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  1. #1
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    Carlton Restoration

    Hi Guys! I just signed up. Sorry in advance for any newb posting/ettiquette mistakes.

    I just got this Carlton for free and am looking forward to fixing it up/restoring it. My goal is a ridable condition with as little new parts or modifications as possible. Its finished in chrome. I will be replacing all the bearings first. Anyone have experience with this bike? Is there anything special or difficult with this model? Also, what is this? My belief is that its a garden variety 80's student/touring 10 speed. Thanks guys.

    DSC_0059.jpgDSC_0062~3.jpgDSC_0065 copy.jpgDSC_0054 copy.jpgDSC_0064 copy.jpg

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lascauxcaveman's Avatar
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    Garden variety 10 speed is a good way to describe it. Try not to spend too much money on it, but it looks like your rear wheel and all the running gear are pretty far gone.

    For instance, the freewheel is likely permanently frozen and rusted to the rear hub, the rear derailleur is likely too rusted to save, obviously the chain is gone, although the crankset (if you manage to get it off the bike) might be rehabbed by a nice long soak in oxalic acid...

    The list goes on. If you are determined to resurrect this frame, look for a cheap donor bike on Craigslist that has all the parts you need.

    Is it the right size for you to ride? If so, it may be a nice project to take on in the spirit of mechanical self-education, but any money you put into it is basically lost.
    ● 1971 Grandis SL ● 1972 Lambert Grand Prix frankenbike ● 1972 Raleigh Super Course fixie ● 1972 Peugeot UE-18 Mixte ● 1982 Motobecane Jubile Sport ● 1983 Nishiki Landau ● 1984 Peugeot PH10LE ● 1984 Bianchi Limited ● 1985 Peugeot Vagabond ● 1985 Trek 600 ● 1985 Shogun Prairie Breaker ● 1985 Raleigh Elkhorn ● 1986 Univega Nuovo Sport ● 1987 Schwinn Tempo ● 1996 Kona Lava Dome ● And a Bike to Be Named Later ●

  3. #3
    vintage motor kroozer's Avatar
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    There is a lot of rust on that bike, which is not a good sign. At the very least the chain, derailleurs, and spokes are toast, and perhaps the steel parts of the brakes, cranks, pedals, headset, bottom bracket, saddle, seat post, freewheel, etc. It is technically restorable but it would be a big job, and not the best way for a beginner to start bike mechanics. You would end up putting in a lot of work, spending a good deal of money on new parts, and it would still be a rather low-end machine when you're done. Most of the more experienced people here would take on such a restoration when a) it's a higher quality or more special/unusual bike to begin with, and/or b) they have a good stock of spare parts to draw upon. As the caveman mentioned, it could be fun as an educational tool, but I wouldn't bother restoring it to riding condition.

    If you just want a bike to ride, spend a little money and get a better quality used bike in good condition. It will be far easier and probably cheaper in the end. If that Carlton was my bike I'd remove the parts that look most salvageable and start building up my spares stock, and recycle the rest.

  4. #4
    Hoarder Pur Sang non-fixie's Avatar
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    +1. Or ... practice on the other bike and save this one for next year's C&V Clunker Challenge and win!
    Klunker King wannabe

  5. #5
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    I once $40 for a head badge like that one, but in much better condition.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Finished in chrome? It looks like silver paint to me.

  7. #7
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    No, it's chrome, and now, irrelevant. Thanks for all the input and advice guys. I got into tearing it down a limitless and came across a missing stem bolt. Yes, it turned out to be fused into the fork tube. Someone had attempted to fix this years ago and there is no block inside. Nothing at all. Also, the seat tube is similarly fused into the frame. It's not worth the money to try and fix it I think. My dad said I could have his eddy Merckx falcon, though, so it all worked out in the end. Thanks again, guys

  8. #8
    Senior Member kc0yef's Avatar
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    Remember Carlton made Huffy before Raleigh still that is a great bike
    riding

  9. #9
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    It needs a powder-coat, new badges and decals, new wheels and new parts. I see $$$ signs everywhere with this restoration.

    The only thing decent about it is the frame - it might be worth restoring it to life if its a Reynolds 531 frame. I wouldn't put too money into it if its a low-end bike.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kc0yef View Post
    Remember Carlton made Huffy before Raleigh still that is a great bike
    Wow, that's a bit of history I was not aware of. Please tell us more and about where I can read up. "Carlton made Huffy..." Who'd have thought?

  11. #11
    Senior Member auchencrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prowler View Post
    Wow, that's a bit of history I was not aware of. Please tell us more and about where I can read up. "Carlton made Huffy..." Who'd have thought?
    CR has these teasers from some 60's (?) catalog.









    - Auchen

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    thanks. I had seen no hint of this. Any idea what frame tubing they used? Were these framesets comparable to the European Carlton machines? I'd heard that Carlton had no name recognition in the US. I wonder if these sold well here?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prowler View Post
    thanks. I had seen no hint of this. Any idea what frame tubing they used? Were these framesets comparable to the European Carlton machines? I'd heard that Carlton had no name recognition in the US. I wonder if these sold well here?
    Carlton was sold in the USA but in fairly limited numbers. Parents bought a pair in 1964. Terrific bikes for what they were. Straight ga. 531 throughout, Williams cranks, nice pedals, Dunlop lightweight steel rims, 32/40 spoke set up, Huret drivetrain, which was probably the weakest link but not at the time. under 24 lbs., Now that was impressive considering the steel rims and a 23" frame.

  14. #14
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    I will be contrarian and say the frame and crankset may be worth reviewing closely. Looks like alloy rings on steel cranks... it will not be a profitable task, and a donor bike may indeed be best for the parts, but the frame set and cranks are not trash.

  15. #15
    Senior Member kc0yef's Avatar
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    riding

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