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Old 06-21-09, 07:54 PM   #1
Ed Holland
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Raleigh Super Course & Lucky Me!

Hi Folks,

Been a while since I posted around here, but today, I made it back to the C&V game. My dear lovely wife found me a pressy for father's day in the shape of a Raleigh Super Course frame and fork. So far, I've been able to do a little detective work, and am pretty sure it is a 1978 vintage. Pictures to follow later...

This is very cool as although I live hear San Jose these days, I was born and grew up in Nottingham and just about remember the Raleigh factory (late 70's & 80s). There's work to do, but I'm already looking forward to riding a bike from home..

First off, I want to work out the build. I'm thinking of setting up with downtube shifters, but would need a band-on shifter set. Rear axle spacing will need consideration also, though I have some wheels that I can use to begin with, by removing a spacer from the rear axle and re-truing - I'd sooner not spread the frame just yet. I have a collection of other parts I can use to begin with, to see how this bike and I get along on the road... Then we can refine things with appropriate parts, as this seems from all accounts to be a decent quality 531 frame.

What I will need to find are:

Chainset, seatpost & binder bolt, front derailleur (I have a good rear d), shifter setup, brakes, headset, Clamp bands for water bottle cages, quill stem & possibly handlebars if what I have won't match up.

Oh joy, somethimg important to worry about at last!

Cheers,

Ed
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Old 06-21-09, 08:07 PM   #2
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Of course we wanna see pics.
I've got the downtube shifters off mine (Huret, I think) if you want them. I went to barends.
My favorite bike so far. Every bike I get I compare it to the SC and if it aint better I flip it. I've flipped a few so far.
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Old 06-21-09, 08:19 PM   #3
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One note on the spreading of the frame-Do it. Don't waste time removing spacers and redishing. The frame is steel and doesn't care what spacing the rear hub has. Also, the easiest way to find parts is to find a suitable donor bike. Buy vintage road bike if you can find one at a decent price, remove parts, and then resell the frame/fork on the local craigslist. If you do careful shopping you could end up with a Free parts group.
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Old 06-21-09, 08:19 PM   #4
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Welcome to my nightmare...I just started pulling one apart this evening for a total redo. Misery loves company. At least yours is already apart! Congrats on a nice present. It'll be worth it in the end.

Cheers.
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Old 06-22-09, 02:36 PM   #5
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OK Here's some pictures as promised:

Although it has a few marks here and there, I'd say condition is excellent, and the real bonus is that it apears never to have been built up There was a little surface rust on the steerer tube & threads, but a dose of remover brought back clean shiny metal. A light coating of linseed oil will protect it for now.

P1010699s.jpg

P1010700s.jpg

P1010701s.jpg

P1010702s.jpg

P1010703s.jpg

I picked up a headset this morning, so at least I can keep the fork & frame together. Unfortunately the stems available at the shop were not suitable - too much rise... More shopping & Fleabay scouring to be done!

To redxj - I might well spread the frame eventually, it's just I have some half decent wheels with a 7 speed cassette "ready to roll" so will go with that to begin with - it's easy & cheap . I was a bit wary about spreading, as an old Peugeot "Carbolite" frame I used to ride, spread to accommodate an 8 speed setup, eventually broke at the drive side dropout where it met the chainstay. The Raleigh frame is in a different league in construction The thin stamped Peugeot lugs were nowhere near as substantial, plus that frame had been realigned after a rather serious crash...

To Sailorbenjamin - Thanks for the offer, I may PM you about the shifters.

Cheers,

Ed
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Old 06-22-09, 02:54 PM   #6
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Wow, that's a tall boy!
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Old 06-22-09, 03:54 PM   #7
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Wow,your "Wife" found that for you ?--- how lucky can a guy get !
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Old 06-22-09, 04:21 PM   #8
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Guess she couldn't find one with the gold paint then.
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Old 06-22-09, 11:03 PM   #9
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It's tall-ish, but will work just fine for me.

Regarding the colour, not sure what the official name for this shade is, but copper/bronze metallic is how I'd describe it. Anyhow it's lovely to me!

Unfortunately the junior turnip at the bike shop, despite seeing the frame and fork and talking to the mechanic, sold me a threadless headset - so no luck getting parts joined together today. He also tried to offer me a choice of two different brake calipers (not sets...). Will pop back tomorrow for an exchange and suggest they have him make the tea or fit handlebar streamers from now on

Ho-hum....

Ed
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Old 06-22-09, 11:53 PM   #10
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Nice looking frame, I like that color. Does indeed look like it has never been assembled.
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Old 06-23-09, 01:32 PM   #11
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.... Does indeed look like it has never been assembled.
Yes, there are no tell-tale marks at the brake mounting holes, bottom bracket threads or signs of headset cups having been pressed in. There's the mildest impression from a quick release clamp on the faces of the dropouts.

Ed
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Old 06-23-09, 01:50 PM   #12
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I think it's from about 1975, based on the decals.

How tall are you?
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Old 06-23-09, 02:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I think it's from about 1975, based on the decals.
I believe the Super Course wasn't made from double-butted 531 until 1979 or 1980. Below is the 1980 catalog page:



Neal
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Old 06-23-09, 03:27 PM   #14
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According to my decoding of the serial number, it's a 1978 frame. The reference I used for that is here:

http://www.jaysmarine.com/TH_raleigh_serials.html

As for frame size, its a touch on the large side but seems entirely workable, based on the dimensions of my other bikes.

Ed
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Old 06-23-09, 09:56 PM   #15
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I stand corrected.
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Old 06-24-09, 06:29 PM   #16
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Hey, no worries

So I'm slowly assembling parts, and have a lead on some downtube shifters, cable stops etc... However, I've run into a headache with the seatpost... The books say 26.8mm diameter, and this size fits correctly in the collar/clamp at the top of the tube. However it binds solid about 3" into the seat tube, and cant be persuaded further unless I want a permanent press fit. A 26.6mm seatpost will make it all the way, but will require shims, or some other ugly fix for the clamp to work.

As far as I can tell, there's nothing obvious in the seat tube causing an obstruction, just a slight reduction of the internal diameter.

Any ideas please?

Cheers,

Ed
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Old 06-24-09, 07:02 PM   #17
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Look carefully at the seat tube. Lay a straightedge along the outside and look for a bow, kink, or crease. Also, try to shine a light in the seat tube and look for any blemishes and debris. Maybe there's some sort of crud in the way. A good wipe with a rag, maybe on the end of a screwdriver, might clear it.

Something wrong is blocking the seatpost.
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Old 06-24-09, 07:11 PM   #18
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Thanks Road Fan - I'll give those ideas a try and report back...
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Old 06-24-09, 10:04 PM   #19
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It's straight & clean, as far as I can tell with a straight edge etc. What I do note is that there are factory machining marks inside the seat tube and these finish at a depth similar to that which I can insert the post.... Looks like I might do well to find someone who can ream the tube a little deeper.

Nothing's easy...
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Old 06-24-09, 11:18 PM   #20
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Try a brake cylinder hone from the auto parts store.
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Old 06-25-09, 12:36 AM   #21
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None of the shops near me has a seattube reamer. It seems this craft is dying. I did find the machine tools on the web but haven't justified the cost yet. I'll be impressed if you find someone with the right reamer.
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Old 06-25-09, 06:49 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Holland View Post
It's straight & clean, as far as I can tell with a straight edge etc. What I do note is that there are factory machining marks inside the seat tube and these finish at a depth similar to that which I can insert the post.... Looks like I might do well to find someone who can ream the tube a little deeper.

Nothing's easy...
Another option may be to take your seat post to a local machine shop. They could easily chuck the seat post in a lathe and machine down the post from the bottom up just engough to allow for the correct fit,
leaving plenty of material for you to clamp on.
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Old 06-25-09, 12:32 PM   #23
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All good ideas - Thank you.

I have a brake cylinder hone (my other hobby is restoring my 1967 "English 4 speed" MGB) - it wasn't getting anywhere.
I'll try the shops first, otherwise will look for an adjustable reamer set (useful thing to have anyway). There are several options available, if I can find one that will reach far enough into the tube.

The other thing would be to work gradually with abrasive paper on a dowel built up with tape to the right diameter. The reamer would be better though...

Cheers,

Ed
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Old 06-27-09, 07:46 PM   #24
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Update: Problem fixed!

It came down to finding a bike shop with a reamer, which took a couple of phone calls. The mechanic cleared the seat tube down as far as the reamer would reach, and now accepts 6" of seatpost. (It seems difficult to describe this without it seeming rather suggestive, but perhaps thats just me.... )

Anyway, I'm now waiting on a few parts, and wondering what else I have in spares that will be acceptable.

Cheers,

Ed
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Old 06-28-09, 04:17 PM   #25
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Searching the vaults today unearthed an Ofmega 52-42 crankset that I'd forgotten about. It was a bit scruffy, but has polished up beautifully and will look very nice. I worked from 320 grit abrasive paper down to 2000 grit, wetting with mineral spirits. Brasso took care of the final shine. I'm wondering about doing the same thing with the inexpensive black seatpost I bought, in order to maintain a more classic appearence.

Any input?

Ed
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