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The Dockless Donor: The 1980 Raleigh Sports will live again

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The Dockless Donor: The 1980 Raleigh Sports will live again

Old 01-19-21, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
What a beauty! I need to head to Coral Gables just to see and ride that old Sports! Perfect picture. No tip!
It really is a joy to ride. I snapped the photo in between takes for one of the videos being shot for work (as with the previous video in this series*, this is the Crandon Park Tennis Center parking lot), and I put it through a fair series of paces in the process.

Saddle nose needs to be tipped up just a bit, and the Nexus is occasionally just a bit finicky with the Microshift shifter, but I'm exceptionally pleased with the results.

I'll get some closeups later on. We also shot a gratuitous amount of slow-mo

*EDIT: Just realized I can't link the aforementioned previous video without it embedding. For this video, the Spin was chosen as I could lower the saddle a lot more - as necessary given the topic - than any diamond frame.

-Kurt
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Old 01-20-21, 03:27 PM
  #177  
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Took a few moments today between an endless, soul-sucking block of Zoom meetings (don't get me wrong - it's far better than a soul-sucking block of in-person meetings) to snap some photos of this baby:









The most beautiful modern brake lever made today. They also feel fantastic. I'm not usually a fan of dual pivots, but with these four-finger levers, the Tektro 800A (front) and 900A (back) stops the way you'd expect from a proverbial Rolls Royce: No muss, no fuss, minimal sponginess, and very responsive without ever being jarring.

You could never over-apply these levers by mistake - while they have all the power necessary to bring you to a near-immediate stop, they give excellent feedback and are exceptionally modulatable. It's impossible to endo with these without the levers letting you know well beforehand that you were doing something stupid.



First brand-new IGH hub I've ever bought:



The only thing it didn't come with was the left-side dustcap to cover the roller brake spline. I pulled out a spare nut to go where the Shimano nut - and dustcap - will eventually fit.



This is my kludge to allow the rack to fit. It obviously can't take much weight, but neither can that flimsy rack.



This was the final method I used to mount the brake with enough clearance. Thought it wouldn't work when I first tried it - guess I had to wait until the caliper had been set to realize such.



Don't let anyone tell you that the Soma Sparrow isn't just an inverted North Road. The white SOMA badging near the bar clamp cleans off easily too.



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Old 01-21-21, 04:35 AM
  #178  
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If you ever need another pair of those levers shipped just let me know.
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Old 01-21-21, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by JaccoW View Post
If you ever need another pair of those levers shipped just let me know.
I still have to find a bike to install the spare Nexus levers I bought and then nixed for this project

-Kurt
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Old 02-11-21, 08:20 PM
  #180  
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Captured this picture when I went to check out a newly-created protected bike lane for work.

The MKS pedals can't come soon enough.



-Kurt
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Old 02-20-21, 12:34 PM
  #181  
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The pedals have arrived. Decided to spruce them up with some black Shimano pedal washers (left over from the purchase of a crank).




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Old 02-25-21, 03:00 PM
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And how is the bike now? It looks nice.
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Old 02-25-21, 04:50 PM
  #183  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
And how is the bike now? It looks nice.
You mean with the new pedals? Or in comparison to the original 3-speed configuration?

If you mean the pedal swap, it's not that perceptible, but it's very nice. I would have preferred slightly wider pedals like the standard Sylvans on my '51 Sports given my wide feet (and wide oxfords that make fit even more difficult) but I've occasionally banked hard enough on the '51 to encounter pedal strike. I figured a slightly narrower pedal would be a smart move given that the whole bike just became lighter with a more capable IGH hub.

As for a comparison with its original configuration? Night and day.

There's no comparison with the plodding, uninspired thing that was its former self. It's been years since I rode it in its original state, but as I recall, it rode like any other 1970's Sports that'd never been modified - except that there wasn't anything exciting about it. Dead and bland. I especially disliked the wider post-1975 (? - memory is failing me here) North Roads, so I swapped them with a set from an earlier bike. It helped only to cure that annoyance; it didn't do anything for the boredom.

The rebuild has been transformative though. The Rigidas have definitely cut down on the overall weight of the bike, as has the Hollowtech crankset. Lightness wasn't my main intent, but it certainly doesn't feel lethargic or slow anymore. It's not the '75 Professional with the upright bars, but it doesn't feel heavy either - it probably has an edge on some current 3-speeds made today. The taller stem makes a big difference too. I'd bring it up further, but I'm not willing to show any more stem neck - not because it's too short; the thing is like a Technomic in length - but because it'd look ungainly otherwise.

The low gearing of the Nexus 8 helps immensely for starts though, and I find myself clicking straight up to third almost immediately, and usually wind up cruising in either 4th or 5th. I have noticed that it is not uncommon for it to flub the engagement into third or fourth. The alignment lines have stayed perfectly in place though, so I'm not arguing with it - anything is better than the G9. Plus, it's already put up of six days of five-hour shoots for one of the work videos.

Gear inches are as follows with the 46/19:

29.2
36.6
42.5
48.3
56.8
69.4
80.5
91.7

There are some throwaway ratios here, but the important thing is that it's nice and narrow in the middle. All the creature comforts of a medium-spaced Sturmey-Archer FM or FC 4-speeds, with a few extra ratios for good measure.

The Nexus 8 is also a lot lighter than the G9.

-Kurt
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Old 02-27-21, 08:17 PM
  #184  
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I didn't know you've been riding it a lot already which is why I asked. You've made a pretty darned useful bike, though I'm sure 8 speeds are overkill for your area.
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Old 02-27-21, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I didn't know you've been riding it a lot already which is why I asked. You've made a pretty darned useful bike, though I'm sure 8 speeds are overkill for your area.
It's not the 8 speeds that are important, but the narrow spacing. Works wonders on the flats. I might have to use those low bailout gears for one particular bridge on our yearly Bike to Work Day event ride coming up though.

Took it around for a spin today, as a matter of fact. I'd question the usefulness though - the Pletscher rear rack is svelte, but I don't know how anyone ever expected it to actually hold weight. A heavy dictionary would be enough to encourage it to travel in a different direction than the bike.

Speaking of which, when I arrived today on the not-really-a-Dockless-Donor anymore, I found an actual bike share bike (technically a docked one) waiting for me. malcala622 has been kind enough to facilitate a couple of Los Angeles based bikes for the Bike Share Museum, and one of them had arrived. Also coincidentally, another Nexus 8 bike: A 2015 Social Bicycles 3.0 from Santa Monica's Breeze system. Bars and remaining bits are on their way.





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Old 02-27-21, 10:05 PM
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Very nice.

And yes, it's much nicer when your gears are spaced closely enough. That's why I don't like 3-speed hubs. There are only two useful gears for me. Years ago, when I lived in Maplewood, NJ, I put a 24T cog on my Rudge Sports. It worked out great. Later, I shipped the bike to Palm Beach where my mother in law lives. We visit once a year, so that's the bike I ride there. It's now geared too low for the terrain, but it's OK. Sometimes the headwinds are fairly strong.
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Old 02-27-21, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Very nice.

And yes, it's much nicer when your gears are spaced closely enough. That's why I don't like 3-speed hubs. There are only two useful gears for me. Years ago, when I lived in Maplewood, NJ, I put a 24T cog on my Rudge Sports. It worked out great. Later, I shipped the bike to Palm Beach where my mother in law lives. We visit once a year, so that's the bike I ride there. It's now geared too low for the terrain, but it's OK. Sometimes the headwinds are fairly strong.
I don't remember what cog I have on my '51 with the FG Dynofour, but it's geared lower than stock so first is a good starting gear, and 2nd and 3rd provide adequate ratios. Fourth exists only if you've got a tailwind and you're willing to exhaust the hell out of yourself just to lose the roadie on the Cervelo who thinks you are a derny. This also means I'm not forced into riding the '80 faster, but I'm also more consistent where I'd otherwise be spinning a higher cadence than I prefer in 2nd.

Incidentally, during a five-mile neighborhood putt-about ride today (technically only two miles were recorded on my phone) I averaged around 11mph - with a fair number of intersections - with a top speed of 16.9mph. My Raleigh Pro and '61 Schwinn Paramount are laughing at me, but that's pretty fair for an upright-bar commuter bike with the occasional headwind. Might be interesting to compare the same route with the '51.

-Kurt
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Old 02-28-21, 07:32 AM
  #188  
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Oh how I wish I could find a chainless transmission to ride on the hard packed wet sand at low tide. Kurt, why do you get to have all the fun!?!
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Old 03-04-21, 05:47 PM
  #189  
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
Oh how I wish I could find a chainless transmission to ride on the hard packed wet sand at low tide. Kurt, why do you get to have all the fun!?!
There's quite a few systems retiring these right now, so they're becoming fairly accessible.

Doubt if you're headed anywhere near Boise, Idaho anytime soon, but if you are, you might want to see if Dave at Boise GreenBike just might have one Topeka Metro Bike left. Same as the Breeze, just a 3-speed. Good platform for tinkering.

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Old 04-01-21, 06:58 AM
  #190  
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I've released videos with smoother editing in the past (the content is top notch though - the Underline is sublime), but this is the first to feature the '80 as my wheels:


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Old 04-01-21, 09:30 AM
  #191  
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Well done Kurt! You need to submit it to all the local news channels. First class!
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Old 04-02-21, 10:10 AM
  #192  
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It's OK; there's a better video with the '80 on its way (if all goes well).

The general public is too jaded for the media machine to pick up this stuff.

-Kurt
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Old 04-04-21, 08:32 AM
  #193  
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Be gone, hideous Rampar decals.



FYI, a set of 1950's repop decals are on their way (if DeJoy's USPS doesn't screw it up, like they have with the chainguard).

Also still having issues with the Tektro 800A in front. Spring has lost most of its tension as I mentioned in the separate thread about this, but since the '80 is currently being used for one of the videos for work, I can't really start taking it apart to verify that it's the spring and not a sticking brake arm. Plus, I'd need a replacement spring anyway.




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Old 04-06-21, 02:18 PM
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Just got the the transfers in the mail, so took a quick break from work to install them. What a lovely, lovely improvement over those hideous Rampar "R" symbols.



For the record, I did compare the repop waterslide decal sheet against my '51 and '52 Sports, and I noticed all the decals are about 10% oversize. While it's fine for a restomod like this, I wouldn't recommend the same sheet for an accurate resto. Seller's pic.




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Old 04-07-21, 12:06 PM
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The chainguard arrived! Took a quick break between meetings to install it and photograph it. So much better than the chintzy 1977+ guard that looks as if it came off a Free Spirit.







Rampar decal has now been eradicated from the seattube as well. Finally, no ugly disco "R" logos on this machine.







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Old 04-07-21, 01:00 PM
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That does look so much better than the original.
Now all you need is to PC the logos off the crankarms. Maybe use either silver or a chrome PC? Add a classic Raleigh decal to the arms as well?
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Old 04-07-21, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
That does look so much better than the original.
Now all you need is to PC the logos off the crankarms. Maybe use either silver or a chrome PC? Add a classic Raleigh decal to the arms as well?
I've considered taking the arms off and having the painter neighbor reshoot them in the same flat black that the Twenty is sprayed in.

Would be fun to etch Sir Walter in them.

-Kurt
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Old 05-23-21, 08:49 AM
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I threw another fancy-pants upgrade at this thing. First off, a Brooks B.67. I chose the single rail model over the B.66 in the spirit of the whole modernization thing going on with this particular bike. It does seem slightly bare not seeing two rails, but it is what it is.

The other thing I did was dig up a silver, Origin 8 two-bolt seatpost - the only thing available on the market in 25.4. I had to cut this down (it begins as a 400mm post (!) and after all the effort to get my hands on it, it ticks me off that the painted-on logos are set in laser-etched recesses. I'm not good enough at polishing to feel comfortable refinishing the entire post, and it's already a fairly loose fit, so I resorted to using a rubber automotive sticker remover to burnish off the painted (?) finish. Whether you can see the logo or not is dependent on how the light hits it.

I was also quite surprised to find (or rediscover, as the post had evidence of my grease from 15 years ago) that the factory seatpost was not only marked TI Sturmey-Archer, but claimed a size of "25.44mm / 1.003 in" stamped directly into the post.











FYI, I plan to pull the hub guts of the Nexus 8 today to clean them and drench them in 00 grease. The gear engagement around 3rd and 4th more than occasionally results in slippage that feels just like the pawls failing to engage the sun gears. I fear that I may chip one of them.

I know Shimano rags on about their oil for these hubs, but I've yet to see anyone try the Sturmey 00 grease method, which worked miracles on that aforementioned (I think; don't recall if it was this thread or not) Sturmey XRF-8 with friction issues between its internal parts that the popular ATF method was incapable of solving.

-Kurt
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Old 05-23-21, 04:19 PM
  #199  
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It looks very nice. The saddle is the best feature.
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Old 06-15-21, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
It looks very nice. The saddle is the best feature.
My fat butt agrees completely with you, Tom

-Kurt
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