Tuesday, January 8, 2013

1985 Raleigh Marathon Mixte (September 2011)

Make: Raleigh
Model: Marathon (Mixte)
Year:  1985
Obtained: August 2011
Found: Bike Works 
Paid: $30.00

As I mentioned in the post regarding the 1974 Raleigh Grand Prix, after  one too many setbacks I had to walk away from that project (temporarily).  This is what I walked towards, a 1985 Raleigh Marathon.  One thing I could have added to my beginning bike refurbisher post was don't start out with just a frame when fixing up a bike.  It can be expensive tracking down all the parts and you might not get it right the first time.  However if you have become a bit bike obsessed you might have acquired more than a few spare parts.  Heck you might even have some nice ready to go parts from a stupid project that sent you to a bad place and made you walk away and....but I digress.
I was drawn to this bike because it was in great shape and had wonderful details, a cut above your average Record or Grand Prix.  I hadn't walked into the Bike Works warehouse intending to buy just a frame, at the cost I normally spent on a full bike, but I couldn't pass this one up.

It had great fork crown details
More great stuff on the seat stays
A gorgeous head badge -note this is a Raleigh of America badge

And a lovely Raleigh branded alloy crankset
It did have a hideous gold bulky quick release seat clamp that I ditched for the Raleigh branded one from the '74 Grand Prix.  I also had a set of wheels I had cleaned up and trued, with rebuilt hubs and cool white walled tires that had been intended for the Grand Prix that went nicely with this bike.  I was going to use the center pull brakes from the Grand Prix as well until I realized I needed side pulls to make the rear brake work on the this  mixte frame (in the picture at the bottom of the post note the cable loop has to come up to the rear brake rather than down to it as it would on a mens frame).  I also took a nice set of SR Road Champion drop bars with engraving off my 1979 Miyata (future post), since I was planning to put something wider on the Miyata,  and put them on this little gem along with some Suntour Power Ratchet stem shifters.  The white bar tape, pedal straps and cable housing were also purchased for the Grand Prix but went well with this bikes color scheme and detailing.

In retrospect I probably spent more than I should have building this up and asked too little for it based on its condition but it did sell fast to a nice lady who seemed very happy to have it.  One of my favorites bikes that I have worked on so far.

Ride. Smile. Repeat.


  1. That frame is a real gem! I wonder how a bicycle ends up stripped like that...a victim of theft?

    Whatever the case, it was good fortune for both bicycle and refurbisher that it made its way to the Bike Works.

    I really want to do a Raleigh. A green Raleigh.


  2. Thanks TJ. I have a theory that, as our friend Hugh mentioned, this bike had some nice components on it that some one stripped off for a "Mens" bike and the mixte got relegated to the corner of the garage. You are right it was good fortune that this bike make its way to Bike Works and I really enjoyed the chance to work on it and bring it back to life.

  3. I think that is a beauty and you did such a nice job on this! I'll bet that even though you thought you had a bit of a larger price tag on it, the lady who bought it was happy to pay.
    In the lumber business we operate, we always try and go with the business standard, "that it is only good business if it is good for both parties". Makes for sound sleep at night for all participants.
    People who buy your bikes must enjoy their purchase otherwise you would not continue to sell the bikes you put back on the road.
    Word does get around.

  4. Thanks for the kind words Jim. Its not a big regret more the realization that after working on lots of entry level Raleighs and Peugeots, which are good bikes btw, that this Marathon was special. That said I think it went to a good home and hopefully its still making her smile when she rides it.

  5. I really love the look of Raleigh's from that era. It's funny in a way, someone probably bought it just for the components. And then along you come with the components but in need of a suitable frame. I would say that worked out pretty well for all parties concerned. Including the lucky lady who purchased it from you. Well done :)

  6. Thanks Hugh it really was a cool bike and fun to work on. It had all the cool features on the frame that I hope to one day find in my own size ;-)