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1951 Raleigh Sports - what to do?

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1951 Raleigh Sports - what to do?

Old 10-09-12, 06:06 AM
  #1  
FrankHudson
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1951 Raleigh Sports - what to do?

Back in the '70s I bought a used 1951 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed. It was pretty much complete and original and I used it as my city commuter and winter bike for several years. Then I bought one of the original mass-produced mountain bikes to upgrade the wet braking and rough road riding. The Raleigh donated it's Brooks saddle to the new bike and the Raleigh became my errands-runner. Eventually it was stolen, but recovered in a somewhat damaged state. I stored it away in a dry basement corner and now 30 years later I have an urge to get it back on the road. Damage wise it has three issues I can see right off as I look at it:

There's a broken front spoke. Should be an easy fix I'd think.

The right front fender stay eyelet was snapped off the fork. I'm asking in the mechanics forum if that can be fixed inexpensively.

There's a rear brake cable with the requisite dual metal ends, but it's not in the brake caliper! This one really puzzles me. Did I buy a cable (and a special one at that) not knowing it had to come inside the knurled adjuster barrel for a Raleigh? There's no way to get it inside the adjuster barrel I can see. Am I right that there's no hope on the rear brake issue?

If so, I've started to think if there's some way to get this thing back on the road. Replace the brakes entirely? With what? The existing tires look OK (and I understand you can still get spares). The tubes hold air. The SA 3 speed is known to last forever, but I've began to wonder if I could just get a new set of alloy rims to fit modern tires and go all "hot rod" on this vintage bike (that is: replace the period correct stuff with more modern stuff).

What do you think?
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Old 10-09-12, 06:19 AM
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I'm thinking you need a spoke, the correct brake cable and a P clamp for your front fender and the bike is good for another 60 years of service.


Regarding your brake cable:

1, It is a specific Old style Raleigh brake cable, they can still be found on ebay older shops etc.
2, You can make up the old style cable by crimping a stop to a brake cable
3, You can swap out your older Raleigh Caliper for a new 70ish caliper that will take a contemporary cable

Good luck with it!
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Old 10-09-12, 02:06 PM
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I think I've got a spare spoke for you. Send a measurement to sailorbenjamin@yahoo.com
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Old 10-09-12, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Velognome View Post
Regarding your brake cable:
2, You can make up the old style cable by crimping a stop to a brake cable
Though I've not confirmed this personally, I hear that motorcycle shops can make custom cables to order, such as this.
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Old 10-10-12, 05:19 AM
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I think I've got some ideas now. For the fender stay: P clamps. For the cable, cable knarps (allen screw fixed metal cable end dohickies to allow a regular mountain bike cable to work with the old Raleigh brakes. And then just getting the spoke fixed. This'll allow me to ride the bike again and see how it feels to this now much older rider (grin). I remember it being a smooth ride for short trips.
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Old 10-10-12, 05:35 AM
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I remember it being a smooth ride for short trips.
They still are. Post your results on the "For the love of English 3 speeds" thread!
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Old 10-10-12, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Velognome View Post
I'm thinking you need a spoke, the correct brake cable and a P clamp for your front fender and the bike is good for another 60 years of service.


Regarding your brake cable:

2, You can make up the old style cable by crimping a stop to a brake cable
Please don't do this.
Just get the right cable on eBay, or make your life easier in the future and replace the calipers.
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Old 10-10-12, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by oldroads View Post
Please don't do this.
Just get the right cable on eBay, or make your life easier in the future and replace the calipers.
I agree. Go the full way and either get a cable made for those brakes, or replace the calipers with the Phillips pinch-bolt style ones they used.
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Old 10-10-12, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by VelognomeI'm thinking you need a spoke, the correct brake cable and a P clamp for your front fender and the bike is good for another 60 years of service.


Regarding your brake cable:

2, You can make up the old style cable by crimping a stop to a brake cable


Oldroads
Please don't do this.
Why not?
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Old 10-10-12, 10:48 PM
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I've always been wary of the crimps coming uncrimped. But that's just me.

And I guess that decision depends on if you want to ride the bike or not.

If it was a bike I wanted to ride, I'd upgrade to the tektro dual pivot brakes that have been mentioned here a bunch. Tektro 800a. They are cheap, work great, and dont look out of place at all.

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Old 10-11-12, 05:29 AM
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I've always been wary of the crimps coming uncrimped....I'd upgrade to the tektro dual pivot brakes

Any upgrade to the brakes will have the cable fastened to the caliper with a crimp, pinch bolt etc. So it really doesn't matter does it?
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Old 10-11-12, 07:55 PM
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The other thing about trying to upgrade to a dual pivot caliper is that it won't fit due to shortness of the depression in the stock fender and the added thickness of the dual pivot design. I suppose you could switch out your fenders or customize the stock to make it fit.

My feeling is that the brakes work well enough with Koolstops, if the rims stay dry. One these days I will switch my rims out for aluminum.
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Old 10-11-12, 08:06 PM
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The Tektros can also pose problems fitting with certain rear racks, in addition to the fender fitting issue.

Originally Posted by Schwinnsta View Post
The other thing about trying to upgrade to a dual pivot caliper is that it won't fit due to shortness of the depression in the stock fender and the added thickness of the dual pivot design. I suppose you could switch out your fenders or customize the stock to make it fit.

My feeling is that the brakes work well enough with Koolstops, if the rims stay dry. One these days I will switch my rims out for aluminum.
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Old 10-11-12, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Schwinnsta View Post
The other thing about trying to upgrade to a dual pivot caliper is that it won't fit due to shortness of the depression in the stock fender and the added thickness of the dual pivot design. I suppose you could switch out your fenders or customize the stock to make it fit.
I've not faced that problem among the several I've done but I havent seen every Raleigh known to man!
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