Saturday, August 16, 2014

1977 Raleigh Record LTD Mixte- Campus bike rebuild Part I

I mentioned back in June that I was going to build up a Raleigh mixte as campus bike for my niece who is going to grad school this fall.  I came into this bike about 3 years ago and in the time since it has lost a few of its original parts to other projects like; the wheel-set, both derailleurs, and rear rack to name a few.  In addition to needing to replace the missing parts I also wanted to use a different handlebar set up, add fenders and a front Wald basket.  Anyway lots of parts to order.  I got the new wheels and tires from Amazon early on so I started with them.

My experience with factory built 27 inch wheels is that the hubs are too tight so even thought these were brand new I still opened them up to add grease (the factory is miserly IMHO) and then adjusted the hub bearings.  With some new rim strips, tubes and tires (fatter 27 x 1 3/8") the wheel set was ready to go.

Unfortunately, I still had a stuck stem to deal with, the same issue that had this bike languishing in my queue for so long.  I got to a point where not only was I still working to cut through the stem remnant but the plug (which was still rattling around in the fork) got wedged sidewise.  After consulting my LBS and figuring out I would have to pay a shop rate of $80 an hour (which I don't begrudge them) for them to try and finish the job, I came up with a new plan.
Turns out sells a Sunlite replacement 27inch fork and so I ordered one.  I had mentioned to the mechanic at the LBS I was thinking of getting a replacement and he wisely reminded me that since Raleigh used proprietary threading I would not be able to use my original headset, so I ordered a vanilla Tange replacement headset at the same time- more on that later.

Since I had to wait on the fork and headset I figured I could pay some attention to the paint.  I used the Meguiars three step process I first heard about over at Hugh's bicycle blog.  I used it on the Fiorelli rebuild and liked the results so decided to try it on the mixte.
Step 1- Clean
Step 2 - Polish
Step 3- Carnauba baby!
Now the this Raleigh frame is nearly 40 years old and shows its age with rock chips and dings but man does that paint shine after this 3 step process!

The Wald basket and the SKS fender-set had arrived, the paint was in as good a shape as it could possibly get and once the spanking new fork and headset came in I would be able to get down to business building this bike up into a campus commuter right.......right?

In Part II of this series I will explain why nobody ever said this rebuild was going to be easy.


  1. The suspense, oh the suspense!!!

    Seriously, I really enjoy reading about your projects. :)

    1. Thank you Janice glad you are enjoying the posts

  2. So fun!! Thank you again for all of your hard work. This is really like a work of art! :)

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Your welcome Samara. I look forward to presenting you with a finished, functional bike with some vintage flare.