Thursday, May 7, 2009

Retro Raleigh Rolling

A confession: None of my bikes are ever "done." Heck, I was just swapping pedals on a bike that I've owned for seven years, and last night that same bike got a rear rack (the same rack that I took off last year, which replaced the rack that had been on the bike two years before that). I say they're all works in progress, while my wife would probably say I'm a serial futzer. So I can't call the Raleigh a completed thing, but it's at least reached a point of temporary happiness.

The drivetrain is 40x17 fixed, with a de-toothed old 42-tooth chainring in the outer position as a chainguard. The chopped 42 doesn't give enough coverage over a 40, but it was the biggest sacrificial ring in my stash and it looks better than the black 40 sitting alone on the inner position (where chainline is best).

Just to prove that I'm developing a Wald addiction, the bars are straight outta Kentucky, model #8095 as seen at The 6-Miler. Cork grips for squish and style, brake lever with a lock button (for a parking brake effect), Kool Stop pads on the original Weinmann front centerpull, spare saddle, old saddlebag, ugly BMX pedals, and away we go!

(I didn't route the front brake to the right lever to be extra-British. I just can't find the left lever.)

In a perfect world, I'd have a bigger chainguard, some fenders (probably Wald again), a nicer-looking saddle, less-homely pedals, and fancier luggage (or a front basket -- do I dare say Wald? Jeez, I am such a shill), but as it stands right now, it's a hoot to hop on and just take off. Sure, it looks like I stole it from a pipe-smoking, leather-elbow-patches college professor, but it goes like a retro race rocket... at least until my pudgy legs can't catch up with the 40x17 any more.


john said...

Well done. I've got an old Nishiki that looks similar but has none of the style of that Raleigh.

Steve Fuller said...

Looks nice Jason. :)

Anonymous said...

Sir: Beautiful bike. I'm building one currently that looks similar. A suggestion for pedals, if you haven't fitted any: MKS touring/cyclocross pedals. Beautiful, not expensive, and highly functional. Just a thought.

Until recently I had a Raleigh Sprite. It fell apart for reasons I won't go into here. Now I'm building a faux Raleigh out of a Trek mountain bike frame I found in a ditch, a Takara copy of a Raleigh (for fenders only), the wheels from a third bike (three speed hub) and a few parts from a Peugeot I converted to fixed gear.

My wife has apparently the same complaint yours does.

Anyway: Check out the pedals. And best of luck.