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Old 05-21-09, 08:07 PM   #1
tsappenfield
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Raleigh Sports "going to the birds"?

I don't read the forum that often, so maybe this has been previously discussed. I have a 1974 Raleigh Sports that I absolutely love. Lately, it has devoloped a "chirping sound" that seems to be originating from the bottom bracket. I'm basing this on the fact that I only hear it when I pedal and the bottom bracket is where the sound seems to be coming from. The sound isn't extremely loud, but it's definitely noticable. I've checked the pedals and no such sound from there. Anyone familiar with this symptom and what, if anything, I should do about it? Is it time for a bottom bracket overhaul?

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Old 05-21-09, 08:18 PM   #2
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It's either that, or the cotter on one of the cranks needs to be looked at.
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Old 05-21-09, 08:30 PM   #3
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my sport would do that, it was really loud when i would ride into work. it would echo down the neighborhood i rode through. and it turned out to be a cotter pin...

who would have thought those could be so loud.
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Old 05-21-09, 09:51 PM   #4
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If that cotter iis loose, you might want to replace them both as they will tend to round out the spindle.
To check for a loose cotter, I place the cranks horizontally and put my weight on them, left hand on one, right hand on the other. Then I rotate them 180 degrees and put my weight on them again and breath a sigh of relief when I don't feel ANY movement.
To check the bottom bracket, I turn the cranks verticle and try to wiggle them side to side. If there is more than 1/16" of play, I tighten the adjustable cup.
If your BB has a little oil cup, just squirt some oil in there. A '74 may not have that so yes, dismantling and greasing wouldn't hurt. But if you adjust the cup and it doesn't feel gritty, you can probably wait a while.
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Old 05-21-09, 11:52 PM   #5
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Ohh... I hate loose cranks. Three piece, or cottered. Because the moment that I flip them over and feel a movement, I know the loose crank is probably toast. I've lost too many cranks that way, and it makes me very sad every time.

However, in my experience, birdie noises almost always come from the jockey wheels on a bike. (Is the Sports a 3-speed? If so, I'm an uber-fail.) But in my brain, bike+birdsounds=rd wheels.

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Old 05-24-09, 03:50 PM   #6
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Now what???

Okay you guys. I've done all that has been suggested and I am fairly confident that the cotters aren't the problem. They did need to be tightened down, but I just do not hear the noise from either cotter. I checked for play in the bottom bracket and there seemed to be very little if any. Should I assume that all is well for the time being, or am I doing serious damage by continuing to ride this machine? The other issue is that I'm not looking forward to doing a bottom bracket rebuild. The last (and first) time I did one, I so mangaled one of the cotters that I had to drill it out. Plus, where do I get cotters that will take the Raleigh nut? I know that Harris Cyclery has replacement cotters for English 3-speeds, but do they take the Raleigh nut? Can I trust a local "wrench" to do the job? None of these guys were even born when the bicycle was made. (By the way, it is a S-A 3-speed but with coaster brakes.) Any recommendations for a mechanic in northeast Ohio that knows these bicycles?

TSapp,
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Old 05-24-09, 04:42 PM   #7
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I wasn't born when my '72 Super Course was made and I don't have any trouble maintaining it. I got the cotters for mine from ebikestop.com it was like 8 bux for a dozen. I don't know what the Raleigh nut is...Is it a nut stamped with an "R" on it or something? You can make it fit i'm sure. The nut doesn't really get much in the way of pulling force on it at all so you can force thread it on there and then it'll be good to go for all your future cotter pin repairs.

you might wanna get a bag of cotters...you never know when they'll start getting hard to come by.
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Old 05-26-09, 06:21 AM   #8
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Why not drip a little oil into the bottom bracket by way of the spindle shaft on both sides (put bike on its side) you dont have to do any dismantling for that and if the noise goes away you know what the problem is (a bottom bracket regrease) A little oil wont do any damage as they used to have oiler on the bottom bracket anyway on earlier bikes.

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Old 05-26-09, 08:36 AM   #9
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I had that problem once - a canary had gotten itself wedged in between the seat stays... A bit of a pain to remove it but if you use a bit of WD40 it should come out pretty easily.
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Old 05-26-09, 09:47 AM   #10
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chipping is / was caused by my sneaker rubbing against the crank when peddaling..
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Old 05-26-09, 10:19 AM   #11
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If the cotters were loose, just tightening with the nut is probably not enough, you should press them in using a cotter press, or hammer them in with appropriate backing with a socket or something behind the crank. The nut is only to hold them in place once they are pressed in.

Also, don't give up on the fact that it could be the pedals... They could only be chirping under load, and spinning just fine when you aren't standing on them. You may need to oil them up if you haven't done it already...

Any chirping is a sign of something going on that is doing at least some minor damage. It may only be an issue if you let it go for a long time depending on what it is. It may take years, but anything that makes an unusual noise is experiencing some friction that it shouldn't be experiencing.
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Old 05-29-09, 02:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsappenfield View Post
Plus, where do I get cotters that will take the Raleigh nut? I know that Harris Cyclery has replacement cotters for English 3-speeds, but do they take the Raleigh nut?
TSapp,
If you want to reuse the Raleigh nut, you need to purchase Sturmey Archer cotter pins, as they too have the 26tpi that make Raleighs so endearing. Your Raleigh nut will not fit on Harris' replacement cotters.
Occasionally you can find NOS Sturmey cotters on eBay.
They are far superior to the cheap quality Asian-made cotters available at Harris and elsewhere.
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Old 05-29-09, 03:31 PM   #13
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I had that problem once - a canary had gotten itself wedged in between the seat stays... A bit of a pain to remove it but if you use a bit of WD40 it should come out pretty easily.
I think the solution in that case is to park your bike in a coal mine.

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Old 05-29-09, 03:48 PM   #14
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Crushed ball bearing in the bottom bracket?
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Old 06-02-09, 02:26 PM   #15
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The oil idea I will try tonight.

Thanks

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Old 06-02-09, 02:28 PM   #16
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Last night I emailed S-A in hopes that they still had some of their cotters around. The reply was that they haven't made cotters in 20 years, so I'll waint for them to show up on ebay.

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Old 06-02-09, 07:08 PM   #17
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Last night I emailed S-A in hopes that they still had some of their cotters around. The reply was that they haven't made cotters in 20 years, so I'll waint for them to show up on ebay.

TSappenfield
A day or two ago a pair, still in the blister-pack, sold for $2.50 + $5.00 postage (or maybe it was the other way around).
Anyway, you can still find them for a reasonable price.
Happy hunting.
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Old 06-02-09, 07:20 PM   #18
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I also have a Sports, mines brown lol and I always have cotter pin problems, however I always have loads of replacement cotter pins. Is your Sports brown? Mine makes lots of noises. the handle bars creak, a peddle squaks, seat squeaks and the rear wheel thumps, but it's fun to ride, I ride it for about four hours a day, my fav bike!
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