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  1. #1
    spondylitis.org kunsunoke's Avatar
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    Help me fix this basket case 1963 Carlton Catalina!

    catalina 01.jpgcatalina 02.jpg

    Saw this on eBay a few weeks ago, and it immediately piqued my interest. 1963 Carlton Catalina frameset in size 52.

    I like the fact that it's English and that it has Carlton's usual fabulous lugwork. It's tri-tube 531 straight gauge, so I guess we could call it semi-gaspipe.

    Unfortunately, it's also a basket case. The chainstays are a little crushed, due to some gorilla former owner trying to mount a kickstand.

    catalina 03.jpg

    There's a divot in the downtube as well.

    catalina 04.jpg

    But the biggest problem is the fork. Someone sliced the steering tube in order to compensate for a stuck stem.

    catalina 06.jpg

    I don't view the first two problems as insurmountable - Fleet Valley Fabricators should be able to work their usual magic with the TIG welder and torches. The fork is different, mainly because of the hacksaw treatment. There would be two approaches to a fix - butt-splicing a replacement 1" steering tube or taking the fork to a competent frameshop (Bilenky or Spectrum come to mind). Any thoughts on this?

    Also, I have a choice about parts picks. I can try to mimic the original '60s appearance with vintage French / Brit parts or go with more modern though dated-appearing MIJ late '80s stuff (which I currently have). What's your opinion on that?

    Thanks - k

  2. #2
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    I would go for a new steerer or look for a later Raleigh replacement fork, they do show up from time to time on the 'bay. Gran Sport, or Super Course.

    The bike was designed for 27" wheels, so decide on that first, checking brake fit if you want 700c. The rear bridge can always be moved, heresy to some, but this frame is on the margins. I do understand though the desire of getting it back running.
    Your cheapest route to making it complete as I write will be to buy a donor bike... Even a complete Gran Sport (Gran Sports, Grand Sport) they did change the spelling a bit. Harvesting the fork even...

  3. #3
    Senior Member SJX426's Avatar
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    Wow, that is much more than I would be willing to tackle. I wish you the best outcome!

  4. #4
    Fast+Bulbous thinktubes's Avatar
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    Ber imho

  5. #5
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Just consider, this frame is essentially on the level of the earlier Super Courses, with straight-gauge 531 main tubes, the Capella lug set, and presumably the same long geometry (that's the good part, the geo is very similar to the older International). Except for name and age, this is not a better frame than an early Super Course.

    Stamped dropouts and fork ends, or forged?

    Is it worth all this frame work? It won't ride better, in all likelihood.

    I do understand falling for it, however!

    Another possible issue: the SCs sometimes had a proprietary Raleigh BB thread -- oughta check it!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    Just consider, this frame is essentially on the level of the earlier Super Courses, with straight-gauge 531 main tubes, the Capella lug set, and presumably the same long geometry (that's the good part, the geo is very similar to the older International). Except for name and age, this is not a better frame than an early Super Course.

    Stamped dropouts and fork ends, or forged?

    Is it worth all this frame work? It won't ride better, in all likelihood.

    I do understand falling for it, however!

    Another possible issue: the SCs sometimes had a proprietary Raleigh BB thread -- oughta check it!
    I disagree, there was one of these in my family long ago, (even got stripped and repainted as the original color had faded considerably) The workmanship was superior to a typical Super Course or almost anything out of the Raleigh plant.
    The weight of the complete bike was worth noting too, 23 lbs, for a 23" frame, steel rims, chain set, pedals and Brooks saddle, yes it has the nice Dunlop steel rims, but a pretty darn decent weight for its price point.

  7. #7
    spondylitis.org kunsunoke's Avatar
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    There are quite a few forks to be had in 27" on eBay. Most would require cutting the steerer tube after extending the threads. I have quite a few tools here, but a 1" x 24tpi die isn't one of them.

    Drops might be forged. A claw foot will be required, as was the case for the original Huret RD.

    Tentative plan right now is to swap in favor of older-appearing 700c and to use the DiaCompe centerpull brakes I already have in the bin. What would be really easy to do would be to use the Shimano 105 SIS derailleurs and shifters I also have in bin. I might get away with it aesthetically, since the RD is polished and not painted. The crank - probably not.

    As always - thanks for the suggestions.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by repechage View Post
    I disagree, there was one of these in my family long ago, (even got stripped and repainted as the original color had faded considerably) The workmanship was superior to a typical Super Course or almost anything out of the Raleigh plant.
    The weight of the complete bike was worth noting too, 23 lbs, for a 23" frame, steel rims, chain set, pedals and Brooks saddle, yes it has the nice Dunlop steel rims, but a pretty darn decent weight for its price point.
    That weight IS interesting! Steel cranks?

    I suppose the 531 straight tubes could have been supplied in a wide range of thicknesses and hence weights. Someone wrote recently that it was usual to offer tube sets customized to the builder's needs.

  9. #9
    old and fixed... clubman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by repechage View Post
    I disagree, there was one of these in my family long ago, (even got stripped and repainted as the original color had faded considerably) The workmanship was superior to a typical Super Course or almost anything out of the Raleigh plant.
    The weight of the complete bike was worth noting too, 23 lbs, for a 23" frame, steel rims, chain set, pedals and Brooks saddle, yes it has the nice Dunlop steel rims, but a pretty darn decent weight for its price point.
    I agree about the workmanship. My 62 Gran Sport is very nicely built, even with Hi-ten steel.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    One of the great things about a frame like this is that the handling is unchanged if you use the original fork and wheel size. You can feel what people liked, loved, and hated about the bike. Once you change the wheel size that is a little bit compromised. If you change the fork geometry (buy a fork that has modern offset, not nearly the same offset as the original), you've made a big change. It will be a very different bicycle. If you want to restore it you have to stay with the same fork or the same fork design, in my opinion.

  11. #11
    Custom User TItle seabiscut88's Avatar
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    What is the attachment on the drive side fork leg?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clubman View Post
    I agree about the workmanship. My 62 Gran Sport is very nicely built, even with Hi-ten steel.
    Workmanship is not about steel type, it's about technique and care. And once when I saw Redneckwes, I was amazed at how nice his early Grand Prix are.

    I'm not saying the frame will suck. I'm saying if it's a typical late '60s/early '70s Super Course, there were a number of bad examples. Mine for example has lugs welded together that were not well-finished if at all finished. No gaps under them, but not up to good frame making standards. Being earlier and being a Carlton and not a Raleigh, this particular caveat of mine is not among the stronger statements I've made.

    But unless it is somehow super light compared to my S/C, I would not put significant money into metal work (fork, bridges, possible frame prep) and painting work. It would be like making a concours UO-8, despite their fine riding qualities.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seabiscut88 View Post
    What is the attachment on the drive side fork leg?
    I think it's a mounting point for a headlamp - Brits drive on the other side of the road.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kunsunoke View Post
    There are quite a few forks to be had in 27" on eBay. Most would require cutting the steerer tube after extending the threads. I have quite a few tools here, but a 1" x 24tpi die isn't one of them.

    Drops might be forged. A claw foot will be required, as was the case for the original Huret RD.

    Tentative plan right now is to swap in favor of older-appearing 700c and to use the DiaCompe centerpull brakes I already have in the bin. What would be really easy to do would be to use the Shimano 105 SIS derailleurs and shifters I also have in bin. I might get away with it aesthetically, since the RD is polished and not painted. The crank - probably not.

    As always - thanks for the suggestions.
    You could buy a dimensionally correct or very near correct 27" fork with a much longer steerer and go threadless, daring to be different.

  15. #15
    old and fixed... clubman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    Workmanship is not about steel type, it's about technique and care. And once when I saw Redneckwes, I was amazed at how nice his early Grand Prix are.

    I'm not saying the frame will suck. I'm saying if it's a typical late '60s/early '70s Super Course, there were a number of bad examples. Mine for example has lugs welded together that were not well-finished if at all finished. No gaps under them, but not up to good frame making standards. Being earlier and being a Carlton and not a Raleigh, this particular caveat of mine is not among the stronger statements I've made.

    But unless it is somehow super light compared to my S/C, I would not put significant money into metal work (fork, bridges, possible frame prep) and painting work. It would be like making a concours UO-8, despite their fine riding qualities.
    No disagreement about the absence of value in refurbishing this to a high standard. It's a candidate for a home rattle can and a replacement fork with 24 tpi just for fun IMO. And workmanship is just as you say. I had a 76 SC Mark II that was a little sloppy too.

  16. #16
    old and fixed... clubman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seabiscut88 View Post
    What is the attachment on the drive side fork leg?
    Road Fan is correct.


  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    That weight IS interesting! Steel cranks?

    I suppose the 531 straight tubes could have been supplied in a wide range of thicknesses and hence weights. Someone wrote recently that it was usual to offer tube sets customized to the builder's needs.
    The Reynolds transfer from the bike stated 531 straight gauge tubes, forks and stays.
    I think that is the primary difference folk forget when comparing it to a Super Course.
    Williams Cranks, 3 pin. Pretty darn nice too, the chainrings were machine finished, not stamped out.
    Simple aluminum seat post, GB stem with the brake cable running through, plain aluminum bars. Brooks saddle.
    32/40 spoke wheels.
    Huret Allvit shifting.
    Weinmann center pull brakes
    High flange aluminum hubs.

    The knocks against if might be cad plated spokes, no quick release, (but nice acorn nuts with attached clamping washers)

    When I bought my first Road bike, it had tubulars, and of a similar size but only was 3/4 pound lighter.

  18. #18
    spondylitis.org kunsunoke's Avatar
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    Some things I should mention:

    Fleet Valley is usually pretty reasonable about repair costs.

    The bike won't be getting Imron and multiple clear coats. The finish might go on with a spray ***, but that's only because I have a compressor with a regulator. In the end it'll probably end up with Rustoleum. The detail work can be done with a brush.

    The bottom bracket set should be English standard.

    I do have a Fuji high-tensile fork with long trail and 1" threads. It might work for this but the crown is one of Tange's welded box types and far inferior to the original.

    i'll post pics when it gets here.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Michael Angelo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kunsunoke View Post
    Some things I should mention:

    Fleet Valley is usually pretty reasonable about repair costs.

    The bike won't be getting Imron and multiple clear coats. The finish might go on with a spray ***, but that's only because I have a compressor with a regulator. In the end it'll probably end up with Rustoleum. The detail work can be done with a brush.

    The bottom bracket set should be English standard.

    I do have a Fuji high-tensile fork with long trail and 1" threads. It might work for this but the crown is one of Tange's welded box types and far inferior to the original.

    i'll post pics when it gets here.
    I have a couple of Raleigh Forks, both for 27" wheels.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Michael Angelo's Avatar
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    Here ya go, 1963 Carlton Catalog.

    http://veterancycleclublibrary.org.u...20Library).pdf

  21. #21
    Custom User TItle seabiscut88's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info!

  22. #22
    spondylitis.org kunsunoke's Avatar
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    How this will probably end up:

    - frame dents will be filled, probably with JB Weld
    - 27" fork will be the Fuji. I might be able to make it look better by detailing the lug work
    - 27" wheels and tires will be scrounged from bin parts
    - shifters, seat post and brakes will be from parts bin
    - planned purchases will be SunTour Cyclone or V-GT derailleurs, a short stem and Maes bars, cheapo Tange headset, non-aero levers and probably a used Brooks Pro or B17 saddle. Mini-fenders seem like a good idea

  23. #23
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    How this will probably end up:

    - frame dents will be filled, probably with JB Weld
    - 27" fork will be the Fuji. I might be able to make it look better by detailing the lug work
    - 27" wheels and tires will be scrounged from bin parts
    - shifters, seat post and brakes will be from parts bin
    - planned purchases will be SunTour Cyclone or V-GT derailleurs, a short stem and Maes bars, cheapo Tange headset, non-aero levers and probably a used Brooks Pro or B17 saddle. Mini-fenders seem like a good idea
    I like how you roll.

  24. #24
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    i had a 1963 Catalina, I would recommend chasing down another road unless it is already pristine. I sold mine.

  25. #25
    spondylitis.org kunsunoke's Avatar
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    Seems like this bike is going to be a rider, if anything. The lugwork is quite good but I'm not that inclined to throw tons of cash at the bike the way I would for, say, a PY-10.

    Derailleurs will be Suntour friction types, with suitable decrepit patina. Other parts will end up MIJ, due to low dollar investment and to the higher quality relative to European equivalents (Huret and Simplex). Not sure whether to use the Suntour ratcheting stem shifters I already have or to get something more interesting (ex. Simplex down-tube mounted shifters).

    Wife's old Vista had some 27" wheels with Suzue high-flange hubs that will work. The rims are going to be swapped for Sun aluminum, though. I may do something unusual with the rear wheel spokes during the re-build.

    The bike itself should have pretty slack geometry, making it good for around-town duty. I might just leave the dents and other patina as they are.

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