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The Historian's 'Garage Queen'

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The Historian's 'Garage Queen'

Old 05-04-08, 12:25 AM
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The Historian's 'Garage Queen'

I picked up a Raleigh Pursuit last weekend at a Boy Scout sale for 5 dollars. I don't have photos of it yet, but here's what it features:

27 inch wheels.

double chainring

downtube shifters

additional brake levers that operate from the hoods

steel frame

quick release skewers on the wheels, with an additional 'catch' to release the front wheel.

tan/brown color scheme. There's a logo on the saddle that says "canyon cycles", possibly the shop that sold it.

The bike appears to be in good shape, aside from dirt, dust, and a gunked up drivetrain. Living where I do I'd regret not having a triple, and if I make it road worthy I'd get standard shifters instead of the downtube ones. I could live with the 27 inch wheels if need be. Is this worth 'pursuing', or not? I think it might make a fine touring bike.

My thanks to Neil F., for calling attention to the bike and guessing that it would probably fit me.
 
Old 05-04-08, 12:45 AM
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Downtube shifters are fine and you might find a rear freewheel to suit your climbng needs. If the "fit" is ok then it is definitely worth pursuing. Nice bikes nowadays come with a "nice price"!!!!!!!!
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Old 05-04-08, 12:50 AM
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Great find!! I need to finish a few of mine!
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Old 05-04-08, 12:52 AM
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Originally Posted by funrover
Great find!! I need to finish a few of mine!
Any advice folks have for me, I'll take with thanks.
 
Old 05-04-08, 12:58 AM
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Originally Posted by dahoss2002
Downtube shifters are fine and you might find a rear freewheel to suit your climbing needs. If the "fit" is ok then it is definitely worth pursuing. Nice bikes nowadays come with a "nice price"!!!!!!!!
The fit seems to be OK. The top tube is about crotch height, but so is the TT on my Trek 7.5 fx. The saddle needs to be raised, and perhaps the seatpost replaced, but the basic frame size seems to be close. Road frames should be a little larger than MTB ones, I think. Also, as I lose weight the bike should fit me better, since I will become more flexible.

It does have ugly plastic pedals, however. Those have to go. :-)
 
Old 05-04-08, 01:39 AM
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Sounds like a bargain whatever way you look at it I'd say go for it and dn't forget to keep us posted with the progress, especially the pics! You don't know what tubing it is or anthing like that? I have a Raleigh from the early 90's with 531c tubing thats a dream. If you need a hand with workin on it, i would be able to helpi think, although you have a room full to the brim of experts in the mechanics and vintage forums take it easy and enjoy the new project
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Old 05-04-08, 04:04 AM
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5$?!!! What a great find, even if it costs you $100 to get 'er into riding shape.

What size is it?
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Old 05-04-08, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by breadbin
Sounds like a bargain whatever way you look at it I'd say go for it and dn't forget to keep us posted with the progress, especially the pics! You don't know what tubing it is or anthing like that? I have a Raleigh from the early 90's with 531c tubing thats a dream. If you need a hand with workin on it, i would be able to helpi think, although you have a room full to the brim of experts in the mechanics and vintage forums take it easy and enjoy the new project
Thanks. I've attached a photo of the same model bike from a Craigslist ad. My bike does NOT have the rack or the modern brake/shifting levers, but it has the same paint job.

Additional identification details: the frame is labeled 502 Chromo-moly, and there's an "official supplier USA Cycling" stamp on the downtube. The bike comes with a kickstand.

BTW, this thing was so neglected it still has the original tires, and they are practically unworn!

How much to replace the downtube shifters with standard road bike shifting and brakes? And how much to replace the drivetrain with a triple? If I can get the drivetrain clean, and it's in good shape, I may leave it as a double chainring, but that makes it pretty useless around here. The derailer is a Shimano, but I can't tell the model. It looks original issue, however.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
pursuit1.jpg (8.5 KB, 146 views)
 
Old 05-04-08, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Mazama
5$?!!! What a great find, even if it costs you $100 to get 'er into riding shape.

What size is it?
I can't tell. There's no frame size listed on it. I'm guessing a 21", since Raleigh didn't make 20s, and it's slightly larger than my 20" Trek.
 
Old 05-04-08, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by dahoss2002
Downtube shifters are fine and you might find a rear freewheel to suit your climbng needs. If the "fit" is ok then it is definitely worth pursuing. Nice bikes nowadays come with a "nice price"!!!!!!!!
My mistake. The shifters are on the stem, not the downtube. I can't tell how well they work until 20 years of dust and dirt are removed from the drivetrain.
 
Old 05-04-08, 11:29 AM
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That's a nice find! What's your plan for the bike other than upgrades/repairs?

V
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Old 05-04-08, 12:14 PM
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Five dollar Raleighs are great, no? Here's mine;



This one was free;



This one was free to me;



My cousin bought it for $35 bucks from a guy he works with and gave it to me. I gave it to my little brother who is 6"7 and needed a tall bike.

Sorry to jack your thread, but it seemed on topic.
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Old 05-04-08, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by vXhanz
That's a nice find! What's your plan for the bike other than upgrades/repairs?

V

The verdict from a mechanic who examined the bike this afternoon:

Clean it up and lube it. Add extenders to the pedals - important for me, otherwise I'll hurt my knees. Bring it back for a proper fitting so I can get dialed in. Consider it my foul-weather bike. Use it on paved rail-trails and flat charity rides like the MS City to Shore I'm riding in September. Possibly replace the cables, although these seem OK. Carry a wrench in case of a flat on the rear wheel.

Improvements to consider at some point:

A rear wheel with a QR

bar end shifters, or STI if I want to invest in them, although stem shifters work OK.

wider handlebars - this has nothing to do with THIS bike, but just an observation in general. I'm very wide shouldered, but hunched from my scoliosis. Switching to a wider set of bars on a road bike will spread my shoulders and expand my chest cavity.
 
Old 05-04-08, 07:50 PM
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Nice find, Neil. I picked up a Raleigh Sportif last year and I really like riding it.
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Old 05-04-08, 07:55 PM
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Looks like a 58CM sized frame, Neil....

Nice find, by the way.

Also, it looks like you have the brake reach to switch it over to 700c if you ever feel the need. If you do, just get some NOS 36 spoke 126 MM spacing hubs and lace up a set of Deep V's.



Originally Posted by The Historian
I can't tell. There's no frame size listed on it. I'm guessing a 21", since Raleigh didn't make 20s, and it's slightly larger than my 20" Trek.
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Old 05-04-08, 08:10 PM
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Five dollar bikes

About twenty years ago I rode a bike to work. It was only about 6 or 7 miles and I really enjoyed it. Untill my bike got stolen that is. A few days after mine was stolen I bought a beat up Schwinn Collegiate for Five Bucks. It too was stolen after a few months. Went back to Goodwill and found another old Schwinn for Five bucks. This one lasted nearly six months before it was stolen. The crazy part is that I had become rather disgruntled with it and was kind of hoping it would get stolen. Over about four years I went through about ten bikes. Except for the first they were always Five Bucks. Only after I rode the newest one for a couple of weeks and decided I liked it did I invest in brake pads and perform a minimal tune up. Funny thing was after the first couple bikes got stolen I began to look forward to the next theft just so I had a reason to find a new ride!
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Old 05-04-08, 08:14 PM
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cool find. you'll be perfectly fine with downtube shifters.
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Old 05-04-08, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by The Historian
The verdict from a mechanic who examined the bike this afternoon:

Clean it up and lube it. Add extenders to the pedals - important for me, otherwise I'll hurt my knees. Bring it back for a proper fitting so I can get dialed in. Consider it my foul-weather bike. Use it on paved rail-trails and flat charity rides like the MS City to Shore I'm riding in September. Possibly replace the cables, although these seem OK. Carry a wrench in case of a flat on the rear wheel.

Improvements to consider at some point:

A rear wheel with a QR

bar end shifters, or STI if I want to invest in them, although stem shifters work OK.

wider handlebars - this has nothing to do with THIS bike, but just an observation in general. I'm very wide shouldered, but hunched from my scoliosis. Switching to a wider set of bars on a road bike will spread my shoulders and expand my chest cavity.
Excellent ideas! Are your brake levers the same as the ones in the Craiglist Pic? They call those "suicide levers". If you have those, dont get in the habit of grabbing the top lever to brake even though it is fairly handy and easy to reach when your hands are on top . You can apply much more braking power with the lower levers. Some folks even remove the top lever .
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Old 05-04-08, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by dahoss2002
Excellent ideas! Are your brake levers the same as the ones in the Craiglist Pic? They call those "suicide levers". If you have those, dont get in the habit of grabbing the top lever to brake even though it is fairly handy and easy to reach when your hands are on top . You can apply much more braking power with the lower levers. Some folks even remove the top lever .
Yes, Sir Walter - I've named the bike, folks! - has the suicide levers. I'll keep them until I get balanced enough to ride in the drops.

At the moment Sir Walter is prisoner in the Tower of Lon-, err, the trunk of my car, awaiting transfer to the garage so I can scrub down the drivetrain. Now to find tubes for a 27 inch wheel....

This purchase gives me three bikes:

Excelsior, the Trek Navigator 3.0
Roark, the Trek 7.5 fx
Sir Walter, the Raleigh Pursuit

and the Wussy Wagon, the Yakima single wheel trailer.
 
Old 05-04-08, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Gurgus
Five dollar Raleighs are great, no? Here's mine;



This one was free;



This one was free to me;



My cousin bought it for $35 bucks from a guy he works with and gave it to me. I gave it to my little brother who is 6"7 and needed a tall bike.

Sorry to jack your thread, but it seemed on topic.
I should be jealous, but having scored my own bargain ride, I'm not.
 
Old 05-04-08, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by The Historian
Yes, Sir Walter - I've named the bike, folks! - has the suicide levers. I'll keep them until I get balanced enough to ride in the drops.

At the moment Sir Walter is prisoner in the Tower of Lon-, err, the trunk of my car, awaiting transfer to the garage so I can scrub down the drivetrain. Now to find tubes for a 27 inch wheel....

This purchase gives me three bikes:

Excelsior, the Trek Navigator 3.0
Roark, the Trek 7.5 fx
Sir Walter, the Raleigh Pursuit

and the Wussy Wagon, the Yakima single wheel trailer.
Actually rather then the suicide levers, what you want to do, is get a set of hoods, those rubber pieces that fit over the brake lever posts, then train yourself to be able to pull the levers from the newly installed hoods, you will need to re-tape the bars when you install the hoods, but if the bike is THAT dirty, you probably want new tape anyway. The biggest problem with suicide levers isn't related to braking, it's that you tend to grab the bars where it's convenient to get at the suicide levers, and you have much less steering control then if you grab the bars further out (less leverage), the hoods are a good compromise, far enough out that you can steer properly, and if need be, you can drop down to grab the levers properly quickly. Don't be quick about changing the shifters, stem shifters like downtube and bar end shifters are very simple mechanisms, and pretty much indestructible, you may not have indexing on those, but it doesn't take long to learn how far to go between shifts to get it to work properly, and the ability to fine tune shifts, means a lot less goofing with cable adjustments.

Enjoy, Sir Walter, once you get used to it, your other bikes will start feeling jealous,

As for 27" tubes, most bigger stores will have them, heck sometimes places like target and wallymart will have them.
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Old 05-04-08, 09:22 PM
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700c Schraeder valve tubes will also work just fine. There's only 4MM difference in the diameter, and if you can't get schraeder valve tubes, you can get a little rubber insert grommet to adapt a schraeder hole for a presta valve stem. No worries.

Actually, 27" is a good size if yu are going to be in areas where bike shops are very limited, because you can always get a 27" tire anywhere from Walmart to Western Auto for a few bucks.

Walmart, Target and Kmart will ALWAYS have 27" tubes though.

Originally Posted by Wogsterca
Actually rather then the suicide levers, what you want to do, is get a set of hoods, those rubber pieces that fit over the brake lever posts, then train yourself to be able to pull the levers from the newly installed hoods, you will need to re-tape the bars when you install the hoods, but if the bike is THAT dirty, you probably want new tape anyway. The biggest problem with suicide levers isn't related to braking, it's that you tend to grab the bars where it's convenient to get at the suicide levers, and you have much less steering control then if you grab the bars further out (less leverage), the hoods are a good compromise, far enough out that you can steer properly, and if need be, you can drop down to grab the levers properly quickly. Don't be quick about changing the shifters, stem shifters like downtube and bar end shifters are very simple mechanisms, and pretty much indestructible, you may not have indexing on those, but it doesn't take long to learn how far to go between shifts to get it to work properly, and the ability to fine tune shifts, means a lot less goofing with cable adjustments.

Enjoy, Sir Walter, once you get used to it, your other bikes will start feeling jealous,

As for 27" tubes, most bigger stores will have them, heck sometimes places like target and wallymart will have them.
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Old 05-04-08, 10:49 PM
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I did something similar recently -- I bought a late-70's Nishiki 10-speed (steel, lugged, friction downtube shifters, 27" wheels, etc). I bought it to have something I can tinker with, but without fear of doing permanent damage to my "nice" bike.

I'm thinking about painting the frame. This would be good motivation to tear it down to component parts, then (hopefully!) reassemble with a minimum of left-overs .
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Old 05-04-08, 10:52 PM
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Ya know, my red Raleigh that I just sold was named Sir Walter as well. Good to have another on the forum again.

Originally Posted by The Historian
Yes, Sir Walter - I've named the bike, folks! - has the suicide levers. I'll keep them until I get balanced enough to ride in the drops.

At the moment Sir Walter is prisoner in the Tower of Lon-, err, the trunk of my car, awaiting transfer to the garage so I can scrub down the drivetrain. Now to find tubes for a 27 inch wheel....

This purchase gives me three bikes:

Excelsior, the Trek Navigator 3.0
Roark, the Trek 7.5 fx
Sir Walter, the Raleigh Pursuit

and the Wussy Wagon, the Yakima single wheel trailer.
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Old 05-05-08, 02:46 PM
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Nice Score!
I'm sure I have some extra rear quick releases around in my growing pile of Bike parts. Drop me a note via pm or on the Phoenix list if you want one. I might have some other parts you'd be interested as well.

As for the tubes, Performance always has 700cc schrader tubes usually on sale for $3.50 a piece. That's where i get all mine.
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