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My 1972 Raleigh Super Course

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My 1972 Raleigh Super Course

Old 12-22-19, 12:16 AM
  #1  
jackbombay
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My 1972 Raleigh Super Course

I picked this bike up in Portland Oregon a week ago, and rode it around there a bit, and I'm now further south with warmer temps and finally got a sort of decent ride in on it, 15 miles, and I averaged 18 MPH.

This bike is way faster than it should be for being nowhere near top of the line and 48 years old.

I have not ridden my bike much the last 4 months due to a broken toe and weather and work, so I am not feeling fit, at all, yet somehow on my ride today I smashed a bunch of my PRs on Strava, ones that I set on my carbon road bike, when I was quite fit, uhhhh, I'm not totally sure what to make of this. Yea, I went at it hard today, trying to twist the cranks off the bike, and I knew I was hauling pretty good, but, I ride my carbon bike that hard too...

I do quite like my carbon road bike, but I feel like pepe lepew looking at this Super Course now!

The bike is pretty dirty, and I was riding it in the rain around portland so it got even dirtier. I have done a bit of preliminary maintenance, but it needs to be fully disassembled and cleaned.

I will be leaving it mostly stock, but there will be some atypical mods when it gets puts back together, namely, I'm going to make a 7 speed brifter work with the 5 speed freewheel, and I'm going to make a tripilizer for the front so I can run a 28 tooth ring to have 1:1 gearing for steep hills...

Here is a pic of her now, I'm really looking forward to getting the frame stripped and the whole thing cleaned up well! This thread will be my "build thread" :-)

Yes, I am still running the simplex derailleurs, and they shift like a bowl of cold oatmeal, I figure if I get used to them it will make the bike feel that much sweeter when I put the Sun Tour VX derailleurs on it that I already have.

and I did pick up enough white derr and brake housing in portland for my rebuild to keep it looking somewhat original.

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Old 12-22-19, 02:13 AM
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I really like Supercourses. They ride above their paygrade. I have 3: a 73, a 77, and a 78. The 77 is not built up yet but the 73 and 78 make for great bikes. The 73 is a dingle speed and the 78 is mostly Shimano Arabesque.

Last edited by bwilli88; 12-23-19 at 06:54 AM.
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Old 12-22-19, 02:13 AM
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Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
I picked this bike up in Portland (snip)
Cool, congrats. Sentimental favorite for me -- bought mine in 72 and I still have it. I liked it so much that later, I bought a second one, frame & fork only. My Emergency Backup Super Course.

Check out that stem but I think it's too high, above the max safe height. There is no engraved line like on later stems (apologies if you knew that, I don't mean to insult you). You need to take the stem out, measure 65 mm up from the bottom and draw a line, like with a Sharpie or what not. Then re-install and make sure to bury that line below the headset locknut.

Those can break or spontaneously pop out of the steerer, and that'll often result in a crash.

Plus you'll be more aero with the bars lower!
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Old 12-22-19, 07:07 AM
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The closest I have come to a Super Course is my 1959 Capo, which has plain gauge 531 on the main triangle and a relaxed sport touring geometry. Very roadworthy machine, and great all-rounder. I have always admired the Super Course for the same reason.
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Old 12-22-19, 07:14 AM
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I commuted for the past 8 years on my 1972 SC. I bought it used as a bare frameset and built it up for commuting (all rounder bars, IGH/drum brakes, mudguards, dyno-lighting). Since I recently retired, I converted it to a much lighter single speed. I am amazed at how nice this thing rides.
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Old 12-22-19, 03:39 PM
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These early-70's Super Course and Grand Sports models have a somewhat less-common geometry to them in terms of the frame angles.

The seat tube angle is a reasonably sporty 73 degrees, which supports intense pedaling efforts, while the head tube angle is a slack 71 degrees, like a 1990's mtb frame or a cyclocross or hybrid frame.
I find the slower steering and perhaps softer-feeling front end to my liking as I roll out the door in the morning headed downhill out of the neighborhood, with the wide rims and tires doing their part as well.
On sporting rides, the steeper seat tube angle has me sitting well forward, so it takes less of a heave to jump out of the saddle for the steep little climbs or sprinting efforts.

If a 28t freewheel is big enough, I can recommend the Simplex mech's as snappy-quick gear changers, but one must keep an eye on those front ones for cracks (not if, but when...).
And the front Prestige doesn't like getting pelted with gritty water so may protest a bit. By all means use modern cabling leading to the rear derailer, and keep the bb guide lubed, it all makes a huge difference. Also, HG chain and UG cogs is tops for use with these.
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Old 12-22-19, 04:38 PM
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I've got a '72 that looks to be mostly original with not to many road miles compared to storage miles. The paints kind of rough and but the rust is mostly contained to the components. I've gathered used Suntour bits for the shifting system and 2 secret weapons: 50-36T chain rings and a vintage Campagnolo wheel set with butted spokes and Araya 27X 1 1/4 rims. Plan is to build it up as "barn find" sleeper... and keep the more complacent spandex and carbon fiber folks around here on their toes.
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Old 12-22-19, 08:23 PM
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Welcome to the SC club. I have a '73 that I went whole hog on custom paint, decals, and updated Suntour drivetrain. I've got way more $$$ than I could ever get out of it, but I love the looks, ride, handling and even speed. I went easier on the "78, built mostly out of spare parts, original "patina", and, with a similar Suntour drive train. The '78 lacks the fancy lugs of the '73, but somehow it feels more lively, and lighter on its feet. Both are great riding bikes. Have fun with yours. Both my bikes run Megarange 34t six speeds with VGT-Luxe RD. With a Sugino triple and 28c Paselas, the '73 is a great gravel bike, despite the fancy paint, and a great Eroica ride too.

Last edited by Slightspeed; 12-22-19 at 08:30 PM.
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Old 12-22-19, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
I have always admired the Super Course for the same reason.
The old silk hat is to frosty as the Super is to the Course!

Originally Posted by Moe Zhoost View Post
I commuted for the past 8 years on my 1972 SC. I bought it used as a bare frameset and built it up for commuting (all rounder bars, IGH/drum brakes, mudguards, dyno-lighting). Since I recently retired, I converted it to a much lighter single speed. I am amazed at how nice this thing rides.
What IGH were you running? I'm debating building one up for a friend with a Sturmey AW.

Originally Posted by dddd View Post
The seat tube angle is a reasonably sporty 73 degrees, which supports intense pedaling efforts, while the head tube angle is a slack 71 degrees, like a 1990's mtb frame or a cyclocross or hybrid frame.
That explains why tipping it right over into corners doesn't feel quite "normal" to me yet, I had it up to 41 mph yesterday, but that was a "non technical" descent, but it was totally calm and stable at 41, I'll have it over 50 before long, I think it will be beautiful on steep tech descents with the relaxed HA.

Originally Posted by dddd View Post
If a 28t freewheel is big enough, I can recommend the Simplex mech's as snappy-quick gear changers, but one must keep an eye on those front ones for cracks (not if, but when...).
The front one certainly has cracks in it!

I do have a pair of suntour VX derr's to go on the bike.

Originally Posted by dddd View Post
=13px Also, HG chain and UG cogs is tops for use with these.

The chain on the bike is in very good condition, I checked it with my chain gauge, but its good to know a HG chain works well with the freewheel.

Originally Posted by bark_eater View Post
2 secret weapons: 50-36T chain rings
I think the stock ring on mine is a 40 tooth, who makes a 36 tooth? Is it a 116 BCD for these cranks?

Originally Posted by bark_eater View Post
Plan is to build it up as "barn find" sleeper... and keep the more complacent spandex and carbon fiber folks around here on their toes.
Oh, I'm going to ruin some carbon fiber roadies on this bike, certainly not all of them, but given this bikes desire to haul ass there will undoubtedly be some carbon fiber casualties along the way ;-)

Originally Posted by Slightspeed View Post
Welcome to the SC club. I have a '73 that I went whole hog on custom paint, decals, and updated Suntour drivetrain. I've got way more $$$ than I could ever get out of it, but I love the looks, ride, handling and even speed.
I'm on the fence about how far I want to get into this bike, my buddy did talk me into keeping down tube shifters, for now. So I did just order some Suntour "symetric" DT shifters off ebay, while I like the challenge of setting up brifters for the bike, I realize they are pretty ugly on a bike of this vintage...

Originally Posted by bark_eater View Post
Both my bikes run Megarange 34t six speeds with VGT-Luxe RD. With a Sugino triple and 28c Paselas, the '73 is a great gravel bike, despite the fancy paint, and a great Eroica ride too.
So a 6 speed freewheel will spin right on and as long as the rear mech is ok with it everything will work fine? Hmmm, I like that its a 2x5, but if I could get to a 36 ring with a 34 tooth cog by gong to a 6 speed freewheel I could keep the bike a double and not make my own tripilizer, which isn't a big deal to make, but it does change overall dynamics of the bike...

I think I will ride Eroica on this bike this april!

Last edited by jackbombay; 12-22-19 at 11:48 PM.
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Old 12-23-19, 06:40 AM
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I picked up the 116 BCD chain rings on ebay. Their made by Cyclo. Ive seen a couple Peugot's on craigslist with a smaller inner ring that are probably the same.
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Old 12-23-19, 07:05 AM
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I had a green '72 SC. Great bike.

The straight gauge tubes, green paint and downtube logo in script make it the fastest bike on the planet. Trust Me!
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Old 12-23-19, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
What IGH were you running? I'm debating building one up for a friend with a Sturmey AW.
I had it fitted with an X-RD5. Drum brakes fore and aft. If I were to do it over again, I would have opted for a 3 speed. I almost never used gear 1 or 5, except to see if they were still there. Opting for a three speed would do away with having to cold-set the rear triangle for the wider hub. I loved the drum brakes, though. The current 3 speed hubs are quite nice, though I understand the desire to go vintage AW.

Good luck.
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Old 12-23-19, 10:43 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
The old silk hat is to frosty as the Super is to the Course!



What IGH were you running? I'm debating building one up for a friend with a Sturmey AW.



That explains why tipping it right over into corners doesn't feel quite "normal" to me yet, I had it up to 41 mph yesterday, but that was a "non technical" descent, but it was totally calm and stable at 41, I'll have it over 50 before long, I think it will be beautiful on steep tech descents with the relaxed HA.



The front one certainly has cracks in it!

I do have a pair of suntour VX derr's to go on the bike. The chain on the bike is in very good condition, I checked it with my chain gauge, but its good to know a HG chain works well with the freewheel.



I think the stock ring on mine is a 40 tooth, who makes a 36 tooth? Is it a 116 BCD for these cranks?



Oh, I'm going to ruin some carbon fiber roadies on this bike, certainly not all of them, but given this bikes desire to haul ass there will undoubtedly be some carbon fiber casualties along the way ;-)



I'm on the fence about how far I want to get into this bike, my buddy did talk me into keeping down tube shifters, for now. So I did just order some Suntour "symetric" DT shifters off ebay, while I like the challenge of setting up brifters for the bike, I realize they are pretty ugly on a bike of this vintage...



So a 6 speed freewheel will spin right on and as long as the rear mech is ok with it everything will work fine? Hmmm, I like that its a 2x5, but if I could get to a 36 ring with a 34 tooth cog by gong to a 6 speed freewheel I could keep the bike a double and not make my own tripilizer, which isn't a big deal to make, but it does change overall dynamics of the bike...

I think I will ride Eroica on this bike this april!
Never been a fan of downtube shifters, though I have two bikes with them. I much prefer bar end Suntours (or Campy bar ends). The 34t 6 speed plays very well with the VGT Luxe. For Eroica you will need all the gear you can fit. I rode this bike in 2018 Eroica with a 34t rear and a Sugino 30/40/50t triple, and still walked three hills. You may need to spread the frame just a little, but the six speed works on three 5 speeds that I have converted.

My '73 setup. I have since changed the big ring to a 52 for a little more range.

Over restored, too much money spent, still one of my favorire rides.

My '78, same set up, but with a 52/40 SR Apex double crank,
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Old 12-23-19, 11:07 AM
  #14  
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Here's my 73 SC. A veteran of the BF Clunker 100 challenge a few years ago, so less than $100 into it. Bought her very cheap in Portland, OR as a partly there frameset. Missing wheels, bottom bracket, derailleurs/shifters. Built with parts from our NW Hub coop. Unsold on CL @ $149, when all the other bikes sold(even the 3 spd Raleigh Superbe) It's fast and very stable on long descents, so I decided to add to my keepers. Edit: I incorrectly captioned 1st photo, it's not a Super Sport! Don

1973 Super Sport



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Old 12-23-19, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Slightspeed View Post
For Eroica you will need all the gear you can fit. I rode this bike in 2018 Eroica with a 34t rear and a Sugino 30/40/50t triple, and still walked three hills.
30/34 was not a low enough gear Ekkkk!!!! Due to traction issues or fitness? Do you mind me asking your height weight and age?

This past summer I rode the death ride (129 miles and 16,000') in a little over 9 hours with a lowest gear of 34/28, I could have used a bit lower gearing, but I was fine with what I had too. That ride was all asphalt of course, and I know the dirt miles of Eroica will take their toll, especially climbing on dirt, but the big Eroica has half the climbing of the death ride, I figure that 1:1 gearing will be good, I'm not totally sure yet what I will do hardware wise to get to 1:1, but that won't be hard to figure out. I do have an irrational hatred of walking my bike, so I'd rather have lower gears than I need that not enough low gear.
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Old 12-23-19, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
30/34 was not a low enough gear Ekkkk!!!! Due to traction issues or fitness? Do you mind me asking your height weight and age?

This past summer I rode the death ride (129 miles and 16,000') in a little over 9 hours with a lowest gear of 34/28, I could have used a bit lower gearing, but I was fine with what I had too. That ride was all asphalt of course, and I know the dirt miles of Eroica will take their toll, especially climbing on dirt, but the big Eroica has half the climbing of the death ride, I figure that 1:1 gearing will be good, I'm not totally sure yet what I will do hardware wise to get to 1:1, but that won't be hard to figure out. I do have an irrational hatred of walking my bike, so I'd rather have lower gears than I need that not enough low gear.
I was 68 in 2018, 6' and about 205. If you know SoCal, I've ridden Gibraltar Road on a carbon Roubaix triple with a 30/30 and taken the Raleigh over Sulphur Mountain fire road, 45 miles, 14 miles on dirt around 10-13% in places. I'm a decent climber, ex-racer, but except for Eroica, I ride SPD clipless pedals, and they make a huge difference climbing on dirt. I also fell twice on old school toe clips, straps and cleats in 2016, so I don't use cleats on Eroica any more. I NEVER walked until Eroica either. I re-checked the Raleigh, and the small front is a 32t, 34 rear. I have a 26t front that I may try this time, but traction can be an issue, as well as ride traffic.


You won't be walking alone! I got further than these guys, ran out of steam, so I stopped for a "photo op". Just after Cass Winery on the old Paso Robles ride.

Finally got over the hill!

Last edited by Slightspeed; 12-24-19 at 12:06 AM.
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Old 12-23-19, 11:55 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by Slightspeed View Post
I was 68 in 2018, 6' and about 205.
I do have a fair bit of a chronological and weight advantage on you then, 46 years old now and 160 pounds.

I'll be really interested to see how eroica shakes out for me, I live in eastern Idaho so being properly bike fit in April is a bit tough, but I have a fat bike so I don't have to be a victim of the trainer too much. I like the fat bike, but man are they slow, you go hammer your brains out for 2 hours and you might cover 14 miles, but when you get back on a normal bike after a winter of fat riding your bike feels quick like a laser beam!

Originally Posted by Slightspeed View Post
If you know SoCal, I've ridden Gibraltar Road on a carbon Roubaix triple with a 30/30 and taken the Raleigh over Sulphur Mountain fire road, 45 miles, 14 miles on dirt around 10-13% in places. I'm a decent climber, ex-racer, but except for Eroica, I ride SPD clipless pedals, and they make a huge difference climbing on dirt. I also fell twice on old school toe clips, straps and cleats in 2016, so I don't use cleats on Eroica any more. I NEVER walked until Eroica either. I re-checked the Raleigh, and the small front is a 32t, 34 rear.
I'm familiar with some riding around LA, but have not been up Gibralter yet.

I have not ridden clips and cleats since the early 90's, and even then it was only a little bit. I am debating whether or not to set some up for Eroica. I've ridden numerous half centuries in flip flops with flat pedals so less than ideal footwear doesn't bother me too much, but like you I certainly like my SPDs!

How steep do you estimate the grades to be in Eroica?

Originally Posted by Slightspeed View Post

You won't be walking alone! I got further than these guys, then stopped for a "photo op". Just after Cass Winery.on the old Paso Robles ride.
Oh man, that pic is telling!

Thanks a bunch for posting your bike setup and experience at Eroica!
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Old 12-24-19, 02:00 PM
  #18  
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A Stronglight 93 crank would not look out of place on that bike. Then you could keep it as a double with a 37-tooth small ring, or make it into a triple with a 42-tooth triplizer and any granny ring you want down to 24 teeth.

Just sayin'.
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Old 12-24-19, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
I picked this bike up in Portland Oregon a week ago, and rode it around there a bit, and I'm now further south with warmer temps and finally got a sort of decent ride in on it, 15 miles, and I averaged 18 MPH.

This bike is way faster than it should be for being nowhere near top of the line and 48 years old.

I have not ridden my bike much the last 4 months due to a broken toe and weather and work, so I am not feeling fit, at all, yet somehow on my ride today I smashed a bunch of my PRs on Strava, ones that I set on my carbon road bike, when I was quite fit, uhhhh, I'm not totally sure what to make of this. Yea, I went at it hard today, trying to twist the cranks off the bike, and I knew I was hauling pretty good, but, I ride my carbon bike that hard too...

I do quite like my carbon road bike, but I feel like pepe lepew looking at this Super Course now!

The bike is pretty dirty, and I was riding it in the rain around portland so it got even dirtier. I have done a bit of preliminary maintenance, but it needs to be fully disassembled and cleaned.

I will be leaving it mostly stock, but there will be some atypical mods when it gets puts back together, namely, I'm going to make a 7 speed brifter work with the 5 speed freewheel, and I'm going to make a tripilizer for the front so I can run a 28 tooth ring to have 1:1 gearing for steep hills...

Here is a pic of her now, I'm really looking forward to getting the frame stripped and the whole thing cleaned up well! This thread will be my "build thread" :-)

Yes, I am still running the simplex derailleurs, and they shift like a bowl of cold oatmeal, I figure if I get used to them it will make the bike feel that much sweeter when I put the Sun Tour VX derailleurs on it that I already have.

and I did pick up enough white derr and brake housing in portland for my rebuild to keep it looking somewhat original.

Good headlight. I use that one.
Suggest route the rear brake cable over the handlebar
That bike aesthetically needs a nicer seatpost, and a better saddle. Somafab had a nice leather one for $40.
review how much stem is inserted into the steerer, 50 mm... min, more if possible, I think you are above where would later be the limit line, could be wrong.
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Old 12-24-19, 08:40 PM
  #20  
jackbombay
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
A Stronglight 93 crank would not look out of place on that bike.
Believe it or not, part of the reason I chose this bike was because it does have cottered cranks. I've taken cottered cranks off of several bikes over the years, but I felt my fleet was incomplete without a cotter cranked bike.

Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Good headlight. I use that one.
Suggest route the rear brake cable over the handlebar
That bike aesthetically needs a nicer seatpost, and a better saddle. Somafab had a nice leather one for $40.
review how much stem is inserted into the steerer, 50 mm... min, more if possible, I think you are above where would later be the limit line, could be wrong.
I do like this headlight!

When I get back to Idaho in 10 days or so the bike will get a full disassemble/rebuild so the rear brake will get run correctly then.

I did already pick up an aluminum seat post in portland while I was there :-) The saddle is an old terry liberator, which works very well for my butt, its actually Italian leather. The bike came with a brooks, which seems like it might work ok for me, but having not been on a bike much for the last 3 months I wanted a saddle that I knew works well for me.

Thanks for the tip on the stem, another poster mentioned that as well, I think I'll have an hour or so tomorrow morning to tinker with the bike, stem will be the first thing I address.



Today I did find that the rear axle is bent a bit, if I spin the non drive side the drive side has about 1/8" of runout total, so the axle is bent about 1/16". I'm half tempted to replace it with a solid axle so I don't have to worry about it any more and can ride off curbs and hit gravel without worry, but I know I have some QR axles at home that I could cut shorter and swap in which would cost me nothing, hmmmm....
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Old 12-25-19, 02:07 AM
  #21  
bulgie
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Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
Today I did find that the rear axle is bent a bit, {snip} but I know I have some QR axles at home that I could cut shorter and swap in which would cost me nothing,
I can't remember if your SC has original hubs. If that rear hub is a '70s Normandy, it'll probably have a 9.5 mm axle. That's great if your spares at home are 9.5, but it's also likely the spares are 10 mm. Bottom line, try it and see, it'll fit or it won't.

I seem to remember putting a 10 mm complete axle set (with cones, spacers and locknuts) into a '70s Normandy, but if I did it was a long time ago. A compatible axle set might be easy to find, or impossible, sorry I can't tell you what cones will fit. Probably someone here knows. If your Normandy cones are pitted, that would be a good reason to scope out 10 mm replacements.

Ignore all that if your hub is newer and already has a 10 mm axle. (Nevermind!)

-Mark
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Old 12-25-19, 03:39 AM
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Originally Posted by bulgie View Post
I can't remember if your SC has original hubs. If that rear hub is a '70s Normandy, it'll probably have a 9.5 mm axle. That's great if your spares at home are 9.5, but it's also likely the spares are 10 mm. Bottom line, try it and see, it'll fit or it won't.

I seem to remember putting a 10 mm complete axle set (with cones, spacers and locknuts) into a '70s Normandy, but if I did it was a long time ago. A compatible axle set might be easy to find, or impossible, sorry I can't tell you what cones will fit. Probably someone here knows. If your Normandy cones are pitted, that would be a good reason to scope out 10 mm replacements.

Ignore all that if your hub is newer and already has a 10 mm axle. (Nevermind!)

-Mark
D'oh!

It is original I'm pretty sure, I'll verify tomorrow.

I have all sorts of older MTB stuff sitting around, so I don't have anything that is 9.5mm, but I do have the cones and other axle hardware for 10mm axles, I'll have to hope some of that hardware fits the cups correctly, or buy a straight rear axle.

Thanks for the info!
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Old 12-25-19, 02:25 PM
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Well, I did not measure burt the stem was probably right at 50mm of insertion, I dropped it another 40mm so I'm plenty safe on stem insertion now, it may be a bit low, but I just rode 16 miles on it and my low back was fine.

I did put on my suntour VX front derr and new cables and housing for the front and rear and man it shifts so much better now!!! I was unable to instal the rear Derr though as the hanger is not threaded, I think I'll drill it out and thread it for the VX rear derr I have, and I'll have to cut some of the steel away to make a tab for the B tension screw, that will all have to wait till I get home to Idaho of course.

BB was a bit tight, I got that adjusted, and was even able to pull the non drive side crank to do it without any damage to the cotter pin.

Here is the bike as it sits now, and my rear derr "issue"

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https://postimages.org/][/url]
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Old 12-26-19, 03:00 PM
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I think that the Simplex claw-style hanger is all wrong for the Suntour mech, in terms of the hole and the offset as well as the B-tension ledge (where thicker stock will provide better bearing for the tip of the screw).

A better claw hanger should not be very hard to find, they still make 'em, and different lengths are out there.

The Simplex and Suntour do share interchangeable pullies!
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Old 12-26-19, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
A better claw hanger should not be very hard to find, they still make 'em, and different lengths are out there.

The Simplex and Suntour do share interchangeable pullies!
Thanks for the info!


I did get out for a half century today on the Super Course, 4,400' of climbing, I should have brought a bit more food with me, but I felt pretty solid for most of the ride. The 40/28 low gear was a bit rough on some sections of the big climb, but tolerable.



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