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Old 10-22-11, 07:24 PM   #1
fatelvis
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is my Raleigh Heat worth fixing?

I have a Raleigh Heat which I guess I bought sometimes in the mid 90s
never had a problem till now
one of the shifters doesnt work the chain is skipping and the seat is worn
I replaced the chain but now the skipping is worse
I took it to a bike shop
kind of felt they turned their nose up at it
seem to say all in it would cost about $200 to repair
where a comparable bike would cost $400

is it worth repairing ?
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Old 10-22-11, 08:09 PM   #2
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The bike shop will charge you their typical "overhaul" fees which are $$$. Can you wrench on it yourself perhaps? Throw some duct tape on the seat? etc. Chain wasn't likely to fix everything, as you learned.
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Old 10-22-11, 08:23 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by fatelvis View Post
I have a Raleigh Heat which I guess I bought sometimes in the mid 90s
never had a problem till now
one of the shifters doesnt work the chain is skipping and the seat is worn
I replaced the chain but now the skipping is worse
I took it to a bike shop
kind of felt they turned their nose up at it
seem to say all in it would cost about $200 to repair
where a comparable bike would cost $400

is it worth repairing ?
Hey there Fatelvis!

Is there a bicycle co-op near where you live?

- Slim

PS.

Does your bike look anything like this?

Attached Images
File Type: jpg Heat.jpg (97.2 KB, 29 views)

Last edited by SlimRider; 10-22-11 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 10-22-11, 08:48 PM   #4
fatelvis
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The bike shop will charge you their typical "overhaul" fees which are $$$. Can you wrench on it yourself perhaps? Throw some duct tape on the seat? etc. Chain wasn't likely to fix everything, as you learned.
I can try and wrench it myself
I am looking at parts online and I dont see how it would run me $200
I saw this Shimano HG50 7-speedcassette for $27
the shifters are kind of confusing since they are right up against the brakes but not quit combined
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Old 10-22-11, 08:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
Hey there Fatelvis!

Is there a bicycle co-op near where you live?

- Slim

PS.

Does your bike look anything like this?

a quick googled showed a coop in the city but it is geared towards helping urban kids
oops just read more of their site looks like I could go there and I guess use their tools and ask for guidance
it would be nice to be able to fix this myself I dont like being at the mercy of the bike shops some of willing to work with you but I didnt get that vibe this time
if the bike pictured was stock it would be EXACTLY like mine

Last edited by fatelvis; 10-22-11 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 10-22-11, 10:10 PM   #6
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*Never install cheap components on your bike! Make certain that your bike frame doesn't have cracks, dents, or rust, before you begin to rebuild.

Good Luck!
thanks for your help
one more question
how much should I expect to pay for parts I see rear cassettes from in the teens to hundred of dollars
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Old 10-22-11, 10:10 PM   #7
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Repair sites like Sheldonbrowndot com and parktooldotcom along with youtube are your friend. Before I even knew there was a youtube, I used sheldon to replace some failing Ultegra components with Dura Ace. Shop wanted $630 to do the job. I did it myself for $320 including the tool purchases by way of Sheldon.

There is a sticky thread in the maintenance forum with lots of shortcuts to sheldon topics. Helps limit the searching etc.
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Old 10-23-11, 12:30 AM   #8
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thanks for your help
one more question
how much should I expect to pay for parts I see rear cassettes from in the teens to hundred of dollars
Sorry Fatelvis!

When I first googled your bike, I must have skip a line, because your bike is definitely NOT chromoly. It's technium, which is an aluminum alloy. Besides, after deducing the total actual cost of the rebuild, the sum would eclipse the bulk of the cost of a new bike.

Therefore, things change here. As far as I can see it, you have four options:

1) Keep your Raleigh Heat and only fix the essentials, just so that you'll be abe to cycle. For the most part use Co-op components.

2) Fix the Raleigh and sell it immediately. Use new components. Then use the the funds from the sell to purchase a bike from bikesdirect.com or nashbar.com, and build your new bike anyway (which basically comes assembled already).

3) Keep your Raleigh for errands where you don't want to park your new bike. However, still order a new bike from bikesdirect.com.

4) Whatever you decide to do with your Raleigh, just move on and buy a new bike from a bike shop.

Once again Fatelvis, I do sincerely apologize.

www.bikesdirect.com

www.nashbar.com

- Slim

PS.

Here's the chromoly steel-framed, Jamis Coda Sport bike.

www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/street/coda/12_codasport_rd.html
The Coda Sport ~ $560 ...Click on the black color! ...Nice...

Last edited by SlimRider; 10-23-11 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 10-23-11, 01:32 AM   #9
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Alternatively Fatelvis,

You could install all new components on your Raleigh, at the Co-op. You could then deliberately disassemble your Raleigh and put it back together, again (reassemble it). That will gain you some much needed experience. Then you could order a new chromoly steel-frameset for a road bike. You would then, transfer the new components from the Raleigh to your new frame at your own pace. All the while, using the Raleigh as a reference point. When your done, replace your Raleigh components with Co-op parts. Then just keep your Raleigh, as a back-up bike!

SOMA makes excellent chromoly framesets:

www.somafab.com/frames

Just an idea, depending how much extra time and cash you have available. You'll also have to be somewhat industrious.

- Slim

PS.

Of course, you would be using the co-op all the time, as well. Before, beginning this project, you would need to take close-up pictures of all areas of your bike. Heaven forbid that you forget where a valuable part or piece may go.

* During the time that you're gaining experience with installing new parts on your Raleigh, you could be on the look out for chromoly steel frames in your size. Good frames can be found on bikes off of Craigslist and the Co-op.

* This route will be more expensive, but you'll be able to fix your bike whenever something goes wrong. Therefore, it will eventually more than pay for itself in the long run. Total estimated cost including new frameset- $900

Last edited by SlimRider; 10-23-11 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 10-23-11, 08:35 AM   #10
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The Raleigh Heat has a very cool Technium frame, arguably much more desirable than the generic steel frames SlimRider is pushing.

A little background: when Raleigh USA decided that they'd better start making aluminum frames to compete with Cannondale, they chose to open a factory in Kent, Washington, so that they'd be able to hire aerospace engineers away from the local Boeing factories.

They came up with an innovative frame design based on bonding aluminum tubes to steel lugs. They used moderately oversized aluminum frame tubes for the main triangle to save weight, and they used conventional small-diameter steel tubing for the rest of the frame, where tire and/or crank arm clearances are critical. Very clever.

Slim's idea about the bike co-op is excellent. Working with the co-op people, you should be able to get the necessary repairs done---or do them yourself---for much less than the price quoted by the bike shop. Definitely worth it.

Technium frames are just beginning to be appreciated for their historical significance. Think about it---from the mid-'80s to the late '90s, American-built aluminum-frame bikes from first Cannondale and then Trek and Raleigh caught all the European and Asian bike manufacturers off guard. I worked in bike shops back then, selling Cannondales, Treks, and Raleighs as well as various European and Asian bikes, and it was a thrill to be able to tell customers that the U.S.-made bikes were as good as or better than anything coming out of the other countries.
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Old 10-23-11, 09:29 AM   #11
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[QUOTE=Trakhak;13402394]
Quote:
The Raleigh Heat has a very cool Technium frame, arguably much more desirable than the generic steel frames SlimRider is pushing.
Hello Trakhak,

How could you ever dispute the preference of a chromoly steel frame over a Technium frame, of which the three main tubes are aluminum? True, the lugs are steel, but the three main tubes of the frame are composed of 6061 aluminum. The fatigue life of aluminum as compared to steel is much shorter. In time, the aluminum will fail, long before a chromoly steel frame would, generic or not.

Rather than deal with an old aluminum frame, that has a guaranteed shorter fatigue life, it would be more practical to start with a new frame, be it aluminum or chromoly steel. I will always advocate in the best interest of my fellow cyclist comrades. I therefore, will always suggest chromoly steel, as I feel that its the better investment over aluminum. Only steel and titanium will last for decades, if kept dry. Nobody can truthfully say that about aluminum. The days of aluminum are always numbered. That's not to say that it's not a good material for bicycle frames. It's just not the best!


- Slim
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Old 10-23-11, 09:53 AM   #12
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well I droped it off at another shop today to have them take a look. I dont know what my magical number is where I cut my loses and buy a new one.
I am leaning towards working on it myself to make it ridable and use it as a beater bike
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Old 10-23-11, 10:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatelvis View Post
I have a Raleigh Heat which I guess I bought sometimes in the mid 90s
never had a problem till now
one of the shifters doesnt work the chain is skipping and the seat is worn
I replaced the chain but now the skipping is worse
I took it to a bike shop
kind of felt they turned their nose up at it
seem to say all in it would cost about $200 to repair
where a comparable bike would cost $400

is it worth repairing ?

I say "yes" it's paid for already and you own it. You just need to pony up for the replacement parts and get it done. You might also want to find another LBS that's more appreciative of classic bikes and isn't so eager to push you into a new bike.
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Old 10-23-11, 10:53 AM   #14
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[QUOTE=SlimRider;13402546]
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post

Hello Trakhak,

How could you ever dispute the preference of a chromoly steel frame over a Technium frame, of which the three main tubes are aluminum?
Apologies to the original poster; some of us are digressing from the topic, which was whether the Raleigh Heat is worth repairing. That said, and assuming Slim's question was not rhetorical:

I would never dispute your personal preference of a chromoly steel frame over any other frame, if that's what you happen to prefer. It's like preferring tube amplifiers to solid state, vinyl record albums to digital, etc.---a matter of taste. But:

---It's been at least 50 years since aluminum components such as rims, handlebars, cranks, hubs, etc., replaced steel components on almost all lightweight bicycles of decent quality. Over the years, the aluminum components have obviously proved to be extremely reliable in additional to being much lighter. Of course, steel is still used where appropriate: for bolts, cables, bearings, etc.. The point is that steel has obvious advantages in some applications, aluminum has obvious advantages in others. I understand that the advantages of aluminum as a frame material are not as obvious to everyone as they are to me. However:

---You have a choice with steel frames: light or durable. Lightweight steel frames are much closer to the limit of the strength of the material than most aluminum frames. The ratio of diameter to wall thickness in the tubes in the main triangle of the lightest steel frames can be very close to 200 to 1, which is around the theoretical limit for practical tube design for structural integrity. Reynolds 753 tubes, which were about the lightest steel frame tubes on the market back then, were notorious for flexing perceptibly under thumb pressure.

---Lightweight aluminum frame tubes are designed much more conservatively with respect to the ratio of diameter to wall thickness. The result is a frame that's significantly lighter than its steel counterpart and yet is more durable. Yes, I said it: more durable. The supposed frailty of aluminum bike frames is an Web myth. Every torture test yet devised to gauge the longevity of production bicycle frames has shown that even the highest-quality steel frames failed long before aluminum and carbon frames. (The last time someone posted a link to the frame tests conducted by the German "Tour" magazine showing those results, one of the responses was "They must have the numbers backwards!")

---I understand the pro-steel bias, which boils down to "this frame failed because it's aluminum, that frame failed despite being steel." But manufacturers like using aluminum for their mid-priced lightweight frames because, since lightweight aluminum frames are less likely to fail than lightweight steel frames, it costs them less in warranty claims.

Examples:

When I asked a Trek product manager in the mid-'90s how things were going at Trek, he said that they were loving the numbers: contrary to their expectations, as they ramped up production of aluminum frames and cut back on production of steel frames, their frame warranty claims were plummeting.

Around the same time, I asked a Bianchi sales rep what they did with frames that they'd replaced under warranty: did they send them back to Italy? He laughed and told me that the lifetime warranty was covered by Bianchi USA as a cost of doing business and that Bianchi of Italy didn't offer any frame warranty at all. He said that, whenever the Italian Bianchi people visited Bianchi USA with a new guy along, they asked the Bianchi USA people to explain about the frame warranty to the new guy. The Italians all thought the idea of a warranty on a lightweight steel frame was hilarious. They said, "We can sell you a frame that we'll cover under warranty, but it'll be a kilo heavier."

Then there's the "we fly in planes with decades-old aluminum frames" argument, etc., etc. But such arguments, however valid, are useless in the context of what purports to be a logical discussion based on demonstrable facts but really belongs in the Politics and Religion forum.
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Old 10-23-11, 01:25 PM   #15
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When the chain is worn the cassette and chainrings are also likely to be worn, especially if you drove around that way for a while. Parktool has an illustration for how to tell when the teeth are worn.

I don't know if it's worth it to seek out a bike co-op for a cassette or freewheel removal tool. It's not much more complex than a socket.

Shifters can easily be replaced.

I have used nashbar branded cassettes that held up pretty well. You don't need to spend a fortune on a cassette.
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Old 10-23-11, 02:51 PM   #16
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Trakhak says:

Quote:
---Lightweight aluminum frame tubes are designed much more conservatively with respect to the ratio of diameter to wall thickness. The result is a frame that's
significantly lighter than its steel counterpart and yet is more durable. Yes, I
said it: more durable. The supposed frailty of aluminum bike frames is an Web
myth. Every torture test yet devised to gauge the longevity of production
bicycle frames has shown that even the highest-quality steel frames failed long
before aluminum and carbon frames.
Trakhak, I will have to vehemently disagree with you here. In terms of actual strength, yes, aluminum can be constructed so that it is indeed as strong as steel. However, that is not to say that aluminum has yield strength, which is one critical factor required for impact-resistance. Therefore, to simplify, aluminum can be made or constructed in the form of tubes, and those tubes can be be given specific wall thicknesses and diameters sufficient enough to uphold its rider and cargo. Aluminum bicycle tubes specifically shaped to the equivalent strength of steel bicycle tubes is both feasible and commonly practiced. However, the steel tubes will bend or flex to a degree that aluminum, will not. Aluminum frames will therefore, prefer to snap or break as opposed to bending, simply due to the lack of yield strength. Additionally, aluminum has a short fatigue life. That means, that there are only a specific and finite number of stress cycles that a particular aluminum structure can endure without failure. Steel has no such limit. When the intensive property of yield strength lacking from aluminum is coupled with its short fatigue life, the concept of durability quickly diminishes into the world of absurdity. This is the reason that so many bicycle websites concerned with frame materials, give aluminum poor scores in longevity of service, or "durability".

Trakhak, there was another test performed in Germany, as well, besides that of the one in the "Tour" magazine. Please observe the end results of both aluminum and carbon in the following:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvk63bmVpck

Outside of rust, steel has absolutely no foes. It has no bicycle frame material peers either, other than titanium. Soon carbon will take its place, but that's in the not too distant future!

- Slim

PS.

Supportive References Below:

www.brightspoke.com/c/understanding/bike-frame-materials.html

http://talu.com/materials.php

http://tetcycles.com/bikes/frame-materials/

www.rivbike.com/kb_results.asp?id=29

Last edited by SlimRider; 10-23-11 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 10-23-11, 03:43 PM   #17
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well I droped it off at another shop today to have them take a look. I dont know what my magical number is where I cut my loses and buy a new one.
I am leaning towards working on it myself to make it ridable and use it as a beater bike
Hi Fatelvis!

I think the beater idea is good!

The Heat just might get you through 'til you can have a better idea as to what type of a solid bicycle should be in your future.

I'm an old cyclist. I've seen many frames come and go. I've seen many more aluminum frames fail, than steel frames. Maybe that's just my personal experience and perhaps I shouldn't pass my personal opinion on to others. However, if every time I traverse the trail in the valley, I see rocks and boulders falling, you can depend on me to forewarn you. That's despite the fact that thousands of others tell you that all is clear and that it's safe passage!

- Slim
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Old 10-23-11, 04:50 PM   #18
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. Additionally, aluminum has a short fatigue life. That means, that there are only a specific and finite number of stress cycles that a particular aluminum structure can endure without failure. Steel has no such limit.
Steel also has a finite fatigue life unless a particular structure is built thick and heavy for low stress. Pitting bearing cones and spoke elbows breaking are two examples besides frame cracks.
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Old 10-24-11, 05:34 AM   #19
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Slimrider's Youtube link in his post above is a bit puzzling: what, exactly, does subjecting frames to cutting with a circular saw, denting by dropping weights, etc., have to do with frame durability on the road? (Answer: nothing.) Slim, look up the German Tour tests I referred to earlier; I think you'll be interested and maybe even enlightened.

Maybe you have seen more failed aluminum frames than failed steel frames: anything's possible. I sometimes go for six months without a flat and then get five flats in two weeks. That's what we call a statistical cluster. I worked in bike stores as a service manager for about 20 years up to the late '90s, so I saw a very large number of bikes coming in for service over those years, and I assure you that I saw far more failed steel frames than failed aluminum frames.

But your experience and my experience are insignificant compared to that of the warranty claim processors at Trek and other bike companies. As I said earlier, the reported rate of frame failure for aluminum frames is lower than the rate associated with steel frames. Aside from the obvious weight advantage, that's why I've gradually replaced all of my steel frames with aluminum frames.
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Old 10-24-11, 01:33 PM   #20
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Wtf?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
I've seen many frames come and go. I've seen many more aluminum frames fail, than steel frames.
Highly unlikely that you've seen many frames fail. I've been riding since the early 1970s, and have seen one (ONE) frame fail from non-catestrophic accident. And that one was a steel head tube that cracked under acceleration (handlebar) stresses.

To the OP:

Your frame is fine - and has some historical interest. Swap out the drivetrain components, the brake pads, the cables, and patch the saddle. Ride it. Report back.

Don't waste money on a new frame or a new bike. It's cheaper to ride the one that you already have - and it will STILL HAVE RESIDUAL VALUE after the reconditioning. A win-win.
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Old 10-24-11, 08:21 PM   #21
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Highly unlikely that you've seen many frames fail. I've been riding since the early 1970s, and have seen one (ONE) frame fail from non-catestrophic accident. And that one was a steel head tube that cracked under acceleration (handlebar) stresses.

To the OP:

Your frame is fine - and has some historical interest. Swap out the drivetrain components, the brake pads, the cables, and patch the saddle. Ride it. Report back.

Don't waste money on a new frame or a new bike. It's cheaper to ride the one that you already have - and it will STILL HAVE RESIDUAL VALUE after the reconditioning. A win-win.
WTF!

I happen to not only have belonged to three bike clubs, I also have a dear friend who owns a Jamis dealership. That's how I got to know so much about Jamis bicycles. He let me ride what I wanted to ride, whenever I wanted to ride it. I got to ride practically every bicycle Jamis has produced, prior to 2006. His bicycle shop used to service my clubs bikes. I helped him for two summers. Besides just riding, I've had other bike related experiences. I've obviously seen many more bikes than you have, because I have seen more aluminum bikes fail than that of steel. That's why a play my steel drum. It's not just for nothing, you know!

- Slim

PS.

Talk about WTF!
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Old 10-25-11, 06:16 PM   #22
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I think you're better of getting a new one although it'll be fun challenge to restore it bit by bit.
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