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Raleigh Sports in very good condition.

Old 12-27-11, 10:55 AM
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slowtostart
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Raleigh Sports in very good condition.

I'm down one bicycle since I gave Elad my excess Sprite so that he wouldn't lose his man card. I found a very nice Sports (1966?) listed locally on CL. It's got the original owners manual and warranty card, though I'm sure that is no longer valid! The current owner received it from a relative's estate and thinks his aunt rode it only a couple of times. I know you guys would probably choke at the almost $300 price tag, but it has the original leather saddle, pleather seat bag, great chrome and no rust. And, it's green. My current Sprite has a Dynohub with working lights which I'm assuming could be switched over to the Sports if the wheels are the same size. I'd keep the Sprite as a rain commuter, but use the Sports for daily good weather commutes as well.

If it helps, I neither wanted nor received any jewelry for Christmas. I'd appreciate any enablers to respond with a green light for this purchase.

Last edited by slowtostart; 12-27-11 at 10:56 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 12-27-11, 11:05 AM
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Choking noise!
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Old 12-27-11, 11:15 AM
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I'm note sure this bike is worth $300 either I would probably only consider going $150 maybe $200. The age could be a problem since many Ralieghs of this era had some none standard parts in Raliegh specific sizes/threading and older English pre ISO sizing/threading. Which could make fixing or upgrading the bike difficult.
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Old 12-27-11, 11:43 AM
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If it's your size, mint, the saddle is mint, it's your specific preffered color, and you can stomach shelling out 300 for it why not? If there's a real chance you'll regret buying it, don't but I don't think there is... or you wouldn't be here.
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Old 12-27-11, 12:13 PM
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Maybe these will help with the date. Current owner says the rear hub is just dirty, not rusted. He could not find numbers on the hub.
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Old 12-27-11, 12:16 PM
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And the rest of them.
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Old 12-27-11, 12:19 PM
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do it, do it now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!! I may be biased as my username may or may not indicate to you but if that wasn't a womens... I'd be hunting it down myself.. is that the oliveish version of raleigh green?
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Old 12-27-11, 12:32 PM
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Okay, Mr. Sport, what year is it? The seller thinks the tires are original, if that helps with the date. I know they will need to be replaced. I got my first vintage Raleigh this summer, a 1974 ivory Sprite. It would be an understatement to say that I love the bike. It is now in perfect working condition and I don't mind the friction shifters. I just want a 3 speed.

What sizes were available? I have no problem with the 27 inch wheels on the Sprite and ride a 54cm standard geometry road bike.

This bike is cheap compared to the cranks on my plastic road bike! I can easily rationalize the cost if I compare it to modern components. I own 2 sets of wheels with different gearing on each.
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Old 12-27-11, 12:44 PM
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Easiest way to get a close ballpark is to check the datestamp on the Sturmey AW hub, if I had to guess I'd say late 60's judging by the chain ring on the crankset and the half chainguard.. (they match up with my 67 superbe) Also, the less bronze in the green more olive (as far as my experience tells me) is the 60's as well. I'm no raleigh expert, but that one is close to the ones I know.
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Old 12-27-11, 12:48 PM
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This is my 72 frankensport, the chainguard came from the 67 superbe as well as the fork and fenders, just to give you an idea of what I'm talking about.
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Old 12-27-11, 01:01 PM
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Ohh and odds are it's got 26x 1 3/8 wheels (the brittish version, not the schwinn) and I'm thinking by the frame size.. it's probably the 23" note the head tube on mine, and it's a 21 inch.
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Old 12-27-11, 07:22 PM
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Thanks for all of your responses. I didn't mean to sound like a jerk about my road bike. 300 in bike dollars just doesn't stretch that far on the new ones. Are you saying the head tube is taller on the one I'm looking at? I'm comfortable on the Sprite I now own as well as my 54cm road bike. How many sizes did these come in? For me, larger in the lady's version would probably be a better fit.

I'm assuming the tires (Love those two thin lines.) and tubes should be replaced. Should I also plan on new cables and housings?
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Old 12-27-11, 08:23 PM
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If the Sports actually has a 23 inch frame, it would be close to 2 inches taller then your road bike. Maybe without a top tube that wouldn't be a issue.

Even though it wasn't used, it's still an old bicycle. Beyond tires, tubes and cables the whole bike will need to be serviced. The bearing grease becomes dry after so many years. It can ruin the bearings and races if they're not repacked. If you have to pay a shop to do the work, that's going to add maybe another $100 to $150 to the price of the bike.

The think the bicycle is very cool. I'm not trying to talk you out of it, just trying to point out some possible unseen cost.
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Old 12-27-11, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by slowtostart View Post
Thanks for all of your responses. I didn't mean to sound like a jerk about my road bike. 300 in bike dollars just doesn't stretch that far on the new ones. Are you saying the head tube is taller on the one I'm looking at? I'm comfortable on the Sprite I now own as well as my 54cm road bike. How many sizes did these come in? For me, larger in the lady's version would probably be a better fit.

I'm assuming the tires (Love those two thin lines.) and tubes should be replaced. Should I also plan on new cables and housings?
$300 stretches pretty far around here on used bikes. +1 Even if it was never ridden, assume it will need a full service, tires, tubes, bearings, grease, cables and housings.

Overall condition looks exceptional, that is a big plus. So the choice is yours.
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Old 12-27-11, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by slowtostart View Post
Thanks for all of your responses. I didn't mean to sound like a jerk about my road bike. 300 in bike dollars just doesn't stretch that far on the new ones. Are you saying the head tube is taller on the one I'm looking at? I'm comfortable on the Sprite I now own as well as my 54cm road bike. How many sizes did these come in? For me, larger in the lady's version would probably be a better fit.

I'm assuming the tires (Love those two thin lines.) and tubes should be replaced. Should I also plan on new cables and housings?
I'm saying it appears to be longer, I'm terrible at eyeballing womens bike heights in pics though.. and the top of the seat tube appears the same as mine so if there seller is listing as 21" it probably is. The bike looks pristine to me, but it's probably around 50 years old.. how are your bike mechanic skills? If you know how to check for wear and tear you'd be a better judge of what needs new what.. the tires don't look dry rotted or all that worn from here, so if they appear good and the tubes are holding air you might even skip that step.. however if your not a bike mechanic, take it to a shop have a guy look it over and tell you what needs doing.. make sure you trust the shop, or get a friend to do it. In an ideal world however with money being no objects.. you'd get new cotterpins, a new chain probably, BB's and repack your headset/hubs/BB recable everything, new tubes/tires... but that just feels like overkill to me

The two general sizes I know of are 21" and 23" frames and I have also laid eyes on two whole 25" Superbes before...

With all that out of the way I need to ask you something, are you really prepared to spend 300 dollars on a near bottom of the line 60's road bike that needs odd parts when it needs repairs? and it's not exactly rare.. there were thousands upon thousands of them made.. and there still are thousands upon thousands of them out there being ridden. >.> I know I know.. I should be saying.. but it's so pristine.. it's such a trusty steed.. but will it make a good bike for you?
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Old 12-28-11, 06:26 AM
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Those posts are exactly what I need to hear and listen to. I have a terrific mechanic who does all the work on my road bike and based on bike shop prices, works dirt cheap. He's the guy who did a complete overhaul on the Sprite including all the things you suggested and cleaned out the Dynohub which now produces light front and back. He also trued the wheels. The Sprite has a new Brooks leather saddle and grips. Frame excluded, from what I've read here and other resources, it's equipped like a Superbe and I paid $20 for it. If you don't include the cost of the saddle and grips, I don't have much more invested. Also, I don't mind getting my hands dirty, but my mechanic would probably charge twice as much to undo my repair attempts. I did clean it up based on the instructions you have posted. All the chrome sparkles.

I respect all the time you took to give my questions (folly) so much thought. I'll call the seller this morning and tell him I won't be driving down for the bike this weekend. From what you've written I'm thinking I should keep my bike slush fund at it's current level and continue searching. If I sell some of my excess gear I could probably add that to the cookie jar and buy a Betty Foy (blasphemy?) from Rivendell. In the meantime, I'll continue to hunt CL and reading C&V.

Again, thanks to all! I wish you all the best in the coming year.

Happy New Year!
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Old 12-28-11, 12:02 PM
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By all means, save for the Betty Foy! You'll know the history (none!) and won't get any surprises. Only those who actually work on vintage bikes, or have a mechanic like you, have any business with vintage bikes. Restoring bikes is like restoring 100 year old houses, IMO. You never fix just one thing, it goes on and on. Maybe I've not been so fortunate?
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Old 12-28-11, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by anixi View Post
By all means, save for the Betty Foy! You'll know the history (none!) and won't get any surprises. Only those who actually work on vintage bikes, or have a mechanic like you, have any business with vintage bikes. Restoring bikes is like restoring 100 year old houses, IMO. You never fix just one thing, it goes on and on. Maybe I've not been so fortunate?
+1 On the old houses. Here I sit in my 1934 rock bungalow (my avatar), basically a finished project now: rewired, replumbed (from the street on), restored bathroom, new kitchen, roof, floor joists, HVAC, etc., etc. And of course, I can't get enough of it, so three houses down the street is my current project, another 1934 house. I figure I have two more years to go.

Old houses and old bikes are best suited for someone who has the skill/time/tools/interest in doing the work themselves. Otherwise, the costs really add up.
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Old 12-28-11, 12:58 PM
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That reminds me... I need to get new bearings for my front hub and repack it >.> anyone recall the size? I'm just being lazy and not opening a tab for SB.
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Old 12-28-11, 02:34 PM
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You aren't helping. My house was built in 1868 and I can "do" windows as in rip out and restore. Restore = strip, reglaze, new ropes.........
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Old 12-28-11, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by slowtostart View Post
You aren't helping. My house was built in 1868 and I can "do" windows as in rip out and restore. Restore = strip, reglaze, new ropes.........
You could always track down let's say 2 raleigh sports in worse condition for under 100 total... you'd have spares on almost everything and still have 200 bucks padding left for tools/any new parts you need/rum.
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Old 12-28-11, 02:47 PM
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GREAT FIND. Now I'm jealous, my 53 Phillips is no where in it that good of shape.
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Old 12-28-11, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by zukahn1 View Post
I'm note sure this bike is worth $300 either I would probably only consider going $150 maybe $200. The age could be a problem since many Ralieghs of this era had some none standard parts in Raliegh specific sizes/threading and older English pre ISO sizing/threading. Which could make fixing or upgrading the bike difficult.
Anyone buying a vintage Raleigh should go into it understanding that the threading will be proprietary and that you won't be able to walk into an LBS and get some spares but that due to the long production life and numbers of these bicycle fiding spares is not that big of an issue.

A Sports in this kind of shape with all the extra bits like the pump and seat bag, as well as what is an upgraded Brooks saddle could be worth $300.00 in a number of markets and even if one upgraded the rims to alloy the all in price would be less than $500.00 which is still a better deal than any modern equivalent.

These are bicycle that were designed and built to be ridden for a century... and in that I mean 100 years.

Bottom line would be that if it is a good fit and is as nice as things appear the price is not unreasonable and after a closer inspection one might engage in the age old practice of haggling.
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Old 12-28-11, 03:28 PM
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slowtostart I have a Sport at the CO-OP if you would need spare parts. Fenders and frame are rusty but could be cleaned and repainted, and same of the plating on the crankset is flaking off, but you are welcome to use it for parts. Call me if interested.

Elad
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Old 12-28-11, 03:54 PM
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Elad, you are a gem! I hope you all know the good deeds he does for so many others. If you do not, I'm an educator and will oblige that challenge. Elad and I have met and he knows what my lowly Spite looks like AND he gave me an incredible front rack for it. Many thanks!!!

If one must have a cunundrum, this is the one to have! C&V bikes are so much fun.

It, the Sports, is still listed on CL. The kind man didn't know what a "hub" was when I asked him to look for numbers. I want to pay what the bike is worth, not less or much more.

Red light? Green light? I have the ultimate responsibility for the decision. $900 for restoration is a far cry from the $2000+ Betty Foy.

Regardless, it will be a good year for me! I wish you all the best and welcome any and all advice.

Elad, I'm ready to help in any capacity at the CO-OP.
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