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Modern Raleigh Record Ace Build Thread

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Modern Raleigh Record Ace Build Thread

Old 09-07-20, 11:16 PM
  #1  
speedyspaghetti
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Modern Raleigh Record Ace Build Thread

Hey everyone -


So I recently posted on the WTB forum that I was looking for a steel frame to build up as a secondary/loaner bike since I was going to be replacing my mostly 105 groupset on my VeloBuild R-022 with Ultegra 6600 and I would have these parts laying around. Thankfully, fellow forum member Jaxgtr responded and offered me a Raleigh Record Ace frameset with some extra parts. Originally, I was looking for a more vintage frame to build, but I was tempted by the fact that a more modern frame would not need rear triangle spacing to fit 10-speed parts and would potentially offer greater tire clearance. So, I pulled the trigger and Jaxgtr sent me an awesomely packed box with everything we agreed on.


I let the box sit for about a week as I was busy chasing down some creaky gremlins on my VBR, which turned out to be a worn chain quick link of all things. Finally, today, I fully unpacked the Raleigh and got to work. First thing I noticed about the frame (besides how meticulously it was packed) was that despite being a modern steel frame, the lugs are still a really nice touch. I'm sure there are subtle cues that would give away that it is not a vintage frame, but to the untrained eye, it looks pretty dead-on. My second thought was: "hey, this could be an awesome gravel bike!" Where I live there are quite a few cool road rides that eventually dead-end to gravel trails. Now, many more experienced riders than me would probably be totally fine taking a road bike on 23s over the gravel, but my bike handling skills are rather pedestrian and I've found myself getting my wheel stuck in loose dirt quite a few times which always ends in me on the ground. So, in order to avoid this embarrassment in the future, I figure a gravel-ish bike could be a fun option to have when I don't want to risk it with the skinny tires (the VBR won't fit 28s safely so I'm limited to 25s). Now, similarly, given that the Record Ace is not a true gravel bike, I'm going to run into the same tire clearance issues. However, based on my research of the bike's components from when it was sold new (2011-2016 iirc), it was frequently spec'd with 28s which I think will be good enough for most of the gravel/dirt roads I'm thinking about. Now, I have ordered a pair of Continental Ride Tours in 700x28, but they won't be here until later this week. Hopefully they do fit on the frame - if not, I'll have to find another way around. I plan on running the gravel tires on an old set of Vuelta wheels that used to be on my VBR before upgrading, and keeping some 25s on a pair of Mavic Aksiums that I also bought along with the frame.


Today - I got started on building the bike. I am still missing a few parts - namely a chain and the tires - but I was able to get a good amount done. The projected parts list is below:

Frame: Raleigh Record Ace 55cm

Stem: Specialized 80mm

Bars: Bontrager 44cm

Brifters: Shimano 105 5600 10 speed

Brakes: Was originally going to run Campy Centaurs, but they don't work very well with the Shimano brifters so I've got an pair of older Ultegras on the way.

Crankset: Bontrager Race GXP Triple

Front Der.: Shimano Ultegra Triple

Rear Der.: Shimano Dura Ace Short Cage

Wheelset: Aeromax Alloy Wheelset

Pedals: Look Keo 2 Max

Cassette: Shimano 105 CS-5600 12-27

Chain: SRAM 1031

Saddle: Prologo Q Eddy Mercx Version

Tires: Continental Ride Tour 700x28c (hopefully)


As mentioned in the parts list, I did run into a snag with the brakes, but luckily I have a replacement set on the way. I went with red cable housing which I'm still not 100% sold on but for now it'll do. I was able to get the BB, cranks, FD, and RD all installed without issue today. Hopefully I can get the rest of the parts in by mid-week and get the bike out on the roads and trails soon! I figured some of you would like to follow the build process and evolution of this bike, so I'll be updating here with new pieces and my observations of the ride. Sorry in advance for the horrible image quality - my Samsung Galaxy S8 has apparently decided not to take good photos anymore... Pixel 4a is pre-ordered but not here yet.



Did I say it was packed awesomely?

Samsung Galaxy Problems

I apparently have a thing for white bikes (spot the VBR in the background)

Gotta love the retro-modern.


BB and Cranks installed.

Bontrager Race Lite - not the greatest crankset, but I had it laying aorund.

Probably overkill to go with Dura-Ace for the RD and it does limit me to a smaller cassette with the short cage, but again I had it laying around. I think I'll be ok with the triple, but this might be a point for upgrade in the future.

About as much as I got done today - still waiting on those new parts in order to finish the build.
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Old 09-08-20, 08:34 AM
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The US Raleigh steel frames from 2010-2018 or so are really neat- they put a lot of time into changing them multiple times thru this period, and some models seemed to just disappear at times. Its the story of US Raleigh, really- confusing and unsure of what was ever available or coming up.
But they did some really neat designs and this simple lugged frame is one excellent example. Looking forward to seeing it fully built!
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Old 09-08-20, 10:10 PM
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very nice...this was what it looked like when I was riding it. I really liked it, was just a little too big for me.

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Old 09-09-20, 03:06 AM
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Originally Posted by speedyspaghetti View Post
Originally, I was looking for a more vintage frame to build, but I was tempted by the fact that a more modern frame would not need rear triangle spacing to fit 10-speed parts and would potentially offer greater tire clearance.
What about the fact that steel was still getting better when carbon made it go away?
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Old 09-09-20, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
What about the fact that steel was still getting better when carbon made it go away?
This is an oddly phrased question, at least how I read it.
Carbon didnt make steel go away. Steel isnt used for UCI bikes, but that doesnt mean it went away. In the time since 'it went away', steel tube offerings have continued to develop.
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Old 09-09-20, 09:29 AM
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Steel plateaued in it's technology and the methods to make light steel and to make light steel bikes didn't get less expensive as required to stay a viable business in the market for the masses. I think Aluminum is at that point now.

Carbon still has a way to go but carbon frames with less expensive manufacturing costs are moving into the lower tier bikes as higher tech carbon and production methods force the former high end stuff to a lower status.
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Old 09-09-20, 09:48 AM
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A lot of people like steel-framed (and aluminum) bikes for a variety of reasons, including me, and I'd bet they'll be around forever. A few extra pounds doesn't mean anything given the state of most people's waistlines.
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Old 09-12-20, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by jaxgtr View Post
very nice...this was what it looked like when I was riding it. I really liked it, was just a little too big for me.


Looks super clean, man. What parts were on it?
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Old 09-12-20, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by sced View Post
A lot of people like steel-framed (and aluminum) bikes for a variety of reasons, including me, and I'd bet they'll be around forever. A few extra pounds doesn't mean anything given the state of most people's waistlines.
Agreed. If I'm going for a Strava KOM or PR, I'll take my carbon bike, but if I'm just riding for fun or with friends, I prefer the feeling of the steel bikes. Maybe its just in my head, but my 1989 Allez SE feels even stiffer than my carbon bike and it feels like it accelerates faster. On the hills, its a different story mostly due the gears, but I'm only about 20 seconds slower on a 3/4 mile, 6% hill on my Allez compared to my carbon frame. At the end of the day, I'm not going to win the any UCI events any time soon - I bike to have fun. And steel is real.
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Old 09-13-20, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
This is an oddly phrased question, at least how I read it.
Carbon didnt make steel go away. Steel isnt used for UCI bikes, but that doesnt mean it went away. In the time since 'it went away', steel tube offerings have continued to develop.
Steel went away as the dominant material for performance bikes, because it went away as the dominant material for performance. The TCR made a pretty compelling case back in the day that it was aluminium's turn, a while before carbon took over. Steel is yesterday's news as far as performance goes.

However, many folks greatly prefer its aesthetic qualities, including feel, the whole retro nostalgia angle, and maybe even its amenability to repair and modification. I'm just pointing out that steel has definitely moved on since the 80s, with bike tubesets getting lots of development in the 90s which were quite a heyday for steel. Not sure if there's been a whole lot of bike-specific development since, given the majority of demand has evaporated, but for various reasons it's still worth researching steel metallurgy for other fields, some of which is likely to be applied to bikes. Hey, whatever happened to Aermet 100 bikes?
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Old 09-13-20, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
Steel went away as the dominant material for performance bikes, because it went away as the dominant material for performance. The TCR made a pretty compelling case back in the day that it was aluminium's turn, a while before carbon took over. Steel is yesterday's news as far as performance goes.

However, many folks greatly prefer its aesthetic qualities, including feel, the whole retro nostalgia angle, and maybe even its amenability to repair and modification. I'm just pointing out that steel has definitely moved on since the 80s, with bike tubesets getting lots of development in the 90s which were quite a heyday for steel. Not sure if there's been a whole lot of bike-specific development since, given the majority of demand has evaporated, but for various reasons it's still worth researching steel metallurgy for other fields, some of which is likely to be applied to bikes. Hey, whatever happened to Aermet 100 bikes?

Ok to all of that.
I'm still not sure why you asked that question while using the quote you used, but its really not here or there.

Yeah, steel isnt used for racing anymore. A small single digit % of cyclists race, so what pro cyclists use is quite inconsequential for most cyclists.
And yes, steelbqas improving in the 90s. New tubing options have come out in the last 20 years though.
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Old 09-13-20, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by speedyspaghetti View Post
Looks super clean, man. What parts were on it?
Parts I had from an old bike, Derailleurs were 10 speed Ultegra, shifters\crank were 105, Brakes were Ultegra, and some Ultegra hubs on Velocity rims.
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Old 09-15-20, 06:39 PM
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I will have a 2016 RRA in my stable soon.

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Old 12-06-20, 10:51 AM
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Did you get 28c tires on this? I have a similar era International sitting here with brakes that will handle the clearance.
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Old 12-06-20, 09:15 PM
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that frame is pretty narrow in the rear, so 25 is going to be the max tire size, and they are pretty tight and I generally ran 23's on it. I might have had some 25's at some point, but I dont remember them if I did.
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