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1991 Raleigh Technium Olympian; looking for feedback.

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1991 Raleigh Technium Olympian; looking for feedback.

Old 07-21-21, 11:39 AM
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wundermary
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1991 Raleigh Technium Olympian; looking for feedback.

I've purchased a 1991 Technium Olympian. It appears to be all original, has had heavy use and it shows. I got it for $60.00, with a 30 day money back (21 days of which is left), if I decide not to keep it. I've cleaned and lubed the chain/derailleurs. I regret not taking before photos; but I can now see that it has nasty wear to the front sprocket set, which consists of Shimano Biopace-SG B-28, B-38 and B-48 sprockets. I can not determine what the front derailleur is.

It shifts okay on flat ground. Under a load, the cable will pull out of the derailleur, before it can make it onto the largest sprocket. I've read here of cross chaining and that was not occuring. I'm not sure how much of the problem rides with the sprockets and how much with the derailleur. I've looked a bit online at sprocket sets. I'm considering wrenching on this bike. I grew up around vintage cars, owned vintage VWs for years, on which I did my own work, and am thinking about using this as a good way to learn my bike.

Here's the thing: I don't want to invest hundreds of dollars into this bike, ending up with much more invested than what it's "worth". I have no arguments with the rear sprockets and derailleur, or the brakes. I'm assuming other sprocket sets and front derailleurs can go on this bike, so I'm not exactly sure what this will end up looking like for me and I'm hoping for some advice/guidance.

I've read quite a bit here in the last few days and understand that the crank set is eliptical. Pros? Cons? Should I consider a round set?

The geometry of the bike also seems odd. I used an online fit calculator, and chose French Fit. The top tube is slightly long, whereas the head and seat tubes are short. I've got the seat and handlebars set quite high; it makes the bike look gangly but I don't see the harm in it otherwise. I'm hoping for some fit feedback as well.

Thank you in advance for your consideration

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Old 07-21-21, 11:57 AM
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Raleigh Technium Olympian

Is this close to the componentry/frame?
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Old 07-21-21, 12:01 PM
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Probably Biopace rings- they work but glide you to a slower cadence. I have them on my OLD mtb. but the outer ring is round.

with the shift cable pulling through... something is wrong.
get the bike on a workstand and shift the gears by pulling the shift cable to the side on the downtube, observing excess resistance.
Unhook the cable and hold the cable and shift against your restraining it by your hand. You might find the cause.
Check the integrity of the cable anchor bolt and nut.
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Old 07-21-21, 12:01 PM
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You got a great deal at $60 with a 30 day money back guarantee. The driftless region has some seriously steep hills. 20% grades are not uncommon; 10% grades are common.

The most important thing is that the bike came stock with a triple so it has the gearing you will need (48/38/28 rings). If you make an album on your profile and load pics, we will be able to upload it to this thread.

This is the '91 Raleigh catalog in German (which is all I could find):
https://www.retrobike.co.uk/gallery2.../Raleigh91.pdf

It looks to have a Shimano 300 group which is fine.

The main thing to do is to fix it up and ride it before deciding on any changes. We can help you fix it up.
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Old 07-21-21, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
Is this close to the componentry/frame?
Yes, same model, right down to the colors! This frame appears taller, the head tube on mine measures 2.75".
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Old 07-21-21, 12:31 PM
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"Nasty wear" on the BioPace chainrings: maybe not. Sometime in the late 1980s, chainring manufacturers began shaping chainring teeth to improve shifting with the recently introduced indexing systems. To that end, they placed sets of shortened and/or twisted teeth at regular intervals around the chainrings. If the apparently worn teeth look like that, they're probably fine.
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Old 07-21-21, 12:58 PM
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Thanks all! I'm currently working evenings. I won't be able to respond until tomorrow. I do appreciate the input and I will follow thru...
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Old 07-21-21, 03:21 PM
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I am going to agree with my fellow BFer here. $60 is good value, and it will be a solid rider...room for fenders, and bigger tires if so desired...(not two eyelets rear for the fenders...probably have to improvise with the rack...), and a rear rack for some in town grocery runs/errands.

If the cable is pulling out of the derailleur (front or rear) it is an attachment issue I would think. Spring tension gets heavier toward the large cog and big chain ring.

As far as fit, Riding a bit smaller frame isn't always a bad thing; you can adjust seat height to the seat post limit or get a longer post reasonably cheaply. Also, if the stem length is too long (from bolt to center of bars) you can get a smaller reach stem pretty cheaply. The ultimate fit stem for height is technomic by Nitto, but they can be pricey.

Interestingly, french fit is the largest frame you can ride (which is why french fit bikes usually have the seatpost way down in the seat tube and stems low.)

Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
You got a great deal at $60 with a 30 day money back guarantee. The driftless region has some seriously steep hills. 20% grades are not uncommon; 10% grades are common.

The most important thing is that the bike came stock with a triple so it has the gearing you will need (48/38/28 rings). If you make an album on your profile and load pics, we will be able to upload it to this thread.

This is the '91 Raleigh catalog in German (which is all I could find):
https://www.retrobike.co.uk/gallery2.../Raleigh91.pdf

It looks to have a Shimano 300 group which is fine.

The main thing to do is to fix it up and ride it before deciding on any changes. We can help you fix it up.
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Old 07-21-21, 05:39 PM
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I've been on the lookout for one. I think the graphics and curb appeal are great. It's light. Upgrade the parts to whatever you want. It's aluminum and has a unicrown fork so it won't get much love around here, but for it's intended use, is it really that far off from a Trek 520 (loosely speaking) and people give their arm and leg for those. It seems like a great sport hybrid in the making minus the clunky weight. What's not to like is my question, which is why I want one. Would love to find a frame in my size just like pictured below


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Old 07-21-21, 09:57 PM
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Other than the top-end 531 and 753 bikes, did Raleigh Techniums use different tubing in the rear triangles as you went up the line? Pretty sure the alumnim tubes were all the same, within bike type (road, MTB, hybrid/touring) and model year.

Weirdly neat bikes, from a brief window of time when the bike industry would try anything.

I still love the anodized MTBs from the end of the run...

--Shannon
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Old 07-22-21, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
You got a great deal at $60 with a 30 day money back guarantee. The driftless region has some seriously steep hills. 20% grades are not uncommon; 10% grades are common.

The most important thing is that the bike came stock with a triple so it has the gearing you will need (48/38/28 rings). If you make an album on your profile and load pics, we will be able to upload it to this thread.

This is the '91 Raleigh catalog in German (which is all I could find):...

It looks to have a Shimano 300 group which is fine.

The main thing to do is to fix it up and ride it before deciding on any changes. We can help you fix it up.
Thank you for the support, it's definitely appreciated! And thank you for posting the catalog. I'm questioning if the bike is a '90 or '91. Another commentator posted a link to another forum post for a virtually identical bike. The serial number algorithm referenced in that post is different than the one I found online. Not sure what to make of that.

My goal is not to spend much on this and as little as possible before I make a decision on keep/return. I'm already thinking I need a new derailleur cable. It's frayed and lost a few strands from pulling out. I'm concerned I won't have enough cable left by the time I get done monkeying with it. Moving down the thread, I'm going to post some pics...
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Old 07-23-21, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Probably Biopace rings- they work but glide you to a slower cadence. I have them on my OLD mtb. but the outer ring is round.

with the shift cable pulling through... something is wrong.
get the bike on a workstand and shift the gears by pulling the shift cable to the side on the downtube, observing excess resistance.
Unhook the cable and hold the cable and shift against your restraining it by your hand. You might find the cause.
Check the integrity of the cable anchor bolt and nut.
No stand, I'll have to flip it over on some cardboard. Not ideal but it's what I have. How do I unhook the cable at the shifter? The shifter for the rear derailleur clicks in position. The front does not. Should it?

Last edited by wundermary; 07-23-21 at 12:48 AM.
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Old 07-23-21, 12:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
"Nasty wear" on the BioPace chainrings: maybe not. Sometime in the late 1980s, chainring manufacturers began shaping chainring teeth to improve shifting with the recently introduced indexing systems. To that end, they placed sets of shortened and/or twisted teeth at regular intervals around the chainrings. If the apparently worn teeth look like that, they're probably fine.
Okay, this is intriguing. I wouldn't say twisted. Definitely shorter and flattened/blunt. What sort of interval? I definitely need to know more about this.

Here's a shot of a portion of the front sprocket. What do you make of the condition?

Excessive wear, design feature, or both?

Last edited by wundermary; 07-23-21 at 12:50 AM.
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Old 07-23-21, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
I am going to agree with my fellow BFer here. $60 is good value, and it will be a solid rider...room for fenders, and bigger tires if so desired...(not two eyelets rear for the fenders...probably have to improvise with the rack...), and a rear rack for some in town grocery runs/errands.

If the cable is pulling out of the derailleur (front or rear) it is an attachment issue I would think. Spring tension gets heavier toward the large cog and big chain ring.

As far as fit, Riding a bit smaller frame isn't always a bad thing; you can adjust seat height to the seat post limit or get a longer post reasonably cheaply. Also, if the stem length is too long (from bolt to center of bars) you can get a smaller reach stem pretty cheaply. The ultimate fit stem for height is technomic by Nitto, but they can be pricey.

Interestingly, french fit is the largest frame you can ride (which is why french fit bikes usually have the seatpost way down in the seat tube and stems low.)
Ah, the internets! The fits were defined as Competitive, Eddy and French. The descriptions all related to the relationship between the seat and handlebar heights. I chose French because I like the seat and bars at roughly the same height. I have seen the profile you're describing though and that does make sense.

The calculator was odd, though. It wanted all of these precise measurements but wouldn't accept less than whole numbers. I rounded up and rounded down and in the end, I adjusted the seat back. It felt too far forward even though the calculator said the distance was more than enough. IDK
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Old 07-23-21, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by sdn40 View Post
I've been on the lookout for one. I think the graphics and curb appeal are great. It's light. Upgrade the parts to whatever you want. It's aluminum and has a unicrown fork so it won't get much love around here, but for it's intended use, is it really that far off from a Trek 520 (loosely speaking) and people give their arm and leg for those. It seems like a great sport hybrid in the making minus the clunky weight. What's not to like is my question, which is why I want one. Would love to find a frame in my size just like pictured below...
The bike in your photo is the one I have. I wish it were prettier but it's scraped and nicked. I have to admit that has a certain appeal, as I don't have to worry about it getting bumped. It has the cachet of an urban cruiser😂

What defines a unicrown fork?
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Old 07-23-21, 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by ShannonM View Post
Other than the top-end 531 and 753 bikes, did Raleigh Techniums use different tubing in the rear triangles as you went up the line? Pretty sure the alumnim tubes were all the same, within bike type (road, MTB, hybrid/touring) and model year.

Weirdly neat bikes, from a brief window of time when the bike industry would try anything.

I still love the anodized MTBs from the end of the run...

--Shannon
Judging by the rust, it appears that the tubing on the rear triangle is steel. Anodized sounds great!
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Old 07-23-21, 12:58 AM
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Originally Posted by wundermary View Post
Judging by the rust, it appears that the tubing on the rear triangle is steel. Anodized sounds great!
Sorry, I was unclear.

All Raleigh Technium frames had steel rear triangles and head tubes. Most of them had aluminum main tubes, but I'm pretty sure there was a titanium version with a 753 rear triangle, and a bonded all-753 one as well.

--Shannon
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Old 07-23-21, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by ShannonM View Post
Sorry, I was unclear.

All Raleigh Technium frames had steel rear triangles and head tubes. Most of them had aluminum main tubes, but I'm pretty sure there was a titanium version with a 753 rear triangle, and a bonded all-753 one as well.

--Shannon

Hi Shannon, I noticed this while noodling with the derailleur. The lower third of the rear triangle appears to be aluminum.
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Old 07-23-21, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
"Nasty wear" on the BioPace chainrings: maybe not. Sometime in the late 1980s, chainring manufacturers began shaping chainring teeth to improve shifting with the recently introduced indexing systems. To that end, they placed sets of shortened and/or twisted teeth at regular intervals around the chainrings. If the apparently worn teeth look like that, they're probably fine.

Outermost ring; the shorter teeth are oriented 180į from each other.

Outermost ring; do these shorter teeth look as they should?

Middle ring: do these shorter teeth look as they should?

What do you make of this set of rings? Do they look as they should, or is there some heavy wear?
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Old 07-23-21, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
...with the shift cable pulling through... something is wrong.
get the bike on a workstand and shift the gears by pulling the shift cable to the side on the downtube, observing excess resistance.
Unhook the cable and hold the cable and shift against your restraining it by your hand. You might find the cause.
Check the integrity of the cable anchor bolt and nut.
I've got approximately 50% of the cable left. It's been badly damaged from pulling out. I'm a little nervous it's going to rip out and stab me while I'm messing with it👀

I think I need to know more about this, before I can diagnose, anyway. Moving it by hand, it has a lot of resistance. IDK what's normal, though. Is it a good idea for me to remove it, clean and lube it, before I mess with it?

Here are photos of the retention clip. Should the groove be there? I'm guessing this wear is abnormal and cutting the cable as it pulls through? What do you think?

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Old 07-23-21, 11:36 AM
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I think the chainring teeth look fine. It shouldn't cost more than $15-20 to replace the front derailleur if it's not holding the cable. That shift cable should probably be replaced too. I've ridden a shredded one like that, got poked a lot and the decreased diameter meant it kept slipping/shredding.
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Old 07-23-21, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
I think the chainring teeth look fine. It shouldn't cost more than $15-20 to replace the front derailleur if it's not holding the cable. That shift cable should probably be replaced too. I've ridden a shredded one like that, got poked a lot and the decreased diameter meant it kept slipping/shredding.
Thanks! I figured that's where this was headed. Getting poked is no fun:/
It's interesting that this is normal for the chain rings. I thought they looked pretty rough.
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Old 07-23-21, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by wundermary View Post
Thanks! I figured that's where this was headed. Getting poked is no fun:/
It's interesting that this is normal for the chain rings. I thought they looked pretty rough.
Agreed on chainrings thatís they should be fine for a few thousand miles.

...definitely need new cables or at least for the front derailleur. Cable fixing nut, bolt and washer look okay.

You can get a full set of them including jagwire outer casings for about $15-17 on eBay...you can also get 10 inner shift cables for about $10 on Amazon.
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Old 07-24-21, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
Agreed on chainrings thatís they should be fine for a few thousand miles.

...definitely need new cables or at least for the front derailleur. Cable fixing nut, bolt and washer look okay.

You can get a full set of them including jagwire outer casings for about $15-17 on eBay...you can also get 10 inner shift cables for about $10 on Amazon.
Those sharp edges on the cable fixing nut and washer are okay? Yikes, I thought that was doing some severing. Huh.

I've let the seller know I'm going to hold onto the bike for another week. Another Technium has popped up that appears to be in better shape. It's a larger frame, it could be slightly large for me. I won't know until I can see it next week.

The frame on this bike is a little short, but the bike feels nimble. If the other one isn't too large, I'm expecting a little smoother experience. I'm excited to compare the two. I'll decide then what to do with the pearl white one I have in my possession🤷🏽‍♀️
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Old 07-24-21, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by onyerleft View Post
It's definitely worth pulling out all the stops to restore. It's a piece of cycling history - our heritage if you will - and you can't put a monetary value on something like that. Don't take away our vaunted past.
I agree with you, up to a point. The bike has not been pampered. It looked like they'd repeatedly oiled the chain with motor oil. There was dried caked greasy dirt on the chain and up to 3/8" thick on the rings. I went at this with brake cleaner and a toothbrush. The bike was already covered with this grit; I added to it before blasting it at the car wash. It still needs a good cleaning/detail, which I won't do if I don't end up keeping it. It already looks far better than it did when I got it.

The paint on the frame is bumped and scraped and the decals are not the best, either. If I do keep it, it will be a bit of a rat rod, as I'm not going to have it stripped and repainted. I will stamp out the little bit of rust it has and do some touch up.

The more I look at it, the less original it looks to me. It has a sleek Italian saddle, although not a high end one. Are these the original rims? IDK...


I like the tires that are on it. As I was closing the garage today, I swear the white walls were reflective. That's awesome. There's something about this bike that I really like. But I am more concerned with having it be functional than doing a complete restoration. I am a do no harm type, though...
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