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Raleigh sacrilege

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Old 06-30-06, 12:35 PM
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nlerner
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Raleigh sacrilege

I suppose I'm writing out of guilt and perhaps for consolation for those who choose to offer it. A recent eBay find for me was a frame and fork of the rare Raleigh Record Ace or RRA. It's been difficult to figure out the year, but most likely 1949 or 1950 (or perhaps earlier). At any rate, I finished building the bike up today, and I've made the choice to give up hope of finding period components but instead to update a few things. The pics are below, but here are the particulars:

Wheelset: 700c Matrix dark anodized rims. The rear is a 40-hole, and I've built it with a Sturmey Archer FM hub from 1954. The front is kind of aero w/ a Shimano 105 hub. I've swapped in a solid axle complete with wing nuts.
Brakes: Weinmann Carrera (the nices ones I had on hand) w/ period correct levers
Crankset: Period appropriate Raleigh 3-pin cottered w/ period quill pedals (but ones for a Clubman, not the steel/alloy ones that would have been on an RRA).
Mudguards: Bluemels lightweight in black (not the white Bluemels no-weights that would have been on this bike originally)
Stem/Bars: GB spearpoint alloy stem (from the 60s, likely) and 3ttt "city" bars w/ grips that look like they should be on a nine iron.
Saddle: Brooks Competition that looks 50s but is likely from the 80s.

Traditionalists will have my head for sure, but it sure seems like a nice rider. Total weight is a shade under 25 lbs. Gotta love these old 531 frames.

Neal



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Old 06-30-06, 01:05 PM
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spider-man
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Looks great! I'm sure the ride is fine, too.

Although a headtube badge would be nice.

I don't think it's sacrilege unless you take a Dremel to it.
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Old 06-30-06, 04:10 PM
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I dont find this a sacrilege and, in fact, recently did nearly the same thing with a late 1940s (most likely 1947) Schwinn Continental. Unlike the familiar Continental of the 60s and 70s which was made in large quantities and for with parts are fairly easy to come by, the Continental of the 40s came with a hand made fillet brazed chrome moly frame and was produced in fairly small numbers, thus making original vintage parts very difficult to find. Therefore, in order to ride it any time soon, I had to compromise on parts. To begin with, I had 26 wheels built using Sun CR-18 rims and an FM hub on the rear and a Normandy high flange on the front. I was lucky enough to have the original brake calipers, chain guard, crankset, seat post and clamp included with the frame. I finished it off (nearly) with a Brooks B-15, Weinmann brake levers and Cinelli handlebars and stem. I dont have fenders on it yet but am keeping an eye out for a set of Bluemels. After I rode it a bit I noticed that there seemed to be ample space and brake adjustment capabilities to use 700c wheels and happened across someone selling a set with an FW hub on the rear and a Wrights on the front, so I switched to those. I like the handling and performance with the 700c better than with the 26 as well as the vastly greater variety of tires available. I think yours is a bit lighter than mine though I have yet to get an accurate measure. My guess is a bit under 30 lbs. I get a kick out of riding it and for fun, used it in a 7.75 mile time trials series in which Id previously ridden a 2005 Cannondale R900. The result, 15 seconds slower than my best time on the Cannondale. Clearly I have no clue how to use all those gears on the Cannondale.

Great find. If Id seen it we might have been bidding against each other. Nice job and enjoy it.

Regards,
Alan
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Old 06-30-06, 05:01 PM
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i think it looks great. you have the best of both world. old and new. and you cant beat 531! and its in great shape too!
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Old 06-30-06, 05:48 PM
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FlatTop
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It looks great. Maybe it could be a happy compromise, in the same way that an original bike can be upgraded in detail over a period of years without losing its basic elements.
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Old 06-30-06, 06:35 PM
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That bike looks great! Lockable fork? My headbadge was missing off of mine also, but I fount a Lincoln emblem, and its my new headbadge. Looks fine!
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Old 06-30-06, 07:34 PM
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I think it looks great, and probably tons of fun to ride! I don't see the problem as any of the components could be swapped with the fully correct ones if you (or a later owner) found them.
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Old 06-30-06, 08:11 PM
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POOP JOHN PAUL
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Very cool to see this bike. My main ride is a '51 Raleigh Lenton Tourist, so it's a close cousin. Mine is almost all original -even has the old seat bag (rough shape though) and Miller light set. I'd kill for those handlebars as they look like the originals, which I've never even seen and I believe are quite rare.

m in WI
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Old 06-30-06, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by POOP JOHN PAUL
I'd kill for those handlebars as they look like the originals, which I've never even seen and I believe are quite rare.

m in WI
Those bars are alloy 3TTTs that I found at a local shop and sent to Neal. Beautiful bars with a high polish to them. Pretty sure that if not current production, they must have been produced sometime in the last 10/20 years. Who knows.

The 3TTT engraving on the bars indicate that they're supposed to be mounted inverted to what Neal has currently - a very shallow drop. Big-time vintage '40s look, no doubt.

Take care,

-Kurt
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Old 07-01-06, 05:55 AM
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nlerner
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Originally Posted by roughrider504
That bike looks great! Lockable fork? My headbadge was missing off of mine also, but I fount a Lincoln emblem, and its my new headbadge. Looks fine!
No lockable fork on this model as that's more of a Superbe feature. Here's a link to the 1951 catalogue page describing the RRA: http://tinyurl.com/mogxb

On the headbadge, one of the oddities of this frame is that the headtube doesn't have the characteristic three rivet holes for a Raleigh heron headbadge. No holes at all, in fact.

And, yes, those bars are modern 3ttt variants that Kurt tracked down in his LBS. They are nearly flat, just a couple of degrees of rise or drop, and with my creaky neck, I'm trying them on the rise. I did go with a period brass-fronted trigger, however!

Neal
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Old 07-01-06, 07:46 AM
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POOP JOHN PAUL
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I recently visited my LBS and saw a pretty cool pr. of handlebars on the Gary Fisher "Triton" one-speed bike. They have only a slight rise. The sales boy didn't know how much they'd cost or even if they were alloy (but I'm guessing they are). Might be a step up from the 60's vintage Schwinn bars I'm currently using..

-m
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