Since the last post the bike has been mostly reassembled – the frame has been spot-rust converted and clear coated with no attempt to hide any scratches. The wheels were scraped back and rust converted and the rims trued a little – I was surprised how rust free the hubs and spokes were compared with the dreadfully rusted rims – I can only assume that the original plating was not the highest grade.
They are now rust free at least, and as it’s unlikely I will find a better set of this old redundant size rim any time soon, will have to stay mottled as they are. The front hub was overhauled, and the rear sturmey archer 3-hub speed merely cleaned externally and fed some light oil through the oiler cap.
The cotter pins were the biggest drama in this overhaul, in desperation I had to drill them out carefully as they would not budge even with much penetrating fluid applied. The fixed BB cup was also locked tight and I decided to clean and grease it in situ, as there was no point risking the whole venture to try and remove it.
The bike was given a new 1/8″ single speed chain, and the cranks refitted to the axle with new cotter pins once the wheels and stand were refitted. I used some copper-eze compound on the pins, to aid in any future removal. The chain wheel still has some imperfections in the chrome that are hard to remove.
The plastic cable outers were cleaned with detergent and the hard plastic handgrips with fine steel wool. The “upside down” rear brake cable on step-throughs is vulnerable to water entry because the cable entry faces upward and has no protection from rain running down the cable into the inner. This one will need replacement. I replaced the spring steel cable clips with dia-compe ones that screw together, as these are less likely to mark the ( already sufficiently marked ) paint finish.
The saddle is not feasible for me to repair as I’m sure it will split at the slightest use after so many years of neglect. A pity Brooks don’t seem to make white leather B66 saddles, the only white leather ones I can find are sporty unsprung “bum-polishers” .
Oh well… So I’m waiting for a honey Brooks B66s on back order from “Pedal and Thread”, and in the meantime I still have some details to go on with. The tyres are Schwalbe Delta Cruiser gumwalls – I dearly wanted creams but they were not available when I ordered from Papillionaire…anyway, the bike did have gumwalls on it before – though I’m not sure if they were original they looked very old.
On the subject of cables again, how much nicer do I think the cable free look is ?
Compare the bike with my old Speedwell popular and see if you agree. Nevertheless I am pleased with the look of this c.1980 Raleigh. Aesthetically a big improvement over my wife’s learner bike below – an angular roadmaster cheapie refurb. – well, it did a job for a while. I must have had a premonition when I chose green for that one !
I’m also happy with the way the bike shows its age while still looking reasonably shiny. I think that was the effect I wanted !
Remember – it’s only original once…..