Friday, April 3, 2009

First Ride On The New-Old Raleigh

Decided that the weather was dry enough today that I could take the still-fenderless Raleigh International fixie to work instead of the fendered and geared workhorse. I even went fixie punk style, in my rolled up jeans, Chuck Taylors, and hooded sweatshirt -- although I sported a backpack instead of the full fakenger messenger bag. All in all, the look was... well, let's be honest, pretty pathetic. I am a fat, balding geezer, after all.

It was a short ride, but wow. This thing is a luxury liner. I rolled over the rough spots in my usual commute route like they weren't even there, even though the bike has narrower tires than my usual commuter. It doesn't feel sluggish in the corners, either. I don't know if this is the "planing" that
Bicycle Quarterly is always going on about, but whatever it is, I like it. Cushy!

Of course, all is not perfect in new-bike-land. The low stock stem and my chop-and-flop bullhorns are not going to cut it. This baby needs a tall Nitto stem and some wide drop bars before I can really get comfortable. Then, it's time to start cranking out the no-coasting miles!


Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that the first ride was rewarding! Getting the bars worked out will take time... how does the reach compare to your other bikes?

When you say that you want to install a tall Nitto, I feel obliged to ask that you not do anything to offend the dignity of the bike. On the other hand, it's probably glad to be out on the road again, something I wasn't doing well at when it was residing at my place.

This is a frame that should plane fairly well. Those skinny seat stays have some give to them, and the rest of the tubes aren't that rigid either.

I wonder if the chainstays help the ride quality. They are loooong! Overall, I was amazed at how the '71 International has such slack angles and long stays, while my '74 has much more modern angles and lengths. Not sure if I ever noticed a big difference in the ride, though. The narrow bars and long rake on both bikes tended to dominate my impression.

Maybe it's just the Nervex lugs that make these bikes so much fun to ride??? :-)

have fun,
Steve Kurt

Jason T. Nunemaker said...

Not to worry, Steve. The old girl's dignity is safe with me. I don't need the full Grant-Petersen-signature gangly quill of the Technomic hanging out, just a tiny bit more height than the stock GB. One of the shorter-quilled fancy Nittos (like a Tech. Deluxe or Pearl) would be plenty.

Of course, I'm incapacitated by a bad back, and we've been getting snowed on all day, so it's kind of an intellectual exercise right now...