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The Raleigh Competition Chronicles: rustystrings61's 1973

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The Raleigh Competition Chronicles: rustystrings61's 1973

Old 01-26-21, 08:08 PM
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Bikes: 2002 Mercian Vincitore, 1982 Mercian Colorado, 1976 Puch Royal X, 1973 Raleigh Competition, 1971 Gitane Tour de France and others

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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
A thought that is a little late - have you considered running 27" wheels to get the BB a little higher. Those bikes have a lot of BB drop. I think mine is about 10-3/8" off the road running 28-32c tires. Very low. I run 175 cranks for my knees on all bikes. That bike has SPD MTB pedals and I scrape on corners all the time (and I would never dream of running it fix gear).

I consider 10-5/8 as the OK minimum for fix gear, 10-3/4 good, 10-7/8 sweet. Now that is for 175, but 5 mm is only 3/16" of an inch.
I would have to go and get measurements - but I'm running 170 mm cranks, which seem to be the magic length for me, with low-profile Crank Brothers Egg Beater pedals and 35 mm tires, which work out pretty close to 27 x 1 1/4 in actual diameter. So far, so good, and that includes some fairly hairy descents (at least for me, around here, on a fixed-gear!). The last time I remember having a pedal scrape was when I still had a Rivendell and was running 172.5 mm cranks with T.A. road quill pedals and insisted on pedaling through a turn I needn't have pedaled through. Live and learn.

Part of what drove me to acquire this bike and experiment with this gearing setup was dissatisfaction with the rear-opening track ends on my Mercian custom fixed-gear. Flipping that bike's rear wheel was a royal pain, even after I replaced the solid axle with a hollow unit and a quick release skewer - which has worked beautifully for more than a decade now. The brutal truth - if I had known then what I know now, I would never have bought the Mercian, but instead would have taken my original trash pile '71 Competition and had bottle bosses added and fresh paint, and would still be riding it.
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Old 01-26-21, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by rustystrings61
I would have to go and get measurements - but I'm running 170 mm cranks, which seem to be the magic length for me, with low-profile Crank Brothers Egg Beater pedals and 35 mm tires, which work out pretty close to 27 x 1 1/4 in actual diameter. So far, so good, and that includes some fairly hairy descents (at least for me, around here, on a fixed-gear!). The last time I remember having a pedal scrape was when I still had a Rivendell and was running 172.5 mm cranks with T.A. road quill pedals and insisted on pedaling through a turn I needn't have pedaled through. Live and learn.

Part of what drove me to acquire this bike and experiment with this gearing setup was dissatisfaction with the rear-opening track ends on my Mercian custom fixed-gear. Flipping that bike's rear wheel was a royal pain, even after I replaced the solid axle with a hollow unit and a quick release skewer - which has worked beautifully for more than a decade now. The brutal truth - if I had known then what I know now, I would never have bought the Mercian, but instead would have taken my original trash pile '71 Competition and had bottle bosses added and fresh paint, and would still be riding it.
I've never owned track ends and never wanted them. The sweet dropouts are on my custom fix gear. "L" shaped, turning down in front. I can bolt anywhere in the entire dropout and can use a big tire that nearly touches the seat tube and it still pulls out like a vertical dropout. (When I run a 24 tooth cog, things get close.) You can see the chain peg bolt end and nut above the axle nut. On the top tube is an aluminum chain whip. 22" and 18 oz. You can see the teeth of the 12 tooth behind the tool bag. Also the Trixie under. (If you do this with the Trixie, put a bead of ShoeGoo along the outside of the spanner so you don't get metal to metal contact with the seatpost. It will scratch the post and drive you nuts.)

Thanks to Dean, the long time Cycle Oregon photographer, here is Jessica J (her name long before she was built) going up a 14% grade (but not in the 24 tooth; you can see it on the other side! Didn't realize this was "the hill" until I was committed and it was too steep to get re-started in a lot of bike traffic.) This was the hardest moment of that bike's existence. I had no idea Dean was there. (I didn't have much of an idea on anything!)


When I touched my forearms in the shower after with the bar of soap, it hurt!

That bike was my treat to myself after 35 years and about 60k fixed.
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