Sunday, February 8, 2015

1968 (?) Raleigh Super Course Part I -the before

I corresponded with my friend Joe last year and it turns out he had a vintage Raleigh Super Course hanging in his basement that he was interested in having refurbished.  Having never worked on a Super Course before I was of course(pun intended) interested.   I was in Portland recently to visit my Mom and stopped by Joe's to pick up the Super Course project and bring it back to the workshop.

I haven't pinpointed the exact year yet but I know Joe got the bike in 1970 from the original owner so I figure late 1960's.  Like most project bikes; its grimy, its got some pitted chrome on the front forks and its in need of alot of TLC, so pretty much SOP.  The Super Course came with Reynolds 531 main tubes, quick release hubs (many 10 speeds of the late 60s still had bolt ons), chromed rear stays and a Brooks saddle.  This one came in Coffee Brown, so I guess Raleigh knew it would eventually end up in the coffee crazy Pacific Northwest.
Pitted chrome on front fork with QR
Model B.15

While discolored the leather isn't cracked and doesn't appear too dried out.  One of the things I like about this era of Raleigh are the ornate lugs.
Fork crown

seat cluster

Head tube
This Super Course  also has a different (earlier) head badge than the other Raleigh's I have worked on.  It still has the regal Heron motif but as a solid badge, rather than  one with cut outs.
Cool pre 70's head badge

Another first for me will be working on Huret derailleurs, this bike is equipped with the Huret Svelto rear which has a unique design compared to the SunTour, Shimano and Campagnolo's of the 10 speed era.
Huret Rear

Huret Front
And this vintage 10 speed has my old friend the cottered crank. Which through long experience and a great tool I can handle.

A few things I have learned in working on old 10 speeds will come in handy working on this project.  First of all this Super Course has an AVA stem so I will need to look it over carefully to be sure its not a dreaded "death stem" model.
AVA stem

There is also a tiny brake cable end that fits into the brake bridge, you don't want to misplace this part - believe me.

Don't misplace the tiny parts!
I also have some shifter challenges to overcome although this bike might get configured as a city bike so I would be moving the shifters anyway - we'll see.
So I have added a new project to the queue, I need to get back to work on the Torpado Alpha and I need to revamp the Motobecane Grand Touring but I look forward to getting this Super Course back on the road in style.

Until next time Ride. Smile. Repeat.


  1. Whoa....That looks like it will challenge your refurbish skill to the max!! Old Raleigh's are so cool

    1. Yeah Jim it has its rough spots but I look forward to getting it back in road worthy condition.

  2. Replies
    1. Ted unfortunately no I have been a lazy bastard of late even though I have 3 bikes I should be working on and that doesn't even include my own! hope to get off my duff and start working on and posting about old bikes soon.

  3. Thank you for writing about the Super Course - your discussion was extremely helpful to me. I happened to pick up a Super Course in April 2015. Inspired in part by your excellent blog I've written up a story of my "re-build" of the bike. Perhaps you will be interested in it. Here's the link:

    1. David you are most welcome I am glad it was helpful. I didn't even realize Ellensburg had a Grand Fondo! I will have to keep that in mind and I like the upgrades you have done to your Super Course - dual pivots are a great choice. Keep on enjoying that vintage steed.