Monday, January 28, 2013

Curb Find Raleigh Part 2 -crumple zones? (Jan 2013)

Due to the condition of the frame mentioned in part 1 of this series I had thought of building this bike up as a "stealth" bike, ugly on the outside but immaculate mechanically, or what Randy at mytenspeeds calls a "Junk Bike".  I started by taking it down to the frame set and immediately hit my first ever stuck stem! I tried lots of methods to get it unstuck but eventually I had to amputate.
I was able to get everything else off the bike and eventually came up with a nice box of parts ready for cleanup and reassembly.

The rust spots on the down tube and top tube just behind the head tube kept worrying me though and upon taking the bike to the good folks at Bike Works for a second opinion my concern was confirmed "I wouldn't ride it the frames compromised" stated the wrench on duty.  Sigh.  So I left the frame with them so they could get the scrap value out of it and went to the warehouse in search of a donor frame-set for the box of parts I now had.  It had to be a Raleigh of course because I had all these cool Raleigh  branded parts.  Luck was with me and I found an early 70's Raleigh Record frame-set that I think will do the trick.
As always there are few areas of concern.  With any bike of this vintage you can expect some nicks and scrapes, while the Record is miles ahead of where the Gran Prix was, as far as the paint goes, it does have some rust spots I need to address before I can start spiffing it up.

Also this Record frame is old enough that it was equipped with a cottered cranks as you can see from the legacy Bottom Bracket.
When I tried to upgrade to a cotter-less crank on the 74 Raleigh Gran Prix (Green) I found that a newer BB would not work with the proprietary Raleigh threads.  This time, however, I have the BB from the 77 curb find Raleigh Gran Prix (cotter-less) so I am hoping it will work, if not its off to Bike works for a cottered crank to work with the legacy BB.

Next time I hope to post some actual progress on this build.  By the way that is my brand spanking new Park work stand pictured with the Record frameset,  purchased from Hugh's Online bike shop  PLUG.  The stand kind of makes me feel like a big boy bike mechanic.  Until Part 3...



  1. Hey! Is that a PCS-9? Congrats! What is that VO I see in the background? Oh, BTW, my old Schwinn is one of those funky-looking mechanically righteous bikes. I use the old school hot-rodder term: Sleeper.

  2. You eyes are sharp my friend yes and yes the VO will feature in a future post. Sleeper- I like that although little miss dangerous is now not a sleeper but a finely painted stealth machine ;-)

  3. Hey Ryan, Your friends at Bike Works are 100% correct. That frame has definitely been compromised or "stressed". Whenever you see a ring (or partial ring) of missing paint just behind a lug connection "an alarm should go off". I think what happens is that under stress the tubing swells at the stress point. The paint does not, an simply flakes off. Sometimes the tube (at the stress point) will actually appear to be swollen as well. Good to see you found a suitable replacement frame. We should always be so lucky :) P.S. I have featured one of your bikes on my blogs face book page this week. All the feed back has been very positive. I look forward to seeing your next post.
    Cheers, Hugh

    1. Thanks for stopping by Hugh. I was leaning toward scraping the bike but it was good to get the expert opinion at least the price was right and I got a whole bikes worth of parts out of the deal. Thanks for posting my Schwinn Varsity on your Facebook page, I am hoping to make some more progress on the Raleigh this weekend.