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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 07-04-11, 05:53 PM   #1
magohn
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OT: Picked up a "free" vintage bike - With Brooks B17 included - Renovate?

Hi all,
My local area has a "freecycle" newsgroup where people within the town give away unwanted items. I sometimes casually trawl the list of items and today volunteered to take a "Raleigh 10 Speed" off somebody's hands.
When I arrived at the pick-up address I was pleasantly surprised at the great condition of the bike. Its only seems to need tires. It has the "shimano positron 400" derailleur and a Brooks B17 saddle. The brooks has zero "dimples" and I dont think the bike has been ridden at all - the brake blocks are perfect. It has a "1980 Tour De France" sticker on it so Im wondering if its early 1980's. Two questions:

1. Anybody know how to bring back to life a B17 that looks pretty stiff? I applied the Brooks saddle treatment but it supped it up like a glass of water poured into the desert. Oil bath perhaps? The saddle looks as new - just super-stiff and dry.

2. Anybody know anything about the bike? Its a Raleigh Magnum - 10 speed. I dont think its anything unusual as it appears to be standard tubing etc. However, the positron gear shifting and the B17 seem to suggest at least an upper-level, big-box type purchase.

All thoughts welcome....




Last edited by magohn; 07-04-11 at 06:01 PM.
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Old 07-04-11, 09:03 PM   #2
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DO NOT OIL BATH IT.. It will destroy the saddle..

I have been using this with many of my leather saddle Rolls - Brooks for years and it well regarded as bring some leather saddle back to life, Obernaufs Heavy Duty Leather Preservative.. If you live in an area with a horse store, they usually stock it or ebay is quick and easy..

http://cgi.ebay.com/Obenaufs-4oz-Hea...item53ddf10e89
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Old 07-04-11, 09:57 PM   #3
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Thanks socal for the link. The saddle looks brand new as far as wear is concerned. Its just pretty solid and needs lubing up.
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Old 07-05-11, 08:36 AM   #4
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This is really kind of funny because I have been researching cleaning up an old Brooks saddle the past couple days. I was visiting my dad over the 4th and he mentioned he had an old Raleigh (I think it was a 3 speed) with no wheels I could have if I wanted it. Well the bike itself isn't really much use to me at this point, but it had an old Brooks B17 Narrow on it. It is in similar condition to the one you have there (dried out from being in storage) but has a bit more wear.
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Old 07-09-11, 08:59 AM   #5
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You should cross post to the C&V forum - you'd get lots of comments and advice on how to tune her up. The bike looks to be in decent shape with moderate quality components.
For example:
  • 3 piece crank
  • annodized alloy wheel rims
  • derailleur hanger
  • Brooks
  • fenders

Some downside (IMO) are the suicide brake levers and lack of hoods. The bike could use a good overhaul and perhaps new tires. For people with a few bike tools and experience it's a pleasant inexpensive task. If you don't have these and or a friend who does, it will take some cash at the local bike store.
Bottom line - if the bike fits you, you made a great find. If not she'd be worth between $50 and $125 cleaned up.
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