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Year and thoughts on my Raleigh Sprite 27?

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Year and thoughts on my Raleigh Sprite 27?

Old 04-09-20, 01:57 PM
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Bobsbike
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Year and thoughts on my Raleigh Sprite 27?










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Old 04-09-20, 02:40 PM
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desconhecido 
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Alot like a Sports but with 27: wheels.
Based on decal information on Kurt Kaminer's site, it appears to be 1971 or 72. Decals, white tail, seat, chain guard, all seem to me to fit in that date range. There should be a serial number somehwere on the top back of the seat tube or on the seat lug. Can be fun to locate, but it's probably there. Kurt Kaminer has some Raleigh sn info which should help. Then, of course, you've got the SA AW hub which probably is original to the bike and will have a date code.

Bike looks like it should clean up ok -- rusty bits should look pretty good after treatment -- evaporust or oxalic acid or rust remover of your choice. Should make for a fun bike to ride -- I can hear the three speed clicking already. Depending on how much money you want to spend on a $50 - $75 bicycle, you can even go to alloy rims -- maybe 700c. Then you could put some $50 tires on it like those Continental 5000s. That's what I'd probably do, if it fit me.
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Old 04-09-20, 02:44 PM
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God info & good advice, thanks
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Old 04-09-20, 02:45 PM
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Nice find!

It's a late 1960's model. Does it have a 5-speed Sturmey Archer Hub ?

edit: or as stated, early 1970's

I have a mid-1970's Sprite with a derailleur instead of a 5-speed hub

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Old 04-09-20, 02:48 PM
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Yes it does

Last edited by Bobsbike; 04-09-20 at 02:49 PM. Reason: I THINK it does
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Old 04-09-20, 03:06 PM
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That style of trigger shifter with the black plastic cover came into use in the late 70's . To be more exact, you will find a date stamp on the rear hub barrel in M/YY format. Your bike will have been made then or a few months later at the most.
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Old 04-09-20, 03:16 PM
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Thanks so much. I'll look closer at that hub to satisfy my curiosity.
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Old 04-09-20, 03:47 PM
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Oh, boy, I just noticed something that strikes me as strange. A 3 speed Raleigh bike typically does not have a brazed cable termination on the chainstay and it typically has a pulley wheel for cable routing rather than a brazed cable guide on the bottom bracket shell. The cable connection to the indicator chain is also not standard Raleigh/SA original but is like the common replacement parts. So, my wag is that the bike may have been a five speed derailleur bike repurposed as a 3 speed. There are pictures of Sprite 27 5 speeds of about that vintage with that chain guard and decals and the same chainring. Here's a link to one that might be the same color.

edit: personally, I'd rather have it as a 3 speed than as a 5 speed with the Huret Allvit derailleur that Raleigh was using. Never been a fan of those.
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Old 04-09-20, 04:17 PM
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Thanks desconhecido. I'm not fluent in "bike-speak" so most of that went over my head but it sounds like you feel there's a lot of after market shenanigans happening on that bike. I suppose I should take it for a ride and shift those gear to see if it's a 3 or a 5 speed.
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Old 04-09-20, 04:42 PM
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The hub is a definitely a 3 speed as it says three speed right on it. It's not going to shift in the condition it's in as the indicator chain is way out of adjustment. Judging from the looks of the tires, it hasn't been ridden much in a long time so the 3 speed hub is likely to be sticky and you'll have to "******" [rinse] it out before it will shift properly. The indicator chain is that little rod with a chain attached to it sticking out of the right side nut on the rear wheel. The end of it threads into the three speed shift cable and adjustment is made by turning the threaded barrel.

There is a thread here on the forums that has been running for at least ten years and that covers everything that I know or ever knew or imagined or dreamed about concerning Sturmey Archer three speed hubs. Amazing as it may seem to some, there are a lot of people who really like the old three speed bikes, I am among them. If you post to that thread with your questions, you'll likely get a lot of helpful responses. "For the love of English 3 speeds" and there are new posts on it just about every day.

For a more than basic explanation of things three speed related, you can check out Sheldon Brown's Sturmey Archer notes. Sheldon is no longer with us, but his memory, I believe, will live forever.

About bringing a neglected Sturmey Archer AW threespeed back to life, this is what I wrote in a thread on the subject several years ago
I've bought six neglected Raleighs with SA AW hubs and everyone of them was goofy when it came home. Wouldn't coast, wouldn't shift properly, stuck indicators, all the issues that plague neglected SA hubs. In every case, filling the hub with WD40 or kerosene and working the mechanism and the hubs came back and performed just fine. Never had to replace any internal parts except that pawl spring which is still in some nook or cranny in my garage somewhere. I fill the hub with solvent and clamp it to the bench and every time i go by, give it a spin. Clamp the indicator in the different gears, work the hub in reverse, hang a chain in it to hold the sprocket and spin it in reverse. After a while, everything is smooth and working. Drain the solvent and fill with oil and drain it and fill it once more
edit: looks like the censors don't like the French word for shower.

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Old 04-09-20, 04:47 PM
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-----

regarding the date suggestion of 1971-72 -

the Sprites have seen from this time were coming through with Altenburger Synchron brake calipers rather than the chromed steel ones the cycle exhibits

in fairness 1971-72 was the height of "the boom" and the manufacturer often had to make parts substitutions in order to keep things moving

they had the happy problem of being able to sell more product than they could manufacture...

the date mark on the rear hub appears munged. can read a zero by itself but of the two numbers together the second appears to be a nine. unable to make out the chracter next to the nine. are others able to decipher it?

we need to keep in mind that trigger may be later than cycle. note for example the amount of rust on the handlebar adjacent to the trigger vs the amount of rust on the trigger mounting bracket.


-----

Last edited by juvela; 04-09-20 at 05:21 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 04-09-20, 04:48 PM
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There is a wealth of knowledge, passion and comradely here in this community. Thanks much!
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Old 04-09-20, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Bobsbike View Post
There is a wealth of knowledge, passion and comradely here in this community. Thanks much!
yes, here too

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/retroraleighs/sprite.html
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Old 04-10-20, 08:42 AM
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-----

regarding three speed planetary vs five speed derailleur drive train -

the bicycle is certainly sending some mixed messages!

as others have pointed out the frame has braze-ons for bottom bracket cable guide and chainstay housing stop consistent with a derailleur geared model. it even exhibits one remaining derailleur gear fitting - the Huret chrome housing stop on the downtube.

the front and rear wheel rims are different brands/models. the front is one Raleigh used at this time. the rear is something else, telling us that the rear wheel is a replacement.

if the cycle began as a derailleur geared five speed its drive chain would have been 3/32" and would not fit over the 1/8" teeth on the SA rear cog. so someone must have changed this as well when they converted to planetary. if you check the dentition on the bicycle's chainwheel you may find it to be 3/32" rather than the 1/8" one would expect for a machine with SA gearing.

---

two safety tips -

the handlebar stem appears it may be adjusted too high for safe operation. there needs to be at least six or seven cm down inside the fork for safety. my guess is that there might be three or four. it is easy to check. you can make a mark with crayon or marking pen where the stem enters the fork and then take the stem all the way out to see how much was inside the steeerer.

the valve stems on both wheels are canted. since neither tyre looks to be holding air it may be that both tyres & tubes are kaput. if tubes do hold air you would want to remount tyres so that valve stems could be put straight.

---

if you wish to put the bicycle running and would like to do the work yourself the forum has no shortage of experts on the subject of cycle mechanicing. you could begin a thread on it over at the regular C&V forum.

all best wishes with it.

-----
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Old 04-10-20, 09:09 AM
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Thanks juvela for that detailed assessment. You certainly spent some time on it. Much appreciated.
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Old 04-16-20, 07:37 PM
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Sweet color
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Old 04-17-20, 09:30 AM
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Mustard
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