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My Uncle's Restored 1972 Raleigh Professional

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My Uncle's Restored 1972 Raleigh Professional

Old 11-29-21, 07:09 PM
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Kilroy1988 
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My Uncle's Restored 1972 Raleigh Professional

Hello folks,

A couple years ago I acquired my uncle's 1972 Raleigh Professional, which he rode for well over a decade and left with virtually no original parts - even the fork was a replacement from a Raleigh International since he was involved in a front end collision sometime in the distant past. Last year after rebuilding it and riding it for a while I gave it back to him and he expressed the desire to restore it to the original specification, so I did all of the legwork and purchased all of the parts necessary, including an entire replacement frame to get the right fork. Said replacement frame had Hayden lugs and he fancied them, so he ended up building a completely new bicycle and gave me back the old one!

As a note, my uncle runs a hot rod shop (doublezhotrods.com) and his skill as a painter is evident in the work, and the fresh chrome scheme was inspired by Carlton team racing bicycles from the era, with the fully-chromed fastback stays and head lugs as an example. However, he was a bit hasty and there are imperfections throughout as well as some peeling around the clamp-on parts because he did not let the paint set completely. I purchased all of the correct decals but there were some extras that went along with the sets, and he did not consult me for final decal placement or choice before applying them and a clear coat... So some of the decals are misplaced. I blame his anxiousness to see the project through and the rather carefree attitude he had towards the project compared to his professional work for these oversights!

I'm used to being critical of my own work and just took my uncle's effort in stride above, but I really think the end results are stunning and I was eager to share it here. He pumped up the sprint tires to 140psi and let me take off down a couple horrible country roads on it so I felt like my teeth were going to clatter out of my head, but I plan to take it out for a long ride with him sometime in the coming weeks and really get a feel for it! He rides a new carbon Eddy Merckx with Record 11 and thinks this is too slow to keep up with the crowd of retired guys he regularly rides with, but I think I've got him hooked on the idea of Eroica California in April and this with some wider tubs should do the trick...

Cheers!

-Gregory











Last edited by Kilroy1988; 11-29-21 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 11-29-21, 08:15 PM
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Maybe it rides as if it were finished perfectly
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Old 11-29-21, 08:24 PM
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Awfully attractive bike, I see nothing to make excuses for, great story, would be proud to own that bike! My size too, in case you canít stand those extremely minor imperfections.
Tim
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Old 11-29-21, 08:27 PM
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It looks great!
I do like the extra chrome, and it avoids the issue of whether someone might mistake it for original paint, as well as the arguments about whether the paint is too thick to be a simulation of original.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 11-29-21, 08:35 PM
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...I painted one of those once, and I had to look at a bunch of them, online, to figure out that the seat tube striping needs to start high enough so that the front derailleur clamp doesn't sit on the lowest stripe. I have now forgotten the formula, but it something about measuring starting above the largest chainring, rather than centering everything on the entire length of the seat tube.

But I often do less than completely original paint and decal schemes. Sometime you just have to listen to your muse.
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Old 11-30-21, 02:05 AM
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Looks nicer than original IMHO, and beautifully photographed too. "Mink Blue" and silver, one of my favorite combinations and as iconic a colour as Bianchi's Celest, Legnanos metalic pistaschio-green, or Crescent's orange.
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Old 11-30-21, 02:58 AM
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It's a lovely build. I think the full chrome stays look the heat, and agree with the comments that the slightly off-original look make it all the better. Well done!
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Old 12-01-21, 09:19 AM
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Cheers, folks! I appreciate the compliments and will pass along the words of admiration to my uncle as well!

-Gregory
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Old 12-01-21, 09:50 AM
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Smashing job! Is it perhaps a wee bit darker/more teal than original? Beautiful color either way.
My only tiny nit is I am so used to seeing 3 top tube cable clamps, I feel like thatís the right number.
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Old 12-01-21, 01:30 PM
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"...and Bob's your uncle." It is indeed satisfying to complete an ambitious project so successfully.

(I can actually use that British phrase with my sons, because my brother's name is Robert. )
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Old 12-01-21, 01:58 PM
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OMG, what an abomination. As a public service, I can drive down from the Bay Area this weekend to relieve you and your uncle of that POS eyesore and dispose of it properly.

Didn't work, huh? Yeah, I didn't think it would. Very nice. It's never a bad thing when an old war horse gets a new life. The extra chrome should make it blinding (in a good way) in the Central Valley sun. I hope it gets out on the road and is ridden a bunch, the way it was meant to be.
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Old 12-01-21, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
OMG, what an abomination. As a public service, I can drive down from the Bay Area this weekend to relieve you and your uncle of that POS eyesore and dispose of it properly.

Didn't work, huh? Yeah, I didn't think it would. Very nice. It's never a bad thing when an old war horse gets a new life. The extra chrome should make it blinding (in a good way) in the Central Valley sun. I hope it gets out on the road and is ridden a bunch, the way it was meant to be.
it's always nice to see that BF members can be so charitably of service to other members.
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Old 12-01-21, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by thook View Post
it's always nice to see that BF members can be so charitably of service to other members.
Hey, it's not just what we do, it's who we are.
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Old 12-01-21, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by thook View Post
it's always nice to see that BF members can be so charitably of service to other members.
well, I hope I'm not the only person who looked at the bike and thought ... "crap... too big for me".

I don't "need" a Raleigh Pro, but if I stumbled across one in the 24 1/2" size, I'd sure start thinking about finding a spot for it in the limited space available.

Steve in Peoria
(seduced by blue mink & silver as a teen)
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Old 12-01-21, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
...I don't "need" a Raleigh Pro, but if I stumbled across one in the 24 1/2" size, I'd sure start thinking about finding a spot for it in the limited space available.

Steve in Peoria
This is a 24 1/2" frame. The BB is high for racing and makes the frames look larger than they are.

-Gregory

Last edited by Kilroy1988; 12-01-21 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 12-01-21, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988 View Post
This is a 24 1/2" frame. The BB is high for racing and makes the frames look larger than they are.

-Gregory
out of curiosity, how high is the BB??
I've got another bike that has a BB close to 11". Not a problem while riding, but stopping at intersections is a bit tippy if I want to stay in the saddle.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 12-01-21, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
out of curiosity, how high is the BB??
I've got another bike that has a BB close to 11". Not a problem while riding, but stopping at intersections is a bit tippy if I want to stay in the saddle.

Steve in Peoria
The bottom of the BB is 10" off the ground. This has 700c/23mm tires on it so it isn't as extreme as it would be with 27s and wider tires, but this is how they were stock. The standover height is 34 1/8" (without the cable).

-Gregory
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Old 12-01-21, 06:27 PM
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This is my uncle's original '72 Raleigh Pro, by the way. I posted about after I dug it out of his storage unit and fixed it up to ride a couple years ago. When I knew he was giving it back to me since he decided to use the replacement frame with the Hayden bird lugs, I went hunting for another replacement fork and found it just a couple weeks ago. I reassembled the bike the other day and got it back on the road. With the 25mm Continental Gatorskins pumped up to 90psi and all the Suntour/Sugino components he and I upgraded it with, plus the neat Universal Mod. 61 centerpulls and GB spearpoint stem and bars, I honestly find it to be just as joyful to ride as the freshly restored one... It has the appearance of a real workhorse!

-Gregory


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Old 12-01-21, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988 View Post
The bottom of the BB is 10" off the ground. This has 700c/23mm tires on it so it isn't as extreme as it would be with 27s and wider tires, but this is how they were stock. The standover height is 34 1/8" (without the cable).

-Gregory
A quick check of one of my bikes shows that a BB shell is about 1.6" diameter, so 0.8" from the bottom of the shell to the center of the axle (which is usually where BB height is measured). This would put your BB height at approx. 10.8", which is a bit high.

My Hetchins is my big bike, and it has a BB height of about 11 inches. The seat tube is 25" c-t, and the standover height is 34 3/4", which is about as big as I want to go.
Nice to know that a Pro would be a better fit.

I'm still not sure why your head tube seems (to me) to be bigger than the one on my Hetchins, though.
Something to do with the colors, maybe??



Steve in Peoria
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Old 12-01-21, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
I'm still not sure why your head tube seems (to me) to be bigger than the one on my Hetchins, though.
Something to do with the colors, maybe??
Hey Steve,

I've seen your Hetchins posted before and figured the size was right about 25", and it seems like it'd be just about as tall as I'd like as well! I've been aiming at riding 23-24 1/2" frames depending on the era and typical contemporary seat post exposure.

I have a feeling the chrome lugs, which blend in with the silver head tube, give that impression about the Raleigh Pro. Comparing the photo with the one I just posted above of my uncle's old 24 1/2" frame, the new one does appear larger though I can assure you it's not! Cheers!

-Gregory
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Old 12-02-21, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
Smashing job! Is it perhaps a wee bit darker/more teal than original? Beautiful color either way.
My only tiny nit is I am so used to seeing 3 top tube cable clamps, I feel like thatís the right number.
Two are lighter!!! Actually I agree but my recently refurbished '79 Trek came to me with two. When I put it back together I used three but there are marks where the originals were. (did not re-paint) So I'm removing one and putting the two back in the original positions.
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Old 12-02-21, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
out of curiosity, how high is the BB??
I've got another bike that has a BB close to 11". Not a problem while riding, but stopping at intersections is a bit tippy if I want to stay in the saddle.
FYI, my '76 BB height is 10.5 inches to the center of the BB spindle. That is with 700x28c tires. I'm lucky in that this one fits me beautifully. All day long comfortable.

OP, despite the deviations from stock paint and parts I like what your uncle did. I've taken some liberties with mine too, probably the sort that an original owner would have taken in the late 70s.



I cannon help but ride it alot
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Old 12-03-21, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988 View Post
Hey Steve,

I've seen your Hetchins posted before and figured the size was right about 25", and it seems like it'd be just about as tall as I'd like as well! I've been aiming at riding 23-24 1/2" frames depending on the era and typical contemporary seat post exposure.

I have a feeling the chrome lugs, which blend in with the silver head tube, give that impression about the Raleigh Pro. Comparing the photo with the one I just posted above of my uncle's old 24 1/2" frame, the new one does appear larger though I can assure you it's not! Cheers!

-Gregory
Wow! Does your uncle do chroming? Myself and other BFer's have been looking...
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Old 12-03-21, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Wow! Does your uncle do chroming? Myself and other BFer's have been looking...
No, he had it done by the guy in Fresno who does all the chroming for his hot rod shop. He gives the guy thousands of dollars of business every year and I have no idea if he generally considers doing bike frames or did this one as a favor... I can ask my uncle for the shop name if you'd like.

I think he said he got charged about $200 to have the full frame and fork rechromed.

-Gregory

Last edited by Kilroy1988; 12-03-21 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 12-03-21, 01:41 PM
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...the one I repainted here, I did in silver and black. I always thought those looked cool, even though the blue mink ones are what you usually see. Listen to your muse.

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