1968 Raleigh Sports

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milbicycleman

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jul 6, 2012
282
Yardley Pennsylvania
I picked up this 1968 Raleigh Sports today. It's my first foray into the British lightweights, so I am pretty excited about it. I ended up getting it from a guy off Craigslist. It's in pretty original shape minus the handgrips and new tires and tubes. There is some rust by the front lug. Do you guys think thats something that would affect the structure of the frame? I think I am going to leave the stock rear cog for now to see how I like it. Do you guys have any suggestions for upgrades that are easy to do or things that would make the bike better?




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kwoodyh

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jun 2, 2017
793
55
Greenwood Arkansas
Hard to improve on that bike if you want to maintain an original look. I'd just clean and detail it and mechanically make it as sound as possible. I don't think you will have any structural issues with the lug corrosion but I would address it as soon as possible.


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milbicycleman

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jul 6, 2012
282
Yardley Pennsylvania
Hard to improve on that bike if you want to maintain an original look. I'd just clean and detail it and mechanically make it as sound as possible. I don't think you will have any structural issues with the lug corrosion but I would address it as soon as possible.


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Thanks for letting me know. What would you recommend doing to address the lug corrosion?
 

kwoodyh

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jun 2, 2017
793
55
Greenwood Arkansas
Try to remove any loose rust carefully without disturbing any original surrounding paint then apply a rust neutralizer of your choice and then find a match or close as you can get and reapply over the area.


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milbicycleman

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jul 6, 2012
282
Yardley Pennsylvania
Try to remove any loose rust carefully without disturbing any original surrounding paint then apply a rust neutralizer of your choice and then find a match or close as you can get and reapply over the area.


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Thanks, I'll do that. I have some left over copper wool and oil I can use.
 

SirMike1983

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 27, 2008
3,154
United States
If the lug-to-tube joint looks good and there's no gap or opening of it, you're fine. The frames are generally over-built and very durable. Gently remove the rust when you clean up the bike. Looks like the chainstays are crunched by the kickstand. That's fairly normal with those stands - just make sure that there are no cracks or breaks in the tubes down there. Deformation is OK - the frame is very rigid in that area; but cracks or breaks from being crushed are not OK.

Do not attempt to re-build the Dynohub prior to reading the instructions on it - you cannot separate the magnet from its ring without a magnet keeper.

You're missing the frame pump (easily replaced) and the plastic shifter face (difficult to replace because they're always cracked or broken). There are retro, Dare-style grips being produced today as well if you want better grips.

Good bike to start with.
 

milbicycleman

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jul 6, 2012
282
Yardley Pennsylvania
If the lug-to-tube joint looks good and there's no gap or opening of it, you're fine. The frames are generally over-built and very durable. Gently remove the rust when you clean up the bike. Looks like the chainstays are crunched by the kickstand. That's fairly normal with those stands - just make sure that there are no cracks or breaks in the tubes down there. Deformation is OK - the frame is very rigid in that area; but cracks or breaks from being crushed are not OK.

Do not attempt to re-build the Dynohub prior to reading the instructions on it - you cannot separate the magnet from its ring without a magnet keeper.

You're missing the frame pump (easily replaced) and the plastic shifter face (difficult to replace because they're always cracked or broken). There are retro, Dare-style grips being produced today as well if you want better grips.

Good bike to start with.
Thanks for all of the helpful info SirMike! I'll address both areas when I give it a good cleaning. The previous owner told me the Dynohub works so I am on the lookout for a lighting set. Do you have any recommendations on where I could buy one and same with the frame pump and grips?
Alexander
 

SirMike1983

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 27, 2008
3,154
United States
Forgot to add - be very careful with preserving the brake cables. They're a proprietary design and not being widely produced today. They're special to Raleigh and have not been made in large numbers in years. They're also specific to the frame size. It looks like you can preserve and re-lube them and keep using them. I'm currently playing with a couple methods of reproducing these cables. I have one method that is promising and likely can produce cables looking and functioning very close to the originals.
 

SirMike1983

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 27, 2008
3,154
United States
Thanks for all of the helpful info SirMike! I'll address both areas when I give it a good cleaning. The previous owner told me the Dynohub works so I am on the lookout for a lighting set. Do you have any recommendations on where I could buy one and same with the frame pump and grips?
Alexander
Sunlite makes a 16 inch pump that should fit.

I have a set like this

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Raleigh-Rudge-Triumph-Schwinn-etc-Replacement-Bicycle-Bar-Grips-Black-/322626923452?hash=item4b1e102bbc:m:mjX350PI6kt1AbM23Mi6RKw

on my Raleigh Sprite. They're not exact, but pretty close. They work reasonably well. The Thai-made, barrel style ones with the "R" on them are of dodgy quality.
 

milbicycleman

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jul 6, 2012
282
Yardley Pennsylvania
The previous owner told me he re lubricated the cables and I tested out the brakes and seam to work okay. Hopefully I'll be able to keep using them. Thats great you're looking into reproducing the cables.

I'll definitely get those grips and check out the sunlite pump. Thanks again for your help.
 
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morton

I live for the CABE
Nov 9, 2007
1,637
York, United States
Do you guys have any suggestions for upgrades that are easy to do or things that would make the bike better?
Clean and lube; easier said than done on English bikes. You're probably looking at decades old grease that is doing more harm than good and the bike will ride much better with modern lube. I use synthetic marine grease. All the add ons or upgrades will do little to improve the bike without fresh grease/oil.

First, as previously stated, Do not attempt to re-build the Dynohub prior to reading the instructions on it. Nuff said.

Step one, drain the old oil from the SA hub and replace with new. I've found them to be almost indestructible with just a little care. Got one last year that was dry, no oil at all came out. Oiled up it has performed flawlessly for 600 miles to date.

Step two: Your pita cottered cranks. Most(I think) people hate em. Read up on how to get them off and choose your preferred method. I made the tool and it works well......usually. And don't forget to lube/oil the pedals.

Step three: Your circa 50 (26 top 24 bottom or some such arrangement) little loose (uncaged) bearings make lubing the headset another pita. You should make sure to have extras as at least one or two will roll away and end up under the furnace, in the furnace, or in your neighbor's living room! I have Parkinson's and it's a laugh riot watching me try to install those little bastaxxs one at a time.:mad:

To avoid "sanding down" the chrome, make sure the brake pads are not hardened if you intend to ride it. Modern, pliable pads are much easier on the wheel and stop better. And while your bike is apart, clean and wax everything except braking surfaces. Paint touch up as needed or wanted.

I like older Raleighs, have a couple, and had a few others. I like the way they ride and look but absolutely hate working on them. I find no joy in laying a bike on the floor to service a headset which many people do to avoid losing too many bearings. Or proprietary brake cables, or self adjusting brake levers (which it appears you bike thankfully does not have) Sometimes I think the Raleigh engineers sat down, looked at the pre production model, and said, how can we make this harder to service. ;)

Having said all that you may wonder why I do it. Challenge number one. If it was easy it would be no fun? Also pride....pride in being able to do something most bike shops won't even attempt. And finally having an attractive vintage bike that's as good as anything made since that will be providing a lot of riding pleasure to me and someone else long after I'm gone unless some idiot decides to use it as a yard decoration.:fearscream:
 

milbicycleman

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jul 6, 2012
282
Yardley Pennsylvania
Clean and lube; easier said than done on English bikes. You're probably looking at decades old grease that is doing more harm than good and the bike will ride much better with modern lube. I use synthetic marine grease. All the add ons or upgrades will do little to improve the bike without fresh grease/oil.

First, as previously stated, Do not attempt to re-build the Dynohub prior to reading the instructions on it. Nuff said.

Step one, drain the old oil from the SA hub and replace with new. I've found them to be almost indestructible with just a little care. Got one last year that was dry, no oil at all came out. Oiled up it has performed flawlessly for 600 miles to date.

Step two: Your pita cottered cranks. Most(I think) people hate em. Read up on how to get them off and choose your preferred method. I made the tool and it works well......usually. And don't forget to lube/oil the pedals.

Step three: Your circa 50 (26 top 24 bottom or some such arrangement) little loose (uncaged) bearings make lubing the headset another pita. You should make sure to have extras as at least one or two will roll away and end up under the furnace, in the furnace, or in your neighbor's living room! I have Parkinson's and it's a laugh riot watching me try to install those little bastaxxs one at a time.:mad:

To avoid "sanding down" the chrome, make sure the brake pads are not hardened if you intend to ride it. Modern, pliable pads are much easier on the wheel and stop better. And while your bike is apart, clean and wax everything except braking surfaces. Paint touch up as needed or wanted.

I like older Raleighs, have a couple, and had a few others. I like the way they ride and look but absolutely hate working on them. I find no joy in laying a bike on the floor to service a headset which many people do to avoid losing too many bearings. Or proprietary brake cables, or self adjusting brake levers (which it appears you bike thankfully does not have) Sometimes I think the Raleigh engineers sat down, looked at the pre production model, and said, how can we make this harder to service. ;)

Having said all that you may wonder why I do it. Challenge number one. If it was easy it would be no fun? Also pride....pride in being able to do something most bike shops won't even attempt. And finally having an attractive vintage bike that's as good as anything made since that will be providing a lot of riding pleasure to me and someone else long after I'm gone unless some idiot decides to use it as a yard decoration.:fearscream:

Thank you for all of the helpful information! I was told my the previous owner that it needs nothing since he said he went through everything. Hopefully he was telling the truth....From the little I've ridden it, it seems very smooth.


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wrongway

I live for the CABE
Apr 24, 2012
1,083
Pella, IA
Forgot to add - be very careful with preserving the brake cables. They're a proprietary design and not being widely produced today. They're special to Raleigh and have not been made in large numbers in years. They're also specific to the frame size. It looks like you can preserve and re-lube them and keep using them. I'm currently playing with a couple methods of reproducing these cables. I have one method that is promising and likely can produce cables looking and functioning very close to the originals.
Are you talking about the cable and ends? That would be great. I am also looking for cloth cable reproductions. I don't suppose that is out there yet....?
 
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milbicycleman

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jul 6, 2012
282
Yardley Pennsylvania
After cleaning up the Raleigh I unfortunately realized that it's in poorer condition than I originally thought. The paint is a blotchy, with clear coat in some places and in others not. I think it must've been exposed to some chemicals from painting or something, as there are white paint specks as well. Also the front wheel is very pitted and rusty. What would you guys recommend? I am thinking sell the bike and look for something nicer.
 

SirMike1983

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 27, 2008
3,154
United States
Do you have any pictures of the problem areas? The bike in the pictures above looks like it will clean up reasonably well. It'sa tall frame with a Dynohub and a pretty good number of original parts - I'd hold off on dumping that one. You'll probably pay good money for a really nice tall frame with the working Dyno.
 
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milbicycleman

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jul 6, 2012
282
Yardley Pennsylvania
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Yes I do. Its kind of hard to see everything in picture form though. I didn't realize a tall frame with the dyno- hub with nice paint would costly. Thank you for letting me know.
 
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wrongway

I live for the CABE
Apr 24, 2012
1,083
Pella, IA
I second Bulldog. That's in great shape, actually and shouldn't need much. I'm not familiar with the technique, but I think you would be surprised at how well that finish would turn out!
 
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