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Akisu fork on non-Nottingham Raleigh 3-speed?

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Akisu fork on non-Nottingham Raleigh 3-speed?

Old 06-04-12, 12:53 PM
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Akisu fork on non-Nottingham Raleigh 3-speed?

Was working on one of my restorations and noticed that the fork on this Raleigh 3-speed has Akisu stamped on the steer tube. The fork is definitely the original fork on this bike as it is color-matched and the R decals on the fork match the decals on the rest of the frame. The Seatpost says "Raleigh Carbon-Steel Tubing" and other than a couple of 3-speed and Raleigh decals there is no other sign as to country of origin. The Headbadge has the typical XXXXXXXXX where Nottingham England would be on a Nottingham-built bike.

The lugwork and paint is gorgeous on both the frame, and the fork. There is even some VERY well-done gold detail in the lugwork over the teal-metallic paint. The fenders & chainguard are also very, very nice. The finish is about 6 orders of magnitude better than Nottingham bikes (OK, I exagerate -probably only about 3 or 4 orders of magnitude.) The only flaw in the finish is some grease-staining that for some reason wouldn't even polish out with scratch-X. Must have been some toxic grease!

Other than being a non-Nottingham bike I don't know much else but this is shaping up to be a very nice restoration for someone. The hub is marked 80 1 so I'm assuming this bike was a USA import in 1980/81 if the wheel is original.

My question is: Did Raleigh ever have frames/forks/fenders/etc made in Japan or was this some weird fluke of a bike made in Taiwan where they got behind making forks and bought a load of them from Akisu. Did Akisu make forks in Taiwan for a while in the early 80's?

I'm curious. Never seen this before. I assumed this was a Taiwan Raleigh but the Akisu marking sort of makes me wonder.

Pics will follow as soon as they get done downloading.
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Old 06-04-12, 12:57 PM
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What's the serial number?

-Kurt
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Old 06-04-12, 01:05 PM
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It's stamped brightly and clearly on the BB (like a boss) by someone who actually cared about it being legible.

M00637XXX -I left the last 3 numbers off because I'm weird like that. I"ll PM you the rest
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Old 06-04-12, 01:07 PM
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Made in Malaysia.

-Kurt
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Old 06-04-12, 01:14 PM
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Old 06-04-12, 01:18 PM
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Yep, I've seen these before. They don't look anything like a Nottingham Sports.

There's a few of them that have wound up in the States; enough so that I suspect that they were regularly imported when they were new.

-Kurt
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Old 06-04-12, 01:25 PM
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Yeah, the dead give-away on them is the XXXXXXXX on the headbadge, and the fact that the tubes are not parallel like the Nottingham-bikes. It's probably stonger to have more of a triangle-shape to the two tubes as they come off the head-tube and move toward the lugs on the seat tube.

Also the lack of the heron-crank -although this crank is actually a replacement as the crank that came with it was pretty mangled and twisted. Working bikes charged me $15 for this one. It would have been nice to find a heron-crank but after digging for 1/2 hour through the cottered cranksets I only found 2 single-chainwheel ones and neither was a heron chainwheel. I had to fudge a little on the axle too as I couldn't find one exactly right. It's a bit too long on the non-drive side and a couple mm too wide between the races too -which should be obvious looking at the pics.

Funny that a Malaysia-built bike has so much better fit & finish than the Nottingham ones. They were sure producing some crappy finishes by the end, weren't they?
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Old 06-04-12, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Amesja View Post
Funny that a Malaysia-built bike has so much better fit & finish than the Nottingham ones. They were sure producing some crappy finishes by the end, weren't they?
I'm not surprised. Everything made after 1964 is suspect, in my book - even the TI transition frames are a bit of a let down in comparison to the Raleigh Industries production.

With a 68mm BB though, it seems a shoe-in to put a 3-piece crankset on it - not really worth it to fiddle with a cottered job on a Japanese frame, don't you think?

-Kurt
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Old 06-04-12, 01:32 PM
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Oh, and the rims are different too. They didn't mess around with the Raleigh-pattern rims and just put on typical flat chromed-steel ones.

As much as I like the Raleigh Sports design I can't help thinking that these Pacific-rim built versions from the late-70's/early-80's were actually better bikes. Put a new set of CR-18's on this bike and maybe some alloy bars and it'd be just as good as any dutch bike you could buy for $1k IMHO. Put an X-FDD dyno brake hub on it while you are at the wheel upgrade and it'd be a killer city/commuter bike for all weather.
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Old 06-04-12, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
I'm not surprised. Everything made after 1964 is suspect, in my book - even the TI transition frames are a bit of a let down in comparison to the Raleigh Industries production.

With a 68mm BB though, it seems a shoe-in to put a 3-piece crankset on it - not really worth it to fiddle with a cottered job on a Japanese frame, don't you think?

-Kurt
While I completely agree with the first part the second statement is high blaspheme! Prepare for Cottered-Crank Jihad!!!!!
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Old 06-04-12, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Amesja View Post
While I completely agree with the first part the second statement is high blaspheme! Prepare for Cottered-Crank Jihad!!!!!




Joking aside, I just realized that the Raleigh USA Sport is probably made by the same subcontractor, even though there are a few differences (fork crown, chainguard, seatstay ends).

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Old 06-04-12, 01:44 PM
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With a modern alloy crankset, alloy bars, levers, stem, rims, brake-calipers -plus plastic fenders and chainguard I bet a bike like this would weigh-in with a pretty respectable number compared to many modern IGH bikes you can buy.

This frame is pretty nice and very light for a lugged steel frame. The rest of the bike, other than the rear hub, could well be jettisoned to build a lightweight step-through commuter.
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Old 06-04-12, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Amesja View Post
With a modern alloy crankset, alloy bars, levers, stem, rims, brake-calipers -plus plastic fenders and chainguard I bet a bike like this would weigh-in with a pretty respectable number compared to many modern IGH bikes you can buy.

This frame is pretty nice and very light for a lugged steel frame. The rest of the bike, other than the rear hub, could well be jettisoned to build a lightweight step-through commuter.
Oh, no doubt about it - and likely better built and finished than most modern IGH machines too. In fact, modern upgrades on these machines wouldn't be difficult if it wasn't for the EA3 wheel size - unlike 700C's, you can't buy used aluminum EA3's cheap.

Come to think of it, does the Malaysian frame have enough clearance for 700C's if the fenders are mounted?

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Old 06-04-12, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Amesja View Post
While I completely agree with the first part the second statement is high blaspheme! Prepare for Cottered-Crank Jihad!!!!!
Oh-oh. I put a cotterless crank on my daughter's Nottingham Sports:



Of course, it was in major need of rehabilitation when I got it:

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Old 06-04-12, 07:24 PM
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JohnDThompson -what did you do with the 26tpi threaded BB? Did you reuse the cups and find the right square-taper bb axle or did you use one of those threadless Gran Cru VO things?
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Old 06-04-12, 07:36 PM
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I have a 1991 (I think) Bianchi Forza I purchased new. Always well taken care of. Any idea what it's worth?
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Old 06-05-12, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Amesja View Post
what did you do with the 26tpi threaded BB? Did you reuse the cups and find the right square-taper bb axle or did you use one of those threadless Gran Cru VO things?
There were no cups when I got the frame, but I sourced a set of 26tpi cups to use and found a Stronglight 122 spindle that worked perfectly:



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Old 06-05-12, 08:31 AM
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Gee, that's purdy.

There is a place near me with boxes and drawers of used parts. I have a thread-pitch gauge and one of these days I'm going to dig through them and find a bunch of 26tpi cups. Every time I am missing one it's a big deal finding them. The last time I was there I got too busy digging through other bins (like the cottered-crank bins) and didn't get to the cups. I did find an old eggbeater pedal that I bought for a buck for spare parts and half of a Shorty 6 canti. I bought them both. Odds are that someday the other halves of those might end up floating to the tops of one of the MANY MANY bins...
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Old 06-05-12, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Amesja View Post
Prepare for Cottered-Crank Jihad!!!!!
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