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1985 Raleigh Kodiak Touring Purchase

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1985 Raleigh Kodiak Touring Purchase

Old 03-05-12, 03:47 PM
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The Thin Man 
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1985 Raleigh Kodiak Touring Purchase

After quite a few months of looking, I recently picked up a vintage tourer that has some serious potential.

Not much exists on the '85 Raleigh Kodiak except that it was just below the legendary Raleigh Portage within the lineup.

The bike was purchased locally and although I initially thought it was too big, after adjustments and spending the entire weekend on long rides have found it to be just about right. I have been very surprised at what a great bike this has turned out to be feeling extremely solid, stable and with excellent tracking. It also has a nimbleness to it which I also wasn't expecting.

The pictures tell the story below of a life of solid use. This certainly wasn't a garage queen. Most of the blemishes are superficial although there is a touch of rust (seat post and cable guides area especially), however I am certain it will come off and not affect the integrity of the areas infected.

I have yet to find a candidate that I wanted to do a full on renovation, including media blasting and painting, but I feel that this may be worthy of such an endeavor especially with such nice touches on this one including Raleigh 555t cromoly steel tubes, snazzy lugwork and pantographing.

Now, the big question is, do I give it a quick tuneup, add a rack and ride it as a commuter all season then start the teardown in the late fall or begin the tear down while the rain and cold is still waxing and waning? Hmmmmm...


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Old 03-05-12, 03:58 PM
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Now, the big question is, do I give it a quick tuneup, add a rack and ride it as a commuter all season then start the teardown in the late fall or begin the tear down while the rain and cold is still waxing and waning? Hmmmmm...
Yep, I'd clean it , grease it and ride it. At the end of the summer I'd decide how much to put into it. Nice find, but I bet your heart still yearns for a Portage.
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Old 03-05-12, 04:11 PM
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I agree clean it and ride it! make sure it is the bike for you before commiting to a repaint.







I suspect this has the dreaded "shimano bosses" for the shifters.
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Old 03-05-12, 04:12 PM
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I was eyeing one of those for a while before we got the Mistral. I think they have a lot of mystique. Just tune and ride!
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Old 03-05-12, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
I suspect this has the dreaded "shimano bosses" for the shifters.
I'm not sure I have heard of these dreaded bosses, Bianchi. Care to elaborate?
Either way, I plan on building it back up with Suntour Command shifters so the bosses are of little concern to me other than cable points.

I agree, Kiwi, these Raleigh touring bikes do hold a certain level of mystique and yes, Velo, I was hot and heavy for a Portage but sometimes you just gotta know when to pull the trigger. Who knows though. Maybe I'll upgrade if the right deal opens up

Also, that's 3 for 3 on "clean and ride". I do agree about putting some saddle time in before committing to a possibly spendy and lengthy restoration.
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Old 03-05-12, 04:24 PM
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Plus, it seems to me this would be a ood way to make sure you like the tubing before dropping a kidney on a Portage. I'm assuming the Kodiak and the Portage have the same tubing (of course, you know what happens when you assume). The one time I saw a Kodiak in person, it seemed pretty, er, robust. You could carry your house on that frame, it seemed.
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Old 03-05-12, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by kiwigem View Post
I'm assuming the Kodiak and the Portage have the same tubing (of course, you know what happens when you assume). The one time I saw a Kodiak in person, it seemed pretty, er, robust. You could carry your house on that frame, it seemed.
Yep! The Portage and Kodiak both sport full chrome moly 555. It's a sturdy bike for sure.
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Old 03-05-12, 04:42 PM
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Thin-man -
That is really a nice-looking tourer.

I did notice it has a decent number of scratches, and if you intend to add some of your own as a commuter, it will only make it better.
- If you paint it you won't want to add that first scratch.
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Old 03-05-12, 04:50 PM
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Nice find. I would do a bit of a compromise. I wouldn't paint it necessarily, not yet, but I would strip and clean everything, fresh grease, new cables, housings and bar tape.

Have fun!
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Old 03-05-12, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by The MAX View Post
I would do a bit of a compromise. I wouldn't paint it necessarily, not yet, but I would strip and clean everything, fresh grease, new cables, housings and bar tape.
Good comments and the direction I'm starting to lean toward.
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Old 03-05-12, 05:29 PM
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Nice score! Paint doesn't look too bad for a rider, I'd just clean it up and then maybe wax it. This may actually be nicer than the Portage in some regards as a rider/tourer since it has the slightly more standard 27" instead of 650b wheels (although some people love 650b). Those first gen Deore blue/green components are my favorite vintage Shimano parts.
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Old 03-05-12, 05:54 PM
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Nice score! A decent tourer will fall into my stable in the future I'm sure. I've got bikes with much worse "personality" on the paint so yours wouldn't bother me that much. I agree with the others - overhaul and ride then reevaluate next winter what, if any, changes you want to make.
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Old 03-05-12, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by mainstreetexile View Post
Those first gen Deore blue/green components are my favorite vintage Shimano parts.
I was wondering about those Deore's. I hadn't heard much in the past so as far as I knew, they were middle of the road parts.

Thanks to everyone on the comments. She'll get the clean up, fresh grease and cables then I'll see how it goes from there. If anything, prolonging the major overhaul and the dreaded first scratch syndrome mentioned above is also a deterant to thieves. Not like I leave my rigs out for any length of time on the streets of Portland, but if I go into the grocery store for a few minutes, I won't feel quite so rushed.
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Old 03-05-12, 06:09 PM
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I think you will be quite happy with it, enough so to do a complete bottom up rebuild and at least a touch up. I have a Raleigh Wyoming of 555t and bought it as a bare frame. I went more of a sport tourer direction with mine, and really enjoy the ride. For now, it is set up as my evening/night ride bike for days when there is some risk of not getting home before dusk. Can't wait for DST to kick in so I can put it through the spring paces.
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Old 03-05-12, 06:12 PM
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Nice Wyoming, Chrome Molly! Thanks for the comments!
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Old 03-05-12, 07:17 PM
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For a time, I believe with advent of the DA and all the AX and EX groups shimano tried to put there own style shifter boss into the mix but it never took off. It has a rounded base rather than the typical square "Campi" boss. I believe you can still mount shimano index shifters on these but mounting other brand shifters and DT cable stops can be problematic

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Old 03-05-12, 09:01 PM
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Hey Thin Man - glad you found something and this looks like it has all you need. The embossing on the top of the fork crown and seat stays are a nice fancy touch on the Raleigh's. Great find!
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Old 03-05-12, 10:27 PM
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I agree with the others who said the paint isn't too bad, I tend to like character in a bike. I wonder if this one has the "reverse" brake bosses also? They're really not a big deal, but they limit you to using the brakes it came with, or the Diacompe 986 or 988, or some Suntour units with the top-tensioned springs.

I found this bike's little brother a while back, a Raleigh Touring 18 and it had the identical drivetrain, but differed in tubing spec (I think it was 505,) and might have had fewer braze ons. That specimen had serious rust issues, so I passed.

Killer score!
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Old 03-06-12, 01:32 AM
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Bianchi - Those bosses will be one of the first things I check as I do my clean, tune and update. I'm crossing my fingers for square bosses!
Chris - The spec sheet says I've got Dia-Compe 981's but I'm unsure of any "reverse" bosses. I'll give 'em an inspection right after I get to the shift bosses. I'm not sure what to look for but I know what standard canti bosses look like so that should get me started in the right direction.

Thanks again everyone for the thoughts! I'm pretty excited about this one!
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Old 03-06-12, 09:31 AM
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Was called the "B" Type boss, Bianchi Girl. Sheldon's site & loosescrews.com site explains it better. Was a short-lived thing.
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Old 03-06-12, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by The Thin Man View Post
Bianchi - Those bosses will be one of the first things I check as I do my clean, tune and update. I'm crossing my fingers for square bosses!
Chris - The spec sheet says I've got Dia-Compe 981's but I'm unsure of any "reverse" bosses. I'll give 'em an inspection right after I get to the shift bosses. I'm not sure what to look for but I know what standard canti bosses look like so that should get me started in the right direction.

Thanks again everyone for the thoughts! I'm pretty excited about this one!


They look like normal bosses, but the anchor holes for the ends of the springs are on the outboard sides. You can spot them without taking the brakes off. I think the 981 has a "normal" spring, so you probably have the conventional bosses (though they probably only have one pin hole.)
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Old 03-06-12, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris_in_Miami View Post
I found this bike's little brother a while back, a Raleigh Touring 18 and it had the identical drivetrain, but differed in tubing spec (I think it was 505,) and might have had fewer braze ons. That specimen had serious rust issues, so I passed.

Killer score!
I have an '84 Raleigh Touring 18. It is a pretty nice bike, probably matches up with the Alyeska in the '85 model year. The Kodiak is definitely a great score! Good luck with it!

Here is a link to the '85 Raleigh catalog with info and specs on the Kodiak ....

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/retroral...985/index.html
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Old 04-06-12, 03:51 PM
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Have an Alyeska on the way (one step down from the Kodiak-- I think Hi-ten stays, only one water bottle braze on, and z___ deraileurs rather than the deore) and I've been doing some research on "Raleigh 555" steel. AA,SHTA.



https://sheldonbrown.com/retroraleigh...5/pages/1.html

555 is Double Butted Mn Molybdenum, which makes it different from 501's CrMo. Could it be re-branded 531? I've read it was only produced for sale in the US. Or could it be some kind of seamed MnMo? I'd guess the former.

Crap: another page on the same catalog contradicts:

https://sheldonbrown.com/retroraleigh...gh-kodiak.html

Says Cr-mo. Dang, and here I thought I was on to something...
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Old 04-06-12, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by The Thin Man View Post

It's a great bike, and I firmly agree with all the above: Clean and ride. You might love it so much that you will decide to refinish it – in another decade or so.

The link to the 1985 ad above is wonderful: The final line reads "And you'll like them even more when you're loaded."

Yup.
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Old 04-06-12, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Standalone View Post
Have an Alyeska on the way (one step down from the Kodiak-- I think Hi-ten stays, only one water bottle braze on, and z___ deraileurs rather than the deore) and I've been doing some research on "Raleigh 555" steel.
There is an Alyeska around here in Portland in roughly the same shape as my Kodiak. In fact, before the Kodiak it had caught my eye as a potential.

Leica, I'm working on getting her outfitted and so far, everything has gone fairly well except for the shifter bosses that are mentioned above. It turns out adding cable stops is quite a challenging endeavor. I've been documenting the progress on my blog and after this weekend should have an update, mainly addressing the shifter bosses.
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