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Old 02-27-09, 01:51 PM   #1
mrniall
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1957 Raleigh - Pedal Problems

Hello there!

Put this post in the mechanics section but they recommended I reposted it here!

I have just bought a 1957 raleigh something or other (!) and have a few queries about the whole crank set up. I have confirmed that it has cotter pins but have a few concerns;
1. The crank arm on the chain side is ever so slightly rubbing against the frame (chainstay? not sure what that bit is called but it runs from the bottom bracket to the drop out, parallel to the ground) but the bottom bracket seems to be rock solid. As it is rock solid I don't want to go messing about with the whole thing if it means a big job - which leads on to my second question;
2. With these cotterless cranks is it possible to whip the whole lot out and replace with a modern bottom bracket and chainset. Is this possible?

Sorry, know I must sound like a complete idiot - don't know much about bikes! Have included a couple of pictures in case anyone can tell me what I'm riding![IMG][/IMG]
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Old 02-27-09, 02:19 PM   #2
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I'm pretty sure that's going to have 26tpi threading, so a common inexpensive BB won't work. (You can do a search of the forums to read about this at length.) You might be able to pull the BB and put a spacer (like a thin washer) behind the fixed cup to position the cranks out a bit.
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Old 02-27-09, 02:27 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mrniall View Post
Hello there!

Put this post in the mechanics section but they recommended I reposted it here!

I have just bought a 1957 raleigh something or other (!) and have a few queries about the whole crank set up. I have confirmed that it has cotter pins but have a few concerns;
1. The crank arm on the chain side is ever so slightly rubbing against the frame (chainstay? not sure what that bit is called but it runs from the bottom bracket to the drop out, parallel to the ground) but the bottom bracket seems to be rock solid. As it is rock solid I don't want to go messing about with the whole thing if it means a big job - which leads on to my second question;
2. With these cotterless cranks is it possible to whip the whole lot out and replace with a modern bottom bracket and chainset. Is this possible?

Sorry, know I must sound like a complete idiot - don't know much about bikes! Have included a couple of pictures in case anyone can tell me what I'm riding![IMG][/IMG]
Hi there, welcome to C&V!

A 1957 Raleigh, brilliant! Nice colour and lugs! The paint looks great in your photo. Being a little bit picky, if the cranks have cotter pins they are called "cottered", not "cotterless" - I mention this to avoid confusion, not to try to be a smart***se - and you're right, that tube is called a chainstay. Is it the crank arm that touches the right chainstay, or the chain ring (the round bit with teeth on the outside) ??? If it's the chain ring, it might be slightly bent or buckled. You can check this by watching the chain at the top of the chainring as you turn the cranks backwards fairly briskly.

If the chain seems to move in and out in relation to the seat tube (the thick upright frame tube that goes from the bottom bracket up towards the saddle) and the bottom bracket bearings are not loose then either the bottom bracket axle is bent or the chain ring needs straightening. These can get bent if the bike is dropped on its drive side (chain down), for instance - try to never do this!. A bent bottom bracket axle simply needs replacing with a good one (new or used but unworn, take the original with you to the bike shop to match the size and shape) - and while you've got the bottom bracket cups off, it's a good opportunity to check or replace and grease the ball bearings.

If the chain ring is bent you can fix this by placing the jaws of an adjustable spanner on the inside of the chain ring, with the handle pointing towards the centre at the point on the chain ring where it goes too close to the chain stay. Then GENTLY lever that part of the chain ring out a little at a time until it is in line with the rest of the ring.

If it is the end of the crank arm behind the pedal that rubs the chainstay as it passes, the problem could be a bent bottom bracket spindle (see above) or a bent crank on that side. The simplest solution if the crank is bent - check with a straight edge, like a metal ruler - is to replace it. A bent or twisted crank is uncomfortable to ride and can cause knee damage over a time.

Just my ideas, hope they are useful. Please post pictures of the affected area, showing the parts rubbing - it will help us to give the right advice. Actually, show us detailed shots of the whole of your bike, including details of any serial numbers and decals. It will help my more informed colleagues here to identify your bike - and we all just love looking at pictures of classic bikes! Actually I see you have - didn't see the whole bike photo first time round - nice!
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Old 02-27-09, 03:20 PM   #4
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Two other possibilities - can't really tell from the pictures though.

1. The spindle could be too short, or installed in the reverse orientation
2. The frame could be out of alignment.

That said, I think the other suggested possibilities are more likely.
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Old 02-27-09, 04:14 PM   #5
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Some older mountain bikes have the right length spindle for a Raleigh but have modern square taper ends. Check Sheldon Brown's Retro Ralieghs website for more details.
You should look carefully at the front of the bike, line up the headtube with the seat tube and you may be able to see whether the rear triangle (seat stays and chainstays) is bent. You can also check this with string and a ruler but if I explain that method now, I'll burn the dinner. Sheldon talks about that too but it's kind of hard to find. you have to look around his website.
You should look around his website anyway. He left us a huge amount of valuable information.
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Old 02-27-09, 05:06 PM   #6
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Some older mountain bikes have the right length spindle for a Raleigh but have modern square taper ends. Check Sheldon Brown's Retro Ralieghs website for more details.
You should look carefully at the front of the bike, line up the headtube with the seat tube and you may be able to see whether the rear triangle (seat stays and chainstays) is bent. You can also check this with string and a ruler but if I explain that method now, I'll burn the dinner. Sheldon talks about that too but it's kind of hard to find. you have to look around his website.
You should look around his website anyway. He left us a huge amount of valuable information.
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-spacing.html

Scroll down the page to the "checking alignment" section.
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Old 03-02-09, 01:15 PM   #7
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anyone got any ideas what model or raleigh it is?
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Old 03-02-09, 03:40 PM   #8
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I will go out on a limb (or branch?) and say it could be a Raleigh Lenton Grand Prix, since it looks a lot like mine, which is circa 1958 or so, with the rod operated front derailler (cyclo benelux) and downtube lever rear derailler, light bracket on right fork, and those lugs look the same too. Original stuff would have been Williams crank with Raleigh Heron motiff, Dunlop "extralight" rims laced to Racelite or Normandy hubs, rear derailler Cyclo Benelux 4sp, sometimes upgraded to campy GS 5sp, Brooks saddle (Swallow on mine), steel seatpost, brakes either GB or Weinmann 730 as on mine. This one has been repainted and "upgraded" with some more modern components, obviously. Tubing is Reynolds 531 main tubes.

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Old 03-03-09, 12:01 PM   #9
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I had a similar issue with a BSA of roughly the same vintage, the pedal arm was catching on the chainstay but there was a little bit of adjustment available on the spindle.
loosen the cotter pin to allow the pedal arm and chainring to slide on the spindle, slide them to their maximum right hand travel (don't remove the cotter pin just loosen the nut and release its "grip" on the spindle, plenty of threads on how to do that!). The slot ground into the spindle is usually a bit wider than the taper on the cotter pin allowing for a little adjustment in this way.

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Old 03-03-09, 04:06 PM   #10
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By the way, there is a 1958 Raleigh catalog posted on Sheldon Brown's web site. There was a 5-speed "R.R.A. Moderne" offered.
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Old 03-03-09, 09:34 PM   #11
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evwxxx- +1 the frame is identical to my Lenton Grand Prix
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