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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 03-24-09, 09:57 PM   #1
RI_Swamp_Yankee
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OK, so I did something stupid...

I needed a bike for my morning commute, three miles over steeeeep hills on craptastic New England roads. I set a budget for myself, carefully examined every option, asked various respected internet forums for advice. Just as I was going to lay down five hundred on a well-reviewed hybrid commuter from a respectable brand at a reputable shop...

... I went and bought a 1978 Raleigh Record Ace for $75 from a disabled vet who fixes and sells yardsale bikes for beer money.

This isn't the fancy aluminum frame jobbie - this is solid, lugged steel, sized just right for my inseam. It has a nice (for the '70s) Suntour geartrain (with friction stem shifters! Yay!) and nice Shimano cantilevers (with awful generic levers that look like they're a royal pain to adjust. Boo!) and nifty quick-release chrome fenders. It's beautiful, rides like new, and I had a bike just like it when I was 10.

I have no idea why I bought this thing, but just looking at it makes me happy.

OK, so... now what?

I'm 6'2", 330lbs, and am more of an "80's bad-guy professional wrestler" fat guy than a "wheeze up the steps" fat guy. I break stuff by being big. While the frame seems bomb proof, I worry about the rest of it...

Already planned:

1) North Road bars, cork grips, modern brake levers. Might as well swap out the cables while I'm at it.

2) Fat-man-friendly saddle for upright riding. I really like the looks of the bigger Brooks, but the price is hard to swallow for something that =might= suit me, or might not. May just get a cheap, padded springer saddle and call it a day.

3) New tires. The ones on there now are Swallows of undetermined size.

How else can I bomb-proof and upgrade this relic?
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Old 03-25-09, 12:10 AM   #2
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Making sure your wheels are up to par should be your #1 priority and at the same time make sure your brakes are functioning properly (already on your list); you wanna be able to stop the 320 once it's in motion.
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Old 03-25-09, 01:43 AM   #3
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+1 on checking the wheels and making sure the spokes have proper tension. How is the seatpost?
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Old 03-25-09, 02:38 AM   #4
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I don't think you gave up anything going vintage over modern for a commuter. Heck, all of my rides are vintage, lol.The same considerations for this bike would be the considerations for any other bike. As addressed already, the wheels, tires, and brakes. After that you working purley on personalization of the ride.We do need pics though.
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Old 03-25-09, 05:39 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by RI_Swamp_Yankee View Post
I have no idea why I bought this thing, but just looking at it makes me happy.

OK, so... now what?
You post a picture of it so we all can look at it and be happy too!
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Old 03-25-09, 06:14 AM   #6
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congrats on the Raleigh i bought a 86 Raleigh Record last year. it is a fine addition to the herd.
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Old 03-25-09, 07:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RI_Swamp_Yankee View Post
1) North Road bars, cork grips, modern brake levers. Might as well swap out the cables while I'm at it.

2) Fat-man-friendly saddle for upright riding. I really like the looks of the bigger Brooks, but the price is hard to swallow for something that =might= suit me, or might not. May just get a cheap, padded springer saddle and call it a day.

3) New tires. The ones on there now are Swallows of undetermined size.

How else can I bomb-proof and upgrade this relic?
Koolstop salmon pads for the New England rain that goes with those hills.
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Old 03-26-09, 02:25 PM   #8
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+1 on the pictures! where are they?
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Old 03-26-09, 02:46 PM   #9
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My digital camera is out of town at the moment. I'll see if I can use the webcam on my iMac later on tonight... or break out the old Contax, and see if anyone within walking distance still does 1hr photo processing.
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Old 03-26-09, 03:02 PM   #10
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i have a slightly scuffed up padded springer saddle, i crashed the bike, cracked the front rim(cheap x-mart bike not worth fixing)
if you want the saddle, i'll send it to you for the price of shipping

edit: i just took pics of it so you can see what i mean




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Old 03-26-09, 07:39 PM   #11
RI_Swamp_Yankee
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Wow, that's a generous offer... and it looks similar to the seat on my old cruiser, which served me pretty well. However, I already have a line on one similar to it from a family member who "upgraded" to something with fake lamb's fleece...

Still, I'm pretty impressed with the members of the forum, and you set a really good example for "paying it forward." Thank you.
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Old 03-26-09, 07:54 PM   #12
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well, i just hate to throw things away and if i was about to get rid of something that someone else could use, you better believe i'll offer it. . . and honestly i only paid $30 almost 3 years ago, and it scuffed so i would feel like i was cheating someone if i made them pay for something like that, i'll end up just giving it some someone else

and hell if a saddle, is what you needed to ride your bike, and i had a spare i'd give it to ya. . .
people show me generosity i want to show it to someone else
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Old 03-26-09, 10:52 PM   #13
RI_Swamp_Yankee
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Pikz

This is thru an iMac webcam in my "Junk Room" (It's a Man-Cave, dear... "Sure it is. Just don't put your stuff outside it.")

Can you spot:

1) Koni-Omega 6x7 press camera

2) Collapsable lightsaber with realistic, motion-activated sounds

3) Flat, mountain-bike bars with 1950's style vinyl grips, almost assuredly original equipment, on a bike-boom next-to-bottom-rung model Raleigh
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Old 03-26-09, 11:01 PM   #14
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Ride that bad boy! If stuff breaks, then start replacing it.

Jerry
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Old 03-26-09, 11:28 PM   #15
RI_Swamp_Yankee
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Oh, and the brakes are standard Ralleigh/Weinmann center-pulls... the levers, as awful as they are, are Shimano.
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Old 03-27-09, 02:50 PM   #16
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ride that bad boy! If stuff breaks, then start replacing it.
+1
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Old 03-27-09, 10:15 PM   #17
RI_Swamp_Yankee
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OK! New bars and grips are shipping, should be in by next weekend, but the ones I have now are good for the time being.

I went to the LBS, and it was impressive. I went in looking for stuff I knew they probably didn't have, like Gatorskins in 27-1/4" - but they had it, in stock. Cheaper than more than a few places online. I also picked up a pair of new brake pads, front and rear (they didn't have Kool-Stops in stock, but the mechanic said the Shimanos were a pretty good second choice), a sturdy aluminum rack and a hefty u-lock.

The pads are installed, the rack and lock holder are mounted, and the Wally-world generic pump I had gave up the ghost completely puffing up the new tires. So, no first ride yet.

Oh, since I'm being stupid, instead of accepting a perfectly good saddle, gratis, from a forum or family member, I go and spend more on a new one than I did the bike. (And it was priced waaay lower than online.) I didn't wana, but seeing it in person... well, look at that! How can you say no to something like that?
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Old 03-27-09, 10:35 PM   #18
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Beautiful. I think you will like it a lot more than that pictured above (after you break it in anyway) Money well spent.
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Old 03-30-09, 12:46 AM   #19
Air
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Awesome!!

At 330# though you should absolutely budget for new wheels (since you'll drop down to 700c's and possibly longer brake levers plus tires) in the near future. From my sig you can read my journey from trying to make the 27" wheels work (at under 300#) to getting a 36 Deep V built from Harris Cyclerly:

De-Evolution of a Wheel, From Warnings Towards Solution:
http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=253192 - First Roadie
http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=262759 - Dialing in a Roadie
http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=294905 - How many broken spokes are dangerous [new 5-5-07]
http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=298310 - Rear deraileur rubbing - bad tension? [new 5-14-07]
http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=342373 - Bombproof 27" Rims [new 9-10-07]
http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=338555 - Spokes Rant [new 9-10-07]
http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=349283 - Shot Rims and Clyde Recommendations? [new 10-1-08]
http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=349519 - Deep V vs Dyad vs Mavic Opens [new 10-3-07]
http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=352240 - Friction Shifters
http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=355089 - Hubs
http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=355761 - ****Hubs for Clydes from the Mechanics forum****
Mavic Aksium for a Clyde? - Mavic Aksiums for a Clyde?
Holy Canoli - Clyde does 146 miles! Ride Report - Penn Station --> Montauk Ride Report
Ride, rebuild, or replace this wheel? - Ride, rebuild, or replace damaged Aksium rim
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Old 03-30-09, 09:01 PM   #20
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Pop quiz!

Which takes the most time, effort and frustration:

a) Installing new Gatorskins on narrow, old wheels and pumping them up with a frame pump.
b) Fiddling with the brakes after installing new pads to get the right action at the lever and the right position on the rims.
c) Making it so the fenders don't rub against the new tires.

The answer is C. I actually resorted to a hammer before I figured out the trick to adjusting the stay length. (And the hammer didn't budge 'em.) Judging by the weird angles I had to smooth out from the stays, I wasn't the first to say, "Stop... hammer time!"

Sno-proofing, err, Proofiding my saddle now, everything should be a "go" for tomorrow after work.
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Old 03-30-09, 09:53 PM   #21
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Yay - good luck!!!
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Old 03-30-09, 10:35 PM   #22
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Don't forget your camera!
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Old 03-30-09, 10:39 PM   #23
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Do you ever ride the East Bay Bike Path? Or go to the shop on the path? Ever notice Bailey in the trike?
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Old 03-30-09, 10:40 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by RI_Swamp_Yankee View Post
OK! New bars and grips are shipping, should be in by next weekend, but the ones I have now are good for the time being.

I went to the LBS, and it was impressive. I went in looking for stuff I knew they probably didn't have, like Gatorskins in 27-1/4" - but they had it, in stock. Cheaper than more than a few places online. I also picked up a pair of new brake pads, front and rear (they didn't have Kool-Stops in stock, but the mechanic said the Shimanos were a pretty good second choice), a sturdy aluminum rack and a hefty u-lock.

The pads are installed, the rack and lock holder are mounted, and the Wally-world generic pump I had gave up the ghost completely puffing up the new tires. So, no first ride yet.

Oh, since I'm being stupid, instead of accepting a perfectly good saddle, gratis, from a forum or family member, I go and spend more on a new one than I did the bike. (And it was priced waaay lower than online.) I didn't wana, but seeing it in person... well, look at that! How can you say no to something like that?

that is a way better saddle than the one i offered. . . and honestly it's uncomfortable after you get used to riding on your sit bones
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Old 03-31-09, 08:39 AM   #25
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Hey R.I. swamp Yankee,

Where are you from in R.I. with the title of swamp Yankee this sounds like South County, I live in Charlestown an Im getting new bike this week and cound be looking for a riding partner

George
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