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  1. #1
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    switching from Leader to an old Raleigh

    I've been fine with this Leader bike of mine. A friend of mine has offered to sell me this old Raleigh Track Pro at a reasonable price. I'm thinking it would ride about the same and not be any heavier, so what have I got to lose? Hey, it might even be lighter, as the Leader isn't particularly light.

    I know better than to ask whether I should do this, so I'll put it this way: what are the plusses and minuses of making this swap?

    Here is the Leader in its street gear. It currently is dressed for the track with proper handlebars and no brake or accessories.



    Here is the Raleigh as my friend has it now. He is offering to sell me the frame, fork, and headset, and I "should" be able to transfer everything over except the stem.



    SIZE: The Leader is about 54cm or 55cm in seat tube. The Raleigh is 57cm, which would put the handlebars higher for me but probably not inappropriately high.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

    Tom Reingold
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Employer: Larry's Freewheeling, 301 W 110 St, New York, NY 10026
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  2. #2
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Generally speaking, it should be fine.

    The only thing I can imagine being different is that the rear end and bottom end may not be as stiff...which may not be a bad thing on a bumpy track.

    If you are focusing on sprint type stuff (500M, Kilo, Match Sprints) I'd say maybe not. But, if you are focusing on enduro or all-around, go for it.

  3. #3
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I've made some improvements this year so far. I raced last Wednesday, and while I still come in last place in every race, I was able to stay in the pack for longer. In one race, there was someone behind me for a while, and he made a last ditch effort and passed me. All of this is to say that I'm not very fast yet, so equipment changes shouldn't make much difference, as you told me before I started racing this year. I'm not focusing on any kind of race yet. I prefer the short races so far, but that might change.

    So in general, no alarm bells ringing for you, if I'm reading you right. Thank you.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

    Tom Reingold
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Employer: Larry's Freewheeling, 301 W 110 St, New York, NY 10026
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  4. #4
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    Check the seatpost clamp. I have seen a couple of these where the lug is cracked at the binder bolt. And if it has been used on the street make sure the fork and tubes are straight and not deformed from running it curbs. Otherwise the bike should be fine and look for a rigid stem, some of the longer road stems get pretty flexible. Try to avoid the Cinelli 26.4 stems as the bars will be harder to find than the 26.0 bars or just put a threadless stem adapter in and use your existing bar and stem.

  5. #5
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    Without seeing the frames it is hard to judge.

    But the Raleigh looks like a better frame than the green frame (Leader?). Why?
    Steel vs Aluminum
    No chain ring indentation (that I can see)
    Lugged frame stiffer and stronger than welded

    If the Raleigh is an 80s frame check to make sure you have clearance for 700 wheels and tires. My 1984 English Bates is very tight in this area and canít use the full drop out length.

    In general it is the reach that is critical, not the ST measurement

    And lastly the Raleigh is more beautiful than the Leader (in my opinion).
    Last edited by 700wheel; 07-24-14 at 05:31 PM.

  6. #6
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 700wheel View Post
    Without seeing the frames it is hard to judge.

    But the Raleigh looks like a better frame than the green frame (Leader?). Why?
    Steel vs Aluminum
    No chain ring indentation (that I can see)
    Lugged frame stiffer and stronger than welded

    If the Raleigh is an 80s frame check to make sure you have clearance for 700 wheels and tires. My 1984 English Bates is very tight in this area and can’t use the full drop out length.

    In general it is the reach that is critical, not the ST measurement

    And lastly the Raleigh is more beautiful than the Leader (in my opinion).
    These reasons are not very good reasons and should be ignored:

    Steel vs Aluminum
    No chain ring indentation (that I can see)
    Lugged frame stiffer and stronger than welded
    Steel is not better than aluminum. If that's your preference, that's cool. But, it's not better.

    Not sure why a chain ring indentation matters. But, if anything, running 51 or 52t chainring won't be a problem if you have one.

    How exactly does lugging a frame make it stiffer than welding? That's like saying that blue cars will be faster than red cars.

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