, and it is an original Raleigh colour. I love it with those Lauterwasser bars, too, though they'd change the character of mine too much.
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Old 07-05-07, 11:14 PM   #22
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I dig the green, but I think you should repaint it in any color you like. I also thing you should change the rims out for aluminum ones that'll further improve braking, and lighten the whole thing up significantly.
Go with aluminum as opposed to the steel rims. Get it powdercoated and go with Raleigh black. It hides everything and no one will give your Roadster a second look. I like it - its rare to find one with an enclosed chaincase. The Roadster is the heavier version of the Raleigh Sports. Its meant for riding on rough streets - the bicycle is known in England as the vehicle of rural mail carriers or policemen. Get a Brooks B-73 for it - these triple sprung saddles were standard equipment on Roadsters while on the other hand, the B-66 was the one installed on the Sports line.

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Old 07-05-07, 11:20 PM   #23
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I hear ya. I love old 3-speeds, and I've been wanting to upgrade the wheels and brakes one one for some time now. I think it's the mere existence of Sun CR-18s in that size that inspired the desire in me.

http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/rims/590.html

I also really like these tires on old 3-speeds

With a Sports, I'd go with 700C. More tire choices available in that size that you can find in any bike shop.
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Old 07-06-07, 12:42 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Sammyboy
That, right there, is what I'm talking about. You KNOW it would look cool, and it would be a great townie/grocery getter, specially with those baskets on it....
Yeah, but the baskets need to be wicker.
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Old 07-06-07, 06:20 AM   #25
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Yeah, but the baskets need to be wicker.
Wicker baskets are for baguettes and fluffy white kittens.

Wire baskets are for canned goods, and machinery and other manly stuff.

Before changing out baskets on a whim, one would do best to ask oneself, "what sort of items do I intend to transport?"

Yeah. I thought so.

<edit> - of course, it is a ladies' model bike.
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