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  1. #1
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    Raleigh 1960ish Sports restoration tips TIA

    Hello All,

    I have (from what I can determine) a 1960s Raleigh Sports female my girlfriend left with me before she left for school. I had promised her would take care of it but to be quite honest this bike has seen better days. I thought it would be a fun project to restore it for her. From what I can gather it needs a new front hub/rim, tires, brakes, the gears need to be fixed up, triggers, little bit of rust, chain and some chrome polishing. Just all of it.

    From what I've read on the forums i could determine a few things like polishing the frame with bunched foil and linseed oil to preserve the patina. I can polish the chrome in a similar fashion but with chrome polish. I could replace the chain and brakes. Other than that I need some help. I'm not very good with bikes but I am a handy person. Are there any procedures or tips on what I should be doing? I know how to tune my road bike but when it comes to this I'm kind of like a fish out of water. How do I get the rusty screws out? I tried really hard but they wouldn't budge. Where do I get parts?

    Thanks in Advance. Attached is a picture of the bike. I really appreciate any input. I figured this would be a nice addition to her christmas gift.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    26 tpi nut. sailorbenjamin's Avatar
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    I have spoken.

  3. #3
    Senior Member snarkypup's Avatar
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    What a nice boyfriend . I'm not sure you polish the paint with the foil. I thought that was the chrome. I thought paint was cleaned with lemon furniture oil (like Pledge), then use a bit of automotive polish like ScratchX, then car wax. I just did a thread recently on cleaning paint. You might be able to find it a couple pages back.

    If you're going to put on a new front rim, I suspect you'll want to put on a new back one, too. Then you can get lighter rims, which will make the brakes more effective and the bike lighter to ride. Others will know more. Salmon colored Kool-Stop Continental pads are the pads of choice for these guys. I have them on my Sports from the same era.

    For tires, it depends. If you get new rims, then I'm not sure which tires are best for the ones you'll get. For my Sports' original rims, I put on Schwalbe Delta Cruisers in cream. They're a bit pricey, though. About $48 a pair. Once you get the rims, we can help you more with tires. A budget will help. How much love are we talking about here?

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    No Money and No Sense sillygolem's Avatar
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    For rust use PB Blaster. You can pick it up at most auto repair stores. Remember that some parts are left-hand thread.

    If it's been sitting for a while you should probably take the crank out and regrease the bearings. If I'm looking at your picture correctly, this bike has a Sturmey Archer 3-speed. If you can't move it easily spray the inside with brake cleaner; often people will use crap like sewing machine oil that will lacquer the inside and make it stick. Add a few drops of motor oil to the hub, preferably SAE 20 weight. Sheldon Brown has a whole section on his site about these hubs.

    Incidentally, you should see "AW" (or possibly SW - Raleigh fans probably know which one) on the hub followed by a two digit number. This number is the year the hub was built, and it's probably original with the bike. AW hubs are still in production and you can still get parts, but they're generally indestructable as-is.

    Also, it would be a good time to true the wheels. Er...wheel.

    Parts are readily available, but there are a couple odd-ball things you should know:

    The handlebars are 7/8" and modern bars are 1". You can buy 7/8" grips if you need them while other 1" parts will fit with a small piece of rubber wrapped inside the clamp.

    Stock rims take a 26" x 1 3/8" tire. You can still buy rims this size for the front, and the popularity of these bikes means the size is readily available, although your choices will be a little more limited than other 26" sizes.

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    @Snarkypup:
    Thanks I try .
    I like your suggestions for the wheels. The cream sidewalls sound like a good touch, I was thinking something along those lines as well. I'm trying to keep it as true to its original parts and look but the wheels and tires need to be replaced. She like antiques and such...things with some age and character on them.

    @sillygolem:
    Thanks for the tips. The rust was a bit much to deal with...The front wheel is taken off but I do have it...it was quite frankly the only thing I could get off the bike In the process the wheel bearings and such came loose. I think my best course of action is to take the thing apart assess what needs to be replaced then put it back together.

    Thank you again to the both of you. This has helped me get started. I'm sure I'll be running into problems during teardown and eventually reassembly. This will be a nice surprise waiting for her after a tough semester in grad school.

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    Senior Member ftwelder's Avatar
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    also check "http://www.mytenspeeds.com" for lots of good resto and repair tips.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sillygolem View Post
    For rust use PB Blaster. You can pick it up at most auto repair stores. Remember that some parts are left-hand thread.

    If it's been sitting for a while you should probably take the crank out and regrease the bearings. If I'm looking at your picture correctly, this bike has a Sturmey Archer 3-speed. If you can't move it easily spray the inside with brake cleaner; often people will use crap like sewing machine oil that will lacquer the inside and make it stick. Add a few drops of motor oil to the hub, preferably SAE 20 weight. Sheldon Brown has a whole section on his site about these hubs.

    Incidentally, you should see "AW" (or possibly SW - Raleigh fans probably know which one) on the hub followed by a two digit number. This number is the year the hub was built, and it's probably original with the bike. AW hubs are still in production and you can still get parts, but they're generally indestructable as-is.

    Also, it would be a good time to true the wheels. Er...wheel.

    Parts are readily available, but there are a couple odd-ball things you should know:

    The handlebars are 7/8" and modern bars are 1". You can buy 7/8" grips if you need them while other 1" parts will fit with a small piece of rubber wrapped inside the clamp.

    Stock rims take a 26" x 1 3/8" tire. You can still buy rims this size for the front, and the popularity of these bikes means the size is readily available, although your choices will be a little more limited than other 26" sizes.
    I would approach that crankset with care. Cotter pin cranks can be tough to take apart, and to get back together correctly. Not that it won't benefit from help, but it can be done wrong.

    As far as general disassembly and replacement, you should think in terms of internal cleaning and regreasing. Hubs and BB parts will not be easy to find except from donor bikes, and even there, these machines still are in demand. For example, if the races and cones from the front wheel are acceptable, re-use them. Replacing the whole hub is a big job, and getting a well-matched replacement wheel could also be a problem.

    I recently saw a refurb 3-speed at a shop, where the brakes, same old steel calipers as you have, had been tweaked and tuned to the point where they felt as good as new single pivot brakes. Wholesale replacement should not be needed.

    Test cleaners on painted areas where a problem would not be noticed, like on the inside of a fork blade.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    And if you find a source for the original-style Raleigh grips, please let me know - I need some.

  9. #9
    gna
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    Ther0utine, where are you located? There may be help close by.

    We have the RetroRaleigh link, how about Sheldon's English 3-Speed page?
    Also, Mark Stonich, aka Bikesmith has some tips: http://bikesmithdesign.com/

    Look for some of the many English 3-speed threads on this forum for useful advice.

    I would rub down the frame with gear oil, let it sit, then polish it a day later. Really surprising how well that works to clean, polish, and protect the bike.

    Clean up the rims on the front and back wheels. Often times they will clean up well and be usable. Many folks get new pads, such as KoolStop Continentals or Cane Creek Grays to improve braking. If the rims are shot, you can:
    1) buy used front/back at bike recycler
    2)rebuild with Sun CR-18 alloy rims, transferring the spokes over.

  10. #10
    Senior Member greengage's Avatar
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    Aren't the black Hunt-Wilde grips pretty similar, unless you're a real purist? The silver-grey grips that show up on some 60's Raleighs seem to turn up on eBay fairly often.

    Nice that this bike has that original rack--I'd kill for one of those.
    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    And if you find a source for the original-style Raleigh grips, please let me know - I need some.
    1932 Raleigh "Utility model"
    1948 Raleigh Sports
    1949 Lenton Sports
    1965 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist
    1965 Raleigh Sports
    1971 Grand Prix

  11. #11
    Senior Member snarkypup's Avatar
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    I think the ones Harris Cyclery sells are pretty close to the original grips. Or you could go with cork. Here's my '69 Sports with Rivendell's Portuguese grips, glued on as instructed and shellaced with three coats of amber shellac. They are softening up with time. At first they were rock hard, but in the last couple months, they've gotten a pleasant hand to them. I sanded them lightly with 000 steelwool to get rid of the shineyness. I also have the cream Delta Cruisers on the bike, the salmon Kool-Stops, and a cute little saddlebag from Velo-Orange. She could also rock some wire baskets like my Basil ones for her rack, and get groceries.

    I use automatic transmission fluid in my hub, once a month, with just a squirt from an old-fashioned gooseneck can I got an the auto parts store. Works great.


    glamorshotnew3 by snarkypup, on Flickr

  12. #12
    No Money and No Sense sillygolem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    I would approach that crankset with care. Cotter pin cranks can be tough to take apart, and to get back together correctly. Not that it won't benefit from help, but it can be done wrong.
    I couldn't tell from the photo if it was cottered or single piece. A cottered crank tool will make removal a LOT easier.

    As for grips, you have your choice of the aforementioned Hunt-Wilde grips, Rivendell or Dimension cork grips, or Problem Solvers 7/8" to 1" shims with 1" grips. Cork needs to be sealed: Shellac looks the best, but polyurethane will work.

    If the front wheel bearings are still in their rings and still shiny they should be OK. If they're dull or copper-colored, they need to be replaced. Bearing cups should be OK as long as they aren't pitted.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sillygolem View Post
    I couldn't tell from the photo if it was cottered or single piece. A cottered crank tool will make removal a LOT easier.

    As for grips, you have your choice of the aforementioned Hunt-Wilde grips, Rivendell or Dimension cork grips, or Problem Solvers 7/8" to 1" shims with 1" grips. Cork needs to be sealed: Shellac looks the best, but polyurethane will work.

    If the front wheel bearings are still in their rings and still shiny they should be OK. If they're dull or copper-colored, they need to be replaced. Bearing cups should be OK as long as they aren't pitted.
    I think I've made a mess of the front hub when I took the wheel off...ball bearings everywhere. Is there a certain way I should be placing the bearings back in and greasing them?

    As far as paint there seems to be a little rust on the paint. Not too much but I'm trying to figure out what to do. I'm sort of against the idea of repainting the whole thing...but dang I want the frame to look as nice as snarkypup's bike! that thing looks great! Any suggestions?

    thanks again for the tips everyone! the support has been overwhelming, this forum is awesome!
    Last edited by ther0utine; 11-15-10 at 07:15 AM. Reason: typo

  14. #14
    gna
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    Do you have all the ball bearings? There should be 10 on each side of the front hub. Clean the ball bearings, the hub, and the cones and axle. Insepct for pits and rough spots. If they're good, go ahead and reuse them.

    I usually put grease in the hub and place the ball bearings in the grease, 10 on each side. The grease should hold them in place. I then screw the right hand cone (the one without wrench flats) all the way down until it contacts the shoulder on the axle. I then insert the assembly through the hub body. Then I take the left hand cone and screw it down until it is snug.

    The front fork has to be spread to get the front wheel to drop in, so I hold the forks with my fingers, place my thumbs on the axle ends, and squeeze. This should spread the axle enough to let the hub drop in. I try to let the spigots on the cones line up with the holes on the forks, line up the wheel, and then I snug up the right side. Then I can use a cone wrench to adjust the left side as needed, then I tighten it down, too.

  15. #15
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ther0utine View Post
    I think I've made a mess of the front hub when I took the wheel off...ball bearings everywhere. Is there a certain way I should be placing the bearings back in and greasing them?

    As far as paint there seems to be a little rust on the paint. Not too much but I'm trying to figure out what to do. I'm sort of against the idea of repainting the whole thing...but dang I want the frame to look as nice as snarkypup's bike! that thing looks great! Any suggestions?

    thanks again for the tips everyone! the support has been overwhelming, this forum is awesome!
    therOutine:

    I have always been a great believer in these bicycles
    as a solid, beautifully designed urban transportation
    alternative:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...=#post11759990

    However, I am a little concerned at this point that
    your noble intentions might exceed your mechanical
    abilities (at this point in time) to accomplish your
    objectives. Certainly, you will learn a great deal
    from your project.

    With any luck, the people here can walk you through
    most of it, but there are some ideosyncracies with
    Raleigh bicycles of this era that will complicate the
    process (and further contribute to your edification).

    For example, your front hub. It is a different width
    between the dropouts than most of the front hubs
    you will encounter in more modern products (or
    even a lot of the bicycles from other makers contemporary
    with yours.) It appears to contain loose balls rather
    than bearing retainers (given your most recent post),
    but may still be perfectly serviceable with regreasing
    and readjustment. If you have lost any of the bearings
    (a not uncommon occurrence) you will need to replace
    at least some of them. Ball bearings are cheap, get
    your LBS to measure one of yours and try to figure out
    how many you need (I'm guessing maybe 10 or 11 per
    side, but it varies and I haven't had my front apart for
    a while and can't recall exactly.) I'd replace them all (cheap).
    The bearing adjustment on these, as originally sold, has
    to be done with the wheel installed in the fork, if I recall
    correctly.

    Here is a method of working on your cotters that has worked
    well for me:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...=#post11774914

    What I've done on mine is to relace the wheels with
    some bargain alloy MTB rims, replace the brakes (which
    were absolutely dreadful as sold as original equipment)
    with longer reach Dia Compe salvaged ones, put on
    better brake pads, and popped for some Schwalbe
    Marathon tires in the 1.5" width (very fine tires.)

    I am now able ( on this obviously utilitarian bicycle)
    to catch and keep up with (for short distances) road
    bike weenies with skinny high pressure tires and
    head to toe lycra spandex team outfits. Sorta like
    that old Dodge Dart with the big block Mopar your
    grampa used to have -- a sleeper. This, of course,
    offers no end of amusement to me, but will probably
    be of little interest to your girlfriend.

    My own advice would be to worry less about the paint
    and more about the mechanicals. Believe it or not,
    if you make these too shiny, guys steal them for resale
    so you end up having to ride around with a big ol'
    lock that weighs almost as much as the bicycle.

    Good luck and godspeeed.

    Mike Larmer
    Quote Originally Posted by Terrierman View Post
    No wonder everybody hates you.

  16. #16
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    Hello All

    Sorry for the lack of updates it has been crazy busy at work!

    So this is where I'm at. The frame and paint are a little worse than I expected upon closer inspection. Is there a easy DIY way of repainting the bike?

    Additionally the crank is stuck!! That bolt or w/e that is is just bent and jammed in there...darn previous owner. Any suggestions?

    Where should I be looking as far as replacement parts such as a new seat and how should I go about fixing the gears?!?! Thanks everyone! HAppy holidays!

    IMG00396-20101128-1717.jpgIMG00395-20101128-1717.jpgIMG00394-20101128-1716.jpg

  17. #17
    gna
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    You've got a stuck cotter. Take a punch and hammer it out, or drill it out.

    If you hammer it out, you need a short piece of pipe to brace the crank arm on, between the crank and the floor, around the end of the cotter. That way the pipe absorbs the blow, not your bottom bracket cup.

    I'd just rub it up with gear oil rather than paint it, but that's your call.

    What's wrong with the gears?

  18. #18
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Since you are new to wrenching, I would take that stuck cotter pin to the shop of your choice and have them remove it for you. Make sure it is the right kind of shop, used to dealing with old stuff (talk to them, it should be obvious). Some jobs its just a lot easier with the right tools.

    As far as rust, google is your friend. There is an endless amount of info out there on dealing with rust. My tools of choice: for minor spot rust, a rust converter primer, can find it just about anywhere (I bought mine at Walmart, in the automotive touch up paint area); for more serious rust, oxalic acid.

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    gna and work101 thanks for the tips...

    I will take it to a shop to have the cotter pin removed. Thanks for the tip. I would drill it out but I don't have a workshop setup where I currently live. What kind of oil would you use to help the paint a bit?

    I will be using the primer (I remember the stuff from painting lots of iron railings around my house as a kid...ugh). My only question is how can i use the primer while using the oil to help the other non rusted paint?

    Thanks everyone. Sorry for the noob questions.

  20. #20
    Senior Member randyjawa's Avatar
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    I built and published MY "TEN SPEEDS" with people like the OP and me in mind. For people looking to learn about how to find, restore and, perhaps, ride, a vintage bicycle, MTS might be a good place to seek information.

    I have owned several Sports, this one picked up for a song, being one of them. Yup, that's me:-)
    RaleighSport_57_FullSideRight_Me.jpg

    Hope this is a help.

  21. #21
    gna
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    Quote Originally Posted by ther0utine View Post
    gna and work101 thanks for the tips...

    I will take it to a shop to have the cotter pin removed. Thanks for the tip. I would drill it out but I don't have a workshop setup where I currently live. What kind of oil would you use to help the paint a bit?

    I will be using the primer (I remember the stuff from painting lots of iron railings around my house as a kid...ugh). My only question is how can i use the primer while using the oil to help the other non rusted paint?

    Thanks everyone. Sorry for the noob questions.
    Don't use the oil if you are going to paint. It's an either/or. If you're going to paint, you need to try and sand the rust and get the bike as clean as possible, so I'd wash with Dawn or something like that after sanding. You may wash before and after, just to see what you've got.

    I use 90 weight gear oil to rub down and protect my Raleighs, as I just live with the patina.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    I would approach that crankset with care. Cotter pin cranks can be tough to take apart, and to get back together correctly. Not that it won't benefit from help, but it can be done wrong.

    As far as general disassembly and replacement, you should think in terms of internal cleaning and regreasing. Hubs and BB parts will not be easy to find except from donor bikes, and even there, these machines still are in demand. For example, if the races and cones from the front wheel are acceptable, re-use them. Replacing the whole hub is a big job, and getting a well-matched replacement wheel could also be a problem.

    I recently saw a refurb 3-speed at a shop, where the brakes, same old steel calipers as you have, had been tweaked and tuned to the point where they felt as good as new single pivot brakes. Wholesale replacement should not be needed.

    Test cleaners on painted areas where a problem would not be noticed, like on the inside of a fork blade.
    One other thing on cranks, often old Raleighs are Raleigh threaded, which is 26TPI rather then the common English 24TPI and 26TPI parts are not common anymore which means that replacement parts, even used ones, are hideously expensive.


    So you need to make sure that you don't damage anything in there.

  23. #23
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    I'd suggest keeping as much of the old parts as possible. Too hard to find replacements and too expensive to buy all new parts.
    I had really good luck using distilled white vineagar to remove rust from the chrome parts. Soak for an hour or so, brush/scrub off and then rinse and coat with light oil like WD-40.
    It really made a nice difference in all my chrome bits like crank and brake levers etc.

    Here's my build progress on a bike nearly identical to yours.
    I opted for a full repaint. Will complete the build shortly, perhapse this week.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...2#post11929802
    My blog about rides, bikes and builds: ridesgoneby.blogspot.com

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