Sunday, May 8, 2016

Restraint or Laziness? (1983 Raleigh Record)

This morning I was driving around my neighborhood in search of French Toast which I have been jonesing after for weeks, and for some reason the places I had intended to go were all full up- Happy Mothers Day btw.  I then remembered a local pub had started doing brunch and with no minors allowed I thought it was worth a shot (what about bikes when is he going to get to the bikes! ....wait for it).  So as I am getting close to my destination I come over a rise and see this..

Now I do actually see bikes on the sidewalk for free occasionally but 98% of the time they are either kids bikes or rusty Mongoose  mountain bikes, I very rarely see bike boom ten speeds.  The one time I literally lugged one home (Curb find) I discovered on closer inspection that it had serious issues.

But hey its me and its obviously an old 10 speed so of course I have to stop.  My first thought is what is it? Yeah I am a bit of a label snob and I probably wouldn't give a Sears free spirit a second glance but as it turns out I am in luck- its a Raleigh.

Now the sharp eyed amongst you probably already noticed one glaring deficiency - no front wheel, that isn't much of a detriment as I have at least a couple floating around.   The first thing I noticed when I got closer was that the frame had been painted with primer so I couldn't for sure identify the model and the clues were somewhat contradictory.  The fork crowns had the engraved Raleigh crest indicating a mid to upper end frame but the suicide brakes and stem mounted shifters suggest something entry level like a Raleigh Record or Gran Prix.
nice power ratchets

The non cottered crank

And single pivot brakes, rather than center-pulls, seem to suggest late 70 or early 80s vintage.

And it also has Sun Tour throughout which also seems to suggest the later 1970s to 80s time frame, including this rear derailleur.

Now if I was a better flipper I would probably have picked up the bike without hesitation and stuffed in my trunk thinking I could spend an hour with it and slap it on CL for $100.  I am not that guy and I would probably need to strip down to the frame and rebuild it even it was just going to be a beater bike and  I really have no place to do a paint job anymore either.  And by "paint job" I mean Rustoleum in a spray can.  More importantly I started thinking about what awaited me at home:

  • A rebuild in progress in the bike stand - Raleigh Super Course
  • A Mixte in need of some TLC on my balcony- Raleigh Rapide
  • A possible clean and flip project also on the balcony -Motobecane Mirage 
  • A frame that I have 75% of the Parts to build up - Motobecane Mirage (Yellow)
  • A frame that I am "probably" going give back to bike works as I have too much to work on! -Schwinn Traveller III
  • And my own beloved Motobecane Grand Touring which sits in my bedroom with lots of new parts waiting to be hung from it.
Just thinking through the queue, and the siren call of French toast, wised me up and made it easier to walk away from this "freebie".
goodbye little fella

Then again I could drive by it in two hours and load it there room behind the couch?  Until next time. 

Ride. Smile.Repeat.

PS the French Toast at the Bridge was awesome.

PPS  I am an idiot at least when it comes to old 10 speeds....I went back...
brought home another stray
There was room on the balcony....It occurred to me I could swap the drive train over to the Schwinn Tourist and have a mostly complete bike for zero dollars, although if I had a garage this frame shows some promise but most likely I will probably just donate it to the local bike kitchen....
seat cluster detail

pantographed fork crown
forged fork drop outs
At least I don't need to worry about a stuck seat post - it practically jumped out and then I noticed the jacked up hardware store seat clamp fix, wonder if the seat post was too small?

Well soon I will probably either drop my moonlighting gig (REI) for more time or my main contract gig will end at the end of the fiscal year  (less likely) and I will only have the moonlighting gig in either case I will have more time in which to clear my bike project queue...yeah that's the ticket.


A bit more research and I believe this is a 1983 when all levels of Raleigh frames had nice details like the ones above.  And based on the little paint I can see and all the other items - brake levers, stem shifters, etc. I believe its an entry level Record like the one below.

1983 Raleigh Record


  1. Good lord, lad ya had me worried. No way could I leave that forlorn little rascal sitting there with no front wheel...You could at least strip it down to bare frame and hang it on the wall as art. But as always, ya did the right thing.

    Which is easy for me to say. Little Miss is entering her third year of waiting for the box of parts to be installed and it may be awhile still before she gets her final build.

    But still...we just cannot allow vintage ten speeds to be left abandoned like orphans...maybe you could get a federal grant...

    As a side note, I was once offered a job as a bicycle maintenance professor at Daytona State College. It would have been an interesting gig (to say the least) but since I am the worse bicycle mechanic I have ever seen it would have made little sense. But with the impending reign of King Donald the First maybe making sense makes no sense.

    I think...who knows? I'm sitting in a La Quinta in North Tampa spending my days building a Chick Fil A and my nights contemplating suicide. But no way will I miss the raucous hilarity of a Trump presidency. I'm not too worried...nobody could fuck things up as bad as that Son of a Bush did and meanwhile...

    good job rescuing the orphan.


    1. Good to hear from you my Velo Brother. I don't know if it was the right thing or a stupid thing to do but I am glad I did it regardless, although I do need to actually finish a project and get one out the door at some point!

      In those deep dark nights of the soul breath deep look at ornate lugged steel online and think of the trouble puppy looking at you with unconditional sloppy love. I don't think I exaggerate that without a black lab named Shep in my life at my lowest ebb I might not be here. Hopefully instead of King Donny we can watch alot of Larry David doing impersonations on SNL for the next 4 years...Anyway how's that slick Nashbar SS treating ya?

  2. Unfortunately, when even NPR says you're toast, you're toast. A Bernie term would, I fear, be more of a quagmire than a revolution. Socialism requires molotov cocktails and cold weather, for some reason.

    The Nash is awesome. But I still want a three-speed rear end. Back in the day, as recently as three years ago, I was about a hundred times stronger than I am now. I find myself looking for both a higher gear as well as a lower one.

    I have been thinking about taking the Origin 8 Gary II drop bars off the Schwinn and putting them on the Nash, something of a poor man's Fargo. Or maybe some Jones Loop H bars... It never ends, does it...

    1. Hmm Vodka....sorry lost focus there for a moment TPC. With a custom built 3 speed on that thing you would be the coolest kid on the block...yeah like your not that already.

      Your 3 speed desires made me remember a site I used to go to and mock up my dream wheels. I think you might want to check out the Sturmey-Archer S3K 3 Speed Disc Hub - 135mm Spacing and then you can you use this site to design your odd and wonderful wheel.

      And your right the tinkering never stops, I have reconfigured the Handsome Devil, in major ways, at least 3 times and I am not done....

  3. Ryan, I too am some what glad that all is right in the universe with you going back and dragging that lost soul of the Raleigh home.
    The tinkering sometimes takes a time out but always seems to return. I was going on about 10 months of just being happy with the bikes I have and the way they are set up. Especially with my brief and disappointing affair with the fattie.
    I am heading down to Albuquerque for my annual golf, brown liquor, and bikes extravaganza trip with my sister and brother-in-law and when I get back I have some new parts to put on the old Schwinn Roadie to make it even more comfortable (slower if you asked the Freds). That might be a good excuse for a blog post on the dormant blog-sphere.
    That silly work thing that keeps us from the fun time-wasters like working on bikes and riding bikes creates the backlog of bikes in your apartment.
    Keep after it Ryan!!

  4. Thanks Jim,

    I am not sure about the golf - I am a danger to myself and others with a club in my hand- but I like the brown liquor and bikes piece! I look forward to hearing about and seeing the new parts for your Schwinn on your blog.

    I don't seem to be able to walk away from an old 10 speed -even a one legged one. Hopefully my job situation will resolve itself to 1 full time job and then this summer/fall I can finish a few bikes, I need back some room on my balcony!