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Light wiring run questions pertaining to 70's era Raleighs...

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Light wiring run questions pertaining to 70's era Raleighs...

Old 11-08-11, 09:29 AM
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Maxturbo
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Light wiring run questions pertaining to 70's era Raleighs...

What is the proper (factory or dealer) applied technique for running light wiring front and rear, along the frame and fork? I've seen probable changes of application using tape and tie-wraps to secure wiring, but I'd assume Raleigh used some sort of round metal frame "clips" similar to cable securing devices, but for a smaller ID (wire) capture?

Pics of the correct / original installation used would be great!

Last edited by Maxturbo; 11-08-11 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 11-08-11, 09:40 AM
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Wouldn't it be model-specific? I can get you photos of my wife's RSW-16 but I don't think any other model was done the same way. At any rate, there is a clip for the two wires on the fork leg, then one of those wires runs under the front fender to the headlight with a third wire that goes into the frame somewhere, out again near the BB, then up under the rear fender through a plastic tube with a long piece of spring steel that keeps it all pressed up against the inside of the rear fender all the way to the tail light. Very slick. Probably not what you mean, though.
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Old 11-08-11, 09:44 AM
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Let me narrow it down to Road Bike applications such as the Grand Prix (still 70's era). And then PROBABLY how a dealer would set one up for a customer, assuming that the factory added no additional guides, attachment points, tubes etc ON their frames as built. Or did they?
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Old 11-08-11, 09:52 AM
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I think I asked a similar question in a different way. I did not see your post before I submitted mine. It will be interesting to read the responses.
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Old 11-08-11, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Maxturbo View Post
Let me narrow it down to Road Bike applications such as the Grand Prix (still 70's era). And then PROBABLY how a dealer would set one up for a customer, assuming that the factory added no additional guides, attachment points, tubes etc ON their frames as built. Or did they?
No, the (Raleigh) factory provided no assistance for setting up any bike with lights except for the ones that came with lights --which IIRC in the 70's I think was only the Superbe. So you're looking at after-market goods. Schwinn dealers sold Schwinn-approved sidewall dynamo sets that were made by Union, and I think the Raleigh shop I worked in ca 1980-1 sold virtually the same set. We did not like setting them up, though. I'm not sure we would do it for any price; the wiring was too finicky.

Among those dynamo sets there is a lot of variety. Some put the dynamo on the side of the fork, others on the chain stays. Some have the headlight or taillight attached to the dynamo, others mount it separately. What they all have in common is a screw on the dynamo mount that breaks through the paint of the bike () to ground the dynamo to the frame. The headlight and taillight need to be grounded similarly. One wire goes from the dynamo to the headlight, another to the taillight, and the frame serves as the other wire. It was nearly impossible to set these things up elegantly.

Last edited by rhm; 11-08-11 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 11-08-11, 11:02 AM
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OKAY, cool... but how was the wiring fastened, clamped (or wrapped maybe) to the frame?

Let me add, starting out at a front wheel mounted Dynohub / fork scenario.

Last edited by Maxturbo; 11-08-11 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 11-08-11, 11:20 AM
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I hope we can combine our lighting questions here. I don't want you to think I am hijacking your question! The wiring on my 1974 Sprite is attached in various places on the frame with an aluminum band which loops back through itself sort of like a zip tie. The excess wire on mine is wrapped around the frame and I think it detracts from the appearance.

If a bicycle came with a Dynohub in the front wheel and the Raleigh light bracket, wouldn't there be an expectation that a light would be added? Was the wiring internal on the Superbe? How was that wiring run from the front wheel?

Thanks for your patience with me.
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Old 11-08-11, 12:18 PM
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Good questions all, and I welcome your input on this subject Slowtostart. We're chasing the same means to an end.

excess wire on mine is wrapped around the frame and I think it detracts from the appearance
Same here.
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Old 11-08-11, 02:10 PM
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Some ideas here...

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-Dynamo-Wiring
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Old 11-08-11, 06:20 PM
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Oh, wait, I thought you were asking how they did it in the 70's. If you just want ideas, the best thing to do is to run your electric wires right next to the brake cable/housing as much of the time as possible. Where possible, use the same clip to hold both. Just don't squeeze the electric wire hard enough to cut the insulation. Thin polyester threads tied around the fork blades and the wire are enough to keep the wire out of trouble. Keep them on the inner side of the stays and fork blades so you can't see them and don't knock them around. Once they're tied on, a drop of glue --nothing too permanent, mind you-- stabilizes the thing pretty well. Twist ties are good. Zip ties are good. Rubber bands are bad. Electrician's tape is poor.

One thing I tried once, which may inspire and amuse you, though I do not recommend trying it: my bike had plastic ferrules at the ends of the brake cable housing, and the housing was 100% lined, so I ran a pair of wires from the dynamo hub up to the front brake. I cut through the insulation on the housing and attached one wire to that, and ran a corresponding wire from the back end of the housing to the taillight; and I connected the other wire from the dynamo to the brake cable itself, with a corresponding wire from the rear end of the brake cable to the taillight. It actually worked! Yeah, well, for a while. Then it became unreliable, and then it stopped working entirely. Obviously there was a short somewhere, but I failed to find it.

I have learned, over the years, to keep this kind of thing simple. Absolutely as simple as possible. Too many things can --and will-- go wrong if you try anything fancy.

Last edited by rhm; 11-08-11 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 11-08-11, 06:52 PM
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Good stuff!

Since there doesn't appear to be a fancy or correct "factory" wiring scheme, my mind has been wandering off on thoughts of using thin cut strips of double-sticky tape or sporadic hot glue attachment at the most out of sight (inside stays, forks and under tubes) frame points to affix the wire to .

Running INSIDE the frame tubing (ref post #9) and seat post excites me too.
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Old 11-08-11, 08:06 PM
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This 1973 Superbe came to me with some, but not all, of the original chrome clips that hold the wires to the fork blade and the aluminum ties that hold them to the top tube. I'm not sure if I routed them to factory spec, though -- I just guessed: https://www.flickr.com/photos/8335804@N06/tags/superbe/ I don't have the bike anymore, so I can't take more specific pictures. I've got another '70s Superbe in the basement now; it's kind of a junker, but I'll have a look and maybe take some pictures, if it seems at all presentable.

Here, also, is my 1951 Clubman, which has the original chrome clips on the top tube in what I'm pretty sure are the right places. They're specifically shaped to hold both the brake cable housing and the wire. It didn't come to me with anything for the fork blade, though -- I just wrapped the wires around it to take up the desired amount of slack. More photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/8335804@N06/tags/clubman/

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Old 11-08-11, 09:15 PM
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Nice! So there ARE clips expressly designed to harness wire runs! The ones on the top tube are quite perfect for the job. No reason that additional clips can't be used on the seat tube as well. Chain stays and fork runs need a smaller version if they exist.

Last edited by Maxturbo; 11-08-11 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 11-09-11, 01:09 AM
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Smaller ones for forks and stays do exist. There were some on my early 1970s Superbe and I found a couple more while digging through bins at a bike coop.

Originally Posted by Maxturbo View Post
Nice! So there ARE clips expressly designed to harness wire runs! The ones on the top tube are quite perfect for the job. No reason that additional clips can't be used on the seat tube as well. Chain stays and fork runs need a smaller version if they exist.
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Old 11-09-11, 06:38 PM
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My 1972 Superbe has little aluminum clips/straps (earlier version of the zip tie?) that hold the wires to the frame. IIRC they come in a 2-3 different sizes.

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Old 11-10-11, 05:39 AM
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"The wiring on my 1974 Sprite is attached in various places on the frame with an aluminum band which loops back through itself sort of like a zip tie."
Wahoonc, I described them the same way. I'm concerned about the sharp edges on the aging wire.
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Old 11-13-11, 11:40 AM
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I spotted this NOS (original / in-box) Sturmey light set for sale today. Of note are the supplied clips w/the the kit.


Last edited by Maxturbo; 11-13-11 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 11-13-11, 03:46 PM
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Custom internal wiring: https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-pic-intensive!
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Old 11-13-11, 04:05 PM
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That's a pretty neat frame wiring run!

IF I needed frame painting now (as there would be significanty disturbed areas to entertain w/adding the wiring bosses) and significant m/hrs of disassembley, I'd go that route. Maybe one day. Thanks!
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