Monday, July 4, 2016

Making progress (Raleigh Super Course Part VIII)

Nothing like a self imposed deadline to get a person moving.  I made some more progress on the Raleigh Super Course today.  I started off with carefully washing the Brooks Saddle, with warm water, gentle (hand) soap and a bristle brush made for cleaning leather.  I wanted to do that chore first so the saddle would have plenty of time to dry before I move on the next step -Obenauf's leather saddle goop.

before - bottom

before top

Even-though I had to wait for the leather to dry that didn't stop me working on the metal bits.

rivet clean-up
I am fortunate the Dremel comes with so many brushes,  I can clean the rivets without hitting the leather.  I was also able to get most of the rust off the saddle frame but in the spots where the finish has worn away I like to put a little 3n1 oil on the steel so it has some protection against further rust, I dribble a little oil, rub it in, let it set for a few minutes and then wipe off the excess.

A little 3n1 oil on the rusty spots
I was also able to get the seat post cleaned up, I thought I had a "before" picture but I can't find one so imagine it was greasy and dirty, and now..

The new front wheel was quick to arrive so I did my normal protocol with the Amazon wheels:

  • Loosen up a cone so I can squirt more grease in both sides of the hub, I don't think they use enough at the factory and bearings are not a place to be skimpy on the grease!
  • Adjust the bearings to that "just right spot" I find the factory ones tend to come too tight.
  • Check the wheel for true, I have yet to have a problem myself, but have seen this as an issue in the comments section for others.
In the truing stand
And after going through the protocol above and transferring the new rubber onto the new wheel it got mounted.
One wheel down
I like to anchor the front wheel to the frame by looping an old toe strap through the wheel and down tube, that way the front wheel doesn't flop while its in the stand.  Just remember to take it off before you try riding the bike!

I got to the brakes today, reassembling the rear that I cleaned up so long ago (Part III), and cleaning up the front.
rear brake back together

Front brake installed
Since I was working on the brakes I also swapped out some old parts for new ones.

 Some new Dia-Compe gray matters to replace the worn out original Weinmanns.

And some nice shiny new straddle wires to replace the rusty old arthritic ones.  I had scheduled cleaning and mounting the cranks for tomorrow but decided to push on and give my schedule some cushion.

very dirty crank

The crank is big enough that not all of it would fit in the sonic cleaner so it got a bath in sections.

Mid stream cleaning
Lots of simple green, a tooth brush and elbow grease to get the the rings clean.

pretty clean
I would love to report that the cranks cleaned up good as new but as with the forks there are places where the chrome has worn away down to the bare steel so I shined it up as good as I could and used 3n1 on the bare spots for a bit of extra protection.  
before steel wool
After steel wool - better not perfect

The good news is things are straight and no teeth are missing or worn down.  Since the cranks were clean I was able to mount them and add another "City bike" piece to the bike....

Yep some nice wide city pedals with rubber grips, just jump on and go, these are Sunlite Crusier pedals.  In addition to getting more done than anticipated I got the further good news that the new rear wheel which I wasn't expecting until Thursday has shipped and is expected to arrive Wednesday.

Stay tuned as I race toward the finish.  Until next time...



  1. Awesome, very cool: "some nice wide city pedals with rubber grips, just jump on and go"

  2. I think they'll work well with the city bars for a run down to the pub

  3. Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your descriptions of your rebuilds. There's a lot of attention to detail here. It's awesome that you're getting old bikes back on the road. Thank you for writing such an enjoyable blog!

    1. Thank you Janice, that just made my day! I sometimes wonder if there is too much attention to detail "why is he droning on about Mafac Racers?!" but I got so much out of other blogs when I was first starting to refurbish old bikes; My-Ten-Speeds, Hughs Bicycle blog, and of course the grand daddy Sheldon Brown and it was their detail and tips that helped so much. If someone reading this blog finds something helpful/useful that makes me happy.