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Old 08-23-13, 12:25 PM   #1
MaggieJayne
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Wanting to convert Raleigh Record

I am hoping to pick this lil guy up tonight from CL (ONLY $20!) as I have wanted to fix something up for a while now. (I'm 5'1'') I want to convert it to a single speed to just whip around the neighborhood. I know it was a low-end beginner bike so that's why I think It'd be good for a conversion.


Do you guys think it will be difficult/expensive to do this? Is there anything to be concerned about the quality of it before I buy it?


The seller only said it needs tires which I have.

Link to high quality pic: http://re-cycle.com/ImageFetch.ashx?...2&ImageID=5484





Update: http://imgur.com/a/CjTXV - Built up for me by Phil at One On One bike shop here in MPLS, MN!

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Old 08-23-13, 12:43 PM   #2
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To make it a SS you just need to find the gear you like, take the derailleurs and shifter off, shorten the chain and then of course ride the bike. My advice before you do this is to put tires on it, put the bike in a gear you think you will like and try riding it for a week that way. If it pedals to hard or easy try a different gear for a week. When you find a gear you can use for everything then do the chain cutting thing. Roger
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Old 08-23-13, 12:45 PM   #3
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Thank you!
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Old 08-23-13, 12:59 PM   #4
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To make it a SS you just need to find the gear you like, take the derailleurs and shifter off, shorten the chain and then of course ride the bike. My advice before you do this is to put tires on it, put the bike in a gear you think you will like and try riding it for a week that way. If it pedals to hard or easy try a different gear for a week. When you find a gear you can use for everything then do the chain cutting thing. Roger

Well... Ok, but that's the sloppy way to do it. If it was me, I'd remove the shifters, derailleurs, cables, etc. I'd replace the modern rear wheel with one that looks more appropriate and accepts a BMX freewheel. I'd replace the crankset with a single speed one, which would also necessitate a new bottom bracket--this will also be a significant weight savings. Then you'll need a new chain, too. You can sell that rear wheel to offset the cost somewhat.

While you're at it, you might want to replace the brake pads and cables and check to see if it needs new bearings and grease anywhere (hubs, headset, etc.). It probably does.
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Old 08-23-13, 01:04 PM   #5
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I am hoping to pick this lil guy up tonight from CL (ONLY $20!) as I have wanted to fix something up for a while now. (I'm 5'1'') I want to convert it to a single speed to just whip around the neighborhood. I know it was a low-end beginner bike so that's why I think It'd be good for a conversion.
Wouldn't hurt to get it up and running as a ten speed and see how you like it. It's a cheaper first step, and might be more useful if you decide to trek outside the neighborhood. A lot of the SS thing is hype, IMO. Just l

I just picked up a similar record-- only even smaller, a junior road bike with 24" wheels. It's a bit of a tank.

Hang on-- I just looked at your bike again. Yours is the small 24" wheel size too, isn't it?

You're going to have a problem-- that's not a 540 ISO (24" x 1 & 3/8) size rear wheel. It's probably a 650C wheel (571mm -- 15.5cm too far above the brake pads), and you won't be able to run a rear brake.

Hmmm.... if you're a skilled cyclist, I'd keep that rear wheel and put the smallest (probably 650C) tire on it, and a 540 / 24"x 1 & 3/8" tire on the front and enjoy it as is.

Alternately, you can hunt on ebay for a juvenile wheel that is the correct size, but it will be steel and will be heavy.

Lastly, you can look into re-building that rear wheel or getting a new 650c rim with a coaster brake 1- or 3-speed hub, which should fit well inside the rear dropouts.

It's complicated, and I probably just confused you. The main thing is that these have super rare size wheels, and that rear might not be able to even fit once a tire goes on it-- the tire will rub across the bars that connect the seat stays and the chain stays, called the seat stay bridge and the chainstay bridge.

I'll take a look at ours that we picked up on Wednesday and see whether I think it has room for that 650C wheel of yours.

You're looking at custom or rare parts no matter what you do with this bike, so doing the minimum makes the most sense. There aren't SS wheels for it, at least not ones compatible with the brakes.

I think you can make a fun bike out of it, as long as you're flexible on what goes into the build.

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Originally Posted by oops I typed in the middle of the post
Do you guys think it will be difficult/expensive to do this? Is there anything to be concerned about the quality of it before I buy it?


The buyer only said it needs tires which I have.

Link to high quality pic: http://re-cycle.com/ImageFetch.ashx?...2&ImageID=5484

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Old 08-23-13, 01:05 PM   #6
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Guys, look again-- I'm pretty sure that's a bike designed for 540 ISO rims. Look how the rear does not fit.

http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html
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Old 08-23-13, 01:15 PM   #7
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Well... Ok, but that's the sloppy way to do it. If it was me, I'd remove the shifters, derailleurs, cables, etc. I'd replace the modern rear wheel with one that looks more appropriate and accepts a BMX freewheel. I'd replace the crankset with a single speed one, which would also necessitate a new bottom bracket--this will also be a significant weight savings. Then you'll need a new chain, too. You can sell that rear wheel to offset the cost somewhat.

While you're at it, you might want to replace the brake pads and cables and check to see if it needs new bearings and grease anywhere (hubs, headset, etc.). It probably does.

Thank you for this.

So the current rear wheel is not compatible with a single speed cog?
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Old 08-23-13, 01:18 PM   #8
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Guys, look again-- I'm pretty sure that's a bike designed for 540 ISO rims. Look how the rear does not fit.

http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Does it have 26" mountain bike wheels (559 ISO) now? If so, it looks like they will fit well enough, but you'll need different brake calipers. 26" wheels are probably a good idea, since they'll be a lot easier to find than 24" wheels, and a lot easier to find tires for. 650c is bigger, takes skinnier tires, and (being kinda racy) only more expensive tires are available.
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So the current rear wheel is not compatible with a single speed cog?
There is a conversion kit you can get, which is a bunch of spacers and a single cog. I think that would work, but it's hard to tell over the internet.
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Old 08-23-13, 01:24 PM   #9
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No, pretty much nothing is compatible with this bike. The front wheel is also wrong for the bike, too, and will not be able to use a brake.


RHM may be right about those being 559s. But look, the brake is nowhere close... well... maybe
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Old 08-23-13, 01:27 PM   #10
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Guys, look again-- I'm pretty sure that's a bike designed for 540 ISO rims. Look how the rear does not fit.

http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html
This is what the seller said:
49cm or 19" frame with 28" standover
Taking a loss on this one. Purchased from a picker who didn't see the small wheels. The original 24" wheels were donated to Mr. Michaels Bicycles Recycles and I don't want to spend the money to put tires on the 26" ones on it now.


So you're saying the rear brake wont work? It looks as if the pad just needs to be slightly adjusted upwards.

Perhaps it is a different model than these http://sheldonbrown.com/retroraleighs/record.html but they seem to have 26-27" wheels.
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Old 08-23-13, 01:33 PM   #11
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Yes-- I'm having second thoughts now. The brake pad might not be the issue-- it might be the tire. I just went out into the garage and tried to put a 26" wheel in the rear of mine, but no dice. Maybe without a standard knobby tire, but clearance will be tight. Going to the basement to grab some old 26" wheels to see what it looks like w/o a tire.

Can you get the old wheels back? I'm pretty certain it's not the one in the Sheldon Brown link... I have one right here in front of me.
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Old 08-23-13, 01:36 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by MaggieJayne View Post
This is what the seller said:
49cm or 19" frame with 28" standover
Taking a loss on this one. Purchased from a picker who didn't see the small wheels. The original 24" wheels were donated to Mr. Michaels Bicycles Recycles and I don't want to spend the money to put tires on the 26" ones on it now.


So you're saying the rear brake wont work? It looks as if the pad just needs to be slightly adjusted upwards.

Perhaps it is a different model than these http://sheldonbrown.com/retroraleighs/record.html but they seem to have 26-27" wheels.
I think you're in luck. The seller's information appears reasonably straightforward and honest. He implies these are 26" wheels, which probably means MTB size (559 mm ISO) which are easy to find tires for.

I think you are right, that you can move the brake shoes up to fit the rim. Even if you can't, these brakes are not precious; you can get excellent modern brakes that will be much more effective and certainly fit.

Yes, it's a somewhat different model than the one you link to; it's a kid's bike. But it's a kid's bike styled like an adult's bike, which is exactly what you want, right? My wife is a few inches taller than you, and I've had a heck of a time finding a bike that fits her. If this one fits you, go for it.
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Old 08-23-13, 01:45 PM   #13
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another issue-- I just went to put one of my 559 junk wheels in the font fork. Front fork spacing is 86mm. I think the OLD on the front hub of the original wheel is about 88m, probably nominally 90mm

So that means the front fork has probably also been spread to accommodate the front hub.

Sorry I'm being more doom and gloom than RHM on the bike. I think you can double your money just by selling the wheels off, more if you part out the bike or sell off the frame.
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Old 08-23-13, 01:48 PM   #14
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Thanks guys. I'll check the clearance once I go see the bike.

I think it'll be ok... I trust this guy... he's always selling fixed up bikes on CL and it appears he makes his living this way.
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Old 08-23-13, 01:49 PM   #15
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another issue-- I just went to put one of my 559 junk wheels in the font fork. Front fork spacing is 86mm. I think the OLD on the front hub of the original wheel is about 88m, probably nominally 90mm

So that means the front fork has probably also been spread to accommodate the front hub.

Sorry I'm being more doom and gloom than RHM on the bike. I think you can double your money just by selling the wheels off, more if you part out the bike or sell off the frame.

Can you post a pic of your bike?
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Old 08-23-13, 01:49 PM   #16
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Sorry I'm being more doom and gloom than RHM on the bike.
Don't be sorry. If you were praising it to high heaven, I'd probably be taking the other viewpoint just to keep things in balance.

I don't think spreading the fork is a big deal, at least not if it's just a few mm.

There are not many valuable parts on this bike, but that back wheel is definitely worth the price of the whole thing.
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Old 08-23-13, 01:52 PM   #17
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Of course, if you're watching your $$$, it only makes economic sense if you plan to do all the work yourself.
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Old 08-23-13, 02:03 PM   #18
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Really appreciate the conversation you guys.

If anything... this'll be a good bike to practice mechanics on.



Judging from the height of the bolt on the break... looks to be of decent clearance. We will soon see for sure.

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Old 08-23-13, 02:06 PM   #19
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Don't be sorry. If you were praising it to high heaven, I'd probably be taking the other viewpoint just to keep things in balance.

I don't think spreading the fork is a big deal, at least not if it's just a few mm.

There are not many valuable parts on this bike, but that back wheel is definitely worth the price of the whole thing.
Sheldon agrees with you on the fork.

At first I thought you were way off base thinking that 559's would work. I'm curious now. We have two of these, a Dawes and now this Raleigh. My son loves his Dawes and I couldn't pass up the Raleigh for $40. Was thinking about tinkering with it and seeing whether I could make it any lighter.

Judging by the graphics, our little record is older than the one MaggieJayne is looking in to. I'd like to know if 26x1.5's fit or not. I wouldn't be surprised if the bike here were specc'd with a 100mm fork instead of a 90.

Took some pics, working on uploading.
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Old 08-23-13, 02:11 PM   #20
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Cool. You've got me thinking of other options for our bike, too. The trick might be as simple as finding really skinny 26" tires. Although since our boys will outgrow the bikes, correct resto might give the best resale eventually.

I cut my teeth tinkering on my parents' '70's Atalas as I grew into them, but I recommend '80s japanese bikes for learning to wrench. Parts are cheap, plentiful, interchangeable, and easy to work with (no cottered cranksets).
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Old 08-23-13, 02:18 PM   #21
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Quick cell phone shots.
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Old 08-23-13, 02:21 PM   #22
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Thanks Standalone... yeah they do look a bit different.

Diggin' the crankset.... couldn't see it on the one I'm buying.
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Old 08-23-13, 02:29 PM   #23
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Thanks Standalone... yeah they do look a bit different.

Diggin' the crankset.... couldn't see it on the one I'm buying.
My pleasure. You got me to put it up on the stand and start its tune up and build. Yours has a different crankset. If I had to guess, I'd say that mine is from the mid sixties and yours from '73-'74. Frame and paint look the same, as do the stem/bars/brakes (the brakes are cool small sized brakes, but the mounting hardware sticks out uncomfortably) It weighs a ton, probably more than the Dawes we have-- but it's still pretty cool for $20, especially if 26" tires are going to wind up fitting.

If you replace the crankset to go single speed, you should probably get a short crankset. 170mm and 175mm arms might scrape.
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Old 08-23-13, 02:32 PM   #24
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My pleasure. You got me to put it up on the stand and start its tune up and build. Yours has a different crankset. If I had to guess, I'd say that mine is from the mid sixties and yours from '73-'74. Frame and paint look the same, as do the stem/bars/brakes (the brakes are cool small sized brakes, but the mounting hardware sticks out uncomfortably) It weighs a ton, probably more than the Dawes we have-- but it's still pretty cool for $20, especially if 26" tires are going to wind up fitting.

If you replace the crankset to go single speed, you should probably get a short crankset. 170mm and 175mm arms might scrape.

Appreciate the tip!

There's a small biking shop/school that teaches mechanics here in Minneapolis... FOR FREE! So if all else fails I have them as my backup to save me. haha


They make their money fixing up and selling bikes people donate.
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Old 08-23-13, 03:40 PM   #25
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There's a small biking shop/school that teaches mechanics here in Minneapolis... FOR FREE! So if all else fails I have them as my backup to save me. They make their money fixing up and selling bikes people donate.
We have a co-op like that in Baltimore - they are a great resource for tools, parts, and know-how. I bought my own (slightly larger) Record from them for $15. I fixed it up as a single speed. I got a nice flip/flop hub from them for $12, with which I built up the wheel set:


I used the small chain ring on the original crank which gives a perfectly serviceable chain line. Those smaller-wheeled road bikes are hard to come by, so even if it is a lower-end model it's worth fixing up if it fits you. I think a 26" bike with a flip/flop wheel set would be a gas to ride. Fun trivia: according to the SN, mine is of Irish manufacture.
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