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1973 Raleigh Sprite 10 speed, 700c conversion...anyone done this?

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1973 Raleigh Sprite 10 speed, 700c conversion...anyone done this?

Old 05-18-12, 07:45 AM
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fiataccompli
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1973 Raleigh Sprite 10 speed, 700c conversion...anyone done this?

I know it sounds silly, but here's the deal; I have a collection of city bikes (some 10 speed, some 3 speed IGH) that I put on a rotation in my office to use when I have any meetings/etc. in town during the work day...basically, urban transportation for mostly <5 mile trips. Until yesterday, my '73 (or so) Raleigh Sprite 10 speed was on plate. Coming back from a meeting, my rear fender broke loose on a bump and basically rotated forward enough to send me into a hockey stop with the rear wheel locked against the fender and the rear of the bike sliding on the metal against pavement....it probably would have looked pretty nifty at night! Anyway, anticipating repairing this & the fact that right before it happened I was thinking how much I liked the bike but absolutely hate the lousy Huret rear derailleur, I was considering putting one of my spare 700c wheelsets on the bike. I thought it might be nice to reduce some rotational weight (I know, kinda silly on such a tank) and (more importantly) allowing actual braking action in wet weather. So, i'm thinking I will replace the RD with one of the many cheap claw-included RDs I've pulled off fairly modern low end bikes to replace the Huret and while i'm at it, I will put a set of 700c wheels with some 32mm tires.

So, after all that, I'm just curious if anyone here has bothered to put 700c wheels on a Sprite (or Sprite 27) and how it worked out. The brakes have more than ample extra arm length for the extra 4mm (is that what it is?). Not trying to 'modernize' it necessarily, just keeping it useful I guess (and, in my case, it's actually cheaper to put the 700c wheels with tires on it that I already have than it would be to buy new 27" tires to replace the old, dry-rotted tires.
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Old 05-18-12, 07:49 AM
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This is easy, and it will work fine. It's not even silly. Improving your wheels is a good thing, even on your tank. You'll be glad you did.
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Old 05-18-12, 02:40 PM
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I don't see why not. I'm actually running 650A wheels from an old 3-speed on one of thse. Looks funny, rides fine.
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Old 05-18-12, 04:11 PM
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I guess I couldn't imagine why not. I wasn't planning on re-lacing wheels, but rather simply mounting a built set of wheels...so, maybe rear spacing will need a check/adjust & I dunno if Raleigh forks have "standard" 100mm spacing or something funky (seems like I've run into some more narrow spaced forks on '70s bikes, for instance a Takara I have...)
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Old 05-18-12, 07:15 PM
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Rebuilt my Sprite 27" frame with 700c wheels. The frame has better handling and fender clearance now. Original brakes perform much better on the new aluminum (CR-18) rims.
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Old 02-17-17, 12:16 PM
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I converted my Sprite 27 to 700c, using Shimano Nexus 8 speed IGH and a Shimano Dynamo up front. Just had to cold set rear dropout and fabriacte a mount for new shifter.
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Old 02-17-17, 01:37 PM
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This should be real simple you will need to slightly spread may the rear dropouts which shouldn't be an issue on a steel from with fairly relaxed geometry. The other possible issue is a lot of older bikes had a slightly smaller axel and front dropouts on the fork than a modern 700c wheel set with quick release so you may need to file them a couple of mm bigger which isn't a big deal. I have done similar conversion on a dozen or so entry level 70's bikes with only minor issues tweeks that can easily be corrected.
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Old 02-17-17, 05:57 PM
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Sprite conversion

Here are some pics of the Sprite conversion, and yes, had to file drop outs on fork
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5.jpg (97.4 KB, 58 views)
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6.jpg (94.7 KB, 59 views)
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Old 02-17-17, 05:59 PM
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sprite stem shifter

Here is an image of stem mounted shifter.
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