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Restoring an early 70s Raleigh Super Course

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Restoring an early 70s Raleigh Super Course

Old 09-11-19, 08:54 AM
  #26  
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My 1971 Super Course has English bottom bracket threads. I assume the fork has Raleigh threads, but I have not had reason to check, as the headset still works fine.
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Old 09-11-19, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Carvingtr View Post
My Dad will be 67 at years end. He mostly rides converted railroad paths. The bike may end up being hung on a wall as a monument to his youth and not getting ridden very often. He rode this bike from Birmingham to Mexico shortly after he got it and because of that memorable trip he hasn't been able to let the bike go.
That's a great story. It will be fairly easy to make this bike into a fine bike for riding the local bike paths. If you decide to do a repaint with a powder coat, Groody Brothers in Kansas City specialize in painting old bikes. They did a 1970s era bike for me which came out great.

Taking out a cotter pin can be a bit of a pain. If you haven't looked at Sheldon Brown's website, it is a treasure for info in fixing old bikes (including old Raleighs). Here is the section on cotter pins:

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/cotters.html

In addition to the idea expressed by others that suntour derailleurs would be a really nice upgrade, you might want to think about new wheels. Velo mine sells very reasonable 27 inch and 700c 6 speed wheelsets. This frame should be set at 120 I think but it's no big deal to set it at 126. These wheels are very reasonably priced and strong:

https://www.velomine.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=235_243&products_id=739&zenid=e2kv1gepqn5ha6kdhaov2fdcl5

That bike will take pretty fat tires. You can also set it up as "hybrid" style with flat swept back bars and thumb shifters. That might be a good set up for path riding. Sunrace makes inexpensive decent quality thumb shifters if you go that route:

https://www.amazon.com/Sunrace-SLM10...gateway&sr=8-1



Good luck. Also you can post pictures as you make progress and ask questions if you like. The only downside to doing that is that you might get inundated with too many suggestions!

Last edited by bikemig; 09-11-19 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 09-11-19, 09:28 AM
  #28  
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Both of the bikes pictured above had standard English Bottom Brackets, so no problem there. The fork on the green '73 had proprietary Raleigh threads. The original one was incorrect, painted black, and I wanted chrome, so I found an NOS Rampar chrome one on Ebay, for $39. The rear chrome stays cleaned up pretty well, so they are just polished. On the gold '78, I never checked the fork threads.

One tip: wadded aluminum foil used with Turtlewax chrome polish works wonders for pitted chrome. A recently acquired Legnano with chrome cottered crank had surface rust, and I tried the foil trick, worked wonders.

Before aluminum foil polish ...

...after polish, still more to do. I need to get the cotters out and service the bottom bracket, but I'm nervous about it. My first cottered crank.

You mentioned a Stronglight crank. I picked up this Stronglight 99 to replace the Sugino GT I had temporarily mounted on this Peugeot. Its a nice crank, and not very expensive, $70 at the Eroica swap meet. So far the Simplex rear is hanging in there, but I replaced the broken front one with a Shimano Exage. Works fine.

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Old 09-11-19, 09:34 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...people say this all the time on Bike Forums, and it is even repeated on at least one "History of the Super Course" web site. Maybe I'm just very unlucky, but of the two I have, and the other one I've worked on here, all had Raleigh proprietary threading. I have always assumed it had something to do with them originally being made as frames in the Carlton production facility, and then some increase or other movement of production of some frames to the Raleigh factory, where the tooling and frame parts supplies were different. But I don't know enough about them to say one way or the other.

Regardless, they do exist in both versions. Otherwise you wouldn't hear all the stories about searching out the special spindles that have enough reach between the shoulders to do the conversion to cotterless cranks using that and the Raleigh original cups. It would be a snap to just buy a standard square taper BB unit that is wide enough for a MTB shell in standard threading and go from there.

[B]

But to the OP, you really ought to check once you get it apart. Standard threading will make your project much easier to accomplish.

If you're set on going to a square taper crank, and it turns out this has Raleigh threading, Velo Orange sells a "threadless" BB unit in square taper which some people here have used and re happy with. I can't say how good it is, because I've never used one of them.
I'd rather not have to change the crankset assuming I can find quality cotters to replace the ones I remove and can find a suitable replacement bolt for the chainrings as well.
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Old 09-11-19, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Carvingtr View Post
I'd rather not have to change the crankset assuming I can find quality cotters to replace the ones I remove and can find a suitable replacement bolt for the chainrings as well.
Perhaps Bikesmith has the answer?
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Old 09-11-19, 09:44 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by rustystrings61 View Post
Perhaps Bikesmith has the answer?
Good find I saved the website to my favorites.
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Old 09-11-19, 09:47 AM
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Here she is. I don't have any pictures of my progress yet, but all that's left on the bike is the crankset.
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Old 09-11-19, 09:48 AM
  #33  
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Doesn't Mark Stonich sell good cotters?
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Old 09-11-19, 10:16 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Doesn't Mark Stonich sell good cotters?
Last I heard, his batch had sold out, but it would be good to know if he had another batch made.

To the OP, if you haven't yet damaged the original cotters, make sure that you don't damage them. Use heat, it's the only way that I've been able to remove factory-installed cotters myself without ruining them. The heat needed to smoke some of the old lube out of the cotter junction is nowhere near what it takes to damage steel or chrome plating or the frame's paint (which won't get very hot). They call the propane torch the "hot hammer" for a reason, and a torch kit might cost less than a pair of proper hardened cotters and is much easier to find.
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Old 09-11-19, 10:25 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
Last I heard, his batch had sold out, but it would be good to know if he had another batch made.

To the OP, if you haven't yet damaged the original cotters, make sure that you don't damage them. Use heat, it's the only way that I've been able to remove factory-installed cotters myself without ruining them. The heat needed to smoke some of the old lube out of the cotter junction is nowhere near what it takes to damage steel or chrome plating or the frame's paint (which won't get very hot). They call the propane torch the "hot hammer" for a reason, and a torch kit might cost less than a pair of proper hardened cotters and is much easier to find.
I've got a torch but I have already damaged the thread ends on the cotters. I'm going to try the cotters from Bike Smith.
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Old 09-11-19, 10:29 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Carvingtr View Post
Here she is. I don't have any pictures of my progress yet, but all that's left on the bike is the crankset.
...not sure I would repaint that one. Some derustification with shop towel and Evaporust ( or similar stuff) mentioned earlier, some rubbing compound on the paint and chrome, and then some high quality car wax, like one of those polymer waxes that are popular with car guys and that stands a good chance of going along unpainted. Surely there are people here who have gotten impressive results with less to start with.

If you have for sure given up on the cottered crank (which would be a shame...but worse things have happened to old Super course bikes), you can just cut the thing off with an angle grinder and an abrasive wheel/cutting disc. Just be careful, and put some kind of barrier between it and the frame in case you bounce off mistakenly. If you want to save the crank (which is what I would probably do), you probably need to drill out the cotters at this point if they are badly bent. It's not that big a job, and there is plenty of information about how to do it (some of it here on teh BF.) Just do a Google search.

Steel cottered cranks are in and of themselves pretty functional. If you want maximum improvement in riding ease on that bike, you probably ought to spend your money on the wheels and tyres. Again, that's just how I might approach it.

That saddle looks like it might be OK with some love and some saddle wax. The white Carlton hoods will last for decades, if not centuries.
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Old 09-11-19, 10:42 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...not sure I would repaint that one. Some derustification with shop towel and Evaporust ( or similar stuff) mentioned earlier, some rubbing compound on the paint and chrome, and then some high quality car wax, like one of those polymer waxes that are popular with car guys and that stands a good chance of going along unpainted. Surely there are people here who have gotten impressive results with less to start with.

If you have for sure given up on the cottered crank (which would be a shame...but worse things have happened to old Super course bikes), you can just cut the thing off with an angle grinder and an abrasive wheel/cutting disc. Just be careful, and put some kind of barrier between it and the frame in case you bounce off mistakenly. If you want to save the crank (which is what I would probably do), you probably need to drill out the cotters at this point if they are badly bent. It's not that big a job, and there is plenty of information about how to do it (some of it here on teh BF.) Just do a Google search.

Steel cottered cranks are in and of themselves pretty functional. If you want maximum improvement in riding ease on that bike, you probably ought to spend your money on the wheels and tyres. Again, that's just how I might approach it.

That saddle looks like it might be OK with some love and some saddle wax. The white Carlton hoods will last for decades, if not centuries.
As of right now I'm going to remove the rust and put a light coat of clear over the paint after I polish it, if my dad wants to restore it I have already found someone who will paint it for a pretty good price. I'm also wanting to keep the original crankset assuming nothing gets damaged and I can source all the needed hardware to make sure it is fully functional.
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Old 09-11-19, 11:13 AM
  #38  
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This thread on converting a Harbor Freight motorcycle chain break into a cotter press has helped me tremendously.
I haven't had a cotter yet that could resist the combo of soaking a day in penetrant (after removing the cotter nuts), then using this press.
Some of them were so stuck that they shot across the garage floor when they finally came loose.

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Old 09-11-19, 11:37 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...people say this all the time on Bike Forums, and it is even repeated on at least one "History of the Super Course" web site. Maybe I'm just very unlucky, but of the two I have, and the other one I've worked on here, all had Raleigh proprietary threading. I have always assumed it had something to do with them originally being made as frames in the Carlton production facility, and then some increase or other movement of production of some frames to the Raleigh factory, where the tooling and frame parts supplies were different. But I don't know enough about them to say one way or the other.

Regardless, they do exist in both versions. Otherwise you wouldn't hear all the stories about searching out the special spindles that have enough reach between the shoulders to do the conversion to cotterless cranks using that and the Raleigh original cups. It would be a snap to just buy a standard square taper BB unit that is wide enough for a MTB shell in standard threading and go from there.

[B]

But to the OP, you really ought to check once you get it apart. Standard threading will make your project much easier to accomplish.

If you're set on going to a square taper crank, and it turns out this has Raleigh threading, Velo Orange sells a "threadless" BB unit in square taper which some people here have used and re happy with. I can't say how good it is, because I've never used one of them.
@3alarmer, Geez, thanks for that. Who knew? Certainly not me. I hope the guy that stole mine (or more likely bought it from the thief) found that the BB threads were nicely buggered, then, from the cotterless crankset installation.

And to the OP, your bike is a peach! Urge you to work with the original paint. The emerald green and coffee were the two iconic "Super Course" colours of that era. Any other colour would just be wrong and wouldn't pay proper tribute to your Dad's bike tour. I know it's his bike, paint it however he likes, of course, but....

Also, what if you just left the stuck cotter pin(s) in place and rode the bike as is? If they stay tight, they're still doing their job....and if one or both eventually does dislodge without the nut, another problem solves itself.

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Old 09-11-19, 12:34 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by conspiratemus1 View Post
Also, what if you just left the stuck cotter pin(s) in place and rode the bike as is? If they stay tight, they're still doing their job....and if one or both eventually does dislodge without the nut, another problem solves itself.
I really want to check the integrity of the bearings and repack them with grease, the grease in the head tube bearings was dried up so I assume that will be the case for the bottom bracket as well.
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Old 09-11-19, 12:50 PM
  #41  
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That bike looks good. I wouldn't paint it either.
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Old 09-11-19, 01:46 PM
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I'm in the "do NOT repaint" camp here. I would recommend some variant of rust bath followed by Meguiar's polish and suitable polish for the chrome bits, then maybe some serious wax or spray on equivalent, which would protect the original finish. It is a lovely old bike!
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Old 09-12-19, 03:53 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by rustystrings61 View Post
I'm in the "do NOT repaint" camp here. I would recommend some variant of rust bath followed by Meguiar's polish and suitable polish for the chrome bits, then maybe some serious wax or spray on equivalent, which would protect the original finish. It is a lovely old bike!
I received a gallon of Evapo-rust yesterday, I'll take some before and after photos of the frame.
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Old 09-12-19, 07:18 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Hudson308 View Post
This thread on converting a Harbor Freight motorcycle chain break into a cotter press has helped me tremendously.
I haven't had a cotter yet that could resist the combo of soaking a day in penetrant (after removing the cotter nuts), then using this press.
Some of them were so stuck that they shot across the garage floor when they finally came loose.
Made one of these. Cracked in half the first time I used it. It's made of low quality cast iron and IMO not worth spending time on. I now use my vise and a socket

Bikesmithdesign has a great cotter press, and is the best source for quality replacement cotters.
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Old 09-12-19, 08:00 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Moe Zhoost View Post
Made one of these. Cracked in half the first time I used it. It's made of low quality cast iron and IMO not worth spending time on. I now use my vise and a socket

Bikesmithdesign has a great cotter press, and is the best source for quality replacement cotters.
Wow that's a drag!
I've been using mine for about 5 years now with no issues.
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Old 09-12-19, 08:08 AM
  #46  
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Any recommended basic pedals that will fit the Stronglight cranks on this bike? I'm not wanting to spend tons of money just a quality pedal.
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Old 09-12-19, 09:36 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Carvingtr View Post
I really want to check the integrity of the bearings and repack them with grease, the grease in the head tube bearings was dried up so I assume that will be the case for the bottom bracket as well.

This guy has a steel Stronglight crankset with intact cotter pins (only one chainring, but hey!...)

https://www.ebay.ca/itm/70s-vintage-...IAAOSwnbtdcbhc
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Old 09-12-19, 10:17 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Carvingtr View Post
Any recommended basic pedals that will fit the Stronglight cranks on this bike? I'm not wanting to spend tons of money just a quality pedal.
MKS Sylvan Touring pedals if you prefer wider without clips and straps; MKS Sylvan Track if you want narrower and prefer clips and straps.
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Old 09-12-19, 12:55 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Hudson308 View Post
Wow that's a drag!
I've been using mine for about 5 years now with no issues.
Yep, that's the thing with Harbor Freight stuff. Sometimes it lasts a day, sometimes it lasts forever.
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Old 09-12-19, 05:22 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Carvingtr View Post
Any recommended basic pedals that will fit the Stronglight cranks on this bike? I'm not wanting to spend tons of money just a quality pedal.
...the pedal holes are standard 9/16 threaded for almost everything now made. Anything by MKS (and they make a lot of styles...you can search on the internet) is great quality at an affordable price.
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