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Old 04-30-12, 01:24 PM   #1
Xardas
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Raleigh Sports 1960

Hello,

I just purchased a used Raleigh Sports, which despite appearances actually is in really good condition. I'm planning on cleaning and restoring it as much as I can.

I stumbled upon it online while searching for the best durable, post-apocalypse bike I could find. Having the idea that vintage bikes were what best suited my needs, since they already proved their durability, and they usually are easier to repair (simple mechanics, steel that can be welded etc.) The online auction started at 10 euros and that's the price I got it for. It comes from a house on the sea (Knokke, Belgium). The salt there can't have done him much good, which can be seen on the fenders.

The story from the previous owner (52 y.o.) was that he got it when he was 12. So 1972 was my first guess. Actually, inspecting the rear AW hub the date was 1960, which, combined with a steel pulley and a brooks B66 saddle instead of the B72, has me convinced (by Sheldon Brown's information) this bike is more likely to having been built around 1960. But tell me if you think I'm wrong.

It has had a refit in the seventies though. I don't think the 'made in Switzerland' Lucifer headlight is typically Raleigh, as are neither the speedometer (Huret) and the rather interesting bell. (see pictures).

All lights are still working, gear shifting is very good, brakes function perfectly (I think they're original, see photos). I just replaced the flat inner rear tire, the bike was good to go. I did 30 km (20 miles) on it today, and the ride was a real treat!

So I came on this forum to ask some questions:

- How to remove the rust! I know this is possibly the most asked question about vintage bikes on this forum, but in this case you'll see how the rust on some points, and especially on the fenders, has penetrated the paint. I wonder how I can try to minimize this rust appearance, without damaging the paint too much? I already successfully tried to remove the rust on the unpainted parts (handlebar, rims) with steel whool soaked in vinegar (a good idea?).

- Should I replace the steel rims with aluminium ones? I did notice that braking power is less than on other aluminium rims, but it doesn't bother me too much. I do appreciate how the steel rims, when cleaned, shine in their chrome.

- Should I try to open and reassemble the Sturmey Archer hub? Or is just lubricating it through its oil cap enough?

- The brooks saddle. As the pictures show, it's quite dry, probably hasn't been treated for years or even decades. I was thinking about treating it from the underside with pure beeswax? (since we have some beehives in our garden).

- What are other adjustments / modifications I might consider? Keeping in mind that I primarily bought this bike for its ease of maintenance, durability. Although I'm quite falling in love with its vintage aspect, I wouldn't mind customizing it a little for practical reasons. But preferably nothing I can't undo.

Finally, does anyone have more information on my lamp brand? (Lucifer, Swiss) Or about the speed meter? (Huret) I would be very thankful.

Thank you all very much for any input!

Here are some pictures (almost as I bought it, it's been more cleaned since, and I have replaced the flat rear tire).

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Old 05-01-12, 10:14 AM   #2
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Anyone? Just a tip on the brooks beeswax treatment?
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Old 05-01-12, 11:26 AM   #3
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It's a lot of questions and some of them only you can answer. Dig a little deeper and read some more threads on OA or Oxalic Acid treatment (for rust) and Brooks saddles and Sun CR-18 rims. It'll help you make educated choices rather than polling the forum to vote on what to do with your bike. Personally I wouldn't put anything other than proofhide on the top of that saddle, nothing on the bottom. A car polishing compound like Scratch X or McGuires will make your bike shine after the rust is gone. New red Kool Stop pads will help your brakes out. New rims will defeat the whole restoring of a cheap bombproof bike, right?

Your bike has circa 60 decals and the correct double ended brake cables. I think the light and speedo are Euro mainstream accessories but I find the bell really interesting as well as the rack. It looks like an export market bike made for a European country, maybe Switzerland or the like. Tough to say.

It's the perfect, durable, post apocalyptic bike! Congrats, now get to work cleaning it up like Norm did with his '49

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Old 05-01-12, 11:35 AM   #4
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Reading through this thread will probably help you immensely.
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...glish-3-speeds
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Old 05-01-12, 11:38 AM   #5
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My understanding is Beeswax is not to be used with Brooks saddles...I always go with Brooks Proofide, but have heard of other oils working (neat oil or something like that?). If it doesn't come back to life, shell out the cash and buy one...they're worth it.

I would absolutely change out the rims to modern aluminum...I would also change out the brake calipers and, possibly, levers. To me stopping is one of the most important things a bike does, and if it doesn't do it well, including in rain, the bike has no value to me in real world commuting applications.

If you intend to commute with it, I'd also change out the lighting (assuming it has lighting) and go with modern LED or a modern generator hub/LED combo. Other modifications I'd consider would be lighter fenders, lighter bars and lighter cranks.
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Old 05-01-12, 11:57 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
It's a lot of questions and some of them only you can answer. Dig a little deeper and read some more threads on OA or Oxalic Acid treatment (for rust) and Brooks saddles and Sun CR-18 rims. It'll help you make educated choices rather than polling the forum to vote on what to do with your bike. Personally I wouldn't put anything other than proofhide on the top of that saddle, nothing on the bottom. A car polishing compound like Scratch X or McGuires will make your bike shine after the rust is gone. New red Kool Stop pads will help your brakes out. New rims will defeat the whole restoring of a cheap bombproof bike, right?

Your bike has circa 60 decals and the correct double ended brake cables. I think the light and speedo are Euro mainstream accessories but I find the bell really interesting as well as the rack. It looks like an export market bike made for a European country, maybe Switzerland or the like. Tough to say.

It's the perfect, durable, post apocalyptic bike! Congrats, now get to work cleaning it up like Norm did with his '49
clubman always offers sound advice to folks here on the forums when it comes to these old English steeds. Heed his advice.

I really think just cleaning the bike and servicing will serve you well as I don't see anything alarming with the rust that would call for much more than that.
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Old 05-01-12, 12:06 PM   #7
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My understanding is Beeswax is not to be used with Brooks saddles...I always go with Brooks Proofide, but have heard of other oils working (neat oil or something like that?). If it doesn't come back to life, shell out the cash and buy one...they're worth it.

I would absolutely change out the rims to modern aluminum...I would also change out the brake calipers and, possibly, levers. To me stopping is one of the most important things a bike does, and if it doesn't do it well, including in rain, the bike has no value to me in real world commuting applications.

If you intend to commute with it, I'd also change out the lighting (assuming it has lighting) and go with modern LED or a modern generator hub/LED combo. Other modifications I'd consider would be lighter fenders, lighter bars and lighter cranks.
I'd disregard a good bit of KonAaron Snake's advice, other than what he mentioned regarding Proofide and saddles. As rhm said in a thread the other day:
Ah, don't listen to Aaron! He hates bikes with internally geared hubs.
I'm largely in the camp of those that like to keep these old bikes original the the extent possible.

Aaron, I'm not picking on you here, but for someone who's not into 3-speeds you're sure showing a lot of interest in them lately. I suppose it's just a matter of time before you're trying to get us to convert them to derailleur gear bikes! What gives, man?
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Old 05-01-12, 12:24 PM   #8
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Wow,Theres Alot going on around the handle bars.You could probably lose ten pounds by cleaning up the cables. ..And those electrified reflectors.
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Old 05-01-12, 01:07 PM   #9
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Wow,Theres Alot going on around the handle bars.You could probably lose ten pounds by cleaning up the cables. ..And those electrified reflectors.
I think the reflectors are a nice touch!
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Old 05-01-12, 01:33 PM   #10
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I'd disregard a good bit of KonAaron Snake's advice, other than what he mentioned regarding Proofide and saddles. As rhm said in a thread the other day:
Ah, don't listen to Aaron! He hates bikes with internally geared hubs.
I'm largely in the camp of those that like to keep these old bikes original the the extent possible.

Aaron, I'm not picking on you here, but for someone who's not into 3-speeds you're sure showing a lot of interest in them lately. I suppose it's just a matter of time before you're trying to get us to convert them to derailleur gear bikes! What gives, man?
I don't like them personally...but if someone is asking for advice on modifications, I feel I do offer valuable advice...and it's advice others here don't offer. I think it's good to let folks with questions know that 3 speed steel rim braking is lacking...and suicidal in the rain. If he's going to commute with it...and ask...i'm going to offer my perspective. To me, the lighting and braking on these bikes are inadequate.

Others can explain why lights that don't work and brakes that don't stop are preferable.

I'm not picking on 3 speeds, it's any bike with steel rims, antiquated lighting and flexy calipers.
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Old 05-01-12, 01:36 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
I don't like them personally...but if someone is asking for advice on modifications, I feel I do offer valuable advice...and it's advice others here don't offer. I think it's good to let folks with questions know that 3 speed steel rim braking is lacking...and suicidal in the rain. If he's going to commute with it...and ask...i'm going to offer my perspective. To me, the lighting and braking on these bikes are inadequate.

Others can explain why lights that don't work and brakes that don't stop are preferable.
+1 Old does not always equal better. IGH's are people who think about riding rather than riding.
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Old 05-01-12, 01:42 PM   #12
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....
Others can explain why lights that don't work and brakes that don't stop are preferable.....
I would offer that they add much to the excitement of riding a real vintage 3-speed!
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Old 05-01-12, 01:48 PM   #13
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I love you man.

This really isn't a 3 spd issue, or an igh issue, it's a braking/lighting issue. I don't want vintage safety.
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Old 05-01-12, 02:40 PM   #14
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Clubman, thank you. I did quite some reading beforehand, but I thought it couldn't go wrong asking about this specific bike. I read about oxalic acid, but am a bit afraid I might damage the original paint. I think I'll just leave the rust on the paint. If I were to remove it, the steel would be bare and it would rust again. I'll follow on your advice for the Brooks. Information on beeswax was rather vague, and proofide isn't that expensive anyway. Thanks for the tip on the car polish, hadn't thought about that yet. My breaking pads are still in good condition, but I've read about these Kool Stop pads before. If they make me brake better I'll get those too. And yes, the rack is uncommon indeed! I had my father see the bike, and he owned a very similar raleigh when he was young. First thing he noticed that was different was the rack.

Fenway, thanks for the link, lots of nice bikes in there!

KonAaron Snake, thanks for your tip on the beeswax. I'll get the proofide then. As for the rims, the chromed steel ones are quite beautiful. I also like the idea between the 32/40 spokes count. The wheels do need some truing. I'll first see if the Kool Stop pads improve the braking, I haven't yet ridden in the rain, but since I won't be using it for commuting (I've already had 2 bikes stolen), I don't think braking in the rain will be a problem since I will probably mostly take it out when the weather is nice. I just came home from riding the bike in the dark, and the lighting works well enough, so the LEDs are an option maybe for later, right now I'm happy with it. Finally, I don't consider improvements on the weight front that important. The bike is already quite heavy, but as I understand it weight doesn't really matter much if you don't rely on quick accelerating/decelerating and mostly tour on flat roads. I actually like the weight of the bike, it gives a very solid, stable feeling. With a cruising speed of 25 km/h (for 50 km this weekend), with as only service having replaced a flat tire, I'm very happy already with the bike's performance compared to my lighter, aluminium commuter...

photogravity, yes I spotted KonAaron on Norm's thread also But I do understand his opinion a bit. Myself I am a little torn too now between saving the vintage aspect, or fully go for the practical bike.

Michael K, yes, and it's not only the handelbars.. All those cables are quite a sight too. 2 brake cables, gear shifter cable, bell cable and speedometer cable...

Thank you all, I'll be posting updates when I'll work on the bike (will be rather slow going, exams are around the corner now). I hope to have it finished beginning of July, when I'll be able to make a bike trip around Italy (getting there by train).
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Old 05-01-12, 03:00 PM   #15
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+1 Old does not always equal better. IGH's are people who think about riding rather than riding.
Lets see if you say that after rhm drops you on our ride Friday as you struggle to maintain the pace he keeps riding his IGH equipped RRA or Fothergill!
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Old 05-01-12, 03:09 PM   #16
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Lets see if you say that after rhm drops you on our ride Friday as you struggle to maintain the pace he keeps riding his IGH equipped RRA or Fothergill!
Stop using RHM as your IGH proxy! I want to see you climb the hills of Topton PA w/ a not-low-enough-low on a bike that weighs 20lbs too much!
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Old 05-01-12, 03:20 PM   #17
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There's 2 three speeds in the garge now,no thanks to this forum.

I see the bell now,very unique!
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Old 05-01-12, 04:31 PM   #18
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Stop using RHM as your IGH proxy! I want to see you climb the hills of Topton PA w/ a not-low-enough-low on a bike that weighs 20lbs too much!
Oh, I very seriously doubt I'd drop anyone, no matter the bike I'm on. After all it's the engine, yes? As of now, it's a toss up between the Norman Rapide (37, 45, 57 and 72 gear inches) and the Peugeot PX-8 (32, 42, 48, 54, 62, 70, 80, 104 gear inches). Which do you suggest, since you seem to know the area a little bit?
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Old 05-01-12, 05:37 PM   #19
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Aluminum rims are much better than steel, particularly in the rain. Sun CR-18 26" x 1-3/8" rims are available in 32, 36, and 40 hole drillings with either a satin or polished finish and are a drop-in replacement for the stock rims. This means that you can use the spokes from your present wheels, if they aren't seized to the nipples.

If the hub is working well, there's no point in opening it up unless you're curious about what happens inside. Those hubs are very durable, and just regular lubrication through the oil port will keep them going strong for decades.

Re: the saddle -- I've had good luck with a combination of Proofide, shoe polish, and SnoSeal. Start with a Proofide treatment, and let it soak in for a day or so. You don't need to drown it in Proofide; just a thin layer on all surfaces. Follow it up with shoe polish of the appropriate color, with particular attention to scuffed areas. Then apply SnoSeal on top of the polish. The solvent in the SnoSeal will carry the pigment from the polish deeper into the leather, and the beeswax in the SnoSeal will keep it there when the solvent has evaporated. A hair dryer will help the SnoSeal penetrate the leather. You may need to repeat the polish/SnoSeal step once or twice depending on the condition of the saddle and how it responds.

I've done this with several old Brooks Pros with good results.

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Old 05-01-12, 05:39 PM   #20
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My understanding is Beeswax is not to be used with Brooks saddles...I always go with Brooks Proofide, but have heard of other oils working (neat oil or something like that?). If it doesn't come back to life, shell out the cash and buy one...they're worth it.
Beeswax is a component of Proofide, and does not soften the leather the way Neat's foot oil does. I'd avoid treatments other than Proofide and beeswax for that reason.


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Old 05-01-12, 06:06 PM   #21
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I don't like them personally...but if someone is asking for advice on modifications, I feel I do offer valuable advice...and it's advice others here don't offer. I think it's good to let folks with questions know that 3 speed steel rim braking is lacking...and suicidal in the rain. If he's going to commute with it...and ask...i'm going to offer my perspective. To me, the lighting and braking on these bikes are inadequate.

Others can explain why lights that don't work and brakes that don't stop are preferable.

I'm not picking on 3 speeds, it's any bike with steel rims, antiquated lighting and flexy calipers.
I guess I must have a death wish...

In reality there are several ways to greatly improve some of the issues that KonAaron brings up with out resorting to a multi million dollar overhaul.

I use modern LED lights with old dyno hubs, adding Continental Koolstops to the brakes makes a huge difference on the steel rims, even in the wet. FWIW I have been riding these damned deathtraps for over 40 years and am still here to tell about it. I even ride rod brake roadsters in the rain, but plan my trips to avoid stopping.

Aaron
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Old 05-01-12, 06:25 PM   #22
fender1
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oh, i very seriously doubt i'd drop anyone, no matter the bike i'm on. After all it's the engine, yes? as of now, it's a toss up between the norman rapide (37, 45, 57 and 72 gear inches) and the peugeot px-8 (32, 42, 48, 54, 62, 70, 80, 104 gear inches). Which do you suggest, since you seem to know the area a little bit?
px-8.
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Old 05-01-12, 08:22 PM   #23
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[QUOTE= and flexy calipers.[/QUOTE]

On my two Raleigh Sprites, I have found the one with the standard steel Raleigh caliper brakes to be far less flexy than the one with the classic Weinman alloy brakes. Easier to adjust, too.
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Old 05-01-12, 08:29 PM   #24
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Beeswax is a component of Proofide, and does not soften the leather the way Neat's foot oil does. I'd avoid treatments other than Proofide and beeswax for that reason.

Thanks John...I get this stuff confused. Part of why I use proofide is to avoid getting this stuff mixed up.

I know others are less enthused with modernizing rims, but that's not an area where I'm willing to compromise.
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Old 05-01-12, 10:03 PM   #25
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Oh lovely! I would definitely upgrade to alloy rims, especially if you have rim brakes. But, make sure you get the right size and something that is polished...unlike my recent wheel build for my raleigh sports. grrrr!! CR-18's are highly polished and come in 650a.
I just found 4 sturmey archer hubs at the recycling depot-on very mysterious wheels. I have no idea what to do with them or how to tell if they would work.
Do you keep bees or do you just have some friendly honeybees willing to give up some wax? I use proofhide and have no idea how natural beeswax would go, but I think you could try use it just like proof hide-wax on, wax off.
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